18 things to do in Dubai over the long weekend

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A new hotel opens, plus music festivals, new clubs and free fitness…

If you didn’t already know, it’s going to be a long weekend in Dubai. And now we’ve got the good news out there, it’s time to start filling our three day weekend. So whether you’re looking for a ladies’ day, staycay, blockbuster movies or music festivals we’ve rounded up the best things to do across the city.

Here are 18 things to do in Dubai this weekend.

Thursday November 15

1. Check in at a brand new hotel

The first of two hotels coming to Bluewaters Island, Las Vegas export Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai will begin welcome their first guests this Thursday November 15. It features 194 guest rooms, 6 restaurants (including the soon to open Hell’s Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay) and access to a stunning private beach. 

Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai, Bluewaters, off JBR, open from Thursday November 15, from Dhs2,220 per night. Tel: (04) 556 6666. casesars.com/dubai

2. Celebrate the birthday of a stalwart

McGettigans JLT is turning eight this Thursday, and everyone’s invited. To celebrate their birthday milestone, the JLT pub will be throwing a big bash in their brand new garden with live music from Scott Maher and Tim Cheddar, a selection of drinks for Dhs20 until midnight and platters of signature bites for Dhs80. There will also be a Dhs800 cash prize giveaway on the night.

McGettigan’s JLT, Cluster J, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, 5pm to 12am, Thursday November 15. Tel: (04) 378 0800. mcgettigans.com

3. Kickstart your weekend with an evening brunch

Zero Gravity’s all-inclusive fairground of fun runs al fresco every Thursday night. As well as a host of food and beverage stations, there’s ping pong, air hockey, giant Jenga, Connect 4 and classic video arcade games. Food-wise, expect the same spread as the Saturday brunch – shellfish, sliders, and live-cooking stations. It’s a great one for mingling with your mates, and the afterparty kicks off from midnight until 3am, with free entry for all.

Zero Gravity, Sky Dive Dubai, 8pm to 12am, Thursday, Dhs295 ladies, Dhs325 gents. Tel: (04) 318 1313. 0-gravity.ae

4. See a magical new movie

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the second of five new adventures in the Wizarding World created by J.K. Rowling, and it’s out across UAE cinemas this Thursday. In the second installment, Grindleward escapes custody and sets about gathering followers to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings. In a bid to stop him, Dumbledore enlists the help of his former student, Newt.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, various times and locations, from Thursday November 15. 

Friday November 16

5. Brunch at Dubai’s first ‘Gastroclub’

Filling the Societe shaped hole in our hearts left behind when the venue closed is The Hideout, a cool new hangout opening its doors this weekend. On Friday November 16, guests can tuck into an evening brunch package from 8pm to 11pm for Dhs250. From 11pm, the space will go from gastro to club with some surprise live entertainment and the DJ spinning hits from the 70s until now.

The Hideout Dubai, 1st Floor, Marina Byblos Hotel, Dubai Marina, Sunday to Thursday 5pm to 3am, Friday 12pm to 3am, Saturday 3pm to 3am. thehideoutdubai.com

6. Design your own ice cream

Located at the front of VOX cinemas in Mall of the Emirates is the Middle East’s first dedicated Magnum store, which complete with a ‘dipping bar’. The dipping bar, which has become an icon across pop-up Magnum stores around the globe, allows guests to create their own personalised magnum with a choice of ice cream, chocolate coating and up to 18 premium toppings. An ice cream with three toppings is priced at Dhs25.

Magnum Store, VOX Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha, Dhs25. Facebook.com/MagnumArabia

7. Get prepped for Tough Mudder

Getting ready for Tough Mudder? With less than a month to go, the team behind the obstacle course are giving you the chance to attempt to take on its classic obstacle ‘The Reach Around’. Young mudder enthusiasts can try out the special du Mini Mudder obstacle created right next to it – Hangin’ In Hangin’ Out.

Tough Mudder at Kite Beach, Jumeirah, Dubai, 8am to 10pm, Friday November 16, free. toughmudder.ae

8. Party at a beach club birthday party

Hailed as one of the pioneers of his genre, garage music legend DJ EZ is headlining Zero Gravity’s fifth birthday party, ‘One Big Birthday’ this month. Fresh from a residency in Ibiza, the British DJ will be supported by Ibiza’s famous saxophonist Lovely Laura and DJ Ben Santiago.

Zero Gravity, Sky Dive Drop Zone, Dubai Marina, Fri, 5pm to 3am, free before 9pm, Dhs150 after. Tel: (04) 399 0009. Taxi: Sky Dive Dubai. 0-gravity.ae

9. Throw it back at a music festival

German techno band Scooter and Italian dance group Eiffel 65 will headline the DXB 9020 music festival at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium this month. Best known for their smash hit Blue (Da Ba Dee), Eiffel 65 will kick things off at 9.30pm. Scooter will take to the stage at 10.30pm, with frontman H.P. Baxxter set to perform party anthems like The Logical SongJumping All Over The World, and How Much Is The Fish?

DXB 9020, Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Fri, 8pm to 2am. Tickets from Dhs250. Taxi: Irish Village. dubai.platinumlist.net

10. Check out a lively new brunch

We’re already big fans of La Carnita, the funky Mexican joint housed in the place formerly occupied by Ynot bar in the Intercontinental Dubai Marina. So we were excited to discover they’ve just launched a Friday brunch. Promising sharing style Latin-American street food, three hours of unlimited drinks and hip-hop hits from DJTJ, we can’t wait to check this one out.

La Carnita, Intercontinental Dubai Marina, Dubai Marina, 12.30pm to 3.30pm, Fridays, Dhs250 soft, Dhs350 house. Tel: (04) 438 3100. hiddenbrunch.com

11. Catch a K-pop film

K-pop fan? Then you’ll want to head along to Vox or Novo Cinemas this weekend. Both cinemas are screening the first feature film by K-pop supergroup BTS, Burn the Stage: The Movie. The documentary goes behind the scenes of the band’s 2017 Live Trilogy Episode III: The Wings Tour. That tour drew more than 550,000 fans across 40 concerts in 19 cities around the world.

Burn The Stage: The Movie, from November 15, limited release only. More info on the Vox and Novo websites.

Saturday November 17

11. Check out some carnival action on JBR

Three weekends of carnival fun at JBR will kick off this weekend with ‘Latin Nights’, where Latin and Capoeira dancers will take to the streets, African drummers and stilt walkers will perform across JBR, and a live mariachi band will belt out some classic hits.

#WOWJBR, JBR, The Walk, Dubai Marina, 7pm to 10pm Thurs, 4pm to 10pm, Fri and Sat, free. Facebook.com/TheWalkatJBR

13. Top up your tan at a ladies’ day

Candypants ladies’ day event runs from noon to 5pm every Saturday at the oh-so-Instagrammable Penthouse on The Palm, and there are three packages available for ladies. For Dhs149, take advantage of access to Penthouse and unlimited wine and frozen cocktails at the bar, or for Dhs249, ladies can enjoy unlimited wine, frozen cocktails and a food platter of light bites with seating included. The premium offering is Dhs349, which includes prosecco and spirits on top of the standard package. Guys are invited to join for a minimum spend of Dhs249 for seating, or it’s free entry to the standing bar.

Candypants at Penthouse, FIVE Palm Jumeirah, 12pm to 8pm, Saturdays, from Dhs149. Facebook.com/Candypantsevents

14. Head to a neighbourhood BBQ

The Great British BBQ Brunch takes place at Neighbourhood at Courtyard by Marriott every Satuday. Priced at Dhs150 for soft drinks and Dhs275 with house beverages, guests can tuck into some top BBQ dishes such as beef burgers, lamb sausages, corn on the cob and vegetable kebabs, before rounding off the afternoon with a trip to the dessert buffet. .

Neighbourhood, Courtyard by Marriott, Dubai Green Community, Saturdays 1pm to 4pm, Dhs150 soft, Dhs275 house. Tel: (04) 885 2222. marriottdiningatcy.ae

15. Celebrate the long weekend with a Saturday brunch

Fancy making the most of your long weekend with a Saturday brunch? Why not check out the new Kong Set brunch at 40 Kong. This rooftop brunch runs from 1pm to 5pm and serves up free flowing drinks and Mediterranean dishes as well as some seriously impressive Downtown views.

40 Kong, H Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Downtown Dubai, 1pm to 5pm, Saturdays, Dhs290 soft, Dhs390 house, Dhs590 premium. Tel: (050) 297 2097. 40kong.com

Sunday November 18

16. Head to a special edition ladies’ day

Day to night party spot Drai’s runs its ‘Hot Mess’ ladies’ day every Tuesday. The Meydan hotspot will offer ladies free flow house beverages from 11am to 4pm, a food platter of the chef’s selection, a complimentary sun bed and beauty services. You can expect some weekly live performances too, and a party that carries on way into the evening.

Drai’s DXB, Gate B, Meydan, ladies’ day from 11am to 4pm, club open until 9pm. Tel: (052) 388 8857. More info on website

17. Dine at a stunning waterfront spot

Sitting on a wooden-stilted jetty, the Mediterranean-style Boardwalk is a Dubai icon, having been around for more than 20 years (long before the Burj Khalifa was a mere twinkle in the skyline). It boasts an expansive terrace with panoramic view of the Dubai skyline as well as a rich menu of Mediterranean dishes. It’s also set to bring a new reason to head down on Sundays with the launch of a weekly jazz night which will see swing artist Rich Kennedy perform a live set each week. Pair it with a Royal Seafood platter (Dhs650) to share.

Boardwalk, Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Dubai Creek, Sun to Thurs 12pm to 12am, Fri and Sat 8am to 12am. Tel: (04) 295 6000. dubaigolf.com

18. Test your knowledge with a quiz night

One of the city’s most popular quizzes is hosted by Dubai 92’s Catboy and his wife, Lorra. The weekly quiz takes place this week at Irish Village, with rounds covering an array of topics and interactive rounds.

Irish Village, Garhoud, 8pm to 10pm, Sunday November 18, free entry. Tel: (050) 228 8297. facebook.com/TheDubaiQuiz

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