15 things to do in Dubai this weekend

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Meteor showers, festive celebrations, and two huge concerts…

With the festive season in full swing, there’s plenty of silly season events happening across town to give you all the Christmas feels. But if it’s something non-Christmassy you’re after, there’s plenty of that too, with new nightclubs, breakfast menus and two huge concerts to get stuck into.

Here are 15 things to do in Dubai this weekend. 

Thursday December 13

1. See a Jamaican rap star perform live at a ladies’ night

Taking to the stage on Thursday December 13 at Base Dubai will be Jamaican star Shaggy, headlining at the clubs bi-weekly ladies’ night, LYFE. And as if hearing the reggae star perform his iconic hits such as Oh Carolina, Bombastic andAngel wasn’t enough, ladies’ can take advantage of free drinks until 2am. Doors will open at 10pm, with the party going until 4am. Although we’d advise you head down early, as this is sure to be a sellout.

LYFE at Base Dubai, Thursday December 13, 10pm to 4am. Tel: (055) 313 4999. basedubai.com

2. Sing along at a Christmas concert

Returning for a third year, Jingle Bell favourites will run from December 13 to 15 at Dubai Opera, with a line-up of classic sing along carols and festive family favourites across morning, matinee and evening shows. Just don’t be surprised to be dancing in the aisles by the end of the show to hits such as Jingle Bell Rock, Frosty the Snowman, and Baby It’s Cold Outside. 

Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, December 13 to 15, tickets from Dh175. Tel: (04) 440 8888. dubaiopera.com

3. Laugh out loud with a comedy night

The Laughter Factory is back this weekend, with three new stars across two dates on both Thursday and Friday. Guests can expect to laugh out loud with performances from. Irish A-lister Rory O’ Hanlon is a charismatic stand-up and presenter who also hosts witty and hilarious podcast, An Irishman Abroad. He’ll be joined by the straight-talking Josh Howie, bringing his brashly confessional approach to the stage fresh from this year’s Edinburgh Fringe show, Talk Hard. Completing the line-up is Tanyalee Davis, who makes her laughter factory debut this month. Tickets are Dhs150 for the gig, or head down from 7pm and take advantage of the brunch packages, which includes unlimited food and drink for Dhs300.

The Laughter Factory, The Talk, Movenpick JBR, Thursday December 13 and Toshi, Grand Millennium Barsha Heights, Friday December 14, packages from Dhs300, tickets Dhs150. Tel: (050) 8786728. thelaughterfactory.com

4. Do some Christmas shopping at a festive market

For the first time ever, the outdoor Festival Bay has turned into a magical festive market, complete with a huge Christmas tree, a pop-up market and even snowfall. Each day, little ones will be able to pay a visit to Santa from 3pm until 10pm through the week and 4pm to 10pm on weekends, as well as playing in the snow as hourly snowfall drops on the magical festive market. There will also be carnival games and rides plus arts and crafts, face painting and festive storytelling, serving up hours of endless fun for children.

Fesetive market at Dubai Festival City Mall, Thursday December 6 to Tuesday December 25, free. dubaifestivalcity.com

Friday December 14

5. See Enrique Iglesias live

Latin pop legend Enrique Iglesias will be jetting into Dubai on December 14 to perform at new Palm Jumeirah destination, The Pointe. The Hero hitmaker will take to the custom-built overwater stage at 9pm, although events will kick off from 4pm. He was last here in 2017, as a headliner for the Dubai Jazz Festival.

Enrique Iglesias at The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, 4pm to 3am, Friday December 14, Dh150 with Dh115 redeemable at various dining outlets at The Pointe. ticketmaster.ae

6. Party hard at a new nightclub

Meydan hotspot Drai’s is currently undergoing a major makeover that’s set to take it from daytime party place to after dark superclub from this Friday. From this week, Drai’s nightclub will open from 10pm to 4am every Friday, offering complimentary drinks for ladies’ from doors opening at 10pm until 1am. This week, Big Sean headlines.

Drai’s Nightclub, Gate B, Meydan, Fridays from Friday December 13, 10pm to 4am. Tel: (052) 388 8857. draisdxb.com

7. Go stargazing in the desert

Space fans are in for a treat this weekend, as the last meteor shower of the year will be visible across Dubai skies – and it’s considered one of the most spectacular showers of the year. For those hoping to catch a glimpse of the show, it’s set to be most visible in Dubai’s skies on the night of Friday December 14. Dubai Astronomy Group will be holding a special public event on Friday evening at Al Qudra lakes from 10pm until 4am. Guests will be able to observe the meteor shower through telescope observation and the naked eye, as well as taking part in a star decoding session.

Dubai Astronomy Group, Al Qudra, 10pm to 4am, Friday December 14. Book tickets for the session here.

8. See a Christmas light switch on at the QE2

Dubai’s first floating hotel will be launching their festive festivities on Friday December 14 with the Christmas lights switch on. Taking place on the Pavilion terrace, expect a visit from Santa, a selection of nibbles from the festive stalls and carol performances by DPA Live Choir.

QE2 Dubai, Mina Rashid, 6pm to 7.30pm, Friday December 14, free. Tel: (04) 526 8888. qe2.com

9. Tuck into some top new dishes at The Promenade

The newly launched breakfast menu at Park Hyatt gem NOEPE includes an array of eggs, classic waffles, pancakes and acai bowls. The dishes are made to order and served with a side of sunshine and blue skies every weekend between 8am and 11.30am.

The Promenade, Park Hyatt Dubai, 8am to 11.30am, Fridays and Saturdays. Tel: (04) 602 1814. thepromenadedxb.com

10. See an R&B superstar

American singer-songwriter-dancer Jason Derulo is set to perform at popular theme park Global Village on December 14. The In My Head singer will take to the main stage as part of an end-of-term concert. Entry to the gig is included in the Global Village ticket price, which is just Dhs15.

Jason Derulo at Global Village, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, 9pm to 11pm, Friday December 14, Dhs15. globalvillage.ae

11. Stock up on goodies to pamper your pet

LuLu Hypermarket in Al Barsha is running its first “Paws and Tails” pet carnival this Friday, to cater to the needs of pet lovers and their pets. As well as the chance to win prizes in the raffle draw, there will be activities such as agility show, special booths for pet adoption, pet food and accessories stalls, food trucks, and live bands.

LuLu Hypermarket, Al Barsha, Dubai, 4pm to 7pm, Friday December 14. Register here 

Saturday December 15

12. Check out a colourful art exhibition

Chinese artist Zhuang Hong Yi is hosting his first solo art exhibition in Dubai this December. Known for his color-changing acrylic paintings and 3-dimensional flower works, he draws inspiration from three of nature’s most beautiful symbols; roses, irises and tulip petals. You can find his works on display at DIFC’s Opera Gallery until December 17.

Opera Gallery, Gate Village 3, DIFC, Dubai, until December 17, free. Facebook.com/operagalleryofficial

13. Tuck in at a top new restaurant

He’s one of the world’s most highly-regarded chefs, and this weekend Alain Ducasse will open his first Dubai outpost, miX. The 400-seater, three floor restaurant includes bars, terraces and a shisha lounge, as well as a private chefs table.

mix Dubai by Alain Ducasse, Emerald Palace Kempinski, Palm Jumeirah, weekdays 5pm to 1am, weekends 5pm to 2am, from Saturday December 15. Tel: (04) 248 8860. Facebook.com/mixdubai

14. Get into the Christmas spirit with a festive film

Outdoor cinema is one of our favourite alfresco pastimes during the cooler months, and what better way to watch an iconic Christmas films than snuggled in a blanket, under the twinkly Dubai Marina skyline? From December 15 to 17, the Urban Outdoor Cinema screens Elf, It’s A Wonderful Life and Love Actually in the garden of the Habtoor Grand.

Urban Outdoor Cinema, Habtoor Grand, Dubai Marina, 7.30pm, Saturday to Monday, Dhs75. urbanoutdoorcinema.com

15. Listen to some live music at a top DIFC outpost

Four piece acoustic gypsy musicians Alma Chula are heading to Roberto’s for one night only this Saturday. Performing in the recently renovated Italian restaurant, guests can expect to hear Latino sounds alongside Roberto’s top menu of Italian dishes.

Roberto’s Restaurant & Lounge, Gate Village, DIFC, Dubai, Saturday December 15. Tel: (04) 386 0066. robertos.ae

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