You know that moment on a Thursday afternoon when your work buddy asks what you’re doing this weekend and your mind goes blank? Well worry no more, friends, because What’s On has the perfect solution, whatever mood you are in.


Check out the latest movie releases, trailers and reviews, by clicking here.

Mention tap dancing and perhaps you think of an old black and white movie starring Fred Astaire in a tuxedo and Ginger Rogers in a ball gown. Tap Dogs, the global hit tap dancing show from Australia that comes to the Dubai from March 5-15, could not be more different. Six guys in lumberjack shirts and work boots tap dance their way around an industrial stage, building scaffolding, bouncing basketballs and letting sparks fly with metal grinder tools. There’s not a tuxedo in sight. Tap Dogs dancer Chaise Rossiello, from Australia, explains the high-energy show.

Tap Dogs

Madinat Theatre, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, Mar 5, 9, 11, 12, 7pm; Mar 6 and 13, 8pm; Mar 7, 8, 14, 15, 3pm and 8pm, Dhs280. Tel: (04) 3666546. Taxi: Madinat Jumeirah.

Hands-on workshops, practical seminars and unique exhibitions form the core of Gulf Photo Press 2014, a weeklong celebration of all things photographic. A stellar selection of photographers leads classes, passing on their wisdom to fellow professionals and amateurs alike. You’ll also find deals on the latest equipment from event sponsors Nikon, FujiFilm, Advanced Media, Phottix, Sigma, Mitsubishi and Arabian Eye. Now in its tenth year, the annual festival is set to draw over 1,500 participants from the Gulf and beyond. Photo Friday kicks off proceedings with a packed day of seminars, keynote speakers and panel discussions, open to all. These 16 sessions, each lasting 90 minutes, cover a range of topics to suit the expert or novice and are priced at Dhs50 per session or Dhs150 for a block of four.

Dubai Knowledge Village Conference Centre, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai. Tel: (04) 380 8545. Taxi: Alserkal Avenue.

The Act Dubai is going Dutch this Thursday March 6, with a pop/electronic duo boasting recent appearances at the Miami Winter Music Conference, Mysteryland, Story Miami, Pacha Brazil, Ministry of Sound London and Tomorrowland. Glow In The Dark pair Albert Harvey and Kevin Ramos cite Daftpunk, N*E*R*D and Coldplay as their influences and say the name ‘is an identity which suits their creativity musically and performance wise, as they light up the crowd with their electrifying performances, visualizing themselves as they bring energy to the stage’. Check out the video and see for yourself.

Shangri-La Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel:  (04) 3425859.

Everyone loves a bit of nostalgia, especially when it makes you wave your arms, shuffle your feet and generally have a ruddy good time. And that’s exactly what you can expect from History Of House when it, with its three heavyweight DJs from the halcyon days of the ’90s UK club scene, rolls into Dubai on March 7. The trio of Graeme Park, Allister Whitehead and John Kelly all played pivotal roles in the emerging UK scene, and helped steer the good ship dance music to mass markets back in the day. Click here to read our interview with Graeme

History of House with Graeme Park in Dubai

Stars of Iranian TV will feature in an eight-show run of Slice Of Life, an original Persian script which centres on the day-to-day lives of the regular customers of a small and friendly café who, behind their smiles, hide many secrets of love and betrayal. Directed by Babak Tavasoli and featuring Farhad Safari Jam, Ramin Nasser Nasir and Laleh Eskandari, it runs from March 5 to March 8, twice a day, at 6pm and 8pm at DUCTAC’s Kilachand Studio Theatre.

Ductac, Mall Of The Emirates, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3414777. Metro: Mall Of The Emirates.

The show, which runs from March 5-13  is described as ‘the biggest, most spectacular, most glittering, most technically sophisticated and most magical show ever staged in the region. A mix of theatre, illusion, circus, blockbuster movie and rock spectacular rolled into one with 50 dancers, stuntman, acrobats, magicians and actors from 10 different countries.’ And with Luc Petit, who worked on Cirque du Soleil for more than a decade, as well as creating the opening ceremony at Euro 2000, at the helm, you know that isn’t hyperbole.

Peter Pan The Never Ending Story

Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, 7pm, Dhs195. Tel: (04) 4573212. Metro: World Trade

One of the most talented men to ever pick up a guitar performs classic hits in Dubai, at Media City, on March 6. We have profiled his life and times, complete with videos and pictures from time’s past. Click here to feel Wonderful Tonight.

Eric Clapton forms Cream

Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai, 9pm. SOLD OUT. Tel: (04) 4273000. Metro: Nakheel.

Faces in the line-up may have changed since the ’90s, but the new-look East 17 – which sees Robbie Craig of Artful Dodger fame on lead vocals – sound better than ever. So reckons original band member Terry Coldwell, in this interview. Click here to read it.


The Music Room, Majestic Hotel, Mankhool Road, Bur Dubai. Tel: (04) 5012534. Cost: Dhs100. How: Taxi: Majestic Hotel

Dubai-based group Nikotin will celebrate the launch of their debut album, Panodrama, with a special one-off show at the Hard Rock Cafe on Saturday March 8. The band, who have supported several leading international artists like Nickelback, Maximo Park and The Kooks since they started out in 2009, will perform their full-length debut in its entirety for the very first time. According to their representatives, Nikotin will ‘launch into an exploration of their melodic resonance while keeping with their eclectic and grungy hooks that have become their signature front and centre’. “It didn’t come fast, says frontman Cruize. “It certainly didn’t come easy. But it’s here and we couldn’t be happier with the final outcome. This album is the soundtrack to our lives and hopefully the first of many to come.”

Hard Rock Cafe, Festival City, Dubai. March 8, 7.30pm, free.

With their 2013 album Oh No, It’s… The Wonder Stuff described as “one of the most impressive comeback records of our time”, frontman Miles Hunt gets vocal with our friends from Hype ahead of his band’s gig in Dubai, at Irish Village on March 6. Read the full interview here.

The Wonder Stuff

Want to catch the next big thing before they blaze a trail to Milan, Paris, London and New York? Then get on down to Prime Dubai Fashion Entertainment on Saturday March 8 ( 3pm–9pm) for the new entrepreneurial exhibition for Dubai’s most stylish fashionista crowd. The monthly event brings together new talents and trends of UAE’s pioneering fashion industry and at the same time creating a platform for those with unique fashion related imports as well as those eager to discover innovative talent in design. You can expect high-end couture, Arabic styles ensembles, abayas and more, as well as jewelry and accessories, from over 45 designers.

“Prime Dubai is a new and much needed platform for those aspiring newcomers and trendsetters in the fashion scene to reach their markets,” says Melanie Beese, founder of Green Spot Entertainment, who are putting on the event. “We want to position this event regionally as a source and home for entrepreneurs of the fashion industry to establish their presence in the region.

Prime Dubai Fashion Exhibition, Sunset Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 3, Dubai.

Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE will host its second beach volleyball tournament this Saturday March 8 after the brilliant success of the December edition. Offering prizes for the winners and runners-up, the Mediterranean-style hideaway want teams of four and five to soak up the rays and enjoy a bit of competitive fun in the sun.

Ghantoot Al Jazira Island Hotel, Dubai. Tel: (056) 1133400. Taxi: Ghantoot Al Jazira.

Now in its sixth year, the annual event is the largest celebration of the written and spoken word in the Middle East, and last year won Best Festival at the Middle East Event Awards. The programme gives visitors a chance to meet world-renowned authors, join literary debates, hear readings and attend workshops.

Ben Okri, the Booker Prize-winning novelist and poet who attended last year, said, “While nations may fight wars, they also read each other’s books. Literature is the greatest friend-maker.”

Festival of Literature, William Sitwell

In this spirit, the festival will host more than 150 writers, thinkers and speakers from 25 countries. Designed for wide appeal, the programme of over 200 one-off sessions has something to suit every taste and age group, including children.

We have the full rundown of appearances, and have even interviewed many of the authors. Check it out here.

Another of Julia Donaldson’s books, What The Ladybird Heard, illustrated by Lydia Monks, is on stage in the UAE on March 9, and 12 to 16. Watch Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len attempt to steal a prize cow in this farmyard thriller.

Abu Dhabi Theatre, Emirates Heritage Club, Corniche West End, Abu Dhabi, Mar 9, Dhs120. Tel: (02) 6447882. Taxi: Abu Dhabi Theatre.
Centrepoint Theatre, Ductac, Mall Of The Emirates, Dubai, Mar 12 to 16, Dhs120. Tel: (04) 3414777. Metro: Mall Of The Emirates.

FACE IN THE CROWD – last chance
For Iranian photographer Mohammadreza Sharifzadeh, women in his home country are pioneers leading profound social change. As women in Iran emerge from oppression, they are able to express themselves as individuals, shaking off the collective identity imposed on them in the past. Sharifzadeh’s works celebrate this newfound freedom by casting women in provocative male roles – shaving the face, wielding a chainsaw – while an image of a woman self-injecting lip filler parodies an obsession with artificial beauty. Using digital photography, painting and calligraphy, the series is a continuation of previous works that were censored in Iran last year, but you can see them here until March 13.

Face in the crowd

Etemad Gallery, The Courtyard, Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Quoz 1, Street 4B, Sun to Thur 10am to 6pm, Sat 10am to 2pm, free. Tel: (04) 3470909. Taxi: Al Quoz 1.

Commissioning striking artworks for a hotel lobby is nothing new, but the new Noon Art Boutique Hotel Apartments in Al Barsha have taken the concept a step further. Each of the 45 apartments has been inspired by three Arabic artists: Najat Meky, Ali Hassan, and Khaled Ben Simane. Noon is also home to an art gallery supporting art and culture from the UAE, as well as a restaurant and café.

Noon Art Boutique Hotel Apartments, Al Barsha, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3255459. Metro: Mall Of The Emirates.

The country’s top business brains will be swapping the boardroom for the rugby pitch at the UAE Corporate Touch Rugby 6s event this month. Now in its third year, men and women from top companies in the region will battle it out in a 20-team tournament. There will also be an all-star demo game from top sports and media personalities. Away from the field, there are refreshments and plenty of stuff for children, such as bouncy castles, a circus workshop and prizes.

UAE Corporate Touch 6s

Jebel Ali Centre For Excellence, Dubai, 10am to 6.30pm. Tel: (050) 2945923. Taxi: Near Jebel Ali Golf Resort.


Train day and night for eight weeks and then climb into the ring to fight in front of a 700-strong crowd. That’s the path in front of you if you sign up for white collar boxing at KO Gym. The open day on March 8 allows you to talk to trainers and have a training session. If you like what you see, sign up and then get into serious shape for fight night.

Schedule March 8: open day. March 15: sign up. March 29: start training. May 23: fight night at Habtoor Grand Hotel. Price: Dhs5,000

White Collar Boxing

KO Gym, behind Al Maya supermarket, Dubai Marina, Dubai, 2pm to 3.30pm. Tel: (050) 2861673. Metro: Jumeirah Lakes Towers.

We all know diamonds are a great addition to any outfit, and it turns out they can do wonders for your skin too. The Viora Pristine Diamond Peel at Rebecca Treston@Euromed Clinic promises smooth, soft skin and a refreshed complexion with zero discomfort. Where most microdermabrasion treatments are carried out using crystal tips, the Viora version uses diamond tips to gently exfoliate the skin and remove dead cells. Customers can choose from a selection of tip varieties depending on their area of concern – from congested and oily skin to age spots.

Rebecca Treston@Euromed Clinic, Villa 611, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah, Dubai, Dhs350, Sat to Thur 9am to 6pm. Tel: (04) 3945422. Taxi: Near Kite Beach.

Finding peace and tranquility in the great outdoors in Dubai can prove rather tricky. Well The Farm in Al Barari has introduced yoga and Pilates give you that added sense of peace. The one-hour classes – at a cost of Dhs50 – take place every Monday and Wednesday at 8.15am and will be instructed by Jodi Ruwiel, a qualified Callanetics and Pilates instructor as well as a personal fitness trainer.

The Farm, Al Barari, Dubai. Tel: (04) 392 5660. Taxi: Al Barari.

Struggling to sleep? The luxurious spa at Dubai’s Armani Hotel is offering an herbal massage ritual at a special price throughout March. A massage using herbal cotton compresses infused with bespoke jade oils will soon have you drifting off to the land of nod.

Armani Spa

Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai, daily 9am to 10pm through March and April, Dhs490. Tel: (04) 8883283. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall.

If you find yourself in need of some me-time this month, pay a visit to the spectacular spa at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. When you purchase any treatment at their marbled Talise Ottoman Spa during March, you’ll receive a 25 per cent discount off services at the Carita salon next door.

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 10am to 8pm. Tel: (04) 4530458. Taxi: Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.


The American favourite Applebee’s has had a facelift in Dubai, coupled with a new menu. The appetiser sampler is a good place to start, with crispy quesadillas, bread-crumbed mozzarella sticks with salsa dip, and boneless chicken wings in a tangy barbeque sauce. Steaks are thick, with signature sauces like sweet chilli and a mushroom gloop that’s saltier than a shark’s armpit. Burgers were piled high, and the fries and onion rings come by the basket load. For dessert, the Triple Chocolate Meltdown (right) involves a hill of sticky chocolate cake and an orb of vanilla ice cream. A selection of meals under 550 calories makes some attempt at restraint, but you’re not here to watch your weight, folks.


Sheikh Issa Tower, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Sat to Wed 11am to 3am, Thur and Fri 11am to 4am. Tel: (04) 3437755. Metro: Financial Centre.

Make a personal pudding at iCream, a new café in the Al Ghurair Centre. Choose from ice cream, frozen yoghurt, sorbet or milkshakes – simply pick your flavour, choice of milk and topping, then watch as staff whip up your treat using a speedy liquid nitrogen freezing process.

Al Ghurair Centre, Deira, Dubai, daily 10am to midnight. Tel: (055) 8471174. Metro: Union.

You can take a trip along the south-west coast of India at new seafood restaurant Mahesh. Already firmly established in India, they’ve brought their delicious – and surprisingly spicy – recipes to Karama. The red seafood soup had juicy chunks of shrimp, while the prawn gassi, a typical Mangalore curry made with coconut milk, had some wonderful heat as well as soothing creaminess. Their famous butter, pepper, garlic prawns (known as BPG) also worked well as did the chicken haseena kebabs, which were made with cream and cheese. There was a lot of rich and tasty sauce with most dishes and so we welcomed a basket of appam, a sort of pancake, and a plate of absorbent neer dosa to mop it up. The place was packed and had a lovely buzz. Mahesh, welcome to Dubai.

Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Street, Karama, Dubai, daily noon to 3pm, 7pm to 12.30am. Tel: (04) 3968087. Metro: Al Karama.

In a city chock full of top quality Japanese restaurants it can be tricky to get ahead. But at Downtown restaurant Sake No Hana they’ve trimmed the fat off their menu and delivered a ‘taste of’ concept that makes the Souk Al Bahar nightspot stand out from the crowd.
For a very reasonable Dhs195, guests get to choose from two kinds of miso soup, four main courses – ginger chicken, seafood tempura and tofu tobanyaki among them – and then two sushi boxes. It is light food, but substantial, and as a sharing concept it’s spot on.

Sake No Hana

Souk Al Bahar, Downtown, Dubai, Dhs195. Tel: (04) 4327808. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall.

A new chef and a new menu, but the standards at this sleek venue in Souk Al Bahar are still excellent. Chef Masamitsu Morino has worked in top Japanese restaurants all over the world, picking up knowledge and influences along the way, all of which are seen in numerous new dishes. Baked oysters smothered in a dollop of citrusy mayonnaise; a cocktail glass filled with salmon, mango and wasabi dressing that made our lips tingle; delicate but deeply flavoured wagyu beef and fluffy prawn tempura, were all superb. But top spot on the podium goes to the black cod that was marinated for three days. For dessert, green tea tiramisu was a curious idea, but it worked beautifully: rich and creamy and thankfully free of that swampy flavour that green tea can lend to dishes.

Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, noon to 2am. Tel: (04) 4419262. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall.

Ask any seasoned Dubai bruncher to rattle off their favourite brunches and Toro Toro is bound to feature. They’ve launched a new menu of Latin classics with some twists. For example, the avocadoes in the guacamole are smoked to add some pungency. The best new dish were the minced lamb skewers with pickled cucumber on the side, which lifted the meat nicely. The ceviche of tuna exploded with lime, chilli, pineapple and coriander and made our lips tingle. The churascurria-style cuts of lamb chops, beef tenderloin and chicken marinated in spicy achiote were superbly juicy. Leave room for dessert: crème caramel with a chocolate biscuit base and passion fruit custard are what keep Dubai brunchers coming back.

Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Fri 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs400 with house beverages, Dhs300 with soft drinks. Tel: (04) 3176000. Metro: Dubai Marina.