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 movies in Dubai this week. We have trailers and reviews of all the big ones right here.

Season three of Fashion Forward returns to the Madinat Jumeirah from April 10 to 13, with a line up of design talent that trumps last year. A host of back to back catwalk shows will include names such as Essa, Tahir Sultan and The Emperor 1688 while The Garden, a pop up shop housing over 70 accessories designers, also makes a comeback, giving members of the public the opportunity to snap up jewellery, shoes and bags from across the region. Fashion bunnies and designers alike won’t want to miss out on the most fashionable four days of the season. For tickets, you must first register at the Fashion Forward website.

Fashion Forward

Dubai has its fair share of quirky sporting events but the Beach Polo Cup might just be our favourite. And it takes place all weekend April 11-12. Instead of a lush green polo field, the tournament sees players thundering on horseback along the sand in pursuit of an inflatable orange ball. Now in its tenth year, the Julius Baer Beach Polo Cup runs for two days of adrenalin-pumping action this month, with international polo players competing for the trophy. If you’ve always been intrigued by the sport of kings but prefer a less staid environment than a polo club, get down to Skydive Dubai for this event – don’t worry though, you’ll see plenty of coloured chinos.

Dubai Beach Polo

Sky Dive Dubai, Al Sufouh Road, JBR, Dubai, Dhs75. Tel: (04) 3408589. Taxi: Sky Dive Dubai.

Al Ain Zoo has welcomed a group of endangered American dwarf crocodiles, the smallest species of the reptile in the world, to the park. Still capable of measuring more than 1.6m of weighing up to 30kg, they aren’t exactly cute, but when you consider the one-tonne Ugandan man-eater recently caught, they are cuddly by comparison. They are currently on show at the zoo’s Reptile House.

Daily 9am-8pm. Tel: (03) 799 2000.

Put two very large, very tough men who like to punch and kick things into a cage, shut the door and you’ve got a recipe for trouble. This is the set-up for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bout between heavyweights Roy Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in Abu Dhabi on April 11. The world’s premier mixed martial arts organisation is on a two-year tour of Europe, Middle East and Africa, with the Abu Dhabi bout the second of six events in 2014. The largest pay-per-view event provider in the world, UFC produces more than 40 live events a year. Brazilian Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira, A.K.A. Big Nog, excels at Brazilian jiu-jitsu. American Roy “Big Country” Nelson began his training in Shaolin Kung Fu, holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and won Season 10 of US TV show The Ultimate Fighter. If you’re feeling brave, read on to hear from the men themselves.

You can read interviews with both fighters right here.

UFC in Abu Dhabi

A sandy blur of humps and hooves rumbles down the racetrack, the horns of a hundred SUVs blaring alongside – it’s the camel racing season finale at Al Marmoom Heritage Festival, running until April 17. Camel racing is a dearly-held tradition in the UAE, and passions are high at the festival, not least because of the prizes – winners go home with luxury cars and thousands of dirhams. The setting is the Al Marmoum camel racetrack, the biggest of its kind in the UAE. In 2002, child jockeys were banned, replaced by camel-mounted robots controlled remotely from SUVs driving beside. Wearing coloured robes, the camels belt along at 40km/h, with the action displayed on huge screens and Arabic commentary blasting from speakers. Races last about 15 minutes and end with jubilant locals springing from their seats – some to congratulate the camels, some to make sure they don’t run off.

Camel racing

Al Marmoum Camel Racetrack, Dubai, Al Lisali turn off, free. Tel: (04) 8326526. Taxi: Exit after The Sevens.

Pick up a new instrument, form a band, write a song and perform it – all in five days, starting from Friday April 11. Rock Camp For Girls UAE invites girls aged eight to 18 to learn the basics of playing in a rock band, under the guidance of local performers. Participants are divided into bands and assigned a female mentor. Alongside band rehearsals, girls attend workshops on photo shoots, making press kits and band T-shirts, setting up PA systems and even self-defence. On the final day, the bands perform in a concert for friends and family. “This is not just a music camp,” says organiser Zahra Soar. “This is a not-for-profit mentoring programme that will empower girls and galvanise them into action.” These are the music teachers you wish you’d had.

Rock Camp for girls Rock Camp for girls

Tone Town Studios, Street 4b, Al Quoz, Dubai, 9am to 2pm, Dhs1,200. Tel: (055) 9359982. Taxi: Opposite Subaru Garage.

Art and culture fans in Dubai are flocking to Media One Hotel to check out the new pop-up gallery throughout the ground floor of the Media City building. British artists and self-confessed eccentric Mel Pickup has unveiled her latest collection,  ‘Mel Pickup presents Retro Culture’, with it running throughout the month. The eye-catching works have more than a hint of Hollywood’s glamorous past, with a particular nod to the superhero genre. Each is awash with comic-book colouring and is rich in 80s nostalgia in style and subject. In total, 25 brand new pieces will be exhibited, showing Mel’s significant talents in the use of acrylic, ink, aerosol and collage. Everything on show is also on sale, with 20 per cent of the value of the sales going to ‘Senses’, a non-profit organisation and residential care centre for children with multiple disabilities.

Mel Pickup presents Retro Culture at Media City

 For more information, visit


What were you doing when you were 16? No doubt mucking about at school, casually getting into extra-curricular activities that you were unlikely to be proud of two decades later. Not so Andy C. At 16 – just a week after completing his GCSE exams – he set up a drum ‘n’ bass label and named it Ram Records after his Aries star sign. To this day that label is one of the most influential and taste-making in the worldwide drum ‘n’ bass scene. And this weekend – on Friday April 11 – he brings his legendary set – and sidekick MC LowQui – to Dubai.

Read our full interview with the Andy right here.

Andy C

Globalfunk presents Andy C and MC LowQui, The Music Room, Majestic Hotel, Al Mankhool Road, Dubai. Thursday April 10, 9pm to 3am. Dhs100. Taxi: Majestic Hotel.

After a successful launch event, History Of House Music roll back the years once again on Thursday. This time around, Russ Morgan and Paul Roberts from K-Klass dig through the crates for those hands-in-the-air anthems. Their own hits Rhythm Is A Mystery and Let Me Show You rightfully recognised as bona fide club masterpieces. Earlier this week, Russ shared with us a few more classics close to his heart, which you can read all about and listen to right here.

History of House

41st Floor, Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City. Thursday, 9pm to 3am. Tel: (055) 8874126. Metro: Nakheel

Two great nights of entertainment on The Palm this weekend, starting on Thursday with Yves Larock, a Swiss DJ, writer and producer, and member of Africanism All Stars, famed for being behind tunes such as Rise Up, Zookey, Girl, Don’t Turn Back, and Until Tomorrow. Then on Friday, Chocolate Nights is back with hip hop icon Tony Touch. This Brooklyn mixtape king from the 90’s and a member of the legendary Rock Steady Crew and his since teamed up G-Unit.

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Hotel, West Crescent, The Palm, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4511100. Taxi to Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.

Deep Crates Cartel relaunches at The Q Underground, Al Barsha on Friday April 11. Russian-born, London- and Berlin-based, DJ Vadim spoke to us ahead of the event, and revealed: “I’ve got about 8,000 or 9,000 records, which is quite a bit, but not compared to other people. I’m into all kinds of music. I love novelty records, spoken-word records, children’s records. I’ve got great spoken-word records here telling you how to tell the time, how to look after your kittens, how to recognise a vampire… I love those.” You can read more from him right here.

Deep Crates Cartel

The Q Underground, Holiday Inn, Al Barsha. Friday, 9pm to 3am. Dhs125, Dhs75 for members. Tel: (055) 4186265. Metro: Sharaf DG

You may still have to wait the best part of seven weeks to see the real deal, but Kings of Leon fans can satisfy their appetite with a performance from one of the most widely-regarded tribute acts around. Kings of Lyon will play an inspired and often surprising collection of tracks with an energy which has gained them an enviable reputation, at The Music Room, Majestic Hotel on Friday April 11.

The Music Room, Majestic Hotel, Mankhool Road, Bur Dubai, 9pm, Dhs100. Tel: (04) 5012534. Taxi: Majestic Hotel. music

Plus Minus Session will feature Kollektiv Turmstrasse stars Christian Hilscher and Nico Plagemann at Nasimi Beach at Atlantis The Palm on Friday April 11. Signed to Solomun’s Diynamic label, the pair – Christian Hilscher and Nico Plagemann – won over clubbers with tracks like Turmstrasse, Ordinary and Like The First Day. Their sense of emotion – informed by their upbringing on Germany’s visually arresting Baltic Sea coast – lends their productions human warmth, allowing them to slot effortlessly into both club and home listening scenarios. You can read from the duo right here.

Plus Minus Sessions at Nasimi Beach

Friday, 2pm to 3am, Dhs100 for guys and ladies free before 7pm, Dhs150 after. Taxi: Nasimi Beach, Atlantis The Palm, Tel: (050) 8497332.

Trot down to the Reade St launch party where London DJ collective Horse Meat Disco will be throwing down their own interpretations of the disco sound to kickstart this new monthly club night.The London gang of four – DJs James Hillard, Jim Stanton, Filthy Luka and Severino – have been rocking parties mercilessly since 2003, mixing up house, disco, punk funk and all points in between.Their dancefloor dynamite has seen them play from Bestival in the UK to Australia’s Future Music Festival, and fresh from their Snowbombing gig in Austria, they’re winging their way to Dubai. Don’t miss it. This will be far from pony.

Horsing Around

Story Rooftop Lounge, behind Zayed University, Knowledge Village, Thursday April 10, 9pm to 3am, Dhs100. Metro: Dubai Internet City. Tel: (04) 4573121.

Bass nuts shouldn’t miss this amazing chance to take to the sea for a face-melting bass session with a difference. Promoter Something Big swaps the dingy confines of Dubai’s Catwalk Club for a 125ft super yacht to celebrate their partnership with the upcoming Outlook Festival in Croatia this September. Drafted in to captain the sea adventure are headliners Icicle and Ant TC1. One of the biggest drum ‘n’ bass DJs to emerge from Holland, Icicle, as his name suggests, is known for his dark, ice-cool mixes. He began DJing at just 15 and later abandoned his studies on engineering and particle physics to concentrate on bringing together bass atoms for maximum dancefloor impact. Now recognised as one of the most technically advanced and highly respected producers in the scene, Icicle – aka Joren Snik – has released belters on Shogun Audio, Soul:R, Renegade Hardware and Critical. The Outlook Festival Dubai Launch Party, thrown by Something Big, takes place on the Jasmin Super Yacht, leaving from Dubai Marina, on Thursday night.

Pier 7, Dubai Marina Mall, Thursday April 11, 9.30pm to 2.30am, Dhs295. Metro: Jumeirah Lake Towers. Tel: (050) 9175432

Trance fans are working themselves into a lather over genre stalwart Ferry Corsten’s touchdown in Dubai this weekend, where he will play People by Crystal, Raffles Hotel, Wafi. What’s On teamed up with our friends at Hype to bring you a profile on the Dutch star who, since his first single in 1991, has fired out more than 175 other tracks. Read all about him right here.

Ferry Corsten in Dubai

S.O.A.P. featuring Ferry Corsten, People by Crystal, Raffles Hotel, Sheikh Rashid Road, Dubai. Friday April 11, 10pm to 3am, Free entry. Tel: (050) 2972097. Taxi: Raffles Hotel.

Movida welcomes Sintillate to its stylish Radisson Royal location for the fourth time this year, on Thursday April 10. This week’s musical entertainment comes courtesy of DJs Sweet Pea – the man behind the huge UK garage summer track ‘Summer of Love’ – and Bartella. Entry is free all night.

Mo*Vida, Radisson Royal Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: 055 3665040. Metro: Financial Centre. 

Spring has most definitely sprung and the weather outside is absolutely gorgeous. So get out a find a pocket of green space, be it by the beach or in Downtown. What’s On lists the best parks in Dubai, including the best parks for running, the best parks for chilling out, the best parks for working out and parks by the beach. This is part of our special GREAT OUTDOORS series, full details of which are below.

– Best outdoor bars
– Best outdoor brunches
– Best BBQ spots
– Best outdoor fitness classes

Safa Park
Good for: Walking
This vast green space in the heart of the city has barbecue stations, a boating lake, hip bookshop-meets-café The Archive, and even a maze to get lost in.

Al Safa, Dubai. Metro: Business Bay

Barsha Park
Good for: Running
A spongey running track and lots of exercise machines will keep you huffing and puffing around this park.

Al Barsha 1, Dubai. Taxi: Near Al Barsha Mall

Best parks in Dubai

Zabeel Park
Good for: Working
If you’re keen to get some fresh air but it pains you to loosen your grip on your laptop, Zabeel Park is for you – it has WiFi.

Zabeel 1, Dubai. Metro: Al Jafiliya

Burj Park
Good for: Gazing
Rest your shopped-out feet on this lush lawn beside the world’s tallest building.

 Downtown, Dubai. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall

Al Mamzar Beach Park
Good for: Contemplating
This secluded park sits on a headland at the mouth of Khor al-Mamzar near Sharjah. There are plenty of open spaces with barbecues, opening on to white beaches.

Al Mamzar Park

 Al-Mamzar Creek, Deira, Dubai. Taxi: Al Mamzar Park 

JLT Park
Good for: Playing
One of JLT’s lakes was last year filled in to make a 55,000-square-metre park, much to the delight of locals. Children can play in the sandpits and playgrounds. Adults can run on a spongy running track or shoot hoops on the basketball court.

Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai. Metro: JLT 

EAT (outdoor special)

Panoramic views of the Gulf? Check. Delicious Italian-inspired cuisine? Check. Live entertainment? Check. Plaj has you covered for a thoroughly enjoyable evening not one but three nights a week, and they’ll even throw in Italian drinks for the first 90 minutes.


Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, Fri and Sat 6pm to 11pm, Dhs395. Tel: (04) 4530000. Taxi: The Palm Jumeirah.

Girders Garden BBQ
Take your pick from a variety of grilled snacks including burgers, lemon and herb chicken and kofta at this hit British pub.

Girders Garden

Ocean View Hotel, The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai, Fri 4pm to 8pm, prices depending on items selected. Tel: (04) 8145590. Taxi: The Walk.

The Med
Just how much grilled food can you eat? Well, Media One invite you to find out with a four-hour, all you can eat feast at The Med, while taking in some stunning views.

Dek on 8

Media One Hotel, Media City, Dubai, Sat noon to 4pm, Dhs125. Tel: (04) 4271000. Metro: Nakheel.

Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE
An al fresco Saturday brunch that’s so relaxed it’s almost horizontal. Tuck into empanadas, barbecued lamb, vegetable skewers from the BBQ, tuna carpaccio or creamy linguine while lounging on a beach bed if sitting at a table is just too much effort.

Blue Marlin brunch

Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE, Golden Tulip Al Jazira Resort, Saturday 2pm to 5pm, Dhs240. Tel: (05) 61133400. Taxi: Right off Sheikh Zayed Road towards Abu Dhabi, Ghantoot Exit 399.

Reform Social Grill
Sharing platters of smoked fish, cured meats and pickles and cheese are brought on thick wooden boards at this gastropub brunch that’s good for groups. Among the a la carte mains are baked sea bream with fennel, chicory and orange, BBQ ribs, and flank steak. A treacle tart with a jug of custard is the standout dessert.

The Lakes Club, Emirates Living District, Dubai, Saturday 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs230 with soft drinks, Dhs350 with house beverages. Tel: (04) 4542638 Taxi: The Lakes Club.

Urban Picnic
Grab a picnic basket and a blanket, choose a bottle, collect some food and pick a spot inside at a table or outside by the pool at this nostalgic brunch. There’s a pizza oven, good salads, and noodles, which come in those cool New York-style Chinese takeaway cartons. The main platter of steak, lamb chops, baked chicken and seafood is delivered to the table. The dessert counter has American treats such as fruit lattice fruit pies and peach cobbler.

Urban Picnic brunch

Vida Downtown Hotel, Dubai, Friday 1pm to 5pm, Dhs225 with soft drinks, Dhs295 with house beverages. Tel: (04) 4286823. Taxi: Vida Downtown Hotel.

The La Piscina Grand Brunch combines Indian restaurant Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor with Alfonso X to make one grand restaurant. You get free pool access at Estrellas, the rooftop lounge and bar where you can enjoy your food in picnic form.

Melia Dubai, Kuwait Street, Bur Dubai, Friday 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs149 with soft drinks, Dhs249 with house beverages. Tel: (04) 3868111. Taxi: Kuwait Street.

A large selection of excellent dumplings are on offer at Hakkasan’s yum cha brunch. Choose four out of eight steamed dumplings, four out of eight baked/fried dim sum, one main course and one dessert. The warm apple tart with hazelnut ice cream is the one to choose.

Emirates Towers, Dubai, Friday noon to 4pm, Dhs278 with mocktails, Dhs428 with cocktails and beer, Dhs558 with wine and champagne. Tel: (04) 3848484. Metro: Emirates Towers.


Mandara Spa at The H Dubai is offering a seventh complimentary treatment with a personalized bathrobe, once six individual treatments have been purchased, known as the The Sensory Journey. The process – spread over six months – takes guests through the Balinese belief that we are all one and drawing from the concept of oneness. Treatments included in the promotion include the signature Mandara Spa Balinese massage (65 min Dhs415), the Muscle Ease Massage (deep tissue sports massage – 65 min Dhs415), the Warm Stone Massage (65 min Dhs495), the Fancy Footwork Massage (similar to reflexology – 65min Dhs470), the Arabesque Massage (bamboo sticks – 60 min Dhs370), and the Traditional Body Scrub (50 min Dhs295).

H Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Daily 9am till 10pm. Tel: (04) 501 8270. Taxi: H Hotel. Metro: World Trade Centre. 

Instructor to the US Marines and UN peacekeeping force, with black belts in judo, karate and Bujinkan Taijutsu, Arnaud Cousergue is not someone you mess with. Returning from training under Grand Master Soke in Japan, Cousergue will stop in Dubai on Friday and Saturday April 11/12 for a two-day seminar in Bujinkan combat. Classes range from training for beginners to advanced fighting techniques and weapon drills. As well as increasing strength, flexibility and balance, Bujinkan can counter negative personal traits.

Martial Arts

KO GYM, Dreams tower 1, Dubai Marina, Dubai, 10am to 5pm, Dhs300. Tel: (055) 5554631.

Tackle skin woes head-on and support the fight against Breast Cancer by purchasing Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil, with Dhs1 from every purchase of the advanced, multi-purpose skin perfection product – both original and Rosehip – going to Breast Cancer Arabia Foundation between now and February 2015. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women and accounts for 28 percent of all female deaths in the UAE. It also has a notably high incidence and a mortality rate of 44 percent due to late diagnosis.

With this perfect weather, it’s now time to return to the beach. The only glitch is baring your pasty skin for all to see. A spray tan, therefore, seems the logical solution to get the ball rolling. After 20 minutes of meticulous spraying from our therapist Elvie (who boasts a ten-year stint at the salon), we stood in front of three fans to dry off. Elvie recommended we shouldn’t wash the surplus tan off for eight hours afterwards but, once we did, we were left with a natural and glowing colour. With daily moisturising, it’s possible to make the tan last for a week.

Pastels, Villa 20, Al Wasl Road, Dubai, Sat to Thur 9am to 7pm, Dhs180. Tel: (04) 3883534. Taxi: Near Choitrams.

Yoga Ashram promises a fresh take on authentic Indian yoga. Spread over 1,200sqf in JLT, the venue has a main hall and two separate rooms for smaller groups or private lessons. It also has an in-house juice bar serving up fresh juices and smoothies. As well as yoga, they’ll run classes in Pilates, belly dancing, meditation, nutritional advice and yoga for kids.

JLT Yoga

 Jumeirah Bay building 3, JLT, Cluster X, Dubai, Sun to Thur 6.30am to 7.15pm, Dhs60. Tel: (04)3609028. Metro: JLT.

For many people living in the UAE, April is the sweet spot of the calendar year. Not too hot, not too cold with long and light evenings – perfect. This meteorological good fortune is the reason why we’ve given you our essential guide to enjoying the best of the outdoors.

For more on our April issue, click here.