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.

**Heading to the capital this weekend? Then check out our guide to the events happening in Abu Dhabi, right here.**


Check out the latest movie trailers and cinema listings of films being release in Dubai this weekend. Click here.

Who would have thought a round bit of corkboard and three small arrows could generate such excitement. The Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters sees Michael ‘Mighty Mike’ van Gerwen defend his title, against the best players in the world. The 24-year-old Dutch prodigy won last year’s inaugural event at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, and returns this year for the high stakes, eight-player contest. You can read an interview and watch a video of him throw 17 perfect darts right here.

May 29 and 30
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Garhoud, Dubai, Dhs250. Tel: (04) 2395000. Metro: GGICO.

Michael van Gerwen in Dubai

It’s safe to say the wardrobe for Black Sabbath’s world tour contains an awful lot of black. The classic heavy metal band are touring with their first studio album in 35 years, titled 13. Produced by the legendary Rick Rubin, the record gave the band their first No 1 album in America. Remarkably, three of the original line up from 1968 are still rocking: singer Ozzy Osbourne, 65, bassist Geezer Butler, 64, and guitarist Tony Iommi, 66. You can read an interview with the guys right here.

May 29
Du Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 9pm, Tel: (800) 86823. Taxi: Du Arena.

Black Sabbath as they are now

Comedy has made John Bishop a very rich and famous man. The British comedian is thought to be worth Dhs30 million and regularly appears on TV and on stage around the world. He’s played arena tours, released DVDs and written a best-selling autobiography. You can read an interview with the man himself right here.

May 29
Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 9pm, Dhs300. Tel: (04) 4390900. Metro: World Trade Centre.

John Bishop to perform in Dubai

If you caught James Zabiela’s autumn gig in Dubai you’ll know he tore Plus Minus Sessions apart. If you missed out, here’s your chance to witness the club carnage once again as he jets in to play Nasimi Beach on Friday night. You can read an interview with the man himself right here.

Plus Minus Sessions Season Closing Party, Where: Nasimi Beach, Atlantis, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. Friday, 2pm to 2am. Ladies free and Dhs100 for men before 7pm, Dhs150 afterwards. Tel: (050) 3599798. Taxi: Nasimi Beach

James Zabiela to perform in Dubai

There some producers find and nail their own niche for a whole career, Englishman Matt Edwards has been constantly evolving ever since first emerging a decade ago. His most famous moniker is Radio Slave, which in 2014 is synonymous with addictive, long form techno tracks that deal exclusively in the sort of dancefloor dynamics that every DJ needs when crafting truly hypnotic sets. And this Friday he is at Blue Marlin, and you can read an interview with him right here.

Radio Slave at Blue Marlin, Ghantoot Al Jazira Island Hotel. Friday, 1pm to 11pm, free guestlist. Tel: (056) 1133400.

Radio Slave at Blue Marlin

In a class of his own, New York disco legend John Morales (M&M Productions, BBE Records) drops back into Dubai with three decades of the finest funk, disco and house. This Thursday he is at Story Rooftop Lounge, and you can read an interview with him right here.

Dust presents John Morales, Story Rooftop Lounge, Behind Zayed University, Dubai Media City. Thursday, 8pm to 3am. Free before 10pm, Dhs100 afterwards. Metro: Nakheel 

John Morales at Story Rooftop Lounge

Bill Francis and Lewis Darvill, two lads from Portsmouth in the UK, who are considered serious players on the underground club scene. They started out just messing around with bootlegs and throwing underground parties around the south coast of England. Now they’re playing everywhere from London’s fabled Fabric to Bestival and hosting boat parties at Croatia’s Hideout Festival. And this Thursday they are at Dek On 8, Media One Hotel, and you can find out more about them right here.

Kry Wolf at Superheroes, The Dek On Eight, Media One Hotel, Media City, Dubai. Thursday, 6pm to 3am. Free. Metro: Nakheel.

Kry Wolf to perform in Dubai

Pub glass-collector turned comedy star Jason Manford is coming to Dubai next month to help The Laughter Factory celebrate its 18th birthday, and tickets are selling fast. The Mancunian comic – a team captain on Channel 4’s 8 Out of 10 Cats and a former host of The One Show – will perform two stand-up gigs.

June 22 and 23
Crowne Plaza Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 7pm, Dhs300. Tel: (04) 3551862. Taxi: Crowne Plaza.

Jason Manford in Dubai

Four Chicago estate agents scratch, claw, beg, borrow and steal, all in the name of making a sale in this gripping play. The plot is based on playwright David Mamet’s experience of selling property in the 1960s. Premiered at London’s National Theatre in 1983 to ecstatic reviews, the play won a Pulitzer Prize before transferring to Broadway and picking up a Tony. The cast of the 1992 film adaptation is the stuff of Hollywood dreams: Alec Baldwin, Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, and Jack Lemmon to name a few. Mamet’s quick-fire dialogue and searing wit have made this a classic of 20th-century theatre, performed here by The Courtyard Players. You’ll never set foot in an estate agent’s again.

May 23 and 24
The Courtyard Playhouse, The Courtyard, Al Quoz 1, Dubai, 7.30pm, Tel: (050) 9861761. Taxi: Next to Lime Tree Café.

Glengarry Glen Ross at Courtyard Playhouse

That artist Ramin Shirdel is also an award-winning architect comes as no surprise following even the briefest glimpse at this startling exhibition – each of the 10 brightly coloured works spelling out Farsi-Arabic script in bold, sculptural relief is an architectural construction in itself. It’s not just that each one is constructed from an average of 1,500 layered pieces; to fully understand the message requires time and exploration, in terms of finding the correct position to uncover each word being ‘whispered’. Fortunately, all that skill and effort comes with a joyfully light touch that is a pleasure to observe.

Until June 5
Ayyam Gallery DIFC, Building 3, Gate Village, DIFC, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 4392395.

Whispers of Love - art in Dubai

This significant retrospective of the esteemed Pakistani artist takes over a significant proportion of Sharjah Art Foundation galleries and the art spaces outside to create a truly impressive show. Showcasing work from Areen’s time as a painter in Karachi all the way through to his conversion to minimalist sculpture while practising in London, there is plenty here to intrigue. Another great score for Sharjah’s museum and not one to miss.

Until June 13
Sharjah Art Foundation and Art Spaces, Arts Area, Sharjah, free. Tel: (06) 5685050. Taxi: Sharjah Art Foundation.

Rasheed Areen - Before and After Minimalism

The duo MAM will perform a unique concert around the history of accordion from 1860 onwards with a repertoire ranging from classical to contemporary music. They will also give workshops to French schools students with Viviane Arnoux (accordion/ vocals) and Francois Michaud (violin/ vocals). An original project mixing accordion, violin and vocals that transgresses the habits and the instrumental roles.

Tuesday June 3
Sofitel JBR, Dubai, Tuesday 8pm. Dhs90 available Alliance Francaise Dubai Oud Metha and MOE.

Tribute artist Jason Leigh will be rocking the Terrace stage with the sultry tones of Lionel Richie with hits such as ‘Hello’ at the Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai on Thursday May 29. Leigh, who was a lead vocalist in the band, ‘The Drifters’, has been performing as Lionel Richie for five years. Leigh will be regaling fans with classic hits such as ‘All Night Long’, ‘Three Times a Lady’ and ‘Running with the Night’.

The Terrace, Millennium Airport Hotel, Garhoud, Dubai. Dhs250 with BBQ and selected drinks. Tel: (04) 702 8833. Metro: GGICO
Lionel Richie tribute

Legendary Irish singer Paddy Casey returns to the UAE for two shows at McGettigan’s JLT on Thursday May 29, and at McGettigan’s Abu Dhabi on Friday May 30. The Irish singer-songwriter from Dublin, was taken on by U2’s management company, will perform all his hits including ‘Saints & Sinners’, ‘Addicted To Company’ and ‘Livin’’.

For ticket information, call 04 3780800 or visit

The monthly dinner party which takes place at Cavalli Club Restaurant and Lounge, is bringing the Seven Wonders of the World to Dubai exclusively on May 28. During the one-of-a-kind themed evening, all guests will be transported to the world’s most remarkable places from the comfort of their seats. In true Cavalli style, a series of sensational, international performances, music, food and specialty beverages will be available for diners to enjoy. An all you can eat menu created by Cavalli’s very own master chef, Ernesto Tonetto, will be on offer for Dhs300 per person. In addition, guests attending the event will have a chance to win a Roberto Cavalli Shopping spree simply by signing up upon their arrival.

For reservations and exclusive table bookings, call 800 2282554.

Cavalli Club, Fairmont Sheikh Zayed Road

Born in Paris, Gregori Klosman is a rising name in the House music scene, and he’ll be appearing at The Act on Thursday May 29. Have you got your key? Look through the keyhole and imagine what unexpected surprise The ACT Dubai has designed for you… Unlock the door and let them take you away into a fascinating journey from exclusive, dazzling acts and shows to fine dining Peruvian cuisine.

Shangri-La Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. booking required. Tel: (052) 8119900. Taxi: Shangri-La Hotel.
The Act Dubai


Les Mills And Talise fitness class on May 30 at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, a free session held in different venues around Dubai and are run by Reebok trainers. There are a variety of classes throughout the day such as Bodyattack, Bodypump and Bodystep. What’s On tried an ab-melting Cxworx class in April on the futuristic terrace at Jumeirah Emirates Towers. Equipment such as resistance bands, mats and weight plates are supplied – all you have to do is book a place online. There are raffle prizes of sports kit and restaurant vouchers and other freebies to those who sign up and attend.

May 30
Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3233232. Taxi: Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

Mass workout

Remember the first time you realised you were too tall to play on the adventure playground? Or the discovery that relatives thought ill of you being first on the bouncy castle at your niece’s fourth birthday party? Awkward. Well, Dubai now has something for all of those with ‘big kid’ instincts still very much intact. And What’s On can answer the question on the tip of everyone’s tongue; what is the new installation of green and yellow inflatables at JBR? Recently moored some 20-odd metres out to sea in front of The Beach development, Wibit has been attracting hundreds of excitable adventurers on a daily basis since it first appeared. In short, it’s an adventure playground on the high seas. And it’s brilliant. You can check out our video here.

Wibit, inflatable sports park at JBR

If those well-intended plans of hitting the gym in January never came off, SensAsia Urban Spa have a secret remedy to reduce bloating. The 90-minute Skinni-Mini treatment focuses on the thighs and stomach to help you fake your way to a great bikini body.

The Village Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, daily 10am to 10pm, Dhs515. Tel: (04) 3498850. Taxi: The Village Mall.


Being the palest person on the beach is not an accolade that many people want to win. So why not give yourself a helping hand with a Vita Liberata spray tan. Not only is it non-toxic and organic, the colour develops into a flattering golden caramel after just six hours.

The Cure, Building 10, Media City, Dubai, Sat to Thur 9am to 8pm, Fri 10am to 8pm, Dhs110. Tel: (04) 3916485.  Metro: Nakheel.

Huda Kattan, one of the UAE’s most successful beauty bloggers and make up artists, has launched a range of adhesive nails already adorned with nail art designed by the lady herself. Following the success of her faux eyelash line, Huda Beauty nails are available exclusively in Sephora. We predict they’ll fly off the shelves so catch your favourite designs while you can.

The Dubai Mall, Downtown, Dubai, Sat to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thur to Sat 10am to 11.30pm, Dhs85. Tel: (04) 3399828. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. 

We’re big fans of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter and they’ve scored extra brownie points by teaming up with Breast Cancer Arabia. With every bottle sold, Palmer’s will donate Dhs1 to Breast Cancer Arabia to help fund research and patient support. Beauty with a conscience – we like it.

Boots Pharmacy, The Dubai Mall, Downtown, Dubai, Sat to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thur and Fri 10am to 11.30pm, Dhs46. Tel: (04) 3399383. Metro: Burj Khalifa/The Dubai Mall.

Salsa Chin up, spine straight, shoulders back. Take your partner and move your hips to the beat. Step in time and you’re salsa dancing. Sound tricky? Don’t worry, salsa whizz kid Del Piero Olokun will guide you from your first nervous steps to moves worthy of Havana. Pay Dhs600 per person for a six-hour course over three weeks.

Ritmo de Havana, Ductac, Mall Of The Emirates, Dubai, Sat and Tue or Sun and Wed 9pm to 10pm. Tel: (050) 6963520. Metro: Mall Of The Emirates.

Salsa dancing - classes in Dubai

Tango As the saying goes, it takes two to tread on your partner’s toes. Translating as ‘touch’ in Latin, this sensual dance sprung up in late 19th-century Buenos Aires among Italian immigrants, and the craze soon spread to Paris, London, Berlin and New York. Learn to tango with award-winning dancers Cesar and Elizabeth, then join one of the regular Dubai milongas (tango parties). Private classes are available on request Saturday to Thursday, 9am to 8pm, at Dhs250 per hour.

Icon Tower, Studio 106, Tecom, Dubai. Tel: (050) 4746249. Metro: Dubai Internet City.

Tango dancing - classes in Dubai

Zumba Combining aerobics with hip hop, samba, mambo and even martial arts for good measure, zumba is the sassiest, sweatiest dance out there. You’ll burn a bunch of calories and learn moves that will attract bewilderment in a nightclub. Fitness First runs regular classes across their Dubai gyms.

Zumba classes in Dubai

Ballet What began as a dance in Italian Renaissance courts was picked up by the French and Russians and turned into the most prestigious dance of all. Pomp aside, ballet is a fun way to keep fit and look vaguely graceful at the same time. Beginners and intermediate dancers can attend a drop-in class with stretches at the barre, floor work and jumps. No bouquets of flowers at this stage.

Concord Tower, Dubai Media City, Dubai, Sat 10.30 to 11.30am, Dhs65. Tel: (04) 4470773. Metro: Nakheel.

Ballet dancing - classes in Dubai

Bollywood No Bollywood film is complete without regular outbursts of song and dance. Though we may not admit it, there is not one of us that doesn’t want to be up there with them. Dance teacher Nisha runs a high-energy Bollywood dance class at Dhs55 per session or Dhs550 for 11 sessions, letting you get fit and feel like a film star.

Enoc Studio, Ductac, Mall Of The Emirates, Dubai, Sat 7pm to 8pm; BurJuman Community Hall, Fri 1pm to 2pm. Tel: (050) 7492067. Metro: Mall Of The Emirates.

Bollywood dancing - classes in Dubai


If you thought Argentine cooking involved throwing slabs of cow on a barbecue, you’ve only heard half the story. Chef Gabriel Stivala’s new cooking class at Argentine restaurant Asado shows there is much more to his native cuisine than steak. Paying homage to the whole of Argentina, the five-course class takes you from the Andes to the Atlantic, down to the wilds of Patagonia, with Gabriel’s expert guidance all the way. Reservations to take the class are necessary and the price includes dinner. The dishes are ambitious, for sure, but a bit of perseverance will make it a dinner party to remember.

The Palace Downtown Dubai, Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, daily 11am to 12.30pm, 12.30pm to 2pm, Dhs345. Tel: (04) 4287806. Taxi: The Palace Downtown Dubai.

Asado, The Palace Downtown

Award-winning Hakkasan Dubai have introduced the new family-friendly Hakka Brunch. Parents will appreciate the expansive array of dishes while children can enjoy a range of activities. To warm up, guests can relish the flavours of the restaurant’s signature starters, including a variety of steamed, fried and baked Dim Sum. For mains, guests will be able to enjoy the best from Sha Cha Prawn Clay Pot to Crispy Chicken With Chilli Mango Salad each served with seasonal Chinese vegetables, Hakka Hand Pulled Noodles and unlimited tea. Additionally, children can spend the afternoon under the supervision of Hakkasan staff in the kid’s club, filled with games, toys and films there is plenty to keep them entertained, allowing the adults to unwind and enjoy the relaxing, sophisticated ambience.

Emirates Towers, Dubai, noon to 4pm, from Dhs199. Tel: (04) 3848484. Metro: Emirates Towers.

Hakkasan, Emirates Towers

This is the time of year when chefs get excited about asparagus. The in-season vegetable is the star of a food event at Traiteur in May. The special five-course menu has been designed by Chef De Cuisine Daniel Hoefler, and is paired with white wine. Dishes include marinated white asparagus with wild berries, or raw and cooked asparagus salad with baked country egg. Hoefler says, “With asparagus, the possibilities for new dishes are endless, but the taste of the asparagus should always remain the star ingredient.”Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai, daily 7pm to midnight, Dhs495. Tel: (04) 3172222. Taxi: Park Hyatt.


Chefs at Ananta will use personal and favourite dishes to transport diners to their beloved home towns in India on a new theme night. The chefs are showcasing their most treasured dishes from where they grew up at the Sunday Food Bazaar with two packages at Dhs250 or Dhs350 with house beverages.The Oberoi Hotel, Business Bay, Dubai, daily 6.30pm to 11.30pm, Dhs250. Tel: (04) 4441444. Metro: Business Bay.

Ananta, The Oberoi, Business Bay

The new restaurant within the Mövenpick Hotel on JBR, Soul, borrows from those fantastic mid-range New York brasseries that the Big Apple does so well. It feels metropolitan with its sophisticated mix of browns and greys, plenty of suede, and understated lighting. And, just like its inspiration, New York, Soul is open late. The menu is small but varied, with nine main courses such as gnocchi, mussels, lobster thermidor, and Dover sole. A great feature of Soul is the spit-roasted meat option, which changes daily.

Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach, JBR, Dubai, daily 7pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 4498888. Metro: Dubai Marina.

Soul, Movenpick JBR 

After you drag your eyes from the massive lamp post smack bang in the middle of the place, you’ll like you’ve wandered onto the set of a New York movie with fake brick wall wallpaper smothered in graffiti at this cool new eatery at Citywalk. It’s a quirky, industrial burger shack with a sense of humor; the menu comes on a piece of cardboard, there are posters of Homer Simpson, Muhammad Ali and James Dean on the walls and the soundtrack of Kylie, Bollywood and Cuban pop is bizarre. Read our full review here.

City Walk, Jumeirah 1, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to midnight, Thur to Sat 10am to 2am Tel: (04) 3444459. Taxi: Citywalk.

Burger Joint, Citywalk review

PURE Sky Lounge at the Hilton JBR is hosting a three-day Argentinian Food Festival from Friday May 28. The three-day cooking spectacular will feature authentic Argentinian cuisine at a set menu wine dinner, brunch and cooking demonstration over three nights on the lounge’s popular 35th floor terrace.

Chef Matias, a native Argentinian himself, will be joined by three other Latin America chefs, who have each designed unique and truly Argentinian dishes for the menu.Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort, The Walk, JBR, Dubai, daily 5pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 3747888. Taxi: Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort.