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 trailers and cinema listings of films being release in Dubai this weekend. Click here.

Dubai’s biggest and best beach party returns for the first time in more than four months this weekend with a different, though still very stellar, line-up of acts. We’ve profiled the big guns below, as well as given you the chance to win a VIP backstage experience to meet some of them. Check it out.

Fatboy Slim

Ok, not strictly Mexican, but this gorgeous supperclub at Conrad Dubai, wraps dinner, drinks and a party into one epic evening of entertainment. Their Ultimate Cinco de Mayo party – a celebration for Mexicans the world over – takes place on Friday May 9 (with ‘duel of the guitars’) and will launch a special ‘The Taste’ series inspired by different countries from the Latin American region. There’s meat on a spit, one of the biggest humidors in the city and plenty of dangerous Latin American cocktails. The south American flavour also extends to the entertainment at Izel, with Cuban and Mexican beats keeping patrons dancing till late. And if you are feeling inspired, we’ve put together an idiot’s guide to Mexican cooking right here.

Izel, Conrad Dubai

Conrad Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Downtown Dubai, Tue to Sat 6.30pm to 3am. Tel: (04) 4447111. Metro: World Trade Centre.

One half of the platinum record-selling duo LMFAO, Redfoo, will bring his LA Freak Crew to Cirque le Soir this Thursday May 8 for a special one-off DJ Set for the relaunch of Cirque Sauvage. Organisers are promising a wackier than normal night out packed with acrobats, dancers, and circus freaks. Expect plenty of club-jumping tunes, including Redfoo’s very own ‘Sexy And I Know It’, ‘Party Rock’ and ‘Sorry For Party Rocking’.

Cirque le Soir, Fairmont Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. May 8, 10.30pm to 3am. Tel: (05) 0995 5400.

The I-Chill Beach Lounge on The Palm is hosting a Hawaiian-themed BBQ on Saturdays. Sample the barbecue, sip a mojito, and watch the Hawaiian dancers – floral lei and grass skirt optional.


 Rixos The Palm Dubai, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, Sat 1pm to 4pm, Dhs160. Tel: (04) 3913560. Taxi: Rixos The Palm.

Media One’s hot new club on Level 41 welcomes new party concept Glow to the warehouse-style space this Thursday May 8. Expect plenty of UV lights, free glowsticks and facepaint, and other entertainment at this one-off party. Entrance is free to ladies before 10pm, and the music will come from DJs Benyamin and Kel.

Level 41, Media One Hotel, Media City, Dubai. Tel: (05) 0654 4920.

Dig out your finest flapper dresses and fedoras this Friday May 9 for a Great Gatsby-themed party at retro nightspot Societe Dubai.

Great Gatsby

Marina Byblos Hotel, Dubai Marina, Dubai, 10pm to 3am. Tel: (050) 3571126. Metro: Dubai Marina.

Music fans of a certain age will be intrigued to hear the British band are in town on Thursday and Friday May 8 and 9, playing an unplugged set. The Christians enjoyed success across Europe in the 1980s. Their biggest hit arrived in the form of a cover version of the Isley Brother’s protest song Harvest For The World. The Christians reworked it and released it in 1988 as a charity track with – pop trivia alert – an award-winning video that was partly made by Aardman Animations, who would go on to make hit films featuring, among others, Wallace And Gromit.

Century Village, Garhoud, Dubai, 8pm, free. Tel: (04) 2824122. Metro: GGICO.

The UAE’s first ever bungee jumping competition on Friday May 9 invites first-timers and seasoned jumpers to test their skill and courage from a 50-metre crane. Individuals and teams of three will progress through three stages, with the top scorers at the end of the day emerging as winners. A panel of judges will award points for leap and freefall style, bravery and pre- and post-jump challenges, among other criteria. No bungee experience is required, so this is a great chance to tick a bungee jump off your bucket list. All technical and safety aspects will be explained at the start of the day. Spectators can enjoy on-site entertainment and a climbing wall, and visit the Health Village for healthy foods and an on-site fitness assessment. The event aims to raise awareness for Breast Cancer Arabia, and may pave the way for the founding of a UAE Bungee Federation.

Bungee jump

Powerplay, Sheikh Zayed Road, May 9, 2pm, individual entry Dhs360; team of three Dhs1,000. Tel: (05) 63648778. Metro: Business Bay.

Giant camel spiders, scorpions, Arabian toads – these are the kind of critters they don’t mention in desert safari brochures. However, they all lurk in a sand dune near you, coming out to play in the dead of night. Now you can discover them up close at UAE’s Night Creatures, a new exhibition at the Dubai Aquarium. The animals’ natural habitats – rocks, dunes, a Bedouin tent – have been recreated to enable you to wander around and see the critters as the lights shift from daylight to sunset and, eventually, the dead of night. That is, if you haven’t scurried out by then. Curator Paul Hamilton says, “This display is a bit of en eye-opener for people living here to learn that these species are so close to us.”

Creatures of the Night

Dubai Aquarium And Underwater Zoo, The Dubai Mall, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thur to Sat 10am to midnight, Dhs70. Tel: (04) 4485200. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall.

Filipino rockers including Slapshock, The Youth, Siakol and a band whose name translates as Barbie’s Cradle will send their heavy sounds reverberating around Al Nasr Leisureland Ice Rink, Oud Metha on Friday May 9 from 5pm. Tickets are priced at Dhs125.

Resident DJ LINS will lead the way with the tunes at this grand opening event on Friday May 9, ably supported by a state-of-the-art soundsystem, and stunning ariel performances from acrobats and other performers. Also in attendance will be an exclusive show from France’s DJ Evolution Project.

Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai. Tel: (05) 2961 6082. Taxi: Dubai Marine Club.

Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Banksy, Yue Minjun – four icons of pop art, street art and general mischief come together for the annual exhibition The Big Picture, which runs from Saturday May 10 to 20. These heavy hitters share gallery space with 40 UAE-based artists, selected from 250 applicants. Visitors on opening night on May 10 will see a live customisation and painting of a motorcycle, a performance by local experimental musician Almir Smailovic, and a VJ set by IS IS. All in all, cooler than a polar bear’s toes.

Big Picture

Pro Art Gallery, Jumeirah Palm Strip Mall, Dubai, 7.30pm to 10.30pm, free. Tel: (050) 6767997. Taxi: Jumeirah Palm Strip Mall.

‘Why Cross’ by The Star Too Collective takes place in Al Quoz this weekend (Friday 8pm and Saturday 11pm), adding a special dimension to  the show which sees the audience sit in a ‘playing space’. The space itself is a giant cloth box that will show relevant projections during the performance to really bring it to life. For more information, email

The Courtyard Playhouse in Al Quoz continues its series of improv workshops this weekend, on Saturday May 10 between 1pm and 3pm, with ‘Boring Obvious and Boring’ with Kemsley Dickinson.

The Courtyard Playhouse, The Courtyard, Al Quoz 1, Dubai. Dhs120. Tel: (05) 09861761. Taxi: The Courtyard.


Any place that serves pancakes morning, noon and night is right on track to win the hearts of team What’s On, so the opening this week of the Clinton St Baking Company is brilliant news for us. The original restaurant in New York has repeatedly been lauded as the home of Manhattan’s best breakfast, with queue times having gone as high as three hours. THREE HOURS! And now husband-and-wife team Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman have bought their buttermilk biscuit sandwich, brioche French toast, and signature omelette to Burj Views. Clinton St also offers lunch and dinner menus heavy on the comfort food – hello fried chicken and waffles – plus thick milkshakes, cakes and pies. Not forgetting those pancakes. Did we mention we like pancakes?

Clinton Street Bakery Company

Just when you thought celebrity chefs had forgotten about the UAE, a delicious glut of restaurants arrive with big names above the door (and Jason Atherton hasn’t even opened his yet). Heinz Beck’s, at the new Waldorf Astoria, is the very definition of modern fine dining; an elegant space, chefs expertly dancing around each other in the kitchen, shielded by sliding glass doors, and a precise menu of fine fare. The 3-star Michelin chef is known for his contemporary take on Italian and European gastronomies, and his Dubai restaurant offers up robust flavours, from bites of beef with coffee sauce, to a spectacular dessert of raspberries done ten ways. Guaranteed to impress that out of town boss, or a dedicated food fan.

Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, The Palm Jumeirah, East Crescent, Dubai. Tel: (04)

McGettigan’s have launched a new snack menu at their upstairs restaurant The D. They’re calling it tapas, but the dishes aren’t exactly Spanish. The deal, which can be ordered multiple times, gets you three dishes – such as mini burgers or deep fried brie – with a bottle of wine for Dhs195.

McGettigan’s, next to World Trade Centre, Dubai, daily 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 3780808. Metro: World Trade Centre.

From pocket watch-shaped biscuits to Queen Of Hearts jam tarts and Cheshire Cat cheese sandwiches, the new Alice In Wonderland-themed afternoon tea at Reform Social & Grill in The Lakes is straight out of a children’s storybook. An extra Dhs50 gets you a glass of prosecco too.

Tea party at Reform

The Lakes, Dubai, Sat to Thur 3pm to 5pm, Dhs95. Tel: (04) 4542638. Taxi: The Lakes Club. 

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.

No prizes for guessing what’s on the menu at this new DIFC sports bar. As well as chicken wings and onion rings, you’ll find nachos, chilli cheese fries and loaded potato skins to delight your taste buds, if not your arteries.

Liberty House, DIFC, Dubai, daily noon to 2am. Tel: (04) 3596900. Metro: Financial Centre. 

There’s nothing worse than ordering a burger and then having to pick out the bits you don’t like. No such problems at Counter, the burger shack at new JBR mall The Beach, where you can build your own burger from scratch. Take a piece of paper and tick your bread, meat, salad and sauces – there are more than 1,000 permutations. For the health conscious, you can get your burger in a salad bowl.


The Beach, The Walk, JBR, Dubai, daily 10am to midnight. Taxi: The Walk.

The original Don Alfonso in Italy is everything we want Italy to be: an idyllic setting on the Amalfi coast, a host family hugging us to their bosom, and delicious, fresh food. Two Michelin-starred food, no less. The new Dubai outpost can’t promise the first two, but makes a very good stab at  the last. A business-like dining room of slate grey sets a mood of formal fine dining. This is somewhere to impress a client. The order of courses follows a time-honoured tradition – starter, pasta, meat, sweet – each dish impeccably executed. A ricotta cake amuse-bouche with pumpkin cream and pistachio is perfectly light to the bite, followed by a zingy smoked yellow tail antipasti with orange, grapefruit mayonnaise and ginger. The bean-sized gnocchi arrive like an old friend, with a sauce of San Marzano tomato, smoked scamorza cheese and basil. The beef tenderloin with baked bread crust has a nice, sharp edge with its spicy tomato dip and salsa verde, and dessert is a brilliant coup de théâtre: a light citrus cream, served in a hollowed out lemon and topped by a crispy lemon fritter. Confident, creative stuff. Alfonso didn’t earn the ‘don’ for nothing.

Don Alfonso to open at Shangri-La

Shangri-La Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 4438215. Metro: Financial Centre.

This week saw Mexicans the world over celebrate Cinco de Mayo, so why not got into the spirit of it with these Latin American options. They may take place at the start of the week, but there is a definite party atmosphere at Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort and Spa’s Maya and its Senorita Sundays. Girls should set up camp on the breezy upstairs terrace bar – great for watching the sunset – to enjoy their three free drinks. If the constantly circulating tortilla chips and dip whet your appetite, the fish tacos are highly recommended.

Maya Mexican

Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen, Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai, Sun 7pm to 10pm. Tel: (04) 3165550. Taxi: Le Royal Meridien.

Jumeirah Beach Hotel hosts an exclusive pop-up restaurant created for the hotel by Chef Diego Munoz, the Head Chef at ‘Astrid y Gastón’, one of Peru’s most famous restaurants. The South American country won the award for the world’s leading culinary destination last year so this will be worth checking out, from May 12 to 15 at the hotel’s signature Latin-American restaurant, La Parrilla. A special set menu comprising five starters, five mains and five desserts will be yours.

Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 6.30pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 406 8999. Taxi: Jumeirah Beach Hotel.


The most dedicated JT fans needn’t stop at a tour T-shirt – now they can display their devotion on their hands too. The Nail Spa is offering this fun Timberlake-inspired nail art from Dhs20 per nail or Dhs150 for full set.

Justin Timberlake

The Nail Spa, Ibn Battuta Mall, Ibn Battuta, Dubai, daily 9am to 9pm. Tel: (600) 544001. Metro: Ibn Battuta.

The organic food scene in Dubai has a new power player with this massive store. BiOrganic is a nicely laid out, spacious market with shelves of baby food, drinks, cereals, pasta and sweet treats, plus a big selection of savoury snacks including some incredible hummus chips. Fruit and veg is stacked in wooden crates; there’s a fresh meat counter; fridges are filled with dairy goods and there’s lots of fresh bread. A touch screen helps you navigate your way around. The attached café does healthy and organic light meals.

I-Rise Tower, Tecom, Dubai, daily 8am to 9pm. Tel: (04) 4433535. Metro: Dubai Internet City.

Dubai’s first dedicated pole fitness studio has opened in Al Mazaya Business Avenue in Jumeirah Lakes Towers. Founded in Italy, Milan Pole Dancing Studios offer fun yet intense ladies-only 60-minute workouts. Classes incorporate dance routines and aerial acrobatics for a cardio workout, along with pole gymnastics for technique and strength. Sessions are held at various times on weekdays.


Al Mazaya Business Avenue AA1, Office 1502, JLT, Dubai, Sun to Thur. Tel: (04) 0303693. Metro: JLT.

Ok, not for this weekend, but get booking for the three-day retreat which starts on May 15. Get away from the chaos of city life on a yoga retreat at Talise Spa in Madinat Jumeirah. The course includes technique instruction, a juicing class, breakfast and a theory seminar by yoga master Vijay Sharma. As well as access to the club’s facilities, you get two days’ beach access and a 90-minute spa treatment.

Al Qasr Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, Dhs1,990. Tel: (04) 3666818. Taxi: Madinat Jumeirah.

While known for their impressive blow-dries, Blo Out also offer a lengthy menu of other beauty treatments. They’ve recently launched a range of monthly packages, which for a fixed price include a choice of five treatments.

I-Rise Tower, Tecom, Dubai, Sat to Thur 10am to 10.30pm. Tel: (04) 3629930. Metro: Dubai Internet City.

Padding around in a fluffy white bathrobe has to be among the best parts of any spa trip. The folks at The H Dubai obviously think so too, as regular visitors to the hotel’s new Mandara Spa will get a free personalised robe if they embark on its Sensory Journey. Guests who purchase six individual treatments from the Sensory Journey menu within six months will get a complimentary treatment of their choice and their very own Mandara bathrobe. After making your way through the likes of Balinese body scrubs and warm stone massages, you’ll be ready to wrap up in your robe and take a nice long nap.

H Hotel Dubai

The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily 9am to 10pm, Dhs295. Tel: (04) 5018270. Metro: World Trade Centre.

It’s wedding season, the table plan is written, the rings have been purchased but you’re still al little nervous. Let James And Alex Dance Studios advise, because they are offering those of us with two left feet special classes to help make sure the first dance goes off without a hitch. Dance instructors, with professional dance and teaching experience, will work with you and your partner to choreograph and create your perfect wedding dance. You can choose to keep it beautiful and simple, perhaps to a song with a special meaning, or maybe you fancy the waltz, a foxtrot or the tango? The choice of style and level of difficulty is yours. The full set of 10 lessons for your own choreographed performance is Dhs2600, though single private lessons are also available for Dhs300.

Concord Tower, Dubai Media City, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4470773. Taxi: Lime Tree Café.

The Nail Spa is introducing Happy Wax, a form of waxing that promises to be pain-free (almost). Instead of the traditional hot wax and strips, a luke-warm wax is applied directly to the skin and then peeled off. The Nail Spa is so confident of the benefits of this method that they are willing to give you your money back if you disagree.

The Dubai Mall, Downtown, Dubai, daily 10am to 10pm, Dhs50. Tel: (04) 3399078. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall.