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.

Barasti’s final beach party before things close down for the summer will be hosted by Joey Negro, the British DJ best known for tracks like American Dream (a dance version of the haunting theme from movie American Beauty), One Fine Day and The Other World – all of which were released under his pseudonym Jakatta.

May 16
Barasti Beach, Le Méridien Mina Seyahi, Al Sufouh, Dubai, 6pm, free. Tel: (04) 3992313. Taxi: Barasti.


Fans of classical music are in for a treat this month as more than 100 members of the combined Dubai Singers & Orchestra present a concert of great pieces. Conducted by Martyn Bagnall, their concert Gloria, at the Dubai Centre for Special Needs, will feature three pieces by Vivaldi, Poulenc and Rutter that span four decades.

May 16
Dubai Centre for Special Needs, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 8pm, free. Tel: (04) 3440966. Taxi: Gulf News building.

Classical Concert

English Premier League champions Manchester City will put on a show to rival their recent title celebrations when they turn out against Al Ain at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium on Thursday May 15. In one of the most hotly anticipated sporting events to be held in the UAE for some time, the likes of Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero will take to the field against the backdrop of a festival atmosphere and a packed out crowd.

As well as seeing a raft of international superstar footballers, fans inside the stadium will be treated to several extra activities, including the Al Ain Marching Band performing the UAE National Anthem, world record football freestyle Dan Magnus, an Etihad F1 simulator, a giant firework display, and shopping opportunities with the likes of Nike, MCFC Official and even traditional Souks. There will also be confetti canons, face painters, stilt walkers, jugglers, break dancers, drummers, crowd surfing balls, giant zorbs and a Bongo Cam.

For ticket information, see

Manchester City in Abu Dhabi

While EZ was DJing on pirate radio stations at an age where most boys are only just growing out of the Beano comic, it wasn’t until the late ’90s that he became something of a household name, when the UK garage phenomenon coincided with him starting his show on Kiss in 1999. EZ, who says his lifelong love affair with the genre is based on the way it combines everything from soul and R&B to jazz and funk, soon became known as one of the best garage DJs in the game for his fast-paced DJing style and crowd-pleasing track selection. When the garage phenomenon started to fade, EZ stuck with the sound, finding himself mixing multiple editions of the Pure Garage compilation series and playing nights like Garage Nation at Liquid in Romford. You can read more about the superstar, who is playing in Dubai on Friday, right here.

May 16
EZ and Jaguar Skills at Warehouse, 41st Floor, Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City. Friday, 9pm to 3am, Dhs80 early bird, Dhs100 in advance. Metro: Nakheel. Taxi: Media One Tower.


Sasha recently told Mixmag one of his biggest fears is becoming a ‘heritage DJ’ – those who trade on past glories, playing club classics to dwindling numbers in worsening venues. It’s happened to more than a few of his contemporaries. A mainstay of DJ Magazine’s annual top 10 DJs in the world poll, (he topped the list in 2000), Sasha is one of only a handful of deck men to emerge from that era of ‘superstar DJs’ with his credibility intact, as relevant now as he was then. But then, Sasha always was that little bit different: a technician, a student of electronic music whose skills never went out of fashion. His talents have taken him full circle: from illegal raves in England, via iconic British clubs The Haçienda, Shelley’s and Renaissance, to a summer residency at Ushuaïa, the venue that’s helped bring open-air raving back to Ibiza.

May 16
Monte-Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, 4pm to 4am, Dhs195. Taxi: Monte-Carlo Beach Club. Tel: (05) 69551213.

Sasha in Abu Dhabi

LTJ Bukem never liked the term some gave his sound: intelligent drum ‘n’ bass. To him, it denigrated bass music as a whole. But it’s not hard to see why the classically trained pianist – real name Danny Williamson – is thought of as the thinking-man’s DJ. He was the first to introduce jazz and ambient elements to tough jungle and drum ‘n’ bass rhythms, and he played a central role in the scene’s evolution as well as securing its enduring success. But it’s a role that’s been played largely from the wings. The Londoner never earned the plaudits that came the way of his peers when drum ‘n’ bass dipped a toe in the mainstream in the mid-1990s: Fabio and Grooverider went to BBC Radio 1; Roni Size earned a Mercury Prize; Goldie even played on Top Of The Pops. But then, Bukem was never in it for the glory.  The DJ, producer and record label boss didn’t release his debut album until 2000, when drum ‘n’ bass’s star was falling. Then, as now, he’s the genre’s most progressive practitioner and the man who continues to lead it in new and experimental directions. This month Bukem appears at GlobalFunk’s night, supported by Mach4 B2B Kymera and Sya One. To read more about the star, click here.

May 15
The Music Room, Majestic Hotel, Al Mankhool Road, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, Dhs100. Tel: (04) 5012534. Taxi: Majestic Hotel.

LTJ Bukem

Born and raised in Berlin, Ellen Allien has managed to foment a whole sound and scene around her very specific taste in art, fashion and music. But weirdly for someone so synonymous with her home city, it was actually during trips to London way back in the ’90s that Ellen first fell in love with electronic music. On Friday, she headlines Groove On The Grass at Emirates Golf Course. Listening to uncompromising tech-house DJs such as Fabric’s Eddie Richards and acid house man Colin Faver’s residency at long gone Soho club Wag, Ellen began dancing to an electronic beat. Once back in Berlin and having witnessed the fall of the Wall, she immediately got involved in the local scene, working behind the bar and decks at the Fischlabor club. To read an interview with Ellen, click here.

May 16
Groove On The Grass, Emirates Golf Club, Dubai. Friday, May 16, Dhs160 in advance, Dhs200 on the door. Metro: Nakheel

Ellen Allien at Groove on the Grass

No work on Sunday? Got a late start? Take advantage of your envious position and check out Basement, the latest addition to Dubai’s clubbing scene. The new weekly techno night has set up home at Ego Urban Lounge every Saturday. As well as inviting occassional international guests, Basement will showcase local talent, with Pioneer’s Middle East DJ Champ of 2013, Subandrio, locked in as a weekly resident.

May 17
Boutique 7 Hotel, Tecom, Saturdays, 10pm to 3am, free entry. Tel: (055) 6698669. Taxi: Boutique 7 Hotel.

Basement at Ego Urban Loung

Unravelling Nicole Moudaber’s backstory is a mildly complex chore that takes in time spent in London, Lebanon and New York. That includes university studies, large-scale event promotion and an afternoon in a police station being questioned about her involvement in the Beirut scene. And all that before her now full-time career as a DJ, producer, label boss and radio show host. This weekend she is at Nasimi Beach, and you can read interview with her right here.

May 15
Nicole Moudaber at Nasimi Beach, Atlantis, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. Thursday, 2pm to 3am, Dhs100 after 7pm. Taxi: Atlantis, The Palm

Nicole Moudaber

The Crowded House frontman will perform live in Dubai this month for the first time. Finn will be playing tracks from his latest solo album at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on May 15 as part of his Dizzy Heights tour. We’re fairly confident long-time fans will get to hear a few Crowded House hits too – we can still sing the chorus to Weather With You more than ten years on if that encourages him?

May 15
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, doors open 6pm, show starts 9pm, Dhs300. Tel: (04) 4390900.

Neil Finn

Dixon has managed to do something not many people in electronic music have – he’s become a scene darling and deep house pin-up for both the true underground heads and more casual electronic fans alike. Key to it all have been his DJ sets, which always tread a fine line between in-the-know beats and more accessible tracks that bring the girls to the floor. Many DJs try to pull off such tricks but end up dropping lazy, obvious records that turn off the connoisseur, or stay too far under the radar for so long that anyone but the most ardent 4/4 beard is bored to tears. To read an interview with the man himself, click here.

May 16
Ghantoot Al Jazira Island Hotel, Dubai. Tel: (05) 6113 3400. Taxi: To the hotel. Friday, 1pm to 11pm. Guestlist only.

Dixon at Blue Marlin

When it comes to the History Of House, British DJ Brandon Block has plenty to say. We’ve got a excerpt from his book right here to celebrate his arrival at Story Rooftop this weekend, for a History of House night.

May 16
History Of House Ibiza Warm Up Party, Story Rooftop Lounge, Holiday Inn Express, Dubai Media City. Friday, 9pm to 3am. Ladies free before 11pm, Dhs100 after. Taxi: Holiday Inn Express, Dubai Media City

Brandon Block

The UAE sewing scene has exploded over recent years, and crafty types relish Craft Land’s yearly Quilt & Stitch Art event, which celebrates the work of devotees in the Middle East. Anyone can enter a handmade item, from tiny teddies to huge quilts. There are four categories for the main disciplines – sewing, embroidery, quilting and knitting – and there’s also a category for under 16s. Running from May 16 to 24, entries are dotted all over Town Centre mall with visitors asked to list their top three; the winners can score prizes including a trip to Tokyo and Brother products, with all entrants put into a draw, whether their work is exhibited or not.

Town Centre, Beach Road, Jumeirah, Dubai.

WILD GARDEN – last chance
In Europe, collectives such as The Museum Of Everything have turned Outsider Art into one of the ‘next big things’. In the UAE, the concept of these bright, talented artists working beyond the fashions and whims of the art world remains a relatively unknown concept – but not for long if XVA Gallery has anything to do with it. The title of this exhibition refers to the outrageous beauty such untended talent can create and features the work of three yet-to-be-discovered Iranian artists, Hazer Moshar, Salim Karami and Davood Koochaki.

Until May 22
XVA Gallery, Al Fahidi, Bur Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3535383. Metro: Al Fahidi.

Wild Garden - art in Dubai

The Mona Lisa, the British royal family, unsuspecting holidaymakers – all these and more come under the playful, satirical eye of artist brothers Rokni and Ramin Haerizadeh and their friend and collaborator Hesam Rahmanian in this latest body of work. An immersive ‘experience’ more than the usual straightforward gallery show, this anarchic installation may throw up more questions than it proffers answers for, but it’s easily one of the most crowd-pleasing shows currently showing in the city.

Until May 18
Gallery IVDE, Unit 17, Street 8, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3235052. Taxi: Alserkal Avenue.

The Exquisite Corpse Shall Drink The New Wine - art in Dubai

Abandoned by her parents, Hetty Feather lives a grim life in Victorian London’s Foundling Hospital. Determined to find her birth mother, the plucky Hetty hatches a plan to escape on the busiest day of the year: Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. Will matron Stinking Bottomly foil her ploy? This stage show, Hetty Feather,  is based on the hit book by Dame Jacqueline Wilson, one of the UK’s most celebrated authors. She was British Children’s Laureate from 2005 to 2007, and won two British Book Awards Children’s Books Of The Year for Girls In Tears and The Illustrated Mum. The show stars Phoebe Thomas, a regular on UK TV’s Holby City, Family Affairs, and Teachers. Local theatre-in-education group Art For All hosts the production.

For an interview with Dame Jacqueline Wilson, click here.

May 16 to 24
Centrepoint Theatre, Ductac, Mall Of The Emirates, various times, Dhs120. Tel: (04) 3414777. Metro: Mall Of The Emirates.

Hetty Feather


As the team of perhaps Dubai’s friendliest staff gathered around the unsuspecting family, the rest of the restaurant craned their necks in excitement having spotted the birthday cake making its way from the kitchen already. And then the music started, the thumping of the drum, the singing, clapping and chanting of an enthusiastic work force who had earlier greeted diners with a “welcome home”. This special show put on by the team at Tribes whenever anybody has chosen to spend a special occasion here is something to be marveled at. Set against the backdrop of an authentic-feeling African hut, it feels as far removed from the Mall of the Emirates location as you could wish to be. When it comes to the food, too, this blows the myth that shopping mall eating is only about ‘fast food’ out of the water. We started with the brilliantly named ‘Hukunamatata Platter’, a veritable feast of prawns, meats and sides. ‘From The Grill’ – or more specifically ‘from the large fizzling open kitchen at the back’ – offers eight different kinds of steak, including the crafty ‘hanging tender’, while a 500g veal backstrap is a challenge worth taking on. Topping the lot, though, were the beef short ribs, literally, yes ‘literally’ falling off the bone on the plate. Those of a less meaty disposition could also be tempted by the seafood selection, but why waste this perfect opportunity to indulge your carnivorous side?

Ground floor, Mall of Emirates, Dubai. 10am to midnight. Tel: (04) 395 0663. Taxi: Mall of the Emirates. Metro: Mall of the Emirates.

Tribes, Mall of the Emirates


The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC, have launched brunch in their beautiful art deco outlet, Cafe Belge. Running on Saturday 12.30pm to 4.30pm, it delivers  seafood by the bucket-load, including lobster, welk, moule and plenty more, with a side order of entertainment in the form of three enthusiastic 1920s flapper dancers hopping, skipping and jumping between tables. Steak keeps carnivores happy, too, while the truffle scrambled egg steals the show among the side orders. It’s a high-end brunch at a very reasonable price, so expect a complete cross-section. It’s a special occasion kind of place as much as it is a good fun Saturday session. Prices start at Dhs265 with soft drinks , known as ‘Prohibition’, or Dhs365 with Belgian beers, wine & sparkling, known as ‘Jazz Hands’.

The Ritz-Carlton DIFC, daily 12pm to 2.30pm, 6.30pm-11pm (bar 6pm to 2am). Tel: (04) 372 2323. Metro: Financial Centre 

Cafe Belge, Ritz Carlton, DIFC

Before you order your burger at the new Burger Joint, make full use of the napkin dispenser on your table – you’re going to need it. The double cheeseburger was a glorious splodge of fluffy bap and juicy beef (both imported from America), mustard, ketchup, lettuce and tomato. You need a jaw as flexible as an anaconda’s to tackle this beast of a burger so don’t even try to eat it elegantly. Embarrassingly, we found some mustard on our nose some time later.  On the side, we ordered hot, crispy fries, a good vanilla milkshake, and a tangy pickle, which was so enormous it peeped out of the paper cup in which it came.

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

Burger Joint

Mellow Yellow in Mirdiff has started a marketplace where ‘mumpreneurs’ can set up a table, exhibit their handicrafts and host activities for children. Home cooks can also create their own dish using ingredients from the café’s pantry, with a new dish devised by customer added each month – the latest addition is an fusion salad by Maisa, who has always dreamt of being a chef. Other initiatives include free photography workshops and complimentary milk and cookies for students who are cramming for exams at the café in the evening. We need more
of this!

Mellow Yellow, Uptown Mirdif, Mirdif. Tel: (04) 2591500.


This spacious café looks like something from the future with its quirky furniture. A good spot for breakfast and lunch, the Dhs50 deal for soup, salad and a main course is great value. The buffet choices change every day so you never get lunch fatigue. And for those with a sweet tooth, their selection of cakes and pastries is excellent, especially the chocolate éclairs.

MCN Building, Tecom, Dubai, daily 8am to 1pm. Tel: (04) 4574013. Metro: Dubai Internet City

Mention Chinese takeaway food and there’s a good chance one image will immediately pop into your head: those cool white cardboard cartons that you saw in American movies and TV shows. Chop Suey delivers exactly those little cartons, filled with delicious, simple Chinese food, from their cute restaurant in Jumeirah. When visiting the restaurant, you order by ticking the dishes you want on the menu, tearing off the perforated strip of paper and giving it to your waiter.

Beach Park Plaza, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, daily 11.30am to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 3442212. Taxi: Opposite Jumeirah Beach Park.

Chop Suey

BYSTRO by Good
The latest addition to Al Manara’s blossoming café culture, Bystro is offering something a little different. The brainchild of Aussie foodie Josh and his Italian interior designer wife, this bright, modern ‘restaurant and pastry house’ is open from 8am to 10pm, serving up Tuscan pastries (including Dhs6 mini beignets, filled with cream and topped with icing), and daytime dining, plus a concise menu of mains. Our top picks include the salmon burger with pickled cucumber and a salted watermelon and feta salad that tastes like a holiday. Add in organic coffee, connoisseur’s tea and free WiFi and you might just have found your new neighbourhood hangout.

Al Manara, next to Reem Al Bawadi, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3368056.


Any outlet that uses Brussels sprouts as a USP on their own website’s blurb certainly takes food seriously, however ‘fast’ they may serve it. But healthy eating and twists on the norm are exactly where Lemonade specialises, with stewed short ribs falling off the bone, and grain salads from around the world also high on the agenda. The brainchild of chef Alan Jackson, already a big shot of the Los Angeles restaurant scene with ‘Jackson’s’ and ‘The Farm’, it has earned its place at the very forefront of California’s casual dining experiences with its blend of fresh and exciting dishes and welcoming atmosphere for those passing through or stopping by for a little longer. They also do cookbooks.

 China Court, Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai, daily 10am to 11.30pm. Metro: Ibn Battuta. 

Lemonade to open in Dubai

A café in a hotel lobby may not inspire thoughts of culinary excellence, but when it’s run by Michelin-starred super chef, Pierre Gagnaire, it’s worth taking note. Choix, at the InterContinental hotel in Festival City, is more than a café. It’s a beautiful French patisserie offering sandwiches, pasta dishes, bento boxes and the prettiest cakes and sweets we’ve seen for a long time. The bread is baked every day on the premises and, when it’s a baguette wrapped around succulent roast beef, spinach and onion marmalade, it tastes pretty good. The coffee éclair was delicate, packed with cream and had just the right amount of coffee flavour. With views of the water and sunlight streaming in through huge windows, Choix is a great place to have a quiet cup of tea and watch lobby life.

InterContinental, Dubai Festival City, Dubai, daily 6am to 11pm. Tel: (050) 9193990. Taxi: InterContinental, Festival City.



Yours London has recently opened its doors in three UAE malls, offering a fashion-forward collection of plus size clothing (sizes 16 to 32) at more than reasonable prices. The UK brand is also selling lingerie, shapewear, swimwear, belts, tights and accessories, with regional blogger LuAnne from (pictured here wearing the latest collection) giving it her seal of approval. You’ll find statement pieces alongside wardrobe staples such as jeans and leggings, starting from Dhs39 – more fabric doesn’t have to mean more money, y’all.

Yours London, Al Ghurair Mall, Dubai, and Sahara Centre, Sharjah.

A combo of dance, yoga, Pilates, weights and physio, NYLA Method classes are running until May 29 on the beach at Fairmont The Palm. Sessions will be held five mornings a week. Women can sign up for the full term forDhs2,200 or one week for Dhs550.

Fairmont The Palm, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, Sun to Thur, 6.30am and 8.30am. Tel: (04) 4549880. Taxi: Fairmont the Palm.

Nyla at Fairmont

Put yourself in the hands of the staff at Sister’s Beauty Lounge and blitz leg fuzz with a Lycon wax. This form of waxing is ideal for those with a low pain threshold and will work on the shortest of hairs. It’s recommended that you book a leg wax a day or two before your beach trip to give any redness the chance to fade.

The Village Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, Sat to Thur 9am to 9pm, Fri 10am to 9pm, Dhs115. Tel: (04) 3420787. Taxi: The Village Mall. 

Spring is well and truly here so kiss goodbye to winter skin with the Rejuvenate by Vie Collection at Retreat Spa. A combination of a facial and massage lasting over two hours will have you glowing from head to toe.

Grosvenor House Hotel, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai, 9am to 9.30pm, Dhs1,100. Tel: (04) 3998888. Metro: Dubai Marina.

Grosvenor House Hotel

Shed your winter skin and glow for the summertime with the Classic Hammam, a 60-minute treatment that exfoliates your body with black-olive soap. Not only will you be left with skin that is softer than a newborn’s behind, you’ll be radiating with good health thanks to the boost that a hammam gives to your circulation.

Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 10am to 9pm, Dhs455. Tel: (04) 4573545. Taxi: Palm Jumeirah.

Just when we think we’ve got a handle on the latest celeb anti-ageing trends, up crops a new one promising to keep clients wrinkle-free. Skin-tightening treatment Ultherapy is the latest Hollywood craze (Courteney Cox is a fan) to arrive in the UAE. The non-invasive procedure aims to deliver similar results to a facelift – without going under the knife. Ultrasound imaging delivers heat energy beneath the skin to stimulate fresh collagen. Practitioners claim you will notice a tightening and lifting of the skin three months later. Euromed is offering a free facial treatment worth Dhs500 to customers who book an Ultherapy session for the eye contour area in May.

Euromed Clinic, Villa 611, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 3, Dubai, daily 9am to 6pm. Tel: (04) 3945422. Taxi: Euromed Clinic.

Facelift in Dubai

Right Bite, the healthy meal plan delivery service, have announced they will donate a portion of their profits to the Maria Cristina Foundation. Founded by Maria Conceicao, the foundation seeks to improve the lives of children living in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Right Bite have also set up a link on their website to enable the public to donate to the foundation directly. Use them here –

Right Bite