What’s On, your guide for things to do in Dubai is celebrating their 35th birthday with a record-breaking competition giveaway of truly amazing prizes.

**COMPETITION ENTRIES FOR 2014 ARE NOW CLOSED** (For 2015 birthday giveaways, click here)

Thirty-five years ago, the world was a different place. There was no Internet, no mobile phones, no social media. The Soviets (remember them?) were about to invade Afghanistan, and the Bee Gees were cool. Apparently. Pretty much most of the What’s On team hadn’t been born yet, Nottingham Forest won the European Cup, Chelsea were relegated, and Tales Of The Unexpected was cutting-edge television.

In short, 1979 was rubbish.

VIDEO: Meet the man who started it all, Managing Partner and Group Editor Ian Fairservice
Dubai Then&Now. A picture tribute to the changing face of Dubai
– Celebrities in Dubai – the famous folk with whom What’s On has rubbed shoulders
Dubai in 1979: looking back at the first ever What’s On 

However, around that time in Dubai – which was a wee bit different from the Dubai of today – one man had an idea. An idea that was to start a chain of events that, over the next 35 years, would grow into an entire company, employing more than 200 people, including, somewhat importantly from where I’m sitting, me.

He said, “Let’s start a magazine.” And he did. Partly, I suspect, in order to secure better tables in 1979 Dubai’s restaurants, but partly because, even back then, people wanted to know, well, what was on.

Now, if we’re being completely honest, I’m not sure that even Ian Fairservice (for he was the man that started it all) would have thought that, 35 years later, What’s On would be the mainstay of UAE publishing that it’s become. But here we are, 434 issues later, not only still going strong, but now an entire brand, complete with an Abu Dhabi edition, numerous What’s On guides and supplements, digital editions, and the website upon which you find yourself (and, thankfully, still getting better tables).

To celebrate our momentous 35th birthday, we’re giving away some fantastic prizes to say thank you – we’re nothing without you, so thanks for sticking by us for all these years. So what are you waiting for, we’ve just added a fresh batch, including TEN more star prizes.

FINAL BATCH (closing date July 10)





1. Win an amazing bundle of prizes from Madinat Jumeirah

Madinat Jumeirah

2. Win dinner for eight worth up to Dhs10,000 at Don Alfonso, Shangri-La

Don Alfonso Shangri La

3. Win a weekend in Al Ain, including hotel stay, spa and brunch

Al Ain hotel

4. Win a two-night stay at the JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort

JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort

5. Win a one-night stay at the gorgeous Tilal Liwa desert retreat hotel

Tilal Liwa Hotel

6. Win tickets to At The Top, Burj Khalifa, the world’s highest observation deck

Pictures of Dubai Downtown from above. Burj Khalifa and Downtown

7. St Regis Abu Dhabi stay, including dinner at Rhodes44

St Regis Abu Dhabi

8. Win the chance to be a star on Dubai92 with Catboy and GeordieBird

Catboy and Geordiebird on Dubai92

9. Win a stay at Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort for the weekend

Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort

10. Win tickets to the What’s On Awards

What's On Awards



1. Win Dhs35,000 to spend at Media One Hotel Dubai

Media One Hotel Dubai


2. Win five-star trip to Durban with Emirates and Fairmont

Durban, South Africa competition with Emirates and Fairmont

3. Win holiday to Istanbul with Hilton Hotels

Istanbul - win a holiday with Hilton Hotels

4. Win Dhs10,000 to spend at Nakamichi

Nakamichi gadgets can be won

5. Win stay, dinner and spa experience at Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab - win a night stay

6. Win Dhs6,000 to spend at West LA

West LA

7. Win a VIP chauffeured weekend in a Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce chauffeur

8. Win stay, dinner and spa experience at Park Hyatt

Amara Spa, Park Hyatt

9. Win a stay at Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi

Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi

10. Win dinner for four at award-winning Okku

Okku H Hotel Dubai