What’s On has an The Act Dubai review as it launches a new show, ‘Showtime’. Find out about the Peruvian food in Dubai and the other acts at The Act Dubai.

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Four gorgeous glamazons shimmy across the stage like cheeky Burlesque dancers. A couple dance with such sizzling chemistry that you worry they might set the scenery alight. A single acrobat performs the kind of nail-biting, gravity-defying feats we haven’t seen since the last time Cirque du Soleil came to town. And all while you’re tucking in to an exquisite three-course meal of the best Peruvian fare in town.

That’s just a taste of what you can expect from The Act, a club that’s already achieved cult status among Dubai’s most discerning revellers. The new dinner-and-a-show concept takes place from Monday to Wednesday each week. Every seven weeks, there’s a new theme – right now, it’s SHOWTIME – and the mix of dance, drama and a healthy dose of audience participation is dazzling. There’s no telling what to expect – we heard Nirvana guitar riffs, saw some ‘foxy boxing’, and had to cover our eyes when one intrepid dancer was hanging precariously from the ceiling- with this mishmash of elements making for an unpredictable night out.

The fancy mock-Baroque venue is hidden behind an unmarked door on the 42nd floor of the Shangri-La Hotel. With its plush gold curtains, brass candlesticks and red velvet banquettes, you can imagine the Marquis de Sade rocking up with a ladyfriend on each arm, followed by Oscar Wilde, and then very possibly followed by Keith Richards. The faces of bygone people of note stare down at the crowd from a gilded balcony, and marble table tops reflect the light from the pretty chandeliers.


Waitresses in corsets circulate with food as dazzling as the stage show. Try raw fish treats like ceviche and tartares, pastry empanadas, steaks with chimichurri garnish and desserts such as courguette cake with pecans and yuzu cream. Sensibly, the food’s arrival dovetails with the performances, letting you chat and eat between the acts.  

“The idea for The Act Dubai was born at The Box in New York, a club with celebrity guests and shockingly sensational performances,” David Ley, Director at The Act Dubai, told What’s On earlier this year. “We adapted this idea for a wider audience and added fine dining.”

Come here with an open mind and you’ll have a ball. By the end of the night, you’ll leave well fed, well entertained and probably wondering what on Earth just happened.

The Act Dubai, Shangri-La Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Mon, Tue and Wed, 8.30pm. Tel: (04) 4438215. Metro: Financial Centre. facebook.com/TheActDubai