Things to do in Dubai 2015 special - all the big events
What’s On lists the things to do in Dubai 2015, including sport, cinema, concerts and music festivals. Find out about main events in Dubai.
You know how time flies in Dubai, which is all the more reason to plan your year ahead. Here are the biggies coming in 2015 – don’t miss ‘em…
February 4 to 7
Look out of your window on the first weekend in February and you’ll see more luminous Lycra than a 1980s aerobics video. It’s the second annual Dubai Tour, which is fast becoming the biggest professional cycling race in the UAE.
February 6 to 28
Dubai Food Festival
Get your knives and forks at the ready as restaurants, food fans and tops chefs – including Sanjeev Kapoor, Jason Atherton and Silvena Rowe – gather for this year’s gastronomic carnival. Head to the coast for the Beach Canteen extravaganza, try one of the new mystery dining tours or savour urban flavours at the Al Quoz Street Nights.
Dubai International Marine Club, Dubai Marina, Dubai. Tel: (04) 2821111. Taxi: Le Méridien Mina Seyahi. dubaifoodfestival.com
February 12 to 13
After the success of last year’s event with Tinie Tempah, Jessie J and Rita Ora, the RedFestDXB crew had their work cut out to match the line-up. But they’re on the right track with BRIT award-winners Bastille, Australian songwriter Iggy Azalea (above), Irish band The Script, and rising stars Kiesza and Ella Eyre. We’ll keep you updated with more artist announcements on our website, whatson.ae.
Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai Media City, Dubai. Dhs350. Tel: (04) 4390900. Metro: Nakheel. redfestdxb.com
February 12 to 14
Get ready to rumble when John Cena, Seth Rollins, Luke Harper, Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose grapple in the capital.
Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, Dhs300. Tel: (02) 4034200. Taxi: Zayed Sports City. zsc.ae
February 25 to 27
Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival
John Legend, Sting and James Blunt are joined by violinist Lindsey Stirling, Christina Perri and Esperanza Spalding.
Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai Media City, Dubai, Dhs295. Tel: (04) 3911196. Metro: Nakheel. dubaijazzfest.com
March 3 to 7
Emirates Airline Festival Of Literature
Now in its seventh year, the festival will welcome big-name authors including David Walliams, Alexander McCall Smith and Michael Morpurgo.
InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3534002. Taxi: Festival City. emirateslitfest.com
March 12 to 14
Tennis At The Palace
Another first for the UAE, this tennis tournament will feature past greats taking their creaky joints out on the court for another game. Famous names set to appear on the lush grass court include heroic Briton Tim Henman, 1987 Wimbledon winner Pat Cash from Australia, and Dutchman Richard Krajicek, who also won the London Grand Slam tournament in 1996.
Emirates Palace, Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi, Dhs1,500 to Dhs1,950. Taxi: Emirates Palace. tennisatthepalace.ae
March 18 to 21
Getting ready for its ninth year in 2015, Art Dubai is the region’s premier art fair that puts the city firmly on the world’s art map. It takes over the city, from Al Quoz to Al Fahidi to DIFC. With an expected 200,000 visitors attending exhibitions and events over four days, and more than 90 galleries representing 39 countries, this year’s edition of the popular festival promises to be a belter.
Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, Dhs50. Tel: (04) 3842000. Taxi: Madinat Jumeirah. artdubai.ae
Dubai World Cup
The world of thoroughbred racing isn’t short of a dirham or two, and the most valuable race day of all takes place in Dubai every year. There’s nearly Dhs100 million up for grabs – including almost Dhs37 million for the big one. With a fireworks display and post-race concerts – as well as prizes for the best dressed – World Cup day is as much about the party as the pedigree horses.
Meydan Grandstand, Al Meydan Road, Dubai, Tel: (04) 3272110. Taxi: Meydan Racecourse. dubaiworldcup.com
If you hear deafening, high-pitched screaming in Dubai on April 4, that’ll be the 30,000 fans going bananas at One Direction’s debut UAE concert. The event sold out quicker than you can say Liam, Zayn, Harry, Niall and Louis, so you’re gonna have to keep your ear to the ground for tickets. This will surely be the most talked-about gig of the year.
The Sevens Stadium, Al Ain Road, Dubai.Tel: (04) 4390900. Taxi: Sevens Stadium. doneevents.com
He’s been in a successful boy band, and he’s enjoyed a hit solo career. He’s had public feuds with celebrities, he’s become a father, he’s been up and he’s most certainly been down. But Robbie Williams has remained one of the most enigmatic pop stars of the past 20 years. One thing’s for sure, the former Take That singer’s gig will be anything but boring.
du Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Dhs395. Tel: (800) 86823. Taxi: du Arena. ticketmaster.ae
April 30 to May 1
Last year’s blues and folk festival saw songstress Joss Stone (above) take to the stage at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, along with Elvis Costello and his wife, jazz icon Diana Krall. Organisers have confirmed that the 2015 gig will return this spring but are staying tight-lipped on the line-up. Fingers crossed for Sam Smith or Jessie Ware.
Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai Media City, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4390900. Metro: Nakheel. blended.ae
Party In The Park
Not to toot our own horn or anything but last year’s Party In The Park featuring British pop starlet Lily Allen, Richard Ashcroft and The Ting Tings was the best day and night out in 2014. This year’s instalment is set to be even bigger, with more big music names lined up. Expect that European festival vibe with food stalls and several music stages.
Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai Media City, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3689977. Metro: Nakheel. partyinthepark.ae
Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
You may have only just recovered from the 2014 F1 finale in which Brit Lewis Hamilton clinched his second world title with a breathless win in Abu Dhabi last November, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have this year’s F1 weekend in your diary already. With drivers and crew members set to switch teams in the off-season, there’ll be a whole new feel to the 2015 twilight race on Yas Island. As for the post-race concerts, there have been rumours that the Foo Fighters will play the UAE soon. Could the 2015 GP be their time?
Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Taxi: Yas Marina. yasmarinacircuit.com
What’s On Awards
It’s the most prestigious hospitality awards in Dubai, voted for by you. It’s also the biggest knees up this side of Christmas. French eatery La Petite Maison scooped Best Restaurant in 2014, while Social By Heinz Beck at the Waldorf Astoria on The Palm took home Best Newcomer. As well as rewarding Dubai’s buzzing restaurant scene, prizes are also given to spas, bars, music festivals and cultural events Nominees will be announced in October.
Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens
Fans from all over the world swarm to the city to watch some of fastest rugby machines battle it out at the Sevens Stadium. Sure, top-level sport is at the centre of this festival of fun but it’s the hilarious fancy dress and after-parties that keep it top of everyone’s social and sporting calendars.
The Sevens Stadium, Al Ain Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3210008. dubairugby7s.com
Dubai International Film Festival
Get your popcorn ready for DIFF, the annual movie event that showcases flicks from all over the world. Premieres are generally held at Madinat Jumeirah, while screenings take place in cinemas across the city. Don’t forget to dig out your tuxedo or ballgown for the red-carpet opening gala event that has attracted stars such as Cate Blanchett, Emily Blunt and Kevin Spacey.
Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3633456. Taxi: Madinat Jumeirah. diff.ae