What’s On has a list of things to do in Dubai this weekend, including brunch, drinks deals, festive events, live entertainment and new openings.

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.


Eat Dubai
EAT Dubai is a unique theatre experience that allows audiences to experience a number of cultural clashes that take place between five actors playing characters from different cultures living in Dubai. Three guests, a host and her waiter begin to enjoy a traditional Emirati dinner and end up getting a deeper look into the cultures values and attitudes of each other.

January 15 to 22
Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, Al Fahidi District, Dhs460. Tickets are available from EventBrite.

Angry Bairds bring Eat Dubai to the region

Flywheel Challenge
Sporty types in the south of the city let out a collective cheer when it was revealed Flywheel, originally based in Burj Views, was unveiling a second studio at the Gold And Diamond Park. To celebrate the new studio – and the new year – Flywheel is launching a challenge kicking off in mid-January. Participants commit to doing either four Flywheel or four Flybarre classes each week for four weeks.

January 15 to February 12
Gold And Diamond Park, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4232544. Metro: First Gulf Bank. dubai.flywheelsports.com

Flywheel opens in Gold and Diamond Park

Q43 birthday bash
Having scooped two awards in its first year, the gang at Q43 are in the mood for throwing a big old birthday party. And in an age where the term ‘superstar DJ’ is attached to too many EDM kids barely out of short trousers, the Q43 crew has locked in the legend that is David Morales to bring the house down. His biggest hit was the feel-good house anthem Needin U, released in 1998, which was a club and chart smash all over the world.Morales, still going strong with DJ sets in all corners of the globe, and new track Lovin’ – due for release in January – already receiving props, is supported by local legends Smokingroove. This will not be a quiet evening.

January 15
43rd floor, Office Tower, Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City, Thursday, 11am to 3am, free entry. Metro: Nakheel. Tel: (056) 1024298. facebook.com/Q43Dubai

David Morales to guest at Q43 birthday bash

Romeo et Juliette
Wherefore art thou Romeo?” Right here in Dubai, it turns out, as Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo brings one of Shakespeare’s best-loved tales to life at the Madinat Arena from January 15 to 16. French choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot is the artistic director behind Romeo et Juliette, a ballet he says is inspired by the “drama” of adolescent love.

January 15 to 16
Madinat Arena, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 8.30pm, Dhs195. Tel: (04) 3666546. Taxi: Madinat Arena. balletsdemontecarlo.com. balletsdemontecarlo.com

Romeo et Juliette

Dinner at Comptoir 102
Fans of the Comptoir 102 café’s organic breakfasts won’t be disappointed by its new evening fare. Now open until 10.30pm, the pretty café has a different three-course menu each night, priced at Dhs90 for a starter and a main, with dessert available for an additional Dhs25. Pray that Comptoir’s choco petit pot is on the blackboard when you visit. Health food cynics who write this place off are missing out.

102 Beach Road, Jumeirah, Dubai, 8am to 10.30pm. Tel: (04) 3854555. Taxi: 102 Beach Road. facebook.com/comptoir102


Pacha Day Party
Known as ‘White Day Party’, this new monthly event on the terrace comes with a strict ivory dress code. The theme will be mimicked in the decor, with organised promising to transform the rooftop into a white wonderland. It kicks off at 2pm and is an extension of the post-midnight happenings on your average party night, where music is the focus. Hungry revellers will be able to tuck into a selection of nibbles and light bites, but for the most part they want eyes front to the DJ box where they’ll find Marc Mashall, violinst Nico and resident DJ Rico.

Pacha Ibiza Dubai, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai; Friday 2pm. Tel: (04) 5670000. Taxi: Madinat

Pacha Ibiza Dubai roof-terrace


Ripe Market
Ripe is the daddy of Dubai’s market scene, attracting hordes of families, healthy eaters and hipsters to its new location in Zabeel Park every weekend. Here’s our top tip: Get your organic fruit and veg first thing and ask the team to put it aside for you. That way you can browse the stalls unencumbered until you’re ready to head off. Fitness fiends should check out the free workouts staged by the girls from NYLA House.

Gate 1, Zabeel Park, 9am to 5pm. ripeme.com

Ripe Market returns with extended edition

Market OTB
One of the coolest elements of the Dubai Shopping Festival rolls out this weekend in Downtown Dubai. Running from January 15 to 24, the second edition of Market OTB is held at South Ridge Park and is an ‘out of the box approach to shopping, dining and entertainment’. Featuring around 60 of the region’s trendiest boutique shops, cafes and art galleries, including the likes of Clinton St, Little Majlis, Studio Manhattan, Jam Jar, West LA, Urban Yogi and The Hipster, the pop-up spot is a collection of shipping containers and other temporary spaces forged to make a glorious urban hangout.

January 15 to 24
Downtown Dubai, Southridge Park, free. mydsf.ae

Market OTB in Downtown Dubai

Indian breakfast
You can spice up a quiet weekend morning at The Beach on JBR with House Of Curry’s new curry breakfast set menu. The generous platter (right) has a masala dosa pancake cone with a mild yet punchy potato and onion curry hidden underneath. Indian-style scrambled eggs with onions and coriander were tasty, while the idli (steamed rice cake) soaked up the coconut chutney nicely. The discs of fried aloo tikki were also worth dunking in the side dish of sambar, a kind of Indian gravy. This big breakfast is a steal at Dhs50 and comes with unlimited masala tea or south Indian coffee.

The Beach, JBR, Dubai, Fri and Sat 8am to noon, Dhs50. Tel: (800) 6928779. Metro: JLT. houseofcurry.me

Icons of Art
Opera Gallery Dubai unveils an ‘Icons of Art’ exhibition this weekend. The retrospective exhibition marks the gallery’s first display solely dedicated to contemporary masters who dramatically influenced 20th century art including Picasso and Andy Warhol.

January 14 to February 4
Opera Gallery Dubai, Gate Village Building 3, DIFC, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3230909, operagallery.com/ang/middle-east/dubai-difc.html

Icons of Art

Annie auditions
Aspiring actors and actresses are being encouraged to auction for a production of Annie which is set to take to the Madinat Theatre in April. Popular Productions and The West End Stage Experience have opened the stage door for anybody aged between six and 60 who is interested in treading the boards.
Friday January 16 at 9am sharp: Girls 7 – 13 years and Boys 9 – 13 years.
Saturday January 17 at 10am sharp: Adults/ Boys & Girls Aged 14 years and above.


Annie at Madinat Theatre - open auditions


#EverydayMiddle East
It was only going to be a matter of time before the dewy filters of Instagram came from our smartphones and arrived on gallery walls. What sets this series apart, however, is that it is a direct sample of work from a collective of 25 photographers with a single aim: to work against the media’s stereotype of the Middle East with images that show another side to the region (all nattily hashtagged, of course). Being Instagram, there are plenty of pretty sunsets and soft glow, but there are also moments of reflection and meeting and daily humdrum. Fascinating.

January 12 to February 26
Gulf Photo Plus, Unit D36, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3808565. Taxi: Behind Times Square. gulfphotoplus.com

Everyday Middle East

This is the seventh edition of the hardcore WAR series. Located at the base of Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain, athletes climb, crawl, and run through the adventure park before jumping in the rapids and swimming to victory.

January 17
Wadi Adventure, Al Ain, 9am, Dhs225. Tel: (03) 7818422. premieronline.com

Souk Farmer’s Market
This newly launched market at Souk Madinat is a service to the community to encourage Dubai residents to live healthier lifestyle. Taking place in the Central Courtyard, farmers and local producers will be involved in produce sales, live cooking demonstrations and more, from 9.30am to 1pm. This week there are special demonstrations from Chef Oscar Poquet.

Souk Madinat, Jumeirah, Dubai; 9.30am to 1pm.

Souk Farmer's Market

The Decaying states of America
Detached, decomposing and decaying images of America are the theme of Gil Heitor Cortesao’s new exhibition showing at Carbon 12 in Dubai. Out Of Season is the Portuguese artist’s third solo show, and he says he is inspired by photographs, films, posters and magazines from the 1950s and 1960s.

January 12 to March 8
Carbon 12, Street 8, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3406096. carbon12dubai.com

Gil Heitor Cortesao's new exhitibion at Carbon 12, Dubai

This race is called a run, but ‘torturous trudge’ might be more apt. The all new M1 Run asks you to tackle seven floors of car park ramps followed by 33 floors of stairs at the Media One Hotel. You can run individually (Dhs99) or as part of a relay (Dhs399 per team) and participants must be over 21. By the way, just so you know, 33 floors equals 700 steps. We reckon you’ll be counting every single one.

January 17
Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City, Dubai, 10am, Dhs99. Tel: (04) 4271000. premieronline.com