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.


Jazz@Pizza Express – Jazz Festival Urban Sessions
The JLT restaurant has live music every night from February 13 to 27 at 8.30pm, featuring the likes of Laura Ainsley, the Oliver Sean band, and the Pete Long Quartet. Long is the musical director of the famous Ronnie Scott’s jazz band in London and has played with Jools Holland’s Rhythm And Blues Orchestra, as well as Dizzy Gillespie.

Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Cluster A, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4416342. Metro: JLT. pizzaexpressuae.com

Indian street food festival – LAST CHANCE
A live chaat counter and an a la carte menu of more than 21 street food delicacies from all over India is on offer at Claypot’s festival. Tuck into Indian street food such as ragda pattice, kathi rolls, pav bhaji, vada pav and chicken pakora.

Until February 21
Citymax Hotel, Bur Dubai, Dubai, daily 7pm to midnight. Tel: (050) 1007065. Metro: Al Karama. facebook.com/claypotdubai 

Street Food

Ba Restaurant & Lounge
Celebrate the New Year with an authentic feast that begins with the traditional prosperity salad followed by seafood and dry scallop soup, stir fried Chinese duck sausage, steamed fish roll, and pan-fried brown sugar rice cake.

February 19
Fairmont The Palm, The Palm, Dubai, daily 7pm to midnight, Dhs588. Tel: (04) 4573338. Taxi: Fairmont The Palm. dineatba.com 

Ba Restaurant

Hakkasan Chinese New Year menu
Hakkasan is serving a whopping nine-course set menu to celebrate Chinese New Year. Tuck into golden fried soft shell crab, hang your wishes on the Wishing Tree, and, on February 19, watch lion troupes perform a customary dance. For more Chinese New Year ideas turn to p28.

Until March 1
Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai, 7pm to 1am, Dhs450. Tel: (04) 3848484. Metro: Jumeirah Emirates Towers. jumeirah.com 

Hakkasan Chinese New Year

Nice Drawings – LAST CHANCE
Modern art – it’s just all so clever, isn’t it, with its concepts and abstractions and endless, introspective navel gazing? Well, not this month. Gallery IVDE celebrates ten years at the cutting edge of Dubai’s art scene, long before there was an Art Dubai, by keeping it simple. Nice Drawings is an exhibition of just that – new works by the wonderful ragtag bunch of ‘co-conspirators’ connected to the gallery over the years. Which is not to say that you can expect pictures of kittens, but there’s plenty to delight and inspire visitors nonetheless.

Gallery IVDE, Unit 17, Street 8, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3235052. Taxi: Behind Times Square. ivde.net

New sundowners at Rib Room
Already a hugely popular spot in Emirates Towers, now the Rib Room has opened at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, and comes complete with a beautiful terrace gazing out over the Gulf. There can be fewer better places to enjoy sundowners on The Palm. To celebrate its opening, the restaurant offers discounted beverages and light bights daily from 4pm to 6pm.

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, The Palm, Dubai, 4pm to 6pm. Tel: (04)4530444. Taxi: Zabeel Saray. jumeirah.com/jzstheribroom



Try poses, talk to instructors and buy yoga gear at this mini festival.

Until February 21
Internet City Amphitheatre, Dubai Internet City, Dubai, daily 1pm to 7pm. Tel: (050) 5537765. Metro: Nakheel. yogafest.me

Yoga Fest

Sandscapes 2015
Dubai Park opposite Ismaili Centre in Oud Metha hosts the sixth edition of Sandscapes 2015. The ‘art for a cause’ festival sees a range of creatives go public in an al fresco environment, including a giant sketching session, photography, book sale, workshops and exhibitions. There will also be a ‘Jam Garden’ with percussion workshops and performances. Guests are encourages to wear white.

Dubai Park, Opposite Ismaili Centre, Oud Metha, Near Lamcy Plaza, Dubai, 10am to 6pm. 

Support Spartan Race
For those who didn’t want to unleash their inner Spartan warrior and climb mud mountains or jump over hot coals, you could still head over to Jebel Ali Racecourse (behind The Greens and TECOM) and support those brave souls undertaking the 5km military-style timed event. Mud pools, a rope climb, a slippery wall, barbed-wire trenches, a spear throw, a fire jump and a tyre flip are just a handful of feats participants can expect.

Races start from 7.30am

The Spartan Race comes to Dubai

Shang Palace
Festivities in the hotel include a traditional lion dance at 10am on February 19, and a raffle including prizes such as a champagne brunch and a one-night stay in the hotel. Shang Palace Chinese restaurant is also offering a special eight-course menu throughout the weekend.

February 18 to 21
Shangri-La, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 7pm to 11.30pm, Dhs396. Tel: (04) 4052703. Metro: Financial Centre. shangri-la.com

Chinese New Year in Dubai - Shang Palace

Theatre Festival
The Short+Sweet Dubai Theatre Festival is back. Over four weekends – the first of which is February 6 and 7, 250 of Dubai’s best locally-based writers, directors and actors take to the stage to bring to life 70 ten-minute theatrical gems. The Short+Sweet Dubai Theatre Festival is part of a global initative, Short+Sweet, the largest ten-minute play festival in the world, that now runs in twenty-one cities in six countries.


Short+Sweet Dubai Returns

 Tribeca deal
In line with the ‘New Year, New You’ ethos sweeping Dubai, a new farm-to-table healthy eating spot has opened its doors on JBR. And to celebrate, they are offering 50 per cent off all food and house beverages. TR!BECA Kitchen and Bar, which is at the JA Oceanview Hotel, is headed by award-winning Chef Giovanni De Ambrosis, and describes itself as ‘New York inspired’. The clue is in the name, of course – Tribeca, which got its name from Triangle Below Canal, a reference to its Manhattan location, is one of the Big Apple’s trendiest locations.

JA Ocean View Hotel, JBR, Dubai, daily 6pm to 1am. Tel: (05) 03456067. Taxi: JA Ocean View JBR. Metro: JLT. jaresortshotels.com

Tribeca Kitchen And Bar at JA Oceanview

Chip week
To celebrate Great British Chip Week, the Rivington Grill & Bar are serving traditional chip butties, triple-cooked duck fat chips, chips with curry sauce and hop and beer offers all week. Prices start from Dhs25.

Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3666464. Taxi: Souk Madinat Jumeirah. rivingtongrill.ae

White collar boxing
Train day and night for eight weeks and then climb into the ring to fight in front of a 700-strong crowd. That’s the path in front of you if you sign up for white collar boxing at KO Gym. The open day allows you to talk to trainers and have a training session. If you like what you see, sign up and then get into serious shape for fight night.

KO Gym, behind Al Maya supermarket, Dubai Marina, Dubai, 2pm to 3.30pm. Tel: (050) 2861673. Metro: Jumeirah Lakes Towers. whitecollarfightnight.com


Street Nights
You’ll find around 100 graffiti and street artists (local and international) over two nights (Friday and Saturday), two main music stages, b-boy battles, a night bazaar with independent traders selling their wares, 20 food vendors, a pop-up creative studio in association with Jam Jar gallery, and a virtual graff wall inside a shipping container where would-be artists can try their hand with a virtual spraycan.

Street Nights,  4B Street (behind Spinney’s warehouse), Al Quoz, Dubai, 5pm to midnight. Taxi: Al Quoz, Alserkal Avenue. facebook.com/streetnightsDXB

Street Nights in Al Quoz will feature Melancholy

Award-winning magic man
Finnish magician Martti Vannas, who is represented by Transformers, will perform at the The Courtyard. His work is a rare combination of razor-sharp, observational humour, international wit and award-winning illusion.  With over 20 years experience and over 2200 shows under his belt, he certainly knows how to wow a crowd.

The Courtyard Playhouse, Al Quoz, Street 4b, Dubai. Tel: (055) 9673927. Taxi: Next to Lime Tree Café. courtyardplayhouse.com

Plucked from Hakkasan Mayfair in London, executive chef Jeff Tan has crafted Cantonese and Szechuan dishes for a special menu for dinner and Friday Yum Cha throughout the ten-day festivities. Look out for the Atlantis fireworks display on the first night of the Spring Festival and the traditional
lion dance taking place every day in the resort.

February 18 to 28
Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, Sat to Wed 7pm to 11.30pm, Thur and Fri 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 4260000. Taxi: Atlantis The Palm. atlantisthepalm.com

Beach Canteen
A hit at last year’s festival, Beach Canteen is back for 2015, this time taking up residence at Jumeirah’s Kite Beach for the duration of the festival. Nine home-grown restaurant concepts will be setting up on the sand, and there’ll be local bands, DJs, children’s activities and sports to keep visitors entertained as they eat. Beach Canteen will also feature celebrity chef pop-ups, so if you’re lucky, you could find your seaside snack being cooked by a Michelin-starred genius.

Who will be there: Chez Sushi, ClawBBQ, Provedore, Spill The Bean, Moti Roti, JJ Chicken, Rice Creamery, Moylo’s, Pantry Cafe, Kris Kros, Shawerme.

February 6 to 28
Kite Beach, Jumeirah, Dubai

Beach Canteen, Dubai Food Festival

Ace Hood live
Having hosted a the filming of Tinie Tempah’s new hit music video before Christmas, White Dubai is now firmly at the forefront of the urban music scene in the UAE. This weekend they welcome America rapper Ace Hood to their rooftop venue. Fans can expect to hear hits like ‘Hustle Hard’, ‘Top of the World’ and the platinum-selling ‘Bugatti’.

Meydan Racecourse Grandstand Rooftop, Dubai. Tel: (050) 4430933. Taxi: Meydan Racecourse. Friday, 11pm to 3am, free guestlist. whitedubai.com