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.


Steve Aoki
DJ and Dim Mak Records boss, Steve Aoki, brings his party antics to Dubai. Those not familiar with the American’s big EDM sound may know him as that DJ whose stage-dive-gone-wrong went viral. Seeing him live – including his cake-throwing trick – is always memorable.

Eden Beach Club, Rixos The Palm, Dubai, 9pm, Dhs200, Dhs150 ladies. Tel: (055) 2771477. Taxi: Rixos The Palm. facebook.com/edendubai

Steve Aoki to perform at Eden

New bar
Wedged on the eighth floor of the Media One Hotel, the just-opened Garden On 8 is greener than your average bar. Bench seating and sofas made from recycled materials sit on astro turf, with garden walls enclosing you in a green oasis. It serves British favourite fish and chips, and filled jacket potatoes, with other healthy options like the salmon and quinoa salad. Keeping cool is no problem as large canopies deflect the sun.  If you like a splash then pack some swimmers and have a dip in the Dek On 8 pool, just a stone’s throw from the garden.

Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4271000. Metro: Nakheel Station. mediaonehotel.com

Garden On 8, Media One

Watch the Dubai Tour
Cyclists love pain. The inaugural 2014 Dubai Tour was a leg-burning 418km but, for this year’s race, they requested that the route increase in length. They also want a mountain stage. For the second Dubai Tour, 16 teams of eight riders will race around the emirates on a punishing 663km route that acts as a season opener for the sport of professional cycling.

For for details on the Tour’s route, check out our Dubai Tour guide.

Dubai Tour 2015

Alex Pascoe live
If a mash-up of bands testing the noise limiters isn’t quite your cup of tea, then swerve The Music Room on Friday and head along there on Thursday instead. You’ll find UK singer/songwriter Alex Pascoe, from the Midlands, playing what he describes as “acoustic music for the soul”, and sharing the stage with Norman Bataille. Carl & The Reda Mafia will be there too, treating you to a more gentle acoustic set.

The Music Room, Majestic Hotel, Al Mankhool Road, Bur Dubai, from 9pm, Dhs70 in advance, Dhs90 on the door. Taxi: Majestic Hotel. Tel: (04) 3598888. Facebook.com/MusicRoomDubai

The Music Room hosts Alex Pascoe

Omo carnival
A family day with races for kids, arts and crafts, plus advice on child health.

Zabeel Park, Dubai, 10am to 6pm, free. Taxi: Zabeel Park. facebook.com/OMOArabia 

Omo Carnival in Zabeel Park

Harry Potter book night
Hogwarts comes to Dubai at the new Dubai International Writers’ Centre, part of the Emirates Airline Festival Of Literature. Dress up, try a treasure hunt and take the Potter quiz.

Al Shindagha Historical Neighbourhood, Dubai Creek, 6.30pm, free. Tel: (04) 3559844. Metro: Al Ghubaiba. emirateslitfest.com/harrypotter  

Harry Potter book party


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’sPantry Cafe, Kris Kros, Shawerme.

February 6 to 28
Kite Beach, Jumeirah, Dubai

Beach Canteen, Dubai Food Festival

New rave on the beach
One of Dubai’s most popular beach clubs is fighting back against the numerous new venues offering shoreline shindigs. Having seen the likes of Eden Beach club open to enormous success in recent months, and with Cove and others hot on their heels, Nasimi Beach have announced a new series of special events known as Nasimi Sessions. It kicks off tonight with two of electronic music’s favourite duos, Sigma and Basement Jaxx.

Nasimi Beach, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai 7pm to 2am, Dhs180. Tel: (04) 4262626. Taxi: Nasimi Beach. atlantisthepalm.com

Nasimi Sessions launches at Atlantis The Palm, with Sigma

Jackmaster at Blue Marlin
In an era when many DJs depend on productions to get gigs, Jackmaster’s prowess as a selector is his only calling card – he relies on his technical skill and knack for playing the right records to move the floor (as anyone who caught Can U Dance, his festival-smashing tag-team with Oneman last summer, will testify). The affable Scotsman brings something special to the booth – and to Blue Marlin this weekend – and people are taking notice.

Jackmaster at Blue Marlin UAE; Where: Ghantoot Al Jazira Island Hotel, Dubai; 1pm to 11pm; Tel: (056) 1133400 Taxi: Ghantoot Al Jazira.

Jackmaster in Dubai at Blue Marlin

The Courtyard Playhouse screens Verdi’s Shakespearean drama recorded on stage at New York’s famous MET Opera house.

The Courtyard Playhouse, Al Quoz, 4b Street, Dubai, 7pm to 10.30pm, Dhs100 (adults), Dhs80 (student). Tel: (055) 9673927. Taxi: Next to Lime Tree Café. courtyardplayhouse.com 

Party with the stars
Café Scientifique Dubai is hosting a party with the biggest stars but it won’t be jam-packed with celebrities. Our astronomical friends at Dubai’s science club tell us Jupiter will be at opposition tonight. To the lay person, this means it will be really close and very bright. To mark the occasion, Café Scientifique Dubai is hosting a stargazing party outside and setting up powerful telescopes so that guests have the chance to get up close to the biggest planet in our solar system. You’ll also get to see the moon, Saturn and Mars. Meanwhile, the best scientific minds and astronomical experts in Dubai will also be conducting guided tours of the night sky where guests can learn about some of the constellations we can see from the UAE.

The Café Scientifique Dubai stargazing meeting is free. It will be held from 6.30pm to 9pm opposite the Jebel Ali Equestrian Club and racecourse. Register at cafescidubai.com

Cafe Scientifique Dubai hosts stargazing party 

Traditional German party
Big Helga’s German brunch has landed at the Crowne Plaza. The Bavarian bash on Friday evening offers unlimited food and drink and a gladiator ring, and fancy dress is encouraged. Entrance for men is Dhs300, and Dhs150 for women.

Crowne Plaza, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Fri 4pm to 8pm. Tel: (800) 276963. Metro: Emirates Towers. facebook.com/BigHelgasGermanFest

Big Helga's German Fest


Shakespeare, Indian style
What would happen if William Shakespeare made a Bollywood blockbuster? That’s the thinking behind a remarkable new play showing in Dubai Piya Behrupiya is a Hindi translation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, told with songs and comedy and performed by The Theatre Company from India.

Centrepoint Theatre, Ductac, Mall Of The Emirates, Dubai, Fri and Sat 7.30pm, Sat 2.30pm, Dhs150. Tel: (04) 3414777. Metro: Mall Of The Emirates. ductac.org

Shakespeare, Indian style at DUCTAC

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

New brekkie
The first thing to mention about Ultra Brasserie’s new Dubai Marina branch is that it serves crumpets. They come with honey, Greek yoghurt and berries, or you could just have them the old-fashioned way with lots of butter. Healthier options include spinach omelettes and a baked Portobello mushroom topped with poached eggs. Ultra is open from 7am if you need your Raw Coffee fix early. It also serves lunch and dinner, and they deliver.

Marina Plaza, Dubai Marina, daily 7am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 2775644. Metro: Dubai Marina. ultra.ae

Follow the Yellow Brick Road
Children aged eight to 14 can enrol in a theatre workshop themed on the hit musical Wicked. Kids will be taught drama and choreography by Nikki Davis-Jones (near left), a West End stalwart who has appeared in hits such as Blood Brothers, Fame, Mamma Mia! and Wicked.

James And Alex Dance Studios, Concord Tower, Dubai, 2pm to 4pm, Dhs150. Tel: (055) 1040538. Metro: Nakheel. jamesandalex.com

Follow The Yellow Brick Road