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.

EASTER SPECIAL: Brunches, lunches and Easter egg hunts


The Broadway musical arrives on stage. The Depression-era story charts the journey of orphanage-runaway Annie, an 11-year-old in New York, who overturns her fortunes with the help of local billionaire Oliver Warbucks. Under his wing, the star wracks up an impressive collection of new friends, including the President of the United States. Meet the stars of Annie here.

Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3666546. Taxi: Souk Madinat. madinattheatre.com

Annie The Musical at Madinat Theatre

The electronics bonanza returns. If you can handle the masses, there’ll be massive discounts to take advantage of.

Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai, 11am to 11pm, Dhs20. Tel: (04) 3086084. Metro: World Trade Centre. gitexshopperdubai.com

Meet D3
Dubai Design Ditrict holds a preview from April 2 to 4 of the studios and galleries that will inhabit this cool space. John Newman signs at the event tonight too.  Get a behind the scenes look at Dubai Design District.

Dubai Design  District, Thur 6pm to midnight, Fri and Sat 2pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 4333000. Dubaidesigndistrict.com

John Newman

7 Princesses by Steve McCurry
World renowned photographer Steve McCurry is most famous for his iconic image ‘Afghan girl’ which he took in a Pakistan refugee camp in 1984. This month he’s exhibiting his series of photos of UAE women in Dubai, entitled 7 Princesses.

The Empty Quarter, Gate Village, DIFC, Dubai, Sun to Thur, 10am to 7pm, free. Tel: (04) 3231210. Taxi: Gate Village, DIFC. theemptyquarter.com

Steve McCurry

Treasure Island
The latest National Theatre project to be screened in Dubai is an innovative adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic Treasure Island, which is currently playing to a packed house on London’s South Bank. Dramatist Bryony Lavery’s new adaptation of the book has reimagined this story, which is often pigeonholed as the stereotypical boys’ adventure. The lead character, Jim Hawkins, has been turned into a Jemima, played by the actress Patsy Ferran, who one UK theatre critic called “one of the best young actors I have seen in the past decade”. Lavery read Treasure Island as a ten-year-old and remembers “being frightened out of my skin by it”. The complicated set meant adapting the book wasn’t easy. “It was the writing version of doing back flips,” smiles Lavery. “I couldn’t count the number of rewrites. It’s the most I’ve written with the set in mind, but it was wonderful. I’m proud of the way we’ve adventurously told this story using every element of theatre: lights, set, actors, fun – and danger. ”

April 2 and 3
The Courtyard Playhouse, Al Quoz, Street 4b, Dubai, Thur 8pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 3pm. Dhs100. Tel: (055) 9673927. Taxi: Next to Lime Tree Café. courtyardplayhouse.com

Treasure Island

Beardyman live
Darren Foreman, better known as two-time UK Beatbox Champion Beardyman performs. Not only can he  make endless sounds with his mouth – and more than one sound at a time – but he’s a proficient singer, a multi-instrumentalist and a stand-up comedian. He ties his talents together with the custom-built Beardytron5000, an elaborate onstage setup that allows him to make complex music live, building songs from scratch and reacting to suggestions from the audience. Here’s Beardyman in action.

Zero Gravity, Skydive Dubai Drop Zone, Al Seyahi Street, Dubai, 6pm to 3am, free. Taxi: Skydive Dubai. 0-gravity.ae

Learn to skateboard

The Zoo Skatepark is hosting skateboarding lessons at the zoo skatepark from 1pm to 4pm. Learn from experienced instructors over a three-hour coaching session. Sessions cost Dhs150. zooskatepark.com

Zoo Skatepark


Jungle Fever BBQ Brunch
Pacha Ibiza Dubai launches its new Friday BBQ parties from today kicking off with Jungle Fever, covering the rooftop with leaves for tropical feel. Signature dishes include cured salmon with cucumber salad, lamb with yoghurt and coriander dressing and spiced olives.

Pacha Ibiza Dubai, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, Fri 1pm to 4pm, Dhs500. Tel: (04) 5670000. Taxi: Souk Madinat. pacha.ae

Pacha Ibiza Dubai roof-terrace

Fight club
See top fighters, including Emirati boxer Eisa Al Dah, in Glory 20, a kickboxing/boxing event.

Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 6pm, Dhs250. Tel: (04) 3662289. Metro: World Trade Centre. gloryworldseries.com

Nasimi sessions
First up at Nasimi Sessions this month is Marlon Roudette (April 3) – formerly of Mattafix – the singer-songwriter who’s released a couple of well-received albums alongside hit single, New Age.

Atlantis The Palm, The Palm, Dubai, 5pm to 3am, Dhs150. Tel: (04) 04262626. Taxi: The Palm. atlantisthepalm.com

Big Apple brunch
In a typically New York laid back style, Tribeca’s new Big Apple Brunch starts from 2pm each Friday, giving guests the chance to start their weekend in a relaxed fashion before joining the 4 hour organic brunch.

Ocean View Hotel, The Walk, JBR, Dubai, Thur 7pm, free. Tel: (050) 3456067. Metro: Dubai Marina. tribeca.ae

Tribeca Kitchen And Bar at JA Oceanview

Ninjutsu basics
Featuring a 15th level black belt instructor who is being flown over from Europe, participants will learn the basics of ancient Japanese martial arts systems.

April 3 and 4
KO Gym and UFS Gym, Dubai, Dhs600. Tel: (055) 5554361. bujinkan.ae

A new underground night held at The Basement in Boutique7 Hotel & Suites is set to be the newest location for underground music fans. DJ Danny Howells, an international underground DJ will be playing at the first event on April 3 promising great music and an unpretentious crowd.

Boutique 7 Hotel, Tecom, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100. facebook.com/deconstruct.music

Farmer’s market experience at Na3Na3
Calling all Farmer’s Market enthusiasts! Organic farmer suppliers are invited to setup a booth at Na3Na3 showcasing their fresh organic produce to the public. Visitors will be able to meet those that created the organic food as well as sample it for themselves! Na3Na3’s chefs will even cook it for you after you have chosen your favourite ingredients

The Address Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, Fri 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs380 (house drinks). Tel: (04) 8883444. theaddress.com


Picnic perfection
It may be spelt with a ‘k’ but the new ‘pik-nik’ at The Westin incolves a hamper of food, a blanket and a lawn so we’ll let the quirky spelling slide this time. Dhs390 gets you bread, cheese, chatcuterie, and salads for four people, or grab a burger and hot dog from the BBQ. Children can learn circus skills and a guitar duo add to the chilled atmosphere.

The Westin, Al Sufoud Road, Dubai, Sat 11.30am to 4pm, Dhs390. Tel: (04) 3994141. Taxi: The Westin. Westinminaseyahi.com

Baking battle
Enter Dubai’s version of The Great British Bake Off. Bakers of all ages can submit cakes by 1pm at Reform Social & Grill on April 4. It’s free to enter and prizes will be awarded by Reform’s head chef Ryan Waddell and Nicole Mrad of Cup ‘n’ Cakes.

The Lakes, Dubai, 1pm to 4pm. Tel: (04) 4542638. Taxi: Lakes Shopping Centre. reformsocialgrill.ae

1D live
If you weren’t aware that the world’s biggest boyband was coming to our shores this week, then you must live under a rock. Find out where the boys might hang out in Dubai.

The Sevens Stadium, Al Ain Road, Dubai, 8pm. Taxi: The Sevems Stadium


Fry up at Dhow & Anchor
A classic English breakfast with black pudding, baked beans, tomato, mushrooms, potatoes, eggs, Dingley Dell meats and all the HP sauce you can stomach is the signature dish at D7A, the gastropub with views of Burj Al Arab. Other options at their new weekend breakfast include eggy bread, bubble and squeak, plus Stottish porridge with brown sugar. Breakfast is served on Saturday mornings until 4pm making it a life-saver for late risers.

Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah, Dubai. Sat 10am to  4pm. Tel: (04) 3311111. Taxi: Jumeirah Beach Hotel. jumeirah.com

Maps till you drop
Street Art Gallery hosts special exhibition showcasing different illustrated maps of different destinations done by local, French, American, British talents including Kevin Marcell, Saif “Safe B” Chilmiran ,  OneMizer, Just One, Fabio Weik, Potiks, Dr.Revolt, Shuck2, Diaa Alam, Ram El Zaghawy, Astek TNB and ReyOne.

Villa 23, 10th B Street, Jumeirah 1, Dubai. Tel: (055) 8888247. streetartdubai.ae

Maps till you drop

Calligraphy in the city
Beginning this weekend, prolific calligrapher Wissam Shawkat is  creating a live Arabic calligraphy mural titled Calligraphy in the City at CityWalk using the poetic words of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as inspiration.