Food festivals, gladiator fights, trampoline parties, 80s-tastic music, new restaurants and more. There’s a lot going on in Dubai this weekend. 


1. Check out a new restaurant

fume downtown dubai

Fümé’s smoked mackerel pate made it into our best-things-we-ate-in-2014 list, and so we’re stoked that it’s now open in Downtown Dubai too (the first Fümé is in Dubai Marina).

The brand-new Downtown Fümé (it opened on Monday this week) is spread over two floors, seats 200 diners and has a Burj View terrace (this could just be our perfect new ‘take visitors’ place).

Manzil Downtown Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd.  Daily, 8am to midnight.

2. See a bunch of people who don’t just think they can dance, but actually can

The Dubai International Dance Festival is back, and running over the whole weekend. With performances, workshops, dance parties, dance competitions and more, the multi-venue event will cover salsa, kizomba, hip hop, belly dancing, African dancing, tango and more. Events are held from Dubai Marine Beach Resort, to Atlantis, The Palm, Ibis Hotel DWTC and Jebel Ali Beach Hotel, so check out the website for a guide to everything happening.

Multiple venues. Running throughout the weekend until Saturday.

3. Bounce to Khaleeji tunes

Giant trampoline park Bounce is hosting a bit of a shindig tonight with Khaleeji tunes from DJ Brooklyn playing – dancing the night away on a tramp, different but delightful.

Bounce, Al Quoz. 8pm-midnight, Dhs80. Tel: +971 4 321 1400

4. Get your geek chic on

david brent

Tonight DJ Tim Cheddar is bringing the hits of the 70s, 80s, 90 and noughties to Level 41 at Media One Hotel – so expect an inter-generational dancefloor.

The night is called a ‘Geek Chic’ Office Party, so get your thick-rimmed glasses out and pull your trousers up high. They’re also encouraging ‘David-Brent-Dance-Moves’ on the night – of which we’ve got plenty.

Level 41, Media One Hotel. Thursday 9pm to 3am, free entry before midnight.

5. See Spandau Ballet live

Fancy crooning along to this classic tonight?

Well you’re in luck, as one of Britain’s 80s super groups Spandau Ballet have got over their differences (they split, badly, a few decades ago only to get back together in 2009) and are in town.

They’re playing Dubai Seven’s Stadium tonight, and while VIP tickets are all sold out (sorry, super fans), general admission is still up for grabs. 

Dubai Seven’s Stadium, Thurs 7pm, regular tickets Dhs300. Buy tickets here.  


6. Take to the skies (sort of) for brunch


If you have visitors that like their furniture opulent and their views spectacular, then Neos is a great brunch to take them too.

Sipping interesting mixtures and chucking back oysters from the 63rd floor of The Address Downtown Dubai is definitely a very Instagram-able and Face-brag experience that those from overseas will love.

Starting, and going till later, this is a bit more of a mini dresses and heels party brunch (the DJ pumps out classic pop tunes) than it is a foodies one.

But on the food front, you start out with dumplings, seafood, sushi and salads in buffet form, and then they bring a tapas-style selection of mains and desserts to the table (we asked for seconds of the Sweet and sour prawn).  

Neos, The Address Downtown Dubai. 1pm to 5pm, every Friday, Dhs375. Tel: +971 4 888 3444

7. Celebrate the start of the season again at Blue Marlin

Beach club Blue Marlin is back, so get your togs on, pour on the SPF and get down there. Rising house star from the UK Russ Yallopp will be providing tunes, as will vocal-electronic duo Digitaria.

Here’s a bit of what you can expect from Russ: 

Blue Marlin, off Sheikh Zayed Road (Ghantoot exit). 1pm to 11pm, Friday, free entry. For reservations 056 113 3400

8. Catch a fight

The Global Fighting Championship returns to Dubai tonight – Murat Aygun (Turkey) will take on James Mcsweeney (UK) and Denis Hancharonak (Belarus) will go up against Andre Meunier (Australia).

Here are some of the lads (who all look appropriately tough and scary):gfc dubai

JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road. From 9.30pm, Friday, Dhs1,250 (inclusive of a three-course meal). Tel: +971 4 395 7002 

9. Catch some of India’s best stand-up comedy

Comedy night Desi Laughs will feature Kannan Kill and Biswa – who are famous for their Pretentious Movie Reviews, as well as Son of Abish’s Abish Matthew and many more.

Ductac, Mall of the Emirates, Barsha, Friday 8pm, tickets from Dhs150-Dhs300. Tel: +971 4 341 4777Buy tickets here. 

10. Hang out with a rugby legend

Australian rugby legend Matt Burke (who secured the Wallabies’ world cup victory against France in 1999) will be at Nezesaussi Grill on Friday night to meet punters and talk rucks and mauls.

Nezesaussi Grill, Manzil Downtown DubaiFri 6pm to 8pm, minimum spend of Dhs150 for the event. Tel: +971 4 332 9260. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall.

11. Listen to some proper funk

Like this tune? We do too. Dam Funk is helping to reinvigorate funk in the US right now, and he’s in Dubai right now to play a gig at The Music Room.

Expect a properly lit up dance floor (see you front and centre).

The Music Room, The Majestic Hotel, Bur Dubai. From 8pm, Friday. Dhs100 early bird, or Dhs130 at the door. +971 4 359 8888


12. See a battle of brawn

dubai gladiator challenge

This weekend is the Dubai Gladiators Challenge, which means big blokes (and ladies?) dueling it out in competitions like jousting, rope pull, aim and shoot and more. Individuals can enter for Dhs250, but spectators can come along and see the competition for free.

The Dome, Dubai Sports City. Thursday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm, free for spectators. Tel: +971 4 447 2271

13. Find out about raw food at a gourmand festival

High-end French department store Galeries Lafayette is throwing its gourmet food festival this weekend. There are workshops and food demonstrations between around 1pm-8pm each day (here’s the schedule). We’ll be making sure to head down between 2.30pm-3.30pm on Saturday to hear all about raw food from healthy-eating guru Hayley Mac from Be Super Natural Kitchen. She’s super charismatic and quite hilarious, so we’re thinking her demos will be a good laugh.

be super naturalThe raw vegan pizza breads at Be Super Natural. 

Galeries Lafayette, second floor, Thur 1pm to 8pm, Fri and Sat midday to 6pm, free. Tel: +971 4 339 9933. Metro: Dubai Mall. 

14. Head to a photography exhibit

matilde gattoni gulf photo plus

French photographer Matilde Gattoni has encountered thousands of women from all around the world, from travellers in Dubai to war refugees in Kenya, and her photos capture a strength, dignity and beauty in all of her subjects. Her exhibition, titled Her is on at Gulf Photo Plus until October 31.

Head down to Gulf Photo Plus in Alserkal Ave now to see her work – prints are available to buy from Dhs1,450.

Gulf Photo Plus, Alserkal Ave, Al Quoz. Sun to Wed 10am to 7pm, Thu to Sat 10am to 6pm, free admission. Tel: +971 4 380 8545.

15. See a political play


Performed in Hindi and Punjabi (not in English at all), this one-night-only rendition of the play Jis Lahore NahiDakhya tells the story of a woman in Lahore who loses her family and son in 1947 due to the partition and ensuing riots. It’s a story of people rising above hatred.

Ductac, Mall of the Emirates. Saturday, 8pm, Dhs250 to Dhs350. Tickets can be bought at Ductac’s website.