From Khaleeji music legends to world-class ballet, crazy car stunts and sneakerhead conventions, Dubai’s serving up something for everyone over the next few days. 

Thursday 19

1. Watch The Moscow City Ballet


Russia’s most popular touring dance company is coming to the region this weekend with its productions of two cherished classics Sleeping Beauty and Giselle. While most of you should know the story of Sleeping Beauty, for those less clued up on the latter fairy tale, Giselle follows the story of woman dying of a broken heart after discovering her love is already engaged. Bring the tissues.

DUCTAC, Mall Of The Emirates, Sleeping Beauty on November 19 and 20, 3.30pm and 7.30pm, Giselle November 21, Dhs200.

2. See highbrow theatre at The Courtyard Playhouse


Serious thespians (or fans of serious thespians) should check out the screening of Man and Superman starring Ralph Fiennes in the National Theatre’s very Nietzsche-inspired production. Be prepared as it’s three hours long.

The Courtyard Playhouse, Al Quoz 1, Dubai, Dhs100. Taxi: Next to Lime Tree Cafe. More info on website. 

3. Bounce to win


Trampoline spot Bounce are hosting a Willy Wonka-style golden ticket competition at the moment, which means as you check in at reception you could be in to win prizes, including golden #XLine tickets, Freedom Pizza vouchers, Skull Candy earphones and more. Word is the prizes have been stashed away in the sock supply.

Bounce, 4b Street, Al Quoz, open daily, Thursday opening hours from 10am to midnight, prices vary. See Willy Wonka part of website for more info.  

Friday 20

4. Take the kids to La Serre

La Serre Boulangerie (home to some of the best bread in the city) is celebrating November 20 being National Children’s Day with a special kids menu: there will also be activities on the terrace including story-telling, games and colouring in.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, 3pm to 6pm, Friday, a la carte pricing. More info on website

5. Catch some drift

red bull drift

Watch some insane gear shifting, high speed, steering and power sliding at the Red Bull Car Park Drift championships, where 16 competitors from across the world will compete for the title of ‘King of Drift’. There have been nine qualifiers already, so tonight you’ll only see the best of the best.

The Meydan Hotel, Nad Al Sheba, doors open 6pm, Dhs245 for grandstand seating (free for general area). More info on Facebook.

6. Party with Ja Rule


Rapper Ja Rule is set to storm the stage at Movida tonight. Busting out classics like Livin’ It Up and Always On Time, Movida’s Hip Hop by Nature takes us back in time for a little 2000s nostalgia. J-Lo’s velour tracksuit from I’m Real is certainly taking us back to the days of the early millenn’ too.

Nassima Royal Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 11pm to 3am, Tel: (055) 174 4449. More info on Facebook

7. Earn some street cred

Sole DXB returns to Dubai at new venue D3 this weekend. Described as a street culture sneaker expo, if you’re into your trainers, you’ll dig this.

Expect a mixture of fashion, music, sport, and design, with live music from some of the biggest hip hop acts such as Mobb Deep, who performing live on Saturday 21 November at the Sole DXB & ALIFE Sessions. There will also be talks from people in the know, as well as DJ sets from the likes of Alo Wala, Iamnobodi, The Recipe, Tom Crane, Dave Lubin, Mega Don, Shadi Megallaa and JC Pinto. Check the website for full details.

Keep an eye out for the ‘Swap and Sale’, where collectors will be selling limited edition footwear from their private stashes.

Dubai Design District (d3), Dubai. 12pm to 10pm, Friday and Saturday. Free entry before 3pm if pre-registered on the website, or Dhs100 on the door. Taxi: Dubai Design District.

8. Go on a road trip to see a local music legend

At 8pm tonight in Fujairah City Centre, local music sensation Balqees (who is half Yemeni, half Emirati) will be giving a free hour-long concert. Her music has swept across the Middle East thanks to her ability to sing in various Arabic dialects, meaning her music resonates with the diversity of fans throughout the region.

Her music video for Majnoun has been viewed an impressive 21 million times on YouTube:

City Centre Fujairah, near the food court, 8pm, free.

9. Get baking


If you’re a fan of the hit TV series The Great British Bake Off, a new Dubai festival celebrating all things flour power might be right up your street. The Dubai Bake Festival, taking place this weekend at Dubai Investment Park, is the first event of its kind ever to launch in the region. It’s dedicated to the pursuit of pastries, breads, cakes and cookies (they had us at pastry).

Green Park, Dubai Investment Park, Dubai, 9am to 10pm, Friday and Saturday, free. Tel: (04) 4278687.

10. See the many faces of Egypt


French photographer Denis Dailleux has been living in Cairo for nearly a decade, and his work is inspired by the generosity of Egyptian people. His just-opened exhibition at Gulf Photo Plus captures many different moments and people from across the fascinating country, and it includes his series titled Mother & Son, which shows Egyptian women with their sons and gained global recognition at last year’s World Press Photo Awards.

Gulf Photo Plus, Unit 36, Al Serkal Avenue, off of 8th Street, Al Quoz. 10am to 7pm, Sunday to Wednesday & 10am to 6pm, Thursday to Saturday, until December 31. Taxi: Near Munich Motor Works.

11. Catch a movie, for free

The JLT outdoor cinema is back, head down to watch a movie and find food stalls, drinks, games, blankets to snuggle up in and more.

Tonight’s movie is the beautiful, poetic Japanese cartoon Castle In The Sky: 

Jumeirah Lake Towers Central Park, entertainment starts at 5pm, movie starts at 7.30pm. Metro: Damac. More info on Facebook. 

Saturday 21

12. Sign up for The Color Run


The happiest 5k on the planet returns to Dubai this Sat. Run, walk or skip along the course and get covered in a mountain of multi-coloured powder paint. It all culminates in one big dance party. This is about as joyful as cardio will ever get.

Dubai Autodrome, Motor City, Dubai, event opens at 7.15am, start line closes at 9.15am. Dhs165.

13. Just keep swimming…

If you weren’t quite ready for the Dubai Tri last weekend why not have a go at the less labour-intensive swimming competition taking place at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi this weekend? Registration is still open for the Coega Mina Mile where swimmers can choose from a 200m, 800m or 1.6k swim.

Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, Dhs100, registration at 7am,

14. Check out some hot wheels

The weekend rounds off when the world’s finest vehicles gather for the Grand Parade. Be blown away by some the coolest motors: from cars and bikes, to trucks and SUVs, a bevvy of beautiful motors will pass through Dubai’s streets. 

Here’s a route map: 


Various locations throughout Dubai, starts from Meydan at 12.30pm, free to watch. More info on website.

15. Celebrate all things French


Pop down to the Westin Mina Seyahi today and you’ll find Apéritif à la Française, a festival that celebrates the best in French food, culture, beverages, music and more. There will be kids’ activities, cooking demonstrations and the chance to play the glorious game that is pétanque.

Westin Mina Seyahi, Al Sufouh Road, 12pm to 10pm, Saturday only, free entry. More info on Facebook.  

16. See world-class golf for free

Early lovely morning and the @dpwtc #RolexProAm is under way!

A photo posted by DP World Tour Championship (@dpwtc) on

Now in its seventh year, the European Tour’s Race to Dubai sees the world’s top 60 golfers (including Rory McIlroy and defending DP World Tour Championship champion Henrik Stenson) go head to head on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Entrance to the event is free – register to attend here and read all about the seven spectator spots from which to watch the action here. In The Village there will be giant TV screens, as well as bouncy castles and slides in the kids’ zone. There will also be a putting challenge, practice nets and plenty of food stands.

Jumeirah Golf Estates, entrance is free (although you can buy hospitality passes here). From Thursday until Sunday, various times. More info on website.

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