Parisian ballet, Disney mania, local photography, serious art discussions, fantastic films, experimental sound theatre and world dance – Dubai is a proper cultural hub over the next few days. 

Thursday January 7

1. See a fantastic film

There’s a new film series in town called Where We Dwell, presented by Alserkal Avenue and Cinema Akil – and this weekend’s film is the whimsical and wonderful Where The Wild Things Are by Spike Jonze. Future screenings include Pirates of Sale, Rags and Tatters, Man Push Cart, The Black Power Mixtape and The Secret of the Grain. 

A4 Space, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz.  7pm, January 7 and 8. Screenings are free and are on a first-come, first-seated basis. Find more info on Facebook.

2. Celebrate Russian Christmas


Christmas isn’t over yet! Today is Russian Christmas, and to celebrate Novikov Dubai (a Pan-Asian restaurant with a Russian following) is putting on a special spread from tonight until Thursday January 14. It’s pricey at Dhs885 a head, but it includes Caviar blinis, fancy sashimi, quail egg and truffle, wagyu beef, lobster and Peking duck with foie gras. So basically everything fancy under the sun. 

Only thing is, you have to preorder when you book, so don’t forget to do that.

Sheraton Grand Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily 6pm to 11.30pm until Thursday January 14. Tel: (04) 38888744. Metro: World Trade Centre.

3. Bring out your inner Disney geek


Just try and listen to Be Our Guest without singing along. See? Impossible. Little wonder then that the 1991 Disney classic Beauty And The Beast was turned into a stage musical that became a smash Broadway hit. More than 35 million people around the world have watched the musical over the past decade, and now it’s Dubai’s turn to see it live. For those unfamiliar with the story, (and there can’t be too many of you), it’s all about a young woman taken captive by a cursed prince – and his all-singing-and-dancing furniture. Some of the songs come from the same people who brought us the catchy tunes from The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, so you know they’re good.

January 6 to 9. Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, Wed to Fri 4pm and 9pm, Sat 11am, 4pm and 9pm, Dhs250. Tel: (056) 6756835. Metro: World Trade Centre.

4. Admire local photography


Starting today, Reem Falkanaz’s exhibition The Place of Perpetual Undulation explores the smaller Emirati villages, focusing in on Ras Al Khaimah. The work looks at the life of the local people, and how the surrounding mountains are etched into their every moment. Reem will give a talk at Gulf Photo Plus tonight at 7.30pm, bringing insights on her long-term project dedicated to RAK.

Gulf Photo Plus, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz. Exhibition runs from tonight until January 31. 10am to 7pm Sunday to Wednesday, 10am to 6pm Thursdays & Saturdays (closed Friday). More info on website. Tel: +971 4 380 8545

5. Receive an Urban Education

R&B, Hip Hop, Motown, Afrobeat and Dancehall night Urban Education went off in Abu Dhabi in 2015, and now it has a new residency in Dubai at Story Rooftop Lounge. Hosted by Rone Jaxx and DJ 3GK, this night will run the gamut of urban music. There will also be free pink drink for ladies from 11am to 1am.

Story Rooftop Lounge, behind Zayed University, Dubai Media City. 9pm to 3am, free entry for ladies, couples and guest list, Dhs100 for men with one beverage. More info on Facebook

Friday January 8

6. Go to the ballet

The Paris Opera National Ballet are in town to perform a selection of both classical and contemporary moves. A highlight for fans of fancy footwork will be seeing Dorothee Gilbert up on stage, who holds the honour of the Etoile title (which is a big deal in the ballet world).

Répétition en scène avant la première de la Bayadère le 17 novembre à l’Opéra Bastille.

A photo posted by Dorothée Gilbert (@dorotheegilbert) on

Madinat Theatre, Madinat Jumeirah, Al Sufouh Road. 8pm Thursday 7 and Friday 8 (with a performance at 2pm on Friday too). Dhs250 to Dhs495. More info on website. 

7. See and listen to sound art


Step out of your comfort zone at Tse Tse Fly, the region’s sound art club night, which kicks off with an hour of sound art with accompanying video curated by Karim Sultan, followed by sound art performances from Ghada Ra, Ra Nath and Nour Sokhn (pictured).

Casa Latina, Ibis Al Barsha. Free entre. 6pm to late. More info on Facebook page. 

8. Be blissful with Somalie


At Bliss Lounge tonight you’ll find Hype contributor Somalie on the decks from 8pm to late, with saxophinist Adam Long also bringing the sun down from 4pm to 8pm. The music will be sunny during the day, and will get a bit deeper at night. Park up in a cabana and enjoy 30 per cent off bottles from 7pm to 10pm.

Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort, Al Sufouh, Dubai, 4pm to late, free entry. Tel: +971 4 399 5533. Taxi: Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort.

Saturday January 9

9. Teach your baby to sign

Have a baby? Well the Little Signers Club’s Baby Signing Basics course is six weeks long, and it starts today. The workshops will guide you through the building blocks of speech and teach you how your baby is already trying to communicate with you. It’ll teach you to chat with your little one before they get vocal. The recommended age range is five to 18 months. Just bring a blanket to sit on at the park, and your child of course.

Al Barsha Pond Park, Dubai. 9am to 9.45am. Dhs425 per family for the six weeks (held every Saturday). Buy tickets here. More info on Facebook

10. Shop over coffee

Urban Bistro in Dubai Media City is hosting a designers pop up market today where you’ll find local wares and food being spruiked on the cafe’s terrace. Stalls include Shantanna Art, MK Creations, Radha’s Closet, Desert Doily, Vice Jewellery and Sam Saunders.

Urban Bistro, CNN Building, Dubai Media City. 11am to 5pm, Saturday, free entry. More info on Facebook

11. Take the family to Yalumba

Yalumba barbecue

Known for its early-noughties-peak party brunches, Yalumba is now offering an excellent deal for families on Saturdays. The family brunch includes a kids’ buffet, candy floss, popcorn, family movies and, of course, a grown up buffet, and comes in at Dhs159 an adult with soft drinks (of Dhs249 with house drinks). Also, each parent can bring a kid below 12 who can dine for free. So if you’re a family of four with two kids, this could end up being a good day out for around Dhs300.

Le Méridien Dubai, Garhoud, Dubai, 12.30pm to 3pm, Dhs159 to Dhs249. Tel: +971 4 702 2328. Taxi: Le Méridien, Airport.

12. Talk art

The tenth edition of the Global Art Forum is beginning at Dubai Design District tonight (it then picks up in London on January 14). The evening of conversation will be co-chaired by Amal Khalaf, Uzma Z Rizvi and Shumon Basar. You’ll hear the thoughts of UAE commentator Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Sharjah Art Foundation President Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, Saeed Al Gergawi, Ibrahim Hamza Al Qasimi and Sarah Amiri of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre. The theme is ‘The Future Was’, and the discussions will explores the ways in which artists, writers, technologists, historians, musicians and thinkers have imagined, and are shaping, the future.

Hai D3, Dubai Design District, 6pm to 8pm, Saturday January 9. Free (register by emailing More info on Facebook

13. Sample the dance styles of the Caucasus

Tonight at Ductac you’ll find 10 to 15 dance ensembles from Russia, Lebanon, Turkey, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Armenia showing off the moves common in Caucasian Dance. Should be an interesting showcase for anyone interested in the art of movement.

Centrepoint Theatre, DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates. 7.30pm, Dhs150 to Dhs350. Buy tickets here. 

14. Get a free mani

The White Room

This month, book any treatment from the facial menu at The White Room and get a manicure thrown in at no extra charge. It’s also worth noting that The White Room is one of the cheapest blow dry services we’ve found in town. It will set you back Dhs65, regardless of hair length.

Marina Plaza, Dubai Marina Mall. Daily 10am to 10pm. Tel: +971 4 442 1110.

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