New food, world class sport, of-the-minute music, half-price massages and more: 2016’s only just started and Dubai is already turning it on.

Here are your next three days in the city sorted…

*MORE: The movies out this week*

Thursday 14

1. Sample Mexican street food

la tablita

Just opened in the Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights Hotel, La Tablita serves up Mexican street food (and has great, informed service). You’ll find a special taco menu here (they’re Dhs15 a pop – we recommend the crunchy shrimp taco), as well as excellent guac’ and lots of drinks options (including salty-sweet tamarind water). Oh, and the Tres Leches dessert (pictured) is one of the greatest sweets we’ve eaten in months: it’s topped with jalapeño ice cream. Don’t let that scare you off.

Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights Hotel, Healthcare City, Dubai, daily 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to midnight. Metro: Dubai Healthcare City. Tel: 04 553 1234.

2. Book a half price massage


Could there be a more Zen way to wind up a working week than with a massage? Especially one during which you can lie on the table safe in the knowledge you’re getting a good deal.

The Nail Spa is offering 50 per cent off your first massage in January. You then get 30 per cent off if you book a second within the month, and 15 per cent off a third. You can opt for the hour-long Relaxing ‘Classic Massage’ – a fall-asleep, bliss-out option – definitely try the chocolate candle oil (normally Dhs285, now Dhs142.50). Or, if feeling brave, go for the Workout ‘Slenderiser’ Massage (70 minutes and normally Dhs310 – so now Dhs155). This gives your muscles some good-for-you punishment, it inolves plenty of elbow work  and a lot of time is spent on the belly and the legs.  

Deal available throughout January at all The Nail Spa locations excluding The Aviation Club and Meadows Town Centre. Tel: 600 544 001.

Friday 15

3. Wake up to Good Vibes


Get your weekend zen on at Alserkal’s Friday morning Good Vibes market. Take part in a yoga session run by lululemon athletica, or try your hand at capoeira or parkour. There’s also a range of outdoor games, retail stalls, music, talks and uplifting workshops throughout the day. And, if you’re feeling hungry, the Good Vibes Market team is also putting on a special breakfast market.

Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz, 8am to 3pm, free to attend. More info on Facebook.

4. Watch motorsport


This weekend at Dubai Autodrome you’ll find an endurance motorsport race called 24H Dubai that sees drivers attempt to make it through the entire race. Now in its 11th edition, the race boasts a wide variety of touring cars, GTs and 24H-Specials. Liberal technical regulations keep costs down and mean a wider variety of drivers get to have a go. If you love racing, you’ll want to be a spectator at this.

Dubai Autodrome, Motor City. Race starts 2pm on Friday. More info on websiteSee the Dubai Autodrome website to download a free family pass that gets you entry to the grandstand and paddock. 

5. Sample Singaporean food

The Singapore Food Carnival will bring the best of the tiny nation’s diverse cuisine to Downtown – the event is being dubbed as ‘for Singaporeans, by Singaporeans’ (although all are welcome), so the flavours are sure to be authentic, la.

Burj Plaza, Downtown Dubai. 11am to 4.30pm. More info on Facebook.

6. Take a SUP tour


Hop on Aloha Arabia’s surf bus to Dibba, where water babies can take a SUP lesson before paddleboarding and snorkelling their way around Dibba Rock, a well-known diving spot. Lunch, snacks and transport to and from Dibba are provided.

Times Square Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 7am to 3pm, Dhs350. Tel: (056) 4716180. Taxi: Times Square.

7. Audition to be in the Sound of Music on stage


Is singing one of your Favourite Things? Are you still wondering just how to solve a problem like a Maria? Then the chance of a lifetime could be on the horizon. Anybody who wants to audition must register online, and it goes without saying that the process will require you to show off your singing, dancing and acting skills in front of a panel. The auditions are open to everybody, and the lucky few that get through will have the chance to polish their skills in weeks of training and rehearsals. Would-be stars should whack the soundtrack on now and warm up their vocal cords for auditions on January 15 (all ages) and 16 (over-14s). Lederhosen optional.

January 15
Diverse Studios, The Curve Building, Al Quoz 4, Dubai, Fri 9am under-13s, 2pm. Tel: (055) 5657677. Metro: Noor Bank.
January 16
Emirates Academy Of Hospitality Management, Umm Suqeim 3, Dubai, Sat 10am. Tel: (055) 5657677. Taxi: opposite the Burj Al Arab.

8. See the enigmatic Jamie Woon live


After his second long-awaited album was released in November to critical acclaim, singer-songwriter Jamie Woon is heading to Dubai. The Londoner will perform live at a special One Big Vibes party on January 15. Apart from lending his vocals to Disclosure’s track January, in 2013, and appearing at a select few festivals, Jamie seemed to all but disappear off the radar. Released on Disclosure’s PMR label, new album Making Time is a class example of modern neo soul, and sees Woon step into the territory occupied by Maxwell and Erykah Badu in the ’90s. Read more about Jamie here.

The One Big Vibes party will take place at Media City Amphitheatre and also sees New York DJs and producers Wolf + Lamb behind the decks.

Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai Media City, Dubai, 5pm to 1am, Dhs150 to Dhs250. Metro: Nakheel.

9. Watch a football match


Fancy watching a touch of football? Well tonight you can see German club Borussia Dortmund take on South Korean Jeonbuk Hyundai take each other on during a friendly match at the Al Wasl stadium.

Al Wasl Stadium, Dhs50 to 250. Doors open 2pm, match at 4.30pm. Buy tickets at Platinumlist

Saturday 16

10. Learn to dive at Atlantis

diving atlantis

Atlantis has launched new dive programmes that mean you can get PADI certified while exploring the hotel’s Ambassador Lagoon and meeting its 65,000 marine animals (warning though: learning to dive surrounded by countless fish, sting rays and sharks in a giant lagoon means you’ll be spoiled when diving out in Fujairah seeking out the odd fish). You can dip your toes in with the Atlantis Dive Discovery to just sample one dive (Dhs950), or get PADI certified over two days from Dhs1,550 a person (which includes two Ambassador Lagoon dives). They also have special courses and programmes for children.

Atlantis The Palm, Dubai. Various prices and timings. Find more info here.

11. Work on your wellness


The first Talise Wellness Morning of 2016 involves yoga on the Madinat’s private beach, a healthy beach breakfast and then a cervical health talk by DNA.

Talise Spa, Madinat Jumeirah. Dhs149, sign up by Thursday to reserve your spot. Tel: (04) 366 6818. More info on Facebook.

12. See a whole other side of the city

the terrace dubai creek harbour

Situated just around the corner from the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, the just-opened The Terrace at Dubai Creek Harbour is a little food truck-style café that’s all about the view (the food is usually put on by Vida Hotel). If you want to grab a coffee while gazing at the best view you’ll ever see of the Sheikh Zayed Road skyline, then go here. It’s really rather Zen.

Ras Al Khor Road (just past the petrol station and before the wildlife sanctuary if driving toward Business Bay). 10am to 10pm, Friday and Saturday. More info on Instagram.

13. Ogle amazing photography

do not reuse

Dubai is one of the most architecturally majestic cities in the world, and a new exhibition from two locally-based photographers celebrates that. Dubai From Dawn To Dusk features the photographic work of Beno Saradzic and Daniel Cheong (pictured), and will run from Saturday January 16 to Sunday February 28 at MONDA gallery in Sofitel The Palm. Both of the artists will be there on the opening day today from 11am to 9pm to meet visitors, share tips and take orders for signed limited-edition prints. See more of their work (and the stories behind it) here.

Sofitel The Palm, 11am to 9pm today. Exhibition runs until February 28. More info here.

14. Learn how to write the next great novel

A fiction workshop is being held at Dubai International Writers’ Centre this month for aspiring novelists. Held over two days, the course aims to boost attendees’ confidence as well as writing skills.

Dubai International Writers’ Centre, House 290, Al Shindagha Historical Neighbourhood, Dubai, 11am to 2pm, Dhs600. Tel: (04) 3559844. Metro: Al Ghubaiba. 

15. Go on a beach run that welcomes all abilities 

Best running tracks in Dubai - Jumeirah Corniche

If you’re over running on pavements, up your game by competing on sand at the first organised Beach Run DXB. Participants can choose between a 1.8K family run, a 3.6K fun run, or a more serious 7.2K race along Jumeirah beach. Away from the race, a festival village will keep spectators entertained with plenty of food, music and activities.

Umm Sequim Park, Jumeirah, Dubai, 7am, Dhs119. Tel: Taxi: Next to Jumeirah Beach Hotel. More info on Facebook.

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Photos: Supplied/What’s On.