Classic bands, free fitness, equestrian and cricket tournaments, festivals, theatre and international exhibitions – here’s how to spend your next three days in Dubai…

Thursday 28

1. Visit a chic new cafe

aubaine Aubaine is a super-chic French boulangerie in London, and it’s now got a very elegant Dubai Mall branch (which is right by the Grand Entrance, meaning you can check out the flash cars while you dine). Pop down tonight for some burrata for dinner, or swing by on Friday morning for some pastries (or even a stack of pancakes. Yum).

The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, 10am to midnight, daily. Visit website for more

2. See Simple Minds

Simple Minds are best known for their 1985 classic Don’t You Forget About Me (which fans of The Breakfast Club will know) and are made up of founding members Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill, and current band members Mel Gaynor, Andy Gillespie and Ged Grimes. Read our interview with Jim Kerr here.

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, next to the Irish Village, on Thursday, January 28 at 7pm, Dhs225. Check out for more information.

3. Go to a showjumping championship, for free

show-jumping The Emirates Equestrian Centre is hosting a three-day showjumping championships this weekend, which you can go along to for free. You will see Olympic medalists battle it out on horseback, and the World Cup qualifier will take place on Saturday afternoon at 3pm. There will be a range of food options, as well as heaps of activities on offer for kids, including pony rides (natch).

Emirates Equestrian Centre, Dubai-Al Ain Road. Free, from 11am on Thursday and Saturday, and from 1pm on Friday. More info on website

4. See cricket legends at work

virender This weekend, Dubai hosts the Masters League Champions, which sees retired cricketers on the field again in a series of Twenty20 matches. The Libra Legends will take on the Gemini Arabians on January 28, 29 and 30. There are loads of great players in the tournament, but those involved this weekend include Virender Sehwag, Kumar Sangakarra, Sourav Ganguly, Jacques Kallis and Graeme Swann. Next weekend there will be matches in Sharjah too.

Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai Sports City, 6pm on Thursday, 3pm on Friday and 3pm on Saturday, tickets from Dhs35 to Dhs833. Buy tickets here

Friday 29

5. Ladies, start your weekend with some yoga

This week has been Nike Women’s Week, and this morning at 9am they are holding a free NTC yoga session at Dubai Ladies Club. The trainer Angela will take you through a breath and bend session before a total body cooldown. It’s free, so long as you are a Nike+ member.

Dubai Ladies Club, Jumeirah, 9am, free when registered. More info on website.

6. Go to a brunch with pool access

versace-pool Palazzo Versace Dubai is launching its Giardino brunch this weekend, which includes access to the hotel’s gorgeous creek-view East Pool. You’ll be able to nosh on some international cuisine in a restaurant with decor inspired by J-Lo’s famous Versace dress. Then you can lounge around the pool. Food on offer includes oysters, sashimi, lobster, Chinese and Indian fare (all served on Versace chinaware, natch). Also, La Vita bar, right next door, will offer 50 per cent off on drinks to all brunch goers post-meal.

Versace Hotel, Al Jadaf (opposite Dubai Festival City), Dhs350 to Dhs650, 1pm to 4pm. More info on website.

7. Have a day out with the fam’

Jumeirah-Golf-Estates-launches-Family-Fun-Day-29-January Jumeirah Golf Estates is hosting a family fun day today that will be made up local boutique stalls, food trucks, Brazilian dancers, free adult yoga workshops (10.30am), a Teddy Bear show (12pm) and dance competition for kids. There will be lots of parking (that will be clearly signposted).

Jumeirah Golf Estates, 10am to 5pm, free entry. More information on FacebookFind a location map here.

8. See a house legend in action


When someone finally comes to pen the definitive history of house music there will be a chapter devoted to Dennis Ferrer. Since his earliest forays into dance music over 20 years ago, this New York DJ and producer has remained a soulful shining light. The house legend has been responsible for hits like Hey Hey and Sandcastles. You won’t want to miss him doing his thing. Head here to listen to Dennis Ferrer’s top five tracks

Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE, Golden Tulip Al Jazira Island Hotel, Ghantoot, Dubai, 1pm to 11pm, free guestlist entry. More info on Facebook

9. Dance to Germany’s finest

Anja Schneider is a broadcaster, producer, DJ and the founder of Mobilee Records – it’s safe to say that her contribution to techno has been immense. She’s in Dubai tonight to tear up the dancefloor – “I don’t play anything that wouldn’t personally make me dance,” she recently told our sister mag Hype. Expect a good day to night out (other German heavyweights Ralf Kollman and Ray Okpara will be on the decks too).

Eden Beach Club, Rixos The Palm, Palm Jumeirah. 10am to midnight, free entry. More info on Facebook.

10. Learn to Fly at Music Room (not quite)

While you won’t be able to see the Foo Fighters in Dubai this weekend, you will be able to see the Four Fighters, one of the world’s foremost Foo tribute bands. So if you want to mosh and sing along to This Is A Call, Something From Nothing or Learn To Fly tonight, head down to Bur Dubai.

The Music Room, Majestic Hotel, Bur Dubai. 9pm to 3am, Dhs100. More info on Facebook.

Saturday 30

11. Go through a very Parisian experience

wanderland Luxury fashion house Hermès has brought its internationally lauded digitally-savvy Wanderland exhibition to Dubai. It has already been showcased at the Saatchi Gallery, London and Port de Solferino, on the banks of the river Seine. The theme of the exhibit is flânerie, which is essentially it is the act of stylishly sauntering the city streets and taking in the details of everyday life, reveling in the unexpected.

The Dubai Fountain, Downtown Dubai, 12pm to midnight, free entry. More info here.

12. Chill at a market

Today is the last day of OTB, an outdoor market featuring boutique food and shopping at Burj Park (the Burj and fountain views from the market are epic). Go at 10am this morning for a yoga session, or at 7.30pm for a screening of the movie Iris. Or just go at any time for a coffee, a shop and a snack.

Burj Park, Downtown Dubai. 10am to 10pm, last day today. More info on website. 

13. Watch concise theatre

short sweet Short+Sweet is a festival of 10 minute plays that runs every week starting from this weekend with the ‘Top 40’ plays, and culminating with a gala finale in March. Over the six weeks of the festival, 250 Dubai actors, writers, directors and theatre companies will present 80 10 minute plays, so if you fancy sitting back and watching snippets of homegrown talent, this is the thing for you to do.

The Junction, Al Quoz, 7.30pm to 10pm, tonight and Friday night, Dhs100 (or Dhs500 for a full festival pass). More info here.

14. Get your om-bop on


Tonight on the Four Points by Sheraton rooftop helipad you’ll find Vinyasa and Vinyl, a vinyasa yoga session accompanied by a live DJ spinning deep and soul-shaking house. There will be a spot of meditation too, as well as vegetarian food and alcohol-free drinks afterwards too.

Level 43 Sky Lounge, Four Points by Sheraton, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. 5pm, free but limited spaces available (call Inspire Yoga to register at 04 321 9771). More info on Facebook.

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Photos: Getty, Supplied.