It’s safe to say that Dubai is the world’s cultural hotspot this weekend – there’s just so much on. From world class photography, to fine art and furniture design, it’s all here right now. There are also new pubs, new brunches, comedy gigs, festivals and more.

Here’s your weekend sorted…

Thursday 17

1. Fly a kite

Dubai International Kite Festival

If Dubai’s beach views weren’t picture perfect enough, the skyline at Kite Beach is set to be an explosion of colour as the second annual Dubai International Kite Festival takes off this weekend. This family event features a sports kite flying championship, performances from 83 kite experts and stunning displays, including some illuminated night kite flying. And, like all good family days out, there’ll be plenty for children including face painting and kite-making workshops, as well as food stands and live music.

Kite Beach, Jumeirah Road, Dubai, Thur 3pm to 9pm, Fri and Sat 10am to 9pm, free. Tel: (04) 2888131. Taxi: Kite Beach, behind Sunset Mall.

2. Check out Brunswick Sports Club


The lads behind Tom & Serg, Common Grounds and The Sum Of Us have just opened their first licensed venue – Brunswick Sports Club, a relaxed affair that’s all about burgers, hot dogs, brews and the like. Also, if you’re from the land Down Under, this is probably your new place to watch Aussie Rules as there’s a serious AFL vibe.

Brunswick Sports Club, Level 2, Sheraton Mall of the Emirates, Barsha. Open 12pm to 2am, daily. More info on Facebook. 

3. Go see an Irish funnyman


Happy St Patrick’s Day! Irish comedian Dara O’Briain is a thinking man’s comedian, and he told us his Dubai set is going to be “about the brain”. He extrapolates, “It’s also about giant tunnelling equipment. And lingerie. I think as long as a show features lingerie and large industrial tunnelling equipment, then I’m ticking all the boxes.”

Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, 7pm, Dhs300. Tel: (04) 3321000. Metro: World Trade Centre.

Friday 18

4. Go to a T20 match

T20 is as fast-paced as cricket gets, and Emirates Twenty20 is a sports day out that should be loads of fun – it’ll see international cricketers battling it out in single, 20 over innings. The stars on the cricket pitch will include Ian Bell and Alex Lees. There will also be loads of activities for kids, and brunch

The Sevens Stadium Al Ain Road, Dubai, 9am, tickets from Dhs35, premium brunch package Dhs395. Tel: (0845) 8358535.

5. See more than 800 photos under one roof


Dubai Photo Exhibition means 868 photographs from the 20th and 21st century by 129 photographers from 23 countries, all under one roof. One photo to definitely look out for is Self Portrait As A Drowned Man, taken by Hippolyte Bayard in 1840 it’s considered one of the world’s oldest selfies (pictured).

The Venue, Dubai Design District, d3 Dubai. Until March 19. Thursday and Friday 10am to 10pm (last registration 9pm), Saturday 10am to 8pm (last registration 7pm). Ladies’ only, Thursday 2pm to 5pm. Admission free, but by registration only.

6. Try a new brunch


There’s a new hotel in Business Bay, called Steigenberger, and they host a weekly Colour Brunch on Fridays. There’s a live jazz band, live cooking stations and a bit of a competition – turn up in a colour theme, and write what you think the colour of the week is as you enter and if you’re right, you win a free brunch.

Steigenberger Hotel, Business Bay, Dubai, Al Abraj St, Business Bay. Tel: (04) 369 0000. Dhs165 with soft drinks, Dhs215 with house beverages, Dhs375 with bubbly. More info on website.

7. Visit Art Dubai


With the works of 500 artists representing 70 nationalities on show, there’s SO much to see at annual art fair Art Dubai. If you have any interest at all in fine arts, get down there, as it’s basically the best chance to see the world’s best art in one go in Dubai. Here’s our full guide to the event that will help you sort out what you want to see.

Madinat Jumeirah, Al Sufouh Road, Umm Suqeim, Dubai, Thur 4pm to 9.30pm, Fri 2pm to 9.30pm, Sat noon until 6.30pm, from Dhs50. Tel: (04) 5631400. Taxi: Souk Madinat.

8. Go for a night swim


Le Meridien Mina Seyahi has a new deal, which means that from 6pm onwards you pay Dhs150 for a swim in the infinity pool at Horizon Poll Lounge, and you then get a Dhs100 voucher to go toward food and beverage. A refreshing dip of an evening is a particularly good option now that the nights are about to get warmer.

Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, Al Sufouh Road. From 6pm, daily. Dhs150. More info on website

9. Visit Design Days

Dubai Design Days 2016

Design Days Dubai sees the work from 250 designers of furniture, installations and more all together under one roof in Downtown Dubai. Make sure to look out for the limited edition pieces by famous Dutch designer Marcel Wanders. For more on what to see there, head here. There are also workshops, talks, screenings and performances – see a full list of those here.

Find Design Days at The Venue, Emaar Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, last day today, 1pm to 7pm, a day pass is Dhs50. Tel: (04) 5631408. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall.

10. Dance to warm techno with the soul of Detroit

Deetron, who’s one of the most famous clubland exports from Switzerland, is in town tonight. As our sister mag Hype says “his music is as crisp as Alpine air and as smooth as high-quality chocolate”. He’s been at it since 1998, and tonight’s gig will be one of the more cultured and classy DJ sets Dubai’s seen in a while. A top nightlife pick, for sure.

Here’s a bit of what the man’s about:

Level 41, Media One HOtel, Dubai Media City, 9pm to 3am, Dhs80 to Dhs100, or Dhs100 to Dhs150 on the door. Tel: (050) 3599798. More info on Facebook.

Saturday 19

11. Spend the day at the beach with the fam’

Jumeirah Beach Hotel is hosting a Beachside Family Fun Day today, with activities including a bouncy castle, Sinbad Kids’ Club characters, dance classes and yoga. The food is included in the ticket price, and the vibe will be very relaxed, with a barbecue on a lovely grassy area of the hotel. (Oh, and it’ll be great for photos too due to the fact you can see the Burj Al Arab beautifully from the hotel).

Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim, 12pm to 5pm, Dhs150 per child aged 7 to 12, Dhs295 per adult included (kids under seven free). More info on website.

12. Live music, heritage and an art fair

Sikka Art Fair

SIKKA Art Fair is an annual showcase of UAE-based artists in the gorgeous Al Fahidi neighbourhood (aka, Bastakiya). So if you fancy wandering around the historical district while checking out site-specific work – everything from audio and video installations, to musical performances and visual arts, this is a good option for you. We recommend heading down on Saturday afternoon, because from 4.15pm to 6.30pm local music collective Freshly Ground Sounds will be on the main stage showcasing some of the best regional musical talent. The artists on stage on Saturday will be Jaye & Foe, Physical Graffiti and Zeroth Street Orchestra. Find full programmes for the fair here (at the bottom of the page).

Al Fahidi Historical District, Bur Dubai. Various times until March 24 (check here for each day’s timings), this Thursday to Saturday the fair runs from 4pm to 11pm. More info on website.

13. Check out a new lingerie store

rigby and peller

Dubai Festival Square’s expansion is beginning (we can’t wait for all the food options to open!) and this week a very famous lingerie brand has opened its first store in the Middle East in the mall. Rigby & Peller dates back to 1939, and the lady behind the brand is June Kenton, the official Royal Corsetiere to Queen Elizabeth II. Swanky.

Dubai Festival Centre, Festival City. 10am to midnight on weekendds. Tel: (04) 228 7824. More info on website. 


14. Go to ‘Artgentina’


Sure, it’s a bad pun, but ‘Artgentina’ sounds cool. This night out at Argentinian restaurant Gaucho will involve tango, steak and art. Dubai-based artist Noush Like Sploosh (work pictured) will be combining simple salt with tango beats for an immersive art performance, while Tarlisla Chubert will be adorning a wall with the spirit of Argentina (by painting it). While all this happens, there’s a dining deal that means two courses for Dhs120 and three courses for Dhs150.

Gaucho Dubai, DIFC. From 7pm, Saturday March 19. Tel: (04) 422 7898. More info on website.

15. Get involved in Earth Hour 2016

This one’s simple, switch off your lights to help conserve energy and stand together in the fight against climate change from 8.30pm to 9.30pm. Done. Or, if you want to celebrate with like minded folk, there’s going to be a candlelit dinner at gorgeous spot The Farm in Al Barari from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. 

Across Dubai, 8.30pm to 9.30pm. Dinner at The Farm, Al Barari. For reservations call (04) 392 5660. More info on website

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Photos: Supplied/Getty.