Picnics under the stars, yoga with celebrity instructors, free blow-drys, and brand-new brunches – it’s going to be a boomer of a weekend in the emirate.

Thursday 13

Watch world-class flamenco

It’s stompy, the dancers boast scrunched-up faces and the accompaniment is usually just a guitar and an undulating voice, yet flamenco is still very beautiful. Spaniard Sara Baras is one of the most famous flamenco dancers on the globe, and her show at Dubai Opera this weekend is Suite Flamenca, a tribute to her heroes, Carmen Amaya, Antonio Gades and Paco de Lucia. So basically a bit of a greatest hits (which is fine by us). Baras is 45 and began dancing flamenco at eight, so you’ll see a master of her craft if you go to this one.

Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai. 8pm, tonight and tomorrow. From Dhs250. Tel: (04) 440 8888. Metro: Burj Khalifa. More info and tickets on website.

Get a free blow-dry in the mall


To celebrate their first birthday, the team at mobile hairdressers Blowout&Go are holding an 11-day-pop-up near the Grand Atrium of Dubai Mall. This means free blow-drys and tutorials from beauty and hair experts. It will be running from 10am to 10pm daily (we might pop by on our way out tonight as our hair is currently a disaster).

Grand Atrium, The Dubai Mall, 10am to 10pm until October 22.Tel: (04) 431 1976. More info on website

Eat at a delicious pop up

Souk El Tayeb’s kitchen, aka Tawlet, are iconic in Lebanon, and they’re flying in this weekend to to serve their comforting food that represents the cuisines of Lebanon’s valleys and villages. There is a dinner tonight (seatings at 7.30pm and 9.30pm) for Dhs275 for adults and Dhs120 for children. The brunches are Dhs275 per person too, and run Friday and Saturday from 11am to 4pm. We’re anticipating that the food will be hearty, delicious and fresh. See you there.

Inked, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz, lunch and dinner until this Saturday. Dhs275 for adults. Advance booking required. Tel: (04) 344 1788. More info on Facebook.

See an alfresco film

Oceana Beach Club

What’s better than a post-work cinema trip to kick off the weekend? One where you’ve got Dubai’s skyline behind the screen, of course. The Oceana Beach Club are hosting outdoor screenings every Thursday night, so kick back on a bean bag, grab a hot dog, and enjoy the show. On offer tonight is Dumbo at 6.30pm, and James Bond in Skyfall at 8.30pm.

Oceana Beach Club, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, free entry. Click here for more info. 

Picnic under the stars


A barbecue on a five-star beach with five-star views? Sign us up. Billed as a romantic dinner for two, the Sofitel’s new once-a-week dining concept lets you self-grill some prime cuts of meat right on the sand. Dishes includes quinoa with prawn and avocado, flavourful octopus provençal, an assortment of mezzah, as well as the aforementioned meats. Everything’s served with a cute wee picnic basket and chased with dessert… we’re losing the belt in preparation.

Sofitel The Palm, East Crescent Road, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, Thursdays from 7pm to 11pm. Dhs480 for two people with soft drinks and Dhs590 for two including a bottle of grape. Tel: (04) 455 56 56. sofitel-dubai-thepalm.com

Friday 14

Get a good deal on breakfast


Fancy a Lebanese breakfast this morning? Well Leila – which we are fans of – has a good deal at the moment. For Dhs69 per person you get the full spread: a coffee, fresh juice, labneh, eggs, furn, bel fekhara and foul or fattet. Yum.

Leila, various locations including Mirdif City Centre and Arabian Ranches II. 9.30am to 11pm, daily. Tel: (800) 746 2253. More info on website.

Not awake in time for brekkie? Do brunch instead

westin dubai

The Westin hotel, which opened earlier this year, is launching its first brunch this weekend – and it sounds like one that’s right up our alley (it’s described as “easy” and “laidback”, our go-to Friday mode). It’s hosted at Seasonal Tastes, which is all about fresh ingredients and nutrition-packed dishes, so we’re envisioning a healthier array than most brunches. There’s six live cooking stations and activities for the kids so a great one for family affairs.

Seasonal Tastes, level one, The Westin, Al Habtoor City, 12.30pm to 4pm. Dhs249 including soft drinks, Dhs495 including house beverages. westindubaialhabtoorcity.com.

Sharjah Photography festival


Driving to Sharjah on a Friday is a doddle, and this weekend you’ll find a photography festival in the emirate called Xposure. There will be outdoor exhibits at five locations around the emirate (find all the details here) and there will also be a large exhibition inside the Expo Centre in Sharjah. Plus, if you’re a serious photographer, there are plenty of workshops on offer too (read all about that here). Pictured is a work from The Exhibition at Al Qasba.

Various locations across Sharjah, including Expo Centre, Al Taawun Street. Tel: (06) 512 3440. Exhibition entry free (workshops are paid for). More info on website.

Check out the talent on the decks

Kenny Glasgow

DJing favourites Richy Ahmed, Kenny Glasgow (above, half of the acclaimed duo Art Department) and Matthew Dekay are back at the Blue Marlin this weekend for a night that our sister mag Hype says “proves the booking prowess of the beach club”. Expect hours of thumping house from three industry heavyweights

Blue Marlin, Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotel & Resort, Ghantout, Dubai, 1pm to 11pm, free entry. Tel: 056 113 3400. Click here for more info. 

That’s not the only beach party happening…


Barasti’s Sugar Beach is back from this weekend, so if techy, funky flavours are more your thing, this could be one for you. The Buzz Junkies are headlining, along with local talent Marty Metcalfe, Rohan Nunez and Tom Ferguson, so get on your dancing shoes and celebrate the less-sweaty end of summer.

Barasti, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh Road, Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, 11am until late, free entry. Click here for more info.

Saturday 15

Listen to Shankar’s sitar

When Anoushka Shankar was just 13 years old she was performing to packed-out crowds in New Delhi, and tonight she plays in Dubai. The sitar star (daughter of Ravi) received her first of five Grammy nominations at only 20, she has 10 albums to her name and is one of the few female composers taught in the UK A-level music syllabus. Aka, she’s a legend – get down and see her.

Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, 7pm, Dhs250. Tel: (04) 440 8888. Metro: Burj Khalifa. More info and tickets on website.

Get over your fear of flying


Scared of getting in a plane? (It must be tough for all you expats for whom that’s the case.) The good news is that help is here, as British Airways is hosting a Flying with Confidence course today, led by pilot Captain Steve Allright (pictured – we’d feel reassured if we saw him at the helm of our plane). The course runs from 9.30am to 3pm and the airline says it’s likely to “completely” cure some people.

The Capital Club, Gate Village, DIFC, Dubai, 9.30am to 3pm, Dhs1,499. Tel: (04) 364 0111. Metro: Emirates Towers. More info & bookings on website.

Get bendy with a yoga superstar

tara stiles

Getting up in the 6ams is hard on a Saturday, but we reckon it’s worth it for a one-off class with world-famous yogi Tara Stiles. The American celeb is in town as part of her work with Reebok, and will host the early-morning tutorial in the brand’s Dubai mall store. Stiles is all about creative, not-perfect form, so this is great for novices and pros alike.

Reebok, The Dubai Mall, Downton Dubai, 6.45am to 7.45am. Spots are available on a first come, first served basis. Click here for more info.

Check out a next-level new Lush store


You can smell these stores from miles away, yes, but we still can’t help but love Lush for its wholehearted eco-friendly and sustainable stance (they put a lot of money back into animal rights, and many of their products are unpackaged, and they’re all 100 per cent vegetarian. The new Lush that’s just opened in City Walk is fitted with reclaimed wood and eco-friendly material, has an on-site Hair Lab, a Party Room and a Gorilla Perfume Gallery.

City Walk Phase 1, Jumeirah 2. 10am to 10pm, daily. More info on website

Take the family to a movie

reel cinema

Hello to 90-plus minutes of someone else entertaining the kids. Reel Cinemas are putting on free screenings of family-friendly films for kids under 5 every Saturday until October 29. You have to go to showings before 11am, and the movies on offer are The Secret Life of Pet, Storks, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. There’s also going to be some activities on the day (think face painting and the like), so you can make a real morning of it.

Reel Cinemas at The Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina Mall, The Beach and CITY WALK. reelcinemas.ae.

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