Our picks: 17 things to do in Dubai this weekend
Fresh beachside dining, free yoga, tower races, world-class music of all varieties – it’s going to be a boomer of a weekend in the emirate.
1. Go see a great Kiwi film
Any true-blue Kiwis in Dubai will have heard of Hunt for the Wilderpeople, the latest film from Taika Waititi. The good news? It’s coming to Dubai cinemas (specifically Vox at Mall of the Emirates and Mercato) for a short run, starting from today, thanks to Dubai International Film Festival. Those not from the Antipodes may have heard of Waititi’s previous film What We Do In The Shadows, and his latest flick has the same laconic sense of humour as the vampire-comedy.
Vox, Mall of the Emirates & Mercato, various times from today until Wednesday October 12. More info & tickets on website.
2. Visit a revamped Shimmers
Beachside spot Shimmers has just reopened and is now a Greek tavern, featuring fresh Mediterranean food and a casual, toes-in-the-sand vibe. From traditional spicy feta cheese dip to tender chargrilled octopus and lamb chops, the food covers all the Greek classics. Plus, the Burj Al Arab views are kind of unbeatable: a great one to take visitors to.
Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah, 12pm to 5pm and 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 432 3232. More info on website.
3. Try a sushi burrito
Love California rolls but wish they were spicier, more mayo-filled and featured less rice? Well then the sushi burrito should be right up your alley. Sushi Counter, which has branches across Dubai (from Dubai Mall to Dubai Marina) has just launched this new fusion product this week. We’ll probably be ordering one for Thursday takeaway dinner (we’re lazy like that).
Sushi Counter, various locations including Marina Promenade, Dubai Marina. Tel: (800) 268 6837. More info on website.
4. Get amongst the madness
Pop on your Baggy Trousers and get ready to enter the House of Fun, as ’80s chart toppers Madness are coming to the UAE. The British ska act made a name for themselves with hits such as Our House and It Must Be Love, and have scored 15 UK top 10 singles so you’re sure to be able to sing along.
5. Watch a mini monster show
The sequel to The Gruffalo is creeping onto the stage at Ductac this weekend. Called The Gruffalo’s Child, the beloved story tells the tale of a little monster who ignores her father’s warnings and heads into the forest to find ‘the big bad mouse’.
Ductac, Mall of the Emirates, today and tomorrow, 10.30am, 2pm & 4pm, Dhs135. Tel: (04) 341 4777. More info (and tickets) on website.
6. Go see the undisputed king of trance
Paul Van Dyk has sold over three million records and has clocked up more than 110 releases – so expect a busy one when he plays in Dubai this weekend at One Big Friday alongside 99 Souls and DubVision. Read more about the man here.
7. Listen to James Morrison at Dubai Opera
The Dubai Opera has already shown that it will have a diverse lineup, and tonight you’ll be able to hear the tear-inducing voice of soul singer James Morrison. Remember, before Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and James Bay were all over the charts, there was James Morrison. We’re looking forward to this one. Read more about him here.
Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, 9pm, Dhs295. Tel: (800) 36227. Metro: Burj Khalifa. More info on website.
9. Have a slap-up dinner with a view (before James Morrison perhaps?)
Four of the Armani Hotel restaurants, which are pretty close to Dubai Opera, currently have some special luxurious set menus on. We recommend the Indian fare at Amal – wear an elasticated waistband. We filled up on juicy chicken breasts stuffed with an aromatic, not blow-your-head-off-spicy stuffing, and a particular favourite was the coconut sphere (above), a tropical affair of passionfruit sorbet, mango jelly, coconutty mousse, and warming cardamom crumble. Plus the location – sitting under the flashing night lights of the world’s tallest tower, with the Dubai Fountain putting on a show every half hour? Unbeatable.
Armani/Amal, Third Floor, Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai. The Gourmet 10/10 menu is available until October 10, Dhs350 per person. Tel: (04) 437 1669. dubai.armanihotels.com.
11. Check out the new season of audio tonic
Mike Bufton’s audio tonic party is back, with a cool new venue at the W Hotel (that has a pool). The regular night was at 360° in the Jumeirah Beach Hotel for a decade, but it’s now at the W Hotel’s Wet Deck, and will run over 10 hours every Friday. “The Wet Deck has a four-foot deep pool and – most importantly – an intimate dancefloor and enough space for 350 people to vibe on the same level together,” explains Mike. Heads up: the pool will be open for everyone to use until 11pm.
W Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Habtoor City, Dubai, 4pm to 2am, free. Tel: (04) 436 6666. More info on Facebook.
12. Visit a super-chic new chocolate spot
If you like your chocolate bars from a single origin bean, you’ll dig this new spot in Al Serkal. It’s a chocolate factory, shop and cafe, and Mirzam is open from 10am to 7pm today (they’re closed on Fridays) and create their own chocolate using just cocoa beans, cane sugar and cocoa butter. You can watch the chocolate-making-magic happen while there, and the coffee comes from the next door, soon-to-open, Nightjar Coffee (so should be good).
Warehouse 70, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai, 10am to 7pm today, free entry. Tel: (04) 333 5888. More info on Instagram.
13. Take on a tower
Hilton Dubai The Walk’s annual Tower Race is today. What’s that you ask? 150 runners will take to the stairs, taking on 36 floors and 730 stairs. The great news is that you can still register (do so here) and even better, all proceeds go to the Rashid Centre for the Disabled, which is a fantastic education and therapy centre that’s been running since 1994.
14. Guys exercise for free
With so many ladies’ nights, it can feel like guys get a raw deal in Dubai, but the founder of Define fitness club Henry Richardson is flying in from Houston, Texas, to teach some classes this week, and to celebrate they’re offering three classes today that lads can go to without paying. At 10am there’s the Body class (which is like a barre workout), at 11.15am you’ll find Rev (a cycle class, pictured) and at 12.30pm there’s the Mind option (which is aerial yoga). Just make sure to book. Plus, if you refer a friend (of whatever sex) you get 25 per cent off a 10 or 20 class package.
Define Body & Mind, Silverene Tower, Dubai Marina, from 10am to 1.30pm today, free for men. Tel: (04) 421 6377. More info on website.
15. Party on an inflatable
Have a giant flamingo burning a hole in your pool that you’d like to take for a proper whirl? Well Barasti is hosting an inflatable party today, during which you’re encouraged to take along your favourite novelty lilo so that you can bob around in the ocean. This will be some people’s dream day out, other people’s worst nightmare…
Barasti, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, Al Sufouh area. 12pm to late, free entry. Tel: (04) 399 3333. More info on Facebook.
16. Go to a free sunset yoga session
Live near DIFC or Trade Centre? Well tonight there’s a free hatha yoga class at Bodylines Fitness and Wellness Club in the Towers Rotana hotel. The session will round out with some Pranayama breathing meditation. Lovely way to end the weekend.
Bodylines, Towers Rotana Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, from 6.30pm, free. Tel: (04) 343 8000. More info on website.
17. Your second chance to go see José Carreras
We heard good things about Spanish tenor José Carreras’ first Dubai show on Tuesday night, and the good news is he’s performing for a second time, tonight. His appearance in Dubai is bittersweet, as the A Life In Music show is both a comeback and farewell tour for the legendary opera singer. Read more about why you should go see him here.
Dubai Opera, The Opera District, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, 8pm, Dhs450. Tel: (800) 36227. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. dubaiopera.com