There are a lot of markets on this weekend, as well as races along the Dubai Canal and extreme sports competitions in a car park.

Here are your next three days in Dubai sorted.

Thursday 26

1. Get to know Dubai’s design ‘burb


Most of you will have heard of the new design suburb hidden behind Downtown Dubai – but how many of you have actually been to D3? Well, the cool new district is hosting a bit of an open house this afternoon where you’ll get to explore the designers and talents that call D3 home, while also sampling a programme of local music and entertainment. The best bit? It’s open to all, and free to attend – for more details and an event map, head here.

d3, off of Financial Centre Road, 3pm to 10pm today. Tel: (04) 433 3000. More info on website.

2. Check out a new food truck spot

Last Exit - Al Qudra 2

You know Last Exit on Sheikh Zayed Road? Well there’s now one in Al Qudra, which is excellent news for all cyclists, and all residents of Mira, Arabian Ranches and the like. Most of the main trucks from the SZR branch will be there, including a Brass if you fancy a decent coffee. There are 100 parking spaces, as well as outdoor seating for 150 people (but most of the trucks are drive-thru).

The end of road D63, Al Qudra, open 24/7. More info and map on website.

*ALSO TODAY: See the Burj lit up with the Indian flag. More here…*

3. Celebrate Chinese New Year the Singaporean way


Peppercrab, Dubai’s top fine-dining Singaporean restaurant, celebrates Chinese New Year starting tonight, with a selection of Chinese speciality a la carte dishes. Get your chopsticks out for the prosperity salad toss. Main courses feature fish and vegetarian options while desserts include Niangao glutinous rice cakes signifying the promise of a better year. For six other Chinese New Year dining deals, head here.

January 26 to February 4. Grand Hyatt Dubai, Oud Metha, Dubai, Sun to Thur 7pm to 11.30pm, Fri and Sat 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 3172222. More info on website.

Friday 27

4. See canoes take on the new Dubai Creek


There’s a big Dragonboat festival on this weekend, and it’s at the new Dubai Canal (on the Business Bay side). It’ll be too late to sign up to paddle, but if you were thinking of heading to the Canal this would be a good weekend to do so – traditional dragonboats zooming past will definitely liven up your walk. Races run from around 8am to 5.30pm (with the finals in the latter parts of the day) on both Friday and Saturday. Here’s the exact location of the races if you want to dial it up in Google Maps.

Marasi Business Bay, all day Friday and Saturday, free to spectate. More info on Facebook.

5. Check out the new high ropes course in Mirdif

Aventura Nature Adventure Park recently opened in Mushrif Park, Mirdif and it involves everything from zip lining, to horizontal and vertical rope climbing walls, rope course challenges and more. Think George of the Jungle with a few more safety procedures in place.

Aventura, Mushrif Park, Mirdif, Dubai. Sun to Thu, 9.30am to 50pm, Fri to Sat 9.30am to 6pm, Dhs150. Tel: (056) 8871687. 

6. Explore contemporary dance

quoz arts fest

Quoz Arts Fest at the still-cool Alserkal is back (10am to 10pm today and tomorrow) for its fifth edition. This year the focus is on contemporary dance, so expect plenty of experimental and fusion performances to be littered throughout the weekend. Plus, all of the galleries will have exhibitions, and some will host workshops, screenings, talks and fun installations (for kids and big kids). Oh, and there will be a market too. Want to know what time to head down? There’s a full programme here.

Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, free entry, 10am to 10pm Friday and Saturday. More info on website.

7. Watch some very brave ‘boarders


At the recently-renovated Media One hotel this weekend you’ll find Dubai’s Downhill Car Park Race – the event will see top skateboarders and long boarders take on the ramp at the Media City hotel’s huge carpark. International faces are flying in and there’s a prize fund of Dhs10,000 for winners across the junior and senior categories. There will also be a mini ramp set up, as well as a DJ and giveaways. Should be a fun afternoon out (the race starts at 2pm).

P7 Carpark, Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City, noon to 7pm. More info on Facebook. 

8. See a top South African band

We love the upbeat yet often-political tunes of Freshlyground, one of South Africa’s most successful bands. The great news is that they’re playing McGettigan’s tonight, with tickets Dhs100. You’ll know them from Shakira’s Waka Waka, and we love their magical, romantic When the Fire is Low. 

McGettigan’s JLT, Dubai, Fri 7.30pm, Dhs100. Tel: (04) 3780800. Buy tickets here. 

9. Take the kids to the movies (for free)


At the Promenade in front of Dubai Marina Mall you’ll find free children’s movie screenings every weekend until the end of April. Tonight they’re showing Happy Feet at 5.30pm and Spy Kids at 8pm (tomorrow it’s Tangled and Planes). Take a blanket as it might get chilly.

Dubai Marina Mall, Dubai Marina, from 5.30pm today and tomorrow, free. More info on Facebook.

Saturday 28

10. ‘Discover your light’


The LightHouse Arabia is hosting a full day of wellbeing workshops from psychologists today centered around the theme of ‘discovering your light’ – it will be all about ‘positive psychology’. Workshop topics range from Eating Mindfully to Yoga for Emotional Balance. There will also be special kids-only workshops throughout the day – just contact the centre for more details on these.

LightHouse Arabia Centre for Wellbeing, Al Wasl Road, Al Safa 2, 10am to 5pm, each workshop costs Dhs75. Tel: (04) 380 9298. More info and full schedule on website. 

11. Celebrate Aussie Day

Barasti Bar&Restaurant 6

Australia Day is this Thursday (January 26) but Barasti is celebrating the Southern Hem’ event on Saturday (there are plenty of options throughout the weekend, however, check them all out here). There will be a patriotic BBQ (shrimp and all), live entertainment from a band and DJ, as well as activities for the kids and hops for the adults. If you love a famous(ish) face, the event is set to be hosted by the Aussie duo Harry and Pricey from Dubai 92.

Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai Marina. Free entry. 12pm onwards. Tel: (04) 3993333. More info on website. 

12. Take your pup to brunch

urban bistro

The Puppy Brunch is back at Urban Bistro in Media City this weekend, and this means that dogs can get their very own brunch for Dhs5, and a doggy grooming session for Dhs15 while humans can choose from the a la carte menu.

Urban Bistro, Dubai Media City, from 10am Saturday, reservations required. Tel: (04) 3624330. More info on Facebook.

13. Pick up some pre-loved fashion

fashion swap

We love the Fashion Swap Shop – where you’ll find pre-loved clothing and some boutique fashion finds. It’s on at Reform at The Lakes Club from 1pm to 6pm, and there will be 30 independent fashion brands, a swap zone (where you can trade your unwanted-but-still-fresh items with someone else) as well as free mini manis.

Reform Social & Grill, The Lakes Club, 1pm to 6pm, free entry. More info on Facebook.

14. Discover a different eating philosophy

There’s a workshop this afternoon about Eat-ology – what’s that, you ask? Apparently it’s an eating methodology. The workshop isn’t cheap (Dhs475) but they claim it will help you uncover your own sustainable eating pattern so that you can stop dieting. Dr Oudi Abouchacra, a chiropractor who first wrote about the ‘eatology’, will be leading the session.

Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah, Dhs475, 12pm to 4pm. More info and registration on website. 

15. Learn all about the art of the truffle

armani ristorante dubai

Armani/Ristorante’s new masterclass series launches this weekend with a half-day session dedicated to the black truffle. From 11am to 3pm Chef Alessandro Salvatico will talk you through cooking a three-dish menu that utilises the pricey fungus, including a mushroom, marjoram and truffle tagliatelle. Yum.

Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai, 11am to 3pm, Dhs600 per person, Dhs1,000 per couple. More info on website.

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