A free water and light show, free ice cream, a free concert, a free exhibition, free comics, cheap drinks deals.

Save money in Dubai this weekend and still have fun (unfortunately you’ll have to pay to see Bieber).

Thursday 4

1. Celebrate May the 4th

May the ‘fourth’ be with you – geddit? Today is Star Wars day, and to celebrate there will be a bunch of family-friendly activations across the city. At Mall of the Emirates’ Toy Store you’ll find two Lego-certified professionals creating a Star Wars mosaic build (at 5pm and 8pm today, and at 3pm and 6pm on Friday and Saturday).

Then, at Dubai Festival City today and tomorrow there will be a Star Wars book reading for kids at 4.30pm and 6pm. Kids are encouraged to come to the book readings dressed as their favourite characters from the series. Both events are free to enter and no prior booking is necessary.

Various locations, all weekend. Free. 

2. “Andale, andale, moma E.I. E.I.”

If Country Grammar was your millennial jam then this is ‘what’s popping’ tonight’ for you: Nelly is performing at White Dubai tonight – for free. We’ll be the ones in the front singing along to Dilemma. 

White Dubai, Meydan Racecourse Grandstand Rooftop, Nad Al Sheba, free, 11pm to 3am. Tel: (050) 443 0933. More info on website. 

3. What’s Poppins?

The beloved 83-year-old nanny Mary Poppins is coming to life on the Dubai Opera stage this weekend in the form of a Sir Cameron Mackintosh musical. The fact Sir Mack is involved means you can expect some seriously good sets, strong performances and great costuming. Read more about what you can expect here.

May 1 to 25. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, Dhs250. Tel: (04) 440888. Taxi: Dubai Opera. More info on website.

4. Go to Crab Tavern (potentially for the last time)

Crab Tavern in Media One Hotel is closing down (it’s going to be taken over by a Asian street food concept, with food from Thailand, Indonesia and China), and so for its final month of operation they will be serving bottles of wine or sparkling for Dhs99, serving two-for-one spirits and more drink deals. The deals are valid all day every day until the end of the month.

Level 9, Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City, various deals, 12pm to 2am, daily. Tel: (04) 420 7489. More info on website. 

Friday 5

5. Start the weekend at Zero Gravity

Many of you will be used to ending your Friday here, but why not mix things up and visit for breakfast? Zero Gravity is now open for breakfast from 8am to 10am every Friday and Saturday. They serve up a giant platter featuring croissants, muffins, fruit, yoghurt, smoothies, eggs, orange juice, tea and coffee for Dhs99. We’d challenge you to even finish it.

Zero Gravity, Al Sufouh, 8am to 10am, Friday and Saturday. Tel: (04) 399 0009. More info on website.

6. Hone your photography skills

This weekend there’s a three-day photography festival at Festival City Arena that features workshops, seminars and exhibitions. This will be the kind of place to discuss the pros and cons between Nikons or Canons, and the latest techniques will be demonstrated live throughout the weekend. Check the schedule for the different stages here to find the right time to visit. It’s free to attend, but you have to register – you can do so as you arrive.

Festival City Arena, free, 11am to 9pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday. More info on website.

7. Get your mates together for a Marina session

The Scene has a new deal called the ‘Tab Weekender” that means if you’re willing to sit in the bar area you’ll pay Dhs150 for five drinks at any time on the weekend. We like the food here too, which is always a plus after a few.

The Scene, Pier 7, Dubai Marina, Dhs150, all weekend (open 8am to 2am). Tel: (04) 222 2328. More info on website.

8. Extend your Bieber fever

Can’t make it to the Bieber concert tomorrow? Or just want to immerse yourself in his oeuvre all weekend? Well Bounce in Al Quoz is hosting a Bieber-themed trampolining fiesta tonight. So if bouncing around to What Do You Mean is your idea of a dream Friday night out, this is the place for you. Plus, if you have tickets for the concert on Saturday you’ll get two-for-one entry to Bounce. Just bring your tickets along as proof.

Bounce, Al Quoz, 6pm to midnight, Dhs80 for entry. Tel: (04) 321 1400. More info on website

9. A free night out for the family

Dubai Festival Centre’s entirely free-to-watch music and light extravaganza is launching a new show tonight called A Child’s Dream – it will be told through fire, water and lights on a special stage at Festival Bay. Things kick of at 4pm, there’s free ice cream from 5pm to 8pm, fireworks and an opening performance by Lynn Al Hayek. We’d expect some crowds at this one.

Dubai Festival Centre, from 4pm, free. More info on Facebook. 

10. Celebrate Cinco De Mayo

It’s Cinco de Mayo today, and so all of the city’s Mexican restaurants will be celebrating with their own fiestas – our picks are La Tablita in Dubai Healthcare City (their tacos are excellent) or Tortuga in the Madinat. At the latter you’ll pay Dhs225 for food and non-alcoholic drinks and get a full-on Mexican buffet while being entertained by the resident band Tonati. Vaminos.

Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah, Dhs225 per person, 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 432 3232. More info on website. 

11. Go back to Base

Last weekend it was Axwell and Fiddy, and this weekend it’s DJ Afrojack on Thursday and hip hop heavyweight Rick Ross tonight at new D3 club Base. The five-time Grammy nominee will take the stage to perform his hits, including Hustlin’ and Hold Me Back.

Base, Dubai Design District, free, 10pm to 3am. More info on Facebook.

Saturday 6

12. See a timely exhibition

There’s an exhibition starting at The Workshop in Jumeirah tonight that highlights the issue of forced displacement, and how it’s a real problem in the world today. Go down and you’ll see the work of 16 artists – both local and international.

Villa 45, 23b Street, Jumeirah (off Al Wasl Road), free admission, opening 7pm tonight (register here), exhibition runs until Wednesday May 10. More info on Facebook.

13. Score some free comics

A comic book fan? Well, to celebrate International Comic Book Day, which falls on the first Saturday in May every year, Kinokuniya is giving away five free comic books with every purchase on comics of Dhs100 or more. Now that’s a good deal.

The Dubai Mall, Kinokuniya, Downtown Dubai, 10am to midnight, deal on offer just this Saturday. More info on Facebook. 

14. Stuff yourself with spargel

Today is your last chance to check out the merriment-filled Maifest tent at the Grand Hyatt Dubai (this is its fifth year in the running). It’ll be open from 7pm to 3am each night this weekend, and today (Saturday) there’s a brunch running from 12.30pm to 4pm. Expect spargel, schnitzel, strudel and more. The evenings are a la carte, and the brunch is Dhs195 for food and Dhs295 with house beverages. Definitely book.

Grand Hyatt, Oud Metha, last day today. Tel: (04) 317 2222. More info on website.

15. Go see repentant Biebs

We’ve checked with the organisers and there are still some tickets left to see Kate McKinnon impersonator Justin Bieber live (oops, wrong way ’round). This isn’t the Biebs’ first time in the UAE, but the Purpose tour. The Sorry singer is one of the biggest selling artists of all time, scooping up Grammy Awards and smashing world records (he’s had more number one singles than The Beatles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart). But controversy follows the hit-maker wherever he goes, so only time will tell whether Dubai’s Beliebers will get the best or the worst of their hero.

Autism Rocks Arena, Dubai-Al Ain Road, Dubai, Sat 4pm, Dhs335. Tel: (04) 4237980. Taxi: Dubai Outlet Mall. More info and tickets here.

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Photos: Supplied