Festivals, art exhibitions, and of course, St Patrick’s Day…

We hope you’ve been getting your full eight-hours-a-night over the last few days, because this weekend is going to be a big one.

Of course, it’s St Patrick’s Day weekend, which means a ‘craicing’ line-up of events (and plenty of happy hour deals around the city to boot). But if you’re more artistically inclined, there’s heaps for you, too – such as the amazing Van Gogh Alive exhibition, which landed at D3 this week.

Here are 15 things to do in Dubai this weekend…

Thursday March 15

1. Head along to a comedy gig

Irish comedian and Mock The Week legend Dara O’Brien is back in Dubai tonight, delivering his signature quick and clever observational comedy. The TV presenter’s brand new show, Voice Of Reason, promises the intelligent, no-frills humour that we have come to know and love from seeing him on our screens.

Dubai World Trade Centre, March 15, 9pm, Dhs295. Tel: (04) 439 0900. More info on website

2. Have dinner at a gourmet food festival

Galeries Lafayette Le Gourmet in City Walk is hosting a food fest this weekend, with international street food, live music, shopping, and fun for the whole family. Expect everything from dim sum and ramen to burgers and hotdogs.

City Walk, March 15 to 17, 4pm to 11pm Thursday, 2pm to 11pm Friday, and noon to 9pm Saturday. Tel: (04) 403 3033. More info on website

3. Check out a Happiness Carnival

If you’re in City Walk this evening, be sure to check out the colourful Happiness Carnival on Future Street at 5pm, which is expected to draw 2000 people from 200 nationalities. The carnival is kicking off a five-day Happiness Festival, which will be based at Dubai Design District and will culminate in the International Day of Happiness on March 20.

City Walk 2, March 15, 5pm. Free. More info on website

4. See a stunning art exhibition

The eagerly awaited Van Gogh Alive exhibition has landed at the Dubai Design District. The Dutch impressionist’s famous works are projected onto the walls, ceilings and floors, making you feel as though you’re walking right into his paintings. It’s been described as an unforgettable, multi-sensory experience.

Dubai Design District, March 11 to April 23, daily 9am to 10pm. Dhs70 adults, Dhs 65 children. More info on website

5. Take part in a crazy obstacle course

The second annual NAS Night Challenge invites participants to lace up for a 5K obstacle race around Nad Al Sheba. Among the 12 obstacles are the Warped Wall, Rope Ladders, Vine Swing and the very ominous-sounding Black Hole. The cash prize for first place is Dhs8000. Register a team, or sign up for the individual challenge.

Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex, March 15 and 16, 8pm to midnight, Dhs250. Tel: (056) 520 3301. More info on Facebook

Friday March 16

6. Get merry at a massive Paddy’s Day party

Never one to pass up a party, McGettigan’s pulls out all the stops for St Patrick’s weekend with a mini festival. The second annual bash features Irish rockers Kodaline, The Coronas, and Little Hours. There’s plenty of family entertainment too, with stalls spread across the amphitheatre, as well as a dedicated BBQ Brunch Deck with unlimited food and drinks on offer from 1pm to 4pm.

The Ultimate Paddy’s Party, Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Friday March 16, 1pm to midnight, Dhs195, Dhs75 children. Get tickets here

7. Find your zen at a yoga festival

XYoga returns to Kite Beach for two days of holistic events and entertainment. Free sessions take place on the beach all weekend, from sunrise until sunset, taught by local and international yoga teachers. One of the famous yogis flying in to teach a class is Tao Porchon-Lynch, who at 99 holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest yoga teacher in the world. Elsewhere, you’ll find healthy food stalls, yoga equipment, entertainment and more.

Kite Beach, March 16 and 17, 9am to 9pm, free. More info on website

8. Head along to a touch tournament

The seventh annual Zurich Corporate Touch 6s Community Day takes place at the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club today, with a record 32 teams vying for the 2018 trophy. Whether supporting from the sidelines or sitting back and soaking up the atmosphere, there’s something for everyone at this family-friendly event – there’s going to be live music, food trucks, bouncy castles, a petting zoo and more.

Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club, Arabian Ranches, March 16, kick-off at 9am and finals at 5pm. More info on website

9. Indulge in a new Friday brunch

ZOCO, the urban Mexican eatery in Al Habtoor City, has just launched its ‘Arriba Arriba!’ Friday brunch. The new brunch showcases authentic Mexican food commonly found on the streets on Mexico City. Guests will also be serenaded by a live Latin band performing a Mariachi show with bongo drums, maracas, and a performer who floats from table to table, encouraging you to get up on the dance floor. Arriba, indeed.

The Atrium, Al Habtoor City, Fridays, 12.30pm to 3pm, Dhs265 soft, Dhs375 house, Dhs445 bubbly. Tel: (04) 437 0044. More info on website

10. Check out the Dubai Marina Street Festival

The Dubai Marina Street Festival is taking over the Marina Promenade again, starting this weekend, and is set to welcome more than 40 acts from all around the world over 10 days. Expect everything from street performers to comedians to acrobats, as well as heaps of food trucks and free family fun.

Dubai Marina Promenade and Dubai Marina Mall, March 15 to 24, Thursdays 4.45pm to 10.30pm, Fridays 4pm to 10.30pm, Saturdays 3pm to 9.45pm, Sundays to Wednesdays 5.50pm to 9pm. Free. More info on website

Saturday March 17

11. Party hard for Nikki Beach’s birthday

Nikki Beach Dubai is celebrating its two-year anniversary. The Pearl Jumeira hotspot has a noon to 2am line-up, featuring musical acts and performances throughout the day to keep energy high and the party going from day to night.

Pearl Jumeira, March 17, noon to 2am, packages start from Dhs3000 for 6 to 8 guests. Tel: (04) 376 6162. More info on website

12. Celebrate St Patrick’s Day

Yes, today is actually St Patrick’s Day! You’ll find plenty of celebrations all over the city – like The Irish Village’s Paddy’s Day festival, featuring live music from Sin A Der Si, the MapleJacks and DJ Marky Mark, traditional Irish music and dancers, face painting, a petting zoo, and a bouncy castle.

The Irish Village, Al Garhoud, March 15 to 17, 11am to 2am, free entry. More info on website

13. Watch a French film

Alliance Française Dubai has a brand new cinema room, and it sounds pretty swish. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays they partner with Empire International to bring you recently released French films with English subtitles. Today’s film is Le Brio, an inspirational film about a young woman who dreams of becoming a lawyer.

Auditorium Alliance Française Dubai, Oud Metha, Saturdays, 5pm. Dhs40, or Dhs35 for members. More info on website

14. Check out the Sikka Art Fair

The brilliant Sikka Art Fair showcases works of artists based in the UAE and GCC region, encouraging them to share their talents with the wider community. The 10-day line-up features art installations, music performances, poetry readings, film, workshops and more.

Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Bur Dubai, March 17 to March 26, 6pm to 11pm. Free. More info on website

15. Hear some award-winning choirs

ChoirFest Middle East is hosting its first ever concert at Dubai Opera tonight. The programme will feature performances from the winners of the Choir of the Year competition, with choirs flying in from Jordan, Morocco, Iran, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. There will be singers aged from six to 76, representing a diverse range of vocal talents.

Dubai Opera, March 17, 6pm, tickets from Dhs75. More info on website

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