Pool parties, happy hours, football fever and retro school discos…

The weekend is nearly here and it’s time to start planning.

Whether you’re looking to catch the football, or looking for somewhere to avoid it, keen for a big night out or prefer to wile away a day by the pool, we’ve got you covered.

Here are 12 things to do in Dubai this weekend.

Thursday June 28

1. Catch the England game

It’s a big night for England fans, as the Three Lions take on Belgium in the final game of the first round of the World Cup. There’s heaps of places to watch it (you can see them all in our ultimate guide here), but our pick this week is Soho Garden. Back open and complete with a new AC system, there’s multiple cinema screens, five bars, themed food menu and post-match parties with DJ’s. Kick off is at 10pm.

Soho Garden, Meydan, 5pm to 3am, Thursday June 27, free entry. Tel: (056) 822 2559. More info on website

2. Feast on a cheese and wine deal

Not a football fan? Avoid the game and head to The Grape Escape, tucked away inside The Hilton on The Walk  where there’s a new cheese and wine deal – L’apres-ski Thursdays. It offers diners unlimited raclette, fondue, cheese, charcuterie and a glass of grape for Dhs129 per person.

L’Apres Ski Thursdays, The Grape Escape, Hilton Dubai The Walk, 5pm to 1am, Thursdays, Dhs129. Tel: (04) 318 2319. More info on website

Friday June 29

3. Kickstart the day with a value breakfast brunch

The Bench Brunch is known as one of the best-value breakfast deals in the city, and it’s just been introduced at the new Marina hotel. Included is an unlimited buffet of hot and cold plates, pastries, a selection of cheeses, assorted cereals, fresh fruit and juices, plus you get a choice of main dish from a select a la carte menu. Plus, you can get two-for-one until the end of August, making it Dhs99 for two.

Rove, Dubai Marina, 11am to 3.30pm, Fridays, Dhs99. More info on Facebook

4. Throw it back with a school disco brunch

Dust off your uniform and get out your glow paint, there’s a school disco brunch happening at McGettigans this Friday. For Dhs269 guests can enjoy unlimited house drinks, a buffet and a la carte dishes from noon to 6pm. Hosted by Headmaster DJ Jay, the day will be filled with cheesy 80s and 90s music alongside old school drinking games – with a threat of detention for those who fail.

McGettigans JLT, Bonnington Hotel, Cluster J, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, 12pm to 6pm, Friday June 29, Dhs269. Tel: (04) 378 0800. More info on website

5. Party at a brunch after-party

If you didn’t manage to secure your spot for the weekly party brunch at Andreea’s, the after party is open to all at Marina nightclub XL next door. This week, producer, DJ and songwriter ATB will be performing live.

XL Dubai, Habtoor Grand, Sheikh Zayed Road, 4pm to 9pm, Friday June 29, free entry. Tel (50) 738 1388. More info on website

6. Enjoy an a la carte brunch

Al Habtoor City hotspot Babiole hosts a fun Friday brunch ‘Let’s Babiole’ from its enviable location on the 44th floor of The Westin. The three-and-a-half-hour package serves up a three-course tasting menu to the table alongside unlimited drinks. On the menu, you’ll find a mix of modern, tasty, European dishes, taken from the a selection of popular dishes. Expect a lively party vibe, and don’t be surprised to find yourself dancing on the table by the time last orders are called.

Babiole, The Westin, Al Habtoor City, 12.30pm to 4pm, Fridays, Dhs295 house, Dhs395 sparkling. Tel: 056 515 4665. More info on Facebook

7. Party poolside for one last time this season

Enjoy one last splash before summer hits at Nikki Beach Dubai with their season closing pool party – ahead of shutting their doors for the two scorching summer months. The beach club will open up at 11am until 8pm on both Friday and Saturday for a fun-filled pool party featuring beats from Nikki Beach Resident DJs and artists. Entry prices start from Dhs250.

Nikki Beach Club, Pearl Jumeira, 11am to 8pm, Friday June 29 and Saturday June 30, from Dhs250. Tel: (04) 376 6162. More info on Facebook

Saturday June 30

8. Get creative at paint and grape

This Saturday, JLT’s Couqley has partnered up with Denise Schmitz from We Love Art and they’re inviting budding artists for an evening of wine and painting. From 4pm to 7pm, attendees can indulge in three hours of painting as they recreate the famous French Impressionist Claude Monet’s Water Lilies. It’s served up alongside two glasses of wine, and complimentary canapes.

Couqley, Cluster A, JLT, 4pm to 7pm, Saturday June 30, Dhs369. Tel: (04) 514 9339. More info on Facebook

9. Find your zen with a free beachside yoga and fitness concert

This Saturday Club Vista Mare will transform into an open-air workout arena where visitors can enjoy a mix of fitness and yoga classes for ‘Core Beats’ fitness concert. Organised in collaboration with the Yoga La Vie studio, is a first of its kind in the emirate and the free event will include light installations, a live DJ and an all-star lineup of some of Dubai’s finest yoga and fitness instructors.

Club Vista Mare, The Palm Jumeirah, 6pm onwards, Saturday June 30, free. More info Facebook

10. Enjoy an afternoon long happy hour

As part of the new ‘Reform Loves Drinks’ deal, guests at the cosy Lakes gastro pub can take advantage of happy hour prices from 12pm to 7pm each day. That means a seven-hour long happy hour of selected drinks at Dhs33, alongside some special offers on bottles of wine.

Reform, The Lakes, daily 12pm to 7pm, from Dhs33. Tel: (04) 454 2638. More info on website

11. Check out a menu at La Mer for the last time

SLAB at La Mer is set to bring in a brand new menu on Sunday July 1, so this weekend is your last chance to check out their current dishes. Highlights include spicy crab, crackling duck confit and lamb short ribs.

SLAB, La Mer North, Jumeirah 1, daily 10am to midnight. Tel: (04) 298 8899. More info on website

12. Cool off with a pool day

Address Boulevard is one of the swanky hotel openings that came to Dubai last year, and if you’re looking for an inner-city urban escape, there’s a Saturday deal to cool of at this summer you’ll like. For Dhs295 for two, enjoy pool access at the sprawling split-level pool deck, a selection of hot and cold bites, Sangria pitcher and music that’s just loud enough to add atmosphere.

Address Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, 2pm to 6pm, Saturdays, Dhs295 for two. Tel: (04) 888 3444. More info on website

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