The return of the Dubai Rugby Sevens, Sole DXB and lots more…

If you’re back at work after the five-day weekend, thankfully there’s only two days at your desks and then it’s officially the weekend again.

And if you’re wondering how to fill it, there’s heaps happening across the city. From the much-anticipated Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens to a huge urban street festival and a Christmas mega-brunch.

Here’s our pick of 15 things to do in Dubai this weekend… 

Thursday December 5

1. Dine your way around Atlantis’ festive mega brunch

Atlantis the Palm’s ‘Cirque de Cuisine’ is back on Thursday December 5 for its Christmas edition – this time with a ‘Frozen’ theme. The luxury hotel will be dressed up like a winter-wonderland, complete with a choir, snow-capped street lamps, Santa and Elves and you’ll get to dine on cuisine from around the world at nine of their fabulous restaurants including Nobu, Seafire and Hakkasan.

Cirque de Cuisine: The Frozen Edition, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, Thursday December 5, 7pm to 11pm, early bird tickets from Dhs595 adult. Tel: (04) 426 1000.

2. Get your kicks at a cool urban streetwear festival

The hotly-anticipated Sole DXB returns to Dubai from Thursday December 5 to Saturday December 7. The uber-cool urban streetwear festival celebrates the best of sports apparel, music art and lifestyle with confirmed performances from the likes of Wiley and Wu-Tang Clan. Global sportswear brands you’ll find at the event include Adidas, Puma, Reebok and Nike – so don’t forget your wallet.

Sole DXB, Dubai Design District (d3), Thurs Dec 5, 6pm onwards (free), Friday Dec 6 & Sat Dec 7, 12pm to 10pm, from Dhs245.

3. Get all the festive feels by visiting a popular Christmas Market

The gardens at Dubai’s Habtoor Palace are once again transforming into an enchanted winter wonderland for the 2019 festive season. There will be entertainment and themed activities for everyone to enjoy, including a selection of retail and food stalls, children’s activities and attractions, and even an appearance from Santa himself. If you go on their opening night – Thursday December 5 – you’ll get a free mulled wine or minced pie. A children’s choir from Emirates International School Jumeirah will be singing Christmas songs from 6pm to get you in the festive spirit.

Habtoor Palace, Al Habtoor City, daily 3pm to midnight, December 5 to 24, free entry.

4. Go ice skating by the beach

Ever thought you’d find yourself ice skating by the beach? Well, it’s now a reality (it is Dubai after all). JBR’s winter #WOWJBR festival kicks off on December 5 complete with a free open-topped outdoor skating rink. As well as the free-to-use ice rink, expect to mingle with your favourite Christmas movie characters, who’ll be sharing selfies with those passing by The Walk. The Christmas version of the festival will be on from Thursday to Saturday every weekend throughout December.

Festive WOWJBR, JBR The Walk, Dubai, running Thursday December 5 from 6.30pm, every weekend until Friday, December 27. @jbr_official

5. A huge Dubai Muscle exhibition is coming to Dubai

Are you into bodybuilding, fitness and nutrition? There’s one place you definitely need to check out this weekend. Coming to Dubai from Thursday December 5 to Saturday December 7 is the Middle East’s biggest international fitness and bodybuilding exhibition. There’ll be shows, Q&A’s, MMA, Boxing, Muay Thai and Strongman and Strongwoman competitions. There’ll even be athlete meet and greets, so if you want to come face to face with some of the biggest names in the game, be sure to check it out.

Dubai Muscle Show, Dubai World Trade Centre, Downtown Dubai, 10am to 6pm Thurs, 10am to 7pm Fri and Sat, tickets from Dhs50.

Friday December 6

6. Get dressed up for the Dubai Rugby Sevens

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the hugely popular Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens and it’s sure to be bigger and better than ever before. It’s tradition to dress up and this year’s theme is 1970’s – think flares, bold prints and even some hippie sunglasses. Whilst you’re essentially there to watch the rugby, there’s loads going on off the pitch too, including dancers, tribute acts and a special performance from Kylie Minogue on Friday, December 6. Entry to the tournament is free for all on Thursday, while general access tickets are Dhs300 for Saturday, Dhs400 for Friday, or Dhs500 for a weekend-long pass.

Emirates Airline Rugby Sevens, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai, Thursday December 5 to Saturday December 7, tickets from Dhs300.

7. Watch Burna Boy perform at Drai’s Dubai

Nigerian singer Burna Boy – who’s collaborated with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Stormzy and Jorja Smith – will take to Drai’s famous catwalk stage on Friday December 6. He’ll likely perform some of his biggest hits including Like to Party, Shobeedo and Burn Identity. It’s free entry for ladies with free-flowing drinks until 1am. Guys will need to go to Virgin Megastore for their tickets, priced at Dhs200 inclusive of two house drinks.

Drai’s Dubai, Meydan Racecourse Grandstand, Friday, December 6, 10pm to 4am, free entry for ladies, guys Dhs200 with two drinks. Tel: (052) 388 8857.

8. Check out a brand new brunch

Soho Garden has fast-cemented itself as a go-to destination in Dubai, whether you’re dining, partying or doing a bit of both. They’re launching their brand new brunch on Friday December 6 with free-flowing drinks, unlimited trips to the buffet and some top-class entertainment. Make sure you stick around for the after-party, which will have a headline set from DJ Meduza.

Soho Garden DXB, Racecourse, Grandstand, Al Meydan Road, Dubai, brunch 1pm to 5pm, Dhs350 house, Dhs450 bubbles, afterparty 5pm to 10pm. Tel: (052) 388 8849.

9. Watch The Nutcracker at Dubai Opera

If your Christmas isn’t complete without a theatre show, check out the classic Russian ballet, The Nutcracker, at Dubai Opera this December. The story follows Clara Stahlbaum, who at a Christmas Eve party receives a nutcracker from her godfather. At midnight, the nutcracker comes to life and fights the Rat King to escape from an evil curse and when he does, he transforms into a prince and invites Clara on an enchanting adventure. The show will be accompanied by a live orchestra from St-Petersburg Tchaikovsky Ballet Theatre, performing all of the classic scores.

The Nutcracker, Dubai Opera, Dubai, Dec 4, 8pm to 10.30pm, Dec 5, 8pm to 10.30pm, Dec 6, 2pm to 4.30pm, 8pm to 10.30pm, Dec 7, 2pm to 4.30pm, 8pm to 10.30pm, from Dhs125. Tel: (04) 440 8888.

10. Tuck into a festive sharing menu

Are you in charge of organising your group’s festive get-together before you all depart for Christmas? Try the cute sharing-style festive offering from the Nightjar Coffee Roasters. You’ll feast on delicious plates like a shredded brussel and cranberry pumpkin salad to start, turkey or New Zealand meatballs for mains with gravy and lots of sides and finish off with puddings like creme brulee. The alcohol-free festive dinner is priced at Dhs145 based on four people sharing.

Nightjar Coffee Roasters, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, on throughout December, from Dhs145 per person. Tel: (04) 330 6635.

Saturday December 7

11. Take your dog to breakfast

Reform get that you’re super-attached to your furry-friends, so they’re inviting them (and you) to breakfast on Saturday, December 7. That’s right, if you’re the owner of spaniels, terriers, small poodles, beagles, Jack Russel’s and other medium sized dogs, head there for breakfast from 8am to 11am where you can choose from classic dishes like eggs Benedict, to eat. Does your dog not fit into the medium-sized category? Not to worry – Reform put on dining events for other breeds on different days so keep your eyes peeled on their Facebook page. Looking to adopt? Amanda’s Animal Rescue UAE – AAR will be there on the day with some pups looking for a new and loving home.

Reform Social Bar & Grill, The Lakes, Dubai, Saturday December 7, 8am to 11am, booking recommended. Tel: (04) 454 2638.

12. Brunch beachside at Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE

There’s only two weeks left to enjoy stalwart beach club Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE before it closes its doors at its Ghantoot location on Friday December 13. They’re throwing a huge closing party next weekend (Dec 13) but if you already have plans that weekend, why not book in for their famous Saturday brunch from 1pm to 4pm? Expect live cooking stations, free-flowing house drinks and an epic beach party vibe.

Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE, Golden Tulip, Ghantoot, Abu Dhabi, Saturday, 1pm to 4pm, Dhs350 house, Dhs580 bubbles. Tel: 056 113 3400.

13. Watch the sun set on the weekend with cheese and wine

Looking for a perfect date night spot to round off the weekend? Anantara The Palm have the perfect romantic offering for you. Opt for their cheese and wine experience, where they’ll set you up your own little picnic spot on the beach, reclining back on soft cushions as you watch the sun go down. You’ll be treated to a vast selection of cheese, Mediterranean antipasti, cured meats and chutneys paired with a bottle of house wine whilst you catch up on the week.

Anantara The Palm Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, from sunset daily, Dhs600 per couple. Tel: (04) 567 8304.

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14. Try a leisurely Saturday breakfast brunch

Mina’s Kitchen at The Westin has recently undergone a gorgeous makeover with a botanical theme and colourful decor. Why not spend a leisurely Saturday morning breakfast brunch on their peaceful terrace? Running from 11am to 3pm, the breakfast buffet can be raided as many times as you like in between free flowing breakfast beverages such as mimosas or bloody Marys. It’s Dhs245 including house drinks and cocktails, or Dhs145 for the soft drink package.

Mina’s Kitchen, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, Dubai, 11am to 3pm, Saturdays, Dhs145 soft, Dhs245 house. Tel: (04) 511 7373.

15. Tuck into a roast with unlimited sides

If your weekend isn’t complete without a roast, try the one at The Tap House restaurant at Club Vista Mare. Served every Saturday and Sunday, you can tuck into ‘Nan’s British Roast’, which is piled high with traditional roast meats and Yorkshire puds. Best of all, you’ll get unlimited sides like roast potatoes, sweet potato mash and cauliflower cheese and a glass of house wine to pair it with. Its Dhs99 for chicken and Dhs125 for beef or lamb.

The Tap House, Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, every Saturday and Sunday, from Dhs99 for chicken. Tel: (04) 514 3778.