10 awesome things to do in Dubai this weekend: Dec 31 to Jan 2

Will you be celebrating?

It’s been a long old year and, finally, 2021 is just days away. Happily, New Year’s Eve takes place on a Thursday this year so we’ve got the whole weekend to celebrate the dawn of a new year (and hopefully a better one).

Whether you’re celebrating in style or just looking for something to do this weekend, here’s 10 awesome ways you can do it…

Thursday, December 31 (New Year’s Eve)

Spend New Year’s Eve on the 43rd floor


Located on the 43rd floor of Media One hotel, enjoy the stunning views of the Dubai skyline and unlimited food and beverages from 9pm to 1am. Want to stay on? The cash bar is open from 1am to 3am. Reservations are a must. Doors open at 7pm.

Baby Q, 43rd floor, Media One Hotel, Media City, Duba. Tel: (0)58 592 9508. @babyqdubai

ALSO READ: Where to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Dubai 2020

Take the kids to the cinema for half the price

reel cinema

Reel Cinemas is offering 50 per cent off the ticket price for little ones under the age of 12 on all weekdays until January 6. There are movies the full family can enjoy such as Disney Pixar’s new fantastical epic Soul to the family-friendly festive flick My Adventures with Santa. The deal is available at all Reel Cinemas locations and can be availed at Reel Cinemas counters only.  Make sure you take the Emirates ID along for proof.

Reel Cinemas, various locations across Dubai, 50 per cent off ticket price for children under 12, until Jan 6 (weekdays only), reelcinemas.ae

Friday, January 1, 2021 (New Year’s Day)

Enjoy a late New Year’s Day brunch


If you had a late-night on December 31, this signature brunch at Iris is perfect as it begins at 4pm and ends at 8pm. Prices start from just Dhs250 for soft drinks and Dhs350 for house drinks and selected beers.

Iris Dubai, Meydan Grandstand, Dubai, 4pm to 8pm on Jan 1, Dhs250 soft, Dhs350 house and hops, Dhs520 bubbles, Dhs50 premium. Tel:  (0)4 56 951 1442. irisdubai.com

Go for a laid-back lunch

The Rose & Crown

Looking for an afternoon lunch in a laidback setting after the previous night out? Head to Rose & Crown where a perfect post-New Year celebration menu awaits. There are games such as pool table, dartboards and jenga to help keep up the energetic spirit, unlimited food and drinks and soothing music. It’s Dhs220 for adults and Dhs95 for children ages six to 12 years.

The Rose & Crown, The Atrium at Al Habtoor City, Dubai, 12.30pm to 4pm on Jan 1, Dhs220 for one adult, Dhs95 per child ages 6-12, Tel: (04) 437 0022. roseandcrowndubai.com

Cheers to the New Year with this cool Asian brunch

Head to favourite hangout spot, Lah Lah on New Year’s Day for a cool brunch filled with sharing platters of the restaurant’s signature pan-Asian dishes. There are two seatings, 2pm to 5pm and 7pm to 10pm. Prices start from Dhs295.

Lah Lah Bazaar, Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens, Dubai. 2pm to 5pm and 7pm to 10pm on Jan 1. Dhs295 soft, Dhs375 house, Dhs450 premium. Tel: (0)4 519 1111. zabeelhouse.com/restaurants

Catch a movie under the stars at Radisson Red

Radisson Red Dubai Silicon Oasis

This cinema at the cool Radisson Red is only available on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day right next to the Dubai Digital Park lake. Movie screenings include family-friendly animated classics, so it’s a great night the whole family can enjoy and you can even bring your pet with you. On January 1, Lady and The Tramp will be screened at 6pm followed by 101 Dalmantions at 8pm. The best news is that entry is free. 

Radisson Red Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai, on Dec 31 and Jan 1, free entry. Tel: (04) 571 4343. radissonhotels.com

ALSO READ: All the outdoor cinemas you need to visit this festive season

Saturday, January 2

Tuck into breakfast with a view

If you love breakfast with a view, there are plenty of fantastic places in Dubai to do just that. Wind down the weekend at surrounded by lush greenery at The Farm, Al Barari. It’s a stunning botanical oasis that takes you out of the heart of the city with waterfalls, gorgeous plants and open-sided decking from where you can enjoy your alfresco breakfast. Dishes include freshly-cooked omelettes, eggs Royale, waffles, full English and plenty more.

The Farm, Al Barari, Dubai, breakfast served daily, 7.30am to 12pm. Tel: (04) 392 5660. thefarmdubai.ae

Tuck into a roast at Palm Bay

If your weekend isn’t complete without a roast, check out Palm Bay. There are few places in Dubai that bring the weekend vibes like Club Vista Mare on The Palm Jumeirah, so it’s an ideal spot to hit up for your Sunday roast. It’s Dhs150 for a roast dinner with unlimited sides, plus there are two house beverages included.

Palm Bay, Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, roast available between 12pm and 10pm, Saturdays.  Tel: (0)4 554 2665. palmbaydubai.com

Catch a cool drone show

Dubai drone show

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An incredible drone show takes place daily at The Beach at 7pm and 9.30pm. The performance will see multiple drones take to the skies to entertain and amaze viewers below. The two shows follow two differing themes – the first sees Modesh and Dana explore the city in “Dubai, A City of Adventure”, while the second looks at the transformation of the emirate in “Dubai, From the Past to the Present”. This cool show is free to watch.

The Beach and Bluewaters, daily until January 30, 7pm and 9.30pm, free. visitdubai.com

Dine at a new restaurant and enjoy the enthralling performances

Amber Hall interior

Vii Dubai, the brains behind the floral-sheltered Secret Garden and mystical Red Room, has a new multi-sensory dining and live entertainment spot that you need to check out. Located at the Conrad Dubai, Amber Hall offers diners an opulent and engaging atmosphere with live performances that take place daily and tantalizing international cuisine. The centre stage is extravagant and features a line-up of fascinating artistic performances. Expect a rich variety of classical and modern acts ranging from contemporary dancers, violin, cello and saxophone players to pop and opera singers, amongst many other extraordinary live acts.

Amber Hall, Conrad Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, open daily from 7pm to 3am, Tel: (0)52 740 4777. @amberhallbyvii

Images: Supplied