Here’s proof you can teach an old dog new tricks…

Personal upskills

Learn to talk like TED

Many of us suffer with a fear of public speaking, but the practice can prove very beneficial whether you’re presenting to your colleagues, building your confidence levels, or preparing for your Best Man speech. Atton Institute offers a five-day course, available in person or online, which aims to teach you tools and techniques to be able to speak like you’re presenting a TED talk. The course covers points such as overcoming your fear, preparing for and delivery of presentations, body language, voice and intonation, and challenges.

Atton Institute, February 7 to 11, Dhs16,307 in person or Dhs5,693 online. Tel: (0)4 431 1177.

 Up your content creation game

Whether you’re a marketing professional, an entrepreneur or just love to document your life on social media, content creation is a key skill for many people to have in 2022. Designed for social media enthusiasts, this creative course will have you filming and editing like a pro in no time. The three-week course runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 6pm and 9pm from February 22 to March 6, priced at Dhs3,000 and can be done either in-campus or online.

SAE Institute, Dubai Knowledge Park, Feb 22 to Mar 6 (Tue & Thur only), 6pm to 9pm, Dhs3,000. Tel: (0)4 360 64 56.

Learn Arabic

Have you yet to familiarise yourself with the local lingo? Then yalla, it’s time to learn Arabic. The Eton Institute promises that you can master the basics of conversational Arabic in just 30 hours over a duration of three weeks (two hours a day, five days a week). Sign up for the Foundation group course, which costs Dhs1,554.

Eton Institute, Block 3, Dubai Knowledge Village, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4386800. Taxi: Eton Institute.

Edit like a pro

Become an editing master with Gulf Photo Plus’ Introduction to Adobe Photoshop. The two-day, eight-hour workshop includes theory and practical learning as well as course notes. Learn everything from the basics like spot healing and image resolution to adjustment layers and major edits. Whether it’s for personal or professional projects, unleash your creativity with this informative practical course. You’ll need to bring your own laptop and have Photoshop installed. The next workshop takes place on Saturday March 5 and Sunday March 6, priced at Dhs780.

Gulf Photo Plus, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, March 5 to 6, 10am to 3pm, Dhs780. Tel: (0)4 380 8545.

Performing Arts

Find DJ stardom

Spin, scratch and mix your way through 2022 with an introduction to DJing course. In cooperation with Pioneer DJ, you’ll learn to understand the decks, audio quality and music organisation as well as beat matching and how to use all of the equipment. If you’ve ever considered switching to a DJing career, looking to do it on the side, or just want to be the life of the party, the three-week course runs on Saturdays and Sundays from February 26.

SAE Institute, Dubai Knowledge Park, Feb 26 to Mar 13 (Sat & Sun only), 1pm to 5pm, Dhs4,000. Tel: (0)4 360 64 56.

Learn the art of improv’

Build confidence and be ready for anything with an improv’ class at Courtyard Playhouse. The 14-hour ‘Don’t Panic’ course will take place over five weeks, and is designed to encourage failing happily, getting used to making mistakes and becoming more spontaneous. The small group sessions will bring you out of your comfort zone and teach techniques to make you more comfortable on the stage and beyond. Starting February 5, the 2-hour sessions will run on Saturdays at 5.15pm, priced at Dhs1,850.

Courtyard Playhouse, Al Quoz 1, Feb 5 to March 12 (Saturdays only) 5.15pm to 7.15pm, Dhs1,850. Tel: (0)50 986 1760.

Take an acting course

Ready for your big break? Fine-tune your acting prowess with the Desert Monologues course at Courtyard Playhouse. Experienced instructors will guide you through scripting, improvisation and characterisation in this six-week programme. A series of drama-based activities will culminate in a solo performance where you’ll show your skills through a personal monologue. Even if acting isn’t in your career plans, this is a unique opportunity to try something new, meet creative people and learn a new skill. Packages start from Dhs2,200.

Courtyard Playhouse, Al Quoz 1, March 9 to April 22 (Wednesdays only) 7.30pm to 9.30pm, from Dhs2,200. Tel: (0)50 986 1760.

Learn to play the guitar

Let’s rock! Master the art of music with guitar lessons. Melodica offers classes for all levels across acoustic, classic or electric guitar. Whether you’re just starting out or keen to improve upon your existing skills, these online or in-person lessons could be the perfect way to up-skill your talents and shape you into a guitar hero. Classes can be bought in blocks to reduce the cost, starting from Dhs120 per 30-minute session.

Melodica, various locations, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, from Dhs120.


Get PADI certified

Al Boom Diving is one of the original diving companies to be established in the UAE, and offers a range of courses, including the main open water diver course. During the course you’ll complete your five classroom based sessions at its flagship Al Wasl branch, and sit a test, before embarking on pool dives. Once this is complete you’ll need to do four open water dives (IE in the ocean) to complete the certification. These take place from Jumeirah beach and in Fujairah. Once you’ve passed the four-day course, you’ll be PADI certified – a globally renowned certification that allows you to scuba dive anywhere in the world up to 18m.

Al Boom Diving, Al Wasl Road, Dhs1,974. Tel: (0)4 3422993.

Earn your motorcycle license

For many, it’s a dream to hop on a motorcycle and experience the freedom and rebel spirit of the open road. While it’s possible to dirt bike or motocross in the desert without a licence, it’s sensible to consider getting a motorcycle licence to equip you with all the right knowledge you need to ride safe – especially if, like us, you catch rider’s rush and want to ride all the time. Visit Al Ahli Driving School to sign up for 15 hours of practical sessions, eight hours of theory lectures. If you take lessons every weekend, and pass all your tests first time, you can complete the whole process in just over two months.

Al Ahli Driving School, Dhs4,690.

Get your head around meditation

Meditation is said to bring so many health benefits, and in a world where stress and anxiety are on the up, we could all use a lesson or two in how to master the skill. Meditation for the modern soul: Meditation for beginners is the one-day (six-hour) course at Illuminations, taking place on February 5, March 5 or April 9, priced at Dhs400. Participants will learn the basics, including grounding exercises, breathwork, mindfulness and active relaxation. Expect to learn the tools you need to be able to unplug, reconnect within and cleanse your mind, body and energy through meditation.

Illuminations, Fortune Executive Towers, Cluster T, JLT, next event February 5, 11am to 5pm, Dhs400.

Train in accelerated freefalling

For the brave thrill-seekers, you can train in an accelerated freefall (AFF) first jump course with Skydive Dubai. You’ll learn about equipment, safety procedures, canopy deployment and control and landing to work towards a solo skydive. There’s theory tests and a total of eight skydives required to receive your certification. An AFF Package will set you back around Dhs10,000 and includes ground school, 7 skydives, and 15 minutes tunnel time. The license is an additional fee once you’ve passed this stage.

Skydive Dubai Desert Dropzone, Al Ain – Dubai Rd, daily 8am to 5pm.

Food and drink

Enroll in wine school

Being a verified wine taster has to the ultimate ‘fun fact’ someone can divulge when the time comes. Knowing your grapes, regions, tannins and pairings is no mean feat, but definitely one of the more fun courses you can try in Dubai. The Tasting Class offers WSET qualifications in levels 1, 2 and 3, running for one, three and six days respectively. You’ll have an exam at the end of each, which – if you pass – will grant you a certificate and a metal lapel pin.

WSET Wine Course, The Tasting Class, Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City, various dates, from Dhs1,680. Tel: (0)50 918 6761.

Level up your culinary skills

While there a plenty of fun cooking classes to sign up for around town, only a handful offer certification upon completion. For serious enthusiasts, check out the School of Culinary and Finishing Arts, Dubai (Scafa). Scafa offers a range of certified programmes, including a ‘fundamentals of cuisine’ course focussing on eight basic techniques that are essential for any cook, including knife skills, stocks and soups, poultry, red meat, baking and desserts. Each class lasts three hours.

Scafa, Cluster I, Jumeirah Lakes Towers. Tel: (0)43794044.

Images: Getty/Provided