12 wonderful things to do in Dubai this long weekend: Dec 29 to Jan 1

Have a wonderful new year…

And just like that, it’s the last (long) weekend of the year and if you want to end the year and kick off 2024 on a high, here are some brilliant things to do in Dubai.

Friday, December 29

Have a fashionable breakfast with the ladies at Saya Brasserie Cafe

Breakfast but make it fashionable at Saya. There are four branches around Dubai: in Citywalk, Wasl 51, Nakheel Mall and Dubai Hills. The cafe is sure to be a beautiful backdrop to shoot some candid’s before you tuck into some really good food. Flaky croissants and tasty toasties are on the menu along with delectable lotus pancakes and brioche crunchy French toast.

Saya Brasserie Cafe, various locations around Dubai and timings vary, sayacafe.ae, @saya.brasserie

Celebrate the start of the weekend at CouCou Dubai

CouCou’s is perched 52 stories high on the top floor of the Palm Tower, where you’ll also find The View at The Palm, with mesmerising views across the twinkling Palm Jumeirah, city skyline, and shimmering Arabian Gulf. Whether you’re perched up at the grand marble bar sipping cocktails, catching up with friends over dinner in a dimly lit booth or kicking back on the plush leather chairs in one of the comfy lounge areas, you’ll be able to drink in the scenic views from every spot.

CouCou, level 52, The View, Palm Tower, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. 8pm to 2am. Tel:(0)52 451 2188. @coucourooftop

Go bowling with mates at Triple 7

triple 7 arcade dubai

Triple 7, located at the Radisson Blu Canal View in Business Bay Dubai, is the newest retro gaming bar in Dubai. The new nightlife venue combines the nostalgia of a vintage arcade with trendy bar vibes: think graffiti-covered walls, neon signage, and activities like pinball machines, 8-bit video games and virtual reality experiences too. You’ll also be pleased to hear that the venue houses a four-lane bowling alley, where you can challenge your mates while sipping on signature beers and beverages while tucking in to some top bar bites like gourmet sliders, loaded nachos and pizza.

Triple 7, Radisson Blu Canal View, Business Bay, daily 4pm to 2am. Tel: (0)56 630 0777, @triple7dubai

Saturday, December 30

Last chance: Go check out the Hatta Festival and witness a car parade 

Hatta sign mountain

If you need a break of the city skylines, hit the road and head for the hills to Hatta for the Hatta Festival. Taking place until December 31, Hatta Festival celebrates culture, sports and entertainment. It takes place at the newly-developed Leem Lake in Hatta and the popular Hatta Wadi Hub. Car fans, on December 30 you will be able to check out a parade of classic cars which will be making their way from Dubai to the festival grounds.

For updates and more information, head to @visithatta

Indulge in an afternoon Tea and spa experience at Banyan Tree Dubai

The therapists at the all-new Banyan Tree Spa know just what it takes to pamper its guests and for a limited time only, you will be able to pair your rejuvenating spa session with a delightful afternoon tea at The Lounge. Take a friend and enjoy this spa package for two for Dhs1,300 which includes a one hour massage, afternoon tea and pool & beach access. This works out at around Dhs650 per person.

Banyan Tree Dubai, Bluewaters Dubai, avail on Wed and Thurs, 2pm to 5pm, Dhs1,300 for two, Tel: (0)4 556 6666, banyantree.com

Shake that thing with Sean Paul and T.I

Sean Paul will be performing in Dubai on December 30 at the Coca-Cola Arena and he will be joined with rap icon T.I. The concert was originally set to take place in October but moved to December – a great way to celebrate the day before NYE. Sean Paul has had chart-topping hits that include Got To Luv U, Temperature, and Get Busy – all hits in the early 2000s.

Sean Paul, Coca-Cola Arena, City, December 30, 2023, tickets start from Dhs150. Standing area strictly 16+ dubai.platinumlist.net

Sunday, December 31

Go see the Burj Khalifa fireworks on NYE


There’s nowhere in the world quite like Downtown Dubai on New Year’s Eve where you can get cool views of the Burj Khalifa fireworks. It holds world records, it’s always spectacular and outdoes itself every single year. This year is sure to be no different. The Burj Khalifa will naturally offer viewers an unparalleled fireworks display this New Year’s Eve – Dubai has a way with lights and all that glitters and sparkles. There are a plethora of places to watch the Burj Khalifa fireworks from, whether you’re watching from afar or have extravagant plans.

Stay up to date with all the latest information on @burjkhalifa

See Sting perform at Atlantis The Palm

Fan of the Desert Rose singer? Sting will be performing in Dubai on December 31 and you will be able to sway and sing to a number of hits including Message in a BottleFields of Gold and more. The performance will take place at the iconic Palm Jumeirah hotel. With Every Breath You Take, you’ll be taken on a nostalgic journey through Sting’s diverse musical repertoire.

Atlantis, The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, 7pm, Dec 31, from Dhs6,500. Tel: (0)4 426 2626. atlantis.com/nye 

Catch a screening of everyone’s favourite festive movie at Cinema Akil in 25hours


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A post shared by What’s On Dubai (@whatsondubai)

This stunning seasonal outpost of the beloved art house cinema is hosting a complimentary screening of Home Alone, the festive film to end all festive films. The screening kicks off at 8pm on December 31 and is the perfect family activity. Grab some snacks for the movie from the food and beverage menu, and you’re all set for a night of laughter, nostalgia, and a shared passion for the art of film.

Cinema Akil in 25hours, 25hours Hotel Dubai One Central, Dubai, Dec 31, 8pm, @cinemaakil

Monday, January 1

Celebrate New Year’s Day in style

If you’re celebrating New Year in Dubai and want to keep the party going into the new year, there’s plenty of ways to spend New Year’s Day 2024 in Dubai. From family-friendly roasts to dust away the cobwebs, to beachside brunches, there are several spots to make sure you start 2024 in style.

Head to this link here for some great options. 

Tuck into an all you can eat breakfast brunch at LDC

Need to refuel after a long night painting the town red? On January 1, you can tuck into an all-you-can-eat breakfast for just Dhs69. The deal is available from 8am to 4pm. On the menu, there’s eggs, avocado on toast, mushroom omelette, buttermilk pancakes, gluten-free oatmeal with chai and more. The deal is available across LDC branches, but tables are given on a first come first serve basis. 


Kick start 2024 with a vegan menu at Michelin Select Punjab Grill


Deciding to go vegan in 2024? Start off the year right and head to Punjab Grill at Anantara Downtown Dubai. There’s a new set menu that’s available for Dhs275 which will see you tucking into a number of dishes put together by Executive Chef Sandeep Ail. The menu includes steamed while mushroom dumplings, masala pumpkin fried idli, tofu tikka masala, and more.

Punjab Grill, Anantara Downtown Dubai, Marasi Drive, Business Bay, vegan menu avail in Jan for Dhs275, Tel: (0)50 194 1107 punjabgrill.me

Images: Supplied and Unsplash