Looking for things to do this weekend? Look no further… 

The search for the best things to do in Dubai at the weekend isn’t exactly the easiest endeavour. Why? Because there are so many options – like creative workshops, a Palestinian film festival, foodie pop-ups, brunches, beach parties, free entry to the Louvre, and more.

Without further ado, here is our shortlist of 12 incredible things to do in Dubai this weekend:

Friday, May 17

Take it back to the 80s

Looking for an excuse to get together with the girls this weekend? This Friday, dance to throwback 80s hits – from Whitney Houston to Prince – with Diamond Setter at Farrago from 10pm to 2am at their debut Retro 80s party. Enjoy delicious cocktails, a vibrant ambiance, and a night of nostalgic music and revelry. Don’t forget to channel your inner disco diva with a disco-themed dress code. Entry is free.

Farrago Bar & Lounge, W Dubai – Mina Seyahi, Dubai. Friday, May 17, 10pm to 2am. Free entrance. Tel:(0)4 350 9998. @farragodubai

Get summer ready

This weekend, Curated Playlist are back with another pop-up market, this time The Summer Shop, taking place at the Ritz Carlton Residences in Keturah. Taking place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10am to 8pm, the Curated Playlist was created to provide equal opportunities for retail brands of all sizes in the region. Visitors can shop the expertly curated selection of regional and international brands across homeware, ready to wear fashion, children swear, jewellery, and F&B concepts. Brands include FLTRD, Moksyz’s Victoria Beckham, Sarah’s Bag, Vonto, Yuniu Jewels, RAÏ The Label, Au Soleil, Bits And Pieces, House Of Klara, Tale Of Stars, and more.

Ritz Carlton Residences – Creekside, Keturah, May 17 to 19, 10am to 8pm. @curatedplaylist.dxb

Learn more about Palestine


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Reel Palestine film festival returns to Cinema Akil from May 15 to May 19 with a capsule program, Permission to Narrate, made to engage with the profound depths of Palestinian narrative cinema. Over the four days, choose from six timeless films, each presenting a distinct viewpoint, offering insights into the complexities of life under occupation, and celebrating the indomitable resilience of the human spirit. Films include Yousry Nasrallah’s Bab El Shams; Jenin, Jenin by Mohammad Bakril; Rana’s Wedding by Hany Abu-Assad; and Tomorrow’s Freedom: Marwan Bargouthi by Georgia Scott and Sophia Scott. See the full program here: cinemaakil.com

Cinema Akil, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai. May 15 to May 19. Dhs52.50 per person. cinemaakil.com

Saturday, May 18

Get free entry to Louvre Abu Dhabi

If visiting the wonderful Louvre Abu Dhabi has been on your to-do list, now’s the time to finally tick it off. This Saturday, the iconic art museum on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi is offering free entry to all UAE residents for International Museum Day. All you need is your valid Emirates ID. Present this to the ticket desk and you can enter for free. The galleries, exhibitions, and boutique will stay open until 8.30pm. If you want to stay on and marvel at the dome, it will remain open until midnight.

Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, free entry on May 18, timings TBC, Tel: (600) 565 566. louvreabudhabi.ae

Sip, snack, and paint


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Whether you’re an aspiring artist or complete beginner, thejamjar, located in Alserkal Avenue, is hosting a weekly paint workshop with tea, coffee, pastries, and bread from neighbours and homegrown bakery, Pekoe. Taking place on Saturdays from 1pm to 3pm, the two hour sip and paint session is priced at Dhs200 per person. Unwind and relax as the trained instructor guides you through colour theory and composition as you make your vision come to life.

Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1, Saturdays from 1pm to 3pm, 12 years and above. Dhs200 per person. Tel:(0)4 341 7303, thejamjardubai.com

Brunch with a view


Taking place on the 43rd floor of the Grosvenor House, brunch-goers can embark on an afternoon of sophistication at its finest at City Social. From 12.30pm to 4pm, guests will tuck into delicious modern European cuisine with a Japanese twist, alongside free-flowing drinks. Tables will be filled with beef tartare, oysters, scallop ceviche, roasted cod, parmesan risotto, a nine-layered tiramisu cake, and a cheese trolley meandering through the restaurant to finish off your afternoon. City Social’s DJ will keep things lively, whilst guests bask over the views of the harbour and Arabian Gulf, for Dhs495 with house beverages or Dhs750 with bubbles. Don’t want the party to end? Head upstairs to City Socials’ very own izakaya-style speakeasy bar, 7 Tales, for the rest of the evening.

City Social, Grovesner House, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Sat 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs395 soft, Dhs495 sparkling and house, Dhs750 bubbly. Tel: (0)4 402 2222, citysocialdubai.com

Check out this cool foodie pop-up

Spice up your dinner plans this weekend with a one-off pop-up, Fiesta Los Amigos. This Saturday, two Mexican foodie favourites, Don Bueno and Tacos Los Hermanos, will takeover Ramy Automotive in Al Quoz for an unmissable taco cookout experience. Taking place from 6pm to 12an, guests can expect to try tantalising Latin American flavours such as birria tacos, chicken pastor tacos, Baja fish tacos, flan, tres leches, and more. It’s even pet-friendly, so your four-legged foodie doesn’t have to miss out. Taco ’bout not to be missed…

Ramy Automotive, 29 16B Street – Al Quoz 3, May 18, 6pm to 12am. @ramyautomotive

Get unlimited drinks by the beach

Sink your feet into the sand while you sip on a glass of rosé at Ria, a relaxed yet upscale beachside drinking and dining destination at Club Vista Mare. On Saturdays and Sundays, guests can sit and drink in the ocean views with their Sea, Sips, and Shisha deal. Taking place every weekend, from 12pm to 8pm, you can enjoy three hours of unlimited beverages – from prosecco to rosé, beer to spirits – for just Dhs120. For those who’d like to add-on shisha, it’s Dhs190. The elegant beachfront spot also boasts a menu of beach eats inspired by the sun-soaked shores of the Mediterranean, making it ideal for a day out with friends, family and even your four-legged friends.

Ria Restaurant & Beach Bar, Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah, daily 11am to 2am. Tel: (0)54 394 9898. riarestaurantbar.com

Sunday, May 19

Escape to seaside bliss

Bringing coastal charm and chic French Riviera vibes, Maison De La Plage is the latest addition to The Club at Palm West Beach, from the culinary mastermind chef Izu Ani. This Sunday, from 4pm to midnight, the chic beach venue invites you to their last soiree of the season, Coquillages. From 4pm to midnight, enjoy oysters, champagne, and live entertainment from DJ Lucasmile, George Skylourakis, violinist Julio Cuba, and saxophonist Manuel Andres. Pure bliss.

Maison De La Plage, Palm West Beach, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, Sunday May 19, 4pm to midnight, Tel: (0) 4 452 3344, @maisondelaplage_

Enjoy a wholesome breakfast

This beautiful restaurant located in Jumeirah has launched an imaginative new breakfast menu inspired by the region and focusing on quality ingredients. The neighbourhood spot, located just next to Waitrose, features rustic structure, natural stone finishings and understated decor. Grab a table in the garden to enjoy the weather before summer kicks in and choose from fiery Turkish eggs; indulgent French Toast served with apple compote, pistachio and vanilla ice cream; avocado on toast with burrata and heirloom tomatoes; frittata packed with mushrooms, olives, sun dried tomatoes and padron peppers; and more.

Terra Eatery, Al Tanya Street, next to Waitrose, Jumeirah, Dubai. Daily 8am to 12pm. Tel:(0)4 388 8582. @terra.eatery

Treat the little ones


Pack your swimsuits and make a splash at Legoland waterpark this weekend. Throughout May and June, visitors can splash their way around in Lego-themed water slides and rides and enjoy exciting family-friendly activities by the pool – from musical statues to water aerobics – with tons of exciting prizes to be won. The fun begins at 2pm to 7pm by the wave pool. Best of all, UAE residents can take get four tickets for the price of three.

Legoland, Dubai Parks and Resorts. Saturdays and Sundays throughout May and June. 2pm to 7pm. From Dhs295 per person. Tel: (0)4 825 1650, legoland.com

Get your roast dinner fix

There’s nothing quite like a good old Sunday lunch washed down with a glass of red. The Nine gastropub has a delicious Great British Roast offering every Sunday, priced from Dhs95, which is kind of like a roast dinner brunch. Choose from meat-free (Dhs95), roast chicken with herb stuffing (Dhs110), Suffolk pork (Dhs130), roast leg of lamb (Dhs130) or prime ribeye beef (Dhs145) with all the trimmings. Upgrade to include a drinks package of four house drinks for Dhs119, or free-flowing drinks for two hours for Dhs179.

The Nine, Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk, Wafi, Sundays, 12.30pm to 4pm, from Dhs95. Tel: (0)4 281 4111. sofitel-dubai-theobelisk.com 

Images: Social/Provided