La Perle Dubai is a new permanent theatre show in Al Habtoor City on Sheikh Zayed Road.
Here’s everything you need to know, from runtime to which seat to book (and what snacks are on offer)…
1. The show…
It lasts 90 minutes (with no intermission) and is a Cirque du Soleil-style ‘extravaganza’ with acrobats, divers (the stage features a diving pool), motorbikes and more. It’s really more about the stunts and the ‘wow’ moments (and the truly amazing set and props) than it is the plot.
You’ll gasp at times, and you’ll definitely clap with pride at the feats the athletes on stage perform, although we found it hard to follow the story, to be honest. But we say approach it as a conceptual piece rather than a work of narrative, and just go along for the ride.
The show runs twice a day, five days a week, Tuesdays to Fridays at 7pm and 9:30pm and Saturdays at 4pm and 7pm. Oh, and side note – you’re free to take photos and videos during the show (just don’t use flash).
2. The seating…
Tickets don’t come cheap – they start at Dhs400 for bronze, Dhs600 for silver, Dhs800 for gold and Dhs1,600 for VIP tickets (which comes with lounge access, free nibbles and a gift to take home).
But the good news is that there are only 14 rows, so you’ll never feel like you’re in the nosebleeds (and the show is quite aerial in nature, so some people may prefer to sit further back).
We sat in the gold section when we went, and we were in row M – we noticed that rows A, B and C in the gold section are front and centre, and were the same price as our ticket. To us, these three rows looked as good a spot to sit in as the VIP sections, so if you want prime seats, this is what we’d go for.
Here’s a photo taken from row C in the gold ‘206’ section to give you an idea of the perspective from there:
Also, we’d say the show plays to the front of the stage quite a lot, so, for instance, when looking at the left of the seat map, seats 1 to 10 in rows K, L and M have a better viewpoint than seats 11 to 23 (and the same would apply for the other side of the map – basically, we’d recommend being as close to the centre as possible).
Also, row M is the very back of the gold section in 206, but row N is actually right behind it and is silver, so this could be a great option if you want to book the cheaper silver seats.
Whether you want to sit in the front or nearer the back really depends on the kind of experience you want to have – in the front you’ll feel more immersed (you’ll feel the water, get hit by snow and have acrobats fly very close to you), whereas in the back, you’ll get a better impression of the overall structure of the show.
3. The parking
We found the wait for the valet to be quite long post-show, so our top tip is to park in the RTA parking that is underneath Sheikh Zayed Road and just metres from the theatre’s entrance (which faces Sheikh Zayed Road and is basically in between the St Regis and the W Hotel). People still don’t really know about this parking, and it was empty when we went to La Perle this week.
To get to the RTA parking (and avoid a bulk of the traffic), you want to exit Sheikh Zayed Road towards Safa Park and Al Wasl Road. So, if you’re driving towards Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Road, take exit 47 and drive as if you’re going to Jumeirah, and then as soon as you get off of flyover from Sheikh Zayed Road you’ll see a right turn with a brown sign saying Dubai Water Canal, take that and it will lead you to the RTA parking.
4. The public transport
The Business Bay metro station is now quite close to La Perle (and walkable thanks to the new pedestrian walkway on the Sheikh Zayed Road bridge), and our top tip if you’re catching a cab straight after the show is to walk around and flag it at the St Regis or The Westin (where you’ll find less of a wait).
5. The snacks…
As you go up the escalators toward the theatre you’ll find a cinema-style snacks counter, with popcorn, shawarma, candy, soda stream drinks and more. But when we went there were queues, and the show was going to start at 7pm on the dot, so we picked up some sweetcorn (the only snack counter without a queue). If you want popcorn, we recommend heading up there about 15 minutes before showtime.
There are also licensed restaurants and bars in the Atrium right next to the theatre if you fancy a meal pre- or post-show. You can see a full list of those here.