The countdown to 2018 has begun! Make the most of the last 2017 has to offer with 12 fun things to do around the city, including shopping deals, free yoga, festive ice-cream and a super-charged snail.
Thursday, 28th December
Another year-round celebration of world cinema begins at VOX Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates. DIFF365@VOX Cinemas hits the opening chords on its new season with a must for music fans, ‘Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars’, showing until 10th January.
Screenings daily at 4.45pm and 6.45pm. Tickets are AED 45 and available online at uae.voxcinemas.com and at the Mall of the Emirates box office.
New ice-cream emporium Sweet Salvation wants to expand on the maxim that calories don’t count over the holidays. Get in the spirit with the Gingerbread House or the Cookie Butter Cone, or if you need warming up, the Candy Cane White Hot Chocolate will do the trick. Small cones are AED 30, large AED 35 and hot chocolate AED 25.
City Walk 2, 04 349 9917. 10am-1am this weekend.
Environment and animal-obsessed group Pearl of the Emirates is selling paw-some books and tshirts at Riverland Festive Market. Entry is free and the whole market is worth a browse – it’s open daily until 6th January.
Riverland Dubai, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Sheikh Zayed Road, near The Outlet Village. Until 6th Jan from 4pm-10pm weekdays and 2pm-10pm weekends. www.dubaiparksandresorts.com
Friday, 29th December
Rise and stretch
Reset on seasonal over-indulgence at Dubai Marina Mall Promenade every Friday throughout winter with free yoga classes. Experts from Lululemon will lead some gentle stretching on the stunning waterfront from 8.30am, so arrive in plenty of time to grab a spot.
Open to men and women. Mats are provided. From 8.30am. 04 436 1020.
Great friends and a good barbecue make for the perfect Friday, especially if someone else is grilling. The Family Backyard Barbecue at Links, Address Montgomerie, not only overlooks the expansive golf course, but has a menu packed with al fresco cooking favourites, picnic-blanket seating and free pony rides for kids. Picnic blankets
Emirates Hills. Every Friday from 12pm-7pm. A la carte, prices vary. 04 888 3444.
Dubai Shopping Festival brings the first of its weekly Friday surprises with sportswear from only AED 49. Head to Athlete’s Co at City Centre Deira from 9am-12pm or until stocks last. Brands on sale include Sketcher’s, New Balance, covering everything you need to get yourself work-out ready for January.
Athlete’s Co, City Centre Deira. 9am-12pm. 04 295 1010.
Enjoy an evening of illusion and entertainment with Megyes Abel at The Junction in Alserkal Avenue. You won’t believe your eyes once this accomplished illusionist reveals his abilities.
For adults only. 8pm at The Junction, Al Quoz. Tickets AED 60 at Platinumlist.net
Saturday, 30th December
Enjoy the Karma before the storm – classy Karma Café has views of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain come with unlimited sushi and dim sum, plus a bottle of grape, a carafe of traditional Japanese beverage or a pot of organic tea, all for AED 299 per couple.
Every Saturday from 12pm-7pm for AED 299 per couple. Karma Kafé, Souk Al Bahar Level Three, Downtown Dubai. 04 423 0909.
Little ones can let off some steam with snowball battles, snowman building and other kid-friendly things to do in a winter wonderland at KidZania Dubai. Celebrate the cooler months without getting chilly at this palace of fun in The Dubai Mall, every Saturday until 6th January.
KidZania Dubai, Level 2, The Dubai Mall. Access to the Winter Games zone is AED 25 per child, in addition to entry tickets, which start from AED 95. 10am-10pm (11pm weekends).
Kids will love the heart-warming tale of Turbo, an ordinary garden snail who turns into a super-powered speed race after a freak accident. A free screening at Dubai Marina Mall Promenade’s outdoor cinema starts at 5.30pm and spots are first come, first served.
Dubai Marina Mall Promenade. 5.30pm. For more information, visit dubaimarinamall.com, or phone 04 436 1020.
Egyptian singer Amr Diab returns to Dubai to close 2017 with a two-hour performance at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. The best-selling artist has made a career blending Western and Egyptian rhythms to sell-out audiences.
Tickets from AED 295 on www.platinumlist.net. Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. 5pm-11pm.
Ladies, soak up Gaucho’s new terrace over three complimentary beverages and 50 per cent off tapas-style bar bites. There’s music from DJ Bret Turner too at the popular Argentinian steakhouse’s weekly Hola Chicas ladies’s night.
Every Saturday, 8pm-11pm. Gaucho DIFC. 04 422 7898.