Gather the village folk, turn up the volume, dig out the posh frocks and ready the banquet staff – the sun is setting on another week and there is much celebrating to be done.
Thursday, 31st January
In solidarity with India’s 70th Republic Day (congrats by the way guys, you look good for it), the recently opened Purani Dilli at the Four Points by Sheraton Downtown is giving away a FREE Republic Day inspired dessert with orders on mains. Get patriotic, get fed, get yourselves to Purani Dilli.
Mains from AED 37. 12.30pm-3pm, 7pm-2am. Free dessert until 1st February. Purani Dilli at the Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Mankhool. 050 211 6816.
What would you say if we told you there was a AED 250, four-hour brunch at The Blacksmith Smokehouse in Dubai Marina on Thursday that brunch was full of American Deep South, smoked and marinated goodness? You’d say ‘sign me up’ and possibly ‘nice shirt.’ Well, it’s a thing, with rubbed meats, sweet potato mash, mac ‘n’ cheese, and armadillo eggs, that do not contain armadillo but are in fact delicious.
AED 250 for unlimited food and beverages. 7pm-11pm. The Blacksmith Smokehouse, Wyndham Dubai Marina. 04 407 8873.
Tickets for what’s said to be the world’s most popular musical go on sale today. The Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera, is appearing at, where else, the Dubai Opera in October. The Andrew Lloyd Webber blockbuster has won more than 70 major theatre awards, so all we ask of you is that you book soon, because it’s going to be popular.
Tickets from AED 250. Performances Monday to Thursday, 8pm; Friday and Saturday 2pm and 8pm, from 16th October. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai. Book online at
Friday, 1st February
Enter the dragons
When Dubai Parks and Resorts celebrates an occasion, it goes full method. The weeklong Chinese New Year celebrations are a perfect example. Starting on Friday, Motiongate has parades featuring our favourite Kung-Fu literate panda, Master Po, and Legoland has a bunch of activities for the kiddos, including mural building and a wishing wall. Next week, join the colourful fanfare of dragon dancers, Chinese lanterns and fireworks for free at Riverland on 4th February.
Riverland free to enter. Motiongate and Legoland have a range of packages available at www.dubaiparksandresorts.com. Until 9th February. 2pm-10pm.
We’re crushing pretty hard on the idea of croissants and ice cream – and that’s exactly what’s being dished up at Baker & Spice outlets this weekend for International Croissant Day. Fill your buttery pastry with a double scoop of homemade ice cream (including classics like chocolate, coconut and saffron), then load up on toppings, and dollops of indulgent sauce. Pecans and salted caramel? Oui oui.
AED 25 for a croissant, two scoops of ice cream and topping (AED 20 per ‘ssant if you get two). 30th, 31st January and 1st February at Souk Al Bahar outlet from 8am-11pm; 04 425 2240. 1st February only at Marina outlet, 8am-11pm; 04 362 4686.
You might have overlooked the Louvre as a family fun day out, but we promise it’s worth the ‘are we nearly there yet?’ road trip over to the capital. In February there’s an ‘Animal Kingdom Tour’ (11.30am, AED 42 for adults and AED 31.50 for under 22s), a mask-making workshop (Friday 4pm, AED 84 for adults and AED 52.50 for under 22s), and a manga exhibition that’s included in the cost of admission.
Admission AED 63 for adults, AED 31.50 for 13-22 year olds and free for those 12 and under. 10am-10pm. The Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat. 600 56 55 66,
Regulars DJs Madame Shufflebottom and DJ Darryl Rees bring the banging beats to Hideout on Friday night. Entry is free to the Dubai Marina club, which offers an evening brunch package from AED 200 between 8pm-11pm. Tuck into a starter, main course and dessert, plus free-flowing house drinks, from a menu of solid pasta, burger and salad options.
Entry is free. The Hideout, Byblos Dubai Marina. 11pm-3am. 058 534 6000. *John Kelly at Hideout Dubai Marina has been cancelled. The DJ is unable to travel due to severe weather conditions in the UK.
X marks the spot
Free-to-attend yoga festival XYoga Dubai returns for two days of chill. There’s a packed schedule of 55 complimentary classes, sessions and workshops, opening with yoga loving Bollywood actress and model Nargis Fakhri and former Barcelona mid-fielder, Luis Figo. They’ll take part in a session for 2,500 people from 7.30am on 1st February, led by yogi-to-the-stars Deepika Mehta.
XYoga Dubai. From sunrise to 9pm, 1st-2nd February, Kite Beach. Classes are free, but you need to register at xyogadubai.com
Two smoking birthday candles
Bringing out the birthday big guns, Lock Stock & Barrel celebrates its third anniversary on Friday. The Barsha Heights bar has rock solid mash-ups and medleys from band Pop Gunn, resident rockers Gorgeous George and four happy hours of two-for-one beverages, from 4pm-8pm.
9pm-3am. Lock, Stock & Barrel, Barsha Heights 8th Floor, Grand Millennium Hotel. 04 514 9195.
Saturday, 2nd February
If you had a go at Veganuary and you’re feeling pretty good about it, why not crack on with Vegruary? There’s a grand vegan brunch at Rove Healthcare City this weekend in collaboration with the top chef of all things plant-based, Zendy Marsam. It’s affordable, healthy (obvs) and there is plenty for those also dodging gluten. AED 99 gets you access to the salad buffet, a main and a dessert.
AED 99. 11.30am-3.30pm. Daily, Rove Healthcare City. 04 561 9200.
Groovy Peruvian Sours
The first Saturday of February is a special day in Peru, celebrating their famously sour national drink. Coya is bussing this particular Latin Fiesta to Jumeirah, where Streets of Lima is a night of blended beverage infusions, live music and light Peruvian bites. Sour if you go, sour if you don’t.
AED 150 (includes three beverages, and ‘floating canapés’). 7pm-9pm. Coya, Four Seasons Resort Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah. 04 316 9600.
Unbox some style
Shun the highstreet and pick up fashion pieces by the big names of tomorrow. Market Outside the Box is an al fresco mini-mall that’s popping up at Burj Park this weekend. Grassroots talent and emerging eateries combine for a day, or night, well spent.
Burj Park, Downtown Dubai. Entry is free. Thursday, 4pm-11pm; Friday and Saturday, 10am-midnight. www.dsfmarketotb.ae
Previously in 2019….
Thursday, 24th January
The restaurant space at Dubai Opera formerly known as Sean Connolly has been taken over by a new team, rebranded and given a lick of the old razzle-dazzle. Introducing Loft – sophisticated European cuisine in a super luxe setting, with Burj Khalifa views.There’s a week-long decadent house-warming offer where diners receive complimentary bubbles and canapés on arrival and watch out for wood oven pizza on the bar bite menu.
Main menu items from AED 109. Saturday-Thursday 5pm–2am. Friday 12pm-4pm (brunch) & 5pm–2am. The Loft, Dubai Opera, Downtown. 04 362 7312
Iraqi calligrapher Wissam Shawkat has an ongoing exhibition at arts hub Tashkeel, which you can see every day except Fridays. Disciplined Insurgence has pieces using the artist’s eponymous Al Wissam script, as well as the artist’s new experiments with the ancient Thuluth script.
10am-10pm every day except Friday, until 5th March. Admission is free. Tashkeel, Nad Al Sheba. 04 336 3313.
Friday, 25th January
The Big Bad Brunch is going on this weekend and ‘Big’ possibly undersells it. The ‘walking buffet’ event takes place across 10 restaurants in three locations – Century Village, Irish Village and Jumeirah Creekside Hotel. There’s a range of entertainment for adults and kids to complement the nomadic dining fun.
AED 225 for soft beverage package, AED 375 for house beverages, AED 105 for children aged four-11. 1pm-4.30pm. Century Village, Irish Village and the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel. 04 239 5000.
From Russia with dub
Dubai’s Buddha-Bar is hosting a season of ‘DXB Sessions.’ Each of these evenings sees a take over from a location in Buddha-Bar’s global network. This weekend, the Russians are coming, with a soiree inspired by the glorious St Petersburg. Food and drink will be given a North European twist, as will the soundtrack, with sonic styling straight from St Petersburg, with DJ Renat.
Free entry. 7pm-2am. Buddha-Bar, Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina. 04 317 6000
Not just another bar
Dubai’s newest and most intriguingly named bar puts a claim on your weekend with “incredible drinks served in weird beakers.” Find the weird yet wonderful Another Bar off hawker style Asian food market 24th St, in the Dusit Thani. We can’t pass through without trying the Korean fried chicken.
Noon-2.30am daily. 24th floor of Dusit Thani Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, near Financial Centre Metro station. 04 317 4515.
‘The Prince of Arab Singing’ is set to captivate audiences at the open-air Al Majaz Amphitheatre in Sharjah this Friday. Egyptian pop singer and actor Hani Shaker is headling a gig there, along with Lebanese crooner, Wael Jassar. Expect solid renditions of Arabic hits from both.
Tickets from AED 100 at sharjah.platinumlist.net. Doors open at 7pm and show starts 9pm. Al Majaz Amphitheatre, Sharjah.
Gou for it
Korean-born, Berlin-dwelling DJ Peggy Gou sees off the January blues at day/night party destination Blue Marlin UAE. Expect everything from underground techno to buzzing acid to Chicago house and much of what’s in between.
Open from 1pm-11pm. Entry is free. Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE, Ghantoot, Al Jazira Island. For reservations, call 056 113 3400
Off road, on fleek
Al Ghurair Centre has joined up with UAE Offroaders club in one of the hither-too-least predictable collaborations of 2019 so far. But it has the potential for greatness. Shoppers will be able to check out over 40 heavily modified, thoroughly awesome vehicles. Head to the parking lot for a free tour of the whacky racers, tunes supplied by a DJ, fun family activities and throttle gunning demonstrations.
Free. 10am-10pm. 25th and 26th January. Opposite Entrance 2, Al Ghurair Centre. 800 24227.
Saturday, 26th January
Ain’t no party like a fitness party! The Pointe Dubai is holding a day of free classes on its beachfront plaza for all the enjoy. From 8.30am-7.30pm, join sessions in Zumba, CrossFit, yoga, boxing and more. Bring a yoga mat, activewear and trainers and you’re welcome to take part.
Classes are free. The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah. Call 04 390 9999 or visit www.ThePointe.ae
Melany Ayala leads Coco Loco Saturdays at Trader Vic’s, JBR. The charismatic salsa instructor is bringing a full-scale Latin dance fiesta to the Polynesian themed restaurant. Guests can accessorise their slinking by drinking the special Coco Loco blended beverage, available on the night.
Coco Loco beverage AED 60. 9pm-10pm. Trader Vic’s, Hilton Dubai The Walk, JBR. 04 386 5646
Sound, sand and some serious stretching
Core Beats, the yoga and fitness mini-festival is back at Club Vista Mare on Saturday. Expect yoga, meditation and high-intensity interval training workouts taking place to an energetic soundtrack with live DJs, trainers and fitness experts. Experience it all with breathtaking sea views from your spot on Palm Jumeirah’s beach.
Entry is free when you book through the Core Direction app. 4pm-6.30pm. Sign up and scheduling info available on www.facebook.com
Jump to it
See the electrifying sport of showjumping at Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club this weekend, as the 19th Sharjah International Show Jumping Championship leaps into action. Watch out for the challenging Six Bar Competition class, where riders will have to jump six fences in a row. Entry to this equine spectacular is free, as is parking.
9am-8.30pm, Thursday, 24th January; 8am-9.30pm Friday, 25th January; 8.30am-8.30pm Saturday, 26th January. Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club, Interchange 6, Al Dhaid Road, Al Atain.
Indian Republic Day marks the anniversary of the Constitution of India coming into effect in 1950. Inspired by the country’s tricolour flag, chefs at Indus have prepared a buffet of more than 70 patriotic dishes. Sample them all at the Dubai World Trade Centre restaurant, where there’ll be prizes for the best-dressed couple in Indian themed outfits.
Noon-4.30pm. AED 70 per person. Indus the Authentic Indian Cuisine Fine Dining Restaurant, Convention Tower, Dubai World Trade Centre. 04 886 8713.