We’ve got the best ways to fill your life with soul this weekend. Pop these events into your diary and dance away your working week blues. Get ready, we’re here to rock your world. **JAZZ HANDS**
Friday, 29th March
It’s a knockout
Head over to Dubai Sports City to watch government officials compete with each other and other corporates in a friendly game of football. Eight teams will play for the first-ever Tolerance Cup at the Football Academy in a knock-out one-day tournament. For spectators, there are family-friendly activities and free access to the matches.
2pm-10pm. Friday. Football Academy, Dubai Sports City. Free parking.
Deal or no deal?
Is this the cheapest brunch in Dubai? Brexit from expensive Friday packages with a proud but scant British offering of crisps, baked beans and hops for AED 49. However, our vote goes to the all-European package, with unlimited drinks and food for AED 179.
1pm-4pm. ICON Lounge at Radisson Blu Media City, Al Falak Street, near Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. 04 366 9111.
Thursday, 28th March
You know what’s smurfing awesome? The Smurfs, everybody’s favourite diminutive blue Belgians, are heading to a La Mer for a deserved beach break. Whilst there they’ll be putting on a series of spring weekend concerts and meet & greets. Smurf yeah! The Smurf shows are taking place at La Mer North, in front of Alice Pizza. Which reminds us why is Gorgonzola the most popular Smurf pizza topping? ‘Cause it’s blue cheese.
Free. Meet & greets (including photo) free when you spend AED 150 at La Mer. The Smurfs are in town 28th-30th March, 4th-6th April and 11th-13th April. Shows are 5pm-7pm. Meet & Greets 6pm and 8.30pm at La Mer Central, next to Hamac and La Mer South, next to Pain De Sucre.
Hugely successful Pret A Manger is opening up its fourth store in Dubai (after DXB and The Dubai Mall) at DIFC. Pret enjoys a borderline cult status in its native London, delivering fresh, great tasting food perfect for the grab-and-go customer. Try the pea and mint soup and tell us differently. They’ll also give you an AED 3 discount on your coffee if you show your love for the environment by bringing in a reusable cup.
9am-11pm. DIFC, Ground Floor, Marble Walk.
Surf, turf and twofers
You can now legitimately fulfil your Dubai destiny by visiting a lobster restaurant six days a week – without remortgaging your organs. Burger & Lobster is now extending their happy hour from Sunday to Friday. Enjoy delicious twofers (two for one deal) on select beverages, whilst digging into some decadent bar snacks.
Thurs 6pm-1.30am. Burj Daman Building, Al Sa’ada St. 04 514 8838.
Souk a good deal
Dubai Festival City Mall is hosting a massive sale over the weekend with reductions up to 90 per cent. Al-Futtaim Retail’s three-day Mega Souk starts today and runs till Saturday, selling international brands in fashion, sports, accessories and beauty products. Use the MEGASOUK promo code on Careem for 30 per cent off fares too.
Thursday-Saturday. Dubai Festival City Mall, Dubai Festival City. 10am-12am.
Friday, 29th March
A la MOE-d
Mall of the Emirates’ bang-on-trend extravaganza ‘MOE Fashion Live’ returns for a second season, starting this weekend. There’ll be catwalk shows, expert talks, celebrity appearances and more. On Friday Lebanese superstar Carole Samaha will be belting out sing-along classics like ‘Khallik Behalak’ during the Etoile La Boutique’s fashion show in the Mall’s Central Galleria.
Free. 7pm. MOE Fashion Live on until 15th April. Central Galleria of Mall of the Emirates.
Akon is the next hip hop legacy maker to spit bars for BASE’s season of A-list artists. He’s borderline royalty in Africa, where his altruistic projects have touched the hearts of millions. But it’s his internationally acclaimed hit-list that will be taking centre stage on Friday night. ‘Locked Up,’ ‘Lonely,’ ‘Ghetto,’ ‘I Wanna Love You’ – he’s gonna ‘Smack That’ appearance all on the floor.
Gents AED 250. First 100 ladies enter free, then AED 150. Doors open 10pm. BASE, Dubai Design District. 055 313 4999.
Let’s Ghoshal we?
Bollywood playback star Shreya Ghoshal will be performing live in concert at Bollywood Parks on Friday. Her vocals have provided the soundtracks for some smash hit movies, including Devdas, Om Shanti Om, Padmavati, Baji Rao Mastani and many more. Come on down for what will undoubtedly be one of the best Desi sing-alongs this weekend.
AED 59 (or AED 99 if you want to get down early and spend a day at the park). 7pm. Bollywood Parks, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Jebel Ali. www.bollywoodparksdubai.com
The truck stops here
You and I, we don’t pull trucks. Partly because we don’t often need to, and partly because, well – they’re quite heavy. But strongmen, it’s like oxygen to these people. A bunch of them including Larry Wheels (the first World’s Ultimate Strongman Incubator Athlete) will be meeting in D3 parking lot to get busy with some long wheelbase tuggery. Watch these man mountains drag trucks weighing three, eight and 15 tonnes, just because they can.
Free. 10am-12pm. Dubai District parking lot.
Saturday, 30th March
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.
Park yourself here
Switch off for Earth Hour and join Yoga Ashram and DMCC in JLT Park at 8pm for a candle lighting ceremony and a free yoga session.
JLT Park, opposite Dubai Marina Mall. 8pm. Free.
Previously, in March 2019…
Allow us to sketch how it all could be – a world in harmony, with fun activities for the family, Holi festivities and a rich palette of art in our beautiful city.
Thursday, 21st March
The Penthouse sits on top of FIVE Palm Jumeirah as a pretty groovy little rooftop bar that goes full EDM rave-up with Skyline Thursdays. This week Technasia will be all up in the (Pent)house, providing electro treats for the city’s trendiest beat freaks. There’s an evening pre-party brunch before the headliner starts spinning, with unlimited house beverages and three food options from the live cooking stations.
Brunch AED 149 for ladies, AED 249 for gents, 9pm-11pm. Technasia set begins 12am. The Penthouse, FIVE Palm Jumeirah. 052 900 4868.
For UAE’s Mother’s Day (21st March), Motiongate will be giving mums access to the park for a greatly reduced AED 50 (usual price AED 175). Motiongate features rides and attractions inspired by a thrilling range of movies, including Smurfs, Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Ghostbusters and The Hunger Games. For the mums out there that laugh in the face of danger – hop aboard the Madagascar Mad Pursuit ride, which clocks in at 95kph.
Tickets can be purchased online or at the park. Motiongate, Dubai Parks & Resorts. www.motiongatedubai.com
Make mum’s day
Treat your main lady to a chunk of free raspberry cheesecake at Treej Café on Thursday. The restaurant’s menu is packed with traditional Emirati eats like machboos (AED 66) and legaimat (AED 33), all of which sound the perfect warm-up to a complimentary cake, followed by a stroll along the hipster seaside hangout of La Mer.
La Mer North, Jumeirah 1. 9am-11pm daily. 04 323 9444.
In the pink
Celebrate Sakura, Japan’s festival of cherry blossom, with a closer-to-home offering. Spheerz diner in Marina Cubes, Mina Rashid is serving limited edition pink fluffy pancakes paired with a matching latte (AED 35). The Osaka-obsessed street food restaurant has already found Insta-fame for its taiyaki, or fish-shaped cakes (AED 30), and we sense another hashtag flurry incoming.
Pink lattes and pancakes served until 5th May, 11am-11pm weekdays and midnight weekends. AED 30 and AED 22 if ordered separately. Marina Cubes, Port Rashid. 04 330 1404.
Celebrate six years of club night Vibe Series with the mix master Nightmares on Wax. The man behind super chilled after party essential Smokers’ Delight will be at Tamanya Terrace, Radisson Blu, Media City. Doors open at 10pm and entry is AED 100, which includes one free drink for females, when you register online.
10pm-3am. Tamanya Terrace, Radisson Blu, Media City. Drinks offer until midnight. Register here: vibeseries.com
Start the arty party
Art Dubai is a three-day event at Madinat Jumeirah that brings together works from more than 500 artists, across four galleries. The exhibition is divided into four sections: Art Dubai Contemporary has first-time exhibitors from the region and beyond. At Art Dubai Modern, visitors will see works by 20th-century masters from the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. New section Bawwaba features 10 solo works by artists addressing themes of global migration, socioeconomic structures and identity.
Art Dubai. 21st-23rd March. Online day tickets from AED 60, three-day pass from AED 100. Under 18s and students go free. Fort Island, Souk Madinat Jumeirah. For timings and to buy tickets, go to www.artdubai.ae
Friday, 22nd March
Thai-m to party
Channel those island vibes with Full Moon Party at Wavehouse. Atlantis The Palm’s new after-dark entertainment venue will feature DJ Billie Clements, from Ibiza’s Sin Sundays, plus plenty of Koh Phangan-style goings on like fire dancers, UV body painters and a barbecue, for eating. If those aren’t enough to get your party started, Wavehouse has its own gaming area and bowling lanes.
Free entry. From 9pm. Wavehouse, Atlantis The Palm. 04 431 0224.
Paint the town any colour you like, because it’s Holi weekend. Singer Neha Kakkar is putting on a show of Bollywood numbers at Al Sahra Desert Resort Equestrian Centre Dubai and you can get your tickets now. There’s a separate area for little partygoers and all the colours are organic too.
From 10.30am. Al Sahra Desert Resort Equestrian Centre, Dubai-Al Ain Road. Tickets from AED 99 per person at dubai.platinumlist.net
Mum’s the word
Yo’ mama’s so fab, she probably deserves a bit of pampering. Why not take her to Natural Elements Spa at Le Meridien Dubai Hotel, where she’ll get a free 30-minute facial with any full body massage. Put a smile on her face in addition to the liberally applied rejuvenating Pevonia-Botanica skincare lotions.
Massage AED 425. 8am-10pm, until 31st March. Natural Elements Spa at Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud. 04 702 2550.
Bevs for a buck
Aloft Me’aisam is a whole year old this weekend, how quickly they grow eh? To celebrate what is an important milestone in any hotel’s life, the resort’s WXYZ bar will be offering a super special four hour long happy evening where select drinks are only AED 1 a pop.
4pm-8pm. Aloft Me’aisam. Dubai Production City. 04 248 7070.
Saturday, 23rd March
Flagging this up
An afternoon of free fun awaits families on Sharjah’s Flag Island. The theme is working out, so there are classes in Body Combat, Body Attack and Zumba, all between 4pm-6pm. Kids get their own boot camp too and everyone will enjoy looping around the island’s jogging track.
4pm-6pm. The Flag Island, Sharjah. www.facebook.com/TheFlagIsland
The Laughter Factory
Last chance, for this month at least, to up the mirth factor in your life. The Laughter Factory’s ‘Tickle Your Funny Bone’ tour ends on Friday at Hilton JBR with chortlesome trio Alasdair Beckett-King, Sarah Callaghan and Edinburgh Fringe favourite Adam Bloom.
Friday, from 9pm. Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, JBR. (Also Thursday, 9pm at Tryp by Wyndham, Barsha Heights). Tickets AED 160 from thelaughterfactory.com
Homegrown ice cream brand Jelly Belly is adding a trio of new flavours to its already prolific collection. In exceptionally good dairy dodging diet news, the new Chocolate Coconut flavour is totally vegan friendly. Also joining the line-up are the Kulfi (cardamom, rose water, pistachio, and mango) Gourmet and Ube (purple yam) Gourmet flavours.
From AED 17. 10am-12am. La Mer, Al Seef and Deira City Centre Mall. 04 342 7387.
The art of picnicking.
For the duration of Art Month in Dubai, if you order from Deliveroo whilst perusing the contemporary creativity on offer at Jameel Arts Centre you can enjoy a proper pop-up picnic. Select your food from a choice of over 300 restaurants, head to the Deliveroo pick-up point – and along with your food, you can snag a picnic mat, a wicker hamper and a set of Jameel Arts Centre’s Artist’s Rooms books on loan. Pitch your picnic in your favourite spot amongst the sculptures in the park.
Food from AED 25, picnic kit rental free. (includes free chocolate Mirzam designed by local artist, Khalid Mezaina). 10am (12pm on Fridays)-8pm. Until 31st March. Jameel Arts Centre, Al Jaddaf Waterfront. On Deliveroo.ae and via the app.
Our art festival is Sikka than yours
The neighbourhood’s historical district is once again home to Sikka Art Fair, which takes over the winding streets and leafy courtyards with giant murals, live music, and plenty of reasons to stop and stare. This year the always excellent event comes in two parts – ‘SIKKA by Day’ and ‘SIKKA by Night,’ with art exhibits, interactive installations, gigs, film, and more.
Entry is free. Sikka Art Fair. Until 24th March, Al Fahidi Historic Neighbourhood. Timings and a full schedule are here.