A weekend so good, it’s a festive tree-topper

The weekend is your time to shine, to be the star of your own stellar movie. We’ve uncovered the best ways to help you do that this weekend, with added Christmas.


Thursday, 12th December

Destination beach bar 

Alex Gaudino is headlining Barasti’s last Sandrox of the decade. The Italo-house DJ is probably best-known for saxy smash record, Destination Calibra – one of music’s most unrelenting earworms. And as always entrance and making shapes in the sand are completely free. Also, pro tip: use the code BARASTI for 50 per cent off your rides to and from the shoreline soiree.

Free. Open from 11m, Alex Gaudino set from midnight. Barasti Beach, Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina. 04 318 1313. 

Frozen too

If you want to sleigh straight into a fresh carpet of winter feels, Yas Winter Carnival kicks off this Wednesday. The six-day event has everything we want for Christmas including a giant tree, fireworks, festive markets, a snow play zone, carnival rides, a funfair, magicians, choirs and non-stop live music and entertainment. Plus it’s FREE.

Register at www.wintercarnival.ae for free passes. 11th-16th December. Gateway Park South, Yas Island. 

Art aquatica 

This Thursday evening, head to The Majlis (Warehouse 58) in bohemian art village, Alserkal Avenue to hear a talk about underwater worlds. Artists Michela de Mattei and Filipa Ramos, along with architecture writer Carson Chan will present Dreamfish, a discussion about how and why sub-marine scenes seem so often linked with themes like luxury and futuristic visions.

Free. 6.30pm-7.30pm. The Majlis (Warehouse 58), Alserkal Avenue. 04 333 3464. 

Ho ho ho

It’s best practise, at Christmas, to ask ‘what would Santa do?‘ And more often than not, situations will be best approached with laughter that makes your belly shake like a bowl full of jelly. The Laughter Factory’s festive comedy party makes that easy. Stand-ups Chris Kent, Nathon Caton and Sid Singh will be bringing gifts of comedy gold, frankincense and mirth.

AED 160. 12th – Movenpick JBR, 9pm. 13th – Tryp by Wyndham, Barsha Heights, 9pm. 


Friday, 13th December

Feast and Fest

This could be the deal of the weekend. AED 650 for a house beverage brunch at Soul Street, FIVE Jumeirah Village’s new street eats hot spot. And that’s not even the best part, your 650 dizzas also gets you LUVYA festival day passes AND a transfer to FIVE Palm Jumeirah, where it’s being held. It’s probably worth mentioning that Friday’s line up includes Craig David, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike.

AED 650, brunch 2pm-5pm. FIVE Jumeirah Village, JVC. 04 455 9989. 

Sprint like Santa

Ho-ho-how much further? Dubai Festival City’s annual Santa Run is back. The 1, 2.5 and 5km routes wind past the spectacular backdrop of the Creek. The real scenery though, is the runners themselves. Everyone taking part gets a Santa t-shirt, hat and beard to run in – but there’s a big prize for the best-dressed Santa, so consider heavily accessorising.

AED 131.25. 6.30am. Dubai Festival City Mall. www,raceme.ae/santa

Mountain anticipation

Come and see medal-winning pedalers in a warm-up event for the mountain biking World Cup this March. 27 male and female riders from 13 countries will take on the 1km course at City Walk. Stars of the handlebars include Germany’s six-time mountain bike World Cup winner, Simon Gegenheimer, the UAE’s Yaser Al Balooshi & Majid Al Balushi and in the women’s category, reigning champion Marion Fromberger.

Free. From 9am. City Walk, Jumeirah. 

It’s better when it’s sweater 

We Brunch are putting on a special festive edition of their gourmet brunch at Accents in Intercontinental Dubai Marina. It’s an occasion that requires you ‘putting-on’ something too. Yep, Chrimbo jumpers. And the more intense, more visually jarring, more migraine-inducingly colourful your seasonal sweaters are – the more chance you have of taking home the prize for *ahem* ‘best-dressed.’

AED 325 soft drinks, AED 375 house, AED 425 for bubbles package. Accents, Intercontinental Dubai Marina. www.webrunchdxb.com.


Saturday, 14th December

Studio sessions

Looking for a festive staycation? Or maybe somewhere to ship the visiting in-laws for a bit of extra space? Studio One in Dubai’s Studio City has an unbelievably great rate for the Winter. AED 225 puts you in the middle of this silver screen-themed hotel, with a pool,  gym and amazing dining options like Mr Miyagi’s, The Maine Street Eatery and The Irish Village.

Room rates from AED 225 until 26th December. Studio City. 04 581 6800. 

Making merry at the Madinat 

Souk Madinat sets the bar pretty high when it comes to festive markets. There’s a Santa Grotto (with free gifts for those that have spent AED 150 or more at the Madinat), abra trips, a German Christmas market-inspired selection of stalls offering quaint crafts and authentic festive food & drink. And of course their, now Insta-famous, LED-enhanced tree.

Free. Souk Madinat Jumeirah. 3pm-1am, until Boxing Day. 

Naturally gifted  

Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, the people that orchestrate those massive emirate-wide DSF and DSS sales – has announced that this weekend will be ‘Gifting Weekend.’ What that means to you is – enchanting festive entertainment in leisure districts like The Pointe, La Mer, City Walk and Bluewaters, an up-to 75 per cent sale in participating shops across The Dubai Mall, gift-wrapping services in malls city-wide and shopping precincts getting full-on merry make-overs. All to make your retail experience, that much more magical.

Across Dubai 12th-14th December. 


Previously in December…

Thursday, 5th December

Kop shop

Look away United fans. Dubai’s first official Liverpool F.C. stand-alone store has landed in The Dubai Mall. Reds supporters can click pictures in front of the in-store ‘This is Anfield’ sign and pick up a volley of licensed products – including personalised kit with the official LFC font and memorabilia. Spectacular timing as it looks like LFC are on the way to their first-ever Premier League winners trophy. Again, look away united fans. 

10am-12am. The Dubai Mall, Lower Ground Level, 04 447 3106.

Well well wellness

It’s finally here, the Dubai Active Show, three days of fitness celebrity meet and greets, live group workout sessions, yoga classes, nutrition advice, wellness workshops and family entertainment. Keep the intensity up with workouts lead by industry legends including Kayla Itsines, Kelsey Wells, Les Mills Master Trainer Caley Jack, Peter Barron, Lilly Sabri, Gbemi Giwa and Kris Fade and F45, Barry’s Bootcamp, Crank, Reform Athletica, The Platform and Fitness First. Aaaaand rest.

AED 50 for a single Thursday ticket (10am-6pm), AED 80 for a single Friday (10am-7pm) or Saturday (10am-7pm) ticket, two-day tickets are AED 110, three-day tickets are AED 145 .Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). www.dubaiactiveshow.com 


Friday, 6th December

Lucky 7s 

This weekend the Dubai Rugby 7s tournament pits the world’s finest snack-sized national Rugby Union teams against eachother. South Africa came out top om last year’s action and still look just as tough to beat – their colleagues,  the 15 man squad are currently World Cup holders of course. A tuneful palate cleanser comes from an ‘also snack-sized’ member of the Australian royal music family, Kylie Minogue, who’ll be closing Friday’s athletic egg-chasing with a grand concert of nostalgic pop classics.

Rugby 7s tournament 5th-7th December. Kylie concert, AED 400, 9.30pm on the 6th. Two day access AED 500 in advance or AED 600 on the day. Rugby Sevens, Sevens Stadium, Al Ain Road. www.dubairugby7s.com.

Pump up the volume

‘Gucci Gang’ rapper, Lil Pump is at Dubai superclub BASE this weekend. He’s currently riding the wave of success generated by his 2019 smash album Harverd Dropout and that amazing ‘I Love It’ video ft Kanye West (in the over-sized box outfits). Earlybirds delight – the first 100 ladies through the door get in free.

AED 100 ladies (after the first 100), men AED 300. 11pm-4am. BASE, Dubai Design District. 055 313 4999 

Puurr-fect pals

cat adoption, kittysnip, adopt a cat, cat adoption

Abandoned and neglected cats and kittens need new homes. Meet them from 11am-5pm every Friday at Dubai Garden Centre, Al Quoz. New owners are asked to make a payment to a veterinary clinic, contributing towards neutering, de-worming, vaccinations and microchip costs, so you get a healthy and happy friend for life.

Find out more about the paw-some pusses up for adoption at www.facebook.com/Kittysnipadoptiondxb

Tickets to the gun show

The Dubai Muscle Show is back this weekend. The huge three-day event gives access to titans of the industry – Ronnie Coleman, Brandon Curry, Big Ramy, Kai Greene, Angelica Teixeira and seven-time Mr. Olympia winner, Phil Heath. Body-building enthusiasts can get expert training tips, inspiration, and to flex special show discounts on the latest fitness products.

From AED 80. 5th-7th December, 10am-6pm. Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). www.virginmegastore.me

I’ve got a golden ticket

Q: What do you get if you cross a gourmet Italian brunch, with a wild tombola give-away? A: BiCE Ristorante’s Golden Ticket Brunch. BiCE is serving-up its ‘as-standard’ primo Mediterranean food coupled with the tantalising prospect of some of the dishes – having prizes on the bottom. Now that’s what we call winning and dining.

AED 250 for soft beverage package. AED 325 house-beverages. 12.30pm-4pm. BiCE Ristorante, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, The Walk. 04 318 2520. 


Saturday, 7th December

Soul to Sole 

Sole DXB the music, culture and fashion festival that brings some of the world’s finest urban talent returns to Dubai Design District this weekend. And this year’s artist line up is sound 🔥. We could go into more detail, but the headliners tell you all you need to know – Wiley, Black Star (Mos Def and Talib Kweli), Koffee, Burna Boy, Protoje and Foreign Beggars. Wu-Tang Clan close out the show on Saturday.

5th-7th December. 6pm-10pm. Dubai Design District. Tickets for the event are available now at www.soledxb.com/tickets from AED 245 for a day pass or AED 375 for the weekend. 

Meatless feast 

As more of us join the ranks of plant-based living, so the number and calibre of vegan dining options swell. This Saturday chef Zendy Marsam’s cruelty-free vegan brunch puts its yummy where the mouth is, with a grand Wellington Nut Roast served with rosemary baked potatoes, roasted root vegetables and a rather ravishing mushroom gravy. The meal finishes with a flourish of blackberry and apple tart, full tums and literally zero guilt.

AED 99 per person. AED 49 for kids. From 11.30am. The Daily in Rove Healthcare City, Oud Metha. 04 561 9200.

The life aquatic

The PET Shop’s DIP Mega Store is reeling the customers with a titanic scale sale on aquatic products this weekend. Catch discounts on almost every-fin a fish fancier could wish for. Tanks, supplies, plants, coral and of course – the fish. There’s up to 50 per cent off on premium aquatic brands. We know right, cray cray (fish).

8.30am-9pm. 6th-7th December. The PET Shop, Dubai Investment Park 1, E311 Near Premier Inn Hotel. 04 887 8218. 

Dog days

It’s 2019 ok, so having a Christmas party for your dog is absolutely fine. [u]bk will be all ‘paws and awwws’ this Saturday for a furry festive gathering. Pet parents can say bone appetite with 50 per cent off the food menu and AED 30 happy hour deal. And there’s a sack full of gifts for puppers, borks and doggos – but only ‘the goodest’ boys and girls make it on to Santa Paws’ nice list.

12pm-4pm. [u]bk, JLT, Cluster A. 04 438 0000.  

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