The week's best Dubai events and other things to do in Dubai this week and weekend, including deals at Dubai restaurants, bars, spas, cinema and more.
Sure, five of the seven days are supposed to be 'work, sleep, repeat', but frankly we see 16 hours either side of your 9-5 that need filling with fun things to do. So, round-up, because this is your ultimate guide to the week and weekend ahead, with the latest events, deals, sports, film releases and more.
The du Tough Mudder, one of the world’s most notorious obstacle courses, is set to make its Middle East debut in Dubai on Friday December 9 and Saturday 10.
The 8km and 16km team-orientated event will see fitness fans tackle an array of unique, larger-than-life obstacles, in the mud, at Hamdan Sports Complex. Here’s all you need to know about this test of anyone’s mettle... 1. The history Will Dean was in his second year of studying for an MBA at Harvard Business School when he devised the rudimentary concept behind the Tough Mudder. The Briton put his proposal forward for the university’s Business Plan Contest and a year later, in 2010, the first-ever Tough Mudder was held at a ski resort in Pennsylvania. It has since evolved into arguably the world’s top adventure challenge, with 2.5 million people having thus far taken it up.
2. The challenge Although Tough Mudder challenges come in several guises, including the extreme 24-hour “World’s Toughest Mudder”, the Dubai version will be primarily about the two main events – the 16km (Full) and the 8km (Half). Both obstacle courses have been designed to test your stamina as well as your physical and mental strength. It’s not technically a race in the truest sense, as there are no winners, podiums or clocks to set records against.
3. The obstacles As fans of ’90s British TV show Gladiators, we grew up watching contestants tackle such tests as The Atlasphere, The Gauntlet and The Eliminator. There are, however, far more sinister monikers for the du Tough Mudder obstacles. How about the “Arctic Enema 2.0”? This ice water plunge will send shivers down the spines of even the most hardened of athletes. And then there’s “Electroshock Therapy”, a muddy sprint through a gauntlet of dangling electric wires with a charge of 10,000 volts. We also like the sound of the new “Block-Ness Monster”, where runners will have to negotiate 60 feet of rotating barriers in a water pit. And there’s the “Kiss of Mud” – a crawl through the sludge under barbed wire – the “Pyramid Scheme”, offering a rather slippery ascent and the “Mud Mile”, which speaks for itself. 4. The venue For those who don’t know, Hamdan Sports Complex is that funky, futuristic blue building you might have spotted while driving down Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road. Completed in 2010, in time for that year’s FINA World Swimming Championships, the vast venue is set over 24 hectares and cost some Dhs1.1billion to build. As well as being home to a range of pool-based events, the complex is set to host the prestigious Badminton World Super Series Finals in mid-December. But before that, for one weekend only, it will be home to some 500,000 gallons of grade-A mud.
5. The Tough Mudder Legion In the six years since the first-ever Tough Mudder, the event has built up quite a fan base. Not everyone has managed to go the distance, but those who have are proud conscripts of the Tough Mudder Legion – an elite club of determined folk who have pushed themselves to the limit. But rather than having to buy the T-shirt, the Legion are handed a natty, members-only orange headband after they cross the line for the first time. The more events you compete in, the greater your status among the Legionnaires, with green (two), blue (three), yellow (four to six), and pink (seven to nine) headbands part of your reward. This year, the organisers introduced headbands for 25- and 50-time finishers, while Jim Campbell became the first to complete 100 Tough Mudders (more about him in a minute). So look out for these intrepid souls. You might want to stick near them when the going gets tough. 6. Da Goat If you needed some inspiration to banish your inner wimp and sign up, then it should be the aforementioned Campbell. Nicknamed “Da Goat”, the Colorado-born competitor ran his first Tough Mudder in 2011 at Beaver Creek, in his home state. Since then, he has racked up an incredible 99 more events, culminating in him completing his century this year in Snowmass, again in Colorado. It certainly was no mean feat, of course, but what made it more inspirational was the fact that Campbell had almost been killed in a motorbike crash nine years ago. He spent six months in a cerebral halo. Hats off to you, Jim Campbell.
7. The spectators If you’re not tough enough to take part but want to cheer on your mud buddies, the course has been laid out to give spectators easy access so they can follow their pals’ progress. Don’t gloat, though, as you take a short cut through the obstacles – you might well get a mud pie in the face.
8. The charities Not only will you be battling the 20-plus obstacles to prove yourself as one of the toughest around, you’ll also be helping a great cause. British charity Help for Heroes is the official charity of the du Tough Mudder, with other charities also supported. So far, the event has raised US$10 million (Dhs36.7 million) for a variety of charities since its launch.
Sukoun Gallery, founded by Walid Akawi and Imad Ghannam, both prolific art collectors, has opened up in Sunset Mall. It features an eclectic mix of art, furniture and antiques from across the Levant, including paintings, tables and ornate clocks, some of which are more than two hundred years old. Open Sat-Thu 10am-10pm; Fri 1.30pm-10pm.
MONDA Gallery is showcasing Peace with Nature, a new exhibition of abstract paintings and photographs by Sara Nimer. All of the paintings were created outside in the rain, here in Dubai. Free. Until Jan 3, 2017.
Ladies and gents, sign up for Willow Stream Spa’s three-month package for Dhs1,890 and get four selected 60-minute treatments for the body and face, two day passes for the pool and beach and discounts on dining and beauty salon services, all to be used within the three months. The package also includes complimentary Kerstin Florian beauty products. Happy pampering. Dhs1,890 per person.
If regular blow-outs are part of your beauty regime, get yourself the unlimited blow-dry pass from Sugar Beauty Lounge. Valid for six months from the date of purchase, this offer will give you a perfect head of hair, every single day until summer. Dhs2,500. Until Dec 15.
Well, not quite, but if you’re a big Bond fan, Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style, which opens today at the Burj Khalifa, is something you need to see. A showcase of one of the largest collections of official memorabilia ever collated in one place, you’ll be able to get up close to the Golden Gun brandished by Scaramanga in the titular film, gawp at the Aston Martin DB10 featured in Spectre and envisage a new wardrobe based on the display of everything Daniel Craig wore in Casino Royale. If you don’t know Bond, get to understand everything we’ve just said at the Reel Cinemas movie marathons. From Dhs125. Until Feb 13, 2017.
Get into the festive spirit by heading over to Dubai Media City Amphitheatre for the fifth edition of Dubai Winter Festival.
It’s a great place for families with young kids, with loads of Christmassy events and activities planned.
Aside from Santa’s Grotto, there’ll be a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, a fun fair, a winter market, carol singing, a gingerbread house and plenty more.
Performances include a pantomime, the Rat Pack Festive Show and The Princess Show.
There will also be a raffle and present giveaway. The festival will run on all three days from 3 to 10pm.
Children under three get in for free, children’s tickets cost Dhs40 and adult prices range from 130 to 70, depending on the number of activities included in the package and if bough in advance (25 percent discount).
Visit the Dubai Winter Festival website for more information.
We love cheese, and what’s better than a whole meal of it? Bistro Des Arts hosts a traditional raclette evening on Wednesdays. Enjoy it served with cold cuts, fresh bread and boiled potatoes. Dhs155 (food only), Dhs245 (house beverages). Wed 8pm-10pm. Ongoing.
Ladies and gents, brace yourselves. Italian eatery Carluccio’s is encouraging a weekend of over-indulgence with a two-for-one offer on its entire, brand-new, breakfast menu. If you can’t decide between the eggs Florentine and the vanilla ricotta pancakes, you may as well just have them both. Or, head down with a friend and share lots of breakfasts. Either way, we defy you to resist the urge to be greedy. The offer is only available on Friday November 18 and Saturday 19, and brekkie is served from 8am to 11am both days. On your marks… Prices vary. Various locations.
You only have to wander around JLT or saunter along Jumeirah Beach to know that Dubai is abound with fitness fans. So where better to hold the region’s biggest keep-fit jamboree, Fitness Expo Dubai, than this workout-infatuated city?
The event, being held from November 24-26 at Dubai International Marine Club, promises a raft of workshops, interactive classes, demonstrations and celebrity appearances to pique your interest throughout the weekend.
There will be more than 100 live shows from leading names in the worlds of fitness, wellness, Zumba, parkour, Muay Thai, capoeira, yoga, bodybuilding and healthy living, along with a whole host of competitions and giveaways.
The brainchild of Dubai-based entrepreneur Arif Mirza, Fitness Expo is offering you the chance to meet international celebrities such as Kai Green, Mike O’Hearn, Amir Khan, Michelle Lewin, Maira Lorena and Jeff Seid, with local talents like MoMuscles, Jennifer Chalouhi, Ehsan Hatef, Essa Al Ansari and Coach Alaa also on the bill.
Meanwhile, the European Strongman Athletes Corp will be hosting a StrongWoman competition and they aim to break Guinness World Records in the truck pull, log lift and Atlas stone.
And there will also be a landmark International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness amateur show with one of the world’s largest prize pots for such an event – a whopping Dhs500,000. So what are you waiting for? Get down, and get fit…
If you’ve started your Christmas shopping early this year (it’s four weeks away, just FYI), then head to Harvey Nichols and stock up on the new holiday range of beautifully packaged Newby tea. Flavours available include masala, vanilla and Earl Grey. From Dhs110 per pack.
Check out the latest exhibition at Alserkal Avenue’s Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Everything Should Be OK, by the New York-based British artist Oliver Clegg. One artwork is made up of a disco ball in a shipping container, while another has been created using 81 birth certificates bought from eBay. Free. Sat-Thu 10am-6pm. Until Jan 5, 2017.
Led by Armani Dubai’s Alessandro Salvatico, chefs Filippo Gozzoli from Milan, Francesco Mazzi from Tokyo and Michele Brogioni from New York all head to the Armani/Ristorante kitchen to cook up special autumn dishes starring pumpkin and truffle. Dhs600 (food only). Nov 23-24, 7pm.