Street festival, Iranian new year, powerboats and more top Dubai fun
Jade Bremner and Holly Sands
Flashback featuring Coolio at Barasti Perfect for: Rap fans
Twiglet-maned rapper Coolio, real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr, returns to our sun-splashed city this weekend for a live performance on Barasti’s beach. He’s best known for his award-winning single ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ which has featured on many a television and film soundtrack and retro hip-hop playlist, and being the subject of numerous radio parodies of varying quality. The American musician was last seen in Dubai partying at People by Crystal nightclub in the Raffles hotel, where he spent a fair amount of time chatting to fans in the crowd. Here’s hoping he’ll be feeling just as gregarious when he hits the beach.
Friday March 25. Dhs100, free for ladies and Dhs50 for men before 9pm. Open 5pm-3am. Barasti, Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, (04 318 1313).
Celebrate Persian New Year with an Iranian feast Perfect for: Adventurous foodies
For something a little different over the weekend, why not join in the celebration of Nowruz, also know as Iranian or Persian New Year, by grabbing a few good friends and heading out for a traditional Iranian meal. The Iranian calendar begins on the first day of spring, and is usually preceded by extensive spring-cleaning of the home. Wherever you decide to celebrate, you may well encounter traditional meals like sabzi polo mahi, a rice and herb dish with fish, kookoo sabzi, a type of vegetable omelette containing herbs and nuts. Local Iranian restaurant Shabestan will be putting on a special set menu for both lunch and dinner, featuring fresh salads and breads, vegetables and grains cooked with kashk, Persian dill rice with fried fish, and traditionally-flavoured ice cream with mint tea and sweets. To complete the authentic experience, there’ll be a band playing traditional Persian music every night from 8.15pm except Saturday.
Monday March 21 – Thursday March 31. Set menu Dhs185. Shabestan, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, (04 205 7333).
Join in Dubai Marina Street Festival Perfect for: Everyone
Get excited. Get very excited because for the first time ever in the UAE the Dubai will host a Street Festival at The Walk. The anticipated event will have two stages set up for 86 award-winning street acts, circus acts, comedy and various theatrical shows from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Adelaide Street Festival, Halifax Street Festival and Christchurch Street Festival all rolled into 10 days of family fun. Expect the unexpected from a line-up of talent that includes eight of the world’s best acts from the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Australia, Portugal and New Zealand.
Thursday March 24. Free to all. Dubai Marina Walk, email email@example.com, (04 309 7947).
Attend a Russian Mega Party Perfect for: An incredible night out
Dust off your old cropped T-shirt, sport a few DayGlo sweatbands and leg warmers and get you rocks on at what’s shaping up to be one of the most fab-tastic nights of the year. At Imperia goes back to the USSR, you’ll hear ’80s and ’90s beats and treats from Russia with a dash of Europop thrown in. DJ Greg Funk and Paolo Insomnia (both Russian) will be spinning records, and we’ve been told it took them a month to get the playlist exactly spot on. The organisers are shipping in a giant LED dance floor and the place will be adorned with sparkling mirror balls to create that retro disco look.
Friday March 25. Dhs100 for women and Dhs150 for men, 10pm–3am, Sanctuary, Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah, (055 150 3811 or 04 426 0561).
Audio Tonic live featuring Harold Heath Perfect for: House music lovers
Described by Audio Tonic’s promoter as an unsung hero on the UK’s house scene, Harold Heath makes his debut appearance on the decks in Dubai at the popular al-fresco house night. Both DJ and producer, Heath has garnered a slew of high-profile musical admirers over the past decade, including Roger Sanchez, CJ Mackintosh and even Fedde le Grand, who included ‘Streets Keep Rocking’ on his Ministry of Sound Sessions mix CD – just one of many compilations the Brit DJ has seen his work featured on. Expect a night of everything from soulful vocal tracks to acid and deep house from this set, with support from Mr Mr and Vas Floyd. If you can’t make it down, be sure to tune in to the live broadcast on Radio 1 instead.
Friday March 25. Free. Open 4pm-2am. 360°, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, (050 107 6405).
Watch Fazaa International Athletics Competition Perfect for: Families and sporty types
Go along to this giant event with professional disabled athletes from countries around the world including Greece, France, Germany, Thailand, USA, Spain, Finland, Holland, Great Britain, China and lots more. Over 120 top world-class athletes (both children and adults) from each country will be battling it out in a number of sports from field and track and everything else, from running to high jumping and discus. They’ll be looking to win a first place prize purse of Dhs4,000 for their team or Dhs3,000 for the runner up. Along with the sporting action and competition there will be entertainment in the form of precessions and ceremonies making for a fun day out to be had by all.
Thursday March 24-Saturday March 26. Free. Dubai Police Club Stadium, near Garhoud Bridge, Oud Metha, to volunteer email firstname.lastname@example.org (04 298 8205).
Witness a powerboat competition Perfect for: Outdoor enthusiasts and speed junkies
The equivalent of a racing car track on the water, today you can watch over 20 high-powered, yet super-light boats accelerate at silly speeds around Dubai’s shores. This weekend the competition comes to a close and crowns the winners of the 2011 UIM XCAT Middle East Powerboat Series. Heat four and the final will take place next to the Dubai International Marine Club at Mina Seyahi. Catch the practice runs on the first day and the real race on the second day. There will also be plenty of opportunity to meet the stars themselves as the drivers mill around on the beach. If you’re hungry, indulge in a full barbeque for Dhs200. There’s really no reason to leave the beach all day.
Thursday March 24-Friday March 25. Entrance is free for this event; barbeque is Dhs200 (spaces limited so book early). Race starts at 3.30pm on Friday March 25, Dubai International Marine Club, Jumeirah Beach Walk, next to Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit a Brad Downey art exhibition Perfect for: Culture vultures
Fancy something a little more thoughtful this weekend? You’re in luck, because there’s a brand new exhibition on in DIFC that’s definitely worth a look. Entitled ‘We Are Beginning: Personal Projects in Public Spaces’ the exhibit at Cuadro Fine Art Gallery will showcase American-born, Berlin-based artist Brad Downey’s interference street art. His work manipulates everyday objects of the urban landscape, such as signs, bricks and construction materials, transforming them into meaningful messages, and this particular showing will feature installation pieces, as well as spilling out into the surrounding DIFC Gate Village area. Downey has in the past given regular lectures on unsanctioned public artwork, had his work exhibited in galleries including London’s Tate Modern and created documentaries about street art, and his work is widely considered to be accomplished and meaningful.
Monday March 14 – Saturday May 7. Free. Cuadro Fine Art Gallery, DIFC, Gate Village, Dubai (04 425 0400).
Purple Music Party featuring Jamie Lewis and Michael Watford Perfect for: The nocturnal
It’s a full-on house party from the influential Zürich-based record label on the shores of Dubai this weekend, with owner, DJ and producer Jamie Lewis providing a headline set and vocals from African American dance music singer, Michael Watford – whose voice may be as familiar to vocal house lovers as the Swiss Purple Music brand.
Thursday March 24. Dhs100, free for ladies and Dhs50 for men before 9pm. Open 5pm-3am. www.timeoutdubai.com/restaurants/reviews/7294-barasti, Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina (04 318 1313).