Dozens of Dubai activities for you to do this holiday
Time Out Dubai staff
Whether it’s cycling at the crack of dawn, watching the latest cinematic blockbusters or enjoying long lunches, there’s something for everyone in our bumper activity round-up for the holiday.
Around Town 1 Nose around Garhoud’s newest hotel What: The new Jumeirah Creekside Hotel boasts daring minimalist decor that makes it worth a visit. There are also several new dining venues, including Italian café Biscotti and health-conscious eatery Plumeria. When: Any time. Garhoud (04 230 8555).
2 See baby sea horses at Atlantis The Palm What: A breed of rare, baby seahorses will be kept in The Palm Fish Nursery for the next two months. Guests can view them by participating in a ‘Behind the Scenes Tour’. When: Sun-Thu 1pm-7pm; Fri-Sat 10am-10pm. Dhs100 (adults), Dhs75 (children). Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 1000).
3 Check out some huge paintings What: Popular Iranian talent Fereydoon Omidi combines calligraphy with deep hues in his ‘Demolition’ exhibition. When: Open Sun-Thu 11am-7pm, until September 30. Free. XVA Gallery, DIFC (04 358 5117).
Cinema 4 Get down to Make Business Hub’s movie night What: Start the weekend with a screening of Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited. When: 7.30pm, Thursday August 17. Free. Make Business Hub, Dubai Marina (04 392 9216).
5 See the much-hyped The Dark Knight Rises… What: The third part of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy will be on everyone’s lips by Sunday. When: In cinemas across Dubai now.
6 …or three other movie blockbusters What: Dubai’s screens will be flooded with blockbusters this weekend with dance-tastic Step Up 4, action ensemble spectacular The Expendables 2 and fresh 3D Disney hit Brave. When: In cinemas across Dubai from Thursday August 16.
Dining 7 Sup afternoon tea like a sultan What: This afternoon tea experience is served in Sultan’s Lounge. Choose from a classic English afternoon tea, an Ottoman variation or an Arabic option. When: Daily 3pm-6.30pm throughout the three-day holiday. Dhs105 (English tea), Dhs120 (Ottoman or Arabic tea), Dhs215 (per couple, Ottoman or Arabic tea), Dhs275 (per couple, including sparkling date juice). Jumeirah Zabeel Saray (04 453 0444).
8 Sit down to a special meal at Choices What: Sample Arabic and international dishes at this family-friendly celebration. When: 12.30pm-4pm on the second day of the holiday. Dhs195 (soft drinks), Dhs225 (selected beverages). Al Bustan Rotana, Garhoud, www.rotanatimes.com (04 282 0000).
9 Enjoy live jazz while you dine at The Talk What: Enjoy the restaurant’s Friday dining extravaganza, which offers a wide selection of cheese and grape, plus live jazz music from regular performer Harry Austin. There are also plenty of activities for kids. When: 12.30pm-4pm on the Friday closest to the holiday. Dhs222 (soft drinks), Dhs333 (selected beverages), Dhs444 (bubbly); free for kids under 12. Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach, www.moevenpick-hotels.com (04 449 8888).
10 Explore local cuisine at Boulvar What: A traditional buffet, available at lunch and dinner, with food from family favourites to little-known local dishes. When: Daily noon-4pm, 7pm-midnight throughout the three-day holiday. Dhs145. Radisson Blu Deira Creek, Deira, www.radissonblu.com/hotel-dubaideiracreek (04 205 7333).
11 Satisfy your sweet tooth at Pergolas What: Try Middle Eastern and international dishes, with an extensive selection of Arabic sweets and a children’s buffet with cotton candy, popcorn and ice cream. When: Noon-4pm on the second day of the holiday. Dhs249 (selected beverages), Dhs129 for kids aged six to 12. Al Murooj Rotana, www.rotanatimes.com (04 321 1111).
12 Enjoy the weekend with panoramic city views What: Feast on a buffet of traditional Arabic food for lunch or dinner at Al Dawaar, Dubai’s only revolving restaurant, which offers superb views of the city. When: Daily 12.30pm-3.30pm, 6.30pm-midnight throughout the three-day holiday. Dhs180 (lunch), Dhs250 (dinner); half price for children aged six to 12. Al Dawaar, Hyatt Regency Dubai, Deira, www.dubai.regency.hyatt.com (04 317 2222).
13 Take in views by the waterfront What: Celebrate at Anise with a buffet, while taking in views of the Festival Marina. When: Daily 12.45pm-4pm throughout the three-day holiday. Dhs225. InterContinental Dubai Festival City, www.diningdfc.ae (04 701 1127).
14 Try a new Indian menu at Mahec What: This modern Hindustani restaurant offers a special set menu for the holiday. When: 12.30pm-3.30pm on the first two days of the holiday. Dhs159. Le Méridien Dubai, Garhoud, www.lemeridien-dubai.com (04 702 2615).
15 Take a Mediterranean tour of Esca What: This Italian restaurant offers a Mediterranean-inspired buffet with local touches, such as an ouzi carving station. When: 12.30pm-3.30pm, 7pm-10pm on the second day of the holiday. Dhs149 (lunch), Dhs175 (dinner). Qamardeen Hotel, Downtown Dubai (04 428 6888).
16 Get into the holiday spirit at an Arabic venue What: Try a buffet of Arabian favourites, served in Ewaan’s atmospheric setting. When: 12.30pm-4pm on the first day of the holiday. Dhs250. The Palace The Old Town, Downtown Dubai (04 428 7806).
17 Kick-start the weekend with a meal on The Walk What: AOC’s traditional Arabic dishes are served from live cooking stations. There’s also a mini children’s buffet, a play area and activities such as face painting. When: Daily 1pm-4pm throughout the three-day holiday. Dhs170. AOC French Brasserie, Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach, JBR (04 448 4870).
18 Dine on Arabic treats in Downtown What: Celebrate at Conservatory and enjoy a lunch buffet of Arabic specialities, including saj, an ouzi carvery and traditional juices, or sample an Arabic set menu for dinner, accompanied by traditional juices. When: 12.30pm-3.30pm, 7pm-10pm on the second day of the holiday. Dhs149 (lunch), Dhs175 (dinner). Al Manzil Hotel, Downtown Dubai, www.almanzilhotel.ae (04 428 5888).
19 Sample a traditional Middle-Eastern feast What: Head to Levantine for an Arabian-inspired experience, with a four-course set menu including Middle Eastern dishes and traditional performances. Guests can also relax on the restaurant’s terrace. When: 12.30pm-3.30pm on the first day of the holiday. Dhs185 (food only). Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, www.atlantisthepalm.com (04 426 2626).
20 Dine on international fare at Fazaris What: The venue marks the long weekend with a selection of Arabic and Indian dishes, as well as a raw bar, sushi and pasta. When: 12.30pm-4pm on the first day of the holiday. Dhs180. The Address Downtown Dubai, www.theaddress.com (04 888 3444).
21 Ring in the holiday at Na3Na3 What: Try home-style Arabian specialities at this celebratory buffet feast. There is also a kids’ corner to keep the little ones happy. When: 12.30pm-3.30pm on the first two days of the holiday. Dhs185 (soft drinks). The Address, Dubai Mall, www.theaddress.com (04 888 3444).
22 Enjoy a long lunch at Kaleidoscope What: This lunch feast, especially for the holiday, offers an international buffet and kids’ activities such as a craft corner, face painting and balloon art. When: Daily 12.30pm-5pm throughout the three-day holiday. Dhs185; half price for kids aged three to 12. Atlantis The Palm, www.atlantisthepalm.com (04 426 2626).
23 Try the special menu at Almaz by Momo What: The Moroccan-inspired venue offers a five-course set menu of north African cooking, including signature dishes such as harira soup and couscous machui. When: Daily noon-11.45pm throughout the three-day holiday. Dhs175. Harvey Nichols, Mall of the Emirates (04 409 8877).
24 Stake out a steakhouse in Deira What: Visit Legends, which will be serving a special steak-oriented lunch with international and Arabic specialities. There’s also a host of children’s entertainment. When: Noon-3.30pm on the Friday closest to the holiday. Dhs205 (soft drinks); free for children under 12. Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Deira (04 295 6000).
25 Brunch in Garhoud What: The Millennium Airport Hotel is hosting a brunch to celebrate the holiday, with food on offer from two of its restaurants, namely Gozo Garden and Biggles. Sample roasts, freshly grilled seafood or pan-Asian cooking. When: Noon-4pm on the second of day of the holiday. Dhs149 (soft drinks). Millennium Airport Hotel, Garhoud, www.millenniumhotels.ae/millenniumdubai (04 702 8888).
Shopping 26 Pick up bargains at the special Night Market What: The market features products and services from across the globe, with items ranging from food to electronics. When: 5pm-midnight, until August 19. Free. Dubai World Trade Centre, www.ramadannightmarket.com.
27 Buy fancy smalls at two new stores What: Calvin Klein has unveiled a new store at Mall of the Emirates, while Victoria’s Secret is set to open at The Dubai Mall soon. When: Calvin Klein open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm, Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. Calvin Klein, Mall of the Emirates (04 385 0712); Victoria’s Secret, The Dubai Mall (04 325 3601).
28 Spruce up your home with a Galaxy piano What: Granted, you can only afford one of these fancy pianos if you’re a gazillionaire (they Coral range starts at Dhs39,500), but it’s worth visiting Harvey Nichols to ogle. When: Open daily 10am-10pm. Mall of the Emirates (04 409 8888).
Spas 29 Enjoy discounts on Kaya’s couture face therapies What: Kaya Skin Clinic is offering 15 percent off its face therapies, plus a free skin health check. When: Until August 23. From Dhs850. Various locations including Marina Walk (04 450 8438).
30 Treat yourself at Thai Privilege Spa What: Guests have the option of a beauty package (hair wash and blow dry, with manicure and pedicure) or pampering (aloe vera or fruit facial, plus an oriental spa treatment). When: August 16-21. Dhs199 (beauty), Dhs299 (pampering). Al Wasl Road (04 348 9679).
31 Give your eyes a boost at Ahasees Spa What: Guests booking a pearl seaweed wrap, clean slate facial or mint tea manicure or pedicure will receive a free 30-minute Bright Eyes treatment worth Dhs200. When: Until August 31. Grand Hyatt Dubai, Oud Metha, dubai.grand.hyatt.com (04 317 2333).
32 A right royal treatment at Aroma Spa What: Book a traditional or royal hammam treatment and get a free scalp treatment. When: Until August 31. Dhs350 (traditional), Dhs450 (royal), Dhs650 (complete royal). Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Jumeirah, www.dxbmarine.com (04 304 8081).
33 ‘30 days of suki’ at Biolite What: Anyone who books Biolite’s ‘suki facial’ 15 days before or after the holiday will receive an express suki facial for only Dhs30. When: Until August 31. Al Razi Medical Centre, Bur Dubai, www.biolitedubai.com (04 375 2122).
34 Bag big discounts at Pastels Salon What: Mention the reference code ‘party discount’ and save 15 percent on eyelash extensions and party make-up at the salon’s Jumeirah branch. When: Until August 31. Dhs550 (lash extensions); Dhs300 (make-up application). Jumeirah, www.pastels-salon.com (04 399 5016).
35 Purify your skin at Raffles Spa What: Choose either a botanical themed treatment or a rejuvenating boost to your immune system and receive a free mineral bath, body wash and aromatherapy candle. When: Ongoing. Dhs699 (Enchanting Garden Ceremony of Rose), Dhs659 (Immune Booster). Raffles Dubai, Oud Metha, firstname.lastname@example.org (04 314 9869).
36 Custom facial at Sanctuary What: Have a full consultation followed by a customised facial using Clarins products. When: Until August 31. Dhs400. Sanctuary Spa, Pullman Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, www.pullmanhotels.com (04 377 2380).
37 Five deals to try at SensAsia What: There are five packages on offer this season, including a 30-minute recovery treatment and a 60-minute Kerstin Florian organic moor mud wrap. When: Until August 31. Dhs299 (75 minutes) Various locations, www.sensasiaspas.com (04 417 9820).
38 Holiday rates at The Address Dubai Mall What: Guests can enjoy special discounts on the solution facial treatment (a great alternative to Botox). When: Daily 10am-10pm throughout the long weekend. Dhs750 (80 minutes). The Address Dubai Mall (04 438 8025).
39 Manly aesthetics at Man/Age What: Book one of Man/Age’s slimming treatments on a Sunday and get 25 percent off the normal price. When: Ongoing. From Dhs275. Arjaan Rotana, Dubai Media City, www.managespa.com (04 437 0868).
40 Head to The Spa at The Palace What: This summer relaxation package for men includes a foot cleansing ritual, black diamond exfoliation, basil and mint body detox and access to the fitness centre. When: Until September 30. Dhs1,145. The Spa at The Palace, The Old Town, Downtown Dubai (04 428 7805).
Sports 41 Shake your hips at a salsa class What: Malecon is launching new series of salsa classes, with tutorials catering for both beginners and intermediates. When: Begins August 25. Dhs40. Malecon, Dubai Marina Beach Resort (04 346 1111).
42 Play in the Maxtalent cricket tournament What: This cricket tournament will feature a minimum of 16 teams, each playing each other in 12-over league games before progressing to the knockout stages. The winning team will scoop Dhs1,500 in cash. When: 9am-7pm, August 17-19. Dhs1,000 for a team of eight. Dubai Sports World, DIFC (04 283 1705).
43 Jump on a Jet Ski and zip around Ghantoot What: Ride a Jet Ski for one hour and you’ll pay for only 40 minutes. When: 8.30am-7pm, August 18-21, Dhs350 for one hour; Dhs500 including beach and pool access and a three-course meal. Ghantoot Water Sports, Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotel & Resort (052 983 8959).
44 Get in shape with Dubai Roadsters What: Dubai Roadsters’ Friday morning rides have continued throughout summer, although now the weather is cooling slightly it’s the perfect time to start training for the Coast to Coast cycle race on Friday November 16. Casual riders are welcome, provided they have their own equipment and can keep up with the pack. When: 5.30am every Friday morning. Free. Meet at Lime Tree Café Jumeirah, www.dubairoadsters.com.
45 Sign up for Al Badia’s golf tournament What: The tournament will take place over two days, with a Pairs Betterball round on Friday followed by a three-course gala dinner and (optional) overnight stay at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City, including breakfast, on Saturday, which will be followed by the Pairs Texas Scramble competition. When: From 2pm on August 17 and 8am on Saturday 18. Dhs1,200 (non-members with hotel), Dhs750 (non-members without hotel), Dhs800 (members with hotel), Dhs400 (members without hotel). Al Badia Golf Club, Dubai Festival City (04 601 0101).
46 Train for the new rugby season What: The Jebel Ali Dragons, one of Dubai’s top rugby teams, are braving the heat to get in shape for the new season, which starts in September. When: Sessions every Monday and Wednesday at 7pm. Dhs900 for season membership (including gear and pitch fees). Jebel Ali Centre of Excellence, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.jebelalidragonsrfc.com, email@example.com.
47 Watch the new English Premier League season What: Games include Arsenal v Sunderland at 6pm on Saturday August 18, Wigan Athletic v Chelsea at 4.30pm and Manchester City v Southampton at 7pm on Sunday August 19, and and Everton v Manchester United at 11pm on Monday August 20. When: From Saturday August 18. Screened at venues across town.
Staycations 48 Live in luxury at the Burj Al Arab (for a weekend) What: Treat yourself to an opulent long weekend at one of the city’s most famous and most luxurious landmarks. When: Until September 30. Dhs3,333 per night for a one-bed suite, Dhs5,555 for a two-bed suite). Valid for a family with up to three children under 12. Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah (04 301 7400).
49 A family break at the One&Only Royal Mirage What: Book a room for two adults for three nights or more and get a second children’s room at 50 percent off, valid for up to three children for a minimum of three nights. When: August 17-31. Dhs1,950 per room per night, excluding service charge and municipality fees. One&Only Royal Mirage (04 315 2257).
50 Discount stays at Hatta Fort Hotel What: Celebrate the holidays in a discounted deluxe chalet-style room. When: The duration of the long weekend. Dhs898 per person (sharing). Hatta Fort Hotel, firstname.lastname@example.org (04 8099 333).
51 Indulge for the weekend at The Ritz-Carlton DIFC What: This DIFC hotel is offering a three-night getaway in a deluxe room, including a daily breakfast buffet in Can Can. Guests will receive a free dinner in Majlis, where a ‘chef’s choice’ family sharing menu will be served. Also included in the package is one complimentary 50-minute spa treatment and one 25-minute facial per stay. When: The duration of the long weekend.
From Dhs1,425 per room per night (minimum of three nights). The Ritz-Carlton DIFC (04 372 2222).
52 Escape to the heart of the desert What: Stay three nights and pay for two at the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, nestled amid the sand dunes near Liwa. Includes buffet breakfast for two daily. When: The duration of the long weekend. From Dhs1,600 per night for a deluxe garden room. Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, email@example.com (02 886 2088).