Eid Mubarak! (This translates as ‘Blessed Eid’!) Ramadan will soon be drawing to an end, and everyone in Dubai will celebrate the three-day Eid al-Fitr Islamic holiday. The first day of Eid falls on the first day of the Islamic month Shawal (which means ‘to carry’ – it was a time when lady camels were typically pregnant) and this year it’s likely to fall on Tuesday August 30, which means a five-day weekend for all of us (hurrah!).
It also means you’ll have plenty of time to explore the city now that the weather’s downgrading from sizzling to summery and Dubai has its party hat back on. Here are 52 places to start…
Dance to Trilogy’s resident DJs Madinat nightclub Trilogy reopens after Ramadan on Thursday September 1, with resident DJs Matthew Charles and Mark Pickup taking to the decks to welcome crowds back to the dancefloor. Dhs100; free before 11pm. Open 10pm-3am. Trilogy, Souk Madinat Jumeirah (04 366 6917).
Party with DJ Bliss at Armani/Privé DJ Bliss returns to the decks at the exclusive Burj Khalifa club on Thursday September 1 to present a mix of hip hop, R&B, house and electro-pop, with a warm-up from Mr Shef Codes. Free. Open 10pm-3am. Armani/Privé, Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa (04 888 3308).
Loaded’s Madchester party To celebrate news that Loaded DJs Da:Funct and Just Some Kid will be opening for Beady Eye in Abu Dhabi on September 16, the boys are putting on a Manchester-themed night on Friday September 2. Expect to hear the likes of New Order, Happy Mondays, The Charlatans and plenty more. Free. Open 9pm-3am. Casa Latina, Ibis Hotel Al Barsha (04 399 6699).
Visit the revamped Underground pub London-themed pub The Underground has recently stepped up its entertainment, with darts and pool now joined by PlayStations. By October the bar will also have a new British chef, specialising in pub grub. Free. Open 8am-3am. The Underground Pub, Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina (04 408 4221).
Karl Wolf live at No.1 Fridays The Lebanese-born Canadian musician touches down in Dubai on Friday September 2 for a gig at No.1 Fridays’ first international event since moving to new location Club Sensation (it was formerly at Elegante). Dhs100, free entry and free drinks for ladies until midnight. 10.30pm-3am. Club Sensation, Crowne Plaza Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (050 852 3343).
Try a new drinks promotion at Z:One Sample the Media One bar’s new ‘Feed Me’ concept: on weekdays, pay Dhs120 and you can enjoy two hours of unlimited eating and drinking from the chef’s choice of platters and selected drinks. You’ll even get a sign to wave at the staff when you need replenishing (it can prove dangerous in spoiled hands). Dhs120. Sat-Thu 2pm ’til late. Z:One, Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City (04 427 1000).
XL Beach Club presents Antonia The Romanian singer, featured on electro-house track ‘Morena’ (mixed by DJ Tom Boxer), will perform live at the air-conditioned beach club on Friday September 2 to kick off the new season. Dhs150, free until 6pm. Open 2pm-3am. XL Beach Club, Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa (056 640 6161).
See US singer Omarion at Chi The American R&B singer, real name Omari Ishmael Grandberry, released his latest album, Ollusion, in 2010. He’s heading to Dubai for a live performance at Chi on Friday September 2. Dhs150. Open 9pm-3am. Chi@The Lodge, Al Nasr Leisureland (04 337 9470).
See Kelly Rowland, Sean Paul and T-Pain live 50 Cent may have cancelled and Shah Rukh Khan may have dropped out, but Shoppiesta’s concerts are still going strong and these three American acts are bound to save the show with a gig on Sunday September 4. Dhs150 standing; Dhs350 gold standing, Dhs600 VIP standing, Dhs1,000 VIP seated; Dhs1,500 platinum seated. Meydan, Nad Al Sheba, www.timeouttickets.com.
Get a free goody bag at Eternel MedSpa Spend Dhs5,000 and get a gift bag worth Dhs700 filled with me-time treats – a voucher worth Dhs250 for the spa, an eye pillow, an aromatherapy candle and a lip enhancement formula from Image. Prices vary. Valid until September 5. Eternel MedSpa, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 344 0008).
Enjoy a men’s detox sports massage You don’t have to work up a sweat in the Akaru gym before indulging yourself with a relaxing deep-tissue or sports massage at the spa. Dhs195 until September 30. Akaru Spa, The Aviation Club, Garhoud (04 282 8578).
Try a real snakeskin mani-pedi To be clear, no snakes have been skinned to create this look, although the process uses skin shed by snakes, sandwiching it between layers of gel polish for an unusual look. Dhs900. The Nail Spa, various locations including The Dubai Mall (04 339 9078).
Quit smoking (for good) Get a fresh start this September and ditch the habit. Think you’ve tried everything? What about hypnotherapy? OFI Centre’s autumn offer includes three sessions and an audio programme to take home. Dhs1,250 (normally Dhs2,500). Until September 30. OFI Centre, Dubai Knowledge Village (055 553 8295).
Rent free films from Alliance Française’s DVD library Borrow all manner of French and English-language DVDs from this library of more than 1,000 films, from comedies to crime dramas, and brush up on your French while you’re at it. Free. Open Sun-Thu 1.30pm-7.30pm. Alliance Française, Building 59, opposite Wafi, Oud Metha (04 434 1716).
Enter a 3D gaming competition The Living Rooms video game café at Festival Centre is hosting the LG Cinema 3D gaming championship until January, and you can take part daily, or enter the weekly or monthly contest. There are tonnes of prizes to be won, with participants playing either Need for Speed, Call of Duty: Black Ops, FIFA 11 or Dance Central. Designed to mimic your home environment (with the addition of strangers), this café serves snacks and comfort food – if you can’t find what you’re looking for, order a takeaway. Free; register at www.facebook.com/lggulffanclub. Living Rooms, Dubai Festival Centre (04 232 9291).
Check into Raffles Dubai This hotel’s Eid deal still requires a bit of a splurge, but there are few more desirable locations for a weekend of relaxation. The enormous baths in the rooms are worth the stay alone. From Dhs1,299 per room per night (minimum three-night stay). Raffles Dubai, Oud Metha (04 314 9888).
Watch Arab-made film Pomegranates and Myrrh This Palestinian film from director Najwa Najjar will have a two-week run at Reel Cinemas’ The Picturehouse at The Dubai Mall from September 1. The film has been well received by critics worldwide, so watch it while you can. See next week’s Film section for details and timings.
Three things to do without leaving the house Tune in to Metality UAE’s new online radio: Grab your laptop, visit the website and blast your ears with the latest broadcast from new online station Radio Metality UAE, which is dedicated to playing music from local rock and metal bands. www.dyb.fm/metalityuae.
Invite friends round for drinks and nibbles from More: Much-loved café chain More is now offering home catering, dishing up everything from salads and dips to vol-au-vents and ice cream. Visit the website for more info and to check out the menu. Minimum order Dhs500, includes delivery. www.morecafe.biz (04 263 3113).
Snooze in a pocket hammock: This new portable hammock can be tied up absolutely anywhere. Pretend you’re on a beach in the Maldives by playing a Sounds of the Ocean CD and stretching out in your living room. Unconventional, but miles cooler than the beach. Dhs89. Available at Virgin Megastore, Mall of the Emirates (04 284 3110).
Enjoy Eid al-Fitr at Al Dawaar Not only does it spin round (very slowly), but revolving restaurant Al Dawaar also offers traditional Emirati dishes – perfect for Eid. Lunch: Dhs180 (adults), Dhs90 (kids); 12.30pm-3.30pm. Dinner: Dhs250 (adults), Dhs125 (kids); 6.30pm-midnight. Hyatt Regency, Deira (04 317 2222).
Tuck into an Eid buffet at Azur It’s haraam (forbidden) to fast over Eid, which is the perfect excuse to head to this special buffet at Raffles’s signature restaurant. Dhs250. 12.30pm-3.30pm. Raffles Dubai, Oud Metha (04 324 9888).
Meet Segreto’s new head chef Mauro Pio Sanna takes the reins at the sleek Madinat restaurant just in time for Eid. The Italian chef has won a host of accolades, and we hear he makes a mean lasagne. Dhs400-500. Open daily 7pm-11.30pm. Segreto, Souk Madinat Jumeirah (04 366 6730).
Sample Aquara’s revamped menu September heralds a new menu at Aquara and an exciting list of New World grape-based beverages: the perfect way to wash down dishes such as chilled yellowfin tuna or confit duck and mushroom tortellini. Dhs300-400. Open daily 6pm-midnight. Aquara, Dubai Marine Yacht Club (04 362 7900).
Set sail with Bateaux Dubai’s new menu Many restaurants are launching new menus for September, but not many of them float down Deira Creek. We’re looking forward to dishes such as pepper-crusted veal medallion or violette macaroon. Dhs330 (four courses and soft drinks), Dhs450 (house beverages). Open daily 8.30pm-11pm (boarding at 7.45pm). Opposite British Embassy, Bur Dubai (04 399 4994).
Celebrate Oktoberfest early There’s nothing like jumping the gun in style. Hofbräuhaus is serving Oktoberfest-themed fare from the beginning of September, offering a ‘Chef’s Special’ meal that includes two pints. Dhs130. Noon-4.30pm. JW Marriott, Deira (04 607 7977).
Slice into a tomahawk steak Every Sunday, Center Cut enables steak lovers to sample the huge tomahawk steak, served with veg and potatoes, followed by the signature Chocolate Nemesis dessert. Dhs600 (for two). Sun from 7pm. Center Cut, The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC (04 372 2323).
Try Beachcombers’ Eid buffet A great family atmosphere, tasty South-East Asian fare, beach views and reasonable prices – what more could you ask for from an Eid feast? Dhs185, half price for kids aged five to 12, free for under fives. 12.30pm-4pm. Jumeirah Beach Hotel (04 406 8999).
Catch rugby fever With the Rugby World Cup set to kick off in September, there’s no better time to get involved in the local scene: why not join one of the six Dubai-based teams? All clubs field male and female teams and welcome players of all standards. www.gulfrugby.com (04 809 6652).
Zip through the desert dunes Head to the desert to tear around in a dune buggy for an hour, followed by a sedate camel ride, shisha and a barbecue dinner. Dhs575 per person. 2.30pm pick-up from across Dubai. www.desertrangers.com (04 340 2408).
Spend a night under the stars It’s still a little toasty at night, but after being cooped up during Ramadan, camping could be the perfect Eid activity. Remember to take plenty of food and water. Recommended accessories include a sleeping bag and tent, a head torch, first-aid kit, sleeping mat, portable stove or barbecue trays, dry bags, and bungee cords. Be sure to take only photos and leave only footprints. Unsure about camping alone? Contact Discover Nomad, www.discovernomad.com (50 885 3238) or Absolute Adventure, www.adventure.ae (04 345 9900).
Take the plunge in the Atlantis aquarium Atlantis is offering the chance to scuba-dive in the resort’s huge aquarium (the fifth biggest in the world), which houses 250 species of fish. The experience includes a familiarisation dive, after which you’ll get up close and personal with the aquarium residents. Dhs2,500. Divers require a PADI certification or similar (CMAS, SSI, NAUI). Daily 5.45pm-10pm. Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah, www.atlantisthepalm.com (04 426 1000).
Throw yourself out of a plane Skydive Dubai is back after a summer hiatus. As well as tandem jumps for first-timers, it also offers an Accelerated Free Fall package (six-hour ground course and eight jumps), so you can qualify to jump on your own. Dhs1,700 (first-time tandem package), Dhs10,000 (AFF package). Dubai Marina, www.skydivedubai.ae (050 153 3222).
Join a bike ride Members of local cycling enthusiasts’ club Dubai Roadsters have been riding throughout summer over distances of 80km, 120km and 140km. Now Ramadan’s over, they’ll be out in full force. Suitable for seasoned cyclists only. Free. 6am. Outside the Lime Tree Café, Jumeirah, www.dubairoadsters.com (04 339 4453).
Reach new heights Now that the weather has cooled (slightly), Dorell is resuming its outdoor rock-climbing expeditions, including the ‘Outdoor Rock Intro’, a one-day beginners’ course teaching basic techniques. Dhs85. for introductory course. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.climbingdubai.com (050 273 3805).
Enjoy a surfing safari in Oman From August 30, Surf Shop Dubai is planning an Eid surfing trip to Oman, where the swell is bigger and the beaches clearer than here in Dubai. Dhs1,950 (Tue-Sun; six days/five nights), Dhs1,750 (Tue-Sat/Wed-Sun; five days/four nights), Dhs1,250 (Thu-Sat; three days/two nights), Dhs900 (Thu-Sat; two days/two nights). Self-drive rates from Dhs1,250. www.surfshopdubai.com (04 399 0989).
Tour the Sharjah Islamic Museum of Civilisation Visit one of the more impressive museums in the region. While you’re in the area, stock up on Arabic-inspired knick-knacks at the nearby Blue Souk. Free. Open Sat-Thu 8am-8pm, Fri 4pm-8pm. Corniche Street, Sharjah (06 565 5455).
View the UAE through a lens Get a group together and sign up for an Edventure Travel half-day Eid workshop, where you can take a day trip within the emirates to look at the landscape from an artisan’s point of view. Dhs475-550 per person including transport and snacks. www.edventuretravel.com (050 715 9457).
Paint a portrait at an open studio Take a friend to thejamjar and try to capture each other on canvas. Dhs35-195 depending on canvas size. Open Sun-Thu 10am-8pm, Fri 2pm-8pm, Sat 10am-8pm. Thejamjar, Al Quoz (04 341 7303).
Embrace local theatre Sharjah Theaters Group’s Arabic stage production Ghareeb Zanga Zanga tackles many of the issues faced by the Arab world – but in a fun way. Tickets Dhs50-500. Wed 31-Fri 2, 9pm. Cultural Palace, Sharjah (06 524 1238).
Learn hip hop in a stunning location Nora Dance Studio is running beginners’ hip-hop lessons over Eid in a studio that overlooks the marina. Dhs85 per class. Thu 8pm. Dubai Marina Yacht Club (050 395 8280).
Enjoy the latest Art Couture shows Four diverse shows are opening at this gallery’s new Al Badia location on Saturday 3, including ‘State of Reflection’,‘The Grace of a Belly Dancer’, and ‘Colour Conversations’. Open 10am-10pm from Saturday September 3. Al Badia Golf Club, Dubai Festival City (04 601 0101).
The world’s biggest touring dino show What better excuse to get out of the house than to clap eyes on a huge T-Rex? Dino-Live, the world’s largest mobile dinosaur show, is good for a scare, with more than 30 moving, animated models. Dhs35. Open daily 9.30am-noon for pre-booked groups, 5pm-11pm for the general public. Sharjah Mega Mall (06 574 2574).
Create an art show from your sofa New website Funoon offers emerging artists a platform to display their work online and interact with others in the region without being tied to a gallery. Dhs200 for a one-year subscription. www.funoon.ae.
Be a sports star at Sharaf DG This giant electronics store is not only packing some serious bargains duirng Eid, it’s also home to an Xbox console where you can play Kinect Sports. Dangerously addictive – and free. Sharaf DG, The Dubai Mall (04 339 8656).
Revisit the creek If you don’t mind sweating a little, an evening stroll along Dubai Creek is entirely pleasant. Park by the museum (Dhs2 to visit, 04 353 1862) and catch an abra before grabbing a falafel at Kan Zaman in Shindagha Heritage Village. (04 393 9913).
Go to a funfair As well as hosting Kelly Rowland, T-Pain and Sean Paul, the Shoppiesta festival at Meydan will also feature a funfair with a freefall tower, a human gyroscope (a sphere that will fling you around), bungee running (harder than it looks), sumo wrestling and BMX shows. The best bit? It costs just Dhs5 to enter and Dhs10 to try two adventure rides. August 31-September 4. Meydan Racecourse, Nad Al Sheba, www.shoppiesta.com.
Watch the fountain There’s very little that beats sitting outside The Dubai Mall and watching the huge fountains. Grab a Morelli’s gelato (04 339 9053) and pull up a pew. Daily 7.30pm-11.30pm, every 30 minutes. The Dubai Mall (04 362 7500).
Quaff Dhs1 drinks Eat at cute bistro The Glasshouse, consume two courses and you can buy selected beverages for Dhs1 each. Game on! Prices vary. Wed 7pm ’til late. Hilton Dubai Creek, Deira (04 212 7551).
Spend the evening in Mushrif Park This mammoth space is seriously underrated. It’s quite a drive (unless you live in Mirdif), but is worth it thanks to a mini train, a petting zoo, a pool and the chance to spot owls come nightfall. Park entry Dhs3; pool entry Dhs10. Al Khawaneej Road (04 288 3624).
Hit the lanes Dubai International Bowling Centre is offering a special rate during Eid of just Dhs12-15 per game (normally Dhs50 per half hour). Open daily noon-3am. Near Century Mall, Deira (04 296 9222). For more Eid ideas, see www.timeoutdubai.com.
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Sara Sep 01, 2011 09:15 am
i receive emails from you regularly and enjoy a lot of your tips..but i found this article insulting.. i am a muslim and we have just had a whole month that was devoted to worship and staying away from the wrong and bad and to see an article like this filled with drinking and clubbing as ways to celebrate "Eid Al Fitr" was just too much,,
As a publication named Time Out Dubai.. it should have a little more respect to the people of that country..
Fadia Sep 01, 2011 08:47 am
I am a local from Dubai and consider myself a moderate muslim. I am very appalled that your article "52 ways to spend eid al fitr in dubai" all involves clubbing and drinking!
I know that Dubai is a big buzzing multi-racial city, but I am sure that you can find another way of addressing your article and not referring to it as eid al fitr fun since it is our celebration after a holy month of worship.
Nick Aug 31, 2011 01:09 pm
Guys when you suggested the Sharjah Islamic Museum of Civilisation as one of your 52 Eid fun things, you might have pointed out that it is closed for three hours in the middle of the day during the Eid holidays and not 8am - 8pm as you state!! Waiting around for it to reopen in 40 degree heat is NOT a fun thing to do.
Ernest Aug 27, 2011 03:49 am
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