Running until February 28, the 15th Dubai Shopping Festival features many events open to families free of charge – or at rock bottom bargain prices. It’s the perfect time to get out and about without putting a strain on your purse.
Up in smoke
You have an entire month’s worth of evenings to enjoy the spectacular fireworks displays that light up the skies in the Al Seef area of Dubai Creek. Every evening the show kicks off at 8.30pm, making it great entertainment if you’re out for a stroll with the little ones. Al Seef and Rigga Street also come alive in the evenings with lots of cafés, stalls and amusements.
It’s carnival time!
Get into the party mood, with teams of performers, including clowns, acrobats, street artists and musicians juggling, stilt walking, uni-cycling and merry-making their way around the malls. We’re betting Mercato, Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Festival City, Arabian Centre, Wafi and BurJuman will be festive weekend hotspots.
Always a hit at DSF time, the Heritage and Diving villages in Shindhaga are a hive of cultural activity for the month of February. Wander through the stalls and sample traditional Bedouin snacks. Then browse the art and crafts and antique shops, watch traditional performances and horse riding displays. There are also lots of creek side restaurants where you can sit and watch the dhows go by once the sun goes down.
04 393 7151.
Walk The Walk
With highlights including the World of Jazz from February 3 to 9, during which top artists will entertain mum and dad with musical performances, The Walk at JBR will be transformed for kids too. Watch out for the fun fair and an inflatable zone providing plenty of bouncy entertainment for little ones.
In the club
Don’t miss the Little Big Club Show’s Middle East debut at the Dubai Airport Expo. Kids will get to see their favourite characters on stage in this all-singing and dancing extravaganza, including Barney, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, Postman Pat, Pingu and Angelina Ballerina.
Running from February 5 to 12, there are two shows a day at 4pm and 8pm.
Ben 10 bonanza
Hot on the heels of the Little Big Club Show is ‘The Power of the Omnitrix’ – a stage show featuring Ben 10, Grandpa Max, Gwen and lots of other ‘out of this world’ characters. Perfect for Alien Force fanatics, the 90-minute show will be performed twice daily at 4pm and 7pm at the Dubai Airport Expo and runs from February 19 to 26.
Mini petrol heads will love the Gulf Bike Festival at Dubai Festival City from February 4 to 6. The event includes stunt shows, freestyle bike demonstrations and lots of entertainment for kids and adults alike.
A great atmosphere with live music from Status Quo and Nickelback, this could be the perfect father-son bonding experience.
04 271 9670.
For something all the family will enjoy, head to Al Warqa’a Area Four where there will be a family camp, organised by Watini. You can rent a tent and enjoy the adventures on offer, including camel and horse riding, quad biking, barbecues, souk shopping and entertainment shows.
Running through the whole of DSF, call 600 545 555 for more info.
A venue that comes into its own every DSF is Global Village. If you make your way down there on February 12 between 6.30pm and 9.30pm, you can sample the world’s biggest biryani. But make sure you’re
first in the queue, as we know from experience that this will be a bun fight of epic proportions. For the rest of the month, there are the 31 pavilions to browse, 6,000 cultural performances to watch, the Chinese Flying Poles show, the fairground, and Bounce, a ‘never seen here before’ stunt performance. Intriguing…
For more info on DSF activities, visit www.mydsf.ae.