Family fun in Dubai: April

Pinocchio on stage, tramp(oline) camp, open water swimming and more

Activity centres

Who could resist the age-old tale of the little boy whose ever-growing nose teaches him the value of telling the truth? Captivating audiences from the book to the stage, the classic story of Pinocchio, brought to you in full technicolour pantomime from H2 productions, will run for just four days at Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre (Ductac) this month and we guarantee this is one you won’t one to miss. The animated marionette Pinocchio and his poor woodcarver father, Geppetto, are a brilliant double act, as Pinocchio learns he must be brave, unselfish – and truthful – to earn the right to become a human boy.
From Dhs140. Apr 5-8, times vary. Ductac, Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha, (04 341 4777).

From babies to toddlers

Jumeirah International Nurseries have launched an action-packed spring camp of themed creative projects, science experiments, cooking, music and movement, storytelling, and more.
Dhs250 per child. Apr 2-6, 9am-1pm. Various locations, including Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Village Triangle,

High energy camp

Let them burn off some energy and hangout with their mates this spring break at one of the region’s top trampoline parks.
Dhs140 (daily). Dhs350 (three sessions, snacks included). Mon-Wed, noon-4pm, until Thur Apr 6. Flip Out, Al Quoz 3, (600 567 568).

Boost their brains

Keep up the classroom momentum and book your child in for a KHDA-approved Maths, Reading and Writing programme. Core subjects are combined with creative arts and outdoor activities for a diverse camp experience. Get a head start.
Dhs300 per day. Sun Apr 2-Thur Apr 6, 9am-12.30pm. The Study Room, Canal Residences, Sports City, (04 513 6620).

APRIL 6-12

Mancunian legends New Order make their UAE debut

Back on the scene in 2015 with explosive album Music Complete, featuring the likes of Iggy Pop and Elly Jackson, iconic British band New Order are coming to Dubai for the first time this month. The show will kick off their Easter Tour, which also includes appearances at Radio City Hall in New York and Coachella music festival. Fans of old will love the fused post-punk and synth-pop old favourites. We can’t wait!
Tickets from Dhs349. Fri Apr 7. Doors open at 8pm. Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Garhoud,

Snuggle up

Your little dreamers will love cuddling their very own Kippins, an organic cotton, eco-friendly sleeping blankie, perfect for hugs, sleep and play. Inspired by nature, story books and a wild imagination, Kippins are designed in Australia and ethically-made, making them a perfect baby gift. Grab yours now.
From Dhs115.

Barrel of laughs!
Pop culture fans are in for a treat with the return of the Middle East Film & Comic Con (MEFCC), featuring celebrity guests, competitions, workshops and much more. Taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre, MEFCC is now in its sixth year and is one of the region’s biggest pop culture conventions.
Dhs100 (one-day pass). Apr 6-8. Dubai World Trade Centre, Za’abeel Hall 4, 5 and 6,

APRIL 13-18

Goodies for green fingers

A new online gardening retailer,, has launched in the UAE, selling globally-sourced indoor and outdoor gardening equipment, including cool ideas for vertical gardens, along with a range of children’s gardening tools to get your mini gardeners digging and planting. This local brand is aiming to encourage people to grow their own food and live more sustainable lives.

Nature-lover’s brunch

Mix up the brunch experience with a trip to Ras Al Khaimah’s Al Wadi Equestrian Adventure Centre, which is part of the Ritz-Carlton, for a country-themed afternoon, with brunch set between the paddock and stables. You’ll have free range of the 500-hectare nature reserve, bikes to explore on, falcon and owl shows to marvel at and pony rides. Book in advance.
Dhs300 (adults’ weekend soft drinks package), Dhs250 (adults’ mid-week soft drinks package), Free (children under 6). Ras Al Khaimah, (07 206 7777).


The Dubai Sports Council and the UAE Swimming Federation have teamed up for the COEGA Sunwear Mina Mile Open Water Swim Series with 200m, 400m, 800m and one-mile category options, meaning there’s a distance to suit every swimmer. Check out their website for registration and fees. Then dive in!
Dhs150 (adults), Dhs100 (ages 18 and below). Registration opens 7am, Sat Apr 15. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina,

APRIL 19 - 24

LET THE Battle begin!

The ninth annual World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship comes to the capital this month. More than 7,000 competitors from100 countries will descend on Abu Dhabi to fight it out for world titles and a prize of Dhs3 million.
Free. April 10-22. Various times. IPIC Arena, Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi

Indiana Jones As You’ve Never Seen Him Before

Let the drama of the live orchestra take the adventure to another level while watching iconic movies, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jurassic Park, on the big screen, above Dubai Opera’s sweeping stage. An unforgettable night for all the family. Don’t miss out!
Tickets from Dhs150. Wed Apr 19 and Fri 21, 8pm. Dubai Opera, The Opera District Downtown Dubai,

Help is at hand

Go-to parent and baby store Mamas & Papas has launched a bespoke shopping service to help families navigate through the (often expensive) minefield of buying for babies. From nursery furniture to choosing a pram and a car seat, they have you covered.
By appointment only. Various store locations, including Mall of the Emirates (800 88822).

APRIL 25-30

Healthy treats delivered

There’s now a brand new (and healthy) way to say “thank you”, “happy birthday” or perhaps “welcome to Dubai!” with the gorgeously-packaged new gift range from Fruitful Day. The crate, made from locally sourced wood, contains a selection of cut fruits, dark chocolate shavings and crushed hazelnuts for dipping, with dried fruit and nuts. Add a greeting card to make it that little bit more special.
From Dhs395 per box. Order at

Stunning desert setting at Qasr Al Sultan

Head off to a little piece of old Arabia in the beautiful desert setting of Qasr Al Sultan for breakfast this weekend. Tuck into a majestic buffet, including soft drinks, tea and coffee, and enjoy the live entertainment, camel rides, face-painting, and arts and crafts for a morning to remember.
Dhs100 adults, Dhs50 (kids aged six-12), under six eat free. Fri and Sat, 9am-noon. Qasr Al Sultan, adjacent to Dubai Parks and Resorts, Sheikh Zayed Road, (800 785826).

Movies under the stars Dubai Marina
The good people at Dubai Marina are showing a brilliant selection of family films such as Mrs Doubtfire and Matilda, every weekend throughout the month on their big outdoor movie screen. And, it’s completely free! Result.
Fri and Sat, 5.30pm and 8pm. Dubai Marina Promenade, Dubai Marina,

Quirky cards

Boutique online marketplace Little Majlis has just lauched a gorgeous new range of cards with a locally-themed twist. Perfect for birthdays, thank yous, or if you just want to say, “Marhaba”.
From Dhs15. Pôlette Concept Store, Al Mustaqbal Street, City Walk, (050 879 5618).

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