2011 Dubai event preview

Why next year is set to be even better and busier than 2010

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6-9th: Irish Comedy Festival
Top Irish comedians PJ Gallagher, Jason Byrne, Dermot Whelan, Paddy Courtney and Eric Lalor will take to the stage at the new McGettigan’s pub in the Irish-owned Bonnington Towers Hotel, Jumeirah Lakes Towers.

13th: See DJ Bob Sinclar
Grammy Award-nominated French DJ, record label owner, remixer and producer Sinclar plays Atelier’s season closing party at Chi (instead of its usual venue at Emirates Towers).

13th: Check out Republica
English alternative dance-rock act and ’90s Britpop faves Republica will enjoy a renaissance at The Music Room in Bur Dubai, along with local crooners Juliana Down (you’ll have heard their track, ‘Empires’, all over Dubai’s radios recently).

20th: New club launch

A brand new club is opening at Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel. Expect a big first night, with international DJs and a huge launch party. Keep an eye on our Music & Nightlife section for more.

20th: DSF begins
Dubai Shopping Festival is a huge event that offers hundreds of deals, plenty of entertainment, giveaways and fireworks. It runs for a month, until February 20 – see future issues of Time Out Dubai for more details

21st: Run Dubai Marathon
The sixth Dubai Marathon starts at 7am in front of the American University. You have until December 31 to register. Haile Gebrselassie isn’t running this year, so, who knows, you could scoop that US$250,000 prize money yourself.

27-29th: Fun Cup
Race cars powered by 1900cc TDI, 160 bhp VW diesel engines around the Dubai Autodrome circuit, accompanied by a co-driver-instructor.

28th: Fedde Le Grand

The Dutch house DJ and producer – the man behind dance anthem ‘Put Your Hands Up for Detroit’, if you’re wondering – plays Sanctuary at Atlantis.


1st: Hear some jaaaaazz
The Skywards Dubai International Jazz Festival takes place once more, this time featuring Jools Holland, Train, Macy Gray, Alison Moyet and more.

3rd: See 127 Hours

Hotly anticipated gut-wrenching drama 127 Hours hits Dubai cinemas. Directed by Danny Boyle and staring current fave James Franco, it retells the story of climber Aron Ralston, who had to amputate his own arm after it became stuck under a rock in Utah, US. Ouch.

4th: Trot round Dubai Pet Show
Dubai Pet Show is the biggest of its kind in the Middle East, and includes competitions such as Best Six Legs and Dog Most Like its Owner. It’s held at The Sevens.

10-12th: Go to Gulf Bike Week
Amy Winehouse, Mike Posner, Pharrell Williams and N*E*R*D are all surprise attendees at this year’s Gulf Bike Week, taking place at Dubai Festival City.

10-13th: Watch Tiger Woods
Dubai Desert Classic, Emirates Golf Course. This US$2.5 million European Tour event is known as the ‘crown jewel’ of the tour’s three-stop Desert Swing. Tiger Woods has already announced that he’s playing.

18th: Tackle a half marathon

RAK Half Marathon kicks off opposite Ras Al Khaimah’s City Hotel. Could you win the US$25,000 prize money (or at least reach the finish line in one piece)?


1-5th: See the superboats
Dubai International Boat Show at Dubai International Marine Club, Mina Seyahi is attended by tens of thousands of boat fans – it’s the largest of its kind in the region.

2nd: Pack a picnic for the Polo
Top teams such as Argentina, England and, of course, the UAE fight it out at Dubai Polo Club to win the Dubai Polo Gold Cup, the most prestigious polo title of the year. It’s also nice to watch from the sidelines with a picnic and some bubbly.

3-5th: Taste some Taste of Dubai
The city’s top annual foodie event. We’re hoping for appearances from Rhodes, Ramsay, Gagnaire and Oliver this year.

8-12th: Hear the literati lectures
Emirates Airline International Festival of Literature is back at the Intercontinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City. Michael Palin, Benjamin Zephaniah, Tony Parsons and many more will be attending at the third year of this incredibly successful event.

26th: Dress up for the World Cup
Dubai World Cup: which artists will follow Elton and Santana by taking to the stage at Meydan? And will Trois Rois win it again at this sporting and social calendar highlight?

30th: Bridezilla alert
The Bride Show takes place at Dubai International Exhibition Centre until April 2. The event showcases absolutely everything you could need to tie the knot, including actual knots (we think).

Date TBC: Red Bull in Dubai!
Traditionally, Red Bull X-Fighter motocross events have taken place in the heart of some of the world’s most exciting cities, so it’s high time Dubai gets a slice of the action.

And on…

During the rest of the year
In April, both Gulf Film Festival, a competition and festival to promote local and international film in the region, and the first Dubai Fashion Week typically take place – although we haven’t heard word of confirmed dates as yet (keep an eye on www.gulffilmfest.com and www.dubaifashionweek.me). May sees the launch of Pirates of the Caribbean 4 (in 3D) and The Hangover 2 in cinemas – with each of their predecessors so successful here, we’re not sure which will be most popular. Then there’s Dubai Summer Surprises from June 22-July 31 (www.mydsf.com) – that’s 10 weeks of outdoor concerts, themed expositions and discounts in all the malls, although shorter than last year due to a predicted earlier Ramadan (estimated to start on August 1).

Palazzo Versace Hotel is scheduled to open beside Dubai Creek during the same month, obviously with strong Italian influences (www.palazzoversace.com). Will it have air-conditioned sand? We shall soon find out. On July 14, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (ie the end, forever) comes out in cinemas. We predict tears. We also guess that the city will then go rather quiet until October, when the annual second Dubai Fashion Week starts on October 24 (www.dubaifashionweek.me), Dubai Airshow takes place from November 13-17 (www.dubaiairshow.aero) and the Dubai International Motor Show revs up from November 10-14 (www.dubaimotorshow.com). If you really want to, you can Cycle the Seven Emirates from November 27-December 2, and celebrate the UAE’s 40th National Day at the end. Sherlock Holmes 2 and Mission Impossible IV (yes, the one set in Dubai) will be out in cinemas from December 15. Finally we’ll find out what Tom Cruise was doing sitting on top of the Burj. Ouch!

Cutlery aloft!
There’s a whole range of restaurant openings to keep you satiated in 2011, from the highest eatery in the world, At.mosphere on the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa, to Hard Rock Café (with the world’s largest guitar at 118ft), and Jamie Oliver’s Kitchen in Festival Marina to The Ivy in Emirates Towers. All initial serving dates are TBC, although Hard Rock should be early on, while Jamie’s is slated for January too. Our stomachs are rumbling already.

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