Become a human claw at Dubai Shopping FestivalDina Maaty, 17 Jan 2019 13:12:23 +0400Remember that arcade gift claw machine where you couldn’t even win a keychain? Well, now you can descend onto a pit of wrapped presents and grab your prize yourself.

City Centres Me’aisem and Al Shindagha have launched The Great Claw Machine game for the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), available until Wednesday February 6.

It’s for both kids and adults, so young ones can win big too. While one person turns into a human claw, the other controls the movement of the crane-like device on the other end. The aim is, as you may already know, to grab a prize without dropping it.

You’ll be in for a chance of winning prizes from different outlets and venues including Magic Planet, Ski Dubai, Patchi, Aldo, Bath & Body Works. Plus, mall gift cards and shopping vouchers.

All you have to do to play is spend Dhs200 at lifestyle and fashion stores at City Centre Me’aisem (Dhs400 including Carrefour), where the game is available until January 23 or Dhs100 at City Centre Al Shindagha until Wednesday February 6.

As part of the DSF, both malls also have ongoing offers, raffle draws and more.

Don’t skip arm day at the gym today, you’ll need those biceps and triceps to grab onto those prezzies in the pile.
From Dhs100. Until Feb 6 noon-10pm. City Centre Me’aisem, International Media Production Zone (IMPZ),; City Centre Al Shindagha, Bur Dubai,

Pepper the robot is coming to DubaiDina Maaty, 17 Jan 2019 12:18:47 +0400Move over Sophia, there’s a new robot we’d like to meet and he’s coming to Dubai. Happy Pepper is visiting Oasis Centre mall over two weekends, January 25 and 26, and February 1 and 2.

The human-like robot will interact with families using special technology which enables him to recognise faces and basic human emotions, engaging through conversation and a touch screen.

You’ll take a stroll with Pepper, taking selfies, learning more about available offers and he may even treat little ones to a surprise or two.

The creators of Peppers say he can make personalised recommendations, so if you’re torn between Oasis’s Babyshop, Mothercare and Kids’ Style for Less, he may just be all the help you need.

Youngsters who are looking to learn more can also look forward to a Kids Robotics workshop from 11am onwards on both weekends.

But before all of those Wall-E moments, parents and kiddies will also meet and greet Disney’s PJ Masks trio, Catboy, Owlette and Gecko – the stars of a superhero series for kids.

The masked red, blue and green six-year-olds are coming to Oasis Mall on Friday January 18 and Saturday January 19, just a week before the friendly robot’s arrival.

We have a feeling Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) sales are the reason Pepper is so happy – but so are we our friend, so are we.
Free. Oasis Centre, Al Quoz, (04 515 4000).

New drama classes for kids in Al QuozDina Maaty, 17 Jan 2019 06:40:06 +0400If your kids can sing, dance and put on a show, you’ll want to sign them up to become Dubai’s newest little maestros.

Little ones can now take part in The Courtyard Playhouse’s most popular and longest-running showcase, where ten kids will battle it out at the improvisation theatre in a series of scenes, songs and games.

Taking place every first Friday of the month at 11.30am, the event is all about kids joining in, helping determine scores for the contestants then voting for their favourite stories and characters until one player is crowned The Little Maestro.

As for The Courtyard’s improvised Kids’ Storytime, Little Dahlings, there’s loads of magic in store for little ones aged three and above, who will help decide on the hero of the story as well as the villains, monsters, friends and animals they meet along the way.

Expect music, singing, dancing, silliness and adventure every Friday in February at 11.30am.

Another interesting activity for the kids is the theatre’s spontaneous storytelling sessions, where they get to decide how the story unfolds – whether it’s building a spaceship, catching Santa or coming face to face with a Dragon.

“We ask the kids what comes next…” takes place every Friday in March at 11.30am and is a good exercise to teach them how to act, play, tell stories and trust their instincts in creative collaboration.

Mums and dads can choose from different membership packages starting from Dhs75 per person for a temporary membership, and Dhs500 paid annually.
From Dhs75 (per person). Timings vary. Al Quoz 1 (050 781 2269).

Become a mini detective at KidZania DubaiDina Maaty, 16 Jan 2019 07:14:52 +0400If your little ones love to play Sherlock Holmes, then the new KidZ Detective at KidZania may just be perfect for them.

Kids will get the opportunity to use all their skills to become junior detectives in a new, fascinating world where they’ll dig for clues, navigate a maze, collect fingerprints and analyse evidence to crack the case and save the day.

They’ll also pick up new core skills, learning attention to detail, patience and problem-solving as well as balance and movement.

Kidz Detective has four different zones. The Clues Room will help kids solve the case with a set of mysteries they should uncover. The Maze Zone is all about balance and movement, where they’ll have to dodge the lasers and find their way through.

Next up is the Finger Print Collection Room, where everyone’s fingerprints will be collected – just like in the movies. Finally, at the Evidence Analysis Room, kiddies will gather all evidence to be submitted and analysed.

The activity is included for free as part of the Premium Ticket, which gives kids aged four to 16 access to KidZania Dubai. Mums and Dads, you can get 30 percent off for a limited time if you book online too.

Other activities at the attraction include Food & Beverage, where they can flip a burger at McDonald’s and Health, where kids get to be doctors for the day and even learn about gently caring for newborns.

True detectives? There’s only one way to find out.
Dhs250 (Premium Ticket). Until Mar 31. The Dubai Mall, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, (800 38224 6255).

Pirate-themed light, water and fire show coming to Dubai Festival CityDina Maaty, 15 Jan 2019 11:03:01 +0400The pirates are no longer in the Caribbean as they’ve arrived in Dubai Festival City Bay. But fret not, they're the family-friendly type.

The mall’s outdoor waterfront will be transformed with the launch of a new IMAGINE show starting Thursday January 17, taking place daily after sunset. “A Pirate’s Tale” will tell the story of pearl diver Ameer, who fights pirates in the sea to rescue his beloved Ayesha.

From being held hostage to returning the King of the Sea’s emerald ring, the story will be told through pyrotechnics, lasers and more as audiences watch the events unfold through the largest permanent projection in the world.

A two-time Guinness World Records-breaking attraction, IMAGINE is a complete sensory experience that uses light, water, fire and aqua screens along with 30 fountains and surround sounds to create dramatic mapping experiences.

Little ones will be wowed by the sight of enormous ships and shooting cannon balls, and even meet some mermaids along the way as they follow Ameer’s journey.

A play zone has also been set up for kids to live the pirate story with a giant ship, life-size octopus, jungle gym, sandy beach-style area and more. All you have to do is present a same-day receipt from any mall outlet. 

Festival Bay will be buzzing with tons of family-friendly fun including a park featuring carnival rides, giant slides and Dubai’s only inflatable outdoor splash park with passes starting from Dhs95. 

Do you reckon we’ll be meeting Captain Jack Sparrow or the very evil Hook?
Free entry. Jan 17-Apr 30; daily 8pm-midnight. Dubai Festival City Bay. For more information,

Reel Cinemas now offers all-day diningDina Maaty, 14 Jan 2019 11:58:41 +0400If you’ve ever been watching a movie and a pizza craving hit too hard, we’ve got some good news for you.

Reel Cinemas has launched its first all-day dine-in concept where you can enjoy a meal while watching the latest big-screen hits. Packages start from Dhs50 for a movie and Dhs15 credit towards food and drinks.

Besides the standard hot dogs and nachos, the in-theatre dining menu includes dishes from Reel International and the renowned Chef Guy Fieri’s Kitchen.

Perfect for families with kids, dishes include everything from pasta, pizza, lasagna and camembert bites to breakfast options such as avocado on toast and açai bowls. Reel also serves light tapas options including Caesar salad, mushroom skewers and more.

Plus, there’s a kids' combo at Dhs60 with munchies and snacks to suit little ones’ picky palates. Items on the menu range from chicken tenders and cheeseburgers, to a hummus platter with crudités and crispy pita.

You can also go for the Guy Fieri combos, which start from Dhs85 for a movie, starter and soft drink and go all the way up to Dhs125 for a full meal. Think frozen punch bowls, mac ‘n’ cheese burgers, cake shakes and a "fry trio" in waffle, curly and straight…

All-day dine-in is available at Reel Cinemas The Dubai Mall, Jebel Ali Recreation Club and The Pointe.

We might go for either How to Train Your Dragon or Bumblebee, but pass the menu please.
From Dhs50 (value ticket). For more information,

Here’s how to be a part of the Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Go-Karting event, 14 Jan 2019 05:46:21 +0400Prepare to start your engines and speed through one of the most exciting racing championships in the Middle East, as the Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Go-Karting is now open to registration.

One of the longest running championships in the region is celebrating Round 3 of its series by giving the UAE’s rising young stars of driving the opportunity to get a taste of the big leagues of motor sport.

The event is focused on the health and wellbeing for children, encouraging sport, exercise and healthy eating through the excitement of motorsports.

Taking place on Friday January 25, professional drivers from the Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East in attendance will be offering a 30-minute driving workshop, before three qualifying sessions will determine the top drivers for a final race.

The event is open to kids aged eight to 14 and will be held at Dubai indoor Kartdrome in Motor City. Registration closes on Monday January 21, so make sure to secure a spot on the facing grid before then.

This is the perfect opportunity to give your talented little one of their first steps into the world of racing. Who knows, you may have the next Lewis Hamilton on your hands.

To register, all you have to do is direct message @PorscheGT3ME on Instagram, or head to the Facebook page at with the following:

1. Full name of your child
2. Full name of escorting parent
3. Contact number and email
4. Child’s age

Teaming up with Porsche Centre Dubai, the event is designed to promote a healthy lifestyle for kids through sports and a balanced diet.

The Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East is one of the longest running and most professional championship in the region and is based on the highly successful Porsche formula for one-make racing.

It was created to give the region’s home-grown driving talent an opportunity to realise their racing potential and is credited with establishing the most exciting series on the regional motor racing calendar.

For more information about the this event, head to

On your marks, get set, go-kart!
Event: Fri Jan 25, 10am-1pm. Registration: Kids aged 8-14. Until Mon Jan 21. Dubai Indoor Kartdrome, Motor City,

UAE school holiday dates for spring announced by Ministry of EducationDina Maaty, 13 Jan 2019 06:05:09 +0400The UAE’s Ministry of Education has released public and private school spring break dates for students and academic staff  for this year.

According to a statement, tweeted on Saturday January 12, spring break will begin on Sunday March 31 and end on Thursday April 11 for students.

For school staff, spring break dates will fall between Sunday March 31 and Thursday April 4.

The calendar will be applied in all public schools that follow the ministry’s curriculum and private schools that follow a foreign curriculum.

The Ministry’s calendar also states when school will end, which will be on Thursday July 4 for students and Thursday July 11 for academic staff.

The new calendar means that schools have a longer academic year, increasing from 175 to 182 days.

And for those who are thinking ahead, students will be starting school in 2020 on Sunday August 30.

Time to book those staycations and flight tickets. We know we'll be taking advantage of all the sales that are on offer.
For more information,

800 Degrees launches kids' pizza-making classesDina Maaty, 10 Jan 2019 10:33:27 +0400If you’re thinking about what to do for your kids’ next birthday, Italian restaurant 800 Degrees Pizzeria will be offering cooking classes for junior chefs that are bound to make for a fun celebration.

Little ones aged six to 12 will work in groups, stirring, whisking and baking together as they learn how to make Neapolitan pizza from scratch all by themselves, topping it up with their favourite fresh ingredients – everything from chicken and turkey pepperoni to olives and green peppers – for a yummy final finish.

After sipping on an orange juice welcome drink, they’ll use fresh Caputo flour dough and tomato sauce and, under the big chefs' guidance, knead and slap for a perfect pizza base. Kiddies will also watch as their creations are being baked live in wood-fired, pizzaiolo ovens.

Each kid will be presented with a mini 800 Degrees chef cap and apron to wear during the session, and later rewarded with a junior certificate, their handmade pizza and a scoop of gelato.

Cooking parties can be booked anytime, at your convenience.

800 Degrees Pizzeria also offers a kids’ menu, with dishes including small and Nutella pizza, chicken tenders, penne pasta and gelato in different flavours including caramel, cookies and more.

We’re looking forward to more pizza dinners with the help of the kids.
Dhs69 (per child). Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha; City Centre Me'aisem, Sheikh Zayed Road. For bookings (800 334 7337).

City Walk gears up for upcoming family weekendsDina Maaty, 10 Jan 2019 07:18:53 +0400Family-friendly destination City Walk is celebrating the 24th Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) with two weekends featuring tonnes of things to do for kids and parents.

Kiddies will discover their talents and find some hidden creative skills through freestyle painting at the Visual Art Zone. They can also sing, practise their dance moves and play the drums at the Music Zone.

Tech-savvy young ones can uncover the wonders of new technology at the Kids’ Projection Zone through immersive edutainment experiences designed just for them.

Activities will be taking place on Friday January 11 and Saturday January 12, and again on Friday January 18 and Saturday January 19 from 5pm until 10pm – so you have two weekends to enjoy what the indoor-outdoor attraction has to offer.

Throughout the six-week shopping event, visitors also stand the chance of winning gift cards every time they spend Dhs200 or above the Meraas venue, redeemable at a range of shopping, dining, leisure and entertainment and hospitality outlets across Dubai.

You’ll also get to see City Walk’s new mirror-clad installation Reflections of Dubai until Saturday February 2, which uses projection techniques and edutainment to showcase the happiness and positivity of Dubai residents and visitors.

Art, dancing, singing and a mirror that shows how happy we are? It may not be weekend yet, but we’re all smiles already.
Free. Jan 11-12, Jan 18-19 5pm-10pm. City Walk, Al Safa,