12 great things to do in the UAE this weekend
Dubai Safari Park
For the next 14 days, you and your loved ones can experience this much awaited attraction for free. Expect to be blown away from the project's many features which includes a number of themed sections, a lake and over 2,500 animals. Our advice - bring a camrea, some comfy shoes and some sunscreen (it may be cold but you can still catch a sun burn)
When: Free entry until December 28
Where: Al Warqaa
You can’t help but warm to John Bishop. He sort of looks like a cross between Howard Donald from Take That and Bez, the maracas-playing dancer with (another) Manchester band The Happy Mondays, with tousled hair, piercing blue eyes and a face that looks like it’s about to erupt into a smile at any point. He’s also got that Liverpool accent, a sing-song delivery that seems to turn even the most mundane of moments into a potentially comic event. Indeed, his family comprises a fair chunk of his material, in which he never fails to engage in highly public ribbing of his three sons. “Do they mind?” he said when asked by ShortList. “I tell them it’s a small price to pay for a roof over their heads and three square meals a day…”
When: Thursday, December 14
Where: Dubai World Trade Centre
Price: From AED295
Letters to Andy Warhol exhibition
If there’s one thing Andy Warhol fans can look forward to this month it's the ‘Letters to Andy Warhol’ exhibition at Dubai Design District. Pop in to the design community anytime between December 8 and 16 to check out a collection of the legend’s work brought to the city courtesy Cadillac and The Andy Warhol Museum.
Where: Dubai Design District (d3)
When: 12pm- 9pm; until Saturday, December 16
Price: Free entry
Beach Polo Cup Dubai
This is one of the most spectacular events on the social calendar in Dubai, blending upscale equestrianism with a beachside vibe. Held under the Patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, the Beach Polo Cup will be contested by four teams, comprised of 12 of the best polo players in the world.
When: December 14-15
Where: Skydive Dubai
Go camping at Wadi Asimah
Wadi Asimah is one of the nicest areas to camp in the Northern Emirates. The wadi crosses from the village of Masafi all the way to Al Ghail Desert through some nice landscapes. The terrain isn’t very tough here and doesn’t require any off-road driving skills, so it would be a great place to go for a family camping trip. There are several camping spots throughout the wadi, but it’s wise to find a spot on a higher ground if you need a more secluded area without bumping into people passing through the main track. Then bust out the fire.
The coordinates: Entrance from Masafi: 25.398916, 56.141798, Entrance from Al Ghail: 25.408370, 56.066833
The Green Planet
The vertical tropical rainforest is perfect for wildlife enthusiasts. Aside from an extensive array of flora, guests can interact with a number exotic animals – the sloths are adorable! General admission starts from AED95, all UAE residents will receive up to 25 percent discount. If you plan on staying a while, we recommend you get the HubZero and Green Planet pass for AED120 – the rides and games at HubZero are great for those seeking an adventure of a different kind.
Where: Green Planet, City Walk
Price: AED95 for general admission with 25 percent discount for all UAE residents (UAE ID’s are required)
Contact: +971 4 317 3999, website
Culinary Week at Anantara The Palm Dubai
If you describe yourself as a foodie, food lover, food fan or anything of that sort…listen up. There’s no other place to be this December than Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort. Why? Because the Thai inspired property located on the iconic Palm Jumeirah is all set to host one of the biggest and best culinary celebrations when it kicks off its highly anticipated Culinary Week on Sunday, December 10.
Where: Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort
When: 6.30pm-11.30pm, 10 to 16 December
Price: AED279 per person
The Hive @ The Warehouse
The winner of our Party Brunch of the Year, this is attracting people from all across Dubai with its breezy vibe, outdoor space and fantastic selection of food. There is also a pretty major after party.
When: 1pm-4pm, every Friday
Where: Le Méridien Dubai
Price: AED259 with select house beverages
Contact: +971 4 702 2455, website
This is the kind of place that reminds you why you put up with the summers in the UAE. For the next six months or so, you can recline in a stylish chair, gaze over the Dubai skyline and thank your lucky stars – which you might even be able to point out – that you’re not wearing 47 layers somewhere damp. The food here is suitably five-star, too, with oysters, caviar and Fassona beef tartare on the crudo menu, and bone-in wagyu ribeye and salt-crusted seabass on the mains. Bring friends – and a platinum card. There’s also a Thursday night brunch of Mediterranean dishes for AED295.
When: 6pm-2am, daily
Where: Four Seasons Resort Dubai
Contact: +971 4 270 7777, website
Überhaus X Blue Marlin Ibiza
There’s a huge night of electro wizardry being lined up at Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE as Seth Troxler and Chicago house music legend Lil Louis drop by. Troxler has been producing the goods in Ibiza this summer, so will be in perfect form. Lil Louis – the man attributed with organising the world’s first “rave” in 1977 – will bring his wealth of crowd-pleasing experience, too.
When: 8pm-3am, Thursday, December 14
Where: Golden Tulip, Al Jazira Hotel
Contact: +971 56 113 3400, website
NOMAD x Damian Lazarus and KMLN
We’re still deep into the NOMAD theme at the party venue as El Chiringuito plays host to contemporary house producer/DJ Damian Lazarus and electronic dance duo KMLN. As always, resident DJs Diamond Setter, Joséphine De Retour and Wael Hoolz Hijazi will get the crowd in the mood before the headliners arrive.
When: 6pm-12am, Friday, December 15
Where: El Chiringuito, Rixos The Palm
Contact: +971 54 449 6464, website
Barasti’s Christmas Cracker
Radio station Dubai 92 will be coming at you live at Barasti on Thursday for what is billed as an early Christmas Cracker. There will be prizes to be won, which is a nice extra incentive to turn up, and apparently you can win something just by bringing your boss. It might be a festive theme, but it’s still only for big kids, 21+ to be exact.
When: 4pm-11:30pm, Thursday, December 14
Where: Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Resort
Contact: +971 4 318 1313, website