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6 things to do in Dubai this weekend



The man responsible for one of the most famous house tracks of all time is flying in to Dubai this weekend. We’ve also good a bookworm’s playground as Emirates Festival of Literature makes its return. Friday brings markets for 80s lover and foodies, and there are plenty of new films to see at the cinema.

Hed Kandi featuring Sandy Rivera at XL Beach Club

The first comment on the YouTube page for Kings of Tomorrow’s “Finally” says it all. “One of the best tracks of all time,” says someone called Michael Culkoff. And that was just two weeks ago; not bad for a record that came out on vinyl in 2000. The song is now regarded as an Ibiza house classic and helped establish the reputation of its creator, Sandy Rivera, a long-time producer who had worked under a host of monikers including Soul Vision and Mysterious People. As a 25-year veteran of dance music, he knows how to get a dancefloor moving, as the crowd at XL Club will find out on Thursday. Tickets from AED150.

When: Thursday March 3

Where: XL Club, Habtoor Grand, Dubai Marina,

Emirates Festival of Literature

Fans of the written word – and we sincerely hope that includes ShortList readers – ought to be making a beeline for the 2016 edition of the Emirates Festival of Literature. More than 140 writers from 25 countries will be in attendance, discussing what they’ve written, why they write and what anyone aspiring to join them can do to get published. Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, it has become the leading literary event in the entire GCC, with a longer-than-ever programme of seminars, workshops and a lot of general learned chin-scratching. We’ve selected some of the writers that piqued our interest the most, but we could have mentioned Hind Shoufani, Ian Rankin, Maha Gargash, Robert Lindsay… and so on. Most of the sessions have simultaneous translation between Arabic and English, too.

When: March 1-12

Where: InterContinental Hotel, Festival City,

Good Vibes market

Take a large bite out of the 1980s and 90s with this retro-themed market that cranks up the nostalgia to Teen Wolf meets Breakfast Club levels. The brainchild of two Dubai-based entrepreneurs Kenza and Patrick Jarjour, who say that they’re firm believers in the power of food to connect you to local culture, the market aims to bring together a delicious combination of childhood comfort food and a blast of retro fun. It will also include a skate park, video arcades, loads of board games and a line-up of homegrown musicians with nothing but oldies on their set-lists.

When: March 4

Where: Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, +971 50 556 9797

Street Nights

As part of Dubai Food Festival, Bay Avenue in Business Bay will be overrun with stalls, food trucks, street art and plenty of live music for one weekend. There is also a stack of retail stuff to dig into at the Night Bazaar. The concept is easy: turn up with money, leave with less.

When: March 4-5

Where: Bay Avenue Park, Business Bay,

One Thousand and One Nights

Experience the magic of One Thousand and One Nights as directors Marilyn Barrios and Jacqueline Braga along with 39 dedicated artists specialising in both modern and traditional Arabic dance, bring the masterpiece to life.

When: March 5

Where: DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates,

Cinema – London has Fallen (15+)

The UK capital is in the crosshairs of a terrorist organisation which is seeking to assassinate the world’s leaders as they assemble in London to pay their respects to the recently deceased British Prime Minister. But in the rubble of Big Ben stands Gerard Butler, who is tasked with protecting the US President, Aaron Eckhart. Butler turns full on action man to protect both the Prez and other cities around the world threatened with the same fate. Classic “anti-terrorism’ fodder”, really.

In cinemas from March 3

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