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Your ultimate Eid in the UAE guide

What to do, where to go and things to see over the long weekend

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Because the whole country’s in party mode, we thought we’d break every thing down and pick the top things you could do this weekend. Enjoy!

The concerts

What’s Eid without our favourite Arab singers?

Emirati singer Hussain Al Jasmi will kick off celebrations on Friday, August 9, at the four-day Layali Dubai celebrations, accompanied by Moroccan singer Mona Amarcha. The following night, August 10, will be the turn of Emirati singer Ahlam and Iraqi pop star Walid Al Shami. Then, on Sunday, Lebanese superstar Nancy Ajram hits the stage with Saudi singer Rabeh Saqer. Closing the event on Monday, August 12, will be ‘Artist of the Arabs’, Saudi singer Mohammed Abdo.

Show starts 8pm each night at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Tickets are priced Dh150 (Balcony), Dh250 (Silver), Dh400 (Gold), Dh600 (Platinum) and Dh1,500 (Diamond) and available on Call 04-4573212.

On Saturday, August 10, one of Lebanon’s most successful singers, Ayman Zbib will belt out his hits including Ana Lea, Nbaa Sawa, Azez Alea, at an intimate Eid gala dinner at the Habtoor Grand Marina in Dubai. Tickets are priced Dh400 (Bronze), Dh600 (Silver), Dh800 (Gold) and Dh1,000 (Platinum) and available on

The same night, August 10, the party continues in the capital, where Hussain Al Jasmi and Rabeh Saqer will head to du Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. They will be joined by Lebanese songstress Yara for a special, one-night only EidFest concert as part of the ongoing SummerFest Abu Dhabi celebrations. Tickets to the concert are priced at Dh200 (A Reserve), Dh350 (Premium) and Dh495 (VIP), and available on and Call 800 555 for more.

Musical celebrations continue until the following week with one of the most eagerly awaited concerts of the year – the Arab Idol Live Tour.

Featuring winner Mohammad Assaf and finalists Ahmad Jamal and Farah Youssef, the August 15 concert at the Dubai World Trade Centre will also feature head Arab Idol judge and Lebanese star Ragheb Idol.

Tickets are priced at Dh150 (Standing), Dh500 (Silver), Dh700 (Gold) and Dh900 (Platinum) and available at All ticket categories except Standing are inclusive of dinner. Doors open 7pm. Show starts 9pm.

The shows

Starting on Friday, August 9, get ready for some hearty laughs as a first-of-its-kind Dubai Arabic Comedy Nights kicks off at Vox Cinemas in Mall of the Emirates. Featuring some of the GCC’s rising comedy talents, the shows will be held every Friday (9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th) this month. Names include Jotaro, Badr Saleh, Hisham Faqeeh and Thamer Al Hazmi, Adel Redwan, Ahmad Fathaldin, Shakir Al Abdli and many more.

Tickets are priced Dh150 (Silver) and Dh250 (Gold) and available at Virgin Megastore in Mall of the Emirates.

At Modhesh World in Dubai, beloved children’s character, Thomas the Train, is back to town with his friends for a series of shows at Hall No 1, Dubai World Trade Centre, from August 9 to 21. Shows are on at 4.30pm and 9pm, with timings changed after Eid. Modhesh World is open from 10am to 12am during Eid. Tickets are Dh15 for adults and children. Go to for more.

Or, if you fancy a bit of purple fun, head to Sharjah as Al Qasba hosts a special performance of Barney & Friends for three days starting Friday, August 9. There are four shows per day — at 6pm, 7.30pm, 9pm and 10pm — with tickets to each show priced at Dh30. Go to

For those heading down south, Eidfest Abu Dhabi’s main hub, the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), will be buzzing with activities and shows including Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries at the Show World auditorium from August 7 to 12. Featuring Scooby Doo, Shaggy and the much-loved Mystery Inc. characters singing big musical numbers - including the cartoon’s classic theme song, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? – the crew must solve the mystery of a trouble-making ghost. Shows on at 4.30pm and 7.30pm daily and tickets are priced Dh20 for children under two years and Dh40 for adults. Go to for more.

Then over at Yas Island, Ferrari World’s Light Racers show series will feature a number of live performances including Jeddah’s LED dance group Khawater Al Dalam, who gained famed via the Arab’s Got Talent show for their act. Then there’s America’s Got Talent finalists Lightwire Theatre who combine electroluminescent technology, theatre and art to create glowing puppetry shows. Local B-boy favourites Urban Grunge will perform with lights to show off their hip hop dance and parkour skills while Ferrari World’s very own show Red, featuring visual and illusions will be back from its Ramadan hiatus.

Light Racers will take place every day from August 9 to 18 from 11am to 8pm. Tickets to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi start at Dh195 for children and Dh295 for adults. Go to

The outdoor activities

For those who prefer a bit of an adrenaline rush, the Dubai Sports World at the Dubai World Trade Centre will continue to be opened until August 21. The pro-standard air conditioned arena offers the space for all kinds of sports including football, basketball, rugby, tennis, cricket and volleyball. Test your fitness, take part in tournaments and competitions or just hang out at the venue. Open daily until midnight. Prices depend on activities. Go to

And of course, Wild Wadi waterpark is back on, as it opens from 10am to 10pm. To avoid queues, book tickets online at

The malls

We love our malls and the malls are loving us more this Eid.

For the first time in the UAE, the popular MTV Lebanon Show Crazy Lab will be coming live on stage at Deira City Centre and Mirdif City Centre teaching kids how fun science can be. An edu-tainment show featuring scientists putting on chemical tests and performing experiments amidst lots of laughs, you can catch multiple shows per day, all for free.

At Mirdif City Centre, it’s on August 9, 11, 13 and 15 at 6.15pm, 7.40pm and 9pm. And at Deira City Centre, you can catch Crazy Lab on August 10 and 12 at 6:15pm, 7:40pm and 9:00pm.

Deira City Centre, Mirdif City Centre and Mall of the Emirates will also host Arabic folklore dance performances with live musicians, dancers and colourful costumes. Each performance is 15 minutes, and will be on at Deira City Centre on August 9, 11, 13 and 15; at Mall of the Emirates on August 9, 10 and 11 and at Mirdif City Centre on August 10, 12 and 14.

Then at Mall of the Emirates, you can also catch previews of the upcoming Cirque Eloize show, a fusion of theatrical circus with urban dance, daily from the first day of Eid to August 13 at 4.30pm, 5.30pm and 7.30pm. Cirque Eloize will begin it’s 10-day run at Dubai World Trade Centre on August 15. Tickets on

Mall of the Emirates, Deira City Centre and Mirdiff City Centre will extend shopping hours until 1am every day, with restaurants and cafes open until 3am.If Eid falls on August 8, all performance dates are moved up by a day.

There will be more magicians, musicians and dancers at BurJuman. On the first evening, catch Flamenco performances, groove to some Brazilian beats with Samba shows and watch as Egyptian Shamadan or Candle dance experts show off their skills. There will be piana recitals throughout the day while Tannoura dancers present their colourful twirling spectacles with two shows beginning at 7.30pm and 9.10pm on the first day of Eid and at 7.20pm and 9.35pm on the second day.

Other performers around the mall includes magicians, an illusionary two-person act called Statue and a contortionist called Slinky.

There’s more traditional Arabic performances in Oasis Centre too, as well as calligraphy, bracelet making and basket weaving, if that’s your thing. The mall’s Freej-themed tent, inspired by the animated Emirati series, will be on until August 9.

Malls in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain will have extended opening times during Eid, with many open until 2am. For details on individual malls, go to

The cinemas

Having held off major Hollywood releases due to Ramadan, this weekend it’s raining blockbusters. But the big guns that Hollywood pulled out over the summer have not done very well at the box office.

That include’s Johnny Depp’s The Lone Ranger, the big budget Western that has been anything but in terms of audience pull at the cinemas. Critics have thrashed it too. But that’s not to say we still can’t resist a two-hour-plus sit-in at a quiet cinema with Depp as the town gets busy.

Pacific Rim, acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro’s monsters and robots film, however, has received positive reviews and done relatively brisk business, especially in Asia. This Idris Elba starrer is set some time in the 2020s when the Earth is under attack my massive monsters. To combat them, humans create gigantic robots manned by two pilots who minds are joined.

There’s more bang with Red 2, the second film in the hit oldies-turn-action stars flick led by Bruce Willis. Featuring a stellar cast including John Malkovich, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren, the film, despite getting mixed reviews, has done well at the box office.

Other summer hits coming this weekend include the animated films Despicable Me 2 (Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig) and The Smurfs 2 (Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays). If you’re in Mall of the Emirates, kids can meet Despicable Me 2’s loveable Minions at Vox Cinemas on Friday, August 9 from 2pm to 8pm. Then, at Mercato Mall’s Vox Cinemas, everyone’s favourite blue Smurfs will be making a live appearance on the same day from 3pm to 7pm and on August 10 at Vox Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates, from 3pm to 7pm.

For Bollywood film buffs, it’s left to King Khan to rule the weekend since no other films want to release the same day as him. Chennai Express, Shah Rukh Khan’s clash-of-cultures comedy is one of the year’s most awaited films, also starring the lanky Deepika Padukone. The pair were last seen in the 2007 super hit Om Shanti Om and will hope they can work their magic again atop this slapstick express. What’s more? Bollywood fans in Deira City Centre can also catch a special live dance performance by the Shamiak Dance Troupe, who will dance to Chennai Express songs on Thursday, August 8. The troupe is owned by famed choreographer Shiamak Davar who has composed the dance moves in the film. Dance show timings are 7:20pm and 8:20pm in the VOX Cinemas foyer at Deira City Centre.

If Bollywood’s take on south India doesn’t work for you, then you can always catch Tamil film Thalaivaa, an action thriller starring southern heartthrob Vijay and Amala Paul. Producers of the film recently filed a police complaint against someone who leaked its songs online. The matter has now been sorted.

Arabic film fans can look forward to socio-political drama El7aramy & El3abiet, which revolves around two friends (played by Khaled Saleh and Khaled El Sawy). When one loses an eye during a brawl, they attempt to con a nurse (Ruby) who specialises in trading in human organs. Sounds rivetting!

The clubs

The party season kicks off as early as Thursday night with most night haunts hosting their season openers.

Dubai’s desi (that’s South Asian) night, AKS, is back with a bang on Thursday night at Mansion, Melia Hotel, Dubai, with DJ Nitesh on the decks. Ladies enter free all night, couples free till midnight and Dh100 after. For guest list, call 050-5323677.

N’Dulge at Atlantis, The Palm, is launching anew house night called Identity this Thursday, where resident DJ Eric Francis will be joined every week by hot DJs from around the world. Dh100 at the door. Call 050-3026589 for reservations.

There’s more house at 360º Below Deck as DJs Charl Chaka and Nthayi ease party-goers back into the party season with some smooth grooves. Free entry. For tables, call 056-6826617.

The next night on Friday at XL Beach Club at Habtoor Grand Marina, Dubai, renowned DJ/producer/remixer Tristan Garner is in town to get the party season off at the fully-airconditioned venue. Don’t forget your beach wear. Tickets Dh150 at the door. Call 056-6406161 for tables.

Media One hotel at Dubai Media City is engineering a break-in on the empty 9th floor of the hotel on Friday night. Called, The Break In, think graffiti walls, funky furniture, table football and some good music. Dress code is black, and flashlights are option. Entry is free. Call 04-4271000 if you’re still confused.

Then, on Saturday cabin crews get their own night (not that they don’t have enough special privileges already!) at Club Sensation’s Out of the Cabin night at Crowne Plaza, Shaikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Free entry for all Face Card holders, of course. Doors open 10.30pm. Lesser mortals can book in advance at 055-9743376.

*All date-specific events subject to change depending on Eid announcement.