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13 things to do in the UAE this week

Every Sunday, we give you a to-do list of where to go and what to eat for the entire week

Image Credit: Multiple Sources

Fitness: Festival Carnival

Dubai Festival City hosted musical fireworks to mark Eid on Friday.

Head down to the closing party of the Dubai Fitness Challenge at Dubai Festival City this weekend. Enjoy two action-packed days of activities, classes, and competitions finishing with the much awaited prize ceremony and a massive fireworks display. The kids can take part in the fun while they’re there, trying out trampolines, climbing walls, and parkour classes. There will also be Les Mills exercise classes specifically for children between ages 2-12.

Location Dubai Festival City Cost Free Timings November 17 and 18 from 1pm onward 

Art: Downtown Design

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Downtown Design, which takes place this week, is the region’s only quality-driven design trade fair. It’s back for the fourth year as the commercial centrepiece of Dubai Design Week. The event will bring together over 100 brands from 25 countries. The event has become an important fixture in the design calendar for both international brands and in the region. The many pieces you can discover there are products across furniture, lighting, bathrooms, kitchens, textiles and accessories not ordinarily seen at the big shows. You’ll be amazed at some of the things they will have there.

Location Dubai Design District Cost Free entry with pre-registration, Dh50 at the door Timings November 14 to November 17 

Free: Ice Cream at Giraffe World Kitchen

Woman Licking Ice Cream

To celebrate World Kindness Day on Monday November 13, Giraffe World Kitchen is offering free ice-cream to those who say something sweet! All you have to do is persuade your family to pay a compliment to a member of staff at Giraffe World Kitchen, and then they’ll receive an ice-cream in return! Everyone loves a midweek treat, so why not make your family’s day and treat them to a meal at Giraffe World Kitchen with delicious main courses to choose from?

Location YAS Mall Cost Free Timings All day Monday November 13 Contact 02 5650711

Meet a celebrity Chef: Thomas Keller

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Bouchon Bakery officially launches this Monday. Chef Thomas Keller will be flying over especially from California for the occasion to sign his pastry cook book for the public. Make sure you come by Bouchon Bakery in the afternoon to meet the chef and get your very own signed copy. 

Location Bouchon Bakery, The Beach opposite JBR Timings Monday November 13 from 5pm to 6pm 

Free Movie: Cinema Akil

Film Screenings

In partnership with independent cinema platform Cinema Akil, Alserkal Avenue presents regular film screening programs featuring independent, art house, foreign and classic movies. All the film screenings are free to attend, and take place in the A4 Space cinema room or outdoors in The Yard. Perfect for the improving weather. This week's screenings are called 'Suspended Time' and are made up of 9 different short films related to Palestine in one way or another. 

Find out what other free things you can do in the UAE

Location Al Serkal Avenue Cost Free Timings various

Show: The Russian Ballet

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Dubai Opera presents two masterpieces of the Ballet Russes. One of them is performances of the legendary Sergei Diaghilev’s Chopiniana and The Firebird. Chopiniana is a dreamy, romantic ballet that was born in St Petersburg in 1907 and moved to Paris in 1909 under the new name of Les Sylphides, while The Firebird tells a story of sorcery, freedom and immortality with music by Igor Stravinsky and choreography by Мikhail Fokine. It is based on a great variety of Russian fairy tales. Fokine, the author of libretto, was primarily attracted by the mysterious Firebird whose astonishing fiery flights are described in quite a few fairy tales.

Location Dubai Opera Cost Tickets start at Dh250 Timings Thursday, November 16 at 8pm to 10.30pm 

Dine: Ladies night discount at Jean Georges

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Their recently launched Pin Up Tuesday's ladies night offers ladies 4 free beverages and 50 per cent off food. We love Jean Georges for their fantastic food and the luxe vibrant atmosphere.

Location Four Seasons Jumeirah Offer 4 free beverages and 50 per cent off dining Timings Every Tuesday from 7pm onwards Contact 04 3436118

Food: New Menu at Comptoir 102

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Comptoir 102 has been busy in the kitchen developing a brand-new range of homemade delicious, nutritious and original wholesome dishes. We tried their amazing new signature creations including the star dish - the Avo’Club - Sliced avocado with miso, cashew cream on homemade toasted bread, topped with 2 organic poached eggs – what’s not to love? Alongside the Avo’Club, other incredible new creations include an array of Vegan specialties, such as the Cream Cheese Crostini – delicious toasted homemade bread topped with homemade cashew vegan cream cheese and cucumber, served with a rocket salad.  The Vegan Bowl is made up of quinoa, red cabbage, Brussel sprouts, carrot, red radish slices and spring onions.  Also on the menu is the incredible Vegan Nut Cheese Plate featuring homemade cheeses and fig paste, almond nuts and homemade organic bread. 

Make sure you check out 6 other vegan restaurants in Dubai 

Location Jumeirah 1, across from the old Dubai Zoo Cost various Timings Open Daily from 7.30 to 9pm Contact 04 3854555

Concert: Jennifer Lopez (November 17)

She’s back again. JLo will perform at The Autism Rocks Arena in Dubai on 17 November. Lopez’s previous Dubai concert was in 2014.

What other concerts are taking place this year?

Location: Autism Rocks Arena Tickets are on sale now

New Brunch: The Versailles Evolution Brunch at BQ

The Versailles Evolution Brunch unveils a new menu worth getting out of bed for. In line with the ever-popular brunch trend in Dubai, BQ – French Kitchen & Bar unveils a brand new brunch experience designed to awaken your senses. Keep an eye out for chefs trotting around the brunch with prime 72-hour-slow-cooked beef, carved right at your table as well as a live Foie Gras trolley. They have staple brunch favourites including fresh seafood and a live oyster bar that offers the best Fin de Claire oysters. Re-live past traditions but in the modern day, the Versailles Evolution Brunch celebrates the love of food in a fashionable setting.  Put on your Friday bests and head down to BQ - French Kitchen & Bar to enjoy a feast for both the fashion eye and appetite.

Check out our list of the 74 best brunches in Dubai

Location St. Regis Al Habtoor City Cost Dh350 including brunch buffet and soft beverages, Dh550 including brunch buffet and house beverages, Dh650 including brunch buffet, house beverages and bubbly Timings Every Friday from 12.30pm to 3.30pm Contact 04 4355577


Justice League

Release Date: 16 November 2017
Starring: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams and J.K. Simmons
Language: English

Tumhari Sulu


Release Date: 16 November 2017
Starring: Vidya Balan, Manav Kaul and Neha Dhupia
Language: Hindi

Not up to braving the crowds in Dubai? 

Stay home and try a new recipe: Risotto with Scampi

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes
  • Total time: 55 minutes
  • Serves:  1



  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for a drizzle
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 70g carnaroli rice
  • 1 litre fish stock, warmed
  • 4 langoustines, cleaned
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper



Tip: For a perfect creamy texture, ensure the whole cooking process is on a low heat

  1. In a pan, heat olive oil and sauté shallot for 2-3 minutes until soft and translucent. Add rice and sauté on low heat until it’s coated in oil and translucent.
  2. Add a cup of warm stock and stir until it’s well absorbed. Add langoustines and tomatoes.
  3. Add another cup of stock and stir again until absorbed. Repeat process until all the stock is used up, ensuring to add stock only after rice has absorbed all liquid in the pan.
  4. Add parsley and seasoning and remove from heat. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.