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Things to do: October 30 to November 5

M is all about... People, places and things on our Halloween hot list.


1. Where to celebrate fright night

Luxury Japanese Restaurant & Lounge one night, haunted forest the next. Always a favourite for its innovative dishes, OKKU, pictured, is getting into the Halloween spirit tomorrow night and transforming itself with a ghoulish theme. With a special menu and cocktails, prizes for the best costume and a DJ, it promises thrills and chills. And, with a strict no-costume, no-entry policy, here's your chance to bring out your hidden vampire or spook (see Mr Ben's Costume Closet, opposite, far right, for costume ideas).

Sophistication meets spooky at Zuma's first Halloween party. With an "Angels and Demons" theme plus a guest DJ, an evening of spellbinding music and appetising cuisine looms. Doors open at 8pm. Fancy dress is encouraged so let your imagination soar.

OKKU Restaurant, The Monarch Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, 04 501 8777

Zuma, Gate Village 6, DIFC, 04 425 5660

2. Phantom fever

Spooky figures creeping around under the floorboards and a grotesquely disfigured character in a mask - it can only be Phantom Of The Opera, the love story with a creepy twist.

Singers from a pop opera group in London's Covent Garden will re-create some of the most popular hits from the world of musicals in Dubai, including a poignant rendition of The Music Of The Night from Andrew Lloyd Webber's long-running show.

Wafi's rooftop gardens will play host to the Opera in the Park event from 8pm on Thursday, the second event of its kind, which you'll be able to enjoy on picnic benches under the stars. The medley will include lighter relief with the likes of West Side Story's I Feel Pretty and the song You Raise Me Up.

We're looking forward to singing along to My Way, although no one will mistake us for professionals.

Dh145 per person, inclusive of a picnic basket per couple, 04 324 4100

3. Out of the darkness

Candlelight is one way to create a more chilling atmosphere, but this Skeem candle isn't so much haunting as heavenly.

The soy-blend votive candles come in re-usable jars and last for up to 50 hours. With its distinctive tropical fruit scent, it smells eerily real - almost as if you are walking through an orchard on a summer's day. The embossed glass only adds to the enchantment. Who needs Halloween to enjoy this deluxe candle?

Dh75, Symphony, Dubai Mall, 04 330 8050

4. A shock for the shelf

We've seen some bathroom horrors in our time - Seventies-style tiling, chintzy shower curtains and hideous yoghurt-pink bathroom furniture - but this sponge bag is one frightful object we don't mind having on our bathroom shelf. It's roomy enough for your shower gel and loofah, and the orange skull design makes it an ideal Halloween gift.

Dh150, Harvest Home, Jumeirah Centre, 04 342 0225

5. Skeletons in the Closet

If you don't feel like spending hours on the sewing machine or cutting holes in your favourite sheet to make a costume, then delve into your own dressing-up box at Mr Ben's Costume Closet. Offering the ultimate Halloween solution, whether you want to be a witch, a vampire or an evil sorcerer, Mr Ben's has plenty of fun choices for adults and children, perfect for any costume party. Prices start at Dh275 for a 48-hour rental period.

Al Ghazal Mall, Diyafah Street, Satwa, 04 345 3577, www.mrbendubai.com

6. Beast or bag?

This is a bag with bite and not for the faint of heart. Hand stitched and made of black leather, this Lin Art Project Tote features a sequinned and embroidered character with bulging eyes and two fanged teeth. It might be an acquired taste but it's unique and quirky and will stand out in a big way. For those who love off-the-wall and original designs, this is a great accessory for Halloween. Or, if you're feeling brave enough, for a trip around the mall.

Dh2,900, Boom & Mellow, Mall of the Emirates, 04 341 3993

7. Ghoulish sweets and treats

We never usually need a reason to tuck into the Lime Tree's delicious cakes and puddings, but if you're planning a Halloween party or expecting trick-or-treaters to knock on your door, you can surprise them with a selection of ghostly goodies. The range includes hand-iced Halloween cookies, spooky cupcakes, fudge and chocolate slices with edible worms (sounds delicious). So devilishly good you'll be the most popular stop on the street. Either that or the worms will scare them away. Prices range from Dh8 for individual items to Dh48 for large bags.

Lime Tree Cafe, Jumeirah Beach Road and Ibn Battuta Mall, 04 349 8498, www.thelimetreecafe.com 


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