What to do in the UAE: 25 things to look forward to this February
From musical performances to fitness events and new hotel openings, these are some of the biggest and best things things to get excited about
There's plenty to get stuck into across the UAE this February, from live music performances to massive sporting events and Chinese New Year celebrations.
Here's a preview of some of the most exciting events and new openings to look forward to throughout the month.
DJ Colin Francis
When: February 5
Where: Cirque le Soir, Dubai
The internationally renowned DJ is hitting Cirque le Soir’s ladies’ night, Resurrect. Francis is a platinum-selling DJ and producer, who has previously supported 50 Cent during the rapper’s UK tour, and has five Ministry of Sound number-one albums under his belt. The new ladies’ night offers free drinks all night, with the party kicking off at
Free entry, cirquelesoirdubai.com
When: February 7
Where: Dubai Opera
A singer with a love of old-school folk, Jake Bugg’s acoustic songs have earned him many plaudits, including being called “the new Bob Dylan.” His 2012 self-titled debut album topped the UK charts, and he comes to Dubai on the back of a world tour promoting his latest record, Hearts That Strain.
Ticket prices start from Dh195, dubaiopera.com
Groove on the Grass
When: February 8
Where: Emirates Golf Club, Dubai
Underworld is headlining the February 8 iteration of the popular outdoor music event. The British band shot to fame when their track Born Slippy (Nuxx) featured in the film Trainspotting. Despite their decades on the road, the group remain an electrifying live act.
Ticket prices start from Dh295, dubai.platinumlist.net
When: February 14
Where: du Forum, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
The Greek composer, who is largely responsible for making “new age music” more mainstream, has performed five concerts in various emirates in the space of seven years. Now, he's about to make that six shows, with a Valentine’s Day concert at Yas Island’s du Forum. Dubbed as a "night of love and tolerance", Yanni's set list will include key selections from a staggering 40 albums, of which sales totalled more than 25 million copies.
Prices start from Dh495, www.ticketmaster.ae
When: February 14 and 15
Where: Dubai Media City Amphitheatre
The pop festival returns for another weekend, with Camila Cabello leading a bill of radio-friendly favourites including rappers G-Eazy and Macklemore, soul singer Jess Glynne and decksmiths DJ Snake and Jax Jones.
Ticket prices start from Dh395, www.platinumlist.net
Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival
When: February 20-22
Where: Dubai Media City Amphitheatre
The line-up this year at Dubai’s most famous jazz festival includes R’n’B singer Alicia Keys, funk group Jamiroquai and indie band Snow Patrol. At the event, a range of food and beverage options will be available, and new this year is the introduction of a jazz fest Ripe Market, complete with local artisans selling their wares.
Ticket prices start from Dh350, dubaijazzfest.com
The Godfather at Dubai Opera
When: February 28
Where: Dubai Opera
The Godfather will be screened at the Downtown Dubai opera destination, where you can watch the Sicilian mafia rise to power and fall from grace, as the orchestra plays Nino Rota's Oscar-nominated score. The Academy Award-winning film – which many movie fans claim is the best film ever made – features Marlon Brando, as Don Vito Corleone, patriarch of the Italian-American mafia family, alongside Al Pacino, James Caan and Robert Duvall.
Prices start from Dh175, dubaiopera.com
ART & ON-STAGE
Abu Dhabi Innovation Week at Louvre Abu Dhabi
When: February 5-10
Where: Louvre Abu Dhabi
A week-long festival of sound innovation and artificial intelligence is taking place at the world-renowned museum, as part of Abu Dhabi Innovation Week. Catch the world premiere of Symphony of the Elements by AIVA (Artificial Intelligence Virtual Artist) on February 7 (7pm), an emotional soundtrack that has been specifically commissioned by Louvre Abu Dhabi for the occasion (entrance is free upon website registration). Throughout the week, you can also see a sound installation and presentation (February 7, 5-9pm), by New York- and Berlin-based Soundwalk Collective, called Mirage, which will mark the end of the international touring exhibition, Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia.
Access is free with museum tickets, www.louvreabudhabi.ae
When: February 6-8
Where: Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi
Some of the most popular characters from classic Arabic-language animation series – as well as the show’s creators – will be attending the MASmash 2019 at Manarat Al Saadiyat. Creatives from Blink Studio, Lammtara and Cartoon Network will share their expertise and chat about the history and future of animation. The event will include an exhibition of up-and-coming artists’ work, panel discussions, interactive workshops, introducing visitors to industry basics, and a finale show. You’ll also get the chance to meet prominent stars from the Arab world who were active in the '80s and '90s. This includes Jihad Al Atrash, the voice actor behind Grendizer, and Amal Hawaijeh, the voice of Captain Majid.
Tickets cost Dh50 per day, Dh120 for three days, free for university students, www.manaratalsaadiyat.ae
Pakistan Behind The Headlines
When: February 8-9
Where: Pakistan Association Dubai
An exhibition called Pakistan Behind the Headlines will be showcasing the “forgotten people” of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) region. Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has collaborated with the Pakistan Dubai Association to highlight the health challenges faced by these people through 34 photographs. See first-hand experiences and moments when women, men and children have been forced to flee their homes, escape from violence and face hardship. The images have been captured by British-Pakistani artists Sa’adia Khan between 2014 and 2017.
'Wow' at Caesars Palace
When: February 11-March 25
Where: Caesars Palace Bluewaters Island, Dubai
This fast-paced variety show from Las Vegas stars more than 30 acrobats, dancers, aerialists and contortionists on a stage that’s lit with 3D projections and holograms. The show, which is styled on the original that has been seen by over 2.5 million people across the world, will take place in The Rotunda, the hotel’s dome-like performance venue, through six weeks.
Ticket prices start from Dh100, caesers.com/dubai
'Once You Go Brown'
When: February 13
Where: the Junction, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai
A spot of comedy from the desert will brighten up your pre-Valentine’s Day this year. Saad Haroon and Danish Ali, well-known comics from Pakistan, will join local star Salman Qureshi on stage for a night of wit and banter with an Asian twist.
Tickets are Dh150, www.platinumlist.net
Chinese New Year
When: From February 5
Where: Various venues throughout the Emirates
Chinese New Year is on February 5, but celebrations begin earlier and run for nearly a whole month. Venues and amusement parks across the emirates are hosting events that feature traditional Chinese cultural activities and performances, from face-changing shows and dragon dances to wish trees and lantern-making, not to mention fireworks, food, fortune cookies and fun.
Visit this page for a full list of venues celebrating Chinese New Year in the UAE.
Dubai Food Festival
When: February 21-March 9
Where: Venues across Dubai
This massive annual citywide celebration of food features a jam-packed schedule of culinary experiences. From cheap-and-cheerful hole-in-the-walls to Dubai’s finest restaurants, you’ll find a range of meal deals, special dinners and family-friendly events going on. Restaurant Week promises great deals, while the Beach Canteen brings together the city’s best home-grown food businesses, and Taste of Dubai gives foodies the chance to sample dishes from top venues, as well as meet celebrity chefs
from across the world.
When: February 22-23
Where: The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina
Fromage fans will be glad to know a mega cheese festival will hit Dubai this month. From 7pm on the Friday and Saturday, dairy-lovers can sample a range of cheese and ask the experts any of their burning questions about the international selection, as well as the growing industry here in the UAE. Buy imported cheese, meet local sellers, enter competitions and let the little ones join in on fun activities.
Free, 04 399 4141
Cirque de Cuisine
When: February 28, 7pm-11pm
Where: Atlantis The Palm, Dubai
As part of this year’s Dubai Food Festival, Atlantis The Palm is hosting the mega-brunch Cirque de Cuisine, with a Carnival de Brazil theme. Diners can wander from restaurant to restaurant sampling dishes throughout the hotel’s Avenues, which includes Nobu, Bread Street Kitchen, Hakkasan, and Ronda Locatelli. More than 1,000 seats are available on the day, and each outlet is no more than a two-minute walk from one another. Unlimited beverages and full menus are included, and the after-party takes place at the newly opened Wavehouse.
Ticket prices start from Dh495, dubai.platinumlist.net
SPORTS & FITNESS
2019 Ironman 70.3 Dubai
When: February 1
Where: Jumeirah Beach Running Track, Dubai
The annual Dubai-based half Ironman event returns, as the city’s triathletes gear up for another gruelling go at one of the world’s toughest sporting challenges. Participants will brave the Gulf waters, Dubai dunes and city streets to swim, bike and run their way to the finish line. It’s a 1.9km swim, followed by a 90km bike ride and 21.1km run. You can watch from the sidelines, if you’re not taking part.
When: February 1 and 2
Where: Kite Beach
Dubai’s biggest yoga festival returns with an extensive list of international and local practitioners leading more than 15,000 yoga-lovers through two full days of classes for all abilities and ages.
On this year’s bill are Portuguese footballer Luis Figo; Indian yogi Deepika Mehta; Bollywood actress Nargis Fakhri; Laura Sykora, who has a following of more than 1 million yogis; global yoga warrior Janet Stone; Garth Hewitt, the creator of the Shiva Yoga system; best-selling author and celebrated wellness expert Davidji; and popular Indian yogi and trainer-to-the-stars Deepika Mehta.
Free to attend upon registration at www.xyogadubai.com
6 Nations Face Off
When: February 1 – March 16, 10am-3am
Where: McGettigan’s JBR, Dubai
The popular Irish pub is showing all the 6 Nations rugby action live from its Hilton Dubai Jumeirah branch. Traditional Irish food and drinks will be available, as well as a few new menu additions such as a chilli dog, pulled bap and a beef sandwich. A daily happy hour will also run from 4pm-8pm, as well as two-for-one Mondays, which includes two main courses for the price of one from 5pm-10pm.
The 53rd Super Bowl
When: February 4
Where: Loca, Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Catch all the touchdowns live in Loca branches across the Emirates. Mexican breakfast options will be available from 3am, with deals on hops and meals available, too.
Offers from Dh98, www.loca.uae
Symphony of Light: Restorative yoga and sound healing
When: February 9
Where: Bodytree Studio, Abu Dhabi
A two-hour ladies-only workshop, starting at 5pm, will be led by instructors Neli, Lara and Sonia. Learn more about the healing powers of restorative yoga, sound therapy and biofield tuning. It aims to teach you how to let go of limitations and attachments, as well as guide you through connecting with your breath and mindfully meditate. The journey should take you into a deep state of relaxation, and is suitable for complete beginners.
Siddharta Lounge by Buddha-Bar pop-up
Where: Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah
A six-month pop-up will appear this February at the five-star hotel in Ras Al Khaimah, in collaboration with Siddharta Lounge by Buddha-Bar. It’ll be a stylish yet casual venue by the beachfront, able to accommodate 120 guests. Expect great sea views, pool access, inventive drinks and a sushi counter. A Siddharta Daycation package will also be available, plus a weekly ladies’ night, regular live music performances and an exclusive mixology event.
When: February 1
Where: The Dubai Mall
British fashion store Missguided is opening its first Middle Eastern store at 10am on February 1. You’ll find it on the first floor of The Dubai Mall, opposite the Dubai Aquarium, where New Look used to be. The affordable fashion store is known for its collaborative collections with celebrities and social media influencers, as well as its fast-fashion take on street style trends. A UAE website and click and collect service are set to follow the store’s opening.
Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa
When: February 1
Where: Abu Dhabi
The first guests will start checking in to Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa from February 1. The 20,000-square-metre luxe desert resort, located 50km south of the capital, imbues a sense of Emirati culture across its 103 rooms and suites, 13 villas with private plunge pools, five restaurants and a Talise Spa.
W Dubai – The Palm
When: February 1
Where: Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
The Palm Jumeirah will welcome one of Dubai’s most anticipated – and pet-friendly – hotels on February 1. W Dubai – The Palm will have 350 guest rooms and suites over seven floors. The SoBe Latin American-inspired rooftop bar will boast 360-degree views, while the Wet Deck will likely become a new hot-spot. As if that’s not enough, the hotel will feature two impressive new restaurants: Torno Subito by Italian restauratur Massimo Bottura, who’s behind Osteria Francescana, the three- Michelin-star restaurant in Modena, Italy, and an offering from Akira Back, of Iron Chef fame, who brings his blend of Japanese cuisine with a Korean twist to the Middle East for the first time.
Updated: January 31, 2019 02:44 PM