Top 10 Things to do in the UAE This Week
See Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour
Mon 30 Dec-Tue 14 Jan
An epic new show based on the music of Michael Jackson will take over Dubai World Trade Centre from this week, and it’s set to be a must-see event whether or not you’re a fan of the late King of Pop. Here are five reasons why…
1 It’s Cirque du Soleil
The producers of the hugely successful circus-style show have taken Jackson’s hits and made them into what’s described as a “riveting fusion of visuals, dance, music and fantasy.” More than 100 million people have seen the company’s shows in the past three decades, and they’ve currently got no fewer than 20 productions on the road, one in Las Vegas.
2 Many of the cast worked with Jacko
Writer and director Jamie King was a dancer on Michael’s Dangerous tour and went on to direct shows for Madonna and Rihanna. Drummer Jonathan “Sugarfoot” Moffett has also worked with Jackson.
3 It’s broken records and won heaps of awards
The show broke Cirque du Soleil records for the most people at a single show (17,396) in Denmark and has been seen by more than a million people. It also scooped an award for creativity at showbiz Oscars the Billboard Touring Awards.
4 It’s got great tunes... and you’ll know them already
A total of 32 Jackson songs feature in the show, from Thriller to Billie Jean. There are 64 artists involved.
5 The costumes are amazing
The 250 outfits worn by the cast are inspired by Michael’s eccentric wardrobe. One scene features costumes covered in blinking LED lights, with others recycled from ultra-lightweight paper used for shipping parcels. Three 45-foot trucks are used to transport them all – the crew even tours with its own washing machines!
INFO: Tickets from Dhs221.25-Dhs1,721, shows vary each day and include 5pm, 6.30pm, 8pm, 9pm and 10.30pm performances, Dubai World Trade Centre, 800 86823, www.ticketmaster.ae
Go to the Mubadala World Tennis Championship
Thu 26-Sat 28 Dec
Six of the world’s top 10 tennis stars are heading to Abu Dhabi to battle it out on the courts for a $250,000 prize. Brit Andy Murray will play in his first competition since having a back operation following his Wimbledon triumph. We hope he’ll face World Number One Novak Djokovic, whom he beat to the title in London last summer. Also playing are Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Stanislas Wawrinka and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
INFO: Dhs100-Dhs1,400 (day one), Dhs250-1,700 (day two), Dhs350-Dhs2,100 (day three), Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, 800 86823, www.ticketmaster.ae
Splash out at Dubai Shopping Festival
Thu 2 Jan-Sun 2 Feb
This 19th annual sales frenzy will have everyone heading to the shops. Over the past 18 years a total of Dhs114 billion has been spent. That’s an awful lot of shoes.
INFO: Malls across the city, www.mydsf.ae
Go to a Bar Where Everyone Knows your Name
It might have a lofty spot on the 43rd floor, but bosses of Q43 promise it’ll have a down-to-earth attitude. As well as a friendly vibe, the new bar, above Dubai’s Media One Hotel, offers value for money, with a reasonably priced menu of steak, sushi and tapas. Its adjacent restaurant will have seats for 90, and regulars can pick up freebies through its loyalty scheme.
INFO: 10am-3pm, Media One Hotel, Dubai, 056 102 4298, q43dubai.com
Get Dancing at O Cacti
New has been launched at the new Pier 7 next to Dubai Marina Mall.
With a wrap-around terrace looking out over glittering Dubai Marina, Latin restaurant O Cacti looks set to become a top dining destination. Every Wednesday night, entertainment is provided by gorgeous Brazilian dancer Milla Tenorio, who brings flamenco action to the stage with talent from her Cafe de la Danse agency of performers. It’s so good you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to South America!
INFO: 5pm-2am, entertainment from 10pm, 2nd floor, Pier 7, Dubai Marina, 04 452 6699, www.ocactiuae.com
Do Boxing Day Brunch
Fri 26 Dec
Looking to keep the Christmas spirit alive after the big day itself? Trendy New York-style bar and restaurant SoHo is holding a sumptuous Boxing Day brunch and will be firing up the barbecue for sizzling steaks, lamb chops and sausages.
INFO: Dhs350 including food and drinks, Dhs100 children aged six to 10, kids under six free, Century Village, Al Garhoud, Dubai, 04 286 8520, www.sohogrill.ae
Do a European Market
Daily until Fri 27 Dec
We might not have the freezing weather to go with Europe’s famous festive markets, but there’ll be plenty of Christmas cheer at Souk Madinat Jumeirah’s seasonal shopping experience. It’ll offer all the faves, from mulled vino to roast chestnuts.
INFO: Free, 3pm-12midnight (weekdays), 1pm-12midnight (weekends), Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 04 366 8888, www.jumeirah.com
Unwind at a Barbecue
Fri 3 Jan
Every Friday, seaside restaurant Ocean Blue hosts a family-friendly barbecue complete with live entertainment.
INFO: Dhs200, 5pm-12midnight, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, 04 406 8999, www.jumeirah.com/jbhrestaurants
Dance to African Beats
Thu 26-Fri 27 Dec
A host of African and Asian artists will be playing at High Impact A2, a two-day festival including Erik Santos from the Philippines and popular South African group Mafikizolo.
INFO: Dhs299, Meydan Racecourse, Dubai, 4pm, 800 86823 www.ticketmaster.ae
Fri 3 Jan
JLT Farmers’ Market has become a top place to pick up fruit and veg every Friday.
INFO: 10.30am-2.30pm, opposite Marina Metro Station, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai, www.facebook.com/bpgpuae