While the coronavirus outbreak has seen a number of events across the Emirates cancelled this weekend, there is still plenty to keep you and the family busy.
From the return of the Middle East Film and Comic Con at Dubai's World Trade Centre to your last chance to catch the Singing Trees installation at Louvre Abu Dhabi, see our list of 15 great things to do this weekend ...
Middle East Film and Comic Con, Dubai
The Middle East Film and Comic Con is returning this week. The pop culture festival will feature appearances from celebrities including Mena Massoud from Aladdin, Brandon Routh from Superman Returns, Carice van Houten from Game of Thrones and John Rhys Davies from Lord of the Rings. There will also be art exhibitions, cosplay and fan art competitions, comics, collectibles and more on offer at the event.
Thursday to Saturday, March 5 to 7, 2pm-10pm on March 5; noon-10pm on March 6; 11am-9pm on March 7; from Dh115; Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road; www.mefcc.com
Tuck into Dubai Restaurant Week
For 10 days, diners will be able to enjoy some of Dubai's best food for bargain prices. Dubai Restaurant Week ropes in 35 high-end restaurants – from Akira Back’s Paru and Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen to Latin America eatery Coya – to curate two-course lunch menus (priced from Dh75) and three-course dinner menus (from Dh150). This year, the event will cover 18 cuisines city-wide.
Thursday to Saturday, March 5 to 14, various times; from Dh75; various locations across Dubai; www.reserveout.com/dubai-en
Take on the Ras Al Khaimah Tough Mudder
The world's premier obstacle course is back for another year, and it's starting in Ras Al Khaimah. The Jeep Tough Mudder is intended to test your physical strength, stamina and grit. The classic course includes more than 25 obstacles held across 10 kilometres of terrain – where you'll get wet, muddy and sometimes electrocuted – while the shorter 5km option offers 13 obstacles. A mini course has also been designed for younger participants: the 1.6-km Mini Mudder.
Friday, March 6, from 9am; from Dh350; Mina al Arab, Ras Al Khaimah; www.toughmudder.ae
Holi Colours of Friendship party, Abu Dhabi
A Colours of Friendship bash is taking place at Abu Dhabi's Khalifa Park this Holi. From 10am until 3pm, party the day away in colourful style. There will be live DJs, dhol music, colour blasts, a children's play area, food and beverage options and a rain dance, with an expected crowd of 4,000. Tickets cost Dh25, and every paying visitor will receive a Dh50 voucher to spend at Lulu Hypermarket.
Friday, March 6, 10am-3pm; Dh25; Gate F, Khalifa Park, Abu Dhabi; www.facebook.com
Holi Water and Colour Party, Ras Al Khaimah
A Water and Colour Beach Party is set to take place at BM Beach Resort, Ras Al Khaimah. Expect vibrant colours, live DJ and dhol performances, rain dances, food stalls and more from 3pm on Friday, March 6.
Friday, March 6, 3pm until late; Dh50; BM Beach Resort, Al Jazeera Road, Ras Al Khaimah; dubai.platinumlist.net
Get fit with Les Mills, Dubai
If you're a big fan of Les Mills, this event is for you. Les Mills Middle East's annual instructor event is descending on Dubai, and bringing all its latest programmes with it. And for the first time in 2020, it's open to the public. From BodyPump to BodyCombat, fitness buffs can come along to partake in large scale workouts across three venues, meet and mingle with instructors from across the GCC and refuel with healthy food options.
Friday, March 6, 1pm to 10pm; Dh199; Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai; tickets.virginmegastore.me
Get fit at The Galleria’s Decathlon Sports Weekends, Abu Dhabi
Retail therapy aside, the new extension of The Galleria mall on Abu Dhabi’s Al Maryah Island also has a number of terraces and parks, of which the Sports Park on level two will host Decathlon Sports Weekends once a fortnight for four weeks. Head there this month on Friday and Saturday, March 6 and 7 or Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21 to enjoy complimentary games of basketball, football, table tennis and badminton, plus CrossFit and boxing classes. All players can also enter a prize draw of Dh500 worth of vouchers.
Fridays and Saturdays, March 6 to 7 and 20 to 21; 11am to 1pm, 3pm to 6pm; free; The Galleria Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi; www.thegalleria.ae
Go green at a new Dubai restaurant
Soulgreen Dubai will open in Vida Creek Harbour on Saturday, March 7. The UAE outpost of the Milanese restaurant concept will offer a largely plant-based and dairy free menu, with 80 per of options being vegan and 20 per cent featuring fish. You can also expect an entirely plastic-free dining experience.
Daily from Saturday, March 7, opening times TBA; prices vary; 04 428 8888, www.vidahotels.com
MasterChef class at Dubai Food Festival
MasterChef, the TV Experience restaurant, is hosting a one-off masterclass led by head chef Margarita Vaamonde-Beggs at the Dubai Food Festival. Participants will get a chance to learn and recreate several dishes from some former MasterChef champions around the world. Dishes include beef tenderloin and beurre noisette puree alongside peach tart with beurre noisette foam. Afterwards, there will be a specially curated three-course menu including the asparagus and beurre noisette salad followed by both dishes that will be made in the masterclass.
Saturday, March 7, 5pm; Dh459 per person; Millennium Place Marina, Dubai Marina; www.dubai.platinumlist.net
Harness the energy of the full moon, Abu Dhabi
Join yoginis on the beach at Saadiyat Island for a beautiful session of yoga, breath-work, mediation and sound healing with Tibetan bowls. Embrace the glow of the full moon at this session by Breathe Yoga Studio.
Saturday, March 7, 6pm-7pm; Dh30; St Regis Resort Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi; 056 838 8703, www.breatheyoga-studio.com
Friday detox at the Sofitel, Dubai
Vibe at the Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel has introduced a new detox brunch. The paleo and vegan-friendly feast includes a buffet offering wholesome dishes including Buddha bowls, Arabic mezze and healthy tapas. A juice bar serves up cold-pressed juices and detoxifying smoothies, and a selection of wellness cakes rounds off the meal. Guests can then indulge in complimentary wellness activities such as yoga and meditation sessions, a 15-minute oxygen therapy session at Rayya Wellness Spa or an in-body analysis.
Fridays, 12.30pm-4pm; Dh299 per person for brunch and wellness activities, Dh349 to add pool and beach access; Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel; 04 524 7777, www.theretreatpalmdubai.com
Watch short plays in Al Quoz, Dubai
Short+Sweet is back. It’s one of the world’s biggest 10-minute play competitions and brings more than 300 of the city’s budding directors, actors and writers together, as they perform more than 115 stories in various categories. Guests can vote for their favourite plays, which will be performed in various languages, including English, Hindi, Arabic, Malayalam, Zulu and Bengali.
Various dates and times until Saturday, March 7; from Dh100; The Junction, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai; www.thejunctiondubai.com
Hear Abu Dhabi's 'Singing Trees'
Visit the choir of 30 date palms that sing in unison as part of Louvre Abu Dhabi's new interactive installation, Singing Trees. The songs, which include the traditional Emirati ayala, play on speakers strapped around each palm. With the use of presence sensors, the volume of these tunes increases when visitors get closer to the trees. The more people interact with the trees at the same time, the more resonant the music will be.
Daily, until Saturday, March 7; free; Outdoor Park, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island; 600 565 566, www.louvreabudhabi.ae
See the final work of Kamal Boullata, Dubai
It’s the last weekend to see the final work from the late Palestinian artist Kamal Boullata – a silkscreen titled Qasida. It is on view among other silkscreen prints at Meem Gallery. The prints date back to the early 1980s. Created to support Palestinian human rights non-profit Al Shabaka, Qasida, the Arabic word for “poem” show a series of geometric units that bear the colour of the Palestinian flag.
Until Sunday, March 9, Saturday to Thursday, 10am-6pm, closed on Fridays; free; Meem Gallery, Al Quoz, Dubai, www.meemartgallery.com
Dig into a British classic, Dubai
To celebrate British Pie Week this month, Atlantis, The Palm’s Bread Street Kitchen will be dishing up a range of pastry-encased treats. The restaurant, an outpost of Gordon’s Ramsay’s London eatery, will offer a range of flavours, from the traditional steak and kidney to the more contemporary rogan josh lamb pie and a royal fish pie with brioche crumbs. The sweet-toothed will also get something to tuck into, with dessert pies – think blueberry and almond, and banoffee – also on the menu.
Until Sunday, March 9, 6pm to 10.30pm Monday to Wednesday and Sunday, 6pm to 11pm Thursday and Friday; Dh110 for savoury pies, Dh50 for sweet pies; Bread Street Kitchen, Atlantis, The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai; 04 426 0800, www.atlantisthepalm.com