66 things to do in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the northern emirates this March

From the return of Middle East Film and Comic Con to Abu Dhabi's Ultra Music Festival, here are all the big events happening in the UAE this March

With some of the best weather of the year, March looks set to be a busy month across the Emirates.

With adventure activities in Ras Al Khaimah and Al Ain, to food festivals and concerts in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it's the perfect month to make the most of the great outdoors here in the UAE.

March's highlights include Dubai Restaurant Week, Abu Dhabi's Ultra Music Festival, the Dubai International Boat Show and the return of Middle East Film and Comic Con.

Here are 66 great events happening across the UAE this month ...

March 1-7 

See classic theatre in Sharjah

Head to Sharjah for your arts fix this month as the Sharjah Performing Arts Academy partners with National Theatre Live to show some of the UK's most popular theatre performances on their big screen. There will be four screenings throughout the month, but the big one has to be William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, one of the bard's most famous romantic comedies.

Sunday, March 1, from 7pm; Dh80; Sharjah Performing Arts Academy, Sharjah; www.sharjah.platinumlist.net

Groove along to the sounds of John Beasley, Abu Dhabi 

Something for the jazz heads and world music lovers. John Beasley will play at NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Centre, joined by his quartet to play tunes from his albums, which all went on to score a total for four Grammy nominations. Beasley and crew will play a set blending New Orleans jazz with hip-hop and Afro-Cuban rhythms.

Monday, March 2; concert starts at 8pm. Free if you become a member of the NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Centre; Black Box, NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Centre, Saadiyat Island, Dubai; nyuad-artscenter.org

PORTLAND, OREGON - FEBRUARY 24: Miles Electric Band performs on stage at Revolution Hall at the PDX Jazz Festival, February 24, 2018 in Portland, Oregon.(Photo by Anthony Pidgeon/Redferns)

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.

Monday to Sunday, March 2 to 8, 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

Team up for the Great Dog Rescue quiz at Reform, Dubai 

Radio jocket Catboy and his wife Lorra have made a name for themselves at Dubai’s quiz maestros, and the duo will next host the Great Dog Rescue quiz night at Reform Social & Grill – all for a good cause. Reform has partnered with Furchild Pet Nutrition and Dubai’s Stray Dogs Centre to raise funds for the city’s stray dogs, with a portion of the Dh300 entry fee going to the centre to help pay its veterinary bills. The fee includes the quiz, plus dinner and drinks.

Wednesday, March 4; 7pm; Dh300; Reform Social & Grill, The Lakes, Emirates Hills, Dubai; 04 454 2638, www.reformsocialgrill.ae

British Opera star Katherine Jenkins comes to Dubai 

As the UK's best-selling classical music artists of the last 25 years, Katherine Jenkins will grace the Dubai stage to perform a concert of musical numbers including Homeward Bound and Granada and the Andrew Lloyd Weber classic The Music of The Night

Wednesday, March 4; 8pm; Dh295; Dubai Opera, Downtown, Dubai; Dubaiopera.com

Swoon to the voice of Lea Salonga, Dubai 

She is the voice of the classic West End production Miss Saigon, as well as Disney characters Princess Jasmine (from Aladdin) and the title character of Mulan, Lea Salonga will perform all the stage hits and crowd favourites.

Wednesday and Thursday, March 5 and 6; 8pm; Dh250; Dubai Opera, Downtown, Dubai; Dubaiopera.com

Middle East Film and Comic Con, in Dubai

The Middle East Film and Comic Con is returning next month. 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 The 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

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - April 11, 2019: Visitors at the Middle East Film and Comic Con. Thursday the 11th of April 2019. World Trade Centre, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Tuck into Dubai Restaurant Week 

For ten 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 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

Dance the night away at Ultra Abu Dhabi

Some of electronic dance music’s biggest acts are heading to the capital for the inaugural Ultra Abu Dhabi festival. Afrojack, Alesso, DJ Snake, Major Lazer, Zedd and the Return of Dash Berlin are some of the big names scheduled to perform at the two-day event at du Arena. Tickets for the shows, scheduled for Thursday and Friday, March 5 and 6, are on sale now.

Thursday and Friday, March 5 and 6; doors open at 4pm; from Dh640; du Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi; www.ultra-abudhabi.com

Take on the Ras Al Khaimah Tough Mudder

The world's premier obstacle course is back for another year, and it's starting 2020 in Ras Al Khaimah. The Jeep Tough Mudder is intended to test your physical strength, stamina and grit. The classic course includes over 25 obstacles held over 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

FILE PHOTO: A woman crawls through an obstacle called "kiss of mud" during the Tough Mudder untimed hardcore endurance event in Arnsberg, Germany June 1, 2019.  REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

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 releases 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 their bodies with healthy food options.

Friday, March 6, 1pm to 10pm; Dh199; Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai; https://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 March 6 and 7 or 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.

Thursdays and Fridays, March 6 to 7 and 20-21; 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 4288888, 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 get a chance to learn and recreate several dishes from some of the 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 

It’s thought that the full moon can heighten the activity of your mind and that meditation during it gives you the chance to connect deeper with both nature and yourself. 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, the beach at the St Regis Resort Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi; 056 838 8703, www.breatheyoga-studio.com

March 8-14

See superyachts and sea toys at the Dubai Boat Show

The Dubai International Boat Show returns from March 10 to 14. Taking place for the first time at Dubai Harbour, formerly the Dubai International Marine Club, there will be superyachts with an estimated value of Dh2.6 million on show, along with a host of other sea toys, including the Xturismo, a flying bike that can hover above land and water, and Triton, the only submersible in the world to have reached the Mariana's trench. Also at the show is a street art exhibition and world-famous dive professionals sharing their knowledge as part of the Dive Mena Expo.

Tuesday to Saturday, March 10 to March 14; 2pm-9pm on Friday and Saturday, 2pm-8pm all other days; Dh30 per day for adults, Dh20 for children between 13 and 17; Dubai Harbour; 04 308 6430, www.boatshowdubai.com

Dubai Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed tours Dubai Boat Show, the largest and most established boat show in the region. The event is held at Dubai Canal and runs until March 2. Wam

Italian fine dining with a twist in Dubai 

One is a multi-Michelin starred New York-based, Italian trained chef and the other hails from Singapore where he helms one of the World’s Best 50 Restaurants. For one night only, Chef Akmal Anuar and Chef Michael White will serve up a fusion of skills and flavours to Dubai diners. A six-course menu featuring seafood starters from each chef, two never-tasted-before pasta courses and a joint collaboration for the main course is on offer at this swish Italian in DIFC.

Tuesday, March 10, bookings from 7pm; Dh475 per person, Marea, DIFC, 04 583 6366, www.marearestaurant.com

Michael Rakowitz comes to the Dubai 

Renowned artist Michael Rakowitz will present his first solo show in Asia and the Middle East at Jameel Arts Centre. The Iraqi-American artist is known for his large-scale installations that speak to the loss of heritage and material culture, but also address the complex histories of the region.

Wednesday, March 11 to Saturday, August 8; Wednesdays to Mondays, 10am to 8pm, Fridays, 12pm-10pm, Tuesdays closed; Jameel Arts Centre, Jaddaf Waterfront, Dubai; www.jameelartscentre.org

See Liam Gallagher at Club Social, Abu Dhabi 

This year’s three-day Club Social music festival takes place at Yas Links Golf Club in Yas Island. Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher will top the Britpop-friendly line-up, which also includes Kaiser Chiefs and Clean Bandit. Gallagher’s set is likely to include Oasis favourites, such as Supersonic, Live Forever and Wonderwall.

Thursday to Saturday, March 12-14, 9pm; from Dh145; Yas Links Golf Club, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi; www.ticketmaster.ae 

BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 30: British singer Liam Gallagher performs live on stage during 'Die schoene Nacht' at the Tempodrom on September 30, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Frank Hoensch/Redferns)

Watch Gipsy Kings at Dubai Opera

Led by Andrew Reyes, the legendary Latin pop music legends Gipsy Kings are coming back to perform for one night only in Dubai. The Bamboleo singers shot to global fame in 1987 after their song became an international hit.

Thursday, March 12, 8pm; tickets from Dh395; Dubai Opera, Dubai; www.dubaiopera.ae

Free food and workout at F45, Dubai 

F45 Dubai Motor City has partnered with Wildflower Poke & More to offer a free one-off exercise and healthy bites session on Friday, March 13. F45 is named after the full-body HIIT workout that improves energy levels, metabolic rate, strength and endurance. The hour-long complimentary “Wild Hollywood” session will combine strength and cardio, complete with thumping music by a live DJ, and low-calorie, high-protein treats by Wildflower.

Friday, March 13; multiple sessions at 7am, 8.10am, 9.20am and 10.30am; free; F45 Dubai Motor City; 050 383 9445, dubaimotorcity@f45training.ae

F45 Training. photo credit Adam Meyer *** Local Caption ***  AL29se-F45.jpg

Give back at Animal Action UAE’s annual ball, Abu Dhabi 

Get tickets for Animal Action UAE's annual ball. This year's event has a Great Gatsby theme, so guests can dress in black tie or 1920s-inspired glamour. Dig into a three-course meal while the band, Duo AV, provide live entertainment. There will also be a themed photo booth. Proceeds will go towards the rescue organisation's vet bills.

Friday, March 13, 7pm-midnight; Dh500; Marriott Hotel Downtown, Abu Dhabi; animalactionuaefundraising@gmail.com

Holi Hai at Zabeel Park, Dubai

Head to Holi Hai on Friday, March 13 at Zabeel Park. The family-friendly event will run from 10am until late, with a variety of food stalls, a live band, DJs and a children's play area. Buy your colours on site, and expect to be celebrating into the night.

Friday, March 13, 10am until late; Dh30; Gate 3, Zabeel Park, Dubai; 050 654 9100, dubai.platinumlist.net

Discover Mohamed Melehi's photography in Dubai

A highly influential figure in Moroccan art, Mohamed Melehi was part of a radical group of artists that pushed for local artists to look beyond the Western mode of creating and forge their own style. The show New Waves puts a spotlight on that movement and traces Melehi’s career, featuring previously unseen works of his documentary photography.

Saturday, March 14 to Saturday, April 4; Saturday to Thursday, 10am to 7pm; Fridays closed;  Concrete, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai; www.alserkalavenue.ae

Run through the jagged peaks of Dibba

The jagged peaks of Dibba form the backdrop of this epic relay race through the mountains. Wadi Bih has long been a staple on the UAE racing calendar, and it's back for another heart-racing year. The team race takes in 60 kilometres of rugged Dibba landscape, and is split into stages, with one of your team of five covering between two and four km at a time. Individual racers can choose between a distance of 15, 30, 60 or a whopping 72 km. This event was postponed from its scheduled date in February due to the passing of the Sultan of Oman.

Saturday, March 14;  from 4.30am; from Dh190 for individual runners or Dh1500 for a team; Dibba Beach Resort, Dibba, Oman (passport information must be provided for border passes); 052 590 4692, www.premieronline.com

See art made from plastic, Dubai 

The world is at tipping point with plastic the deciding factor – will we live sustainably in a single-use plastic free world or are we doomed for life among the detritus of hyper-consumerism? New exhibition Plastic at Tashkeel examines the intricate layers to this human-made epidemic. Featuring works by over 30 local artists, it aims to get people talking about plastic and exploring alternative solutions through visual arts, workshops and seminars.

Saturday to Thursday from March 14 to April 14, 10am-10pm; free; Tashkeel, Dubai, 04 336 3313, www.tashkeel.org

March 15-21 

Atlantis's Cirque De Cuisine

It may be more than a month away, but now is the time to book tickets to the always sold out Cirque De Cuisine at Atlantis The Palm. The hotel's mega brunch will see guests wander from restaurant to restaurant, with Nobu, Bread Street Kitchen and Bar, Ossiano, Ronda Locatelli and Hakkasan all set to welcome diners. There will also be cabaret, theatre and music hall-style dancers to entertain the crowds.

Thursday, March 19; 7pm-11pm; Dh295 (soft drinks), Dh425 (house beverages); various restaurants at Atlantis, The Palm; www.atlantis.com/dubai

Play a game of raucous bingo, Dubai

Bongo’s Bingo returns to Dubai for a St Patrick’s Day special on Thursday, March 19. Expect plenty of crazy giveaways, sing along tunes and of course a few games of bingo, as the party makers take over Atlantis, The Palm's Asateer Tent. This month’s event will have an Irish twist, so pack your river dancing shoes.

Thursday, March 19, 7pm; Dh150; Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai; www.dubai.platinumlist.net

See Mohammed Assaf sing Egyptian classics, Abu Dhabi

The Palestinian pop star is switching things up for a low key performance at Abu Dhabi's Cultural Foundation Theatre that pays tribute to the legendary Egyptian crooner Abdul Halim Hafez. Expect the former Arab Idol winner to perform the hits of Hafez including the classics Ahwak and Zay El Hawa

Thursday, March 19; 8pm-10pm; tickets from Dh105; Cultural Foundation Theatre, Abu Dhabi; www.culturalfoundation.ae

Listen to some classic opera, Dubai 

Whether you're an admirer of the genre or a newcomer to opera, La Traviata is a show that will likely win over any audience. The classic opera by Giuseppe Verdi, which was first performed in 1853, is coming to Dubai with the National Opera of Ukraine taking to the stage. The opera unfolds as a tragic romance set in France, with Violetta forced to give up her love, Alfredo, to save his family's reputation. Expect expert renditions of La Traviata's legendary scores and some of the trickiest soprano melodies performed with aplomb.

Thursday to Saturday, March 19 to 21, show starts at 8pm; tickets from Dh350; Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai; www.dubaiopera.com

Catch a screening of an award-winning film, Abu Dhabi 

Catch a screening of the award-winning film It Must Be Heaven, the latest from Palestinian director Elia Suleiman. The film won the Jury Special Mention award at Cannes last year and was Palestine's submission for the Academy Awards. The film is an semi-autobiographical tale that follows Suleiman as he goes from Paris to New York.

Friday, March 20, 7pm; tickets at Dh30; Cultural Foundation, Abu Dhabi; culturalfoundation.ae

Test your endurance with the Jebel Hafeet Challenge, Al Ain

Test your endurance on the UAE's second-highest peak, with the Jebel Hafeet Challenge. Rising 1,240 metres into the sky, the Al Ain mountain is a favourite of plucky runners who aren't afraid of a bit of gradient training. This race will begin from Green Mubazzarah Park, and take in the 12.5 kilometres of steadily inclining road to the top. Water will be provided along the way and transport will be provided to get you back down the mountain after the race.

Friday, March 20, 6am; from Dh250; Green Mubazzarah Park, Al Ain; 0568190043; www.premieronline.com

Get involved with the Terry Fox Run

Register to take part in the Terry Fox Run in March. It’s a non-competitive event that celebrates the memory of one of Canada’s most revered athletes and raises money for cancer research in the UAE. It is open to all ages and abilities, including wheelchair users, and participants can walk, run or rollerblade the five kilometre or 10km route. There is no registration fee, but donations are welcome.

March 20, from 7am for registration; 9am start; East Plaza, Abu Dhabi Corniche, Abu Dhabi; www.terryfox.org/ international-runs/abudhabi

K-pop super show at Dubai's Coca-Cola Arena

See K-pop groups Super Junior and NCT 127 at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai on Friday, March 20. The popular K-pop boy bands will headline, with singer Jun, reggae duo Rgp and girl group Laboum as supporting acts. Super Junior have been on the music scene since 2005 and have released nine studio albums including their most recent, Time Slip. NCT 127, meanwhile, are the sub-unit of boy band NCT. They released their most recent Korean album, Regular-Irregular, in 2018.

Friday, March 20, 7pm; from Dh550; Coca-Cola Arena, City Walk, Dubai; www.coca-colaarena.com

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - JANUARY 28:  Super Junior arrive for the 4th Gaon Chart K-POP Awards at the Olympic Park on January 28, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea.  (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Junoon performing at Global Village

Pakistani band Junoon will be performing at Global Village next month. The band formed in 1990 and are known for their politically inspired singles Talaash and Ehtessab. The band’s biggest track, Jazba-e-Junoon, went on to become the unofficial anthem of the 1996 Cricket World Cup.

Friday, March 20, 9pm; Dh15; Global Village, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, Dubai; 04 362 4114, www.globalvillage.ae

Attend the Numaish exhibition for heritage textiles, Dubai 

This season, Indianwear fair Numaish will focus on bringing to Dubai designers and brands focussed on reviving age-old handloom weaving techniques and heritage textiles. The line-up includes: She Kantha from Kolkata, which works with kantha embroiderers; Garderobe by Rajul Aggarwal, a women-empowering venture from Gujarat that promotes Kutch embroidery; and artist-turned-designer Nitin Bal Chauhan, who works to uplift craftsmen in India. Some other designers to look out for are Soup by Sougat Paul, Abhijeet Khanna, Lotus Sutr by Karishma Jamwal and bridal trousseau specialist Preeti S Kapoor.

Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21; 11am to 9pm; free entry; Jumeriah Emirates Towers, Dubai; 052 800 5521, www.numaishlifestyle.com

Discover the art of instrument-making in Sharjah

In this survey exhibition of Tarek Atoui's work, Sharjah Art Foundation will offer audiences a chance to see the instruments that the Lebanese composer has created in collaboration with the artist collective project Within. Titled Tarek Atoui: Cycles in 11, the exhibition will also feature live performances by Atoui and guest musicians.

Saturday, March 21 to Sunday, June 21; performance schedule to be announced; free; Sharjah Art Foundation; www.sharjahart.org

Explore artists' take on digital technology, Sharjah

How has the internet changed our lives? How does new tech determine our behaviour? Sharjah Art Foundation’s upcoming show Art in the Age of Anxiety seeks to answer these questions with works by more than 30 artists, including Trevor Paglen, Jon Rafman, and Cao Fei. Curated by Omar Kholeif, the exhibition will be designed like a maze for visitors to navigate.

Saturday, March 21 to Sunday, June 21; Saturday to Thursday, 9am to 9pm; Friday, 4pm to 9pm; free; Sharjah Art Foundation; www.sharjahart.org

'Music Bank' K-pop concert at Coca-Cola Arena 

Music Bank is heading our way on Saturday, March 21, a second big K-pop event in two days. Artists set to perform include Twice, Seventeen, Monsta X and Jus2, as well as Exo's Baekhyun as the Music Bank world tour adds Dubai to its list of global stops. Music Bank is a show that began in 1998 and airs performances by artists in various locations around the world. Popular groups perform their biggest hits as the hosts countdown the top songs of the week.

Saturday, March 21; 5pm; from Dh250; Coca-Cola Arena, City Walk, Dubai; www.coca-cola-arena.com

March 22-28  

Art Dubai returns

The UAE’s biggest international art fair returns for its 14th edition, with expanded curated sections and a focus on the Global South. This year, 56 galleries will participate in the contemporary section, while 19 galleries will showcase solo presentations of leading Modernist artists in the Modern section. The commissions programme will highlight the climate crisis, with artists creating works that explore agriculture, soil and mining rights.

Wednesday to Saturday, March 25 to 28; various timings; Dh60 (digital ticket, one-day), Dh90 (at the door, one-day); Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai; 04 563 1400, www.artdubai.ae

Laugh with comedian Malik Bentalha in Dubai

Book tickets to see French comedian Malik Bentalha at Caesars Palace Dubai on Thursday, March 26. The comedian, who is of Algerian and Moroccan heritage, is bringing his witty Encore show to the UAE for one night only. Expect hilarious improvisations and sketches, all in French.

Thursday, March 26, 8pm; from Dhs100; The Rotunda, Caesars Palace Dubai; www.ticketmaster.ae

Spend an evening with Michael Owen, Dubai

English football legend Michael Owen will be in Dubai for an evening of talks and networking. The footballer will be interviewed on stage at the Address Dubai Marina, where he will talk about his impressive career, which saw him become the youngest footballer to ever play for England at the age of 18, going on to become a star striker for Liverpool. The evening will also include the option of a three-course meal.

Thursday, March 26, from 6.30pm; from Dh80; The Address Hotel, Dubai Marina, 044 367 777, www.dubai.platinumlist.net

20 Jan 2001:  Michael Owen of Liverpool is closed down by Steve Vickers and Ugo Ehiogu of Middlesbrough during the FA Carling Premier League match played at Anfield in Liverpool, England. The game ended in a 0-0 draw. \ Mandatory Credit: Gary M Prior/Allsport

See Le Trio Joubran at Louvre Abu Dhabi

Le Trio Joubran, the three brothers from Palestine – Samir, Wissam and Adnan – will bring their traditional Arabic music under Louvre Abu Dhabi’s dome for one night only this March. Accompanied by percussionist Youssef Hbeisch, their performance is not one to miss. The group have played the world over, including the Carnegie Hall in New York.

Thursday, March 26, 8pm; tickets from Dh150; Louvre Abu Dhabi; Abu Dhabi; louvreabudhabi.ae

See Chris de Burgh at Dubai Opera

International singer and songer-writer Chris de Burgh is bringing the best of his love songs to Dubai with a performance at Dubai Opera this month. The Lady in Red singer is no stranger to the Middle East having performed throughout the Arab world regularly, and has once even collaborated on a duet with Lebanese singer Elissa.

Thursday, March 26, 8pm; tickets from Dh195; Dubai Opera, Dubai; www.dubaiopera.ae

Take in a fusion of music, fashion and food, Abu Dhabi 

The Mother of the Nation festival is back for a fifth year, celebrating the culture and traditions of the UAE through a range of family-friendly activities and performances. The festival, which pays tribute to the legacy of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, will feature a holographic circus as part of its 2020 programme, as well as showcases of Japanese art, an Emirati heritage village and panels on topics such as culture, food and fashion. The 10-day programme also includes fireworks, food pop-ups and works from local artists, spread over six entertainment zones.

From Thursday, March 26 to Saturday, April 4, 4pm-12pm on weekdays and 2pm-12pm on weekends; from Dh20; Corniche, Abu Dhabi; www.motn.ae

See Stars of Russian Ballet, Dubai 

Dubai Opera is hosting a two-night performance of Stars of Russian Ballet, with eight principal dancers from some of Russia’s most prestigious dance schools and companies taking to the stage. Big names including Maria Alexandrova, Ekaterina Kondaurova and Xander Parish will perform extracts from classics such as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet and Giselle.

Friday and Saturday, March 27 and March 28, 8pm; from Dh175; Dubai Opera; 04 440 8888, www.dubaiopera.com

See rapper Russ at Coca-Cola Arena

American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer Russ returns to Dubai for his first headline show at the Coca-Cola Arena. Set to perform on Friday, March 27, watch the rapper perform hits including Losin Control, Best on Earth and What They Want.

Friday, March 27; 8pm; from Dh250 (standing), Dh350 (allocated seating), Dh450 (golden circle standing); Coca-Cola Arena, City Walk, Dubai; www.coca-cola-arena.com

Work on your fitness al fresco, Dubai 

If you fancy a workout with a view, before the summer temperatures hit, then check out Azure Beach’s one-day conditioning class on the sand. The beach club in JBR will host a masterclass with former UFC contender Krzysztof Soszynski, who will put participants through their paces in a mixed martial art-inspired conditioning workout. The class in Dh80 or, if you pay Dh130, you’ll be breakfast and a day pass to Azure Beach thrown in.

Saturday, March 28, 10am; Dh80 or Dh130, including breakfast and day pass; Azure Beach, Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR; 04 342 1924, www.azure-beach.com

Dubai World Cup horse racing

The 2020 Dubai World Cup is taking place on Saturday, March 28 at Meydan Racecourse. Get tickets now for the annual running of the world’s richest day of horse racing, which is also one of the most exciting and fashionable events on the Dubai sporting calendar. The Apron Views is home to fashion competition, the Style Stakes, and a number of food and beverage outlets. There are also grandstand and suite ticketing options available.

Saturday, March 28; from noon; Dh250 for Apron Views; Meydan Racecourse, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai; store.meydan.ae

March 29-31 

See The Cleveland Orchestra with Simon Keenlyside, Abu Dhabi 

Abu Dhabi Festival’s performance program begins with the regional debut of The Cleveland Orchestra. Described by the New York Times as “America’s greatest orchestra,” the ensemble is renowned for their expansive repertoire and technical excellence.

Tuesday, March 31; 8pm; tickets from Dh175; Emirates Palace Auditorium, Abu Dhabi; abudhabifestival.ae


Check out Abu Dhabi's new Marsa Mina

Visit Marsa Mina, Abu Dhabi’s new waterfront destination. The maritime-themed area has boutiques, restaurants and food trucks for visitors to explore, as well as a children’s play area and street art murals. In keeping with the port setting at Mina Zayed, the retail units are housed in shipping containers, which have been given a colourful update with street art and graffiti. Parking is free and it is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Daily, open 24 hours; Marsa Mina, Mina Zayed, Abu Dhabi; www.marsamina.ae

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - MARSA MINA, new waterfront lifestyle destination opening ceremony designed to attract tourists arriving at the capital by cruise ship at Zayed Port. Khushnum Bhandari for The National

Slide into Hatta Wadi Hub

A new water ride has opened at Hatta Wadi Hub activity centre, located about an hour and a half from Dubai. Named the Drop-In, the attraction is made up of a number of slides, which propel visitors into a plunge pool at speeds of between 40 and 80 kilometres an hour. The ride is suitable for those aged 6 and older. Ticketholders will get 30 minutes of ride time, and safety helmets are provided.

Daily, 8.30am-6pm; Dh45 for children aged 6 to 11; Dh75 for ages 12 and older; Hatta, Dubai; 800 637 227, www.visithatta.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

Sharjah's new permanent art exhibition

Sharjah Art Foundation has acquired the work Ageing Ruins Dreaming Only to Recall the Hard Chisel from the Past by Otobong Nkanga with Emeka Ogboh, making it the foundation’s second permanent installation after Random International’s Rain Room Sharjah. The piece features a speaking tree, and is accompanied by other multimedia interventions, including screens that flash poetic texts and cratered mounds filled with copper-coloured water.

Saturdays to Thursdays, 9am-9pm; Fridays, 4pm-9pm; free; Bait Al Aboudi, within the Al Mureijah Art Spaces, Sharjah Art Foundation; www.sharjahart.org

Try the Jais Adventure Peak, Ras Al Khaimah 

Check out newly opened Jais Adventure Peak, which offers a number of activities for adrenalin junkies including the new Jais Sky Maze. Visitors can also head to the Jais Adventure Centre to find out more information on attractions including the Jebel Jais Flight, Jais Sky Tour and Jebel Jais Viewing Deck Park.

Wednesdays to Sundays, 9.30am-5.30pm; Dh75 per person; Jebel Jais Adventure Centre, Ras Al Khaimah; www.visitjebel jais.com

Gather the girls at Paradise Beach Club

Paradise Beach Club on Palm Jumeirah has launched a ladies’ day on Mondays. Head there from noon to 5pm and enjoy four drinks, as well as one delicious food platter per person, which costs Dh100 for women and Dh300 for men. Access to watersports is also included in the price.

Mondays, 12pm-5pm; Dh100 (women), Dh300 (men); Paradise Beach Club, Rixos The Palm, Dubai; 050 367 9940, reservations@paradisebeachdxb.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 Ayyala, 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

Take a bite out of new set menus, Dubai 

As part of its new eco-friendly Homegrown@Souk food festival, an array of restaurants at Souk Madinat Jumeirah will be hosting specially curated menus for seven days. With venues such as Folly by Nick and Scott, Swiss eatery Publique, The Noodle House and Trattoria Toscana taking part, the focus will be on using locally grown produce and UAE-sourced ingredients in innovative selected dishes. There will be three set menu options at participating restaurants, which will cost between Dh99 and Dh199, and include food and drink options. The Homegrown festival will also feature sustainable farmers’ markets and masterclasses with chefs from several of the souk’s restaurants.

Daily, until Saturday, March 7; various venues, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, Dubai; www.facebook.com/events/s/homegrown-at-souk

Visit Sharjah Calligraphy Museum's exhibition 

See Music of Letters by Bahman Panahi at the Sharjah Calligraphy Museum. His sweeping strokes bring to mind a musicality, and his use of colour, a sense of orchestral harmony. Through 30 works, the exhibition showcases a wide range of the Iranian artist’s approach to calligraphy.

Saturdays to Thursdays, 8am-8pm; Fridays, 4pm-8pm; Dh10; until Saturday, March 7; Sharjah Calligraphy Museum, Al Mareija; www.sharjahmuseums.ae

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates - November 04, 2019: Sharjah Calligraphy Museum opens new exhibition ÔMusic of LettersÕ, artwork by Bahman Panahi. Monday the 4th of November 2019. Sharjah. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Take the kids to The Dubai Mall for a free meal

Asian restaurant Tanuki at The Dubai Mall will serve free bento boxes to two children dining with one or more paying adults during Dubai Food Festival. All boxes come with a choice of one maki, one main course and one dessert, as well as smiley fries, raw veggies and fresh juice. The meal aims to be healthy as well as tasty, and includes options such as Japanese omelet, snow crab with avocado, prawn and tomato skewers and buckwheat noodles with chicken.

Daily, 11am to 1am; until March 9; Tanuki, The Dubai Mall, Dubai; 04 580 8228; info@tanukidubai.comwww.tanukidubai.com

Check out Flavio Lucchini's Dubai exhibition

See Art: The Vogue Lesson, an exhibition by Flavio Lucchini. A heavyweight from the dual worlds of art and fashion, Lucchini’s latest work is on display at the Oblong Gallery on Bluewaters Island in Dubai. Rendered as totemic statues almost devoid of human features, or as quasi-cartoon figures in pastel tones or gold leaf, Lucchini’s art focuses intently on the space where art and fashion overlap.

Daily, 11am-8pm; until Tuesday, March 10; free; Oblong Contemporary Art Gallery, Bluewaters, Dubai; www.oblongcontemporary.com

Visit the Etisalat Beach Canteen at Dubai Food Festival

Dubai Food Festival has kicked off with the opening of the Etisalat Beach Canteen. The festival's flagship event takes the form of a massive pop-up with grab-and-go food trucks, and cooking workshops and live cooking sessions hosted by chefs from UAE restaurants. A dedicated family area will include live entertainment, a kids' zone, a beachside theatre and a gaming square and sports court – ideal to shave off a few calories.

Daily, until Saturday, March 14; 1pm-midnight Sunday to Thursday, 10am-midnight Friday, 10am-11pm Saturday; Etisalat Beach Canteen, Jumeirah Beach (behind Sunset Mall), Dubai;www.beachcanteen.ae

Beach Canteen. Courtesy of Dubai Food Festival  *** Local Caption ***  beach-canteen.jpg

Check out food art at Burjuman, Dubai 

Looking to boost your insta-stories? Make for the BurjumanFoodArt Festival, being dubbed the most instagrammable foodie event in town. Running until Saturday, March 14, expect giant food art installations with the likes of spinning doughnuts, colourful sushi rolls, giant ice-cream cones and oversized popcorn buckets. There’s prizes to be won for the best insta-posts and plenty of dining offers too.

Daily, until Saturday March 14, 10am-10pm; free; Burjuman Mall, Dubai, www.burjuman.com

See The Red Palace exhibition in Abu Dhabi 

Saudi Prince Sultan bin Fahad’s exhibition, The Red Palace, which was presented in Riyadh and Jeddah last year, is now open at Abu Dhabi’s Cultural Foundation. It features abandoned and second-hand objects collected by Bin Fahad in the country’s flea markets. Presented alongside The Red Palace show will be Common Ground, a group exhibition with 13 artists that explores links between Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Daily, 10am-8pm; until Saturday, March 28; free; Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation, Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street; 02 657 6348, www.culturalfoundation.ae

Abu Dhabi Children’s Library pop-up show

An exhibition at the Abu Dhabi Children’s Library focuses on the role pop-up books play in literacy. The stories of UAE authors and illustrators are reimagined as 3D, immersive and interactive learning spaces to spark children’s imaginations.

Daily, 10am-8pm; until Saturday, March 28; free; Abu Dhabi Children’s Library, Exhibition Hall; www.culturalfoundation.ae

See Intimaa: Belonging exhibition in Abu Dhabi

Visit Intimaa: Belonging, which features a series of works and four new commissions by emerging artists in the UAE. The participants have questioned their place in an increasingly globalised world, and how our technologically advanced society has created a “universal identity”. Photographic and sculptural works will be on display, but the show will also introduce commissioned poems by up-and-coming Emirati poets.

Daily, 3pm-10pm; until Saturday, March 28; free; NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, Saadiyat Island; www.nyuadartscenter.org

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