Halloween is creeping up on us all. And with October 31 falling on a weekend this year, you can bet there will be plenty of treats to be had and tricks to be played. Here's a look at some of the best things to do during the month of October in the UAE.
Brunch aboard a haunted ship
The QE2 is celebrating Halloween with two evening brunches where guests can “eat, drink and be scary”. Little ones can have fun in the "ghost hall" play area, while a live band will keep adults entertained. There will also be 30-minute “haunted” bridge tours between 6pm to 9pm, priced at an additional Dh85 for adults and Dh45 for children.
Thursday and Friday, October 29 and 30; 7pm to 10pm and 6pm to 9pm respectively; Dh225 for soft beverages, Dh95 for those 12 and under, free for those 4 and under; The Pavilion – 1 Deck, QE2, Mina Rashid Marina; 600 500 400, email@example.com
Watch a horror show at Motiongate Dubai
The theme park will run Halloween Fright Nights from Wednesday to Saturday, between 2pm and 8pm, until Saturday, November 14. The 20-minute live horror shows will be held at the park’s Hollywood Theatre. There will also be a horror-themed maze in the Underworld section. There are some “not-too-spooky” activities for children too, including photo opportunities with Halloween characters and candy grabs. Meanwhile, secret judges will be roaming the park on the lookout for the best and wackiest costumes, with prizes up for grabs.
Wednesday to Saturday; 2pm-8pm; until November 14; Dh275; Dubai Parks & Resorts, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai; www.motiongatedubai.com
Go back in time with The London Project’s spooky Victorian England brunch
British restaurant The London Project will be hosting three eerie brunches, themed Victorian Horror Wedding. Guests will be taken on a journey back to 19th-century London, where a Victorian abyss awaits. Spooky wedding attire is essential; the most “drop-dead” gorgeous couple will get a free brunch, which has starters such as buttermilk fried chicken and flat breads; and mains such as fish and chips and mushroom linguine. There will also be a two-piece vocalist and guitarist entertaining guests.
Thursday and Friday, October 29 and 30; 1pm-4pm and 8pm-11pm; Dh299 for a set menu and soft drinks; Bluewaters Island; 056 913 4699; firstname.lastname@example.org
Let your little one dig into a complimentary treat
Popular breakfast spot Eggspectation is kickstarting the Halloween celebrations early by giving children below the age of 12 a complimentary waffle on Thursday, October 29. The cocoa waffle is topped with a creamy orange dollop of mascarpone cheese and finished with a touch of salty-sweet caramel drizzle – and will probably have mum and dad vying for a bite too.
Thursday, October 29; multiple branches and timings; free; www.eggspectation.com
Take part in some 1980s power dressing
After the launch of its Wolf of Wall Street-themed brunch last month, DIFC restaurant Bull and Bear will be pulling out all the stops for its first 1980s-themed Halloween celebration. For one day only, guests will be encouraged to dress up as their favourite character from the Scorsese classic. Think serious power dressing with tailor-made suits and patterned ties, and ladies channeling their inner Duchess with bouffant hair, big costume jewellery and bright makeup. The venue will be awarding a Jordan Belfort-worthy prize to the best-dressed guest – a stay in the Waldorf Astoria's Presidential Suite.
Friday, October 30; 1pm-5pm; Dh290 for soft drinks, Dh450 for house; Bull & Bear, Waldorf Astoria DIFC; 04 515 9888, www.hilton.com
Watch spooky movies in your very own screening room
Studio One Hotel is allowing its private screening room to be rented out for groups of up to 12 on Halloween weekend. There are loads of horror movies that can be screened for the occasion and the room will be fully themed to boot.
Thursday, October 29 to Saturday, October 31; various timings available; Dh666 for up to 12 adults (aged 12 and above) and Dh600 for up to 12 children; Studio One Hotel, Dubai Studio City; email@example.com
Carve a free pumpkin
Online fresh fruit and vegetable delivery platform NRTC Fresh will be giving away free pumpkins with all orders above Dh150 in the week leading up to Halloween. Practise those carving skills as those sharing a picture of their jack-o-lantern on social media, tagging @nrtcfresh and using the hashtag #SpookywithNRTC also stand the chance to win some prizes.
Sunday, October 25 to Saturday, October 31; from Dh150; NRTC Fresh, www.nrtcfresh.com
Take part in a Halloween drive-through for pets
Monthly subscription box for pets, Paw Pack, has partnered with Dogwalk in Al Quoz to launch a social distancing friendly Halloween paw-ty. Guests need to pre-register for a car slot between 3pm and 6pm on Friday, October 30. When the car arrives, there will be the opportunity to take photos at a photo booth, draw a raffle prize and take a swing at a pinata full of dog treats. Everyone is encouraged to dress up themselves, as well as their pets, and even their cars for the chance to win prizes.
Friday, October 30; 3pm-6pm; Dogwalk Al Quoz, Dubai; Dh15 ( free for Dogwalk and Paw Pack customers); To register, click here.
Exercise the horror away
Bare Dxb has some tricks and treats up its sleeve this year. The Fitness studio is hosting a Halloween-themed calorie killing session on Thursday, October 29, which will be "packed with spider squats, pumpkin holds and zombie runs". The session will begin with a limited-edition Bare Black pre-workout potion and a curated Halloween playlist will be the class's soundtrack. Themed workout clothes are encouraged with prizes up for grabs for the best-dressed.
Thursday, October 29; 5.30pm-6.30pm; Bare, Business Bay; www.bare.fitness
Celebrate Mexican Day of the Dead
On Saturday, October 31, Mexican restaurant Tulum at The Dubai Mall will be hosting a traditional Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration a few days early. For Dh190, guests will indulge in unlimited Mexican treats bought straight to the table, including cauliflower dynamite, guacamole, street-style corn, cheese fondue, and a selection of tacos. Save room for desert, as a special Mexican bird cage filled with indulgent treats will be brought to the table. The venue's Mariachi band will also be on hand to entertain you throughout the evening.
Saturday, October 31; 8pm-12am; Tulum, Fashion Avenue, The Dubai Mall; 04 514 0135, www.tulum.ae
Have a breakfast paw-ty at Reform Social & Grill
Pet owners can bring their four-legged friends to the British venue for a morning of treats and best-dressed contests. There are prizes up for grabs, including a photoshoot, training sessions, a weekend stay at a pet-friendly hotel and personalised accessories.
Saturday, October 31; 7.30am-10am; Dh100 for breakfast and three beverages; Reform Social & Grill, The Lakes Dubai; 04 454 2638; www.reformsocialgrill.ae
Halloween on camelback
Desert restaurant and dining experience Sonara Camp is organising some spooktacular elements for families visiting On Friday, October 30, and Saturday, October 31. Children will get a camelback adventure, with some spooks and scares along the way, while there will also be a scary movie screening with popcorn, a cupcake-making station and interactive pumpkin carving with a chef.
Friday and Saturday, October 30 and 31; timings vary; Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve; Dh860 for adults and Dh380 for children for the sunset and dinner package; www.nara.ae/sonara
Have a howl-o-ween brunch
Pet-friendly hotel Radisson Red is having a Howl-o-ween brunch and is encouraging pet owners to dress up their dogs in spooky outfits for a chance to win the “best-dressed pup” prize. Guests can enjoy starters, a live BBQ station and specially prepared Halloween-themed desserts for those sweet cravings.
Saturday, October 31; 1pm-4pm; Dh119 for food, Dh149 for food and soft drinks; Dh299 for food and house drinks; OUIBar + Terrace, Radisson RED Dubai Silicon Oasis; www.daidubai.com
Visit Dubai's largest pumpkin patch
Town Square Dubai by Nshama is celebrating Halloween by setting up Dubai’s largest Pumpkin Patch. The 1,000-square-foot Pumpkin Patch will be located at the Town Square Dubai Main Park and be open daily for a week with entry free for all.
There will also a series of Halloween-inspired acts with jugglers and acrobats over the Halloween weekend to keep the family entertained.
Town Square Dubai by Nshama recently opened its Central Park with attractions such as a carousel, children's train, splash pad and fountain to enjoy.
Sunday to Saturday, October 25 to 31; 7am-10pm; free (rides are priced at Dh5 for residents and Dh10 for non-residents); Town Square Dubai Main Park, Town Square Dubai by Nshama, Al Qudra, Dubai; www.nshama.ae
Check into a Halloween Hotel
Missippi's Pool Bar & Social Hubs has teamed up with global events company Candypants to transform Avani Ibn Battuta Duba into a Halloween Hotel for one night only. Guests checking into this "haunted" hotel on Friday, October 30, can also partake in the Halloween night evening brunch, from 8pm to 11pm, followed by an after-party.
They also have a family-friendly Halloween brunch taking place on Saturday, October 31. Guests can expect five hours of unlimited platters, with prices starting at Dh199 with soft drinks.
Friday and Saturday, October 30 and 31; 2pm check-in and 3pm checkout the next day; Dhs898 for two, Dhs549 for one person and Dh399 for the unlimited evening brunch package only; Dh199 for the family brunch; Avani Ibn Battuta Dubai Hotel; 055 269 7351; firstname.lastname@example.org
Let the little ones decorate their own treats
Children dining at Il Passaggio will get a complimentary cookie they can decorate there. As children get busy, parents can tuck into the restaurant's range of soups, salads, burgers, pizzas and pastas. The restaurant's outdoor venue offers views of The Palm Fountain, as an added bonus.
Saturday, October 31; 9am-11pm; The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai; 04 587 3111, www.ilpassaggio.com
Visit a haunted rainforest or swim with piranhas
Throughout the October, The Green Planet's bio-dome will transform into a Haunted Rainforest, complete with spider webs, animal skeletons, RIP extinct animal tombstones and pumpkins galore. To make things better, it has launched The Green Planet After Dark every Wednesday throughout the month so guests can visit from 7pm to 9pm and be greeted by its nocturnal residents.
Think you're up for more? The Green Planet has partnered with Al Boom Dive Centre to launch a Snorkel with the Piranhas encounter. Guests will have a chance to learn about species, before taking the plunge, and witness more than 1,000 of the notorious fish devour full chickens and turkeys. All this, before being lowered into the tank. The experience is open to anyone over the age of 6, who feel confident and comfortable swimming.
The experiences are available throughout October; Snorkel with the Piranhas experience for Dh330; The Green Planet After Dark experience for Dh120 for adults and Dh99 for children; The Green Planet, City Walk, Al Safa; 04 317 3999; www.thegreenplanetdubai.com
Pick up limited-edition baked treats
A number of bakeries and restaurants have launched limited-edition spooky treats – perfect for little ones and adults.
Magnolia Bakery has a range available from Wednesday, October 21, until Saturday, October 31, with everything from "eyeball cupcakes" to eerie "ghost meringues" and "monster decorated cakes". Prices start from Dh21 for a cupcake or Dh164 for a customised Halloween cake.
Mister Baker also has a number of Halloween-themed baked goods – from spiders and ghosts to monsters and characters such as Maleficent and Vampirina. Prices for cupcakes start at Dh16.
Wednesday to Saturday, October 21-31; prices start at Dh21; Magnolia Bakery Cafe Dubai Festival City Mall, Bloomingdale's Home (The Dubai Mall), The Galleria Mall, Palm Jumeirah; The Galleria on Al Maryah Island; www.magnoliabakery.com
Various branches and timings across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah; www.misterbaker.com
Sip on a bewitching crazyshake
To celebrate new movie The Witches, Black Tap will have a limited-edition Crazyshake at its mall venues. The best part about this treat? Snake candies will be hidden in select Crazyshakes and customers who find these candies will win tickets to the premiere of The Witches at Dubai Mall on Tuesday, October 27.
Daily until Saturday, October 31; Dh62; The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates branches; www.blacktapme.com
In Abu Dhabi
Indulge in a spooky brunch
Asian restaurant Mr Miyagi’s is celebrating Halloween with a number of “Boo” brunches taking place on Halloween weekend, each of which includes three hours of unlimited food, drinks and entertainment, and prizes for the best dressed.
Thursday, October 29; 8pm-11pm; Friday, October 30, noon-3pm, 4pm-7pm and 8pm-11pm; Dh249 with soft drinks; Yas Marina, Yas Island; 02 565 1150
Help the children with a free scavenger hunt
The Galleria Al Maryah Island will be hosting a scavenger hunt on Friday, October 30, and Saturday, October 31. Children will need to solve a series of digital clues to find Halloween characters hidden around the mall. Once the characters are found, they will be rewarded with Halloween candies, which can be redeemed from a contactless vending machine. To participate, look for the giant sign beside the Guest Services Desk on the Ground Floor, scan the QR Code there and launch the Scary Scavenger Hunt app.
Meanwhile, parents who bring their children in Halloween costumes throughout the Halloween weekend will be rewarded with a treat from Guest Services.
Thursday, October 29 to Saturday, October 31; 10am-10pm; free; The Galleria Mall, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi; www.thegalleria.ae
Have a scare-tastic time at Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi
The indoor amusement park in the capital has transformed its cartoon junction into a scarefest. There will be spider webs and carved pumpkins, and the cast of Looney Tunes will be in their best disguises. Children visiting the park are encouraged to get into the Halloween spirit by donning their scariest looks.
Wednesday to Saturday, October 21-31; 10am-9pm; Dh295; Yas Island, Abu Dhabi; 02 496 8000; www.wbworldabudhabi.com
Dress up for a discount
The all-day dining restaurant at Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Sofra Bld, is having a Halloween brunch and guests in costumes will get 50 per cent off their meal. There will also be a prize for the best-dressed, an international buffet, live stations and Halloween painting in the children's corner.
Friday, October 30; 1pm-4pm; Dh279 including soft drinks; Sofra BLD, Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri 02 509 8555; email@example.com
Watch family-friendly spooky movies under the stars
Movie Nights at Aljada will be getting into the spirit of the Halloween season by hosting family-friendly fright nights at Sharjah's only drive-in cinema. The cinema will screen a range of ghoulish films that will entertain both little ones and adults alike, in a socially distanced setting. Some of the movies playing include Monster House (Thursday, October 22, 9.30pm) and Goosebumps (Friday, October 23, 7.30pm). Keep a lookout for other such fright fests on the website below.
Varying timings and dates; free on a first-come-first-serve basis; Aljada Experience Centre, Sharjah; 800 27 232; www.aljadamovies.com
In Ras Al Khaimah
Stay in a haunted villa
Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa has transformed one of its family pool view villas to create a ghoulish staycation to remember. Guests can enjoy the Halloween-themed dinner at The Kitchen, as well as breakfast the next day. Perfect for a brave family or group of friends.
Until Saturday, October 31; Dh1,200; Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa; 07 228 8844; Reservations_RakResort@hilton.com