Most people have returned from their summer holidays by now – the children are back at school, the weather is starting to cool down and the country is full of life. So here is your ultimate guide to all the top events to mark on your calendars this month.
Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards
Friday, September 20
American singer-songwriter Jason Derulo will be flying in to the UAE to host the Middle East's flagship Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards in Abu Dhabi, which will take place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre on Friday, September 20. The Want to Want Me singer will co-host the event with travel YouTuber Haifa Beseisso.
The Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards is coming to Abu Dhabi as part of a five-year deal between the Department of Culture and Tourism and Viacom, the owner of Nickelodeon. It is the first version of the globally renowned kids event to be staged in the region, and will feature musical and entertainment performances.
For more information, visit kca.nickelodeonarabia.com/Kids-Choice/Awards
Abu Dhabi Showdown Week
Sunday, September 1 to Saturday, September 7
A series of sporting events, mega concerts and parties are going on this week, all leading up to a massive UFC fight between current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champion Dustin Poirier for UFC 242 in the new purpose-built arena on Yas Island.
Kuwaiti singer Daffy and Bahraini rapper Flipperaci have been announced as the supporting acts for Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin's concert on Thursday, September 5. On Wednesday, September 4, not long after the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert at The Arena, Mad on Yas Island will host a performance by Jess Glynne. Rudimental, Erick Morillo, Sigma and Tinie Tempeh are all set to perform in the week, too.
For more information, visit www.ADShowdownWeek.ae
Achieve the Unimaginable
Tuesday, September 3
Tony Robbins, the renowned motivational speaker, life coach and business strategist, is coming to Dubai for the first time for a one-day-only event at Coca-Cola Arena in City Walk, Dubai. As part of the 10-hour event, he will be joined by guest speakers Alicia Keys and Nick Vujicic. Prices start from Dh1,499 up to a maximum of Dh19,997 for a VIP premium experience.
For more information, visit coca-cola-arena.com
Arts & Culture
Arrival: a Farah Al Qasimi exhibition
From Wednesday, September 18
Emirati artist Farah Al Qasimi, who is based in New York, will present her third solo exhibition at The Third Line gallery. Her works incorporate brightly coloured images of her home country, while this particular showcase uses horror cinema to explore jinn folklore.
For more information, visit thethirdline.com
An Inspector Calls
Tuesday, September 10
The classic thriller story by JB Priestley is coming to Dubai for the first time and it’s being performed at The Junction in Alserkal Avenue. Directed by Patrick Sandford, the play depicts the tale of Inspector Goole, who calls on the Birling family while investigating the mysterious death of a young woman. Tickets start from Dh160.
For more information, visit www.thejunctiondubai.com
Much Ado About Nothing
Wednesday, September 25 to Saturday, September 28
William Shakespeare’s renowned comedy will be performed on the glorious Dubai Opera stage this month. It follows the twisted love story of Beatrice and Benedick, who are happy to outwit and belittle each other at every moment. The classic tale features a few modern-day tweaks, thanks to the direction of Derek Bond. Tickets start from Dh150.
For more information, visit www.dubaiopera.com
Thursday, September 5 to Friday, September 13
Hard Rock Cafe in Dubai’s Festival City is hosting a week-long tribute to Freddie Mercury-fronted rock group Queen. A bunch of events are happening at the venue to mark the occasion, including live music from resident bands, as well as an official tribute group Dio’s Innuendo on Saturday, September 7.
For more information, visit facebook.com/hardrockcafedxb
Wednesday, September 11 and Thursday, September 12
Board the legendary QE2 to watch a legendary band: The Supremes, who will be performing for two nights this month. Current members Scherrie Payne and Susaye Greene, who were part of the original trio, will join Joyce Vincent in belting out some of the band’s biggest soul and funk hits that dominated charts back in the 1960s and 1970s. Tickets start from Dh180.
For more information, visit theatrebyqe2.com
Friday, September 13
"One of the most bankable talents in UK comedy" – that's how the Guardian has described British comedian Josh Widdicombe in the past. Now, a UAE audience will get to enjoy his brand of observational humour, as he comes to Dubai Opera for an evening of live stand-up comedy. He'll be joined on the bill by rising stars Lloyd Langford and Maisie Adam, as Ed Gamble hosts the night.
For more information, visit www.dubaiopera.com
The Cultural Foundation programme
From Wednesday, September 4
The Cultural Foundation of Abu Dhabi has announced a new programme of exhibitions, workshops and art events, which will take place at the capital's oldest historical site, the recently revamped Qasr Al Hosn. The programme, which will begin with an exhibition of works by Emirati artist Najat Makki, will also coincide with the opening of new spaces within the foundation's premises. This includes the launch of the Abu Dhabi Children's Library and a 900-seat theatre.
For more information, visit culturalfoundation.ae
Hotels and restaurants
Five Jumeirah Village Circle
Monday, September 2
A new Five property is opening this week, with a whopping 269 pools and Jacuzzis set across its green grounds. To celebrate the launch, the hotel is offering a staycation package that is valid until October 31, with a one-night stay priced at Dh650 per room (for two people, valid on a minimum two-night stay). That includes Dh200 credit to spend at the pool bar and on two facials at the spa.
For more information, visit fivehotelsandresorts.com
Tuesday, September 10
Chef Reif Othman, who is well known in Dubai, is opening his eponymous restaurant in Dar Wasl Mall this month. It brings "unconventional Japanese street food" to the table in this casual unlicensed restaurant, with reasonably priced kushiyaki dishes, which is a popular type of freshly grilled, skewered meat (also called yakitori). Othman will also bring back his famed chef's table menu called The Experience.
For more information, visit reifkushiyaki.com
Harry Potter themed events
Friday, September 20; Saturday, September 21; and Friday September 27
Muggles will welcome the appearance of not one but two Harry Potter-themed events on Dubai's September schedule. First, Dubai Opera is hosting a spellbinding screening of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert, where you'll watch the film on the big screen while the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra perform John William's iconic score. There will be both matinee and evening performances on the first day, with an early afternoon show on Saturday. Prices start from Dh175.
Then, the following week, Yalumba is hosting a magical brunch, which will see the Le Meridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre restaurant "come alive with the magic of Hogwarts". Prices start from Dh389.
Sustainable dining at Lowe
Tuesday, September 3
The relatively new restaurant, Lowe, which is based in Koa Canvas, is hosting the next of their Waste Not dining events this week, using leftover ingredients that were destined for the bin to concoct a fine-dining menu worthy of your wallet. Enjoy a three-course meal for Dh99. This includes dishes such as cauliflower stem soup with crispy potato skins.
For more information, call 04 320 1890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, September 11
This Beirut hotspot is opening its Dubai branch at the start of the month in DIFC's Al Fattan Currency House. It will serve decidedly contemporary fusion food, but it's entertainment that's the focus here, as live singers and belly dancers will also perform. The venue promises a "Levantine nostalgia" and is inspired by the "hidden theatres of 1950s Lebanon". It will boast an al fresco space, two weekly brunches and a ladies' night, too.
For more information, visit @antikanight on Instagram
Urban Outfitters opens
Thursday, September 5
It's been confirmed: the first branch of hipster brand Urban Outfitters to hit Dubai will open in The Dubai Mall this week. The 10,000-square-metre space will be based on the first floor, near Topshop and River Island. Urban Outfitters stocks a range of on-trend women's and men's clothing and accessories, as well as beauty products, lingerie and vintage items. It's well-loved among fashionable hipsters and A-listers – the brand's celebrity fans include the likes of Keira Knightley, Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez, to name just a few.
For more information, visit @uo_arabia on Instagram.