Dancing with sea sirens and raven geishas. Trick or treating on top of a camel. Scarecrow-decorating workshops. A roller disco with zombies and a fitness class with pumpkins.
There is little you won't find by way of entertainment in Dubai this Halloween. Here are our picks of the spookiest soirees you can sign up for.
Trick or treat at Al Seef
The team from the Museum of Illusions as well as the various F&B vendors at Al Seef promise children a Halloween to remember, with live entertainment, roaming performers, puppet shows, face painting and candy galore during trick-and-treat rounds. Those who dress up can participate in a costume show and competition.
October 29 and 30; 4pm-9pm; Dubai Creek
Scarecrows and more at Circle Mall
Hay bale slides. Pumpkin walls. Corn maze games. Circle Mall is going all out for — and well past — Halloween, with plenty of themed activities for children. Parents who want to shop or catch a bite can also sign up the kids for a scarecrow decorating workshop with trained staff on hand to oversee the little ones.
Until November 13; 10am-10pm; Jumeirah Village Circle; www.circlemall.ae
Kids eat free at Ella’s Eatery
The child-friendly restaurant will break out its best Halloween decor as well as offer little ones a free meal from the children's menu (think PB&J sandwiches and blueberry pancakes) for Halloween. Costumes — for parents and children — are encouraged, and pets are welcome, too.
October 30 and 31; 4pm-7pm; Palm Jumeirah; 04 557 9085
Spooky brunch at Farriers
If you’re looking for a child-friendly brunch, consider the one at The Meydan Hotel. Farriers restaurant comes with a Halloween-themed children’s play area offering games, face painting and balloon-bending. The little ones will enjoy dishes such as spider chocolate cakes, and pumpkin and “blood” mousse bowls, in addition to sushi stations, and teppanyaki and pasta counters. Gruesome gear recommended.
October 29, 1pm-4pm; from Dh249; Nad Al Sheba; 04 381 3111
Spooktober at IMG Worlds of Adventure
The indoor amusement park is celebrating Halloween all month with all manner of eerie activities and entertainment across its six zones. On the cards are: entertainers in costume, mini Halloween towns, Skeleton Air Dancers, a rocking skeleton crew, a dark maze with a torture chamber, scary souqs, face painting, wicked slime mash and treasure hunts. On October 29, IMG will host a Festival of Fright bash at 8pm, with DJs Badir and Bliss, and a costume contest.
Until October 31; noon-10pm (weekdays) and noon-11pm (weekends); tickets from Dh149; Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road; www.imgworlds.com
The Roast by Bubbalicious brunch at Mina’s Kitchen
Principal Lisa, a family expert from the UAE, will dress up as the witch from Julia Donaldson’s book Room on the Broom to meet, greet and read for children at this high-octane roast-style brunch at The Westin Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina. If that's not tempting enough to take the little ones to, the restaurant is also offering families sporting the spookiest costumes a chance to win a trip to Jungle Bay waterpark.
October 30, 1pm-4pm; from Dh200 (children under 6 eat free); Dubai Marina; 04 511 7373
Fright nights at Motiongate
The Hollywood-inspired theme park is celebrating Halloween all month as it transforms into spooky central. From horror mazes and scary street shows to monster parades, maniacal clowns and photo opportunities with The Boogeyman, there are plenty of thrills and chills around every corner — plus a not-so-scary zone for young children. Adults and brave youngsters can also explore the park’s various haunted houses — Lights Out takes visitors on a trip into the darkness as the electricity is rattled by evil spirits; in Slasher, a shadow haunts the halls and takes the shape of your greatest fears; and in Crypt of the Vampire, an ancient vampire’s coffin has gone missing, as have those who went looking for it.
Until October 31; 11am-9pm (Halloween activities start at 4pm from Wednesday to Sunday); from Dh295; Dubai Parks and Resorts; www.motiongate.com
Creepy camp at Sonara
Dress up the kids and head for the desert this Halloween, as Sonara Camp puts on a spooky celebration on-site. From a trick-or-treat trek on camel-back and a movie under the stars, to pumpkin cookie decorating, face painting, live shows and themed arts and crafts, there’s plenty of creepy fun to be had at this camping site set on a sand dune.
October 29; from 4pm; from Dh250 for children aged 6 and above and from Dh580 for adults (children under 5 go free); Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve; 04 223 8011
Pumpkin carving at Isola Ristorante Italiano
Get creative at the Italian restaurant located within Jumeirah Islands Clubhouse, which is inviting families to get their hands dirty and carve pumpkins into the spookiest scenes they can conjure. Think bared fangs, skull mugs and cannibalistic fruit.
October 30, 2pm-4pm; October 31, 4pm-6pm; Dh50 for a pumpkin and carving equipment; Jumeirah Islands; 04 583 3124
Head to the in-mall snow-covered slopes of Ski Dubai with the family for a fun day out. Some of the Halloween activations this year include: a trick-or-treat snow village; a treasure hunt of hidden cookies and lollipops; a face-painting corner; and a fortune teller and other spookily dressed staff. Further, the in-house Snow Cinema will play child-friendly, Halloween-themed movies from October 27 to 30, with screenings of Frankenweenie, Monsters University, Hotel Transylvania, The Addams Family and Goosebumps.
October 22 to 31; 4pm-9pm; Dh250 (with the Halloween upgrade); Mall of the Emirates; www.skidxb.com
Monster party at Legoland
The theme park is going all out this month with a range of spooky but child-friendly activities on the cards, plus themed decor and F&B. It will also screen The Great Monster Chase, a Legoland-exclusive 4D movie that features hilarious attempts by four tweens trying to join a party hosted by Lord Vampyre and Spider Lady, which only allows monsters in. The 15-minute screening will be followed by a meet-and-greet with Lord Vampyre, who will lead the kids to perform their best scary moves, with costumes provided in-house. Elsewhere, families can create their own Lego pumpkins; join a monster brick or treat to collect Haribo candies scattered across the park; or even book the overnight Monster Sleepover package at Legoland Hotel. All children will go home with a complimentary monster-themed brick set.
Until October 31; 10am-7pm; from Dh295; Parks and Resorts; legoland.ae
Pumpkin patch at Myrra
The Greek and Spanish restaurant at Club Vista Mare will transform its beachfront into a massive pumpkin patch in the week leading up to Halloween. Filled with orange-hued pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, the patch offers a fun photo opportunity for the family, plus a face-painting station for children, and Halloween-inspired beverages and candy with a Greek twist.
October 24 to 31; noon-2am; a la carte menu; Palm Jumeirah; 04 770 1433
Cooking class at Mamalu Kitchen
The cooking studio at Depachika Food Hall by Lebanese entrepreneur Lama Jammal is all about quality, freshness and innovation. For Halloween, the venue is running a cooking camp for young chefs, where they can make marble cookies, creepy-crawlies pizza and more.
October 20 and 21; 10am-12.30pm; from Dh200; Nakeel Mall, Palm Jumeirah; 052 747 9512
Haunted asylum at Barasti Beach Bar
The laid-back beachside venue will transform into a haunted asylum, complete with (faux) bloodbaths, zombies and coffins, as it prepares to launch a three-day “dark festival of delights” called Ritual Resurrection. Barasti has also roped in three international DJs for the weekend, with Drum Warrior kicking off the festival on October 28 with his percussion dance music tracks, followed by female electronic artist Mattn on October 29 and London trio Jaded on October 30.
October 28 to 30; 9pm onwards; free entry; Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Waterpark, Dubai Marina; 04 318 1313
Witchy workout at Bare
Swap dumbbells for pumpkins and kill some calories at fitness studio Bare fitness. Don your creepiest (workout-friendly) costume and mask, and sign up for a Halloween-themed class that entails spider squats, zombie runs and weightlifting with the aforementioned pumpkins.
October 28; 5.30pm-6.30pm; Dh120; Business Bay; www.bare.fitness
Dark fairytale at Billionaire
The dinner-and-show venue at Taj Dubai will transform into an enchanted but eerie fairy-land for four nights, with staff and entertainers decked up in costumes that bring to mind petrifying fables from over the centuries. On October 31, Halloween day, award-winning Italian DJ Joseph Capriati will helm a techno rave while chef Batuhan Piatti Zeynioglu serves signature dishes from the venue’s New-Asian menu.
October 28 to 31; 9pm-3am; from Dh1,000; Business Bay; 056 678 3357
House of Fear at Global Village
The beloved Dubai park reopens on October 25, with a creepy new attraction that coincides perfectly with Halloween. House of Fear is a haunted house built to international standards and fitted with the latest animatronic technology. On offer are nine experiences orchestrated by a team of actors. Try to keep your wits about you as you wander through a haunted cemetery, a hospital psych ward and even go past a screaming tree.
October 25 to April 29; 5pm-3am; from Dh18; Dubailand; globalvillage.ae
Sway with Samara at Ongaku
One of the scariest movies of all time, Ringu (The Ring) will come to life at Ongaku, the hidden club nestled within Clap Dubai. Think neon-lit interiors, themed F&B and TV screens playing the haunted videotape from the Japanese movie. A yet-to-be-revealed guest DJ will spin creepy tunes all night, so take your cues from child ghost Samara and let your hair down (literally) as you dance along in your spookiest best.
October 31; from 11pm; a la carte menu; DIFC; 04 569 3820
Purge at P7
An abandoned car park, kitted out with smoke machines and macabre decor, seems the ideal location for a Halloween celebration. Head to the car park on level 7 of Media One Hotel for Purge, a music festival put together by BeMoreThan Events, Diet Starts Tomorrow and Not Another Festival. The line-up of local and international DJs includes Crazy Cousinz, Gracious K (Live) Scottie B, Jevanni Letford, Adam Cotier, MC Charmer, Devarnio, Laflare, MC Tino and Rio Jay. There will be prizes for the best-dressed person, a make-up artist on-site, a dedicated “panic room” and VIP tables starting from Dh2,500.
October 28; 9pm-3am; from Dh100; Media City; 052 444 1743
Stylish as a vampire at Play
Nosferatu, Dracula, Lilith. No matter by what name you know the vampire, it’s undeniable that pop culture paints them as scary but sophisticated. This Halloween, dinner-and-show venue Play at The H Dubai will combine the two traits and transform into Nosferatu’s castle for three nights, complete with wildflowers, candle lighting and blood-red decor, plus hauntingly beautiful dance and acrobatic acts. The best costume will win a bottle of bubbly on each of the three nights.
October 29 to October 31; from 8pm; from Dh250; Sheikh Zayed Road; 04 336 4444
Toxic Zombie Wasteland at RollDXB
Grab a pair of wheels and skate alongside zombies and witches at the region’s first indoor-only roller-skating disco. Themed food, decor and props will add to the freaky fun, even as a DJ keeps the tempo up with upbeat tunes.
October 26 (for women only) and October 28-30; 6pm-11pm; Dh125 for 60 minutes, Dh188 for 120 minutes; www.rolldxb.com
Horror movies at Studio One Hotel
The Nun meets Umma meets The Orphan. Upgrade your Halloween experience from couch to cinema at Studio One Hotel, which will screen an array of horror movies in a private screening room every night for a week, complete with popcorn.
October 24 to 31; Dh69 (inclusive of popcorn and a soft drink); from 7.30pm; Dubai Studio City; 052 767 9300
Yokai at Tabu
Let your hair down with yokai, supernatural spirits from Japanese folklore, at this restaurant in The St Regis Downtown Dubai, which is breaking out the dark characters one might encounter on Tokyo's underground scene. Keep an eye out for robots, raven geishas, chilling acts and plenty of theatrics even as you enjoy an a la carte menu of Japanese dishes.
October 28 to 29; 6pm-2am; Business Bay; 04 456 9455
Costume party at The Arts Club Dubai
The UAE outpost of the historic London private club is throwing its inaugural Halloween bash this year at its Nikkei restaurant Rohen. The venue will be revamped based on the dark and twisted origins of fairy tales, with a soundtrack from five DJs throughout the night, plus cocktails and canapes. While the club is members-only, guests and friends are welcome for this masquerade.
October 27; from 9pm; complimentary for members, Dh750 for guests; ICD Brookfield Place, DIFC; www.theartsclub.ae
Toil & Trouble party at Privilege
The nightclub on the 75th floor of SLS Dubai promises a night of fun and frights at its Toil & Trouble bash. On the cards are spooky decor, themed cocktails, plus dancers, magicians and jugglers. The winner of the best costume will win a complimentary 30-minute massage at Ciel Spa, so sport your scariest get-up.
October 29; 10pm-3am; Business Bay; 04 607 0654
Meet the mythical sea sirens at Bar Du Port
Half-bird, half-women, sea sirens were known to lead sailors to their death with their alluring voice, so beware if you happen to chat to the ones floating about at brunch at this resto-lounge come Halloween. Or, feel free to dress up as one yourself.
October 31, 8pm-11pm; from Dh390; Dubai Harbour Pier Club, 050 969 9820
Dia de los Muertos brunch at Hotel Cartagena
The Latin American restaurant at JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai will host a Mexican Day of the Dead brunch, with themed decor, food and performances. One spookily dressed guest stands to win a voucher for a complimentary brunch for two.
October 29; 1pm-4pm; from Dh295; Business Bay; 04 350 9287
Tokyo brunch at Ikigai
The uber-cool Japanese street-food restaurant at Millennium Place Marina hotel is already replete with dim mood-lighting. To this, the team will add thrill-inducing decor, themed drinks and food (monster maki, anyone?), DJs, dancers and even a magician. Spooky maki aside, the sharing-style menu has platters of sushi, edamame, shrimp pops, miso-grilled chicken and Wagyu beef burgers, plus chocolate cookie sandos for dessert.
October 29; 1pm-4pm; from Dh199; Dubai Marina; 04 550 8114
Haunted tavern at Lola Taberna Espanola
The Spanish resto-pub at Tryp by Wyndham is hosting La Taberna Encantada over the Halloween weekend. Enter this haunted tavern in your spookiest outfit and enjoy a multi-course Saturday or Sunday brunch plus a high-octane flamenco show by resident artists Marga and Chicho. If you prefer the a la carte menu, the Halloween decor will still be up on the Friday.
October 29 and 30; 1pm-4pm; from Dh200; Barsha Heights; 04 247 6688
Skull Island Secret Jungle brunch at Mama Zonia
Word of warning: this jungle-themed restaurant at Pier 7 will break out a troop of “mischief monkeys”. And they will chase you. Elsewhere, roaming dancers will entreat you to join them for Thriller moves, and tribal drummers and Samba dancers will keep the tempo up, even as you enjoy Halloween-themed F&B.
October 29; 1pm-4.30pm; from Dh299; www.secret-parties.com
Superhero vs Villains brunch at McGettigan’s
Brunch at McGettigan’s is always a lively affair, and the team have taken things a notch for Halloween. Dress as your fave character in keeping with the themed Superheroes vs Villains Brunch for a chance to win prizes at all three of the Irish gastropub’s outposts on Friday or Saturday. On Sunday, head to Home by McGettigan’s for a Halloween Homework quiz brunch hosted by Catboy & Lorra, also with prizes for the best-dressed patrons.
October 28; 1pm-5pm; from Dh149; Souq Madinat brunch; October 29; noon-5pm; from Dh149; JLT brunch; and 7pm-10pm; from Dh199; DWTC brunch; October 30; noon-4pm; from Dh299; Home by Mcgettigan’s quiz brunch; www.mcgettigans.com
Trick or Treat brunch at Muchachas
The cantina at Holiday Inn Express will combine Halloween and the Mexican holiday Dia De Los Muertos (which falls on November 2) at its Saturday brunch. Guests who dress in their best Day of the Dead-inspired outfits (think holographic skeletons, eerie mariachi musicians and eye make-up galore) will be entitled to a free brunch for two in the weeks that follow. Latin music and themed competitions aside, the brunch will serve Mexican stew pozole, plus ceviche negra and delectable churros.
October 29, 1pm-4pm; from Dh169; Al Safa; 04 327 5878
Eerie brunch and quiz at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa
The newest Taj resort in Dubai will celebrate Halloween over two days. On October 29, head to a spooky Saturday brunch at Raia Rooftop Bar & Lounge. On October 30, visit the Roaring Rabbit gastropub for a Halloween-themed quiz. Eerie decor aside, both venues will reward guests who put on their scariest best. The best-dressed couple and child can enjoy brunch for free, while all those who dress up are entitled to a 20 per cent discount, at brunch on Saturday and on F&B options on Sunday.
October 29 and 30; from Dh300 for brunch (1pm-4pm); from Dh 199 for quiz night (8pm-10pm); Palm Jumeirah; 04 275 4444
Sinful brunch at The Blacksmith
Both branches of the smokehouse promise to put a “wickedly good brunch” on the Saturday night before Halloween? On the menu? Warm witch’s fingers, bloody garlic sauce, horror smoked meatballs and vampire roasted pumpkin, as well as sinful desserts called Death Wish (raspberry compote, white chocolate mousse and four-spice Speculaas) and RIP 2.0 (double chocolate brownie with passion fruit cremeux and caramel whipping ganache).
October 29, 8pm-11pm and from Dh199 at Wyndham Dubai Marina; 7pm-11pm and from Dh299 at The First Collection Business Bay; email@example.com
Vampire State of Brunch at Warehouse
The restaurant at Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre recently launched its NYC-themed Empire State of brunch, which it’s reworking for Halloween. The Dracula-themed Vampire State of Brunch will not only feature an all-American tableside buffet, but also offers themed decor, live entertainment and flash mobs with dancers in costumes. The best-dressed tables stand a chance to get 20 per cent off their next brunch, so come decked out in your scariest best.
October 29, 1pm-5pm; from Dh295; Airport Road, Garhoud; 04 702 2560
Scroll through the gallery below for Halloween costume inspiration