A zombie parade, treasure hunting in the desert at night and several themed brunches are just some of the ways Halloween is being widely celebrated in Dubai and Abu Dhabi this year.
From late-night soirees to child-friendly events, there is something for everyone – groups of friends who want to party, families looking to dine out or those who fancy a staycation over the Halloween weekend. Here are our top picks.
Coya Dubai and Abu Dhabi
The Peruvian restaurant is transforming into a wicked wonderland with an enchanted-themed brunch inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Guests can expect otherworldly creatures roaming about, while resident DJs play foot-tapping tunes.
On the menu are limited-edition dishes such as tartare de langoustine, Peruvian seafood soup and a skull-shaped chocolate for dessert. The brunch is followed by an after-party.
October 28; brunch from 12.30pm-3.30pm, after-party from 9pm onwards; from Dh409 for brunch, minimum spend of Dh700 for after-party; Restaurant Village Four Seasons Resort, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai; 04 316 9600; The Galleria, Four Seasons Hotel, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi; 02 306 7000
Angels and demons are coming alive at SushiSamba for the Dubai restaurant's inferno-themed brunch.
The Peruvian-Japanese venue will be decorated for a spooky celebration and guests are encouraged to arrive as angels or demons.
There is a wide selection of sashimi, sushi and anticucho on the menu, followed by a mix of main courses, from Australia Angus tenderloin and black cod with white miso to arroz chaufa for vegetarians.
October 28; 12.30pm-4pm; from Dh649; St Regis The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai; 04 278 4888
A sinister circus is how this Parisian venue is interpreting Halloween this year. The dress code? Come in your most playful ringmaster or circus performer attire.
The tasting menu starts with a themed cocktail, followed by starters such as devilled eggs, king crab and sea bream tartare and foie gras with fig jam and sourdough toast. For mains, there are clams and linguine vongole topped with dry caviar, grilled lamb chops and grilled sea bass. Rounding off the meal are chocolate mousse and a fruit platter.
Resident DJ Paul Blondet will take over the booth at midnight.
October 31, from 9.30pm; Dh650; Dubai International Financial Centre; 04 272 5373
If you haven't already been into one, the venue's theatrical brunch experience is on for the last time on October 26.
The venue offers a dining experience with a side of murder mystery. The story, called A Creepy Kooky Murder: Curse of Cleopatra's Amulet, follows the Addams Family as they navigate a melodramatic whodunnit. While indulging in the tasting menu, guests can also interact with the performers and solve riddles with clues hidden around the venue. Mystery aside, there's also live singing by Jay Abou.
Every Thursday until October 26; 8pm-11pm; from Dh299; Paramount Hotel Dubai, Business Bay; 055 180 7559
The newly opened South American restaurant at Atlantis, The Palm is getting a Halloween makeover to celebrate the Day of the Dead. The brunch will feature classic Hispanic dishes, while the guest with the best costume stands a chance to win a one-night stay for four people at the luxurious hotel.
October 27; 9pm onwards; from Dh350; Palm Jumeirah, Dubai; 04 426 2626
A week of eerie delights awaits guests at the British pub located along Sheikh Zayed Road.
Adults can join the Halloween brunch, with games, live music and a thematic menu on October 28. The next day is for little ones, with a magic show and a face-painting session, plus prizes for the best-dressed. Celebrations continue on October 30 with a spooky ladies' night.
October 28 to 30; brunch from 3pm-6pm, children's Halloween party from 2pm-5pm, ladies night from 7pm-midnight; White Crown Building, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai; 054 417 7028
The Gate Village restaurant's Saturday brunch is taking a spooky turn on October 28. It promises to transport guests into the cursed gardens of Babylon by way of performances by singers, acrobats and dancers dressed in otherworldly costumes.
On the menu are an array of raw, hot and cold starters such as Wagyu beef tataki, crispy octopus and warm prawns. Main courses include Chilean sea bass with spicy rice and tiger prawn with chilli chimichurri.
On October 31, the venue gets ever darker with a Halloween-themed show featuring high-energy performances. There is a five-course tasting menu, with dishes such as miso butter Wagyu strip loin and morel gnocchi.
Saturday and Tuesday, October 28 and 31; brunch at 1pm-4pm, five-course dinner 8.30pm onwards; from Dh395 for brunch, minimum spend of Dh1,000 for dinner; Dubai International Financial Centre; 04 352 7750
If you're looking for a child-friendly Friday evening brunch, Lo+Cale at Crowne Plaza Dubai Marina has you covered, with spooky decor, live performers and Halloween-themed food and beverages, plus a DJ.
Guests are encouraged to wear their scariest costumes and take part in a best-dressed competition.
Children below six go free.
October 27, 7pm-11pm; Dh40 for children aged 6-12, from Dh149 for adults; Dubai Marina; 054 997 8599
Atlantis, The Palm's entertainment hub is celebrating Halloween for eight days, serving a limited-time a la carte food menu with special drinks. Dishes include phoenix flame chicken wings and firecracker prawn tacos.
Guests wearing the most creative costumes will have the chance to win a Dh1,000 voucher that can be used at the restaurant, while the runner-up will take home a Dh500 voucher for En Fuego. Other prizes include credit for bowling and arcades.
On October 28 and 29, there will be free Halloween face painting and live performances.
October 26 to November 2; noon-1am; Palm Jumeirah, Dubai; 04 426 2626
Dubai Parks and Resorts
Halloween festivities have started at Dubai's theme park complex and will be on until October 31.
As part of the returning Fright Nights at Motiongate, catch The Taleweaver’s Nightmare Emporium, a show that stars a storyteller who brings childhood nightmares to life. The Hollywood-inspired park also has various scare zones, interactive street performances, a Halloween parade at Studio Central and trick-or-treat activities at Smurfs Village.
March with zombies at Riverland, where there are also scare zones set up, as well as a meet-and-greet with pirate zombies. Restaurants Chickadees and The Keg will offer Halloween-themed treats.
Over at Legoland, visitors can embark on a monster party until October 31. Lego monsters will take over the park, and there is a line-up of activities that includes a dance party, the park's annual Brick or Treat and a screening of the 4D movie The Great Monster Chase.
Guests can also check-in to the hotel's monster-themed rooms with limited-edition gifts. From October 23 to 31, Lapita will be transformed into a replica of Hotel Transylvania, while its all-day dining restaurant, Kalea, is hosting a Halloween brunch on October 29 from 1pm to 4pm.
More information is available at dubaiparksandresorts.com
WB Abu Dhabi, Curio Collection by Hilton
Screenings will take place amid hair-raising decor on the rooftop lounge, The Overlook, with classics such as The Exorcist and A Nightmare on Elm Street on the cards.
Franken hamachi sushi, Eyeball tacos and Graveyard tacos will be served alongside drinks with names such as Zombie Blood Shot and Alien Brain Hemorrhage.
October 31; 10pm-midnight; a la carte menu; Yas Island, Abu Dhabi; 02 815 0000
Yas Acres Golf & Country Club
Creepy-Crawly prawn salad, Zombie Brain sliders and Monster fajita rolls await at the Halloween-themed family fair.
Winners of the three best Halloween costumes will win month-long pool access plus padel coaching for a family of four. Live music and various children's activities are also on the agenda.
Children under 12 enter free, but reservations are recommended.
October 28, 4pm-9pm; Dh100 for those aged 13 and above (redeemable on food and drinks); Yas Island, Abu Dhabi; 02 208 7222
The party service provider is hosting a pumpkin patch pop-up at Dubai Investment Park from Monday to Thursday.
Guests will be welcomed with a pumpkin spice latte. Festivities continue with a paint-your-pumpkin station where children have one complimentary pumpkin (extra pumpkins available for additional charges) to decorate. There is a photo booth adorned with Halloween decor, an interactive colouring wall and a fancy dress competition. Another party service shop, Boxfetti, also has a pop-up store on site selling spooky essentials.
Until October 19; noon-5pm; Dh130 per child, adults enter for free; Dubai Investment Park 2; 058 550 9294
Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental
Take the little ones to The Hub at the luxurious hotel in Abu Dhabi on October 31 for a Halloween party.
On the agenda are various art stations to make monster pumpkins and slime-themed decorations; a face painting area; a glitter bar, and dedicated trick-or-treat stations across the hotel.
A Halloween catwalk competition is also taking place, as well as a themed buffet to conclude the party.
October 31; 3pm-7pm; Dh290; West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi; 02 690 9000
Meet the Creatures of the Night at the indoor rainforest in Dubai, which is joining in the spooky fun this year. Some of its animal residents include the slow loris, yellow anaconda, Burmese python, Tokay gecko, marine toads and Brazilian porcupine.
A themed outdoor section will be adorned with eerie spider webs, animal tombstones and whimsical pumpkins. For an additional fee, visitors can take part in face painting, pumpkin carving and mask making. There is also a maze.
Until October 31; Halloween maze included in general admission pass that starts at Dh155, plus Dh65 for other activities; CityWalk, Dubai; thegreenplanetdubai.com
Osteria Mario and Shvili
The twin restaurants at Dubai Hills Mall are organising a Halloween bash on October 31, promising an afternoon of family-friendly ghouls.
Children are encouraged to dress up to win prizes and sweet treats. There's a spooky cookie decorating class, as well as arts and crafts to keep little ones busy. There will also be face painting and the restaurants are giving away free desserts.
October 31; 4pm-8pm; free to enter; Dubai Hills Mall; 052 929 2088
Tilal Liwa Hotel
For a unique Halloween experience, book an all-inclusive staycation package at the Abu Dhabi resort, perched on the edge of the Rub Al Khali desert.
The common areas of the hotel will be adorned with spooky decor. Those staying on the night of October 28 gets a complimentary pass to the hotel's Halloween party, which features an outdoor buffet and bar with dishes such as vampire soup, dead fly worm rice and zombie eye meatballs.
The party also includes screening of classic Halloween movies under the stars, plus a treasure hunt in the desert. There is a prize up for grabs for the best-dressed guest.
Offer valid on stays from October 27 to 29; Dh899 per night, from Dh149 for the Halloween party on October 28; Madinat Zayed, Zayed City, Abu Dhabi; 02 894 6111
Warner Bros World
The theme park in Abu Dhabi has been transformed into a spooky wonderland, highlighting characters such as Scooby Doo and his crew, as well as DC supervillains including Joker and Poison Ivy.
Other cartoon characters, including Tom and Jerry, will also be dressed for the occasion. Visitors can set out on a mission collecting treats around the venue or a join a Halloween-themed dance party hosted by Daffy. On the main plaza stage, Scooby Doo and the Mystery Inc gang will put on daily shows to entertain parkgoers.
Spot the The Flinstones in quirky costumes for some great pictures.
Until October 31; 11am-8pm; from Dh345 for a single day pass; Yas Island, Abu Dhabi; wbworldabudhabi.com