Things to do this week, from Taste of Abu Dhabi to Dubai Design Week

There are plenty of events on offer for foodies and art lovers this week

Taste of Abu Dhabi features restaurant pop-ups, workshops and live entertainment. Photo: Taste of Abu Dhabi
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The month of November continues with a varied list of things to do around the UAE, from returning festivals to one-off cultural events.

There are early celebrations of the Indian festival Diwali, while art and design enthusiasts can check out Dubai Design Week, which is returning for a sustainability-focused event this year.

The National rounds up seven things to do around the Emirates, from November 6 to 12.


Celebrate Diwali a little earlier at Aamara, an Indian restaurant under the Passion F&B group that is behind the Michelin-starred Tresind Studio and Avatara.

Starting Monday, the restaurant is celebrating the festival of lights with a 10-course tasting menu for a relative steal, at Dh185 per person. On offer is a gastronomic journey inspired by the Silk Route, with dishes such as rustic onion focaccia with zaatar pesto hummus, butterfly prawns with mohmara chutney and candied walnuts, and lamb seekh with steamed bao and coleslaw. Desserts include cream-cheese ice cream and roasted kataifi.

Until November 16; noon-11.30pm; Dh185; Voco Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai; 052 573 5723


Dubai Design Week returns this year with the noble cause of shedding light on the topics of climate change and sustainability, in line with the coming Cop28 in Dubai.

There are workshops, exhibitions and quirky art installations spread across Dubai Design District until Sunday. For example, on Thursday there is a tufting workshop (Dh145 per person) for those who want to learn more about the textile craft.

Meanwhile, an art installation called Blessings of Iridescence features discarded mother-of-pearl oysters repurposed into architectural pieces, as an ode to Bahrain's pearl industry. Other workshops involve the use of natural dye, stone carving and dried-flower pairing.

While many of the activations are free, some workshops have participation fees.

Until Sunday; Dubai Design District;


In the capital, Wagamama outlets in Khalifa City, Reem Mall and Abu Dhabi Mall are hosting cooking classes every Wednesday.

Participants will be able to learn how the restaurant prepares its signature firecracker chicken and receive insights into the original recipe that, according to Wagamama, is a staple favourite across its branches globally. Three different types of chilli are used in the dish, in addition to onions, peppers and ginger, to complete the explosive flavour.

The cooking class fee is inclusive of a main course and mocktail.

Every Wednesday throughout November; 7pm-8pm; Dh99 per person; various locations across Abu Dhabi; 02 557 2647


Palazzo Versace Dubai is celebrating the 14th annual Italian Cuisine World Summit with three nights of kitchen takeovers at its flagship restaurant Vanitas, by Michelin-lauded chefs Fumiko Sakai, Marco Bottega and Francesco Stara.

On Thursday, chef Sakai of Italy's Vespasia restaurant is preparing a four-course set menu. Dishes include wild salmon tartar, marinated bluefin tuna and Roman-style braised veal tail ragu risotto. A Cantuccini parfait with milk foam and mandarin sauce rounds off the meal.

Wednesday to Friday; 6pm-11pm; Palazzo Versace, Jaddaf Waterfront, Dubai;


The Royal Opera of Madrid is bringing its Authentic Flamenco tour to Zabeel Theatre in Dubai on Friday and Saturday.

Flamenco is a popular Spanish art form, often described as passionate and deeply expressionist. Guests can expect live singers, instrumentalists and dancers in colourful costume performing to Spanish folk tunes. The Dubai show features Paula Rodriguez, who runs her own dance company in Spain.

Friday and Saturday; 6.30pm and 9pm on Friday, 6pm and 8.30pm on Saturday; from Dh225; Zabeel Theatre, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Dubai;


Irish singer and former lead singer of Boyzone, Ronan Keating is belting out his biggest hits at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on Saturday.

The pop star has sold more than 25 million records and is known for his charismatic stage presence. Fans can expect to sing along to nostalgic tracks such as When You Say Nothing At All, Life Is A Rollercoaster and If Tomorrow Never Comes.

Saturday; doors open 7pm; from Dh198; Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Al Garhoud;


Head to Gateway Park South in Abu Dhabi to attend the last day of Taste of Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

The food festival is convening 15 of the capital's top restaurants, including La Carnita, Dai Pai Dong, Otoro BB Social Dining and Namak, in one place. Each will serve a curated menu of three to five dishes, including one that is exclusive to the festival. For instance, Japanese restaurant Otoro is serving a Wagyu shabu slider for Dh42.

Restaurant pop-ups aside, the festival has offers food-related activities such as the Kibsons cooking challenge, plus live entertainment via DJs and bands including modern rock band The International Playboys.

Friday to Sunday; 3pm-midnight on Friday, 1pm-midnight on Saturday and 1pm-10pm on Sunday; from Dh75; Gateway Park South, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi;

Updated: November 06, 2023, 3:58 AM