Things to do in the UAE this week, from Cop28 to winter festivals

Foodies in the capital can enjoy Michelin-lauded dishes at the weekend

Liwa Village will host a 24-day festival in the desert this month, with food, music and family-friendly fun. Photo: Liwa Village
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This week is full of events, with Cop28 kicking off in Dubai and outdoor festivals taking place in Abu Dhabi as the weather cools down.

Food fans can head to the Michelin Food Festival at Louvre Abu Dhabi while those looking for a unique way to spend the weekend can register for the Festive Fun Run at Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates.

Here, The National rounds up seven things to do around the Emirates, from December 4 to 10.


Start the week by visiting a climate change-themed exhibition at Ikea in Festival Plaza at Jebel Ali Village.

The interactive A Day in the Life of Climate Change, hosted in co-ordination with Emirate Nature-WWF, highlights how people's daily living choices impact the environment, particularly when it comes to water security.

Visitors of all ages can interact with household items to find out how much water they consume, and learn how to make more eco-friendly decisions at home.

Until December 30; 10am-11pm on weekdays, 10am-midnight on weekends; free; Jebel Ali Village; 800 4532


Continue learning about climate change and the environment at Cop28 at Expo City Dubai.

A portion of the high-level climate conference, attended by world leaders and other dignitaries, is also open to the public. The green zone has several workshops and talks until December 12.

On Tuesday, there is as an interactive workshop, open to all ages, about soil and its crucial role on Earth. There are also discussions about empowering youth in the fight for sustainability, as well as the challenges of the energy transition.

Workshops and talks aside, the green zone also features dozens of food and drink pop-ups with unique menus and experiences centred around a pro-environment theme.

Until December 12; 10am-10pm; free registration; Expo City Dubai;


Summersalt Beach Club in Jumeirah is hosting a morning session of yoga followed by healthy breakfast.

The yoga session takes place at Jumeirah Al Naseem beachfront with Burj Al Arab as the picturesque background. Afterwards, participants will be treated to dishes such as avocado toast, poached eggs, smoked salmon and an acai bowl.

The package comes with a day pass to the beach club, meaning guests can stay by the pool or the beach post-yoga and breakfast.

Every Wednesday; 9.30am onwards; Dh500 per person; Jumeirah Al Naseem; 04 366 7680


Gateway Park South on Yas Island will host a family-friendly winter festival with games, entertainment and other Christmas-themed fun.

The five-day Yas Winter Fest will feature a daily tree lighting ceremony, plus mini musicals that feature songs from Disney film Frozen such as Do You Want to Build a Snowman? and Let It Go. There will also be appearances by a magician, a juggler and a visit from Santa. Visitors can enjoy the carnival with rides, or an artificial snow park with a maze and a slide.

Entertainment aside, the festival will have a handful of artisanal vendors, such as Queen Bee Honey and Merika Cafe.

Until Sunday; 2pm-11pm; from Dh15 per child, from Dh25 per adult; Gateway Park South, Yas Island;


The first Michelin Food Festival opens on Friday and will run through the weekend.

Taking place on the grounds of Louvre Abu Dhabi, the event has chefs from 16 restaurants around the world that have been recognised by the Michelin Guide. They will offer curated menus, exclusive dishes and culinary masterclasses.

The participating chefs include Lee Kok Hua of Hakkasan Abu Dhabi, celebrity chef Alvin Leung from Bo Innovation in Hong Kong and Heidi Bjerkan from Credo in Norway.

The festival will also host six masterclasses, each focused on a flavour, from sweet and savoury to bitter, sour, umami and spicy. There will also be a bar and a pastry area, as well as a marketplace with Michelin products and local farm produce.

Until Sunday; noon-midnight; from Dh100 per person; Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island;


The second Festive Fun Run at Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates returns on Saturday.

The unique race takes place in the venue with temperatures at -4ºC and comes with a visit from Santa Claus. People of all ages and fitness levels are encouraged to participate, with three categories available. Participants with the best festive costumes will win prizes.

Registration for the fun run closes on Wednesday.

Saturday; 8am onwards; from Dh31.50 per person; Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha 1;


Head to Liwa Village, which has been transformed into winter festival grounds with retail and food offerings, cultural activities as well as performances from local and regional artists.

The desert festival spans seven zones, each offering a family-friendly experience. The Oasis, for example, will host dining and retail concepts such as pop-ups of BB Social Dining, Slaw and The Uncommon. For shopping, visitors can check out Emirati brands such as Odela & Co for skincare and Feathers for luxury goods.

The Carnival area features an array of games as well as activations, such as a 5D cinema and racing simulators. The main stage is set to host Arabic artists such as Bandar Bin Oweer and Ali Bin Mohammed.

Until December 31; 4pm-midnight on weekdays, 2pm-2am on weekends; from Dh15; Liwa Village, Abu Dhabi;

Updated: December 04, 2023, 3:50 AM