Things to do in the UAE this week, from Mariah Carey's concert to Veganuary

Special yoga and sound-healing events offer up options for starting the year on a mindful note

Mariah Carey is performing at Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Island on Saturday. Reuters
Powered by automated translation

The new year is ushering in plenty of new experiences across the UAE. But the first week of 2024, like every year, will be focused on wellness.

Whether you're starting a new diet, thinking about going vegan or wanting to take part in new physical activities, there are lots of options to help you kick off the year on a mindful note.

Here, The National rounds up seven things to do around the Emirates from Monday to Sunday.


Start the new year right with a morning of calmness and Zen at Zoga – part vegan cafe and part yoga studio in Dubai.

Both its venues, in Dubai Internet City and Downtown Dubai, are hosting a yoga and brunch package, inclusive of a one-hour wellness session and healthy bites courtesy of the in-house kitchen – nourishing both body and soul.

Monday, 10am-11.30am; Dh180 per person; Dubai Internet City and Downtown Dubai;


Continue the week with an immersive sound-healing session at Theatre of Digital Arts.

The meditation takes advantage of the venue's technology and uses tonal frequencies to restore vibrational balance. Ancient instruments such as gongs, singing bowls, mouth harps, didgeridoos and ocarinas will provide the sounds, as guests are taken into a 360-degree meditation.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own mat, plus hoodie and socks as body temperatures tend to drop during the session.

Tuesday, 8pm-9.20pm; Dh230 per person; Souk Madinat Jumeirah;


For those doing Veganuary, or trying out being vegan for January, grab a meal at Michelin-lauded Punjab Grill, which has branches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The Indian restaurant, helmed by executive chef Sandeep Ali, has launched a limited-edition vegan menu with dishes such as banana stem salad; tofu tikka masala; roasted beetroot baked in phyllo parcels served with peanut chutney; sweet and sour pumpkin on fried rice bruschetta served with lentil soup; and Punjabi carrot halwa cake crumble with house special ice cream and orange butterscotch sauce.

Guests can opt for a tasting menu or order dishes a la carte.

Until January 31; daily, 11.30am-11.30pm at Anantara Downtown Dubai; noon-midnight at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal;


Go on a midweek cheat day and order Couqley's limited-edition King's Pie on Thursday.

Also known as galette des rois, the dish is associated in many countries with Epiphany, a Christian holiday celebrating the visit of the three wise men, or kings, to the baby Jesus.

Its ingredients vary, and the Jumeirah Lakes Towers restaurant's version is made of crispy golden puff pastry with frangipane filling. Also inside the pie is a petite bean or a feve, as tradition goes, and whoever gets it is figuratively crowned as the queen or king of the feast.

The pie will be available for dine-in, takeaway and delivery given a 48-hour notice. The whole portion serves eight to 10 people, while a single serving is also available for dine-in guests.

Until January 31; Dh249 for the whole pie, Dh49 for single portion; Cluster A, JLT; 04 514 9339


Animal lovers can head to Umm Al Emarat Park on Friday for an animal barn pop-up, in collaboration with Al Ain Zoo.

Visitors can interact with several birds of prey, parrots, snakes and other reptiles, and take photos with the animals at the pop-up, while also engaging in educational conversations with skilled keepers and handlers.

In addition to the animal visitors, the park already takes care of other creatures, from ponies and camels to rabbits and pygmy goats.

Friday and Saturday, 4.30pm-6.30pm; from Dh10; Umm Al Emarat Park, Mushrif;


Saadiyat Nights, an open-air music series on Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Island, is kicking off on Saturday with a performance by American singer Mariah Carey.

She is no stranger to the region, having performed in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, in October last year, and doing one of the teaser concerts for Expo 2020 Dubai.

Carey is one of the world's bestselling female artists, with a career spanning more than three decades and hits such as Always Be My Baby, My All and We Belong Together.

Her show will be followed by Iranian singer Googoosh on January 20 and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli on January 27.

Saturday, 6pm; from Dh250; Saadiyat Island;


Those celebrating Orthodox Christmas on Sunday can head to Catch at St Regis Abu Dhabi.

The restaurant is serving a four-course sharing menu on the day, with dishes such as Nordic crab salad and fried beef dumplings for starters. Diners can choose between slow-cooked duck breast and Patagonian toothfish for the main course. End the meal with honey cake and mochi.

A saxophonist and vocalist duo are on site to serenade the guests.

Sunday, noon-4pm; from Dh400 per person; St Regis Abu Dhabi; 02 694 4553

Updated: January 01, 2024, 7:05 AM