Festival season is back, with cars, comics and wellness gurus on the UAE calendar

Travelling circus Fontana offers a family-friendly spectacle in Abu Dhabi this week

The water circus Fontana by Cirque Du Liban comes to the capital. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr celebrations have drawn to a close, but the UAE's calendar of events remains as robust as ever, punctuated by the return of popular festivals such as Daz in Al Ain and Dubai Comedy Festival.

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

Monday, April 15

Kick-start the week by catching a show at the Fontana Circus Tent on Yas Island.

Brought to the capital by Cirque Du Liban, the aquatic show features an array of jaw-dropping circus acts and optical illusions. It uses water, light and music to weave a story under the spotlight, told by aerialists and acrobats.

Until June 1; doors open at 4.30pm; from Dh100; Yas Island, Abu Dhabi; abu-dhabi.platinumlist.net

Tuesday, April 16

Thrill-seekers can head to Al Majaz Waterfront for a turn on Sharjah's Big Balloon Ride. The gigantic hot-air balloon ride, which lasts between six and seven minutes, takes visitors up 200 feet in the air atop a 360-degree floating platform.

The arena has other rides and activities, including virtual reality games, trampolines, a go-kart track, bumper cars, a soft-play area for toddlers and watersports.

Daily, 6pm-2am; from Dh10; Al Majaz Waterfront, Sharjah; bigballoon.ae

Thursday, April 18

Catch some midweek laughs as Indian-American comic Zarna Garg takes to the stage of Dubai Opera on Thursday, as part of the continuing Dubai Comedy Festival.

Garg's comedy career exploded on social media where she posts her witty routines, making fun of family life as well as of the realities of being an Indian immigrant in the US. She previously won Kevin Hart's comedy competition Lyft Comics, and has performed a set on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Garg also has a Prime Video special and her own podcast.

April 18; doors open at 6.30pm; from Dh225; Dubai Opera; dubaiopera.com

Friday, April 19

Take the little ones to the newly opened Sparky's at Galleria Mall to kick off the weekend early. The indoor entertainment venue features classic amusement park rides such as a merry-go-round, carousel and bumper cars. There's also an arcade as well as a handful of skill games and crane machines with prizes such as giant plush pandas. For children below 110cm in height, a soft-play zone awaits.

Open Sunday to Thursday, 10am-10pm; Friday to Saturday, 10am-midnight; from Dh240; Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi; uae.sparkysme.com

Saturday, April 20

Petrol heads in Dubai can visit Offset, one of the biggest car showcases in the Gulf. Taking place at the P7 Arena in Media One Hotel, the festival includes a parade of classic cars and modern models, all of which have undergone a rigorous selection process. Parameters include high visual appeal and one-off modifications.

Motoring display aside, the weekend includes graffiti painting and street dance competitions. Elsewhere, amateur and professional skaters and cyclists will show off their skills at dedicated skating and BMX areas.

Food and beverage kiosks are scattered across the venue, while live entertainment comes via back-to-back musicians and DJs livening up the car park venue throughout the day and at an after-party that will run until 3am.

April 20 and 21; noon onwards; from Dh65; Dubai Media City; dubai.platinumlist.net

Sunday, April 21

Catch the last day of the annual Daz Festival, which celebrates all things nature at Al Ain Zoo. The end game is to enable visitors to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the city and reconnect with nature and family. On site are carnival rides, a giant maze, petting zoo, obstacle courses and nature-focused workshops.

Live entertainment is on the cards, as well as several food and beverage stalls including British brands Black Bear Burger and Boolay Crepes that will make its debut soon in the UAE.

April 21, 2pm-10pm; from Dh35; Al Ain Zoo; dazfestival.ae

Updated: April 17, 2024, 8:48 AM