Discover this month’s best happenings around Dubai, from chocolate-tasting workshops and fashion pop-ups to a Shakespeare play, a shopping festival, and more.
January 1 to February 2: Treat Yourself
Over one whole month of sales – need we say more? The annual Dubai Shopping Festival has returned to the city, featuring discounts and promotions by malls, entertainment venues, theme parks, and even hotels across town. Expect its 24th edition to be accompanied by stage shows, interactive workshops, firework displays, and giveaways, keeping the festive cheer going well into 2019. Bonus? Market Outside The Box returns to Burj Park this month as part of the festival. Learn more here.
January 1 to April 6: Think Global
Impulse purchases, cultural performances, street food, extreme rides, and family-friendly attractions – if you want to pair the return of cooler weather with a little old-fashioned fun, Global Village is where it’s at. New attractions here include a multi-cultural floating market serving Southeast Asian food, a circus featuring performers from across the globe, and more. Details on the ongoing 23rd edition can be found here.
January 2 to 30: Train Your Palate
A series of hour-long sessions entitled Chocolate Tasting Workshop will be hosted by artisanal chocolate factory Mirzam every Wednesday, providing participants with the opportunity to learn about the different flavor notes of single-origin chocolate and the production process from bean to bar. These one-of-a-kind experiences will take place in Warehouse 70 at Alserkal Avenue. Register here.
January 2 to 31: Watch This Space
Movie screenings continue (almost) every night at Cinema Akil in Alserkal Avenue during January, with the independent cinema platform hosting a flawlessly curated selection of documentaries, foreign flicks, animated films, and the return of the annual Reel Palestine film festival. On the roster this month? RBG, God Children, Screwdriver, Naila and the Uprising, and more. See the complete schedule here.
January 10 to 12: Journey to India
Extravagant sets, breathtaking choreography, melodious live music, and Mughal-era costumes by famed designer Manish Malhotra come together to create Mughal-e-Azam, the first Broadway-style musical from India. This stunning stage production follows the story of the Mughal Prince Salim who openly declares his love for a lowly court dancer named Anarkali and leads a rebellion against his mighty father, Emperor Akbar, who disapproves of their relationship. Buy your tickets here.
January 14: Set Your Intentions
New Year’s resolutions are practically made to be broken, so The Workshop is doing things a little differently this year. The Jumeirah-based café and concept store will host a guided journaling and reflections workshop entitled New Year’s Intention Setting at 6 p.m., encouraging participants to reconsider commonly held beliefs around resolutions and how we approach our lives. To RSVP, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 14 to February 4: Listen Up
Season 27 of Concert Series at The Fridge kicks off with We Left as Humans – supported by hard rock band SKEPTIC – taking the stage. The following sessions will feature Thanae Pachiyannaki on January 21st and John Yany on January 28th. The season will close with a performance by both Mozaik and Ziyad Sahab on February 4th. Find more details here.
January 17 to 18: Revisit Shakespeare
Culture junkies are in for a treat as William Shakespeare’s most famous fated couple comes alive in Antony & Cleopatra. It examines how obsession becomes a catalyst for war as Roman general Mark Antony and Egyptian queen Cleopatra fall fiercely in love at the fringes of a war-torn empire. To attend the screening, register for a membership to Courtyard Playhouse’s NT Live program here.
January 18 to 19: Dine at a Farm
Conceptual dining space INKED returns, this time inviting guests outdoors to spend a day at Al Ain-based Emirates Bio Farm for its Table to Farm pop-up. You’ll start with a walk through rows of fresh harvest and take an educational tractor tour of the grounds, then indulge in a multi-course meal designed to receive the truest form of a farm-to-table experience. For more details or to make a booking, click here.
January 21 : Bend, Stretch, Twist
Kicking off at 6 p.m. is the full-moon yoga session hosted by Lifestyle Yoga at Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai. Taught by founder and leading yogi Sumit Manav, it will entail two hours of yin yoga and chakra meditation as the full moon is the perfect time to release what no longer serves you, thus inviting an expansion of both your mind and body. Find more details and book here.
January 22: Sing Along
There’s a whole host of concerts and music festivals to look forward to in 2019, starting with this one: George Ezra’s debut in Dubai. Known for his catchy hits such as “Shotgun”, “Budapest”, and “Blame It on Me”, the young English musician will perform for one night only at Dubai World Trade Centre, singing plenty from his second album, Staying at Tamara. Tickets are selling fast – really fast – so get yours here.
January 24 to February 2: Support Local Talent
Head to the sixth edition of Market Outside The Box and discover gems by beloved local labels and global brands alongside yoga sessions, live music, wellness classes, food trucks, and film screenings – all spread across 11,300 square meters at Burj Park. The event will be open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays, and from 10 a.m. to midnight on weekends.
January 25: Test Your Limits
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to pound the pavement more often in 2019, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon should be your starting point. You can opt for the ‘10km Road Race’ if you’re in shape, or the ‘4km Fun Run’ if you’re looking to start slow. Feeling ambitious? Sign up for the marathon – all 42.195km – itself. For more details or to register, click here.
January 25: Snap Happy
You constantly take photos with your smartphone – now do it right by attending the Introduction to Mobile Photography workshop at Gulf Photo Plus. The three-hour session will delve into essential camera controls, focus, and exposure lock in addition to teaching you the fundamentals of using light and shadow. Also included? How to develop a personal style, apps to conduct in-camera editing, accessories to enhance your phone’s capabilities, and more. Register here.
January 25 to 26: Embrace Change
The popular Quoz Arts Fest returns to Alserkal Avenue for two days of performances, workshops, gallery tours, film screenings, food concepts, and live music. The 2019 edition is themed CTRL+ALT+ACTION, exploring the various facets of sustainability, how they affect our lives, and how we can take action to make a change. Find more details here.
January 31 to February 2: Catch a Debut
The first play at Dubai Opera is on the horizon as the English Touring Theatre brings its critically acclaimed production of Othello to the city for three days straight. This startlingly contemporary play by William Shakespeare follows a Muslim general living in Venice. It may have been written 400 years ago, but considering that it tackles topics like prejudice and privilege, it feels very relevant to this day and age. Book here.