Discover this month’s best happenings around Dubai, from unique dining experiences and al fresco markets to Halloween festivities, a fitness challenge, and more.
October 1: Celebrate Coffee
Coffee addicts everywhere are celebrating their favorite beverage on International Coffee Day, with the likes of Marks & Spencer, Park House, Flow, Link Cafe, and Grounded at Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai giving away free coffee. But why should the festivities be restricted to today? Savoir Flair scoured the city to curate a list of the most legitimate java joints in Dubai. Find it here.
October 1 to 4: Channel a Champion
Simon Wood, winner of MasterChef UK Season 11, is the latest international champion to take up residency at MasterChef, the TV Experience in Millennium Place Marina, taking over the kitchen for four whole days. On the menu? Wood’s ‘Wagyu Tartare’, ‘Roasted Monkfish with Oxtail Ragu’, and the dessert that saw him crowned champion: ‘Citrus Tutti Frutti’. Find more details and book your spot here.
October 1 to 17: Shop for a Cause
You buy shoes all year round – now buy a pair for a (very) worthy cause. Nine West has partnered up with non-profit organization Pink Caravan for a three-week-long initiative to raise awareness on breast cancer, with the footwear and accessories label donating one pair of shoes to breast cancer survivors for every pair sold at all its stores across the UAE. Win-win.
October 1 to 31: Dine in the Dark
Award-winning dining concept Noire at Fairmont Dubai is celebrating Halloween by inviting guests on a blood-curdling culinary adventure set in the canteen of a haunted hospital. Legend has it that patients started disappearing mysteriously from the hospital some 55 years ago, eventually forcing its closure. To book the spookiest three courses of your life, call (+971) 4 311 8316 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 1 to 31: Catch a Flick
Movie screenings continue daily at Cinema Akil throughout the month of October, with a flawlessly curated selection of documentaries, foreign flicks, and feature films to look forward to. On the roster? Alternativo Latino, a week-long celebration of Latin American cinema alongside Untouchable (a must-see documentary about the rise and fall of disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein), comedy-drama The Farewell, Halloween special The Addams Family, and more. See the complete schedule here.
October 1 to November 23: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle
Second Hand, the first group exhibition drawn from the Art Jameel Collection, continues into the month of August at Jameel Arts Centre. Exploring materiality in contemporary art practice through sculpture, installation, assemblage, drawing, photography, painting, and performance, it showcases works by 18 local, regional, and international artists who have incorporated banal, everyday objects into their work to construct new forms and ideas. Find more details here.
October 1 to November 23: Break a Record
Guinness World Records is known for celebrating record-breaking feats that are remarkable, shocking, or downright disturbing. Now, you can join the ‘club’ as the global authority on all things records arrives at Wafi Mall, showcasing awe-inspiring record-holders through mesmerizing photos and interactive activities. Also on the roster? A chance to break a record yourself! Learn more here.
October 2: Listen In
Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes at a podcast? Then this one’s for you. Podcast company Kerning Cultures – arguably the best in the region – is hosting its very first live-podcast recording at One Life Cafe. Be the first to experience this Kerning Cultures episode that will explore the contested history of the inventor of the first Arabic typewriter before it’s released publicly. Buy your ticket here.
October 2: Waste Not
Living a zero-waste life is challenging, but far from impossible, which is why the Zero Waste Talk at Kave comes highly recommended. This free session will educate participants on the movement – with tips and tricks catered to living in the UAE – and introduce start-ups that are part of the Zero Waste Collective. Register here.
October 3: Let Go
Reconnect with yourself at the Intuitive Creativity workshop led by artist and certified ThetaHealing practitioner Victoria Parrucci at the jamjar. It will guide you through a profound meditation, allowing you to search within and learn how to let go of past situations that no longer serve you. You’ll then be free to paint an abstract representation of your feelings in an uninhibited state, allowing the colors, shapes, and textures to take over. Book here.
October 3 to 4: Please Your Palate
Four hands, two chefs, one must-book dining experience at Trèsind Studio in voco Dubai – chef Deepankar Khosla of Haoma (Bangkok’s first zero-waste restaurant) will team up with Chef Himanshu Saini of Trèsind for the truly unique Four Hands dinner series. Expect to dine on a delectable 10-course menu, but even more importantly, prepare to have your perceptions of Indian cuisine challenged. To book, call (+971) 58 895 1272.
October 3 to 22: Ditch, Don’t Drag
Ready to quit smoking but failing miserably? We’ve found an option you may not have considered yet: the Quitting Smoking by Clinical Hypnotherapy program at wellness center Life’n One. Clinical hypnotherapist Susanne Schutz will help by making the process of change faster and easier through five or six sessions, with each session taking roughly two hours and starting with a deeply relaxed state. She will then devote attention to the decision to break the habit and enhance the desire to become a non-smoker. Book here.
October 5: Cool Off
Soothe your taste buds with some of the best ice cream that Dubai has to offer on the Beyond Vanilla Ice Cream-athon hosted by Frying Pan Adventures. Not only will you get the scoop on six frozen treats from Palestine, Japan, India, Thailand, and Indonesia that are way cooler than plain Jane vanilla – chili-spiked ice cream included – but you’ll also get access to an insider guidebook with recommendations by the experts on spots to try later. Book here.
October 5: Capture It Creatively
Ready for sleeker content on Instagram or your personal vlog? Looking to produce a short film without having to invest in a camera? Enter: the Smartphone Video & Editing workshop at Gulf Photo Plus. This one-day session will delve into camera controls, cinematography basics, and using microphones in addition to the fundamentals of post-production of video and sound. Register here.
October 7: Eat Your Greens
World Vegetarian Day is marked globally on October 1 and, in celebration, legendary all-you-can-eat eatery Spice Island in Crowne Plaza Dubai – Deira is hosting a special meat-free feast. Even better? It’s priced at a bargain AED 139 – house beverages included. Not only will the spread feature more than 50 vegetarian dishes, but there will also be crowd-pleasers from Italy, India, Asia, and the Middle East. And, true to Spice Island, there will also be three live cooking stations serving up the likes of pasta and wraps. Vegans, you’ll have plenty to choose from, too.
October 7 to 21: Listen Up
Season 30 of Concert Series at The Fridge continues into the month of October. The upcoming sessions will see Cuban pianist Yasiel Diaz and his friends join forces for a night of Cuban music on October 7, and Sundanese singer/songwriter Jindi perform on October 14. The season will close with the dreamy, whimsical sounds of Kolkata-based indie/pop duo Parekh & Singh on October 21. Buy your tickets here.
October 8 to May 31: Discover Nikkei
Bringing a unique and insanely delicious fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine – a.k.a. Nikkei – to diners is the Kayto pop-up at Jumeirah Al Naseem. Here, Japanese-Argentinian chef Cristian Goya will use Peruvian ingredients to bring out the best in delicate Japanese-style fare, ranging from delicious appetizers like roasted langoustines in a sweet and sour sauce and miso-caramelized eggplant to signature dishes such as ‘Saikyo Miso Black Cod’ and exotic desserts like ‘Cheesecake Brûlée with Mandarin Sorbet’. Book here.
October 10 to 12: Party Hard
A “festival done differently” comes to W Dubai – The Palm, with performances taking place throughout the hotel, from Wet Deck DJ parties to some of the hottest acts in music today, including a DJ set by Disclosure and live performances by alternative dance group Rüfüs Du Sol and singer-songwriter Rita Ora. Also on the roster? A discount at Away Spa, swag to take home, and plenty more. Find more details and buy your tickets here.
October 10 to 12: Journey Back
A little time travel is in order as the roaring 20s are headed to Dubai, courtesy of the QE2. Entitled Gatsby: The Dinner Experience, it will bring F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic novel to life at the cabaret-style venue The Grand Lounge, with “more party, more mayhem, more fun” – after all, this isn’t just any party. It’s Jay Gatsby’s party, complete with live music and dancing. Book here.
October 10 to 20: Buy the Book
There’s nothing but good news for bibliophiles here as the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale, the biggest book sale in the world, returns to sound stages 2 and 3 in Dubai Studio City. Even better? The event will be open for 24 hours across all 11 days. Expect to browse half a million heavily discounted books that will include everything from bestselling novels and business books to design titles and even cookbooks.
October 11: Adopt, Don’t Shop
The Red Paw Foundation and thejamjar have joined forces so that you can come and meet some adorable rescues – and see if you find your pet mate this month! And should inspiration strike, participants are also welcome to bring their drawing equipment and sketch the adorable fur babies. Book your spot here.
October 12: Know the Essentials
For an alternative outing, head to Introduction to Aromatherapy workshop at Âme Artistic Studio in Alserkal Avenue. Here, you can learn about the incredible benefits of essential oils, how to choose them wisely and how to safely blend them effectively. Led by fragrance expert Melanie Jane, the four-hour interactive class will kick off at 2 p.m. Book here.
October 12 to December 23: Watch This Space
Yet to watch must-see films like Bohemian Rhapsody, The Devil Wears Prada, and Dirty Dancing? Well, you now have a reason to make your way to Habtoor Grand Resort. Hosted by Urban Outdoor Cinema, screenings take place every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday – just in case you need to recover from those post-weekend blues. Find more details and buy your tickets here.
October 15: Scream Bloody Murder
Ever find yourself wanting to scream after a particularly brutal day – or week? Enter: The Smash Room. It has partnered up with energy healer and transformational life coach Bianca Devananda for a five-stage session designed to help participants let go of repressed emotions such as anxiety or rage in a non-judgmental zone. Entitled Screaming Meditation, the session will include smashing DVD players while screaming to help release emotions on a deeper body, mind, and soul level in order to start feeling alive and peaceful. Call (+971) 58 198 2323 to book your spot.
October 16 to November 9: Update Your Bucket List
You’ve long known about The Phantom of the Opera as the world’s most popular musical – now experience it firsthand. Taking place at Dubai Opera, the Andrew Lloyd Webber blockbuster features 130 cast members alongside jaw-dropping scenery, breathtaking special effects, and over 230 costumes. Here, jealousy and passions collide as a musical genius lures a young soprano as his protégé and falls fiercely in love with her. Buy your tickets here.
October 18 to November 16: Get Fit
The Dubai Fitness Challenge returns, prompting us to get off our couches and commit to 30 minutes of exercise for 30 days straight. The adrenaline-packed month will feature everything from half-marathons and triathlons to charity walks, competitive swims, the return of Tough Mudder, and a dedicated Fitness Village at Kite Beach. Learn more here.
October 20 to 26: Think Pink
Marking Pinktober, Costa Coffee has teamed up with Al Jalila Foundation, in partnership with Brest Friends, to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. Not only will all proceeds from the sale of the ‘Think Pink’ macaron and ‘Think Pink’ latte be donated to the Al Jalila Foundation, but complimentary private breast examinations will also be offered at the Costa outlet on Al Wasl Road from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
October 22: Educate Yourself
The information about veganism is overwhelming, which is why a talk on adopting a plant-based diet was created by Kave. The speaker will share her personal experiences, give advice, and talk through some of the changes she has made in her own life. Book your spot here.
October 24 to 26: Enrich Yourself
Debuting this month, Gather is a three-day festival at JW Marriott Marquis designed to provide guests with unrivaled opportunities to enrich the mind, body, and soul through an array of family-friendly activities, wellness sessions, and one-of-a-kind culinary experiences. On the agenda? Signature Vietnamese dishes by celebrity chef Bobby Chinn, a dinner at Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra held in collaboration with an Ayurvedic specialist advising on the health properties of spices, kids’ yoga and a family picnic at poolside eatery Aqua, a wellness talk by motivational speaker Sally Bee, and lots more. Find more details and book your spots here.
October 26: Hear Her Out
Songstress Layla Kardan is set to give a dazzling performance during a very special edition of Unplugged at Bagatelle in Fairmont Dubai, enchanting guests with her soulful voice and a combination of pop, jazz, Middle Eastern, and R&B sounds. Her one-off appearance will kick off at 8 p.m. Call (+971) 4 354 5035 to book.
October 29 to April 4: Tour the World
Impulse purchases, street food, cultural performances, extreme rides, family-friendly attractions, and even star-studded concerts – if you want to pair the return of cooler weather (finally!) with a little old-fashioned fun, part theme park/part market Global Village is where it’s at. More details on the upcoming 24th edition can be found here.
October 30: Laugh Aloud
If she’s good enough for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, she’s good enough for us. Spoken-word-poet-turned-stand-up-comedian Mandy Knight arrives in Dubai for The Dark Knight, a spectacular personal journey of discovery on why she has to make the unspeakable hysterical. She will perform for one night only at events venue and cultural institute Warehouse Four, so book your tickets here – and fast.
October 31: Celebrate Halloween
We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Halloween festivities in town – from the Zombieland bash at Atlantis, The Palm to the Below the Decks haunted tour at QE2, R&B and hip-hop with a Halloween twist at Drai’s Dubai, a Vampire Nightclub at La Carnita, and more. But seriously, what’s more terrifying than a bad boss? Courtyard Playhouse is hosting a Halloween special entitled Horribles Bosses so that you can share your horror stories and then see your sweet revenge acted out on stage. RVSP here.