Discover this month’s best happenings around Dubai, from concerts and food pop-ups to al fresco markets, an arts festival, and more.
January 1 to 31: Get a Makeover
How to contour, building an enviable glow, creating a statement pout – it all awaits at the Dior Backstage beauty pop-up, which is still up and running in the Grand Atrium of The Dubai Mall. Not only will Dior experts be conducting makeup masterclasses, delving into product specifics, and offering tips and tricks, but there’s also something new to look forward to daily. Keep up with the continuously updated schedule here.
January 1 to February 1: Splurge on Something
Over one whole month of sales – need we say more? The annual Dubai Shopping Festival has returned for its milestone 25th edition, featuring discounts and promotions by malls, dazzling displays of fireworks across town, family-friendly shows, musical performances, and bigger-than-big giveaways, keeping the festive cheer going well into 2020. Learn more here.
January 1 to April 4: Tour the World
Impulse purchases, street food, cultural performances, extreme rides, family-friendly attractions, star-studded concerts, and the recently opened Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium – 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 24th edition can be found here.
January 1 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, chef Cristian Goya is using Peruvian ingredients to bring out the best in delicate Japanese-style fare, ranging from delicious starters such as ‘Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna Tartare’ to must-order mains like ‘Saikyo Miso Black Cod’ and ‘Wagyu Beef Tataki’ that is served with Kayto’s signature sauces. Oh, and for your sake, we’ll have to insist that you stay back for the divine ‘Cheesecake Brûlée and Mandarin Sorbet’. Book here.
January 3 to 31: Catch a Flick
Movie screenings continue (almost) daily at Cinema Akil throughout January, with the independent cinema platform hosting a flawlessly curated selection of documentaries, foreign flicks, and animated films. On the roster? Multiple screenings for the Reel Palestine Film Festival – Soufra, Gaza, and Western Arabs included – alongside a comedy that we’re dubbing a must-watch: It Must Be Heaven. See the schedule here.
January 4 to March 30: Watch This Space
Yet to watch must-see films like Pulp Fiction, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Dirty Dancing? Well, you now have a reason to make your way to Habtoor Grand Resort. Hosted by Urban Outdoor Cinema, screenings are taking place every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday – just in case you need to recover from those post-weekend blues. See the full line-up and buy your tickets here.
January 10 to 11: Move Along
Game Changer, a contemporary dance performance by Lithuania-based dance company Aura, is headed to Concrete. The 60-minute performances will explore where freedom within limitations lies, with dancers coping with the limited possibilities of movement, restricted by their huge costumes that have been created to reflect societal restraints. Buy your tickets here.
January 13: Journey to Spain
If catching a flamenco show is on your bucket list but a trip to Spain isn’t on the horizon, The Workshop is where it’s at. The Jumeirah-based café and concept store is known for hosting unique events and, this time around, it’s hosting Flamenco Art & Entertainment for a 60-minute live performance entitled Flamenco Night, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Seats are limited and tickets will be sold at the door, but you can find more details here.
January 15: Snap Happy
You constantly take photos with your smartphone – now do it right by attending the Smartphone Photography & Editing 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 15 to 20: Eat Ugly
Conceptual dining space INKED returns to our calendars, this time inviting guests to give the misfits of the food pyramid (read: the misshapen yet perfectly edible vegetables that end up on Instagram, yet end up in the trash) a chance with its Ugly Vegetables dinner series. Designed in collaboration with Emirates Bio Farm, this five-course dining experience will be entirely vegan. Book here.
January 16 to 17: Laugh Aloud
Culture junkies are in for a treat as National Theatre screenings of One Man, Two Guvnors and Hansard arrive at our shores. The former features a Tony Award-winning performance by James Corden, while the latter depicts a not-so-blissful marriage and stars Olivier Award winners Lindsay Duncan and Alex Jennings. See what all the fuss is about by registering for a membership to Courtyard Playhouse’s NT Live program here.
The fight for gender equality, the freedom to love who we love, tradition versus modernity, wealth versus happiness, immigration and the importance of home – visit these modern-day themes in a very different time through Broken Wings, a moving new musical adaptation of iconic poet Khalil Gibran’s 1912 masterpiece. This autobiographical account of his first love will be performed only three times at Dubai Opera, so move fast. Buy your tickets here.
January 18: Break Bread
Join Dima Sharif’s Palestinian Communal Breakfast Table, inspired by her award-winning book Plated Heirlooms, at Kave in Alserkal Avenue. Taking place as part of the Reel Palestine line-up of activities, it will treat diners not only to a three-course Palestinian breakfast, but also Sharif’s insights into Palestinian cuisine and stories about authentic and historic Palestinian breakfast experiences. This social and cultural experience is a must for both foodies and culture buffs alike. Book here.
January 20 to 24: Embrace Yourself
Curly-haired girls, rejoice as The Hair Addict and founder of ‘Curly Girl Method’ Lorraine Massey are headed to Dubai for the third edition of Curl by Curl. It will host two-day workshops featuring qualifying stylists and attending guests with participants coming from all over the world. Hosted at the newly opened salon The Curl Therapy, these are designed to offer training to hair experts, while encouraging women to embrace their natural hair. Learn more here.
January 24: Test Your Limits
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to pound the pavement more often in 2020, 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 of it. For more details or to register, click here.
January 24 to 25: Support the Arts
The popular Quoz Arts Fest returns to Alserkal Avenue for two days of art exhibitions, live music, performances, food trucks, outdoor installations, film screenings, and more. We’re most excited about two happenings in particular: a free concert by Jordanian-Palestinian band 47Soul – known for leading the Shamstep electronic dance music movement – and the FOOD: Bigger than the Plate exhibition that will be held in collaboration with London’s V&A museum. Find more details here.
January 25: Take a Pause
From promoting physical well-being to reducing anxiety and enhancing self-awareness, the benefits of meditation are endless – yet many are still confused about this ancient practice. Enter: the Meditation 101 session at The LightHouse Arabia. Not only will this 60-minute workshop include an introduction to meditation and a guided meditation practice, but instructions will also be given on working with posture, breath, and thoughts. Register here.