Food festivals on the menu

Foodies are going to have a lot on their plate from February 23 when the Dubai Food Festival starts. Until March 11, the city will host food-led events, pop-ups, and cultural and art performances. Miele Dubai restaurant week offers experiences from 15 fine-dining restaurants (Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen, Gary Rhodes’ Rhodes W1, Jason Atherton’s Marina Social and more) at Dh199 for a three-course set menu. The food truck trend is here to stay as Eat the World DXB proves – 25 food trucks from London, Singapore and the US will pull over at Burj Park from February 23-25. There will be master classes, competitions, live music and demos. Etisalat sets up its Beach Canteen at Sunset Beach from February 23-March 11. There are also fitness classes, open mic nights, beach cinema, and Fatafeat Kitchen’s Darnival takes place from February 24-25 at Dubai Festival City Mall.

In Abu Dhabi, the Love Food Festival is on until February 18 at the Umm Al Emarat Park. There are 25 international street food vendors – Crabbie Shack’s soft shell crab burgers from the UK, America’s Harlem Seafood uptown po’boys and Singapore’s Kerbside Gourmet food truck are highlights. Check out the chef demos, Bedouin tent and the food-themed outdoor cinema. Live local acts such as DJ Rob Edge, Soul Groove Duo and The Latin Collective (a UAE-based Latin Band) will perform. Tickets cost Dh50 at the door. Visit

Let’s think

Inertia is only great when it’s part of Newton’s laws of motion. This weekend, get moving and visit the Nobel Museum at Children’s City, Dubai. The third edition of the museum by the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF) and the Nobel Foundation showcases discoveries and inventions of the Nobel Prize in Physics. 9am-8pm, Sunday to Thursday until March 5. Entry is free.

Now here’s a ladies’ night with a difference – Cocktail Kitchen JLT’s Don’t Take It Personally. Instead of clinking glasses, you’ll break glass ceilings through a series of female leadership panel discussions, where women can discuss strengthening careers, relationships, and work-life balance. February 21, 7.30-10.30pm; entry is free.

Animal planet

Walk on the wild side at 1001 Inventions and the Book of Animals – an interactive exhibition at Al Ain Zoo. Based on the
9th-century Arabic manuscript Book of Animals by ancient Iraqi scholar and explorer Al Jahiz, the exhibition features activities and displays that reveal facts, myths and trivia about animals in a fun, educative way; kids can create their own book of animals, solve riddles and participate in games. Until March 6. Call 800 966 for details

In Dubai, animal lovers can get their fill of the cutest dogs and majestic horses at the Horse and Hound Show at 
Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club on Feb 17, with agility and beauty contests, and jumping competitions for horses and dogs. Or just watch the shows and enjoy pony rides, food trucks and shopping. Dh50 for adults; under 12s go free. From 10am-4pm. Call 056 520 5081.

Book club

Whether you’re a bookworm or you aspire to be one, Urban Bistro’s monthly book club is a good place to find new friends with bibliophile credentials. This month’s meet is tomorrow on February 18 at 11am, and the book under discussion is The Cuckoo’s Calling – JK Rowling’s crime fiction novel published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. See Urban Bistro’s Book Club page on Facebook.

Walk and run

Dubai Cares’ annual Walk for Education is on Feb 17 at Dubai Creek Park Gate 2, next to Al Garhoud Bridge. The 3km walk is in solidarity with the millions of school-going children in developing countries who walk long distances to get to school – it’s a great way to contribute to the Year of Giving. The 45-minute walk starts at 9am, on-site registration starts at 8am and includes a participation fee of Dh30 per person. Free for under fives. Go to

Puma’s #IGNITEDXB Night Run Series is happening on February 22 at 7.30pm. Participants can choose from 5km and 10km courses in the nocturnal race that starts from the Meydan Hotel. If the absence of traffic and commotion doesn’t tempt you to sign up, then the views of the illuminated Meydan bridge and twinkling Downtown Dubai skyline view should. Tickets from Dh175 including entry, Puma goody bag and post-race refreshments. Register at

Office games

Forget trust falls and retreats – try touch rugby for corporate bonding at the 6th annual Zurich Corporate Touch 6s on February 24 at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club. Swap suits for T-shirts and shorts, and stuffy offices for green fields and sports fun with colleagues. Teams can consist of up 14 people, 12 of whom need to be current full-time employees, their spouses, children or parents. Supporting friends and families can cheer from the sidelines and have their own fun with food trucks, trampolines by Bounce and music. There is also a kids’ tournament. Register at

Pitch perfect

T20 fans craving a quick, exciting game of cricket should head over to the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, which is hosting the Pakistan Super League playoffs this weekend. On Feb 17 at 3.30pm, Peshawar Zalmi play against Quetta Gladiators. Feb 18, Karachi Kings play against Islamabad United at 8pm. Tickets from Dh20 at

Market fair

Enable Fair on Feb 18 at Dubai Garden Centre showcases the ability of those with disabilities to create products and start their own businesses with participants from organisations around the UAE. Products for sale include home decor, paintings, ceramic vases, and cards. From 10am to 8pm. Entry is free. Call 04 590 4333 or visit

Adventure, amusement and action for families

For those who fancy an action-filled fun day out, head over to the new family amusement centre Orange Spin in Abu Dhabi’s Al Wahda Mall. There are arcade games, F1 car simulators, themed mini-bowling, a photo booth, and a spy-themed laser tag arena with neon graphics. The venue also has a food and beverage bar and a dining area. The amusement centre is open from 10am-10pm daily.

Madinat Theatre will be transformed into the city of Agrabah as Aladdin the musical takes to the stage. Until February 19, life-sized versions of the beloved characters – Genie, Princess Jasmine, the flying carpet – perform circus-style stunts and magic. In typical musical style there’ll be plenty of song, dance and elaborate costumes. Tickets from Dh180, show at 11am, 3pm, 4pm and 7pm. Timings vary;

If you feel like challenging yourself and you’re up for a new adventure, Aventura Adventure Park is the answer. Set in a natural ghaf tree forest at Mushrif Park in Mirdif, the outdoor adventure park offers ziplining through the trees, horizontal and vertical climbing walls, and rope course challenges. Participants are first trained in how to use and move around with the gear and harness, then they are unleashed to work their best Tarzan impressions on the courses. There are
five levels of difficulty: the Rangers circuit is for kids, Explorador circuit is suitable for families, and Aventura, Thriller, and Extreme are more challenging experiences. It’s Dh150 for adults, and Dh125 for children whose height is above 1.15m.