What's sizzling in Dubai this August?

With this being the hottest of all months in Dubai (and in most of the world), you might be curious to know how the emirate is compensating travellers for making it there through the scorching heat. The answer is: with plenty of action of course! From the special treats in store with the Dubai Summer Surprises Festival, to Modhesh World guaranteeing a world of fun for little ones and Placido Domingo performing live at Dubai Opera, one of the emirate's newest concert venues, there'll be plenty to do, see and enjoy in Dubai this month. Keep reading for more.

What's sizzling in Dubai this August?

It might be a scorching forty-something degree heat out there but Dubai doesn’t slow down and certainly doesn’t go into hibernation mode (or should it be summernation mode?). Indeed, this is one summer nation (pun clearly intended) that doesn’t hide inside a cave for lengthy siestas when it’s hot outside. Instead, its cool, ultra-modern and air-conditioned-down-to-a-goosebump-chill, marble-floored caves are bursting to the brim with activities and exciting surprises. Want to find out what kind of merriment awaits you in Dubai this August? Then keep reading as I list the top activities to make the most of this month in the trendiest of emirates.

For families

Because all parents want to ensure their kids make the most of their summer holiday time and get a proper break from school that’s all about the fun, this next section is aimed at those families heading to Dubai this August. Read on to see where and when to enjoy the best kids-tastic action!

Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) – ongoing until 20th August

The biggest of all summer events in Dubai is now in its 18th edition, promising bigger and better activities for young and old, special discounts across malls, exclusive pop-up concerts and dedicated programmes for children and parents – no one is left wanting.

The variety of deals and promotions with the DSS seal is varied and can be found across a vast selection of establishments, mainly at malls and mostly geared towards families and shoppers looking for bargains. One of the highlights of Dubai’s summer calendar, as many as 6,000 different stores participate in the festival and each mall offers a special programme of events exclusively for kids and youngsters of all ages. Beyond the shopping extravaganza, a part of Dubai Summer Surprises has, in more recent years, moved away from the mass consumerism aspect and is now as fun as it is exciting for shoppers as much as for non-shopping visitors.

Modhesh World – a fantasy world for kids open until 27th August

A destination in its own right, Modhesh World is now in its 17th edition and each year it grows in popularity as much as in the variety of activities offered to kids of all ages. A fantasy world dedicated to the youngest in the family, this large festival encompasses a wide variety of fun activities and attractions – from exciting rides and bouncy castle to soft play areas, arts and crafts, magic shows and special performances. Kids can also look forward to a mini bowling alley, a shooting gallery, crazy bikes, fly jumping, balloon popping, spin-a-wheel, bumper boats, water rollers, competition games and much, so much more than I have time to list. But trust me, the whole family can have a blast, especially children, of course.

Open every day of the week except for Sundays, Mhodesh World 2016 takes over Halls 1 to 8 of the Dubai World Trade Centre, transforming it into a large, colourful fair with plenty of action to entertain kids all-day-long. Your young offspring might in fact beg you to come back the next day as they might not be able to do everything they want to on just one visit. Be mindful of that and plan to visit with enough time as not to disappoint little easily-pouty faces.

Entry price is a modest 25 AED (around £5) per person with kids under three going free and opening times are 10 a.m. until midnight from Saturday to Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.

LEGO craze at the Ibn Battuta Mall – until 6th August!

You’ve got two more days to make it to the India and Egypt courts at the Ibn Mattuta Mall in order to let your kids loose at the Lego Friends Workshop. Part of the Dubai Summer Surprises events, this fun and interactive festival gives youngsters the chance to receive a diploma after they’ve built their Lego masterpieces. Best of all, it’s absolutely free!

Barney & Friends Live in Concert – 25th and 27th August

With a “Back to School” theme, Barney & Friends, the cuddly pink dinosaur, will be in Dubai to treat little ones to two fun sing-along concerts, held at the Dubai Marina Mall at 4 p.m. on 25th August and 8 p.m. on 27th August. More details are due to be published soon, if interested you can check out their Facebook page.

For grown-ups

Adults going on Dubai holidays this August and seeking grown-up leisure options and entertainment should look over the events and activities listed in this next part. There’s something for all tastes and interests, the pick of the crop when it comes where to be and what to enjoy in Dubai this August. Even parents can enjoy some needed adult-time and leave the kids (safely) behind to indulge in a drink or two, a concert or a party.

Sun & Bass BBQ Brunch on 12th August

Coming to Dubai for the first time ever, the ten-year-old legendary Sardinian festival, Sun and Bass will kick off a massive ten-hour party in Story Dubai, behind the Zayed University in Media City. It all starts with a barbecue brunch (I would actually call it a “drunch”, as it’s held in the afternoon rather than in the morning, but Dubai has a different version of brunch, timewise it’s held in the early afternoon hours instead of in late mornings, as it’s in much of the Western world) from 5 to 8 p.m. with fully inclusive drinks for a mere 275 AED (around £56 approx).

If you don’t much care about the open bar and brunch (or if tickets for these are sold out as spaces for the brunch part are more limited) you can come later on for the After Party, priced at just 50 AED per person with 20 per cent discount on all house drinks from 8 to 10 p.m. It all ends at 3 a.m. the next day and the party gets going to the tunes of several world-class DJs, spinning a top selection of records.

Headline acts are A SIDES (a.k.a Jason Cambridge) and DELICAT (a.k.a Stefano) who will be supported by seven of Dubai’s finest local Drum & Bass talent. Supporting Dubai artists include: Woodle, Mach4, Somalie, Kymera, Rees, MC R Vee and Cruz.

Two-for-one drinks at Casa de Tapas all summer-long

Enjoy some pre-dinner drinks in style or opt for a tapas dinner at Spanish Creekside restaurant Casas de Tapas, which is offering two-for-one drinks on all house beverages during the summer season – from 5pm to 9pm. This special deal ends on 15th September so you’ve still got plenty of time to stop by and drink up at this atmospheric venue.

For art lovers: Parataxic Distortion on the East Wing

If you’ve got an eye for artistic interpretations of different cultures, Dubai has something for you to ogle at this month, and it’s absolutely free until September! The East Wing gallery is presenting the exhibition Parataxic Distortion, which explores the misconceptions about the Gulf through a series of colourful photos. Beyond being a playful take on culture clichés, this fun exhibition by Doha-based duo Christto & Andrew is open from Saturday to Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For rock lovers: The Rock Nation Classic Rock Festival – 12th August

Die-hard rock lovers will have a place to go this August in Dubai, next week in fact, as Gary Lawyer arrives to the emirate for a rocking concert featuring Aldo Rock & The Footprints. Taking place on 12th August, the Indian king of rock (known for his 80s and 90s hits) will be singing live at The Music Room in The Majestic Hotel, with a starting time of 6 p.m.

The party won’t stop until the next day at 3 a.m. as the band tirelessly performs rock classics, old and new, with popular anthems from The Who, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, The Doors and more. Different bands will perform on the night, with Gary Lawyer headlining the event which is part of the fourth edition ROCK NATION UAE. Ticket prices and more information about the event can be found on

Placido Domingo Live – 31st August

Placido Domingo, the undisputed “King of Opera”, arrives to Dubai for the delight of classical music lovers. He’ll stage a performance in the emirate for one night only, on 31st August at 8 p.m. The scenario will be the newly opened Dubai Opera, where he’ll treat the audience to a selection of beautifully sung opera favourites. He’ll do so accompanied by award-winning soprano, Ana Maria Martinez, to the sounds of the Giuseppe Verdi orchestra of the Teatro Lirico, under the conduction of Maestro Eugene Kohn.

Sadly, tickets are already sold out for this mega event, but you can be added to a waiting list where you’ll be notified if more places become available later on. If you sign up you’ll be contacted by email when (and if) the opportunity to purchase a ticket opens up. Hurry though, they’ll allocate any seats that might be released in the future in strict order of submission.

Still want more?

If all these events and attractions don´t seem enough to lure you to Dubai this August, you can always come back again in a few weeks´ time and check this space for what´s coming up next month. I can already give you a few sneak previews: in our next edition we´ll be detailing upcoming celebrations in September, like Eid Al Adha 2016, Giselle at the Dubai Opera and Cirque de Soleil. Keep your eyes peeled for more…Dubai certainly knows how to keep it coming!

Susana Corona

Susana Corona

Adventure-seeking globetrotter

Read up on all the latest and finest Dubai attractions with this series of blog posts showcasing the...

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