Summer may have officially ended on the western world and temperatures begun to fall slightly (and I say slightly as this week’s heat wave is non-typical of this time of year in the UK) as this crossover month prepares us to enter autumn, yet it remains cloudlessly bright. Many are put off travelling to Dubai this month as temperatures are still deemed too hot, oscillating close to the 40 degrees’ Celsius mark.
There also the common assumption that September tends to be a quiet, unassuming month when not much happens…well, that may have been true of previous years, but certainly not this one! With five spectacular nights of dazzling fireworks giving way to the Cirque du Soleil arrival, a variety of events at the Dubai Opera (two classical ballet performances plus a selection of classical music shows) and plenty of special programmes for kids and teens, there’s no shortage of things to do and places to go in Dubai this month. If you opt for a Dubai holiday this September, you won’t be disappointed or wanting for things to do outside hotels and resorts – I promise!
Fireworks on the beach
One of the highlights of making it to Dubai this month over the next few days is watching the impressive Eid Al Aha fireworks, which kicked off last Sunday 11th September and will continue going off every night until 16th September. Doubtlessly characteristic of a place that believes in doing everything in a big, dramatic fashion, the celebration of the holy date of Eid Al Daha in Dubai sees the city light up at dusk every day for five days as a well-orchestrated flurry of fluorescent colours illuminates the dark skies above The Beach (Jumeirah Beach Residence).
Entry is free and the only requirement would be making it there on time before the 8:30 p.m. kick-off time so you can grab yourself a good spot for enjoying all the action before all the good ones are taken. Top places for enjoying the fireworks with uninterrupted views do tend to fill up fast, so getting there early is highly recommended. Once the show is done, festivities continue inside the restaurants dotted along The Beach.
The other one big event in Dubai this September is the arrival of Cirque du Soleil - Varekai, a big draw for tourists of all ages. Returning to Dubai after three years, the most famous of world circus comes back with a new concept called Varekai, which roughly translates as “wherever”.
Holding daily shows from 16th to 24th September, this amazing promises to spellbind young and old alike as they witness incredible acrobatic fits and beautifully choreographed performances. As can be expected for a show of this worldwide prestige, tickets are on the pricier side (from 245 AED to 2,295 AED – approx. between £50 and £615 pounds sterling) with cheaper ones selling out extremely fast. If you want a spot in the Cirque du Soleil audience this September now is the time to book ahead without delay!
Illusionist spectacle extravaganza
Now for the most thrilling and exciting of all Dubai events this month: the Impossible show at Dubai Opera from 26th to 30th September. The most nail-bitingly dangerous, suspenseful and daring of shows arrives to the Dubai scene bringing the world’s most revered and skilful illusionists to amaze and stun audiences of all ages. Incredible death-defying stunts, dumb-founding close-up magic, puzzling technological trickery and one-of-a-kind feats will be performed live on stage at a breath-takingly fast pace.
A total of five performances will enchant audiences at 8 p.m. on all days except 29th and 30th September where there will be two shows on the same day; one at 3 p.m. and another at 8 p.m. Prices start at 350 AED and go up to 950 AED for premium seats. VIP and group box prices are also available.
Aside from the Cirque du Soleil show, which is a big one for families of all sizes and offspring of all ages, there’s quite a few activities to keep the youngest well-entertained during their Dubai holidays this September.
Enchanting audiences of all ages, not just little ones, the dazzling show of Peter Pan makes the long journey all the way from Neverland to Dubai, and stays there until 23rd September to wow and delight onlookers with a generously sprinkled dosage of fairy dust. With performances scheduled on 12th, 13th, 17th and 23rd September at 3:30 p.m. and staged on the Meyana Auditorium at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, families will have plenty of opportunities for catching this magical show before it vanishes and retreats to the land of eternal childhood. Tickets are on sale via Platinum List’s online platform and prices start at just 100 AED (£20) going up to 170 AED (£35) for the best Platinum seats – one of the most affordable family events in Dubai this month for sure!
Closing up the month in style, the wonderful Fables du La Fontaine arrive to Dubai for the delight of the littlest in the audience. The re-enactment of La Cigale et la Fourmi (The Cicada and the Ant), a classical tale of duty before playtime, of work before leisure, will be a thoroughly captivating and educational performance that all children will enjoy.
The best part is the unique twist on the main characters, Dodo and Remi, two friends who dream of becoming rock stars and who must first make themselves known in the world. A fun evening that promises to be filled with laughter and good vibes for everyone! It’s on at the Kilachand Theatre, DUCTAC on 30th September with two sessions, one at 11 a.m. and another at 3 p.m. and tickets at priced at 145 AED (around £35) per person. You can book them online through the DUCTAC website.
For ballet enthusiasts
All ballet lovers are in for a treat in Dubai this September, with not one but two beautiful classical ballet performances being staged at Dubai Opera from 15th to 17th September, both by the prestigious Russian State Ballet to the accompaniment of the Orchestra of Siberia. Coppelia is up first with performances scheduled for 17th September at 4 p.m. Entertaining, upbeat, comical and moving, all at the same time, this ballet piece based on an eccentric toymaker who successfully builds a life-like doll and gets in trouble for it, is bound to enchant all in the audience.
Right in between these two performances, Gisele will take centre stage at Dubai Opera on 16th September with not one but two performances on the same day, one at 3:30 pm and the other at 8 p.m. One of the world’s most beloved and most dearly remembered romantic ballets, this beautiful tragedy will unfold before your eyes to the beautiful tune of the Siberian orchestra and the seamless choreography of this prestigious dancing company.
Tickets for both ballet performances are on sale now and can be bought through Dubai Opera’s online website. Prices range between 350 AED (£72) to 950 AED (£195) for the top seats.
For classic music lovers
Warming up the stage for more quality classical performances to follow, the Mozart Gala at Dubai Opera on 23rd September is one unmissable date to keep on your diary. For an evening filled with the melodic sound of some of Mozart’s most famous operas and orchestral pieces, expertly performed by the prestigious Vienna Concert Verein, reserving your seat ahead is a must. You can do it via the Dubai Opera website with ticket prices ranging between 300 AED and 900 AED. Musical pieces you can look forward to include The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro and Symphony No. 41.
Next up, Dubai’s World Classical Music Series presents Quatour Hermes on 29th September for a one-off performance that is bound to leave chills and goosebumps among the audience. The French string quartet will be delighting the audience with a collection of Brahms’ finest pieces – a full display of skilful musical genius expertly performed by award-winning musicians. The concert is scheduled at 8 p.m. and prices vary between 350 AED (£72) to 550 AED (£113) for VIP seats. This is a magical night no classic music lover should overlook.
For visual arts fans
There is one renowned American artist whose works will be on full display during the whole of September on Alserkal Avenue in Dubai. Presenting a selection of his visually striking sustainable pieces, Jeff Scoffield will be creating and displaying his unique art for the public to enjoy and everyone is invited to come and watch him busy at work.
During his month in Dubai, Mr Scoffield will be working on an Upcycled World Map installation and will also engage on talks about Sustainability in Art with a Questions & Answers session at the end. In addition, Jeff will also host a workshop on 21st September between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. where visitors can create small-scale artwork using recycled objects. Now, how’s that for artsy DIY inspiration?
It’s not time yet for the Dubai Shopping Festival extravaganza which will be kicking off in December, yet in the meantime, avid shoppers might be attracted to The Ripe Summer Market in Dubai this month (extending all the way until the end of October. Perfectly located indoors with air-conditioned relief from the September heat, this hugely popular food and crafts market held at the Times Square Centre will be offering the freshest organic produce as well as a variety of quality artisan crafts.
There’s even a selection of programmed activities and fun events for kids in an alfresco setting. It opens every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. until October, so there’s still some time to stop by and enjoy the colours, aromas and flavours.
If you find there's not enough going on in Dubai this September to justify your visit then just wait for what next month has in store. I'll give you a few hints: Jose Carreras' Final World Tour at the Dubai Opera (arguably the world's best tenor on one of his last ever performances), a fun 80s Madness concert, a flamenco dancing extravaganza performed by Sara Baras, four days of LEGO magic for the little ones, a Gruffalo's Child theatre play for the whole family and a spooky Mexican-style "Fiesta de los Muertos".
Dubai will celebrate as well a POPCON festival (the largest pop-culture event of its kind in the world) and Vivaldi's Four Seasons at the Dubai Opera. And all that is just a sneak preview to whet your appetite; there'll be much more to come next month in Dubai and to find all about it you'll have to read my next post.