The blossoming of April in Dubai is certainly bringing about a buzz of busy bees, and by that I mean a long list of events packing the calendar and adding an electrifying atmosphere where you can choose from comedy action to dazzling dance performances, rock concerts, greatly entertaining family-friendly spectacles for young and old to nostalgia-ridden revivals from popular 90s bands like Backstreet Boys and Steps. Oh, and there’s also a few classical acts to take your pick from as well as some circus dining (yes, really!) and the biggest comic con festival in all of the Middle East. And if that doesn’t whet your appetite for a Dubai holiday this month, there’s also World Art Dubai and Dubai Fashion Week - a double whammy of national events that add colour and character to the emirate! No doubt, April is a great month to be in Dubai!
Top Variety Pick
Miami Vibes Food Festival (29 March to 14 April)
Taking over the Dubai Design District at D3, this Candy-Land-themed event will make mouths water with its incredible displays of decadent desserts and sweets for young and old. But savoury treats also have their place, especially in the form of Latino favourites like tacos and a variety of flavoursome grilled specialities. From churros to ice cream topped by candy floss and monster milkshakes, there is no better place in Dubai this month to get a sugar high. Oh, and if all that wasn’t tempting enough, there’s also plenty of fun recreational options for kids, from a play area to a skateboard park and basketball court. Entry is free too. Now, that, as Floridans, would say, is awesome!
World Art Dubai 2018 (17 to 20 April)
Celebrating local talent whilst aiming to prove that acquiring fine art doesn’t need cost the earth or be a snobbish, appointment-only affair, World Art Dubai 2018 kicks of mid-month this April hosting a large number of international artists showcasing their works. With price tags starting from just $100 and going up all the way to $20,000, there’s something to fit every art lover’s budget.
Part of Dubai’s Art Season, this colourful, inspiring event will include a specific collection of more affordably-priced artworks varying in styles from abstract drawings to sculptural works, paintings and interactive, collaborative installations. There are new forms and formats being welcomed in this year’s edition, with a dedicated space for photography, wearable art and origami. For a deeper immersion in the arts, there will also be creative workshops, live talks as well as a Ripe Design and Craft Market. It’s on at the Dubai World Trade Centre and will open from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Cirque de Cuisine at Atlantis (19 April)
A novel, highly-entertaining dining experience like no other, the one-and-only Atlantis, The Palm is hosting Cirque de Cuisine, a night-time brunch where diners will be able to hop from one gourmet restaurant to the next. You can grab a bite at Street Kitchen before sinking your teeth in some juicy meat at the Seafire Steakhouse & Bar or tucking into Italian favourites at Ronda Locatelli, all the while enjoying show-stopping entertainment as the perfect backdrop to sampling the hotel restaurant’s signature dishes. From bendy acrobats to hypnotising jugglers and street performers, circus acts take centre-stage on this one very special night (and for one night only). To finish it all off in style, you can enjoy a dessert at the Lost Chambers Aquarium or head to the afterf-party and dance the night away with the hotel’s resident DJ, Yuan. An evening you won’t forget in a hurry for sure!.
The Laughter Factory (20 April)
For some serious belly-bursting action, get your funny bone tickled at Dubai’s Laughter Factory, returning to the Emirate with the best of Edinburgh Festival Fringe and bringing an impressive line-up of three international stand-up comedians. Mark Watson is part of this trio and is famous for having appeared on shows like Mock the Week, as well as being an author, with one of his storylines taking place in Dubai. Danish comic, Sofie Hagen will join him on stage as part of her UK and European tour after winning the Best Newcomer title at the Fringe last year while Canadian comedian Glenn Wool, will close the show with his funny antics after appearing on shows like Russell Howard’s Good News and New York Stand-Up Show. With such a hilarious line-up, just trying not to spill your drinks through your nose might prove trickier than you thought. It’s on at 7 p.m.
Sharmila Dance Extravaganza (20 to 21 April)
An annual show that returns to Dubai for its 18th edition, this aptly-named dance extravaganza is a beautiful whirlwind of different dance styles with elaborate costumes, bright colours and light effects. With over 150 experienced and talented dancers on stage, the mood is electrifying, and some of the performers are as young as seven-years-old!
A wonderland of movement and imagination, Sharmila Dance is a Dubai-based captivating dance company with unique choreography and artistic flair. Founded by its director and dance instruction, Sharmila Kamte, the company currently teaches over 700 students and regularly performs at the DUCTAC centre in Mall of the Emirates, where this show will take place over the space of two days and at two different time slots: 2:30 p.m and 7:30 p.m.
Dubai Fashion Week (25 to 27 April)
Making a grand comeback in full-blown style since its last edition in 2011, Dubai Fashion Week will showcase the Emirate’s haute couture designers over a three-day extravaganza under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Hend Al Qassemi. Having been the first mega-fashion event in the Gulf region to host runway shows, this year’s return will mark one of the biggest editions yet, featuring emerging designers from the Middle East, alongside talented crafters from North America, South America and Europe. You can be part of all the glamour at Palazzo Versace and tickets can only be purchased by contacting the venue
Music - Top Acts
Marti Pellow Live in Dubai ( 18 April)
The lead singer of 80s and 90s Scottish band Wet Wet Wet, comes to Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium this coming 19th April for a one-off evening concert in which he will join a full band as he performs the greatest hits of his former boy band as well as some of his newer solo tunes. Famous for songs like “Love is All Around” which featured on Four Weddings and a Funeral’s official soundtrack and topped the British charts for 15 weeks, Wet Wet Wet had six studio albums and three number one singles. It’s your chance to enjoy them all again live for one night only. The concert starts at 9 p.m. and doors open at 7 p.m.
Backstreet Boys at Blended (20 April) - SOLD OUT
As I’m writing this mega event has already sold out, but all hope is not lost as there’s the possibility of some ticket holders to re-sell their prized possessions before the concert takes place. To be fair, I’m not surprised the Backstreet Boy’s Dubai performance has sold out in hours, this epic boy band of the 90s caused a major uproar all over the world and many can’t wait to see them again on-stage. Especially when their public appearances are so rare these days.
This year they come to Dubai as the main headlining act for the Blended music festival, marking the band’s first visit to the emirate since 2009 and regaling fans with hits like “Everybody”, “As long as you love me” and “I want it that way”. Not only that! They’re not performing alone but in the company of former Spice Girl, Melanie C, a once-rival girl band member of yet another epic 90s band that needs no introduction. But they’re not the only international stars taking the stage at Blended either, with other names including Robin Thicke, Kasabian and Kool & The Gang. This is one sizzling show that fans would literally kill for, so keep your tickets safe (if you managed to get some) or re-sell them for a hefty profit if you can’t attend - you won’t have any trouble finding prospective buyers!
Steps Live at Dubai Opera (27 April)
A comeback that has been much-awaited by their legions of UK fans after recently releasing their latest album in 2017 (and going on a sold-out national tour), the British reunited pop band from the 90s, Steps, makes it to Dubai for a show-stopping performance full of nostalgia, slightly cheesy dance routines and matchy-matchy outfits. Be there to witness it and soak in this evocative pop feast of years gone by revived and remastered, shining like new. Expect to hear all-time hits like Shades of Blue or Chain Reaction as well as new singles like Tears on the Dancefloor. And prepare to party like its 1999!
Beach Festival at Zero Gravity (27 April)
Trade the pop scene for some live DJ action at the end of this month. Catch Fatboy Slim’s return to Zero Gravity this April with a mega party on the beach in Skydive Dubai Drop Zone and party until the early hours of the morning with a line-up of talented international artists. Joining Fatboy Slim on the sandy stage will be English DJ and producer duo, Gorgon City, performing some of their big hits like “Here for you” and “Ready for your love”. Last but not least, the hip-hop and house to funk break-beats of Krafty Kuts and A.Skillz will get everyone dancing.
Families with Kids
Hollywood Comes to the Helipad (until 14th April)
A truly special spectacle for all the family, the Dubai Festival City Mall has been hosting a mega-large pop-up cinema to offer audiences the chance to enjoy their favourite family-friendly blockbusters on their iconic helipad. A variety of films will be shown every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with free entry for all. If you want to enjoy the cinema action all you need to do is present the receipt of any purchase made in the mall. Frozen will be played from 5th yo 7th April, followed by Moana from 12th to 14th April.
Lost & Found Live on Stage (20 to 21 April)
Suitable for children and adults of all ages, this moving musical tells the story of a little boy who finds a penguin on his doorstep and then tries to return the lost penguin home, making the long journey all the way to the South Pole! Based on a best-selling picture book by award-winning author Oliver Jeffers, Lost & Found is an educational treat for the senses, with puppets, original songs and great audiovisuals to delight young and old alike. The stage is the Madinat Theatre in Souk Madinat Jumeirah, shows are on three times daily (at 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.) with tickets affordably priced between 135 and 180 AED.
Little Red Live in Dubai (27 April)
To close off the month with quality family entertainment, a French musical retelling the classic of Little Red Riding Hood in a modern-day setting comes to Dubai to delight audiences of all ages, but more specifically those aged three-years-old and onwards. Giving children an amazing and interactive opportunity to join Little Red as she travels to New York on her own to see her sick grandmother, the fact that the main character in the story is bilingual will help kids hone and improve their French-speaking skills. The best part? The show is so incredibly cheap that there’s no excuse not to enjoy it. Tickets are priced at just 45 AED and there will be two chances to catch the show, one at 11 a.m. and another at 2 p.m. Families enjoying a holiday in Dubai towards the end of this month, really can’t miss it!
That’s a wrap! What about next month?
As good as April sounds, next month will kick off with a strong punch too as Monty Python’s musical “Spamalot” debuts at the Dubai Opera and the closing season of Groove on the Grass taking over the Emirates Golf Club. And that’s just in May’s first week. A whole lot more will follow, including the nationwide celebration of Ramadan from 15th May to 13th June, with unique opportunities to break fast in style. Just watch this space for more next month. We’ll keep you in the loop!