Don’t expect a lot to happen in Dubai during the first half of this month, as all the excitement will be surrounding the FIFA World Cup and where to go to watch the games in style. In fact, most hotels and restaurants are pouring all their efforts into enticing clientele to come and enjoy the football action at their premises. From giant TV screens to attractive set menus, happy hours, live DJ action and warm hospitality, each venue competes with the next offering as the ultimate World Cup venue.
Footie Action - top hotspots for game-viewing (until 15 July)
As football takes precedence in Dubai this month, here are my top five spots to watch the FIFA football action in Dubai.
FIFA World Cup Tent at Fairmont The Palm
Fairmont The Palm is going all out to celebrate the World Cup in style. The swanky hotel has set up a gigantic tent in the Palm Courtyard with one giant screen and multiple smaller screens so that none of the football fans misses any of the action whatever the angle. To add to the ambience, waiters dressed as referees will ensure everyone’s beer is timely topped up and hunger pangs satisfied with an excellent football-friendly menu including popular snacks like nachos, beef sliders and popcorn shrimp. Entrance is free but you have to spend a minimum of 95 AED per person during your time here.
FIFA World Cup at Zero Gravity
This popular nightlife venue with a spectacular beach setting didn’t want to miss out on the gathering potential of the World Cup and installed a 16-foot screen to attract football fans. On top of that, it created a special “Match Day Package” that includes unlimited food and drinks with the brunch being served 15 minutes before each match and allowing guests to munch all the way through the football action until the final whistle blow. Adding to the atmosphere, live DJs will spin some feel-good tunes, making this the ideal venue for hardcore party-goers, music-lovers and football fans. The experience costs 250 AED per person.
FIFA World Cup at the Irish Village
One of the most charged-up venues in which to enjoy the World Cup action in Dubai, the Irish Village has built its own football tent to welcome those who seek a comfortable, chilled-out atmosphere to sit back, watch live matches and nibble on tasty bites. This air-conditioned venue offers exclusive terrace seating facing an enormous 8m x 5m screen and daily competitions and quizzes add to the fun. To enjoy the football craze here you have to spend a minimum of 100 AED per person.
FIFA World Cup at Novo Cinema
If your dream is watching the tension-building events of the World Cup in a real cinema and with the special surround sound effects it provides then you’re in luck if you’re in Dubai this month! The Novo Cinema Megaplex at the Dubai Festival City Mall and Ibn Battuta Mall will have dedicated screens for World Cup matches which means you can enjoy them in full size and full sound (you’ll feel like you’re at the stadium) while nibbling on popcorn. Ticket prices oscillate between 90 and 120 AED.
FIFA World Cup at Barasti Superdome
Another beachside venue with an electrifying atmosphere, live DJ music, amazing special effects including light shows as well as a fantastic meal and drinks promotions, this is the only one in the list that is 100% free to attend! No gimmicks, no minimum spend required, no catch! If you want to, however, you can book one of the VIP packages to enjoy the football action in style. With gigantic HD TV screens and a vibrant ambience, the BudXSuperdome at Barasti Beach is the place to be!
FIFA World Cup Fan Zone at Garden on 8
Probably the most innovative venue in which to catch the football action, this beautiful garden-inspired setting inside an air-conditioned tent presents a chilled atmosphere for those seeking a somewhat more peaceful ambience in which to follow the live matches. Of course, there’s a giant screen onsite as well as seven differently angled smaller TVs and plenty of seat arrangements to accommodate all group sizes. You can choose from five packaged food and drinks deals starting at 149 AED per person. The FIFA World Cup Fan Zone is at Garden on 8 inside the Media One Hotel.
Other alternative locations for football game viewing include the Atlantis World Cup Fan Zone at Atlantis, The Palm and if you’re hanging out in downtown Dubai, just glimpsing at the towering Burj Khalifa will give you the latest game scores as the world’s tallest tower’s exterior has been fitted with thousands of mini LED screens to act like the planet’s tallest scoreboard.
Summer of Laughter 2018 - a month of stand-up comedy
Comedy takes centre stage in Dubai this summer with two months of quality stand-up comedy taking over a number of locations.
These are the performances to look forward to this July:
Laughter Factory (12, 13, 19 and 20 July)
Opening Dubai’s Summer of Laughter, a trio of humour masters arrive in Dubai to give special performances at a number of venues. First to take the stage will be U.S. comedian Jimmy Schubert, known for his funny rapid-fire doses of tough love, joined by Canadian Nick Beaton, sure to charm the audience with his hilarious opinionated rants. To finish the evening off, British radio host and stand-up comedy star Sally-Anne Hayward talks about the things you’re not supposed to like about your best friend’s mum with the tact of Jack the Ripper. The show starts at 9 p.m. and entrance costs 150 AED.
These comedy acts will be at the Movenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach on 12th and 13th July, at the Grand Millennium Barsha Heights on 19th July and at Jumeirah Golf Estates on 20th July (here it starts at 7 p.m. instead of 9 p.m.)
Free Cinema Screenings at Alkil (14, 27 July)
Cinema Alkil in Dubai is hosting a series of free cinema screenings this summer to entice and educate local audiences about the independent film industry and about cinema in general across the decades. Cinephiles are in for a treat at Dubai’s first fully-fledged art-house cinema with a series of films being shown throughout the summer, all free for everyone to enjoy. This month the following screenings that have been announced so far are:
Supergirl (14 July)
An intriguing U.S. documentary that follows the lives of an international powerlifting champion and a “Supergirl” called Naomi Kutin. This compelling coming of age story sees the main character (a nine-year-old powerlifter) navigate the tricky issues of adolescence, from fighting cyber-bullying to health issues and religious obligations. It’s on at 7 p.m.
Custody (28 July)
This thrilling drama revolves around the lives of three women whose paths are intertwined at a New York family court. The all-star cast includes Hollywood actors like Hayden Panettiere, Viola Davis, Ellen Burstyn and Tony Shalhoub. The gripping story will see you experience tense moments as the drama unfolds. It’s on at 7 p.m.
Arnaud Live at The Junction (27 July)
Bringing perhaps the only real magical razzle and dazzle to Dubai’s calendar this month, Dutch illusionist Arnaud comes to the Dubai stage to wow the audience with his award-winning antics and visual trickery. Having entranced even the Dutch royal family, this talented magician’s show comes accompanied by his personal stories as he takes viewers on a journey through the world of illusion. Prepare to be amazed! Entry costs just 100 AED per person and the show starts at 7:45 p.m.
Free Tai Chi classes at Alserkal Avenue (20 July to 14 September)
Whether you’re a long-time Tai Chi fan or would like to be introduced to this gentle fitness practice that improves flexibility whilst promotining sensory relaxation, you’ll have the perfect chance to know more about this traditional Chinese martial art at Alserkal venue this summer. As part of the season of free events, you’re welcome to relieve the strains and stresses of daily life with free Saturday tai chi sessions in the morning. The hour-long classes will be imparted at Nadi Al Quoz by Masters Hang and Luo from Shaolin Kung Fu at Nadi Al Quoz and limited to 15 pre-registered persons, so remember to book your place before turning up.
“Stories in the Skies” for astsronomy enthusiasts (21 July)
As part of Alserkal Avenue “Sensing Memory” programme launched this summer, the head of Dubai Astronomy Group, Hasan Ahmad Al Hariri, presents a new workshop through which he will share stories about the night sky. These stories trascend time and were passed down through generations of civilisations and are about people who used starts to guide them in their daily lives. A truly enlightening and enriching event for everyone interested or passionate about astronomy. The two-hour talk will be held at A4 Space’s Cinema Room and attendance is free.
Viva Venezuela at Dubai Design District (24 July)
A special night of celebration showcasing the works of two outstanding Venezuelan artists is coming Hai d3 at Dubai Design District. Music, film and art will come together to mark Simon Bolivar Day, which pays tribute to the Venezuelan hero that played a key role in gaining independence from Spain for a number of Latin American countries. Watch Ruben Molina’s outstanding art pieces, listen to Latin American music and attend a screening of “Impuls”, a film by Venezuelan Arnaldo Gonzalez. UAE-based performers from Venezuela will add live music to the scene and this cultural one-off event will be completely free of charge for everyone to attend.
Dubai Sports World (May to 8 September)
The fact that Dubai has scorching summer temperatures means it’s unbearably hot to even contemplate stepping outside (until after dusk at least) doesn’t mean that sports lovers in the emirate will be short of venues to practice sports that would normally be outdoors. The perfectly cool haven for sports lovers has been created at the Dubai World Trade Centre, which has been transformed into a multi-discipline hall with 25,000 square metres of air-conditioned courts for athletes of all ages and fitness levels.
Beyond practising your favourite sports with friends, visitors can also get pro advice from former Real Madrid legend Fernando Sanz at La Liga Academy. From basketball to ping pong, badminton, a cycling studio, a gym and even brand new gymnastics area, there’s no shortage of sports action here. Oh, and add to that a Ninja Warrior course and fitness fanatics are guaranteed a thrilling time in Dubai! The venue opens daily from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. and you can book slots online (at dubaisportsworld.ae) to use the courts for 50 AED per hour.
Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS 2018)
As we announced in last month’s blog post the biggest shopping festival of the year continues to take place in Dubai this month, bringing lots of smiles, unique recreational options for families, amazing discounts, prizes and daily competitions. As part of this month’s attraction,s there will be a free concert at Dragon Mart 2, where Syrian singer Nassif Zeytoun will perform live on stage and delight fans with a full repertoire of his Toul Al Yom album. For more details on what’s on at any of the different DSS venues in Dubai this month follow the event’s official Twitter account @DSSsocial for the latest promotions and deals.