November arrives and while for most of the hemisphere this means a serious drop in temperatures and rather gloomy weather, Dubai is at its most attractive with reliable sunshine, rain-free guarantee and balmy temperatures that oscillate around the low 30s but don’t go any lower than the 24 degrees Celsius mark in the evenings. And of course, as the month progresses and the winter season looms closer temperatures are only going to dip further, reaching the very pleasant mid to high 20s by early December.
And this can only mean one thing, exceptional weather for attending evening outdoor events like live DJ sessions and open-air concerts, of which there will be plenty of all throughout the month in Dubai.
But if there’s one single thing that takes centre stage in Dubai this November it’s the emirate’s ambitious, bigger than ever Dubai Fitness Challenge festival, taking over the entire city (and almost the entire month) with plenty of fitness pop-ups throughout the emirate, inviting residents and tourists alike to join in the fun and get fit for a day, a week or however long you wish to participate or can linger as part of a very active Dubai holiday.
Elsewhere there are great comedy acts to catch, a series of special events as part of Dubai Design Week and a trio of delightful events for families with kids. So what is it you’ll be doing in Dubai this November?
Top Events - Highlights of the Month
Dubai Fitness Challenge - over 2,000 FREE fitness class to choose from! (1 to 22 November)
Dubai Fitness Challenge takes over most of November this year with a myriad of daily activities, group classes and fitness challenges taking place in a variety of pop up sports courts and fitness facilities across the city. Everything from yoga to circuit training, basketball, football, volleyball, padel, jogging, cycling, marathon running, and even golf simulators. Whichever your favourite sport or fitness activity, you name it they’ve got it and you’ll find it in Dubai this month!
There is DMCC Park Fitness Village at Jumeirah Lake Towers Park which offers the ultimate destination for adrenaline-seekers with a selection of extreme sports and outdoor adventures, plus a selection of no less than 400 fitness classes at the park’s main stage. Then there is DIFC Fitness Village hosting over 300 fitness classes led b expert instructors including some celebrity guest appearances!, On the other hand, the Al Khawaneej Walk Fitness Village will be providing the ultimate cycling challenge and the Palm Jumeirah Fitness Village at Al Ittihad Park in Palm Jumeirah will boast its very own virtual fitness trail and daily fitness classes, including special pre- and post-natal classes for new mums and mums-to-be, as well as session for little tots.
Kids will have their chance to join in with adults with dedicated fitness activities that are also incredibly fun. While the DMCC Park Fitness Village features the Just Play Adrenaline Village with trampolining, acrobatics and more, the DIFC Fitness Village will host activities as part of the Disney Fitness Sessions and Les Mills for kids.
For the second year running, Dubai Fitness Challenge’s ultimate aim is to make Dubai the world’s most active city for a month, beating every previous record held, including the number of people who joined last year’s challenge of getting their daily #Dubai30X30 - they came close to the million figure last time and they’re hoping to surpass it this time!
And remember all sports events mentioned above as part of Dubai Fitness Challenge are completely, 100 per cent FREE for everyone of all ages to enjoy! What better excuse to start getting fit on holiday in style?
Science Festival at Children’s City (11 November to 24 November)
The annual Science Carnival will be celebrated this November at Children’s City, a learning centre in Dubai Creek Park designed for kids and based around the world of science. As part of the carnival, a set of interactive exhibits and engaging presentations will be hosted, giving youngsters an amazing immersion in the world of science with innovative experiences, exciting experiments, fun games and a line-up of entertainment activities for children aged 2 and up. Beyond the Science Carnival exhibit, there is an onsite Planetarium to explore, a nature centre where kids can learn about local landscapes, and of course all within mere footsteps of Dubai Creek’s beautiful botanical gardens. A great place to take little ones to during a Dubai holiday this November - it’s guaranteed to make for a memorable family day out. Tickets are priced at just 10 AED (the equivalent of around £2) for children and 15 AED (just over £3) for adults, with a family package (2 adult and 2 kids) priced at 40 AED (around £8.40 - less than a tenner!). With entry prices so cheap, there’s really no excuse not to make a trip here a part of your family Dubai holiday this November!
Dubai Design Week (12 to 17 November)
The second week of November in Dubai marks the start of Dubai Design Week, the region’s largest creative festival of its kind, promoting the emirate as the design capital of the Middle East. Now in its fourth edition, Dubai Design Week will encompass over 200 different design-related design events across a variety of disciplines, from interior and graphic design to furniture and architecture. Said events will take over multiple venues in the city, from public spaces to galleries, showrooms, pop-up installations, universities, cultural institutions and even shops. An example of the latter is the Hermes “Species of Spaces” Installation at Dubai Mall exploring the soul of objects. There will also be a fair called Downtown Design at Dubai Design District (d3) showcasing limited edition designs while the Global Grad Show exhibits outstanding pieces of work by the world’s most innovative universities. And then there’s Abwab, a curated interactive project featuring original design from North Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. Attendance to all of these is completely free for all and there is a Dubai Design Week app free to download and designed to act as a personal guide, taking users through the festival’s many free-to-attend events.
Waterlicht - an immersive dream landscape not to miss (11 to 16 November)
As part of Dubai Design Week comes a very special outdoor exhibit taking over the city’s newest neighbourhood by the waterfront - the Jameel Arts Centre, which will have a very special debut as a contemporary art hub with the surreal outdoor installation by Dutch creator Dan Roosegardee. Titled “Waterlicht” which translates as “Waterlight”, this compelling, highly emotive installation takes viewers on an almost hypnotic journey, exploring the power and poetry of water as it flows through time evoking Dubai’s past and present. The time to enjoy this incredible spectacle for the senses is after sunset, at the Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park. Entrance to the show is free but advance reservation is a must given that space is limited. Register at jameelartscentre.org/waterlicht.
Brian McFadden Live at Irish Village (15 November)
Former Westlife member and Irish singer, Brian McFadden will be presenting his new solo music alongside his nine-piece band at Dubai’s Irish Village. Stopping in Dubai as part of his recently-launched Soul Jam tour, he will introduce the audience to his new sounds with a collection of soulful tracks. This is one of the first chances to hear McFadden live as he applies his husky tones to soul classics and pays tribute to music legend Otis Redding. The concert starts at 9:30 p.m. and tickets cost 175 AED (£37).
Global Comedy Fest Dubai (15 November)
If you want to make laughter a big part of your holiday in Dubai this November than mark 15th November firmly on your calendar. Hosted at the Dubai Festival City Arena, the Global Comedy Fest Dubai brings some of Africa’s best comedians to the stage, as well as other comedy professionals from other corners of the world. The line-up includes Uganda’s Salvador (who, by the way, was a finalist in the World’s Funniest Person competition), Nigerian actor, sitcom and film writer, Bovi, and British-Congolese presenter, actor, MC and comedian, Eddie Kadi. For a long night of belly-tickling laughter and hilarious antics, the Dubai Festival City Arena is the place to be. Doors open at night and the funny action goes on until 3 a.m. with tickets priced between 100 AED (£21) and 400AED (£84). These can be purchased at oneafricaglobal.com
Snow White Sees Reed (18 to 23 November)
Snow White at its most hilarious comes to The Junction at Alserkal Avenue this November to delight young and old. This French stage adaptation of the classic fairy tale explores the true nature of the characters in a humorous way. With the original title of these reinvented play being Blanche Neige Voit Rouge (Snow White sees Red) you can expect roars of laughter as teenage Snow White (who is currently going through a crisis) confronts an increasingly neurotic Evil Queen. The frenetic action unfolds over 50 minutes as the story turns into a comedic chaos. A great option if you want your kids (or yourself) to brush up on their French as the entire show will be in French. Standard ticket prices sale for 125 AED (around £26) and there will be two shows daily, one at 11 a.m. and another at 2 p.m.
Bao Music and Dance Fest (29 to 30 November)
To end things on a high, the month is closing with a two-day mega event celebrating Chinese culture at Meydan, Dubai’s lifestyle and sports destination. With everything from dance, music, food, fashion, carnival and culture, the Bao Festival serves to strengthen ties between both nations in a joyous way for everyone to enjoy. Over a dozen globally-famous DJ will take to the turntables each night to get everyone up on the dance floor and there will be plenty of pop-up food, fashion and artisan stalls selling all manner of traditional Chinese bites and arts and crafts. On 29th November the DJ line-up includes Afrojack, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, DJ Licious, Alok, R3hab and Marcus Santoro while on the following day it’s turn for Don Diablo, Martin Garrix, Nervo, Brooks, Dante Klein and Salvatore Ganacci to take to the stage.
Action starts at 6 p.m. and goes on into the early hours of the following day, ending at 3 a.m. Tickets are on sale at baofestival.com and start at 395 AED (£83) so not exactly cheap but bear in mind this will be an epic mega event with an all-star DJ line-up.
Music for all tastes
Top acts at Dubai Opera (14 November)
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic arrives at the Dubai Opera on 14 November, bringing a radical new approach to the arrangement and presenting of orchestral music with a cutting-edge production that includes special effects and an amazing light and sound show for a memorable and highly moving musical experience. On this occasion, they will introduce the audience to Waterworks, a masterpiece incorporating visual and sound elements. Tickets start at 200 AED and the show starts at 8 p.m.
Hacienda Classical will follow on 22nd and 23rd November with two stellar performances, where dance anthems will get a classical makeover. Old school house classic like Ride on Time and Pacific State will get the classical treatment with the help of a full symphony orchestra under the conduction of Tim Crooks. The concert starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are priced between 250AED (£53) and 450 AED (£94).
Zero Gravity’s Big Birthday Bash (16 November)
Officially inaugurating beach party season, Zero Gravity, the biggest DJ party beach destination in Dubai is celebrating its fifth birthday in style with an all-day-long epic brunch. Beyond the succulent food and great variety of beverages, there’ll be poolside performances from Ibiza favourites like Ben Santiago and Lovely Laura. And the best bit - entry is free before 8 p.m. and free for ladies all night long! Gentlemen pay 100 AED (£21) after 9 p.m. or 75 AED (£16) if they pay for tickets in advance.
Epic 90s dance tunes at DXB 9020 Music Festival (16 November)
Those nostalgic about 90s music will get a very special treat in Dubai this November with the arrival of the DXB 9020 Music Festival at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium. A promising fun night out full of old school 90s tunes you’ll love to belt out. There will be onsite food and beverage vendors as well as arts and crafts stalls and displays by sponsors. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets start at 150 AED (£31).
Zero Gravity’s monthly line-up of DJ parties (16 and 22 November)
After it’s big birthday gig, Zero Gravity starts its party winter season by hosting two outstanding DJ performances this November.
Disciples make it to the stage on 16 November to get the audience moving to their deep house sounds, including their summer hit with Calvin Harris “How Deep is Your Love”. British DJ Anton Powers follows up on 22 November with a concert including mega-hits like “Love You Better”, “Alone No More” and “Baby” with Pixie Lott). Both performances start at 5 p.m. and go on until 3 a.m. with free entry before 9 p.m. and free entries for ladies all night.
Families and Kids
The Gruffalo’s Child at Madinat Theatre (23 to 24 November)
After touring Britain and the world, the much-loved sequel to the legendary The Gruffalo children’s book comes to the stage in Dubai this month. A stage play version of Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo’s Child will delight families with young children as they’re taken on a sometimes fun, sometimes scary journey that will teach them a few lessons. Expect to hear delighted cries, laughter and cheering from the youngest in the audience as the action unfolds. Ideal for children aged 3 and up, The Gruffalo’s Child is on at the Madinat Theatre for two days with shows scheduled at 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Tickets are priced between 135 AED (close to £30) and 185 AED (nearly £40).
Superhero Wild Run at Wild Wadi (23 November)
A fun day out for the whole family looms at Wild Wadi Waterpark in Dubai this month, as kids (and parents) are encouraged to don their favourite superhero costume and run, walk or jog along the water park’s twists and turns. Organised in support of the Tender Hearts Arena, a project to create a recreational centre for children with special needs, the activities of the day will include competitions for the best hero costumes, live performances from kids at the centre and a raffle to win amazing prizes that include entry tickets to the Wild Wadi Waterpark, a stay at the Jumeirah Hotel, restaurant coupons and a lot more. For the chance to win, all families have to do is upload a photo of themselves dressed in superhero costumes with the #superherowildrun hashtag. It costs 75 AED (£16) to participate and kids aged 2 and under go free.