You might think of January as a rather quiet month in much of the world, where everyone recovers from the hard partying and over-indulgence of the Christmas season, where every Detox diet under the sun is tried and tested by those seeking to fulfil their resolution for a healthier 2019 and a time of clear-headedness when many consider their fitness goals and reconsider their lifestyle. It’s a month for reflecting, re-awakening, planning, defining future goals and meditating. There’s none of the mad Christmas rush and crazed New Year parties. January is a cleansing month, a time to mark new beginnings with a clear head and a time to step back and take things slow. Indeed, January started off in Dubai on a rather subdued note but that’s not to say that the month will be lacking in entertainment action or recreational pursuits, or that, the events calendar wouldn’t start to fill up again now that we’re half way through the month. Which is why we bring you the best of January in Dubai starting now, mid-month, when things start to pick up again in the emirate.
Top Picks – our January Highlights
Dubai Shopping Festival (now until 2nd February)
Having kicked off on Boxing Day, Dubai’s most popular annual festival is in full swing this month, bringing exclusive discounts, competitions, raffle and family entertainment to all retail spaces in the city. From malls to souks and even street markets all of Dubai is in a shopping frenzy with the arrival of Dubai Shopping Festival, which can only mean exceptional bargains to be had if you´re in Dubai this month. Not only that, there will be fashion pop-ups, flash sales. amazing fireworks displays and fabulous family entertainment with captivating performances, live concerts. That coupled with the balmy weather make it one of the best months to be enjoying a Dubai holiday, especially for shopaholics and bargain hunters.
Light Art DXB (7 January to 13 February)
One part of Dubai will be more beautiful and Instagrammable than ever this January as a kaleidoscope of lights brings to life six dynamic sculptures in Burj Park Plaza. The installed sculptures will use light in a spectacular way as part of a breathtaking show titled Light Art DXB with intricate design and awe-inspiring reflections to delight and wow audiences. This beautiful feature is free for all to enjoy and snap (you’ll definitely want to take a photograph or two as a forever memento of your Dubai holiday this 2019) and the installation will be in place until mid-February.
International Kite Festival (18 February)
After amassing resounding success last year, Dubai’s International Kite Festival is back for a second edition of brightening up the skies with a flurry of kites of all sizes, shapes and colours. Returning to Al Mamzar Park with its scenic location right by the beach, onlookers can look forward to a magnificent show as undulating kites take to the skies, bringing life, movement and colour to Dubai’s cloudless blue firmament in a spectacular way.
Hundreds of kite owners will unite and fly their proud possessions (many of which are painstakingly handcrafted for months) to participate in a competition and be in with the chance of winning the festival’s annual title. To enliven the joyful atmosphere and add another dimension to it there will be live music from DJs. It’s a fun day out for the entire family because beyond the kite-flying fun, whether you participate as an onlooker or as a kite flyer, there will be kite-making workshops for kids, free face painting, henna body art and more. You can bring your own picnic basket for the day or tuck into the delicious food on offer at the many pop-up stalls especially erected for the event.
Dubai Design District (d3) gets busy with concerts and workshops (15, 19, 22, 26 and 29 January)
Taking a starring role this month, Dubai Design District (a.k.a. d3) has scheduled a jam-packed calendar of fun activities for all ages. From live concerts to shows, competitions, workshops and exhibitions, d3 is the place to be in Dubai this January. Keep reading below to find out some of the fun events you could be enjoying there this month.
D3 Unplugged (19 and 26 January)
Packing a series of dynamic live performances with the participation of talented DJs and musicians, d3 Unplugged is back by popular demand and launches this January with weekly shows. Who will be giving it their all during a live concert here? The likes of DJ Shef Codes and friends, Omar Dean and X-Factor Arabia winner Hamza Hawawi, plus live mixes by other star performers. This is the best of local and regional music talent in Dubai, so don’t miss it!
On 19th January Iraqi R&B singer Shebani will take to the stage to give a one-off performance followed and preceded by Omani female DJ Fatma Al Bakra.
On 26th January a surprise act will give a rather unique show, as he or she will be picked out from a community competition on Instagram, where local talent will battle it out to snag the spot and perform for an eager audience.
Film Photography Workshops by The Cave (15, 22 and 29 January)
If you’re a photo enthusiast or want to sharpen your camera skills, The Cave will bring a series of photography and film workshops to d3 this month. Walking you through the history of film photography, you will not only learn the basics but get a good background in the subject from which to draw inspiration. The classes take you from Beginner to Intermediate level and booking your place in advance is pivotal as there are only 15 spots available per class.
For more info on other events at Dubai’s Design District, this month check their official website and social media accounts as more activities are bound to pop up as the month progresses.
Dubai World Cup Carnival (17, 24 and 31 January)
Leading up to the Dubai World Cup Final on 9th March, January is the month when the three-month Dubai World Cup tournament kicks off. In celebration of this national event, the biggest sports competition in the emirate with a millionaire cash prize ($35 million US dollars in this year’s jackpot), the Dubai World Cup pans out over then different race events, the first five of which take place in January. You can choose from weekly horse races on 17th, 24th and 31st January and tuck into one of the traditional picnic baskets offered at Picnic at the Premium and containing delicious bites. Enjoy the live horse-racing action, see some of the best jockeys and their valiant steed battle it out at the world-class Meydan Racecourse while you make the most of outstanding, high-end hospitality and fine dining. General Admission is free but you can upgrade to a variety of packages available at a range of prices if you want to enjoy the racing action in style. Whether you want to go all out and splurge on a premium package or opt for a cosy picnic experience instead, there’s no excuse not to be part of this year’s action if you’re in Dubai this month.
George Ezra Live at Dubai World Trade Centre (22 January)
UK singer-songwriter and “Shotgun” sensation, George Ezra will be treating Dubai fans to his deep bass-baritone melodies and infectious energy with an upcoming concert later this month at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Marking his first ever Dubai performance, 25-year-old Ezra will take the audience on a musical journey through a variety of genres, from folk-pot to blues and rock. Having previously performed at Glastonbury and Saturday Night Live, the young artist’ debut in the region is being met with great anticipation which is why tickets went on sale nearly three months prior to his performance. You still have a chance to get your hands on one, with tickets being priced between 295 and 459 AED (from around £62 to £105). The show starts at 9 p.m. and doors open at 7 p.m.
Omega Dubai Desert Classic 2019 (24 to 27 January)
One of the biggest golfing events of the Middle East, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic kicks off later this month at the Emirates Golf Club. Dubbed the “Major of the Middle East” this golf tournament will see the world’s best golfers battle it out in Dubai to win the coveted “Majlis Course” title, now in its 30th edition. Last year, Haotong Li from China was crowned the winner, joining legends like Tiger Woods, Seve Ballesteros, Colm Montgomerie, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Fred Couples and Henrik Stenson on the Omega Dubai Desert Classic’s hall of fame. Who will it be this year? To be part of the action and see it unfold live tickets are priced at just 75 AED (just under £16).
Market Outside The Box (24 January to 2 February)
Kicking off towards the end of the month to end this year’s Dubai Shopping Festival edition with a big bang, Market Outside the Box returns to Dubai for another exciting edition of outdoor shopping and merriment. This year they aim to beat last’s year figure of over 80 local and international emerging brands presenting their goods in an atmospheric al fresco environment. They promise more fun and fashion this year with a jam-packed line-up of live performances, from music to dance to drama. An onsite pop-up cinema completes the picture along with fabulous food to taste at the hands of an impressive line-up of food trucks presenting some of Dubai’s most popular homegrown eateries.
There’s certainly a lot to look forward to so if you’re in Dubai towards the end of the month and with so much entertainment on the cards you can’t be forgiven for not stopping here at least one day of your Dubai holidays. With the city’s excellent temperatures at this time of year, it’s a fabulous time to make the most of the outdoors and experience more of real Dubai, outside malls, theme parks, hotels and restaurants. Go on, make the most of this outdoors shopping experience at Market OTB.
Othello at Dubai Opera (31 January to 2 February)
One of Shakespeare’s classics arrives to the Dubai stage this month for the first time. Having been reimagined to fit into a 21st century context, the play by director Richard Twyman, which has recently wrapped up a run in London comes to the Dubai Opera stage after earning widespread international acclaim following its worldwide tour. Othello will be brought to the UAE by the English Touring Theatre company, an award-winning group who recently scooped up the UK Theatre Award.
If you’re in Dubai this month you’ll have the chance to enjoy this classic on three different days and on two different timeslots. Its debut is at 8 p.m. on 31st January with repeat performances on 1st and 2nd February at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Due to the sensitive nature of some of the topics treated the production has an age restriction of 12 and up with anyone aged under 16 needing to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Tickets start at 150 AED
Swiss Days 2019 ft Charles Nguela & The Blackouts at Madinat Theatre (31 January)
To close off the month in style, the Swiss Art Gate UAE promises an incredible night of entertainment at the Madinat Theatre with a multi-disciplinary show with everything from belly-tickling comedy to live music, special effects and LED acrobatics.
Swiss Days 2019 is back to wow crowds in Dubai with some of Switzerland’s finest talents. The first of the two nights (there will be a second one in February) will feature Charles Nguela and The Blackouts, with comedian Charles Nguela generating non-stop laughter with is unfiltered opinions and musings. Then it will be time for The Blackouts to put on one of their entrancing shows, combining acrobatics with lights and dance as part of a multi-coloured choreography designed to blow your mind. If you’re enjoying Dubai holidays this month, you simply can’t miss it!