Fabulous news: it’s the weekend. If you’re casting your eye around for something to do, look no further. Whether it’s al fresco movies, festive markets or just-opened spas, we’ve got you covered.

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Thursday 7

See a fascinating film (under the stars)


Dubai International Film Festival in now in full swing, with a jam-packed schedule of things to see across the city. We’re especially keen to check out the open-air screenings at The Beach, which cost nothing and take place every night between December 6 and 13. Tonight you’ll find Mountain, a documentary that explores the human fascination with tackling the world’s highest peaks. It’s directed by Jennifer Peedom, who was behind the excellent Sherpa (2015), so expect good things.

The Beach, JBR, Dubai. Film starts at 7.30pm, free. dubaifilmfest.com.

See a spellbinding performance

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Wands at the ready people, because everyone’s favourite teen wizard is coming to Dubai (well, in a way). This weekend, Dubai Opera will be showing the first chapter in the Harry Potter film series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra performing the iconic score live. Accio up a seat now…

Dubai Opera, Opera District, Downtown Dubai. December 7 at 8pm, December 8 at 3pm and 8pm, and December 9 at 3pm. Tickets from Dhs175. Tel: (04) 440 8888. dubaiopera.com.

Friday 8

Get in the festive spirit

Dubai Winter Festival

Christmas is just around the corner (although it might not feel like it for those used to colder climes), and this festive market will get you feeling in the mood. For kids, there’s a Santa’s Grotto, pantomime and snowball fights, while shopping stalls, choirs, a fun fair and hearty snacks will keep the adults entertained.

Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Media City, Dubai. Open until December 9, 2pm to 10pm, tickets from Dhs75. Tel: (04) 457 3212. dubaiwinterfestival.com.

Meet your favourite hijabi stars in the flesh

modest fashion week

Modest Fashion Week is coming to Dubai for the first time following successful runs in London and Istanbul, and looks set to provide plenty of sartorial inspiration. There are catwalk shows and fashion talks (check out a detailed schedule here), plus cover stars Halima Aden and Mariah Idrissi, as well as mega popular YouTuber Dina Tokio, will be involved in a meet and greet. Click here to find out more about what’s on over the weekend…

Dubai Modest Fashion Week, Burj Park, Downtown Dubai, December 8 3pm to 10pm, December 9 11.30am to 10.30pm. Free to attend, but registration required. dubaimodestfashionweek.com.

Saturday 9

Get your urban footwear fix


That’s right, Sole DXB is back for another year, turning the streets of D3 into a hub of fashion, art and music. While there’ll be heaps of stalls showcasing the hottest new sneaker trends, there are also performances from Anderson Paak, Pusha T and Teyana Taylor, plus talks and film screenings.

Sole DXB, Dubai Design District, Dubai. December 7 to 9, 12pm to 10pm. Dhs125 per ticket. soledxb.com.

Visit a brand new spa

luban spa

There’s a gorgeous new Omani-style spa in Umm Suqeim (that’s ladies’ only and feels very resort-like) – it spans 2,477 square feet and the entire space is scented with frankincense and dripping in subtle gold tones. Their treatments draw from traditional Arabian traditions – we’re particular fans of the 60-minute Luban bespoke massage (Dhs450), and the 60-minute collagen facial (Dhs675). There are also traditional hammams to try too. Oh, and the Luban oil they sell is an extra soothing Frankincense face oil that will suit most skin types (it doesn’t feel sticky at all when you apply it). If you’re booking a massage ask for Zainab, she’s a pressure machine and will have your bad back sorted in no time.

Umm Al Sheif Road, Villa 100, 9am to 9pm. Tel: (04) 346 0000. Lubanspa.reservation@outlook.com

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Images: Supplied