The weekend is finally here, and it’s even better than usual – it’s a three-day one!

We’re going to make the most of it with new (and old) brunches, outdoor markets, musicals, sales and sports stars…

(Plus, want to get ahead on planning next year’s long weekends? Check out our calendar of public holidays for 2017).

Wednesday 30

Make a start on that Christmas shopping

The Market at The Beach

Arriving just in time for that seemingly endless month of gift-buying, a new outdoor market has sprung up at The Beach opposite JBR. Featuring dozens of artisanal stalls as an alternative to the usual mall retailers, you can peruse locally-made wares alfresco (and then treat yourself to some yummy snacks like stuffed olives from the foodie stalls… because shopping is basically cardio, right?).

The Market at The Beach opposite JBR, Dubai, 10am to midnight, daily, until April 2017. More information on Facebook.

Thursday 1

Grab a bargain

shopping generic

What’s better than a fancy new outfit? One that you got for 90 per cent off, of course. Luckily a city-wide sale is coming to Dubai to celebrate National Day, with price-slashing on from December 1 to 3 across most of Dubai’s malls. Shops participating in the sale will offer discounts ranging between 30 and 90 per cent on selected items. Click here for more details.

Spend an evening with the Bard

Shakespeare in the Sands

Want to get a shot of culture but Shakepeare’s works seem dauntingly long? Then try this three-day event, where some of the playwright’s best scenes are condensed into a feature-length film of 10-minute nuggets. The cast is made up of UK acting royalty, some scenes are captured in the cities Will imagined them in, and you’ll get snippets from performances including Hamlet, Julius Caesar and The Merchant of Venice.

The Junction, Al Serkal Avenue, Dubai, Dhs100 per person, showings Thur to Sat 7.30pm to 9.30pm, and Sat 2.30pm to 4.30pm. Tel: (04) 3388 525. Click here to buy tickets.

See some world-class sport

Dubai Rugby Sevens

Pull out your best fancy dress – one of the city’s hottest sporting events is back for another year. The best teams in the world will battle it out for the coveted trophy, with 4,000 players expected to take part in the tournament. Before you go, get in the mood by reading our exclusive interview with Sophie Shams, the 17-year-old Emirati making her international debut at the Sevens.

The Sevens Stadium, Al Ain Road, Dubai, December 1 to 3. Admission on Thursday 1 is free, tickets Dhs300 for Friday 2 and Saturday 3 when purchased in advance. If bought on the day, tickets are Dhs400, kids under 12 are free.

Friday 2

See the world’s longest-running musical

les miserables dubai opera

It’s wowed an estimated 70 million during its 31 years of life, and now it’s wowing crowds right here in Dubai. Want proof? Just read our review. The impressive cast wraps up its Middle Eastern tour this weekend, so get a last-minute ticket while you can.

Dubai Opera, The Opera District, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, Mon to Thur 8pm, Fri and Sat timings vary, from Dhs275. Tel: (800) 36227. More information on website.

Fill up your pantry…

The Farmers Market on the Terrace

… with fresh organic produce no less. The Farmers Market on the Terrace is returning for its eighth season, and with it is coming a ream of local growers and their goods. Expect quality produce and very reasonable prices at the Baker & Spice-backed event.

Bay Avenue, Business Bay, Dubai, Fridays 8am to 1pm. Click here for more information.

Bid farewell to The Ivy

the ivy

The classic British restaurant is closing its doors at the end of the year, and to mark the sad news, there’s a 2 for 1 promotion on their famous Friday brunch. Choose from either a three-course or eight-course degustation menu of traditional dishes, as the silky sounds of an old-school soundtrack make you feel right at home.

The Ivy, Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Fri 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs299 with soft drinks, Dhs499 with house beverages, or Dhs599 with premium beverages. Tel: (04) 3198767.

Break your fast with a view

At.mosphere Lounge

A sumptuous breakfast at At.mosphere Lounge on the Burj Khalifa’s Level 122? Now that’s how you start your weekend on a high. Maybe it’s the altitude but French toast and waffles have never tasted this good. For those wanting to find the perfect balance between virtuous and decadent then we can’t recommend the organic scrambled eggs with truffles highly enough. A recent addition to At.mosphere, the breakfast menu also offers a la carte options and is open to all – including children. Then again, you may want to make Friday mornings your new date ‘night.’

At.mosphere Lounge, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai, 7am to 10.30am, Dhs325 per person including soft beverages, 35 per cent discount for Emirates ID or Dhs200 minimum spend.

Saturday 3

Check out a new restaurant

Café Des Artistes

You say patisserie, we say when and where. Luckily a new fine-dining French-Mediterranean restaurant is opening this weekend to further indulge our sweet tooth. Café Des Artistes will serve up breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon teas – plus cakes and choccies – in its luxurious surroundings… and you can pop into the boutique next door, Atelier Des Artistes, to walk off your eclair afterwards.

Café Des Artistes, Al Wasel Road, Box Park, Dubai, open 10am to 12am daily. Tel: 056 106 0818. More information on website.

Marvel at Middle Eastern architecture

Mark Luscombe-Whyte

To see some of the region’s finest buildings without having to travel, check out Mark Luscombe-Whyte’s exclusive exhibition at The Galleria. From exotic palaces and majestic mosques to striking portraits of desert nomads, the award-winning photographer has captured architecture and life in the capital and the wider Arab world in his stunning shots.

The Great Room, The Galleria, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, November 29 to December 6, Thur 10am to 12am, Fri 12pm to 12am, Sat to Wed 10am to 10pm.

Indulge in a leisurely brunch

La Cantine Du Faubourg

Hurrah – a brunch where it’s definitely OK to dress down. La Cantine’s Reveil brunch features servers clad in silky PJs, table service, boudoir-style decor and chic Parisian street beats – all while you chow down on pastries, eggs, signature dishes and desserts.

La Cantine Du Faubourg, first floor, Emirates Towers, Dubai, Sat 12pm to 4pm, Dhs250 including soft drinks, Dhs380 including house beverages, Dhs496 including bubbly. Tel: (04) 3527 105.

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Images: Supplied