The weekend is finally here, and we’re going to be making the most of it with foodie tours, half-price spa visits and brand new brunches.

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Thursday 10

Have a unique dining experience

Want a memorable start to the weekend? We recommend checking out the new culinary abra tour at the Madinat Jumeirah. Your journey starts at The Hide meatery in Al Qasr, where you’ll enjoy a welcome drink and some tasty appetizers before your private abra ferries you to Chinese restaurant Zheng He’s. After a delicious main of Peking duck pancakes, you’ll sail to Mexican restaurant Tortuga for dessert and after-dinner drinks. This is a great option if you have visitors in town, but would also be a fun evening out for you and your BFF.

Madinat Jumeirah, bookable daily from 6pm, maximum of six people per abra. Dhs888 per couple, includes alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks. Tel: (04) 432 3232. More info on website.

Ensure you get a good night’s sleep after a pamper

Anantara Spa

You know what we love more than a good massage? One that comes at 50 per cent off. And that’s what you’ll get at Anantara Spa between now and September 30, if you book a massage, a Turkish hammam or a facial between Sunday and Thursday. You have to have a treatment between 10am and 1pm and 7pm and 9pm, so we reckon a soothing hot stone massage at about 8pm should be just what you need to start your weekend on the right note. (Because being in a deep sleep by 9.30pm is what everyone does on a Thursday, right?).

Anantara Spa, Anantara The Palm, Crescent Road, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. Advance booking necessary to get 50 per cent off deal. Tel: (04) 567 8140.

Friday 11

Dress to impress at this new brunch

If you think getting dressed up for brunch is half the fun, you’ll love the new “Best Dressed” Friday brunch at Dukes Dubai. A free overnight stay will be awarded to the guest who makes the most effort with their attire (and you’ll get a certificate, too – definitely one you’ll want to frame). As for the food, you can fill your plate from the bakery, salad bar and rotisserie, before heading over to the candyfloss section where a chocolate fountain and other goodies await.

Dukes Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, Dhs295 for soft package, Dhs395 for house package, Dhs445 for sparkling package, Dhs545 for bubbly package. Tel: (04) 455 1101. More info on website.

Hit the shops

shopping festival generic

The biggest sale of the summer – Dubai Summer Surprises – is wrapping up this weekend. Sob. But don’t fret, you can still pick up all those remaining items on your wish list during the “grand finale” sale. Harvey Nichols, Bloomingdale’s, Debenhams, and Marks and Spencer are all taking part, with deals on fashion, electronics, kidswear and home items.

Various locations, Thurs 10 to Saturday 12. More info on website.

Saturday 12

Enjoy sundowners on The Palm

Riva Beach Club on Palm Jumeirah is back with a revamped Mediterranean menu, and they’re celebrating by offering half-price entry during the month of August – you can grab a weekend pass for just Dhs100. Happy hour is from 4pm to 8pm, with select beverages for Dhs25, and between 7pm and 10pm on Saturdays, you and a friend can enjoy Riva’s signature paella pan paired with a pitcher of Sangria for Dhs199. Not a bad way to round off the weekend…

Riva Beach Club, Building 8, The Shoreline Palm Jumeirah, daily 7pm to midnight. Dhs100 weekend entry. Tel: (04) 430 9466. More info on website.

Make a head start on back-to-school prep

galeries lafayette

Leaving everything to the weekend before school starts is a sure-fire road to stress. So we reckon you should make inroads now, and Galeries Lafayette’s back-to-school edit makes finding everything you need super easy. From shoes and clothes to backpacks, stationery and more, the department store has created a one-stop shop ahead of September, plus you might even score some prizes. There’s a Eastpak backpack up for grabs every day – you just have to take a selfie against the in-store Eastpak screen, and post it to Instagram with the hashtag #PakToSchool to be in with a chance to win. One shopper will win a complete travel set from the brand too (to be announced in September), so that’s a good a reason as any to make a jumpstart on your supply-gathering now.

Galeries Lafayette, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, open daily, 10am to midnight. Tel: (04) 339 9933.

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Images: Supplied