The weekend is finally here, and we’re going to be making the most of it with fashion shows, picnic brunches, and the horse racing event of the year…

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Thursday 23

Check out some local style talent

Fashion Forward is back with a bang for its ninth season, bringing with it the best local designers that Dubai and the Middle East has to offer. There are catwalk displays, showcases and seminars, with most events open to the public. For who to see and what to do, click here for our guide to the stylish weekend. See you on the front row…

Various locations in d3, Dubai Design District, Dubai, March 23 to 25, tickets from Dhs100, full schedule and registration details at

Get a handle on your kitchen skills

nook dubai

There’s a brand-new homewares store in town (and if you’re a fan of hand-glazed bowls and marble knickknacks, we think you’ll be into it). To celebrate its opening, the Scandi-cool store is holding several events, including a cooking and food styling workshop today. Chef OTB (aka cook and food writer Najoud Al-Jabri) will be hosting the 90-minute session, where you’re sure to pick up a new recipe or two.

Shop 12C, Beach Centre, Jumeirah 1, Dubai, open 11am to 9pm daily, workshop starts at 1oam, limited places. Tel: (04) 265 4666.

Friday 24

Enjoy a new picnic-inspired brunch

A picnic without having to worry about sand in your food… yes please. Every Friday, the outdoor terrace at Skyline Lounge transforms into a picnic wonderland, complete with white benches, umbrellas, picnic mats and cushions. You’ll be given a cute basket, which you take to the “pantry” to stock up on gourmet goodies, including sandwiches, salad jars, artisan cheeses and pickles. There’s also a barbecue, and for dessert, you can treat yourself at the sweet shop, which stocks popcorn, candy floss and ice cream. Instagrams at the ready…

Skyline Lounge, Crowne Plaza Festival City, Dubai, Fridays noon to 4pm, Dhs245 for soft beverages, Dhs345 for house beverages and Dhs445 for French bubbly. Kids under 5 dine free, kids 6-12 dine for Dhs125. Tel: (04) 701 1127/28.

Hit up a beach party

Blue Marlin

To help you warm up for the Dubai World Cup, Blue Marlin Ibiza is hosting a techno legend, German DJ Sven Väth. He’ll be joined by countryman Maurizio Schmitz, as well as Belgian duo Stavroz. Spend the day relaxing on one of the beach club’s daybeds, before putting your dancing shoes on and partying under the sun to their epic electronic beats.

Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE, Golden Tulip Al Jazira, Dubai, Friday 11am to 11pm. Tel: (056) 113 3400.

Saturday 25

See one of the world’s finest horse races

dubai world cup

Pop that fascinator on, because it’s Dubai World Cup time again, folks. That’s right, one of the richest horse races in the world is back, and you can still score a viewpoint for the action on the track. This year, however, advance booking is required, so you’ll need to act fast. PS Need some style inspiration for the day? Check out our guide to what to wear here.

Meydan Racecourse, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai, advance booking required, tickets from Dhs25 to Dhs6,750. Tel: (04) 327110.

Have an ambient candlelit dinner

The Palace Downtown Dubai

There’s lots going on this year for Earth Hour (seriously, Google it, you should definitely take part in something for the good of the planet), but this particular event caught our eye. Three of the Palace Downtown’s restaurants – namely Thiptara, Asado and Ewaan – are putting on a special organic and sustainably-sourced menu for the week (think braised beef rib, Atlantic crab, and lamb tagine). But you really want to head down on Saturday between 8.30pm and 9.30pm, when the whole hotel will switch off unnecessary lights and use candles for an hour – the setting is already pretty atmospheric, but this sounds like next-level romantic.

The Palace Downtown Dubai, Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, special menu from March 25 to 31. Tel: (04)428 7888.

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Images: Supplied