Don’t let the rising temperatures turn you into a hermit, all locked up indoors. Embrace the adventure that this weekend in the UAE offers.
This weekend we’re sneaking out for a lunchtime steak, floating all our stress away, and learning some creative new skills… come join us.
Sneak off for a long-ish lunch
It’s the end of the week (hurrah) so treat yourself to Gaucho’s new Argentine-inspired business lunch menu, available between 12pm and 3pm. Two courses will set you back Dhs120 per person, or Dhs150 for three courses, and dishes include red pepper gazpacho, rump steak, baked avocado and profiteroles. (OK, now we’re definitely feeling hangry). Gaucho, Gate Village 05, DIFC. Tel: (04) 4227898. gauchorestaurants.com.
Shake off the working week with a free drink
If it feels like it’s been a long five days (so hands up everybody), this deal might well appeal. If you head down to PLAY Restaurant & Lounge between 5pm and 8pm, your first beverage is on the house (you just have to choose from a select menu). There’s speciality cocktails, a pretty excellent view of Dubai’s sunset, and there’s also a restaurant open from 7pm if you want to make a real night of it. 36th Floor, H Hotel, 1 Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3364444. facebook.com/PLAYRestaurants.
Have a mum and daughter bonding sesh
If you’ve run out of ideas for entertaining the kids over the school holidays, we have a solution. The Sharjah Ladies Club’s Collage Talent Centre is offering an extensive programme of workshops, activities and classes all designed with the aim of advancing and empowering women and kids alike. Prices vary depending on what you sign up for and the length you choose (you can do one-day classes or programmes spanning several months), and everything from pottery making, drawing, ballet, piano and language classes to etiquette, website design and photography is on offer.
Sharjah Ladies Club, Al Qulayaa Al Seef, Sharjah. Tel: (06) 506 7777. slc.ae
Pick up some fresh new kicks
Race ahead of the fashion pack by being one of the first to snap up Puma’s new IGNITE evoKNIT sneakers. The striking trainers – which come in four colours – blend the best running technology with a streetwear style, so these will see you from the gym and straight into happy hour. (The elasticated top does look a little different, but just think of all the sand you’ll keep out). Available at Footlocker stores (there’s several across Dubai). footlocker.com.
Tuck into some top-notch Italian
The Artisan hasn’t long been in DIFC, and it could be easy to miss with its unassuming frontage. But make sure to drop in – it’s the little sister of a three Michelin-starred restaurant in Florence and it’s perhaps the best casual fine-dining joint we’ve visited in a while. The dishes are unpretentious and executed with flair and precision. We’d definitely recommend the pasta stuffed with a silky pumpkin puree, the plump prawn and calamari skewers, and the fried zucchini flowers bursting with mozzarella and pesto. Be warned – you might need to leave with your belt unbuckled. The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri, Level P5, Burj Daman Building, DIFC, Dubai, Mon to Thurs 12pm to 3pm and 7pm to 11.30pm, Fri to Sun 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 3388133. theartisan.ae.
Have a lazy breakfast
Forget about cooking and instead roll out of bed down to City Walk to try out Farzi Café’s new breakfast menu. The “modern spice bistro” offers dishes with an Indian and Arabic twist so expect things like eggs benny with a desi ghee hollandaise, lemon quinoa with buttery asparagus, and their take on the classic English brekkie – a beef julienne hotdog topped with cheese and potato twirls. Dishes start from Dhs37, and breakfast is from 10am to 12pm. Farzi Café, City Walk 2, Dubai. Tel: (04) 394 2556. farzicafe.com.
Float all your worries away
Floatation therapy has been a thing for a while now, but if the space-agey capsules bring out the claustrophobe in you, you might like this instead. Talise Spa at Jumeirah Emirates Towers has just opened a new-look pool filled with Epsom salts and heated to 36 degrees Celsius. You can float alone or with a friend in the pool that claims to increase energy levels, calm nerves, reduce anxiety and help with digestion. The stress-busting therapy starts from Dhs200 for 30 minutes or Dhs350 for an hour (or you can buy a package for Dhs390 that includes 60 minutes of floating plus a 30-minute back massage or holistic reflexology). Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3198181. jumeirah.com/en/hotels-resorts/dubai/madinat-jumeirah/spa/talise-spa.
Monday: See the best local talent take to the stage
Ever wanted to try your hand at stand-up, or test out your self-penned songs? Then you should sign up for Dusty’s open-mic nights every Monday from 6pm. If you don’t fancy the limelight, you can just go along to watch others perform, and take advantage of happy hour (well happy three hours between 5pm and 8pm) where selected drinks start from Dhs25. Dusty’s Dubai, Al Fattan Currency House, DIFC. Tel: (04) 3545435. facebook.com/Dustys.Dubai.
Wednesday: Cheese fans, unite
Has anything ever sounded better than a DIY halloumi station? We think not. Manzil’s Grapes Bi Jebnah night allows guests to sample some of the creamiest, most flavourful cheeses and learn more about their perfect grape pairing (which you’ll also sample on the night). In-house experts will lead the experience every Wednesday from 6pm to 10pm, and booking are a must. Tickets cost Dhs145 per person, which includes cheeses and three house beverages. Manzil Downtown Dubai, Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai. Tel: (04) 4238899. vida-hotels.com/en/manzil.