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23 May 2017Last updated
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12 things to do in the UAE this April

Our top picks and tips for making the most of the month

Catherine Harper
10 Apr 2017 | 01:36 pm

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1. Go Mediterranean…

Round up the kids and head out on to the Palm for the new La Familia Saturday brunch at El Chiringuito, Rixos The Palm. There’s a bougainvillea-draped outdoor terrace and a chilled-out indoor lounge, both with old-school beats in the background, and a host of Mediterranean-inspired treats on offer from 12pm-4pm. The menu – think octopus, paella, cotoletta alla Milanese and more – features fresh ingredients imported directly from Spain and changes each month to keep things livened up. For smaller diners (otherwise known as those who might not want to sit at the table for long!) there’s the Little Chiringuito supervised area complete with arts, crafts and adventure. Packages from Dh395-695.054 449 6464

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2. Catch a show…

If, like us, you can recite this fabulous Disney classic off by heart, then no doubt you have been eagerly waiting for the Mary Poppins theatre show to hit Dubai Opera’s stage for months already. Running from May 1 to 25 at 7.45pm, with matinee performances on the weekend, this show is sure to be a spectacular hit with kids and adults alike. So get your tickets quick! Chimney sweeps, talking umbrellas, a magical nanny that lives on the clouds and some truly memorable songs and choreography awaits you. Tickets start at Dh200 from www.dubaiopera.com

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3. Get the blues…

The award-winning global stage show Blue Man Group is coming to the UAE this month. Featuring a mix of art, music and comedy - and a trio of bald, blue men - to create a celebration of life, the shows will take place at Dubai Opera from April 11-15 and du Arena, Abu Dhabi from April 18-22. Tickets start from Dh195 and are available at platinumlist.net. More info on yakfoundation.com 

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4. Have some family fun…

Make the most of the tail end of winter at the new Dukesy family beach brunch at Palm eaterie West 14th. With beach and pool access from 10am-6pm and a host of supervised children’s activities including a bouncy castle, face painting, football on the beach, a trampoline, movies and PlayStation, it’s our idea of family heaven! Brunch is served from 1pm-4pm and packages start from Dh195 (Dh97.50 for kids). west14th.ae 

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5. Celebrate the season…

Grab the family and get down to Reform Social & Grill, The Lakes, for their Easter Family Fun Day on April 15. There’ll be an Easter egg hunt, face painting, a bouncy castle, a petting zoo and more for the little ones, while adults can chill out in the relaxed atmosphere with a barbecue and a few ice-cold beverages. reformsocialgrill.ae

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6. Enjoy some movie magic…

There’s a new movie theatre in town and it’s firmly aimed at those who like their cinema experience classic. the roxy - centrally located at box park - offers a trip to movie nostalgia including low lighting, lush interiors, an in-house library and a bistro where you can enjoy pre-movie drinks and dinner. there’s even a 16-seater private screen you can hire just for you and your crowd! theroxycinemas.com

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7. Sign the kids up…

It’s the holidays! But what to do with the little ones when they’re bored of the park, the beach and the iPad? Check out spring camp at kids’ favourite Splash ‘n Party. Aiming to keep young adventurers as active as possible, the packed schedule includes Yogalates, Aqua Zumba, Boot Camp and bungee trampolining, as well as the slightly more sedate science lab, arts and crafts, musical activities and cooking. And, of course, there’s access to all the water slides! Camp runs from 9.30am-2.30pm from April 2-6 and costs Dh499 per child per week. splashnparty.ae 

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8. Indulge…

British foodie favourite M&S has a host of yummy goodies in-store for Easter, including some rather inventive hot cross buns. We’ve got our eyes on the Kentish Bramley Apple and Toffee Fudge & Belgian Chocolate varieties, and we’ll be bagging the mini ones for the office! Buy two packs for Dh25 until April 16. Marksandspencerme.com

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9. Hang out with the girls…

If you’re in need of a girly get-together but a traditional free-drinks-and-party-fest isn’t quite the ticket, how about a little me-time, chilling out and relaxation instead? Grab the ladies and head on down to the new Spa Ladies Night on offer from The Spa at Fairmont Dubai. Every Tuesday from 2pm until 10pm you can enjoy a lazy afternoon by the pool, complete with a healthy meal and refreshments, then an hour of yoga meditation and access to the sauna and steam room to wind down and de-stress. Then you’ll head to the treatment rooms to really indulge with your choice of two 30-minute rejuvenating treatments picked from a specially chosen menu. You’ll get all of this for the bargain price of Dh349, as well as a treat to go home with. Call 04 311 8800 to make your reservation.

10. Getaway…

Three great options for a chic staycation this month: 

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On the wild side - Immerse yourself in the wildlife of Arabia; Desert Islands Resort and Spa by Anantara at Sir Bani Yas Island has special rates starting from Dh1,000 plus taxes in April, as well as a raft of offers including happy hours, dining promotions and spa specials. There’s also the Resort’s annual Kite Fest on April 28. Anantara.com 

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Just for the girls - Pair up with a girlfriend and enjoy a night’s city break in the Chopard Ladies Room at Jumeirah Emirates Towers from Dh950. Two ladies staying together will get a complimentary breakfast, spa vouchers and access to a private beach, as well as a private cosmetic fridge stocked with Chopard goodies. Jumeirah.com 

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Head north - Doubletree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah has a cracking deal on for April. Brunch & Stay, with prices from Dh900, offers the international Islanders Friday brunch at Vespa and Brasserie restaurants, an overnight stay, breakfast the next morning and late check-out until 5pm. 07 203 0000.

11. & 12. Dining out with a difference…

Two of Dubai’s most unusual dining concepts: 

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Dinner in the sky
Where: Sky-high meals at the Dubai International Marine Club, in Dubai Marina.
When: Flights are available daily from 2.40pm until 11.10pm on weekdays, and from 11.50am until 12.35am on weekends.
How much? From Dh499 at dinnerinthesky.ae

One of the world’s most unique dining concepts, Dinner in the Sky takes guests 50 metres up on a crane, where they’re seated at a table suspended in mid-air to enjoy a five-star meal with five-star views. We opted for a night-time flight: harnessed into secured bucket seats, I was surprised by how smoothly the table zips up into the sky. It’s a teppanyaki-style set-up, which sees guests seated in a large rectangle and the chef and servers based in an aisle down the centre, from where they serve and clear the food.

The Ritz-Carlton chef delivered nothing short of a spectacular three-course meal; baby beetroot salad, juicy short ribs and delicious desserts. I was in conflict with myself most of the time, wondering what to focus on, the stunning panoramic view or the amazing food. The table circles slowly during the flight so everyone can see the views from every angle, and the staff are eagerly on hand to take all the photos you want – even the bucket chairs turn to face the outside, to give the most daring an even better view.

This gravity-defying experience is a semi-permanent fixture, so grab your chance to fly while it’s still around. Perfect for a special occasion or to impress visitors. 

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Le Petit Chef
Where: World Trade Club, Dubai World Trade Centre
When: Until May 27. Showings are on Thursdays and Saturdays at 7 and 9pm and Fridays at 2.30, 7 and 9pm.
How much? From Dh450 at dinnertimestory.com

In Dubai’s crowded restaurant scene, Le Petit Chef offers a genuinely novel dining concept that will intrigue even the most jaded of UAE foodies. Through a clever combination of projection, optical illusion and audio you’ll be taken on a journey throughout your meal, guided by a little 3D chef who scampers around your table, going on adventures and cooking you up great food.

Inspired by the travels of Marco Polo, diners follow the chef around the world, being served six courses from the Middle East, India, China and many more. Each dish is beautifully served to echo its origins: amuse-bouche served in a tiny suitcase, terracotta pots nestled in sand, engraved silver platters carrying bags of spices. The sheer originality of the scheme means that you’ll walk away with an experience to remember.

For the price of a brunch you’ll be amused and entertained by the eccentric little chef and amazed by the incredible animated scenery your table presents. With limited places at each showing, Le Petit Chef allows guests to slow down and focus on the meal at hand, including all the incredible heritage and history that plays into our love of international cuisine.

Catherine Harper

Catherine Harper