Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A new school opens in Dubai... The Universal Academy of Excellence

A new school owned and operated by Dubai Education is expected to open its doors next month..

Based in Al Safa, The Universal Academy of Excellence will open to students from Foundation Stage 1 (nursery) to Year 6 on September 2.

Licensed by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, the school will teach the internationally recognised Cambridge British Curriculum."We have everything at the school to enable children to succeed," said the principal, Kamel Fodil, who has worked through Dubai Education's plan to convert the school to a mainstream curriculum.

"We are transforming our facilities into state of the art," he said.
"We already have smartboards in every classroom, computers and sports facilities.
"We have the tools and knowledge to provide them with the highest levels of support to achieve their goals and continue their development. This includes on-site therapists and specialists in education."

Students from the Jumeirah-based St Andrews School, which closed last year after the owner allegedly absconded with Dh200,000 in funds, are among those joining the school. The school was rescued by Dubai Education and operated under a new name.
"We have quite literally laid the foundations of a bright future for these children, through all different levels of learning," said Buti Saeed Al Ghandi, Dubai Education's chairman.
"The academy reinforces our commitment to the needs and the education of these children, and the greater Dubai community.

"Following in the footsteps of our success with the Canadian University of Dubai, education is a priority in Dubai and the UAE."

Enrolment and registration forms can be found on the website, For more details, call 04 388 1388 or email

In case of any support with school search, HelpXpat is here to assist.
Please contact on 052 8102948 or

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Top reward schemes and loyalty programmes

Air Miles
Miles can be earned at more than 120 stores across the UAE, including Sharaf DG, Spinneys and Adidas. Extra air miles are available to HSBC cardholders.
Apply at
Coffee shop cards
Pick up a loyalty card at Costa Coffee or Caffe Nero, and earn a free coffee once you have collected nine stamps.
Apply in store.
Grazia Insider CardGet 20 percent off at selected stores, including American Eagle, Rvier Island, Valleydez and Topshop.
Apply at

Habtoor Hotels
Loyal One point is earned with every Dhs10 spent on food, beverages and room charges. Points can be redeemed against hotel rooms, dining and Diamond car rental.
Minimum spend of Dhs 1,000 at the hotel to become a permanent member. 
Apply at
This Hilton scheme sees members earn ten points for every Dhs4 spent on dining, spa treatments and stays at the company’s properties, which can then be redeemed against future stays.
Apply at
Hyatt Passport
Members get five points for every Dhs4 spent at Hyatt hotels, which can be redeemed against free stays, room upgrades, meals and spa treatments.
Appy at
IHG Rewards Club
Earn ten points for every Dhs4 spent on stays, spa treatments and dining. Earn 2,000 points for each stay at the InterContinental Festival City. P
oints can be redeemed for reward nights and use of hotel facilities. Valid for InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Hotels. 
Apply at
Le Club Accor
Valid at Novotel, Sofitel, Pullman and Ibis properties, spending Dhs50 will earn rewards from 20 points. Once members earn 2,000 points, they will receive Dhs195 to spend on all hotel facilities except conference events. 
Apply at
Marriot Rewards
Earn ten points for every Dhs4 spent on hotel stays (excluding facilities used while there) and redeem against future stays to save now and enjoy later. 
Apply at
The Nail Spa
This loyalty scheme at the ladies-only salon allows customers to earn one point for every Dhs1 spent. Once customers have earned 850 points, they are entitled to a free treatment, Sunday to Wednesdays. 
Apply at
Rotana Rewards
This scheme has three tiers – the first two are free. Classic cards get patrons two points for every Dhs1 spent (except on restaurant reservations), while Select cards offer complimentary late check-out and VIP guest room amenities, plus two points for every Dhs1 spent in all facilities, except Al Mawal and Chi Zen outlets. 
Apply at
Shukran Card
Accumulate points at stores across the city. Rewards for spending Dhs10 range from two to ten points, depending on the store. Once you’ve earned 100 points, you can redeem them for Dhs25 worth of products. Members must have a minimum of 500 points in their account at all times.
Apply at
Sirius JumeirahWith this free scheme, guests earn one Sirius point for every Dhs12 they spend on dining, shopping, spa treatments or hotel stays at Jumeirah hotels, resorts and residences worldwide. Points can then be used for stays, upgrades and dining.
Apply at
Starwoods Preferred Guest
Get two points for every Dhs4 spent at any Starwoods hotel in Dubai (except Le Meridien Dubai and Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Le Méridien Fairway and The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina). Points can be redeemed against hotel stays, room upgrades and activities. 
Apply at
SubwayCollect a stamp every time you order a six-inch sandwich, and once you’ve earned eight stamps, your next sandwich is free with the purchase of a soft drink.
Apply in store.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Tips to save money for a better future

Analyse essential, optional and avoidable expenses
Saving money

Abu Dhabi: Saving is, theoretically, what is left after expenses. But practically it never happens, says K.V. Shamsudheen, chairman of the UAE-based Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust, a social organisation for Indian expatriates in the Gulf.

Here are his five tips for saving money:

  1. If you wait to save after meeting all expenses, you can never do it. Set aside at least 20 per cent of your salary as savings as soon as you receive it and spend the remaining amount only. For example, if your salary is Dh10,000, set side at least Dh2,000 before you start spending.

  1. Make a budget for monthly expenses and strictly follow this. Reasonably minimise variable expenses in daily life such as food, electricity and water consumption, etc. You can’t minimise fixed expenses like rent, school fees. o But you can minimise the number of visits to posh restaurants and instead cook at home.

  1. Expatriates remitting money to family back home should help the family prepare a budget for expenses. The family should also be encouraged to save money from the remittances. (Only two per cent of Indian families save money from remittances they receive).

  1. Everyone thinks that he or she doesn’t make any unnecessary expenses. But if you write down your essential, optional and unnecessary expenses every day, the reality may be different. If you do it for 15 days, you can find many unnecessary expenses. Then it will be part of your habit to avoid them.

  1. Convert savings into productive investments in diverse sectors, which should give you a regular income.

For all your relocation needs, HelpXpat is here to assist
052 8102948

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Eid in the UAE: Food promotions

Resturants in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other emirates are putting on brunches to celebrate the end of Ramadan

Al Bustan Rotana Dubai
Choices Restaurant: Eid Brunch on the second day of Eid Al Fitr, with buffet of Arabic and international dishes, live cooking stations. From Dh205 inclusive of select beverages. Kids have their own buffet and activities. Call 04-7054285.

Al Murooj Rotana Dubai
Pergolas: Eid Al Fitr celebration on the second day of Eid, Buffet of oriental and Arabic cuisines with live cooking stations and an extensive dessert corner, Dh249 per person including unlimited select beverages and Dh129 for kids between 6 and 12 years old. Call 04 3211111.

Atlantis, The Palm
Levantine: Taste of Arabia sharing-style Eid lunch set menu on the first day of Eid, including traditional cold and hot mezze, main courses and dessert. Dh180 for the lunch set menu, children ages 3-12 pay 50 per cent, children below 3 dine free. 12.30-4pm.
Kaleidoscope: An international buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner with European Mediterranean, Northern African, Indian and Levantine cuisines; pizzas, fresh pasta, curry and tandoors; first two days of Eid, Dh195 per person, food only, children ages 3-12 will pay 50 per cent and children below 3 dine free, 12.30-5pm. Call 04-4262626.

Crowne Plaza Dubai
Al Dana: Brunch special on the first three days of Eid, dishing out fresh oysters, sushi, lobster, eight different types of fish, Arabic and international dishes; from Dh195 food only and Dh99 for children aged 6-12, 1-4pm. Call 04-3311111.

Dusit Thani Dubai
International dishes from three restaurants – Benjarong Royal Thai, PAX Italian and The Californian, in a buffet spread, plus a cherries jubilee station. From 12-4pm, Dh170 per person food only, Dh195 with soft beverages, Dh235 per person with house beverages and Dh495 per person with select premium beverages. Call 04-3433333.

Grand Millennium Dubai
Eid El Fitr lunch buffet, international and Arabic dishes for Dh195 net per person, children under 8 eat for free (two children per family), children between the age of 8 and 12 dine for Dh85 net each. Call 04-4299999.

Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort
BiCE: Two days of brunch, including salads, mains and desserts cooked to order and served at the table. 1-4pm on August 9 and 10 at Dh295 with soft beverages, Dh395 inclusive of house beverages.
Pachanga: Three days of unlimited churrasco buffet for Dh195 per person, from 6-11pm on August 8, 9 and 10. Call 04-3182530

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray
Imperium: Eid brunch during the three days of Eid, with Arabic and French dishes. Activities available younger guests at Sinbad’s Kids Club. From 1-4pm, Dh275 inclusive of soft drinks, Dh395 inclusive of selected house beverages and Dh550 inclusive of free-flowing premium beverages. Call 04-4530444.

Kanpai, Souk Al Bahar
Eid lunch set menu that includes crab claw, grilled tiger prawns with coconut red curry sauce and more, Dh150. Call 04-4419262.

Lafayette Gourmet: Buffet with dishes from eight kitchens, including Arabic, Moroccan, Italian, Asian fusion, Indian tandoor and curries, sugar-free desserts, dim sum and Peking duck. Also demonstrations in store. DH145 per person, Dh65 for children aged 6-11 years old, and under 6 years old eat free. Galeries Lafayette red card holders get 10 per cent off. Call 04-3399933 ext 2394.

Le Meridien Dubai
Mahec: Eid specialities — a la carte special Eid dishes include chicken riawala, mushroom tandoori, lamb boti, dum chutney aloo, dum jhinga, masala biryani and kadai chicken. From Dh38, available on the first and second day of Eid, lunch, 12.30-3.30pm; dinner 7pm-midnight. Call 04-7022455 / 04-702 2615.

Melia Dubai
Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor: Eid Day Brunch with live cooking stations and a variety of signature Indian dishes as well as local Arabic favourites, available at Dh99 for children and Dh199 from 1-4pm on the first day of Eid.
Call 04-3868111

Ramada Downtown Dubai
Orchid Restaurant: Eid brunch during the first three days of Eid Al Fitr, traditional Arabic and international dishes along with a selection of Arabic sweets and desserts, Dh75 per person, 12.30-4pm. Children below five years eat for free while kids between six and 12 years get 50 percent discount. Call 04-3307330.

Rixos The Palm Dubai
A La Turca: Eid Turkish buffet brunch with live music and kids’ corner. Also Eid dinner buffet with Turkish, Arabic and Oriental dishes. Brunch from 1-4pm, - Dh195 for food only, Dh225 with soft beverages and Dh295 with select beverages; dinner 7-11pm, Dh175 for food only, Dh275 with selected beverages. Children 3-12 years get 50 per cent off, children under three dine free. Call 04-4575454.

Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach
A.O.C. French Brasserie: Eid Al Fitr dinner throughout the Eid weekend, 7-11.30pm, Dh180 per person. Call 04-4484848.

Taj Palace Hotel Dubai
Lobby Tent: Eid family brunch buffet on all three days of Eid, 12.30-4pm, Dh139 per person, inclusive of soft beverages. Children under six dine free, 6-12 get 50 per cent off. Bouncy castle and PlayStation and Xbox for older children. Call 04-2113070.

The Oberoi, Dubai
Nine7One: Eid celebrations menu, starting from Dh220 for adults, children under six dine for free, and older children benefit from a 50 per cent discount. Call 04-4441444.


Armed Forces Officers Club & Hotel, Abu Dhabi
Al Bathna: Eid Brunch for Dh140++ per person on the first two days of Eid, with Arabian and Khaleeji specialties and sweets. Children up to six years dine free, 7-12 years get 50 per cent off; plus pay one and get one free offer for Playstation at children’s village. Call 02-4415900.

Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi
Hakkasan: Four-course Eid meal with lobster, dim sum, silver cod and hot chocolate fondant. Dinner only, Dh298 per person from August 8-16. Call 02-6909000.

Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
Origins: Ultimate Eid Brunch, with a children’s area and international food, on Friday, 12.30-4pm. Dh35 for kids buffet, Dh195 inclusive of soft beverages and Dh350 with house beverages. Call 02-6560000

Al Hamra Village, Ras Al Khaimah
Golf Club Lagoons terrace: Eid Al Fitr dinner buffet featuring a bbq, live cooking stations, chocolate fountain, kids play area, live Arabic band, belly dancer and a raffle draw on August 10 from 7-10pm, priced at Dh135 for adults, children between the age group of 3 – 12 years get a 50 per cent discount! A special welcome drink on arrival and a promotional beverage menu are also included.
Call: 07-2447474

The Cove Rotana Rotana Resort – Ras Al Khaimah
Cinnamon: Festive brunch on the first two days of Eid for Dh135++ per person, with games and activities for the little ones. Call 07-2066350

Monday, 5 August 2013

Last minute getaways for Eid holidays...

Countdown to Eid: Last-minute getaways to fit all budgets

From island interludes to cruising the high seas, here are holiday options that will appeal to all tastes and wallet sizes

With Eid Al Fitr holidays finally announced for the government and private sectors, this weekend’s homework will probably include finding the perfect getaway deal to fit your taste and budget. 
If you are a single traveller, looking for a second honeymoon escapade or simply have the entire family in tow for a last-minute vacation before the summer ends, here are five top deals that you can still snap up for the Eid break:

The budget-friendly break

The lush beauty of Sri Lanka beckons, with pristine beaches, historical landmarks and the a fun visit to an elephant sanctuary to round up thislong weekend break.

Depending on the package you select, this former Portuguese, Dutch and British colony, will leave an architectural imprint on you.

Start your visit by transferring to Kandy via a visit to the elephant orphanage at Pinnawala, which is home to nearly 60 of these majestic creatures, out of which some are baby elephants found abandoned or orphaned in the wild.

In the evening, Kandy’s delights include a visit to the Temple of the Tooth where the Buddha’s tooth is on display, along with the museum at the temple and thereafter witness a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing.

On day two, an evening visit to the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens is a must. It was first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and was expanded by the British.

On the last day, head to Colombo and pass by ‘Pettah’ – a noisy bazaar with a hotchpotch of humanity, ancient vehicles, bargains, mosques and temples.

Package cost: Dh3,295 with Emirates Holidays for four nights, with accommodation with breakfast based on twin-sharing in a 5-star hotel. Bonus offer is if you stay three nights, pay for two nights only.

Meanwhile, internet group buying site Groupon has a three-night package starting at Dh2,190, inclusive of airfares, transfers and tour as per the itinerary by air-conditioned car, micro van and coach throughout the tour, accommodation and breakfast.

Travel dates: August 7-11/12

The week-long splurge

Spend a week of your Eid holiday and then some, in China, where the majestic Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors of the Forbidden City and a stroll through the historical Tiananmen Square lie in wait.

This seven-night package, with overnights in Beijing, includes guided tours of the above-mentioned sites, along with visits to a jade carving factory and the Ming Tombs, with English speaking guide on seat in coach basis.

Also added to the package is daily breakfast, a couple of lunches, all transfers, complimentary in room Wi-Fi and some like-minded company in the travel coaches to share the wonders with.

Package cost: Dh2,591; internet group buying site, Cobone, is running a special deal online in conjunction with SNTTA Travel and Tours, where you pay Dh99 to reserve your spot. Price is per person for minimum of two persons travelling together sharing a double/twin room.

Flight cost: Dh4,383 on Cathay Pacific, via Hong Kong, with a three-hour layover

Travel dates: August 7-14

The family getaway

If Dora the Explorer has been an inspiration to your children while growing up, then this Eid getaway is just the ticket for an adventure of your own.

Grab the brood and jet off to the lush plains of the Masai Mara to catch the wildebeest migration at its peak.

Think over two million animals racing through the plains, as the herds head north across the Serengeti and the Masai Mara. If you are truly lucky, you will catch the big 5 in all their glory.

Package cost:Dh4,199, for three nights, which includes Nairobi and the Masai Mara, with Cozmo Travels. The price includes return fares on Air Arabia, airport transfers, stay in four-star hotels and daily breakfast.

Qatar Airways is also offering a holiday package for five nights for Dh8,000 all inclusive.

Travel dates: August 7-9/11

The romantic interlude

Known as the land of sugar and smiles, the island of Mauritius is a spectacular natural wonder boasting crystal clear lagoons, endless coral reefs, sandy white beaches and stretches of sugar cane plantations.

Explore the lively waterfront of Port Louis for handmade souvenirs, take in the spellbinding views from Black River Gorges National Park or get your heart pumping with a host of water sports.

As for the evening, spend it by dining under the stars, followed by a leisurely stroll on the island’s pristine beaches.

Package cost:Dh7,305, inclusive of airfare, accommodation in a five-star hotel and half-board basis; stay four nights for the price of two with Emirates Holidays.

Travel dates: August 7-11

Cruising the high seas

If this Eid break you want to try something different, how about setting sail through the bright, azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea aboard a Norwegian Epic cruise liner?

Unwind in the temperate Mediterranean weather, take in the picturesque itineraries that captivate your eyes, take stops in Italy, France, Spain and cruise on this ship of choice offering world-class performers, many different dining options and a new wave of accommodations.

Cities you will visit are Rome, Florence, Pisa, Marseille, Palma Majorca, Barcelona, Naples and Pompeii.

Package cost: Dh7,249 (from Dubai); Dh6,869 (from Abu Dhabi) with Qatar Airways Holidays. The package includes return economy class airfare to Rome, via Doha, seven nights on board the Norwegian Epic in interior stateroom, on full board basis, including taxes.

Travel dates: August 7-13 (sailing dates)

Buying a property in Dubai

Points to remember when buying house in Dubai

As Dubai’s residential property market seems to be looking up once again, many who were earlier sitting on the sidelines are now actively contemplating buying a place in the city. Experts believe that any money put into the market now will see healthy returns in the future but there remain certain factors to consider before people put in their lives savings into buying a house.

A lot needs to be researched when buying property, especially when it comes to your entitlements. Before deciding to invest in a property, it is important to understand the difference between freehold and leasehold property and the rights and responsibilities owning a freehold property give you, before you take the step to buy it .Owning freehold is usually much better than leasing for one main reason: control. As the owner, you can generally do what you want with your home provided you keep within the rules and the law. In 2001, the Dubai government agreed to allow expats to have a 99-year lease of particular Dubai property, but in May 2002, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President & Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai issued a decree allowing foreigners to buy property on freehold ownership. The decree sparked the real estate boom in Dubai’s residential property. The Dubai system offers freehold to owners of all nationalities, but in the case of high-rise and multiple occupancy buildings exactly what that means in terms of legal title has yet to be completely defined.

Freehold areas in Dubai include plots in Jebel Ali, the Palm Island projects, Dubai Marina, Emirates Hills and Al Barsha, JLT, DSO, Jumeirah Village Circle among others. Registration of your property with the Land Department is important to claim full ownership.  Once a property is completed and handed over to the purchaser, the developer must register the title to the property in the name of the purchaser in the Real Property Register at the Land Department.Land will be registered in the name of a foreigner only after the developers submit a no-objection letter, stating that all the payments for the transaction have been made. The Dubai Freehold law specifies the functions and responsibilities of the Department of Land and Property, which has so far been doing all the work without much legal clarity. As per the law, the department will determine the survey areas; approve the land map and the fees for the services provided by the department.

There is no way for a foreigner to own property in non-designated areas. As far as residency is concerned, in principle, a person could own a property in the UAE and choose not to reside in the property, so you do not need to be a resident to buy freehold property as it could be your holiday home. Developers offer visas with property purchase where buyers are entitled to a six-month multiple entry visa. According to Gulf News, a recent cabinet decision entitles foreign property owners to a three-year residence visa if they buy a property worth Dh1 million or more, however this is not yet a law. Ownership of property and residency or sponsorship are interrelated but should be looked at separately.

Nevertheless, based on expert opinion, we list below the top 10 factors that anyone thinking of buying a property in Dubai must consider before making the move:

1.       Location
2.       Master developer’s delivery and maintenance track record
3.       Building contractor’s quality record
4.       Potential return on investment
5.       Recurring monthly costs, including electricity and service charges
6.       Seller’s existing mortgage prepayment requirements
7.       Buyer’s mortgage ability and availability
8.       Unresolved issues between Interim Owners’ Association and developer
9.       Overall property size
10.     Geopolitical risk

While this list is not exhaustive - and only indicative at best - keeping the above factors in mind will ensure that you are taking an informed decision.

Fees and Taxes of Buying Property in Dubai

  • For off plan or new construction projects, buyers will need to pay land registration fees around 2% and annual charges for maintenance that depends on the development project.
  • For resale properties, buyers will be paying all charges like off plan asset buyers. Additionally they will have to pay 1% to 2% transfer fee. This fee depends whether the asset is complete or under construction.
  • All buyers of off plan and resale property, needs to pay 2% to 5% amount to real estate agent as agent fees. Lawyers are not involved.
  • Whether you are a local resident or migrant in UAE going to buy Dubai property, you don’t need to consult with lawyer as they are not required for real estate deals in UAE.

Steps to remember while buying property:

Take a drive around your favorite areas of the city and decide which developments you can picture yourself living in. Lenders in Dubai pre-select which development they will finance so before you can talk mortgages it is a good idea to shortlist your most- liked areas.

Not all developers were created equal. Look for a strong, well capitalized developer, which has a proven track record for delivering some of the most sought-after properties in the UAE. Choosing a reputable developer can help to ensure you are buying a high-quality apartment in a well-maintained building. It's your insurance policy for your investment in the future.

Dubai's real estate market is mostly comprised of apartments within high and low rise developments. While these types of developments offer apartment owners some spectacular views and a range of facilities including gyms, spas and pools they can also present some challenges in terms of how common areas are managed. Make sure to ask about the service charges or maintenance fees that as an owner you will be liable to pay.

There are different ways of financing property purchases in Dubai, such as off-plan stage payments: Most developers offer off-plan stage payment financing options. The buyer will pay an initial deposit and then the balance in structured payments (which are held in Escrow accounts) through to completion. Mortgage finance: Competition in the banking sector means banks are now offering very attractive mortgage rates below 5%.

Nobody likes paperwork but it is essential and having all the details clearly laid out in black and white will put your mind at ease. To buy off-plan a developer will only ask for a passport and a booking deposit. While documentation requirements may differ between lenders, generally you will need six to 12 months of bank statements, a copy of your passport with visa page, utility bill or tenancy agreement and a salary certificate from your employer, or minimum of two years audited accounts if self-employed.

The Dubai government has greatly simplified the process for buying and selling. It is well established that the Dubai Land Department only permits registration of property in the names of individuals, companies registered onshore in UAE or offshore within the Jebel Ali Offshore jurisdiction. This clearly affects the foreign corporate purchaser but not individual purchasers. Do your research to be clear on the registration process.

Once you are comfortable with the amount you wish to spend and have organized your finances, you are now ready to make an offer. It is usually advisable to present the highest offer you can afford to ensure you don't lose out to another buyer.

Typically the prospective buyer and seller enter an MOU, wherein the buyer commits to purchasing the property and the buyer commits to selling the property. The buyer pays an initial booking deposit. However, if the buyer withdraws from the transaction, the buyer will have to forfeit his or her booking deposit. Alternatively, if the seller reneges on the sale the seller refunds the booking deposit. Beware that buying from the secondary market can carry more risk, as the transaction is between the buyer and an individual seller, and if something goes wrong there can be little recourse.

If you have purchased a property off-plan from a developer, you will be required to make stage payments, which are generally linked to key construction milestones. One of the major benefits from the off-plan financing model is that it is a bit like an interest free loan for the buyer. Often developers won't ask for the final payment until months after handover, which can ease the pressure on your finances when you are moving into your home. If you have taken out a mortgage to fund your property purchase, you will be paying incremental monthly payments for the duration of the loan.

On the handover of the property, the new owner will have to register the property at the Dubai Lands Department to obtain a Title Deed. The property purchaser is responsible for paying the fees to the government. The fee for the Title Deed normally amounts to about 1.5-2% of the property value. Finally, you are ready to enjoy the fun part –decorating your new home.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

UAE events calendar: August 2013

Diaries at the ready... Gear up for a month full of art and culture, sport, fashion, films, food and festivals. Here’s tabloid!’s don’t-miss guide to what’s happening in the UAE.

August 1
Ramadan Night Market at Dubai World Trade Centre, until August 10, a consumer fair with an Arabian souq, fashion pavilion, food pavilion, health and beauty bay and kids zone. Entry free, from 8pm-2am during Ramadan and 5pm-midnight during Eid.

August 2
Designs of Hope charity bazaar at Dubai Ladies Club. 100 per cent of sales to be donated to Noor Dubai Foundation’s Noor Al Hayat blindess charity. 14 Emirati designers will be selling their pieces. Last day. Open to ladies only from 9pm-1am.

Ramadan indoor night flea market, Dubai World Trade Centre, 8pm-midnight, entry free.
ARTE grand Ramadan bazaar at Dubai Festival City Mall, 5pm-11pm.

August 3
Ramadan and Eid fair at Expo Centre Sharjah, with shopping and entertainment activities, cuisine weeks, charity events, religious programmes and health initiatives, until August 10. Register to visit at

August 4
Last Chance to catch the Freej: Abood’s Dream show at Show World, Adnec, Abu Dhabi. Shows at 9pm and 11.30pm

August 5
Light, sound and fireworks show at Dubai Festival City daily during Eid festivities starting at 10pm.
Scooby-Doo Live: Musical Mysteries, the gang help solve an epic mystery as a trouble-making ghost is haunting a local theatre, at Adnec. Tickets Dh20 for children and Dh40 for adults. Shows until Aug 12.

August 6
Director Kadija Leclere will attend a screening of her film Bag Of Flour at The Scene Club. Arrive at 8pm to meet the film director; screening at 9pm. Registerahead at

August 7
Check out the fireworks in Dubai for Eid, on the Dubai Creek at Al Seef Street at 9.30pm.
Last day to see Samar Arts, an exhibition by Emirati artist Dr Samar Al Shamsi, includes her Mona Lisa portrait, at Avenue, Etihad Towers.

August 8
At the movies: It’s an Eid moviefest with six major releases in one day. Shah Rukh Khan takes the Chennai Express with Deepika Padukone; Idris Elba battles a monster from the Pacific Rim; the little blue ones are back in Smurfs 2 with Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays; will you give some box-office love to Johnny Depp and the Lone Ranger? Red 2 sees Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and Catherine Zeta-Jones return as vintage spies; and finally, meet the minions, the stars (alongside Steve Carell and Kristin Wiig) in the summer’s big hit, Despicable Me 2.

August 9
Light Racers, a series of live acts at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, including Arab’s Got Talent act Khawater Al Dalam and America’s Got Talent finalists Lightwire Theatre. Daily until August 18, 11am-8pm.
Season VIII at 360º with JC, Rod Lee Winters and Raxon.
Studio F, the Fashion TV lounge at Jumeriah Emirates Towers, has its season opening party. Call 04-
Keep Calm And Rock’n Roll, ten UAE rock bands on one night, at The Music Room, Majestic Hotel, Dh60, 21+ only. Call 050-1139873.

August 10
Hussain Al Jassmi performs a one-hour headline set at Eidfest, a fully-seated indoor concert at du Forum on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island. Also on the line-up are Saudi Arabian singer Rabeh Saqer and Lebanese opera star Yara. Doors open 8pm; tickets Dh495 (VIP), Dh350 (premium) and Dh200 (A Reserve), at
The Saturday Showcase at 360 season launch with Tristan Bain, Amir Sharaha and Rod Lee Winters.

August 11
OKKU restarts their “L.O.V.E” nights with Marshall, Hush on percussion and Lucina on sax; reservations recommended on 04-5018777.

August 12
Dubai Sports World — an air conditioned arena with football, basketball, fitness, running, rugby, volleyball, tennis, cricket, action sports — is still on at Dubai World Trade Centre, until August 21.  

August 13
Last day to see the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at The Dubai Mall, with 40 life-size replicas of his machines and inventions and copies of his masterpiece paintings, all made by engineers and carpenters from Florence, Italy. The exhibit is usually is housed in Rome but has spend the summer at the mall’s Grand Atrium.

August 14
The Laughter Factory starts at Heroes, Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, with its August line-up of Caimh Mcdonnell, John Lynn and Pierre Hollins; show at 9pm, tickets Dh140 at the venues and online ticket retailers. Also August 15 and 16 at Movenpick Hotel JBR; August 19 at The Els Club, Dubai Sports City; August 21 at Zinc, Crowne Plaza Hotel Dubai; and August 22 at Grand Millennium (TECOM). Call 04-3551862.
Ben 10 Ultimate Challenge, the live game show will pit the region’s biggest Ben 10 fans against each other in four rounds of competition, at Adnec Abu Dhabi, until August 17.

August 15
Arab Idol winner Mohammad Assaf from Palestine and runners-up Farah Yusuf and Ahmad Jamal perform alongside Idol judge, Lebanese superstar Ragheb Alama, at a concert at Dubai World Trade Centre. Tickets Dhxx at  
At the movies: Forest Whitaker’s The Butler goes up against Hugh Jackman, who returns for the sixth time as The Wolverine. In Hindi cinema, Akshay Kumar tells the story of Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Doobara.

Canadian circus Cirque Éloize’s streetdance-inspired iD show debuts at Dubai World Trade Centre for a ten-day run. Tickets, Dh150-1,000, at

August 16
Award-winning British singer Michael Ball performs his show Michael Ball Sings the Musicals, for two nights at du Forum on Yas Island. Expect West End and Broadway hits from the man who originated the role of Marius in Les Miserables. Support comes from West End singers and the British Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets, from Dh100, at
British rapper Angel debuts in Dubai at N’dulge, Atlantis; Tickets Dh100, free entry for women before 11pm, 21+ only. Call 050-7381388.

August 17
Things We Like a pop-up store at DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates; meet and talk to Dubai’s artists and creatives and view and buy their work. Camel Milk Soap on August 10; VintEdge Décor and Lady Mauve Jewellery August 17.

August 18
Islamic Art Splendour, an exhibition of 30 original works of Quranic art, calligraphy and Arabesque themes at Ahmedia Art Gallery, Ahmedia Guest House, near Al Ras Metro Station, until August 30.

August 19
Meet Dora the Explorer and her best friend Boots the monkey at Dubai Festival City Mall (they’re there August 15-21). Three shows daily at 5pm, 7pm and 8.30pm.

August 20
See live mermaids swimming with sharks and fish at in the mermaid show at TheDubai Mall Aquarium until September 7. The show, choreographed by former USA Olympic head coach for the USA synchronized swim team, Stephan Miermont, takes place three times a day.

August 21
Movies n Munchies by the pool at Desert Palm Dubai, Al Awir showing Horrible Bosses at 7.30pm. Entry Dh40. Call 04-3238888.

August 22
Children action hero Ben 10 and his crew Gwen, Kevin Levin, Grandpa Maz arrive at Mirdif City Centre until August 28. Shows three times daily at 4.15pm, 5.30pm and 7.30pm.
At the movies: It’s another movie-packed weekend, making up for all the releases skipped by local distributors earlier in the summer: Ashton Kutcher takes on Steve Jobs’s lifestory in Jobs; Amitabh Bachchan and Arjun Rampal fight for the common man in Satyagraha; Lily Tomlin gets scary in The Conjuring; Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges team up as dead cops in R.I.P.D.; check out the next teen fantasy franchise as Lily Collins debuts in Mortal Instruments: City of Bones; and we expect this one to get cancelled, but it’s on the schedules now: Amanda Seyfried plays porn star Linda Lovelace in Lovelace.

August 23
Dubai Arabic comedy nights, every Friday in August at VOX Cinemas Theatre, Mall of the Emirates, featuring emerging Arab and GCC comedians.

August 24
Captivating Calligraphy Exhibition by emerging artists Noreen Akhtar, Arif Khan, Ahmed Khan and Tahir Bin Qullander at Art Couture, Al Badia Golf Course.

August 25
Stars of the Stage children’s talent week at Dubai Mall, daily 4-9pm, until August 31.

August 26
IKEA launches its monthly ladies’ coffee morning at the Yas Island store, with IKEA experts speaking on working with smart products, from 10am. Each meeting to take place on the last Monday of every month (September’s talk is on coordination in living rooms). To register, email

August 27
It’s the last week to head to enjoy have fun at Modhesh World, which is open until August 28.

August 28
The Illusionsists: Witness the Impossible, a magic show at Dubai World Trade Centre, until September 7. Tickets start from AED 250
Tickets are exclusively available at

August 29
Ladies night at Yas Waterworld are back after Ramadan (every Thursday starting August 15 until September 26). Tickets Dh210 for guests who are 1.1m or more in height and Dh170 for those below 1.1m.
At the movies: Cue the screams outside the cinema: One Direction’s 3D film is out. Otherwise, there’s an animated film about a snail who wants to be a racer: Turbo. If you’re a grown up, your best option is Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg’s undercover agent action comedy 2 Guns.

August 30
Kaslik night at Nomad, recreating one of Lebanon’s best party streets, at Jumeirah Creekside Hotel. DJ Tony White plays the latest hits from Beirut until 3am; reservations required, 21+ only. Every Thursday and Friday, from 10pm.

August 31
Meet Hello Kitty, live at BurJuman from August 29-September 4, three times every evening at 6pm, 7.15pm and 8.30pm.