Thursday, 2 January 2014

January events calendar


Bootik Rehab New Year’s Day  with Frederick Stone at Vanity Club, Murooj Rotana Hotel. Doors open at 11.30pm. Call 050-9579471 or 050-4734666


Get shopping! Dubai Shopping Festival starts today, running until February 2. Back by popular demand this year is the gold raffle.
Pakistani Ghazal singer Munni Begum performs at Asian Palace, Sharjah. For invitations call 050-7681729/06-5638008.
At the movies: There’s not much out there for English-language movie lovers this weekend, with the only new film of note being the latest Paranormal Activity instalment. For Hindi fans, there’s Joe B Carvalho, with Arshad Warsi and Soha Ali Khan. Mohanlal lovers, check out Drishyam.


Gossip girl actress Blake Lively will visit Galeries Lafayette, The Dubai Mall, 6pm. Want to meet her? You’ll have to buy a large bottle of the perfume she’s promoting.
Last chance to see Chicago at Dubai World Trade Centre with two shows — 5pm and 9.30pm; tickets from Dh245.
First night of Ajantaa — The Grand Musical, a Bollywoodstyle musical performance at Shaikh Rashid Auditorium, The Indian High School. Tickets Dh50-500.
Gossip girl actress Blake Lively will make an appearance at Galeries Lafayette, The Dubai Mall, 6pm. Want to meet her? You’ll have to buy a large bottle of the perfume she’s promoting.
Last chance to see Chicago at Dubai World Trade Centre with two shows, at 5pm and 9.30pm; tickets from Dh245.
First night of Ajantaa — The Grand Musical, a Bollywood-style musical performance at Shaikh Rashid Auditorium, The Indian High School. Tickets Dh50-500.


Open mic night, from 7pm at B-Lounge, Sheraton Abu Dhabi. Call 02-6773333.


Mind & Music, a show by magicians and musicians Raja, Adarsh and Balabhaskar, at Ductac; also January 6. Tickets Dh250-500.


Celebrate Russian Christmas. Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi hosts a dinner at Sayad and a brunch of traditional Russian food the next day. Call 02-6907999. Sheraton Abu Dhabi’s Flavours Russian Christmas Eve buffet, Dh170.00.


New term begins at James & Alex Dance Studios, classes from just Dh720 for 12 weeks, children (2-16) dance free for the first week of the term. Call 04-4470773.


See Emirati Expressions: Realised, the third in the series of Emirati Expressions, showcasing artworks by six Emirati artists, at Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Cultural District, Abu Dhabi. Last day on January 18.


Ten soloists from the Paris Opera National Ballet dance at Madinat Theatre, at 8p. There are four performances in total (8pm on January 10, and at 2pm and 7pm on January 11). Dances include the Tchaikosvky Pas de Deux created by Balanchine in 1960, In the Middle, Somewhat
Elevated by William Forsythe and Romeo & Juliet by Nureyev. Tickets Dh250-450 at the Madinat Theatre Box Office (04-3666546).
Comedyfest, McGettigan’s Jumeirah Lakes Towers (also January 10) with Karl Spain, Eric Lalor , Chris Kent, Colm O’ Regan and Bernard O’ Shea. Doors 7pm, show 9pm, Dh60 with a pint and a burger. Call 800McGS (6247).
At the movies: Now here’s a bumper film week: 12 Years A Slave, Wolf of Wall Street, Out of the Furnace, The Past, Parkland and Dedh Ishqiya are all on the line up.


SALAAM DUBAI 2014, a four-hour Bollywood concert with KK, ARIJIT SINGH and MONALI THAKUR and a 25-member troupe, at Madinat Jumeirah Arena. Tickets Dh100-2,000 (varying categories) at Choithram, Spinneys and Madinat Theatre Box Office; call 050-6984599.
Filipina singer Jamie Rivera performs at Al Nasr Leisureland Ice Rink with special guest Jeffrey Hidalgo. Tickets Dh75-200, at Spinneys and other outlets.
Asianet Film Awards, at Meydan, tickets Dh100-1,000, at


Bollywood Nights, combine Indian cuisine with a classic Bollywood movie every Saturday night at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray’s Amala restaurant and private screen room. Dinner 6pm, screening 3.30pm  and 7.30pm. Dh285 per person for dinner and Movie. Call 04-4530444


Catch a performance of Michael Jackson: Immortal, the Cirque du Soleil show at Dubai World Trade Centre, on until January 14. Tickets from Dh295 at


Hip Hop Chic Mondays with DJ Bliss, at Cirque Le Soir, Fairmont Dubai.
Check out Peace In An Open Space, an exhibition of sound art curated by English artist Simon Coates, at The Gallery of Light, Ductac, until January 26.


Alta Badia ladies night, one bottle of Italian bubbly or five selected sundowners, with buratta and bruschetta for Dh199 at the new bar on the 51st floor of Emirates Towers, 6-11.30pm. Call 04-3198771.


Punchline Comedy Club features comedians Alex Boardman, Johnny Awsum, and Phil Butler for five nights of stand-up across the emirates. Find them at
a new venue, Girders Garden at Ocean View Hotel in Dubai. (Also at Emirates Golf Club on January 9; The Clubhouse at Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, on January 10; Jumeirah Creekside Hotel on January 16; Sharjah Rugby Club on January 17.) The comedy starts at 9pm, tickets for all shows Dh150, excluding food, at
Sharjah World Music Festival, Al Qasba, until January 18, starts with Naseer Shamma and Ashraf Sharif Khan. Tickets from Dh150. January 16, Jahida Wehbe and Belgium Fusion Band; January 17, Furat Qaddouri and Vicente Allende; January 18, Macadi Nahhas and Oriental Jazz Band. 


Naseer Fiesta, until January 18), at Centerpoint Ductac, Mall of the Emirates, a celebration of theatre with Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah, Heeba Shah, Rajit Kapur, Vivaan Shah, Manoj Pahwa, Seema Pahwa, Falsal Rashid and Rakesh Chaturved performing “Ismat Apa Ke Naam”, “A Walk In The Woods” and “Katha Collage”. Performances at 7pm, tickets Dh200-700. Call 04-3692128/055-9100468.
Artscape: The Harmony of Art and Poetry, an evening of readings and performances by writers, artists and musicians, 5-9pm, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi. Call 800-555.
At the movies: See Pakistan’s submission to the Oscars (it didn’t make the cut), Zinda Bhaag; Judi Dench’s tearjerker Philomena; Chris Pine takes on the Jack Ryan character in Shadow Recruit; and finally, that little movie called August: Osage County, starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Ewan McGregor.
Egyptian composer Omar Khairat in concert at Emirates Golf Club, Dubai. Ticekts Dh200-500 (21+ only); call 04-4570336.


Amr Diab in concert at  Dubai World Trade Centre with support from Jadal. Tickets Dh195-550 at Virgin Megastores.
MiXTAPE Rewind, with Boney M, Dr Alban, Vengaboys, SNAP! and N-Trance, at Emirates Golf Club. Tickets Dh295, call 04-4570336.


Last day of We Are The Champions (starting January 16) at Madinat Theatre, a 10-member tribute to pop icons such as Michael Jackson, Elton John, Tina Turner, Pink! and Freddie Mercury. Tickets, Dh200 and Dh250 at the box office and online. 


Last day of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, at Abu Dhabi Golf Club (starts January 16). General admission is Dh50.


Al Moulid, an exhibition of Egyptian artists, extended until January 24, at Gallery Ward, Al Quoz, next to The Courtyard. 10am-6pm; call 04-3883204.


Tiki Bar Tuesdays featuring Polynesian-themed beverages with special discounts for the ladies, at B-Lounge, Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort. Call 02 677 3333.


Ladies’ Night at Malecon, unlimited drinks between 10pm and 1am, a Latin band and a DJ plays R&B.


Head to the races! Meydan Racing Carnival is in full swing, with races every Thursday throughout January-March, leading up to the World Cup on March 29. Tickets Dh50-595; call 04-3272110.
At the movies: Salman Khan’s Jai Ho (formerly Mental, which was filmed in Dubai) aims to kickstart Bollywood’s 3 billion club year.


ASAP 2014, a celebration of Filipino entertainment with 40 acts including Gary Valenciano, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Vina Morales, Martin Nievera and Charice Pempengco, at the Dubai Festival City, from 4pm. Tickets, Dh85-365.
Australia Day at Le Meridien Abu Dhabi, with DJ, Australian food and beverages and games. Entry free, from 1pm. Also Australia Day at Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi, 1pm-5pm with entertainment from Spies in the Cellar, Sweet Chili Jam, DJ Scott B, kids activities, Dh140 (Dh180 with beverages, Dh50 for children). Call 02-6950413.


Barasti Aussie Day Special, an all-dayer with Marty Metcalfe, Marky Marc, DJ Venus, Tom Ferguson, Soto and Dave Simeon. Free entry all night; call 04-3181313.


Australia Day at the Belgian Beer Café Hoegaarden Garden, Grand Millennium Dubai. Enjoy two complimentary draught brews if you are an Australian (valid upon showing a picture ID proof).
Go West at Mazina, for the ultimate BBQ experience at Mazina where classic Kansas City flavours are on the menu, for a celebration of the slow-cooked smoky style of Missouri’s most famous culinary export. Choose from an all-American menu including smoked beef brisket, Cajun chicken, slow smoked ribs and beef chilli, along with delicious sides including BBQ corn, good ol’ fashioned coleslaw, corn bread. 7pm to 11pm at Dh199 per person, excluding beverages


Vietnamese BBQ Classes, cooking demonstration with own personal chef at Voi Restaurant, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, 1–3pm, min 4 people. Dh245 per person including a beverage. Call 04-4530444


East China State Circus performs at Madinat Theatre twice daily (4.30pm and 7pm) until February 1, with 28 performers in a 70-minute show. Tickets can be reserved online at Souk Madinat Jumeirah will also have traditional street food, parades, live musicians and a lion dance daily to celebrate Chinese New Year


Learn Tuscan cooking with lessons throughout the month at St. Regis Abu Dhabi at Villa Toscana, using Tuscan produce such as honey, olive oil, cheese and meats. Every session the team will cook an antipasto, main course and dessert. 9am-12.30pm, Dh400 this month only. Call 02-694 4444.


Moonlight Yoga at Monte-Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat Island, unite your body, mind and spirit for a true inner peace experience with Danica as she takes you through a series of asana’s guaranteed to improve strength, stamina, bring flexibility to the entire body and calm the mind. Dh85, 75 minutes per class. Call 02-6563500
At the movies: Ali Zafar and Yami Gautam tell an Indo-Pak love story Total Siyappa; Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin tell a love story of a different kind in Labor Day.


Kung Hei Fat Cho — it’s the year of the Horse! Celebrate Chinese New Year.
Emirates Palace Chinese New Year Buffet AED 310.
Sizzling Wok, Citymax Hotels Bur Dubai - Buffet on 30 and 31 January 2014 for dinner from 8pm onwards. Dh79 per person including two regular beverages. Call 050 100 7065

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

14 things Dubai residents can look forward to in 2014 XPRESS gives the low-down on what the New Y

DUBAI: The celebrations are over. The world’s largest fireworks have exploded. And Dubai has rung in the New Year with the biggest bang. Now that’s a tall precedent for the UAE to begin 2014 with, but the year ahead has lots more to look forward to -- the impending rent hike notwithstanding. From mandatory health cover to smart cabs, tram service and a 120-hectare safari park, here’s looking at 14 developments taking shape in the city and how they will impact you in the months ahead.
Mandatory health insurance
All Dubai residents will have health insurance in a phased plan as a new law has made it compulsory for companies to provide coverage for employees. Individual expatriate employees who sponsor their spouses and children will have to bear the cost of coverage. Linked to the visa, the health insurance will be a pre-requisite to obtaining a new residence visa or renewal as employers and individual sponsors must submit evidence of insurance coverage with the visa application. Basic packages beginning at Dh600 will cover emergency, primary, secondary, maternity and surgical procedures.
Smart cabs
Travelling in a Dubai taxi will be easier as passengers are being introduced to an all-new “smart” experience. What that means is that they can do everything from “shaking” down a taxi and checking flights on board to making payments by NoL cards, even credit cards. All that a passenger will need to do is download the Smart Taxi app on a smartphone. The free application allows people to book and track taxi orders in real time. The NOL cards can be topped up with credit to pay for other public transport as well, besides parking.
Dubai tram
Dubai Tram, the world’s first tram system that can ensure zero danger, will change the way in which residents of several New Dubai areas will commute. Phase one of the project will see 11 stations being completed by March. It will span 10.6 km starting from Dubai Marina and go along Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai Media City, Knowledge Village and Al Sufouh, before finishing at a depot next to Dubai Police Academy. The project will be fully operational by November.
Many new roads will come about in 2014. They include the Umm Suqeim Road, two new links between Shaikh Zayed Road and SMBZ Road, Jebel Ali-Lehbab Road, Yalayes Road and link between Business Bay and Al Khail Road and Jumeirah Lake Towers and SMBZ Road. The Al Asayel Road will also be extended to Oud Metha.
Number portability
With both etisalat and du launching the mobile number portability service on December 30, 2013, residents can now switch between the licensees while retaining their mobile numbers. In a UAE first, du has also launched a Multi-SIM that lets you manage five devices with one plan and one number. It will entail assigning one primary SIM to a main device, with up to four secondary SIMs in other devices. All SIMs will share the same subscription for voice calls, besides making video calls, sending SMS, MMS and using data.
Replaced labour cards
Emirates ID cards will replace labour cards early this year. In the second quarter of this year, a pilot project result will also determine when the Emirates ID cards could be used instead of ATM and credit cards for banking transactions, as part of cooperation agreement between Emirates ID and financial institutions.
Property handovers
An increasing number of residential projects are being delivered in Dubai. At the end of third quarter 2013, the residential stock in areas has been pegged at about 364,000 units. Over 3,400 handed over in the third quarter will be ready for occupancy. They include properties in Jumeirah Park, The Villa, Dubailand, Downtown, International City, Dubai Sports City, Silicon Oasis, Tecom and other areas. Around 45,000 under-construction residential units are expected to enter the market over the next one-two years.
More schools
A number of new schools will become operational, accommodating thousands of students. GEMS Education alone will be launching 10 new schools in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah, ensuring admissions to 33,000 students. Similarly, the Taaleem group will launch a foundation school in Jumeirah Islands that will feed into a new British curriculum school in Jumeirah Park the following term. According to the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), 11 new schools – four Indian curriculum schools and seven British/IB schools – opened in Dubai in 2013-14.
Dubai safari
The new Dubai Zoo, now called Dubai Safari, will be completed this year. The Dh150 million park, which has completed its first phase of construction, will cover 120 hectares and will house a zoo, safari and butterfly park, botanical garden, resort and golf course, in addition to educational and veterinary facilities. It is expected to feature over 1,000 animals and birds.
Green mosque
The Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation (Amaf) will launch the Middle East’s first green mosque in Dubai in March. Located on a 105,000 square foot site, the 45,000 square foot mosque will accommodate 3,500 worshippers. The environmentally friendly mosque will use green building materials, thermal insulation for lowering energy consumption and air conditioners that emit reduced greenhouse gases. Nearly 60,000 square feet will be landscaped.
A Dh120 million Roman-style amphitheatre will open in Sharjah. Located on the banks of Khalid Lagoon, the 7,238 square metre facility will will serve as a venue for a host of activities for the Sharjah Capital of Islamic Culture 2014 celebrations as well as global events. It will include terraced seating that can accommodate up to 4,500 spectators, besides conference rooms, shopping galleries, restaurants and landscaped areas along the waterfront. The Al Majaz Island project will also include a Dh13 million bridge between the island and Khalid Lagoon Street.
Quran park
A new Quran Park being set up by Dubai Municipality in Al Khawaneej will be ready in September. The 60-hectare development, it will feature 35 plants out of the 54 mentioned in the Quran and will give residents a chance to learn about them. The solar-powered park will host an Andalusian themed garden and oasis-themed section. It will also have a tunnel that will guide visitors on the major miracles mentioned in the Quran with audio and visual aids.
Tallest serviced tower
A 432-metre high Marina 101, rechristened Dream Dubai Marina, billed as the world’s tallest serviced hotel apartment tower, will be completed this year. The tower will have 252 and 168 one- and two-bedroom furnished apartments, besides 60 three-bed units and eight duplexes. It will have a restaurant on the 101th floor and will be operated by Hampshire Hotels Management in association with Wyndham Hotel Group.
New pet market, hotel
Pet lovers can look forward to a 50-acre birds and pets market that will be launched by Dubai Municipality in Al Warsan 3 in March. The Dh54 million air-conditioned market will house a plush pet hotel, complete with facilities for dressing, grooming, therapy sessions, laundry services, playgrounds, supervisors and vets. Holidaying pet owners who leave their animals here would be able to monitor them online. The hotel will have 30 independent rooms and can accommodate 50 dogs at a time.