Generally speaking, November to March is crazy busy for everyone in the Emirates. Growth has returned to the country’s economy and there is a real buzz in town. The business pace picks up over the period, but everyone plays as hard as they work over this glorious long Dubai winter season. Additionally few areas of the city have escaped constant road works, from the Marina’s latest tram line to Jumeirah’s new canal work, but it’s all easily forgotten with so many fab things to look forward to.
In terms of entertainment, November in Dubai is largely about two things best enjoyed outdoors: live music and sports. There are new music festivals added to the November line-up each year and we are thoroughly spoilt every weekend of this month for great acts to see. Likewise, we have the golf, the Grand Prix and various athletic events to participate in.
The winter also seems to be a season of creativity in Dubai and there are some really cool new urban art scene initiatives to check out in November. And, as usual here, there are lots of macho, petrol head events “for the boys” to geek out at.
To put hairs on your chest...
Admittedly, not strictly a ‘boys’ thing, but Gulf Bike Week 2014 kicks finishes on Sat 1st November. There’s a growing biking scene here – from curb hipsters on their trendy pushbikes to an actual Motorcycle Club in the Arabian Ranches I know of (far from your Sons of Anarchy set). I imagine this Media City event could be better attended than ever this year.
From Thursday 6th until Saturday 8th of November, 4X4, desert-camping nuts can attend the Dubai Off-road and Adventure Show at Motor City’s Dubai Autodrome.
The Dubai Motor Festival returns to Dubai for its second year, from the 19th of the month. The event brings with it the popular Dubai Grand Parade and the white-knuckle Red Bull Car Park Drift Championships (27th at the Meydan of the world’s most incredible Super, Exotic, Luxury, Concept, Extraordinary, Modified and Vintage cars and bikes in UAE. The participants include car clubs and private car collectors. The 500 plus cars and bikes will be led by the Dubai Police’s Supercars through the iconic streets and landmarks of Dubai.
To give you tinnitus...
In addition to the private bar, club and yacht parties taking place over November, featuring the world’s best DJs and artists, AND further to the Formula 1’s impressive line-up, including Pharell Williams and The Who; Dubai has a number of large, public festivals arranged for our listening pleasure:
I’m quite intrigued by the Grazia Fest, which will be held at the Mina Seyahi Marine Club on the afternoon/evening of the 7th November. It promises catwalks and fashion retail kiosks, as well as performances from Eliza Doolittle, Claritta De Quioz, Jet Lag and Ant Scott- Lee. Tickets are AED150.
Band Jam - Battle of the Bands is back for its second year at the Al Ghurair Mall in Deira on the 13th to the 15th November. Alongside street art shows and the slickest mall magazine you ever did see, this is part of the oldest mall in Dubai’s valid attempts at becoming Dubai’s coolest “urban hub”. Admission is free and the shows start at 5 pm each evening.
In a totally different cultural direction, Opera in the Park returns to Wafi this winter with John Innes performing alongside Georg Tormann, Lawrence Robinson and Julia Kermott on the 13th and 14th. Enjoy over a WAFI packed- picnic basket at the mall’s rooftop gardens from 7 pm, for AED195 admission.
On the same weekend, you spend your Friday afternoon/evening at the inaugural Party in the Park festival. Lily Allen is headlining and will be supported by Richard Ashcroft and the Ting Tings. Worth checking out I reckon – at Media City, tickets from AED295 to AED1,000.
The mixtape, a cheese-ball 90’s sesh’ is being held for the second time on Fri 21st at Emirates Golf Club. This time around experience the pop courtesy of 5ive, B*Witched and Peter Andre. Tickets are available online at the Platinum list and at Virgin.
To stimulate the right side of your grey matter...
Amateur group, Backstage, presents Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of the Suicide Club at DUCTAC in the Mall of the Emirates from Thursday 6th until Saturday 8th November.
The third edition of the Al Quoz Arts Festival return on Saturday 8th November. The free event runs all day at the popular Al Serkal Avenue complex in Dubai’s up-and-coming industrial area. The exhibition will include live art, murals, workshops, film screenings, gallery openings, and live music all performed and created by local talents. This is one of a few new platforms giving a much- needed boost to locally based artists.
Steel Magnolias is being performed by Dubai Drama Group at the Courtyard Playhouse between Thursday 13th and Saturday 15th November. Tickets are AED80.
Sole DXB is an “urban lifestyle fair” that incorporates four pillars of Fashion, Basketball, Hip Hop, and Street Art. It promises to be an “expo of all things cool, slick and alternate and of course footwear.” It will include “sneaker swap stalls” and workshops and displays on regional counter culture and street styling. Find it at Dubai Design District on the weekend of the 14th and 15th. Tickets are AED50.
To meet crazy, single women...
Hit the 10th International Cat Show on the weekend of the 7th and 8th at Dubai Sports City. Admission is free.
But to treat the whole family to some fun animal shows and novelty animal accessories, you must check out the very popular Dubai Pet Festival, on either the Friday 7th or Saturday 8th November.
To get your cheer/beer/sweat on...The sporting month kicks off with the Dubai International Triathlon – the first half iron distance triathlon to be held in the UAE. It’s running, swam and cycled on Friday 7th at the Atlantis Hotel, The Palm. On the same day, running girls can sign up for the Dubai Women’s Run. The five and ten kilometer races are run at the Meydan Hotel.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has to be one of the biggest things to happen to the UAE in the past five years. It’s definitely the most exciting to happen to my annual social calendar! I plan to be yacht-based, partying with visiting girlfriends with a view of the track the entire weekend of 21st – 23rd November. I’ve been saving my mummy’s-weekend-off chips since the last GP in 2013.
Over the long weekend starting November 20th, the ‘Greatest Golfers on Earth’ will be battling the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
But if that’s too sedentary for you, Skydive Dubai is hosting the 5th Dubai International Parachuting Championship, starting Wednesday 25th. They will run until December.
Running is second to the fun at the Dubai Autodrome’s Colour Run on the 29th.
To entertain the kids...
Oh yeah, them! Well, there’s just so much free and easy stuff to with the nippers this time of year; beach - parks – pool – REPEAT; that we needn’t spend half money as much as we did over the summer keeping them out of trouble.
Magic Phil and His Pirate Adventure Show, runs over the weekend of the 21st and 22nd at the Mall of Emirates, DUCTAC Theatre. That looks like it might be fun.
Have a lovely November! Heidi xx