October means outside. Parks, beaches, picnics, sunset drinks, markets, Sandance, sports, boating. Have no doubt, Iconic towers and October is what Dubai does best.
And in the height of the country’s best weather month, we have Eid. Eid is a wonderful Islamic holiday that prompts all of us to be thankful for our very decent lot in life and consider those with less. So whether you celebrate this long weekend in its religious sense or not, take some time out to engage in one of the many admirable campaigns to help the cities less fortunate over the period.
My little gang and I will be wholesale shopping to fill care packages for the popular Box Appeal. It runs until 15th October and boxes can be collected from any Radisson Hotel and returned with the minimal care supplies before then.
The ‘gang’ I refer to happens to be a rather masculine one, consisting of my husband and two small sons. So unfortunately/fortunately October, won’t pass without a trip to the Big Boys Toys UAE show. This testosterone fest features some of the world’s biggest, maddest and coolest gadgets, technology, vehicles, and luxury goods. It’s on from the third to the fifth of October at Skydive Dubai and admission is AED100. …you’ll find me next door in Zero Gravity, sipping a glass of something cold and watching Dubai’s coolest new beach club scene whilst the boys ooh and ahh over gold plated Hummers that weekend!
As the world’s ‘other’ major cities wind-down from September’s fashion weeks, Dubai cranks up its sartorially focused activity in October. Fashion Forward, showcasing regional talent is on at the Madinat from the fourth to the sixth and Dubai Mall’s Vogue Fashion Experience ends the month on the 30th. Both are exhibiting some incredible talent and have some great events. They will be attended by the city’s fashion glitterati and will be the places to see and be seen this month.
The Ripe market returns on the 10th of October, but this time to Zabeel Park. The secret of this hip, lifestyle must for Dubai’s young families is well and truly out. By the end of last season, you could barely find a patch of grass to lay your organic wool picnic blanket down – let alone near the wagyu burger stand, baby yoga or acoustic music set! Ah, Dubai problems. I can’t wait to see the new venue and totally expect to see everyone with a child under seven that we know there that first Friday.
The market will be a gentle start to what is also SANDANCE DAY! So after wearing the kiddies out at Zabeel park and maybe the pool at home later, mummy and daddy and friends will be off to Atlantis after dark. Where we’ll dance to Rudimental and Empire of the Sun, take selfies to prove as much and reassure ourselves that we’re still cool and relevant.
My best friend and I have decided to go and see Love, Loss and What I Wore, at the Madinat (16th – 18th October). It’s a play written by the late Nora Ephron, writer of When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, and her sister Delia, based on the popular book by Ilene Beckerman. This award-winning comedy takes the audience on a funny and often poignant journey through the lives of women, told through clothing and accessories that trigger important memories in the actor's life. Who says there’s no culture in this city?
I’ll be missing Gary Barlow on the 17th, but I seem to be the only lady in Dubai doing so(?) In other show news, the kids can go see Poet Laureate, Julia Donaldson’s masterpiece, The Stick Man Musical at the Madinat on the 23rd – 25th.
But above all else, after months of being indoors, the kids and I will be mostly on the beach, whenever possible! ‘Palace beach’ by Knowledge Village being our top spot as it’s quiet and the water is calm and shallow.
We also live across the bridge from ‘The Beach’ at JBR, so I’ll also be budgeting in weekly trips to the popular Splash Park – which is great for an afternoon play date. Even better when followed by ‘fro-yo’ at Menchies (opposite) after.
If you haven’t checked out The Beach yet, you simply must now the weather is so nice. It’s really something. “It actually looks like one of those chic urban communities they create on the marketing video fly-through or models,” said my friend, very aptly when he saw it. I’ll be hitting the running track and outdoor gym there or meeting friends for breakfast at one of the many cafes and restaurants whilst the kids are at nursery. In the evenings, the lights hanging in the trees (yes, trees!) guide you along the walk to an outdoor cinema or al fresco dining.
If you are as sad a cliché as me and are looking for post-school-run coffee spots, there are some fab new places to try around town in October. Ranches and Motor City families can enjoy the Jumeirah and Media City hotspot, Circle Café, on their doorstep from the start of the month. Bystro by the Manara St. interchange on Sheikh Zayed Road is another fab new café, complete with a play area.
If you haven’t already tried Tom & Serge’s Al Quoz hang-out, you need to. Although it’s a bit too popular for its own good and is better to try mid-week than on the weekend if you can. Hip beards, yuppy food intolerances, and Birkenstocks are a must.
There needn’t be any events scheduled at our beloved Safa Two park. Even though it requires a drive, I expect we’ll be there at least three of four times a week for the next month. It’s so perfectly small, has three play areas, covering all ages and little refreshments and tacky toys hut too. It’s crazy how much we’ve missed that little patch over the summer.
On weekends, I am going to try the boys at a couple of family branches as we have guests over. We have to take visiting friends with kids to the Al Barari picnic brunch which starts again in October and is quite frankly excellent. Also starting again in October is the Nomad family brunch at Jumeirah Creekside. On the other side of town, the popular Jazz Pizza Express in Jumeirah Lake Towers has started a family brunch that sounds worth checking out too.
The biggest adventure we’ll take this month is a stay-over at Emirates Park Zoo in Abu Dhabi. I hear the Zoo is lovely and the hotel’s rooms actually back on to the animals of the zoo. Friends that visited could feed giraffes from the terrace of their suite. It’s surprisingly reasonably priced, but booked far in advance. I booked our October Friday stay in August.
Finally, the start of the cool season seems like a good time to get the bikes we’ve pondered over for so long. Complete with a pull-along trailer for the boys, we can make the most of the great big Safa Park or just the Marina where we live. More adventurous friends will be taking theirs out to the desert where they’ll be camping too. I can only aspire to such ‘spirit’.
Whatever you do, it needn’t be cost much or take too much planning now the weather is so fantastic. Get outside and explore our vibrant city. And live in the garden, at the park or beach, in sunscreen of course. Because the fact is… it’ll actually be cold in a couple of month’s time!
Heidi Raeside is the curator of smart, stylish mums’ blog www.tuesdayschild.me