There’s really no excuse not to visit Dubai this February. You have the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on from the 19th of February to the 4th of March; like every year the tournament will attract the top men’s and women’s tennis players. But combined with the Dubai Food Festival, the Dubai Jazz Festival and the Dubai International Boat Festival you might just struggle to find time for tennis!

Eat:
The first is going to be food. The Dubai Food Festival is on between 23rd February and 11th March. A citywide food festival, and the only one in the Middle East, it comprises food events and more importantly, restaurant discounts! For only AED 199 (~ INR 3700) you will get a three-course meal at some of the city’s most famous restaurants including Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen, Atul Kochhar (Rang Mahal), Heinz Beck (Social), Jaime Pesaque (Mayta), Jason Atherton (Marina Social) and Gary Rhodes (Rhodes W1). The impressive list also features some of Dubai’s newest and most-loved restaurants such as Namu and Pier Chic. To book go here.

Our recommendations include the wonderful Pier Chic at the Al Qasr Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah, which you can access via the beach along a pier, ergo the name. Gorgeous views. The second would be Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar and Scape, famous for it’s Latin and Californian cuisine. All have limited seating and are selling out fast. Street food lovers should head to Bay Avenue between the 2nd and 3rd of March for Street Nights where you can tuck into the best Dubai food carts. There’s a special area for children. And last, but not least, there is the Taste of Dubai, DFF’s flagship event where you can see celebrity chefs like Gary Rhodes and Aldo Zilli cook up a storm. This is a foodies dream event and if you’re a chef yourself, why not take part in a cook off? There’s something for everyone and you’ll find yourself wondering whether you came to Dubai for the tennis or the food.

See:
Mariah Carey anyone? Well notwithstanding her recent blooper during her NY performance at Times Square, hearing Mariah sing Vision of Love live has nothing to do with genre. Which is probably why she’s singing at the Dubai Jazz Festival (Feb 22nd – Feb 24th) along with Enrique Iglesias & Tom Jones and the Rad Trads. Is there any real jazz you ask? Absolutely. While the headliners are pop, local jazz performers like Layla Kardan (Levantine Jazz) and Rouba will also be performing. For musical lovers, Aladdin the Musical is on between the 9th and 19th of February, but the one to catch is Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, consistently ranked among the top 10 operas of all time. It’s playing at Dubai Opera from 2nd of March to 4th of March. Tickets start at AED 300. Watch the trailer here.

Do:
If you manage to find some time after all of the above, I suggest getting some fresh air and heading to the Dubai International Boat festival. While most of us wouldn’t be able to mortgage our entire life savings and still buy anything, it’s an opportunity to get out there, spend some time in the water and see some of the most beautiful boats in the world. While it might be a trade event, all visitors have an opportunity to sail out daily. There are water sport taster sessions and live music on the beach.

(Image by Paul Saad)

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