27 brilliant things to do in January in Dubai
By Time Out Editors
Ready to kick-start 2023 in the best possible way? Dubai’s a top place to be, with loads of things to do in January – from pool days or brunches, to live shows, gigs and world-class sport.
Up for a month of fun? Here are all the very best things to do in January in Dubai. Enjoy.
Kick-off 2023 with a pool day at Aura Skypool
What better way to enjoy the first day of the New Year than at one of Dubai’s highest venues? Head down to AURA Skypool on Palm Jumeirah for breakfast with some of the very best views in town and vibes from AURA’s Resident DJ.
Dhs525 per person. Sun Jan 1, noon-7pm. 50th floor, The Palm Tower, Palm Jumeirah (04 566 2121).
Welcome 2023 with a New Year’s Day brunch
Head down to Nikki Beach Dubai’s Amazing Sundays Recovery Brunch featuring a delicious brunch spread, mixed drinks, signature Nikki Beach entertainment and blissed-out music. A totally Dubai start to the year.
Dhs375 (soft drinks), Dhs550 (house beverages), Dhs795 (bubbly). Sun Jan 1, 1pm-4pm. Pearl Jumeira (054 791 0049).
Have a roast on the first Sunday of the year at Bubbalicious
Start the New Year with a slap-up Sunday lunch the family with The Roast by Bubbalicious at Mina’s Kitchen. As usual, there will be plenty to amuse the kids so the grown-ups can sit back and enjoy.
Dhs350 (soft drinks), Dhs450 (house beverages), Dhs595 (bubbly), Dhs200 (kids aged six-12). Sun Jan 1, 1pm-4pm. The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai Marina (04 5399 4141).
Prolong the winter fun at Expo City
There are few settings more iconic Dubai than Al Wasl Plaza at Expo City, and if you haven’tyou’re your fill of festive fun, the Winter City continues until January 8. You’ll be able to get your fill of hot chocolate, mulled drinks and mince pies too (what more could you and the family want?). And while you’re there soak in the memories of Expo 2020 Dubai.
See fireworks, all month
Get ready for the sky to be illuminated night after night with blazing colours and sparkles throughout January. The firework displays are being put on as part of Dubai Shopping Festival and will take place across the city at The Beach, Burj Al Arab, Dubai Frame, Al Seef, Dubai Creek and Dubai Festival City Mall. The shows run until Sunday January 29 and will start at 8.30pm or 9pm. Cameras at the ready.
Check out Dubai’s best nights out
New Year, new nights out. From clubs to pubs, beach bars to rooftop venues, sports bars and beach clubs, we’ve crowned the very best nights out in town. Looking for inspiration for your next night out?
Try a new ladies’ night at Akiba Dori
The funky Japanese street food joint is serving up a ladies’ night for the first time at Pavilion at The Beach. Head along on a Thursday night and you’ll get an XL Akiba sushi platter, with signature Akiba maki rolls, sashimi and nigiri, plus a side salad and four glasses of grape for Dhs175.
Cheer on the horses at the Dubai World Cup Carnival
The Dubai World Cup Carnival kicks off on Friday January 6 at Meydan Racecourse, so if you want to see the world’s top horses and jockeys compete at a stunning venue, it’s time to dress up and get along to the races. There’s a range of packages and deals – and it’s a top night out.
See A Thousand Tales at Dubai Opera
If you love ballet you will love this. Showcasing tales from Aladdin, Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and more, get ready for a magical evening at the start of January at Dubai Opera.
Check out the new disco brunch at Birdcage
It’s time to throw some glitter and hang the disco balls as Birdcage launches a Saturday Disco-themed brunch from 1pm to 5pm. Curated disco-themed beverages will be flowing throughout the afternoon as partygoers indulge in a sharing-style menu inspired by reinvented Asian and Latin American flavours. Birdcage also has an after-party planned for guests from 5pm to 7pm with selected beverages starting from Dhs30.
Try a new beachfront brunch at Laguna Beach Taverna & Lounge
This seaside location on the Palm has a Saturday brunch with free-flowing drinks and a live DJ. Dishes from the Greek-Mediterranean menu include paella, lamb gyros and Dibba Bay oysters. Don’t miss the laid-back vibes and ocean views.
See a Chinese New Year show
Celebrate the year of the rabbit with this performance from more than 500 Chinese artists, telling a musical story of Chinese culture.
Snap a selfie with Taylor Swift
A wax figure of the country music star turned pop queen is the latest to join its line-up of famous personalities at Madame Tussauds. This marks the first international addition to the hugely popular attraction since it opened on Bluewaters in October 2021. The arrival of Taylor Swift’s wax figure at the must-visit attraction gives ‘Swifties’ the chance to snap selfies and shimmy up to a remarkably lifelike replica of their hero singer-songwriter.
Take a trip to the rainforest at The Green Planet
Missing wildlife? What about the rain? Fancy a trip to the jungle? Explore it all at The Green Planet, and see plenty of birds, monkeys and more.
Hit the mall for Dubai Shopping Festival
Expect loads of deals, offers, prizes, events, shows and more throughout Dubai Shopping Festival, at the annual shopping fiesta, which runs all the way through until Sunday January 29.
Try a new ladies’ night at Attiko
Enjoy a ladies’ night with a view at this hot new venue at W Dubai – Mina Seyahi. Ladies get free-flowing drinks for Dhs120 a person every Tuesday from 8pm until 11pm. There are stunning views over the skyline, while there will be a resident violinist and DJ to keep you entertained.
Be wowed by Cirque du Soleil
The circus, famed for its high-energy and immersive experiences, will be in the city just in time to help us get over the post-Christmas blues as the contortionists will be performing in January 2023. Eleven shows will take place at the Coca-Cola Arena starting from Wednesday January 11 until Wednesday January 18. The performers will put on a production OVO, which means egg in Portuguese, and the family-friendly show is a colourful intrusion into a new day in the life of insects. Prepare to be dazzled by show-stopping acrobatics highlighting the unique personalities and abilities of selected insect species. Since it’s opening in Montreal in 2009, OVO has thrilled more than 7 million people in 155 cities in 26 different countries and we cannot wait to see the show here in Dubai.
Sip on a cup of coffee
Consider yourself a coffee connoisseur? The World of Coffee Dubai 2023 could be the event for you. With registrations from more than 1,000 brands already, there’ll be a brew bar and product quality room where you can taste and see countless different types of coffee from around the world. If that’s not enough, a Roasters Village will enable coffee producers to meet customers who can sample hot drinks of every variety imaginable. There’ll also be workshops and demonstrations on recent coffee-sourcing, handling, roasting, brewing, and distribution developments.
Watch the DP World International League T20
Cricket-lovers rejoice. The DP World International League T20 is finally here with six franchise teams set to take part. If you’re after explosive action with six-hitting on show, look no further. Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, Desert Vipers, Dubai Capitals, Gulf Giants, MI Emirates and Sharjah Warriors will battle it out for the crown. This new event looks set to be the home of the shortest form of cricket for the year’s early months.
Brunch with a view at Eden
Fancy a brunch with stunning views of the iconic Burj Khalifa? Gather the whole gang and check out the Favoloso Italian Brunch at Eden Bar every Saturday from 1pm to 4pm. Fuel up with signature Italian dishes curated by chef Giacomo Lombardi including burrata pugliesina, basil pesto gnocchi and pollo alla cacciatora. Plus, a live band performing inside and a resident DJ providing tunes outdoors.
Dhs400 (soft drinks), Dhs550 (house beverages), Dhs750 (premium house and bubbly), Dhs200 (kids). Sat 1pm-4pm. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, @eden_dxb (04 456 0936).
Watch Havas Drum & Piano Show
The successful musician returns to Dubai opera, with a special drum and piano performance. The show contains original pieces from the composer and promises to combine classical techniques with a high-energy spectacle.
Laugh at A Night With Schalk Benzuidenhout
Giggle your way through January with an evening Schalk Benzuidenhout, the South African comedian, at the Mövenpick JBR. Hosted by the Laughter Factory, expect a night of LOLs.
Admire blooms at Dubai Miracle Garden
It’s time to stop and smell the roses, literally. The 72,000sq m Miracle Garden has more than 150 million flowers for you to marvel at, and the weather is delightful right now.
See top golfers at Dubai Desert Classic
Massive golf fan? This is for you. Dubai is known all over the world for its top-class golf facilities – and the Desert Classic is the icing on the cake. With Rory McIlroy set to join some of the sport’s biggest names, this is an event no golf-lover will want to miss.
Enjoy Svetlana Zakharova / “Modanse”
The famed ballerina will be taking to the stage of Dubai Opera for one-night only on Friday January 27. The show will feature a star-studded cast of dancers from the Bolshoi Theatre, and will be opened by Come Un Respiro – a piece created especially for Zakharova by Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti. The second part of the performance will be a tribute to Coco Chanel.
Marvel at the music of Hans Zimmer
Consider yourself a Batman, Lion King or Top Gun fan? This is the night you’ve been waiting for. Hans Zimmer is someone we’ve all been waiting for. And it’s finally happening, with the city set to host the UAE’s first-ever Hans Zimmer Live show in January. Zimmer also has Pirates of the Caribbean, Dune, Gladiator, James Bond, Inception, Superman, Blade Runner and many, many more on his list. Known for his lavish orchestral performances, the composer’s Oscar-winning setlist is coming to Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena on January 27, 2023.
Stroll around Ripe Market
If you have a few hours to meander, drift, saunter and stroll there is no finer place than at Dubai’s greatest community market, Ripe Market, to shop and pick up some bargains, especially in the January sun.