In case you didn’t notice amidst all the Eid Al Adha brouhaha, another big event on Dubai’s calendars is up and running too – Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS)! No need for FOMO, though! Thankfully, the annual summer festival’s 26th edition has a string of fabulous events lined up for the next two months. Until September 3, you have plenty of time to check out some spectacular family experiences, free concerts, dining deals, and fun shows.
As with any jam-packed event, you can get lost and overwhelmed by everything there is to do and see. That is why we’ve created this convenient guide of all the highlights and unmissable activities which are part of Dubai Summer Surprises.
1. Beat the Heat concerts
DSS and music streaming platform Anghami’s popular indoor concert series called Beat the Heat is back with a bang this year too. Every Saturday, from July 15 to August 19 you can attend gigs by some of the coolest bands and musicians in the region and enjoy an array of musical genres. This time around, The Agenda at Media City is the venue that’ll host these concerts. Here’s what’s in store for your ears:
July 15: Egyptian rapper Wegz will break out the beats with Dubai-based hip-hop and R’n’B artist DizzyTooSkinny. Wegz’s powerful lyrics and DizzyTooSkinny’s catchy hooks will draw you in and keep you jamming.
July 22: Legendary Egyptian rock band Cairokee & Palestinian-Jordian musician El Far3i turn up the volume with a blend of socially conscious anthems and Arabic rap the following week.
July 29: Three alternative rap stars from the Arab world for the price of one ticket is what you’ll get at this gig. Powerhouse performances from Egyptian trap artist Afroto, Tunisian singer Balti and Sudanese Soulja promise to kick up a musical storm. Rock out to hit singles such as Afroto’s Msh Bel 7ozoz & Brazil, Balti’s Ya Lili and Allo, and Soulja’s Easy and Charleston.
August 12: Feast on a fusion of Arab pop, Cuban funk, Indie rock and reggae when indie band Austrostad from Jordan and Egypt-born band Sharmoofers take to the stage. While Sharmoofers’ upbeat tunes will have audiences kick up their heels, the cheery sounds of Austrostad couch deep lyrics of everyday themes of love, struggles and the journey of finding oneself.
August 19: Saudi songstress and social media star Modi Al Shamrani along with renowned Arab disc jockey DJ Aseel will regale audiences with their chart-topping songs and remixes.
Tickets for all five concerts start from AED 160, get them here
2. Modhesh World
Is it even DSS unless Modhesh’s sunny smiles are plastered across the city? The gleeful jack-in-box mascot of Dubai Summer Surprises has been entertaining a generation of kids and he’s back to do it in tow with Dana, his female counterpart, at Modhesh World. The family-friendly edutainment venue is back at the Dubai World Trade Centre until August 28. Halls 3-8 at the convention centre will transform into a colourful world of exciting experiences such as an ice cream museum by MELT. There’s also a games zone packed with rides like Twister, electric bumper cars, tea cups and more. Workshops, live shows and an array of food stalls will also be there for you to checkout.
Free entry; 10am to 10pm. Click here for more details
3. Vat-free weekend of shopping
The second week of Dubai Summer Surprises is a dream come true for shopaholics. From July 7-9 your bill will be exempt from the 5% VAT (Value Added Tax) that’s usual with purchases in Dubai. Participating outlets are spread across the cities and both UAE residents and visitors can make use of this deal.
4. Meet Batman and the rest of the Justice League superheroes at these malls
The Bat-Signal’s shining bright over Nakheel Mall and Ibn Battuta this summer. As part of DSS events, the malls are hosting Justice League superheroes until July 28. You can run into Superman, Wonderwoman, the Dark Knight himself and the rest of the caped crusaders from the DC Comics world. The fun doesn’t end with photo-ops alone. You can ka-pow super villains and save the day too through interactive AR (augmented reality) experiences. At Ibn Battuta Mall, Gotham City itself is recreated and you can enjoy a meet and greet with Batman when you show the service desk receipts worth AED 150.
From 1pm to 9pm at Nakheel Mall and from 2pm to 10pm at Ibn Battuta Mall
5. Roaming entertainment
When you swing by malls in Dubai to cash in on shopping sales and bargains that are part of Dubai Summer Surprises, keep your eyes peeled for roaming entertainment. Ibn Battuta Mall and Circle Mall will feature a candy parade, mirrored ballerinas, acrobat bubbles and multi-coloured human statues. DSS mascots Modesh and Dana will also make an appearance.
Ibn Battuta roaming entertainment from August 4 to 20, from 5pm to 9pm. Modesh and Dana appearances on July 1 and 21 and August 18 and 25 from 4pm to 9:30pm.
At Circle Mall, roaming entertainment every weekend from July 7 to 30, from 5pm to 9pm. Modesh and Dana appearances July 12, August 26 and September 1, from 4pm to 9:30pm.