Spring isn’t an actual season in Dubai, but April sure knows how to put a spring in our steps with fantastic events. As the major chunk of the holy month of Ramadan has fallen in April, the city is rife this month with Ramadan markets, sumptuous iftars and gorgeous Ramadan tents and majlis. Besides, there are new novelty restaurants and exciting new padel courts and music festivals to look forward to. Not to mention, the exciting slew of Eid concerts and shows we’re now ramping up towards. Plus, this is your last chance to walk around and experience the city on foot, before May brings the heat! Here’s our list of top things to do in Dubai in April.
1. Stroll through this Arabian Village-themed Ramadan District at Jumeirah Etihad Towers
A brand new night market by FLTRD and M2L Concepts has been bringing alive the Plaza Terrace at Jumeirah Emirates Towers all month long. Inspired by a traditional Arabian souk, this night market carpet is jam-packed with board games, henna stations, live music and entertainment, and food trucks that will keep you engaged and enthralled in the hours between iftar and suhoor. Find details here
2. Take a swing at playing padel on this breathtaking floating court
Padel, the sport that’s a cross between tennis and squash, has been catching on like fire with Dubai’s athletes. It’s even nudging the unathletic out of couches and onto the court. Padelx, a padel company all the way from Sweden, have opened up a spanking new padel court on the JLT Lake. You read that right, not near the lake but ON it. This floating padel court offers spectacular lake views and is open for extended hours at night during Ramadan. Which makes it a great excuse to get out and sporty even as the temperatures rise. Click for prices and timings.
4. Ride the Palm Monorail which has turned pink for a limited time only
Visiting the Palm Monorail’s updated rosy new version should be top of your list of things to do in Dubai in April. Cosmetics brand Rituals have taken over the monorail, transforming it into a pink cherry blossom-themed conveyance to celebrate their Sakura range of skincare. As a bonus, the trains also smell like cherry blossoms. So if you want to close your eyes and pretend you’re on a bullet train in Tokyo during cherry blossom season, this is your chance! If Japan’s not on your travel bucket list, this is still a great excuse to explore Palm Jumeirah over the Eid break from high up, instead of being stuck in traffic. Find details here
4. Cuddle giant teddy bears at Dubai’s cutest restaurant
We’ve stumbled across the most adorable little Kyrgyz restaurant in Downtown Dubai where a snuggly giant teddy bear is seated at every table. Central Asian restaurant Navat Tea House believes no one should ever feel lonely while eating and that’s the origin story of their cute soft toy residents. Dressed in bow ties, scarves, and vests, the brown, white and pink teddy bears make for delightful photo ops. It’s a place Goldilocks would rate as ‘just right’ thanks to its ideal location overlooking Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard and delectable Central Asian cuisine. The menu here covers it all from Kyrgyz to Turkish cuisine. Find details here
5-16. Spend quality time with friends and family in one of these opulent Ramadan tents and majlis
Iftars and suhoors turn into elevated experiences at these traditional tents and majlises that range from marquees to spacious outdoor areas and purpose-built venues. We’ve picked 11 of the most stunning locations so you can get a taste of this cherished Ramadan tradition that’s all about community. From the splendour of Atlantis The Palm’s annual Asateer tent to the understated elegance of Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s Ramadan Garden, they’re all one of the absolute must things to do in Dubai this April. Find the full list here.
17. Visit Hai Ramadan at Expo City before it winds up this month
Expo City’s 50-day extravaganza of a festival called Hai Ramadan is in its last stretch. So make a beeline to this neighbourhood festival, which has some unique experiences up its sleeve. A communal table winds through the Mobility Pavillion, where you can get into the true spirit of Ramadan. A host of paid children’s workshops, such as Islamic tiles canvas, calligraphy, Ramadan origami and Masjed art, take place in the Ramadan Market Areas of Sky and Horizon Avenue. Grown-ups can enjoy free sports tournaments and dedicated wellness and foosball zones in Jubilee Park will sort you out. Look out for life-size versions of popular Ramadan board games such as backgammon, carom and teela – a traditional Emirati game of glass beads similar to marbles. Music and theatre shows will happen at Al Wasl Plaza, while the Dubai Police will fire iftar canons signalling start of iftar before Maghrib prayers.Visit Expo City’s website for more details
18. Sign up for this Ramadan photo walk through Karama on April 19
Gulf Photo Plus are back with an atmospheric 3-hour photo walk to experience Ramadan in Dubai at its finest. Led by seasoned photographer Raz Hansrod, amateur shutterbugs will be guided through the bylanes of Karama at night, sampling this old Dubai neighbourhood’s delicious street food and dazzling neon storefronts. Raz will help you brush up on your night photography skills, offer tips on capturing perfect street portraits, review your clicks. He’ll also fill you in on Karama’s history and many hidden gems, including a pit stop at a tandoori chai spot. This course is suitable for all photography enthusiasts, right from smartphone users to proud DSLR owners.
Price: AED 295 for 3-hour workshop
Booking: Click here to book
19. Do Good And Donate to the Ramadan Sharing Fridge At Media One Hotel
One of the main pillars of Ramadan is charity. And so, the Media One Hotel have set up a Ramadan Sharing Fridge, where Dubai residents can donate food and cold beverages to blue-collared workers and other low-income workers. Until April 20, the fridge will be placed at the hotel’s Tower Parking Entrance. Swing by and drop off fresh fruit such as apples, oranges, and bananas, bottles of water and soft drinks. You can also stock up the Sharing Fridge with dry fruits, yoghurt, and biscuits that are still sealed in their packaging. If you’re moved to help the less fortunate call 052 670 6651 and set up a drop-off for your contributions. Click here for more details
20. Gaze upon 50 Banksy murals at the Theatre of Digital Art
The anonymous, but famous, street artist’s viral street art have been packaged into a virtual experience with the ‘Banksy 360 ° Art of the Rebel’ exhibition at TODA at Madinat Jumeirah. Until April 30, you can catch 50 iconic works of art by the mysterious but provocative artist at this immersive 360-degree art exhibition. The legendary Girl With A Balloon painting is part of this spectacular line-up. Want to which other murals you’ll get to be up close and personal with? Find details here.
21. Groove to EDM beats at the jungle-themed Zamna Festival from Mexico
Electronic music fans need no introduction to Zamna Festival. The popular EDM music festival that was born in Tulum, Mexico is gracing Dubai’s shores for the first time from April 22-23 at the Surf Club in Palm West Beach. The touring global festival’s trippy jungle-like ambiance has enthralled clubbers from Brazil, Spain, New York and London. In fact, the Tulum fest happens in Mexico’s lush Quintana Roo jungle. Expect similar verdant foliage to create the set-up in Dubai as well. The Dubai edition will see some killer sets by renowned DJs such as techno producer Henri Bergmann, YokoO, Kori Hall, ANII and more.
For bookings, WhatsApp 050 455 5235. Find the full line-up here.