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Dubai Diary: What to do this weekend?

By Bindu Suresh Rai

The post New Year’s Eve fatigue is still palpable in the strung out faces that are visible in the Emirates 24|7 offices.
And if that’s any indication of a sample study of Dubai’s denizens, then it is safe to say that this weekend holds promise of a more laid back turn of events as opposed to the hectic social life we regularly pencil in.
Starting off 2012 on a cheerful note, we have dug up not one but two comedy festivals that are sure to have you laugh your socks off with some of the UK’s and Ireland’s top-most comedians.
And if that’s not enough to entice you to lift your head from the pillow, then a charity drive during the first weekend of the New Year is sure to warm your heart for a better 2012 ahead.
Happy New Year and have a lovely weekend ahead:
Thursday, January 5
Dubai Shopping Festival

Another year brings forth another month filled with discounts and festivities as the 17th edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) kicks off today until February 5.
With mammoth prized on offer that include nearly Dh1.5 million in shopping sprees, endless raffles coupons to win top-of-the-line cars and a chance to bag up to 19 kilos of gold, this glitz is enough to have many cancel their travel plans and plant their feet firmly in Dubai.
Don’t forget to catch tonight’s opening ceremony at the lights and fireworks show from 8pm at the Dubai Creek.
The festival began in 1996 as an initiative of the Dubai government to promote trade, and it only gets bigger and better every year.
McGettigan’s Irish Comedy Fest
Nothing beats a good cuppa filled with cheer to start off the first weekend in 2012. And clearly, McGettigan’s Irish Pub is banking on just that with its Comedy fest this Thursday and Friday.
This second annual event promises to be a laugh riot as Ireland’s comedians, Fred Cooke, Andrew Stanley, Eric Lalor Joe Rooney and Jarlath Regan take to the stage with their bags of gags to lighten the mood.
Located at The Bonningtan, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, the Comedy Fest will run over two nights with all five funny men performing.
Doors open at 8pm and show starts an hour later. Tickets are priced at Dh50 per night. Call: 04 356 0560
The Laughter Factory
While the Irish are having a hoot at one end of the Sheikh Zayed Road highway, the British and a lone Aussie will be having a ball at Jumeirah Beach Residence’s Mövenpick Hotel and The Address, Dubai Marina.
A local comedy hero, Factory Productions, is organising a line-up of three comedians, namely Ben Norris, Simon Blight and Wayne Deakin on January 5 and 6.
For those not in the know, Norris has appeared on many TV shows in the UK, including “Mock the Week” and “Never Mind the Buzzcocks”.
Meanwhile, Bligh is a Perrier Award nominee whose humour is more conversational and frenetic.
The man from Down Under, Deakin is a regular headliner at all Australian comedy clubs and shows, and is your regular globetrotter with his signature brand of humour.
To catch the trio in action, head down this Thursday to the Melrose Ballroom, Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach, or on Friday at the Mazina, The Address Dubai Marina.
Show starts 9pm, with tickets priced at Dh130. Call: 04 355 1862
Friday, January 6
Walk for Life at Safa Park

Start 2012 on a charitable note with the Walk For Life that is being organised on Friday morning in support of the victims of Typhoon Sendong (Washi) in the Philippines.
Those interested can head down to Safa Park, Dubai, Gate 4, where the walk will commence at 7am and will head up to 11am.
A minimum donation of Dh50 per person has been requested and registration can be done on site itself.
This charity event is being held under the auspices of the UAE Red Crescent and the Islamic Affairs for Charitable Activities Dept and has been organised by the Philippine Business Council, Dubai.
Ujala Asianet Film Awards 2012
On January 6, Dubai Festival City will play host to the 14 the edition of the Ujala Asianet Film Awards ceremony, organised by the Malayalam TV channel.
The Asianet Film Awards is presented annually to honor the artistic and technical excellence in Malayalam Film industry.
Confirmed on the red carpet are Vidya Balan, Asin, Jaya Prada, along with Southern superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal, Dileep, Prithviraj and Jayaram.
And fans of the viral hit, “Kolaveri Di” are in for a treat because singer, actor, producer, Dhanush, is slated to perform at this event.
Tickets are priced at Dh1000, Dh500, Dh200, Dh100, and Dh50.