Luck of the Irish

As the UAE gears up for St. Patrick's Day, David Light has the low-down on a great mix of entertainment planned at different venues

By David Light (Staff Reporter)

Published: Sat 15 Mar 2008, 1:52 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:29 PM

ST PATRICK'S DAY weekend is upon us! Therefore it's time to put on anything green, get your story straight about those highly questionable family ties to the Emerald Isle and get in the mood for a party the whole world will be joining. This annual tribute to the patron saint of Ireland will ensure merriment is had from New York to New Zealand. The Irish don't do things by halves and neither do the region's party planners by the look of it, which is apparent when you see the number of events on offer in the UAE.

St Patrick's Day was originally a religious holiday and a feast day, celebrated by the Irish Roman Catholic Church. As time passed and Irish migration grew, the holiday was exported to different parts of the globe. The party atmosphere remained but gradually it became more about celebrating all things Irish rather than anything religious. Today St Patrick's is synonymous with drinking Guinness, eating Irish stew, listening to folk music and having a good old-fashioned knees-up.

To facilitate everyone having a good time Dubai and Abu Dhabi's establishments have some great ideas for what to do. Firstly one has to mention the Irish Village in Dubai. This will be the epicentre for this weekend's festivities. Today from 2pm onwards they will showcase the best of live Irish music, accompanied by Irish dancers, immediately followed by a DJ. Throughout the whole day a sumptuous Irish buffet will be available for the great price of Dh75 in order to soak up any beverages you may have indulged in. At the same venue on Monday (the actual holiday) there will again be live entertainment supplied by The Stompers and Maple Jacks, Irish dancers and a DJ. The buffet will re-open for the same price and there will be a bouncy castle. Entrance to the Irish Village is free as always.

For those of you looking for a more serene time, the Kempinski Hotel at Mall of the Emirates will be offering a St Patrick's Day promotion from today until the 17th. This includes: 2-for-1 on Irish beers, a bounty of Irish themed snacks and dishes, and a surprise gift for a lucky few at the Evory Lounge. Sezzam, also housed in the hotel, will be playing your favourite tunes to rock the night away along with offering authentic Irish cuisine and fun giveaways.

In Abu Dhabi your choice Irish watering-hole PJ's at the Royal Meridien have a day of laughs planned on the 17th. From 12pm- 5 they will be offering an Irish set menu. This will be followed by an Irish quiz from 5.30 until 8pm. Finally DJ Martin will end the night, spinning some fantastic songs until the wee small hours of the morning.

Of course every Irish bar in the land will be hoping to grab your custom on the day the owners live for. If you already have your favourite haunt then there is not much I can say to persuade you otherwise. I will just give a brief mention to a few places that may tickle your fancy. Finnegan's at the Palm Hotel, JCT 5, Shaikh Zayed Road, may not be the hippest joint in town but they serve up good honest fare at reasonable prices. A pie and Guinness will set you back just Dh49. Dubliner's at Le Meridien Dubai will have a live band in on the 17th and the Dublin Arms at the Metropolitan Hotel in Deira will have a special Guinness promotion and complimentary green drinks.

Wherever you go on this wonderful day, we wish you a lot of fun and joy. Remember to be responsible but also bear in mind this is one of the only times in the year you are allowed to eat too much, drink and spontaneously sing in public without getting stared at. So go out and take advantage, enjoy yourself.

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