How to throw a virtual birthday party for your friends in the UAE

A guide to planning a memorable day at home

How to throw a virtual birthday party for your friends in the UAE

So, you have a friend in the UAE who's going to be stuck at home on their birthday. Who says you can’t still throw them the biggest bash around, eh?

Just because you can’t go to the birthday boy’s/girl’s favourite restaurant, it doesn’t mean those dishes can come straight to you (and them, of course).

Thanks to new virtual platforms and plenty of deliveries, you can make memories that they’ll value long after this.

Ready to plan a birthday extravaganza from home? Check out the below.

Put an official Zoom time on the calendar

Make it official, it's a party after all! You’ll be hopping on a video-chatting platform like Zoom to see your birthday pal face-to-face, and so you can all tell them how much of a rockstar they are. Whether you want to keep it simple with a group text or make a more elaborate e-invitation, the first step is letting that digital date and time be known.

Don’t forget the birthday card

When you used to meet up with your birthday honcho in-person, bringing a birthday card wasn't usually a top priority. This year, why not make it one?

Whether you want to do it the old fashioned way by sending them a very punny card (tip: always about how young they are for brownie points) through delivery sites such as with their favourite memory of them via Paperless Post, it’s a sweet touch your birthday pal will enjoy.

Surprise them with a Cameo message

If they’d rather have a celebrity say “Happy Birthday” to them than anyone else in this world, now's your chance to shock them. For the uninitiated, Cameo is an app that lets you pay celebrities to record a brief, personalised message for someone special. Like who? Samwise from Lord of the Rings (Sean Astin), Colin Mochrie from Whose Line is it Anyway? and plenty more. They can be pricey, but have a group chip in and prepare for a shocked face from the birthday person.

Get them a gift to open on camera

We all know the best thing about presents is giving one to someone special and seeing their face light up. Usually we could walk around and window shop through The Dubai Mall or Mall of the Emirates for ideas, but instead of that, we can window shop virtually. There’s plenty of leading brands, from the latest fashion, beauty and luxury collections from BVLGARI, French luxury brand Cartier, local brand Dusoul and Roberto Coin.

The birthday pal more of a film fanatic? There’s fun-filled movie-centric board games to get from Star Wars to Jaws right here.

And, if they’re more of a gamer, these 11 games should definitely bring a smile to their face. Although, make sure they don’t have them first.

Take the digital party to a second location

Another location? No, we don’t mean from your living room to the kitchen, we mean from club scene to movie night. That’s the wonders of technology for you, and be sure to change the background on your call to match the scene. Here’s a few ideas.

Go virtual clubbing

If the birthday star usually stays out dancing until wee hours in the morning, let them pick where they want to go virtually clubbing, and watch DJs throw down house grooves via stream. BookMyShow UAE is the go-to place for big-time stars and comedians hosting live performances, while McGettigan’s has weekly performances to go with their brunch every Friday. Speaking of…

Birthday brunch

Ah, there’s nothing better than a brunch in the UAE to celebrate birthdays, and you and the gang can throw the special birthday person one like they’ve never had before. Sure, the special person could do their own DIY brunch, or you could get their favourite restaurant to deliver a truckload of dishes straight to their door. From McGettigan’s and SALT Burger to Il Borro Tuscan Bistro and plentiful deals on Deliveroo, the options are near-endless. Check it all out here. You can check which venues are delivering in Abu Dhabi here and in Dubai here.

Share a movie night

Are they a film and entertainment buff? Let them choose a flick they've been dying to see, and watch it together on a platform like Netflix Party, which allow you to video-chat while you watch. If you can, start early so the party-goers can re-group post-movie, toast to the person of the hour and chat about scenes. Don't have time to rally the group for a full movie? Do a movie game, instead. Set a time for the whole birthday crew to log onto Houseparty and play a round of trivia.

Learn to get professionally glam

If your birthday queen or king loves to get glam, what better way to spend their birthday than playing around with some new styles of makeup. London-based makeup artist Emilie Louizides is giving virtual lessons on using whatever you have at home in your makeup bag. "Clients often don’t realise that they already have all the makeup they’ll need to create a really beautiful look so that’s where I come to teach new techniques," says Louizides. "The best part is the final result of each lesson when I get to look at each client admiring the makeup they did on their own face. At the end of each lesson, I also make personalized product recommendations." For compensation she's been having folks pay what they think is fair for the lesson, which usually run about an hour. Need help nailing down a theme? Try learning how to do eyeshadow (without looking like a clown) or how to put on foundation and concealer without it looking too cake-y.

If you’re looking for more things to do at home in Dubai, click here, in Abu Dhabi, right here and for Sharjah, click here.

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