Your guide to the UAE Korea Festival 2019: K-pop concerts, art, cooking and more

This year's event features a cooking class with Korean Buddhist nun Jeong Kwan and K-pop concerts with Seventeen and SF9

Korea Festival 2019 will bring Korean Buddhist nun Jeong Kwan to Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Korean Cultural Centre
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K-pop concerts, exhibitions, workshops and seminars are some of the activities to look forward to at this year's Korea Festival. Hosted by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development of the UAE, this year's event runs from Tuesday, October 15 to Saturday, November 9 at locations around the Emirates. Now in its sixth year, the festival helps promote cultural exchange between the UAE and Korea.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights of what’s happening at this year’s festival:

Year of Tolerance exhibition

When: Tuesday, October 15 to Saturday, November 9

Where: Cultural Foundation, Abu Dhabi

Members of the National Academy of Arts of the Republic of Korea’s Fine Art Division will display their art with the theme of the Year of Tolerance. The exhibition features different genres of artwork including calligraphy, sculpture and painting. The exhibition also revolves around people, nature, life and heritage.

Korean Brand and Content Expo

When: Wednesday, October 16 to Friday, October 18

Where: Dubai World Trade Centre

The three-day event is split into three parts: business and networking, exhibition and events and a K-pop concert. Those looking for a potential new business venture can head to Sheikh Saeed Hall 2 for business and networking on October 16 to 17.

See, feel and try Korean beauty, fashion and food products during the exhibition and events on October 17 to 18 at Sheikh Saeed Hall 1.

And finally, K-pop boy bands Seventeen and SF9 will perform at Trade Centre Arena on October 17. Actress Ha Ji Won (Damo, Secret Garden) will also be in attendance to meet fans.

Korean Traditional Medicine: seminar and treatment trial 

When: Saturday, October 19 at 4pm

Where: Korean Cultural Centre, Abu Dhabi

Learn more about Korean medicine. The 90-minute seminar will focus on the causes and treatments of hair loss and the ways to keep your hair healthy through traditional Korean medicine. After the seminar, there will be medical consultations on request and trials of Korean herbal tea and herbal products.

K-Music Night with Dubai Opera Orchestra, Fatima Alhashemi, Second Moon, GongMyoung and D-Crunch

When: Thursday, October 24, 7.30pm to 9.30pm

Where: Cultural Foundation

The event will see Korean and Emirati musicians come together as the Dubai Opera Orchestra and opera singer Fatima Alhashemi will collaborate with Korean bands Second Moon and GongMyoung to perform songs in both Korean and Arabic.

Second Moon is a South Korean ethnic fusion band that have performed in several folk festivals around the world. GongMyoung is a performing arts group who reinterpret traditional Korean music in a modern way.

Also performing will be K-pop boy band D-Crunch. The nine-member group debuted in 2018 with the song Palace and have a strong emphasis on hip-hop. The group has six rappers and three vocalists.

Korean Temple Food cooking class with Jeong Kwan

When: Friday, November 1 at 3pm for public, Sunday, November 3 for professional chefs

Where: Korean Cultural Centre

Jeong Kwan is coming to Abu Dhabi to introduce Korean temple cuisine. The Zen Buddhist nun, who was featured on an episode of Netflix's Chef's Table in 2017, cooks for fellow nuns and monks as well as occasional visitors but does not own a restaurant and has no formal culinary training. During her class, she will demonstrate how she prepares temple food with participants getting to experience preparing and tasting it. She will host two events, one for the public and one for professional chefs.

Registration is required as spots are limited. To apply for a spot in the class, click here.

Baru Gongyang with Jeong Kwan

When: Tuesday, November 5 at 6pm

Where: Korean Cultural Centre

For those who can’t make the cooking class, there is another chance for a session with Jeong Kwan. In Korean Buddhism, eating meals is referred to as Baru Gongyang and participants will be able to enjoy her food using baru (wooden bowl) as they practice the ritual that’s used for having a meal in a temple. Temple meals are carried out in an orderly procedure and are an important part of monastic practice.

Registration is required as spots are limited. To apply for a spot in the class, click here.

K-Music night with BIG

When: Thursday, November 7 from 7.30pm to 9pm

Where: Cultural Foundation

Korean boy band BIG (Boys in Groove) will perform a mix of K-pop and Arabic cover songs. Formed in 2014, the group has taken Arabic lessons to help while performing covers of popular Arabic songs such as Boshret Kheir by Hussain Al Jassmi and La Bezzaf by The 5. They've also released an Arabic version of their single Hello Hello.

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