10 things to do today: Attend a free gig by Jessie J at Mall of the Emirates, head to Short+Sweet Abu Dhabi, and more

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Your daily guide to community and cultural activities across the Emirates for January 20, 2017, including performances, festivals, art exhibitions, film screenings, health and fitness events, talks, classes, workshops and family fun.

Abu Dhabi

Theatre festival

Short+Sweet Abu Dhabi is a festival of 10-minute plays encompassing various genres, which will be staged over two nights by UAE-based actors, directors and playwrights who are members of the capital’s theatre scene. Pictured: Adopt or What

Today and tomorrow, 8pm, free with registration, NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, register at www.nyuad-artscenter.org


Film festival

Attend the Reel Palestine film screenings, which take place in Dubai and Sharjah, and feature a selection of the latest in Palestinian documentaries, dramas, short films and comedies. Today see the 2016 drama Dégradé, directed by Mohammed Abou Nasser and Ahmad Abou Nasser, about a busy beauty salon on the Gaza Strip where women become trapped when gunfire breaks out on the street.

Today, 7pm, free on a first-come, first-served basis, The Yard, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai, www.reelpalestine.org

Abu Dhabi

Cultural festival

Catch the final days of the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival. Learn more about local culture at this event that celebrates the legacy of the Founding President of the UAE, including entertainment such as regional and international traditional dances, camel and horse rides, arts and crafts and a playground for children, plus films, handicraft demonstrations, henna, a souq and traditional food options.

Daily until Sunday, 4pm to 10pm, free entry, Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, zayedfestival.com


Music festival

Attend the Wasla Arabic Alternative Music Festival and celebrate the region’s rich culture by enjoying performances by some of the leading alternative Arab music artists, including soul and funk band Abri and the Funk Radius from the UAE, jazz fusion Salhi from Tunisia, folk musicians Souad Massi from Algeria, hard rockers Jadal from Jordan, alt-rockers Mashrou’ Leila from Lebanon, and electronic bands Emel Mathlouthi from Tunisia and Neobyrd (pictured) from Egypt. Plus, hear up-and-coming UAE-based artists at The Sound Gaarden stage.

Today, noon to 2am, from Dh295, Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai, www.virginmegastore.me



Attend a free performance by British singer-songwriter Jessie J at Mall of the Emirates as part of the Dubai Shopping Festival. She is scheduled to perform her hit songs, including Price Tag, Bang Bang and Who You Are.

Today, 6pm, fashiontainment runway, Central Galleria, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, www.malloftheemirates.com

Abu Dhabi


As part of the Abu Dhabi Classics series, French violinist Renaud Capuçon (pictured) and pianist David Fray team up to present Bach and Beethoven sonatas. The duo are known for their originality and artistry in interpretations, with Fray’s Love of Bach and Capuçon’s love of chamber music reflected in their works.

Tonight, 8pm, from Dh80, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, www.abudhabiclassics.ae


Art event

Plan to visit Soul Art Center, the dance and art studio, for an open day celebrating its first year in Dubai. Enjoy a variety of activities and classes, including kids’ Zumba, kids’ breakdancing, a happiness workshop, beginners salsa, family art, spiritual-art expression for adults and a creative healing workshop.

Tomorrow, 11am to 9pm, free, Soul Art Center, The Residences 1 Tower 1, Downtown Dubai, 04 551 7440, www.soulartcenter.com


Poetry slam

Attend the first poetry slam of the year at thejamjar, with featured artist Sara Al Souqi, a Palestinian-Canadian spoken-word artist and teacher whose works focus on her life experiences and humanitarian issues. Dubai Poetry Slam is a live, spoken-word performance competition where the audience is the judge. Participants can perform poems, stories, lyrics and monologues.

Tonight, 7pm to 10pm, Dh20, thejamjar, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai, www.facebook.com/DubaiPoetrySlam


Shopping festival

Visit Wafi Mall and enjoy a variety of events planned for Dubai Shopping Festival with the theme Alice's Adventures at Wafi, including a performance today at 5pm by the Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra, who will perform renowned classical pieces by Mozart, Beethoven and more. Plus, enjoy daily stage shows, roaming acts and parades with characters dressed in Alice in Wonderland-themed costumes from 4pm to 9pm, and take part in the car raffle draw and roll-and-win prize contest.

Open 10am to midnight, Wafi, Sheikh Rashid Road, Dubai, www.wafi.com


Outdoor market

Ripe Market at Zabeel Park has extended its timings this month. The collaboration of the Dubai Shopping Festival and Ripe showcases an alternative look at the city’s shopping options. Find fresh local produce at the Ripe Organic stall and find new products and activities from a variety of local artisans, designers, jewellers, entertainers and musicians.

Today, 9am to 5pm, Gate 2, Zabeel Park, Dubai, 04 315 7000, www.ripeme.com