The week: May 28 - June 3

An exhibition of photography by Emirati women, children's favourites The Wiggles come to town and Shrek does battle with Freddie Kruger at the box office.

Short Life by Rouda Al Shamsi
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Take a rare glimpse into the lives of young Emirati women in this photo exhibition by 18 students from Dubai Women's College (DWC). The images examine personal and private truths, from the fantasy for power to the fear of violence. Sheikha Latifa bint Al Maktoum, director of the arts organisation Tashkeel, advised the students to "push themselves" when exploring a concept artistically and not "just take the easy way out" by relying on a clichéd or classically western visual language. The concept for the exhibition was developed by Shammi Samanoa photography teacher at DWC. "What's fascinated me since I first arrived in Dubai was how thick the line is separating the public and private in local Emirati culture, much thicker than in the West," she said. "I wanted students to reflect on that separation by artistically exploring what is personally private to them and then share it in the very public space." Wednesday opens at 7pm, runs daily until June 9, The Gallery of Light, DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, 04 341 4777

Children's Opera About 50 students from three different Abu Dhabi schools will perform in a production that has been seven months in the making, with set design and costume making by Emirati students from the Higher Colleges of Technology Women's College. Today 3pm & 8pm, Abu Dhabi Theatre, The Breakwater, free entry, 02 677 8432 Ibrahim Kevo and Omar Bashir The Al Ain Centre for Music in the World of Islam presents Syrian artist Ibrahim Kevo and Iraqi oud player Omar Bashir for two nights of performances. Today 8pm, UAE University social club, Al Ain Saturday 8pm, Abu Dhabi Theatre, the Breakwater, free entry to both,

3rd Annual Dubai Dance Festival The festival gets off to a great start with a welcome party at Dubai Marine Beach Hotel. Guests have the opportunity to attend dance workshops with international instructors, while at night they get to apply their skills during social dancing. There will also be a musical, Believe me, I'm a Dancer, performed on Thursday and Friday night at The First Group Theatre. We believe, do you? Wednesday until June 5, tickets can be purchased separately for parties, shows and workshops, with a pass for all four days costing Dh525, 050 518 3316

Evening of Prose and Poetry An evening of readings and classical music featuring Zia Mohyeddin, who is well-known for his reader's theatre presentations of Urdu prose and poetry. The performance will be interspersed with sitar music by Nafees Ahmad. Thursday 7pm, Centrepoint Theatre, DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates, tickets Dh175, 04 341 4777

The Will of the Reed An excellent Arabic calligraphy exhibition with, like these listings, plenty of fine writing. The event officially begins on Tuesday evening, which coincides with the eighth International Calligraphy Competition. Wednesday until June 11, West Wing Gallery, Emirates Palace hotel, Abu Dhabi, 02 690 9000

Recent works Mohammed el Rawas's exhibition of his latest creations is another fine mix of three-dimensional structures and mixed media. Daily until June 6 (closed Fridays) Art Sawa, Dubai, 04 340 8660 Beyond Borders & Time Regained Frederic Lezmi, a German with a Lebanese father, charts his trip from Vienna to Beirut with his photographs in Beyond Borders. Sinisa Vlajkovic may have been born in Serbia, but he was to find out that Lebanon and Syria both played a part in his earlier life, as he shows in Time Regained. Daily until June 6, 9am-10pm (Fridays 3pm-10pm), The Empty Quarter, DIFC, Dubai, 04 323 1210

Diary of the Future Lara Baladi's exhibition brings together three years of work that explores the distinctly Middle Eastern tradition of coffee cup reading. Daily until June 6, 10am-7pm (closed Fridays), Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai, 04 323 5052 Islands & Dubai Episode For his first solo exhibition in the region, Abbas Akhavan's Islands project deals with the mapping and remapping of space, geography and architecture of Dubai and its art market. Dubai Episode promotes locally based emerging artists Mona Ayyash, Raja'a Khalid and Sara Naim. Daily until June 10, 10am-7pm (closed Fridays), Third Line Gallery, Dubai, 04 341 1367

Art For All & Blooming Attitudes A group of international artists have come together to create the Art For All exhibition, with a mixed bag of emerging and established talent. Every few weeks the works on display change, meaning it's definitely worth more than one visit. Blooming Attitudes is the opposite - showcasing the work of just one artist, Cynthia Richards. Daily until June 24, 10am-9pm (Fridays 2pm-9pm), Art Couture gallery, The Walk, JBR, Dubai, 04 399 4991

Experiment This exhibition features the artworks of five young Emirati artists. Two curators began the project in 2009 as a way of creating a platform for young artists to explore new frontiers in multimedia design. Daily until June 26, 10am-10pm, Maraya Arts Centre, Sharjah, Mass Movement Lebanese artist Zena Assi has brought together an exhibition that attempts to portray the psychology of the crowd - how habitat and society are both subject to an accumulation factor, forming together a mass that has its own thought and behaviour.

Daily until June 26, 10am to 7pm (closed Fridays), Art Sawa, Dubai, 04 340 8660, Shabab Uprising This exhibition showcases 10 critically acclaimed emerging artists, including painters Thaier Helal and Kais Salman and photographer/ filmmaker Ammar Al Beik. Daily until June 30 (closed Fridays), Ayyam Gallery, Dubai, 04 323 6242 On the Wall This series of paintings by Syrian artist Baseem Rayyes seeks to tell stories from when the artist gets nostalgic about life back home. But Rayyes isn't just a painter, he was recently named the winner of the 2010 Sharjah Arabian Creativity Award for Short Stories. Daily until July 4, 11am to 9pm, Aspen Cafe, Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, 04 427 0219

A Story of Islamic Embroidery in Nomadic and Urban Traditions The types of textiles on display include those from Central Asia to Russia, Turkey and beyond. Daily until July 28, Gallery One, Emirates Palace hotel, Abu Dhabi (ladies only Tuesday 10am-4pm), 02 690 9000 Peripheral Vision Paintings, photos and sculptures created by artists from Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the UAE examine unique Arab identities and the complex struggles facing different communities. The works show areas of culture not usually discussed in public circles. Daily 10am-8pm, Barjeel Art Foundation, Maraya Arts Centre, Sharjah,

Tandoori Treasures Enjoy an array of tantalising tastes with a special Tandoori menu cooked in a clay oven to bring out all the best flavours of Indian cooking. Tuesdays & Wednesdays until the end of June, 8pm-11pm, Zaika, Al Murooj Rotana Dubai, Dh185 including service charge, 04 321 1111

Hakkasan Lee Kok Hua, from the award-winning London restaurant of the same name, will be serving Chinese specialities including Peking duck with royal beluga caviar and steamed dim sum platters. Quench your thirst with a wide array of Taiwanese teas, including some 50-year-old fine teas. Lee's London eatery was the only Chinese restaurant to hold a Michelin star between 2004 to 2008. Today, 6pm to 2am, last dinner orders at 12am, Emirates Palace hotel, Abu Dhabi, 02 690 9000

Cool Summer Nights The monthly Brazilian carnival-themed night includes Samba dancers, capoeira (a Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts, music, and dance) and beach football. There is also manta ray feeding and the night ends with a laser and fireworks display. Oh, and don't forget the waterslides. Thursday 7pm, Aquaventure, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, tickets Dh200 (children 3-11 Dh165), pay on the door, Wild Nights Al Ain Wildlife Park's summer opening hours are now in full effect, allowing you to see the animals at night until the end of August. Daily Saturday to Thursday 4pm to midnight, Fridays 10am to midnight, adults and over 12s Dh15, children 3-12 Dh5, Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort, Al Ain, 03 782 8188

I'll Be Back Someday Lantian Xie's work is hard to describe. Visitors experience the sensation of departure. His work leans heavily on airport ideals and finishes with some food. Today 2pm-8pm, The Jam Jar, Dubai, 04 341 7303

Birdhouse Factory A fine show in which the factory workers are acrobats and the machines which surround them become circus props. Today and Saturday 8pm, The First Group Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, tickets from Dh125-150, 04 366 6546 The UAE Art Exhibition and Book Launch Work by pioneering Emirati artists features the works of Abdul Qader Al Rais, Mohamed Mandi, Dr Najat Makki and Abdul Rahim Salim. Today and Saturday 10am-8pm, Saturday 12pm-6pm, Cuadro Fine Art Gallery, Dubai, 04 425 0400

Resurrection des Mannequins A host of Dubai artists have put their own personal twist on Sertac Tasdelen's work. The surrealist photographs on display are inspired by the effect of urbanisation and how it changes our interaction with one another. Daily until Monday (closed today), Portfolio Gallery, Al Quoz, Dubai, 04 323 2395 Against the Grain A solo show by Jalal Luqman, the Emirati artist who continues to push the boundaries of digital art. He shows fabulous nonconformist creativity as he bleeps a trail though the UAE art scene. Daily until Thursday (closed today), Tashkeel Gallery, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai, 04 336 3313.

Whose Line is it Anyway? Stephen Frost, Andy Smart, Niall Ashdown, Steve Steen and Ian Coppinger, all regular members of the Comedy Store Players in London, stop by for a bit of improvisational comedy. June 10-12 The First Group Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, tickets from Dh150, 04 366 6546

The Wiggles Since releasing their first album in 1991, The Wiggles have captivated preschool children and delighted parents around the world with their lively family-orientated shows. June 11-12, The Palladium, Dubai, tickets Dh140-250 (under 18 months free, if they sit on an adult's knee), 800 4669

Lord of the Dance The award-winning international show originally created by Michael Flatley brings its troupe of more than 40 dancers to dazzle the capital's crowds with precision dancing, state of the art lighting and music. June 23-25, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi, tickets Dh295-795, family ticket Dh850 (two adults, two children), 800 4669

Shrek Forever After The fourth and final instalment of this franchise provides more of the same rehashing of fairy-tale themes via a cast of famous voices and computer animation. Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy oblige once more, but it seems a long time ago since the excitement around the original movie. Nine years to be precise. The original charm, warmth and cleverness have departed in the meantime. ,, , A Nightmare on Elm Street A remake of Wes Craven's famous 1984 slasher flick. Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Hayley) haunts a group of teenagers in their sleep in yet another movie brand which has long since passed its prime, with TV shows and spin-off comic books helping to swell the coffers. Early reviews indicate you may want to take a nap during the film itself. Don't have nightmares. , ,

Movies and Munchies Enjoy watching a film from the cool of the infinity pool in Epicure at the Desert Palm retreat in Dubai. Movies and Munchies will run every Wednesday throughout June and July, with a double bill of a family film at 7pm followed by a 15 or an 18 certificate movie at 9pm. This week's offering is Monster vs Aliens followed by Public Enemies. Wednesday 7pm, Dh30, 04 323 8888,

Creation Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly star in the life story of Charles Darwin, the pioneering English scientist and naturalist. Rather deliciously, the only other movie production called Creation was an unfinished 1931 stop-motion project about man and dinosaur cohabiting. And no, the set was not hit by a meteorite, or indeed burnt down by any of Charles' angry relatives because the filmmakers had blatantly ignored all of his work. Goodness knows what he'd have made of The Flintstones.

Grey Gardens The Shelter in Dubai begins a month of Tuesday screenings of films about fashion. The first of the quartet is a documentary about Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie, the aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Behind the towering privets of their East Hampton mansion they descend into a strange life of dependence and eccentricity. Tuesday 8.30pm, Dh15 (free for members), 04 434 5655 or