Opera, ballet, new restaurant openings and free film screenings are just some of the great events to look forward to as temperatures rise in the month of April. The Arts & Life team rounds up their top picks.
April 2 See a Bollywood film
Head down to Mushrif Park for the final film of the 7th Art Al Fresco screening, PK. The movie, directed by Rajkumar Hirani and starring Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan, with Sanjay Dutt and Anushka Sharma, is a touching and charming drama about an alien who gets lost on Earth and his mission to get back home, while tackling the social issues and religious dogmas that affect India.
• 6.30pm, Mushrif Park, Abu Dhabi
April 6 World Art Dubai
The second edition of the country’s only affordable art fair welcomes galleries from all over the world. It is the perfect place to pick up a unique piece of art from emerging talents, who will be selling works for between Dh1,000 and Dh10,000.
• From 2pm to 9pm, running until April 9, Dubai World Trade Centre; www.worldartdubai.com
April 7 Watch an acclaimed Emirati documentary
Catch the UAE's first public screening of award-winning documentary Nearby Sky, following its success at film festivals in Dubai, Hong Kong and Edinburgh. Nearby Sky follows the life of Fatma Al Hameli, the first female Emirati camel owner to attend the country's camel beauty contests and auctions.
• 7pm, Vox Cinemas Nation Towers, Abu Dhabi
April 8 A night at the ballet
The principal dancers and leading soloists from the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia will take the stage for a gala performance at Dubai World Trade Centre. Special guests of Gala Ballet – Iana Salenko, principal dancer of the Berlin State Ballet and Royal Ballet, London, and Steven McRae, principal dancer of Royal Ballet, London, will also perform. There will also be a second show on April 9.
• Tickets are from Dh580 on www.platinumlist.net
April 8 Catch American Idol for the last time
The influential TV talent show will come to an end after 15 successful seasons with today’s grand finale. See judges Harry Connick Jr, Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez cry rivers of tears as the show’s last winner is crowned. Previous idols who have gone on to mainstream success include Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, though victory isn’t a guarantee of future glory – anybody remember 2013’s Candice Glover?
• 4am, OSN First HD, (repeated 8pm); www.osn.com
April 10 Abu Dhabi Festival
The emirate’s greatest cultural celebration returns for a 13th edition with a typically impressive bill, including an intimate duet between French opera star Natalie Dessay and her husband Laurent Naouri (pictured) on April 10; a headline show Chinese pianist Lang Lang on April 14; two themed concerts from Orchestre de Paris on April 15 and April 17; and a closing gala from Cuban dance star Carlos Acosta on April 25 and April 26.
• All at Emirates Palace stage; visit www.abudhabifestival.ae for tickets and the full programme
April 11 Portrait of a Nation
The UAE’s leading contemporary artists reflect upon their homeland with the opening of this new group exhibition. Featuring commissioned pieces and some from Abu Dhabi Music and Art Foundation’s collection, this event is part of the Abu Dhabi Festival.
• Runs until May 10. Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi; www.abudhabifestival.ae
April 14 Start the weekend with an elegant dining experience
Experience an authentic and lavish Middle Eastern culinary experience at Siraj. The newly opened restaurant’s menu is inspired by the region, with a menu focusing on fusing Emirati flavours with Levantine dishes. Guests are welcomed with a sprinkle of rose water and the scent of Arabic oud.
• Open from 12 noon to 1am daily, level 2, Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai; www.sirajrestaurant.com
April 16 Feel the funk
In a major coup for the UAE, a brand-new show from funk legends Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley will receive its world premiere at NYUAD’s Arts Centre. Entitled Funk: Evolution of a Revolution, it will use multimedia to trace the 50-year history of funk – alongside live performances from two men who helped define the world’s grooviest genre during their lengthy tenure in James Brown’s band.
• 8pm, free on registration, East Plaza, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi; www.nyuad-artscenter.org
April 18 Delicious and gluten-free
Check out the newly opened Tawa Bakery at Abu Dhabi’s Al Muneera Plaza, which is 100 per cent gluten-free. This is a perfect option for those who have coeliac disease, allergies or intolerances to the protein that is found in wheat, rye, barley and oats, or for those who would just like to hang out in the latest new beachside spot.
• 12pm to 10pm daily, Al Muneera Plaza, Abu Dhabi; www.tawabakery.ae
April 20 Race plastic boats
Challenge your designing skills by signing up for what is dubbed the first plastic-boat race to take place in Abu Dhabi. Let the creative juices flow and decorate your boats, and build sculptures and kites from recycled material for the competition at Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana. Or simply unwind and indulge in snacks and fresh juices with family and friends, while cheering for your favourite team.
• For more details, call 02 657 0224
April 20 Check out an explosive science show
The Ministry of Science duo Mike Goble and Emma Blackwell make learning fun with their explosive show, which will be staged at Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre. Youngsters and adults will see the entertaining side to science lessons as the artists showcase the lighter sides of physics and chemistry, with liquid nitrogen and hydrogen bottle rockets.
• Ductac, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai. Tickets are from Dh135 on www.ductac.org
April 21 Celebrate The Capital Club's 8th birthday
Practise your favourite James Bond line with a special 007-themed bash. That means the fellas must come looking suave and the ladies in glamorous gowns. Gourmet food and beverages will be supplied alongside musical entertainment. The only catch is that you need to come along with a club member.
• 8pm, Capital Club Dubai, DIFC. Tickets for club guests are Dh650. For membership details, visit www.capitalclubdubai.com or call 0 4 364 0111
April 27 Archival Photography: Practices and Projects in the UAE
Find out what constitutes an archive, how archives are built and maintained, and why they are important in this discussion among representatives of the leading archives in the UAE. Speakers include Karen Davies from the Crown Prince Court in Abu Dhabi, and Abdallah Al Bastaki from The National Archives.
• From 6.30pm to 8pm, Warehouse 421, Abu Dhabi; www.warehouse421.ae
April 29 One more outdoor concert before the summer
While sonically poles apart, Rudimental and Disclosure both struck gold in the halcyon summer of 2013 with the same formula of working radio-friendly hooks and timely vocal collaborations into their respective genres: drum n’ bass and deep house. Both acts will appear on the same bill for the first time at a new mini-festival at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre – likely to be the last gig at the venue before summer hits.
• From 4pm to 1am, Dubai Media City Amphitheatre; tickets, from Dh399, at www.lovemusicyourway.com