Top 10: Visit Santa's Grotto at Wafi, register for the Junior Cooking Class at Fairmont The Palm, head to Yas Marina Circuit for the return of TrainYas

Your essential guide to what's happening in the Emirates


Festive event

Wafi Mall features a variety of holiday activities including Santa’s Grotto, where children who visit will receive a cuddly soft toy, a framed photograph with Santa and a raffle coupon for a chance to win prizes including flights to Europe on Lufthansa. There is a gingerbread decoration area for youngsters as well as light and sound shows facing the Pyramid entrance every evening, with UAE-themed shows at 6.30pm and 7.30pm, and festive shows at 8pm and 9.30pm.

Daily until December 24, 9am to 10pm daily until Friday; 8.30am to 10.30pm from Saturday until December 24, Wafi, Dubai,


Open call

The International Women Photographers Award (IWPA) has an open call for entries for its 2018 competitions under the theme of “Visible-Invisible” plus a free theme. The IWPA is organised in collaboration with Alliance Française Dubai and Canon Middle East, and is open to women photographers from all over the world. The works of 11 shortlisted candidates will go on display at La Galerie from March. Pictured: An image by Farah Salem

Submissions open until Friday, age 18+, Alliance Française Dubai, Oud Metha, Dubai,


Kids’ fun

Register your children ages 10-14 for the eight-week Junior Cooking Classes programme with Fairmont The Palm and The Chef’s Palette. Led by Michelin-trained chef Romain Van Durmen, children can learn to make all-time favourites and healthy treats such as sushi, pasta and desserts.

January 22 to March 14, 4pm to 6pm, Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays, from Dh1,200, Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, 04 457 3457,

Abu Dhabi

Fitness event

TrainYas returns after the F1 Grand Prix break. This weekly event, presented by Daman ActiveLife lets you get fit this winter, by walking, jogging, running or cycling around the 5.55 kilometre track. Rent bikes and helmets from Fun Ride Sports or borrow one of the 400 bicycles available from Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Tuesdays, 6pm to 10pm, free with registration, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, register at

Al Ain


Emirati Traditional Games presented by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi showcases works by six artists based in the UAE. The exhibition's interactive and 3-D artworks are inspired by traditional games such as Al Teela, Habil Al Zaibal and Al Dusays, reflecting their importance in the UAE's culture and heritage.

Daily until January 7, 9am to 8pm, Saturdays to Thursdays (closed Fridays), Al Qattara Arts Centre, Al Ain,


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Catch the final days of Lasting Impressions: Thuraya Al Baqsami, the eighth in a series that pays tribute to the region's most influential artists. Al Baqsami is an award-winning Kuwaiti artist whose displayed paintings, posters, drawings and illustrations date back to the 1960s and take visitors on a journey through her life in Cairo, Moscow and Dakar.

Daily until Saturday, from 8am to 8pm, Saturdays to Thursdays; 4pm to 8pm on Friday, Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah,


Yoga event

Book your spot at a yoga class led by athletic apparel company lululemon ambassadors Neha Duseja and Nitai Krishna in celebration of Canada 150, the anniversary of lululemon’s homeland confederation. The class is a mix of asanas and pranayama and will explore how breathing can help to access calm, joy and connection. Suitable for all levels, the class runs for 90 minutes. Mats are also available for use.

Friday, 10am, The Yard, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai,

Abu Dhabi

Comedy show

Get tickets now to see Trevor Noah perform at du Forum on his Around the World tour. A second show has been added following the sell-out of the first date. Noah, South African host of The Daily Show returns to the UAE having headlined the Dubai Comedy Festival back in 2015.

December 16, 4pm, from Dh280, du Forum, Yas, Abu Dhabi,

Abu Dhabi

Wellness event

Register to attend the first Wellness Breakfast Club at Bodytree, featuring food by Nectar as well as a talk with nutrition consultant Suzan Terzian and family medical consultant Dr Nas Al-Jafari, titled Nutrition, Gut Health and Beyond. Meet others interested in wellness and gain a healthy new approach to weight loss.

January 11, 11am to 12.30pm, from Dh240; early-bird price Dh215 by Friday, Bodytree Studio, Abu Dhabi, 02 443 4448,



XVA Gallery presents Highlighted Memory, an exhibition of works in a variety of media by international artist Azad Nanakeli. The Iraqi artist, born in Erbil, focuses his visual pattern on a multi-layered artistic discourse that includes painting, photography, video, installation and narrative, in a frame where he can freely develop timeless connections between experiences, past and present, memory and identity. Pictured: Untitled work by Azad Nanakeli

Daily until January 9, 10am to 6pm daily, XVA Gallery, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Bur Dubai, 04 353 5383,

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