Your essential guide to what's happening in the Emirates
Top 10: Visit Al Dhafra Festival to see the camel beauty contest, attend the final Rooftop Rhythms open mic of the year, see the exhibition Sinyar at Alliance Francaise Dubai
Make plans to attend Al Dhafra Festival, where more than 20,000 camels are expected to take part in the annual beauty pageant. Several Emirati heritage-related contests are planned with the aim to preserve the local customs and traditions, such as a camel heritage race, camel milking contest, sheep show and dates competition. The daily programme Life of Bedouin introduces falconry, camel-riding and poetry. Enjoy an art exhibition, art workshops, classic car show, children’s village, and traditional souq.
Opens tomorrow, then runs daily until December 28, 10am to 10pm, free entrance, Madinat Zayed, Al Gharbia (Western Region), Abu Dhabi, www.aldhafrafestival.ae
Catch the final days of Hurban Vortex. Alliance Française Abu Dhabi presents an exhibition of works by French photographer Boris Wilensky, which is inspired by his trips to Tokyo in 2009 and 2011, and built around three series: Origins, Collapse and Post. The images reflect on human being, cities, modernity and future.
Daily until Saturday, 9am to 8pm, today and tomorrow; 9am to 5pm on Saturday (closed Friday), Alliance Française Abu Dhabi, near Irish Embassy, Abu Dhabi, www.afabudhabi.org
Etihad Modern Art Gallery presents a pop-up art souq featuring limited-edition paintings, sculptures, photographs and more at up to 50 per cent off.
Today and tomorrow, 10am to 9pm, Etihad Modern Art Gallery, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, 02 621 0145, www.etihadmodernart.com
Make plans to attend the final Rooftop Rhythms open mic of the year. The event is a night of poetry and open mic, featuring some of the UAE’s top established and emerging spoken word and performing artists. The open mic is on a first-come, first-served basis on the Rooftop Rhythms group page on Facebook.
Friday, 8pm, free with registration, The Marketplace, NYU Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, www.nyuad-artscenter.org
Register your children, ages 4 to 12, for the Hiltonia Winter Kids’ Camp, which features activities such as fitness games, cooking classes, magic shows, arts and crafts, face-painting and water sports to keep the kids engaged and entertained during the winter break.
Starts Sunday, then runs until January 4, 9am to 3pm Sundays to Thursdays, from Dh900 per week; Dh200 per day, Hiltonia Beach Club, Corniche, Abu Dhabi, 02 692 4324
Get tickets to attend a performance of Stick Man, which is based on the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, and features puppetry and songs. Families will enjoy the misadventures of the Stick Man, who goes out for a morning jog, only to discover that a dog wants to play fetch with him, then a swan builds a nest with him and he is even set on fire.
January 17 to 20, 4.30pm on January 17; 2pm and 4.30pm on January 18; 10.30am, 2pm and 4.30pm on January 19 and 20, from Dh145, Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, www.madinattheatre.com
Buy tickets now to see American comedian Chris Rock in his Total Blackout Tour. Rock is a former cast member of Saturday Night Live who has gone on to stardom in stand-up shows as well as films including Grown Ups, Madagascar and the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris.
January 5 and 6, 6pm, from Dh395, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, www.ticketmaster.ae
Alliance Française Dubai presents the art exhibition Sinyar, the Khaleeji word for the departure of caravans. The exhibition is a showcase of works by Emirati and French artists featuring paintings, multimedia works, art tapestries and more inspired by the heritage of the Gulf, and pays tribute to the friendship between the countries. Pictured: The Porch by Salma Al Marri
Daily until January 14, 9am to 8pm, Sundays to Wednesdays; 9am to 5pm on Thursdays and Saturdays (closed Fridays), La Galerie, Alliance Francaise Dubai, Oud Metha, Dubai, 04 335 8712, www.afdubai.org
Register your children, ages 6 to 12, for the Ductac Winter Camp, where they can expect to be immersed in winter-themed arts and crafts such as pottery and 3-D art, as well as seasonal magic tricks.
Starts Sunday, then runs until January 7, 9am to 1pm, from Dh250 per day; Dh1,000 per week, early drop-off and late pick-up are available, Ductac, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, 04 341 4777, www.ductac.org
Sofitel Dubai Downtown present the final days of the exhibition She Rises by local artist Budour Al Ali. The artworks celebrate female empowerment and marks the occasion of Emirati Women’s Day, which was in August, with Al Ali’s collection of 12 paintings that capture the heritage and beauty of the UAE as well as the strength of women in the Arab and Muslim world. Pictured: The Oud Maker
Daily until Friday, open all day, first floor, Sofitel Dubai Downtown, Dubai