x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Entertainment

Cinemas

The UAE has a number of cinemas showing the latest Hollywood, Bollywood and Arabic releases. Most of the multiplex cinemas are attached to the bigger shopping malls and include chains such as Grand Cinema, Cinestar and Cineroyal.
Films from the West tend to come to the UAE after a US or UK release but are first passed by the National Media Council, which will make cuts to uphold the values of the UAE.
Most, if not all, sex and nudity will be cut from films before they are screened in the UAE but violence, swearing and other adult themes will usually be passed by censors.
Unlike many other countries, there is a chatty and boisterous culture during screening so be prepared for mobile phones ringing during screenings and conversations taking place in the audience.

Live Music

The UAE regularly attracts big name performers from the world of music, with both Abu Dhabi and Dubai staging A-list concerts.
In Abu Dhabi, the main venue for 'stadium' acts is in the grounds of the Emirates Palace. In the past two years it has seen performances by Bon Jovi, Andrea Bocelli, Coldplay and The Killers to name a few. Tom Jones has also played at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).
Emirates Palace has also hosted the first dance music festival in the UAE, Creamfields, and more are planned for the future.
Abu Dhabi has also been the venue for the annual Womad festival, bringing artists from around the world to the city's corniche.
Flash PR, the main events organisation in the region, has also announced that it will focus on promoting concerts for smaller acts.
Live music, good and bad, is available in many of the hotel bars and restaurants ranging from the usual singer with guitarist to cover bands.
The Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (Admaf) host a number of cultural events in the past year, ranging from classical music to jazz and salsa.

Television

The UAE is served by a number of television networks. The four main broadcasters are Abu Dhabi TV, Orbit Showtime Network (OSN), Al Jazeera and E-Vision.

Abu Dhabi TV, owned by the Abu Dhabi Media Company, is currently part of the free-to-air network that covers the UAE. The company has the rights to the English Premier League from the 2010/11 season.
Orbit-Showtime, a company from Saudi Arabia, functions similar to that of BSkyB in the United Kingdom and provides 75 pay-TV channels. These include countless movie, sports and entertainment channels from networks in Asia, Europe and North America. The channels are in English, with Arabic subtitling.
Also known as OSN, it was the first to launch a range of channels in high definition (HD) and to have channels specifically dubbed in Arabic.
Prices start from Dh99 to Dh325 a month based over their eight packages.

Al Jazeera is tied in with the Fox network and these channels, including 10 sports, can be attained with a special card at a cost of Dh280 if you are with OSN. The prices of including the package on E-Vision varies due to its a la carte option.
E-Vision is Etisalat’s answer to OSN. It trumps OSN due its one-stop shop for attaining all television channels in the region with its a la carte menu of add-on packages such as the Al Jazeera channels or the ESPN networks. You can also access OSN through E-Vision.
E-Vision packages, which can also be paid in a monthly subscription start from Dh58 a month.
Al Jazeera is tied in with the Fox network and these channels, including 10 sports, can be attained with a special card at a cost of Dh280 if you are with OSN. The prices of including the package on E-Vision varies due to its a la carte option.
The free-to-air network is average at best, with a small number of english speaking channels that usually show last year’s series from the popular drama and comedy programmes. You can still access these with a satellite subscription.

Radio

The UAE has a number of commercial radio stations that broadcast in Arabic, English, hindi and Urdu.
There are four main English speaking radio stations; Emirates Radio 1 (99.3FM and 100.5FM), Emirates Radio 2 90.5FM and 98.5FM), Dubai 92 (92.0FM) and Channel 4 (104.8FM) with Dubai Eye (103.8FM), if you can get the signal from Abu Dhabi, the main talk-show station.
Do not expect anything too high-brow as the majority are mainstream from their popular chart music to popular topics of discussion.