Stone Roses, Cirque du Soleil, Spain v Uruguay and more
Time Out Bahrain staff
Feb 1-15 Swihan City, Al Ain, UAE If you’ve heard about camel beauty contests, and let’s face it we’ve all raised a smile at this one, the Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed AL Nahyan Festival at Swihan City has traditional camel races, sloughie (desert hound) races as well as that rare gem, a camel beauty contest, right now we’re thinking gallons of mascara on those gorgeous, long, dromedarian lashes.
There’ll be a traditional market, heritage village, police village and lots of traditional activities each day. The festival aims to offer something for everyone with dedicated shows for ‘asayel’ (pedigree) and ‘majahim’ (dark-skinned) camels, as well as that hard-to-find camel beauty contest. These are great fun but can get incredibly serious with sky-high prize money and serious amounts of cash being splashed as the animals change hands right up until the competition starts. See www.abudhabievents.ae for further details.
Cirque du Soleil Dralion
Feb 6-16 Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, UAE The human circus extravaganza, Cirque du Soleil, returns to the UAE for a ten-night run with the Eastern-inspired Dralion.
Based on Eastern philosophy and the never-ending quest for harmony between humans and nature, the show fuses the 3,000-year-old tradition of Chinese acrobatic arts with an atmosphere of enchantment. The performance title, Dralion is derived from the dragon which symbolizes the East and the lion which symbolizes the West. It is part of Cirque du Soleil’s 12th touring production which kicked off in 1999. Tickets from BD25 from www.cirquedusoleil.com.
Gourmet Abu Dhabi
Feb 5-20 Various restaurants around Abu Dhabi, UAE The UAE’s annual haute cuisine festival rolls out across 20 of Abu Dhabi’s top eateries for its landmark fifth showing.
There’s a series of revamped events, highly-focussed masterclasses and culinary demonstrations and promotions driven by more than 14 international masterchefs, celebrity chefs and dozens of special guests. Throughout the festival, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi will host a series of kitchen stars with two-star Michelin chef Michel Sarran visiting from Finz, Toulouse, France, from February 6-9, and his colleague Michel Rostang, also a Michelin two-star man, in residence from February 16-19 along with Indian masterchef Imtiyaz Qureshi.
One of the highlights will be a whodunit-style murder mystery evening at the Yas Viceroy Hotel on Wednesday, February 6, and there’ll be dozens of promotions running throughout the two-week festival. See www.gourmetabudhabi.ae for further details.
International football in Qatar
Wed, Feb 6, 9pm Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar World-class match between reigning European and world football champions Spain and the current South American champions, Uruguay. Tagged as ‘the battle of the champions’, organisers say it will be a dramatic prelude to the teams’ contest in Group B of the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 in June. Spain is currently ranked as the best team in the world, after winning the UEFA Euro 2012 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa (where Uruguay came in fourth). Uruguay, otherwise known as La Celeste, is ranked 16th in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. Before the event, there will be a fan zone around the stadium with games, exhibition and entertainment celebrating the two countries.. Tickets start at just BD3 from www.qfa.com.qa. Unsold tickets will also be available at the stadium on match day.
Kremlin Ballet 1001 Nights
Feb 7-9 Platea Beirut, Lebanon A spectacular full-length ballet by outstanding Azerbaijani composer Fikret Amirov staged by the Kremlin Ballet, one of Russia’s top ballet theatres.
The soloists are laureates and diplomats of international ballet competitions in this ageless tale of Scheherazade, a mysterious young woman who wins her life and the heart of a Persian sultan with her irresistible stories.
Performances of the Kremlin Ballet have been highly acclaimed in Russia and around the world with the troupe having taken to the stage at international venues in China, France, Spain, Taiwan, Greece, Hungary, England and others.
Choreographed by internationally renowned Andrey Petrov, the colourful ballet features extraordinary set design by Tahir Salakhov and beautiful costumes by Olga Polanskaya. Tickets from BD20 from www.ticketingboxoffice.com.
Feb 8-10 Palais de Congress, Beirut, Lebanon The tightly-choreographed percussion dance/theatre show has no words, so everyone can understand it, and little or no melody, so your musical tastes don’t matter. What it does have is something that’s common to all forms of music, rhythm.
It’s a group of individuals creating unique musical theatre using drums and everything from their own bodies to bin lids to produce a remarkable explosion of sound that’s a brilliant experience for young and old alike. Tickets from BD22.5 from www.ticketingboxoffice.com.
Qatar Total Open
Feb 11-17 Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex, Doha, Qatar Women’s Tennis Association premier five event which, for 2013, welcomes the top 10 WTA players to the Doha court, including world number one and defending champion Victoria Azarenka, world number two and 2005 champion Maria Sharapova, Venus and Serena Williams and 2012 finalist Sam Stosur. Tickets from BD2-10 from www.qatartennis.org.
Dubai Jazz Festival
Feb 14-22 Festival Park, Festival City, Dubai, UAE Nine days packed with international acts from all music genres with Deep Purple, 3 Doors Down, One Republic and The Script as some of the headliners.
Elsewhere across the festival look out for the likes of JLee, Darren Rahn, Marc Antoine and the Brian Templeton Band. The programme also includes nights at the venue’s Jazz Garden,where a wide array of well known jazz and blues performers are set to keep fans entertained. Tickets from BD30 for the headlining nights from Time Out Tickets on www.itp.net.
Feb 11-17 Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai, UAE Original Madchester indie boys the Stone Roses are back together, back on the road and heading to an emirate near you.
One of the most critically acclaimed acts of all time, the legendary four piece reformed last year and broke records when they sold out concert appearances in minutes.
The February performance will see the classic band line-up of Ian Brown, John Squire, Mani (aka Gary Mounfield) and Reni (aka Alan Wren) playing live together in Dubai for the first time and tickets have been selling fast. Tickets from BD30 from Time Out Tickets at www.itp.net.