Emirates Business digs deep into the upcoming entertainment offerings, bringing you some of the hottest events not to be missed over the next 12 months:
January 8 to 17
Step back into time with Freej Folklore as audiences head on a journey that brings to light the myths and legends from the Arab world. The show will be performed at the Madinat Jumeirah in English and Arabic. Log on to www.freejfolklore.ae
January 9 and 10
South Indian star, Shobhana will enact Indian epic Ramayana on stage. Bollywood stars Nasserudin Shah, Tabu and Jackie Shroff have also lent their voices to the play, which will be held at the Sheikh Rashid Auditorium, Indian High School. Tickets are priced from Dh100. Log on to www.boxofficeme.com
SHOSTAKOVICH IN CONCERT
Conductor Maxim Shostakovich, will be performing at the Emirates Palace. Tickets Dh30 for students, other categories start at Dh250. www.timeouttickets.com
MAGICAL MUSIC OF WALT DISNEY
Sing along with classical tracks from old favourites, including The Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. The concert kicks off at 6pm at the National Theatre. Tickets cost Dh30 for students, while other categories start at Dh250. Log on to www.timeouttickets.com
DUBAI SHOPPING FESTIVAL
January 15 to February 15
Everyone’s beloved DSF returns with a bang, serving up some much-needed bargains in these hard times.
SLOB FEST II
Music greats Jonas Desai, Juliana Down, The Meerkats and others will be performing live at Alpha, Le Meridien Dubai. Tickets cost Dh75. Log on to www.platinumlist.com
WORKING ON A DREAM
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are rolling out a set of reinvigorated sounds after 2007’s Magic.
YEARS OF REFUSAL
The Tortured One’s first studio album in three years is expected to be as biting and melodic as ever. Save up for this.
IT’S NOT ME, IT’S YOU
Lily Allen’s new album drops after a turbulent 2008, including a miscarriage and a break-up. It might be worth waiting for.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS SYMPHONY
Be transported back to J R Tolkien’s classic renditions with this concert at the National Theatre, Abu Dhabi. Tickets details at www.timeouttickets.com
Shah Rukh Khan’s home production features the star in a supporting role, as Irrfan Khan essays the role of a barber who is shunned by his village when he can’t prove his friendship with superstar Sahir Khan (SRK).
Metal manics Iron Maiden will perform at the Media City Amphitheatre. Tickets start at Dh295. Log on to www.timeouttickets.com
SKYWARDS INT'L JAZZ FEST
February 18 to 27
This annual event features James Blunt (Feb 25) and John Legend (Feb 27) this year. Tickets: www.dubaijazzfest.com
Eight years after the first Sims, a third edition hits stores. The new Sims by Electronic Arts enables us to wander out of the neighbourhood, into the city.
JACKMAN AT OSCARS
Hugh Jackman will host the Oscar awards at the Kodak Theater, Los Angeles.
EMIRATES AIRLINE INT'L LITERARY FEST
February 25 until March 1
Book lovers can catch Paolo Coelho, adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Anne Fine and Jeremy Strong, among others, as they head to Dubai.
As Emirates Business had reported way back in 2008, the diva herself is set to disco her way to our sunny shores in March. While things are still hush, hush, we’ll continue to bring in the scoop.
NO LINE ON THE HORIZON
With five years since 2004’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, it’s about time we had a new U2 album.
Expectations are higher than ever, particularly since the band have teamed with longtime producers Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois and Steve Lillywhite for this effort, which will be available in five different formats, including vinyl.
This UAE release date will see the much-awaited Watchmen – featuring superheroes Nite Owl, Silk Spectre and their mates – on big-screen, despite author Alan Moore’s efforts to halt production. Take that Batman.
ZUBIN METHA AND LANG LANG
The award-winning conductor Zubin Mehta will perform live with Chinese pianist, Lang Lang. Don’t miss this Emirates Palace concert in the capital, with tickets costing Dh30 for students, while regular tickets start at Dh250.
If you happen to be in New York on the day, the Metropolitan Opera celebrates its 125th anniversary with a concert starring Placido Domingo and other celebrities.
One of the world’s most recognisable bands is set to release the newest album in a 40-year career this month. We can’t wait.
FAST AND THE FURIOUS
Before all of you protest, this fourth film in the franchise reunites Paul Walker and Vin Diesel. About time is what we say.
GULF FILM FESTIVAL
April 9 to 15
GFF seeks to provide a boost to Arab cinema and encourage regional talent.
Okay, we know Eminem’s sixth album is finished; he’s been talking about it enough. We know it’s been inspired by the death of fellow rapper Proof and Dr Dre is back at the helm. But the release date is a mystery.
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE
After the Oscars, Hugh Jackman will slap on that facial hair in this much awaited film in the X-Men franchise.
STAR TREK’S NEW MISSION
The 11th film in sci-fi epic featuring the screen return of Spock, played by the now 78-year-old Leonard Nimoy, after a 17-year absence.
DUBAI SUMMER SUPRISES
June 23 to August 31
Modhesh shines in the spotlight yet again as the annual celebration returns.
TRANSFORMERS REVENGE OF THE FALLEN
Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg return respectively as director and executive producer, while Shia LaBeouf reprises the role of Sam Witwicky, the human caught in the war between Autobots and Decepticons.
Just when we thought the Bollywood bank was drying up, along comes the Hrithik Roshan’s Kites.
Set in Las Vegas, the cool dude plays a salsa teacher who falls for one of his students, but their story has a twist in the tale.
Who cares about the plot when rumour has its distribution company Eros International has bought the film’s world rights for an unprecedented Rs1 billion (Dh75.9 million). Yes, we are still gasping.
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE
Mark your calenders; Daniel Radcliffe and his group are back for the sixth installment in the mega popular Harry Potter series. Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer safe.
Nicolas Cage’s voice stars in this 3D action-comedy about a bunch of highly-trained guinea pigs who discover that the fate of the world is in their paws.
NEW SEX PISTOLS ALBUM
Exact date to be confirmed
A new album by the punk legends could be a reality this summer, according to a NME story quoting bassist Glen Matlock.
Our fingers are crossed.
WII SPORTS RESORT
First week of August
Nintendo is bound to generate some good sales with this update of its popular, console-bundled Wii Sports game.
New additions include frisbee throwing, sword fighting, and power cruising.
GI JOE: RISE OF COBRA
Another movie set to bring in the big bucks in 2009 is this action-adventure based on the 1980s cartoon.
Stars Brendan Fraser, Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller and Dennis Quaid.
August 21 to September 19
The Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan is scheduled to fall from mid-August to mid-September this year, with Eid Al Fitr predicted to begin on September 20.
Ramadan can be fun in the UAE, so take advantage of the traditional tents, religious lectures and television specials.
MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS 2009
First week of September
Christina Aguilera at loggerheads with Eminem, Russell Brand calling George W Bush a “retarded cowboy”, and of course, that disastrous Britney Spears performance. There’s no denying that the MTV Video Music Awards have contributed to some of the best moments in music television history. 2009’s venue is yet to be confirmed. Log on to www.mtv.com/ontv/vma
While the date is yet tentative, the highly anticipated revival of the Indian epic Ramayana will see real-life couple, Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, return to screen after Guru. Can they recapture the magic?
BRITNEY SPEARS LIVE IN THE UAE
Sometime in October, perhaps?
Okay, so it hasn’t been confirmed or anything, but judging by the direction Spears’ world tour is going (United States for a few months starting March, then the United Kingdom in September), there’s a high probability she may perform here. Sign up to Spears’ mailing list at www.britneyspears.com/tour
GOD OF WAR III
If one game is going to entice gamers to make the jump to Playstation 3 this year, it’s this one. Sony’s God of War franchise has pushed the realm of action, storytelling, and technology in this installment.
Martin Scorsese’s latest film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, and Ben Kingsley is based on the novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane.
MIDDLE EAST INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2009
Second week of October
Abu Dhabi’s film festival at Emirates Palace was certainly one to remember last year. From star-studded events and screenings to exhibitions, it will be interesting to see what the organisers come up with this year.
For updates, check www.meiff.com
TOY STORY 3
The toys that talk are back for a third installment, but it’s in 3D this time around. Here, comically-mismatched duo Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) put aside their differences when they are separated from their owner Andy.
MTV EUROPE MUSIC AWARDS 2009
First week of November
It was 2008 that saw MTV Arabia cover the EMAs for the very first time, with Lebanese-Canadian singer Karl Wolf walking away with Best Arabian Act, and performing at Liverpool’s Echo Arena.
This year, the awards ceremony returns to Germany – Berlin to be precise – to honour the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Who said music and politics don’t mix? Visit www.ema.mtv.tv in October to find out who this year’s nominees will be.
CAIRO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
November 10 to 20
One of the biggest highlights of the Arab film festival calender is Cairo, one of the longest-running film events of all time.
Will they be able to top 2008’s appearance from Hollywood stunner Charlize Theron? Visit www.cairofilmfest.com
MY NAME IS KHAN
Yes, it’s true. Karan Johar’s next film recaptures the on-screen magic of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. News about the project is still hush, hush, but rumour has it the film is based on the lives of a Muslim couple living in New York, post 9/11.
HALO 3: ODST
Exact date to be confirmed
The one game that drives XBox360 sales like no other is Halo. Developers are currently working on a prequel to its best-selling shooter, which focuses on an Oribital Shock Drop Trooper trapped behind enemy lines in New Mombasa. Exciting stuff.
DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2009
Second week of December
The world’s fastest growing film festival enters its sixth edition. Over the years, we’ve talked to George Clooney on the red carpet, spotted Ben Affleck and Salma Hayek shopping at Madinat Jumeirah, and been snubbed by Hayden Christensen.
We can only look forward to this year’s star-studded event (we’re hoping for Brangelina, Leonardo DiCaprio and Hrithik Roshan). Visit www.dubaifilm-fest.com for more.
U2 LIVE IN THE UAE
New Year’s Eve?
Yes, we’re wishfully thinking, but according to sources, it just might happen. While we got a taste with U2 3D (currently playing in UAE cinemas), 2008 saw the first international concert held for New Year’s Eve with Shakira live in Abu Dhabi.
So please Mr Bono, can you come to perform in the UAE?
We are your biggest fans and you’d probably break the record for the biggest concert held in the UAE.