UAE event diary: Drums, Hollywood and 80s acts

Freida Pinto stars in 'Miral', which is being screened at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. The actress will make an appearance at the screening (FILE)

From classic movies to retro club nights, there's a lot going on in the UAE this week. Read on for more.

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival is a good chance to eyeball the best international movies while catching up on the latest from Arabic filmmakers. The event, which runs until October 23, features over 170 films. Among the highlights are the French movie "Carlos" by Olivier Assayas, portraying the notorious Venezuelan revolutionary who was once the world's most-wanted terrorist; "Potiche" by Francois Ozon, starring French actress Catherine Deneuve; Julian Schnabel’s “Miral”, featuring a real-life orphanage established by a Palestinian woman in Jerusalem; and Abbas Kiarostami’s “Copie Conforme”. Expect to spot plenty of Hollywood and Bollywood actors!
Where: At Marina Mall, Emirates Palace and Abu Dhabi Theatre. Log on to for details.

This month’s funnymen tasked with making the UAE laugh are Gordon Southern, Michael Fabbri and Tim Clark (not to be confused with the Emirates airline chief!). Southern is a familiar voice on TV and has performed everywhere from Kosovo to the Falkland Islands, while Edinburgh Fringe Festival regular Fabbri tackles dark and controversial subjects. Clark’s show, “What I Heard About Iraq”, has won him rave reviews and he has written for Jonathon Ross, among others.
Where: At Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, on Tuesday; followed by Dubai gigs at Jambase, Madinat Jumeirah, the Courtyard Marriott at the Green Community and the Rainbow Room at the Aviation Club for the rest of the week. Next week, they play the Crowne Plaza, Abu Dhabi, followed by shows at Zinc at the Crowne Plaza Dubai  and the Grand Millennium Dubai. Tickets at Dh115 are available from the venues. Details at

After tours across Europe, Asia and the Middle East, MTV Europe Music Awards nominee Abri return home with a soulful set in Dubai this Wednesday. The Dubai-based band is a powerful blend consisting of vocalist Hamdan Al Abri, keyboardist Julian Symes, bassist Rami Lakkis and drummer Andre Atherley. It has shared the stage with the likes of Kanye West, Mika, Joss Stone, Ziggy Marley, Arrested Development, Timbaland, Shaggy and Kelly Rowland and Abri is known for its ability to produce soulful music that resonates instantly with the audience, putting out a powerful blend of soul, jazz and R&B.
Where: Tamanya Terrace, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City. Doors open at 5pm, band starts at 9pm.

Two top eighties’ British acts bring a little bit of retro to the UAE’s concert scene this weekend. New Wave act The Blow Monkeys, perhaps best known for their song “You Don’t Own Me”, from the movie “Dirty Dancing”, join pop-soul outfit The Christians (“Ferry Cross The Mersey”, anyone?) in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Where: They play the Crowne Plaza Yas Island on Thursday night, followed by a gig at the Irish Village on Friday. Tickets Dh100 and Dh95 respectively.

One-time Eurovision contestant and chart-topper Eduard Marian Ilie hits Dubai for a 45-minute set at Chi@The Lodge on Thursday. The DJ responsible for the hit song "Stereo Love" (remember him now?) will be ably supported by DJs Smoking Groove, Danny Neville and Emtee.
Where: Al Nasr Leisureland, Dubai, tickets cost Dh150. From 9pm to 3am.

Unleash your inner primal self with Dubai Drums, which aims to bring people together through the language of rhythm. It’s a dynamic, powerful and unique experience that has been around since the dawn of time, and organisers say anyone can take part, everyone becomes equal and it quickly becomes apparent that what you can achieve together is far greater than what you can do alone. This Friday the drummers get together by the light of the full moon – the perfect ambience to chill out with friends and family, enjoy a barbecue and when you’re not drumming or dancing just sit back and soak up the desert energy. What more do you need to distress from busy city life?
Where: Gulf Ventures Desert Camp this Friday; tickets at Dh190 including drum rentals and dinner. Details at


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