The May hot list: check out this month's activities including Cinco de Mayo, charity flea market, and more

From summer festivals to Cinco de Mayo celebrations and a rock concert, here’s our pick of the best happenings in the UAE this May. newslide May 1 Middle East Film Festival, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi This seventh edition of this annual event offers free screenings of 50 student films from across the region over two […]

From summer festivals to Cinco de Mayo celebrations and a rock concert, here’s our pick of the best happenings in the UAE this May.


May 1

Middle East Film Festival, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi

This seventh edition of this annual event offers free screenings of 50 student films from across the region over two days, opening with last year’s festival doc favourite The Tainted Veil, about the history of the hijab. It is co-directed by Nahla Al Fayed, Mazen Al Khayrat and Ovidio Salazar. The festival ends with the hotly contested awards at 6.30pm the next day.

Visit for full listings of free screenings and events


All of May

Lest We Forget, Warehouse 421, Abu Dhabi

Photographs of Emirati families dating back nearly 50 years are part of this poignant show, which examines the city’s collective memory and creative expression. The photographs have been compiled in a book that’s available to buy at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. To help the archive flourish, they are also appealing to the community to share stories and donate family photographs.

Until June 18. Visit


May 3

Abu Dhabi International Jewellery & Watch Show

Get your bling on as more than 150 global exhibitors, including 35 new brands and 22 Emirati-owned companies, will showcase limited-edition pieces at the 24th edition of the show at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

Until May 7, from 4pm until 10pm daily. Free to attend; register online at


May 5

Where to Invade Next?

Michael Moore returns to screens following a six-year hiatus with this ­travelogue-style piece, in which he visits countries across three continents to look at the different ways other countries deal with social and economic troubles that are also found in his native United States. Although showing in only two cinemas, it’s a must-watch – Moore’s films are always entertaining and thought-provoking.

At Vox Abu Dhabi Marina Mall and Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates. Check cinema listings for screening times


May 5

Cinco de Mayo, Sheraton Abu Dhabi

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo, one of the biggest holidays in Mexico, at Sheraton Abu Dhabi’s El Sombrero restaurant. Mexican chef Froylan Lara will serve traditional favourites corn masa stuffed with beans and beef; chicken wings with pibil marinade and pickled onions; and chicken with mole sauce made from chillies, nuts and chocolate. The meal comes with all-you-can-eat dishes and unlimited beverages. Live music will add to the festive mood.

Dh229 per person. For reservations, call 02 677 3333


May 7

James and The Giant Peach, Dubai, Abu Dhabi

Roald Dahl’s classic family tale will come to life in a musical production following the adventures of the orphan James who lives in a mammoth peach stone in New York’s Central Park. The show also features the much-loved characters Miss Spider, Old Green Grasshopper and Centipede.

At Abu Dhabi Theatre from May 7-8, and at Dubai’s Ductac, Mall of the Emirates from May 10 to 13. Visit for detail; tickets available at Virgin Megastores


May 10

Honalfan Summer Festival, National Theatre, Abu Dhabi

The annual Honalfan Festival returns with a month-long exhibition of works by 20 artists, all part of Abu Dhabi Arts Collective. Enjoy live-music concerts, poetry nights, stand-up comedy evenings and art demonstrations.

Until June 4. Visit


May 11

Tangerines, The Scene Club, Dubai

Dubai’s favourite indie and world-cinema club returns with the story of Ivo, an old Estonian farmer who has stayed in Georgia with his friend Margus to harvest the abundant tangerines. His bleak life is turned upside down when he decides to shelter Ahmed, a Chechen mercenary, and a Georgian, Niko, who have both lost their men and are injured heavily from combat.

At 8pm, Vox Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates. Free for club members; membership costs from Dh260 for six films. Visit


May 12

Black Honey, Casa Latina, Dubai

Hotly hyped UK indie-band Black Honey have picked up praise from the NME, and were singled out by The Guardian as “one of the indie bands to watch for in 2016”. Catch the quartet onstage at Dubai’s Casa Latina playing for thriving underground club night Bad House Party, in what is likely to be among the final indie gigs of the season.

At Casa Latina, 9pm; Dh100. Visit


May 15

Summer Discovery, Armani Hotel Dubai

Get yourself to the Armani Hotel Dubai to sample its new promotion. For two weeks only, diners can feast on four-course menus at Armani/Ristorante (Dh350); Armani/Amal (Dh300); and Armani/Deli (Dh300). At the Italian Armani/Ristorante, guests will sample cuisine from Sardinia. The Indian Armani/Amal offers a sharing-style concept; and Armani/Deli serves up a foodie tour with Neapolitan specialities.

Until May 31; from 7pm to 11pm. Call 04 888 3888


May 16

Matthias Goerne, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi

The 2015/16 Abu Dhabi Classics season closes with an intimate reading of Schubert’s celebrated song cycle for solo piano and voice, Winterreise (Winter Journey). Composed in 1827, the 24-chapter lieder is adapted from the poetry of Müller, and tells the story of a young man who is forbidden from marrying the woman he chooses. Here, it will be brought to life by celebrated German baritone Matthias Goerne.

Starts at 8pm; tickets cost Dh80; students pay Dh30. Visit


May 20

Rooftop Rhythms, New York University Abu Dhabi

The performance marks the final edition of poetry open-mic Rooftop Rhythms before the summer break. Also the 40th in the series to date, expect a grand-slam competitive finale, plus beats from DJ ALLAD. This all-ages event is free to all on a first-come, first-served basis, with food and drink available for purchase.

Starts at 8pm; Free entry. Visit


May 20

Emirates NBD Classics: Hani Naser, Ductac, Dubai

The Emirates NBD Classics programme continues with a performance by Hani Nasir. Dubbed as the “veritable rhythm wizard”, the Jordanian has collaborated with an impressive array of musicians including Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder, Don Henley, Ruben Blades and Fayrouz.

Starts at 8pm; tickets from Dh150. Visit


May 21

Charity flea market, Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort

Sell or buy preloved items at this flea market held in the grounds of the resort. Hire a display table for Dh285; pay before May 7 for a Dh40 discount. Entrance is free; items for sale will include electronics, books, toys and clothing. Funds will go towards supporting children in need.

From 9am to 2pm. Call 02 677 3333 or email


May 21

Unseen Trail | Market to Majlis,Dubai

In this series of monthly events, professional photographers take amateurs under their wing, exploring various Dubai neighbourhoods on foot. This month, instructor Kate Hailey will lead participants around Deira, the heart of Old Dubai, and the fish market for a walk that starts at 5.30am and ends at 10am. You’ll have to get out of bed early, but it’s well worth the effort.

• Visit


May 29

Jones The Grocer anniversary, UAE-wide

To celebrate two decades in business, Jones the Grocer is dishing up freebies for customers. During the week-long celebration, each branch in the UAE will give away daily prizes – including Wagyu beef burgers; cheese club memberships; free coffee; sandwich, chips and drink combos; 20 per cent discount on food; fresh food hampers and desserts.

Until June 4, all prizes will be awarded on social media. Visit

Source: art & life

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