Stunning new exhibitions, performances, and a fantastic French film to check out…

It’s a brand new month, and culture vultures, we’ve rounded up plenty to keep you busy this November. Here are six cool cultural events to check out in the UAE.

ALSO READ: 10 things to look forward to in Dubai this November

1. Fernando Botero: A Still Life Retrospective

See a collection of never-exhibited-before works by internationally acclaimed Colombian artist Fernando Botero. Known for his still life paintings and drawings, which exaggerate the volume of the objects, this is a museum-quality exhibition.

From Nov 12, Custot Gallery, Unit 84, Alserkal Avenue, Street 8, Al Quoz, Dubai, Sat to Thur, 10am to 7pm. Tel: (04) 346 8148.

2. Monir Farmanfarmaian & Nima Nabavi

These simultaneous exhibitions in one of Dubai’s leading galleries are a celebration of Islamic geometry. Farmanfarmaian is an incredible artist in her 90s, whose work with mirror mosaics and glass painting is mesmerising. In a separate exhibition in the gallery upstairs, Nabavi’s debut exhibition is a series of meticulous grids of hand-drawn lines that transfix the viewer.

Until Nov 3, The Third Line, Unit 87, Alserkal Avenue, Street 8, Al Quoz, Dubai. Sat to Thurs, 10am to 7pm. Tel: (04) 3411367.

3. Escaping Industry: Fantasies in Victorian London

This is part of a weekly course on the subject of European art in the 18th and 19th centuries. Art historian and lecturer Rose Balston gives captivating lectures on her chosen subjects and this one focuses particularly on the revolutionary Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood as well as the artistic reaction to Darwinism and population rise in 19th century Europe.

Nov 28, XVA Gallery, Al Fahidi Neighbourhood, Bur Dubai, 312th Road, Al Fahidi St, Dubai, 10am to 12.30pm, Dhs250, Tel: (04) 3535383.

4. Seuls (Alone) directed by David Moreau

This is an adaptation of a popular French comic book series about five teenagers who wake up one morning to find they are the only people left on earth. The fantasy story follows them trying to survive in a world of their own. The French film has English subtitles.

Nov 3, 6, 10, 13, 17 and 24, Alliance Francaise, Street 18, Oud Metha, Dubai. Tue 8pm, Sat 5pm, Dhs45. Tel: (04) 3358712.

5. Praed Orchestra!

This 14-piece band, founded by artists Raed Yassin and Paed Conca, are billed as producing delirious and satirical dimensions of Arabic popular music (shaabi). It is a mix of trance, jazz and psychedelic rock and in this show, they will perform a new composition commissioned by the Sharjah Art Foundation.

Nov 3, Calligraphy Square, Heritage Area, Heart of Sharjah, 8pm to 10pm, free. Tel: (06) 5685050.

6. VISUAL DIALOGUES: fragments, notes & lines

Part performance, part exhibition, this collaborative event brings together three artists from Iran: Shaqayeq Arabi, Ali Razavipour and Fereydoun Ave, who is also the curator for the show.  However, rather than simply hanging work on the walls, the artists will spend 10 days prior to the opening transforming the gallery by mixing their work together: overlaying drawings with paintings and combining sculpture with paint.

From Nov 10, Total Arts at the Courtyard. 4B Street, Al Quoz, Dubai. Sat to Thur, 10 am to 6pm. Tel: (04) 3475050.

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Images: Supplied

Words: Anna Seaman.
Anna is an arts and culture specialist in the UAE, and a regular contributor to What’s On. Find out more at