From Palestinian embroidery workshops to Colombian film screenings…

With a brand new month comes brand new events to check out, and culture vultures, we’ve rounded up plenty to keep you busy in December. Here are 5 cool cultural events to check out in the UAE this month.

1. Performance: Music in the studio with Zeina Barhoum

Zeina Barhoum is a classically trained soprano singer from Jordan. She has performed in front of high profile audiences all over the world and is also the founder of the Amman Opera Festival, the first opera festival in the Arab World. As part of Dubai Opera’s ongoing series, Barhoum will sing numbers from popular operas including La Boheme, Turandot and Carmen.

December 5
Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, 8pm, Dhs150. Tel: (04) 440 8888.

2. Screening: Birds of Passage

This critically acclaimed Colombian film, charting the origins of the Colombian drug trade, is the opening screening of Alternativo, a contemporary Latin American film festival being held at the UAE’s only arthouse cinema. Directed by Academy Award-nominated Ciro Guerra and co-directed by Cristina Gallego, the film was also selected to open the 50th edition of the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

December 7
Cinema Akil, Warehouse 68, Alserkal Avenue, Street 8, Al Quoz. Tel: (058) 524 6362.

3. Workshop: Palestinian embroidery (tatreez)

This workshop will begin with a discussion about the history of Palestinian embroidery (or tatreez) as well as its current style and significance. Instructor Joanna Barakat will give a basic introduction to cross-stitch and motif design and then teach participants how to stitch their own pieces.

December 8
Tashkeel, Nad Al Sheba, 10am to 3pm, Dhs268 including all materials and lunch. Tel: (04) 336 3313.

4. Exhibition: Lasting Impressions: Ismail Shammout & Tamam Al Akhal

This husband and wife duo of artists strived to keep the Palestinian struggle in the spotlight through their artworks. Their paintings, which span a period of more than 50 years, address issues of statehood and political freedom.

Until December 15
Sharjah Art Museum, Bait Al Serkal, Al Shuwaiheyn, Sharjah, Sun to Thurs 8am to 8pm, Fri 4pm to 8pm. Tel: (06) 568 82222.

5. Exhibition: When the Dates Turn Red

Franco-Egyptian artist Hoda Tawakol explores the contemporary feminist movement since the 1970s in this, her first Dubai exhibition. Through wall-mounted textile pieces, fabric collages as well as some works on paper, Tawakol’s work also focuses on the image of a palm tree, which she associates with her childhood spent between France, Germany and Egypt.

Until January 3, 2019
Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Unit 17, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Sun to Thurs 10am to 7pm, Sat 10am to 6pm. Tel: (04) 323 5052.

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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