From design weeks in Saudi and Dubai to musical festivals and gastronomic adventures in Abu Dhabi, October promises varied cultural extravaganzas. So get ready to don the culture talk because these events are worth every inch of column space. Here then, are Buro 24/7 Middle East's top cultural picks for the month...

Discover the holistic theme at Saudi Design Week

With an increasing number of local and international exhibitors at this year's event, Saudi Design Week continues to be a mainstay in the regional design calendar. This year's theme of 'illumination through design', includes a special focus on humanistic design where we look at how design can impact social changes. Also on the calendar, is the inaugural O Design Incubator, a showcase platform for emerging designers worldwide.

October culture guide

Saudi Design Week will run from October 6-9. For more information, visit saudidesignweek.com.

James Morrison at Dubai Opera

The grandeur of the newly opened Dubai Opera is not limited to only operas, ballets, plays and musicals. The first to buck the trend, British award-winning musician James Morrison will perform at the iconic stage. Bask in the singer's husky voice as he plays hits from the number 1 UK album Undiscovered, including the massively popular "You Give Me Something".

James Morrison will perform on October 7 at Dubai Opera. For tickets, visit dubaiopera.etixdubai.com

The return of Dubai Design Week

Having gained the honour of being the biggest design exhibition in the region, Dubai Design Week returns for a second edition that is set to further enhance Dubai's reputation as a global design hub. During the design extravaganza, over 150 events will run simultaneously not only at Dubai Design District but also at designated areas around the emirate. Visitors can engage in premiere exhibitions, workshops and talks, all designed to expand and grow the rapidly burgeoning design scene.

October culture guide

Dubai Design Week runs from October 24-29. For more information, visit dubaidesignweek.ae. 

Relive the '90s at the Abu Dhabi Sunset Music Festival

It's time for '90s nostalgia as the capital hosts the first ever Abu Dhabi Sunset Music Festival. The music fiesta, set to serve up seven hours of classic music, will be headlined by popular British singer Gabrielle, with other confirmed acts including Arrested Development, Freshly Ground and Snap. "I am very excited to be returning to Abu Dhabi and I can't wait to play with my band at Sunset Music Festival," said Gabrielle. "I'm sure it's going to be an amazing event, and with this line-up I know the crowd is going to have a great time experience."

October culture guide

The Abu Dhabi Sunset Music Festival will run on October 21 at Zayed Sports City. For tickets, visit platinumlist.net.

Indulge in luxury with a caviar menu at Emirates Palace

Sayad at Emirates Palace presents a new set menu, which includes what is regarded as a culinary luxury: caviar. The four-course menu offers a taste of AmStur Caviar, one of the most famous names in the caviar business, along with a smorgasbord of fine cuisine such as oysters, crab, foie gras and lobster.

October culture guide

For reservations, call +971 2 690 7999. 

An Italian cooking masterclass at Armani Ristorante

Love Italian food? Let acclaimed Chef Alessandro Salvatico at Armani Ristorante reveal the secrets to Sardinian cuisine. Spend four hours in the kitchen preparing a three-course menu that includes artichoke salad, fregola matecata with truffle and shrimp as well as roasted seabass served with olives and marjoram.

October culture guide

For reservations, please call +9714 888 3282.