It's 2017 and if January is any indication, then the UAE's culture scene looks set for an even better year. From art exhibitions and museum openings to Michelin-starred dining and award-winning musicals, these are Buro 24/7 Middle East's top cultural picks for the first month of the new year.

Visit the UAE's newest history hub

The Etihad Museum will officially open its grand doors on January 7, offering an in-depth look at the history of the nation leading up to the momentous event in 1971 when the union was agreed upon. "It will offer the public a valuable opportunity to discover year-round the events before, during and after the Union agreement's signing in 1971," said His Excellency Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. "In doing so, the museum will enhance visitor understanding of the rights, privileges and responsibilities bestowed upon the nation's citizens through the UAE constitution."

January 2017 culture guide

A Michelin-starred adventure at Emirates Palace

Celebrated Danish chef Henrik Yde Andersen is coming to the Emirates Palace to show just why his Copenhagen restaurant Kiin Kiin remains the only Thai restaurant outside of Thailand to have earned the coveted Michelin star. Whether you opt for a la carte or the 10-course menu, the dining experience will open your eyes to the hidden treasures of Thai cuisine.

January 2017 culture guide

A Theatrical Deconstruction with Michelin Star Chef Hendrik Yde Andersen will run from January 14-19 at Sayad, Emirates Palace. For reservations, call +971 2 690 7999.

A contemporary art exhibition at Carbon 12

Dubai art space Carbon 12 is set to present a solo exhibition by Vienna-based artist Bernard Buhmann. Titled Modern Times, the show is a vibrant continuation of an earlier project and sees recurring characters who have now adapted to rapid societal changes. Telling the story of  changing identities through colourful and playful forms as well as a myriad of geometric shapes, Buhmann says, "The pictorial designs shown are fragile and provisional. They are building blocks of a preliminary self-understanding. Knowing that you can always become someone else, deciding how you want to live is an integral component of any identity construction."

January 2017 culture guide

Modern Times will run from January 15 until February 28 at Carbon 12, Al Serkal Avenue.

An evening of song and dance with Cats

Cats, the multi-award winning musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber is making its way to Dubai for the first time. Join over 7o million people in over 300 cities worldwide to have experienced the magic of the masterpiece, an adaptaion of the book Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by TS Eliot. With stunning sets, over-the-top costumes and an unforgettable score, this is an evening that will leave you mesmerised.

Cats will run from January 16-28 at Dubai Opera. For tickets, visit dubaiopera.com.

A combination of art and gastronomy at Coya Dubai

One of Dubai's premiere Peruvian culinary outpost invites you to not only indulge in South American flavours but also appreciate the artistry of Syrian artist. Osama Nassar will present his debut show, a specially curated exhibition titled Splashes, which focuses on optimism at the face of adversity in his home nation. "In this empty endless vacuum, dreaming characters are sitting which are created from my imagination; waiting silently, hopefully and patiently with no complaint. These characters sometimes smile for an unknown reason. This is the smile that carries a lot of expressions and memoires of the people I've met in my whole life and who left their impressions in one way or another."

January 2017 culture guide

Splashes will run for six weeks at Coya Dubai starting from January 16.

Parisian musical flair at a world festival

The fourth instalment of the Sharjah Music World Festival (SWMF) sees French musician Daniel Mille pay tribute to iconic Argentinian accordionist Astor Piazzolla during the Flavor of Paris concert. Mille will honour the late master with a special selection of musical pieces that showcase Piazzolla's influence on tango where he was known to fuse contemporary jazz with classical music. Get your dancing shoes ready!

January 2017 culture guide

Flavor of Paris will be held on January 10 at Masrah Al Qasba Theatre.

Also, discover the top 5 must-visit new hotels in 2017.