The Buro 24/7 Middle East culture guide: December

The Buro 24/7 Middle East culture guide: December

A full sensory experience

Editor: Faizal Dahlawia

Image: Getty Images

From music and movies to festivals and celebrations, Buro 24/7 recommends the top 10 things to do this December...

December is finally here and just before we dive into the new year, here are the things to immerse yourself in before the year ends.

LISTEN: A Head Full Of Dreams by Coldplay, December 4

A Head Full Of Dreams is the seventh studio album by British rock royalty Coldplay. Due out December 4, the previews all point towards a more colourful album, departing from the broodiness that was prevalent in their last offering. In a pleasantly surprising move, Gwyneth Paltrow, ex-wife of frontman Chris Martin, sings on one of the tracks 'Everglow'. Take a sneak peek at the album with the video soundtrack 'Adventure Of A Lifetime'.

WATCH: 12th Dubai International Film Festival, December 9-16

The 12th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) will showcase 134 films from 60 countries, including 55 international premieres, 46 MENA premieres, 11 Middle Eastern premieres and 17 GCC premieres. There will be cinema screenings, beach screenings and the world premiere screening of the late Egyptian actor Omar Sharif's final film, '1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham'.  

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BE ENTERTAINED: Nelson Freire and The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, December 10, Emirates Palace

A highlight in the music calendar, the capital hosts The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, this time together with Brazilian virtuoso Nelson Freire on piano. The concert will follow a programme dedicated to one of the greatest composers of all time: Ludwig van Beethoven. Don't miss Freire and the ensemble perform the 4th Piano Concerto as well as the 7th Symphony, arguably Beethoven's most revolutionary symphony. 

Tickets start from Dhs150 and can be booked through Abu Dhabi Classics.

Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire

BE IMMERSED: Urban Market, December 11-12, Al Serkal Avenue

Al Serkal Avenue invites you to their Urban Market as the art avenue transforms into a bustling hotspot for art trade, previews, films, music and food. Activities are as diverse as they are exciting, from a book reading to drum and DJ sets. Take note, this is a sans credit card event, cash only!

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SPECTATE: International Premier Tennis League, December 14-16, Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium

The Dubai leg of the Coca-Cola International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) will see tennis action of the royal variety. Roger Federer is set to play for the UAE Royals team, which also includes other stars like Ana Ivanovic and Goran Ivanisevic. Created to fulfill the increasing demand for top-level tennis in Asia, it's the first city-based professional league in the world. Completing the round-up of teams at the sporting event are the Indian Aces, Singapore Slammers, Philippine Mavericks and Japan Warriors.

Roger Federer in action

DISCOVER: Dubai Traveler's Festival, December 16-19, The Cultural & Scientific Association

Started in 2012, this now annual event brings together international travellers and explorers, all sharing the experiences of their travels, whether they be by car, boat, foot, plane or even camel and horse. Hear amazing stories of challenges, of triumphs, of majestic landscapes and amazing cultures. Speakers include Saeed Al Maamari, the first Emirati to climb Mount Everest.

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EAT: BBC Good Food Show Dubai, December 17-19, Dubai World Trade Centre

The first ever BBC Good Food Show in Dubai will take place with a special winter edition. Following the same format as the show in the UK, the event will see celebrity chefs Paul Hollywood, James Martin and Andy Bates cook their favourite dishes in front of a live audience. Also making an appearance is Dubai-based celebrity chef Silvena Rowe. Furthermore, there will be segments on shopping from seasonal and regional producers as well as culinary inspiration!

Tickets start from Dhs125 and can be booked on Platinumlist.

British chef Andy Bates

ENGAGE: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, December 16

Make your choice; do you fight with the jedis or turn to the dark side? Undoubtedly the most anticipated movie to end the year, 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' has teased fanboys with many trailers, each one providing a clue to the plot. Abu Dhabi will be the stage for the regional premiere of the movie, mere hours after the world premiere in Los Angeles. The new kid in the franchise sees a story set 30 years after the 'Return of the Jedi' with the original Star Wars cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill all making a return to the galaxy, far, far away. Here's a look at the latest trailer...

CELEBRATE: Christmas at Ritz-Carlton, Dubai, December 24-25

Embrace the season's spirit and create new festive memories at Caravan in one of the finest luxury resorts in the city. On December 24, feast on a traditional festive buffet al fresco. Savour the sunset and sit on the terrace overlooking the gardens while you indulge in roast turkey, slow roasted prime rib and pudding. If you still haven't had your fill, drop by again the next day for Caravan's gourmet brunch. 

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DANCE: David Guetta Listen Tour, December 31, Dubai Media City Amphitheatre

Supertsar DJ David Guetta's New Year's Eve concert is the ticket du jour. Performing his hits 'Dangerous', 'Titanium' and 'Without You', Guetta is no stranger to the UAE but these tickets are worth their weight. 

Early bird tickets for Guetta's New Year's party are Dhs350 at Regular tickets are available at Virgin Megastores or for Dhs495.

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