Best of the week

Arabia gets Imaxed, photography courses and how you could become the next Penelope Cruz

Ibn Battuta

A taste of Arabian culture
There’s a host of special events at Ibn Battuta mall throughout Ramadan, all well worth the trip to this end of town. First up, the China court has been transformed into a decorative Majlis, where there’s an iftar buffet from sunset along with falconry displays, henna tattooists and a live oud player every evening. And if that’s not enough to get you into the spirit of things, the IMAX screen at the Grand Megaplex, also in the China court, is showing the epic Journey To Mecca, which tells the story of famous traveller Ibn Battuta’s first pilgrimage from Morocco to Mecca in 1325. Expect a stunning super-sized portrait of 14th century Islamic civilization. See Film (page 85) for screening times.
Daily iftar costs Dhs75 per person. IMAX admission is Dhs50 per person. The mall is adjacent to Sheikh Zayed Road, between interchanges 5 and 6. Call 04 362 1901 or 1902 for info infoinformation.

Photography bootcamp

Get snappy
Always wanted to take great pictures, but tend to just point, shoot and hope for the best? This two-day photography workshop at the SAE Institute in Knowledge Village should have you clicking away like Annie Leibovitz in no time. The idea is that most amateur photographers lack an understanding of the basic fundamentals. The course consists of illustrated talks, group discussions, accompanied practical shoots and group analysis sessions, which should get you confident.

On the technical side of things – the digital camera menu and settings, shutter speed control – to the aesthetics – composition and image structure, monochrome vs. colour photography – it’s all covered. It’s recommended that you bring along a digital camera that’s not fully automatic; it should have manual or semi-automatic exposure modes.
Dhs500 registration fee, plus Dhs1,600 course fee. Pay online and receive a 10 per cent discount. September 11-12 at the SAE Institute in Knowledge Village. Call 04 361 6173 or visit

Celebrity acting coach

Register now!
Celebrity acting coach Michelle Danner, who has taught the likes of Penelope Cruz, Salma Hayek, Christian Slater and Isla Fisher, will be in Dubai in December to teach workshops to aspiring actors. That might be a few months away, but we’re expecting this to be very popular, which is why you can register for the courses right now. The first, ‘The Actor’s Golden Box’, takes place from December 10-11, and looks at how to analyse scripts and characters to bring those characters to life. The second, ‘On Camera Auditioning Intensive’, is from December 12-13 and helps students hone their techniques for TV and film auditions. This ain’t for the shy, however as auditions are projected onto a big screen at the end of the workshop for critical review. Sounds like our idea of a nightmare come true – but if you’re serious about acting, you’re unlikely to get a better opportunity than this.
Spaces are limited, so register today at For more information about the workshops visit ‘The Actor’s Golden Box’ costs US$355 or Dhs1,304 (correct at time of going to print). ‘On Camera Auditioning Intensive’ costs US$455 or Dhs1,671 (correct at time of going to print).

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