Classical music concerts held in Al Ain

Here are details of 2 classical music events which took place in Al Ain in 2011 so you have an idea what may happen in 2012 and beyond…

Symphonic Masterworks – Classical hits

Location: Al Jahili Fort

Orchestra: Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI

Juraj Valcuha, conductor

Evgeni Bozhanov, piano

What they played…

  • Dmitri Shostakovich, Festive Overture
  • Sergei Rachmaninov, Piano Concerto No. 2
  • Alexander Borodin, Polovtsian Dances
  • N. Rimsky-Korsakov, Sheherazade, excerpts
  • Peter Tchaikovsky, Overture 1812 with Fireworks

Yo-Yo Ma Cello Recital

Location: Al Jahili Fort

Tickets for these 2 events were available online and at the House of Arts.

This website has more info:

There is a free shuttle service from Al Ain to the many concerts in Abu Dhabi.


WOMAD Festival, Al Ain

Early in 2010 and 2011, the WOMAD (World Of Music, Arts and Dance) Festival came to Al Ain – and took place inside this magnificent fort, on the road heading south from the Rotana Hotel…


The events were free, and suitable for children, so all 4 of us went along for one of the 2 nights the festival were on. There were about 300-400 people there, and the music was wonderful.

Grand Cinemas Rotana, Al Ain

I think that the Grand Cinemas is one of the first movie theatres in Al Ain, if not the very first. It’s situated below ground, next to the Rotana Hotel…


They have 4 screens there. One of the smaller screens had a rip about a foot long (30 cms) in the centre right of the screen when I went with a mate to see a non-blockbuster movie in early 2011. I thought it might spoil our viewing but we didn’t notice it during the film.

You’ll find a list of what they’re showing online at the Grand Cinemas website.

If you look at the site on a Wednesday, you’ll only see information on films which open the next evening, so if you want to find out what’s on that night, you’ll have to call, and talk with someone whose English isn’t great. As films sometimes have unusual titles, this can be a challenging process!!

Also, if you see a time listed for a film that you want to see, and you have a spare moment, take the time to ring the cinema to confirm the time. Why? Because the staff here do say whenever I ring to always check the times by phone as the website isn’t always accurate. (The staff at the Bawadi Mall Grand Cinemas say the same thing.)

Phone the Rotana Grand Cinemas on 03 754 4447.

Other cinemas in Al Ain…

Al Ain Mall (4 screens too)

Alliance Francaise

Al Foah Mall (5 screens; opened January 2012)

Bawadi Mall Grand Cinemas

See a good movie for free at the Alliance Francaise, Al Ain

Every second Thursday you can go to the Alliance Francaise in Al Ain, located near the airport, and watch a popular French film which is subtitled in English. There’s no charge.



I went to see a film there earlier in 2010 with a friend of mine. The film is projected onto a large white screen in the middle of the upstairs library of 3,000 French books, with a bank of maybe 40-ish seats set out. About 12 of us watched the film. One of the staff offered us snacks to buy: chocolate, soft drinks, etc. The film was great.

(If I remember right, the film actually started at 7.30pm.)

If you sign up for the Al Ain Expats group, you’ll get a regular email announcing the next film.

For more information, go to the Alliance Francaise website.

From their website, “Located next to the desert, in a beautiful villa shared with the French School Theodore Monod, the Alliance Française aims to be a meeting point for the various nationalities living in Al Ain, along with an area of friendliness and discovery of the French speaking and Arabic cultures.”

The map on the right is pretty clear: by “jimi” they mean the Al Jimi Mall, which has a French Carrefour supermarket in it, which is located to the north of Al Ain.

Although it looks as though you are travelling north you’re not: the top of the map is west of Al Jimi Mall.

Al Ain Choral Society

Al Ain Choral Society is a mixed adult choir.  Each year the choir normally does a Christmas concert in December and a less formal musical event in the late spring. The members rehearse on Sunday evenings from 7.30 to 9pm in the Music Room at Al Ain English Speaking School. New members are always welcome: adult and young adult, male and female.

The repertoire is varied: from traditional to modern, classical to popular.

Says contact Geraldine Kershaw, “Some of the songs we sing are in harmony but others will be unison, and we include a wide range of pieces from traditional to classical to modern. If you like singing why not come along? We look forward to welcoming some new singers this year!”

For further information or for directions to the school, contact Geraldine at gkershaw [at], or telephone her on 050 563 9719.