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Top things to do in May 2024

Discover top activities in the region this month, spanning film festivals, cultural events, art fairs, music festivals and beyond


Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale

🗓 Until May 24, 2024 📍Diriyah, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


The Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale has returned to Riyadh's JAX District for its second edition, with exhibits highlighting the theme 'After Rain' as an exploration of the region's rich history and its natural landscapes. Expressed through diverse artistic mediums, the pieces on showcase delve into common themes surrounding land, water, food and healing traditions.


With over 85 artists and collectives participating, the event expands across seven exhibition halls and outdoor spaces, showcasing diverse perspectives. Notable artists include Hassan Sharif, El Anatsui and Joan Jonas, alongside Saudi talents like Safeya Binzagr — the only woman artist in Saudi Arabia to have her own museum and gallery — and Dana Awartani, who was nominated for the Richard Mille Art Prize in the UAE in 2022.


To book your hotel in Riyadh, visit rotana.com


World Art Dubai

🗓 May 2 - 5, 2024 📍Dubai, United Arab Emirates



World Art Dubai celebrates its milestone 10th edition this year. Taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre, this prestigious event offers collectors and enthusiasts a vibrant community to explore a diverse array of contemporary works. With over 4,000 pieces on display from more than 300 galleries and artists representing over 50 countries, World Art Dubai serves as a melting pot of artistic expression. From emerging talent to pop art icons, fashion art innovators, experimental expressionists and practitioners of fine art and photography, World Art Dubai presents an eclectic mix of artistic styles.


To book your hotel in Dubai, visit rotana.com


Cannes Film Festival

🗓 May 14 - 25, 2024 📍Cannes, France



The 77th International Cannes Film Festival will welcome film professionals and enthusiasts once again to partake in this esteemed event that honours the finest in international cinema. Each year, Cannes undergoes a remarkable transformation, becoming the epicentre of the global film industry, with luminaries from around the world gracing the iconic red carpet. With over 200,000 attendees, including renowned filmmakers, emerging talent, devoted cinephiles, industry executives and media representatives, Cannes promises an unparalleled celebration of cinematic artistry. In addition to ticketed screenings, the public can enjoy daily free showings at Cinéma de la Plage, featuring open-air films beneath the stars at Plage Mace Beach.


Sandbox Festival

🗓 May 16 - 18, 2024 📍El Gouna, Egypt



Egypt's iconic Sandbox Festival returns to the stunning coastal town of El Gouna on the Red Sea this May. This three-day electronic music extravaganza has entertained audiences in Egypt for over a decade and, with each passing year, attracts a growing international crowd seeking the perfect blend of beachside fun and revelry. Renowned for its lineup featuring emerging international DJs, Sandbox has hosted artists like Peggy Gou, Denis Sulta, Mall Grab and Mathame before their meteoric rise. Last year's headliners included Seth Troxler, Denis Sulta, DJ Seinfeld, Moodyman, Palms Trax and Agents of Time.


The festival serves as a vital platform for Egypt's and the Middle East's electronic music scene, showcasing regional acts alongside global superstars. Beyond the beats, Sandbox offers immersive art installations and workshops, ensuring a dynamic experience.


To book your hotel in Egypt, visit rotana.com


Sheherazade at Royal Opera House Muscat

🗓 May 23 & 24, 2024 📍Muscat, Oman



The Cairo Opera will present a captivating theatrical dance adaptation of the timeless Arabian tale of Sheherazade in One Thousand and One Nights at the Royal Opera House Muscat for two nights this May. The narrative follows the enchanting Scheherazade, who saves herself from execution by regaling the king with mesmerising stories each night for 1001 nights. Drawing inspiration from Rimsky Korsakov's renowned composition, the Modern Dance Company intricately weaves traditional and contemporary choreography and costumes to breathe new life into this classic saga. Directed by Walid Aouni, this thrilling production promises to captivate audiences of all ages.


To book your hotel in Oman, visit rotana.com

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