Inside Indie: 18/03/2022

It’s the 23rd edition of Inside Indie!

We’re excited to share this week’s roundup, which includes a fantastic new address for culture lovers, a shortlist announcement for the prestigious Sheikh Zayed Book Award, and an exciting new musical.

Curious? Read on!


Credit: Aldar

Exciting news for culture fans – you now have the chance to live in a residential complex with stunning views of Louvre Abu Dhabi!

The Louvre Abu Dhabi Residences is part of the new Saadiyat Grove project by Aldar and will feature approximately 3,000 residential units and two hotels, along with the co-working spaces for new enterprises and start-ups, according to an official release.

Aldar indicated that the museum-inspired residences are expected to be completed in 2025 and will include over 400 apartments, including studios, one, two and three-bedroom apartments and five penthouses featuring views of the musuem dome.

Residents will also be able to enjoy a dedicated lounge as well as a wellness centre, gym, sauna, yoga and meditation space, swimming pools and children’s playroom.


Credit: Sheikh Zayed Book Award

The prestigious Sheikh Zayed Book Award has announced nine shortlisted titles for its Literature, Children’s Literature, and Young Author categories, with each category having three shorlisted entries.

These include Maq’ha Reesh, Ain Ala Massr (Eye on Egypt: Reesh Cafe) by Emirati writer Maisoon Saqer, and Al Hikaya al Shaabiya al Saudia al Maktooba bil Fus’ha: Dirasa fi al Muta’aliyat al Nasiya (Saudi Folk Tales Written in Fus’ha: A Study of Textual Transcendence) by Saudi author Manal Salem Al-Qathami.

The 16th edition of the award received 3,000 submissions from 55 countries: 20 from the Middle East and 35 from around the world. Authors writing about Arab culture and civilisation in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian are also recognised by the award, which was launched in 2007 and has a a Dh7 million prize purse.

There are five additional categories whose shortlist are expected to be announced: Literary and Art Criticism, Translation, and Contribution to the Development of Nations.

The full shortlisted titles are:


  • Ghorbat Al Manazil (Strangers at Home) by novelist Ezzat Elkamhawy (Egypt)
  • Wa Tahmelany Hayraty Wa Dh’anony. Seerat Altakween (Composition Biography: Thoughts and Confusion Carry Me) by critic and academic Said Bengrad (Morocco)
  • Maq’ha Reesh, Ain Ala Massr (Eye on Egypt: Reesh Cafe) by Maisoon Saqer (UAE)

Young Author

  • Al Kaa’in al Balaghi al Lugha wal Aaql wal Istita’a fi Kitab ‘Al Bayan wal Tabyeen (Rhetorical Object: Language, Reason, and Ability in the Book ‘Al-Bayan wal-Tabyeen’) by Mustafa Rajwan (Morocco)
  • Al Badawa fi al She’er al Arabi al Qadeem (Bedouinism in Ancient Arabic Poetry) by Dr Mohamed Al-Maztouri (Tunisia)
  • Al Hikaya al Shaabiya al Saudia al Maktooba bil Fus’ha: Dirasa fi al Muta’aliyat al Nasiya (Saudi Folk Tales Written in Fus’ha: A Study of Textual Transcendence) by Manal Salem Al-Qathami (Saudi Arabia)

Children’s Literature

  • Shams Tadhak (A Laughing Sun) by Bayan Al-Safadi (Syria)
  • Loghz al Kora al Zujajiya (The Mystery of the Glass Ball) by Maria Daadoush (Syria)
  • Maw’idi maa al Noor (My Date with the Light) by Raja Mellah (Morocco)

You can learn more here:


Credit: Dubai Opera

A new English musical paying homage to Umm Kulthum’s life is coming to Dubai Opera from May 3 to 5, 2022 as part of Eid Al Fitr celebrations.

Umm Kulthum & The Golden Era is written by Saudi producer Mona Khashoggi and it chronicles the legendary artist’s life from her poor upbringing in rural Egypt to her rise as one of the world’s greatest singers.

It explores her five-decade career and all the key events that happened throughout that period while featuring her popular songs, such as Enta Omri, Alf Leila We Leila, Fakarouni and Al Atlal, which are sung in Arabic with English subtitles.

Don’t miss out on this unforgettable performance, book your tickets at


As You Are Arts & Wellness Week, Blank Canvas Community, March 24 – 30, Zoom

This virtual arts and wellness week features sessions focused on movement, mental health and creative expression, led by experienced facilitators in the region that range from children’s workshops to mental health sessions to creativity-focused activities, and more.

Entry is free but booking is required

Franco Film Festival, Cinema Akil, March 25 – 31, Al Serkal Avenue

Back for its 12th edition, this celebrated film festival features regional premieres across genres including critically acclaimed drama, documentary and animated feature films opening with the award-winning Olga by Elie Grappe with an introduction by the director. Other films include Gagarine directed by Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouil, The Fam by Fred Baillif, and the animation Drama Josep directed by Aurel.

There will also be a special screening day at Manarat Al Saadiyat on March 27.

Booking is required

Rooftop Rhythms, NYUAD, March 25 – May 20, The Marketplace

Hosted by founder, Dorian Paul Rogers, the 10th season of Rooftop Rhythms features spoken word artists, poets, and musicians presenting original material at open mic nights and poetry slams. Abdulnassir Elazry, one of Rooftop Rhythms’ early performers, will be the event’s emcee, and Jaysus Zain will provide soulful grooves as the DJ for the evening. It is presented in partnership with The Arts Center at NYUAD with official support of the US Mission to the UAE.

Tickets are available at the NYUAD website; interested participants can sign up here:

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