Friday - - Editor’s Letter - Natalie Long, Editor

Iknow count­less memes and Buz­zfeed lists have told you that 2016 has been, to put it po­litely, a bit rub­bish, and for so many rea­sons, that is spot on. Un­til I moved to Fri­day last month (and thanks to all of you who wel­comed me!), I cov­ered lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional entertainment, which this year meant far too many black-and-white front pages and ‘fondly re­mem­ber­ing’ head­lines (David Bowie and Gene Wilder – I still can’t be­lieve it).

How­ever, I was de­ter­mined to find some pos­i­tiv­ity, and this week’s is­sue has helped me see a bright side in the world of entertainment this year – and I cer­tainly don’t mean that Justin Bieber fi­nally con­firmed that he is to per­form here next year. The range of lo­cal entertainment and life­style in the UAE is ever-grow­ing, and it’s slowly de­vel­op­ing from an im­port-only scene to one in which lo­cal artists are get­ting their stage on which to per­form.

Are we churn­ing out the next Tony award win­ner? Per­haps not quite yet – but at least the new per­ma­nent mu­si­cal in Dubai, Jaan-e-Ji­gar, which we pre­view on page 18, au­di­tioned and re­cruited tal­ent lo­cally along­side the mostly In­dian cast mem­bers who star in the show. It opens to the pub­lic this week­end at the new Ra­jma­hal The­atre, hope­fully the venue for plenty more home­grown tal­ent in fu­ture, and not just wed­dings (al­though you can rent it out for those, too).

At a more grass­roots level, you can find a plat­form for lo­cal per­form­ers at Alserkal’s Area 01 event, which this year in­tro­duces a much more di­verse range of mu­si­cians.

If you have an in­sa­tiable ap­petite for live Bol­ly­wood per­for­mances, you should also check out the show run­ning at Global Vil­lage un­til next week – we sent our own Anand Raj OK back­stage, duck­ing through a flurry of se­quins and span­dex, to see how it all comes to­gether – read about it on page 20.

Se­quins put in more than a cameo ap­pear­ance in this week’s fash­ion shoot on page 44, too, which is timed per­fectly for you to do a whip around the shops to nab a party look. The team shot on lo­ca­tion at Ski Dubai – yes, it was teethchat­ter­ingly chilly, and glit­ter isn’t quite as pro­tec­tive as Gore-tex, but that’s noth­ing a gi­ant candy cane won’t fix.

Let me sign off with a weather warn­ing: Snow is un­avoid­able in the UAE this week­end – just turn to page 26 for lo­ca­tions that are hav­ing snow­ball fights un­der the palm trees. Can you do that any­where else? That’s an­other ray of sun­shine.

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