Storytelling Performance

in French

The Lady of the desert and the Queen of the ocean

A storytelling performance for all ages, to mesmerize children and adults alike. Age 5+


A Storytelling perfomance with Traditional Emirati tales of strong women by land and sea. A unique way to celebrate U.A.E National Day with the whole family. A collection of traditional tales to travel on a magic carpet to the world of traditional stories. A door to the land of "once upon a time", a time when people used to gather in a circle to share food, wisdom and stories.

Follow the voice of the storyteller and let yourself be transported to the Underwater world ruled by the powerful queen of the Ocean. Can you follow the footsteps of the beautiful girl on the sand? They lead to the hut of the witch of the desert, Umm Al Mashakel "the mother of all troubles". 

An hour of sheer fun & fascination, a unique way to celebrate  U.A.E National day connecting with its traditional heritage!

Friday 11 December at 4 PM

AED 35 for AF members with promocode AFM30 // AED 50 for non-members

Alliance Française Dubai, Oud Metha

About the Storyteller


Paola Balbi is a trained actress (degree from National Academy of Dramatic Art Silvio D'Amico in Rome) and professional Storyteller with 20 years of stage experience. She blends a sound stage, body and voice  training with extraordinary oratory skills and ability to awaken emotions in her audience.

A true lover of the oral tradition and a mainstream performer, Paola has travelled all over the world with her Storytelling shows, featuring in the line up of the most prestigious Storytelling Festivals from Italy (her native land) to the U.S, from all countries in Europe to Singapore, from the Carebean Islands to the Middle East.

Paola is  the  artistic director of four International Storytelling Festivals (Raccontamiunastoria International Storytelling Festival in Rome, Storytelling Time in Bolzano (Italy), Tales on the Island- International Storytelling Festival in Sharjah, After Iftar Tales ,all over the U.A.E) and she is devoted to promote Storytelling and oral traditional heritage through performances, workshops, story swaps and she is a tireless Storytelling event organizer.

Paola has a rich repertoire of stories for all ages and occasions, including Greek and Roman mythology, Italian, European, Middle East and World folktales and wondertales , medieval legends and  historically based stories.

Paola considers herself an intercontinental commuter and lives between Rome and Dubai since 2016, when not travelling the rest of the world with her shows. Paola has developed a passion from traditional Emirati stories and has gathered many rare and orally transmitted  tales in her repertoire. Following Paola's voice when she starts with "once upon a time", is always a unique, engaging and unforgettable experience.

About Storytelling and Professional Storytellers


Storytelling is the art of telling stories. It always existed since humankind came to this world, but although everyone can tell a story in their social life, to listen to a professional Storyteller is quite a different experience. Professional Storytellers all over the world train and study to reconnect contemporary audiences with the experience of the oral tradition. Modern Storytelling is a Performing Art in its own right with roots digging in traditional heritage. Storytelling is an Art based on oratory, improvisation  and deep knowledge of the material. 


Storytellers are skilled performers who constantly research their repertoire, improve their skills by collaborating with other storytellers and make a living out of the Storytelling Art. Storytellers have a deep respect for the oral tradition of each and every culture in the world and they dedicate their life and career to keep alive the connection between people and ancient stories.


Each Storytelling performance is a unique and interactive experience, as the storyteller chooses his/her words fresh every time according to the audience reaction. A skilled storyteller is able to paint images in his/her listener's mind, by this creating a cultural experience like no other.


It may come as a surprise,but traditional  Storytelling performed by professional artists is not a performing Art targeting children only, but quite the opposite: traditional stories usually targeted adult audiences or the whole family as they conveyed the values and experiences of the community that produced them. Storytelling is at the same time a great source of safe entertainment far from screens and a cultural experience that encourage dialogue and  understanding.


An old saying goes: "If you know somebody's story you cannot help but loving him/her".

In a multicultural city like Dubai Storytelling represents a great tool to understand each other cultures through the shared values carried by traditional stories and to discover the local heritage through the fascination of its traditional stories.

Kindly note that our centers will be closed on December 1, 2 and 3. Happy National Day!

Oud Metha - Main Office

Street 18, Oud Metha, Dubai


Tel 04 335 8712 // 056 218 0546

Opening Hours

Sunday to Wednesday: 9 am to 7 pm

Thursday & Saturday: 9 am to 5 pm

Closed on Fridays

Knowledge Park - Annex

Block 2B, GF Unit G04, Al Bourooj St


Tel 04 244 6563 // 050 503 4331

Opening Hours

Sunday to Wednesday: 9 am to 7 pm 

Saturday: from 9 am to 5 pm

Closed on Thursdays and Fridays

Ajman University - Annex

Building J2 B, Ground Floor


Tel 054 995 1261 // 06 705 5017

Our doors are closed but we are still open online and available by phone and email