Former FC Barcelona player Gerard Pique spent Christmas away from his children in the first of many holidays wherein he will have to figure out custody arrangements with their mother, Shakira.

The Colombian singer whisked the two boys, Milan, 9 and Sasha, 7 off to Dubai to spend Christmas several thousand miles away from Barcelona. In an Instagram post, she shared a photo of the three of them out in the desert wearing traditional outfits while engaging in falconry.

In the caption, she was not shy about referencing the tumultuous year that she and the children have gone through. Shakira said: "In the desert looking for serenity this Christmas."

According to Spanish publication Marca, the multiple Grammy Award winner flew to Dubai with her children last Wednesday. They celebrated Christmas there and are expected to stay for another week before heading back to Spain.

It is understood that the children will be spending New Year's Eve with their father in Barcelona and she is expected to bring the children to him by December 30. However, there is still some contention over how long Milan and Sasha will be staying in Barcelona with Pique.

It has long been known that Shakira wants to move back to Miami, Florida to rebuild her life following the breakdown of the relationship with the former Spain international. She is believed to be keen on leaving Spain by January 5.

However, Pique wants the children to stay in the Catalan capital to enjoy the feast of the Three Kings on January 6. The holiday is marked by a massive parade, and he wants the children to be able to witness it. However, the singer wants the children to head to the United States as soon as possible so that they can be ready for the opening of classes after the holidays.

It is said that even though the former couple have agreed on which parent will have custody of the children for each holiday, lawyers are still involved in negotiating the number of days that are allowed.

Three-time Grammy winner Shakira has scored major global hits
Three-time Grammy winner Shakira AFP News