DCT Abu Dhabi unveils event calendar packed with music, food and culture

Highlights include Cirque du Soleil, Mother of the Nation Festival and a food festival hosted by Steve Harvey

Acclaimed circus company Cirque du Soleil is set to return to Abu Dhabi with a new show. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
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From pop concerts and food festivals to arts and cultural celebrations, the Abu Dhabi event season has something for everyone.

Announced by DCT Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, the Abu Dhabi Calendar is full of events making use of the emirate’s key cultural and picturesque locations, from Saadiyat Island and Yas Island to the Abu Dhabi Corniche and Liwa Village.

In addition to the already announced Abu Dhabi Art and concert series Abu Dhabi Classics, as well as concerts by Robbie Williams and the music festival Hyperound K-Fest Abu Dhabi, here are some new events announced for the upcoming months.

The shows

Al Zaman Al Jameel Festival is aimed at nostalgic Arabic pop fans.

Running on November 3 and 4, with the venue to be announced, Egyptian crooner Hani Shaker and Ehab Toufic will join Lebanon’s Wael Kfoury to perform vintage tracks from their catalogue.

Saadiyat Nights, running from December to February, will include artists who live in the UAE performing weekly gigs across Saadiyat Island.

Canadian circus company Cirque du Soleil are also set to bring their latest show to the Etihad Arena in April, with dates and show details to be announced soon.

For the foodies

Abu Dhabi’s Michelin restaurants will be celebrated with their own festival.

From December 7 to 10, the Michelin Food Festival will see some of the city’s top restaurants showcasing their culinary flare at Louvre Abu Dhabi Park.

Some of the city’s up-and-coming restaurants will also have a chance to shine as part of Taste of Abu Dhabi. Held on Yas Island’s Gateway Park from November 10 to 12, the event will also feature celebrity chefs and concerts.

US comedian and television personality Steve Harvey will also return to Abu Dhabi to host The Open Fire Food Festival on February 24 and 25. Dedicated to all things barbecue, expect UAE and international chefs and pitmasters to showcase how the culinary form is used in various cultures.

The festivals

Families can ring in the new year at the Mother of The National Festival running at the Abu Dhabi Corniche from November 15 to January 1.

In addition to the cultural pavilions and events held in Al Ain and Al Dhafra, there will be concerts by pop star Nancy Ajram and the Spacetoon Orchestra.

For those looking to celebrate the New Year in the desert, you can head to the Liwa Village festival running from December 8 to 31.

Each weekend will feature a programme of cultural displays and music performances.

Families in Al Ain can also visit The Giant Italian Circus.

Held at Al Ain Square from November 7 to December 8, the large pop-up venue will be home to more than 40 shows spanning music, comedy and children’s entertainment.

Good health is the focus of the Saadiyat Beach Wellness Festival from January 10 to 14.

International speakers and practitioners, including famed Indian yogi Sadhguru, will be on hand to deliver talks and daily meditation sessions.

Film celebrities, authors and cosplayers will take the stage at the pop-culture event Middle East Film & Comic Con 2024, from February 9 to 11 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

Arts and culture

The capital's premiere heritage event Al Hosn Festival returns from January 19 to 28, at the Al Hosn site, with a programme highlighting Emirati traditions.

The Traditional Handicrafts Festival, from November 1 to 20 at Al Ain’s Souq Al Qattara, will highlight UAE artisans and their craftsmanship.

Al Ain Book and Al Dhafra book festivals running from November 19 to 25 and December 4 to 10 respectively, will be the place to gain an appreciation for Emirati literature.

The Maritime Heritage Festival, held in the Abu Dhabi Corniche from February 23 to March 3, will shed light on UAE’s historic seafaring traditions and associated craftsmanship.

More information is available on visitabudhabi.ae

Updated: October 05, 2023, 12:50 PM