International acts set to turn up the heat for Abu Dhabi Summer Season

The star-studded line-up boasts comedy acts, musicals, concerts, cartoon shows and a circus, at a variety of venues, including Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and du Forum on Yas Island.

Bollywood actor, musician and singer Farhan Akhtar. AFP Photo
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Celebrities ranging from comic Cedric The Entertainer to singer and actor Farhan Akhtar will headline Abu Dhabi Summer Season ­when it returns in July. The star-­studded line-up boasts comedy acts, musicals, concerts, cartoon shows and a circus, at a variety of venues, including Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and du Forum on Yas Island.

Regional talent

Lebanese diva Myriam Fares, whose Instagram has been flooded with images of her baby since he was born in February, will perform around Eid Al Fitr.

Arabic comedy nights are scheduled for September, and will be led by Emirati Bin Baz, whose 2.8 million Instagram followers are huge fans of his ­slapstick videos, along with Saudi pranksters Fadi Al Shehri, Ibrahim Saleh and Ibrahim Khairallah. Also making an appearance will be Kuwaiti comedian and actor Tariq Al Ali. Emirati comedian Taim Al Falasi, who has her own internet radio show and YouTube channel, will also appear, supported by Saudi YouTube stars Darin Al Bayed, Rajae Qawas and Fahad Albutairi.

International stars

A host of funny men will come together for Comedy Get Down on September 9 – expect to see Cedric The Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, D H Hughley, George Lopez and Charlie Murphy present their latest gags.

British illusionist Jamie Raven, who won over the audience of Britain's Got Talent in May last year, when his sleight of hand added a caricature of judge Simon Cowell to a £50 note, makes his Middle East debut on July 8 and 9.

On August 19, Hollywood comedy veteran Marlon Wayans arrives as part of his Scandal-less tour.

Coming to the stage for a family musical extravaganza are Alvin & the Chipmunks. The Abu Dhabi debut will see the much-loved characters performing their trademark high-pitched renditions of pop hits by the likes of One Direction, Maroon 5, Christina Aguilera and Elvis Presley, as they try to outwit arch nemesis Ian Hawke.

Other popular offerings for children include Hello Kitty and the Dinosaur Show.

Indian acts

Bollywood gets a large slice of the action this year. Singer Shaan returns for an August 11 gig, while actor, scriptwriter, musician and singer Farhan Akhtar, who has starred in blockbusters including Rock On!! (2008) and last year's Dil Dhadakne Do, will headline the music concert Farhan Live! on August 12. The same day, musicians Vishal and Shekhar will perform some of their newest Bollywood chart-­toppers. Musical trio Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy follow with a gig on August 13. Television comedian Kapil Sharma will also be in town for a stand-up performance. Organisers will be hoping to tap into the strong Indian tourism market in Abu Dhabi – last summer, the largest increase in visitor numbers was among those from India, with a rise of nearly 30 per cent. There has been an overall increase of 21 per cent since 2014 in the number of Indian visitors.

Family fun

A welcome new addition to this year’s line up is the family festival Fun Nation, which will run at the du Forum on Yas Island from July 14 until August 6. It will present mini-shows for young children, hosted by cartoon favourites Shaun the Sheep, SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer. Adults, meanwhile, get to indulge in video-gaming, cooking, sports and fashion shopping. Watch out for celebrity appearances, too.

Youth appeal

Teenagers and young adults, do not despair – there’s more on offer besides colourful cartoon shows and circus acts. Launching on August 11 at du Forum is The District, a space dedicated to a month-long mini festival of shows and workshops on innovation, entertainment, technology, fashion, digital media, health, science, nutrition and sustainability. Each weekend will feature a separate showcase of guests conducting classes and informal talks.

• Abu Dhabi Summer Season runs from July 7 to September 11. The full schedule of programmes will be announced at a later date on