Mother of the Nation Festival 2019: a guide to the music, shows and activities

The festival will be held over a one kilometre stretch of the Abu Dhabi Corniche

Market Area. The Mother of the Nation Festival retruns with another bumper program. Courtesy Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism

Mother of the Nation Festival will return with a programme to tickle the senses.

Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism, and running from March 12 to 23 in the Abu Dhabi Corniche, the annual Mother of the Nation Festival pays tribute to the legacy of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the widow of Sheikh Zayed, chair of the General Women's Union and president of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.

For the fourth year, another bumper family-friendly program featuring music, food, art and the fun opportunity to roll through the beach inside an inflatable ball.

Hints point to a star DJ and Saudi music legend

When it comes to the music on offer, the biggest name announced so far is star DJ Nicky Romero. Well, sort of.

The festival's Instagram account hinted that a DJ was on the way and that he was behind the 2013 hit I Could Be The One — that is none other than the Dutch spinner Romero.

More intriguing is another post hinting of a veteran Saudi artist, who is also set to perform in the festival. The key clue being is that he is in his 37th year of his career — our guess is Rabeh Sager who began his career in 1982.

The full line up and performance times will be released soon.

These upcoming performances come on the back of the already announced Cirque Du Soleil show Bazzar, which will run under the Mother of The Nation banner in a specially built big top stage in Yas Island from March 6 to 16. Tickets for that show is available from

Fun, games and fitness

Spread over a one kilometre stretch of the corniche, the festival will be split into four zones; one of which is dedicated to the Special Olympics, which coincides with Mother of the Nation Festival, as it is runs in the capital from March 14 to 21.

Another key area is the Happiness Zone, which is dedicated to family and children’s activities such as the aforementioned inflatable ball, playgrounds, trampolines, art pieces and tours of the beach on an all-terrain vehicle.

Another must go to area is the Progress Zone, which will host various features encompassing science, art and technology.

Activities include the dedicated gaming zone, the E-Sports Arena. A mini Spartan challenge obstacle course is on hand for those with energy to burn and workshops will run that look at the craft of origami, clay sculpting, tote-bag and bracelet making.

Restaurants and stalls will be situated in the Souq and F&B Zone.

Fitness activities will also be running throughout the festival with group exercise classes including High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), yoga and Zumba.

“The annual Mother of the Nation Festival celebrates the living legacy and noble values of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, reinforcing the UAE’s strong commitment to fostering a family-oriented society,” said Saif Ghobash, undersecretary at Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism.

“The event is designed to inspire a deep sense of connection by bringing together people from diverse nationalities and backgrounds, a theme which is central to the national Year of Tolerance.”

The Mother of the Nation Festival runs from March 12 to 23 from 4pm to 10.30pm (Sunday to Wednesday) and 2pm to 11.30pm (Thursday to Saturday). Tickets are Dh25 per adult and Dh20 for children between ages 6 to 12. Entry is free for senior citizens who are 60 years and above and for all people of determination. For details go to