UAE's first fireworks contest to take place at Abu Dhabi's Mother of the Nation festival

Internationally renowned teams from across the world will descend on the capital to compete in the spectacle

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - The massive colourful display of fireworks to ring in 2019 at the Corniche on December 31, 2018. Khushnum Bhandari for The National
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This March, as part of the 12-day Mother of the Nation festival in Abu Dhabi, we'll see the first-ever fireworks competition take place in the UAE. Every Friday and Saturday throughout the festival, which runs from March 12 to 23, 20 minutes of fireworks will explode in the night's sky.

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The contest will feature 360 metres of pyrotechnics, with more than 87,000 shells expected to be launched, as internationally renowned teams from across the world battle it out before a panel of judges. Fireworks experts from South Korea and the Netherlands will go head-to-head in week one, while participants from Australia and Canada will showcase their skills in week two.

Visitors of all ages are invited to witness the skies light up over the Corniche.

Mother of the Nation festival

Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism, 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.

Now in its fourth year, the family-friendly programme of activities includes music performances, arts workshops and fitness classes, and a variety of food stalls. Inflatable and trampoline parks are being set up for kids, as well as an adventure playground, gaming zone and zorbing safari area (where guests can roll around in the giant transparent inflatable balls). You'll also get the opportunity to take in some art, as new installations will be on show.

On top of that, a virtual reality experience, laser quest and a mini Spartan challenge are all on the agenda.

As for the music, Saudi Arabian crooner Rabeh Saqr will headline the first festival concert on March 12, while Dutch DJ Nicky Romero will close the celebrations on March 22.

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