Residents gather for Christmas carols in the Abu Dhabi desert

The event first started in 2006 and has become a successful annual affair

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Hundreds came together yesterday for Carols by Candlelight in the Desert, an annual event where people sing Christmas carols in the Abu Dhabi desert. The free event, which started with South African expats John and Hanneke Wilson in 2006, is supported by St Andrew's Church and its members in Abu Dhabi.

People also enjoyed a communal barbecue. "The main focus is bringing families together to experience not only the Christmas spirit, but also to introduce people to the beauty of the desert," the Wilsons have said of the event.