Taste of Abu Dhabi: what’s new and how to get your ticket

Our guide to what to expect at the food festival.

Visitors to last year’s inaugural Taste of Abu Dhabi  food festival at du Arena on Yas Island. Pawan Singh / The National
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The festival is at du Arena. It runs on Thursday, November 5 from 4pm to 11pm; Friday, November 6 from noon to 11pm; and Saturday, November 7 from noon to 10pm. Tickets start at Dh65 on Friday and Saturday (Dh80 at the door) and Dh120 on Thursday.

On Thursday night, your ticket includes a one-night-only performance by the late Bob Marley’s reggae band The Wailers. VIP tickets are available each night of the festival for Dh170 (Dh190 at the door).

Standard tickets get you into the festival and access to all cookery shows and demonstrations. On Thursday night, those tickets include two drinks.

VIP tickets get you fast-track entry; access to the VIP enclosure; two drink vouchers, three food vouchers and access to all cookery shows and demonstrations.

New this year: Premier Family Lounge tickets. For Dh130 (Dh150 at the door), you'll get fast-track entry; family lounge access; two soft beverage vouchers; three food vouchers; and complimentary Arabian teas, coffee and dates.

All tickets gets you an entry into the Ultimate Dining Experience raffle. The winner will receive a Dh500 voucher for each of the 25 restaurants featured at the festival.

Practise your skills with celebrity chefs

The OSN-Food Network Chef’s Theatre will host live cookery demonstrations from chefs Steven Edwards; Joshua Stanzl; Eric Lanlard; Reza Mahammad; Jenny Morris; Suzanne Husseini; Valentine Warner; Jose Pizzaro; winner of MasterChef India Nikita Gandhi; and Food Network favourite Siba Mtongana.

Or get your hands dirty and cook alongside the chefs in the cookery school. Participants will get slots on a first-come, first-served basis. For a full schedule of the Chef's Theatre and the cookery school, visit www.tasteabudhabi.com.

Eat ... and then eat some more

Twenty-five of Abu Dhabi’s best restaurants will serve signature bites throughout the festival. Where else will you be able to dine in 25 of the capital’s best restaurants in one night? Restaurants on tap include Villa Toscana, Avasa, Koi, Caramel, Safina, Nolu’s Cafe, Flooka, Prego’s and many more (See box for four eateries we are excited about). Served in small portions, plates range from Dh15 to Dh40 each.

Can’t eat anymore? Browse the market

There will be 30 tabletop vendors displaying their goods for sale at the festival. Brands in attendance include Coral Mermaid Tails; Oriental Leather Arts; Fahima Fattah Art; Lynda Marion Jewellery; Dee’s Boutique; Ta’ansami and more. In addition to the tabletops, the festival will feature more than 65 exhibitors. On the list: Love Doughnuts; Just Kunafa; Molten Me, Galito’s Flame-Grilled Chicken; Gelato Divino; Sushi Central; The Raw Place and many more.

Music, entertainment, fun and games

The Wailers will perform live on Thursday night at 9:30pm. The Maplejacks, 4TheMusic and Leading Lights Productions will perform throughout the festival and DJ Superfly will keep the music flowing between the live acts. Kids will have plenty to do in the Funky Monkeys Kids Zone with 15 activities, six carnival games and a big bouncy slide.