6 things to see and do at Abu Dhabi Collectors' Week

From musical performances to exclusive product launches, the inaugural event will celebrate rare, collectible design

The first Abu Dhabi Collectors’ Week is under way, bringing an array of covetable creations to the capital.

Running until October 16 and organised by Retail Abu Dhabi, an arm of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, the 10-day festival is a celebration of collectors and collectibles in the retail, design, entertainment and culinary spheres. It involves a calendar of citywide events, offering access to bespoke, exclusive products and experiences. It also features appearances from leading international collectors, designers and entertainers, including Mark Ronson and Refik Anadol.

At The Collective, a series of four immersive experiences, visitors are able to explore NFT collections, a trainers exhibition and a cars emporium. Meanwhile, a series of immersive Abu Dhabi-wide pop-ups are offering brand retrospectives and new product drops, supported by in-store collection launches at 15 malls and complemented by culinary activations at key locations across the capital.

Abu Dhabi Collectors’ Week is designed to create a true celebration of the world’s creative landscape right here in Abu Dhabi, through the curation of new and exciting collectors’ experiences across the retail, creative and culinary sectors,” says Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, executive director of tourism and marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi.

“We are confident this exciting new addition to Abu Dhabi’s increasingly diverse events calendar will elevate the emirate’s local and international tourism offering, and underline Abu Dhabi’s steering role as a beacon of innovation for the regional design and creative industries.”

The event is anchored by Semi Permanent Middle East, a global design and creativity festival being hosted at Manarat Al Saadiyat from Thursday to Saturday, October 14 to 16. The three-day programme will include talks, performances, dining experiences, art installations and screenings aimed at offering a fresh perspective on our post-pandemic world. From art and music to architecture and fashion design, Semi Permanent’s programme will place a spotlight on the shifting nature of creativity in the 21st century. Participants include architect Oana Stanescu, musician Dana Hourani and fashion designer Bunyamin Aydin of Les Benjamins.

“We’ve brought together some 30 incredible talents, from here in the UAE, as well the United States, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom and beyond, and while they vary greatly in what they create, what they have in common is that they’re leaders in their field and define trends,” says Semi Permanent creative director and curator of the Semi Permanent Middle East festival, Mitchell Oakley Smith.

Here are six ways to enjoy Abu Dhabi Collectors' Week:

Mark Ronson

Mark Ronson will perform a DJ set at W Abu Dhabi on Thursday, October 14, at a party celebrating the inauguration of the first Semi Permanent Middle East festival. The Grammy and Oscar-winning record producer and songwriter, best known for his collaborations with artists such as Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Stevie Wonder and the late Amy Winehouse, will be performing from 9.30pm. He will also be delivering a talk at 12.30pm as part of the event's opening session. Day passes for Semi Permanent Middle East cost Dh700 and are available at www.semipermanent.com

The Flower Shop

The famed Flower Shop from New York City is hosting a pop-up at Semi Permanent Middle East, bringing its Lower East Side vibe to Saadiyat Island. The hot spot is known for its eccentric interiors and refined but accessible menu, which includes delicacies such as pink moon oysters and wakame seafood salad, alongside classics including fried buttermilk chicken and fish and chips.

Breitling pop-up

To coincide with Collectors’ Week, luxury watch brand Breitling has unveiled its new Superocean Heritage 57 Pastel Paradise capsule collection for women – a colourful take on an old classic that has the timepiece reimagined in shades of summer white, aquamarine, mint green, iced latte and rainbow tangerine. To capture the summery feel of the new line, Breitling has created a surfing-inspired pop-up, complete with a bar, vintage fridge, surfboards and colorful neon lights, in its Yas Mall store.

50 Objects

Abu Dhabi Collectors’ Week will include the city’s first exhibition of rare objects from the personal collections of selected Emirati collectors, including handbags, watches, jewellery and clothing. The exclusive display will be hosted at Manarat Al Saadiyat until Saturday, October 16, and will be complemented by the launch of a dedicated coffee-table book that shares the stories behind many of the items featured.

Dolce & Gabbana exclusives

Visitors to Dolce & Gabbana’s stores in The Galleria Al Maryah Island will have access to the brand’s new Sicily Foulard bag, which was released in the UAE ahead of its global launch on October 8. The bag comes in two colour variations, a light dusky pink and a soft mint green, and in small and medium sizes. Fans of the brand will also get a first look at the autumn/winter 2021 runway collection.

The Collective

Taking place on Al Hudayriyat Island until Saturday, October 16, The Collective includes the Sneaker Lab, created in partnership with Puma, and a first-of-its-kind NFT exhibition. Influencer Mo Vlogs will also be showcasing his supercar collection, while the Immersive Collectors' Room, which explores the stories and motions behind the art of collecting, will run alongside the event at Manarat Al Saadiyat.

Updated: October 7th 2021, 4:54 AM