Mother of the Nation 2022: Everything you need to know about the Abu Dhabi festival

Learn more about this annual event, plus ticket prices and dates

Kids at the amusement park zone of the Mother of the National festival in Abu Dhabi last year. Photo: Instagram / @motnfestival
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Abu Dhabi's annual family-friendly festival, Mother of the Nation, is returning this week for its sixth year.

The 10-day festival kicks off on Friday at the capital's Corniche.

Musical performances and immersive art experiences, as well as a host of exciting retail pop-ups are among the planned activities this year.

Here's everything you need to know about Mother of the Nation 2022.

What is the Mother of the National festival?

Mother of the Nation, or MOTN, is an annual, carnival-like community event held at the Abu Dhabi Corniche.

Launched in 2016, the festival draws inspiration from famous theme parks to offer a line-up of activations, art installations and live performances, as well as food and drink options from local and global vendors.

MOTN is backed by the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi, and is a tribute to family and community.

What is happening at the festival?

Visitors can expect a wide range of experiences. The variety of activities, from art and music to food, are distributed across six thematic zones, each serving a unique preference and taste.

Inspire Space

This area will house the festival's art-focused activities, including an interactive digital art installation and a social media museum.

Dukes Cupboard, London's vintage clothing and international streetwear shop, will also be at this zone, selling products from brands such as Supreme and Calvin Klein, as well as Chicago Bulls merchandise and more vintage apparel.

There will be food stalls at the Inspire Space, including Truffle Burger from London, as well as Australia's Knafeh Bakery and Bar Biscotti, marking both of the brands' first venture in the UAE.

Thrill Zone

This zone will feature physical and virtual reality games for all ages, including a VR-designed multiplayer game developed in Canada.

Guests can also head to the Pixel Haus, where they will be able to play billiards, arcade games and other activities.

There will also be a haunted house, as well as a friends and family game in which a bank robbery can be planned.

Amusement park

Head over to the amusement park for an interactive exhibition themed around the popular YouTube character Cocomelon. There will be carnival rides, play spaces, as well as a tonne of other games and activities for young festival-goers.

Food concepts La Pecera from Spain, which sells Japanese-style desserts, as well as the UK's The Mac Factory and The Treats Club Dessert Bar, will be at this dedicated zone.

Other zones across the festival are the food hub, housing brands such as The Knot Churros and Whipped London; the shopping district, a retail space featuring a range of fashion options; as well as the live arena which will host artists to provide entertainment to visitors.

Famed UK bakery Peggy Porschen will be popping up with their creative cupcakes and sweet treats at the shopping district.

Who are the festival's top performers?

Aside from family fun, MOTN is known for playing host to a line-up of international and regional musicians over the years.

On opening day, Khaleeji musical sensation from Kuwait, Miami Band, are serenading festival-goers with their popular hits, including Juwaira and Ma’ak Radhi. The four-member group opened the festival last year and are back by popular demand.

Iraqi singer Aseel Hameem is taking to the MOTN stage on Saturday, with tunes such as Ser Alhaya and Hadarat El Walhan.

A pop powerhouse performance from Egyptian artist Mohamed Hamaki is taking place on December 17, as he belts out songs such as Ahla Haga Fiki and Yas Sattar.

When and where is MOTN happening?

The festival kicks off on Friday and will run until December 18. It is taking place at the Abu Dhabi Corniche.

Do I need to buy a ticket to attend?

Ticket prices to the festival start from Dh30, which provides all-day access to the free zones and attractions.

An additional Dh85 can provide access to the Cocomelon interactive exhibition, as well as several attractions within the amusement park and the Thrill Zone.

Another add-on bundle is for the immersive light experience at the MOTN Funhouse, featuring the Anima digital art installation. It costs Dh140.

Concerts have separate ticketing, with prices starting at Dh110.

More information is available at

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Updated: December 06, 2022, 4:48 AM