Liwa International Festival in Abu Dhabi extended by popular demand

The desert festival will now run until January 8

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Liwa International Festival has had its run extended “following a remarkable turnout”, the Abu Dhabi Media Office has announced.

The event, which is currently taking place in the Abu Dhabi desert, was meant to end on December 31, but organisers will keep it going until January 8.

The festival puts Emirati heritage front and centre, attracting local and international visitors to take part in a variety of activities — from desert motorsports to family-friendly fun.

This year marked the opening of Liwa Village, which is split into six thematic zones.

One of these is the Souq, which houses a night market selling spices and oud. Visitors can also experience customary practices such as henna art, khoos basket-weaving, live cooking sessions and more in this space.

It also includes Gaze, a multisensory dining experience, which features guest restaurants hosting special meals, with Antika and Zuma taking part.

Immersive dining experience Gaze at Liwa. Chris Whiteoak / The National

The Oasis, meanwhile, is a spot offering tranquillity and relaxation. Try your hand at terrarium-making, jewellery-designing and terracotta pot-painting, or sign up for a tea excursion. There is also the central pavilion filled with e-gaming machines and an arcade zone.

Liwa Village also houses a main stage, where several regional household names are scheduled to perform, including Khaled Al Mulla, Khalid Abdulrahman and Ali Bin Mohamed, who are taking to the stage on December 31.

All of the activities will be retained until January 6, but it's not clear yet whether new musical performances will be added to the programme.

The event was extended after a visit from Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, the Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, who toured the village and met several celebrities including Steve Harvey, Tyrese Gibson and Cody Walker.

The US stars were in Abu Dhabi for FuelFest Arabia, the Middle East debut of the car and music festival founded by Walker, brother of the late Fast & Furious star Paul Walker. American rapper Ludacris performed as part of the event, along with Gibson.

Until January 6; from Dh15;

This story was originally published on December 28

Scroll through the gallery below of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, the Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, visiting the festival

Updated: December 30, 2022, 10:01 AM