Dates for Sheikh Zayed Festival's return announced

The annual Al Wathba event celebrates the UAE's history and cultural heritage

People arrive for the opening day of the Sheikh Zayed Festival in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Sheikh Zayed Festival is set to return for another four-month run.

The annual event takes place in Al Wathba region, about a 50-minute drive from Abu Dhabi's Corniche. It will begin on November 17 and run until March 9.

The agenda for this year will feature a wide range of events, programmes and activations that focus on heritage and keeping current generations linked to the country’s history.

New to the festival will be a Union Parade that aims to reflect the Emirati's sense of belonging and loyalty to leadership and unity that brings the country closer together.

There will also be National Day celebrations that include special shows and performances at the Heritage Village and international pavilions such as folk art shows, military musical performances, fireworks and drone displays.

Elsewhere, there will be an agricultural excellence award; a rare species reserve; Al Wathba Custom Show; the Children’s City; the Fun Fair City; the Glow Flower Garden; the House of Fear; an art district; and various competitions and draws.

The festival takes place in a venue that resembles a fort. Past events have featured international cultural pavilions, eclectic music performances and amusement park rides. However, details have yet to be revealed for this year’s programme.

The event is named in honour of the UAE Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and showcases the rich diversity of its traditions and educates visitors about the legacy of the nation’s founder and the UAE’s arts, crafts, customs and food.

Updated: November 10, 2023, 8:21 AM