History, shopping and art on offer at Mother of the Nation Festival

The festivities continue from 4pm to midnight daily until April 2, covering a 1.3-kilometre stretch of the corniche, featuring hundreds of sellers and exhibitors.

Two girls take part in the eco safari on the first day of the Mother of the Nation Festival in Abu Dhabi. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
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ABU DHABI // Visitors to Abu Dhabi Corniche can celebrate the legacy of Sheikha Fatima, Mother of the Nation, through historical exhibits, art markets and shopping venues.

The Mother of the Nation Festival kicked off on Thursday and continues from 4pm to midnight daily until April 2, on a 1.3-kilometre stretch of the Corniche, featuring hundreds of vendors and exhibitors.

The festival’s underlying theme is honouring the nation’s heritage and motherhood, which is highlighted by celebrating the legacy of Sheikha Fatima and her far-reaching contributions to the community, organisers said.

Central to that purpose is The Pavilion, an exhibition of her achievements that includes never-seen-before photographs, artwork and other displays that illustrate her contributions to the UAE and beyond.

In recognition of her work, she has received 500 awards, 30 of which were bestowed by the United Nations.

The 10-day festival also plays a role in developing the capital as a tourism destination, organisers said, and featured a number performances and modern attractions spread across five main areas – Beach Dining, Souq, Art, Conservation and Activities zones.

A central dining area “taking cues from Her Highness’ renowned hospitality” will include coffee, fresh juices, a showcase of locally-produced organic food, and food outlets.

The show Shama W Al Serdal will display the UAE’s pearl diving past, and musical entertainment, featuring the likes of the Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra, Arabic Band Sadiq Jaafar, and DJ’s, will delight festival goers.

Following the environmental awareness displayed by Sheikha Fatima, the Conservation Zone will include a jeep safari to take young children on an educational journey. Other exhibits aimed to raise the public’s knowledge about endangered species and fisheries.

Rounding out the programme, on hand will be acrobatic performers, vintage car displays and art markets with colourful installations from up-and-coming local artists and craftspeople.

Entry to the festival costs Dh20 for adults and Dh10 for children under 12 years old. It is free for children under five.

Tickets include activities, workshops and performances in all zones.