Abu Dhabi continues to flourish as an entertainment hub with an annual calendar of entertainment and festivals, intent on taking events in the capital to the next level. A cornerstone of Abu Dhabi’s annual entertainment calendar is the Abu Dhabi Festival, so let’s get into it.
Abu Dhabi Festival
The Abu Dhabi Festival is the leading celebration of arts and culture in the Arabian Gulf. Since 2004, the annual festival has been organized by the Music and Arts Foundation with a vision of promoting visual arts and literature. The program includes arts, theatre, dance, music, opera, literature, talks and workshops by artists from around the world, bringing local and international talent together.
Al Ain Film Festival
Al Ain Film Festival’s aim is to develop aspiring filmmakers and to spread the culture of cinema in the United Arab Emirates. While the festival focuses on screening features and short films from the region, the festival also includes European films that don’t usually get screen time in mainstream theatres. Young Filmmakers’ Circle is a development program for emerging Emirati filmmakers whereby they can enter a screenwriting contest. The opening and closing ceremonies are held at Al Ain’s historic Al Jahili Fort.
The UAE National Day Festival
National Day in the UAE is on the 2nd of December and is celebrated with a two-day event marking the formation of the United Arab Emirates in 1971. If you happen to be in Abu Dhabi at this time then you can enjoy many free activities, events, performances and live shows in various locations around the city and across the UAE.
Abu Dhabi’s Culinary
Abu Dhabi Culinary is the Emirate’s annual six-week food festival, usually taking place around November and December. This foodie affair features consumer events, interactive dining experiences, limited edition menus, competitions and city-wide dining promotions, while hosting internationally acclaimed chefs and restaurants for pop-ups across Abu Dhabi.
Mother of Nation Festival
Happening in the middle of March, this outdoor festival celebrates the life and values of H.H Sheikh Fatima bint Mubarak with ten days of musical shows, cultural activities, beach dining, fireworks and conservation activities. If you’re out and about the Corniche, you can’t miss the sights and sounds of this buzzing event.
Abu Dhabi International Dance Festival
This three-day dance festival takes place in April with dancers and performers from around the globe showing off their dance moves and getting the crowd involved at various events, workshops and parties. Everybody is welcome to attend the event and bust some moves with the performers on stage or acquire some new dance skills from dancing instructors
Abu Dhabi Music Week
Abu Dhabi Music Week, a music festival for music fans and professionals, features some of the biggest names in the world of music. Residents and visitors will have access to a wide variety of nightlife and music events at various venues across the city, alongside offers and discounts at some of the capital’s largest retail and culinary outlets.
Club Social is a feel-good music festival with live performances headlined by world famous artists and bands. In addition to the concerts, there is a Battle of the Bands competition with up-and-coming musicians from the United Arab Emirates as well as plenty of activities, entertainment, food trucks and loads more for the two days of the festival.