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9 Brilliant Reasons To Hop In The Car And Visit Abu Dhabi Right Now!

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Shake your weekend up with a trip to Abu Dhabi, because there’s SO much happening every weekend before the end of the year!

From the epic Gulf 12 hour endurance race and lots of cultural activities to a festival to celebrate the legacy of Sheikh Zayed and so much more, here are nine brilliant reasons to travel to Abu Dhabi.

9. An eight-day cultural festival in Abu Dhabi

Presenting art, design, and performances alongside traditional crafts, Al Hosn festival is an eight-day event featuring historic traditions, new emerging artistic perspectives and food! Your tickets get you access to Qasr Al Hosn, the House of Artisans and Bait Al Gahwa, while tickets for performances in the Cultural Foundation and workshops in the House of Artisans are available to purchase separately.

When? December 12 – 19

More details here

8. An entire festival devoted to the legacy of Sheikh Zayed

Brace yourselves for something special; this event is perfect for families, featuring activities, workshops, shows, exhibitions, live displays highlighting Emirati traditions, historical and internationally themed tours, folklore performances, local and artisanal cuisine and food trucks, and of course fireworks and LOTS of activities for kids. Phew!

Where? Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival, Abu Dhabi

When?  Until Saturday, February 1 at 10pm

More info here

7. Al Dhafra festival – an event steeped in local tradition

Immerse yourself in local culture and tradition; the Al Dhafra festival features camel auctions, camel races, a market, a dates competition, poetry, folk music, horse races, a falcon competition and more. This is a MUST for anyone who loves Emirati culture and wants to learn more about it.

When? December 9 until 25

More info here.

6. An epic Al Ain Zoo Photography Award – ‘Zoography’

Cameras at the ready, there’s over AED100,000 up for grabs in this brill photography competition!

Open to both amateurs and professionals, there are two categories: animal images in Colored Lens and animal images in Black and White. Prizes totalling AED100,000 – get involved!

Your backdrop needs to be Al Ain Zoo, 4km land area that’s home to 4,000 animals across 200 species – what an amazing comp.

When? Until February 15 (Final submission date, February 5)

More info and comp details here

5. The annual Gulf 12 hour race

A very glam 12-hour endurance race, two sections, both six hours long, in daylight and under floodlights. Expect the chance to meet your racing heroes, visit the open paddock session and see your favourite races on the starting grid walk – epic!

When? December 12 until December 14

Where? Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi

More info here

4. JadaL are performing at Al Hosn Festival!

The first successful Arabic rock band in the world are coming to Al Hosn Festival in Abu Dhabi. With huge hits, legions of fans and millions of views across social, JadaL has a career that spans decades.

With performances across Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, the UAE and Palestine under their belts, this is definitely worth attending.

More info here

When? December 12

Where? Cultural Foundation, Abu Dhabi

3. Iftah Ya Simsim at Al Hosn Festival

One for the kids!

This is a fun and educational Arabic learning weekend for kids. with a focus on interactive teaching that addresses physical, social, emotional, cognitive and moral development, which can sometimes be missed in classroom education.

Most importantly, it’s FUN and free for all to attend!

*Minimum age: 6 years to attend

When? December 13 and 14

More info here

2. Che Malambo Arab World Premiere at the Al Hosn Festival

Now, THIS is different.

An all-male Argentinian dance company, famous for its percussive dance and music performances and rhythmic stomping, is coming to Abu Dhabi for the first time. Steeped in tradition, the choreography has excited audiences across the world and it’s coming to Abu Dhabi for two nights only.

*Minimum age: 6 years to attend

When? December 13 and 14

More info here

1. Abu Dhabi Culinary season is a must for foodies

Abu Dhabi is a foodie capital and this season celebrates the global influences, world-class restaurants and talented chefs.

Residents can look forward to discounts and offers at some of the city’s finest restos. Following many successful events, don’t the highlight: World of Food Abu Dhabi on December 14.

When? Various dates

More info here

The important bits:

Get the low down on the top events in the capital here

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