The three-day celebration after an arduous month of fasting is the main festival of the city. Families come together, dinners and gifts are exchanged and there is a palpable sense of happiness and festivities in this predominantly Muslim dominant city. Similarly, Eid ul Adha is celebrated at the end of Hajj and is primarily known for the various non-vegetarian cuisines.
Date: 23rd to 24th May 2020
Venue: Watch brilliant fireworks at Yas Marina; 9:00 PM onwards.
This annual festival in Abu Dhabi began in 2004 and is organized by the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan. The festival promotes visual arts, literature and more and invites artists from across the world to perform. This is a month long festival with different performances and programs lined up for different days. This year the festival will primarily feature gems of Korean culture with 25 venues hosting more than 100 events.
Date: March 7th to March 30th 2019
Venue: Emirates Palace Auditorium
Ticket prices: AED 150 – AED 350
Abu Dhabi Festival in the Park a two-day event is a part of the Abu Dhabi Festival featuring musical shows, performance arts, workshops, reading clubs, Korean crafts and comedy from the seven emirates.
Date: 28th February to 1st March 2019
Venue: Umm Al Emarat Park
The Abu Dhabi film festival is usually a ten-day event showcasing eight categories of Arabian and International cinema. This popular film festival in Abu Dhabi also hosts red carpet events, the Black Pearl Awards and Film Competition programs.
Date: 23rd October to 1st November 2019
Venue: Emirates Palace
Screening voucher ticket prices -
Package of 6 vouchers - AED 150
Package of 12 vouchers - AED 240
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Celebrated on the 2nd of December, the National Day is a two-day event marking the formation of the UAE. This nation-wide celebration hosts an array of free-to-attend activities such as fireworks, car rallies, music and art performances, air shows competitions, sailing regattas and live performances. Background Story: On this day in 1971, the seven emirates joined in the formation of the United Arab Emirates. This day also collides with the day UAE stood for nationalisation against the British Protectorate Treaties in 1968.
Date: 1st and 2nd December 2019
1. Fireworks - Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Madinat Zayad, Al Dhafra, Zayad Heritage Festival and Abu Dhabi Corniche
2. Live Staged Shows (1st to 3rd December) - Yas Marina
3. Combination of events - Emirates Palace or Abu Dhabi Hotel
60 AED - To attend the official celebrations in honour of the UAE president (2nd December)
Launched as a two-day event, Abu Dhabi International Jazz Festival now continues for a full week. The Jazz Festival in Abu Dhabi hosts performances of leading jazz artists, Latin musicians and dancers, thus attracting tons of jazz music lovers from across the globe.
Date: Between April and May
Venue: Beach Rotana Hotel and Towers Abu Dhabi
Inspired by the Emirati culture, the Al Dhafra Festival hosts various events such as camel races and auctions, dates competition, traditional markets, folk music performances, horse races, falcon competitions and more. Organised by the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festival Committee, The Al Dhafra festival is patronage under His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayad Al Nahyan.
Date: 16th December 2019 to 1st January 2020
Venue: Al Dhafra Madinat Zayad Park
The Abu Dhabi Science Festival is a ten-day celebration of scientific and practical concepts attracting over 12000 visitors including 27000 students. Encouraging students and enthusiasts in the field of innovation and technology, the Abu Dhabi Science Festival is in its ninth year. This science festival in Abu Dhabi hosts over 95 activities spread across arrays of various workshops and interactive exhibitions for children and adults.
Date: 31 January to 9 February 2019
Venue: Corniche in Abu Dhabi
Coinciding with the National Day Festival, the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival organises various activities and exhibitions showcasing the spirit of UAE unity. With different souvenirs from the seven emirates on display, the 'March of the Tribesmen' is a collective event exhibiting their united strength through patriotic songs.
Date: 30th November to 26th January 2019
Timings: 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Venue: Al Wathba
With artists pouring in from all around the world, the Abu Dhabi International Dance Festival is a three-day event. ‘Dance till you drop’ is the motto of this popular festival in Abu Dhabi where artists showcase their talents through parties, events and various workshops.
Date: 4th April to 7th April 2019
Venue: The Westin Abu Dhabi
Tickets: Ticket prices vary for different events Ticket prices increase by the month March - AED 425 April - AED 650
Entry Fee: Three-day entry - AED 399 Single day entry - AED 250
Partly a festival, partly a conference, the Ideas Abu Dhabi Festival is a brainstorming event with ideas and possibilities put on the table. This initiation promotes facing global challenges and discovering the greatest minds of the world. With inspiring speeches by noted experts in various fields of arts, technology, science and more, The Ideas Abu Dhabi Festival is a public and a VIP forum.
Date: 27th and 28th March 2019
Venue: NYU Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island
Mother of Nation Festival in Abu Dhabi is an outdoor festival celebrated in honour of the life and values of H.H Sheikh Fatima bint Mubarak. The festival includes conservation activities, beach dining, fireworks, interactive cultural activities, musical shows and a souq zone and various other events.
H.H Sheikh Fatima bint Mubarak is the Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, the Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and the President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.
Date: 12th to 23rd March 2019
Venue: A’l Bahar Abu Dhabi Corniche
The Abu Dhabi Shopping Festival is organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi as an initiative to attract tourism. During this shopping bonanza, malls across the city offer discount up to 75% as part of their spring sales. Over 300 shopping outlets, including the Abu Dhabi Mall, Bawadi Mall, Dalma Mall, Yas Mall, Madinat Zayed Mall, Barari Mall, and Raha Mall, participate in the shopping festival.
Date: 26 December to 5 February.
Abu Dhabi attracts local and global audiences through various festivals and events hosted throughout the year. Though some festivals are over for 2019, they are likely to fall around the same time next year. Keep a check on your interested festivities that are lined up for the coming months or next year to have a full-fledged Middle Eastern experience at Abu Dhabi