One of Abu Dhabi’s biggest outdoor cultural celebrations is making a glorious return this weekend.
The Abu Dhabi Festival has been showcasing the best of the city’s arts and culture since its first staging in 2004.
Since then it has grown into a firm fixture in the capital’s calendar and 2018 promises to be bigger and better than ever.
Running until March 31, it will see a range of renowned artists and musicians flock to Abu Dhabi, including Pianographique, Ars Electronica, Amjad Ali Khan, The Bach Project and Compañía Nacional de Danza with Don Quixote.
As part of the celebrations, a three-day Festival in the Park celebration kicks off on March 22 and there will be plenty of fun for all the family with a string of exciting events and activities.
Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Shamsa Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, it is an entire weekend dedicated to workshops, film screenings and live performances in Umm Al Emarat Park, in the Mushrif area.
This year, India will be celebrated as the Abu Dhabi Festival 2018 ‘Country of Honour’.
Thursday will see visitors enjoy Indian culture with an interactive workshop hosted by choreographer Gilles Chuyen, featuring Bollywood dance routines set to popular Hindi songs.
This will be followed by an energetic set by The Raghu Dixit Project, who take to the stage with their unique contemporary reinterpretation of ancient Kannada poetry.
Egypt’s Marimba Queen, Nesma Abdul Aziz, will also lead a drumming workshop earlier in the evening.
The second day’s line up will feature two pioneering Arab musicians – multimedia artist Zahed Sultan who will present his latest work ‘Hiwar’, an audio-visual dance reinterpretation of traditional Khaleeji songs with live percussive instruments and chorus singing alongside contemporary arrangements with piano, cello, visuals and interpretive dance.
This is followed by Nesma Abdel Aziz’s – the marimba artist from Egypt who will perform with her band, integrating international sounds and Arab music with marimba and percussions.
On the third and final day, Festival in the Park will present a theatrical performance by Emirati actors, marking the culmination of the UAE Theatre Circle Programme with a special public performance honouring the legendary Kuwaiti comedic icon, Abdulhussain Abdulredha.
Throughout the first two days, visitors will also be able to buy wares and traditional Emirati goods from local artisans, as well as witness a mural installation come to life through a painting by children with autism.
Tickets for acts throughout the Abu Dhabi Festival are on sale now and range from Dhs100 to Dhs350, depending on which act you want to see.
We've compiled this handy guide to the festival if you want more information.
You can buy tickets here.
For more information, visit www.abudhabifestival.ae