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Abu Dhabi Festivals

Abu Dhabi celebrates many diverse festivals and events in addition to their traditional festivals like Ramadan, Eid ul fitr, Eid Al Adha etc. The festivals are joyous family occasions which are celebrated by exchanging gifts with each other and it is also a chance to help the less fortunate.

Ramadan
Ramadan is the sacred 9th month of the Islamic calendar in which Muslims celebrate the revelation of the Holy Koran. Muslims observe fast from dawn till dusk. While fasting, they abstain from food, drink, smoking and sexual affairs. Visitors are also expected to follow this in public.

Eid Al Fitr
Eid Al Fitr, also known as the ‘Breaking the Fast Feast’, is one of the major festivals and public holidays in Abu Dhabi. This three days feast is celebrated to mark the end of Ramadan.

Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF)
ADFF

Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF)

Abu Dhabi has an unparalleled capacity of arranging any global event and the year-on-year success of its own International Film Festival is proof of this. The inaugural festival in 2007 (then called The Middle East International Film Festival-MEIFF) garnered an extensive media coverage of over 550 press members from almost 40 different countries. They specially flew to Abu Dhabi to witness this fascinating film festival and watch nearly 200 screenings of more than 150 different movies. The festival has gone from strength to strength and was re-branded as the ADFF (Abu Dhabi Film Festival) in 2010 to allow it to compete more effectively with the Dubai Film Festival, the Doha Tribeca Film Festival and Cannes etc.

The world renowned film festival is hosted by the ADACH and is a celebration of cinema, displaying a wide range of international films. This festival helps build rapport amongst the films buffs and those who wish to invest in the future of film-especially in the Middle East. The popularity and achievement of the MEIFF/ADFF over the years has seen it grow with more films and programming sections being added to the schedule. The prestigious ‘Black Pearl Award’ is the highlight of the festival, praising those who have contributed to film and bringing together gifted producers with major film companies from across the globe.

Abu Dhabi Festival
Abu Dhabi Festival

Abu Dhabi Festival

The renowned Abu Dhabi Festival is one of the chief arts and culture festivals in the UAE. Performers, magicians, students and artists from all over the world gather together in the city to celebrate one of the most significant events in the gulf. Several notable international institutions such as the Royal Opera House, Edinburgh International Festival, Manchester International Festival and the Carnegie Hall, etc. participate in the cultural programs which are held each year at the festival.

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF)
ADIBF

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF)

This is the fastest growing book fair in the Middle East, providing opportunity for over 800 exhibitors from 63 countries to bring their work into the limelight. This event is organised by KITAB, a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage and the Frankfurt Book Fair. Every year the organisers try to introduce more international exhibits in order to gain the interest of more people from around the world. Due to the fair’s successful growth, the ADIBF has become the focal point not just for the Arab market but for the worldwide book market as well.

Abu Dhabi International Dance Festival
Abu Dhabi International Dance Festival

Abu Dhabi International Dance Festival

One of the most awaited festival’s in Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi dance festival strives to present some of the best talents in dance forms such as Kizomba, Hip hop, Salsa, Afro Rumba, Bachata, Zouk, Cha Cha and many more. In addition to the artists showcasing their talent, the festival also have dedicated dance instructors to teach the visitors some rocking dance moves. Launched in the year 2013, this festival is one of kind in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi Golf Championship
Abu Dhabi Golf Championship

Abu Dhabi Golf Championship

Abu Dhabi Golf Championship is a European Tour golf tournament that was launched in 2006 and in the following years has become very popular. Today, it is recognized as one of the biggest events on the European Tour and in turn, helping build Abu Dhabi’s reputation as a world-class golf tourism destination. The Abu Dhabi Golf Championship is staged at the world-class Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Sheraton, an award-winning facility featuring 27 holes, including the 18-hole National Course. This competition is a part of the trio of European Tour events in the Gulf States including Dubai Desert Classic and Qatar Masters. It has a $2.7 million prize fund sponsored by HSBC and the 2012 event boasted a record number of 82,000 golfing fans attending the sporting spectacle. Englishman, Jamie Donaldson won the 2013 event.

Camel Racing
Naoll

Camel Racing

Camel racing cannot be separated from the social life of Abu Dhabi. It is incredibly competitive and exciting sport because of the generous prize money and provides visitors with a unique chance to watch this traditional sport.

This key event attracts many tourists from all over the world, as well as locals and even members of the royal family. Camel racing is a long-established event of Abu Dhabi and specially designed tracks for this event can be found at Al Wathba Camel Race Track and the Al Maqam Track near Al Ain. The races take place every week on Thursday and Friday mornings during the cooler winter months.

Red Bull Air Race World Series
Red Bull Air Race

Red Bull Air Race World Series

The Red Bull Air Race series is an international competition of air races that is arranged in ten cities across the world. Abu Dhabi is one of the centres of this competition. Fearless pilots enthral the visitors by whizzing their planes at speeds of up to 400km/h through low-level inflatable "air gates".

This event was launched with the support from HH Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The first round of the Air Race is held in Abu Dhabi city, with the rest of the seven rounds held in other cities of the world. The 2011, 2012 and 2013 series have been cancelled but the Red Bull series is looking for a potential return in 2014.

Abu Dhabi, one of the wealthiest cities in the world, hosts plenty of events and festivals throughout the year.

The Emirates Photography Competition
The Emirates Photography Competition

The Emirates Photography Competition

Held under the patronage of International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP) and Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), Emirates Photography Competition is an annual event organized to encourage the art of photography in the Emirates. The ADACH provides a platform for the talented young photographers to explore their creativity and bring a refreshing new approach to photography.

Formula One
Formula1

Formula One

Abu Dhabi hosted the first Formula One Grand Prix in 2009 at the Yas Marina Circuit with the final race of the inaugural Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Etihad Airways, the flag carrier airline of Abu Dhabi, is the current major sponsorer of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Hermann Tilke designed Yas Marina Circuit is built on the intriguing Bani Yas Island off the coast of Abu Dhabi. Although, considered among the newest F1 circuits in the world, it is one of the most technologically advanced circuit in the world. It is the only motorsports venue where all five grandstands (Main Grandstand, West Grandstand, North Grandstand, South Grandstand and Marina Grandstand) are covered. The 5.55km circuit is also used for other smaller sporting events such as drag racing and hosts a number of corporate events throughout the year.

Abu Dhabi Science Festival
Abu Dhabi Science Festival

Abu Dhabi Science Festival

Held under the sponsorship of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the ABU Dhabi Science festival is an initiative to support the science and technology segment which also falls in line with the UAE Innovation Strategy and the Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision. This is the largest science festival held in the province and has been visited by millions of visitors since its foundation.

Recommended Activities

4x4 Abu Dhabi Desert Safari

Duration: 5 hours 30 min (approx.)

Al Ain Day Trip

Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

Big Bus Abu Dhabi

Duration: 1 day (approx.)

Dubai Seaplane Flight

Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

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