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Best Abu Dhabi Festivals in 2024 That You Must Attend On Your UAE Trip

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For its 18th edition in 2021, the Abu Dhabi Festival will include 16 world premieres, 12 festival productions, eight worldwide co-productions, and four creative commissions, among other highlights of the festival's schedule.
The subject of the next event, hosted by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), will be ‘The Future Starts Now.' Its main principles are tolerance, openness, and humanism.
It's no secret that Abu Dhabi is a cultural powerhouse, not just in the United Arab Emirates but also throughout the Middle East. A major event of 2017 was the inauguration of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which cemented Abu Dhabi's reputation as a cultural powerhouse.
Once again, the Abu Dhabi Festival hopes to capitalize on the city's renewed interest in the arts by presenting an exciting, diverse cultural festival. So, what's the deal with this?

At first...

The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation's labor of love culminated in the festival's debut in 2004. Gary Hoffman and Syrian-French concert pianist Racha Arodaky performed together for the first time that year. Since then, ADF has drawn hundreds more artists from throughout the world, including José Carreras and Placido Domingo, two famous tenors.

The “Year of Zayed”: 

Each festival edition has had a distinct theme since 2010, and the 15th edition is no exception. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE's founding father, will be celebrating his 100th birthday at this year's festivities.

Bring your music with you.

Nicola Benedetti and The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (February 19) and Ihab Darwish's Waves of My Life (March 14) are among the highlights of this year's musical line-up (March 21). All three events will take place at the Emirates Palace Auditorium, which only adds to the grandeur of the occasion.

The arts are on display.

An Arab-world premiere of pieces from the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art will be the highlight of ADF 2018's visual arts program. More than 100 works by over 70 artists from 20 countries, including 20 Emirati artists, will be on display at Manarat al Saadiyat from February 2 to March 17. Among the artists whose work will be on show are Sol LeWitt, Gego, and Joan Brossa, a renowned Catalan poet, dramatist, graphic designer, and visual artist.

Opera is a must-see

Operetta may not be to all tastes but we dare anybody not to be thrilled by the prospect of seeing two of the genre's best vocalists join together for a really unique performance of renowned Lebanese tenor Bechara Moufarrej will join Deborah Voigt for one night only (March 15, 8 pm) at the Emirates Palace Auditorium. Rossini's La Danza and Alfredo's Aria from Verdi's La Traviata will be performed by the latter. Bellissima!

Let's dance

A boogie is something that even the most clumsy of us enjoy from time to time, but few do it better than Bollywood dancers. The Merchants of Bollywood will perform a mix of Bollywood dances at the Emirates Palace Auditorium on March 8 and 9, bringing color and melody to the venue.

Workshops in which people talk.

The UAE Theatre Circle is in full swing, and specialists are teaching potential screen and stage stars how to do their jobs. Students will learn improvisation, voice, and dance skills in this series of seminars, which will run through February 8, 2018. As part of Festival In The Park, renowned Thespian Dr. Habib Ghulam Al Attar will impart his wisdom during the sessions.

The art of alfresco dining.

Festival In The Park, one of the most anticipated events of this cultural shindig, is the next logical step. It will take place over two evenings (March 22-23), at Umm Al Emarat Park. On Thursday, The Raghu Dixit Project, one of India's greatest indie artists, will take the stage as this year's "Country of Honor." Egypt's marimba queen Nassma Abdel Aziz will perform a contemporary/classical blend on Friday.


There are many things to do in the Abu Dhabi Festival and one can easily apply for a UAE Visa and can reach here and enjoy the festival. This year's Abu Dhabi now in its 18th year, comes at a time of extraordinary circumstances. According to ADMAF's founding director Huda I. Alkhamis-Kanoo, today more than ever, the community must join together to foster optimism, ignite creativity, and foster innovation via culture and the arts.

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