At the rate that Abu Dhabi is growing, it’s no surprise that meeting planners are finding reasons to visit this Middle Eastern emirate. While the destination offers something for groups all year-round, here are five Abu Dhabi festivals to consider incorporating into your event in the second half of 2016.
- Liwa Date Festival (July): At the 12th annual Liwa Date Festival, attendees will gain an understanding of the area’s desert traditions, especially the importance that dates and palm trees have on the local culture. Festivities include a date beauty contest, a date auction and educational sessions.
- Abu Dhabi Art (Nov. 16-19): Groups attending the eighth annual Abu Dhabi Art will get to experience the city’s ever-changing contemporary art scene, with displays from leading art galleries around the world as well as performances, panels and workshops.
- Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Nov. 25-27): Race car enthusiasts won’t want to miss the eighth annual Formula 1, considered to be one of the biggest events in the Middle East. Held at the Yas Marina Circuit, the event features a weekend of races and award-winning entertainment.
- 45th UAE National Day (Dec. 2): This annual event celebrates the founding of the UAE 45 years ago. The celebration will feature major fireworks displays, entertainment, traditional markets, handicraft demonstrations and parades.
- Abu Dhabi Food Festival (December): The second annual Abu Dhabi Food Festival will take place in regions across the emirate and includes three elements: Emirati Kitchen, StreetFeast and Gourmet Abu Dhabi. Emirati Kitchen will introduce attendees to traditional and contemporary local dishes served by the UAE’s best chefs. StreetFeast will offer casual cuisine from international destinations by the means of food trucks. Gourmet Abu Dhabi will highlight chefs from around the world, as they cook up delicious treats for chef demonstrations and gourmet dinners.