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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 16, 2024
Headline for Best Abu Dhabi Events and Festivals – Must-attend events and festivals on your next UAE trip
Joanna James Joanna James
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Best Abu Dhabi Events and Festivals – Must-attend events and festivals on your next UAE trip

Swanky, culturally rich, and a great place for entertainment, Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, makes the perfect holiday destination. And for an insight into the nation's rich heritage and exciting atmosphere, here are the best Abu Dhabi events and festivals to catch on your next trip.


Mother of the Nation Festival

The extravagant celebration is held in remembrance of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak. The nation's much-loved wife of Sheikh Zayed is remembered through the festival for her hard work towards empowering women. The event is a rush of excitement with live performances, kiddies' attractions, loads of food stalls and much more taking place over the 10 days of celebrations. Check for new dates here;


Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Amongst the most popular events in Abu Dhabi is the Grand Prix. The Yas Marina Circuit comes alive each year for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Started in 2009, the Formula 1 racing event has been a hit over the years with top drivers from across the world vying for the coveted title. Best of all, visitors to the circuit can savour an authentic rush of adrenaline by racing the 2.4km-long south circuit. You can hop into one of the fast cars there, complete in racing overalls, and feel your heart pump as you enjoy a few laps around the circuit. Check the official website for 2021 dates.


Abu Dhabi Food Festival

Foodies and everyone else alike will find this festival one to remember. Emirati delicacies are prepared by star class local and international chefs. Usually held in February, the three-week-long festival is supported by Abu Dhabi restaurants, star class hotels, and the top malls. Cookery demonstrations, food trucks, and varied workshops make up the food festival. Even if you do miss the festival, you can still enjoy the best local delicacies at your Abu Dhabi resort. Some like Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort located on the rustic Sir Bani Yas Island, make dining a pleasure. Enjoy meals with the best Abu Dhabi restaurant experience when staying at Sir Bani Yas Island resorts. Relish the simple pleasures of breakfast on the beach, tucking into seafood on your perch overlooking the mangrove forests and lavish picnics on your biking safaris across the rugged terrain.


Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

Lauded as one of the best book fairs across the Arab world and African continent, the week-long Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is a wonderful event for adults and children. Apart from the huge range of literature available, the fair consists of book signings, poetry corners, musical performances and activities aimed at children. Check the Abu Dhabi Book Fair official site for dates and venues here:


Abu Dhabi Festival

This marvellous festival is perfect for learning about Arabic culture and customs. An annual event organised by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, this huge celebration of culture includes international opera, instrumental concerts, and dance and theatre performances. Book tickets in advance to avoid disappointments.