This year will see the Liwa International Festival expand to include the Liwa Village area, featuring an exciting array of musical artists, world-class culinary experiences, retail and family entertainment – all alongside thrilling motorsports competitions and sporting challenges on the world-famous Moreeb Dune, soaring to 300 metres in height.
The festival is the largest of its kind in the Middle East and has been a highlight event for the region since its inception in 2004. Activities will continue until the closing day on New Year’s Eve when a spectacular concert and fireworks will bring this one-of-a-kind desert experience to a close.
Within the Liwa Village, music lovers will be delighted to hear performances from acclaimed Gulf artists, including Eida Al Menhali, Hamad Al Ameri, Khaled Al Mulla, Abadi Al Johar and Mutrif Al Mutref. The live concerts will be hosted on the Main Stage which will also host awards ceremonies for motorsports competition winners.
The Souk district will feature a never-seen-before, immersive dining experience. The dining area, Gaze, will host world-class culinary partners every weekend to bring visitors a multi-sensorial dining experience designed to ignite everyone’s tastebuds.
Among the Oasis and Pavilion districts, contemporary Emirati culture and design will be showcased alongside much loved, artisanal coffee outlets will provide a tranquil respite, while families can look forward to a range of child-friendly activities to amuse youngsters of all ages. Featuring entertainment and gaming, a rich program of entertaining cultural experiences and a dedicated E-Gaming zone will provide amusement for all the family.
Throughout the Liwa Village, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy authentic, traditional Emirati cultural experiences and handicrafts alongside regional and international brands, offering a well-rounded retail experience.
Meanwhile, under the majestic Moreeb Dune, modern and traditional sports tournaments, mixed sprints, drag races and shows will continue to thrill attendees once again. This year, beginning with car showcases, the competition will culminate in the Moreeb Hill Climbing Championship, the highlight event of the program.
The exhilarating, record-setting hill climbing competition, up the 50-degree face of dune, attracts greater and greater numbers of participants each year, and this year will be no different.
His Excellency Saleh Mohammed Al Jaziri, Director General of Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “The Liwa International Festival is a leading model for events that bring together traditional and contemporary sports, with inspiring cultural, heritage and entertainment experiences. We expect an enthusiastic atmosphere that will light up every evening of the festival, with fun and joy and entertainment for all. Everyone has the opportunity to enjoy unforgettable memories at the Liwa Village and Moreeb Dune.”
Abdullah Butti Al Qubaisi, Chairman of the Liwa Sports Club, thanked His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafra region and emphasized that His Highness’s continuous and unlimited support is one of the most important reasons for the success of not only the Liwa Festival, but also all the events and activities that are held in the Al Dhafra region, in addition to the urban renaissance witnessed by the region and the great development in various facilities and services.
Al Qubaisi said: “What distinguishes the Liwa International Festival is the inclusiveness in the organisation. The festival continues to meet the wishes of all participants, with a variety of competitions including motorsports, heritage races, and bicycle racing, as well as other youth tournaments. It is a special destination for everyone at this time of the year, with cooler weather encouraging a larger turnout on the Moreeb Dune.”