Fireworks, festivities and shows: Here's a list of happenings in Abu Dhabi

A guide to top events, shows and other entertaining activities this season


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Fri 23 Dec 2022, 8:44 PM

Residents are making the most of the winter festival activities. On popular demand is the Mother of the Nation Festival and the Winter Wonderland on Al Maryah that have been extended. However, there are many more events and activities to look forward to this weekend.

Here’s a line-up of the major events happening until Sunday:

Sixty family-friendly activities at Capital Park

More than 60 family-friendly activities will be held as part of Abu Dhabi Moments at Capital Park, near Corniche until Sunday (4pm to 11pm). An initiative by the Department of Community Development, it will include skill games, candy land, snowball fight zone, LED winter parades, stage shows, bumper cars, giant games, zip line, arts and educational workshops. Free health check-ups will also be offered to visitors.

Cool Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland is back with games, events and shows at Al Maryah Island until December 31. The South Plaza has been transformed into an outdoor winter village with snow covered cottages and festive decorations (4pm to 10pm). Attractions include Santa’s Grotto, snow slide, snow park and an ice-rink. Children can enjoy interactive science experiments, decorate trees with ornaments, do ice-fishing, snowball dunking and share their letters with Santa.

Fireworks, mass wedding and shows

A mass wedding organised by the Ministry of Community Development will be held at Sheikh Zayed Festival’s Heritage Village on Saturday. There will also be a spectacular fireworks display at 10pm. Over the weekend, community members can enjoy a range of events and entertainment shows across several pavilions and stalls spread across the festival site at Al Wathba (open from 4pm to midnight, and until 1am during weekends).

Dive deep at ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ exhibition

Split into seven zones and showcasing valuable manuscripts in the fields of literature, heritage, religion, music, philosophy, and science, the Pearls of Wisdom exhibition at Qasr Al Watan will take visitors on a historical journey that deliberates the influence of Arab culture on Europe, highlighting the role of Arab civilisation in generating religious dialogue and contributing knowledge that paved the way for the European Renaissance.

Mother of Nation Festival reopens

Mother of the Nation Festival, which has been extended by popular demand, will reopen on December 23 and continue until January 1, 2023. The event’s six themed zones: Shopping District, Live Arena, Amusement Park, Inspire Space, Thrill Zone and Food Hub, will return, packed with more fun, entertainment, retailers, food and beverage concepts, diverse activities and games for visitors of all ages (open from 4pm to midnight).

A shot at rare photographs

The Photography Studio at Manarat Al Saadiyat is holding an amazing exhibition displaying an array of historically significant images on show for the first time in the Middle East. From the image of the late Sheikh Zayed's Rolls-Royce on the streets of Abu Dhabi to the earliest surviving photograph taken by French inventor Nicephore Niepcet, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey back in time and to the origins of photography. The exhibition runs until April 24, 2023.

Festivities at Yas Island

At Yas Mall, there will be a diverse array of activities and entertaining shows, including a meet and greet with the man in the red suit, festive art workshops, Christmas-themed photo booths, and much more for all ages throughout the holidays until December 28. Also, Winterfest at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Winter Spectacular at Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, run until January 8, 2023, with various entertaining performances.


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