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Flamenco dancer Sara Baras. Image Credit: Supplied

The 16th edition of the Abu Dhabi Festival is set to return in March 2019 with more than 100 events, 18 productions and two commissions across 25 venues.

The month-long arts and culture fest will focus this time around on the Republic of Korea — which has been named the ‘country of honour’.

The central theme of the festival is ‘Culture of Determination’, which celebrates the positive impact people make even in the face of adversity.

More than 500 artists from 17 counties will take part in ADF, which will include performances by American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato with Orchestra il pomo d’oro, directed by Maxim Emelyanychev; the Korean National Ballet; the Korean Symphony Orchestra; award-winning artist Justin Kauflin; Welsh bass-baritone, Sir Bryn Terfel; flamenco dancer and choreographer Sara Baras; and The Paris Opera Ballet.

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The Korean Symphony Orchestra Image Credit: Supplied

The festival will also showcase Distant Prospects, an exhibition that delves into the history of European landscape painting from Liechtenstein, The Princely Collections.

Also running alongside the event will be an educational programme complete with panel discussions, guided tours and creative workshops. What’s more, a residency opportunity is on the offing that will see five Emirati artists visiting Vaduz and Vienna.

ADF19 will also recognise outstanding achievements in the music industry at the Abu Dhabi Festival Awards. This year’s recipients will include mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, Aurelie Dupont, for her outstanding devotion to the art of ballet; Barenboim – Said Akademie, for its commitment to building bridges through arts and culture; and the late Ousha Bint Khalifa Al Sweidi in honour of her exceptional contributions to Emirati poetry.

Other ADF19 highlights are the ADF Visual Arts Education Programme; Young Filmmakers’ Circle; Riwaq Al Fikr; Riwaq Al Adab wal Kitab; The Gulf Capital – Abu Dhabi Festival Visual Arts Award; The Gulf Capital – ADMAF Creativity Award; The Christo & Jeanne-Claude Award, Tandem Al Emarat, UAE Theatre Circle, Young Media Leaders, Total Design Commission, ADMAF Design Fund, and The Artists’ Studio and Ministry of Science.

On a lighter note, there’s also the Festival in the Park, a two-night comedy gig at the Umm Al Emarat Park.

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The Korean National Ballet Image Credit: Supplied

Tickets to Joyce DiDonato with Orchestra il pomo d’oro (January 24); Korean National Ballet (March 17); Korean Symphony Orchestra (March 8); Justin Kauflin (March 11 at NYUAD Arts Centre; Dh100); Tosca (March 15); Sara Baras (March 21) and The Paris Opera Ballet (March 29-30) start at Dh175. All ticket prices are reduced by 25 per cent until January 10.