From right to left: Alexander Teodoresco - Cultural Entrepreneur, Founder of Truckers, Leanne Smart - Editor-in-chief Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi, Barry Bremne - General Manager, Zayed Sports City, Sultan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri - Acting Executive Director of Tourism Sector, Karim El Guanaini- Director of Corporate Affairs and Sponsorships Miral, Oytun Calapover - UAE Country Manager Zomato, Noora Al Mazrouei - CEO and co-founder of Festember Image Credit: Courtesy: CTAD

ABU DHABI: A line-up of fun-filled activities, concerts, traditional family bazars and mobile food trucks will be up in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi during the month of December to offer families, residents and tourists a series of options to get spoilt.

Abu Dhabi is all set to mesmerise thousands of people with numerous eateries, cultural, traditional, singing and dancing prorammes from first week of December to the run-up of New Year eve.

The Department of Culture and Tourism [DCT] in Abu Dhabi announced on Monday the fourth quarter calendar of events and activities taking place in December across the capital, Al Ain city and Al Dhafra [western region of Abu Dhabi].

Similar events attracted more than 200,000 people last year but organisers hope more than that this year due to the growing number of tourists each year in the capital.

The family-focused programmes include “Dar Al Zain” festival in Al Ain, New Year’s Eve Countdown Village and the Abu Dhabi Food Festival. Miral and Shaikh Zayed Sports Stadium also collaborate with the DCT to organise additional events.

Saif Saeed Gobash, director general of the department, said: “Abu Dhabi continues to attract a growing number of visitors annually as it develops a strong pipeline of unique event experiences. The capital, which boasts exceptional cultural and visitor attractions, has successfully transformed itself into an international tourism destination.”

‘Dar Al Zain’ festival will span over 10 days and would bring family entertainment and leisure experiences to the local community and visitors, while the annual Abu Dhabi Food Festival 2017 will unite visitors around 15 events and experiences extending over 17 days.

Food trucks

About 50 mobile food trucks will be lined up to serve cuisines from across the world particularly from the Arabic, Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. “Out of our 60 mobile food trucks, 50 will be lined up on the Abu Dhabi Corniche to serve to the revelers and they will offer cuisines from all across the world,” Alexander Teodoresco, founder of Truckers told Gulf News.

New Year’s Countdown Village

Between December 28 and 31, the capital will host a New Year’s Eve Countdown Village with a one of its kind fireworks experience.

“The celebration will bring a best in class festival village with a distinctive night flavour as well as a range of famous kids shows, DJs, concerts and local bands.”

Speaking to Gulf News on the sideline of the event, Sultan Al Daheri, acting executive director for the tourism sector at the DCT, said, “The number of tourists from Asian and European countries to Abu Dhabi has registered a steady growth each year. This year too will be welcoming them with a series of activities.”

“It is with great pleasure that we introduce these festivals to our city as we focus further on growing the local hospitality scene. This immersive calendar of festivities makes Abu Dhabi the place to be in December 2017 and furthers our commitment to building the ultimate hub for tourism,” Al Dhaheri said.

The department has also allocated Dh10 million for the first time this year to boost events seeking support from private partners in making these events memorable for families, residents and tourists.

Al Daheri said: “We launched this year ‘Advantage Events Abu Dhabi’ incentive scheme, we are confident that private sector involvement in event development will grow, and we can build on the record numbers of visitors choosing to explore the emirate. Private companies should be aware that we now have a grant to support their business investments in Abu Dhabi and they can anchor the planning of their 2018 business activities and be part of the exceptional Abu Dhabi annual events calendar.”

Abu Dhabi Food Festival

Sumptuous food by mobile food trucks will be served in the Abu Dhabi Emirate from December 7 to 23. ADFF will cook up a storm and bring food-lovers, families and friends together to enjoy not only cuisine from some of the best street chefs, but also some of the most scrumptious food available in the region. It will serve up to 15 new feature events this year including Truckers Carnival, Street Food Market, the Big Piknik, Beach Feast, Delicious Cinema, Truckers Exit, Top Secret Long Table and Street Feast in both Abu Dhabi and Al Ain as well as a Truckers Park in Al Dhafra.

Dar Al Zain Festival

This winter, Al Ain region will see the creation of a special ‘outdoor village’ in the city, packed with entertainment, food and activities. The first-ever Dar Al Zain Festival will take place between December 14 and 23. Dar Al Zain Festival will showcase a line-up of all-day activations and distinctive night events bringing families and friends together.

New Year Countdown Village

The capital will host its first-ever New Year’s Eve Countdown Village, which will take place from December 28 to 31 and would create an unforgettable end to 2017. The village will give visitors an unparalleled outdoor experience during Abu Dhabi’s most enjoyable outdoor temperatures. More than 40 retailers, performances from regional and local performers, bands and DJs, will present an entertaining mix of fun-filled activities for the families.