The UAE capital is dressing up for the Diwali festivities with the Yas Mega Mela, which kicks off on October 31.
The three-day festival, which will be held at the du Arena, Yas Island, will see a host of celebrity chefs, Bollywood talent and daily fireworks that will light up the Abu Dhabi sky.
With food tastings, cooking demonstrations and health and beauty masterclasses in abundance, we break down this celebration with all the must-see moments.
Bollywood lights up the stage
Kanika Kapoor, the voice behind some of Bollywood’s biggest hits, including ‘Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan’, ‘Baby Doll’ and ‘Jugni Ji’, will entertain audiences at Yas Mega Mela on October 31.
The 41-year-old singer, who won the 2015 Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer for ‘Baby Doll’ (‘Ragini MMS 2’), is sure to belt out her biggest hits at the event.
The following day, award-winning singer and composer Ankit Tiwari will have the audience on their feet for his musical hits, including ‘Sunn Raha Hai’ and ‘Galliyan’.
On November 2, Fahmil Khan, the UAE-based engineer-turned-vocalist and guitarist, will play pop, Sufi, retro and contemporary Bollywood songs.
Throughout the three-day festival there will be authentic bhangra performances from Pure Bhangra, plus international DJ Shadab playing Bollywood remixes on the decks.
The headline acts are expected to take to the stage at 9.30pm, after the fireworks. Khan will perform at 7.30pm on the day.
Meet the chefs
This year’s celebrity chef line-up includes the talented Vicky Ratnani, who served aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2, which was followed by an appointment as the personal chef to South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and former president, the late Nelson Mandela, on his journey from Durban to Cape Town to promote his charitable ventures.
Chef Ratnani’s travels have led him to develop a web series called ‘Vicky the Gastronaut’, which streams on his Facebook page.
Chef Sandeep Sreedharan is one of the most sought-after chefs in Mumbai. He runs a design studio and a gourmet company under the brand name Esca Brahma. He also runs a food blog under the same name where he showcases some of his unique creations and shares tips and techniques.
Meanwhile, chef Sanjay Thakur is a Guinness World Record holder for creating and serving dinner to guests at the highest pop-up restaurant in the world, located at Everest Advanced High Camp.
Visitors get the opportunity to attend live cooking demonstrations where local and international celebrity chefs will create dishes and share their secrets and techniques. The Chefs’ Theatre operates on a first come, first served basis.
Taste India Experience
From jalebis, kulfis to Mumbai’s street food, the Yas Mega Mela’s Taste India Experience is expected to feature authentic culinary experiences all through the three-day event.
Featuring market stalls by local and international artisans, the Shopping Bazaar will provide a variety of Indian and international fashion, accessories, jewellery, homeware, spices and more.
Health and Beauty Masterclasses
There will be a series of make-up masterclasses and skin consultations sessions at the event.
Visitors can also get free henna paintings at the Health and Beauty pavilion from 5.30 to 7.30pm daily. There will also be free nail polish changes, free 10-minute back and neck massages, free hair styling and free face painting for kids by Tips & Toes.
Cricket Academy - Coaching & Challenges
Young cricket enthusiasts will be able to participate in cricket coaching sessions and masterclasses, learn new batting and bowling skills from experts and play friendly matches.
If you’re looking to treat the little ones to an experience filled with fun rides and carnival excitement, head to the Kids’ Zone. You can expect everything from a merry-go-round, carnival games and swings, a carousel, jumping castles and more activities.
Each evening, the Abu Dhabi night sky will light up with fireworks display over Yas Island at 9pm.
Don’t Miss It!
The Yas Mega Mela runs from October 31 to November 2 at du Arena, Yas Island. The event runs from 4-11pm on day one; from 2-11pm on the day two and from 2-10pm on day three. Tickets start at Dh20. VIP tickets are priced at Dh75. Kids under the age of 16 go free. Tickets are on sale now Yasmegamela.ae