Gilles Chuyen. Image Credit:

The Abu Dhabi Festival’s outdoor musical event, Festival in the Park, will return from March 22-24 at Umm Al Emarat Park, and will feature a mix of live performances, arts and crafts activities and a local market.

To mark Abu Dhabi Festival’s ‘Country of Honour’ India this year, the first day will feature an interactive workshop hosted by choreographer Gilles Chuyen. The two-hour workshop will include Bollywood dance routines set to popular Hindi songs. This will be followed by a musical performance by The Raghu Dixit Project who will take to the stage with their contemporary reinterpretation of ancient Kannada poetry. Egypt’s Marimba Queen, Nesma Abdul Aziz, will also lead a drumming workshop earlier in the evening.

The second day will see two pioneering Arab musicians. Multimedia artist Zahed Sultan will present his latest work Hiwar, an audio-visual dance reinterpretation of traditional Khaleeji songs with live percussive instruments and chorus singing alongside contemporary arrangements with piano, cello, visuals and interpretive dance. He will be followed by Abdul Aziz, who will perform with her band, integrating international sounds and Arab music to create a contemporary and classical fusion compatible with marimba and percussions.

On the third and final day, there will be a theatrical performance by Emirati actors, marking the culmination of the UAE Theatre Circle Programme with a special public performance honouring the legendary Kuwaiti comedic icon, Abdulhussain Abdulredha.

Throughout the first two days, visitors will also be able to buy wares and traditional Emirati goods from local artisans, as well as witness installations through a special painting by children with autism.

The festival is free to attend, but a Dh5 fee for entry into the park applies.