A visitor looks at thentraditional palm tree handicrafts of 'Women and Ingenuity in the Oasis' pavilion of 'Mother of Nation' event at Abu Dhabi Corniche during a media tour. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: For the third year running, the popular Mother of the Nation festival comes back to Abu Dhabi on the weekend, with the 10-day festival set to feature more than 100 events and activities.

Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the major showcase event pays tribute to Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union and President of the Supreme Council of Motherhood and Childhood, for her extensive work and contributions.

The festival, which stretches over one kilometre across the corniche here, is divided into four different zones with their own unique themes and attractions for visitors to enjoy. The zones are the Happiness Zone, Progress Zone, Beach Dining Zone and the Souq Zone.

The main attraction of the festival is undoubtedly the Mother of the Nation Pavilion, where visitors can learn about Shaikha Fatima and her pioneering initiatives and accomplishments that helped to empower Emirati women. Visitors are taken on an extensive journey through the pavilion that details not only her role in the UAE’s development, but also her work in several humanitarian causes around the world.

The festival also features the Main Stage area, where visitors will be treated to several live performances by both local and international artists. This year’s line-up of performers is extensive with 35 planned musical shows, and includes acts like Majid Al Mohandis, Ghalia Benali, Adel Ebrahim, Fouad Abdul Wahed, Harget Kart, Los Cubanos and Sons of Yusuf, among many others.

With this year’s festival also coinciding with the Year of Zayed, the festival has lined up a special show for its final day that will see 500 air drones involved as part of the major performance, which no doubt will prove to be a memorable one for all visitors.

Commenting on this year’s festival, Mohammad Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman, DCT Abu Dhabi, said the festival aimed to not only act as an entertainment attraction, but to also inspire and promote the values espoused by Shaikha Fatima.

“This year marks the third edition of the Mother of the Nation Festival and, as we look to build the festival’s reach and variety of experiences, we recognise the role and impact of events such as these in attracting tourists to Abu Dhabi and supporting the local community.

“Mother of the Nation is the biggest festival in Abu Dhabi, and plays an invaluable role in showcasing the capital as a destination of distinction. By embodying Shaikha Fatima’s inspirational values of empowerment, conservation, collaboration and sustainability, the festival aims to promote the themes of tolerance, collaboration, and camaraderie within families across the UAE community,” he added.

Saif Saeed Gobash, director-general of DCT Abu Dhabi, said the festival would have something for everyone this year, from young and old alike.

“It is with immense pleasure that we invite the citizens of Abu Dhabi, visitors and tourists alike, to join us for the Mother of the Nation Festival, a true celebration of Her Highness’s vision for our society and for women in our nation.

“This year, we promise to bring an even more vibrant and engaging festival atmosphere, with a host of entertainment activities for all members of the family to enjoy,” he said.

Mother of the Nation Festival

Where: Abu Dhabi, Corniche

When: March 22 – March 31

Timings: 4pm to midnight daily, 2pm to midnight on weekends

Admission: Dh25 per adult, Dh15 for children aged under 12, free entry for children below five years, people of determination and seniors. Tickets can be purchased in advance through www.ticketmaster.ae

Full schedule and official website for festival: www.motn.ae