Sheikh Zayed Festival
File image of fireworks at Sheikh Zayed Festival in Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Kick off this weekend with a visit to the annual Sheikh Zayed Festival - a 112-day-long event celebrating UAE's heritage and roots.

The event is set to feature fireworks and drone displays on the opening day, which will be on Friday, November 17. The festival will end on March 9, 2024.

Held under the patronage of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the follow-up of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, the 2023 edition of the festival will offer a comprehensive programme of cultural, heritage and entertainment activities.

To set this edition apart from previous editions, the organising committee developed the programme in a way that ensures this edition provides distinctive and diverse activations and adventures, to further enhance the festival's status as a leading event at the local and global levels and boost its success.

Among the must-see activities this year are national celebrations, with "˜Union Parade', which reflects the UAE people's sense of belonging and loyalty to the leadership, and the unity that brings the nation closer together.

Meanwhile, the National Day Celebrations will span across the entire festival site, featuring official and popular festivities marking the UAE National Day. These include special shows and performances at the Heritage Village and international pavilions, including folk art shows, military musical performances, spectacular firework and drone displays, and the Emirates Fountain activities.

The festival includes an integrated Heritage Village to highlight aspects of popular heritage, represented by traditional industries and crafts, as well as to emphasise its keenness to provide a family-friendly, entertaining, and educational environment through its recreational, social and cultural activities.

Other highlights include the Heritage Village; an agricultural excellence award; a rare species reserve; Al Wathba Custom Show; the Children's City; the Fun Fair City; the Glow & Flower Garden; the House of Fear; an art district; various competitions and draws, as well as many other surprises and activations.

Fireworks will be a regular addition to the agenda, scheduled to be held every Saturday throughout the event. The timings are from 4 pm to midnight, and until 1 am during weekends and on public holidays.

- Inputs from WAM