Abu Dhabi: Amidst the gentle climate and the start of the winter holiday season, Al Dhafra region in Abu Dhabi is experiencing a surge in tourism and entertainment, attracting thousands of visitors from diverse nationalities.
One of the most prominent of these activities is the Liwa International Festival (Tel Moreb, or Moreb Dune). This year, it is being held from December 8 to 31, 2023, in Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra region.
The Tel Moreb Festival is considered the first destination for professionals and amateurs to climb the world-famous dune, which rises 300 meters at an angle of inclination of 50 degrees – making it the greatest dune challenge in the region.
In addition, it is a date with fans of various youth sports, such as the sand parade on the hill, and the Tel Moreb show circuit, drift cars and bikes.
Last year’s edition attracted thousands of visitors.
The festival is organised by the Liwa Sports Club, in cooperation with the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, over a period of 24 days, to attract camping and wilderness enthusiasts.
This is also a platform to allow people to enjoy a group of sports competitions and international car challenges in which a number of the most famous professionals in this field participate.
The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi has prepared an integrated program for the Liwa International Festival (Tel Moreb 2024), which includes Liwa Village activities, Liwa Sand events, and exciting artistic and entertainment events.
Its races and championships vary to include motor sports and traditional sports in speed, drag and show races.
The festival begins with a free car parade, and concludes with the Moreb Hill Climbing Championship, which is considered the most famous and prominent annual event among its activities.
It culminates in a concert and fireworks display on New Year’s Eve.
The Liwa Sports Club announced the festival’s programme and its detailed schedule of events and tournaments.
‘Hayakum in Abu Dhabi’
As part of “Hayakum in Abu Dhabi” destination brand campaign, the Department of Culture and Tourism-Abu Dhabi revealed its activities for the winter season.
The season’s attractions are expected to be a big draw for local and international tourists with entertainment and authentic heritage events.
The Liwa Village experience allows visitors to enjoy amidst the golden dunes, allowing them to explore a wide range of tourist attractions and events in the village.
Attractions include a main stage for musical performances and celebrations, food outlets, an artisan market, an oasis area that hosts creative workshops and activities for the whole family, and a play area for children. Local vendor outlets offer the best Emirati goods.
Thi year, the village has been enlarged by 20 per cent, allowing it to host double the number of audiences and events than the previous edition.
Events/attractions at the Liwa International Festival:
In addition to concerts bringing together artists from the region, annual fireworks, and desert events and activities, the festival returns with its largest program to date, drawing on more than 20 years of experience in the field of winter celebrations in Liwa. Some of the attractions:
- Monster Jam: Battle of huge trucks on December 27 and 28, 2023 (speed and skill for more than – 16,000 spectators expected in four shows.
- Daily fireworks: Nightly shows alongside video dune light shows of the Moreb Dune.
- Desert lodges: 1,400 tents decorated with traditional Sadu patterns made by local craftsmen, and safari-style tents.
- Food Truck Plaza: 120 food trucks
- Playground: Area for children, offering a range of fun games and activities
- Stage: The main platform for musical performances and celebrations.
- Camping units: Air-conditioned camping units with an area of 40 square meters per hut are also available to provide visitors with a unique stay.
- Smart farm: Smart farm offers agricultural tourism adventure on a 3,000-sqm farm, showcasing advanced farming techniques and market strategies through workshops and seminars.
Abdullah Butti Al Qubaisi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Liwa Sports Club, thanked Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafra Region, for continuous and unlimited support for all activities and events held in the Al Dhafra Region, including the Liwa International Festival.
He also thanked Sheikh Hamdan for the follow up on all infrastructure projects and urban renaissance that the region has witnessed, and the great development in various public facilities and services.
Al Qubaisi also thanked the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, the club’s most prominent partner in organising the Liwa International Festival.
Al Qubaisi said: “After the great success enjoyed by all previous editions, and last season’s edition in particular, which was later extended, the festival comes this season in a new and dazzling look full of all sporting challenges and entertainment events, and everyone is waiting for camping to start.”
He added: “We have prepared an integrated place that meets all needs with its services, ensuring that campers can enjoy the place without having to go to the city, especially since it includes the most famous brands of restaurants and stores. This year, we will continue to use advanced technologies to facilitate registration and save time for participants and contestants.”
Al Qubaisi thanked the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the government agencies that supported the festival, most notably Abu Dhabi Ports, and all the sponsoring companies for their contribution to the success of the festival’s activities and raising it to the best levels.
Liwa Tel Moreb Festival
The Liwa Tel Moreb Festival, among the UAE’s largest and a pioneering event in Tal Moreb, Al Dhafra, features a plethora of sporting, heritage, and entertainment events.
Renowned for being the primary destination for both professionals and amateurs, it offers the ultimate challenge of scaling the 300-meter hill with a 50-degree incline.
Enthusiasts of diverse youth sports, including sand parades, the Tel Moreb Show Circuit, and drifting with cars and bikes, make it a thrilling experience.
This year’s edition is expected to draw thousands of visitors.
The festival’s climax features a daunting hill climb, drag bike races, Liwa Circuit, Burnout Challenge, and traditional sports like falconry, camel, horse, and pigeon racing. Stay tuned for a comprehensive overview of the Tal Moreb spectacle.