Summer has well and truly hit us – and that means it’s hibernation time: AC set to max, DVD box set collection replenished, delivery menus amassed and all plans to leave the house over the next few months thrown out of the window (quickly shut again so the heat doesn’t get in). However, if ever there were a reason to dip a toe out of the door, it’s SummerFest Abu Dhabi, the 52-day promotion running from today to August 17 that’s taking place across Adnec, the du Forum on Yas Island and Emirates Palace. Last year more than 100,000 guests braved that dangerous AC no-man’s-land between door and car, and judging by the longer schedule of events this time around there could be even more summertime heroics.
It’s crazy to think that a few people banging dustbin lids could become an international phenomenon, but it is – and Stomp is SummerFest’s opening act, with four shows from tonight until Saturday. Fifteen million satisfied customers in 51 countries can’t all be wrong.
For the kids
Many of the events are for those entertainment-hogging little ones, with activities for kids across four halls of Adnec – including a massive “Jebel Hafeet” obstacle course (which covers a 40 metre by 20 metre plot and comes complete with zip lines and rock-climbing walls), the 10-metre tall Extreme Tower, from which kids can leap onto a huge inflatable bag, funfair rides and games. Samsam Bubbleman, the owner of a whopping nine world records (including world’s largest bubble), will be on the Open Stage, along with clown shows, science demonstrations, giant balloons and some hula hoopers (apparently also world record holders).
Cartoons and Lego
Dragging your children away from the TV should be easier if you tell them the Cartoon Network has an entire village set up in Adnoc, with interactive areas including a Ben 10 Omniverse, Lazy Town sports area and Dexter’s Laboratory. And should they need a sit down, there’s the “Cartoon Network Cube” with beanbags and the latest cartoons. For something a bit more creative, there’s going to be a Lego zone for emerging architects to construct their own building.
Over in du Arena, there will be two comedy nights pre-Ramadan with English and Arabic-speaking stand-ups and then, throughout the holy month, a series of sports activities including martial arts coaching, 32-team six-a-side football, a basketball competition, tennis lessons, badminton tournament and ladies’ nights. On August 10, to celebrate Eid Al Fitr, sports will make way for music from Arabic singers and instrumentalists.
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