We're going to come right out and say it: we love the Womad festival.
We love it because we will once again have the chance to plant our bare feet in the sand on the Corniche Beach and let the songs of musicians from countries as far flung as Honduras and Russia wash over us.
We love it because we will get to hear once-in-a-lifetime performances by legends such as the reggae singer Jimmy Cliff and Sain Zahoor, who thrills audiences with his Sufi-infused chants. We love it because of the way the free festival brings together everyone - from Emiratis to workers, from Indian and Pakistani - and connects them, if only for an uplifting song or two.
But most of all, we love Womad because of the effect the festival has on Abu Dhabi. Unlike other musical events in the emirate, which tend to be big-name acts imported for one-off extravaganzas, the festival gives a well-deserved stage to local musicians. This year's local acts, Dubai Drums and the Emirati group Tarab al Emarat, will be performing at both Womad venues on the Corniche and at Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain, spreading world music to both corners of the emirate.
These performances, as well as the workshops Womad artists hold throughout the festival, make it much more that just another show.