x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Have an engrossing Eid

Eid promises plenty of thrills for families and music lovers.

Argentine comedy football performer and juggler Victor Rubilar will perform during the EidFest Abu Dhabi. Courtesy EidFest Abu Dhabi
Argentine comedy football performer and juggler Victor Rubilar will perform during the EidFest Abu Dhabi. Courtesy EidFest Abu Dhabi

After the enthusiastic response from the last event in August, the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) returns with a new edition of EidFest Abu Dhabi for wholesome family entertainment.

More than 19 acts – ranging from street theatre to acrobatic displays – will perform across the capital’s malls including Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi Mall, Mushrif Mall, as well as Al Ain Mall and The Galleria at Sowwah Square.

Also joining the festivities are the Argentine comedy football legend Victor Rubilar and the British illusionist Todd Various.

“We wanted to do something a little different this EidFest and our roster of global street performers certainly fits the family entertainment bill,” says TCA Abu Dhabi’s event director, Faisal Al Sheikh. “We have cast the talent net far and wide to create a diverse, free-to-attend programme which will highlight every major form and genre of international street artistry.”

The music

Rarely do the Eid holidays go by without a cavalcade of pop stars visiting the country. This time, most of the concert action is in Dubai, with regional and international stars taking the stage.

Fresh from the success of its previous Eid concerts, the Arab Idol Tour Concert was in Dubai last Thursday with the winner Mohammed Assaf heading a bill at Al Bustan Rotana Hotel along with Syria’s Farah Yousuf and Lebanon’s Ziad Khoury and Faris Kareem. On the same night, romantic opera lovers attended the performance of the Italian tenor Alessandro Safina, who took over the Madinat Arena stage with a live orchestra.

But don’t fret if you missed these; this weekend will find the veteran Saudi singer Rabeh Saqer back in the UAE for a performance at Dubai’s Al Habtoor Grand Hotel on Thursday (dinner packages begin from Dh1,000 at www.habtoorhotels.com).

That same night, the Fashion Catwalk in The Dubai Mall will host a free concert by the Bahraini child pop star Hala Al Turk. The 11-year-old and former Arabs’ Got Talent contestant will perform her YouTube hit I Love You Mama.

Those looking for more western sounds can check out Jay Sean’s performance at Chi Garden at The Lodge in Dubai on Wednesday. The 32-year-old British RnB star will perform selections from his new album Neon in addition to his global hit Down (ticket prices begin from Dh150 at www.platinumlist.net).

The shopping

Not all the shopping during Eid need focus on electronic goods. Those looking for traditional offerings should head to Eid Al Adha 2013, the shopping fair at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Running until Friday, more than a hundred local, regional and international shopping outlets will sell a wide variety of items including abayas, silks, cashmere shawls and artworks. The fair also provides a good chance to stock up on some gourmet food items, from Palestinian olives to natural Yemeni honey. For details, go to www.adnec.ae.

In Dubai, a bunch of malls will extend their hours to cater to the shopping onslaught.Families looking for entertainment can visit Deira City Centre, Mall of the Emirates and Mirdif City Centre, which will host acrobatic performances and fun interactive sessions for children.

The food

The Reform Social and Grill in Dubai’s Emirates Golf Club will use the holiday season to promote its range of British grub (email agm@reformsocialgrill.ae).

Those looking for something more upmarket can head to Hakkasan Dubai for their new Yum Cha Friday brunch. The meal includes steamed, fried and baked dim sum with a selection of two main courses and three desserts (call 04 319 8088).

Those on the move can head to Bocca at Abu Dhabi’s Hilton Hotel. The Italian eatery recently received a makeover and is serving special Dh99 business lunches from Sunday to Thursday. The three-course meal includes a starter, main dish and dessert (call 02 6811900).