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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

Abu Dhabi Science Festival returns in November

More than 70 children's workshops and shows will be staged at Khalifa Park and Al Ain Zoo

Children take part in an activity on the opening day of the Abu Dhabi Science Festival at Umm Al Emarat Park in Abu Dhabi in 2016. Christopher Pike / The National
Children take part in an activity on the opening day of the Abu Dhabi Science Festival at Umm Al Emarat Park in Abu Dhabi in 2016. Christopher Pike / The National

One of the emirate’s most popular festivals dedicated to all natural things that pop, fizzle and crackle returns to a new location November 9-18.

The seventh edition of the Abu Dhabi Science Festival will be hosted at Khalifa Park, which organisers say offers more space — 500,000 square metres — to accommodate the growing number of children’s workshops and stage shows. The festival will simultaneously be held daily at the Al Ain Zoo.

“This year we have a very rich programme filled with exceptional interactive activities,” said Sanad Humaid Ahmed, vice-chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) innovation committee.

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Children, who must be accompanied by an adult, will have the chance to engage with 71 hands-on activities and exhibits — including 40 that are being staged for the first time. Classic favourites — such as “Dig Up a Dinosaur,” which introduces youngsters to archaeology and “the Secret Life of Coral,” which teaches them about sea creatures — are also making a return appearance.

Adek director general Dr Ali Al Nuaimi said the festival has become an essential annual tradition to engage children with science.

“The festival, in its seventh annual year, has proven its success,” said Dr Al Nuaimi. “The number of participants are on the rise, the events are not just increasing in number, but are also increasing in diversity and in excitement. Its effects and its dimensions are of the utmost importance in helping to spark and ignite an interest in science, mathematics, engineering and technology in children.”

But the festival is not only for youngsters, he said, but also for parents who have a role to play in supporting children to pursue stem.

“We want every parent in the UAE to be someone who supports their children in order for the children to be innovative and inventive,” said Dr Al Nuaimi. “I think this is the real investment that will cause a major transformation in how we encourage science and technology for our children.”

There is a critical need for Emirati scientists and engineers, said Adel Albuainain, chief executive of Dolphin Energy, which is one of the sponsors.

“Our country needs experts in science and technology and mathematics and engineering to move us forward and to reach our goals,” said Mr Albuainain.

Regular tickets cost Dh10 for children and Dh5 for adults and can be purchased online at www.adsftickets.com. Fast-track tickets cost Dh50 for children and Dh40 for adults. A limited number of bookable workshops and shows are available for purchase online.