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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Endless food and fun in Abu Dhabi this December 

Countless events will combine food, street action and family activities

Fireworks will usher in the new year in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Fireworks will usher in the new year in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Attractions ranging between giants serving food, a four-day New Year’s Eve extravaganza and beach festivals that will bring Jamaica, Barbados and the Caribbean islands to Abu Dhabi, will mark the last month of this year.

The countless events that combine food, street action and family activities are part of Advantage Events Abu Dhabi incentive which allocated Dh10 million to help the private sector develop their activities, and boost attractions across the emirate to attract more visitors.

“To enable the industry to deliver, rather than delivering ourselves ... we are moving from being an operator to an enabler and regulator… we want to develop a bigger calendar of events, and to encourage the private sector to make this move,” explained Sultan Al Dhaheri, acting executive director of for the Tourism Sector at the Department of Culture and Tourism.

Therefore, the incentive aims to develop Abu Dhabi events – from the capital to Al Ain, which will launch its annual Dar Al Zain Festival, to Madinat Zayed, in a sustainable manner.

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The department will work with the private sector to make sure their events keep on going for the next four years, “and next year I will offer new businesses the same opportunity,” Mr Al Dhaheri said.

Already, there has been a 7 per cent increase in the number of hotel guests this year as compared to last year, “and we are expecting a huge growth in the fourth quarter with the opening of the Louvre, Formula 1 weekend and World Diabetes Congress,” he added.

Last year, hotels’ occupancy rate was more than 85 per cent during the Formula 1.

The recent chartered flight from Russia is also expected to boost the number of visitors from the federation. In general, the Tier 1 market of visitors are from the US, UK, KSA, India and China, in addition to the domestic market.

Following the success of previous events, such as the Mother of the National Festival which attracted more than 200,000 visitors, the department is expecting at least 50,000 people to visit the NYE Countdown Village which will be located at a yet to be confirmed location in the capital.

Events at the village will stretch from December 28 to 31 and will include “electrifying performances”, renowned artists, bands and DJs and a mix of family activities including a balloon park, and 15 minutes of fireworks, laser lights and a confetti shower extravaganza.

The Abu Dhabi Food Festival will include a mysterious twist on December 8, with a “Top Secret Long Table” at a location that has never hosted an event before. The 1,000 guests who can attend by invitation only will receive their invitation and be notified of the location just an hour ahead of the event.

“You can’t buy your way in. There will only be 1,000 very special guests who will be handpicked by 10 food masters,” said Alexandre Teodoresco, founder of Truckers.

“It is a dining experience, a long table and fascinating in the US, and it is completely unusual. When you see the images it is breathtaking, and a surprise guest will be coming.”

“It will not be open to the public because of the sensitivity of the location,” he added.

People can also learn the art of eating caviar as part of an event held by the foodie magazine Dining Nightlife Abu Dhabi.

“There is a technique, you put it on your hand and let the flavours come out; that is why we created caviar and art, because it is an art form in itself,” explained Leanne Smart, its editor in chief.

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