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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Yas Island set to thrill families with host of winter events

Free open-air film festival and pop group concerns among highlights

Fifth Harmony will perform in Abu Dhabi's Du Forum as part of their PSA World Tour.  Cliff Lipson/CBS/Getty Images
Fifth Harmony will perform in Abu Dhabi's Du Forum as part of their PSA World Tour. Cliff Lipson/CBS/Getty Images

American pop group Fifth Harmony, Egyptian star Mohammed Hamaki and an open air film festival are among the highlights of a new events calendar to be hosted on Yas Island.

Weekly entertainment will be staged from January until Ramadan, ending with a three-day celebration during Eid Al Fitr that will be accompanied with a fireworks extravaganza, it was announced on Tuesday.

The film festival will be one of seven events that will be offered to the public free of charge.

“There will be a lot of surprises there, because you do not just sit and watch the movies,” said Gerardo Llanes, executive director of destination management at developers Miral.

“We have several free events because not everybody can pay.

“We are focusing on the diversity that the UAE, has working on getting different nationalities, different tastes, and because the emirates is such a diverse country we need to focus on everyone coming.”

Chinese New Year will be celebrated extensively at Ferrari World between February 16 and 24, in part to cater for the large number of Chinese tourists.

The Chinese V-Chart Music Awards will also take place on April 7 at the du Forum and will broadcast live on television.

“It will bring a lot of Chinese celebrities to the island, so the Chinese consumer will see the show and what Yas Island has to offer," Mr Llanes said.

Mohammed Al Zaabi, chief executive officer of Miral, said it is hoped Yas Island will attract 20 million visitors by 2022 “by offering the unique”.

Upcoming attractions next year include the opening of Warner Brothers World Abu Dhabi, which will cost Dh3.7 billion, and Climb – just outside of Ferrari World, which will have an indoor climbing wall of 43 metres, said to be the world’s largest indoor free-jump facility at a cost of Dh 370 million.

“There will be championships and contests, and there are different categories for beginners, intermediate and advanced,” he said.

John Lickrish, chief executive of Flash Entertainment, said they are planning to hold many “big concerts” by renowned celebrities next year.

“We are working on a large concert, a duet between a female and a male,” he said. The two unnamed artists, do not usually sing together, but they will put a special duet performance only for the island.

Among the other highlights are:

Cairo Music Festival - January 12

Family fitness festival - January 26-27

ITU World Triathlon - March 3-4

Fifth Harmony - March 16 at du Forum

Bob Marley's birthday festival ft Ky-Mani Marley and Julian Marley - February 9 at Yas Beach

Caribbean reggae beach festival - May 4

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