SummerFest Abu Dhabi to be bigger and better

SummerFest Abu Dhabi to be bigger and better Staff Reporter / 24 May 2013 The month-long Summer in Abu Dhabi, the annual indoor summer festival organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (ADTCA), has just been announced under a new name and longer dates. The usual features — the cartoon characters village, comedians, fun sports and mini shows — will all be part of the new SummerFest also. As usual, the festival will take place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), but it will be extended to 52 days, from June 27 to August 17. “We are working to finalise the festival’s schedule and we anticipate a blockbuster calendar of amazing events, fun and family-friendly activities,” said Sultan Al Muhairi, manager of SummerFest Abu Dhabi. Preparations, though, have already started at Adnec. A gigantic, three-storey-high Obstacle Course, the biggest in the festival’s history, is being set up. A favourite with children of all ages, the mammoth 40 metre by 20 metre course features rock climbing walls, zip lines, a maze and towers 10 metres in the air. After negotiating the Obstacle Course, kids can make a beeline for the Extreme Tower Bag Jump and fly off a 10-metre board into an inflatable, 10 metre by 10 metre safety mattress. A live-action Cartoon Network Village will have life-size, replica sets and interactive games featuring characters from the region’s most popular cartoon TV network, while a dedicated LEGO Zone will give visitors the chance to recreate the Abu Dhabi skyline. New this year is the Open Stage, where audiences can sit on beanbags and watch hourly mini-shows like the Bubble Man, toddler-friendly Balloon Caricaturists and other stunt-based performances. “The Open Stage has been introduced because of the overwhelming response to our annual Show World schedule,” claimed Al Muhairi, referring to the festival’s shows requiring separate tickets. “It will give even more guests the opportunity to see world-class shows outside of the Show World auditorium, which also returns and features various groups performing twice-daily shows during week-long runs,” he added. Show World kicks off with two consecutive regional premieres: the Lazy Town, based on the Icelandic-American children TV series (June 27-July 3) and Bananas in Pyjamas, an Australian show for young children (July 4-9). Although branded a family festival, there had been little for parents to do apart from watching their children have fun. This summer, the ADTCA is changing all that, adding some Arabic concerts, dual-language comedy nights, theatre productions and celebrity-driven sports for adults to enjoy at du Forum on Yas island. “The world-class schedule of shows, concerts and comedy nights will significantly expand SummerFest Abu Dhabi’s appeal to Arab and expatriate parents and their children,” said Al Muhairi. Last year, the festival attracted 100,393 guests, a 9.4 percent increase on 2011. While the main action will be split between Adnec and du Forum, the stars of SummerFest Abu Dhabi will also make appearances at malls across the emirate, Abu Dhabi’s shopping centres and hotels. Furthermore, Al Forsan International Sports Resort in Khalifa City will host a series of summer camps from July 10 to August 3. The new SummerFest Abu Dhabi website ( goes live in early June, when the full calendar of du Forum and Adnec events and activities — including the Show World line-up — as well as ticket information and du Forum show prices will be revealed. Tickets to the Adnec SummerFest are priced at Dh40 for adults and Dh20 for children under 12 years. Toddlers under two years enter free. — Taylor Scott International

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