Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) unveiled its most exciting, fun and show-packed summer season to date. Abu Dhabi Summer Season – featuring headline, blockbuster international theatre, ballet, comedy and illusionist shows, regional film premieres, World Cup extravaganzas and a host of locally-produced activities in hotels, malls and attractions – will run from June 5-August 31.
Taking its successful past summer campaigns to a new level, the authority has teamed up with leading UAE event organisers to deliver a programme jam packed with headline shows and loads of action, including concerts and performances by artists from throughout the Middle East, Russia and the USA, hosting comedy nights, live kids’ shows, theatre spectaculars and a regional film premiere.
“This is an up-weighted summer campaign when we have linked up with leading event producers and our own stakeholders to deliver an unforgettable season for our stay-at-home residents and visitors, particularly those we are hoping to attract from throughout the GCC and India,” said Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director, TCA Abu Dhabi.
“Activities are spread across the emirate and I can promise everyone that there’s much more to Abu Dhabi this summer season with the programme boasting events ranging from international performances to local sporting challenges, mall activations and the best summer deals around for hotels and attractions. We are moving towards becoming a year-round destination with this programme designed to appeal to all nationalities and ages to extend our seasonal appeal. We want to persuade travellers that any time is a good time to have a great time in Abu Dhabi and event organisers are working with stakeholders to package around our headline events,” he added.
FLASH Entertainment will stage six headline events from July 28 until August 29. The du Forum, Yas Island, will be transformed into Abu Dhabi’s largest FIFA World Cup viewing venue and the hub of Ramadan festivities from June 12. FLASH will also run family events in Al Gharbia, Abu Dhabi’s Western Region, and the emirate’s heritage heartland of Al Ain during August.
Another three headline shows will be presented by The Alchemy Project-Entertainment, on behalf of the authority, at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). Etihad Airways is supporting the programme as the official airline partner.
Abu Dhabi Summer Season gets off to a fairytale start from June 6-16 at ADNEC, with the prestigious Royal Moscow Ballet and two lead soloists from the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet performing Cinderella set to the magnificent score of the celebrated 20th century Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, organised by The Alchemy Project-Entertainment. Also in June, football fever grips the UAE capital. FLASH Entertainment and Dome Connect, in collaboration with du Forum on Abu Dhabi’s entertainment district of Yas Island, will host a football frenzy. This will be the emirate’s largest FIFA World Cup viewing venue for every match of the tournament (June 12 – July 13), complete with a fully-themed fan zone, heritage zone and indoor bazaar for a summer of family togetherness and sporting celebration.
“It’s all about the FIFA World Cup and we’ve envisioned this for the entire family with separate areas for ladies, families and football mega fans,” said John Lickrish, CEO of event organiser FLASH Entertainment. “As Ramadan and the FIFA World Cup fall in the same months, du Forum will host Suhour creating a unique atmosphere for sporting fans of all ages. Designed for all residents of the UAE, this football hang out is for everyone and will also be a hub for Ramadan festivities,” he added.
Every FIFA World Cup match will be shown on a giant 6 x 4 metre LED screen, with additional mega screens around the venue, there’ll be comfortable seating with a relaxed and entertaining atmosphere and unique fan and family zones, including Iftar Ramadan dinners, kids play areas, shopping zones and prayer areas.
“The World Cup viewing area will hold up to 800 people. This will be the biggest World Cup viewing venue in Abu Dhabi and the next best thing to actually being at the matches,” continued Lickrish. “With action-packed activities and competitions, football fans will find the fan zone teeming with arcade football games, penalty shoot-out competitions on an interactive football field and with fresh programming on a weekly basis to keep the offering relevant,” he added.
The dining area will cater for up to 550 people. The venue will be expanded in the final two weeks of the World Cup – when it will be Ramadan – to host up to 800 people for private corporate Iftars. Throughout the World Cup the du Forum doors will open at 7pm – the first match of any day being scheduled to start at 8pm UAE time.
“For the last two weeks we will open at 9.30pm for the Suhour period only, and will open for Iftars for corporate bookings only as and when they are booked,” added Lickrish. “Entry to du Forum’s World Cup venue will be free-of-charge with food and beverage packages on sale on arrival,” he further added.
The full FLASH Entertainment programme will be announced soon and will include a Middle East film premiere, live kids’ shows, comedy extravaganzas, showcases from renowned Arab stars, a musical theatre experience and an enchanting illusionist.
Over at ADNEC from August 8, audiences will thrill to the groundbreaking Shadowland show by internationally acclaimed dance troupe Pilobolus Dance Theatre. The first show of its kind to combine shadow theatre with dance, which has since inspired similar products around the world, Shadowland is a mix of shadow theatre, dance, circus and concert, incorporating multiple moving screens of different sizes and shapes in a performance that merges projected images and front-of-screen choreography, organised by The Alchemy Project-Entertainment.
“This is the original shadow theatre which has wowed almost half a million international theatre-goers and Abu Dhabi audiences can expect a colourful, big, entertaining and completely wacky evening,” said Sia.S.Far, CFO and Managing Partner, Alchemy Project.
Created in collaboration with lead writer for the popular animated series SpongeBob SquarePants Steven Banks, the story is a surreal experience of a young girl’s sensational world as she comes of age; a universal and intimately portrayed tale that is both intensely dramatic and funny. Shadowland is set to a rhythmic original score by popular American musician, producer and film composer David Poe, which ranges from ballads to hard-driving rock numbers.
Bringing the curtain down on Abu Dhabi Summer Season in true grand finale style and running from August 21st at ADNEC is the multi-award-winning contemporary circus theatrical La Verità – which features a gigantic, original backdrop created in New York in 1944 by the Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali. La Verità (The Truth) was written and is directed by the acclaimed Daniele Finzi Pasca – the creative genius behind Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo and the closing ceremony of the Sochi Olympics – and is a theatrical homage to Dali’s life and work. Originally created for the ballet Tristan and Isolde at The Metropolitan Opera in New York City, the hand painted backdrop stuns in an aesthetically beautiful production, organised by The Alchemy Project-Entertainment.
“La Verità features a cast of 13 acrobats who play instruments, sing, juggle, contort, clown, and dance. It is a vibrant explosion of colour, beauty, offbeat humour and impossible balances which channels Dali’s surrealist vision,” explained Far.
Meanwhile, Yas Island’s hotels and attractions are planning the coolest summer ever with hot 2 for 1 deals which will run until September 30. This includes offers at restaurants, spas and the key leisure attractions of Yas Marina Circuit, the Yas Links golf course, Yas Waterworld and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. In addition, special activities from a ‘Go Wet This Summer’ event at Al Ain Sportplex Club, to Summer Zoo Nights at Al Ain Zoo, kids’ summer camps, shooting, squash and volleyball competitions will be held at a variety of venues throughout the emirate. TCA Abu Dhabi is marketing Abu Dhabi Summer Season 2014 at the Arabian Travel Market, via a GCC roadshow to run from May 18-27 and through a partnership marketing deal with DNATA which includes mall activations in the UAE and India.
Visitors travelling to the emirate by road will be given fliers and summer season advice at the Al Ghowaifat border between Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi and the Mazyad border between Oman and Al Ain.
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