Magical start to summer season in Abu Dhabi
Summer Season to take place from July 7 till September 11
The latest sensation in the world of illusions, the man who made Britain believe in magic, Jamie Raven, is confirmed to trick the Abu Dhabi folk in August this year.
The master illusionist’s two shows on August 8 and 9 are part of this year’s 80 acts, events and performances to be put together by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA) for its annual Abu Dhabi Summer Season (ADSS).
“We are lucky to get Jamie Raven! He is on a world tour at the moment, and the only stop he will make in the Middle East is here, in Abu Dhabi,” said Alexis Dijksterhuis, vice-president of strategic planning and new business at Flash Entertainment, one of TCA’s partners for the 2016 ADSS.
This year, the Summer Season takes place from July 7 till September 11, following the same concept as last year, when TCA partnered with several local and regional entertainment companies to bring to Abu Dhabi a variety of shows “catered” for both visitors and residents.
Apart from Jamie Raven, Flash, together with MBC Group, is also bringing a new type of show to Abu Dhabi, the Fun Nation, taking place here from July 18 to August 6.
“In the same period the Olympic Games are happening, so we thought of doing the same concept on four different competitions for families – gaming, cooking, sport and fashion,” explained Dijksterhuis.
For each of these competition themes, Flash will bring an international celebrity to “demonstrate the game” before a son challenges his father to a Spiderman cake making, for example, or two families race on a sport arena.
Another first at ADSS is The District, a programme of education-made-fun activities targeting youth between 14 and 22 years old. Held for a month starting from August 11, The District will have workshops, talks, competitions, shows on pretty much every topic of interest to teenagers – innovation, technology, entertainment, digital media, health, science, fashion and sustainability.
“A platform for teenagers and young adults to interact and follow their interest has been missing from the market in Abu Dhabi,” pointed out Predrag Toncev, general manager of Extra Cake, the latest event company to partner TCA, which also organises the ComiCon in Dubai.
“The District will be a place where teens and young adults can hang out, meet different cultures and experience a variety of programmes that are of interest to them. We looked into film, science competitions, round table discussions, health topics,” he added.
Overall, ADSS is packed mostly with children and entertainment shows, picked to entertain not just residents over the hot and quiet summer months, but also visitors.
“Summer Season 2015 witnessed a 21 per cent increase in guest arrivals into the emirate, compared to 2014 with 951,979 guests checking in into Abu Dhabi’s 157 hotels and hotel apartments,” said Mubarak Al Shamsi, director of Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau at TCA.
“The largest increase in visitor numbers was from India, rising nearly 30 per cent, then the Americas, up by 24.4 per cent, visitors from Europe up by 18 per cent and from the GCC by almost 10 per cent,” he added.
With both Indian residents and Indian visitors taking poll positions, TCA has prepared a special Indian programme during ADSS, also marking the Indian National Day in August. This included three “Bollywood in the Capital” shows featuring Farhan Live, as well as an Indian comedy show with Kapil Sharma.
“We are working with travel agencies as we speak, both in India and here to put together travel packages to Abu Dhabi for Indian nationals over the summer,” revealed Al Shamsi.
Etihad Airways, hotels, malls and major attractions in the emirate also plan on special discounts and offers for the ADSS.
Check all the Summer events here
Details of the shows are available on www.abudhabisummerseason.ae.