Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi Festival’s annual Festival in the Park returns on 12 & 13 March at Abu Dhabi’s Umm Al Emarat Park Amphitheatre, presented by Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation and held under the theme “The Will for Evolution”. The two-day event features a series of entertaining and educational activities for the whole family, including a musical concert by Emirati star singer Ahmed Al Hosani and rising pianist Hamad Al Taee, as well as a comedy show featuring Emirati standup comedian Abz Ali and crowd favourites Sundeep Fernandes and Imah Dumagay.

As part of its aim to nurture art and culture to enrich the community, the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation have collaborated with Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination and Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education to provide a variety of educational and artistic workshops for people of determination to empower them through art and ensure inclusivity.

Her Excellency Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, Founder and Artistic Director of Abu Dhabi Festival, said: “Our annual Festival in the Park is a multi-faceted cultural celebration highlighting our ongoing efforts to be active drivers of social unity and community development. This year, we bring the public together to celebrate the talent of our nation’s rising stars, providing a platform for Emirati musicians and performers to showcase the breadth of their pioneering abilities. Presenting established classical music singer Ahmed Al Hosani, gifted pianist and composer Hamad Al Taee and the first Emirati stand-up comedian Abz Ali on stage reflects our long-standing commitment to nurturing the creative talent of our youth and empowering them to realise their dreams and ambitions.”

Storytelling Session with Author Khadijah Kudsi – Sunday, 12 March @ 5:00 pm

A not-to-be-missed opportunity to learn from established Saudi filmmaker and children’s author Khadijah the art of imaginary and educational storytelling.

Emirati Artists on Stage – Sunday, 12 March @ 7:00 pm

Ahmed Al Hosani - Classical Singer

Ahmed Al Hosani is a multi-talented Emirati artist. A singer from the age of seven, he is also a visual artist. A graduate of Trinity University of Music in London and Bait al Oud in Abu Dhabi, he has also received vocal training learning different techniques from renowned tenor Domenico Cannizzaro, and conductor Dr. Ahmed Abdel Sattar.

Hamad Al Taee - Composer and Pianist

Emirati pianist and composer Hamad Altaee will perform a collection of his original piano pieces accompanied by a live orchestra. Considered one of the most prominent contemporary composers in the region, he has performed in the UAE, Italy, Belarus, and more. According to the musician himself, his goal is to spread happiness, simplicity, and positivity.

Comedy Night featuring Emirati Standup comedians – Monday, March 13 @ 6:00 pm

Abz Ali – UAE (Emirati)

A certified dentist by day and stand-up comedian by night, Abz Ali is a regular on the UAE comedy scene, being one of the first Emirati comedians to make waves in the industry. His unique perspective and funny outlook on society have made him a crowd favourite. He’s shared the stage with global comedic stars Basketmouth and Eric Omondi at the One Africa Comedy Festival, and more recently, he has had the honour of opening for comedy legends like Wayne Brady at the Coca-Cola Arena and ISMO at The Theatre, MOE, Dubai. https://www.instagram.com/abzalicomedy

Sundeep Fernandes - India:

Since 2010, the Dubai-based stand-up comedian of Indian origin has made a big splash on the city’s comedy scene, with much talked about appearances as the opening act for Indian comedians like Amit Tandon, Kanan Gill, Biswa Kalyanrath, Varun Grover and Kunal Kamra, Daniel Fernandes. He has also hosted the opening act for International celebrities like Ahmed Ahmed, Omar Hamdi, Bassem Youssef, Papa CJ and Ali Al Sayed and performed for European Montreaux Comedy as one of only 2 English performers from the Middle East. He began his journey at Toastmasters International and later graduated from Dubomedy. Audiences can’t get enough of his signature deadpan style. Sundeep has performed in more than 100 bars and clubs so far. www.instagram.com/sundeep_comedy_dubai

Imah Dumagay – Philippines

She's a comedic force to be reckoned with and a pillar of the UAE comedy scene since 2018. An award-winning stand-up comedian who left the monotony of a nine-to-five job to fully dive into the world of comedy. With four full-length solo comedy shows under her belt, all held at the prestigious The Theatre Mall of the Emirates, she's proven to be a crowd-pleaser time and time again. www.instagram.com/imahcomedy

Sustainable Palm Eye Art Workshop with Emirati Artist Azza Al Qubaisi – 12 and 13 March all day

Emirati artist Azza Al Qubaisi is a fierce advocate of all that is homegrown and sustainable. In this engaging workshop, she demonstrates how palm tree leaves, a material ingrained in the fabric of the UAE, can be used to create sustainable contemporary art.

Street Dance Workshop presented by Dance It Forward-Dubai – 12 March @ 4:00 pm and 13 March at 5:00 pm

The “non-stop movement” Dance It Forward is coming to Festival in the Park to present dance mastery workshops covering freestyle, hip-hop, waacking, popping & locking and more. No dance experience required. (Instructor Oussama Moghtaib)

Inclusive Dance Micro-Workshop presented by Dance It Forward-Dubai for persons of determination – Monday, 13 March @ 9:00 and 10:30 am

A workshop to encourage people of determination to explore a safe and effective medium for physical and emotional expression, designed to instill confidence in participants and raise awareness about inclusivity.   (Instructor: Ancy Alexander)

Drumming Circle: Learning Through Imitation with Dubai Drums – 12 and 13 March throughout the day

In this rhythmic workshop in collaboration with Dubai Drums, a professional drum circle facilitator will teach participants how to imitate body language and movements to create unique beats. Participants of all ages will learn team-building skills as they get caught up in the sounds they create in this energetic collective drumming experience.

Abu Dhabi Festival 2023 is held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, Assistant to His Highness the President of the Emirates Red Crescent Authority for Women’s Affairs, and Chairperson of the Higher Committee for Ataya Initiative. The Festival is also supported by its Lead Partner Mubadala.

Abu Dhabi Festival 2023 will present exclusive commissions and productions, along with local, regional, and global premieres, in addition to a series of world-class events that include musical tours, panel discussions, and workshops. Additional information on the Abu Dhabi Festival programme and ticket booking details are available at abudhabifestival.ae/programme-2023/


About the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF):

Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) was established in 1996 as one of the earliest cultural foundations in the Gulf region and Arab world. ADMAF supports the sustainability and creativity of the cultural industry and contributes to enriching Abu Dhabi as a cultural beacon by offering a wide array of initiatives, often in partnership with leading national and international institutions, including Abu Dhabi Festival and several youth and societal programs and platforms, to support creative talents in the UAE and abroad. For more information, please visit: www.admaf.org

About Abu Dhabi Festival

Under the Patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan bin Mohamed Al Nahyan

Founded in 2004, the Festival was generously granted the patronage of the President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, from 2007 to 2011. The first Abu Dhabi Festival was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the then Minister of Information and Culture (currently the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation).

Abu Dhabi Festival is the festival of “Bilad Al Khayr”, the land of blessings, the land of Zayed, and embraces the values of dialogue, tolerance, respect and peace. The annual Festival commissions, produces, preserves and presents the greatest works of music and art to create rich cultural experiences in the UAE and beyond as part of its commitment to building and sustaining the nation’s creative economy.

For more information, please visit www.abudhabifestival.ae

About Mubadala 

Mubadala Investment Company is a sovereign investor managing a global portfolio, aimed at generating sustainable financial returns for the Government of Abu Dhabi. 

Mubadala’s $284 billion (AED 1045 billion) portfolio spans six continents with interests in multiple sectors and asset classes. We leverage our deep sectoral expertise and long-standing partnerships to drive sustainable growth and profit, while supporting the continued diversification and global integration of the economy of the United Arab Emirates.    

For more information about Mubadala Investment Company, please visit: www.mubadala.com