Mother of the Nation Festival opens in Abu Dhabi

Capital’s biggest festival to run for 10 days along the Corniche with over 100 events and activities planned

Abu Dhabi: The third annual Mother of the Nation Festival officially opened in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, with the festival highlighting the empowering role of Emirati women in society and their work in the development of the UAE.

Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the festival pays tribute to the living legacy and accomplishments of Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union and President of the Supreme Council of Motherhood and Childhood.

The festival stretches over one kilometre across the Corniche, and is divided into four separate zones including the Happiness Zone, Progress Zone, Beach Dining Zone and the Souq Zone. The four sections all have their own distinct themes, offering visitors a diverse set of attractions to enjoy on their visits.

The 10-day event will also feature several live performances, with over 35 musical shows planned for this year’s festival with a line-up of both local and international performers including acts like Majid Al Mohandis, Ghalia Benali, Adel Ebrahim, Fouad Abdul Wahed, Harget Kart, Los Cubanos and Sons of Yusuf among many others.

In all, over 100 events and activities are planned over the 10 days of the festival.

“The Mother of the Nation Festival commemorates and honours the inspirational values of Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak. We have expanded this year’s festival in both size and scale to allow the community ample opportunity to immerse themselves in these values,” said Mohammad Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi.

“We also wanted to cater for the festival’s growing success as it has become renowned for its variety of experiences and fun-filled, family-friendly programme. We look forward to welcoming guests throughout the next ten days and to bringing joy to so many families,” he added.

Saif Saeed Gobash, director-general of DCT Abu Dhabi, said that this year’s expanded festival would have something for everybody, and encouraged people to come and visit the festival to experience the UAE’s culture.

“Throughout multiple and diverse activity zones, the festival has been created to offer an entertaining and highly interactive atmosphere that welcomes families and individuals from all walks of life.

“We are thrilled to have officially launched and hope to see visitors enjoying this unique community event that celebrates the best aspects of contemporary culture in Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE,” he added.

Mother of the Nation pavilion

The main attraction at the festival is its pavilion, which is dedicated to Shaikha Fatima and her pioneering initiatives both locally and internationally.

“The inspiration behind the pavilion is Shaikha Fatima, she was the one who played a very big role in supporting the empowerment of Emirati women, and so she is a very significant and important role model for all Emirati women,” said Fatima Al Hammadi, one of the pavilion’s organisers.

Al Hammadi said as well as paying tribute to Shaikha Fatima, the pavilion is also separated into different zones highlighting the role of Emirati women in society, with sections including traditional foods and jewellery.

“We have created different zones in the pavilion to celebrate the role of Emirati women, for example we have the food zone, which enlightens visitors about the traditional Emirati foods cooked by Emirati women,” she said.

“There is also the jewellery zone, this section not only shows visitors the type of jewellery made by Emirati women, but also the story behind them. Along with the food section, these areas will also have live workshops, so it will be a full interactive experience for all visitors. They will get the chance to see how Emirati women cook traditional foods and how they make jewellery,” she added.

“The goal behind all of this is to show that, here in the UAE, we live in a country that empowers women in several different fields, and so the pavilion is a celebration of Emirati women who are very creative and have played a significant role in the UAE,” she said.

Mother of the Nation Festival

Where: Abu Dhabi Corniche

When: March 22 to March 31

Timings: 4pm to midnight, 2pm to midnight on weekends

Admission: Dh25 per adult, Dh15 for children aged under 12, free entry for children aged under five years, people of determination, and seniors. Advanced tickets can be purchased through www.ticketmaster.ae

Full schedule and official website for festival: www.motn.ae

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