Abu Dhabi officially began its countdown to the New Year yesterday (Thursday) with the launch of the emirate’s first-ever New Year’s Eve Countdown Village. Headlining the opening celebrations at the specially designed outdoor venue was Emirati singing sensation Mohamad Al Shehhi who belted out his most popular hits to the huge crowds who joined in the first-day festivities.
Led by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, the New Year’s Eve Countdown Village also hosted a multitude of other stage performances and acts, including the superstar DJ from Paris, DJ Keza, Canadian-Lebanese singer Danny Aridi and the oriental western fusion band Arnabeat. Another on-stage show, one that not only entertained but also got people moving, was a fitness performance and challenge led by the LEZ Mills Primal Gym involving exercises such as boxing, MMA, Body Attack, and Muay Thai. Meanwhile, the Village also ensured that its younger visitors were taken care of with their very own Kids Stage, on which the Angry Birds show performed four times daily, followed by a meet and greet with its beloved characters.
The New Year’s Eve Countdown Village at the Abu Dhabi Corniche Breakwater will open its doors every day from 4pm for visitors of all ages to celebrate the final days and hours of 2017. It will offer a programme packed full of exciting events, installations and workshops, not to mention electrifying performances from regional and local acts.
Other headliners still to come include Emirati A-lister Hussain Al Jassmi, Arab superstar, Fouad Abdulwahed, and Egyptian multi-talented music star, Tamer Hosny. Also performing will be UAE-based rock band The Boxtones, Funk Jam group Carl and the Reda Mafia, violinist-vocalist extraordinaire HÄANA, Algerian Berber singer Soaud Massi, and the renowned bands Lulu Project, and Tarabband. Following the much-awaited countdown programme on Sunday 31st December that will feature a spectacular laser, lights and confetti shower extravaganza as well as a memorable 15-minute firework show with dazzling pyrotechnic effects, the “King of Laughter” Ali Al Sayed, will bring out his comedy act to start the new year.
The Countdown Village is also home to a dedicated flagship retail zone, hosting more than 40 retailers – who will be debuting new concepts for Abu Dhabi – to create an essential urban experience.
Guests can also enjoy a variety of thrilling entertainment acts as performers roam across various zones delivering interactive spectacles. Kids can have a go on the bouncy castle, watch the Kids Bboys Crew Show or cheer on the Battle Kids Bboys Crew vs Adult Bboys challenge. They can also get involved in various Angry Birds-themed activities in the dedicated Angry Birds Activation Zone, including the Egg Pit, Sling Shot and Splat That, take part in workshops or sit back and relax in the Chill Out Zone. And that’s not all. There are also be lots of picture opportunities and attractions that are bound to be a hit on social media, with the interactive digital graffiti wall, LED tunnel, pixel wall, neon frames, mirror sculpture and mirror room, light sculptures and a pin art 3d board.
There are also giant snow globes, an Instagram museum, giant ball pits and games, the #urbaninstallations Pin Board and Lite Brite, LED light garden, Live The Illusion, Ice Cream Wall and Head in the Box installations, LED swings, circular table tennis, tube light, tubing slide and snow flight, climbing wall, bag jump and bungee trampoline.
The Heritage Village zone celebrates Emirati culture with various workshops, where guests can learn about fishnet, fish strap, shasha boat, sail, dhow and sadu making, oyster opening and pearl display, palm weaving and telli making, rope making and palm tree climbing. This is in addition to cooking, coffee and date serving demonstrations, Ayallah Dance performances and the opportunity to see the traditional Burga being made and purchase one of their own. Guests can also learn about the falcon and have their photo taken holding one of these beautiful birds of prey on their arm.
Visitors can also tuck into delicious food with a dedicated F&B zone bringing together more than 50 outlets to satisfy every palate. They can also write their dreams and wishes for 2018 on special cards on a New Year wishing wall in selected areas, and send virtual wishes by sharing their New Year’s wish on Instagram using the hashtag #confettiwish.
Make sure to book in advance! Tickets prices and timings for Friday 29th until Sunday, 31st December as below:
New Year’s Eve Countdown Village at the Abu Dhabi Corniche Breakwater:
- General Admission: From 4pm – midnight on Friday and Saturday, and until 2am on New Year’s Eve. Entry is AED40 and free for children under 6.
- Gold tickets: AED 150 including a seat at the celebrity concerts and complimentary drinks.
- VIP tickets: AED 300 inclusive of VIP seats, high-end catering and VIP parking.
- Groups: Parties of 5 people and above will enjoy 20% discount on tickets.