ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi officially began its countdown to the New Year on Friday 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 singer Mohammad Al Shehi who belted out his most popular hits to the huge crowds who joined the first-day festivities.
Led by the Department of Culture and Tourism, the New Year’s Eve Countdown Village at the Abu Dhabi Corniche Breakwater is open every day from 4pm for visitors of all ages to celebrate the final days and hours of 2017. It will offer a programme packed with exciting events, installations and workshops, and electrifying performances from regional and local acts.
On the day of its launch, the Countdown Village hosted a multitude of stage performances and acts, including superstar DJ from Paris DJ Keza, Canadian-Lebanese singer Danny Aridi and oriental western fusion band Arnabeat.
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.
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 burqa 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.
There is also a dedicated F&B zone bringing together more than 50 outlets to satisfy every palate. Visitors 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.
Sunday, December 31
The much-awaited countdown programme will feature a spectacular laser, lights and confetti shower extravaganza as well as a memorable 15-minute fireworks show with dazzling pyrotechnic effects. The “King of Laughter”, Ali Al Sayed, will bring out his comedy act to start the New Year.
Other headliners to come
Emirati A-lister Hussain Al Jasmi
Arab superstar Fouad Abdul Wahid
Egyptian multi-talented music star Tamer Hosni
UAE-based rock band The Boxtones
Funk Jam group Carl and the Reda Mafia
Algerian Berber singer Soaud Massi
Renowned bands Lulu Project and Tarabband
Tickets prices and timings
General admission: From 4pm to midnight on Friday and Saturday, and until 2am on New Year’s Eve. Entry is Dh40 and it’s free for children under 6.
Gold tickets: Dh150 including a seat at the celebrity concerts and complimentary drinks.
VIP tickets: Dh300 inclusive of VIP seats, high-end catering and VIP parking.
Groups: Parties of 5 people and above will enjoy 20% discount on tickets.