The Mother of all UAE Festivals…

Confirmed during an Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT) calendar announcement at this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM), we now know the dates for The Mother of the Nation Festival (MOTN) 2023 edition.

At the moment we don’t know a huge amount about the specific best of this year’s Fest, but we can extrapolate based on what’s gone before.

This time around it’s set to take place between December 24 to January 1, 2024. It’s usually staged around the Corniche, with accessibly priced ticketing (last year entry was just Dhs30), normally available via Ticketmaster.

It’s an event that, in part, is a celebration of the legacy of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the Mother of the Nation. And the festivities are expansive, with the grounds occupying a huge swathe of seafront leisure space.

Former glory

In 2022, the family focused fun was compartmentalised into six themed zones encompassing opportunities for guests to be entertained, enwisened and to dine out at a deliciously curated collection of pop-up yum-stufferies. There’s a strong thrill-culture balance. And we’re all about those ratios.

A theme develops

There was a foodie zone — which introduced a few regional firsts, exclusive concepts and big flavours; there was a live arena that staged musical concerts (the 2021 festival actually closed with UK hit maker Craig David); there was a shopping district full of fashion must-haves and coveted artisanal items; an Inspire Space with interactive art installations; an Amusement Park themed funfair set-up; and a Thrill Zone.

Images: Provided