A truly unique sort of festival…

Last year, tucked away in a usually very quiet corner of Abu Dhabi’s desert, the LIWA Village emerged from shifting sands to stage a festival showcasing an alluring range of unique entertainment experiences and cleverly curated attractions.

How you dune?

And the dates for Liwa Festival for 2023 have now been released, we’e looking at December 16 to December 31 run, and we’re expecting huge things.

The best of yester year

The 2022 session was a wild success with visitors enjoying access to concerts, family activities, shows, rides, arcade gaming, spectacular immersive dining opportunities, engaging demonstrations of Emirati heritage and crafts, eGaming tournaments, souk shopping from top-tier local fashion brands and more.

One of the highlights was Fuel Fest Arabia (will it return) where attendees were able to meet the stars of Hollywood blockbusting franchise, Fast and Furious (including some on four wheels) — Ludacris, Cody Walker, and Tyrese Gibson with a closing concert from Ludacris himself.

There’s no guarantee that this or any of the other highlights from last year will return. But it’s likely that at least some elements will be back. And with that in mind, it’s worth looking In 2022, the Liwa Village which was the operational hub of the festival was separated into distinct zones.

GAZE Immersive Dining

Described as “a dining environment interwoven with digital technology under the stars” the GAZE Immersive Dining experience promised to be quite unlike any other you’ve experienced. Both Antika and Zuma held pop-ups there.


Home of amazing off-the-rack merch from visiting vendors including A Frnd of Mine; EBL; House of Artisans; Chitral Handicrafts; Elevenish; and Apparel Group.

There was also an on-site spice market, henna art, khoos basket weaving displays, and live Emirati cooking demonstrations, found alongside some of the most popular names on the homegrown and world casual dining scene. We’re talking High Joint, Nap Pizza, Boh’ba Bubble Tea, Space Cafe, Scoppi Ice Cream, Flurry, and Acai Republic.


Was your GPS location for a crafty or relaxing respite from the rest of the festival’s frenetic pace. Experiences here included terrarium making, jewellery design, terracotta pot painting and tea excursions. There were contributions from Mattar Farm, The Giving Movement, Culinary Botique, Turquoise Boutique Studio, DRVN, Nikon Kids Photo Club, Let’s Cafe and more.


Another section of the Village that was given over to the pursuit of chill, and appreciation of aesthetic excellence.

Play Zone

There were some pretty enticing ways to spend screen time at Liwa Village too. With eGaming tournaments, as well as arcade and skill games on offer.


Finally the home of concerts at the Liwa Festival, the dedicated performance zone provided an immersive platform to showcase Arabian talent.

More firm details as soon as we get them.

2023 dates December 16 to December 31, last year’s pin drop was at this Google Map location.

Images: Provided