Sponsored: Escape the city for thrilling desert adventures…

If an escape from the city is on your agenda this December, then the Abu Dhabi desert is calling your name. Get ready for desert thrills at the welcome return of Liwa International Festival, popping up in the picturesque Al Dhafra dunes from December 8 to December 31.

Promising to be an action-packed alternative to all the winter-inspired activities happening across the city, trade snow for sand and load up on your fix of adventure, culture and food at this family-friendly festival. Whether you’re looking to listen to the sounds of regional talents, watch in amazement at the world-class motorsport, or enjoy culinary pop-ups from an array of globally-inspired restaurants, there’s something for everyone. What makes the Liwa International Festival particularly special, is the heritage influence, so you can also look forward to cultural souks, creative workshops, and family-focused experiences.

A key experience for those with a need for speed is the incredible motorsport spectacle. At the festival, hundreds of high-performance 4x4s, modified dune buggies, and souped-up vehicles of all shapes and sizes will descend, roaring their way up to the top of the 300-metre Tel Moreeb sand dune – one of the tallest in the world.

Festival fans can also look forward to the return of Liwa Village, a fantastic destination for food, entertainment, lifestyle activations and so much more. These include main stage competitions, photo opportunities and 4 game zones featuring games like shooting, laser tag and console gaming.

New for 2023, the Village features a food truck plaza, dune light projection shows, padel, volleyball and football facilities, and a monster jam truck show.

On the musical front, a roster of regional musical stars begins with Bandar Bin Oweer and Ghareeb Almokhles on December 9; then it’s the turn of Abdullah Al-ruwaishid, Ali Bin Mohammed and Diana Haddad on December 16; followed by Abadi Al Johar and Mutref Al Muter on December 23. Closing out 2023, a special New Year’s Eve show on December 31 will see headline performances from Khalid Abdulrahman, Eida Al Menhali and Hamad AlAmri.

Looking to make a weekend of it? Enjoy a frills-free night under the stars with the festival’s new Glamping Pod experiences, traditional Bedouin and Safari Tents.

Liwa Festival, Al Moreeb, Abu Dhabi, December 8 to December 31, 2023, Dhs15. Location pin here. Tickets via platinumlist.net. @liwastories