Thousands of out-of-term school children last weekend helped Summer in Abu Dhabi, the month-long family blockbuster running at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), shatter its opening 10-day attendance record.
After opening on July 21, the festival’s first 10 days drew a whopping 30,938 visitors – a four per cent rise on the comparative period last year (29,591). Additionally, last Friday (June 29) generated the festival’s highest single-day attendance to date, as 5,641 ticket-paying guests flooded the ADNEC halls. The previous record of 4,599 was set on the festival’s final Friday last year.
“After welcoming 90,000 visitors last year, we targeted a 10% increase –or 100,000 visitors - for this summer,” said Faisal Al Sheikh, Events Manager, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), which organises the festival. “In previous years, the combination of domestic word-of-mouth endorsements and the event’s regional publicity campaigns ensured the festival’s final fortnight drew the biggest crowds. This year’s strong start can be attributed to a dynamic line-up of weekly shows, bigger-and-better attractions and the festival’s well-established position in the destination’s annual events calendar.”
With Summer in Abu Dhabi running until July 19, an amazing Sea Lion show is proving to be hugely popular with children of all ages. Running three-times daily, the jaw-dropping act sees a trio of hilarious aquatic mammals perform a host of side-splitting stunts, such as break-dancing moves, ball-juggling tricks and one flipper hand-stands.
An exciting new bill in the festival’s Show World theatre also significantly impacted weekend crowds, as renditions of The Jungle Book and Snow White on Ice began weekly runs. The two shows run until July 5, when Peter Pan on Ice and a 20-minute Louna musical – performed in English and Arabic - take-over. Performance timings are listed on the festival’s official website: www.summerinabudhabi.ae
The Summer in Abu Dhabi festival at ADNEC is open from 3pm – 9pm Sunday through Thursday and 2pm - 10pm Friday through Saturday. Entry is just AED 40 (US $11) for adults and AED 30 (US $8.5) for children under 12 years of age. Tickets can be bought at the door.