Sheikh Sultan bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, Advisor to President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Head of the Higher Organising Committee of the Sheikh Zayed Festival (SZF), inspected the festival’s site, as well as its sections and various pavilions, and explored the preparations and final arrangements for the event, which will kick off on Friday, 17th November, 2023.
During the visit, Sheikh Sultan, accompanied by Hamid Saeed Al Neyadi, Director of the Private Office of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Presidential Court, and Chairman of the Festival’s Higher Organising Committee, and Abdullah Mubarak Al Muhairi, Member of the Higher Organising Committee, along with other members and officials, expressed his complete satisfaction with the preparations and readiness for the festival, commending the meticulous arrangements.
He then highlighted the keen interest of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed in the festival and its events, stressing that his generous sponsorship of the festival confirms its significance and valuable contributions.
The festival is one of the largest cultural events that showcase the national heritage of the UAE, affirming the values of tolerance, cultural dialogue and the blending of civilisations. The festival will run from 17th November, 2023, to 9th March, 2024.
The establishment of the festival, under the generous patronage of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed and the direct supervision of His Highness Sheikh Mansour, underscores the interest of the UAE’s leadership in all aspects of the festival and confirms their full support for its success.
Sheikh Sultan then pointed out that the festival was named after the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and affirmed the solid foundations and clear principles that he established for the nation’s journey as he worked throughout his life to ensure that the UAE’s progress is rooted in the heritage of its people, united and characterised by its civilisation. The festival reflects the union and solidarity of the Emirati people and showcases their vision for the future under the guidance of their leadership, he added, lauding the outstanding efforts of strategic partners, government entities, sponsors, participating entities, and supporters.
He also lauded the significant efforts of the teams that prepared and organised the festival, confirming that the festival is ready and prepared to receive visitors.
Al Neyadi expressed his confidence in the committee’s efforts, through all its working teams, to achieve the festival’s objectives, adding that the committee is committed to implementing the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mansour, who has consistently stressed the need to exert every effort to delight citizens and visitors and provide everything that achieves the festival’s values and goals.
The festival also contributes to promoting Abu Dhabi’s stature as a key tourism and cultural destination in the region, stressing that every year, it features new programmes and activities suitable for all family members.
With the participation of friendly countries and by adhering to its core and authentic principles, the festival has become a global cultural heritage event where cultures and civilisations meet in love, harmony, and peace, he said in conclusion.
Al Muhairi confirmed that the Sheikh Zayed Festival is a cultural, heritage and entertainment event that extends bridges of communication between civilisations through the arts and culture. He noted that this year’s festival is distinguished by the diversity of its offers, events and activities, which are very popular with citizens, residents and tourists from outside the UAE.
He said: ‘’This year’s events will constitute a major attraction for tourism due to the new sections that have been added to the events, foremost of which is the Heritage Village with all its diversity. The Heritage Village includes a complete complex of the four different environments (the marine, the land, the mountain and the agriculture) of ancient Emirati society with all the features, crafts and products that each environment carries. Equipment, jewelry, collectibles, and what each environment is famous for from its popular heritage. There will also be a large popular market full of local handmade products with wonderful arts displays.
He added: The Flora and Fauna Reserve, which is the first of its kind, with its unique, rare animals and birds, will also have a prominent place among tourists and wildlife lovers.
He pointed out that events and holidays will have a prominent place in the festival celebrations, led by the Union Parade, then the National Day celebrations. The New Year will also figure high in its celebrations with fireworks and a number of accompanying events, in addition to the camping village, the Emirates Fountain, other competitions, the flying restaurant, the children’s village, the toy city, and the parade of civilisations. The festival hosts a number of sisterly and friendly countries to present their culture, arts, foods, and various products, in addition to many activities suitable for all family members.
He revealed that more than 2.5 million visitors and 7 million followers and viewers enjoyed the activities of the 2022 edition of the festival.
‘’We expect this year’s edition to break the number of last year’s visitors and viewers,” he concluded.
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