The annual Summer in Abu Dhabi (SIAD) festival was officially opened by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (ADTCA) on Wednesday at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec).
The Ice Village is a major attraction for children. — KT Photo By Shoaib Anwer
As in previous years, plenty of indoor fun, mostly for children and teenagers, is spread across 21,000 square metres, including an ice rink for shows.
“All in all, we have 90 activities at Adnec this summer, including 10 rides and 18 skill games,” said Faisal Al Sheikh, events manager at the ADTCA.
“For the first time, we have a live animal show as well, which we decided to do as a result of a last year visitors’ survey,” he told Khaleej Times.
“Partially, we choose the attractions for SIAD based on the suggestions of our visitors, as we share our vision with them. Of course, we also keep an eye on what’s going on around the world in the show and entertainment business and select what we consider most suitable for our festival.” The live animal show is a standard circus act involving three sea lions, which runs three times a day.
Another major attraction is the Ice Village, based on the story and characters of the Ice Age, where children get to play in artificial snow and meet the iconic Ice Age characters, including the squirrel.
“We started this pattern last year, when we had the Smurf Village, which promoted the 2011 released The Smurfs movie. This summer, the Ice Village is aligned with the release of Ice Age 3 movie, which will be in the cinemas this August,” mentioned Al Sheikh. The Dingle Fingle Stunt Academy is showing some basic clown tricks in a daily show, while the now traditional heritage area is back, but only showcasing Emirati customs and traditions with daily handicrafts making workshops as well.
Show World has seven different ice spectaculars and shows, based on famous fairytales - Snow White, Peter Pan, Cinderella, Ice Age, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast and Louna, a famous Arab doll. They all run several times a day, at different dates, each show being about 45 minutes long, starting with Cinderella on Ice.
A major partner of the ADTCA this year is the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, which is hosting a range of activities and workshops at SIAD-Adnec, as part of its Sport and Games Festival. Targeted at everyone from five to 35 years of age, these include judo, basketball, football, table tennis, tennis, badminton and golf.