Abu Dhabi: With visitors coming from countries like Saudi Arabia and Oman, along with thousands of others from other emirates, the first-ever edition of Dar Al Zain Festival is creating a positive impact on Al Ain’s tourism sector.
Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, the 10-day festival, which comes to a close this Saturday, features a number of entertainment and leisure activities catering to both young and old alike, with daily shows and events taking place.
“The Dar Al Zain Festival is aiming to amplify Al Ain with more entertainment for the whole family, so based on that goal we have created the festival with different types of activities such as concerts, shows, and a retail experience to attract visitors,” said Farah Bakhoush, the events development and licensing section manager at the department.
“At the moment, we are still (estimating) the number of visitors we have had, but it is definitely into the thousands. On the second day of the festival, we had more than 5,000 visitors, so we are confident that a large number of people have come to the festival,” she added.
According to Bakhoush, a large number of those visitors were also from outside the UAE.
“The festival has received a lot of visitors from Saudi Arabia and Oman, and that was one of our main goals as we marketed this festival in both these countries.
“We aligned the dates of our festival with the school holidays in these two countries as well, and so we are very happy to have seen so many visitors from those countries coming to the festival. We see that as a big success,” she added.
With visitors coming from abroad and across the UAE, Bakhoush said that this was providing a boost to Al Ain’s tourism sector.
“That is definitely part of our mandate as the tourism department, which is to enrich Al Ain with such entertainment experiences and activities. We have created packages with 12 hotels and several travel and tour operators, so we are engaging with the private sector to have them involved.
“The festival is creating a holistic experience — people who visit from other cities in the UAE or from abroad stay in the hotels, visit the festival and then may go out to the restaurants and shopping malls,” she added.
With the success of the first edition, Bakhoush said the festival would now become an annual event in Al Ain.
“This was the opening year and now the plan is to make it a sustainable festival on a yearly basis.”
Dar Al Zain Festival
Where: Al Ain Convention Centre
When: Runs until December 23
Timings: 4pm to midnight during weekdays, and 2pm to midnight during weekends