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MOTN festival 2023 attracts 266,000 visitors

Launched in 2016, MOTN is the region’s ultimate entertainment festival. (Supplied)
Launched in 2016, MOTN is the region’s ultimate entertainment festival. (Supplied)
Launched in 2016, MOTN is the region’s ultimate entertainment festival. (Supplied)
Launched in 2016, MOTN is the region’s ultimate entertainment festival. (Supplied)
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17 Jan 2024 04:01:55 GMT9
17 Jan 2024 04:01:55 GMT9

Amin Abbas

ABU DHABI: More than 266,000 visitors gathered from Dec. 8 to 31 for a season of enriching family moments, live performances, and creative activations at the biggest edition of the Mother of the Nation (MOTN) festival, the region’s ultimate entertainment event.

Launched in 2016, MOTN is the region’s ultimate entertainment festival. Held annually, the festival draws inspiration from some of the world’s most recognizable theme parks to bring visitors a jam-packed line-up of one-of-a-kind activations and art installations, gastronomical delights by local and global food vendors, a curated retail space featuring unique design from around the world, and live performances by A-list artists. 

The air was electrified with 493 performances by world-class artists, an array of international carnival thrills, immersive art experiences, engaging activities for the little ones, and more than 62 global and local food concepts.

The grand finale of the festival unfolded in a New Year’s Eve event that illuminated the night sky along the Abu Dhabi Corniche.

The festival featured a power-packed line-up of international and regional artists, including Nancy Ajram, Dubai-based DJ Aseel, Ramy Sabry, Black Eyed Peas, Cairokee, and El Far3i. On New Year’s Eve, superstars Tamer Hosny and Saif Nabeel delivered an unforgettable show that resonated with music lovers of all ages.

Grammy-nominated Syrian singer Rasha Rizk brought her ethereal music to the festival stage on Dec. 23  The artist, whose melodious voice is well recognized from Arabic theme songs for popular anime, took audiences on a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

In addition to spectacular live performances, the festival brought visitors newly introduced culinary and shopping concepts from around the world. From the joy of carnival rides to interactive physical and augmented reality games, the Corniche has transformed into the ultimate entertainment destination for families. Also unveiled at MOTN this year was the Abu Dhabi edition of the world-renowned board game, Monopoly. Visitors were invited to discover, buy, and trade the city’s most beloved landmarks in a life-sized version.

Bringing a total of 273 hours of continuous entertainment spread across 34 days, the festival featured 51 never-seen-before activations and installations from around the globe. More than 62 local and international food outlets and vendors took foodies on a gastronomic journey. The festival hosted street food and dessert concepts such as UK-based burger joint Mother Flipper, authentic pizzeria Bad Boys Pizza Society, award-winning bakery CrossTown, and candy floss ice cream connoisseurs Milk Train.

Additionally, Bo-Tik, a curated retail space home to over 40 local and regional brands, was present at the festival. From elegant couture to trendy accessories, visitors had the opportunity to explore a diverse range of fashion offerings by emerging designers.

Giving families the opportunity to create cherished memories, the seventh edition of MOTN culminated with the best view of Abu Dhabi’s grand New Year’s Eve fireworks display on the Corniche.

Moreover, Spacetoon created Spacetoon Land, which brought Barbie to MOTN. The movie has been a roaring success world-wide, breaking all Box Office records on its opening weekend. This IP is hugely relevant, and her popularity and diverse appeal make it the right IP to include as part of the program.

MOTN also opened its doors for the first time this year in Al Dhafra from Nov. 22 to 26 and in Al Ain from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3.

The festival is set to return in 2024, with more immersive experiences and live entertainment in store for visitors of all ages.

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