Some Like It Hot: Abu Dhabi announces Summer Season line-up

If you like hot weather and are seeking something a bit more adventurous than usual for your upcoming summer vacation, a visit to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, could fill the bill nicely.

While this city on the shore of the Persian Gulf offers up its exotic Middle Eastern beauty at all times of the year, the AE Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) has just unveiled the full program of this year’s Abu Dhabi Summer Season, which will be held from July 20 to Aug. 20.

TCA Abu Dhabi has joined with leading UAE event organizers, partners and stakeholders to bring spectacular international events and activities to multiple venues across the emirate, the organization said in a statement announcing the program. The intent is to deliver a memorable summer season for both residents and overseas visitors.

Overlooking the Persian Gulf

“Abu Dhabi Summer Season is one of our anchor events and underpins the emirate’s credentials as a premium leisure destination,” His Excellency Saif Saeed Ghobash, director general of TCA Abu Dhabi, said. “It forms part of our long-term entertainment and cultural event planning process designed to incentivize private sector involvement in event development while building international awareness of the emirate's appeal.”

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, sits off the mainland on an island in the Persian Gulf. Its focus on oil exports and commerce is reflected by the skyline’s modern towers and shopping megacenters such as Abu Dhabi and Marina malls. The city shares its name with the emirate of Abu Dhabi, which is one of seven emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates. It is the largest emirate by area, accounting for approximately 87 percent of the total land area of the U.A.E., and has the largest population, estimated at 2.3 million, about a fifth of which are Emirati citizens.

Summer Season will feature a range of events held at various locations across the emirate.

“We have a superb month-long series of shows, entertainment, promotions, prizes and offers showing just how much Abu Dhabi has to offer as a holiday destination which is exciting, affordable and with world-class accommodation and attractions,” Mubarak Al Shamsi, director of Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau, said.

Along with a full calendar of shows for the entire family. Across Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain and Al Dhafra, hotels, malls and attractions will offer promotions and prizes throughout the month-long event. TCA Abu Dhabi is working with the UAE’s leading event companies to provide this season’s theatrical performances, shows and mall activities.

Al Shamsi with Cookie Monster
Photo courtesy TCA Abu Dhabi

Cartoon cat and mouse team Tom and Jerry will appear live on stage for 10 performances in Abu Dhabi city and Al Ain in an exclusive show for the first time in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), an alliance of six Middle Eastern countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. The characters will also appear in a week-long series of events in an Abu Dhabi mall where youngsters can interact with the characters during workshops and have their photos taken with the TV stars during meet-and-greet appearances.

Stand-up comedy has proven to be extremely popular during previous editions of Abu Dhabi Summer Season and will be part of this year’s line-up. Also during the month of festivities, visitors will be able to take in a Broadway-style Bollywood show ‘Balle Balle The Big Fat Indian Wedding’ in Abu Dhabi city and Al Dhafra.

Shoppers in participating malls will have the opportunity to win a luxury car during the Abu Dhabi Summer Season raffle draw, in which one car each week will be awarded to a lucky winning ticket holder. In addition, 50 Abu Dhabi Experience Vouchers will be awarded during the promotion. Each is good for two nights at a 5-star hotel.

A full schedule of promotions and offers at attractions and hotels across Abu Dhabi which can be found at

Summer Season festivities are a vital part of the emirate’s strategy to reach the goal of attracting nearly five million hotel guest arrivals this year. In the first quarter of 2017, hotel guest arrivals in the emirate have risen four percent compared to the same period in 2016.

The official airline for the summer season will be Etihad Airways, the flag carrier of the UAE. Dusit Thani, which operates five hotels in the UAE, is the official hotel partner.

Visitors to the Summer Season should be prepared for the UAE's very hot weather. According to, the average high temperature in Abu Dhabi during July and August is 42 degrees Celsius, or 107 degrees Fahrenheit. Average lows are 28 to 29 degrees C, or about 83 degrees F. And its position on the Persian Gulf delivers humidity that is often 90 to 95 percent, meaning it is decidedly not "a dry heat."

Etihad Airways has non-stop service to Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) from many cities in the U.S. Emirates airline has non-stop service to Dubai International Airport (DXB), which is about 130 kilometers northwest of Abu Dhabi. First class and Business Class passengers on Emirates can receive complimentary chauffeur drive service that can take them from DXB to Abu Dhabi and pick them up for return to DXB when they have finished their stay in the UAE's capital.

Numerous U.S. and international airlines offer connecting service from a variety of international hubs to AUH.

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Photos by Carl Dombek unless otherwise noted 
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