Abu Dhabi draws in huge crowds for festive New Year celebrations

Top tier hotels record 100% occupancy

World-famous band Coldplay perform to 30,000 fans at du Arenan

Yas Island’s Winterland Carnival attracts 26,000 people

All India, 4th January 2017:  Abu Dhabi enjoyed an extremely busy New Year’s period with the emirate’s diverse programme of multiple leisure activities, hotel and dining promotions, music concerts, cultural festivals and entertainment events that were held during December, proving extremely popular with both residents and visitors.

As 2016 came to an end, and the emirate welcoming in the New Year, the city’s packed calendar of activations and concerts made sure that many of Abu Dhabi’s top-tier hotels were running at 100 per cent occupancy levels, with many more hotels close to full capacity.

Establishments enjoying full capacity over the New Year period included the Beach Rotana, Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche and Intercontinental Abu Dhabi.

December is historically one of the busiest periods for Abu Dhabi’s hotels and attractions, with the sheer diversity of top-tier events and entertainments on offer in Abu Dhabi to celebrate New Year, contributing to a boost in visitor numbers to the emirate during this period. Visitor numbers re-emphasised Abu Dhabi’s status as a world-class destination, which continues to forge a reputation on the international stage.

Guests checking in to the emirate’s hotels from January until November 2016 showed an increase of 8 per cent compared with 2015, with the total number of guest arrivals at 4,022,918. The New Year events which offered residents and visitors to the emirate a rich diversity of tourism, leisure and cultural experiences for the enjoyment of the entire family proved to be so popular, with figures reported during the festive season poised to further increase the recorded numbers of visitors to the emirate in 2016.  

Events such as the New Year’s Eve concert by world-famous rock band Coldplay at du Arena on Abu Dhabi’s ‘entertainment hub’ of Yas Island helped boost visitor numbers, with 30,000 people packed into the venue to enjoy famous songs by the band including ‘Fix You’ and ‘Clocks’. 

Many more people flocked to the city to enjoy alternative musical events, such as a concert at the waterfront promenade on Al Maryah Island by Emirati star Hussain Al Jasmi, Egyptian pop icon Mohammad Hamaki, and Palestinian singing sensation Mohammad Assaf.

Yas Island’s “Winterland Carnival” which was held at the du Forum welcomed more than 26,000 people who enjoyed the activities at this unique winter-themed event, which featured exciting rides, games, performers, as well as an array of food trucks.

Spectacular fireworks displays also delighted the huge crowds, with pyrotechnic events held at several locations across the emirate. Visitors and residents alike celebrated the start of the New Year whilst watching spectacular sky-high shows at Al Maryah Island Promenade, Khor Al Maqtaa and the famous Emirates Palace hotel – with rapturous crowds packing the capital’s iconic Corniche in order to watch.

There were also a multitude of winter-themed festivals at several locations, as well as cultural events such as the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival, which all proved to be extremely popular with visitors.

ADFF has successfully attracted both residents and visitors alike to enjoy not only tasteful cuisines from some of the best chefs globally, but also some of the most amazing food, and multi-sensory culinary experiences available anywhere in the world today. All elements of the festival came together as part of a packed programme of delectable offerings that further positioned Abu Dhabi as a truly international hub of culinary inspiration.


Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction which enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The authority manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programmes relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The authority supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honour the emirate’s heritage. A key authority role is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.

For more information please contact:
Anu Bhat
PR and Brand Executive
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority
Tel: +91 11 23737348, +91 9643674469 | Fax: +91 11 23350270