The award-winning All Africa Festival (AAF), the UAE’s largest celebration of Africa’s rich and diverse cultures in all their vibrant expressions and representations, is set to make its return for this year’s edition, debuting in the nation’s capital Abu Dhabi. The festival will take place from 17-19 November 2023, and will see the UAE Africa Connect (UAEAC) platform operate as the festival’s strategic partner. UAEAC is a platform that celebrates the harmonic and solid partnership between the UAE and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The stage will be set on the grounds of Etihad Park, located in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s landmark family entertainment destination Yas Island, bringing together residents and visitors alike for a 3-day long entertainment and culturally immersive extravaganza that includes performances from globally renowned music icons, as well as locally based talent and DJs, with representation from all regions of the African continent all performing varied genres of music.
Festival goers are invited to also come out and enjoy diverse offerings of pan-African cuisine, catch a glimpse of unique displays of live art and creative installations, immerse themselves in fashion exhibits from UAE based designers; all of which come together to present a mosaic of uniquely curated experiences that pay homage to the spirit of Africa and its people residing in different corners of the world.
"We couldn’t be more excited to bring back the All Africa Festival this year, with Yas Island in Abu Dhabi providing the perfect backdrop to take this event to new heights in driving our mandate to showcase and celebrate Africa’s vibrant entertainment, food and cultural experiences to residents and visitors to the UAE and the GCC region at large,” said Nina Olatoke, CEO and Co-Founder of the All Africa Festival.
“From humble beginnings in Dubai’s Creek Park in 2018, to two consecutive years hosting the Festival at the foot of Burj Khalifa in Burj Park, our history spans more than five years of curating and successfully producing a festival that welcomes all nationalities to come and experience the heartbeat of Africa through sound and displays of art, fashion and cuisine,” said Nina.
The decision to move the All Africa Festival comes inspired by the nation’s ongoing commitment to fostering an inclusive and culturally diverse society, as well as having witnessed the growth in numbers of African expats living and working in the UAE. The UAE is increasingly becoming widely viewed by the African community as a land of opportunity and a global destination of distinction for occupational, entrepreneurship and creative opportunities for expats.
“As we bring to life the electric, vibrant energy for which Africa is known through music performances, fashion and art installations across the three days, we are truly honoured to be working closely with UAE Africa Connect, our strategic partner, the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, as well as Miral, the leading creator of immersive destinations and experiences, in bringing this event to life,” Nina adds.
The African renaissance is alive and growing across the world, with African music genres Amapiano and Afrobeats for example, becoming platforms for which to connect the world with the indomitable buzz of African creativity and intercultural exchange through song and dance. The All Africa Festival seeks to therefore build on previous successes, attracting residents and tourists to what has become an annual event that celebrates not only the diversity of African culture, but also the equally culturally diverse landscape for which the UAE is known.