Located in the sweeping dunes of the Liwa Desert, 150km from the centre of Abu Dhabi, Liwa Village is one of the UAE’s most exciting attractions. Spanning seven distinct zones, it offers a unique blend of retail, F&B experiences, captivating performances, and exhilarating activities, all set against the breathtaking backdrop of the burnt orange desert. From 8 to 31 December, the heritage village-cum-entertainment hub is hosting its own desert festival, complete with live music, culinary delights, family-friendly activities and so much more. Here’s what to expect.
How to Get to LIWA Village
LIWA Village is located in the Liwa Desert, about 220 km from Abu Dhabi and 360 km from Dubai. You can reach it by car via Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Street (E311) and Al Fayah Road (E75). The drive takes about 2.5 hours from Abu Dhabi and four hours from Dubai. You can also book a shuttle bus service from Abu Dhabi or Dubai, which runs daily during the event.
When to Visit LIWA Village
LIWA Village is open from December 8th to 31st, from 4 pm to 12 am on weekdays and from 4 pm to 2 am on weekends. The entry fee is AED 15 per person, which includes access to all the zones and attractions. You can also book your tickets online in advance to avoid queues and get discounts.
What to Expect at LIWA Village
It is a two-week desert festival that features the best of F&B, retail, entertainment, and e-gaming options. You can savour an array of culinary delights from the region’s leading dining outlets, shop the latest trends from the hottest brands, and have a blast with your family and friends at the various activities and attractions.
Adjacent to LIWA Village, there lies the SOUK, a conventional Emirati marketplace with splendid views from its rooftop. Augmenting the dining experience are Kabab Zaman Awal and Harees Al Fareej, delivering a diversity of Arabic flavours, while LET’S will aid you in discovering the festival’s culinary marvels with its guide on eating, drinking, and brunching. A takeover by Michelin-star Emirati eatery Erth will be the focal point of SOUK, presenting a variety of culinary delights to accommodate every occasion and taste copious Emirati dishes and Arabic-inspired patisserie. SOUK also accommodates a plethora of retail partners, providing traditional and inventive goods, including Dukkan, a distinctive concept in the region that serves all kinds of small and medium businesses, and MQ PERFUMES, showcasing a range of fragrant concoctions.
OASIS is a fusion of the desert’s charm and contemporary elegance, where the F&B partners comprise The Uncommon, a novel brand that launched last year with a unique pop-up dining concept, and BB Social Dining, presenting exquisite bites from a team of innovative chefs. For connoisseurs of succulent burgers, the emblematic SLAW is preparing a variety of specials such as the Blue Ocean burger, along with its sister brand SEEKH to craft succulent shawarmas with a creative twist. A spectrum of smoky flavours also beckons from Mattar Third Culture Barbecue, a brand that offers smoked brisket and chicken, as well as other delectable meats. For the ultimate retail experience, the OASIS also hosts ELEVENISH, a hub of creativity displaying works from emerging designers in the domain of luxury fashion and beauty. The brand encompasses numerous clothing options, perfumes, and a polished set of accessories.
At the VALLEY, where the sustainable elements harmonize with the beauty of December’s moonlit sky and mystical enchantment, the enticing SALT graces the venue. Known for its unique way of fusing simplicity and creativity, SALT prepares succulent burgers and irresistible ice creams that truly delight the taste buds.
At the festival’s expansive amusement park, the CARNIVAL, guests can experience the excitement and fun of LIWA VILLAGE with a wide array of skill games, including Pyramid Smash, Rebound, Blockbuster, Lobster Pot, Spin a Wheel, and Hook a Bag. Numerous activations will also be on offer, bringing a slice of exhilaration with an amusing 5D Cinema, captivating Playneo, and two electrifying Racing Simulators.
Enhance your excursion to LIWA Village with an overnight stay(or two) at this hotel
Given the considerable distance of Liwa village from both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, we strongly recommend combining this trip with a staycation at the Liwa Western hotel.. Situated in the core of the Liwa Arabian deserts, and merely 28 minutes away from LIWA Village, the hotel is a portal to the eternal charm of the region. Guests can enjoy picturesque views of the golden dunes and the oasis from their spacious rooms and villas, which are furnished with free Wi-Fi, private balconies or terraces, and contemporary amenities. The hotel also boasts an outdoor pool, a state-of-the-art gym, a sauna, a steam room, and a hot tub for rejuvenation. For gastronomy, guests can select from a diversity of cuisines, including Indian, Arabian, and international dishes, at the hotel’s restaurants and cafes.
Our LIWA Superior with Balcony room afforded us a much-needed respite from our excursion at LIWA VILLAGE. The room boasted a spacious bedroom with a comfortable king-size bed, furnished with a flat-screen TV and an en suite refined bathroom with a bathtub and a shower. The highlight of the room was the splendid balcony, it was blissful as the mornings were greeted with a veil of fog, which made us yearn to retreat into the cozy bed. The hotel staff were proficient and responded to our requests promptly.
Liwa Western Hotel is a perfect destination for thrill seekers, nature lovers, and culture aficionados, as it affords easy access to the Empty Quarter, the largest sand desert in the world, and the historical Liwa Oasis, where the ancient Bedouin culture still flourishes.
Doubles room with balcony, AED 1,800 per night, thewesternhotels.com