Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, as well as the country’s second-largest city. Abu Dhabi has so much to offer when it comes to entertainment that even those with very specific entertainment preferences are enthralled.
First and foremost, you are greeted with a stunning architectural design that is decked out with state-of-the-art and luxurious facilities which prepare you for the most thrilling experiences whenever you step into a live event venue.
Second, while Abu Dhabi has not been on the world’s entertainment stage for very long, it has made its way into many major concert tours and sporting schedules in recent years.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the Abu Dhabi events scene, with dozens of festivals, sporting events, and shows being postponed or canceled. Things are looking up, however, with the lifting of restrictions on live event gathering as this enchanting city transitions into a post-COVID-19 world.
Here are some of the notable and exciting trends that are emerging as a result of the return of live events to Abu Dhabi:
While the pandemic slowed down the live events scene in Abu Dhabi, it did not halt it. Post-COVID-19, Abu Dhabi is back to having an exciting calendar of events. Highlights include the Fina World Swimming Championship (25m), UFC fight nights, live concerts, and more. It is expected that these events will continue to flourish as organizers are challenging themselves to put on even bigger and better events.
It is also expected that tech will be used more to help improve your experience at these events. A lot of event organizers are currently using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data, such as those obtained from footfall data. The goal is to understand visitors’ behavior better at events and to help improve and create more personalized experiences for guests at future live events.
Note: Personalizing an experience in this context is more than just organizers using a guest’s name in event communications.
COVID-19 propelled virtual events to the forefront of the events industry, despite the fact that they were already a trend. The pandemic only accelerated its ascension to mainstream status. That being said, even with the return of live events to the Abu Dhabi entertainment scene, virtual events remain a popular choice for many.
As a result, event organizers are opting to provide both experiences at the same time (i.e., combining virtual and live events to form hybrid events.
Hybrid events provide an excellent opportunity for Abu Dhabi’s events industry to ease the minds of those who are hesitant to participate in the excitement of Live events. There are also other reasons for the growing popularity of hybrid events in Abu Dhabi. Still, it all boils down to two things: improving the live event experience and expanding into new markets.
Live streaming of these events means people can still enjoy exciting concerts and other such experiences in Abu Dhabi, even under travel and health restrictions. Even if they are not restricted, the most prominent events are extremely popular, with event tickets selling out in hours. Streaming the event live solves these issues and allows thousands of people to attend if they are unable to head out to an in-person event for whatever reason.
While in-person events are back in full swing, event organizers and venues are still required to implement certain health safety measures in order to protect the health of concertgoers, sporting event attendees, and so on.
This means that capacity at in-person events is limited. Aside from that, one notable change to the nature of live events in Abu Dhabi is that only vaccinated guests are permitted to attend live events. You can also expect to be told to take common precautionary measures, such as wearing a mask, keeping a distance of no less than two meters between other event attendees, and following health etiquette while coughing or sneezing.
Finally, hand sanitizing stations, test storage space, floor markers, onsite testing, venue updates, and other amenities will become standard features at event venues.
To begin with, when compared to gate sales, online event ticket purchases are becoming the norm. Then, in light of the post-COVID-19 realities, event organizers and venues are opting to provide guests with flexible ticket options, particularly when it comes to event cancellations and postponements.
Some organizers are offering refunds in the form of charitable contributions. Similarly, more venues are implementing credit balances, including the option to turn your refunds into credits that can be used at a later time.
Trends in the Abu Dhabi events space show that some organizers are also offering subscription-based tickets, especially for recurring entertainment and sporting events. Subscriptions are replacing general admission events tickets, and memberships are replacing season tickets.
Finally, event organizers and venues are realizing that providing options is something their customers will remember and appreciate that will keep them coming back.
With technological advancements, innovation, continued investment, and exciting developments already in the works, the next decade promises to provide Abu Dhabi residents and visitors with some incredible entertainment experiences. There is bound to be something for you, both offline and online, whether you are a sports, music, or culture fan.
One notable trend in all of this is the increase in the number of live events that will be streamed online in the future. While most event-goers would agree that watching an event on a screen at home cannot replace being there in person, it is far more preferable to being unable to access the event at all. It also significantly boosts the potential revenue from pay-per-view or advertising for venues.
That’s a win-win for all parties involved. On the guests’ end, great experiences can be easily had at the tap of a button.