Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region, the 15th edition of the Al Dhafra Water Festival, organised by Abu Dhabi Heritage Authority and Abu Dhabi Marine Sports Club, will take place from 16-25 February 2024 at Al Mugheira Beach in Al Dhafra Region.

The festival will feature a diverse array of traditional and contemporary maritime races, traditional games, sports competitions, and recreational and educational activities. The events collectively underscore the significant role of maritime heritage across Abu Dhabi, ensuring its long-term sustainability.

The festival boasts various events, including the Marawah Dhow Sailing Race (43ft), a Tafrees (pole boat) traditional race, the Al Mugheira traditional rowing race, kitesurfing and Paddleboarding, the Al Dhafra Regatta, the Salaha sailing race, Jananah Dhow Sailing Race (22ft), as well as competitions in carrom, dominoes, cycling, running, beach soccer, beach volleyball, and traditional games such as Karrabi, Dahroy, Shaa, and Mutareh.

Also featured is a traditional market that welcomes visitors daily from 4pm-10pm, providing a unique experience. The market comprises various shops that blend Emirati maritime and desert heritage, offering a range of local and Gulf heritage products. Within the market, visitors can explore the Noukhatha House and a dedicated Children's Village. Additionally, various activities such as folk fashion shows, cooking competitions, traditional handicrafts, and a performance stage with daily quizzes and prizes add to the atmosphere. The events cater to different age groups, providing a variety of experiences.

The market serves as a platform for numerous pavilions, each representing government and private organisations actively participating in the festival. Attendees can enjoy performances by the Abu Dhabi Folklore troupe, live concerts, and equestrian shows. Additionally, diverse culinary experiences await at the food court, featuring various food trucks and fast-food outlets. For those seeking a unique outdoor experience, a dedicated camping area for recreational vehicles (RVs) is also available.

The Al Dhafra Water Festival is dedicated to enhancing maritime culture and heritage competitions, reflecting the profound interest of the wise leadership in celebrating maritime heritage and safeguarding national identity. It aligns with the overarching strategy of preserving Emirati heritage and acquainting both the local community and tourists with the rich customs and traditions associated with the sea.

The festival further lends support to the social and cultural activities of the residents of Al Dhafra Region, emphasising the significance and historical standing of this region. Moreover, it plays a pivotal role in nurturing the young sports generation and solidifying the distinctive tourism destinations available in Al Dhafra Region, which is renowned for its unique features and hosting a rich set of events.