A fun fair, pavilion, circus and dress-up characters at huge attraction
Six Continents, an exciting fair in Khalifa Park, is Abu Dhabi’s answer to Dubai’s Global Village.
You may have been wondering what all those lights were for while driving past Khalifa Park lately. Is it a carnival? A circus? Actually, it’s both, and more. It’s Six Continents, an attraction taking place in the park.
Abdullah Nasser Al Junaibi, director of community services at Abu Dhabi Municipality says, ‘We decided to host Six Continents in Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Park as it’s one of the best known venues for entertainment in the UAE capital. The park is surrounded by a series of luxurious hotels and is in close proximity to many of Abu Dhabi’s tourist and entertainment attractions, allowing visitors to see all that Abu Dhabi has to offer. The municipality is keen to serve Abu Dhabi residents and visitors by launching community-oriented educational and recreational initiatives such as Six Continents, which serves as a platform of cultural communication between countries, and an entertainment venue.’
Six Continents opened on December 12 2013, and was scheduled to run until March 31 2014, although due to growing popularity, it will now be running through April and into May, weather permitting. It occupies most of the 48-acre park. Six Continents features shopping, rides, food stalls, shows and other entertainment from different cultures across the world.
Pavilions Like its Dubai counterpart, Six Continents has pavilions named after different countries. The star pavilion is, of course, the UAE, which sells handmade traditional Arabic crafts, such as boxes and jewellery, as well as sheila headscarves, abayas and embroidered items.
Other pavilions include China, Syria, Egypt, Pakistan and Turkey. Each boast treats and treasures representative of that country. The Turkey pavilion, for example, offers Turkish coffee, baklava, and kunefe, a cheese pastry soaked in sugary syrup. The Pakistan pavilion offers leather goods and fur coats.
You can also watch intermittent cultural music and dance performances respective to each pavilion’s country.
Fun fair Thrill-seeking children and parents alike will see the fun fair as the event’s biggest draw. Rides provide the colourful lights that draw attention to the park. There’s a car carousel – a kind of merry-go-round – a king spin, which lifts riders up in a vessel then quickly drops them and spins them around; bumper cars and a rollercoaster for younger children. In total, there are 35 rides. There are also 20 carnival games.
Casey Price, a mother of two who lives in Abu Dhabi, enjoyed her visit. She says, ‘Six Continents was great for our family because they had fun rides and shops for my older son, Lane, 14, but they also had attractions for my younger son, Mason, five, who isn’t quite old enough for the big-kid rides yet.’
Characters and shows Favourite Disney characters and superheroes such as Spider-Man, Hello Kitty, the Smurfs, and characters from Star Wars walk around and perform shows for children and stop to pose for pictures. Each day there are magic shows and performers on stilts as well.
Circus The newest attraction to come to Six Continents is Latino Circo, a Mexican circus. It features 30 performers who demonstrate acrobatics such as trapeze flying, as well as jugglers and magicians. There are even tigers! But don’t worry, they’re behind cages. They’re treated well of course. The circus also features tightrope walkers and stunt motorcyclists performing jumps and tricks. There are two shows a day, 6.30-8.45pm and 9-11.45pm. Tickets start at Dhs75.
A word of warning While the events going on at Six Continents are fun and exciting for the family, it’s the events that aren’t happening that are causing this initiative to receive mixed reviews from visitors. Throughout the three months that the event has been open, the pavilions for India, Africa, Yemen and Lebanon have been closed. Representatives are hopeful that these stations will soon be open for business.
Still, Six Continents has been attracting more visitors every week, welcoming 20,000 visitors one weekend.
While it may still be finding its legs, Six Continents is certainly worth a visit with the family. Kids will not be disappointed and the Dhs10 entrance fee is well worth the time outdoors enjoying the activities that are open. Sun-Thu 4-11pm, Fri-Sat 3pm-midnight. Khalifa Park, www.sixcontintents.ae (800 22220).