Al Gharbia Watersports Festival 2016

Got any plans for this (22/23 April) weekend or next weekend (29/30 April)?  Or even during the week between 24th and 28th April?

The annual 10-day Al Gharbia Watersports Festival has kicked off at Mirfa Beach today, and if this year’s event is half as good as last year’s then it is well worth making the effort to attend. The closest hotel is the Mirfa Hotel, which is likely to be fully booked, but other options are to stay in Abu Dhabi (if coming from Dubai or the Northern Emirates), or to pop down to Madinat Zayed (90 minutes away) and stay in the new Western Hotel or the Tilal Liwa.


What’s there?

Heritage activities, live shows, all manner of boat racing and of course water fun for all the family!



Starting today (21st April) until 30th April inclusive, from 12 noon to 10pm.

Kid’s village (heritage activities, competitions, workshops) from 4pm to 9pm

Water games from 12noon to 6pm

Traditional Souq from 4pm to 10pm

Boat racing scheduled, subject to wind and weather, from mid-afternoon.



Al Mirfa Beach – this link will take you to the location on Google Maps.


What do I need to take?

Swimwear (modest recommended – ladies this is not the place for bikinis! – or a t-shirt and shorts) plus a towel

Sunscreen – it may be cool at the coast but the sun is very strong at this time of year

A picnic – though you can buy food from the stalls for a very reasonable price

Your camera – lots to capture but remember do not take photos of local ladies, or indeed anyone, without their permission.


More Information?


The official website can be found here.

The Al Gharbia Watersports Festival also has a facebook page and if you have any questions you can contact them via messenger – they reply really quickly and are super-helpful.

I went for the first time last year and you can read about my visit here.

Wishing you all a great weekend!


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