The Department of Culture and Tourism –  Abu Dhabi and FUTR Group collaborate for globally-renowned festival at Manarat Al Saadiyat from December 9 to 11

The inaugural FUTR World Middle East, an immersive mix of business, entertainment and innovation, is set to delight, thrill and entertain residents and visitors in Abu Dhabi from December 9 to 11.

Organised by Retail Abu Dhabi – the retail platform of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) – MP Singapore and FUTR Group, the globally-renowned retail and technology festival will be making its regional debut at Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island. The event focuses on the future of retail, marketing and commerce.

The festival is divided into three dedicated zones: FUTR Festival, home to a top-class line-up of musical acts; FUTR Summit, a dedicated stage for innovative knowledge exchange featuring leaders from major brands and e-commerce giants; and FUTR Live, home to first-in-the-region experiences such as ‘Instagrammable’ pop-ups, business lessons and much more.

The unmissable attractions at FUTR World Middle East 2021 include:

  • Headliners at FUTR Festival: Rap and Afrobeat sensation Wizkid, best known for his hits ‘Essence’ and ‘Mood’, will take to the stage on December 10. Wizkid will be joined by the UK’s Alicia Harley, a rising dance and grime artist, for her UAE debut.
  • Pedal power at FUTR Live: Red Bull’s Viki Gomez, a world champion BMX maestro, will showcase his amazing two-wheel skills and offer tips to aspiring riders. Elsewhere, UAE-born Storm Cycling will host riding sessions with new 3D sound technology headsets, while the UAE’s figure skating pioneer Zahra Lari will lead a discussion on ‘Breaking Boundaries’.
  • Gaming experiences at FUTR Live: Tapping into the future of e-sports, visitors will find a VR gaming experience hosted by Benefit Cosmetics. Visitors can also take on e-sports professionals such as Street Fighter champion Big Bird, and Mario Kart-ace-turned-TikTok-star Nintendo Grl.
  • Step into space with NASA: FUTR Live will feature several talks, including Rebecca Roth, a media specialist at Goddard Space Flight Centre, who will discuss ‘Bringing Space to Life’. Roth’s talk will be complemented by a media and soundscape experience, where visitors can view images, videos and animations about NASA’s launches, space stations and Mars exploration missions.

International artists bring visual, immersive showcases: FUTR World Middle East will also feature seven sector-specific immersive experiences with works by numerous international artists, including Ong Kian Peng, Planeswalker, Jo Ho and Tiffany Low. Next-generation, 360-degree technology, mirrored augmentations, data visualisations, soundscapes and NFTs will bring to life immersive zones themed on beauty, sports and fitness, retail, balance and wellness, travel and automotive, fashion, and entertainment and media. Brands collaborating within these areas include Arrival, Ounass, The Giving Movement, Lancome, Sneaker District, Armani Beauty, Keihl’s and more.

  • Local and international culinary experiences: FUTR Tastebud, an immersive pop-up exploring the future of food hosted by creative food company inked, will present innovative concepts and samples from its vegan sushi brand Moby. FUTR Tastebud will also connect innovative UK food platform MOB Kitchen to visitors via interactive demonstrations, recipe ideas, talks, Q&A sessions and more.
  • Free beauty makeovers, masterclasses and fireside chats: At the festival’s dedicated balance and wellness sector, visitors will experience exclusive on-site beauty treatments by award-winning British home beauty service Ruuby, with the latest Boost LED facemasks by Light Salon, both of which are not yet operating in the region. Elsewhere, the popular beauty content creator and TikTok star Abby Roberts will hold a masterclass titled ‘Up Your Social Media Game’.
  • New AR Collection drop: The event will also shine light on local talent and artists. Trailblazing retailers  such as The Giving Movement have harnessed the powers of a new Snapchat AR release to create a forward-thinking method of highlighting their latest ethical activewear collection. Using an innovative smart mirror, fashion enthusiasts will be able to virtually try on the new range before they commit to buying it.

Recent amendments to health and safety mandates in Abu Dhabi means FUTR World Middle East is planned to take place at 100% capacity with all ticketholders requiring a valid PCR test result taken within the previous 96 hours and an active Alhosn Green Pass. Tickets start at AED 129 and are on sale now at Virgin Megastore.

To view the full FUTR World Middle East line-up, visit

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