Etihad Arena: A Year of Spectacular Events in 2023

Etihad Arena: A Year of Spectacular Events in 2023

Explore the incredible year of events at Abu Dhabi’s Ethihad Arena in 2023, featuring Monster Jam, award-winning concerts, international film festivals, and more.

In the heart of Abu Dhabi, the Etihad Arena emerged as a shining star in the entertainment world in 2023. This iconic venue hosted various sensational events that left audiences in awe. From gravity-defying stunts to chart-topping concerts and international film festivals to gaming showdowns, Ethihad Arena showcased its versatility like never before. Let’s dive into the highlights of this historic year and relive the magic that unfolded under its roof.

Monster Jam: Gravity-Defying Spectacle

When Monster Jam roared into Ethihad Arena in May, Abu Dhabi witnessed gravity-defying stunts that amazed spectators. The regional debut of Monster Jam 2023 brought 5,500 trucks soaring through the air, showcasing masterful control over mammoth monster trucks amidst 1500 tonnes of sand. It was a fan-favourite event that set the stage for an electrifying year.

Award-Winning Concert Series: Rocking the Capital

Abu Dhabi’s music scene reached new heights with an award-winning concert series that featured international sensations. Backstreet Boys and Guns N’ Roses made their UAE debut performances on Yas Island, packing Ethihad Arena with devoted fans. The venue also saw sell-out shows with the likes of Robbie Williams, Charlie Puth, Amr Diab, and more taking the stage, making 2023 a year to remember for music enthusiasts.

Indian International Film Festival: Bollywood Extravaganza

Etihad Arena stepped into the world of Indian cinema by hosting the Indian International Film Festival in May. The venue welcomed Bollywood’s biggest stars, including Salman Khan and Varun Dhawan, for an international celebration of film excellence. It was a grand spectacle that highlighted the global reach of Indian cinema.

Etihad Arena

Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards: A Slimy Affair

In September, Abu Dhabi hosted the globally renowned Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. Regional stars and green slime graced the Etihad Arena stage, with award-winning British music sensation Jessie J as the event host. It was a pop culture celebration like no other, featuring star-studded appearances.

The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023: Basketball Extravaganza

The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023, presented by ADQ, took center stage at Ethihad Arena. The Dallas Mavericks and the Minnesota Timberwolves played two preseason games in front of record crowds, continuing the success of the inaugural games in 2022. The event also marked the first-ever NBA Fan Appreciation Day in Abu Dhabi, featuring sports and entertainment luminaries like NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Steve Harvey, and Michael B. Jordan.

Disney on Ice: A Magical Transformation

The magic of Disney came alive at Ethihad Arena as it transformed into an ice-skating wonderland for Disney on Ice’s “100 Years of Wonder” in October. Young dreamers were enchanted as beloved characters like Micky and Minnie Mouse, Woody and Buzz from Toy Story, and Disney Princesses graced the 900-square-meter ice rink, bringing Disney’s enchanting world to Abu Dhabi.

UFC 294: MAKHACHEV vs VOLKANOVSKI 2 – A Fight to Remember

Abu Dhabi Showdown Week was back with a bang, featuring UFC 294: MAKHACHEV vs VOLKANOVSKI 2. As part of a long-standing partnership between UFC and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), this event brought UFC’s global fanbase and world-class athletes to the UAE capital. In October, Ethihad Arena witnessed Islam Makhachev defending his lightweight championship belt in an electrifying showdown.

World Supercross Championship Abu Dhabi GP: High-Flying Action

Abu Dhabi became a part of the World Supercross Championship in 2023 with the inaugural Abu Dhabi GP. Ethihad Arena underwent a stunning transformation with 7000 tonnes of locally sourced dirt, creating a WSX dirt track for the first time in the region. The event featured 40 top riders, delivering high-flying action and an unparalleled fan experience, igniting Yas Island’s race season.

BLAST Premier World Finals: Gaming Showdown

December was thrilling as Yas Island became a hub for the world’s top-ranked gamers and eSports stars. The BLAST Premier World Finals took center stage, featuring intense competition across various international gaming tournaments. The Etihad Arena floor transformed into a battleground for over 18 teams and 40 players, captivating gaming enthusiasts in Abu Dhabi.

World Tennis League (Season 2): Tennis Meets Music

The highly anticipated World Tennis League returned with Season 2, debuting in the capital. Ethihad Arena saw 18 world’s top tennis stars sharing the spotlight with international award-winning artists like 50 Cent, Akon, Ne-Yo, and Arrested Development. What set this season apart was the unique transformation of the tennis court, transitioning seamlessly into an evening of concerts after the matches concluded.

The Milestone Year: What Lies Ahead

As we reflect on this historic year for Etihad Arena, it’s evident that it has redefined the entertainment landscape in Abu Dhabi. Operated by Ethara, in collaboration with strategic partners such as the Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and promoters, this venue has set the bar high. And the excitement doesn’t end here. Stay tuned for more announcements in the coming weeks as Ethihad Arena continues to bring unforgettable experiences to the region. For a sneak peek into what’s planned for 2024, visit ethara.com/events.

Etihad Arena


In 2023, Ethihad Arena etched its name in history by hosting a diverse range of events that catered to every taste and preference. From adrenaline-pumping stunts to soul-stirring music, from the glitz and glamour of Bollywood to the world of gaming and sports, this venue proved to be a versatile and dynamic entertainment hub. As we look forward to the future, one thing is certain: Ethihad Arena will continue to be a beacon of entertainment excellence in the heart of Abu Dhabi.

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