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FUTR World Festival Makes Middle East Debut

The unmissable attractions featuring entertainment, innovation and lifestyle are organised by Retail Abu Dhabi, MP Singapore and FUTR Group.

Globally-renowned retail and technology festival FUTR World is making its debut in the region. And with its immersive mix of business, entertainment and innovation, FUTR World Middle East is seriously set to delight, thrill and entertain Abu Dhabi’s residents and visitors. Taking place from December 9 to 11 at Manarat Al Saadiyat, the inaugural event is focusing on the future of retail, marketing and commerce.


The festival is divided into three dedicated zones, including FUTR Festival, which has a top-class line-up of musical acts to get the party started. Rap and Afrobeat sensation Wizkid will take to the stage on December 10. Best known for his hits “Essence” and “Mood,” he will be joined by the UK’s Alicia Harley, a rising dance and grime artist performing for the first time in the UAE. FUTR Summit, meanwhile, is a dedicated stage for innovative knowledge exchange featuring leaders from major brands and e-commerce giants. This is where guests get to sit back, listen and absorb priceless words of wisdom from the brains behind the world's biggest retail outlets, labels and corporate businesses, whether it’s via fascinating talks, interviews or masterclasses. The other sector, FUTR Live, is home to first-in-the-region experiences such as 'Instagrammable’ pop-ups, business lessons and much more.

FUTR Tastebuds

Demonstrations and tips from Viki Gomez, a world champion BMX maestro, riding sessions from UAE-born Storm Cycling and a talk by the UAE’s figure skating pioneer Zahra Lari are all part of the FUTR Live schedule. Visitors to FUTR Live can also find a VR gaming experience hosted by Benefit Cosmetics. Additionally, they can take on e-sports professionals such as Street Fighter champion Big Bird and Mario Kart-ace-turned-TikTok-star Nintendo Grl. Plus, FUTR Live will feature several talks, including one by Rebecca Roth, a media specialist at Goddard Space Flight Centre. Her session 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.

Benefit VR Gaming Experience

FUTR World Middle East will also have 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. Some of the several brands collaborating within these areas include Armani Beauty, Keihl’s, Ounass and Sneaker District.

The event also offers local and international culinary experiences via FUTR Tastebud, an immersive pop-up exploring the future of food. Hosted by creative food company inked, the pop-up 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.

Alicai Harley

Then there’s the festival’s dedicated balance and wellness sector, with its free beauty makeovers, masterclasses and fireside chats. Visitors can 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.

The event will also highlight 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.

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