You know that moment on a Thursday afternoon when your work buddy asks what you’re doing this weekend and your mind goes blank? Well worry no more, friends, because What’s On has the perfect solution, whatever mood you are in.


Make A Difference Day, Beach Rotana
Who doesn’t want to be a superhero at least once in their life? The Beach Rotana is holding its 14th annual Make A Difference Day, today. They’re raising funds for the Make A Wish Foundation, a charity for kids with life-threatening medical conditions, and also Emirates Wildlife Society. Superhero costumes aren’t mandatory, but are without a doubt encouraged. Expect food and games at the hotel’s beach garden.

Beach Rotana, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi, Oct 23, 3.30pm to 6pm, Dhs30. Tel: (02) 697 9011. Taxi: Beach Rotana.

Abu Dhabi Film Festival
One of the flagship events on the Abu Dhabi calendar starts tonight. The Abu Dhabi Film Festival has been running since 2007, and this year the movie kicking off proceedings on opening night (which just so happens to be tonight) is new Emirati road trip movie From A to B. Also worth catching is The Drop, starring James Gandolfini in his last role before he passed away, and up-and-coming Brit actor Tom Hardy.

Read a full preview here.

Until November 1
Various movies showing at various times at Emirates Palace and Vox Cinemas, Marina Mall, Oct 23 to Nov 1.

The Valley, at Abu Dhabi Film Festival

National Traditional Handicrafts Festival, Al Ain
You live in the UAE, but just how much do you really know about Emirati culture? Find out more at the first-ever National Traditional Handicrafts festival in Al Ain. Running for a week from today, it features workshops on handicrafts and how to make Arabic coffee, plus how to cook traditional dishes, and lots more.

Until October 29
Souk Al Qattara, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Oct 23 to 29, 9am to 8pm, free. Tel: (03) 7118200. Taxi: Souk Al Qattara, Al Ain.

Diwali festival at the Dusit Thani
Happy Diwali to all our readers! And if you fancy trying some Indian dishes tonight to celebrate, Urban Kitchen at the Dusit Thani has a buffet of dishes on offer from the north and south of the country, plus traditional sweets.

Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, Al Ittihad, Abu Dhabi, Oct 23, 7pm to 10p.30pm, Dhs199. Tel: (02) 698 8888. Taxi: Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi. 

Thursday night brunch at Eastern Mangroves
Who said Friday was the only time you can brunch? The Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara has re-launched its weekly Thursday night Pool Deck Barbecue brunch this month. It’s a casual evening of music and grub including marinated baby chicken and smoked salmon cooked over a bonfire, with views of the mangroves.

Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, Thur 7pm to 11pm, Dhs189 to 239. Tel: (02) 6561181. Taxi: Eastern Mangroves.


Festival of Lights at Yas Waterworld (LAST CHANCE)
Abu Dhabi’s aqua theme park (which won an award at our What’s On Awards 2014 ceremony on Saadiyat Island on Monday night) has been holding its own Diwali celebrations all week, which come to an end today. There’s glittering lights on the rides, fire dancers, Indian Rangoli painting, a hula hoop competition and more.

Yas Waterworld, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Oct 24. Tel: (02) 4142000. Taxi: Yas Waterworld.

Yas Waterworld

Kilomarathon at The Westin
A charity run raising funds to support children through Unicef takes place at The Westin tonight. Choose from the mighty 26.2km and a 2.5km fun run for kids, or just come along and cheer on the runners.

Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, Sas Al Nakhl, Abu Dhabi, Oct 24, 8pm. Tel: (02) 6169999. Dhs150. Taxi: Westin Abu Dhabi. 

Bollywood Diwali brunch
The Holiday Inn’s brunch at the Silk Route Café is celebrating Diwali this weekend, with curries, kebabs, biryanis and sweets on the menu. There’s a kids’ zone to keep your little terrors in check as well.

Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi, Al Reehan, Abu Dhabi, from 12.30pm, Dhs139 to 179 (kids under six eat for free). Tel: (02) 6574856. Taxi: Holiday Inn. 

Al Ain Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship
Watch some of the UAE’s top martial arts experts go head-to-head in the second UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation championship of the season. There are fighters in various weight categories battling for gold, silver and bronze medals.

UAE University, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Oct 24, 2pm to 6pm, Oct 25 11am to 4pm. Tel: (02) 3336111.

Ferrari World Festival Of Lights
Abu Dhabi’s theme park is half-way through its ten-day event called Festival Of Lights celebrating Diwali, featuring live performances. On the agenda is LaserMan, a one-man laser show, modern Bollywood dancers from Dubai, Dhol Drummers, performance group Petro Beats, a henna station and a food stall selling Indian dishes.

Ferrari World, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Oct 17 to 27, Tel: (02) 4968000. Taxi: Ferrari World.


Truffle menu at Amici
White truffle season is well and truly underway and Amici, the Yas Viceroy’s Italian restaurant, is serving a menu featuring the delicacy for a limited time (the hotel estimates until the end of November).

Yas Viceroy, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, daily 12.30pm to 3pm, 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6560600. Taxi: Yas Viceroy. 

Amici at Yas Viceroy

Pumpkin month
It might not feel like autumn yet but at least you can enjoy the season’s flavours, with a menu based on everyone’s favourite spooky, bright orange veg at BiCE.

Jumeirah At Etihad Towers, Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi, daily noon to 3pm and 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 8115888. Taxi: Jumeirah At Etihad Towers.