What’s On has a full list of all the things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend, including brunch, deals, sports, entertainment, new openings.

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.


Start Christmas at The Galleria
A stroll down the waterfront promenade will see the space outside this high-end shopping mall turned into a Winter Market complete with Christmas tree, gingerbread decorating station, children’s snow park and 18 kiosks offering unique gift ideas.

The Galleria, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, until Jan 5, 4pm to 10pm on weekdays, 4pm to midnight on weekends. Tel: (02): 6166999. Taxi: The Galleria, Al Maryah Island. thegalleria.ae

Winter Camp at Al Ain Zoo (registration closes today)
Kids can learn more about animals and Arabian art at this special camp hosted at Al Ain Zoo. Children will get to visit Al Qattara Arts and Crafts Centre, feed giraffes, work in the garden and meet the zookeepers. Open to children aged eight to 12 years. Registration closes today and sessions begin on December 21 to 25 and January 4 to 8.

Al Ain Zoo, Al Ain, 8am to 1pm, Dhs300. Tel: (03) 7811451. Taxi: Al Ain Zoo, Al Ain. alainzoo.ae

Al Ain Zoo Winter Camp

BBQ Brunch at Aloft Hotel
Eat meat at Mai Café. This rooftop lounge is situated next to the hotel’s infinity splash pool and will provide plenty of grub for carnivores at this evening brunch. Hosted every Thursday, enjoy live entertainment while you kickstart your weekend.

Aloft Abu Dhabi, Al Safraat, Abu Dhabi, 6.30pm to 10.30pm, Dhs135 or Dhs199 with select beverages. Tel: (02) 6545111. Taxi: Aloft Abu Dhabi, near ADNEC. aloftabudhabi.com

Find inner peace
Learn how to clear your mind at this free-to-attend meditation and mindfulness workshop. The ‘Clear Mind, Clean Heart’ lecture will be hosted by guest speaker Jayanti Kripalani.

Inner Space Abu Dhabi, Bain Al Jessrain, Abu Dhabi, 6.30pm to 8pm. Tel: (050) 5159646.Taxi: Inner Space, Co-Op Building, Bain Al Jessrain, opposite Gulf Pastry. innerspaceabudhabi.org

Viva Espana at Volvo Ocean Race
Head down to the Breakwater for a day of Spanish themed activities and events. Hosted as part of the Volvo Ocean Race Stopover, the purpose-built Destination Village will celebrate Spain for the day. Guests can gobble up some Spanish eats, watch Flamenco and enter a football competition.

Volvo Ocean Race, Breakwater, Corniche, Abu Dhabi, until Jan 3. Taxi: Corniche, Breakwater. volvooceanraceabudhabi.com

Sip some H20
Drink yourself slim with a special wellness water buffet at CuiScene restaurant in the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr. Offering eight special crystals and four fruit and herb combos, the flavoured waters offer unique health properties to drinkers. Available during breakfast, lunch and dinner at CuiScene.

Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Khor Al Maqta, Abu Dhabi, breakfast Dhs95, lunch Dhs145, dinner Dhs175 except on Thursdays. Tel: (02) 6543333. Taxi: Fairmont Bab Al Bahr. www.fairmont.com/abu-dhabi

Electric Days at Eight
This cult underground party from Dubai is back on tour and will roll into the capital tonight. Dance all night to the sounds of artists Eli & Fur, Jade and Jacob Bailey at Eight Abu Dhabi.

Eight, Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, entry Dhs70 from 9pm to 10pm or Dhs100 after 10pm. Tel: (050) 1446662. Taxi: Souk Qaryat Al Beri. facebook.com/EightAbuDhabi


YG performs at People by Crystal
Catch West Coast rapper YG aka Young Gangster at People by Crystal this Friday. Known for his single “Left, Right” he has collaborated with Drake, Jeezy, Jeremih and Rich Homie Quan.

People By Crystal, The Collection at St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (050) 8269698. Taxi: St Regis Saadiyat Island. facebook.com/PeoplebycrystalAbuDhabi

Snap up some photographs
This photography exhibition by self-described ‘rooftopper’ and UAE expat Daniel Cheong will showcase images from both Paris and Abu Dhabi, shot from high vantage points. Artwork is available for purchase.

French Alliance, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, until Dec 29, 9am to 8pm Sun to Thurs, 10am to 6pm on Sat, closed Dec 25 and 26. Tel: (02) 6666232. Taxi: French Alliance, next to Embassy of Ireland. afabudhabi.org

Photography up for grabs in Abu Dhabi

Craig Perry performs at VOR
The pop and rock artist will perform songs from his upcoming album this Friday at the Volvo Ocean Race Destination Village. Recently wining a Gap’s Recording Room competition, the GCC act will see the 30-year-old British performer will be joined on stage by his band members, Scottish drummer Rikki Topp, Swedish bass guitarist Niklas Wikstrom and Portuguese lead guitarist Francisco Abreu. The concert will be hosted on the floating Skyline Stage and also features StereoSound, a European cover band.

Volvo Ocean Race, Breakwater, Corniche, Abu Dhabi, until Jan 3, 7pm to 10pm. Taxi: Corniche, Breakwater. volvooceanraceabudhabi.com

Culture Club At Skylite
Head over to the Yas Viceroy’s rooftop lounge every Friday for this groovy party. With DJ Mark at the helm, expect music from the 1960s to present day at this after brunch party.

Yas Viceroy, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 4pm to 6pm, Dhs100 inclusive of 4 drinks. Tel: (02) 6560600. Taxi: Yas Viceroy. viceroyhotelsandresorts.com 

Fur Coat and Eric Volta at Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE
Party like you’re in Ibiza at this beach bar. Dance to the cosmic beats of Eric Volta – the man behind the club classic Love Your Illusion – and global house duo Fur Coat.

Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotels and Resort, Ghantoot, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (05) 1133400. Taxi: Ghantoot Exit 399. bluemarlinibiza-uae.com


Everybody’s Trufflin’
Learn more about how to cook with truffles at this masterclass by jones the grocer. Guests will create a truffle and foie gras stuffed three-bird roast with Brussel sprouts, chestnuts and parsnips puree.

Jones the Grocer, Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, 7pm, Dhs575. Tel: (02) 6395883. Taxi: jones in Khalidiyah, next to Oryx Hotel. jonesthegrocer.com

Truffles at Jones the Grocer

Metronome #8
Aspiring musicians, bands and singer-songwriters based in the emirate will be hitting the mic at this music night organised by White Cube. Performers include Zaid Lufti, Zainab, Kelsey Dion, Morning After Midnight and Aditya Menon.

Shining Tower, Al Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, 6pm to 10pm. Taxi: Shining Tower, Al Khalidiya. facebook.com/WhiteCubeUAE

Ripe Market
Load up on fresh, local produce at this organic farmers market. Hosted every Saturday morning at The Collection, you can get your five-a-day while also checking out independent vendors selling crafts, jewellery and gifts.

The Collection, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 2pm. Taxi: St. Regis Collection, Saadiyat Island. ripeme.com

Affordable art sale
Decorate your home with some affordable art from the Abu Dhabi Art Hub. With original artworks priced at Dhs2000 or less, pick up something new for yourself or purchase a last–minute gift for the holidays.

Abu Dhabi Art Hub, Mussafah, Abu Dhabi, 7pm. Tel: (02) 5515005. Taxi: Abu Dhabi Art Hub in Mussafah, close to ICAD Residential City. www.adah.ae