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

It’s the start of the weekend, folks! But if you’re not sure what you’re doing yet, don’t worry. What’s On has the perfect solution, whatever mood you are in.

THURSDAY, December 10

Watch Santa on stage

Santa production shot 162

From London’s West End the Santa Claus and the Magical Christmas Journey stage production tells the story of what happens when Santa’s magical sat nav break downs. With elves Charlie and Kara to help save the day, watch as Mr. Claus and co work together to save Christmas.

Abu Dhabi Theater, Breakwater, Abu Dhabi, Dhs105 to Dhs150. Tel: (050) 8805074. Taxi: Abu Dhabi Theater. artforall.ae

Eat noodles

Visiting chef and noodle expert Tom Zong will debut a special menu at Li Jiang. The promotion will run until December 15.

 Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqta’a, Abu Dhabi, daily 4pm to 1am. Tel: (02) 8188282. Taxi: Ritz-Carlton. ritzcarlton.com

 Go to the Swiss Christmas Market

Finish up your Christmas shopping with a visit to the Swiss Chirstmas Market at Beach Rotana. Hosted until Saturday, you’ll be able to find unique handmade goods, festive treats and more. There’ll also be plenty of activities for the kiddies too.

Beach Rotana, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi, timings vary, until Dec 12. Tel: (02) 6979000. Taxi: Next to Abu Dhabi Mall. rotana.com

Listen to Classical music

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Brazilian concert pianist Nelson Freire will perform a selection of works dedicated to Ludwig van Beethoven, including the 4th Piano Concerto and the 7th Symphony.

Emirates Palace, Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi, 8pm, Dhs30 to Dhs550. Tel: (800) 555. Taxi: Emirates Palace. abudhabiclassics.ae

FRIDAY, December 11

Watch Cinderella


Check out this rendition of the classic fairytale Cinderella at the Emirates Palace by a cast of British musical theatre performers. With shows being hosted on Friday and Saturday, find out if Cinderella can defy her ugly sisters and make it to the ball to meet her handsome Prince.

Emirates Palace, Al Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi, timings vary, Dhs195 to Dhs295. Tel: (050) 3792475. Taxi: Emirates Palace. ticketmaster.ae

Aloft Abu Dhabi

Celebrate the upcoming holiday season Caribbean style with the second edition of Caribfest Christmas. There’ll be DJs, live performers and a Caribbean food stand.

Aloft Abu Dhabi, Al Safraat, Abu Dhab, Dec 11, 2pm to 8pm for families, 8pm to 3am for 21 years and older, from Dhs150. Tel: (052) 9934276. Taxi: Aloft Abu Dhabi, near ADNEC. aloftabudhabi.com/Caribfest


Head to Yas Viceroy for an indulgent two-hour spa session that will see you enjoy a 60-minute aromatherapy massage before receiving an intensive or instant brightening facial. Guests receiving the Invigorating package will also be gifted a product from the Firmer Skin Collection.

Yas Viceroy, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, daily 9am to 9pm, Dhs600. Tel: (02) 6560862. Taxi: Yas Viceroy. viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

Go to a tree lighting

Christmas tree lighting

Head over to the Galleria on Al Maryah Island to see a Christmas tree lighting on the waterfront promenade. There will also be a carolers and a marching band for extra entertainment.

The Galleria, Abu Dhabi Global Market Square, Abu Dhabi, 7pm. Tel: (02) 6166999. Taxi: Galleria on Al Maryah Island. thegalleria.ae

SATURDAY, December 12

Make a gingerbread house

Let the kids get creative in the kitchen, with this gingerbread house decorating session in the Palace Dome.

Emirates Palace, West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, 2pm to 5pm, Dhs200. Tel: (02) 6907999. Taxi: Emirates Palace. kempinski.com

Visit the Yas Marina Winter Market

Yas Marina festive

Get your stocking stuffers and other unique goods at this outdoor market on Yas Island. There’ll be over 60 stalls with clothing, soaps, furniture, jewellery, artwork and more.

Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 1pm to 8pm. Tel: (02) 4062000. Taxi: Yas Marina, Yas Island. yasmarina.ae

 Last chance for the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival

It’s the last day of this cultural festival. Named in honour of the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, this programme is a celebration of the country’s cultural inheritance. From traditional craft workshops to auctions and exhibitions, it’s a great way for expats and visitors alike to learn about the emirates’ history.

 Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (800) 555. Taxi: Al Wathba, near the camel race track. zayedfestival.com

Watch a festive movie

Check out the open-air Christmas cinema at the Beachcomber, which will see you watch classic holiday films under the stars every Saturday during the month of December. There will also be hot chocolate, popcorn and warm blankets available.

Sheraton Abu Dhabi, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, 7pm, free entry. Tel: (02) 6773333. Taxi: Sheraton Corniche. sheratonabudhabihotel.com

Listen to the cello

Head to the New York University Abu Dhabi campus on Saadiyat to check out a special concert featuring 25 cellists. Expect a selection of solo and chamber music as well as a cello choir setting of Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant us Peace). Directed by Gwyneth Bravo, the concert will also feature guest cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan and pianist Matthew Quayle. Prior registration required.

NYU Art Center Foyer, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, 8pm to 10pm. Taxi: NYU Campus on Saadiyat Island. nyuad.nyu.edu