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 17

Watch aerial antics

Al Ain Airshow

The Al Ain Air Championship will see eight elite military and civilian aerobatic teams from around the world perform at the city’s eleventh annual air show this weekend. Expect to see death-defying stunts and tricks from wing walkers, parachutists and daredevil pilots. Other activities on offer include aircraft displays, musical performances and drifting competitions in the Championship Village. While the Championship Pit Lane will allow fans to meet the pilots and see the aircrafts from up close.

Al Ain International Airport, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, until Dec 19, 11am to 9pm, Dhs30 to Dsh150. Tel: (055) 9021655. Taxi: Al Ain International Airport. alainairchampionship.ae, tixbox.com

Listen to Classical music

Hosted as part of the Abu Dhabi Classics festival, this concert focuses on the power of poetry and music. Oud player Naseer Shamma will perform a “musical dialogue” than honours Syrian poet Adonis.

Emirates Palace, Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi, 8pm, Dhs30 to Dhs350. Tel: (800) 555. Taxi: Emirates Palace. abudhabiclassics.ae

Visit a winter wonderland

Yas Marina festive

Head to Yas Island for a holiday themed festival at Yas Marina that will include a Snowball Zone, a meet-and-greet with Santa and plenty of fun activities for the kiddies.

Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, noon to 7pm. Tel: (02) 4062000. Taxi: Yas Marina, Yas Island. yasmarina.ae

FRIDAY, December 18


Iris Sundowner

Kick off the weekend by checking out French DJ Lee Van Dowski at Iris Yas Island. Expect techno and soulful beats throughout the night.

Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 9pm till late. Tel: (055) 1605636. Taxi: Yas Marina. irisabudhabi.com

Camels and culture on show

Al Dhafra camel festival

The ninth edition of the Al Dhafra Festival features the annual, traditional camel auction (where prized animals have been sold for up to Dhs3.5 million), camel races and camel milking competitions. There’ll also be saluki races, falcon hunting competitions and a classic car showcase.

Madinat Zayed, Al Gharbia, Abu Dhabi, free entry, until Dec 30. Tel: (800) 555. Taxi: Al Gharbia. aldhafrafestival.ae

 Get running

Head to Al Ain for a half marathon or 10K run along the tree-lined streets of the Garden City.

Al Ain Rugby Club, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, 7am. Tel: (056) 6411147. Taxi: Al Ain Rugby Club. premieronline.com

SATURDAY, December 19

Drink afternoon tea


Celebrity chef and French patissier Eric Lanlard has teamed up with the Le Royal Méridien to create the Soir D’Orient afternoon tea, inspired by the flavours of Arabia. Hosted at revolving restaurant Stratos, the menu includes unique items such as cumin and pumpkin macaroon with chicken crackling, orange blossom and bee pollen scones and pistachio financiers with rose nectar.

Le Royal Méridien, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, daily 3pm to 6pm, Dhs195 for tea, Dhs245 for tippling tea, Dhs295 with a glass of bubbles. Tel: (800) 101101. Taxi: Le Royal Méridien. stratosabudhabi.com

Do your nails

Get dazzling digits (think pink, electric blue, gold and silver) for the holidays with a new polish collection at The Nail Spa.

Eastern Mangroves Promenade, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, Dhs15 per nail. Tel: (600) 544001.Taxi: Eastern Mangroves Promenade. thenailspa.com

 Go to the park

Mushrif Central Park - guide after reopening

Head to Mushrif Park to check out this special winter celebration in the Children’s Garden. There’ll be a host of activities on offer including dedicated play zones, coconut shy games, snow fight zone and a soft play igloo. There will also be screenings of family-friendly movies on the grass.

Mushrif Central Park, Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, 2pm to 9pm, Dhs10 entry for kids aged 16 and under. Tel: (02) 6669559. Taxi: Mushrif Park on Karamah Street. mushrifcentralpark.ae