Our picks: 14 things to do in Abu Dhabi this long weekend
What’s On has a full list of all the things to do for the weekend in Abu Dhabi, 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 8
Shop at the Swiss Market
Get your holiday gifts, Lindt chocolates and more at the Swiss Business Council’s annual market. The event is on until Saturday, December 10.
Beach Rotana, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6979000. Taxi: next to Abu Dhabi Mall. rotana.com
Le Méridien launches new night brunch at Talay
The former What’s On Award winning Thai restaurant is now serving up an evening brunch. Hosted every Thursday night, the brunch will see a range of dishes brought directly to your table including Thai chicken satay, seafood tom yam soup, stir fried beef tenderloin with broccoli, sweet and sour chicken and mango sticky rice.
Le Méridien, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi, Thursday 7pm to 10pm, Dhs199 per person. Tel: (02) 6446666. Taxi: Le Méridien Hotel. talayabudhabi.com
A family day out
This handicraft market from Art Mia will also include pony rides and face painting.
The Royal Stables, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, 11am to 6pm. Tel: (02) 4478111. Taxi: Royal Stables on Karama.
Do some yoga
While Haddins Fitness is best known for their intensive caveman workouts that’ll see you flipping tires and bear crawls, this month the gym is getting you in touch with your softer side, with a special yoga workshop at their Zayed Sports City outlet. Hosted by visiting Indian yogi Ajay Kumar, the three-day prgoramme will feature workshops dedicated to the Mysore-style of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. Meaning lessons will let students work at their own pace, with plenty of one-on-one instruction.
Zayed Sports City, Al Madina Al Riyadiya, Abu Dhabi, timings vary, Dhs275 per workshop, Dhs1,250 for the whole weekend. Tel: (02) 4034233. Taxi: Tennis Centre at ZSC. facebook.com/haddins
Friday December 9
Check out the Festive Market at Al Seef
The seasonal market at Al Seef Mall and Resort will have everything from toys, clothes, homewares and arts and crafts on offer. Santa Claus himself will be making an appearance at 5.30pm. While you’re there don’t miss the tree lighting ceremony at Andalus Hotel, carols and refreshments as well.
Mamsha Al Seef, Al Seef, Abu Dhabi, 2pm to 8pm. Taxi: Next to Al Seef Mall. andalus.ae
Rock out to Jamaican jams
British reggae artist Stylo G, best known for his singles My Yout and Soundbwoy, will be taking centre stage at The Beachcomber for a Caribbean-inspired concert. The beach party will also feature Jamaican eats including jerk chicken, plantain, oxtail and rum cocktails.
Sheraton Abu Dhabi, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, 5pm, Dhs100, ladies free before 7pm. Tel: (02) 6773333. Taxi: Sheraton Corniche. sheratonabudhabihotel.com
Bike around Al Wathba
Cyclists of all abilities can sign up for this festival being hosted on the Al Wathba Cycle track. The Abu Dhabi Cycling Festival is aimed at the entire cycling community and features a range of distances for participants, from a 120k long course ride for elite riders all the way down to 30k for intermediate riders to 8k for kids. In addition to the races there’ll also be a special fatbike race too.
Al Wathba Cycle Park, Western Region, Abu Dhabi, 2pm to 7pm, prices vary depending on race length. Tel: (056) 1092346. Taxi: Al Wathba Cycle Track. premieronline.com
Check out the Abu Dhabi Food Festival
The Abu Dhabi Food Festival is back. Split into three parts including Gourmet Abu Dhabi, Street Feast and, for the first time, the SIAL trade fair this festival celebrates everything about food. If you’re in Al Ain this weekend check out the Street Feast that will feature over 60 food trucks – serving over 150 dishes. The trucks will make their first pit spot at the Garden City from December 8 to 10 at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium. If you’re in the capital, check out the activations happening at Marina Mall with Dora the Explorer.
Various locations including Abu Dhabi Corniche, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (800) 555. Taxi: Abu Dhabi Corniche. abudhabievents.ae
Saturday December 10
Visit a winterland market
Need to buy some last-minute gifts? La Loupe is hosting a massive one-day pop-up shop at Eastern Mangroves Promenade. Featuring more than 60 vendors and brands from the UAE, the event will also have food stalls, bouncy castle, artwork and music.
Eastern Mangroves Promenade, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, 11am to 6pm. Tel: (056) 1031631. Taxi: Eastern Mangroves Promenade. facebook.com/laloupeauh
Listen to strings
The annual Cellonation concert at New York University Abu Dhabi sees more than 25 cellists perform together.
NYUAD Arts Center, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, 8pm, free. Taxi: NYUAD. nyuad.nyu.edu
Listen to an X Factor contestant at brunch
Aussie X Factor singer Jaymie Deboucherville will be entertaining guests at Market Kitchen’s Friday brunch. The 23-year-old one-time factory worker made it to the Top 20 in last year’s edition of the singing competition and will be singing acoustic covers (including his breakout version of Oasis’ Wonderwall) every Friday at the Le Royal Méridien hotel.
Le Royal Méridien, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, Friday 1pm to 4pm, Dhs199 with soft drinks, Dhs299 with house, Dhs399 with premium beverages. Tel: (02) 6742020. Taxi: Le Royal Méridien. leroyalmeridienabudhabi.com
Check out Ripe Market
The organic fruit and veg market at Mother of the Nation Park will be hosting some local chefs from 5pm onwards as part of the Abu Dhabi Food Festival this Saturday. There’ll also be kids activities, yoga and artisanal food to purchase.
Mother Of The Nation Park, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, 3pm to 10pm, Dhs5 entry fee. Tel: (02) 6669559. Taxi: Mother Of The Nation Park on Karamah Street. ummalemaratpark.ae
Sunday December 11
Visit Al Maryah Island
Head to the Galleria mall to check out the Winter Wonderland along the Promenade. There’ll be roaming performers, marching bands, a snowy winter village, festive activities and live performances.
The Galleria, Abu Dhabi Global Market Square, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, 3pm to 10pm, free entry, until Dec 30. Tel: (02) 6166999. Taxi: Galleria, Al Maryah Island. thegalleria.ae
Go to the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival
Honouring the Father Of The Nation, the late Sheikh Zayed, this heritage festival celebrates the rich history and culture of the UAE. There’ll be folklore events, Emirati singers, horse shows, military marching band parades and a classic car exhibition.
Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, free, until January 1. Tel: (800) 555. Taxi: Al Wathba. zayedfestival.com