Our picks: 14 things to do in Abu Dhabi this long weekend
Your guide to all the things you can do over the next three days in the nation’s capital, including workshops, deals, sports, entertainment and new openings.
Thursday September 21
Check out Hajj: Memories Of A Journey
Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, is celebrated at a new exhibition this month at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Hajj: Memories Of A Journey tells the story with artefacts, photos, multimedia displays and art installations. Inside you’ll find pieces from private and public collections but also contributions from the general public – Abu Dhabi’s Tourism & Culture Authority has been collecting souvenirs, gifts and keepsakes from pilgrims in the capital who have made the spiritual trip to the Saudi Arabian city, which will be showcased in a gallery at the mosque (such as souvenirs gifted by family and friends upon their arrival from Mecca).
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, free. Tel: (02) 4191919. Taxi: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. szgmc.ae
Enter a golf tournament
Got some spare time on Thursday? If you’re a golfer, there’s prizes up for grabs at Abu Dhabi Golf Club – an amateur tournament is taking place there to celebrate Golf Digest magazine’s 100th issue. This Thursday’s tournament is part of the magazine’s annual Golf Digest Middle East Series and is one of three competitions taking place. The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort And Spa in Abu Dhabi are offering a special double room rate of Dhs500 for players considering staying at the on-site luxury hotel the night before or after the tournament. For information, please ask to be sent info in the “Any special requests” section of the online entry form.
Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, Thur 1pm to 6pm, Dhs350. Tel: (02) 8853555. Taxi: Abu Dhabi Golf Club. golfdigestme.com
Hit the movies and see Stronger
Jake Gyllenhaal stars as the real life Jeff Bauman, a man who lost both of his legs in 2013’s Boston Marathon bombing while supporting his girlfriend (Tatiana Maslany) near the finish line. Like last year’s crime drama Patriots Day, this powerful biopic takes an extensive look at that terrible day, but its main focus follows Jeff ’s rehabilitation efforts as he tries to find the strength to walk again. As a result, what could have easily been a schmaltzy survivor story becomes a genuinely emotional tale about a true hero, and could well bag Jake his first Oscar.
Give your eyes some TLC
Pampering in a staggeringly quick 15 minutes, the Anti-Ageing Eye Care treatment at Thalgo Spa gently massages the eye contour area to help reduce the effects of ageing such as wrinkles and dark circles.
Abu Dhabi Country Club, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, daily 10am to 10pm, Dhs140. Tel: (02) 6668885. Taxi: Abu Dhabi Country Club. adcountryclub.com
Friday September 22
Harry Potter In Concert
It’s been 20 years since the world’s favourite lightening bolt-scarred child wizard burst onto the literary scene in Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone but enthusiasm for all things Harry Potter shows little sign of waning, with more than 450 million copies of the book series sold in 69 languages to date. Now, the boy wizard is coming to the UAE in a new form, as the first event of Yas Island’s 2017 autumn programme. Combining HD cinema technology with a traditional live orchestral performance, audiences for Harry Potter In Concert will see a screening of the first Potter movie Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone on a 40-foot cinema screen while Spain’s Orquestra Simfònica del Vallès plays every note of John Williams’ unforgettable score, live.
September 21 to 23
du Forum, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Thur 7pm, Fri 7.30pm, Sat 5pm, Dhs120 to Dhs495. Tel: (02) 5098143. Taxi: du Forum. harrypotterinconcert.com
New brunch at the Ritz-Carlton
One of the capital’s biggest brunches has been revamped for the new season. Now you’ll be able to watch a series of dance performances while you eat, including salsa, cha cha cha and Cuban mambo. There’ll be some South American dishes available as well. Children will want to seek out café Dolce where they can tuck into candyfloss, popcorn, waffles and chocolate fountains.
The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqta’a, Abu Dhabi, Fri 1pm to 4pm, Dhs295 with soft drinks, Dhs395 with house drinks, Dhs495 with champagne, under-12s Dhs147.50. Tel: (02) 8188282. Taxi: Ritz-Carlton. ritzcarlton.com
Eat lots of oysters
The JW Steakhouse at the Marriott Hotel Downtown is offering all-you-can-eat Tsarskaya oysters every Thursday and Friday during September.
Marriott Hotel Downtown, Al Wahda, Abu Dhabi, Dhs120. Tel: (02) 3047777. Taxi: Marriott Downtown, near Al Wahda Mall. marriott.com
Work up a sweat at Get Driver Fit
This month sees the return of Get Driver Fit, a series of free fitness classes organised by Yasalam and Daman Activelife to promote the F1 racing weekend in November. Returning for a fifth year, there will be seven weeks of classes taking place, including yoga, high-intensity interval training, boxing, zumba and lots more. The classes will take place at several venues in the capital, including Yas Beach, Yas Links, Yas Marina Circuit, Khalifa City, Saadiyat Island and Umm Al Emarat Park.
Various locations including Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, timings vary, free. Taxi: Yas Marina Circuit. facebook.com/GetDriverFit, yasmarinacircuit.com, yasalam.ae
Do your bit for charity at Aloft Runs For Children
Want to get fit and do your bit for a good cause? The eighth edition of Aloft Runs For Children takes place inside Adnec today – that’s right, you can once again run indoors with aircon. Proceeds from the event are donated to Unicef ’s Road To Awareness Programme, which has helped vulnerable kids in South Africa gain access to education, refurbished 150 schools in Romania and Pakistan, and lots more, since the initiative started in 2008. The running track inside Adnec is 2km long with 2km, 6km, 10km, 20km and unlimited (yes, unlimited) runs available. You and your friends can also enter as a team. All participants get a goody bag.
Adnec, Al Safraat, Abu Dhabi, 8am, Dhs50 to Dhs200. Tel: (050) 1094055. Taxi: Adnec. premieronline.com, alofthotels.com
Neon nights at Yas Waterworld
Yas Waterworld is hosting Neon Nights tonight. There’s light shows, glow in the dark drinks, a DJ and a LED hydrojet show.
Yas Waterworld, Abu Dhabi, Fri 10am to 10pm, from Dhs250. Tel: (02) 4968008. Taxi: Yas Waterworld. yaswaterworld.com
Saturday September 23
Go and watch Kingsman: The Golden Circle
While you wait for Daniel Craig to reprise his role as the legendary James Bond (sorry, Idris Elba), this spy movie sequel – albeit to a completely unaffiliated franchise – should help sate your 007 craving. Right out of the gate, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is up against it – Kingsman HQ has been blown up, Charlie Hesketh (Edward Holcroft) is back from the dead and 1950s-obsessed drug dealer Poppy (Julianne Moore) takes evil to delicious new heights. Wildly fast-paced, this is the hyperloop of international espionage movies.
Try a bargain brunch at Carluccio’s
A starting price of Dhs175 makes the brunch at Italian outlet Carluccio’s a good option for families on a budget – and its early start time of 11am means it focuses a little more on breakfast dishes than many weekend feasts. On the menu you’ll find eggs, bacon, tomato croissants and omelettes, but if you want lunch options there’s plenty of those as well, including pizzas, pasta dishes (such as spaghetti and meatballs) and vegetarian risotto. Classics such as tiramisu are available for dessert.
Eastern Mangroves Promenade, Salam Street, Abu Dhabi, Sat 11am to 2pm, Dhs175 with soft drinks. Tel: (02) 6412231. Taxi: Eastern Mangroves Promenade. carluccios.com
Get a discount on physiotherapy
Got a niggly sports injury? If you’re a teacher, you can get a 20 per cent discount at BounceBack Physiotherapy this month.
BounceBack Physiotherapy, Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 5651212. Taxi: Yas Marina. bounceback.ae
The capital’s German celebrations are starting early this year – McGettigan’s are getting the party going this weekend. Dhs99 gets you German dishes including sausage, sauerkraut, currywurst and more.
Until October 4
Al Raha Beach Hotel, Al Raha, Abu Dhabi, daily 5.30pm to 3am, Dhs99. Tel: (02) 6524333. Taxi: Al Raha Beach Hotel. mcgettigans.com