Our picks: 13 things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend
Your guide to the next three days in the nation’s capital, including new movie releases, exhibitions, live music and lots more
Thursday October 5
Go and see Blade Runner 2049
Director Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi has opened to rave reviews worldwide. Ryan Gosling plays K, who teams up with original bounty hunter Rick (Harrison Ford) to hunt down illegal humanlike androids – known as “replicants” – in 2049 Los Angeles. And thanks to warped scientist Niander (Jared Leto), the latest model is nearly impossible to kill. Dark and deliciously dystopian, the long-awaited sequel to 1982’s cult neo-noir is already being mentioned as a potential Oscar winner.
There’s a new exhibition on at NYU
Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965 takes a look at the art scene in the Big Apple, in particular examining abstract expressionism in the ’50s and pop art and minimalism popular in the ’60s. There are 200 pieces by more than 50 artists covering a variety of genres, including abstract art, performance art and large installations.
NYU Art Gallery, New York University, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, Mon to Sat noon to 8pm, free. Taxi: NYU Saadiyat. nyuad-artgallery.org
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
Friday October 6
Barbecue beach night at Afyä
Afyä, the all-day dining restaurant in Traders Hotel, has launched Smoking Vibes, a weekly Friday night bash featuring barbecued food and entertainment for kids. On the menu you’ll find a selection of grilled meat and seafood dishes, plus salads, pizzas, popcorn and a desserts station featuring cakes, ice-cream and more. There’s a bouncy castle and face painter for children, plus a lounge for adults to unwind in stocked with TVs and gaming consoles, and a cocktail station.
Traders Hotel, Abu Dhabi, Fri 6pm to 10.30pm, Dhs140. Tel: (02) 5098555. Taxi : Traders. tradershotels.com
Go see Nitro Circus
The high-octane stunt show is returning to the capital tonight for the first time since 2014. Get ready to gasp at tricks performed on motorbikes, wheelchairs and even in bathtubs. Check out our full preview of the show.
Nitro Circus, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Dhs250 to Dhs450. Tel: (056) 6756834. Taxi: Yas Marina Circuit. tixbox.com
Celebrate the Caribbean on Yas
Abu Dhabi’s annual celebration of Caribbean culture is back – and this time US rapper Sean Kingston is headlining. The Jamaican/American singer is well known for his debut single Beautiful Girls back in 2007 – it topped America’s Billboard Hot 100 music chart. There’ll also be food trucks, stilt walkers, acrobats and more.
Yas Beach, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Fri 4pm to 3am, Dhs120 to Dhs150. Tel: (055) 2323956. Taxi: Yas Beach. reggae-beachfest.com
Try some mochi with your matcha
Japanese restaurant Sushi San celebrates its birthday this weekend with a special tea and rice cake promotion.
Until October 6
Holiday Inn, Muroor Road, Abu Dhabi, daily 11am to 5pm. Tel: (800) 78744726. Taxi: Holiday Inn. sushisan.ae
Catch launches new brunch
Seafood restaurant Catch has launched an artisanal brunch, featuring 15 dishes that are served direct to your table. On the menu you’ll find sea bass ceviche, wagyu tacos, sushi and main dishes including miso salmon, jumbo prawns, crab burgers, quinoa salad and corn-fed baby chicken. Mochi ice cream is just one of several desserts you can try. There are three packages available for adults, the most expensive one being the Laurent Perrier for Dhs419. DJ Merri will be spinning the wheels of steel and she’ll be accompanied by a violinist.
Nation Riviera Beach Club, Al Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, Fri 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs219 to Dhs419, Dhs99 children. Tel: (02) 6110909. Taxi: Nation Riviera Beach Club on the Corniche. catch.ae
Saturday October 7
Check out an animation exhibition
Comic Craze showcases works from the UAE’s flourishing community of comic artists, such as Khalid Bin Hamad, whose sci-fi animation series Empire Of N uses the Japanese animated style of anime to reflect on the Emirati identity.
Al Qattara Arts Centre, Al Ain, Sat to Thur, 9am to 8pm, free entry. Tel: (03) 7118225. Taxi: Al Qattara Arts Centre. abudhabievents.ae
New art by top Slovenian talents
Works by five Eastern European artists are on display all this month at Abu Dhabi Art Hub.
Abu Dhabi Art Hub, Mussafah, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thur 9am to 7pm, free. Tel: (02) 5515005. Taxi: near ICAD residential city. adah.com
Live comedy at Frankie’s
Frankie’s Italian Restaurant Bar & Grill is hosting a night of live comedy, starring host Simeon Goodson, from New York (pictured above).
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Bain Al Jessrain, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 9pm, free entry. Tel: (02) 6543238. Taxi: Fairmont. facebook.com/FrankiesUAE/
Get some home decor advice
Scottish interior designers and TV stars Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan are in Yas Mall all weekend. As well as giving advice on how to spruce up your home, they’ll be doing 30-minute room makeovers. It’s all part of Yas Mall’s Fashion Hits Home event.
Yas Mall, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (800) 9276255 Taxi: Yas Mall. yasmall.ae
German tunes and sausages at Marriott Hotel Al Forsan
Khalifa City residents can head to the Marriott and listen to tunes performed by a German band. The hotel’s bar Appaloosa is the venue for this year’s Oktoberfest festivities, although there’ll also be a ‘brew garden’ if you want to sit alfresco.
Until October 6
Marriott Hotel Al Forsan, Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, daily 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 2014131. Taxi: Al Forsan Sports Resort. marriott.com