Our picks: 14 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, festivals and lots more (including, of course, the Louvre opening on Saturday)
Thursday November 9
Get a Taste Of Abu Dhabi
The annual food festival returns – and it also returns to the du Arena. Expect live music, cookery workshops, celebrity chefs, market stalls and food – lots and lots of food. Once again, a selection of the city’s restaurants will be selling bite-sized portions of their most popular dishes (there’s more than 75 dishes in total for you to try) and the tunes are supplied by former Spandau Ballet singer Tony Hadley. He’ll be performing some of his solo hits as well as classic Ballet songs including Gold tonight.
November 9 to 11
du Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Thur 4pm to 11pm, Fri noon to 11pm, Sat noon to 10pm, Dhs65 to Dhs140. Taxi: du Arena. tasteabudhabi.com
Abu Dhabi Classics returns tonight
The capital’s classical music festival returns this weekend with a performance by the Trombone Trio from Holland’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. They’ll be playing works by iconic composers such as Franz Schubert and Johannes Brahms. The Trombone Trio are brothers Nico Schippers and Martin Schippers, along with Bart Claessens and the concert takes place at Bin Hamoodah Fort in Al Ain. Click here for a full Classics preview.
Learn a thing or two at the Science Festival
The annual Abu Dhabi Science Festival returns, with lots of family-friendly activies taking place at Khalifa Park and in Al Ain. Want to know more? Click here for our full preview.
November 9 to 18
Various locations including Al Ain Zoo, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi. abudhabisciencefestival.ae
￼See a sci-fi Parable in Abu Dhabi
If you like science fiction, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of American sci-fi writer Octavia E Butler. A multi-award winning author, she won many plaudits for her work before she passed away in 2006. Now, one of her most well known books, Parable Of The Sower, returns to the UAE for a second time (it was last performed here in 2015) as an opera, written by composer and multi-instrumentalist Toshi Reagon. Parable is a post-apocalyptic story set in 2020 where society lies in tatters thanks to climate change and corporate greed, and combines sci-fi with African-American spiritualism while examining gender and race.
November 9 to 11
NYUAD Arts Center, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, free (advance booking required), Thur to Sat, 8pm. Tel: (02) 6284000. Taxi: NYUAD. nyuad.nyu.edu
It’s Murder On The Orient Express, you know
This weekend’s big movie release is a remake but everything about this adaptation of Agatha Christie’s whodunnit is impressive: the sweeping cinematography shot in Panavision 65mm film, the tension between the suspects, which includes Judi Dench and Penelope Cruz, and the size of Detective Hercule Poirot’s (Kenneth Branagh) moustache. According to Branagh, the latter is a tribute to Christie, who found Albert Finney’s petite handlebar in the original 1974 version “a little disappointing”.
Friday November 10
Go to What’s On’s Party In The Park
This one is actually in Dubai, and we’re a little biased, but we think you should attend our very own music festival at Dubai Media City. Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher is headlining while British rockers Temples and The Chemical Brothers are also on the bill. Full preview here.
Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai Media City, Dubai, Dh350, Dhs650 for brunch, Dhs995 for VIP. Tel: (04) 2743555. Metro: Nakheel. Buy your tickets here.
Abu Dhabi Art is on this weekend
The capital’s annual festival of arts and culture is back and it has it has something for everyone – from exhibitions to panel discussions and talks, live performances and free workshops.
Until November 11
Various locations including Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, daily 2pm to 9pm. Tel: (02) 657 5800. Taxi: Manarat Al Saadiyat. abudhabiart.ae
Try George’s Marvellous Medicine
A stage show for kids! You can see the Birmingham Stage Company’s adaptation of the award-winning show George’s Marvellous Medicine in the capital this weekend. It’s one of author Roald Dahl’s most famous stories, and is about a boy who lives on a farm with his mum, dad and miserable grandmother. Grandma, it turns out, is a tad weird and likes to tell George she’s a witch and bully him.
November 9 and 10
Abu Dhabi National Theatre, Al Nayhan, Abu Dhabi, Thur and Fri, timings TBC, Dhs150 to Dhs200. Tel: (04) 3042340. Taxi: next to Sky News building. artforall.ae
And one for kids – enter the Mini Dash relay race
UAE-based sports company The Dash organise relay races all over the UAE, and this weekend they’re holding one in Abu Dhabi for young athletes. The Mini Dash takes place at Umm Al Emarat Park and there’s races for kids aged five to seven (a 200m dash), eight to 10 (400m dash) and 11 to 13 (800m dash). As well as the races, you’ll also find an activity village at each Dash event that has a bouncy castle, arts and crafts stalls, health and wellness activities and nutrition advice for nippers.
Umm Al Emarat Park, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, Fri 3pm to 9pm, Dhs75. Tel: (050) 1522497. Taxi: Mushrif Park. racethedash.com
The Get Driver Fit Festival is today
Head to the du Forum for exercise classes and tips. On the day you’ll be able to visit several zones, including the Demo Zone, where you can try acro yoga, jumping fitness and win prizes. There’ll also be a Wellness Zone where you can take part in yoga and mobility classes to help you channel your inner positive energy, plus there’ll be a series of educational and inspirational talks. Click here for a full preview.
du Forum, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 3pm to 10pm, free. Taxi: du Forum. facebook.com/GetDriverFit, yasalam.ae
Check out an alfresco brunch at Emirates Palace
Brunch At The Palace is a new alfresco event taking place by the Las Brisas bar and the hotel’s pool, and features a DJ and, more importantly, lots of options for children, such as a candyfloss machine, a chocolate cart and popcorn machines.
Emirates Palace, Corniche, Abu Dhabi, Fri 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs290 to Dhs480, Dhs145 over-tens, under-tens free. Tel: (02) 6907999. Taxi: Emirates Palace. kempinski.com
Saturday November 11
Louvre Abu Dhabi officially opens today
After 10 years in the making, the museum on Saadiyat Island opens to the public this weekend. Click here for our full preview.
Swim For Children at Le Meridien
The hotel in Tourist Club has joined forces with Gulf Multi Sport as part of the Marriott’s International campaign to raise awareness for sustainable, lifesaving UNICEF water and sanitation projects. There’s a 1km swim off the hotel’s beach and a 200m fun race through inflatables. There are prizes up for grabs.
Le Méridien, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi, from 7am. Tel: (02) 6446666. Taxi: Le Méridien. lemeridienabudhabi.com
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