Our picks: 15 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
Thursday October 19
Check out a new exhibition – Personification
Abu Dhabi Art Hub have joined forces with Le Royal Meridien for a new exhibition that looks at nature, animals and the human desire for peace. The artists displaying are Jake Catah from the Philippines and Reem Al Subiy from Saudi Arabia.
Until October 31
Le Royal Méridien, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, daily 9am to 10pm, free. Tel: (02) 6742020. Taxi: Le Royal Méridien. leroyalmeridienabudhabi.com
World music night at NYU
A global musical collaboration takes place on Saadiyat tonight. Susheela Raman/Rizwan Muazzam Qawwali – Queen Between sees Pakistani stars the Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali Group join forces with British-Indian singer Susheela Raman and her husband Sam Mills, of world music record label Real World Records, to perform a night of music called Queen Between. Singers Rizwan and Muazzam are the nephews of legendary Pakistani musical star Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, while Raman’s debut album was nominated for the respected Mercury Prize in the UK back in 2001. They’ll be joined by classical/experimental outfit The Phaedra Ensenble.
NYUAD Arts Center, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, from 8pm. Taxi: NYUAD. nyuad-artscenter.org
Go see Geostorm
Instead of eliminating greenhouse gases or replanting the rainforests, humans in the near future have discovered another way to stop climate change – by using souped-up satellites to control the world’s weather. But endless sunny skies are interrupted when a hacker unleashes a frightening forecast of beachball-sized hail, walls of tornadoes and even a devastating tsunami that wipes out Dubai. In true Hollywood form, an unconventional American scientist (Gerard Butler) called Jake is dispatched to fix the meteorological malfunction. A seismic eye roll, but Geostorm is still shamefully entertaining.
Brunch and stay at the St Regis
Stay overnight after brunching on a Thursday evening at the St Regis: the price includes a superior sea view room, a Dhs150 dinner credit and 20 per cent discount in the hotel’s bar and lounges. A Friday night package is also available.
St Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers, Corniche, Abu Dhabi, Dhs1,528. Tel: (02) 6944758. Taxi: Nation Towers. stregis.com
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
Friday October 20
Diwali party at WTC Mall
Pop down to WTC on Friday for The Festival of Lights With Pop Star Neha Bhasin. As well as the singer, there’ll be Bollywood-inspired dance shows and more.
World Trade Center Mall, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, Fri 5pm to 10pm. Tel: (02) 5082400. Taxi: WTC Mall. wtcad.ae
Check out the Yas Marina Boat Festival
As well as a huge selection of boats for sale, there’ll also be DJs, a stunt show by some of the UAE’s top wakeboarders, and lots of food. The main draw, of course, is the boats – if you’ve got some dirhams to spare, you can buy nautical vessels ranging from three to 20 metres long, plus jet-skis and accessories. DJ Saif, one half of legendary decks duo Saif and Sound, will supply the music. The wakeboarders will be performing tricks off a jump that’s been built in the Marina. So what are you going to eat? The Marina’s restaurants, including Stars ’N’ Bars and Aquarium, will all be serving – you’ll be able to see the Stars ’N’ Bars house band The Shake Down on Friday night at 9pm, but there’ll also be a selection of food trucks available during the weekend.
October 20 and 21
Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Fri and Sat 2pm to 9pm, free entry. Tel: (800) 6274627. Taxi: Yas Marina. yasmarina.ae
Take the kids to meet some Monsters
Just in time for Halloween, anamorphic animated movie Monster Family sees the dysfunctional Wishbone family being transformed into monsters by an evil witch (Catherine Tate). In order to break the spell, all they have to do is find happiness – not an easy task when you’ve been magicked into a Frankenstein. A fun family fright-night out.
Truffles at Villa Toscana
October sees restaurants all over the world – and in Abu Dhabi – add truffle dishes to their menu, and you can try a selection at Italian restaurant Villa Toscana. You’ll find them in pasta dishes, risottos and more. There’s a set menu available, plus a la carte options, with main dishes starting from Dhs75.
October 20 to 31
St Regis Abu Dhabi, Al Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, daily 7pm to 11pm, from Dhs75. Tel: (02) 6944553. Taxi: St Regis Corniche. stregisabudhabi.com
Run around Al Ain Zoo
Yes, you read that right – this Saturday morning, you can take on a 2.5km, 5km or 10km course around the garden city’s zoo. There’s still time to sign up and take part.
Al Ain Zoo, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Sat 7am, Dhs50. Taxi: Al Ain Zoo. adsc.ae/en/events/al-ain-zoo-run/
Ferrari World lights up for Diwali
Ferrari World’s Festival Of Lights is back – the annual celebration of Indian festival Diwali (the Hindu festival of lights) will feature live performers including a Bollywood dancing troupe, dhol drummers, food stations, DJs and more.
October 20 to 28
Ferrari World, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, from Dhs275. Tel: (02) 4968000. Taxi: Ferrari World. ferrariworldabudhabi.com
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
Saturday October 21
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), plus UAE-based comics.
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Bain Al Jessrain, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 9pm, free entry. Tel: (02) 6543238. Taxi: Fairmont. facebook.com/FrankiesUAE/
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
Learn a thing or two on Reem
Countdown To Zero is an exhibition about defeating diseases, in collaboration with the American Museum Of National History.
Until November 15
Galleria Promenade, Al Reem Island, Abu Dhabi, timings TBC, free. Taxi: Opposite Sun and Sky Tower. abudhabievents.ae
Pic credit: The Carter Center/Louise Gub