Our picks: 14 things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend
Get ready for another huge weekend in the emirate – the Abu Dhabi Food Festival is now in full swing, Real Madrid play in the Fifa Club World Cup Final on Saturday, you can join in a snowball fight on Yas and a whole lot more
Thursday December 14
Winter Wonderland on Al Maryah Island
Every year, The Galleria and The Promenade on Al Maryah are transformed into a festive village, and this year is no different – there’ll be a tree-lighting ceremony on December 14, at 7pm. Kids can visit Santa in his grotto daily until December 24 and there’ll be festive flashmobs performed by professional dance troupes, plus a winter show inspired by Disney’s Frozen. There’ll also be slides in a slope park, a snow zone and a bungee trampoline.
December 14 to 26
Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, daily 3pm to 10pm. Taxi: The Galleria. Tel: (02) 6166999. almaryahisland.ae
Stuff your face at the Abu Dhabi Food Festival
Food trucks, secret menus, money-off deals, giant picnics and a whole lot more – the Abu Dhabi Food Festival runs until December 23. Read our full preview here.
There’s a new festival in Al Ain
Abu Dhabi’s garden city is getting its very own festival to close out 2017 – the Dar Al Zain Festival takes place at Al Ain Convention Centre, with a series of events planned for families. You’ll find 50 shops selling arts, crafts and more, a glowing flower garden and maze, a food and beverage zone featuring more than 50 kiosks and food trucks, live music (Arab and international artists including Myriam Fares on December 14 and Mohammed Al Shehhi on December 15), and a Festival Village. There’s several kids’ sjows as well including Looney Tunes Little Tweety Hood, Iftah Ya SimSim – Simsim Outerspace and My Little Pony.
December 14 to 23
Al Ain Convention Centre, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, timings vary. abudhabievents.ae
New menu at Bord Eau
The Shangri-La’s What’s On Award-winning French restaurant Bord Eau has revamped its menu. On it you’ll find a six-course set menu featuring starters such as duck foie gras with fresh fig, mains including oven-baked black seabream and Australian Wagyu beef tenderloin and chocolate tart for dessert. A seafood, four-course menu inspired by the French Riviera has also been added.
Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Fri 6.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 5098511. Taxi: Shangri-La, Qaryat Al Beri. shangri-la.com
Check out a cool UAE-themed exhibition
emARTi 46 is on at Le Royal Meridien and features artworks from talents from all seven emirates. The exhibition looks at the country’s tradition, heritage and spirit.
Until December 29
Le Royal Meridien, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, 9am to late. Taxi: Le Royal Meridien. Tel: (02) 6742020. leroyalmeridienabudhabi.com
Friday December 15
Head to the Al Dhafra Festival
Want to learn more about Bedouin culture? Head to this year’s edition of the Al Dhafra Festival, which takes place in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region. The festival is famously known for hosting a beauty pageant with a difference – this one is for camels (and it’s called a Mazayna).
December 14 to 27
Al Dhafra, Madinat Zayed, Western Region, Abu Dhabi. Taxi: Madinat Zayed, near the camel ranches off E45. turathuna.ae
See The Last Jedi
The biggest movie release of 2017 is now in UAE cinemas. Director Rian Johnson’s follow-up to 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens has received high praise since its release earlier this week, and continues the adventures of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, plus new characters Rey and Finn.
Have a lazy lunch at Tamba
The What’s On Award-winning Indian outlet has launched a new Lazy Lunch concept for Fridays. The menu features 20 dishes that are served to your table.
WTC Mall, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, Fri 12.30pm to 4pm. Tel: (02) 6728888. Taxi: WTC Mall. tambarestaurant.com
Throw snowballs at Let It Snow
Yas Marina is where to head if you want a real snowball fight to mark the festive period. There’ll be a winter market plus plenty of games and attractions for children.
Until December 16
Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 4062000. Taxi: Yas Marina. yasmarina.ae
Winterfest at Ferrari World
The Yas Island themepark becomes a winter wonderland to celebrate Christmas, for the fifth year in a row. There’s snow slides for kids to try, plus an ice skating show called Fairytales On Ice featuring seven international performers. There’s also an elf school and kids can hang out with Bjorn the Polar Bear in a snowy play area.
December 15 to January 6
Ferrari World, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, timings vary. Taxi: Ferrari World. Tel: (02) 4968000. ferrariworldabudhabi.com
Trevor Noah is performing in Abu Dhabi
The South African comic and Daily Show star is on Yas for two nights this weekend, although tickets might be hard to come by. The December 15 performance is sold out.
December 15 and 16
du Forum, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 4pm, Dhs280 to Dhs650. Tel: (800) 92723. Taxi: Yas Island. ticketmaster.ae
Visit the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival
Learn about the UAE’s founding father at this annual festival – expect spectacular parades, falconry shows and plenty more.
Until January 27
Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, timings TBC. Tel: (800) 555. Taxi: Al Wathba, near the cycle track. abudhabievents.ae
Saturday December 16
See the Fifa Club World Cup Final
It’s the final weekend of the tournament, with local side Al Jazira playing Pachuca in the match for 3rd place, while Real Madrid play Gremio in the final at 9pm. Both matches take place at Zayed Sports City. Click here for more info on the tournament.
See In The Making at Warehouse 421
There’s something missing from Warehouse 421’s new exhibition – every object on display is incomplete, or only partly made. Think half-built computers, musical instruments and pieces of sports equipment. In The Making is in Abu Dhabi as part of the UK/UAE 2017 Year Of Collaboration, a series of events and exhibitions put on by both countries.
Until February 11
Warehouse 421, Mina Zayed, Abu Dhabi, timings and prices TBC. Taxi: Warehouse 421 next to COOP in Mina Zayed. warehouse421.ae