Our picks: 16 things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend
Your guide to all the events taking place in the nation’s capital
Thursday February 15
Black Panther is in cinemas from today
The early buzz from the US is that this Marvel flick is very good indeed. Chadwick Boseman stars as King T’Challa, who returns to his African nation of Wakanda to confront two enemies – exile Erik Killmonger (Michael B Jordan) and arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) – who team up to overthrow the ruler and exploit Wakanda’s advanced technology (including levitating trains and vibranium, an indestructible mineral). Not only is this Marvel’s first black superhero film since 1998’s Blade, its acrobatic aerial car chases, adrenaline-packed battles and particularly badass weapons will have you dropping your lightsabers and reaching for warrior Nakia’s (Lupita Nyong’o) ring blades instead.
Kronos return to the capital
Grammy Award-winning string quartet Kronos hail from San Francisco and have been performing for more than 40 years (with a rotating line-up of performers). They were last here in 2015 and this time they’ll be performing several gigs that explore their past, present and future, with shows combining music, film and lectures.
February 15 and 16
NYUAD Arts Center, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, free to attend, reservations required. Taxi: NYUAD Arts Center. nyuad.nyu.edu
See movies for free on Yas Island
Fancy watching movies outdoors? Arabic, Indian and English flicks will be sceened at Gateway Park this month, including the classic 1978 flick Grease starring John Travolta.
February 15 to 17
Gateway Park South, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Thur, Fri, Sat, doors open 4pm, free. Taxi: Gateway Park, Yas Island. yasisland.ae
East meets West on Saadiyat at a new exhibition
ADMAF’s Abu Dhabi Festival is back, and first up is From Barcelona To Abu Dhabi, a collaboration with the Barcelona Museum Of Contemporary Art. On display are works from the European museum alongside pieces by 20 Emirati talents. In total, there’ll be art on display from more than 60 creatives, spanning 90 years. Emirati artists exhibiting include Mohammed Kazem, Farah Al Qasimi, Ebtisam AbdulAziz and MA Ibrahim. Artists from the museum in Barcelona include abstract duo Gusmão & Paiva, who use 16mm film projectors for some of their pieces, the late Spanish sculptor Juan Muñoz and American conceptual artist John Baldessari.
Until March 17
Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, daily 9am to 8pm, free. Tel: (02) 6575800. Taxi: Manarat Al Saadiyat. abudhabifestival.ae
Had enough of Valentine’s Day? Head to Heroes
The Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi’s pub Heroes is shunning the love bug this February – it’s hosting an anti-Valentine’s Day party on February 15, with music from The International Playboys.
Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6166261. Taxi: Crowne Plaza. ichotelsgroup.com
McGettigan’s has a singles traffic light party on as well
Abu Dhabi’s Irish pub is hosting a Traffic Light Party on February 15 for singles. Wear green if you’re single and looking to mingle, wear yellow if your situation is complicated, and wear red if you’re taken. There’s a three-hour drinks package for Dhs149 from 8pm to 11pm. There’s prizes for the best dressed.
Al Raha Beach Hotel, Al Raha, Abu Dhabi. Taxi: Al Raha Beach Hotel. Tel: (02) 6524333. mcgettigans.com
New art exhibition at the Fairmont
The Fairmont is hosting art by six local talents this month, and a huge name in the world of photography, as part of an inaugural exhibition by a new company created by Abu Dhabi-based artist Emily Gordon. iAM Here & Now is the first exhibition by International Artists Management, founded by long-time capital resident Gordon, to promote local and international talents (you may well have seen her work at the Fairmont before, at one of the No White Walls exhibitions – she’ll also be displaying work at this new event). Exhibiting are Australian landscape and fashion photographer Anthony Horth, plus locally-based talents Rashed Al Mansoori, Unni Kriens, Maryam Abdulla and more.
Until March 31
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Khor Al Maqta, Abu Dhabi, free. Tel: (02) 6543238. Taxi: Fairmont Bab Al Bahr. fairmont.com/abu-dhabi, intlartmgmt.com
Friday February 16
Blackstreet and Dru Hill headline Sunset Music Festival
Fans of 1990s R&B tunes can see two of the decade’s biggest groups this month in Abu Dhabi – urban legends Dru Hill and Blackstreet are set to perform at Zayed Sports City at the Sunset Music Festival. The second edition of the festival will also see local hip hop and urban stars perform, including Syrian, UAE-based rapper Moh Flow and Dubai-based hip hop collective The Recipe.
Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, from Dhs150. Tel: (02) 4034200. Taxi: Zayed Sports City. platinumlist.net
New venue for the Eat.Play.Laugh brunch
Fancy dining out alfresco this weekend? The Marriott Downtown’s adults-only brunch has moved to the hotel’s rooftop bar Grill@25.
Marriott Hotel Downtown, Al Wahda, Abu Dhabi, 12.30pm, to 4pm. Dhs330 to Dhs540. Tel: (02) 3047777. Taxi: Marriott Downtown, near Al Wahda Mall. marriott.com
PJ O’Reilly’s is also hosting an anti-Valentine’s party
If you’re unattached and spent Wednesday dodging all those roses and love-struck couples celebrating Valentine’s this year, head to Irish pub PJ O’Reilly’s for their annual anti-Valentine’s Day Protest Party on February 16. There’ll be music from Sweet Chilli Jam and prizes for the best dressed partygoers.
Le Royal Méridien, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, 1pm to 4pm, Dhs200. Tel: (02) 6950515. Taxi: Le Royal Méridien. pjspubabudhabi.com
It’s officially the Year Of The Dog
Chinese New Year falls today, and there are celebrations taking place to mark the Year Of The Dog all over the city for eight days, inlcuding at Cho Gao Marina Walk, Li Jiang, The Galleria, Dai Pai Dong, and Ferrari World. Click here for our definitive guide.
#TriYas is on today
Friday is when the UAE’s triathletes run, swim and cycle around Yas Island and Yas Marina Circuit. Not taking part? You can still go down and cheer the athletes on and there’s family activities running as well. TriYas participants get a ten per cent discount on sessions at BounceBack Physiotherapy on Yas Marina, and 15 per cent off all products and bike services at Yas Cycles in February.
Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, noon, Dhs330.75 to Dhs78.5 (kids). Taxi: Yas Marina Circuit. premieronline.com, yasmarinacircuit.com, yascycles.com, bounceback.ae
New dishes at Afya
Beachside restaurant Afya has added 40 new courses to its menu, with sharing platters making an appearance. The Traders Hotel outlet has added starters, mains and desserts including Cajun chicken with marinated roast vegetables, eight stone-baked pizzas, a passion fruit crème brûlée and more.
Traders Hotel, Bain Al Jessrain, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 5098555. Taxi: Traders Hotel. tradershotels.com
Go see From One Louvre To Another
The inaugural special exhibition at Louvre Abu Dhabi, From One Louvre To Another: Opening A Museum For Everyone, traces the history of Musée du Louvre in Paris and will run throughout the first quarter of 2018. It features approximately 145 significant paintings, sculptures, decorative arts and other pieces from the collections of Musée du Louvre and Château de Versailles.
Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (600) 565566. Taxi: Louvre Abu Dhabi. louvreabudhabi.ae
Saturday February 17
Markazi refugee exhibition at NYU
NYU hosts a new exhibition this month – Markazi sees photos from two talents on display; award-winning French-Algerian photographer Nadia Benchallal and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at New York University Abu Dhabi Nathalie Peutz. The exhibition looks at forced migration, displacement, identity and heritage and the images by Benchallal were taken at the UN Refugee Agency camp in Djibouti, where some 1,500 refugees are currently living. The photos give an insight to what life is really like in a refugee camp.
Until February 27
The Project Space, NYU Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, free. Taxi: NYU. nyuadartgallery.org
Van Gogh like you’ve never seen him before
See the works of Vincent Van Gogh, the Dutch impressionist, in the capital at Abu Dhabi National Theatre in a very unique way – Van Gogh Alive projects the artist’s works onto the gallery’s walls, showing them at a larger scale and in stunning detail. The show features 3,000 images set to a soundtrack of classical musical.
Until February 26
Abu Dhabi National Theatre, Al Itihad, Abu Dhabi, 9am to 10pm, Dhs70. Taxi: National Theatre, near Sky News and Abu Dhabi Media buildings. tickets.virginmegastore.me