Our picks: 15 things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend
Your guide to all the events taking place in the nation’s capital
Thursday March 8
Visit Morocco… in Abu Dhabi
You can learn all about the North African country this month at Adnec – Morocco in Abu Dhabi is a festival running until March 19, with displays covering culture, architecture, art, music, food, customs and traditions, plus exhibits from the Morocco Museum Of Modern Heritage.
Until March 19
Adnec, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 4446900. Taxi: Adnec. adnec.ae
Imagine Science starts today at NYU
See award-winning films that examine hybrids and more at NYU, plus an exhibition and talks. Check out our full guide here. Tonight’s film is Jane, and you can watch the trailer above.
March 8 to 10
The Arts Center, NYU Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. Taxi: NYU Saadiyat. imaginesciencefilms.org
Celebrity chefs at Roberto’s tonight
The Italian on Al Maryah has three heavyweights cooking tonight – Simone Fracassi (one of Italy’s leading butchers), Vincenzo Guarino (executive chef at Michelin starred Pievano restaurant) and Francois Leo (one of the UAE’s most well-respected pastry chefs, who works at Manuel restaurant). Diners attending will get a six-course meal, and can pay an extra Dhs250 for an optional wine-pairing.
The Galleria, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 11pm, Dhs495. Tel: (02) 6279009. Taxi: The Galleria on Al Maryah Island. robertos.ae
Dance with The Merchants Of Bollywood
Song, dance and vibrant colours at this Abu Dhabi Festival performance. Your guide to the full Abu Dhabi Festival line-up can be found here.
Emirates Palace Auditorium, West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, 8pm, Dhs125 to Dhs350. Tel: (050) 1299103. Taxi: Emirates Palace. abudhabifestival.ae
East meets West on Saadiyat
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
There’s an 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 March 9
The Maya Fridays season-opening party is today
Never been to Al Maya Island? It’s a 10-minute boat ride away from the mainland of Abu Dhabi and once there you’ll find the Al Maya Island Resort – and every Friday, you’ll also find a beach party taking place on the island’s white sands and by its pool, appropriately called Maya Fridays. Local DJs such as Chad Funk and Stew Magoo regularly spin the wheels of steel, bashing out dance and house tunes. Ladies get free entry before 1pm, Etihad staff before 2pm. Table packages for drinks and food, such as mixed fajitas, are also available. Guests must be aged 21 and up.
Al Maya Island, Abu Dhabi, 11am to 9pm, Dhs125, ladies free entry before 1pm. Tel: (02) 6677777. facebook.com/BPM.AL.MAYA
Go Xtreme at Deerfields Mall
There’s a new place to take your kids to burn off some energy – Deerfields Mall has opened Xtreme Zone, an outdoor entertainment centre with trampolines, a zipline and more. Xtreme Zone has some 36 interconnected trampolines, plus a basketball arena. There’s also an adventure rope course, set over three levels, plus a zipline that crosses from one side of the park to the other. It also has its very own obstacle course – called Ninja Course – plus a Wipe Out zone, where you need to dodge and dive out of the way of a giant roller, plus a bucking rodeo ride. If you can hang on to the robotic horse, you’ll win a prize.
Deerfields Townsquare, Al Shahama, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thur and Fri 10am to midnight. Tel: (02) 5010888. Taxi: Deerfields Mall. deerfieldsmall.com
The Christians are in town
Abu Dhabi’s British Club has booked a classic UK pop band from the 1980s for tonight – The Christians, who hail from Liverpool, are set to perform in the capital for one night only and will be playing a selection of their greatest hits, including Forgotten Town, When The Fingers Point, and perhaps their most well-known, Ideal World.
The Club, Al Meena, Abu Dhabi, Dhs130 to Dhs140, Fri 8pm. Tel: (02) 6731111. Taxi: British Club, Meena Port. the-club.com
Byblos Sur Mer has a new brunch
Grab a spot on the terrace overlooking the Arabian Gulf for this new, Mediterranean-themed brunch. On the menu you’ll find lamb tajjin, shakriyeh with lamb shank, a falafel station, grills, salads and desserts including Moroccan sweets.
InterContinental, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, Fri 1pm to 4pm, Dhs180 to Dhs350. Tel: (800) 423463. Taxi: InterContinental Abu Dhabi. dining-intercontinental-ad.ae
New brunch at Le Méridien
The Al Zahiyah hotel has launched The Village Kitchen Brunch, an alfresco event taking place on the grass. You can try dishes from most of the hotel’s outlets, including Italian Pappagallo, Greek outlet Acropolis, and two pubs – Captain’s Arms and NRG. There’s a play area for kids with a bouncy castle.
Le Méridien, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi, 1pm to 4pm, Dhs139 to Dhs229. Tel: (02) 6446666. Taxi: Le Méridien. thevillageatlemeridienabudhabi.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 March 10
New extreme fitness challenge is on at Al Raha
Abu Dhabi has a new challenge for fitness fanatics – the Shwaiman Obstacle Race makes its debut this weekend on Al Dana Island, near Al Raha Beach. There’s an Elite obstacle course that is 7km long, plus a more social 3.5km course. In total there are four categories you can sign up for – Elite Individual, Competitive Individual, Social/Enthusiast and Competitive Team (you need to enter as a team of four in this category). The course features 18 obstacles, but you won’t find out what they are until the day of the race – the organisers are keeping it secret until then. The course covers both land and water, so be prepared to get wet.
Al Dana Island, Al Raha Beach, Abu Dhabi, Sat 7am to 4pm, Dhs150 to Dhs260. Taxi: Al Raha Beach. shwaiman.ae
Celebrate The Beauty Of Women
Abu Dhabi Art Hub is celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8, and Mother’s Day on March 21 – more than 15 local and international artists are showcasing pieces at their new exhibition The Beauty Of Women. Art Hub says the exhibition shows “how exquisite and how extraordinary women are in many different ways”.
Until March 23
Abu Dhabi Art Hub, World Trade Center Mall, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, daily 10am to 10pm, free. Tel: (02) 5515005. Taxi: WTC Mall. adah.ae
Al Ain Zoo lights up
Al Ain Zoo is hosting Zoolightful this month, a light show with illuminated displays of animals and plants including reptiles, lions, birds, plants and flowers. There’s also food trucks at this Garden City festival, plus a colourful 3D projection on the walls of the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre planned for the last week of the month.
Until March 31
Al Ain Zoo, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, daily 6pm to 10pm, Dhs10 after 7pm. Tel: (800) Zoo. Taxi: Al Ain Zoo. alainzoo.ae