From a free cultural festival, an afternoon tea where the main star is chocolate and celebrating Carneval at an Abu Dhabi theme park…

Happy Thursday, Abu Dhabi! The weekend is here and we’ve got you covered.

Whether it’s spending time with your family at a free event on the beach, checking out a new art exhibition or digging into a brunch – there’s something new to do every night this weekend.

Here are 7 things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend.  

Thursday, February 28

1. Attend a cultural event at Festival In The Park

The Abu Dhabi Festival kicks off this weekend with Festival in the Park – a free two-day outdoor cultural celebration at Umm al Emarat Park. There will be events including live performances of theatre and comedy, workshops and musical performances. Explore the craft market and purchase locally-produced handicrafts created by UAE’s artisans, take in some music performed by the Elite Music Institute, or attend a drumming workshop – there’s something for the whole family to enjoy. For a line-up of all events visit The Abu Dhabi Festival’s website

Festival in the Park, Umm al Emarat Park, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 9pm, Thur, Feb 28, 4pm to 9pm Fri, Mar 1, free entry. Tel: (050) 129 9103,

2. Enjoy a chocolate-themed afternoon tea

Indulge yourself at Rosewood Abu Dhabi’s Majlis Lobby Lounge with their newly launched afternoon tea, where tasty treats are artistically crafted with all things chocolate and everything is edible – even the plates. Dig into a wide spread of desserts such as chocolate brûlée, white chocolate cheesecake, chocolate lollipops and there’s even a chocolate fountain. For those who prefer savory treats, they can tuck it dishes like mini baguettes, chicken caesar on mini croissants and more. There’s also a large variety of loose-leaf teas, handcrafted coffees or bellini to pick from.

Majlis Lobby Lounge, Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, 3pm to 9pm every Thur, Dhs180 per person. Tel: (02) 813 5550.

Friday, March 1

3. Indulge in a brunch

Head on over to the Anantara Eastern Mangroves and reward yourself after a week of hard work with their Big Brunch. The buffet spread features Mediterranean, Asian, Arabic and American dishes, as well as a dedicated sweets section. Expect to savor barbecued seafood, fresh lobster and more while enjoying free-flowing drinks with live musicians to keep you entertained.

Anantara Eastern Mangroves, Al Salam Street, Abu Dhabi, 12.30pm to 4pm, every Friday, Dhs276 soft, Dhs349 house, Dhs489 prosecco, Dhs602 champagne. Tel: (02) 656 1000.

4. Celebrate Carnevale in Abu Dhabi 

You don’t need to book a trip to Italy to celebrate Carnevale, all you have to do it head to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. The theme park is hosting its first Italian Carnevale from February 28 to March 2, where guests will be treated to an authentic celebration of the festival. Expect to see  Venetian-inspired live performances and family-friendly entertainment like comic jesters and acobactic acts as you tuck into sumptuous Italian street food served up by the park’s own Italian-style trattoria restaurant – Mamma Rosella.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Feb 28 to Mar 3, adults Dhs295, children under 1.3m tall, Dhs230, under 3s free.

See an Ibiza legend spin

Casa de Cuba is the Yas Island bar that’s here to shake up Abu Dhabi’s party scene. As well as hosting a weekly night with party brand Candypants on Thursday, it will welcome an international DJ every Friday night. This Friday, it’s the turn of Ibiza legend Jonathan Ulysses. It’s free entry, or head down early and take advantage of a four hour ‘drunch deal’ of unlimited drinks from 4pm to 8pm priced at Dhs149 for ladies and Dhs199 for guys.

Casa de Cuba, Yas Marina, Yas Island, 4pm to 3am, Friday March 1, free entry. Tel: (056) 7427435.

Saturday, March 2

6. Spend the whole day with the family

Bab Al Qasr Hotel & Residences is hosting a family beach day on its private beach with a host of fun and entertaining activities planned. Take part in competitions such as water balloon relay, tug of war, pass the balloon and more. To help you fuel up, there are food stalls offering Peruvian dishes and snacks and drinks that the kids will love including hotdogs, cotton candy, ice cream, and slush. You will also be entitled to take home some prizes from the Grand Raffle Draw if you stay until sunset.

Bab Al Qasr Hotel & Residences, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, 11am to 5.30pm (doors open at 9am), Mar 2, free. Tel: (02) 392 7700.

7. Wake up the senses at an immersive sensory experiences

Swiss artist, Zimoun, who is an innovator of sound, is making his debut in the UAE with an exhibition at the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery. His exhibition features five immersive audio-visual installations, one of which is a major new commission that is an expansive room-sized installation. The other four are site-specific adaptations of Zimoun’s previous installations, and are both a sound composition and a sculpture that uses every-day objects such as a cotton ball, cardboard box etc. His installments will also include some experimental music from a record label project that Zimoun co-founded, Leerraum.

NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, 12pm to 8pm, Feb 26 to June 1. Tel: (02) 628 8000.

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Images: Supplied