Get out your calendars! It’s time to start planning…

Eid Al Adha is almost here and for most of us, it’s a long weekend ahead. For those of you who are still in the country during this time, we’ve rounded up a list of things you can do in Abu Dhabi during the long five-day Eid Al Adha holidays.

Here’s our top picks for things to do in Abu Dhabi this Eid weekend:

Thursday, August 8

1. Visit the Eid Al Adha Festival

Round up the family and head to the annual Eid Al Adha Festival at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. It’s free to enter, and it runs until Wednesday, August 17. Expect to see performances including traditional song and dance, unique gift and consumer goods for sale and plenty of toys and games for the little ones. Feeling hungry? You can head on over to the food stalls to savour some authentic Arabic food.

Eid Al Adha Festival, Hall 8 and 9 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, 5pm to 11pm until Aug 17, free. Tel: (800) 23 632.

2. Pay a visit to a palace

Ever passed by a palace and wondered what it might look like on the inside? Well, you can do just that at Qasr Al Watan – the new cultural landmark housed within the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi. Qasr Al Watan is Arabic for ‘Palace of the Nation’, and is a working palace that hosts official state visits and summits. Apart from admiring at the stunning Arabian architecture, you will also gain a deeper understanding of the UAE’s governing traditions and values, and will get to explore a vast collection of historic artefacts and manuscripts. Check out what we experienced when we visited Qasr Al Watan here.

Qasr Al Watan, Al Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabieveryday 10am to 8pm, Palace and Garden ticket Dhs60 adults, Dhs30 for children under 17. Tel: (+971) 600 544 442.

Friday, August 9

3. Check out a Caribbean Circus

Take the family to Dalma Mall in Abu Dhabi this Eid Al Adha and catch the indoor Caribbean Circus. There will be highflying trapeze artists, acrobats, daredevil motorcyclists, and much more. There are two shows daily with the first show at 6pm and the second at 9pm, and they last for two hours. Ticket prices start at Dhs75 for bronze, and they go up to Dhs200 if you want to get a closer look at the action. Tickets will be made available on Platinumlist soon and also at the venue. You have until Saturday, September 7, 2019 to check it out.

Caribbean Circus, Dalma Mall, Abu Dhabi, two shows daily 6pm and 9pm from Aug 8 to Sept 7, ticket costs Dhs75 onwards. Tel: (056) 936 5999. 

4. Head to The Galleria on Al Maryah Island

The Galleria Al Maryah Island is dedicating five days to an Eid Al Adha celebration from 3pm to 9pm from Thursday, August 8 to Monday, August 12. Visitors will be able to enjoy traditional Arabic hospitality such as coffee and dates as well as Arabic themed arts and crafts such as bespoke sand bottle art. The little ones can be kept busy at the arts and crafts section and there’s even complimentary henna applications.

While you’re at The Galleria check out the Year of Tolerance exhibition. It’s a collaboration with the National Archive that features never-before-seen photography. The collection spans more than two decades from 1965 to 1990, and highlights the fundamental values of the Year of Tolerance such as the spirit of coexistence among all cultures. The exhibition runs until August 15, 2019.

The Galleria, Al Maryah Island, Al Falah Street, Abu Dhabi, Eid Al Adha celebrations – 3pm to 9pm from Aug 8 to 12, Year of Tolerance exhibition ends on Aug 15, Tel: (02) 616 6999

 Saturday, August 10

5. Head to the fun fair at Abu Dhabi Mall

Abu Dhabi Mall is hosting a range of activities for five days during Eid Al Adha this year. Expect to see dance acts, magic shows and musical performances. It will run for seven hours starting from 3pm from Friday, August 9 to Tuesday, August 13, 2019.

Abu Dhabi Mall’s Funfair, Abu Dhabi Mall, until Sept 3. Tel: (02) 645 4858.

6. Buy some affordable art at the Art Souq

Are your walls at home looking a bit boring and drab? Take some time out this Eid Al Adha holidays to redecorate. The Etihad Modern Art Gallery is hosting its annual Art Souq exhibition and it’s running until August 17. All of the artwork here for sale and are priced at under Dh15,000. You can purchase anything from postcards, original paintings, sculptures and more.

Etihad Modern Art Gallery, Al Bateen Area, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 10pm Sat to Thur until Aug 17. Tel: (02) 6210145.

Sunday, August 11

7. Have a staycation at Emirates Palace

For a truly luxurious getaway, Emirates Palace is offering 25 per cent off until September 30. Book two nights between August 8 and 16 and receive a complimentary upgrade if you choose the Coral room, Pearl room or Khaleej suite. You’ll also get a buffet breakfast at Le Vendôme Brasserie and 15 per cent off selected restaurants.

Emirates Palace, West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, rooms starting from Dhs990. Tel: (02) 690 9000. 

8. Take the little ones to the newly opened KidZania at Yas Mall

Parents, take note. KidZania is now in the capital. The impressive 55,000 square metres space is designed to offer a real life role playing experience to children aged one through to 16. Whether they want to be a doctor, an astronaut, or a chef, KidZania will offer the chance to experience an array of scenarios across more than 50 different real-life professions. The little ones will also learn how to manage their earnings,  preparing them to be responsible future adults. Book tickets online and you can enjoy a 10 per cent discount.

If you’re here from Sunday, August 11 to Wednesday, August 14, the mall will be celebrating Eid Al Adha with an array of live entertainment and activities.

KidZania Abu Dhabi, Ground Floor, Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 8pm Sat to Wed, 10am to 10pm Thurs and Fri, Dhs185 children, Dhs75 adults, Eid Al Adha celebrations from 10am to 10pm from Aug 11 to 14. Tel: (02) 414 6401.

Monday, August 12

9. Catch the Eid Al Adha fireworks at Yas Marina

Abu Dhabi will be celebrating with three nights of sensational fireworks during the first three nights of the Eid Al Adha long weekend. The fireworks will begin at 9pm sharp on all three days and, as you can imagine will draw in a lot of crowd, so get there early to snag the perfect viewing spot. The best news? Access to the marina is free of charge.

If you want a more up-close view, consider booking yourself a Captain Tony’s dhow cruise, where you will be treated to a a stunning tour of the Yas Marina waters on a traditional dhow while enjoying the fireworks. The tour starts 30 minutes before the fireworks and last about an hour – so it’s guaranteed you will catch the fireworks while on board. The tour costs Dhs100 for adults and Dhs50 for children between six and 12 years old. Spaces are limited, so ensure you make your bookings quickly before all the seats get taken.

Eid Al Adha fireworks, Yas Marina, Yas Island, fireworks will take place at 9pm on the first three days of Eid Al Adha. Tel: (02) 406 2000.

10. Dine at Cascade Entertainment & Dining 

If trying out new foods from around the world is on your agenda this Eid Al Adha holidays, head to Cascade Entertainment & Dining. You will find a wide range of options at your fingertips and it’s not just for the adults, but the little ones will find something to enjoy as well. The 18 restaurants located here are spread across two floors and range from authentic Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Italian, Asian, American, seafood, burgers, dessert kiosks and coffee houses. For your entertainment, you will have a stunning water fountain show that runs daily every 30 minutes during lunch and dinner services.

Cascade Entertainment & Dining, Yas Mall, Yas Island. Tel: (02) 414 6401.

Tuesday, August 13

 11. Get some thrills at a Yas Island

Thrill seekers, here’s one for you. The three theme parks on Yas Island, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi have an offer this Eid Al Adha where you can get four tickets for just the price of three. The deal is valid from Thursday, August 8 to Saturday, August 17, 2019 and the parks have even extended their park timings until 10pm so you can get more thrills in. Do note though, to avail of the deal you need to purchase your tickets one day in advance, so this offer won’t be available at the gate.

 Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 10pm on Aug 8 to 17. Tel: (600) 511 115. 

12. Rest and recharge at The EDITION Spa

If you’ve worn yourself out during the long Eid Al Adha break, it’s time for some pampering. Consider a relaxing treatment at the Abu Dhabi EDITION Spa. Whether you’re looking to loosen up those tense muscles, or rejuvenate with a beauty treatment, you’ll find it here. Make it a date day in the couples massage room and enjoy the bright and fresh interiors as you overlook the stunning infinity pool during your treatment.

The Spa, Abu Dhabi Edition, Al Bateen Marina, daily 10am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 208 0000.

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