Counting down to the weekend so you can fill it with fun stuff? We hear you…

Whether it was a shorter countdown to the weekend or the usual five day one, thankfully, the weekend is here again.

It’s the UFC weekend, which means there’s already a lot to see and do in the capital, but apart from fight night there’s still a plethora of events, restaurants, and cultural activities to fill your weekend with. From taking a sushi masterclass at Cho Gao, to checking out the latest cultural openings at Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation or  checking out the 270 stores at The Galleria Al Maryah Island, there’s something to suit all tastes over the weekend here in the capital.

These are the best things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend:   

Thursday, September 5

1. Attend a party or two during Abu Dhabi Showdown Week

From a poolside brunch at Abu Dhabi EDITION to a special performance from Jess Glynn at MAD on Yas Island, to the capital’s biggest pool party taking place at ALOFT, there are several parties going on during Abu Dhabi Showdown Week guaranteed to keep your nights lit this coming weekend. For more details on the parties occurring this weekend read our handy guide to everything UFC related here.

Abu Dhabi Showdown Week, until September 7, locations and timings vary.

2. Catch the debut of Ethiopian Dreams at The Red Theatre

Photo credit: Matilda Temperley

The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi is celebrating its fifth anniversary and is showcasing a cool line-up of performing arts under the theme “Connection”. The new season officially opens on Thursday, September 5, 2019 with Ethiopian Dreams by Circus Abyssinia. Expect to see heart-stopping acrobatics, juggling, contortions and clowns as the story of two brothers – Little Bibi and Little Bichu is narrated. Tickets for the show on Saturday are already sold out but are available for the shows on Thursday and Friday so snag your seats soon. Tickets for adults is Dhs150 per person and for the youth and children under the age of 22, it’s Dhs75 per person.

The Red Theatre, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, 8pm on Thursday, September 5 and Friday, September 6, and 2pm on Saturday, September 7 (sold out), Tel: (02) 628 6868,

Friday, September 6

3. Dine at a new beachside venue 

Looking for a casual spot to hang out with your mates that comes with serene beach views and great food? Then Loop is the perfect venue of choice for you. The restaurant is the Bab Al Qasr Hotel’s pool bar and offers diners a relaxed atmosphere where they can tuck into a variety of mouth-watering dishes such as pizza, burgers and salads while taking in the beautiful sea views. Fancy a dip in the pool while sipping on a refreshing drink? You can do just that at the hotel’s infinity pool while soaking in the Arabian sun.

Loop, Bab Al Qasr Hotel & Residences, Corniche Rd, Abu Dhabi, daily 10am to midnight, Tel: (02) 205 3003,

4. Go on a shopping spree

The Galleria Al Maryah Island extension is now open, adding 270 shops, 70 new restaurants, a dedicated entertainment space and four rooftop urban parks. Go on a shopping spree at several flagship stores such as Zara, Missguided or get your tech needs sorted at Jumbo. Hungry? You can dine at Blaze Pizza (its first branch in the UAE) or at casual dining establishments The Cheesecake Factory or P.F. Changs. You can also catch the latest blockbuster at Vox cinemas or head to Xtreme Zone for some active fun.

The Galleria Al Maryah Island, Al Falah Street, Abu Dhabi, open daily – 10am to 10pm Saturday to Wednesday, 10am to midnight on Thursday, noon to midnight on Friday, Tel: (02) 616 6999,

Saturday, September 7

5. Sign up for a sushi masterclass at Cho Gao

Sushi lovers will absolutely love this masterclass at Cho Gao at Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi. The pan-Asian restaurant will teach you how to create the popular and delicious Japanese dish from scratch, knowledge you can later on use in your own kitchens at home. The cost of the masterclass is Dhs169 per person but along with the sushi class you also get a four course menu and two drinks!

Cho Gao, Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Hamdan Street, Dhs169 for the sushi masterclass, Tel: (02) 616 6149

6.  Check out the two new attractions at Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation

Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation is the UAE’s first cultural centre dedicated to the creation and appreciation of Emirati arts and literature. The space underwent a complete revitalisation, which is now complete, and added two new attractions – an indoor theatre, and the Abu Dhabi Children’s library. The indoor theatre which can seat around 900 people and will aim to engage Abu Dhabi’s diverse community segments through unique multicultural events. The Abu Dhabi Children’s Library, which spans over three floors, is designed to look like a life-size pop-up book complete with immersive spaces, with the diverse landscapes of the UAE brought to life in a mix of both print and digital content. You can read about the two new attractions in more detail our post here.

Al Hosn’s Cultural Foundation, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street Abu Dhabi, Theatre open 10am to 8pm from Saturday to Thursday, noon to 10pm on Friday,

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