10 great things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend
A music festival, big brunches, bargain lunches and one of football’s most dramatic derbies, LIVE.
We’ve got some absolutely capital ideas for you to make like the Flintstones and Abu Dhabi doooo the weekend right. Check out ten of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend…
Thursday February 20
1. Make the most of Arabian nights at the Museum of Natural Mystery
Head to Nation Towers after 4pm and visit the Museum of Natural Mystery for a few family-friendly, pre-dinner, spooky lols. Their pop-up exhibit features a clever 3D show where a mischievous mouse awakens a genie from centuries of sleep. We know right, we’ve all been there. The genie then interacts with paintings and inanimate objects, seemingly moving them around him. Scooby fans, you’re not going to be able to pin this on the creepy old janitor – this experience comes courtesy of cutting edge smoke and mirror technology. It’s free entry and you can find the display on Level 1 of Nation Towers. While you’re there, don’t forget to also visit the Time Machine ride too.
Museum of Natural Mystery, National Towers, Abu Dhabi, 4pm to 10pm daily until April 24, free. Tel: (02) 333 8288. nationtowersmall.com
2. Get yourself a Dhs29 lunch courtesy of this ‘Ultimate Food Fest’
Between the 20th and 29th February, The Galleria Mall is launching a fork-pronged attack on the cost of eating out. Their Ultimate Food Fest offers discounts on fine and casual dining outlets throughout the mall. You’ll be able to pick up a guide for the full list of participating restaurants from any of The Galleria’s guest service desks, but the Dhs29 lunch deals caught our eye. Whether you’re on a wellness kick (Nolu’s, The Healthy Shop), on the spice trail (Royal Orchid, Bombay Canteen and Biryani Pot), or up for some serious cheat day salad dodging (Burger Fuel, Off the Hook, Charley’s Philly Steaks and Pizza Hut) – there are options.
Ultimate Food Fest, The Galleria Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 10pm, daily 20th to 29th February, from Dhs29. thegalleria.ae
Friday February 21
3. Enjoy a laidback family lunch with Marriott’s parenting hack
Many parents write-off the idea of being able to go out somewhere nice, sit down and eat an entire warm meal for the first 12 years of their child’s life. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Khayal Restaurant at Marriott Hotel Al Forsan, offers a weekly Friday family lunch – complete with a comprehensive range of children’s entertainment. Their dedicated playroom is packed with interactive games, puppet shows and balloon animals. Meanwhile, back with the adults… Parents can stack their plates with wholesome and delicious international cuisine from the buffet, and grab fresh bites from the live Italian and sushi stations.
Khayal Family Lunch, Marriott Hotel Al Forsan, Abu Dhabi. 12.30pm to 3.30pm, every Friday, Dhs165 for adults and Dhs82 for kids. Tel: (02) 2014131. marriott.com
4. Push yourself to the limits at TriYAS
Now in its 10th year, TriYAS will see you run, swim and cycle around the famed Formula 1 track. It is the region’s only day into night triathlon and has an emphasis on setting personal targets and achieving them – so you don’t have to worry if you’re a first-timer. Here’s what you’ll experience: it starts with a 1.5km swim in the Yas Marina, followed by a 38km cycle track and then a 10km run around Yas Island. Every finisher will receive a medal. Kids can also participate in TriKids in the morning event for Dhs85.
TriYAS, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 12pm, Fri Feb 21, Dhs338 per person. adsc.ae
5. Spectating goals – cheer on your team at the Egyptian Super Cup Finals
Football fans, make your way to Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium come Friday for the Egyptian Super Cup finals between Al Ahly and Zamalek. You and 37,000 other fans can watch two of the Arab world’s most passionately-supported football sides, compete for the coveted trophy live and within screaming distance of the ref. Will the upcoming match be a repeat of last year, where Al Ahly snatched a narrow 3-2 victory? Or will a fired-up Zamalek make a come-back and snag the cup this year? The teams have only 90 minutes to show how much they want it. Tickets start from Dhs240 per person and you can buy them here.
Egyptian Super Cup Finals, Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, 9pm, Fri Feb 21, ticket prices start from Dhs240 per person. Tel: (02) 445 4455.
6. Tuck into Hakkasan’s evening brunch
Hakkasan’s evening brunch is now a weekly affair taking place every Friday from 8pm to 11pm. Located at the stunning Emirates Palace, you’ll be able wrap chopsticks round contemporary Chinese cuisine, on their stunningly stylish terrace. Expect the restaurant’s signature Peking duck, a selection of their popular dim sum, wagyu ribs and much more.
Hakkasan, Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, 8pm to 11pm, every Fri, Dhs348 per person. Tel: (02) 690 7739. hakkasan.com
Saturday February 22
7. Raise those pinkies for afternoon tea at Iris
Oh rather, what what, tally ho! Despite the stereotype, these are things that you will probably never, ever hear a Brit say. ‘Fancy a cup of tea mate?’ On the other hand, is prolific. At Iris you can take part in the most sophisticated ritual of ‘the cuppa,’ afternoon tea, from as little as Dhs80. This includes the obligatory finger sandwiches and dessert. You can upgrade your package with more adult beverages for Dhs180, and with bubbles for Dhs280. Spiffing.
Iris, Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 3pm to 7pm, every Sat, from Dhs80 per person. Tel: (055) 160 5636.
8. Check out the beautiful Jubail Mangrove Park
Love nature? Then you have to check out the Jubail Mangrove Park at Al Jubail Island, Abu Dhabi. The huge new boardwalk through Abu Dhabi’s National Mangrove park offers visitors a new, free-to-see opportunity to get a little closer to nature in our capital city. As well as the stunning nature walk, there’s loads of activities for the whole family to get involved in such as kayaking through the mangroves, interactive educational tours and more. The best news: its free. Want a sneak peak? Check out what we experienced when we visited earlier this week.
Jubail Mangrove Park, Al Jubail Island (next to Saadiyat Island), Abu Dhabi, 8am to 6.30pm daily, closed for the summer season, free entry. Tel: (05) 63032423. park.jubailisland.ae
9. Celebrate electronica at this arts festival in NYUAD
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ElectroFest is an annual festival that courts the edge of electronic music and sound art, providing a platform for industry innovators. Dedicated followers of synth and drum machines can geek out to a variety of performances ranging from classical to modern, including both UAE and world premieres. This year’s edition is themed around the late, avant-garde composer and music theorist John Cage, with a secondary thematic nod to percussion music. The programme also includes expert talks and visual shows.
The Arts Center, New York University Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island. Free but online reservation is required, Times vary for each performance, Sat Feb 22, Tel: (02) 628 6868 nyuad.nyu.edu
10. Feast on Pacific fusion food at GARAGE’s Japanese-Peruvian kitchen
GARAGE, at W Abu Dhabi is the one-stop, dine-in concept restaurant that enables you to experience five completely different cuisines, from different kitchens, at the same table. And the Nikkei House menu brings an influx of big Pacific flavours to the palate party. With dishes like ceviche and tiradito, this is an absolute mandatory tick box for the capital’s raw bar and seafood fans.
Nikkei House, GARAGE, at W Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, daily 12.30pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6560000 garageabudhabi.com