8 fun things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend: March 25 to 27
Who’s down for some fun in the sun..?
Welcome to the weekly What’s On round up of weekend fun in the capital. We’ve got eight of the best ways to enjoy these lazy, hazy, pre-summer days.
Thursday, March 25
Parks and recreation
This isn’t just a chill spot for a wee walk, oh no, this park flexes big free-time facilities. There’s an amphitheatre, petting zoo, alfresco cinema, botanical garden, a wisdom garden (because you’re never too zen to wise up) and a miniature train tour.
Mushrif area, entry to the park is charged at Dhs10 per person. Located at Umm Al Emarat Park, ummalemaratpark.ae
Discover the ancient green scenes of Al Ain Oasis
This 1,200-hectare desert oasis is found in the middle of Al Ain and attained UNESCO World Heritage status in 2011. It contains more than 147,000 date palms, trees bearing mangos, oranges, bananas, figs and jujube. The lush botanical abundance is created with the help of falaj systems, ancient irrigation networks that tap into mountain aquifers. Whilst the wildlife isn’t a deliberate attraction here, with its whimsical shaded pathways beneath fractal canopies it’s still a place that provides a shuddering contrast to the urban jungle of Abu Dhabi’s cityscape. If you fancy a trek round it, you can also swing by the Eastern Fort on the edge of the property, it was completed around 1910 by the late Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed. There’s also an Eco-Centre that offers insight into the conservation efforts at the oasis, and a look back at its history.
Al Ain, open daily 9am to 5pm. Tel: (03) 711 8251, take a virtual tour at visitabudhabi.ae
It’s all in the delivery
One of the UAE’s leading catering outfits, Abela Online, has announced that it is now offering home deliveries to residences in Abu Dhabi City. Orders over Dhs100 get free next day delivery (if you get your virtual basket past the checkout before 5pm) on items such as Arabic mezze, soups and sauces, gourmet pies and quiches, cheese platters, meatballs and burgers, frozen meals, desserts (like this roguishly handsome lotus cheesecake above) and more.
Available now from abelaonline.com
Friday, March 26
Back to the island
A new leisure and entertainment district opened on Hudayriyat Island last year, and it is rammed with awesome activities. Some are paid attractions, such as the Circuit X skate park, splash park and OCR Obstacle Course. Others, such as the bike parks, public beach, outdoor gym, Heritage Walk and overwater cycling track, are free. Choose your weekend weapon.
Al Hudayriyat Island, timings vary for each facility, hudayriyatisland.ae
How to get your mangroove back
Sea Hawk offers guided kayak tours through some pretty cool locales, but their two-hour trip through the serene greens of the Eastern Mangrove National Park — is possibly their most chill-filled. Navigate through the calming surrounds of the mangrove forest, led by a kind who’s on hand to dish out nuggets of mangrove wisdom as well as prevent you from getting lost in the botanical maze. The price of your trip includes gear rental, water, a fruit salad and a place to clean yourself up after your adventure.
Eastern Mangrove Promenade, Al Salam Street,Sheikh Zayed, Daily trips; 6.30am, 8am, 9.30am and 4.30pm, Dhs168. Tel: (02) 673 6688, sea-hawk.ae
Making a right royal splash
Get the royal treatment with a weekday pool pass at Emirates Palace. Adults can gain access to the pool and beach facilities from Dhs320 (with Dhs100 credit for Cascades restaurant). Kids aged four to 20 get in for Dhs160 with Dhs50 back as credit. At weekends, adults are Dhs425 and it’s Dhs210 for kids without dining voucher.
Emirates Palace, Corniche Rd W – Al Ras Al Akhdar. Tel: (02) 690 7311, @emiratespalace
Saturday, March 27
Brand new and boasting some serious eco honour badges. Spanning 27,500 square metre area of verdant abundance, with over 2,000 types of plant, the park was engineered to recreate a forest environment. Its high tree density combined with an innovative irrigation system, means that it’s a concept that requires 40 per cent less water than traditional park set ups. There’s also sports facilities such as mini-golf holes, table tennis, courts for badminton, basketball, volleyball and football, skate zones and a climbing wall.
Al Reem Island, 7am to 11pm. dmt.gov.ae
The art beats faster, when in Louvre
Louvre’s collection-bolstering for the winter season includes a number of significant international loans (including the spellbinding Haystacks, End of Summer, by Claude Monet) are now on display at the stunning museum from the Musée d’Orsay and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Expect to see the works of Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and more. For a sneak peek of what else is new, check out our full article on the recent additions.
Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, Tue to Sun 10am to 6.30pm, closed Mon. Tel: (02) 6736 688. louvreabudhabi.ae