8 fabulous things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend: April 8 to 10

Eight things to make you go ‘mmm’ this week…

This is your invite to be Abu Dhabi fabulous this weekend. We’ve got eight great ways to sprinkle a little sparkle on your life.

Thursday, April 8

A hearty Emirati flavour party

The recently-launched DCT-backed Emirati Cuisine Programme is giving residents and visitors the opportunity to try some local flavours at a select number of hotels across the emirate until May. Under the programme, 32 chefs at approximately 30 hotels received training from Emirati chef Khulood Atiq to prepare and serve a range of authentic Emirati dishes. At Ingredients, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi) for example, Chef Idin Asmitha has reworked ten Emirati classics, including ouzi, leguimat and madrooba.

For more information about the Emirati Cuisine Programme, visit emiraticuisine.ae

Bikes, hikes and campfire stargazing

Before it gets really starts to warm up, we urge you to visit other-worldly UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jebel Hafit. It’s Abu Dhabi’s tallest peak, located in Al Ain and there are camping options available from around Dhs500. You’ll also be able to book in for bubble tents — equipped with panoramic windows that are just perfect for star-gazing (from Dhs700); and luxury dome tents which come with AC, a TV and, excitingly a telescope (from Dhs900). Holiday-makers come here to hike, mountain bike (rental available), dune buggy, ride horses and camels and enjoy the rarified fresh air (and lack of light pollution) that contributes to the perfect conditions for astronomy. Those seeking out a historical thirst trap should make the trek to the Jebel Hafit’s two archaeological sites. One, a neolithic excavation, dates back 8,000 years — whilst the other, a 5,000-year-old tomb was excavated in 1959 on the orders of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

You can book your stay now at jebelhafitdesertpark.com, or by calling (03) 711 8362.

Warner Bros. World gets a cheeky temporary ex-pivot

Until Saturday, April 10 Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi is offering you the opportunity to get a selfie with one of the most supportive cast members from 90s sitcom Friends. Nope, it’s not Gunther. It’s the sofa. Nope not the one from Ross’s stairwell Evergreen ‘PIVOT’ episode, it’s the iconic Central Perk one, from the the title sequence.

Single Day Tickets for Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi on Yas Island start at Dhs290, available at wbworldabudhabi.com/en/booking

Friday, April 9

Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool, sipping on blended bevs outside of the pool

You can take a running leap and cannonball into Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island’s brand new pool pass deal at Dhs150 for adults, Dhs75 for kids (that’s the weekend price, it’s slightly less for weekdays). Purchasing the pass also entitles you to 20 per cent off at the hotel’s Hilton-managed restaurants. Which provides the perfect platform to dive into the sun-soaked flavour fiesta at Capila – Pool Bar and Grill.

Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, Yas Island, daily pass valid 10am to 6pm, from Dhs100 per adult. Tel: (02) 208 687, @hiltonabudhabiyasisland

Market in your diaries

The Market Brunch at Saadiyat Rotana Resort and Villas is already known on Abu Dhabi’s dining circuit for finding that fabled equilibrium between epic cuisine and five-star vibes. There are dedicated barbecue stations offering a connoisseur’s collection of fine cuts, grilled seafood and char-crisped sides; a huge salad bar offering clever combinations of fresh botanical flavours; a vast selection of creamy cheese and expert-cured cold cuts; there’s an epic seafood melange; multiple dessert stalls; and importantly, a special brunch station for the kids.

Saadiyat Rotana Resorts & Villas, Every Fri 1pm to 4pm, kids 6-11 Dhs195, soft Dhs390, house Dhs515, bubbles Dhs615. Tel: (02) 697 0000, rotanatimes.com

Saturday, April 10

Bangkok has us now

This one is for our late risers. Head to Li Jiang for a very special evening brunch. Chef Chung has selected a line-up of the very best Southeast Asia street-vendor flavours, including Korean barbecue, sushi and fried noodles. There’s also a range of exotic, Asian-inspired drinks.

The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Sat, choose three hours between 5pm and 11pm, Dhs225 with soft drinks, Dhs360 with house drinks, Dhs480 for bubbles. Tel: (02) 818 8888. @ritzcarltonabudhabi

A few new menu items to chew on, chez you

We already shared the news that one of the UAE’s leading catering outfits, Abela Online, is now offering home deliveries to residences in Abu Dhabi City. And now there are even more reasons to order their precooked gastronomy to your door. The updated menu, just in time for Ramadan iftars, includes: shrimp spring rolls, chicken Basquaise, mac and cheese, chicken vindaloo, kafta bil soniya, kebbeh bil sanieh, chicken potato and lemon garlic, cheese manakish and zaatar manakish  Orders over Dhs100 get free next day delivery (if you get your virtual basket past the checkout before 5pm).

Available now from abelaonline.com

Free Parking

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

Images: Provided/Getty