Wishing all of Abu Dhabi a happy new year…

The best weekends are the ones that feel like that they could last forever, filled with action, and time set aside for relaxation. You need to get you a weekend that can do all three.

Thursday, August 12

What’s new at the cinema this week?

Written, directed, produced and downloaded from the mind of one of modern cinema’s most mercurial creatives, M. Night Shyamalan, Old looks to be a trademark Shyamalan piece of fever dream suspense theatre. The premise has us following a family holiday on a secluded tropical beach, where all the inhabitants start, inexplicably, rapidly aging. Real talk: never go lower than SPF50. If it manages to avoid trite purgatory cliches of the Lost finale and steers closer to Sixth Sense than The Happening (for which we still haven’t forgiven either Shyamalan or Mark Whalberg), this could be a surprisingly good watch. Next up — Free Guy, our anticipation for this movie has been impatiently loading ever since the first trailer was released back in December 2019. A different time. The film tells the story of Guy, played by Ryan Reynolds — who, after intervening in a bungled bank heist, arrives at the realisation that he’s actually a non-player character (NPC) in a brutal free-world videogame. Bang on topic for 2021’s unofficial Black Mirror theme. Guy must step up and become a true hero, if he’s to save his virtual world from being unplugged. Expect an expansion pack full of videogame-based humour and Reynolds at peak Reynolds. He’s not a good Guy, he’s a great Guy.

Tickets: Book now

An offer that themes too good to be true (but it is)

hilton abu dhabi yas island

The sparkling new five-star Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island is offering some epic family staycation packages and the prices start at just Dhs620 for a room per night (based on two adults, with kids under 12 going free). The deal includes a stay in a standard room, breakfast for each guest and daily access to either Ferrari World Abu DhabiYas Waterworld or Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. There are three new restaurants and bars to explore at the hotel, the first eforea spa in the UAE, a hyper-modern fitness center, an outdoor pool, and a kids’ club with splash pool and playground.

Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, Yas Island, rates from Dhs620, book at yasisland.ae

When you wish upon a star

In a wonderful bit of local stargazing news, we’ve just discovered that the capital’s watersports specialists, SeaHawk.ae are organising their own Perseids party on a secluded island, somewhere amongst the Eastern mangroves. Being held between 11pm on Thursday August 12 and 6am on Friday August 13 the trip will include island transfers, bonfire equipment, tents, camp chairs, the ultimate campfire treat — s’mores, water and the loan of a paddleboard, all for Dhs 350 per person.

To book your place on the trip, you’ll need to drop SeaHawk a message in their Insta DMs @seahawk.ae.

Friday, August 13

In honour of India-pendence

For the 75th Indian Independence Day, one of the capital’s favourite Indian restaurants, Punjab Grill is putting on a special four-course menu to celebrate through the medium of gourmet plates. Between August 13 and 14, enjoy traditional starters such as mutton kofte and palak patta chaat, followed by paneer tikka or raunakeen seekhan kebabs. Main options include coconut prawns, mutton vindaloo, and a classic butter chicken. Sweet temptations round off the meal with carrot halwa phyllo served with vanilla ice cream, rasmalai, or chenna poda. All four courses are available for a red hot Dhs200 at lunch and dinner servings.

Punjab Grill, Venetian Village of Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi. WhatsApp: (050) 668 3054, @punjabgrillabudhabi

Forever brunching bubbles

Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, Bubbalicious abu dhabi,

Bubbalicious has earned a place in the UAE’s brunching hall of fame. Mastering that all-important trifactor of great food and drink, strong ambiance and outstanding service. It’s an international round-up of cuisine, so there’s plenty for even the most particular of palates to fall in love with. From the sea find fresh sushi, oysters and other seafood along with a handsome array of condiment companions. There are live-cooking stations; roast carvery and grill selections; gourmet garden-plucked salads; and dietary requirement-compliant options. There’s also now a Thursday evening sitting (7pm to 10pm), where the house beverage package is just Dhs250.

Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, Sas Al Nakhl, Fridays 1pm to 4pm, Dhs195 for soft package, Dhs350 for house, Dhs595 for French bubbles package. Tel: (02) 616 9999, @westinabudhabi

That weekend brunch feline

Emirates Park Zoo has an incredibly diverse population of animal inhabitants, some of them cuddly, some of them decidedly less so. They also have awesome opportunities to get up and close and relatively personal with certain species. The Big Cat Brunch lets you eat lunch in the company of an actual leopard (because, UAE), you can pose questions, take photos and there’s even a private expert-led tour (the leopard featured above is a little bigger than the one you’ll be doing lunch with). Too willd? Why not book up the famous ‘breakfast with a giraffe’?

Emirates Park Zoo, 12th St – Al Bahyah, 1pm to 2.30pm, Dhs156 per person (minimum of four people) which includes zoo admission. Tel: (02) 501 0000, emiratesparkzooandresort.com

Saturday, August 14

Small fish in a big Aquarium

Yas Marina’s so-fish-ticated seafood restaurant, Aquarium has got a fin-tastic weekend deal for the little ones this summer. Kids get one free meal and drink with every paying adult. The menu includes a big range of fresh oceanic fare and if you need one more thing to tip the scales, the Marina views, and hues of fish tanks blues help build a spect-aqua-lar atmosphere. And apologies for the terrible puns, they’re our gill-ty pleasure.

Yas Marina Fri and Sat, 1pm to 8pm. Tel: (02) 565 0007, yasmarina.ae

It’s all about getting those Ws

Some hotels just have funk sewn into their fabric and W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island is absolutely one of those resorts. This weekend, you can have a dunk in W’s particular funk, with breakfast, a pool pass and gym access for two, charged at Dhs247. Late riser? You can head down after breakfast for a day’s pool access for Dhs150 with the full amount redeemable on food and drink.

W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, breakfast 6.30am to 10.30am). Tel: (02) 656 0000. yashotelexperiences.com

Images: Provided/Getty