10 turbocharged things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend: Dec 9 to 11
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines…
The fast and the glorious will be descending on the capital this weekend for the return of the Abu Dhabi Formula One. Like the race itself, it’s going to be a nail-biting ride right up to the finish, but we promise, we’ll always put you first.
Thursday, December 9
New at the movies
Aside from the amazing cast list, the original animated Sing movie didn’t really have much going for it. Well the cast and of course the incredible soundtrack, oh and the humour was spot on, and we adored the heartwarming quest that drove the story, then there was the characterisation, musical mash-ups, message and individual scene set pieces. Ok look, cards on the table, we genuinely loved it and the trailer for this follow up film definitely seems to be leaning in the same direction. It’s coming from the team at Illumination Entertainment (creators of the Despicable Me series) who have form when it comes to sequels. We simply hope we’re given more than a fresh twist on another talent show, because there’s more to them there characters.
Chic boutique fitness brand Motion is taking over the helipad of The St Regis Abu Dhabi at Nation Towers this Thursday for a cloud bothering series of spin sessions like no other. From twilight on December 9, Motion will be holding five ‘Reach for the Sky’ spin classes priced at Dhs235, taking place 225 metres up in the sky and offering incredible views of the capital’s twinkling cityscape. And you can sign up on their website now.
The St Regis Abu Dhabi at Nation Towers, Corniche, Thu Dec 9, five classes from sunset, Dhs235. WhatsApp: (058) 530 0836, motion-cycling.ae
The Mother of all festivals
The Mother of the Nation Festival is returning to Abu Dhabi’s Corniche this December and, on-brand for the Year of the 50th mission, it’s going to be absolutely massive. Taking place between December 9 and 18, with tickets going on sale soon, there will be entertainment, enwisinening and indulgences available under attraction categories — Amusement Zone (with the World of Nickelodeon and appearances by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Paw Patrol, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Dora the Explorer); Thrill Zone (featuring a Rick and Morty Lazer Tag experience; parkour workshops; and a Smash Room pop-up); Inspire Space; Music Arena (featuring live music performances from regional and international stars); a Shopping District and Food Hub.
December 9 to 18, Abu Dhabi Corniche, tickets available from the motn.ae, website. Passes start at Dhs25, with all day access from Dhs145.
Friday, December 10
Present from the Futr
This weekend Futr World is bringing three MASSIVE first-time-ever event experiences to Abu Dhabi (Friday, December 9 to Saturday, December 11). There’s Futr Festival (Dec 10) — an ensemble of huge name music acts that includes WizKid; Futr Live (Dec 10 to 11) that will bring to life exciting brand activations like the Museum of Ice Cream in a regional first, and interaction opportunities with popular social creators and influencers; and Futr Summit (Dec 9), a collection of talks from some of the finest minds in retail, business innovation and entrepreneurship. Entry to Futr Live and Futr Summit is free (you’ll still need to sign up though), but What’s On readers can use a special promo code for Futr Festival — giving them two tickets for the price of one. Just use the code WHOAD50 when prompted.
Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island, Dec 9 to 11, Futr Festival Dec 10, Dhs250. tickets.virginmegastore.me
Have you got the golden ticket
If you’ve secured your tickets to the Abu Dhabi F1, congratulations you’re in for one wild ride. And not just because of all the racing action, there’s the high-octane thrills of the Yasalam After Race Concerts too. We’re talking Khalid, Stormzy, Lewis Capaldi and of course the legendary Foo Fighters. But, pro-tip, if you want to make your experience more memorable, more magical — we highly recommend you purchase a Golden Circle pass. This gets you fast-track access into the concert venue as well as front-row seats. Prices start at Dhs195 and there are very few remaining.
You must hold a valid pass for the concert to upgrade the experience. Khalid (Dhs195), Stormzy (Dhs295, Lewis Capaldi (Dhs295), Foo Fighters (Dhs395). Concert passes can only be purchased as part of F1 ticket bundles. yasmarinacircuit.com
La petite brunch
One of the capital’s most popular French dining experiences, La Petite Maison (LPM) has just launched its first ever Friday brunch, La Vie En Rosé — and it genuinely looks *chef’s kiss* magnifique. And why wouldn’t it? The restaurant flies the flag of fine dining’s spirit country, trading in that famously no-nonsense, no-pretense, let-the-food-do-the-talking, French accent. What can we expect on the plate? LPM burrata with tomatoes & basil and snails with garlic butter to start. Grilled sirloin steak; roast baby chicken marinated in lemon; sea bream fillet with pistou and peppers; and pumpkin risotto for mains. Your dessert highlights include warm chocolate mousse with malt ice cream, vanilla crème brulée or LPM’s celebrated cheesecake. Eat well, regret nothing.
LPM, Al Maryah Island, Fridays 1pm to 3pm, two pax minimum, soft Dhs375, premium pink grape package Dhs450, premium sparkling pink grape Dhs575. Tel: (02) 692 9600, lpmrestaurants.com
Une nuit blanche
Launching at Yas Bay on December 9, just in time for the wild ride of the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 (and its Yasalam concerts), White Abu Dhabi aims to supply the capital’s premier clubbing experience. White Abu Dhabi innovative speaker system will bang to the sounds of hip-hop, R&B, grime and drill — featuring the rhythmic talent of global music A-Listers. Names like UK rap maestro, Stormzy — who’s in town for a F1 after race rave up on Friday, December 10. He’ll be performing at White Abu Dhabi later on the same night.
Saturday, December 11
Formula for brunching success
With the Formula 1 season gearing up for a spectacular finale in Abu Dhabi this weekend, W Abu Dhabi — Yas Island is on track to deliver a whole calendar of exciting race-based events. These include special DJ nights, al fresco dining experiences, and a podium line-up of full-throttle brunches. Our ‘pick of the brunch’ is the ‘Pink Party’ sessions at Garage — there are multiple seatings available over the race weekend, but we’re making a racing line to Saturday’s midday to 3pm slot. In addition to all the usual pole position international gastronomy served up by this legendary multi-kitchen venue, revellers can enjoy a deck set from DJ Nuff Said, and they’ll also get a ticket to see the Yasalam After Race concert for that day. Seating price Dhs650 for inside, and Dhs1,050 for terrace seating with race track views.
Garage, W Abu Dhabi, Yas Island. Offers throughout race weekend. Tel: (0)2 656 0000. marriott.com
Keeping you in the Loop
Head onto the calm, white sandy beaches of Abu Dhabi’s Corniche this weekend and pay a visit to brand new dining adventure, Loop Beach, an alfresco restaurant on the shoreline of Bab Al Qasr. They serve premium grilled surf and turf in stunning waterside surrounds. And in case someone was in need of a sign, it’s a great shout for date night.
The Loop Beach Restaurant & Bar, Bab Al Qasr, West Corniche Road. Tel: (02) 205 3000, @babalqasrhotel
Yeah circuits are fun, but have you ever tried launching your fists into an indestructable punch bag for 50 minutes with a plasma storm light show goes off all around you. *Ding ding* Step into the gym/ring for HIIT, Classic and Ladies only sessions at Punch, and fight yourself fit. More than just a spot of fisticuffs with an inanimaye sack, these HIIT workouts obviously work on your overall fitness and focuses on you knocking that ‘UAE stone’ clean out. The Classic classes go deeper into the skills and techniques behind the gentleperson’s sport of pugilism — tightening up your footwork, jab combos, defensive postures as well as helping you develop your strength, speed and agility.
Punch Boxing Club, Zayed Sports City, Dhs100 for one class (newbies get two for one), and it’s Dhs800 for an unlimited month pass. Tel: (02) 666 9717, @punchuae