23 things to do in Abu Dhabi this long weekend: Dec 30 to Jan 2
Seeing 2021 off with a bang…
As another year slips into the run-out groove, we’re helping you end the year on a strong note. These are all the very best ways to farewell 2021 and welcome home 2022. For the latest updates on NYE rules and regulations check out our article on the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT) announcement.
Thursday, December 30
New at the movies this week
Action comic-adaption franchise Kingsmen, is getting a prequel this year. Did we want a prequel? Does anyone ever really want a prequel? Has there ever even been a good one (and don’t @ us with Godfather II — it’s a ‘sprequal’ at best)? Regardless of our collective opinions, The King’s Man, set during the dawn of the 20th Century, is coming. It describes the origin story of the veiled Kingsmen spy agency — one man (Ralph Fiennes, whose casting feels like an inevitability) and his protege (Harris Dickinson) must stand tall against a cabal of nefarious tyrants (including, rather excitingly, Rhys Ifans as Rasputin), plotting a war with the intention of wiping out millions of lives. Awfully bad manners, when after all… manners, maketh, man.
Tickets: Book now
There’s a chic new lounge addition to the Corniche’s stunning West Bay development — Vertigo offers privileged wave pool views, suave ambiance, a lush little menu of bites and some pretty enticing promotions on beverages. Take for example their happy hour session — ‘Dizzy Hours’, which takes place daily between 6pm and 10pm and secures you select beverages for Dhs35. The venue also includes a series of luxury private cabanas with their own packages, and the soundtrack to your soiree comes courtesy of DJ Elena (10pm to 2am).
West Bay Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Corniche. Tel: (02) 692 4375, @westbayabudhabi
Not sorted your NYE outfit yet? There’s still time to treat yo’self in the Abu Dhabi Winter Shopping Season, still in full festive swing, and dropping bargains all the way up to the end of January. There’s up to 80 per cent off big brands in 3,500 retail outlets across the emirate. There are also shop and win promotions, giveaways and fun family activations in the 20 participating malls.
Find more information on promotions and participating stores at the retailabudhabi.ae website.
Friday, December 31
Guetta load of this
Louvre Abu Dhabi is home to a number of masterpieces from the art world and come December 31, it will host a live stream by a musical mastermind and star – DJ David Guetta. The world-renowned DJ and producer has joined forces with Louvre Abu Dhabi to deliver a unique production on a floating stage in the waters of the Arabian Gulf. It has been built just for this occasion. Fans will be able to unite with others around the globe and watch the show online on January 1, 2022 at the stroke of midnight. The show will also feature a world-class light show and projections of masterpieces from Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection – a great bonus if you love the arts. And of course, there’s the iconic museum itself.
For more information, visit louvreabudhabi.ae
Shouting from the rooftop
But wait, there’s another. Start 2022 on a quite literal high note in Marriott Downtown’s sky bar, AT25 — which has the distinction of being the city’s loftiest open-air rooftop lounge. Funky fresh fun times come your way via the medium of banging tunes, stunning urban jungle views, a sophisticated atmosphere, and a great value drinks package.
Central Grounds, Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street, Dec 31, Dhs150 minimum spend inclusive of three house beverages. Tel: (02) 304 7777. marriottdowntownabudhabilife.com
No time to dine
For a posh night out, dress to impress in your best suit and head to revolving rooftop spot, Stratos for the 007 No Time to Die party. You can revel in a night of glamour and enjoy an impressive firework display across the city including Al Maryah Island. The party begins at 6pm and will cost Dhs495 for endless bites and free-flowing beverages.
For more information and bookings, call 800 101 101, email email@example.com
Masquerading as a party
Make the last night of 2021 one to remember at The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa. Dress in your most decadent attire for a special New Year’s Eve party taking place at Fairways. Expect a lavish and elegant evening designed to indulge in the finer tastes as we welcome 2022 with discerning opulence. Shoulder shuffle alfresco, enjoy an open bar and live performances throughout the night. The revelries begin with a welcome cocktail reception in The Lounge, followed by a decadent international buffet with live stations, signature party drinks and a show case of live entertainment in an alfresco setting.
Westin Abu Dhabi, Dec 31, soft drinks package for Dhs799, house drinks package for Dhs999, while young masqueraders pay just Dhs399 (seven to 12 years).For more information, and to make a booking, visit fairwaysabudhabi.com/festive
Taking the W into 2022
W Abu Dhabi — Yas Island understands the NYE assignment. Those pulling into the multi-kitchen venue, Garage can secure one of the city’s hottest Hogmanays for Dhs598 (house package) or Dhs798 for sparkling. Then you can shift up a gear for a Wet Deck after-party which, beneath a sky full of stars, will take you all the way up to the countdown and beyond.
Garage, W Abu Dhabi, Yas Island. Dec 31 8pm to 1am. Dhs398 soft, Dhs598 house, Dhs798 sparkling. Tel: (0)2 656 0000. marriott.com
Wave to the new year
This chilled-out alfresco haunt is roaring into 2022 with a Gatsby-themed 1920s NYE party. In addition t the sparkling ambiance that comes as standard, they’re offering some great deals on flexible beverage packages including Dhs99 for an hour of unlimited bubbles.
Waves Bar & Outdoor Lounge at Novotel Abu Dhabi Al Bustan, Abu Dhabi. 31 dec 9pm to midnight, Dhs139 for three hours of bottomless cocktails, Dhs199 for three hours of bottomless premium drinks. Tel: (0)2 501 6088. @waves_abudhabi
Thank you, Annext
A purebred Abu Dhabi nightlife hub, Annex at The Abu Dhabi Edition hotel is always a good way to spend your midnight hour. And that goes double for NYE. Offering undisrupted views of the Corniche fireworks from the alfresco rooftop, set to an energetic soundtrack, and serving up light gourmet bites and bubbly… This is how we wanna 2022
The Abu Dhabi Edition hotel, Al Bateen, Dec 31 9pm to 1am (following day), Dhs548 house and bubbles, Dhs698 premium bubbles (rooftop only) a la carte menu prices apply for ground floor club, Tel: (0)2 208 0000. editionhotels.com/abu-dhabi
The Marco of Sophistication
If you fancy a more sophisticated way to farewell 2021, there’s a rarefied air at celebrity chef-conceived steakhouse, Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill. This very ‘well-done’ culinary affair comprises of a five-course fine-dining set menu of signature steak dishes and perfectly paired beverages. it truly is a cut above. The Fairmont Bab Al Bahr waterfront will also offer a great spectating spot for the evening’s Fireworks.
Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill, Khor Al Maqta, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr. Dhs595 per person, Dhs150 for the addition of beverages, Dec 31 7pm to 11.30pm Tel: (0)2 654 3238. fairmont.com
NYE Fireworks options
Abu Dhabi Corniche
The OG. This classic spot for catching the capital’s most prolific display of sky fire offers visibility for a stretch of eight kilometres along the waterfront. There’s also an A-List line up of restaurants, bars, cafes and park pews to make those “aahs” and “oohs” in.
South Plaza, Al Maryah Island
Balqees, Elissa and Hussein Al Jasmi make-up the live musical line-up accompanying this New Year’s Al Maryah Island extravaganza. There will also be engaging activities for the little ones, “an exciting aerial act”, shows from the Al Maryah Island Bell Boys — an evening of fireworks, fire vocals and pure fire vibes.
Saadiyat Beach Club, Saadiyat Island
This desert island display can be observed from multiple viewing areas across the island. Expect kaleidoscopic skies, bursting with fractal colours, rugged dune hemmed beaches and all those Auld Lang feels.
Yas Bay Waterfront, Yas Island
Following the epic display of pyrotechnical pageantry throughout its opening weekend this December, Abu Dhabi’s newest waterfront entertainment district will be lighting up the skies once more for NYE. There’s a full night of entertainment on the cards, and the Waterfront’s cafes, bars, and restaurants provide the perfect perch for all the sky-pyro stuff.
Sheikh Zayed Festival, Al Wathba
Erm, did you see that stunning drone show tribute to Sheikh Zayed that debuted at the Zayed Fetsival’s 50th National Day celebrations? An absolutely mesemerising display. And those little flying aces are back for the festival’s (once again) record-breaking firework display. The event will coreographed backing from the grand dancing fountain. The event is ticketed (Dhs5), and the drone show starts at 11.30pm.
Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
This free, family-friendly affair offers comfortable seating to catch the awe-inspiring majesty of this Garden City spectacular.
Madinat Zayed, Al Dhafra
Al Dhafra is home to some pretty cinematic landscape, but the dunes will be given an extra neon glow this NYE with a dizzying fireworks display bursting high above the desert.
Saturday, January 1, 2022
Need help on New Year’s Day? Appaloosa has got you with their ‘Recovery Brunch’. The very best kind of first aid. Between 1pm and 4pm enjoy a lavish buffet (including those Euro meats) for Dhs199. Upgrade your package to house for an additional Dhs149, or bubbles for an extra Dhs199.
Marriott Al Forsan, Khalifa City A. Tel: (02) 201 4131, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can celebrate your NYE at McGettigan’s Abu Dhabi for a very reasonable Dhs299 for three hours of bottomless selected beverages and a banging banquet. Lush starters, either beef wellington or grilled salmon for your main course and live music throughout, this really is starting 2022 off on the right foot. There’ll not be leaving you high and dry on the first day of January either. That’s not the Irish way. There’s a special Dhs289 roast dinner deal (which includes house beverages) and extended brunch deal. Happy New Year Abu Dhabi.
Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, 925 Sultan Bin Zayed The First Street (Al Muroor Road), Dec 31 event 9pm to midnight. New Year’s Day brunch 12.30pm to 4pm. To book call (02) 698 8888 or e-mail email@example.com
A Fairway to start 2022
You’re exhausted: You partied the night before and now have the ultimate New Year’s Day hunger pangs — what better way, then, to ring in the first day of the year with New Year’s Day brunch in Abu Dhabi. We say start the New Year surrounded by family and friends at Fairways in The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa with a big bring brunch comprising a big buffet with live stations, signature cocktail drinks and great entertainment. The New Year’s Day brunch kicks off at noon to 4pm for Dhs225 with soft drinks, and Dhs395 with house drinks.
For more information, and to make a booking, visit fairwaysabudhabi.com/festive
Sunday, January 2, 2022
Starting off on the right foot
If you fancy doing something different this year, getting your gains in the great outdoors, and for absolutely free — Abu Dhabi’s Active Parks campaigns is a workout plan you need to know about. Taking place between December 30 and January 26, Active Parks is a series of 380 free-to-attend outdoor fitness sessions across 12 parks and urban spaces in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra. Available activities include DanceFit, RunFit, Yoga, Bootcamps, CrossFit, Stretch & Mobility and specific inclusive sessions for people of determination.
You can find the full schedule of classes and park locations on the addcd.gov.ae website.
Illusions of grandeur
Come with us, on the bus, to a world of pure imagination, what you’ll see, will be free and beyond expectations. Yes indeed, World of Illusions at Nation Towers Mall is a Wonka-esque collection of mind-melting 3D optical illusions, mirror rooms and light exhibits, and it’s completely free to visit. This pop-up bazaar of the bizarre is now open and will be welcoming shoppers to its weird and wonderful ways until January 31. The Insta-friendly ‘Mirror Room’ is peppered with nebulous clusters of LED lights in varying sizes and tone, creating a sort of interstellar ‘amongst the stars’ experience.
Nation Towers Mall, Abu Dhabi, daily 8am to 10pm until Jan 31, free. Tel: (02) 333 8288,