8 amazing things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend: Jan 14 to 16
All settled in to the new weekend format yet..?
No? Us neither, what hasn’t changed though is the absolutely lit line-up of activities we’ve curated for you to get stuck into this weeekend. Just a day later than usual.
Friday, January 14
Kamoon down and give it a try
You’ll find Levantine restaurant, Kamoon at Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana on the coastal edge of Al Bateen. And we reckon it’s got massive date night potential. There’s the cosy alfesco terrace with watery moonlight vistas for example, the melodic tinkering of a traditional oud player, and a stunning selection of Middle Eastern flavours (including metre long kebabs). Now that’s amoré.
Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, Corniche Road, midday to midnight. Tel: (02) 657 0000, @kamoonrestaurant
Cinematic scenes already star pretty heavily on Zaya Nurai Island’s cast list. The dreamy destination is just a 15 minute boat ride away from Saadiyat Island, but offers an otherworldly level of escape as standard. And the resort has added yet another bucket list activity to its itinerary – cinema showings at the Oasis Lounge. Available every Friday at 8pm, they offer house (Dhs220) and soft (Dhs160) beverage packages to accompany the screening. This weekend you can catch buddy comedy 22 (my name Jeff) Jump Street, the sequel pairing of ‘probably shouldn’t-work-but-somehow-does Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. If you’re not staying on the island, to secure your spot you’ll have to purchase a day pass which is Dhs480 and includes Dhs420 back to use as F&B or spa credit, pool and beach access, and the Dhs60 ferry ride over. We recommend you get in early and make a day of it.
Zaya Nurai, is a 15 minute boat ride from the Welcome Centre on the east side of Saadiyat Island, near exit 14 of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Highway, guests should arrive at least one hour before session start time. Book your space now, by calling (02) 506 6229, zayanuraiisland.com
You know WB Abu Dhabi, Curio Collection by Hilton has a gorgeous little poolside rooftop bar right? The Overlook offers a handsome perch with views over the fairytale skyline of Yas Island, and on Fridays they throw a theme night that strikes two of our love language cords at once. Tapas and show stappas. Acoustic Nights offer unplugged serenade sessions alongside 30 of their international menu items charged at just Dhs30.
WB Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Fri 6pm to 8pm. Tel: (02) 815 0000, @thewbabudhabi
Saturday, January 15
Rolling out the barrel
Lock, Stock and Barrel has an almost unmatched pedigree for fun-packed brunches in Dubai. Which makes us very excited to confirm that the insanely strong ‘Absolutely Barrelled’ Saturday brunch (soft package Dhs200, house package is just Dhs250) is now available at the new Yas Bay location. Menu highlights include pulled chicken tacos, mac and cheese, dynamite shrimp, chopped Thai salad, New York cheesecake, triple chocolate mud cake, and candy floss.
Yas Bay, Yas Island, Sat 1pm to 4pm, Dhs200 soft, Dhs250 house. Tel: (02) @lockstockabudhabi
Inside Yas-based adventuredrome, Clymb — you can skydive and scale up an artificial Everest beneath the snug-comfort of a steel sky. The venue is home to a truly epic wind tunnel that lets you live out all the thrills of hurling yourself out of a plane, except at a few metres above sea-level and without having to put faith in square metres of voluminous nylon. Prefer your ascents a bit more hands-on? There is a huge collection of climbing walls, and boulder-edging to pit your finger strength against. It’s our nation’s spiritual home of the war on gravity.
Clymb, Yas Mall (by Ferrari World entrance), Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Sunday to Thursday 11am to 9pm, Friday and Saturday noon to 11pm, basic climb package Dhs120 for 60 minutes, Combo tickets from Dhs315. Tel: (600) 511115, clymbabudhabi.com
Into the wet
This gorgeous reserve is the perfect place for families and children to take a wander through some real undeveloped UAE habitat. It’s primarily known for its large population of shocking pink flamingos but is home to more than 250 species of birds, 37 plant species and a wide range of aquatic life. Some of which were discovered here — completely new to science, and yet more that may be unique to this region. The reserve is free to visit and open from Monday to Saturday.
Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, Directions: Take the E22 Abu Dhabi-Al Ain road and connect with the E30 Abu Dhabi-Al Ain Truck Road, then follow signs for the reserve, open Mon to Sat, 8am to 5.30pm (last entry 4pm), free entry. ead.gov.ae
Sunday, January 16
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.
Ibiza Chill 2022
Straight from the Baleric beat factory of Ibiza, Cafe Del Mar has landed on the waterfront next to Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island. There’s an infinity pool, a cheeky little manmade beach, a swim-up pool bar, and an appropriately slamming soundtrack. Access is free for the adjacent Hilton guests, for everybody else day passes are available for Dhs250 between Monday to Friday (with Dhs150 back as F&B credit), weekends its Dhs350 (also with Dhs150 back as credit). We’ve been told brunch and ladies night will arrive shortly.
Yas Bay, Yas Island, daily 9am to midnight (1am on Thu and Fri), from Dhs250. @cafedelmarabudhabi