8 big things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend: Jan 7 to 9
Your guide to a triple-A weekend…
We’re starting 2022 with that ‘new year, big dream’ energy and we’re asking you to buy into it. Definitely not a pyramid scheme, but if you could bring two friends in on it two, well that’d be just fine.
Friday, January 7
On the Decks
Fridays at W Abu Dhabi — Yas Island are all about setting that weekend tone. There’s a pair of free-flow soirees on offer, each with their own cause-to-swoon. Friday Night Lights (Dhs150 for ladies, Dhs200 for gents) is a rooftop poolside party at Wet Deck, with three hours of unlimited beverages under the atmospheric lights of the hotel’s facade and set to the sounds of the Wet Deck selecta-in-chief. At the trendy, certified Insta-fresh W Lounge, Nitro Fridays (Dhs280) is all about serving slick mixology, gourmet bites and out-of-office vibes.
W Abu Dhabi — Yas Island, both promotions available Fri 8pm to 11pm. Tel: (0)2 656 0000. marriott.com
Ahead full STEAM
National Geographic Ultimate Explorer, in The Galleria Al Maryah Island is new edutainment complex offering seven exciting attractions aimed at captivating kiddliwinks and stealthily uploading STEAM learning in them, all whilst they’re having one ‘world’s largest mammal’ of a time. There are two VR/AR experiences, including Space Jump, where snack-sized astronauts will be put through a training programme to see if they’ve got the gusto to thrive in the cavernous vacuum of space. And Recon River, which puts little explorers on a raft — sending them downstream in search of rare and exotic animals to capture in their augmented viewfinders.
National Geographic Ultimate Explorer, The Galleria Al Maryah Island, Sat to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thu and Fri 10am to midnight, from Dhs80. Tel: (052) 403 7166, @natgeoultimateexplorerad
Malls are an inalienable part of life in the UAE and Abu Dhabi has some belters. And if it’s bargains ye seek There’s still time to treat yo’self in the Abu Dhabi Winter Shopping Season, still in full festive swing, and dropping discounts 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.
Saturday, January 8
Hedgehogging your bets
According to the latest weather forecasts, we should be getting a break from the rain this weekend. If that is the case, why not wrap up warm and head to Umm Al Emarat Park’s popular alfresco cinema? There are two showings of this Saturday’s movie (5.30pm and 7.30pm) Sonic: The Hedgehog. Sega mega star Sonic, the electrically-quick blue hedgehog, teams up with a live action James Marsden to thwart the dastardly plans of Dr Robotnik (Jim Carrey), in this oddly passable videogame adaption with voice support from Ben “Jean-Ralphio” Schwartz.
Movies are free, but entry into the park is charged at Dhs10. Located at Umm Al Emarat Park, ummalemaratpark.ae
Stunt your engines
There’s a brand new ‘Extreme Weekends’ motocross stunt show launching at Zayed Festival this Friday, January 7, and then continuing every Friday, Saturday and Sunday (at 6.30pm and 8.30pm on each of the days) thereafter until the festival’s close. Expect daring feats, gravity defying stunts, and wild tricks as the souped-up dirt bikes launch themselves into the air like fluorescent two-stroke falcons. Oh and there’s fireworks on Saturday too, 10pm.
Al Wathba, until April 1, 4pm to midnight (1am on weekends), tickets Dhs5. zayedfestival.com
The Aussies are always amongst the early adopters of food trends, and Jones The Grocer, an export from down under has been on that plant-based tip since the jump. Their menu is overflowing with botanical abundance, from breakfast through lunchtime mains, all the way to the dessert section. But fresh for 2022, their new ‘Body and Soul’ menu provides a dedicated home for delicious, nutritious and *flexes bicep* food that’s good for you. This of course includes plenty of vegan options, such as — the plant-based chickpea omelette with local kale and micro herbs, a creamy broad bean and avocado guacamole, marinated beetroot, and a garnish of Jones the Grocer’s Belos tomato and chilli vegan jam.
Find your nearest Jones the Grocer at jonesthegrocer.com
Sunday, January 9
A rosé by any other name
As part of the grand UAE brunch migration, La Petite Maison’s (LPM) new La Vie En Rosé brunch has moved to Sunday— and it genuinely looks *chef’s kiss* magnifique. And why wouldn’t it? The restaurant flies the flag of French fine dining, trading in that famously no-nonsense, no-pretense, let-the-food-do-the-talking, Parisian 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. Non, je ne regrette rien.
LPM, Al Maryah Island, Sundays 1pm to 3pm, two pax minimum, soft Dhs375, premium pink grape package Dhs450, premium sparkling pink grape Dhs575. Tel: (02) 692 9600, lpmrestaurants.com
Gorgeous Corniche-front leisure complex, West Bay has recently opened a new wave pool and lazy river combo, to add to the already considerable lineup of fun-time facilities. And lazy rivers are amongst that small collection of things (which also includes cheesecake, salary SMSs and the music of Bob Marley) that literally nobody dislikes. Access to the pool and the lazy river comes free with West Bay day passes. For weekdays, adults get in for Dhs150, but get Dhs100 of that back on food. At weekends it’s Dhs200 but you still get the Dhs100 back as credit.
West Bay, Abu Dhabi Corniche, pool and adventure park 10am to 6pm, day passes available from Dhs150 (with Dhs100 back for food and beverage purchases). Tel: (02) 692 437, @westbayabudhabi