Abu Dhabi’s weekend best bits…

It’s been 84 years, or it at least feels that way, since the Ramadan hours and the long weekend. But all that hard work, means you definitely have an excuse for hard play. Here’s what we’ve got lined up for you.

Friday, May 13

New at the movies this week

This film casts Nicholas Cage in the most Nicholas Cage possible role possible, Nicholas Cage. Yep the actor plays an alternate timeline version of himself, with a dried up movie career and finances on the rocks — he takes up an offer to go on a real life mission, which will require him to draw from some of his most iconic roles. The early reviews are in, and it’s getting some big love from critics. Long live the Cagenaisance.

Tickets: Book now

By royal appointment

As part of their ongoing Versailles, and the World exhibition — Louvre Abu Dhabi is taking the theme to dramatic new levels, recreating the 18th century Versailles Royal Opera House in the museum’s auditorium and inviting guests to a ‘Royal Secret Soirée’ this weekend. Confirmed activities include live music, dance performances, spoken-word poetry, beatboxing and, we’re told ‘big surprises’ which are too good to tease with spoilers. And of course this isn’t just a passive, spectator event — the performers have been tasked with ensuring you become compelling cogs within the night’s meandering narrative.

Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, Fri May 13, Sat May 14 and Sun May 15, shows at 4pm, 6pm and 8pm, Dhs120. tickets.virginmegastore.me

Sky high tea

There’s ‘high tea’ and then there’s the ‘Up & Below high tea’. This sophisticated culinary engagement takes place 12 floors up with great views of the downtown cityscape, canapés, scones, savoury nibbles and unlimited tea and coffee included for the outrageously generous price of Dhs65 for two people. Thirsty for more? Glasses of grape are Dhs20 each. It takes place daily between 3pm and 6pm.

Courtyard by Marriott World Trade Center Abu Dhabi, Up & Below weekdays 3pm to 1.30am, weekends 3pm to 2.30am. Tel: (052) 914 12 07, diningatcourtyardabudhabi.com

Saturday, May 14

Bollywood bowl

Punjab Grill, the home of refined modern Indian cuisine in the capital is pulling out all the stops to celebrate the International Indian Film Academy Awards 2022 (IIFA) being held at the Etihad Arena between May 20 and 21. There’s a special Bollywood inspired menu of big food flavours (take for example Rangeela Re seven flavors of chicken with makhani sauce Dhs100) and enticing blended beverages (including Namaste London Dhs45), available between now and May 21. There are special discounts for IIFA ticket holders (20 per cent) and diners also get the opportunities to win through entry into big prize draws.

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

Sitting on the deck at West Bay

Head to West Bay and enjoy the gastronomic revelry of a waterfront Saturday brunch (priced from Dhs249); on the complex there’s a health club, and spa; a recently opened wave pool and lazy river combo; and a brand sparkling new adventure playground with elevated rope-line assault course. Access to the West Bay leisure facilities comes free with West Bay day passes (and the day passes come free with the brunch packages). 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 Lounge at West Bay Abu Dhabi, Corniche Rd, Al Bateen, Sat 1pm to 5pm, Dhs249 for soft, Dhs379 house, Dhs479 bubbles. Tel: (02) 692 4375, @westbayabudhabi

Party brunch

One of the capital’s best-loved brunching adventures, ‘Eat. Play. Laugh.’ has been given a refresh, remix and a juicy upgrade with the addition of an entirely new package, aptly named ‘Party’.There is a strong mix of international cuisine on the brunch menu with carvery stations, live cooking installations and a stacked seafood bar; South-East Asian street food and Malay-Thai delicacies; aromatic Indian dishes; sushi and pasta.

Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street (Old Airport Road), 12.30pm to 4pm, Eat (soft drink) package Dhs275 per person, Play package is Dhs395 per person inclusive of house beverages and signature blended drinks, Laugh package is priced at Dhs425 and includes access to Italian bubbles, kids under six go free and the charge for kids six to twelve is Dhs110, Party package is Dhs150 for a 4.30pm to 6.30pm free-flow entitlement at Velocity. Tel: (02) 304 7777, marriottdowntownabudhabilife.com

Sunday, May 15

Making a racket

Now open at Yas Marina, the Yas Padel Tennis Hub features four dedicated courts, with ‘an embedded music system’ (which seems to be one of the most important features of this most recent wave of padel projects) and packages offering 90 and 120-minute sessions from Dhs250 (between four people).

Set to arrive sometime in the second quarter of 2022. @yaspadel

Pooling resources


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Fancy a dip in the company of some serene green scenes? The Yas Links weekend pool pass takes some beating. It’s just Dhs100 for the full day and you get all of that back to spend as F&B credit. The Sunday carvery is also available at Hickory’s between 12.30pm and 3.30pm with a soft package on offer at Dhs125, house at Dhs220 and kids between seven and 12 are just Dhs60 (kids up to six go free).

Yas Links Abu Dhabi, 8am to 7pm, Dhs100. Tel: (02) 404 3077, events.ylad@aldarleisure.com

Images: Getty/Provided