10 amazing things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend: July 1 to 3
Because you deserve amazing…
It’s time for our weekly look to the weekend ritual, we’ve lit the candles, set the mood, now it’s time to slip into something more comfortable… Like those Friday feels.
Friday, July 1
New to the cinema this week
Minions: The Rise of Gru is of course is a follow-up to 2015’s Despicable Me spin-off prequel, which followed the calamitous quest for purpose conducted by diminutive minions Kevin, Stuart, Bob. This movie’s role, in what we guess we’ll have to grudgingly refer to as the Despicable Me Universe, is the introduction of the minions into the life of a young (12-year-old at the start of the movie) Gru (once again voiced by Steve Carell). Before the shrink rays, before the orphans and pathologically-fluffy unicorns, we find Gru as an aspiring young offender who enlists the help of the minions following a failed attempt at joining the Vicious Six. The Six are a cabal of supervillains voiced by some considerable 80s and 90s action movie clout — Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren, and Danny Trejo.
Book tickets: Now
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Held at that red hot hacienda of good times, Aloft Abu Dhabi — this event is essentially a night brunch with benefits, hitting a frothy peak with a sud-soaked foam party. There’s an 8pm to 11pm free flow drinks packages for Dhs199, or more casual access at Dhs125 (ladies free before 10pm). Expect outrageous inflatables, DJ Eyjey and Mistajay lighting up the decks and some truly wild watery rave-up adventures. The next session is booked in for Friday July 1, with a follwing one… soon we hope. Be there, or experience next level foam-o.
Aloft, ADNEC area, 8pm to 3am, brunch package from Dhs199. Tel: (02) 654 5193, @dipfestabudhabi
Saturday, July 2
Aussie-born cult fitness brand F45 has a reputation for fierce but fair workouts, with dramatic conditioning results. The classes combine a mixture of HIIT sessions, functional training (which is where the ‘F’ comes from in the name), circuit training and a cool-down period where you lock your trainer in the eyes and mouth obscenities at them. Though that last part is entirely optional. Each 45 minute class is designed to burn fat, build muscle, improve functional form, torch up to 1,000 calories, make you sweat through your eyeballs and dry wretch over a bin, at least the first time. There’s no doubt that this outfit changes lives, it physically vibrates with positivity and community, it gets results fast and comes with a three-day free trial.
Zayed Sports City, Main Football Stadium, Dhs105 per class, unlimited month pass for Dhs1,100, discounts for multi-month purchases. Tel: (056) 332 3113, F45_training_zayedsportscity
When this old world starts getting you down…
You have an open invite to attend the Up & Below rooftop karaoke night this, Saturday June 25. It’s being run by masters of the craft, The Karaoke Crew, starts at 9pm and entry to the event is free all night. So come on down and channel your inner Cher, hit peak Weeknd, swing your pelvis like an on-topic Elvis, sing like Sting and make those speakers shake like a bomb track from Drake.
Courtyard by Marriott World Trade Center, Sat June 25 from 9pm, free entry. Tel: (056) 491 7484, @thekaraokecrew
Ahead full STEAM
National Geographic Ultimate Explorer, in The Galleria Al Maryah Island is an 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
Full house music
Bingo Boogie launches in Abu Dhabi and it takes the bingo concept to an entirely new level — gone are the numbered balls and, with them, little ducks, clickety clicks and pick & mix — in comes a selection of music spun by the in-house DJ correlating to tracks on your bingo sheet. This, what amounts to a part-bingo-part-quiz-part-rave day out, kicks off this Saturday (May 28) between 2pm and 5pm at Easy Tiger, in the Al Ain Palace hotel, W Corniche road. Then taking place every Saturday going forward. It’s just Dhs150 for three games and that also includes a three-hour beverage package. There are prizes for getting one line, two lines, and then of course the full house.
Easy Tiger, Al Ain Palace Hotel, W Corniche road, from 2pm, Dhs150. Tel: (050) 593 7977, @bingoboogieuae
Dip Fest is taking you back to the island, Al Maya Island and Resort to be precise. It takes place every Saturday between midday and 8pm. And you have our full permission to get excited — because there ain’t no rave, like a rave where you can bathe. Tickets are priced at Dhs250 which includes Dhs100 of food and beverage credit and your boat transfers. Like the setlist, the DJ rosta is given a weekly mix up, but frequent collaborators include prime selecta DJ Rob Forrest, master of mash-ups, DJ Eyjey, beat hacker DJ Mistajay, Nobu’s resident sound wizard DJ Akmaral, and Sara G — a true sonic legend of the international circuit.
The ferry service to Al Maya Island depart from a docking space located close to the Presidential Palace. The boat transfer duration is between 10 and 15 minutes (depending on the vessel and the conditions. The cost of the trip is included in your day pass.
Al Maya Island & Resort, Saturdays 10am to 8.30pm. Tel: (02) 667 7777, @almayaisland
Sunday, July 3
Doing a stretch
Taking inspiration from iconic TV shows, The Crystal Maze and Fort Boyard, Prison Island – Beat the Bars is a new adventure experience now open at Abu Dhabi Mall. Set over a 1,000m² expanse, this is no escape room — it’s a network of 26 individual ‘cells’ featuring tasks each more fiendishly conundrous (shhh, that’s a word) than the last, and you’ll have to beat them all if you want to escape the island, with winner’s bragging rights.
Abu Dhabi Mall, Dhs125, @prisonisland.abudhabi.
Muffin can top this
It’s all available to experience at Abu Dhabi’s Cultural Foundation, behind Qasr Al Hosn until August 31 — as part of a fun-packed schedule of events under the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi’s (DCT Abu Dhabi) ‘Summer Like You Mean It’ campaign. Sprinkles & Cakes is a limited time pop-up pop-art patisserie serving up cakes, coffee, ice cream and spectating access to some stunning works of awe from 25 UAE-based artists, around a theme based on ‘the love of sweets’. There are also some incredibly fun interactive installations and fun-zones that look just perfect for a family day out.
Cultural Foundation, until August 31. @abudhabicf
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Crowne Plaza Hotel, Yas Island hosts a daily sundowner by the pool session and it’s even available over the weekend. The sip and dip deal gives you pool access and a two hour free-flow beverage package for just Dhs149 (11am to 7pm). There are also beer bucket deals (from Dhs119 for six) and a 5pm to 7pm happy hour deal with buy-one-get-one on select drinks.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Yas Island, 11am to 7pm. Tel: (02) 656 3000, @crowneplazayasisland