10 fabulous things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend: Jun 17 to 19
For a weekend that is bang on trend…
Introducing you to the brand new weekend x What’s On collab dropping this Friday — stylish, showstopping, fabulous, functional and there’s even a little button on the front that pumps up your soul. It’s a little thing called fashion sweetie.
Friday, June 17
New at the movies this weekend
Argentinian-Spanish production, Official Competition hits screens this weekend and whilst the fact that it’s a Spanish language film may put some off — it’s already amassed a not too shabby score of 89 per cent on rotten tomatoes based off 38 verified reviews. The premise is a satire of the film-making industry and centres around an eccentric millionaire, who decides he needs a movie as part of his legacy to the world – he hires Lola Cuevas (Penélope Cruz) and Félix Rivero (Antonio Banderas), two self-obsessed, insufferable, uncompromising, primadonna filmmakers.
The Abu Dhabi Edition has a pretty incredible collection of food and beverage venues on site, and whilst Library Bar may not be on the title page, we urge you not to judge a book by its cover. This sophisticated cocktail venue is spinning a new narrative — Writer’s Block, a Friday evening brunch featuring live entertainment, free-flow literature-inspired blended beverages and four chapters of culinary arc to explore.
The Abu Dhabi Edition, Al Bateen Marina, Friday three-hours between 7pm and midnight, soft Dhs175, house Dhs275, bubbles Dhs395. Tel: (02) 208 0000, @abudhabiedition
Gorgeous Corniche-front leisure complex, West Bay 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
Saturday, June 18
Ride into the weekend on a quite literal crest of a wave with Wakesurf AD — they offer on-board wakesurf coaching departing from Yas Marina, with weekend prices from Dhs550 per hour (for up to three riders). The sessions are open to all ability levels and the equipment is included. If you’ve done nothing about that new years resolution to try a new hobby, or perhaps you feel the need to heed Poseidon’s call — Wakesurf AD is reading and waiting for you to rip barrels all the way to the horizon.
Yas Marina, Visitor Pier near the roundabout, Yas Island, various packages available. Tel: (056) 156 4205, @wakesurfad
Let us be Franco
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Party starting credentials rarely come more bonafide than those of Ibizan DJ legend, Camilo Franco. The Latin house music godfather and eight-year Space resident, will be taking over the decks at the W Lounge this Saturday along with his BOHO Experience vibe-planning brand and a record bag packed to bursting point with sonic booms. Vamos a la dance floor.
W Abu Dhabi — Yas Island, Sat 18 8pm to 2am, Dhs100 (includes one house drink). Tel: (02) 656 0000, @wabudhabi
Did you know that Bodytree Studio now offers their calming contemplation sessions at Louvre Abu Dhabi three days a week. ‘Yoga under the dome’ costs just Dhs90, and is a mere cobra stretch away from a culturally immersive stroll around one of the world’s finest museums. The 75-minute yoga sessions take place twice on Saturday, and Sunday (ladies only) and once on Tuesday morning.
Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, Sat 11am and Sun 11am and 5pm (but you’ll need to arrive 15 minutes in advance), Dhs90. Tel: (600) 565566, bodytreestudio.com
Sunday, June 19
When it’s all looking a bit scorched earthy outside, why not head to Abu Dhabi’s stunning underwater kingdom, The National Aquarium. In addition to the eight themed zones; an XXL reticulated python known only as ‘Super Snake’; back stage tours; and marine animal rehabilitation projects, there are also a range of marine life meet and greets. You can, for example, have an ‘Ocean Encounter’ feeding sharks measuring up to two metres in length for just Dhs180. And that price includes access to the ‘Aquarium Journey’.
The National Aquarium Abu Dhabi, Al Qana, Al Maqta, Abu Dhabi, general admission from Dhs105. Tel: (02) 418 6666. thenationalaquarium.ae
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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.
Plates, but make them smaller. We’ll admit the elevator pitch for the concept of tapas isn’t gonna win medals but the real magic of this distinctly Spanish way of eating, is that small plates mean more plates. It’s an invitation for a multi-stop taste tour, and for the entire month of June — Diablito at Yas Marina is going hard on the mini platters of tapas tip. Dhs75 gets you your choice of three plates, with options including bocata calamares, (black bread with squid and allioli); empanadillas de pisto, (three mini empanadas); papas con mojo (baby potatoes with a mojo sauce); marinera, biscuit and ensaladilla with white anchovy; pepito Valenciano, (sandwich with roasted vegetables, tuna and pine nuts); and bomba de la Barceloneta, (crispy croquette with beef and truffle, topped with allioli and spicy tomato sauce). There’s also a deal on sangria to help seal that Spanish soiree deal.
Yas Marina, throughout June. Tel (02) 565 1175, @diablito_yasmarina
Making a RAK-et
If you’re up for some shoe-string, carless adventuring — you might be excited to learn that there’s a RAKTA operated direct intercity weekend service between Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah. Yes, the sporty spice of the UAE’s Emirate line-up, with epic hiking adventures, world record breaking zip lines, mountains, wadis, desert camps and more. There a two shuttles a day on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays — the Abu Dhabi Central to RAK – Al Hamra Bus Station fare is Dhs35. The reverse trip is Dhs47. Bookings and timings can be accessed via the RAKBUS website. And you can find more inspiration for Abu Dhabi origin bus tours in our handy guide on the subject.
Images: Getty Provided