Habibi, come to Abu Dhabi…

Your tried and tested inside guide to the best wide-eyed weekend rides, walks on the wild side and lots more besides.

Friday July 22

New at the movies this weekend…

Prizefighter: The Life of Jem Belcher a film written by and starring in the titular role, Matt Hookings (no confirmation on whether he wrote the theme tune though). It follows the remarkable tale of the origins of boxing, and its youngest champion who went functionally blind at the age of 22 and was dead by the age of 30. A real feel good tale then.

Book tickets: Now

Everything under the sun

Last week we visitied Ting Irie and in addition to the incredible standard of food, vibe and view — one of our favoruite discoveries was the Sun Down menu. It’s available exclusively on Fridays, all day long and nets you half price (or close enough) on a generous range of drinks (including cocktails and mocktails), starters from Dhs30 (like jerk humus, oxtail cocobread and jerk chicken wings) and main courses for just Dhs75 (such as spitfiyah jerk chicken and curry goat). Check out our review for the full scoop.

Mamsha Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island. Tel: (02) 886 7786 @tingirieauh

Saturday July 23

Wakey, wakey, rise and shred

This weekend Al Forsan Sports Resort is playing host to an Atlantian festival of watersports. There will be professional displays of flyboarding and wakeboarding, amateur competitions, opportunities to try out new sports and equipment, a dedicated kid zone and a full range of snackable and licensed F&B. There are turf activities to partner the surf too with karting, paintball, pony riding and archery available on site. Events start at 5pm on Friday and from 10am on Saturday and Sunday. And if you’re competing, may the ebbs be forever in your favour.

Al Forsan International Sports Resort. Tel: (800) 9900, @alforsanresort

Battle Royale

A brand new ‘digital paintball’ experience has just opened in Abu Dhabi’s Marina Mall and it looks like a solid bullseye for the Call of Duty generation. There are a few different ways you can play at Battle Park — gather the squad for iBattle, a team deathmatch spawned in an abandoned prison-themed layout, from Dhs75 for a 20 minute game. There’s also a virtual shooting simulator with sessions priced from Dhs40, and target shooting from Dhs50.

Marina Mall Floor 2. Tel: (800) 228853, @battlepark.official

Beats, eats and vibes from the concrete streets

Taking place every Saturday between 1pm and 5pm, there’s a hip hop-themed brunch at thetare of beats, Atlon. Their bubbles package is just Dhs299 and it’s currently on a two-4-one deal, which means if you bring your ride-or-die, it’s just Dhs150 each. So even if, traditionally, birthdays were the worst days, here you can sip *redacted* if you’re thirstay. Providing the soundtrack to your soul food feast is the Grand Master of capital drum loops, DJ Cliff Towney. The circuit-famous DJ will be making the bass cones bump to a signature slick mix of hip hop and R&B.

Alton Bar and Bistro, Shangri-La Souq, Qaryat Al Beri, Sat 3pm to 7pm, Dhs299. Tel: (02) 886 8443, @atlonabudhabi

Island noise

The popular pool parties at Abu Dhabi’s Al Maya Island & Resort have made a triumphant return, and we’re excited — because there ain’t no rave, like a rave where you can bathe. Going down every Saturday between 10am and 8.30pm, tickets are priced at Dhs250 which includes Dhs100 of food and beverage credit and your boat transfers. Although ladies can get in free before midday, also for Saturdays, there’s a strict policy that all day guests must be over 21. 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 24

Book in for the What’s On weekender staycation next month

It’s been a little while since we last held our UAE-famous What’s On weekender in Abu Dhabi — the staycation that comes with your room rate, brunch, after party (with free drinks), a bunch of epic activities, pampering, breakfast and more, all for one audaciously low price of Dhs699 for two people. We’re going back to Fairmont Bab Al Bahr once more for a third Lock In, between Saturday August 6 and Sunday August 7, 2022.

Rooms for the sell-out event are on sale now via the fairmont.com/whats-on-lockin website. Dhs699 for two people and all this

Zeal of the century

Zeal is a 35,000 square foot entertainment zone at Dalma Mall that includes a bowling zone (from Dhs30 per game), virtual relaity experiences, racing and rollercoaster simulators, pool tables, arcades and a network PC gaming room with 25 high spec computers. There’s also a shisha lounge and a restaurant on site.

Dalma Mall, 10am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 672 4922, @zealentertainmentcentre

Rosé tinted glasses

LPM’s La Vie En Rosé brunch takes place on Sunday— after trying it, we can confirm it’s *chef’s kiss* magnifique. 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

Make of it what you will

The artistry house formally known as Makespace, has a new name — Make, a new face, but their crafty collection of activities all go down in the same funky space. At Make Kids and adults can get involved in a dazzling range of arts, design, technology and craft workshops — with hands-on teaching sessions available in jewllery making, wordworking, cermaics and metalshopping. For a full list of their upcoming courses, keep your eyes on their social channels.

Block C1, Al Zeina, Al Raha Beach, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (0)2 558 8624. @makeabudhabi

Images: Getty/Provided