Our plans for your plans, the weekend is coming in hot…

Here at What’s On, we’re all about the glow-up and we have designs on making over your weekend. A few touches here, a little spruce up there, and voila — a brand new look. It’s a little thing called fashion sweetie…

Friday, August 26

Greek lightning

Le Meridien Village holds a special place in the hearts of Abu Dhabi’s discerning dining public. Home to iconic venues, wild promotions, and some impressive cuisine. And now after a comprehensive makeover, the Village has emerged as an even more attractive proposition for your merry-making consideration. Mykonos for example, with its beachy boho Ionian island vibes and popular Friday night brunch, has become one of the city’s most talked about new attractions. From 7pm you’re invited to enjoy three hours of bottomless beverages; a modern international feast featuring creative sushi rolls, healthy salads, freshly caught seafood and cuts straight from the barbecue; alongside a dazzling itinerary of live entertainment. This really is the most sophisticated sort of soiree.

Le Meridien, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi Corniche, from Dhs199, choose your three hour spot between 8pm and midnight, every friday. @mykonosabudhabi

Every little ting

We recently 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

Château de gateaux

This is possibly your last chance to experience the cupcake-themed whimsy of the Cake and Sprinkles exhibition at Abu Dhabi’s Cultural Foundation, as it ends on August 31. Cakes and Sprinkles 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

Saturday, August 27

Bargain brunching

There’s 40 per cent off the house beverage package at PJ O’Reilly’s, usually Dhs225 — that’s a full Dhs90 off, securing you the brunching bag for a total of just Dhs135. A figure we came to without the use of a calculator. And you can’t prove otherwise. Live at the emirate’s favourite craic shack, Hog fest 2.0 will see an assortment of free-flowing platters and signature dishes being served right from the kitchen as you enjoy banging tunes and the sunshine on the terrace. As another special little summer treat, pool access comes absolutely free.

Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Street Al Markaziyah Area, Fri 1pm to 4pm, soft Dhs149, house Dhs225 and premium Dhs275. Tel: (02) 695 0515, @pjsabudhabi

Bella ciao

Located in the amphibious wonderland that is The National Aquarium’s Flooded Forest, a brand new interactive play centre — Bella and Rio’s Playground — designed with the specific intent of getting kids up close to nature, has just opened and is completely free to ticket holders. Named after local aquarium residents, the pair of hyacinth macaws, Bella and Rio’s Playground offers inspirational, exciting and educational experiences such crafting and colouring models of the Flooded Forest’s animals (including macaws, anteaters, monitor lizards, and capybaras) that will come to life on an animated wall display. More interactive educational fun stuff comes in the form of video mapping volcanos, tinkering with plankton, you can meet Khalid –  the pearl diver, and get hands-on with an ice-age interactive feature.

The National Aquarium Abu Dhabi, Al Qana, Al Maqta, Abu Dhabi, general admission from Dhs105. Tel: (02) 418 6666thenationalaquarium.ae

Riviera nights

Part of Pier 7’s Trilogy by Buddha Bar, this ‘dinner and a show’ concept blends thrilling live entertainment with exactly the sort of refined culinary eats you’d expect to find on a Siddharta Lounge set menu. Taking place as a sunset session, between 7pm and 11pm, your one-level-up perch gives you magical twilight views of the twinkling Yas Bay waterfront.

Yas Bay, Yas Island, Sat 7pm to 11pm, soft Dhs300, house Dhs450. Tel: (050) 601 1194, @thetrilogybybuddhabar

Sunday, August 28


Set against marina skyline views, the secluded pool at Abu Dhabi EDITION is the perfect setting for a chilled-out pool day. Relax cabana-side and graze on light bites from Alba Terrace, with a weekday pool pass priced at Dhs150, which is fully redeemable, or a weekend pass priced at Dhs225, of which you’ll get Dhs150 back to spend on food and drink.

Al Bateen Marina, daily 7am to 9pm. Tel: 2 208 0000, editionhotels.com

Knot what we were expecting


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A post shared by MAKE (@makeabudhabi)

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. Ever wanted to give your front room heavy Nammos vibes? This weekend it’s all about learning how to macrame, essentially hand knitting bohemian upholstery. Sessions for Dhs290.

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

Making a racket

Brand new and straight off the bat, Al Forsan International Sports Resort has just unveiled a sparkling collection of six box-fresh indoor, climate-controlled padel courts to join their existing outdoor courts. It’s the racket sport that the world is going crazy for right now, played in doubles across a net with a ‘sort of squash-y twist’ to the playable area. On site you’ll find comfortable changing rooms, a delicious menu and a fully-stocked retail shop. And whilst there are several padel court complexes now dotted around Abu Dhabi, few locations have a) the number b) the indoor and c) the luxurious facilities seen at Al Forsan International Sports Resort.

The courts are open daily from 7am until 1am, priced from Dhs240 per hour. Book via playtomic app or call: (800) 9900

Sunday sessions

Taking place between midday and 7pm, the Sunday pool and chill session at Grills@Chill’O comes with the soundtrack of a live DJ, and a few different options when it comes to your refreshment packages. You can get a house free flow package for Dhs300, and a premium free-flow for Dhs350 with select bites. Or for more casual access, it’s worth mentioning that ladies get free access, a welcome drink and 50 per cent off select food and beverages.

Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche. Tel: (02) 813 7777, @sofitelabudhabicorniche

Images: Provided/Getty