10 smashing things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend: Sep 9 to 11
Who’s up for a big one..?
We’ve lit the touchpaper to the weekend, stand well back and put your fingers in your ears, because this one is going to be a screamer.
Friday September 9
Pottering around the mall
Starting on September 9, shoppers heading to Abu Dhabi Mall will be able to experience a little bit of the magic of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Celebrate Hogwarts is a walkthrough interactive Harry Potter themed experience, offering opportunities to take Snapes, ahem, snaps against some of the saga’s most memorable backdrops. You’ll also be invited to take part in immersive games (quick round of Quidditch anyone?) and, to separate the Weasleys from the Grangers — a quiz on the weekend (although you’ll need to be on the look out for those sneaky Slytherin lot, guaranteed they’ll have designs on Dumbledore’s answer sheet).
Abu Dhabi Mall, midday to 9pm September 9 to October 12. @abudhabimall
Straight from the Baleric beat factory of Ibiza, Cafe Del Mar has landed on the waterfront next to Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island. There’s an infinity pool, a cheeky little manmade beach, a swim-up pool bar, and an appropriately slamming soundtrack. Access is free for the adjacent Hilton guests, for everybody else day passes are available for Dhs250 between Monday to Friday (with Dhs150 back as F&B credit). There’s also a brand new Friday night swim and brunch package which includes free-flow select beverages, stunning Mediterranean food, pool and 360 Lounge access, and some absolutely epic bass cone candy. It’s 150 per cent vibe.
Cafe Del Mar, Yas Bay Waterfront, Fri, 7pm to 11pm, Dhs199 for ladies, Dhs250 for gents. Tel: (050) 402 2283, @cafedelmarabudhabi
Saturday September 10
Get ready for a bigger and elevated ‘Extraordinary Dusit Brunch’ every Saturday this season. Urban Kitchen’s Saturday brunch brings the best global cuisines together, featuring a superb carvery station, all-time favourite Asian dishes, an enhanced artisanal cheese table, amplified seafood options, dessert stations and more.
Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, Sat 1pm to 4pm, Dhs299 with soft drinks, Dhs95 for kids. Tel: (0)2 698 8137. @dusitthaniabudhabi
Abu Dhabi’s Salt Lakes took Instagram by storm last year. Bloggers, influencers and the naturally curious headed out to their location near Al Wathba Wildlife Reserve, to capture snaps with the narrow pastel green lakes filled with crystalline lily pad features. You can find the exact location on Google Maps, but getting there isn’t easy. Take an SUV, take snacks and back up supplies, tell someone where you are going, do not litter, and make sure you’re all fuelled up. We promise it’s worth it.
Barrel of laughs
Lock, Stock and Barrel has an almost unmatched pedigree for fun-packed brunches in Dubai. Which makes us very excited to confirm that the insanely strong ‘Absolutely Barrelled’ Saturday brunch (soft package Dhs200, house package is just Dhs250) is now available at the new Yas Bay location. Menu highlights include pulled chicken tacos, mac and cheese, dynamite shrimp, chopped Thai salad, New York cheesecake, triple chocolate mud cake, and candy floss.
Yas Bay, Yas Island, Sat 1pm to 4pm, Dhs200 soft, Dhs250 house. Tel: (02) @lockstockabudhabi
War on gravity
Inside Yas-based adventuredrome, Clymb — you can skydive and scale up an artificial Everest beneath the snug-comfort of a steel sky. The venue is home to a truly epic wind tunnel that lets you live out all the thrills of hurling yourself out of a plane, except at a few metres above sea-level and without having to put faith in square metres of voluminous nylon. Prefer your ascents a bit more hands-on? There is a huge collection of climbing walls, and boulder-edging to pit your finger strength against. It’s our nation’s spiritual home of the war on gravity.
Clymb, Yas Mall (by Ferrari World entrance), Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Sunday to Thursday 11am to 9pm, Friday and Saturday noon to 11pm, basic climb package Dhs120 for 60 minutes, Combo tickets from Dhs315. Tel: (600) 511115, clymbabudhabi.com
Just common Sense
What is in a name? When it comes to Rosewood, quite a bit actually — it’s a word that conjures cognisance of a rich heritage of wellness, and a centuries old tradition of enhancing lives and dwelling on pleasure. The spa’s signature ‘Sense’ treatment involves a therapeutic blend of massage techniques and the use of heated rosewood sticks throughout the massage. The signature oil, infused with a special custom-blend of craft Arabian botanicals — including frankincense and Oud, has been designed to instantly relax your muscles, and promote your overall health and well-being. A Rosewood experience under any other name, just simply wouldn’t do…
Total session time: Option one — Sixty minutes, Dhs690. Option two — ninety minutes, Dhs820.
Sense. A Rosewood spa, Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, 11am to 9pm. rosewoodhotels.com
Ain no sunshine
If you really want to get away from it all, Abu Dhabi’s Graden City could be the perfect option for you. There’s a lot to do in Al Ain (check out our guide to the area for some Instagrammable inspiration), but if you’re more about putting your feet up in salubrious surrounds — the newly renovated gorgeous Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort, Al Ain will give you space to do that too. The highlights of the on-site facilities are — swimming pools, tennis courts, saunas and a collection of activities for kids. Stays start at Dhs299 and include Dhs200 daily dining credit, late check out and two kids under 12 can stay free (when staying with parents).
Al Ain. Tel: (03) 768 6666, book now at radissonhotels.com
Sunday September 11
Yeah circuits are fun, but have you ever tried launching your fists into an indestructable punch bag for 50 minutes with a plasma storm light show goes off all around you. *Ding ding* Step into the gym/ring for HIIT, Classic and Ladies only sessions at Punch, and fight yourself fit. More than just a spot of fisticuffs with an inanimaye sack, these HIIT workouts obviously work on your overall fitness and focuses on you knocking that ‘UAE stone’ clean out. The Classic classes go deeper into the skills and techniques behind the gentleperson’s sport of pugilism — tightening up your footwork, jab combos, defensive postures as well as helping you develop your strength, speed and agility.
Punch Boxing Club, Zayed Sports City, Dhs100 for one class (newbies get two for one), and it’s Dhs800 for an unlimited month pass. Tel: (02) 666 9717, @punchuae
Full moonlight sonanta
Seahawk.ae offers night kayak tours of the great Louvre Abu Dhabi, allowing you to observe the buildings and grab some privileged pics from rarified angles. New trophies unlocked. Trace the dome’s lunar-like curves and watch the ballet of artificial light, water and shadow create their own masterpieces on the exterior of the gallery. Once a (lunar) month you’ll be able to do it on a full moon. Guess when that is? Yep September 10 and 11 — this weekend you can find full moon night cruises on both Saturday and Sunday with departures at 7.30pm and 9pm.
Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, 7.30pm and 9pm on Sep 10 and 11, Dhs126. Tel: (02) 673 6688, sea-hawk.ae