10 top things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend: Sep 30 to Oct 2

There’s a lot to love this weekend…

Something wet, something wild, some things for the adults and others for a child, something exciting, and something high-brow, some things active, whilst others raise to eyebrows.

Friday, September 30

New at the movies this week

Abu Dhabi’s largest stand alone cinema — with monster-sized screens, high-end dining options, and luxurious VIP viewing suites — is now open at Al Qana. If you fancy heading in for some popcorn feasting, film binging, fun — there are a few big movies now showing, including — Ticket to Paradise: “Yeah so 1994 called, they want their casting list back” — is not the tag line for the new Julia Roberts and George Clooney movie, Ticket to Paradise hitting screens this weekend — but it may as well be. The synopsis teases that a divorced couple head to Bali in order to stop their daughter from repeating their own romantic mistakes. We don’t know, but we’re assuming the rest of the run time is spent massaging a ‘will-they-won’t-they’ narrative on the rekindling of their love for one another. But the prospect of seeing these Oceans alumni reunited will likely provide more than enough box office pull for a certain generation. And if that’s you, take this as a reminder that you should be adding retinol into your skincare routine.

The full list of movies is available to view and book on the cinemacity.ae website 

Double bubble

For those that prefer the meals in long-form, Grand Hyatt restaurant Lexx B, has a Saturday brunch double act — The Tableside Brunch, and the Liquid Brunch. Together they combine elements of haute-gastronomy, incredible value and an open invitation to keep the good times rolling should you so wish. Main ‘Tableside’ dishes include a royal sea bream, baked with garlic and rosemary and grilled premium T-bone with a selection of five signature sauces (creamy horseradish, chimichurri, béarnaise, bourbon peppercorn and red wine jus).

Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi – P2 Level, Abu Dhabi Corniche, Saturday 12.30pm to 4pm and 4pm to 8pm, prices from Dhs150. Tel: (02) 510 1234hyattrestaurants.com

Going green

Mangroves abu Dhabi

Jubail Mangrove Park offers visitors the opportunity to explore one of this region’s most fascinating natural habitats. Found nestled away on a quiet outcrop of Jubail Island, Abu Dhabi — the mangrove park became an instant hit with locals, residents and tourists. It features a meandering 2.3km boardwalk and sits in close proximity to the city. There are plenty of ways to explore this fascinating ecosystem including boardwalk meditation sessions (Dhs120) ranger-led, guided boardwalk (from Dhs50), kayak (Dhs100), and e-dragon boat tours (from Dhs80) of the mangroves.

Jubail Mangrove Park, Al Jubail Island (next to Saadiyat Island), Abu Dhabi, 8am to 7.30pm daily, Dhs15 for adult, Dhs10. Tel: (05) 63032423. park.jubailisland.ae

Saturday, October 1

Palm to palm

This weekend, Yas Bay’s Cafe Del Mar is experiencing a therapeutic take over. A deck spin delegation from the globally-recognised beat collective Palm Therapy Sounds will be snatching the Ibizan icon’s aux cable and pumping their trademark electro-ethno trancey house bangers into the beach club’s speakers from 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Cafe Del Mar, Yas Bay Watefront, Sat and Sun from 5pm, ladies Dhs200 (fully redeemable on f&b), gents Dhs299 (with Dhs200 back as f&b credit). Tel: (050) 402 2283⁠, @cafedelmarabudhabi

The great Bageri bake-off

Dubai’s D3 has got more than its fair share of hidden culinary gems, but one of the brightest — has to be Bageri Form. It’s a Scandanavian bakery that deals in covetous carbs — delicate sweet and savoury pastries, 24-hour fermented sourdough loaves, rustic breads and spectacular show-stopping desserts. The great news for Abu Dhabi residents is that they deliver UAE-wide and its free for orders over Dhs400.

Order now via the bageriform.com.  

The Bridge end

Bridges Bar fairmont bab al bahr

It’s a double derby weekend in the Premiere League, with the always feisty clash of Arsenal vs Tottenham on Saturday and an all Manchester rumpus going down on Sunday. But where to watch them? Bridges Bar at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr may be relatively boutique in size, but its screens are still pretty massive and that’s important when it comes to choosing your spectating spot for a match. They also have a daily 4pm to 8pm happy hour (two-for-one on select drinks) and a pretty big Saturday and Sunday deal that will net you two pints of hops for just Dh1 when purchased with any main course. With the fact that also includes their giant burgers — we’ll mark that up as a cheeky hattrick of reasons to visit.

Bridges Bar, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Khor Al Maqta, 8pm to 11pm, Dhs99. Tel: (02) 654 3238, @bridgesbar.abudhabi

Sunday, October 2

Wake me up

Our kind of board meeting, the UAE Wakeboard Championship is hitting the waters this weekend at Corniche Abu Dhabi Breakwater. This is one of the sport’s rare competitive events that are open to the public in this region. For those wishing to take part — there’s a mandatory Zoom briefing for all potential riders that takes place on Saturday, with a fully packed schedule of sessions for the various divisions starting at 1pm on Sunday. Asking the question if you had one shot, one opportunity for watersports glory… would you fumble it? Or leave them all in your wake..?

Sign up now on the adimsc.ae website

Szechuan to know one

Under the master culinary stewardship of chef Qiguo Su, Shang Palace at Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi has launched a new Sunday brunch that will take you on tasting tour through the highlands of Szechuan cuisine. Dishes including hot and sour chicken soup; dim sum favourites such as beef dumplings, shrimp and chicken siu mai and river shrimp dumpling; traditional Szechuan poached chicken, crispy Szechuan prawns and egg-fried rice — all with that trademark hot and spicy Szechuan pepper twist.

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, every Sun midday to 3pm. Tel: (0)2 509 8555. restaurantreservations.slad@shangri-la.com

Central Indulgence Agency

Central is without a doubt one of the most exciting new additions to the Yas Bay waterfront. Why? It’s a triple threat — great American fast food, on site bowling within striking distance of the licensed bar and there’s a collection of modern and retro arcade games — including a full size air hockey table. You can check out our review here, but it’s a solid gold win for hot

Central, Yas Bay, Yas Island, 4pm to 12am Mon to Thurs, 12pm to 3am Fri to Sun. @central_uae

Something in the air

Say bonjour to the second Abu Dhabi location of AirManiax right in the heart of the capital’s excitement hub, at Yas Mall (the first is in Marina Mall). It’s a gigantic indoor kids’ entertainment megaplex arriving, mercifully, just in time for the return of summer heat. Located on the ground floor of the mall, next to the Grand Prix entrance, this intelligently designed adventure complex is now open and offers multiple themed zones and attractions for all age groups of kiddlywinks. .

Air Maniax Abu Dhabi is open now at Yas Mall, daily 10 am to midnight, prices from Dhs85 for 60 minutes. Tel: (02) 635 2544, airmaniax.booknow

Images: Getty/Provided