What’s your flavour? Big thrills or nice and chill…

With F1 still looming large in the rearview mirror, Abu Dhabi remains in top gear, hammering down the home straight of peak events season, towards the festive finish line. Whether you take your foot off the gas and relax a little, or want to dump a shot of nitrous into the tank — this is your race, you call the plays, we’re just here to provide you with the map.

Friday, November 25

In vino veritably good times

Michelin Guide-recognised Li Beirut is hosting a special one night only, four course Lebanese wine pairing menu on Friday. Luxurious Levantine highlights from the menu include Ahla w Sahla a Smoked Pumpkin, with Hummus, Tuna Tartare and Caviar and Mountain & Sea a Slow Cooked Lamb Shank, served with Crispy Kunafa Mediterranean Prawn followed by a Labneh Cheese Cake, with Kharoob Honey Blood Orange Compote & Hazelnut.

Li Beirut, Conrad Abu Dhabi, Etihad Towers, Fri 25 only 7.30pm to 11pm, Dhs380 with wine pairing. Tel: (02) 811 5666, etihadtowers.FBreservations@conradhotels.com

A game of two halves

There are some massive games of World Cup footie this weekend. Amongst them —  Wales vs Iran (2pm) and a rerun of the Revolutionary War between England and USA (11pm) on Friday, France vs Denmark (2pm) and giant killers Saudi Arabia vs Poland (5pm) on Saturday, and Belgium vs Morocco and a Euro titan clash between Spain (5pm) vs Germany (11pm) on Sunday. And if you’re looking for the best places to catch all this ‘jumpers for goal posts’ action, you need to check out our list of more than 20 amazing Abu Dhabi World Cup fan zones.

Vitamin sea

Exhibitors from the Atlantian worlds of luxury boats, watersports, fishing and all things marine will be making their way to Abu Dhabi waters this weekend, between November 24 and 27 to take over the 40,000 square metre space and float their latest and greatest innovations. Tickets are priced from Dhs60, with multi-day passes available, but what can you expect from ADIBS 2022? There will of course be a flotilla of truly astonishing boating bling on display (including Evo Yates Dubai who will show their 43-foot Evo R4 yacht for the first time in the exhibition), the latest in luxury cruisers and oligarch oggle-worthy mega yachts. Vistors will also be able to enjoy live performances, family entertainment, water adventure sports showcases, fishing tackle fairs and exhibits of the latest angling tech and a few cruise liner loads of marine-based merch.

ADNEC, November 24 to 27. Tickets are available now via the adibs.ae website.

Stars under the stars

Cinema in the Park is back at Umm Al Emarat Park — a series of free-to-watch (although you need to pay the Dhs10 entry park entrance fee) movies screening over the weekend each week between now and the return of sweaty back season. This weekend’s (Fri Nov 25 and Sat Nov 26) line-up includes every child’s favourite story about the abduction of animals for illegal use in the fashion industry, 101 Dalmatians (Fri); and then on Saturday there’s one of Pixar Studios finest original stories — about the little trash stacking robot who could, overcome its coding to experience anthropomorphised emotion, and help humanity avoid an apocalypse of banality (seriously these Pixar movies go deep)… Wall-E.

You’ll find showings at 6.30pm and 8.30pm — and popcorn is available to purchase on site. Mushrif area, entry to the park is charged at Dhs10 per person. Located at Umm Al Emarat Park, ummalemaratpark.ae

Saturday, November 26

Re: Active

Al Maryah Island’s massive sports hub, ACTIVE has just opened a brand new 3,500 sqm indoor sports pavillion that will offer fitness enthusiasts an environment capable of providing a full 365-days-a-year of getting gains in glorious air conditioned equilibrium. Open now and ready to get involved with right away are facilities for padel, tennis, basketball, volleyball, badminton and fitness. There’s also a café, and free water refill stations, because hydration, and snacking healthily are important too folks. Outside there’s even more space to flex. 83,000 sqm of it in fact. Acres more space for tennis, netball, padel, basketball, football and more.

Al Maryah Island,  Tel: (02) 403 4488, @activealmaryah

Desert Island discography

The creative juices are always flowing in the breezy boardroom of the Al Maya Island’s paradise island party planning commission. Issuing a manifesto of mash up that’s remixed weekly and keys up a themed rave-o-lution with symphonic beats, sun lounging seats, chilled beverage treats and tasty party eats. This weekend, The Castaway Pool Party shows off some of Abu Dhabi’s best-respected DJ-ing talent in the form of DJ Jay R the superstar and DJ Katt headlining on the ones and twos. Going down on Saturday between 10am (the party kicks off at midday, but island access begins at 10am) and 8.30pm, tickets are priced at Dhs250 which includes Dhs100 of food and beverage credit and your boat transfers

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 𝐁𝐨𝐚𝐭 𝐉𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐲 –

𝐁𝐨𝐚𝐭 𝐃𝐞𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐓𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐬

Outbound to the island, there ferry timings are hourly from: 10am to 5pm.

Coming back from the island, those homeward trips depart from Al Maya hourly from 1.30pm to 8.30pm.

For bookings call (02) 667 7777, WhatsApp (056) 818 5408 or visit almayauae.com. Al Maya Island & Resort, Saturdays 10am to 8.30pm. Tel: (02) 667 7777, @almayaisland

Market in the diary

There’s a tighter visit window for this particular market in Abu Dhabi, it’s running every Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 10pm but only until December 4. What can you expect from this crafty collab? Located in The Garden area of the mall, you’ll be able to fill your tote bags with such fresh, organic, locally sourced products as fruit, vegetables, and honey. There will also be the usual sorts of quaint objets de curiosité, we don’t know but we’re guessing — ethical, cruelty-free, sustainably-sourced artisanal soaps, artisanal bamboo lawn furniture, artisanal kids’ books, artisanal sarongs and a whole army of artisanal artisans. And if all artisan browsing has got you hungry, the mall’s newly expanded Restaurant Walk now includes Otantik café & Restaurant, Chilies, La Brioche, India Palace Restaurant, Shakespeare & Co, Off the Hook, Bursa, Kebab Evi, Café Be.K, Pizza Hut, Tres Bien Restaurant & Café and Emerald Grill.

Deerfields Mall, Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 10pm, until December 4. @deerfieldsmall

Take a walk on the wildlife side

Al Wathba Wetland Reserve

The Al Wathba Wetland Reserve is a great place for families and children to take a wander through some real undeveloped UAE habitat. It’s primarily known for its large population of shocking pink flamingos but is home to more than 250 species of birds, 37 plant species and a wide range of aquatic life. Some of which were discovered here — completely new to science, and yet more that may be unique to this region. The reserve is free to visit and open from Tuesday to Saturday from 8am until 6pm (last entry is at 4pm). Read more here.

Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, Directions: Take the E22 Abu Dhabi-Al Ain road and connect with the E30 Abu Dhabi-Al Ain Truck Road, then follow signs for the reserve, open Tue to Sat, 8am to 6pm, free entry. ead.gov.ae

Sunday, November 27

Chasing sunsets

This nautical tour operating outfit is extending an invitation for you to live your very best Disney pirate life. Jump aboard one of their modern vessels for a six hour tour of Abu Dhabi’s islandscape, with barbecue (though you’ll need to bring your own food). It’s land ahoy with scenic stops at such enchanting sea-hemmed spots as Salt Island and Bahrani Island. Their boats come with music systems for stereophonic shanty support and soft drinks are included in the Dhs450 per person package price (private charters of up to eight are available for Dhs2,500, or Dhs3,000 for 15). seasafari.ae

Vibe check

Miami vibes festival

The Miami Vibes street food festival has landed ar Abu Dhabi’s lush and leafy Umm Al Emarat Park for a 2022 session, until December 8. This year’s culinary collaborators include: Meat X; Sip Café; Mylk Café; Cola Ribs; Tag Moon; Paella.Dxb; Island Burger; Yamasaki Sushi; Rolls Thirty Three; Lets Padel Café; Lets Sea By Bucket Co; Ezgourmet Fusion Kitchen; UZU; Coal; Gottlich; Oud Café; Coffeelism; Chocorush; Senior Taco; Dope Café; Wales cafe; Oro Pizzeria; White Café; and Spartan café. It’s open from 3pm to midnight daily throughout the festival, there’s a Dhs10 entrance fee, and as per the new guidelines — no Alhosn Green Pass is required.

Umm Al Emarat Park, 3pm to midnight. @miamivibes.ae

Picnics or it didn’t happen

Life really can be a picnic if you focus on the little things that make you happy. And one of those things should undoubtedly be picnics with your besties. Abu Dhabi operates a patchwork of mini green oases where you can spread your blanket and break bread with your nearest and dearest, and it just so happens that the Department of Municipality and Transport (DMT) has just dropped a list of 38 parks across the emirate where you can add a side of barbecue to your alfresco festival. Our pick of the picnic spots is Khalifa Park, which also operates soothing water features. It also has an aquarium, Maritime Museum, a library and its own splash park.

Images: Provided/Unsplash