10 special things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend: Mar 24 to 26

Welcome to the weekend…

Just a few of our favourite things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

Friday, March 24

The sweetest thing

Homegrown sultans of sweet – Candylicious have put together the cutest calendars for Ramadan. Filled with 30 sugary treats, concealed within boxes, ready to be opened for iftar, kids (or not kids — nobody is judging) can also look forward to a sweet little surprise for Eid. The whole thing costs just Dhs149 and is available in the Yas Mall Candylicious store now.


The market thing

Yas Bay Waterfront jazz

Already home to so many top-drawer leisure activities, the Yas Bay Waterfront has announced that 2022’s hugely popular ‘Waterfront Nights’ series — celebrating the wonder of the Holy Month will return for a second year. It’s set to begin on Thursday, March 30, and will be available to experience daily between 8pm and 1am until April 23. And of course, it’s completely free to enter.

Yas Bay Waterfront, Yas Island, nightly from 8pm March 30 to April 23, free to enter. @yasbayuae

The Netflix thing

what to watch on Netflix in UAE March

From international aviation who-dunnits to Adam Sandler comic who-dunnits, a Croatian Mama Mia to K-drama to a Georgina Rodriguez pop-doc — there’s some absolutely huge new hits on Netflix this month. Check out our guide to what’s fresh and on-Flix.

Saturday, March 25

The island hopping thing

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

The Edition thing

The iftar offering at Market at EDITION will once again benefit from the expert touch of a regional culinary luminary for 2023. This time, it’s a collaboration with legendary Dubai-based Chef Sara Aqel, kitchen-leading star of Fi’lia in Miami, The Bahamas, Paris and of course Dubai. And the price? Just Dhs195, or Dhs235 for private dining (50 guest minimum).

The Abu Dhabi Edition, daily from sunset, Dhs195. Tel: (0)2 208 0000. Book on eat2eat.com/

The Ripe thing

ripe market

One of our favourite homegrown markets has now been confirmed as returning to the capital. Ripe Market Al Maryah Island is launching on National Day weekend, December 2 from 3pm to 10pm, and will then take place every Friday and Saturday. Al Maryah Island’s South Plaza will be transformed into a bustling market space — filled with exotic articles of curiosity-piquing allure and the calls and stalls of a dizzying mix of merchants. Those keen on the pursuit of perusal can expect vibrant food and entertainment options, alongside all the covetous craft trinkets and soothing soundtrack of the lapping sea.

Al Maryah Island Abu Dhabi, Fri Dec 2 3pm to 10pm, Tel:(0)55 543 1282, ripeme.com

The park thing

There’s a verdant patchwork of award-winning ‘free-to-enter’ parks along Abu Dhabi’s Corniche, each with a slightly different theme. The Family Parks (1 and 2) have a range of safe play areas (no men unaccompanied by ‘children or women’ permitted) with a fun mix of installations appropriate for a wide range of ages. You’ll also find a skate park and sport courts for active escapades, a splash pool and barbecue pits if you want to ‘make a day of it’. Lake Park unsurprisingly pairs its greenery with watery vistas, here too — a quaint park bridge that’s perfect for profile shots and romantic promenades. Formal Park has also got a lot going on, aside from the plethora of places to park-up and chilll, rec fans will find a maze and sports facilities including an outdoor gym. At the far Eastern end of the Corniche, head into Heritage Park for dhow harbour views, fountains, play areas, picnic spots and buildings inspired by the nation’s past. For more park related pursuits, check out our guide to some of the most exciting green spaces in Abu Dhabi.

Sunday, March 26

The mangrove thing

Throughout the Holy Month (March 22 to April 22) visitors will be able to enjoy special activations at Jubail Mangrove Park including as yet unspecified “peaceful and adventurous … water activities”. There will also be ‘the world is my shala’ yoga sessions — relax, stretch, and commune with the beyond in the company of nature and tranquility.

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

The ‘this is the way’ thing

The first four episodes of the third season of Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian are now available to stream on Disney+. A show that introduced us to Pedro Pascal’s helmet daddy incarnation, The Child AKA Baby Yoda AKA Grogu and launched a thousand chiccy nuggie-based memes. It’s a Samurai-esque space Western set five years after the events of Return of the Jedi, and weaves the yarn of a warrior creed on the brink of extinction, thick with themes of companionship and the price of honour. The third series promises to drop us yet deeper down the snarling sarlacc pit, with a significant increase to the Mandalorian G-Unit entourage size, more darksaber wielding and Grogu-smuggling skullduggery, the appearance of famous Jedi masters, and the prospect of (finally) a jolly old field trip to the fabled land of Mandalore. This, dear friends, is the way…

Episode one, series three of The Mandalorian is available to stream now on Disney+. The service is available through apps on your smart device for just Dhs29.99 per month.

The laps thing

Judging by the way some of you treat the expressways here, it’s very unlikely you’ll get a shock call up to next year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But there is still a way you could find yourself doing laps of Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit. They have a stacked grid of car experiences, but the best for thrill seekers has to be Formula Yas 3000 (Dhs1,840). Described as, “the closest thing to an F1 car most people will ever drive,” you’ll get to zoom around in a race car armed with a 3.0 litre V6 Jaguar Cosworth engine, plus Formula One-style paddle shift flappy paddle gear sticks. Looking for something a little less fast pace? Yas Marina also offers karting sessions too (from Dhs120). yasmarinacircuit.com

Images: Provided