10 fabulous things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend: April 7 to 9
Your time on earth is what you make of it…
A large part of the value in how we experience life, is how we choose to experience it. Sure, there are many factors beyond our control, inherited advantages and disadvantages — but one faculty all of us share, is how we perceive endowments, experiences and events. So lets choose to have a great weekend, yeah?
Friday, April 7
New at the movies this weekend
Air is the story behind the shoes. Air Jordans. Directed by Ben Afleck, starring Matt Damon and Viola Davies it’s a semi biographical story of the trainers built around a talented rookie that was to become a true sporting icon, a pair of kicks that saved Nike from almost certain bankruptcy, and the foot apparel dynasty that almost never was.
Book tickets now
The enduringly popular Ramadan Accade at Manarat Al Saadiyat is back for two weekends in the Holy Month. Operating between 9pm and 2am on the weekends of April 6 to 9 and April 13 to 16, visitors can enjoy such gaming thrills as PlayStation, VR and retro arcade classics (smashes Blanka electric shock button). There are also daily musical performances, including a Ramadan concert by Bait Al Oud and a Malid performance. Of course there are art installations and exhibitions to muse over — interactive photo booths and DIY themed workshops. And for a special sort of Suhoor, try elite culinary concept ‘Not a Space’ is back at the Manarat, so too is Not (so) Guilty and there’s tickets to the bun show, courtesy of Burger 28.
Saadiyat Island. Day pass Dhs50. April 6 to 9 and April 13 to 16, 9pm to 2am. @manaratalsaadiyat
Saturday, April 8
From the gutter to the stars
There’s a full kitbag of indoor sporting entertainment available at Zayed Sports City, but one of our favourite active highlights is getting on the ice skating rink — a exceptional way to cool down from just Dhs55 — and there are even lessons available if, like us, you’re still a bit Bambi on stilts. You can also go on strike with Cosmic Bowling (7pm every Wednesday) at the compound’s 40-lane Khalifa International Bowling Centre. Because in space, nobody can hear you gutter ball.
Zayed Sports City, Dhs20 per individual per game or Dhs140 per lane per hour. Tel: (02) 403 4200, zsc.ae
With spring break wrapping up for many students this weekend, why not collab on a day out that will tick the entertainment box for the whole fam. The Galleria Al Maryah Island is currently deep into the Layali Ramadan retail festival, which amongst other things, means big sale shopping for the mamas and the papas. There’s also a dedicated Ramadan kids’ zone (free when showing a Galleria receipt for Dhs200) with exciting games, arts and crafts.
Al Maryah Island. Timings: March 24 to April 9 3pm to 6pm and 8pm to 11pm; April 10 to 21 from 8pm to midnight. @thegalleriauae
Crooning crustacean, Sebastian the crab once famously sang,”darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter” and given the range of submarinal adventure offered by Abu Dhabi Marine, we might actually be on board with that assessment. You can take the plunge on trips fit for all ability levels, from snorkelling escapades (from Dhs150) and beginner scuba diving (Dhs350, for ages 10 and up) to more challenging dives and advanced PADI certificate diving courses (from Dhs1,500). Proof if any were needed, that watersports are “hotter under the water”. But if you prefer your thrills on the frills waves, there’s plenty of that sort of action too — SUPping, jet skiing, water skiing, flyboarding, E-Foil and donut riding, zorb ball and sea ray sessions, see-through kayaking, wake-surfing and nautical lot more.
Abu Dhabi Marina, next to Emirates Palace, Break Water, Tel: (800) 4386, abudhabimarine.ae
Sunday, April 9
Welcome to the family
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi, announced the inauguration of the Abrahamic Family House — a mega project holding places of worship for the three Abrahamic religions — via Twitter last month. And now this very special beacon of love, tolerance and peace, located in the Cultural District of Saadiyat Island, is open to the worshipping and visiting public. You can find out more in advance of your visit, with our handy guide.
Jacques Chirac Street, Saadiyat Cultural District, free @abrahamicfh
Head to the 18th floor of Abu Dhabi’s famous leaning tower and make your way inside Franco-Arab signature restaurant Cyan Brasserie for an extravagant iftar buffet served alongside alluring Abu Dhabi cityscape views. Cyan is also offering the a la carte menu if you wish.
Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi, from sunset to 10pm, Dhs195. Tel: (056) 544 8158. @andazabudhabi
Without a padel
The time between Padel going from “what’s that? Oh you mean tennis” to literally everyone playing padel, all of the time, every weekend — is intangibly short. It’s gone viral, the chat GPT of racket sports, it’s as moreish as Maltesers and incalculably more healthy for you and now thanks to one of the biggest Padel enabling names in the capital, Just Padel — there five new padel courts open for service and available at smashing prices in Abu Dhabi’s Marina Mall. The courts are all alfresco and rental rates start at Dhs220 for 45 minutes.
Marina Mall, from Dhs220, justpadel.ae
Taking the W
Garage at W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island hosts iftar with a wide selection of international cuisine, including Malaysian martabak with beef, chicken shawarma, Arabic spice salmon, butter chicken, lamb ouzi, and more. Look out for a particularly special collab taking place from April 12 to 16 when chef Ahmet Dede, the talented owner of Dede at The Customs House – a Michelin-starred Turkish restaurant in Ireland, prepares an exclusive iftar menu for Dhs295.
W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island, sunset to 9pm, Dhs245 (regular iftar), Dhs295 (chef Ahmet Dede collab). Tel: (0)2 656 0000. @wabudhabi
One of the world’s largest mosques, this inspirational building was commissioned by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and was completed in just over a decade. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has space for 40,000 worshipers each day and pulls design features from Turkey, Morocco, Pakistan and Egypt, and other Islamic countries. There are 1,096 amethyst-and-jasper-embedded columns, 82 white marble domes — one of which features beautiful gold lead calligraphy of Quranic text on the interior, reflective pools, Swarovski chandeliers, the world’s largest hand-woven carpet, a breathtaking prayer hall, and a courtyard with one of the world’s largest marble mosaics.
Al Maqta’a, daily 11am to 11pm, free. Book your visit at visit.szgmc.gov.ae