12 banging things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend: Apr 28 to 30

We’re pressing play on the weekend vibes…

What kind of playlist are you looking for this weekend? Something smooth and jazzy? Big build-ups and sharp drops? A little old skool? A little new wave? Hardcore or easy listening? All about that base? Whatever your taste, whatever your vibe — we’ve got a baseline for you to bop to. Press play on What’s On this weekend.

Friday, April 28

New at the movies this week

Renfield movie review

The torrent of new blood at the cinema this week includes, Renfield. It’s a biopic devoted to analyzing the life and dilemmas of Dracula’s lieutenant. You can read the full extent of our thoughts on the film here, but our elevator review goes like this — Renfield feels like a dialled-up, unashamedly brazen Dusk Till Dawn and Brooklynn Nine-Nine crossover project with Nicholas Cage as an archetypal Dracula and Nicholas Hoult on ghoulishly good form, and it’s gorily, cartoonishly-violently, brilliant.

Book tickets here

Daily BRED

The inaugural BRED Abu Dhabi festival kicks off later this week in what will hopefully become an annual fixture for the capital. It’s all taking place at the Yas Bay Waterfront at a purpose-built BRED Arena between Wednesday April 26 and Sunday April 30, 2023. Individual day tickets are priced from Dhs50; Concert Tickets are available from Dhs195; opening party tickets are charged at Dhs150; closing party from Dhs175; and Festival Passes — which get you to all the day time activities, the concerts and the opening/closing parties — are available from Dhs495. And the music artist line-up really does look like the best thing since, ahem, sliced BRED — the first headliner name drop included  2 Chainz, Dave East and Armani White already feature. Then, last week, a second wave of artists follwed with 6LACK (pronounced black), Giggs and Big Sean. Also on the bill are Balti, Ahmed Santa, El Rass, Tagne, Freek and The Synaptik.

The BRED Arena on the Yas Bay Waterfront, April 26 to April 30, ticket options priced from Dhs50. bredabudhabi.com

All the swimming ladies

Ladies, if you prefer adventure thrills over unlimited food and drinks, you’ll be glad to know that Yas Waterworld’s Ladies Season is nack and running all summer long. Every Friday between 5pm and 11pm until the end of August, the award-winning water park is open only to women which means mothers, daughters and friends can enjoy unlimited water adventures in complete privacy. The slides and attractions tell the story of an Emirati child, Dana who is searching for a lost pearl and there are more 40 rip-roaring experiences to pick from such as Dawwama, Bubbles Barrel, Hamlool’s Humps, Bandit Bomber or the Amwaj Wave Pool. Tickets are Dhs240.

Saturday, April 29

Dive-in theatre

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

Home improv-moments

Whose Line is it Anyway is one of those classic comedy formats that makes for electric spectating. Who knows what will tumble out of a quick-witted comic’s mouth, desperate for a laugh, hungry for validation, absent of filter? And this weekend, some of the UK circuit’s finest artisanal improvsmiths, The Noise Next Door — fresh from a stint on Britain’s got Talent, are testing the speed of wit, and audience imagination at a show in the Capital.

Park Rotana, Khalifa Park area, Sat Apr 29, from 8.30pm, Dhs160. Tickets must be purchased in advance via the thelaughterfactory.com website. Tel: (02) 657 3333

The (deal on this) roof is on fire

There’s a way you can get eight hours of as-close-as-makes-no-difference bottomless beverage at Marriott Downtown’s rooftop pool deck on Saturdays, and it’ll only cost you Dhs249. How? Well the brunch kicks off at midday, and the house package is priced at Dhs199, which winds down at 4pm but there’s a bolt-on for 4pm to 8pm that nets you 10 beverages for just Dhs50. Wild.

AT25, Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi, Every Sat from April 29 4pm to 8pm. Tel: (02) 304 7777, @marriottdowntownad

Family af-Fair

This Saturday, Yas Acres Golf & Country Club is hosting a Family Fair – it’s open to everyone, free to attend and comes with some amazing activities, deals on food and entertainment. On the itinerary is face painting, arts and craft, free kids bento boxes, pool access, pool side cooking stations, a pop up market, live entertainment and more. It’s a big Yas from us.

Yas Acres Golf & Country Club, Yas Island, 3pm to 9pm, free. Register on (02) 208 7222 or email: dining.yagcc@viyagolf.com@yasacresgolfcc

Sunday, April 30

Alternate reality

Located in Al Qana, Pixoul is the largest gaming hub of its type in Abu Dhabi and includes the latest evolution of Location-Based Entertainment (LBE). In addition to futuristic VR tech, the venue will also operate the first certified eSports (that’s competitive gaming for any noobs out there) academy in the region. Strap on the headset and you can free roam individually or with teams a selection of strategy, racing and *finger guns* shoot-em-ups.

Al Qana, Sun to Thu midday to midnight, Fri to Sat midday to 2am, priced from Dhs35. pixoulgaming.com

The un-bear-able weight of massive talent

Are you ready to see the adventures of this legendary duo live for the first time? Coming to a forest near you, Masha and the Bear Live is making its debut in the Middle East for a spectacular musical theatre adventure. Taking place at Etihad Arena, Yas Island, the 75-minute show will take place across two days, Saturday, April 29 to Sunday, April 30, at 11am, 2pm, and 5pm. The magical forest experience will bring all your favourite characters to life including Masha, the bear, the panda, the tiger, and the penguin, as they discover the power of dreams and the true value of friendship. Hop aboard the train and prepare to be amazed with dazzling displays, music, snow, confetti, and many more surprises along the way. The immersive and interactive performance is sure to be an unforgettable experience for both children and parents alike.

Masha and the Bear, Etihad Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Saturday, April 29 to Sunday, April 30. Dhs295 (royal), Dhs275 (VIP), Dhs245 (platinum), Dhs145 (gold), and Dhs95 (silver). etihadarena.ae

Pool of talent

The Courtyard by Marriott, World Trade Center offers what is probably one of the best value pool passes we’ve seen. It’s just Dhs50 for a full day (7am to 8pm) during the week, and Dhs75 for a weekend day, best of all it’s located within quick skipping distance of rooftop bar Up & Below. In fact there’s a fully redeemable pass available for Dhs100 — which lets you transfer the total amount to bar spend.

Courtyard by Marriott World Trade Center, daily 7am to 8pm. Tel: (052) 914 1207, @courtyardabudhabi

Watan awesome show

qasr al watan

The grand ‘Palace of the Nation’, Qasr Al Watan lies at one end of the city’s main Corniche, caught between the unyielding blues of the Arabian Gulf and the chasm of skyscrapers that define the city’s skyline. It is by all measures a newcomer on the UAE’s heritage scene, having opened its ornate doors to the public in 2019, but it already commands a place amonst its most precious cultural gems. Entry to the attractions is just Dhs6o and contained within its white granite walls, you’ll find a blend of educational and inspirational experiences — architectural masterwork; a library with storey-high book shelves; the great hall; the seat of the UAE’s cabinet; a ‘house of knowledge’ learning hub; exhbits telling the story of the nation’s rich and nuanced history. There’s also a Palace in Motion Sound and Light show (adults Dhs25, kids Dhs12), which now takes place daily. An entertainment extravaganza that illuminates tales from the nation’s past, present and future.

Al Ras Al Akhdar, now open daily between 10am and 6.45pm Dhs60, kids Dhs30. Book on qasralwatan.ae

Images: Provided