25 amazing things to do in Abu Dhabi for the long Eid Al Fitr weekend
To help make your long weekend, a strong weekend…
At the time of writing, we’re still not sure whether it will be a four-day weekend or a five-day weekend, but if you follow our guide one thing we can all but guarantee, is that it will be a great weekend.
Thursday, April 20
New at the movies
We have one violently contradicting Yin and Yang for you this weekend, with option A being the family-friendly Super Mario Bros. Movie — Illumination’s videogame adaptation (and you can check out our interview with one of its stars, Keegan-Michael Key who plays Toad, here) of the hugely popular Nintendo franchise that chronicles the misadventures of a pair of Italian plumbers. Option B – is a modern day boogeyman story, John Wick Chapter 4, you can read our full spoiler free review here… but our verdict was this: In Chapter Four we see the polished form of the mettle that has been forged through episodes one to three — the movie is three hours long, there are no distracting sub plots or romantic interludes, and because of the HIIT pacing, the visual eloquence, the rise and fall, the poetry of movement in the action set-pieces, your in-screen time flies by.
Friday, April 21
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Adrenark Adventure and its chief deliverables are entertaining kids, adrenaline-baiting thrill experiences, and a wild three-level eKarting track. And it opens this Eid. We went down for sneaky early peek and it genuinely is one of the most exciting new adventure attractions to have launched in Abu Dhabi recently. You’ll find the mamouth 54,000 sq ft (making it the largest of its kind in the region) wow-opolis right next to Pixoul Gaming. It features an incredible 20 different activities many of which should do a stand-up job of siphoning off some that *screams, covered in slime and acrylic paint* young person energy.
Al Qana, daily from the first day of Eid, 10am to midnight, packages from Dhs99. @adrenarkuae
Pool of talent
Saadiyat Beach Club have a pumped ensemble of Eid beachfront, poolside celebrations — including two brunches (Fri and Sat, starts at 1pm from Dhs345), an 80s pool party (Sat, from 6pm, Dhs180) and our pick of the fest – the Friday pool party (from 6pm, Dhs180).
Saaiyat Island. @saadiyatbeachclub
Ikea, randomly, are offering an incredible deal on a 5kg take away lamb ouzi. The standard price is Dhs249, or just Dhs199 for ‘Ikea Family ‘members. Orders must be made 24 hours in advance, your meal bundle includes including oriental rice, raita, and salad. And this offer also probably represents the first time, we’d be glad to see a lot of left overs from an Ikea purchase.
Book now by calling 800 4532, available until April 23, 2023.
Head on down to Yas Mall this Eid break for chances to win big prizes as part of their Spend and Win campaign (spend Dhs500 for a chance to win one of 100 Dhs500 vouchers dished out daily), and to see the now traditional Ayalah performance on April 21 and April 22, with hourly shows between 3pm and 9pm, in front of the Town Square district.
We don’t talk about churros (till the kids have finished their mains)
There are two final chances (Sat April 22, and Sun April 23) to catch what has become Abu Dhabi’s leading family brunch before it bids farewell for the season. With adult prices from Dhs350 (kids four to 12 Dhs150) this Encanto-themed ‘Enchanted, is the ultimate family brunch experience’ at Vendôme, Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi. Distracting attractions available at the Enchanated Family Brunch include a Fairy Tale Corner visited by song and dance performances inspired by popular family films; the Mini Chef Corner will let your little lambs go full Ramsay with cookie decorating; there’s a Face Painting Corner; supervised arts and crafts classes; balloon bending; a planting station for the kiddlywinks to learn, play and take home green fingered souvenirs. There’s a dedicated children’s section offering a wide range of kids’ favourites with both healthy, and everso slightly less healthy, snack choices. The Palace’s banquet for grown-ups includes beef Wellington, seared Asian beef fillet, zesty lime prawns, grilled sea bass fillet, beef tenderloin, classic ratatouille and others big hitters.
Vendome, Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, W Corniche Road, Sat and Sun on Eid weekend, 1pm to 5pm, kids four to 12 Dhs150, soft Dhs350, house Dhs450, premium Dhs550, Champagne Dhs650. Book on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (050) 836 1513, familybrunchdubai.com
Saturday, April 22
Water wonderful show
Following a hugely successful run in Dubai, Fontana — the Middle East’s first travelling water circus, has now embarked on the Abu Dhabi leg of its UAE tour with performances taking place in a ‘Circus Tent’ at Marina Mall. The viewing venue will include a grandstand, offering tiered seating to ensure nobody misses out on the jaw-dropping action. The exquisitely choreographed experience was produced by Cirque du Liban, is brought to you by HAT Entertainment, and combines a thrilling blend of mind-bending illusion, astounding acrobatics, and feats courting visceral visual awe.
Between April 18 and 20, there’ll be one show daily from 9 pm to 11pm. From April 21 to April 23, there will be three shows each day at 4pm, 7pm, and 9.30pm. Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi, shows starting this Eid. @fontanashow
Drum roll please
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is hosting an evening of percussive extravagance, with dramatic drum performances drawn from cultures around the world. The show will explore how these instruments are involved in “communication, expression and unity … from African to Khaleeji dance, Breakin and Streetdance”.
Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, Sat Apr 22, Dhs63. Tel: (02) 6736 688. louvreabudhabi.ae
Emirati performer Hamad Al Ameri is booked in for an grand Eid Concert at Madina Zayed Wedding Hall in Al Dhafra. Revellers can look forward to live renditions of such popular hits as ‘Elmohrah’, ‘Kelkalh’ and ‘La Teheb.’
Madina Zayed Wedding Hall, Sat Apr 22, from Dhs50. ticketmaster.ae.
There’s a special, locally-inspired Eid brunch at the Four Seasons this weekend. On Saturday, enjoy tableside service of falafel soup, scallop and prawns tartare, chicken shawarma, harissa lamb shoulder, cheese trolley, kunafa cheesecake, umm ali ice cream . There’s also pasta and seafood stations, sushi and a live grill.
Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, Sat Apr 22, 1pm to 4pm, packages from Dhs245 (soft). Tel: (02) 333 2222, email@example.com.
At the art of it all
One of the city’s most important hubs of heritage — Qasr Al Hosn will be putting on a series of traditional performances for vistors this weekend. his includes demonstrations of crafts alongside falconry displays. There will be also be traditional Ediya giveaways and at the House of Artisans — Henna corner and a variety of engaging workshops for all ages.
Qasr Al Hosn, Apr 21 to 22, 4pm to 9pm. @qasralhosn
Going all in
Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi is stunning, and the premium all-inclusive Eid package at this UAE hotel ensures literally everything is included… at 20 per cent off. As well as all-inclusive food and drink, guests can also take advantage of daily yoga, cycling, paddle boarding and complimentary access to the tennis courts. Think light airy bedrooms, opulent interiors and a lagoon-sized swimming pool that all open up onto a private stretch of Saadiyat Island’s enviable white beachfront. For most dates, a minimum two-night stay is required, with nightly rates from Dhs1,850.
Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, from Dhs1,500 (two night minmum). saadiyatisland.rixos.com
Al Mugheirah Bay
This leisure and lifestyle hub in the Al Dhafra Region will celebrate Eid Al Fitr with a spectacular firework display. Taking place at 9pm on Friday April 21, expect to watch the night sky above Khor Al Bazim light up in a multitude of colours.
This Eid Al Fitr, visitors to Hudayriyat Island, can enjoy a dazzling fireworks display that will illuminate the island’s spectacular landscape on Saturday April 22. Expect the show to start from 9pm.
Following the epic display of pyrotechnical pageantry for NYE, one of Abu Dhabi’s foremost new waterfront entertainment districts will be lighting up the skies once more for Eid. There’s a full night of entertainment on the cards, and the Waterfront’s cafes, bars, and restaurants provide the perfect perch for all the sky-pyro stuff. But wait. there’s more. Yas Bay will play host to a series of special activities and entertainment experiences throughout the holiday, including grand concerts with Arab recording stars at Etihad Arena on the second day of Eid.
Abu Dhabi Corniche
Ah, this grand dame of the sky disco might have a wall of tower blocks in front of it, but a) that provides plenty of awesome lofty places to view the displays from and b) those colour bursts go high, making the display visible over much of the business end of the city.
Al Ain Hazza Stadium
This free, family-friendly affair usually offers comfortable seating to catch the awe-inspiring majesty of this Garden City spectacular.
Madinat Zayed Public Park
Al Dhafra is home to some pretty cinematic landscapes, but the dunes will be given an extra neon glow this NYE with a dizzying fireworks display bursting high above the desert.
Al Marfa beach
This is the Al Dhafra area’s only developed beach, and will be the base of some stunning fireworks for this particularly family-focused time of year.
Other Eid Celebrations
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT) has also said that there will also be Eid concerts in Al Ain and Al Dhafra.
Other Eid public holiday activations will be available in Manarat Al Saadiyat (which will also be hosting its popular Ramadan Arcade pop-up during the holy Month) and Qasr Al Hosn. There’ll be traditional Al Ayyala and Al Razfa performances at Al Ain’s Palace Museum. The DCT also confirmed celebratory activities at Al Ain Oasis and Qasr Al Muwaiji.
Sunday, April 23
Farm to face
For a wholesome farm-to-table Eid brunch experience, head to the UAE’s largest organic farm for a feast of local, organic produce including eggs, fresh bread, and pastries for Dhs80 per person. There are also plenty of activities for the little ones including an Eid scavenger hunt, pot colouring (from Dhs25), and prizes to be won. Emirates Bio Farm is around a one-hour drive from Dubai and the Eid brunch is taking place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9am to 5pm.
Emirates Bio Farm, Al Ain. Friday April 21 to Sunday April 23, 9am to 5pm. Dhs80. emiratesbiofarm.com
Blaze your own trail through the empty quarter
Abu Dhabi’s Off-Road Driving Project is a series of six cross-country driving routes mapped across meandering terrain, compiled by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT). The trails have been designed for those with a taste for adventure to head off on safe self-drive expeditions, and track down intrepid desert camping experiences. The routes have been graded at different accessibility and driving ability levels, from beginner to expert. Each option offers its own exciting sight-seeing opportunities, with wildlife encounters such as gazelle and camel, the entrancing dune configurations of Al Quo’a, secret ghaf forests of Al Mirayr, camel racing tracks, desert tombs and hidden oases. You can pull up detailed information on routes, points of interest and camping opportunities as well as safety procedures, emergency information and pre-trip checklists on the visitabudhabi.ae website.
Seas the day
The National Aquarium will be playing host to a very special National Geographic-curated audio visual exhibition, entitled Pristine Seas: Bringing the Ocean Back. Providing insights gleaned from 38 expeditions — the Pristine Seas project is all about educating the world on sustainable practices and the potential peril behind ‘just carrying on as we are’.
The National Aquarium Abu Dhabi, Al Qana, Al Maqta, from April 21 general admission from Dhs105. Tel: (02) 418 6666. thenationalaquarium.ae
A lot of people have been asking about my skincare routine
In truth, they haven’t. But if they had, I might lie and say that the radiant glow is thanks to The Pearl Spa’s Celebrity Hydrafacial Booster. The new, M-007 booster has a license to thrill and through its innovative use of regenerative peptides, claims to give your face a Hollywood glow-up. At Dhs1,550 for 90 minutes it’s not cheap, but the standard 30 minute Hydrafacial option is available from Dhs590.
Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, Dhs1,550 for 90 minutes. Tel: (02) 333 2222, firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the name suggests, this house of artistry is all about getting a little bit messy all in the pursuit of creating colourful abstract masterpieces. They run a few different programmes for adults as well as kids — with sessions in neon work, fluid paint, pendulum art, and spinning art. Prices start at around Dhs139 for an hour and include all the materials to go full Picasso on a piece of canvas.
AL Seef Village Mall. Tel: (02) 582 3353, @splatter_rooms