11 great things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend: May 26 to 28
Setting sail on the wild waters of the weekend…
Somehow we find ourselves teetering on the edge the last weekend in May, this time next month will be a full halfway through the year. Which is a great checkpoint to stop and ask yourself if you’re where you’re wanted to be. The difference between making it and missing it, comes from a few small decisions and stubborn perseverance. And it can start, right here…
Friday, May 26
New at the cinema this week…
Next up on Disney’s live action reanimation slab, is this enchanting tale of a young fish girl living ‘under the sea’, who is so besotted with the trappings, strapping young Princes, and assorted dinglehoppers of human life that she makes a Faustian bargain with a scheming sea witch, for a shot at true love with a mouth breather. The TLM reboot also has the delicious Neptune-tier casting prospects of placing Ursula under the care of Melissa McCarthy, King Triton is in the scaly hands of Javier Bardem and Daveed ‘Hamilton-Sandpiercer’ Diggs takes a soft-shelled bow as Sebastian the Crab. We hope it finds its voice because it really feels like it deserves to be ‘part of our world’.
Book your tickets now
A novel idea
Book smart speakeasy, Library Bar at The Abu Dhabi EDITION is hosting yet another collaboration worth writing home about, and it’s all about homegrown talent. This time, it’s a back-to-back ensemble featuring UAE craft drinks outfit, Side Hustle — with decorated bar legend Vasile Dorofeev taking control of drinking deck, and serving up literarily amazing mixology masterpieces.
The Abu Dhabi EDITION, Al Bateen, from 7pm Fri May 26. Tel: (02) 208 0000, @abudhabiedition
A gym that’s a tonic
Now open at the Yas Bay Waterfront — The Warehouse Gym is serving up the perfect way to earn and burn the delicious range of craft calories on offer in the restaurants around the bay. Memberships start at just Dhs199, there are both mixed and ladies only classes available and the personal trainers have been hand selected for expertise, and turning excuses into reps and bulging biceps. They have a Blackbox studio (the brand’s signature multisensory workout), a cycle studio, Olympic lifting zone for those in search of beefcaking, a functional training area, crossfit obviously, free weights, cardio equipment, squat rack and there’s free parking. They also offer boxing classes (and kids’ boxing classes), Grit sessions (strength and conditioning exercises), abs and glute workouts and lots more.
Yas Bay Waterfront (next to Lock, Stock and Barrel), Mon to Fri 5.30am to 11pm, Sat to Sun 7am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 675 2221, @whgym_abudhabi
Sips and trips
Looking for a fun way to wind into the weekend? How about the ultimate tasting experience, where over 100 wines, beers and spirits are on offer? Then bookmark Friday May 26 as Gray Mackenzie & Partners (GMP) hosts the ultimate tasting experience at Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi. The event, 70ml by GMP, is ticketed, with entry priced at a wallet-friendly Dhs100. The Dhs100 required for entry is fully redeemable, so you’ll be able to sip your way around a boutique collection of beverages from around the world. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur, prefer spirits, or you’re wanting to expand your knowledge of brews from all corners of the globe, it’s the ultimate tasting experience. To pair with your array of drinks, they’ll be putting on a selection of canapés and cold cuts for pairing, plus a cheese buffet that will go down perfectly with the selection of wines.
70ml by GMP, Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi, 6pm to 10pm, Friday May 26, Dhs100. Tel: (056) 404 9988, @gray_mackenzie_partners
Saturday, May 27
Highway to the Xtreme Zone
Xtreme Zone at The Galleria Al Maryah Island offers 44,200 sqft of recreational adventure. There’s the synapse-jangling thrills of electronic entertainment; all the button-mashing fun of the video games arcade; and intense virtual reality (VR) experiences. Prefer your activities a little more analog? You can pick up sticky splits at their 12-lane bowling alley, double-bounce your bestie at the trampoline park, beat the peak on the climbing wall, or take on the Tag Arena’s timed obstacle course for leaderboard bragging rights.
The Galleria Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, Saturday to Wednesday 10am to 10pm, Thursday to Friday 10am to midnight. Tel: (02) 493 7400, thegalleria.ae
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, Sat May 27, 3pm to 9pm, free. Register on (02) 208 7222 or email: email@example.com. @yasacresgolfcc
Beefa and the barbie
The UAE outpost of rave enclave, Café del Mar, already seems to have built up quite the following. The lagoon pool, boutique beach, and big Ibizan beats are a rare but very welcome combination for the scores of Abu Dhabi vibe-chasers and one of the most popular weekly appointments is the Saturday Barbecue Pool Party. This aquatic-fiesta takes place between 1pm and 5pm every Saturday and includes free-flow select beverages, unlimited plates from the barbecue, pool access, towels and a lounger.
Yas Bay Waterfront, Sat 1pm to 4pm, from Dhs499. Tel: (0)50 402 2283. @cafedelmarabudhabi
You’ve been surfed
Fresh from a little pandemic hibernation, Al Ain Adventure has now reopened and is serving up gnarley swells and white water rodeos to the nation’s thrill seekers. You’ll find it in the Jebel Hafeet area of Al Ain and even though it’s not returned to full operational capacity just yet — the park is offering rafting experiences, kayaking, surfing and access to the on-site wave pool. You can purchase a package which includes access to Wadi Adventure, the wave pool and rafting for Dhs125. There are intermediate surfing packages available for Dhs290 (which includes board rental). Expert surf packages start at Dhs325.
Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain, open daily 11am to 7pm, priced from Dhs125. Tel: (03) 781 8422, @alainadventure
Sunday, May 28
Pixoul or it didn’t happen
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
Dinner by way of a show
Teatro is an Abu Dhabi dinner spot that’s positively passionate about putting drama into their plates, and they’ve just raised the curtains on a brand new menu. Fresh additions include, but are not limited to, alfredo linguini topped with jumbo-sized juicy prawns; a prime cut of wagyu tenderloin; a USDA sirloin; and the light and breezy salad solution, shrimp & lobster Louie.
Teatro, Park Rotana, Eastern Ring Road, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 657 3333. rotana.com
Maya-hee, Maya-who, Maya-ah, Maya-ha-ha
What price paradise? This dreamy island resort is just a 10-minute boat trip southwest of Abu Dhabi’s mainland. They’re offering a Horizon pool and beach pass from Dhs200 (weekdays) for gents (ladies are free until 2pm) but you get the full amount back as credit for food and beverages at the hotel. Weekends are a little higher at Dhs250 but you get a cool Dhs100 chunk of that back to spend on dining and drinking in the resort (or unlimited hops between midday and 3pm). Return boat transfers are included in the cost of your pass.
Al Maya Island, from Dhs200, near Presidential Palace Gate One, (use the Google Map location for Al Maya Boat Dock), 10am to 8pm. Tel: (02) 667 7777, almayauae.com