It’s giving holiday vibes…

“My what fabulous plans you have” said Little Red Riding Hood, a focused gaze locked on the hairier-than-usual forearms of her supposed grandmother. “All the better for enjoying oneself” replied the lupine old dear, in remarkably clear conversational English. And they were fabulous plans, the two passed an enchanted weekend in Abu Dhabi, eating their fill, generally having a lovely time, and forgetting about predator-prey dynamics. If you’d like to live happily ever after too, we’ve put together a few short chapters on how.

Friday, June 2


Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi has some absolutely huge summer deals (take their National Aquarium package for example, which includes access to the Atlantian attraction, a one night stay at the hotel, Dhs500 f&b credit, a treatment at the Chi Spa and 25 per cent off a full body massage, and more from Dhs920). We love the sound of Friday’s Gongfu Tea Ceremony too — a millennia’s old ritual performed by the hotel’s skilled Tea Master, Liu Ping and available between 6pm and 8pm on Fridays until the end of August, charged at Dhs168.

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, Khor al Maqta. @shangrilaabudhabi

Home is where the art is

Art on the walls, art on the plates, art in their heart. Abu Dhabi’s Art House Cafe is all about providing a passionate experience, and the dining element is at the core of that. They’ve got a massive menu but their famous shakshoka is probably our pick of the brunch. Every inch feels, and smells like a truly inspirational, creative space, surrounded by botanical greens and abstract scenes. And because its a place that celebrates the creative spark, you can go full Picasso on a plate for Dhs20, there’s the option to paint masks (Dhs30) or a miniature brick painting (Dhs10).

Al Huwelat St, Bateen Area, Opp Al Bateen Villa No 15, 10am to midnight. Tel: (02) 666 0175. @arthousecafead

Busman’s holiday

Wanderlust can be an expensive habit to have, but there are ways to feed that need for adventure that won’t break the bank. We’ve put together some of our favourite ways to explore and escape the emirate with affordable pricing, and priceless memory-making. All aboard the fun bus. We’ve compiled a list of all our favourite bus journeys available from and within Abu Dhabi right now, including Fujairah day trips, Al Ain and of course Dubai.

Saturday, June 3

Re: Cycling

Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi is hosting a fun Community Bicycle Ride in aid of World Bicycle Day, in partnership with top bike brand Electra. Pushing off from the stunning marina breakwater sentinel at 6am this Saturday, riders will take a scenic 20km route past and through some of the city’s most iconic landmarks – spinning pedals past blissed out vistas and rejoicing in the fact that hills in the city of Abu Dhabi are a rare and fleeting as packs of feral polar bears. After the ride, cyclists can enjoy a return to the hotel with refreshments available at pop-up kiosks.

Make sure you register your interest via an online registration form in advance

Dip, sip and chips

The La Famiglia Brunch with pool Access package at Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi gives you access to the hotel’s hugely popular family-style pass-around table-side brunch, as well as completely complimentary pool and beach access. Price: Dhs 180 soft beverages, Dhs280 with house beverages

Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Residences Emirates Pearl, West Corniche, Corniche Rd. Tel: (02) 510 1234, @grandhyattabudhabi 

Escape from AUH-katraz

Taking inspiration from iconic TV shows, The Crystal Maze and Fort Boyard, Prison Island – Beat the Bars is a new adventure experience now open at Abu Dhabi Mall. Set over a 1,000m² expanse, this is no escape room — it’s a network of 26 individual ‘cells’ featuring tasks each more fiendishly conundrous (shhh, that’s a word) than the last, and you’ll have to beat them all if you want to escape the island, with winner’s bragging rights.

Abu Dhabi Mall, Dhs125,

Moonlit marathons

OK, not a marathon – but the 3km and 5km night fun runs available at Hudayriyat this Saturday do sound like a great way to get in some atmospheric alfresco gains. The loop will take you past the twinkling lights of Marsana, a section of the Heritage Trail, Bab Al Nojoum campground, and the fab 321 Sports complex. Participants can expect mood lighting and discount vouchers for Modon destinations.

Marsana, Hudayriyat Island, Sat June 3 6pm to 10pm, 3km run Dhs30, 5km run Dhs45. @marsana.hudayriyat 

Sunday, June 4

The night’s watch

For many people, night golf likely conjures images of belting drives at Topgolf or weaving a ball through windmills and waterfalls at miniature golf. But Abu Dhabi Golf Club offers classic play on The Garden Course, its premium nine-hole golf course, illuminated by a state-of-the-art floodlight system that allows for play from dawn until dusk. With four different tee options, this course is perfect for beginners looking to practice their skills before tackling the full Championship Course. Non-member prices start from Dhs225. @abudhabigolfclub


Between June 1 and July 12, Bawabat Al Sharq Mall is running a shop and win competition with some truly astounding prizes. Spend Dhs200 at any store (Dhs400 is required for at Carrefour) for entry into a draw to win a very cool new Volkswagen Teramont – the SUV of VIPs.

Bawabat Al Sharq Mall, Bani Yas, 10am to 10pm weekday, 10am to midnight weekend. @bawabatalsharqmall

Desperately in Louvre with culture

louvre abu dhabi

Abu Dhabi is home to a treasure trove of galleries, musems and culturally significant awesomeness. We recommend you take a quick look at our guide to some of the local highbrow highlights. But if we were to pick one, it’d be Louvre Abu Dhabi. In addition to housing one of the most beautifully curated, story-telling collections of art and objets-de-wow, they host movie nights, there’s a children’s museum, make and play sessions, paint and grape nights, special exhibitions (right now you can catch Bollywood Superstars) and even guided drawing tours. Held every Wednesday and lead by the Museum Educator you’ll learn insider skills, artistic trickery and see a different side to this world-class museum.

Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, every Wed 4.30pm to 6.30pm, Dhs81.50 (includes admission to museum, usually Dhs63). Tel: (02) 6736 688.

Images: Provided