12 brilliant things to look forward to in Abu Dhabi this January

New year, new list…

We’re pros at making the best lists. Usually it’s new month, new list for the capital in this drill, but this one is really special, because a brand new year dawns upon us soon and kicking it off in the best way possible is an obligation. Start marking days off in your 2024 calendars, because with What’s On, the fun never stops.

Here are 12 exciting things to do in Abu Dhabi this January…

Kick off the new year at Turquoise Restaurant

Turquoise Restaurant

When: January 1

Brunch fans, usher in 2023 with an al fresco feast in the serene outdoors of Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island. Expect a spread of gourmet dishes and live carvings, paired with an exquisite selection of holiday-inspired beverages. You will enjoy your brunch with the harmonious sounds of the waves and the cool sea breeze.

Turquoise Restaurant, Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi; Jan 1, 2024; Tel: (0)2 492 2222; @rixospremiumsaadiyat

Witness Broadway magic with Hamilton

When: January 17

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece takes to the stage this month
at the Etihad Arena. Watch as ‘the story of America then is told by America now’. Tickets start at Dhs180.

Hamilton, Etihad Arena, Yas Island, Jan 17, 2024, tickets from Dhs180, Tel: (600) 511115, etihadarena.ae

History and heritage at the Al Hosn Festival

Qasr Al Hosn

When: January 19 to 28

Hosted, quite appropriately, at the birthplace of Abu Dhabi’s cultural scene, Al Hosn Festival is a celebration of the heritage that makes the capital as we know it today. Head to Qasr Al Hosn and travel back in time with live performances, family fun and

Al Hosn Festival, Qasr Al Hosn, Al Hisn, W3, Jan 19 to 28, ticket prices TBC. abudhabiculture.ae

Greek dining goodness at Éla Éla

ela ela

When: Throughout January

Find Mediterranean hospitality and family get-togethers at Éla Éla in Yas Marina. Newly opened and flourishing on the scene, this spot is all about authentic Greek
delicacies and memorable experiences.

Éla Éla, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Mon to Thurs 5pm to 12am, Fri to Sun 12pm to 12am, Tel: (0) 56 603 7500, @elaela.ae

Chinese New Year with the National Ballet of China

chinese ballet

When: January 26 to 27

The National Ballet of China will be presenting this reimagining of Tchaikovsky’s much loved ‘The Nutcracker’ at the Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, to celebrate the Chinese New Year in never-before-seen style. Shows at various times. Tickets start at Dhs100.

Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi, Jan 26 t0 27, 2024, tickets from Dhs100, Tel: (0) 2 690 9000, abudhabifestival.ae

Super sporting action at the DP World ILT20


When: January 19 to February 17

High-octane cricket ILT20’s second season lands in the UAE with some of the biggest
names in the world marking their guard this January. The tournament will be contested
across Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, and you don’t want to miss a single ball.

DP World International League T20, January 19 to February 17 2024, tickets from Dhs20 at virginmegastore.me.@ilt20official

Invoke the greats with the Puccini Opera Gala


When: January 31

A fitting tribute to the legacy of the late Giacomo Puccini, the Orchestra of the Puccini Festival at Torre Del Lago will perform at the sprawling Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental for one night only. Tickets start at Dhs100.

Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi, Jan 31, 2024, tickets from Dhs100, Tel: (0) 2 690 9000, abudhabifestival.ae

Michelin-star dining at Erth

When: Throughout January

The newest addition to the capital’s roster of Michelin-star restaurants is Erth, having been awarded one star as part of the 2024 Michelin Guide. Sample authentic Emirati fare at this new cultural icon in the city.

Erth, Qasr Al Hosn, Abu Dhabi, @erth.alhosn

Amazing aquatic competition with SailGP

When: January 13 and 14

SailGP comes to Mina Zayed in January, so get set for amazing waterside action as the world’s most exciting aquatic sports display thrills you. World class athletes will compete in hydrofoil catamarans in a fierce two-day competition, gunning for the finish line from close to the shore.

SailGP, Jan 13 and 14, 2024, @sailgp

Dance the night away with Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey

When: January 6

Grammy Award-winning Mariah Carey will be kicking off the first-ever Saadiyat Nights, a three-month music festival that will bring a slew of musical superstars to the island. Get ready to belt out belt out a string of her best-loved hits from the decades, including Hero, One Sweet Day, and Always Be My Baby.

Saadiyat Nights, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, Jan 6 to March 6, from Dhs200. ticketmaster.ae

A night of classical music with Andrea Bocelli

Andrea Bocelli

When: January 27

On January 27, world-renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli returns to the capital for the first time since 2022. He will be performing as part of Saadiyat Nights on Saadiyat Island. Fans can expect to hear a selection of the celebrated classical artist’s most iconic songs, including Time To Say Goodbye and Vivo Por Lei.

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Saadiyat Nights, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, Jan 6 to March 6, from Dhs200. ticketmaster.ae

Light things up with with Manar Abu Dhabi

manar abu dhabi

When: Throughout January

While visiting the many stunning light installations and exhibitions across the capital, you can catch multicultural audiovisual performances, musicals, poetry, hip-hop, free flow dances, and all that jazz. It’s the perfect platform to explore the treasure trove of talent in this region, taking a deep dive into the work of award-winning artists, poets, musicians, and other curators from around the world.


Images: Socials/Supplied