Get creative at a pottery class, celebrate Bastille Day, or head to the desert for a staycation…

The weekend is so close we can almost taste it, and if you’re looking for things to do in Abu Dhabi, you’re in the right place. We’ve got business lunches, ladies’ nights and pool days, plus creative classes, a last chance exhibition, and the final match of EURO 2024.

Here are the best things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

Friday July 12

Round out the working week with a business lunch

The latest addition to the can-do-no-wrong Antonia portfolio is Antonia Chic, which opened earlier this year at The Galleria. Available from Monday to Friday between Monday and Friday, it’s priced at Dhs135 for a starter plus pizza or pasta, or Dhs175 if you’d also like to include a gelato and coffee.

Antonia Chic, Level 2, Al Maryah Island, 12pm to 4pm, Monday to Friday, Dhs135 for two courses, Dhs175 for three courses. @antonia.uae

Head out to the desert for a dreamy staycation

Stargazers set your eyes on this glittering staycation nestled within the Arabian Desert. The Al Wathba Exploration deal includes an overnight stay in a room, suite or villa plus breakfast at Bait Al Hanine, and a complimentary guided tour of the Al Sadeem Observatory. You can also enjoy other activities such as archery or sand wheels, and you can even ride the waves at Flow Rider, so pack your swimsuits. Use promotion code 11P to book.

Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi,  Al Wathba South, rates from Dhs1,050. Tel: (0)2 204 4444. @alwathbahotel

Ease into the weekend with ladies’ night at W Lounge

W abu dhabi

Fridays are not to be missed at the W Abu Dhabi, as from 6pm to 11pm, when you buy one cocktail for Dhs85 at Yas Island’s most glamorous venue, you’ll get unlimited drinks for the rest of the evening. Cheers to that.

W Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Fridays 6pm to 11pm. Tel: (0)2 656 0000. @wabudhabi

Saturday July 13

Soak up the sun with a pool day on one of the world’s best beaches

Park Hyatt

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi is nestled on the shores of Saadiyat Island, and is a stunning spot to keep cool this summer. Enjoy a date day where weekend passes will set you back Dhs500 per couple. And if you bring the little ones along, you’ll pay Dhs150 for their entry. At the resort, you can enjoy access to five swimming pools, including one of the largest in the capital, as well as loungers on the gorgeous golden beach.

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, daily 9am to sunset, Dhs300 per couple weekdays, Dhs500 per couple weekends. @parkhyattad

Enjoy a tasting menu with a twist at Bord Eau

A contemporary French restaurant with a star chef at the helm, Bord Eau invites diners to embark on a culinary journey at the hands of chef David Tavernier with a sauce-making masterclass. Enjoy a glass of bubbly while you delve into the creative art of crafting sauces, then tuck-in to a five-course set menu from the chef, that showcases the restaurant’s signature dishes.

Bord Eau, Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Khor Al Maqta, Abu Dhabi, Tues to Sun, 6pm to 11pm, Dhs609 per person. @bordeaubynicolasisnard

Play for aces under floodlights at Marina Padel

Appreciate those picturesque waterfront views at night while playing padel under floodlights at one of Marina Padel’s four outdoor courts. You can book night sessions up till 10.30pm after dark for Dhs175 for one hour (off peak) to Dhs250 for one hour (peak).

Marina Padel, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, 5am to 10.30pm weekdays, 7am to 10.30pm weekends, from Dhs175. @marina.padel

Sunday July 14

Watch the EURO final at a popular Irish pub

Yas Bay’s brightest, most bustling venue has been showing all the EURO 2024 fun this season, and it cumulates with the England V Spain game this Sunday night. Plenty of screens, a room-y bar, all the bites and sips you’ll ever need and plenty of fans like yourself to keep the energy simmering – it’s all there.

McCafferty’s, Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 9am to 2am daily, Tel: (0)58 598 3623. @mccaffertysyas

Last chance to check out an exhibition at Louvre Abu Dhabi

Louvre abu dhabi

If you’re looking for a cultural day out, Louvre Abu Dhabi is the place to go. Until July 21, you can explore From Kalīla wa Dimna to La Fontaine: Travelling through Fables. The exhibition will take you on a journey through the cultural legacy of one of the best-known works of literature with more than 132 artworks on display. Immerse yourself in captivating fables, rare manuscripts, stunning illustrations, and the profound cultural impact that have bridged East and West for centuries.

Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, 10am to 6.30pm Tues to Thurs, 10am to 8.30pm Fri to Sun, closed Mon, Dhs63.

Get creative at a pottery class

At Abu Dhabi’s Studio Clay you can get creative with an array of workshops at their light and bright studio. The classes range from candle making to wheel throwing, and all offer two to three hours of fun – and a fabulous creation of your own to take away. There’s slots at 10.30am, 3pm and 6pm.

Studio Clay, 658 Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed St, Al Manhal, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thurs, 10.30am to 9.30pm, Dhs350 adults, Dhs200 child.

Celebrate Bastille Day at a fine French restaurant

Celebrations are in order – it’s Bastille Day and guests are invited to have a gala time at a five-course brunch featuring luxurious French delicacies like gravlax salmon with caviar, duck foie gras and more at Fouquet’s.

Fouquet’s Abu Dhabi, Louvre Abu Dhabi, 12pm to 5pm, Sunday July 14, Dhs365. Tel: (0)2 205 4200.