Wishing you a beautiful weekend Abu Dhabi…
Free time, me time, family time, bestie time, rest time, fiesta time — however you’re planning on spending your weekend, we’ve got ideas to help you fill it, and we think, they’re well worth your time.
Friday, January 13
The Godfather of Friday brunches
Hit cheat day right in the throat with a conveyor belt of authentic Naples staples and rustic Mediterranean classics at the Dino’s Friday evening brunch. Formaggio lovers should also be aware that the Friday evening session (Saturday and Sunday day brunch seatings are available too) comes with a dedicated cheese & antipasti station.
Pearl Rotana Capital Centre – Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, near ADNEC, every Fri three hours between 6.30pm and 11pm, Dhs190 soft, Dhs250 house including cocktails. Tel: (02) 307 5551, @pearlrotana
A Canadian-Filipino, a Brit and a Greek walk into a bar. It’s an Abu Dhabi bar. I should have said that before sorry. Let me start again. A Canadian-Filipino, a Brit and a Greek walk into an Abu Dhabi bar. It’s inside Park Rotana. Look we’re absolutely butchering this, but we promise the punchline is a grade-A medical emergency, side-splitting, stop-I-can’t-breathe zinger. We’re afraid you’ll have to wait until the ominously time stamped Friday 13 (January) *ghost noises* to hear it though. This is the time and place that marks the long awaited return of the Laughter Factory to Abu Dhabi.
Park Rotana, Khalifa Park area, Fri 13 Jan from 8.30pm, Dhs160. Tickets must be purchased in advance via the thelaughterfactory.com website. Tel: (050) 878 6728
Rock the Qasr
At the birthplace of Abu Dhabi’s cultural scene, there’s set to be a 10-day festival of creativity and culture this January as Al Hosn festival returns. Exploring Abu Dhabi’s historic traditions and its connections to contemporary and newly emerging cultures, expect live performances, family workshops, food & beverage stalls, art & cultural exhibits, immersive trails, re-enactments, and more. Vistors can also make their way to the brand new and just aesthetically stunning Erth Restaurant, with a menu heavily influenced by local culinary flare. Dishes include deconstructed date cake, luqaimat, Bzar marinated beef short ribs, wagyu beef striploin, and fresh torched salmon crudo.
Al Hosn Festival, Al Hosn, 4pm to 11pm, January 13 to 22, 2023, Dhs30. Tickets from platinumlist.net
Stars under the stars
Cinema in the Park is back at Umm Al Emarat Park — a series of free-to-watch (although you need to pay the Dhs10 entry park entrance fee) movies screening every Friday and Saturday outside of sweat season. This weekend’s (Fri Jan 13 and Sat Jan 14) line-up includes the affirmatory tale of an Elephant with an anatomically specific case of gigantism that leads him on a journey of discovery, to make friends with mice in tunics and eventually earn the peace that comes from truly knowing, and loving yourself. Dumbo, it’s Dumbo (although whether it’s the new live action/animated classic you’ll have to wait and see). On Saturday there’s another Disney showing, this time it’s Raya and the Last Dragon. A massively underrated modern animation with a red hot castlist, compelling female lead, high-spice humour and a mature core message that ‘difference helps give life meaning, value and beauty”. I mean your four year old probably won’t get it on a metaphysically analytical level but these themes sink in all the same.
You’ll find showings at 6pm and 8pm — and popcorn is available to purchase on site. Mushrif area, entry to the park is charged at Dhs10 per person. Located at Umm Al Emarat Park, ummalemaratpark.ae
Saturday, January 14
A cheeky Tiki upgrade
Built on stilts above the Al Bandar Marina is the Polynesian dining experience. The restaurant’s overhaul is bringing a fresh dining concept to an already fantastic venue. The perfect place to head to for any special occasion, sundowners, or just a bite to eat, their menu includes a combination of hand-picked Polynesian dishes with some Western fusion.
Pacifico Tiki Dining and Lounge, Al Bandar, Al Raha Beach, open daily from midday to 2am. Tel: (0) 50 696 9298 pacificiotiki.com
Market on your calendar
One of our favourite homegrown markets is now fully settled in at its new home in the capital. Ripe Market Al Maryah Island takes place every Friday and Saturday. Al Maryah Island’s South Plaza will be transformed into a bustling market space — filled with exotic articles of curiosity-piquing allure and the calls and stalls of a dizzying mix of merchants. Those keen on the pursuit of perusal can expect vibrant food and entertainment options, alongside all the covetous craft trinkets and soothing soundtrack of the lapping sea. Kid-distracting-attractions include slime making (sorry parents) and petting zoos.
Al Maryah Island Abu Dhabi, Fri and Sat 2 3pm to 10pm, Tel:(0)55 543 1282, ripeme.com
Do you ever feel, like a plastic bag?
Every Saturday at 10pm, enjoy some of the biggest and most elaborate fireworks displays, which light up the Al Wathba skies. Enjoy spectacular colours and dazzling formations alongside laser and hologram shows.
Sheikh Zayed Festival, Al Wathba, 4pm to midnight daily until March, 18 2023, Dhs5. zayedfestival.ae
Sunday, January 15
3 RE: Fils
Forget Addidas x Gucci, Tiffany’s x Fendi, or Chips Oman x my sandwich — we’re calling it, the most exciting collaboration to land in Abu Dhabi in 2023 so far is the (MENA 50 Best’s No. 1 restaurant, and the now Michelin Guide-recognised) 3Fils x BRIX x Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, ‘Around the World’ 12-course degustation menu. This genuinely iconic culinary partnership, operating amongst a dreamscape of deep desert dunes is available to enjoy every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from now until the end of March 2023, is served alongside “free-spirited beverages”
Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, Liwa Desert. Thursday, Friday and Saturday until March 31, 2023, Dhs900. Book at anantara.com
Simply the Baz’d
Now open at The Galleria, Barry’s is on a mission to get you looking like hawt to trawt. Self-billed as the ‘The Best Workout in the World’ — there’s some muscle behind that claim. The HIIT classes that take place in their famous Red Room (sporting a low red-lit rave vibe, that makes everybody look good) can burn up to 1,000 calories in a session. Here your workout is split by intermittent switches between floor work and treadmill beasting, resulting in an all-round physical tune-up.
Barry’s, The Galleria Al Maryah Island. Tel: (02) 582 0755, @barrysuae
Planting good habbits
Abu Dhabi’s first permanent five-star uniquely vegan brunch at Market at EDITION is currently taking place on Saturday amd Sunday. You’ll find an entirely cruelty-free, plant-based three-course culinary extravaganza with palate highlights of — King Kale Salad, Cauliflower Tabbouleh, Charred Aubergine Steak and Black Rice Pudding.
The Abu Dhabi Edition, Sat and Sun (two hour package) 1pm to 5pm, soft Dhs155, house Dhs255. Tel: (0)2 208 0000. @abudhabiedition