What's On (Abu Dhabi) - - CONTENTS -

Bucket list ac­tiv­i­ties you sim­ply must try if you live in the su­per emi­rate of Abu Dhabi. How many have you ticked off our list al­ready?

01 Make a splash at Yas Water­world

There are 40 rides wait­ing for you at Yas Is­land’s aqua park, and new for 2018 is Cine­s­plash, the re­gion’s first ever wa­ter cin­ema. Le­gend Of The Lost Pearl is a 5D movie ex­pe­ri­ence that will see you in a theatre that floods with wa­ter up to your knees, plus there are wa­ter ex­plo­sions, mov­ing seats and more.


02 Ride the world’s fastest roller­coaster

There are many rea­sons to visit Fer­rari World on Yas Is­land, but For­mula Rossa has to be the big­gest – get ready to scream on a roller­coaster that reaches a jaw drop­ping 240kph in just 4.9 sec­onds.


03 Meet Bugs Bunny

The city’s new­est theme park only opened this July but is al­ready a must-see at­trac­tion – in­side Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi are 29 rides for thrill seek­ers plus a va­ri­ety of char­ac­ters such as that leg­endary rab­bit, plus The Flint­stones, Scooby Doo, Won­der Woman, The Joker and Bat­man. They all live in six zones, in­clud­ing DC Comic’s Gotham City and the desert world of Dy­na­mite Gulch, home to the likes of Yosemite Sam.


04 Go dune bash­ing

Al Khatem is a just a 45 minute drive from Abu Dhabi down the Al Ain road, and here you’ll find loads of sand dunes. And they’re per­fect for driv­ing SUVs and bug­gies up and down them. Abu Dhabi Desert Sa­fari host morn­ing and evening trips, plus overnight sa­fari trips where you can camp Be­douin-style.


05 Visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Ev­ery Abu Dhabian has to visit here at least once. It’s one of the world’s largest mosques and has 82 domes, more than 1,000 col­umns, 24 carat gold gilded chan­de­liers and the world’s largest hand knot­ted car­pet.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, free. Tel: (02) 4191919. Taxi: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. szgmc.ae



Abu Dhabi’s fu­tur­is­tic city near the air­port is a re­new­ables and sus­tain­able en­ergy hub, com­plete with driver­less cars, a wind tower to reg­u­late the tem­per­a­ture and some smart restau­rants such as Jim’s Kitchen Ta­ble. They're open­ing a mall here soon, too.


07 Head to Sir Bani Yas Is­land

It’s a wildlife re­serve, a lux­ury hol­i­day re­sort, an ad­ven­ture play­ground and so much more. You’ll find it in Abu Dhabi’s Western Re­gion and the is­land has sev­eral five-star ho­tels, his­tor­i­cal sites, and more than 13,000 an­i­mals in­clud­ing Ara­bian Oryx, gazelles and gi­raffes, hye­nas and chee­tahs. You can also try moun­tain bik­ing, archery, kayak­ing and more.


08 Look up Jebel Hafeet

Abu Dhabi’s high­est peak at 1,240m, you’ll find the “empty moun­tain” as it’s called in Ara­bic, in Al Ain. Its wind­ing turns make it a great road to drive up. At its base are an­cient burial tombs that date back an in­cred­i­ble 5,000 years.

09 Sky­dive in­doors!

Yes, you read that right. You can ac­tu­ally float at Abu Dhabi Coun­try Club’s in­door sky­div­ing cen­tre, where you’ll be pushed off the ground by a max­i­mum wind speed of 160kph. There’s a weight limit of 85kg.

Abu Dhabi Coun­try Club, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, daily noon to 9pm, Dhs180 for two min­utes, Dhs290 for four min­utes. Tel: (02) 6577601. Taxi: Abu Dhabi Coun­try Club. ad­coun­tryclub.com

10 A bendy ho­tel

You’ll know it as the Hy­att Cap­i­tal Gate, but from later this year it’ll be­come the An­daz Cap­i­tal Gate. An­daz means “per­sonal style” in Hindi and the re­boot will trans­form it into a bou­tique-style ho­tel. One thing won’t change, though – it’s still the world’s fur­thest man-made lean­ing build­ing, with an 18° in­cline.

Al Safraat, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 5961100. Taxi: Hy­att Cap­i­tal Gate, by Ad­nec. an­daz.hy­att.com

11 Tuck into a gold camel burger

You won’t be asked if you want one hump or two, but did you know our drom­e­dary friends have many uses, in­clud­ing giv­ing milk? Un­for­tu­nately for them, they are very tasty as well. Le Café at Emi­rates Palace’s sig­na­ture burger fea­tures meat from a camel raised in Al Ain, grilled aubergine and hal­loumi and a bun cov­ered in 23-karat gold flakes.

Emi­rates Palace, West Cor­niche Road, Abu Dhabi, daily 6.30am to 1am, Dhs110. Tel: (02) 6909000. Taxi: Emi­rates Palace. kempin­ski.com


Visit one of the largest forts in the UAE in the gar­den city of Al Ain, which was built to de­fend the city and made with nat­u­ral cli­mate-con­trolled mud brick. Work started on it back in 1891 and it was fin­ished in 1898 and it was reg­u­larly vis­ited dur­ing sum­mer months by Abu Dhabi’s Al Nay­han rul­ing fam­ily.

Al Jahili Fort, Al Ain, Tue to Thur and Sat, 9am to 5pm, Fri 3pm to 5pm, free. Tel: (03) 7118311. Taxi: Be­hind Al Jahili Park near Al Ain Rotana ho­tel. vis­itabud­habi.ae


13 Eat in a re­volv­ing res­tau­rant

Stratos is the name of Le Royal Méri­dien’s re­volv­ing rooftop res­tau­rant that serves spec­tac­u­lar views of Abu Dhabi as well as good food. The grilled oc­to­pus with hazel­nuts and the braised short ribs come with the What’s On seal of ap­proval.

Le Royal Méri­dien, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Wed 5pm to 1am, Thur to Fri 5pm to 3am. Tel: (02) 6742020. Taxi: Le Royal Méri­dien. stratosabud­habi.com

14 Jump in a kayak

Abu Dhabi’s man­groves of­fer the chance to get up close and per­sonal with some lo­cal wildlife and get some ex­er­cise at the same time. Sea Hawk Wa­ter Sports of­fer trips that last about two hours.


15 At­tend the F1

This year marks the 10th an­niver­sary of race week­end in the cap­i­tal, and as well as the fast cars, there’s mu­sic head­lin­ers in­clud­ing Bri­tish pop star Sam Smith and US rock­ers Guns N’ Roses. Buy a ticket to watch the ac­tion on the track for ac­cess to all the gigs at the du Arena. Novem­ber 22 to 25

Yas Ma­rina Cir­cuit, Yas Is­land, Abu Dhabi, tick­ets from Dhs995. Tel: (800) 927. Taxi: Yas Ma­rina Cir­cuit. yas­mari­nacir­cuit.com

16 Get fit at a For­mula One track

There’s not many places in the world where you can run and cy­cle round a For­mula One track, but you can in the cap­i­tal. TrainYas ses­sions run Sun­day nights, Tues­days and on Wed­nes­days (the lat­ter be­ing ladies only). You can rent a bike and hel­met and free wa­ter top­ups are also pro­vided.

Yas Ma­rina Cir­cuit, Yas Is­land, Abu Dhabi, Sun and Tue 6pm to 10pm, Wed 6pm to 9pm, free, pre­reg­is­ter­ing rec­om­mended. Tel: (02) 6599800. Taxi: Yas Ma­rina Cir­cuit, Yas Is­land. yas­mari­nacir­cuit.com

17 Take af­ter­noon tea in the sky

Per­haps the most deca­dent way to en­joy some scones and sarnies in the cap­i­tal is on the 74th floor of Jumeirah At Eti­had Tow­ers. The Ob­ser­va­tion Deck also of­fers 360° views of the city sky­line.

Jumeirah At Eti­had Tow­ers, West Cor­niche, Abu Dhabi, daily 2pm to 6pm, Dhs250. Tel: (02) 8115666. Taxi: Jumeirah At Eti­had Tow­ers. jumeirah.com

18 Visit a scary moun­tain

Liwa’s Tal Moreeb dune isn’t ac­tu­ally that scary, even if it goes by the name “scary moun­tain” – in fact the world’s tallest sand dune looks pretty spec­tac­u­lar and is home to events such as the Liwa Sports Fes­ti­val. Camp­ing on the dunes is also rec­om­mended.


A culi­nary fes­ti­val that has be­come a must-do event for the city’s res­i­dents. Tak­ing place ev­ery Novem­ber, the du Arena is over­run with celeb chefs, cook­ery de­mos, food trucks and live mu­sic. This year’s event takes place Novem­ber 8 to 10 and chefs booked to ap­pear so far in­clude Bri­tish le­gend Gary Rhodes. There’ll be mu­sic from former Girls Aloud star Na­dine Coyle and The Boot­leg Bea­tles. taste­abud­habi.com

20 Go to the zoo

Es­tab­lished by Sheikh Zayed in 1968 and cov­er­ing an im­pres­sive 400 hectares, Al Ain’s zoo has re­branded it­self as a sa­fari park and con­ser­va­tion hub in re­cent years. In­side you’ll find chimps, ba­boons, oryx, gi­raffes, gazelles, croc­o­diles and a Ben­gal tiger, plus the world’s largest group of Ara­bian sand cats.

Al Ain Zoo, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, daily 9am to 8pm, Dhs10 to Dhs30. Tel: (03) 7992000. Taxi: Al Ain Zoo. alain­zoo.ae

21 Ad­mire the city sky­line from a plane

Seaw­ings have been of­fer­ing tours of the cap­i­tal from their planes for sev­eral years now, with a wa­ter take-off and land­ing thrown in for good mea­sure from Yas Ma­rina. Trips usu­ally take around 30 min­utes and take in many of the city’s top land­marks in­clud­ing the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Flights also leave from Emi­rates Palace.

Sea Wings, Emi­rates Palace and Yas Ma­rina, Abu Dhabi, call for prices. Taxi: Emi­rates Palace and Yas Ma­rina. seaw­ings.ae

22 Shoot to thrill

Bat­tle Park UAE is the re­gion’s big­gest paint­ball and air­soft park – its themed play­ing fields (with names such as Zom­bie Wars and Cas­tle Siege) cover a whop­ping half a mil­lion square feet of land in Ghan­toot.

Bat­tle Park UAE, Ghan­toot, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Thur 6pm to mid­night, Fri to Sat 10am to 10pm, from Dhs80. Tel: (800) 228853. Taxi: Ghan­toot, near the Golden Tulip ho­tel. bat­tlepark.ae

23 Take on a Crazyshake

Peo­ple queue for hours at the NYC branch of Black Tap to try a shake, but you’ll find no such wait­ing times at the Yas Mall branch. Which means more times to try one of their famous freak­shake mon­strosi­ties such as the Sweet N’ Salty, a peanut but­ter shake that comes with pret­zel sticks, whipped cream, M&Ms stuck around the rim of the glass and peanut but­ter choco­lates, too.

Yas Mall, Yas Is­land, Abu Dhabi, Thur to Sat 11am to mid­night, Sun to Wed 11am to 11pm. Tel: (800) 9276255. Taxi: Yas Mall. black­tapme.com

24 See Sheikh Zayed’s home

It’s the Year Of Zayed, mean­ing it’s an ap­pro­pri­ate time to ex­plore Qasr Al Muwaiji. The UAE’s found­ing fa­ther lived here and it has now been re­stored and re­opened as a mu­seum and per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tion. It has plenty of royal con­nec­tions, too – His High­ness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Pres­i­dent of the UAE, spent a lot of his early years here.

Qasr Al Muwaji, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (03) 7674444. Taxi: Qasr Al Muwaji. qas­ral­muwaiji.ae

25 Visit a UNESCO site

There’s sev­eral World Her­itage sites (an area of cul­tural, his­tor­i­cal or sci­en­tific sig­nif­i­cance) in Abu Dhabi, in­clud­ing the afore­men­tioned


You’ll feel like you’ve es­caped to a re­mote is­land in the Mal­dives, when you’ll ac­tu­ally only be a few kilo­me­tres from Saadiyat. Zaya Nurai Is­land is a five-star eco-re­sort, with a spa, six restau­rants in­clud­ing a Mex­i­can and a Le­vant seafood out­let, plus wa­ter sports such as jet ski­ing. If you’re look­ing for a ro­man­tic get­away in the cap­i­tal, Zaya Nurai could be the per­fect place.



Jebel Hafeet Tombs, plus Hili Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Park, which dates back to be­tween 2500BCE and 2000BCE. You’ll also find Bronze Age set­tle­ments, one of which shows ev­i­dence of agriculture in the UAE 5,000 years ago. You can also check out ar­ti­facts from the sites at Al Ain Na­tional Mu­seum.


27 Emi­rates Na­tional Auto Mu­seum

The UAE is well known for its flash cars (even the po­lice have Lam­bos here) but for a truly unique take on the au­to­mo­bile, head to the Western Re­gion to see the pri­vate col­lec­tion of Sheikh Ha­mad Bin Ham­dan Al Nahyan, known as the ‘Rain­bow Sheikh’. The mu­seum fea­tures more than 200 mod­i­fied cars blinged to the ex­treme. Lo­cated south of the cap­i­tal, on the road to Liwa, you can see weird and wacky cre­ations in­clud­ing a Mercedes sedan with mon­ster truck wheels, plus clas­sic mo­tors from the 1920s and gi­ant jeeps (four times the size of a nor­mal one) fit­ted with re­frig­er­a­tors.


28 Look up at the stars

All that man-made light de­tracts from the beau­ti­ful stars you can see in the night’s sky in this re­gion. But there is a way to see them, at Abu Dhabi’s ob­ser­va­tory. You’ll find it near Al Wathba’s cy­cle and camel race­tracks (it’s on Google Maps) and it’s open three days a week to the pub­lic. Stargaz­ers can peer at the night sky through a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent-sized tele­scopes and you can also camp there – they’ll sup­ply the tents and camp­fires.

Al Sadeem Ob­ser­va­tory, Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, Tue, Thur and Sat, 6pm to 4am, Dhs75. Tel: (056) 3138222. Taxi: Al Wathba, near camel track and sta­bles. al­sadeemas­tron­omy.ae

30 Lou­vre Abu Dhabi

Doesn’t time fly? The cap­i­tal’s iconic mu­seum opened last Oc­to­ber and from September 18, it’ll be home to the world’s most ex­pen­sive pant­ing (Leonardo da Vinci's Sal­va­tor Mundi), but there’s so many rea­sons to visit, one of them be­ing the jaw drop­ping struc­ture de­signed by French ar­chi­tect Jean Nou­vel. You can check out an ex­hi­bi­tion of Ja­panese art at the cul­tural hub this month, too.

Lou­vre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Is­land, Abu Dhabi, Dhs60, un­der-12s free. Tel: (600) 565566. Taxi: Lou­vre. lou­vre­abud­habi.ae


This Sheikh Zayed trib­ute took six years to build, and its cen­tre­piece is a 3D sil­hou­ette of his face, known as The Con­stel­la­tion: it’s made of 1,327 geo­met­ric shapes sus­pended from a 30m tall cube.

The Founder’s Memo­rial, Cor­niche, Abu Dhabi, free. Tel: (02) 2222235. Taxi: near Emi­rates Palace. the­founder­smemo­rial.ae




Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.