Turn that work week frown upside down, because the weekend is here and there’s so much going on. So don’t let this be you…
Instead, get out and enjoy our beautiful city and all the fun events popping up around town. Here’s our pick of things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend, from a South African dance show to an urban street festival and a bit of beach R&R, too.
Thursday 19th April
Even if you don’t know the first thing about jiu-jitsu, the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship is a great way to support local athletes and learn more about the martial art, which is the national sport of the UAE. Running until 28th April, the jiu-jitsu festival features world-class fighters on the mat as well as a dedicated zone where the public can learn more about the sport and even try it out for themselves. Free. Mubadala Arena, near Zayed Sports City. Most activities take place from 10am to 8pm. Visit: uaejjf.com
South African dance company Via Katlehong Dance is bringing its unique style to the capital with Via Sophiatown. The show combines styles like pantsula dancing, tap-dancing and gumboot with plenty of whistling, stomping and clapping to boot. Don’t miss this eclectic performance at Louvre Abu Dhabi complemented by live jazz music. From AED 52.35 per person. Saadiyat Island. 8pm. Visit: louvreabudhabi.ae
Friday 20th April
It’s time to burn some rubber. Grab your bike – no, not the push kind, we mean motorbikes – and get ready to mark your territory on the iconic Yas Marina Circuit. Yas Bike Day returns this week on the north circuit so you can test out the performance of your bike in the safety of the circuit, while qualified instructors are on hand to offer tips on your technique. Registration takes place from 7.30am to 8.30am. AED 590. Yas Island. 7.30am-1pm. Visit: bit.ly/biketrackday
Are you ready for a dance party? Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE is celebrating its sixth anniversary in style all weekend long. Celebrate on Friday with a line-up of international DJs including Loco Dice and Dubfire. On Saturday, it’s all about the family with a traditional Spanish brunch. From AED 310 for brunch, AED 160 for children over eight. Golden Tulip Al Jazira, Ghantoot. From 1pm. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, bluemarlinibiza-uae.com
Beat the heat at the returning Splash@Yas Marina water-themed weekend event. The seventh edition of the annual festival, hosted on Friday and Saturday, will see the marina transformed into the ultimate water-filled playground with a 30-metre Slip N Slide, a Blob Jump and much more. AED 50 for adults, AED 30 for children aged five to 21, free for children under 5. Yas Island. 1pm-7pm. Visit: yasmarina.ae/splash
Forget about a night at the museum – A Night at the Fort is taking over a historic Al Ain attraction. For one day only, visitors can explore the locked chambers of Al Jahili Fort designed and commissioned by the late Sheikh Zayed. Children can get in on the action too with a special scavenger hunt on the fort grounds to learn about artefacts, or take part in a shadow play workshop, sand drawing session and more. Free. Sultan Bin Zayed Al Awwal Street, Al Ain. 6pm-10pm. Visit: visitalain.ae
Refurbished cultural hub Manarat Al Saadiyat is tapping into the street-style trend with its Urban Weekend event on Friday and Saturday. Comprising a coffee festival, roller disco, silent party, film screenings, pop-up photography exhibition, parkour activities and even a garage sale, it’s set to be a lively event with street dance performances and live music. Saadiyat Island 5pm-11pm. Visit: manaratalsaadiyat.ae
Saturday 21st April
Eat. Swim. Repeat. That’s the aim at the new Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas where the weekend offer means you can feast on an international buffet at Sim Sim with dishes from the Middle East, Europe and Asia, then dive into the pool or head down to the pristine beach to unwind (and digest). #winning. AED 350, AED 175 for children under 12. Saadiyat Island. Fri and Sat 12.30pm-3.30pm. Contact: 02 697 0000, rotana.com
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