Make the most of the upcoming Eid holiday with our round-up of the best things to do around town.
Eid al-Adha is observed by more than 1.8 billion Muslims around the world. The celebration marks the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, also known as Hajj, as well as commemorating the sacrifice of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). This year, the festival is expected to begin on 22nd August, which could mean a long weekend is just around the corner.
There’s plenty going on in Abu Dhabi during the holiday, too, whether you plan on spending it with family, friends or loved ones.
Putting on a three-night dinner and a show, Cipriani at Yas Marina is a great spot to feast over Eid. Tuck into classic Italian dishes like carpaccio alla Cipriani, risotto primavera or vanilla crème meringue. You can also sample limited edition dishes, available until the end of August, featuring seasonal ingredients like porcini mushrooms. Enjoy great views of the marina with one of the best seats in the house to see the fireworks explode on Yas Island. Booking recommended. Yas Marina, Yas Island. Daily during Eid 6pm-midnight, fireworks 9pm. Contact: 02 657 5400, firstname.lastname@example.org
For a family-friendly brunch, head to this all-day-dining spot for four days of good food inspired by flavours of Arabia from 21st to 24th August. On Friday there will also be activities for the kids including face-painting and a bouncy castle. From AED 240 with soft drinks, AED 120 for children aged six to 12 years. Fatima Bint Mubarak Street. Daily 1pm-4pm. Contact: 02 674 2020, leroyalmeridienabudhabi.com
This seafood destination serves good food in ocean-themed interiors. With aquariums all around you it’s hard not to feel a little guilty when you tuck into Flounder’s buddy, but this place does the fare justice. With almost every type of fishy cuisine imaginable, take your pick from prawns, calamari, sushi, sashimi, salmon and more. What’s more, little ones eat for free across all three days of Eid al-Adha. Booking recommended. Yas Marina, Yas Island. Wed-Sat noon-7pm. Contact: 02 565 0007, facebook.com/aquariumseafood
Roberto’s is hosting a four-course brunch complete with antipasti, starters, mains and desserts. Take your pick between dining in the restaurant or lounge while children below the age of ten dine for free. Enjoy authentic Italian dishes like burrata con pomodorini and risotto ai funghi porcini while the little ones dive into specials from the kids menu like margherita pizza, spaghetti Bolognese and gnocchi with mozzarella. Booking recommended. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island. 22nd-24th August noon-4pm. Contact: 02 627 9009, email@example.com
Fancy dinner and a show? Get yourself over to Cascade Dining where family shows including Aladdin, 1001 Arabian Nights, The Last Voyage of Sinbad and The Magic Lamp are being shown three times a day over Eid. When you get hungry, you can take your pick from restaurants serving everything from Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Italian to Asian and American, all accompanied by entertainment from the water fountain shows taking place every half hour. Visitors can also take part in arts and crafts classes in the heritage themed area. 21st-25th August. Free entry. Yas Mall, Yas Island. Daily 4pm-10pm. Visit: cascadedining.ae
Hilton Abu Dhabi is hosting an Arabic buffet lunch at all-day-dining restaurant La Terrazza where you can feast on traditional dishes such as lamb ouzi, freekeh with quail,
shrimp machbous and lamb with mandi rice as well as shawarma from a live carving station. 21st-24th August. From AED 165. Corniche West. 12.30pm-3.30pm. Contact:
02 692 4247, hilton.com
Want to enjoy a staycation this Eid? Then go all out and enjoy a getaway at the iconic Emirates Palace where during Eid you can enjoy an upgrade to the next room category when you book a night’s stay. The package includes an international buffet breakfast, 15 percent discount across nine of the hotel’s food and beverage outlets, a personal butler service and access to the lavish pools and private beach. Valid for bookings between 21st and 25th August. From AED 1,205 per night. Corniche West. Contact: 02 690 8888, firstname.lastname@example.org
Yas Marina is hosting a three-day Eid al-Adha Festival where you can tuck into international cuisine at one of the venue’s restaurants, whether it’s Mediterranean at Diablito or American at sports spot Stars ‘N’ Bars. The main event will be the dazzling fireworks display set to light up the sky at 9pm.
What better way to watch the show than from the water aboard a dhow while sipping Arabic coffee and munching on dates? Captain Tony’s is offering an Eid dhow cruise from AED 100 for adults and AED 50 for children aged six to 12 years. Yas Marina, Yas Island. Dhow cruise 8.30pm, fireworks show 9pm. Visit: yasmarina.ae
Things will heat up fast at Ferrari World, where the park will play host to a live cook-off between some of the top chefs on the island on 23rd August from 2pm.
From 22nd to 26th August, visitors to the theme park will also be able to enjoy culturally inspired celebrations, including a themed maze, a storytelling experience and meeting perfume makers and fishermen. From AED 295. Yas Island. Daily 11am–8pm. Visit: ferrariworldabudhabi.com
With events taking place over five days, there’s something for the whole family at The Galleria. Sample traditional coffee and dates in the Arabian tent, enjoy having henna done, or get a piece of personalised Arabic calligraphy or sand art. On level 1 you can catch a traditional ayyalah dance performance while on level 2, little ones can get creative at the arts and crafts station. 20th-24th August. Free. Al Maryah Island. Daily 3pm-9pm. Contact: 02 616 6999, thegalleria.ae
The adventurous little Masha and her circus sidekick, Bear, are bringing their escapades to Marina Mall this Eid. Join the popular character and her best friend as they take to the stage across three days in a show that includes acrobatic performances, sing-a-longs and dancing. There will also be hands-on activities, arts and crafts, photo dress-ups and other games taking place across the mall. 22nd-24th August, dates may vary. Standard tickets AED 10. Abu Dhabi Breakwater. Times to be confirmed. Contact: 800 66 23, marinamall.ae
Yas Marina Circuit
Head over to Yas Marina Circuit to live out your racing dreams with a variety of driver and passenger experiences. Choose from an Aston Martin GT4, a Mercedes-AMG GTS, Jaguar F-type S Coupe or Formula Yas 3000 and experience the thrill of the iconic Formula 1 circuit with expert instructors on hand. Next door on the drag racing strip, you can get behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Camaro for the Drag Experience and test your reflexes. Until 31st August. From AED 325, booking essential. Yas Island. Times vary. Contact: 800 927, yasmarinacircuit.com
Bab Al Qasr
If you’re planning to use the Eid holiday as a chance to relax, then head to Ayana Spa for Arabian-inspired treatments from rejuvenating massages to facials. When you book any 60-minute treatment during Eid, you can enjoy a complimentary 30-minute add-on treatment. From AED 495. Corniche West. Daily 10am-10pm. Contact: 02 205 3090, email@example.com
Danat Jebel Dhanna
For a relaxing retreat, escape out of the city to the Danat Jebel Dhanna resort, where over the Eid weekend, you can enjoy a buffet breakfast inclusive of your room rate, as well as 20 percent discount on food and beverage and wellness treatments at the hotel’s spa.
Throughout the weekend, the hotel also has a AED 150 buffet lunch offer inclusive of beach and pool access, as well as a buy one get one deal on theme dinners. Booking required. From AED 795. Al Dhafra. Contact: 02 801 2222, jebeldhanna.danathotels.com
WORDS Asma Sabriah Mohammad