Enjoy the best of the capital for under AED 100

A slew of ways to have fun without breaking the bank…

It’s easy to get carried away with the luxury lifestyle in Abu Dhabi, eating out on a regular basis and going on shopping sprees.

But when we’re living the high life, our bank balance isn’t always our friend.

Of course, we’re allowed to treat ourselves every once in a while, but enjoying life in the capital doesn’t always have to be expensive.

Don’t believe us? Here are 100 things that you can do, see, eat and experience in Abu Dhabi for AED 100 or less.

Fitness & Wellbeing

Work up a sweat and run, walk or cycle the 5.55km Yas Marina Circuit. Free, registration required. Yas Island. Sun, Tue and Wed (ladies only) from 6pm. Visit: yasmarinacircuit.com

Mix up your fitness routine and run the track or take on the stadium stairs at TrainZSC every Monday. Free. Zayed Sports City Stadium, Saif Ghubash Street. 4pm-5.30pm ladies only, 5.30pm-8pm for everyone. Visit: stepzsc.ae

Test your skills and challenge a friend at Emirates Bowling Centre. AED 25. Marina Mall, breakwater. Sun-Wed 10am-midnight, Thu-Fri 10am-1am. Contact: 02 681 1185, ebv.ae

Work on your billiard skills at NRG Sports Café. AED 5 per game. Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah. Contact: 02 697 4382, lemeridienabudhabi.com

Navigate the obstacles at Tee and Putt mini-golf, a great family activity. AED 55 per person. Dalma Mall, Mussafah. Daily 10am-10pm. Contact: 02 555 5307, teeandputt.com

Saddle up for a cycle along the Corniche where you can hire a bike from Cyacle and take in the scenic view of the skyline. AED 20 per day. Locations vary. Available 24/7. Visit: bikeshare.ae

Gather friends to play football, basketball, volleyball or tennis at the facilities on Al Hudayriat Island. Just remember to bring your own equipment. Free. Al Hudayriat Island. Open 24/7.

Burn off some energy at Bounce Abu Dhabi where you can try out the obstacle course and slides, play dodgeball, practise parkour or just jump around on the trampolines. AED 75 for children, AED 85 for adults. Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi and Remal Mall, Al Ain. Times vary. Visit: bounce.ae

Test our your balance with an ice skating session at Zayed Sports City Ice Rink. AED 40. Saif Ghubash Street. Times vary. Visit: zsc.ae

Get into running by joining House of Runners for regular jogs around the city every week. Free. Times vary. Visit: meetup.com/house-of-runners

Enjoy a dip in the pool at Wadi Adventure or burn off some energy by trying out the Sky High package to take on the airpark obstacle course. General admission AED 45 for children, AED 65 for adults, Sky High package AED 99. Next to Green Mubazzarah, Al Ain. Daily 11am-6pm. Contact: 03 781 8422, wadiadventure.ae

Enjoy some meditation, mindfulness classes, workshops and talks at Inner Space Abu Dhabi. Free, but donations encouraged. Bain Al Jessrain Coop building, Khor Al Maqtaa. Times vary. Visit: innerspacecentre.ae

Sign up for a class at Bodytree Studio where you can take your pick from yoga, Pilates, belly dancing, tai chi, Zumba, adult ballet and more. Prices and times vary. Hazza bin Zayed Street. Contact: 02 443 4448, bodytreestudio.com

Take your bike into the desert to Al Wathba Cycle Track where you can take on various loops to complete distances between 8km and 30km. Free. Near Endurance Village. Open 24/7.

Learn how to row a traditional Emirati rowing boat with Sea Hawk. AED 100 per guest for eight guests. Eastern Mangroves Promenade. Contact: 02 673 6688, sea-hawk.ae


Check out a range of exhibitions, workshops and talks from local and international artists at Warehouse 421. Free. Mina Zayed. Tue-Sun 10am-8pm. Contact: 02 676 8803, warehouse421.ae

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Al Ain Oasis and walk among a staggering 147,000 date palms. Free. Next to Al Ain Palace Museum. Daily 8am-5pm. Visit: visitabudhabi.ae

Explore Al-Meraikhi Old House, one of the UAE’s oldest buildings and the historic home of pearl diver Mohammed Bin Jassim Al-Meraikhi. Free. Dalma Island. Ferry times vary. Visit: dalmaisland.com

Take a traditional abra boat ride between Souk Qaryat Al Beri and Yas Marina with Captain Tony’s. AED 25. Times vary. Visit: captaintonys.ae

Check out the extensive car collection owned by Sheikh Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan at Emirates National Auto Museum. AED 55, free for children under ten years old. Hamim Road, off E11, Al Gharbia. Daily 9am-5pm. Contact: 055 749 2155, enam.ae

See vintage motors at Al Ain’s Classic Car Museum. AED 10 for adults, AED 5 for children. Ain Al Faida Complex, 138th Street, near Green Mubazzarah. Sat-Thu 9am-5pm, Fri 4pm-8pm. Contact: alainclassiccarsmuseum.net

Explore Souq Al Qattara and enjoy cultural shows and events as well as a handicrafts market every Thursday, Friday and Saturday between October and May. Free. Al Qattara, Al Ain. Contact: 03 711 8292

Get a closer look at the collection of Islamic literature and learning resources at the National Library. Free. Sultan bin Zayed the First Street, Nahyan Camp. Sun-Thu 8am-10pm, Sat 10am-8pm. Contact: 02 657 6034

Tap into your creativity by exploring the exhibitions at Manarat Al Saadiyat and taking part in a workshop. Free entry, workshop AED 100 for adults, AED 75 for children aged six to 17, AED 50 for ages three to five. Saadiyat Island. Daily 9am-8pm, workshop times vary. Contact: 02 657 5800, manaratalsaadiyat.ae

See what art shows and exhibitions are on display at Etihad Modern Art Gallery. Free. Al Falah Street, behind Bateen Mall. Sat-Thu 10am-10pm. Contact: 02 621 0145, etihadmodernart.com

Get clued up on all things Korea at the Korean Cultural Center. Free. Ministries Complex, near Khalifa Park. Sun-Thu 9am-6pm. Visit: uae.korean-culture.org

Take a look around the ancestral home of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan at Qasr Al Muwaiji. Free. E22, Al Muwaiji, Al Ain. Tue-Thu and Sat 9am-7pm,
Fri 3pm-7pm. Visit: qasralmuwaiji.ae

Explore arts and crafts made by local artisans at the Women’s Handicraft Centre. Free. Women’s Association Complex, Karama Street, Al Mushrif. Sun-Thu 9am-3pm.
Visit: visitabudhabi.ae

Experience what traditional Bedouin life was like at the Heritage Village. Free. Near Marina Mall, breakwater. Sat-Thu 9am-4pm, Fri 3.30pm-9pm. Contact: 02 681 4455

View works from local artists or sign up for classes at Abu Dhabi Art Hub. Free, class prices vary. The Mall at World Trade Center, Khalifa Street. Daily 10am-10pm. Contact:
055 550 9640, adah.ae

Learn more about the UAE’s founding father at the Zayed Heritage Centre. Guided tours are available but must be booked in advance. Free. Al Bateen. Sun-Thu 8am-3pm. Contact: 02 665 9555

Take in the sights at Al Jahili Fort, a historic fortress in the Garden City. Free. 137th Street, Al Mutawaa, Al Ain. Sat-Thu 9am-5pm, Fri 3pm-5pm. Contact: 03 711 8311

Explore Al Ain Palace Museum and see where the late Sheikh Zayed spent his formative years. Free. Tue-Thu and Sat 8.30am-7.30pm, Fri 3.30pm-7.30pm.
Contact: 03 711 8388


Test your knowledge at the Big Fat Quiz every Wednesday at Velocity. Free. Marriott Hotel Downtown, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Street. 8pm. Visit: marriottdowntownabudhabilife.com

Put a smile on your face with regular comedy shows from Yalla Laughs. Free. Locations and times vary. Visit: facebook.com/yallalaughs

Enjoy a night out at MAD on Yas Island and see live music from international acts. Free entry, subject to admission. Near du Forum. Visit: madonyasisland.com

Listen to spoken word artists, poets and performers at monthly open mic night Rooftop Rhythms. Free, registration required. NYUAD, Saadiyat Island. Visit: facebook.com/rooftoprhythmsad

Women can kick back once a month at Vox Cinema’s Ladies Night where you can
get your hands on gift bags and vouchers, food, drinks and a ladies-only screening of a new film. AED 80. Yas Mall, Yas Island. Visit: uae.voxcinemas.com

Settle down for a movie as nomadic film company Cinema Akil hosts regular screenings at venues across the capital. Visit: cinemaakil.com

Hear up-and-coming local singers or give it a go yourself with the open mic night hosted every Tuesday at Jazz@PizzaExpress. Free. The Mall at World Trade Center, Khalifa Street. 8pm. Visit: 02 444 7752, pizzaexpressuae.com

Watch live sport and support Al Jazira Club in the UAE Arabian Gulf League. From
AED 10. Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium. Visit: abu-dhabi.platinumlist.net

Challenge friends at the weekly Games Night at Hamilton’s Gastropub. Free. Saadiyat Rotana Resort and Villas. Mon 4pm-2am. Contact: 02 697 0000, rotana.com

Hear musicians and performers share their talents at the ECHOES monthly open
mic night. Shabby Chic Café, Al Nahyan. Visit: facebook.com/echoesabudhabi

Watch a classic film or modern great with Cinema Space. Free, registration required. Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island. Visit: cinemaspace-abudhabi.splashthat.com

Engage in deep and meaningful conversations with #EndSmallTalk to get your synapses firing and embrace new ideas and concepts at the regular meet-ups. Free. Venue and dates vary. Visit: facebook.com/endsmalltalk

See live music with Rock Under the Stars at the end of each month at The Sportsman’s Arms. Free. Zayed Sports City, Saif Ghubash Street. Contact: 02 447 1066, sportsmanszsc.com

Family fun

Spend the day by the ocean and lounge on the sand at Corniche public beach. Free. Opposite Formal Park. 8am-8pm.

Enjoy a laid-back day chilling in the grass or fire up the barbecue at Yas Gateway Park. Free entry. Sheikh Khalifa Highway. Open 24/7.

Chill out at the 800m Al Bateen Beach and grab a bite from one of the many food trucks on site. Free entry. Khalifa Al Mubarak Street. 8am-8pm.

Explore what’s on offer at Umm Al Emarat Park with a petting zoo, botanic garden, wisdom garden and more. AED 5 entry. Mohamed bin Rashid Street, Al Mushrif. Daily 8am-midnight. Contact: 02 666 9559, ummalemaratpark.ae

Enjoy a day out at Reem Central Park with a skate park, play parks, food trucks, fitness areas, beach and more. Free. Al Reem Island. Visit: reemcentralpark.com

Head to Hili Fun City and enjoy over 30 attractions, rides and games. AED 55 Mon-Tue, AED 60 Wed-Sat. Al Hili, Al Ain. Mon-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 4pm-10pm. Contact: 03 784 5542, info@hilifuncity.ae

Take a walk alongside the 4.5km waterside promenade at Eastern Mangroves Park to take in the views and do some bird watching. Free. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Street. Open 24/7.

Enjoy a day by the sea at Yas Beach and work on your tan. From AED 60 on weekdays, free for children under 11. Yas Island. Daily 10am-7pm. Contact: 056 242 0435, yasbeach.ae

Relax at Formal Park with a walled garden, fountains and a maze. Free entry. Corniche East, near Le Royal Méridien. Open 24/7.

Immerse yourself in nature at the beautiful Al Wathba Wetland Reserve where you can walk among the reeds and watch migratory birds like flamingos in their natural habitat. Free. Abu Dhabi-Al Ain Truck Road, Al Wathba. Thu and Sat 8am-4pm. Visit: ead.ae

Head along to the RIPE Market to pick up organic fruit and veg, hear live music, take part in yoga classes and shop from local vendors. Free, AED 5 entry into park. Umm Al Emarat Park, Al Mushrif. Sat 3pm-9pm. Visit: ripeme.com

Jump on the train, check out the aquarium or play in Murjan Splash Park at Khalifa Park. AED 1 entry, free for children under 10, AED 40 for splash park. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Street, near Park Rotana. Sun-Wed 3pm-10pm, Thu-Sat 10am-10pm. Visit: adm.gov.ae

Take on the inflatable water obstacle course Aqua Fun at A’l Bahar where you can also enjoy regular events, sports facilities and food trucks. Free, AED 90 for obstacle course. Corniche West. Daily 10am-10pm. Visit: al-bahar.ae

Play games, cycle and grab a bite to eat from on-site vendors at Masdar Park. Free. Masdar City. Daily 8am-10pm. Visit: masdar.ae

Let little ones run wild at Cheeky Monkeys soft play area. AED 55 for one hour. Various locations including Al Ain Mall and Al Forsan Village. Visit: cheekymonkeys.com

Grab the sunscreen and head to Saadiyat Public Beach to enjoy a day looking out over open ocean. From AED 35 per person. Saadiyat Island. Daily 7am-6.30pm.


Take a tour of the iconic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Street. Sat-Thu 9am-10pm, Fri 4.30pm-10pm. Contact:
02 441 6446, szgmc.ae

Pay respect to the UAE’s martyrs at Wahat Al Karama war memorial. Free. Opposite Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Visit: visitabudhabi.ae

Check out the world’s furthest man-made leaning tower at Andaz Capital Gate. While there, visit the art gallery displaying work by local talent. Free. Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, next to Adnec. Contact: 02 596 1234, bit.ly/2GR8u9X

Explore the Instagram-worthy Emirates Palace where certain areas of the hotel are free to explore. Corniche West. Times vary. Contact: 02 690 9000, kempinski.com/abudhabi/emirates-palace

Visit the Founder’s Memorial, a beautiful tribute to the country’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed, with a constellation artwork and complimentary cultural tours. Free. Corniche West, near Emirates Palace. Daily 9am-10pm. Visit: thefoundersmemorial.ae

Take a walk around the recently renovated Qasr Al Hosn, home to the Cultural Foundation and Children’s Library. AED 15 for children, AED 30 for adults. Hamdan bin Mohammed Street. Sat-Thu 11.30am-11pm, Fri 3.30pm-8pm. Contact: 02 697 6400, qasralhosn.ae

Photocredit: Roland Halbe

Take in the views from the emirate’s tallest peak, Jebel Hafeet. Free. Al Ain.

See some of the world’s finest art collections and join in family art workshops at Louvre Abu Dhabi. AED 60 for adults, AED 31.50 for youth aged 13 to 22 and teachers, free for children under 13. Saadiyat Island. Contact: 600 565 566, louvreabudhabi.ae

Take a trip around the eco-friendly and sustainable Masdar City. Free. Khalifa City. Visit: masdar.ae

Head out into the desert to see the tallest dune in the country, Tel Moreeb, that’s been featured in Hollywood movies. Free. Off E45, Liwa.

Take a dip in hot springs at Green Mubazzarah. Free, AED 20 for hot springs. Next to Wadi Adventure, Al Ain. Daily 11am-8pm. Contact: 03 783 9555


Get your shawarma fix at Zahrat Lebnan with sandwiches for AED 7. Various locations. Visit: zahratlebnan.com

Grab a fresh manakesh with your choice of toppings at Al Saada Bakery from AED 6. Hazza bin Zayed Street, near Burjeel Hospital. Contact: 02 641 2488

Munch on a falafel sandwich from Meshwari for AED 7. Khalifa Bin Zayed the First Street. Daily 7am-midnight. Visit: facebook.com/meshwarieatery

Sample a cheese masala dosa at Bhavna for AED 6. Hamdan bin Mohammed Street, behind Al Ain Tower. Daily 7am-11pm. Contact: 02 677 4288

Sink your teeth into roti kaya from Mamak for AED 9. Adnoc station, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Highway, towards Yas Mall, Yas Island. Daily 7am-midnight. Contact: 02 563 1525

Try one of the many flavours of mochi at Little Manila for AED 8. Opposite Yas Academy School, Najda Street. Times vary. Contact: 02 583 3670, littlemanila.com

Treat yourself to a cookie from Magnolia Bakery for AED 10. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island. Sat-Wed 7am-10.30pm, Thu 7am-12.30am and Fri 10am-12.30am. Visit: magnoliabakery.com

Tuck into aloo paratha at Chappan Bhog for AED 8.50. Between Zayed the First Street and 9th Street, Al Danah. Daily 8.30am-11.30pm. Contact: 02 677 8864

Bite into a vegetarian taco at Barbacoa for AED 10. Masdar City. Daily noon-9.45pm. Contact: 02 639 4226, barbacoa.ae

Bite into two Punjabi samosas at Kettle Corner for AED 10. Boutik Mall, Reem Island. Daily 6am-11pm. Contact: 02 304 8227, facebook.com/thekettlecorner

Enjoy a halloumi sandwich at Al Akkawi Star Cafeteria for AED 6. Opposite Hamdan Centre, Al Markaziyah. Daily 7am-midnight. Contact: 02 622 2367

Get your fill of cheese fatayer at Khaleej Bakeries and Pastries for AED 2. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Street. Daily 5.30am-1am. Contact: 02 676 6188

Slurp on sweet and sour soup from Dragon Bao Baofor AED 10. Next to National Cinema. Daily 10am-11pm. Contact: 02 674 2235

Fill up on chicken biryani at Biryani Mahal Restaurant for AED 18. Al Markaziyah. Times vary. Contact: 02 418 2558

Make the most of the weekend with the all-you-can-eat breakfast offer at Circle Café for AED 55. Various locations including Al Raha Gardens. Fri-Sat 8am-5pm. Visit: circle-cafe.com

Tuck into an all-you-can-eat selection of hotpot for AED 49 at Seven Hotpot. Hazza bin Zayed Street, opposite Al Wahda Mall. Daily 11am-1am. Contact: 02 443 0771

Enjoy a hearty bowl of miso soup at Manna Land Korean Restaurant for AED 16. Al Mamoura. Daily 11am-11pm. Contact: 02 446 6860

Feast on a soft egg burger at Egg Shack Caféfor AED 18. Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Street, Al Mushrif. Daily 7.30am-5.30pm. Contact: 02 666 4141, facebook.com/eggshack

Chomp on a classic hot dog at Ketchup and Mustard for AED 10. Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Street, Al Manhal. Sat-Wed 1pm-midnight, Thu-Fri 1pm-1am. Contact:02 304 8031, facebook.com/ketchupandmustard2015

Fill up on a zaatar wrap at Manakish Express for AED 12. Near Qasr Al Hosn, Hamdan Street. Daily 8am-midnight. Contact: 02 671 5118

Satisfy your spice cravings with chilli cheese toast at Shay Madhboot for AED 18. Dihan Street, near Royal Thai Embassy. Sun-Thu 7am-10pm, Fri-Sat 8am-10pm. Contact: 02 621 7323, facebook.com/shaymadhboot

Gorge on chebab with a side of honey at Yadoos House for AED 18. Al Nast Tower 2, behind Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi, Sultan bin Zayed the First Street. Daily 8am-11pm. Contact: 02 441 1311, yadooshouse.com


Enjoy a day of music, activities and performances with Abu Dhabi Festival’s Festival in the Park on 28th February and 1st March. Free, AED 5 entry to the park. Umm Al Emarat Park, Al Mushrif. Visit: abudhabifestival.ae 

Be part of history and attend the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 opening ceremony on 14th March. AED 100. Zayed Sports City Stadium, Saif Ghubash Street. 4pm. Visit: ticketmaster.ae

Animal lovers can gather at the Abu Dhabi Pet Festival 2019 for a fun day out on 15th March. Free. du Forum, Yas Island. 3pm-10pm. Visit: duforum.ae

Yas Movies in the Park returns from 18th to 20th April. Free, registration required. du Arena, Yas Island. 4pm-midnight. Visit: yasmovies.ae

Enjoy the returning Abu Dhabi Classics with Ran Jia’s solo piano recital on 19th April. From AED 100. Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island. 7pm. Visit: ticketmaster.ae

WORDS Colin Armstrong

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