Guess what? It’s almost the weekend – but you didn’t need us to remind you.
Whether you want to start the countdown to 2018 a little early – okay, a few days early – or watch world-class athletes go head-to-head, we’ve got your weekend covered with 9 awesome events to keep you busy.
Thursday 28th December
Start the count down early
Get into the spirit of the New Year and attend the NYE Countdown Village to experience a weekend of entertainment and performances. Visit more than 40 retailers, watch thrilling entertainment acts, eat your way through the night with over 50 food outlets and get hands-on with fun activities like a balloon park and interactive graffiti wall. Then when it’s time to start counting down for the New Year, celebrate with performances on stage with talented acts like Tamer Hosny. Until 31st December. From AED 40. Abu Dhabi Corniche Breakwater. 4pm-midnight. Contact: 800 5000, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheer from the stands
Prepare for some ace sporting action as the Mubadala World Tennis Championship kicks off this weekend with a $250,000 prize. The annual championship has welcomed some of the biggest starts in the world over the past ten years, and will this year feature Dominic Thiem playing alongside top names including Novak Djokovic and Pablo Carreño Busta, as well as a dedicated ladies match featuring none other than Serena Williams in her comeback following the birth of her child. Get ready to sit back for an exciting display of pure talent. Until 30th December. From AED 50. International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City. From noon. Visit: mubadalawtc.com
Embrace and celebrate the traditions and culture of the UAE at the Sultan Bin Zayed Heritage Festival. The festival will revive old traditions of camel sports with camel races and beauty contests as well as a traditional market, heritage village and traditional activities every day. Prizes will be given for attending the festival and a diverse range of performances will be held every day. With so much to do and explore, you will come out more attached to the wonderful heritage of the UAE. Until 3rd Feb. Free. Sweihan City. 7am-10pm. Visit: abudhabievents.ae
Friday 29th December
Mark your calendars for Weekends at the Oasis in Al Ain. Dance and sing along to traditional performances, enjoy a night watching screenings of pop culture films and get artsy with contemporary craft workshops inspired by the oasis. Gather your friends and family and get together for a day of fun and culture. Until 31st March. Free. Al Ain Oasis. 10am. Visit: abudhabievents.ae
Experience a magical world
Step into a world of magic and wonder at the Winterland Carnival where a range of winter festivities and entertainment make for a great place to bond with family and friends. The magical winter wonderland will host a variety of fun experiences for all ages including a snow park with a snowball zone, funfair games, carnival rides, bumper cars and many more. The celebration will continue up until New Year’s Eve with fireworks to wrap up the end of the year. It is a winterland brought right to the desert, a magical place indeed. Until 31st December. Free entry, AED 5 for rides and attractions. du Forum, Yas Island. 2pm-10pm. Visit: yasisland.ae
Take to the mic
Attend a night of talent and art with Echoes Abu Dhabi’s Year End Open Mic featuring a range of wonderful performers straight from the audience. The stage is open to anyone who is willing, old and new, to showcase their gifts to an audience without any fear of judgement. Enjoy a night of good vibes filled with songs and poetry and celebrate the end of 2017. RSVP for free entry. Shabby Chic Café, Al Nayhan. 6.30pm-9.30pm. Visit: facebook.com
Cycle for change
Kick off the New Year resolutions early with ‘Cycle for Health UAE’ for a free and fun biking day to enjoy with friends and family. Don’t worry about not owing bike, they will be complementary for the Saturday and every last of Saturday of every month until April! When you’re done, entertain yourself with a learn-to-ride program, bouncy castles, and a healthy food truck for you to dig in. Free entry. Zayed Sports City Stadium. 8am-1pm. Visit: clevelandclinicabudhabi.ae
Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse
If you’re an art enthusiast, then the In the Making art exhibition from the Design Museum in London is worth checking out. This collaboration project between the UK and UAE will feature 20 objects mid-manufacture presenting the unfinished aesthetic to the stage. The objects are chosen by British designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby to be exhibited that way to celebrate the beauty of the production project. Until 11th Feb. Free entry. Warehouse 421, Mina. Contact: 02 676 8803, warehouse421.ae
Fuel your weekend
If you’re someone who loves challenging themselves and pushing their limits, the Liwa Sports Festival is the perfect event to attend. The nine-day festival will host some of the most exciting car, bike and motor races featuring some of the region’s most powerful four wheel drivers and bikers. It will also feature horse races, camel races and classic car competitions, including a race to the top of one of the world’s highest sand hills, the Moreeb Dune, aka ‘Terrifying Mountain’. Camping and accommodation will be provided to offer a unique experience. Until 5th Jan. Free entry. Liwa city, Moreed Dune. Contact: email@example.com, sc.ae/home
Looking for other ways to keep busy? Find more events in our online diary at adwonline.ae
And don’t forget to tag us in your photos at @adwuae on Twitter and Instagram and @abudhabiworld on Facebook – who knows, you might even be featured in the magazine!
Words Reem Makari