14 things to do in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah this weekend

From superstar performances to cultural events, there is plenty happening in the UAE over the next three days

See Maluma at Coca-Cola Arena, catch Sharjah Light Festival and enjoy a performance from Assala Nasri in Abu Dhabi
See Maluma at Coca-Cola Arena, catch Sharjah Light Festival and enjoy a performance from Assala Nasri in Abu Dhabi

If you are looking for something to do in the UAE this weekend, there are plenty of options to keep you and the family busy.

From outdoor cinema screenings in the capital to superstar performances in Dubai, you'll be spoiled for choice when making plans.

It's also your last chance to catch some of the UAE's top exhibitions, so make sure you don't miss out before they are gone.

Here are some of the best things happening on Thursday, Friday and Saturday across the Emirates ...


Spend a day out with your pets

The Yas Pet Festival is returning for a second year. Leslie Pableo / The National
The Yas Pet Festival is returning for a second year. Leslie Pableo / The National

The Yas Pet Festival is returning for a second year. Taking place on Friday, February 14 at du Arena from 1pm to 9pm, the popular event features activities to celebrate both dogs and cats. From the same organisers as the Abu Dhabi Pet Festival, this event will focus more on pet and owner interaction. This year will see a dog agility competition, pet fashion show, and cat and dog competitions. There will also be a pet and owner fancy dress competition, as well as a K9 Unit and petting farm on hand. Guests are welcome to come with or without pets.

Friday, February 14, 1pm-9pm; free entry; du Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, www.petfestival.ae

Hear Assala at Cultural Foundation

Assala Nasri performs at the Mawazine festival in Morocco last month. Courtesy Youness Hamiddine / Mawazine
Assala Nasri will perform in Abu Dhabi this Friday. Youness Hamiddine / Mawazine

Syrian singer Assala Nasri, one of the most famous vocalists in the Arab world today, will perform this Valentine’s Day in Abu Dhabi. Last year, Assala was part of an A-list cast of singers who sang the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi’s official anthem, Right Where I Am Supposed To Be.

Friday, February 14, 8-10pm; tickets start from Dh250, Dh300 and Dh500; Cultural Foundation Theatre, Abu Dhabi; www.culturalfoundation.ae

Catch the last days of a Warehouse421 exhibition

    Another piece at the exhibition, Scrapbook, by Syrian-French artist Bady Dalloul shows a collage of photographs of political figures, origami shapes and texts. The works combine historical events, personal facts and fiction.
Scrapbook, by Syrian-French artist Bady Dalloul shows a collage of photographs of political figures, origami shapes and texts. The works combine historical events, personal facts and fiction.

Catch the final days of How to Manoeuvre: Shape-shifting Texts and other Publishing Tactics, an exhibition that challenges the traditional concepts of publishing. With more than 40 pieces on display, the show is the largest presented at Warehouse421. The works are developed by artists, writers and publishers from across the region and the world. The exhibition aims to initiate relevant conversations around notions of authorship, independence, values, constraints and dominant discourse.

Daily, 6pm-8pm; free; until Sunday, February 16; Warehouse421, Mina Zayed, Abu Dhabi; 02 676 8803; www.warehouse421.ae

Take part in Superhero Saturday

Courtesy Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi 
Courtesy Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi

Visit Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi for their newly launched Superhero Saturdays. Guests entering the theme park will be greeted with a live performance, as a DJ spins the latest tunes. Throughout the nine-week series, DC superheroes Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman will be available for photos and to pass along words of wisdom to the heroes-to-be. There will also be a glow-in-the-dark dance party.

Saturdays, 11am; from Dh295 for adults; from Dh230 for children; Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi; 600 511115, www.wbworldabudhabi.com

See the final days of 10,000 Years of Luxury

A visitor at '10,000 Years of Luxury'
A visitor at '10,000 Years of Luxury'

It's the final weekend to see Louvre Abu Dhabi's first comprehensive exhibition on the history of luxury in the Middle East, displaying about 350 objects from 30 countries spanning several millennia. Fashion, jewellery, visual art, furniture and design are all on show at 10,000 Years of Luxury, which also features designs from couture houses such as Chanel, Christian Dior and Elie Saab.

Daily; free with general museum admission; until Tuesday, February 18; Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island; www.louvreabudhabi.ae

Catch a movie in the park

Movie goers watch a film in Umm Al Emarat Park.
Movie goers watch a film in Umm Al Emarat Park.

Head over to Umm Al Emarat Park’s outdoor cinema. Today, you can watch The Lion King (6.30pm) and Toy Story 3 (8.30pm). Tomorrow, Aladdin (6.30pm) and Finding Nemo (8.30pm) will be screened. On Saturday, see Zambezia (6.30pm) and Shawn the Sheep (8.30pm). There will also be other activities, including face-painting and origami workshops, plus an appearance from Mushrif the Mascot.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from 6.30pm; Dh10 (park entry fee); Umm Al Emarat Park, 15th Street, Mushrif, Abu Dhabi; www.ummalemaratpark.ae


Plan the proposal of a lifetime with Dubai Opera

Dubai Opera
Dubai Opera

Dubai Opera and Broadway Entertainment Group have come together to offer the perfect Valentine’s Day proposal. Guests can pre-arrange tickets to Formidable! Aznavour, a musical by French-Armenian troubadour Charles Aznavour set on the streets of Paris. After the show, the couple can enjoy a private dinner under the stars in Dubai Opera’s gardens, overlooking Burj Khalifa. Meanwhile, a talented soloist will play signature melodies inspired by the music of Aznavour, adding to the romance of the evening. The Dubai Opera team will organise a meet-and-greet with performers from the musical and assist with every detail of the proposal – from arranging a bouquet of favourite flowers to organising a majlis for family and friends as a post-proposal surprise.

Thursday and Friday, February 13 and 14; 8pm (with an additional performance at 3pm on Friday); Dh10,000 per couple; Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, Dubai; www.dubaiopera.com

See Maluma perform

Maluma says he wants to inspire youths in Latin America with images of his success in music Getty
Maluma will be playing in Dubai this Friday. Getty.

Colombian superstar Maluma is bringing his world tour to the UAE for one night only, marking his debut performance in the Emirates. The No Se Me Quita singer will perform at Dubai's Coca-Cola Arena on Friday, February 14. The 25-year-old, born Juan Luis Londono Arias and raised in the city of Medellin, released his first album at the tender age of 17, though found fame with his 2015 album Pretty Boy, Dirty Boy. He has gone on to collaborate with some of the Latin music industry's biggest names, including Ricky Martin and Shakira, as well as Madonna and J Balvin.

Friday, February 14, 8pm; from Dh295; Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai City Walk; 04 215 3000; www.coca-cola-arena.com

Spend an afternoon on board an abra

Tourists take an Abra ride through Dubai's Madinat Jumeirah resort. Tourism contributes 11.5% of Dubai's GDP, a Dubai Media Office statement said. Image courtesy of Dubai Tourism.
Tourists take an Abra ride through Dubai's Madinat Jumeirah resort. Image courtesy of Dubai Tourism.

Jumeirah Al Qasr is celebrating the most romantic day of the year with a number of packages. Those looking for something a tad offbeat can book an Abra afternoon tea and enjoy views of the Madinat Jumeirah waterway on board an abra, with two glasses of premium bubbly and a bouquet of roses. The hotel is also having a Valentine’s Day-themed brunch, with the best-dressed couple winning a couple’s Talise Spa massage. Meanwhile, a lady “dressed to kill” at the brunch stands a chance to win a complimentary one-night stay at the Jumeirah Al Wasr.

Friday, February 14; timings vary; prices start at Dh480 per person for the brunch, the Abra Afternoon Tea is priced at Dh1,500; Jumeirah Al Qasr; 04 432 3232

Go vegan with Brambles

Kale brownie at Brambles 
Kale brownie at Brambles

The pretty bohemian cafe will celebrate V-Day with a five-course Italian-themed vegan dinner, titled Veni Vidi Vici (which translates to “I came, I saw, I conquered”). Couples can expect dishes such as lentil bruschetta, soup or salad, puttanesca lasagne or spaghetti and meatballs pomodoro and a dessert of a brownie sundae with berries compote. The package also includes a ticket for two beverages, which can be claimed at Tryp by Wyndham hotel later that night.

Friday, February 14; 7pm-10pm; Dh145 per person; Citadines Metro Central, Barsha Heights, Dubai; 04 452 9529

Watch a Spanish film at Cinema Akil

Dubai's only independent arthouse cinema reopened on June 12. Photo Mohamed Somji / Seeing Things 
Inside the arthouse cinema in Dubai. Mohamed Somji / Seeing Things

For a week, Dubai’s arthouse theatre Cinema Akil will bring seven award-winning Spanish films to the big screen, including 1973’s The Spirit of the Beehive. The most recent film on show is Handia from 2017, a story about the world’s tallest man.

Friday to Thursday, February 14 to 20; various times; tickets from Dh52.50; Cinema Akil, Dubai; www.cinemakil.com


Visit Sharjah Light Festival

SHARJAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - FEBRUARY 11: A general view of Al Noor Mosque during the Sharjah Light Festival on February 11, 2020 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
It's the last weekend to catch Sharjah Light Festival. Getty Images

The Sharjah Light Festival is back, bringing installations, displays and shows to the emirate. As part of the 10-day event, which closes this weekend, some of Sharjah’s most renowned landmarks, such as Masjid Al Noor and Al Hisn Fort, will be illuminated in new colours, featuring creative light technology and curated soundtracks. This year, the festival will comprise 18 daily shows spread out across the emirate, and will also include pop-up food trucks and a sightseeing bus.

Daily; until Saturday, February 15; free; various locations; www.sharjahlightfestival.ae

Get spooked at a haunted house, Ras Al Khamiah

Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates - Reporter: Anna Zacharias: A look inside Al Qasimi Haunted Palace. Thursday, January 2nd, 2020. Ras Al Khaimah. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Al Qasimi Palace was abandoned for decades due to concerns over its haunted history. Chris Whiteoak/The National

Al Qasimi Palace in Ras Al Khaimah is now open to visitors. The exquisite mansion was built by the late Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Humaid Al Qasimi in 1985, but has since fallen into disrepair. Having been unoccupied for years, the building has long since been considered “haunted” by some, and they claim “mysterious” occurrences take place, such as furniture moving of its own accord. Adding to the creepiness, some say they have seen the faces of children peeping out of its windows.

Daily, 9am-7pm; Dh75; Al Qasimi Palace, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Road, Ras Al Khaimah

Try out the new Jais Adventure Peak

Jais Sky Maze is a self-guided rope course spanning two levels.
Jais Sky Maze is a self-guided rope course spanning two levels.

Home to the world’s longest zip line and numerous hiking trails, Ras Al Khaimah further cemented its place as an adventure lover’s paradise with the unveiling of Jais Adventure Peak on Sunday, February 9. Set amid the Hajar mountain range, Jais Adventure Peak includes a number of activities for adrenalin junkies including the new Jais Sky Maze. The latest addition to the Peak’s attractions is a self-guided rope course experience spanning two levels. The first level is at a lower height and suitable for children who are 6 years and above. The second level will give adventure-loving teens and adults a chance to navigate obstacles such as rope swings, wobbly bridges, swimming loops and more while suspended 10 metres above the ground.

Wednesday to Sunday, 9.30am-5.30pm; from Dh75; Jais Adventure Peak, Jebel Jais, Ras Al Khaimah, www.visitjebeljais.com/

Updated: February 13, 2020 03:14 PM


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