24 things to do in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Hatta this weekend

From cheese festivals to art shows, animal adoption days and superstar musical performances, there is plenty happening in the UAE over the next three days

A Tinie Tempah performance, cheese festival and animal adoption days: expect a busy and varied weekend in the UAE this week
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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 screenings of Oscar-winning movies in Dubai and new high-octane experiences in Hatta, you'll be spoiled for choice when making plans.

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

Get your slide on in Hatta

A multi-slide water ride has opened this month at Hatta Wadi Hub, the activity centre located in the Dubai exclave, about an hour and 45-minute drive from Dubai Marina. Named the Drop-In, the attraction is made up of a number of slides, which propel visitors into a plunge pool at speeds of between 40 and 80 kilometres an hour. The rides, which are suitable for those aged 6 and above, can see adventurous visitors hit heights of up to 15 metres, according to the Visit Hatta website. The Drop-In costs Dh45 for visitors aged 6 to 11, or Dh75 for those aged 12 and above, and is open daily from 8.30am to 6pm. Ticket holders will get 30 minutes of ride time, and safety helmets are provided.

Daily, 8am-6pm; Dh75 for guests over 12, Dh45 for guests aged 6 to 11; Hatta Dam, Hatta; 800 637227

Check out Marsa Mina, Abu Dhabi 

Visit Marsa Mina, Abu Dhabi's vibrant new waterfront destination, which opened this week. The waterfront lifestyle destination has boutiques, restaurants and food trucks for visitors to explore, as well as a kids' play area and more than a kilometre of street art murals. In keeping with the port setting at Mina Zayed, the retail units are housed in shipping containers, which have been given a colourful update with street art and graffiti. Parking is free and it is open 24/7.

Daily, open 24 hours; Marsa Mina, Mina Zayed, Abu Dhabi; marsamina.ae

See the new Louvre Abu Dhabi exhibition

Furusiyya: The Art of Chivalry Between East and West has come to Louvre Abu Dhabi. The new exhibition presents a comparative study between the knightly cultures of the Islamic and Christian worlds of East and West. On view are more than 130 artefacts, from weaponry and armour to manuscripts and decorative objects. This includes swords, crossbows, turban helmets and medallions, as well as items of artistry such as ceramic bowls, reliefs and tapestries. Divided into three sections, the exhibition examines the emergence of horse riding, warfare and the lives of knights in both cultures.

Ongoing, Saturday to Wednesday, 10am-8pm and Thursday to Friday, 10pm-10pm, closed on Mondays; free with general museum admission; until Saturday, May 30; Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island; 600 565 566, www.louvreabudhabi.ae

Join in with girl gamers in Dubai 

Check out the GirlGamer eSports Festival at Meydan Grandstand. The world's best female gamers are competing in teams playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends. There is plenty more to keep visitors entertained, including an eSports business conference, a cosplay competition and a performance by US rapper Gucci Mane.

Daily until Saturday, February 22; 10am-10pm; from Dh95; Meydan Grandstand, Meydan Hotel, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai; dubai.platinumlist.net

Check out Olaf Breuning's latest art show in Dubai 

Swiss artist Olaf Breuning has unveiled new conceptual paintings that depict the pressing environmental concerns we face today, with his Brainwashed by Nature exhibition. By using elements found within nature to discuss the topic, Breuning’s rough landscapes incorporate the use of woodcut slices to explore the circumstances of mankind’s detrimental actions.

Daily, 6pm-9pm; until Sunday, March 15; free; Carbon 12 gallery, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai; 04 340 6016, www.carbon12.art

Tour the QE2's captain's bridge for the first time in Dubai

EWR6BT Captain Robin Woodall, Master of the QE2, on the bridge of the ship as it is sailed into Liverpool as part of Cunard's birthday celebrations. Liverpool, 24th July 1990.

Famous ocean liner the Queen Elizabeth 2, which is permanently docked at Dubai's Port Rashid, will begin tours of the vessel's captain's bridge from Thursday, February 20 in a historic first. The tour will take visitors through the ship's key attractions before entering the main bridge, which offers prime views of Dubai's skyline. Tours will be held daily at 10am, 12pm and 4pm, and cost Dh135 per person; bookings are mandatory. For those staying on the QE2 as hotel guests, the captain's bridge experience will cost Dh60, while Dh200 will get visitors the tour as well as Dh100 to spend on food and drinks at the ship's restaurants and cafes.

Daily from Thursday, February 20; various times; Dh60 for hotel guests, Dh200 for outside visitors; 'Queen Elizabeth 2', Port Rashid, Dubai; www.qe2.com

Camp out at Laguna Waterpark, Dubai

Laguna Waterpark has launched The Camp, an overnight experience at La Mer. Check-in begins at 5pm, with visitors able to enjoy the park's rides and slides until 6pm and tuck into a buffet from 7.30pm until 10pm. There will also be board games, a camp fire, a child-friendly film screening and live music, as well as a selection of sweet treats to toast over the fire.

Thursdays and Fridays, from 5pm; from Dh700; Laguna Waterpark, La Mer, Dubai, www.lagunawaterpark.com

See tennis pros in Dubai

The annual Duty Free Tennis Championships return to the city for two weeks of exciting on-court and off-court action. Roger Federer will be back to defend his title and six of the top female tennis players are set to compete in the women's tournament. Off-court there will be entertainment, live music, and a host of eating and drinking options for the whole family.

Until Saturday, February 29match timings vary from 10.30am to 7pm; tickets from Dh55; Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Garhoud, Dubai; www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com

Try a flexi Masterchef menu in Dubai

Duck and Grapes by chef Elena Duggan . Courtesy of MasterChef, The TV Experience

Tonight is your last chance to try food by Elena Duggan, the winner of MasterChef Australia 2017 at MasterChef, the TV Experience. Duggan will be preparing a five-course flexi-menu that is adaptable to diners who are gluten-free or vegetarian. Dishes include an amuse-bouche of lavender goats cheese and beetroot relish with Aussie dukkha; octopus and mandarins for a starter; and duck and grapes for a main.

Thursday, February 20; Dh329 for the meal and a welcome drink; MasterChef, the TV Experience at Millennium Marina Place; 04 550 8111, www.masterchefdxb.com

Watch movies in Umm Al Emarat Park, Abu Dhabi 

Head to Umm Al Emarat Park's outdoor cinema. On Thursday night you can watch Megamind (6.30pm) and Kung Fu Panda (8.30pm). On Friday night Hop (6.30pm) and Coco (8.30pm) will be screened. On Saturday, see Shark Tale (6.30pm) and Open Season 3 (8.30pm). There will also be other activities, including face-painting and origami workshops, plus an appearance from Mushrif the Mascot.

Thursday to Saturday, February 20 to 22, from 6.30pm; Dh10 (park entry fee); Umm Al Emarat Park, 15th Street, Mushrif, Abu Dhabi; www.ummalemaratpark.ae

Watch alternative Arabic bands at Haysa 

Muhammad Abdullah, right, is the only permanent member of Jordanian rock collective El Morabba3. Courtesy Culture Foundation

El Far3i, El Morabba3 and Harget Kart will bring their biggest hits and electric stage presence to the capital on Thursday, February 20, at 7pm, with the Haysa concerts at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation. On Friday, February 21, Lebanese band Adonis – with special guest Aziz Maraka – and Ens O Jam will take the stage for a night of experimental beats and melodies.

Thursday to Friday, February 20 to 21; 7pm-9pm; tickets start at Dh150; Cultural Foundation, Qasr Al Hosn, Abu Dhabi, culturalfoundation.ae

Watch 'Little Women' at Cinema Akil, Dubai 

BTS:  Laurie (TimothŽe Chalamet) and Jo March (Saoirse Ronan) on the set of Greta Gerwig's LITTLE WOMEN.

See a screening of the 2019 coming-of-age film Little Women, directed by Greta Gerwig, at Cinema Akil. The movie stars Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Emma Watson and Eliza Scanlen. The classic story by Louisa May Alcott tells the tale of the four March sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy – as it traces their journey from childhood to adulthood.

Daily, various timings; Dh56.50; until Thursday, February 27; Cinema Akil, Warehouse 68, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai; www.cinema-akil.com

Walk for a cause in Dubai 

Take part in Walk for Arthritis, a charitable event that aims to spread awareness of finding a cure for the debilitating condition, as well as provide access to resources and treatments. The 3.5-kilometre walkathon will also include family-friendly activities, and a fancy dress competition.

Friday, February 21; 8am; free; Dubai Creek Gate 2, Umm Hurair; call 050 534 3182 to register; www.arthritis.ae/walkfor arthritis

Do some stretching at XYoga, Dubai

XYoga will be held at Kite Beach on February 21 and 22

The fourth edition of this holistic Dubai yoga festival takes place at Kite Beach between dusk and dawn, offering classes, workshops and activities, as well as health-focused food stalls, yoga equipment stores and live entertainment. Mingle with international and local yogis, join classes that cater to your abilities and learn more techniques.

Friday and Saturday, February 21 and 22, 8am-6pm; free with registration; Kite Beach, Dubai; www.xyogadubai.com

Check out Bodytree’s yoga market, Abu Dhabi 

Bodytree Studio’s annual yoga market is back in the capital for a sixth year, with back-to-back classes on all things related to health, wellness and mindfulness. Children and adults are invited to join in workshops on everything from hatha to kundalini yoga, while health experts will also lead talks on topics such as sustainability, and local vendors sell their wares. New to this year’s schedule are 15-minute shiatsu massage tasters and private sound healing sessions.

Friday, February 21; 8.30am-4pm; free to enter, tickets from Dh200 for a full day; Bodytree Studio, corner of Hazza bin Zayed and Mubarak bin Mohammed Street, Abu Dhabi; www.bodytreestudio.com

See Tinie Tempah in Dubai 

Brit Award-winning star Tinie Tempah will perform at Dubai's White Beach. The performance will launch the club's new day-to-night brunch experience. Guests will be able to enjoy beach access from 10am, with a four-hour brunch kicking off from noon. The Pass Out singer will perform at the official after-party from 4pm, with free entry for brunchers. Otherwise, early-bird tickets start from Dh100 for women, and Dh200 for men. Brunch packages for the day start from Dh425.

Friday, February 21, from 10am; from Dh100; White Beach, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai; 04 426 2626, www.atlantis.com

Listen to a choir at Dubai Opera 

See the Shillong Chamber Choir at Dubai Opera. The 25-member group will perform western classical opera singing fused with a dose of Indian music and Shillong linguistics. Audiences can look forward to renditions of medleys such as Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu, Eena Meena Deeka and I Got Rhythm, as well as Lag Ja Gale with The Godfather theme and Humma Humma with a western funk tune.

Friday, February 21, doors open at 8pm, show starts at 8.30pm; Dh95; Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai; www.dubaiopera.com

See Jason Derulo at Base Dubai 

Hip-hop star Jason Derulo is performing at Base Dubai. The Want to Want Me singer is no stranger to the UAE as he's performed around the emirates numerous times in the last year. Hits include In My Head, Wiggle, Ridin' Solo and Don't Wanna Go Home. The first 100 women get free entry while it's Dh100 afterwards for women and Dh250 for men.

Friday, February 21; 11pm-4pm, starts from Dh100, Base, Dubai Design District, www.basedubai.com

Take a free photography tour in Sharjah

Take a tour of the Mleiha Archaeological Sites. Led by photographer Mohammed Al Hammadi, participants will explore and photograph the ancient city of Mleiha and evidence of early human civilisation. Expect to gather information about the site and its place in the region's history, while photographing the landscapes and archaeology of the area.

Saturday, February 22; 10am-1pm; free; Mleiha Archaeological Centre, off the E55, Sharjah; www.sharjahart.org

Make your way to Barasti's cheese festival, Dubai

Cheese Fest UAE is heading to Barasti. The family-friendly event will offer a plethora of cheese samples from around the world. In addition, there will also be masterclasses and live performances as well as contests and games. Children can also get in on the fun by enjoying a special corner complete with bouncy castle, games, arts and crafts and specialised children’s cheese dishes.

Saturday, February 22; noon-11pm; free; Barasti, Dubai Marina; www.facebook.com/cheesefestUAE

Go to an animal adoption day, Dubai 

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - - -  August 13, 2016 ---  This feline takes a rest in his cage while waiting, hopefully, for a new home during Cat Adoption Day at the German Vet Clinic in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, August 13, 2016.  ( DELORES JOHNSON / The National )  
ID: 42625
Reporter:  None
Section: NA *** Local Caption ***  DJ-130816-NA-Standalone-42625-003.jpg

Help give a canine a loving forever home. Stray Dogs Center UAQ and DubaiPetFood.com are hosting a dogs and puppies adoption day. The PawPals puppy training team will also be on hand to teach pups some manners and build their confidence in a free intro training session from 11am to noon.

Saturday, February 22; 1pm-4pm, adoption fees apply; DubaiPetFood, Dubai Investment Park; www.facebook.com/straydogscenterUAQ

Head to Ripe Market, various locations 

Visit Ripe Market to stock up on locally grown seasonal organic produce, as well as a variety of superfoods, juices, honey, eggs and essential pantry items. There are arts and crafts vendors, food trucks, live music and entertainment, a petting zoo, kids’ activities, workshops and more. Try a free yoga session at 4.30pm.

Saturdays, at various times and locations, including: 3pm to 9pm, from Dh5 for park entrance, Umm Al Emarat Park, Abu Dhabi, www.ripeme.com

ElectroFest at NYUAD, Abu Dhabi 

ElectroFest returns for a second year to NYUAD. Presented by the NYUAD Music Programme, it features works from faculty and other UAE and international artists. The event includes a panel discussion with experts exploring current creative trends in improvisation with live electronics. There will be five world premieres and eight UAE premieres.

Saturday, February 22; various timings, free with registration, NYUAD Arts Center, NYU Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi; www.nyuad-artcenter.org

Talk textiles with creators in Abu Dhabi

Artist-led platform Naqd Critique hosts sessions that focus on contemporary artworks. In this discussion, artists and creators working with textiles, whether through fashion design, performance, installation or mixed media, are invited to reflect on the power and influence of the medium in art.

Saturday, February 22, 6.30pm- 8.30pm; free; Warehouse421, Mina Zayed, Abu Dhabi; www.warehouse421.ae

Watch a film at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation

On Saturday, the Cultural Foundation will screen the documentary Sharp Tools, which is directed by Emirati filmmaker Nujoom Al Ghanem. It focuses on Hassan Sharif, the founder of the conceptual art movement in the UAE, as he explains why he chose his new wave of art at a time the world was perhaps not ready for it.

Saturday, February 22, 7pm-9pm; Dh30; Cultural Foundation, Qasr Al Hosn, Abu Dhabi; www.culturalfoundation.ae