UFC 294 Showdown Week: Things to do around Abu Dhabi

Weigh-ins, open workouts and a Robbie Williams gig, here's how the capital is preparing for fight night

Mohammed Yahya will be the first Emirati to fight in UFC. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
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The UFC is returning to Abu Dhabi.

UFC 294 will take place at Etihad Arena, Yas Island, on Saturday. The headline event is the lightweight title fight between titleholder Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski, who is the featherweight champion.

For fans coming to the UAE capital for the event, here’s what to expect during UFC Showdown Week, including citywide activities, a concert and a comedy show.

Monday to Sunday: Fan Experiences

There will be meet-and-greets and interactive experiences, such as the UFC Striking Challenge or video booth, and merchandise stands for fans throughout the week around Yas Island.

The activations are free and open to the public. They will be at Yas Mall from Monday to Sunday and Yas Bay from Thursday to Sunday.

Wednesday: Official UFC Open Workouts

UFC fighters such as Makhachev, Khamzat Chimaev, Kamaru Usman and home-grown Emirati talent Mohammed Yahya are expected to participate in open workout sessions showing off their training techniques at Yas Mall. The event is open and free for fans to watch.

Wednesday: Robbie Williams concert

The English pop star will perform some of the biggest hits from his 25-year career at Etihad Arena. Expect to hear chart-toppers such as Candy, Angels, She’s the One and Rock DJ.

Thursday: UFC press conference

The anticipated press conference for UFC 294 will take place at Etihad Arena with fans being able to attend on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open at 4pm, an hour before the event starts.

Friday: Official UFC weigh-ins

Fans can also watch the fighters face-off as they step on to the scale at Etihad Arena for weigh-in day. This event is also first come, first served. Doors open at 3.30pm with a Q&A session starting at 4pm and the weigh-in beginning at 5pm.

Friday: MMA events

For those who enjoy watching Mixed Martial Arts, UAE Warriors 45 matches will take place at Khabib Gym, while the inaugural Abu Dhabi Extreme Championship makes its debut at Mubadala Arena.

Saturday: UFC 294

The event at is sold out. For those attending, there will be a total of 13 fights – eight on the preliminary card and five on the main card. The main event will be a world title fight.

The preliminary bouts start at 6pm, with the main event fights expected to begin at 10pm.

Sunday: Andrew Schulz comedy show

The New York comedian has sold out arenas as part of his US tour and it is no different for his Abu Dhabi gig, which is also sold out.

Schulz is known for his gritty, no-holds-barred material. He also hosts the popular podcasts Flagrant and The Brilliant Idiots, and stars in the comedy mini-series Schulz Saves America on Netflix.

Updated: October 16, 2023, 10:03 AM