13 things to do in Abu Dhabi this August: comedy shows, new shops, special events and more
Fill your boots this August with comedy shows at The Laughter Factory or catch a dance performance at NYUAD
We're smack bang in the middle of summer, but there's still plenty happening in the ever-expanding city that is Abu Dhabi.
Here are the events to book, plan for and go to, proving that the hotter months needn't be boring. And if you're curious about Dubai, here's what's happening this month.
Kayak around Louvre Abu Dhabi at night
Louvre Abu Dhabi is one of the capital’s most stunning buildings, and you can now experience its wonder up close with a night-time kayaking tour. The 60-minute tours, organised by water sports company Sea Hawk, will take place on Thursday, August 15 and Friday, August 16, to coincide with the full moon. The tours will be operated by Sea Hawk and will explain a bit about the history of the architectural feat, while showing you the building from different perspective. Tours set off from outside the museum, and cost Dh126 including a guide and life-jacket hire. Booking in advance is required.
Check out the new shops at WTC mall Abu Dhabi
World Trade Center (WTC) Abu Dhabi has added three new mall services plus a hypermarket section to its two-level Lulu department store. Visitors can now shop, workout and process paperwork all under the same roof, even while keeping the kids entertained at Toys for Less, which opened in June. New to try this month are skincare brand Rituals (its Rituals of Namaste line comes highly recommended), Train Gym (a massive space for weight-lifting and strength-conditioning with or without personal trainers) and Tadbeer (the body that processes applications and visas for house help), which will commence its operations from August. Groceries, electronics and clothing aside, Lulu also offers the brand’s first in-store sushi station that, if their previous food vendors are anything to go by, promises to be fresh and delicious.
Film screening at Cinema Space
If you want a change from the usual summer blockbusters, check out the Cinema Space in Manarat Al Saadiyat for free screenings of independent and classic films. This month, catch a screening on August 5 of The Hate U Give, a powerful adaptation of The New York Times bestselling book by Angie Thomas that tackles issues of police brutality and the intersection of race and class. If old Hollywood is more your taste, then don’t miss their showing of Gone with the Wind on August 17. For the full programme of screenings, head to www.cinemaspace-abudhabi.splashthat.com
The Laughter Factory comedy shows
The Laughter Factory is back this month with three more top international comedians to give us some well-deserved laughs during this hot summer. The Volume 1518 Tour brings shows to Abu Dhabi and Dubai featuring Scott Bennett (pictured), a rising star from Yorkshire, angry American Dave Fulton and the headliner, Australian 'bad boy', Ro Campbell.
Shows are Thursday, August 8, Friday, August 9, Thursday, August 15 and Friday, August 16 in Dubai, and on Wednesday, August 14 in Abu Dhabi and tickets cost from Dh160.
Ansaf dance performance
Make plans to attend the world debut of Ansaf by Sima Dance Company of Dubai at The Black Box at NYU Abu Dhabi on Friday, August 23 and Saturday, August 24. Palestinian choreographer Alaa Krimed explores important aspects facing the Arab world in his show, performed by 10 dancers. The dances are inspired by the writings of Canadian philosopher Alan Deneault, with focus on consumerism and populism.
Yas Waterworld special events
Yas Waterworld has plenty in store for visitors this month, including Ladies Days and Ladies Nights on Thursdays and Neon Nights on Fridays. Ladies Season events means women-only entry for guests and an entire female staff to ensure guests’ comfort. Enjoy the 40 rides, slides and attractions along with special events like aqua Zumba in the Amwaj Wave Pool with a female DJ playing top hits. Ladies Days are 10am to 11pm and take place on Thursdays August 1, 8 and 15; with Ladies Nights on Thursdays August 22 and 29 from 6pm to 11pm. Neon Nights are extended hours on Fridays until 10pm, with glow-in-the-dark slides, a neon river, a silent disco with bright-coloured headphones, hydrojet shows from the Amwaj Pool and even a neon buffet.
Art exhibition at Manarat Al Saadiyat
Get a bird’s eye view of the world at Manarat Al Saadiyat’s current exhibition ABOVE: Aerial Photography Exhibition, showing an array of urban and natural landscapes captured by drones and aircraft. One of the 12 photographers included in the show is US-based Martin Sanchez, who specialises in aerial photography and whose imaginative compositions play with scale and symmetry. With snapshots that range from the quirky to the striking, these images open up a new side of photography. The exhibition runs until August 26.
Grab a meal at Off the Hook
Get ready to don an apron and put on a pair of gloves the next time you visit Yas Mall: a new branch of the eat-with-your-hands seafood restaurant, Off the Hook, is now open beside the Nike store. You can order freshly boiled or steamed fish, prawns (that you shell yourself), squid, mussels and crabs by the kilo or half-kilo, all of which are served in steamed transparent bags, and come with delicious sauces, such as garlic butter, lemon pepper, olive & herbs, mushroom & onion or curry & chilli. The restaurant, which also has branches in the Tourist Club Area and Al Karamah, serves reasonably priced fare, with half a kilo of crabs going for Dh39, shrimps for Dh59 and lobster for Dh75. For starters, the crab balls (Dh13) come highly recommended.
Celebrate Eid with fireworks at Yas
Yas Marina will be hosting a three-day celebration to mark Eid Al Adha, welcoming families and friends from across the UAE. Each day of the celebration will end with a fireworks display starting at 9pm, which will be easily visible from any of the Marina’s nine restaurants. Italian restaurant Cipriani Yas Island will open for the celebration, offering guests uninterrupted views of the display, while those looking for something a little different can enjoy the celebrations from the deck of a traditional dhow with Captain Tony’s Eid Fireworks Fun Cruise.
Help to find Wooly at Marina Mall
This August, Marina Mall needs your help to find its wooly mammoth fossil that has gone missing. The fossil now has a new home, and customers can help to find this by following a special trail around the mall, marked out with stickers. Stickers will be placed near select outlets across the mall waiting to be found collected by shoppers taking part in the hunt. Once they have found the stickers, they can paste them to their Find Wooly forms. Shoppers who snap pictures with the special posters and upload pictures using #findingwooly will be entered into a prize raffle. Prizes include cinema tickets, a PS4, a toy kit from Hamleys and various other tickets for attractions around the mall.
Kids yoga at The Hot House
The Hot House in Al Zeina is launching its kids yoga classes this month, and they are a great way to introduce little ones to the practice. Children will explore mindfulness, as well as the importance of breathing and movement. The classes are held in a safe, playful environment for those aged four to 12. Classes start Tuesday, August 20, and are held from 3.45pm to 4.30pm for ages four to seven; 4.45pm to 5.30pm for ages eight to 12. Prices are from Dh65 per class and there are packages available from Dh240 for four classes as well as a sibling discount of 10 per cent.
Cultural events in Al Ain
Department of Tourism and Culture – Abu Dhabi is hosting a series of culture and heritage events in Al Ain this month. On Saturday, August 10, take part in the free Emirati Dagger Programme at Qasr Al Muwaiji and learn the secrets of making a dagger, including the equipment and materials used as well as the correct way to wear it. Learn about the inscription and special decorations on the daggers of the ruling families of the UAE. On Saturday, August 17, the programme Characters from the 20th Century at Qasr Al Muwaiji features costumed actors interacting with visitors to portray the people and daily practices of the venue 100 years ago. On Thursday, August 22, visit Al Qattara Arts Centre for the first of a two-part free talks series, Microphone, in which explorers Samr Almarzouqi and Shelaiweeh Almazrouei will share stories of their adventures as well as advice on topics such as top destinations to visit at certain times of the year, and how to plan a trip on a budget. The second talk will be held in September. In honour of Emirati Women’s Day, on August 28, females aged 14 and older can take part in workshops at Al Qattara Arts Centre. Learn the art of decoupage and decorate household items; a jewellery design workshop focuses on sketching and engraving stones; and for those aged 18 and older, there's a collage art workshop.
Summer camps in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain
Summer camps for children continue this month including art and craft workshops at Al Qattara Arts Centre in Al Ain; family activities and experiments at the Ikea Summer Academy; ecological and entertaining activities at the Aladdin’s Cave at Saadiyat Rotana Resort and Villas; obstacle courses, swimming and Zumba at the Sandcastle Summer Camp at The St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort; kids CrossFit and outdoor play at the Vogue Fitness summer camp at Yas Marina; indoor and outdoor sports and activities at the ZSC Kids Holiday Camp at Zayed Sports City; French Summer Camp at Alliance Francaise Abu Dhabi in Al Bateen; and the storytelling activities based on Julia Donaldson books at British Orchard Nursery locations across the country.
Updated: August 4, 2019 06:37 PM