7 things to do this weekend in the UAE

A roundup of fun-filled activities you and your family can indulge in

By Areeba Hashmi

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Published: Thu 21 Dec 2023, 6:28 PM

Last updated: Thu 21 Dec 2023, 11:24 PM

Scuba diving Santa

This weekend, witness Santa’s aquatic adventure as he scuba dives into Atlantis, The Palm’s Ambassador Lagoon, swimming alongside 65,000 marine friends. Catch the underwater spectacle at 1pm daily until Monday, December 25. Tickets for non-resort guests are Dh 35, and resort guests enjoy free entry. After his dive, Santa will be available at his grotto at The Lost Chambers Aquarium from 5.30pm to 6.30pm. Dive into the festive season with this unique and magical experience.

Dive-in Theatre

Unwind and embrace the holiday spirit at The Matinee, The WB Abu Dhabi’s dive-in theatre, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton. Indulge in festive classics and iconic movies while lounging in comfortable seats on Sunday, December 24, from 4.30pm-6.30pm and 7pm-9pm. Accompany the cinematic experience with delectable snacks and beverages from the a la carte menu. It’s the perfect setting for a cosy and enjoyable Christmas Eve celebration.


LIWA VILLAGE, powered by Du, a desert festival in Abu Dhabi, offers a family-friendly experience with diverse zones, showcasing Emirati culture, art, music, and adventure. Enjoy Arabic cuisine at Souk, shop at Oasis, and explore Carnival’s amusement park. PUBG MOBILE features e-sports and thrilling activities, including hot air balloons and paragliding. The main stage hosts weekly Arabic performances. The festival runs daily in December, sponsored by du, Wio Bank, and EXEED. Visit the official website for tickets and details.

Cruise around the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Embark on a unique adventure at Louvre Abu Dhabi by enjoying a captivating electric catamaran experience— a cruise around the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi on the waters of Saadiyat Island. Presented by Costa Azzurra, the luxurious electric catamaran offers a memorable and leisurely experience, allowing you to admire the architecture of the museum. The experience is available seven days a week, providing a refreshing and scenic perspective of the renowned cultural landmark. Book your slot and indulge in this extraordinary aquatic journey.


Nestled in the heart of Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Shishka offers a unique dining experience blending the charm of the Siberian forest with Arabian hospitality. Celebrate the festive season with Shishka’s exclusive Christmas and New Year offerings. From December 14 to 26, enjoy a Festive Set Menu featuring traditional flavours, including Tabbouleh, Shishka Champignon Soup, Uzbek Shishka Plov, Stuffed Turkey, and Golden Panna Cotta. Additionally, indulge in a Turkey Takeaway. On December 31st, ushering in the New Year with a unique set menu featuring delights like Stuffed Beef Wagyu Ball, Gazpacho Avocado with Lobster, Grilled Wagyu Beef, and Golden Panna Cotta. Shishka also offers a variety of authentic shisha flavours for a unique experience. Enjoy festive joy with curated menus, lively music, and warm hospitality.

Animal Barn Pop-up

Animal enthusiasts are in for a treat this weekend with the return of the Animal Barn Pop-up at Umm Al Emarat Park in collaboration with Al Ain Zoo. Starting this Friday, visitors can engage with and learn about various fascinating creatures, including birds of prey, parrots, snakes, and other reptiles. The event provides a unique opportunity for hands-on interaction and insights from knowledgeable keepers. Enjoy this exciting experience at Umm Al Emarat Park in the Mushrif Area, Abu Dhabi, starting December 22.

Toy Festival

Playtime takes centre stage at Cityland Mall with the Cityland Dubai Toy Festival in collaboration with Spacetoon from December 23 to March 22. Explore over 15 international toy brands, meet over 40 mascots like Barbie, Bluey, CoComelon, and Hot Wheels, and enjoy mascot parades, live performances, and interactive workshops. The festival features an open-air garden named Central Park, a petting zoo, and food trucks. Grammy-nominated Arab singer Rasha Rizk is set to perform during the festival. Take advantage of the three-month extravaganza filled with surprises.


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