Living in Abu Dhabi doesn’t have to cost a fortune…
From sweet spa deals to budget brunches – and a few cheeky What’s On exclusive deals thrown in for good measure – the UAE’s capital is full of wallet-friendly fun, if you know where to look…
St Regis Abu Dhabi
The new Project Brunch at the Terrace on the Corniche is going to knock your brunching socks off. Explore a dedicated homemade chocolate room; feast on an almost overwhelming array of delicious international delicacies; and enjoy it all for less. Simply download the More Cravings app, and snap up the 2-for-1 soft drinks brunch package. You’ll be saving almost Dhs300.
St Regis Abu Dhabi, Sat 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs275 with soft drinks. Tel: (0)2 694 4553. @stregisabudhabi
Serving Jamaican food with a side order of smiles is Ting Irie – Pon Di Beach, where its cool island daze brunch includes a three-course menu of Jamaican favourites for the bargain house package price of Dhs225.
Mamsha Al Saadiyat, Sat 1pm to 5pm, Dhs225 with house drinks. Tel: (0)2 886 7786. @tingirieauh
Chic new wine bar & lounge UVA, located in Marriott Hotel Al Forsan, has launched an impressive Saturday evening brunch deal that includes three hours of free-flowing selected drinks, plus three choice dishes from the brunch food menu for Dhs249 per person.
Marriott Hotel Al Forsan, Sat 4pm to 8pm, Dhs249 with house drinks. Tel: (0)2 201 4131. marriottalforsanlife.com
Dino’s Bistro Italiano
A bubbly Italian weekend brunch for Dhs240 per person. That’s the signature deal at Dino’s where guests enjoy Italian delights and assorted desserts alongside free-flowing cocktails, grape and bubbly.
Pearl Rotana, Sat and Sun noon to 4pm, Dhs240 with house drinks, half price for children. Under-fives free. Tel: (0)2 307 5555. rotanatimes.com
An oldie but a goodie, PJ’s Nana’s Table brunch is not just tasty good, it’s wallet-friendly good too, with homemade homemade sharing platters inspired by Irish family recipes. Brunch is just Dhs225 with house drinks, or add on a pool pass for Dhs50.
Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Street, Sat 1pm to 4pm, Dhs225 with house drinks. pjspubabudhabi.com
Indoor adventures at Madcap (What’s On exclusive deal!)
Indoor play zones are perfect places for little ones to let off some steam with lots of active fun, but they often come with a hefty price tag. Not so at new indoor adventure zone Madcap in Yas Mall where What’s On readers receive 30 per cent off per child every weekday in May. Madcap features a range of zones with trampolines, obstacle courses, a ninja warrior course, climbing walls, soft play, foam pits and much more. Simply mention “What’s On Abu Dhabi” at reception to nab that discount. T&Cs apply.
Yas Mall – The Fountains, Yas Island, Dhs98 for two hours after discount. Tel: 600 50 7275. @madcap.ae
Pool day antics at Abu Dhabi Edition
Make a splash without spending too much cash at Abu Dhabi Edition, the perfect setting for a chilled-out pool day. Relax cabana-side and graze on light bites from Alba Terrace, with a weekday pool pass priced at Dhs150, which is fully redeemable, or a weekend pass priced at Dhs225, of which you’ll get Dhs150 back to spend on food and drink.
Al Bateen Marina, daily 7am to 9pm. Tel: (0)2 208 0000. @abudhabiedition
Sunset walk through Jubail Mangrove Park
Jubail Mangrove Park offers visitors the opportunity to explore one of this region’s most fascinating natural ecosystems. Nestled on a quiet outcrop of Jubail Island, the mangrove park features a meandering 2.3km boardwalk, where, if you’re lucky you’ll spot park inhabitants, including herons, turtles and crabs. There are plenty of ways to explore this fascinating turquoise expanse, including ranger-led, guided boardwalk, kayak, and e-canoe tours. Alternatively, you can explore solo and pay a mere Dhs15 entrance fee.
Al Jubail Island (next to Saadiyat Island), 8am to 7.30pm daily, Dhs15 for adults, Dhs10 for children. Tel: (0)56 303 2423. park.jubailisland.ae
Family fun at Clymb
Buy four tickets for the price of three. That’s the new friends and family offer at Clymb, which gives you and your squad a chance to experience the thrill of indoor skydiving or climbing and save money at the same time.
Yas Island, Dhs795 (flying) Dhs405 (climbing). Tel: 600 51 115. clymbabudhabi.com
Break free at Prison Island (What’s On exclusive deal!)
Pay to lock yourselves in a cell that’s filled with challenges. That’s the fun at Prison Island – Beat the Bars, where you and your pals must work together to complete obstacles and tasks in order to break free. There are 26 individual cells to complete, each testing your physical or mental mettle. Go in May and book for four players for the price of three. Simply mention “What’s On Abu Dhabi” when booking over the phone. T&Cs apply.
Abu Dhabi Mall, Al Zahiya. Tel: (0)58 819 9176. @prisonisland.abudhabi
Don’t be the person who pays full price for a pasta when everyone else is paying less for the same order. With that in mind head to Amano, the new licensed Italian restaurant along the Eastern Mangroves promenade for ‘Pizza & Pasta Mondays’ where it’s buy one, get one free on pasta and pizza. Available for dine-in and delivery.
Eastern Mangroves Promenade, Monday noon to 11pm. Tel: (0)55 128 8635. @amano_easternmangroves
Fifth Street Café
Who says afternoon tea has to be expensive? At Marriott World Trade Center Abu Dhabi’s Fifth Street Café guests pay just Dhs49.50 per person for afternoon tea, which includes a selection of scones, dainty savoury items, pastries, sweets and unlimited tea and coffee.
Marriott World Trade Center Abu Dhabi, daily 3pm to 6pm. Dhs99 per couple inclusive of unlimited tea and coffee. Tel: (0)52 914 12 07. diningatcourtyardabudhabi.com
Bonna Annee continues to be a Dirham buster crowd favourite for its homestyle Ethiopian dishes with fantastic flavours. To experience the best of it, order for the house special for just Dhs40 (good for four people), an array of authentic stews and sides served on an enormous injera – Ethiopia’s staple foodstuff. The spongy bread acts as both vessel and vehicle for scooping up the likes of doro wat (spiced chicken stew), shiro (red chickpea paste) and key wet (tomato-based beef stew with Ethiopian chilli).
Al Salam Street, Al Zahiyah, daily 10am to midnight. Tel: (0)2 491 2128. @bonna_annee_restaurant
If you always go à la carte, your restaurant bill can easily fly into the hundreds. The prix fixe menu – or menu du jour – is easily the best way around this: essentially a chopped-down selection of the house’s full-length menu. A perfect example of this is at the What’s On award-winning Raclette. Featuring many of its signature dishes, Raclette’s three-course menu du jour for just Dhs99 offers a great feel for the kitchen’s quality and character, all without leaving a substantial dent in the wallet.
Mamsha Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island, daily noon to 5pm, Dhs99 with water, Dhs119 with glass of grape/ale, Dhs169 with two hours of free-flowing grape/ale. Tel: (0)2 546 2277. @racletteuae
Every Monday ‘til further notice, pizza legends Akiba Dori is filling you with all the pizza you can eat in two hours for Dhs99. From 7pm to 9pm, gorge on Tokyo-style solo-sized select pizzas, including the cinco formaggi, margherita, marinara, classic pepperoni and more. Hot top: place a review of your experience on Google and get free soft serve ice cream.
Yas Bay, Yas Island, Mon 7pm to 9pm, Dhs99. Tel: (0)2 886 8991. @akibadori
Velocity Sports Bar
Whether after-work on a Friday or after-brunch on a Saturday, party on for less – much less – at Velocity Sports Bar where revellers enjoy 10 house drinks for a mere Dhs50. That’s Dhs5 a drink. Options run the gamut from wine, sparkling, house drinks, and ale.
Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi, Fri and Sat 4pm to 3am. Tel: (0)2 304 7777. @marriottdowntownad
Did someone say unlimited coffee? Caffeine-obsessed residents or workers near Galleria Mall would be wise to sign up for Joga Coffee’s monthly subscription. Pay Dhs135 for all the coffee you can drink in a month. We did the math based on our own caffeine consumption, and yep, it’s well worth it.
The Galleria, Al Maryah Island, Tel: (0)2 546 7332. @eatjoga
Atlon Bar & Bistro
The early bird catches the really cheap deals at Souk Qaryat Al Beri’s Atlon Bar & Bistro with its beat the clock weekday offers. Drink and dine from 5pm to 6pm and it’s just Dhs10 per drink and 50 per cent off food. Between 6pm and 7pm it’s Dhs15 per drinks and 30 per cent off food. And between 7pm and 8pm it’s Dhs20 per drink and 20 per cent off food.
Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Between the Bridges, Mon to Fri from 5pm. Tel: (0)55 780 0086. @atlonabudhabi
Ladies, could you use an excuse to throw back a margarita or four? Head to the ever-popular Loca restaurant in The Galleria where every Wednesday from 7pm, women enjoy Mexico’s finest for free all night.
The Galleria, Al Maryah Island, Wed from 7pm. Tel: (0)2 582 3639. @locauae
Antonia’s pie slices might get all the glory, but the award-winning pizzeria makes a mean Aperol Spritz. Head there on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 3pm to 6pm and discover the capital’s most competitive aperitivo time – two Aperol’s and a half tray of classic pizza for Dhs80 per person. Classic pizzas include margherita, foccacia al rosmarino, diavola, marinara, patate e rosmarino and quattro formaggi.
Mamsha Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island, open daily, midday to 11pm. Tel: (0)2 667 2554. @antonia.uae
Park Rotana – Abu Dhabi
It pays to be organised at Bodylines spa. Guests who pre-pay during the week for a treatment to enjoy on the weekend get 50 per cent off massage menu items on Saturday and Sunday between 2pm and 3pm. That means Dhs187 for a 60-minute Thai, alpha wellness or Balinese massage.
Park Rotana – Abu Dhabi, Sat and Sun 2pm to 3pm, from Dhs187. Tel: (0)2 657 3373. rotanatimes.com
The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa
Designed especially for you, the Me Monday deal at the gorgeous Heavenly Spa includes a choice between a full body massage, golfer massage, or scrub with a back or foot massage for Dhs299. Plus, after all your pampering, you can head outside and chill by the huge outdoor pool for free.
The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, Mon 9am to 2pm, Dhs299. Tel: (0)2 616 9999. heavenlyspaabudhabi.com
Ladies, nail a stellar deal on your next mani pedi treatment by bringing a friend who is new to NStyle and the team will give you both 25 per cent off. T&Cs apply.
Yas Mall, Sun to Thu 10am to 10pm, Fri and Sat 10am to midnight. Tel: (0)2 565 0194. @nstyleuae
Save more when you book a massage online at Anantara Spa. Get clicking and enjoy up to 30 per cent discount on a 60-minute massage.
Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel, daily 10am to 6pm, Dhs450. anantara.com
Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas
Looking for a pocket-friendly mid-week treat? Consider Zen the Spa where Thursdays mean an afternoon tea treat at Sama Lobby Lounge, a 45-minute spa session and access to the pool and beach all day for Dhs365.
Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, Al Saadiyat Island, Thur, Dhs365. Tel: (0)2 697 0000. rotana.com