If you hadn't realised by now, Abu Dhabi has gone crazy for UFC 242. On Saturday September 7, the event will take place at The Arena, a new indoor venue being purpose-built for the occasion. But the fight night is only one part of a packed programme of events known as Abu Dhabi Showdown week.
Knockout Burgers, which starts on August 25, is the first part of the schedule to launch, but there are loads of parties, sporting events and more going on from September 1 to 7. Here’s what you can expect.
There will be two huge concerts taking place before the UFC event. The Red Hot Chili Peppers will be performing at The Arena on Wednesday September 4. Tickets started at Dhs250 to see the Californian band, but the lower categories have now sold out and the remaining tickets start at Dhs450. The following night, Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin will take to the stage. Tickets for the singer, who’s biggest hit is Mi Gente (you’ll have heard it, trust us), start from Dhs450.
Red Hot Chili Peppers: From Dhs250. Wed Sep 4. J Balvin: From Dhs450. Thu Sep 5. The Arena, Yas Island, www.ticketmaster.ae.
The Abu Dhabi Sports and Fitness Expo, managed by UAE-based Universal Music Fitness and Fashion (UMFF) will feature leading international exhibitors, competitions, fitness programmes, activations, and international conferences over three days at du Forum from September 5-7. Fitness stars taking part include four times Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler and Mr. Universe, Mike O’Hearn. Tickets are Dhs50 for a one-day pass and Dhs120 for a three-day pass. A one-day VIP pass costs Dhs100 and gives you the chance to meet the celebrities taking part.
From Dhs50. Sep 5-7. du Forum, Yas Island, www.adshowdownweek.ae.
Head to the poolside cabanas at the EDITION for a three-hour brunch package available from noon until 6pm. Expect pizzas, burrata, sliders and more, along with mixed drinks and pink grape.
Dhs200. Sep 1-7 noon-6pm. The Abu Dhabi EDITION, Al Bateen (02 208 0000).
Saadiyat beach Club will be putting on a chic poolside party for all the ladies’ in Abu Dhabi. There’ll be DJs, entertainment and games. Gents, you can attend as well, but it’llcost you more, and you can forget about the free-flow drinks.
Dhs150 (ladies, free-flowing drinks), Dhs250 (men). Sep 2-3 11am-3pm. Saadiyat Beach Club, Saadiyat Island (02 656 3500).
A late-night party on Yas Island’s super-club MAD will follow the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Sep 4 11pm-5am. MAD on Yas Island (055 834 6262).
Iris Beach Club
The cool spot on Yas Marina is taking over Yas Beach for a full day. Expect cool DJs and a glamourous crowd.
Sep 5 noon-8pm. Yas Beach, Yas Island (056 242 0435).
The capital’s biggest pool party is taking over Aloft Abu Dhabi’s pool deck for a night of dancing, food and amazing music.
Free (ladies and airline crew), Dhs100 (men). Sep 5 8pm-3am. Aloft Abu Dhabi, ADNEC (02 654 5000).
The club, a huge hit in Dubai and in its native Las Vegas, is taking over two capital venues for pop-up parties. On September 5 there’ll be a club night at MAD on Yas Island and the following day there’ll be a beach club party at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr.
Sep 5 11pm-5am. MAD on Yas Island (055 834 6262). Sep 6 noon-8pm Fairmont Bab Al Bahr (02 654 3333).
The Showdown at ANNEX
The Abu Dhabi EDITION’s swanky three-level nightspot is getting in on the action with a night based around UFC action. Ladies’, if any of you are up for it, there’s free bubbly all night long if you dress like a ring girl.
Free. Sep 6 10pm-4am. ANNEX, The Abu Dhabi EDITION, Al Bateen (02 418 2432).
MAD’s usual Thursday night hip-hop night will take place after the second Showdown Week gig. Will there be a big name R’n’B star performing in the early hours? Probably.
Sep 6 11pm-4am. MAD on Yas Island (055 834 6262).
UFC 242 viewing Party
If you haven’t got a ticket for the big event, don’t worry about it, there’ll be a huge screen at Saadiyat Beach Club screening it with free-flowing drinks between 5pm and 8pm.
Dhs200 (women), Dhs250 (men). Sep 7 5pm-8pm. Saadiyat Beach Club, Saadiyat Island (02 656 3500).
There’ll be a party at classy Italian restaurant Cipriani after the UFC 242 event has finished, expect cool tunes, well-heeled ladies and gentlemen and views over Yas Marina.
Sep 7 11pm-5am. Cipriani, Yas Marina, Yas Island (02 657 5400).
The White Experience
The official post-UFC party will take place at MAD on Yas Island. Lebanese superclub White, which is a multiple Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards-winner will be taking over the entertainment for the night.
Sep 7 midnight-4am. MAD on Yas Island (055 834 6262).
In the build-up to the big event, the fighters will have an open workout in public at Yas Mall on September 4 from 4pm, entry will be free. From noon on September 6 there’ll be a full-on fan experience at The Arena, where you can meet the UFC talent. Entry to this is also free. Then, at 6pm the weigh-in will take place. We’ve been told there’s an application process to get free entry, so watch this space. The big event itself, UFC 242, will happen on Saturday September 7 from 8pm at The Arena on Yas Island. There are only a few VIP and hotel and event tickets still remaining for the huge night of sport, which will have 11 bouts and be headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier.
Various venues and times. Sep 4-7. Yas Island.