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With parties, concerts and F1 brunches, there are loads of great ways to get involved with the excitement of the F1. But there are also plenty of things going on that don’t involve fast cars. So here are 20 of the best happy hours, restaurant deals, exhibitions and things to do away from the race track.

All you can eat pancakes


It might not be healthy by any stretch of the imagination, but American-style breakfast food is always amazing. Throughout November, New York burger joint Bareburger is offering all-can-eat pancakes for Dhs35. That means you can stack them as high as you like and keep going back for more until you can’t eat another bite. Nobody will judge you, honest. Available daily until noon, it’s the perfect way to start another exciting day in the capital.

Dhs35. Daily 8am-noon. Marina Mall, Corniche Breakwater (02 441 1723).

Arty mini golf

Arty mini golf

Putting for Pleasure and Politics at the NYUAD Arts Center plaza is a nine-hole mini golf course designed by nine different artists. This life-sized sculpture garden lets visitors experience a thought-provoking round of golf that really is like no other. Following the theme of discomfort, each hole addresses a different social issue. It really makes you ponder more than just why you’re still so very bad at golf. Part of the wider Discomfort exhibition by David Darts, the feature is on display until November 25.

Free. Sat-Thu 3pm-10pm. The Project Space, NYUAD Arts Center plaza, Saadiyat Island (02 628 8000).

Buy one, get one free Asian market night

This is “same, same but different” to an actual Asian market that you might have found during your backpacking trip in the Far East. The Wednesday Cho Gao Asian Market features unlimited sushi, soup, salads and other exotic delights. Plus, there’s a current promotion that lets two people eat for the price of one.

Dhs269 (soft drinks), Dhs329 (mixed beverages). Wed 7pm-11pm. Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Al Markaziyah (02 616 6149).

Brunch at the Palace

Brunch at the Palace

As vast and intoxicating as a Mediterranean weekend market, Brunch at the Palace includes Spanish taps, Arabic mezze, wagyu burgers, fresh seafood, patisserie stalls and so much more. It also gives you the opportunity to get those envy-inducing Insta shots of the so very lavish Emirates Palace.

Dhs370 (soft drinks), Dhs465 (house beverages), Dhs680 (bubbly), Dhs780 (French bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Emirates Palace, West Corniche (02 690 7999).

Dhs19 food and drinks for gents

Arty mini golf

Stock Burger Co. has introduced a deal that’s designed to treat all the men in the capital. To coincide with International Men’s Day on Monday November 19, gents can enjoy some of the American-style joint’s most popular snacks and drinks for just Dhs19 each. The offer includes tasty bites such as marinated olives, veggie nachos and buffalo wings, plus a selection of craft brews.

Dhs19. Nov 19 noon-2am. Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi, Dhafeer Street (800 78 625).

Dim sum lunch at Shang Palace

Dim sum lunch at Shang Palace

If you’re a fan of the dim sum, you’re in luck. Now you can feast on unlimited servings of the filled dumplings every day at Shang Palace. The special menu includes steamed buns, signature dumplings, rice noodles, roasted meat and soups. There’s also Chinese tea and access to the dessert station at the adjacent Sofra bld restaurant.

Dhs115 (food only), Dhs145 (tea and dessert station). Daily noon-3pm. Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri, Bain Al Jessrain (02 509 8503).

Gents’ night


Sky Lounge Thirty One has decided it’s time for the guys to be treated to a freebie for a change. Gents can now enjoy two free premium beverages when they buy shisha between 8pm and 10pm every Wednesday evening. This elevated bar boasts some fantastic views too.

Price vary. Wed 8pm-10pm. Grand Millennium Al Wahda, Hazza Bin Zayed Street (02 495 3915).

Grab a St. Regis Falooda at Crystal Lounge


You can’t leave Abu Dhabi without visiting the St. Regis. After all, Rio Ferdinand just proposed to his girlfriend here, so it must be quite special. If you just want to pop in for a drink, the very opulent Crystal Lounge is serving its signature falooda, the delectable Indian dessert drink, throughout November. Mixed with rose syrup, vermicelli and sweet basil, and topped off with a scoop of Indian kulfi ice cream, it’s totally delicious.

Dhs45. Open daily 7am-midnight. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers (02 694 4553).

Half-price massages

Pearl Rotana

There are so many great things to do in the UAE’s capital, making the most of them could leave you feeling a bit worn out. But luckily Bodylines Fitness & Wellness Club in Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana is offering a 50 percent discount on all one-hour massages. The rejuvenating offer is available from Sunday to Thursday, from 11am to 2pm.

Prices vary. Sun-Thu 11am-2pm. Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street (02 495 4444).

Happy hour at Back Yard Bistro

Back Yard Bistro

This happy hour should really be renamed happy days. It lasts from noon until midnight every single day, so really it would make far more sense. Pints of hops start from Dhs21, bottles from Dhs19, grape is Dhs22 and mixed drinks Dhs30. If nothing else, you should check it out for the whacky junk-yard vibe and the cool car tyre sinks in the bathrooms.

Prices vary. Daily noon-midnight. The Hub, The Mall at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi (050 114 3666).

Have yourself a pamper day

Saadiyat Spa

You can always justify treating yourself every once in a while can’t you? But now you have another excuse to indulge in some pampering. Zen the spa, at Saadiyat Rotana Resort and Villas, is throwing in complimentary beach and pool access when you book any treatment that last for 75 minutes or longer. You’ve got until December 20 to book in for that massage you’ve been craving.

Prices vary. Open daily 10am-10pm. Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, Saadiyat Island (02 697 4140).

Live music at Pisco Bar & Lounge

COYA Abu Dhabi

Part of the vibrant and very trendy Peruvian restaurant COYA, this stylish bar is heating up Abu Dhabi’s nightlife scene by hosting live music nights every Wednesday and Thursday. The funky South American tunes from the three-piece band will be getting guests up on their feet and grooving away as they enjoy Peruvian and Mexican drinks.

Free. Open Wed noon-12.45am, Thu noon-1.45am. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 306 7000).

Live music at Velocity

Velocity Duo Band

South African pop duo Nicky and Neil are performing at the sports bar every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The pair cover everything from the latest hits to timeless classics, and of course all the biggest live sports will be shown on the big screens throughout the evening. The daily happy hour also offers selected drinks for Dhs24 until midnight.

Free. Tue 7pm-11pm, Thu, Fri, Sun 8pm-midnight. Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street (02 304 7777).

Moroccan National Day

Morrocan National Day

Corniche All Day Dining is marking Moroccan National Day with a special dinner buffet on November 18. For Dhs220, diners can sample the exotic flavors of different tagines and a huge selection of Moroccan sweets that have been carefully prepared by the culinary team. Then, when you have finished dining, you can head up to Jazz & Fizz bar to make the most of the two-for-one offer on selected drinks.

Dhs220. Nov 18 7pm-11pm. Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche, Corniche Road (02 813 7777).

Quiz night at PJ O’Reilly’s


Covering sports, music and interactive rounds, you’re bound to know at least a few answers at the fun Tuesday-night quiz at PJ O’Reilly’s. The challenges kick off from 7pm, and the best bit is that it’s absolutely free. The friendly hangout will also be serving up its hearty plates of classic pub grub, while happy hour drinks are Dhs24 until 8pm.

Free. Tue 7pm-11pm. Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Street (02 674 2020).

Rooftop ladies night

Up and below

Ladies need to check out the new Tuesday-night deal at the recently revamped Up & Below bar. From 9pm onwards women get four complimentary drinks, including grapes and selected mixed drinks, plus 50 percent off food. The sharing-style bar bites feature Caribbean-style beef nachos, sliders and fries, spicy fish balls and jerk chicken wings.

Free. Tue 9pm-2am. Courtyard by Marriott World Trade Center, Abu Dhabi, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Street (02 698 2222).

Seafood night at Sacci


The Italian restaurant is launching a new seafood night on November 21. Here you can order fish and shellfish to be fried and grilled to your liking at one of the live cooking stations, and also graze on the bruschetta, calamari, salads and carpaccio from the antipasti buffet. Make the most of beautiful November weather and feast on the lobster, scallops and other specialities outside on the terrace.

Dhs265 (soft drinks), Dhs385 (house beverages). Wed 7pm-11pm. The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, Sas Al Nakhl (02 616 9999).

South African Braai night


Fridays have become extra tasty with the arrival of the braai night at Hytes rooftop bar. Take some incredible shots of the skyline (and get them straight on Instagram, obvs) and work your way through an enticing array of traditional South African cuisine. This includes boerewors, skilpadjies, braai boodjies, cape malay sosaties and home-baked desserts.

Dhs169 (soft drinks), Dhs229 (house beverages). Fri 7pm-11pm. Southern Sun Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiya (02 818 4888).

Thanksgiving brunch

Sportsmans brunch

Although it might slip the minds of many Abu Dhabi residents quite frequently, not everything in November is just about the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Sportsman’s Arms is giving you the chance to celebrate one of America’s most famous holidays with its family-friendly, Thanksgiving brunches on November 22 and 23. The huge spread of American-style sharing dishes includes classics such as Roast Turkey, Mac & Cheese, Baked Pumpkin Risotto and Traditional Pumpkin Pie.

Dhs199 (three hours soft drinks), Dhs295 (three hours house beverages). Nov 22-23, noon-7pm. International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City (02 477 1066).

Truffle season at Roberto’s


Spend enough time in Abu Dhabi, and you’ll start to become seriously addicted to truffles. Yes, here you’ll find that so many dishes come sprinkled with very tasty shaved truffles. Roberto’s is doing its bit to celebrate the ingredient by introducing a menu full of white truffle specialities. You can sample the dishes, including beef tartare with organic egg yolk, smoked burrata cheese with rocket salad and chitarra spaghetti, until November 30.

From Dhs95. Open daily noon-11pm. Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 627 9009).

In Partnership with Time Out Abu Dhabi