As mentioned in my previous post, some people live in Abu Dhabi for years without ever leaving the city. That's not to say that never leaving the city is necessarily a bad thing. There is so much to do here that you could stay only in the city and have a pretty fulfilling, fun time here. (Though I think the people who never leave the city tend to also never leave their apartments.) Abu Dhabi draws a lot of top tier entertainment including musicians, music festivals, sports tournaments.
There is no real shortage of things to do. When I first got here, I was determined to go to every event that was put on here. After a while, even though there were things that I was interested in, a ten-minute walk from where I live and free of charge, I still wouldn't go to them. There is almost too much to do here.
While this is by no means a complete list, for sporting events, we have had the Red Bull Race, The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (the final race in the Formula one series), the Formula One powerboat races, The Abu Dhabi International Triathlon all within view of my apartment. There has also been the Formula One cars, the Football Club World Cup (previously known as the Toyota cup in Japan and likely purchased from them for a good price), and GT1 Sports Car Series called "The Battle of the Brands". In April, Abu Dhabi hosted the UFC for the first time.
For music events, we had WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) a 10-minute walk from my apartment and free for everyone. I saw The Killers at a venue near my apartment as well. Other concerts have been Tom Jones, Aerosmith, Beyonce, Jamiroqui, The Kings of Leon, Rhianna, and Harry Connick Jr. There are also tons of world-renowned orchestras and musicians. My wife was able to get free tickets to see a famous Japanese pianist, Nobuyuki Tsujii, from the Japanese Embassy. Also, for film buffs, there was the Abu Dhabi Film Festival which featured a few world premieres.
There are other things as well. During the Abu Dhabi Gand Prix weekend, there were movies on the beach near our apartment in a drive-in theater style. In late February and early March, there was a free event called "Wakestock" in which they gave free wakeboarding lessons with guide wires along with demonstrations. I wanted to try the free wakeboarding, but just didn't have the time with the preparing for the triathlon.
All those events are great when the weather is good between October and April, but once the weather heats up, nothing compares to the event of sitting in your apartment in the air conditioning and watching DVDs.