Abu Dhabi is the capital and the second most populous city of the United Arab Emirates (the most populous being Dubai), and also the capital of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the UAE’s seven emirates. Abu Dhabi city is situated on an island off the Persian Gulf from the central western coastline, while the majority of the city and Emirate reside on the mainland connected to the rest of the country.
Abu Dhabi has a diverse and multicultural society, and therefore an excellent nightlife scene.
You don’t need anybody to tell you that the nightlife scene in the UAE’s capital is one of the best in the surroundings.
This guide will help you find the best plan and the best places to go on your night out in Abu Dhabi. Enjoy!
From the massive gigs that run every year alongside the F1 (by far the best of any racing city) to the constant stream of huge international DJs, and a collection of ladies’ nights that far outdoes Dubai’s, there’s something happening every night of the week. It’s because of this that this list has been the toughest shortlist that one could ever put up, because of the excellent options available.
We have come up with a carefully chosen list of DJ sets, club nights and more, all to try and narrow them down to the best of the best, of the best. This is what we are going to explore deeply in the following article. We will go through different nightlife entertainment options available in the city including nightlife activities places, bars, restaurants and nightclubs, all there to provide you the ultimate and premium nightlife entertainment.
The Nightlife of Abu Dhabi
Though it is said that the city of Abu Dhabi is not very famous in terms of tourists’ visits,, still Visiting Abu Dhabi will leave you breathless with amazement at the sight of its buildings and wonders to behold. These kind of high rise buildings are the legacy of the Middle East especially of Abu Dhabi. It wouldn’t be wrong to call Abu Dhabi a gem of Arabian cities to visit during your travels to the Middle East, because of the premium nightlife entertainment that it offers. So come immerse yourself in the splendor of the Eastern Arabian peninsula and you will never forget this crown city. There are a lot of things to do in Abu Dhabi, but there are a few places you will especially want to mark on your map :
Abu Dhabi Golf Club
An oasis of tranquility carved out of the desert, Abu Dhabi Golf Club offers one of the most luxurious golf resort experiences in the Middle East. In full management with the worldwide renowned Troon Golf, they aim to offer ‘more than just golf’ with a host of family-friendly dining options, social events, and leisure activities in evenings. Therefore, when, the sun gets too much, try the par-36, nine-hole garden course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club – the home of Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Floodlights illuminate it and times are up to 9 pm, so you can play long after the sun’s gone down.
Leave the capital’s skyscrapers and traffic behind and join grey herons, jumping needlefish and flamingos as you paddle through inky waters under the stars on a Noukhada kayaking tour. Escape the city – and the heat – on a Sunrise, Sunset or Night Light tour, on which LED lights are fixed to your kayak so you can see fish beneath you. You can combine a tour with a barbecue or dinner at Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara or Yas Links. Experienced kayakers can join a full moon tour, camping trip or the Al Rahba tour, which begins and ends with an hour-long speedboat adventure that takes you deeper into the mangroves.
Captain Tony’s Moonlight Cruise is a family and friendly excursion aboard a traditional wooden dhow that cruises from Yas Marina along Al Raha Beach. Abu Dhabi’s past and present collide on a Sunset Cruise, which passes the iconic Aldar HQ – a circular, mirrored building – wild gazelles and an Emirati village on Al Samiliyah Island, and Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, which is illuminated with 5,389 LED lights.
Whatever your age, you will have fun in the fountains, wave pool and lazy river at Yas Waterworld. The water-park also has a raft-ride, a rollercoaster that leaves you soaked and the Liwa Loop waterslide – once you are locked in there is no escaping the free-fall when the trapdoor is released. You can also try flow-boarding surfing against continuous man-made waves.
Al Ain Zoo
Al Ain Zoo is home to native gazelles, Arabian wolves, birds of prey and ibex, a mountain goat with curved horns. Closing times vary, but if you can visit at night when the park is quieter. Nocturnal animals come out to play and you can spy on them in surroundings that mimic their natural habitat. The zoo also runs 4×4 sunset safaris at 6 pm and night safaris at 7 pm beneath Jebel Hafeet mountain.
For a memorable meal, dine al fresco under lantern-lit gazebos at BBQ Al Qasr, on the 1.3km private beach behind Emirates Palace – the capital’s grandest five-star hotel. The sea breeze keeps you cool as you tuck into steak and seafood.
Abu Dhabi Ferrari World
Shift into gear at the world’s largest indoor park (and only Ferrari-branded theme park), which offers more than 20 Ferrari-inspired rides and attractions for visitors of all ages. Experience a welcome respite from the Middle-East sun in this fully air-conditioned wonderland. Each interactive, multisensory experience at Ferrari World brings the Ferrari story to life. Check out a priceless collection of vintage and contemporary Ferraris, test your courage on the Formula Rossa, the fastest rollercoaster on the planet, or take a heart-pounding rollercoaster ride on “Turbo Track” that reaches speeds of up to 63 mph (102 km/h) in between stomach-turning drops. Go behind the scenes at the Grand Prix, get up close to super-rare Ferrari cars, and take a peek inside a recreation of the historic Ferrari factory as you experience what was previously a privilege for only Ferrari owners.
Abu Dhabi Desert Safari with Camel Ride
A desert safari is something that you cannot afford to miss while in Abu Dhabi. Feel the authentic aura of desert life by taking a morning desert safari ride added with sand boarding and camel ride. Get ready for a 4-hour desert safari starting with an early morning pick-up at your hotel. A 45-minute drive takes you to the heart of the desert outside Abu Dhabi. Explore the desert in a 4×4 Land Cruiser, bashing the huge dunes. The fun continues with a chance to try out sand boarding. Follow the instructions and glide over the dunes as you see how simple it really is. During the safari, there will be plenty of opportunities to pose for some photos in the desert. This special morning safari concludes with a short camel ride before the transfer back to the pick-up point.
Best Bars in Abu Dhabi
In most emirates of the United Arab Emirates, including Abu Dhabi, alcohol is legally available. However, it is important to know the laws concerning alcohol. Non-Muslim residents must have a liquor license to purchase and consume alcohol in the Emirate, although it is virtually unknown for anyone in a bar to be asked to produce this. Those on a visitor’s visa are exempt from this requirement. There is zero tolerance for ‘drinking and driving’ and laws are strictly enforced. Also, there is strong disapproval of drunks and any unruly behavior as a result of being drunk can result in spending time in jail.
In most of Abu Dhabi’s nightclubs and bars, there is a dress code, which is similar to the dress code in the United States or the UK. Jeans are generally acceptable; some clubs require men to wear collared shirts, but it is rarely enforced. Men can expect to get turned away from some venues if wearing sandals, shorts or flip-flops. Here we have gathered a few of Abu Dhabi’s best bars which are absolutely good enough to satisfy your boozing needs:
Buddha Bar Beach Abu Dhabi
A worldwide orientation in the fields of gastronomy, hospitality, wellness, music and mixology, the legendary Buddha – Bar goes beyond its neo-Asian wall and finds its home on the Saadiyat Beach, offering a day-to-night destination, the first one of its kind in the world. For pre-dinner or after dinner drinks, enjoy the delicious cocktails by Buddha-bar beach Abu Dhabi team. From the most classic to the most inventive, the cocktails are made with products that come from the 4 corners of the world, in line with the latest international trends.
Hemingway’s is one of Abu Dhabi’s most popular bars. It sits a short ten-minute walk from the city center. A Tex-Mex style pub with a warm and relaxed atmosphere, this is a popular spot for anyone looking for good food, great beer, and a range of sporting channels. Built in the 1980s, the venue recently underwent a modern refurbishment, equipping the interior with chic modern lighting and state of the art decor. A top food choice here is the delicious fajitas; try either the shrimp or the chicken and beef variety. Moreover, The staff are extremely helpful and friendly and are skilled in offering expert advice on what to do around the city.
We definitely recommend grabbing a bite to eat at this lively Latino restaurant, but make sure to stick around for a drink or two afterward, too, or even just come a for a few drinks, the deals are great and it’s always got a great atmosphere. You will love the stripped-back, industrial look and vibrant artwork on show while, in cooler months, the outdoor terrace looking out onto the shimmering waters of Al Maryah Island is a lovely spot to unwind and reflect.
If any British in Abu Dhabi are missing the experience of visiting an old-school British pub, we have got some good news for you. We have found a place in Abu Dhabi that wouldn’t look out of place in the suburbs of any industrial British city. Found in the Khalidiyah area of Downtown, you enter 3rd Avenue straight from the street. With a bright red telephone box guarding the entrance, it is obvious before we even open the door that it’s taken the British theme very seriously. Walking in, it feels like you have stepped back in time. The pub is decked out with large leather armchairs, dark wood cabinets, and some muted 70s-style tiling. It is clear that while most bars in the capital seem obsessed with keeping up with the latest trends, this place is trying to do totally the opposite.
Zuma Abu Dhabi
Long established as one of the very best restaurants in the city, the bar is among the cream of the crop as well. There is a great setting, looking out onto the beautiful waters of Al Maryah Island, top quality beats from cool DJs and plenty of tasty Japanese-inspired bar bites and beverages to enjoy too. Service is super and the experience is always top-notch. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Iris Yas Island
The Lebanese party people really know how to plan a night out, so it’s no surprise this Beirut-born bar swiftly became one of the most popular destinations in the city and has stayed that way. It has plenty to offer the most discerning of nightlife lovers, including awesome views looking out onto Yas Marina, a super trendy clientele and some of the coolest DJs around. Set your sights on a visit to Iris.
Asia de Cuba
A stunning Corniche setting, complete with awesome views from the funky outdoor terrace and chilled-out beats from a regular set of dynamic DJs makes this a seriously hip hangout that remains just as fresh and popular as ever.
You can expect a glitzy experience at Jumeirah and Etihad Tower’s – and Ray’s Bar really does raise the bar.Enjoy an upscale experience up high on the 62nd floor of the five-star hotel, with superb views of the city complimented by excellent live DJ sets and a wide variety of cocktails.
Best Bar Restaurant in Abu Dhabi
Modern and cosmopolitan, Abu Dhabi is bound to offer memorable encounters with local and international cuisines in breath-taking settings. From desert venues serving traditional food to award-winning restaurants specializing in Chinese, French, Lebanese or Moroccan dishes, Abu Dhabi’s Michelin-starred chefs transform the city into a top culinary destination. So, if you want to have the best possible vacation in Abu Dhabi, you must eat in some of its finest restaurants that serve delectable and lip-smacking dishes for your gastronomical delights. However, you should be careful about choosing the right restaurants during your stay at the capital of the United Arab Emirates. To ensure that you have the best possible dining experiences at Abu Dhabi, we recommend the following restaurants that serve exotic dishes for you:
Stills restaurant and bar
This classy venue is one for the bar aficionados out there in the city. They will love the actual bar itself which, as you might have heard us say before, stretches out a proud 26m in length. You might still find it hard to nab a spot on it sometimes though, as this is a popular haunt. It is a cool place to chill out and try one of the selections of international beverages and short drinks and tuck into a sophisticated food menu.
Be sure to check out the Funch brunch on Fridays and head here for the regular events, too. Overall, it’s a great option to have booze with an awesome combination of booze.
Coya Abu Dhabi
Located with views of the water on Al Maryah Island, the interiors are world-class, with its fantastical bar area is a great place for a delicious pre-dinner cocktail and the intimate restaurant fronting on to the water. The ceviches – from the sea bream to the amberjack and truffle are a must-try; then the marinated veal heart, or delicious forest mushrooms for vegetarians. But the piece de resistance is the Arroz Nikkei, a bowl of Chilean seabass roughly mashed with rice, lime, and chili.
Teatro, Park Rotana
The Park Rotana Hotel is on the eastern ring road, 14km from downtown Abu Dhabi: The hotel’s signature restaurant is at once relaxed and theatrical, featuring an open kitchen, chandeliers, velvet curtains, and its own bar. The menu is extremely varied and down-to-earth, with Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Italian dishes on the menu – and, unlike most restaurants, it does all of them well. From sushi to Peking duck to Wagyu steak, it is absolutely hard to go wrong here. The meat vastly outshines the vegetarian options.
Li Beirut is a mandatory stop for all those who enjoy Lebanese food. Highly rated and considered one of the top restaurants of Abu Dhabi, Li Beirut is an award-winning restaurant. Delighting its guests with a spectacular view of the surrounding sea, Li Beirut serves traditional and contemporary Lebanese dishes cooked up with a fusion of European influences. The menu itself is a culinary masterpiece, featuring signature courses such as the zaatar crusted rack of lamb accompanied by sweet potato and truffle, the foie gras kebbeh and the decadent honey fudge dessert.
Jazz Bar & Dining
A true UAE heaven for music lovers, Jazz Bar & Dining is an excellent choice for those looking to enjoy dinner in a special atmosphere. With a local band playing every night from Sunday to Friday, this Abu Dhabi restaurant is popular with tourists and the expat community alike. The menu offers premium choices from international cuisines, with excellent selections of sea bass, scallops, tiger prawns and fresh salmon, various types of French cheese and exotic desserts such as the lychee light jelly with lime cream and meringue, served with rice paper, a mini fruit strudel and raspberry sorbet.
There are currently three branches of this trusty Lebanese restaurant, the smallest seating 50 and the largest 300, and a fourth is being planned. Whichever one you go to, you are assured of good-quality Arabic food, from hummus, salads and lentil soup to mixed grills served with lashings of garlic sauce, at value-for-money prices. It’s popular, so there’s often a crowded, noisy, typically Middle Eastern feel to a meal there. No alcohol is served here.
Best Nightclub in Abu Dhabi
The most pleasant nightlife options in Abu Dhabi are centered in hotels, which makes it more restrained than most places. However, female travelers may be surprised at the sheer number of ladies’ nights, and the quality of the establishments and drinks. You don’t need us to tell you that the nightlife scene in the UAE’s capital is one of the best in the region. From the massive gigs that run every year alongside the F1 (by far the best of any racing city) to the constant stream of huge international DJs, and a collection of ladies’ nights that far outdoes Dubai’s, there is something happening every night of the week. Here we have gathered some finest options of Abu Dhabi’s Nightclubs and definitely, they are good enough to stimulate your boozing needs too:
Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE, Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotel & Resort
This thriving hotspot is synonymous with a memorable night out. It might be a little out of the way but you will never regret taking a trip to this internationally renowned club, which regularly attracts the world’s finest DJs to thrill UAE crowds. Oh, and they have recently added an amazing infinity pool to make it the perfect spot for some daytime lounging.
Blue Marlin Ibiza Abu Dhabi
This upscale beach club and outdoor nightclub rolled into one is a great choice for those looking to party from day to night in a luxurious setting. Located an easy drive away from Abu Dhabi, this secluded slice of Ibiza recreated at the Golden Tulip is a must-visit for its awesome vibes and great house & techno music. As it gets dark the glamorous party shifts from the beach to the main club, the thumping music never ceasing. Great food, drinks, and impeccable service are other highlights of one of the coolest United Arab Emirates clubs.
Empire Yas Bar
Jostling for the title of best nightclubs in the United Arab Emirates with the top names in the industry, Empire Yas Bar is the only club in the world built on an F1 racetrack! The electrifying atmosphere, pulsating beats, and amazing vibes set you in the mood to party from the moment you step in. The hottest nightspot in the capital entices party-goers with its stunning views of the Yas Marina circuit, fantastic themed nights, tantalizing cocktails and world-class performances/events.
MAD Yas Island
With the distinction of being the biggest indoor destination for nightlife in the United Arab Emirates, this fantastic nightclub is the best place for party-hoppers in Abu Dhabi. The 360-degree projection, huge LED screens and an exceptional sound system ensures you are completely immersed in the experience. There are regular gigs by the biggest names in music, superb lighting and outstanding music every weekend. Ladies’ entry is free while single men must reserve a table in advance. Give yourself over to the revelry at this spacious, happening club and have the time of your lives.
The legendary Sax Club is located at the Le Royal Meridien and continues to keep the dance floor busy and the visitors excited. They have a stimulating line-up of events that include Cabin Crew, weekly Ladies Night and magical Lebanese Weekend which is a major hit among the crowd. The DJ & entertainers keep the party alive with the top songs of the time.
Hysteria, Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi
There Is no need to get yourself worked up, you can always be sure of a great night out at this club in the Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi. There are ladies’ nights and urban music nights, as with all city clubs, but Hysteria has carved out a reputation for its excellent Arabic music soirées.
La Cala, Ghantoot Marina
This al fresco spot down at Ghantoot Marina is all clean whites, nautical colors, and rustic worn wooden tables. A DJ plays cool Ibiza-esque club beats and there Is space to dance, though you will mostly just want to chill out and take stock of the beauty surrounding you.
Rock Bottom Café
With the unselfconsciously spirited house band, unapologetically crowd-pleasing resident DJs, late-night party spirit and top promotions there is a word for nightspots like this Capital Hotel club. Fun or, to put it another way, unpretentious, punch the air, try and moonwalk, sing along if you know the words, don’t worry about posing for social media posts, laugh-out-loud fun.
Coya Ritual Abu Dhabi
Like everything we do, COYA Ritual is an extension of Abu Dhabi’s heritage. Drawing from the Incans and Aztec history, they are combining the energy of the past with the vibe of the present to bring you a whole new weeknight experience. Their two masterclass DJs are the medicine you need to cure those weekday blues and they will be spinning back-to-back to ensure that you don’t miss a beat. Join them every Thursday in their Pisco Bar & Lounge!
Let us conclude the subject, here we had a brief introduction of Abu Dhabi City along with discussing some of its prominent norms, culture, and nightlife. We also went through different activities and options available there to enjoy the nightlife of the City, Musical venues, Bars, Restaurants and Nightclubs as well. Such activities provide a great source of entertainment for tourists and locals. Moreover, such activities also help in understanding the true cultural norms of a city.
As already elaborated the city has a very unique and exclusive cultural background, and the nightlife is mainly concentrated in the hotels area where City’s best bars are located and satisfying the desire of thirsty visitors where you can experience the best booze with the mesmerizing architectural beauty of the state of the art bars and their decors.
You don’t feel any hunger during your trip at Abu Dhabi that is why we also suggested some of the finest restaurants in the city that offer exotic and delicious food along with your favorite cocktails. You will really enjoy the taste of good food along with some great drinks.
And lastly, we went through comprehensive options of Nightclubs that offers great music with some delightfully exotic choices for drinks and cocktail that will polish your overall experience.
All of the aforementioned experiences will work together to make your trip really impressive. A perfect and balanced blend of the above-identified activities can truly boost your experience and make your trip unbelievably memorable for you.