Alternative nights out in Abu Dhabi

So you’re a master of Abu Dhabi’s nightlife scene? Not until you’ve tried rooftop poetry and jamming in an Irish folk band, you're not. Discuss this article

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Cheap nights out are all well and good, and we all know we’re probably going to end up in Heroes after a night out anyway, but what about when you fancy doing something a little bit different? We take a look at some of Abu Dhabi’s best alternative events...

Lip sync battle at Appaloosa

Based at Marriott Al Forsan, Appaloosa wants you to find your inner star for its lip sync battle. For those not aware of the cultural phenomenon, lip syncing is the unique art of miming a song in perfect timing while performing your heart out in a live performance. So if you can rock like Mick Jagger, or rap like Eminem, but you just never really had the right voice for it, then this is the night out for you. Compete each week against a host of amble-lipped hopefuls and you could be in the running for the monthly finals with some big prizes up for grabs.
Free. Every Thu, 10pm-2am. Marriott Al Forsan Abu Dhabi, Khalifa City (02 201 4131).

Fado Folk Jam

Fado’s Folk Jam session started in March. The Abu Dhabi Folk Club, which has more than three hundred members on its MeetUp group, play every Tuesday at this traditional-style Irish pub in Khalidiya and they invite anyone who can play an instrument to join in. The music is a mix of traditional Irish, Scottish and English folk music and regular musicians include Tom Eade, Mick Giblin and Allan Kinsella. Instruments range from the banjo to guitar, accordion, concertina, fiddle, flute, and, unusually, an elbow bagpipe. It promises to be a fun and memorable night.
Free. Tuesdays, 8pm, open noon-2am. Oryx Hotel, Khalidiya (02 692 2218).

Killer Karaoke at Stars ‘N’ Bars
One of the capital’s coolest nightspots invites wannabe warblers to test their skills. Maybe you’re the next Jane Macdonald (or someone who people under 30 have actually heard of) or perhaps you’re overcome by stage fright. Either way, the Stars ’N’ Bars team will give you plenty of support. There are “special encouragement” awards and prizes for the best singer and runner up. It’s also free, so really there’s no excuse – crack out the honey and lemon and get practising.
Free. Every Sun, 10pm-2am. Yas Marina (02 565 0101).

Rooftop Rhythms at NYUAD
Fancy yourself as the bard of Abu Dhabi? On Setember 29, Abu Dhabi’s top spoken word night returns for its sixth season. The monthly poetry and rap event will run until the end of April, and includes open mic nights and a slam competition. Signing up for open mic is on a first-come, first-served and you can register on the Rooftop Rhythms website.
Free. 8pm-10.30pm Fri, Sept 29. NYUAD, Saadiyat Marina District, (no number).

Yalla Laughs

Stand-up comics Erik and Jon run this travelling comedy show. Appearing at Le Méridien venues, Courtyard by Marriott and Appaloosa at the Marriott Al Forsan, the nights are creative and fun. At Beat the Camel, for example, five comedians compete to complete five minutes on stage, hoping not to get voted off by the audience. On Thursday, September 7, catch headliner Miqdaad Dohadwala at Rooftop Comedy at Up And Below at the Courtyard Marriott at the World Trade Center. And on Monday, September 11, Adam Ramey hosts Karaoke Rumble at Blu Sky Bar, The Southern Sun, which, gloriously, is a combination of comedy and karaoke. We like the sound of that one. Even if no-one will like the sound of us.
For more information visit

By Liz Cookman
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

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