Abu Dhabi's best bars away from the city

The 'off-island' venues that are worth exploring

Pacifico TIKI Al Bandar Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates 11018Photo by Grace GuinoITP Images
Pacifico TIKI Al Bandar Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates 11018Photo by Grace GuinoITP Images

For those of us who live away from the city centre, or ‘off island’ as it is sometimes referred to, heading into the city every time we fancy a drink can get a bit tiring (not to mention expensive).

But the idea that all the good bars are found in the buzzing centre of the capital just isn’t true. Of course there’s always loads going on Downtown, but the suburbs also bring their own popular hangouts to the party.

So if you’re a city slicker who simply refuses to believe there’s any nightlife beyond the Grand Canal, this list of super spots might just change your mind.

Hanging out by the Corniche might offer lovely views over the Arabian Gulf and Abu Dhabi landmarks such as Emirates Palace, but it doesn’t have the unique charm of this ever-popular Irish bar.

Whenever you visit this chilled-out watering hole, you just know it’ll be full of a fun-loving crowd. The Tuesday ladies’ night offers girls five free drinks and 50 percent off main courses before 10pm, but it’s the Bingo Wings offering that really gets people talking.

This legendary Monday-night event features two games of musical bingo, two drinks and unlimited amounts of chicken wings (come on, what could be better?) for Dhs100. It’s totally ridiculous and one of the most un-glamorous nights you’ll have in the capital. You’ll love it, we promise.
Bingo Wings: Dhs100. Mon 8pm-11pm. Ladies’ night: Free. Tue 6pm-10pm. Al Raha Beach Hotel & Resort, Channel Street (02 652 4333).

Pacifico Tiki
We could bang on about how amazing the views are from this bar for hours. But aside from its prime position jutting out from Al Bandar Marina, this tropical-themed lounge also keeps its patrons coming back for more by offering a series of very tempting, themed evenings.

The Wednesday ‘Hola Cuba’ night features a live Latin band, plus complimentary drinks for ladies and unlimited beverages for gents for Dhs199. Or, if you’re looking to kick-start your weekend with as many drinks and nibbles as you fancy, the Thursday night brunch offers all this and a lively dancefloor for Dhs275.
Hola Cuba night: Free (ladies), Dhs199 (gents). Wed 8pm-1.30am. Thursday brunch: Dhs275 Thu 8pm-11pm.
Al Bandar Marina, Al Raha Beach (02 556 6090).

This casual venue is more stylish and classy than your average sports bar. Drinks are Dhs20 every Thursday when you buy three, while there are half price beverages from Saturday to Wednesday for a full seven hours. Good job!
Marriott Hotel Al Forsan, Khalifa City (02 201 4000).

Sho Cho

This swanky Japanese restaurant serves some of the best sushi in the capital, and it also happens to be one of the most beautiful spots for a sundowner or two.

With an outdoor terrace looking over the Grand Canal, plus the Grand Mosque looming casually in the background, it’s a truly iconic venue. Selected mixed drinks are Dhs30 every day from 5pm to 8pm, while the Wednesday ladies’ night offers girls complimentary bubbly and selected mixed drinks from 7pm until late. And you really can’t argue with that now can you.?
Happy hour: Dhs30. Daily 5pm-8pm. Ladies’ night: Free. Wed 7pm-3am. Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Bain Al Jessrain (02 558 1117).

The Patio
The recently-renovated pool at The Westin is one our favourite places to hang out this winter and the Latino barbecue nights are also a new arrival on the capital’s nightlife scene. With a huge buffet of grilled meats, seafood, salads and more, plus unlimited drinks all for Dhs210, it seems to have struck upon a winning formula.

The Friday post-brunch pool party also lets you continue on with all the fun and frivolity of the infamous Bubbalicious brunch, with six hours of unlimited beverages for Dhs180. Get your cabana booked now and revel in some Friday afternoon frolics.
Latino nights: Dhs210, Jan 10 & 24, 8pm-11pm. Pool Sessions: Dhs180 Fri 2pm-8pm. The Westin Abu Dhabi Resort & Spa, Sas Al Nakhl (02 616 9999).

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