Not so very long ago, Abu Dhabi wouldn’t have dared compare itself to Dubai when it came to its nightlife. But as with almost everything in the two emirates, there’s a much more even playing field these days. Here are the best clubs the capital has to offer...
Empire Yas Island
Built right above the race track on Yas Island, it’s quite unlike anywhere else in Abu Dhabi – or the entire world for that matter. Get dressed up in your finest, keep a look out for any of the regular live performances from urban stars and check out the Monday ladies’ night.
Open Mon-Fri 10pm-3.30am. Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi, Yas Island (050 501 5052).
Alternating between Arabic and English nights, Hysteria is open all week long and quickly established itself as a bold newcomer to the capital’s clubbing scene when it debuted at the Hilton Capital Grand in late 2016.
Open Mon-Sat 8.30pm-3.30am; Sun 8.30pm-midnight. Hilton Capital Grand, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street (054 444 7841).
Is Legends full every single night of the week? Perhaps not, but it is open every night and that’s one of many reasons to love this venue. In the heart of the city, this party palace in the Sheraton blasts out tunes until 3.30am.
Open daily 9pm-3.30am. Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort, Corniche Road East (058 298 7399).
MAD on Yas Island
It’s no coincidence that the largest nightclub anywhere in the UAE is on Yas Island, the home of the annual Formula One extravaganza. That, of course, marks this superclub’s busiest period, but year-round there are big nights out to be had under the dry-ice cannons, complete with some legendary and up-and-coming urban acts.
Open Thu-Fri 11pm-4am. Yas Island (055 834 6262).
Rock Bottom Café
In a world of flux and uncertainty, there’s something strangely reassuring about Rock Bottom’s ability to endure as one of the UAE’s most dependably raggedy brands. Live music and terrible dancing await
Open daily noon-3.30am, Al Diar Capital Hotel, Mina Street (02 699 8256).
Welcoming all styles of music, at The Exchange you can expect everything from reggaeton to rock to RnB, depending on which night you go. Another place open throughout the week, there’s rather a lot of choice for your nightclubbing needs right here.
Open daily 9pm-4am. Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiya (056 190 1733).
OR HOW ABOUT...
If it rocks like a club and stays open like a club, is an Irish watering hole even a pub? It’s unlikely anyone in PJ O’Reilly’s has much of an existential crisis, but with Sax Club closing, this is the Le Royal Méridien’s late-night spot.
Open Sat-Wed noon-2am; Thu-Fri noon-3am. Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Street (800 101 101)