While the capital is home to so many great sundowner spots that are either on ground level or just a few storeys up, few bars take you as high up in the sky as Ray’s Bar. Perched on the 62nd floor of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, you’re treated to incredible views of the Corniche and the surrounding islands. Make sure you take a wander around the bar and photograph the sunset from every angle before the stars start to come out.
Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Corniche Road West (02 811 5666).
Azura Panoramic Lounge
With a much sought-after position right on the Corniche, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi was lucky enough to bag one of the best locations in the capital. Azura Panoramic Lounge has an elevated perch in Nation Towers and as the name suggests, the unobstructed views over the Gulf and Abu Dhabi landmarks such as Emirates Palace are stupendous. The daily happy hour (from 5pm to 8pm) is timed to coincide with the sun setting and the tapas-style plates are served in generous portions.
The St.Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers, Corniche Road (02 694 4100%).
As you make your way to this exclusive outdoor bar, either through the private entrance at Emirates Palace, or through the restaurant and along the winding stone path, you can’t possibly fail to be impressed by the backdrop. With the glittering outline of the Corniche’s skyscrapers in front of you, you can relax on one of the comfortable cabana beds or hang out by the bar, where you can watch the efficient bartenders at work. Make sure you try some of the incredible dim sum while you’re there, too.
Emirates Palace, West Corniche Road (02 690 7739).\
This is one of the most talked about rooftops in the city. It’s definitely a place to be seen, but you shouldn’t just go here to pose for selfies and try to look pretty. The dancefloor is always a riot, with a constant party vibe fuelled by a host of brilliant DJs (even Drake loved it when he visited the capital). The stunning panoramic views over the Corniche will never get old.
Nation Riviera Beach Club, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers (02 699 3333).
Walking in through the vine-covered archway, entering Filini Garden is like arriving at a dreamy garden-themed retreat, which essentially is exactly what’s happening. The terrace is a thing of beauty, and even if the idea of hitting a ball around a big field with a stick sounds like the most boring thing in the world, you’ll still find the views over Yas Links and the blue water beyond utterly sensational.
Radisson Blu Aub Dhabi, Yas Island (02 656 2000).\
Glo has the ‘wow factor’ from the moment you enter. This is mainly down to the huge tree-like structures that surround the bar and pool area. Made from shiny metal and illuminated in a range of colours, they are striking. But it’s also the views of the waters surrounding Al Maryah Island that will stay with you, and it should be compulsory to take at least one panoramic photo before you leave.
Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 813 5550).
This tropical-themed bar is jutting out into the still water right in the centre of the marina at Al Bandar, and with wooden decking stretching around all sides of this funky bar and restaurant, you’ll be level with the passing yachts as you a sip a fruity mixed drink and watch the sunset. Who said all the best bars are found in the city?
Al Bandar Marina, Al Raha Beach (02 556 6090).
Puesta Del Sol
Illuminated with fairy lights and positioned out on a pier over the Grand Canal, it’s almost impossible not to have a good time at Puesta del Sol. The bar won our Best Bar With A View last year, and the varied bar bites take you all the way from Spain to the Middle East. The Monday ladies’ night lets girls enjoy three complimentary glasses of grape or classic mixed drinks, while a DJ sets the mood.
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Khor Al Maqta (02 654 3333).
Up on the top floor of the Aloft Abu Dhabi at ADNEC, you’ll find Relax@12. What it lacks in beach vistas it more than makes up for with stunning views out towards the untouched area of Hudayriat Island in one direction and the sprawling villas of the Embassies District in the other. It’s when the sun goes down that this place really comes alive, however, with regular ladies’ nights, drinks deals and DJs.
Aloft Abu Dhabi Hotel, ADNEC (02 654 5138).
The Roof Bar @ Turtle Bay
If you’re looking to carry on after you’ve finished gorging yourself on the Market Brunch at Sim Sim, all you need to do is waddle over to The Roof Bar above Turtle Bay. Although it might close during the summer, the scene of the beach and bright blue waters during the cooler months definitely deserves a photo or two, and it’s a fantastic place to watch the sun set.
Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, Saadiyat Island (02 697 0000).