This funky bar is like nowhere else in the capital. Specialising in tapas and fine grape options from the around the world, it provides quality food and drink without being too fancy or pretentious. Decorated with grape barrels and filled with soft leather sofas, the weekly schedule include fondue deals, ladies’ nights, tapas spreads and more. The incredible pans of mac ‘n’ cheese and fruity Spanish grape mixes are just some of the many, many highlights on the menu. It’s always busy, has a buzzing vibe and has been a brilliant addition to the city’s nightlife scene since it opened, and standards haven’t slipped since.
Pearl Rotana Capital Centre, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street (02 307 5591).
The beach bar more than lives up to its glamorous reputation, and the tasteful interiors, coastal views and superb menu (order the lobster dumplings if you’re feeling peckish) are all big draws. The fancy mixed drinks are some of the best in the city, and the huge wooden terrace is one of the best places to be during the winter. The regular sets from international DJs make it a great place to party as well. What a venue!
The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi (02 498 88 88).
People travel from across the city to visit this stylish bar and many nights are so popular that if you want a chance of getting a table you’ll need to book well in advance. The Monday Bellissima ladies’ night is the best place to be in the city on a Monday night, and everything from the mixed drinks to the garden-style decorations are done with style and class. Just check it out, now.
Radisson Blu Aub Dhabi, Yas Island (02 656 2000).
Back Yard Bistro
This casual bar has a food menu that is just as fun and creative as the junkyard-style interior. The bright-blue beef sliders are one of the standout dishes, but there are also other yummy bar bites like loaded potato skins, nachos and chicken wings. During the summer the terrace is turned into a cool air-conditioned tent, and the spots on the sofas in front of the screens showing sport are always in high demand.
The Hub, The Mall at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi (02508 2400).
Iris Yas Island
We love this Yas Island bar for so many reasons. And with the launch of the HYVE ladies’ night and Le Brunch offering this year it has got even better still. Whether we’re here to dance or stuff our faces with sushi, we always walk away feeling very happy.
Yas Marina, Yas Island (02 304 8257).
Hamilton’s effortlessly combines the unpretentious atmosphere of a traditional pub with that enduringly hip industrial aesthetic. As ideal for watching the match as it is for a ladies’ night (every Tuesday), you’ll find reasonable prices and a menu that spans craft hops to it-drinks like frozen pink grape.
Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas (02 697 0000).
This Mexican bar was the winner of our Best Bar Award at the Music & Nightlife Awards 2018, and we’re still very much in awe of the casual spot. The Wednesday ladies’ night is as popular as ever, but the Monday night deal on street-food style plates also draws a crowd. With a decent happy hour, top tunes and a buzzing atmosphere, we look forward to spending many more evenings at Loca.
The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 582 3639).
Perched on the 62nd floor of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, this is one of the most exclusive venues in the city and the place to take those you want to impress. The happy hour runs throughout sunset, and we love heading up here just before the sun goes down to photograph the panoramic view of the city. The mixed drinks are extraordinary and the Thursday ladies’ night food and drink deal really is awesome.
Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Corniche Road West (02 811 5666).
Stars ’N’ Bars
This quirky sports bar doesn’t just have the best party brunch in the capital, although that’s one of the reasons why so many people go here so often. The live music nights are loads of fun, and the Balcon nights and weekly quizzes also have lot of fans. Whether you want a plate of American-style grub or to party outside on the terrace until the early hours, it’s one of the best spots on Yas Island.
Open daily 11.30am-2.30am. Yas Marina, Yas Island (02 565 0101).
With multiple screens showing every sport you can imagine, this Downtown bar is an obvious choice for any sports fan. But with a lively quiz, tasty pub grub and lengthy happy hours, there’s something for every resident and visitor in the city to enjoy.
Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi, Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street (02 304 7777).