When it was called the Tourist Club Area, Al Zahiyah was the social hub of Abu Dhabi. And while the city has long since expanded, there are still many reasons to spend time in the area. Here are eight places to head on your next night out.
49ers, The Gold Rush
This Wild West-themed steakhouse and bar has moved across from its old home (where it lived for 25 years) to Le Méridien, where it sits just next to the front entrance. It’s a vast space inside, but take a seat at the long bar, ask for the happy hour specials and. you’ll feel right at home chatting to the friendly staff. It’s open late and there’s a band playing pretty much every night and loads of big screen showing sports.
Open daily noon-3.30am. Licensed. Le Méridien Abu Dhabi (02 645 8000).
Blu Sky Lounge & Grill
This might be affiliated with Manchester City, but don’t let it put you off if you support another team. There are loads of fun events and deals on here to keep everyone interested in coming back for more. The pub grub is decent and the big screens are brilliant for watching the match. We like it and pay the place a visit whenever we can.
Open Fri-Sat noon-3am; Sun-Thu 3pm-3am. Southern Sun Abu Dhabi, Mina Street (02 818 4888).
This Bavarian bar is a classic. We love spending time in here, whether that’s around the bar, in the dining room or outside under the stars. There’s a good selection of German hops and plenty of traditional food on the menu to go with the good service.
Open Sun-Thu 3pm-1am, Fri-Sat noon-1am. Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi (02 697 9000).
Perhaps the closest thing to a traditional English pub in Abu Dhabi, this wood-panelled, barrel-strewn venue is quaint and cheerful. It’s cosy inside, with loads of nooks and crannies to enjoy your cut-price drinks and fish and chips. The outdoor area in the The Village garden is nice, too.
Open daily noon-2.30am. The Village, Le Méridien Abu Dhabi (02 644 6666).
Okay, we know – this is a seafood restaurant, but the lounge-style seating and the terrace are great places to enjoy a few drinks. The bar serves a good selection of grape and sparkling, plus some classic mixed drinks.
Open Sun-Wed 6pm-1am, Thu-Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm and 6pm-1am, Sat 12.30pm-1am. Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi (02 697 9000).
Up on the 27th floor of the Southern Sun Abu Dhabi, this is a poolside bar with a small inside area. The main reason to come here are for the views and affordable drinks. Staff, as always in this hotel, are good.
Open daily 10am-midnight. Southern Sun Abu Dhabi, Al Mina Street (02 818 4888).
NRG Sports Cafe
We love this place – in fact we named it Abu Dhabi’s Best Sports Bar in 2019. There are big screens, football shirts everywhere, pool tables and more. There’s a cracking happy hour and chicken wings are good, too.
Open daily 4pm-2am. Le Méridien Abu Dhabi (02 644 6666)
This tiki-themed bar has been popular for years and is still going strong. Talking of strong, the mixed drinks are hugely popular here for a reason. So get yourself and a few mates down, order a portion of cheese balls each and prepare for a long night.
Open Sat-Wed 5pm-2am, Thu-Fri 5pm-2am. Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi (02 697 9011).