Some cities come alive at night, and Abu Dhabi is certainly one of those.
While most things start to wind down as the clock strikes midnight there’s still plenty to do into the wee hours in the UAE capital.
From bars and clubs to places to grab a midnight feast and a few entertainment options too, there’s always something going on in this city.
Here’s our guide to Abu Dhabi after midnight.
Bars and clubs
Fresh at its new digs 49ers as lost none of its character and if anything has gained more of a Wild West them than before. This restaurants and bar isn’t one for closing early either and you can find the doors still open every night but Sunday until 3am for a nightcap.
Mon-Sat noon-3am, Sun noon-midnight. Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiya (02 645 8000).
This inviting sports bar is happy to go deep into extra time each and every day of the week, with the doors staying wide open until 3am. Whether you can stay wide awake until then is another matter. With its light and bright atmosphere, funky food menu and good range of beverages, you will be kept well entertained.
Open daily noon-3am. Marriott Hotel Al Forsan, Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Khalifa City (02 201 4000).
Yet another sports bar that keeps serving drinks well into the night is Blu Sky Lounge and Grill that keeps the good times going until late. The lively Southern Sun Abu Dhabi spot has plenty to keep you entertained throughout your stay, with live sport on a bank of screens, a wide selection of beverages and plenty of good pub grub, too.
Open Sun-Thu 3pm-3am, Fri-Sat noon-3am. Southern Sun Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah (02 818 4888).
Heroes is something of a veteran in these parts and has one of the longest opening hour in the city. This Brit-style venue, nestled away deep in the basement of the Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, serves up brilliant entertainment all the way until 4am (the only bar in town open this late). Plus, with award-winning house band The International Playboys regularly taking centre stage regularly, you can rock out to.
Open daily noon-4am. Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Street (02 616 6132).
Yas Island is one the places to be when it comes to nights spots and at Irish the good times keep on going long after the clock strikes midnight. The swanky Yas Marina bar and terrace is a magnet for the capital’s trendy set, thanks to its chic atmosphere, line-up of quality DJs and sophisticated menu of food and drinks. You can easily go on a fun bar hop in Yas Island and Iris is a fine choice for your last stop.
Open daily 6pm-3am. Yas Marina, Yas Island (055 160 5636).
The super club is one of the hottest attractions in the city and it’s one of the best clubs in the UAE. A galaxy of musical superstars – such as Jason Derulo, Rita Ora and Sean Paul – have filled the largest indoor club in the UAE. Up-and-coming acts perform here regularly too and don’t be surprised if you see someone perform who blows up in the next few years, just like Travis Scott. It’s not just the big names that attract the revellers, either, with a line-up of talented DJs wowing crowds each and every week. If you haven’t gone to MAD yet, now’s the time.
Open Thu-Fri 11pm-3.30am. Leisure Drive, Yas Island (055 834 6262).
It’s one of the most popular nightspots in the city and we don’t think we’ve ever seen it on a quiet night. It’s lively, the atmosphere is always good, there’s often live music and all the deals on drinks and food that you could hope for to give you then energy to go long into the small hours.
Open Sun-Wed 3pm-3am; Thu-Sat noon-3am. Al Raha Beach Hotel & Resort, Channel Street (02 652 4333).
We love this venue , in fact, it’s a previous Time Out Abu Dhabi Restaurant Award winner for Best Pub. There is no great secret to its success, a communal vibe, hearty food and a wide selection of drinks make this a great spot to catch up with friends and put the world the right as night gives way to a brand new day. It reminds us of the UK and we don’t need an excuse to visit whenever we get the chance.
Open Sat-Wed noon-2am; Thu-Fri noon-3am. Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Street (800 101 101).
It’s all too easy to romanticise the idea of the traditional English pub. But Porters has plenty of its best qualities – a rip-roaring atmosphere, tasty food, live music and a warm welcome from staff and punters alike. If you do decide to make Porters your port of call for an extended stint, make sure to check out the crowd-pleasing seven-piece resident band, YFY. If you are in the mood to let your hair down with a bunch of pals, then look no further.
Open daily noon-3am. Grand Millennium Al Wahda, Hazza Bin Zayed Street (02 495 3936).
Let’s be honest, once you’ve spent time going up 62 floors in a lift you’ll want to hang around for a bit. Luckily, the payoff, the stunning views on downtown Abu Dhabi, make the ascent worthwhile. The plush mixed drinks bar up high on the 62nd floor of the glittering Jumeirah at Etihad Towers is certainly an experience to savour. It is the perfect setting for a glitzy night out when you’re aiming to impress, thanks to its cool décor, stunning views of the twinkling lights of the city skyline and brilliant beats from resident DJs.
Open daily 5pm-3am. Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Corniche Road West (02 811 5666).
Stars ’N’ Bars has been a shining light in the thriving Yas Marina nightlife scene for years – and it is easy to see why. Loads of screens to watch sport, live music, karaoke and even a row of old-school arcade games to play. It’s a dream combination that never fails to deliver. Yas Marina is the entertainment district from which you never want to make an early exit – and why should you? We’ve lost track how many times we’ve been here on an evening.
Open daily 11.30am-3am. Yas Marina, Yas Island (02 565 0101).
This veteran venue is an eclectic and charming place to spend an evening. The exotic Polynesian-themed venue, which recently celebrated its 24th anniversary, continues to be a smash hit thanks to its colourful collection of mixed drinks, chilled out vibes and quirky décor – including a big old canoe hanging from the ceiling. It has become a bit of an institution in Abu Dhabi and there is plenty of well-earned goodwill among residents for this place.
Open Sat-Wed 5pm-2am; Thu-Fri 5pm-3am. Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah (02 697 9000).
So most live entertainment other than the bands in the venues we’ve already discussed have closed up by midnight.
Well, that’s not entirely true because many cinemas are open all hours.
Up for watching a box office smash at 4am and stuffing your face with popcorn? Well, it takes all kinds.
You can see all the cinemas in Abu Dhabi here, now all you need to do is check the screening times (and stay awake) to enjoy a film.
Late night bites
Ok, if you’re like us and you’re at this time of night you need a midnight snack.
We’re not talking about raiding the fridge either, we’re talking about some of our favourite foods, like the simple shawarma.
Shawarma is ubiquitous but there is a real difference between a good one and one that you’d rather forget.
We love shawarma so much we even wrote an article about the best spots in the city to pick one up.
We’re already drooling thinking about the garlic sauce, the pickles, everything, we love it.
In fact, we’re not waiting until midnight, we’re off for a shawarma now.