Captain’s Arms

We review the veteran Abu Dhabi pub

Captain’s Arms
Captain’s Arms Image #2

Any Brits who want to have trip down memory lane, back to the pubs of the 1970s, when you could smoke indoors, pints were cheap and the menus didn’t have much more than fish and chips and shepherd’s pie on them, could do a lot worse than heading to Captain’s Arms. Come to think of it, maybe all the Brexit supporters back home should just move out here and give it a try, it would be right up their alley.

We’re not trying to be unkind, we love this place, both for the nostalgia factor and for the fact that it’s just very, very good at what it does.
Our latest visit is on a Thursday night, when a rare early finish from work allows us a few more hours in the pub. When we arrive, early evening, the place is already packed, with nary a seat to be had anywhere.

There are a few little nooks and crannies in here, but we’re happy to see bar totally filled up. Well, we would kind of like at least two spaces to be available somewhere, but that’s a minor quibble. Instead, we order a couple of happy hour bottles of hops (Dhs23, pints are the same) and wait for an opening.

Staff are lovely here, genuinely warm and welcoming (they found us a seat in the end) and quick to make sure we’re topped up with new drinks regularly.

Everything about Captain’s Arms is traditional, from the dark wood everywhere to the red cushioned seating and the menu filled with pub classics. We don’t eat on this occasion (there’ll be others, believe us), so we settle for a few rounds before heading off into the weekend night.

This is the kind of spot that causes your mouth to drop when you get the bill, and not because you’re going to have to get an advance on your next pay packet to afford it. No, here happy hour runs from opening at noon until the early hours of the morning. It really is super value. No wonder it has built up a loyal following over the decades.

Flashy it may not be, but it is everything you’d expect and hope it to be upon setting foot inside. We hope it never leaves us.


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