When you live in a city of high-rise buildings, especially one where the weather is almost guaranteed to be good, it’s worth taking whatever chance you can get to enjoy the views.
Here are ten places with spectacular vistas.
1. Beach House
If you love the ocean then the Beach House Rooftop is an obvious choice.
With the warm waters of the Gulf audibly lapping the shore just a few metres away, it’s probably the most serene spot in the Park Hyatt complex. Food is served throughout the day, and shisha is available until midnight.
Open daily 9am-midnight. Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island (02 407 1138).
OK, so it’s barely off the ground, but the first-floor roof of Catch, Abu Dhabi’s best seafood restaurant, still qualifies.
There are views out to sea, of course, but perhaps the best vista afforded from above the diners is of the Corniche, with its spectacular mega-buildings.Vin Diesel leaping from one to another in a car at sunset.
Open daily noon-1am. Nation Riviera Beach Club, Corniche Road West (02 611 0909)
This venue in Yas Marina doesn’t market itself as the largest or most glamorous in the city, but this plucky little spot has an undeniably great location.
With terraces on the ground floor and roof, it’s part pizzeria, part tapas joint, part music venue.
Come the evening, it also boasts great views across the marina itself towards the Yas Viceroy’s wonderful light display.
Open Sat-Wed 5pm-11pm, Thu-Fri 5pm-midnight. Yas Marina, Yas Island (02 565 1175).
4. Eclipse Terrace Lounge
Over on Al Maryah Island, the Four Seasons has opted to put its rooftop terrace on the third floor.
There’s no need to be worried about being swamped in a forest of skyscrapers – the views here are across the island’s bay.
You can’t swim in it, but you could take a dip in the pool.
Open Sat-Wed noon-midnight, Thu-Fri noon-1am. Four Seasons Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 333 2222).
5. Helipad Sunset Supper
It’s totally outrageous, of course, but if the weather is calm and you’re feeling brave, then why not head to the St. Regis’s helipad for a few sundowners.
Pre-booked groups of up to 20 can come to this lofty perch where they’ll be looked after by chefs, butlers, mixologists, waiters and hopefully their own sense of self-preservation.
Times vary. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers, Corniche Road West (02 694 4553).
Located in the heart of the city, the Marriott Downtown knew that if it wanted to be seen, it’d have to head skywards.
To that end, Grill@25 (no prizes for guessing which floor it’s on) is the capital’s highest rooftop bar. It has a bit of everything, including a popular brunch.
Open daily 11am-2am. Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi, Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street (02 304 7777).
7. Level Lounge
The Level Lounge isn’t the newest addition to the Abu Dhabi skyline but it’s got plenty of experience.
Found up on the 21st floor of the Crowne Plaza, it morphs from restaurant to bar to club, doing all three very well.
Open daily 5pm-2am. Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Street (02 616 6800).
It might be away from the main drag but the Aloft Hotel is ideal for anyone with business near Zayed Sports City.
With fewer skyscrapers in the area, Relax@12 offers commanding views across Abu Dhabi with an unrivalled perspective of the astonishing Capital Gate Building Tower, the world’s furthest leaning manmade tower.
Open Mon-Wed 5pm-2am, Thu-Sun 5pm-3am. Aloft Abu Dhabi Hotel, Khaleej Alarabi Street (02 654 5138).
No other rooftop bar makes quite so much of its actual roof.
The Yas Viceroy’s remarkable design still feels as though its arrived from 20 years in the future.
You can marvel at the 5,000-plus lights shifting colours when you take a seat in the ever-luscious Skylite.
Open Sat-Thu 6pm-1am, Fri 4pm-1am Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, Yas Island (02 656 0600).
10. Up and Below
By the UAE’s lofty standards, having a rooftop establishment on the 12th floor may seem a little conservative.
Nonetheless, the Courtyard by Marriott has done an exemplary job of offering a chilled ambiance for either an after-work drink or a spot of dinner. Or both.
There’s also some super alternative DJ nights on regularly.
Open Tue-Sun 10am-2am, Mon 10am-midnight. Courtyard by Marriott World Trade Center, Al Mazarkiyah (02 698 2222).