The Time Out Abu Dhabi review process

Want to know how Time Out Abu Dhabi’s Music & Nightlife Award winners are decided? Here’s how

The Time Out Abu Dhabi review process

Held annually since 2015, the Time Out Abu Dhabi Music & Nightlife Awards are the most respected accolade an bar, pub or club can receive in the city.

Our judging process is unlike any other, and the most trusted by both the hospitality industry and diners across the city.

Here’s why.

Time Out Abu Dhabi’s core values
Musical trends, hit songs, ladies’ nights deals – all of these things change regularly. But the principles on which the Time Out Abu Dhabi brand and its Music & Nightlife Awards were founded have not, and never will.

Anonymity: Time Out Abu Dhabi’s team of reviewers visit nightlife venues throughout the year, never announcing that they’re going and paying for their own drinks. This ensures they experience every visit as a regular paying customer, and receive no special treatment.

Integrity: Good, bad or ugly, Time Out’s reviewers tell the truth about their experiences. Time Out Abu Dhabi’s Music & Nightlife Awards shortlists and winners are formed on the basis of multiple reviewers visiting venues, ensuring that no nomination is the result of a single visit by a single reviewer. Each is a collective decision made by the team over the course of a year.

Independence: Time Out’s team of reviewers are not influenced in any way by Time Out advertisers, partners or friends.

Expertise: Time Out reviewers are serial “doers”. They’re out every night of the week, in all corners of the city, to ensure they’re real local experts. And with a team comprised of nationalities from all over the world, who’ve lived and dined in countries all over the world, there is no night too daring, no trend too twee, for them to try out.

Value for money: The Time Out Abu Dhabi brand is committed to telling its readers the best things to do and places to go in town, saving its readers both time and money. A bar’s value for money offering is assessed with every review. We do not set a limit on the cost of the drinks or gig, there is no numeric cut-off point. It is the overall quality of the experience, measured against a number of criteria, that determines a venue’s value.

Time Out Abu Dhabi’s criteria
In order to maintain Time Out Abu Dhabi’s core values, the brand’s reviewers always visit venues anonymously, always pay for their drinks, and always judge an outlet against a set criteria.

• Quality of drinks available
• Level of service
• Venue setting
• Ambience and atmosphere
• Selection of beverages
• Overall value for money

Time Out Abu Dhabi’s reviewers
With arguably the best job in the city, Time Out Abu Dhabis team of reviewers is made up of full-time employees of the brand, who go out all over the city every single week of the year.

As part of the wider Time Out Abu Dhabi brand principle that all staff are true local experts, Time Out reviewers have in-depth knowledge of the city’s ever-evolving, fiercely competitive nightlife scene.

Comprised of nationalities from every corner of the world, Time Out reviewers are united in their passion for going out, from dancing around their handbags at ladies’ nights to taking in a classical concert, all in the name of unearthing the best quality and best value nightlife experiences for Time Out’s audience.

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