We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to thrilling nightlife. If you’re looking for a fail-safe guide to hotspots heaving with the most talented DJs, gorgeous crowds and thumping music, then take off your slippers and sleep mask, and crank up the bass, this is the cream of the crop and you’re required to party in T-minus 10, 9, 8, 7...
Ladies' Night at The Yacht Club
One of the oldest nightclubs in the city, The Yacht Club pulls in buzzing party people to its stylish terrace and bar. Wednesday ladies’ night is heaving and by far the busiest night of the week, with DJ Angelo and the Go Go dancers pulling in a fun and happy crowd. Free entry.
Unlimited white beverages for ladies from 7pm-midnight. The Yacht Club, InterContinental Abu Dhabi (02 666 6888)
Flow at Rush
Your staple, classic club experience parading pure talent behind the decks and on the dance floor. One price unlocks open beverages all night and a slew of weekly international guest DJs such as DJ Stylus and firm UAE favourites such as DJ Soulninja. The atmosphere is pumped with lively crowds of dance-happy revellers and this is a guaranteed good time for clubbers keen for commercial urban, dance, house and pop music.
Gents Dhs100 and ladies free, all-inclusive house beverages all night for both. Etihad 50 percent bar discount. Ladies of six or more receive free table (reservation required). 10.30pm-3.30am Rush at Yas Viceroy Hotel Abu Dhabi, www.rushclub.ae (055 780 0086).
Ministry Of Sound VIP Party
Last Thursday of every month
Rush’s style is as fast, furious and glam as the F1 race track it’s built over – the only nightclub of its kind in the world. Resident DJ Cliff presides over Yas Island’s most popular club, and is the brain behind a brand new Ministry of Sound VIP party boasting a dazzling line up of global DJs on the last Thursday of every month. DJ Scottie B, a regular shoulder rubber with the likes of Tinie Tempah, Chris Brown and Jay-Z, will be kicking off the first night on August 27.
Gents Dhs300 and ladies Dhs150. Ministry of Sound VIP Party, Rush at Yas Viceroy Hotel Abu Dhabi. Aug 27 and last Thu of every month, 10.30pm-3.30am www.rushclub.ae (055 780 0086).
Mischief at Left Bank
Do you solemnly declare you are up to no good? Well, that’s sorted then. Calling all devils in the making, dive into the exclusive enclaves of Souk Qaryat Al Beri for Mischief Thursdays at Left Bank. Resident DJ Paul Hamilton, known for his energetic journeys through space, time and seriously hot house music guarantees a night of big room, deep and tech tunes and what’s more, there are special drinks offers for restless souls all night.
Free entry, every Thursday, 9pm-3am. Mischief Thursdays, Left Bank, Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Bain Al Jessrain (02 558 1680).
The Showdown at People by Crystal
Floyd Mayweather can dance in the ring, but what’s he like on the decks? The star boxer ain’t got nothing on this heavyweight DJ trio. Duking it out on the decks for the title of best hip-hop and RnB DJ every Thursday, DJ Slim from Paris, DJ B-Luv and DJ Kaboo do battle at infamous club night ‘Urban Showdown’. Witness firsthand a Pioneer Middle East DJ of the year (Kaboo) and his esteemed colleagues in a mixing master class, free of charge. DJs Neari, Saif & Sound and Tony H are among the other stars making their debuts.
Free. Cabin crew 50 percent off drinks. 11pm-4am. The Urban Showdown, People by Crystal. The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, The Collection at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Saadiyat Island (050 826 9698).
Thursday Madness at Etoiles
Sophisticated, elegant and very exclusive, girls (or are they gazelles?) stalk the gold leaf flecked halls of Emirates Palace into the belly of this monstrous club. Etoiles Thursday Madness reels in uber talents Saif & Sound and DJ Nuff Said to spin an unforgettable night to rival those who say clubbing is best left to Dubai. What Dubai? Be seen at this super stylish venue with everybody who’s anybody in the Emirate.
11pm-3.30am. Thursday Madness, Etoiles, Emirates Palace, Corniche (050 114 3666).
Revival at People by Crystal
The law of People by Crystal doth state that good, clean commercial music must be consigned to the bedrooms of Beliebers and Directioners. However, it’s a different story when you put Radio 1’s Saif & Sound in charge. Rev up for his retro journey with an addictive twist, the ’80s and ’90s have never sounded so fresh and there’ a splash of 21st century clubbing in there for good measure too. What’s more, ladies receive free selected beverages all night which consistently pulls in a suitably footloose and fancy crowd.
Free, complimentary house beverages for ladies all night and 40 percent off drinks for gents. 11pm-4am. People by Crystal, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, The Collection at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Saadiyat Island (050 826 9698).
The Friday Flex at Legends
Twenty years after collecting music at Slamming Vinyl in Kingston as a teenager, DJ Neil T is one of the UAE’s most versatile and familiar faces, and joins Legends every Friday to fuse his ever-evolving urban sets with fresh hip-hop and RnB until the wee hours. The Sheraton has lofty ambitions to make its latest nightlife venture, Legends, of a certain calibre since opening in April, resplendent with plush gold décor and a circular balcony overlooking the main dance floor. We guarantee a fun and glitzy night in Paris Hilton’s old haunt.
Free entry all night, ladies five free drinks and Etihad 50 percent bar discount. Open 10pm-3.30am. Legends Nightclub, Sheraton Abu Dhabi (050 763 9275).
The Project at Sax
This is a seriously exciting hip-hop and RnB night brought to you by Saif & Sound’s latest venture, The Project, which brings together the hottest DJs, producers and videographers in one innovative night. Free entry. Ladies receive complimentary beverages all night.
Open 11pm-3.45am. The Project, Sax Lounge & Club, Le Royal Meridien (050 663 0753).
Beach boats and pool parties
Landlocked and lusting after foam, inflatable sharks and bikini conga lines? An unprecedented clutch of pool parties has burst onto the scene, here’s what we recommend.
Blue Sensation Pool Party
Enjoy 12 hours of glamorous blue-themed party with cool DJs, giveaways and performers galore.
Gents Dhs150 includes two drinks, ladies Dhs100 includes two drinks. Ladies free entry before 2pm. 50 percent discount for Etihad staff. Open 10am-10pm. Noche Chill-Out Lounge, Hilton Capital Grand Hotel (050 909 0343).
Fire & Ice Beach Party
Abu Dhabi’s newest beach party after-brunch is just Dhs50 entry and promises a fun filled day and night from international guest DJs.
Dhs50 entry and Dhs150 mandatory spend. Sept 18, from 4pm-midnight. Wakatua Beach, Le Meridien Abu Dhabi, Tourist Club Area (02 644 6666).
Foamaloco Pool Party
Make your own bubbly snow boots at the biggest foam party in the UAE and then jump in the pool to cool off to Balearic beats from party legends DJ Chris Delaney, Darryl Lees and Chris Smith.
Ladies free entry, Gents Dhs100. Sept 4 from noon-late. Centro Yas Island (050 593 7977).
Immaculate Touch Pool Party
Co-promoted by DJ Chad Phunk and Stew Magoo, Immaculate Touch pool parties are the longest-running and revered in the city, famed for stilt walkers, dancers and club-hoppin' DJ sets.
Entry Dhs100, Etihad free before 2pm and ladies free before 1pm. Open 11am-9pm, Immaculate Touch pool party Aug 28 and Sept 25, Al Maya Zoo Projekt Sept 4, Al Maya Paint Party Sept 11 and Maya Friday pool party Sept 18. Al Maya Island (02 6677 777).
Immense Ibiza Yacht Party
Audio Krash Events is back, baby! This ultra exclusive yacht party orchestrated by DJ Chris Delaney is set to be a crazy day of sun, sea and super stylish people. Don’t miss it!
Dhs350 all inclusive food and drink. Monthly, from Sept 25. Boat docked at Emirates Palace Hotel Marina.
Liquid Rain Pool Party
Get ready to party with over 1,500 people as MC ChadPhunk, DJ Marko Smokingroove and DJ Natalie Brogan get the party started at this hugely popular rain party.
Ladies free, gents Dhs150. Aug 28 and Sept 4, 8pm-3am. Mai Café, Aloft Abu Dhabi (02 654 5115).
Ocean Beats Boat Party
Bigger, louder and better than ever, Ocean Beats and DJs CJ and Tmmy Vrcci are set to rock your flip flops.
Tickets Dhs450 all inclusive food and drink. Sept 11, from 2pm-6pm. InterContinental Abu Dhabi (056 160 1610).
Sun Kissed Boat Party
Set sail aboard Dice Productions' island cruise and chill out to DJ Mssha Vincente and live Go Go show.
Dhs350 inclusive of food and drink. Sept 4, boarding from 2pm, set sail at 3pm. Facing Marina Mall, behind Havana Cafe, Yakhout Club (056 614 7018).
Wet and Wild Pool Party
Who says golfing establishments should stick to swinging clubs and not from the ceilings? DJ Tanya Vie and her Go Go dancers will be your hosts for this wet and wild soiree!
Dhs100 includes two drinks. Aug 28, open 7pm-3am. Abu Dhabi City Golf Club (02 445 9600).
Home is where the heart is, and going by that logic Abu Dhabi is hip-hop and RnB’s true abode, so try this stunning line-up on for size.
DJs Kaboo, Soulninja and Cliff Townley spin RnB and party classics at Sugar Rush ladies’ night.
Gents Dhs100 (includes welcome drink), ladies free entry and free beverages until 2am. 10.30pm-3.30am. Rush at Yas Viceroy Hotel Abu Dhabi, www.rushclub.ae (055 780 0086).
Triumphant musical triumvirate DJs Kaboo, B-Luv and Slim from Paris extend their rule of city nightlife by staking a claim here every Wednesday at Rush.
Dhs100 (includes welcome drink), ladies free entry and free beverages until 2am. 10.30pm-3.30am. Rush at Yas Viceroy Hotel Abu Dhabi (055 780 0086).
Electro, hip-hop, house and RnB with Saif & Sound and DJ Jack at this swish, suave venue.
Free entry. Complimentary drinks for ladies all night and 50 percent discount for cabin crew. 9pm-3.30am. Sax Lounge & Club, Le Royal Meridien (050 663 0753).
The Groove Society presents 'Abu Dhabi's freshest and realest' new hip hop and RnB night with Rone Jaxx.
Free entry before midnight, Dhs100 after. From 10pm-3am, every second Fri from Aug 28. Up & Below Rooftop Lounge, World Trade Centre Abu Dhabi, Courtyard By Marriot.
Journey deep into RnB with a hint of hip-hop together with DJ Saif & Sound at Catch’s beauteous rooftop bar on the Corniche.
Every Saturday, from 9pm. Catch, St. Regis Abu Dhabi Corniche (02 611 0909).
Urban Sundays at Etoiles
Slip into this ultra-stylish super club and get your dose of urban tonic from licensed musical doctors DJs Kaboo and DJ Slim from Paris.
11pm-3am. Etoiles, Emirates Palace, Corniche road west (050 114 3666).
New York Night
DJ Saif & Sound takes over yet another night in the Manhattan-themed land of Legends nightclub. Enjoy three complimentary bubblys from 10pm-2am.
Etihad 30 percent discount. Legends Nightclub, Sheraton Abu Dhabi (056 209 6426)
Senoritas and signors have so much choice when it comes to salsa nights. Here’s four top parties with pizzazz.
This Brazilian themed Churrascaria restaurant has an upstairs bar, where a Latin band plays Senorita's night from Wednesday to Friday and ladies enjoy complimentary fruity drinks from 9pm-1am. The South American theme extends to the delicious snacks too!
Senorita’s night Wed-Fri from 9pm-1am with classic fruity beverages for ladies. Chamas, Intercontinental Abu Dhabi (02 666 6888).
Fiesta Latina, IMAGO’s weekly salsa and Latin night, takes place in Le Royal Meridien every Friday from 9pm until late. As the name suggests, the night is a party from start to finish, and we recommend you dance Latina to the live band at this fun filled night.
Free. Every Fri from 9pm. Imago Restaurant and Bar, Le Royal Meridien (02 674 1094).
Stars 'n' Bars
Samba is at the very heart of Stars ‘N’ Bars. Its professional instructors go all out with feathers, tambourines and teach you how to tear up the dance floor on the shisha terrace bar.
Free. Second Thu of the month from Sept 10, 9pm. Stars ‘N’ Bars, Yas Marina, Yas Island, contact Ahmed (056 733 0324).
Puesta Del Sol
The perfect end to the weekend. Enjoy the sounds of traditional Latin, Brazilian, soul and funky beats by the shore while watching Flamenco dancers strut their stuff and a Latin singer serenade you.
Free. Every Sat, from 7pm. Puesta Del Sol, Saadiyat Beach Club (02 656 3500).
Jazz is undergoing something of a Renaissance in Abu Dhabi. In need of some musical therapy and smooth tunes? Slip into our top three spots.
The house band here, Luna Soul, play jazz classics and contemporary covers – they’re one of the best you can find anywhere in the city.
Free. Sun-Thu from 9pm-1.30am and Fri brunch from 12.30pm-3.30pm. Jazz N Fizz, Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche, Corniche Rd East (02 813 7848).
Head to Ray’s Bar and listen to Matt West, one of the city’s premier saxophonists belt out tunes here every week.
Free. Open daily 5pm-2am. Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Corniche Road (02 811 5555).
Jazz @ Pizza Express
UpTown are the resident band every night from 8pm at the brand spanking new Jazz Room at Pizza Express, World Trade Centre Mall.
Free. Uptown performs Tue-Fri and as a jazz trio and acoustic trio Sat-Mon. The Jazz Room at Pizza Express, World Trade Centre Mall Abu Dhabi (02 444 7752).
Best night ever
Abu Dhabi’s local DJs delve into the memory banks to tell us about their favourite night out, ever!
DJ Saif & Sound
‘My first ever big party was the Radio 1 pool party held at Aloft Hotel. This was a crazy event as I fully enjoyed myself and also got to interact with listeners of my show which made it such a special night. Another recent party that I was involved in, and I’m not just saying this because I was the DJ there, was ‘Life’s A Beach’ by The Project in Abu Dhabi – it was truly one of the best parties I have been a part of. It was an indoor beach theme party and the crowd mentioned that they felt like they were in Ibiza. It was a full house. This is definitely a party I won’t forget in my life.’
DJ Chris Delaney
‘The very best day and night I ever had was DJing with K-Klass here in Abu Dhabi. The promoter Jon Besant had to pick up Paul and Bobbi from the airport and bring them to History at Al Maya Island, and then we DJd all day in the sun (tough life!) and then had to head to Dubai for History at Story, which went off! More than 15 hours of partying really did take it out of all of us, never mind just me.’
DJ Neil T
‘A night that stands out for me was a few years back in London. After some after-work drinks someone suggested we finish up in a place called Herbal in Shoreditch. I had never been before, but ended up staying until the early hours and everyone else in my group had left. A guy called Zed Bias was the DJ and the night was run by Hospital Records. It was a random night but it’s a story I always tell when asked – it was one of my best ever nights to date.’
‘One of my best nights ever was when I played at Saadiyat Beach Club at an event called Versus and the tracks were on point. DJ Crown Prince from Dubai and I were in closing mode and decided to battle track for track for the last 20 to 30 minutes of the evening. The crowd was so in tune that a quarter of them stood around the DJ booth singing and dancing and anticipated every drop, effect and blend, and at the end of the night they chanted “one more song”. The venue manager literally had to walk over with a smile on his face and say, “Please play one more song for the crowd”. Simply put, an amazing night! #Doingitforthecrowd.’
‘The best night for me I have to say was the all white party I did with The City Vibes at Pearls & Caviar (now P&C by Sergi Arola). We had a good Wednesday on a regular basis but that one night was so special, seeing all those people coming together and committing to one concept and the energy I got that day from the crowd was phenomenal. The weather was amazing and I definitely had a blast myself.’
DJ Cliff Townley
‘While starting out DJing back in London, I ventured into events with my brother and a friend in a local club and after weeks of hard work it worked out. There was a queue outside before we opened and in the middle of the night, standing in the DJ booth playing to a packed club of people, that was a special moment I’ll never forget and where I caught the events bug!’
DJ Rob Brah
‘I find the spontaneous nights to be the best, with last-minute decisions turning out to make your day. Getting a message from a mate for a casual hops in an hour, then ending up in Rush for the Big RnB night, saying that you’re going to have a chilled one, but instead ending up four drinks in by the hour mark. Great nights start from a quiet drink.’