Okay, so for those who don’t live here, Abu Dhabi isn’t quite as boisterous as Dubai. But that’s one of the reasons we love it. When visitors come to check out your new home, it’s always nice to know they’re leaving with some stories to tell, so here we’ve gathered the the city’s very best bars to give your mates something to talk about.
Asia de Cuba
Finally, summer is over and that means at least one amazing thing– Asia de Cuba’s terrace is open again. There’s always a party atmosphere out here, with Latin music, heady mixed beverages and amazing fusion dishes on offer. There’s really no reason not to love it, especially given its setting overlooking the Arabian Gulf .
Open daily noon-2am. Nation Riviera Beach Club, Corniche Road (02 699 3333).
What can we say, we just adore this terrace. For the cooler days this is a great spot to enjoy the weather to some cool Latin tunes and some premium mixed drinks. It has two weekly brunches if you want to go all out, and a rabbit warren of an indoor area for the light-averse, too.
Open daily noon-3am, Sun-Thu 7.30pm-1am, Fri-Sat 7.30pm-2am. World Trade Center Mall, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi (02 666 8066).
Butcher & Still
Superb steak and excellent mixed drinks are de rigueur at this 1920s Chicago-style steakhouse. Everything is Prohibition era themed, down to the secret room that is modelled upon Al Capone’s getaway car. The terrace offers fine views across the sea and city, too. You’re well placed to head on to some of the best restaurants in town at the Galleria, and there is a strong selection of mixed drinks.
Open daily 4pm-2am. Four Seasons Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 333 2700).
Transport you and your visitors into a moment of serenity, away from the hustle and bustle. Abu Dhabi’s diversity is one of its strengths – skyscrapers, mangroves, beaches, wildlife, and supercars. Get a one-day pool pass (Dhs250) for Saadiyat Beach Club and soak up some autumnal sun, then head to Cabana9 bar for drinks and a glorious sunset.
Open daily 11am-7pm. Saadiyat Beach Club, Saadiyat Island (02 656 3500).
La Cava is not a drop of fancy grape short of a Mayfair gentleman’s club. It’s full-on posh. This place is all about the grape, which is selected by expert sommeliers and reasonably priced. It also has a Wednesday grape and cheese night if you want to go super posh, and a Tuesday burgers and châteaux soirée (both Dhs150), as well as a cooking class where you can rustle up your own meal with the chef.
Open Mon-Sat, 5pm-2am. Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Zayed the First Street (02 813 555).
Sontaya is Thai for sunset, so… you know the score. Escape the headache of city life for the intimate setting of the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort. Sit on floating pavilions, take in the beach and Arabian Gulf views and start counting up those marriage brownie points. The food is top notch South East Asian and the vibes are, well, sunsety.
It’s romantic and definitely worth a few Instagram pics.
Open daily 12.30pm–4pm, 6.30pm–11pm. St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Saadiyat Island (02 498 8888).
From the moment you set foot inside Tamba with it’s huge copper installations and teal-coloured accents, you know you haven’t just entered a second-rate Indian restaurant. The food here is as much a feast for the eyes as for the palate, and the creative, Indian-inspired sharing dishes, which will leave you with plenty to talk about. The terrace is also great for sundowners.
Open Sat-Wed noon-1am; Thu-Sat noon-2am. The Hub at the World Trade Centre, Al Markaziya (02 672 8888).
One of the capital’s newest restaurants and bars, Toro Toro is an explosion of colour and Latin vibes. Already a hit in Dubai and beyond, stunning views of the waterfront and adjacent private marina are not going to hurt the experience. As well as hot and cold sharing plates, there are some fancy mixed drinks. Just to top it off, there is a live Cuban band. Bliss.
Open Sat-Wed 7pm-1am, Thu 7pm-2am, Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-2am. Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, West Corniche
(02 811 5882).
This place does not disappoint if you want a night to remember. Serving Japanese fare in an izakaya dining style, often found in casual Japanese bars, Chill out with a mixed drink and watch the highly skilled “itamae” (or sushi masters) do their stuff.
Open Sat-Wed noon-1am, Thu noon-2am, Fri 12.30pm-2am. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 401 59000).