Best Abu Dhabi bars for afternoon hangouts

Where to have your post-lunch sessions

3.37pm. As times go, it is much like any other. Just 60 seconds from a total of 86,400 in a day. But, and we’ve given this a lot of thought, it is the optimum time to meet friends for a casual chinwag.

It is post-lunch and pre-dinner. It’s late enough that you can do things before yet early enough that you can make plans later on. It is ideal for a short catch-up or a long time. Yes, 3.37pm strikes us as a very fine time to meet up with friends.

Now we’ve given you the when, try these places for the where to meet friends for an afternoon catch-up.

1. Asia de Cuba
How can you tell if a lounge is well-suited for an afternoon hangout? There is no guarantee, but if there are sharing platters, small plates, sofas and an actual see breeze like there is at this beachside joint then you’re probably not going to spend your time swiping through Time Out listings looking for somewhere better.
Open Sun-Wed noon-midnight; Thu noon-2am; Fri 1pm-2am; Sat 1pm-midnight. Nation Riviera, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Corniche Road, (02 699 3333).

2. Azura
There is something about the combination of low seating and panoramic vistas that make a good base for a slow afternoon. We can readily imagine sitting here in silence and just looking out for a while. If only our pals would just shut up for five minutes.
Daily. 10am-1am. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi Nation Towers, (02 694 4553).

3. Beach House
It’s cool enough to sit outside in the afternoon and early evening for the next few months. So chilling with friends on the beach doesn’t mean you have to slip into a swimming cossie. The Park Hyatt’s gorgeous and designer home-like lounge is as sophisticated and stylish a place to meet pals al fresco as you are likely to find in Abu Dhabi.
Sun-Thu, 10.30am-midnight; Fri-Sat, 9am-midnight. Park Hyatt, Saadiyat Island, (02 407 1138).

4. Catch
You may know the sleek seafood restaurant or the upscale rooftop bar, but land here on an afternoon and it is a relaxed and picturesque joint for meet-ups. Especially if you have trendy, if slightly frugal, friends who won’t want to join you until 4pm when there is a daily happy hour with 50 percent discounts on selected drinks and an array of tasty meal deals as well.
Daily. Noon-1am. Catch, Nation Riviera, Corniche, (02 611 0909).

5. Coopers
Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got. Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. The Park Rotana’s friendly, community bar is a real local pub and the sort of place you’ll always be made welcome in. What’s more there is a daily happy hour starting at noon that runs until late, meaning an afternoon session with friends comes with a 50 percent discount on selected beverages. Cheers!
Daily. Noon-2.30am. Park Rotana, Khalifa Park area, (02 657 3325).

6. The Captain’s Arms
Put a few restaurants and cafés together and call the collection a village and it just seems friendly, intimate and quite unlike anything you would expect to find in a major capital city. With happy hours until 7pm this is a low-key pub with a hops garden vibe.
Sun-Wen, noon-1am; Fri-Sat, noon-3am, Le Méridien Village, Tourist Club Area, (02 644 6666).

7. The Retreat
You don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy a night at a swanky golf course club lounge. Don’t believe us? Plant yourself in one of the club chairs for the weekday happy hours between noon and 7pm and see for yourself. Perfect for those pals who’d been putting off giving the crew some love.
Daily. Noon-1am. Westin Abu Dhabi, Sas Al Nakhl, (02 616 9999).

8. The Sportsman’s Arms
There is a lot going on at this Boston-Irish bar in Zayed Sport City. Afternoon movie screenings on a weekend and a children’s play area make it one of the more family-friendly venues for mixed-age groups. So, if you’re wanting to catch up with friends but have a bedtime curfew for little ones this is a good option.
Daily. 8am-11pm. International Tennis Center, Zayed Sport City, (02 447 1066).

9. Up and Below
Want to meet friends, but need to do some shopping? Combine both by getting through your chores in the World Trade Center Mall and then step next door to this poolside bar. As well as a good location, it has decent views and regular promotions. What more do you need from a casual hangout?
Daily. 9am-1am. Courtyard by Marriott World Trade Center, Al Markaziya, (02 698 2222).

10. Y Bar
Happy hours from noon (4pm on weekends), cool vibes, great bar food and low-key charm. The question really should be “Y not?”
Daily.Noon-3am. Yas Island Rotana, Golf Plaza, Yas Island, (02 656 4157).

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