Time Out Abu Dhabi's Music & Nightlife Awards 2018: The winners

These are the city’s award-wining venues, events and acts

Time Out Abu Dhabi's Music & Nightlife Awards 2018: The winners

The results are in. After a year of independently and anonymously reviewing (and paying for drinks in) Abu Dhabi’s bars, pubs and clubs, we can announce the capital’s best, busiest, most fun and absolutely sublime venues and nights out. They were revealed to the industry’s finest at the Time Out Abu Dhabi Music & Nightlife Awards 2018 on Wednesday, June 27 and here they are for you. So, if you have visitors in town, want to freshen up your usual route or just want validation that your favourite bar is, in fact, legitimately THE BEST, read on.


Best Ladies Night
Ladies will definitely go loco for this packed night – Loca is serving unlimited Mexican mixed drinks every Wednesday from 7pm. Girls can get stuck into a range of flavours frozen or on ice, including passionfruit, raspberry, kiwi and the classic. The DJ spins ’90s tunes and there is, of course, Loca’s wonderful Mexican fare on offer.
Wed 7pm-2am. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 582 3639).

Iris are taking it back to the old school with the best of the ’80s and ’90s every Sunday at Bring It All Back. Serving up terrific tunes, ladies can dance the night away without shelling out a single dirham. Drinks are on the house for ladies throughout the night so, even though it’s the first day of the working week, it sounds like a good plan to us.
Sun 9pm-3am. Yas Marina, Yas Island (055 160 5636).

It might not be in the centre of town, but Relax@12 makes the most of its location with stunning views from its rooftop terrace across Abu Dhabi. On Tuesdays, ladies can enjoy free drinks as they dance the night away to the musical stylings of DJ Angelo and DJ Slim. It’s one for the night owls too, with the party continuing until 3am.
Tue 6pm-3am. Aloft Abu Dhabi Hotel, Khaleej Alarabi Street (02 654 5138).

Nominees: Cho Gao Marina Walk
This pan-Asian lounge oozes style and has been making waves in the capital since it first opened at the InterContinental last year. It boasts a stunning terrace overlooking the hotel’s marina as well as a swnky indoor lounge, and a wide range of delicious food and drink options. It’s a popular choice for ladies’ night too, with female guests receiving unlimited selected mixed drinks and house beverages. every Tuesday night.
Tue 8pm-12.15am. InterContinental Abu Dhabi, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (800 423 643).

Cooper’s Bar & Restaurant
It’s tough to find an evening when Cooper’s doesn’t have some sort of ladies’ night – they have five. They’re a bit of an institution and can get very, very busy, which makes a nice change. Bring in the weekend the right way with free-flowing drinks between 8pm and 10pm on a Thursday night. Lovely stuff.
Thu 8pm-10pm. Park Rotana Abu Dhabi (02 657 3333).

Few venues in the capital can boast a rooftop lounge comparable to Glo, in the ultra-sleek Rosewood Abu Dhabi. Huge metallic flower-like installations dominate the space as the soft glow of the swimming pool performs an eye-catching lights display across the venue. Ladies can enjoy the chic hangout spot with free bubbles from 7pm to 9pm on Tuesdays, with an extensive bar menu to choose from afterwards.
Tues 7pm-9pm. Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi (02 813 5550).

MAD on Yas Island
The former champion of this category, this is not to be missed. Make a MAD dash to this super club with your girl pals and enjoy their chic urban beats, great live acts and superb drinks deals. Every Thursday, there are complimentary drinks for ladies from 11pm to 1am, and every Friday there is a complimentary bar for ladies all night.
Thu 11pm-1am, Fri all night. Yas Island (055 834 6262).

This lively Irish bar is a bit of party stalwart and is usually guaranteed to brighten up a tough week. The At Night We Play ladies’ night offers five midweek complimentary house drinks and 50 percent off main courses, as well as cheesy tunes and funky pop from the DJ. Men, if you’re reading, you can also enjoy happy hour from noon to 10pm.
Tue 6pm-10pm. Al Raha Beach Hotel & Resort, Channel Street (02 652 4333).

Ray’s Bar
Based on the 62nd floor of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, this is undeniably one of the classiest entrants in this category. You’ll want to dress to impress at this sophisticated spot, which is popular with Abu Dhabi’s fashionable crowd. If you’re a woman, Saturday nights at Ray’s Bar is High Heels Night Out, with three drinks each and a platter of bites for Dhs 65 per lady between 8pm and 2am.
Sat 8pm-2am. Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Corniche Road West (02 811 5666).

Stars ’N’ Bars
The cool sports bar is transformed into a women’s hangout spot on Wednesdays, with three free drinks from a choice of grape, shorts and mixed drinks. If that leaves you wanting more, the same round will cost you Dhs15 for the rest of the night.
Wed 9pm-1am. Yas Marina, Yas Island (02 565 0101)

Best Party Brunch

WINNER: Funch, Stills Restaurant & Bar
A laid-back and sophisticated hangout during the week, once the weekend arrives it transforms into an all-singing, all-dancing party destination. The capital’s three-time award-winning house band, The International Playboys are the stars of the show here. But it would be amiss of us not to mention the fantastic range of mouth-watering food and beverages designed to kick off your weekend with a bang.
Dhs261 (12.30pm-4pm), Dhs365 (12.30pm-8pm). Every Fri. Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Yas Island (02 656 3000).

Our reigning Restaurant of the Year certainly knows how to throw an awesome brunch. The Peruvian trend-setter is a visual feast, with colourful décor, wrought iron fixtures and fittings and an amazing array of mouthwatering dishes. You won’t want to leave this vibrant Latin party
Dhs198 (soft drinks), Dhs318 (house beverages), Dhs428 (sparkling). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island
(02 306 7000).

You won’t be going loco down in Acapulco if you stay too long at this ever-popular Mexican outlet. In fact, it’s not a bad way to spend a whole day. The fantastic five-hour brunch is packed with funky Latino vibes from a live band, alongside a colourful and flavoursome menu of classic Mexican tastes. The funky décor, coupled with the stunning views of clear blue waters looking out onto Al Maryah Island, make it a feast for all of the senses.
Dhs165 (soft drinks), Dhs280 (house beverages). Fri noon-5pm. The Galleriah, Al Maryah Island (02 582 3639).

Nominees: Amerigos Mexican Bar & Restaurant
It’s Fiesta Friday at Mexican hangout Amerigos every week, with a range of lip-smacking food and beverages at the venue’s lively brunch. The air is filled with your favourite tunes by the house DJ, while you can chill out by the pool as you soak up the Abu Dhabi sun. It’s certainly one of the more affordable brunches on our list, too.
Dhs190 (soft drinks), Dhs320 (house beverages), Dhs440 (premium beverages). Dhs95 (kids aged six-12). Noon-4pm. Park Inn by Radisson, Yas Island (02 656 2222).

Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE
This place can certainly stake a claim to be one of Abu Dhabi’s biggest party hubs. It’s known internationally as a club hotspot and is always a popular choice for those looking to enjoy their weekend in style with amazing views of golden sands and turquoise waters. A whole host of famous DJs have graced the stage, making this a thriving destination for the capital’s coolest customers.
Dhs295 (restaurant), Dhs325 (beach/terrace), Dhs550 (bubbly). Sat 1pm-4pm. Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotel and resort, off Sheikh Zayed Road, Ghantoot (056 113 3400).

Inject some Latin passion into your weekend with a brunch packed full of your favourite meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes from across the continent. A lively house band provides the soundtrack to this uber-cool Friday party and they make it hard not to get into the South American spirit. Head here and try not to dance, we double dare you.
Dhs300 (soft drinks), Dhs400 (selected beverages), Dhs500 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4.30pm. The Hub at The World Trade Center Mall, Al Markaziya (02 666 8066).

A former winner of our Best Brunch award, this heavyweight sure packs a punch in this category. Its Friday culinary extravaganza takes over a whole wing of the vast hotel and features a multitude of live cooking stations serving up excellent cuisine from all over the globe. Mixed drinks stations, a funky DJ and entertainment from dancers keep the vibe nice and lively, too.
Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages), Dhs495 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4pm. The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqta (02 818 8282).

There’s a reason McGettigan’s remains as popular as ever in Abu Dhabi, and that’s because it knows how to give you a good time on a budget. Expect a brunch full of carvery classics and modern favourites as your favourite tunes fill the air. There’s plenty to stick around for afterwards, too, with a range of drinks deals and live music that’ll keep you coming back to this Al Raha spot for more.
Dhs229 (house beverages), Dhs139 (soft drinks). Fri noon-4pm. Al Raha Beach Hotel, Channel Street (02 652 4333).

PJ O’Reilly’s
This Irish favourite pulls out all the stops every Friday for an unmissable brunch. Enjoy a huge spread of hearty pub grub with live music from the popular Jamra Band and DJ Tintin providing the soundtrack. And if that’s not enough, there is also free pool access thrown in so you can have plenty of fun in the sun and soak up the lively vibes.
Dhs200 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-4pm. Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Street (800 101 101).

The Westin Golf Resort & Spa Abu Dhabi
Bubbalicious is a classic of the party brunch genre and is truly one not to miss. It’s always busy (which is a good sign) and you can be sure of a fun day out with some incredible food in stunning surroundings. A house band will play your favourite covers, so you’ll be on the dancefloor in no time, working off that extra dessert you just couldn’t say no to.
Dhs348 (soft drinks), Dhs426 (house beverages), Dhs618 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, Sas Al Nakhl،(02 616 9999).



WINNER: Puesta Del Sol
The name means sunset in Spanish, and you can see why they picked it. Make no mistake: if you fancy sundowners and some delicious tapas to wind your day down, Puesta del Sol is a mighty fine place to do it. The venue juts out into the Gulf on a rocky outcrop that keeps you just low enough to the water to hear the creek waves lapping about you as you chow down on some perfectly fresh seafood and traditional Spanish mixed drinks. Muy bueno.
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Khor Al Maqta (02 654 3333).

Al Bandar Marina is, putting it simply, class. Apart from the iconic three buildings and the pristine white boats in the water, you’ve got Pacifico TIKI, a restaurant and bar that jets out into the Yas Island waters. Not only is the modern design of the building striking in itself, but the beautiful waterfront views are pretty special, too.
Al Bandar Marina, Al Raha Beach (02 556 6090).

“Wow!” The one word bartenders here hear on repeat. That’s because Ray’s Bar, the winner of this category last year, is one of the city’s most spectacular settings and drinkers can’t help but ogle in amazement every time they walk in. Perched all the way up on the 62nd floor of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, you’ll find uninterrupted views across the Corniche, Emirates Palace, UAE Presidential Palace and beyond. And all the slack-jawed gawping is enough to make anyone thirsty – good job there’s a creative mixed drinks menu with a good daily happy hour too.
Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, West Corniche Road (02 811 5666).

Nominees: Asia de Cuba
A perennial award-winner, Asia de Cuba does food, fun and nightlife very well indeed. It was named the capital’s Best Bar at our Music & Nightlife Awards in 2017 and is rightly nominated in a few categories again this time around. With an outdoor area looking over the sea towards the Marina breakwater and back towards the imposing Nation Towers, there are striking views every which way. A stunning place to enjoy a beverage outside. It’s going to be reopened at the end of summer with a new look but the same fantastic beachy vibes. We can’t wait to see what it’ll look like.
Nation Riviera Beach Club, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers (02 699 3333).

Catch Rooftop
Canadian hip-hop artist Drake reportedly loved it so much at Catch, he went three nights in a row when he visited the capital. Elegant light woods, nautical-themed décor and a lovely, ocean-facing terrace is what awaits visitors. It’s a stylish place, perfect for a leisurely drink where you can sit by the waters and enjoy the laid-back yet upmarket atmosphere. From now on, when your hotline blings it should only mean one thing: making plans to head here.
Nation Riviera Beach Club, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers (02 699 3333).

Eclipse Terrace Lounge
Given the plethora of top quality bars just a stone’s throw from it (including Zsa Zsa just downstairs), you’d be forgiven for not having popped up to Eclipse thus far. Really, though, you should. Located on the third-floor deck, it is, in essence, a pool bar. However there are stunning views over the Al Maryah waters, plus cool mini cabanas for one, for you to curl up in with a good mocktail and book.
Four Seasons Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 333 2222).

The first thing you’ll notice at Glo are the huge lights that look like giant, metallic water lilies. Day or night, these striking installations dominate this cool outdoor lounge in the stylish Rosewood Abu Dhabi. There are plenty of sofas to sink into, while laidback tunes add to the relaxed vibe.

Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 813 5565).

Iris Yas Island
Last years’ Time Out Abu Dhabi Best Outdoor Nightspot winner, Iris Yas Island has been a trendsetter in the city since opening in 2013. It made a name for itself through its eclectic live music, alongside its glamorous interior and even more glamorous clientele. It continues to bring the wow factor thanks in no small part to its extensive outdoor space, with wonderful views over the beautiful waters of Yas Marina and the iconic Yas Viceroy Hotel.
Yas Marina, Yas Island (055 160 5636).

A lounge that has been one of the hottest party spots for style-conscious clubbers for years. The 12th floor might not be the highest in the nation, but the skyline views are as captivating as any. Ladies’ nights, Latin nights, house nights, Sunday sessions – it’s always top notch if you head to this outdoor lounge.
Aloft Abu Dhabi, Al Safraat (02 654 5138).

Abu Dhabi is well-stocked with stylish mixed drinks lounges, but Le Royal Méridien stands out for a very good reason. It revolves. That’s right, it spins – albeit slowly – through a 360-degree axis, giving you truly panoramic views of the city.
Le Royal Méridien, Sheikh Khalifa Street (800 101 101).

WINNER: Asia De Cuba
Having scooped Time Out Abu Dhabi’s Best Lounge Bar and the highly-coveted Bar of the Year at last year’s Music & Nightlife Awards, Asia De Cuba has continued to hit its own supreme standards. This place never gets old, no matter how many times you go, or how long you’ve been living in the capital. The setting fuses enviable Arabian views with fresh Mediterranean vibes. It’s bright and airy by day, and vibrant and chic by night. Long may it continue, too.
Nation Riviera Beach Club, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers (02 699 3333).

From your wonderful vantage point at this classy seaside lounge, you’ll easily fall in love with Abu Dhabi. Based in the iconic Emirates Palace, Breeze Lounge offers a menu of light bites inspired by Spanish and Middle Eastern cuisine, myriad mixed drinks and some of the best sunset views in the city. Expect a relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere.
Emirates Palace, West Corniche (02 690 7999).

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Cabana Beach Bar & Grill
Take your chilling and grilling to the next level from the comfort of your own private cabana – large enough for a family or an intimate group of friends to use as a base. Or flip-flop your way from your private lounger to the Cabana Bar & Grill and you’ll find exactly the sort of crowd-pleasing mixed drinks and plates that make you realise there is a very good reason you work so hard. And that is because you can wind down at a place like this.
Nation Riviera Beach Club, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers (02 694 4780).

Nominees: Barfly by Buddha-Bar
This is a cool venue right on the beach if ever there was one, and the vibe extends to the music played and drinks menu. You’ll find regular DJ sets from the acclaimed DJ Ravin, who helped create the Buddha-Bar sound on various compilation albums. Even if he’s not there, you can expect a similar mix of laid-back beats and funky tunes. Mixed drinks are inventive and plentiful and there’s a good selection of Asian hops as well as the regular offerings and grape choices. Prices aren’t too bad, either thanks to the regular deals.
Venetian Village, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqta (02 408 7201).

Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE
Located out of town, this secluded beach spot is ideal for a day-to-night party at the weekends. Beach loungers and private tables are available to catch some rays before the club kicks off with music ranging from pumping dance anthems to laid-back house tunes from guest DJs.
Golden Tulip Al Jazira Resort & Hotel, Ghantoot (056 113 3400).

De La Costa
The ocean vistas render De La Costa a scenic place to while away the hours if you’re in for the chill. The tables are so close to the beach you can hear the waves lapping against the shore. De La Costa is a chic venue with coloured lighting around the bar and plenty of comfortable couches to sprawl out on, both inside and outside.
Saadiyat Beach Club, Saadiyat Island (02 656 3500).

ESS Lounge
Off-island lounges with stunning views and beachfront ambience aren’t ten a penny in Abu Dhabi. Ones with Mexican hop company-sponsored (guess which one?) sunset parties are rarer still. The deep house tunes provide the backdrop here, while a good happy hour kick-starts the fiesta. What makes this bar great is the attentive interaction from the staff and their expertise of the drinks on offer, and the view of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque across the water is pretty special, too.
Shangri-La Hotel Abu Dhabi, Qaryat Al Beri (02 509 8532).

Ginger Mermaid
Hop on a boat from Saadiyat Island and you’ll be there within ten minutes. This is, quite simply, stunning. Pool bar Ginger Mermaid is ideal for a chilled out view of the sunset. You can laze around on a king-size bed all day, and when looking out at the sea becomes too much like hard work, you can refuel on some lip-smacking bar bites, including wasabi beef and rocket slider, fish and chips or sushi.
Zaya Nurai Island, boat departure from Saadiyat Island (02 5066274)

Smokin’ Pineapple
Highly Commended as the Time Out Abu Dhabi Best Romantic restaurant in 2017, Smokin’ Pineapple is also an exceptional place to enjoy a drink, too. Enjoy a slice of island life, as well as slices of pizzas, at this cool beach club and lounge featuring pop coloured beach huts, a pineapple-shaped wood-fired oven and a surf pool. Just like Ginger Mermaid you’ll have to hop on a boat to get there – making it all the more secluded and, ultimately, special.
Zaya Nurai Island, boat departure from Saadiyat Island (02 5066274).

Is there a better reason to turn into a prune then wiling away the hours at a swim-up pool bar? Thought not. This breezy spot is home to a beach bar delivering well-executed exotic mixed drinks – with lunch even served straight to your chaise lounge. This bar doesn’t often steal the limelight, but it’s a showstopper in our eyes.
Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort, near Ruwais (02 801 2222).

The clue is in the name when it comes to this up-scale grape bar in the ultra-extravagant Rosewood Abu Dhabi. Choose from hundreds of varieties from across the world, from Argentina to France, India to Germany in the cave-like venue. Designed to resemble a boutique cellar it has wall-to-wall cabinets and sommeliers are on hand.
Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 813 5550).

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Roberto’s Lounge & Club
One of the relative newcomers on the Abu Dhabi nightlife scene, this modern venue has made a good impression since opening. Expert mixologists will rustle up your favourite mixed drinks, or a house special if you feel like trying something new. It’s a great place to sip from the extensive, and affordable, selection of grape as the sun sets on another Abu Dhabi day or late at night when the party starts.
The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 627 9009)

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Zsa Zsa, Four Seasons Abu Dhabi
This monochrome-coloured bar is the sort of classy venue you half expect James Bond to sit down in to order his favourite beverage, shaken, not stirred. If he did, he’d be missing a trick, however as the grape selection is excellent here. Smooth jazz music fills the air as you sit down with whatever beverage you choose. And the bar food menu, while not the most extensive, has more than enough delicious dishes to keep you happy.
Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 333 2222).

Nominees: Bentley Kitchen
This French-inspired venue is well suited to a classy catch-up with friends and colleagues. Boasting a sleek décor and a chilled vibe, it’s no wonder this Al Maryah Island restaurant continues to be popular with the city’s in-crowd. There’s a top selection of grape varieties by the glass, too.
The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 626 2131).

Crystal Lounge
This St. Regis lounge has garnered a reputation for two distinct aspects: sophisticated afternoon teas and, at night, serving vintage bubbly. It is not uncommon to see suited and booted types sipping from a tall-stemmed glass and gazing up at the elegant chandelier of blown glass art. And it is their absolute right to do so.
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers, Corniche Road West (02 694 4444).

Havana Club
A plush venue which is packed with old school gentleman’s club charm. Enjoy one of the capital’s most expansive drinks lists, as well as a whole host of the finest cigars Abu Dhabi can provide. Emirates Palace is home to only the best, after all.
Emirates Palace, Corniche West (02 690 7999).

Jazz & Fizz
With a string of mixed drinks and mocktails as well as a good selection of bubbly (well, it is in the name), this bar in the Sofitel has a lively vibe. The resident DJ and live jazz (again, it’s in the name) always plays upbeat tunes and it appeals to a mix of people – couples, groups and work colleagues, to name a few of the regular clientele.
Sofitel Abu Dhabi, Corniche Road (02 813 7777).

Housed inside the famous ‘leaning tower of Abu Dhabi’, this slick venue is always a sure-fire great evening out. Enjoy one of the regular cheese and grape evenings, which regularly draw in the capital’s classy diners.
Hyatt Capital Gate, Embassies District (02 596 1430).

Ray’s Bar
This ultra-glamorous venue has lofty ambitions and has maintained its place as one of the capital’s biggest and best grape bars. Enjoy expansive views across the capital as you sip on your favourite beverage. This is a great place to take visitors when you want to show off Abu Dhabi’s best side and if you go during happy hour it’s good value, too.
Daily 5pm-3am. Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, West Corniche (02 304 8048).

The St. Regis Bar
This wonderfully old school spot channels the spirit of 1950s New York with a slick gold and brown-themed décor and formal dress code. The extensive menu has all you favourite shorts and mixed drinks from across the world. It’s the perfect spot for a nightcap, but that shouldn’t deter you from visiting earlier in the evening too. Oh, and it even boasts a library if you like to read with your tipple.
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers, Corniche Road West (02 694 4553).


WINNER: Porters English Pub

To get to the real heart of Porters English Pub, you have to head down a second set of stairs from the first bar. The large, high-ceilinged main area awaits complete with a long bar and a music stage, which is always set for some live entertainment from local bands and singers. With the well-stocked bar and lively Brit-style vibe, it’s a tremendous, familiar place for a knees up.
Grand Millennium Al Wahda, Hazza Bin Zayed Street (02 443 9999).

Everyone needs a good local, especially if you happen to live thousands of miles away from home. The best thing about a good neighbourhood bar is that it’s always there for you – it might not be the glitziest or the trendiest spot in the world, but it’s yours. And at Heroes, we know we have found just such a place. Resident band The International Playboys play hit after hit.
Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Street (02 616 6132).

The main focus is a blue-lit stage behind the bar, and with good reason: the fantastic house bands. While not as jazz-focused as the bar’s name might suggest, they usually play excellent pop, funk and soul covers. It’s hard not to sing along when you’re at the 2017 winner of this category.
Hilton Abu Dhabi, Corniche Road West (02 692 4247).

Nominees: Jazz@PizzaExpress
Don’t think of this as a pizza joint that plays a bit of jazz. Think, instead, of it as a swinging jazz club that slings out some great pizza. A cool atmosphere and excellent live music make it one of the hipper spots in town.
The Hub at The Mall, World Trade Center Abu Dhabi (02 444 7752).

Jazz & Fizz
With an abundance of mixed drinks and mocktails, this bar in the Sofitel has a lively vibe to match. The resident DJ always plays upbeat tunes and it appeals to a mix of people – couples, groups and work colleagues to name a few. It’s a perfect place to digest after a meal along with Corniche.
Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche (02 813 7777).

McGettigan’s Abu Dhabi is the best Irish community pub on the planet, apparently, having scooped the prestigious prize at the Irish Pub Global Awards, held in Dublin in 2017. We know it’s no luck of the Irish as the vibrant venue has long been a firm favourite in the emirate. Live music, great drink deals and quality pub grub are all part of the winning package, too. A former Pub of the Year winner at the Time Out Abu Dhabi Music & Nightlife Awards, it’s good for sports, music, food and drinks. A classic all-rounder.
Al Raha Beach Hotel, Channel Street (02 652 4333).

PJ O’Reilly’s
How great is living in Abu Dhabi if you’re a live music fan? There are plenty of places to see bands. Like a bit of karaoke? You’re in luck. Want to sip bubbly at a rooftop bar with views over the city? There’s a bunch of venues that we can recommend. How about a pint of the black stuff in a homely Irish bar while fun-loving people on a patio play air guitar along to a DJ playing Dire Straits hits? There’s PJ O’Reilly’s for that. It’s a long-standing institution for a reason.
Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Street (02 674 2020).

Rock Bottom Café
Regular live music and DJ, plus pool tables, make this a lively bar. It’s not fancy, but it’s fun. It might be a million miles away from the glamorous surroundings offered elsewhere in the city, but if it’s a simple pub atmosphere with the grub to match that you’re after, then this is the place for you. And with many of us after exactly that, it has to find a home in our Live Music award category.
Al Diar Capital Hotel, Mina Street, Al Zahiya (02 678 7700).

The Tavern
It’s smoky, a bit dark and rough around the edges, but you get the sense this is how The Tavern and its loyal clientele like it. And there’s definitely a charm to this type of establishment. This is a long-timer on the Abu Dhabi bar scene, and brings in a band of regulars – most of whom come for the daily live music – oh, and a daily happy hour from noon to 8pm.
Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort, Corniche Road (02 677 3333).

Victor’s Bar & Restaurant
We’ve said it before, but this is a pub with a sense of fun and a warm welcome. Since opening in January 2017, Victor’s has forced its way into the established order of similar venues (e.g. Cooper’s and McGettigan’s), offering good deals, theme nights, plenty of sport and pub grub – and the regular live music nights earned high praise from visitor, thus landing it a coveted Time Out nomination.
Hilton Capital Grand, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street (02 666 5508).

WINNER: Pisco Lounge, COYA
Not content with being our current Restaurant of the Year, COYA is also home to this fantastic lounge bar. With expert mixologists doing their thing behind the bar and classy staff serving in the seating area, there’s little to complain about here, even for the most picky of people. Regualr events keep things interesting, but really, this is a classy venue to visit any time of the year.
The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 306 7000).

This fantastic venue just oozes cool. Whether you sit inside in the swanky bar area or outside with the super views of Yas Marina and Yas Viceroy you’re sure to have a great night amongst the glamourous crowd.
Yas Marina, Yas Island (055 160 5636).

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Roberto’s Lounge & Club
This super-cool spot is arguably more of an attraction than the brilliant Italian food served in the dining room. Roberto’s bar area has DJ nights, is open until the early hours and has a super selection of drinks (which is why it’s also nominated in the Best Grape Bar category in these awards).
The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 627 9009).

Nominees: Barfly by Buddha-Bar
This Venetian Village venue has stylish seating, a lovely outdoor area overlooking the Grand Canal and great vibes thanks to the brilliant DJs who play regularly. It’s also a top spot for food as well, with some good early evening deals on midweek.
Venetian Village, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal (056 177 7557).

A Latin lounge with a fantastic outdoor seating area with views of Al Markaziya and a very trendy lounge inside. Expect flair from the bartenders and top tunes with a lively ambience. Grab some food if you can as well.
The Hub at The Mall, World Trade Center Abu Dhabi (02 666 8066).

Caramel Restaurant & Lounge
This well-heeled bar is a brilliant place to chill out. There are good drinks, tasty bar snacks and DJs playing relaxing beats. There aren’t many spots on Saadiyat that can top this when it comes to nightlife.
The Collection at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi (02 678 3344).

Couture Lounge
Now this is a swanky place to relax with a drink. From the purple lighting and sleek bar area to the low-slung seats out back on the terrace, the vibe here is seriously chilled. There’s a good drinks menu and excellent staff making it a great place to visit.
Marriott Hotel Al Forsan, Al Forsan International Sports Resort (02 201 4131).

Skylite Rooftop Lounge
It’s a bar that overlooks an F1 track, need we say more? We probably should seeing as it’s our job, so here goes. It’s a stunning rooftop bar, with an incredible, constantly-changing lit-up roof. It’s like nowhere else in the city. Just check it out.
Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, Yas Island (02 656 0600).

The Dragon’s Tooth
We’re loath to give the game away, as we quite like having this place as our secret hideaway, but you all should check out The Dragon’s Tooth. It’s Dai Pai Dong’s bar and has a Shanghai speakeasy feel to it. Mixed drinks and music are superb.
Dai Pai Dong, The Rosewood Abu Dhabi (02 813 5552).

Zsa Zsa
Step back into the 1950s in this monochrome cool lounge bar. Drinks are exquisite, bar snacks are simple, staff are well-dressed and well-versed in the menu. What more do you want from a lounge bar?
Four Seasons Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 333 2444).


WINNER: Iris Yas Island
The ultra-trendy Beirut bar offers the perfect vantage point to take in views of the twinkling lights of Yas Marina and the glittering Yas Viceroy hotel while you settle down and enjoy brilliant beats from an array of top class DJs and quality bar bites and beverages into the early hours.
Yas Marina, Yas Island (055 160 5636).

You may have noticed we are always raving about this super cool Chino-Latino spot – but with good reason. The waterfront restaurant and bar serves up some simply stunning views from its picturesque outdoor terrace, which can be enjoyed from comfy cabanas while you soak up chilled-out beats from resident DJs.
Nation Riviera Beach Club, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers (02 699 3333).

You can always expect plenty of footprints on the golden sands of Ghantoot after a big day out at Blue Marlin. The capital’s ultimate party destination lives for the weekend, with marathon DJ sets you can dance the day and plenty of the night away at, plus a chilled-out Saturday brunch perfect for soaking up the sunshine and cool vibes. Enjoy a slice of Ibiza style in Abu Dhabi.
Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotel & Resort, Ghantoot (056 113 3400).

Nominees: Azura Panoramic Lounge
Sometimes the best entertainment is provided my Mother Nature itself. Now Azura is an impressive sight – set over three eye-catching levels – but the undoubted star of the show is the view. You can marvel for hours at the enchanting views of the Corniche and the Arabian Gulf while sipping from a wide selection of drinks. It almost feels like this is what the gorgeous city skyline was built for.
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers, Corniche Road West (02 694 4553).

Catch Rooftop
You won’t mind getting caught out at Catch. Follow up a classy seafood feast in the main dining space by heading on up to the rooftop, where you can unwind in style in the lounge area or grab a table to listen to some top tunes from a crowd-pleasing DJ while you take in the splendid sea front views on show.
Nation Riviera Beach Club, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers (02 611 0909).

La Cala
This little waterside spot at Ghantoot Marina offers an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of big city life. It currently opens only on a Friday, with a brunch served during open hours, and that level of exclusivity means it is liable to be packed and buzzing with atmosphere when you pop by. The lower level offers some quiet time before you ascend the stairs to the busy bar, complete with a lounge area and a DJ booth where beat-masters spin plenty of Balearic beats.
Ghantoot Marina & Resort (050 151 8407).

Puesta Del Sol
Just uttering the name puts us in a warm and fuzzy holiday mood. Puesta Del Sol – which means sunset in Spanish – is sure to brighten up your evening. Located at the plush Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, it is low enough over the creek that you can hear the gentle sound of lapping water. You will also be serenaded by fun Latino lounge music, great to listen to while you tuck into flavour-packed sharing style meals and mixed drinks.
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Khor Al Maqta (02 654 3333).

Ready to raise the roof? The sleek bar up on the 12th floor of Aloft Abu Dhabi is a lovely place to shoot the breeze and catch a sunset, let your hair down with pals or savour a post-work chill. There are loads of beverages and bar bites to try out while you make the most of the atmosphere.
Aloft Abu Dhabi, Khaleej Alarabi Street (02 654 5138).

Skylite Rooftop Lounge
Fancy living life in the fast lane? If you are going all out to impress on a big night, a glitzy rooftop bar in a five star hotel overlooking an F1 track should do the trick. The venue, right at the top of the glittering Yas Viceroy, is lit up by several shades of neon lights and there is always a DJ on hand to provide a stirring soundtrack to your evening. Get in pole position for a night to remember by heading to this impressive venue.
Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, Yas Island (02 656 0600).

Up & Below
Ready to feel on top of the world? Well, the World Trade Center at least. This funky rooftop spot serves up stunning views of downtown Abu Dhabi from up above, while you feast on fine food and drink and immerse yourself in the laid-back vibes.
Courtyard By Marriott World Trade Center, Abu Dhabi (02 698 2222).

Best Restaurant Bar
As well as being one of the most popular restaurants in Abu Dhabi, it also boasts an outstanding bar. The menus are detailed and creative, with expert mixologists on hand to bring you a drink as refined and impressive as the food that’ll hopefully follow.
Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 401 5900).

Cho Gao, which translates as “rice market” in Vietnamese, is a favourite in the capital for its fantastic pan-Asian food. But it also has a great bar and lounge area, with good deals and excellent drinks inspired by South East Asian flavours and ingredients. The chilled vibe makes it the perfect place to unwind.
InterContinental Abu Dhabi, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (02 666 6888).

Even if you’re not a big fan of Indian food (and if not, what’s wrong with you?) you should still come and give Tamba a try for the bar, and check the terrace out, too. Mixed drinks are made with Indian spices and ingredients and they have great deals for ladies during the week as well as happy hours (or Tamba Time, as they call it). While you’re there try the food, you won’t be disappointed with our current Best Indian Restaurant.
The Hub at The Mall at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi (02 672 8888).

Nominees: BOA Steakhouse
This place is a meat-lover’s dream, with an amazing array of delicious dishes on offer that showcase brilliant cuts of meat. But the restaurant bar is far from an afterthought, with a slick décor and a chilled vibe for you to sit back and unwind before or after a hearty meal, or even just for a drink. Grab a chair by the bar and watch the bar staff whip up a thirst-quenching concoction as you reflect on a brilliant evening out.
Eastern Mangroves Promenade, Al Salam Street (02 641 1500).

Butcher & Still
This 1920s Chicago-inspired steakhouse is a refreshing twist in modern day Abu Dhabi. This cool venue is a great place for an after-work drink and has a range of deals to keep you entertained on weeknights. Why accept anything less than exceptional?
Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 333 2444).

This classy Italian eatery is always a popular choice for a lovely evening out on the tiles. It’s smooth and sophisticated and the outdoor terrace offers beautiful views of the city’s architecture. It brings a real family feel to fine dining and its bar is stocked full of all your favourite grape and beverage options.
InterContinental Abu Dhabi, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (02 666 6888).

You don’t need us to tell you Hakkasan is one of the capital’s most sought-after eateries, with stunning food in a gorgeous venue. But you might not have known that it has a restaurant bar which is well worth a trip itself. Enjoy mixed drinks and classic beverages in the comfort of a delightful venue and sit back as those Instagram likes roll in.
Emirates Palace, West Corniche (02 690 7999).

KOI Abu Dhabi
There’s nothing fishy about this plush hotspot. Grab a seat in this laid-back, stylish lounge and browse a drinks menu to rival any other. It’s the sort of venue you could spend hours just sipping your beverage and watching the world go by.
The Collection at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi (02 678 3334).

Li Jiang
It’s so huge it often feels like the Ritz-Carlton is never quite busy enough, but one place that always guarantees an atmosphere is Li Jiang. Primarily a restaurant (and a great one at that), it’s also a top bar, with tremendous views of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque out back providing a surreal backdrop while you enjoy your favourite mocktail.
The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqta (02 818 8282).

This cool hangout spot likes to stand out from the rest. Based in a 360-degree revolving restaurant on the roof of Le Royal Méridien, they do things differently here. It’s the perfect spot to impress guests while you enjoy a range of beverages many venues would be proud to call their own.
Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Street (02 695 0490)

Best Sports Bar

WINNER: Velocity

This versatile lounge, bar and restaurant can be many things to many people, depending on when you show up. It can be a fine dining hotspot, a chilled-out hangout spot or a buzzing sports bar, whatever you need (but it’s the sports that keep us going back). The vibrant venue is crammed wall-to-wall with 38 TV screens so you’ll see every shot, serve, swing and try in glorious high definition, even when you’re ordering at the bar.
Marriott Hotel Downtown, Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street (02 304 7777).

The Al Raha Beach Hotel spot always guarantees a top atmosphere, hearty pub classics and pocket-friendly drinks deals, plus plenty of big screens to see the sporting drama unfold on. You can really make a day of it too, at this perennial award-winner, with a range of dining options and promotions to suit every taste.
Al Raha Beach Hotel, Channel Street (02 652 4333).

This American-style bar is fun, colourful and has an ample supply of screens showing sports from all corners of the globe. The snazzy venue has great deals and events on tap, including a chance to enjoy a different brunch every day of the week, a Tuesday pub quiz and an arcade night. It’s pretty much always fun and games at Stars ’N’ Bars.
Yas Marina, Yas Island (02 565 0101).

Nominees: Appaloosa
There’s always plenty going on at Appaloosa (named after a type of American racehorse). Not only does the venue have a dazzling array of big screens to catch all the sporting action, the bosses pride themselves on an inventive food menu featuring dishes such as a seared tuna burger on a squid ink bun or a duck prosciutto salad. Beats a bowl of nuts any day.
Marriott Hotel Al Forsan, Khalifa City, Al Forsan International Sports Resort (02 201 4131)

Blu Sky Lounge & Grill
This venue is a great embodiment of Abu Dhabi’s love affair with Premier League champions Manchester City, who are owned by the UAE capital. But you don’t need to be a Citizen to enjoy this awesome venue, which has a string of promotions throughout the week to keep you entertained.
Southern Sun Abu Dhabi, Al Mina Street, Al Zahiya (02 818 4888).

Cooper’s Bar & Restaurant
It seems no matter when you go into this capital hotspot, it’s busy, which is obviously a good sign. There are loads of screen showing all manner of sports and they go big for tournaments. The British-style pub has a pretty sweet bar food menu and it rivals any of the capital’s other pubs when it comes to the quality of grub on offer. Oh, and happy hour runs until midnight – every night.
Park Rotana Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Park area (02 657 3333).

NRG Sports Café
You don’t have to just watch the sporting action in this hangout spot, you can take part too. There are plenty of bar games for you to pit your wits against your friends, including pool tables and a dart board. Although, if you’d rather sit back and watch the big game, there are a whole host of giant screens so you won’t miss a minute of the action.
Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiya (02 644 6666).

Porters English Pub
This corner of England in the Middle East is the perfect place to see the high-octane drama of Premier League football in full flow. Talking of full flow, there are plenty of beverage deals and a tasty menu to tackle while you’re there. The spacious venue is a favourite with music fans due to its evenings of live entertainment, but it also hits the right note with sports aficionados thanks to its selection of crystal clear TV screens hanging high on the walls.
Grand Millennium Al Wahda, Hazza Bin Zayed Street (02 495 3936).

Sports Café
With a name like this, you are left in no doubt as to the modus operandi of this cool venue. It has a homely feel with wooden tables, quilted leather armchairs and a dedicated game area, while sporting memorabilia adorns the walls. It’s great for your favourite bar snacks too, with favourites such as nachos and fish and chips keeping the customers coming back for more.
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Khor Al Maqta (02 654 3238)

The Sportsman’s Arms
This Zayed Sports City gastropub is a classic of the sports bar genre. Housed in what is truly a world-class sporting hub, The Sportsman’s Arms is kitted out with wooden decking and features multiple widescreen televisions for live sport, including a huge projector screen. And its food menu is brilliant too if watching your favourite sport makes you hungry, with classic pub grub done to perfection.
International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City (02 447 1066).


Bar of the Year

We definitely recommend grabbing a bite to eat at this lively Latino restaurant, but make sure to stick around for a drink or two afterwards, too, or even just come a for a few drinks, the deals are great and it’s always got a great atmosphere. We love the stripped-back, industrial look and vibrant artwork on show while, in cooler months, the outdoor terrace looking out onto the shimmering waters of Al Maryah Island is a lovely spot to unwind and reflect.
The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 582 3639).

The fun-loving Monte Carlo export is like a playground for adults. Think banks of big screens showing sport from across the globe, karaoke and live band nights and even a row of arcade machines reserved for brilliant button-bashing entertainment. This lively spot doesn’t take itself too seriously and that’s why it continues to shine so brightly.
Yas Marina, Yas Island (02 565 0101).

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Stills Restaurant & Bar
The classy venue is one for the bar aficionados out there. They will love the actual bar itself which, as you might have heard us say before, stretches out a proud 26m in length. You might still find it hard to nab a spot on it sometimes though, as this is a popular haunt. It is a cool place to chill out and try one of the selection of international beverages and short drinks and tuck into a sophisticated food menu. Be sure to check out the Funch brunch on Fridays and head here for the regular events, too.
Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Yas Island (02 656 3066).

Nominees: Asia de Cuba
The best bar none in our 2017 has made the top 10 once more. A stunning Corniche setting, complete with awesome views from the funky outdoor terrace and chilled-out beats from a regular set of dynamic DJs make this a seriously hip hangout that remains just as fresh and popular as ever.
Nation Riviera Beach Club, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers (02 699 3333).

Iris Yas Island
The Lebanese party people really know how to plan a night out, so it’s no surprise this Beirut-born bar swiftly became one of the most popular destinations in the city and has stayed that way. It has plenty to offer the most discerning of nightlife lovers, including awesome views looking out onto Yas Marina, a super trendy clientele and some of the coolest DJs around. Set your sights on a visit to Iris.
Yas Marina, Yas Island (055 160 5636).

Pisco Lounge, COYA
Our reigning restaurant of the year has one of the best bars in the city, too. Pisco Lounge is packed with plenty of Peruvian panache, with revellers invited to dance the night away to the sounds of some of the UAE’s best DJs or just play it cool at sit at the bar and watch the staff work their magic. If you needed any extra reason to linger a little longer at COYA, you now have it.
The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 306 7000).

Ray’s Bar
You can expect a glitzy experience at Jumeirah and Etihad Tower’s – and Ray’s Bar really does raise the bar. Enjoy an upscale experience up high on the 62nd floor of the five star hotel, with superb views of the city complimented by excellent live DJ sets and a wide variety of beverages, too.
Open daily 5pm-3am. Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Corniche Road West (02 811 5666).

Roberto’s Lounge & Club
Looking for a sophisticated bar to see out the night after a lovely dinner at Roberto’s? You don’t need to think about flagging down a taxi, in fact you don’t even need to leave the restaurant. This sleek lounge bar has a suitably stylish décor, live DJs and a world class sound system, plus mixed drinks crafted by expert mixologists and a super selection of grape. You know it makes sense.
Beneath Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 627 9009).

This vibrant sports bar meets funky lounge quickly built up a loyal following in the capital. Always busy, it is a top spot to cast an eye over live sport on the dozens of big screens dotted around the venue or sit back and unwind with some friends while sampling a rich array of beverages and tasty bar bites.
Marriott Hotel, Downtown Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street (02 304 7777).

Zuma Abu Dhabi
Long established as one of the very best restaurants in the city, the bar is among the cream of the crop as well. There is a great setting, looking out onto the beautiful waters of Al Maryah Island, top quality beats from cool DJs and plenty of tasty Japanese-inspired bar bites and beverages to enjoy too. Service is super and the experience is always top-notch. It doesn’t get much better than this.
The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 401 5900).

CLUB of the Year
WINNER: MAD on Yas Island
It seems like every week this buzzing nightspot welcomes a genuinely world-renowned music superstar through its doors. The like of Tinie Tempah, The Game and Flo Rida have all made a beeline for MAD this year alone, making it a firmly established capital favourite.
Leisure Drive, Yas Island (055 834 6262).

This thriving hotspot is synonymous with a memorable night out. It might be a little out of the way but you will never regret taking a trip to this internationally renowned club, which regularly attracts the world’s finest DJs to thrill UAE crowds. Oh, and they’ve recently added an amazing infinity pool to make it the perfect spot for some daytime lounging.
Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE, Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotel and Resort, Ghantoot (056 113 3400).

If crowd-pleasing sing-along tunes and mainstream house hits are your jam, Rock Bottom is for you. It may not be glam, and you won’t find any velvet-roped VIP areas, but if you want a dance-all-night evening out, you can’t do much better.
Al Diar Capital Hotel, Al Mina Street, Al Zahiya (02 678 7700).

Nominees: Hysteria
There’s no need to get yourself worked up, you can always be sure of a great night out at this club in the Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi. There are ladies’ nights and urban music nights, as with all city clubs, but Hysteria has carved out a reputation for its excellent Arabic music soirées.
Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street (054 444 7841).

La Cala
This al fresco spot down at Ghantoot Marina is all clean whites, nautical colours and rustic worn wooden tables. A DJ plays cool Ibiza-esque club beats and there’s space to dance, though you’ll mostly just want to chill out and take stock of the beauty surrounding you.
Ghantoot Marina & Resort (050 151 8407).

Legends Night Club
One of the capital’s favourite haunts, you never know which familiar face you might bump into at this slick superclub. Regular theme nights will keep you entertained, with a variety of music styles to suit all tastes.
Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort, Corniche Road (050 720 4206).

Sax Lounge & Club
One of the more glamorous clubbing spots in the capital, but you don’t need to get dressed up to get in. Its weekly themed nights range from urban to Arabic and beyond, and the atmosphere is nearly always buzzing.
Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Street (02 674 1286).

The Exchange Lounge & Night Club
There’s something for everyone at this cool Le Méridien Abu Dhabi hangout spot. From its ever-popular ladies’ nights offerings to club night Step Up Monday, you are sure of a great night out. It’s one of the capital’s late-opening spots too for when you’re on one of those nights you never want to end.
Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiya (02 644 8466).

Best newcomer
WINNER: Filini Garden
A beautiful Italian eatery by day and a cool hangout spot by night. Enjoy a huge range of drinks and food in the stunning wooden outdoor terrace and take in the views across the adjacent golf club and links. The venue has regular DJs playing, super deals thorughout the week and a super vibe. It didn’t take long for this Yas Island venue to become a capital favourite.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island (02 656 2000).

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Empire Yas Nightclub
A trip to the only club and bar in the world built over a Formula One means you can live life in the fast lane, gear yourself up for a night on the tiles and get in pole position for a brilliant night out. And if there are any puns we’ve forgotten, please let us know. There are a host of themed offers too, with ladies’ nights on Mondays proving particularly popular.
Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, Yas Island (050 501 5052).

A Latin steakhouse perched outside a capital landmark was always going to be a recipe for success. And while the food was perhaps the main draw when opening, the stunning first-floor lounge, with views over the waters outside has taken the limelight in the months since. Enjoy some truly fantastic drinks as you soak up the vista across the Arabian Gulf.
Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Corniche Road West (02 811 5882)

Nominees: 99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant
This venue didn’t waste any time in making an impression as it picked up Best Newcomer in the Time Out Abu Dhabi Restaurant Awards 2017. The Japanese eatery, which originated in Spain, is a super spot for a drink, too, with an atmospheric terrace and a cool bar area as you enter the venue. Expect expertly mixed drinks and a top range of grape.
The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (050 548 0369).

Art Lounge
Perched on the terrace on top of the Museum Café, this amazing sundowner spot has brilliant views across the Abu Dhabi skyline. The food is mainly tapas-style dishes of local and international flavours. It’s the perfect sleek outdoor venue to sit back with a drink after getting your art fix in the world-renowned museum downstairs.
Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island (056 689 0019)

Enjoy a vibrant splash of Brazil with the capital’s most colourful churrascacaria. Staff are super-friendly, the décor is cool and the chilled atmosphere makes for an enjoyable night out. There’s also a good range of South American mocktails, fresh juices, grape options and mixed drinks. Keep an eye out for a fun brunch and weekly deals, too. Close your eyes and you could be in Rio.
Open daily, noon-2am. Grand Millennium Al Wahda, Hazza Bin Zayed Street (02 495 3969)

Level Lounge
Not the biggest bar on this list in terms of size, but it sure makes up for it with a stunning food menu and a drinks offering to match any other capital venue. Decorated with plenty of colour and splashes of graffiti, it’s a cool place to enjoy one of the capital’s gorgeous sunsets. Just be sure not to fall into the pool.
Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Hamdan Street (02 616 6132)

McGettigan’s Al Ain
The popular Irish chain expanded into Al Ain last year and it looks like a genius move. Why should Abu Dhabi and Dubai have all the fun? Great grub, a homely feel and plenty of live music means this was always destined to be a success, and so it goes.
Danat Al Ain Resort, Al Ain (03 704 6174)

The Lounge at Beach Rotana
One of the more stylish newcomers around, this venue (which was called Al Nafoura Lounge, but is undergoing a name change)is determined to make a splash in the capital with a stunning fountain in the middle of the outdoor terrace. There’s a varied and tasty food menu, along with a range of cold drinks to enjoy in the warm summer evenings.
Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah (02 697 9129)

Voodoo Beach Lounge
One of the newest of the newcomers on this list, you could be forgiven if you haven’t heard of this new spot. But trust us when we say this needs to go on your to-do list ASAP. Expect modern décor, chart hits and great Caribbean-style food and drink options.
Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiya (056 636 1959)


WINNER: Cooper’s Bar and Restaurant

Some pubs just feel like your local from the moment you step foot inside. This cheery Park Rotana Abu Dhabi watering-hole really fits the bill. Talking of the bill, you will be pretty pleased with it at the end of the night due to the day-to-night happy hours and other regular deals in place. It is a top spot to watch sport, enjoy live music or while away a few hours.
Park Rotana Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Park area (02 657 3325).

It’s not just Irish eyes that are smiling after a visit to McGettigan’s. The ever-popular Al Raha Beach pub has the winning formula down perfectly – lively vibe, hearty pub food, a well-stocked line of beverages, live entertainment and special offers. This feels like a much-loved local, wherever you call home.
Al Raha Beach Hotel & Resort, Channel Street, Al Raha (02 652 4333).

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Porters English Pub
The spacious two-level pub is great for live sport and music and serves up a menu boasting classic English meals and a fair few international flavours, too. Make sure to hang around to catch the crowd-pleasing resident band strut their stuff on stage. For an evening out full of cheer, make this Grand Millennium Al Wahda spot your port of call.
Grand Millennium Al Wahda, Hazza Bin Zayed Street (02 495 3936).

Nominees: Brauhaus
Germany is for life, not just for Oktoberfest. We are glad the good folks at this well-established Beach Rotana haunt agree. The dark wooden interior and moody lighting make for an intimate atmosphere, while you can enjoy an authentic taste of Germany thanks to the delicious food menu, selection of hops and jaunty music.
Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiya (02 697 9000).

Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant
With no shortage of Irish haunts in the city, Fado can sometimes fly under the radar. But no more, we reckon. With its wooden bar, tiled floors and chalk boards boasting specials, it has plenty of Irish charm that would be just at home in Dublin as it is in Abu Dhabi. Top pub grub, a fine range of beverages, live screens and screens to watch sport make it a spot well worth passing an hour (or several).
Oryx Hotel, Corniche Road (02 692 2219).

If you ever find yourself out in Abu Dhabi and see a noticeable shortage of English people knocking about, the chances are they are propping up the bar here. The décor lends itself to the feel of an authentic British pub, cheesy tunes are blared out loud and proud and there is a regular set from three-time winners of our Best House Band award, The International Playboys. Plus it stays open until 4am, later than any other pub in the city.
Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Hamdan Street (02 616 6132).

PJ O’ Reilly’s
Abu Dhabi’s original bar has stood the test of time, having toasted its 25th anniversary this year. The venue has built its silver success on a great atmosphere, a wide range of food and drink offerings and an earthy, no-frills charm. If you are in the mood for a relaxed drink with pals, PJ O’Reilly’s ticks all the right boxes.
Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Street (800 101 101).

The Captain’s Arms
You can leave the weather and the penchant for queuing back in Blighty, but we have no problem with an English-style pub in the capital. The Captain’s Arms is one of the best, from its traditional pub façade to its old-style wood-panelled decor with barrel tables and a busy bar where you can happily perch. The scenic stroll through the beautiful Village at Le Méridien Abu Dhabi to get to it is like the Garden of England itself, but with the advantage of sunshine.
The Village, Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiya (02 644 6666).

The Sportsman’s Arms
This Boston-inspired gastropub is a great refuelling spot if you have been working up a sweat at Zayed Sports City, but it’s well worth making a trip regardless. There are a host of screens to watch live action and you can enjoy a wide variety of craft hops while you are at it.
Zayed Sports City (02 447 1066).

Victor’s Bar & Restaurant
In need of a post-work pick-me up or just want to make the most of the weekend? Victor’s is an ideal place to let the good times roll with a gang of pals. There are lots of food and drink options – and regular promotions for good measure – and you kick back and watch a match or take aim for a game of darts.

Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street (02 666 5508).
Best Comedy Gig
WINNER: Jason Manford by The Laughter Factory at Park Rotana Abu Dhabi
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Mandy Knight by The Laughter Factory at Park Rotana Abu Dhabi
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Trevor Noah by OffBroadway Entertainment, du Forum
Best Gig

WINNER: P!nk by FLASH Entertainment at du Arena

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Creamfields by FLASH Entertainment at du Arena

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Pink Martini by Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation at Abu Dhabi Festival
Best Bar Band
WINNER: The ShakeDown at Stars 'N' Bars, Yas Marina

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Sweet Chilli Jam at PJ O'Reilly's, Le Meridien Abu Dhabi

HIGHLY COMMENDED: The International Playboys at Heroes, Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi
Best Abu Dhabi DJ
WINNER: Cliff Townley at Filini Garden, Funch at Stills Restaurant and Bar and more.

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Nuff Said at Empire at Yas

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Rob Forrest at McGettigan's, Maya Fridays and Filini Garden
Be the first to get all the latest Abu Dhabi news, reviews and deals into your inbox by signing up to our free newsletter, click here to sign up.

More from Bars & Nightlife, Music, Nightlife

Check out a new Lebanese brunch, or a night of unlimited bubbles

Funky Abu Dhabi rooftop bar serves up great views and discounts


Follow us