This laid-back bar bagged the Highly Commended gong for Best Newcomer at last year’s awards, and since then we have watched it blossom into the incredible venue that it is today. As one of the more chilled-out venues to be found on Saadiyat Island, it’s an unpretentious place to watch some sport or catch up with mates. The bar bites are definitely on the fancy side, and we come back time and time again for the halloumi fries, huge scotch eggs and quality burgers.
Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island (02 697 0000).
Blu Sky Lounge & Grill
Themed around Premier League champions Manchester City, owned by the UAE capital, this venue is a great spot for sports fans to catch a match or two. But it also offers a menu of exceptional bar food, and there’s loads to draw you here whether you are a sports fan or not. Expect a wide range of fantastic burgers, enormous portions of nachos and many more superior bites.
Southern Sun Abu Dhabi, Al Mina Street, Al Zahiya (02 818 4888).
We’re big fans of this cool grape and tapas bar, so much so that we named it our Bar of the Year at the Time Out Abu Dhabi Music & Nightlife Awards 2019. While the vibes are electric and it’s a great place for a night out, the menu has a lot to offer, too. We adore the mini sliders (we have a real weakness for the chicken parmigiana ones), flatbreads with a variety of toppings and customisable pans of mac ’n’ cheese. Cheese fans also need to check out the Friday fondue night for a truly authentic European feast.
Pearl Rotana Capital Centre, Khaleej Al Arabi Street (02 307 0000).
From the chilled atmosphere, to the regular deals and from the good grub to the many screens showing live sports, there’s much to like about the venue. It might not look like your typical sports bar but it definitely ticks all the boxes with a selection of top-notch pub grub, a relaxed vibe and a good range of hops and beverages too.
Daily noon-3am. Appaloosa, Marriott Hotel Al Forsan, Khalifa City (02 201 4131)
Iris Yas Island
On-trend, funky and chic, Iris is slap bang in the middle of super yacht territory and is effortlessly cool. The atmosphere is great, the views of the marina spectacular and the food from moreish bar snacks, international dishes and more substantial meals ticks all the boxes making it one of the very best nightlife venues around.
Daly 6pm-3am. Iris Yas Island, Yas Marina (055 160 5636).
Star ‘N’ Bars
Unapologetically casual, fun and without any pretentions, Stars ‘N’ Bars is always a popular hangout and we can see why. It’s all-American theme, penchant for sports and fantastic deals make it busy almost every night of the week. Add to the fact you can get great food, think chicken wings and big burgers, and it’s a sure-fire hit.
Daily 11.30am-3am. Stars ‘N’ Bars, Yas Marina (02 565 0101).
Stills Restaurant and Bar
Home to the longest in the city (although we’re not sure anyone has actually measured) there’s plenty to like about this Yas Island hangout. There’s loads of sport of the screens, a great outdoor area for a bit and a drink and a great selection of grub from bulging burgers to steak, salad, tacos and all the rest to sink your teeth into.
Sun-Wed 3pm-1am, Thu 3pm-3am, Fri noon-3am, Sat noon-1am. Stills Restaurant & Bar, Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island (02 656 3066).
Stock Burger Co.
With a hipster vibe and American-style décor, Stock Burger Co. stands out from the crowd in the city. Take a seat in one of the booths and you can sink your teeth into some great burgers (obviously) and a host of other dishes too. Plus there’s a great selection of hops on offer, to help wash down all the brilliant bar food on offer. Perfect.
Sun-Wed noon-midnight, Thu-Sat noon-2am. Stock Burger Co., Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi, Dhafeer Street (02 657 4864).
The Sportsman’s Arms
This Irish-American gastropub is a former Time Out Restaurant Award winner and there’s a lot to like about the place. From its kid-friendly atmosphere and outdoor play area, inviting outside terrace and spacious dining room to the menu stacked with delicious dishes from around the world and all the live sport you can watch. It’s top notch.
Daily 8am-11pm. The Sportsman’s Arms, Zayed Sports City (02 447 1066).
This cool sports bar is dedicated to bringing live games to the screens so we’ve been there more than once to soak up the action. When not glued to the many screens, the cool and trendy sports venue has a great variety of drinks and filling bar bites to tuck into and enjoy even if your team is letting you down with a poor performance.
Sun-Wed 4pm-2am, Thu-Fri noon-3am, Sat noon-2am. Velocity, Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi (02 304 7777).