Bars and Nightclubs

Abu Dhabi has nightclubs and bars in addition to some very good restaurants.  In most emirates of the United Arab Emirates, including Abu Dhabi, alcohol is legally available.

However, it is important to know that the laws concerning alcohol.  Non-Muslim residents must have a liquor licence to purchase and consume alcohol in the emirate, although it is virtually unknown for anyone in a bar to be asked to produce this. Those on a visitor's visa are exempt from this requirement. There is zero tolerance for 'drinking and driving' and laws are strictly enforced.  This means if you are involved in a road traffic accident and you are found to have any alcohol in your blood you will be jailed and prosecuted. Also there is strong disapproval of drunks and any unruly behaviour as a result of being drunk can result in spending time in jail.

Most of the better hotels in the city serve alcohol in their own restaurants and/or bars. Costs are generally higher than what you would pay in western countries. Visitors should not feel constrained to the bars in the hotel where they are staying and can visit other hotels.

In most of Abu Dhabi's nightclubs and bars there is a dress code, which is similar to the dress code in the United States or UK. Jeans are generally acceptable; some clubs require men to wear collared shirts, but it is rarely enforced. Men can expect to get turned away from some venues if wearing sandals, shorts or flip-flops.

The most comprehensive and up-to-date list and profile of events at all nightlife venues in Abu Dhabi, as well as theme nights (e.g. comedy and quiz nights) and concerts, can be found on The Capital List (www.thecapitallist.ae) or in Time Out Abu Dhabi (note the magazine is more comprehensive than the website).

Bars/Pubs include:  Pearls & Caviar (Shangri la QaB), Sea Lounge (Monte-Carlo Beach Club), Relax@12 (Aloft), Skylite (Yas Viceroy), PJ O'Reilly's (Le Royal Meridien), The Captain's Arms (Le Royal Meridien), The Brauhaus (Beach Rotana), Hemingway's (Hilton Abu Dhabi), The Jazz Bar (Hilton Abu Dhabi), Mood Indigo (Mercure), Oceans (Le Royal Meridien), Cooper's (Park Rotana), Stills (Crowne Plaza Yas Island), Harvesters (Sands Hotel), Heroes (Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi), Blue Bar (Rocco Forte), Belgian Cafe (Intercontinental), Chameleon (Fairmont BaB), Prive (Hyatt Capital Gate), Manhattan Lounge (St. Regis), Impressions (Eastern Mangroves), 3rd Avenue (Sheraton Khalidiya) and Ray's Bar (Jumeira at ET).

In cooler weather, The Captain's Arms (Le Meridien), PJ O'Reilly's (Le Royal Meridien) and the Brauhaus (Beach Rotana) are all pleasant places to sit outside

Night Clubs include: G Club (Le Meridien), Allure by Cipriani (Yas Island Yatch Club), Cinnabar (Hilton Abu Dhabi), Eight (Souk QaB), Etoiles (Emirates Palace), Left Bank (Souk QaB), Illusions (Le Royal Meridien), Sax Club (Le Royal Meridien), Blitz (Mercure), 49ers (Dana Hotel), Rock Bottom (Capital Hotel) and The Yacht Club (Intercontinental).

There are bars and pubs that show sports games and create an atmosphere similar to that of a sports bar in the U.S.  Some establishments are styled more like an old English pub. Opening times vary, but bars are generally open from 12:00 noon until at least 1 a.m. and nightclubs open from about 8pm and some are open until around 3am. The busiest nights of the week in Abu Dhabi are Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Sports Bars include: NRG (in the Le Meridien Hotel) and Heroes (in the Crowne Plaza Hotel).

Live Music: Many clubs and bars in Abu Dhabi feature live bands, ranging from duos playing standard pop to larger rock bands and some jazz. Do not expect much in the way of originality, but some can be quite good. If your tastes are mainstream pop, Blitz (Mercure Hotel, Hamdan Street) usually has a fairly decent band. Rockier tastes will be best catered for at 49'ers in the Dana Hotel or PJ O'Reilley's at Le Royal Meridien. The Jazz Bar at the Hilton does not have actual jazz, but MOR pop, albeit well played. If you want jazz, the best venue in town is the Mood Indigo Bar, also at the Mercure, where you will find a live band every Friday. 

Smoking is normally allowed and it is not unusual for cigars and pipes to also be permitted.

Special Deals 

In some bars there is a happy hour every day in the early evening. Below are some examples:

  • P.J. O'Reilleys in Le Royal Meridien Hotel - 50% off all drinks 7pm to 10pm daily.
  • Oceans in Le Royal Meridien Hotel - 50% off all drinks 12pm to 7pm daily.
  • Cho Gao in Crowne Plaza Hotel, Hamdan Street - 50% off all alcoholic drinks by the glass up to 7:00 pm on weekdays.
  • Piano Lounge in the InterContinental Hotel - cheese and wine 6pm to 9pm Wednesday and Saturday for 130 Dirhams

Ladies' Night is an Abu Dhabi institution. This involves offering free drinks to women in the bid to attract more (male) customers. The list below was removed by someone who obviously thought it better to remove it than update it with the latest information. Please update this if you are aware of any changes.

  • Cristal Champagne Bar - Millennium Hotel, Free bubbly for ladies on Monday nights.
  • Yacht Club - InterContinental Hotel, Free unlimited bubbly every Wednesday night.
  • 8 Bar, Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Free unlimited ANY drink every Sunday night.
  • Left Bank - Souk Qaryat Al Beri, 5 drinks for 5 dirhams, every Monday night.
  • Hemingway's - Hilton, Free drinks for ladies on Tuesday nights.

Note that Ladies' Nights do not usually take place during Ramadan or religious holidays.