So the outdoor season is well and truly upon us and if, like me, you’re looking for somewhere to wile away the cool evenings in style and with a view, here’s a rundown of some of the best outdoor bars in Abu Dhabi.
1. Beach House, Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi
One of my all time favourites, Beach House is one of the few places situated right on the beach that never fails to impress. With a restaurant downstairs (a great spot for weekend breakfast), head upstairs to the Beach House Rooftop for sundowners in a chilled, romantic atmosphere boasting unrivalled views across the Arabian sea.
2. Relax @ 12, Aloft Abu Dhabi
Whilst not located on beachfront property, Relax@12 still boasts impressive views around the island. A modern, sleek bar with a menu focusing on cocktails and sushi, this is an upbeat place with regular DJs, party nights and ladies nights on regular rotation.
3. Turquoiz, St. Regis Saadiyat
In a fabulous situation on the beach, the large outdoor terrace is a beautiful place to sit and watch the world go by. Whether you’re looking for upbeat tunes on ladies night or chilled early evening vibes, with cocktails and shisha, Turquoiz is a pretty captivating spot.
4. Asia De Cuba
Even if you don’t live in the centre of town, this is a spot well worthwhile making the trip for in the evening. There’s something very special about the feel of this place and the cool and dark of the night only add to the charm. Perched on the Corniche road with great views back across the Marina Breakwater, it’s the large outdoor bar and musical vibe that make this place stand out. It’s hard not to feel the holiday mood here, and it’s the kind of place that even makes you want to get up and dance.
5. Hakkasan, Emirates Palace
Did you even know Hakksan has an outdoor bar? It may be one of the secrets of the city, but it’s a bit of a beauty. Nestled in the peaceful grounds of the Emirates Palace, the outdoor design echoes that of the interior with its modern oriental appearance and screens that offer an air of privacy. In such sophisticated surrounds, this is the place for a cosy drink that can’t fail to impress.
6. BBQ Al Qasr, Emirates Palace
Already well-known in the city as THE romantic beach-side restaurant to go to when you want something extra special, BBQ Al Qasr is also a gorgeous place to head to for some ultra relaxed, romantic beachside drinks. Although it’s not the easiest to get to if you’re just popping in for a quick drink, with the sea gently lapping just metres away, BBQ Al Qasr is well worth the effort, especially if you plan to settle in for a couple.
A popular venue in Yas Marina, it does get busy in the evenings, especially if it’s ladies night or holding another event. But with great views of the marina and a choice of great cocktails, Iris is an easily accessible spot for an early evening sundowner or a late night booze-fuelled boogie as the atmosphere heats up. 😉
8. Diabolito, Yas Marina
With two terraces, whether you’re at marina level or up on the rooftop, this is the best place for spectacular views to remember. Diabolito offers a relaxing vibe although it does get very busy so there’s a certain unavoidable buzz about the place. If you’re looking to start off slowly and finish with a bang, this is certainly a great place to get your evening started (and the food is pretty good too!).
9. Pearls & Caviar, Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri
A bit of a place to see and be seen, this trendy rooftop bar is impressive with its spectacular views across Khor Al Maqta creek back to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The bar does have its quiet moments for peaceful sundowners but tends to be more about the party – this is especially true on a Friday after brunch.
10. Skylite, Yas Viceroy
Skylite bar is housed under the iconic ‘fish net’ structure of the hotel and the building really comes alive at night when the canopy lights switch on. A very stylish bar with a great atmosphere, Skylite brings the outside, inside and is certainly one to experience if you haven’t already.