Contrary to what is commonly thought, Abu Dhabi nightlife offers various opportunities for after dinner entertainment: pubs, bars, night clubs with live music selected by professional DJs, with commercial music, RnB, hip hop, house, underground, soul, jazz, 80s and 90s, along with the new trends of Lebanese and Arabic music.
Almost all are located in four-and five-star hotels, in picturesque location, on the terrace of skyscrapers, or sea view.
Often you do not pay the entrance but you must have drink or food.
On certain days of the week, some places offer the happy hour, mostly limited to a discount on drinks, discount on dinner or “all you can eat”.
Institution of the nightlife in Abu Dhabi are Ladies Nights, where women do not pay to drink or pay less.
Other events, less common, are the Quiz Nights, where you can win vouchers, or Karaoke.
Smoking is permitted inside, in most cases in designated areas. In some bars you can smoke shisha (also less commonly known as hookah or hubbly bubbly) with the traditional water pipe for smoking flavored tobacco (fruit, chocolate, mint, vanilla …).
Popular local magazines such as Time Out Abu Dhabi and What’s On Abu Dhabi offer updated list of the events in the City: you can buy them in the supermarket or find, very often for free, in the hotels, or you can find the website version on Internet.
Another website to learn about the Abu Dhabi nightlife events is The Capital List.
If you are looking for something different from the ordinary nightlife, have a look on the event calendar offered by Manaraat Al Saadiyat, New York University Abu Dhabi or Paris Sorbonne Abu Dhabi: you can find nice movies, concerts, exhibitions, interesting and very often for free.
Cinemas in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi nightlife could include also cinemas, since the evening hours of the shows coming up to 11 and 30 p.m..
In Abu Dhabi there are cinemas and multiplexes in which films are shown in English, with subtitles in Arabic or French, mainly located in the major shopping centers. Among the most popular: Vox Cinema (Marina Mall, Yas Mall, Nation Towers) that offers “immersive experiences” such as maxi screen and 4DX, with motion chairs, scent, wind, light and water effects.
For detailed information about cinema locations, ticket prices and showtimes, you can refer to the website Cinema Abu Dhabi, with information about movies in Abu Dhabi and in UAE.
Nightlife in Abu Dhabi during COVID-19
Gradual and cautious reopening is currently underway in Abu Dhabi, carefully adjusted from time to time according to the progress of the pandemic, and therefore subject to frequent changes.
Restaurants, pubs, cinemas and clubs in Abu Dhabi are required by law to adopt hygiene and safety measures.
For example, admitting a capped number of people, and limiting the number of people who can sit at the same table in order to guarantee the required social distance.
For greater peace of mind, it is advisable to reserve your place, or at least to contact the venue, through Internet (everyone has a website or a social profile somewhere), or by phone.