From pool parties on islands you can only get to by boat, to shisha in the sky and late-night theme parks, there are countless amazing things to do in Abu Dhabi when the sun goes down.
Make the most of your trip to the UAE with our guide to Abu Dhabi’s nightlife...
Al Maya Island Pool Party
Catch a boat from the dock opposite Emirates Palace and take a 20-minute cruise to Al Maya Island & Resort. You’ll be met with a luxurious oasis hidden away from bustling city life. Expect white sandy beaches and the most crystal-clear blue water this side of the Emirates.
The party starts at midday and ends at midnight every Friday. Revellers can work on their tan on sun loungers, order shisha by the poolside, throw shapes on the dance floor and make a splash in the massive pool complete with swim-up bar. This is one Abu Dhabi event you don’t want to miss! Dress code is swimwear only.
One of the best bars in Abu Dhabi. Take your night to new heights and see the city light up from the 62nd floor of the Jumeirah Etihad Towers Hotel. With a daily happy hour running from 5-8pm and amazing views of the Abu Dhabi skyline, you’ll have to pinch yourself to make sure this bar is real. Try the aptly named ‘Not Just a Gin & Tonic’ or order a classic mojito, you won’t be disappointed.
With a strict dress code and over 21 policy, Ray’s attracts an upmarket crowd. Open until 3am this place is perfect for those who want to dance the night away in style.
Red Tour, Stop: Etihad Towers
X-Park at Bounce
The world-class trampoline park, Bounce has just opened X-Park, an 18 element obstacle course designed to test your skill set. Separating the ninja warriors from the regular folk, challengers are encouraged to take on the zip line, sea of pipes or the bouldering wall if they dare. Put on your trainers if you fancy a go! Each obstacle can be tackled as a stand-alone challenge or explored as part of a circuit.
There’s also the parkour area created to inspire free-running. If it’s your first-time rest assured there are a few easy-entry points to get you on your way.
Red Tour, Stop: Marina Mall
Saadiyat Beach Club
The first thing you’ll notice when you get here is the 650 square metre pool, it’s hard to miss. Your eyes will also dart straight to the dreamy cabanas and if you manage to snap one up, you can practice diving into the water straight from your day bed!
More relaxed than other beach clubs in Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat prides itself on being a venue with a focus on wellness. This means your relaxation is their top priority. The pool opens at 8am and guests have been known to spend the whole day here before heading to dinner at one of the resorts restaurants when the sun sets.
Visit a Comedy Club
If laughter is the way to your heart, you’re in for a treat. Spend an evening giggling with some of the funniest men and women in the UAE. With two competing companies hosting regular events you can choose the show that best suits your sense of humour.
The Laughter Factory put on a hilarious show once a month at the Rotana, whilst Yalla Laughs have more regular shows you can add to your travel itinerary. The former normally has a line-up of more established international comedians touring the Emirates, whilst the latter showcases the best in local talent, preferring to shine a spotlight on upcoming stand-up comedians.
For Yalla Laughs:
Red Tour, Stop: Abu Dhabi Mall
Skylite Rooftop Lounge
Located in one of the fanciest Abu Dhabi hotels on Yas Island, Skylite is an open-air rooftop lounge in The Viceroy like no other. Known for attracting the fashion crowd and the social elite, make sure you dress to impress and ask for a selfie if you happen to bump into someone famous. Expect endless house music from the resident DJ Anya and dancing way into the night time.
We recommend going here for shisha and a cocktail in the evening, there’s something really satisfying about smoking a hookah at night as you look out at the breath-taking view.
Green Tour, Stop: Yas Viceroy
Go for a walk along the Corniche
Temperatures soar in Abu Dhabi, even at night, but those who can hack the heat should wander around the Corniche when the sun sets. A fuss-free activity to do with kids, going for an evening stroll here is a great way to keep the family entertained and get a front-row seat to the light show on the numerous sky scrapers the Emirate is known for.
Once you’ve taken it all in, pick your favourite cuisine and dine at one of the various restaurants located alongside the Corniche. Always busy, don’t be surprised to see an army of joggers getting in some late-night fitness by the beach whilst you tuck into your meal.
Red Tour, Stop: Public Beach
Known for providing a fantastic al fresco vibe all year round, this Italian restaurant is the ideal place to sip on a cocktail as you tuck into your favourite pizza and pasta. Comprised of an upper and lower deck, Filini Garden sets the tone for an informal yet chic bar and lounge experience, perfect for a social gathering or intimate date.
We recommend booking a table on their upper deck, you’ll feel like you’re dining in a modern Arabian Nights village. Their newly opened air-conditioned terrace is the best place to take in the stunning views without breaking a sweat.
Green Tour, Stop: Yas Plaza Hotels
Thrill seekers hoping to soak up some fun can do so at Yas Waterworld, Abu Dhabi’s late-night theme park. Open until 9pm every night except Thursdays (when they close at 11pm) this is a unique addition to Abu Dhabi’s nightlife. With over 40 slides, rides and attractions it should be no surprise Waterworld has been voted The Middle East’s Leading Water Park.
Non-stop fun for the whole family, kids can learn how to become the perfect mermaid at Mermaid School whilst parents can experience the first ever water cinema. Waterworld also hosts weekly ladies’ nights too, where groups of girlfriends travelling together can spend an evening here for uninterrupted girl time and unlimited access to the various water slides.
Green Tour, Stop: Yas Waterworld
Remember, the weeks in the Middle East run a little differently to the rest of the Western world, the weekend starts on a Thursday so don’t be surprised if you start to get that Friday feeling a little earlier than expected. And once you’re done exploring Abu Dhabi at night, take a look at our list of Cultural Highlights…