Abu Dhabi’s reputation as a quiet, sleepy town is a thing of the past. As the sun goes down, the emirate comes alive with a slew of exciting things to do.
Navigate the tranquil Corniche waters with a nighttime dhow cruise aboard a traditional Arabian vessel. You can opt to take in the sights of the city’s skyline while in the air-conditioned lower deck or sit in the open-air upper deck for an uninterrupted view. The cruise includes an international buffet featuring Arabic and Indian fare. AED 280 per person. Daily 8pm-10pm. Visit: raynatours.com
The Arabian overnight safari from Desert Rose Tourism lets you experience the sandy landscape at sundown. Aside from seeing the golden sunset and sleeping under the stars, campers can enjoy camel rides, a buffet dinner and belly dancing. Cap off the night by staring at the stars while lying comfortably on the sleeping bag provided.
AED 470 per adult, resumes in October. Contact: 02 446 6346, desertrosetourism.com
The sky is not the limit at Al Sadeem Astronomy. Space enthusiasts can peer through the telescopes for a fascinating view of the universe including some of our neighbouring planets. Visitors can also learn the basics of astronomy, including how to set up a telescope, and take a tour of the observatory. AED 200 for adults, AED 50 for 15-18 year olds, free for children under 14. Booking required. Al Wathba. Mon-Sat from 7pm. Visit: alsadeemastronomy.ae
Every Thursday between 6pm and 11pm, Yas Waterworld stages Ladies Night, featuring a live DJ, Aqua Zumba and the chance to splash around on more than 40 rides, slides and attractions. Or why not bring along the family for Neon Nights? Hosted every Friday from 7pm to 10pm until 21st September, the event sees the park lit up in colourful neon lights, plus there’s a silent disco, hydrojet show and you can float down the lazy river in neon glowing rings. AED 220 Ladies Night, AED 250 Neon Nights. Yas Island. Contact:
02 414 2000, yaswaterworld.com
Setting off from Yas Marina, Captain Tony’s sunset cruise takes visitors on a 90-minute journey past Raha Beach, Samaliyah Island and around the mangroves. AED 250 per person, AED 150 children six-12 years old. Yas Island. From 6pm. Contact: 02 635 0040, captaintonys.ae
Fancy exploring the lush mangroves in the dark? With the Night Light Kayak Tour by Noukhada, you can join in a unique excursion along the mangroves by riding in a kayak specially fitted with LED lights. Expect to see fish and other interesting nocturnal wildlife throughout the 90-minute journey. AED 180. Eastern Mangrove Marina, Eastern Ring Road. 7pm-8.30pm. Contact: 02 558 1889, noukhada.ae
Who said fitness is boring? Bounce, the city’s largest indoor trampoline park, rolls out its own version of ladies night every Wednesday. Here, women can bounce off the walls, flip in the air, play dodgeball, shoot some hoops or try the brand new X-Park and its ninja warrior obstacle course. AED 105 per hour. Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi breakwater. 6.30pm-10.30pm. Contact: 04 321 1400, bounce.ae/abudhabi
Working out outdoors during the day is still tough in this heat. If you wait until the sun has almost set, you can try out the Float UAE class. Test your balance while standing on an inflatable board in a pool where the instructor will guide you through a high intensity interval training session to build strength, boost flexibility and improve balance. AED 75. The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, Sas Al Nakhl. Wed 6pm. Contact:
Stick to your fitness goals at Yas Marina Circuit’s StartYAS. The iconic racetrack opens its doors for people of all ages and fitness levels who want to engage in cycling, running and walking exercises. Free. Yas Island. Sun 6pm-10pm. Register at yasmarinacircuit.com
Making a comeback on 17th September is TrainZSC at Zayed Sports City where you can improve your fitness by taking on the stadium steps of the International Tennis Centre. There are two options for climbing with one route having a shorter set of stairs and the other featuring longer flights for an extra challenge. A fun night for the whole family, there’s also bouncy castles for the kids, health checks and express fitness classes. Free. Saif Ghobash Street. Mon 5pm-8pm. Register at trainzsc.com
There’s no shortage of quiz nights in Abu Dhabi. At The Sportsman’s Arms, you and your team of smarty pants can get your brainpower in gear for a chance to win exciting prizes. What’s more, happy hour is in full swing throughout the evening so you can enjoy drinks starting from only AED 20. Zayed Sports City, Saif Ghobash Street. From 8pm. Contact: 02 447 1066, sportsmanszsc.com
Belt out your favourite tune at the Living Room Karaoke night in German restaurant Das Brauhaus. Every Thursday evening, crooners can select songs from the updated playlist and get on the mic. As a bonus, ladies get free drinks from 10pm until midnight. Free entry. Al Ain Palace, off Fatima bint Mubarak Street. From 9pm. Contact: 02 678 0522, dasbrauhaus.rocks
Budding musicians and poets will have a chance to showcase their works as Rooftop Rhythms springs back into action on 28th September. The latest instalment of the monthly series will feature US-based actor and poet Bertrand Boyd as a guest performer. Talents of all levels are welcome to sign up. The open mic list is based on a first-come, first-served basis. Free. NYUAD, Saadiyat Island. 8pm-10pm. Visit: nyuad-artscenter.org
Buoyed by the success of its previous instalments, the Old Schooled Silent Party is back for a third edition on 19th October. Don the provided headphones, tune in to one of the participating DJs and dance until your feet ache. From AED 70. Courtyard by Marriott World Trade Center, Hamdan Street. 11pm-3am. Visit: facebook.com/rooftoprhythms.com
One of Ireland’s biggest bands will be hosted by McGettigan’s Abu Dhabi on 4th October in what’s set to be an evening of power pop music. The Blizzards will perform their style of rock and roll, including hits ‘Show Me the Science’ and ‘Drop Down the Anchor’. Free entry. Al Raha Beach Hotel and Resort, Channel Street. 9pm-3am. Contact:
02 652 4333, mcgettigans.com/auh-abu-dhabi
Get your toes tapping to the beat at Noche Latina in Cinnabar. Held every Wednesday, participants will learn how to dance salsa and bachata from the expert instructors at SSS Dance School Abu Dhabi. After the class, it’s time to put those skills to the dance floor with an after-party soundtracked by the resident DJ. AED 50. Hilton Abu Dhabi, Corniche West. 8.30pm-2am. Contact: 050 442 2360
Forget about dinner – night brunches and theme nights are what after-dark dining in Abu Dhabi is all about.
Variety is the name of the game at Zest All Day Dining in Al Ain Rotana. From Mediterranean cuisine on Sundays, steaks every Monday, Italian fare on Tuesdays and seafood on Wednesdays to evening brunch on Thursdays and international dishes every Friday and Saturday, diners have plenty to choose from, seven days a week.
AED 187 per person, half price for children aged six to 12, free for children under six. Zayed bin Sultan Street, Al Ain. 6.30pm-11pm. Contact: 03 754 5111, rotana.com
Meat lovers are invited to head to The Foundry in Southern Sun Abu Dhabi for its Thursday Steak Feast. Sit back and relax while signature dishes – highlighted by a variety of steak cuts, plus oysters and salads – are served right to your table.
AED 265 with soft beverages, AED 385 with house beverages. Mina Street. 7pm-11pm. Contact: 02 818 4888, tsogosun.com
Every Tuesday, Bistro in Courtyard by Marriott World Trade Center holds its Midweek Night Brunch, featuring a blend of Arabic and international dishes. Make sure to go for the house favourites such as the chicken mandi and muhammara. AED 130 inclusive of soft beverages, AED 250 with house beverages, AED 65 for children between six and 12 years old, free for children under six. Hamdan Street. 7pm-11pm. Contact:
02 698 2222, courtyardmarriottabudhabi.com
Unlimited meat and cheese antipasti, pizzas, pasta and refreshing beverages – all this is on offer every Thursday night at District by Amalfi. The Sera Con Amici promotion – meaning ‘an evening with friends’ – will also showcase a variety of hops from New York. If that’s not enough, the Italian mob movies playing on the TV screens will help summon the right mood, or you can join in the chef’s pizza masterclass. AED 150 inclusive of two house beverages. Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Fatima bint Mubarak Street. 6pm-11pm. Contact: 02 674 2020, bit.ly/2MAFirA
Jumpstart the weekend at the Supper Club, hosted in the lounge of the elegant Boa Steakhouse. Enjoy unlimited servings of signature bites from the menu including sliders, mac and cheese and lobster buns, plus free-flowing beverages. AED 285 per person. Eastern Mangroves Promenade, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Street. Thu and Fri 8.30pm-11.30pm. Contact: 02 641 1500, boaabudhabi.ae
There’s nothing quite like tapping your feet to great rhythms while enjoying premium meat cuts. Expect this every Wednesday at Samba Night in Chamas Churrascaria and Bar as lively Latino music plays in the venue complete with interactive performances and, of course, a delicious selection of high quality, unlimited meat, side dishes, salads and desserts. From AED 318. InterContinental Abu Dhabi, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Street. 6pm-midnight. Contact: 800 423 463, dining-intercontinental-ad.ae
There’s no shortage of themed entertainment nights in the city. Here’s something for every day of the week:
Karaoke Sunday. Stars ‘n’ Bars, Yas Marina. 10pm-2am. Contact: 02 565 0101, starsnbars.ae
Bulicious. Three free drinks for ladies. Bu Trinity, The Hub, The Mall at World Trade Center, Khalifa Street. Contact: 02 666 8066, butrinity.com
Kiss & Tell. Free drinks for ladies from 8pm to 11pm. Stratos Revolving Lounge and Grill, Le Royal Méridien, Fatima bint Mubarak Street. From 8pm. Contact: 800 101 101, stratosabudhabi.com
Ladies night. Four free drinks for ladies. Iris Yas Island, Yas Marina. 9pm-late. Contact: 050 160 5636, email@example.com
Urbn Thursdays. Free bar for ladies. MAD on Yas Island, near du Forum. 11pm-3.30am. Contact: 055 834 6262, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pandora night. Free drinks for ladies until midnight. Empire Yas, Yas Hotel.
10pm-3.30am. Contact:050 501 5052, facebook.com/empireyasad
Desi Jam. Bollywood dance class 8pm-10.30pm. Free drinks for ladies until 1am. Hysteria Club, Hilton Capital Grand. Contact: 050 781 0553 or search for Desi Night Abu Dhabi on Facebook.
WORDS Ferdinand Godinez