Here’s why al fresco dining is back in style

Cheerio summer, we’ll see you next year! Now that it’s a little cooler, it’s the perfect time to relax outdoors at one of the city’s terraces.

After a long, hot summer, the weather has finally taken a turn and we’ve all suddenly remembered that there are things to do outdoors.

If you’re looking to unwind, enjoy a bite to eat or a drink, or just catch up with friends while you embrace the winter weather, then you’re in luck, because these venues across the city are ready to welcome you.


Enjoying panoramic views over Yas Marina, the wrap-around terrace at Cipriani is an ideal place to unwind in the evenings. The stylish Venetian restaurant, designed by Florentine architect Michele Bonan, accommodates up to 150 guests on its terrace, ideal for large groups but also perfect for tables of two.

Enjoy a range of traditional Italian dishes including risotto primavera and baked tagliolini, as the sun sets over Abu Dhabi.

Yas Island. Daily 6pm-midnight. Contact: 02 657 5400,

Level Lounge

Offering a relaxed refuge 21 floors above bustling Hamdan Street, this rooftop bar is a great spot to chill. The cosy poolside location is stripped-back and simple in design, perfect for a quiet evening with a few friends. Enjoy some of the venue’s signature drinks and watch the sunset reflect off the skyscrapers downtown. Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi. Daily 5pm-2am. Contact: 02 616 6800,


Take your pick from a range of traditional Lebanese-inspired dishes while enjoying scenic views of the Arabian Gulf at this Arabic restaurant in Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana.

The expansive outdoor terrace also features live music from Monday to Friday, providing the perfect soundtrack to a relaxing evening al fresco.

Corniche West. Sat-Wed noon-11.30pm, Thu-Fri noon-12.30am. Contact: 02 657 0111,

99 Sushi Bar and Restaurant

Step out on to the terrace at 99 Sushi Bar and Restaurant to enjoy some haute Japanese cuisine in style. The contemporary terrace, featuring a floor-to-ceiling moss wall, boasts inviting seating and a chilled atmosphere with elegant fixtures and great views over Al Zahiyah skyline from its waterfront location on Al Maryah Island.

While here, enjoy a selection of dishes such as okonomiyaki, tiger prawn tempura and black cod.

The Galleria, Al Maryah Island.Sat-Thu noon-3.30pm and 7pm-11pm, Fri 1pm-3.30pm and 8pm-11.30pm. Contact: 02 672 3333,


There aren’t many terraces that boast views over a Formula 1 track, but that’s not a problem for Skylite. Perched atop Yas Hotel, this spot has a unique view over Yas Marina Circuit and offers a casual yet stylish destination to unwind on an evening with a good range of bar bites and beverages.

Yas Island. Sat-Thu 6pm-1am, Fri 4pm-1am. Contact: 02 656 0600,

Filini Garden

Escape to this chic location and enjoy some time lounging with friends away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Relaxing and elegantly-designed, this place feels a bit like a secret garden thanks to its impressive private entrance and green foliage.

With views over the greenery of Yas Links golf course and the surrounding mangroves, the outdoor deck makes for a great place to watch the sunset with one of the refreshing signature beverages and bites from a Venetian-inspired menu.

Radisson Blu Abu Dhabi, Yas Island. Sun-Wed 4.30pm-1am, Thu-Fri 4.30pm-2am. Contact: 02 656 2000,

Balcon Lounge and Terrace

This casual terrace, surrounding Southern Sun Abu Dhabi’s outdoor pool, features a range of private cabanas, as well as a view over the city and the Corniche.

You can unwind listening to chilled music as the stars come out, take your pick from a range of specially-crafted sundowners and enjoy food from the Asian and Mediterranean fusion menu. Mina Street. Daily 3pm-1am. Contact: 02 818 4888,

Saadiyat Rotana

Make your way to Saadiyat Island and take your pick from two outdoor terraces ideal for enjoying a relaxing evening. Roof Lounge and Bar located atop Turtle Bay Bar and Grill is the perfect place to take in the picturesque view of the sunset over Saadiyat Beach while enjoying light dishes and beverages served in unique custom glassware.

Down on the lower deck, the tropical-themed Nasma Beachfront Bar is a chilled spot to settle down on beanbags and dig your feet into the sand while enjoying Latin American music and a selection of dishes and refreshing drinks.

Saadiyat Island. Roof Lounge and Bar daily 5pm-10pm, Nasma Beachfront Bar daily 11am 4.30pm and 5pm-midnight. Contact: 02 697 0000,

Relax @ 12

This cool rooftop bar enjoys great views over the creek and the glittering waters of the Arabian Gulf. Decked out with low-lying furniture perfect for taking a load off, you can unwind or dance to the beats from the DJs who play until the wee hours.

Plus, with Asian-inspired dishes dominating the menu and a host of refreshing drinks on offer too, you’ll be able to keep your energy levels up.

Aloft Abu Dhabi, off Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street. Daily 5pm-2am. Contact: 02 654 5138,

Li Jiang

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque makes for a unique backdrop at this inviting terrace. Settle in and watch the sun set as the mosque lights up.

With a range of Southeast Asian delicacies on the menu, you can enjoy a bite to eat and some refreshing drinks while relaxing among the olive groves tucked away.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqtaa. Sat-Thu 6pm-midnight, Fri noon 4pm and 6pm-midnight. Contact: 02 818 8282,


Make your way to the rooftop of Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa by Anantara where you can unwind overlooking the picturesque Mangrove National Park behind the hotel.

With plush sofas, sleek décor and tables overlooking the picturesque natural landscape, it’s the ideal post-work hangout with a few friends or a chilled destination for a relaxed evening.

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Street. Daily 4pm-2am. Contact: 02 656 1000,

At 25

Located on the 25th floor and billed as the highest rooftop bar in the city, At 25 offers a panoramic view of downtown Abu Dhabi from its floor-to-ceiling windows.

The relaxed poolside bar and restaurant, decked out with feature foliage walls and overhead fairy lights, is a chilled spot to grab a bite to eat or enjoy a sun downer accompanied by laid-back beats.

Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi, Al Wahda. Daily 11am-2am. Contact: 02 304 7777,

Posted in Features | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By joining our mailing list you agree to our Terms & Use and Privacy Policy

Get the best of Abu Dhadi straight to your inbox