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Ladies night (3 free drinks) on Mondays and Tuesdays

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 Ladies night (3 free drinks) on Mondays and Tuesdays

With 1,8M inhabitants, Abu Dhabi is the second-most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after Dubai.

Even though the country is officially Islamic, it has a decent nightlife that caters mostly to expats, tourists, and businessmen. There are around 10 lively bars and nightclubs, almost all of which are located in 4- or 5-star hotels. You can find a crowded event most days of the week, except during Ramadan when everything is closed.

That said, not everything is perfect. The main problem is that very few women go clubbing in Abu Dhabi, so it is not rare to have a bar full of guys (minus the prostitutes). To avoid that, select your venues carefully and keep an eye out for ladies nights.

Another issue is that prices are generally quite high. A cocktail in a high-end bar will easily reach US$20, and a beer US$10. To order bottle service, be ready to spend at least US$500 for one bottle. It is a good idea to check for happy hours, usually from 5PM to 8PM.

If you want to know more about Abu Dhabi nightlife, just scroll down and read all my tips below: The best hotels near the nightlife, how to buy alcohol, how to meet girls, the best time to party, how to dress, what to bring with you, and a list of my favorite bars and clubs.

Abu Dhabi Nightlife Areas + Hotels

Abu Dhabi nightlife is spread over a rather large area. You may need more than 30 minutes to reach some clubs, so it's important to choose the right neighborhood, depending on your taste.

Yas Island
If you want to party in the hippest venues, you should stay on Yas Island. This is not very central, especially if you work in the city center, and it is more expensive than average, but you will be near Ferrari World, the F1 Circuit, the Yas Mall, and the Yas Marina. In the latter, you have several great restaurants and bars, particularly Iris and Mad.

Where to stay on Yas Island?
Yas Hotel is the most recommended place to stay as it has several bars and a club (US$110/night). Park Inn By Radisson is also good and it is well-priced (US$65/night).

Tourist Club Area (near Capital Park)
Al Khalidiya and Al Danah, also called the Tourist Club Area, is where you have the highest concentration of bars (many of which can be quite seedy and full of prostitutes). It is an older part of the city, that can be interesting for tourists, but it is not so modern nor beautiful. Choose this area if you want to experience the busy city life.

Where to stay in the Tourist Club Area?
Le Royal Méridien is reasonably priced (US$100 in low season), and it is ideally located. For nightlife lovers, it has three popular bars: Illusions (see review below), PJ O'Reilly's Irish Pub and the rooftop lounge Stratos.

A more affordable option is Al Maha Arjaan Hotel by Rotana (around US$70 per night).

In the midrange category, Novel Hotel (ex-Mercure) is interesting for some tourists. It has a bar called Cyclone (ex-Blitz) that has live music. It's quite popular with an Arab crowd. Many Chinese and Pinay prostitutes work there as well.

Al Bateen/Corniche Beach
This area, particularly between Corniche Beach (St Regis Hotel) and Al Bateen Marina, is one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Abu Dhabi. There are only a few upscale bars around, but it is only 15 minutes away from the Tourist Club Area. Stay there if you want to live in a beautiful and relaxing neighborhood.

Where to stay in Al Bateen?
Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi is a new 5-star hotel that opened in 2018. Gorgeous design, great views. Around US$200.

Are Abu Dhabi Hotels Girl-Friendly?
Almost all the 4 and 5-star hotels in Abu Dhabi are guest-friendly, especially the famous international chains. However, if you wish for a girl to visit your room, she will always be required to register at the reception and to show her ID.

Buying Alcohol in Abu Dhabi

If you are over 21 and a non-Muslim, you will have three ways to buy alcohol in Abu Dhabi:
- The easiest is to get some bottles at the duty-free in the airport, just after the luggage pick-up (up to 4 liters per person)
- You can also apply online for a special license that will allow you to purchase alcohol from liquor stores like Spinney's (several outlets all over the city).
- Finally, you can just buy drinks/bottles in a bar or a club, and drink on the spot

Meeting Girls in Abu Dhabi

 Ladies night (3 free drinks) on Mondays and Tuesdays

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