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Entertainment & Nightlife in Abu Dhabi


Abu Dhabi city retains much of the quiet charm that characterises a typical Arabic city at night. Nightlife in Abu Dhabi can be as quiet and refreshing as a stroll by the corniche or in a park in the cooler seasons or as active as watching a rock band performance in a pub or dancing in a night club in one of Abu Dhabi’s five or four-star hotels. Between the two extremes nightlife in Abu Dhabi has much to offer to all age groups, tastes and interests – families and single visitors alike. An evening out can be a culinary treat from a wide range of oriental and international cuisines, a cultural event such as a play, a lecture, a concert or an art exhibition, or it can simply be a show at a movie theatre or an evening at gaming centre or an Arabic coffee shop where the traditional shisha is served. The shisha is available in many flavours, you can experiment with one new flavour each day and will still not be over with the many aromatic flavours.

An integral part of the social scene in Abu Dhabi involves friends and family gathering around coffee parlours during evening hours to watch football matches or to simply unwind.

Places to Unwind

Bars & Clubs

There are a number of traditional British and Mexican Bars, most of which only fill up after 11 pm and run till the wee hours. Huge crowds of multi-cultural people turn up on weekends to enjoy live R&B bands or to tap to the fresh beats of some of the best known international DJs. On special occasions like Christmas and New Year's the evenings are organised around special themes. Abu Dhabi is a safe place with fewer restrictions in place and relaxed door policies that welcome people of all nationalities.

The relaxed atmosphere, cosy interior and friendly crowd of most pubs are able to recreate the same feeling of pubs back home. Most pubs run ladies night, happy hours (usually between 5 pm-7 pm) and quiz nights to cater better to different tastes. The same goes for nightclubs that play to the tune of music lovers' different tastes ranging from Western-style beats to traditional Arabic, Indian and Iranian music. If you happen to chance upon an Arabic nightclub, you’ll surely enjoy watching the art of belly dancing. Tequilana Discotheque is one of the most unique nightclubs of Abu Dhabi, located inside Hemingway’s complex, set along the West Corniche beach. Its interior is adorned with tiny huts and palm trees, amateur singers can also book for semi-private karaoke rooms. The club is known to organise salsa nights and attractive promotions which keep its customers coming back for more.

Almost all pubs, nightclubs and bars are located inside hotels and offer a range of exotic and colourful cocktails, vintage brandies, snacks and Arabic mezes.

Concerts & Theatres

Some of most remarkable musical events held in Abu Dhabi in 2007 were the prestigious Carmen opera and Abu Dhabi Classical Music Festival. These top two events featured some of the most prestigious artists from around the globe. We recommend you keep an eye on the local press and stay tuned to radio stations to keep yourself up-to-date on upcoming concerts and festivals. Classical music fans can visit The Abu Dhabi Music & Art Foundation website ( for the schedule of such performances.

The Laughter Factory, hugely popular with British population is a comedy show organised at the Crowne Plaza (Heroes Diner), where stand up comedians perform.

Theatre fans can take the opportunity to become members of the Abu Dhabi Drama Society (ADSS) that stages pantomimes, comedies and murder mysteries by well known playwrights.

Cinemas & Film Festivals

Abu Dhabi is host to the Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF), a cultural event that celebrates cinema’s best work from the international community and serves as a platform to unleash the region’s hidden talents. The event is attended by international stars and some of the biggest names in the industry who fly to attend the screening of an international array of documentary feature and short films. Held once every year, this five day-event offers complimentary tickets to movie-goers to more than 50 screenings.




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