Sip and Savor: Exploring Abu Dhabi’s Top 13 Bars for Atmosphere and Cocktails
Sip and Savor: Exploring Abu Dhabi's Top 13 Bars for Atmosphere and Cocktails - Sipping with Views at Jumeirah's Skyline Lounge
Perched on the 74th floor of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, the Skyline Lounge offers up jaw-dropping panoramas of Abu Dhabi's glistening cityscape alongside handcrafted cocktails prepared with care. This sophisticated rooftop bar lets guests soak in the glittering views as they unwind over creative concoctions, shareable bites, and smooth tunes.
With floor-to-ceiling windows wrapping the space, the lounge frames up Abu Dhabi's landmarks in a breathtaking display. From this lofty vantage point, guests can spot the undulating curves of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the futuristic dome of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and Yas Island's Ferrari World theme park. As the sun begins its languid descent towards the horizon, golden hues spread across the skyline, washing Abu Dhabi's towers in warm light. It's a front-row seat to the city's captivating transition from day to night.
In addition to the stellar views, Skyline Lounge stands out for its extensive cocktail program overseen by an award-winning mixologist. Classics like negronis and old fashioneds appear on the menu alongside unique creations that encapsulate local flavors. For instance, the Emirati Harvest combines smoked date syrup and tonic water, while the Abu Dhabi Pearl features rose water and grapefruit. With an ever-evolving selection, there's always something new to sip.
The lounge exudes contemporary glamour with its marble surfaces, crystal chandeliers, and plush furnishings in rich blue hues. Floor-to-ceiling velvet curtains add softness to the sleek decor. Touches like warm candlelight, jazzy tunes, and ever-attentive service enhance the refined ambiance. Groups can reserve cozy cabanas or cushioned benches along the windows.
According to seasoned travelers, a visit to the Skyline Lounge around sunset is a must, especially for first-time visitors. As one guest describes, "Watching the sunset from the lounge with a cocktail in hand was pure magic." Others highlight the value of the happy hour from 5pm to 8pm, when select drinks and bites are half-priced.
While evenings at Skyline Lounge tend to draw a well-heeled business crowd, patrons say the vibe remains relaxed and welcoming. Solo travelers feel just as comfortable as large groups. A visitor from Dubai notes, "I went alone, and the friendly staff made me feel right at home."
What else is in this post?
- Sip and Savor: Exploring Abu Dhabi's Top 13 Bars for Atmosphere and Cocktails - Sipping with Views at Jumeirah's Skyline Lounge
- Sip and Savor: Exploring Abu Dhabi's Top 13 Bars for Atmosphere and Cocktails - Cocktails with Local Flair atArabic Expression
- Sip and Savor: Exploring Abu Dhabi's Top 13 Bars for Atmosphere and Cocktails - The St. Regis' Gilded Age Glamour
- Sip and Savor: Exploring Abu Dhabi's Top 13 Bars for Atmosphere and Cocktails - Dusit Thani's Sophisticated Sips
- Sip and Savor: Exploring Abu Dhabi's Top 13 Bars for Atmosphere and Cocktails - Craft Cocktails at The Edition's Downtown Outpost
- Sip and Savor: Exploring Abu Dhabi's Top 13 Bars for Atmosphere and Cocktails - Cozy Havens on Hudayriyat Island
Sip and Savor: Exploring Abu Dhabi's Top 13 Bars for Atmosphere and Cocktails - Cocktails with Local Flair atArabic Expression
Beyond breathtaking views and luxe ambiance, Abu Dhabi boasts a flourishing cocktail culture that skillfully weaves in local flavors and flair. For a spirited taste of the city's distinctive mixology scene, head to Arabic Expression. Tucked away on the ground floor of the glitzy Nation Towers development, this chic lounge creates cocktails that encapsulate the Emirati spirit.
Arabic Expression stands out for its innovative use of regional ingredients to concoct unique libations. Their seasonal creations spotlight indigenous spices, herbs, fruits and aromatics like saffron, rose water, fig and date. As one visitor raves, "I was blown away by how they seamlessly blended local and Western flavors." Try their signature Scent of the Orient, which mixes hibiscus syrup and cardamom-infused gin. The Abu Dhabi Pearl blends grapefruit and rose for a delicate yet complex medley.
In addition to tantalizing tastebuds, the cocktails offer a sensory experience for the eyes. Many arrive adorned with edible flowers or dried fruit. Others are served in curved glasses etched with Arabesque patterns. The presentation mirrors the ornate architectural details found across the city. As a frequent guest describes, "Each drink was like a work of art inspired by the beauty of Abu Dhabi."
Beyond cocktails, Arabic Expression provides a cozy, contemporary setting to linger over drinks. Plush couches, glass pendant lights and gold accents create a glam yet inviting ambiance. An adjacent outdoor terrace offers city views alongside themed shisha nights. Regulars praise the warm and welcoming service, noting that solo travelers feel just as comfortable as groups.
According to patrons, Arabic Expression's ground floor location makes it an ideal spot for pre-dinner or pre-show cocktails. The lounge is conveniently situated near top cultural attractions like the Louvre Abu Dhabi and NYU Abu Dhabi. Visitors recommend pairing a visit with dinner at one of the upscale Nation Towers restaurants. As one guest advises, "Make a night of it by grabbing drinks at Arabic Expression and dinner at Nation Riviera."
While evenings tend to draw a trendy crowd, Arabic Expression also makes for a unique lunch or coffee stop. Their all-day menu features flatbreads, mezze platters and other Emirati snacks. Try the Machboos - a traditional rice dish mixed with meat or fish. The lounge also serves Turkish coffee and delectable desserts like umm ali and luqaimat.
Sip and Savor: Exploring Abu Dhabi's Top 13 Bars for Atmosphere and Cocktails - The St. Regis' Gilded Age Glamour
Evoking the grandeur of a bygone era, The St. Regis Bar brings a taste of old world opulence to Abu Dhabi's Corniche. Housed within the palatial St. Regis hotel, this stately bar transports guests back to the early 20th century Gilded Age, when exclusive hotel bars first rose to prominence.
With its wood-paneled walls, peaked arches, crystal chandeliers and black and white tiled floors, the bar's lavish decor mirrors the luxe sensibilities of the Jazz Age. Ornate mirrors reflect the warm glow of the burning fireplace, adding to the cozy yet aristocratic atmosphere. Attentive bartenders don crisp white jackets as they prepare indulgent libations tableside with ceremonious flair. Live jazz bands provide a refined soundtrack on select evenings.
According to devoted patrons, the bar excels at whisky-based cocktails that evoke a spirit of timeless refinement. Sip voluptuous libations like the smoky Regis Manhattan or the honeyed Abu Dhabi Sour, served in a curved Art Deco glass. For Scotch aficionados, an extensive collection of over 400 labels promises adventure. Guided tastings unlock the nuances of prized single malts.
While the cocktails attract many, the bar's stellar service and elegant ambiance keep guests lingering. Visitors describe an unrushed pace where quality reigns over quantity. Solo travelers in particular praise the welcoming staff and spacious layout, which fosters easy mingling. Guests recommend arriving when the bar is less crowded to fully soak in the vintage vibes.
According to seasoned travelers, The St. Regis Bar offers a refined yet relaxed pre-dinner option near the Corniche. The adjoining terrace provides front-row views of the turquoise Gulf waters. Many visitors recommend pairing sunset cocktails on the terrace with dinner at the hotel's Mediterranean restaurant, Rhodes 44. As one guest advises, "Watching the sunset at the St. Regis Bar sets the mood for a romantic dinner along the Corniche."
Sip and Savor: Exploring Abu Dhabi's Top 13 Bars for Atmosphere and Cocktails - Dusit Thani's Sophisticated Sips
Tucked away on Abu Dhabi's serene Emirates Pearl Island, Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi brings a taste of Thai refinement to the UAE capital. At the hotel's idyllic rooftop bar, 360°, handcrafted cocktails and dreamy Gulf views intertwine in an oasis of sophistication.
With panoramas stretching from the shimmering city skyline to the turquoise waters, 360° undeniably woos with its scenery. Yet devoted patrons return again and again for the bar's creative mixology and convivial energy. The space exudes understated glamour with its battalion of pendant lights, leather furnishings and glowing marble bar. A color palette of cream, caramel and chestnut adds warmth, while indigo couches beckon lounging.
According to seasoned sippers, 360° stands out for cocktails that bridge Thai ingredients with local flair. Expect chilli-infused concoctions, lemongrass martinis and drinks blending coconut milk with dates. Botanical infusions like pandan leaf or wild ginseng add intrigue. Try the refreshing Thai Me Up with coconut rum, pandan and ginger beer. For regal flavor, the Royal Lychee Martini marries lychee juice, lemongrass and a touch of cream.
While classic cocktails like negronis and manhattans anchor the menu, 360° prides itself on imagination. The bar team experiments with new flavors each season, so there's always an element of surprise. Visitors describe the bartenders as true craftsmen, whether shaking up Thai-inspired libations or explaining the nuances of a rare single malt.
Beyond palate-pleasing drinks, 360° impresses visitors with its laid-back energy. Patrons highlight the sociable vibe, noting it's equally suited for post-work relaxation or pre-dinner lounging. Well-spaced seating options range from bar stools to cocoon-like pods that cocoon groups. Pop hits mix with chillout tunes, adding a dash of trendiness.
According to Abu Dhabi residents, 360° hits the mark as a go-to happy hour spot. From 5pm to 8pm, the bar buzzes with suits unwinding over half-priced drinks and bar bites. For many locals, Friday brunch at 360° is a beloved ritual, with free-flowing drinks, live music and a lavish Thai and international buffet.
While evenings tend to draw a smart-casual crowd, 360° also entices daytime guests with its peaceful atmosphere and Pearl Island location. Visitors describe it as a serene spot to enjoy an iced coffee or fresh juice along with shisha. Yoga classes at the adjoining Thai Spa add to the wellness appeal.
Sip and Savor: Exploring Abu Dhabi's Top 13 Bars for Atmosphere and Cocktails - Craft Cocktails at The Edition's Downtown Outpost
Nestled in the heart of downtown on Al Bateen Street, The Edition Abu Dhabi brings a contemporary cocktail culture to the capital’s historic hub. At the hotel’s sultry Lobby Bar and adjoining Garden Terrace, handcrafted libations take center stage. Whether it’s a pre-dinner aperitif or a nightcap under the stars, The Edition entices tipplers with its creative concoctions and sleek surrounds.
According to devoted patrons, the Edition’s mixologists are true purveyors of their craft. The Lobby Bar’s ever-evolving menu spotlights seasonal ingredients and local botanicals in drinks that tantalize the senses. Expect rose water, hibiscus, fresh citrus, indigenous honey and date syrup blended into libations with meticulous balance. Signature creations like the lemongrass-laced Abu Dhabi Iced Tea and the basil-kissed Queen of Sheba seduce with their complexity.
Beyond flavor, the cocktails impress with their visual allure thanks to garnishes like edible flowers, herbs and gold dust. Visitors describe the drinks as mini works of art, at once visually stunning and sublime on the palate. Even classic mixes like negronis arrive elevated by homemade infusions and artisanal touches.
The Edition’s sleek, neutral-toned interior provides a refined backdrop, with mid-century modern furnishings that exude casual sophistication. Blue pendant lamps cast an alluring glow as jazz fusses fill the air, enhancing the laid-back vibe. For al fresco imbibing, the Garden Terrace unfurls Abu Dhabi’s cityscape in a chic outdoor oasis.
While stellar drinks may lure guests, The Edition’s convivial atmosphere keeps them lingering for hours. Both solo travelers and groups highlight the welcoming service and lively yet relaxed energy. Visitors describe an easy mingling scene where suits swap stories at the bar as ladies laugh over spritzers on the patio.
Sip and Savor: Exploring Abu Dhabi's Top 13 Bars for Atmosphere and Cocktails - Cozy Havens on Hudayriyat Island
Nestled along Abu Dhabi's pristine western shoreline, Hudayriyat Island provides a serene natural escape from the buzzing downtown core. While the island offers plenty of activities under the sun, after dark a constellation of cozy bars emerges that beckon unwinding under the stars. From beachside lounges to rooftop havens, Hudayriyat's nightlife scene entices with laid-back vibes, inventive drinks and plenty of private nooks for settling in.
According to Hudayriyat devotees, Rockpool Bar at the island's Anantara resort tops the list for relaxed revelry. Secluded cabanas dot the beach, providing the perfect spot for gazing out at the moonlit Gulf as creative cocktails arrive tableside. Try the Hudayriyat Spritz, which blends muddled pear, prosecco and elderflower for a sweet-tart infusion. For groups, reserve a beachside majlis with plush cushions and flickering fire pit.
Further along the shore, Beach House excels at seaside revelry with bonfires crackling on the sand. Cozy cushions and lanterns add intimacy to the outdoor setup. Beyond classic drinks, Beach House tempts with flavor-packed mocktails like the Sparkling Rosemade with homemade rose syrup, lemon and soda. Make it a night with wood-fired pizza fresh from the oven.
According to devoted patrons, Tomo at Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island tops Hudayriyat's bar scene for views. As the UAE's only rooftop bar located on a wildlife reserve, Tomo unveils sweeping vistas of the nature reserve as exotic animals graze below. Visitors highlight Tomo's signature martinis, like the white cosmopolitan with lychee liqueur and the espresso martini swirled with date syrup. For intimacy, reserve a private bedouin tent on the deck.
While Hudayriyat's bars shine after dark, sundown sessions have their own magic. West Bay Lounge at Anantara Eastern Mangroves tempts guests with sunset views over the mangrove forests. Cozy up with a signature mocktail like the Abu Dhabi Lemonade, served with dates and mint. As the sun dips below the horizon, the lounge lights up with live music featuring Emirati singers and oud players.
Across the island at Traders Hotel, The Library beckons bookworms with cozy furnishings and over 4,000 books. Order an iced hibiscus tea, then curl up in a leather armchair by the window overlooking the Gulf. Come evening, flickering candles and jazz tunes set the mood for nightcaps. Try The Lost Island with gin, kiwi and elderflower tonic.
While most venues cater to grown-up relaxation, Hudayriyat also offers family-friendly options. Tulum at Le Meridien Abu Dhabi bills itself as a "50's diner meets tropical beach shack." Kids can sip milkshakes and mocktails while parents enjoy two-for-one drinks during daily happy hour. Out on the deck, comfy bean bags, sun loungers and yard games like Jenga keep the whole family entertained.