“So I’m gonna sit right here. On the edge of this pier. Watch the sunset disappear. And drink a beer.” Luke Bryan
Abu Dhabi’s weather is absolutely perfect right now but it won’t be long before the temperature gauge is off the scale and the humidity kicks in, so while it’s still bearable to be outside it’s time to seek out the city’s best beach clubs and bars to enjoy your favourite tipple. A gentle sea breeze, a stretch of clean white sand and crashing waves are the perfect backdrop for a sundowner or two whilst watching a picturesque sunset. Here’s a few of my favourite spots to kick back with friends, family or wow some visitors during the day and into the night.
Chino-Latino favourite Asia de Cuba is so hot right now, a place to see and be seen especially on the beach deck at weekends. Vibrant Latin sounds and flavoursome cuisine inspired by Havana’s Chinatown make this venue unique, the vibe is always good on the colourful outdoor terrace whisking guests to the heady heights of Cuban nights right here on our very own Corniche.
Refreshing cocktails, delicious bar bites and good service guarantee this bar, restaurant and lounge a continued flow of satisfied customers and a good party atmosphere. Relax in a Cabana beachside, prop yourself up at the bar or central sharing table or salsa the night away, the choice is all yours. Friday brunch is always good too, lots of food served sharing style that includes ‘La Caja China’ Cuban barbeque in a box offerings, fresh ceviche and salads as well as moreish desserts and signature drinks.
Friday Chino-Latino Brunch by the Beach and Caja China BBQ on Saturday, both available from 12pm – 4pm. Up tempo Cuban five piece band Sinco Pa Ti perform live on the terrace on Thursday evenings and all day Friday – see website for full brunch details and prices.
Asia de Cuba – 02 699 3333 or visit asiadecuba.com/abu_dhabi
The Beach House sits on a vast stretch of environmentally protected white sand beach as part of the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi. This two-storey standalone venue offers guests a romantic beach setting serving a delicious Mediterranean menu and selection of wines, sangrias and cocktails in the ground floor restaurant. After dinner sip a cocktail against the stunning ocean backdrop whilst listening to chill out tunes and admiring the view across the Arabian Sea.
Home to the endangered Hawksbill turtle, this beach side resort cares for nature as well as catering for its guests. A great place for dinner and cocktails, The Beach House also offers tasty weekend breakfasts and lunch for hotel guests and non-residents too, I thoroughly recommend a late lazy weekend lunch for all those looking for a rooftop venue to chill and take in the sea air and then stay to watch a dramatic sunset.
Open everyday: 10.00am to midnight. Breakfast: 9.00am – noon (weekends only), Lunch: 12.30pm – 4.00pm, Afternoon snacks: 4.00pm – 6.00pm and Dinner: 6.30pm – 12.00 midnight. Rooftop bar: 6:00pm to midnight (no sports or beachwear allowed at The Beach House)
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas – Telephone 02 407 1138 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org
Saadiyat Beach Club has an enviable location and the wow factor to match. Probably one of the hottest addresses on Saadiyat Island it offers guests uninterrupted views of the crystal clear ocean from its white sandy beach, a spectacular cabana lined pool as well as high end leisure facilities, an international menu at Safina restaurant and premium beverages at the sophisticated De La Costa bar and lounge. This contemporary location is popular with locals and tourists alike catering for families as well as the discerning diner, it’s definitely one of my favourite places to watch the sunset over the city with a sundowner in hand, what it sometimes lacks in vibrancy its makes up for in style.
Safina Friday Brunch is quite an affair, family friendly it offers a great experience for mum and dads as the kids are catered for with their own activities and carers. Plenty of food and free flowing drinks help set the scene and as the sun sets, the celebration continues and everyone gets into the weekend spirit with the resident DJ and his Sunset Sessions set. As weTurquoizll as playing host to the after brunch crowd De La Costa holds a latin night, Puesta Del Soul every Saturday. There are also regular guest DJs and themed music nights.
Safina Brunch is served every Friday from 1pm to 4pm with the additional day pass and brunch offer (see website for full details and prices.)
Saadiyat Beach Club – Telephone 02 656 3500 or visit www.saadiyatbeachclub.ae
Turquoiz, located at the St Regis Saadiyat sits metres away from the water’s edge, a standalone elegant beach restaurant with a large outdoor terrace along the pristine white sandy beach that serves an extensive seafood menu as well as light bites and snacks. Turquoiz, named after the turquoise blue waters surrounding Saadiyat Island is another great spot to watch the sunset. With signature drinks and premium beverages aplenty a good time is guaranteed, the vibe is good with a resident DJ keeping the music cool and composed as the sun sets, raising the tempo as the night progresses.
There are many options to choose from at Turquoiz with different nightly offers to satisfy everyone’s tastebuds. On Monday it’s Bloody Lobster night from 7:00pm – 10:30pm where guests can enjoy a platter of six freshly shucked oysters complemented by Turquoiz signature Bloody Mary. Wednesday is Ladies Night is from 6:00pm – 9:00pm, Aperitivo every Thursday from 5:00pm – 9:00pm, Turquoiz Lobster Feast every Friday from 7:00pm – 10:30pm and #Reserveyourview BBQ every Saturday.
The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort – Telephone 02 498 8888 or visit email@example.com
Yas Beach has changed up the capital’s beach scene, a private licensed beach club in fabulous surroundings that transforms from chilled daytime venue into a vibrant nightspot once the sun goes down. The DJ sets the mood from the open air booth, a tropical Tiki Bar and restaurant provide the refreshments, an infinity pool, beach cabanas and five private chalets enhance the experience. As well as being a great place to catch some rays with family and friends, the weekends are party central with the ‘LIV day, LIV the night concept’, on Friday guests are invited to enjoy the Eleven pool and beach party (from 11am – 11pm, 21 & over by the pool) or relax at the more chilled out Saturday beachside brunch.
Those more adventurous folk can partake in the variety of watersports provided at this Mangrove edged venue whether it’s SUP, kayaking or windsurfing that takes your fancy it’s all on offer at Yas Beach by adventure company Noukhada. Bursting with energy, LIV at Yas Beach is set to become Abu Dhabi’s most talked about beach club and with a schedule of resident and guest big name DJs it’s setting its sights on attracting the pleasure-seeking set that currently frequent the UAE’s answer to Ibiza, Blue Marlin.
Open daily 10am-7pm daily with access to pool area and beach, watersports (additional costs apply) restaurant, Italian pizzas, grills and arabic food kiosks, fresh juice bar, Tiki bar and a boutique. ’ELEVEN’ pool and beach party from 11am -11pm every Friday and Saturday Brunch 11am – 1pm
Yas Beach, Yas Island – Telephone 056 242 0435 or visit www.yasbeach.ae
So grab your sunglasses, sunscreen and your favourite flips flops and head to Yas Beach or Saadiyat Beach Club for day to night fun in the sun. Alternatively head to one of the capital’s best beachside bars at Asia de Cuba, The Beach House or Turquoiz for a cheeky sundowner (or two) and watch the sunset followed by a spot of dinner before we are all engulfed by the long summer heat and find ourselves confined to air conditioned indoor activities.
All views are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2016. All rights reserved. Turquoiz photos used courtesy of www.turquoizabudhabi.com
The edited version of this article first appeared in Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi magazine – May 2016