Arabian nights: What to do in Abu Dhabi after dark
As home to some of the most epic tourist attractions in the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is the go-to destination for visitors who want to enjoy a more genteel pace than its flashier neighbor, Dubai.
That aside, the UAE’s charming capital still packs a travel punch and is abuzz with activity, especially at night.
A cultural hub, shoppers’ paradise and home to everything from souks to super clubs, there’s definitely plenty of places to indulge.
Floating serenely on its own island, Louvre Abu Dhabi has been quite rightly basking in the limelight since it opened in 2017 to the tune of $1 billion.
As one of the capital’s most exciting new cultural destinations, visitors have been flocking in their droves to marvel at the Jean Nouvel-designed masterpiece and enjoy the rotating exhibitions, and it’s even more impressive after dusk.
With opening hours stretching late into the evening, visitors can head to the rooftop bar Art Lounge for sunset cocktails and breathtaking views, while the more adventurous can opt for a thrilling kayak tour.
The 60-minute tour across the Arabian Sea (which runs at certain times throughout the year) allows design fans to learn more about the impressive architecture and experience the wonder close up under the starry sky, with special full moon tours also available.
Bedouin experience at Shangri-La Hotel
With Abu Dhabi’s rich Bedouin past firmly ensconced in its culture, visitors can now experience a real taste of Arabia in five-star surroundings.
The city’s majestic Shangri-La Hotel is embracing its local heritage by offering guests an unforgettable experience under the Bedouin gazebo, with the culinary team offering a sumptuous tailor-made feast bursting with Arabic flavors on request.
Guests are invited to move onto an Arabian carpet by the canal for dessert and shisha where they can enjoy the beachfront ambiance, taking in spectacular views of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
Shop, dine and play at Al Maryah Island
Shopping in the Middle East is practically a national pastime and, more excitingly, Abu Dhabi is home to some of the most impressive super malls.
Step forward the shiny new kid on the block, The Galleria Al Maryah Island. This one-stop destination is a shoppers’ paradise and it’s already causing excitement in the capital with its excellent portfolio of designer boutiques and high street favorites.
There are plenty of options to refuel too with the impressive collection of high-end restaurants from all around the world including the likes of Roberto’s, Zuma and Coya Abu Dhabi.
Perfect spots for hanging out after hours include the three landscaped outdoor parks with games such as giant Jenga, the Xtreme Zone, as well as one of the largest movie theaters in the Middle East: the impressive 21-screen Vox Cinemas with IMAX, 4D technology and VIP cinema experience.