Abu Dhabi vs. Dubai Nightlife

Abu Dhabi vs. Dubai Nightlife

Luxury holidays take on a whole new meaning on the golden coasts of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Spectacular sights, huge malls, and experiences you’ll remember for the rest of your life are just a small part of what they have to offer. But when it comes to nightlife, which destination is better? 

In a single night, you could do a lot in both cities. It’s just a matter of your personal preference. However, if you’re going to make an informed decision, you have to know what’s on the menu in these thrilling cities. 

Here are some of the best nighttime experiences for these cities:

Abu Dhabi :

Offbeat Experiences

  • Ferrari World
  • Camp in the Desert
  • Al Mahara Diving Center
  • Night Tour of the Mangroves

Luxurious Experiences

  • Emirates Palace Hotel
  • Dhow Cruise Dinner
  • The Lobby Lounge at the Etihad Towers
  • La Cava Bar

Nightclub Experiences

  • Yas Island
  • Butcher & Still
  • Al Maya Island Pool Party
  • Ray’s Bar


Offbeat Experiences

  • Ski Dubai
  • Nighttime Horse Riding
  • Overnight Desert Safari
  • Full Moon Yoga Session

Luxurious Experiences 

  • Madinat Jumeriah
  • At.mosphere
  • Buhayra Lounge
  • Dhow Cruise

Nightclub Experiences

  • Billionaire Mansion
  • Boudoir
  • Catwalk
  • Stereo Arcade

This list provides you with plenty of options, no matter how you want to spend your night. Whether you’re up for a party, an extravagant evening or a night full of adventure, these two cities have got you covered. 

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is an opulent city in the United Arab Emirates. As the capital of this country, it hosts numerous tourists each year, whether on business trips or holidays. But everyone likes a bit of relaxation when the night falls. 

So, let’s take a look at what Abu Dhabi has in store for you. 

Offbeat Experiences

Ferrari World

  • Location: Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
  • Open: 11 am to 10 pm
  • Price: Starts at AED 295

If you are yearning for some adventure, then Ferrari World is the perfect place for you. This is the first theme park dedicated to Ferrari and everything in the amusement park is on topic. You can expect rollercoasters, numerous rides, and other themed entertainment. 

For an adrenaline rush, try the fastest rollercoaster in the world, Formula Rossa. If you’re not much for screaming your lungs out, you can try a lighter ride like RC Challenge. 

If you want to learn a bit more about the history of Formula 1 and racing cars, visit Tyre Change Experience. And if you get hungry along the way, eat at fantastic Mamma Rosella for a complete experience of the racing car world. 

Camping in the Desert

  • Location: The Desert, Abu Dhabi
  • Open: Always
  • Price: Starts at AED 179

The night is always exciting in the desert, but if you want a more relaxing aspect of Abu Dhabi, yet still something novel, then camping in the desert is for you. This experience will bring you closer to the locals and their culture, the nature surrounding this iconic city and much more. 

Away from the urban area, you’ll breathe in the fresh desert air, feel the sand between your toes and watch as the stars light up the sky. There’s nothing quite like the night under the clear sky, and this camping trip proves it. 

Of course, you won’t be on your own – or completely left to nature either. You’ll be served a traditional dinner, a camel safari, and even dune bashing. 

Al Mahara Diving Center

  • Location: Abu Dhabi International Marina Sports Club, Abu Dhabi
  • Open: After 7 pm 
  • Price: Starts at AED 300 

Diving is an incredible activity that introduces you to all sorts of adorable and admirable (and a bit scary) creatures. However, diving at night is a whole other thing. 

Imagine submerging yourself in the pitch-black water and swimming around, experiencing the sea at a whole new perspective. It’s humbling, especially when the nocturnal sea wildlife starts to appear. 

So, if you want to do something you’ve never done before, this is a good option. 

Night Tour of the Mangroves

  • Location: Eastern Mangroves,  Abu Dhabi
  • Open: After the sun sets
  • Price: Starts at AED 210 

If you want something truly authentic, why not try a tour through the Mangroves during the night. This is a kayak tour that will take you through the thick mangroves with only lamps to show you the way. 

Of course, a guide will be with you with stories of the area. But the true magic of the experience is in the nature that surrounds you and the staggering difference between that and the bustling city just minutes away. 

So, while other people are exploring the wonders of the city, step into this unique adventure that not many people know about. It’s calming and extremely underrated.

Luxurious Experiences

Emirates Palace Hotel

Location: West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi

Open: Always

Price: Free

For people who like the finer things in life, Abu Dhabi has a lot to offer. And nowhere is it clearer than in the Emirates Palace Hotel. Even the name sounds extravagant, and you won’t be disappointed. 

Please your senses by spending the night at this magnificent palace on the Arabian Gulf. It’s an architectural wonder as much as it is a lavish place to wine and dine. Bask in the glory of high arched ceilings, ornate chandeliers and gold of the domes. 

While there’s no fee to enter, entertainment and food here are by no means cheap, nor is staying at the hotel. However, for free, you can explore parts of the property. 

Dhow Cruise

  • Location: Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi
  • Open: When the sun sets
  • Price: Starts at AED 210 

This is a lavish, romantic experience for two. Enjoy the impressive Abu Dhabi skyline as you sail around the Gulf in a calming rhythm. If you’re looking for a way to see the city while still enjoying a relaxing atmosphere, this is the way to do it. 

Dhows are traditional ships full of luxurious elements and delicious food for you to taste. With unforgettable views and starry skies above you, you’ll always remember this ride. Some dhows even come with belly dancers and other forms of entertainment, so it would be a true royal adventure. 

The Lobby Lounge at the Etihad Towers

Location: Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi

Open: 6:30 pm to 3 am

Price: Starts at AED 275

Full of indulgence and alluring scents, this lobby lounge will provide you with a royal treatment you need. Enjoy tasty refreshments and food from all over the world while surrounded by imposing architecture, and exclusive interior. 

On top of that, you can also see the ocean from the lounge, and it makes the experience especially tranquil. 

La Cava Winebar

  • Location: Four Seasons Hotel, Abu Dhabi
  • Open: Every day, from 11 am to 3 am
  • Prices: Free to enter, drinks start at AED 234

For those who love expensive wine, nothing is better than this winebar. It serves around 1500 different labels and the most expensive wines in the world. The ambient is luxurious, yet quaint and intimate. 

Nightclub Experiences

Yas Island

  • Location: Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
  • Open: Always 
  • Price: Free

If your taste for nighttime entertainment scales towards partying, there’s no better place than Yas Island. Visit one of the alluring clubs or pubs for a night full of singing, dancing, and drinking in celebration of life. 

Jump from one club to the next or find the one you like the best. In fact, there are so many clubs and bars on this island that you’ll probably need several nights to visit them all. 

Butcher & Still

  • Location: Global Market, Street 2, Four Seasons Hotel, Abu Dhabi
  • Open: 6 pm to midnight
  • Price: Free to enter

On a different note, this bar is a recreation of Chicago from the 1920s and the famous speakeasy interior. You’ll look over the soothing waters while enjoying a martini from a vintage, one-of-five in the world martini shaker. 

Let the baristas prepare cocktails at your table and enjoy a trip through time with this amazing bar. 

Al Maya Island Pool Party

  • Location: Al Maya Island, Abu Dhabi
  • Open: From noon to midnight on Fridays
  • Price: Free to enter

During hot Arabian nights, there’s no better way to cool off than to swing by a pool party. Surrounded by mesmerizing scenery, this pool party is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. It’s a weekly event full of DJs, drinks, clear waters, swim-up bars, and so on. 

If you want to stay sober, there’s plenty of activities for you too – from volleyball to fine dining, swimming and numerous other activities. 

Ray’s Bar

  • Location: Jumeirah Etihad Towers Hotel, Corniche, Abu Dhabi
  • Open: Every day from 5 pm to 3 am
  • Price: Free to enter

For a truly unique drinking experience in Abu Dhabi, try drinking in this bar, on the 62nd floor of Jumeriah Etihad Towers Hotel. Savor the skyline and city lights while sipping on vodka and being served by friendly staff. 


The nightlife in Dubai is far from what you’d expect and your options are endless. From bars and clubs to more authentic experiences, Dubai has everything you need to have a blast. But before you set out on this adventure, check out what Dubai has to offer.

Offbeat Experiences

Ski Dubai 

  • Location: Mall of Emirates, Dubai
  • Open: Every day, open and close time depends on the day (open until midnight on weekends)
  • Price: Starts at AED 192

For a true winter wonderland in the middle of a desert, visit this snow park that will offer you a fantastic opportunity to test your ski skills and rest from the scorching heat of the desert. There are five slopes, opportunities for snowboarding as well as numerous other things you can do. 

And if you didn’t come to Dubai prepared for a skiing adventure, don’t worry, the park will provide you with clothes and equipment necessary to be comfy and safe inside. And hey, how many people can say they’ve been on a ski trip in Dubai? 

Nighttime Horse Riding

  • Location: The Mushrif Park, Dubai
  • Open: 8 pm to 9:30 pm, three times a month
  • Price: AED 300 per person

This is a truly unique adventure and there’s only a limited amount of time when you can do it, so it’s a good idea to try to squeeze it in. The experience is surreal, as you ride your horse through the desert during the full moon lighting your way. 

Tranquility surrounds you as you focus on the wilderness and awesomeness of this exclusive event. It’s especially romantic if you take a loved one. 

Overnight Desert Safari 

  • Location: The Desert 
  • Open: From 4 pm to 9 am 
  • Price: Starts at AED 130 for two people 

Admittedly, this escapade starts in the afternoon, but that just means that you get a good intro into the night ahead of you. While the sun is still up, enjoy some dune bashing and safari while absorbing the pure environment of a desert.

Once the night falls, have fun with tanoura dancing, belly dancing, having henna tattoos painted on you, and so on. There’s usually a bonfire and a ton of great food. 

Full-Moon Yoga Session 

  • Location: Depends on the occasion, usually the beach
  • Open: 7 pm to 8 pm 
  • Price: Around AED 120

If you are health-conscious, this nighttime event will satisfy your needs. It’s great as a prelude to a wild night or a standalone affair. There are numerous yoga sessions and different types of yoga you can try. 

The best part is that it happens during the night so it’s definitely special. Studios usually offer a 90-minute session. 

Luxurious Experiences

Madinat Jumeriah

  • Location: Madinat Jumeriah, Dubai
  • Open: Always 
  • Price: Around AED 70 per person

For a fancier escapade, take a stroll around Madinat Jumeriah. It’s a cluster of hotels that represents one huge epic resort. During weekends, it has a ton of visitors. Madinat Jumeriah feels like an open market space, with an artificial canal, cafes, restaurants, etc. 

What makes it special is seeing all the extravagantly dressed people – it’s what it’s famous for, and the fact that it’s a world-class kind of resort. You can even see Burj Al Arab from there. 


  • Location: Burj Khalifa, Dubai
  • Open: 7 am to 11 pm 
  • Price: AED 600 per person

Interestingly named and with an even more intriguing location, this restaurant is not to be missed. It actually holds a record for being the highest restaurant in the world.

Eat a delicious meal with a million-dollar view, while sipping on tasty drinks served by friendly staff.  

Buhayra Lounge

  • Location: The Palace Downtown, Dubai
  • Open: 8 am to 2 am 
  • Price: Around AED 650 

This lounge is simply a whole other world situated in one of the best hotels in the United Arab Emirates. The sheer amount of elegance and luxury will blow your mind. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a movie scene when a member of their friendly staff places you at the table next to the pool. 

You’ll have an exclusive look at the Dancing Dubai Fountains from your spot, but the Fountains will have a tough competition in the interiors of the restaurant. 

The Dhow Cruise

  • Location: The Dubai Marina, Dubai
  • Open: 9 pm to 11 pm
  • Price: Starts at AED 160 for adults, AED 100 for kids

Let the Dhow take you on an enchanting ride through the Dubai Marina and Dubai Creek. You’ll feel like you’re in a fairytale, floating below imposing buildings of the Dubai skyline and dazzled by the city lights. 

If that wasn’t enough, let the chefs at the Dhow take you on a journey through centuries with their cuisine while belly dancers and magicians draw your attention and smiles. 

Nightclub Experiences

Billionaire Mansion

  • Location: Taj Hotel, Burj Khalifa Blvd, Dubai
  • Open: 8 pm to 4 am 
  • Price: Free to enter

Have dinner and a show at one of the most opulent, extravagant restaurants in the world. It’s a sizzling place full of music, dance, and fun. So, prepare to be amazed by this crowd, food, and drinks. 


  • Location: Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Jumeirah St, Dubai
  • Open: 11 pm to 4 am 
  • Price: Free to enter

Time-travel to the 1920s and go to Boudoir, a fun nightclub dedicated to late-night fun and partying until the sun rises. This is the best place to go if you are ready to dance and sing all night under the impressive chandeliers. 


  • Location: Dubai Design District, Dubai
  • Open: 11 pm to 4 am
  • Price: Free to enter

For a more futuristic approach to clubbing, try BASE with its mesmerizing artists, light installations and visuals as well as other forms of entertainment. It often features some of the most famous stars in the world, which makes it even better. Dance to R&B, house, techno, pop and so on. 


  • Location: Meydan Racecourse Grandstand Rooftop, Nad Al Sheba 1, Dubai
  • Open: 10 pm to 4 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays to Saturdays 
  • Price: AED 300 

This is one of the best clubs in the world and for a good reason. It’s a huge operation with frequent visits from famous singers and DJs. You can reserve a VIP table at this open-air club and get the luxurious treatment. 

Which city wins? 

After all of these amazing options, which city takes the trophy of the best nightlife city? Well, we would say that they both win. And since they are so close to each other, you don’t even have to choose. You can enjoy them both!

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