Hot Spots in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

by Hallie Engel
Abu Dhabi, near Dubai, is the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Abu Dhabi, near Dubai, is the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Sam Robinson/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Abu Dhabi, located in the United Arab Emirates, is one of the most happening cities in the Middle East. Filled with places to shop, eat and party, Abu Dhabi displays cosmopolitan blend of Arabic tradition and international allure. The city also has a liberal attitude, allowing foreigners to consume alcohol and dress as they wish, though locals lead more conservative lives. A welcoming introduction to the Middle East for travelers, Abu Dhabi provides hot spots suitable for everyone.


After a long day in the desert heat, head to one of Abu Dhabi's many watering holes to cool off with a drink. Stars 'n Bars plays sports from soccer to baseball on the 18 flat-screens. The bar serves a selection of excellent pub food, according to Time Out Abu Dhabi, and has a variety of seating options. Pearls Bar, set on a rooftop in the Shangri-La Hotel, is decorated with mosaic tiles. The bar features nightly DJs in addition to cocktails and food.


As a luxury destination, Abu Dhabi is home to decadent spas. For an unforgettable experience, visit the Anantara Spa at the Emirates Palace Hotel. Modeled after a Moroccan hammam (or Turkish steam bath), its tiled halls feature Jacuzzis, steam rooms and showers. Visitors can choose treatments like facials and pedicures. The modern Yas Hotel Spa features eight treatment rooms and treatments for both men and women, including hot stone massage, body scrubs and manicures. Special treatments are available for expecting mothers.


Abu Dhabi is packed with restaurants, from tiny cafeterias to grand establishments serving cuisine by famous chefs. Sardinia, located at the Abu Dhabi Health and Fitness Club, specializes in molecular cooking, turning food into foam, bubbles and other curiosities. Their main entrees also include items like lobster with coriander aioli (garlic mayonnaise). The city also is filled with great Indian food, found in restaurants like Indigo, India Palace and Angar. Indigo and Angar, in particular, focus on modern Indian cuisine, experimenting with dishes to give them creative new twists.


Abu Dhabi is a shopper's paradise; the city's malls are packed with shops, restaurants and sundry forms of entertainment. The Abu Dhabi Mall features an H&M;, a Virgin Megastore and an outlet of the trendy clothing shop Zara, in addition to a large supermarket and other shops. The waterfront Marina Mall has trendy shops like Forever 21 and Baby Phat in addition to high-end retailers like Chanel and Christian Dior, providing options for every budget.

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