The best things to do after dinner in Abu Dhabi often include the sorts of things you can do well before dinner, too. As the capital of a Middle Eastern nation, its approach to nightlife is somewhat different to that in western countries. The desert heat makes outdoor activities impractical during the day, so most major attractions remain open into the night and locals generally leave their socialising until after dark.

    Of course, being an Islamic nation, drinking and partying aren’t big parts of its evening culture here. Instead, expect to spend your nights trying more social and traditional experiences. Check out some of the remarkably varied after-dinner activities you can enjoy in Abu Dhabi below.

    1

    The Corniche

    Chill by the beach once the sun goes down

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    The Corniche is a popular stretch of waterfront that comes alive in the evenings. Much of Corniche Road is lined with parks, beaches, and footpaths, but the temperatures during the day are generally too high to enjoy them. As such, the area only becomes a hub for locals and visitors once the sun has set and light displays have switched on.

    It's not just parks and promenades along the Corniche. You’ll find a few hotels along the way, which host excellent lounges, bars, and restaurants. Some of the best include Azura Panoramic Lounge, Bravo Tapas Bar & Restaurant, and The Tavern, among others.

    Lokasi: Corniche Rd - Al Bateen - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates

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    2

    Dhow dinner cruise

    Set sail for romance

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    Several companies around the port offer dhow dinner cruises into the Arabian Gulf in the evenings. You can set sail in a specially made 2-deck traditional wooden vessel, outfitted with a dining room and a lounge. Along the way, you get a great view of the Corniche and Abu Dhabi skyline.

    The styling of the dhow is very traditional and romantic, though many companies also offer such trips in modern luxury yachts. The cuisine served on the dinner cruises is generally a mix of local and popular international dishes. The voyage lasts for about 2 hours.

    3

    Night kayaking

    Explore the city’s waterways when temperatures are mild

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    Night kayaking offers a unique way to see some of Abu Dhabi’s most interesting highlights. The obvious choice is to take a serene and peaceful paddle through the Eastern Mangroves. Led by an experienced guide, you’ll explore the Mangrove National Park for a couple of hours and enjoy a little picnic under the stars, away from the sounds and lights of the city.

    The less obvious place to go kayaking is at Louvre Abu Dhabi. The exterior of the waterfront museum can be explored, and you get a unique view of the port area of the city. This tour lasts about an hour.

    4

    Desert camping

    Sleep under canvas and bright stars

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    Desert camping is effectively a must while you’re in the UAE – it’s a truly remarkable experience. Out in the Empty Quarter, with no light for miles in any direction, the stars burn brightly overhead. It’s very romantic, as is sitting by the fireside and enjoying some traditional local dinner.

    There are many camps dotted around the desert, mostly offering a traditional experience. The more luxurious options offer modern conveniences, such as electricity and air conditioning. The classic experience is generally much cheaper, but can be uncomfortable if you're unfamiliar with camping.

    5

    Abu Dhabi Golf Club

    Play 9 holes at dusk

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    The Abu Dhabi Golf Club stays open well into the night, allowing you to get a round in without enduring the Abu Dhabi heat. The 3,341-yard 9-hole Garden course is floodlit to make sure that you can still see where your ball is going, even along the 2 par 5 holes. Sadly, the same is not true for the 18-hole championship course, but it’s better than nothing.

    Either before or after your round, you can take advantage of the club’s excellent facilities. These include excellent all-day dining on the Falcon Terrace or great views from the Championship Lounge.

    Lokasi: Khalifa City A - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates

    Buka: Daily from 6 am to 2 am

    Telepon: +971 (0)2 885 3555

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    6

    Cycling at Yas Marina Circuit

    Set a lap record on the famous F1 track

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    The Yas Marina Circuit normally only admits professional racing drivers, but anyone can take a turn around the famous tarmac by cycling around it. It’s certainly a novel way of exploring and enjoying the facility, plus it’ll help you burn off some dinner calories.

    The special bike rides take place on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6 pm. Entry is free, as are the bikes. You can also jog the track if you prefer. The Yas Marina Circuit is on Yas Island, around 30 minutes east of Abu Dhabi.

    Lokasi: Yas Marina Circuit - Yas Island - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates

    Buka: Monday and Wednesday from 6 pm to 10 pm

    Telepon: +971 (0)2 497 9000

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    7

    Observation Deck at 300

    Enjoy the view at 300 metres above sea level

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    The Observation Deck at 300 is exactly what it sounds like – an observation deck at 300 metres above sea level. It’s the highest viewpoint in Abu Dhabi, located on the 74th floor of the Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers. As you might imagine, it offers a pretty spectacular view both day and night.

    The café on the observation deck only serves alcohol-free drinks, so don’t expect to enjoy a cocktail with the view. However, the place is particularly famous for its afternoon teas. The high altitude and sweeping vistas across the city make it worth the modest entrance fee.

    Lokasi: Tower 2, Level 74, Etihad Towers - Corniche W St - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates

    Buka: Daily from noon to 8 pm

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    8

    Lobby Lounge at Etihad Towers

    Have a coffee with the rich and famous

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    The Lobby Lounge at Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers takes the typical relaxed place for a coffee that most hotels have and cranks it up to 11. One long, curved wall is a giant window offering a fantastic view over the city and the Arabian Gulf, especially during sunset.

    Despite being dry, the Lobby Lounge is still a hotspot for rich and famous visitors. You can enjoy a food range of teas and coffees, including Arabic coffee, along with pizzas, burgers, and poke bowls. Of course, that being the case, prices are naturally on the high side.

    Lokasi: Podium Level 3 - W Corniche Rd - Al Bateen - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates

    Buka: Daily from 8 am to midnight

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    9

    Buddha-Bar Beach Abu Dhabi

    Chill on the beach into the evening

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    Buddha-Bar Beach Abu Dhabi is a trendy beach club on Saadiyat Beach – a day and night destination noted for its great food, drinks, and music. The club is part of the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, but is also open to outside guests. It’s the sort of place that’s meant to be enjoyed with a group, as you can see on the food menu. The dishes on offer are mostly intended for sharing and are based on the cuisines of the Pacific Rim.

    As Buddha-Bar Beach Abu Dhabi is quite an exclusive club, be prepared for prices to match. The dress code is similarly strict, demanding at least a bit of smartness in the restaurant after 6 pm.

    Lokasi: The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates

    Buka: Monday–Thursday from 5 pm to midnight, Friday–Sunday from noon to midnight

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    10

    Yas Island bars and nightclubs

    Enjoy an exclusive party atmosphere

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    Yas Island could be called Abu Dhabi’s little enclave of the western world, containing many of the attractions overseas visitors are generally accustomed to – including nightclubs and bars. Because the city attracts its share of celebrities and high-fliers, many of the venues you’ll find here are suitably swanky.

    MAD Yas Island is one of the top choices and really leans into the glitzy styling. It features a 360-degree projector and a unique sound system to ensure the best partying experience. Plus, its VIP section is one of the most exclusive in Abu Dhabi. Iris Yas Island is a stunning lounge bar at the entrance to the Yas Marina that serves great artisanal cocktails. If you’re looking for a sports bar, Stars and Bars is the place for you. It also hosts live entertainment after 10 pm.

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    Ben Reeves | Traveler Kompulsif

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