Eating, drinking and enjoying the nightlife in Abu Dhabi
Like Dubai, Abu Dhabi has a huge variety of immigrants from across the world. Unlike Dubai, this mixture of immigrants hasn’t really brought with it a huge variety of restaurants. Nevertheless there are still plenty of restaurants around to be able to cater to every taste. Hotel restaurants are generally a safe bet, albeit an expensive one. Venturing into the city centre can unearth some gems, especially at the lower price range, where you’ll find cheap and delicious food.
Vegetarians will be especially in their element with a broad range of Indian and Asian cuisine available for next to nothing. For the carnivores, you should certainly try a shawarma, the Arabic fast-food, which looks much like a doner kebab (and is broadly similar) but has a more refined, Middle Eastern flavour. As with Dubai, you can spend pennies on a main course-size portion of Indian food, or rack up a bill that would seem standard at the swankiest London restaurants, often with fairly average food.
Drinking and Nightlife
The only restaurants and bars licenced to serve alcohol are those located in hotels. That means that most people either stay at their own hotel to drink or visit some of the more popular spots around the hotel circuit. The nightlife here is not as vibrant as Dubai, but quite a lot more varied than much of the Middle East.
The holy month of Ramadan will be celebrated in the late summer (2 April-1 May 2022, 22 March-20 April 2023). During Ramadan, Muslims all over the world abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs during daylight hours. As a result hotels in the United Arab Emirates have restrictions on alcohol, food consumption and entertainment between sunrise and sunset. At nightfall these restrictions are lifted and normal eating, drinking and entertainment policies are resumed.
Eid Al Adha falls between sunset on 9-13 July 2022 and 28 June-2 July 2023, and starts with a 24 hour dry day followed by a three day celebration. Please ensure you are aware of these restrictions, and that they are subject to change.