Friday, July 28, 2006

Nothing to do in Abu Dhabi?

I am in Abu Dhabi almost every weekend, and last night, I really felt like going out for a change. I usually come to Abu Dhabi on Thursday nights and go to bed by midnight because I am too exhausted to do anything else after a long week at work. But last night I was just in the mood for something different.

So my sister, brother, his friend and I were discussing our options, and discovered that Abu Dhabi is seriously lacking in nice places to go to. What's wrong with this place?

The only decent place people go to here is Saks (and Ocean's next to it), at the Royal Meridien. But the crowd there is the same week in, week out, and a bit on the young side (meaning 18-24). Plus, I was there a couple of weeks ago and it was quite simply packed, which makes getting to the other end of this tiny place a real nightmare.

You had AM/PM at the Intercontinental hotel, which has now shut down as the whole hotel is being refurbished (much needed...believe me!). Then you also had the LAB at the Beach Hotel, which, it seems, has also shut down recently.

There was this place called Colloseum, which was the "in" place in Abu Dhabi around 10 years ago...not sure if it's still open, but even if it still is, I wouldn't be caught dead in that place!

There was also a place we all called the American Bar at the Forte Grand (which has now become the Royal Meridien), and that closed down as well. The American Bar was really a cool, chilled out place, which was always packed on weekends...I really don't know why they closed it down.

There's Trader Vic's at the Beach Hotel, which is a restaurant with a small bar section next to it...I like the place a lot (and I always go to Trader Vic's in Dubai) but it's a restaurant...not really a bar/lounge kind of place. Plus it gets super packed on weekends given the lack of other options in Abu Dhabi.

Apparently there's a place called Zenith at the Sheraton....I'd never heard of it before last night...

And you have Hemingway's/Jazz Bar at the Hilton, which used to be the place to be seen at on a Tuesday night...Not sure if it's still the case now, but it's never been the kind of place that we went to on a weekend.

There are a couple of places at the Meridien (Gauloises and Captain's Arms), and Rock Bottom's at the Capital Hotel which no one seems too excited about for some reason (I think the clientele is a bit seedy in these places, so I don't think I would like to venture there any time soon).

So there you have it! That's it! The whole list of places to go to in Abu Dhabi. Sad isn't it? C'mon all you entrepreneurs out there...Open up some new places!

Oh and by the way, last night, we ended up going to Ocean's....Nothing too exciting really.


grapeshisha said...

Take your 24 dvds with you! I agree, AD is more the family place. But from what I am hearing, there should be must to do in the next 5 years. But I guess that doesn't help you now!

secretdubai said...

I must do a blog post on this, but my theory is that it's not the destination but the journey that is the problem.

Mainly the lack of strollable pavements with pleasant streets cafes etc. You have to taxi everywhere. It's too hot/dusty/trafficky to sit outside. Once you get somewhere, even if it's nice, it's an artificial capsule.

The things that make me happiest when I think about it are the very simplest things: having breakfast in a beach cafe (no beach cafes here), walking to the shops (not possible here), taking the dog for a walk up the hill (no dog, no hill), getting a coffee before taking the train home (no train, no convenient cafes that aren't in the middle of malls or the middle of nowhere).

It's the bits in between that don't exist. In your home country, how many times would you eat at a five star hotel restaurant? I never would.

Bob said...

Ok so i am still adapting to dubai, just moved in last week, and uhh ended up going to Dubai Marina sat outdoors in the heat

nzm said...

Your NeoEarth map is working fine!

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