Hot New Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi
The latest Star Wars movie is being filmed here, new malls are springing up and all our fave haunts from McGettigan’s to Zuma have opened branches, too – it’s your up-and-coming capital, people, and it’s time to explore all the new places which have just opened their doors!
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The Gulf’s super-rich have a new place to check out, more than 200m in the air! The newly opened Abu Dhabi Suite, at the St Regis Abu Dhabi, is a super-luxe space which is suspended midair between the 48th and 49th floors of Nation Towers, the city’s swankiest new apartment complex. Guests can land their helicopter on the helipad on top of the skyscrapers, then take a private lift to enter the 1,120sq m space, which has its very own security staff. The amazing complex features a four-seat cinema, as well as a 14-seat dining room, three guest rooms, staff quarters, four bathrooms, a kitchen and a dedicated fitness area. They can relax in the fully furnished private spa with a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi, or potter about in the private library. With dedicated St Regis butlers there around the clock to cater to guests’ every whim, this truly is fit for a queen.
INFO: The St Regis Abu Dhabi, 02 694 4444, www.stregisabudhabi.com
The St Regis Abu Dhabi
World Trade Center Mall
This shopping centre, which opened in October, features a number of UAE firsts, including the only House of Fraser department store outside the UK and Ireland, as well as fashion labels Missoni and Karen Millen. Located on the site of the emirate’s old Central Market, has 160 shops, more than 20 dining outlets and an eight-screen cinema.
INFO: 10am-10pm Sat-Wed, 10am-11pm Thu-Fri, www.wtcad.ae
When this luxury mall opened last August it brought a number of high-end labels to Abu Dhabi for the first time. As well as Prada, Gucci, Dior and Jimmy Choo, it has the emirate’s Armani Caffé, Bentley Cafe and Magnolia Bakery, as well as a number of licensed waterfront restaurants including Brit-Italian fave Carluccio’s.
INFO: 10am-12midnight Thu, 12noon-12midnight Fri, 10am-10pm Sat-Wed, Sowwah Square, Al Maryah Island, thegalleria.ae
With Zuma Dubai being in vogue, it was only a matter of time before the brand set its sights on the capital. Zuma Abu Dhabi’s locale du jour is Al Maryah Island – also known as the ‘Manhattan of Abu Dhabi’, and a perfect fit for this über-trendy restaurant. The venue incorporates distinct lounge, bar and restaurant areas, along with a small semi-private dining room, all with a waterfront setting. The new Zuma reflects three core elements of its izakaya dining style, with a signature robata and open-plan sushi counter located around the main dining room.
INFO: The Galleria, Sowwah Square, Al Maryah Island, 02 401 5900, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.zumarestaurant.com
Zuma Abu Dhabi
Almaz by Momo
This North African restaurant serves up traditional Arabic cuisine in a modern, stylish setting. It’s the UAE’s second venue in the Momo group, which has origins in Paris and is headed by Master Chef Mourad Mazouz. Sited on The Galleria’s waterfront, it’s divided into several distinct zones, including a terrace, a bar and a patisserie offering up to 15 flavours of homemade ice cream.
INFO: Level 1, The Galleria, Al Falah St, Sowwah Square, Al Maryah Island, 02 676 7702, www.momoresto.com
Quest is food with a difference – this is food with creativity. Where you might see that you’re eating nachos and popcorn, you’re actually eating a dessert, and where you think you’re eating a tiny book of poetry, it will actually be foie gras. Each dish is unique, and often geared toward traditional Asian flavours. The menu has been called “the most creative cuisine in Abu Dhabi” and really has to be seen to be believed.
INFO: 12noon-3.30pm Sun-Thu, 7pm-11.30pm Sun-Fri, Level 63, Jumeirah at Etihad Tower, 02 811 5666, email@example.com, www.jumeirah.com
Relax at the Eastern Mangroves Promenade and enjoy the great views of the protected mangroves and Abu Dhabi while dining at the newest branch of this popular British chain, which serves up Italian mainstays including pizza, pasta and risotto.
INFO: www.easternman grovespromenade.ae
This UAE-based brand has opened a sister venue to its hugely popular Dubai haunt. Attracting a stylish crowd, it also has an attached restaurant offering an eclectic range of dishes.
INFO: Sat-Wed 7pm-2am, Thu-Fri 7pm-3am, Fri-Sun 11am-3pm, The Collection at St Regis Abu Dhabi Saadiyat Island Resort, 02 678 3344, www.caramelgroup.com
McGettigan’s Abu Dhabi
The popular Irish chain already has three branches in Dubai, so it was only a matter of time before the capital got in on the craic. Like its counterparts, the Al Raha venue will offer Irish food, drink and entertainment – we predict the city’s Irish contingent will welcome it with open arms.
INFO: Opens end Apr, Al Raha Beach Hotel, Al Raha Corniche, 02 508 0555, www.mcgettigans.com
People by Crystal Abu Dhabi
Dubai’s People by Crystal will open a sister club in the capital next month. The venue caters to a “chic and sophisticated” crowd and, intriguingly, we’ve been told the new club’s interior will be modelled on a bank’s safe, all the better for guarding those designer glad rags. Although we’ve yet to hear of any big-name DJs lined up to play, punters can expect to hear a predictable mix of mainstream house and electro, while promoters promise “a top line up of some of the best artists in the world.” Best hurry on down, then.
INFO: Opens May, date to be confirmed, The Collection, St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, 050 610 9209, www.facebook.com/PeoplebyCrystalAbuDhabi
Expected to open in November, this huge complex will house more than 400 stores as well as a 20-screen cinema. It will be the UAE’s second-largest shopping centre, trounced only by the mammoth Dubai Mall – its branch of Géant will be a giant, and will become Abu Dhabi’s largest hypermarket.
Saadiyat Island’s galleries
This vast offshore complex is already home to the impressive Zayed National Museum, designed by Lord Norman Foster, and will eventually be joined by a number of attractions including Jean Nouvel’s Abu Dhabi Louvre, set to open in 2015, and Frank Gehry’s Abu Dhabi Guggenheim, expected to follow two years later. Saadiyat Island will eventually be accessible via two major highway bridges linking it with the mainland
INFO: 02 4061400, www.saadiyat.ae
Abu Dhabi Louvre