Top 10 Happy Hours in the UAE
1. THE OBSERVATORY
WHEN: 5pm to 10pm, Saturday to Tuesday; 5pm to 8pm, Wednesday to Friday
WHAT: A five-hour happy hour? Yes please! Enjoy panoramic views of the Marina and Palm Jumeirah from the 52nd floor while sipping on super reduced drinks for almost as long as it’d take you to fly to London! A selection of bottled hops (from Heineken to Tiger) are Dhs20; Bacardi, Bombay Sapphire and the like are Dhs20 too, and a glass of vino is Dhs25. You’re bound to need to refuel during a five-hour long happy hour – and there’s a huge choice of bar bites.
INFO: The Observatory, Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel and Suites, 04 319 4000, www.observatory.dubaimarriottharbourhotel.com.
WHEN: 6pm to 9pm, daily
WHAT: Work downtown? Head to FAI and get two-for-one drinks for a post-office wind-down. The bar is somewhat of a hidden gem, so isn’t usually uncomfortably busy, meaning you can enjoy the chilled out ambience without fighting the crowds. We recommend getting a sofa on the outdoor terrace for some of the best Dubai Fountains views around.
INFO: FAI, The Palace – The Old Town, Downtown Dubai, 04 888 3444, email@example.com.
WHEN: 5pm to 8pm, Everyday
WHAT: There's no better way to finish off a day of shopping than with a drink, and if you've spent too many Dirhams at the mall, don't stress, Cabana's 50% off on selected beverages deal will soften the blow on your purse. Get comfy at the al fresco lounge by the pool and let DJ Nichole spin latest soul and house tracks to help you unwind.
INFO: Cabana, The Address Dubai Mall, 04 888 3444, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.theaddress.com.
WHEN: 6pm to 11.30pm, daily
WHAT: We made our first visit to Centimetro recently and regret not having tried it sooner. Get five cocktails for Dhs90 on Monday and Thursday, and on Sunday and Wednesday a selection of the vino list is 50 per cent off! If you need something to snack on while you’re there, try the bruschetta which, as the venue’s name hints at, is available by the centimetre.
INFO: Centimetro, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 04 3666730, www.jumeirah.com.
5. CAPTAIN'S ARMS
WHEN: 4pm to 7pm, daily
WHAT: A Brit abroad feeling a little homesick? Head here to get Dhs22 house beers and spirits in what feels like an English pub – there’s even low ceilings! The only way you’ll realise you’re actually in the UAE is once you head outside to the terrace and notice the temperature…
INFO: Captain’s Arms, Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Tourist Club Area, 02 644 6666, www.starwoodhotels.com.
WHEN: 6pm to 7pm, Saturday
WHAT: Get a taste of Italy at Filini every Saturday, when Aperol Spritz and other Aperol-based drinks are only Dhs20. Not sure what Aperol Spritz is? We weren’t either, until recently. It’s a traditional Italian aperitif that looks, tastes and smells much like Campari – very refreshing indeed!
INFO: Filini, Radisson Blu Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 02 656 2000, www.radissonblu.com.
WHEN: 6pm to 8pm, daily
WHAT: A popular after-work spot for the Marina’s expat community, the beauty of Aquara lies in its views of the twinkling JBR skyline and the rows of plush vessels in the water, as well as the lively atmosphere. We love sitting out on the huge deck with a buy-one-get-one-free drink, day-dreaming about which yacht we’d own if we had the dosh!
INFO: Aquara, Dubai Marina Yacht Club, 04 362 7900, www.dubaimarinayachtclub.com.
WHEN: 6pm to 8pm, daily
WHAT: Get half-price drinks at this Mexican eatery (that also boasts a bar and lounge section) that luckily, is not your average cheesy ‘south of the border’-themed venue. Think subtle hints of Mexicana, rather than sombrero overload, décor-wise, and modern takes on the country’s classic drinks and dishes. If the weather permits, we recommend sitting out on the deck, where you can enjoy sweeping views of Yas Island’s natural landscape – a rarity in our construction-heavy country!
INFO: Amerigos, Park Inn, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 02 656 2222, www.parkinn.com.
9. SOLIS BEACH CLUB
WHEN: 5pm to 7pm, Sunday to Thursday
WHAT: Head to Solis during the week and treat yourself to a few sundowners at 30 per cent off between 5pm and 7pm. While you’re there, check out their new summer menu, which includes a ‘from the grill’ selection of mains that are ideal if you’re looking for a lighter option for dinner. Try salmon, tuna, hammour, Dory fillet or steak grilled and served with risotto and Provencal vegetables in herb olive tomato sauce. Those really counting calories can opt to have their fish steamed or poached. With the sound of the sea lapping the shore nearby, we can’t think of a better way to end the day.
INFO: Solis Beach Club, Tiara Residences, Palm Jumeirah, 04 432 9848, www.tiararesidences.com.
WHEN: 5pm to 8pm Saturday to Thursday, 4pm to 7pm, Friday
WHAT: Packed with media types thanks to its location in Media City, ICON has a pub vibe with a range of sports playing on plasma screens around the venue. Happy hour is from 5pm to 8pm daily, and is brought forward on Friday, when you can get cheap drinks deals (Dhs19 for bottles of hops and mixed drinks!) from 4pm to 7pm.
INFO: ICON Bar and Lounge, Radisson Blu, Media City, Dubai, 04 366 9111, www.radissonblu.com.