Photo Credit: Herry Lawford

As the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has continued to expand over the last few decades, so has the cuisine with influences from Lebanon, Pakistan, India, and Jordan. In the major cities, tourists will find a host of traditional Arabic and international restaurants serving an enormous array of dishes. Dining out tends to be less expensive than in western countries, but there are plenty of fine upscale options, especially in the high-end hotels. Some cities, like Dubai, boast a thriving nightlife, but some emirates, like Sharjah, are stricter when it comes to alcohol and have limited drinking establishments. Most bars and clubs remain open until 2:00 a.m. or 3:00 a.m. and can be found inside major hotels.

Bars and Pubbing in United Arab Emirates

Dubai is awash in bars, pubs and after-dark establishments. Longs Bar (Towers Rotana Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai) is home to one of the longest bars in the UAE. It is a typical British style pub with a great reputation. Great views and a thriving atmosphere is found at Cocktail Bar (Jumeirah Beach Resort, LLC, Dubai), overlooking Jumeirah Beach. Both local and international bands play at the Sky View Bar (Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai), but reservations are essential to gain entry.

In Abu Dhabi, the Zenith (Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi) inside the Sheraton Corniche is one of the UAE’s best local nightclubs. Live bands are often heard at Sax (Royal Meridian Hotel, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi), which also boasts DJs and jazz bands on many nights. An ideal spot to order a beer on tap is The Captain’s Arms (Le Meridian Hotel, Al Meena, Abu Dhabi), which sits in the courtyard of Le Meridian.

Most of Fujairah’s nightlife is found inside local resorts. Tabu (Rotana Resort and Spa, Al Aqua Beach, Fujairah), located in the Rotana, is a great place to throw a few back. Another nice spot to enjoy an after-dinner drink is the Fez Night Club (Hilton Fujairah Resort, Al Ghourfa, Fujairah), which is located inside the Hilton Hotel. Open until 2:00 a.m. daily, Atro’s Rooftop Bar (Le Meridian Hotel, Dibba Road, Fujairah) at Le Meridian Fujairah is an ideal place to chat, drink and dance the night away.

Dining and Cuisine in United Arab Emirates

Found on level 122 of the Burj Khalifa, AT.MOSPHERE (Burj Khalifa, Emaar Boulevard, Dubai) is one of the most impressive restaurants in the world. Of course, reservations must be made well in advance. For the best steak in Dubai, head to Legends Steakhouse (Dubai Creek Golf Club, Deira, Dubai). A family night out or a romantic dinner can be had at Manhattan Grill (Grand Hyatt Dubai, Trade Center Roundabout, Dubai), inside the beautiful Grand Hyatt Dubai.

Seafood and steaks are mouthwatering at the Blue Grill (Yas Island Rotana Hotel, Abu Dhabi), which is a popular dining spot among Abu Dhabi locals. Italian cuisine is available at the always busy Prego’s (Beach Rotana Hotel, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi). Zen (Al Ain Palace Hotel, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi) is a great date night in the UAE for traditional Japanese fare in a beautifully decorated restaurant.

Sharjah is not known for its nightlife, but dining is another story. Syed Al Biryani (Ezza Tower, Al Nad Qassmia, Sharjah) is among the top restaurants in the UAE. Lasani (King Faisal Road, Al Majaz, Sharjah) has Pakistani barbecue that is busy throughout the week. Seashells (Al-Chan Road, Sharjah), boasts grilled shrimp, tuna and seafood platters at reasonable prices for delectable fish dishes.

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