Yas Bay: the complete guide to Abu Dhabi's new waterfront destination

Here's everything you need to know about the leisure and entertainment hub on Yas Island

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Whether you're looking for a place to go out with friends, somewhere to eat with family or just want a romantic dinner for two, there's plenty of choice at Yas Bay. Abu Dhabi's new leisure and entertainment hub on Yas Island has a three-kilometre boardwalk with restaurants and sparkling views of the Arabian Gulf and Al Raha Beach skyline. There's also Pier71, which features a number of restaurants and sits opposite the five-star Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island.

In addition to dining, there's also Etihad Arena, which plays host to events such as concerts, stand-up gigs and UFC fight nights. During the cooler weather, it's also worth taking advantage of the public art installations which include works by Beastman, Fatspatrol, MonkeyBird, SupaKitch and four works of Astrocats by CoolrainLabo.

Here's where else you can head to or try out at Yas Bay:

Akiba Dori

Akiba Dori at Yas Bay is dog-friendly, with pups allowed on the terrace. Photo: H Skirka

Home to Tokyo-style Neapolitan pizzas, the modern Japanese street food restaurant is right on the pier, with sunset and water views. Expect the restaurant's signature pizzas, as well as some new dishes exclusive to the Abu Dhabi branch. Street foods include beef tsukune balls and waygu gyoza, while mains include katsu and donburi dishes. The interiors will stay true to the brand's retro-modern vibe inspired by Tokyo’s neon-filled electronics district.

Daily, noon-midnight; 04 770 7949

Asia Asia

Already an established name in the UAE, the multi-award-winning Asia Asia restaurant and lounge is inspired by the ancient Spice Route. Offering tranquil, panoramic views of the glittering water, the restaurant takes diners on an exotic culinary journey from the Far East to the Middle East, exploring gourmet pan-Asian flavours and aromas. Menu items include sushi, dim sum, stir fry and signature seafood and curry dishes.

Monday to Friday, 6pm-1am; Saturday to Sunday, 2pm-1am; 02 235 8663, reservations@asia-asiaabudhabi.com

Bushra

Bushra is part of The Trilogy by Buddha-Bar on Pier71. The Middle Eastern restaurant comes with a sharing-style menu created by award-winning Australian chef Greg Malouf, who is widely recognised as an authority on the cuisine. His dishes tend to take inspiration from the region's cuisine, but also offer a contemporary flair. Think hot and cold mezze and sharing mains that include slow-cooked lamb shoulder with stuffed kousa and spiced chicken tawook with triple fried chips and Lebanese cabbage salad.

Monday to Friday, 4pm-midnight; Saturday to Sunday, 1pm-1am; 050 601 1195 or 800 6996, bushra@thetrilogybybuddabar.com

Cafe del Mar Abu Dhabi

VIP cabanas come with their own Jacuzzi at Cafe del Mar. Khushnum Bhandari / The National

Cafe del Mar, the popular Ibiza hotspot, now has an outpost in the capital — its first in the Middle East. Known for its sunset into sunrise sessions on the famous party isle, the laidback beach club also has branches in Australia, Thailand, Brazil and Azerbaijan, to name a few.

The beach club features an infinity pool that overlooks the water, with sparkling Al Raha skyline views, while VIP cabanas that line around the beach club also come with their own Jacuzzi. In the middle is the 360-degree island bar. There’s also a Mediterranean-inspired menu with burgers, sandwiches, pizza and pasta. An indoor sit-down restaurant is opening in the future.

Sunday to Thursday, 9am-midnight; Friday and Saturday, 9am-1am; 050 402 2283, 800 6996, info@cafedelmarabudhabi.com

central

Taking inspiration from New York City for its funky decor, the 1,320-square-metre venue is more than a simple dining destination — it also houses an arcade as well as a four-lane bowling alley for added entertainment. There’s even a pool table up front. The space is connected to neighbouring Lock Stock & Barrel, as both are from Solutions Leisure Group. The menu features everything from burgers to pizzas and tacos and quesadillas to poke bowls. There’s also a children’s menu as well as smoothies, lemonades, iced teas and Instagrammable “monster” shakes.

Monday to Thursday, 4pm-midnight; Friday to Sunday, noon-midnight; 058 587 1765

Daikan Izakaya

Ramen lovers will enjoy a visit to the casual Japanese dining outlet on Pier71. Contemporary industrial-inspired interiors and hearty, authentic ramen bowls are the mainstays of Daikan Izakaya.

While the menu is small (it’s only two pages), it packs a powerful punch. Starters include grilled edamame and crushed cucumber pickles while small plates feature chicken katsu sando, avocado steak and spicy Korean chicken wings.

Choose from three ramen options: shoyu, miso/spicy miso and chef’s special, with your choice of chicken or vegetable broth. There’s also sushi and charcoal grill options as well as desserts such as Nutella gyoza and matcha creme brulee.

Monday to Thursday, noon-midnight; Friday to Sunday, noon-2am

Drop Coffee

Drop Coffee offers breakfast, mains and all-day dining. Photo: Drop Coffee

Drop Coffee, the popular Dubai home-grown brew specialists, has opened a branch in the capital. The new outpost also includes its first culinary menu, in collaboration with chef Reif Othman, who is behind Reif Kushiyaki and Tero — The Experience by Reif. Drop Coffee offers breakfast, mains and all-day dining.

Breakfast includes pancake sandwich with fried eggs, crispy cauliflower and kale salad and avocado mash with feta cheese. Or try the signature breakfast which includes eggs, baked beans, grilled chicken sausage and sourdough bread. Meanwhile, mains include chicken schnitzel with avocado salad, Drop burger and grilled steak with fried eggs.

Monday to Friday, 8am-11pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8am-midnight

Emmy Squared Pizza

The New York restaurant chain, known for its Detroit-style pizza, draws inspiration from its original Brooklyn outpost. The restaurant serves square-shaped pizzas with crisp bases, fluffy focaccia dough and caramelised cheesy crusts.

Meat lovers will appreciate the Big Ang pizza, with ricotta, double pecorino, meatballs and spicy banana peppers while vegetarians might want to try the eggplant parm sandwich, with fresh burrata, Calabrian chilli and fried capers, all served on a pretzel bun.

With indoor and outdoor seating and a location offering views of the waterfront, the spot is also pet-friendly — with dogs welcome to join on the terrace.

Daily, noon-midnight; 02 235 8763

Hunter & Barrel

The award-winning Australian restaurant and lounge cooks up a fresh take on the traditional steakhouse, and the menu features meat, poultry and seafood, all roasted over a coal grill. Open for lunch, dinner and everything in between, the restaurant boasts a spacious dining room, complete with a full-service bar, lounge and indoor and outdoor patios, as well as an open kitchen concept.

Sunday to Thursday, 11.30am-midnight; Friday and Saturday, 11.30am-1am; 050 452 5958, 02 886 8299, yas@hunterandbarrel.ae

La Carnita

Expect fusion street food, art and music along with a menu featuring a variety of tacos (with gluten-free and vegan options available) from the trendy Mexican restaurant, from Toronto. In addition to tacos, there are also tostadas, ceviche, quesadillas and churros. The space has custom-made lighting fixtures and furnishings that stretch throughout the restaurant with terracotta living walls, a private dining room covered in artwork and an outdoor terrace that overlooks the water.

Monday to Thursday, 6pm-2am; Friday to Sunday; noon-3am; 050 185 8068

Lock Stock & Barrel

The popular venue is known for its lively ambience and late-night vibes. Expect pub grub (such as nachos, burgers and wings), live entertainment and plenty of sporting action on its televisions. The space also hosts various events and themed nights, so it’s worth a follow on social media to keep up-to-date with the latest happenings.

Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 4pm-1am; Tuesday, 4pm-1am; Friday, 4pm-3am; Saturday, 1pm-3am; Sunday, 2pm-1am; 02 235 8659 or WhatsApp 058 595 6199

Paradiso

Paradiso at Yas Bay pays homage to the Mediterranean, Italy and the world of cinema. Khushnum Bhandari / The National

Originating in Cannes, France, Paradiso is helmed by Nicole Rubi, the woman behind LPM Restaurant, and Michelin-lauded chef Pierre Gagnaire. The restaurant pays homage to the Mediterranean, Italy and the world of cinema with its decor as well as menu. Its menu features pasta, pizza and seafood dishes as well as mains such as beef tenderloin and roasted rack of lamb. End the meal on a sweet note with a lemon, apple or chocolate tart or something more refreshing such as a sorbet and ice cream or honey frozen parfait. The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating.

Pop City

Pop City's speciality is popsicles that are healthy, sweet and vegan-friendly. They are low-calorie treats made with fresh ingredients. There are three different options to choose from: funky, creamy and fruity. Those who want something sweet can pick from the creamy options, which include flavours such as Lotus, Nutella and peanut butter while fruity has lychee, lemon and virgin pina colada. Finally, funky options include avocado, strawberry cream and cheesecake berries.

Daily, 10am-11.30pm

Siddharta Lounge by Buddha-Bar

Siddharta Lounge is on the third floor of The Trilogy by Buddha-Bar. It has an open rooftop lounge and restaurant that offers Mediterranean-Asian fusion bites and drinks as well as spectacular views of the Al Raha skyline. The DJ stationed in the middle of the venue provides live entertainment and there are plenty of beach-glam wicker chairs and loungers with plush pillows to relax on.

The menu has tapas, sushi and ceviche, as well as more substantial mains, such as lobster spaghetti, Wagyu short ribs and jumbo prawns. There is a dress code of smart casual or traditional wear and anyone wearing shorts, slippers, or caps will not be allowed inside.

Sunday to Friday, 4pm-2am; Saturday, 1pm-2am; 050 601 1194, 800 6996, siddhartalounge@thetrilogybybuddhabar.com

The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse is a restaurant and concept store that features a curated selection of gifting items (such as tableware, office and bags and accessories) as well as a Mediterranean-inspired menu. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On the menu are dishes such as seabream ceviche, raw oysters and tuna tartare. There’s also baked aubergine, pizza dishes and sharing mains such as slice rib-eye and seafood paella. For those wanting lighter bites, there is a selection of fresh pastries and bread as well as coffee.

Sunday to Thursday, 8am-midnight; Friday and Saturday, 8am-1am; 02 236 7831, thelighthouse.ae

Zeera by Buddha-Bar

Zeera is also part of The Trilogy by Buddha-Bar. The modern Indian restaurant has cuisine inspired by the country's rich history, with a modern twist. The hotspot serves sharing-style plates and favourites such as grills and biryanis as well as butter chicken and paneers. Desserts include gulab jamun and carrot halwa tart (carrot pudding with pistachio ice cream) and mango bhapa doi (mango flavoured steamed Greek yoghurt with fresh mango).

Sunday to Thursday, 1pm-11pm; Friday and Saturday, 1pm-midnight; 050 601 1193, 800 6996, zeera@thetrilogybybuddhabar.com

White Abu Dhabi

White Abu Dhabi brings a one-of-a-kind multi-sensory clubbing experience to the region with state-of-the-art sound and eye-catching visuals, as well as floor-to-ceiling animated LED screens and full-colour crowd scanning lasers. The nightclub boasts a floor plan with standing and seated capacity, including a VIP section where guests get to dance the night away to hip-hop, R&B and urban hits.

Friday and Saturday, 11pm-3.30am; 050 639 8934, reservations@whiteabudhabi.com

Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island

The waterfront five-star Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island is located right next to Etihad Arena and opposite Pier71. The resort is a family-friendly waterfront property with 545 guestrooms, including 59 suites. Making the most of its island location, the resort blends a marine-inspired palette with a sleek design that fuses simplicity and modernity. Right on the water's edge, the resort has a huge outdoor pool complex lined with palm trees and water features.

www.hilton.com

Etihad Arena

Etihad Arena at Yas Bay can hold up to 18,000 people. Khushnum Bhandari / The National

The 18,000-capacity indoor entertainment venue can accommodate a variety of events including sporting competitions, corporate events, cultural performances, concerts and many other activities, throughout the year. Coming events include an Eid concert series featuring Amr Diab on Tuesday, May 3, and Layali Yas, Sherine Abdel-Wahab and Kadim Al Sahir on Wednesday, May 4. Another concert by rock group Maroon 5 on Friday, May 6, the International Indian Film Academy Awards on Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21, and Peppa Pig's Adventure from Thursday to Sunday, May 26 to 29.

www.etihadarena.ae

Updated: April 14, 2022, 5:49 AM
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