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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Abu Dhabi GP: Best places to soak up the atmosphere around the capital

Our top picks of the places to gather with friends this F1 weekend if you don't have a ticket

McGettigans. Courtesy McGettigans
McGettigans. Courtesy McGettigans

If you don’t have a ticket to Abu Dhabi’s biggest sporting event of the year, don’t fret, there are plenty of places around the capital to soak up the revved-up atmosphere.

Blu Sky Lounge, Southern Sun Abu Dhabi

Blu Sky Lounge & Grill. Courtesy Blue Sky
Blu Sky Lounge & Grill. Courtesy Blue Sky

Head to the Southern Sun Abu Dhabi on Al Mina Street to catch the race on multiple large screen TVs. Blu Sky has a Dh98 deal for the duration of Sunday’s main race. The race lasts one hour and 38 minutes (98 minutes) which means guests will pay just Dh1 per minute for the duration of the race for free flowing beverages and bar bites. Sunday, November 26. Race starts at 5pm. Call 02 818 4888

Stars ‘N’ Bars, Yas Marina Circuit

Pull up a seat in this sizeable sports venue and watch the race on one of the venue’s 70 TV screens. The a la carte American-style menu includes bar bites, salads, burgers and sliders. There’s live entertainment daily with bands and DJs from 10pm until the wee hours. No reservations needed. November 23 to 26 until 4am. Call 02 565 0101

McGettigan’s, Abu Dhabi

McGettigans. Courtesy McGettigans
McGettigans. Courtesy McGettigans

Head to this popular party spot for pre- and post-race fun. Catch all the racing action on myriad screens or try the special ‘Bus and Breakfast’ package. For Dh99, guests can fill up on a full Irish breakfast and grab the bus to Yas Island. Guests who come back to McGettigan’s after the race will receive more benefits. Full Irish breakfast starts at 9am each day. Available from November 24 to 26. Call 02 652 4333

Retreat Restaurant, Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa

If you’re heading out to the Yas Marina precinct, you can fill up first at Retreat with a full English breakfast. After breakfast, hop on a bus that will take you directly to the Yas Marina Circuit. Retreat opens at 10am with the drop-off service leaving The Westin Abu Dhabi at noon and 2pm. Dh99 includes breakfast, a drink and drop-off. Sunday, November 26 only. Call 02 616 9999

Hemingway’s, Hilton Abu Dhabi

Hemingway's at the Hilton Hotel. Courtesy Verko Photography
Hemingway's at the Hilton Hotel. Courtesy Verko Photography

This favourite haunt by the Corniche will show racing action all weekend. The venue serves up American and Tex-Mex specialities with favourites that include six different kinds of fajitas, Hemingway’s bomb burger and the Mexican mix platter. Happy-hour specials are available from noon to 8pm Thursday and Saturday, and from 4pm to 8pm on Friday and Sunday. Call 02 692 4247 to book.

PJ O’Reilly’s, Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi

Start the weekend off with a brunch at PJ’s. The Paddock Club is celebrating the biggest race of the year with an all-you-can-eat barbecue brunch. Watch the pre-race excitement on PJ’s multiple screens. The party starts at 1pm on Friday, November 24 and ends at 4pm. Dress in your favourite 1970s retro outfit for a chance to win a prize for best dressed. Dh200 net per person. Call 02 674 2020

Stills Bar and Brasserie, Crowne Plaza Yas Island

Stills at the Crowne Plaza Yas Island. Courtesy Crowne Plaza Yas Island
Stills at the Crowne Plaza Yas Island. Courtesy Crowne Plaza Yas Island

Stills will show the race - and all the race practices leading up to Sunday’s main event - on giant indoor and outdoor screens. Entrance is free, and doors will be open from 1pm to 3am all weekend long. DJs will keep the crowd entertained from 9pm each evening. All weekend from November 23 to 26. Call 02 656 3000

Le Meridien Village, Le Meridien Abu Dhabi

Head to The Village, the relaxing outdoor space at Le Meridien, to catch all the action on what might be the largest outdoor screen in Abu Dhabi. You can even try out the simulators at NRG Sports Café to feel the rush of a real F1 race. At NRG, there will be specials, including a food combo with wings, fajitas, nachos and drinks for Dh90 net. Available during live broadcasting of the Grand Prix from November 24 to 26. Call 02 644 6666

Cooper’s Bar and Restaurant, Park Rotana Abu Dhabi

Cooper's courtesy Park Rotana Abu Dhabi
Cooper's courtesy Park Rotana Abu Dhabi

This lively British pub will show all the race action on the giant screens scattered throughout the venue. Guests can get up to 50 per cent discount on select beverages from noon to midnight daily. Nosh on bar bites such as bitterballen and veal belly bites or go for something more substantial with Cooper’s range of burgers or their famous sausage by the metre. Available all weekend (and beyond). 02 657 3325

Café D’Alsace, Yas Marina

Hit up this French outlet for light bites, sandwiches, salads, all day breakfast, flammkuchen (the French-German answer to pizza), tartines and more. Guests can order a la carte or opt for a Dh500 set menu. Please note, there’s a two-hour time limit per table. November 23 to 26 from 8am to 3am. Call 050 811 5414

Velocity Sports Bar and Lounge, Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi

Velocity at the Southern Sun has plenty of televisions to watch the action. Courtesy Southern Sun
Velocity at the Southern Sun has plenty of televisions to watch the action. Courtesy Southern Sun

Head to this centrally located downtown hangout and revel in the race weekend atmosphere. Catch the race on one of the bar’s 38 screens while filling up on Velocity’s famous wings (multiple varieties on offer), burgers, sandwiches, sharing snacks and salads. There’s a happy hour from noon until 10pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday and from 4pm until 10pm on Sunday. Call 02 304 7777

Rozanah, Yas Marina

Head to this Lebanese restaurant in the marina to watch the race live on a big screen. Chefs will dish up signature Middle Eastern fare such as mixed grills, hot and cold mezze, kibbeh nayeh (raw meat), salads, sandwiches and more. There’s a time limit of two hours per table. Set menus are available for Dh500 per person. Shisha is also available. November 23 to 26 from 10am to 3am. Call 050 811 5414

Hakkasan Abu Dhabi, Emirates Palace

Hakkasan at Emirates Palace. Courtesy V7 Photography
Hakkasan at Emirates Palace. Courtesy V7 Photography

While you won’t be able to watch the race at this posh venue, you can take advantage of the Taste of Hakkasan menu the restaurant has launched exclusively for F1. The limited-time menu includes a choice of soup, dim sum, mains such as stir-fry kung po roasted duck and one of Hakkasan’s signature desserts – all for Dh188 per person. The F1 menu is available through Sunday, November 26. Call 02 690 7739

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Read more:

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2017: All you need to know for the weekend of racing at Yas Marina Circuit

Ne-Yo to perform as part of Mad Yas Island’s F1 parties

Abu Dhabi GP music: Our guide to who's playing where Formula One weekend

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