One of the best gifts that the Middle East offers its people is the presence of shisha. Whether you want to have a puff on a budget or the luxurious way, Abu Dhabi delivers the age-old tradition through a mix of trendy cafes and eclectic lounges offering diverse flavors for every palate. Shisha cafes can be found everywhere in Abu Dhabi, and here are some of the best that make a great place to hang out for locals, as well as tourists on a budget.
Though Ninar is not famous among tourists because of its basic interiors, the cafe is among the favorite spots for locals after a tiring day at work. Conveniently located beside Le Royal Meridien in the city center, Ninar is easily accessible for guests who are staying at any of the hotels in Abu Dhabi around Khalifa, Salam, or Electra Street. Some of Ninar’s best shisha flavors are mint, grape, double apple, or a mix of mint and grape, the most popular one. Unlike other cafes, Ninar serves shisha in the traditional Egyptian waterpipe that will instantly transport you to the Bedouin times with just a puff.
For just $7 per shisha, you can spend hours reading a book over a cup of hot chocolate.
The shisha at Le Boulanger is slightly expensive, but with the sweeping views of Abu Dhabi skyline and vast gulf waters from your couch, you’ll want to return despite the weather. Located along the Corniche stretch, it is often thought by tourists to be a Heritage village from the outside.
With plenty of sofas and rattan armchairs, the interior of Chillax is as relaxing as the name sounds, except there is no outdoor seating. The menu serves a variety of salads, sandwiches, and Lebanese mezze. Be sure to take a cab, as the traffic around the building can get congested and parking is nearly impossible.
Al Rawaq Coffee Shop
Sitting on the rooftop of the World Trade Center Souq, Al Rawaq Coffee Shop, previously known as Chapters, has a great view of the World Trade Center from the terrace. They have an equally comfortable indoor hall to cater to all those who’d like to dine in.
Columbiano Coffee House
Just off Corniche Road in Khalifa Park, Columbiano Coffee House may seem secluded from the bustling city area, but the cafe can get fairly crowded during weekends. The rate per shisha is around $13, while cold coffee and other fruit drinks start from $8.
Stars ‘N’ Bars
If you’re in town to witness the events held during the Formula One Race, you’ll mostly likely want to venture the shisha scene in the Yas Island area. Head to Stars ‘N’ Bars for not just its shisha but also for its delicious American food washed down with a couple of cocktails. Their buffalo wings and cheese nachos are some of the local favorites.
Abu Dhabi is also home to multitudes of opulent shisha lounges and is ideal for all those who wouldn’t mind emptying their pocket for the sake of a luxurious puff.
These are some of the shisha cafes I have tried and tested. If you’d like to add any shisha cafes to this list. Share your comments below.
This post is part of the Hipmunk City Love Project.
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