First look: Stunning new beach bar Shala is now open in Abu Dhabi
A bohemian breeze has blown onto Park Hyatt’s stretch of Saadiyat shoreline…
Shala – a brand new Abu Dhabi beach bar – promises a ‘holistic’ experience with stripped-back luxury and sun-soaked chic. The design taps into that same beach-shack soul that you’d expect to find in bohemian haunts like Tulum, or the Ibizan town of Playa d’en Bossa.
‘Shala’ is derived from the Sanskrit – meaning ‘home,’ and is a venue that intends to offer exactly that to the capital’s free-spirited wanderers.
The creative concept behind the lounge aimed to cultivate an ambiance of peace, and respite from city living – whilst taking advantage of the location’s proximity to nature. It’s a space that genuinely seems in complete harmony with the air of its surroundings.
Here, sea views are paired with plush cushions bearing macrame cotton tassels, ornamental feathers, a fire pit, soft linen banquets and natural wood finishes.
And with just a thin slip of rugged dunescape between you and the rhythmic gulf surf, it makes an excellent claim for top new sundowner cocktail spot.
We feel like Saadiyat has been crying out for a real sand-between-the-toes shabby chic beach bar, and this place looks just the ticket.
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The menu follows an elemental theme of Fire, Earth, Water and Air -with an impressive level of inclusion for vegetarian and vegan options. It’s a menu best approached by ordering platters to share, playing tapas with a group of friends or family. It’s a predominantly Middle Eastern flavoured ensemble, with Mediterranean dalliances and the occasional Latin fling.
We’re keen to try the buckwheat vegetarian tartar (Dhs100), oven-baked sea bass in salt crust (Dhs140) and roasted cauliflower, labneh, zatar and pomegranate (Dhs70).
Our verdict: This brand new Abu Dhabi beach bar is an exciting addition to the capital’s lounge scene, a destination that neatly compliments those chilled Saadiyat island vibes. And we don’t know who needs to hear this, but – if it’s your turn to pick date night, you’ll find the details below.
Shala Beach Lounge, Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas, Saadiyat Island, @shalaabudhabi