Bar of the month: Annex

A three-storey social space set to shake up the nightlife scene in Abu Dhabi…

Annex is the latest opening at the recently launched Abu Dhabi Edition hotel. The sleek hotel brand is already home to three instant-hit restaurants, which are helmed by award-winning chef Tom Aikens, but Annex beats to an entirely different drum.

Located next to the main hotel, Annex occupies an entire building, which juts out into the water of Al Bateen Marina, and is split into three spaces.

We start our evening at the top, a dramatic rooftop bar that you’ll reach either by lift or by a sweeping spiral staircase found in the centre of the self-described ‘social concept’. It’s an intimate space and, although it’s already busy on our arrival, it fills up even more as the night goes on. There are leather booths lining the walls for large groups, and a cosy fire pit at the centre. Towards the back of the bar, a DJ spins house music with Arabic intervals.

A concise cocktail menu is available across all three floors, with mixed drinks all priced at Dhs60 (Dhs45 for mocktails).

For a more relaxed environment, guests should head to the mid-level floor. The central bar is lined with comfortable stools, while cushy sofas covered in faux fur throws line the walls, give the bar a luxe ‘ski chalet meets retro gentleman’s club’ sort of vibe. A pool table, pinball machine and photo booth keep guests busy, and the DJ spins a softer set in the background.

As the night progresses, guests naturally filter down to the ground floor where the real party starts. It’s a glamourous space of crushed velvets and hues of deep red and mauve that evoke 1950s glamour. A central dancefloor fills with people and disco hits keep people on their feet well into the early hours.

Whether you’re looking for a rooftop cocktail, chilled drinks with friends over a game of pool or a night of nostalgic disco, Annex is here to shake up the scene in
Abu Dhabi, and it’s a welcome addition to the Edition.

It’s worth noting however that currently, Annex opens only on Thursdays and Fridays, although we’re promised that more nights will launch soon.

Annex, The Abu Dhabi Edition, Al Bateen Marina, Abu Dhabi, Thur and Fri 8pm to 3am. Tel (02) 2080000. annexabudhabi.com

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