External view of the al qana entertinament complex in Abu Dhabi

Fun Things to Do in Al Qana – Abu Dhabi Nightlife Hot Spot

The newly launched Al Qana waterfront development in Abu Dhabi has quickly become a prime spot for dining and leisure in the capital.

Spanning 2.4 kilometres along a man-made canal, adjacent to the city’s Grand Canal, Al Qana boasts the Middle East’s largest aquarium, a state-of-the-art cinema and a diverse array of unique restaurants and cafes, many of which are exclusive to this location.

This entertainment hotspot is the place to go for anyone seeking a culinary adventure or a peaceful evening walk amongst the city’s modern architecture.

What Are the Big Attractions at Al Qana?

Straddled over the north and south side of a canal and connected by several bridges, here’s what you can expect to find at Al Qana:

The National Aquarium

The National Aquarium is home to 46,000 marine creatures, making it the largest aquarium in the Middle East (for now!), offering mesmerising thematic displays, high-tech interactive elements, and a range of immersive experiences over 10 zones.

The National Aquarium Abu Dhbai in teh Al Qana complex
  • Tickets start from AED 105 for general admission and up to AED 200 for an all-access pass.
  • Open 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily (undoubtedly, it is quieter mornings and weekdays early afternoon, after the school groups are finished! Weekend afternoons and evenings are the busiest)

Learn more about visit the National Aquarium in Abu Dhabi here

Pixoul Gaming

This one is especially for gaming fans. This unique entertainment centre specialises in virtual and augmented reality games, ranging from first-person shooters to roller coasters, paragliding, and escape rooms.

There’s also an esports bar showing global gaming events. The space has big screens, beanbags, and a choice of consoles to play while watching gaming action.

Pixoul gaming for esports and arcade, VR gaming in Al Qana Abu Dhabi

Pixoul is also home to the first-ever certified eSport academy in the UAE and holds tournaments for avid gamers. 

  • Sunday to Thursday, 10:00 am – 10:00 pm | Friday and Saturday, 10:00 am to 12:00 am

Learn more about Pixoul gaming here

Adrenark Adventure

Touted as the biggest indoor entertainment centre of its kind in the Middle East, this giant indoor complex in Al Qana is home to every indoor adventure activity you could imagine, from climbing walls and rope courses to indoor go-karting, ziplines, caving and giant slides. This place is an absolute delight for your active tweens and definitely deserves a spot on your agenda if you’re visiting the city with older kids.

Inside Adrenark Adventure in Al Qana Abu Dhabi

Discovery Passes start from AED 135 for six activities to an unlimited day pass for 18+ attractions from AED 299.

Separate pricing applies to the Grafitti Art House, which offers freestyle painting and Fluid Bears—learn more here.

It is undoubtedly one of the best indoor activities in Abu Dhabi if you have active kids who need to be kept busy inside during the hottest summer months.

  • Sunday to Thursday, 10:00 am – 10:00 pm | Friday and Saturday, 10:00 am – 12:00 am

Learn more about Adrenak Adventure here

Traditional Abra Rides

You are in close vicinity at Al Qana to the Grand Canal and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. From Al Qana, you can take an abra on to the Grand Canal, which runs between Abu Dhabi and Khor A Maqta for a sensational view of the city’s grandest building.

Tickets cost AED 25 per person for a 20-minute ride, or hire the entire boat for a group for AED 300 for 20 minutes or AED 600 for 45 minutes.

  • Available from 4:00 PM to Midnight
  • Leaving from Dock E by Cinemacity or Dock H by the Aquarium
  • Kids under 3 are free
  • Maximum 12 passengers per boat
  • Learn more here
boats on the canal at al qana

Hero Boat Tours

Want to captain your own leisure craft and travel at speeds up to 50 km/hr? Much faster and more thrilling than the abra experience, you can hire a single from 595 AED or a double from AED 695 to explore the Abu Dhabi Grand Canal.

Riders need to be aged 6+, and the driver must be 18+ years old. Tours depart several times a day from outside the cinema complex.

Learn more here about Hero Boat Tours

Other Water Sports

If you’d prefer to make your own way along the Grand Canal, there are also several water sports activities for hire. You can try kayaking, stand-up paddle, or paddleboating. (Coming soon)

Cinema City

CinemaCity is the largest attraction on the north side of the canal. It offers standard screens, a Club Class, a Kids’ Cinema, XXL screens, an IMAX Cinema, and a VIP Class. This 15-screen complex screens Hollywood and Bollywood hits in English, Hindi & Arabic.

Learn more about CinemaCity and see what’s presently showing here.

The Bridge Wellness Hub

The 8,000-square-metre wellness space is spread across four floors in the centre of the south side of the complex.

It includes a gym, spa, restaurant, juice bar, nutrition corner, shop, indoor running track, and even a rooftop garden and lounge. Fusing all aspects of wellness, the Bridge seeks to connect people through seven specialised offerings: Move, Pause, Taste, Choose, Seek, Expand, and Learn.

Learn more about the Bridge Wellness Hub & scheduled events here

Butterfly Gardens Abu Dhabi (coming soon)

Set to open in 2024, Al Qana will soon house over 40 species. With an educational aim, visitors will learn about the lives of other essential pollinators, such as bees, via the dwarf honeybee exhibit that will be on display.

Website and open hours to come.

Dining Venues at Al Qana

The dining options at Al Qana are rapidly expanding as more cafes and restaurants move into this prime waterfront location. It’s a real foodie delight with a vast array of cuisines on offer covering all budgets (though do expect most are at the pricier end of the scale, even for ‘fast foods’.)

Cafes currently open at Al Qana art cafes Tazal and Notorious, Artisanal, home-grown Joud Cafe, Space Cafe, Cartel Coffee, Blue Waves Cafe, The Cave Cafe, and Off Record.

For international cuisines, you are truly spoilt for choice, including Japanese food at Otoro, Ozo and Sushi Art; Lebanese and Turkish cuisine are extremely popular, including Grand Beirut and Simitçi Dünyasi, or try upbeat Italian pizzeria and trattoria Graffitti. Meat Moot and Gary’s Beef Bar are sure to please the carnivores.

Finish your evening off with Fifty Fifty for Emirati food, sweets, and specialty coffee

Al qana complex at night with multiple dining venues
Cinema City on the northern bank, and multiple dining venues to enjoy in Al Qana at night

It should be noted that Al Qana is a dry venue; none of the restaurants serve alcohol.

Grandiose Supermarket

Spanning more than 1,200 square metres, the Grandiose Supermarket is more of a food hall concept with live cooking stations for fresh pizzas, pasta, sandwiches, and shawarma. Its a great place to pick up some picnic supplies to enjoy in one of the parks or seating areas around Al Qana, or take a tasty treat back to your hotel room.

Need to Know Information Planning a Visit to Al Qana

Getting to Al Qana

Situated in an area known as Between the Bridges or Bab Al Bahr, you are just off 30th Street (Khaleej Al Arabi), take the signposted exits off the freeway, and there’s ample parking.

  • Taking your own car to Al Qana is possible with 3000 free car parks; however, note the exceptionally poor design of the car park makes it rather challenging to access. You have to drive a good kilometre or so in the opposite direction to the main attractions and U-turn back down the lengthy car park to find a spot anywhere near where you want to be. (Seriously, who designs these things?)
  • Public transport can be a wise choice to avoid the parking debacle; Local bus routes serve al Qana from Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station. You want Rabdan Khaleej Al Arabi Street Bus Interchange on the south side of Al Qana. From here, it is a few minutes walk from the car park
  • You can also take advantage of the free Visit Abu Dhabi shuttle bus (Route E), which leaves in front of the National Aquarium and connects passengers with the hotels “Between the Bridges” and the Grand Mosque.
  • You can easily catch a taxi, Careem or Uber to the venue, and plentiful taxis are available in a taxi rank when you’re done – all of which could be easier than trying to tackle the obscurely designed parking lot!

Opening Hours for Al Qana

  • Hours by venue may vary slightly. However, the general open hours for the Al Qana complex are 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM on weekdays and until midnight on weekends.
  • The Wellness Hub and the Cinema Complex are open until 12:00/1:00 AM, depending on the night of the week.

Dress Code for Al Qana

The dress code rules for the Al Qana complex require guests to wear respectful clothing in accordance with UAE Local law and customs. This venue is highly frequented by Emiratis and local families, so we recommend paying a little more attention to what you’re wearing.

If you’re unsure what constitutes respectful clothing in Abu Dhabi public places, visit our dress code guide. Rule of thumb: Cover your shoulders and knees, and avoid casual beachwear-type outfits in public places, such as Al Qana in Abu Dhabi.

More FAQs about Al Qana Abu Dhabi

How much does Al Qana Cost?

Al Qana is not a gated attraction; you only pay for activities at individual venues, so walking the promenade and enjoying the atmosphere of Al Qana is completely free.

When are the timings for Al Qana?

This varies by venue; some places are open for breakfast, whilst other attractions are best enjoyed until late into the evening. During Ramadan, and as the weather heats up for summer, you’ll find most activity takes place after dark.

Before you go… Important things to consider when planning a trip to Abu Dhabi


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