→ Open Mon, Thu & Fri noon-2am; Tue-wed 4pm-2am; Sat-sun 2pm-2am. Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, Saadiyat Island (02 697 0000).
SAADIYAT ISLAND IS the place to go when you want to mark a special occasion, impress a date or show your visiting relatives the most glamorous side to Abu Dhabi.
But while the island has plenty of decadent brunch options (the tremendous Oléa offering in particular) and cool beach bars (yes, we’re still obsessed with Buddha-bar Beach), it was, until quite recently, lacking a good pub.
But thankfully the opening of Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas came with a cool gastropub, too.
With an edgy, stripped-back interior and cavernous high ceilings, Hamilton’s almost resembles a factory.
But presumably this is the idea, as everyone who is ‘down with the kids’ knows that there’s nothing more trendy than a converted factory.
However, there’s no sense that you need to have an immaculately preened beard or thick-rimmed glasses to ot in here. This is a totally unpretentious hangout.
Entertainment is provided by a talented live band every Sunday,
Monday, Thursday and Friday evening.
When we arrive on a Sunday night, the female singer and skilled guitarist have attracted a goodnatured crowd who are happy to shout out requests and clap enthusiastically at the end of each cover.
There’s also a 50 percent discount on a selection of Spanish grape. Filled with chopped-up fruit, the drinks are a bit sickly sweet for our liking, put the offer applies to different beverages every evening from Saturday to Wednesday, between 6pm and 9pm.
Other deals include the Tuesday ladies’ night, when girls get three free drinks plus 50 percent off the bites menu.
These nibbles are far better than your average bowl of peanuts. We’d happily return just for the chance to try the delicious halloumi fries again.
For chilled drinks, brilliant live music and a friendly crowd, Hamilton’s always delivers.
WHAT IS IT... A cool, industrial-style bar with live music WHY GO... For mixed drinks in jam jars and some of the most casual vibes on Saadiyat Island