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Come as you are


A new sports and entertainment pub is the capital’s latest best kept secret

Stumbling upon a new hangout is like discovering a good local band that only few have heard of.

Barosa – the new bar in Hotel Ramada Downtown, Abu Dhabi (formerly Cristal Salam Hotel) – has that kind of feel. The wooden floor and chairs and sports artwork along the walls create a casual atmosphere.

Since opening in December 2014, the bar has attracted a growing number of regulars.

Sean Francis, the owner of Barosa, says, “I wanted a place where people can just hang out, relax and let their hair down.”

Despite its British pub feel, Barosa caters to a range of revelers. It combines the concept of a sports bar with live entertainment, while regular theme nights add variety.

“We show sports games on Saturdays and Sundays, and play 80s disco music on Mondays. Tuesdays alternate between open mic and comedy; Yalla Laughs is popular with stand up comedians who come from all over the UAE. There is a karaoke session on Thursdays and live bands and acoustic music on Fridays,”
adds Sean.

“Sing-alongs are always popular. A variety of nationalities participate and we have two huge screens where the lyrics are flashed. It’s a fun atmosphere.”

Those not fond of singing can indulge their competitive spirit by playing a game of darts or billiards.

Guests can fuel up with bar bites such as fish and chips and the heavy weight burger, two of the house specialities.

The menu is still a work in progress and Sean plans to include more selections in the future.


“We’re still coming up with ways to improve the experience for our guests,” says Sean. “What we want is for Barosa to be a place where people can just be themselves and have a good time.”

Daily noon-3am. Hotel Ramada Downtown, Abu Dhabi, Salaam Street, opposite Abu Dhabi Municipality, Al Zahia. Contact: 02 659 7666.

Ferdinand Godinez


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