We take a tour of the super-hip new super-club changing the capital's nightlife
With state-of-the-art technology and a focus on exclusivity, Yas Island’s newest bar looks set to be a prime nightlife destination in Abu Dhabi. TOAD went down to find out more.
Out on Yas Island, a new feat of engineering, art and clubbing has just opened. O1NE, the newest nightclub in town and the venue that has been dubbed ‘The Experiment’ by the team driving it, is open for business. And an experiment it very much is – providing Yas with its biggest standalone club, located just by the Yas tunnel, it’s an accessible yet exclusive retreat for those inclined towards the high life.
It’s clear even upon approaching O1NE that Sky Management, the people behind it and SKYBAR, are aiming to raise the stakes when it comes to going on a night out in Abu Dhabi. There’s a certain level of grandeur to everything about the bar, including its magnificent exterior. It’s the world’s biggest privately-owned graffiti wall and took 18 of the globe’s best graffiti artists a period of two weeks to complete. The adventurous design continues inside the 17-metre high cylindrical building to the main space itself, which can only be described as the USS Enterprise hosts Fashion Week. Not that there’s anything wrong with its relentlessly cutting-edge aesthetic, the ingenuity of O1NE’s architecture is a socialite’s dream, and the 350 square metres of projection mapping screens which enclose the venue’s bar, balconies and myriad of VIP areas are as incredible as they sound. Lining the walls a full 360 degrees, they can portray anything from a St. Tropez beach to the far reaches of outer space – and all within the safe and classy confines of the otherwise chic décor. And to impress even more on the hype scale, there’s a catwalk in the centre, which doubles as a performance area for artists to strut their stuff on, all boosted by a state-of-the-art sound system.
O1NE’s opening weekend was certainly one to remember. Four days of inaugural celebrations saw the likes of Ludacris, Sean Kingston, Ciara and Labrinth take the venue by storm – top names that make sure to firmly put the new bar on Abu Dhabi’s radar. And with other musical talent such as CJ, Djette, Rayan, Yussef K and more forming the club’s resident DJ line-up, it looks set to be a constantly high- calibre backdrop for possibly the most fashionable night in Abu Dhabi.
Everything here is designed to work in tandem to create the best atmosphere possible for patrons. Designed by architect Sari el Khazen, he comments, ‘The architecture and interiors are made to complement the technology and bring it to life’. But what kind of life will O1NE lead? At the moment, the venue is only open on Thursday nights, and we don’t know if it’ll open its doors fully to the public just yet (it’s VIP only for now) but that still might just be part of ‘The Experiment’ that is the O1NE venture.
Chafic el Khazen, CEO of Sky Management who have been developing O1NE’s concept, design, eventual construction and opening for the past six years, says, ‘O1NE Yas Island is more than just an aesthetically pleasing masterpiece, it is also poised to be a top party place in the UAE and the whole region. With its convenient location, it represents a meeting point for all club goers from Dubai and Abu Dhabi.’
It definitely does offer a potential alternative for those who usually travel up to Dubai on the weekend for a similarly swanky evening. But whether or not O1NE will go on to be one of the UAE’s prime nightlife destinations is another question.
Time will tell if this palace of technology, art and glamour will prosper, but it’s certainly had a good start. And with such ambition from Chafic, it looks like it might succeed, ‘We are all geared up to make it the best of its kind in the city, the country and the world’.