Thursday signals the end of the working week in Dubai, so the big nights out here are Thursday and Friday. Most of the clubs and bars are in Dubai hotels, but that doesn’t stop some big name DJ’s and entertainers from coming here to strut their stuff. The legal drinking age is 21, so bring your passport for ID – and don’t ever drink and drive. Not even one. Stay safe, and take a cab back home.
1) Apartment Lounge
Looking to get down on the dance floor? Or hoping for a quiet cocktail in an exclusive club? Apartment Lounge caters for both tastes. You can catch anything from house music to 80s hits and from hip hop to rock, depending on which night you come. The dress code is smart casual, with the emphasis more on the former than the latter. Jumeirah Beach Hotel.
This one’s a perennial hit with the jet-setting crowd, especially as a lot of flight crews tend to end up here. The décor is minimalist, leaning towards brutalist, but it’s still casual and welcoming. There’s dance, house and techno, all fairly mainstream, so don’t come here if you’re hoping for some obscure Captain Beefheart. It’s just a great place to relax at the end of a hard sightseeing day. Crowne Plaza, Sheikh Zayed Rd.
The Kasbar offers something that looks a bit more traditional, with Arabic décor along with galleries that look out onto the dance floor below. The music can be pretty authentic too, with Arabic pop mixed in with club and techno music. The Kasbar is popular with locals and travellers, and attracts some of the region’s best DJs. One&Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh 2.
4) The Roof Top
If you haven’t packed your dancing shoes (or legs) don’t worry. There’s still plenty to do when the sun goes down in Dubai. Hotfoot it over to the One&Only Royal Mirage Hotel and go straight to the roof top bar to sip a cocktail or two and look out on the city below. Let the evening breeze waft over you, along with the soothing sounds from the DJ or an unplugged band. Al Sufouh Rd, Jumeirah.
5) The Irish Lounge
Bet you weren’t expecting this. An Irish pub in the centre of Dubai, complete with a beer garden and its own lawn. There’s traditional pub food, traditional if you’re in Ireland that is, along with reasonably priced beer. Lots of the expats come here to enjoy the home-from-home atmosphere. Dubai Tennis Stadium, Al Garhoud, Deira.
6) Bahri Bar
The chances are this one will be in every tourist’s guidebook, but it’s still well worth a visit. You can’t beat those views. Come here early to get seats on the veranda and look out onto the sunset. Toast the sun as it goes down then watch the Burj al Arab lights. Truly breathtaking. Mina A’Salam Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah.
7) Dubai Nightlife Tour
If you can’t decide what to do in Dubai at night, why not let someone else make up your mind for you? A Big Bus Dubai nightlife tour doesn’t just take you to some of the most happening bars in town, you’ll also get to stop by the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall fountains for the perfect photo opportunities. Your guide will also take you to a shisha bar, a nightclub and a beachside bar, so you get the best of all worlds. Meet at Dubai Mall at 9pm. Your ticket includes 3 drinks.
8) Cavalli Club, Restaurant & Lounge
If you’re hoping for more of an exclusive club kind of atmosphere, then the Cavalli might just pull it off. The interior is opulent and lavish, and the emphasis is on fine dining and service. Tables are set up right next to the stage, and the show begins at midnight. Fairmount Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road.
9) Chillout Ice Lounge
Is the desert heat getting to you? Well we’ve got just the thing. The Chillout Ice Lounge is exactly what it sounds, a -6 degree centigrade café in the centre of town, with snow gear and a complimentary hot chocolate thrown in. The lounge has ice sculptures and a lights display too. Times Square Center.