Issimo Martini Bar: Issimo Martini Bar in the Hilton Dubai Creek
Issimo is located in the Hilton Dubai Creek, just off the lobby. It is billed as "Dubai's most cosmopolitan venue", and if that is true then I shudder to think what other bars are like! Not that Issimo was terrible, but it wasn't anything special.
We stopped in for a drink one evening, after returning from a trip into the desert. The bar was fairly busy, but there were tables available. Although we were seated in a non-smoking area it was still a bit smoky. And it was very loud - there was a large screen on the wall and they were showing the Live 8 DVD, with various bands thrashing it out. Not really helping to create a stylish "Martini Bar" atmosphere.
Dress Code: We were dressed very casually and were still served, though most people were smart casual.
Carbon Lounge: Carbon Lounge - in the Hilton Dubai Creek
The Carbon Lounge is located on the 1st floor of the Hilton Dubai Creek. It is nestled between the hotel's two restaurants and is a quiet option for a pre or post meal drink. The atmosphere is relaxed, with candles and comfortable leather chairs.
On our last evening in Dubai, before having to head to the airport at midnight, we finished up our holiday by relaxing in the Carbon Lounge with a couple of drinks, and also ordered a meal from the snack menu. Alex had a Chicken curry and I had Fish & Chips. Our waiter was incredibly friendly and he was telling us about his adventures after leaving Bali to explore the world.
I wouldn't travel across Dubai to visit the Carbon Lounge, but if staying in the hotel or dining at one of the restaurants, it isn't a bad place for a drink if you prefer a quieter environment.
Dress Code: No set dress code
- Wine Tasting
PEPPERMINT CLUB (Fridays only): For serious clubbers with fat wallets
Peppermint club is strange to say the least: it's a club that has recently been "shifted" to a new location (until Aug. 2007 it used to be located inside the Fairmont Hotel). At the club's "VIP tables" Dubai's pretentious socialites can book a space for a couple of thousand Dirhams, including 2 or 3 bottles of overpriced vodka. They also wear belts with feathers and tassels; French caps or sparkly cowboy hats... Oh, did I mention yet? Dress to Ueber-Impress in this place!
I've been here a few times (this club is only open on Fridays) and I'm sure that if this is your scene, you may just enjoy yourself a bit. The music is mostly techno, hard house, drum 'n' bass, etc. and the clientele is extremely pompous; holding their chins up high & making sure they're at the place to be seen, and of course always with the right crowd of people... I've usually found that I enjoy 2 or 3 songs, only to be disappointed by some hard-core remix of an 80s classic tune. This is simply not my scene so you won't see me or my friends here any time soon...
This said, I have to give Peppermint its due as it also manages to book some international DJs such as Armin van Buuren, Timo Maas, Paul van Dyk, etc. on a regular basis. So if you like this type of music you'll have a blast at this place! The club is definitely worth a visit on special nights. Just make sure to get there early or purchase tickets in advance. Visit their website for upcoming events.
Dress Code: DOOR POLICY WARNING: Get there early as queues start to build-up around 11pm & be prepared for some possible scrutinizing & rude comments by the bouncers who are known to unfortunately be quite racist (even though the club denies this). Also, this is one of the clubs that is very stringent & doesn't really let men enter by themselves. So either bring a date or try to ask a girl at the entrance if you can walk in with her. Even then, if you don't look "important" enough you may be refused entry, so dress to impress!
It gets extremely crowded, and I've seen fights & minor scuffles happen quite a few times. The drinks are over-priced & this is one of the very few clubs in town that actually charge an entrance fee, even for women.
Entrance Fee: around Dhs 90 per person.
Opening Hours: 09:00pm until 03:00am (Fridays only)
SUMMARY: If you like hard & loud dance music with international DJs and a clubbing-obsessed crowd then this is the place for you!
- Gay and Lesbian
- Women's Travel
QDs Bar (Quarter Deck): Down by the water's edge...
QDs (short for Quarter Deck) is another one of those fashionable & gorgeous outdoor nightspots that just can't seem to get *everything* right. This the ultimate place to chill out at one of the many tables right by the water's edge, or get there early and grab yourself a comfy Arabic sofa. This place is pretty big, but it fills-up with regulars very quickly. There are also some nice individual Arabic tents that are great for the colder months to escape the wind-chill :-)
Order yourself a drink (or a tea if you're driving...) have a Sheesha (water pipe) and watch the world drift past you on the historic Dubai Creek. But may I recommend that you don't come here on an empty stomach. This isn't fine dining, and they really could make a better effort with the food. The menu only features snack items & pizza, but much like its big brother (Boardwalk Restaurant) it's a real shame: one of the best venues in the city; yet the food is less than appetizing.
We ordered some Arabic cheese breads which were alright. The broccoli & cheese balls *tasted* ok, but we both had an upset stomach afterwards (and I have a strong stomach!) Our friend Siddharth had some Kebab sticks which seemed ok.
Dress Code: Dress-Code is casual (and bring a jacket in the winter months!)
So, my tip for you? Stick to the excellent drinks served by the friendly bar staff, and enjoy a Sheesha! (may I recommend Mint Sheesha together with a pitsher of "Creek Party" cocktail...) Early evenings sees QDs as a relaxed place to chill and hang-loose, and later on a DJ entertains the crowd on the medium-sized dance floor with the usually chart hits and pop classics.
I love watching the numerous dinner-cruises whizzing past, some with cheesy music and what seem to resemble old Xmas lights blinking on the windows... you've gotta pity the "regular tourist", for he hasn't discovered the joy of observing the Creek from its shore & not from an overcrowded boat. Sometimes it's best to take a step back, and not be in the "middle of the action"...
Fridays & Saturdays: 05:00pm - 02:00am.
Sundays to Thursdays: 06.00pm - 02:00am.
> They don't accept reservations unless you are a large group (8 or more).
- Business Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
TRADER VIC'S Bar & Restaurant: The most potent cocktails in town...
Trader Vic's is a collection of restaurants that incorporates different cultures from around the world, whilst maintaining a mostly Polynesian theme. It is also the only upscale group of restaurants operating worldwide.
Forgive me for putting this tip under "Nightlife", but it's simply more appropriate as we never come here to eat ;-)
The first Trader Vic's in the UAE opened in both Abu Dhabi & Dubai in 1994 and in 2005 a 2nd restaurant was opened in Dubai at Madinat Jumeirah.
--> UPDATE June 2008: There is also a Trader Vic's MaiTai Lounge in the Al Fattan Tower in Dubai Marina. Only bar-bites are served here, but this venue is a lot larger and I really liked it here, as the band is best here!
I will admit that the atmosphere, food & world-famous cocktails are superb, but they come at a price. A simple bar snack of 4 veggie spring rolls will set you back Dhs 56.- (15 US Dollars!), so you can imagine what a main course must cost. I've had dinner at the Crown Plaza branch once & it was good, but in my opinion the prices were still not justifiable. Also, the restaurant tends to be very dark, and I for one like to see what I'm eating. If you choose to have dinner, reservations are essential.
Dress Code: Dress Code is Smart-Casual. Jeans are ok, but no sandals or sneakers. No baseball caps.
The true magic starts when it comes to the cocktails: they are BIG, colourful, gorgeous and the most potent you'll find in the whole city.
And this is what most people have come here for - to grab a highly fought-over space at the "MaiTai Lounge Bar" & drown themselves in concoctions with exotic, strange & funny names. I "quizzed" the bartender on the various ingredients & differences of certain cocktails on the list, and his knowledge was flawless & his smile endless - the staff in this place are fantastic. I like coming here for a few "winding-down" drinks after work.
There's also a live Cuban band who play live every night from 09:00pm onwards.
TIP: If you want to enjoy the most dangerously delicious cocktails in Dubai & survive with your bank account in tact, get there early and enjoy their Happy Hour with 50% discount, every day from 06:00pm - 08:00pm (after discount, a cocktail will cost around Dhs 25.- which is about 7 US Dollars) How many can you drink in 2 hours, eh? Haha!
My Tried, Tested & Recommended Cocktails:
Tiki Puka Puka: similar to a Mai Tai, but a lot bigger & stronger (see pink drink in photo)
Mini Hunni: Minty-fresh with lime & a lot of kick (comes with free mini doll)
Potted Parrot: a smooth but potent blend of rums & tropical juices.
Rum Giggle: great for sharing with friends.
PeachTree Punch: thick, fruity and more "gentle" with less percentage.
Lunch Hours: 12:30pm - 03:00pm.
Dinner Hours: 07:30pm - 11:00pm (Crowne Plaza & Madinat Jumeirah).
Mai Tai Lounge: 06:00pm - 01:30am.
NOTE: Happy Hours only apply to Trader Vic's in the Crowne Plaza and also the Trader Vic's in the Al Fattan Tower.
- Women's Travel
- Budget Travel
ZINC Club & Lounge: Feel the Chemistry of "Multiple Organisms"...
In October of 2006 ZINC received a major face-lift. Renovations have now transformed this venue into a *I-desperately-want-to-look-like-a-Manhattan-Club* kind of place. "Is it good?" I hear you ask. Well, read below and then... go & check it out!
Zinc is one of the hippest & most popular bars / nightclubs / chill-out lounges in Dubai. The staff are great, the security is strict & very efficient, the dance floor is a good size & the food is lovely (not many vegetarian options, though). You enter the club down a ramp, almost like parading yourself on a cat-walk to the other patrons. Fluorescent lights illuminate the large central bar, with another more secluded "VIP area" around the corner. ZINC's revamp has done very well with trying to look like a futuristic bar from movies such as "The 5th Element".
There's ever changing, funky live bands from all over the world & DJ Greg Stainer likes to keep us on our toes with everything from R&B, Rock 'n' Roll, 70s, Tech House & Reggae (and he's kinda cute, too...)
It's surely one of the city's busiest dance floors, attracting a lively crowd that is among the most diverse in Dubai. It's packed almost every night of the week. The best atmosphere is from midnight onwards; this is when it gets busy.
Every night of the week they run special promotions for either food, drink, ladies nights or special music events. Depending on your taste in music, it's advisable to check-out their website or call the management to find-out about certain nights. I for one do not want to spend the entire evening listening to Gangsta-Rap if I can avoid it...
Dress Code: Dress-Code is smart-casual.
MEN: Jeans are fine (no shorts)
Proper shoes (no sneakers, no sandals) Shirt with collar.
LADIES: Pretty much anything goes for us, girls!
Opening Hours: 06:00pm - 03:00am.
I used to like the "old Zinc" a lot better... but if you like alternative dance beats, a slightly pretencious crowd and a fancy interior design that attempts to justify high drinks prices, then you'll enjoy a late evening here.
- Business Travel
- Work Abroad
- Women's Travel
How to find ALL the best nights-out in Dubai: So many clubs, so little time!
If you are visiting Dubai as a tourist or living here, come Thursday night we are all faced with the same question: Where to?
Since 2003 numerous hotels have popped-up all around the city, and with them countless new nightspots.
(only hotels can obtain the licence to serve alcohol, therefore nightclubs are located within hotels or under management of a hotel. Very rarely do we have nightclubs/bars that have separate premises).
Partying in Dubai is definitely great for the ladies:
Almost all bars/pubs/clubs have regular ladies nights with special offers & plenty of free tipple ;-)
To find out what is happening where & when, I find the TimeOut website & Mumtazz very useful. Another great website is DubaiNightPlanner.com- Check-out their regularly updated list of events including everything from nightclubs, restaurant-specials, theatre, or even upcoming concerts! Of course, if you're in the UAE you can also tune into the various English-speaking radio channels for updates on the nightlife scene.
REMARK: Please note that the legal "partying-age" in Dubai is 21 yrs. You may be asked to present your ID at the door.
OPENING HOURS: It's sad, but true: all bars & nightclubs in Dubai close the latest by 03:00am (by law)
ALSO: Many clubs in Dubai have a "couples only" policy, meaning that couples & single girls are allowed, but not single men. (Sorry guys!)
Some clubs will ask for an entrance fee from single men (which can be quite high!), but if you wait outside for a group of single girls and ask if you can simply walk in with them, most ladies do not mind.... especially if you offer to buy them a drink as a "thank you"!
Dress Code: When going out in Dubai, dress codes vary from establishment to establishment.
If you are planning on "bar-hopping" throughout the night, follow these guidelines & you won't be left standing outside because you are underdressed...!
M E N: Some places (like Irish pubs, etc.) are very relaxed when it comes to dresscode for men. To play it safe, though, men should wear a shirt with collar, good-quality jeans or proper trousers (no shorts!) and proper shoes (no sandals or sports shoes/sneakers). Then no bouncer should have a problem letting you in.
L A D I E S: For us girlies, pretty much anything goes... sorry guys! Even the more upmarket places don't have a problem if you show up in jeans and a sexy top, or short skirts, or boots, etc. Some bouncers may have a problem if you are wearing sneakers/sports shoes. But usually they are glad to see girls wanting to party at their club and will let you in without any trouble.
- Work Abroad
- Women's Travel
Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock cafe was opened in Dubai on December 13, 1997. They offer great deals in starters, salads, sandwiches, burgers, steaks, desserts, bar and HRC specialties. The restaurant opens daily at 12 p.m. Their staff is friendly and food is delicious as per HRC traditions. A live rock band performs six nights a week. Fridays are dedicated to children with lots of attractions for kids.
Dress Code: Their is so specific dress codes but you are expected to wear reasonable dress.
- Wine Tasting
Trilogy a fading place: place to avoid
TRILOGY nightclub ..... save you the dissipointment to visit this expensive and not woth it place, as they overcharge as well as their attitude towards guest is not what can be expected.
Trt to other clubs as they gives value for the money and a good night on town.
Visit Zinc, Chi, Pulse, Sanctoary and more as they gives a good service at good rates without dissipointments !!!!!
Dress Code: normal dress as its a high entrance
Apres: Drinking & dining beside snow!
Ski Dubai has sessions that last upto 2200 & 2300 hours. If you've accompanied someone to the slopes but are not skiing yourself, why not look around in the shops & then settle for some drinks, food, and dessert at Apres, overlooking the slopes.
The place has huge glass windows offering panaramic views of the ski slopes, including the nursery slopes & ski park.
There is a bar, some chic leather sofas facing a fire, and even sit-down tables for having a meal.
Dress Code: Smart or casual is fine.
- Skiing and Boarding
- Family Travel
- Food and Dining
Uptown bar (Jumeirah Beach Hotel): Bar with a view..
Lovely, elegant sofas put together in the open-air section, with some tall stools around the edges of the terrace as well.
Pleasant & courteous staff, who greet you upon entering the bar and take you to your table. Agreeable, unobtrusive service. Extensive drinks menu & tasty tapas to choose from.
Superb views over Jumeirah Beach & the cityscape glittering at night time. Also looming above you is the Burj Al Arab, with it's helipad & bar clearly visible.
Dress Code: Smart
- Food and Dining
fun fun fun enjoyyyy
i've been in Dubai for several times. i like there a lot. nightclubs are perfect. Roberto Cavalli club and 400 club are located on Sheikh Zayed road at the Fairmont hotel. 400 club is really crowded most of the time and its hard to take a breath there but it worths it! :D you should go to Crown Plaza hotel and experience 2 great discos in Dubai. the club Zinc that is on grand floor and Quantum on second floor. i suggest you go there for sure. but don't forget it you should check the schedule of them before you go! and most of the clubs in Dubai close at 3am. and now i want to tell you about a very nice bar.. of course its Buddha bar located in Grosvenor hotel in Dubai MarinA. don't miss Boudoir in Dubai MarinE.(not dubai marina) Boudoir is a fantastic place to go. and now its time to go to Atlantis club in Atlantis hotel located in Palm. and there is a good place for relaxing and have fresh air good cocktails and smoke Shisha dance salsa and... yes its name is Barasti beach bar and restaurant, located in heart of Dubai Marina. dont forget that there are not any alcoholic drinks in shops or super markets and if you want to buy something to drink you should buy in the airport from Duty free(free shop)! or go to a bar and drink there! :D have a nice trip. enjoy.
Zinc is where you must be!: Want some Hip-Hop and RnB?
Zinc located at the ground floor of the Crowne Plaza Hotel features Hip Hop and RnB on Friday nights. They have different themes everyday of the week but we were told that after 12 midnight, they are back on spinning Hiphop/RnB tunes. I am from the RnB generation so this is so welcome to me!
The crowd is pretty wil and young. Dress code is chic-party. It is not uncommon to see pretty young things with their dates. The whole night club vibe is swinging the whole night, people don't stop dancing until when the bar closes at exactly 3 AM.
There are about 6 VIP lounges in the club. Cheapest is about 700 AED, without the view of the dance floor, closer to the bar would be 1000 AED and the one right in front of the dance floor costs 2000 AED. Good thing these amounts are consumable. At 1000 AED and with 5 of us sharing we had a pretty great night nursing Coronas, Margaritas, and Jack Daniels.
Beers are charged at 40 AED per bottle, cocktails range at 46 AED per glass. Food is not served in the premises except for the complimentary peanuts but there are an array of resturants within the hotel or you can go to the TGIF beside it if you feel like getting grub after a night of partying.
Ladies get in for free as well as FACE members (I believe this is an exclusive club for Emirates' Flight attendants and Crew), therefore don't be surprised to see a crowd of FA's around, otherwise entrance is 100 AED.
- Road Trip
For Serious Clubbers: Number One Club
The undisputed heart of this party city, Dubai, Quantum Venue has ushered in a new standard for bars and nightclubs. Located on Sheikh Zayed Road, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Quantum Venue hosts one the largest selection of spirits and cocktails in Dubai. Quantum Venue is also the Dubai showcase for many of the worlds top international touring DJ's. The resident DJ's spin the latest grooves from around the world, such as House, Hip-hop, Drum and Bass, International Sounds, and Soulful Jazz. All packed into a New York lounge style atmosphere. Nightlife in Dubai has never been the same.
A real night club
Given that Quantum Venue's customers are fashion conscious and stylish. It is only logical that the next step is to bring out our own trend setting designs.
Dress Code: - Dress code: Smart casual (NO SNEAKERS, NO FLIP-FLOPS)
- 21+ only
VenueXperience: NIghtlife guide Dubai
This website states that there is a minimum spending of Dhs. 250 to enter the Sky view bar at the Burj al Arab (VenueXperience), not sure about the prices for the afternoon tea but many of my friends say it is definitely worth it!