Harry Ghatto's: If you like Karaoke....
We went to Harry Ghatto's briefly after dinner on a Thursday night. I think that you may have to be either very drunk or LOVE karaoke to enjoy yourself here. The drinks were slightly overpriced (but then again so is everywhere else!), you had to wait an hour to get your turn on Karaoke and the bar is quite small so you'll find yourself in the middle of a crowd or up against a wall. Personally I think it may be a location for the end of the night or after a brunch to fully realise your singing potential better.
Location: Emirates Towers
Theme: Japanese Karaoke Bar
Pro or Con (depending on your point of view!): No smoking inside.
Boudoir: Ladies nights 7 days a week!!
Head to Boudoir any night of the week for a great clubbing experience. Located within the Dubai Marine Hotel in Jumeriah (not to be confused with Dubai Marina) you head through the hotel towards the beach and then upstairs into a room FILLED with luxury. There are chandeliers and velvet covered seats, everything screams opulence. Except the price tag (for ladies at least) doesn't match the décor! Every night of the week has a free drink deal for all ladies thank you very much! Coupled with free entry, it is a great night out!
Guys, price is a different story. Champagne is AED90, beer is AED50, a little bit pricy! To top it off, to sit at the tables surrounding the dance floor, a booking needs to be made 2 weeks in advance and there is a minimum spend of AED2,000. If the guys can stand the prices and on a Tuesday at least, quite girly music, they will be rewarded with being surrounded by heaps of girls and a guaranteed good night to be had by all. Brownie points will certainly be rewarded by bringing your girlfriend or wife to Boudoir. They'll love you for it!
Monday - Free Shots for Ladies All Night - Persian Music
Tuesday - Free Champagne for Ladies All Night - House/R&B Music
Wednesday - Free Cocktails for Ladies All Night - R&B Music
Thursday - Free Cocktails for Ladies Until Midnight - House/R&B Music
Friday - Free Champagne for Ladies All Night - R&B Music
Saturday - Free Shots for Ladies All Night - Asian / R&B Music
Sunday - Free Bellini's for Ladies All Night - House / R&B Music
Dress Code: Anything goes, but it is a little bit dressy. You'll feel better if you make the effort.
360 Degrees: Watch the sunset over the water
One of the must dos while in Dubai is to have drinks at 360. It is located at Jumeriah Beach hotel at the end of a long bridge so it literally has a 360 degree view of the water, hotel and Burj Al Arab around you - very nice. The bar is circular and has couches surrounding the outskirts. Price may be an issue if you want exclusive use of the couches though as I was quoted a minimum spend of AED15,000 for the priviledge. Hmmm… maybe not!! We were lucky however and got ourselves use of the deck chairs which in my opinion are better than the couches anyway. They were free to use and seated 2 - 3 people per chair. They also had mini tables next to each one to rest your drinks on. It is a perfect spot to watch the sun go down. The deck chairs and couches did have "table" service or there were several bars to order from. Bar food is also available. There is a fantastic DJ and dance floor and you will find yourself dancing away until the wee hours of the morning.
The downsides to 360 are that drinks are expensive (around AED65 for a mixed drink and AED 45 for a beer) and you also need to be on the guestlist to gain entry. To do this simply google 360 and follow the links for that weekend's events. Finally, 360 is also seasonal and is open from October through to late May/early June.
Entry starts from 4pm until late.
Dress Code: Casual, but classy
Trader Vics - The Madinat Hotel: Huge Cocktail List
We went to Trader Vics which is located at the Madinat Hotel in Jumeriah, not far from the Burj Al Arab. The Madinat is a huge hotel housing many bars and restaurants and even its own Souk! There are fabulous canals throughout the hotel and you can get a boat to some of the more exclusive restaurants. It's all very swish!
Trader Vics is located right on the canal at the far end of the hotel. It is a cocktail bar mainly and you can join the crush of the crowds inside where its airconditioned or there are tables and chairs outside.
The cocktail list is impressive and fairly reasonably priced (for Dubai!) with cocktails ranging from AED30 - 50.
Trader Vics is definitely worth a look, as is the whole of the Madinat Hotel.
Dress Code: Generally no sneakers everywhere in Dubai
TRILOGY Nightclub: Once, twice, three times EXCLUSIVE
Trilogy is one of Dubai's largest, hottest, fanciest (most expensive) & most impressive nightclubs, with 3 inside levels (capacity 2000 people) and a rooftop bar (capacity 400 people)... you get the picture: it's BIG! Of course, it helps their reputation by having Dubai's most famous landmark as a backdrop; the Burj Al Arab.
The impressive interiors are a fusion of Moroccan design & warehouse/industrial roughness, which definitely makes this a place to see and be seen. Unfortunately, such a "hip & cool" reputation comes at a price and you'll soon find out how extremely overpriced the drinks are!
The music style of the club ranges far & wide, but can mostly be described as modern dance music with funk, house (tribal, funky, chilled, etc.) drum 'n' bass and so on. I've been here twice & I can imagine that if this is your scene, a fun night is to be had. I prefer less "hyped-up" clubs so you won't see me here very often.
NOTE: This is one of the clubs that can get extremely crowded. It's best to arrive early to avoid queuing or even being turned away at the door! If you worry about fire safety or are claustrophobic, don't come here! I still haven't figured out why they don't have more emergency exits in this place...
ALSO: Please note that the legal "partying-age" in Dubai is 21 yrs.
You may be asked to present your ID at the door.
Dress Code: Dress code is funky, sophisticated club wear. Shirts with collar (men) no shorts, no sandals, no sports shoes, no ripped jeans, no UAE National attire.
NOTE: Many clubs in Dubai have a "couples only" policy, meaning that couples and single girls are allowed, but not single men. (Sorry guys!) Some clubs will ask for an (high!) entrance fee from single men, 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".
Opening Hours: 09:00pm - 03:00am
Closed on Sundays.
--> Click here for info on the Madinat Jumeirah itself: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tp/15115e/
- Gay and Lesbian
- Luxury Travel
DOUBLE DECKER BAR: Double your Fun; take it to another level...
Amongst the pretentious, overly-cheesy, eager-to-please glitz & glamour of Dubai, the Double Decker Pub promises a welcome lack of sophistication: down-to-earth, rough around the edges, care-free fun.
The menu features British Pub-Grub classics with yummy dishes from Scotland, England & Ireland, as well as some international favourites.
The drinks promotions border the obscenely generous, it's dark & sweaty, and whether you want to or not: chances are high that you'll get sucked into a 7-hour visit that will end in you doing something you shouldn't. Sound good? I guess I'll see you there then!
THEME NIGHTS from Oct. 2007 onwards:
Mondays - "Pitchin":
Men's night out with discounts on pitchers & kegs of beer.
Tuesdays - "Shaken & Stirred" Ladies Night:
10:00pm - 03:00am.
Ladies get 2 complimentary drinks - get the equipment from the bar & make them yourself!
Wednesdays - "Car Wash" 70s Night:
09:00pm - 03:00am.
Resident DJ with 70's music throughout the night & drinks discounts.
Thursday is "Lairy" Party-Night in Dubai, so it's busy & bustling!
Ladies get *2 for 1* on cocktails, house & sparkling wine from 9pm - midnight.
RE-CHARGE: The Notoriously Dangerous Brunch! (featuring that dreaded Karaoke...)
Every Friday, 12noon - 04:00pm.
Undoubtedly the best value for money in town!
Indulge your stomach & your liver on an all you can eat & drink buffet, including house beverages (beers, wine, spirits) for Dhs 119.- !!!
For those of you brave or stupid enough, it's also Karaoke time from 3pm - 8pm.
And just when you thought you can't take any more, all day until closing time (at 03:00am) the bar spoils us with 50% discount on all drinks, which is a great deal for the usually expensive alcohol in Dubai! (with the discount, a Jack Daniel's & Coke will cost you Dhs 13.- & a Vodka Mixer Dhs 11.-) 1 US $ = 3.67 Dirhams
We celebrated a friend's 30th birthday on a Friday at Double Decker and needless to say, when we finally crawled home it was difficult to remember any specifics... all we remembered is that we had an awesome time!
Dress Code: Smart-Casual (well, more casual than smart really ;-)
MEN: No shorts, no sandals. Jeans, sneakers & t-shirt are fine.
LADIES: No beach wear, anything else goes.
This place also shows major sporting events (FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup, etc.) on several large TV screens.
Opening Hours: Daily from 12:00noon - 03:00am.
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
- Women's Travel
LOTUS ONE: Winding down... or living it up
It seemed highly unlikely to me to find a funky lounge and club on the ground floor of something as bland as a convention centre, but that's exactly what the Novotel in Dubai has succeeded in creating:
Lotus One markets itself as an Asian "fusion restaurant" that is open for lunch and dinner, and later-on in the evening transforms into a swanky & trendy cocktail lounge and club. The music choice is generally chill-out lounge, later blended with funky house and some R'n'B.
If you can live with the occasionally slow bar service and manage to ignore the "I-wear-my-sunglasses-at-night" posers (the people I like to call *nose lifters*, looking down their noses at the entire world) there is quite an enjoyable evening to be had, especially if the DJ hits your exact taste of music on their various different clubs evenings.
The doormen can be tough & it can be a bit tricky to get inside (they have a big thing about imaginary *guest lists* at clubs in Dubai) even if you have plenty of ladies in your party, so my recommendation is to book a table, get down there early, enjoy some food and relax before the party-crowd spills in at around 11:30pm.
Lotus One is also mentioned on the website "world’s best bars.com". However, it's important to note here that apparently Lotus One has suffered from the usual social-slide and that service, food and ambience used to be a lot better last year (2007). It seems the staff and management had built themselves a good reputation, but now no longer put in enough effort into keep up their highest standards.
Nevertheless, this is still a very swanky & decorative (albeit slightly cheesy) club and lounge, and definitely recommended for a nice night with the young and stylish yuppies of Dubai. I'd recommend coming here with a group of minimum 4 to 6 people to really enjoy your evening and just ignore any snobs in the vicinity! ;-)
Dress Code: "It's stylish, it's sexy, it's glass & chrome, it's slightly overdone: it's your usual top-end club and lounge in Dubai."
Dress Code: more SMART than casual.
12.00pm-04:00pm, 07.00pm-12.30am daily.
Tuesdays - Ladies Night (2 complimentary drinks)
A RETROspective of 70s, 80s & 90s music.
Fridays & Saturdays – Rock 'n' Roll Pop Sushi:
All you can eat sushi or 259 Dhs with unlimited selected house beverages while you listen to rock-n-roll pop tunes.
Click here for all special promotion & events:
NOTE: there is a smoking section inside.
Knew you'd be here tonight
So I put my best dress on
Boy I was so right.
Our eyes connected
Now nothing's how it used to be
No second guesses.
Don't wanna rush it
Let the rhythm pull you in
It's here so touch it.- Kylie Minogue, SLOW.
- Business Travel
- Women's Travel
BARASTI Beach Bar: A very desirable patch of sand...
(Barasti is the Arabic word for a traditional summer hut made of palm leaves.)
Barasti Bar is one of Dubai's Winter-Hot-Spots: as soon as the temperatures start sinking below sizzling point & humidity drops to comfortable levels, hoards of expatriates throng down to the Barasti Beach, located at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Hotel (near Dubai Marina.) It has been open for over a decade now, which in Dubai-nightlife years is more like half a century!
At the end of 2006 this highly popular bar and club was renovated & extended, now boasting a fabulous seating area with view of the ocean and the hotel's yacht marina, as well as plenty of sitting areas on the beach itself.
With 2 top level and 1 lower level bar (upstairs and downstairs) live music and the "Best Bar Food" (2008 TimeOutDubai Awards) this truly is a memorable place to hang loose and just enjoy sea-side vibes. There are also some large TV-screens showing major sporting events as well as the obligatory relaxation item: bean bags and sheeshas (water pipe).
Fridays and Saturdays (weekend) are obviously the most popular, with patrons flocking down to Barasti from lunch time onwards. If you're hoping to catch some sunshine here on a weekend, arrive EARLY!
I've been here quite a few times, especially for drinks before or after a nice dinner in one of the nearby hotel restaurants. Prices might have increased over the past few years, but that's nothing new in Dubai and the Barasti is nevertheless still a firm favourite of most of us.
Dress Code: On weekend afternoons you'll see most patrons in their swim suits and a funky sarong. Towards the evening, though, don't feel shy to dress-up a tiny bit for "beach chicness". But stiletto heels or a business suit are definitely out of place here.
Opening Hours: 11:00am-02:00am daily.
Special DJs Days:
Thursdays: Jellyfish Funk (funky music)
Fridays: Lollipop City (house & party tunes)
Saturdays: Saturday Sanctuary (Chill-Out & Lounge music)
Tuesdays: Moonlight Acid Jazz.
Wednesdays: Latino Fiesta.
"I know it's out of fashion, and a trifle uncool.
But I can't help it, I'm a romantic fool.
It's a habit of mine, to watch the sun go down.
On Echo beach, I watch the sun go down..."
- Martha and the Muffins
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
AUSSIE LEGENDS: "G'day, G'night..." Great Aussie hang-out
It can sometimes be very difficult to draw the line between "restaurant" & "night spot" in Dubai... most night spots are simply eateries that are taken over by a cocktail & beer-induced crowd, louder music and lots of fun & laughter later in the evening.
Aussie Legends is actually a restaurant, but it has been adopted by the social-scene of Dubai as a pub/night spot that serves food & shows sports when the live-bands are not playing... a concoction that works very well for the venue! The clientele consists not only of homesick Aussies, but expatriates from all over the world, especially during coverage of major sporting events.
I usually head-down (from Cactus Cantina on the 8th floor of the same hotel!) with my friends on a Thursday afternoon/evening to take advantage of the free cocktails for girls from 02:00pm - 07:00pm while the boys enjoy a couple of rounds on the pool table.
It's a lively sports pub with a collection of flags suspended from the roof, old tennis rackets on the wall, and chalkboard drawings of wombats, emus & kangaroos. Entertainment is provided by 3 guitarists playing rock & oldie favourites. Of course there's also a pool table, a miniature football-table and large TV screens showing all the action of Cricket, Aussie Rules, Formula One, Football, etc.
The menu adds a Down Under twist to all of your usual pub-grub favourites, and you'll always find something to fit your craving and appetite on their menu; every single dish is a real mouth-watering treat! Their Fish 'n' Chip come with breaded mussels... delish!
The ambience is always relaxed and laid back (typically Australian!).
A great place to go for a game of pool and a few pints, or just for a snack and the chance to chill out at a great, unpretencious place that does not aspire to the usual "Dubai high-class chic" that can usually start wrecking your nerves (and your wallet!)
Dress Code: Casual, Casual, Casual...
Fri - Weds 03:00pm - 03:00am.
Thursdays: 12 midday - 03:00am.
Every Monday, join their BrainTeaser QUIZ NIGHT and win free drinks & various prizes. Would you know what the largest island in the Mediterranean is? Or which Star Wars movie received an Academy Award nomination?
UPDATE April 2008: Aussie Legends is the only restaurant in this hotel that still allows smoking inside.
- Women's Travel
- Budget Travel
ROCK BOTTOM Cafe: More than a decade... more than a feeling...
No matter how many new & pumping clubs open up around town, at least once a month I find myself being drawn-back to this place... it's a tradition, a legend, a classic. If you're looking for a fancy clientele with zen interiors and sophisticated cocktails: this is not the place for you ;-) This is a place where you'll get laughed at for showing up with a shirt & tie or a Burberry purse - so just relax, kick back & go with the grubby, jagged & rocky flow.
First opened in August 1996, Rock Bottom's has had its ups-n-downs, but at the end of the day if you've been having a boring & expensive night at any of the new & flashy clubs in Dubai, walk into Rock Bottom's and you're always guaranteed a great crowd, great music & an atmosphere you can't beat!
Like most nightspots in the city, it transforms from a casual restaurant in the early evening to a pumping club towards the wee hours... Food is good & affordable, with your usual burgers, lasagnes & grills but unfortunately no nice vegetarian choices.
The decor reminds of an American biker-bar (actually, they have 3 bars in there so you never have to go thirsty), with pool tables, dining booths in red leather & a medium-sized dancefloor & stage for the live bands.
> Ladies Night (2 free drinks) EVERY NIGHT exept Thursday!
> TUESDAYS: Free champagne (or Vodka Mixers in an authentic Rock Bottom's Mug) for ladies all night.
> FRIDAYS Karaoke & select drinks for only 2 Dhs (50 $cents!) for ladies!
No matter what night of the week, what time of the year, you'll always find a great crowd and pumping music (everything from Rock oldies, Pop, Dance, Reggae, etc.) with the DJ & live band switching places every 30-45 min.
Dress Code: BOYS: Smart-casual. Jeans are fine, but just to be safe guys should wear shirt with collar. Sneakers are fine but no sandals.
GIRLS: just bring a smile and I.D. and in you go.
Opening Hours: 7 days a week, 12noon - 03:00am.
TIP: If you're feeling brave, try the notorious "Bullfrog" - all white spirits with a dash of Blue Curacao & Red Bull (it comes in a pint glass)
--> UPDATE April 2008: This year's TimeOutDubai Awards rated Rock Bottom's number 16 out of the top 50 nightclubs in the city.
- Budget Travel
- Study Abroad
Half club, half ....
Many hotels have also night clubs in Dubai. You can enter like paying 10-20 US $. But keep in mind these clubs may be full of working women from China, old Soviet countries or even from middle astern countries who are doing the oldest profession of the man kind. The male - female ratio is quite for the favour of the men, and there is so much money to spend. So that is the consequence. One of them , Hotel Moscow, had suprisingly a very nice band which is playing hard rock in russian and english. After one wonderful song I tried to approach to the stage to ask for the name of the song and immediatly stopped by a gorilla hired for security. So don't get suprised with such weird things.
Buddha Bar: The Trendiest Spot in Dubai
The world famous Buddha Bar opened a branch in Dubai at the Grosvenor House Hotel in the Dubai Marina area. Just like the original Buddha Bar in Paris, the Dubai location is a bar/lounge and a dinner restaurant with a giant Buddha statue. The Dubai Buddha Bar is much larger than the original in Paris, but is true to the atmosphere with its distinctive music and pan Asian cuisine. This is definitely one of the best nightlife spots in Dubai.
Dress Code: Fashionable and trendy.
- Food and Dining
- Luxury Travel
Elegante Night Club: Brand new night club in Dubai
Near the infamous Waxy's, but oh so far away in its style and presentation, Elegante is the new superclub for the beat-heads of Dubai. Nestled in the Royal Ascot Hotel, Bur Dubai, Elegante is truly a clubbing experience to remember. The grapevine's being doing its job, but this little gem is set to explode. Walk through the archway doors and get hit with the sledgehammer bassline of a classic Global night on Thursdays.
High ceilings, long staircases to the VIP sofa section, and a gigantic sound system, have catapulted this place into the hearts and minds of every clubber in Dubai. This is set to be one the of the big ones, so watch out for amazing line ups, and get there early!! When the whispers turn into shouts, at Elegante, the beautiful clubbing crowds will be coming in their masses.
Dress Code: Smart casual
The Irish Village: If You Go To Dubai You Must Visit The "IV"
Never less than bustling, but always friendly and relaxing the Irish Village is a Dubai must, at least prior to departure overseas or upon arrival. Modelled, unsurprisingly, on an Irish village the bar and restaurant has a number of very un-Dubai features that both tourists and locals appear to relish, if it's unflagging popularity is anything to go by.
The Irish Village is the only licenced premises that is allowed to serve alcohol whilst not being attached to a hotel. The vast outdoor terrace overlooking a small lake (replete with ducks) is a huge feature, with a busy Irish-themed indoor bar with a warm vibe from which the Irish staff will deliver drinks and unsophisticated, but sturdy and consistently excellent value food.
A major draw is the live music which can be found on any night of the week after 9pm. Usually a solo musician, thankfully NOT playing too much of the diddly-dee traditional Irish fare which might must non-Paddies off. Indeed one of the midweek musicians (called Drew, I'm told) appears to be something of a local celebrity, if the incessant camera flashes are anything to go by. The music ranges from very laid-back to full-on party music as the night warms up. The tunes are at a nice volume level that allows for conversation too.
The staff can be a touch abrupt at times, but I suspect that is the case in any place as large as this when it's constantly busy. It's family friendly too, with kid's meals being served and children being allowed on the premises, if accompanied, until 8pm.
Dress Code: No dress code. Come as you are! Locals wearing local dress cannot be served alcohol by law though.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Business Travel
Vu's Bar: Vu's Bar - 51st floor!
Vu's Bar is a stylish cocktail bar located on the 51st floor of the Hotel Tower of the Jumeirah Emirates Towers (two massive modern skyscrapers). As you can imagine, from the bar there are fabulous views of the city and out to the Arabian Gulf.
The narrow room is moodily lit, with a bar running down the middle, and seating at both ends and along the windows. We stopped in one evening to admire the view and have a drink. Drink prices are steep, but you are paying for the location remember.
Dress Code: "Smart casual - Gentlemen are requested to wear a shirt with collar, trousers and closed shoes or national dress. Shorts and trainers are not permitted."
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Wine Tasting
- Luxury Travel