Best kept secrets in Dubai
Hidden restaurants, secret bars and more random favourites 6 Comments
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10 hidden bars and clubs
1 Duke’s Bar: You may feel you’ve stumbled into an ’80s living room – wonky curtains included – but that’s part of the charm of this Deira pub. Forgotten by most long-term residents and largely undiscovered by tourists, it’s a cosy spot with charming staff, views of the creek and bargain drinks.
Al Khaleej Hotel, Deira (04 221 1144).
2 Rock City: A far cry from some of Dubai’s newer live music venues, this place is dark, grungy and pleasingly scuffed around the edges. There are tributes to famous acts plastered all over the walls and the resident band play a wide variety of covers.
Howard Johnson Hotel, formerly Highland City, Bur Dubai (04 393 9911).
3 Czar Club: Prepare to be dazzled – not least by this venue’s sparkly gold interior. This Russian club boasts energetic dancers and live music, with covers of both American and Russian pop hits. Tell them you’re celebrating and they’ll do a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday to You’ like you’ve never heard before.
Capitol Hotel, Satwa (04 346 0111).
4 The Deck: Next time you visit the Byblos in TECOM, don’t march straight into the Crown & Lion. Instead, head upstairs to The Deck, an open-air terrace lined with sofas and dotted with stools designed for unwinding with a shisha and a saj if you’re feeling peckish.
Byblos Hotel, TECOM (04 448 8000).
5 Captain’s: There’s little chance you’ll wind up at the Jebel Ali Golf Resort by accident, but the hotel’s little-known beachfront bar means it’s certainly worth the trip. If Barasti is a little too raucous for your tastes, there are few more relaxing places to enjoy a cold one than Captain’s.
Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa (04 804 8604).
6 C Mondo: This is certainly a slightly more unusual spot for a drink if you find yourself thirsty in Al Barsha, but the kooky artwork and guest-heavy clientele make this a good place to hide out if you don’t fancy bumping into any familiar faces.
Centro Barsha Hotel, Al Barsha (04 704 0000).
7 Ratsky: Famous among the Filipino community, this Dubai branch of the famous Manila bar often plays host to visiting celebrities from the country, so prepare to find yourself rubbing shoulders with star-struck Pinoys. A great place to head en-masse for a few warm-up drinks and air guitar.
Karama Hotel, Karama (04 336 6607).
8 Nine Lounge: This poolside spot launched a few months ago to little fanfare, though it makes for an extremely pleasant alternative to more worn-in Sheikh Zayed Road haunts such as Cin Cin. Enjoy the bar’s themed snacks and five-star drinks.
The Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 311 8316).
9 MyBar: This relaxed spot on the ground floor of the Dusit Thani hotel does a superb range of grape beverages, and there’s often live jazz. It’s rarely packed, making it the perfect spot for pre-drinks if you’re on date two or three and fancy some space.
Dusit Thani, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 343 3333).
10 The Stag’s Head: Though you’ll soon be laughing off the theme of this rather un-Scottish Scottish pub, it’s a great spot to try if you fancy a game of pool in friendly, unfussy environs. As the place doesn’t often fill up, you’ll have the table to yourself.
Avari Dubai Hotel, Deira (04 395 6666).
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