We take a tour around Dubai’s hottest new nightlife destination
Set just a short drive from Downtown Dubai, Meydan is fast becoming one of Dubai’s premium party spots. Best known for being the home of the richest raceday on the planet – the Dubai World Cup – the area is developing a name for itself for being a massive party destination, too. Here’s what you need to know.
1 There’s a massive superclub complex The first of the venues to open at this brand-new super destination, Soho Garden is a hot new nightspot offering up something for everyone. With aesthetics described as a “unique mix of eclectic luxury, with laid-back chic”, it opened in December with a set from world-famous DJ Roger Sanchez, and the pace has only picked up since. Set just behind The Meydan Hotel, Soho Garden – not to be confused with the Soho venues in the UK – houses a range of different bars serving up different drinks (think Tiki, bubbly, indoor glasshouse etc). There’s also a cool terrace area that is perfect for sundowners boasting stunning views across to the Dubai skyline and Burj Khalifa. The team behind the 14,000 sq m complex promises to bring “an unprecedented level of service with the best live talent” to the area, and the venue is already home to Café Mambo, the world-famous Ibiza brand, with a sundown session every Friday. And there’s even a Friday brunch for Dhs450 to set you up for the party that lies ahead. Open daily 5pm-late. www.sohogardendxb.com (052 388 8849).
2 Try the Las Vegas-style pool party
Drai’s, a day-to-night party spot, opened on February 9 and is a chic, glamorous and uber-cool club. The brand was launched more than 30 years ago by Hollywood producer Victor Drai, and the Dubai outpost has been designed by Francois Frossard. The pool area is circular, with an upper tier of VIP cabanas all boasting their own private plunge pools. In the centre is a stage area, which has already hosted acts including Craig David and Nelly. It’s currently only open twice a week – on Fridays and Tuesdays, the latter being ladies’ day, where the first 100 women will get unlimited drinks, a platter of food and a sunbed for Dhs100. The 2,000-capacity club is only set to grow further, as work is currently being done on an indoor area, which will open this summer, when the party moves inside. Free entry. Tue noon-9pm, Fri noon-midnight. www.draisdxb.com (052 388 8857).
Smack-bang in the middle of Drai’s and Soho Garden lies Soho Beach. This is the largest, and newest, addition to the Soho Garden complex, with a state-of the-art sound and light system. This cool club opened on Friday February 23 when it hosted top Ibiza party Elrow – a festival of “music, colour and happiness”. DJ Luciano took to the decks and thousands of partygoers celebrated the arrival of the new venue. The massive 8,000-capacity club will be welcoming heaps more top international acts, DJs and artists throughout the season including ANTS this weekend (Friday March 9), who arrive in Dubai following stints at Ushuaia in Ibiza, Fabrik in Madrid and London’s Electric Brixton. As well as top live music and DJ sets, Soho Beach will be a day-to-night venue hosting luxurious pool parties. Chilled-out beats play while you sunbathe, before the party really kicks off post-sunset. Prices vary. Open Wed-Sat noon-7pm. www.sohobeachdxb.com (052 433 3375).
4 Visit a multi-award-winning nightclub
Not to be forgotten, Time Out Dubai’s 2017 Club of the Year, WHITE, is the original nightclub at Meydan. Set on the rooftop of the Grandstand, this boasts the best views of the lot across to the city. Nights include URBN every Saturday – throwing out hip-hop and RnB tunes, as well as a popular ladies’ night every Friday. This high-tech, modern club started out in Beirut and has become hugely popular here in Dubai – so much so that it’s been our Club of Year three years running. Free entyr. Open Thu-Sat 11pm-3am. www.whitedubai.com
5 Toy Room is coming...
Not content with having four massive clubs in the area, this popular nightclub is setting up camp at Meydan, too. Set next to Drai’s the huge nightspot is due to open this summer. Best known for hip-hop music, its exclusive guests and, of course, giant teddy bear Frank, Toy Room opened in 2015 at Roda Al Murooj in Downtown Dubai, after huge success at its original spot in London. We can’t wait.
6 Some rich racing
Until recently, Meydan Racecourse has been best known for the Dubai World Cup, which has been held at the Nad Al Sheba venue since 2010. Although there’s horse racing from November until March at the massive track, it really comes to life at the end of March for the annual Dubai World Cup, which is the richest raceday in the world, boasting an eye-watering total prize pot of US$30 million (Dhs 110,175,000). Tickets for the big day start at Dhs630 for Apron views, meaning you’ll get the best spot for the post-race concert, too. It’s time to get a fancy hat. Tickets from Dhs630. Sat Mar 31. www.dubaiworldcup.com.
7 You can stay here, too If you fancy taking a staycay to the area, or just want somewhere to lay your head after a day’s partying, then there’s The Meydan Hotel. The hotel is home to Qube Sports Bar, Prime Steakhouse and Farriers, which does a Friday brunch, too, if you’re after a bite to eat. Meanwhile There’s also a stunning rooftop pool with top views across the racetrack, as well as The Track – a golf course offering up weekday rounds from Dhs350. www.themeydanhotel.com
8 Still to come...
It’s not all about the nightlife at Meydan. Next door to The Meydan Grandstand, Meydan Avenue is being built, which will feature a 2km glass-fronted retail arcade as well as nearly 2,000 apartments. There’s also set to be a huge mall, billed to be “like none before” at Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City. The 6,697,550 sq ft retail district will house brands from around the world, as well as more than 100 restaurants. Move over Dubai Fountain – the largest dancing water display in the world is set to be here. There’s also going to be a BMX course, skateboarding park and rock climbing wall, as well as the world’s longest indoor ski slope, spanning 1.2km. This and more is all due to open in 2020, so watch this space. www.meydan.ae/real-estate/meydan-one.
The length in kilometres of the ski slope that’s set to open in Meydan One, when the complex launches in 2020.
The number of years in a row WHITE Dubai has been Time Out Dubai’s Nightclub of the Year.
8k The amount of partygoers that can dance the night away to international acts at Soho Beach.
14k The square footage of the entire Soho Garden complex at Meydan Racecourse Grandstand.