Head to the pool deck on the seventh floor of the Novotel and you’ll find yourself in a minimalist bar where you can enjoy a quiet drink with a great view across the city out to the Burj Al Arab. Unfortunately for this venue, that’s about as exciting as things get.
It certainly ticks all of the right boxes – it’s splashed in cool white tones, looks modern and feels comfortable. The drinks are reasonably priced and the service is decent. Yet unless you’re physically staying at the hotel, we can think of a few alternative pool bars where punters will encounter better views, a more vibrant atmosphere and a trendier crowd.
That’s not to say that Deck Se7en is an unpleasant spot. Pull up a pew by the far end of the pool area and relax with a sense of serene detachment from the slightly chaotic traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road. When we stopped by on a weekend, we were the only guests aside from a woman tapping away furiously on her iPad, and as a result the venue was left wanting in the ambiance department.
But as with all new venues, we appreciate that word of mouth needs to spread before a bar becomes a hit. For Al Barsha, which doesn’t have the plethora of pool bars so readily available in the likes of Dubai Marina, for example, it’s a welcome addition to the neighbourhood, no doubt even more so when the venue’s live DJ sets up in the evenings to add to the vibe.