With a name like Toy Room Dubai, we half expected to be confronted with an adult-sized ball pool or giant Lego maze when we arrived at the new club in Al Murooj Rotana near Downtown. Surprisingly, the only toy-like feature was a man dressed as a giant teddybear known as Frank, the club’s mascot.
While Toy Room is indeed a new club, the actual venue isn’t new. Previously known as Vanity and C-Bar, the spot has had various layouts and undergone countless renovations. However, the music usually remains the same – with the clubs all playing R&B and hip-hop music with the occasional house night thrown in. Having frequented many an urban night at the former Vanity club – which was always packed to the door – we were excited to see what changes the new brand had made. From our previous experience, we knew the venue itself wasn’t overly spacious and usually got pretty crowded, and the same is true of Toy Room. Arriving at the club after midnight on a Friday, we are vetted by the doormen who, with a quick check of our ID, let us past the dreaded red rope. As a female-only party we don’t have any issues getting in, but we do notice gents in the line getting somewhat interrogated – which, rather unfairly, the norm in most Dubai clubs in order to keep the male-to-female ratio even.
Once inside, the new club reminds us faintly of Societe Dubai. For revellers who are familiar with the Marina venue – it has a similiar design to Toy Room – low leather sofas and tables are dotted around the club and take up most of the space, while a DJ booth takes centre stage. For anyone who feels claustophobic in small spaces, Toy Room may not be for you. With each of the tables practically on top of each other, it’s hard to tell which guests are with who. This does, however, create a lively and fun atmosphere for clubbers who like to mingle. With most of the space occupied by tables, there is little room to dance, and only a small area next to the bar for those who haven’t forked out the cash for a private area.
Drinks are pretty standard, with mostly shorts on the agenda from about Dhs55 upwards. Called ‘Toy Fever’ on a Friday night, the resident DJ Neil T plays a mix of hip-hop, R&B and house tunes. It takes a while for the crowd to warm up, but when they do, there are bodies everywhere, dancing on sofas, and the table/non-table barrier is quickly broken down. It’s safe to say, Toy Room is no place for kids.
Toy Room Dubai