Part of the Steigenberger Hotel’s poolside bar Swim & Tonic (which explains the less-than-catchy name), this new garden-style spot doesn’t look like most rooftop bars. It has a tree in the middle of it, for a start, as well as fake grass and even a white picket fence – in keeping with the back yard theme. There are picnic tables to sit at or you can recline on the sofas and look out over to the Dubai Canal – one of the many draws of this place. The fact that it’s unlike like anywhere we’ve seen in Dubai is another pull. The team have gone to great effort to make it look and feel as cool and quirky as possible – graffiti on the walls and pillars, bits of cars lying around, the DJ booth made out of the front of a truck. And it works.
We love the small design touches – there are dartboards hanging up next to the dancefloor that we can’t tell if we’re meant to use, or if they’re just there for decoration, like the lifebuoys alongside them. We also love that there’s a food truck parked in the space serving up Asian street eats. But if that doesn’t take your fancy, there’s a separate food menu and staff bring you free bowls of popcorn and nuts.
On our visit, the big screen behind the DJ was showing Inside Out and by the time we left, Marvel superhero films were being screened – a welcome change to sport. Those desperate to introduce an element of competition, though, can make a beeline for the table piled high with board games, including dominoes. If you’re not competitive, maybe they’ll come in handy if you get bored of the films (or your friend’s conversation).
The Backyard feels refreshingly different. We’ll be out to play again soon…
The bottom line For a rooftop bar with a difference, check this one out.
Swim & Tonic