If you’ve lived in Dubai for a while you might remember The Red Lion. Having opened at the Metropolitan Hotel Dubai back in the ’70s, it was an institution in the emirate – until it closed in 2012. But fans of the original are in for a treat, as it’s now open, once again, in the all-new Metropolitan Hotel Dubai, just off Sheikh Zayed Road.
Inside are homages to the past (they’ve kept the original solid oak bar) while the rest of the decor is new. It retains its traditional British pub look, but now with modern quirks, such as a sign on the wall telling you to “Keep Calm and Carry On” and a Mini parked outside with a Union Jack painted on it – very Austin Powers.
You won’t have to worry about finding a place to sit, as there are plenty of chairs and booths lining the walls. Even if it’s busy and all the seats are taken, shelves run along the walls so you’ll still have somewhere to rest your drink. If it isn’t busy, though, it can feel quite cavernous, as the space is huge.
There’s a full-size snooker table in the corner, as well as a darts board, and all the TVs are tuned to the sports channels. You won’t hear much modern music played here. Just like The Red Lion itself is a blast from the past, so is the soundtrack – hits from The Human League and Living in a Box were playing on our last visit.
Drinks are reasonably priced, with a pint of hops at Dhs42 and a glass of grape costing Dhs35. And the food menu has plenty of traditional pub grub on it, from a full English breakfast to curry and chips. The Red Lion isn’t busy at the moment – perhaps not everyone knows it’s back. But in time, we reckon it’ll be just as popular as the original.
The bottom line A different beast to the original Red Lion, but worth checking out.
The Red Lion