Until now, Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach has likely been the most oft-overlooked hotel along JBR’s The Walk. Save for a reliably good grape and cheese night at Plantation, and reliably cheap brunch at A.O.C., there’s little to lure in those who aren’t staying at the hotel. And never more so than over the past year, with swathes of new restaurants and bars opening along the busy beach-facing strip.
Is it possible that Amsterdam Hub, which is now under new management, could signal a change in the tide? There’s certainly hope.
After following the trail of red clogs plastered to the floor, the first thing you’ll notice on arrival is the unmistakably green presence of a certain Dutch hops brand. From shouty stencilling on the walls to subtle tiling on the floor in front of the bar, it’s clear this place has an allegiance – one that, handily, extends to the happy hour, with deals on the draft (among other selected beverages) from 4pm to 8pm every day.
Fortunately, the rest of the space is stylish enough that you won’t feel like you’ve walked into a promotional pop-up. Barrels, both wooden and steel, have been turned into tables, all surrounded by either comfy leather armchairs or more industrial pieces. It’s comfortable, welcoming and, for a smoking bar, far better ventilated than some of its neighbours.
If you’re looking for distraction (beyond the seemingly endless replenishment of popcorn and mixed nuts), you’ll find it in the form of darts and pool. There are also several TVs showing sport, as well as rumoured plans to transform an entire wall of the bar into a giant screen for the big matches of the day.
Should that happen, it could well knock out much of Amsterdam Hub’s nearby competition in the sports bar stakes. In the meantime, at the very least, the Hub looks set to bring the Sofitel out from the background.
The bottom line A friendly spot with lots of potential.