Bur Dubai’s Manhattan Hotel, located just down the road from the five-star Dhow Palace Hotel, seems to have cornered the market on late-night curios. And while its downstairs bar, the blue-lit, spaceship-like High Mile Club, is simply quirky, Club Mint is downright baffling.
Are we overselling it? Maybe, but every time we’ve gone in there, we’ve come out not quite knowing how we feel about the place. A shadow-wreathed black hole of a bar, the tiny, dark surroundings might be perfect for a clandestine meeting or a quiet chat with friends if the speakers weren’t blaring out thumping R&B. We suppose this might be the ‘club’ part of the title, but this is entirely unlike any nightclub you’ll find in Dubai. It’s more like one of those odd little dives that you stumble into while on holiday and completely fail to find the following night. Arabic and Indian movies are sometimes screened on the room’s biggest wall, but silently: watching the characters mouth silent promises to one another just adds to the surreality of the situation.
Whatever Club Mint wants to be, it does at least manage two things well: it’s got a decent pool table and some very reasonably priced drinks. For many, that might be enough.