Twenty years on and Dubai’s most popular beach bar, Barasti, is still going strong
Ladies night (Tuesday)
Three free drinks.
To gain entry just buy two German, herb-based short beverages and get two tokens to enter the freezer-like container, which is a cool -16°C. Once inside, you can chill – pun fully intended – while kitted out in sleeping bag-like overcoats at tables made from blocks of ice next to a bar that serves only more of those herby refreshments. We are told the bar is closed when we visit (after having purchased tokens, we’d like to add) but manage to have a peek behind the icy doors after a little persuasion. Not surprisingly, it is empty. But that doesn’t mean we can’t snap a few selfies before deciding life in an igloo isn’t for us and heading back into the heat. We will report back again, in thermals, when the bar is fully operational.
Ice bars apart, Barasti’s superb beachfront location is perfect for those not overly keen on freezing their extremities.
Having started out as a humble beach shack in 1995, there’s no denying its rep as one of the busiest bars in town. The place gets packed on any given night with a cool and casual crowd. By day, sunseekers line its beach (get down early on Fridays to nab one of the oversized beds) while party-lovers flock to the bar at night. And while it may not have the glitz and glamour of, say, Blue Marlin Ibiza, access is certainly easier. Barasti welcomes its customers with open arms (you just need ID at the door) and entrance is free all year round. For both young and old, its appeal is obvious – a great location, laid-back vibes and an ‘anything goes’ dress code.
As the bar turns 20 next month, it’s clear it shows no signs of slowing down, and somehow still manages to strike a great balance between casual beachy vibes and full-scale party mode. In cooler months, revellers can take to the sands to dance to a live DJ who pumps out everything from EDM and dance tracks to commercial chart hits and reggae beats. Head down at 1am on a Friday and you’ll think you’ve arrived at one of Thailand’s famous full-moon parties, complete with flashing laser lights. For those who prefer a more relaxed scene, stick to
Barasti’s middle deck, where you can enjoy shisha and live music. The bar might currently be covered with a giant air-conditioned tent, but come Sunday October 11, you’ll be able to view the Marina skyline again when the cover is taken down.
Tables here operate on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s worth getting there pronto to secure one if you need a bite to eat. The food menu is pretty basic – fish and chips, kebabs and pizzas – but while it won’t bowl you over, it’s decent enough. As for refreshments, keeping with its beachy theme there are plenty of fruity mixed drinks and imported hops (Barasti, in fact, has the highest consumption of a certain Mexican hops outside of Mexico).
Sit on a high stool with a bucket of the stuff, watch the sun set with a chilled mixed drink or recline on a sofa in front of a 7x4 metre screen showing the latest sporting action. Just don’t expect service to be anything other than slack and Barasti is a place geared towards ensuring you have a good time, whether you come dressed up or in flip flops. It’s easy that way.
The bottom line A huge beach bar with a majestically no-fuss attitude to life. Barasti
|Location:||Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina - Umm Suqeim|
|Tel:||04 318 1313|
|Travel:||Al Sufouh Road|
|Experiences:||Outdoor seating, DJ, Food served, Live music, Ladies night, Happy hours|
|Times:||Open Sat-Wed 11am-1.30am, Thu-Fri 11am-3am|
|Credit Cards Accepted:||Yes|
Barasti on Map
Abdul Ghafoor Feb 06, 2013 01:32 pm
Every thing is good abt barasti.but sometimes long qeue outside on entrence over theweekends to get inside.Hate wating to get inside.
verona Baker Jan 22, 2013 02:13 am
Love this place was there 1/2/13 all night practically...the salmon melts in your mouth...dinner was a large portion..drinks were great The one man performer could sing almost anything...from Marvin Gay, Bob Marley & Bruno Mars...everyone enjoyed the music..dance floor was very crowded..staff wonderful...downfall a bit expensive but well worth the night!!! Place was beautiful...great atmosphere! odd the singer was from a little island off the coast of India. spoke perfect English!
Youko Oct 29, 2012 11:05 am
I'll never come back because of the security guard.
His behavior is arrogant and meaningless.
Cyrus Mar 03, 2011 10:04 pm
Excellent selection of food and drinks, good music, great crowd, amazing ambience and scenery, very dynamic atmosphere. I would definitely recommend this place. I've had a few unnecessary push and shovs from the overzealous security guards at the door, but otherwise the staff are friendly enough.
ali Feb 12, 2011 09:09 am
so nice :)