Time Out picks 10 nightclubs you should try while in Dubai
Time Out Dubai staff
On a good weekend Dubai’s club scene can rival any in the world. The nightclubs in this city attract many of the biggest name DJs and performers.
We’ve selected 10 clubs you should try while in Dubai.
Chi@The Lodge: Many consider Chi to be Dubai’s only proper super club. The multi-room venue caters to the party-hard crowd. Indie, retro and house music nights are the popular weekend favourites while the midweek R&B night draws in a steady flow of post ladies’ night hedonists. A combination of a giant atrium-style outdoor dance floor and a selection of smaller indoor areas give Chi the well-deserved reputation as Karama party central.
Zinc: After a major refurbishment Zinc is trying to shake it’s former grubby reputation. Zinc actually ticks a lot of the boxes as far as a good night out in Dubai’s concerned. The drinks aren’t a patch as overpriced as some of its neighbours, and neither is the door fee, while the location midway up SZR is equally convenient for both ends of town.
The Apartment: One of Dubai’s most popular clubs, although best avoided if you’re claustrophobic. On a weekend it’s almost impossible to move between the two rooms from about 10pm onwards. The route is usually blocked by enthusiastic R&B fans grinding along to the latest tunes. Room number two, should you ever reach it, has more of a house vibe. On a practical note, the bathrooms are few and far between and the air conditioning never seems to be working at full capacity. On the plus side, because it’s packed to the rafters, this is one venue which never lacks atmosphere.
Alpha: One of Dubai’s most recent success stories, Alpha has swiftly gained a reputation as one of the emirate’s best nights out. The venue’s a little odd, and it’s very easy to get lost, but the DJs are predictably good and the crowd is one of Dubai’s livliest. Try the midweek options as well as the riotous Friday brunch to really sample the venue highlights.
400 Club: This mainly Arabic haunt is the kind of place people who buy the most expensive drinks just to show off. The drinks are pricey but the flashy crowd don’t care. Posing and pouting are the order of the day and don’t even think about dancing if you haven’t got some blinging moves to bring to the floor. Just remember, a night at Club 400 is about being seen and looking good rather than having too much fun so don’t get carried away.
Rock Bottom Café: Ok, it’s not strictly a nightclub, in fact if you read the blurb it’s actually a bar/ restaurant, but let’s face it, you would have to be pretty brave to eat in this Bur Dubai hot spot after the party is started. Dancing, on the other hand, is a completely different matter. With a well-stocked bar, live music, and an enthusiastic DJ, Rock Bottoms is a nightclub above all else and if cheesy music and good honest fun float your boat it could very well be one of your favourites.
Submarine: The Submarine Bar, housed in the basement of the Dhow Palace Hotel, is small and dark, but at 10.30pm on the Saturday we visited, it was far from crammed. The startling neon entrance is only a warm up for the equally garish bar and illuminated tables, and the portholes on the wall add to the nautical theme.
Elegante: A huge and relatively new nightclub, Elegante is a venue that caters to the masses. It has the largest dancefloor in Dubai and has been known to have all of the 1,300 capacity crowd dancing at one time. The upscale club operates on two levels and has high ceilings, mirrored walls, a vibrant purple and gold colour scheme.
Plan B: Long time Dubai residents might know it as The Planetarium. Or if you have a very good memory, Blush. Although the name changes the atmosphere has remained more or less the same and this Wafi club is always busy at the weekend. Regular DJ nights and big promotions mean the lively crowd always have something to come back for.
Tribe: This themed club in the Crowne Plaza churns out different music for every night of the week. House tunes dominate on Thursdays, 80s dominate on Wednesdays and desi crowds pack out Saturday nights.