London’s original Cirque du Soir quickly became known as a place to see and be seen following its 2009 launch. Its mood of circus-themed decadence seduced celeb guests including Leo DiCaprio, Usher, Scarlett Johansson – and Lady Gaga, who is said to be such a fan that she was tipped to make an appearance at the launch of Cirque du Soir Mk II in Dubai.

The new venue is in the same spot as the former 400 Club, which closed its doors at The Fairmont two months ago. And it was the same team who threw them open two weeks ago (November 15) with all the fanfare and horn blowing you’d expect from a circus-themed club, including a visit from A-list Lebanese celeb Haifa Wehbe.

The narrow, underground room is decorated in dim hues by the hand of designer Stephane Dupoux, while visitors are greeted by a cast of circus stereotypes; burlesque dancers jut from podiums, fairies spin from ropes hung from the ceiling, and jugglers tend the tables. The best moment, though, is when the troupe comes together in the wee hours for a fire-breathing, cork-popping stage show, in equal parts vaudeville performance and nightclub rabble-rousing.

It’s no surprise that Cirque du Soir landed in Dubai, its high-end theatrics chiming with the city’s brazenly glitzy scene. With talk of a third branch launching in Beirut next year, the city could just have beaten the buzz.