Arty hangout is dropped in Marina's Habtoor Grand Reviews

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Before it was forced to shut with the closure of the Metropolitan Hotel, I2 was renowned as an alternative hangout for arty types. Less than a week after waving goodbye to Sheikh Zayed Road, the same team picked up the concept, dragged it 20km south and dropped it in the former home of Bartini, in the Marina’s Habtoor Grand. But does it work? It’s already popular for sure – come midnight on a Friday, it’s packed with a bustling crowd.

Bartini’s rectangular space feels rather more staid than the low-ceilinged, bare-bricked corner of the old home. New mirrorballs, ceiling lines and overpowering ads for Russian drinks fail to evoke the lawless speakeasy vibe of old, while a small wall of graffiti now feels somewhat forced.

The sense is of a slow shift from quirky boutique club to Dubai lounge bar, but we’re overjoyed to have an old friend back. If anything, the retro-tastic music – which is what defined I2 in the first place – is better and more consistently mixed than before. Yet if we have one grumble, it’s the frustrating elevator ride to reach the toilets.

By Time Out Dubai staff
Time Out Dubai,

Time Out reviews bars anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.


  • Location: Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection, Dubai Marina, Dubai
  • Tel: 050 889 2578
  • Travel: Al Sufouh Road

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i2 On The Map

User reviews

  • Users voted this bar/club most suitable for: Live music

User reviews:

Posted by: Eva on 28 Jun ' 15 at 09:54
  • Best for: DJ
  • Would you go back to this bar/club? Yes

If you like it - then you probably know why you went there in the first place. 70s 80s and 90s music, a LOT OF PEOPLE (we usually leave when there is no more space left), a lot of smoke.. if you don't like that - you should not go there. The flooring could be better - it already has damage on it from all the dancing. I like the crowd - better from the posh atmosphere in most other Dubai areas.. It's one of the few places I go to. Biggest problem: space. Drinks are quite expensive, but not more expensive from average Dubai prices.

Posted by: Eva on 16 Aug ' 14 at 18:51
  • Best for: Live music
  • Would you go back to this bar/club? Yes

Despite the negative reviews, the time we had was amazing. Yes, the place is very small and very crowded, but it's a great atmosphere. They played 70-s, 80-s and 90-s music, which is one of the few clubs in Dubai who does it. The mix was awesome, the drinks were reasonably priced as compared to other places, the staff were friendly. Very loud, very crowded, but we will go again for sure.

Posted by: Kate on 28 Apr ' 13 at 06:33
  • Would you go back to this bar/club? No

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

I was dragged to this club kicking and screaming by a bunch of friends. I now know why I have managed to avoid this 'club' for so long. Its horrendous. The doorman top it off by being the most obnoxious, rude and generally unpleasant people in Dubai. There was absolutely no need for the way we were treated on Friday. Awful.

Posted by: Harry on 07 Sep ' 12 at 23:06
  • Would you go back to this bar/club? No

Totally crowded - poor expensive drinks, non responsive manager [had a complaint, due to another drunk guest, and the manager didn't even took myself serious] - overall one of the worst bar experience I had here...

Posted by: Benoit on 18 May ' 12 at 00:13
  • Best for: Live music
  • Would you go back to this bar/club? No

The bouncer is so rude and not inice at all. The manager is perfect and take care of his clients that the only good point.

But the place is too small. No possibility to dance or just move!!! I will never come back and i dont advice you to go therr. The old i2 was 1000 times better than the mew com

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