Aurora Lounge & Terrace
Space-age-white bar is nicer than we thought it would be 2 Reviews
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In all honesty, we weren’t exactly jumping for joy at the thought of visiting Aurora. Our taxi driver didn’t help. ‘Ah, Hues hotel,’ he chimed with a strange ringing glee. ‘Very bad area!’ By the end of our rush-hour trek from Time Out towers in Media City – slowly trudging up through downtown, Bur Dubai and Deira – to Al Baraha, where the Hues Boutique Hotel sits near Dubai Hospital, we would have been happy with a mug of grog in a caveman’s crevice. But despite our lowered expectations, we’ve now regained enough impartiality to declare that Aurora is really rather nice.
Boasting what appears to be a spaceship theme, the whole bar is decked out in a 2001: A Space Odyssey whitewash. Overhanging neon lights slowly swish through changing colours, bathing the room in glowing purples and blues. The back end of the bar is shrouded in a kind of white cage – actually recalling the interior of a spacecraft – while drinks bottles have been painted in primary colours on the side wall, like some kind of futuristic officers’ mess. Best of all, a long, thin outdoor terrace, running parallel to the Al Khaleej Al Fars Road, overlooks a huge empty stretch of coastline below.
You can tell the bar is new. The minute we were whisked from the fifth-storey lift into the space-age spot we were met by a grinning man who enthusiastically introduced himself as the assistant manager with a lively handshake. Such keenness – or such a personal touch – doesn’t stem from a bar ordinarily overrun with patrons, and as we lingered into the Thursday evening there were never more drinkers than it would have been possible to extend a handshake to.
All this could easily change. Aurora boasts all the novelty and slick service of the best bars cropping up in New Dubai. And with more new hotels slated for the older end of town, Hues could be the beginning of a rumoured old town fight-back. Equally, by opening so far from the party people’s current haunts, it could be the guinea pig leading a doomed campaign.
However, anyone doubting the sense of opening a swish new boutique hotel on the outskirts of Old Dubai need only take a glance from Aurora’s terrace. You’ll be looking directly at The Palm Deira’s front island. When that mammoth project finally comes to fruition, Hues will be sitting on a gold mine, stationed at the base of Dubai’s glitziest, most ambitious project – and the home to one million people. We just hope Aurora entices in a few more folk during the countdown to take-off.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.