The Dek on 8

Little has changed at Media One's revamped pool bar Reviews

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What is it about Dubai venues and their incessant need to rebrand? It sometimes seems like barely two weeks goes by without some well-loved institution taking a new moniker and theme, with widely varying results. It’s now the turn of M-Dek – a short, clean name that rolls easily off the tongue – to become The Dek on Eight: a longer, messier, and altogether less appealing proposition.

For those of you unfamiliar with the original M-Dek, it was the pristine poolside bar on the Media One Hotel’s eighth-floor pool terrace. One of just a handful of nightspots in the Media City vicinity, it was a popular haunt with media types, seduced by its airy views, good DJs and generous Thursday night drinks deals. However, it failed to attract the same kind of affluent crowd at weekends, when Media City emptied of workers, and we reckon this rebranding could be a swipe at getting back on the Friday night map.

But business strategies aside, casual visitors will be left asking why. While there are plenty of cosmetic changes in the new venue, the overall effect is pretty much the same: not much has been lost, but not much gained either. Instead of clean glassy walls we have faux-boho graffiti-style furnishings. Tables and chairs that were once white are now orange. A bar has been moved. There are fewer beds, but new illuminated tables. Casting our mind back to the old setup, we’re really struggling to have a preference either way.

The only change that peturbs us is that what little dancefloor there was has been eaten up by more sofas, sidelining the DJ booth. But presumably these can be shifted out of the way, and hopefully it won’t signal the end of the venue’s capacity to host the odd banging night.

If you’ve never been to the bar, in either the old incarnation or new, it’s well worth a look – one of the city’s best pool bars, even. But the whole emperor’s new clothes thing has left us a bit cold this time around.

By Rob Garratt
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: Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 427 1000
  • Travel: Sheikh Zayed Road

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The Dek on 8 On The Map

User reviews:

Posted by: John Sutton on 16 Nov ' 12 at 18:14

Terrible service - 2 bar staff for one massive L-shaped bar. And a pint of Tiger costs Dh45! One of the worst bars in the area.

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