Going hand in hand with Dubai’s recent surge in economic prosperity, the past 12 months have seen the city’s high-end nightlife scene snowball. And in the increasingly competitive field of exclusive clubbing, it seems venues are looking for new ways to appeal to the elite: enticing celebrities through the door to be papped is no longer enough. These days, venues need to wear their elitist credentials even more obviously on their sleeves.

That seems to be what’s happened at VIP Room anyway, where the very title appears to command that you need at least D-list status to gain admission. Surely real celebrities shy away from such flagrant flouting, you say, and the ‘VIP’ title is simply a way to appeal to ego-inflated bankers with pretensions to importance? Not so, apparently – Madonna is a regular at the original VIP Room in Paris.

So we weren’t desperately surprised to find an eager mob of party people swarming the barriers with a desperate look in their eyes when we visited. Edging into the packed club following an anxious wait outside felt like sneaking into a private party without an invite. And it was a decent party for sure, crammed with impeccably dressed folk, glamorous women outweighing their slick male counterparts.

The room itself – a large circular space lit in moody hues, with LCD screens spurting jagged contours across the walls – feels a little claustrophobic, which isn’t helped by the lack of a real dancefloor. Instead there are tables at every turn; like a mess of islands scattered in the sea, there’s nowhere for the boats to flow. The fact that about half the club seems to be cordoned off for more exclusive tables (VVIPs and VVVIPs, we presume) really doesn’t make the average clubber feel any more welcome: we spotted three sparklers in the first 15 minutes of arrival, signalling a trio of punters who had ordered the priciest drink on the menu.

Surveying the room, the heavy XX-chromosome count and the scantily clad podium dancers suggest this would be a playboy’s paradise. But we think the venue could have more to offer. The large space and lively atmosphere set VIP Room apart from some of its more lounge-like boutique contemporaries. Here it will be the clientele that define the club.