SPiN Dubai

Table tennis themed nightspot in Dubai brings ping pong to the masses Reviews

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We got behind the tables at Dubai’s Ping-Pong themed nightclub, and found it a non-pretentious night out.

When we first heard about Spin, we couldn’t help but let out a giggle.

A bizarre combination of table tennis hall and nightclub, founded by an older, otherwise respected Hollywood actress, on paper it sounded like the most eccentric of celebrity indulgences. We weren’t the only ones: as we spread word of Susan Sarandon’s bizarre concept to friends, colleagues, passersby, and anyone else that would listen, we were met with an unwavering display of bemused bafflement. Just what did this Oscar-winning cinematic legend think she was up to?

Our scepticism was entirely unwarranted. Spin is, quite simply, a blast. We should have had more faith: it’s a concept Sarandon and her business partners have road-tested well. After originally premiering the brand in hipster capital New York four years ago, the concept has already spread to Los Angeles, Milwaukee and Toronto. Dubai’s Spin is the first venture outside of North America, and such a shift was accommodated in typical Dubai style: the Wafi venue starred the headline-grabbing ‘world’s most expensive gold-plated table’ (right). Or as Sarandon herself put it at the launch party, ‘our most extravagant [venue] yet.’

Still, Spin is not the exclusive playboys’ paradise you may have feared. In the same way that public transport can level out all its passengers to one uniform class, Ping-Pong appears to act as a great leveller of social playing fields. We’ve encountered no snobby door policy, and while staff recommend reserving for large groups, it’s a venue you’re welcome to arrive at unannounced.

Inside it’s the same relaxed feel, with casual crews of different ages and backgrounds smashing glow-in-the-dark balls across the venue’s 11 tables. During our last visit, in one corner we watched a rowdy game of ‘speed pong’ going down, where strangers meet behind the table (every Saturday 8pm-11pm). In another there was a couple on what looked like a first date, judging by the tentative taps of the eager male player. Opposite them was a trio of serious pros who ordered nothing from the bar, locked into a testosterone-fuelled showdown. The thing all these tables had in common? The players were all smiling. In fact, so were the staff, as they scurried between tables collecting balls, offering tips and taking on guests. Who could blame them – at what other workplace do you get to play Ping-Pong in the lull between work tasks?

And that’s the secret of this venue’s unique appeal. With the right company a game of table tennis can be a great giggle, and mixing in drinks, music and a nightclub atmosphere just multiplies the laughs. If you’re looking for a touch of backspin on your night out, this is the spot for you.

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.

Details

  • Location: Wafi, Oud Metha, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 370 7707
  • Travel: Oud Metha Road
  • Times: Open Sat-Tue 6pm-1am; Wed-Fri 6pm-3am
  • Credit Cards Accepted: Yes

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User reviews

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User reviews:

Posted by: James on 27 Aug ' 13 at 14:48
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  • Would you go back to this bar/club? No

I first came to Spin for an office get together and had a great evening. A few of us decided to make it a regular event and made Tuesday our weekly ping-pong evening. We liked that is was quiet (we were usually the only ones there apart from the staff). Unfortunately things soured on our most recent visit, We arrived to find that we were the only customers. We ordered our drinks at the bar and began to play. A waitress came to take our order for another round of drinks but made a mistake with the order. When this was politely pointed out to her (the incorrect bottle had not even been opened) she protested, accusing my friend of the error. Following a tantrumic outburst she eventaully replaced the drink. None of us could believe what wevhad just witnessed. We continued with our game but were ignored for any subsequent service (despite there being at least 20 service staff either standing around chatting or playing ping-pong themselves). When we had finished playing I asked to speak with the manager and explained what had happened at which point the waitress ran over and interruped our private conversation. The manager was indifferent and did not even acknowledge the unacceptable behaviour let alone make an apology.

It is a great shame to see a place with such potential being managed so poorly. The manager demonstrated very poor communication skills and limited (if any) experience in customer care. I only hope that this will be addressed soon otherwise the venu is destined to fail.

Needless to say they have lost my custom and all my work colleagues.

Posted by: Vijay on 15 Jul ' 13 at 15:42
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  • Best for: Food served
  • Would you go back to this bar/club? Yes

A decent place to go for a drink and play some ping pong. I guess it is the only pub in Dubai which offers this combination. They do not serve hienkien on the tap which is pretty bugging and i guess they need to add it soon, or they will loose Mr.H lovers like me.

Happy hours are before 9 PM i guess, and they have an offer of 4 pints with 1 hour of playing TT, all for 200 AED. This seems to be a good offer to grab, when going out with friends to get started with a few drinks before the big party :)

Posted by: Holly on 01 Jul ' 13 at 17:45
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  • Best for: DJ
  • Would you go back to this bar/club? Yes

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

A group of us joined in on the action for a game of pingpong followed by a full moon party, one word.... INSANE! Incredible music, UV paints, casual dress code..... Love, love, love , love! Anyone that has not been yet I highly advise that you go and experience this place, like nothing else I have seen in Dubai. Thank you Spin Dubai for an incredible, unforgettable night of pure madness.

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