Follow Time Out’s guide to the top festive parties in the city...
Christmas – a time for remembering, sharing and giving. And also for dancing. Because it’s always time to dance, right?
At least that’s what Dubai’s bars and clubs seem to think. And while many of them are holding back on the big guns until New Year’s Eve, there’s a lot more going on during this year’s festive season than there was in 2008. Just look at this lot.
December 24 is definitely the big night this year – the clubs are, we’re guessing, assuming most people will be too full of turkey to dance on the 25th. Sanctuary will be serenading Santa with its usual brand of lady-friendly funky house, but with an added twist: this time they’re bringing DJ/violinist Roberto Mermand and vocalist Simone Cooper on board to give the night a live-music edge. Elsewhere at that end of town, the Madinat Rooftop will host art gallery owner and electronica/technohead Hisham Samawi, who’ll be playing to an al fresco crowd.
If that all sounds a bit too upmarket for your liking, Tim Cheddar probably has just what you’re looking for with the Christmas edition of his cheesy Chi nights, which will cover the best (and, inevitably, the worst) of the pop charts from the past few decades.
If he doesn’t end up playing Slade’s ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’, we’ll eat our blinky reindeer hats. And there’ll be indie, R&B and house in the other rooms, of course.
Just off Sheikh Zayed Road, Crowne Plaza’s Quantum will be jumping to house tunes courtesy of Tim Kay, who’s lent his hands to Hed Kandi and Godskitchen nights in his time, and is now residing in Dubai. ownstairs in Crowne Plaza, meanwhile, Zinc will be overseen by long-standing residents Greg Stainer and Dany Neville, who will play funky house tunes right through into Christmas afternoon (although they’ll stop about 3pm, because who wants to open their presents in a nightclub? Exactly). Expat fave Waxy’s will be hosting its own Christmas Eve bash with the help of Radio 2’s Dave Cleary and resident DJ Andi M, who’ll be offering a mix of classic Christmas party tunes. Alpha, meanwhile, will have its own resident DJs on hand to play a selection of the most popular dance tunes of the past few years.
If none of that tickles your fancy (and it’d be a shame to miss out on a good fancy-tickling), perhaps a little live band action would be your thing? Yes? Well then. If that’s the case, wander on down to Rock Bottom Café, which will have resident band Kaha doing its pop/rock classics thing. Alternatively, The Irish Village will host DJs playing outdoors, as will good ol’ Barasti DJ.
Assuming you haven’t stuffed your chops with turkey and pudding and feel incapable of moving further than the nearest family gathering/beach/friend’s party, Chrimble itself offers a fair few distractions for the dance-minded. Sanctuary opens its doors again, this time to welcome Tom Novy, trance-DJ-turned-progressive house jockey. Novy’s no stranger to Dubai, but that’s no surprise: hits ‘Without Your Love’ and ‘Your Body’, among others, have given him a place on the world circuit.
Sheikh Zayed Road’s Crowne Plaza, too, will celebrate the night: Zinc will be headlined by new R&B/hip hop resident DJ Brooklyn. Meanwhile, Quantum will host Ukranian house and electro DJ Anastasia – she’s played at Privilege in Ibiza, apparently – who will join resident Dany Neville.
Barasti will open its doors for another round of feasting and fun with a headline DJ set from Dubai’s own Rohann Nunez, who’ll be playing house tunes for one and all, with support from other fine DJs of the city. The Irish Village will have Drew, Pat and Danny playing live rock tunes. And Waxy’s will do its thing with Andi M playing tunes, plus drinks offers for the ladies.
Alpha will once again open for its residents to strut their stuff, and 360° will complement its fine views (and hopefully fine weather – at least we’re at no risk of festive snow here) with the house stylings of resident Raxon. Finally, Bur Dubai’s Elegante will open with its usual sexy R&B music, courtesy of DJ Bliss and pals.