Time Out trawls the city to find the best nights out for the girls
Horizon Lounge The deal: Three free bubbly cocktails on Tuesdays, 7pm-10pm.
Best for: Taking a mixed group of friends and enjoying the busy, buzzing atmosphere at this lively venue.
Crowd: Horizon is ever-popular with the mid- to late-twenties crowd and, unlike many other ladies’ nights in the city, it has a good mix of men and women so you won’t feel like you’re out on a hen night. The outdoor view of the Palm is an added bonus.
1897 The deal: Ladies get two free bubbly drinks Wednesdays, 6pm-11pm.
Best for: Low-level chit-chat without the usual ladies’ night crowds.
Crowd: You’d be forgiven for not even knowing that 1897 existed, let alone offered a ladies’ night, but this hidden, sophisticated cigar bar draws in enough people to fill the comfy booths. The best bit? It’s not swarming with people, so you can soak up the atmosphere without shouting to be heard.
Dress code: Smart
Service: Excellent. Polite, efficient and nothing is too much trouble.
Long’s Bar The deal: Unlimited red, white or pink grape on Mondays, 9pm-midnight. The venue also holds a ladies’ night on Tuesday, offering two free selected drinks. Remarkably, Tuesday tends to be busier, despite Monday being the better deal.
Best for: Drinks with your party-mad colleagues. We love the laid-back feel, although its windowless vibe means we reserve it for summer.
Crowd: Old-school party-loving expats.
Dress code: Forever 21, not Fendi.
Service: It’s never hugely busy here (except during Ramadan), so there are always plenty of staff to serve you.
Media One The deal: Three free drinks (including cocktails and red, white or sparkling grape) on Tuesdays, 7pm-10pm.
Best for: An after-work catch-up with the girls.
Crowd: The ladies reign supreme at Media One – the few gents who join the party have come along purely to people-watch. It’s a late-twenties crowd, who indulge as though they’ve forgotten they have to go to work the next morning.
Dress code: Anything goes, but people dress to impress – skyscraper heels are a feature of most outfits.
Service: Bar and table service is available if you can find anywhere to sit. The bar is small so seats get taken early.
Oeno The deal: Three glasses of bubbles on Tuesdays, 6pm-9pm.
Best for: Large groups of girls who want to have a catch-up gossip and a flirt in an always-busy bar.
Crowd: The Westin’s ladies tend to be mid-twenties upwards, dressed to the nines and ready to take advantage of a Tuesday night drink for free. Knowing that the bar is often packed on Tuesdays brings in the guys too, who can be seen hanging around the bar looking enviously at the women’s free drinks.
Dress code: Smart. You’ll feel underdressed if you’re not in heels.
Service: Service does exist, but you’ll only experience it post 9pm.
Our rating: 3/5 The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, near Media City (04 399 4141).
Fibber Magee's The deal: Four free drinks with mixers on Tuesdays, 8pm-10pm.
Best for: Pub quizzers and jolly expats.
Crowd: Ladies’ night at the ever-popular Fibber’s coincides with the pub’s legendary weekly quiz, so the place is always heaving on a Tuesday. If you don’t fancy testing your brain power against other expats, head down about 9.30pm as the quiz is winding up.
Dress code: Casual
Service: You’re better off standing at the bar
Dubai Marina Yacht Club The deal: Three free drinks, make-up sessions on the night and a live saxophone player on Tuesdays, 8pm-midnight.
Best for: Someone new to ladies’ nights or anyone looking for a chilled-out drink with friends.
Crowd: Laid back sophisticats who want to take advantage of a free drink. With a steady, rather than crowded, atmosphere, the Yacht Club gets a thumbs up from those wanting to avoid the big crowds and high-heels mob who usually make their way out on a Tuesday.
Dress code: Nothing too OTT – you’d be fine heading there straight from the office
Service: Decent and friendly.
Our rating: 4/5
Dubai Marina Yacht Club (04 362 7900).
Best for: Good fun – perfect for those who don’t take themselves too seriously. You can spend hours watching people make fools of themselves on karaoke while enjoying the best of Trader Vic’s cocktail list.
Crowd: Not the place to go if you’re looking for a night bursting with bodies, but you’ll be guaranteed a seat and there’s a good mixture of guys and girls in the 24 to 35 age bracket.
Dress code: Smart/casual.
Service: Always with a smile.
Our rating: 3/5
Al Fattan Towers, JBR (04 399 8993).
Rock Bottom Café, Bur Dubai The deal: Ladies get two free drinks on Fridays, Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesday. Ladies get unlimited selected drinks on Sundays and Tuesdays, Fri, Sat, Mon and Wed 10pm-midnight; Sun and Tue 10pm-1.30am.
Best for: There’s a reason for the name, and the bar is proud of its reputation. Expect sticky floors and stumbling people who want to carry on partying when other ladies’ night deals have ended.
Crowd: Big rowdy groups who’ve forgotten they have to go to work tomorrow (or simply don’t care).
Dress code: Anything goes.
Service: Pretty nonexistent. It’s bar service only at this venue.
Bartini The deal: Ladies get two free sparkling cocktails on Thursdays, 8pm to 11pm.
Best for: Women who like to revel in sophisticated style.
Crowd: As this one starts later at night, everyone has time to head home after work for a quick shower and change of clothes, making sure they reach Bartini looking glam. There’s a good buzz about the place even early in the night, but you’ll soon find it can get really cramped – it’s a convenient local for those in the Dubai Marina and JBR neighbourhood.
Dress code: Glam it up.
Service: Efficient. If anything, it’s the high prices that let this place down.
Aussie Legends The deal: Four free selected drinks on Thursdays, 8pm-midnight.
Best for: An end-of-the-week wind-down, followed by dancing to cheesy rock anthems like no one is watching (or you just don’t care if they are).
Crowd: A super-casual non-pretentious bunch, hailing mainly from the UK, the Philippines and Australia.
Dress code: Anything goes: jeans and a T-shirt, or a tutu if you’d prefer?
Service: Can get busy and raucous (in a friendly way). Our rating: 4/5 Rydges Plaza Dubai, Satwa (04 398 2222).
Boston Bar The deal: Three free house beverages for ladies every Thursday 9pm-midnight (the bar also offers a ladies’ deal on Tuesdays, 8pm-11pm).
Best for: This chilled-out venue models itself on the bar from American TV show Cheers, so you’re guaranteed a relaxed and friendly environment. We like that it offers an end-of-the-week deal – the perfect way to blow off steam with the girls after work.
Crowd: It’s US-themed but you’ll find mostly middle-aged British expats there, all of whom love a good chinwag.
Rosso The deal: Two free glasses of grape for ladies on Fridays, 9pm-midnight.
Best for: Those times when you’re looking for something meatier than just a couple of free drinks.
Crowd: Popular with the JBR/Dubai Marina set, you’re likely to find a lot of beautiful people hanging out at elegant Rosso on a Friday night. There are no bar snacks (no, peanuts don’t count), but there isa full restaurant of the same name that serves Italian delights. Splitting a pizza and sipping drinks with the girls is not a bad way to spend a Friday night.
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Hendrik May 24, 2011 08:21 pm
Agree with Mark on Longs - they def need a make over
Angela May 09, 2011 03:37 am
Dubai is empty. Except for a few places that people congregate at, desperate for the old feeling of a crowd, this place is becoming a ghost town. You don't notice it so much because you go where your friends are (via SMS, phone). But try heading out on your own, randomly choosing a few bars or clubs. Unless you happen across some other social circle, most of them are empty.
alex May 04, 2011 04:51 pm
Loca completely empty tonight (Wednesday)
Mark May 04, 2011 04:17 pm
The worst service in Dubai - Longs Bar Rotana Towers SZR