Girls! Have a great night without spending a dirham
Time Out Dubai Staff
With more than 40 different bars offering free drinks for ladies nearly every night of the week, it’s no wonder Dubai never sleeps. A staple addition to any expat lifestyle, our city is up there with Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore, offering some of the most stylish, lively and best-value ladies’ nights on the planet. But where to find them?
We’ve dolled ourselves up and ventured out into the night to scout out the city’s best deals for the fairer sex. Whether you’re in the mood for a sophisticated, chic setting to catch up with colleagues, want to let rip with some headbanging rock anthems, or even try slick salsa dancing to the tunes of a live Latin band, these pages are packed with top suggestions. Put on your best party dress and dancing shoes, and have yourself a night to remember without spending a dirham.
1897 The deal: Ladies get two free bubbly drinks on Wednesdays, 6pm-11pm. Best for: Low-level chit-chat without the usual raucous ladies’ night crowds. Crowd: You’d be forgiven for not even knowing that 1897 existed, let alone that they offer 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. Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates (04 341 0000).
At.mosphere The deal: Ladies enjoy two free glasses of bubbly, plus more drinks deals, live entertainment and panoramic views from the Burj Khalifa on Wednesdays, 6pm-9pm. Best for: Highflying types who want to enjoy the world’s highest ladies’ night. Crowd: Expect chic business types. Dress code: This is the kind of place where you’ll have to dress for the occasion. Service: Impeccable. At.mosphere, Burj Khalifa (04 888 3828).
Amika The deal: Ladies get free drinks on Tuesdays between 10pm and 1am. Best for: A lush, high-end disco with slick décor – as well as thrones to sit on. Crowd: Swanky disco divas who want to pretend they are on High Street Kensington, where the brand comes from. Dress code: Somewhere between party and lounge chic. Service: Great. Monarch Dubai, Sheik Zayed Road (04 409 5999).
Aussie Legends The deal: Four free selected drinks on Thursdays, 8pm-11pm. 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, really. Jeans and a T-shirt, or a tutu if you’d prefer? Service: Can get busy but service is always friendly, even when it gets raucous. Rydges Plaza Dubai, Satwa (04 398 2222).
Bartini The deal: Ladies get two free sparkling cocktails on Tuesdays, 8pm to 11pm, while on Wednesdays they get a free hair and make-up session, a drink-mixing lesson and one free drink, also 8pm-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. Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina (04 399 5000).
Blends The deal: Unlimited free drinks all night, 8pm-midnight, most nights of the week. On Tuesdays it’s strawberry mixers, Latin-inspired drinks on Wednesdays and cosmos on Thursdays and Fridays. Best for: Letting your hair down after the end of a long week and catching up on all the gossip. Crowd: Blends attracts people who want to party. Whilst it’s fairly female heavy at the start of the night, come 10pm the dance floor’s packed, serious moves are being made and most people are then well on their way to regretting it all in the morning. Dress code: Ranges from after work chic to over the top heels. Service: There’s plenty of barmen to keep up with demand, so you won’t be left waiting for too long. The Address, Dubai Marina (04 436 7777).
Boston Bar The deal: Two free drinks for ladies on Tuesdays and three on Thursdays, 8pm-11pm both days. 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. Dress code: Keep it casual. Service: Perfectly acceptable. Jumeirah Rotana, Satwa (04 345 5888).
Boudoir The deal: Free drinks until midnight every night, and free bubbles Tuesdays, 9pm-midnight. Best for: A clubbing environment with lots of dancing. The venue hosts a different themed night every day of the week, from Turkish-infused beats to commercial house. Crowd: Boudoir is known for its dolled-up women, and can be a tad pretentious – but if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Dress code: Smart Service: On the ball. Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Jumeirah (04 345 5995).
Chi@The Lodge The deal: Chi’s weekly honeytrap night offers selected free drinks for ladies all night on Tuesdays from 9pm all the way till 3am. Best for: Midweek party gals who fancy grooving to R&B, hip hop and urban tunes, spun by resident DJ Richie D and guests. Crowd: Expect a fun, mixed European crowd happy to party, even on a school night. Dress code: Smart casual, please. Service: Well-managed, despite the venue’s size. Chi@The Lodge, Al Nasr Leisureland (04 337 9470).
Healey’s The deal: Ladies get three free drinks on Wednesdays, from 6pm till 11pm. Best for: Smaller groups looking for a place to catch up over a few free drinks, minus the cattle market feel. Crowd: Gender balanced, and made up of a more mature clientele than some of the livelier ladies’ nights around the marina. Dress to kill if you like, but this place is better suited to a chat and a giggle. Dress code: We call it straight-from-work sassy Service: Swift and with a smile, you won’t need to wait long for a drink or leave your perch in search of one. Bonnington, Jumeirah Lake Towers (04 356 0000).
Horizon Lounge The deal: Ladies get three glasses of bubbles and a platter of delicious strawberries and cream on Tuesdays, 7pm-10pm. Best for: Large groups of girls who want a cheeky night out. Crowd: A mix of mostly Marina types who’ve got glammed up to check out the competition, while partying al fresco. Go early if you want to sit down, this place is always rammed with girls and the guys that follow. Dress code: Glamorous. Service: Fairly do it yourself. There’s a bar handing out the free drinks but expect to queue when it’s busy. Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa, Dubai Marina (04 399 5000).
Left Bank The deal: Five cocktails for Dhs5 on Wednesdays, 8pm-10pm. Best for: Those who want to feel like extras on the set of Sex and the City. This place gets rammed and is full of sophisticated mamas, as well as the men who like to mingle with them. Crowd: Slightly older professionals. Dress code: We’d opt for the latest cocktail dress from Mango or Zara. Service: It can be a bit of a catfight when it’s busy, but the staff are friendly and do a stellar job of managing it all. Souk Madinat Jumeirah (04 368 6171).
Loca The deal: Two free fruity Mexican-themed drinks on Wednesdays, 8pm-1:30am. Best for: Those with the Latino spirit. Crowd: Young professionals who haven’t lost their hip city edge, but would prefer to chat away in a bar atmosphere rather than fight through hordes of people on a heaving dancefloor. Dress code: Smart casual. Service: Always friendly. Just expect to wait a little longer when the bar’s busy, much like everywhere else in town. Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Jumeirah (04 346 1111).
Long’s Bar The deal: Ladies get two free selected drinks on Mondays and Tuesdays, 9pm-midnight. 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: Expect to see old-school party-loving expats. Dress code: Forever 21, not Fendi. Service: It’s never hugely busy here, so there are always plenty of staff to serve you. Towers Rotana, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 312 2202).
Malecon The deal: Two free selected drinks, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10pm-1am. Best for: Dancing the night away to a live band, samba-style. The only drawback is that it starts quite late for a school night in our opinion. Crowd: Cool bohemian kids who like a rustic and warm ambience. Dress code: Shoreditch funky or French casual style. Service: Efficient and friendly. Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Jumeirah (04 345 5995).
Margaux The deal: Free bubbles on Tuesdays and Fridays from 6pm ’til late. Best for: A relaxing atmosphere in an Arabic-style setting, overlooking the world-famous Dubai fountains and the Burj Khalifa. Crowd: Sophisticated ladies who potter over from the nearby Dubai Mall, designer shopping in hand. Dress code: Smart casual. The restaurant attracts a more mature crowd, but you’ll get away with casual clothing because of the holiday terrace vibe. Service: Good, and even more attentive if you’re ordering food. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 439 7555).
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 but get there early if you want a seat. Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City (04 427 1000).
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 flirt in an always-busy bar. Crowd: 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 that night of the week 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. The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, near Media City (04 399 4141).
Rosso The deal: Two free mixed drinks on Saturdays and Sundays, the same plus snacks on Mondays, two glasses of bubbly and bruschetta on Tuesdays, two glasses of grape on Wednesdays and Fridays, and two short drinks on Thursdays. Best for: Those times when you’re looking for something meatier than just a couple of free drinks. Crowd: Popular with the JBR and 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 is a 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 any night of the week. Dress code: Smart casual Service: Laidback but still quite efficient. Amwaj Rotana, Dubai Marina (04 428 3088).
Tamanya Terrace The deal: Three glasses of bubbly for ladies every Tuesday after 5pm – while ladies in pink also get a free drink at the Pink Paw Party on after 5pm Thursdays. Best for: Best place to unwind after work, with views over Dubai Marina’s skyline and daily changing themes keep it interesting. Crowd: Trendy, post-work Media City types congregate here. Dress code: Smart casual Service: On the ball, almost always. Don’t miss the great variety of food with hot and cold bites including plenty of mezzeh. Radisson Blu, Media City (04 366 9111).
XL Beach Bar The deal: Ladies get three free drinks every Sunday, 6pm-3am. Best for: A glammed-up, beach bling crowd. Think Miami Beach, and then some. Crowd: Predominantly female, this is a big girl’s night out. Dress code: Beachwear is the name of the game. Make it classy though, especially if you want to stand out...in a good way. Service: Spot on. Even if it’s private cabanas, loungers and shisha you want. Harbour Grand Resort and Spa, Dubai Marina (056 316 9711).
Also Try! If you’ve got a sweet tooth, head to ikandy at Shangri-La hotel (04 405 2703) on Mondays. Ladies get complimentary pink bubbles and candy floss between 6pm and 10pm.
Don’t miss the new Ladies’ Night at No. 5 Lounge & Bar at The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC (04 372 2323). Every Tuesday between 8pm to 10pm, ladies get a sweet treat on arrival and free drinks.
For drinks complemented by views of the action at Ski Dubai, try Après’ new ladies’ night on Sundays for free bubbly between 8pm to 10pm (04 341 2575).