Our favourite new Dubai party hotspots from the past year
Time Out Dubai staff
Winner – Best New Club Time Out Dubai Nightlife Awards 2012
Movida: Billed as ‘Dubai’s most exclusive club’, Movida arrived direct from London, where its Soho home has been synonymous with celebrity silliness and tabloid tales. The Dubai take boasts the same super-chic furnishings and vibe, and a fraction of the celeb pull.
Radisson Royal Sheikh Zayed Road (055 174 4449).
Cirque du Soir: There is no club on earth quite like Cirque du Soir, where jugglers, clowns and fire breathers wander amongst the drinkers, and a gypsy jester leads a march-roll carnival hoe-down in the wee hours. The first of exclusive London nightspots to land in Dubai at the tail end of last year, it came amongst much-deserved fanfare.
Fairmont Dubai (04 332 4900).
Mahiki: Mahiki is the talk of the town – packed every night of the week, its loose Polynesian theme and somewhat anti-cool throwaway music policy make it a poised antidote to the bling-heavy clubs with which it shares a price bracket. Another London brand transported to Dubai, it’s a favourite of British princes.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel (055 216 0181).
N’Dulge: It may have begun the year as Sanctuary and ended as N’Dulge, but Atlantis’ indoor institution has had a great year, bringing over stars like Taio Cruz, Craig David and Judge Jools, and revamping its weekly club nights keep things fresh.
Atlantis (04 426 0561).
Republique: Adding a sleight more than lick of paint to the former Amatista nightclub, Republique proves size isn’t everything. The compact club hosts a lively dancefloor and some interesting nights, like the monthly MoFunk, that may not survive in larger venues.
The Address Dubai Mall (04 438 8888).
Velvet Underground: Despite some legal teething problems which saw the Velvet Underground shut down little more than a week after opening, this sprawling, theatre-like nightspot is packed with a healthy international on its notable urban nights. Taking over from the spot left by Elegante, the new club features a huge DJ deck and extra VIP space.
Royal Ascot, Bur Dubai (04 359 2341).
XL Beach Club: The Habtoor’s glitzy new beach club has brought over some big name DJs and hosted some throbbing party, yet doubles as a chilled beach venue during the day. One for the pretty young things, for sure.
Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa (056 640 6161).