Story Rooftop Lounge It’s not much of a dining spot, but the funky outdoor terrace and lounge draws a cool crowd on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights and you can expect decent tunes at this Peruvian-influenced joint. Holiday Inn, Knowledge Village (04 365 9911).
Qbara Bar at Wafi Spread over two floors, this upscale Arabic-inspired nightspot was crafted by award-winning Tokyo interior designer Noriyoshi Muramatsu and its ultra contemporary components include a magical shadow puppet-style visual art display. Wafi Fort Complex, Oud Metha (04 709 2500).
40 Kong at The H Hotel This nightspot is nothing like its gaudier older brother People By Crystal, instead hosting a balanced ratio of suits and stilettos to sneakers and scarves. It’s much more subtle, with a stylish, relaxed air that opts for chilled music sets over pounding bass, and carefully mixed drinks over sparklers and attention-seeking bottle service. The H Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 355 8896).
GQ Bar at JW Marriott Marquis Faux vintage sofas, hipster chairs and a clever use of funky lighting make GQ a space that is simultaneously domesticated and chic. In a city that strives to ensure that every new opening is worthy of global attention, it’s no surprise GQ is situated in the world’s tallest hotel. For any other bar, such a location might be a big part of the charm – but frankly GQ would impress even without it. Sheikh Zayed Road (04 440 9300).
Cargo at Pier 7 With its polished wooden floorboards, tall shiny-topped tables and exposed ceilings, this retro-inspired East Asian lounge and restaurant has the feel of a refined warehouse. Shipping crates, raw steel, concrete and weathered timber have been used to create cool interiors, while the promising menu features dishes such as smoked duck salad, teriyaki glazed cod and nougat parfait. Dubai Marina (04 361 8129).
Iris at The Oberoi Currently one of the hottest new hangouts for Dubai’s grown-ups, rooftop spot Iris marries sleek, minimalist décor in neutral tones with stunning views of Business Bay and chilled house beats. A concept brought in from Beirut, where it’s one of the city’s most upmarket nightspots, our very own 27th-floor version serves up the same signature mixed drinks to an equally chic crowd. Business Bay (04 444 1444).