Above, Sofitel Dubai Downtown With stunning views of the Burj Khalifa and top-class service, this new hotspot can be enjoyed day or night, an evening visit is recommended. A vast space of 11,800 square feet with a retractable roof, Above is a destination to relax and unwind in, and soak up the city atmosphere. The great thing about the open-air rooftop venue, is that it can be enjoyed in warmer weather as well. Large air conditioners are carefully dotted around the venue and are built into the walls, so guests remain cool. The elegant yet chic décor gives the venue a sophisticated vibe without it becoming pretentious. The striking all-white bar and lounge area and private terrace is adorned with palm trees, a reflection pool and private cabanas. Sofitel Dubai Downtown, Downtown Dubai, Dubai. Telephone: 04 503 6666.
A Club Dubai, Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa The hip-hop venue hosts nights such as Changes every Thursday where they get back to “real hip-hop”, Black Bass on a Sunday as well as artist music launches. Not only do they have a DJ booth but this nightlife venue with two-storeys has a “celebrity booth” so they’re be plenty of opportunity for star spotting. Jumeirah 1, Dubai Marine Beach Resort and Spa. Thursday — Saturday: 11:00 pm — 3:00 am. Telephone: +971 56 484 5737.
Cargo, Pier 7 The Asian eatery has a lively atmosphere daily with an industrial vibe. The high ceilings, exposed pipes and a bar designed from wooden crates add a funky, cool laidback feel to this Pier 7 destination. The decor of the venue is appealing for groups of friends who can sit at one of the high top tables, as well as couples and groups who want to relax over dinner at one of the more intimate tables on the terrace. The venue has a great atmosphere, views and tasty bar food. Open daily 6pm-2am (last orders for food: 1am). Pier 7, Dubai Marina, www.cargo-dubai.com (04 3618 129).
Cielo Sky Lounge, Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club Dubai Creek’s answer to 360°. The sunset views make this an al fresco bar to rival long-term favourite QD’s in this end of town. Cielo Sky Lounge appeals to fashionable sorts and hipsters with its Ibiza-like vibe and decor featuring liberal use of cool blues and whites, as well as top DJs. Cielo certainly looks the part – crisp white couches with a nautical touch of blue, sail-like canopies and uninterrupted views of the water and skyline. Al Garhoud Road, Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. Open daily 4pm until late. Telephone: 04 295 6000.
C Club A regal, wood-panelled, high-ceilinged venue where you half expect to see English gentlemen with mutton chops and starched collars wagering that they can traverse the globe in 80 days. Even if you pass on the tobacco options, C Club is still a pleasant destination for an aperitif before heading to one of the hotel’s numerous restaurants. Art, fashion and glamour mix in this club. Dress code: Smart casual. Open daily 10pm-3am. Grand Millennium Hotel, TECOM (05 425 4115).
Cove Beach, Jumeirah Beach Hotel When it comes to beachside bars, there are plenty to choose from in Dubai. The latest addition, Cove Beach, situated within the grounds of Jumeirah Beach Hotel, offers guests a day to night experience. The seafront complex occupies an ideal location overlooking the Burj Al Arab, making it a popular spot with both tourists and locals. With a truly picture-perfect setting, the décor of Cove Beach is minimalistic and contemporary with off-white furnishings. The drinks menu features a selection of signature mixed drinks, hops, grape and shorts. You can order a mixed drink of your choice, even if it isn’t on the menu. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim, Dubai. Open daily 9am-3am. Telephone: 050 454 6920.
Eden Beach Club A luxurious location with private beachfront bungalows and international headline acts. Open Tue-Sun 10am-midnight. Next to Rixos, The Palm Jumeirah (055 277 1477). Dress code: Beachside chic.
O2 The high-ceiling venue offers unique infused menus, live BBQ with different authentic flavours. Lounge around to deep house beats and fill your lungs with sea breeze as a number of performers and DJs from across the world grace the venue with their talent. The H20 rooftop is where it’s at for chilling out with friends Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa, Palm Jumeirah, East Crescent Road, Dubai. Telephone: 056 271 7273.
Pacha Ibiza Dubai Imagine indulging in world-class cuisine within a modern, purpose build theatre while enjoying a unique showcase of dancing, singing, lighting and music. Fully trained staff are a part of the entertainment, and performers interact with guests to create a complete, unrivalled dining experience. As well as day parties on weekend and special guest performers from around the globe – such as big DJs in the main room and hip-hop stars in the Red Room, there’s plenty on offer at the fresh venue. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, Dubai (04 567 0000).
Provocateur As the first American nightlife brand to enter the UAE market, Provocateur at the Four Seasons Resort Dubai, is modelled as a unique version of its New York counterpart. The club pitches itself as the first luxury electronic music venue in the city. Playing host to a roster of international artists in recent weeks such as Grammy award-winning artist Felix da Housecat and with Russian EDM producer Arty on the bill for February, it’s clear that the club is focusing on featuring authentic electronic artists. Open Thu-Fri 10pm-3am. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach
Sass Café A red carpet flanked by floodlit pools leads diners up to the distinctly nightclub-esque entrance of the venue. Beyond the blacked-out front door, the sense of being in a nightlife spot (rather than an eatery) continues. The bar area, complete with piano and DJ station gives way to a deceptively small but two-tier dining space. Dominated by red, black and mirrors, the space feels undeniably glitzy yet exceptionally dark and sultry. DIFC, Dubai. Al Fattan Currency House, Sheikh Zayed Road. Telephone: 04 352 7722.
Solo Bistronomia, Raffles Dubai Following the closure of Raffles Dubai’s long-standing steakhouse Fire&Ice, this space has had a makeover and emerged as Italian restaurant and grape bar Solo Bistronomia & Vinobar. The restaurant itself is huge. A vast, cavernous, high-ceilinged, multi-functional space, all covered in exposed russet-coloured bricks. The food here is a two-tier affair – bar snacks (restaurant equivalents of street food) and deli classics (antipasti, charcuterie and so on) in the bar area. Open daily noon-3pm, 7pm-11pm. Raffles Dubai, Oud Metha (04 370 8999).
Societe Jumeirah Societe is the type of venue you can rock up to with a group of friends in the small hours and still manage to get past the doormen. Shorts and T-shirt-clad guys are welcomed and it seems you only need a sense of humour to gain access (fail to make the doorman smile and you might find yourself left out in the cold – so to speak). Bringing the same nostalgic music with eclectic tunes from the ’80s, ’90s and ’00s, this is a spot where you will find groups of airline cabin crew serenading each other with Dirty Dancing’s ‘Time of My Life’ while everyone from dads to football teams sing along to Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas’. Open Tue-Friday 10pm-3am. Capitol Hotel. Jumeirah, Dubai (052 728 5126).
THE 31, Sofitel Dubai Downtown One of Dubai’s seemingly endless line of chic and sophisticated lounge bars. This time the stunning views come from 31st floor (ref: the name) of the Sofitel Downtown. Views of the Burj Khalifa, and often more interestingly Sheikh Zayed Road in the other direction, serve to distract from the doubtless expensive contemporary interiors, and all the chrome, glass, funky ceiling lights and stylised wall art that it entails. A decent after-dark spot which deserves to be better known. Sofitel Dubai Downtown, Downtown Dubai, Dubai. Telephone: 04 503 6699. Open daily 6pm-2am.
The Basement With nights such as Secret Circle on a Monday, Covert Events MCR with Dale Howard on Thursday and De•Con•Struct with Manuel Tur & Raxon on Fridays, there’s plenty going on at The Basement. The party night is located in The Basement, in Boutique7 Hotel & Suites in Tecom filling the gap for quality electronic music at one of the hottest venues in town. De.Con.Struct is brought you to by the crew that created the Analog Room. Tickets are priced at Dhs100 and the event runs from 10pm to 3am.
The Fabric This trendy venue has groundbreaking concepts and chart-topping artists. Enjoy karaoke Sundays with DJ Ian Cox, freak show performers and special guests. The Lodge, Al Nasr Leisureland - Off 10 St. near Lamcy Plaza, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Telephone: +971526599933.
Garden on 8, Media One Hotel As hinted at in the name, Garden on 8 is an amusing riff on Dubai’s penchant for al fresco watering holes. Designed to look like a homely pub garden, the new Dubai Media City bar sits adjacent to the Media One Hotel’s more established poolside outlet Dek on 8. Casual, but not devoid of a few interesting quirks, the spacious venue boasts fake grass and potted plants, while lawn gnomes lurk behind rows of large picnic tables. Perhaps unlike its eighth floor neighbour, there are plenty of places to sit here – you can choose to park your rear on one of the aforementioned benches, take a seat at the bar counter, loiter at the tall barrel-style tables or kick back in the small, cosy sofa area. Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City, Dubai. Telephone: 04 427 1000. Open daily 5pm-11.30pm.
Tr!beca Kitchen & Bar, JA Ocean View Hotel This place takes a great deal of its inspiration from Manhattan. Despite being in a very Dubai location on The Walk, JBR, inside a very Dubai-looking hotel, walking into Tribeca feels like a breath of fresh air. The design detail is the real excitement here – colourful, eclectic, witty, and full of pop-art and pop-culture references. Within this cartoon-meets-industrial space, you’ll find neon graffiti of the Statue of Liberty, comically huge, high-backed chairs, a ‘reclaimed’ loft combination of wood, brick and concrete, and oddities such as a suitcase crammed full of dollars chained to the ceiling. No Dubai resident can come here and not have their heads turned by the young, fresh and yet quite retro spirit of New York. JA Ocean View Hotel, Dubai Marina, Dubai, The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence. Open daily 7pm-midnight. Telephone: 050 345 6067.
Zengo The contemporary venue features an artful blend of Asian styles and flavours and is decorated in deep rich natural textures and warm tones. Guests could choose to sit in one of Zengo’s three bars, each with its own unique theme – Mist, Fire and Smoke. The bar areas are represented by a signature beverage on the menu, which features innovative approaches to classic hand-muddled drinks as well as fine grape and plenty of shorts. It also has a fine selection of high-class Chinese teas. Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina, Dubai. Telephone: 04 316 5550. Open Mon-Wed and Sat 7pm-2am; Thu and Fri 7pm-3am
Zero Gravity This stylish beach bar has music at its core, and its Saturday Drift event offers a blissed out and soulful weekend of food and live music. While you soak up the rays and enjoy a picnic, UAE soul man Adam Baluch provides the grooves. Skydive Dubai, Dubai Marina, www.0-gravity.ae (04 399 0009).