We look at some of the best newcomers and revamped wonders on Dubai’s bar scene
After surviving the summer season it’s time to emerge from your air-conditioned cocoon and reignite your social life. Things have changed a little since you last ventured outside but here are seven venues that are either new to the scene of have had a marvellous makeover. Enjoy...
1 Azure Beach This Mediterranean-inspired beach club has sprung up at the Rixos Premium Dubai and bills itself as a “stylish and sophisticated destination for a day of relaxation and rejuvenation, a world away from Dubai’s busy street life”. The view from here at sunset is something to admire as you chill out with a mixed drink at the poolside lounge or secluded sandy beach area. If the little ones are in tow, send them off to the kids’ club so you can enjoy some peace. Sounds like bliss to us. From Dhs300 (inclusive of Dhs200 food and beverage voucher). Open daily 10am-late. Rixos Premium Dubai, The Walk, JBR (052 777 9472).
2 Café Artois The world’s tallest hotel was hardly a place for al fresco experiences (health and safety bods saw to that) but since it opened the Bridgewater Tavern earlier in the year, it has really embraced the outdoors. Now you can have double the fun after Café Artois opened for business, taking full advantage of its prime location on the banks of the Dubai Canal. This family-friendly spot is as relaxed as it is affordable. And music fans will be glad to know Saturdays are all about the tunes, with perennial crowd pleasers The Boxtones hitting the stage in rotation with acoustic sessions of classic hits from Ghost Rockets. Free entry. Open Sun-Wed: 4pm-midnight, Thu 4pm-2am, Fri noon-2am, Sat noon-midnight. JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay (04 414 0000).
3 Coco on 8 Media One Hotel continues to be transformed and the latest venture on its new path is this Miami-inspired poolside spot, which has replaced DEK on 8. The newcomer is proving especially popular with the ladies and if you can book Sunday off, you can enjoy ten hours of drink specials thanks to We Run The World, with with unlimited selected mixed drinks and food items at Dhs30 from noon to 5pm followed by three further free drinks between 5pm and 10pm. Happy hour is daily from 5pm to 8pm, with mixed drinks, grape and hops for Dhs30. Open Sat-Wed noon-midnight, Thu-Fri noon-2am. Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City (052 646 1764).
4 Cove Beach This idyllic, all-new beach lounge offers breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf and the iconic Burj Al Arab in an elegant setting. Cove Beach benefits from having an unspoiled stretch of white sand to relax on, along with open lounge spaces for chilling with friends in. Along with the makeover comes a new food menu packed with fresh, ingredient-driven dishes including grilled seafood, delicious homemade pastas and an expertly prepared selection of vegetarian dishes. You certainly won’t go hungry (or thirsty) here. Open daily 11am-3am. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (50 454 6920).
5 40 Kong Life begins (again) at 40 Kong after the swanky bar with a view was given a fresh, new look. The former Time Out Dubai award winner has had far more than a rudimentary lick of paint, however, with this hugely popular rooftop retreat now concentrating more on an all-round experience, with dining coming to the fore. That’s not to say it isn’t still one of the finest sundowner spots in the city. We’re big fans of its stylish makeover, which just oozes class from every nook and cranny. Along with a new food menu, expect the same high level of inventiveness from the mixed drink options. Open daily 7pm-3am. The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 355 8896).
6 Key West Nikki Beach recently launched this bar and grill where the Floridian, Caribbean and Latin influences are clear for all to see – from the drinks to the décor to the food menu. Kick the evening off with a sundowner and soak up the laid-back atmosphere. The venue’s décor is light and airy, with stunning views of the Arabian Gulf, a white sandy beach and lush green palm trees. DJ sets and Caribbean rhythms just add to the vibe at Key West, which is set to be rolled out at Nikki Beach resorts worldwide. We’re fans already. Open daily 5pm-11pm. Nikki Beach Resort & Spa, Pearl Jumeira (04 376 6000).
7 The Secret Terrace Having opened on October 18, this Steigenberger Hotel hangout is charmingly decorated, effortlessly cosy and offers cracking views of the Dubai skyline from its rooftop perch. Feel the day slip away as you sink into the comfy cushion couches, cabanas and swing chairs as you sample inventive mixed drinks and the Thai street food-style creations of chef Khun Anan. Ladies’ night (Wednesday, 7pm until midnight) is one not to be missed. Open daily 5pm-3am. Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay (04 369 0000).