The city's best places to catch a magnificent view of sunset
This city is full of beautiful views, especially at sunset. So, to help you hunt Dubai's most stunning vistas at dusk, we've rounded up 32 of the best ones around. Swipe through the gallery above to find your next spot.
High-rise vistas Above 21 This Palm Jumeirah bar is situated on the 13th floor, with massive windows lending themselves perfectly to a far-off gaze out into the horizon. Speciality mixed drink are available. Order one while watching the coastline become bathed in an orangey-pink hue as jet-skiers criss-cross the waters below. At night, it still offers one of the best views of Dubai Marina that you can get from the Palm, and the cosy new venue is pretty slick, too. Open daily 2pm-2am. FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai, Palm Jumeirah (04 455 9988).
At.mosphere Lounge Is there any better place to sip your sundowner than from level 122 of the world’s tallest building? Rising 442 metres off the ground, At.mosphere promises stunning views of Downtown Dubai – but it will set you back a few dirhams. For a window seat in the Lounge at sunset there’s a minimum spend of Dhs320, although there’s a pretty impressive beverage menu to help you rack up those numbers. Restaurant: Dhs880 per person (minimum spend, window seat), Dhs680 per person (minimum spend, non-window seat); Lounge: Dhs320 per person (minimum spend, window seat); Dhs250 per person (minimum spend, non-window seat. Open daily 12.30pm-3.30pm (high tea), 5.30pm-1.30am. Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3828).
Gold on 27 This Burj Al Arab spot is a place you’ll want to get dressed up for and make an occasion out of. Set on the 27th floor of the hotel, floor-to-ceiling windows give way to panoramic views out across Jumeirah. It’s glitzy, bold and decadent in a nice way and it goes without saying that the views are out of this world. Open daily 6pm-1am. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 301 7600).
The Penthouse A new rooftop bar has just opened on the Palm and it’s the perfect spot for sundowners. The views of the Dubai Marina skyline from the top of FIVE Palm Jumeriah Dubai are jaw-dropping and the terrace bar is ideal for an early evening soirée. If you head to The Penthouse on a Thursday for the appropriately-named weekly event, Skyline, you’ll get to enjoy some top DJs and dance acts, too. Marina View Bar Terrace open Sun-Wed 4pm-2am; Thu-Sat 4pm-3am. FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai (050 900 4868).
Vault Vault is set across the 71st and 72nd floors of the JW Marriott Marquis and the sky-high bar is super-swish. It looks plush and feels exclusive – you’ll want to get your glad rags on for this one. As you might expect, prices can be a bit steep, so it’s best to visit for happy hour – which is conveniently during sunset hours. The deals include selected drinks from Dhs40, daily from 5pm to 7pm. Pull up a stool and take advantage of those expansive floor-to-ceiling windows. Open daily 5pm-3am. JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay (04 414 3000).
Weslodge Saloon The bar is 68 floors up, so perfect for a bit of sunset appreciation (and potential vertigo). The large windows are ideal for a bit of misty-eyed gawping and the views over Business Bay and Sheikh Zayed Road are second-to-none. The Canadian export also has some pretty interesting drinks on the menu and is a bit hipster if you fancy admiring a few beards. Open Sun-Thu 5.30pm-2am; Fri-Sat 5.30pm-3am. JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay (04 560 1700).
W Lounge This lounge – and the hotel’s lobby – is situated on the 30th floor of the W Dubai, with massive windows overlooking Sheikh Zayed Road, Jumeirah and what’s left of Safa Park. It’s laid-back with low music, so you can have a good natter while actually being able to hear what the other person is talking about (to risk sounding old). It’s slick in design for sophisticated socialising at sundown and it’s definitely high up on our list for post-office beverages. W Dubai Al Habtoor City, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 436 6666).
Beachside spots 360° In Dubai, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to seafront bars and restaurants. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a novelty to have a drink in a venue surrounded by the ocean, and that fascination shows no signs of wearing off. Head to 360° early to catch the sun setting and you’ll be in for a treat. Settle into a comfy sofa on the terrace, order a drink and relax. As night falls the vibe picks up, so expect dancing and a party crowd. Open daily 5pm-3am. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
Barasti No list of sundowner spots would be complete without this Dubai institution, where you can drink sundowners on the beach, from the bars (inside and out) or around the pool. It’s a down-to-earth spot where your day at the beach club can easily turn into a full night out. Best of all, you can pretty much wear what you want, and sandals and shorts are basically the standard uniform. You’ll also get some good drink deals and there’s usually some sort of live entertainment, so you can have a good boogie by the seaside. Open Sun-Wed 10am-1.30am; Thu 10am-3am; Fri 9am-3am; Sat 9am-1.30am. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (04 318 1313).
BiCE Sky Bar There are a string of Palm Jumeirah-facing bars in JBR, but BiCE Sky Bar sets itself apart with creative mixed drinks and a live pianist. For an intimate get-together over a sundowner it’s a solid option. There’s Italian food on offer if you get a bit peckish, too. Open daily 5pm-2.30am. Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort, The Walk, JBR (04 399 1111).
Bliss Lounge This is a laid-back JBR beach bar where you can kick off your shoes and dance on the sand while you sip mixed drinks. It exhibits none of the snootiness or exclusivity of VIP beach zones and has a worthy reputation as a non-pretentious hangout for party people who like the possibility of getting some sand between their toes – and of course you can enjoy a cracking sunset. Open daily 12.30pm-2am. Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort, JBR (04 315 3886).
Club Vista Mare Any one of the bars and restaurants lining Club Vista Mare are well-situated for day-to-night drinks (even if you’re facing the wrong way for actual sunset views). The 120 metres of beachfront promenade on the Palm houses seven licensed restaurants, each one very different to the other in terms of food and style, but with one super asset in common: amazing sea and city views that can be enjoyed from the more than 1,000 outdoor seats, or the sand below. We’re big fans of Breeze Beach Grill, which is laid-back, with a bit of a Caribbean twist, and The Tap House, which is more like your beloved British local – without the scratchings and soggy weather. Breeze Beach Grill: Open Sun-Thu noon-midnight; Fri-Sat 9am-1am.
Copper Dog From the tartan upholstery to the extensive variety of imported beverages, via dangling decorations assembled from antlers, Copper Dog feels pulled straight from the Highlands – until you look out of the window that is. You’ll be faced with stunning views of Ain Dubai and Bluewaters Island, which is hard to beat with a malt beverage and a haggis ball. Open Sun-Thu 5pm-2am; Fri-Sat 10am-2am. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dubai – Jumeirah Beach, The Walk, JBR (04 559 5355).
DRIFT Beach Dubai This new beach club at the One&Only Royal Mirage looks out to Ain Dubai over the crystal shores of the Arabian Gulf. The views over the Palm and dazzling Dubai skyline are stunning. And it’s the perfect place for lazy sundowners among laid-back, yet luxurious surroundings. We’ll see you by the infinity pool. Open daily 10.30am-7.30pm. One&Only Royal Mirage, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (04 315 2200).
El Chiringuito There are two places in the world where you’re pretty much guaranteed an amazing sunset. The first being Dubai (of course) and the second being Ibiza. When you’ve got sunsets like these, it’s only right to watch them from somewhere equally as stunning – and that’s where El Chiringuito comes in. The outlet on the Palm is the second branch of El Chiringuito, the first of which is in the White Isle, and you’ll get the same laid-back super-cool vibes at both. Drinks are reasonably priced, ranging from Dhs45 for hops and grape to Dhs85 for mixed drinks. All the usual suspects are present, as well as some of El Chiringuito’s signature mixed drinks, with ingredients including home-made cinnamon syrup and fresh dragon fruit. Open Sun 10am-7pm; Mon-Sat 10am-11pm; Fri 10am-11pm. Rixos The Palm Dubai, Palm Jumeirah (04 277 9180).
Fish Beach Taverna It feels extra-special here as the sun goes down and the pretty lights hanging from the trees start twinkling against the shimmering water. The walk down to the shore to find the venue only heightens the sense of anticipation, and first impressions are great. The views over the Arabian Gulf are totally picture-perfect and your Instagram-feed will be enviable to say the least. Open Sun-Thu noon-3pm, 6.30pm-11pm; Fri-Sat noon-3pm, 6.30pm-11.30pm. The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (04 511 7139).
Jetty Lounge After meandering through the lush gardens of One&Only Royal Mirage, you’ll come across this idyllic beachside spot. It’s the perfect place at sundown, and when the golden skies are just peeking through the palm trees, it’s a visual delight. Once darkness falls the place livens up and the lit-up palm trees take on a tropical feel. It’s classy and more grown-up than some other beach bars. Plus, there are good happy hour deals. Head here for sunset, order a drink, sit back in the comfy sofas and just relax. Open daily 2pm-2am. One&Only Royal Mirage, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (04 426 1099).
Key West It’s smack bang on the beach and brings a slice of tropical island life to the shores of the Arabian Gulf. It’s idyllic, completely relaxed and a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Take a seat outside on the beach-facing terrace, where the sounds from the sea make for a peaceful dining experience. And since the venue opens at 5pm, it’s the perfect spot for sundowners with your toes in the sand. Open daily 5pm-11pm. Nikki Beach Resort & Spa, Pearl Jumeira (04 376 6000).
La Cala Set within the picturesque Ghantoot Marina, La Cala is a beach bar offering a retreat away from it all. The scaled-back al fresco spot is relaxed and a DJ plays cool Ibiza-esque beats as you watch the sun set across the marina. It’s definitely worth the 20-minute drive from Dubai for a Friday beverage. Open Fri noon-3am; closed Sat-Thu. Ghantoot Marina & Resort, Ghantoot (050 151 8407).
Laguna Lounge This bar at Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort is the ideal place to head if you like your sundowner with your feet up. The beachside spot is super-chilled and therefore perfect if you fancy stretching out as you sip on an inventive beverage. The lounge is spread out over two levels of decking on the beach at with big pillows to sink into as the sun melts into the sky. Open daily 8am-3am. Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa, Palm Jumeirah (04 455 5656).
Palm Grill Is there anything better than nibbling on a bit of fresh fish with your feet in the sand and a sea breeze in the air? We think you’d be hard-pushed for a better way to take in the dusk, even in a city as decked out for it as Dubai. This al fresco grill at The Ritz-Carlton Dubai has it all, in a lazy environment with 180-degree views of the Arabian Gulf, to make you feel like you’re on holiday in your own backyard. Open Sun-Thu noon--11pm; Sat 1pm-11pm. The Ritz Carlton Dubai, Dubai Marina (04 318 6150).
RIVA Ristorante, Bar & Beach RIVA has a licensed gazebo bar that was made for sundowners (we imagine). Overhanging trees, landscaped pathways, views of the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and an uplifting soundtrack make it a gorgeous little spot. The Mediterranean-inspired menu features dishes such as crab and avocado salad, grilled sea bass and charred lamb chops to get your chops around. Open daily 7am-midnight. Shoreline Apartments Building 8, Palm Jumeirah (04 430 9466).
Sho Cho The extensive mixed drink menu provides a number of interesting options for sundowners, and for maximum wow factor those sundowners should really be enjoyed outside. The decking floor extends out onto the Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa’s beach, with tables extending all the way to the water’s edge. It’s a stunning view towards Downtown Dubai and the Burj Khalifa, and the Japanese food is worth a try, too. Open daily 5.30pm-3am. Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 346 1111).
The Beach House This is always a safe bet when planning sundowners because whether you’re indoors at the bar or out on the terrace you get a phenomenal view of the glittering shoreline as the sun goes down. The relaxed spot sits just beside the beach and offers a range of Mediterranean cuisine, including pizzas, tapas and seafood – and of course a selection of mixed drinks to sip as the sky changes colour. Plus, with the quaint water villas set out to sea, you could almost be on a far-flung island. Open 12.30pm-11.30pm. Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, Palm Jumeirah (04 567 8304).
Zero Gravity Located next to the drop zone of Skydive Dubai, beach-club-meets-lounge-bar Zero Gravity has grown in popularity as a hotspot for al fresco beverages at sundown. Although in the heart of Dubai Marina, the long, winding path down to Zero Gravity gives it a slightly exclusive, destination feel that adds to its charm. It’s laid-back and casual, and the hours may well slip away from you. Open Sun 10am-9pm; Mon 10am-1am; Tue 9am-3am; Wed 10am-9pm; Thu 10am-3am; Fri-Sat 8am-3am. Near Skydive Dubai, Dubai Marina (04 399 0009).
Rooftop bars Belgian Café There are three of these venues across Dubai and we’re fans of all of them. The atmosphere is always good, the selection of hops (Belgian, of course) is wide, and the food is consistent. For sundowners though, the Festival City bar takes the crown every time. The lovely outdoor area looks over the Creek and is a sight to behold when the pinky-orangey light hits the water. Open daily noon-2am. Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City (04 701 1127).
Cielo Sky Lounge There is no doubt that Cielo Sky Lounge has one of the best views in Dubai. It sits on the top floor of Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, a complex that also houses Casa de Tapas and Boardwalk and looks over the Creek towards Bur Dubai and the skyscrapers lining Sheikh Zayed Road. Open Sun-Wed 6pm-2am; Thu 6pm-3am; Fri noon-3am. Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Deira (04 416 1800).
Estrellas Rooftop Lounge Estrellas has the rooftop lounge, the skyline views and the happy hour deals. What more to you need to know? Well first off, you might be interested in the timings of said happy hour. Conveniently it runs daily between 7pm and 9pm, so once the sun has set, you’ll get drinks from Dhs30. The Port Rashid rooftop also puts on a ladies’ night every Wednesday, where women get two free drinks. Well worth a visit. Open daily 7pm-3am. Meliá Dubai, Deira (04 386 8111).
folly by Nick & Scott The majority of folly by Nick & Scott is outdoors and the views over the Madinat Jumeirah and Burj Al Arab Jumeirah are stunning. If you can tear your eyes away from the glimmering coastline, you’ll appreciate that the bistro-style décor works perfectly with the overall relaxed vibe. The food is pretty spot-on, too, and you can expect modern European dishes that are perfect for sharing. Don’t miss the daily happy hour, from 3pm to 7pm, with unusual mixed drinks starting from just Dhs25. Open daily from noon. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 430 8535).
Mercury Lounge This is a truly beautiful spot, with a great open space for mingling while taking in the Dubai skyline, alongside cosier, more secluded seating areas that offer a little more privacy. Soak up the scene early when you’ll be able to watch the sunset reflected back at you from Sheikh Zayed Road’s skyscrapers. Drinks are reasonably priced, too. Open Sun-Thu, 6pm-2am; Fri-Sat 6pm-3am. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah (04 270 7804).
Treehouse Aesthetically, Treehouse doesn’t have to try all that hard, considering the unobstructed view of Burj Khalifa dominating the skyline. Luckily for us, it did anyway. The views of Business Bay are glittering from up here and although the space is on the small side, it’s been maximised intelligently and split into dividing strips that make it feel more spacious. As the name suggests, there’s plenty of pretty shrubbery dotted around and the drinks menu is an interesting one to say the least. The refined selection of extravagantly named concoctions features ingredients like blue cheese, beetroot and rhubarb shrub, paprika, truffle and aged balsamic vinegar, thankfully not all at the same time. Open Sun-Thu 6pm-2am, Fri-Sat 6pm-3am. Taj Dubai, Business Bay (058 827 2763).
Uptown Bar This 24th-floor spot is quaint and cosy with floor-to-ceiling views looking out onto the Burj Al Arab. The main attraction, though, is the roof terrace, looking out onto Jumeirah and sprawling views of the city as far as the eye can see. It’s an absolute crowd-pleaser, and crowds there will be. Show up in plenty of time to get a good spot and you’ll be in a champion position to watch the sun go down. Open daily 6pm-2am. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).