These spots at Madinat Jumeirah are a great place to relax
1 Bahri Bar You’d be hard to pressed to find many bars with better views of the Burj Al Arab (although there are a couple more beauties on this list, truth be told). Six nights a week this place is a charming lounge bar with chilled vibes and a sprawling outdoor terrace looking straight up at the Burj, but on Fridays post-brunch this place gets rammed. It offers a generous two-for-one happy hour on house beverages on Fridays to go alongside the party atmosphere. Open Sat-Wed 4pm-2am, Thu-Fri 4pm-3am. Mina A’Salam Jumeirah, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
2 Belgian Café This is the third branch of the popular Belgian chain, and among wealth of excellent bars this part of town has to offer, this one comes across as the most chilled out. It has an upstairs terrace that, as you’d expect, has some lovely views out across the Madinat’s picturesque waterways. Belgian Café is usually packed during the weekend, and well worth a visit if you fancy an easy-going pint in some unpretentious surroundings. Open Sat-Wed noon-2am; Thu-Fri noon-3am. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 447 0227).
3 folly by Nick & Scott In an area of town where almost every bar excels in having an picture perfect viewing spot, folly by Nick & Scott has really knocked it out of the park. This charming little spot is one of the city’s most picturesque bars, plus it regularly offers up a good sundowners deal, has some signature mixed drinks and is also our Best European restaurant. Put this one on your list to visit – it’s wonderful. Open Sun-Thu noon-2.30pm; Fri-Sat noon-3.30pm; daily 5pm-11pm. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 430 8535).
4 Left Bank Left Bank has long been a favourite as much among residents as it is with the rambles of tourists who regularly meander their way around the corridors of the Souk Madinat Jumeirah. This cool bar gets a bit lively when the post-work crew pile in for its ladies’ night on a Tuesday, and it can get even rowdier at the weekend either post-brunch or for the big kick-off. And, as you’d expect, there’s a lovely view in store as well. Open Sat-Tue 9am-2am; Wed-Fri 9am-3am. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 368 6171).
5 McGettigan’s This is the fourth branch of the city’s largest chain of Irish bars, and it’s one of the sleekest. It has a lovely outdoor terrace with tables lining the waterways and cracking views up to the Burj Al Arab. Its food menu is the comfort food you’ll know and love from other McGettigan’s bars – but slightly higher brow, perhaps, designed to appeal to the Souk’s many tourists.The views are top, too. Open Sun 9am-2am; Mon-Wed noon-2am; Thu noon-3am; Fri-Sat 9am-3am. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 447 0219).
6 Perry & Blackwelder’s Get the mozzarella sticks – they’re amazing. But this bar is about more than just snacks. It’s a Southern American barbecue joint that’s also great for sports and, at the weekend, a 14-hour happy hour with selected drinks available for Dhs29. Its daily happy hour offers the same deal every day from 5pm until 8pm. The All-American vibe is strong at this chilled-out US bar. Open daily noon-2am. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
7 Publique An alpine-themed bar has ski lifts and gondolas knocking about to make for fancy seating, and a whole bunch of skis and boards lining the walls. Adding to the mountainside feel you’ll see skiing videos playing on the big screens, and you’ll be able to cosy up next to the faux fire.Treat yourself to some of the raclette – gooey, melty Swiss cheese that warms the soul. Open daily noon-2am. Souk Madinat Jumeirah , Umm Suqeim (04 430 8550).
8 The Agency A classy grape bar (our Best Grape Bar of 2017, no less), and an absolute steadfast of the Madinat scene. It serves a huge array of drinks, many of them at a reasonable price, too. Get your hands on a a bottle of grape for Dhs100 during happy hour and enjoy it on the small, but wonderfully intimate terrace. This is an ever-popular bar, that you need to visit at least once. Open Sat-Wed noon-1am; Thu noon-2am; Fri 2pm-2am. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 366 5845).
9 Trader Vic’s A South Polynesian-themed bar that has sprawled across the UAE, and this one is a cracker. Drinks come in coconuts, there’s a groovy Latin American soundtrack, the cheese balls are mindblowing and the Polynesian vibes coupled with the waterside location makes you feel like you’re on your holibobs. Just lovely. Open daily noon-3pm, 6pm-1.30am. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 366 5646).