Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards 2018 – the winners
After last night’s ceremony at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, here are all the winners
Time Out Dubai staff
Best Ladies’ Night: The Penthouse The Penthouse barged its way onto the Dubai nightlife scene earlier this year, bringing with it some stonking views of New Dubai, plus mega Saturday pool parties and high-octane Thursday EDM night, Skyline. Every Tuesday, ladies’ can get three free drinks at the bar on the rooftop of the FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai. Once you pick your jaw up from off the floor after seeing the skyline vista, you’re sure to have a great time. Tue 6pm-9.30pm. Ongoing. FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai, Palm Jumeirah (04 455 9988).
Most Original Night Out: Bongo’s Bingo Wow. Just, wow. Bongo’s Bingo is a worldwide phenomenon that landed in Dubai back in April last year. It’s utter brilliance, utterly irreverent, utter mayhem and generally the funnest night out you’ll find in the city. For context, it’s bingo, but like you’ve never seen it. It’s bingo, if Mr and Mrs Bingo went away for the weekend and left 18-year-old Bingo Junior in charge of the house with the explicit instruction “NOT to have a massive party with all your mates”… Just keep an eye out for the mobility scooters, Danny DeVito cardboard cut-outs, Disney fancy dress costumes, boxes of Coco Pops and ukuleles… and those are just some of the prizes. Dates vary. ON42, Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City, www.facebook.com/bongosbingodubai.
Best Original Act: Carl & The Reda Mafia Last year was a marvellous one for this live-wire four-piece, and 2018 has started in even better fashion. From massive support slots (including Bon Jovi), to getting picked up by Universal Music, as well as various residencies at some of the city’s top live music locations, the only way is up for Carl and his mafia. The band is recording and releasing music regularly, so be sure to check out this suave group soon. www.facebook.com/cnrmafia.
Best Bar Band: The Swing Revue The Swing Revue are one of the coolest bar bands around, and deservedly picks up the gong for this new category. With classics from the golden era of swing, and modern-day covers done in the foot-sliding style of the time, their music just makes you want to smile and dance all night long. And that’s why we love them. www.theswingrevue.com
Bar of the Year: Lock, Stock & Barrel JBR – The Walk LSB JBR – The Walk, is the bigger, newer version of the Barsha Heights original, and we absolutely love this bar. Despite its enormous size (it’s twice as big as the original), it continues to be packed out on a regular basis, which is some feat. It’s lively, home to one of the best party brunches in the city, and is as much fun as its older sister. A true knockout on the JBR scene. Open Mon-Fri 4pm-3am; Sat-Sun 2pm-3am. Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR (04 520 0049).
Best Bar With A View: folly by Nick & Scott If you’re looking for views of the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and the waterways of Madinat Jumeirah, look no further. folly by Nick & Scott has, as far as we’re concerned, the best view in Dubai for a bar. It’s a superb spot for sundowners (with great offers regularly available during sunset), and you’ll also get that proper wow factor for your guests. Open Sun-Thu noon-2.30pm, 7pm-11pm; Fri-Sat noon-3pm, 7pm-11pm. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 430 8535).
Best Beach Bar: Barasti Now, sports bar excellence aside, Barasti is a seriously good beach bar. It’s perennially popular, and not just because of its big screen. It serves great food and the vibe on the main middle deck is properly chilled-out (with heaters for the cooler months). Let’s not forget the pool downstairs and an awesome beachside hangout with a dancefloor on the sand. Which is needed when this place kicks off with regular major music festivals that you’ll find on the calendar throughout the winter months. Open Sat-Wed 10am-1am; Thu-Fri 10am-2.30am. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (04 318 1313).
Beach Club of the Year: Zero Gravity This is the best beach club in town. Fact. Chilled day at the beach? Check. Chilled day in the magnificently large pool? Check. Three brilliant party brunches with killer music, a pumping vibe and decent grub? Check. International DJs coming to town on a regular basis? You get the picture. This place has re-upped its game this year, and is now the single best beach club destination you’ll find in town. Open Sun-Mon 10am-9pm; Tue 9am-1am; Wed 10am-9pm; Thu 10am-2am; Fri 8am-3am; Sat 8am-1am. Next. Next to Skydive Dubai, Dubai Marina (04 399 0009).
Best Drinks Festival: Oktoberfest, Grand Hyatt Dubai.
Best Comedy Gig: Kevin Bridges by DXBLaughs at Dubai World Trade Centre
Best Music Festival: Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival, Dubai Media City Amphitheatre
Best Outdoor Bar/Pub: Breeze Beach Grill This bar and restaurant serves an array of seafood and mixed drinks on the beach, so if you’re looking to spend a winter’s evening hanging out on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, head here, kick back and let the night just drift away. It’s also home to some brilliant food (we’re particular fans of the chicken tenders), so don’t hesitate to grab a bit of grub to accompany your chill-out. Open Sat-Wed 11am-midnight; Thu-Fri 9am-1am. Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah (04 568 3000).
Best Party Brunch: Lucky Voice We don’t think it’s possible to have more fun at a brunch that the no-holds-barred mayhem that is the Lucky Brunch on a Friday at Lucky Voice. This karaoke hotspot merges together a sharing platter brunch and unlimited house drinks alongside a huge, collective lip-sync battle. The winner will usually take home a free brunch for four (so you can go again, of course), plus a free hour in the karaoke booth is chucked in with your booking once the brunch fun has ended. Expect fireworks, in-your-face fun and one of the liveliest brunches in town. Dhs195 (soft drinks), Dhs295 (house beverages), Dhs350 (sparkling grape). Fri 1pm-4pm. Ongoing. Grand Millennium Dubai, Barsha Heights (800 58259).
Best Theatre Performance: La Perle by Dragone, by Al Habtooor Group, Al Habtoor City
Pub of the Year: The Irish Village A Dubai institution, The Irish Village and its enduring presence continues to charm hordes of expats every week. Its large garden and homely feel make it a wonderfully low-key favourite among residents. With regular live music, good food and a great vibe, The Irish Village should be your default pub option. Open daily 11am-1am. Garhoud (04 239 5000).
Best Lounge Bar: Asia Asia This ultra-swanky Dubai Marina hangout is an ideal hotspot when you’ve got visitors or guests, thanks to its great service, and unbelievable views stretching out from Pier 7 and over the Marina. With a busy ladies’ night on a Tuesday, and some brilliant Asian bites, you won’t be finding a cosier, loungier lounge bar than this anytime soon. Open Sat-Wed 4pm-1am; Thu-Fri 4pm-2am. Pier 7, Dubai Marina (04 276 5900).
Best Live Music Venue: Jazz@PizzaExpress This place has found its swagger since the refurb, and now confidently puts on nightly performances from some of the region’s top acts, including The Swing Revue and more. The Friday afternoon brunch is also a prime opportunity to catch some top live music to accompany your bottomless pizza session. More often than not, you’ll find different band arrangements made up of professional session musicians who get about town, meaning you’re always guaranteed top quality tunes that will have you nodding your head, tapping your foot and clicking your fingers. Open Sat-Wed noon-1am, Thu-Fri noon-2am. Cluster A, JLT (04 441 6342).
Best Restaurant Bar: Pisco Lounge at COYA Dubai Having launched back in 2015, Pisco Lounge is a wonderfully glamorous lounge, located at one of the city’s best restaurants. Whether you’re just getting your evening going with an apéritif, prior to a top-quality meal, or if you’re looking for a digestif to round your night off after a delicious meal, this place is perfect. Open Sat-Tue 12.30pm-1.15am; Wed-Fri 12.30pm-2am. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 316 9600).
Best New Nightlife Venue: Soho Garden What can we say about Soho Garden? Well, since this new club boldly smashed its way into town, the Dubai nightlife scene has changed. With three clubs in one, effectively, Soho Garden (the complex) hosts the eponymous club, Las Vegas pool party import Drai’s Dubai, and the enormous Soho Beach, with a 7,000-capacity arena for particularly massive gigs. Favourite Dubai club Toy Room is also set to open up in the development in the coming months. In short, this place is a game-changer. Timings vary per venue. Meydan Racecourse, Nad Al Sheba (056 822 2559).
Club of the Year: BASE We applaud BASE, firstly for its level of ambition. Secondly, for pulling it off. When this open-air super-club in d3 launched, it brought with it some of the biggest names from the world of music, like 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, Axwell formerly of Swedish House Mafia and more. It’s still bringing in the top names (Rita Ora and Jason Derulo have appeared this year), and the 3,000-capacity club is filling out regularly with ease. This is the place for Dubai’s most partying of party people. Open Thu-Sat 10pm-4am. d3 (055 313 4999).
Best Grape Bar: The Agency The Agency is a real classy grape-focused bar located in Souk Madinat Jumeirah. So you can expect to find some brilliant beverages, and pair them with some equally stunning views out over Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Just head out to grab a seat on the terrace, and soak it in. Open Sat-Wed 2pm-1am; Thu-Fri 2pm-midnight. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 366 5845).
Best Dubai DJ : Jixo & Danz The pair have been around the block, and now they’re the resident DJs at Dubai’s hottest new club, Soho Garden. Having spent a lot of last year DJing at the massive underground night COMA at Movida, you can now find this dynamic duo spinning some big beats at the Meydan super-venue on any given Thursday and Friday night. www.facebook.com/jixodanz.
Best Gig: Ed Sheeran by 117Live at Autism Rocks Arena
Best Sports Bar: The Underground This British-themed sports bar may have a slightly incongruous insistence on hammering home the London Underground thing, but this place is brilliant, and we love it. There are more than 20 screens knocking about this bar, with a few massive TVs and a projector showing the match of the day. Coupled with a discount happy hour from 4pm until 8pm, and some great gastropub grub, you’re in for a treat when you head here. Open daily noon-3am. Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection, JBR (04 408 4257).
Outstanding Contribution: Solutions Leisure team Where previous years have seen this award handed to the city’s most influential individuals in the nightlife industry, this year we couldn’t look beyond handing the Outstanding Contribution award to one of the teams that has made a huge difference to the nights out of Dubai residents over the past 12 months. The Solutions Leisure crew are responsible for some of the coolest, swankiest and best-known venues in the city. Whether you’re shooting some pool at Q43, rocking out at Lock, Stock & Barrel, taking in the Dubai Marina views at Pier 7’s Asia Asia, hanging out at Souk Al Bahar and enjoying The Dubai Fountain at Karma Kafé or The Atlantic, you’re bound to know the Solutions Leisure bars and restaurants. Last year was a big one, too, with the team launching three new venues in JBR’s Rixos Premium Dubai hotel. The arrival of Lock, Stock & Barrel JBR – The Walk has been a resounding success, and was followed up with launches of new nightclub destination Inner City Zoo, and fine-dining steakhouse-meets-bar STK. We applaud the ambition and dedication shown by the whole team for a fine year spent adding top new venues to the city’s nightlife scene.