We pull out some gems for you to try across the old side of town
1 961LB Over in Al Seef, the Meraas development at Dubai Creek, you’ll find this top-notch new bar that blends a chilled out daytime eatery with a funky, lively live music and happening bar. It originated in Lebanon, and has expanded over here to bring its brand of party nights that can really kick off. Be sure to sample some of the top dining options available at the bar the rest of the time, and stay for the late-night action. It’s one of the few licensed venues in the area, and is well worth a visit. Open Sun-Thu 9am-2am; Fri-Sat 9am-3am. Al Seef, Bur Dubai (058 896 1961).
2 Goodfellas This is a mega-popular sports bar that did so well in this, its original Bur Dubai home, that it grew towards New Dubai, and became the home of Liverpool FC fans. This will be showing every game and gets busy. Super busy. With pool tables, loads of screens and an uncomplicated, unapologetically normal feel about the place, we love heading here, and encourage you to, too. Open daily noon-3am. Regal Plaza Hotel, Bur Dubai (04 355 6633).
3 Miss Wàng Celebrating its first anniversary, Miss Wàng took the nightlife scene by storm last year. Hidden away in Majestic Hotel Tower, you’ll find some great Asian street grub (with some great daily deals), low lighting, exposed brickwork and everything else that make trendy places trendy. And if that wasn’t already awesome enough, there’s even a free karaoke room (if you’ve eaten), so it keeps getting better. Open daily 6pm-3am. Majestic Hotel Dubai, Bur Dubai (04 501 2567).
4 Rock Bottom Café Another Bur Dubai classic that expanded out into Barsha Heights, Rock Bottom Café is a no-holds-barred spot for party people looking to make the most of the whole night. It turns from a diner by day to a nightclub by, well, night, so you can grab a bite to eat, shove your table to one side and get dancing. With live music, an upbeat and lively vibe with a back-to-basics approach to fun, it’s no wonder this place now rightly sits as an old-school Dubai institution. Get this on your Dubai bucket list, and head there at your next possible opportunity. Open daily 8am-3am. Regent Palace Hotel, Bur Dubai (04 396 3888).
5 Room 108 Neighbouring new Indian gastro hangout Bar Baar (formerly The Music Room, turn over the page to read our review), this Cuban-style cigar lounge feels like the perfect place to hide away from the world. A tiny, iving room-like spot, expect themed mixed drinks, an old fashioned, almost old-boys’-club feel and even hefty school bells on the tables to ring for service. Jolly good, chaps. Open daily noon-3am. Majestic Hotel Tower, Bur Dubai (04 359 8888).
6 Sherlock Holmes Found in the very heart of Bur Dubai, at the Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa, you find Sherlock Holmes. Of course, not the Conan-Doyle character, but a pub that’s themed on the Victorian detective. It’s surprisingly one of the city’s more convincing attempts to create a traditional British pub, despite its loose theme. It looks like an old watering hole, and you’ll feel like you’re sat in an old fashioned British pub. Open daily noon-2am. Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa, Bur Dubai (04 351 9111).
7 The Dugout Now, this place calls itself the “ultimate venue to watch your favourite sport,” which is a big claim. But you’re more than likely to be very happy with what The Dugout has to offer in terms of sport. There’s a giant TV screen, plus seven more dotted about to so you never miss a kick, goal, wicket or try. There are bar sports and a pretty trendy décor throughout to keep big sports fans coming back over and over again. Open daily noon-3am. Grand Excelsior Bur Dubai (04 359 9992).
8 The Huddle Sports Bar & Grill This is one of the most fun-loving Thursday nights out. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, and it doesn’t need them. It has a lot of screens for sport, sure, but this place excels when it comes to live music. Stop in at around midnight on a Thursday, and you’ll see the night’s live band rocking out, busting out anything from Bohemian Rhapsody to Nirvana and Madonna. It’s a bit bizarre, but it’s 100 percent brilliant. Open daily noon-3am. Citymax Hotels Bur Dubai (04 407 8000).
9 The Playhouse This is a relatively new opening on the scene in Al Jaddaf. It’s a funky urban art bar, with murals on the walls of legendary musicians (we’re particular fans of the David Bowie one). You’ll be able to catch live music here throughout the week, and the bar even produces its own craft hops. If that’s not enough, the Asian street food menu should do the trick. Open daily 6pm-3am. Gold State Hotel, Al Jaddaf (055 708 0909).