Time Out has the most important list of Dubai's best bars and clubs, those from our awards. Discover beach clubs, ladies nights, outdoor bars and more
After 12 months spent in hundreds of bars, pubs, clubs and lounges, laughing (or cringing) our way through countless comedy gigs, dancing (and perhaps even twerking) at numerous concerts, club nights and festivals, and scouring the scene in search of the city’s top DJs and entertainment, we reveal the winners crowned at the Time Out Dubai Music and Nightlife Awards 2016.
Divided into four categories – Nights, Events, People and Venues – we’ve taken into consideration atmosphere, service and quality of drinks, as well as value for money, entertainment on offer and the overall experience, to bring you this definitive list of the best nights out Dubai has to offer.
Keeping its crown from last year, this top-class club is best known for its fresh and elaborate entertainment programme covering all bases from chart-topping pop stars and rappers to superstar DJs. Singers and dancers perform in the middle of the round bar, giving everyone in the club an eagle-eye view and allowing fans to get up-close-and-personal to the stars. Those looking to keep the party going pack in to dance to everything from EDM to urban, and the club’s state of the art sound system and light show puts it in a league of its own.
A clubbers’ paradise, this plush beach bar only opens at weekends and is busiest on Fridays when it hosts a day-to-night party. Local DJs play a mix of commercial house and tech music. Recent months have seen live sets from top DJs such as Sven Väth, Jackmaster and Kenny Glasgow, taking its profile up a serious notch.
This stylish bar ticks all the right boxes and suits all tastes. With its popular weekly ladies’ nights, fantastic drinks, stunning views, friendly service and tasty bar bites, it’s a place we’d recommend every time, no matter what the occasion.
This Irish institution is positively authentic. The menu is traditionally Gaelic, there are plenty of imported brews to make you feel like you’ve been transported to the Irish countryside and if that's not enough, many of the staff hail directly from Ireland. In true pub fashion, its walls are covered with historical pictures, sports memorabilia and antiques, making it feel homely and down to earth. With its live music nightly and sports coverage daily, there’s plenty to keep you entertained at this friendly, iconic joint.
No reservations or suit jackets are required here. This cosy space welcomes you to sink in and unwind. Choose from more than 100 types of grape. Staff are excellent – between pours, they’ll school you on the ins and outs of regions without a whiff of snootiness. What you see is what you get, superior grape in a relaxed setting.
This sprawling venue tends to attract groups – be prepared to engage in a bit of competitive heckling with rival fans. But it’s all in good fun, of course, and adds to the buzzing atmosphere. Premier League football and rugby dominate the screens, but with over a dozen, you’ll find everything from golf to F1 and UFC showing.
You’ll need to be wearing your finest threads when heading here. The scenic rooftop bar has an air of exclusivity that gives it a refined, sophisticated vibe. Order a mixed drink, grab a stool and take in the views – it’s sheer bliss.
This Asian-themed bar draws in a crowd night after night with experimental drinks, a DJ playing a lively mix of house and disco beats and an outstanding food menu. Its exotic, eye-catching interiors, and the bartenders’ impressive Tom Cruise-style juggling, make every visit special.
You get everything you’d expect and want from a lounge bar here – swift table service, live music and views that stretch across the city, not to mention a lively atmosphere and charming décor (there’s stylish shrubbery scattered throughout the bar). It’s impossible to have a bad night out at Iris.
This spot is expertly decorated, lined from ceiling to floor with inflatable animals, oversized sunglasses, fancy dress items and fishbowls filled with drinks and huge, silly straws. Designed more for dancing, this brunch is a proper party from start to end. The DJ plays radio-friendly hits, which get everyone – young and old – on their feet.
This stunning venue offers unmatched old-school charm married with impressive musical variety. Laid out like a classic theatre, MusicHall fills up week in, week out with guests drawn to watch pitch-perfect live performances, ranging from emerging Middle Eastern talent to international tribute acts.
With its acoustic sessions on Mondays, ladies’ night on Tuesdays, brunch on Fridays and sports screened live on Saturdays – not to mention a live band night after night – this bar is all about entertaining its guests. The best part is, there’s no cover charge and tables are first come, first served. A night out here is fuss-free, thanks to its relaxed door policy and laid-back attitude. It’s a place you can really let your hair down at and enjoy a drink and a boogie.
Every week, this night brings in superstars such as Ace Hood, Sean Paul, T.I., Trey Songz and August Alsina, which, in turn, draws in plenty of clubbers. The music is on point – think old-school mixes, modern chart-toppers and classic anthems – making it a reliable, fun night that you’ll return to time and again.
Since launching in January, this weekly night has built up a loyal following, thanks to DJ Jean B’s stellar deep house mixes. It attracts a diverse, good-spirited crowd that creates an energetic buzz. The upscale club has an ideal setting – the space is designed with the DJ in mind, with a perfectly placed booth and solid sound system. The dancefloor is ample for throwing a few shapes and drinks are reasonably priced, so the value is right up there, too.
Don’t let the name put you off – there’s nothing bad about this night. It’s consistently excellent every time. The music stays away from mainstream commercial chart hits, the playlist for the night is strictly indie and punk. Expect indie tunes that didn’t make the charts with a few classics thrown in from bands such as Friendly Fires and LCD Soundsystem. This one’s for real music enthusiasts who revel in discovering rare and obscure tracks. The dancefloor is always packed and has a student vibe, with massive inflatable animals being thrown into the air while DJs often wear costumes or masks. If you like fancy dress parties, this is one to try.
This ladies’ night is bustling every week, and has an infectious, party atmosphere that will make you want to hit the dancefloor. Ladies can either dine in the restaurant, which has a relaxing setting and is ideal for catching up with pals, or mingle upstairs in the vibrant bar area where the music is loud and lively. A pop-up shopping area selling quirky fashion and jewellery items really sets the venue apart from its competition. We were particularly impressed with the attentive and generous staff, who offer you bubbly while you shop – a first-class night out.