The best nights out before the clubs shut their doors
Ramadan is nigh, which means many of the city’s bars and clubs will close for a month in August. But instead of wondering how you’ll entertain yourself next month, now’s the time to party like you’re 21 again. Whether you’re a househead, metaller or have a keen knowledge (or fondness) for hops, we’ve found the best parties to keep you going until September.
Belgian National Day July 21 Belgian musicians, Bart Herman, Sergio and DJ Bart Jan Depraetere are set to take part in Dubai’s first mini music festival to celebrate Belgian National Day – they’ll perform Belgian and Dutch songs that will hopefully have the homesick European crowd on their feet. There will also be a buffet of Flemish faves, such as sausages with stoemp and Belgian Beer Café’s famous meatballs – perfect for an education in lesser-known European culture. Free entry; buffet Dhs350. Doors open 7pm. Belgian Beer Café, Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City (04 701 2222)
Hop Fest July 21-23 Connoisseurs and guzzlers alike flock to this enormously popular annual three-day festival at The Irish Village. This year, choose from more than 100 hop-based beverages, with prices starting at Dhs35, while Adam Shero, The Maplejacks The Vision and DJ Mark provide the soundtrack to the progressively messy proceedings. Worried about scorching temperatures? Fear not, because this will all be taking place inside an air-conditioned tent. And the first 200 guests who return on Saturday wearing their wristbands from Thursday and Friday will get a free brunch and an ‘I survived Hopfest 2011’ T-shirt. Free entry. Thu-Sat noon-2am. The Irish Village, Garhoud (04 282 4750)
Yolanda Be Cool July 28 XL Beach Club and Durex Arabia present the duo behind the song that got everyone on the dancefloor last summer, ‘We No Speak Americano’. The Australian pair (did you know they take their name from a line in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction?) combine the melodies of funky house with the tribal, bongo beats of Africa to create music you can’t help but move to. What’s more, there’s no need to worry about the searing heat – in true Dubai style, XL has built an air-conditioned roof over the venue to keep the crowds cool. Dhs100; Dhs50 for men and free for ladies and Face card holders before 8pm. Doors open 5pm. XL Beach Club, Habtoor Grand (056 640 6161)
Art Department July 29 iLL Communications pulls another great booking out of the bag with Canadian techno-house duo Art Department. As solo artists, both Kenny and Jonny have released countless critically acclaimed records and are regarded internationally as two of the most forward-thinking, relevant underground producers to come out of North America. Initially friends, they decided to collaborate and form Art Department in 2009, with which they’ve enjoyed worldwide acclaim. The unique vocals of Kenny and the driving techno beat of Jonny is guaranteed to keep the Trilogy crowd moving all night. Dhs130, Dhs100 before 11pm. Doors open 10pm. Trilogy, Souk Madinat Jumeirah (050 725 8277)
Pacha International VIP Tour 2011 July 29 Missing out on a summer in real Ibiza this year? We have the perfect tonic for you; the Pacha International tour brings the party capital of the world right to your doorstep. For just one night, Dubai World Trade Centre plays host to the renowned club night’s 2011 international tour, with a line-up that includes DJ SYX, Josef Bamba, John Jacobsen and a live performance from the inimitable Simonne Cooper. Grab your glow sticks and prepare for smoke machines, incredible light displays and, of course, the biggest house and techno anthems of the summer. Reach for the lasers! Dhs250 VIP; Dhs150 regular. From 8pm. Dubai World Trade Centre (050 115 2544)
RAM Battle July 29 Metal Asylum and Metality UAE present another two nights of high-energy musical battles, with bands from Lebanon, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Egypt and the UAE all in attendance. The rock battle kicks off on Thursday 28; the final is on Friday 29, when the region’s metal bands will have their chance to shine. An experienced panel of judges has been chosen from the local scene, and the standard promises to be high. You too can have your say – the audience gets to vote for their favourite band on both nights. Dhs60. 9pm-3am. Cheers Bar, The Lodge, Al Nasr Leisureland, Oud Metha (04 337 9470)