Where is the best place to bust those moves? Here’s where we like to boogie.
Alpha When it opened, Alpha’s combination of small size, high ceiling and faux-Greek décor – all holdovers from its first life as a restaurant – made it a rather unlikely contender for top dog of Dubai’s nightlife. But the snazzy day-glo furniture, swirly lights and, most importantly, the thumping Funktion-One soundsystem transformed it into one of the coolest venues around. Yet Alpha’s real trump isn’t the venue – it’s the fact that the promoters had the brass balls to turn their noses up at Dubai convention and make it a true successor to the much-loved, dearly-missed eclectic venue iBO. Hosting everything from funk nights to acclaimed live indie bands, the boys and girls at Alpha have turned it from an underdog to the leader of the pack. And with soul/Motown nights, more international acts and plenty more unique events still to come, it should remain there for the rest of 2009, at least.
Chi@theLodge Many may argue that Oud Metha’s behemoth club deserved our top title. And perhaps if we were judging on its admittedly jaw-dropping venue alone, it would have received it. Once a dilapidated meat-market of a club, The Lodge was overhauled in early 2007, transmogrifying itself into a plush and incredibly spacious five-roomed venue. Between the gargantuan Ibiza-esque garden area, all-white hip hop room and drape-tastic VIP area, most can find their musical, and decor, preference. However, with its overly strict door security and rather conservative house/urban/indie music policy – and when it comes down to it, it’s the music that matters – it doesn’t quite carry the mantle of leader of Dubai’s clubbing cutting edge. But then, if their talk of future visits from artists such as Erykah Badu and Dizzee Rascal come off, who knows how things could pan out in 2009.
The Apartment Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s lavish two-roomed club opened to much fanfare at the end of 2005, quickly become the spot to congregate. Three years on, and it’s still holding its own in the city’s club circuit, particularly with its consistently packed Friday night hip hop and R&B nights, which have hosted many an international homie. Thursday nights, meanwhile, are often set aside for forward-thinking house and electro. As a fairly standard club designwise, The Apartment’s popularity will no doubt continue to rest on the strength of its acts – as well as, naturally, its champagne deals.
JamBase JamBase is not so much a jazz bar, but a restaurant and club with an in-house band that plays popular Motown and soul classics. Long may the myth of it being some smoky, spontaneous haven for creative types and men in pork pie hats rest. However, positioned as it is within the tourist-friendly confines of Souk Madinat Jumeirah, it should still be applauded for its bravery for stepping away from Dubai’s house and R&B mainstream. Music aside, the décor is satisfyingly dark and moody, the bars are well-stocked and the crowd is always huge and up for a (rather sweaty) dance.
The Music Room The Music Room is on our list for one reason and one reason only: The Rock Spiders. The venue’s constantly energetic and lovable Filipino rock band provide a rare opportunity to headband and wear head-to-toe black in our typically rather ostentatious city. There are also pool tables and drinks deals to lure you in – but you really need to be in the mood for a complete dungeon-like lack of windows and renditions of ‘Ace of Spades’ at deafening volume to venture here. And, as it happens, we find that we often are.
Just Missed Out:
Mix It’s open! It’s closed! It’s open again! With its unsure future now settled, we’re glad that Mix still rocking on – it has, we think, one of Dubai’s best interiors.
Rock Bottom It’s all in the name. A basement club in Bur Dubai with a rock covers band and years of loyal expat attendance behind it, this is where you go when all other options are unavailable. We salute the place for its dependability (though not for its racial profiling door policy).
Submarine The ideal location for Dubai’s underground music scene – literally underground, in a carpark - Submarine has swung between hip, happening and heaving to tumble weed towers and back again within its first year. But we’re not prepared to give up on such a distinctive venue just yet.
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Mehr Nov 15, 2010 12:52 pm
What are your thoughts about the Sanctuary. It has two different rooms with OK design and a big terras for the high season.
A mediator Jan 22, 2009 09:39 am
I'm sorry but Time Out have simply done their job, which is to asses all the venues equally, and choose one that offers a better experience than others, based on sound, quality, and versatility of music/club nights it has to offer...
When you compare all the clubs in Dubai, a club worthy of ‘best club in Dubai' title should be one that offers every style of music and caters for absolutely anyone in Dubai... Alpha offers RnB, Hip Hop, Indie, Electro, Drum N Bass, live Bands both local and international, House of every kind, even Bollywood and Bhangra... with a kick ass Funktion One soundsystem that's voted best in the world... it's easy to see why Time Out have declared it Best club in Dubai!
I have promoted nights across a multitude of venues in Dubai for over 3 years, and I couldn’t ask for a better club to promote my nights in, it's actually a pleasure to start working there...
I'm upset to see Plan B didn’t get a mention considering some of the hard work they have put in to be considered a top club and night out in Dubai... Plan B offers fantastic value for money, a great crowd and some top quality DJ's both international and local... definitely a contender on the list!
A club should be versatile and accommodating, as well as offering a full clubbing experience. Other clubs offer a great experience too, don't get me wrong, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But don't slate Time Out or make accusations of propaganda etc... that's just pathetic. Time Out have done their research and made a fair decision for this award.
Not Andy Buchan Jan 21, 2009 06:33 pm
Nightlife Editor - did you even go to IBO? And more to the point, isn't it about time you start writing your own articles, instead of being spoonfed others people's propaganda?
I'd be embarrassed if I was you.
What????? Jan 21, 2009 05:11 pm
Alpha number 1? I want to meet the guy who wrote this article...did they pay to get on the list even?
Firstly there are only a handful of clubs in dubai that can even be called a club...Jambase is not a club people! Neither is Alpha nor many others on the list...
Timeout - Pls find another journalist to scope clubs!!!
Sam Farha Jan 18, 2009 08:28 am
What a joke!?!? who ever published this garbage must seriously not know anything about dubai. i have lived in dubai for 26years, and can truly say that the only good clubs in dubai is: club 400, budoir.