10 places to enjoy Latin music and get your salsa on in Dubai
With the 7th Dubai International Dance Festival 2014 approaching, we take a look at where to get a slice of Dubai’s regular Latin American nightlife scene.
The 7th Dubai International Dance Festival (www.dubaidancefestival.com) will take place from Wednesday September 24 to Saturday 27 at JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort, featuring four days of live performances, workshops, dance parties and international DJs. If you’re a fan of salsa, bachata and kizomba you might want to get some practice sessions in before you hit the festival. So when the mood strikes and those hips are in need of shaking, whether it’s Cuban, Brazilian or Mexican you’re after, add a little Latin flavour to your life with top nightspots and events.
Amadeus Latino Club Aiming to appeal to those who enjoy listening to the mellow sounds of Latin music, Amadeus is a more laidback spot for food and music. The resident band, Numero Five, perform nightly from 10pm until 3am. Free. Open daily 7pm-3am. Marina Byblos Hotel, Dubai Marina (04 448 8222).
Blends Wednesday’s salsa session Havana Nights is always hopping. Start off with a free group Cuban salsa lesson before practicing your skills on the dance floor to Latin beats. Free. Mon 9.30pm-3am. The Address Dubai Marina (04 436 7777).
Café Habana Staying true to its Cuban-Mexican roots, Café Habana has live music sessions every Sunday while the resident DJ takes to the decks every night playing a Latino fusion of the latest commercial and old school classics. Free. Sat-Wed noon-1am, Fri-Sat noon-2am. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 422 2620).
Casa Latina Well-known on Dubai’s Latin scene, Casa Latina is a Cuban force to be reckoned with. Open seven nights a week and offering a range of different events, this popular bar is the place to visit for essons in Latino style. The venue plays hosts to dance classes and DJs that showcase a range of Latin sounds. Zouk and kizomba classes are held every Wednesday night from 8pm until 2am. Dhs50 for dance class. Open daily 6pm-2am. Ibis Hotel, Al Barsha (04 399 6699).
Izel Izel is a Latin American supper club that entertains guests with a curated live entertainment programme. Get there early and enjoy dinner before heading down to the main floor to dance the night away. Learn new Latin moves from dance experts every Wednesday night and enjoy the lively sounds at The Latin Quarter event every Thursday. Things heat up on a Friday with the Cartel club party and don’t miss Colombian band Tono Barrio who will be playing at Izel until October 23. Free (reservations recommended). Mon-Fri 7.30pm-2am. Conrad Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 444 7111).
Malecon Embrace Saturday Salsa Fever at Malecon every week. The club is filled with people from different backgrounds coming together to battle it out on the dance floor. Sit and watch the talent on display or join in if you’re brave enough. DJ Udia, Moe Kwaity and DJ Salvo are on the decks with a mix of salsa, Latin and urban music. Free. Sat 8.30pm-3am. Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 346 1111).
Ocacti Ocacti Mexican House holds a Cuba Linda Salsa Night every Saturday with music by Ritmo De Havana, and ladies get a 50 percent discount on drinks. Don’t miss ladies’ night every Tuesday when a Latin female trio band take to the stage. Kick off the weekend with Latin fever Thursdays, when All-Stars Familia De Salsa play a fusion of Latin, reggaeton, commercial and old school tracks. Free. Latin nights every Tue, Thuand Satu. Ocacti, Pier 7, Dubai Marina (04 452 6699).
Pachanga This restaurant and Cuban Bar at the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort has live music every night of the week. Revellers can enjoy complimentary dance lessons every Thursday, which include a mix of bachata, salsa, kizomba and reggaeton. Free. Thu 9pm-3am. Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort, JBR (04 318 2530).
Savage Garden For those with a flair for all things exotic, Savage Garden brings to the floor a cosy Latin American tavern with a tropical atmosphere and live music. Join the salsa bash every Thursday night or take part in salsa classes with professional dancers from Colombia every evening except Sundays. Dhs50 for dance class. Mon-Sat 8pm-3am. Capitol Hotel, Satwa (04 3460 111).
Sublime For midweek fun, Sublime’s Guantanmera Night plays host to a salsa night featuring zouk and kizomba among other styles. Resident DJs Udia, Dmitri and Moe Kwaity are on the decks. Free. Mon 10pm-1am. Ibis World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 332 4444).