Free drinks, discounts on fine dining and a party atmosphere seven nights a week
Barasti Beach Bar The deal: Three free drinks. Tuesdays 7pm-midnight. The verdict: Everyone loves a freebie, and fans of Barasti’s old ladies’ night (pay Dhs50 and get unlimited pink bubbly) can rejoice, as the new version, ‘Candy Girls’, won’t cost you a dirham. From 7pm to midnight, ladies get three free mixed drinks. It might not be top shelf stuff, but hey, freeloaders can’t be fussy.
Flats or heels? Metres from the sand, flip-flops are the obvious choice. In fact, tousled wet hair, swimwear and shorts are pretty much the standard dress code. Where’s best to go after? With two DJs behind the decks, dance the night away here until 3am. For a clubbier vibe, head to Q43 at Media One Hotel and continue the ladies’ night streak. Girls get three free drinks from 6pm to 1am. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh Road (04 318 1313).
Crab Tavern Dubai The deal: Fifty percent off food, plus unlimited mixed drinks and grape when dining. Wednesdays 8pm-midnight. The verdict: For anyone a bit cash-strapped, ‘Sunset Wednesday’ is a pretty nifty deal. Ladies just have to purchase a main course from the food menu to get unlimited drinks on the house. While the food was a little underwhelming – we found the fried black pepper squid to be quite rubbery and the Hawaiian fishcakes too dry – spending Dhs40 for a whole evening of free grape isn't too bad.
Flats or heels? Both – you can get away with ballet flats and rock up after work, or arrive in your snazziest outfit and heels. Stick with a fail-safe smart-casual ensemble and you’ll fit right in. Where’s best to go after? All dressed up? Head to ‘Diamond Wednesdays’ for a night of urban music at XL Dubai. Ladies get in free before 11pm (Dhs100 after). Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City (04 420 74 89).
EnVii The deal: Two free drinks. Tuesdays 8pm-11pm. The verdict: The best thing about this ladies' night is the fantastic drinks menu, followed closely by the busy party atmosphere and outdoor terrace setting (in the cooler months). On our visit, we were recommended a raspberry mixed drink, which we're pleased to report was both lovely and large. Grape and house mixed drinks are available, and you’re given two little pastel-coloured bead bracelets at the entrance to claim them – a great idea that we think more ladies’ nights should adopt. The only thing we don’t like is having to provide our details before entering.
Flats or heels? Heels. Although you won’t necessarily look out of place in flats, most people are very dressed up here (and the flyer does say ‘dress to impress’). Where’s best to go after? Continue the party at ‘Censored Tuesday’s’ at Cirque Le Soir. Located in the nearby Fairmont Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Road, you can dance to house music. Conrad Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road (050 169 6777).
Okku The deal: Three glasses of grape. Tuesdays 6pm-10pm. The verdict: This is a sophisticated affair. They make a point (almost apologetically) that they don’t have a ladies’ night, but a ‘ladies’ grape club’. It’s quiet, but ideal for a solid catch up with friends and perfect for connoisseurs. A sommelier explains each drink, and he’s genuinely enthusiastic when it comes to serving his personal favourite. Service is flawless and more characteristic of fine dining than a bar. A sublime warm chocolate fondant is included. What could be better?
Flats or heels? Heels – this is a smart venue and dressing up is expected. Where’s best to go after? Dance to house from Smokingroove at ‘Motion’ at the newly opened Cinnamon at Radisson Blu Hotel in Business Bay. Ladies get free drinks all night. The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 501 8777).
Original Wings & Rings The deal: Three free drinks. Wednesdays 7pm to midnight. The verdict: This is a real sport-lover's paradise – complete with foosball tables – where the bonus for female visitors is three free drinks on Wednesdays. Wings & Rings attracts a suited and booted after-work crowd from the DIFC area, so by default the dress code is a little smarter than jeans and a T-shirt – nevertheless, you won’t feel out of place in such attire. Claim a table, unwind with your pals and enjoy those drinks tokens with an order of what the bar is named after. Flats or heels? You'll be more than happy in flats. There are no pretentions here. Just kick back, wind down and chill. Besides, you'll be devastated if you drip Buffalo hot sauce all over a pair of your best leather heels. Where’s best to go after? For ladies who want to carry on the night in a similarly casual, no-fuss manner, head on down Sheikh Zayed Road to Rock Bottom Café in TECOM. Ladies get unlimited frozen Mexican mixed drinks from 9pm to 1am, while a live band play everything from The Killers to Katy Perry. Liberty House, DIFC (04 359 6900).
Toko The deal: Four free glasses of red or white grape, or a passionfruit mixed drink. Wednesdays 6pm-10pm. The verdict: Situated in the bar area of Toko restaurant, this place is thriving and you’ll be lucky to squeeze your way over to the bar if you arrive in the last hour or two. It’s a lady-strong crowd with about a third of men hanging out in mixed groups and enjoying the evening’s dinner offer. Revellers are given loyalty-style cards which get crossed off as each glass is ordered.
Flats or heels? Heels – this is a place for the after-work crowd and Dubai's glam set. Dress well, these are good-looking city slickers. Where’s best to go after? With 30 percent off at the Japanese restaurant, there’s no need to venture far. Vida Downtown, Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, www.toko-dubai.com (04 442 8383).
Vivaldi by Alfredo Russo The deal: Three free drinks and 50 percent off the food menu if two or more are dining. Wednesdays 6pm to 11pm. The verdict: This is a sophisticated spot that cries out for guests to be dressed in their finest. However, it was almost entirely empty on our last visit. The selection of free drinks for ladies is small, and if you’re not dining, you’ll be guided from the restaurant to the less formal lounge, which is bathed in blue light and affords a stunning view across the Creek. Head here if you and a girlfriend want to treat yourselves without obliterating your budget. We just wish there was a little more a of a buzz.
Flats or heels? Heels – it’s super chic so make an effort. Where’s best to go after? Get a taxi to Cavalli Club at Fairmont Dubai to finish the night off in style at ‘Rosay Wednesdays’, which is on until 3am. Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers, Deira, www.vivaldidubai.com (04 228 1111).
Who says the ladies get to have all the fun? Try these five deals geared for the guys
Tried and tested Gentlemen’s afternoon tea, Reform Social & Grill The deal: Afternoon tea. Daily except Friday, 3pm to 5pm.
The verdict: Sitting inside the dark-wooded bar of Reform with the Dubai sun shining through the windows, a man can find the afternoon slips away from him. What better way to accompany some lazy midweek beverages than with this an afternoon tea, gentleman-style. Gone are the cucumber and egg and cress sandwiches, replaced with steak pies and meatier bites. This is hearty stuff, you’ll probably need a lie down when you get home. Dhs95 per person, extra Dhs135 to include a Scottish short and cigar. Saturday-Thursday 3pm-5pm, (bookings must be made 48hrs in advance). Reform Social & Grill, The Lakes, Emirates Living (04 454 2638).
Mad Men Night, Z:ONE The deal: Two free drinks and mixed drinks from Dhs30. Mondays 6pm to 9pm.
The verdict: Who wouldn’t want to feel a little like Don Draper? Choose from a selection of mixed drinks popularised by the Mad Men series, and relax to a slick and sophisticated soundtrack at this intimate yet popular and casual evening at the Media One. Outdoor seating is available. Free. Monday 6pm-9pm. Z:ONE, Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City (04 427 1000).
Three more to try…
Gentlemen’s Agreement, Hunters Room & Grill
The offer: Gents dining in pairs get 50 percent off on meat cuts or a bottle of grape every Tuesday. Tuesday 6pm-10.45pm. Hunters Room & Grill, Al Sufouh Road, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina (04 511 7139).
Gentleman’s Night, Rosso
The offer: Two pints and a pizza for Dhs120 every Sunday from 9pm to midnight. Sunday 9pm-midnight. Rosso, Amwaj Rotana, The Walk, JBR, Dubai Marina (04 428 2000).
ViiNTAGE at the Greenhouse, Vii
The offer: Every Monday evening, the first 50 guests between 8.30pm and 10.30pm get a free cigar and beverage. Don’t miss the live jazz saxophonist. Free. Monday 8.30pm-10.30pm. Vii, Conrad Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.viidubai.com (050 169 6777).
Amazing deals for everyone
Grape and chocolate night Get four glasses of grape and four pieces of handcrafted chocolate selected by the in-house sommelier at this chic grape bar. Chocolates on offer include spicy cinnamon flavours and ginger dates. Dhs140 per person. Sunday 7pm-2am. Solo Vinobar, Raffles Dubai, Oud Metha, www.solodubai.ae (04 370 8999).
Happy Hour at Loca Restaurant & Bar Get 20 percent off on a large selection of drinks and house beverages from noon to 6pm. Sunday-Thursday noon-6pm. Loca, Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Jumeirah Beach Road, www.locauae.com (04 346 1111).
Italian culture Raise a glass and enjoy selected Italian speciality drinks for Dhs60 while listening to live music in the plush Armani Hotel. Dhs60 per mixed drink. Tuesdays and Friday 8pm-10pm. Armani Lounge, Lobby level, Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3444).
Rixos Nights Enjoy unlimited access to the pool and bar for Dhs150 per person, including two Cuban mixed drinks and towel rental. A snack menu is also available at an additional cost and table bookings can be arranged for groups, along with a drinks bottle and canapés. Dhs150 per person. Wednesday-Saturday 6pm-10pm. Rixos The Palm Dubai, Palm Jumeirah (04 457 5555).
Zero Gravity House Party Enjoy four hours of food and drinks at this new late-night brunch. Guests can move between rooms, bars and food stations, eating and drinking as much as they wish. Dhs295. Thursday 8pm-11pm. Zero Gravity, next to Skydive Dubai, Dubai Marina (04 399 0009).