It’s been six months since Ibiza legend Alex P moved out to live in Dubai...
‘Chi is the closest thing to an Ibiza club in Dubai, and since I’ve had that ground into me over the last 20 years, it’s my favourite place to play. The outside always reminds me of the terrace at Space in Ibiza, which me and Brandon [Block] pretty much created – it’s the closest thing to that. So when Greg, who runs Chi, asked me to do a night there I jumped at it. The night [Alex P And Friends] has done phenomenally well – even in January, when people didn’t have much money, we had a couple of thousand in. When I’m out with the lads I always have a great night down at Soluna on Saturdays – I love the fact that it’s on the beach. In some respects, it reminds me of the old Café Del Mar [in Ibiza], because it plays funky grooves, a bit of soul, a bit of disco, a bit of everything. And I always enjoy myself at 360°.’
‘I like Zuma, especially the bar there, which is very sociable but you can easily slip off when you want. And I love all the sushi and that kind of stuff. ‘For cheaper food, there’s Seashell in Jumeirah – it’s an absolutely amazing juice bar, but they do kebabs and other things. It’s open till 3am but get there before 1.30am otherwise all the kebabs will be gone.’
‘I usually hate shopping but I don’t mind going around Dubai Mall just to see the spectacle – especially the big fish tank. That place is big, but if I triangulate between the fish tank and the ice rink I’m usually all right. But the most annoying thing about Dubai Mall is having to walk a mile across it to one shop that isn’t open – and the people at the information desks have no idea because they’re in the dark as much as everyone else.’
‘When my son comes to visit from the UK, we do everything you can’t do there. We go skiing in Ski Dubai, shooting in Jebel Ali and go-karting at Dubai Autodrome – that’s one of his favourites. The best hotel for kids is Le Royal Méridien; there’s loads for them to do there. Last year, when he was 10, he came up wearing his mum’s bracelet and asked if it suited him. It turned out that he was going on his first date with a girl he met by the pool, so I put a bit of aftershave on him and gave him some money to make him look a bit flush. And then I got him into the elevens-and-up Kaleidoscope kids’ area. To help him make an impression, you know.’
‘I like the way you can make your money tax free and, if you’re not making your money, you have to get out of the country. I like that dog-eat-dog environment myself, as opposed to the UK, where I was in the super-tax bracket for many years and I felt like I was sponsoring half of the rest of Europe.’
‘I’ve had a few run-ins with the police – just little arguments here and there – but they’ve always been really good, believe it or not. You need to treat them with respect. What [expats] forget is that if you get drunk and disorderly out here you aren’t just messing about with laws, you’re messing about with religion.’
‘When you get to a club, just front it like you’re a superstar, because nine times out of 10 the doormen have no idea who anyone is. You don’t have to be rude or anything, just walk up to the front like that’s what you always do, give ’em a handshake and look at the door like you expect to be guided there. Chances are, you will. I do it at pretty much every club over here and now everybody knows me just for that. And it’s not because of my job – the kids recognise me, but I don’t think the doormen know who I am.’