Nuts about Narcos? Fans of the hit Netflix series will want to check out Dubai Marina’s latest opening – a deeply secret nightclub open two nights a week, and requiring a password to gain entry.
Hidden away above new Mexican restaurant and bar La Carnita, Cartel is a seriously tiny nightclub with a seriously exclusive vibe. Open from Wednesday to Friday (from 11pm until 3am), those keen to get through the doors will need to get their hands on the password first.
With room for up to 80 partygoers, the intimate nightspot promises seriously authentic speakeasy vibes – and a DJ spinning from within a confessional booth.
Also available for private hire, the room sits directly above the Toronto-imported main venue’s bar, and serves up the same enormous range of classic distilled agave beverages that Mexico is renowned for.
With low ceilings, banquette-style seating and plenty of room for popping and locking on the floor, Cartel is every inch the underground nightclub you’d expect, with no VIP tables (though reservations are available) or velvet roping.
Brought to Dubai by way of Canada, La Carnita started life as pop-up where artwork was sold and tacos were given away free. Its tacos became so popular that a restaurant was launched, and has since grown to four locations in Toronto, one in Winnipeg and a further in Baltimore.
In Dubai, the menu has been expanded beyond the original’s selection of tacos to include larger main courses – but it would be little short of churlish to visit without trying an order of La Carnita’s name-making cod taco before heading upstairs for the night.
Oh, and about that password – a call to the reservations line should ensure you get one.
(Well, we didn’t say it was without gimmicks.)
Open Wed-Fri 11pm-3am. La Carnita, InterContinental Dubai Marina (050 714 9069).