Best lounge bar in Dubai 2018

The best of the city has been revealed at the Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards 2018

Nightlife Awards 2018

WINNER
Asia Asia

Stunning views, inventive drinks and a party vibe at this trendy Marina lounge

Asia Asia is one of those places you can’t help but love. From its stunning views across Dubai Marina to the creative mixed drinks and the excellent dishes it serves up, this is a top choice in every way.

Set in Pier 7, this trendy, dimly lit bar is busy all the time. Head here on a Tuesday for one of the most popular ladies’ nights in the city, while on a Thursday there’s a live saxophonist from 10pm.

The sophisticated and vibrant bar – full of dark woods and fushia pinks – has a large following and draws in a party crowd.

On arrival you’ll be greeted by friendly hostesses – as well as a row of golden statues – before being led through a moodily-lit passageway that has the delightful scent of lemongrass. Once inside the space pull up a stool at the bar or in one of the cosy alcoves and order up some mixed drinks.

The bar bites – as expected in a venue that was Highly Commended in our Best Asian category in the 2018 Restaurant Awards – are also ace and shouldn’t be missed, especially the selection of super-fresh sushi and creative dim sum.

This elegant and upbeat venue is worth a visit any night of the week and you’re sure to have a great time, trust us.
Open Sat-Wed 4pm-1am; Thu-Fri 4pm-2am. Pier 7, Dubai Marina (04 276 5900).


HIGHLY COMMENDED
Indie Restaurant & Lounge

A cool bar that’s quirky and fun, and about as un-DIFC as you can get

Sometimes, stepping into INDIE from the quiet walkways of DIFC can be a little bit like being beamed into the middle of Mardi Gras, so filled is it with colour, music and impromptu dancing. But even on quieter nights, it’s worth swinging by.

Set above well-known Argentinian steakhouse Gaucho, the industrial feel starts at the solid wooden door at the entrance, with the bar’s name carved through it, and extends to the exposed ceilings and quirky lighting fixtures. It doesn’t extend, thankfully, to the seating, which is colourful and comfortable rather than hard and steel-inspired. On Mondays and Wednesdays, the bar comes to life with Ritmo Latino (which features a
salsa class) and French night La Francofolie respectively.

Prices are what you’d expect for the heart of Dubai’s Financial Centre, though the cheapest glass of grape is a fairly average (for the city as a whole) Dhs52, and it’s not bad. Peckish? You’re in safe hands. Bar bites are top-notch (try the INDIE sliders and the crab toast), but at Dhs70-80 and upwards, are likely to put more of a dent in your funds.

That said, for a fun, laid-back and distinctly un-DIFC night out in, well, DIFC, there are few better options.
Open daily 5pm-2am. Gate Village 5, DIFC (055 455 6106).


HIGHLY COMMENDED
Iris

Glamorous rooftop bar, with wide-ranging views and a party vibe

Set high up on the 27th floor of The Oberoi Dubai sits cool, classy rooftop lounge Iris.

With massive glass walls, this chic lounge is a treat in cooler months, where you can sit outside and gaze out at the city’s super skyline – starring the Burj Khalifa.

Iris prides itself on its inventive mixed drinks, of which there’s a large selection, and the outside terrace is the perfect, understated vantage point from which to sip a beverage and chill out.

As well as the signature mellow beats that accompany the view, twice a week, on a Sunday and Tuesday, there’s live music where the party really steps up.

The bar bites menu is concise yet tasty – think sushi et al – and the minimal décor makes for chic, classy surroundings.

The bar was refurbished last year, and the whole area feels fresh, bright and trendy – down to the vibrant green sofas and jungle-esque wall behind an oversized swing at the entrance.

Hailing from Beirut – the Lebanese home of partying – expect a top night out at this glamorous bar.
Open Sat-Wed 5pm-2am; Thu 5pm-3am; Fri 1pm-3am (Brunch 1pm-5pm). The Oberoi Dubai, Business Bay (056 951 1442).


SHORTLISTED
40 kong

This swanky rooftop bar was refurbished in 2017 and boasts cool, jungly décor, as well as wide-ranging views across Downtown Dubai. Above average bar food, and pumping beats. A good night out, especially for visitors.
Open daily 8pm-3am. The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 355 8896).

At.mosphere lounge
This is Dubai’s highest drinking spot – set on the 122nd floor of Burj Khalifa – with a strict dress code, expectedly high prices but unrivalled views over the city.
Open daily noon-2am. Seating times: 5.30pm; 8pm; 10.30pm. Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3828).

Gold on 27
A glitzy bar set within the famous Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Gold drapes across every surface, so get dressed up for this place. There are also top views and some inventive mixed drinks, and it’s not as formal as you might expect.
Open daily 6pm-1am. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 301 7600).

Karma kafÉ
A stunning Downtown Dubai hangout with view of The Dubai Fountain. A great spot to take guests with an upbeat vibe and some excellent mixed drinks and bar bites.
Open Sun-Thu 3pm-2am; Fri-Sat noon-2am. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 423 0909).

Little Black Door
Inconspicuous bar that perfectly balances fancy and funky. A top night out that also features a very welcome live music session as well.
Open Mon-Sat 7.30pm-3am. Conrad Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (055 623 1620).

Q’s Bar and lounge
There are always some sensational, internationally recognised live acts at this classy lounge bar from legendary producer and composer Quincy Jones. At Palazzo Versace, it’s a swanky night out.
Open Tue-Sat 7pm-2am. Palazzo Versace Dubai, Al Jaddaf (04 556 8865).

Zuma
This hip, seriously cool bar is attached to Time Out Dubai’s Best Japanese Restaurant 2018, Zuma. A classy place to chill out post-work or pre-dinner in DIFC.
Open Sun-Wed noon-3.30pm, 7pm-midnight; Thu-Fri noon-3.30pm, 7pm-1am, Sat 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-midnight.  Gate Village 6, DIFC (04 425 5660).

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The best of the city has been revealed at the Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards 2018

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