Forget about taking the rocky road to Dublin for St Patricks Day this year, as Dubai is transforming into shamrock city to celebrate Ireland’s special day on Sunday March 17.
Whether you’re looking to celebrate with proper Irish grub or simply want an excuse to wear that green outfit stuffed in the back of your wardrobe, these bars and restaurants have you covered.
Have a gander through the list below, pick a spot and let all the craic begin.
If you’re all about the food from Ireland, Beastro should be on your list. On Sunday March 17, expect a range of Irish-themed snacks to chow down on, including potato skins, colcannon (mashed potato mixed with kale or cabbage), heaps of grilled cheese and to mix things up, lamb tacos. Better yet, those who wear something green on the special day will get a bag of green doughnuts, completely free.
Free donuts (wear something green). Sun Mar 17, noon-10pm. First Central Hotel Suites, Barsha Heights, www.beastrodubai.ae (04 454 4950).
If you’re wondering where the craic is being had, look no further than Fibber Magee’s Irish celebration. From Thursday March 14 until Sunday March 17, expect live music from The Real Shindig and more, Irish beverages priced at Dhs30 and a daily happy hour. The popular Irish bar will even be throwing a Friday brunch for Dhs63 and will be showing the Six Nations live the entire weekend. Be sure to come dressed in green.
Free entry. Thu Mar 14-Sun Mar 17. Open daily 8am-2am. Brunch: Dhs63. Fri Mar 15, noon-4pm. Saeed Tower One, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.fibbersdubai.com (04 332 2400).
All that time spent learning to tap like Michael Flatley and learning the Irish national anthem will finally pay off at Girders Garden on St. Patrick’s Day. Why, you ask? Show off your best Irish party vibes at the sports bar’s special brunch or drunch on Friday March 15 and you may not have to pay a dirham. DJ Pele and the Girders crowd will be on hand to judge a series of fun competitions throughout the day, so make sure you’re well prepared. The two brunches will set you back Dhs249, and will feature Irish classics such as steak and Irish beverage pie, along with Irish lamb stew followed by Irish truffles and a creamy cheesecake. Whatever time of day you want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Girders Garden has you covered.
Dhs249. Fri Mar 15, 12.30pm-3.30pm and 7pm-10pm. Girders Garden, JA Ocean View Hotel, JBR (04 814 5590).
Hothouse Flowers – Dubai Opera
Missing the cracking tunes of good ol’ traditional Irish music? Head to Dubai Opera for St. Patrick’s Day, where popular Irish rock band Hothouse Flowers will be blasting out their hits for one night only. From 8pm on Sunday March 17, the band will be playing top tunes including Feet on the Ground, The Rose, Give It Up, I Can See Clearly Now and many more. They’ve reached the number one spot in Ireland with their first album People, and have since impressed with even more stand-out tunes. No two shows of theirs have ever been the same, so make sure you get your tickets.
From Dhs195. Sun Mar 17, 8pm onwards. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com.
Amwaj Rotana’s gastropub will be shamrockin’ its way through St Patrick’s weekend from Friday March 15 until Sunday 17, where guests can choose from two of Ireland’s most popular beverages and get the third one completely free. If you’re supporting the Irish in the six nations that weekend, JB’s will also be screening the Ireland vs Wales match on Saturday March 16.
Fri Mar 15-Sun Mar 17. Open Sat-Wed noon-2am, Thu-Fri noon-3am. JB’s Gastropub, Amwaj Rotana Dubai, The Walk, JBR (04 428 2000).
Prepare for a four-day bash to celebrate the Irish National Day at McGettigan’s JBR, boasting live entertainment from the emerald isle, a “Leprechaun” set menu and live rugby action from the six nations. It all begins on Thursday March 14 with a lively night party brimming with musical treats, along with a limited-time set menu for Dhs129 through St Paddy’s weekend. Expect to tuck in to roast beef, Irish stew, beef and Irish hops pie and Irish hops chocolate mousse as a desert. Expect a daily happy hour from 4pm until 8pm serving up five special mixed drinks with an Irish twist.
Free entry. Thu Mar 14-Sun Mar 17. Open Sun-Fri noon-3am, Sat 11am-3am. Hilton Dubai The Walk, JBR, www.mcgettigans.com/hilton-jbr (04 318 2580).
Nezesaussi Grill Dubai Marina
Missing out on your ma’s delicious Irish stew? No need to feel homesick anymore, as Nezesaussi Grill Dubai Marina is whipping up a special traditional Irish stew paired with pint throughout all of March. Priced at Dhs99, St Patrick’s Day partygoers will also get to wash it all down with other traditional Irish beverages and get the chance to win Dhs2,000 daily. Bring on the comfort grub.
Dhs99 (stew and brew). Fri Mar 1- Sun Mar 31. Open Sun-Wed 4pm-2am, Thu-Sat noon-2am. Ad-dress Dubai Marina (04 888 3444).
Whether Irish or just Irish at heart, nothing beats a St Patrick’s Day brunch filled with traditional Irish dishes (along with 220 others from around the world) and 16 beverage stations. Taking place on Friday March 15 from 12.30pm until 4pm, the “massively green” brunch at Saffron will feature a DJ mixing up ’80s and ’90s hit tracks, live performers, a dancing show and a painting studio – just so people have a little souvenir to take home from the Irish celebration.
Dhs535 (above 21). Fri Mar 12.30pm-4pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, www.atlantisthepalm.com/restaurants (04 426 2626).
The Irish Village
The Irish Village is bringing back its massive St Patricks Day celebration, and it’s flying in two bands from Ireland to celebrate the special day right. Kicking off with a family day on Friday March 15, celebrators can expect live music all day long, featuring returning band The Logues, The Real Shindig, Yeah Yeah Nah and DJ Marky Mark. Plus there's a petting zoo, face painting and a bouncy castle for the little ones. As for Saturday March 16, and the big day itself on Sunday, guests can expect the same bands as well as traditional Irish tunes and dancers to get everyone up on their feet.
Free entry. Fri Mar 15-Sun Mar 17. Open Fri 11am-2am, Sat 11am-1am, Sun 11am-midnight. Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Garhoud (04 282 4750).
This longstanding Irish bar in Garhoud will be throwing a massive three-day St Patrick’s Day party on from Friday March 15 to Sunday 17. Expect Irish dancing, Irish hops and even a Leprechaun competition (yes, really). That’s not all, as the bar will be live screening the Six Nations final on Friday, along with offering a free Irish pint for all Irish and Scottish people on Sunday.
Free entry. Fri Mar 16-Sun Mar 17. Open daily noon-2am. Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud, www.thedubliners-dubai.com (04 702 2455).
The Rose & Crown
Traditional tunes, Irish grub, green hops, exciting prizes – what more could you want from a St Patrick’s Day? The Rose & Crown is going all out to celebrate the Emerald Isle, with specials including lamb stew, herb-crusted sea bass served with Irish cabbage, beef pie, apple pie and a whole lot more. Pubgoers can also expect an Irish pub quiz, where the team who knows all things Irish, could get a grand prize of Dhs2,000. Along with a darts tournament and all kinds of other games, The Rose & Crown will be putting on quite a show.
Free entry. Sun Mar 17, 11am-1am. Al Habtoor City, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 437 0022).