The Irish Village
This is just the quintessential pub, and its bow has so many strings that it’s going to take a monumental effort for any rival to knock this Irish hangout off its perch anytime soon. Classic pubby feels inside, a wonderful pub garden, loads of live gigs from fantastic, global bands on a regular basis, cracking pub grub and an annual St. Patrick’s Day festival that takes place over three days. Then there’s the Christmas Tree lighting every year, the odd music festival, not to mention the weekly events that keep this place busy all year round.
Open daily 11am-1am. Garhoud (04 282 4750).
This intimate, lively, nooks and crannies-stuffed Irish pub on Sheikh Zayed Road is your archetypal pub. With live sports, a cosy vibe and decent deals (and an awesome breakfast bap) there’s loads to love about this Irish bar. Low ceilings, live Irish folk music, pints and an all-day breakfast that’s truly fantastic.
Open daily 8am-3am. Saeed Tower One, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 332 2400).
Completing the Irish pub hat-trick this year is this classic, long-standing pub at Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre. With drinks deals every day and being home to practically every Glasgow Celtic fan in Dubai, you’re bound to find tremendous craic here around match time. The cottage pie is worth writing home about, too.
Open daily 8am-3am. Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud (04 702 2455).
There are three of these venues across Dubai and we’re fans of all of them. The atmosphere is always good, the selection of hops (Belgian, of course) is wide, and the food is consistent. Our favourite is the Festival City branch, with a lovely outdoor area looking over the Creek.
Open Sat-Wed noon-2am, Thu noon-3am, Fri 2pm-3am. Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City (04 526 9066).
Crown & Lion
The Crown & Lion will remind Brits of locals back home – except it also dishes out free nachos, which you don’t get in any of our old haunts. The vibe is laid-back, though it’s known to get lively every now and again. There’s also a weekly quiz and a cracking roast dinner on offer.
Open daily noon-3am. Crown & Lion, Byblos Hotel Dubai, Barsha Heights (04 448 8000).
This branch of our beloved Irish bar is undoubtedly the most popular. It’s massive, with a sprawling garden and a dedicated space for live gigs and shows. Throw in a dancefloor, a lively crowd and a bar brimming with the black stuff and you’ve basically found a pot of gold.
Open daily noon-3am. Bonnington Hotel, JLT Cluster J (04 378 0800).
Rose & Crown
A cavernous no-frills venue spilt over two floors of The Atrium in Al Habtoor City. There’s any amount of games you can entertain yourself with including Jenga and Connect 4 and the food menu features bar snacks including a chip butty. What more do you want from your local watering hole?
Open daily 11am-2am. The Atrium, Al Habtoor City, Business Bay (04 437 0022).
The Eloquent Elephant
This feels like a bit of a classier take on your local bar, with salted popcorn to munch on to your heart’s content (no peanuts here). There’s a new outdoor terrace that’s nice enough, if not massive, and a weekly pub quiz that gets packed out. The food is excellent, and there’s a dedicated vegan menu. A decent place to stop for a pie and a pint.
Open Sat-Wed 3pm-1am, Thu-Fri noon-2am. Taj Dubai, Business Bay (04 526 0849).
The Lion by Nick & Scott
They call this one a gastropub, which basically means it’s a bit more sophisticated than The Rovers but not quite up to The Bistro standards. If you’re not a Coronation Street fan, then it’s a fancy pub that doesn’t stray into the swanky grape bar category. Expect lots of screens and pub grub classics.
Open Sat-Wed 8am-3am, Thu-Fri 11am-3am. The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 526 0726).