Former pop-up club night, now a full-time, permanent venue in Al Barsha that is massively popular among the city’s music purists. From live jazz quartets to afrobeat, hip-hop and even EDM, this place does it all, and it does it with aplomb. It’s intimate, which only adds to its charm as far as we’re concerned. Head along for a proper night out among proper music enthusiasts.
Open Wed 6pm-2am, Tue, Thu-Fri 6pm-3am. Behind Ibis Al Barsha, Al Barsha (050 883 3172).
Head over late on a Thursday night (and across the weekend, too, TBF), and you’ll catch some impressive live music from some of the city’s top bar bands. From time to time, Dubai’s legendary beachfront bar also brings in the odd massive name, too, so keep your eyes peeled. There’s a big ol’ stage, and a frankly enormous outside area offering up top views of the band. Music to our ears.
Open Sat-Wed 11am-1.30am, Thu-Fri 11am-3am. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh (04 318 1313).
It’s dark, atmospheric, sort of unassuming and brilliant fun when this underground club-meets-bar kicks off in the wee hours. Masterful acoustics meet a purpose-built stage and wonderful house band to provide the soundtrack to a rocking Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night. Expect great drinks deals (hello, tower of hops), as well as a massive screen for all those visual effects.
Open daily 7.30pm-3am. Park Regis Kris Kin, Bur Dubai (04 377 1213).
It’s famous around the world for a reason, and that’s because the Hard Rock Cafe always delivers top-quality music throughout the week. Ignore the dine-hall style layout, because when headline acts are in town, there are few places better to catch a gig. It’s the nearest thing to Brixton Academy that Dubai has, and for us that’s a very good thing.
Open daily noon-2am. Dubai Festival City Mall (04 232 8900).
It’s a little slice of the UK's famous pizzeria, only housed right here in Dubai’s JLT. Top-quality acts make their way onto the stage of this funky, lively restaurant-meets-jazz bar every night of the week and as well as a couple of brilliant weekly brunches this place also has a top notch sound setup and a wildly popular Monday night deal. A top place for live music in Dubai, and loads of fun.
Open Sat-Wed 9am-1am, Thu-Fri 9am-2am. Cluster A, JLT (04 441 6342).
An absolute giant of a bar, and former winner of our Bar of the Year, you’ll be able to catch a resident band pumping out some sweaty, in-yer-face, good old-fashioned rock’n’roll most weekends. The stage isn’t big enough for Freddie Mercury-esque struts, but it’s accompanied by an audio visual experience that many bars in Dubai just can’t keep up with.
Open Mon-Thu 4pm-3am, Fri 1pm-3am, Sat-Sun 2pm-3am. Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR (04 392 7120).
The younger sister to JLT’s grown-up jazz bar is a cavernous, perfectly tuned restaurant bar that, wherever you sit, makes sure that you can hear every drop of sound coming from the stage. Newton Faulkner described this place’s setup as one of the best he’s ever come across, and as well as the odd gig you’ll get plenty of resident acts and even a local open mic night in town every week.
Open daily 9am-1am. DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai – Business Bay (04 566 5722).
A super-smooth, silky (literally) underground hangout brought to life by the legendary producer and composer Quincy Jones. It has a feel of the old Ronnie Scott’s about it, which for us adds to its already inimitable charm. Dark velvet, low-slung seating and tables look up at the stage, which welcomes international acts to reside in-house for monthly stints, so you’ve got plenty of reasons to keep coming back. It’s utterly gorgeous, brilliant and one of the best places to see live music in Dubai.
Show times vary. Open Tue-Sat 7pm-2am. Palazzo Versace Dubai, Al Jaddaf (04 556 8865).
A legendary hangout that has been on the Dubai scene for more than 20 years, there’s something about The Irish Village that keeps everyone going back. It’s probably the massive, outdoor stage and music venue that hosts a regular line-up of brilliant throwback acts, from Madness to Boyzone and even Busted in the last 12 months, this pub excels at everything it does.
Open Sat-Wed 9am-1am, Thu-Fri 9am-2am. Garhoud (04 239 5000).
Part-live music venue, part-bowlarama, part-arcade, part-bar, and even part-surfer hangout thanks to its wave machine. Yes, Wavehouse does an awful lot within its Atlantis The Palm location, including some brilliant live music on a weekly basis. Head over to catch a house band every week, that’s if you’re not swept away on the wave machine.
Open Sat-Wed noon-1am, Thu noon-3am, Fri 1pm-3am. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).