Time Out takes a quick look at those considered among the best live music venues in Dubai, including bars and clubs in Dubai Marina, JLT and Downtown
If you’re looking for a laid-back pub with a friendly vibe and a spacious garden, look no further than Time Out Dubai’s 2018 Pub of the Year, The Irish Village.
The traditional pub at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium has been a longstanding Dubai institution for many a year – it turns 22 in 2018, in fact.
And its appeal is as enduring as it ever was. Despite a slew of young upstarts putting up fierce competition, this established Garhoud watering hole has firmly stood its ground.
With its rustic, dark wood interiors and sprawling patioed (and pet-friendly) garden, punters continue to pour in week after week for great-value pints of the black stuff and classic pub grub, from Irish stews, fish and chips and fry-ups, to hot and tasty toasties in a variety of forms.
Service is spot-on, and many of the staff have been familiar faces to regular drinkers and diners at the pub for several years. You’ll always get a warm welcome and you’re sure to stay longer than you expected, too.
With a front designed to look like an authentic village and a lush green lawn, it’s hard to beat this spot for a lazy afternoon in the sunshine. Don’t miss a trip to The Irish Village.
If you know it, you’ll love it.
The bottom line
A perfect place for a pint.
At more than 20 years old Barasti, is one beach bar that’s never going out of fashion. So while it might be ageing in years, it’s never getting old in terms of popularity with its army of fans here in Dubai.
The reason for its popularity is multi-faceted. The massive, sprawling beach bar and club provides whatever you’re looking for – be it lazing in the sun, watching the game, tucking into some decent bar food or partying to top name DJs. It covers all bases, and it covers them well.
Not only did it take home the gong for Best Beach Bar at the 2018 Music & Nightlife Awards, it also claimed Highly Commended in both Sports Bar and Beach Club categories, too.
On the top deck, you’ll find the club’s famous gigantic telly, always showing the day’s choice match or event – and the bar has a particular penchant for footie and a spot of rugger during the major tournaments.
Its huge, central tiki hut-esque bar is also surrounded by smaller screens and inside, you’ll find yet more screens, making this a dream of a sports bar on Saturday and Sunday.
On the lower deck, another bar and recently opened swimming pool make this a chilled-out spot for beachgoers throughout the week, and the mass of sand adds to the relaxed vibe.
But Barasti is also capable of throwing a pumping party, and does so with brilliant regularity. International DJs head into town regularly and thousands of beach-going party people can dance the night away barefoot on the sand.
It’s one of the city’s most famous spots for a reason.
The bottom line
Longstanding nightspot that’s as good as ever.
We can’t think of many venues in Dubai better for getting a massive sweat on to piercingly loud (and awesome) rock music than Lock, Stock & Barrel.
We’re massive fans of this place (we’re referring to the Barsha Heights original, here, although we do love the JBR branch, too), owing to it’s cracking vibe, decent drinks deals, pool tables, telly screens and ability to put together a barnstorming gig.
On a weekly basis you’ll find top rockers 13 Daze and Gorgeous George getting up on stage to get you banging your head in approval/over-excitement/rockerness etcetera. With free entry to the bar all night, you’re guaranteed to find some top music to have with your pint.
Oh, and while you’re there, we’d thoroughly recommend getting in before 8pm to make the most of the two-for-one happy hour, available on a whole host of house beverages and hops. You should also make sure you grab a giant bowl of the fully loaded nachos.
A top night out awaits.
Dubai is home to few better-recognised global brands than the good ol’ Hard Rock.
Founded in London in 1971 (a location where queues still go round the corner daily), it’s loved worldwide for its giant burgers, rockin’ live music and megastar memorabilia.
Dubai’s version – housed in Festival City – is as you’d expect really, but sadly just doesn’t wow (and we wouldn’t be queuing for it).
We visit on a Wednesday, for the promisingly titled Funk Night. Live music comes from a bombastic four-piece, blitzing out some of the funkiest jazz-pop fusion this side of the Creek. (The less said about the impromptu performance by the wait staff to One Direction, however, the better.)
The bar itself is packed full of a jaw-dropping array of rock memorabilia, that will get any music afficionado geeking out. Adorning the walls are Michael Jackson and Elvis outfits, telegrams sent between members of The Beatles, a guitar owned by the late, great Prince and so much more.
As bars go, it’s busy enough, but the high prices don’t quite match up with the slightly faded décor. There’s a daily two-for-one happy hour from 10pm to 1am, which is very welcome, though, so it’s worth visiting then.
The bottom line
Some great music, but not so great prices.
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