Dubai pubs guide
Time Out Dubai has a complete Dubai bars and pubs guide. Find out about British pubs, Irish pubs and American pubs in Dubai Marina, Downtown and more
Sometimes it’s hard moving to a new city. Becoming just another face, another somebody nobody even notices. But what if there was a place you could go? A place where everybody knows your name…?
Okay, they’ll soon know your business, your foibles, and remind you if you stayed for a half hour too long the other Wednesday. But maybe that’s what you miss. People to chastise you for your minor wrongdoings. A barmaid you can bore with the details of your latest faux pas.
A landlord who will put aside his better judgment to reassure you that, yes, your boys will win the title this year, despite the fact that your main striker wouldn’t know the way to goal if you showed him a map, your speedy, Jonah Lomu-style winger is allergic to whitewash or your opening batsman is seemingly aiming for a collection of ducks larger than all the wood-chipped walls of 1970s Britain.
If a friendly face, a knowing nod or some simple cud-chewing session is what you crave then welcome to your new local…
And given it’s just a stone’s throw from some of the city’s best kebabs and curries, you might still find reason to visit…
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.
In a city filled with the new, the shiny and the absolutely sprawling, there is, quite simply, nowhere else like Fibber Magee’s.
Established back in the ’90s, Fibbers is a relative oldie on Dubai’s pub scene, but has a snug, weathered authenticity that could belong to a bar at least a hundred years older.
Its tiny size certainly helps, and it doesn’t take many for this place to get packed out – which it frequently does, particularly on Friday nights, but not much less so during the week, when nearby office workers pile in for a pint and a plate of cheese on toast (it’s that Irish).
Yes, there’s a local pub feel, an army of regulars and some brilliant deals from morning until midnight throughout the week, but one of Fibber’s greatest attractions is the Irish folk music jam, held roughly every first Saturday of the month.
On these days, between 2.30pm and 6.30pm, pair your pub lunch with brilliant live entertainment from fiddlers, flautists and more, for a truly transporting afternoon. There really is nothing else quite like it in town.
The bottom line
You’d be forgiven for placing a foot in the wrong direction when visiting Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre. The outdoor terrace and its plethora of restaurants and bars can feel a bit like a labyrinth. That said, once you find your way around, you’ll come across The Dubliner’s – one of the more delightfully rustic Irish pubs Dubai has to offer.
We could easily imagine ourselves in a dimly lit Dublin bar on a rainy November night here, which is inevitably part of its charm. The Dubliner’s has all the nooks and crannies of a quintessential Irish pub, and its football allegience to Celtic is fierce (given the number of vintage jerseys adorning the walls, anyway).
That makes The Dubliner’s great at kick-off, and we happen to visit during a Champions League tie featuring the team.
With a huge projector and tonnes of other screens, it’s easy to lose track of time if you’re a sports fan, while a conservatory houses pool tables for those who aren’t.
It’s lively, there’s great craic and there are plenty of Irish beverages behind the bar. Head here for the footie, just don’t say you’re a Rangers fan.
The bottom line
A proper, no frills Irish bar. It’s great.
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