Barasti: Some of the best views of the marina can be had over a tipple at Barasti. Just look up in awe at the rising hotels and towers, not to mention the surrounding ocean. The only downside is the service. Barasti has been slowed down by its own popularity, making a weekend drink in this Mina Seyahi bar anything but relaxing from about 7pm onwards.
Buddha Bar: Sink into Buddha Bar’s dark corners for one of Dubai’s best cocktails in this atmospheric Marina staple. Tucked away in the low-key Grosvenor House hotel Buddha Bar has long been welcoming the emirate’s more discerning drinkers through its doors. The restaurant is pretty good too, although a little overpriced.
The Library Bar: This Ritz Carlton haunt makes the ideal spot for a relaxing drink and a chat when up at Dubai Marina. Sit back and while away the evening in the atmospheric surroundings or enjoy one of the bar's selection of cigars. The perfect place for a quiet catch-up if a raucaus night out is off the menu.
Bar 44: With views to die for, Bar 44 is definitely worth a look if you’re at this end of town and in the mood for a stylish tipple. The cocktails are particularly good and the wine list is equally promising if you don’t mind mini measures.
Trader Vic’s Mai Tai Lounge: The Marina branch of Dubai’s popular cocktail den doesn’t disappoint. In fact it’s thought by most fans to be Dubai’s best. The menu is varied and tasty while the drinks are satisfyingly individual.
The Underground: One of the area’s more down and dirty venues but still very popular, mostly with football fans (it is home to the Dubai Reds supporters club so expect many renditions of team songs). Worth a trip if you have a match in mind and you’re in need of a big screen.
Pachanga: More of a restaurant than a bar but Pachanga has enough atmosphere and live music to justify its place as one of the Marina’s top spots. Think South American charm in spades and great food to boot.
Oeno: One of Dubai’s best, and least championed wine bars. This Westin nightspot is most certainly worth the trip if you’re heading Marina-wards. Only a stone’s throw from the main stretch and a mere walk from Barasti if the crowds start to drive you mad.
Rooftop Bar: This pretty bar boasts beautiful views of the ocean and is home to Dubai’s best mojitos, not to mention the delicious bar snacks. The traditional Arabian décor makes it the ideal location for a quiet drink for two.
Tamanya Terrace: A great place for a quiet drink over the winter months but one to avoid from late June onwards. It’s a popular spot post-work for the area’s hoards of media types while the weekend crowd bring a more chilled vibe.