Blues and Cues: By day and during weeknights, this place is a sleepy little pool bar but at the weekends it erupts into a sweaty club where the dance floor is packed full of Filipinos, Arabs and Westerners, both male and female, cutting some rug to mid-90s dance classics. But the highlight is the rock band, complete with dancing girls, who come on every hour or so to play versions of classic head-banging numbers.
Champions: The kind of place you’d expect an ageing football star to be propping up the bar. The clientele are mostly middle-aged men and sport is always on the menu. If this is your bag, you won’t be disappointed.
Churchill’s: Once inside this typically British pub you would be hard pressed to notice you are in the City Centre mall. Live music, pool table and dart boards are all present from the pub essentials list and shopping facilities and a bowling alley are just moments away. The bar doesn’t get that busy so you are likely to be able to find yourself a table.
Garage Club: They’ve put a lot of effort into The Garage. While most bars are content with sticking in sanitised, Ikea-esque furniture and charging the earth, The Garage has taken a wholly different approach – filling its expansive interior full of decommissioned vintage cars, sawing their roofs off and replacing the big leather seats with tables and chairs. Once you are safely ensconced, you can then choose a Dhs25 cocktail from the bar at the back (which is in a bus) and settle down with some complimentary popcorn to watch the African band.
Moulin Rouge: This place is a Deira gem. Hunch around one of the teeny venues mini tables and enjoy one of the most unintentionally funny cabarets that Dubai has to offer. Costumes range from bishops to bumble bees as the dancers circulate among the crowd before taking to the postage stamp size stage to belt out a heady mix of Eastern European ballads and western pop classics.
QDs: Nestled in the grounds of the glorious Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, QD’s is a must-visit during the winter months. A classy open-air affair, this wood-decked bar offers superb views across the Creek, pizzas cooked by a wood-burning oven and all the shisha you can smoke. The regular DJ can be a bit hit-and-miss and the food is nothing to shout about, but if you can block out his musical mistakes, watching the sun crash down beyond the Creek with a cocktail in your hand is almost as good as it gets.
Red Square Nightclub: The beauty of Deira is the diversity and this Russian find epitomises the range on offer. The entertainment is as bracing as the beverages and it’s best to attend en masse to really build up the atmosphere.
The Tiki Bar: If you love your cocktails but another night at Trader Vic’s would have the bank manager on the phone, take a trip to the Tiki Bar. Many of the cocktails are quite strong but surprisingly tasty and the Polynesian-themed musical entertainment ain’t half bad either.
Traiteur Bar: The drinks are pricey but the atmosphere goes some way to making up for it. Bizarrely, for a Deira joint, this is one of Dubai’s most striking bars and a nice choice for somewhere to take visitors in town.
Velvet Lounge: If you find yourself in Deira and fancy taking yourself somewhere a bit snazzy, take a trip to the Velvet Lounge. The atmosphere is relaxed and there is a small dance floor should you feel inspired to take a turn later in the evening.