Happy hours in Dubai
Time Out Dubai has your guide to the the best Dubai happy hours from Marina to Downtown. Find out about new drink deals at the best bars in Dubai
Since opening, Oeno has filled a gap in the New Dubai market for grape bars, and continues to do so today. Depending what night of the week it is, you’ll either find this two-tiered Al Sufouh spot almost empty, or bursting and the seams.
Its popularity is never more evident than on Tuesday nights, when ladies’ night takes over and it’s not unusual to find that every table in the house is reserved. Though the smart, high-ceilinged setting isn’t completely without appeal, it’s undoubtedly the brilliant deal that keeps punters pouring in on that same night every week, with ladies offered three free drinks, or unlimited mixed drinks and nibbles for Dhs60. Gents can get involved too, with a happy hour from 5pm until 10pm, and unlimited nibbles for Dhs60.
But you’ll find great value here all week long, with happy hour every day (excluding Fridays, when there’s a post-brunch offer of two-for-one on bubbly) running from 5pm until 8pm, with drinks from just Dhs28.
With huge variety and regular deals, the city’s amateur connoisseurs will rarely be disappointed at this award-winning grape bar.
The bottom line
A great-value spot. Go on a Tuesday.
Some years ago, The Observatory was one of those hugely impressive spots that you would ferry visitors to. It’s easy to see why. The views are fantastic, and it’s still one of the best vantage points from which to see the Palm. In the winter, you can watch boats zig-zagging along the coast and jumpers drifting down to Skydive Dubai.
But as a bar itself, it doesn’t quite have the shine that it used to. The interiors aren’t as smart as they once were, while the costs sit nearer the pricey end of average (though the daily Power Hour offers mixed drinks for Dhs25 from 7pm to 8pm).
When we visit, however, there’s a buzz in the air and though it’s not totally packed, most of the tables are occupied.
We’re not entirely sure what’s going on with the music (if you’re a fan of Shania Twain, head up, pronto), but it does seem to go down well with the crowd (an unusual mix of groups of friends, couples and families with children).
The Observatory still seems to be mainly catering to those entertaining visitors and guests of the hotel. It’s worth a visit to watch the sun go down, but don’t expect anything too special.
The bottom line
Great views, but not as slick as it once was.
Since opening, this cool venue has gone from strength to strength. As well as the diner area, there’s a bar (where you can also eat) showing games on big screens and offering happy hour drinks deals. In an unprecedented move, the Dubai branch has also messed with the concept and expanded the menu. No longer are the only things available a lobster, lobster roll and burger. There are now creative and fun variations (that, it should be pointed out, still stay true to the core ingredients). So, try the Beast Burger – a beef burger topped with brie and lobster tail and flanked by two enormous claws. It looks the part, but crucially, also tastes it. With smaller burgers now available, and new flavours added to the lobster rolls, we’re pleased the team decided to mix things up a bit. A good place to head with pals and enjoy the music, drinks and playful food.
Set within the picturesque Ghantoot Marina, La Cala is a beach bar offering a retreat away from it all.
The scaled-back al fresco spot (a venture by the same team behind The Scene by Simon Rimmer) is all clean whites accented by pops of colour – in the cushions, and the rustic worn wooden tables and comfy sofa casings, adding a homely touch.
The vibe is laid-back, thanks in part to its small size, but staff are always on hand even when the venue gets busy. A DJ plays cool Ibiza-esque club beats and there’s a bit of space to dance, though you’ll mostly just want to chill out and take stock.
Weekends feature a leisurely three-hour brunch between 1pm and 6pm and the food is all high-end, tasty bar bites that are a fusion of Mediterranean classics and Asian flavours – think crispy duck pizza with hoi sin sauce, cucumber and spring onions, jumbo prawns with coriander and pesto and oregano lamb chops with garlic sauce.
For an adrenaline fix, Xtreme Wake also operates from the marina. Add a wakeboarding session to afternoon at the bar and make a real day of it.
Or just let you hair down and relax. The 20-minute journey from Dubai is well worth it.
The Bottom Line
Get away from it all and kick back at this marina-side spot.
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