04 409 5222 Barsha 1

If you’re looking for a bar to rest weary feet post-shopping spree at Mall of the Emirates, you’re not short of options.

However, few are as glam as Noir.

Inside is, aptly, very dark and moody, with large sofas, a long bar and low tables.

It’s glitzy, possibly erring on the tacky side, but well-kitted out. Outside is equally loungey, with comfy seating and a large fireplace (just ignore the buzz of Sheikh Zayed Road), and, on our visit, is where most people choose to sit.

The bar is quite swanky, and people are dressed accordingly, so it’s not somewhere to turn up in your well-worn trainers.

And drinks prices reflect the surroundings, with the cheapest glass of grape starting at above Dhs60. Hops starts at around Dhs50, with shorts coming in at a similar price – unless you have a spare couple of grand for a bottle.

For a more pocket-friendly option there’s a Friday night brunch, where it’s Dhs215 for women and Dhs315 for men, which is a cracking deal either way for four hours of unlimited drinks.

Service is a bit hit and miss and snacks – ceviche, skewers, sliders and the like – aren’t up to much either.

But if you’re looking for a swanky spot post-shopping it’s not a bad shout, although there are more lively and better bars in the area to visit.

A swanky bar at Mall of the Emirates

For the night brunch

050 345 6067 Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)


Themed on the uber-trendy Lower Manhattan neighbourhood of Tribeca, this JBR hangout might reminds you of being in a sort of arty student bar.

It’s spacious, kind of dark, and with some foot-tapping tunes pumping out. There are quirky design touches dotted around the bar, like comic-booked themed wallpaper, a chair that’s also a giant face, a warehouse-style exposed ceiling and a hops pong table.

It’s also pleasantly busy every night, and its live music night every Sunday is rammed. Highly commended for Most Original Night Out at the Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards, the Go Play The World open mic night is packed full of talented local musicians, and is free to anyone wanting to come along and play a few songs.

Along with a menu of Americana-themed grub (think nachos, ceviche, Caesar salad, pizzas, steaks, tacos and more), plus a happy that runs every day except Friday, this is a funky and lively spot that’s well worth a visit, whatever night of the week it happens to be.

The bottom line
Cool JBR bar that’s fun and laid-back.

04 368 6171 Madinat Jumeirah


This city is great for taking a weekend and turning it into a vacation. Of course, for millions of tourists who flock here every year, it’s exactly that.

And of all of the city’s wonderful tourist attractions, nowhere feels quite so holidayish as Souk Madinat Jumeirah – which, as we stroll along it towards Left Bank, reminds us of our old holibobs spent in the Mediterranean.

Through the waterways of the Madinat, the swathes of al fresco diners, bumbag-wearing tourists and families looking for a spot of grub, you’ll find Left Bank. It’s a pretty bar, in a pretty location (even if it is one of the few bars in the area without a view of the Burj Al Arab). A sprawling terrace takes precedent over the much smaller indoor area, but when you’re surrounded by palm trees, quaint lighting and chilled beats, you soon realise why.

There’s a huge drinks menu featuring an almost overwhelming choice of beverages, with some interesting fizzy mixed drinks we’re intrigued by. There’s also a bargain Dhs249 “anytime brunch” option, where three hours gets you unlimited drinks and some decent-looking grub, whenever you want. It’s a touristy, but fun, Dubai bar.

The bottom line
A more tourist-centric nightlife spot.

04 501 8777 World Trade Center Area


If you thought Okku was a swanky Japanese restaurant, well, you’d be right, but it also houses a very cool bar.

Set in The H Dubai (just along from the ill-fated Zahira), Okku is moodily lit and trendy. With swish décor (we love the slim curtain of hanging lights that divide the bar from the dining area) and dim lighting, it’s an ideal place to catch up with friends or for date night.

Pull up a high stool and you’ll be mesmorised by the jellyfish serenely floating around in the giant fish tanks behind the bar.

Alternatively, opt for one of the cosy corner tables in the lounge, for more privacy.

On our visit the bar is busy (which for January is a feat in itself), boasting an upbeat vibe, with a pleasant buzz of chatter.

We take a seat at the bar, where service is slick and friendly. The drinks selection is decent, plus, if you visit on a Tuesday, ladies, you’ll be treated to unlimited free drinks (including sparkling grape). As part of the deal you can also get an eight-course sharing menu for Dhs198 a head, which is cracking value, as admittedly Okku is on the pricey side.

With an upbeat vibe, classy drinks and delicious food (which we definitely recommend you try) this is a restaurant bar well worth a visit.

The bottom line
Chic, cool bar with an upbeat vibe.


Follow us