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.
At more than 20 years old Barasti, is one beach bar that’s never going out of fashion. So while it might be ageing in years, it’s never getting old in terms of popularity with its army of fans here in Dubai.
The reason for its popularity is multi-faceted. The massive, sprawling beach bar and club provides whatever you’re looking for – be it lazing in the sun, watching the game, tucking into some decent bar food or partying to top name DJs. It covers all bases, and it covers them well.
Not only did it take home the gong for Best Beach Bar at the 2018 Music & Nightlife Awards, it also claimed Highly Commended in both Sports Bar and Beach Club categories, too.
On the top deck, you’ll find the club’s famous gigantic telly, always showing the day’s choice match or event – and the bar has a particular penchant for footie and a spot of rugger during the major tournaments.
Its huge, central tiki hut-esque bar is also surrounded by smaller screens and inside, you’ll find yet more screens, making this a dream of a sports bar on Saturday and Sunday.
On the lower deck, another bar and recently opened swimming pool make this a chilled-out spot for beachgoers throughout the week, and the mass of sand adds to the relaxed vibe.
But Barasti is also capable of throwing a pumping party, and does so with brilliant regularity. International DJs head into town regularly and thousands of beach-going party people can dance the night away barefoot on the sand.
It’s one of the city’s most famous spots for a reason.
The bottom line
Longstanding nightspot that’s as good as ever.
For golfers, the post-round ritual is a tradition that must be adhered to. Upon sinking that final putt of the day, the glove comes off, hands get shaken, bags dropped off, showers taken and a bee-line is made for the clubhouse bar.
Spike Bar at Emirates Golf Club was recently nudged upstairs thanks to the arrival of jones the grocer. In truth, it’s the best thing that could have happened to it. The new interior is slick and modern with the classic touches and furnishings you’d expect from a dedicated golf bar.
Think 16 screens showing the latest tourney from the world of golf, various pieces of sporting paraphernalia, and a sprawling terrace that’s simply marvellous for some post-round refreshment.
We arrive, fittingly, following a round on the Faldo, welcomed off our weary feet by low-slung seating and a view out over the practice green. Because nothing consoles a disappointing scorecard better than judging other golfers miss a three-footer.
The service is swift, attentive, and what you would expect with the price tag that comes with playing a round at one of the emirate’s championship golf courses.
Beverages aren’t extortionately priced, which comes as something of a relief, and there’s a daily happy hour with reasonable discounts on selected beverages.
What stands out, for us, is that compared to many golf club bars in the city, this place feels like the boat has been well and truly pushed out. There are nooks, crannies and comfy hidey holes, but Spike is a top bar regardless of your sporting inclination or ability. We’ll be back, and we’d advise you pay a visit, too.
The bottom line
Golfer or nay, this is a lovely little spot.
When you think of bars in JBR, you’d be forgiven for not knowing where to begin nowadays. Among the swathes of new and exciting openings in recent months stands this relatively old kid on the block.
Sitting opposite the perennially popular Tr!beca Kitchen + Bar at the JA Ocean View Hotel, warning people away yet inciting intrigue with its industrial (and entirely self-titled) exterior, sits Girders.
Upon arrival at this JBR sports bar (which, the more we think about it, is something of a rarity), our first impression is underwhelming – on the face of things there’s not much more to it than a square room, a corner bar and a bunch of TV screens. However, after discovering the range of beverages available during a fairly decent happy hour, our waiter ushers us away from a desolate and eerily quiet interior to a more densely populated, upstairs terrace.
And it’s really cool. There’s an open barbecue pit, a huge screen, an outside bar, long benches and a talented singer/guitarist providing a chilled-out ambience.
There are definitely worse places to spend an evening, and we imagine it’s great for kick-off.
The bottom line
A relaxed spot for live music and sport.
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