Christmas parties in Dubai

Time Out has a guide to the best Christmas parties in Dubai for 2016, including The Irish Village and McGettigan's, plus many more

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.

050 648 3083 Business Bay

Burj Khalifa – check, city skyline – check, blooming shrubbery – you bet.

Treehouse is the type of place you should definitely take visitors. The view from the rooftop terrace is out of this world and showcases the city from its very best angle. At sundown it’s stunning, and when the buildings all light up it’s pretty special, too.

Once you peel your eyes away from the spectacle in the distance you can go on to appreciate the beauty of what surrounds you.

As you might expect from the name, Treehouse has taken the garden theme and given it the Alan Titchmarsh treatment. Fairy lights entwine the branches of strategically-placed trees, while lush foliage runs between low sofas and tables.

Dancing flames seem to move in time to the chilled-out electro music and the vibe is laid-back, yet strangely sort of enchanting.

Drinks come in on the pricey side, as you’d expect for the views, although there are a range of speciality mixed drinks that have been carefully thought out. There’s also a daily happy hour from 7pm until 10pm, which is worth heading to this Business Bay bar for.

We’re fans, and we reckon you will be too. What’s not to like?

The bottom line
A garden path we’d happily be led down.

04 239 5000 Garhoud

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.

050 995 5400 World Trade Center Area

Famous both in London and Dubai for its outrageous shows and quirky dark humour, Cirque Le Soir is one of the most interesting nightspots in the city.

Whether that’s interesting in a good way or otherwise, however, is down to personal taste.

Since having a revamp this summer, Cirque is at its new and shiny best. The space is bright and colourful, and is circussy without being over the top and tacky. The whole thing is designed to wow, and it does that with aplomb.

It’s spacious and clean, and at the far end of the main club there’s a new fairground-style room with a ball pit and other attractions. There’s even an entirely gold bathroom with a disco ball (this is Dubai after all).

In the centre sits a stage, where various acts (which change frequently) are brought in to thrill – and shock – the audience.

Aesthetics aside, if you come to Cirque you probably know what you’re going to get. If you don’t, you’ll be in for a major surprise.

Service is slick, and there’s a bar area away from the main stage if you prefer to chat. The music is good and the club is always busy with people after a fun night out – something that’s always guaranteed.

The dancing and acts are talented, and there’s clearly a lot of thought put in by the team.

This Dubai incarnation is less extreme than its British sister, but it’s still designed to shock. Some will love it, some will feel less than comfortable during some of the acts. If you’re the former you’ll have a top night. If not, you won’t be coming back. Either way, it’s a club you should experience at least once.

The bottom line
Fun, surprising and totally different.


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