Who’d have thought that Dubai’s newest, most exclusive club would be available for mere mortals to hire? But with Movida only open to the public three nights a week (Wed-Fri 11pm-3am), it leaves the other four days free for rich partymakers. The club offers a fully staffed venue, including security, valet, bar staff and DJ – and an open bar. This obviously comes with a price tag: from Dhs90,000 for a three-hour party for 300 people.
Radisson Royal Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.movida-club.com (055 174 4449).
The alternative choice: Tipis
Inspired by a quirktastic New Year’s Eve party thrown by the UK’s Prince William and his wife Katherine, pointed tipis are now available for rent in Dubai. The royal couple hosted guests in Scandinavian tipis at a bash in the UK at the turn of 2012, and now Dubai firm Canvas and Wood has capitalised by offering tipis for hire for parties and the like. The peaked tents make a welcome contrast against Dubai’s futuristic skyline, so impress your guests with something out of the ordinary.
Something unique: an ice bar – or igloo
What quirkier place to host a party than a restaurant made of ice? It may be chilly, but it will certainly leave an impression on your guests – Chillout offers the chance to eat and drink in -6°C temperatures, and the 50-capacity space can be hired (with à la carte dining options), for around Dhs2,000 on weekdays, rising to Dhs2,800 in the evening. For extra party flair, specialist sculptors The Ice Box have just arrived in Dubai, and can craft anything from a table decoration to an entire igloo out of ice.
Chillout, Times Square Center, Al Quoz (04 341 8121). The Ice Box (050 379 5842).
The alternative choice: Desert Fish
Local publisher Desert Fish has several local galleries and warehouses available for rent: perfect for NYC-style grit. We like the unnamed ‘basement gallery’ in Al Quoz: its acoustics make it a decent place for a DJ to pump some tunes. The entrance is little more than a warehouse door and there are no windows, making it feel like an exclusive underground rave. As well as a make-do bar, there are basic bathrooms that get worse as the night goes on, adding to its edge.
Rental prices depend on package. www.desertfishmag.com (04 340 0457).
The Spa: Talise Ottoman Spa
As more and more couples indulge in joint spa treatments, why not go that extra distance for your other half and opt for a private experience? Jumeirah Zabeel Saray hosts one of our favourites, the Turkish-themed Talise Ottoman Spa. It offers special couples’ suites on a VIP mezzanine floor, while you can rent the entire floor, for up to 20 people, for Dhs18,000. Treatments cost extra and include traditional Turkish options such as a kese mitt body scrub and an olive oil foam soap massage. The spa also boasts a Vichy (lie-down) shower, a flotation bed and pool, a snow ice room and three hot stone beds.
Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah, www.jumeirah.com (04 453 0000).