Dubai's best indoor bars to avoid the scorching heat
We round up 24 top indoor bars to cool off in this summer
July 25, 2018 12:00 AM
Swanky Bars Asia Asia Ignore the old saying, and do judge this by it’s cover – because this place is just as beautiful on the inside as it is on the out. Some plush velvet décor, gold-laden trim, private booths and a pretty awesome bar area make this multi-award winning restaurant bar a favourite any time of year, inside and outside. Open Sun-Mon 4pm-1am, Tue 4pm-2am, Wed 4pm-1am, Thu 4pm-2am, Fri 2pm-2am. Pier 7, Dubai Marina (04 276 5900).
At.mosphere Probably one of the city’s most famous bars, this 122nd floor spot is found about two thirds of the way up the world’s tallest tower. You’ll be faced with a minimum spend if you’d like to head in just for drinks, setting you back at least Dhs250 depending on where you sit, but in return you’ll be treated to the loftiest view of any bar in the world. Don’t believe us? Open daily noon-2am. 122nd floor, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3828).
Buddha-Bar Buddha-Bar is one impressive-looking venue. This popular offering from the global brand has a cool, moody bar area, with a top selection of Asian-inspired drinks. Plus, there’s a great daily happy hour from 7.30pm until 9.30pm, where you can get bar bites for Dhs25 and mixed drinks for Dhs35. Open Fri-Wed 7pm-1am; Thu 7pm-2am. Grosvenor House Dubai, Dubai Marina (04 399 8888).
Gold on 27 One of the swankiest and most decadent bars in Dubai – and of course it is, it’s in the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Gold drapes across practically every surface, so don your fanciest attire for this one, because it’s a stunning bar, with an equally spectacular vista. Open daily 6pm-2am. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 301 7600).
The Social Room This bar gets absolutely heaving post-brunch on a Friday, and with good reason. It’s fun, it’s upbeat, there’s a live DJ and it’s bolted on to one of Dubai Marina’s top restaurants – Jason Atherton’s Marina Social. It also has a range of half-price happy hour drinks every night. Open daily 6pm-11.30pm. InterContinental Dubai Marina (04 446 6664).
Vault One of the loftiest bars in the city sits atop the 68th floor of the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, a hotel that has welcomed a raft of cool new openings recently – think 1 Oak, Seven Sisters et al. Get your gladrags on and check out the magnificent views. Open Sat-Thu 5pm-3am; Fri 4pm-3am. JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay (04 550 9110).
Waka A high-end Peruvian restaurant with a lively bar and a good ladies’ night. Grab a bongo (really) and enjoy a night full of Latin fun and flare – and try the wakamole (smoked guacamole) if you get the chance. The interiors are cool and it’s quite often packed with some lively dancing, too. Open Sat-Tue 7pm-midnight; Wed-Fri 7pm-1am. The Oberoi Dubai, Business Bay (04 453 5283).
Fun-loving Bars 961LB This swanky Lebanese bar in the creek-side destination of Al Seef is one happening place late into the evening. It gets lively, there’s some pumping live music, an awesome light rig and screen, and home to some decent grub at that. Open Sun-Wed noon-2am, Thu-Sat noon-3am. Al Seef, Bur Dubai (04 392 0961).
Axe House Edgy and urban with London vibes, Axe House is pretty much the coolest bar in JLT right now. It’s wildly popular, has cracking grub, pumping tunes, a den out back for bar sports, plenty of TV screens, and a heaving ladies’ night. A favouriter with JLTers. Open Daily from noon-2am. Armada BlueBay Hotel, Cluster P, JLT (04 399 9577).
Barbary Deli + Cocktail Club A relatively new entrant on the Dubai scene, BARBARY is one smooth operator. Adding to the growing collection of top bars in Barsha Heights, this New York-cool hangout gets busy post-work during the week and there’s brunch both days of the weekend. Open Sat-Mon and Wed noon-2am, Tue and Thu noon-3am, Fri 11am-3am. TRYP by Wyndham, Barsha Heights (04 247 6688).
Cobra Kai Super funky Asian-themed fun with Karate Kid memorabilia and movie screenings on the walls, and Cobra Kai doesn’t stop the fun there. You’ll also come across a dedicated hops pong battle area and a heaving post-work crowd on a Thursday night. It’s also got a decent daily happy hour alongside its conjoined sibling, restaurant Mr Miyagi’s, which serves up drinks for Dhs27. Open daily noon-3am. Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City (04 420 7489).
Le Petit Belge One of the coolest bars in JLT and the first of the three in the city, Le Petit Belge smashed its way on to the Dubai scene in 2017 and seems to hold the perfect balance for a bar over here. It’s slammed on its popular ladies’ night every Wednesday, but chilled-out when there’s sport on, so you’re guaranteed a great view, and usually your preferred match. Open Sun-Thu noon-2am; Fri-Sat 10am-2am. Pullman Dubai Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Cluster T, JLT (04 242 7794).
Lock, Stock & Barrel JBR – The Walk It’s our Bar of the Year, and, obviously it’s one of our favourite places in Dubai. Cavernous doesn’t do it justice, this is canyonous (we’re sure that’s a real word, if not it is now). It’s quite frankly enormous, at more than twice the size of the Barsha Heights original, but this place is still heaving at the weekends. Get the nachos, they’re belt-bustingly epic. Open Mon-Fri 4pm-3am; Sat-Sun 2pm-3am. Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR (04 520 0049).
Lucky Voice This karaoke bar in Barsha Heights is more often that packed all year round. Whether you’re there for the Time Out Dubai award-winning Friday party brunch or just a big night out, you’re guaranteed a great time. Get a private booth and scream into a microphone all night long – if you’re not hoarse, you need to try harder. Open Sat-Thu 4pm-3am; Fri 1pm-3am. Grand Millennium Dubai, Barsha Heights (800 58259).
Miss Lily’s This might well be one of the most fun, laid-back bars you’ll find at the north end of the Sheikh Zayed Road. We love it – and the authentic food in the restaurant too, which won our award for Best North American & Caribbean Restaurant this year. It’s lively, colourful, full of Jamaican vibes and sounds, with some brilliant mixed drinks and tasty dishes to boot. Open Sun-Wed 7pm-1am, Thu-Fri 7pm-2am. Sheraton Grand Hotel Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 370 8999).
Q43 Another one of the city’s favourite nightspots, this place heaves with media-types at clocking off time on a Thursday. Up on, you guessed it, the 43rd floor of the Media One Hotel, you’ll get some stonking views out towards the Palm, a bucket load of pool tables, some cracking two-for-one deals during happy hour (which, yes, includes free pool, too), while turning into a pumping club late in the night. Open Sun-Wed 11am-2am; Thu 11am-3am; Fri-Sat 5pm-2am. Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City (04 443 5403).
Stereo Arcade This retro nightclub-meets-bar-meets-arcade is set at JBR. Head here late in the week for a top way to see in the 48-hour break from work, and you’re going to find a fun-loving night out, for sure. Open 6pm-3am. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dubai – Jumeirah Beach, JBR (052 618 2424).
Speakeasy Bars Poppy by David Myers Arrive at this dark, mostly candlelit venue from US Michelin-starred chef David Myers and you’ll find the hunt has been worth it, because this place is gorgeous. It’s on the pricey side, but it’s classy and chic. Open daily 6pm-3am. Renaissance Downtown Hotel Dubai, Marasi Drive, Business Bay (04 512 5555).
The Powder Room It’s only open three days a week, but at this innocuous DIFC bar (which has a very secretive feel), you’ll be able to enjoy cheese and grape for Dhs99. Open Tue-Thu 5pm-11pm. Level 1, Podium Atrium, Al Fattan Currency House, DIFC (04 343 5518).
Pubs & Sports Bars Bridgewater Tavern There are a load TV screens at this Business Bay bar, making it a particularly brilliant spot for sport. Get some of the top-notch grub and kick back for a lazy evening. Open daily 4pm-2am. JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay (04 414 3000).
Fibber Magee’s This Sheikh Zayed Road bar has all the nooks and crannies you’d expect from a real Irish hangout, pints of the black stuff on tap, some TVs for sports, and a couple of defining features. Firstly, the Irish folk jam sessions that happen on occasional Saturday afternoons. Secondly, the cheese on toast with bacon and green chillies. Visit, now. Open daily 8am-2am. Behind Saeed Tower One, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 332 2400).
Stars ’N’ Bars A trendy hangout at buzzing beach location La Mer, which has come via way of Monaco and Abu Dhabi. It has tonnes of screens for sports, cracking burger-esque grub, pour-your-own pints, foosball, arcade game machines and day and night brunches. There’s also a beautiful view from the terrace when the weather is cooler. Open daily 10am-3am. La Mer, Jumeirah 1 (04 439 9903).
The 44 This is one of the city’s more refined sports bars – it’s very clean cut, and has a gentlemen’s club feel. High backed green leather chairs notwithstanding, there are a load of big screens showing the latest match, two bowling lanes in the middle of the bar, pool tables, darts and live music, too. This is one cool hangout, and it also has cracking views from the 44th floor. Open daily noon-2am. The Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 437 3333).
The Underground This won Best Sports Bar at Time Out Dubai’s 2018 Music & Nightlife Awards with good reason. There are tonnes of screens dotted around the bar, so you’ll see every kick, wicket, try or touchdown, while also dishing up some brill pub grub and bar sports. There’s even a little hops garden – although it is better for the cooler months. Open daily noon-3am. Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection, JBR (04 408 4257).