It’s the holiday season and the vast majority of Dubai’s pubs, clubs and party venues have cashed in, whether throwing huge parties like Barasti’s New Year Mardi Gras, uber-indulgent brunches (we’re talking to you, Atlantis) or bringing out superstar DJs such as Paul van Dyk to ring in 2011 – none of which come cheap. With that in mind, we’ve found a few venues and festive deals that should keep your credit card bill looking tidy and your wallet free of cobwebs until at least the first pay day of the new year. Phew!
Affordable grape tasting at Vantage
During the festive period, this cosy new nightspot at the Pullman Dubai Mall of the Emirates is offering the city’s grape connoisseurs the chance to taste beverages from the French region of Bordeaux at a fraction of the usual cost, starting at just Dhs5. Choose from a quarter to a full glass and, if you have a few fils left over from your experimental samplings, try a couple of bites from the tapas-style food pairing menu.
Open daily 6pm-2am. Pullman Dubai Mall of the Emirates (04 377 2000)
Daytime karaoke at Chikka Grill
Karaoke devotees: your attention please. Pay just Dhs29 for brunch – Okay, so it’s a buffet with a soft drink, but hard drinks are still quite reasonable – and enjoy free access to the swimming pool and karaoke from 11am to 4pm. This popular Filipino spot is often packed with those looking to exercise their lungs, so arrive early to avoid a scuffle over the mic.
Fridays 11am onwards. Marco Polo Hotel, Deira (04 272 0000)
Daily deals at Loca
Try festivities with a Mexican twist at this Jumeirah favourite, plus free entry to both the Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve parties. On Saturdays and Sundays, Loca screens live Premiership football, with discounts for members of the Chelsea and Wolves supporters clubs, while on Mondays there are brews and ribs for just Dhs65 from 8pm. On Wednesdays it’s one for the ladies, with two free Mexican-themed drinks after 8pm and Loca’s resident DJ on the decks.
Open daily noon-1am. Dubai Marine Beach Resort and Spa (04 346 1111)
The Cellar’s Big Sale
Here’s an offer it would be churlish to refuse: from the start of January, this Garhoud watering hole and restaurant will be selling bubbly and selected grape beverages at cost price, as part of its new year sale. Those dining in the restaurant will be able to take advantage of the deal throughout the month, with bottles of grape starting from Dhs50.
Open Sat-Wed 11am-1am, Thu-Fri 11am-2am. The Aviation Club, Garhoud (04 282 9333)
Stargazing at Clique
It’s not actually stargazing (though if you want to lie on the floor and stare at the sky, who are we to stop you?). This new Wednesday night regular at Emirates Towers’ newest venue offers free entry to the outdoor lounge, and resident DJ and part-time Virgin Radio host Rossi will be hitting the decks to play an eclectic house set.
Open 6pm-midnight. Jumeirah Emirates Towers (04 330 0000)
Tribal beats at M-Dek
Try something different next Thursday: make your way over to this Media City spot to enjoy African and Latin beats, plus a splash of tribal house from around the world. There are few better places to unwind with
a small group of friends after a long day at work (whoever first called it the ‘holiday season’ was clearly barking) and entry is free, even for gents, even after 9pm.
Thursdays 5pm ’til late. Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City (04 427 1000)