This Filipino bar in Old Dubai is home to a fun rock band, The Golden Stars, who play everything from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin, with a knock-out lead singer. They also take requests from the crowd.
Dhs60 (including one free drink). Sun-Wed; Dhs100 (including two free drinks). Thu-Fri. Daily 10pm-3am. Seaview Hotel, Mina Road, Bur Dubai (04 355 8080).
Rock Bottom Café
It’s not the classiest of establishments, but with a lively and supportive crowd, Rock Bottom attracts a throng of expats and tourists all week long. And it’s one of the few venues that offers a live act every night of the week. Rocky B’s is something of an institution in Dubai and both the TECOM and Bur Dubai branches provide a showcase for new talent as well as established bands. Regardless of what you might make of the music, the venue has great sound quality, professional lighting and an energetic, feel-good vibe.
Daily 10pm-3am. Regent Palace Hotel, Bur Dubai, www.rockbottomcafe.com (04 396 3888). Other location: Ramee Rose Hotel, TECOM (04 450 0111).
Maxx Music Bar & Grill
This lively bar has become a beacon of live music in Al Barsha, with a live band playing six nights of the week. The spacious venue is decorated with cool pop-art style images of music icons such as John Lennon and Jim Morrison, which sets the tone for a night of quality music. Brand-new resident band Blast Beats have just signed up and they’ll be playing a variety of genres from rock and pop through to soul and funk.
Free to attend. Open daily 6pm-3am. Band starts at 10pm. Citymax Hotels, Al Barsha (04 409 8000).
An Irish pub must have live music – and McGettigan’s doesn’t disappoint. The pubs in JLT and Dubai World Trade Centre both have a resident band and see Irish bands such as The Coronas and Paddy Casey, flown in frequently to perform. Between the two venues, punters can enjoy six nights of live music a week. The current resident band, Boz Boz, have been rocking the lively nightspots for three years and play Thursday nights at DWTC. For the brunch crowd on Fridays at the JLT venue, The Maplejacks, a quartet with rich harmonies, play a set, and when
the evening kicks in, Scitzophonic take to the stage.
Music starts 10pm-2am (DWTC), 7.30pm-2am (JLT). Friday live music brunch: Dhs199. Noon-4pm, JLT. Bonnington, Cluster J, JLT, www.mcgettigans.com (04 356 0560); DWTC, Downtown Dubai (04 378 0801).
Classic Rock Coffee
Coffee and rock music may seem like an unlikely marriage, but they blend together at this café. Sit on drums and sip your latte surrounded by icons of the genre. This is more of a rock fan’s hang out, complete with a library of music magazines, private listening stations and monthly live gigs. Musicians can also bring in their instruments and arrange a jam session on the stage.
Daily 7am-10pm, Dubai Healthcare City, www.classicrockcoffeedxb.com
The Music Room
This venue doesn’t care for genres – it’s hosted acts including Apache Indian and Guns N’ Roses’ Bumblefoot – is unbound by style and open to everyone. It’s the kind of place where on one night you’ll hear salsa and samba, and the next, heavy metal and rock. The crowd here is just as diverse as the music, but with a shared love of a lively atmosphere. The vibe is always laid-back but a great deal of fun. Dancing and singing is always guaranteed.
Fri 6pm-3am. Majestic Hotel Tower, Bur Dubai, www.themusicroomdubai.com (04 359 8888).
The Irish Village
A home for live music from Ireland and beyond, The Irish Village has a reputation for fun rock, Celtic folk and acoustic music. The venue accommodates up to 3,500 people for concerts and hosts big-name international stars including Bob Geldof, Sinéad O’Connor and Macy Gray.
The Irish Village, Garhoud,
www.theirishvillage.com (04 239 5000).
If you like your food spicy and your music with Latin flavour then check out Seville’s for classic Spanish guitar music and salsa classes to boot. The restaurant hosts themed nights every Monday, Thursday and Friday, where diners can enjoy the Spanish melodies. Lively salsa classes are held on Tuesdays.
Dhs50 for salsa classes. Music Mon, Thu and Fri 9.30pm-11.30pm. Wafi Pyramids, Oud Metha, www.pyramidsrestaurantsatwafi.com (04 324 4100).
Stepping into this bar feels like walking into old Havana. Its Cuban shabby chic and writing sprawled across the walls adds to the charm. And when the band strike up the rhythmic Latin beat, the venue literally pulsates. The Kalle 8 Band from Colombia play on Thursdays, followed by DJs who keep the night going until the small hours.
Free to attend. Live music Thu 9pm-12.30am. Dubai Marine Beach Resort and Spa, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 346 1111).
Salero Tapas & Bodega
Foot stomping and hand clapping reign supreme at this authentic tapas restaurant. Every Wednesday night, this Spanish restaurant makes way for passionate flamenco dancing and a full Spanish guitar band. The dancer, Amalia, entertains with whirling moves, while the three-piece band accompany with classic Latin beats.
Free to attend. Wed 8.30pm-10.30pm. Salero Tapas & Bodega, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha (04 409 5888).
Jazz and Soul
You’ll be entertained by quality professional musicians and up-and-coming artists at the open mic night held here every Sunday. On Mondays, duo Matt and Chad perform rock and pop covers, while Tuesdays and Thursdays are for jam sessions hosted by Abri & Funk Radius. Wednesday nights see the restaurant transported to the swinging ’30s with jaunty jazz and lindy hop dancing. At the weekend, the crowd will be serenaded by an eclectic blend of soul and pop.
Free with the purchase of food and drink. Sun 6pm-10pm; Mon 8.30pm-11pm; Tue 7pm-11pm; Wed free lindy hop dance classes at 7.30pm, band starts at 8.30pm; Thu 8pm-midnight; Fri 8.30pm-midnight. Sat 8.30pm-11pm. Jazz@PizzaExpress, Cluster A, JLT, www.pizzaexpressuae.com (04 441 6342).
This stylish beach bar has music at its core, and its Saturday Drift event offers a blissed-out and soulful weekend of food and live music. While you soak up the rays or enjoy a picnic with your friends, UAE soul man Adam Baluch provides the grooves with his Bohemian style and ability to loop together a myriad of musical genres.
From Dhs799 for Drift Picnic packages for groups of two to five. Sat 10am-midnight, live music 5pm-9pm. SkyDive Dubai, Dubai Marina, www.0-gravity.ae (04 399 0009).
Enjoy a cigar and a drink at this plush bar on the lobby floor of the Grand Hyatt Dubai. The mood here is mellow and relaxed, as the resident pianist and singer play soulful jazz. The duo play every night except Sunday and the weekend clientele tend to be regulars, who come to hear them perform their melodious jazz in a stylish and laid-back setting.
Mon-Sat 10pm-2am, Grand Hyatt Dubai, Oud Metha (04 317 2222).
The Ivy Jazz Lounge
Start the weekend with some swing and enter a world ’20s style and glamour at The Ivy’s Jazz Lounge. Enjoy a vibrant night of music to click your fingers to as musician Ciaran Fox performs a swing set with a pianist that mixes Frank Sinatra with a touch of Michael Bublé. There’s no minimum spend here or any need to book a table, but it does get busy, so calling to reserve a spot in advance will save you standing up all night.
Music Thu 8pm-11pm. Boulevard, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.theivy.ae (04 319 8767).
This intimate space at the Novotel, Dubai World trade Centre, is an authentic jazz and blues bar. Book a table and sit right up close to the stage and you’ll be close enough to see the singer’s tonsils. The cosiness adds to the character of the venue and the clientele tends to be a mix of business people attending conferences and jazz aficionados. Thursday nights see the resident band Fox Five Force, playing blues, pop and classic rock, while Friday nights are set to swinging by Abri.
Mon, Tue music at 9.30pm-midnight, Thu music at 11pm-2am, Fri music at 10.30pm-1am. Novotel, World Trade Centre, Downtown Dubai, (04 332 0000).
Frioul Bistro de Luxe
This elegant French restaurant is more of a dining destination located on the waterfront of Souk Madinat Jumeirah, but it offers a quality jazz band with some excellent singers on a Thursday and Friday night, so we feel it’s worthy of inclusion. Whether you choose to eat here or not, you’re welcome to enjoy the vocalists at the bar. On Thursday evening, Rachel takes to the mic, singing a selection of jazzy covers accompanied by the resident band, and on Fridays, singer Kerrie-Anne presents a classic jazz playlist.
Music 9pm-midnight, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, www.frioulbistrodeluxe.com (04 567 0011).
TR!BECA Kitchen + Bar
This new venue on the nightlife scene opened its doors last month, and the New York-inspired bar and kitchen serves up organic food and drinks with a dose of soulful entertainment. Every Friday, home-grown resident musician Adam Baluch delights diners with his individual style of guitar mixed with human beat box, singing and rapping. Baluch shares the stage with other funky guest musicians every week, bringing a slice of New York soul to this new nightspot.
Fri 10pm-3am. Level 1, Ocean View Hotel, The Walk, JBR (050 345 6067)
Party-goers here get to feel the sand under their feet as well as the bass when they come for a gig. Barasti’s beach, chilled-out bar and food make it a fun and relaxed venue to enjoy a cracking band or international DJs. The vast venue has hosted international acts such as The Brand New Heavies, Republica and DJ Jazzy Jeff. Local bands and solo singers perform during the week for the mid-week regulars. With huge screens also dotted around the venue’s upper level, many punters come to watch the sport, but stay for the bands and dancing.
Free. Daily 11am-1am, Barasti Beach, Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh Road, www.barastbeach.com (04 399 3333).
The booming nightclub at the top of the Park Regis Kris Kin is designed for live music. With hydraulic light grids, bassy sound systems and an illuminous dancefloor, the venue has a party atmosphere every night of the week. The club has two house bands – Apple of 7 and Pure Mix. Both play a mix of pop, R&B, rock and Filipino classics. At the weekend, punters are treated to special production performances from the bands and dancers.
Dhs50 (including one drink Sun-Thu only). Open 7.30pm, performances 9pm-3am. Park Regis Kris Kin, Bur Dubai, www.clubsevendubai.com (04 377 1213).
This new bar has recently introduced Live Lounge Wednesdays with The Party Piano playing audience requests. And Lounge’s distinctive décor and quirky offbeat style will be complemented by an energetic band playing all kinds of genres from jazz through to ’90s pop. The new Wednesday nights promise to be a lively fun-filled event.
Free. Wed 7pm-11pm, The Address Dubai Marina, Dubai Marina (800 233 7377).
This warehouse in Al Quoz is unassuming from the outside but, inside, Dubai’s creative performers use the space for showcases, mini gigs and recitals. Events here are sporadic and music and performances of all genres are welcome, so best check the Facebook page to see what’s on. A recent success at the venue was The Dubai Street Jam, a hip-hop showcase for the UAE’s up-and-coming urban music talent, which may become a regular event. The space offers performers excellent lighting and stage facilities, and its cool location within the trendy Alserkal Avenue art district makes it a hub for the city’s creatives.
The Fridge, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, www.thefridgedubai.com (04 347 7793).
This cabaret nightspot offers not just live music, but a night of spectacle and performance. The nights feature a Vaudeville-style show with acrobatics, aerial dancers and slick choreography. On Thursdays and Sundays the troop of performers host a variety show with a surprise line-up of acrobats, dancers and some guest performers, while diners also get to enjoy a set menu of Peruvian cuisine.
Set menu from Dhs320per person. Thu and Sun 9.30pm-1.30pm. Shangri-La Hotel, Downtown Dubai, www.theactdubai.com (04 355 1116).