Bars and Nightlife in Dubai

guide to the nightlife, bars and clubs in Dubai

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Dubai, has an excellent nightlife scene (except for Monday's which tends to be pretty dead) with a large choice of bars and nightclubs for you to be able to enjoy whilst there.

On this page, we list of some of the more popular bars, with a review that will help you to choose where to go and when.

It is important to note that most of the bars that can serve alcohol in Dubai are only in hotels, although there are though a few exceptions, and most of these are reviewed here.

 As anywhere, Dubai has numerous laws regarding clubs; they all must close at 3 am, you must be 21 to drink alcohol, 25 to enter a nightclub, and interestingly they are not allowed by law to refuse entrance to anyone, including members only clubs. Having said that this does not mean that you will be able to walk into any members club free of charge, a lot of the members clubs have very high entrance fees, that they will charge you if you do insist on applying the law and entering the club. This to be honest is a good thing as it allows the clubs to ensure a good mixture of clientele. We have included below tips on how to get into some of the most exclusive clubs, so please do read the reviews thoroughly. Have a great time.

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 Along with all our other country tips and guides, we also cover Bars in Phuket, Bars in Singapore, Bars in Dubai, Bars in Koh Samui, Bars in Hong Kong, Bars in Manila, Bars in Jakarta, Bars in Bangkok and Bars in Vietnam.

Alamo: at the Dubai Marine Beach Resort and Spa is a Tex/Mex restaurant come bar, with more emphasis on the bar. It is popular with locals, and can get busy especially at the weekends from 10:30 onwards. The crowd is a lot of expats and interestingly quite a few Asian girls. They play live music and have a small area to dance.

Atlantis: Located right next door to the Hard Rock Cafe, this popular disco gets busy around midnight. The decor is modern and lively and is in tune with the loud thumping rhythm of the music that ranges from techno, trance, dance etc. They have performances such as dancing girls  and drum masters, that add to the lively atmosphere. They have ladies night Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. The crowd is young and hip, with a good mixture of expatriates and locals, the disco is also popular with Russians. A pint of Kilkenny or Fosters will cost 18 Dhs.

Carter's: Is a very stylish restaurant/bar, that offers some of the most amazing deals you will find anywhere in Dubai. Located inside the AMAZING Pyramid complex, at Wafi City, this stylish bar named after the famous Egyptologist Howard Carter opens for lunch at 12 and closes its' doors at 2 am and 3 am Thursdays. As the evening progresses the restaurant slowly transforms into one of the hottest bars in town, and a DJ starts playing at 10 until finish. The bar attracts a lot of expats, and does get very busy, especially on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. It is advised to arrive by 9 pm if you are looking for the bar as screening does take place at the door after this, and that way you will avoid any possible disappointment or a long wait in the queue. Carter's is also the only Oxygen Bar in Dubai with a 20 minute shot of pure O2 costing 70 Dhs, they do offer aromatic Oxygen for those that actually want to taste something ! As mentioned this great bar offers some of the best deals in town; Sunday night ALL house Cocktails are a staggeringly low 10 Dhs - All night with no catches ! Tuesday is Happy Hour night where all the house drinks are also 10 Dhs ALL night long, a pint of beer pushes it's way up to the 12 Dhs ! As if this were not enough, Wednesday is Ladies Night, where women enjoy one free drink and then after that a special deal of buy 1 get 2 all night. If you are going to Carter's on an evening when one of the above mentioned deals in not running then the drinks are priced reasonably, as an example a pint of beer will cost 18 Dhs, which is pretty much the average in Dubai. The dress code is described as 'presentable', but note that shorts are not permitted in the evenings. We highly recommend this bar when you are in Dubai, even if it is just for one evening, a visit to the Pyramid centre is worthwhile by itself, and it may be a good idea to carry your camera with you as first time visitors are sure to be amazed.

Century Village: A beautiful area of Dubai which can be found right next door to the Irish Village mentioned above. A small courtyard, rich with fountains and greenery encircled by high quality restaurants is what makes the Century Village such a successful and great place to go to. One Bar that stands out more than others though is Da Gama. Actually Da Gama is an amazing Portuguese restaurant but they do have a bar style area on the second floor, which offers comfortable and spacious chairs. The decor and style of this restaurant/bar is amazing, being both 'trendy' and very European. This is one of the best stylish bars that we have seen. GO!

Champions: Located at the JW Marriott, Champions is an excellent place to go to watch major live sporting events such as Football (or soccer as Americans call it), Rugby, and large boxing matches. The bar is open daily from 12 until 2 in the morning, except for Fridays when it is open from 6pm until 2am. Happy hour runs from 6pm - 8pm daily and offers all regular drinks at only 12 Dhs. A pint of beer in regular hours will cost 19 Dhs and a glass of house wine 18 Dhs. The bar is large and has television sets all over with one enormous screen in the centre to ensure that you do not miss any important action no matter where you are. The bar is popular with resident expats and locals who follow sport and is a great place to watch any sporting event. Champions does serve food and it comes in copious amounts. Good place to watch sports.

Hard Rock Cafe: Popular with locals, expatriates, and families. The building itself was once in the middle of nowehere but now finds itself at almost the heart of the new Marina area. It is worth travelling to and makes a great holiday picture especially for those die hard fans of the Hard Rock chain. It offers everything you expect from this global chain, live music, traditional Hard Rock food. The bar area is relatively small, with more space being offered to seating arrangements, for dinner etc. A beer will cost around 18 Dhs. Take a look at the picture of this amazing building, click here.

Irish Village: Located next to the famous Aviation Club of Dubai, the Irish Village is actually one very large Irish style Pub and is one of the few places that you can drink alcohol without having to go to a hotel. A pint of beer will cost 17 Dhs, and they have seating both indoors and outdoors. They have managed to reproduce an authentic Irish pub feel, and it is very popular  with locals, expats and people visiting Dubai. Good quality food is also available. Open from 11 am to 2 am with last orders at 1.30 am. They often run special promotions so so ask what the latest is when you go along.

Kasbaa: Well, who is the best in town? Obviously each club will claim to be the numero uno! Kasbaa, however we feel, would not even need to claim this. The club is located at the amazing Royal Mirage Hotel, which is in itself a magical experience. The club has followed the design of the hotel and has an Arabic theme, with most of the decorations coming from palaces around morocco, which really takes you away into another world and a definite must if you are from out of town. The high profile club is built up onto three levels with terraces that overlook the dance floor below, the music again is different with some of the best DJ's in town playing all the latest dance hits with some of their own mystical music thrown in known as modern Arabic fusion. The upper level is the place to be seen and has comfortable Arabian style sofas that allow for an intimate evening, these 'tables' are better reserved 2/3 weeks in advance (for weekends) if you would like one.  The club opens at 9:30 and its' last orders are at 02:45, it is worth getting there early on a Thursday, around 10/10:30 should see you in without having to queue. For non hotel guests an entrance charge of Dhs 50 applies, which includes one regular drink, after that the drinks are expensive, yet considering the surroundings and clientele reasonable at 22 Dhs a pint of beer, 400 Dhs a bottle of black, and 900 Dhs a bottle of Dom Periginon (prices may change without notice). Again you must be over 25 to enter, no trainers, local dress, or sandals, basically smart casual will suffice. During the week it can get busy, so no matter what day you are in Dubai, go and see the beautiful people at Kasbaa, and experience one of the only nightclubs in Dubai with a magical experience.

The Junction: Previously known as Ned Kelly's can be found at the Century Hotel Dubai (which was previously known as the Dubai Marine Hotel). The bar is now operated by a South African and has changed quite a lot, now offering a lot more staff, many of whom are from South Africa, and even a South African band which plays classical rock and pop music daily from 9 until close with breaks filled in by a DJ. The bar is open seven days a week from 12 (midday) until 2:30am, Happy Hour which is 13Dhs for a regular drink (including a pint of beer) runs from midday until 7pm. After Happy hour the bar has a multitude of different promotions that run daily, such as Ladies night on Sunday's and Tuesday's, where ladies enjoy two free drinks, a "Lads" night where men benefit from 1 free drink and even an airline crew's night on Thursday where Airline crew are given three free drinks. All these promotions are aimed at bringing in the crowds and especially the women, even as Ned Kelly's, the bar was not the most popular in town. Having said that the bar is a nice comfortable place for a drink and the changes the management have made, make the new bar a lot more appealing. The Junction also serves food with some very traditional English fare available such as Liver and Onions for just 32 Dhs.

Planetarium: With Kasbaa (reviewed above) and Planetarium possibly sharing the limelight as the best in town, it is very much down to individual choice and preference, as they are both very different in style and ambience. The Planetarium has very strict membership and entrance regulations allowing entrance only to Members, Ladies and Couples. Entrance is free except on special occasions. The club is located next to the Pyramid centre mentioned above (see Carter's and is open daily from 11 pm but really only gets going from 11.30/12 onwards and closes at 3 am. The busiest nights are Sunday (two drinks for the price of one, Tuesday, and Thursday with Tuesday being Ladies night, where ladies are offered two free drinks before 1am and all cabin crew get a special 50% discount all night. The club is closed Saturday's.

The Agency Wine Bar: Located opposite Scarlett's, reviewed below, at the Emirates Towers Hotel, The Agency Wine Bar is one of the nicest bars we have seen in Dubai. Very modern, artistic and elegant in design, this small chic bar is an excellent place to meet with friends and enjoy some lovely wine, and perhaps a cigar or two. Open seven days a week from 12:30pm  - 1am the wine bar does not have a Happy Hour as to quote the bar manager 'every hour is Happy Hour' ! and for once a bar manager may not be exaggerating, as a glass of house wine is a very reasonable 18 Dhs and a bottled beer is Dhs 20. They have a staggering 5 different types of wine available by glass and  30 different wines by the bottle. Wine ranges in price from 90 Dhs a bottle to a hefty 2,250 for the more famous 'labels'. Hot and cold nibbles are available throughout the evening and add the final touch to what we would regard as the nicest wine bar we have seen in Dubai.

The Pub: as it is known at the InterContinental Hotel in Dubai, is a well known English style pub that serves food and drinks. It tends to be busy during happy hours, with local expats finishing work, and then tends to quieten down. On a Monday night they have a frightful Quiz night, but apart from that the pub is fine.

Tropicana: At the Dubai Marine Beach Resort and Spa, is an Arabic style night club with not many expats, mainly an Arabic crowd, which makes for a very enjoyable evening. They play a mixture of the latest International hits and Arabic popular dance music. It does not get busy until around 11:30/12:00 but is worth a visit when you are in Dubai.

Scarlett's: Located at the Emirates Towers Hotel this bar is a great place to go for an after work drink, and is very popular with expat corporate types and expats on business as well. Open from 12:30pm until 3 am the bar which also serves food offers last orders until 11: 15pm. Happy Hour which we can highly recommend attracts a lot of custom, and is from 5pm until 8pm when a pint of beer is reduced to a very reasonable 12 Dhs, and other drinks are also on good discounts. The regular price for a pint of beer outside of Happy Hour is 18 Dhs and a glass of house wine is 22 Dhs. The bar also doubles up as a restaurant which serves American cuisine (please do not ask us what that means !) and also a club with the upper section of the bar becoming a nightclub of sorts with DJ playing a mixture of classic and new popular songs. The crowd during this time which gets busier from 10 onwards is slightly younger than the Happy Hour but is a popular venue in Dubai and worth a visit. For an after work drink this is a great place to come.

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