Dubai Nightlife

As befits the city dubbed ‘the Las Vegas of the Middle East’, there’s no shortage of things to do once the sun sets in Dubai – although gambling is not one of them. Most of the action happens in hotels, the only places allowed alcohol licences, but there’s no shortage of choice.

Prices range from the eye watering (anything at the Burj Dubai) to cheap and cheerful (Irish Village), and everything in between. The city is also home to several bars run by fashion houses, so dress up or get turfed out by the style police. Kissing on the dancefloor will get you chucked out by the real police, so keep your hands to yourself.

Bars in Dubai

Barasti Bar

One of Dubai’s most popular expat hangouts, Barasti sits on the beach outside the Le Meridien Mina Seyahi hotel and specialises in screening sports events. Its theme nights are also popular, as are the cheap drinks and the laidback vibe. Don’t expect to get much in the way of table service on Thursday nights when it’s crammed with revellers.

Al Sufouh Road, Marina, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: +971 4 318 1313.
Buddha Bar

Huge and seriously hip, the Buddha Bar is one of the many places in Dubai to see and be seen – all the while sipping on one of the bar’s excellent cocktails. Like other Buddha Bars, the music is chilled out and the décor oriental, and a new facelift has given this popular spot a new lease of verve.

Al Sufouh Road, Marina, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: +971 4 317 6000.

One of Downtown Dubai’s coolest bars, Calabar sits within The Address Hotel and has a fabulous terrace that overlooks the Dubai Fountain. Slick and modern in design, its bounty of beanbags give it a chilled out feel, as does the lounge-style beats played by the in-house DJ every night of the week.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: +971 4 436 8888.
Zero Gravity

Zero Gravity is an all-inclusive Beach, Restaurant and Bar ideally located in close proximity to Al Sufouh, Dubai media city and Dubai marina. The complex also includes pools, lounges and gardens to suit your every mood, whether you’re looking for an atmosphere or just a quiet place to relax.

Al Sufouh Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: +971 4 399 0009.

Clubs in Dubai


This swanky, wannabe Parisian club, which mainly attracts a Lebanese crowd and a few expats, has long been one of Dubai’s most glamorous. Despite being dimly lit, clubbers are expected to dress to impress or they won’t get past the door staff. Different nights play host to various music genres.

Jumeirah Road, Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: +971 4 345 5995.
Cavalli Club

Opened under the auspices of Roberto Cavalli, the Cavalli Club is a luxurious spot that is true to the Italian designer’s opulent style. Expect lashings of animal print, plenty of gold-coloured glass and crystal-encrusted walls. Low key it ain’t, but it is good for star spotting – if you can afford the prices.

Sheikh Zayed Road, Deira, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: +971 4 332 9260.
The Apartment Lounge & Club

Set within the hideously expensive Jumeirah Beach Hotel, The Apartment has long been popular with the city’s cool crowd and regularly attracts top international DJs. Don’t forget to dress up – the place overflows with fashionable types and you won’t make much headway with the bouncers if you turn up in jeans.

Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: +971 4 406 8999.

Live Music in Dubai


Set at the end of a pier outside the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, 360 boasts (you got it) a 360-degree view and is easily one of the nicest sundowner venues in Dubai. It also does an excellent line in DJs, including some international names. The only downside is that it’s closes during the summer, as it gets too hot.

Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: +971 55 500 8518.
Sheikh Rashid Hall

Part of the sprawling World Trade Center complex, the glass and steel Sheikh Rashid Hall is a futuristic 2,500 seat auditorium that regularly plays host to big name bands, string quartets and orchestral recitals. When it’s not, the huge space hosts sporting events and the occasional banquet.

Sheikh Zayed Road, Deira, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: +971 4 332 1000.
The Irish Village

One of the oldest expat bars in Dubai, The Irish Village is the main place to go for live music washed down with a pint of Guinness. Along with local bands, it also attracts retro outfits from around the world (think The Pretenders) as well as up-and-coming indie bands on the make.

Casablanca Street, Garhoud, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: +971 4 282 4750.
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