For all those of you who like to party, ExpatConnect has combined here a list of top bars and nightclubs in Dubai (including locations, quick reviews, timings and contact details for reservations). It’s a mix of stylish, glamorous and extravagant, as well as easy going, casual and laid-back places. Have a look what suits you best.
Our take on it: If you like classy, elegant, and chilled out venues with an Asian touch, Buddha Bar Dubai is the place to be.
Our take on it: If you like glamorous, extravagant, and theatrical places with a hint of madness, you should definitely visit the Cavalli Club Dubai.
Our take on it: If you like the beach, casual wear and settings, Barasti is a great choice.
Our take on it: If you are a young clubber looking for a sexy glam party on the beach, the Blue Marlin Ibiza won’t disappoint you.
Our take on it: If you are into stylish outdoor venues with sea view and that special architectural twist, 360° is your place.
Our take on it: If you like homey pubs, simple food, pop music, and an easy-going crowd, McGettigan’s JLT is the right address.
By the way, if you are into clubbing, why don’t you join our ExpatConnect Clubbing Group, touch base with like-minded people, and get together to dance the night away?
1. Buddha Bar Dubai
At Grosvenor House Dubai, Al Sufouh Road
The Buddha Bar Dubai is an amazing place with a stunning interior design dominated by dark wood, red and golden accessories, as well as typical Asian sculptures like dragons, lions, and a gigantic meditating Buddha.
The restaurant offers a great variety of Asian dishes, which are inspired by the cuisines of China, Japan and Thailand. The menu includes something for everybody, ranging from beef, lamb and poultry dishes to soups, seafood, sushi and sashimi. Check out the “Robata Grill” options – very delicious!
After dinner, you are welcome to have a drink in the beautiful lounge bar, which offers a wide range of drinks and cocktails. Try “Cloud Nine” with home made clove syrup – an all time favourite.
The resident DJ at Buddha Bar Dubai is DJ Glass Coffee, who is known for his catchy melodies yet eclectic and sophisticated sounds.
Saturday – Wednesday: 7:30pm – 2:00am
Thursday and Friday: 7:30pm – 3:00am
Phone: (04) 3 17 60 00
2. Cavalli Club Dubai
At Fairmont Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road
This club is inspired by and launched in collaboration with the celebrated Italian designer Roberto Cavalli best known for his exotic prints and for creating the sand-blasted jeans look.
Following the designer’s extravagant fashion lines, the Cavalli Club Dubai is a glamorous, funky and colourful place with VIP area, a catwalk dance floor, and various in-house show dancers.
The restaurant offers an a la carte menu (Italian and international cuisine). The main courses, which are not too many, are very exquisite and range from veal and chicken, to sea bass, salmon and lobster dishes. Don’t miss out on the desserts and try the “Chocolate Fondant with Maracuya Toffee”. It’s heaven!
The Cavalli Lounge Bar offers expertly mixed cocktails, premium spirits and an extensive list of the finest vintages.
The club is famous for its VIP guests, ranging from Will Smith to Jennifer Lopez, as well as its weekly events, presenting a great line-up of resident and guest DJs from around the globe, as well as eye-catching live performances.
Every day from 9.30pm to 3am
Phone: 050 – 9 91 04 00
At Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh Road, Jumeirah Beach
Barasti is one of the busiest beach bars in town. It just celebrated its 20th birthday and proves that, after all those years, it still hasn’t lost its good beach vibes and great party flair.
The bar is open all year and caters to everybody – whether twenty-, thirty-, forty-something or above. The crowd at Barasti is rather cool and casual. The dress code is very relaxed. Some people come dressed up, and others come in beachwear and flip-flops.
Throughout the day, Barasti is a great place for sunbathing while having some drinks. At night, the bar changes into a proper dance house with flashing laser lights (check out Friday nights) and pumping dance beats, ranging from pop, and house, to salsa, and reggae.
But don’t worry! If you are not in the mood to dance, you can chill out on one of the many beach sofas or escape into Barasti’s “Middle Deck”, where you can enjoy a shisha, some live music, as well as simple food (pizza, fries, kebab, etc.)
Most recently, Barasti added an ice bar to its facilities. After putting on your winter coat, you are invited to chill and take place at one of the various ice-block tables while having herb-based short drinks. Brrrrr…
Sat – Wed: 11am – 1.30am / Food: 12pm – 12.30am
Thur – Fri: 11am – 3 am / Food: 12pm – 12.30am
Phone: (04) 3 99 33 33
4. Blue Marlin Ibiza
Right off Sheikh Zayed Road, Ghantoot Exit 399 in Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotels and Resort
The Blue Marlin Ibiza lies between Dubai (25 minutes-drive) and Abu Dhabi (45-minutes drive), which makes it ideal for people from both emirates.
Whereas the atmosphere at Barasti is rather casual, this beach bar has the “glitz and glam factor” (and costs a little more), with VIP areas, dip pools and private cabanas. So, put on some nice shorts or a beach dress.
If you come during the day, the Blue Marlin Ibiza offers a great brunch and beach experience, with plenty of space to get a nice suntan on one of the many beach loungers or at one of the many private tables. As it can get very busy at times, it’s good to make a booking, especially if you want to go there for brunch.
There is an a la carte menu for brunch and dinner, which includes a wide range of delicious seafood dishes (try the fresh hammour fillet!), tasty barbecue items, and a live pasta station. Don’t miss the dessert and try a homemade sorbet!
Once the brunch finishes (5pm), the music gets loud. From one moment to the other, this venue turns into a proper beach party arena, in which in-house DJs or guest DJs from Ibiza play full-on banging house music.
Fri and Sat: 1pm -11pm
Brunch on Sat: 2pm – 5pm
Phone: 056 – 1 13 34 00 (11am – 9pm)
At Jumeirah Beach Hotel, at the end of the hotel’s Marina walkway
360° is very stylish venue that opens from October to May/June. It is connected with the Jumeirah Beach Hotel through a long bridge (you can walk or take a buggy) and lies a few hundred meters out on the water.
The circular shape of this restaurant and club gives you a breath-taking 360-degree sea view with the Burj Al Arab in the background.
It has an indoor area as well, but 360° is much more fun when you go outside where you can have a seat on one of the many deck chairs and enjoy the sunset. There are also couches but the minimum spend to sit there is quite high, whereas the deck chairs are free!
360° has table service and several bars where you can order drinks, shisha, and food, which is a selection of typical Pan-Asian bar bites, like spring rolls, chicken sticks or fried shrimps. Concerning the drinks, you can get the usual range of beverages. A definite highlight is the selection of delicious cocktails. Try the Mojito – it’s yummy!
Once the sun has set, 360° turn into a beautifully lit lounge. The place hosts various popular guest DJs from Dubai (Tristan Bain, Milton Jackson, Hernan Cattaneo, and others) who play a great mix of balearic beat, electro swing, hardbag, and funky house.
It is advisable to make a booking to get you on the guest list. Visitors must be 21 years or above. So, please make sure you bring your original ID, passport or driver’s license along. There are checks at the entrance door.
Sun and Mon: 5pm – 2am
Tue, Wed, Thu and Sat: 5pm – 3am
Fri: 4pm – 3am
055 – 5 00 85 18 (reservations)
(04) 4 06 87 41 (general enquiries)
6. McGettigan’s JLT
At Bonnington Hotel, Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT), Cluster J
McGettingan’s is a typical Irish pub that offers a warm and homely environment, as well as the usual list of beverages, including spirits, wine, beer, and, of course, Guinness and Magners (Irish cider). The pub features a beer garden, and a frequent venue for live music, movie nights and comedy shows.
Throughout the day, you can stop by for breakfast (the full palette of sausage, bacon, hash brown, tomato, fried egg, etc.), or lunch, and on Fridays for brunch.
The food is simple yet tasty and ranges from soups, burgers and Irish stew, to sandwiches, wraps (try the buffalo chicken wrap!), and fish & chips. In the evening, when the music gets louder, there is a selection of “After Dark Bites”, like chicken wings, beef chilli nachos, pork belly popcorn, or curly fries.
If there is no live music, McGettigan’s DJ plays a great mix of pop music (latest chart hits as well as all time favourites) and invites all guests to hit the small but charming dance floor.
People of all ages and nationalities come to McGettigan’s. On weekends it gets very busy. But that doesn’t matter, as the crowd is fun, easy going and laid back. Come and visit McGettigan’s on St. Patrick’s Day, 17 March, which is a public holiday in Ireland, and experience how the Irish folks party.
Daily: 12noon – 3am
Phone: (04) 3 78 08 00