Dubai Nightlife

Dubai is party central for the Middle East. Expats here work hard and play hard, so there's no excuse for sitting in your hotel room watching reruns of Friends dubbed in Arabic. The city has action of every type—ultra-cool cocktail bars, beach clubs with day-into-night partying, desert terraces for sharing a glass of champagne, sports bars and pubs with monumental flat-screen TVs, and designer-label

nightclubs where you can dance until dawn.

You may have to refinance your mortgage to pay for a serious night out in Dubai. Alcohol is served only on licensed premises—usually attached to international hotels—and the prices are often exorbitant. You have to be 21 to order drinks or stand in bar areas where alcohol is being served, and an ID will often be demanded. In addition, some popular clubs restrict entry to clients based on their appearance. People love to dress up in Dubai, so be sure to follow suit for your evening of clubbing; otherwise you may be left on the curb. Sandals are not allowed in clubs.

Live music is popular in the city, and tends to sit at extremes of the spectrum—cover bands perform in dive bars and mainstream international artists play for tens of thousands. Classic performance arts have had a thin presence, however recent years have brought welcome change thanks to the growing population, opening of the Dubai Opera House and the increasing quality of acts at venues like Madinat Theatre.

Movies have always been popular in the Middle East. Large multiplex centers show the latest blockbusters from Hollywood and Bollywood, as well as films from around the Arabic-speaking world. Here, going to the movies is a luxurious experience; theaters with food designed by Michelin-starred chefs, kids-only zones, and of course the latest in high-tech viewing, such as 4DX and IMAX.

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Dubai Nightlife

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Perry and Blackwelders

  • Brewpubs/Beer Gardens

With American deep-south styling and its smokehouse smells, this is one of Dubai's most alluring watering holes for those who like things...


  • Dance Clubs

A spin-off of the club in NYC, Provocateur keeps things classy. Music is always electronic, acts are international, the crowd is elegant,...

Rock Bottom

  • Bars/Pubs

Definitely a Dubai original, many overlook Karama Rock Bottom for its newer sibling in Barsha Heights. It's completely shabby and dated,...

Sea Fu Bar

  • Piano Bars/Lounges

This bar flanks a casual yet elegant restaurant of the same name, and sits just short of the sand on the Four Seasons' private Jumeirah...


  • Bars/Pubs

As with most of the popular bars in this part of the city, Seville's is no newcomer. Luckily the decor has held up well over the years,...

Sky View Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

The finlike structure at the top of the stylish Burj Al-Arab Hotel has fantastic views along the Dubai coastline, no matter what time...

Stereo Arcade

  • Music Clubs

Entering this retro number is like stepping onto the set of Tron . It's part pub, part club, part arcade, with a mix of '80s and '90s...

The Music Room

  • Music Clubs

This place is exactly what it says on the cover, no pretense or broken promises. It's a laid-back venue, full of grunge princesses and...

XL Beach Club

  • Dance Clubs

XL shares some traits with nearby Barasti, in that it's sprawling, by the beach, has DJs and live acts, and melds day into night without...


  • Bars/Pubs

There are quite a few high-end Asian restaurants in Dubai that also house fabulous cocktail bars, (also of note, Okku, Hakkasan, and...


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