Dubai Nightlife • A Complete Guide

The crown jewel of the UAE, Dubai is filled with a diverse range of faiths, ethnicities and cosmopolitan cultures.

This guide will help you discover and plan your nights out in Dubai by finding the vibe and venue that is right for you.

Enjoy!

Just like any other sector, Dubai’s diversified nightlife has very much to offer in the late-night entertainment stakes and the Emirate regularly hosts some of the most in-demand artists in the world including Solomun, David Guetta, Carl Cox or 50 Cent as well as the more underground artists that visit Dubai on a weekly basis. There is a wide range of bars and nightclubs in Dubai, but along with that it also has various licencing laws in the UAE most of these are located inside or are connected to hotels. The legal drinking age in Dubai is 21 years of age and night clubs always adhere to this rule.

With tourism booming and getting stronger, about 20 million visitors a year, Dubai has become the preferred destination for businessmen and wealthy tourists every weekend flock to the numerous nightclubs in Dubai. The metropolis of the UAE offers a wide variety of spectacular ultra-modern bars and clubs which compete with each other and regularly host evenings with the most famous international DJs. Extravagant and highly premium, the Dubai nightlife offers the right kind of environment for a unique experience and at the same time wild, and this is what we are now going to explore in this article.

The Nightlife in Dubai

As we already established, Dubai is known for its nightlife. Clubs and Bars are found mostly in hotels because of their well-regulated liquor laws. The New York Times described Dubai as “the kind of city where you might run into Michael Jordan at the Buddha Bar or stumble across Naomi Campbell celebrating her birthday with a multiday bash”, this explains how famous Dubai is.

Majority of the bars in Dubai are located within the hotel buildings, the only structures that can serve alcohol there freely. Although it is strictly forbidden the street alcohol consumption, in Dubai you can drink freely in various nightclubs. For visitors simply show your passport at the entrance, while residents simply an identity card or driver’s license. Some clubs allow entry only to people of age or older 25 years, however, it is advisable to check before you plan a night. If you planning a drinking program, be sure to take a cab back to the hotel: the Emirates have zero tolerance for anyone driving under the influence.

Things to do in Dubai at Night

To make your life easier, here we have come up with some of the best and finest locations/activities available in Dubai to enjoy its nightlife, so you don’t find yourself in the hassle of looking for them:

Experience the Fountain Show and Dubai Mall

Dubai is no stranger to worldwide records and the Dubai Fountains Show at the Dubai Mall is one of them. For a first, the Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world by total area, with a total of 1,200 shops over 1,124,000 square meters (12,098,635.3 square feet). The Dubai Mall is also home of the world’s largest acrylic panel (the aquarium), the world’s largest sweet shop, “Candylicious”, spanning over 930 square meters (10,000 square feet) in addition to the fountains.

The fountains are the world’s second largest choreographed fountain system set on the Burj Khalifa Lake, in the Dubai Mall. For all lovers of Las Vegas shows, you will simply be blown away by the Dubai fountains’ show. The show is every half an hour, daily from 6 pm to 11:30 pm as well as two shows at 1:00 pm and 1:30 pm. Each show consists of a choreographed water show designed by a dance choreographer for a specific song. Each day the sequence of songs played is changing, allowing you to see all the shows in just a few days if you wish to.

Dubai Garden Glow

Dubai Garden Glow is the largest ‘glow-in-dark’ garden in the world made of recycled luminous fabrics and features scale models of UAE landmarks like Burj Khalifa from recycled cups and bottles. Since its opening in 2015, it has drawn millions of visitors each year. Thanks to their 500 craftsmen, engineers, and architects who unceasingly create magic behind the scenes. Book this experience and capture the moment of a lifetime at this stunning theme park. As the lights are turned on, the park dazzles at night like something out of a fairy tale leaving you marveling in surprise. Get into the festive spirit with a host of performances by international artists. Explore up to 10 different zones which include Dinosaur Park, Art Park, Garden Glow, Happiness Street, just to mention a few. You can include access to the Ice Park at an extra cost. Surely, a delightful and educational treat for the entire family!

Ski in the first Indoor Ski Resort

This mountain theme setting is the perfect place to go skiing, snowboarding or taking a break with the little ones to go tobogganing or meet with the resident penguins! Ski Dubai is a stand-alone Ski Park in the Middle East that provides the ultimate indoor winter experience in the midst of the Arabian desert! Don’t worry about packing for colder weather since winter gear will be provided to you at the park itself so you can brave the -1 degrees Celsius temperature in the park.

Your all-day Ski Dubai Polar Pass gives you basic access to all areas of the Snow Park. You can spend the day having snowball fights in the vast Snowball Gallery, building your very own snowman in the mystical and dimply lit Snow Cavern or visit the observation tower so you can look out at the entire park if rides aren’t exactly what you are there for. However, if you are there for the rides, you are in for quite the treat! You can utilize your single ride on the chairlift to ascend to the top of the park and roll downhill from a height of 100 meters in a giant, clear ball at the Giant Snowball / Zorb Ball ride. With your single ride on the Mountain Thriller, you will get to ride downhill from the very top of Ski Dubai in a bobsled and experience the thrills and frills of a run through the mountains.

So, leave the towering skyscrapers of the city and escape into the Winter Wonderland that is Ski Dubai with a Polar Pass that gives you access to the Snow Park and its many attractions!

Dinner Dhow Cruise Dubai

Taking a Dinner Dhow Cruise Dubai is one of the best ways to experience the city. You will be sailing along one of the many waterways of the city. Certain dinner cruises will take place in the heart of Old Dubai on the Dubai Creek, the ancient lifeline of Dubai; while other cruises will take place in recently developed projects such as Dubai Marina and Dubai Water Canal.

These dhow dinner cruises constitute a lavish 3-course international buffet and take place on traditional wooden dhows. You are welcomed warmly on to your show and as you enjoy your dinner, you will be entertained by local performing artists as well.

Most dhow cruises start with a warm welcome that consists of warm & cool towels, Arabic coffee, fresh dates, and juices. Dinners on a dhow cruise are in the form of 3-course international buffets with a wide variety of dishes. Vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike can take their pick from dishes that range from Indian food preparations, Italian cuisine, grilled meat, and seafood and desserts.

As you sail the waterways of Dubai; you can relax, soak in the sights of Dubai and enjoy a wonderful dining experience. Enjoying a meal while cruising in a dhow is a uniquely fulfilling experience.

15 Minutes Luxury Helicopter Tour

Fly in the lap of luxury with this sumptuous helicopter tour of the marvels and wonders of modern Dubai. Strap into the Eurocopter EC 130, built to enhance your sightseeing experience as you weave through the great attractions of the city.

Enter the lavish Heli Lounge minutes before your helicopter tour and enjoy the spacious and comfortable facilities. Looking over the Atlantis Palm Helipad, this is the perfect place to relax as you receive a short safety briefing before you take off!

Lift off from the beautiful man-made island on which the Atlantis the Palm hotel sits before you glide past the most luxurious hotel in the world and an architectural wonder in itself, the Burj Al Arab. As your tour continues, you will soar past the tallest building in the world as it glimmers in the sun, the iconic Burj Khalifa. Admire its many facets before cruising down the Jumeirah Beach coastline and viewing the innovative World Islands from their south pole. Your tour will conclude back at the Atlantis Palm Helipad, has truly captured the best of what Dubai has to offer.

Red Dune Desert Safari with BBQ Dinner & Live Entertainment

Embark on a classic desert adventure with this experience that lets you weave through the golden sand dunes of the Arabian Desert and lets you take in everyday life in a Bedouin camp!

You will be picked up on a 4×4 and driven to the desert leaving the city behind. After the ride, you will arrive at a traditional Bedouin camp where other desert activities are ready for you. Here, you will be able to experience camel riding, aromatic shisha, and henna hand painting. Adding excitement to an already fun-packed evening will be entertainers performing traditional tanoura, fire shows, and belly dancing. Post the fun, you can also dress up in traditional Arabic dresses and take photos of an Arabic version of yourself. As the day comes to a close, you will be led to a delectable buffet which you can pair with unlimited soft drinks, water, tea, and coffee. With a wide array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes to choose from, your buffet will perfectly cap the evening.

So, explore the vast Arabian Desert and make the most of your time in Dubai with this stunning desert safari experience!

The Best Bars in Dubai

Luckily for the booze lovers of Dubai, the city has a wealth of outstanding bars that go beyond the basics, from beachside digs perfect for sipping sparkling spritzes and crisp glasses of rosé to posh watering holes with avant-garde creations worth dressing up for. As we know that Dubai has strict laws against drinking, but when you surpass that limit options are just limitless for you as the city has got some of the finest and tremendously luxurious bars and nightclub ready to provide you a perfect experience of the premium nightlife, which we’re sure you wouldn’t have experienced yet. When talking about pubs and bars in Dubai, you are surely going to get transferred into a world of excellence and amazing nightlife. Be in the swankiest place of Dubai where groovy music, themes, some of the other events await your presence. Indeed, this desert land has places to chill and groove at, once tired from the daily schedule. Bars in Dubai have classy menu options to choose from so as to satiate your hunger as well as thirst pangs. No need to wait, get dressed up, pick your wallet and just go through the following list of extremely exotic and luxurious bars in Dubai:

Coya

This colorful Peruvian spot is divided into three sections: a members-only bar, a dining room, and the Pisco Lounge. Historic art flown in from Peru and plush, handcrafted furniture is welcome to design touches. Expect serious Peruvian-inspired cocktails and seafood-heavy dishes (tacos with snapper and salmon, seasonal lobster with chimichurri sauce).

Cavalli Club

Cavalli is an institution on the Dubai nightlife scene, known for its glitzy parties, daring shows, and lavish décor. This year the home of all things bold, brash and absolutely fabulous turns ten, so it’s only right to pop along and raise a glass. It is a swanky venue and guests dress accordingly, so make sure you dig out your glad-rags for a night out here. There is opulent glamour throughout, from the massive crystal chandeliers down to the animal-print soft furnishings (and even that furry wall). There are events nearly every night of the week including three courses for women on Tuesday ladies’ night and special dinner shows on a Thursday evening. Regardless of the numbers, you can expect something special on the dancefloor, with aerial hoop performances, silk dancers and glitter cannons. If you are up for a big night – and you are after a show – then you can’t go wrong with Cavalli.

Asia Asia

Asia Asia is one of those places you can’t help but love. From its stunning views across Dubai Marina to the creative mixed drinks and the excellent dishes it serves up, this is a top choice in every way. Which is why we named it Best Lounge Bar at the 2018 Music & Nightlife Awards. Set in Pier 7, this trendy, dimly lit bar is always busy. Visit on Tuesday for one of the most popular ladies’ nights in the city, while on a Thursday there’s a live saxophonist from 10 pm. The sophisticated and vibrant bar – full of dark woods and fuchsia pinks – has a large following and draws in a well-dressed party crowd. On arrival, you will be greeted by friendly hostesses – as well as a row of golden statues – before being led through an atmospheric passageway scented with lemongrass. Once inside, pull up a stool at the bar or in one of the cozy alcoves and order up some mixed drinks and bar bites.

The Irish Village

If you are looking for a laid-back pub with a friendly vibe and a spacious garden, look no further than Time Out Dubai’s 2018 Pub of the Year, The Irish Village. The traditional pub at the Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Stadium has been a longstanding Dubai institution for many a year – it turns 22 in 2018, in fact. And its appeal is as enduring as it ever was. Despite a slew of young upstarts putting up the fierce competition, this established Garhoud watering hole has firmly stood its ground. Service is spot-on, and many of the staff have been familiar faces to regular drinkers and diners at the pub for several years. You will always get a warm welcome and you are sure to stay longer than you expected, too. With a front designed to look like an authentic village and a lush green lawn, It is hard to beat this spot for a lazy afternoon in the sunshine. Don’t miss a trip to The Irish Village.

Buddha-Bar

Everyone in Dubai has heard of Buddha-Bar, surely? But how many people go regularly? Quite a lot on a weekend, it seems. Less during the week. But despite the sheer size of the venue (trust us, it’s huge) it still gives a great first impression. The décor is very Asian and very opulent, the staff is elegantly dressed in traditional regalia. If anything, it is a little intimidating. Upstairs is more of a lounge area, downstairs has a long bar running down one side and a big dining room space. It is dark and moody, with views of the Marina from floor-to-ceiling windows. You are in early during the week and it is quiet, but before long, the dining room begins to fill up, even if the bar doesn’t. There is a range of bottles of Asian hops and unusual-sounding mixed drinks are available as well as a grape. Everything about the venue is classy, from the drinks to the vibe to the nibbles. Should everyone go to Buddha-Bar more regularly? Probably, yes. It’s great.

Lock, Stock & Barrel

You won’t find anything better for getting a massive sweat on to piercingly loud (and awesome) rock music than this place. This place would be total hit for you, owing to its cracking vibe, decent drinks deals, pool tables, telly screens and ability to put together a barnstorming gig. On a weekly basis you’ll find top rockers 13 Daze and Gorgeous George getting up on stage to get you banging your head in approval/over-excitement/rockerness etcetera. With free entry to the bar all night, you’ll surely find good music to go with your pint. If you’re planning to hit this place, we’d highly recommend getting in before early enough to make the most of the two-for-one happy hour, available on a whole host of house beverages and hops. You should also make sure you grab a giant bowl of the fully loaded nachos. So what you are waiting for? A top night out is waiting for you.

The Best Bar Restaurants in Dubai

As you might expect, Dubai is also very famous for its highly famous, only having high-angled, fussy culinary concepts. Although you will certainly find those options here, there is no denying that dining in Dubai, if done effectively, means exploring one of the most diverse, vivid, and delicious destinations on earth – be it organic labneh panini seasoned with mint and a flurry of crunchy walnuts, beachside chicken Cheetah sliders. When it comes to culinary choices, Dubai is almost too exotic, luxuries and tasty to imagine. There are restaurants serving virtually every national cuisine from literally around the world, including many choice who chose to specialize in Dubai’s own Arabic delights. Dubai does not have its own Michelin Guide, but instead, it imports chefs or restaurant chains that have previously been recognized elsewhere by this prestigious publication. Each restaurant featured here is not simply somewhere to eat, but a destination for stunning décor, amazing views, and unforgettable culinary experiences, which are complete packages in their own sense. Here are our picks for some best Dubai restaurants which will surely stimulate your taste buds:

Tom & Serg

You will find owners Tom & Serg’s mission statement scribbled on a chalkboard wall at the entrance of this buzzy warehouse-style cafe: “Tom comes from Australia. Sergio comes from Spain. Tom likes making good food. Sergio likes eating it.” Much like the sentiment itself, Tom & Serg is a place to find a feel-good meal in a stripped-down environment. There is a good chance you won’t be able to find the cafe unless it is been recommended to you though, as it is hidden in the dusty Al Quoz neighborhood beside industrial warehouses and an Ace Hardware.

Mythos Kouzina & Grill

One of the more charming restaurants to have opened in Dubai over the last few years, Mythos feels like an intimate taverna with white-stone walls and cave-like ceilings despite being in Jumeirah Lake Tower, a densely populated neighborhood with skyscrapers and algae-tinged artificial lakes. Start your meal with spicy feta laced with olive oil and nutty fried Graviera cheese imported from Naxos Island. For mains, the chicken gyros wrapped snugly in charcoal-grilled pita are excellent, as is the grilled octopus with white wine vinaigrette and fennel marinade.

Loca

This laid-back, perennially popular restaurant serves casual Mexican food in a flat screen-fitted industrial space that is perfect for catching the latest sporting event. Loca recently opened a second location in the Souk al Bahar shopping mall, but stick with the original in the Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa. Start with guacamole prepared tableside before ordering anything served with the soft, white-corn tortillas, you will like the garlicky beef and jumbo shrimp fajitas. On the more adventurous side, you will find corn husk tamales and roasted lamb wrapped in banana leaves.

The Maine Oyster Bar & Grill

The entrance to the city’s hottest spot for oysters and people-watching is hidden beneath the loading docks of the Double-Tree by Hilton in the Dubai Marina. The classy seafood restaurant features marble tabletops, green antique banker lamps, and an exposed brick wall inside, but try to grab a seat on the outdoor terrace for views of the Arabian Gulf and the not-yet-completed Dubai Eye Ferris wheel. Dinner dishes run the spectrum from thin-crust mushroom and truffle pizza to the decadent Neptune Folly platter with snow crab legs, poached prawns, fresh oysters, and halibut ceviche. A family-style prix-fixe menu is also available, featuring burrata, tuna tartare, sliced ribeye, and linguine aglio e olio.

Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE

Awkwardly located off a stretch of highway between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, getting to this stretch of remote beach is a trek, but that doesn’t stop hoards of party seekers from heading here weekly to strip down and drink up. Many arrive by car service, helicopter, or yacht. Much like its sister property in Ibiza, this is the place to show off, whether it’s your sculpted abs or high-rolling bank account.

The elixirs of choice here are champagne and rose. Try the signature Mojito Rose with martini rosato, grapefruit, pomegranate syrup, mint, lime, and raspberry. The Spiced Passionfruit martini is also terrific.

The Best Nightclubs in Dubai

With culinary scene already killing in the city the nightlife programs in the city are also not far behind. In fact, Dubai is best known for having some of the hottest nightlife in the world and is a prime party destination. So put on your dancing shoes and get ready to party late at night. Dubai has so much to offer regarding nightlife; it gives the right kind of environment to host safe but at the same time a wild experience. The emirate hosts some of the most popular club nights in the world. It is the home of many talented DJs and also regularly hosts the most well-known ones from across the globe. The clubbing scene here starts from Thursday since, in the Gulf region, Friday and Saturday are considered the weekend. Expect humongous waiting lines here on Friday though. Most clubs also offer an exclusive Ladies’ Nights on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Dubai is best visited at night, the time when the city is lit up, and the roads look serene. Unfortunately for some, this is not one of the towns where night-time ensures a moment of stillness and tranquility. Dubai is a city which is very much alive even during the nights. This can be witnessed by coming across a traffic jam at 03:00 AM in the central city roads!

Dubai’s nightlife takes you to the best trip of your excitement and happiness and guarantees a memorable nightlife experience that you really won’t easily forget. Here we have rounded up some of the best locations of Dubai for an exceptional party experience on the city’s most renowned venues.

Club 360

This club is known for hosting some of the biggest parties throughout the year and also for inviting some of the most prominent DJ’s in the world as a whole. This is the club you wish you could be at during the NYE, and the long weekends. Not only is the partying scene here a blast but also the view. Its circular venue provides one with spectacular views of Burj-Al-Arab and the Persian Gulf. It is also amongst the favorites of the adult party-goers and the ones who are passionate about parties.

Trilogy

Situated at one of the elite streets in Dubai, Trilogy is a must-visit night-club for the passionate lovers of music and has now become a busy spot for the young party-lovers. It has three floors including the rooftop terrace and provides entertainment beyond comparison. Trilogy also has international DJ’s coming here to perform almost on a weekly basis. It has the Chameleon Club that changes colors, thanks to the painters in Dubai.

Barasti

Barasti is the popular nightclub which gives out the best of both worlds. One can see the tall, impressive Dubai skyline on one side or can enjoy the vibrant hue of the Persian Gulf on the other. The Ground floor often has a live band playing, and the music here is to simply relax and rejuvenate, but the other floor is for the serious party lovers and has eccentric music being played. Genuinely letting one experience the best of both the worlds; you can come in with your slay mode on or in your most comfortable casuals. Flip-flops or heels. Ripped jeans or an LBD, the choice is indeed yours because, in the end, dancing is all that matters.

N’Dulge

It is Dubai’s new hip hotspot located in Atlantis on the Palm Jumeirah. Wednesdays are ladies nights when the girls can enjoy a night out with complimentary selected drinks from 11p.m. to 1 a.m. This extremely famous spot features a regular list of international DJs particularly on popular Friday nights when the venue is often packed with party goers from all walks of town. The venue mainly consists of three main areas: the N’Dulge Arena, Lounge and Terrace. The Arena, open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays hosts exciting club nights while the Lounge, teamed up with the world renowned restaurant Nobu, serves up some delectably sophisticated signature dishes to indulge culinary enthusiasts. The Terrace is a ultimate popular venue for al fresco clubbing and guests can enjoy the lush landscaping while dancing to tunes under the Arabian stars. All in all, it’s a great option to enjoy your night out.

Mahiki

If you want to enjoy a truly unique party experience then you should definitely check out Mahiki Dubai which opened its doors in December 2011. With a fun Polynesian theme, it brings a piece of tropical paradise to Dubai. With its fun, virant décor that runs throughout every aspect of this restaurant/club from the tropical themed drinks to the DJ booth and dance floor, Mahiki plays an endless variety of peppy, feel-good tunes that makes it immensely popular with royals, actors, musicians and those that love to party in a fun-filled atmosphere.

White Dubai, Meydan Racecourse, Nad Al Sheba

This huge outdoor super-club has set the benchmark high for nights out in Dubai, which other venues in the city are no match for. Its spectacular light shows and 360° panoramic views of the city are the least of it. WHITE brings out the big guns month after month, booking some of the world’s biggest stars to perform live at its regular events. You can pack yourself in with the crowd and scream along to Rita Ora or dance to Armin van Buuren in front of the stage, but there are plenty of VIP areas, too, for those who like their club nights to be a little more velvet-roped and exclusive. This setting easily caters to both without sacrificing on the atmosphere. Its sheer scale is not at the expense of a good deal, either. The club’s Tuesday ladies’ night offers not only unlimited drinks but also unlimited sushi from 10 pm until 12.30am – not to the mention the fact that it had a five-week takeover from none other than Tinie Tempah. Though, WHITE is exclusive, but not overly so, and the atmosphere on any given night is nothing short of electrifying. Head here for your next big shindig.

Conclusion

To sum up things a little bit, it is reiterated to mention here that, Dubai is the place in the world where the word ‘impossible’ just doesn’t exist… Being home of the largest mall in the world, the largest acrylic panel in the world, the tallest hotel in the world and the tallest building in the world to name a few, it comes as no surprise that Dubai is the perfect place to visit and get wowed away having an unforgettable nightlife experience. While the city is beautiful and impressive by day, it is even more impressive at night when all the buildings light up as one.

We started with a brief introduction of Dubai along with discussing some of its prominent norms, culture, and nightlife. We also went through different activities and options available there to enjoy the nightlife of the City, Musical venues, Bars, Restaurants and Nightclubs as well. Such activities provide a great source of entertainment for tourists and locals.

As already elaborated the city has a very unique and exclusive cultural background, and the nightlife is mainly concentrated in the hotels area where City’s best bars are located and satisfying the desire of thirsty visitors where you can experience the best booze with the mesmerizing architectural beauty of the state of the art bars and their decors. That led us to explore various options available in the city related to bars like Coya, Cavalli club and Asia Asia.

You don’t feel any hunger during your trip to Dubai that is why we also suggested some of the finest restaurants in the city that offer exotic and delicious food along with your favorite cocktails. You will really enjoy the taste of good food along with some great drinks. And lastly, we went through comprehensive options of Nightclubs that offers great music with some delightfully exotic choices for drinks and cocktail that will polish your overall experience. All of the aforementioned experiences will work together to make your trip really impressive. A perfect and balanced blend of the above-identified activities can truly boost your experience and make your trip unbelievably memorable for you.

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