When it comes to nightlife, few cities can boast as much variety in their offerings as Dubai. From swanky venues having skyline views to laidback retro-themed pubs, this metropolis certainly has something for everyone.
Thanks to an abundance of trendy bars, even the most discerning of cocktail connoisseurs are likely to be spoiled for choice when deciding where to get their favorite tipple.
Sit back, relax and watch the city come alive after dark as you savor sips from some of our favorite Dubai watering holes.
Located within Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, this vibrant venue offers a taste of Peruvian culture in the heart of the city. The lively lounge features a bright color palette and rich patterns, as well as plenty of plants reminiscent of the Amazonian rainforest.
While the restaurant serves a fusion of Peruvian, Asian and Spanish cuisine, the Pisco Bar & Lounge offers an extensive and interesting range of cocktails you won’t find elsewhere in Dubai.
Try drinks such as the tangy Rosa de Gusano (mezcal, Cointreau, grapefruit and quail’s egg) or the savory Forbidden Apple (Japanese Fuji-apple-infused bourbon with crème de cassis, housemade rosemary syrup, egg white and orange bitters). Or opt for a Peruvian classic with a twist, like a pisco sour in flavors such as mango and chili, or pear and sandalwood.
Still going strong as a favorite nightlife spot since it first opened its doors in 2005, this Asian-inspired venue is, without a doubt, among the top cocktail bars in the city.
The lavish, two-story Dubai branch is one of the largest of its many international locations, and it’s designed to wow. Ornate chandeliers hang from the high ceiling, rich drapes are pulled away from grand, marina promenade-facing bay windows and a giant gold Buddhist monk watches over diners in the main space.
Featuring excellent sushi and Asian specialties, the dinner menu does not disappoint. But if it’s cocktails you’re after, head upstairs to the Dragon Bar, or make yourself comfortable in one of many intimate alcoves, and try creations such as Maha Bodhi (pandan-infused vodka, sake, passion fruit, mango and cranberry juice) or the Japanese-Mexican Geisha Caliente (tequila, plum sake, matcha, pineapple and ginger beer).
Visited by the likes of Rihanna, Ed Sheeran and Bella Hadid, this New York-born Jamaican diner continues to be one of the city’s most popular night spots since opening its doors at Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Sheraton Grand Hotel, Dubai in 2017.
The vibe is laidback, funky and eclectic all at once with retro art, checkerboard flooring and a shiny disco ball. While there’s a quieter restaurant for those who’ve come for juicy jerk chicken and other Jamaican specialties, the lively rum bar is where all the action is.
Tipple island-style cocktails such as Passion Lymin’ (vodka, passion fruit, banana, Creole bitters and soda) while you move to the reggae and ska tunes.
The slick, upscale lounge in the heart of the Dubai International Financial Center sees busy nights throughout the week, thanks to its mouthwatering modern Japanese cuisine served izakaya-style (to be shared) along with mains such as salt-grilled seabass and miso-marinated black cod.
The lively ambiance is enhanced with great music and creative cocktails, like the Rubabu with rhubarb-infused sake and passion fruit; the refreshing cucumber-shiso (mint) Geshi Smash; and the fruity Zuma Mai Tai with Japanese plum wine and Caribbean blood orange rum.
It can take anywhere from a few days to weeks to get a table, so call well in advance for reservations.
If intimate conversations over jaw-dropping sunset views of Madinat Jumeirah’s romantic meandering canals sound appealing, then look no further than this Arabian-inspired lounge at Four-Star Jumeirah Mina A’Salam.
With cozy, comfortable interiors that feel like a beautiful home away from home, and a terrace surrounded by lush palm trees, Bahri Bar is perfect for a date or a casual afternoon with friends over light mezze fare and slow jazz.
The cocktails here aren’t lacking on the creativity front with a menu split into four categories: Ambitious, Fresh, Fiery and Enchanted. For a little local flair, opt for a tipple inspired by the flavors of the region, such as Behind the Times (Glenfiddich Scotch and date honey syrup) and Witch’s Heart (gin with saffron, rosewater, lemon and rosemary).
The venue gets lively after sundown with live music or a DJ almost every night of the week.
If you’re after a dynamic vibe and pun-fueled Asian street food — yes, you really can order Japanese curry from the “Thai and Stop Me” section of the menu — then head to this energetic Karate Kid-themed eatery at Media One Hotel.
The lively restaurant is an Instagram user’s dream with quirky neon signs, bright lights, vibrant paper umbrellas, eclectic details and colorful stools that transport you to the bustling streets of Bangkok.
Service is quick and the Cobra Kai bar is busy — like you’d expect in a buzzing street market — and there’s plenty worth trying from the kitchen, from maki rolls and gyoza dumplings to all sorts of wok dishes.
When it comes to cocktails, expect fruity rum- and gin-based concoctions, such as the lime- and pineapple-accented Komodo Dragon and the lychee- and lemongrass-tinged Love You Lychee Time.