Known for its breathtaking architecture and unparalleled shopping scene, there is no shortage of things to do when in the UAE city of Dubai. Due to the relative conservatism of the UAE, most of Dubai’s bars and clubs are confined to hotels. However, decked out down in various hotel lower levels, or glittering up on their rooftops, you will find venues as stylish and glamorous as anything in cosmopolitan Europe. All the venues we highlight here feature something unique and exciting, making them well worth visiting. From sky-high bars for cocktails with a view, to sightseeing musts to unexpected activities for the adventurous, these are our picks of the best things to do at night in Dubai.
Your journey up to the 27th floor takes place in a rapid panoramic lift. Once there, however, the mood takes a slower pace. Enjoy afternoon tea or evening cocktails while admiring a privileged view of Dubai and the Arabian Gulf, and the bar’s experienced mixologists can custom make any cocktail to suit your taste and mood. Try a signature cocktail like the Eyes Looking At Heaven, very fitting 650ft up in the air, and look out over the city from floor-to-ceiling windows.
Far from the first city to come to mind as a ski destination, Dubai offers a respite from the desert climate with the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East. Inside Mall of the Emirates a wintry mountain scene awaits. Ski Dubai spans massive 242,187 sq ft – the size of three football fields – comprising five runs covered in real snow all year round. Visitors can be transported to the likes of Aspen with an indoor black run, beginner slopes, freestyle zone and chair lift. Ski Dubai typically stays open until 11pm or later, so you can hit the slopes even after the sun goes down outside.
Right at the very top of Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Uptown Bar is somewhere you can relax outside while enjoying the cool Arabian breeze and admiring one of the finest views in the city. On the 24th floor, the bar offers a sophisticated drinks menu with cocktails, champagne and vintage wines accompanied by excellent tapas and jazz music until 2am.
The 360 Lounge is a completely circular venue that sits offshore overlooking the Burj Al Arab and Dubai’s glittering coastline, and manages to be one of Dubai’s leading and most distinctive nightlife venues. With panoramic views of Dubai, the sunset experience at 360 is unrivaled. With local and international DJs in the mix as well as an indoor club, The NineZero, weekends at 360 are always popular. Below the club is the Marina Restaurant, a casual dining destination with incredible views making this the ideal destination to relax before retreating upstairs into the throng of the party. During the week, however, 360 hosts a much more laid back scene where you can chill to cool house tunes, order a shisha and a cocktail and sink into one of the oversized sofas overlooking the sea view and the color display on the Burj Al Arab.
At 1,820ft high, the Burj Khalifa is an architectural masterpiece and Dubai icon. Levels 148 and 125 house the highest outdoor observatory in the world for a 360 degree view of the city below. Board the high-speed elevator to the top and see Dubai through telescopes or be one of the few to see the sunset atop this Dubai landmark.
Madinat Jumeirah is designed to resemble an ancient Arab citadel, which it has achieved from the outside, but inside there is a venue far removed from the old and historic. Within the labyrinth of souks is Madinat Theatre, one of Dubai’s finest nightspots. The state-of-the-art venue welcomes entertainment from musicians to comedians. Souk Madinat is also a shopping center, restaurant and nightlife hub.
Every 20 minutes between 6pm and 11pm on weekends and 6pm and 10pm on weekdays, Dubai Fountain erupts for a five–minute spectacular of water, light and music. Located on the Burj Dubai Lake in front of Burj Khalifa, this fountain holds another of Dubai’s records — the world’s largest water fountain — beating the previous holder, the Bellagio fountain in Las Vegas, by 25 percent. To enjoy the performance in style, either book a table overlooking the fountain at the French restaurant Margaux, or for something more informal go to Zeta, the outdoor poolside restaurant on the fifth floor of the Address Downtown Dubai.
Another stunning VIP hotspot located in the Fairmont Hotel, the Cavalli Club is one where celebrities mingle at the bar and Dubai’s fashionistas abound. While claiming to combine high fashion, food and fun, Cavalli Club actually combines a restaurant, lounge and bar, all styled under an ultra–modern chandelier ‘waterfall’ and an illustrious interior designed by Roberto Cavalli.
Gold On 27
Gold on 27, located on the 27th floor of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, is Dubai’s newest upscale hangout and the place to see and be seen for Dubai’s elite. Bringing a new dimension to Dubai’s nightlife scene, the bar offers unparalleled views, creative music mixes and an innovative cocktail list. Adorned in gold leaf, with exquisite designer details, sounds by internationally-acclaimed DJ Darko De Jan and an inventive cocktail menu, it’s a gilded way to spend an evening. Guests can make a booking on the Gold On 27 app, which also enables automatic entry into the hotel and instant recognition at the door.