We’ve crowned Dubai’s best party people, nights out, brunches and venues. Here, we reveal the winners of the first ever What’s On Nightlife Awards…
BEST DJ: JIXO & DANZ
The award for Best DJ goes to not one, but two DJs as Jixo and Danz took home the first award of the night. The duo played an instrumental part in the set up of Disconekt, one of the city’s top Deep House nights, before taking up residency at Meydan super-venue Soho Garden. Pioneers on the local DJ scene, we can’t wait to see what this duo do next.
BEST LOCAL BAND/ACT: HOLLAPHONIC
You’ll do well to remember the name Hollaphonic. Born out of a recording studio in Dubai in 2013, the duo, made up of Olly Wood and Greg Stainer, are making moves in the industry both on home soil and internationally. As well as releasing music, you can find them performing at venues including Siddharta Lounge and Barasti, as well as working with brands including La Perle and Jumeirah.
BEST INTERNATIONAL DJ SET: SOLOMUN AT BLUE MARLIN IBIZA UAE
Known for bringing some of the top house, electronic music and techno names to the shores of the UAE, Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE is the one to beat when it comes to top international DJ sets. Solomun, their New Year’s Eve gig, was a stellar set that saw a sold out Blue Marlin turn the year.
BEST FESTIVAL: SOLE DXB
Homegrown street culture Dubai may not have had much of, but this festival firmly changed that, so there’s no wonder that Sole DXB is our 2018 Best Festival. Running for three days each December, it brings together top street culture names across art, food, music, sports and style.
BEST CONCERT/GIG: 117 LIVE PRESENTS ED SHEERAN AT AUTISM ROCKS ARENA
Some top acts graced the stage at Autism Rocks over the last 12 months, but one gig stood out above them all. Ed Sheeran perform his array of acoustic and more up-tempo hits last November, and the gig, put on by 117 Live, saw nearly 25,000 fans buy tickets.
BEST COMEDY GIG: DXB LAUGHS PRESENTS KEVIN BRIDGES AT DUBAI WORLD TRADE CENTRE
Here at What’s On, we love a good laugh. And boy, did we laugh when Kevin Bridges came to town. The gig, put on by Done Events last October, was a natural winner for our Best Comedy Gig award.
BEST URBAN NIGHT: THE LIST AT BILLIONAIRE MANSION
It consistently draws in glamorous party crowds each week despite being on a Sunday, and it’s got to be on every Dubai clubber’s bucket list. So if you’re looking for a top Urban night, there’s nowhere better than The List at Billionaire Mansion
BEST HOUSE/TECHNO EVENT: VIBE SERIES
Bringing some top underground artists to various venues across the city, Vibe Series has been a pioneer on the underground and alternative music scene in the city. Taking over various venues across the city, watch out for their new home next season.
BEST LIVE MUSIC VENUE: THE IRISH VILLAGE
From Texas to S Club 3, the live acts you can catch at The Irish Village are of the widest range imaginable. Walking into the Irish Village feels like home, which is why any gig there successfully manages to bring packed-out crowds to the waterside of Garhoud.
BEST KARAOKE VENUE: LUCKY VOICE
Two lively ladies’ nights, two wickedly wild brunches, private karaoke pods… Lucky Voice really has it all when it comes to a cheesy night out. Whether you’re into crowd karaoke or a more private performance, there’s nowhere we’d rather sing our hearts out than at Lucky Voice.
BEST PUB: MCGETTIGAN’S JLT
It’s a Dubai stalwart when it comes to post-work drinks or somewhere to go for a proper pint. Loved for its al fresco terrace as much as its intimate indoor live music performances, McGettigan’s was a natural choice for our Best Pub.
BEST BEACH CLUB: ZERO GRAVITY
Loved in equal measure for its luxury ladies’ day and legendary Saturday brunch by day, and its high energy parties and international DJ gigs by night, Zero Gravity consistently brings something new to the table. You’ll go a long way to beat a day-to-night experience better than this in Dubai.
BEST OUTDOOR BAR: TREEHOUSE
Burj views, live acoustic sets, two ladies’ nights, and a sell-out Friday brunch, it’s no wonder we keep going back to Treehouse. One of Business Bay’s best spots, our Best Outdoor Bar award could have gone to none other.
PUBLIC VOTE CATEGORIES…
BEST LADIES’ NIGHT: MAHIKI
This Polynesian paradise has arguably one of the most consistently loyal ladies’ night crowds there is, so it’s no wonder that you voted Mahiki as your Best Ladies’ Night. Offering up complimentary cocktails to ladies until 1am every Tuesday, we know where we’ll be next week.
BEST PARTY BRUNCH: WANDERLUST AT JW MARRIOTT MARQUIS
It takes over The Garden every Friday afternoon at the JW Marriott Marquis, Wanderlust has remained one of Dubai’s top party brunches. Offering up a fantastic array of live food stations, drinks and entertainment, it’s a high quality brunch which gets the party vibe just right.
THE GRAND PRIX…
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: SOHO GARDEN
Newcomer of the year celebrates the biggest over the last 12 months, and there certainly have been plenty of those. From super clubs to quirky bars and new nightlife complexes, we were spoiled for choice when it came to this category. But, for bringing something totally new to the Dubai nightlife scene, one venue stood out above all others. Bringing a top Thursday house night, packed out Wednesday ladies’ night and securing a weekly Mambo Brothers residency are just a handful of the feats achieved by Soho Garden, our Newcomer of the Year.
BAR OF THE YEAR: LOCK, STOCK & BARREL JBR
Come night or day, there’s a great vibe in our Bar of the Year. The super-sized space delivers an excellent array of bar food, fantastic live music nights and is a go-to for party or pub people across the city. Whether it’s catching the football, sumo wrestling at their Friday brunch or kickstarting your Tuesday night at their ‘Lock, Stock and Lipstick’ ladies’ night, you’re guaranteed a good time.
CLUB OF THE YEAR: WHITE DUBAI
When it comes to clubbing in Dubai, whether you’re looking for indoor or outdoor, extreme or intimate, Dubai has it all. This year’s winner is a stalwart on the Dubai clubbing scene, consistently transforming to bring new nights, emerging talent and established artists to the city. The What’s On Nightlife Award for Club of the Year is awarded to White Dubai.
Congratulations to all the winners and see you in 2019…