Well, not-so-secret anymore…

Everyone likes to feel as if they’re ahead of the curve, having the insider knowledge about what’s hot in Dubai. Well if you want to show your friends how well you know your bars, hit them with some of these top secret nighttime venues.

Here are 18 top secret bars in Dubai.

Off The Wall

Inspired by the back streets of Satwa, this quirky cocktail bar asks you to walk through the unassuming door and through a dark neon-lit tunnel. Once inside it’s surprisingly large, with a mix of high tables and cushy sofa seating. The spot prides itself on creating the best cocktails in town, with expert mixologists behind the bar.

Off The Wall, Hotel Indigo, Downtown Dubai, daily 5pm to 2am. Tel: (0)4 210 2213. hotelindigodubai.com/social-spaces

Maximalist Bar

Opening January 21

Bla Bla Beach Club will have 20 bars when it opens later this month. Some of them are more hidden than others though. Maximalist bar, as it’s known, is waiting to be discovered behind a hidden door. The bar is large and lively, with a disco-ball shaped DJ booth, wild wallpaper and a bright dance floor.

Maximalist Bar, Bla Bla, JBR, opening January 21. @blablabeachclub

Flashback

Paramount, the new Hollywood-themed hotel in Downtown Dubai, has a secret speakeasy bar that we don’t think you’ll have heard about yet. Called Flashback, it’s located behind a secret door, and you’ll have to ask the team at the front desk for its location. The theme is full 1920’s prohibition era, complete with furry barstools and retro gramophone. Pull up a chair and watch the mixologists get to work on creating you a theatrical cocktail. There’s even a happy hour every day from 4pm to 8pm.

Flashback, behind a secret door, Paramount Hotel, Business Bay, Dubai. (04) 246 6666. paramounthotelsdubai.com

Storyteller by BABA

Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi hotel has a brand new speakeasy bar (but they told us not to tell anyone). Storyteller by BABA claims to be the smallest bar in the city, seating only 25 guests at a time. We challenge you to find the hidden door and uncover the 1920s-esque decor, sample the whimsical cocktails and take pride in the knowledge you knew about it before everyone else.

Storyteller by BABA, Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, Al Sufouh, Dubai Marina, daily, 6pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 511 7373. marriott.com

KnoX

KnoX is one of the newest secret bars in Dubai, located in the recently-opened Andaz Dubai the Palm. It’s described as an ‘underground playroom set to challenge the status quo’, a cocktail bar with industrial design and vibrant furniture. To gain access, all you need to do is give ‘two knox’ on the large metal door and leave your cares behind.

KnoX, Andaz Dubai the Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Saturday to Wednesday 5pm to midnight, Thursday & Friday 5pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 581 1234. hyatt.com

NIDO

NIDO is the new hidden tapas bar found in Sheraton Grand Hotel. This one’s a little bit easier to find, with access through the main door, however if you’re feeling adventurous, and know how to speak a little Spanish, revellers can enter discreetly through Moe’s on 5th’s secret wine cellar. Once you’re in, you’ll find a bright and vibrant Spanish bar with tasty tapas, creative cocktails and good vibes all round.

NIDO Tapas Bar & Restaurant, 5th Floor, Sheraton Grand Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, daily 6pm to 3am. Tel: (04) 503 4444. facebook.com/nidodxb

The Luggage Room

The Luggage Room in Millennium Place Marina started its days as the name suggests, a luggage room. Since being converted into a swanky bar, the cosy hideaway has become a go-to spot for artisanal cocktails and bar bites. You can find The Luggage Room just off the lobby, tucked away near to Masterchef, The TV Experience.

The Luggage Room, Millennium Place Marina, Dubai Marina, daily noon to midnight. Tel: (04) 550 8112. millenniumhotels.com

Cartel

Tucked away inside popular Mexican hotspot, La Carnita, is Cartel. Open every Thursday and Friday, the exclusive bar requires a reservation and the table prices start from Dhs1,000 minimum spend. Playing all the best hip-hop and R&B tunes, the DJ, along with the low ceilings and neon lights, creates a cool house party vibe.

Cartel, La Carnita, Intercontinental Dubai Marina, Thursdays & Fridays, 10pm to 3am. Tel: (0)54 999 5508. lacarnita.ae

COYA Member’s Lounge

COYA has been a Dubai favourite since it opened, but how many of you have visited the members lounge? Situated just off the entrance, you might never have noticed the secret door, but behind the wall is a quirky bar with cosy, traditional interiors. There’s a great selection of food and drinks on offer and regular live musical performances.

Member’s Lounge, COYA Dubai, Saturday to Tuesday 12.30pm to 1.15am, Wednesday to Friday 12.30pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 316 9600. coyarestaurant.com/dubai

NYX Club

If you’ve paid a visit the new restaurant on everyone’s lips, Gaia, you might have come away thinking it’s a charming, Greek taverna. But, hidden underneath is a secret club called NYX which has hosted the likes for hip hop superstar 50 cent. Information on how to gain access to this club has been kept tightly under wraps but we’re sure it won’t be long until the venue reveals itself to the world.

NYX, Gaia Dubai, DIFC Gate Village 4, Dubai. Tel: (04) 241 4242. gaia-dubai.com

Shoreditch

Currently closed

The Shoreditch is a hidden bar located in underground nightclub, Industrial Avenue. The entrance of the club is somewhat unusual as you make your way through a dim-lit bathroom and down the stairs to The Shoreditch, where the club’s pre-party takes place, offering drinks from Dhs25. The speakeasy-style bar gets pretty packed so arrive early if you want a sofa or space at one of the high tables.

Industrial Avenue, The Westin Mina Seyahi, Dubai Marina, 9pm to 11pm, Tuesday to Friday. Tel: (052) 293 5907. Facebook.com/IndustrialAvenueDubai

Nippon Bottle Company

In homage to the Prohibition era’s clandestine haunts, this bar’s precise location was kept under wraps when it opened a few years ago. Even though the secret’s out, people still think of it as one of Dubai’s original secret bars. Head down to the financial district to sample a selection of blends inspired by Japan’s century-old hops and malt breweries.

Nippon Bottle Co, Dusit Thani, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily 6pm to 3am. Tel: (04) 317 4457. facebook.com/Nippon-Bottle-Company

The Unlucky Cat

Somewhat overshadowed by it’s brash big sister, Miss Tess, The Unlucky Cat will only appear if you look for her. Designed to transport you to the low-lit backstreets of Asia, this speakeasy style bar serves creative cocktails and bar bites with daily happy hours.

The Unlucky Cat, Miss Tess, Taj Dubai, 6pm to 2am daily. Tel: (04) 438 3121. facebook.com/TheUnluckyCatBar

Churchill Club

Located at the top of the Four Seasons in DIFC (up the stairs from Luna Sky Bar) you’ll find the Churchill Club. Modelled on a typical Gentleman’s club from years gone by, it’s a dimly lit bar of moody hues, cushy sofas, retro prints and a whiskey offering to rival most bars in Dubai.

Churchill Club, Four Seasons, Gate Village, DIFC, 5pm to 3am. Tel: (04) 506 0000. fourseasons.com

Miss Wáng

If you like karaoke, you’ll definitely want to #findmisswang although it might be tricky. Head to Majestic Hotel in Bur Dubai, the secret entrance is through the fire escape, follow the stairs and hope for the best!

Miss Wáng, Majestic City Retreat Hotel, Mankhool Road, Bur Dubai, 6pm to 3am, daily. Tel: (04) 501 2567. facebook.com/misswangdubai

The Cigar Room

Feel like James (or Jane) Bond at this Gentleman’s club-inspired bar. Hidden in Fairmont The Palm, you’ll find The Cigar Room on the lobby level of the Palm Jumeirah hotel. They specialise in cigars (unsurprisingly) and whiskey, with an expert sommelier on-hand to offer the best beverage recommendations.

The Cigar Room, Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Sat to Wed 5pm to 1am, Thur & Fri 5pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 457 3457. palmdining.com

Poppy

Currently closed

David Myers, also known as the Gypsy Chef, opened two restaurants in Business Bay last year, but what you probably didn’t know, is you’ll also find a speakeasy-style bar above one of his venues. Poppy is tucked away above his Italian restaurant, Basta!, and has had its menu masterminded by Sam Ross, the master mixologist behind New York’s award-winning Milk & Honey. It’s a cosy bar with a unique cocktail menu, that’s busiest on Thursdays post-work.

Poppy by David Myers, Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai, daily from 7pm. Renaissance-hotels.marriott.com

The Hatch

Currently closed

Who wouldn’t want to party 7 floors underwater on a historical ship? That’s exactly what’s on offer at The Hatch, an underground nightclub found on legendary liner QE2 Dubai. Serving as a pop-up after party for Blue Marlin’s famous day-to-night Friday house events, it’s a no-frills affair that’s all about the music. It’s got limited space, so pre-booking your ticket is a must if you want to guarantee you get on board. Techno heads, this one’s a must-try.

The Hatch, QE2, Port Rashid, Dubai, various Fridays. Tel: 050 375 9715. Thehatchdubai.com

Images: Supplied/Facebook