What’s On Nightlife Awards 2021: Here are the winners...
What a night…
Dubai is a welcome playground for party people. But it’s easy to forget the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to make it all happen. Every year, without fail, What’s On recognises the faces and places that make the city come alive in the What’s On Nightlife Awards.
Across 18 categories, the awards focus on the UAE’s best nightlife venues, party nights, promo nights so much more.
This year’s winners were revealed at the What’s On Nightlife Awards party on October 26 at the gorgeous Cove Beach Dubai, and it shaped up to be a right old knees-up. Think ‘friendly’ rather than ‘formal’ and ‘lively’ rather than ‘lame’.
Without further ado, raise your glass to this year’s winners…
BEST HAPPY HOUR
WINNER: SEVEN SISTERS
Looking for a brilliant place to catch up with friends and colleagues after work? Look no further than Seven Sisters Dubai where a daily happy hour deal will keep you entertained in the most wallet-friendly way between 6pm and 8pm.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: BABY Q
With 50 per cent off food and drinks between 4pm and 8pm, Baby Q is the ultimate after-work haunt.
BEST LIVE MUSIC NIGHT
WINNER: LIMITED EDITION, Q’S BAR AND LOUNGE
The world of jazz is thriving in Dubai, and that’s all thanks to Q’s. Intimate, effortlessly cool, and quality bands – we particularly loved Dubai singer-songwriter Layla Kardan’s recent residency. Bring on the new season…
HIGHLY COMMENDED: THE TENT AT BLA BLA DUBAI
From the Shakespeare-inspired stage to the ambient lighting system, The Tent is an ideal choice for your live music fix.
BEST WINE AND CHEESE NIGHT
WINNER: JONES THE GROCER AT EMIRATES GOLF CLUB
Aussie-born gastro-joint, Jones the Grocer is a popular spot to dine or just chill for many of us. Their wine and cheese night which is held every Thursday evening will get you two hours of free-flowing red or white wine and a huge cheese board bursting with artisanal cheeses.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: GRAPESKIN AT LA VILLE HOTEL & SUITES CITY WALK DUBAI
With one of the largest wine selections in the city, the wine and cheese experience at Grapeskin is not to be missed.
BEST QUIZ NIGHT
Cool Alpine bar Publique offers a cosy ski chalet escape in the heart of the city. When they launched their brilliant themed quiz nights, ranging from Friends to Harry Potter, they sold out in seconds.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: [U]BK
Put your knowledge to the test at [U]BK’s brilliantly entertaining quiz night.
BEST PUB/SPORTS BAR
WINNER: McGETTIGAN’S JLT
No one can deny that McGettigan’s JLT is undoubtably one of the city’s most popular venues. The Dubai stalwart is a great spot to meet up with mates for drinks, indulge in Irish grub or watch the latest match thus making it a natural choice for our Best Pub.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: TOPGOLF DUBAI
Where better to grab a pint and a game than Dubai’s brilliant entertainment destination, TopGolf?
BEST DINNER AND A SHOW
WINNER: BILLIONAIRE DUBAI
The level of talent on stage at Billionaire Dubai is incomparable, with former Cirque Du Soleil performers and superstar singers. Guests sit around white clothed tables and swing napkins in this high-energy dining experience.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: THE THEATER DUBAI
With plethora of talent on stage each night, guests are guaranteed to be captivated by this incredible show.
BEST AFTER-BRUNCH VENUE
WINNER: LOCK, STOCK & BARREL JBR
After an afternoon of brunching, you want to continue the day on a high, so make your way to Lock, Stock and Barrel for a lively vibe. The JBR branch in particular has a hedonistic crowd and a live band that keep the vibe alive until the early hours.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: MAIDEN SHANGHAI DUBAI AT FIVE PALM JUMEIRAH
With unbeatable views and a great drinks deal, make sure you add Maiden Shanghai’s after-brunch event to your must-visit list.
BEST SUNDOWNER SPOT
WINNER: DRIFT BEACH DUBAI AT ONE&ONLY ROYAL MIRAGE
For epic sundowners there can be no more worthy spot than luxe beach club and restaurant, Drift Beach Dubai. The venue has a beachside bar with a perfect sunset view, from which to sip chilled glasses of rosé and see the sun set behind the Arabian Gulf.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: OBSERVATORY BAR & GRILL
View this post on Instagram
With panoramic Marina views from the 52nd floor, there’s sunset views aplenty at Observatory Bar & Grill.
BEST ROOFTOP BAR
WINNER: CÉ LA VI DUBAI
Located on the 54th floor of the stunning Address Sky View hotel, Cé La Vi Dubai offers unparalleled views of Burj Khalifa and the Downtown Dubai skyline. With a large wrap-around terrace and an oh-so-Instagrammable swing seat, the sky-high restaurant and bar is a winner on all accounts.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: FOLLY BY NICK AND SCOTT
With arguably one of Dubai’s prettiest views, Folly has all you need to make a perfect rooftop bar.
BEST BEACH CLUB
WINNER: TWIGGY BY LA CANTINE
Beach clubs aren’t always flip-flop-featuring, cold-beer-and-DJs. Sometimes they’re swanky, rose-sipping, sushi-dipping luxury days out. The undisputed king of that second category in 2021 is this Park Hyatt hideaway. The sprawling ‘lagoon’ looks out over the Creek, where you could spot a flock of flamingos flying past, as you sip on a fancy cocktail and dine on the best poolside snacks in Dubai.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: COVE BEACH DUBAI
With multiple pools, a view of the world’s tallest wheel and a pristine sandy beach, a day at Cove Beach is a day well-spent.
BEST BEACH BAR
WINNER: APRONS & HAMMERS BEACH HOUSE
Aprons & Hammers Beach House is the ultimate day-to-night beach bar. With sun beds on the beach, cool music and great cocktails by day, it turns into a chic setting for dinner or drinks by night with epic Dubai Marina skyline views.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: PALM BAY DUBAI
Great vibes are guaranteed at Club Vista Mare spot Palm Bay. Throughout winter, the alfresco tables are heaving with happy punters.
BEST DATE NIGHT SPOT
WINNER: INDOCHINE DUBAI
View this post on Instagram
Impress your date with an unforgettable dinner at the effortlessly stylish Indochine. Originally rising to recognition with its flagship restaurant in NYC, Indochine’s first Middle East location resides in the equally fashionable DIFC district. Amid the banquette seating, wallpaper with palm fronds and intimate dim lighting, indulge in French-Vietnamese specialities and signature cocktails.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: PRIME68 AT JW MARRIOTT MARQUIS HOTEL DUBAI
Make your next date night a special one at premium steakhouse, Prime68. The Downtown Dubai views are impressive, let alone the tasty menu and impeccable service.
BEST LADIES’ DAY
WINNER: ROSÉ ALL DAY AT COVE BEACH DUBAI
With an excellent line up of DJs, live entertainment, free-flowing rose and an unbeatable location, it’s no surprise that Cove Beach’s ladies’ day keeps the crowds coming back every single week.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: DAYSIES LADIES DAY AT WHITE BEACH
Park yourself on a comfortable lounger every Tuesday at White Beach, and soak up the amazing atmosphere.
BEST LADIES’ NIGHT
WINNER: IRIS DUBAI
Tuesdays are all about the girls at Iris Dubai. The Meydan hotspot offers a brilliant deal with unlimited drinks, where for two hours you can sip on cocktails, house pours and enjoy a food platter for Dhs160. It’s no surprise that you voted Iris Dubai as your favourite ladies’ night.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: SALUTE BELLA AT TRATTORIA BY CINQUE
Five drinks and three authentic Italian courses for Dhs150? We can see why you love the ladies’ night at Trattoria by Cinque!
BEST EVENING BRUNCH
WINNER: SKYLINE THURSDAY AT THE PENTHOUSE
Helping you get your weekend started in style, The Penthouse’s weekly Thursday evening brunch is a no-brainer. With regular international DJs, delicious Japanese cuisine and brilliant views of Dubai Marina, you really can’t go wrong.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: THE LATE LATE BRUNCH BY SECRET PARTIES AT 1-OAK DUBAI
If there’s one place to be on a Saturday night, it’s 1-Oak.
BEST PARTY BRUNCH
WINNER: TROPICAL BRUNCH AT ZERO GRAVITY
Zero Gravity are fully aware of the components that make up an awesome party brunch and it is exactly what they serve up. Private pool and beach access – check, unlimited food and beverages – check, epic beats – check and great beats – check. In fact, Canadian singer, Justin Bieber loved the venue so much, he visited the venue twice in three days.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: CANDYPANTS BRUNCH REFINED AT AKIRA BACK
A relatively new addition to the scene, but one that has won the hearts of our brunching public voters.
WINNER: BLA BLA DUBAI
To stand out in an ever-changing city like Dubai, you need to come up with something pretty impressive. Part beach club, part-restaurant, many bars and even a slide, Bla Bla is impossible not to notice and caught the attention of everyone when it opened at the beginning of the year. A stellar day-to-night spot, the experience is completely flexible, offering a chilled spot to relax, and a heady night on the tiles all under one roof.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: KOKO BAY
An ideal spot to watch the world go by, Koko Bay’s Bali-inspired interiors won over the city when it opened at the end of last year.
NIGHTLIFE VENUE OF THE YEAR
WINNER: SEVEN SISTERS DUBAI
In order to become the nightlife venue of the year, you need to be able to guarantee three key things: atmosphere, quality, and originality. Seven Sisters ticks all the boxes and then some, with no understanding of the words ‘slow night’. A fail-safe place where you’ll always find a fun crowd, this venue continues to raise the bar year on year.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: IRIS DUBAI
Since winning What’s On’s Nightlife Newcomer award in 2020, Iris Meydan has gone from strength to strength.