12 top secret bars in Dubai
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 12 top secret bars in Dubai.
Basko opened its doors as a a 1960s-inspired Mediterranean restaurant at the end of December, but did you know it’s also home to a stylish speakeasy bar upstairs? Called Suave, the hidden first floor bar is reached via a mirrored, chandelier-adorned spiral staircase, where ruby red tassels fall from the ceiling to create a rose like artwork above your head. Transporting you back in time to a world of glitz and glamour, a library of over 200 vintage records adorn the walls, with eclectic DJ sets of jazz, disco, old school funk entertaining guests until the early hours.
A sole black telephone in a box-like room is the indicator you’ve made it to Hudson Tavern, a speakeasy-style bar that’s bringing New York cool to Business Bay’s Hyde Hotel. This dimly lit, two-sided drinking den oozes date-night appeal: one more laid-back with leather booths built into cosy corners, the other sees a grand bar take centre stage, backed by a trio of alcoves packed with rainbow-coloured bottles and fancy glassware.
Hyde Hotel, Marasi Drive, Business Bay, daily 4pm to 1am. Tel: (0)4 871 1111, @hudsontaverndubai
Hiding behind another business (La Cantine Du Faubourg, in this case) is an exciting concept for Dubai, but Gohan can’t conceal the crowds waiting to win entry to its small windowless barroom. Dimly-lit cube lanterns, red hues, low ceilings and occasional intimate DJ shows create a slick Tokyo meets Flat Iron New York speakeasy aesthetic. Once inside, diners will experience elegant Japanese street food with a refined menu of skewers, sushi and gyoza, that use top quality ingredients, throwing the likes of fois gras and caviar into the mix to up the dishes to a Dubai ‘high life’ level.
Gohan, La Cantine Du Fauboug, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Mon to Fri noon to 4pm, daily 7pm to 2am. Tel: (0)4 352 7105. @gohandubai
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
Paramount, the Hollywood-themed hotel in Downtown Dubai, has a secret speakeasy bar that you may not have heard of 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
You might think you’ve explored every corner of the popular Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi hotel, but did you know there’s a hidden bar inside? 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 is a lesser-known bar on the Palm Jumeirah, inside 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, Tues to Thur and Sun 7pm to 3am, Fri and Sat 7pm to 5am, closed Monday. Tel: (04) 581 1234. hyatt.com
NIDO is the 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
Behind the Yellow Door
Behind the Yellow Door is the new speakeasy found at the back of JW Marriott Marquis’ Weslodge. The hidden venue promises an intimate and expedient ambience, where high-energy funk meets electronic disco and dancers dressed in Victorian Steampunk outfits. To help keep the space under the radar, guests must follow the rules, including no flash photography while in the venue.
Behind the Yellow Door, Weslodge, JW Marriott Marquis, Business Bay. Tel: (04) 350 9288. @weslodgedubai
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
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
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