The best new bars in Dubai
From city sundowner spots to speakeasy’s and Parisienne-inspired gems…
Looking for a new watering hole to mix up your drinking circuit? With a new year comes a slew of new bars in Dubai to try. Whether it’s a leafy spot at Dubai Harbour, or a sleek rooftop with incredible views, these are the best new bars in Dubai you need to try.
Promising an authentic Bavarian experience unlike any other in Dubai, Ernst is readying to open this May. Located inside the 25hours Hotel One Central this biergarten meets Wirtshaus is drenched in tradition, serving up countryside tavern favourites like barrels of craft German hops, warm pretzels, and proper schnitzels. A social space for drinking, dining and live music Ernst is all about making every guest feel welcome, whether they’re drinking from their personalised stein in the leafy garden or dining in the intimate private dining room.
Ernst, 25hours Hotel One Central, Trade Centre Street. Tel: (0)4 210 2525, ernstbiergarten.com
Taikun became a firm favourite on the ladies’ night and dinner-and-a-show circuit thanks to its daring and dazzling roster of shows. And after shutting its doors in Vida Downtown, Taikun reopens on Tuesday May 3. When we checked out the stunning cabaret show last year, the talented cast of singers and dancers got pulses racing with a three-hour multi-act set of captivating performances: a semi-clothed male dance duo moving in sync, a powerhouse vocalist in a floor length dress – expect to be wowed each time the curtains part.
Taikun Dubai, Hilton Al Habtoor City, Business Bay, 7pm to 3am, Tues to Sun. Tel: (056) 545 4070, @taikundubai
La Mezcaleria JBR
Business Bay’s buzzing bar La Mezcaleria has opened a second branch, this time on JBR. The popular Latin American spot’s new outpost has the same vibrant design elements, but with a more laid-back feel and expanded, international menu. Downstairs offers a space for relaxed and intimate culinary affairs, while the upstairs lounge plays host to evening sundowners and live DJ sets. The new menu, reimagined to include a variety of dishes spanning from East to West, has all the Latin American classics: tacos, quesadillas and beloved mains, but also adds some more all-pleasing options like burgers and sandwiches at lunchtime, and Japanese ceviches and sushi on the a la carte menu.
La Mezcaleria, Pavilion, The Beach opposite JBR, now open. Tel: (056) 520 2020, lamezcaleriadxb.com
Just before the summer heat kicks in, a new laid-back seaside spot has opened its doors on the Palm Jumeirah beachfront. You’ll find Laguna Lounge on the sands of Sofitel Dubai The Palm, promising to bring breezy Cyclades vibes to the city in the form of a laid-back Mediterranean lounge by day, which transforms to an open-air, late-night spot after dark. Come by day and enjoy a dip in the water, before retreating to the dappled shade of the plush sofas or a cushy private cabana, and tuck into a long, lazy lunch of Mediterranean fare. After dark, Laguna Lounge transforms into a trendy beach bar, where lively DJ sets dictate the tempo for an evening spent sipping fruity sips or smoking shisha.
Laguna Lounge, Sofitel Dubai The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, daily 12pm to 2am. Tel: (0)4 455 6677, sofitel-dubai-the-palm.com
You might not have heard of OPM Room yet, and that’s exactly how they like it. This hidden lounge and nightclub inside the DoubleTree by Hilton JBR is masked behind a neon red, vault-like entrance, inviting guests for evenings of late night revelry and top DJ sets. Officially opening this May, a top roster of international DJs spin on the weekends, and guests can reserve plush red booths to dance the night away.
OPM Room, DoubleTree by Hilton, JBR, Dubai. Tel: (058) 177 9831, opmroomdxb.com
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.
Bar Du Port
Bar Du Port is the hotspot that’s got the whole city talking: a pretty new bar with bohemian décor, it’s inspired by the Ligurian Riviera, Côte d’Azur and scenic Greek isles. With outdoor tables overlooking the harbour, yachts and Dubai Marina, guests can enjoy the ambient vibes throughout the cooler months, sipping on cocktails including ‘Go Fish’, ‘Côte d’Azur’, ‘Sailor’s Tears’ and ‘Collector’s Item’; as well as an array of premium wines, champagne, and spirits. On the menu, expect a fusion of French Mediterranean fare, with dishes like escargot, langoustine linguine, wood-grilled octopus and slow-cooked 250-day grain-fed Angus short ribs.
Bar Du Port, Dubai Harbour, Dubai Marina, Mon to Fri 5pm to 3pm, Sat & Sun 1pm to 3am. Tel: (0)50 969 9820. @barduportdubai
Caña by Tamoka
Tamoka is nestled right on the beachfront at JBR, meaning visitors are treated to incredible sea views and the Ain Dubai. Beyond the lively Latin American restaurant is seating right out on the beach, with a winding path leading to Caña by Tamoka, the venue’s very own circular beach bar, which has its own DJ booth and is the perfect spot for sundowners. Tamoka even creates its own flavour-infused rum, and guests are invited to explore them, and can create their own signature rum punch or their own daiquiri concoction at Caña by Tamoka’s Daq Shack.
Caña by Tamoka, Al Mamsha Street, on the beach of The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai, JBR, open daily from 12noon to 8pm. Tel: (0)4 318 6099 @tamokadubai
Monkey Bar is one of those ‘in’ spots in Dubai with a trifecta of cool setting, amazing drinks and photo-friendly decor. You’ll find it perched on the rooftop of 25Hours One Central, adorned in untamed fauna with stunning views of the sunset and the Museum of the Future. The photo-ops continue with the sleek booths on split levels set within ornate gold cages, and low lying seating lining the lush green edges. On the extensive drinks menu has a plentiful array of tiki-themed cocktails, as well as some classic mixes borrowed from some of the world’s best cocktail bars. Try the champagne piña colada (Dhs85) – you won’t be disappointed.
Monkey Bar, 25Hours One Central, Trade Center Street, Dubai. Tel: (0)4 210 2525. monkeybardubai.com
Garden of Dreams
Dream is the name of the lavish new late-night dinner and a show concept, found at the base of Address Beach Resort in JBR. While the inside space is a restaurant rather than a bar, outside, there’s a huge alfresco terrace named Garden of Dreams. The expansive terrace features plenty of sofa seating, while a central DJ booth builds the atmosphere of the space against a backdrop of Ain Dubai and the JBR skyline. Come the weekend it opens for an afternoon brunch, offering Mediterranean bites, shisha, and prime views of Ain Dubai.
Gilt is a brand new cocktail bar perched on the 27th floor of the Burj Al Arab. Replacing the previously appropriately named Gold on 27, Gilt is more toned down than its predecessor, while still dazzling with its ornate interiors. A grand gold bar takes centre stage, colourful bottles and verdant foliage lining the back, fronted by eight bar stools and beyond that, low-lying bar tables in dark sapphire velvet dot the remaining space. Each comes with a feeling of intimacy and seclusion thanks to twinkling curtains of dazzling fairy lights that stretch from the floor to the ceiling. Everything about it oozes date-night appeal. Guests around us are mostly here for the cocktails, each a careful curation masterminded by acclaimed bartender Thibault Mequignon, sipping from various-sized coupes while listening to the lively DJ beats. Our own choice, an Oseille (Dhs90) is a brilliantly fresh and surprisingly sour infusion of vodka with sorrel, lime, green cardamom and a (thankfully) subtle dash of absinthe. Read the full review here.
Gilt, Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah, daily 6pm to 3am, reservations essential. Tel: (0)4 432 3232. jumeirah.com/gilt