What’s On Nightlife Awards 2022: Here are the winners...
What a night…
Dubai is among the world’s greatest destinations 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 21 categories, the awards focus on the city’s best nightlife venues, party nights, events and so much more.
This year’s winners were revealed at the What’s On Nightlife Awards party on October 26 at the iconic Zero Gravity, and it shaped up to be an epic beach bash filled with incredible celebrations.
Without further ado, raise your glass to this year’s winners…
BEST HAPPY HOUR
WINNER: LOCK, STOCK & BARREL, JBR
Ever since it opened on JBR in 2017, Lock, Stock & Barrel, JBR has consistently drawn a crowd, whether to enjoy its ever-popular ladies’ night, live music, or indeed its brilliant happy hour. There’s buy one get one free drinks from Monday to Saturday between 4pm and 8pm , and from 2pm to 8pm on Sundays. Count us in.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: OFFSIDE AT JA OCEAN VIEW HOTEL
Recently renovated and reopened, this laid back sports bar is a a great place to meet your mates. With huge screens and an extensive menu, both perfectly pair with a daily happy hour that runs Monday to Thursday from 4pm to 9pm and Friday to Sunday from midday to 9pm.
BEST LIVE MUSIC VENUE
WINNER: THE TENT AT BLA BLA
Bla Bla offers an all-in-one experience, but The Tent stands out as the ultimate location for live music. Head down on Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 10.30pm to catch About Last Night entertaining the crowd, or keep an eye out for announcements for epic international gigs, which in the last year have included sets from Iyaz, Benny Benassi and The Script.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: LOCK, STOCK & BARREL JBR
Set up with tables surrounding the stage, and with a split level offering of seating – there’s no bad seat in the house for a night of live music at Lock, Stock & Barrel, JBR.
BEST WINE AND CHEESE NIGHT
WINNER: GRAPESKIN AT LA VILLE HOTEL & SUITES CITY WALK DUBAI
In the surrounds of industrial-chic Grapeskin, there’s a superb wine and cheese pairing available every day from 4pm to midnight. With an expert curation of bottles and cheeses on offer, these guys know their grape and fromage better than most. Enjoy three glasses of wine paired with three different cheeses, from gruyere to port salut and beyond.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: FOLLY
Monday evenings at Folly means wine and cheese nights. From 7pm onwards the lovely venue overlooking the pretty Madinat waterways has a great pairing, with a classic British cheese board and two hours of unlimited wine for Dhs295.
BEST QUIZ NIGHT
WINNER: McCAFFERTY’S JUMEIRAH VILLAGE
The quiz night at this extremely popular Irish pub has been an instant hit since it launched, putting teams through their paces every Monday evening. Hosted by Ciaran Fox, the pub quiz also has monthly championships for the regular quiz teams and they stand the chance to win a Dhs1,000 bar tab. Assemble your brainiest crew for this one.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: SPIKE BAR AT EMIRATES GOLF CLUB
Self-proclaimed as the ‘Longest Running Pub Quiz in Dubai,’ DJ Phil Richardson puts your knowledge to the test every Sunday night at this welcoming pub at Emirates Golf Club.
BEST PUB/SPORTS BAR
WINNER: GOOSE ISLAND TAP HOUSE AT FIVE JUMEIRAH VILLAGE
With plenty of sports bars and pubs around Dubai, Goose Island Tap House takes the cake. The gastropub offers up incredible craft beers, an extensive and delicious food menu, as well as serving as a fantastic place to gather some mates and watch your favourite sports on the big screens.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: BRIDGEWATER TAVERN AT JW MARRIOTT MARQUIS HOTEL DUBAI
The perfect place to catch a game while you enjoy a drink or two, Bridgewater Tavern is a fantastic sports bar that has a laidback feel with some delicious bites and great Dubai Canal views.
BEST DINNER AND A SHOW
WINNER: BILLIONAIRE DUBAI
The masters of theatrical extravaganza, Billionaire Dubai is once again awarded Best Dinner and a Show – and for good reason. Billionaire Dubai takes dinner and a show to a new level with opulence, style and flair. Sit back and enjoy the spectacular choreography, singing and acrobatics, all while you enjoying fine Italian cuisine with a Japanese twist.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: DREAM DUBAI
A new addition to Dubai’s dinner and a show scene, this captivating display showcases incredible costumes, next-level circus stunts and expert choreography, against the backdrop of a delicious Mediterranean menu and stunning double heigh stage.
BEST AFTER-BRUNCH VENUE
WINNER: SOBE AT W DUBAI – THE PALM
This adults-only playground is the perfect place to go when you just aren’t ready for the night to end. SoBe’s after-brunch party runs from 4pm every Saturday, with the expert party people Candypants behind this fabulous weekend fiesta. With drinks deals offer three beverages for Dhs100 until 6pm and incredible sunsets, there really are no places better to take your post-brunch party.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: PAROS AT TAJ JUMEIRAH LAKE TOWERS
This breathtaking rooftop bar with a view is a lively spot to head to after brunch to catch the sunset and take advantage of the drinks deal from 5.30pm to 8.30pm, where you get four drinks for Dhs175.
BEST SUNDOWNER SPOT
WINNER: SHIMMERS AT JUMIERAH MINA A’SALAM
Shimmers offers everything we love about the alfresco season: chic decor, incredible Burj Al Arab views and tables where guests can relax with their toes in the sand on the Jumeirah Mina A’Salam beachfront. The sorbet hued sunsets here are nothing short of sensational, and best paired with their fruity craft cocktails. What more could you want from a sundowner spot?
HIGHLY COMMENDED: NOÉPE AT PARK HYATT DUBAI
A lovely venue to enjoy a cocktail or two while you watch the last of the daylight pass you by, Noépe offers delicious bites accompanied with a fantastic sunset view. out over the Dubai Creek Yacht Club.
BEST RESTAURANT BAR
WINNER: BAGATELLE DUBAI
Festive and fun, Bagatelle presents French Joie de Vivre in a way that keep guests coming back again and again. Swing a serviette or two and enjoy fantastic French fare at the start of the night, and by the end, expect to be dancing on the tables in the bar, with a sparkler in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: CLAP DUBAI
The bar at Clap comes alive after dark, and is one of the best bars in DIFC for impeccable vibes and a trendy crowd. At this brilliant rooftop location, enjoy a regular rotation of live DJs, and an extensive cocktail list that includes signature serves like Shibuya Shakedown and Above The Clouds.
BEST ROOFTOP BAR
WINNER: ZETA SEVENTY SEVEN AT ADDRESS BEACH RESORT
This remarkable rooftop bar is perched alongside a Guinness World Record breaking infinity pool, and from its 77th floor location, guests can bask in Dubai’s most incredible Ain Dubai and Arabian Gulf views. The beautiful and welcoming bar presents a menu of Asian fusion dishes, inventive beverages and chilled house beats. All of this coupled with the worlds tallest outdoor infinity pool makes Zeta Seventy Seven a stunning venue.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: CÉ LA VI DUBAI
A consistent go to on Dubai’s rooftop bar circuit is CÉ LA VI Dubai, which offers incredible views, and an even better menu of food and drink. The indoor-outdoor venue has fantastic views of Downtown Dubai – and don’t they know it: few guests can stop by, whether for dinner, drinks, brunch or ladies’ night, without getting that Insta-famous snap on the CÉ LA VI swing.
BEST BEACH CLUB
WINNER: NIKKI BEACH DUBAI
This internationally renowned beach club has set the standard for beach clubs in Dubai, and continues to impress and innovate with every season it welcomes guests. Whether you prefer a plush bed by the poolside or a VIP cabana on the sand, Nikki Beach is a luxurious daytime party experience that lays on incredible parties for beach lovers all season long.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: SĀN BEACH
Aesthetically, SĀN Beach has to be one of the most beautiful beach clubs in Dubai with its curvaceous lines, natural palette and Maldives-imported sand. The indoor-outdoor restaurant is the ideal spot for a long, lazy lunch of international dishes, while the pool, pool bar and loungers on the sand are one of the hottest new tickets in town for soaking up the sun.
BEST BEACH BAR
WINNER: FEBRUARY 30
At February 30 time has no place. The Beirut-born beach bar is instantly recognisable thanks to its candy cane striped loungers and parasols and a central, circular beach bar perched in the middle of Palm West Beach. Laid back beach days come with the added benefit of being pet-friendly, while sundowners in the lounge are served up against the backdrop of lively DJ sets.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: CAÑA BY TAMOKA
Few beach bars have become instant hits the way this sandy spot on JBR has. Caña by Tamoka – the cheeky little sister of Tamoka, is a lovely place to sip a cocktail while you enjoy the cooler weather.
BEST DATE NIGHT SPOT
WINNER: MIMI KAKUSHI
Dimly lit, beautifully decorated and full of cosy corners that are perfect for a date night, this upscale Japanese restaurant is the perfect spot to impress your significant other. Not only are their award-winning cocktails superb, the new-age Japanese cuisine makes for a culinary experience you’ll want to share with your loved one.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: LUCIA’S DUBAI
For a lively date night in a stunning space, look no further than playful Italian restaurant Lucia’s. With its lemon-inspired decor, this photogenic spot serves up Amalfi inspired cuisine against the backdrop of Burj Khalifa views, live music and energetic acts.
BEST LADIES’ DAY
WINNER: ZERO GRAVITY
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Zero Gravity rolls out the red carpet for ladies to enjoy a fabulous day by the beach. With all day pool and beach access, ladies will also receive a welcome drink as well as a goodie bag and poolside pampering from guest beauty brands. This truly is one of the best places in the city for topping up your tan.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: ROSÉ ALL DAY AT COVE BEACH DUBAI, CAESARS PALACE BLUE WATERS DUBAI
The name of the ladies’ day says it all. The Rosé All Day ladies’ day at Cove Beach means ladies can enjoy pink drinks all day – pink gin, sangria and more. Add to that lively DJ sets, dance acts and plenty more – you won’t know where to turn at this all-singing, all-dancing ladies’ day.
BEST LADIES’ NIGHT
WINNER: CRAZY RICH LADIES’ NIGHT AT MAIDEN SHANGHAI, FIVE PALM JUMEIRAH
This iconic ladies night is consistently one of the best on the circuit for delicious dishes, generous drinks and amazing entertainment. A place to see and be seen, every Wednesday, if you’re not at this ladies’ night with your girlfriends, you’re missing out. Keeping it casual? There’s a three-course menu and three drinks for Dhs200. Calling in sick on Thursday? Three courses and unlimited drinks is Dhs450.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: SPARKLE LADIES’ NIGHT TWENTY THREE, GRAND PLAZA MÖVENPICK, MEDIA CITY
Five hours of unlimited Prosecco – say less. This ladies’ night offers five hours of drinks for ladies for Dhs150, but caters to the gents too. Gents can take advantage of a three-hour package from 8pm to 11pm for Dhs199.
BEST EVENING BUNCH
WINNER: RARE AT STK DUBAI JBR
Free-flowing drinks, a three course meal and the hottest R’n’B tracks means that Rare at STK is the best evening brunch for good reason. Every Friday night this sleek steakhouse hosts a fantastic and lively evening brunch that we absolutely love – and clearly you do too.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: MEZZANINE BAR & KITCHEN
Nestled in the beautiful Souk Madinat, this gastropub offers a nostalgic taste of home for Brits in the city. Its British style evening brunch on a Friday offers free-flowing drinks, an a la carte choice of main and acoustic sets against the backdrop of the scenic waterways.
BEST PARTY BRUNCH
WINNER: SAFFRON 2.0 AT ATLANTIS, THE PALM
Well known and well loved, nothing compares to Saffron 2.0, firmly Dubai’s wildest party brunch. Incredible food from myriad cooking stations is paired with cocktails in watermelons and jam jars, sparkler shows, and tunes guaranteed to have you on your feet by the time 4pm rolls around. The brunch goes hard, but the patrons go harder.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: SECRET WONDERLAND BRUNCH AT TREEHOUSE, TAJ DUBAI
The Secret Parties crew know how to throw a brunch, and their Saturday celebration at Treehouse is no exception. With an Alice in Wonderland theme setting the stage for incredible live entertainment, there’s a fantastic atmosphere all enjoyed against the backdrop of the Burj Khalifa.
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: BAR
WINNER: MONKEY BAR AT 25HOURS HOTEL DUBAI ONE CENTRAL
Perched on the rooftop of 25Hours One Central and adorned in untamed fauna with stunning views of the sunset and the Museum of the Future, is playful rooftop Monkey Bar. 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. Whether you’re coming here for an after-work drink, to sip masterful mixed drinks at sunset, or for one of their rotation of event nights, you won’t be disappointed.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: BAR DU PORT
Bar du Port burst onto Dubai’s drinking scene last year and was an instant hit. Whether you come for its fun French night, lively ladies’ night or the epic Saturday party brunch, a good time is guaranteed at this stylish Lebanese export.
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: CLUB
WINNER: SOHO GARDEN PALM JUMEIRAH
Since throwing open its doors, Soho Garden Palm Jumeirah has cemented itself as one of the city’s best nightlife experiences. From its rooftop above Nakheel Mall, you can enjoy an intimate bar experience at The Green Room, or hit up the indoor club, which welcomes a regular rotation of the biggest international names on the house and techno circuit.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: B018 DXB
Born in Beirut, this export from Lebanon is an awesome addition to the already fabulous Media One Hotel’s extensive list of nightlife venues. Bring your dancing shoes.
BAR OF THE YEAR
WINNER: IRIS DUBAI
Food, cocktails and music are at Iris’ core, and no matter what night of the week you go to this buzzing bar, it’s always a fun night out. As it continues to innovate each season, Iris recently unveiled a retractable roof, allowing the terrace to transform from a sleek sundowner spot in the evening into an intimate party experience after dark. Then there’s the club, where guests can party into the early hours with a program of lively club nights. Whether its for a few casual drinks with friends or the start of a big night out, a fabulous time always awaits at this Meydan hotspot.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: SEVEN SISTERS DUBAI
Serving gorgeous Canal views and always happening vibes, the iconic party spot in Business Bay is home to some of the city’s most popular ladies’ night, brunches and live DJ nights that keeps the party going every night of the week. Seven Sisters have that special mix of bar and party done right.
CLUB OF THE YEAR
WINNER: WHITE DUBAI
When many of its counterparts were closed in the last 12 months, White Dubai continued to welcome guests to a restriction-friendly dinner and a show experience, still bringing its signature experience and incredible DJ sets to its open-air setting in Meydan. The most talked about club in the city has made a name for itself in the nightlife scene by providing guests with dazzling entertainment and an overall incredible night out every single time. And as it gears up to return for the new season, it’s promising to bring something that’s been never-before-seen to the nightlife scene. We’re already excited.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: SKY2.0 DUBAI
An unmissable dome venue located in D3, Sky2.0 is a 360-degree experience that has it all. With fantastic line ups and amazing resident DJs, it is the place to party in this part of town.