Chic arabesque vibes await at this secret bar…

Secret and hidden bars are becoming more frequent across the city, with many party people preferring more exclusive, intimate venues over large scale mega-clubs. The latest addition to the scene is LY-LA, which can be found beneath levantine DIFC restaurant, Alaya.

The lounge can be accessed via the elevator, or down the stairs behind the kitchen. After passing through heavy velvet curtains, guests are welcomed into a red and gold majlis, with low draping ceilings, upholstered armchairs, and tasseled stools centred around marble coffee tables.

On the other side, a pretty art deco bar served up hand crafted cocktails, by servers in smart retro uniforms. The mirrored bar reflects the abstract floor tiles, with more tassels running along the underside. Above, strips of LED light glow in an asymmetric pattern to create a chic ambience.

A small DJ booth can be found in the corner, giving the impression that you’ve been invited to an exclusive house party, rather than a club. Artworks by Shanghai-based art collective Liu Dao, line the venue, to convey contemporary expressionist art through its modern approach.

The cocktail menu aims to captivate the senses through rich flavours and culture of the region. Options include Ayla, which is infused with local spices and herbs, while Najma, Arabic for ‘night star’, includes tequila, fresh citrus, finished with watermelon and lemongrass.

LY-LA is open daily from 10pm and reservations are recommended as space is very limited.

LY-LA, Alaya, DIFC, daily 10pm to 3am. Tel: (0)56 680 0430. @lyladxb