Welcome to Dubai’s ultimate haute party pad…

Dubai has largely left super clubs in its pre-pandemic past, and as the city’s residents and visitors have returned to dance floors in recent years, it’s paved the way for more intimate and exclusive venues to take centre stage. But while these venues may be smaller in size, they still pack a punch in the party scene, with best-in-class sound systems, a regular rotation of star DJs, and drinks service designed to make everyone feel like a VIP.

One of the newest to join their ranks is Ling Ling Ultra Lounge, the after-hours spin-off from the lively pan-Asian restaurant, Ling Ling, at Atlantis The Royal. It’s a haute hideaway for glamorous party people in the know, opening three nights per week from Thursday to Saturday.

While Ling Ling is set over two floors – the 22nd and 23rd – Ultra Lounge is tucked away discreetly down a runway-like corridor on the 23rd floor. We dine in the restaurant first, where house tunes spin loudly and guests dine under the neon pink lights on decadent dishes like crudos of hamachi and scallop, flavourful dim sum, and maki rolls packed with fine flavours like king crab and caviar, or tender Wagyu coated in 24k gold.

Ling Ling Ultra Lounge opens at 11pm, and as we migrate from the restaurant to the club at around 11.30pm we pass the packed bar where guests stand two or three rows deep, smugly heading to the exclusive lounge where there’s just 10 tables for ten. We’re among the first guests to arrive, so we get a good look at the impressive LED strip lighting, expensive furnishings in various shades of sultry red, and stretching views of the city’s twinkling lights. There’s a rich marble bar on one side and a DJ booth on the other, between them a collection of VIP tables.

The intimate space quickly fills up with well-heeled guests, and while table minimum spends start from Dhs5,000, there’s also plenty of party people filling up the bar.

We’re here on a Friday night, where the soundtrack is strictly R&B with a touch of disco house, and the DJ’s electric floor-filling tracks take guests back to the 90s and 00s, as well as filling the room with the latest chart-toppers in a way that makes it impossible to sit down for even a single song.

Between sipping drinks and dancing to the beats, we keep one eye out for a celeb sighting – after all, Ling Ling Ultra Lounge has already been frequented by Kanye West and Chris Brown. Although we don’t spot any on our visit, we can see why it’s already drawn the A-listers: with its impossibly glamorous crowd, epic DJ sets and exclusive setting, it feels like we’re at the hottest ticket in town.

Ling Ling Ultra Lounge, Atlantis The Royal, 11pm to 3am, Thursday to Saturday. @linglingultralounge