As Dubai has grown from a small town into a bustling city, so has the nightlife scene. Most 3 to 5 star hotels have bars and nightclubs for those interested in the nightlife. World-class DJ's frequent Dubai's nightclubs, and many A-list musical celebrities are adding Dubai to their list of tour dates.
However, Dubai has several laws regarding alcohol which tourists should be aware of before visiting:
• alcohol is available only at licensed premises, usually attached to hotels (most nightclubs and bars are in or attached to hotels, though they may have separate entrances);
• alcohol is not sold on religious holidays, nor during daylight hours in Ramadan (even to non-Muslims);
• it is illegal to drink alcohol in public places, and there is a zero-tolerance policy on drunk driving. Anyone involved in a collision found with alcohol in their blood will usually get a month's jail sentence and fine;
• alcohol can be bought only for home consumption at certain outlets in Dubai, and an alcohol license is required. Supermarkets only stock non-alcoholic beers. Even food items containing alcohol are not sold in supermarkets;
• remember to carry some sort of identification when visiting a bar if you are young, as you will not be let in otherwise. The law prohibits anyone below 21 to enter;
the authorities take disruptive behaviour while intoxicated very seriously, which as you can imagine will lead to jail time or deportation.
Among the liveliest areas with multiple restaurants, bars, and clubs housed in one location are Madinat Jumeirah, the Pyramids at Wafi City, the Boulevard at Emirates Towers, and the Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa. The largest hotels and resorts offer multiple entertainment options, as well. Choosing one of these entertainment complexes allows you to visit multiple establishments in a one-stop night on the town. It also minimizes your need to deal with traffic and finding parking, which can be difficult on weekend nights.
Being that golf is one of the most tempting reasons to visit Dubai, golfers will find plenty of watering holes tailored to them, such as 19th Hole in the Hyatt Regency's Golf Park. For a more adventurous and cultural evening, visit African Star, where you can enjoy African drums, Ethiopian food and local bands. Inside the Mayfair Hotel, you can find The Sundowner, a great place to unwind, play games like pool and video games, and test your voice out with their karaoke machine. And finally, it's not hard to find a place to dance in Dubai. You could start shaking a leg over at Garage Club & Discotheque.
Places to Unwind
Bars & Clubs
Left Bank, in the Madinat Jumeirah is perfectly situated on the waterfront in one of the most tranquil areas of Dubai. A great food menu leads on to some excellent cocktails and music inside.
The Rooftop Swimming Pool (on top of Hilton Dubai Creek) is a small bar but with wonderful views especially at sunset. The Cocktail Bar, on the 24th floor of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, has good views along Jumeirah beach and the Burj al-Arab Hotel, also an open-air terrace (open after the 1st of October). 360° (Jumeirah Beach Hotel Complex) is the latest addition to the Jumeirah Beach hotel complex. A very cool location at the end of the hotel marina. Open air bar with great views of the Burj Hotel and the Jumeirah beach hotel all helped by a cool breeze from the ocean. Various DJ's but think Ibiza lounge bar and you won't be far off.
Bar 44, on the 44th floor of the swanky Grosvenor House Hotel, has a view of both the city and the marina and Gulf beyond. The action happens around the circular bar placed strategically in the centre, and there is often live jazz music.
The Terrace Bar (Park Hyatt, Deira) is a chilled out bar touching the Dubai Creek. Good for a one on one evening. Plays light music. Sky View Bar (Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Road) has live bands (both local and international); reservations are a must.
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