8 great outdoor bars to visit in Dubai
You see, it was worth it, wasn’t it? All that scurrying from one air-conditioned car to air-conditioned office, all those days when you got second-degree burns from your steering wheel, all those creased shirts and damp foreheads… but now until April, you can recline in some of the best weather on the planet. And why not do it with something cold in front of you? Like in one of these places...
This is the kind of place that reminds you why you put up with the summers in the UAE. For the next six months or so, you can recline in a stylish chair, gaze over the Dubai skyline and thank your lucky stars – which you might even be able to point out – that you’re not wearing 47 layers somewhere damp. The food here is suitably five-star, too, with oysters, caviar and Fassona beef tartare on the crudo menu, and bone-in wagyu ribeye and salt-crusted seabass on the mains. Bring friends – and a platinum card. There’s also a Thursday night brunch of Mediterranean dishes for AED295.
Ladies night: 8pm-10pm, Wednesday
Where: Four Seasons Resort Dubai
Contact: +971 4 270 7777, website
This space is enjoying its second winter and is becoming a favoured spot for after-work get-togethers, all with sensational views of the Burj Khalifa. It’s not a huge area, but the potted plants, decking, booth seats and a DJ stage all help to create a fun, relaxed vibe. The finger food from Chef Aabhas Mehrotra is pretty good, too, with the likes of hoi sin duck and wagyu beef sliders lining up alongside short rib quesadillas and blackened lamb chops and minted peas.
Timings: 7pm-3am (weekends)
Ladies night: Tuesdays
Where: Taj Dubai, Business Bay
Contact: +971 58 827 276, website
It’s impossible not to be impressed by this crow’s nest of a bar on the 34th floor of the H Hotel, with its yawning views in every direction. The stylish and understated design, all underlit in warm yellows and soft pinks, offers a prime perch for upscale sipping and casual dining. The menu highlights include the rock shrimp tempura in a chilli sauce and “two-ways” salmon tartare to start, with spicy mini burgers for something heartier. But it’s all about the ambiance, which DJ Timujin helps set.
Ladies night: 5pm-8pm, Saturdays
Where: H Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road
Contact: +971 4 355 8896, website
This nightlife den in DIFC has proved to be a big hit in the few months it has been in operation. Only opening in April and then going on hiatus for the summer, it is back again for the new season with its eclectic blend of cuisines from each of the seven continents – including Spain, India, Mexico and Indonesia. The prices for the beverages are based on an in-house stock exchange, so pay attention to the boards when it’s your round. The interior is a rainforest vibe of hard woods, greenery and low-slung seating, although the focal point is the 35-metre-long bar – the longest in Dubai. And don’t forget to check out the painted elephant outside.
Ladies night: 6pm-11pm, Mondays
Where: Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC
Contact: +971 4 354 4354, website
Coco on 8
We’re getting a little slice of the jet-set Miami lifestyle with Coco on 8 – Media One’s freshly refurbished terrace and poolside lounge. You can relax in a private cabana while the likes of California Maki rolls and spicy tuna nigri are brought to you. Skewered dishes that include Angus beef steak or chargrilled halloumi, and a selection of sharing platters for you and your mates, like the seafood one that comes with freshly shucked oysters, mussels, clams and more. The light and airy space is perfect for day time lounging or partying in the evening.
Ladies day: 12pm-1am, Sunday
Where: Media One Hotel
Contact: +971 52 646 1764, website
Jumeirah Al Naseem’s rooftop terrace is a new entry this season, and its chilled music, a backdrop that features the iconic Burj Al Arab and wide selection of shishas ought to help you unwind. You can also indulge in the modern Arabic fare from lobster and crabmeat kibbeh to delicious chicken shawarma wraps. It’s worth mentioning that Ambar also has one of the most diverse, and well-stocked bars we’ve ever seen, where there’s honestly something for every taste and occasion.
Ladies night: 5pm-8pm, Wednesday
Where: Jumeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah
Contact: +971 4 432 3232, website
The Japanese restaurant and lounge has been pulling guests to its location in their droves since 2000. It’s no surprise, really. Great food, resident DJs with a blend of beats and also one of the best Ladies Nights too, with free house beverages flowing between 6pm and 3am. Great on Thursday nights.
Ladies night: 6pm-3am, Tuesday
Where: Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa
Contact: +971 4 346 1111, website
A revamped terrace at Gaucho DIFC will provide the siren calls to party-goers this season. It’s been extended to include a lounge area where guests can enjoy the new comfy seating, all while taking in a specially crafted beverage from the new outdoor bar. Gaucho’s terrace also offers the restaurant’s same full dining experience outside – so you can sample the Latin delicacies such as the Pate de la Casa (milk-fed veal liver) and the salt baked, corn-fed chicken (AED140 for half, AED250 whole). Or, of course, one of the many, many cuts of beef the Argentinian restaurant is famed for.
Ladies night: 8pm-11pm, Saturday
Where: Podium Level, Gate Village 5, DIFC
Contact: +971 4 422 7898, website
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