Dubai may not be the first party destination that springs to mind, but the city’s glittering array of nightclubs can rival Ibiza’s. These are Dubai’s best clubs, from open-air rooftop parties to underground dance halls where you can party until the small hours.
Discover Dubai’s clubland – a glitzy scene of glasses of champagne decorated with elaborate sparkler displays, dancers performing acrobatics on ropes suspended from ceilings and cocktails served with dry ice. But experiencing the city’s nightlife doesn’t have to cost too many dirhams, as entry to nearly all of Dubai’s clubs is free on most nights, and only big-name gigs charge entry. There is a never-ending rota of promotions and themed events in the city, from ladies’ nights to happy hours. All of this makes Dubai a surprisingly budget-friendly party hotspot. With plenty of venues to choose from, whether you’re into 1980s pop or hardcore EDM, you’ll find a bar spinning the right tunes for you. Here’s where Dubai’s in-crowd hangs out.
The wall of fame at Toy Room | Courtesy of Evgheny @ Toy Room
Off the beaten track in Soho Garden at Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse, Toy Room is famous for its legendary parties and its graffiti wall of fame. Murals of rap and R&B legends decorate the walls, presiding over a hall of neon lights and booths reserved for big spenders. One character you can’t miss is Toy Room’s mascot, Frank the Naughty Bear, who can be seen partying with guests from 11pm to 4am most nights. Do check the website as opening nights and even drinks prices vary with the seasons.
Paparazzi are permanently parked outside 1OAK (1 of a Kind) in New York, hoping to capture a shot of Kim and Kanye. However, paparazzi aren’t permitted in the Dubai club, making this celebrity haunt particularly popular with VIP crowds. Inside, you’ll find pink-tinged neon lights and contemporary art installations by New York artist Roy Nachum. Welcoming up to 500 clubbers from 11pm to 3am every Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday night, 1OAK is the most popular hip-hop club in the city. After an evening on the town, fuel your dancing with Weslodge Saloon’s famous fried chicken, which can be found in the same complex as the club.
Get your party on at White | Courtesy of WHITE Dubai
According to DJ Mag’s Top 100 Clubs listing, White Dubai is the top-ranking nightclub in the Middle East. With its remote rooftop location – it’s perched atop Meydan Racecourse Grandstand – this huge, high-tech club welcomes 3,000 partygoers every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night during the autumn and winter months. UK rap and hip-hop star Tinie Tempah runs Friday’s ‘Disturbing Dubai’ night and often swings by to perform a free gig, while Saturday’s URBN night hosts international acts as sought after as French Montana, Rick Ross and Wiz Khalifa.
World-class DJs hold court in the centre of this urban amphitheatre in the Dubai Design District, known simply as d3. Playing Dubai’s best selection of house music, this open-air club is famous for wild parties; under the venue’s steel beams and neon lights, leather-clad dancers perform acrobatic stunts for awestruck audiences. Open every Thursday and Friday from 11pm to 4am, the club hosts big-name performers who draw in large crowds. The venue is closed during the summer months; watch out for its mid-September opening parties.
From Italian and Japanese fine-dining options to a shisha terrace and a dance floor, Billionaire Mansion Dubai caters to every type of night out. Visitors flow through the various areas accompanied by international DJ sets, light shows, karaoke and theatrical dance performances. It’s open from sunset until 4am, and you won’t find a better spot to party in Dubai’s downtown Business Bay area.
Situated on the 32nd floor of Al Habtoor City’s V Hotel, Boa Dubai is one of the bigger clubs in the city, with a capacity of 1,000. You’ll find plush seating, expert mixology, gourmet bar bites – including sushi served on dry ice – and an open-air terrace with views over Dubai Canal. Open seven days a week from 8pm to 3am, the club offers an eclectic line-up of themed nights, including Monday’s homage to music from the 1980s and 1990s, DJ Bliss’s Bling Friday with rap and hip-hop tunes and Sunday’s buzzing EDM sets.
Open Thursday and Friday, from 10pm until late, with a come-as-you-are dress code, Industrial Avenue looks just like it sounds: a laid-back vibe with urban-inspired interiors complete with graffiti and leather seating. Part of The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi beach resort, the nightspot is centrally located in the city’s famous Dubai Marina. On Thursdays, R&B and hip-hop dominate the dance floor, while underground house and techno music are on the menu each Friday with resident DJ Dance FM’s Adam Cotier at the decks.