Dubai nightlife is the best I've tried so far in the Persian/Arab Gulf region.

Compared to that of Doha, Abu Dhabi, or Muscat, it is less conservative and far more foreigner-friendly.

Even though drinking alcohol is restricted, you can find nearly a hundred bars and nightclubs, some of which are busy even on weekdays.

There is a huge diversity of venues: Jazz lounges, rooftop bars, expat pubs, open-air nightclubs, beach cafés, speakeasies, etc. There is even a brand-new warehouse with Berlin-style techno parties once a month.

However, not everything is perfect. The major problem with Dubai nightlife is that to enter most of the major nightclubs, single men are required to book a table. Often, this means you will need to spend up to US$500 just to visit one place.

I will talk more about it in this review. If you still have questions after reading it, please leave me a comment at the end of the article!

Hotels Near Dubai Nightlife
You can click on this map of Dubai nightlife to visualize where all the most important nightclubs, bars, and beach clubs are located.
As you can see, there are 3 best party areas:

1) Between Downtown Dubai and the World Trade Center:
This area, in the heart of the business district, has many expensive bars that are popular with expats and executives. Most can be found in the 5-star hotels on Sheikh Zayed Road (Fairmont, Sheraton, Crowne Plaza or Conrad). This is also an interesting location to reach Dubai's best nightclubs like Blu, White, and Soho Garden.

The recommended hotels there are:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Fairmont (rated 8.5/10, US$140 per night) - It has 4 bars and clubs, including Cavalli Club, Bagatelle and Cin Cin.
⭐⭐⭐⭐Carlton Downtown (rated 8.4/10, US$84 per night) - Best value option in this location.

2) Around the Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Resort (JBR):
This is a more touristy part of town with many popular beach clubs (like Zero Gravity or Barasti). There are several bars as well which tends to be a bit less sophisticated and exclusive than the ones on Sheikh Zayed Road. This is the best location for those who are visiting Dubai for the holidays.

The recommended hotels there are:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Sofitel Jumeirah Beach (rated 8.7/10, US$232 per night) - Bordering The Walk, near many bars and the beach.
⭐⭐⭐⭐Rose Park Al Barsha (rated 8.9/10, US$73 per night) - Best value option in this location

3) In Deira and Bur Dubai:
This is the older part of Dubai, starting at the north of Sheikh Rashid Road. There are dozens of bars there, most of which have live music, affordable prices, and.... prostitutes. Each venue targets a different crowd: Filipinos, Indians, Blacks, Westerners, etc. Hotels in this area are generally cheaper than elsewhere.

The recommended hotels there are:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Al Bandar Rotana (rated 9/10, US$135 per night) - No bars there but it is deemed girl-friendly.
⭐⭐⭐⭐Flora Grand Hotel (rated 8.3/10, US$58 per night) - Best value option in this location

Dating in Dubai
As elsewhere in the Middle-east, it is almost impossible to date a local girl. They rarely go out, and if they do, they don't mingle with foreigners (too conservative, too rich, and too protected). It is not very important anyway since they only represent a fraction of the women staying in Dubai (over 90% of the population is foreign).

There are women from every single nationality on earth in Dubai, but you could split them into just a few groups:

Staff workers (waitresses, shopkeepers, maids, receptionists, etc) are mostly from developing countries of Asia and Africa. They are the easiest to meet, either online or in bars/clubs during ladies' nights. In particular, there are many Filipinas.

Mid-to-upper level expatriates: They aren't as numerous as men, but there are still plenty of them, from various nationalities (Indians would be the most common). They are usually educated, ambitious and hard-working. Many English teachers too. The single ones are usually looking for expats, so they can be hard to date if you are only passing by.

Flight attendants working for Emirates. There are thousands of them, usually young, pretty, and single. They are in high demand, so you'll be able to date them only if you are good-looking, confident, and reasonably wealthy. It will really help if you are living in Dubai as well.

Short-term visitors: Dubai welcomes a fair number of tourists, especially from the nearby countries that are more conservative.

Hookers and "professional girlfriends": There is an incredible number of prostitutes in Dubai, from low-end to high-class. They can be found everywhere: In clubs, in the streets, or online (for instance on the sugar baby websites

Expat bars to meet people in Dubai
If you want friendly bars in Dubai where you can meet new people, these are my recommendations:

→ Lock Stock and Barrel - Best on Tuesday for their busy ladies' night. 2 locations in Dubai (Jumeirah Beach Resort and Grand Millenium Hotel)
→ The Stables: Equestrian-themed British pub
→ Rodeo Drive: Vintage restaurant and bar with live music and authentic American food
→ Double Decker - British pub with outdoor garden
→ McGettigan's - Irish pub, part of an international chain, with 5 different locations in Dubai
→ Fibber Magee's - Discreet Irish pub in the financial district with quiz nights and live music
→ The Irish Village - 3 branches in Dubai for this Irish pub, full of regulars

Dubai Nightlife Tips
Here are a few things you should know to prepare for your nights out in Dubai

Drinking Alcohol
You can drink alcohol in licensed venues (bars and clubs) only if you are over 21. Bouncers will check your ID, so bring your passport with you. If you get tipsy, be discreet as public drunkenness is officially illegal.

If you want to purchase alcohol in a shop (or at the duty-free), you will need a special license. As a visitor, it is quite easy to get one, just go to any of the MMI shops with your passport, and you'll get one for 30 days.

Price of Clubbing
It can be very expensive to party in Dubai, especially if you are a single guy. Indeed, most high-end clubs will force men to book a table, with a minimum spend between AED1,500 (US$410) and AED3000 (US$820).

Generally speaking, in the best nightlife venues, you can expect to pay AED45-55 for a beer (or US$12-15), AED60-80 for a cocktail (or US$16-22), and AED1200 for a cheap bottle of liquor (or US$325).

If you go partying in Deira or Bur Dubai, the prices will often be lower (about 30% less).

Another good way to save money is to check for happy hours. Almost every bar has some, usually between 4 PM and 8 PM. Typically, you will get a buy 1 get 1 promo on selected drinks.

Dress Code
All the upscale bars and clubs will require you to dress well: No shorts, no sandals, no caps, etc. If you are a woman, it is better to wear high heels and a skirt.

There is a lot of racism in Dubai, much like in the UAE in general. You will be judged based on your ethnicity or skin color.

It is very common to be denied entry at a club in Dubai, especially if you are African, Indian, or Southeast Asian.

When to Party
Dubai's nightlife is at its best during the cooler months, basically from November to May. In fact, during summer (July to August), most of the open-air venues are closed because the heat and humidity are unbearable (for instance, Soho Garden, White, or 40 Kong). Avoid Dubai during that time if you can.

Another thing to keep in mind is that weekends in Dubai are on Fridays and Saturdays. This means that Thursday nights are the best to go out, and Saturday nights are the worst.

Most clubs will close at 3 AM, but a few stay open until 4 AM (like Toy Room or Base).

Finally, if you visit Dubai during Ramadan, don't worry too much. Most bars and clubs are open, but only after sunset. They can be less crowded, but you can still have fun.

Ladies' Nights
Ladies' nights in Dubai are a big deal. Since girls are rare, the best clubs and bars compete fiercely to attract them. If you are a woman, you will probably never have to pay for any drinks while in the city.

Currently, most of the best ladies' nights happen on Tuesday (at the Pier7, at Gravity Zero). You can check Ladies Night Dubai for an updated list.

Weekly and monthly events:
For a general list of events, you can follow the social media accounts of DubaiNight and Luvevents (trendy parties).

For techno and rave parties, check @ducksoupseries and @raversindubai.

Internet Censorship in Dubai
Porn websites, as well as any websites that are deemed anti-religious, anti-Islam, or critical of the UAE,  will be blocked by the government. Also, you cannot use WA, Skype or Messenger to make calls (only messaging is allowed).

As a result of this censorship, it is common for expats and visitors to use a VPN. If you don't know what it is, you can read this article: Why Porn Websites are Blocked in Dubai (and How to Unblock Them)?

Lately, I've been using PureVPN and it works great. They are currently having a sale with their 2-year plan costing less than 1.99$ per month (use my coupon "Jakarta100bars" to get an extra 10% off).

Best Nightclubs in Dubai
Clubbing in Dubai is very expensive as you almost always have a high minimum spend to get a table. If you want a more relaxed atmosphere, avoid the clubs and go to the Irish/British pubs I mentioned above instead.

Blu in V-Hotel
Previously called Boa, it is an elite nightclub/restaurant. It features an elevated stage with various performances during the evening (dancers, singers, etc). If you come alone, you can meet people quite easily at the bar. 

Music is mostly hip-hop and R'n'B. As always with such venues, the dress code is strict (especially on weekends). The minimum order for a table of two persons is AED 1,500 and even more during special events. They often have international star DJs and singers.

If you like Blu, you may also enjoy 1-Oak which is nearby. Bling is another option if you are into hip-hop, RnB, afro music.

This is the only place in Dubai where you can enjoy a more underground nightlife experience. They have techno on Thursday and Friday nights, often from guest DJs. The venue is not as professionally managed as its bigger competitors in terms of facilities, sound system, lighting, but you'll also find it more welcoming. It is usually free if you come before midnight, and AED 100 after that.

Soho Garden (in Meydan Hotel)
Main space in Soho Garden
Soho Beach
This complex about 15 minutes from the city center is the top nightlife destination in Dubai at the moment. This is where you have the best clubs, the best events, and the best crowd.

The main space, Soho Garden, is only open during the cooler months (September to June). They have famous DJs regularly, for instance: Agoria, Joris Voorn, Tiga, Mark Knight, etc. If you manage to pass the strict door policy, expect to spend money (as a single man, it may be difficult to enter without booking a sofa). Drinks cost at least US15-20$ and the minimum spending for a table is US700$ during special events.

On the same location, you can also find:

Black is a big indoor nightclub, presumably the largest in Dubai, that focuses on RnB. It is open from Thursday to Saturday, featuring both DJs and bands. Ladies night on Thursdays before 1AM.

Playroom is a techno/electronic music club with a minimalist design and an underground atmosphere (even though it is expensive and upmarket). Recently, they guest artists like Âme, Dubfire and Sébastien Léger.

NEW: There is now also a Soho Garden nightlife complex in Palm Jumeirah.

White (in Meydan Hotel)
Voted #16 best club in the world by DJ Mag, this is the most famous nightclub in Dubai, and maybe even in the Middle East.

It is a huge venue on the rooftop of the Meydan Racecourse Grandstand, which opens yearly starting mid-September until May. They have various kinds of events, from EDM parties to live hip-hop, each time with different décors. It is a bit pretentious and overrated in my opinion, but still worth checking. Expect a mixed crowd of expats and tourists.

Entry is free for girls and couples. For single guys, you need to spend at least AED2,000 (US$550) at a table. The best time to go is on Thursday or Saturday (ladies' night until 1 AM).

Vii in Conrad Hotel
Vii is a restaurant/bar/lounge/nightclub which is popular at the moment. It is rather classy and pleasant, especially the "secret" garden area. The club itself can get pretty packed so book a table if you can (AED3,000 minimum spend). Different events and shows every night of the week: Afro beats, techno, live music, retro hits, EDM, etc. Open every day except Sunday until 3 AM.

Armani/Privé in Armani Hotel
This small luxury club inside the Armani Hotel in Burj Khalifa has a good ladies' night on Saturdays with Latin/Reggaeton music. Girls get free drinks until 1 AM. Guys can enter for free, and then each drink will cost between US$15-US$20.

The dance floor is large enough to dance, and there is plenty of space near the bar for those who don't want to book a table. Some pretty girls.

On the 122nd floor of Burj Khalifa, there is also a panoramic bar/restaurant called Atmosphere. It is supposedly the highest in the world.

Billionaire (in Taj Hotel)
Part of the Billionaire Life brand (created by the jet-setter Flavio Briatore), this complex features 2 restaurants (a Japanese and an Italian), a terrace (Diamond Kalian), a karaoke, and a nightclub. As the name suggests, it is very pricey and exclusive. Most guests come to have dinner while watching various performances (mostly dancers). Most male customers are rich expats and locals. The girls all seem to be Eastern European sugar babies in their 20s. Closes at 4AM.

Mantis in Emirates Financial Center
This new club in DIFC (Dubai International Finance Center) is open from Wednesday to Friday until 4 AM. Girls can drink and eat sushis for free every day until 1 AM. No dance floor so it's better to book a table (starting AED3,000). There are several shows to watch, from live music to sexy dancers.

Other Dubai Nightlife Recommendations:

Outdoor lounges and rooftops:
→ Penthouse - In Five Palm Jumeirah, it offers one of the best views of the city. Chic and elitist. Best to go on Thursdays only.

→ Iris - Managed by the same group as White, this open-air bar is on the 27th floor of The Oberoi hotel. Cool crowd, good cocktails and live music on Tuesday and Sunday.

→ SKY5 - Hip rooftop on the 40th floor of the H Hotel. One of the top bars among younger expats in Dubai.

→ Seven Sisters - Chic bar with an open-air terrace. 5 free drinks for their Tuesday's ladies night. Their Sunday Brunch, organized by Sundown Brunch, is quite spectacular.

Ethnic Bar and Clubs:
These nightlife venues target specific communities.

→ Filipinos: Boracay or Club 7 (all great to try if you want to meet Filipinas and spend less money on drinks).

→ Indians: Inka. Check also the events organized by AKS NightsDejaVu, or Desi Night in UAE

→ Russians: Luna, Club5Muscovites, Regal, Rasputin, AmadeusEl Barrio, Red Square (a prostitution place)

→ Africans: Wednesdays in Marq

Pool and Beach Clubs:
The beach clubs in Dubai are a nightlife destination of their own. You can go there in the afternoon for a brunch (with free-flow drinks), then stay until late for partying. Beware as most of them are closed during summer months. Here are the best ones:

→ Zero Gravity - Huge and crowded beach club. I recommend their brunch on Thursday and Friday with 4 hours of free-flow alcohol and food.

→ Barasti Beach - Legendary beach club among the party crowd. A bit touristy and tacky, but perfect for those who want to mingle and flirt. Free entrance.

Prostitution in Dubai
It's hard to talk about Dubai nightlife without mentioning its huge prostitution scene. You will see hookers or escorts everywhere, from the cheap ethnic bars in Deira to the most exclusive clubs in the 5-star hotels.

In the latter, prostitution is rather discreet. You will see some young women, from every part of the world (but mostly from Eastern Europe and Russia), sitting by themselves at a bar and enjoying drinks. If you smile at them, they will approach you and reveal who they are.

In Deira, things are more straightforward. In the hotel bars of that area, 100% of girls are prostitutes, and they will go straight to your table.

Here are some of those infamous clubs (most of them have a DJ/live band and a dance floor).

 Premier Bar in Hyatt Regency - Famous spot with over a hundred girls from every ethnicity. Pricier than elsewhere. AED200 for entrance after midnight.

→ Red Square in Moscow Hotel - Mostly Eastern European girls - Weekend entrance fee is AED150.

→ Ratsky in Fortune Karama Hotel - Bar full of Filipinas

 → Jules in Le Méridien Centre: Lots of Vietnamese and Chinese girls. The entry fee is AED65 on a weekday.

13 comments to '' Dubai Nightlife: Best Bars and Nightclubs (2024) "

  1. Funny no mention of the old favourites which surely are still open and busy? Sho Cho, Zinc, Rock Bottom etc, the less pretentious places which even though 20 years old are still full busy and popular with crew and decent expats and not many tourists

    1. Hi there, thank you for mentioning these venues. To be honest I had not heard of them. Sho Cho and Rock Bottom are still open, but Zinc seems to be closed. I added them to the map.

  2. As for working girls best pkace is Marines club at Seaview hotel and Ratsky. Both with SEA girls and reasonable prices, but you have to negotiate. Also York hotel club, but its a real dump. All other pkaces are too compkicated and waaaay too expensive (with no justification). Especially for anyone with some/lot of experience fron SEAsua region. All in all, Dubai not so bad, and a week can be spent there, but thats it. Maybe perfect for rich Arabs, Russians or Indians. Not for us farangs

    1. Ratsky is still there, but I was just standing inside Sea View and the guard told me Marines is permanently closed and there's an Indian restaurant there now. He also mentioned construction, so there's a chance there's a misunderstanding, but I think its gone.

  3. And you have to correct some of the headlines (still Doha or Qatar mentioned). Impression is that you visited some of the best and most expensive places, which are ment for Russian oligarchs or arabian cheiks

  4. It is the best in all Arab world. Doesnot mean that its good, though. Almost any Asian metropolis is better (maybe not Ulan Bator). Is dynamic and diverse, but nightlife is a waste of time. Except for wealthy local emirs or their foreign business partners

  5. The mentioned Jules bar is really good. Many working girls, all races and types. Another good thing is that in the complex there are many other venues, like restaurant, cafes and such. But only Jules and only inside is what you are looking for really. Prices are another matter and have to be negotiated in a tough manner. Preferably later in the night, since girls specify exorbitant prices early in the evening. That is to ignore and to approach them later. However, Seaview is much better, more relaxed and more Asian girls. Ratsky is OK but in a very Indian neighbourhood, so not to everybodys taste

  6. If someone is sent there for work, its fine. Places to go out, girls, food, malls etc. To visit also fine, maybe long weekend. But to go and live there if there are alternatives in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Phills.... would be insane

  7. Premiere is 500 entrance and not worth it.

  8. Hi, How do Y think, is it open now? And what about girls, are there?

    1. Most of the clubs you can contact via email.. or at least the hotels that they reside in. Go to booking a room there.. and find the contact info. Inquire if said clubs are open as this is a changing situaiton

  9. Great review as usual! I work as an expat in Saudi Arabia and I visit Dubai every month or so for fun and girls.

    Personally, I avoid Tinder (low-quality girls) and find girlfriends on Lots of stunning Ukrainian girls, Russians, Africans and Filipinas who are ready to get in bed with you if you pay for a nice hotel/restaurants/drinks/gifts. Some guys will say it's expensive but if you are on an oil&gas expat salary, you can easily afford it. And besides, you don't have lots of other options while in Dubai.

  10. What about Manila 21 club...and other filipina clubs...where to find filipina girls to date?