Dubai Nightlife: The Complete Guide

Dubai Skyline at night

Mint Images/Getty Images 

Whether you want to dance all night, enjoy rooftop cocktails as the sun sets, or party from midday to midnight at a beach club, Dubai has the venue to suit your mood. Explore the city’s after-dark side with our complete guide to Dubai’s nightlife.

Dive into Dubai’s Club Scene

If you came here to party, you’re in for a treat. In the past year, Dubai has played host to everyone from the Chemical Brothers to Mariah Carey, Ed Sheeran to Steve Aoki. For a night to remember, head to WHITE Dubai, voted one of the top 20 nightclubs in the world—and the best in the Middle East—by DJ MAG. This open-air superclub, on the Meydan Racecourse Grandstand Rooftop, delivers the hottest DJs and jaw-dropping light displays, with a dance floor that pumps music until early morning. 

Home to four venues in one, nearby Soho Garden is an adults’ playground. Sashay between the relaxed Glasshouse, chic Bellini Bar, Italian-inspired Negroni bar with sunset mezzanine, and lively Tiki lounge.

Inspired by fashion designer Roberto Cavalli, Cavalli Club is an OTT lounge and restaurant adorned with oversized chandeliers, eye-popping textiles, and party-starting DJ beats. At Armani/Privé, the Giorgio Armani-approved interiors offer a sleeker aesthetic, with back-lit marble and surfaces that are as shiny as the well-heeled clientele.

For a night you won’t soon forget, check your inhibitions at the door for Cirque Le Soir, a boundary-pushing club-meets-circus that’s been dubbed “the UAE’s most scandalous nightclub”.

Sky-High Sips

For a more sophisticated party vibe, seek out one of Dubai’s sleek rooftop bars. The Penthouse at FIVE Palm Jumeirah delivers jaw-plummeting views of Dubai Marina from its perch on the 16th floor. On Tuesdays, ladies can enjoy three free drinks from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Rewind Wednesdays pump out classic hits from the '80s and '90s; and Skyline Thursdays see the air-conditioned terrace transform into a thumping dance floor.

To mingle with the city’s expat crowd, hightail it to 40 Kong, a palm-fringed rooftop lounge on the 40th floor of the H Hotel, in the heart of Dubai’s business district. Settle in to watch the sun set over the city, then stay until the small hours of the morning, sipping French rosé and top-shelf spirits. On the 27th floor of The Oberoi hotel, industrial-chic Iris Dubai is an after-work favorite for live music and expertly poured cocktails.

In Dubai Marina, hightail it to the top of Pier 7, where Atelier M is home to a secret rooftop with international DJs and dazzling marina views. Inside in the Art Deco-style lounge, take advantage of five-hour ‘happy hours’ five nights a week. On Tuesdays, Beauty & the Beat offers ladies four free drinks and complementary beauty treatments.

Make a Splash

For a party that starts at midday and continues well after midnight, make for one of Dubai’s hedonistic beach clubs. Frequently voted the city’s best beach club, Zero Gravity is located on the edge of the Drop Zone for Skydive Dubai, at the northern end of Jumeirah Beach Residence. By day, sip cocktails on the beach or in the 130-foot glass-sided pool, then hit the dance floor once the sun goes down.

Nearby, Barasti at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi vies with Zero Gravity for the title of Dubai’s hottest beach club, with a lively pool and beach scene during the day and huge dance parties by night. At Rixos The Palm Dubai, El Chiringuito channels the beach clubs of Ibiza with its cool white aesthetic and hypnotic DJ beats. On Fridays, things step up a notch, with sunset-to-early-morning dance parties presented by Nomad.

Drink & Dine

Some of Dubai’s most seductive bars can be found in high-end restaurants. The best of these are located in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), where long lunches can easily segue into late-night affairs. Roberto’s Salotto Lounge Bar brings Italian la dolce vita to Dubai, with smart martinis and free snacks until 8 p.m. Nearby, Zuma Bar & Lounge is home to a handsome wood-lined sake bar and sultry lounge serving Japanese-inspired cocktails with a side order of city views.

At stylish Peruvian eatery Coya, in the Four Seasons Resort, Pisco Lounge is a lush Latin American bar decorated in rich jewel tones, with DJ tunes, live bands, pisco cocktails and a plush members-only lounge. At the H Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, enjoy and English pub experience at The Lion, or hightail it to multi-level Play Restaurant & Lounge for fine dining and first-class drinks in chic surrounds.

Insider Tips

  • The legal drinking age is 21 in Dubai, so carry your ID with you to avoid any hassles at the door.
  • While tourists are permitted to drink alcohol in licensed venues in Dubai, being drunk in public is illegal—and there is zero tolerance for driving with even a hint of alcohol in your system. Be on your best behavior while drinking in Dubai to avoid hefty fines or jail time.
  • Dress to impress. The dress code in Dubai’s bars and nightclubs is polished, so leave your jeans in your suitcase. And while ladies can get away with skin-tight mini-dresses inside the club, it’s worth bringing a wrap or jacket to throw on when you’re back outside.
  • Most venues offer a Ladies Night, offering free drinks and other benefits, such as complimentary snacks or discounts on dining, to women. Check out Ladies Night Dubai for an extensive list of venues and offers.