Qatar is a Muslim country and has severe regulations when it comes to alcohol consumption, with drinking pretty much limited to the luxury hotels. But, Doha is also home to many expatriates and welcomes non-Muslim tourists, so there are a surprising number of bars and nightclubs to choose from, making it not necessarily a global nightlife hotspot, but the weekend certainly won’t be dull either, even if it ends at 2 a.m.
Part of, but separate from, the Four Seasons Doha, Nobu sits in a modern building at the end of a pier with magical views. While it's famous for the restaurant, the bar offers what is probably the best Happy Hour in town. Comfortable seating on the rooftop, mellow lighting, the sparkling skyline in the background, the relaxed house music, signature cocktails and, more to the point, the reasonably-priced sample plates offering a sort of Japanese Tapas experience, make for a superb evening. Open daily 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., happy hour between 6 and 8 p.m.
Crystal at W Doha
Probably THE club in Doha, Crystal is chic, dressy and hip. Clean, elegant design mixes with a Baccarat chandelier over the dance floor, lit-up ice buckets, signature cocktails and a champagne bar. Visiting, international DJs play the hottest music, and they have themed nights ranging from Latin to Slavic to Hip-Hop and R&B. Crystal is open every day between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. with a happy hour between 10 and 11 p.m.
This large outside lounge bar by the sea is located in Sharq Village & Spa is a relaxed, unconventional place to enjoy cocktails, aperitifs and an international dining and snack menu. All set to chill lounge music and live DJs, is not just popular in the early evenings, sunset, and through the night, but also for its Friday brunches. Open daily 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
One of Doha’s best established music venues Paloma, located in the Hotel Intercontinental Doha, is a relaxed mix of restaurant, bar and live music venue. Offering great South American and Tex-Mex food and a large selection of drinks, the house band plays anything and everything from '80s hits to Salsa, with themed special nights. Thursday nights are always bustling. Open daily from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
La Vista 55
On the 55th floor of the Intercontinental Hotel, this Cuban hang-out offers live Cuban music, Cuban cocktails and street food, Instagram-able street art corners for those selfies, a dance floor to swing the hips in front of fabulous views and an all-round great atmosphere. Open daily from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., happy hour is between 5 and 8 p.m.
Plush red seating, a theater-like stage, and seductive lighting make for a classy venue for live music. In The Club, located in the St. Regis Doha, international artists perform jazz, reggae and even Irish folk music, with the odd DJ spinning for the crowd. See the events calendar for details on who is performing on which nights. Select cocktails and a classy bar and dining menu rounds off a lovely evening. Open daily 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., happy hour is between 7 and 9 p.m.
There isn’t a city in the world that doesn't have an Irish pub, but that does not mean you should avoid this one. A faux-Victorian pub in the Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, complete with exposed brick walls, leather banquettes, beer, sports on TV, pub grub, and some of the best live music in Doha, this is the place to come with friends to have fun. Regular events, from a R&B Night to midnight happy hour and other themed nights keep things lively. Open daily 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., happy hour is Tuesday through Saturday 5 to 8 p.m., Sundays and Mondays 5 to 10 p.m.
Inside the trendy W Doha Hotel and Residences lies a small, intimate techno haven which attracts some top DJs. Entering through a tunnel, under garlands and a chandelier, you’ll find a small and always full dance floor, but there are other lounges and dance floors. Open only Monday and Friday nights 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
One of Doha’s largest clubs is Oxygene in the La Cigale Hotel. Dancing, light shows, international DJs and great service of drinks and bar snacks add up to a great atmosphere and make for a fun night out. Voted Best Night Club in Doha by FACT Dining Awards in 2019, it offers themed nights and guest DJs throughout the week. Open Monday to Thursday 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday and Saturday 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., closed Sunday.
Elsewhere, this chain is called the Belgian Beer Café, but here in the Intercontinental Hotel Doha, it’s simply the Belgian Café. This spot is more a restaurant/bar than a cafe, and it is ridiculously popular — partially for its views of Doha’s skyline from the rooftop, partially due to the great drinks and the European comfort-food like Belgian fries, schnitzel and waffles. Either way, it is a great place to have a few drinks and snacks while listening to a live band before hitting the clubs. Open daily 12:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.