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The best cocktail bars in Dubai

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The best cocktail bars in Dubai

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From discreet drinking dens to the top spots for master mixology…

The bar scene in Dubai is one that keeps getting better. From after-work tipples and leisurely afternoon catch-ups on the weekend, to pre-dinner drinks and haute hangouts for late-night revellery, the best bars in Dubai are designed to suit all occasions.

But when only the coolest concoctions will do, these are the best cocktail bars in Dubai to check out.

Amazonico

In DIFC’s burgeoning fine dining scene, Amazonico’s maximalist, jungle-esque interiors make it unique. But it’s the impressive beverage list that makes this DIFC hotspot truly standout. Spread over a sprawling three-floor building, the best spots to perch up for a tipple are at the rooftop (weather permitting) and the ground floor. The latter is home to a lengthy bar in emerald green, lit by warm gold lights and lined with bar stools that separate the bar from the lounge. The mixed drinks menu has the same Latin American influence as the a la carte offering, with drinks served up in monkey heads and tiki tumblers.

Amelia

It was hard to imagine how this cocktail bar from Lebanon would recreate the same vibe in Dubai that wows guests at the Beirut original, located within a historic 500-year old building. But gothic grandeur oozes from every corner of Amelia Dubai, located within the grounds of Address Sky View. The cleverly arranged space comes complete with an organ DJ booth, spiral staircase that leads to a separate dining room, and a magnificent clock that backs the bar. It’s here that the magic really happens, with inventive cocktails finished with delicate ice cups piled with fruit, edible flowers and even sides of caviar.

Amelia Dubai, Address Sky View, Downtown Dubai, 5pm to 3am Mon to Fri, 7pm to 3am Sat and Sun. Tel: (0)4 328 2805. amelialounge.com

Blind Tiger

blind tiger

Adding to an already impressive repertoire of culinary hotspots at Jumeirah Al Naseem is Blind Tiger, a beautiful cocktail bar with an Art Deco feel. Located in the main hotel building, this intimate, dimly lit drinking den is a lesson in eye-catching detail, complete with plush printed cushions, decadent paintings and a sparkling mirrored ceiling. There’s even a cool terrace for enjoying a drink alfresco while overlooking the Turtle Lagoon. On the mixology menu, expect a fantastic selection of creative cocktails such as the BT Boulevard, which features shitake mushroom and chocolate vermouth.

Blind Tiger, Turtle Lagoon, Jumeirah Al Naseem, Dubai, 5pm to 2am daily. Tel: (800) 323 232. @blindtigerdxb

Electric Pawn Shop

Under the neon red lights of Electric Pawn Shop, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bar in the H Hotel, guests are invited to enjoy an array of unique concoctions and cool tunes. This cool underground spot is the brainchild of a duo of music maestro’s, who’ve themed their underground bar on New York’s Chinatown in the 1970s. Electric Pawn Shop’s main beat might be its music – a regular rotation of local and international DJs spin here – but its drinks aren’t to be missed. Try the bestselling Night Rider Negroni, a fusion of herbal gin, campari, mancino bianco and amaro lucano.

Electric Pawn Shop, Ground Floor, The H Hotel, One Sheikh Zayed Road, 6pm to 3am daily. Tel: (0)50 586 5510.  @electricpawnshop

Ergo

From Jimmy Barrat of Zuma fame comes Ergo, the master mixologist’s debut solo project. Located in The Dubai Edition, this cool cocktail bar feels like it’s been plucked straight from one of the bartending capitals of the world. Industrial and masculine in feel, there is an open kitchen surrounded by tables that feel more like a restaurant, but it’s the lounge area, where you find the DJ booth and bar, to head to for the real stars of the show. On the Ergo cocktail menu, you’ll find drinks such as the Skinny Beech, a blend of tito’s, applewood, mango and vanilla cordial and soda.

Ergo, Mezzanine Floor, The Dubai Edition, Downtown Dubai 6pm to 2am Tues, Thurs and Fri, 6pm to 3am Weds, 6pm to 1am Sun and Mon. Tel: (0)4 554 2456. @ergo.dubai

Galaxy Bar

Galaxy Bar, an offshoot of the upscale Avli by tashas in DIFC, carved the way for a slew of secret-bars-within-restaurants to open in Dubai. But as the original, Galaxy Bar remains a cut above the competition. Under a constellation of stars, this sapphire-adorned bar is a beautifully intimate cocktail bar that’s drawn international attention and currently sits at number 45 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list. Since its opening in 2019, this ultra-luxurious cocktail lounge has established itself as a reputable and innovative addition to the industry. The bar is distinctive with an ambience that is amplified by the celestially lit ceiling, soft velvet seating, and an incredible marble bar.

Galaxy Bar, Gate Village, DIFC, 8pm to 3am Sun, Tues, Wed, 9pm to 4am Thurs to Sat. Tel: (0)50 513 5908. galaxy-bar.com@galaxybardxb

Gilt

When it comes to the best cocktail bars in Dubai, few are as grand as Gilt. You’ll have to pre-book if you want to snag a reservation at this lavish bar in the Burj Al Arab, but you’ll be rewarded with maximalist interiors, slick service, and a mixology menu befitting of the iconic setting. The best seats in the house for watching the masters at work are at the bar, although the coveted window seats prove popular for those looking to enjoy drinks with a view. The bar team, lead by Thibault Méquignon, whip up creations such as the jar-aged cherry blossom negroni, and an Oolong old fashioned. They also regularly host bar takeovers from some of the world’s best mixologists.

Gilt, Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah, 6pm to 3am daily, reservations essential. Tel: (800) 323 232. jumeirah.com/gilt

Honeycomb Hi-Fi

Honeycomb Hi-Fi is an intimate speakeasy-style venue tucked away from the madness of Business Bay. To access it, you’ll need to slip behind the wall of a cosy vinyl record shop inside the Pullman Hotel. Once inside, a bespoke sound system immediately commands the ears, whilst the warm lighting brings a honey hue to the perforated wooden wall panels. Guests can expect anything on the turntables, from electronic to jazz. On the drinks front, aside from the range of wines, sake and Japanese craft beer, its artisanal cocktail menu is too appealing to ignore. The Manga Rita with tequila, umeshu, pineapple vinegar and chili rim is a standout.

Pullman Hotel Downtown, 8pm to 2am Sun to Thur, 8pm to 3am Fri and Sat, Mon closed. Tel: (0)4 412 6666. @honeycombhifi

The Maine Land Brasserie

The Maine’s trio of Dubai restaurants all offer something different: JBR is a stunning spot for seafood, Studio City has a relaxed and family-friendly feel, and Downtown is a more elegant, grown-up offering. It’s at the latter, The Maine Land Brasserie in ME Dubai, that as well as a menu of elevated brasserie classics, guests can enjoy one of the best drinks menus you’ll find in a restaurant of this stature. The bar itself is an impressive fixture – a marble-topped piece that runs down one side of the restaurant that’s lit by twinkling chandeliers. The menu befits the grandeur of the space, with a selection of aperitif’s swiftly followed by The Maine’s signature cocktails, then an extensive list of wines and spirits.

The Maine Land Brasserie, Ground Floor, ME Dubai, Downtown, 12pm to 1am Sun to Tues, 12pm to 2am Weds to Sat. Tel: (0)4 577 6680. themaine.ae

Mimi Kakushi

You’ve likely already tried Mimi Kakushi’s experimental Japanese cuisine, but that’s not the only reason to check out this stylish spot at Four Seasons Restaurant Village. An ode to 1920s Osaka, the dazzling interiors are befitting of the beautifully presented dishes, but it would be a mistake to book without paying a visit to the bar. Before you reach the restaurant, a lounge, bar and sushi counter are a more relaxed spot to prop up and make your way through the extensive menu of beverages, all masterminded by Manja Stankovic, Mimi Kakushi’s Bar Manager. Be sure to try the Sayonara, Mimi Kakushi’s twist on the classic Negroni.

Mimi Kakushi, Four Seasons Resort, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, 6pm to 2am, daily. Tel: (0)4 379 4811. mimikakushi.ae

Monkey Bar

25hours Hotels are known for blending their European-cool DNA with the locale of their destination, and that’s exactly what you get at their Middle Eastern debut in Dubai. That’s ever-present in their rooftop watering hole, Monkey Bar. In the cooler months, it’s all about the expansive alfresco terrace, where gold cages are set amongst leafy botanicals and cosy booths and bar tables dot the wooden expanse. But in the summer months, there’s a fun vibe to enjoy indoors amongst colourful interiors, where you can sip on tiki-inspired mixed drinks like a Pandan Colada – their twist on the Pina Colada made with pineapple rum.

Monkey Bar Dubai, 25hours Hotel One Central, Trade Center Street, 5pm to 2am Sun to Thurs, 5pm to 3am Fri and Sat. Tel: (0)4 210 2566. monkeybardubai.com

Salmon Guru

The seasoned bar wizards at Salmon Guru in Madrid – led by bar legend Diego Cabrera – oopened this Dubai ode to creative cocktails in June 2022. It’s a very intimate space that’s big on crazy. There are neon lightning bolts lining the ceiling and comic book ‘BAM’ signs fastened to the walls. It’s a heady mix of colour and lights, but don’t let the fun, in-your-face style of the bar fool you – the drinks and food here are world-class. Embrace the fantastic vibes by sidling up – or even behind – the bar and peruse the playful cocktail list. Better yet, take a recommendation from any of the expert – and effortlessly cool – bartenders who’ll create something so unique and serve it in one of Salmon Guru’s customised cocktail vessels, the likes of which you’ll have never seen before.

Salmon Guru Dubai, The Opus by Omniyat, Business Bay, 12.30pm to 2am Mon to Fri, 5pm to 2am Sat and Sun. Tel: (0)52 814 9537. @salmongurudubai

Zuma

zuma

It’s hard to imagine a DIFC without Zuma. This legendary Japanese restaurant and lounge has welcomed guests to enjoy exquisite dishes, master mixology and incredible vibes for more than a decade, and it’s consistently regarded as one of the best restaurants in Dubai. But the lounge is a destination in itself too, and no matter what day of the week you visit, you’ll find a steady crowd gathered around the wooden cube bar at Zuma. From the bar, low-lying seating moves you through into the lounge, where a DJ dictates the tempo until the early hours.

Zuma, Podium Level, Gate Village 06, DIFC, 12pm to 3.30pm Mon to Fri lunch, 1.30pm to 4pm Sat lunch, 12pm to 4pm Sun lunch, 7pm to 12am Sun to Weds dinner, 7pm to 1am Thurs to Sat dinner, lounge 12pm to 2am daily. Tel: (0)4 425 5660. zumarestaurant.com

Images: Facebook/ Supplied



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