Dubai is often known for its beach clubs and fine dining restaurants, but the city is fostering a thriving bar and cocktail culture, with a handful of appearances in The World’s 50 Best Bars list. Here are the very best bars in the emirate to grab a killer cocktail or drink.
The best bars in Dubai 2023
As the third and final ‘act’ of Dubai’s most beautiful new restaurant, The Guild, The Aviary is the city’s answer to the sultry cocktail bars of New York City. At the far end of the dining experience, hidden behind a thick curtain, guests enter a darkened world with a stunning long cocktail bar, cigar lounge and circular lounge seating around a grand piano – the perfect spot for nightcaps and after-hours parties. Sitting above The Salon, The Aviary has dark art deco interiors and six glittering chandeliers, crafted in collaboration with London-based interior designer David Archer (of Chiltern Firehouse and The Standard fame). Come for resident DJs, tribal drummers, sporadic piano sets and impeccable late-night vibes, plus cocktails from a team of alumni from the likes of London‘s renowned Callooh Callay and Coupette.
The Guild, ICD Brookfield Place, DIFC; theguilddubai.com, @theguilddubai
Besides being one of the city’s most popular and chic restaurants, Mimi Kakushi is home to, officially, the best bar in Dubai (and the Middle East) – coming in at number 40 on The World’s 50 Best Bars list. This slick restaurant – located at the chi-chi Four Seasons Restaurant Village – transports guests to 1920s Osaka, and the dimly-lit lounge bar offers the same sultry vibe. The same love and creativity as the food menus are poured into the cocktail offering, which takes inspiration from Japanese traditions and flavours with a modern twist. Mimi Kakushi is one of the few bars in Dubai where drinkers can experience the standard of London, New York City, Singapore and Hong Kong cocktail bars, with the team staying on top of the latest trends and unafraid to experiment. Regular innovative new cocktail menus and bar takeovers make this the place to grab a nightcap this side of the city. Mimi Kakushi
Four Seasons Restaurant Village; mimikakushi.ae
Former best bar in the Middle East, Zuma Dubai’s bar is located in Dubai’s fast-paced DIFC in the stylish Gate Village. The bar occupies the top floor of the famous Japanese restaurant and has been one of the city’s most popular drinking spots for over a decade. The inimitable bar pulls in a business crowd by day and elegant clientele by night and on weekends, but regardless of time or date, there’s seemingly always a vibe. Cocktails are fresh and fruity and inspired by the Far East – try the shibui espresso martini or hikari spritz – and there’s an extensive drinks list of Japanese spirits, mixers, wines, plus Zuma bar snacks.
Gate Village 6, DIFC; zumarestaurant.com
Monkey Bar Dubai
Located on the rooftop of the trendy 25hours Hotel One Central, Monkey Bar came to Dubai by way of Cologne and Berlin (one of the most popular spots in the cities) and is now one of them the best bars in Dubai. The jungle-covered, Latin-American-style bar comprises a stunning outdoor terrace with Museum of the Future and Burj Khalifa views and a sultry indoor spot with cosy booths. Guests can sit in private cabana-like ‘monkey cages’, hidden amongst the tropical greenery, and sip on cocktails straight from Europe’s best bars (try the Champagne Pina Colada). The bar is a hit with the city’s cool crowd, largely in part to its legendary residence with Beirut-based DJ and entertainment group, Factory People every Friday – ‘Hot Mess’.
25hour Hotel Dubai One Central, monkeybardubai.com
Salmon Guru opened in 2022, bringing the same creative cocktails and playful, colourful interiors the brand is known for in its hometown of Madrid to Dubai. In the Spanish capital, Salmon Guru is the go-to haunt for good times and even better cocktails, with quirky comic book-themed interiors and consistently recognised by world rankings like The World’s 50 Best Bars. This same vibe is apparent in Dubai, thanks to the same zany decor – think lots of neon signage and lightning bolts – and focus on theatrical, yet high-quality serves. There’s a cosy indoor space and outdoor terrace with views of the Burj Khalifa and a fantastic menu of bar bites, plus a late license to open until 2 am. For European or New York-style cocktails in Dubai, there are few better places than Salmon Guru.
The Opus by Omniyat, Business Bay; @salmongurudubai
The Potting Shed at The Guild
As Dubai’s most impressive new restaurant, it’s only right that The Guild also has a fantastic bar offering – one that’s overseen by head of bars, Vitor Lourenço (of Rosewood London acclaim). Located within the stunning space – designed by Chilton Firehouse mastermind David Archer – guests will find The Potting Shed, an intimate enclave peppered with greenery and giving the feeling of a private orangery or conservatory. Drinkers can cosy up on the lounge chairs or hide away in the corners as they order bar snacks and cocktails from dedicated bar window. With a low ceiling and glass doors, there really is the feeling of being in a garden potting shed. A second bar, a sultry cigar and cocktails lounge The Aviary, will open soon.
The Guild, ICD Brookfield Place, DIFC; theguilddubai.com, @theguilddubai
While it had restaurants covered, until now, what Jumeirah Al Naseem’s swish Turtle Lagoon was missing was an elegant cocktail bar. The lagoon itself is one of the city’s top dining spots and fringed by fine dining restaurants like Beefbar, Il Borro, Mayabay and flamingo room by tashas, but until recently, no cocktail bar. Enter Blind Tiger, a sultry speakeasy-style cocktail bar and terrace filling the gap for the much-needed pre or post-dinner tipple spot with a seductive indoor lounge area clad in dark bronze hues accented by dull golds and a bright and spacious terrace area with views onto the lagoon and surrounding hotel. Guests enjoy bites from a small plates and dessert menu and sip on creative drinks like the BT Boulevard (made with shiitake mushroom and chocolate vermouth) to beats from a live DJ.
Turtle Lagoon, Jumeirah Al Naseem; jumeirah.com
Another perennial addition to The World’s 50 Best is Galaxy Bar (whether top 50 or Discovery) is Galaxy – a cocktail bar inspired by the stars hidden behind a discreet door in DIFC’s Gate Village and now ranked 50th in the world. The bar sits adjacent to avli by tashas, but while the restaurant is bright and beige, Galaxy is dark and filled with plush, deep blue hues – even completed with a starry sky to resemble, yes, the Galaxy. The intimate space seats just a small amount of people – on the bar itself and in the cosy booths and lounge seating – so booking is recommended. Come for London and New York quality cocktail creativity.
Gate Village 9, DIFC; galaxy-bar.com
Part Izakaya-style dining venue, part art gallery, part vinyl record and book shop and part killer cocktail bar, Honeycomb HI-FI is arguably the most unique, and cool, bar in Dubai. Hidden away in the Pullman Dubai Downtown, this dimly-lit speakeasy-style hangout is popular with Dubai’s cool kids and edgy crowd, who pile in on evenings and weekends for eclectic global sounds and breezy beverages like sake, ice-cold beer and creative cocktails. Interiors are refreshingly un-Dubai, reminiscent of the cocktail bars and clubs of London or New York City, and guests are encouraged to come as they are and enjoy dancing until 3 am.
Pullman Dubai Downtown; honeycombhifi.com, @honeycombhifi
As the name suggests, the Bulgari Bar is one of Dubai’s most elegant and upscale cocktail bars, located at the ultra-luxury Bulgari Resort Dubai on its own island. A highly experienced Italian team helms the sultry, oval-shaped bar, and as a result, transports guests to the likes of Milan or Rome (albeit for its floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Arabian Gulf). The bar snuck onto the World’s 50 Best Bars list for the first time in 2022 (previously reaching the top 100), thanks to its stylish setting – custom-made chandeliers hung in the shape of the Bulgari logo and black Portoro marble -, impeccable service, unexpected and creative cocktail list and activations like regular takeovers from fellow World’s 50 Best Bars. Drinks draw inspiration from natural colours and flowers, resulting in serves like the fragrant Purple Sky (using butterfly tea-infused vodka) and Clear Espresso Martini.
Bulgari Resort Dubai Jumeira Bay Island; bulgarihotels.com
For a casual few with the potential to escalate into, well, not a few, head to Miss Lily’s, the lively, Caribbean-inspired bar tucked away in the Sheraton Grand Hotel. This is arguably one of the most fun bars in Dubai, the first international outpost of the famed New York City hangout (where it’s known for its A-list clientele) and decked out with Neon signage, a disco ball and fun, vendor-style bar and is almost constantly shrouded in darkness – setting a mood and atmosphere all day long. Sip on rum cocktails and enjoy dishes like jerk chicken and crispy fish tacos. Come night and the bar turns into a vibrant party where dancing is encouraged.
Sheraton Grand Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road; misslilys.com
CÉ LA VI
Looking for views of the most iconic building in Dubai? Head to the 54th floor of Address Sky View to bar, restaurant and lounge, CÉ LA VI. The Singapore-born hotspot is wildly popular for drinks and dinner thanks to its panoramic views of the Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai, and is a popular date night spot thanks to its Eastern-inspired red and black interiors and smart dress code. The bar itself is located inside the restaurant but right next to open floor-to-ceiling windows so drinkers can make the most of its famous views.
Address Sky View; celavi.com
As one would expect from the Burj Al Arab’s rooftop cocktail bar, Gilt is decadent and over the top. The ‘seven-star’ hotel bar is perfect for visitors to the city, special occasions, or even a well-deserved treat night, transporting guests into an ultra gold-dipped world. Visiting the gold-leaf-covered bar is a great way to sneak peek into one of the city’s most iconic hotels and enjoy beautiful views across the Arabian Gulf and cocktails that, unsurprisingly, heavily feature gold.
Burj Al Arab; jumeirah.com
Sola Jazz Lounge
Sola, Raffles The Palm Dubai’s sultry cavernous cocktail bar, is one of Dubai’s best-kept secrets. A stark contrast to the opulence of the pastel-pink baroque hotel, Sola is cosy, dark and intimate. The cocktail bar-cum-jazz bar serves Mediter-Asian finger food and killer cocktails from its central bar – where guests are encouraged to hang out – and to the intimate booths peppered across the space. There’s live jazz five nights a week from visiting artists, bands and rising stars, with a live DJ keeping the vibe up between sets. Other nights play host to activations such as comedy sets and topical events. A daily menu available from 5-9pm also offers a host of items for just AED38 including cocktails and bites to get your evening started.
Raffles The Palm Dubai; raffles.com
Barfly by Buddha Bar
While the Palm West Beach development is not short of beach clubs and bars, what it’s been distinctly missing is a great rooftop bar, the perfect spot to enjoy a great cocktail with some of the city’s best views. Barfly by Buddha Bar does exactly that – the trendiest f&b outpost to have opened at the new Hilton Dubai Palm Jumeirah and offering a sweeping terrace with skyline and ocean views and a cool and moody-lit lounge. The bar serves the creative cocktails the Buddha Bar brand is known for worldwide (outposts include Monaco, London and Manila) along with its signature Pan-Asian cuisine. Interiors take inspiration from the original Barfly conceptualised in Paris in 1995 – and include quirky sculptures and neo-baroque designs with lots of nature-inspired motifs and touches of gold, and a line-up of global DJs creates a sultry vibe.
Hilton Dubai Palm Jumeirah, Palm West Beach; @barflybybuddhabar
Regarded as one of Dubai’s best sundowner spots, Jetty Lounge offers an elevated beachfront bar experience overlooking the Palm Jumeirah and Arabian Gulf. As One&Only Royal Mirage’s elegant waterfront venue, guests can expect beautiful sea views, impeccable service, and a great menu of aperitifs and bites. Cosy up in a booth or on the plush white sofas and wait for the sun to begin setting beneath the waves for the ultimate experience.
One&Only Royal Mirage; oneandonlyresorts.com
Known across the city as one of Dubai’s best restaurants, Coya isn’t just about the food (though its Peruvian cuisine is impeccably executed). It’s also one of the best bars in Dubai and a fabulous spot to enjoy a nightcap or pre-dinner drink, getting familiar with the country’s national spirit in the colourful Pisco Bar, inspired by the oldest bars in the Peruvian capital of Lima and serving Pisco cocktails using the brand’s own Pisco and the iconic Pisco Sour. Resident DJs every evening and weekly events ensure the bar always has an insatiable atmosphere.
Four Seasons Restaurant Village; coyarestaurant.com
One of the best bars in Dubai for sundowners is NOÉPE, a Cape Cod-meets-Mykonos-inspired bar, lounge and all-day brasserie at the Park Hyatt Dubai. Overlooking a harbour filled with bobbing boats, Noepe transports you to a whitewashed shore thousands of miles from Dubai, particularly with its refreshing wine and cocktail list. Come Monday to Thursday between 4 and 6pm to enjoy happy hour with selected beverages for AED35.
Park Hyatt Dubai, Dubai Creek Golf Club; hyatt.com