Whisky is every where, so when you’re in one of the richest cities in the world, why not look for a classy place to rest your feet and enjoy your favourite drams.
Nippon Bottle Club
People probably walk past the entrance to Nippon Bottle Company everyday without ever realising it. Like many speakeasies that have gone before it, Nippon is hidden behind a bookshelf in the DusitThani Hotel lobby. If that isn’t enough to intrigue you, then the vast collection of Japanese Whisky and Beers behind the bookshelf just might.
This is the first speakeasy of its type in Dubai and is riffing off the rise in secret and exclusive bars that have risen in cities like New York and London recently. It has a distinctly Japanese feel to it and seeks to recreate the popular dive bars one would find around Tokyo, filled with yellow light bulbs and monochrome wall coverings. The bar itself has a host of Japanese Whisky and Beer on offer.
From well know brands to slightly more obscure labels, this the place to go if you want an exclusive atmosphere and the opportunity to try something new.
Bab al Shams
Bab al Shams is literally an oasis in the very heart of the Dubai desert and shimmers against the sandy dunes. It is styled like an Arabic fort that stands outs against the sloping dunes and presents a cooling and welcoming presence. As you approach you get the full effect of the sandstone walls rising out of the ground and commanding the dusty desert around it.
The décor gives you the full, luxury Arabic experience and is exotic and glamorous. It takes you away from the dusty streets and markets but has that aesthetic feel of an authentic Arabic settlement. The hotel offers some amazing dining and bar experiences as well, beginning with the Al Sarab Rooftop Lounge where you are immersed in beautiful traditional aesthetics.
Next is the Al Shurouq rooftop bar that gives you the chance to truly appreciate your desert surroundings. Finally, we have the YaHala Bar in the Hotel lobby. This bar captures the Arabic experience in full, with majilis seating and traditional décor.
Most people imagine a vault to be locked deep under ground and filled with treasures. Only one of those impressions is true of the Vault bar. Rather than being locked under ground, The Vault is perched on the 71st and 72nd floors of the Marquis Building. It is however packed with treasures in the form of exclusive cocktails and a fascinating menu.
Through the doors that are styled to look like legitimate vault doors, with cogs and wheels to turn, you are welcomed by rich and luxurious surroundings. The menu on offer is also incredible. You can choose from a wide variety of food that covers countless countries. The drinks and cigar menu is even better.
Again, the selection of Wines, Whiskies and Cigars available are global and cover a vast number of countries.
They offer amazing twists on old classics, such as the High-Rise Martini, as well as some exclusive concoctions of their own creation, including the Deposit Box, which must be tried to be believed.
Found in the Hyatt regency Hotel this is a refined and comfortable bar that looks out over the astounding Arabian Gulf. It offers a nice contrast to the dry desert on the other side of Dubai. Filled with sofas and lounge chairs, this is the perfect place to sit back and enjoy your drink without worrying what’s going on outside the Bar’s walls. The room is open and bright, with lots of light pouring in during the day and the sea crashing beside it at night. The menu offers some excellent bar food for you to enjoy alongside your drinks. The drinks menu itself is extensive and covers all its bases. If you’re looking for variety and a nice atmosphere, then The Bar is a must.
Looking out of The Address Hotel onto such spectacular sights as the BurjKhalifa and The Dubai Fountain, the Cigar Lounge is a wonderful spot that will transport you back to an age of class and romance. The décor is decidedly retro, but with a fantastic modern twist that kicks it right into the 21st century. This captures the long history of the cigars that they sell that peaked at the height of their popularity in the 60s. They have a wide variety of cigars on offer and a cigar sommelier on hand to guide you in your choice. Alongside this they offer a brilliant selection of Whisky that will complement the leathery cigar smoke perfectly. This is a really cool place that will allow you to step back in time while remaining firmly in the modern era.
Found in the Armani Hotel, Ristorante oozes style and sophistication. From the circular booths that line the window to the sleek bar on the opposite wall, this place creates an atmosphere most of us are probably too poor to afford. But in saying that, this restaurant is definitely worth a visit if you get the chance. The food is award winning and is a little bit of Italy in Dubai. The menu is to die for and the drinks on offer are bound to please. If you’re looking for pure style and refinement, Ristorante will fulfil all your needs.
The Al Muntaha Sky View Restaurant and Bar finds its home on the 27th floor of the Burj al Arab Hotel. In Arabic, the name Al Muntaha itself means the top or the ultimate and this restaurant certainly lives up to that name. It gives a wonderful view of Dubai and the surrounding ocean which is perfect at night when all the lights are twinkling. In terms of food, the menu is vast and varied. You will not be stuck for choice at Al Muntaha. In terms of Whisky, it is also amazing. They stock some of the best international Whisky around, including some rare pappy Van Winkle that is definitely worth your attention.
High up on the 24th floor of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel is the Uptown Bar. With spectacular views and an even more spectacular menu you can’t go wrong with a visit here. As Dubai is laid out in front of you, you can’t help but be awed, especially at night, with all the lights glimmering. The décor is suave and sophisticated and makes for a warm and welcoming atmosphere. There is usually some live jazz music to relax you even further. The drinks menu is great and caters to every need, be it cocktails, Champagne or what we’re all really interested in, Whisky.
Girders is a sports bar based in the JA Ocean View Hotel and offers a little taste of home. With a great selection of English food on the menu and a pint to wash it all done, you can’t go wrong with Girders. They even have a Girders Garden, should you want to enjoy your food outside. Don’t be fooled by the sports bar label, this bar has a great atmosphere and is very welcoming. There is a vast Whisky menu and it will certainly have something to suit any taste. It’s also a bit cheaper than the majority of restaurants and bars on this list so if you’re short on cash then this is the bar for you!
Zuma is a bit different from the other bars on the list and has an authentic Japanese theme. From Japanese Whisky to sushi, this bar captures Japan at its finest. The atmosphere is exciting and thrilling, matched by the interior décor and the signature cocktail list. The Sake bar allows you to fully embrace the Japanese spirit and even offers juice cleansers. From the lounge to the bar pumping with music, there is the chance to get up and party or sit down and relax. Zuma was recently voted to be among the world’s top 50 bars and with the vast array of