Dubai’s best-kept secrets are finally out.
What started during the ‘Prohibition Era’ has gone on to become a modern-day refined concept today.
After taking over basements, warehouses and other hidden spaces in the 1920s in New York, speakeasy bars became a hallmark for niche cocktails and delectable delights.
To champion this undying spirit, Dubai has opened a plethora of speakeasies that add a hint of mystery from the moment you enter.
So, if you’re up for a little prohibition-style secrecy, is here to help with all the underground bars that are worth a visit.
Smoke & Mirrors
For an experimental new twist, the destination bar comes with an extensive menu of niche drinks and contemporary Art Deco design, that’s curated to impress. With Cuban-inspired cocktails complemented by dark wood panelled walls and shelves, this bar is tucked away on the hotel’s 74th floor bringing a South-American touch to the heart of Dubai. Located at SLS Dubai, the bar is open daily from 6pm and 3am and comes to life with its plush interiors.
La Cantine du Faubourg, located in Emirates Towers, is one of the staple restaurants in Dubai and has been on the emirate’s dining scene for over a decade. But, did you know it’s now got a secret venue hidden within its walls? Enter Gohan, the Japanese restaurant concept by the team at La Cantine. This intimate space can seat 30 diners at a time with the DJ spinning to some of the most eclectic tunes all night. “The main guideline when it comes to Gohan was to get as close as the authentic Japanese food with a twist of modernity and street food”, Chef Gilles Bosquet told in an interview. It’s open from Monday to Friday 12pm to 4pm and for dinner from 7pm to 2am daily.
Tucked inside the new bustling fine-dining haven of Basko, an antique staircase leads to this eclectic space that’s designed to make any night feel young no matter what day of the week. This underground bar has brought back an era reminiscent of glitz, glamour and galore. Dating back to the 1960s, this retro-fueled bar features a library of over 200 vintage records, featuring hits from Queen to David Bowie, with the DJ spinning to tunes that are sure to impress all those who enter. Located at Opus by Omniyat designed by Zaha Hadid in Business Bay, this new sophisticated venue is one to add to your must-try list.
Behind the Yellow Doors
With a strict no-flash photography policy, the hidden venue allows guests to witness unobstructed views of Dubai’s skyline. For the ultimate late-night experience, this new speakeasy has a list of unending events throughout the week with a diverse mix of high-energy progressive house hits delivered with the backdrop of the glittering Burj Khalifa. To find it guests need to search for an unassuming entrance that leads into a classic interior space that’s executed through a modern lens. Located at Weslodge Saloon on the 68th Floor at JW Marriott Marquis Business Bay, this venue is open on Friday and Saturday from 11 pm to 3am and on Sunday from 10pm to 3am.
This urban escape takes cues from a New York-inspired speakeasy with its wooden surfaces and vintage lighting. If you’re looking to wind down in solitude for the evening, reconnect with friends, or go on date night with your partner there are enough seating options in this dimly lit space surrounded by brick walls. From Gillard oysters to exquisite ingredients like beluga caviar, this luxe space at Hyde Hotel in Business Bat is open from 4pm to 1am.
Off The Wall
This sleek offbeat bar located at Hotel Indigo in Dubai pushes the boundaries with its unique storytelling experience from the art-laden walls to the signature drinks which offer a fresh take on cocktails as it’s curated with unusual ingredients. It’s open from Sunday to Wednesday 6 pm to 2am and Thursday to Saturday from 6pm to 3am, with Mondays closed and expert mixologists who are ready to give you a completely off-the-wall experience.
Nyx at Gaia
For that ultimate after-dinner soirée, this underground nightclub located at Greek haven Gaia, makes for the perfect way to end your night, as it’s previously welcomed several A-listers from around the globe such as 50 cent, Rita Ora and even A$AP Rocky to enjoy this one-of-a-kind experience in the heart of Dubai. From hand-crafted cocktails to a night of nostalgia, this venue is surely one to visit as it’s located in the heart of DIFC.
By transporting you straight to the 1920s this surreptitious speakeasy bar located at Paramount hotel is most definitely one to visit. With soulful hits and that take guests to a vintage era back in time, the bar offers handcrafted cocktails to relish with live gripping performances. It’s open daily from 6pm to 2am.
To go back in time, Shanghai Me welcomes guests to a world of decadence and glamour with an exclusive 1930s-era experience. With royalty and eclectic energy, visitors can experience rich traditions that lie hidden behind closed doors. Accompanied by a team of expert mixologists, Bund Lounge is open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening from 10pm to 3am and serves an array of alluring libations, including classic and contemporary signature cocktails and tailor-made concoctions to entice every palate. With an endless evening of enigmatic wanderlust, this restaurant is located in Gate Village 11, DIFC.
Hidden in one of DIFC’s most popular new venues, Alaya, this speakeasy is designed for guests to experience a night like no other. With Middle Eastern nostalgia at the forefront, this sophisticated venue promises a one-of-a-kind affair, through upbeat harmony and otherworldly tunes influenced by the region and beyond. The modern Art Deco bar comes to life with its radiating lights and the grand Bedouin-inspired ceiling, offering a lavish immersion into the region’s culture with its richly decorated embroidery, textures, and colours. LY-LA is now open for reservations daily from 10pm until late and is located in Gate Village 4.
The Unlucky Cat
From delicious cocktails to mixed beverages, this Asian speakeasy welcomes guests in a dimly lit space, with numerous offers and tasty nibbles, positioned right at the entrance of Miss Tess. It’s located at Taj Dubai, and is open from 6pm to 2am, with reservations not required, so definitely pay a visit as you’re guaranteed a relaxing time.
The Green Room
For an underground experience, Soho Garden Palm Jumeirah has now launched a new secret space. With vibrant entertainment and eclectic music all night long, guests can enjoy the glamour of a bygone era in an alluring setting. The venue offers the perfect amalgamation of Asian-inspired dishes, private booths and lush green velvet armchairs, making it a must-visit. Every Friday and Saturday, guests can experience burlesque-themed dinner shows with dancers showcasing their talent through a series of jaw-dropping performances. This hidden space is open daily from 7 pm until late.
The Other Side
As the ultimate post-dinner spot, this oriental island bar brings Tokyo to the heart of Dubai in a tasteful manner. A team of expert mixologists will be on-hand to guide you through the extensive cocktail menu, accompanies by a range of tastefully prepared dishes. Located in St. Regis Dubai on the 23rd floor, this speakeasy bar is open on Saturdays from 11pm to 4am.
With more than just a private dining area, the bar has a host of signature celestial-inspired cocktails that are handcrafted especially for all those who visit. By transporting guests to Greece, this luxe concept encapsulates the same feeling when guests start at the Aegean Sea at night-time. With shimmering stars and an organic design process, this intimate space has been designed into a magical experience for guests to experience. Located at Avli by Tashas, this bar was born to provide visitors with a stellar journey.