Secret lounges and bars in Dubai hidden from the crowd

Dubai is known worldwide for its luxurious lifestyle, ultra-modern architecture and never-ending parties. While most bars and clubs in the city are quite popular and attract large crowds every night, there are also many hidden gems that are relatively unknown to most visitors. These secret lounges and bars offer VIP experiences in intimate settings away from the hustle and bustle of the main nightlife destinations.

The Rabbit Hole

One of the most unique concepts for a secret bar globally is The Rabbit Hole located in Dubai’s financial district around Sheikh Zayed Road. True to its name, this speakeasy-style bar can only be accessed through a secret entrance in the back alley of a nondescript commercial building. There are no signs outside to indicate the existence of the bar within.

Upon finding the hidden metal door with a buzzer, you will have to knock or call out to be let inside by the bouncer. The entrance leads down a spiral staircase into themed wonderland setting of the bar where Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat and other characters from Alice in Wonderland come alive. Low lighting, quirky interiors and innovative cocktails help in transporting guests into a whole new world within the bustling city outside.

The drinks menu at The Rabbit Hole has been designed to match the whimsical theme with concoctions named Dodo Bird, Drink Me, Eat Me etc. incorporating unusual flavors and presentations. Cocktail-making also involves theatrical techniques like smoking, caramelizing and foaming which are presented as part of the experience. Live music and DJ performances along with tasty finger food keeps the lively vibe going through the night.

Given its exclusivity and intimate capacity, it’s advisable to book a table in advance through their website or calling the provided numbers. The Rabbit Hole is only open from Thursday to Saturday, starting 9pm till late. Dress code is stylish casual and entrance policy is restrictive to ensure privacy and luxury experience for guests. At approximately AED 200-300 per person including drinks, it’s a place worth splurging for a truly unique night out.

Neos Boutique Lounge

One of the city’s best kept secrets is the Neos Boutique Lounge located above Neos restaurant at the Fairmont Dubai in Sheikh Zayed Road. Accessed through a discreet elevator, this speakeasy-style bar and lounge offers uninterrupted 360-degree views of the Dubai skyline from its lofty perch on the 26th floor.

The sleek interiors of Neos lounge are draped in deep blue lighting creating an ambiance of intimacy and relaxation. Guests can select from over 200 varieties of spirits, champagnes, wines and cocktails carefully curated by expert mixologists. Signature drinks include Neos Spritz, Vietnamese Coffee Martini and Earl Grey Smoked Old Fashioned infused with tea leaves.

Live DJ sets along with occasional appearances from renowned artists keep the parties going through the weekend. What sets Neos apart is its ultra-exclusive VIP policy catering only to a select clientele each night. Only 30-40 guests are allowed entry on reservation and prior approval basis. This ensures privacy and personalized service from doting staff.

Dress code is smart casual with no sports shoes or shorts allowed. Weekday visits are relatively relaxed compared to lively weekends. Ideal for business meetings, dates or celebrations in an ambiance away from the regular high-energy clubs and lounges below. Rates are approximately AED 300-500 per couple including drinks and can be booked through their website.

Cove Beach

Undoubtedly one of Dubai’s most Instagrammable beach clubs during the day, Cove Beach in Palm Jumeirah transforms into a chic bar after sunset. As the purple and blue sky melts into night, fairy lights illuminate the palm tree lined pathways while glowing lanterns float in the turquoise waters. Low couches and hanging chairs placed on the white sand provide the perfect spots for cozy tête-à-têtes with the city skyline sparkling in the distance.

While the atmosphere during the day is vibrant with beach activities, DJ music and crowds partying along the shoreline, Cove Beach takes on a more discreet avatar after dark. Gentler melodies play as patrons sip creative cocktails like Coconut Collins, Salty Kiss made with tequila and salted lime or Sparkling Lychee Martini glistening with real rose petals.

Small pods and cabanas can be booked in advance to guarantee extra privacy. The beach club does not publicly promote its after-hours concept ensuring an exclusive vibe. Dress code is elegant casual and entry is restricted to over 18s only. Prices are around AED 300-500 per couple based on seating and drinks. Ideal for special dates, birthdays or intimate parties soaking in the spectacular city skyline.

Calabar

A speakeasy within a speakeasy sums up Calabar, one of Dubai’s most exclusive hidden bars underneath Torno Subito restaurant inside the Palazzo Versace hotel. Through an unmarked metal door adjacent to the upscale eatery lies a whole new world of decadence and surprises.

Low ceiling, dim lighting and velvet interiors of the narrow passageways lead guests deeper inside what seems like a puzzle. Solving clues and sliding panel doors eventually opens up to the plush speakeasy bar serving innovative cocktails and live jazz. Every corner holds a new discovery with artistic details like a grand piano hidden behind mirror panels.

Calabar’s talented mixologists customize drinks as per patrons’ tastes by blending rare spirits, homemade bitters and freshly made syrups. Signature cocktails include The Grape Ape made with grape-infused gin, Ardbeg Wee Beastie with smoky scotch whipped into a froth and Killer Kiwi slushie. Live instrumental music and small bites like truffle popcorn pair perfectly with the sophisticated vibe.

Given its discreet location inside one of Dubai’s most opulent hotels, attire is smart casual evening wear. Entry is strictly on reservations that can be made online or by phone, allowing max 25 guests each night. Expect to pay around AED 400-600 per person for the multi-sensory experience in one of Dubai’s swankiest hidden gems.

The Underground

Hidden below street level and accessible through a secret door inside the popular Buddha Bar is The Underground – Dubai’s utmost underground dancing den. True to its name, decadent is the word that comes to mind upon entering this dimly lit maze of hedonism located in Grosvenor House in Dubai Marina.

Pulsing techno DJ sets vibrate through the low ceilinged passageways adorned with artistic flourishes like crystal chandeliers, mirrored ceilings and sculptural details. Custom furniture, cozy sofas and private lounging areas provide intimacy amidst the lively dance crowds through the night. Innovation is at its peak with zany concoctions on the drinks menu infused tableside with smoke, fire or bespoke mixes.

The Underground lives up to its tagline of ‘where skies meet underground’ by hosting top international DJs and occasional celebrity appearances. Entry is strictly for ages 21+ and at the bouncer’s discretion based on dress code and guest lists. Open Thursday to Saturday from 11pm, this place attracts Dubai’s party crowd way past sunrise. Expect cover charges around AED 200-300 per person.

Advance bookings are highly recommended through their website or callouts on social media to experience Dubai’s most indulgent after dark playground hidden from the outside world. Discretion and privacy are guaranteed for guests letting loose within these underground vaults.

Coya

One of Dubai’s premium venues located inside the Grosvenor House in Dubai Marina transforms into an exclusive Latin-inspired hideaway after 10pm each night. Transporting guests beyond the popular dinner service, Coya After Dark offers an exquisite late-night experience in privacy and opulence.

Fire pits and dimmed lighting create a sensual vibe against the backdrop of panoramic ocean views. Over 20 specialty cocktails spotlighting mezcals, rums and champagne pair perfectly with live Latin sounds and percussion performances. Couples unwind over shared platters in cosy nooks and lounging sofas as the lively bar scene heats up through the night.

An alluring section called La Mesa houses leather couches and low tables perfect for VIP bottle service. Private booths called Camarote can be booked in advance for discreet celebrations and late-night mingles away from crowds. Dress code is smart casual with no sportswear allowed.

Entry is for ages 21 and above. Cover charges are approximately AED 200-300 per person including 1 complimentary drink. However, bottle packages and premium seating options can range from AED 1000 upwards per table. It’s advisable to book in advance online or through the restaurants number to guarantee your preferred seating and avoid disappointment. Coya transforms the Dubai Marina skyline into a vivid nocturnal playground after dark. https://www.timeoutdubai.com/food-drink/best-speakeasy-in-dubai#:~:text=If%20you’re%20looking%20for%20somewhere%20under%2Dthe%2Dradar,heard%20of%20it%20%E2%80%93%20until%20now.

Leave a Reply