Nightlife in Dubai
Dubai has supercharged the nightlife in the last decade and most international known brands have a sister location in town. Most 3-5 star hotels have bars and nightclubs for those interested in the nightlife. World-class DJs frequent Dubai's nightclubs, and many A-list musical celebrities are adding Dubai to their list of tour dates. There is nothing missing and during the high tides of the party time, the impression of being in Ibiza is not misleading. Most of the night life is geared at the beaches of Jumeirah or the Dubai Marina. Bur Dubai is more family-oriented (e.g. Dubai Fountain), while Deira was able in parts to maintain its more Arabic focussed style. Dubai is very popular with Arabic travellers, so an Arabic blend is added quite often
Dubai has several laws regarding alcohol which travelers should be aware of:
- Alcohol is available only at licensed premises, usually attached to hotels (most nightclubs and bars are in or attached to hotels, though they may have separate entrances).
- Alcohol is not sold on religious holidays. It was not sold during daylight hours in Ramadan, not even to non-Muslims. This law was relaxed in 2016.
- It is illegal to drink alcohol in public places, and there is a zero-tolerance policy on drunk driving. Anyone involved in a collision found with alcohol in their blood will usually get a month's jail sentence and fine.
- Alcohol can be bought only for home consumption at certain outlets in Dubai, and an alcohol license is required. Supermarkets only stock non-alcoholic beers. Even food items containing alcohol are not sold in supermarkets.
- Remember to carry some sort of identification when visiting a bar if you are young, as you will not be let in otherwise. The law prohibits anyone below 21 to enter.
- The authorities take disruptive behavior while intoxicated very seriously, which will lead to jail time or deportation.
- Prostitution is illegal but can be seen in bars. Both parties act illegally, but in rather (in-)famous clubs it can be rather obvious. Keep in mind that most hotels have a strict guest policy.