Where to wind down after a long day…
DIFC may be the beating heart of Dubai’s finance and legal sectors, but it’s also home to some of the city’s top restaurants and bars. When the end of the working day rolls around and it’s time to unwind – or prime yourself for the night ahead – hightail it to one of our favourite places for after-work drinks and snacks in DIFC.
Step out of the urban jungle and into the real one at DIFC’s Amazonico. This three-floor space is a renowned hotspot on the financial centre circuit, with the ground floor dedicated to a lounge area, second floor a more formal restaurant, and the rooftop is all about the beverages. Clock off at 5pm and head to this verdant rooftop bar to catch the sunset and sip fruity serves.
Amazonico, The Pavilion, DIFC, 12pm to 3am daily. Tel: (0)4 571 3999, amazonicorestaurant.com
Roberto’s has added a new lounge, ‘Bar Scala’, offering another sleek spot for a mid-week drink. Tucked into the corner of the restaurant, it offers a chic and luxurious vibe with an extensive cocktail menu and a revolving DJ booth that sits above the bar.
Roberto’s, Gate Village 1, DIFC, 12pm to 3am daily. Tel: (0)4 386 0066, robertosrestaurants.com
A multi-storey space that feels like more like stepping into someone’s chic townhouse than a financial centre restaurant, beautiful BB’s is one of DIFC’s more casual watering holes. The cocktail list is one of the most extensive in this part of town, with sections of the mixology menu dedicated to bubbles, BB twists on classics and beverages served up with BB art.
BB Social Dining, Gate Village 8, DIFC, 12pm to 12am weekdays, 12pm to 1am weekends. Tel: (0)4 407 4444, thisisbb.com
The perfect pitstop on your way home from work, or as a tasty little entree to the night ahead, a visit to the bustling bar at Zuma Dubai is always a treat for the senses. The kind of spot with something going on whatever time you go, the big central bar is lined with stools for those that like to watch bartenders in action, or those looking to graze and drink can perch up at one of the lounge tables and enjoy lively DJ sets as they sip Zuma’s signature serves.
Zuma Dubai, Gate Village 6, DIFC, Restaurant 12pm to 3.30pm Mon to Fri lunch, 1.30pm to 4pm Sat lunch, 12pm to 4pm Sun lunch, 7pm to 12am Sun to Weds dinner, 7pm to 1am Thurs to Sat dinner, lounge 12pm to 2am daily. Tel: (0)4 425 5660, zumarestaurant.com
This sultry French-Southeast Asian eatery in DIFC is one of our favourite Dubai date night spots, and an evening in the lounge here is all about perfectly mixed tipples and an excellent soundtrack. For the best vibe, head here for a nightcap, and pick an Indochine martini (Dhs55) with a vodka base and Champagne syrup or the Lulu May (Dhs65) of mezcal, chili and grapefruit cordial and ginger beer.
Indochine, Gate Precinct Building 3, DIFC, 12pm to 1am weekdays, 12pm to 3am weekends. Tel: (04) 208 9333. @indochinedxb
DIFC’s sleek Japanese restaurant Clap has one of the most tempting bar food menus we’ve seen, with a collection of tartares, gyoza, nigiri and sushi rolls. Pair them with Japanese-accented cocktails or a crisp white from the extensive by-the-glass list with a seat at the bar, then stay on into the night and slip into Ongaku, the exclusive late-night music room.
Clap, Gate Village Building 11, DIFC, daily 6pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 569 3820. claprestaurant.com
Botanically-inspired Flair 5 is a lush, leafy spot for an after-work drink. Taking its garden-theme seriously, this outdoor bar isn’t just decorated in florals, its whole menu is inspired by them, with green-thumbed mixologists serving up herb-infused drinks and the culinary team creating floral-inspired sharing menus.
Flair 5, The Ritz-Carlton DIFC, 5pm to 4am daily. Tel: (04) 372 2323. ritzcarlton.com
Happy hour at Boca is a week-long affair, with Dhs38 drinks available at this Spanish hotspot from 4.30pm to 7.30pm, seven days a week. Make a meal of it by ordering a selection of hot and cold tapas from Boca’s new La Taperia concept.
Boca, Gate Village 6, DIFC, happy hour daily, 4.30pm to 7.30pm. Tel: (04) 323 1833. boca.ae
With its leafy terrace, lounge seating and gin trolley, Mina Brasserie is something of an after-work secret. Come for a refreshing cocktail… stay for the linguine burrata.
Mina Brasserie, Gate Village 9, daily noon to 11pm. Tel: (04) 506 0100. minabrasserie.com
Ranking Number 45 on the World’s best bar list in 2022, this venue is internationally renowned for it’s late-night lounge experience and delicious cocktails. The clue is in the name; with the interiors of this venue being out-of-this-world, transporting guests to a celestial ambiance with soft velvet seating, a twinkling ceiling and a marble black bar. With its later opening times, this is a bar to head to when you’re finishing late, or you’ve bar-hopped around a few other DIFC spots first. .
Galaxy Bar, Ground Floor, Gate Village 9, DIFC, Dubai, Tues and Wed 8pm to 3am, Thur to Sat 9pm to 4am, Sun 8pm to 3am, Mon closed, Tel: (0)50 513 5908, galaxy-bar.com