Take shelter and avoid the downpour at the city’s top bars
While the rain in Spain might fall mainly on the plain, the rain in Dubai is usually takes no prisoners, so you’d be forgiven for seeking shelter the moment an ominous grey cloud starts to form overhead.
Since rain is something of a novelty in this city, there are plenty of cool bars dotted about where you can take shelter, kick back and while away a few hours watching some spectacular rainfall with equally spectacular views.
Here are ten bars you should make a bee-line for the next time it starts to get a bit grizzly.
Looks like we’ve got some weather…
Bidi Bondi One of the Palm’s top spots for a cracking time, whether it’s day or night, Bidi Bondi is a brilliant place to watch it slating it down. If you go at the right time you might also be treated to the sight of daring beachgoers trying to leg it inside in a panic. With a great selection of drinks and sport almost constantly on loop, we can’t think of many better ways to sit it out for a few hours. Open daily 10am-midnight. Shoreline Apartments, Palm Jumeirah (04 427 0515).
D&A One of the city’s longest serving pubs, D&A at Jumeirah Beach Hotel has these huge windows that, on a nice day, offer some pretty special views at sunset in the shadow of the Burj Al Arab. When it’s raining, you’re in for an equally spectacular sight, just for completely different reasons. Grab a drink and while away the storm in this comfy, cosy, long-standing Dubai institution. Open daily noon-2am. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
Karma Kafé Head to Souk Al Bahar for a view of The Dubai Fountain while it’s raining cats and dogs and get two water shows for the price of one. Take a seat on the sheltered terrace area at this trendy bar and enjoy cracking views of the downpour plus a neck-cricking view of the Burj Khalifa. Open Sun-Thu 3pm-2am, Fri-Sat noon-2am. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 423 0909).
Pierchic Okay, it’s not necessarily a bar as such, but this restaurant at Al Qasr is guaranteed to offer you one of the most stunning, protected views of the rain that you’re going to find in Dubai. Grab a table for some food or a few drinks next to the enormous bay windows that just so happen to overlook the Burj Al Arab and Arabian Gulf. Perfection. Open Sat-Thu 12.30pm-3pm, 6pm-11pm; Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 6.30pm-11pm. Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 366 6705).
Sun& This long-standing Palm Jumeirah spot has a lovely view out to the mini marina area outside and accompanying villas – and while there are spots with more grandiose skyline views, this place might just be one of the cosier hidey-holes you’ll find while it’s slating it down. Open Sun-Thu 4pm-midnight, Fri-Sat noon-midnight. Palm Views West, Palm Jumeirah (04 375 9333).
The Agency Head to Time Out Dubai’s Grape Bar of the Year during the next downpour and you’ll be treated to an al fresco experience where, should you dare go near the rain, you should be suitably covered by the massive awnings hanging on the outside terrace*.
*We hereby deny responsibility for any splashings that may occur, but it’s well worth the view. Open Sat-Wed noon-1am, Thu noon-2am, Fri 4pm-2am. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 366 5845).
The Tap House Another entry on the Palm Jumeirah has huge bay windows if you’re sitting inside (much like its few-doors-down neighbour Breeze Beach Grill) at this Club Vista Mare spot. Equally, if you want to smell the rain too, take a seat in the outdoors area under its built-in shelter. Open Sat-Wed noon-1am, Thu-Fri noon-2am. Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah (04 514 3778).
The Observatory One of the city’s top spots to take your touristy visitors, this longstanding Dubai Marina haunt is appropriately named owing to its spectacular views across the city. With rain hammering down on its massive windows, there are many worse places to hide away from the storm. Open daily noon-1am. Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites, Dubai Marina (04 319 4795).
W Lounge In Al Habtoor City, next door to La Perle, you’ll find the super trendy W Hotel, upon the 30th floor of which you’ll find the aptly named W Lounge. It’s stylish, it’s cool, and it has pretty mega views out over Dubai Water Canal and beyond. Pull up a seat at the window and watch the world go by as it absolutely pelts it down. Open Sun 8am-midnight; Mon-Wed 8am-2am; Thu-Fri 8am-3am; Sat 8am-2am. W Hotel Dubai, Al Habtoor City, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 435 5577).
Zero Gravity While our Beach Club of the Year is known for its massive pool, private beach and fun-loving outdoors play area, it’s easy to forget that you enter Zero Gravity through a pretty swanky indoors area, which has huge bay windows facing out across its playground and out to sea. Open Sun-Mon 9am-3am; Tue 10am-3.30am;Wed 9am-3am; Thu 10am-3.30am; Fri-Sat 10am-3am. Skydive Dubai Drop Zone, Dubai Marina (04 399 0009).