We unearth top spots for an after-office drink in this trendy Dubai district
1 7 Elephants This funky semi-al fresco bar opened to great fanfare in 2017, and has made something of an impact on the DIFC scene. It’s bright and spacious, and there’s a huge sphere-based lighting rig that looks cool. It turns clubby at the end of the week, so Thursday night is probably your best bet if you’re looking for a pumping soirée. Open Sun-Thu noon-2am, Fri-Sat 4pm-2am. Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC (04 354 4354).
2 Bazxar Big wooden benches and an urban vibe with New York-themed art/graffiti across the walls. Head here for some decent grub but stay for the hefty tunes being spun by the DJs. Open Sun-Thu 8am-midnight; Fri-Sat 8am-2am. Gate Precinct Building 4, DIFC (04 355 1111).
3 BOCA This buzzing spot gets super busy late on a Thursday – presumably as the post-work crowd flocks to say goodbye to another five days in the office. There’s a cool outdoor terrace that feels big, bright and airy, and it’s perfectly suited to the cooler climes of spring. You’ll also find a decent daily happy hour from 6pm until 8pm, where selected drinks are available for Dhs35. Open daily noon-2am. Gate Village 5, DIFC (04 323 1833).
4 Flair No.5 This bar has only just opened in DIFC, so head over to a brand-new spot that has been billed as a “majestic urban jungle”. Expect beverages infused with fresh herbs grown in-house, as well as a “build your own” option on the drinks menu. Surely worthy of getting on your list of bars to check out (especially when there are orange blossom s’mores on the food menu). Open daily 5pm-2am. The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC (04 372 2323).
5 INDIE Restaurant & Lounge Indie is a top spot whether you’re after a casual drink, a pumping Thursday night bash or a bite to eat with some live music. It’s industrial, stripped back vibe has been blended with the essence of a lounge bar to create a cool and unique venue. We like it, and you will, too. Open daily 5pm-2am. Gate Village 5, DIFC (055 455 6106).
6 Jekyll & Hyde This English-themed bar tries hard with its quirky décor, with comic book-decorated tables and high leather stools. There’s a good happy hour, offering buy one, get one free on a number of drinks every day from 11am until 8pm, and a pool table to help you while away a few hours. In a district full of swanky, trendy bars, this is a cool and casual hangout that’s popular with the local office workers on a nightly basis. Open daily 8am-2am. Al Fattan Currency House, DIFC (04 343 5518).
7 Luna Sky Bar This is a stylish rooftop lounge with a great terrace – although to guarantee yourself a seat to accompany your view you’re best off booking a table in advance. The indoor area is trendy enough but it’s all about the terrace – fittingly so for a place with “sky bar” in its name. Open daily 5pm-3am. Four Seasons DIFC, Gate Village 9 (04 506 0000).
8 Original Wings & Rings This US-style bar takes sports, food and hospitality seriously. Not content with five, ten or even 15 TV screens, this place has more than 20 whopping great tellies and you’ll be asked upon arrival what you want to watch. If you get a bit peckish then the wings (obviously) are worthy of a gnaw as are some of the other bar snacks (which are mostly fried, such as the onion rings). Drinks prices are fairly reasonable, too, making this a decent spot to take in a game, grab a drink and have a wing or four, without leaving your wallet a cindering mess. Open daily noon-2am. Liberty House, DIFC (04 359 6900).
9 Sass Café In a city full of slick, upmarket club-slash-bars, Sass is one that really pushes the boat out. It might set you back a little, but head here and you’ll be greeted with a red carpet arrival, a sleek, black interior with plenty of shine and sparkle, an array of nights throughout the week, and, fittingly, a lot of sass. If you want a clubby atmosphere without actually having to go to one, Sass is a good in-between. Open Mon 7pm-3am; Tue-Wed 7pm-1am; Thu-Fri 7pm-2am; Sat noon-7pm. Al Fattan Currency House, DIFC (04 352 7722).
10 Zuma Quite possibly one of the swankiest, trendiest, most stylish spots you’ll find in Dubai, let alone in the microcosm of bars and restaurants that is DIFC. Not only will you get a top-class dinner at this establishment (it’s the winner of our Japanese Restaurant of the Year 2018) the bar is worthy of a visit, too. This place oozes class, and you’re bound to find a sophisticated drink either pre- or post- some stunning sushi. Either way, we approve of the swish vibe. Open Sat-Wed 7pm-midnight; Thu-Fri 7pm-1am. Gate Village 6, DIFC (04 425 5660).