With more than 300 days of sunshine per year, Dubai is a city with perpetual good weather. Dubai’s jaw-dropping architecture, coupled with its picture-perfect weather, makes it the ideal city for some spectacular al fresco drinking. Like the brunch scene in Dubai, the art of drinking al fresco is something of a sport.
There’s a special pleasure that comes from drinking above the clouds. You still feel part of the city but at a distance. It’s a respite from the streets of the concrete jungle just below. Plus, drinks just taste better the more stories you go up.
So what exactly makes a good sky bar? Well, for one, the view you get once you step onto the terraced space. A good rooftop bar should also have a creative and varied menu, as well as unique food pairings and comfortable seating to enjoy it all.
But as Dubai is a city of contrasts, local laws and customs make it illegal to serve alcohol outside of a venue without a liquor licence. This means that non-Muslim residents are required to obtain and carry a Dubai liquor licence to enjoy Dubai’s buzzing nightlife. But don’t let this city licensing law fool you, Dubai is definitely a city that knows how to let its hair down and party.
With that in mind, here are seven of the best open air bars in Dubai, where exquisite cocktails, spectacular views, and unforgettable nights reign supreme.
1. 40 Kong at the H Hotel
Few venues rival the allure of 40 Kong. And fewer still can compete with 40 Kong’s creative cocktail menu and breathtaking views. Exactly 40 floors up, 40 Kong affords its guests a view that encapsulates Dubai’s downtown cityscape, complete with views of the Burj Khalifa.
A casual lounge bar, 40 Kong is the preeminent outdoor cocktail lounge for some of the city’s biggest movers and shakers.
2. Iris at the Oberoi Dubai
Spread over a sizable area, Iris at The Oberoi Dubai builds on the success of its sister venue in Lebanon. Located on the 27th floor, it’s Beirut-inspired décor beautifully harmonizes with the city’s gorgeous skyline.
A rooftop oasis, Iris transforms a night out into an unforgettable experience.
3. Treehouse at Taj Dubai
When you’re in the mood to party, you want it all: the live DJ, a dynamic drink in hand, and of course, the lights of Dubai glittering around you. For such times, there’s the Treehouse.
Having just opened in 2016, Treehouse at the Taj Dubai only sits on the third floor. But don’t let this fool you. An open air fireplace, a DJ flown in from Greece, specialty cocktails, and spectacular views makes you forget you’re not sitting above the clouds.
All this and more makes it a drinking destination not to be missed.
4. Story Rooftop Bar
A story no one can keep to themselves, Story Rooftop Bar in Media City is the perfect hideaway for those looking for something more low-key and relaxed. It’s hipster vibes and laid-back feel makes it the perfect rooftop lounge to turn a few drinks into a late night.
Its combination of good hip-hop nights, bottles of hops, and delicious sharing menu makes it an appealing venue for those looking for something to contradict Dubai’s rather ‘flashy’ nightlife.
5. Bar 44 at Grosvenor House
When friends are in town and they want to see Dubai’s skyline, there’s no better place than Bar 44. Situated on the top floor of the Grosvenor House, Bar 44 offers its guests a stunning range of champagnes, cocktails, and single malts. Not to mention, each drink comes with a side of spectacular views.
Try the Georgia Mint Julep featuring peach infused Courvoisier V.S Cognac with gently pressed mint and caster sugar served over crushed ice in frosted Julep cup.
6. Level 43 Sky Lounge at Four Points by Sheraton
A stylish pool bar by day and swanky open air lounge by night, Level 43 Sky Lounge is the perfect setting for pre-dinner cocktails or luscious sundowners. If the flavor-focused cocktails don’t capture your attention, the panoramic vistas are guaranteed to. Sitting 43 floors high, atop the busy and bustling Sheikh Zayed Road, Level 43 Sky Lounge brushes shoulders with some of the city’s most famous skyscrapers.
There are bars with a view, and then there’s At.mosphere. Your journey begins once you exit the express elevator on level 123. This high up, you get the view; panoramic vistas of Dubai’s most iconic skyscrapers and breathtaking views of the Gulf peninsula.
An exclusive fine dining restaurant and lounge, At.mosphere is set on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa. Its dizzying height is only bested by its world-class food and drink program, featuring old classics and new contemporary favorites. Reservations are recommended, especially if you’re heading up during the weekend.
Whether you’re looking for somewhere sleek and refined or something a little more laid-back, Dubai’s best sky bars gives you front row seats to most enchanting skyline in the Arabian Peninsula. If you’re looking to see Dubai from a different angle, these seven sky bars gives you a taste of the high life.