I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve lived in Dubai for almost nine months but have never been to a nightclub. Of course I’ve been to various bars and late night eateries, but in terms of an actual, real life, ass shaking club: zilch. A combination of being just too danged tired at the weekend and prioritizing my spare time so that hangovers don’t ruin my ability to lie in 40 degree heat the next day have meant that clubs really haven’t been top of my ‘to-do list’ God I’m old.
Anyway, that all changed this weekend. I finally got off my backside and ventured out. And what a night it was.
Here are some rules about nightclubs in Dubai:
1) Don’t arrive before midnight. If you do you’ll not only look overeager and keen, you’ll be the only one in there. The party starts late in Dubai.
2) If you don’t arrive in a couple, at least try to pretend you are in the queue. They don’t take kindly to groups of guys and won’t let you in if that’s how you arrive.
3) Despite this, once in the club, men will outnumber women by about 3 to 1. Bizarre.
4) Wearing sunglasses in the club is NOT pretentious, in fact it is positively encouraged. You won’t look like a txt, honest (!)
So, onto the night. After some very civilized drinks in a local bar we set off for the club. It followed the same principles of clubs the world over – a few different themed rooms which people roam between. The first thing I realized was that I needed to be much, much drunker if I was going to make it through the night, so decided to tackle this issue head on: with neat liquor.
The first room: indie. Is it just me, or has music got really loud in these places? It was all I could do to make the barman understand my bellowing of the word ‘sambuca’.
The second room: ‘urban’. Do not mistake this for hip hop, dear reader. Instead it was a mish mash of the kind of dire rnb that you might hear on any middle of the road radio station. Despite this, I did find myself on the dance floor. When in Rome….
The third room: house. Best left unmentioned. Some VERY dodgy dancing and outfits in here.
The fourth room (although not technically a room, more a huge outdoor ampitheatre type thing): cheesy 80’s pop.
It was at this point that I realised quite how leathered everyone in the club was – and part of the reason why – the Rugby 7’s World Cup had just ended that evening meaning that a large proportion of the revelers had been drinking all day. Judging by the state of them this is not advisable.
Anyway it was all amusing, in fact more than that, one of those rare hysterical nights where you spend most of your time laughing. You know you’ve had a good night when your first memory the morning after is of dancing to Whitney (I am not ashamed of this – and can I just say – there were LOTS of boys dancing too.) It’s not something I’d want to every weekend, but it definitely needs to be repeated.