The rise of Dubai’s variety clubs
Beirut’s infamous MusicHall club concept launched in Dubai in January, offering fine dining and refined elegance alongside the Middle East’s most talented musicians.
With the worldwide success of raunchy variety/supper clubs such as London’s The Box, Dubai’s new wave of club owners are quickly cashing in on decadent late night fun.
The Act – the latest brainchild of Simon Hammerstein, owner of The Box in London and The Act in Las Vegas – will open on 28 March at the Shangri-La Dubai hotel, claiming the title of the highest theatre in the world (located on the 42nd and 43rd floors). It is presumed that Hammerstein will curtail the more burlesque side of the shows, but Dubai can expect international musical stars as well as contortionists, burlesque dancers and cabaret artists – and plenty of celebrities keen to be entertained.
But it’s not all about importing European brands. Beirut’s infamous MusicHall club concept launched at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray in January, offering fine dining and high-end bar snacks, intimate tables and refined elegance, along with the Middle East’s most talented musicians and dancers. Expect everything from incredible violinists to famous Lebanese singers.
So where does this leave the city’s nightlife? After a few years of drowning in house clubs and bar/lounge concepts, perhaps there will be a little variety in town after all.
Booking is essential at all three venues, and there is usually a minimum spend per table.
Georgina Wilson-Powell is the Dubai Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes the hotel review blog sogoodtogetoutofthecity.wordpress.com.