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Winter is the time to head to the rooftops of Dubai - the ultimate place to catch a sunset over the Gulf or watch the twinkling lights of the big city. Whether you want to dance, chill, eat or admire quirky décor, there’s something for all tastes. Here are some we especially love.
“Eclectic”, “bizarre”, “Alice in Wonderland-ish” – these are just a few of the phrases thrown around about this very original rooftop destination. The name itself is a clever double act, and they don’t mind if you call it Vii, using the symbols as letters, or Seven (Vii/VII is located on the seventh floor of the Conrad Hotel).
The club, too, is a double-act, with an intermezzo. It starts with the entry area, encircled by zebra-themed couches running the length of the walls, all polished timber and sleek lighting fittings.
You then pass through a futuristic tunnel, more exposed wood and mood lighting, and emerge into the real delight – a lush green garden literally hanging off the side of the building.
This comes complete with a huge archway hedge encircling the modern-looking decor, including a golden chandelier hanging from the middle, more quirky furniture, ample space to dance and mingle, plus a great view of the downtown skyline. At the other end there is another lush green wall spotted with gilt-edged mirrors. Make Vii Lounge your after-dinner rendezvous - it stays open until 3am every day.
Seventh floor, Conrad Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road
+971 50 169 6777
Take a breather in the Burj Khalifa’s spectacular backyard. Located on the top floor of the sleek Taj Dubai hotel in Business Bay, the world’s tallest building towers overhead, offering a stunning backdrop and an even more stunning lighting display. The Mediterranean-infused menu, designed by Chef de Cuisine Aabhas Mehrotra, offers light tasty treats while the drinks menu is also wide-ranging. The Renaissance-style décor is unique (note the randomly placed fireplace). The Treehouse has recently undergone an upgrade with the opening of a new greenhouse, making it a leafy oasis in the middle of an ever busier city.
Third floor, Taj Dubai, Burj Khalifa Street, Business Bay
+971 4 438 3100
With a casual, contemporary vibe, the Luna Sky Bar is another venue making the most of a superb location. From this rooftop at the Four Seasons Hotel in DIFC, you can take in captivating vistas of Dubai’s financial district, the Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai. There are two seating options: inside or out on the terrace. The food menu is short but well selected with a Japanese and South American feel - we love the black mint and soy marinated chicken with lime. Simple, stylish with a real DIFC edge, this hotspot is perfect for a pre- or post-dinner catch-up and also offers an in-house DJ, who keeps the volume at a level allowing conversation.
Eighth floor, Four Seasons DIFC, Building 9, Gate Village
+971 4 506 0000
For a rooftop with a twist, head to The Urban Garden at Time Oak hotel. Launched by organic food guru Laura Allais-Mare, as part of the Slow Food Dubai initiative, the Garden on the rooftop of the Time Oak Hotel and Suites in Barsha Heights is Dubai’s only volunteer-run organic garden. Located on the pool terrace of the four star hotel, the garden produces fruit, vegetables and herbs grown in organic compost and fertilisers. The first heirloom seeds were planted last year and since then a small army of volunteers has toiled away to prove that organic food can be grown and farmed sustainably in the heart of a city, even one as modern as Dubai. Birds and bees are attracted to the thriving edible oasis. More than 50 types of fruits, herbs and vegetables are being grown. All produce is used locally, fulfilling Slow Food’s goal of recognising the link between “people, plate and planet”.
Time Oak Hotel & Suites, Barsha Heights (formerly Tecom)
+971 4 437 7888