Can You Keep a Secret? These Are the Best Speakeasy Venues in Dubai | Savoir Flair
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Can You Keep a Secret? These Are the Best Speakeasy Venues in Dubai
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by Savoir Flair 5-minute read March 18, 2024

Because the thrill of finding a secret door makes everything twice as fun.

Remember those speakeasies from the 1920s Prohibition era in the USA? Yes, those secretive spots where mystery mingled with mischief, and the whole appeal was about being exclusively in the loop.

Fast-track to today, and our ever-glamorous Dubai has winked at this vintage trend, and trust us, it’s done so with impeccable style. In a city that doesn’t hold back, these speakeasies aren’t just another notch on Dubai’s luxury belt. They’re experiences, each one distinct and dripping with tales ranging from whispered legends to modern-day musings. It’s less about just locating that elusive entrance and more about the saga that awaits behind it.

Can you keep a secret? Scroll down for our hand-picked list of Dubai’s best-hidden havens. Sure, each has its quirks, but we bet they’ll leave an impression that lasts way longer than your Insta story.

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7 Tales

Ever had your senses skyrocket on the 44th floor? That’s 7 Tales for you, flaunting a spectacular view of Dubai Marina’s skyline. Now, while the usual speakeasy might lure you into a dimly lit corner, 7 Tales isn’t playing that game. Think wide-open spaces lit by floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s a 1960s Tokyo vibe, paired with tipples that someone’s spent way too much time perfecting. With Chef Jason Atherton at the helm, expect culinary creations that elevate every dining experience. And as for the tunes? Let’s just say the DJ lineup keeps things energized. Forget what you know about speakeasies. 7 Tales is where the party’s at — all while keeping it classy.

Aether

Aether is an experience that nods to the high-brow, yet utterly cool, concept of the universe’s most elusive element. This place is where the vibe is as refined as the ancient idea of aether itself, believed to be the divine essence floating above our mundane world, connecting the four classic elements. This speakeasy is like that rare, perfect playlist that seamlessly blends genres — here, it’s air, water, earth, and fire taking the spotlight in both ambiance and drinks. Stepping into Aether is like discovering a secret passage to an elemental paradise, where the entrance coyly merges with the W Dubai - The Palm’s walls, veiled by those oh-so-chic velvet curtains. Inside, it’s a stylish nod to nature’s core elements, each corner of the lounge revealing an elemental secret, reflected in the decor and mood lighting. And let’s talk about the drinks — each creation is a tribute to air, water, earth, or fire. Aether is where the cosmically curious come to play, blending the ancient with the avant-garde, all while luxuriating in an ambiance that’s as divinely pure as the very essence the gods were said to breathe.

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article BEHIND THE YELLOW DOOR

Behind the Yellow Door

While entering Weslodge Saloon’s energetic atmosphere on the 68th floor of JW Marriott Marquis, one might stumble upon a lesser-known gem, provided they’re asking the right questions. On weekends, the cryptic query is, “Where's the yellow door?” The answer leads you through a kitchen maze, ultimately revealing a clandestine nook shielded by — you guessed it — a yellow door. Inside, neon reds evoke classic speakeasy vibes, complemented by commanding views of Downtown Dubai. The decor features a parade of Victorian-style headshots, a nod to Weslodge’s rustic old-world charm. Yet, despite its discreet operations, Behind The Yellow Door piques your curiosity. Interestingly, echoes from its spirited sibling can be heard from the inside, making it feel like the cooler, mysterious cousin everyone secretly wishes to spend time with.

Bund Lounge

If you’re on the prowl for that elusive blend of hush-hush glam and old-world Shanghai allure, cue the fanfare and draw back the curtain — Bund Lounge awaits. This dimly-lit gem inside Shanghai ME exudes a mystique that’s more intoxicating than the drinks. With its understated charm and velvet-covered chairs, it is the epitome of secrecy meets elegance. Walls adorned with black-and-white photos whisper stories of an era gone by. But remember, at Bund, you don’t just show up; you arrive. Slide through that mirrored door, revel in the beats, and – most importantly – act like you’ve always been part of this exclusive circle. Because, at Bund Lounge, you’re not just in the crowd; you are the scene.

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Electric Pawn Shop

Unless you’ve been hiding under a sand dune during the city’s most vibing after-dark moments, the buzz about Electric Pawn Shop has almost certainly pricked up your ears. While it might not slide into the shadows like the original speakeasies, it is unapologetically dishing out underground, counter-culture vibes under a canopy of neon lights. Located right next to the H Hotel, the entrance is a discreet side door that screams “exclusive” without trying too hard. From the get-go, this spot, painted in distinctive colors, made it onto the must-visit list of every in-the-know individual in the city. Its tagline? Think “hedonist, exotic, dystopian counter-culture Asian Mediterranean bar restaurant inspired by the 1970s Chinatown of New York.” In simpler terms, it’s a melting pot of retro, head-bobbing beats and those unmistakable nocturnal feels. It bridges the gap between a hidden oasis and the vibrant pulse of Dubai’s nightlife. Honestly, with its electric, urban aura, it has become that go-to spot everyone wishes they found first.

Flashback Speakeasy Bar & Lounge

So, you think you know speakeasies? Flashback Speakeasy Bar & Lounge is about as 1920s authentic as it gets without a time machine. A seemingly ordinary bookcase hides the way in — but it’s not just any door. We’re talking about that “blink-and-you'll-miss-it” kind of secret. To truly immerse in the theme, slip into your best flapper attire, pearls, and heels. Inside? A vibe that’s dripping with mystery, exclusivity, and all the nostalgia you can handle. As for the soundtrack to your night: think tribute nights, Motown, acoustics, and jazz. Thirsty? Its beverage game is on point, with cleverly crafted classics and some rare finds, all sneakily poured into vintage teacups. It’s a wink to the past, in the best way possible. And for those seeking theatrics, Flashback has just revived a fan-favorite: “A Creepy, Kooky Murder: Curse of Cleopatra’s Amulet.” Perfect for Halloween, this spooky production promises an evening awash with thrills, wit, and spine-tingling entertainment.

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Galaxy Bar

If you’re planning to name-drop at your next social event, here’s a celestial gem for you: Galaxy Bar. Tucked discreetly within the bustling Gate Village at DIFC, entering this place feels like teleporting to a plush corner of the Milky Way, but with better drinks. The ambiance is darker than the void of space, yet, in a brilliant contrast, there is a marble bar glowing brighter than a quasar where all the astral alchemy takes place. Above, the ceiling is adorned with twinkling lights, akin to sipping concoctions beneath a meteor shower. And those drinks? Inspired by interstellar phenomena, they are as enchanting and intricate as constellations. So next time you want to escape Earth’s gravity without leaving Dubai, you know which galaxy to hit up. 

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Gohan

In the exciting world of Dubai’s high-end dining, Gohan is like that enigmatic name you can’t quite catch. Tucked discreetly behind La Cantine du Faubourg’s chic cellar, this place teases the line between a covert speakeasy and a culinary theater. And here’s the thing: once you’ve waddled through that maze and taken a seat at one of those chequerboard tables beneath the wooden pagoda, you’re no longer just a diner. You’re an insider. The aesthetics are a beautiful contradiction — a dash of French sophistication meets the soulful dark wood of Japan. And as for the menu, Gilles Bosquet sprinkles some sort of wizardry on Japanese classics, turning them into gastronomic works of art. Word of advice: don’t skip the barbecued eel and foie gras temari; it’s like a high-five from Tokyo in every bite. Despite its exclusive aura, Gohan is the sort of secret you almost, almost want to spill. So go on, let someone in on it. 

Honeycomb Hi-Fi

Let’s set the record straight (pun very much intended). Think of Honeycomb Hi-Fi as where the vintage groove hangs out with today’s beat. Bathed in moody lighting, global rhythms (from a time you probably wish you lived through) serenade you, all thanks to that high-end Ojas sound system. Those weekly DJ sets? They're less “events” and more “you probably should’ve been there” moments. Speaking of events, there’s always something cool happening here — from vinyl listening sessions to immersive art installations. Trust us, it’s the kind of place where #FOMO becomes real. While your ears are getting a treat, your eyes can feast on ever-changing art displays. In a city brimming with culinary talent, Chef Matt Abergel’s take on classic izakaya dishes stands out, making the food here truly unparalleled. And for the old souls, there’s a corner just for vinyl records and books, tipping its hat to the golden days of analog.

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Hudson Tavern

If you’re on the hunt in Dubai for an authentic speakeasy vibe sans the overdone glitz, your compass might just point to Hudson Tavern in the heart of Business Bay. Your way in? That unassuming black telephone letting you know you're in the right spot. Located inside the Hyde Hotel, this spot mirrors the secretive bars of New York, without the excessive flair. Enter, and you might feel you’ve been pulled into a classic noir film — moody lighting, plush green furnishings, with gold Art Deco touches whispering of days gone by. While Hudson Tavern proudly showcases its mixological prowess (brace yourself for a drink transformation), it’s the down-to-earth, hearty meals that anchor the experience. Picture savoring a mouthwatering burger smothered in gooey, melted cheese, paired with an international craft brew. The ambiance is cozy, genuine, and delightfully unpretentious. In essence, it's a haven where stories flow as smoothly as the drinks and every bite is a comforting reminder of authentic flavors, minus any trace of artificial glimmer.

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Suave

Gather your beautiful squad and make sure those camera filters are on point because a night at Suave is about to make your feed jealous. Tucked away above the chic Mediterranean restaurant Basko, Suave is not your ordinary hangout; it's a trip (quite literally). As you ascend its psychedelic mirrored spiral staircase, you’re entering a parallel universe where the 1960s never ended. Think plush suede, dashing chandeliers, and over 200 vintage records — basically, everything your Mid-Century-loving soul didn’t know it was craving. It doesn’t stop there. While the live DJ sets roll out the beats from jazz to disco, you’ll be sipping on drinks crafted so well that you’ll forget menus ever existed. And just when you think it can’t get any better, the nibbles, straight from Basko’s kitchen, will tantalize your taste buds with flavors so divine that you'll question where they've been all your life. So, if you’re looking for that perfect blend of swank and nostalgia, Suave is your jam. Don’t just take our word for it; see you upstairs!

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Nyx

Ever fantasized about being wrapped up in a velvet-lined, mythologically inspired secret underworld while nibbling on Greek-Mediterranean tapas? (Who hasn’t, right?) Hold onto your Hermès sandals and meet us at Nyx, the insider’s divine speakeasy nestled beneath the chic restaurant, Gaia. First, the basics: It is named after the Greek goddess of the night, so expect your evening to get starry-eyed. But here’s the twist — instead of being just another stereotypical hidden gem, Nyx rocks a supercharged retro vibe with its audacious red-velvet seating and an ever-clashing blue carpet that’s reminiscent of a 1970s disco diva. The walls? Oh, they’re smattered with pink mirrors, making the space look larger than life. Rita Ora, 50 Cent, and A$AP Rocky are just a few of the A-listers who have graced its opulent confines. And if that’s not tempting enough, the beverage game is as legendary as Zeus’ thunderbolt, courtesy of mixologists who craft concoctions reminiscent of ancient Hellenic civilization. A warning, though: with only 60 mortals allowed per night, it is more exclusive than a minotaur’s VIP list. Get in, groove out, and whatever you do — keep it hushed.

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