As the guy opened the huge door, that striking silence of the hotel lobby was immediately crushed into pieces. We got overwhelmed by the noise of a band playing inside – they said it was Bulgarian… People laughing, drinking, speaking loudly and dancing away from one side of the bar to another – mostly Europeans, of all ages. Another step and we got in, slapped by the scent of “fish and chips”, and a heavy flavor of draft beer. Yes, it was one of those typical English pubs.
Dubai offers a variety of English and Irish brands of pubs which is understandable having in mind that the first colonists here were actually British and that a huge population of them still live and work in UAE. And so, Dubai “has met their needs” and allowed those bars to flourish, soaked in beer and crowded by “embalmed” Westerners, but restricted to special indoor spaces, shut off from the rest of the sober world outside.
If you want something a bit different, it is easy to find a Russian bar with familiar Kalinka beats coming from within, smell of vodka and blue eyes staring at you at the entrance – well, you were supposed to dress accordingly and wear pants and shoes instead of those snickers and shorts… Or you can just go to one of the bars in Souk Madinat Jumeira with live (Arab-Latino) bands, or to some other pubs raving the night away.
And it doesn’t matter if you drink alcohol or not, it is just the thing that grabs your attention – the absurdity of the situation! On one hand, you do respect the fact that it is banned because you are in a Muslim country. But at the same time, so much alcohol is pouring during weekends that you just have to forget where you are… Well, that might have actually been the ultimate intention?