Partying in Dubai is in a level of partying which I have never seen before. So further to my short experience as party goer here I will try to narrow down the key points which should serve as advice to any naïve European coming to Dubai.
1. In Dubai the clothes in your closet will probably not be sophisticated enough. Since coming here every time I go out I need to do a quick run to the mall to buy something to wear. I think the sales assistants already know me since I show up there every weekend. To be honest they’ve had time to know my face as I always spend at least 45 minutes in each store. Don’t judge me, the dilemma “if I look too casual they might not let me in vs if I look too sexy I might be approached by weirdos” is not an easy one so it takes time to decide. I miss those days where I could dance all night and own the dance floor in jeans and flats (Limbo anyone?). Truth be told my performance is much better if my body can move freely.
2. In Dubai, if you’re not wearing heels, you might be judged by bouncers and promoters and not let in the club. A friend and I were blocked by a bouncer for wearing flat shoes. Luckily the promoter who was at the door decided that my shoes were “smart” and let me in. It took a lot of arguing and begging to convince the promoter to let our friend in with us. Why do we need heels? Is the club less classy if not every woman is wearing heels? Will less men choose this club – and hence buy less bottles – if they know girls in flat shoes will be there?! What can possibly be the reason for this ridiculous silent rule? This is one that I have a hard time accepting, especially because I almost don’t wear heels anymore so I had to find a way around it. Since that day I only wear short clothes when going out this way if anyone challenges me not wearing heels I’ll just show my knee scars and politely say “you were saying?” Curiously enough, since then, I was let in in any club I went with no comments.
3. In this city, you will drink. A lot. And for free. You will probably have more alcohol here than you ever had. This I’m afraid, cannot be prevented. If you are out in a bar or club the chances that a friend or colleague offers you a drink, just for the sake of offering you a drink, are very very high and in that case, how do you say no? Dubai is the city of the nightclubs with no dancefloor. Why? Because the tables are most important. People who are dancing are not drinking. People who are not drinking are not spending money. Vodka and champagne – Dom Perignon s’il vous plaît – are sold like Super Bocks in a summer night in Porto (for those who didn’t get the reference, it means a lot). Competitions amongst guests take place to see who is spending the most on booze. Every Tuesday (or some other day) bars and clubs in the city organize Ladies night with free drinks to attract women. Or men? I’ll let you choose your answer.
4. In Dubai, where all the clubs close at 3h in the morning, if you go out you might end up at some random guy’s – always guys, girls don’t host after parties, we’re guests – after party in his 70th floor penthouse (or hotel apartment or amazing villa with private basement club, you pick). Note that in said penthouse you can dance barefoot, have pizza or chicken wings at 6h and admire the beautiful sunrise from the (probably) huge terrace. I love after parties, especially for the food that I can’t ever refuse when my stomach is clearly begging for it. And maybe for the sunrises. Yes for the beautiful sunrises. But mostly for the food.
5. Dubai attracts celebrities. Well, Dubai clubs bring celebrities to attract people who buy bottles. First it was 50 Cent. I saw him when he came to Dubai to perform at the opening of a club. By saw him I don’t mean I was inside the club and saw him perform In da Club. No. I was outside the club *no pun intended*. Since the place was packed, no one else was getting in (well except if you were a millionaire, or knew one, in that case you might have had a chance to get in). I was outside the club, in groupie mode waiting for his arrival and I did get a glimpse of 50 Cent. Inside his car. With tinted windows… How do I know it was him? Because he looked at me. Well, in my direction which is the same. So my story is that I saw him and he saw me. Period.
Next it was Bebe Rexha. Who you ask? In the name of looove… In the name of looove… If that doesn’t ring a bell then I suggest you get out of your cave.
Finally, Nelly… Oh Nelly… I loved seeing him singing Hot in here. Well, more like performing since he was not singing much. Not that I minded… But I could have watched a whole concert of Nelly not singing and that would have been fine by me, completely fine…
Lil Jon was here on Friday. Lil Jon is no Nelly so I of course I was not interested in seeing him… Can Ne-Yo be next please?
Unfortunately, with the summer coming, clubs are bidding farewell for summer break – with massive goodbye parties of course – and will only be back when the heat months are over. At least it gives me time to prepare my wardrobe for the next party season!