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Leisure and Entertainment

Dubai - Leisure and Entertainment

Dubai has a very diverse and lively entertainment scene, with many bars, restaurants, clubs and cinemas catering particularly for the large expatriate population. Due to the strict licensing laws, many venues serving alcohol are located in hotels, but there are particular areas of the city with significant numbers of independent establishments such as Wafi City and the Irish Village in Garhoud. Music and dancing in bars and clubs is not allowed during the month of Ramadan.

Dubai offers a particularly good standard of world-class entertainment, being on the international circuit for many theatre and dance groups, rock bands, singers, comedians and other entertainers.

Some of the most popular nightclubs and bars in Dubai include Trilogy, Leftbank, The Agency at the Emirates Towers Hotel, Barasti Bar at the Dubai International Marine Club in Umm Sugeim, the Blue Bar at the Dubai International Convention Centre on Sheik Zayed Road, and Seville's at the Pyramids, Wafi City. There are numerous other western and Arabic-style clubs throughout the city, with one of the most popular entertainment areas being Madinat Jumeirah at Jumeirah Beach.

Dubai also has a number of cinemas, which shown the latest Hollywood blockbusters as well as popular Bollywood and Arabic films. Films are subject to government censorship.

A very large number of sports and leisure clubs and other social groups have also developed within the expatriate community. Among the many sports available include golf, soccer, rugby, horse-racing, polo, ice-hockey, ice-skating, shooting, tennis, cycling, and netball. Many expatriates join the leisure clubs of hotels or beach resorts in order to be able to use their private facilities.

Golf is a particularly popular pursuit here. The city has several championship-standard golf courses and hosts the annual Dubai Desert Classic. Camel racing and horse racing are very popular spectator sports during winter, and the Dubai Racing Club is host to the famous Dubai World Cup.

A short drive away from the city centre brings you either to the coast, where watersports, diving and sailing are very popular, or to the desert, where many expatriates enjoy off-road driving, camping and sand-skiing in their leisure time.

Dubai's many restaurants providing cuisine from around the world, including Arabic, Indian, Chinese, European and American. Local seafood is particularly popular. The highest standards of dining are available in the city, with a number of hotels having recruited famous international chefs. Most of the international fast food chains and theme restaurants can be also be found in Dubai.

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Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.