Even though I used to live right next to Grosvenor House for two years, it took quite a while, before I first visited Buddha Bar. I guess I assumed Buddha Bar would be too upscale, too fancy-schmancy, too not-my-kind-of-place, but I was so wrong! It’s a wonderful place and now one of my favorite bars in Dubai.
Grosvenor House consist of 2 buildings and the entrance to Buddha Bar is located in the building to the right, after the main lobby entrance. Grosvenor House is one of the nicest buildings in Dubai Marina, so yes, Buddha Bar is upscale, but it doesn’t come with an attitude. In fact I think the bouncers at Buddha Bar might be among the friendliest in Dubai. Of course the nice surroundings require that you dress up. A nice dress and a pair of heels should get you inside without too much trouble.
Well inside, you’ll find the bar to the right after entering the main room. There’s also a long table with bar stools, and if you come early, make sure you grab a seat. Finding a place to sit after 22:00 can be quite impossible. Buddha Bar is a combined lounge bar/restaurant and the sushi is supposed to be really good, but pricey. I haven’t dined there yet, but it’s on my list.
There’s no dance floor, so instead people socialize in the bar. Buddha Bar is not so over-hyped as it used to be, but it is still a popular place to hang out for those of us living in Dubai. During weekdays, the patrons are primarily expats while at weekends the crowd constellation is more touristy. I really like the vibe at this place, which is surprisingly down-to-earth. It most of all reminds me of an Irish pub, but without the U2 songs and with a better-looking clientele.
• In addition to Buddha Bar, Siddharta Lounge (outdoor lounge bar) and Embassy (nightclub) are also located in Grosvenor House.
• The music can be really loud in the bar area, making it difficult to talk. Though, if you want to talk, you can always go to Siddharta Lounge in the other Grosvenor House building instead.
• As in most other nightclubs and bars in Dubai, smoking is allowed.
• Walk up the stairs one floor to get a full view of the lounge and the big Buddha statue in the middle of the room.
• Most cocktails are 60-70AED.