If you’re an alcohol fan and you find yourself in the United Arab Emirates, you’re going to love Raffles Dubai. The swanky hotel just opened an ultra-modern Chinese lounge called Red LoungeTerrace. It’s one of the only places in Dubai where you can actually booze until 3am on the weekends. Due to the strict Muslim culture, serving alcohol is prohibited in most restaurants (I learned this first-hand when I tried ordering a gin and tonic in Damascus and the server looked at me like I was crazy). But most hotel bars can get away serving – there’s money to be spent here, after all – and Raffles Dubai is part of the exception. What makes the lounge especially unique is that it’s importing Chinese culture, a welcome change from the ubiquitous Japanese-themed lounges.
Red is the first contemporary Chinese lounge in Dubai. The decor is sleek and modern, with tons of dark wood and red hues, and the kitchen serves fancy dim sum like foie gras and chicken sew mai. There’s even an in-house Chinese tea master should you need guidance on their fine selection, though I’m sure you’ll be more inclined to sample the signature RED T cocktail, a concoction of Chinese wine, red berries, basil, lime, and some of the mixologist’s “secret ingredients.” Thanks to Raffles’ prime location in the heart of Dubai, the outdoor terrace harbors amazing, panoramic views of the entire Dubai skyline, including the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. It’s on the 19th floor, at the peak of the awesome “pyramid” structure of the hotel.