Probably the most asked questions about life in Dubai are "can you drink?" and "is there a nightlife?". Thankfully, for those who enjoy a late night tipple or two, the answer is most certainly 'yes' to both. Although the government might not like to shout about it, Dubai can be a very boozy city. Pubs and bars are everywhere, in every shape and size, up a tower, by a beach or at the bottom of an indoor ski slope. The only difference with most Western cities is that you're not going to stumble across a pub walking down the road. Almost all are attached to hotels (it's a legal requirement), so you'll generally have to venture through a marble-clad lobby and often up an elevator to get there. This isn't always a bad thing - some of the fancier hotels have some astonishing bars offering the sort of city views you're unlikely to ever see in the Horse & Hound.
There are also plenty of clubs, oh yes. We do like to have a bit of a dance now and again. Ranging from the grotty to the glittering, Dubai boasts a host of clubs catering to most (acceptable) tastes and well-known international DJs head over each week to play to thousands of revellers. There are occasional splashes of live music too, often in the form of major acts rather than alternative outfits, but this is probably because it costs so much to transport instruments here.
Over the past few years, more and more music events have emerged during the cooler winter months, with stages erected in various grassy spots and international bands shipped over to play.
On the downside, things don't come cheap. Drinks are especially bad and there aren't many places offering pints for less than 30 dirhams. In some of the more exclusive clubs, expect to pay a minimum of around 3-5,000 dirhams on drinks just to secure a table. Entrance to the clubs varies, but rarely dips below 100 dirhams.
For more on the nightlife in Dubai, read my guide Nightlife in Dubai: from clubbing to culture