Dubai's Blind Tiger Is The Hidden Speakeasy That Takes Some Searching To Find

Dubai's 5-star Jumeirah Al Naseem is an impressive beach-side oasis of restaurants, spa amenities, a theater, and clubs, but one bar in particular can take some searching to find. Reaching Blind Tiger may have you asking staff for directions or crossing a footbridge to enter the swanky premises, but your determination will be well rewarded. Even Blind Tiger itself has recognized that without signposts and signs, the watering hole can be difficult to stumble upon, yet the experience won't be easily forgotten once you do. 

The name of this secluded hot spot is taken from Prohibition-era speakeasies that would place stuffed tigers outside as a signal that alcohol was served within. At the time, local authorities weren't aware of the symbolic trickery, and their "blindness" to the playful notation has become the dominant theme at this cocktail bar. Blind Tiger is certainly not a speakeasy that strives for subtleties, however. From the engraved tiger on the floor of the entrance, the dimly lit environment accented with bronze and gold, to an open-air terrace overlooking a lagoon, this establishment is poised to help visitors unleash their inner jungle cat. Decorative pillows with animal prints adorn plush velvet armchairs and jungle leaves decorate wallpapers, so long before any menu is opened, a sense of adventure is established.

Taking a sip on the wild side

The team at Blind Tiger is eager to please, and friendly bartenders make sure cocktail orders are right for individual tasting preferences. From the BT Boulevard made with bread whisky, shiitake mushroom, sweet vermouth, and sherry wine to Ghosted, a lighter tipple of gin, citrus, and wild berries, you can begin your evening with a punchier libation or brighter sipper. The smooth and smoky Bay Tei Tai delivers pandan rum, coconut, java sugar, pineapple, and almond for a delicious taste of the tropics, but consider yourself warned: One drink will empty your pocket of around $20, so you may want to consume carefully.

Once hunger strikes, a compact menu of light bites like sliders, fried cauliflower, truffle pizza, tuna tartare tacos, shishito peppers, corn tempura, and charcuterie can keep appetites at bay. A demanding sweet tooth can be put to rest with crunchy tiramisu bites or parfaits of apricot sorbet topped with local honey. As midnight approaches and hours seep into the early morning, music crescendos to bring heightened energy to the space. On Wednesdays, a live jazz band serenades guests before a DJ kicks the environment into a pulsing frenzy for late-night revelers. This is a classy joint with beautiful people so you'll want to dress appropriately to visit, yet the hospitable service creates an unpretentious atmosphere so you won't feel out of place and free to roam.