Garden on 8

As hinted at in the name, Garden on 8 is an amusing riff on Dubai’s penchant for al fresco watering holes. Designed to look like a homely pub garden, the new Dubai Media City bar sits adjacent to the Media One Hotel’s more established poolside outlet Dek on 8. Casual, but not devoid of a few interesting quirks, the spacious venue boasts fake grass and potted plants, while lawn gnomes lurk behind rows of large picnic tables. Perhaps unlike its eighth floor neighbour, there are plenty of places to sit here — you can choose to park your rear on one of the aforementioned benches, take a seat at the bar counter, loiter at the tall barrel-style tables or kick back in the small, cosy sofa area. It’s a simple but creative space, with a wall garden of fresh vegetables and herbs cultivated by the chefs, plus furniture made from recycled and reused materials. Other notable objects include a wishing well, and for the sentimentalists, a fence full of padlocks, designed to look like they’ve been left by people to remember their significant others. The bar menu is, like the venue, simple and straight-forward, but with a special and unique emphasis on apple-based beverages, of which there’s an interesting variety to sample. There is also a daily two-for-one happy hour from 5pm until 7pm, which seems likely to tempt nearby media workers to clock off early during the week. Staff are friendly and polite, if a little shaky. When we arrived, we asked the waitress for a bowl of nuts, to which she informed us that they had none. We asked if she would check with the kitchen, as the bars are interconnected and, after about 15 minutes, she appeared with a hot bowl of nuts, which were very welcome indeed. Garden on 8 is a chilled-out and undoubtedly quirky addition to Dubai Media City’s nightlife scene, which we fully expect to become a favourite in the area. After all, if you’re drinking alone, it’s nice to have at least a couple of garden gnomes to keep you company.

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