Thank God it’s that time of year again – Oktoberfest is here! From October life in Dubai feels like a long chain of parties after the hot boring summer and here are some ideas to help you celebrate. Viel Spab!
We’ll pretend Oktoberfest is not just about beer and give you a bit of background on one of the biggest drinking feasts of the year. If you’re not interested, scroll right down. We won’t be offended, we understand life is all about priorities.
Oktoberfest was originally known as Theresienwiese, translated as the Meadow for Theresa, which was where the festivities were held for Princess Theresa’s wedding to King Ludwig in Bavaria in 1810. The festivities were repeated every year and grew when horse racing, tree climbing and bowling were added. Over time parades and more activities were added, and eventually the festival became about beer and showcasing different beers and brewers from the region. Today it typically runs from mid September to early October to benefit from the longer and warmer summer days in Europe, and Munich, the heart of Oktoberfest festivities, attracts millions of visitors during this period. As a small indication, in 2013 7.7 million litres of beer were consumed during the 2 week period.
Oktoberfest is also celebrated in many cities around the world, for its’ German residents but also because everyone else loves to join a loud beer fest, no matter who organized it. And we think it’s a great excuse to mark the end of the long boring summer, and the start of a more bearable and festive season. Here’s some venues in Dubai that will host Oktoberfest 2017. Remember, most venues won’t charge entry fees if you come in lederhosen or dirndls…
Barasti, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi – Barasti is a great place for any fest, but they do Oktoberfest even better. Lots of beer, traditional Bavarian food (sausage, sausage, sausage), staff in traditional costumes, some wonderfully shitty music and more beer. This year’s theme is “Du your wurst”. Where else would we go?
The Dome, Sports City – Probably one of the venues that would remind you most of a traditional evening at the Munich Oktoberfest, although it is still a Dubai version of course, is the Dome. Lots of beer, schnitzels and wurst and live music from a Bavarian band. The event is partly outdoor as well.
Brothaus, Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay – Brothaus is going all out this Oktoberfest with special deals on meals and beer, as well as special Oktoberfest brunch packages. They’ve opened a new terrace, aptly called the Biergarten, which is musik to our ears.
Grand Hyatt – Grand Hyatt goes all out this year with an Oktoberfest tent. Plenty of beer and sausage will be on offer, and the tent will also host a Saturday brunch, in case you want to get your beer in early. They’re flying in a band from Munich so we expect a tolles Oktoberfest!
JW Marriott Deira – The Hofbrauhaus will open its doors on the 27th of September for hearty Bavarian fare, lots of German hops and live music by a Bavarian band. Buffets include pitchers of beer. Where do we sign up?
Sheraton Jumeirah – No details have been announced yet, but the Sheraton in JBR has been one of the best Oktoberfest venues for years, with a great Bavarian food and liquid spread by the pool and a German band flown in for lots of schunkeln.
McGettigan’s, JLT, Madinat Jumeirah and WTC – No news yet on traditional live music, but McGettigan has announced a combo deal that includes a foot-long sausage and beer. Sounds like a winner.
Lucky Voice, Grand Millennium Barsha – Less traditional but no less fun, Lucky Voice will host Oktoberfest-styled after parties. Combine two of your worst vices (karaoke and beer), add in some wurst and you are all set for an entertaining night.
QD’s 2.0, Emirates Golf Club – QD has pitched up at Emirates Golf for the summer and is taking advantage of the opportunity by hosting Oktoberfest there as well. The programme includes live music and drinking games and of course lots of beer is on offer.
Bidi Bondi, Palm Jumeirah – Bidi Bondi may be Australian-inspired but that doesn’t mean they don’t get Oktoberfest. On the contrary – Australians know how to celebrate Oktoberfest. Bidi Bondi has lots of beer, BBQs and a special Oktoberfest burger this year!
Long’s Bar, Towers Rotana – A good haunt for an Oktoberfest beer over the weekend, Long’s Bar is giving discounts on selected drinks (we’re guessing beer) and will be serving different Wursts to go with your pint.
Der Keller, Jumeirah Beach Hotel – Der Keller is a nice comfy and cosy beerstube at JBH which will be transformed to Oktoberfest Central for 2 weeks. Expect great deals on German beers and lots of traditional fare to sink your teeth into and soak up the alcohol.
Vantage, Sheraton MoE – Vantage is serving beer at 50% discount throughout the Oktoberfest period, so if you’re looking for somewhere a bit more classy for the first few pints, Vantage may be a good option.