x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Desi party scene has all kinds of options

Want to party Bollywood-style? Desi club nights have popped up across town.

Afew years ago, if you felt like clubbing "desi" style, you had to make a lot of phone calls to find out where (and if) there was a desi night on. These days, you are one promo broadcast away from tossing your BlackBerry off the Garhoud Bridge.

Gone are the days when the only place to shake it to Bollywood tunes used to be Copacabana at Four Points Sheraton, Bur Dubai (with Ennigma Events) and Jimmy Dix (now Pulse) at the Mövenpick Hotel, Oud Metha. From a couple of times a month, desi club nights have gone up to several a day. Among the dozens that desi clubbers can pick from these days, we all have our favourites - and for our own reasons.

I love Noir at Pulse, Mövenpick, because all I have to do to get there is walk across the road. No queues and no late-night cab rides. The music by the resident DJ Jeff and the recurring DJ Tushar is always on the mark, too. My friends find the place too small, though, and prefer to head over to Sensation, Crowne Plaza - which is about five times the size of Pulse.

Another favourite of ours used to be No.1 Desi Nights at Elegante (now Velvet Underground), which a lot of people used to turn their noses up at due to it being "middle-class". Well, it's Bur Dubai, so what do you expect? If it's posh you're looking for, you need to head to Boudoir, Dubai Marine Beach Resort, on Saturdays - the poshest desi night in town, but one that was never really my thing.

Saturday nights and classy clubbing on the desi circuit now has a new contender: D Chill at White X Beach Lounge, Rixos The Palm Jumeirah. With music by my favourite desi DJ, DJ Shadow (who recently won the Best Asian DJ awards at Ahlan!'s Masala Awards), this party may be at the other end of the universe, but it is worth every fil on the taxi metre. With a beautiful beachside location and Turkish hospitality to complement the amazing music, you just can't go wrong. The action is also happening in Abu Dhabi. The Fairmont Bab Al Bahr's Chameleon has been hosting Desi Underground Movements since late December.

As more desi nights crop up on the local party scene, it's becoming increasingly difficult for them to differentiate themselves. Not everyone can boast of a beachside location or an award-winning DJ. That's when we see the promoters and organisers get inventive.

Take the guys at Déjà Vu, for instance. On January 26, they organised a superhero-themed desi party at Boudoir. Can you imagine Batman, Superman and The Incredible Hulk doing the bhangra?

"I had spotted a superhero theme party when I was in St Tropez and found it really cool. I have been wanting to do one in Dubai for the desi scene since then, and on the 26th we finally did it," said Rahul Kaul, the man behind Déjà Vu. "There are a lot of desi nights around, but I feel they lack the class element big time."

If you missed out on Batman boogieing to Bollywood beats, you still have time to see stilt-walkers strut it: this week, Déjà Vu has another concept party planned: the first desi party at Cirque Du Soir - the circus-themed club at the Fairmont Hotel. I don't know about class, but Rahul had me at circus.


The writer is an honest-to-goodness desi girl living in Dubai