Gay Dubai travel guide
Although homosexuality is officially forbidden, gays and lesbians can enjoy private gay life in relative comfort compared to other countries in the region. However, showing gay affection in public can lead to penalties or prison, so be careful.
Dubai has an interesting underground gay scene. Every week there are pop-up LGBT+ parties at various locations, usually rooftop hotel bars.
It's funny (or not funny) to see that there are usually safety guards around, to enforce that men and women keep a strict minimal distance to each other (at least half a meter or something). While 2 men hugging didn't cause much problems when we were there.
The parties are mostly frequented by expats, airline people, their friends and tourists. Ordering beers or strong drinks is expensive but not a problem in hotel bars.
You can find the parties on Facebook or ask locals online. Some gay / chat apps are blocked so prepare a secure VPN connection.
The area (shopping centre) around the Burj Khalifa (the big pointy tower) is the place to hang out in afternoon and early evening. The fountain shows attract many people and also the locals hang out to see and -mostly- be seen.
There are many bars and restaurants here, but only very few that are part of a hotel are allowed to serve alcoholic beverages.
Hotels and apartments
Where to stay?
Almost everything is on a distance from each other in Dubai, so everything is done by car/taxi. We stayed however on walking distance to the Burj Khalifa, which was easy for night and dinner.
Another great area to stay is Dubai Marina. There are plenty of bars and restaurants there, and it's also a pedestrian area.
Or if you can afford it, stay in one of the hotel palaces at the coast.
We wouldn't recommend to stay near Old Dubai, a day visit is enough.