On the fourth floor of an unmarked car park on Shaikh Zayed Road, tucked behind Nassima Royal Hotel, you’ll find a black door and nothing else. On Mondays and Mondays only, Dubai’s latest nightclub comes to life behind it.
Welcome to Hobo.
The contentiously-named, hipster-themed spot — the DJ spins music on vinyl and the dress code is ‘come as you are’ — wants to be Dubai’s best-known secret.
“The concept is to create a unique and intimate private venue with a very niche underground feel,” said Lofy Memmi, managing partner of Billionaire Group. “Our aim is to create a community, for people to feel part of something.”
Hobo, according to Memmi, responds to a gap in the market for “a less commercial venue that focuses more on quality than quantity”. In fact, Hobo joins a wave of new spots in Dubai that are catering to the unpretentious — from Indie Lounge in DIFC to Mad nightclub in Abu Dhabi.
So what is it that makes Hobo different — and why did they call it that? Memmi fills tabloid! in.
What do people see when they walk into Hobo?
A: Once you walk through the black door you are transported to the streets where local street art lines the walkway. Once you reach the end you have to concentrate to find the door; don’t walk too far otherwise you will miss it. Inside you will find rustic brick walls with Victorian wooden cladding, a squatter’s paradise. The rest you will have to come and see for yourself.
Why the black door entrance?
A: The black door is heavily linked to the art influence of Hobo. In Europe, the black door often leads to something mysterious, a highly guarded secret to what’s inside.
What will the music be like? What are some of the vinyl records that will played?
The music will be an eclectic mix from the ’70 to modern day. It will spark forgotten memories and priceless moments shared with friends. When you close your eyes and listen, it takes you back to that one time on that one trip with that one person…
Will you ever expand to live music, or DJ sets?
We will have music from the finest DJs with an injection of live acoustic sets and raw talent.
Who is the ideal Hobo client?
Our ideal clientele is the people that want something a little different, something against the norm. Maybe these are the people that are getting tired of the same routine and seeing the same faces. Hobo offers a release for people that want to break away and get lost for a night.
Can you tell us a bit about the name? Hobo means an impoverished, homeless vagabond or a migrant worker — so why did you choose Hobo as the name and #IAmAHobo as the hashtag?
Dubai is a city that few call home: people come and go and travel in and out on a regular basis. It is a hub for entrepreneurs, artistic people and people who live to make a difference. However, none are tied down to one place… the perfect definition of a modern hobo. The Hobo Club is a hangout for the non-conforming nomads. We are creating a movement which people can relate to hence the phrase #IAmAHobo.
*The Hobo Club is open on Mondays, from 11pm-3am. Free entry.