Love live music? Then you’ll adore Music Hall. Smack bang in the heart of Beirut, and one of the most famous nightspots in the city, this insanely popular venue has been playing host to an eclectic mix of musical talents from across the globe since it opened back in 2003.
The brainchild of one of Beirut’s most famous, and possibly most extraordinary, residents, Michel Elefteriades, from opera and hip hop to cabaret and rock, Music Hall has kickstarted the careers of some of the biggest acts in the region, and continues to dominate the social calendar of locals and visitors alike to the Middle Eastern venue.
Set in an old cinema in the heart of downtown Beirut, and decorated wholly in red and gold, Music Hall oozes all the glitz and glamour of an old school dinner and dance club. Indeed, there’s more than a hint of the ‘speakeasy’ underground jazz club vibe, with cosy, velvet upholstered sofas and moody lighting combining to give a fabulously 1930s feeling to this wildly cool venue.
Boasting a hardcore fan base ranging from the hippest teens and glammest twenty-somethings in town, to music-loving octogenarians and beyond, Music Hall has a massive local following, and is packed to the rafters with up to 800 guests having the time of their lives every Friday and Saturday night. You may even spot a celeb or two in a well-hidden corner of the club – everyone from world leaders to megastars of the silver screen have enjoyed a night (or two) at the institution.
And if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience in the Paris of the Middle East, look no further than here. The atmosphere in Music Hall is unbeatable, and if you’re not up and dancing in the aisles by the end of the night (and by ‘end’, we mean around 4am), we’re thinking you may no longer have a pulse.
Booking in advance is a must if you want to enjoy dinner and be sure of a table, but if you’re a couple and super-lucky, you may find a seat at the bar. Failing that, squeeze in against the walls up the stairs along with everyone else – and prepare for a totally awesome night out.
Can’t make it to Beirut? Music Hall open their first venture outside of Lebanon in Dubai in January 2012 at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray on the Palm Jumeirah. With a vast stage area, a knockout sound system and a capacity of up to 1,000 music lovers at a time, it’s going to be the hottest ticket in town.
Jeans and a T-shirt simply won’t cut it, so don your most fabulous frock and dancing heels. And keep your eyes peeled for the transport of choice for the club’s charismatic and eccentric owner, Michel Elefteriades. Parked right outside the entrance, you’ll see the car he personally designed. Two years in the making, and chauffeured by an ex-tank driver.
Starco Centre, Omar Daouk Street, Beirut. Call +961 136 1236
More global hangouts
Brazil: Green Valley, Balneario Camboriu
Voted one of the top nightclubs in the world time and time again, Green Valley is a dedicated clubber’s dream. The open-air venue is nestled between three artificial lakes in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest and is able to accommodate 4,000 revellers, all looking for the same thing: a mind-blowing night in one of the best clubs in South America, if not the world. The enormous outdoor dancefloor is surrounded by VIP areas, multiple bars and
a supper lounge, with the music policy erring on the side of house and electronica.
Call +55 47 3360 8097 or visit greenvalley.art
Italy: Armani Hotel Milano, Milan
The ultra-stylish Armani Hotel Milano has just flung open its doors in Italy’s fashion capital making it the second hotel to bear the Giorgio Armani name. Be the first of your friends to check into one of the world’s most fashionable hotels, decked out in Armani’s trademark minimalist-chic style, with a colour palette of muted golds, silvers and greys. Guests can dine in the exclusive gourmet Armani/Ristorante, which serves traditional Italian cuisine or opt for the more relaxed Armani/Bamboo, which looks out over the city, an ideal spot to enjoy an informal meal or aperitif.
Call +39 02 8883 8888 or visit armanihotels.com