Mixed Oddfellows

Though not in the same class as the Paranormal, the Admiral Plaza merits a visit, if only for a change of scene. To get there, leave the Para before closing time (it only takes will-power), turn left and walk towards Bank Street. As you'll be heading down Bank Street, towards Customs House, you can cut the corner if you like, by crossing the desert car park, but beware of sand and pigeons. Once on Bank Street, be on the lookout for the Ascot Hotel, on your left. On no account enter this dismal establishment, but take it as a signal to cross the main road. Once over, you'll see, a little way along the first turning on the right, a big but easily missable white and blue neon sign heralding the Admiral Plaza, possibly Dubai's least celebrated hotel.

The bar entrance is diagonally across the entrance hall, hidden behind screens, as if (because?) the present Management are embarrassed by their seedy inheritance. Unlike Paranormal, you can play darts here without impaling anyone. And there's even a pretty tolerable live band (after Ramadan, of course). The place is darker than it needs to be, but is otherwise OK and, with the right company, which is readily available if you haven't brought your own(!), the seating arrangements (cozy booths) are remarkably comfortable.

On the other hand, Paraglider has never met anyone else who has been there, so it's just possible that it doesn't exist. Who knows?


  1. Thank you so much for the directions. I shall take the shortcut you mentioned, missing the Asknot Hotel - and as you advised, by no means will I enter this hotel, palm trees an all.

    Is it permissible as per paraglider guidelines to enter a chapati house pre-Oddmiral Plaza?

  2. There's an excellent chapati place en route - the vegetarian restaurant on the corner of the shopping mall. Can't remember the mall's name, but it has an avoidable MacDonalds near the front (opp Al Ain Centre). The Vege restaurant is back left.

  3. I have unfortunately failed to visit the Oddmiral Plaza for some unknown reason, but I hope I can recommend my own version of the "Paranormal" which is a little gem hidden in the depths of Barsha in a secluded little Hotel called "Golden Tulip". Do not be mistaken, this is the Golden Tulip, where all kinds of flowers grow.

    I went with a group of people to watch the Rugby (a small bar, I was told) and by gosh, I have not seen a more "paraglider" type bar in Dubai before. Although there were more Henrys than Helgas, I found the place to be very charming: neon blue lights inside, staff with bowties and...for some odd reason I was not able to notice much else but the plasma screen in front, and a couple of non-hooligan bald men wearing beanie hats, trying to calm me down after England lost.

    What an experience!

  4. Sounds great. Maybe next time I get to Dubai I'll visit. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying a short break in UK. One week down, one to go.

  5. Alas, the Oddmiral has fallen victim to financial pressures, and converted its bar into computer shops, to add to the 578 already on street... commerce overcomes art...

  6. That's a shame - thanks for telling me. One of my reasons for celebrating these places is that they'll all disappear eventually, just like so many traditional London pubs are doing. Oddmiral's wasn't a place I'd frequent regularly, but it was an institution in its own right. And now it's a computer shop? Where's the character in that . . .


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