Club / Indoor & Outdoor / XS – 200-500
Live music, Elegant, Rooftop
Born out of the “one of a kind” tagline, 1 OAK epitomizes Dubai’s swank clubbing concept – but it also takes it to an adulation level.
Since it is one of the few dancing meccas where sheer intimacy and nightlife’s ineffable vibe mesh seamlessly, it would be a pitiful understatement to throw 1 OAK’s name on the average clubbing experiences list.
Although the partying destination saw daylight for the first time back in 2018, 1 OAK Dubai’s ethos sounds anything but rookish.
Its founder – none other than nightlife mogul Richie Akiva – made sure that this celebrity hotbed would bring the high-end New Yorkian clubbing scene right into Dubai’s heart.
Nestled in JW Marriott Marquis Business Bay, 1 OAK Dubai is all about the intimate clubbing experience.
Featuring a neon-tinged and ultra-modern design, the club’s architectural mastery fosters some of the most flabbergasting views over the sumptuous City of Gold.
Forever loyal to its hip-hop roots, 1 OAK Dubai translates into the ‘it’ nightlife venue where the finest urban sounds meet some jaw-dropping live performances from blue-blooded hip-hop and R&B artists.
Epic music calls for epic crowds. Maybe this is part of the reason why 1 OAK Dubai brings together the city’s haut monde with some roaring Hollywood names.
While the celebrity hotbed has the New Yorkian roots card up its sleeve, 1 OAK Dubai did more than snatch up its American sister’s unapologetically fierce spirit and adapt it to the city’s glitzy clientele.
If you haven’t lived under a rock in the past decade, you surely must have heard about 1 OAK New York. Maybe it was during your celebrity-haunt journey.
Or maybe you’ve seen it popping one too many times on Rihanna’s feed.
Either way, you know about Richie Akiva’s money-making brainchild.
Also known as the King of New York’s Nightlife, Akiva’s eternal passion for everything nightlife-related started from a young age – but his networking skills were the cherry on top.
“Celebrities don’t want to feel pushed when clubbing – they are on their time off, they don’t want to be forced to take pictures or spend more money. He would do anything to make them feel comfortable. We share the same philosophy; this is part of our identity.”Greg K. / 1 OAK Dubai
The mogul’s fruitful tie-ins were part of 1 OAK’s success recipe, but also one of the clubbing destination’s early definers. For the nightlife impresario, A-list clubbing characters are part of the community, not reliable tools to spread his business’ wings.
The EDM boom – we’ve all seen it. We’ve all witnessed it. Some of us got hooked on its bumpy beats. FIY, the latter doesn’t apply to 1 OAK’s music repertoire. Back when the EDM anthem monopolized the clubbing anthem, lusted-after electronic DJs kicked off a series of bidding wars between club owners.
“When EDM got into popularity, nightclubs were overbeating the house music and its DJs.”Greg K. / 1 OAK Dubai
But 1 OAK wasn’t playing the game. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon and following the herd, the nightclub remained loyal to its initial sound – urban beats.
“Richie was friends with the part of the industry that was on the other side of the music spectrum.”Greg K. / 1 OAK Dubai
While commercial hits are sometimes thrown in the mix, R&B and hip-hop are the genres present at 1 OAK Dubai.
But the nightclub’s everlasting commitment to rap music goes beyond the speakers – live performances from some of the most roaring names in the music industry are also part of the package.
That’s partly because of Akiva’s networking skills. But if we look from the other part of the spectrum, 1 OAK Dubai for the rappers’ community is what Berghain is for aspiring techno DJs – the ultimate podium for live performances.
Take it like this: Ja Rule, Trey Songz, Tyga, 6xin9 and Wizkid enter a club. No, this is not your average nightclub joke, it’s a rather cursory summary of 1 OAK Dubai’s artists’ roster.
Over the years, the nightlife hub has seen anything and everything in terms of live performances – from rappers who make the party happen to shows that you’ll want to tell your grandkids about.
The days when clubbing was a mix of intimacy, dancing and self-indulgence are sepia history – but only if you aren’t partying at 1 OAK Dubai.
“We are a very intimate club. Even if we even push the capacity limit, it would still stand at 400 or 500 people.”Naël P. / 1 OAK Dubai
With a rather modest capacity of 500 people – if the volume is used to its fullest capacity, mind you – 1 OAK Dubai seems to be the nightlife institution that places the clubbing experience above the profit.
Featuring a massive living-room-turned-nightclub vibe, 1 OAK Dubai has a soft spot for intimate clubbing sessions.
But that’s part of its unique selling point.
In a nightlife kingdom where everybody places their bets on capacity, 1 OAK prefers to be dubbed the hush-hush clubbing spot.
“Clubs are trying to reproduce the blueprint of an arena. They are all about the stadium-looking venues and massive tables climbing up towards the center – it makes you feel like a spectator of what’s happening in the club.”Greg K. / 1 OAK Dubai
A wall engraved in coiled waves, a hallway cavern-like hallway covered in Charles Darwin’s writing and one-too-many gorillas – these are the defining decor elements for 1 OAK’s uber-modern interior.
“1 OAK had its own identity – a hub for celebrities. For this clientele, making a club flashy is not enough.”Greg K. / 1 OAK Dubai
Following this description, you might ask yourself in which category does this hub fall in – VIP club or art gallery? Well, it’s a bit of both.
The mastermind behind this off-the-wall interior is none other than Israeli artist Roy Nachum. If the name rings a bell, it’s either because he designed Rihanna’s Anti album cover or because he was nominated for the Grammy’s album visual look category.
“Roy Nachum’s artwork inside the club is meaningful. He has always been someone from the community – the brand identity, if you will – who made the interior unique.”Greg K. / 1 OAK Dubai
One thing is for sure – his interactive oil paintings, gorilla head sculptures and wooden letter walls are all décor leitmotifs scattered throughout all 1 OAK’s outposts. A quick peek at his eye-opening portfolio will make anyone realize it is for a good reason.
Committed to blurring the lines between traditional elements and interactive art, the experimental painter takes inspiration from visual perception and poetic metaphors.
But one of the most flabbergasting collections signed by the Jerusalem-born artist is his BLIND series, which allows people without sight to experience his art through raised braille cells.
By further tapping into the intimate clubbing concept, 1 OAK Dubai integrated four private rooms in its blueprint. But there is one that could easily translate into a one-way ticket to a see-but-not-be-seen clubbing experience.
Often dubbed the ‘Gorilla Room’, this intimate temple can open up so the clubber sees the crowd. But for Gorilla Room’s owner for the night, the club visibility is up to his choice.
“That’s the nature of nightlife. Some people want to see what’s happening in the club, but they don’t want to be seen. In that case we close the Gorilla Room just for VIP clients, such as celebrities that can’t show themselves publicly because of a contract.”Greg K. / 1 OAK Dubai
Stored up for the elite clientele, Gorilla Room epitomizes the private nightlife experience. Far from being your average VIP booth, this bad boy demonstrates that if you have enough cash and status, an invisibility spell is always part of your clubbing package.
In a nightlife realm where celebs were urged to promote, advertise and spend in whatever nightclub they set foot in, Akiva was a trailblazer for his laid-back treatment when it came to 1 OAK’s crème de la crème clientèle.
“1 OAK became famous because celebrities were standing two tables away from you.”Greg K. / 1 OAK Dubai
By merging two different worlds – putting the cool kids a few meters away from Madonna – Akiva was one of the early adaptors of the rubbing-with-celebrities clubbing concept.
This je m’en fiche for celebrity marketing and uber-attentive to guests management made 1 OAK Dubai the celebrity hub where Mayweather can dance in one corner while Logan Paul orders some more bubbly and Ronaldinho takes selfies near the center stage.
Dropping the mandatory bottle service minimums that reigned supreme on nightclubs’ reservations lists in favor of genuine hospitality is anything but a common occurrence in upscale nightclubs’ management. But that has been a big chunk of 1 OAK New York’s all-inclusive ethos since day one.
“The vibe is really the key. Our vibe is all about having fun without killing your bank account.”Naël P. / 1 OAK Dubai
This broad-gauge concept is reflected in all of its outposts, including the Dubai branch. It ultimately created the rubbing-shoulders-with-celebrities partying experience that would suit every pocket.
© @1oakdxbofficial / Instagram
While 1 OAK Dubai is all about the high-end vibe that caters only to the rich spectrum, you don’t need eight zeroes to your name if you want to relish in what the nightlife hotspot has to offer.
But that’s not to say 1 OAK Dubai clubbers don’t splurge on their night out. Table minimums can fetch a few thousands, but when it comes to pushing the boat out, the sky’s the limit – and sometimes, not even that.
“Someone really felt like partying and they spent $50,000 on a bottle of Dom.”Greg K. / 1 OAK Dubai
Since its inception, the Dubai clubbing destination has witnessed its fair share of jaw-dropping bottle service orders. But there is always a winner that takes it all.
At the end of the night, this is the land where people can spend more than $100,000 on a table.
It is only natural for a hub widely labeled as the celebs’ clubbing home to rank amongst the go-to birthday bash spots. As the ultimate holy grail for A-list nightlife gatherings, 1 OAK Dubai is no stranger to hosting jaw-dropping birthday soirées.
“Trey Songz came to 1 OAK and celebrated his birthday – he even invited his mom to be on the stage with him.”Greg K. / 1 OAK Dubai
No absurd exaggeration on that. R&B icon Trey Songz celebrated his birthday at 1 OAK and brought his mom on stage with him. But that’s part of 1 OAK’s undeniable charm – it brings in the family vibe.
One-night A-list appearances morph into loyal customers who dial 1 OAK Dubai’s number when an important celebration is approaching.
“It was insane – all of the girls in Dubai and big spenders wanted to be there. We ended up having a great party – these kinds of nights where everything goes smooth from A to Z.”Naël P. / 1 OAK Dubai
Back in 2018, 6ix9ine hyped up 1 OAK Dubai’s crowds with his electrifying performance – but that was far from being the end of his journey with the City of Gold nightclub. This was just the beginning of his loyalty-fuelled 1 OAK Dubai clubbing spree.
This clubbing mecca has an ingrained habit of delivering top-notch services to its performing artists and their crews. Reserved tables and first-class hospitality seem to be the secret recipe to make major league artists camp at 1 OAK.
“He stayed in Dubai for a week and he kept coming back with his friends every day. We had a corner reserved for them on a daily basis. There were maybe ten other options, but they chose us.”Naël P. / 1 OAK Dubai