Kyle September of the Dukes Dubai Hotel, and originally from Cape Town. Photo: Alexander Matthews.
The newly opened DUKES Dubai Hotel offers a touch of understated British-inspired luxury on the Jumeirah Palm. We chat to Barman Kyle September who hails from Mitchells Plain in Cape Town.
How long have you been working at DUKES Dubai for?
I’ve been working in DUKES Bar since its opening at the end of March 2017, but I fell in love with the concept long before we welcomed our first guests. We have big shoes to fill, being the sister of DUKES Bar London, but it’s a great experience to be involved with such a prestigious brand.
What do you love most about your job?
What I love most about my job are the opportunities to learn here and the people that I get to work with. I get to meet a lot of new people who join us as guests. It is always good to meet people from different corners of the globe as you get to learn so much more about the way that they live and eat and enjoy life, in a sense you get to understand the market a bit more clearly that way.
What’s your signature cocktail?
The Vesper Martini, the drink which inspired Ian Fleming to write about James Bond and his martini, shaken not stirred. Three parts Beefeater gin, one part Ketel One vodka, two dashes of Angostura bitters and the zest of an Amalfi lemon. We use frozen glasses, keep the spirit bottles in the freezer and prepare in front of the guest on our vintage trolley for the perfect martini.
Your bar’s bestselling drink?
Of course, the Vesper Martini, but we offer variations on classics, such as a smoked Old Fashioned, which are also very popular.
The most surprising thing about Dubai?
It’s extremely clean and safe. It’s a city that really does not stop – there are always new things being developed and plans for something bigger and better every day.
Top tip for travellers visiting Dubai?
My top tip for travellers visiting Dubai would be to plan ahead and budget well to be able to pack in everything you’d like to do.
Best place for lunch in Dubai?
I love cooking so most days I would eat in. To dine out, our hotel has an excellent British Restaurant, GBR, which you should not miss, also West 14th which is our beachfront restaurant. There are some great places along the beach in Jumeirah Beach Residence, such as Eggspectation, which is one of my favourites.
Your favourite way to relax in Dubai?
My favourite way to relax in Dubai is to swim, play soccer and dance.
Your favourite club in Dubai?
For me, Barasti has everything - it’s a chilled beach club with live DJs, a great crowd and good food too. Who could ask for more?
The one thing visitors to Dubai shouldn’t leave without?
Dubai has a multitude of things to see and places to visit, from the tallest building in the world, to an indoor ski-slope. The Old Town, with its traditional souks is also huge draw for visitors. In my opinion, however, you would have wasted your journey if DUKES Dubai wasn’t your go-to place. See you soon!