The Africa and Middle East region has been transformed in recent years by an emerging middle class and growth in tourism, boosting the bar scene in turn.
[caption id="attachment_705950" align="aligncenter" width="650"] The Botanical Bar in Cape Town has been named one of our bars to watch in 2019[/caption]
Moreover, new openings are no longer confined to expat communities and five -star hotels from Tel Aviv to Dubai, from Beirut to Abu Dhabi, local entrepreneurs and foreign investors are continuing to inject cash, savoir faire and excitement into the Middle East's bar scene.
Traditionally, even major tourist destination South Africa has lacked a solid middle ground, with the bar scene in Johannesburg, to cite one example, rigidly divided between expensive, luxury hotel appendages and rustic watering holes.
Meanwhile, rival city Cape Town is on an unstoppable march and now boasts a dramatically different bar scene compared to a few years ago.
Click through the following pages to discover Africa and Middle East's bars to watch in 2019.
Not to be missed: The Piano Bar Cape Town, South Africa
In little more than 10 years, Cape Town has transformed itself from a city that barely had any good cocktail bars (outside of the luxury hotels) into an attractive destination for both South Africans and tourists searching for top flight mixology and nightlife.
He's clearly succeeded The Piano Bar offers a winning formula of superlative cocktails, delicious food and charming service.
Even teetotallers love The Piano Bar, which regularly hosts the best of Cape Town's established and raw talent.
The Piano Bar has been named our overall Africa and Middle East bar to watch in 2019.
Bar 44 at Grosvenor House Hotel Dubai, UAE
Dubai still has a long journey before it can rival London and New York in the nightlife stakes, but sophisticated establishments such as Bar 44 are helping the city to compete with the world's best.
There are no prizes for guessing which floor of Dubai's Grosvenor House Hotel Bar 44 is located on, but you may be surprised by the quality of the overall package.
Housed in the Madinat Jumeirah hotel, every member of the bar's staff has the opportunity to enrol on WSET courses, delivered in- house by qualified instructors.
The Botanical Bar Cape Town, South Africa
Another strong contender for Cape Town's best bar award, The Botanical Bar is bang on trend.