A Guide to Al Quoz: The Spots You Don’t See on Your Feed

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Al Quoz is a trendy, ex-industrial neighborhood in Dubai just off Sheikh Zayed Road that has seen an increasing amount of foot traffic ever since Alserkal Avenue took over a cluster of warehouses and declared itself the artistic hub of the city. Walking through the lanes of Alserkal or even across the road in the one-street haven of The Courtyard is like coming home for every creative person, free-thinker, and art lover in this city. Cute and funky cafes with delicious artisanal coffee, art galleries with revolving exhibits that often feature local, regional, and up-and-coming artists, green lawns for lounging, dance studios, a community theater, pop-up shops, food trucks, and niche little pockets are all worth exploring.

If you find yourself setting out to visit this little gem so unlike the rest of Dubai, then allow us to guide you through some of our favorite little spots. Who knows, you might even see us there.


But First, Coffee

Before even making your way around the lanes, we highly recommend you stop for a cup of coffee. Our favorite cafe is Nightjar Coffee Roasters. Honestly, we even buy the beans to keep at home — that’s how much we love the coffee. But if coffee isn’t your thing, and you would rather grab the best Karak Chai in town, then you must pay a visit to Project Chaiwala. Scratch that. Even if you’ve already gotten your hit from Nightjar, you deserve Project Chaiwala as well. Trust us on this one.

Al Quoz

Food, Glorious Food

If you fancy a breakfast bite, Le Guépard is a delightful little space that feels like you’ve just stepped into a Parisian cafe – with original industrial ceilings of course. For lunch, you have to get yourself a Fomo burger, because if not, you will feel literal fomo for missing out on one of the best burgers in the city for the rest of your life (or at least until you make it back next time). If you want something a little more on the healthy side, Wild & The Moon serves up all kinds of vegan and guilt-free goodies like tacos, soups, pumpkin pancakes, and when we say the fresh juices are addictive, we mean be prepared to start ordering a green juice from Wild & The Moon on the daily. 

Al Quoz

Work From Here, Not from Home

One of our favorite things to do in Al Quoz is bring our computer and ‘work from home’. Some of the best places in the city to feel inspired and productive are in Alserkal Avenue. We personally love Techarc for the butcher paper and colored pencils available at the table. We can hold meetings there (the upstairs loft is available for rent if you need a larger space than just a table), draw designs or ideas on the table so others can visualize, or just sit in a booth and mind our own business. A4 Space is not only beautiful, but it has two levels of books, like a funky version of Belle’s Library. Pair that with little nooks, tables, and couches to sneak yourself into for uniterrupted studying, and you’ve got yourself the perfect productive set up. The swinging bench downstairs is also a perk.

A new favorite (hidden) gem where we like to plug in and do our thing is La Nena. You have to find it behind the warehouses in Al Quoz, it’s not in Alserkal or near any other of our usual haunts, but once you enter, you can easily get lost in the gorgeous design and earthy feel. Designed by two interior designers who use their cafe as a showroom to literally show what they can do, it has become a hotspot for folks in the know who like good coffee, beautiful co-working spaces, and a calming atmosphere.


Everyone Loves An Art Walk

You could spend an entire day just browsing the art galleries of Alserkal. We think they’re all pretty special. The galleries tend to find incredible local and regional talent, as well as provide a platform for up-and-coming artists to get a foot in the art door, so to speak. We personally love to take in whatever new collection is showing at the Leila Heller Gallery as their curation is always top notch. The Third Line is another favorite gallery in all of Dubai, as well as Firetti Contemporary, Ayyam Gallery, Carbon 12, and Ishara Foundation, one of the very few venues who bring in contemporary art solely from South Asia. For photography enthusiasts, Gulf Photo Plus regularly hosts a variety of workshops and exhibits.


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Make Art, Not War

Of course, it’s one thing to look at art, and quite another experience altogether when you create it yourself. You don’t have to be an artist protégé to get creative with your hands. We probably pass by The JamJar at least once a month to paint, sometimes with a group of friends, but often just by ourselves. Yes, we are running out of wall space to hang our amateur artworks, but the calming time with just you and the paint is worth every inch of bedroom wall real estate. You can also try the art of flower arranging at Ame Artistic Studio, get behind the potter’s wheel at Al Kass Ceramics, or even create your own unique scent and perfume at Oo La Lab.

Al Quoz

Fitness Can Be Fun

In terms of fitness, you do have a few options in Al Quoz. Gymnation is a popular gym for good reason: all the bells and whistles in terms of equipment and stellar classes like yoga, zumba, and Les Mills every day. We also love hitting up Shimis Yoga in Alserkal. If you are looking for a tight-knit dancing community that is fun and performs all over the UAE, then you must check out some classes and performances at Sima Performing Arts. Another must-visit spot is Joint Space, a newly launched wellness center that provides care using traditional Eastern and Western methods. Here, you can consult with a physical therapist, chiropractor, or movement specialists for a holistic healing education to continue you on your journey.


Shop Til You Drop

If you are looking for something unique – be it clothing, accessories, home decor, or furniture, or art – then Al Quoz is sure to have it. Find some incredible new furniture pieces at the newly opened Klekktic warehouse in Al Quoz, get some new records for your vintage collection at The Flip Side, and find some unique decor for your home at The Odd Piece. Pop over to the The Courtyard to find handmade jewelry by local jewelry-makers, and sustainable handmade clothing from our current obsession, Kaleidoscope by Mimi. For the coolest haircut in town, check out Chalk – they do amazing with color – or find that perfect art piece from any one of the many galleries. There is even a little book stand that sells used books for super cheap, and we have found some incredible hardcovers and paperbacks to add to our home library for a fraction of what they’re worth.

Al Quoz

Let Me Entertain You

Sure, we love getting dressed up and going to opera, but we also enjoy a night of entertainment that comes a little closer to home. For the best improv night in Dubai, you must check out The Courtyard, and for a solid dose of community theater, check out what’s playing at The Junction or Warehouse 4. If you really want to see good (and we mean good) theater, then follow local theater groups like Cross Bronx Crew, Danú Dubai, MTDXB, and Dubai Drama Group to see what they’re putting on next. Every show from one of these groups is always a good night of exceptional theater. We also need to mention that Cinema Akil is the only independent cinema in Dubai, and they constantly have unique films from around the world that are worth watching when you get tired of the big blockbusters.

Al Quoz
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