Skyscrapers, shopping malls, luxury, pomp, and glamor: many people have these terms in mind when they talk about Dubai. It is far less well known that this is by no means all that the Arab metropolis has to offer. If you want to get to know Dubai in a different way and places apart from Burj Khalifa or Burj Al Arab, you should definitely read on now.
Because the metropolis has more to offer than just shopping and luxury hotels. The city’s creative and cultural scene, in particular, has now become more than just an insider tip: More and more tourists are visiting the colorful, exciting, and worth seeing cultural, art, and gastronomic facilities. We present hip, attractive places and insider tips in Dubai that are off the beaten track.
The Dubai Design District, also known as D3, has been one of the best places to go for creative people in the Middle East since 2014. Exhibitions, fashion shows, and design trends are developed and presented here. The place is known for its lively community, where thousands of creative minds from the region find an ideal place to let their ideas run free. It is also worth mentioning the diverse gastronomic offer with trendy cafés, fashion boutiques, and street food trucks. And those who prefer to be outside can relax around the beautifully designed D3 Park directly on Dubai Creek or use the playgrounds and sports fields.
The House of Prose is the perfect place to go for bookworms: Bookworms can rummage through the three branches of the second-hand bookstore for jewelry, bestsellers, and classics. For almost 30 years, the largest second-hand bookstore in Dubai has been offering a colorful and well-stocked selection of literature at a fair price.
The perfect insider tip in Dubai for coffee lovers. Those who simply need a break from exhausting sightseeing tours will certainly be happy in the Raw Coffee Company (open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.).
The roastery in Al Quoz relies on fair trade and organic coffee from all over the world and offers special coffee brewing courses for all potential baristas. The operators also pay attention to the contemporary look of the roastery.
The interior conveys industrial chic and uses the upcycling trend, old coffee sacks are upgraded as lounge pillows. The Raw Coffee Company is not necessarily located in the heart of the city, but it is well connected to the Dubai metro (Noor Bank stop) and you can also get there by taxi in 10 minutes from Kite Beach.
At first glance, there seems to be only industry and commerce here, as is actually the case in the entire Al Quoz district.
But there has been movement in the industrial and commercial area for some years now: To get to the bottom of the Dubai art scene, you have to take a closer look around the countless containers and warehouses.
A small part of the district is home to Alserkal Avenue – an art center that is becoming increasingly popular and attracts a young, alternative audience with exciting and attractive facilities. Galleries, foundations, (dance) theaters, restaurants, cafes, yoga studios, (design) boutiques, art-house cinemas, and much more cavort here in almost 40 halls and a total size of over 45,000 square meters.
For example, those who would like to be artistically active themselves will find a suitable opportunity in The Jam Jar. Children, teenagers, and adults – whether beginners or professionals – can take part in Do It Yourself painting sessions in a relaxed atmosphere. In addition, diverse community events related to music, film, photography, and theater are on the agenda of the open art space in the Al Quoz district.
Cineastes are recommended to be the first art-house cinema in Dubai, the Cinema Akil shows art-house films, classic films, and film productions from the Near and Middle East. The cabaret and music scene like to meet at The Fridge or The Junction, where cabaret, dance, literature and music performances and much more take place.
Dubaians and visitors from all over the world appreciate and love the Ripe Market. The colorful and busy market square has been inspiring for around ten years with its community and local market concept.
During the winter season from October to May, the Ripe Market showcases local and organically grown vegetables and fruits from local farmers and many, every Friday (9 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) in Academy Park across from the Mall of the Emirates other specialties from the region.
But that’s not all: The Ripe Market has now developed into a large community event and has long since ceased to be an insider tip among the residents of Dubai: local restaurants (cafes, food trucks, salad bars) take part as well as design, handicraft and Fashion stores. They then display their goods week after week in containers, tents, or pop-up shops.