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Housed in a converted warehouse in the Alserkal Avenue area, Nightjar serves food, but coffee is the star of the show.
NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE

A guide to local favorites in Al Quoz

Housed in a converted warehouse in the Alserkal Avenue area, Nightjar serves food, but coffee is the star of the show.
  • By Rachel McArthur
  • Photos by Katarina Premfors
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Al Quoz
Dubai
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Given its warehouses and factories, Al Quoz at first glance may look like an uneventful industrial area. But over the years, it’s garnered a reputation as a home to the weird and the wonderful, the cool kids and the creatives. Explore Dubai’s vibrant homegrown scenes — art exhibitions, design houses, independent cinema, cafes and more — both here and in the neighboring hubs of Alserkal Avenue and the Courtyard.

Meet Rachel McArthur

After living around the world as a child, British-born Rachel has lived in Dubai for over a decade. A journalist who has covered beats including travel and business, she launched her own media company in 2015. To her, the ultimate appeal of her city — home to over 200 nationalities — is its people. You learn something about a new culture every day.

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Al Quoz

Möto Rauch & Staub
Founded by a German expat, this hybrid cafe-motorbike workshop (no, really) is all bare brickwork and natural wood, and it serves a great range of coffee (try the cold brew) and homemade cakes. On some nights, Möto hosts unplugged musical performances, too.
Moto Rauch & Staub, Street 4B, Al Quoz Industrial 1, Dubai, UAE
Cassette
This breakfast spot wouldn’t look out of place in Los Angeles, with a menu chock-full of Instagrammable dishes, from the “no carb” benedict and super green omelet to the acai power bowl. While you’re here, explore the rest of the building complex, including the Courtyard Playhouse (performing arts).
Cassette, The Courtyard, Street 4B, Al Quoz Industrial 1, Dubai, UAE
Mirzam Chocolate
Mirzam Chocolate forges its creations, from bean to bar, right in this venue. The milk chocolate, dark chocolate and bars fused with traditional Emirati flavors (e.g., cardamom, date, halva) all make for nice souvenirs or gifts. Complimentary tours around the factory take place a few days a week (check the website for latest dates), and you can sign up for workshops, too.
Mirzam Chocolate, Warehouse 70, Alserkal Avenue, 6th Street, Al Quoz Industrial 1, Dubai, UAE
Nightjar Coffee Roasters
Cafe and boutique coffee supplier Nightjar is known for having some of the friendliest staff in town, so don’t hesitate to ask them for tips on the city. But the coffee is undoubtedly the star of the show: If you’re a fan of chocolate-orange combos, order the Jaffa Shake, a concoction of cold brew with cacao nib syrup and orange juice.
Nightjar Coffee Roasters, Unit G62, Alserkal Avenue, 6th Street, Al Quoz Industrial 1, Dubai, UAE
Cinema Akil
This intimate venue, a forerunner of art-house cinemas in the Gulf region, screens independent films from around the world and hosts talks and special presentations to increase awareness of the indie industry and foster local filmmaking talent. It’s the antithesis of the UAE’s usual, blockbuster-centric theaters.
Cinema Akil, Warehouse 68, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz Industrial 1, Dubai, UAE
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Rachel McArthur
After living around the world as a child, British-born Rachel has lived in Dubai for over a decade. A journalist who has covered beats including travel and business, she launched her own media company in 2015. To her, the ultimate appeal of her city — home to over 200 nationalities — is its people. You learn something about a new culture every day.
Katarina Premfors
Katarina Premfors is a contributing photographer for The Washington Post based in Dubai.

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