Once just an industrial estate in the west of Dubai, Al Quoz is now the beating heart of the city’s art scene.
But there’s even more than world-class art hidden behind Al Quoz’s vast landscape of warehouses; where there’s art, there’s life, after all – and life here is vibrant.
Just about every enterprise in Al Quoz comes with an exciting twist; for example, Café Rider is a coffee shop that doubles as a custom motorbike store.
Mirzam, meanwhile, is a chocolate factory that’s also a café, located in the neighbourhood’s central art hub, Alserkal Avenue.
You can also discover your own hidden talents at inspiring workshops; at Oo La Lab, for instance, you can learn how to create your own fragrance.
Or, just across the road from there, you can join a class at community art space thejamjar. Going strong for 15 years, thejamjar aims to engage audiences while promoting local artists and contributing to the ongoing strength of Dubai’s art scene through its extensive art programmes, educational initiatives and community projects.
Tilika D’Souza, an art instructor at thejamjar, says the wellbeing of the participants is important:
“We have a workshop called Intuitive Creativity that combines meditation and art; we use all kinds of different art materials and we do a little meditation to begin with, so everybody is really relaxed during and after the class.”
If you prefer to shop, retail options run from independent boutiques to museum-like showrooms, such as the remarkable Nostalgia Classic Cars.
The current collection there includes some of Rolls Royce, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz’s finest and most beautiful creations, not least a 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Roadster.
And if you want to buy some art, you’re very much in the right place. Almost all the works in Al Quoz’s many warehouses are for sale, so you can find the perfect souvenir.