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The Vogue Guide to Al Quoz

The Good LifeNot that long ago, if you weren’t looking for new tires for your 4×4 or some abstract artwork, there wasn’t really much to tempt you to Dubai’s Al Quoz industrial district. More recently, artists and entrepreneurs have migrated to Al Quoz’s mass of warehouses, repurposing them into galleries and exhibition spaces. After all, nothing says “aspiring creative” like an industrial PO box address.

Come the weekend, curious shoppers can be seen attempting to navigate its warren of streets and one-way systems (not always successfully) in search of hard to find clothing brands, the latest sneakers, and high-end coffee, as well as one-off designs and artisan handicrafts.

“Everything started in Al Quoz. This has always been our home and the place where we have worked hard to create an experience rather than a purely retail or F&B space,” said Ben Catling, regional brand manager for surf and motorbike clothing brand Deus Ex Machina, which is based in Capital D Studio. “From the beginning, we anticipated this area would foster the creative community. Capital D Studio opened nearly 10 years ago, the Deus space four years ago.

For Lewis Adams, the owner and craftsman behind bespoke leather goods maker Made By Native, the move by Dubai’s creative community to industrial areas mirrors what is happening in other major cities. “As the UAE and Dubai matures, industrial areas and less prominent districts become a natural hub for artists and designers,” he said. “The Meatpacking district in New York and Shoreditch in East London are more established examples. In Dubai, Al Quoz and parts of Beach Road [in Jumeirah] are examples of this, with many boutiques that give a special feeling to the clientele.”


Deus Ex Machina – Street 6B, Warehouse 9-10

Deus Ex-MachinaAt the southern end of Al Quoz, past the trucks haphazardly parked on the road and sidewalk, you’ll find Capital D studio, home to surf, skate, and motorcycle brand Deus Ex Machina. The unassuming building doubles as a showroom and coffee shop, with racks of clothes lined up beside pristine motorbikes and leather sofas.

Expect to find trucker caps, T-shirts, board shorts, and jackets, as well as wetsuits and leather goods. The coffee and Mexican food are also first-rate.

Made by Native – The Collective, The Courtyard, Street 4B

Made By NativeSelling a range of hand-crafted leather goods, this artisan workshop and retail space has gained a reputation for quality and great design. It’s not just bags, wallets, and iPad cases, either. The company, which has collaborated with Italian carmaker Maserati, also produces superb NATO-style watch straps to help you update your favorite time-piece while the Rowan Watch Role helps take the stress out of traveling by keeping your IWC, Tag Heuer, and Timex safe and sound. The jewelry trays make losing your keys a thing of the past.

The Good Life Space – Unit G-64, Street 8, Alserkal Avenue 

The Good Life

This venue is home to one of Dubai’s best kept footwear secrets. The Good Life stocks an unparalleled range of high-end and hard-to-find sneakers. There’s nothing the staff doesn’t know about footwear, from the next big drop from Nike to rare releases such as Adidas’ Overkill x Fruition.


Cafe Rider – Warehouse 7, 14C Umm Suqeim Road

Cafe Rider Dubai

A coffee shop for serious motorbike aficionados. Sit back and sip an espresso while surrounded by custom-built café racer bikes (these stripped back, lightweight machines have been built for speed). In addition to selling leathers, helmets, and a great breakfast wrap, Cafe Rider is a functioning garage with bikes broken down, cleaned, and repaired in full view of customers.

Raw Coffee – Warehouse 10, Intersection of 7a & 4a Streets

Raw Coffee

You might have spotted the Raw Coffee van at the various food truck events that pop-up around Dubai during the cooler months. The company sells fair-trade, organic coffee with blends from Ethiopia, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, and Nicaragua. You can sample its wares at an espresso bar, set up amongst the sacks of beans — this is a warehouse, after all. The staff knows its coffee and is happy to talk you through the different ways to grind, brew, and, most importantly, drink, your cup of joe.   

Raju Omlet – Near Noor Islamic Bank Metro Station

Raju Omlet

Already an institution in Al Karama, Raju Omlet’s Al Quoz branch, complete with vintage fixtures and fittings, has proven to be just as successful. Raju Omlet specializes in Indian breakfast favorites such as eggs kejriwal and cheese masala omlette, served with a pile of freshly made paratha bread and washed down with a super strong cup of karak chai tea. Proof that a good curry works well any time of the day — especially breakfast.

Wild and the Moon – H-77, Street 8, Alserkal Avenue

Wild and the Moon

Another Alserkal Avenue favorite, this café caters to those looking to lead a healthier lifestyle. Wild and the Moon specializes in cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and guilt-free food options. Alongside breakfast açai bowls with granola and bananas, there’s also detox juice and a range of dried snacks.

Tom & Serg – 5A Street, Al-Joud Center

Tom & Serge

To say that Tom & Serg has been a success would be a gross understatement. The café has been credited with shaking up the UAE’s food scene with simple food and great coffee. The owners have branched out with three other venues, but they have not taken their eye off the ball. Tom & Serg still pulls in the crowds (breakfast/lunch time at weekends are usually packed) and the menu, especially the Korean fried chicken burger, is still top class.

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