Al Qouz
Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Al Quoz is one of those completely juxtaposed areas in Dubai. It’s home to a massive industrial zone and mechanic shops, while also being a place clustered with art galleries, upscale eateries and cool coffee shops. Al Quoz is a unique mix of art galleries, malls, eateries and industry giving it a unique personality.

Al Qouz is a stretch of Dubai centrally placed between Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Khail Road. The area is divided into residential, commercial and industrial. The residential areas include Al Quoz 1, 2, 3 and 4 to the north, while Al Quoz Industrial Areas 1, 2, 3 and 4 are located towards the south.

Al Qouz
Image Credit: GN Archives

Nearby malls include Times Square and Oasis Center Malls towards Sheikh Zayed Road, and Al Quoz Mall, Al Khail Mall and Grand City Mall further in. Noor Islamic Bank is the only metro station in the area and is closest to Times Square Mall.

With dusty clusters of factories, auto shops and labourer accommodation, Al Quoz Industrial is one of the oldest manufacturing hubs in Dubai. During work hours it is a challenging web of transport containers and identical-looking streets.

Low rent and large spaces have resulted in slight gentrification in Al Quoz Industrial 1, where Al Serkal Avenue and The Courtyard now host independent art exhibitions, street festivals and performances showcasing regional talent. Al Khail Gate is an affordable option in Al Quoz Industrial 2.

Al Qouz
Image Credit: Shutterstock

The quieter residential area villas are close to parks and are populated by Emiratis and western expats. These can be priced quite high due to the area’s accessibility, though still less than villa compounds.

Where is it located?

Al Quoz is contained by Sheikh Zayed Road to the west, Al Khail Road to the east, Safa Park and Business Bay to the north, and Barsha to the south. By car, Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates are approximately a five to ten-minute drive from Al Quoz residential areas.

The good

  • Offbeat coffee shops
  • Checking out underground art galleries
  • Located in the core of Dubai with road access to major areas
  • Residential areas are quiet and family-oriented
  • Close to amenities including malls and small parks

The bad

  • Not exactly walkable
  • Construction throughout the area
  • Parking lots are few, so you have to settle for sandlots

Getting there

Metro: Noor Islamic Bank Metro Station Ticket prices

Bus: F15 Al Quoz Residential area, F25 Al Quoz towards Burj Al Arab metro, F26 Al Quoz towards Al Safa.

Taxi: Though cabs are plenty nearer to Sheikh Zayed Road, it's safer to book, especially towards inner streets.

Traffic and Parking

Wide new roads and entrances from Al Khail and Sheikh Zayed Road provide access from different directions. The web of streets within Al Quoz can be frustrating and often ending up as dead-ends. The only good side to this is there are ample sandlots for parking.

What to see and do in Al Qouz

Al Serkal Avenue

Al Serkal Avenue
Al Serkal Avenue is a great and free place to hang out Image Credit: Al Serkal Avenue

Take a tour of Al Serkal Avenue, which is home to around 20 art organisations including galleries, live music venue The Fridge and studio and gallery Gulf Photo Plus. Al Serkal Avenue is completely free to access. free place to hang out. One of Dubai’s coolest and most unique artsy spots. The avenue is home to art galleries, classic cars, record stores, many different cafes and even an old school Karak shop.

Boston Lane

One of Dubai’s hidden cafe gems, Boston Lane. Owned by Australian expats and inspired by Melbourne's laneway coffee culture, Boston Lane is tucked away in the Courtyard, Al Quoz and boasts classic-corner shop favourites like brioche “Breaky” rolls, cheese and garlic toasties and a range of wholesome bowls and with the launch of five new concepts within The Collective space, we can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday.

OliOli

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Children having fun with Toshi’s Net at OliOli Image Credit: Supplied

A first of its kind interactive children’s play museum located in Al Quoz, OliOli is an ‘observe and learn’ playground featuring a range of installations, science labs and a cars gallery. Spread across 30,000 square feet, the two-storey facility boasts a massive play area that houses eight galleries that follow the STEAM education theme (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths). There are over 40 exhibits inspired by the work of leading educators, artists and development psychologists.

Project Chaiwala

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Ahmed Kazim, Co Founder of Project Chaiwala at the Cinema Akil in Al Serkal Avenue. Dubai. Photo: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

Project Chaiwala is a homegrown concept of a cosy tea shop in Dubai that was founded in 2017by two friends, Ahmed and Justin. Bringing a nostalgic charm and traditional recipes to a modernly designed Dubai Cafe, Project Chaiwala celebrates the Chai culture every day by importing the chaiwala experience into a central and modern space.

Dubai Garden Centre

A veritable eco haven of colourful fish and birdhouses in a warehouse full of plants and flowers, plus outdoor furniture and a quaint little cafe.

Cassette

Tucked away in a corner, and built within one of the oldest buildings in Al Quoz, using recyclable materials, Cassette is a modern Parisian bistro with an old town, cobblestone feel. The menu offers a wide range of options from healthy as well as indulgent dishes. Make sure you try their homemade almond croissant. Cassette is also home to an interactive corner full of classic and limited edition vinyl records that you can play on their in-house record player. Music is a big deal here, they even curate their own playlists, so the music fits just right with this comfortable hipster cool venue.

Tom & Serg

High ceilings, exposed ventilation and an ever-evolving daytime menu make this independent Australian cafe a hit among foodies and hipsters. The Melbourne-inspired café and one of Dubai's OG breakfast spots. The transformed warehouse space has been a family favourite for over eight years. Born out of a desire to dish up honest, wholesome food with great coffee, you’ll find yourself returning for the infamous Avo on Toast or the perfectly stacked Breakfast Bap and of course their unmissable Scrambled Eggs on Toast.

AdventureHQ

the edge adventures
GO ZIPLING WITH THE KIDS AT THE EDGE: BurJuman’s newest indoor attraction has everything you need to keep your little ones engaged. From zip lining to walking through one of the highest indoor rope courses to an augmented reality-infused wall climb, there’s something for every degree of adventurer. DETAILS: Starts at Dh50 per person; you will get a credit of Dh60 on this. Visit theedgeadventures.ae Image Credit: Instagram/@theedgeadventures

Spend the day getting physical by heading over to the Galleria Mall on Al Wasl road, where the kids can experience the Adventure Zone by Adventure HQ, an expansive high and low ropes obstacle course with 12 unique climbing walls. The kids can take part in the mini-adventure course, where they can climb onto dinosaur skeletons, castle facades and many other cool creatures. There’s even a climbing wall quiz, and if you get the answers wrong, you fall.

Roseleaf Cafe

Roseleaf is an independent cafe in Dubai serving single-origin speciality coffee, wholesome bakes and pastries. This cafe is hidden inside the Dubai Garden Centre on Sheikh Zayed Road. This makes it a very unique spot to enjoy a great cup of coffee.

Bounce

Bounce
CHECK OUT SUMMER HOLIDAY CAMP AT BOUNCE: When you jump at Bounce the odds are the floor will throw you back up. The wall-to-wall trampoline-lined funhouse is offering – until August 26 – a specially curated summer camp where the kids can learn trampoline technique, parkour and special Ninja Squad training. DETAILS: Timings vary across locations; Bounce is located in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Al Quoz and Dubai Festival City. Cost: Dh190/day. For bookings call 04 321 1400. Image Credit: Supplied

Bounce is basically a huge indoor playground that is covered with wall to wall trampolines and padding. A place that is truly accessible to people of all sizes and ages, it is a great way to enjoy a unique day out with the kids. With a huge free jumping arena, dodgeball court, performance area and a giant inflatable airbag, both parents and kids can feel like they're part of the free jumping revolution.

Velocity DXB

Velocity is one of the largest indoor sports and recreation facilities in Dubai. Spread across 40,000 sqft, it is a fully insulated facility that offers activities across all ages, right from toddlers to adults, men, and women! It features massive kids play area, multi-level soft play, multi-activity trampoline park, a sports arena that is home to indoor cricket, football, handball, etc. It also features the latest in Augmented Reality sports simulation and virtual reality games.

Retold

Retold Dubai
Image Credit: ShopRetold

Retold is a large two-floor thirst shop that offers everything from casual clothes and workout gear to some designer pieces. You can even get yourself some amazing high-end shoes, bags and wallets. Give yourself plenty of time to go through the store, as it is home to a lot of items. Retold receives hundreds of new (and nearly-new) pieces every week, so the collection gets updated regularly. Retold is located in Al Qouz.

Dubai Dive Garage

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Dubai's Dive Garage opened a flagship store in Al Quoz, with a training pool made from shipping containers. The heated fresh-water fully treated pool has been engineered and constructed from two shipping containers, complete with three plexiglass windows to see what is happening inside the pool and a viewing deck to watch from above. The pool was designed, engineered and built specifically for the needs of diver training courses. It is primarily a training pool; however, divers can come to practice or try new equipment.

The future of Al Qouz

Roads and transport

A comprehensive plan for developing the transport infrastructure in Dubai’s Al Quoz area, including bicycle and electric scooter tracks, and a bus route linking Dubai Metro is already in development. The goal is to develop plans to enhance the creative and cultural infrastructure in Al Quoz and provide a professional and living environment that promotes the success and enrichment of creatives.

Al Qouz Creative Zone

As part of efforts to engage the community and encourage local artistic production, Al Qouz Creative Zone will be built to attract both regional and international audiences to the area and encourage designers, artists and creatives to live, work and exhibit in the area.

The first phase of the project involves a physical upgrade of the Al Quoz area. The Roads and Transport Authority has already worked on improving the area’s infrastructure including roads and signages and promoted Al Quoz on public transport routes. The later stages of the project will involve renovating the area, installing facilities for the influx of new visitors as well as branding the area among residents and tourists. “Al Quoz Creative District is a unified and integrated centre to serve creative people from all over the world, provide the spaces, capabilities and incentives for them to launch their creativity and establish their companies from Dubai to the world,” tweeted Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.