It is a new year, and while we balance our resolutions with reality, I am in search of motivation. I’m also very aware, that sometimes inspiration doesn’t come while you’re sat on your desk or lounging on the sofa. Luckily, there is a crop of spaces in Dubai, a third space if you may – between office and home — that promise to invigorate the mind and soul.


Khazzan X Cadillac

Khazzan park was originally built during the 1980’s and features a traditional water tower, that has now become one of the iconic ‘old’ Dubai landmarks against the city’s stellar new skyline. Khazzan X Cadillac is one of the Emirates newest civil spaces – a library and gallery rolled in one. Built on the premise of engaging the public to contribute towards building communities culturally, economically and environmentally, the space provides a platform to promote a diverse array of intellectual exploration and entertainment. Built using sustainable architectural practices, the building re-uses materials from the UAE such as the native coral stones, shipping containers and reclaimed wood from dhows (boats); it is a 100 per cent powered by solar energy. Focussed on themes of art, architecture, design, literature and sociology, the lending library features more than a thousand books from the Middle East and North Africa from the 18th century to present day.


Mirage Project Point

A ‘design hub’ in Dubai Design District (d3), the venue offers a versatile, meeting and consultancy space open to public on pre-booking basis. Created as a multi-functional space where creative professionals can come to attend and/or hold presentations, design talks, workshops and meetings, or simply have coffee with Mirage Middle East team, the venue is pristine white, punctured with textures and a spot of green thanks to the urban garden. A showcase of creative applications of the humble ‘tile’, the space motivates one to find possibilities even in the mundane. Since its launch last October, the project point has hosted a series of design talks and seminars centred on topical and regional subjects. Head over Mirage Project Point on January 25 as Job Smeets, co-founder of the acclaimed Dutch design practice Studio Job delivers a design talk and unveils his latest collection.


Nadi Al Quoz

An Arabic word, nadi refers to a club or society where members of a community can come together over shared interests. This Al Serkal spot was envisaged as a casual gathering space, designed for unwinding, meeting new people and connecting with Dubai’s wider arts community. An oasis of calm, this bleached wood and white pebbled space allows people a chance to step out of work mode, giving them a break from ‘reality’. Its public programme focuses on events that are self-expressive, creative and fulfilling, encouraging participants to step into a temporary sphere of activity. In the past year, the venue that is catered by the vegan do-gooders, Wild & The Moon, has hosted weekly yoga sessions, ikebana classes, listening sessions, salon-style talks and hands-on public workshops.


The Lighthouse Shop & Kitchen

Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s seminal novel To the Lighthouse and her Bloomsbury Group fellows who met over lingering breakfasts and painting lunches, co-founders Hashem Montasser and Hany Bassiouny launched this concept destination at d3 earlier last week. Designed by Anne and Alexandra Cantacuzene of the Dubai-based AAC Interiors, the venue invites guests to enjoy a coffee or bring their laptops and work on the mod-inspired Beetle Chairs. By evening, nu-disco beats set the tone as one enjoys an aperitivo at the mezze bar and mingles with the city’s creative class. Home to more than 30 international design brands and curating an eclectic collection of design pieces including lifestyle and tabletop accessories, glass and serving ware, books and papeterie for adults, The Lighthouse is sure to banish any creative blocks.


5 coffee table books to inspire design lovers

David Hicks – On Decoration with Fabrics

American Fashion Designer at Home

Frank Lloyd Wright: The Houses

Pantone: the 20th Century in Colour

The Kinfolk Home: Interiors for Slow Living


— Pratyush Sarup is design manager at one of the UAE’s premium interiors firms