“I like this drink…ANOTHER!” – Thor
Just about every day, I get asked “How do you like Dubai so far?” For the last few months, my response has been “I love it all…except the summer!” and an acknowledging sigh ensues followed by laughter from both sides.
Now that I have lived here for a year, I can honestly say that I love living in Dubai. The summer can be brutal (Summer, Summer, Summertime), but overall the experiences are amazing. One of the things I love most about Dubai, is its diversity and how I can walk down the street or sit in a coffee shop and hear 4-5 different languages. Just yesterday, Rocket and I had lunch with a South African and Chinese couple at an Uzbek restaurant, said “Hi” to a Kenyan receptionist on the way out and a Nepalese security guard on the way in.
Every time you step out of your front door, you are in a cornucopia of culture. My favorite place to experience the diversity in Dubai is any of the plethora of coffee shops around town. As I work on writing and video projects, I glance around to see a restaurant full with very few Americans if any at all. In fact, every table normally has at least 2 to 3 different nationalities. It’s very common to hear Hindi, Arabic, Tagalog, Chinese, French, Russian and British English (yes, I consider this a completely different language).
I’ve been to many coffee shops around Dubai, but two of my favorites are The Coffee Club and % Arabica. This past week, The Coffee Club opened a new location that I had been waiting for, and the day it opened, my husband stopped by before work to let them know that his wife would be very excited. Even though they weren’t open yet, the manager offered Rocket a free flat white giving him the idea to return home and surprise me!
I enjoy The Coffee Club, founded in Australia, because the decor is inviting, food is good and the service is amazing. The staff is attentive and welcoming as you enter and exit the cafe. They’ve only been open for 4 days, but I already love their flat white, and we are looking forward to working our way through their breakfast menu.
In contrast, % Arabica is only about the coffee. When I first walked into % Arabica at Dubai Mall, I noticed a lot of locals (Emiratis) there. For me, that is a good indication that the coffee will be good. % Arabica was founded in Japan, but has become very popular in Dubai. It focuses solely on coffee, and specializes in different Arabica blends from around the world. I like their % Arabica blend latte, and if you love coffee it is definitely worth visiting on your next trip to Dubai!
Dubai’s coffee scene is just one reflection of the city’s diversity. In fact, there are so many good coffee shops in Dubai that I can’t mention them all (and probably haven’t been to many of them), but in future posts I will be sure to mention some of the more interesting ones, both homegrown (like Friends Avenue) and international transplants.