A new dog-friendly co-working space has opened in Dubai on Umm Suqeim Road.
The Doggy Be Collective is a bright, open and colourful space, with a number of different working areas. It's ideal for people working from home that are looking for a change in scenery, but don't want to leave their pet behind for a full working day.
Animal lover Marie-Laure who opened the space in January told The National: "I've always had the desire to provide, especially for the long hot summer months, dog owners with an indoor space where human and their fur child can spend time together.
"As the work environment has changed in the past year, [there are] many people working away from the office and looking for a space outside their home to work during the day with their furry friend by their side."
She says there is a lack of dog-friendly spaces in the UAE, but acknowledges that more have opened in the past 10 years.
Studies have proven that welcoming pets in workplaces improves work-life balance, with "calming effects, such as reducing blood pressure, lowering stress and making employees more cordial and productive", according to a report by the University of Southern California.
This is something that Marie-Laure also firmly believes. "I definitely believe that spending your day at work with your furry friend will make you happier and also much more productive," she said.
"Pets are great at helping people relieve stress. The repetitive action of stroking your pet for a few minutes helps you and your pet build a bond and take your mind away from a stressful situation."
The co-working space does not sell food on-site, but they encourage people to order in throughout the day. They do, however, sell Paws-a-licious dog treats for four-legged customers.
For the time being, The Doggy Be Collective is just a dog-friendly space, but it could change to accommodate cats and other small animals in the near future.
"We have plans to make the venue available on specific days for parents to bring their other pets, allowing pet parents to socialise with each other," says Marie-Laure. "Did you know there is a large community of rabbit parents looking to socialise together?"
The space has opened in the Doggy Be studio, which has been importing and distributing pet accessories since November 2014.
With The Doggy Be Collective, the owners are hoping to cultivate a community of animal lovers and "a space where pets owner and pets lovers can come sit for a while with their friends, with or without their pets, have a coffee, chitchat or just read their favourite book.".
They also organise regular workshops with local artists and small businesses.
Entry is free, but customers must pre-book a day in advance to ensure there is space under current Covid-19 guidelines.
The Doggy Be Collective, 205 Umm Suqeim Road, Al Quoz, Dubai; open Sunday to Thursday; doggybe.com