Sharjah's One Degree Cafe desert pop-up back with a new look and playground

The winter coffee stop returns with its heritage-inspired aesthetic and line-up of energetic performers

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An easy drive down the Dubai-Hatta motorway takes you to the UAE's original desert cafe. It's difficult to miss — with Arabic classics blasting from the speakers and a Hollywood-style sign that reads: One Degree Winter.

The seasonal pop-up from One Degree Cafe reopened on Saturday, to reinvigorate its followers to head out and enjoy the winter breeze sweeping across the UAE desert.

The outdoor venue is on the Dubai-Sharjah border, about a 40-minute drive from Downtown Dubai — the road-trip element adds to the cafe's allure.

A visit to the venue reveals Instagram-friendly spots, such as a grand archway at the entrance, a statue resembling the landmark Wings of Mexico near The Dubai Mall, as well as a full-body mirror with dramatic red drapery.

Children's play area at One Degree Cafe. Ruel Pableo for The National

Eclectic chairs and tables are spread across the venue, and a makeshift stage is set in the middle. After a successful opening last year, One Degree Cafe introduced live entertainment, which it plans to continue this year. The entertainment line-up varies, but it typically includes a fire show and a band.

A prominent feature at the venue this year is a playground for children, making it even more family friendly. The Bedouin-style camp is still there, because owner Ahmed Abdulla Alketbi wants customers to experience “old Emirates” nostalgia.

Speaking to The National last year, the owner said it was important for the venue to show the “traditional beauty of the UAE”.

“We’ve recreated it with the look of the old Emirates, while still keeping it modern. For example, we’ve created some structures to resemble those they had in the UAE a long time ago,” he said.

The cafe offers a limited selection of food options — burgers, fries, and hot dogs — a menu that Alketbi said he helped to create. There are hot and cold coffee options, as well as sweet treats including local favourite luquiamat drizzled in date sauce.

Scroll through the gallery below to see other attractions that have reopened for the winter

Updated: November 03, 2022, 4:01 AM
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