Sharjah's Not a Space desert pop-up returns with galaxy theme

Venue offers stunning sunset views, stargazing opportunities and a dramatic mock-up of planets

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The UAE winter has got many residents scrambling for the perfect al fresco hangout spot, and this social media-famous desert pop-up could be high up on that long list.

With more than 40,000 followers on Instagram, the Not a Space team take their desert-themed pop-up seriously — think bean bags, picnic tables and chairs, a circular stage, dunes galore and a scenic patch in Sharjah.

The Al Faya location opened last week, marking the cafe’s third pop-up in the area. Marketed as a community space for “happy souls”, the location offers stunning sunset views, stargazing opportunities and a dramatic mock-up of the planets.

Mock-ups of Mars and the Moon at Not a Space Al Faya desert pop-up in Sharjah. Chris Whiteoak / The National

The campsite-like space provides plenty of spots for Instagram-friendly shots, including the mountainous backdrop and, more unusually, sleek clones of the Moon and Mars. After dark, the venue glows stunningly in red, in keeping with the galactic theme.

Open daily, Not A Space features singers, fire dancers and other live performers on its makeshift stage. On the menu is a selection of hot and cold drinks, desserts and light bites including sandwiches.

A 4x4 is not required to reach the site, which is near Mysk Al Faya Retreat. Type “Not a Space Al Faya” into Google Maps and you'll get accurate directions. There are plenty of parking spots on-site.

Last year, the venue hosted an array of one-off events, including an outdoor cycling session, a Chinese lantern festival, as well as wellness-themed activities. With the pop-up running until March, visitors can expect the same eventful season.

If you miss the Al Faya pop-up, Not a Space also has a permanent site in Muwaileh, which acts as a community centre complete with a barber shop and a salon. Last month, the cafe opened a second pop-up on Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah.

Desert dining has boomed exponentially in the UAE, with both permanent venues and seasonal pop-up cafes. Last month, One Degree Cafe reopened in a desert on the Dubai-Sharjah border after a successful debut last year.

My Space Cafe, a newcomer on the desert pop-up scene, also opened its doors to guests last month.

Sharjah seems to be a favourite spot for these cafes — another one on the list is Link by mara, which made its debut last year and has also returned this season. The USP of this venue is guests can buy raw meat on-site and barbecue it over a private firepit.

The Not a Space Al Faya pop-up is open daily from 4pm to 1am

Scroll through the gallery below to see photos of One Degree Cafe this season

Updated: November 24, 2022, 6:49 AM
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