Al Quoz area guide: What to see, eat and create at Dubai's creative hub

The industrial area of Al Quoz is teeming with galleries, specialty coffee shops and creative spaces

Previous community event at Alserkal Avenue. Courtesy Alserkal Avenue
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Don't let Al Quoz's industrial aesthetic fool you. Inside its warehouses are some of the city's most artsy spots and original concept stores. Located in the middle of the city, Al Quoz is easily accessible from Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Khail Road.

What to see

Drawn by the cavernous interiors of the warehouses, contemporary art galleries began cropping up here more than a decade ago. A dozen or so have since set up in Alserkal Avenue, including Grey Noise, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde and Green Art Gallery.

Those interested in South-Asian art should visit the Ishara Art Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to showcasing art from the subcontinent. There is also 1x1 Art Gallery, which is one of Dubai's oldest galleries. Outside of Alserkal Avenue are Meem Gallery, which often exhibits modern masters such as Dia Azzawi and Kamal Boullata, and Akka Project, which shines light on contemporary African art.

Where to eat

When you are tired from all the gallery hopping, grab a sweet treat at Mirzam Chocolate. Visitors can see how cocoa beans are roasted in its factory, ground and eventually turned to rich chocolate bars with unique flavours such as Alphonso Mango White Chocolate and Dark Chocolate with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds & Sea Salt. Cafes are more common in Al Quoz than casual or fine-dining spots, but you can still get your fill at Nightjar Coffee Roasters (9), which serves all-day breakfast and nitro brew, and Boston Lane, with its selection of wraps and salads.

For more vegan options, Wild & The Moon keep their fridges and counters well-stocked with salads, fresh juices and gluten-free treats.

For those who need a place to spend an entire afternoon, Techarc is a mix of cafe, co-working space and maker's studio.

Things to do

Places such as Courtyard Playhouse  are an important part of Dubai's cultural community, hosting improv nights with local talent and livestreaming performances from the National Theatre in London. The arts centre also offers classes and workshops.

Next door is The Junction, a black box theatre that gives a platform to actors of all backgrounds and ages. If film is more your thing, there's Cinema Akil, committed to screening titles that may not make it to the blockbuster venues. Al Quoz is also the best place to tap into one's creative side – learn ceramic art and pottery at Yadawei Ceramics Studio (16); grab a brush and take your seat in front of the easel at thejamjar; and sharpen your dance moves at Sima Performing Arts.

Where to get fit

The more active lot can head to Round 10 Boxing Club for personal training and group boxing classes, or Crank. where spinning classes take place in a dark room lit by neon lights. The newly opened Shimis Yoga Centre, meanwhile, offers a special room for their warm yoga sessions and a green room for zen practices.