A Stroll through Dubai’s Creative Heart: Exploring Alserkal Avenue

A Stroll through Dubai’s Creative Heart: Exploring Alserkal Avenue

A walk through Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz, one of Dubai's very well-hidden but not-so-secret spots. This area is a uniquely wonderful gem that takes you into the art district of Dubai. Your senses will be wowed by the great mix of art galleries, restaurants, and arthouse cinemas.

Dubai is known for its expensive cars and innovative overground trains but there are actually a few excellent spots to go walking. One of these is Alserkal Avenue. If you are a fan of contemporary art or are just looking for something new and different to do in Dubai, Alserkal Avenue is a must-visit destination. You may not find it on a top ten list of tourist attractions but that's all the more reason to visit this hidden treasure. Alserkal is Dubai’s alternative art district. It is hidden away in Al Quoz, a commercial area of the city. Here, surrounded by mechanic shops and storage units, you will find one of the best spots to go exploring on foot in Dubai. 

Cassette Restaurant

A good place to start your exploration of Alserkal is Cassette, a modern Parisian Bistro, that serves a tasty fusion of Parisian-Arabic dishes and excellent coffee. The menu is excellent but I especially like the breakfast options and the delicious salads. The music in Cassette is another reason to visit. Each month, they carefully curate playlists that guarantee awesome ambiance, but more importantly, the playlists create a cross-cultural vibe that brings people together. Make sure to check out their record collection, where you can browse dozens of records, don a pair of headphones, and play records on a record player like a proper DJ. 

Courtyard Dubai. Alserkal Avenue

Once you are full, it's time for a walk. Head through the Courtyard, a hidden alley just behind Cassette. Here you will find more coffee shops, beautiful potted plants, and babbling fountains. Every corner is an excellent photo opportunity and a perfect place to cool down. Along your way, be sure to stop by the Courtyard Playhouse, the only improv theater in Dubai. Here, you can find improv workshops and performances for kids and adults alike. 

Then it is just a quick walk across 6th Street to Alserkal. Established in 2007, Alserkal Avenue (turned arts district) has become one of the leading cultural destinations in the Middle East, attracting international artists, curators, and of course visitors. There are about 20 art galleries, trendy cafes, art workshops open to the public, and an overall cool creative vibe. Get hands-on at Wild Paint House where you can express your wild side and paint a creative mess. Other shops offer painting, pottery, photography, or even performing arts classes. The galleries host exhibitions, and talks and give visitors a chance to engage directly with the local art scene. One of the highlights of Alserkal is its commitment to supporting emerging artists and promoting diversity in the arts. 

Cinema Akil

Finally, you can end the day with some popcorn and a movie at Cinema Akil. This cozy independent cinema is known for showcasing arthouse and alternative films from around the globe. It's programming, intimate setting, and commitment to thought-provoking films make it a terrific stop on the Dubai art scene and a great way to connect to the Middle Eastern voice in cinema. 

Whether you are interested in contemporary art, design, cinema, or new culinary experiences or you just want to explore Dubai on foot, Alserkal has something for everyone. If you are looking to take a break from the shopping and beachy vibes that Dubai is more famous for, this is a great carefully camouflaged cultural gem. 

Written By: Anna Adamska

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