Freelancers, students and hot deskers, need a good place to get your work done? If you need a change of scenery that includes free WiFi, great coffee and plenty of plugs, we’ve got you covered.
Words: Shreya Pilo
Sketch Art Cafe, Al Safa
Calm surroundings and inspirational artwork abound in this hidden gem. Use the free WiFi to quietly work and admire the in-store art on your break time.
The coffee is fantastic, but pricey, so perhaps one for short bursts of productivity. On the menu is everything from iced Vietnamese to the product of the sleek and technical Aeropress, for which you’ll pay AED 30 and AED 26 a cup respectively. Four flavours of home-made milk cake also win plaudits from regulars.
9am-11pm daily. Villa 1, 35 Street, Umm Ammar Road, Near Boxpark, Al Safa. 04 398 8331
Costa, Souk Madinat Jumeirah
As everyone’s favourite recreation of an ancient marketplace has gone throughly modern and announced its connected to WiFi UAE, take advantage and get your work done at Costa. The coffee does the job and an Americano starts from AED 13.
If you go when the weather’s good, you can sit outside to soak up some rays and great views of the Burj Al Arab as you work. As you’d expect, this branch gets busy at weekends and parking is free for the first two hours only.
8am-midnight daily. Ground level, Souk Madinat Jumeirah. 04 368 6199.
Wild & The Moon, Al Quoz
For the freelance hipsters, Wild & the Moon Café has a checklist of trendy menu options: golden milk, matcha, açai bowls, etc. Gluten-free and vegan types are catered for too.
Music is low, the wifi is strong and they’re really rocking the urban garden vibe, with reclaimed wood and hanging baskets.
On the flipside, hanging out all day could get expensive, as the oh-so-good-for-you eats are just too tempting, and like the rest of Alserkal Avenue, parking can be tricky.
8am-7pm daily. Unit H 77, Al Serkal Avenue, Street 8, Al Quoz. 04 343 3392
Avec, Dubai Media City
Need to work over lunch? This expansive restaurant is a favourite with Media City types because of its salad buffet, where you can fill your plate for AED 54.
The shisha area is usually busy, so it’s easier to find a table elsewhere and there are magazines and board games if you need a laptop break.
8am-1.30am. Al Thuraya Tower 2, next to Media One Hotel. 04 430 3700
The Hamptons Café, Umm Suqeim
Early start? Grab some healthy breakfast as you work away in this kitsch cafe where bread is baked fresh every day.
Aforementioned bread is AED 5 for two slices, scoff a bowl of nutty homemade granola AED 39, or go all-out with a Hampton’s coddled truffled eggs for AED 39, both served until 12.15pm.
WiFi is free with purchase, and our fancy rose tea came with a complimentary macaron.
8am-11pm, 1am Thursday and Friday. Villa 12, opposite Mashreq Bank, Street 9A, Umm Suqeim. 04 331 5118
Starbucks, Jumeirah 3
Grab your laptop and head down to this ‘hidden’ Starbucks for good coffee of your choice and work to your heart’s content, with plenty of power outlets.
Never crowded and a haunt for other busy people, no-one will disturb you here. There’s plenty of outdoor seating if you need a fresh air break and all your favourite Starby’s brews are served, with free WiFi when you purchase one. Parking isn’t usually an issue, unless it’s rush hour at the nearby school.
7am-midnight daily. Al Sinyar Street, between Jumeirah Beach Road and Al Wasl Road, Dubai, 04 419 0115
Make Art Cafe, Al Fahidi
Grab a dose of culture with your daily grind. Set in the Alserkal Cultural Foundation Building in Al Fahidi, this is a serene spot, whether you sit inside or on the rooftop terrace.
Coffee starts from AED 15 and the signature ginger, lemon and honey tea slips down a treat (AED 20). Need a 3pm sugar hit? The cafe also stocks camel milk ice-cream.
Work by local artists is on show and if you want to stretch your legs, a stroll round Al Fahidi Historical District is the perfect tonic. Drivers, there’s a small car park at the entrance to Al Fahidi and on-street parking nearby.
9am-7pm daily. 04 559 7856. Al Serkal’s Heritage House, Bastakia, Al Fahidi Area, Meena Bazaar.
Tim Horton’s, JLT
This branch of our favourite Canadian coffee chain has plenty of open space, reasonably-priced coffee and comfy chairs. Everyone loves their doughnuts too, so reward yourself with one for hitting deadline. There have to be some perks to being your own boss, after all.
WiFi is free with purchase and the only downside is that parking in JLT can be tricky. However, this branch of Tim Horton’s is only a short walk from the neighbourhood’s Metro station.
7am-10pm, 5.30pm Friday and Saturday. Ground floor, Almas Tower, Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT), Dubai, 800 8467