7 inspiring UAE cafés for writers

They are bound to unblock any writer's mind.


By Amna Alharmoodi

Crane Café. Image: Crane Café website.

As a writer, the walls of your room can be very comforting in keeping distractions out. But there is only so much inspiration that you can squeeze from four plain walls. The United Arab Emirates does not only offer great coffee but cafés with concepts and views that can get your juices flowing for your next great novel. Beat your writer’s block by visiting and working in these cafés in the UAE.

Kuttab Café

Located in Uptown Mirdif in Dubai, the cozy Kuttab Café is the perfect place to go to if you would like to be inspired by like-minded people. A project of the Kuttab Publishing House, Kuttab Café is a cultural salon and book store in addition to being a coffeeshop. Talks and book signing events are regularly held there, and are a great way to meet fellow writers to discuss ideas and plot lines.

The Museum Café at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

The Museum Café. Image: Shutterstock.

The Museum Café is located in The Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island . This café, which overlooks the Arabian Gulf, will allow you to contemplate the sea and skyline. Its space is very open with light monotone furniture so as to not distract from the scenery. After a small walk through the museum’s galleries, receiving inspiration from the masterpieces on display, one can gather their creative thoughts or mull them over coffee and the breathtaking view.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi. Image: Unsplash.

Leen’s Casual to Gourmet in Dubai

This café has four branches, one in Abu Dhabi and three in Dubai. But the most iconic branch is without a doubt the one located in Emirates Towers Dubai, which overlooks the Museum of the Future. The museum’s unique oval architecture that is decorated with Arabic script, paired with its backdrop of Dubai’s skyscrapers, make for futuristic feels and inspirations.

Hatta Wild Café

The UAE’s geography is not limited to seas and dunes, it also has mountains. With activities like hiking, kayaking, or biking, the Hatta Hub in Hatta, Dubai is the place for writers who are inspired when they are active. And when it comes down to sitting down to face the dreaded empty page, Hatta Wild Café provides you to have a beautiful mountain backdrop for your writing. 

Starlit Café

Starlit Café is located in Julphar Towers, Ras Al Khaimah. Not only does it have a beautiful waterfront view, but it is also a creative hub, meaning that the sights are not the only thing there to see and enjoy. The café has live music, movie and football match screenings, and also exhibits artworks. The inspiration here is the creative community and support that the café offers.

Crane Café at the Jubail Mangrove Park

Jubail Mangrove Park. Image: Jubail Mangrove Park website.

If it’s a getaway from the city that you need, the Jubail Mangrove Park in Jubail Island, Abu Dhabi is the place to go. The Crane Café overlooking the mangrove sanctuary provides serenity and is a great location to take in the sea breeze and write. Forget lodging in a cabin for a writer’s retreat, take advantage of the nation’s natural view. 

The Armani Lounge

The Armani Hotel Lounge. Image: Armani Hotel website.

If you’re feeling fancy, then Armani Hotel Lounge is the place for you. Located in Dubai, it offers a view of the Dubai Mall and its glorious fountain. You can have afternoon tea or sip on the famous Armani Gold Cappuccino while you contemplate what you will write next. It might not be a financially smart place to frequent, but it is definitely worth visiting an inspiring place to write from in the heart of Dubai’s flourishing hubs.

Amna Alharmoodi is an Emirati writer passionate about writing the hidden Emirati stories. She won second place in Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) Annual Creativity Award in 2019 for her short story “Transit”, which she co-wrote. She has been published in the NYU Abu Dhabi literary magazine, Airport Road, the NYU literary journal, Brio and the Paris-based literary magazine Postscript. 

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