Area guide: Dubai Design District

There’s more to this Ras Al Khor neighbourhood than trendy, temporary pop-ups. Here are five things to check out at Dubai Design District…

1. Sconci Gallery

Dubai art

Sconci Gallery was the first art gallery to open in D3. The family-owned Italian gallery is a huge, industrial-chic space filled with a diverse collection of more than 50 pieces, ranging from 17th century Italian furniture to modern pop art (there’s even a signed Andy Warhol piece). Owner Lorenzo Sconci has mixed the work of Italian creators like Pippo Rizzo and Mario Schifano with some of the Arab world’s most influential artists such as Fateh Moudarres and Madi Hussein, and the result is a feast for the eyes.

Building 8, Dubai Design District, Ras Al Khor Road, Dubai, Sun to Wed 11am to 7pm, Thur to Sat by appointment only. Tel: (04) 4567183. Taxi: Dubai Design District.

2. Craft Café

craft-cafe Dubai UAE

This is definitely our favourite breakfast spot in D3, and that’s entirely down to four words: scrambled eggs with truffle shavings. There’s a reason the food is so good: at the helm is head chef Roberto Segura, who used to run the kitchen at The Act. Happily, Craft Café is the sort of place that makes you want to linger with comfortable furniture, plenty of natural light and kooky design details like decorative bird cages. It’s a very family-friendly spot too.

Building 10, Dubai Design District, Ras Al Khor Road, Dubai, Sat to Thur 8am to 6pm. Tel: (050) 8583074. Taxi: Dubai Design District.

3. One LifeKitchen And Café

OneLife- Dubai UAE

A little oasis of nature, with its colourful interior, wall of faux grass and a rustic wooden sign that promises to ‘Feed Your Soul’. It’s green in the eco-friendly sense too, with a charicycle for deliveries and plenty of health-conscious food and drink on offer, like fresh salads, coconut water (fresh from the coconut) and a hearty shakshouka. They also stock sugar-free, vegan and gluten-free products.

Building 5, Dubai Design District, Ras Al Khor Road, Dubai, Sun to Thur 8am to 6pm, Sat 9am to 4pm. Tel: (04) 5134727. Taxi: Dubai Design District.

4. Amorino


What started off as a little gelateria owned by childhood best friends Cristiano Sereni and Paolo Benassi has grown into an ice cream empire with branches all over the world, including New York, Las Vegas and St Tropez. The D3 shop is actually the second branch to open in the emirate (the first is in Festival City) but it’s still worth seeking out for the exceptional gelato: smooth, creamy and just sweet enough, made with carefully sourced ingredients. We love the addictive salted caramel flavour. Other sweet treats on offer include waffles, crêpes and decadent espresso frappes, for a caffeine buzz to go with that sugar rush.

Building 11, Dubai Design District, Ras Al Khor Road, Dubai, Sat to Thur 8am to 7pm. Tel: (04) 5575084. Taxi: Dubai Design District.

5. Tossed

Dubai Food

This UK export has more than a dozen locations in London, and already has a spot in the Dubai Airport Free Zone. Tossed offers healthy food on the go – think green smoothies, juices, lunch wraps and more. We like the make-your-own-salads, which include heartier options like grilled halloumi, sweet potato and Parmesan crisps.

Building 11, Dubai Design District, Ras Al Khor Road, Dubai, Sat to Thur 8am to 7pm. Tel: (04) 2215033. Taxi: Dubai Design District.


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