Having built up a sizeable stock of untaken annual leave I decided to take today and tomorrow off (which with the three day holiday later in the week would give me a week off). Unfortunately clients intervened but E. and I did manage lunch together today at the Lime Tree cafe in Al Quoz (we need to buy some shares in that chain).
Al Quoz is a rather unlovely industrial area running parallel to SZR and due to a mishap with the directions I spent rather longer driving around the warehouses, car showrooms/workshops, and concrete factories (including the former precast works of a client of mine which looks like it could double as a film set) that gives the area its unique character.
The network of roads is intersected by alleyways and anonymous cut-throughs which have become the last resting place for a motley assortment of broken down lorries and cars so can be quite a challenge to navigate particularly at going home time.
On first blush it would seem to be a rather unusual location for an upmarket coffee shop/restaurant that prides itself on catering to the needs of what were known as the “Jumeirah Janes” when I first arrived here 10 years ago - essentially the ladies who lunch. However, it is located next to an interesting older building that has a somewhat bohemian air and houses a small theatre (which judging from the adverts in the entrance specialises in comedy stand up/ improv) and some very small art galleries and pop up craft shops.
Not sure you could really call it old school Dubai but it does have a certain unexpected charm given its location among the gritty urban hinterland of this part of the city and definitely worth a quick look if you are looking for some decent grub and a somewhere a bit different to explore.