Dubai’s top 16 specialty coffeehouses

  • One of the oldest homegrown coffee houses in the UAE, Arabian Tea House rose from the ground in 1997. Designed to give guests a glimpse of traditional Emirati village life, the main branch is situated in Dubai's historical district. Shaded under a thriving old tree, the cafe is flooded with the aroma of freshly cooked food and even fresher brewed coffee. A slice of the past, Arabian Tea House will leave you no less than completely enchanted with its charming hospitality.

    Good to know: Enjoy anything from a simple qahwa to an elaborate afternoon tea experience. recommends: Arabic Qahwah.

  • While the world recognizes Japan's greatest import to be sushi, % Arabica's founder – Kenneth Shoji – is slowly and steadily changing that notion. Nurturing a passion for coffee, Shoji owns a coffee farm and a company that distributes specialized coffee machines. % Arabica immerses its guests by letting them choose their own beans and preferred roasting level. This is a major leap from the usual “would you like your coffee with with or without milk?”. The brand identifies itself as the world's smallest coffee roaster, humbly headquartered in Kyoto.

    Good to know: Save your salik credit. % Arabica will be launching in Abu Dhabi later this year. recommends: Iced Spanish Latte and Chemex (with % Arabica's blend).

  • Known for its monster dosas, Saravana Bhavan hardly comes to mind when the conversation is about coffee. It doesn't even have a specific section on its menu devoted to the beverage. Yet here it proudly stands on its list purely because of its culturally unique filter kaapi. Typically brewed from Arabica and Robusta, this frothy and delightfully sweet drink calls southern India its home. Things get pretty complex and sciencey in the kitchen with this drink – it's made by blending frothed and boiled milk with concentrated ground coffee powder in an Indian filter. Treat yourself to a scrumptious South Indian breakfast here, and round it off with a memorable filter kaapi.

    Good to know: Mentions of filter kaapi can be traced in literature from the 17th century! recommends: Filter kaapi, with a side of something savory.

  • The Coffee Club's signature catchphrase is “Where will I meet you?”, hoping the answer is always at...The Coffee Club. Serving up healthy yet hearty grub alongside a brilliant cup of coffee, this Australian brand is one of Jumeirah's favorite cafes. Bathed in industrial chic interiors, the vibes are permanently cozy here. Bring your laptop along and work away, while regularly fueling up with the cafe's wide array of traditional and modern coffee concoctions.

    Good to know: The Coffee Club serves up both – Arabian and European brunch dishes. recommends: Espresso and Melloccino.

  • The Brass and its cheesecake win every single time, and its coffee comes a close second. City Walk's haven for freelancers bored of their home offices – The Brass serves up good coffee and even better wifi and power amenities. Working its own coffee brand – The Deira Blend – the cafe is a homegrown concept that will send retro Dubai kids swooning. Everything on the menu is inspired by life in the UAE. It's also perfect for the adventurous coffee drinker, who's looking to expand their horizons beyond ristrettos and affogatos. From lavender honey to coconut lattes on tap, this place is definitely one for the bucket list.  It's even got coffee spiked with orchid flour!

    Good to know: The Brass Coffee and Community doesn't accept table reservations. recommends: Coconut Latte and Walnut Sahleb.

  • In the running with international coffee moguls like Starbucks, Costa, and Caribou – Gloria Jean's is the only name that made our list. And the brand's got its awesome coffee to thank for that! Launched in late 70s Chicago, it's spread across the world like wildfire in the recent decades. From Australia to Bangladesh, you can count on a solid cup of Gloria Jean's anywhere! Widely available from shopping malls to amusement parks, Gloria Jean's is a specialty coffee brand here to stay.

    Good to know: Gloria Jean's distributes a cool newsletter about its latest products, promotions, and everything in between. If you're a fan, sign up at the brand's website. recommends: Irish Nut Creme.

  • The Sum of Us has three identities – a sourdough bakery, a coffee roastery, and a gourmet eatery. There's always something cooking here (pun intended). From its crispy and unbelievably fresh homemade loaves to its enticing coffee workshops, The Sum of Us is a micro town. With plates piled with poached eggs and steaming cups of coffee meandering around the tables, the fragrance from its indoor flower shop will sweep you off your feet moments after you step inside. Grab your friends, grab a menu, and swim through the brand's wealth of ingenious coffee blends.

    Good to know: If The Sum of Us is all booked up, head over to Tom and Serg in Al Quoz or Common Grounds in Mall of the Emirates. All cafes are the brain babies of Bull and Roo. recommends: Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream and Acai Affogato.

  • Before coffee, Cafe Bateel won its customers' hearts with its gourmet dates. Hailing from Al Ghat in Central Arabia, the natural elements engaged in an explosive tango and gave birth to this town's distinct date. At Bateel, the coffee is always delicious and always comes accompanied by the brand's signature light bites. This could be anything from a sugar-dusted cookie to an elegantly wrapped date. Sip your drink in the lap of luxury at Bateel's ornate cafes, sprinkled across the GCC.

    Good to know: Leave your guests talking about your corporate event for days with Cafe Bateel's stylish corporate gift boxes. The brand caters these and more at its online store. recommends:
    Arabic Coffee and Date Affogato.

  • Sourced from Ethiopia, Boon Coffee is JLT's little social hub for caffeine heads. The brand's menu is brimming with premium varieties like Yirgacheffe, Sidama, Harrar and Lekempti. While the cafe sources its beans from another country, the roasting is kept local to control the quality and keep things consistent. Realizing the value of coffee, Boon gives back to its coffee community at the very source. A fraction of its profit is donated to help children in coffee farming societies attend school. So, even if coffee isn't really your thing, every cup of joe at Boon Coffee matters.

    Good to know: If you want to wake up to Boon Coffee every morning without having to drive down to its cafe, you can order its green or roasted beans online for a minimum of 150 dirhams. recommends: Honey Latte and Caramel Cafe Freddo.

  • One of Jumeirah's neighborhood favorites, Coffee Grounds serves up piping hot coffee in a rainforest environment. Its glistening wooden interiors and luscious plants swap Dubai's sand-ridden concrete jungle vibes for greener jungle vibes. Treating every cup of coffee like a unique work of art, the passionate baristas at Stomping Grounds will guide through its exotic menu.

    Good to know: With the AC cranked up to polar temperatures, it can get a little chilly (and that's putting it lightly) at Stomping Grounds. Be sure to take a sweater along – even in the summer. recommends: Espresso Tonic Orange.

  • One of Greece's fastest-growing coffee companies, Mikel Coffee is Greek's gift to the world besides baked feta. With 132 branches in Greece, the company hit the UAE in 2016 with four branches across the country. In addition to coffee, the cafe is also known for its scrumptious selection of baked goods. If you're at Mikel and not sure what to order, keep it simple and grab an espresso. The company sold 375 tons of espresso coffee in 2016, so they must be doing something right. To make it easier to visualize, that's close to what a sports motorcycle weighs!

    Good to know: If you're a freelancer that's looking to switch things up, ditch your desk at home and head over to Mikel. It's got oodles of laptop-friendly workspace and flawless wifi. recommends: Mikelchino and Greek Frappe.

  • At Raw Coffee Company, you get to sip novel coffee blends while sitting next to a massive sack of the beans they came from. Located in a mammoth warehouse, the cafe sends its customers on a journey through caffeinated space and time. The brand was determined to bring the world's finest coffee into the UAE, by any means possible. It started out shipping in bags of its favorite beans in suitcases until it received permission to import coffee beans normally. Its beans are organically certified and roasted by origin. It even offers barista crash courses for coffee enthusiasts.

    Good to know: Raw Coffee Company is open throughout the week, kicking off bright and early at 8AM and winding down at 9PM. First-time customers may stumble upon discounts. recommends: Dark Knight and Cold Brew with Coconut.

  • Gossip Cafe's name is shouted from the rooftops for its legendary rose milk cake. If you've bought into the hype and are currently tucking into a slice while reading this, here's why it's an ace coffee house too. Fundamentally American with an Emirati twist, Gossip Cafe's menu features fascinating flavor combinations. Depending on what you're in the mood for, you can score a killer cup of Emirati Qahwa or an Americano here. Complement your drink with confections fresh from its bakery, or skip the coffee entirely and catch up with your friends over its afternoon tea spread.

    Good to know: Beat the heat with Gossip Cafe's diverse selection of coffee coolers. recommends: Gossip Qahwah and Cafe Viennois.

  • Cafe Rider's barista crew boasts winners of the National Barista Championship, so you just know the coffee's going to be on point. The brand takes immense pride in its coffee beans, to the extent that it's happy to share its gourmet beans with fellow budding cafes. Located in the dusty heart of Al Quoz, you get to drink coffee with a collection of cool people and even cooler motorbikes. The in-house roastery offers a varied selection of signature caffeine beverages.

    Good to know: Cafe Rider does more than just coffee, you can also get your bike serviced here. recommends:
    McQueen Cider and Aeropress.

  • The Espresso Lab claims to be the only specialty coffee house to have visited and verified its sources personally. Committed to serving excellence in every cup, The Espresso Lab is madly devoted to its brand integrity and customers. Its mission surpasses just leaving you with a caffeine high. Depending on the time of day, specially tailored cups of coffee are served to entice your tastebuds. You can choose how to take your coffee – The Espresso Lab gives you three options.

    Good to know: If you've got tourist friends in town, the best souvenir to send them back home with is an evening sipping a variety of unique local and global coffees at The Espresso Lab. recommends: Chemex coffee.

  • Setting Business Bay's breakfast scene on fire, Cafe Vienna's eggs and coffee game is off the hook. It's menu flaunts international favorites from pillowy pancakes to farm fresh egg dishes. Cafe Vienna's wide range of coffee beverages goes from hot to cold, with an equally diverse confections list to go with it. Skip the supermarket and browse the cafe's collection of gourmet pasta, chips, and assorted nuts instead. Definitely one to try if you're in the hood.

    Good to know: Too lazy to budge from the couch? Cafe Vienna does Deliveroo! recommends: Creamy Espresso Shake.