Dubai: An insider’s guide

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Dubai: An insider’s guide https://www.visitdubai.com/en/articles/dubai-local-knowledge-guide 20190106T120724 20190107T000432:636824162724343413 Galleries & Art Shows

Hisham Samawi is a half-Syrian, half-Austrian entrepreneur who has been living in Dubai since 2006. In 2008, he established Ayyam Gallery – a leading art gallery in the region spearheading the growth of the local arts scene. He also opened the first outpost of iconic New York eatery Clinton Street Baking Company to rave reviews. Here he reveals his essential Dubai itinerary.

Dubai local shares best restaurants and art galleries to visit

Hisham Samawi is a half-Syrian, half-Austrian entrepreneur who has been living in Dubai since 2006. In 2008, he established Ayyam Gallery in 2008– a leading art gallery spearheading the growth of the local arts scene. He also opened the first outpost of iconic New York eatery Clinton Street Baking Company to rave reviews. Here he reveals his essential Dubai itinerary.



Clinton Street Baking Company


The best breakfast choice, Clinton Street Bakery serves up its signature fried chicken waffle to eager diners every morning. An outpost of the New York institution, it also offers other ‘comfort food’ and American classics such as omelettes, pancakes, sandwiches and soups. There’s another a branch at Dubai City Walk, which has a more upmarket feel and New York vibe, with the sound of jazz emanating from its doors day and night.

Contact details:

Burj Views, Downtown Dubai
+971 4 428 1331

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Ayyam Gallery


A great place to see the works of a diverse range of established and emerging artists. This sleek modern space has a sister gallery in Beirut, as well as collaborative projects in the US, Europe and Asia. In addition, it boasts a multinational non-profit arts programme and a custodianship that manages the estates of pioneering artists. Details of current and upcoming exhibitions can be found on its website.

Contact details:

Unit B11 Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1
+971 4 323 6242

Al Nafoorah


If you want to experience Middle Eastern cuisine, Al Nafoorah is a good bet. The name of this multi-award-winning Lebanese fine dining restaurant means ‘fountain’ in Arabic. As well as exceptional panoramic views over the city from its inviting terrace in Jumeirah Emirates Towers, you can enjoy belly dancing performances as you devour dishes such as hummus, tabouleh, shish tawook and kebab halabi.


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La Petite Maison


The benchmark in fine dining, La Petite Maison specialises in cuisine Niçoise – a style of cooking that blends French Mediterranean flavours with those from Ligurian Italy just across the border. Ingredients such as artichokes, courgettes, lemons, olives, tomatoes, peppers and girolles are mixed with seafood, meat and fresh pasta to create a light and healthy meals, deliciously topped with oil that comes from olives groves on the hills of the Alpes-Maritimes.



Alserkal Avenue


This former industrial area has transformed to become the hub of Middle Eastern art, with galleries housed in former warehouses. The first precinct of its kind in the UAE, it all began with just one gallery in 2008. More and more galleries started to pop up and the district quickly became a hub for exhibits and contemporary artwork. Check out Carbon 12 Dubai, Isabelle Van den Eynde Gallery and Green and Salsali Private Museum before grabbing a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants or cafés that line the street.

Contact details:

Street 8, Al Quoz 1
+971 50 556 9797

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