The 10 Best Spots for Working Outside the Office in Dubai
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The 10 Best Spots for Working Outside the Office in Dubai

With increasing flexibility in working arrangements, more and more people are electing to get the job done outside a traditional office setting. We explore some of the best places to work in Dubai that aren’t at your work.

The 10 Best Spots for Working Outside the Office in Dubai

The office can be one of the worst places to actually get work done. With overheads increasing, more and more workplaces have opted for open floor plan offices that inevitably lead to increased interruptions -- between meetings, phone calls and even just the constant murmur of the everyday office, it can be tough to get a solid day’s work completed. But there are alternatives.

Advances in technology and telecommunications mean that work is just as easily completed outside the office, and these changes have allowed for unprecedented flexibility in people’s working lives. All you need is a laptop and a now ubiquitous Wi-Fi hotspot, and you’re ready to roll.

With year round sunshine, Dubai is the perfect city to get out of the confines of the office and do a little al fresco work (well, outside of the scorching summer months anyway). We take a look at some of the best places to escape the cubicle and work away from the office.

1. Legend’s Steakhouse

Port Saeed

If you’re keen to combine a meal with your work, try Legends, home to some of the best steaks you’ll find in all of the UAE. The floor-to-ceiling glass windows afford diners spectacular views over the Dubai Creek, and the legendary Friday brunch is not to be missed. Just be aware that the restaurant closes at 3 p.m. weekdays, so if you’re looking for an extended work session, you may want to consider another venue.

2. Safa Park

Al Hadiqa Street

Keen for a healthy dose of vitamin D while you work? Take to the great outdoors in the 64 hectare Safa Park. Located in the heart of Dubai, this park has long been a favourite for young and old, and once you’ve completed a hard day’s work there are plenty of distractions to keep you busy. The park contains an outdoor ice-skating rink, three lakes and a 3-kilometre rubberised jogging track.

3. Nomad

Al Garhoud, Deira

The relaxed vibe of this all-day restaurant makes it a great place to pull out the laptop and get a bit of work done. In addition to the outdoor seating area, there is also a garden where you can stretch out and enjoy some grass under your feet, as well as the view over the pool and the Irish village.

4. Pantry Cafe

Al Wasl Square, Al Wasl Road

Positioned on the corner of Al Wasl Square opposite Safa Park, this delicatessen and cafe has a host of delicious dishes including pastas, steaks, pizzas and salads, but more importantly, it has free Wi-Fi. The unpretentious atmosphere, expansive indoor and outdoor seating areas and stripped back decor make it the perfect place to ease into a day’s work. Of note is that Pantry Cafe is open until 11 p.m., perfect for when you need to work late chasing an all-important deadline.

5. Shelter

Located at Warehouse 30 in Al Quoz, Shelter is a unique community workspace promoting entrepreneurship in the industrial heart of Dubai. The free community workspace houses 14 desk spaces and provides free Wi-Fi and delicious coffee made to order. The ideal location to support new ideas, Shelter is an intellectual haven for like-minded creatives to grow and develop. The space is often less busy than other business hubs, so grab your laptop and settle in for some productive time.

6. Baker and Spice

Marina Promenade - D 94

With space for 150 diners, Baker and Spice has been feeding the masses using local and fresh produce along the Marina Promenade since 2009. The light and airy interior is complemented by a host of outdoor seating, and the Wi-Fi is, of course, free. If you live around the Marina, this spot is the perfect place to leave the office behind and get some work done.

7. Bo House Cafe

The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence

The relaxed vibe of Bo House (short for Bohemian House) and the venue’s psychedelic hommage to colour make it just the place to stir the creative juices. This multicultural melting pot has a downstairs area which is surprisingly quiet: it’s the ideal place to kick back, enjoy some good food and get productive.

8. The Pavilion Downtown Dubai

Emaar Boulevard, Downtown Dubai

This dedicated, non-profit contemporary art space provides a hub for the active arts community of Dubai to view, discuss and participate in works by local and international artists. The site includes two art galleries, a cinema, restaurant, espresso bar, shisha cafe, lounge and working area with access to free Wi-Fi. The cafe has a range of snacks and meals to feast on when you need an energy boost.

9. Kino Cafe

The Dubai Mall | Level 2, SF-025

One of the best kept secrets of the Dubai Mall is this adorable Japanese cafe nestled within the Kinokuniya Book Store. Peruse the half million books and magazines, settle into one of the comfy chairs, take advantage of the free Wi-Fi and gaze out at the fantastic views over the Dubai fountains and Burj Khalifa. The cafe has around 25 seats and dedicated work spaces, with a power plug per chair. Enjoy the peace and quiet that only a bookstore can provide, grab a Japanese-style coffee and power through a productive day’s work.

10. Make Business Hub

Al Fattan Towers at JBR

Home of young businesses and big ideas, Make Business Hub has been designed from the ground up as an environment that nurtures entrepreneurship and promotes connections between like minded creatives in the UAE. There are 30 work stations with individual power outlets, but more importantly for anyone working in creative industries, there’s a cafe serving hot coffee and delicious, if overpriced food.

Things to Consider

Before you settle into an out-of-office work session, there are a few considerations to take into account.

  • Security - Be careful about working with sensitive data when accessing a server outside of the confines of the office network. If your company’s IT department (assuming you have an IT department) can’t offer you a dedicated laptop, it is essential that your equipment is secure, encrypted and has adequate protection from trojans and viruses, to prevent information getting into the wrong hands. .

  • Distractions - Ensure that time spent working outside the office is time spent working. It’s easy to get distracted by social media and the relentless tirade of salacious rumours over the internet when there’s no-one looking over your shoulder.

  • Pay your way - If you’re working from a restaurant or cafe, order food or drinks across the course of the day, The spot you’re using is valuable real estate and there’s nothing that cafe owners like less than someone who sips a single coffee all day, hogging the space that other paying customers could use.

  • Location, location, location - Try to sit in a corner for more privacy, and ensure there is a power outlet close by before you settle down.

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