The Other Black Gold

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts · April 1, 2017

Coffee Culture in Abu Dhabi.

It’s official: Caffeine addiction is universal, not least in Abu Dhabi, where rich, aromatic Arabian coffee plays an integral role in the social scene. Roasted from green coffee beans and mixed with a touch of cardamom, clove, or even saffron, coffee in the capital has a distinct scent and taste that has not changed for centuries. For example, in Al Arish, a kitschy Emirati restaurant, serving proper Arabic coffee in the traditional way is taken very seriously. Here, the Arabic cup (finjaan) is always held in the right hand and the flask in the left.

“As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?”

Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes

The Other Black Gold

Building on tradition

With coffee chains like Costa and Starbucks throughout the Emirates, the locals’ relationship with the brew goes beyond on-the-go caffeine fixes, involving ritual and tradition.

The Other Black Gold

Coffee culture in the Middle East predates Starbucks by centuries.

The Other Black Gold

Shakespeare & Co.

At modern cafés like the glitzy Shakespeare & Co., however, one may enjoy a serious cuppa alongside delicious Western pastries and cakes.

The Other Black Gold

Café Arabia

With stylish new cafés booming throughout the region, coffee culture is becoming increasingly intertwined with the local art scene. At Café Arabia, artists celebrate their art with the community.

The Other Black Gold

A private gallery titled “Gems of the Middle East” was showcased at Café Arabia, featuring various artists from Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. The café strives to bridge people together over coffee and culture.


Al Arish: Al Meena , next to Fish Market. +971-2-673-2266

Shakespeare & Co.: Multiple locations, including Marina Mall, Theater Road; +971-2-658-2051

Café Arabia: 15th St. between 2nd/Airport Road and 24th/Karamah; +971-2-643-9699


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Written By: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts


Locations: Abu Dhabi

See more: Food & Drink

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