See the spirit of Dubai at Al Safa, where old is precious but new shines a light on the city’s ultra-modern credentials.
Conveniently located between Jumeirah and Sheikh Zayed Road lies the once-sleepy Al Safa neighborhood. What was an area dotted with low-rise villas and small pockets of community retail, transformed into a waterfront destination in 2016 with the opening of the Dubai Water Canal?
The all-new version features a fresh wave of energy thanks to the waters, which effectively made parts of Dubai into an island. The striking water body makes its way from the historic Dubai Creek through Business Bay and on to the Arabian Gulf.
Located close to other hotspots in the city like Kite Beach and bustling Downtown Dubai, dwellers at Al Safa enjoy the best of both worlds. There’s a distinctly laidback vibe here and much to explore. Locals speak fondly of Safa Park, one of the city’s first parks with lush views and plenty of play areas for little ones.
Nearby is the Al Farooq Omar bin Khattab Mosque. Fondly known as Dubai’s Blue Mosque, it is inspired by Turkey’s famous 17th century Sultan Ahmed Mosque, a classic example of Ottoman architecture. Visitors are welcome to take a look inside, where they’ll be able to glimpse intricate craftsmanship involving thousands of colorful Turkish Iznik tiles.
Al Safa’s understated retail and dining offering has also upped the ante, transforming the neighborhood into something of a proud independent dining hub. Try the breakfast specials at Cafe Havana inside Spinney’s Mall or superb sliders at Pickl, a homegrown burger joint that has set up shop in some of the city’s coolest communities. Those looking for something offbeat should stop by PDL – an urban barbershop and specialty coffee shop, all in one.
Getting there: On the Dubai Metro, alight at the Business Bay station and follow the pedestrian path on Sheikh Zayed Road bridge where an elevator will lead you to the Dubai Water Canal. By water, RTA ferries stop at the Sheikh Zayed Road marine station, while water taxis can use a number of stations at Business Bay, Al Wasl and Safa Park.