The New York Times Called This Dubai Area The 'Gritty Opposite Of Glamorous'

Screenshot 2016 05 21 17 49 02

We are used to Dubai receiving media attention around the world, usually for stunning new developments, or when celebrities past through and splash out, or on New Year's Eve when the Burj Khalifa firework display lights up. 

However, it's rare when an international publication goes deeper, beneath the surface, to discover the real Dubai. Forbes did this some what recently, however the New York Times have gone further, by focusing on the Al Quoz area, in a post on their travel section titled: In Dubai's Al Quoz, the Gritty Opposite of Glamorous.  

We all know Al Quoz of course, many of us did our driving lessons there, or have played indoor football there, attended art events in Al Serkal avenue or have had our cars repaired, or visited Tom & Serge for a great meal. 

However, here are some observations the New York Times have made that only an outsider looking in can. Call it 'stating the obvious', but in fact, when they say, 'gritty', they mean it as a compliment. 

1. An unpolished area of low rise warehouses

'the buildings are two- or three-story warehouses in a Creamsicle orange that matches the sand that spills onto the road'

Stephanie D'Arc Taylor, New York Time, 20th May, 2016

2. The only area that has discovered it self, rather than being assigned a name

'Al Quoz is unique among neighborhoods of Dubai in that it has developed an identity, rather than having been assigned one. Dubai’s neighborhoods have names like Media City, Knowledge Village and the International Financial Center'

Stephanie D'Arc Taylor, New York Time, 20th May, 2016

3. People associate it with storage handers, car repair garages and drivers with bad manners

'People associate Al Quoz’s storage hangars and car repair garages with “dust, grit, bad road manners and lack of signage,”'

Stephanie D'Arc Taylor, New York Time, 20th May, 2016

Yet, despite that, we have seen the organic emergence of a creative nerve centre, mainly thanks to Al Serkal avenue

"The area has emerged organically as a creative nerve center, edgy in a conservative city, a place where Dubai’s gallerists, fashion designers and hip entrepreneurs are flocking".

Stephanie D'Arc Taylor, New York Time, 20th May, 2016

And here are 14 photos that back up the claim

A photo posted by Mohamed Somji (@msomji) on

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