Time Out has a quick guide to Satwa Road. Find out about the popular Old Town neighbourhood, the things to do, places to eat and more
Time Out Dubai Staff
Where are you taking us this week, Time Out? Satwa Road. It’s a vibrant, bustling area – a hive of activity. Sounds great. What is there to see and do? Satwa Road is home to a bewildering range of stores. Tailors sell textiles of all colours and textures, which they can then turn into a bespoke suit or garment. Of those, Deepak’s is an institution, founded in 1977. It has more branches throughout the city, but we’re particularly fond of this one and its dazzling array of colourful materials.
There are mechanics and car accessories shops, too, as well as mobile phone stores and electronics retailers selling chargers and covers for just about every brand of phone you’re likely to come across. Furniture shops sell brightly coloured cushion covers and kitsch nik naks, and then there are the shop windows filled with mini-screwdriver kits, sun umbrellas and novelty cigarette lighters. You won’t find big ticket items here, but just about anything else is possible.
So there are loads of shops selling non-mall-type goods, but where can I stop off for a bite to eat? We’re glad you asked. The area is home to some seriously good Pakistani and Indian restaurants – Delhi Darbar and Ravi Restaurant being just two. But for a bite-sized pre-lunch snack, Satwa Palace is where you need to be. Its flavour-packed vegetable samosas will set you back just a dirham each. And if you have a sweet tooth, there’s Wadi Zabeel, which sells chocolates with some of the quirkiest range of fillings we’ve heard of and tried. The kiwi creams get our vote.
Is it all just functional stores and street food then? Not at all. The mix of shops here is so eclectic. Away from food, material and mechanics, there’s Yousif Abdul Aziz Thyme & Herebs – you’ll be lured in, cartoon character-style, by the scent of cardamom and incense wafting from the shop. Holders for burning that incense, as well as Omani frankincense, saffron and rose water are all sold here. But don’t ignore the food. You can walk out, as we did, with a bag of Pakistani dried figs and a large pack of roasted cashews for just Dhs15, such are the bargains to be had here.
Only on Satwa Road
Ravi’s is as far from an undiscovered gem as you could ever find, being, as it is, lauded by generations of Dubai resident, international chefs and many more. Its well-deserved word of mouth fame is based on fantastic Pakistani food at affordable prices. Open daily 5am-2.30am. Ravi Restaurant, Near Satwa Roundabout (04 331 535304 331 5353).