New cafés, a caffeine-fuelled app, and a coffee (and tea) festival on the way
Time Out staff
This week, we’re overcome by a coffee and café frenzy, and learn that there is in fact an app for that.
This year’s International Coffee and Tea Festival (held in Dubai at the Meydan Grandstand and Convention Centre) may not start until Tuesday October 8 , but this week we are already becoming caffeine crazed. Our heightened mood comes following plenty of café and coffee news to share with you this week. First up, Souk al Bahar is getting ready to welcome a unique café concept with new store ICONS Coffee Couture due to open at the end of this month. The chain promises a fashion conscious coffee shop, offering organic coffee and the notoriously expensive kopi luwak beans. ICONS is also an advocate of the Hollywood diet, which uses ‘guilt-free’, zero calorie sweetener Stevia (extracted from the leaves of a South American plant of the same name). Nearby on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie will open in August. It will be headed up by a front of house team members, who have previously worked with Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal in the UK, as well as Dubai’s La Petite Maison.
In other news, Wafi has launched a ‘Café Court’. It is apparently the UAE’s first, although we’re unclear how it differs from the usual food court space, but we are interested to learn that it will house a varied selection of outlets, including Café Martinez, Noodle Factory, Shisu, Zucca and Soho Grill.
Not to be out done, Costa Coffee is going multi-sensory and cyber-friendly this month. Firstly, in Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport, the coffee chain has just launched Costa Express, which is a self service coffee machine. However, it aims to replicate the experience of a real barista-run coffee bar, by engaging the customers’ five senses, complete with the scents and sounds associated with this experience. The machine also offers more than 250 styles of coffee drink to choose from.
In the likely event that you are not reading this from the airport you may also welcome news that Costa has launched a local app (available for iPhone), which allows users to locate their nearest Costa store. The app comes with built in sudoku, crosswords and additional games and the capability to stream music and set up events on social media through the device.
Yet another local app to hit Dubai recently is Sallety. The name literally means ‘my basket’ in Arabic, which may give you a clue what it is for. Created by the Department of Economic Development, it has been created to allow users to compare the price of 270 basic groceries at supermarkets around Dubai.
Finally, for an entirely different hot drink, Times of Arabia is offering free erk-soos (tea made from liquorice root) to people passing by the new Dubai Mall restaurant throughout Ramadan.