The Magazine Shop: Enjoy café culture

Hidden gemImage Credit: Courtesy of The Magazine Shop

Who doesn’t love stealing half an hour to enjoy a leisurely coffee? If you like plenty of culture with your brew, The Magazine Shop could be the place for you. Housed in building 8 of DIFC’s Gate Village, the café was opened by Kamal Rasool and the founders of The Archive in Safa Park and the all-new Creekside café.

The open-plan space with a central bar has a spacious seating area and shelves filled with magazines. It’s a bright, airy and very relaxed space — and it has a dedicated following of creatives and arts and culture enthusiasts. It’s a gem for anyone interested in international modern popular culture, communities and writing on a host of topics.

But before we get to the reading list, what’s on the menu? The café prides itself on serving good-quality coffee made with beans from Raw, which buys its stock only from farmers who have been fairly treated. You can also indulge in sandwiches, pastries, and snacks.

Once you’ve ordered, settle down with one of the magazines, which offer alternative perspectives on topics spanning food, music, film, art, travel, fashion, current affairs and more. The café’s team sources inspiring and thought-provoking titles from around the globe, which celebrate diversity of writing and the idea of independent publishing. By bringing these titles to the UAE, The Magazine Shop aims to encourage readers to “stop and think differently” about the world around them and their response to it.

The café counts among its best titles Beirut’s The Outpost, a provocative magazine that explores life in the Arab world, Wax Poetics, a magazine produced in Los Angeles that focuses on legends who have shaped the music industry and the way we listen to music today, and London’s Little White Lies, an independent film magazine with the motto “truth and movies”.

But this isn’t just a coffee shop that offers customers something interesting to read; it also holds workshops to engage with the community, to encourage people to express their passion for independent journalism and the written word. Recently, it held a class on how to make your own magazine.

The café also holds a monthly Crit Club, where an inspiring professional working in the creative industry is invited to talk about their organization and processes.

The owners of The Magazine Shop host events at its sister locations, The Archive and Creekside, including screenings of independent films and even a flea market called The Market of Everything.

Customers are encouraged to spend a leisurely hour or two in the café, and often end up getting lost in a magazine. Sounds like a little piece of luxury…

Open Sun-Thu 8am-6pm;
Sat 10am-4pm;
closed Friday.
Building 8, Gate Village,
DIFC, 056 432 9761,

Source: Angela Edwards, Special to Property Weekly

This section features lesser-known places and events that are delightfully distinct in their own way. It could be a quaint café or simply a charming lake. If it’s got character and brings a smile to your face, it’s a hidden gem that will find a place on this page. If you know of a hidden gem, email the Editor at

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