Here at The Huntr, we are passionate about helping the people of the UAE live their best lives. It’s basically what drives this whole thing. We want to help residents feel like tourists – showing them all of the amazing gems that they never knew about and help tourists feel like residents – enabling them to feel “in the know” of what to eat, see and do. And it’s no secret that we love to share the very best homegrown businesses and showcase the coolest places throughout the UAE.
Without the people, The Huntr wouldn’t be what it is, as such, we are pretty excited to present a new regular feature celebrating just that – The People of the UAE. Our photographers and contributors will be scouring the UAE for interesting folk to feature here and we will be sharing the stories of #ThePeopleOfTheUAE – whether they are tourists, expats or locals, each of these people have a unique story to tell and gems to share, and we are pumped to provide a platform for that.
We hope you enjoy the first The People of the UAE feature. Dig in…
38 years old, from pakistan
Originally from Pakistan, taxi driver Altaf has been living in Dubai for 17 years. He works from 4 am until 4 pm, 7 days a week. Every 18 months he gets a month off and he uses it to visit his family back in Pakistan.
Altaf loves having breakfast at Tea Mate Cafe in Satwa (location here) and his favourite restaurant in Dubai is a gem called Karachi Darbar Restaurant in Deira (location here) – he recommends trying the biryani there. After work, his favourite thing to do is to hang out with his friends.
26 years old, from lebanon
Linda works as a Health and Dietetic Manager at Emirates Flight Catering. She was raised in Dubai and only left for a brief period to study at the American University of Beirut. She came back to start her career in 2014.
Linda loves to go for a sunrise run on Kite Beach (location here) and during her free time she loves to hang out with her friends, read, play the piano and travel when she can. She’s currently completing her Master’s Degree at Tufts University, Boston.
Her favourite place to have breakfast is a toss-up between Tasha’s (location here) and Kitchen 6 (location here). She loves Walnut Grove (location here) for lunch or dinner. She adores the hundreds of amazing cafes in Dubai but if she had to choose, her top two favourites are Tub of Butter (read The Huntr’s review here) and One Life Kitchen and Cafe in the Dubai Design District (location here).
28 Years old, from Kenya
Hailing from Central Kenya, Michael decided to move to Dubai three years ago. He was drawn to Dubai because it is an iconic city, with many places to go and many things to do.
His favourite restaurant is the Wimpy on 144 Naif Street in Deira (location here). He has breakfast at the Enoc Petrol Station he works at every day.
On his days off he likes to go and visit The Dubai Mall and see the dancing fountains. He also speaks to his wife and kids back home in Kenya and tells them stories of his adventures and the people he has met in Dubai.
31 Years Old, From the USA
Originally from Minnesota, Rachel has been living in the UAE for 3.5 years and Dubai for 2 years. She used to work in Madinat Zayed in the western region of the country. Rachel now works in Dubai as a school counsellor assisting students with problem-solving in emotional situations, as well as with career and college guidance for university admissions. She loves her job and loves helping students with important, life-changing decisions.
In her free time, Rachel likes to explore, discover new places, meet new people and spend time on her two hobbies: photography and hiking.
Her favourite place for breakfast (especially during the winter months) is Park House at Kite Beach (read The Huntr’s full review here). She says it was Park House’s smoothie bowl topped with coconut and granola was what brought her there, but it’s the great staff and atmosphere that keeps her going back. Her favourite place for lunch or dinner is a gem called Diwan Al Muhanna on Sheikh Zayed Road (location here). It was one of the first restaurants that she tried when she first moved to Dubai and even after two years, she still can’t get enough. Her favourite hidden gem is a cafe called Boston Lane in Al Quoz (read The Huntr’s full review here) – she recommends trying the almond croissant.
25 years old, from Lebanon
Hailing from Saiida in Lebanon, Rami has spent a total of 5 years in Dubai. He works as an operations manager at Uber and has been there for 4 years. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, outdoor activities like kayaking and camping, and just generally spending time with friends.
His favourite spot for breakfast is Tom & Serg in Al Quoz (read The Huntr’s full review here). For dinner he loves The Butcher Shop & Grill in JBR (location here), and he says there are so many cafes he loves its hard to pick a favourite, but recently he has been drawn to the great coffee, open space, decor and cheerful vibes of A4 Space in Alserkal Avenue (read The Huntr’s full review here). He says its such a relaxing spot where you can come and hang out with friends or chill and read a book without worrying about distractions.
26 Years Old, from Lebanon
Ruba’s from Ras Al Matten in Lebanon. She was raised in Dubai and only left to study in Lebanon at the American University of Beirut, before returning to the UAE to pursue a career in graphic design. She now works as a graphic designer at the Chalhoub Group.
In her free time, she likes to read and experiment with new hobbies that typically last a few months. At present, she’s currently tackling hand-lettering.
Her favourite spot for breakfast is Hampton’s Cafe (location here). For dinner, she loves Loca (location here) and recommends ordering the guacamole bowl. Her favourite cafe is Book Munch (location here). She loves that it’s quiet, they serve a great cup of tea and it’s an awesome place to catch up with friends.
If you want to be featured on these pages, holla at us via email using the subject line: The People of the UAE – Pick Me!
Photography and interviews by Amir Dakkak exclusively for The Huntr