Neighborhood Travel Guide: Al Satwa, Dubai

‘Satwa, often referred to as ‘Little Asia’, is situated between the bustling Sheikh Zayed Road and the affluent coastal areas of Dubai. Unlike the luxurious skyscrapers and high-end eateries in the nearby Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), which lies just across the highway, Satwa is characterized by its unassuming low-rise apartment buildings, a variety of independent stores and bespoke tailoring services, vibrant street art, and a rich array of genuine Asian cuisine, reflecting the area’s predominant Asian community.

2nd December Street

2nd December Street. Image from

Sixteen large murals showcasing aspects of Bedouin culture adorn the buildings along Satwa’s principal thoroughfare, created as part of the Dubai Street Museum project in 2016. This road, previously known as Al Dhiyafa Road until 2011, was renamed to commemorate the establishment of the United Arab Emirates in 1971.

Dream Girl Tailors

Dream Girl Tailors. Image from

Since its establishment in the 1970s, styles have evolved, but Kamal Makhija’s team of women’s tailors remains sought-after. Bring a drawing or a photograph of the outfit you want, and watch them skillfully bring it to life.

Ravi Restaurant

Ravi Restaurant. Image from

For over three decades, Ravi has been serving the delectable Pakistani delicacy of mutton Peshawari, known for its rich, buttery flavor. Savor this spicy, tomato-infused stew accompanied by warm, fluffy naans. Priced at just Dhs24, it’s more affordable than a high-end latte at many upscale Dubai cafes.


Tresind. Image from

Trèsind, blending the French and English words to mean ‘very Indian’, stands out as one of Dubai’s most budget-friendly five-star hotel restaurants. Celebrated for its upscale take on street food, it offers set menus starting from Dhs110 in a luxurious setting inspired by maharajas, featuring blue and champagne gold decor. A highlight is the modern chaat trolley, which delivers the crunchy, tamarind-infused snack right to your table, complete with a show of culinary artistry.

Level 43 Sky Lounge

Level 43 Sky Lounge. Image from

As evening falls, aspiring photographers assemble with their tripods on this neon-illuminated rooftop terrace, aiming to capture a sight they often keep under wraps: one of Dubai’s most enchanting vistas. This panoramic view is further enhanced by the presence of Asian cuisine and cocktails.

Leave a Comment