This is where we will be celebrating Book Lovers Day

As lovers of the written word, we will definitely be using Book Lovers Day on 9th August as an excuse to get lost in a good book.


Whether you enjoy the quiet of a library or the ambient environment of a coffee shop, there’s nothing like finding that perfect spot to curl up with a good read. Here are six of our favourites in Abu Dhabi…

Khalifa Park Library

If you prefer the old-school library atmosphere with minimal distraction then head to this small-scale library, located in Khalifa Park, which is a quiet and comfortable place spread across two floors. With a collection of thousands of titles in both Arabic and English, you can find a range of novels, periodicals and journals, plus there’s a separate children’s library. Free entry. Off Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Street. Sun-Thu 8am-8pm, Sat 4pm-8pm. Contact:


Art House Café

Featuring beautiful decorations that cover every wall, Art House Café is a cosy retreat inspired by the art gallery that it calls home. This eclectic hidden gem is decked out in upcycled furniture and funky artwork, making it an inspiring place to lose yourself in a good book. While here, you can grab a light bite to eat then explore the gallery at leisure when you’ve finished reading. Behind Al Bateen Mall, off Al Falah Street. Daily 9am-midnight. Contact: 02 666 0175,

Cafe Arabia books and majlis area

Café Arabia

This villa-based Middle Eastern café is so warm and welcoming it’s almost like it was created just for book lovers. The three-story venue has plenty of nooks and crannies for you to hide away in and enjoy a good book with a slew of comfortable seating, too. It’s also a great opportunity to sample some traditional Arabic food and drinks – we recommend the Palestinian shakshouka or fatteh with grilled eggplant and a cup of Egyptian karkadeh, a hibiscus tea served hot or cold. Mohamed Bin Khalifa Street, opposite Umm Al Emarat Park. Sun-Thu 6am-11pm, Fri-Sat 7am-midnight. Contact: 02 643 9699,

Interior 1

Café 302

This downtown café is a popular spot for lunch and casual weekend brunching – we’re talking eggs benedict with friends – but it’s also a great place for book lovers to settle down for a few hours with a choice of comfortable seating and a selection of great food and drinks. Soak up the atmosphere of downtown Abu Dhabi while enjoying a fresh juice, salad, burger, curry, pasta or even a vegan dish. For coffee aficionados, try the Kyoto brew, which is brewed for up to 12 hours resulting in an aromatic but mellow cold coffee that pairs well with one of the café’s sweet treats. Al Maha Arjaan by Rotana, Hamdan Street. Daily 6am-11pm. Contact: 02 610 6666,

coffee and cake at blacksmith saadiyat island nyuad book lovers spot


Even if you’re not on Saadiyat Island, it’s worth seeking out this little hideaway. Known for its expertly made coffee and snacks from other local outlets like Nolu’s, this modern spot is decked out in a selection of charcoal and oak seating with a few sofas and upholstered chairs for you to sink into. Bring your book and enjoy the quiet ambience. NYUAD, Saadiyat Island. Sun-Thu 7.15am-10pm, Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 9am-9pm. Visit:



If it’s sophistication you’re after then the lobby lounge café at The Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal certainly ticks that box. Settle into a sofa under one of the chandeliers in the elegant, gold and grey-hued lounge, enjoy the attentive service, order a juice or even an afternoon tea and while away the time reading. Khor Al Maqtaa. Daily 8am-11pm. Contact: 818 8282,

WORDS Ioanna Orphanide

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