Al Satwa

Welcome to Al Satwa

Bordered by Jumeirah and Bur Dubai, this busy neighbourhood is home to one of Dubai’s most important landmarks. Sitting at the end of 2nd December Street (formerly Diyafah Street), Union House played an important role in the establishment of the United Arab Emirates. Home to a sizable population of expats, Satwa is a bustling low-rise district with bags of street life from popular roadside eateries to the groups of fearless street cats who linger underneath tables to catch scraps.

Nearest Stations

  • World Trade Centre metro station
  • Emirates Towers metro station
  • Financial Centre metro station

Commute Times by Car

  • Jebel Ali – 35 minutes
  • Dubai Marina – 20 minutes
  • Dubai Mall – 11 minutes
  • DIFC – 10 minutes
  • Dubai International Airport – 14 minutes

Around the block

The neighbours

Low to mid-income expats, mostly south-east Asians, as well as a number of European old-timers in Dubai

Satwa is the subject of the critically acclaimed photo-novella, Satwa Stories, by Mahmoud Kaabour and Denise Holloway of Veritas Films. The project highlights the hidden gems and iconic characters of the Satwa neighbourhood through poetry, photography, and music.

perfect for

Those on a budget looking to live in a buzzing central area

Satwa is one of the best places in Dubai if you are looking for a bargain. Whether you’re looking for textiles, rugs, antique furniture or even carpentry services, Satwa’s roadside shops have it all.  Stop in to explore a few hidden gems and get lost for a few hours. Don’t forget to come down here for your bespoke, tailored clothes (both for ladies and gents), and some delicious and reasonably-priced restaurants.

Head out to Satwa Plant Nurseries in December to score some seasonal plants, starting from as low as AED10 per piece.

the lifestyle

Busy, loud, and full of adventures

There are always plenty of people out and about in Satwa; walking, driving, and riding bikes. The bus station is a local artery, buzzing with activity.  The winding streets and occasional palm trees are reminiscent of the way Dubai used to look like in the mid to late 20th century before the glitz and the glamour of the Marina and the Downtown Dubai. It’s a great place for Throwback Thursday; eventually you’ll come back for a “cheap eats” meal at Ravis’ on the Satwa Roundabout to help you remember fondly your earliest days in Dubai.

not so great for

Quiet-seekers and those afraid of a souq-style hustle-bustle

If riding a slightly rusty, slightly dusty bike doesn’t feel natural, this might not be the place for you.  If early morning congestion and late-night coffee shops don’t sound like your cup of tea, perhaps you’re best off visiting on a quiet Friday afternoon instead of living here. If you’re the type of person who prefers a ritzier, more upscale lifestyle, you’d better stick with another area. You won’t find five star restaurants here, nor will you see high-rise buildings overlooking the water, you can however rest assured you’ll find the real, salt of the Earth, homegrown Dubai folks; they’ll be around for sure, as they have been for a long time.

the market

Older, well-constructed apartments and villas

Satwa is part of Old Dubai and offers an array of villas and low-rise residential buildings in affordable prices. It is one of the few remaining parts of Dubai that has kept its authentic vibe with its traditional villas. Apartment buildings are slightly hard to come by, as the reasonable prices, the convenient location, and the limited stock keep renters for longer than average in this particular neighborhood.

you will fall in love with

The food, the diversity and the location

Ask any local or any expat who has lived in Dubai for more than a year and they’d tell you that for authentic South Asian and Arabic food, one must go to Satwa. From fresh-baked Iranian bread, to vegan Indian chaat stands, this area is packed with foodies almost every night of the week.

An absolute must, is to dine at Ravis’ at least once in your lifetime. This eatery on the Satwa Roundabout has been in business for over 30 years. Ask any of the local taxi drivers that frequent at the restaurant, or any other loyal customer, and they will tell you that the authentic flavour hasn’t changed a bit over those decades.

Do you have something to add or share that we've overlooked? Please click here to send us a note and we'll be sure to consider it for inclusion!

Our selection


Chow down on dal packed with ginger, no-fuss tandoori chicken on the bone and piles of fresh crisp-edged breads.

Calicut Paragon

A casual restaurant for mainly South Indian dishes with a focus on seafood and a wide choice of vegetarian bites.

Pan De Manila

This Filipino bakery serves up freshly-baked sweets from the Philippines such as chocolate crinkles, pandesal, ensaymada, hopia, pineapple pie and rolled cake Brazo de Mercedes.

Al Dhiyafah Centre

A small shopping centre located at the Satwa Roundabout opposite the Rydges Plaza Hotel that houses a number of tailors and cafes.

Al Ghazal Mall

A quirky shopping centre with a few high street brand stores as well as a couple of quirky independent outlets such as Pilgrim, a Swedish jewellers with funky pieces.


This textile store was founded in 197, and has branched out all over Dubai since then.

Satwa Park

Satwa Park is an inner city park located behind Al Moosa towers along Sheikh Zayed Road. The park also offers basic amenities including football pitches, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts.

Al Khazzan Park

A small family park, with a pleasant shaded area overlooking a children’s play area. Al Khazzan Park has been brought back to life and is now entirely powered by solar energy systems.

Safa Park

A small family park with children’s play areas and plenty of shaded seating. If you like a bit of turf under foot, Al Wasl allows running on the grass.

Satwa Medical Fitness Centre

The Al Satwa Medical Fitness Centre, with a capacity of accommodating 700 clients per day, offers express services exclusively catering to female clients.

Fitness First

Fitness First Middle East has 62 fitness clubs in locations across the region, each including exclusive ladies-only branches.

Al Maftool Gym

A popular gym amongst Satwa residents offering a wide range of health and fitness services.

Book World

Dubai’s best and largest second-hand bookshop is every bookworm’s haven.

Plant Nurseries

Buy trees and plants (best in December) for as little as AED 10.

Ukay Ukay

Shopping in Ukay Ukay is one of the coolest things you can do in Satwa.