Cover Image

Photo courtesy of Caroline Sullivan

AD Secrets: A Guide to Study Spots in the City

Are you tired of moving from your bed to your desk and back again? Are you bored of having the same coffee and snacks from the Library Cafe? Here is a guide to different places to study in the city, ideal during remote semesters.

Nov 1, 2020

Are you tired of moving from your bed to your desk and back again? Are you bored of having the same coffee and snacks from the Library Cafe? With various aspects of daily life moving online, students have found themselves stuck to their laptop screens and locked inside their rooms for extended periods of time.
But there is a silver lining to the Zoom fatigue and constant headaches: remote classes allow the ability to venture outside of the Saadiyat bubble more flexibly. No longer do we have to wait for the weekend to finally step off campus. Instead, we can comfortably work from anywhere in the city during the work week for a breath of fresh air.
The Abu Dhabi Youth Hub is specifically designed as a coworking space for youth. With glass windows providing natural lighting and a clear view of the outside world, the contemporary building houses two cafes and a range of areas to sit and work in the company of other students and young professionals. In consideration of social distancing practices, however, many of the spaces have been limited to smaller capacities which might be worth considering on busier days of the week, when the capacity is nearly full. Some of the larger meeting rooms, which are especially convenient for group studying, can be booked beforehand. The Youth Hub is a quick 15 minute, 30 AED cab ride away, also accessible through the free X7 shuttle.
Image 1
The Abu Dhabi Youth Hub / Photo courtesy of Julia Tymoshenko
Further along the Corniche street, The Third Place Cafe is a welcoming space divided into two levels — a ground floor with communal spaces to grab food and chat, and an upper level with quiet rooms and a library area to study, work and read away. With an expansive menu, indoor and outdoor seating, steady wifi and regular electricity ports to charge devices, the Third Place is the perfect place for a full day of productive work. It is accessible by a 15 to 20 minutes cab ride, or by public bus from campus to the Corniche Street stop followed by a 13 minute walk.
Right next to the Third Place is a quaint little shop called Cafe ArTea. While Cafe ArTea is more on the expensive range than the rest of the recommendations, you can visit for a calming escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and consume interesting 3D coffee art with very Instagrammable aesthetics.
Nearby, the Art House Cafe, a part of the Etihad Modern Art Gallery, is a spot perfect for art enthusiasts. With a nice garden area, the cafe can be your go-to place to seek artistic inspiration and overcome writing blocks. It has indoor and outdoor seating if you want to enjoy the increasingly good weather and some really good coffee options too.
1762, also a small walk from the Corniche, has delicious desserts — the espresso tiramisu being a favorite for many — as well as couches by the windows to make for cozy reading spots. There is a small park nearby, perfect for study breaks, and the coffee shop is five minutes away from Shish Shawarma, if that’s what you’re craving.
Rain Cafe is a bright, compact coffee stop, a quick five minute cab ride away from Al-Wahda mall, which you can reach by taking the university shuttle. It has both indoor and outdoor seating, and a wide range of specialty coffee options you can devour while working. Around the corner, Tea Break is a quick walk away for karak and a Chips Oman sandwich after a long day of work.
Image 3
Al Ulya Cafe / Photo courtesy of Jamie Gabrielle Uy (@theseasonalvegetarian)
Al Ulya Cafe is at a walking distance from Al Wahda Mall. While the cafe doesn’t have stable wifi, it is the perfect spot to get some reading and writing done while enjoying a pastel de nata or other coffee and desserts from the cafe's range of Portuguese pastries.
Image 4
Cafe 302 / Photo courtesy of Jamie Gabrielle Uy (@theseasonalvegetarian)
Lastly, Cafe 302 is a 15 minute walk from the World Trade Center, which can be reached using the university shuttle or public bus. Popular especially for its breakfast deals — served until 2 p.m. — Cafe 302 is affordable and includes a range of vegan options.
As the semester proceeds and the weather improves, it is the perfect time to go out into the city, find your favorite study spots for a change of scenery from campus and a socially distanced semblance of pre-pandemic life.
Huma Umar is Deputy Features Editor. Email her at
gazelle logo