BBC News – Cafe creatives: The hubs tempting Dubai entrepreneurs
Slinging a small backpack onto the desk, Will Hutson says good morning to colleagues and pulls out his laptop.
But before chat about the day’s work progresses, somebody suggests ordering coffee – something that has become a bit of a ritual.
With floor-to-ceiling windows, fresh white walls dotted with supposedly inspiring quotes (“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great”) and a soundtrack of relatively obscure Swedish indie bands – Make is far from the cafe chains found in shopping centres across the emirate.
Instead it is one of a handful of trendy urban hang-outs, labelled “co-working hubs”, that have sprung up – something you would expect to find in east London or San Francisco rather than the Middle East.
By mid-morning almost all the table spaces are taken. And while some customers are bankers or lawyers looking for a change of scene and a decent espresso, its main business comes from freelancers, entrepreneurs running start-ups or people already in staff jobs considering going it alone, drawn by the free desks and free wi-fi.
And in a place where 85% of the population is not local – and where the concept of starting your own business is still in its infancy – it is also a chance to meet like-minded people.