Find your tribe…

If you’re looking for a community to belong to – look no further. Dubai is the place to be for cultural movements, collectives and cliques that foster art forms, ideologies and disciplines. With such a diverse melting pot of nationalities and walks of life, there’s a space that’ll speak to everyone’s heart. Community clubs and initiatives deserve more spotlight because they bring like-minded people together, nurture relationships and friendships for life and make room for growth- we want to help you find yours.

Art and Music

Secta Collective


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This musical collective is an artist-led, community-based event and record label focused on introducing patrons to dancefloor driven, high energy rolling techno and has been spearheading Dubai’s underground scene. Created by a group of passionate music lovers, producers, sound engineers and creatives from all musical walks, this is a space that encourages listeners of niche genres to find their tribe and discover new ones. The techno collective also has an independent record label, which fosters growing musical talent.


Bayt Al Mamzar


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Bayt Al Mamzar is your answer to all things contemporary art, and has been an independent art space for local creatives to find their footing in the art world for a while now. They regularly host residency programs, exhibitions and public programs, and house artist studios and a growing library collection. They welcome the spirit of innovation, experiment and collaboration. They have an annual schedule of exhibitions, a collectives of residents and a space welcome to all to explore their creativity.


Honeycomb Hi-Fi

This Izakaya is a beautiful mish-mash of great food, great drinks and great music – the dining experience is driven by music, the love of it in all the forms and genres. It’s a great place for musical enthusiasts to frequent and find like-minded people who share the same passion for music. They have a weekly schedule of music to discover, quality artists playing the deck and the instruments, and regularly host listening parties for their patrons. Seldom do we have spaces that emphasize on simply the appreciation of an art with great mixology in tow.


Bootleg Griot

Bootleg Griot is a moving public library project with a little more quirk and colour than your average library. The overall aim is to create an open space for all to access literature, print media and the written word, fostering a community where the stories speak to your heart. While the focus is the library concept rooted in African culture, which the collective installs pop-ups of across different locations (think Alserkal Avennue-esque), they also host storytelling sessions, photography events, artsy workshops and talks on the topics they wish they explore.


Vinyl Souk

Some musical retail therapy for you. This monthly event aims to promote and foster analog culture in the city, and is a marketplace for analog equipment, audio bits, musical gear and of course, music. The souq hops from place to place every month, setting up shop in a different location each time. They have a cool concept of swapping, whereby you can bring your personal collection of vinyls, cassettes and CDs to exchange with the collection of someone likeminded. Basically, you bring new music, you don’t need cash. They even host workshops to teach how the analog gear works, and of course have some uber cool artists to bring the party.


The Ren House

This is a multifunctional space that blends art and mental wellness – The Ren House brings art and therapy together to create a community, and hosts talks, walks, workshops and sessions on the regular. The aim is to tap into the meditative, restorative, healing side of art, supplemented by loads of yoga sessions and mindful conversations. It’s all very contemporary and forward thinking and with the variety of events they host, you’re sure to find something that works for you.

Blank Space

Primarily a poetry club, Blank Space provides a platform to all those who want to bring the written word to life – be it poetry, music or stand up comedy. It’s basically a space for all forms of ink to become spoken word and the best part is, anyone who desires can take the stage. They host a series of regular open mic nights and hop around the city’s creative scene bringing the club to different locations. They also alternate between live and virtual events, lyricism and stand up comedy – there’s something for everyone and you’re sure to find likeminded patrons to become part of a new community.




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Another community art space, here is where you can come to learn, no matter what age you are. There’s a lot happening here, from DIY sessions to art camps, workshops, talks, private events and afterschool programs. If you already have a community of artists you’re fostering, you can book out the space for private events, and if you’re looking to be a part of one, their workshops and sessions are perfect for you. The aim is to engage audiences, promote local artists and support the development of Dubai’s art scene. One of their three spaces is an early-stage idea incubator of sorts, another one is a large space for projects and events and of course, we have the studio.


Theatre and Film

Dubai Drama Group

Dubai Drama Group wears the proud badge of being the UAE’s oldest community theatre company, founded in 1984. The non-profit theatre group welcomes adults of all ages and backgrounds and is a great place to belong if you’re an aspirant of theatre. The group puts on four scripted plays each year and holds monthly play readings and workshops, run by a committee of passionate volunteers who meet every month. Membership of Dubai Drama Group costs Dhs100, and is valid for one year. It’s a well-oiled system that fosters good theatre.


Courtyard Playhouse

The Courtyard Playhouse was established in 2013 and is the passion project of two theatre-lovers, Kemsley Dickinson and his wife Tiffany Schultz. Dubai’s first independent small theatre and performing arts training centre is the place to be, started from the Desert Monologues Acting Workshop for Adults taught by Kemsley Dickinson in February, 2008. Today, it’s a huge family, with an improvisation programme, workshops for kids and adults and loads of theatre and comedy events taking place throughout the year. Whether you like to be on the stage or off, this is the place for you.


Cinema Akil

Catch classical regional cinema at everyone’s favourite resident arthouse for a dose of alternative art. Cinema Akil is the only independent cinema in the GCC and hotspot for all things vintage on the silver screen, and the community to belong to if you’re a cinephile, regional cinema enthusiast or a connoisseur of the classics. Not only do they screen these amazing films, they give you a chance to see the brains behind some of these works of art in person, with talks and Q&A sessions. Cinema Akil fosters a love for your own, bringing the lesser known regional stories and storytellers to the forefront, and it’s a wonderful affair of finding community and great cinema.



Safar Book Group

Safar Book Group still runs like an authentic, out-of-home book club, organised on Facebook and the website Meetup, and meeting on the third Sunday of every month. The group has quite the reach, with 4,400 members a part of it currently. The best part is, the group is public and open to all. If you’re new in Dubai, joining a club like this could be a great way to meet new people, while you grow your love for reading. Not only do you socialise, you discuss, think and read more, which is great overall.

Pinot and Pages

Pinot and Pages runs exclusively on Instagram, and is a little more than just a book club. A book is chosen every month to read and besides that, they host a bunch of events to bring women together, from fitness classes and breakfast, to ladies night and chocolate making, to wellness mornings and movie nights. The club has a sizable following and a paid membership for a nominal fee.


Fashion and Street Culture

Dayo Community

Dayo Community is a label, but it is also just as much a fashion collective. The story comes from the name – Dayo, which means expat, immigrant, alien or from the outside in Tagalog. The collections are all premium streetwear, with loads of super cool collaborations with local designers, streetwear champions and up and coming brands that do everything, from upcycled fabric to social messaging, and even host pop-ups. It’s a great way to foster a community of a very specific type of fashion thinker, and they’ve even started a series of video documentaries about expats in Dubai who are doing unique, exciting things.


Habibi Skate Shop

Born from a love for skateboarding and all things skate, this is a UAE-based, entirely homegrown, pro-Palestine brand brewed with love and passion. Obviously the primary aim is to provide local skateboarders with top-quality products and equipment at fair prices that they can cherish, but it’s also about creating a space where skaters can come and find each other, thereby fostering skate culture. You can find everything you would need for your skating journey here, including stunning skateboards you can make your own and streetwear from niche brands. The brand also hosts events and skate jams for the community.



Haus of Vo (and other supper clubs)


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Supper clubs are culture collectives – you find a community of foodies, you make new friends, learn about far off cultures and crafts, and collectively go through a grounding dining experience. Supper clubs in Dubai are a-plenty and from all parts of the world, so there’s a cuisine, a culture and a story from everywhere. That’s the wonderful thing about something as intimate as a supper club – you hear the story, see the chef as flesh and bones and not a beautifully plated dish.

Haus of Vo is just one of those many and perfect for South-East Asian food “where haute cuisine meets avant-garde flair.” What started as a pandemic passion project by host Madame Vo has now turned into one of Dubai’s unmissable foodie experiences. With impressive views over Dubai and the soothing sounds of jazz and meaningful conversations, Madame Vo prepares a nine-course menu inspired by her Hong Kong, Vietnamese, and German roots. Enter as strangers, leave as friends.

For more supper clubs to explore in Dubai, read here.


Images: Socials