From 1960s tailor shop to famous kebab eatery: 15 Abu Dhabi ‘urban treasures’ that residents have loved through the years

These much-loved establishments, which are today a landmark in themselves, have been satisfying customers and evoking nostalgia


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Fri 23 Jun 2023, 3:49 PM

Last updated: Sun 25 Jun 2023, 9:26 PM

Abu Dhabi has plenty of timeless cafes, restaurants, textile stores, some opened before even the formation of this great country. And to date, these much-loved establishments, which are today a landmark in themselves, have been satisfying customers and evoking nostalgia. The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi has honoured a select 15 cherished establishments in the second edition of Urban Treasures. Here’s a look at the brands, which continue to make you happy.

Abu Al Afwal


Established in 1975, Abu Al Afwal is one of the oldest eateries nestled in the capital’s Tourist Club Area. It reflects the cultural blend of Abu Dhabi and Sudan, offering a unique experience to anyone who tries Sudanese cuisine. The food's taste and affordable prices are the main reasons why customers are satisfied and keep returning.

Al Alamain Restaurant

Since 1980, Al Alamain Restaurant in the Al Markaziya area has been offering a range of cuisines and options to satisfy its customers' needs. It is renowned for its generous portions and affordable prices. With its authentic atmosphere and reflection of Abu Dhabi culture, customers have felt a strong connection to the restaurant for more than four decades.

Al Arab Restaurant

Al Arab Restaurant, opened in 1985 in the heart of Abu Dhabi, is renowned for its exquisite Middle Eastern cuisine. Al Arab Restaurant prides itself on serving authentic Middle Eastern dishes prepared by skilled chefs using high-quality ingredients. The restaurant also offers a selection of continental meals, Chinese, Pakistani, and Indian cuisines, catering to a diverse range of culinary preferences.

Abu Kaabi Kabab Restaurant and Grills

Opened in 1975, Abu Kaabi Kabab Restaurant and Grills has earned a well-deserved reputation for its authentic flavours. The menu is a treasure trove of kebab delights, offering a variety of options to suit every palate. Over the years, this kebab restaurant in the Al Khalidiya area has become a cherished outlet, frequented by generations of loyal patrons.

Al Masaood Jewellery

Since 1974, Al Masaood Jewellery has been a cornerstone of Abu Dhabi, providing a range of stylish and varied designs to cater to all customer preferences in jewellery, watches, and gifts. It boasts exceptional customer service and has become a popular destination for the community, providing unforgettable experiences.

Badie Optical

Back in 1969, Badie Optical was the first optical store to be opened in Al Ain. Over the years, the store has built a loyal customer base by offering high-quality products and exceptional service. The store carries a variety of brands, catering to different budgets and preferences. It also offers professional services such as eye exams and fittings.

Cairo Textiles Showroom

Over 50 years ago, the story of Cairo Textiles began, making it one of the oldest establishments that existed before the formation of the UAE. Even today, the branch’s legacy lives on by offering a diverse range of materials and inspiring countless memories for multiple generations. As an icon of heritage, Cairo Textiles is a significant part of passing on a legacy from one generation to the next.

Chhappan Bhog

Chhappan Bhog is a renowned brand in Abu Dhabi that is known for serving a wide range of traditional and contemporary Indian sweets and street food. Since 1994, Chhappan Bhog has been dedicated to spreading joy and sharing the essence of Indian culture through its delicious food offerings. It serves a range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes from different regions of India.

Cool and Cool Flowers

Cool and Cool Flowers in Al Mina offers a wide variety of flowers and plants for different occasions. The shop has been providing plantation and landscape services since 1995, making it one of the oldest shops in the field. The staff are experienced and knowledgeable in the field of floristry. The shop is known for its excellent customer service and attention to detail, ensuring that every order is delivered with care and precision.

Gulf Bride Salon

The popular salon was opened back in 1980. It is well known for its eye-catching ambience, high-end services and friendly environment. The salon has been a prominent gathering spot for many occasions and heart-warming memories in the past few decades.

The Green Branch Trading

Since 1981, The Green Branch Trading Establishment has been a source of inspiration for artists in Abu Dhabi. The store offers quality materials for embroidery and has supported many creative individuals, from artists to ambitious students, creating memories along the way.

National Tailor Stores

The National Tailor Stores in Al Ain city is the first of its kind since 1967. It is popular in the trade of fabrics and tailoring traditional Emirati men’s clothing. Its customers ranged from members of the public to high officials. Despite the passage of years, the shop still maintains its popularity among the people of the city to remain a witness to the development of life in it.

Lebanese Roaster

Lebanese Roaster is a coffee shop and roastery that was established in Abu Dhabi in 1978, making it the first coffee roaster in the city. The coffee shop is renowned for serving high-quality, authentic coffee that is roasted in-house, with a focus on Lebanese blends.

Al Sultan Restaurant and Grill

Al Sultan Restaurant and Grill, a Middle Eastern restaurant, specialises in traditional Lebanese cuisine, serving a range of dishes that include hot and cold mezzes, grilled meats, and seafood. It is an ideal destination for families, friends, and couples who want to experience traditional Lebanese food. The menu features a variety of dishes that are made using fresh ingredients and traditional recipes.

Sunlight Electronics Shop

Since 1990, Sunlight Electronics Shop has been catering to gaming enthusiasts and providing a wide range of products to meet their gaming needs. The shop showcases the latest and most popular gaming systems, including PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch. Adjacent to the consoles, you'll find rows of shelves filled with video game titles. In addition to games and consoles, the gaming shop offers an array of accessories. The shop is a haven for gamers, providing them with a diverse selection of games, consoles, and accessories.


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Fri 23 Jun 2023, 3:49 PM

Last updated: Sun 25 Jun 2023, 9:26 PM

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