A short distance south of Bur Dubai, the unpretentious inner-city suburb of Satwa is one of the most characterful in Dubai, home to a mixed crowd of Indians, Iranians, expat Arabs, and the occasional stray European.
The area is centred on the attractive 2nd December Street (formerly Al Diyafah Street), lined with an eclectic medley of cafes and shops, including lively and inexpensive Lebanese cafes like Al Mallah and Beirut, plus assorted fast food joints. The strip is particularly lively after dark, when the wide pavements fill up with crowds of locals and young men in expensive cars drive round and round the block, showing off their wheels.
At the end of the road you’ll find Satwa Roundabout, overlooked by the four-star Chelsea Plaza Hotel and the pleasant Pars Iranian garden restaurant. From here, a road leads south into the colourful Satwa Souk, with lots of cheap-and-cheerful Indian-run shops, usually ablaze with neon after dark, and some inexpensive curry houses, including the much-loved Ravi’s.