One of my favorite developments in the UAE specialty coffee scene is the launch of spaces that combine specialty coffee & cars. And one of my favorites is the Flat12 Cafe. I asked its founder about the story behind my second home.

Please introduce yourself to our readers.

My name is Mohamed Abdulla Al Sahlawi, born and raised in Dubai.

What’s the story behind the Flat12 Cafe?

Flat12 was founded as a car, watch and coffee community club in 2016. We organized events such as car meets, car drives and promoted other automotive events to showcase our UAE car culture to the world. Especially some of the hidden gems.

In 2017 we decided to have our own HQ as a hangout place for people that like cars, coffee and art. The challenge was to create an environment for everyone to enjoy – young & old, male & female.

What makes Flat12 unique is the community and friends that we have built before even opening the shop in late 2021. Most of our customers are daily customers that come and hang out and we made sure to offer comfortable seating for them to incentivise them to spend a long time at the cafe! We made sure to make them feel at home and we believe that we have done that.

What’s your earliest coffee memory?

It’s a 4am drive in a Bugatti type35 to Jabal Jais. We had our own manual grinders and made our own coffee during a pitstop on the way.

What do you think of the future of specialty coffee in the UAE?

Specialty coffee knowledge has grown so fast in the UAE. People today are well educated and know a lot about coffee. This makes it challenging for the cafes in the UAE but will also help to ensure we provide quality coffee across most of the cafes in the UAE. A task made easier with the launch of great roasters like our main supplier, Archers, one of the best in the country.

Any new developments at Flat12 we should know about?

We will soon have our own branded coffee merchandise section consisting of branded cups that are automotive oriented stuff that can be used for drives. We are also working on the v60 drip boxes and a lot more.

And as always, Flat12 is built for everyone. We love working with new business to support them, especially artists. We have a wall to promote local photographers and artists’ work which changes regularly.

Flat12 Cafe can be found at Port Rashid, Shed 3, Marina Cubes Street, Dubai Maritime City.

Please leave a comment below if you have any questions about Flat12 Cafe. And share your suggestion on who we should interview next.

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