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How to have a green and sustainable life in the UAE

It’s easy being green – from locally sourced restaurants to second-hand shopping.

When it comes to climate change, the statistics are alarming but there are ways you can make a difference – and have fun during the process. COP28 in Dubai has put sustainability in the spotlight. While we watch world leaders grapple with macro steps, there are micro steps we can take. A sustainable way of life doesn’t have to mean compromising on quality. In the UAE, there are eco-friendly hotels with five stars, second-hand stores with luxury goods, and fine dining restaurants with locally sourced ingredients. Plus, you can get to know your local community along the way. Here’s how to add sustainability to your life in the UAE. 

Bloom Vegan Kitchen, Abu Dhabi and Dubai 

Bloom Vegan Kitchen is a one hundred per cent vegan concept, which delivers across Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai. Proving that being healthy doesn’t mean compromising on cravings, the menu includes burgers and pizzas. Plus, there are breakfast, bowls, sandwiches and soups. 

GO: Visit www.bloomvegankitchen.com for more information. 

BOCA, Dubai 

The FACT Dubai Award winning Spanish restaurant has sustainability at its heart. Located in DIFC, it prides itself on responsible sourcing, conscious waste management, valuing resources, measuring and reporting, and sustainability for the community. The food includes tapas, seafood and rice dishes, and the wine menu includes more than 400 labels. Cheers to that. 

GO: Visit https://boca.ae for more information. 

Brasserie Boulud, Dubai 

The French restaurant Brasserie Boulud in Dubai has a sustainable, locally sourced menu, which has been created by the celebrity chef Daniel Boulud. The suppliers include Fresh On Table and Greenheart Organic Farms. The restaurant also works with protein suppliers, which do not use antibiotics and growth hormones. The menu consists of hot and cold appetisers, seafood and mains. 

GO: Visit www.sofitel-dubai-theobelisk.com for more information. 

Clean One, Give One, Dubai 

It’s one small step for Sole DXB, and one giant leap for the planet. Sole DXB and the laundry app, Washmen, have collaborated on Clean One, Give One. The aim is to create a sneaker culture with a purpose. Visitors can refresh their sneakers, and donate a pair to the second-hand store, Thrift For Good. The initiative has been launched in conjunction with the street culture festival, Sole DXB, which runs from 8 to 10 December.

GO: Visit https://sole.digital for more information. 


FIFTY MADE is a recently launched homegrown brand. Created by the same conscious fashion team behind The Giving Movement, the collection has a futuristic, avante-garde look and feels like it has landed from outer space. The emphasis is on streetwear and aims to reimagine active as well as lounge wear and take it into the future. The debut collection includes a limited release of 50 pieces, and $4 from each sale will be donated to the UAE’s humanitarian efforts in Gaza FIFTY MADE is available online. 

GO: Visit https://fifty-made.com for more information. 

Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi 

If you’re after a sustainable stay, check out and check into Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort. Located in Abu Dhabi, it is the first hotel in the Middle East to be awarded The Oceanic Standard for its plastic-free and sustainable initiatives. The hotel maintains its values while not compromising on that world-famous Jumeirah luxury. Expect to be armed with reusable water bottles at check-in, which can be filled with water from the various stations across the resort grounds.

GO: Visit www.jumeirah.com for more information. 

Le Pré, Al Ain 

Al Ain’s Qasr Al Muwaiji launched the pop-up, Le Pré. The eco-friendly space has been created using sustainable practises and has been made using aluminium and wood. If you struggle with food indecision, there are a range of concepts: Eight Pizza for Italian-inspired pizzas, Popup Burger for classic burgers and Matera for international dishes. The pop-up is open until April 2024. 

GO: Follow @lepre.ae on Instagram for more information. 

LOWE, Dubai 

If a restaurant has been awarded a MICHELIN Green Star, you know it has earned its environment-friendly credentials. The ingredients are sourced from local farmers and suppliers. The menu showcases seasonal produce, which is cooked by a fire. To avoid waste, the leftovers are used in recipes or composted for the garden. The menu includes Charred Cauliflower, Grilled Asparagus and Smoked Organic Beef Tartare. 

GO: Visit https://lowe-dubai.com for more information. 

Planet Terra, Dubai 

Planet Terra is a vegan café, which prides itself on its organic, plant-based ingredients. Chief of Culinary, Chef Rusvel Trujillo, is behind the menu that makes the most of seasonal produce. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the dishes include vegan desserts, organic coffee, homemade soups, smoothies and cold-pressed juices. Branches are located in DIFC and The Greens. 

GO: Visit https://planetterra.life for more information. 


Second-hand doesn’t mean shoddy, especially not in the UAE. As people come and go in the UAE, you’re bound to find high-quality items in RESOLD. The members-only Facebook group has 29,000 members and counting. Take your pick from furniture and décor that’s in good condition. No Ikea here. 

GO: Visit www.facebook.com for more information. 

Skinny Genie, Dubai 

Skinny Genie sounds like a green wish come true. The health-conscious lifestyle brand serves gluten-free and vegan food. The café is located in Dubai Internet City, and products are also available online. The items include bread, cereals, pastries and snacks, and served in recycled glass jars. Plus, there are ready to bake items available from the shop. 

GO: Visit https://skinny-genie.com for more information. 

Sweet Greens, Abu Dhabi 

Sweet Green was founded by two friends, Nikhil Hemnani and Ahmad Ali Abdul Hamid. Located in Reem Bay Tower and Rihan Heights, the concept aims to combine nutrition with sustainability. The food includes burgers, salads, pizza and wraps. The drinks include juices and smoothies. Oh, and if you’re counting calories, the menu lists all of the calories and ingredients. 

GO: Follow @sweetgreensuae on Instagram for more information. 

Thrift for Good, Dubai 

Dubai maybe home to the world’s largest shopping mall, but it also has fantastic thrift stores. Thrift For Good is located in the Golden Mile Galleria and Times Square Center. Jen Sault is the founder of the project, which sells preloved items at a reduced price. In the process, it raises money for children’s charities. 

GO: Visit https://thriftforgood.org for more information. 

Teible, Dubai 

How often have you eaten Nordic food? Well, if you want to mix things up, head to Teible. The MICHELIN Bib Gourmand restaurant Teible is an industry leader with its Nordic and sustainable approach. The idea came from celebrating local agriculture in the UAE, and building a sense of community through food. Located in Jaddaf Waterfront, the farm to table experience boasts a seasonal menu. 

GO: Visit www.teible.com for more information. 

The Giving Movement 

The homegrown UAE brand combines sustainability with style. Founded by Dominic Nowell-Barnes, the brand aims to use fashion as a vehicle of positive change. The items include athleisure wear including leggings, shorts and T-shirts, and oversized hoodies. Coming in a range of colours, many of the pieces are adorned with the company’s statement logo. The clothing can be found on everyone from American actress and singer, Jennifer Lopez, to the FACT Editor-in-Chief. Branches are located in Dubai’s City Walk and Mall of the Emirates, and the collection is available online. 

GO: Visit https://thegivingmovement.com for more information.

Urban Market Concept, Dubai 

If you’re looking to shop second hand, head to The Urban Market. The monthly event takes place at Radisson RED Dubai Silicon Oasis. The items include high street and vintage clothes, and beauty, fitness and wellness products. Plus, homegrown brands participate in the events, so you can show some love to the local community. 

GO: Visit www.urbanmarketconcept.com for more information. 

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Kohinoor Sahota - Deputy Editor
A sucker for a good story, if you invite Kohinoor to a gallery, comedy night, new restaurant, hiking trip, cycle ride, pool day or just about any activity, she’ll probably say yes – that is if she isn’t busy planning her next adventure.

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