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If you ask us, every city could do with a slice of Tokyo. The Japanese capital is home to a multitude of treasures, and as such, it epitomizes to a large extent what Japanese culture is all about. However, Tokyo is home to an urban culture and related treats that’s uniquely its own, pulling swathes of young overseas visitors to its doorstep. Halfway across the planet in Dubai, the allure of Tokyo hasn’t gone unnoticed, and a new restaurant called Akiba Dori – Akiba is short for Akihabara, a Tokyo shopping district known for video games, anime, manga, and computer goods, and dori simply means ‘street’ – has become the Middle East’s beacon of Tokyo-style urban culture.

The venue is concepted by Samer Hamadeh, founder of local hospitality group Aegis, and sees a foodhall-style indoor alleyway, inspired by the backstreets of the Akihabara district and created by Madrid-based designer Parolio Matos, set across 4,000 sq.ft. (372 sqm.) of a modern structure in the Dubai Design District. Akiba Dori features seven unique storefronts serving Japanese street food, baked goods, coffee, a bar serving everything from Japanese beer to bottles of wine, a pizzeria named Tokyopolitan which serves Tokyo-style Neapolitan pizzas baked in a wood fired oven, and last but not least, a full-fledged arcade room for some old skool fun and banter. Location: Akiba Dori, Building 8 (Dubai Design District).

Photography by Waleed Shah

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