Noaf Interiors creates edgy retro-fitted vibe for new urban food hall in Dubai International Financial Centre

Designers evoked a warehouse experience by using art styled tiles

Urban food halls are becoming a staple of commercial, residential, and mixed-use buildings around the world and now they're gaining popularity in Dubai.

The food court's grown-up, trendy cousin, food halls are typically constructed in edgy, re-developed locations and so are positively contributing to urban renewal.

While the development cycle in the UAE doesn't as readily allow for reclaimed spaces, Noaf Interiors created this retro-fitted vibe for the new South Market food hall in Dubai International Financial Centre's Gate Avenue.

Designers evoked a warehouse experience by using art styled tiles, modern rustic metals, an array of timber detailing, painted black exposed ceilings and polished concrete flooring.

The combination of integrated and loose seating with varying colour tones provides a versatile palette that blends seamlessly with all the green plants, neon signage and custom painted street artwork, creating a space which can be used for lunchtime collaboration or weekend relaxation.

Food halls are traditionally populated by local restaurants with an artisan approach and here in the busy financial quarter, the customer pool also calls for kitchen designed and tailored for the quick business lunch prepared fresh or a casual evening dining experience for the residents.

Each of the 15 food concept's stations has been given its own theme and identity, using varying architectural languages and materials, rather than the standard approach towards restaurant branding giving the visitors a sense of local artistry rather than large chain dining.

Combined with the mix of natural light from the large expansive skylight above, the warm lights above each of the food counters, the cool lighting along the circulation paths and the use of neon street lights and signages, the patrons gain a true sense of urban experience.

Whether you are entering from the escalators of Index Tower, framed by the large metal structure, or past the intricate mosaic inlays depicting South Market within the Gate Avenue, each time you visit the space your experience will be unique through one of the 15 food concepts or 10 pop up kiosks set throughout.

Noaf Interiors, which can include stalwart Dubai restaurant Reform in its portfolio, says: "South Market will not only redefine casual dining in Dubai but also set a new standard in integrating urban design within a modern destination."

Architecture on the 30,000 sqft space was completed by VX STUDIO and interior design by RMJM.

What's on the menu? Everything from Bangkok-themed eatery BKK Bistro, to Japanese street-food from Takoyaki, the breakfast-obsessed Cereal Killer Cafe or Singapore import Modern Asian Desserts (MAD).

Let's do lunch?

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