With a growing industry of freelancers, start-ups and go-it-alone gurus, a rising number of Jeddah’s workers are swapping conventional offices for digital ones. Add in business travellers – more people than ever before are looking for work-friendly cafés where they can dash through projects, fuelled by caffeine and good food. We’ve toured the city’s abundances of cafés and coffee houses to find out which ones provide a decent makeshift office for digital nomads, complete with speedy Wi-Fi, ample table space, plug sockets and work-friendly noise levels – and not forgetting decent coffee. Here’s our whittled-down list of outlets with everything you need to get some work done while you’re in town.
Ash Café serves up some of the best coffee in the city and knockout homemade desserts. While the café itself is compact, it is well equipped: the Wi-Fi connection is fast and noise is kept to a background buzz. It also supports local artists by showcasing their work. For added privacy during work meetings, reserve one of the quirky booths that have been designed to look like treehouses.
This child-free café is a hidden gem. Rocking bold vintage décor and relaxing background music, Layla’s Gourmet is a good nook for focused thinking. Comfortable chairs, spacious tables and plenty of power sockets make for a work-conducive environment or even just a quiet space to hole up for a few hours with a book. When you need a boost, pick from a variety of coffees and excellent desserts – think sumptuous red velvet cake and pistachio-flavoured Kanafa.
A speciality coffee house and roaster, Medd Café’s open-plan design makes it a great space for both, individuals and groups of people to work in. Split into two levels, Medd Café is often buzzing with start-ups, meaning it can get a little noisy at times. It has an excellent Wi-Fi connection and even better coffee, which is all sourced from organic fair trade farms from across the coffee belt. The selection of organic teas is worth sampling too.
Known locally as the neighbourhood café, Cup & Couch is a mellow spot that feels just like an offshoot of home. Its friendly baristas serve a decent selection of coffees, teas and light snacks, and once you are finished with work, there is a large selection of traditional board games for procrastination purposes. If your preferred vibe is industrial chic, Cup & Couch probably isn’t for you, but this café’s warm atmosphere has a gentle appeal.
Jeddah’s best brewery for ‘pour-over’ coffee, Brew92 serves up a relaxed working environment and fantastic food. Boasting low lighting, calming music, spacious design, quick Wi-Fi and freshly-ground coffee beans, Brew92 has all of the essentials needed for a productive day of work. Dip into the menu when your inspiration runs low.