JEDDAH: Arbab Al-Heraf Cafe is a place for art connoisseurs to gather and share their passion for art.
It is like a literary club that welcomes all ideas and innovations.
“Arbab Al-Heraf” is an Arabic phrase that signifies those who excel at doing things and mastering crafts, both artistically and philosophically. This cafe is full of good vibes.
The shop does not occupy a large space, but it harbors many activities inside its walls: Music, singing, and loads of antiques.
Resembling the Akkad Salon in Egypt, Arbab Al-Heraf gives the outlook of a museum that combines Western and Oriental items.
Every Thursday, visitors gather to enjoy musical performances by locals who play various musical instruments. The cafe is visited by many who are interested in fine arts while enjoying a cup of coffee. The cafe also holds workshops related to art drawing and music.
Arbab Al-Heraf is located In Jeddah’s Al-Salamah district on Al-Yamamah Street. The café is open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. except on Sundays.
The founder of the cafe, Abdulla Al-Hudaif, told Arab News about his education and how the idea for the cafe emerged from his passion toward art.
“The idea was there since I was a child; I was only six-years-old when I began to assemble old things in our house. I had a small warehouse where I collected paintings. When I was 16, my warehouse was filled with a collection of old items.” Al-Hudaif said.
Al-Hudaif graduated from the department of finance at King Saud University, then went to get a master’s degree in global business administration in Australia, where he used to attend Gold Coast events and gained knowledge on how to lead people through art.
“After my return to the Kingdom, I discovered the historical area in old Jeddah, and I long meditated on its beauty,” he said. “Many of my colleagues told me that I have a sense of beauty and art and suggested to turn my thoughts into reality.”
Although the city of Jeddah is filled with a number of cafes of different sorts, the ambiance of the place is similar to the famous cultural cafe in Egypt known as “Al-Akkad Cultural Cafe” — where intellectuals meet every day. The intimate atmosphere in this cafe cannot be found in any other place. Wooden chairs and sofas combine the warmth of a house with the scent of heritage.
“The cafe witnessed days without any visitors. Later on, I decided to announce the existence of workshops that interest younger generations and people started to visit the place more and more. We started to participate in local events. Hopefully, we will continue to grow.” said Al-Hudaif.
Day after day, the reputation of the cafe started to spread among Jeddawis and consequently, it gained wide media coverage.
“From our schedule for the next week, we will start using the top floor as a gallery to showcase international films aimed at offering a different taste,” he told Arab News. We are trying to compete, we are racing a young age.”
Youssif Al-Sawwaf, one of the cafe’s visitors told Arab News: “It is rare to find a place that combines workshops and coffee in Saudi Arabia. The founder welcomes everyone and is creating a new environment for new talent.”
Saja Al-Hummaiany, a psychology student at Effat University told Arab News. “Arbab Al-Heraf is where we can share our thoughts and enjoy music.”