Page 1

This is a magazine about Al Ghurair Centre nov 2013

issue one


EDITOR Conor Purcell DESIGNER Fiona McEvoy CONTRIBUTORS Jimmy Dawson, Linda Kiernan, Richard Massey, Susan Al Suwaidi


MARYLOU RUIZ MARKETING MANAGER MUKTA SABHARWAL EVENTS & PROMOTIONS MANAGER ROBYN MURDOCH LEASING MANAGER ROSHAN BABAN SPECIALTY LEASING & RETAIL LEASING MANAGER Al Ghurair Centre Po Box 6999, Dubai, UAE Al Ghurair Centre takes care to ensure that all facts publishing herein are correct. In the event of any inaccuracy, please contact the editor. Any opinions expressed are the honest belief of the author based on all available facts. Comments and facts should not be relied upon by the reader in taking commercial, legal, financial or other decisions. Articles are by their very nature general, and specialist advice should be consulted before any actions are taken.




Page 12 From Cali With Love Urban Circus

Page 4

The Remaking of a Shopping Mall

Page 10 Streets Ahead

Page 19 Battle Royal – Dubai’s Premier Band Competition

Page 16 Illusions of Grandeur James More

Page 14

Page 18 Magic Voices - Voca


Drum Attack - Alliance Boys

Page 22 How to Get Ahead in Retail – an interview with David Thurling

Page 20 Emirates Woman Awards

Page 26

Page 40

Paper Trail

The Message

Page 34 The Rise and Rise of Street Art

Page 42 The Concierge

Page 56 Directory

Page 46 Even Better Than the Real Thing

Page 50 A Brief History of Coffee


this way in


The Making of a Mall



Al Ghurair Centre is the first modern shopping mall of its kind in the Middle East, and when we opened 30 years ago, it heralded a revolution in the way people shop. If a year is a long time in retail, then thirty years is a lifetime, and the team behind the mall knew that we needed to do something special in order to reconnect with the community. We wanted to connect with locals and previous customers on an emotional level and re-ignite the desire to visit the space, ensuring Al Ghurair Centre was a vital part of this eclectic, eccentric and ever evolving urban community. We came up with a simple concept: Soul of the City. It’s a clear yet compelling statement that


positions the mall at the centre of a bustling urban area. We are lucky to be situated in one of the most interesting and enthralling areas of Dubai and we want to position ourselves as the urban village square that is part of everyone’s life in Dubai. A community is formed by its people, and to connect with our audience Al Ghurair Centre is celebrating the originals of the community, those who grew up here, and whose achievements have made them a part of the city, just as Al Ghurair Centre has become an integral part of Dubai as the city’s original shopping mall. We will continue to change just as the city has and we look forward to the next thirty years.





Understanding the Soul of the City NOV 2013 / ISSUE ONE


l Ghurair Centre is the first modern shopping mall of its kind in the Middle East, and for 30 years it has been a vital part of the original urban community. But over the last two decades many other players have entered this competitive retail environment raising customer expectations and delivering superlative experiences. Faced with this scenario, we felt the need to reconnect with locals and previous customers on an emotional level and reignite the desire to visit this space, bringing Al Ghurair Centre back into their life as a vital part of this eclectic, eccentric and ever evolving urban community. With an aim to establish Al Ghurair Centre as more than just a shopping mall, we came up with the platform ‘Soul of the City’ a simple yet powerful statement; it positions the destination as the original urban village square of Dubai. Deira represents the true pulse of this city where everything begun. It is not just a place but also an attitude, a way of life. A community is formed by its people, and to connect with its audience, Al Ghurair Centre is celebrating the original people of this community, who grew up here, whose achievements in this city have made them a part of it, just like how Al Ghurair Centre has become an integral part of Dubai as the city’s original urban shopping mall. The essence of the campaign is highlighting the people rather than the place. A mall is nothing but an address. But ultimately it’s the people that bring soul to a place and make it a destination.

The Team that created The Soul of the City Agency: Insignia Managing Director: Gaurav Sinha Chief Operations Officer: Manav Fernandez Executive Creative Director: Max Lucci Copywriter: Smita Subramanian Photographer: Ayaad Damouni Production House: Capital D Studio




Meet the three ambassadorS






Abdulla Khalifa Al Kaabi

Fathima ARTIST

How difficult is it to get the ideas you want put across in a single artwork? My personal artwork is very abstract so luckily I don’t usually have that challenge as it becomes so widely open to interpretation. The work I do with my company such as creative concepts, curation, commissions, murals. Taking a goal and conceptualizing it into a strategy and executed output or artwork. It’s not difficult as much as it is a way of thinking and interpreting information.

What inspires you?

What does community mean to you? I’m extremely interested in and passionate about how people interact and how they interact to create communities, their own cultures and subcultures, and specifically how they use creativity in all of this. Communities are where passion comes together

What was the experence of working on this campaign? I have a very sentimental attachment to Al Ghurair Centre. Being born and raised in Dubai, I spent most of my childhood there. My mum bought us our first ice creams, books, toys and clothes there. In a Dubai that keeps changing, it’s still where it always was and represents a lot of nostalgia.

Shamim Kassiwabi video blogger

Why do you use videos on your blog? We live in a fast paced environment, where everyone is always very busy and I feel videos are quick, and can convey a lot more than words do. You can get a feel of an event, see who was there, hear the music, see the fashion all from a one-minute video.

How do you decide what to cover? I focus on things that are special in some way, food places that are not well known, people that have done something interesting. I love to share new things with my followers, to help them pick their next dinner spot, or the next birthday present they want.

What does community mean to you? Dubai is truly a definition of a community. It is a small city that is making it big. Dubai takes the six degrees of separation down to two degrees.

What was the experence of working on this campaign? I loved it – it was fantastic to work with the first mall in Dubai and the idea of the campaign was just as real as one that the mall is about.


What is your vision for film in the UAE? We are becoming the leaders in many domains, hopefully the film industry becomes one of them. So far we have the infrastructure to produce world-class films, I just wish we had a film institute and a national film fund to protect us as filmmakers. Hopefully one day these dreams I share with my fellow filmmakers will come through.

Which type of stories are interesting to you? Human interactions and especially families. I like going into people’s homes, as creepy as it may sound. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a detective. I’m a very curious person.

How can the film industry in the region develop? We need film and acting schools. None of the public schools offer filmmaking degrees and moreover, we need major government backing to help jump start the industry. Without this intervention, it will be close to impossible to create a real UAE film industry in my opinion.

What’s your advice to aspiring filmmakers? Watch as many films as you can from around the world – above all, get your cameras rolling. You don’t need a budget to click record on your home video camera or to ask your friends to act out a couple of scenes for you. Go through the whole process of making a film, and then post, that’s the only way to learn.


Creative energy, especially in public spaces. I love to be around artists doing their thing, especially out amongst street life. Murals, buskers, live bands, performers; this is what really enhances the experience of a city.

Director, actor


I. Streets Ahead Dubai’s Street Festival


A [1]

l Ghurair Centre will play host to Dubai’s biggest street festival this coming March, with ten days of street performances sure to entertain visitors of all ages. Everything from magic to performance art, mime to comedy, and acrobatics to music will be on show in what will be one of the most spectacular street events Dubai has ever seen. The festivities will run for ten days, and a host of outdoor shopping and food stalls will be set up alongside the performance areas. All part of Al Ghurair Centre’s efforts to develop a sense of community, the Street Festival is sure to become a must-see on Dubai’s events calendar.


Five To Try [1]

MARDI GRAS, New Orleans, USA

One of the world’s great party towns, New Orleans gave the world jazz and a festival that no one who visits can ever forget. Huge, tiered floats amble past boisterous crowds that throng the ornate buildings of



the French Quarter. An intoxicating, eclectic mix of sounds, races and flavours makes this event so special.



One of the world’s most beautiful city’s hosts one of the most elegant carnivals, with revelers dressed in masks and ornate costumes adding to the sense of intrigue that permeates Venice each year. It gets crowded, but once night falls and the street lamps are lit, the magic of Venice is hard to ignore.



ST. PATRICK’S DAY Dublin, Ireland


It may be a cliché, but the Irish really do know how to party, and never is this more in evidence than on their national holiday. Paddy’s Day (as the locals call it) is a riot of green, white and gold, but mainly green, as residents and tourists celebrate St. Patrick until the small hours of the morning.


RIO CARNIVAL, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brazilians certainly know how to enjoy themselves, as is witnessed each year at this riotous display of excess. Street and beach parties pop up across the city, but the main event is on show at the Sambadrome, a kilometre-long stadium where huge, intricate floats pulsate to frenetic samba rhythms.


ORURO CARNIVAL, Oruro, Bolivia


This high-altitude mining town plays host to one of the world’s oldest (at 2,000 years and counting) and most interesting festivals, where 30,000 performers sing, dance and parade to a mostly local crowd. A heady mix of superstition, performance art and high-altitude hedonism, this is one festival you will never forget.






Urban circus From Cali With Love



ith faces painted and a muscular swagger, eight Colombian circus performers amaze the audience with their beat boxing, break dancing and acrobatics. Urban – part of the Circolombia troupe – is a product of the Colombian national circus school, Circo Para Todos. Born and raised in the favelas of Cali, the team brings a streetwise confidence to their performance, and mix elements of hip-hop culture with more traditional circus acts. And it is this mix that has seen them win plaudits around the world. We sat down with the troupe and found out what all the fuss is about. “We are the first group to do this urban style – to combine a power and a sexiness that represents Colombia. Everything is authentic – it



reflects our own lives and what we have been through – it’s about our lives, our backgrounds. “It’s a circus art with a mixture of acrobatics, dance, strength, music and song. Everything is done in an urban style, so it is relevant to us. “Many people have the wrong idea about Colombia – they think the whole country is very dangerous, which it is not. It has improved so much and it is safe these days. We hosted the World Games this year and we performed at the opening ceremony. That was a great experience and it showed the world that Cali is a beautiful, safe city. “Most of us joined the group between the ages of 8 and 14. At the time it was hard to imagine that we would be doing this now and traveling the world. “We have the Cali attitude – it’s the salsa world capital, we have the best salsa artists, the best drummers and singers in the country. You can go to the favelas and see the people are a musical people, and a happy people – they are very welcoming. “The school has opened up branches across the country, so now kids in places like Bogota can learn what we do. We can then train the next generation in these arts. “For us the most difficult part is the jet lag. We fly around the world to a new country and new weather conditions and we have to adapt very quickly. But we are professional and we are always focused on the next show. “We work out at least five hours a day – we are in the gym or practicing acrobatics, and then the day we have a show we rest. It is hard to rest after the shows as we are so wired. So the whole time we are balancing working out and rest, so our bodies are not over stressed. “We see different reactions everywhere we go. In Dubai the reaction was quite calm at the start, but now a lot of the people know us and come back and they get more excited. Each country is different. In places like Australia and New York, the reaction was very loud, and we had great responses in France and Germany too. We have been very lucky. “There is still nerves before every show, that will never go. Each show requires concentration, so we have to communicate at all times and work as a team. Trust is the most important thing. Once we start the show, we are always fine. “How long can we do this for? There are people in their sixties still working in the circus, so this is a life-long thing. We need to keep healthy to keep working, but if we look after our bodies, we can work for a long time.”



III. Alliance BOYS Drum Attack


our blue barrels, three white buckets, six battered drumsticks, three sweaty men from Nashville, Tennessee. This is the world of the Alliance Boys, a chaotic, hypnotic drum troupe that uses everything but drums to create a manic wall of sound. Vince Romanelli, Dan Twiford and Drew Scheuer are three men from Nashville that have brought their street drumming sound across the world, a sound that, in a world of ever more packaged and processed music, is a breath of fresh air. The shows are improvised up to the point that they rushed off to Dragon Mart after landing in Dubai to buy equipment for their shows. “It’s a show that can adapt – the show is written, but the instruments change and so no two shows are ever the same,” says Vince. And they find inspiration everywhere. “We have a habit of asking our taxi driver to put on his favourite music,” says Dan. “We listen to music we would not usually listen to, and here we heard Punjabi rhythms, Indian pop music, Desi music, and we try, if we can, to include some elements of that in the show.” It’s not just musically that Dubai has left an impression on the boys. “We are amazed at the genuiness of the people that come to the shows,” says Vince. “We have had people come up to us on the street and offer us money, people shaking our hands; while it might be easier to get a direct connection in western countries, it’s worth making the extra effort here, as the connection is so genuine.” Their performance is stripped down, pulsating and hypnotic, as layers of drum beats pile on top of each other, all of them sweating, bouncing and manically thrashing the objects with their drumsticks. This, you sense, is



“But you know, to be a drummer, you don’t need technology, you don’t even need instruments. If I was a trumpet player, I would need a trumpet, but with drumming and singing, you don’t need any instruments, so it’s great for kids, as they can practice on literally anything,” he adds. While each of them has childhood stories of exasperated parents (dented cabinets and smashed candles are just some of the reasons why), these days their parents are understandably proud, as they can regale their friends with stories of Disney Cruises, Dubai and India, which, as Vince says, is not bad for someone who plays a bucket for a living. And the boys have no plans to stop yet. Says Vince, “I want to be able to carry on the show beyond my ability to perform in it. I want the show to live on past my involvement.” And with that, the boys are gone, luggage in tow, as they prepare to play three live sets, before catching an early-morning flight back to the US. They say life in the road is fun, hectic and always different, something that can also be said of their incendiary live performances.



what they live for – the thrill of the live performance. “There is nothing like it,” says Vince. “We analyse every show we do so we can make them better, as we never want to stop growing. We are lucky in that we have a safe environment where we can try new things out and it’s OK to be vulnerable and opinionated, and that is how we get better.” Genuine is an apt description of the group, which may be a result of their upbringing in Nashville, one of the most musical cities in the world. Says Dan, “So many artists have come from the city, everyone from Kings of Leon and Jack from The White Stripes to Taylor Swift, Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash.” While Nashville’s sound is eclectic, one thing the city shares with the rest of the musical world is the introduction of technology, something the boys feel is a double-edged sword. “I understand the business side of things,” says Vince. “And I know that having control is everything, that I have a studio in my house and I can record a song and give it away, and with things like YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, we can have a direct connection to the fans.”




James More Illusions of grandeur



When was the first time you realised you were good at this? I was about eight years old and saw a magician at a circus. I went home and made one his tricks out of a shoebox and it worked! I was immediately hooked.

Were there magicians growing up you looked up to? One of my magic heroes is David Copperfield, who is a huge inspiration. Another less known magician called Richiardi has been an influence. The way that he performed and made his magic have had such an impact.

That it’s not hard work. Magic is one of the only art forms in which the skill and cleverness is hidden away, so no-one can see just how it works.

What sort of preparations go into each show – how often do you change things around? Preparation is everything in magic. Getting an illusion from the drawing board to the stage can take months and then you are constantly adapting and changing things to get it as perfect as possible during live performances.

Is there a difference in the crowd’s reactions depending on the country or the venue? What’s been the most memorable reaction so far? All countries react differently in terms of volume and reaction, but what I do is so universal that I feel lucky to be able to travel the world doing what I love. Americans are the loudest though!

Describe the Britain’s Got Talent experience? It has been a truly fantastic and unreal experience. I’m amazed at just how far its reach has been and with the whole YouTube thing, it’s allowed people all over the world to see my work. My first audition piece has now been viewed by more than 6.5 million people and that to me is incredible! It’s also opened some incredibly important doors for me since the broadcast aired last May. As soon as I return home to the UK, I’m the Special Guest on Diversity’s Arena Tour during November and December. I told my manager before BGT, that it was my ambition to work with them and now it’s happened! When that finishes I fly to Australia to appear as one of the stars in The Illusionists 2.0, which is a huge honour. Then we go on a world tour immediately after that. It’s all so been unreal.

How has magic progressed in the past ten years? Street magic has been the ‘big thing’ in magic for over ten years now since David


Blaine made it popular. This has become very much what TV magic is now and I’m sad to see that so many people have copied the format. Worse is that most of it is now set up for TV and can’t be done live without all the edits and stooges. I feel that now is the time for my kind of magic to surge forward. I pride myself as being the guy that can do it live. What you see me do on TV is what I can do live on stage every night and I’m very proud to be able to say that. Not many TV magicians can.

What does the future hold for you – how can you keep pushing the boundaries? Yes, for me it’s all about moving forward and making the art of stage illusion cool and contemporary. I see the future as limitless for me and the whole BGT experience has proved to me that anything is possible. Who would have thought that a little boy making his first magic trick from a shoebox, would be where I am currently! Now that really is magic!


What is the biggest misconception about what you do?


V. voca people Magic Voices How did the concept of the band come about?


A cappella is an old genre and beat boxing is a modern art. The idea was to create an innovative show, combining a cappella and beat boxing to create the full sound of an orchestra without using any musical instruments and yet – you can hear the sound of drums and other musical instruments – performed using only vocals.

How much practice goes into each show? It’s mostly about sheer talent and ‘out-ofthis world’ musical abilities, if you do not have this, you can’t be a part of the show often described by the press and reviews as ‘vocal acrobats’ and of course there is also the practice required to achieve perfect harmonies with eight voices.

How are the songs to be covered chosen – how much music are you listening to in order to come up with new ideas? First of all it is important to understand that the show is not a cover show but one that features innovative arrangements of more than 70 well-known songs. All the arrangements are medleys in which you hear just bits and pieces of the song. For example – the history of music medley we perform has more than 30 songs in it. We have also a film medley, a classical medley and a tribute to Queen. To create such a show you need to have a vast musical knowledge but also the feeling of what touches the audience’s hearts and souls.



How do you explain what you do to people who have not seen the show? It is an innovative genre of vocal theatre or musical comedy. It has a plot and there is humour in it, but the main aspect is the music – this is the real star of the show. It is ninety minutes of good music, exciting choreography and lots of fun. And the show is very universal and relevant to all ages. It’s a simple yet captivating story about eight aliens who crash landed on earth, and are trying to refuel their spaceship with musical

energy. And the most impressive thing is that all the music you will hear will be performed live with no musical instruments.

Voca People will be performing from December 17-23

Have there been any strange reactions? We get funny reactions all the time. People are astonished trying to find the playback or the hidden orchestra – they cannot believe it is just vocals. Also in Brazil we learned that people stand and start dancing during the show, which was very exciting.


VI. Battle of the Bands The Next Big Thing


he streets at the centre of one of Dubai’s busiest districts will soon be alive with the sound of music when the Al Ghurair Centre launches its first ever outdoor Battle of the Bands competition. The two-week event, which kicked off on November 21 on an outdoor stage on Al Rigga Road, is part of the Al Ghurair Centre’s action-packed series of community activities being organised to mark its Dh2 billion expansion. Competing musicians are in with the chance of winning a share of Dh30,000 in shopping vouchers, plus Dh15,000 in vouchers for the Al Ghurair’s brand new family entertainment centre, Sparky’s. David Thurling, Vice President – Malls at Al Ghurair Properties, said: “Our aim is to become the soul of the city and the Battle of the Bands is something that will really bring the community together”. “We’re really looking forward to the event to see some new talent up on the

stage, and also looking forward to giving the community and our customers a memorable experience”. “Unusually for a mall in Dubai, people can walk into the Al Ghurair Centre from the street and events like Battle of the Bands allow us to engage this active, bustling community that surrounds us.” The event is part of a fun-packed programme over the coming months that will see international street-theatre acts, art installations, graffiti artists, break-dancers, roaming performers and acrobats becoming a regular sight in and around the Al Ghurair Centre. The four judges include award-winning Broadway veteran Mina, Dan Bolton, Head of Entertainment at Bareface talent and model agency, music-guru Yafei and DJ Iain Akerman, otherwise known as themightyrouge. The quarter-finals on November 28 will see singers perform two different songs of their choosing and then again


at the nerve-racking semi-finals on November 29. The event will culminate in a grand final on Saturday November 30 where a winner and two runners up will be crowned ‘best of the bands.’




Stars Come Out at Emirates Woman Awards Al Ghurair Centre commissions emirati artwork in support of breast cancer awareness


l Ghurair Centre showcased its new look when it sponsored the annual Emirates Woman Awards last month, where an artwork it commissioned for the event was auctioned for the charity, Breast Cancer Arabia. The piece by local artist, Shamma Al Amri, was created to celebrate the achievements of women in the UAE. “I wanted to emphasise the raw face of a woman depicting defiance yet also reflecting a tranquil nature – she’s a survivor,” said Shamma. “To emphasise this I created a background, awash with light hues, organic and fluid lines emphasising the natural pigments and charcoaled outline that echo the passing of time.” The piece went on display at the annual Emirates Woman Awards on 9th October, sponsored by the Al Ghurair Centre as part of their calendar of events embracing authentic culture. A silent auction took place ahead of the awards ceremony and saw a record number of bids thanks to Shamma Al Amri’s artistic and topical contribution. The event also saw a keynote speech from David Thurling, Vice President – Malls at Al Ghurair Properties, who spoke about the role of women in the UAE: Some people say it’s a Man’s World… I beg to differ. I work in an office dominated by women… my mornings are a flurry of mascara, decaf skinny lattes, Christian Louboutin shoes, the latest range of Louis Vuitton bags, clouds of perfume and a running commentary on how gorgeous Ryan Gosling is. I am also constantly reminded that my suit doesn’t fit properly or my tie doesn’t match my shirt. But to say that this is all I get would be a grave injustice. I am lucky to work with women who are passionate, dedicated, ambitious, creative, intelligent and drive to be successful in everything they do. I am constantly inspired by these women and admire their unique contribution to our company’s continued success. It is with great pride that the Al Ghurair Centre joins Emirates Woman in recognizing the contribution of women in all fields within the Emirates and beyond. The Al Ghurair Centre has now completed its major new expansion and just like Emirates Woman is into its fourth decade of operation. As such, we are very grateful for the continued support that this esteemed publication provides to our community.




How To Get Ahead in Retail Without Even Trying*

*Actual effort may be required



An interview with David Thurling, Vice President Malls at Al Ghurair Properties

Size is not everything We are a smaller mall so we have to think of new ways to attract customers – we cannot just get people in due to the size of our offerings, so we have to come up with new ideas. We are planning a fashion incubator for up and coming designers – which is something that has worked in New York and London. Pop-up stores have worked out well for malls in those cities as it gives them credibility while it gives the new brands prime retail space. The retail industry has to become more open to new ideas and innovation, as the formulaic style of malls is becoming very mundane.

Fulfill expectations The shoppers’ expectations are based upon what they see in a mall – as they travel and see the world and experience different shopping environments, I wonder if the mall is as a fulfilling experience as they thought it was. Look at countries like Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand where there is an outdoor food culture, where cooking in front of you is so theatrical and then you go to a shopping mall food court, which is so dull compared to that. So it’s up to the mall operators to take some of the themes of the outdoor experience and bring them back inside. The food court is a classic example of a component of mall that has not changed. The layout is the same it has been for decades. We need to look at the experiences available outside the mall and incorporate them if we want to keep people coming back.

Geography is over-rated The mall is a North American retail concept – a western idea that has now been rolled out into developing markets around the world, and if



cies are everything – so you put the handbag store next to a clothes store. There needs to be mixed up, common adjacencies, so the shopping experience can take place in one area and the customer is not being dragged around the mall needlessly. you go to a mall in the States or Singapore or Jakarta, you will see very little difference in terms of the layout or experience. The retail industry has globalised in the past twenty years or so, and so brands are becoming universal, which leads to a one-dimensional industry.

Localisation is important

Positioning is Everything A good mall owner should have a good understanding of what is relevant but also how those brands work side by side, as when we sit down and plan a mall, we have a wish list of what we would like to have, and that comes back to planning process. You can’t just stick a book store next to a jewelery store next to a butcher shop – adjacen-

You need to know what pressures the tenants are under, how the cost of rent affects their bottom lines. You can’t just set a rental rate and say take it or leave it, it has to be relative to their business. The whole financial side has to make sense for us and for them, and understanding that different businesses operate on different margins, so you have to be flexible, otherwise you will be left with no tenants.

Don’t expect loyalty A mall will never have an exclusive hold over a customer. No one wants to go to a mall where they have to go every week – that would get very boring. The challenge is getting people to come and discover you – so how do you do that? Well, you have a different offering from the rest of the malls. Our approach is that we are here, we will meet a lot of your shopping needs, but we know that there are days you will go someplace else. We cannot offer the range of choice of The Dubai Mall, so we need to give people a reason to come here, whether that is through activities, food stalls or just our location which gives you a place to watch the world go by.

Be Passionate Its an amazing industry – the thing about working in the industry is that you are dealing with something that is alive, it’s a part of property industry, but it’s a part of the


property sector that never sits still, the building is alive with retailers, with new concepts, trends, customers, its never stands still. That’s what makes it a really interesting career, it never gets boring – how can you make the mall the better place to be? What ingredients can you throw into it – we are always thinking two or three years ahead about what’s going to happen. Customers’ profiles change, the whole dynamic changes. Everything is moving all the time. I personally find it invigorating, as there is no such thing as the perfect mall. And it’s this passion that gives all of us the energy to do what we do.

Roll with the changes Everything changes all the time. Twenty years ago, you needed to have a huge department store as an anchor tenant – these days, department stores are just not as relevant. Smaller stores such as Zara and H&M have just as much impact in directing traffic. Look at how Zara operates – it turns over its ranges very quickly, which is a different model to a decade ago. Then you had seasonal fashions, but now everything is done much quicker. And the likes of H&M are changing the way people from all socio-economic brackets shop – people will buy a H&M t-shirt and a Chanel jacket. Malls by their very nature are constantly changing – the retail mix in Al Ghurair Centre is entirely different to what it was when it first opened. We accommodate other people’s companies and it’s these retailers that make the experience what it is, and the experience is always changing.


In Asia, which has such a distinctly non-western culture, people want to shop in places they are familiar with. The opportunity here is to bring diversity into the typical mall offering, which, if you threw a blanket over them, would all be same. The food and beverage options, the entertainment, the brands, they are all the same whichever mall you go to in Dubai. More and more, the market will not be able to support malls, and there is going to have to be unique offerings, whether that be in the design, the architecture, the use of local retailers or by helping to develop young retail brands, by giving them prime space. Helping develop the local market is important.

Understand your tenants

The receipt NOV 2013 / ISSUE ONE




Blue Fan, Dh15, Iconic







Cool Mint Tea Shower Cologne, Dh119, Skin Food







Art Review Magazine The Annual Power Issue, Dh60, Jashanmal Books







Shea Shower Cream Soap-free cleanser with shea butter from Burkino Faso, Dh40, The Body Shop



Can Dubai Emerge CONCRETE as a CANVAS Street Art Hub?





By Jimmy Dawson


C asked the question recently “Could the next Banksy come from Dubai?” This was on the heels of a media blitz where the famed London street artist and activist had sold pieces of his work from a pop-up boutique in Central Park for a fraction of their value. Given this recent story and Dubai’s tendency to attract attention with its name alone, the eye-catching headline seemed to be more of a ploy for readers than an earnest musing. Could we even begin to imagine unsanctioned art sprawled on Dubai’s sterile walls, sardonic against the city’s frivolous reputation? Definitely not. It wouldn’t take long before the ‘next Banksy’ was jailed, fined, and deported. This year has seen a rise in media stories about ‘street art’ in Dubai, but most are quick to point out that the term here has a far different meaning than it does for the rest of the world, other Middle Eastern cities especially. And it would only take a quick drive around town to figure this out. Here, there are few places where the walls are marked with errant paint and most of those are commissioned. Along Jumeirah Road, you’ll find a 140-metre length wall, which advertises Dubai’s bid for the Expo2020. And just down the road from that, a colourful display on the side of a building painted this year by Ruben Sanchez called ‘Bicycamel.’ The latter project, took months going through the city’s bureaucracy for approval, a fine example of why maybe there’s not a lot of its kind throughout Dubai. Sanchez, who is about to complete a year-long residency at Tashkeel, declined to comment because he’s preparing for an upcoming show. Indeed, he’s been busy. He had also just finished up pieces in Al Bastakiya. Beneath the traditional wind towers in the historic district now are colorful murals that have obvious reflections of Picasso and very little in common with street art’s subversive roots. In Al Ghurair Centre, you’ll find a mural in this style put up in the mall’s main atrium to advertise its Soul of the City campaign. Marketing Manager Marylou Ruiz said the mall was rebranding itself with a more “urban vibe,” and the street art played to that theme. One of the artists who contributed to the mural

was Rollan Rodriguez. Originally from the Philippines, where street art is more prominent and tolerated, Rodriguez said he wouldn’t hesitate to put his art up in the streets if he could ever get back home. Back in Manila, his friends are performing genuine street art, he says with a bit of envy, while here in Dubai he’s it’s a bit more complicated. Rodriguez is part of a collective of artists called the Brownmonkeys. One other member in that group, Gian Juan, contributed to the Al Ghurair Centre mural as well, while Juan and three other members of the pack (Mark Ganzo, Victoria Vlray, and Joseph Manata) contributed to the mural on Jumeirah. Like almost every other artist in Dubai who prefers street art to a traditional canvas, Rodriguez knows his limits. The trick in this town, it seems, the real art, is how you work within the system. “If they don’t want us to do the wall, then the thinking is to think backwards. Maybe there’s some other way to express yourself as an artist. It’s still street art, but different forms. Maybe in stickers, maybe in wheat paste, maybe in a sculpture extending there in the street,“ Rodriguez said. “Or a stack of [cardboard] boxes [to paint]... ten feet or so. It’s temporary because they can tear it down. It’s still street art. That was something we [the Brownmonkeys] brainstormed since we don’t have a wall and we’re tired of asking permission and don’t want to do it illegally. “Let’s reinvent ourselves.” Rodriguez continues. “What are the ways to kind of move this forward? So that has been our solution: do something temporary; people can tear it down, but there’s [still a] big impact.” Rodriguez might have a strong desire to return to his home country, but the last thing he wants to do at the moment is mess up a great opportunity working for a design company here in Dubai. He knows the ramifications for circumventing the law. But he still laments not only the inability to freely place his art out on the street, but the obstacles and hoops he was to jump through to do so legally. Though some artists, like Steffi Bow and Sya One, have found corporate sponsorships as a means to manifest their style, Dubai is by no means a street art haven. With all its international flair, Dubai is still not London or New York City. It has its


“If they don’t want us to do the wall, then the thinking is to think backwards. Maybe there’s some other way to express yourself as an artist. It’s still street art, but different forms. Maybe in stickers, maybe in wheat paste, maybe in a sculpture extending there in the street.“ “It’s temporary because they can tear it down. It’s still street art.”



Ruben Sanchez, Bicycamel The project, took months going through the city’s bureaucracy for approval, a fine example of why maybe there’s not a lot of its kind throughout Dubai.

own brand of street art, if you can even call it that. It is tamed and refined, mostly confined to temporary structures and, at least for the legal pieces, certain not to offend. Though there are a few exceptions. One of the biggest and most prolific one is Arcadia Blank.


Almost anyone living here for any length of time would probably tell you they’ve seen the black spray painted witticisms around the city with its signature U-like symbol or a triangle. Phrases like ‘Please Colonize Me Gently’ or, as seen on the wall near a labour camp: ‘We Are the Dream Makers.’


can still be read, the overall message has been lost. And the worst part about it is it’s a bigger eyesore now than when it was just a unthreatening, thought-provoking message on a wall that, quite frankly, 99.9 per cent of this city would never have seen anyway. We can only imagine what the ‘next Banksy’ would’ve thought of this irony.

“As per my experience, the authorities like street art, but they are scared of vandalism. I think that if we can show them that we can do a nice and legal piece of art in the street, slowly they will be more open to this kind of art.”



Obvious political references to consumerism gone amok. Most of these have been written on concrete barricades or temporary wooden structures. For this article, as well as the piece, he declined comment, but the artist has stated in past interviews that he is not looking to vandalise, but simply get people to think. The Al Quoz Beautification Project is a collective whose mission to paint walls is not about vandalism either. The project seems like a worthwhile and logical endeavor if you drive through the Al Quoz Industrial district. In a city filled with five-star hotels and glitzy skylines, this area is a boil on the backside of Dubai’s otherwise luxuriously vibrant and fabricated landscape. Here the walls are chipped and pot-marked, yellowed and greyed; the paint peeling off to expose the original bricks laid decades ago. With labour camps and concrete factories and a handful of industrial explosions and fire outbreaks over the years, this part of Dubai doesn’t look like ‘Dubai’ at all. And the only recent paint seen here are those sprayed on to designate ‘No Parking’ spaces. This is where the beautification project comes in. Or should come in, if it was even remotely possible. The group originally had hoped to use local talent to liven up the area by painting these walls in typical street art fashion. That hasn’t gone so well. Instead they are concentrating their efforts on the Night Art Festival on January 24, 2014, with the help of Dubai Events. The festival will have live art, various performances, and music. Pulling off a such a feat as a festival has its own red tape inherent within it, but nothing like trying to beautify a grungy area. “It’s not easy at all,” the project’s organiser, Maria Urrutia, wrote in an email. “We spent a year searching for the authorisation to paint the walls of Al Quoz, until we got fed up and decided do to the festival without touching the walls.” Still, Urrutia is hopeful the mindset will evolve over time. “As per my experience, the authorities like street art, but they are scared of vandalism,” Urrutia said. “I think that if we can show them that we can do a nice and legal piece of art in the street, slowly they will be more open to this kind of art.” In it’s truest form “this kind of art” is the stuff of revolutions and public pushbacks against governments. It is, to most, synonymous with the word vandalism. But “this kind of art” in Dubai has so far proven innocuous and, for the most part, classy, traits the city tends to embrace. “This kind of art” has potential in Dubai if the authorities would allow it. If the people would embrace it. In a remote corner of Al Quoz, the trademark writing of Arcadia Blank has been covered with an aggressive blotch of black spray paint. Though a few letters

I like my money right where I can see it: Hanging in my closet

- Carrie Bradshaw

The Concierge Frederique Bonnet, 26 from France, is Guest Services Manager at Al Ghurair Rayhaan and Arjaan by Rotana. The hotel was built a year ago as part of Al Ghurair centre’s new extension. Bonnet and her team play a pivotal role in the day-to-day running of the hotel, working alongside the rest of the concierge team (the lobby hostesses, bellboys and doormen) and co-ordinating between all of the other teams in the hotel to ensure a smooth, stress-free experience for guests. It’s a vital, challenging role and one full of suprises



eople often ask me what the guest services department does. I say to them that it is like being an ant – you’re so small that nobody really notices you, but without you, the whole world would turn upside down. There are currently two of us on the guest services team. Together with the lobby hostesses, the doormen and the bell boys, we make up the concierge team. Our main role is to keep the guests happy. It is a demanding role. I spend my entire work day running from place

to place, between tasks. Just before I stopped for this interview, I was escorting a guest to a safe deposit box to open it for him. My next stop will be filing all the transportation that has happened to and from the hotel over the past 24 hours, making sure it has all been logged and paid for, or charged for, properly, and preparing for the transportation requirements of the next 24 hours. The job is mainly about preparation – about constantly being prepared for any

eventuality – and about following up with the guests to make sure they are satisfied with their stay. Every morning we prepare for the arrival of the new guests. We work with all of the departments, such as the transport, the kitchens and security, to ensure that everything goes smoothly. We arrange everything from booking the

airport transfers and printing out the name signs the drivers hold up at the airport, to ordering food and beverages for corportate events and making sure that VIP’s rooms are stocked appropriately with fresh fruit and L’Occitane products. We spend a lot of time on the phone and


on emails… it’s basically like being a personal assistant to many people at once. Even though we have specific jobs that we need to carry out every day, each shift is different and there are always unexpected events and situations to deal with. You need to be able to make decisions quickly and be dynamic… there’s really no time to be sleepy. I haven’t had any crazy requests from guests at this hotel yet. When I was working at a hotel in Paris, I had a man ask me what was the best way to climb the Eiffel tower. Another time, I had a pregnant woman ask me where I thought would be the most amazing place for her to deliver her baby. But here, they mainly just want us to book them tables in restaurants and advise them on the local area. Sometimes you’ll get a request that is a bit different. For example, we have a guest who is staying with us for an entire year with his family. He asked me to hire a yellow school bus that could seat 30 children to ferry his two children to school and back each day. I suggested some other options, such as a hotel car, but he insisted he wanted the big school bus so I went out and found one for him. It was the first time I have had that request, but it’s good because now if we get that request again, I’ll know exactly who to call. I think this is the best thing about my job – the variety of the days and the constant craziness. Sometimes I think it would be great to have a job where I just sat at a desk for eight hours a day, but I know I


would get bored. Even on quiet days in this job, when I am just trawling through our daily tasks and everything is going to plan, I am secretly hoping for some small bit of drama to present itself so I can be the fairy godmother and fix it. It’s not the sort of job that you can just go home and forget about at the end of your shift. I’ll often wake up at 3am in the morning thinking, ‘Did I do that?’ Or, ‘Did I make the right decision on that?’ It can be stressful making decisions on other people’s behalf, which is why we constantly follow up with guests to find out how they are enjoying their stay, and to find out if everything we arranged for them went according to plan. Not only does it let us know our guests are happy, but also we can learn from it and learn how to do it better for the next customer. You really need to be able to read people in this job – and you need to be able to listen to the guests and catch every little detail you can about them so you can make the right choices for them. For example, if two guests ask you to book them into a good restaurant, you should be able to make a judgment call on the different restaurants that will suit

their individual needs and style. At the same time, when you come into contact with a difficult or dissatisfied customer, you need to be able to keep calm and manage the situation. I love my job. I love working with so many different departments in the hotel and knowing how they all work. Because we work alongside so many different departments, we are in a unique position of being able to cover for a lot of our colleagues. However, they can’t cover for us as they really don’t know exactly what it is that we do. The fact is we do everything… we are the heart of the front desk. Everything that needs to happen in the hotel passes through our jurisdiction at some point. We are like little fairies, flying around in the background, trying to make everyone happy.


The Loneliness of the Online Shopper



Stylist, personal shop ger Teresa Karpinska talks about the diff ditional store-based new-age experience


here are certainly positives to online shopping. Firstly, you have a much broader selection of things to choose from. Secondly, everything is gathered under one roof – in the sense that you can do it all from your laptop, so you don’t have to traipse from mall to mall, of from shop to shop, to see what’s on offer. So, it’s a great way to see what’s out there and compare prices. Also, you can get some unique, handmade stuff online from sites like and other similar sites. But other than those pointers, for me shopping is about shops. I guess it stems from a love of good quality clothes. I’ve always had a passion for expressing myself creatively – painting, photography, drawing – and I describe myself as being visually greedy. I love picture postcard scenes of nature, of beautiful people. I’m always looking for visual stimulation. Fashion is a way of combining my visual greed with self-expression. It’s a way of making a visual statement about myself. I first started learning about fashion through my grandmother, who was a seamstress. I used to spend a lot of time with her when I was a young child and my favourite place to hide was under her sewing machine. She would teach me about fabrics and patterns and about how to put garments together. When I was about 12, I went through a punk rocker phase wanted to rip jeans and modify boots and trainers. She wasn’t too into what I was doing. She was more feminine and kept trying to draw me back into the real world of clothes by teaching me how to

make pistachio tea dresses and other pretty things. Even though it wasn’t the clothes I wanted to wear at that time, I took an interest and started going to fabric stores with my Grandma and learning how to identify good quality materials. I have vivid memories of those times and now, as an adult, I still love running my fingers through yards of fabric, feeling and comparing the quality. In Dubai’s fabric stores, it also means being tended to with a sweet masala chai and having a friendly chat with the storeowner which is an added pleasure. Those shopping experiences with my grandma ignited in me a passion for quality, which has shaped my tastes and style. I’m all about understated pieces that can make a statement. For me, that statement is all about high quality tailoring and fabrics... how it hangs, how it feels, how it looks after a few washes. And this is my main issue with shopping online. On a screen, everything looks good. It’s all shot well with nice lighting and everything looks great. But when it arrives, the fabric might turn out to be some low quality, highly flammable polyester-type material with bad stitching. Or, the cut might be really unflattering. But in a store, you have more chance to really look at the item – to touch it, to try it on with other clothes, to see how well it fits your body shape. Also, there is something to be said for the instant delivery of purchasing in store. If I buy something, I usually get so excited about it that I want to wear it immediately and more often than not I put it on in the


Online shopping is only going to get more popular, I think that is inevitable, but the visceral experience of shopping in person will never go away.


per and fashion blog(aka Style Drifter) erences between trashopping and the of shopping online to a purely online shopping experience, I think this would be what I would miss the most. As a woman, I don’t think you ever really grow out of enjoying that. Online shopping is only going to get more popular, I think that is inevitable, but the visceral experience of shopping in person will never go away. I think it’s important that the stores keep enhancing the retail experience – and in the end this is why, however popular online shopping gets, nothing will beat the experience of shopping in person.



store and walk out wearing it. Waiting for stuff to be delivered always cuts some of the joy out for me. The in-store shopping experience is becoming much more personalised, which is great. Brands are pumping specific scents through their stores, so the smell is familiar every time you go in and even the clothes you buy from the store smell like it too. I love being in airy stores where everything is white where you feel like you are buying into a high-end lifestyle. On Pinterest and in magazines, you often see inspirational lifestyle pictures of a woman lounging around in a spacious white apartment in cashmere pajamas. You imagine she is listening to seductive house music and that there are some scented candles burning somewhere – it sells an ease of living. In the same way, going in to a store and having a similar experience that feels elegant and effortlessly opulent makes you feel as if it’s a brand you want to buy into, and makes you want to keep going back to that store. As a stylist and personal shopper, I spend a lot of time in malls and I have learnt how to be very focused and goal-orientated when I am there. I can go by myself, on a mission to get a specific item, and leave soon after with the exact item in my bag. But as a woman, I love unplanned, non-work-related shopping experiences – me and a friend, starting with breakfast in a nice café, browsing and shopping for a while, then stopping for a cupcake and coffee. On those types of shopping trips, it’s not about the destination, but about the journey. And if stores were to disappear, giving way

A (very) Brief History of Coffee

“Just the other day, I was in my neighbourhood Starbucks, waiting for the post office to open. I was enjoying a cafe mocha when it occurred to me that to drink a mocha is to gulp down the entire history of the New World. From the Spanish exportation of Aztec cacao, and the Dutch invention of the chemical process for making cocoa, on down to the capitalist empire of Hershey, PA, and the lifestyle marketing of Seattle’s Starbucks, the modern mocha is a bittersweet concoction of imperialism, genocide, invention, and consumerism served with whipped cream on top.” – Sarah Vowell, author






irst thing in the morning. Sitting down to pass the time of day with a friend. Taking a break from work. For most of us, coffee has is more than just a warming caffeinated beverage – it’s part of life’s punctuation, signalling the start of some things, and the end of others. On your way to work, a smooth, double-shot vanilla latte wakes you up, satisfies the taste buds and soothes the soul, while later in the day, a short, sharp espresso might be the perfect end to a heavy meal. Coffee-lovers can wax lyrical about the joys of the black nectar till our cup is empty and it’s time for the next hit. However, the more convincing proof of the importance of coffee in our everyday lives lies in the cold hard numbers which chart the explosion in coffee’s popularity over the past few decades. According to the Fairtrade Foundation, a British non-profit organisation which promotes ethical trade between developing and developed countries, global consumption of coffee has nearly doubled in the past 40 years, while the London-based UN-authorised International Coffee Organization reports that global coffee exports leaped from $8.7 billion to $15.4 billion between 2000 and 2010. In the last year alone, the number of people in the US who drink coffee has risen by a massive 5 per cent, according to the National Coffee Association. And it’s a trend that doesn’t appear to be dropping off any time soon. By 2015, the experts predict that the number of specialist coffee shops will have doubled, the number of Starbucks staff

in China will also have doubled and the number of coffee shops in Britain will have jumped from just over 15,000 to 18,000. Could this just be hype created by the coffee industry themselves, as they pat themselves on the back and congratulate themselves on world domination? Is it possible that the coffee bubble will eventually burst? American food writer and coffee expert Oliver Strand says not. “It’s absolutely not a trend. Will coffee be here in a year or five years? Absolutely. Will it be here in ten years? Sure. I probably won’t recognise it, but it will be here.” To back up his declaration, Strand points to the US’ flourishing coffee industry. He says, “Coffee is consumed by hundreds of millions of people. 75 per cent of adults drink it daily. It’s a huge industry – $18 billion a year in the United States (just on prepared coffee in restaurants and coffee shops). To give you a comparison, Hollywood has a domestic box office of about $12 billion a year, so there’s more money going into coffee than there is into Hollywood. These people aren’t going to stop buying coffee.” So it’s official: the whole world drinks coffee and we simply can’t get enough of the stuff. But where and when did this love affair start? And how did a simple beverage catch the attention of millions to become a global obsession? There are a few different theories on how man first discovered coffee. One of the most popular is that a goatherder in the Kaffa region of Ethiopia noticed that when his goats ate the fruit from a particular type of tree, they were more energetic and didn’t


want to sleep at night. As the legend goes, the herder reported his theory to an elder at his local monastery, who made a drink from the berries and found that, like the goats, he was more focused and able to concentrate on his evening prayers. Whether the story is true or not, by 1400AD, knowledge of the green berry brew had spread from Africa to the Middle East – apparently on the back of the slave trade – and the coffee trade industry had been born. Coffee houses started emerging all over the Middle East and became known as social hotspots where cultured men met to share their wisdom, eventually being referred to as ‘Schools of the Wise.’ Soon after, in the early 1600s, Europeans started developing a taste for the exotic black drink and the demand for coffee beans grew. Keen to keep a monopoly over the trade of coffee beans, the Arabs tried to ban the export of fertile beans. However, by the late 1600s, a group of persistent Dutch explorers managed to procure some coffee seedlings and, after a failed attempt in India, began to grow their own coffee in Java (present day Indonesia). The European coffee experience followed a similar path to the Arabian one – coffee houses appeared and became increasingly popular as centres for networking and social engagements. In England, coffee shops were commonly known as ‘penny universities,’ owing to the fact that, for a penny, you could buy yourself a cup of coffee and engage in some stimulating conversation with other patrons. In 1714 the mayor of Amsterdam gave a coffee plant to King Louis



XIV of France, who planted it in his royal gardens. At that time, the French were busy trying to colonise areas of south, central and north America with the main purpose of capitalising on the continent’s vast supply of profitable exports, such as fish, sugar and furs. However, in 1720, a French naval officer named Mathieu de Clieu, who was stationed in Martinique, recognised that the Caribbean island had a similar environment to Java and stole a clipping from the king’s coffee plant. Despite a troubled journey back to Martinique, which involved an attack by pirates, severe water rationing and a sabotage attempt by a fellow shipmate, de Clieu was successful and no more than 50 years later, this cutting had spawned 18 million coffee trees in Martinique, according to National Geographic. And the tale doesn’t end there. In 1727, a Brazilian colonel made made a trip to French Guiana, the French-occupied region of South America, on a mission to procure a coffee plant. Although the governor of French Guiana rejected his

milk foam milk foam

steamed milk




caffe latte

request, the colonel managed to use his charm and good looks to sweet-talk the colonel’s wife who, as a leaving gift, gave him a bouquet of flowers containing coffee plant seedlings. Little did she know, her romantic gesture triggered the beginning of the world’s largest coffee-cultivating project and, as supply of coffee sub-


sequently rocketed, prices came down drastically, turning coffee into the affordable, accessible product that it is today. If the coffee enthusiasts are to be believed, we are currently in the swell of a ‘third wave’ of coffee culture: the first wave being the rapid expansion of the global market in the 1800s, putting affordable


milk foam

whipped cream

steamed milk

chocolate syrup





caffe mocha


becomes more diverse, so does the knowledge of the enthusiast, who now has the opportunity to geek out on coffee and become a self-taught connoisseur of beans. Ordering a skinny soya latte with a double shot of espresso and a third of a shot of vanilla doesn’t make you look like a coffee aficionado anymore. Knowing you like your Pacamara bean brewed in a siphon coffee maker might be closer to the mark. As consumers’ desire for diversity and specialisation has channeled coffee production in to this third wave of connoisseurism, so has the evolution of smart phones and Wifi steered the direction of coffee shop environments and ambience. The ability to work remotely has brought with it a new generation of coffee shop customers who don’t just want to grab a coffee and go, but who want to spend a few hours – sometimes an entire day – working, creating, meeting colleagues and business associates. A study by anthropologists from West Virginia University looking into coffee shop culture reported that, “Due to the rise of portable electronic devices and telecommuting, an increasing number of people now use coffee houses less for socialising and more as a hub for reading, working, and productivity.” A separate study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that people enjoy the background noise of a busy bustling coffee shop and that it can in fact boost productivity. As a result of these findings, a website called Coffitivity was launched, offering ‘coffee shop soundtracks’ so people who are stuck working in offices can recreate the clatter and ambience of their local coffee shop.



So not only are coffee shops a place to buy and drink quality coffee and a cosy place to meet with friends, or take a break from shopping or workingor travelling; now coffee shops are also becoming a hot spot for working relationships to develop and for creativity to flow. A fertile environment – not just for the benefit of individuals, but also for communal conscience to flourish – much like the 15th century Arabs’ schools of the wise and the 17th century British penny universities, where people gathered and shared thoughts and ideas. American urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg suggested that we have two established spaces where we socialise – firstly home, secondly the workplace – but that we need another place where we can enjoy a sense of community. He called this the ‘third place’. In his book The Great Good Place, he says, “In order for the city and its neighbourhoods to offer the rich and varied association that is their promise and potential, there must be neutral ground upon which people may gather. There must be places where individuals may come and go as they please, in which no one is required to play host, and in which we all feel at home and comfortable.” Is this the role of the friendly neighbourhood coffee shop? Is it the third place where we can exist outside of our own little spheres and experience a sense of community? Perhaps this explains the constant upward trend – the recession-resistant growth of the coffee shop. It’s not just about the physical buzz you get from your favourite caffeinated drink, but about the emotional high of feeling like we belong to something bigger than ourselves.


coffee within reach of pretty much everyone on the planet; and the second wave being the post-1950s mass branding and standardisation of coffee (think Nescafe and Maxwell House). Writing on the topic for The Scientific American, anthropologist Krystal D’Costa, says that in the post-war era, big chain coffee houses were buying up coffee beans from all over the world and putting them through heavy processing in order to maintain a specific flavour. She says, “Coffee drinkers would have been hard pressed to find specialty coffee in the United States in the 1970s – most of the coffee in the groceries came in cans... There was little exciting about coffee, and in fact, coffee drinking had been on a decline. For the coffee industry to survive, it needed a new marketing strategy.” Coffee marketing teams started trying to diversify and individualise the coffee experience. Instead of putting all their beans in one pot and balancing the levels until they achieved a specific blend, they started marketing and selling beans individually, thereby enabling consumers to experience the unique flavours of the different beans and choose for themselves. Pulitzer prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold says that even identifying coffees by country and region is second wave. He says third wave school of thought is even more specific, with consumers getting to know their favourite blends by the name of the specific farm the beans come from. “Roasting is about bringing out rather than incinerating the unique characteristics of each bean, and the flavour is clean and hard and pure.” As the coffee experience matures and

steamed milk

The Directory eveything to know ab ghurair ce ful

you need out al ntrE carely curated



Childrens’ Wear Athlete’s Co. Kids Phone: 04-2954935 Babyshop Phone: 04-2299731 Carter’s Phone: 04-2347610 Crazy 8 Early Learning Centre Phone: 04-2281873 F&F Funkyfish Phone: 04-2522841 George Girls Phone: 04-2517790 HelloKidz Phone: 04-2247830 Jadore Kidz Phone: 04-2228623 Kair Phone: 04-2242476 Mothercare Phone: 04-2238176 R&B Red Tag Phone: 04-2242950 Stride Rite Phone: 04-2595404 The Children’s Place The Entertainer The Toy Store Express Phone: 04-2221494

Entertainment C6 1 H4 1

E6 G G4 1

E7 2

Fashion Abayas/Sheilas

G4 1

Abdullah Hussain Khunji Fashion Phone: 04-2214227 Habayeb Phone: 04-2272747 Hanayen Phone: 04-2222121 Joory Fashion Phone: 04-2226322 Qasat Abaya & Shaila Phone: 04-2525231 Sweet Lady Phone: 04-2222138 The Swan Phone: 04-2285911

B6 1 H6 1

Ladies Fashion

E4 G E6 1 E6 1 G4 1 G4 1 G4 1 F4 1

C6 1 E6 1 E6 1 F4 1

F3 1 H4 1 H4 G H6 G D7 1 B6 1 H6 1 G4 G

Electronics/Games Al Dirham Phone: 04-2215576 Al Falak Axiom Telecom Phone: 04-2214340 E-City EMax Phone: 04-2504018 Eros Digital Home Fono Light Speed (Kiosk) Phone: 04-2208314 Plug-Ins Phone: 04-2349708 Royal Knights (Kiosk) Viva Audio & Video Phone: 04-2234480

D2 2

G4 1

Department Stores BHS Phone: 04-2276969 Centrepoint Jashanmal Phone: 04-2277780 Matalan Phone: 04-2552267 Max Phone: 04-2232272 R&B Red Tag Phone: 04-2242950 Sharief Phone: 04-2214339

Grand Cinemas Phone: 04-2289898 Sparky’s

G5 G C6 2 D3, F6 G C7 2 D6 1 C7 2 C6 2 G4 G F3 G F4 G D2 G

Aeropostale Aftershock Bench Bossini Phone: 04-2215911 Brokar Fashion Phone: 04-2349906 Calzedonia Cartoon Fashion Phone: 04-2216461 CAT Phone: 04-2502480 Cortefiel Esprit Phone: 04-2226243 F&F French Connection Phone: 04-2273848 G2000 Phone: 04-2215023 George Giordano Phone: 04-2281081 Guess Jeans Hang Ten Phone: 04-2296063 Hilfiger Denim Iconic Phone: 04-2896211 Inflagrante 04-2525272 Koton 04-2951570 Le Chateau Levi’s Phone: 04-2246070 Lipsy Mango Phone: 04-2959244 Mariposa Style Phone: 04-2240978 Marks & Spencer Phone: 04-2953613 Matalan Phone: 04-2552267


G6 1 G4 1 F4 1 F5 1 F5 1 G5 1 F5 1

C6, 1 C5 G B5 1 F5 G G5 1 D6 G H3 G G5 G B6 G B6, F4 G E4 G G4 G F5 G E6 G F5 1 B6 G F4 G B7 G E6 G G5 1 E6 G D6 1 F4 G B6 G E6 G F4 G D& G F6 G


Merrell Phone: 04-2502611 Piazza Italia Phone: 04-2949611 Pierre Cardin Ladies Pink Woman R&B Red Tag Phone: 04-2242950 Rosetta Phone: 04-2273297 Sebago Phone: 04-2502611 Shana Phone: 04-2567745 Sombra Splash Phone: 04-2274796 Western Neighbour (Kiosk) Phone: 04-2285286 Yours

E4 G E6 G G4 G C7 1 B6 1 H6 1 F5 1 E4 G H5 G C6 1 G6 1 F5 G F4 G

Lingerie H4 G D6 G F5 G C7 1 D7 G F6 G F5 G

Men’s Fashion Aeropostale Al Mundo Phone: 04-2235320 Al Naamani Tailoring Phone: 04-2272099 Ali Al Jazeeri Phone: 04-2211608 Austin Reed Balmain Phone: 04-2211818 Belucci Phone: 04-2500348 Bench Bossini Phone: 04-2215911 CAT Phone: 04-2502480 Emilio Guido Phone: 04-2555415 F&F French Connection Phone: 04-2273848 G2000 Phone: 04-2215023 George Giordano Phone: 04-2281081 Hang Ten Phone:04 229 6063 Hilfiger Denim Iconic Phone: 04-2896211

C6 1 F5 G G6 1 G6 1 B7 G F6 G G4 G


A homegrown brand of department store with a difference, Iconic is fun, vibrant and always surprising. It has gained a loyal customer base since it opened in 2010, and its colourful displays and eclectic stock ensure repeat visits are a must. With everything from electronics to denim on sale and a knowledgeable, friendly staff, the experience of shopping at Iconic is almost as much fun as taking home the goodies on sale.

B5 1 F5 G G5 G C5 G E4 G G4 G F5 G E6 G F5 1 F4 G B7 G E6 G



The abaya has become a cutting-edge piece of clothing in recent years and designers from around the world look to give this classic piece a modern twist. One of the pioneers in the market is Hanayen, a local company that produces a huge range of abayas to suit all tastes and needs. Set up in 1990, the brand has won the hearts of consumers in the UAE and around the gulf for their classic, contemporary designs and their focus on quality.


Calvin Klein Phone: 04-2277780 Calzedonia La Senza Phone: 04-2283862 La Vie En Rose Marks & Spencer Phone: 04-2953613 Nayomi Phone: 04-2272337 Triumph Phone: 04-2279825


Koton Phone: 04-2951570 Levi’s Phone: 04-2246070 Marco Azzali Phone: 04-2294488 Marco Barocco Phone: 04-2522484 Merrell Phone: 04-2502611 Piazza Italia Phone: 04-2949611 Pierre Cardin Phone: 04-2277752 Red Tag Phone: 04-2242950 Sebago Phone: 04-2502611 Splash Phone: 04-2274796 Ted Lapidus Phone: 04-2227815

E6 G F4 G F6 G H5 G E4 G E6 G G4 G H6 1 E4 G G6 1 G5 G


Food All The Perks D5 G Phone: 04-2953001 Al-Remal Dates (Kiosk) E6 G Baguette Express D7 2 Baskin Robbins G4 G Phone: 04-2225910 Buzz Café C7 G Phone: 04-2933000 Café Supreme H5 G Phone: 04-2241939 Caffe Divino C7 1 Chappan Bhog D3 G Phone: 04-2212882 Charleys Philly Steaks D6 2 Chickenow E7 2 Chili’s H6 G Phone: 04-2296760 Chinese Palace D8 2 Chowking F1 G Phone: 04-2288377 Cinnabon H3 G Phone: 04-2233714 Dome E4 G Phone: 04-2221313 Extreme Shawarma D8 2 Phone: 04-2999353 Elevation Burger H3 G Espressamente Illy D7 G Phone: 04-2956227 Fish & Co 15 G Phone: 04-2270252 Gelato Divino (Kiosk) G5 G Gerard Patisserie G6 6 Hatam D6 2 iCream C6 2 India Palace H7 G Phone: 04-2223881 Jamaica Blue C6 1 KFC D6 2 Krispy Kreme (Kiosk) E4 G Lemon Bar D7 2 Phone: 052-9889575 Lemongrass D6 2 London Dairy D7 2 Max Burger D8 2 Phone: 04-2942565

McDonald’s Phone: 04-2236817 Mini Melts Ice Cream (Kiosk) Momozz (Kiosk) Phone: 04-4279622 Nando’s Phone: 04-2211992 Nawab Papa John’s Phone: 04-2284001 Pastarito Pizzarito Phone: 04-2956562 Pizza Hut Phone: 04-2222927 Seattle’s Best Phone: 04-42233714 Second Cup Phone: 04-2957375 Shogun Restaurant Phone: 04-2285568 Starbucks Phone: 04-2212559 Sweet Candy (Kisok) Tasty Corn (Kiosk) Thai Fruits (Kiosk) TurkWay Umami Phone: 04-2955903 Wendy’s Yogurberry Phone: 052-9889575

G6, G E4 1 E4 1 H3 G D7 2 14 G E6 2 H7 G H3 G D6 G H5 3 H6 G G4 1 E4 1 E4 1 E7 2 D8 2 D6 2 D7 2

Footwear, Leather/ Luggage Footwear/Handbags Aldo Phone: 04-2238851 Baldi London Phone: 04-2502433 Birkenstock Call It Spring Phone: 04-2282445 Carolina Boix Phone: 04-2958400 CAT Phone: 04-2502480 Charles & Keith Phone: 04-2294310 Clarks Phone: 04-2277780 Crocs Phone: 056-7700128 Dune Inflagrante Phone: 04-2525272 K-Corner Phone: 04-2283673 Merrell Phone: 04-2502611 Naturalizer Nine West Phone: 04-2211484 Nose Oroton Paris Gallery Phone: 04-2211166


C6 G F6 G C7 G G5 G F6 G G5 G G5 G H4 G F6 G B7 G G5 1 F4 1 E4 G B7 1 C6 G B5 G C7 G A5, E5 G


Paris Hilton Pretty Fit Sebago Phone: 04-2502611 Shoe Studio Shoexpress Phone: 04-2211029 Steve Madden Phone: 04-2504556 Tango Shoes Phone: 04-2276887 Viss

C6 G B7 1 E4 G B5 1 H6 1 D7 G F4 1 C7 1

Leather/Luggage Carpisa Phone: 04-2501871 Jashanmal Phone: 04-2277780 Leather Palace Phone: 04-2226770 Mosafer Plagonni Segue Phone: 04-2276048 Sharief Phone: 04-2214339 Transit Bags & Accessories Phone: 04-2999591

D6 G H4 G H4 G C7 1 C5 1 F4 G C4 G C6 G

Gulf Greetings Phone: 04-2226918 Jashanmal Books Phone: 04-2223037

F5 G G4 G

Gold, Jewellery, Accessories/Watches Gold/Jewellery Damas Fashion Gold Phone: 04-2225575 Inch of Gold (Kiosk) Liali Phone: 04-2228844 Lifestyle Jewelry Phone: 04-2231141 Marbeya Jewellery Phone: 04-2286614 Pink Chic (Kiosk) Popley La Classique Phone: 04-2230558 Prima Gold Phone: 04-2280983

C6 G F5 1 D7 1 D3 G F5 G G6 1 B5 1 F6 1 G4 G

Fashion Jewellery/ Accessories Aldo Accessories Applemint Phone: 04-2595789 Baldi London Phone: 04-2502433 Bangles (Kiosk) Phone: 04-2977297 Bijoux Terner Carolina Boix Phone: 04-2958400

Espressamente Illy

Nobody does coffee better than the Italians and when it comes to coffee in Italy, Illy is the best. With cutting-edge design, knowledgeable baristas and of course, amazing coffee, this is the place to head after a hard day (or hour) of shopping. Right in the heart of the new mall extension, the cafÊ has perfect views of the atrium performances and a range of delicious pastries. Meet friends or just relax and take it all in – nowhere is a more welcoming venue than Espressamente Illy.

C6 G G5 1 F6 G F6 1 C6 1 F6 G



The ultimate destination for those in love with the outdoors, Merrell has been kitting out the adventurous around the world for more than thirty years. From rugged backpacks to hardwearing hiking boots, the brand manages to be both fashion conscious and utilitarian. Specialising in light, technologically advanced clothing, Merrell has gone from strength to strength in recent years with stores opening everywhere from Slovenia to Taiwan.


Books, Gifts/Novelties


Diva Phone: 04-2283862 Exquisite Phone: 04-2525344 Folli Follie Funky Fish Phone: 04-2522841 Guess Accessories Hamasat (Kiosk) Phone: 04-2363003 I am Phone: 04-2959808 Inflagrante Phone: 04-2525272 Just Accessories Phone: 04-2213522 Mango Touch Paris Gallery Phone: 04-2211166 Q UP Accessories Royal Majesty Phone: 04-2275181 Swarovski Phone: 04-2294920

F4 G G5 1 C7 G E6 1 B6 G B6 1 C6 G G5 1 F5, B6 G, 1 E6 G A5, E5 G B6 1 G5 G G5 G


Watches Better Times G-Factory Phone: 04-2525217 Guess Accessories Hour Choice (Kiosk) Phone: 04-2216069 Longines Omega & Rivoli Prestige Paris Gallery Phone: 04-2211166 Police (Kiosk) Popley La Classique Phone: 04-2230558 Rado & Tissot Phone: 04-2293078 Rivoli Phone: 04-2281757 Rivoli Eye Zone Swatch Phone: 04-2248556 Timex Phone: 050-9750998

B6 1 G6 G B6 G G3 G C7 G C6 G E5 G C5 G F6 1 F5 G H6 G B6 G H6, G F4 G

Cosmetics/Perfumes Exquisite Phone: 04-2525344 Flormar C6 Inglot Phone: 04-2228344 Khan Soap (Kiosk) Layal Beauty Phone: 04-2956150 Paris Gallery Phone: 04-2211166 Police (Kiosk) Skin Food Phone: 04-2215466 The Body Shop Phone: 04-2289494 The Face Shop Phone: 04-2293640 Flormar

G5 1 F6 1 G5, C7, G, 1 F4 G B6 G A5, E5 G C5 G E4 G D3, C7 G, 1 E4 G C6, F6 1

Salons Amro Ladies Saloon Phone: 04-2222534 N-Bar Phone: 04-2289009

C4, D3 G D4 G

Health Al Manara Pharmacy Dr. Nutrition Centre GNC Isukoshi (Kiosk) Phone: 04-2385008 Life Para Pharmacy & Nutrition Phone: 04-2248362 Post Shop (Kiosk) Phone: 04-4548386

C6 2 B6 2 C6 2 E4 1 D3 G G4 G

Home/decor 2XL Crystalia Phone: 04-2501424 Kashmir Art Gallery Phone: 04-2225271 Pan Home Furnishings Royal Furniture

B5 2 F6 1 F6 1 B7 2 B5 2


Beauty/Health Arabic Scents Ajmal Perfumes Phone: 04-2227991 Oud Al Haramain Phone: 04-2226062 Arabian Oud Phone: 04-02297419 King of Gaharu Phone: 04-2212365 Oud Elite Palace of Oudh Phone: 04-2271398 Rasasi Phone: 04-2229109 Reeha Phone: 04-2286064 Swiss Arabian Phone: 8006177 Yas Perfumes

F4 G G5 1 G6 1 F6 1 G4 1 F6 1 F4 1 F4 1 G4, C5 G, 2 B5 G


Al Jaber Optical Phone: 04-2249444 Alpha Optical Phone: 04-2247224 Grand Optics Lens Crafters Lutfi Optical Magrabi Paris Gallery Phone: 04-2211166 Police (Kiosk) Rivoli Eyezone Yateem Optician Phone: 04-2281787

G4 G G5 G C6 G G6 1 C6 1 D6 G A5, E5 G C5 G B6 G G6 G


Services 3M (Kiosk) Phone: 055-2037776 Al Ghurair Int’l. Exchange Phone: 04-2231145 Charge it Clear Coat (Kiosk) Denim Star (Kiosk) Du Phone: 04-2216411 Easy Tours Phone: 055-2217567 Etisalat Etisalat Bill Payment Machine MBME Phone: 8003786 Thrifty Car Rental (Kiosk) Phone: 056-6821540 Transcash (Kiosk) Phone: 04-255 7773 Vacation International (Kiosk) Valtrans Phone: 055-2691817

D3 G F6 G F6 1 G5 G F6 1 H5 G E4 G C7 2 E4 1 E4 1

Louloua Phone: 04-2212848 Majestic Textiles Phone: 04-2233399 Mohammed Munassar Alesayi Monteroza Phone: 04-2276233 Naz Fashions Phone: 04-2217605 Signe Phone: 04-2219743 Verona Phone: 04-2276041

F6 1 G5 1 C6 1 G5 1 G6 1 G3 1 F5 1

G6 G H6 G G6 G D5 G

Sports/Leisure G3 G G6 G F5 G G4 G G4 G E5 1 G6 G

Supermarket Spinneys Phone: 04-2222886

D2 G

Textiles Abdullah Hussain Khunji Fashion Phone: 04-2214227 Al Baqa Phone: 04-2222626 Al Melaa Phone: 04-2225097 Al Yazia Trading Phone: 04-2229086 Aroma Textiles Phone: 04-2299195 Charme Phone: 04-2233323 Damas Textiles Phone: 04-2216700 Emessa Phone: 04-2243660 Felwa Textiles Phone: 04-2241985 La Viera Trading Phone: 04-2225573 Laurent Phone: 04-2288585

G6 1 G5 1 F6 1 G6 1

Longines Skin Food Based in the Swiss town of SaintImier since 1832, Longines’ winged hourglass logo is the oldest registered for a watchmaker. That should illustrate the experience and heritage of the brand and why it has so many loyal customers around the world. A favourite among pilots, one model (still produced today) was designed by the famous trans-Atlantic aviator, Charles Lindbergh. You don’t have to fly planes to appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into each watch, and thre is a range of models to suit all tastes and needs.

G5 1 H3 1 F5 1 G5 1 F6 1 G5 1 F5 1


This Korean cosmetics brand has taken Asia by storm and its unique products (moisturiser with caviar and gold extracts anyone?) have set it apart from its competitors in a very crowded marketplace. The store itself is bright and airy, and although small, there is plenty of room to browse. Its range covers everything from skin care and make up to hair products and a men’s range. What all the products have in common is a reliance on natural nutrients from food to protect and enhance the skin. Everything from avocado to tomato, quinoa and rice is used in the various products, with the aim of utilising the vitamins and minerals that occur in the food to revitalize the skin.


Adidas Phone: 04-2278936 Beyond the Beach Phone: 04 250 2826 Converse Phone: 04-2221535 Ipanema Phone: 04-2242700 Pairs Phone: 04-2281682 Sportsone Phone: 04-2984150 Sun & Sand Sports Phone: 04-2227107


Follow Us

Like Us


Love Us


Pick us up we are fabulous and free

Al Ghurair Centre magazine

Al Ghurair Centre Magazine  
Al Ghurair Centre Magazine  

A bi-monthly magazine from Dubai's oldest shopping mall.