JUNE / JULY / AUGUST 2016
RAMADAN IN DUBAI Join us as we embrace the Holy Month
DRESS TO IMPRESS
The finest Middle Eastern fashions
Step inside the region’s cool theme parks
Tour the town’s very best health and beauty spas
FUN SEEKERS WELCOME
TUBING ACTIVITY OPEN DAILY AT - 4ยบ FROM ORDINARY
Book online at: www.skidxb.com
published by motivate publisher chris capstick group editor – business dean caroll
Contents JUNE/JULY/AUG 16
editor helen FarMer
18 dress to impress
proJeCts MAnAger ingrid valles senior Art direCtor tarak parekh senior designer aMit chavan group sAles MAnAger philip sMith generAl MAnAger – produCtion s sunil kuMar
We meet some of the latest Dubai designers who, while respecting tradition and preserving culture, are pushing the fashion boundaries when it comes to national dress
regionAl MAnAger bireshwar Mitra for dtcm direCtor of CoMMuniCAtions saM dulka saM.dulka@dubaitourisM.ae direCtor of MediA And Advertising Moza al youha Myouha@dubaitourisM.ae Chief editor kerry baggott kbaggott@dubaitourisM.ae
overseAs offiCes dubai tourism head office po box 594, dubai, uae email@example.com australia & new zealand firstname.lastname@example.org brazil & south america email@example.com china beijing office firstname.lastname@example.org chengdu email@example.com
28 Ramadan KaREEm
34 BE OUR GUEST
Everything you need to know about the highlight of the Islamic calendar
Refuel, refresh and replenish over a spread of delectable dishes for Iftar
guangzhou firstname.lastname@example.org shanghai email@example.com France and benelux, paris firstname.lastname@example.org germany email@example.com hong kong firstname.lastname@example.org india email@example.com italy firstname.lastname@example.org Japan email@example.com nordic countries firstname.lastname@example.org russia, cis & baltic states email@example.com southern africa firstname.lastname@example.org uk & ireland email@example.com usa firstname.lastname@example.org
Cover Design: baha'a sawalha
38 TiGhTEN YoUr sEATbELTs Step inside Dubai's thrilling indoor theme parks 44 sUmmEr iN DUbAi Entertainment, activities and sizzling summer sales 46 Top To ToE Touring the town's favourite spas and pampering palaces 50 iT’s ALL iN ThE NosE Get sniffing and mixing to find your perfect scent 54 hAppY TALk Dubai has set a target to become the smartest and happiest city on the planet. What does it mean for you?
rEGULArs 4 CALENDAr This season's events revealed
15 #mYDUbAi Dubai through the eyes of its creative residents
6 NEw AND Now New outposts, offers and openings
16 #mYDUbAi posTs Your Dubai candid moments
8 AroUND TowN Keep up with what's on and what's in 10 EXpLorE The Palm Jumeirah: where to eat, sleep and play 12 hoTEL hAppENiNGs What's new
58 GifT GUiDE Check out these 'Made in Dubai' products 60 hoTEL ChECk-iN Palazzo Versace 64 TAbLE TALk The Croft chef shares his culinary secrets 66 piCTUrE This All about falconry
Get set to laugh the night away as comedian GABRIEL IGLESIAS performs live on 3 June at the Dubai World Trade Centre. He lent The Holy Month of
DUBAI SPORTS WORLD
his talents to Family Guy
RAMADAN is one of
offers sports enthusiasts
and Magic Mike before
the most important
a chance to enjoy their
starting his own show
and reflective times in
favourite sports indoors
Fluffy Breaks Even.
the Islamic calendar. It
during the summer months
is a month of fasting,
of June, July and August.
The annual NAD AL SHEBA
observance, charity and
For almost three months,
SPORTS TOURNAMENT will
reflection. This time in
the Dubai World Trade
be held at the Nad Al Sheba
Dubai is a celebration of
Centre is converted into
Complex this Ramadan from
one of the biggest indoor
8 to 27 June. There will be
and organised by the
paying fields, which includes
a host of exciting sports
Government of Dubai.
football, volleyball, tennis
events from paddle tennis
Emirati hospitality and
courts and more. Book a
and archery to volley ball
traditions are very evident
court and start playing your
and running. There are also
during this month as Iftars,
favourite sports indoors. 2
(meals at sunset where
June to 27 August.
separate competitions for The RAMADAN NIGHT
women. Register at nasst.ae,
family and friends gather to
MARKET is back this
entry is free.
break the fast), are hosted
Ramadan at the Dubai
across Dubai. Educational
World Trade Centre for
and cultural activities are
10 days, from 23 June to
held to educate the public
2 July from 8pm to 2am.
on what the month of
It will host a number of
Ramadan signifies and how
retailers selling souvenirs
to conduct yourself. An
and festive items.
annual Holy Quran recital
Entrance Dhs10 adults,
competition is also held for
Dhs5 for children.
students and adults.
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July will see the EID IN DUBAI festivities return to town. The festival marks the end of the month of Ramadan. The celebration is accompanied by a number of events happening throughout Dubai. Get ready for the street parades, family shows and fireworks. The ultimate family entertainment destination, MODESH WORLD, will return from 27 June to 27 August to the Dubai World Trade Centre. This enormous indoor edutainment centre attracts up to 500,000 visitors during the summer months. The event offers innovative and exciting entertainment in the form of fun games and activities for families.
Note: During the summer,
DUBAI SUMMER SURPRISES makes Dubai an international summer destination.
the RIPE FOOD & CRAFT
The festival is one of the highlights of the cityâ€™s summer calendar with GCC
MARKET will take place
residents flocking to the city, looking for bargains in over 6,000 stores. As a family
every Saturday at Times
event, malls organise programmes for children of all ages. Itâ€™s all about fun. From 9
Square Centre, from 9am
July to 20 August.
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There’s a flow of new outposts and openings making their way to Dubai. Here is a taste of what’s on offer
BILLIONAIRE MANSION Not so much eat, but eat, drink, sing and dance all on the first floor of the Taj Hotel in Business Bay. Brought to you Italian entrepreneur and F1 boss Flavio Briatore, Billionaire Mansion comprises five different venues: Sumosan is a Japanese restaurant; Italian dishes are served in Billionaire Grill; Karaoke Prive allows you to sing your heart out; hit the dance floor in The Club; then finish up at Diamond Kalian on the terrace for a few drinks and shisha. If the Billionaire branches in Italy, Turkey, Kenya and Monaco are anything to go by, expect a few famous faces here. billionairemansiondubai.com
SIRAJ Embodying the culture, traditions and flavours of Arabia and you get Siraj, a new restaurant in Souk Al Bahar in Downtown Dubai. The seven arches within represent the seven emirates, while the local culture is evoked through golden ornamental horses and the use of sand stone. Meanwhile, the regional flavours are brought straight to your table with the menu offering Emirati-Levantine cuisine in the form of lobster kebbeh, camel tenderloin and finishing off with delectable saffron rice pudding. +971 04 5136207
CEVICHE Another bolthole has opened in Dubai to fuel the craving for Peruvian food. This new restaurant in the Emirates Financial Towers promises to replicate the “soul of Peru”, serving up the traditional street foods of Lima and combining it with contemporary culinary techniques. Expect Peruvian staples such as ceviche (spicy marinated raw fish), and specialty dishes including Causa Limena (chilled mashed potatoes served with seafood, chicken or vegetables) or Seco de cordero (braised lamb chops with canario beans). cevichedubai.com
CIPRIANI From the man that founded the renowned Harry’s Bar in Venice comes Cipriani. With the name already familiar in cities such as New York, Monte Carlo, Hong Kong and Mexico City, Dubai now joins the Cipriani family in the Dubai International Financial Centre. Expect the classic dishes that have come to define Cipriani’s cuisine, such as baked tagliolini, calf ’s liver alla Veneziana with fried polenta, carpaccio, and classic tiramisu for dessert. cipriani.com
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WYNDHAM DUBAI MARINA The bustling marina area has another four-star property in the form of the Wyndham Dubai Marina. Located on Marina Walk, close to JBR, the 32-storey hotel has 486 rooms with dining options comprising the Range Grill Restaurant & Bar, Essence all-day dining outlet, Chillz Pool Bar and Cafe Azur Lobby Lounge. This is all topped off with a spa, gym and pool and superb views overlooking the soon to be completed Bluewater Island, home to the world’s largest ferris wheel. wyndhamdubaimarina.com
ECLECTIC COOL @ ROVE DOWNTOWN Travellers looking for a hotel with a difference should check out the new Rove Downtown. With 420 rooms over 14 floors, this mid-scale hotel is all about design and value, boasting late 2pm check-outs, free WiFi and 24-hour gym. Situated between The Dubai Mall and DIFC, it's ideal for both business and leisure, and features such as self-check in, luggage lockers and a 24-hour laundromat make life on the go as easy as possible. rovehotels.com FOUR SEASONS DIFC Billing itself as a “boutique-style sanctuary for business trips and urban getaways” you can enjoy all the signature luxury touches that you’d expect at the Four Seasons, right in the heart of the city’s buzzing corporate trading hub, the Dubai International Financial Centre Gate Village. With 106 rooms and suites, facilities include gym, rooftop pool, spa and four restaurants, including Firebird Diner by Michael Mina, plus guests get to use the Four Seasons beachside property in Jumeirah. Now that’s what we call mixing business and pleasure. fourseasons.com
WILD & THE MOON Alserkal Avenue, the hip street in Al Quoz that’s the meeting point for artists in the city, seems the perfect location for this new, equally artistic café. Wild & The Moon serves food and drinks that are 100 per cent organic, cold-pressed, plant-based, wheat-free and unpasteurised. As well as serving up smoothies, salads, soups, snacks, desserts, herb teas and coffees, you can also sign up for one of the café’s detox programmes, with juices delivered direct to your hotel room. wildandthemoon.com
SKYE & WALKER The health conscious among us, or those who simply love delicious, adventurous dishes, should make a beeline for this new café on the ground floor of the Marriott Executive Apartments in Deira. The whole gamut of dietary requirements are catered to here from vegetarian and vegan to gluten-free, lactose-free and Paleo, and all are clearly marked on the menu. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. skyeandwalker.com
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FARZI CAFÉ Innovative twists on Indian classics fused with dishes embracing flavours of Arabia, Farzi Café makes its international debut from its Indian home. Located in the bustling City Walk Phase 2, this ‘spice bistro’ is the work of celebrated chef Jiggs Kalra, the name behind Masala Library. Expect the unexpected here – deconstructed shepherd’s pie, created with tawa aloo and beef chat anyone? facebook.com/FarziCafeDubai 7
Whether you’re a serious foodie or a connoisseur of the arts, Dubai is brimming with cultural experiences that will inspire. Take a look at what’s on offer this season SETTING THE STAGE: DUBAI OPERA
The curtain is soon to rise on the city’s very own opera house, Dubai Opera. The architecturally iconic dhow-shaped building will host an equally impressive lineup of performers, with the stellar programme kicking off on 31 August by none other than legendary Spanish tenor Placido Domingo. This is followed immediately by the three-act opera The Pearl Fishers with ballet lovers attended to by Coppelia and Giselle. Overseen by former head at London’s Royal Albert Hall, Jasper Hope, Dubai Opera promises to be the city’s cultural and theatrical hub in the heart of Downtown. dubaiopera.com
TASTE THE NEXT CHAPTER: PALAZZO VERSACE DUBAI
As the only hotel restaurant to change its chef every four months, Enigma is something of an… enigma. The second chef to take up residence in Palazzo Versace’s mesmerising culinary destination is Bjorn Frantzen with his concept Untold Story: The Journey of a Nordic Chef, and he’ll be in the kitchen until June 30. This Swedish culinary creator earned two stars in the Michelin Guide for his restaurant in Frantzen in Stockholm, which ranks number 31 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Choose from eight or 12 dishes, each of which are illustrated by the chef himself in a mini book-cum-menu, detailing every ingredient and story of the dishes. palazzoversace.ae
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Photo: Pól Ó Conghaile
GREEN LINE TOURS: FRYING PAN ADVENTURES
It may be the summer, but that doesn’t stop our appetite for adventure and the hunger to taste the diverse gastronomic delights of Dubai. Frying Pan Adventures takes guests on foodie tours of Dubai that are off the beaten track. And just like any good menu, it adapts to the season. For summer 2016, several new tours have been introduced. We particularly like the idea of The Green Line Tour; rather than walking the streets in the heat, you’ll hop on and off at several stops along the Dubai Metro’s Green Line and experience that station’s taste sensation. Just the ticket! fryingpanadventures.com
COOK UP A STORM: SHERATON DUBAI CREEK HOTEL
GO WITH THE FLOW: FAIRMONT THE PALM
Family comes first at the Friday brunch launched by Fairmont The Palm. At the property’s Flow Kitchen, parents can spend their afternoon travelling along the culinary journey from Asia and India to the Mediterranean and Arabia, while their children are whisked away to the Falcons Kid's Club by the qualified children’s entertainers for the afternoon. That’s everyone’s box ticked, then. Prices start from Dhs255 per adult; Dhs100 per child aged six to 12. fairmont.com/palm-dubai
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Join Chef Russell De Hoedt, the chef de cuisine at the Creekside Japanese restaurant in the Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel, for a cultural and culinary experience all in one. You’ll hop on the hotel’s bikes and pedal to the Fish Market where you’ll barter with the fishermen. Then it’s over to the hotel kitchen’s teppenyaki grill where Chef De Hoedt will teach you the tricks of his trade. Tours take place on the last Monday of each month, 8am to 1.30pm, Dhs500 per person. sheratondubaicreek.com
The Palm Jumeirah
One of the most famous sights in the world, The Palm is a manmade island, home to five-star hotels, top attractions and some of the most desirable residences in the region. Whether living or staying there, you’ll find this iconic neighbourhood has something for everyone specials straight from the nearby water. Great for groups, this is a good choice for a long lunch that turns into drinks and dinner. senararestaurants.com
EAT SENARA A lovely bright space that’s all turquoise and fishing nets, Senara is the place to go for fish ‘n’ chips and relaxed drinks on the patio. The focus is firmly on seafood, with the menu packed with flavour, including freshly shucked oysters, chowder, grilled prawns and daily
BREAD STREET KITCHEN When shouty celeb chef Gordon Ramsay opens a restaurant you pay attention. Located in Atlantis The Palm, Bread Street Kitchen is an informal European eatery where you can tuck into the signature Beef Wellington and comforting puddings in the warehouse-style space. The Friday afternoon brunch is a great opportunity to sample
the menu in a lively atmosphere, complete with busker-style musical performances. atlantisthepalm.com WEST 14TH One of the city’s best-loved steakhouses, West 14th is a bit of NYC in DXB. Inspired by the Meatpacking District, expect great cuts and cool music, either inside in the sultry restaurant or outside on the terrace. There is a weekly allyou-can-eat barbecue evening. west14th.ae
SLEEP KEMPINSKI THE PALM The shoreline hotel is famed for its views of the Dubai Marina skyline, with rooms facing the water and plenty of restaurants perfect for watching the sunset. Choose from suites, villas and penthouses, all situated within five acres of lawns and private beaches. From Mediterranean fine dining at Beluga Beach Restaurant to a barbecue on the sand, every meal is memorable. You'll also find a spa, fitness centre and stunning pools. kempinski.com
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PLAY AQUAVENTURE WATER PARK One of the region’s biggest attractions, Aquaventure is a destination for the whole family, with rides, slides, beaches and more. Situated at Atlantis The Palm, you can expect a day of fun, from a trip down the lazy river in a rubber tyre to tackling the Leap of Faith, a slide that takes you through a shark tank, while little ones will love their very own play area where they’ll have a splashing great time. atlantisthepalm.com
Atlantis The Palm
One&Only The Palm
ONE&ONLY THE PALM With cool blues and classic creams, this must be one of the most beautiful hotels in Dubai. Private cabanas and luxurious loungers flank the dark tiled pool, and accommodation includes rooms in the main building or in villas dotted around the resort. Fancy a pamper? There’s a Guerlain Spa on-site, or make an appointment at the Bastien Gonzalaz Studio for an amazing ‘medipedi’. Come nightfall book dinner a deux at Stay by Yannick Alleno, where you can sample dazzling French cuisine with a modern touch. oneandonlyresorts.com JUMEIRAH ZABEEL SARAY Taking its inspirations from the Ottoman era, this impressive property is wow-worthy as soon as you step into the grand lobby. Dining options include steak at The Rib Room, extensive buffets at Imperium and fine north Indian cuisine at Amala. You can also arrange for a private dinner on the beach. Don’t leave without catching a show at the Music Hall and trying a treatment in the award-winning spa, complete with ‘snow’ room and hammam. jumeirah.com ATLANTIS THE PALM One of the most recognisable sights in the city, Atlantis The Palm occupies a prime slice of this manmade attraction. Boasting waterpark Aquaventure, five-star dining with the likes of Nobu and authentic Italian cuisine by Ronda Locatelli, a beautiful subterranean spa and swathes of beaches, this hotel makes for a truly memorable family holiday. atlantisthepalm.com
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DOLPHIN BAY If it has always been your dream to swim with dolphins then this is your chance. Dolphin Bay is a state-of-the-art habitat where you can meet and play with these beautiful creatures, from standing in shallow water to diving among them. Don’t want to get wet? There are also options to have a photo taken as a souvenir of your time on The Palm. atlantisthepalm.com
RIVA BEACH CLUB This pay-by-the day beach club is a real favourite with residents, who go for the standup paddleboarding, chilled swimming pool and Mediterranean restaurant (don’t leave without trying the pizzas). Children can run around on the sand or grass, while you take a scuba lesson or just kick back on a sunlounger. riva-beach.com AL ITTIHAD PARK With a 3.2km running track, plenty of grassy areas and play parks for children, the leafy Al Ittihad Park offers some peace and quiet away from the bustling city pace. It also features trees and plants indigenous to the UAE, making it a must for any nature lovers.
Hotel happenings From restaurant openings and the best service to special offers and brand new builds, here’s a taste of hot hotel happenings in the city this season Afternoon tea for the kids @ Mina A’Salam All kids love burger and fries, right? But how about a burger made from macarons, accompanied by shortbread fries and raspberry ketchup on the side? This is just a very small selection of the afternoon tea especially for children served up in the stately surrounds of the Jumeirah Mina A’Salam Al Samar Lounge. A mind-boggling array of goodies is delivered on an ‘interactive tray’ – press the play button on the screen in the centre to watch as the tray comes alive with fish and underwater life. See their little eyes light up as they dig into a jam sandwich lollipop, an egg mayonnaise ice cream cone and a tuna sandwich Catherine Wheel. And when they think it’s all over, the surprises continue when the bubbling chocolate fountain arrives. Jumeirah Mina A’Salam serves its children’s afternoon tea in the Al Samar Lounge from 2pm to 6pm daily, Dhs100 per child. jumeirah.com
Spread out @ The St Regis If you’re looking for space in your hotel room, we have the answer. The Sir Winston Churchill Suite in The St Regis Dubai at Al Habtoor City measures 913sqm and is not only the biggest of the hotel’s 52 suites, it’s also larger than the hotel’s Astor Ballroom. But size isn’t the whole story here. The threebedroom suite comes furnished with 15 paintings and art pieces from the archives of the former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. Spread over two storeys, the stately suite also includes a vast living room, a formal 12-seater dining room, a cosy TV room and, accessible via the in-room spiral staircase, a rooftop plunge pool and roof gardens that sit beneath the hotel’s central dome. We’re sure Churchill would have rather liked it. stregisdubai.com Not a problem @ Jumeirah Want to get a table at the best restaurant in town – tonight? Want someone to arrange your itinerary? No problem if you’re staying at Jumeirah Emirates Towers; just pop down to reception and ask Harsha Mannapperuma. He’s officially the best concierge in town crowned with the title at the 63rd annual Les Clefs d’Or UICH International Congress. Stay at a new villa @ Desert Palm Per Aquum Desert Palm resort has added a stunning new three-bedroom property to its portfolio. Measuring 845sqm in size, the Layali villa allows guests to enter this peaceful resort via a private entrance. Once inside you’ll enjoy interiors by award-winning designer Isabelle Miaja, your own swimming pool, fountains, water features and a rooftop terrace, perfect for watching polo matches when they are played on the nearby fields. dubaipoloclub.com
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#MyDubai Londoner Latifah Flook moved to Dubai 23 years ago and, having converted to Islam, is a long-standing tour guide for the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. This is her #MyDubai WHY DO YOU LOVE DUBAI? Dubai is one of those cities that you don’t realise just how much you love it until you leave! When I travel it makes me appreciate Dubai so much – particularly when stuck on a crowded carriage at rush hour on the London underground, for example. Life is so easy here and it’s so safe. As a woman I never have any concerns about travelling alone. I use the ladies’ taxis (they’re the ones with the pink roofs) and I travel in the ladies’ only carriage on the metro. I feel so special as a woman here, and so respected. TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOB. I am a volunteer tour guide for the SMCCU. This is the organisation that aims to raise awareness among visitors and residents about the cultures, customs and religion of the United Arab Emirates. I give tours of Jumeirah Mosque, which obviously focus heavily on Islam. There are so many misconceptions about Islam, and this gives me the opportunity to build bridges and to explain that Islam is actually a beautiful, peaceful religion that has very little to do with what they see and hear about in the media. Then I head up the cultural meals at the SMCCU centre in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. While guests sample the local food I tell them about the culture and our way of life. And of course guests can ask any questions they like. I don’t think a session goes by when I’m not asked: “Why do women wear black?”.
WHIZZING AROUND TOW N W I T H L AT I FA H On my day off, my friends and I always try out a new café for breakfast. Our latest find is Stomping Ground, a speciality coffee shop in Jumeirah. This place takes its coffee very seriously. I also love Crumbs Elysee — the pastries there are delicious; and it’s always a treat to go to The Hamptons Café in Umm Suqeim. When I can, I like to go to the beach. Each Monday and Wednesday is for ladies only at Al Mamzar Beach Park. This park is a real escape from the city. I love the fact that there is lots of grass to picnic on and several stretches of beach to choose from. And, of course, I love shopping. There are so many shops and designers in Dubai where I can buy my abayas, but my real favourite is Mauzan. They have a store in The Dubai Mall. I love the variety on offer — different colours, materials and patterns. Like most Muslim women I love wearing my abaya. The beauty of the abaya is that you can wear whatever you like underneath — even your pyjamas! For more information about the SMCCU and tour times, see cultures.ae
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WHAT’S IT LIKE BEING A WHITE, WESTERN FEMALE MUSLIM HERE? Dubai is an incredibly tolerant city. There are so many religions and nationalities all living harmoniously together. Islam is a way of life in Dubai. Wherever I am, I am able to pray, whether I’m in a shopping mall, a school, a hospital. If it’s prayer time, I can pray with no problems at all. I never feel uncomfortable here. In fact, being a tour guide for the SMCCU, it works to my advantage that I am a white, female Muslim. I think I put international visitors at ease, because when they see me and hear me speak with my London accent they realise that I am one of them, but I am also a Muslim. It bridges the gap and they feel happy to ask me questions about the culture and religion. WHAT DOES RAMADAN MEAN TO YOU? For me it brings me right down to earth. When you get a small sense of what it’s like to be hungry or thirsty it makes you appreciate just how lucky you are and think about those people in the world who really are starving day in day out. It’s a humbling time of year. 15
Since the launch of the initiative by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, to create the worldâ€™s first autobiography of a city, #MyDubai has garnered 600,000 followers using the hashtag. Here are some of our favourite posts. Join in and share your stories by posting to #MyDubai on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter
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ON INSTAGRAM? CHECK OUT SOME OF THESE DUBAI-BASED ACCOUNTS
Who: Sassy Mama Dubai For Inspiration on: Family activities Instagram: @SassyMamaDubai Followers: 15.6k
Who: My Custard Pie For Inspiration on: Food and travel Instagram: @MyCustardPie Followers: 16.3k
Who: Buy Now Blog Later For Inspiration on: Style and beauty Instagram: @BuyNowBlogLater Followers: 72.7k
Who: What's On Dubai For Inspiration on: Events and dining Instagram: @WhatsOnDubai Followers: 34.1k
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Dress to impress
When you think of fashion, you conjure up visions of catwalks and models, cutting edge designs and new trends. Traditional Emirati dress is no different. While women have worn their flowing abayas and men their kandoras for generations, this doesn’t mean they are immune to fashion. Modern day abayas in the UAE come with flashes of colour, patterns and shape; while modern, style-savvy men too are taking a greater interest in their traditional wardrobe. We meet some of the latest Dubai designers who, while respecting tradition and preserving culture, are pushing the fashion boundaries when it comes to national dress With its flowing soft fabric, its heavy drapes and folds and its beautiful decorative accents, the abaya is graceful and glamorous. In fact, you could be forgiven for likening them to evening gowns with wearers often appearing to elegantly glide along the floor. While originally created generations ago to allow women to retain their modesty, the abaya has evolved. Emirati women have embraced their traditional national dress and made it their own. Today, abayas comes in all different styles, with flashes of colour and designed with subtle or vivid decoration. There’s an abaya for every occasion. And then they are all topped off with a shayla – a headscarf, worn just so.
Dubai has been at the cutting edge of this evolution, with the likes of sisters, Hind and Reem Beljafla putting their own spin on the traditional dress. Combining colour and texture, crepe and tulle, silks and sequins, their DAS Collection has graced the catwalks of London Fashion Week and hangs from the rails of some of the world’s most renowned department stores, including London’s famed Harrods. Born and bred in Dubai, they are very proud of their national dress and what it symbolises, but, as Hind says, “While respecting our heritage and tradition, that doesn’t mean to say the abaya cannot be a fashion statement. With our designs we empower the women who wear them, giving them confidence and enabling them to be both stylish and conservative at the same time.” The latest designs from the DAS Collection see sharp lines and vivid angles, intricate embroidered collars and pockets. Meanwhile, UAE-based
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French-Algerian designer Faiza Bouguessa has, aside from contemporising the traditional abaya, taken international designs – such as the trench coat and poncho and culottes – and adapted those into standout abayas and modest clothing. Inspired by art, architecture and global culture, her signature designs incorporate bold lines, geometric precision, sharp edges and attention to detail. “I’m very proud of my new A/W 2016 collection. It’s very modern, yet modest, which is always the balance I try to achieve,” says Faiza. Alongside the staple black, Faiza has plush velvets and soft crepes using deep jewel tones of sapphire blue satin, teal, emerald and deep burgundy. Movement is achieved through pleated chiffon panels that flow when the wearer moves and the cutout choker collars are creating a statement detail throughout the collection.
Work, rest and play No longer does one abaya fit all. Just as in other countries, thereâ€™s a dress code for every occasion
"Women love wearing the abaya because it is the identity of the United Arab Emirates, and we are proud that we are still wearing our traditional dress." Abeer Al Suwaidi
WORK Designer: Abeer Al Suwaidi Signature look: Classic with modern touches and avant garde twists. Available from: Ush Boutique Dubai and Symphony in Dubai. abeeralsuwaidi.com
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REST Designer: Faiza Bouguessa Signature look: Luxurious fabrics, rich jewel tones and sharp tailoring. Available from: Online at bouguessa. com, and Symphony in Dubai. bouguessa.com
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PLAY Designer: CHI-KA Signature look: A combination of Japan and Arabia, resulting in vivid, eye-catching kimono-abayas. Available from: Online at chikacollection.com, and Alserkhal Avenue, Dubai. chikacollection.com
"Abayas are increasingly becoming a form of self expression" Nina Valjarevic, co-founder of CHI-KA
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Meet Nina Valjarevic:
The Co-Founder and Director of CHI-KA has blended international inspirations for a look that wows How do you describe your style and the collection? My style doesn't follow fashion trends. Being a highly visual person who pays attention to every detail, I appreciate finely made clothes and exceptional fabrics. I also love a good discovery. A one-of-a-kind piece, or something with a design edge, a twist. When I travel, I like to buy locally-made fashion, typical to the area. I like to then mix it up, and wear, for example, an ethnic Serbian white cotton dress, with a Japanese silk kimono jacket and an Afghani necklace. In the collection, Japan meets Arabia through contemporary, cross-cultural kimono-abayas. Each piece is one-of-a-kind, and customised to suit local sensibility. Hand-sewn, handpainted and hand-embroidered on pure silk by highlyexperienced Japanese artists, these are genuine works of art, that can never be repeated. Where does the inspiration come from? Our inspiration is a combination of Japanese and GCC cultural and social practice; Japanese master craftsmanship and quest for perfection, their talent for colour and pattern coordination, attention to the finest of details, and strong work ethic. And in GCC culture â€“ the beauty and boldness of Middle Eastern ladies and their imagination and creativity in evolving the cut and style of the classic abaya. Both cultures inspire us regularly. Also, an inspiration, are 'Japanese aesthetics,' or a set of principles that underpin much of Japanese cultural and aesthetic norms on what is considered tasteful or beautiful. It's quite interesting if you read about it.
good craftsmanship, attention to detail and prime quality. The CHI-KA buyer has unique taste and is continuously looking for something highly original. Where can your collection be found? Currently our collection can be found online chikacollection.com, and in our 'Mobile Boutique' which can be booked for home service anywhere in the UAE. We are also opening our flagship store by Summer 2016. 'CHI-KA,' a contemporary kimono and art space, will be located in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai's art district.
What do you love about abayas? They embody a sense of Khaleeji modesty, elegance and femininity. Our collection aims to maintain the same qualities. Where do you see Middle Eastern fashion going in the future? While abayas have maintained their historical significance, theyâ€™ve also acquired a new function. They are increasingly becoming a form of self expression with a style statement. I believe, and I hope, that abayas will remain strongly ingrained in Middle Eastern culture. As with all fashion, the trim and cut of the abaya is also naturally changing and updating itself. Exclusivity is another quality that is becoming highly soughtafter in the region. This is where we have an advantage, as each of our pieces is exclusive, whereby the artwork design will never be repeated. Who wears your pieces? Our customers are predominantly ladies from the GCC region. Many of them include members of royal families, wives of ambassadors, established female entrepreneurs, influential TV personalities and regional fashion trendsetters and socialites. They appreciate
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CUTTING EDGE Some call it a dishdash, some call it a throbe, but traditionally in the UAE it’s known as a kandora. Ultimately it’s an ankle-length crisply-starched shirt and one would be forgiven for thinking that little can be done to spice it up. Think again
Like a well-made business suit, you can tell a lot about a man by his kandora. The feel and flow of the fabric, the quality of the embroidered stitching, the sandals and accessories all speak volumes about the wearer. Emiratis wear their national dress with pride. As described by Bait Al Kandora: “It’s a symbol of the purity of our heritage and a reflection of a culture that embraces change but never forgets the past”. Bait Al Kandora claims to be the first traditional menswear brand in the UAE, with a boutique in Souk Al Bahar and, as of May 2016, a division within The Dubai Mall’s Galleries Lafayette. Traditionally, men have always had their kandoras made by a local tailor. One year ago, Bait Al Kandora shook this process up and tailored it to the “modern world” says Khaled Al-Huraimel, founding partner of the company. “My father and grandfather always used to go to their local tailor and that is still the norm today. However, we wanted to create a well-respected, international made-in-Dubai brand that offers international standards and service, serving all their wardrobe needs from the kandora, the ghutra, the agal, the sandals, the cufflinks and even the wallets. What’s more, we offer all our products on line as is expected in this day and age.” On its website or in its boutiques, clients design their own dress down to the finest detail. Want a traditional white kandora? There are reams of different whites – off white, blue white, cream white, pure white…. And, as would be expected of a cutting-edge city, traditional dress is less restrictive in Dubai. “If you want collars and cuffs you can have them. If you want coloured stitching that’s OK too,” says Al Huraimel. “And we have a large number of sandal styles and ghutras to complete the look.” And of course, every item carries the Bait al Kandora logo – the falcon representing the symbol of Dubai and the V-shape symbolising the number seven in Arabic to encompass all seven of the well-dressed emirates.
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THE COMPLETE OUTFIT AGAL: The agal keeps the ghutra in place, securing it around the head. Usually black, itâ€™s a thick rope-like headband that was traditionally a camel tether used by Bedouins.
GHUTRA: The ghutra is the headdress worn by men from the UAE. It comes in a number of colours and can be styled in may ways, from the traditional white with a black agal (see above) to the more modern, sporty fashion of tucking in the ends like a turban. Much like a tartan, different places have their own design, with different fabrics chosen according to climate. In Oman, for instance, where the mountainous areas are cooler, the men wear a heavier wool headdress, while in the hotter areas such as the UAE, light cotton is more common.
KANDORA: Also known as a dishdash or thobe, the kandora is the national dress of Emirati men. Ankle-length and long-sleeved, it protects the wearer from the heat of the sun, reflecting the rays and providing ventilation. While white is the most common colour, traditionally the kandora was a sandier hue in keeping with the desert. Today you will also see men wearing different colours, including navy and browns, more often in the evening or at formal events. It should fit like a well-tailored suit, and is always impeccably clean.
SANDALS: Most men choose to wear smart leather sandals with their national dress, whether in a business setting or outside of work, because of the warmer weather. During the cooler months, some will wear leather or casual shoes, depending on their age and the occasion.
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The Holy Month of Ramadan is one of the most special times to visit Dubai, with residents reconnecting with their culture, from special events to the spectacular Iftar feasts across the city. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the highlight of the Islamic calendar
Ramadan is also believed to be the month of mercy, when noble intentions and good deeds bring greater reward than the rest of the year. As such, many people especially undertake charitable work, observe chastity and attempt to read the Holy Quran at this time. It’s during this month that the obligatory charity, called Zakat, is distributed to the poor and needy. Apart from the feeding of poor and taking care of widows and orphans, the Holy Quran gives equal emphasis to smaller acts of benevolence as well. These are not limited to Muslims only and can be extended to people of other faiths as well.
WHAT IS RAMADAN? Ramadan is the holiest time of the year for Muslims around the world. The ninth month of the Islamic calendar, it is believed that the first verses of the Holy Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) at this time. This year, Ramadan is expected to commence in the UAE on 6 June and finish on 5 July – its actual dates on the Gregorian calendar vary from year to year as they are determined by the Islamic lunar calendar. The festival of Eid Al Fitr marks the end of the Holy Month. Each year the month of Ramadan ushers in great spiritual and social benefits, not just for Muslims, but for everyone. In the UAE and across the Muslim world, timehonoured traditions, Islamic culture and hospitality are at their peak during the Holy Month. Make the most of this time to catch up on your dose of culture in Dubai.
SPIRITUAL BENEFITS The highlight of the month is the fast that believers observe from dawn to dusk. With the intent to instil humility, patience and spirituality, believers are asked to abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, sex and impure thoughts during the fasting period. “Self restraint is the essence of this holy time and with it come feelings of realisation and gratitude for the things we take for granted,” says Abdallah bin Eisa Al Serkal, Director, Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU).
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PILGRIMAGE TO MECCA
5 PILLARS OF ISLAM
FIVE A DAY There’s something incredibly soothing about the ‘Call to Prayer’ (officially known as Adhan). It’s your signal to take stock. Whether you’re in a shopping mall; on the beach or whizzing through the airport – take time to slow down and appreciate the melodious, calming chant-like recitals of the muezzin (the person who recites the Adhan). Prayer forms the second pillar of the Islamic faith. The importance of the prayers lies in the fact that no matter what actions one performs in his life, the most important is one’s relationship to God. It helps him to keep away from sin. Muslims pray five times a day. The stipulated prayer timings are:
SOCIAL IMPACT Islam forbids lying, cheating, quarrelling, backbiting, slander and gossip and this is emphasised even more strongly during Ramadan. “This is the month the entire community comes together in an effort to become better human beings. Whether it’s the rich helping the poor or the general abstinence from bad behaviour, the world becomes a better place,” continues Al Serkal. As a sense of spirituality settles in, business slows down and family relationships become the focus of life. The break of the fast, or Iftar, becomes a time for family and friends to come together and share a meal. Muslims often extend the Iftar to their non-Muslim friends as well. It’s a great time to get acquainted with Islamic traditions and one should make an effort to participate in the Ramadan activities. “Muslim or not, all can appreciate the overarching themes of the blessed month, that of tolerance, compassion, gratitude and above all charity,” advises Al Serkal.
FAST TO FEAST – MEALS TO REMEMBER Ironically, the Holy Month has become synonymous not only with fasts but feasts too. If you haven’t had a chance to tuck into authentic Arabian fare, there’s no better time to do this than during Iftar time in Ramadan. Every eatery in town – right from street-side vendors to the emirate’s finest dining establishments – serve the best of Arabic and other international cuisines. The feast begins at dusk and continues into the early morning hours where equally generous Suhoor buffets are dished out. Majestic tents decked out with Arabic lanterns, silver dallahs and coffee cups and platters of luscious dates and chilled laban welcome guests, while the gentle strains of the oud soothe tired minds. Turn to page 34 for more. 30
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FAJAR: Pre dawn Offered before sunrise, this prayer marks the start of the day with the remembrance of God. DHUHR: Noon After the day’s work has begun, one breaks shortly after noon to again remember God and seek his guidance. ASR: Afternoon In the late afternoon, people are usually busy wrapping up the day’s work. In the midst of all the activity, it is important to take a few minutes to remember God and ponder the greater meaning of our lives. MAGHRIB: Sunset Just after the sun goes down, Muslims remember God again as the day begins to come to a close. ISHA: Evening Before retiring for the night, Muslims bow down in prayer to thank God for His guidance, mercy, blessings and seek for forgiveness.
HOW CAN I JOIN IN?
EID IN DUBAI Just as the Ramadan Night Market is winding up on 2 July, the Eid in Dubai fest starts. This spectacular celebration rings in a host of entertaining activities and events bringing together people from all backgrounds. DO Dress Appropriately Both men and women should dress conservatively and not display too much skin when in public. Cover shoulders and upper arms, hemlines should at least reach the knee and pay attention to necklines. DO Be Considerate Fasting can play havoc with a person’s eating and sleeping habits, be sympathetic to people around you. DO NOT Play Loud Music Ramadan is a time for prayer and spiritual reflection. As such, it is important to respect the peace by not playing loud music.
In the true spirit of Ramadan, everyone‘s welcome to join in. It can be an enlightening time and all tourists are encouraged to learn more about its meaning and customs. The best way to do this is to visit the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU), located in the historic Al Fahidi district (cultures.ae). This centre was set up specifically to educate visitors and expatriates about the Emirati culture, and, with its mantra being “Open Doors, Open Minds”, all visitors are invited to ask questions and join in discussions. Among its Ramadan programme are nightly Iftars - the meal at dusk that breaks the fast. This is a time when family and friends come together to enjoy a long dinner. Traditionally, the fast is broken with dates, and then typically leads on to a spread of Arabian and Emirati dishes. In the courtyard of the historic house (complete with its majestic wind tower) where the SMCCU is based, you’ll seat cross-legged on the cushioned floor and feast on authentic delicious Emirati food. Alternatively, you’ll find that all the hotels and restaurants in town pull out all the stops for Iftar, with many constructing beautiful Arabesque tents. Many have live cooking stations – serving local and international fare. Dig in and enjoy. DO Be Charitable Be generous to those less fortunate by donating food, clothes or money to individuals and charitable organisations. DO Exchange Ramadan Greetings It’s customary to use the greeting “Ramadan Kareem” when meeting Muslims, and at the end of Ramadan, and for Eid celebrations, “Eid Mubarak”.
DO’S AND DONT’S DURING RAMADAN
Tolerant though it is, Ramadan serves as a healthy reminder that Dubai remains a predominantly Muslim city. As such, it’s vital to understand the rules of public DO NOT Smoke in Public conduct during the Holy Month. As with eating and drinking, Here are some essential do’s smoking is not allowed in public and don’ts to steer you in during the Holy Month of Ramadan. the right direction.
It’s the perfect time to quit.
DO Avoid Driving at Sundown As the day draws to a close, the roads fill with people heading to break their fast at Iftar celebrations. If you don’t need to be on the road at this busy time, you would be wise to wait half an hour.
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DO NOT Kiss or Hug in Public During Ramadan, be aware that demonstrative acts of affection may offend. DO NOT Eat in Public Show respect for those who are fasting during the day by not eating and drinking in front of them. Most malls, and all hotels, will have eateries open but discreetly tucked away behind screens.
DO Accept Invitations If you have been invited to an Iftar meal with friends or colleagues, do go along. Remember not to go empty-handed. Arabic desserts are always a good option to offer your host. 31
Ask the Expert The Holy Month of Ramadan is one of the five Acts of Worship in Islam. More than that, it is a time for spiritual growth through selfcontrol, discipline and patience; an exercise in controlling one’s desires and increasing one’s good works in the hope of forming a new balance in our lives that lasts far past Ramadan. To outsiders it raises many questions – so here to answer them is Abdallah bin Eisa Al Serkal, Director of the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) Why do Muslims fast during Ramadan?
Is everything closed during the day?
The practice of fasting is intended to help teach Muslims self-discipline, self-restraint and generosity – a time to cleanse the body and soul from impurities and re-focus one’s self on the worship of God, atone for past sins and express gratitude.
Dubai does not close down during Ramadan – in fact it remains one of the most exciting cities in the world offering remarkable experiences all year round. In fact, thousands of visitors come during Ramadan and it’s an ideal time to learn more about the Emirati culture. Business hours are shorter; the shops open later and there’s a greater emphasis on spending time with loved ones. Nightlife is more subdued during Ramadan, however, this is the month where food is like no other time of the year served all over the city at the time of Iftar and during the early hours of the morning at Suhoors – these are very festive to say the least.
How can others learn from this time? Self-restraint is the essence of this holy time and with it come feelings of realisation and gratitude for the things we take for granted. This is the month the entire community comes together in an effort to become better human beings. Whether it is the rich helping the poor or the general abstinence from bad behaviour, the world becomes a better place.
I’m not a Muslim, so do I have to fast too if I visit Dubai during Ramadan? Those who are not required to fast during Ramadan are non-Muslims, young children, the sick or those with mental illnesses, travellers, the elderly and women who are menstruating, pregnant, breastfeeding or have recently had a baby. Fasting is to help improve oneself, not to be a burden nor a hardship.
Is it best to avoid visiting Dubai during Ramadan? Absolutely not! Within many of the hotels and resorts, tourists may notice little difference to when they visit during the rest of the year – although some restaurants may be closed during the day or may be screened off out of respect for those who are fasting. Virtually all the usual resort and tourist facilities and activities go on without a change. Life gets a slight tweak but overall continues as usual.”
AL FAROOQ MOSQUE In Dubai alone there are over 1,500 mosques – ranging from small, dusty domed Masjid (Arabic for Mosque) to grand, majestic examples such as the The Al Farooq Omar Bin Al Khattab Mosque – an almost fairytale looking castle that is a replica of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. Al Farooq Mosque is also open to non-
Muslims, although reservations should be made in advance. Impressive from the outside with its four pencil-shaped minarets rising 65 metres high and its 21 domes, it’s equally awe-inspiring from the inside with its 124 stained glass windows, Moroccan-inspired interior décor and lavish red and gold carpet. alfarooqcentre.com
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My Ramadan Aida Al Busaidy is the senior manager for PR festivals and events working for Dubai Tourism. As a dynamic Emirati, she gives us an insight into her life during the Holy Month What does Ramadan mean to you? This is the time of year when you really strive to be the best person you can be. Of course, you should do this all year around, but at Ramadan you take this to another level. It’s a great opportunity to contemplate and appreciate our blessings, to help others and to mend our faults.
Do you find it difficult to fast?
Can you tell us about your Ramadan routine? During Ramadan, it’s still business as usual. I still have to go to work, do the shopping and take the children to nursery. Contrary to belief we don’t stay up all night and sleep all day for the whole month. However, we do tend to go to bed much later than normal and this is because after sunset we get together with our family and friends to enjoy the traditional meals. It’s a time when we nurture our relationships with our close ones. We pray together, eat together and reconnect. Of course, we all adhere to the prayer times during the Holy Month – as we should all year around. We pray five times a day. The first prayer is around 4.30am, so we wake up early, pray and return to sleep for a few hours before getting up for work and school drop offs. Both my husband and I are in very busy professions, but we schedule our meetings around prayer times. The prayer time ritual only takes a few minutes, so it doesn’t interrupt our workflow too much. Business hours alter slightly to allow us to come into work a little later at around 10am and leave earlier. By the afternoon we tend to get tired, so we return home. If you’re lucky you might have time for a nap, but in general I’m busy in the kitchen preparing the meals and looking after the children (who, of course, refuse to sleep!). Then we all head out to join our immediate and extended family to enjoy lots of delicious food. We all take it in turns to play host and there’s always a festive feel.
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Not really – but that’s because I have a strong understanding of what and why I am doing it, and I keep that front of mind. It’s just a different feeding routine. It’s important that you do it properly and eat sensibly – particularly during Suhoor, which is the meal eaten before sunrise and sets you up for the day. I think the hardest thing is the thirst. It doesn’t help that over the past few years Ramadan has fallen during our hot summer period. This is tough. But of course there are various ways and foods to eat that can help curb the thirst, and it’s incredible how the body adjusts. But it does make you think how incredibly difficult life must be for those who are truly suffering from hunger and thirst. Preparing food can be tricky sometimes – it’s very tempting to dip a finger into the mixture to make sure you have the right amount of ingredients.
What do you enjoy about it? I enjoy reflecting on life, spending time meditating and appreciating life. I love the fact that we all take the time to be together. I love sharing the food – ironically, you can actually put on weight during Ramadan! Some of my most special childhood memories are of our family gatherings during Ramadan. Ramadan for ladies is always a good time to showcase your dress sense – since we have so many get-togethers. I usually wear jalabiyas most of Ramadan, and I pick my materials a couple of months in advance (I go to Satwa or Souq Naif in Deira to select the material) then take it to the tailor to get it made, and dress up. Follow Aida on Instagam on @aidaalbusaidy
BE OUR GUEST After a day of fasting, family and friends come together to refuel, refresh and replenish over a spread of delectable dishes for Iftar. Chef Samra tells us more What is a Suhoor and Iftar? Suhoor is a pre-dawn meal that is consumed early in the morning, prior to Fajr prayers, to mark the beginning of the fast for Muslims across the world during the Holy month of Ramadan. Iftar, on the other hand, is the meal eaten after sunset, when Muslims break their 34
fast. Traditionally, these meals are an opportunity for families to get together and enjoy a meal together. What are traditional Ramadan juices? It is advisable to break the fast with water, however, there are many customary drinks that are also served with the Iftar meals.
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Some of the most popular ones include: • Kamer Aldin – a thirst-quenching, refreshing juice made from dried apricot paste • Laban – a hydrating drink prepared by straining yoghurt • Jallab – a classic regional drink which is a sweet blend of grape molasses and rose water garnished with crunchy pine nuts and raisins. Why do people eat dates to break the fast? Dates are culturally symbolic and iconic to the Gulf. For thousands of years, they have been consumed alongside camel milk and seafood in the region. Dates are packed with vitamins and minerals, and are a good source of energy, sugar and fibre. Specifically, for people living in hot, humid environments, dates are an instant source of energy as they have 80 per cent sugar content. Hence, they have traditionally been quite popular in the Bedouin communities across the region. Can you tell us about some traditional Emirati dishes that would be served at Iftar? Chicken Fouga is a traditional Emirati dish where aromatic spices and meat are cooked down with perfumed stock and basmati rice. It has a strong taste of bezar spices, which is a spice mix originated from the Gulf, combined with a pinch of saffron and dry lime to create a hearty dish. Lamb Thereed is a Bedouin stew originally from the Arabian Gulf, served with Emirati rigag flat bread. In the UAE, thereed is generously seasoned with local spices and cooked with a medley of vegetables including potatoes, pumpkin, marrow and tomatoes. Khabeesa is a regional delicacy, which features crumbled roasted flour with sugar, ghee, ground cardamom, rose water and saffron. The fragrant dessert is garnished with cashew nuts and sultanas, is a must-try.
Chef Rabah Samra, Executive Chef, at Emirati restaurant Seven Sands answers our questions about iftar
Aseeda Bobar features stacks of thin layers of sweet pumpkin puree infused with aromatic cardamom and saffron.
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R E C I P E S Recreate some traditional Iftar dishes at home
CREAMY LENTIL SOUP Serves: 6-8 people 2 medium onions, finely chopped 4 tbsp olive oil ● 2 cups orange lentils, rinsed ● 2 large carrots, peeled and grated ● ¼ cup rice (arborio, or short grain) ● 6 cups chicken stock ● 1 tsp cinnamon ● ½ tsp allspice ● 2 tsp cumin ● sea salt For tempering ● 2 tbs olive oil ● 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine ● ¼ cup finely chopped coriander ● ¼ cup plain yoghurt or sour cream ● 2 tbs coriander, finely chopped ● ●
GRILLED AUBERGINES AND POMEGRANATE DRESSING Serves: 6 people ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
6 small aubergines (approx 10cm long) olive oil sea salt 3 tbsp butter 1 small onion (or shallot), finely chopped 2 cups pomegranate juice ½ cup chicken stock ¼ cup pomegranate molasses 1 tbsp cornstarch and 2 tbs water to make a paste salt and pepper fresh pomegranate seeds fresh mint leaves ½ cup toasted pine nuts
• Preheat oven to 200°C. Peel the aubergines in strips and slice them lengthways in thin slices keeping the tops intact. Brush all over with olive oil. Fan out each aubergine and press down on it to expose and ﬂatten the insides. Season with sea salt. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes until golden and cooked. Remove to cool. • To make the sauce, heat the butter in a medium saucepan and sautée the onions until soft. Add the pomegranate juice, chicken stock and bring to a boil. Keep on high heat for about 10 minutes to concentrate the flavour and allow some liquid to evaporate. Stir in the cornstarch paste to thicken the sauce slightly. Remove from heat and stir in the pomegranate molasses. Season with salt and pepper. • Place the cooled grilled aubergines on small plates and drizzle some of the sauce on top. Garnish with the mint leaves, toasted pine nuts and fresh pomegranate seeds.
• In a large pot sautée the onions in the olive oil until soft. Add the lentils, carrots, rice and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Continue to cook until the soup thickens and lentils fall apart. Stir periodically so that the lentils don’t stick. Add in the spices and season with salt. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until creamy. • For the tempering, in a small skillet heat the 2 tbs olive oil and sautée the garlic for one minute until it perfumes the air, add the coriander and stir for an additional minute. Pour this on top of the soup and simmer for 5 minutes to heighten the ﬂavour. • In a small bowl mix the yoghurt or sour cream with the coriander. Place a teaspoon of this on top of each serving. Sprinkle on a few pitta croutons. Serve with crusty bread, olives and lemon wedges. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice will brighten the soup.
You can ﬁnd When Suzanne Cooks at all UAE bookshops or on booksarabia.com
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S I X
T R Y :
I F T A R S
This Ramadan hotels and restaurants across the city will be serving up their own interpretation of the Iftar feast come sunset. Here are some of our favourites FOUR SEASONS RESORT JUMEIRAH BEACH
Suq restaurant, named for the traditional Arabic market, will be welcoming diners every day, with a lovely tented area complete with shisha lounge. You can break your fast with dishes cooked just for you at live cooking stations, and stroll among the buffet, returning to your table with regional delicacies, and a modern take on mezze, such as watermelon carpaccio and beetroot salad with avocado labneh foam. There’s also a live barbecue serving lamb kofta, an Indian station for spicy favourites and an extensive array of desserts, including 18 different homemade ice creams and crepes to order. 6pm-9pm, Dhs225 per person, with children half price. fourseasons.com/dubaijb
THE ADDRESS DUBAI MARINA
Inspired by the voyage of many famous Arabian travellers and explorers, this Holy Month of Ramadan the five-star Fairmont Dubai is offering a culinary journey that will take you back in time. From eight influential cuisines prepared in time honoured traditions, to a luxurious indoor Ramadan tent complemented by authentic Arabian hospitality, Cascades at Fairmont Dubai is serving the city’s finest traditional fare in true culinary style. Celebrate Iftar with friends and loved ones and be treated to an unforgettable taste of Ramadan. Iftar from 6.30pm, Dhs170 per person. Shisha is available in the Cigar Lounge. fairmont.com/Dubai
ATLANTIS THE PALM
This stunning resort offers numerous Iftar locations, including the Al Majlis, a spectacular venue complete with VIP areas for private dining and groups. Expect traditional specialities, including lentil soup, ouzi, hot and cold mezze and international favourites, then shisha from 8.45pm onwards. Iftar is served from sunset onwards, and Suhoor from 9pm to 3am. Elsewhere on the resort you’ll find feasting at Hanaaya at Jumeriah Mina A’Salam, Lebanese cuisine at beachfront restaurant Khaymat Al Bahar and live cooking stations at Arboretum in the heart of Jumeirah Al Qasr. jumeirah.com
Each Ramadan the hotel offers diners the chance to enjoy Iftar and Suhoor in the Asateer tent. With a 1,000-person capacity, this impressive beachfront destination delivers a full Ramadan experience, with traditional food, activities and entertainment, complete with oud players and shisha. At the buffet you’ll find Middle Eastern cuisine, including lamb thareed, a shawarma station and ouzi, plus umm ali and ice creams flavoured saffron camel milk, pomegranate and jalab. From 6.30pm. Iftar buffet Dhs205 per person, Suhoor from 9pm with a minimum spend of Dhs185 per person, excluding shisha. atlantisthepalm.com
This luxurious, Thai-inspired hotel, is offering Iftar in its restaurant Crescendo, where you can watch the sunset over the infinity pool and waves beyond, then break your fast at the buffet. The chefs have created a special Iftar menu, featuring traditional Arabic dishes alongside international cuisine, with lamb ouzi taking centre stage. There will also be a kanoun player providing the soundtrack, perfect for unwinding as you enjoy dinner on The Palm. From sunset, Dhs185 and Dhs90 for children aged 6 to 11. anantara.com
Set in the stunning Constellation Ballroom, The Address Dubai Marina’s Iftar offering is nothing short of spectacular. Seating up to 400 guests, the ballroom will feature a grand buffet, featuring Middle Eastern and international dishes, lavish sweets and refreshing Ramadan juices. There will also be a traditional Oud player serenading you as you dine, setting the mood for a sophisticated evening of five-star feasting. Sunset onwards, Dhs210 per person. theaddress.com
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ANANTARA THE PALM
Tighten your seatbelts With one of the biggest indoor theme parks in the world here in Dubai, who cares what the weather is like outside? Here's a sneak peek at the brand new IMG Worlds of Adventure and, when you’ve finished there, brave the city’s other awesome indoor adventures
IMG WORLDS OF ADVENTURE Opening its doors on 15 August, this behemoth is set to take the crown as the world’s largest indoor theme park, open year-round to keep thrill-seekers entertained. IMG Worlds of Adventure contains four zones: MARVEL; Cartoon Network; Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure; and IMG Boulevard, as well as offering state-of-the-art cinemas, complete with an IMAX screen, and plenty of dining options to keep your energy up. The MARVEL zone is a must for superhero fans, where they can see their favourite characters in action, and be immersed in their world thanks to the multimedia ride ‘Avengers: Battle of Ultron’. Younger children will love the Cartoon Network zone, which includes features such as the first ever Ben 10 5D cinema, plus rides from The Powerpuff Girls, LazyTown Adventure Time and more. Meanwhile, Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure zone will be home to 69 state-of-the-art animatronic dinosaurs. The largest of the four zones, it spans a vast 700,000sqft, and features the external coaster ‘The Velociraptor’, Dubai’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster, which propels you to 100 km/h in 2.5 seconds. Tickets cost Dhs300 for an adult and Dhs250 for children. imgworlds.com
IMG Worlds of Adventure
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SKI DUBAI You’ll be surprised at how toasty you’ll get surrounded by snow in the region’s biggest indoor ski park complete with five ski runs, a zip wire, parading penguins (yes, really), toboggan runs, slippery slides and an alpine café – so that you can warm up over a hot chocolate! Info: From Dhs260 (includes clothing and footwear hire) for a fun pass, Dhs185 for a discovery skiing lesson, 10am-1pm (Sun-Wed), 10am-2am (Thurs), 9am-12am (Fri) and 9am-11pm (Sat). Tel: 800386. theplaymania.com
KIDZANIA Children enter this kid-sized city – complete with roads, shops and its own currency – and play make-believe to their hearts’ content. With plenty of professions to choose from, one minute they can try their hand at being a pilot in a simulating cockpit and the next sashaying down a catwalk as a supermodel. There is a morning session (10am-4pm) and an evening session (5pm-11pm). Info: Dhs95 for toddlers aged 2-3, Dhs140 for ages 4-16, Dhs95 for adults, 10am-11pm (daily), kidzania.ae
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Lightning slides, laser mazes, drift racing, bobsledding, jungle safaris, and, of course, hanging out with Sonic the Hedgehog: the options at this giant indoor theme park are endless! With two levels of pure entertainment for kids (and big kids) of all ages, and 170 of the latest amusement, arcade and video games, the hardest part will be tearing yourself away at the end of the day… Info: Dhs175, 10am-11pm (Sun-Wed), 10am-11am (Thu-Sat), 04 448 8484, segarepublic.com
live it. sense it. Welcome to 76,000 sq.ft. of pure excitement. SEGA Republic is a complete indoor theme park for the family with tons of games to suit every level of skill and enthusiasm. Fuel your sense of adventure with simulators, carnival games, arcades, races and rides. Thereâ€™s something fun for everyone! segarepublic.com | The Dubai Mall
SEGARepublicDubai Official Sponsor
They may not be inside, but the city's waterparks are a perfect place to cool off.
iFLY Who hasn’t dreamed they could fly? At iFly, you can live the dream and experience the thrill of skydiving – with none of the fear! Fly higher than ever before, suspended inside the world’s only double vertical wind tunnel. Then, after your ride in the state-of-the-art 10m acrylic glass bubble, shop your way back down to earth at the Mirdif City Centre mall below. Info: From Dhs165, 10am-11pm (Sun-Wed), 10am-midnight (Thu-Sat), 04 231 6292, theplaymania.com/ifly
MATTEL PLAY! TOWN Great for under 6s, the new Mattel Play! Town in City Walk is home to Barney, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, Thomas the Tank Engine and Angelina Ballerina. Split into zones, this indoor edutainment area is perfect for the summer months, with valuable lessons taught through play, and children trying arts and crafts, singing and teamwork, all with their favourite characters. There’s also a café serving healthy food, a 4D cinema and a souvenir shop. Info: Dhs95 for children, Dhs55 for accompanying adults, open 10am-10pm daily, playtowndubai.com
AQUAVENTURE Enter a world of thrills, spills and record-breaking rides at Dubai’s biggest water park. Part of the spectacular Atlantis resort on The Palm, you can float through a shark-filled lagoon, take the jaw-dropping Leap of Faith or drift along the Lazy River. The Splashers play area will keep little adventurers happy, while the region’s longest zip wire offers unbeatable views of the Dubai coastline. Info: Dhs260 (Dhs215 for kids), 10am5.30pm, 04 426 0000, atlantisthepalm.com
WILD WADI Right by the iconic Burj Al Arab, Dubai’s original water park is the place to go for wet, wild, whiteknuckle rides – from the 80km/h Jumeirah Sceirah tandem slides to the tornadoes of Tantrum Valley. The wave pool, action river and surf simulators keep the thrills coming, and there’s just as much fun to be had in the family zone – just watch out for the dumping buckets! Info: Dhs275 for adults, Dhs230 for children, 10am-7pm, 04 348 4444, jumeirah.com
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A trip to one of Dubai’s aquariums is a must. Explore The Lost Chambers of Atlantis, where you can play with starfish amid shipwrecks and ruins, or combine a journey through the centre of Dubai Aquarium’s 10 millionlitre tank with a gawp at King Croc in his Underwater Zoo lair. Our tip? Do both! Info: The Lost Chambers, Dhs100 (Dhs70 for kids), 10am-10pm, 04 426 1040, atlantisthepalm.com. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, Dhs100, 10am-11pm (Sun-Wed), 10ammidnight (Thu-Sat), 04 448 5200, thedubaiaquarium.com
Dubai is proving to be big on bouncing, with the opening of a third trampoline park. All the way from Australia, we now have Flip Out, and with 200 interconnecting trampolines it’s the biggest in the region. Flip Out joins Bounce and Jump Boxx where jumping beans of all ages can defy gravity and work off some energy. Info: Flip Out: Dhs70 per hour, (Dhs60 for kids), 600 567568, flipout.ae. Bounce: Dhs80 (Dhs70 for kids), 04 321 1400, bounce.ae. Jump Boxx: Dhs69 per hour, 04 288 5744, jump-boxx.com. See websites for daily timings.
DUBAI PARKS AND RESORTS Set to open in October, this 25 million sqft theme park will be the Middle East’s largest, boasting over 100 rides and attractions spread over three distinct destinations and a water park. Dubai Parks and Resorts will include Motiongate, a movie-inspired theme park showcasing some of the best-loved characters from cinema screens, including The Hunger Games and Kung Fu Panda, while Bollywood will be a celebration of India’s film industry, complete with colourful sights and sounds, plus restaurants and performances. LEGOLAND, meanwhile, offers families the chance to explore and learn through the iconic LEGO brick, and its waterpark is purpose-designed for children aged 2 to 12. Elsewhere, you’ll find a hotel, shopping and dining. Annual and VIP passes are available, priced from Dhs765, with the VIP option including access to dedicated lounges, discounts on food and drink, and – most importantly – the ability to skip queues on some rides. dubaiparksandresorts.com
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ING COMON SO
discover what lies at the end of the ocean
Bringing the marvels of underwater life, an aquatic journey awaits you at the iconic Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. Enjoy spectacular views and come close to over 3,000 aquatic animals through the largest acrylic viewing panel in the world and through an immersive walk-through tunnel. Take a tour at the Underwater Zoo, conserving over 160 species and opening doors to new insights on nature and its diversity. Step inside Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo for an extraordinary experience. thedubaiaquarium.com | The Dubai Mall
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Summer in Dubai Sizzling sales and family fun – it must be summer in Dubai! It’s that time of year when prices are slashed, performers step onto the city stages, fireworks take to the sky, deals are dealt and, of course, our yellow friend Modhesh is in town. Prepare yourself for summer and everything else that comes with it Come indoors with family and friends to join the region’s longest-running summer festival from 9 July to 20 August. Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) brings the city alive and keeps it vibrant in the summer season, providing visitors and residents with a daily summer itinerary in the city's top shopping malls. DSS offers a range of engaging activities and fun-filled experiences – with entertainment, restaurant and shopping options catering to all age groups, cultures and nationalities.
Shop 'til you drop Dubai ranks second in the number of brands present in its malls and it is at this time of year that residents and visitors can go all out and indulge in Dubai’s wide range of luxury and high-end designer labels. Together with high end shopping experiences, shoppers can avail unbeatable retail offers from top international high street brands, some with discounts of up to 75% - this is the time to enjoy an unforgettable shopping experience.
Family entertainment This year’s line-up includes a range of world-class, family-oriented entertainment accompanied by activities full of learning and fun for children and teens. This programme runs for the duration of the festival and provides opportunities for learning and fun indoors at Dubai’s vast network of malls and retail spaces. Visitors to the malls will experience internationally recognised children’s character shows with opportunities for young fans to meet the characters, fun workshops that engage the creative and playful nature of children today, community events that bring the whole family together and performers drawn from an international pool of talented creative and acrobatic fields.
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MODHESH WORLD A must for families, Modhesh World at Dubai World Trade Centre takes place from 27 June to 27 August, with activities, entertainment and more for all the family, all indoors. dubaicalendar.ae
Top to toe
Jumeirah Zabeel Saray
She’s a self-confessed salon and spa junkie, and, as the Managing Partner of the UAE-based Huda Beauty & The Dollhouse Beauty Salon, who better to turn to for beauty advice than Mona Kattan? She shares with us her favourite spas and treatments around town Talise Spa @ Burj Al Arab
TALISE SPA @ BURJ AL ARAB Best for: Body treatments. Mona says: “You can’t get fancier than the Burj Al Arab!” Favourite treatment: Burj Al Arab Arabian Journey – you’ll leave
smelling like an Arabian Goddess! Info: Treatments start from Dhs965; 04 301 7365, jumeirah.com
TALISE OTTOMAN SPA @ ZABEEL SARAY Best for: The whole pampering package. If you don’t have time for a weekend away, book a Day Spa Ritual and you will literally feel like you’ve travelled. The spa is very spacious and so relaxing – the scrub and massage combo is my absolute favourite! Mona says: “You’ll feel like a Turkish Princess!” Favourite treatment: Traditional Turkish Hammam & Sultan’s Massage Combination Info: Treatments start from Dhs475; 04 453 0455/6, jumeirah.com
“Luckily, Dubai has some of the BEST salons and spas in the world as grooming and pampering are a huge part of the culture and lifestyle here!” Follow Mona on @monakattan or @hudabeauty, or log on to thedollhousedubai.com or hudabeauty.com 46
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THE SPA @ THE PALACE DOWNTOWN Best for: A hammam (body scrub). Mona says: “This spa is super
The Spa @ The Palace Downtown
relaxing and, being in Downtown, its location is very central in Dubai, so it’s great for a quick in and out treatment!” Favourite treatment: Oriental Hammam Ritual “The best scrub I’ve ever had!” Info: Treatments start from Dhs420; 04 428 7805, theaddress.com
RAFFLES SPA @ RAFFLES HOTEL Best for: Facials, body treatments and massages. Mona says: “I’ve never slept on a more comfortable treatment bed – it feels like you’re on a warm cloud!” Favourite treatment: Egyptian Gold Facial. Your skin will love you for this! Info: Treatments start from Dhs459; 04 314 9870, raffles.com
CLEOPATRA’S SPA @ THE PYRAMID’S WAFI MALL Best for: Facials and massages. Mona says: “I’ve been going to Cleopatra’s
Spa since I moved to Dubai in 2002. It has a beautiful Arabian ambiance. The cupping therapy is also really great and clean!” Favourite treatment: Ruby Spa Day Treatment. “It has all my favoUrite treatments, and is perfect for monthly or bimonthly maintenance.” Info: Treatments start from Dhs385; 04 324 7700, cleopatrasspaandwellness.com
AL ASALLA SPA @ THE DUBAI LADIES CLUB Best for: Shiffa Facials and body scrubs. Mona says: “Great for women who are
looking for privacy.” Favourite treatment: Elixir Shiffa Facial –
“One of the best skincare brands I’ve tried and it’s a proud Dubai creation!” Info: Treatments start from Dhs800; 04 344 9445, dubailadiesclub.com
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IRIDIUM SPA @ THE ST REGIS DUBAI Exclusive to the hotel, this new spa has six treatment rooms, hammam rooms and steam rooms for male and female guests, plus multi-sensory experience showers. We love the fact that time stands still in this spa – all the clocks are set to midnight. It’s also the only spa in the region to perform facials using luxury beauty brand Swiss Perfection Cellular Skincare. Info: iridiumspadubai.com
SPA INTERCONTINENTAL @ INTERCONTINENTAL DUBAI MARINA Less than a year old, this 5,000 sqft contemporary oasis features six treatment suites, two relaxation lounges, separate male and female saunas, steam rooms and Jacuzzis. ESPA is the product of choice here, used in an array of bespoke treatments, aromatherapy sessions, ESPA signature rituals, facials, body treatments and energising massages. We particularly love the Marina Mystique Signature Ritual – it’s two hours of pure bliss (Dhs840). Info: ihg.com 48
Willow Stream Spa
WILLOW STREAM SPA @ FAIRMONT THE PALM Step inside this serene spa to discover why it was the winner of the “Resort Spa of the Year, Middle East & Africa” at the World Spa & Wellness Awards 2016. You’ll find 11 tranquil spa suites on offer, including two couples' suites, alongside calming balcony spaces with pool views, relaxation lounges, steam rooms and a sauna. Choose from an energising list of treatments, from facials and massages to signature scrubs and hammam therapies. We opted for the Pearls and Caviar Ultimate Anti-Aging Rejuvenation programme: two hours of rejuvenation from top to toe (Dhs1,049). Info: fairmont.com
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TRIED AND TESTED: TURKISH HAMMAM@ANANTARA THE PALM
While staying at Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, Norwegian holidaymaker Lindsey Johnson reserved some much-needed ‘me time’ for a ‘ritual’ in the property’s brand new hammam. When I stepped inside this warm, steamy hexagonal palace, I walked into a little part of Turkey. The white marble that clads the entire room is broken up with panels of beautifully decorated coloured patterns, and when lying face up on the central marble slab I had the perfect vantage point to admire the sea green domed ceiling. It may seem an obvious observation, but marble is not the most comfy of mattresses. However, it’s surprising how comforting it was to feel the warmth from the stone slowly seep into my body. It soon became apparent that what I’d actually signed up for was essentially a bath, so I couldn’t help but feel meekly child-like as I surrendered myself to my therapist, Patricia, as she proceeded to massage, lather and scrub my body from top to toe. Stepping back and forth from the nearby sink to refill the large metal jugs, I am constantly doused in warm water. She started by washing my hair, coating it in cream before setting about me with a loofah ensuring that
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not even the most scaly of specimens would re-emerge with even a fleck of dry or hard skin on their body. When it came to the cleansing it was indeed a ritual. Using what was essentially a muslin pillowcase, she’d soak the cloth in soapy water before filling it with air by ceremoniously swinging it back and forth. She’d then squeeze the bubbles out of the cloth onto my body, leaving just my head poking out from under a mountain of suds. For the final touch Patricia asked me to stand up before proceeding to throw icy cold water over me. Admittedly this was not overly enjoyable, but health benefits of this shock to the system out way the few seconds of discomfort. With my skin feeling silky soft, I was led to the relaxation area to enjoy my cup of sweet coconut milk and handful of nuts and dried fruits. It was the perfect time to lie back, to contemplate, and cleanse the mind inside what was a completely cleansed body.
Info: As is customary in Turkey, bathing is a social custom. This hammam serves four ladies at the same time, and there’s another hammam just for gents too. Traditional Turkish Bath Ritual starts from Dhs470 for 45 minutes. spa.anantara.com
"Smells are surer than sights and sounds to make your heartstrings crack." Rudyard Kipling
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It’s all in the nose
You may not be able to see it, but you’ll certainly smell it – perfume. Subtlety might not be a priority when it comes to Arabian fragrances, but each one makes a beautifully heady olfactory impression. So get sniffing and mixing to find the scent that’s just right for you Whether you’re checking into one of Dubai’s myriad five-star hotels or exploring its famed souks, you can’t help but be seduced by the aromas that fill the air in every corner of the city. Heady florals, exotic oils, sweet shisha and, of course, deep, woody oud combine to form a fragrance fingerprint that’s unlike anywhere else in the world. And with a wealth of perfume houses in Dubai specialising in Arabic fragrances, it’s one element of the local culture you can, quite literally, capture in a bottle. For a truly authentic scent, look for a base of oud, musk, amber, rose, patchouli or sandalwood, says Nader Adam Ali, director of the UAE’s oldest fragrance house, Swiss Arabian Perfumes. “Oud is one of the prime ingredients of Arabian perfumes, but every note has its story to tell. Designed to be delicately dabbed onto pulse points, rather than spritzed, Arabian fragrances are uniquely soothing, rejuvenating and captivating. Using only the purest natural ingredients, and drawing on thousands of years of legacy, it’s hard to find such passion and devotion to craft perfumes in any other region.” Indeed, fragrance plays a crucial role in Arabian culture, and the act of mixing and layering scents has long been an important part of that. No wonder then, that more and more perfume houses are offering bespoke Arabian scents – encouraging customers to experiment with a range of modern and traditional fragrances to create a unique blend that’s perfect for them. Here are some of the best places to shop for bespoke Arabic perfume in Dubai.
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MALIK AL OUD If an all-out bespoke approach is a little outside your comfort zone (or price range), Malik Al Oud is the perfect place to get acquainted with the Arabic art of fragrance layering. Unlike a bespoke perfume, where your chosen base, middle and top notes are all blended together, here you can select a trio of separate scents which, when worn together, will create a similar effect. It’s how Arabic fragrances are traditionally designed to be worn, and there’s
no end to the range of incenses, oils and ouds you can experiment with. Al Ghurair Mall: 04 221 4935; Dubai Mall: 04 339 8911
M.MICALLEF Founded in Grasse, the perfume capital of the world, M.Micallef brings together the artisanal philosophy of its French roots with a unique appreciation of Arabic oud as a base note. Drawing on the strong fragrance heritage of Dubai, where the brand has three boutiques,
THE PERFUME SOUK A wander through the tiny maze of shops and stalls that make up Deira’s Perfume Souk is a guaranteed feast for all the senses. Layer upon layer of perfume fills the air while endless rows of magical little bottles jostle for your attention alongside huge bowls piled high with fragrant crystals, powders, rocks and woods. Stock up on everything from traditional oud and attar (a fragrant essential oil, typically made from rose petals) fragrances to essential oils and incense sticks, or let the shopkeepers guide you in mixing your own special blend. It’s the cheapest way to bag yourself a bespoke scent, but make sure you barter – it’s all part of the experience.
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its sophisticated signature scents come in crystal-strewn flagons that can be engraved with a special message – while bespoke blends can contain up to 200 ingredients housed in one-of-a-kind bottles featuring everything from 24-carat gold to precious stones. Dubai Marina: 04 317 6927; City Walk: 04 351 5377 and in Al Ain Parfum Monde
BUKHOOR Oud may be Arabian fragrance’s most famous export, but bukhoor is just as important, and just as exotic. Both are derived from agarwood, one of the world’s most precious natural resources, but bukhoor – essentially blocks of agarwood that have been soaked in a perfumed oil like jasmine, amber or sandalwood – is a lighter, more affordable option than pure oud oil. Traditionally used to fill the air with perfume, it can also form the basis for the ritualistic layering of scents that’s customary for Arab men and women. Signifying hospitality, romance and positive energy, bukhoor makes an uplifting base for any fragrance. Pick up a block at Deira’s Spice Souk and burn it like incense at home to instantly transport yourself back to Arabia.
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PARFUM MONDE Scent shopping doesn’t get any more extensive than at Parfum Monde, one of the world’s largest perfume emporiums. As well as showcasing a mind-boggling selection of off-the-shelf fragrances, there’s an oriental lounge designed to indulge oud connoisseurs and a mixology centre where experts will help you create your dream fragrance. Stop by the in-house perfume factory before leaving with your own, personally engraved bespoke bottle. Sheikh Zayed Road: 04 380 5191
VILLA 515 The brainchild of an Emirati entrepreneur, an Italian nose and a Dutch designer, Villa 515 is home to the region’s most exclusive fragrance brands, including founder Dhaher Bin Dhaher’s own Tola Perfumery. Disguised as a beautiful Arabian villa in the heart of Jumeirah, it offers a more boutique approach to a custom perfumery in its select perfume lab. Book in to embark on your own personalised journey through Middle Eastern fragrance, and leave with a blend that’s yours and yours alone. 04 395 4054 53
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Dubai has set a target to become the smartest and happiest city on the planet. Now we’re not talking about dancing in a well-fitted suit, this is about always being connected, easy access to government facilities and encouraging and nurturing creativity. But what does it mean for you? In the recent government reshuffle HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced via twitter to his 5.58 million followers, the appointment of a Minister of Happiness. In this newly created role, H.E. Ohood Al Roumi, who incidentally is a woman, has been tasked to align and drive government policy to create social good and satisfaction. So what does this mean? Sadly, it does not mean that Al Roumi will suddenly magic you up a bucketful of friends, but what it does mean is that you’ll be able to connect to the internet wherever you are in the city to be able to contact them; when you drive to meet them your driver will know before you’ve even set out where the traffic jams are; and when you get there you’ll be directed to a empty parking spot where you can leave the car. For the tourist, this means that much of your holiday can all be researched, planned and booked all in advance. Your journey through the airport will be revolutionised using iris technology to verify identities and ‘smart trollies’ will allow you a speedy journey through the baggage checks. In other words, happiness will be achieved by embracing innovative technology, making Dubai the most efficient, seamless, safe and impactful experience for residents and visitors. Thus Smart Dubai has been born, an umbrella initiative that oversees and drives hundreds of innovative smart services via collaboration between the public and private sectors encompassing the whole city, not just one sector or district. It’s an initiative that comprises six focus areas – smart life, smart transportation, smart society, smart economy, smart governance and smart environment. Over a thousand government services are expected to go ‘smart’ over the next few years. It’s an ambitious and complex project.
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Some have said that it surpasses all Dubai’s previous headline-making projects in terms of size, budget, duration and the amount of stakeholders to be aligned. Yet, as we all know, Dubai is not afraid of challenges – creating them, rather than just facing them. And the clock is ticking. By 2020, the city expects to welcome 50 million visitors as it prepares to host Expo 2020. Fast progress is being made. Visitors to many of the city’s parks and beaches will have already noticed the installation of six-metre-high, solar powered Smart Palms offering high speed WiFi and charging stations. Yet, already, WiFi is being surpassed. Only in April it was announced that Dubai will be the first city in the world to get LiFi – Light Fidelity – offering real world download speeds of multiple gigabytes per second. Being rolled out and trailed within the district known as Silicon Oasis by the end of 2016, LiFi will be transmitted through streetlights. Meanwhile, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is leading a march on its smart initiatives. Realtime information on arrival and departure times of all public transport systems can now be accessed – even from within the air-conditioned bus shelters – allowing
public transport users to effectively plan their routes, while traffic signals are now managed by 3G technology, cutting down on congestion. And more recently, the RTA has announced that it is trialling driverless cars in the UAE. The plan is that by 2030, 25 per cent of vehicles on Dubai roads will be driverless, thus reducing congestion and pollution, giving back much wasted time and significantly increasing productivity of individuals. Essentially this all leads to a future where life can be lived efficiently, effectively and, most importantly, happily. Now that should put a smile on your face.
MUSEUM OF THE FUTURE The building is as futuristic as the ideas within which it generates. Due to open in 2018 near the Emirates Towers on Sheikh Zayed Road, the Museum of the Future will be an iconic, glassy, oval “spaceship-like” building that promises to be an incubator for innovation in design and technology. With its fitting motto being ‘See the future, create the future’, this museum will bring together brilliant researchers, designers, inventors and financiers under one roof. The intention is to empower the creative mindsets to test, fund and market their ideas for futuristic prototypes and service. The museum invites visitors to join them on a trip to the year 2035, where they’ll see how technology could evolve to enhance our bodies and minds, explore what role it might play in our social and family lives, and discuss how it could be used to manage complex social and economic systems. Showcasing what’s to come, the museum set up a ‘pop-up’ preview in February, giving visitors an insight into an array of jaw dropping projects to set their minds boggling. Fancy attaching ‘gecko tips’ to your fingers and scaling walls? How about being able to see what internet sites your friends are searching no matter how far away they are? Or to achieve complete calm, why not simply switch off your brain? Interestingly, the Dh500 million facility will be built using three-dimensional printing construction technique – a practice that Dubai has already vowed that it will lead the way. Info: museumofthefuture.ae
Info: smartdubai.ae 56
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Have your kids ever dreamt of becoming a pilot, a f iref ighter, or the next award-winning singer? Watch the excitement on their faces as they try out more than 80 real life role-play activities such as a banker or ﬁghting crime on the streets as a police ofﬁcer! Designed like a city, KidZania gives them the conﬁdence to challenge themselves and inspire them to explore the world of opportunities. KidZania is a real life role play experience for 4-16 year olds, blending learning and reality with entertainment. Come to KidZania and let them become an adult for a day! Cinema Parking Level 7, The Dubai Mall Tel: +971 4 448 5222 kidzania.ae
Get Ready for a Better World!® KidZaniaDubai
Gift Guide Made in Dubai
1 This iPhone 6 case adds some humour to even the dreariest of conversations. Dhs45, ideyna.com
3 4 Made, designed and crafted in Dubai, the collection of standout dress jewellery features semi-precious stones set in silver. This oversized purple agate necklace will help you stand out from the crowd. Purple Agate tourmatine necklace Dhs296, Lia Chahla
Chloé reveals a new limited-edition Drew Bag exclusively for the UAE and KSA. Crafted from fine grain pink lambskin and adorned with floral motifs fashioned with Swarovski crystals, this covetable bag draws inspiration from vintage jewellery designs and the Maison's feminine floral prints. Drew bag Dhs8,340 (small) & Dhs 6,865 (mini), Chloé botiques
One of Dubai’s bestloved style icons, Zayan Ghandour founded concept store S*uce before starting her own fashion label in 2011, known for its girly style and lavish embellishments. Heather skirt Dhs1,010, Zayan The Label
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Designed and printed in Dubai, no doubt inspired by the flamingoes in Ras Al Khor, this playful print by Miniterior is a must for your walls. Geomingo poster A3 size: Dhs75, and A4 size: Dhs60, unframed, Miniterior
4, 5 available at Little Majlis
Created by Dubai-based artist Keren Bell, this skyline print is available in numerous colours, from black to orange, and is a lovely souvenir of your time in the city. Mint Julep Design from Dhs175, facebook.com/mintjulepdubai
8 Make a statement with this S*uce x Paige Smith clutch, featuring the artist's signature 'geodes'. Dhs675, shopatsauce.com
Add some Arabic flair to your home with a Hand of Fatima wooden mirror by Minah Kalil. Dhs7,000, shopatsauce.comå
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7 available at Little Majlis
This bucket bag made from traditional Emirati ‘Sadu’ material is decorated with trimmings sourced from the fabric markets of Dubai, with a golf-plated chain to finish the look. Bucket bag Dhs390, RAW
Palazzo Versace Dubai
For those looking to not only wear their designer labels but to live them too, this palatial hotel is a perfect fit It soon becomes apparent why the much-anticipated opening of Dubai’s Palazzo Versace took so long. Laying around 1.6 million individual tiny mosaic tiles to create the precise patterns designed specially by the House of Versace takes time and precision. All the wallpaper has been hand painted, the upholstery has been exclusively custom made and virtually every item, from the drinking glasses to the cutlery, the towels and plates, is bespoke with the iconic Versace signature emblem of either the Medusa’s head or the Greek key line engraved on it. Even the bedroom’s air-conditioning vents are in the pattern of the signature key line. Apart from the electrical items – such as the Krups coffee maker in the rooms – there’s no clash of brands in this hotel, this is the work of Versace through and through. Guests who aspire to live the life that the designer brand emulates can do so at every turn, while fashionistas will appreciate the quirky hand-painted pictures of supermodels, such as Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, which hang in the public corridors.
this imposing Neoclassical-style property sits beside the Dubai Creek and is the first hotel to take its place in what will be the new Dubai Culture Village – a bigger community yet to be realised. Offering eight restaurants and lounges, the pescatarian and seafood restaurant Vanitas is as Italian as it gets, with huge Romanesque paintings on the wall and rich colours – including the bright blue and gold Versace Medusa plates (the subject most Instagrammed in all the hotel). Next door, Giardino, as the name suggests, is a tribute to nature, with the wall of glass doors opening up onto
CREEKSIDE PALACE The building itself stands out like a grand 16th century Italian palace as one crosses the Business Bay Bridge. With Dubai International airport a 10-minute drive to the north and the Burj Khalifa even closer to the south,
16th century Neo-classical facade
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Aparthotel Adagio Premium Dubai Al Barsha
HEART OF DUBAI
The ďŹ rst of its kind in the U.A.E , the Aparthotel Adagio Premium Dubai Al Barsha is changing the landscape in apartment accomodation. With 198 one, two, three and four bedroom apartments, superior location, facilities and a feeling of exclusivity, you will always have a home away from home for your short or long stay whether for business or leisure. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR VISITS OF THE APARTHOTEL, Telephone: +971 (0) 4 304 9988
Aspen Pool Chalets - Refreshingly diﬀerent... Uniquely designed the Aspen Pool Chalets, oﬀer discerning cosmopolitan guests spectacular views of the calming waters of the swimming pool. Inspired by the luxuries of coastal living, the Aspen Pool Chalet oﬀers direct access to the two outdoor inﬁnity pools. As well as comfortable king beds, this 63 sqm, chalet boasts a separate living room, bedroom, spacious bathroom with Hermès amenities, summer-inspired delicacies, and exclusive access to a dedicated Butler service and the Executive Lounge. +971 4 341 0000 | email@example.com | kempinski.com/dubai
Premier Suite with a Creek view
A Medusa welcome
the poolside terrace allowing the outside to come in. The bright green leafy wallpaper matches the uniforms worn by the waiting staff – which means that they can almost ‘disappear’ when they stand against the wall (now this is what you call the height of discretion). The hotel serves breakfast in this light and airy space as well as its Friday brunch, which also throws in pool access as part of the package. However, the hotel’s gastronomic jewel comes in the form of Enigma.
Enigma is more of a stage than a restaurant, upon which every three months one of the world’s best chefs perform. Until 30 June Nordic chef Bjorn Frantzen resides – ranking at number 31 in the list of the world’s 50 Best Restaurants. Diners are not shown the menu beforehand, meaning that each of the courses comes as a complete surprise.
The 150 rooms and 65 suites, overlooking either the Village or the waters of the Creek, are decorated in cream and pastel shades with custom-made silk throws adorning the beds. Rooms start at 50sqm, getting progressively bigger as you work your way from Deluxe to Premier and onto the suites, reaching 130sqm for a Grand Suite, 214sqm for the Signature Suite and an enormous 1,200sqm for a twobedroom duplex Imperial Suite, complete with private pool and Jacuzzi on its Creek-facing terrace. The huge infinity pool expands across the width of the whole hotel terrace overlooking the Creek and, of course, the tiles on the floor of the pool display the distinctive head of the ever-present Medusa. Room rates start from Dhs960 + taxes until 31 August. Dubai Culture Village, Dubai Creek Tel: 04 556 8888 palazzoversace.ae
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Best of British at The Croft Award-winning Chef Darren Velvick trained with Gordan Ramsay and Marcus Wareing in the 1990s before moving to Dubai to take the reins at Table 9. He’s now at the helm at The Croft, a casual fine dining restaurant in Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites where he fuses British classics with locally-grown ingredients What started your love of cooking? Going to the woodlands with my mum in my tiny little village where I grew up called Hampstead Norreys. We would bring back mushrooms, blackberries, wild strawberries, nettles and lots of other items, all foraged from the local natural surroundings. I would help my mum make special jams and hearty homemade meals with the items we had gathered. This is what triggered my love for cooking. I loved the idea of picking fresh ingredients straight off the land and creating tasty dishes for the family to enjoy together. Why did you decide to become a professional chef? I found I had a natural talent and passion for cooking; I loved the pressure and thrill of being busy in a service that focuses on producing great meals one after the other. I also loved the teamwork within the brigade. I grew up playing a lot of rugby when I was young and found the teamwork and the way everyone dug deep to get the job done, very similar to a rugby match. Where did you get your start? The Royal Oak at Yattendon in Berkshire UK. I was 14 years old and I landed a washing up job earning £1.50 per hour. I would help the chefs prepare the food and this is where I also started to taste ingredients that I had never seen or heard of, such as scallops, sweetbreads and snails. Chef Richard Smith was a father figure and he had very high standards, which rubbed off on me. How would you describe your style of cooking? My professional training to date has been mainly focused on fine dining, but at The Croft I decided to strip back the frills and concentrate on achieving maximum flavour within my dishes. The feedback I receive on a daily basis is always about the flavour 64
within my food. I love the natural side of cooking, in a way from how I remember when I used to cook the food from the woodland with my mum. How did you plan the menu at The Croft? I wanted to showcase the ingredients that can be found by the local farmers here in Dubai and blend this in within English classics and some international dishes too; particularly when they grow in the cooler months. I love to support the smaller, stand-alone suppliers and hate buying from big corporations. I know it may sound strange but I want a carrot to taste like a carrot, so as a chef there is little I need to do but cook it correctly and treat it with the respect it deserves. Describe Dubai's dining scene in three words. Flourishing, diverse and intriguing. The city has so many restaurants – what stands out about The Croft? It’s a strange thing here in Dubai, how everyone expects you to do something different or unique. I'm a big believer in presenting great food, great service for a great price. As long as you do this well then you don't need smoke and mirrors. This already shows at The Croft as we are getting busier by the day. We stick to what we believe in and it's really paying off for us. What's the signature dish at The Croft? It would have to be the Roast Organic Chicken for two people and we constantly have guests returning to satisfy their craving! What's your culinary guilty pleasure? HP sauce – which has a malt vinegar base, and it’s blended with tomato, dates, tamarind extract, sweetener and spices. I love it with hash browns and poached eggs on toast.
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HOME COMFORTS WITH FLAIR The Croft, located at the Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites, is a charming British venue exuding a casual ambiance led by award-winning Chef Darren Velvick. Serving up some of his favourite dishes presented with a twist, Darren’s main focus is on delivering a variety of fresh menu selections and a memorable dining experience for everyone walking over the homely welcome mat of the venue. Ever evolving, the restaurant includes a laidback outdoor venue, Juniper Garden, which is the perfect extension for pre or post-dinner drinks. The restaurant is also home to a cosy living room area, complete with a faux fireplace and a pool table. The Croft is located in the Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites thecroftdubai.com
Receipe: Crispy Hens Egg, Baked Beans and Sautéed Potatoes Method for cooking baked beans 1. Boil the beans until soft - set aside. 2. Fry onion and garlic until soft. 3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil before adding beans. 4. Cook for 2 hours. Method for cooking sautéed potatoes 1. Par boil potatoes before laying them out to cool. 2. Fry in hot oil until golden brown. Ingredients for crispy hens egg ● 5 organic hens eggs ● Separate ingredients for coating(see recipe)
Ingredients for baked beans ● 220g dried white beans (such as haricot blanc), soaked overnight in cold water ● 100g onion, finely chopped ● 2 garlic cloves, grated ● 1 tbsp tomato purée ● 80g soft dark brown sugar ● 100ml vinegar ● 500ml water ● tinned tomatoes ● salt and freshly ground black pepper Ingredients for sautéed potatoes ● 200g waxy potato, such as Maris Piper or Desirée ● 6-8 tbsp sunflower or olive oil
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Method for cooking crispy hens egg 1. Lower 4 organic hens eggs into a pan of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Refresh under cold running water before carefully peeling the eggs – this can be a little tricky so take your time. 2. Prepare 3 bowls for coating using 100g of plain flour, 1 beaten egg and 150g of white breadcrumbs. 3. Dredge the eggs through the flour, egg and crumbs each in turn. Set aside until ready to use. 4. Deep-fry the eggs at 180°C until golden brown, then rest in a warm place for 1-2 minutes so that the residual heat can continue to cook the eggs slightly. 65
A National Symbol
Falconry is an integral part of Dubai’s heritage and culture, and a symbol of the UAE that you will see everywhere, from banknotes to architecture
PAST AND PRESENT
For centuries falconry was a vital part of desert life, with birds used for hunting meat – in the form of hares and houbra – for their Bedouin ‘owners’. As they toured their territory, sheikhs would hunt by day and discuss their hunting prowess around the campfire at night. Today, falconry is a sport – and a regal one at that. Every year, hundreds of falconers bring their precious birds to compete in the Fazza Championship for Falconry – a competition devised to revive and keep alive this exciting sport in the region. It’s organised by the Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Centre, named after Dubai’s Crown Prince.
Fazza Championship for Falconry AN ENCOUNTER
As these majestic birds soar through the cloudless sky and glide on the breeze, be sure to keep a close eye on them – they can change direction in a split second and, if they see their prey, they’ll swoop down at tremendous speeds to win the hunt. Admire the skill, the speed and dexterity of both the falcon and the falconer – and the mutual respect and bond between the two. If you fancy trying it yourself or want to watch a memorable display, contact one of the many tour operators that offer falconry tours and safaris. Various hotels also offer falconry displays — in particular, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa and the Al Maha Desert Resort.
Royal Shaheen Events (royalshaheen.ae) offers an interactive experience with falcons, when you’ll learn about the part they played in Bedoudin life and see their speed for yourself – they can even land on your gloved hand. There’s also a two-day falconry course, the only one of its kind in the region, that teaches you about protocols and practices. For a five-star encounter, Platinum Heritage (platinum-heritage.com) will introduce you to one of the world’s foremost falcon trainers, who works with a prominent local family. After the demonstration you will enjoy breakfast at the stunning Al Maha Desert Resort, a inside the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.
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GREAT FOOD GREAT life
Daily 6am -11pm A new lifestyle dining concept with extensive menus available all day.
Quote DTCM and receive 20% off. Lobby Level Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai Marina T. 971.4.319.4786, marriottharbourdubaidining.com Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites | @marriottharbour Terms and conditions: Offer is valid until 31st December 2016.