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September / OctOber / NOvember 2015

The STage is SeT

The curtain rises for a season of sporting, musical, comic and theatrical extravaganzas it’s show tiMe


ensure you get the best seats in the house in the city’s eclectic theatres

Music Maestros 28

Local talent and worldwide chart toppers hog the spotlights to keep music fans pumping

hoLe in one 34

Join the pros as the golfing season tees off on Dubai’s stunning championship courses

published by motivate publisher chriS capSTicK group editor – connect guiDo DuKeN

Sep – Nov 2015

deputy editor – connect viShwaS KulKarNi senior assignments editor iNgriD valleS po

18 24

regional manager bireShwar MiTra sales manager SyDNey FerNaNDeS for dtcm director of communications charlie Taylor director of media and advertising Moza al youha



Dubai’s dedicated comedy festival guarantees to have you in stitches

ensure you get the best seats in the house at Dubai’s eclectic theatres

chief editor Kerry baggoTT

28 34

overseas offices auSTralia aND New zealaND brazil aND SouTh aMerica DTcM chiNa (beijiNg)


n this ssue...



pump up the volume when Dubai’s music men take to the stage

Join the pros on Dubai’s stunning championship golf courses

DTcM chiNa (cheNgDu) DTcM chiNa (guaNgzhou) DTcM chiNa (ShaNghai) FraNce aND beNelux gerMaNy hoNg KoNg iNDia

40 44 48 54

ExtrEmE SportS

motor FEStival

BEach cluBS

takE to thE watEr

Take your sporting prowess to the max

Keep up to speed at this year’s Dubai Motor Festival

Switch off and check into the city’s private beach clubs

Step on board and cruise along the Dubai coast

iTaly japaN KiNgDoM oF SauDi arabia (jeDDah) kingdom of saudi arabia (riyadh) NorDic couNTrieS NorTh aMerica ruSSia, ciS aND balTic STaTeS SouTh aFrica SwiTzerlaND aND auSTria


4 caleNDar this season’s events revealed. Got your tickets?

6 New aND NOw New outposts, offerings and openings 8 abOut tOwN Keep up with what’s on and what’s in 10 explOre umm Suqeim’s pleasurable facets 15 #myDubai Dubai through the eyes of its creative residents 16 #myDubai pOStS candid moments captured in the emirate 62 table talK catch up with the Qbara chef 64 picture thiS historic doors of Dubai 66 a lOOK aheaD plan your next few months

u.K. aND irelaND

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SePTemBer [2015] will premiere in Dubai on 10 September at the One&Only Royal Mirage after performing across Europe.

Chinese acrobatics combines with opera and ballet in the story of sWan lake By the Great Chinese state CirCus in

Swedish clarinet player Martin Frost has worked with high-profile musicians, dancers and film makers. A chamber musician and artistic leader of the Mora Vinterfest in Sweden, he is performing on 11 September at Ductac, Mall of the Emirates.

the last event of Dubai Summer Surprises. The circus has won multiple awards all over the world. 3-5 September at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Posh Event Management is back with the 2nd edition of the BollyWood duBai liFestyle exhiBition, following on from last year’s success. 5-6 September at the Oberoi Hotel. The Dubai Concert Committee presents the FrenCh Wind Quintet, comprising Phillippe Bernold on flute, Olivier Doise on oboe, Patrick Messina on clarinet, Julien Hardy on bassoon and Herve Joulain on the horn. The quintet 4

After having sold over 25 million records, scored numerous multi-platinum albums and amassed 23 hit singles across the globe, Britain’s iconic band spandau Ballet will perform live in concert on 17 September at the Dubai World Trade Centre. First ever Middle east GaMes Convention is coming to Dubai. This treat for gamers features some of the biggest names in video games, plus the event will host a number of prominent games and demos. 17-20 September at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Ukrainian pop star ani lorak , who is also a UN goodwill ambassador, will thrill Dubai audiences with the show Karolina that celebrates her 20 years as a musician. 18 September at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

the 8th duBai

duBai MusiC Week – a

international danCe

premiere international music festival – will feature rock, pop, urban, Latin and Arabic award-winning performances over four days. 23 -26 September at the Dubai World Trade Centre. (See page 28 for more)

Festival features four

days of performances, live entertainment, workshops, themed dance parties, dance competitions, international guest DJs and more. 14-21 September at the JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort.

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There will be a number of activities, shows and fantastic firework displays all over Dubai to celebrate eid in duBai – eid al adha . The true values of Eid, giving and sharing, will be the highlight of the festival from 24 September to 2 October. Scottish musician MidGe ure , winner of a number of

Gold and Platinum records, is coming to amaze Dubai with his solo and Ultravox hits. 24 September at the Irish Village. American rock band thirty seConds to Mars

is bringing its energetic and electric performance to Dubai. Led by Oscar winning actor/musician Jared Leto, the group is performing on 25 September at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

oCToBer [2015]

Milana Chernyavska on the piano – for its first show in the Middle East. 9 October at the One&Only Royal Mirage.

the nuMaish Festive Fair

Gitex shopper attracts

returns this Diwali with established and emerging designers, brands and gifts from India, Pakistan and the UAE. 2-3 October at Conrad Dubai Hotel.

a diverse audience who return yearly for exclusive deals and bundled offers on the best technology, communication and entertainment products. 3-10 October at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

pt. vishWa Mohan Bhatt

Murray, popular for his

the duBai ConCert

quick wit, is heading to Dubai for a brand new and hilarious show on 2 October at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

CoMMittee brings the

is a renowned Grammy and Padma Shri award-winning Indian musician whose musical career spans more than four decades and 40 albums. He will play his Mohan Veena to enthralled crowds. 9 October at Ductac, Mall of the Emirates.

Bavarian Radio Piano Quartet – consisting of Daniel Nodel on violin, Benedict Hames on viola, Hanno Simons on cello and

After a successful launch in 2014, art Fair duBai is back with three days of hosting more than 30 international

English comedian al

Nov emBer [2015]

saMsunG BeaCh soCCer interContinental

welcomes the best team from each continent and attracts huge crowds from 3–7 November at Dubai’s top-class hotspot for football on the beach, The Dubai International Marine Club (Mina Seyahi). Middle east extreMe sports expo will treat fans to the best international and local equipment brands.

There will also be demos to encourage visitors to experience new activities. 5–7 November at Skydive Dubai, Dubai Marina. (See page 40 for more)

swimmers. 6–7 November at the Hamdan Sports Complex.

galleries and independent artists. 16–18 October at The Address Dubai Mall. doWntoWn desiGn, a design fair for global and regional designers, architects, collectors and enthusiasts will display works from Vitra, Herman Miller and many more renowned artists. 27-30 October at The Venue, Downtown Dubai.

reeBok spartan raCe sprint & super comes to the UAE to find the Spartan Warrior through three different levels of challenges. There will also be a junior race, live entertainment, food and beverages. 6 November at the Jebel Ali Racecourse. CharBel rouhan, a

the Fina sWiMMinG World Cup is a series of

short course swimming championships open to all Fina member countries’

Returning to Dubai after eight years, the red Bull FluGtaG gives audiences a chance to witness participants attempt to fly off a pier with homemade flying machines. 20 November at Dubai Creek Park. d u b a i

leading Oud player and master of the instrument, has won numerous awards for his work. This skilled musician is playing on 6 November at Ductac, Mall of the Emirates. ◆


New & Now

There’s a flood of new, swanky hotels and culinary landmarks making their way to Dubai. Here’s a sample for all you lifestyle junkies... Eat

la residenCe la residence, a sophisticated French restaurant from michelin-starred chef Frédéric vardon in raffles Dubai, oozes class. there’s modern art on the walls, brown leather booths, chandeliers, a beautiful dark parquet floor and candelabras. the menu contains classic French dishes, with a modern tweak here and there.

tesoro this is a romantic yet relaxed spot with low lighting, high ceilings and quirky olive trees that bring the outdoors inside at the taj hotel in Business Bay. the menu is peruvian inspired, with a sprinkling of influences from italy, india and the middle East.



CatCh asian seafood fusion is the name of the game at this exciting new restaurant that’s been imported from NYc’s cool meatpacking District. located in the Fairmont Dubai, the restaurant’s korean fried chicken is already garnering rave reviews from Dubai diners. FairMont.CoM /duBai

CraB tavern this classical american surf and turf concept restaurant, offering a mouth-watering combination of grilled meat with seafood, is located in the heart of media city. the specialties include the west coast Bucket Boil, Jumbo Shrimp cocktail and the Surf & turf salad.

jG rooM & jG kitChen Jean-Georges vongerichten, michelin chef from New York, has taken the food and beverage scene to a new level with the opening of his first dedicated middle East operation. located in the restaurant village at the front of the Four Seasons resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, the restaurant encourages sharing and includes dishes like roast wagyu tenderloin, grilled lamb chops with smoke chilli glaze and black truffle Fontina pizza. jean-GeorGes-duBai.CoM


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Flora al Barsha hotel this four-star deluxe hotel is ideal for business and leisure. the hotel advocates responsible and cultural based eco tourism without compromising on quality. with 186 rooms, plus a Jamaica Blue coffee shop, the hotel is ideally located close to the mall of the Emirates and Ski Dubai. Florahospitality.CoM

interContinental duBai Marina the intercontinental Dubai marina, which is within driving distance from Dubai marina and tourist spots like Jumeirah Beach, Dubai marina mall and Dubai media city, prides itself as a destination in itself. its 328 spacious rooms face the sea or the yachts of the Dubai marina. the nine restaurants offer international, British and continental cuisine. the hotels also features a drinks lounge, an invigorating spa, gym, steam, sauna, jacuzzi and an outdoor pool. children can enjoy the play areas in the nearby Dubai marina mall or the Beach at JBr.

hyatt reGenCy duBai Creek heiGhts this new, five-star hotel close to creek park offers panoramic views from all of its 464 rooms. For those wanting to indulge, stay at one of the two signature royal Suites that encompass two entire floors. the hotel is family-friendly with a kid’s club available on-site. the hotel also features a mexican restaurant with live weekend entertainment, gourmet graband-go food, an all-day dining restaurant, lobby lounge, pool-side bar and a rejuvenating Nysa Spa.


chic Dalloyau in MoE if it’s the sweet tooth craving, head down to Dalloyau at the Mall of the emirates and satiate yourself. Try its opera cake, religieuse de reve, Sainthonore, macaroons and chocolates. it will have you craving for more.


afé ulture

cool The Sum Of Us Situated on the ground floor of the world Trade centre, Sum of us is an airy café from the guys behind Tom & Serg café in al Quoz. The pastry selection is huge, and the breakfast dishes are hearty and filling. SuMoFuSDubai.coM


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casual Kuai This homegrown restaurant opened at jumeirah’s boxparK, an alfresco shopping district. inspired by the Far east, the menu includes traditional dishes with a modern twist and includes MSg-free and gluten-free options. Don’t miss the honey-grilled seabass, crispy oatmeal shrimp and espresso mocha ice cream. ◆


Around From shopping and gastronomy to entertainment and the arts, Dubai is brimming with cultural experiences. Take a look at what’s on offer


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ex perience

sky Bus

Dis cov er

the BeaCh house Dubai’s favourite food truck, Salt, has added an air-conditioned indoor terrace to its permanent location on kite Beach. the glass wall gives an uninterrupted view of the kite surfers doing their thing. So sit back, relax and enjoy their famous burgers in a cool environment.

‘terhab’, Dubai international airport’s phase 2 of Sky Bus, is ready to transport passengers from Dubai airport terminals 1, 2 and 3 to a network of hotels. the new bus has ample room for luggage, making it convenient for visitors. payment can be made with Nol cards that can be purchased at the airport’s information kiosks. light snacks are offered on board. duBai-Buses.CoM/skyBus.aspx

T r av e l

duBai trolley

the world’s first zero-emission, hydrogen-powered trolley has hit the streets of Dubai. this ‘hop-on hop-off’ service covers mohammed bin rashid Boulevard including Burj khalifa, the Dubai mall, Souq al Bahar and three downtown hotels. this double decker trolley operates from 4pm to midnight weekdays and 3pm to 11pm weekends. eMaar.CoM

ex perience

Gravity traMpoline park Bounce away at the Gravity trampoline park in the mall of the Emirates, the first in a shopping mall. Based in the busy and noisy magic planet, this 1200sqft foam pit promises to keep the family busy. Besides the kids’ play spaces, there is an area for dodgeball players which can accommodate two teams of eight. tuesday evening is ladies’ night. ◆ MajidalFuttaiM.CoM


take that after having eight Number one albums, 15 Number one singles and selling more than 30 million albums, Britain’s most successful live act, take that, come to Dubai on 30 october. their tours are known for having included holograms, aerialists, circus performers, robots, a wall of water, and a giant elephant. doneevents.CoM

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explore Umm SUqUeim From hotels to shopping malls, beaches to restaurants, Umm Suqueim has it all. Head there for a fun-filled day, whether it is lazing by the beach, shopping at Souq Madinat, sliding down the Wild Wadi rides or eating the catch of the day sleep

Burj al araB voted as the world’s most luxurious hotel, and Dubai’s only seven-star hotel, the Burj al arab provides suiteonly accommodation with discreet check-in within your room, a private reception on every floor and a host of personal butlers. its unique sail shape is a striking symbol of modern Dubai. Book a room and experience its unparalled hospitality. juMeirah.CoM


juMeirah BeaCh hotel Famed for its amazing value and sheer wealth of options, the Jumeirah Beach hotel with its striking wave-like design, is one of the best family hotels in Dubai. the rooms, suites and villas offer a spectacular view of the arabian Gulf and the leisure facilities include a scuba-diving centre, five swimming pools, Sinbad’s kids club, the hub for teens and complimentary, unlimited access to the wild wadi water park for hotel guests. juMeirah.CoM

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al Qasr Designed in the style of a sheikh’s summer residence, this jewel in the madinat Jumeirah crown replicates traditional royal architecture with luxurious modernity. Facilities include worldclass restaurants, bars and cafés, talise Spa and talise Fitness. Dedicated to relaxing, playing and the finer things in life, this hotel is an oasis of luxury. juMeirah.CoM


Bu Qtair craving for fried fish and prawns? head down to Bu Qtair by Jumeirah Beach and have your fill. Don’t let the portacabin with plastic tables and chairs outside, and long queues, deceive you. venture inside to taste some of the best seafood at a bargain. 055 705 2130

Mina a’salaM Experience arabian warmth and generosity at this grand boutique hotel that is ideal for families, business travellers and groups. its spacious and beautifully furnished rooms have private balconies overlooking the sea. walk along the winding walkways and experience an array of world-class restaurants, bars, cafés and talise Spa. Explore this majestic tribute to Dubai’s seafaring past. juMeirah.CoM


Reel Life

junsui Flavours of the Far East and a Swarovski crystal decorated lounge offers an opulent and spectacular culinary journey at Jinsui in Burj al arab. the eatery offers 12 live cooking stations and 45 chefs who work to create the finest selection of food, making it a meal to remember. juMeirah.CoM

the Meat Co. this waterfront steakhouse located in the heart of Souk madinat Jumeirah serves the finest steaks and seafood. complementing the meal is the view of the arabian Gulf and the famous Burj al arab hotel. Soak in the sun while watching the abras as you dine outside or opt for the cool indoors. juMeirah.CoM

Maria Bonita this famous taco shop and grill is the one and only destination for 100% mexican food on the umm al Sheif road in Jumeirah. let the experience of chef Ernesto cab vera take all of your senses for a unique journey through the uncanny flavours of original mexican cuisine.

seavieW restaurant as the name suggests, the restaurant offers a variety of seafood dishes prepared from the day’s catch (the restaurant, located by the Fishing harbour, has a licensed fishing boat). Guests can select their catch of the day and request the preparation from the masterchef’s list. Enjoy the meal and the view of the fishing harbour.


The burj al arab features in the chinese action movie Switch. parts of the film were shot at the helipad, lobby and al Falak ballroom. This has attracted thousands of chinese visitors to Dubai in the past three years, making them the top three nationalities to visit the burj al arab. every February the hotel goes red to mark the chinese New year celebrations. juMeirah.CoM

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explore Umm SUqUeim


Madinat theatre Entertainment takes centre stage at the madinat theatre from foottapping musicals and mesmerising live performances, to side-splitting standup comedy and spectacular ballet. Book online in advance to avoid disappointment. Madinattheatre.CoM

uMM suQeiM BeaCh also known as Sunset Beach, this is the perfect photo stop for snaps of the Burj al arab. hire a paddleboard and glide across the ‘seven-star’ waters. the adjacent park is popular with young families.

Wild Wadi imagine 12 acres of liquid fun, 30 adrenalin pumping rides and attractions themed around the adventures of Sinbad and Juha. highpowered jets, action-packed thrills and spills, gravity defying rides… experience all this and more at wild wadi. this child-friendly water park is home to the infamous Jumeirah Sceirah – but are you brave enough? juMeirah.CoM

In the Pipeline The Dhs2.5 billion extension of Madinat jumeirah, the arabian resort, is expected to open for business in the first quarter of 2016. when completed it will consist of a 420-room five-star hotel, a villa complex, commercial centre, restaurants with retail stores and pedestrian precinct. The villa complex will have 45 villas and a hotel apartment. besides the extension,

DiD you k now ? Souk madinat was created to resemble an ancient marketplace with a traditional middle Eastern ambience. visitors are treated to a recreation of arabia through sight, smell and sound. the souq hosts waterfront cafés, restaurants and a myriad of shops selling a variety of traditional and designer ware. the amphitheatre hosts a variety of shows and live entertainment. open seven days a week, Souq madinat is a shopping, dining and entertainment destination not to be missed. ◆ juMeirah.CoM

Full Moon yoGa By the BeaCh at talise spa on a full moon night head down to talise Spa at the madinat Jumeirah and experience total peace as your mind, body and spirit unite when you perform yoga by the beach. the soothing classical music and the sound of waves enhance the experience as you are taken on a journey of self-discovery. juMeirah.CoM


Madinat jumeirah is upgrading its pathways and landscaping to include an enhanced pedestrian experience along enriched green areas. al Muna restaurant at Mina a’Salam is also undergoing a full refurbishment that will feature a larger terrace by the waterway and enhanced décor in a contemporary arabic style with bright, vibrant colours.

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It’s all in The Address

Welcome to The Address Hotels + Resorts. Located in

the most vibrant parts of the city, The Address Hotels + Resorts is defining the global standards of luxury hospitality. From business meetings to social rendezvous. From absolute relaxation to luxurious indulgences. It’s where world-class services have been recreated to suit discerning tastes. It’s where energy surrounds you the minute you walk in. It’s chic. It’s exciting. It’s all in The Address. DOWNTOWN DUBAI | DUBAI MALL | DUBAI MARINA MONTGOMERIE DUBAI | THE PALACE DOWNTOWN DUBAI

#myDubai Dubai born soul musician Adam Baluch is a talented multi-instrumentalist. His onstage performance at Zero Gravity is spellbinding as he takes you from soul to reggae to pop. Here he shares his Dubai experiences.

Whizzing around toWn With adam

start your day ...late! I am quite the night owl. Since 80 per cent of my work is done at night my body clock is pretty sporadic. But on the days I do adjust to normal human time I really enjoy walking down Beach Road and getting a coffee or heading to the local shops. if i had only 24 hours to explore dubai i would without a shadow of a doubt head to Deira. There is such energy there. The souqs, bazaars, abras, the Creek, the landmark hotels and shopping centres... the list goes on and on. Even getting lost in the alleyways or passing by the Shiva and Krishna Mandir temple, which is just across the Creek in Bur Dubai. You can absolutely get lost for hours and hours. I remember there was a man that used to make me fruit cocktails when I was a little kid living in Dubai. I actually found him again quite a few years ago so it’s probably time for me to check and see if he is still around. After that I would have a reservation at Al Dawaar Restaurant. It’s the revolving restaurant on top of the Hyatt Regency. It’s a beautiful restaurant for a nice meal with good company and a great view that I have always enjoyed. Finally I would head back into the heart of Deira and go watch hunting, which is always fun as you never know what bargain you will find. i would stay at the Hyatt Regency Dubai ( or the Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers ( But even a tiny tucked away hotel is fine with me as I’m pretty easy going.

Aptitude In Dubai without a holiday itinerary? Check out our favourite apps to help you navigate your way around this 24-hour city.

an unforgettable place for me is Zero Gravity and all the gigs I play there on Saturdays as the resident DJ. show off by taking my friends to concerts and festivals, especially where I am performing. I played at the Ed Sheeran concert recently and a festival called Party in the Park. Dubai has an unbelievable amount of great concerts and events these days. dubai is a great place for families because it’s a melting pot of different cultures and religions. There are very few places like it in the world. You can expose yourself to many different ways of life or stay within your comfort zone. The option is always there. I think having that multi-cultured exposure as a kid definitely affected me positively as an adult.

my most recent find in Dubai was that Spinneys makes their own billtong and beef jerky. i hope it’s a new thing otherwise i’ve really been missing out. For boutique shopping at its best i have really been impressed with a lot of the shops down Beach road as there is some cool stuff going on there. For a chill fix during the hot summer months, i go to the pool at Dubai marine Beach resort and Spa and write some songs. i can handle the heat if i have got a nice cold pool to jump into. in the evenings occasionally i will go to the cinema. i love any films that are based on true stories. Dubai has some great cinemas to go to.

dubai calendar This app provides latest updates and information on all events happening in Dubai. Free on android, iphone and blackberry. walk the talk! you will be surprised with how little it takes to win people over via the melodic arabic language. whilst here, do indulge (respectfully) with some phrases. For instance, open language is more than just an app; this tablet textbook provides a user friendly, interactive and engaging way of learning arabic on the go. Marhaban!

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#MyDubai 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 world’s first autobiography of a city, over 7.8 million posts have been loaded using #Mydubai by visitors and residents of Dubai. Here are some of our favourite posts. Join in and share your stories by posting to #MyDubai on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.



@miskasitka 16

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@moalattar @aljassmii


@melkayy @7amadalhashimi


@webbytechy and @kindafolka

@amybartholomew @mactuscraig


@markseabury @x_dubai



@ mustafa_abbas


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The growing comedy scene in Dubai has led to the launch of a dedica ted festival guaranteed to have you in st itches. Are you game for a laugh? d u b a i




ubai takes its comedy very seriously, so much so that the world’s top comedy heavyweights are descending on the emirate this October for the inaugural Dubai Comedy Festival, taking place from 15-24 October. International comedy icon, Dave Chappelle (pictured right) and the new host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, will headline a 10-day programme of events, activities, promotions and appearances by local, regional and international comedians, for what is set to be the region’s largest comedy fest. Gigs, shows and performances will be taking place around Dubai Marina and JBR with a stellar lineup of local, regional and global comedy talent stepping into the spotlight. A purpose-built 4,500 seat venue at Skydive Dubai off Al Sufouh Road, will be the stage for two main gig weekends, which will include an opening night of Arabic comedy, as well as a closing weekend that will see Dave Chappelle take the stage on 22 and the 23 October, and Trevor Noah perform on Saturday 24 October. Local funny man Ali Al Sayed; Saudi Arabian YouTube sensation, Bader Saleh; Comedy Central’s Hannibal Buress and American Comedy Magician, Mac King will also feature during the festival. Other highlights include a Comedy Strip , which will host a number of unique and hilarious Comedy Nights, and free daily street performances. Along with attracting top global names, Dubai Comedy Festival will provide a platform for both

local and regional comedians to showcase their skills alongside some of the world’s top talent. One of Dubai’s first stand-up comedians, Ali Al Sayed said: “The Festival will play a key role in showcasing Dubai as a regional and international hub of comedy and entertainment, and the home of outstanding local and regional talent. The Dubai comedy scene has been growing rapidly over the last eight years and an event of this calibre is exactly what the region needs in order to establish comedy as an industry and give comedians, and the comedy scene, a global spotlight.” For more information on Dubai Comedy Festival and to register for ticket and event information, visit

Please put yer hands together for the one and only, the sensational Bader Saleh! if you’re from Saudi arabia, this face will need no introducing. as far as residents of the Kingdom are concerned, he’s their very own and number one funny man. a comic genius. but here’s the twist: his stage is his youTube channel eysh elly (which in arabic means “what is”). with over two million subscribers on youTube, and almost as many on Twitter, he’s an internet sensation across the arab world. when he launched eysh elly back in 2011 he brought something fresh to the 20

Saudi comedy scene. rather than focusing on social and governmental issues he had the novel idea of highlighting amusing youTube videos. “My show is more like the youTube police, commenting on and criticising the silly videos on youTube,” he says. “Family and close friends inspire me the most, not to mention jeddah’s multiracial humour, which is a huge part of my personality.” Today bader tours the world doing stand-up comedy shows as far afield as los angeles and Miami and, of course, closer to home

covering the whole region. and, he’s a massive fan of Dubai – check out his In a Dubai Minute videos for visitDubai where he

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‘educates’ you on the quirks of Dubai cinema, eid celebrations and those ‘only in Dubai’ attractions.

Game for a laugh Check out the comedy capers from these local comedy companies

DUBAI LAUGHING The Who and the Ha-Ha: They count themselves among the pioneers of professional comedy in the city, producing up to four live comedy shows each week across the UAE. They’ve got six full-time local comedians on their books and often host award-winning comedians from around the world. What’s On: Mark your diaries for Mondays at Serafina restaurant in Souq al Bahar, Tuesdays at Al Quoz’s Courtyard Playhouse and Wednesday at 1UP Bar in Tecom. Also keep an eye out for their Get, Set…Laugh! nights when two teams of comedians compete through a series of improvised rounds. You be the judge of the funniest team. Or how about Beat the Gong where 15 comedians attempt to survive on stage for five minutes – the audience says whether they stay or go. They’re also cutting a niche with their Racy Desi series targeting the huge South East Asian community in the UAE. Other events include the Comedy World Cup pipping one country’s sense of humour against another, and Shocking Pink, billed as the biggest and best all-girl comedy show in the Middle East. Poke Them At:

THE LAUGHTER FACTORY The Who and the Ha-Ha: Some 19 years ago, founders Gail Clough and Duncan Jones flew in some comedians for their inaugural comedy night at the Hyatt Regency. The rest as they say is history: The Laughter Factory is now the longest-running regular comedy night in the region. It was, however, when The Laughter Factory tied up with UK’s Comedy Story that the laughter never stopped rolling in. Sample this cast of comedians if you don’t believe us: Michael McIntyre, Ross Noble, Frankie Boyle, Richard Blackwood and Dara Ó Briain are just a few of the comedy stars who played The Laughter Factory before hitting the big time. What’s On: Enjoy a consistent flow of 33 comedians a year, with Dubai gigs currently hosted at the Mövenpick Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Grand Millennium TECOM, Els Club in Dubai Sports City and Zinc at the Crowne Plaza Dubai. Poke Them At: DUBOMEDY The Who and the Ha-Ha: Over seven years in the funny business with a mission to use comedy as a tool to bring people of diverse cultural, monetary and religious backgrounds together for one big laugh. As well as hosting a range of comedy nights, Dubomedy is also in the business of teaching and nurturing stand-up comedy skills at the Comedy and Urban Arts School. What’s On: Check out the Improv Nights to see how quick witted and clever the cast can be, while its Funny Girls shows demonstrate how the female of the species can have you in stiches. Consult the website for its upcoming stand-up shows across the city and do watch their comedy sketches, all written, filmed, acted and produced by the Dubomedy team. Poke Them At:

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Cackle Corner with Ali Al Sayed probably one of Dubai’s most successful homegrown comedy talents is that of ali al Sayed. ali is the co-founder of Dubomedy, the premiere comedy and urban arts school in the region offering professional training in comedy, from stand-up and sketch, improvisation, writing and performance, character development and acting, arabic comedy, circus skills and so much more. Dubomedy’s mission is to use comedy as a tool to bring people of diverse cultures, religions and financial means together and as such, this famous emirati travels the world, performing in destinations from Toronto to uganda. offering his expertise, ali has teamed up with the Dubai comedy Festival. we catch up with him for a bit of a banter: Tell us about how the comedy scene in Dubai has changed? it has changed a lot, i remember when we started in 2008, it was very difficult to even get any of the venues to let us do a comedy night with local comedians. Now there are plenty of comedy nights happening across the city and the audience is hungry and looking for laughs. How is being funny here different from being funny in, say, New York City or Hong Kong or Sydney? on the one hand it’s tougher because you have such a big mix of people from around the world. but on the other it’s easy for me because this is my city and i know what goes on here. i always joke about how my best friend growing up was Dubai… i’m from that generation that witnessed the change and development from sand to skyscrapers… Doing shows in Dubai prepares you for doing shows all over the world because the audience here is so multicultural and diverse.

york at the Muslim Funny Fest. it was an honour to be a part of something this important. being able to use comedy as a vehicle to break stereotypes and put a positive light on Muslims was great. None of us expected the media to take such a big interest. it was pretty refreshing to see Muslims making people laugh on uS news channels. Tell us the one quintessential Dubai joke! well it depends on the time of the year. when it’s eid holiday comedians refer to The Dubai Mall as Saudi arabia… a well-known emirati personality pulled me aside about five years ago and said to me, “ali, emiratis wear really expensive watches but are always late”.

How would you rate the Dubai audience? The Dubai audience is awesome. i’m one of those comedians that likes to do a lot of crowd work, and in Dubai, you just will Never know what to expect… it’s so much fun. What impact has comedy had on the overall culture in Dubai? one of the best things about comedy is its ability to start a conversation. it breaks the ice. as a comedian from Dubai, many people have a long list of questions to ask me from culture to food to places to go and even family… as long as you stay relevant and genuine, you’re doing your job. i was recently on the stage in New


Tell us the one Dubai cliché you love using in your gigs? when travelling, the cliché is that people from Dubai have so much money they buy everything. i just did a show in New york, i was wearing a yankees jersey and opened with the line: “i bought the yankees”, which got a huge laugh… i then followed up with “we’re changing everybody’s jerseys… Tomorrow you’ll see a rod [their star player] with the name a-rab on his jersey”. ◆ d u b a i



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Across the city, performers are limbering up to step into the limelight and entertain. We take you on a tour of Dubai’s eclectic theatreland to discover what’s on


e it a bold, new premiere or an inventive interpretation of a Shakespearean classic, Dubai’s theatre scene is now second to none. Like the city’s landscape, it has evolved too. Gone are the days when Dubai was only known to import foreign productions. It now boasts world-class homegrown productions, which are becoming increasingly popular with the crowds. “The idea that ‘something brought from outside is sure to be good’ is an archaic one when it comes to theatre,” says Liz Hadaway, organiser of the Dubai Theatre Meetup Group, a community of theatre lovers performing at studio spaces around the city. Liz is also the Festival Director of the Short+Sweet Dubai Theatre Festival, a global festival brand, presenting theatre, dance, cabaret, and song festivals around the world. Changing the world into a more creative one, “ten minutes at a time” is the festival’s vision. Have they been able to change Dubai? “When we started out in 2012, theatre venues were very few,” reminisces Liz, “while staging our first


idden Gem

production I thought we’d be lucky to get 10 people. We got 55!” The group came up with a unique solution: using “site specific installations” or open spaces in Dubai as actual backdrops or props for theatre. “Can you imagine what stunning backdrops we have here?” The task has not been easy though, but Dubai’s cross-cultural and multi-lingual quality lends itself to a lot of experimentation. “Who would’ve thought the city to have such a strong Emirati theatre scene,” says Liz, referring to the Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre, a one-of-a-kind initiative of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, aimed at nurturing and showcasing local talent. The diversity and quality of the city’s theatrical talents come to life on several stages. The beautiful Madinat Theatre, hidden away among the labyrinth of lanes of the Madinat Souk, hosts shows of every genre; the Dubai World Trade Centre pulls in the large crowds for its headline hitting, spectacular shows, while the Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre stages local and international drama groups at its thriving community theatre.

courtyard playhouse one of Dubai’s best kept secrets, this little gem of a theatre is tucked away in the foyer of The courtyard in al Quoz – a complex of art galleries, interior design shops and artistic studios. with only 58 seats (with additional beanbags for those sell-out shows) this cosy, red-velvet venue is a community initiative. its last season saw a tie-up with the National Theatre live and the MeT opera live hD, which brings the very best of international music and theatre to Dubai audiences. it offers a complete mix of stand-up comedy shows, improv, opera and theatre. last season saw plays including Of Mice and Men, Treasure Island, Figaro and Frankenstein. inFo: Courtyardplayhouse.CoM

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kiDDie Business a larGe portion of Dubai’s theatre lovers are children and two of the city’s largest theatre venues, madinat theatre and Dubai community theatre & arts centre (Ductac) are making sure their smaller guests are

spoilt for choice. “childrens’ shows are always sold out here,” says christophe hobeika, marketing manager at the madinat Jumeirah. “Examples like George’s Marvellous Medicine and The Grufallo are much

awaited amongst the young ones from all nationalities.” Ensconced among its grand columns and plush tiered red velvet seats, madinat theatre boasts performances that are “intimate and allow the audience to really interact

with the performers,” especially when it comes to stand-up comedy, which is growing in popularity among older audiences. Dance shows on the other hand have proven extremely popular with audiences of all ages.

upCoMinG shoWs at Madinat theatre The Gruffalo – 29 September to 3 october Haaye Akhtari – 18-19 September The Woman in Black – 10-16 october Mirage Resurfaces – 23 october The Sussical musical – 28-30 october Dubai Festival of Youth Theatre 2015 – 3-13 November Mentalist Show – 26 -28 November inFo: MadinatjuMeirah.etixduBai.CoM

short+sWeet duBai the biggest little play festival in the world comes to Dubai each year. a not-for-profit organisation registered in australia, Short+Sweet runs the largest festival of 10-minute plays in the world as well as educational workshops and training programmes for schools and the wider community. it was a huge success last year and theatre lovers can be assured of some quick-witted and inspiring thespian genius. For this year’s complete lineup visit: shortandsWeet.orG/neWs/sChedule-announCed-shortsWeet-duBai-2015


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the middle East will see the great Chinese State Circus perform its version of Swan Lake for the first time ever. don’t miss it from 3-5 September at the dubai World trade Centre.

T platform and will have an educational nature. we seek to nurture the local community scene and the upcoming season will see some new projects with regards to this.” children are Ductac’s most important and loyal clients (so to speak). Naturally, the centre has grand plans for them.

the act Nothing had prepared us for this, because how else can we explain to you the utterly enthralling experience of being on the 42nd and 43rd floor of the Shangri-la in what is one of the highest theatres in the world. yes, it was a high – steeped in a décor that merged bohemian victorian grunge with las vegas-inspired razzmatazz. we thought David lynch might have overdone it with the giant rabbits in Inland Empire, until we entered the sensory kaleidoscope that The act Dubai offers: thus we chomped on some impeccable peruvian dishes (the ceviches are to die for) and were dazzled by a chanteuse with a troupe of arabesque-contorting waifs, Kraftwerk-inspired robots and of course, the giant rabbits who are more than willing to take a selfie with you. This is one kooky warren you must dig deeper into because as they say in Dubai, “it’s showbiz or no biz.”

inFo: duCtaC.orG

inFo: theaCtduBai.CoM


Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre a one-of-a-kind modern, cross-community centre, Ductac is one of Dubai’s primary theatre venues. located on the second floor of mall of the Emirates and spanning some 7,424sq m the venue includes, a 543-seat theatre, a 151-capacity studio theatre, a visual arts gallery, dance and rehearsal studios,

october will see the launch of a brand new theatre venue in Dubai. the Junction intends to focus on providing a space for various performing arts groups in Dubai. it plans to have a fully-equipped

food and beverage facilities, art studios and workshops and classrooms conducting pottery, sculpture and mosaic workshops. the centre is a not for profit one and is “currently in talks about a non-profit festival for local Gcc talent,” says Elizabeth crowder, head of programming. “it will be a multi-language

ried & Tested

stage and seating capacity for 160 people and will be located in the city’s arty alserkal avenue. the venue intends to start out with a concept that focuses on women. “we will be opening with the Queens of Drama festival, a womencentric theatrical event. there are some wonderful pieces which are part of it, including the female version of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple,” say rashmi kotriwala, akansha Goenka and Jyoti Burman, cofounders and owners of the Junction.

later in the year, the venue plans to host Backstage, Dubai’s most active community theatre group, as its performs 7 Interviews followed by henrik ibsen’s Pillars of Society. Founders of the Junction believe that community theatre in Dubai has grown from doing one or two plays a year to now having over 10 full length plays. “this only includes the Dubai-based English speaking groups,” says kotriwala, “if we include regional language

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groups, short plays or plays from other parts of the uaE, this number goes substantially higher. Furthermore, this number goes up if we include professional theatre that visits the city annually. i think a lot of credit for this has to be given to organisations like Dubai culture who have fostered theatre in Dubai. another notable contribution has come from the local theatre festivals like Short+Sweet which have played a key part in bringing organisations together.” ◆ 27


Dubai thrives on music whether it’s a sell-out concert for an A-list chart topper or a two-piece local band playing its regular restaurant slot. So much so that it even has a whole week dedicated to tunes during the forthcoming Dubai Music Week


Pumping up the Volume

ove over New York, Dubai is the latest hotbed for a wide variety of international music. With the likes of One Direction, John Legend, and The Killers now including Dubai on their global tours, not to mention a host of Indian and Arabic stars, the city is fast becoming a fixture on the international music scene. And that’s not all, Dubai also boasts an eclectic grassroots music scene that showcases some of the finest locallybased talent. Tucked away in a dusty niche of Al Quoz is The Fridge, an award-winning entertainment agency that offers a venue to some of the UAE’s most


talented local musicians. The agency has been in the business for over eight years now but apparently it wasn’t all smooth sailing. “Earlier, the biggest problem in Dubai was a dedicated venue for showcasing local talent,” says Shelley Frost, founder of The Fridge. “So we created our own performance venue that could hold over 200 people.” As for scouting talent, the agency hosts weekly live auditions at its warehouse space in Alserkal Avenue. “The Fridge is brave and constantly has its finger on the pulse in everything we do, from the way we

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run the business to the type of artists we sign or the shows we produce,” explains Frost. The cultural diversity of their audiences has never been an obstacle, adds Frost. “Dubai is a fast-paced city that is constantly developing. With its intense mix of cultures, nationalities, opinions and interests, one is spoilt for choice with the constant exposure to A-list artists. However, that leaves many of us living here hungry for a connection to homegrown and regional talent. It doesn’t have to be a big artist with a guitar on stage; it could be with three harps and an Arabic goatskin bagpipe at our Concert Series,” she says.

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Vibes Ismat Abidi, also known as ‘Izzy’, is the Founder and Creative Director of Freshly Ground Sounds, an independent music initiative aiming to bring together a community of local musicians and music lovers, highlighting the UAE’s creative music scene. Few know that she is also a practising lawyer. Izzy grew up in the UAE from the age of five but aged 18 she moved to London to attend law school. Music was put on the backburner. She returned to Dubai two years ago and started Freshly Ground Sounds. “The gap here for access to independent, local music, was apparent to me as was the lack of a community to bring these two together,” says Izzy. “There are cover bands but no platforms to create original local music. So I got a few musicians together, did a bit of branding, set up an email account and that has turned into Freshly Ground Sounds today.” According to Izzy, Dubai is no longer a city full of imports. There is an increasing demand for originality and variety, especially in music. Apart dubai music from Freshly there are collectives like Analog Room and DUST DXB, who are making a positive week 2015 impact on the music scene here. lineup What does it take to get on stage? “We just watch out for allow and encourage everything other than Dubai Music playing cover music. No auditions. Every musician week, one of the is welcome. Be it a student or a 40-year-old region’s biggest housewife,” says Izzy. Then, of course, there are the acts that have to music conventions be enticed on stage by a very large pay cheque. this September. Nobody knows that better than Thomas Ovesen, The four-day-long COO of Done Events, one of Dubai’s largest event will run at events and live entertainment companies. the Dubai world According to him, Dubai has achieved Trade centre tremendous successes in carving a niche for itself from 23 and on the map of international music, but it has plans 26 September to keep growing.


ound check

CluB se7en

this funky Filipino club with a very talented 10-piece house band will never disappoint if you’re looking to party with good live music. the food is an added perk.

park reGis krin kin hotel, Bur duBai


the MusiC rooM

as you cozy up to the warm lights at the music room, it astounds you with some of the greatest live band performances, including international veterans as well as fresh local visiting acts. MajestiC hotel toWer, Bur duBai

jazz@pizzaexpress Garden

a slick six-member abba-esque band of singers called uptown plays at this popular venue. catch them in action on tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays if you’re a fan of soul classics, pop hits or even some good old rock. Cluster a, juMeirah lake toWers

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“Dubai’s music scene has changed for the better, as we now have better ticketing service providers and fantastic rental companies,” says Ovesen. “While we have some really great and interesting venues, there are also exciting plans ahead to build an arena and indoor purpose-built venues. This will be a game changer.” Ovesen is cagey about which international acts will grace Dubai’s stages soon. What he does give away though are the names of the two stars he would really like see perform here: Bruce Springsteen and U2. Perhaps it’s time for a trip to Dubai, Bono, you may just find what you’ve been looking for.

the Marharlika CaFé

this quaint, often dimly-lit café tucked away in karama is a gem when it comes to live music. we guarantee you won’t be in your chair for long once the house band starts pumping out its cover rock anthems. president hotel, karaMa

the MusiChall

as much a theatre as a restaurant where dinner, dance and drama collide. the tiered tables mean you get a perfect view of the stage where up to 10 musicians perform in one night. zaBeel saray, palM juMeirah



ajor festivals


Why we love it: the chilled-

out vibe – they even give you picnic blankets to set up camp on the lawns. The low down: up to six concerts take place over two days kicking off early afternoon at Dubai media city amphitheatre. Line up: previous acts included Joss Stone, Diana krall, kasabian, Jessie ware, craig David. Info: may; Dubai media city amphitheatre; party in the park Why we love it: a fantastic day out for grooving, dancing, singing and dining is guaranteed at this exciting multi-stage festival. The low down: the lowdown: the day-long festival from 2pm until midnight features eclectic, thrilling music by awardwinning international artistes in the breezy outdoors of the Dubai media city amphitheatre. Line up: previous acts included lily allen, richard ashcroft, the ting tings, Freshlyground. Info: November; Dubai media city amphitheatre; partyinthepark/

duBai jazz Festival Why we love it: it’s so much more than just jazz! Started in 2003, the festival turnout has quadrupled. The low down: this multiday festival sees world-class artists with “a unique take on jazz, pop and rock”. this year saw six award-winning nights, three sold-out nights and more than 35,000 fans for the main gigs. Line up: previous acts included Santana, Sting, Jason mraz, Jamie cullum. Info: February; Dubai media city amphitheatre; redFest

Why we love it: the twoday grand music festival also offers some of the best street food in the region! moreover, there are plenty of eye-catching pop-ups, a promenade boutique market and a creative arts and crafts zone. The low down: launched in 2014 with top stars like the lumineers and Jessie J taking to the main stage, it is now one of Dubai’s favourite music festivals. Line up: the Script, iggy azalea, Bastille, Jeremih,

rita ora, tinie tempah and John Newman have performed. plus, closing DJ sets from some of the world’s biggest DJs including mark ronson and Zane lowe. Info: February; Dubai media city amphitheatre; Groove on the Grass

Why we love it: this

year saw a delicious new concept of a barbeque brunch with an artistic and activity-filled twist. The low down: Some of the world’s most talented electronic music artists come together to create an electrifying environment. Line up: previous acts included ida Engberg, Gaiser, Barem and some surprise local artists as well. Info: march; Emirates Golf club; sensation

Why we love it: if you are

a lover of dance and body movement then you just can’t miss this one. The low down: touted as

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‘the world’s leading dance event’, the second edition of Sensation promises to be bigger and better this year. they are trying to create a magical underwater world called ‘ocean of white’. Line up: Some of the best dancers in the world and a backdrop of flames shooting from the ceiling, jellyfish on the dance floor... they all promise to enthral you and dazzle your senses. Info: 30 october 2015 meydan racecourse; dxBeaCh

Why we love it: Doors open at noon and the party goes on till the wee hours of the next morning! The low down: in april this year, a new alfresco festival in Dubai turned the previously unused beach area at Skydive Dubai’s Zero Gravity into an unforgettable party venue. Line up: Earlier this year mark ronson and Jess Glynn topped the bill with DJs Danny howard and John Dahlbäck performing alongside local talent. Info: april, Skydive Dubai’s Zero Gravity; ◆



“I DON’t hIDe the fACt I’M ReAlly fOND Of DuBAI; It’s A speCIAl plACe AND sOMeWheRe I CAll My ‘hOMe fROM hOMe’. thAt AffINIty steMMeD fROM My tIMe heRe As AN AMAteuR AND hAs stAyeD WIth Me eveR sINCe.” Rory McIlroy – World No.1 and two-time Omega Dubai Desert Classic winner


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hole in one Dubai is on every golfer’s ‘must do’ list with its superb championship courses, highprofile tournaments and fantastic weather

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olf in Dubai is booming like never before. In 2014, an unprecedented four major professional golf tours concluded their seasons in the emirate. The inaugural Dubai Open at the Els Club brought the year’s Asian Tour to a finish, the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters concluded the Ladies European Tour campaign at the Emirates Golf Club, the European Challenge Tour signed off at Al Badia Golf Club and, biggest of all, the DP World Tour Championship brought another thrilling conclusion to the European Tour calendar with Henrik Stenson’s successful trophy defence at the Jumeirah Golf Estates. Long viewed as a bright new up-andcomer, it is time to recognise Dubai as an established, world-class golf destination in its own right. It is home to at least a dozen outstanding golf courses and a ‘desert swing’ series that that closes the European Tour season with the Race to Dubai – won in recent years by World No.1 Rory McIlroy and former World No.2 Henrik Stenson. It all began as recently as 1988, when the Majlis at the Emirates Golf Club

Ernie Else, a 12 times champion, at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic

became the first ever grass course in the Middle East. Before Emirates, expat golfers played on sand courses featuring putting ‘browns’, many of which still retain a small band of hardcore enthusiasts today. On days when dusty shamal winds blew in from the desert, there are tales of holes shifting 20 yards overnight, and of golfers taking the wrong sand track home and ending up in another emirate. It’s probably fair to say that golf in the UAE would never have taken off

tournaMent talk DP world tour championship, Jumeirah Golf estates 19-22 November, 2015 the richest event on the European tour schedule pits the top 60 players in the race to Dubai against one another on the stunning Earth course. with a rich history of dramatic finishes, this free-to-enter event was ranked the most popular of all the European tour fixtures in the middle East in a Golf Digest survey.

omega Dubai Ladies Masters, Majlis course, emirates Golf club 9-12 December, 2015 the showpiece event on the ladies European tour schedule has a worldclass roll of honour, with chinese major winner Shanshan Feng bagging her second title at Emirates Golf club last year. the tournament hosts its 10th edition in December and is held in high regard by players, sponsors and spectators alike.

were it not for the arrival of the Dubai Desert Classic. With the European Tour seeking to expand its boundaries to include warmer climes and increase the length of the season, the inaugural tournament in 1989 marked the first time a European Tour event had been held anywhere outside the continent. When the great Seve Ballesteros swashbuckled his way to victory in 1992, golf and Dubai were worldwide news. That set the scene every March when the Emirates Golf Club became

omega Dubai Desert classic, Majlis course, emirates Golf club 4-7 February, 2016 the oldest and most important golf tournament in the middle East, the phenomenally successful Dubai Desert classic paved the way for other tournaments and the growth of the game in general in this region. most of the modern golfing greats have won here, from tiger woods to Ernie Els and rory mcilroy. the majlis is among the best loved courses on tour, and the field is always top quality when the European tour visits Emirates Golf club.

other important events:

n The MeNa golf Tour was established by golf in Dubai in 2011 and continues to do a great job in

providing a platform for young amateurs and professionals in the region to advance their playing careers and gain new opportunities. running from September to November in 2015, the MeNa Tour visits Dubai creek golf & yacht club and al badia golf club among other top venues in the region. n The european challenge Tour has held its finale at al badia golf club for the past two years. This

year the event will move to the Dubai golf managed almouj golf in Muscat, oman. d u b a i



perFeCt your play

Martin Kaymer tees-off the greens

the favourite hunting ground for some of the biggest names in the sport. Greg Norman, Nick Faldo and Fred Couples all played, before the all-conquering Tiger Woods made his debut in 2001. “The Omega Dubai Desert Classic’s significance goes well beyond attracting the world’s leading players and promoting the city around the world. It can lay claim to being the catalyst that has made the Middle East a golfing paradise,” says Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman and CEO of Golf in Dubai. Between 2002 and 2007, Dubai experienced a property boom like nothing ever witnessed before. And with each

high-end residential community came a quality golf course. The Montgomeire provided the backdrop for Emirates Hills, while the eponymous Els Club, designed by the 2013 Open champ, winds its way through the colourful villas at Victory Heights. Greg Norman added two courses, Earth and Fire to Jumeirah Golf Estates. Increasingly, Dubai has become a must-tick box on the diehard travelling golfer’s bucket list. It has trophy courses, guaranteed perfect weather from October through until May and remarkable accessibility. In a competitive world where every experience has to stand apart, this may just be the clincher.

testing tees majilis, 8th hole arguably the most challenging hole on the course is the par 4, dogleg 8th. at a full 434 yards, it plays uphill so it requires a long and accurate second shot to make the green, where a three putt is a possibility. earth course, 18th hole This uphill 651-yard par 5 has a meandering water stream, which runs the entire length of the centre of the fairway and around half of the green. it’s in play on every single shot and almost all of the fairway runs toward it.


Dubai’s golf academies are staffed by fully-qualified pGa professionals that cater for your needs with one-hour individual lessons or group clinics. they offer a selection of lesson programmes or a programme can be personally tailored to suit both your ability and schedule. the academy at the address Montgomerie +971 4 390 5600 or email academy Butch harmon school of Golf at the els club + 971 4 425 1040 or email reservations@ Dubai creek Golf academy +971 4 295 6000 or email areservations@

the montgomerie, 13th hole The par 3 13th, a hole designed in the shape of the uae, boasts a 360 degree teeing area around an island fairway and green, allowing for a completely different golf hole to be played every time.

the Dubai Golf academy, emirates Golf club +971 4 417 9845 or email emiratesacademy@

al badia golf club, 18th hole This par 5 offers spectacular views of the Dubai skyline. it also has a lake on the left and numerous bunkers on the right. longer hitters can take on the point bunker, but a safer route can be taken by playing the hole in three shots.

tour academy, Jumeirah Golf estates + 971 4 375 9999 or email wayne.johnson@ ◆

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Situated on the prestigious Sheikh Zayed Road and minutes away from some of Dubai’s key locations. Offering elegantly styled rooms with unrivalled views accompanied by modern facilities, inimitable hospitality and outstanding service. P.O. Box 191055, Dubai, United Arab Emirates T: +971 (0) 4 387 7777 | Fax: +971 (0) 4 438 7778

extreme Sports

Take iT To The

Dubai is renowned for its excess – but when it comes to sport, it takes it to the extreme. If you’ve got the bottle, the stamina and the desire for a death-defying adventure, then Dubai has the extreme sporting challenge for you


t’s no secret that the Crown Prince of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, is a selfconfessed and world-renowned adrenaline junkie. He sets the standards to which all other daredevils aspire. When Dubai won its bid to host the World Expo in 2020, Fazza, as he is locally known, flew the UAE flag from the pinnacle of the Burj Khalifa some 830m high. He is also the muscle behind Skydive Dubai, the company that performs aweinspiring jumps almost 4,000m above what is considered one of the world’s top drop zones, Palm Jumeirah. The recently-initiated XDubai brings talented professionals and athletes to explore their passion for extreme sports in the emirate. Skydive Dubai is also the backbone behind Dubai’s base jumping record, which created headlines around the world. Equally death-defying is the latest sport of wingsuiting that is taking the emirate by storm. For the uninitiated, wingsuiting is similar to base jumping, but once the jumper pulls on their cord, they glide through the air at an angle, instead of heading straight for the ground. It’s the closest you can get to being Superman, which explains its growing popularity.


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extreme Sports


nsurprisingly, the Crown Prince was part of the Breitling team that wingwalked over Dubai back in December 2014. With world-class facilities, and even better views, it’s no wonder that the city has become the centre of the sport. Another legend of aerial sports is Noah Bahnson, one of the best wingsuit pilots in the world – he now teaches the sport at Skydive Dubai. A veteran of more than 10,000 skydives and 700 base jumps, this is a man you want by your side when you are sailing through the air.

kiTesurfing has long been popular in Dubai – There’s even a beach nameD afTer iT Proof of the unstoppable rise of extreme air sports can be seen with the hugely popular World Air Games that takes place in Dubai at the start of December. Hundreds of competitors from around the world will be competing in disciplines ranging from Formation Skydiving to Accuracy Landing and Freestyle Skydiving. Of course, there’s as much fun to be had on the water and the city has long

been associated with all manner of watersports. Kitesurfing has long been popular in Dubai – there’s even a beach named after it. For the uninitiated, the sport is a combination of windsurfing, gymnastics, paragliding and surfing – in short, it’s a total blast. There are lots of companies that will train you, rent you the gear and get you on the water, most of which are located in Jumeirah.


nother mainstay of the local watersports scene is the XCAT World Series, a global series of extreme catamaran races that has taken the world by storm. Formed in Dubai, the XCAT World Series sees competitors from around the world vie to be crowned the king of speed reaching up to 120mph on a ‘track’ as rough as any off-road motorsport. Further James Bond-esque sports are available via companies such as Searide Dubai. Thrill seekers should try water skiing, flyboarding or hoverboarding. You may remember the hoverboard from the Back To The Future movies, but believe us when we say they are very real. Connected to a jetski turbine by a pipe, the rider can do flips, tricks and get up to 10m in height. This has to be seen to be believed!


ot all the extreme fun takes place on the water. Dubai has long made use of the desert that surrounds it, and for those in the know, the dunes that encroach on the city are their weekend playground. While some prefer the relative safety of dune bashing in a 4x4, others like to go that bit further. The Motocross scene in Dubai is booming, with the


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27 april 2014

guinness world record title of the highest base Jump from the tallest building Skydive Dubai sponsored Soul Flyers world champions Fred Fugen and vince reffet when they took the first leap off the burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building at 828m.

13 april 2015

base Jumping with the world’s biggest urban Zipline Skydive Dubai hooked up with the red bull air Force to pull off some of the most extreme base jump exits ever seen, all of them off the princess Tower, the world’s second tallest residential building, 414 metres above Dubai. The base jumpers used 10 kilometres of zipline for extreme exits.

MX-Academy leading the way when it comes to dirt biking. Training and gear (and the bikes) are all provided and even if you have never ridden a bike before, you can soon be out conquering the dunes. With Dubai defying the odds and creating a world-class city from scratch, it’s no surprise that the world’s best athletes want to defy their own personal odds right here. So the next time you are travelling through the city, make sure and look up. Past the spectacular skyline, under the shining sun, you might just make out this new generation of sporting superheroes.

naBeel MerChant, parkour CoaCh

How did you get into parkour ? i discovered it in a park in thailand several years ago. During my short stay i joined in with some athletes who were doing it and that’s where my addiction to the art started. What’s the difference between parkour and freerunning? in both, practitioners run, climb and jump to move through an area, which is often a landscape crowded with obstacles. the two activities share

many techniques, but have different goals and philosophies. parkour is about going from a to B in the fastest, fluent and efficient way possible; freerunning sees the incorporation of acrobatics and gymnastics. How fit do you have to be ? there is no particular age or fitness level to start. Slow and progressive training and a positive attitude is all it takes. Is it dangerous? No. if trained correctly with proper guidance and with proper progression, you can overcome your mental blocks and make your mind stronger. Gyms like Gravity Dxb start with teaching the basics indoors first before going


sk The experTs

out to train in urban environments.

How is the scene in Dubai ? it’s really gaining momentum. as well as being a parkour coach at Gravity DxB, i also run parkour Dubai community ( parkourDubai) to bring athletes together. we meet for weekly ‘jams’ in the city parks or at Gravity gym.

try it out

Discover more at Dubai’s first parkour gym: gravity calisthenics in al Quoz 4.

arturo aMador, skydive proFessional Tell us about the history of Skydive Dubai? Skydive Dubai was established in 2010 by its patrons to promote skydiving to uaE nationals, expats and tourists. Skydive Dubai was showcased in 2010 by the first Dipc (Dubai international parachuting championship) when international teams came to compete for this new title at palm Jumeirah. Extreme sports seem to be more popular than ever - why? we think that’s because our sport is so visually spectacular. For example, Skydive Dubai has the amazing palm and skyscraper backdrop. What sort of training do the instructors at Skydive Dubai get? all Skydive Dubai instructors hold international instructors licences which are all recognised by the Fédération aéronautique internationale and all civil aviation authorities. we also carry

regular continuation training and development by ‘in house’ and external examiners periodically. Why has Dubai been so central to the sport in recent times? Due to our patrons’ visions and passion and the financial input, we have created the most cutting-edge facilities and brought the best of the best from around the world to show how we can achieve great things not just in Dubai but try it out internationally, Drop by Skydive Dubai collaborating and get all the equipment, training and help needed to with major make your first jump. associated brands. d u b a i

MohaMMed Balooshi, MotoCross ChaMpion Can you explain MotoCross for those who don’t know it? to say motocross is off-road motorcyle racing is too simplistic. it combines many elements: fitness, strength, courage and intelligence. You have to be smart to learn how to react to many different situations. You also have to be an adrenaline junkie to do it. it’s a lot of fun and is suitable for all ages and genders. How can people get started with MotoCross? You need the proper training, as this will shorten the learning curve. the most important thing is safety and doing some mx basic classes, which focus on the basic riding manoeuvres and safety riding. How has the sport grown in Dubai? it has become a lot bigger, and it’s still growing. when you are on the bike you feel alive and you never get bored of doing it, and that’s the reason it’s so popular here. Why is Dubai so great for MotoCross? at the mx-academy we have a great track to learn on. and once your skills are in place, nothing beats a desert ride across the emirate’s immaculate dunes. ◆

try it out

head out with the team from Mx-Dubai, who provide all training and equipment to ensure a safe, and fun experience.



Wild Wheels Keep up to speed at this year’s Dubai Motor Festival, 10-21 November


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upercars, monster trucks, customised pocket rockets, luxury rides, unique head turners and boom boxes on wheels – Dubai has them all. The passion for performance, beauty, throaty exhaust notes and high-octane fuel runs deeply though the veins of the emirate. Leading the pack are the Emiratis, as a weekend excursion to the desert proves. Roaring up a sheer sand dune in a 4X4 isn’t challenging enough. The sons and daughters of the desert do it in reverse. And the expatriates aren’t far behind in this automotive feast. Thanks to an import tax of only 10 per cent, Dubai is the place where you can afford your dream car. According to BMI Research, the emirate’s population of around 2.2 million bought 425,000 vehicles in 2014. But don’t take our word on it, come see for yourself! The third edition of the Dubai Motor Festival (10-21 November) is where an automotive hedonist’s dream comes true. This citywide celebration is Exhibit A when it comes to Dubai’s automotive passion and reinforces its reputation as the motoring capital of the Middle East. From 10-14 November the biannual Dubai International Motor Show, 23 per cent larger this year, takes over 80,000sqm of Dubai World Trade Centre’s Zabeel Halls. McLaren, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche and every other top manufacturer

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will be there. Word of warning, leave your wallet at home. The tempting beauties on display here have undone many a budget. The Dubai International Rally – the final leg of the eight race, eight-country FIA Middle-East Rally Championship – will be tearing through the desert from 20-21 November. Mohammed Bin Sulayem, a 14-time FIA Middle East rally champion and President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, holds this event close to his heart. “I’m very happy that the Dubai International Rally has become one of the main attractions of the Dubai Motor Festival which, as it grows in the years ahead, can do more and more to send a positive image of the emirate around the world,” he says. “The festival adds to Dubai’s reputation for creating events that are enjoyed by visitors from around the world, and at home, and this is something that we have always set out to achieve over the years with the Dubai International Rally.” While the Dubai International Motor Show and the Dubai International Rally mainly appeal to serious petrol heads, the other events of the Dubai Motor Festival are more family friendly. The headline act is the Dubai Grand Parade, which set a Guinness World Record for the largest number of cars in a single motorcade last year. More than 600 luxury cars, comprising of 58 automotive marques, took



“DuBAI hAs A pAssION fOR All thINgs AutOMOtIve” Ken Block a drive around Dubai’s iconic streets. In true Dubai style, this year’s parade promises to be even more spectacular. Heading it will be Dubai Police’s amazing fleet of green and white supercars that includes a Bugatti Veyron, McLaren MP4-12C, Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari FF and Bentley Continental GT. Each supercar is worth more than Dhs1 million ($270,000). At the heart of the action is the Motor Village at Meydan, which hosts an array of events that inspire, thrill, entertain and educate. You can watch tyres go up in smoke as the region’s best drifters compete to

become the ‘King of Drift’, try a full-motion racing simulation experience, play interactive games, take selfies with numerous exotic cars or simply enjoy the event-filled programme that seriously demonstrates Dubai’s passion for motoring. visit For the latest updates

whiZZ around the track with ken block xDubai, which is committed to strengthening Dubai’s position as an action sports destination, added uS-based hoonigan racing Division’s Ken block to its roster of stellar athletes earlier this year. block began his rally career in 2005 and was named rookie of the year that season in the rally america championship. Since then, block has continued to race in the series, racking up numerous 46

overall wins, as well as plenty of podium appearances. he’s also accumulated five x games medals since the start of his career, including most recently taking silver at global x games barcelona rallycross in 2013. in addition

to his performance in the car, block has been a driving force in promoting the sport of rally within the united States. “Dubai has a passion for all things automotive,” says block. “i had a blast there, so i’m looking forward to heading back over. we’ve got some fun demo appearances planned for later in the year with my Ford Mustang hoonicorn rTr from gymkhana SeveN.” Block will be in Dubai on 20-21 November to show off his motoring skills.

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Get a free riDe Dubai style During the Dubai motor Festival you can catch the ride of your life in a motoring icon – for free! the Supercar taxi fleet – which includes marques such as rollsroyce, Bentley, Ferrari and lamborghini – will be patrolling areas near Dubai’s famous landmarks to offer tourists and residents a unique chauffeur-driven service within city limits. the passengers are chosen at random for this fabulous opportunity to experience the luxury of a Dhs1 million plus vehicle. ◆

Beach Clubs

Blue Sky Thinking

A day at a Dubai beach means so much more than sand and sea. Check out the city’s private beach clubs and tap into a host of luxurious facilities, exhilarating watersports and delicious restaurants Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa The Vibe: good things come in small packages. at just 60 metres wide, what the beach lacks, the pool area makes up for with two adult pools and one for children, plus plenty of room for numerous loungers. The Perks: your day pass allows you to mix beach fun with some body toning at the gym followed by a delicious buffet lunch at Taverna restaurant. The X factor: This beach club rarely gets too packed, meaning it’s apt for those who like to truly chill. Prices: weekdays Dhs145 for adults and Dhs70 for children; Fri Dhs225 and

Dhs100 for kids; Sat Dhs200 and Dhs100 for children. Jumeirah Beach Road, 8am to 7pm, 04 346 1111,

Rixos The Palm The Vibe: poised at the end of palm jumeirah’s eastern crescent, take over a private cabana on the gorgeous beach to admire the city views or get active by partaking in the resort’s daringly different watersport options. The Perks: adults have one of the three swimming pools all to themselves, while the kids can check into the rixy Kids club. The rixos royal Spa offers luxury pampering while the resort’s

signature restaurant, l’olivo, serves up Mediterranean dishes to die for. The X Factor: The adrenaline rush of the jetovator – a flying water-powered bike – and the two-man Seabreacher, a shark shaped submarine-like vessel that will see you dipping, twisting and screaming through the water. Prices: weekdays Dhs175 for adults; weekends Dhs250; children under six, free; aged six to 12 - 50% discount. Palm Jumeirah, 9am to 6pm, 04 457 5555, thepalmdubai.rixos

The Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa The Vibe: if you wish to chillax, there are three swimming pools, including an infinity pool at horizon lounge. if you’re feeling hyper, there’s a beach volleyball court. The Perks: banana boating, kneeboarding and parasailing. 48

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The X Factor: a “boogie at the beach” vibe is what sets this place apart. while kids can make use of the other pools, the horizon lounge is strictly for adults and attracts a throng in the mood to party. Prices: weekdays Dhs150 for adults and Dhs100 for children; weekends Dhs250 for adults and Dhs125 for children. Al Sufouh Road, Dubai Marina, 8.30am to 7.30pm, 04 399 5000,

Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort The Vibe: This five-star luxury beach resort set in the middle of landscaped gardens gives you just the right hint of a tropical holiday. The Perks: an outdoor temperature controlled pool, a covered kids’ pool, a pirate’s club for kids, water sports, table tennis and a mini-soccer field. adults can go diving, kayaking, fishing and parasailing. d u b a i


Beach Clubs

Atlantis The Palm The Vibe: one of the most impressive beach clubs in Dubai, the aquaventure waterpark features water rides, slides and the resort’s private pristine beach. The Perks: The awesome lost chambers aquarium and over 20 restaurants to sate your palate. The X Factor: adults can treat themselves to a spa day, shop till they drop or fine dine, while a kid’s club (for children aged 3-12) keeps your little ones delighted. Prices: Dhs300 per adult and Dhs240 per child for aquaventure and The lost chamber combo Ticket. Crescent Road, The Palm, 10am to 7pm, 04 426 2000,

The X Factor: a wide private beach lined with more than 200 palm trees lends the resort an oasis-like ambience. Prices: Dhs140 for adults and Dhs90 for children on weekdays; Dhs220 for adults and Dhs120 for children on weekends. JBR, The Walk, 8am to 7pm, 04 399 5533,

The X Factor: The Fairmont Falcon juniors’ club that has activities to suit all ages: a toddler’s playhouse, climbing walls, arts and crafts and a splash park. The staff also organises birthday parties. Need we say more? Prices: Dhs200 for adults and Dhs150 per child on weekdays; Dhs 250 for adults and Dhs150 per child on weekends and public holidays. The Palm Jumeirah, 6.30am to 7 pm, 04 457 3388,

Club Mina The Vibe: with a 500-metre stretch of private beach, guests get to enjoy stunning views of the arabian gulf. hey, you can even book your own cabana or indulge in a bbQ by the beach. The Perks: Five beachside pools to laze about in (two covered specially for the kids). The X Factor: The penguin club where your kids can socialise with their peers, chomp on a delicious children’s menu and participate in kid-friendly beach activities. Prices: Dhs250 for adults and Dhs125 for kids on weekdays; Dhs350 for adults and 50

Dhs175 for kids on weekends and public holidays. Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, Al Sufouh Road, Jumeirah Beach, 9am to 7pm, 04 399 3333,

Fairmont The Palm The Vibe: located on The palm, this beach club offers a view of the Dubai Marina and a flawless private beach. The Perks: a number of outdoor pools and watersports. d u b a i

Club Joumana The Vibe: an 800-metre-long swathe of pure shores with a host of sporting activities. The Perks: From windsurfing to kayaking, from kite surfing to waterskiing, you’ll be spoilt for choice here. The X Factor: Three pools, a sauna, a jacuzzi, and clubs to keep children engaged while parents soak in the sun. Prices: Dhs180 for adults and Dhs90 per

market at the beach This maze of pop-up stores showcases quaint novelties and entrepreneurs with a zany creative edge: from the beautiful bonsai artist to a couple that specialises in crafting elephant figurines, from heartwarming baby clothes by a Spanish artist to an organic soap store, from a gluten-free bakery to organic fruits and vegetables. welcome to a charming carnival-like atmosphere with live music and entertainment. Market At The Beach, Every Saturday, 10am-8pm, The Beach, JBR

child on weekdays; Dhs250 for adults and Dhs110 per child on weekends and holidays. JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort, Jebel Ali, 9am to 6pm, 04 814 5555,

Jumeirah Beach Hotel The Vibe: you enjoy a day at one of Dubai’s most alluring private beaches, nestled between two of Dubai’s most iconic buildings, the wave-shaped resort itself and the sail-shaped burj al arab. The Perks: Stroll around the resort’s private marina or take your kids to wild wadi waterpark. The X Factor: The resort’s spa for the parents; Sinbad’s Kids club to exhilarate your kids.

Prices: Dhs350 for adults and Dhs250 per child on weekdays; Dhs450 for adults and Dhs350 per child on weekends and public holidays. Jumeirah Road, 9am to 7pm, 04 348 0000,

Riva Beach Club The Vibe: if hotel clubs are not your thing, you need to sample riva beach, one of Dubai’s first independent beach clubs perched on its own private swathe of sand. The Perks: right next door is Sophie’s café Dubai, an organic café that uses quality local produce to create delicious and healthy meals. The X Factor: This relaxing spot is open

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to anyone for a small entrance fee that affords you a sun lounger and access to the club’s numerous facilities such as underground parking, steam rooms, the pool and beach. Prices: Dhs100 for adults and Dhs50 for children on weekdays, Dhs175 for adults and Dhs85 for children on weekends and holidays. Building 8, The Shoreline, Palm Jumeirah, 7am to 7pm, 04 430 9466,

Mina A’Salam Beach Club The Vibe: Soak in 2km of an immaculate shore overlooking the burj al arab. The Perks: access to two of the hotel’s pools (one at Mina a’Salam, the other at al Qasr), towels, free kids’ beach toys, and a beach butler bringing fresh fruit and cool towels. lots of sun loungers and some very deluxe cabanas. The X Factor: uber-lush with service that makes you feel like royalty. This is Dubai glamour at its best. Prices: weekdays Dhs450 for adults and Dhs295 for children; weekends Dhs595 for adults and Dhs395 for children (adults can redeem 150 and children can redeem 100 on food and beverages). Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah, 9am to 7pm, 04 366 6821 51

Beach Clubs

The Best Things in Life are Free It’s not just all swanky five-stars that you need to check into to avail of Dubai’s littoral bounty. Here is our list of the emirate’s best public beaches…

JBr Beach

abutting the walk with its juice bars, burger joints and gelato counters, JBr is Dubai’s answer to miami chic. Beach access is available at several points along the road.

KitesurfinG Beach

From soccer to volleyball, from kayaking to kitesurfing (hence its name), this beach is situated just after the world project office. walk left past the soccer posts and head towards the undulating waves. Corner of 2d and 35a street, behind Saga World, Umm Suqeim 1.

4x4 Beach

this beach, next to Jumeirah Beach park, is an awe-inspiring expanse of sand with a bay view that demands some of your me-time. At the corner of Al Athar Road and Beach Road, next to Jumeirah Beach Park, Jumeirah 2. 52

Bu Qtair Beach

a small, quaint peninsula known for its floral bins and now famous for the eponymous Bu Qtair, an iconic fresh seafood dining shack. turn down 11a street from Jumeirah Beach road; drive down 2b street and you’ll arrive on the sand just after fish shack Bu Qtair.

BLacK PaLace Beach

if tourists are not your thing, take a detour off al Sufouh road between the enormous beachside mansions (hence the name) and discover the golden sand yonder. Turn right into the slip road after the bus stop on Al Sufouh Road (just before Hessa Street and about 500 metres before Media City). d u b a i

uMM suQeiM ParK Beach

if you’re in search of the quintessential ‘holding up the Burj al arab’ photograph, this spot, also called Sunset Beach, is the den of seasoned surfers and windsurfers, who can be spotted in the early mornings. For the kids, there’s also a park nearby to loll in the green. Off Al Thanya Street, next to Jumeirah Beach Hotel, opposite Umm Suqeim Park (follow the sign for the park).

Mercato Beach

this small, almost bucolic bay, off Jumeirah Beach road, resembles a lake because of the reclaimed land in front of it. this charming enclave also has soccer nets for the sporty. Turn into 13a Street (part of a slip road just opposite the Children’s Garden Nursery), Jumeirah 2.



ruiSe ontrol

With a coastline that overlooks the hypnotic Arabian Gulf, you don’t have to restrict your revelry to its beaches. Some amazing cruise companies promise to take your trip to an uncharted horizon‌


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ubai’s marine splendour is the stuff postcards are made of. The waters of Dubai host more than 300 species of fish, including the hammour. The marine biodiversity sparkles with a cast that includes jellyfish, coral, dugong, dolphins, whales and sharks. Moreover, varied species of turtles call this region home, including the Hawksbill turtle and Green turtle, which is listed as an endangered species. To add to the littoral journey, the Dubai Creek runs from northeast to southwest through the city evoking maritime adventures of the past, while Dubai Marina is the world’s largest man-made marina and waterfront development, a 50 million sqft futuristic vision that changed the face of the southern end of Jumeirah Beach. Come sail with us to see Dubai from another point of view as we show you some of the best cruising action the city has to offer.

Dubai: gaTeway To The arabiaN gulF international cruise companies are increasingly docking at Dubai to offer travellers an immersive experience of the arabian gulf. For instance, the royal caribbean international’s Splendour of the Seas cruise offers a delightful seven-day itinerary. Travellers embark in Dubai, then move on to the enchanting port of Khasab in oman, where they can soak in the legacy of portuguese colonists. Then as the sun twinkles off the shores of the Strait of hormuz, you cruise along to Muscat, oman. with its traditional souks, colonial forts, the sultan’s palace, and the exotic jaunt on a wooden dhow, you will be hypnotised by stunning vistas of the omani landscape. and before disembarking back in Dubai, the cruise also offers you a sneak peek of another gem in the uae: abu Dhabi., prices range from Dhs2,890 to Dhs8,147 per person (based on double occupancy) depending on the package you choose.

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Cruising caTaMaraN cruiSe Dubai The drift: a lush catamaran glides past the palm jumeirah, atlantis and burj al arab, as you enjoy a barbecue buffet, soft drinks, a live Dj and onboard music, plus towels and snorkelling gear. The cool quotient: it drops anchor near the burj al arab, where merrymakers can dip into the alluring waves overlooking the city’s cherished landmarks. with no age limit, this works well for families. The quay to heaven: The cruise leaves from Dubai Marina;; 04 239 4760 Splash out: Dhs550 per person for a fourhour trip, with a buffet and Dj. gugu boaT The drift: Dubai Marina’s favourite party boat, GuGu can host up to 90 guests over two tiers. The cool quotient: with a glass-bottomed dance floor, make sure you bring your dancing feet, while upstairs palm leaf umbrellas let the sunshine wink at you every now and then if you fancy a more measured tan. The quay to heaven: The cruise leaves from Dubai Marina;; 050 127 5873 Splash out: Dhs4,000 per hour for up to 90 guests, with four crew and soft drinks.

Catamaran Cruise Dubai drops anchor near the Burj Al Arab

It DROps ANChOR At the BuRj Al ARAB, WheRe MeRRyMAkeRs CAN DIp INtO the AlluRINg WAves OveRlOOkINg the CIty’s CheRIsheD lANDMARks. Dhow cruiSe Dubai creeK The drift: cruise the creek on one of Dubai’s wooden dhows, dappled in soothing yellow lights. The cool quotient: gorge on european, arabic and asian cuisine, while enjoying stunning vistas of old Dubai. The quay to heaven: The cruise leaves from Dubai creek;; 04 239 4760. Splash out: Dhs150 (adults), Dhs120 (kids) for a two-hour jaunt with a buffet and soft drinks.

Luxury Sea Boats offers all kinds of watersports

MoNa liSa yachT The drift: one of Dubai Marina’s most popular yachts, this 110ft-wonder can accommodate a party of up to 130 guests. The cool quotient: The vessel can host anything from a comedy gig to fashion shows. and if you wish to indulge your inner diva, the wide deck also has morning yoga sessions as you soak in the azure sky. The quay to heaven: leaves from Dubai Marina yacht club; monalisayacht; 050 725 0455 Splash out: From Dhs220 per person for public events, Dhs4,500 per hour for private charter. eaSy yachT The drift: cruise on Dubai creek or try your hand at deep-sea fishing on a luxury yacht. The cool quotient: with 10 vessels to choose from, you can decide your type of party-out-at-sea. From the 30ft Sea Monkey, which can host seven revellers to a house boat that can accommodate 80, from a lavish birthday bash to a wedding reception, easy yacht is an easy decision. The quay to heaven: Departs from Dubai Marina;; 04 325 0977 Splash out: From Dhs998 for two hours for seven merrymakers. luxury Sea boaTS The drift: an idyllic journey past the palm jumeirah, burj al arab, Dubai Marina and the world islands. The cool quotient: The company can organise an afternoon of wakeboarding, wakesurfing and waterskiing.


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Cruising go FiSh The drift: Strictly for fishing enthusiasts, embark in Dubai, abu Dhabi, ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah or ras al Khaimah and set sail for an unforgettable tutorial in deep sea fishing. The cool quotient: affords fishing enthusiasts a range of options from private charters to group activities that helps you make buddies in the process. The quay to heaven: across the uae;; 800 3474464 Splash out: From Dhs150 per person. The boarDwalK bbQ DoNuT The drift: well, the bbQ donut is a slowmoving, oversized... donut-shaped vessel. The cool quotient: There is no hole in the centre; instead, it houses a charcoal bbQ, surroundings by a table. This is a great idea for a night time experience, but if you choose to do the donut in the daytime, it comes equipped with an umbrella as you enjoy the spectacular surrounding and the Dubai skyline The quay to heaven: Dubai creek golf & yacht club, opposite Deira city centre, garhoud; 04 295 6000 Splash out: Dhs400 for two for a two-hour trip.

The quay to heaven: Departs from Dubai Marina;; 056 115 1624 Splash out: From Dhs250 for 30 minutes. Mala yachTS Dubai The drift: a 33-ft cruiser that can host up to eight people for intimate gatherings. alternatively, an 88-ft yacht can accommodate 30 people to make you feel like Donald Trump with two master bedrooms, a twin room, a dining room, two restrooms, a lounge and dining area and a sundeck. The cool quotient: if you book a month or two in advance you can avail of discounts ranging from 10-20 per cent. Fishing trips can also be arranged. Soft drinks, tea and coffee are included. The quay to heaven: Dubai Marina;; 056 115 7422 Splash out: From Dhs800 per hour for eight people, from Dhs5,000 per hour for 30 people. xcluSive yachTS The drift: a private yacht charter firm that caters for all types of parties. The cool quotient: There is a boat for a party of 12, there’s a vessel for a party of 40, one for a party of 80, and another for a party of 200. how many friends do you really have, truly? you decide. boats come equipped with a sound system and full crew, so dance like no one’s watching. The quay to heaven: Departs from Dubai Marina;; 04 432 7233 Splash out: Dhs1,000 per hour for a 12-capacity boat; Dhs4,000 for 40 guests; Dhs6,000 for 80; Dhs10,000 an hour for 200.

abra-caDabra! Not A Dirham Less, Not a Dirham More… No, you don’t have to be a mogul to partake of the cruising action here. one of the most exotic and must-do experiences in the city is that of taking an abra ride from bur Dubai to Deira on the creek for the wallet-busting fee of Dhs1. That’s right! To soak in some local folklore, few experiences match up to the quintessential abra ride. open day and night, these open-air dhows or abra ferries carry local folks from Dubai’s textile souk to Deira. with a bit of haggling, abra owners can be cajoled into a one-hour ride you will never forget. with al Fahidi’s awe-inspiring wind towers and Deira’s sleek skyline, the past meets the present, the east meets west in a journey that costs all of Dhs1. Didn’t we promise you Dubai is a bargain? Dhow’s that! ◆

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table talk chef Mohanad alshamali, Qbara

picture this historical Doors of Dubai

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able alk

Tradition and ModerniTy Chef Mohanad Alshamali is renowned for embracing Middle Eastern cuisine at Qbara and giving it a modern twist Tell us a little about your background and how you got into this profession? I always knew I wanted to be in hospitality so straight after school I decided to study Hotel Management. During the summer breaks I would work part time at hotels, which lead me to realise that my passion was for cooking. I carried on with my studies but specialised in cooking. In 2005 I came to Dubai from Syria and started my cooking journey and have since worked in five-star properties across Dubai, Syria and Lebanon. What’s the ethos of Qbara and how has it been received in Dubai? Qbara is something special in Dubai as it’s one of the first restaurants to embrace Middle Eastern cuisine and culture with a ground breaking modern twist. Qbara has proven to be on Dubai’s bucket list, whether you’re a resident or just here for a holiday.


“DON’t Be A Chef. uNless yOu hAve the DRIve, pAssION AND pAtIeNCe tO gIve thIs jOB yOuR eveRythINg...”

What are the most popular dishes? What is your favourite dish? To be honest all Qbara dishes are popular and it’s difficult to choose just one. All of our dishes were created over a long period of time, with many trials and experimentation before we came up with what we have now. Some of my favourites are the falafel salad, black cod sayadieh and the crab saj; but my all-time favourite dish is the wild mushroom risotto. We make the

‘risotto’ with freekeh, instead of rice, and add labneh and mushroom dust to create something unique. I feel that it showcases a modern Arabic take on a classic Italian dish. Was it a tough learning curve working for Qbara? Who did you learn from? Who influenced you? I am an Arabic chef and I grew up in the Middle East so I understand the base of what Qbara’s cuisine is. I have also worked in

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many different restaurants including At.mosphere Burj Khalifa, specialising in a broad range of cuisines; so having the experience of Arabic and international cuisines helped me to understand the concept of Qbara. I was greatly influence by Chef Dwayne Cheer. I worked with him for four years and we opened two well-known restaurants, Amber at The Address Dubai Mall and At.mosphere Burj Khalifa, together here in Dubai. Chef Dwayne was patient

QBara’s MiDDLe eastern GLaMour located next to the raffles hotel, this stylish and dimly-lit restaurant is fast becoming famous for its quintessentially arabesque cuisine and contemporary architecture. Qbara is spread over two floors, the ground floor consisting of the restaurant and bar, and the luxurious comfortable lounge above. Fast becoming the place to see and be seen – at least once consider this a real treat. the menu features levant, middle Eastern and moroccan cuisine with a focus on fresh ingredients and indigenous spices. the cuisine with its authentic flavours and recipe is presented with a perfect contemporary twist. a DJ sets the mood to a prefect dining experience. the ambiance is high-energy, fashionable and sophisticated, yet casual and fun.

spicy lamb cutle ts serves 4 persons

and smart with a vast amount of knowledge; I learnt a lot from him and many of those skills formed my foundation. Forget Qbara for a moment – what’s your favourite restaurant in Dubai? JG Dining Room and JG Kitchen, the newly opened restaurant at Four Seasons Dubai. You’re a long way from your home in Syria – what do you think of the changing food scene in Dubai? It is a great experience as Dubai has so many restaurants across such a diverse range of cuisines, but with Dubai being so small you continuously have to work hard and

present your best to keep yourself on top. There’s a rumour that Qbara is opening in London – is this true? What impact will this have on promoting Emirati and Middle Eastern food around the world? Having Qbara open in London will be an amazing opportunity for the brand. Our modern take on Middle Eastern cuisine helps to translate Arabic cuisine to a wider audience. So Qbara in London is a goal that we are strongly working towards.

For the marinade: 24g ground cumin, freshly ground 24g smoked paprika 16g oregano, finely chopped 4.8g rosemary, finely chopped 16g garlic powder 4.8g Shicimi pepper 32g Syrian chilli paste 4.8g ground coriander seed 4.8g ground ginger 4.8g ground cinnamon 32g soft brown sugar 8g Malden sea salt 1.6g turmeric powder 144ml extra virgin olive oil 4ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions for Marinade: Toast the spices individually in a pan on low heat, then use a spice blender or pestle and mortar to grind each spice individually until it is a powder. place all ingredients, according to the recipe, into a heavy-duty blender and blend to a paste. Lamb Cutlets: Trim and clean the lamb cutlets, marinade for 18 hours. grill the cutlets and serve with some mixed pickled vegetables and a mint & coriander labneh.

Any advice? Don’t be a chef! Unless you have the drive, passion and patience to give this job your everything, I don’t recommend it. ◆

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Picture this

historical doors of duBai


ander in the labyrinth of narrow lanes of the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood and, apart from appreciating the majestic wind towers – the last collection of such towers this side of the Arabian Gulf – take time to admire the grandiose wooden doors that grace the entrance to many of the old coral-clad merchant houses. Dating back to 1859, without the convenience of house numbers, the front door not only distinguished one house from another, but also indicated the wealth and prestige of the family that resided within. Each door has its own distinct marks and stories. Elephants, flowers, coffee pots – all are common decorative carvings, alongside more significant engravings that relate to the family’s place of birth or the tribe to which they belong. One popular design, which sprang from local beliefs, is a circle carved within a rhomboid geometric shape, known as the ‘Ain al Hasoud’ (eye of envy). This was often carved around


the frame of the door as protection against envy and preventing the ‘evil eye’ from entering the house. Due to the scarcity of trees in the Emirates, much of the wood to make the doors was imported from East Africa, Iran and most commonly teak from India, while large bulbous iron or copper nails kept the wood sturdy and were used for locks and knockers. Compared to modern doors, the traditional Emirati doors were small – well under two metres tall on average. This meant that as people entered the house they were forced to bow, thus showing a sign of respect and humility. Notice as you stroll through the shady pedestrianised walkways and courtyards that no two doors face each other – this was to ensure upmost

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privacy from prying neighbours. In fact, privacy was also the reason for the ‘mini door’ built into the main door. Known as the ‘al farkha’, only a single person could squeeze through this door or things could be passed on to the residents inside without being intrusive and having to open the big main door. It also protected the residents from thievery – a thief was unable to escape through the small door with armfuls of stolen goods. It was through these grand main doors that merchants passed, making their fortunes back in the days when Dubai was first making its mark as a trading capital. As you explore this restored district, just imagine what story each of these doors tells. Today everyone is welcome. ◆

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Calendar Swim, bike and run to the finish at the Challenge Dubai Triathlon. held at the jumeirah beach park in February (dates to be announced), the race will see athletes swim 1.9km followed by a 90km bike ride and finishes with a 21km run. only for those with high pain thresholds.

The world’s best compete at the FAI World Air Games at Skydive Dubai, Dubai Marina, from 1-12 December. Don’t miss this heavenly 12-day sporting spectacle where it rains men and women – attached to parachutes. The uae celebrates its 44th National Day on 2 December with activities planned throughout the week in Dubai. watch out for nightly spectacular firework displays. Dubai will be hosting its first Dubai Netball Tournament for women from 3-5 December at The Sevens Stadium. This eagerly anticipated event has 16 teams, both local and international, are hoping to net the trophy. The Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, a hugely popular event, will be an action-packed entertainer as the world’s best players converge on The Sevens Stadium from 3-5 December. Don’t miss the fantastic atmosphere, family-friendly fun and the final evening’s music concert. emirates NbD classics presents Dastan Ensemble, an iranian musical group, on 4 December at DucTac, Mall of the emirates. The 12th Dubai International Film Festival will be held at Madinat jumeirah from 9-16 December. This glamorous and prestigious film event will boast numerous red carpet celebrities from arab, indian and international cinema. The Omega Dubai Ladies Masters tees off at the emirates golf club from 9-12 December. The season-ending ladies european Tour attracts the world’s top female golfers competing for the prize pool of €500,000.


international and local photographers converge at Golf Photo Plus to share their knowledge and experience with amateurs. 5-12 February at the Dubai Knowledge village.

a looK aheaD

for the next three months catch the world’s best badminton players at the BWF Dubai World Superseries Final at the hamdan Sports complex from 9-13 December.

Dubai autodrome in Motor city host the 24-hour endurance race, Hankook 24H Dubai, from 14-16 january. hear the roar of engines and smell burning rubber as the drivers race for the trophy.

The annual Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycling Challenge pedals in for the sixth year to challenge local and international cyclists. 10–11 December at the Nad al Sheba cycle Track. Dubai prepares for more record-breaking firework displays at various city locations to bring in New Year 2016. The most spectacular show has the burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, play the leading part. Kick off the New year at the Dubai Shopping Festival, the largest shopping and entertainment extravaganza in the Middle east. visitors can make the most of the bargains while enjoying a variety of events and activities for one whole month.

The Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is back for its 16th year to raise money for local and international charities. The 3km, 10km and 42km runs attracts thousands. Most compete for fun but some serious contendors are after the prize money. 22 january at the Dubai police academy, umm Suqeim. The Quoz Arts Fest, at alserkal avenue in al Quoz 1, comes alive from 22-23 january as it hosts live art, murals, workshops, film screenings, gallery openings and live music. The Omega Dubai Desert Classic, held from 1-7 February at the emirates golf club, has seen Tiger woods, Martin Kaymer, henrik Stenson and many more golfers fight for the $2.5 million prize pool.

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The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, from 15-28 February at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis stadium, is an ace event with the world’s best players. be prepared for upsets, as the top seeds often stumble here. Gulfood, the largest and tastiest culinary event in the region, is back to tickle taste buds. it also has lucrative networking opportunities, competitions and live events for exporters, buyers, exhibitors and visitors. Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival, or jazz Fest as it is commonly known, is sweet music for fans with a great line-up of jazz, classical rock, indie rock, pop and urban musicians. 24-26 February at the Dubai Media city amphitheatre.

The Dubai Food Festival is a gastronomic delight. This month-long event offers mouth watering delights and surprises from around the world. look out for the beach canteens, food vans and much more. 25 February to 12 March at various locations. ◆

A NEW DIMENSION IN HOSPITALITY Experience sheer sophistication complemented by the warmth of Arabian hospitality at Jood Palace Hotel situated in the heart of Deira's commercial and business district. Choose from a luxurious selection of five-star accommodation, culinary venues, Jood Spa, recreation and fitness facilities as well as conference and event spaces. Jood Palace Hotel Dubai offers the most spacious accommodation in the city with the option of our elegant 147 Deluxe and Premium Rooms, 10 Ambassador Suites, 2 Royal Suites, and 90 Fully-furnished Deluxe Service Residence. Keen to exceed expectations, our multi-lingual team of experts will ensure all your requests are given utmost focus and dedication. There is no request too big or small. Right from suggesting a dining venue, to a well-planned sightseeing itinerary, our Concierge team will go extra mile to ensure your stay is flawless and memorable. For reservations, please call 04-2113034 or email us at

P.O. Box 42211, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 2232222, Fax: +971 4 2278222

Dubai Quarterly September 2015  
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