FACT Abu Dhabi March 2017

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The Essence of Moments I spend my life capturing moments. Sometimes the most memorable ones are the ones unplanned

Ali F. Mostafa Film Director

Almaz by Momo | Bentley Bistro & Bar | Butcher & Still Café Bateel | Cafe Milano | Dai Pai Dong | Emporio Armani Caffé Godiva Chocolate Cafe | Gossip Cafe & Desserts Leopold’s of London | Magnolia Bakery | Nolu’s | Roberto’s Sambusek | Zuma

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This month’s FACT Finds brings you a sweet story of generous giving to those who need it most.

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A labour of love, we’re back with the 3rd annual FACT Dining Awards and here are all the nominees...

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In this month’s hotel hotspot, we visit the sunny shores of Bentota, Sri Lanka for a beautiful stay.


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Mother’s Day is the most important date to mark this month and there’s a gift waiting to be bought.

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It’s time for a culture fix with the 2017 Abu Dhabi Festival. Here’s our favourite from the lineup.

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Our first SS17 fashion focus sees Massimo Dutti’s clean-cut styles amke a bold entrance for the season.

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Our pick of the best dining deals to check out in Abu Dhabi for March - no boredom here!

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Meet the Bahrain-based creative mind who’s shining a spotlight on the Gulf’s superstitious tales.

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Italian food done just like you’d find in mama’s kitchen. We revisit Sacci and it’s still impressive.

Embark on a culinary journey Join us for an evening filled with entertainment and irresistible delights in the spectacular location of our beachside terrace. Meet our chefs and sample their specialties at the pop up restaurant stands of Mezzaluna, Sayad, Mezlai, BBQ Al Qasr, Le Vendôme, Hakkasan, Mawal and Le Café. Enjoy live music with a band, a DJ as well as ice-sculpting and a chance to win one of our exciting prizes in the raffle draw. Thursday, 16 March 2017 West Wing Gazebo 7.00pm – 11.00pm AED 150* per person including food & beverage vouchers of the equivalent amount For more information or reservations, please call +971 (0) 2 690 7999 or email restaurants@emiratespalace.ae *Extra vouchers may be purchased at the event. Price includes 10% service charge, 6% tourism fee and 4% municipality fee.




@EmiratesPalace #FlavoursOfThePalace fact magazine



#SteakBae #SushiBae #FoodBae “Ways to my heart: Buy me food. Make me food. Be food.” - Everyone


ow do you like your steak? I lean more towards the medium-well scale, and the seasoning has to be perfect. What’s your favourite sushi? Have you tried other raw food? How about molecular gastronomy? The culinary scene in Abu Dhabi has massively evolved since we held the first FACT Dining Awards in 2015 – and we’re in awe. So much so that when we scoured for the newest venues in the city and revisited old favourites, the competition was tough, and vary rarely did we find a place that failed to impress or match the high standards set by its rivals. But, after much eating (one good thing to come out of it) we’ve narrowed it down to the best of the best, based on a strict criteria of concept, quality, service and popularity, to bring you all the nominees of the 3rd FACT Dining Awards Abu Dhabi. Turn to p25 and check out over 150 dining destinations that made the cut. Are your favourites nominated? You can help them to win by going online to www.fact-magazine.com and casting your vote! It’s not only food that takes centre stage this month, Abu Dhabi is hitting peak season for making cultural events, making travel plans, shopping for a new wardrobe and, of course, scheduling dinners with friends. A few features to highlight would be the exciting line-up for Abu Dhabi Festival 2017 (p46), our mesmerising trips to Cape Town (p61) and Sri Lanka (p68), the first SS’17 fashion focus (p77) and March’s foodie picks of the city’s newest chic brunch (p89) and an Italian dining hotspot (p93). It’s only March and we’ve already seen Salt Bae do his thing – and all the great memes that have followed really goes to prove how much the internet is winning! Seeing as we’re probably going to be eating our body weight in food this month, I’m claiming #CheeseBae #BreadBae and #CakeBae for myself. Let the carbs commence… ☺

Shabana Adam Editor-in-Chief shabana@fact-magazine.com 6

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FACT Magazine Abu Dhabi Edition March 2017 Volume 3, Issue 9

Chief Executive Officer Greg Hughes Editor-in-Chief Shabana Adam (shabana@fact-magazine.com) Local Editor Angela Beitz Creative Director Paula Leal Graphic Designer Jyoti Rawat Production & Distribution Neil Mahmood Ajit Kumar Contributors Aanchal Duggal Sales Coordinator Renie Simplina Advertising Enquiries Angela Beitz (angela@ohlala-magazine.com) Printed By United Printing Press

All Rights Reserved. Opinion expressed within does not necessarily represent the opinion of the publisher. All efforts have been made to ensure accuracy of the information within this publication. However, FACT M.E. FZ-LLC cannot accept legal responsibility for any erroneous content or omissions. FACT M.E. FZ-LLC, Office 907E, TwoFour54, Park Rotana Complex, P.O. Box 769328, Abu Dhabi, UAE License Number: D.L. 361/14/A

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Combining all three editions of FACT in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Qatar, keep up with us on instagram for the best behind-the-scenes photos from food shoots, local events and all things awesome in the GCC, plus loads more from the FACT team.


Your one-stop culture fix for life in Abu Dhabi| First for local talent, arts, fashion, dining and all the coolest events in the city | We’ve got tech, travel, motoring and exclusive interviews with all the industry and celebrityworld movers and shakers too | Get your copy of FACT Abu Dhabi in local supermarkets now!





tweets Fahad Albutairi @Fahad Seems like every social media app is turning into Snapchat. So many “stories,” so little to tell.

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Keep up with all things Abu Dhabi as the FACT team posts the latest competitions, events and everything we’re getting up to for the magazine. Send us a message – we love hearing from our readers!

Captain Tea @captain_tea_ Anyone know where I can procure Haggis in Bahrain?

Our Fave Feature

Namrata Datta @candinam Spoke to my ex after 10 years. “Miss or Mrs.?” He asks. Dr. I said. Ascia AKF @Ascia_AKF If my kids need a lawyer in the future, I’m hiring on eof their grandmothers. Those two ladies can justify ANY of their grandkids behavior. Akhtar Alzadjali @m1zan1n Just beat my brothers team by 9 goals to 4. Banter privileges for a week.

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49,614 reads of the February issue If you need your FACT fix pronto, flick through our monthly online edition on issuu.com for all the best features, including local culture, arts, fashion, food, motoring, tech, travel and entertainment, in Abu Dhabi.

Follow us on twitter and maybe you’ll be here next month! @FACTAbuDhabi 8

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FACT Dining Awards 2017 p25

CROWNE PLAZA ABU DHABI Hamdan Bin Mohammed Street | +971 2 616 6166 fact magazine

*Price is subject to 10% service charge, 6% tourism fee, and 4% municipality fee.



Fact Finds

Celebrate Life Bakery There’s one sweet tooth-pleasing treat that is guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s faces; cake! With the one4one campaign, the Celebrate Life Bakery is giving back to those less fortunate in the city, and they’re doing it with delicious cakes.

Celebrating Life Bakery, a family owned patisserie nestled in the heart of Tourist Club has introduced one4one Abu Dhabi, a campaign that aims to give back to those less fortunate living in the capital. In line with the Year of Giving declared by UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Celebrating Life Bakery will be increasing their community efforts by gifting a birthday cake to someone disadvantaged for every cake that is bought from the bakery. The concept is the first in Abu Dhabi and has seen over 50 cakes gifted since it launched last year, to children with special needs, labourers, taxi drivers and cleaners across Abu Dhabi. The cakes can be ordered via the bakery and will be delivered to the purchaser or direct to the recipient in a baby blue coloured box with a gold embossed logo and inside the box will be a little thank you card which features information about how a cake will be donated on their behalf. Customers may also nominate a labourer/construction worker/ community cleaner that they would like to donate a cake to. The cakes themselves range from a soft and sweet tiramisu, tangy black forest gateau to the popular triple chocolate cake full of yummy sponge and chocolate cream. 10

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Prices of cakes included in the one4one Abu Dhabi initiative are super affordable and start from AED60 for a 0.5kg cake. At the gifting ceremony, the Celebrating Life Bakery team will be armed with props, their best singing voices and, of course, the star of the show, the cake. They will take photos, which are shared on a monthly newsletter so customers can see the impact their donation has made. M. Singh, the ideas man of the bakery, says: “Celebrating birthdays of the less fortunate helps us to understand the pleasure of sharing and giving. One of the best feelings in the world is knowing that someone is happy because of you. “This simple act of kindness and caring can create an endless ripple that inevitably comes back to you,” he adds. The campaign is ongoing and available to consumers as well as business customers who may want to include it into their corporate social responsibility activities. We can’t think of a better reason for treating yourself to a scrumptious cake, pronto! ✤ GO: Visit Celebrate Life Bakery - Shop no 6, Rose Tower, opposite Royal Rose Hotel, Electra Street. Call (0)2 642 7702 for orders and more information.

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Tropicolour World Tour Bringing all the fun of an island vacation straight to the capital, The Colour Run presented by Daman’s ActiveLife turns a 5k into a 5k vacay.

If the New Year has you dreaming of a vacation, how about visiting paradise with thousands of friends? The Colour Run presented by Daman’s ActiveLife, returns to Yas Marina Circuit on March 25 with a brand new theme! Adding a tropical twist to the happiest 5k on the planet, The Colour Run is set to turn the city into an island-style paradise, bringing the community together like never before. Greg Sproule, Managing Director of IMG Middle East, says: “Only The Colour Run can transform a 5k run into a 5k vacation and we are excited to welcome both new and returning Colour Runners to the Abu Dhabi leg of the The Colour Run Tropicolour World Tour on 25 March. “No checked luggage, no layovers, no middle seats; thousands of Colour Runners around the world have been whisked away to paradise just by stepping out their front doors,” he adds. Combining even more colour, happiness and music than ever before, new and existing runners will experience an allnew Tropicolour Zone on course, where they’ll be bathed in a bright array of colours and sweet scents as they make their way through the shade of palm trees, arches and island-style music. This year also sees the introduction of Rainbow Beach, where Colour Runners will take part in the epic Finish Festival, filled with dancing, unique photo opportunities, awesome 12

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sponsor activations and plenty of colour throws! Dr. Michael Bitzer, CEO of Daman, says: “Our long-standing partnership with The Colour Run is a natural relationship, as the event aligns closely with our aims to help build healthy communities. Through fun and social exercise the event is open to everyone and this special 5k is an excellent example of the welcoming platform that we are always seeking to provide through our ongoing ActiveLife initiatives.” All runners will receive a limited-edition Race Pack with a Tropicolour t-shirt, an embroidered headband, fun temporary tattoos and a tropical flower lei. Those opting for Deluxe tickets will receive these goodies plus VIP parking, a tutu, party sunglasses, socks and a wristband for the ultimate Tropicolour look! The Colour Run presented by Daman’s ActiveLife is open to everyone regardless of experience, and is guaranteed to be your most memorable 5k – whether it’s your first race, or if you’ve been joining in the fun for years. Running has never been so thrilling – we’ll see you there! ✤ GO: Register online at www.thecolorrun.ae or Adventure HQ stores in Abu Dhabi at Dalma Mall or Yas Mall, and Times Square Center, JBR and The Galleria Mall in Dubai. Early bird tickets are available now for a limited time!

SATURLAZE AT FINZ Sink into your deck chair, drink in the views and chill out while enjoying endless fresh seafood selections. Pair it with our beverages, and enjoy the ultimate indulgence: doing nothing more than enjoying the good life. Saturdays, from 14:00 – 18:00. From AED275 net Find out more about what Finz has to offer +971 (0)2 697 9011 fb.beach@rotana.com

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Treats for Mum

March brings with it Mother’s Day and Abu Dhabi is celebrating in style…

Spa Day Out, Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara This month, celebrate Mother’s Day with a mother and daughter spa experience. Spend some time together with complimentary access to the steam and sauna before indulging in a 60-minute massage of your choice. Complete the experience with an afternoon tea and cake for two at the Mangroves Lounge. Available daily from 10am to 5pm throughout March for AED699+++ for two (mother and daughter). Call (0)2 656 1000 for more info. Starlit Dinner in Mijana, The RitzCarlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal Nothing says “I love you mum” than giving your favourite lady a night off to celebrate. Enjoy this spectacular dinner under the stars after taking your seat on the elegant Mijana terrace and getting comfortable to the sounds of a live Arabic band. You’ll feast your way through an array of dishes from the exquisite Middle Eastern, sharing-style menu for a perfect Arabic Mother’s Day out. Available from march 19 to 25, 4pm to 1am for AED230++ per person. Call (0)2 818 8282 for more info. 14

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Elegant Afternoon Tea in Alba, The RitzCarlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal Indulge in the signature afternoon tea featuring savoury hors d’oeuvres, scones and chocolate treats, accompanied by a guided tasting of tea blends carefully selected to complement the menu. Served in elegant surroundings, any mother is sure to feel appreciated and loved during this delightful experience. Available from March 15 to 31, 2pm to 5pm for aed125++ per person. Call (0)2 818 8282 for more info. Spa Packages, The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa The stunning spa at The Westin has two fabulous offers for you to pick from and treat mum on this special occasion! Try the Mother’s Day Dream Package; a twohour experience to spoil your mum with a Heavenly Signature Massage customised according to her needs and an Elemis Biotech Facial of her choice (AED675 net). Option two is the Pamper Package, where mum will indulge in a 90-minute treatment made up of an Elemis Hands-on Facial and a Back, Neck and Shoulder De-stress Massage. (AED475 net). For the month of March book

any Elemis Biotec Facial and receive an indulging hand or foot paraffin treatment complimentary. Call (0)2 616 9999 for more info. Mums Eat Free, Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Make mum feel special by celebrating at Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi’s Mum’s Eat Free week-long offer! You can choose mum’s favourite cusine from Italian, South East Asian, and Internation – the choice is abundant! Available from March 21 to 27. Reservations are required; please quote “Mum’s Eat Free” at the time of booking, to avail special offer. Call (0)2 616 6166 for more info. Evening Out at Horizon Restaurant, Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana Abu Dhabi On March 21your lovely mother or wife doesn’t have to cook! It’s HER-day for you to celebrate her love, support and efforts. Show your gratitude for all that mum does, with a tasty night at Horizon for AED170+++ per person. Book by March 10 and get a 20% discount. Yummy! ✤ Call (0)2 657 0200 for more info.

A vibrant brunch in true Shangri-La style welcomes friends and families to dress in their best! Delight your taste buds with an endless selection of seafood and grilled cuts. Make sure to save room for the largest dessert selection in the Capital. Sip on a delectable mix of beverages and bask in the sunshine by the pool.

Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi

@shangrilaabudhabi #shangrilaabudhabi

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Mother’s Day Gifts FACT has your present for mum right here…


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Ted Baker







Laura Ashley

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Cities Boutique

FROM 15TH MARCH TO 15TH APRIL 2017 The celebrated Japanese SAKURA FESTIVAL returns to Inakaya this Spring. A memorable month of traditional entertainment, special Japanese dishes and much more. Gather together with friends and family for this annual cherry blossom gala. inakaya.abudhabi@venetianvillage.ae 02 404 1921 The Venetian Village at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal inakayaabudhabi

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All About The Sushi!

This is your chance to try all the palatial culinary creations you could dream of in one food-filled evening! Head over to Emirates Palace for fabulous entertainment and irresistible delights on the spectacular beachside terrace. Meet the chefs and sample their specialities at the pop up restaurant stands of BBQ Al Qasr, Hakkasan, Le Vendôme, Mawal, Mezzaluna, Mezlai, Sayad and sweet delicacies created especially for the evening by the Executive Pastry Chef as well as gourmet creations from partnering companies, such as Amstur Caviar and the Oyster Elite Company. You’ll also get a chance to win one of the exciting prizes in a raffle draw. Emirates Palace’s third edition of Flavours of the Palace promises a gastronomic affair with fellow epicureans, so gather all your friends to enjoy an atmosphere perfect for mingling, sharing and discovery. ✤

Food lovers, there’s one more reason to get excited - Cho Gao at the Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi has officially opened its Cho Gao Sushi Bar. Yes! The sushi bar features dark wood decor and a beautiful canvas depicting traditional Japanese elements, which add to the intimacy of the elegant venue. It holds a capacity of 12 guests seated, as well as six guests on the sleek bar for those looking to admire the art of sushi making up-close by Chef Indra Shrestha. The newly-launched Taste of Japan menu, featuring a selection of authentic salads, sashimi, sushi and maki rolls, can be enjoyed at the sushi bar, in addition to the Cho Gao a la carte menu. Cho Gao has recently welcomed its newest team member, Head Chef, Ms. Areewan Larpnikornkul who brings a wealth of authentic experience, creativity, charm and energy to this much-loved dining hotspot. ✤

GO: Enjoy Flavours of the Palace for AED150 per person including food and beverage vouchers of the equivalent value. Extra vouchers can be purchased on the evening. Call (0)2 690 7999 for reservations and more information.

GO: Visit Cho Gao at Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi. Call (0)2 616 6149 for reservations and more information.

Flavours of the Palace


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Mother of the Nation Festival Organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), the second edition of Mother of the Nation Festival is set to kick off on Abu Dhabi Corniche from March 26 to April 4, offering a diverse range of experiences through more than 100 activities, performances, and workshops.

The Mother of the Nation Festival which attracted more than 133,000 visitors in its inaugural edition last year will once again pay tribute to the values and extensive contributions of HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, and President of the Supreme Council of Motherhood and Childhood. This year’s edition will further highlight qualities of wisdom and giving among others through the many attractions and activity zones on offer for the duration of the festival. HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “The celebratory return of the Mother of the Nation Festival this year underscores the tremendous role played by the vision and accomplishments of HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, in imparting values of responsibility and courage as well as advocating a progressive global perspective throughout the UAE.” Mother of the Nation Festival will be held along more than one kilometre of Abu Dhabi’s breathtaking Corniche, including an extensive selection of exhibitions, 20

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performances, installations, food and beverage offerings and exciting events across four diverse activity zones. The festival will also present Mother of The Nation Pavilion, a returning tribute to HH Sheikha Fatima’s vision and values in a new curatorial narrative. HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General of TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “This festival is a platform that allows us to share stories and support our endeavours in positioning Abu Dhabi as a distinct destination. Mother of the Nation festival is a place of cultural exchange and openness, derived from the very same principles that define us.” The Happiness Zone The Happiness Zone will offer exhibits of art and exciting activities, inspired by HH Sheikha Fatima’s commitment to fostering future generations through initiatives in which they may learn and grow. The zone will offer engaging workshops, activity cabanas and a music stage set to provide continuous entertainment for visitors of all ages. The Progress Zone Interactive experiences and installations will engage visitors with innovative

concepts, encouraging them to think beyond what can be accomplished now to what can be achieved in the future. Promoting a progressive vision of continuous personal growth and urban development, the Progress Zone conveys a message of social responsibility. Beach Dining Zone Restaurants, food trucks and stalls will provide visitors with unique flavours from the UAE and around the world. Visitors to this zone will be met with a tantalising line-up of dining options and cosy seating arrangements spread across various areas of the festival while live music performances take place on the Main Stage. The Souq Zone Bridging international cultures with the quintessential urban experience, the Souq Zone will offer visitors a unique retail experience inspired by the rich heritage and cultural exchange the UAE is now renowned for worldwide. An impressive assortment of local traditional shops as well as a wide array of international brands, and jewellery making, dhow painting, pop up culture and more will be available. ✤









02 656 3053 restaurants.cpyas@ihg.com f a c e b o o k . c o m / C P Ya s I s l a n d @cpyas

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Splash @ Yas Marina The much-anticipated annual watersport event extends to two days this March, with a myriad of activities on offer.

The sixth edition of Splash @ Yas Marina is set to be the biggest and most exciting since its launch in 2012. On March 24 and 25, from 10am to 6pm, Abu Dhabi’s much-loved entertainment destination will host the annual water-themed event, doubling the excitement by introducing an extra day packed with thrilling watersports. The marina-wide event will offer a plethora of on-the-water and off-thewater activities suitable for everyone including wakesurfing, wakeboarding and slacklining above the water for the adrenaline junkies. While families can enjoy the floating obstacle course, water slides, paddleboarding, mangrove cruises and much more. In addition to this, visitors can satiate their appetite and unwind at any of 22

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Yas Marina’s seven licensed outlets, which will be offering a number of deals. Choose from breakfast and lunch brunches at Café d’Alsace on Friday, Iris picnic brunch on Saturday and Stars N Bars daily brunch on both days. Whether a watersport fanatic, expert, or someone simply looking to enjoy a wet and wild day out, Splash @ Yas Marina is the place to be this March. With all registration done onsite, there will be a central information kiosk set-up for visitors to learn about the activities, sign up and pay on the day, however, to guarantee a spot, it is advised that visitors arrive early. Activities for Kids There will be family fun at the Wet’n’Wild Zone with a floating obstacle course,

inflatable water slides and many more activities suitable for children aged fiveyears-old and above. One-time entrance fee of AED30 per child for unlimited access. Kids under 12 can try kayaking and sailing accompanied by their parents with Abu Dhabi Sailing Academy or tow rides behind the boat with Eywoa. Activities for Adrenaline Junkies Not for the faint-hearted, the Extreme Zone at Yas Marina is the ultimate haven for those looking for a whole lot of adventure. From wakeboarding to slacklining right above the water, Yas Marina has the answer for adrenaline cravings. Operated by specialist watersport company Eyowa, all high-octane activities are created for riders by riders,


from wakeboarding to wakesurfing and kitesurfing. Experienced athletes can take part in a friendly contest for prizes, while Eyowa will be offering introductory taster sessions at discounted rates for beginners. Suitable for visitors aged 13 and above. Prices start at AED90 for taster sessions. Slacklining is free of charge. Activities for everyone For those who prefer to take it easy, Captain Tony’s Cruises will offer relaxing 45-minute mangrove tours every hour around Yas Island. Enjoy the sun while taking in stunning views. For the full marina experience, Abu Dhabi Sailing Academy (ADSA) will offer a range of classes with experienced instructors who will provide free sailing taster sessions for children under the age of 12. Alternatively, learn how to steer and skipper a boat and train to become the captain with the help of The Captain’s Club, which will be offering training sessions free of charge over the two days of Splash @ Yas Marina. Visitors of all ages can Stand Up Paddle (SUP) or Kayak across the Marina to enjoy the iconic vistas and create splashing memories.

Sailing sessions are priced at AED60 for 30 minutes, AED120 for one hour and free of charge for children under 12. Charters will be priced at AED100 for adults and AED50 for kids on the day. Kayaking and SUP prices start at AED40. Tow rides prices start at AED80 for single rides. Big Day Out Beat the end of winter blues at the tropical-themed sixth edition of Splash @ Yas Marina. Inspired by the vibrant and refreshing tropical theme, expect to find the venue decked with neon coloured decorations. Everything at Yas Marina, from food and beverages to music and signage, will reflect the theme of the event. As the sun sets, DJs will kick-start the party, while live bands will entertain guests at Iris, Stars ‘N’ Bars, Diablito and Aquarium. All events and activities will be supervised by qualified instructors and lifeguard – necessary safety equipment will be provided. Changing facilities with showers are available onsite to allow visitors to dry off. ✤ GO: Visit www.yasmarina.ae/events for more information. fact magazine



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Beirut Afternoon Tea Unlike any other afternoon tea you’ve tried, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers is putting together a Levant-inspired afternoon treat for guests. Li Beirut’s Chef Jouni Ibrahim and Executive Pastry Chef, Sumeda Palikaharra have paired up to create a delightful midday offering with delectable influences straight from Beirut. From the sweet options to the savoury choices and even the mouthwatering beverages – there’s something for everyone to bite in to. On March 21 a very special Arabic Mother’s Day afternoon tea will be available, so book fast! GO: Indulge in the Beirut Afternoon Tea at both Observation Deck (AED175++) or the Lobby Lounge (AED120++) from March 1 to 31. Call (0)2 811 5666 for reservations and more information.

BBQ on the Grass

The Reatreat – Gastro Pub at The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa hosts its weekly BBQ on the grass with excellent live entertainment and tantalising aromas in the air. Taking place facing the golf course with perfectly-seasoned steaks and seafood at hand, guests can enjoy four live cooking stations and chill-out music every Thursday from 7.30pm to 11pm. AED160 net for BBQ and soft drinks; AED220 net for BBQ and house beverages; and AED120 net for BBQ and soft drinks for kids. GO: Call (0)2 616 9999 for reservations and more information. 24

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Cherry Blossom Festival

Get down to Benihana at the Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi for a one-of-a-kind happening. Benihana will be in bloom in honour of the Cherry Blossom Festival serving a menu inspired by this cherished and colourful Japanese celebration. You’ll be served a special menu dedicated to the traditional festival. Relax and enjoy while you watch the entertaining chefs prepare your Teppanyaki dishes. Pick your favourites from Benihana’s tantalising treats for an evening to remember. Available from March 22 to 25. GO: Call (0)2 697 9011 for reservations and more information.

Buttero Festival In traditional Tuscan style, experience the essence of the authentic Buttero festival. Spend an interactive evening with the Villa Toscana family at The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, where you can discover and select from prime meat cuts presented by talented chefs, straight to the table, after watching traditional preparation on a live grill. A la carte and packages available from AED115++ per person. Available daily from March 18 to 31, 7pm to 11pm. ✤ GO: Call (0)2 694 4553 for reservations and more information.









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Celebrating ABU DHABI’s food & beverage industry, FACT will hold ITS annual dining awards for restaurants, cafes, PUBS, bars and lounges, across the CITY, in APRIL 2017.






There will be 28 categories in the FACT Dining Awards 2017 with two winners in each category walking away with an award: the Best and the Favourite.

The winner of the ‘Best’ in each category will be selected by a panel of food bloggers and industry experts, based on a list of criteria and dining reviews.

The winner of the ‘Favourite’ in each category will be selected through public voting online, on the FACT magazine website: www.fact-magazine.com.

The lavish award ceremony will be held in mid-April at a five-star location and winners will be announced in the May issue of FACT Abu Dhabi.


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INTERNATIONAL Trader Vic’s – Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi This global French-Polynesian concept has proven a major hit in Abu Dhabi, largely thanks to an elegant yet exotic venue, an excellent menu of bar snacks and à la carte dishes as well as an extensive beverage list. CuiScene – Fairmont Bab Al Bahr A casual, stylish venue perfect for a leisurely lunch, dinner or a business meal, CuiScene serves up an international buffet featuring dishes from Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Market Kitchen - Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi A trendy venue inspired by Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s concept of the “hotel as a home”, this place has a great menu of international and fusion dishes served up for lunch and dinner in the most perfect mix of urban and sophisticated surroundings.

Choices – Yas Island Rotana Choices restaurant offers an unforgettable dining experience featuring a wide variety of both Asian and international cuisines. Fresh and delicious dishes are served both buffet and a la carte style for diners to enjoy.

in international and Arabic cuisine. The buffet and live cooking stations complement the all-day à la carte menu. Kuzbara – Marriott Hotel Downtown, Abu Dhabi Live and interactive theatre kitchens create a marketplace atmosphere highlighting the best of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Sundrenched breakfast, varied lunches and imaginative dinners land Kuzbara a spot on this list. Ingredients – Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara This all-day venue features culinary specialities from around the world. Freshly baked Arabic bread, a live sushi bar; breakfast, lunch, and dinner from five different kitchens – the choice and quality of food is abundant.

FRENCH Bentley Bistro & Bar – The Galleria A French-style bistro in a ‘gastro pub’ concept, Bentley manages to be stylish, yet cosy and inviting too. Add to that an absolutely superb menu of hearty continental cuisine and a great after-work atmosphere and you’ve got a fabulous venue. Brasserie Angelique – Jumeirah at Etihad Towers With its extravagant, French-inspired interior, Brasserie Angélique provides a delightful French experience with an authentic à la carte menu; from exquisite seafood dishes to yummy desserts, this is where you can revel in the flavours of France to the max.

Le Beaujolais – Mercure Centre Hotel A unique and quirky venue with an ambiance more reminiscent of French-influenced North Africa, Le Prive nevertheless serves up an enticing selection of authentic French cuisine. Bord Eau – Shangri-La, Qaryat Al Beri Bord Eau is the ultimate restaurant for French fine dining that boasts opulent interiors and a superb menu of elegant, understated specials. A warm ambience complements the rich gastronomy to create an intimate dining experience. Brasserie Flo - Venetian Village With a stunning venue, excellent food offers and a creative beverage list, Brasserie Flo is all about giving you an authentic French dining experience, with décor reminiscent of a Parisian restaurant and superb cuisine to boot.

Teatro – Park Rotana Abu Dhabi Offering a truly à la carte experience encompassing cuisines from around the world, Teatro has become a food staple in the city. It serves up everything from Chinese to Italian, Japanese, Indian and Thai food, making the menu deliciously diverse. Urban Kitchen – Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi A contemporary and sophisticated dining venue, Urban Kitchen has an excellent buffet specialising fact magazine



ITALIAN Spaccanapoli – Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi This rustic and down-to-earth Italian eatery serves highquality and authentic Italian cuisine for a good price. With a new chef at the helm, the menu has been revamped and the city’s foodies are flocking in for a taste.

Villa Toscana – The St. Regis Abu Dhabi Corniche Serving regional Italian specialties from Tuscany, Umbria, and Emilia-Romagna, Villa Toscana’s design creates the feel of visiting the inviting summer home of an Italian noble. Seasonal menu changes reflect the true tastes of central Italy and service is excellent. Pappagallo – Le Meridien Abu Dhabi From basic homely dishes to the most sophisticated pizzas, pastas and risotto dishes, Pappagallo’s high-quality ingredients and Italian countryside ambience teamed with al fresco dining options makes this a favourable food spot. Circo – InterContinental Abu Dhabi This award-winning concept has already enjoyed considerable success in New York and Las Vegas, and its combination of fine-dining Italian cuisine and entertaining carnivalesque ambiance


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has now proven a hit in Abu Dhabi too. Sacci – The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa Sacci is an authentic family style Italian trattoria that pays tribute to the rich heritage of Italian cuisine and beverage. A place that combines the flavours of childhood and the aromas of a summer at the family terrazzo, with great dining deals too. Roberto’s Abu Dhabi – The Galleria, Al Maryah Island Immerse yourself in a classic and polished Italian indoor and outdoor dining area and experience La Dolce Vita. Modern interiors, an open kitchen and a marble Crudo Bar add to the theatrical gastronomy and amazing food preparartions.


Bice – Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Discover authentic Italian dining with its contemporary design and the meaning of Italian charm. BiCE offers the exceptional combination of modern and traditional Italian cuisine for lunch and dinner served in a stylish setting.

Giornotte – The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal Designed to resemble a classic Italian villa, this all-day dining restaurant serves light Mediterranean fare and features a lovely outdoor brick patio with a wooden deck overlooking the gardens.

Prego’s – Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi Freshly-made pasta, wood-fired pizza and a stylish, contemporary design with great use of light, mosaic tiles and natural colours, all make Prego’s a standout Italian eatery. The open kitchens and beautiful terrace area add to the homely vibe.

Safina – Saadiyat Beach Club Dine in style and enjoy delicious Mediterranean cuisine at Safina, where expert chefs create culinary specialties inspired by the French and Italian Rivieras and the Levant. The fresh fish dishes are particularly good.

Café Milano – Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island From Washington, DC to Abu Dhabi, Café Milano is where fine Italian dining meets sophisticated style. Savour dishes inspired by the southern coast of Italy including hand-made pasta, fresh seafood and vibrant insalate, served in a waterfront location.

The Beach House – Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas An elegant and stylish beachfront villa overlooking the rushes and sands of the stunning Saadiyat coastline, this cosy venue serves up an excellent menu of European fine dining, and is the perfect place for an intimate dinner.


Oléa – The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort This Mediterranean-influenced, all-day venue has stunning panoramic views of the ocean and a menu packed with delicious salads, soups, mains, and desserts. The Olea Breakfast is a must-try. 18 Degrees – Hyatt Capital Gate Something truly different, 18 Degrees is located on the 18th floor of the unique Hyatt Capital Gate’s ‘leaning tower’, and boasts a trendy, elegant setting with beautiful views of the city, on top of a mouthwatering menu.

and desserts. Whilst sampling the food, enjoy live entertainment by the talented Oud player and puff flavours from the wide selection of shisha served on the terrace. Kamoon – Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana A classic Arabic experience freshly prepared, Kamoon Restaurant has a captivating ambiance with scenic views of the Arabian Gulf. Savour authentic Arabic dishes prepared with the finest quality ingredients for a true-to-taste experience. Atayeb – Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi A delectable fusion of flavours from regions bordering the Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf, Atayeb Restaurant takes Moroccan, Tunisian, Lebanese and Syrian old world tastes and gives them a modern flair producing delicious hot and cold mezzeh, stews, tajines and couscous dishes.

LEBANESE Todd English’s Olives – Venetian Village Abu Dhabi Featuring a maze like interior with several areas, each with a distinct vibe – from sophisticated and luxe to casual – the moods and experiences offered at Todd English’s Olives are remarkably eclectic. Chef English’s unique interpretation of Mediterranean cuisine is a hit with diners.

ARABIC Kahraman – Southern Sun Abu Dhabi Expect the finest traditional contemporary MiddleEastern favourites, from breads and grills to the delectable salads and tempting desserts. In the midst of it all, you’ll find a sushi counter offering an excellent selection of sushi and sashimi.

Byblos Sur Mer – InterContinental Abu Dhabi Offering a unique twist on your classic Lebanese cuisine, Byblos Sur Mer set out not to compete with other fine-dining Lebanese restaurants, but instead to offer something completely new, and they have hugely succeeded – a stunning venue and a superb menu. Al Mayass – Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort A Lebanese-Armenian boutique restaurant where you can savour generations-old recipes. Located at the private lagoon area, Al Mayass offers premium cuisine with a high level of customer service. The décor is beautifully-reminiscent of a traditional Lebanese home.

Sambusek – Rosewood Abu Dhabi Enjoy the evening in a luxurious Lebanese-style environment, with a superb selection of beverages and delectable dishes. All the classic mezze is available alongside the finest meats and freshest fish grilled to perfection, all in a delightful evening atmosphere. Rozanah – Yas Marina Nestling in the vibrant hub of Yas Marina, Rozanah bursts with the flavours of Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine. From mouth-watering mezzah to exquisite barbeque platters, Rozanah combines gastronomic excellence with impeccable Lebanese hospitality with breathtaking views. Li Beirut – Jumeirah at Etihad Towers This exquisite restaurant takes fine Lebanese dining to a whole new level. From the foie gras kebbeh starter to the signature main course of zaatar-crusted rack of lamb accompanied by sweet potato and truffle, everything on the menu is a masterpiece.

Mijana – The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal Mijana is a contemporary Arabic restaurant showcasing the best in Lebanese and Middle Eastern cooking, tying together old and new. With outdoor seating and live Arabic music to set the mood, diners gather here for the lovely ambience. Barouk – Crowne Plaza Yas Island Barouk serves delectable hot and cold mezze, grills fact magazine



Hakkasan – Emirates Palace Instant glamour, opulent design and an Asian contemporary ambience come together in this globally popular concept. Hakkasan combines ambitious cooking with a fine-dining Chinese menu that has earned it a loyal following.

seafood Sayad – Emirates Palace With a perfect location by the sea, Sayad Restaurant offers discerning seafood lovers a daily menu of light and delicious fare with a fresh, modern twist from the kitchen. Cool, contemporary décor creates a chic atmosphere that makes Sayad a hugely inviting dining venue. Finz – Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi Finz offers a wide variety of seafood in an elegant atmosphere with lovely views overlooking Abu Dhabi’s waterfront skyline. Serving the finest seafood delights with fresh ingredients and superior service, Finz is a hit with seafood aficionados. Fishmarket – InterContinental Abu Dhabi The Fishmarket treats you to a wonderful experience of choosing your fish and seafood in a charming market setting with the freshest ingredients, cooked Thai-style and served to you beachfront for a truly legendary dining experience. P&C by Sergi Arola – Shangri-La, Qaryat Al Beri A superb dining and lounging destination overseen by Spanish celebrity chef Sergi Arola, P&C is a stylish Mediterranean seafood restaurant boasting stunning views of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and a menu that has captured the taste buds of seafood lovers. 30

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Catch – The St. Regis Abu Dhabi Corniche With an idyllic beachfront location on the stunning Abu Dhabi corniche, Catch offers not just an excellent seafood experience with tantalising food, but also a fabulous social one, with a popular lounge upstairs for post-meal entertainment. Turquoiz – The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort A gorgeous venue with a large sunset terrace and a warm, inviting atmosphere, Tuqruoiz is a social hotspot as much for its ambiance as for it’s excellent seafood menu of tempting dishes, light meals and sumptuous snacks.

CHINESE Shang Palace – Shangri-La, Qaryat Al Beri Few places provide as authentic an experience as this restaurant, which makes it popular with both Chinese and international diners. For a true taste of China and all the different regional food the country offers, Shang Palace won’t disappoint. Dai Pai Dong – Rosewood Abu Dhabi Dai Pai Dong has made its mark and gained a huge loyal base of foodies, It differs from most in its offering as its menu is based on Hong Kong street food, with a particularly excellent selection of Dim Sum, delicious Crispy Duck and more, and prices that won’t break the bank.

Shanghai Surprise – Al Diar Capital Hotel A rustic and quirky offering in the Al Diar Capital Hotel, Shanghai Surprise is popular amongst those in the know for offering excellent Chinese fare for surprisingly affordable prices. A real hidden gem! P.F. Chang’s – Yas Mall Abu Dhabi This hugely popular chain of Asian food restaurants is always packed with diners. A visit here is incomplete without a portion of its Dynamite Shrimp, but any dish from the extensive menu is generous and tasty.

SOUTH EAST ASIAN Li Jiang – The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal A modern restaurant with an open kitchen that satisfies the appetite for all things spicy, authentic and oriental. Meaning “beautiful river” in Chinese, Li Jiang is a one-stop dining spot for excellent food and a great, majestic setting.


Cho Gao – Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Serving up great Asian cuisine right in the heart of downtown Abu Dhabi, Cho Gao is bustling most nights in the week. It’s variety of truly flavoursome Asian-inspired dishes, plus a brand new sushi bar that make this place the go-to for food lovers and socialites. Noodle Box – Yas Viceroy of South East Asia Noodle Box offers contemporary South East Asian cuisine in casual yet vibrant surroundings. Specialities include Laksa, Nasi Goreng, Thai curries, dim sum and other Chinese classics infused with the irresistible tastes and aromas of the East. Sontaya – The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Boasting a luxuriously intimate setting, set amongst a series of floating pavilions that look out to the beach, this idyllic venue offers up flavours and tastes from Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam with a healthy twist. Rouge – Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi Experience some of the best in modern Pan Asian cuisine, combined with time honored traditions at Rouge restaurant. Relax and enjoy the elegant setting, perfect for romantic dinners, whilst you’re served some delicious menu items.

JAPANESE Benihana – Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi This highly popular Japanese eatery in the Beach Rotana makes Teppankayi its specialty, but also offers a wide range of high-quality sushi, soups and noodle dishes to complement its staple menu items.

Sho Cho – Souq Qaryat Al Beri If you like Japanese cuisine and seafood, you won’t find a better combination than in Sho Cho. Set in a stunning location looking across the water at the Grand Mosque, the menu is great and the ambience perfect for sunset dining. Zuma – Al Maryah Island The secret to uber-trendy Zuma’s success lies in its attention to detail, with every aspect of the experience, from the beverages to the food and the venue itself designed to impress. Don’t go without trying the black cod. Seriously… Inakaya – Venetian Village Abu Dhabi These days, you could be forgiven for thinking Japanese food is all about Sushi, Teppankayi and Bento. Inakaya Robatayaki grill brings something very different, in one of the most authentic and unique Japanese experiences to be found in the UAE capital.

Tori No Su – Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Serving gourmet Japanese cuisine with plenty of personality, Tori No Su has a fantastic menu served in a sleek, modern environment. Enjoy fresh sushi, ‘iron plate’ Teppanyaki dishes or something slowgrilled from the Robatayaki counter. Koi – Saadiyat Island Tuck into imaginative dishes inspired by traditional Japanese preparations, then deconstructed and infused with modern California accents. Modern palates will truly be inspired by Koi’s Japanese fusion fare.

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INDIAN Ushna – Souq Qaryat Al Beri Classic Indian fare is taken to a whole new level with the fine-dining experience that Ushna offers. It serves all your favourite dishes from across the subcontinent prepared to extremely high standards. Angar – Yas Viceroy Angar takes traditional Indian flavours and spices and gives them a deliciously modern twist. Specialities include marinated meats and seafood rich in flavour, served directly from the tandoor with the freshest naan and roti. Peppermill – Eastern Mangroves Promenade Peppermill is a fine dining restaurant offering Indian cuisine with inventive recipes and alluring flavours to stimulate the palate and gratify the senses. Using local and international produce, the team serves flavourful dishes. Punjab Grill – Venetian Village This place was a real game-changer on Abu Dhabi’s Indian food scene, attracting aficionados of Indian cuisine to its lovely venue. Serving up the juciest and most succulent fine grills alongside classic dishes from within Indian culture – this is tradition meets creativity.

offering choices for the traditional palette. The venue is beautiful and the food is authentically Indian.

Recipes here are passed down over generations and packed with Thai flavours.



Pachaylen – Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara An elegant and intimate setting to savour the authentic tastes of Thailand. From the open kitchen, enjoy flavourful curries and spicy salads amid lavish interiors evocative of the grace of the eastern Kingdom.

Chamas – InterContinental Abu Dhabi Think juicy meat platters, endless skewers of freshly barbecued meat and chicken, and a lively South American band and samba dancers providing entertainment, and you have Chamas; a genuine Brazilian atmosphere for all.

Talay – Le Meridien Abu Dhabi Talay specialises in sumptuous Thai cuisine and features a live seafood station too. Experience a delectable culinary journey across Thailand with traditional flavours and tasty Thai delights. Silk & Spice – Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche Discover the flavours of Bangkok at Silk & Spice, a unique Thai restaurant in Abu Dhabi. Traditional sunken tables, a carved wooden ceiling and authentic kneel-down service set the scene for delicious fruit cocktails, green curry and pad Thai. Lemongrass – Various Locations Despite being a chain mostly found in malls, Lemongrass outlets serve excellent Thai food of five-star quality. The bonus is that because they’re not in a five-star hotes, they don’t charge five-star prices – making it all the more worth your dirham. Benjarong – Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi The hotel’s signature restaurant serves up authentic Royal Thai cuisine in a beautiful space, fusing contemporary style with traditional Thai design.

Tamba – The Hub, The Mall at World Trade Centre, Abu Dhabi An ingenious reinterpretation of the flavours of the subcontinent, with a contemporary twist. A stunning, loft-style setting designed to foster social interaction and culinary discovery, Tamba successfully experiments to pair modern techniqies with classic recipes. Indigo – Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi Contemporary modern Indian Restaurant with an avant-garde approach on North Indian cuisine, and 32

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Asia De Cuba – The St. Regis Abu Dhabi Last year it won big, this year a strong contender, Asia De Cuba has taken Abu Dhabi’s social scene by storm, offering an uber-glam beachfront setting and terrace with excellent Cuban fusion food and a lively atmosphere. Amerigos – Park Inn By Radisson, Abu Dhabi, Yas Island Savour a variety of exotic spices and native ingredients in this Mexican restaurant’s lively atmosphere. Guests delight in creatively presented dishes, including the traditional guacamole, prawn ceviche, quesadillas, and fajitas.


El Sombrero – Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort El Sombrero will help to spice up your nights with great Mexican food and lively South American music. Serving the authentic flavours of Mexico such as fajitas, chimichangas, tacos and enchiladas, the dishes here are flavour-packed. Noche – Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi A vibrant restaurant and bar, Noche serves classic South American dishes and creative cocktails. This Abu Dhabi hot spot with daily live entertainment is great for a social catch up and relaxing evening out.

grey timbers that line the walls and floor, creating a contemporary dining experience with global influences, while the menu offers everything from prime aged beef to shellfish and roasts. Marco Pierre White – Fairmont Bab Al Bahr Set apart with its dramatic interior design, including a back lit ‘flame’ wall, guests will experience an eclectic combination of innovative grills and classic English fare, by celebrity Chef Marco Pierre White.

BU! – The Hub, The Mall at World Trade Centre, Abu Dhabi For Pan-Latin fare that will blow your palate away, BU! has it all. It represents a stylish and striking addition to the dining and social scene. From the food and drinks, to the world-class entertainment and elegant urban interiors, everything at BU! emanates distinctive Latin American flair.

EMIRATE EXPERIENCE Al Falaj – Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara Embark on a voyage to the spirit of Arabia and revel in indigenous settings and traditional fare. As you settle amidst open surrounds reminiscent of ancient times, sample a variety of cold mezzeh, and indulge in the Arabic BBQ. Uninterrupted sand dunes and a sapphire blue sky await. Al-Fanar – Venetian Village Abu Dhabi True to its name AlFanar brings authentic traditional Emirati cuisine to light. The restaurant serves up authentic Emirati cuisine with fresh salads, fish, seafood and meats. The cuisine and interiors, decorated with antique artifacts, transport guests to the humble but hospitable origins of the UAE.

STEAKHOUSE The Forge – The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal One of the most elegant steakhouses in Abu Dhabi, the Forge occupies pride of place on the Ritz Carlton’s dining promenade, and offers only the choicest steaks and meats and a variety of other superb dishes with exceptional service in true five-star setting. The Foundry – Southern Sun Abu Dhabi At night, The Foundry quite literally transforms into an intimate and stylish steakhouse restaurant serving the finest cuts of meat and offering a menu that takes diners on a culinary and interactive journey from start to finish. 55&5th, The Grill – The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort A classic grill and lounge inspired by the address of the original St. Regis New York, this restaurant pairs an art deco-style ambiance with a relaxed lounge vibe, and an American-inspired menu with signature dishes and cocktails. Rodeo Grill – Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi This modern-day steakhouse features warm

Butcher & Still – Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island Butcher & Still transforms the steak restaurant experience with its rustic, retro design inspired by a 1940s Chicago steakhouse. Enjoys views of the city’s waterfront as you dine on prime-cut steaks, flown in from specially selected farms in the US. JW Steakhouse – Marriott Hotel Downtown, Abu Dhabi Premium quality cuts are enhanced with varying dry aging techniques, paired with modern interpretations of the classic steakhouse sides. The art of mixology, is brought tableside with a range of concoctions; a world class grape list compliments the food experience. RAY’S GRILL – JUMEIRAH AT ETIHAD TOWERS The ultimate venue to savour the perfect steak. Discerning meat lovers will be taken on a culinary journey through a diversity of world-famous cattle breeds sourced from the finest producers in Australia, Ireland, and the USA. From USDA Prime Beef to Australian Master Kobe, this contemporary steakhouse continues to impress.

Mezlai – Emirates Palace Fine dining local cuisine doesn’t get better than this. This unique restaurant offers you flawless customer service and attention, as well as first-class Emirati cuisine. Enjoy your authentic Emirati dining experience on the outdoor terrace or indoors in pure elegance. Al Shams – Sir Bani Yas Island Resorts Discover the casual elegance, vibrant flavours and evolving mood of Al Shams Restaurant and Bar. Try the Taste of Arabia dining offer and commence a journey into the heart of Arabia and indulge in local culture and traditions. Savour a variety of traditional Arabic cuisine and discover truly heartfelt hospitality. Majlis Alfareej – Darwish Tower A ‘first of its kind’ restaurant concept has unleashed itself onto the diverse Abu Dhabi culinary scene, and it promises to seriously re-imagine authentic Emirati flavours. Majlis Alfareej is a family business and the brainchild of Abu Dhabi husband and wife team, serving up authentic and fusion style dishes. fact magazine



ALL-DAY DINING Aqua – Rosewood Abu Dhabi Savour fine dining in a casual atmosphere, or dine outdoors on the waterfront terrace. Executive Chef Francisco Sanabria has created a menu with international flair, seamlessly combining Mediterranean and Indian flavours, all served fresh from an interactive show kitchen.

delights that change daily. The breakfast is an exquisite start to the day, whilst the Arabian Nights is one of the best in town. Silk Route – Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi Silk Route Cafe is the all-day Asian-Arabic dining restaurant serving an extensive buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The setting is relaxed and inviting, with a warm and homely ambience. Rosewater – Jumeirah at Etihad Towers As you’d expect from a venue in these iconic towers, Rosewater offers a highly elegant and luxurious atmosphere, and serves everything from seafood to steak, and Indian to Arabic cuisines. There’s something for every discerning foodie here.

AL FRESCO DINING Sofra Bld – Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri Sofra bld offers an extensive choice of dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Multiple live cooking stations allow guests to interact with chefs and choose from a wide range of authentic Arabic and Asian dishes in an atmosphere that mirrors the original souk experience of the Middle East. Bistro – Courtyard By Marriott, World Trade Centre Abu Dhabi An all-day dining that serves daily international buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. Indulge in the vast sumptuous buffet of local and international favourites or order from the equally irresistible a la carte menu – there’s something for everyone.

Latest Recipe – Le Meridien Abu Dhabi Embark on a taste of discovery at this bright, allday contemporary restaurant. Featuring new and old recipes of Eastern and Western gastronomic 34

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BBQ Al Qasr – Emirates Palace A stunning outdoor offering in the glamorous setting of the Emirates Palace beachfront, BBQ Al Qasr offers luxurious cabanas and chilled beach seating with a sumptuous selection of grilled food and shisha with scenic views of the Abu Dhabi Corniche skyline. Acropolis – Le Meridien Abu Dhabi Perhaps one of the most authentic Greek experiences you can have in Abu Dhabi, Acropolis is a rustic and homely Mediterranean-styled eatery with the al fresco terrace to boot, set in Le Meridien’s well-known food village. Bentley Bistro & Bar – The Galleria, Al Maryah Island Bentley Bistro & Bar features a new generation of fusion cuisine which blends classic French recipes with Europe’s contemporary

dining influences. Bentley’s outdoor dining area is sheltered and hugged by beautiful plants and rustic décor, which makes sitting outside cosy and intimate. Afya – Traders Hotel Qaryat Al Beri Afyä’s open kitchen, which stretches nearly the entire length of the chic venue, brings together popular dishes from around the world. Freshly prepared with the freshest of ingredients, pleasant meals that are guaranteed to satisfy are served all day at the restaurant. Tamba – The Hub, The Mall at World Trade Centre Abu Dhabi An inviting, contemporary setting, perfect for relaxed conversation with friends, yes please! Tamba’s Sundowner Sessions quickly became the talk of the town, and its outdoor terrace has since turned into a crowd-puller for food, drinks and catch-ups. Cabana Beach Bar & Grill – The St. Regis Abu Dhabi A picturesque beachfront bar and restaurant, Cabana Bar & Grill is the new hotspot on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche. Savour a delectable menu of crisp salads, hearty burgers and fresh paninis throughout the day with classic entrées and decadent desserts, while sipping refreshing cocktails and watching the sunset over the horizon. Finz – Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi This restaurant is simply the epitome of al fresco dining; housed in a Swiss-style chalet, Finz sits on stilts over the water between Abu Dhabi and Al Maryah Island. In the evening, the terrace is alive with lights from nearby buildings. Bask in the beautiful surroundings whilst enjoying tasty seafood delicacies with family and friends.


Li Jiang – The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal With its stunning outdoor dining and lounge area, Li Jiang offers beautiful views of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque as well as the serenity of being set in the hotel’s immaculate gardens. A DJ will spin lounge-style tunes as you tuck into the most flavourful dim sum and other Asian-inspired treats.

POOL BAR Nahaam – Jumeirah at Etihad Towers This casual yet chic poolside restaurant offers a varied and carefully considered menu of firm favourites, from sandwiches and burgers to salads and shakes. The vibe is funky and modern, making it a lovely spot to relax. Glo – Rosewood Abu Dhabi A funky and relaxed open-air bar, Glo takes its name from the venue’s striking signature lighting that illuminates the evening sky. Listen to deep house music and laid back beats while savouring a variety of refreshing mixed beverages and vintages. Shams Pool Bar – Radisson Blu Yas Island Serving up refreshing drinks and tasty snacks, Shams is great for watching the sunset or taking a dip in the pool to cool off. Alongside the snacks an array of beers, wines and spirits as well as soft drinks, teas and juices, are available. The Pool Deck – Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara A tranquil poolside setting by the mangroves, this luxurious pool area offers fantastic views to marvel while sipping on a refreshing frozen cocktail or tucking into a selection of Mediterranean dishes.

BAR/LOUNGE Stills – Crowne Plaza Yas Island One of Yas Island’s most popular watering holes, Stills benefits from a great menu (including yummy pies) and an expansive outdoor terrace that is usually fully-booked at weekends. Iris – Yas MARINA One of Yas Island’s most popular social hotspots, the venue is crammed to the hilt with its glamorous clientele most nights of the week. A great outdoor terrace and excellent food menu adds to the appeal of this trendy venue. Ray’s Bar – Jumeirah at Etihad Towers A stylish spot to enjoy top tunes and some of the best cocktails in Abu Dhabi. Looking down from Level 62 you’ll enjoy great views – and with the amazing DJ sets, chic ambience, and light nibbles, this place is one cool venue to chill out in. Stratos – Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi’s only revolving venue, this stylish lounge on the 31st floor of the hotel offers a spectacular and constantly changing view of the city, along with a glamorous décor and tempting menu of food and beverages. Jazz Bar & Dining – Hilton Abu Dhabi Enjoy dazzling live music from the talented band at this revamped, iconic Abu Dhabi live music club. Sit back and relax as you listen to your favourite

tunes and sip an expertly mixed beverage. The ladies nights here are very popular. Zsa Zsa – Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island This stunning cocktail bar is located just off the lobby and pays homage to a history of glamour and fine drinking. Cheers to an era gone by as you dine on gourmet snacks and small plates, updated often by the creative chefs. Velocity – Marriott Hotel Downtown, Abu Dhabi From sports, live DJ’s and a variety of contemporary culinary selections, Velocity offers the perfect seat for everyone. An extensive selection of Gourmet Burgers, Lobsters and Specialty Wings served alongside a variety of draft and craft hops, and home infused concoctions.

Breeze – Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi With panoramic views of Abu Dhabi, this 23rd floor pool bar serves up yummy light snacks, healthy dishes, invigorating smoothies, multivitamin shots and fresh cocktails for visitors. Eclipse – Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island The open-air venue boasts a shaded bar area and lounge-style seating, perfect for mingling with associates or friends. During the day, enjoy light, spa-like cuisine from the bar’s healthy menu, as well as poolside cocktails. fact magazine



PUB Captain’s Arms – Le Meridien Abu Dhabi Another long-running favourite, the Captain’s Arms boasts a true ‘olde-worlde’ vibe thanks to wooden beams and chalkboard signs. Its outdoor drinking garden is hugely popular in the cooler months. Cooper’s Bar – Park Rotana Abu Dhabi Cooper’s has become a popular haunt for trendy media types. With great happy hour deals and a popular ladies night, the venue gets busy for postwork drinks, and diners enjoying good pub grub. Heroes – Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi A basement bar through and through, the atmosphere here is fantastic, and wellsuited to those people looking to escape the pretentiousness of the country’s more glamorous venues, and let their hair down. McGettigans – Al Raha Beach Hotel Having only been open a relatively short time in Abu Dhabi, McGettigans has rapidly become one of the country’s most popular nightspots. Buzzing most nights of the week, it is packed on a weekend, largely thanks to a great atmosphere and good music.

The Sportman’s Arms – Zayed Sports City The hot new gastropub boasts the classic elegant leather, wood and brass décor that you’d expect from this kind of venue, along with an excellent menu of pub fare with flair, and sports playing on many screens around the venue. Porters – Grand Millennium Al Wahda Porters is a good venue for both live sports on the 36

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TV during the day, and live entertainment from the rock band in the evenings. A classic English-style pub that delivers on all fronts. PJ O’Reilly’s – Le Royal Meridien Abu DHABI Abu Dhabi’s quintessential Irish bar is a true spit n’ sawdust type of venue that’s popular with the Irish crowd. Great live music and frequent visits from the legendary Paddyman make this venue very popular. Belgian Café – InterContinental Abu Dhabi The Belgian Café holds true to its namesake, serving a wide selection of Belgian and European brews, as well as Belgian classics and other European-inspired pub grub. It boasts a nice outdoor terrace overlooking the marina too.


WhEAT – Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi This place has become a neighbourhood favourite for those who enjoy casual meals and healthy snacks on-the-go. Offering delicious food in a quaint café set-up, WhEAT caters to many different dietary needs with its true-to-taste ingredients.

Jones The Grocer – Various Locations Jones the Grocer gives diners an amazing taste of its now-famous Australian concept based on using extremely high-quality ingredients in classic European and Mediterranean dishes for a gourmet experience in a laid-back café setting.

NO. Fifty Seven Boutique Café – Al Marasy It’s dubbed the UAE’s most innovative and mysterious supper club and the foodie community all agree. This modern restaurant serves fresh, local ingredients in a sophisticated setting. The menu melds seasonal ingredients with traditional and international flavours to create tempting dishes.

Central Grounds – Marriott Hotel Downtown, Abu Dhabi From morning to evening, Central Grounds transforms with you and your needs. Offering free Wi-Fi access, convenient on-the-go cuisine, quality and innovative coffee methods and hand crafted freakshakes. It’s where people meet to create, think, meet and relax.

Tawa Bakery – Al Muneera Plaza Abu Dhabi’s very first home-grown gluten free café, serving up delicious and surprising dishes from its beautiful beach-facing location on Al Raha Beach. Tawa Bakery’s menu reflects current culinary trends and combines wholesome food favourites with premium ingredients and techniques to produce outstandingly tasty dishes.


Nolu’s Café – Various Locations Nolus’s brings rich Afghan roots and family traditions and passion to Abu Dhabi. The cooking reflects health and simplicity. It stands for complex flavours and diverse palates introduced in a wholesome, modern way. Food is served in a relaxed California-style environment. Leopold’s of London – Various Locations This high-end concept from the UK is a café and bistro offering a dazzling array of elegant, intricate and delicious dishes, snacks and treats, as well as flavourful coffee and a wide selection of teas. Fifth Street Café – Courtyard by Marriott, World Trade Centre Abu Dhabi Ignite your senses with a coffee roasted in the UAE. With complimentary Wi-Fi, easily accessible power points and generous servings of mouthwatering signature dishes and home-baked goodies – this is the perfect spot for any occasion, whether you’re eating in or taking away. Casper & Gambini – Marina Village Fresh sandwiches, salads, desserts and many other delicacies are prepared and presented in a brilliant way. Each and every menu item presented to customers combines creativity and diversity and is packed with incredible taste. Whether you decide to pass by for breakfast, a cup of coffee, for lunch, dinner, or even an organic tea, prepare to be impressed.

COFFEEHOUSE Tim Horton’s – Various Locations This Canadian coffee chain is a huge hit for the amazing treats it offers alongside its coffee. You can get the usual sandwiches, cookies and croissants, but it’s the glorious donuts that have people spilling through its doors day after day. Costa Coffee – Various Locations A well-known and much loved-brand, Costa is the go-to place for good coffee and a decent sandwich, with one always close wherever you are. Familiar and reliable, it’s popular with friends, colleagues and solo diners too. Mugg & Bean – Various Locations Mugg n’ Bean has taken the ‘coffee-chain’ concept to a higher level, principally by serving an excellent

menu of breakfasts and popular main dishes to its punters in addition to an extensive menu of coffees, teas, pastries and cakes. Gloria Jean’s – Various Locations Gloria Jean’s was founded in Chicago, but taken global by Australian entrepreneurs later on. It now has over 1000 stores in 39 countries worldwide, which is testament to the quality of its coffee. The Coffee Club – Various Locations This Australian coffee shop concept has a European-style approach to their outlet in Yas Mall, with an in-house kitchen serving highquality breakfast, lunch and dinner in addition to excellent coffee. The Third Place – Abu Dhabi Corniche Blending together everything that we love about Arabian coffeehouses, Germen Bierstubes, Italian taberna and Viennese cafés, The Third Place serves a medley of cultures with excellent art and creative spirit as well as delicious food and mouthwatering beverages.

IN-MALL SUSHI ART – THE GALLERIA From authentic Japanese sushi to the best of French influences. Aficionados in Abu Dhabi have embraced this fusion kitchen, which integrates a strong French gastronomic legacy into its premium range of products. Combining fine dining, delivery and takeaway in an authentic Japanese ambiance, SushiArt meets every customer’s needs.

Café Bateel – Various Locations Taking the brand a step beyond gourmet products, Café Bateel represents a seamless blend of Mediterranean cuisine and the distinct character of their Arabian heritage. There’s a warm and sophisticated ambiance where you can enjoy extraordinary gourmet cuisine with a tempting selection of wholesome food and beverages. Biryani Pot – The Galleria From the bustling street markets in India to the largest metropolis’ in the world, the humble biryani is globally recognised and loved. Biryani Pot offers many exciting new variations of this hearty dish,_as well as freshly prepared curries, tandoor grills, saucy wraps and salads. Carluccio’s – Various Locations A world-famous brand, Carluccio’s now has many outlets across the UAE popular for its excellent menu of reasonably priced, but high-quality authentic Italian cuisine. The flagship Abu Dhabi outlet is on the Eastern Mangroves Promenade. Shakespeare & Co. – Yas Mall Abu Dhabi A café with a difference, this highly unique coffee house features quaint and kitsch dollhouse antique-style décor and has become a highly popular social hotspots for friends and families to grab a bite to eat. Paul Café – Various Locations Paul Café serves up an enticing menu of highquality French-inspired à la carte dishes as well as ready-to-eat sandwiches, pastries and breads. Popular for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Paul Café is a favourite in the region. fact magazine



FRIDAY BRUNCH Friday Marina Brunch – InterContinental Abu Dhabi Four cuisines, three restaurants, two package options… this is the Friday Marina Brunch. You can indulge in a sumptuous affair with buffet and live cooking stations serving fresh mussels, choice cuts of meat, delicious pasta, Italian masterpieces and mouthwatering desserts.

TEA ROOM The Chocolate Gallery – Fairmont Bab Al Bahr This chic venue is perfect for true chocolate enthusiasts, as chocolatiers craft delectable confectionary at an artist studio or ‘atelier’, and the menu offers a full range of signature hot and iced chocolate beverages fondues, cakes and more. Tea Lounge – The St. Regis Abu Dhabi Corniche Famous for carrying on the afternoon tea tradition introduced by Lady Astor in the 19th century, this tea lounge is a regal affair of ballroom-style interiors and serves up an exquisite sweet treats and tea menu. Alba – The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal A comfortable, classic lobby lounge with its vaulted ceiling and semi-private dining areas, Alba is a great place to try traditional Afternoon Tea offering up homemade cupcakes like red velvet amongst other sweet and savoury treats. Le Café – Emirates Palace From gold drizzled chocolates to tantalising teas, Le Café offers the perfect setting for a drink, a meeting, an aperitif or a light meal. Le Café specialises in both European and Arabic high teas, and serves the famous Palace choco cake. The Library – Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas A contemporary tea lounge serving selected teas and coffee specialties, as well as homemade chocolates and pastries. With its leather panels, black marble and an open fire feature, The Library is the perfect intimate setting. 38

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Observation Deck 300 – Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Located on Level 74, the Observation Deck at 300 is the highest vantage point in Abu Dhabi and offers absolutely stunning views across the city and Arabian Gulf, and offers light bites, mocktails and the ‘highest’ High Tea in Abu Dhabi. Al Meylas Lounge – Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island Sophisticated yet unpretentious, this is the “living room of Abu Dhabi,” where comfortable sofas and armchairs will make you feel as though you’re lounging at home, in a modern majlissetting. Enjoy the sunset through the wall of windows or outdoor terrace as you dine on tea, coffee and Emirati cuisine with innovative twists.

Friday Fairmont Brunch – Fairmont Bab Al Bahr This Friday epicurean experience spans across two restaurants in close proximity - CuiScene and Frankie’s Italian Restaurant & Bar. With double the culinary offerings, guests can select from over 200 dishes and plenty of great drinks in a warm and lively atmosphere. Raising the Steaks Brunch – The Foundry, Southern Sun Abu Dhabi This brunch is a meat-lover’s paradise, but offers something way over and above a simple steak selection. The chefs have concentrated on delivering five tender cuts of finger-licking beef alongside appetising food stations that include beef Carpaccio, antipasti, beef tartare and more. You’ll also be treated to live stations including the oyster bar and the sumptuous Foie gras station too.

Lobby lounge – Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri Take in the design and architecture of the Middle East in an opulent and comfortable setting. Immerse your senses in the sounds of Arabia as oud and qanun performances bring the venue to life whilst you savour afternoon tea or sweet delights.

The St. Regis Friday Brunch – The Terrace, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi A hearty and colourful brunch in true St. Regis style. Indulge in an infinite selection of the freshest seafood, sushi, foie gras, fine grilled cuts and more - many of which are prepared live in front of you. Just remember to save some room, because the dedicated dessert and cheese room will be sure to tempt you! Eat. Play. Laugh Brunch – Kuzbara, Marriott Hotel Downtown, Abu Dhabi A fun-filled Friday Brunch for grown-ups with PG+

FACT DINING AWARDS rated games, a magician, cartoonists and our resident DJ mixing up a storm classic beats. Taking place in Kuzbara, the food is an impressive spread of dishes from all of the restaurants within the hotel; including JW Steakhouse, Velocity and Kuzbara.

of mighty proportion at the Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi. There’s a huge variety of international cuisines for the whole family to enjoy, and even a very special kids zone with cartoons, toys, a kids buffet and lots of sweet treats for the sugar rush on the way home.

Sky Brunch – 18 Degrees, Hyatt Capital Gate An effortless brunch like no other, you can start off buffet-style with the starters ranging from cold and hot appetisers and a seafood bar; followed by a menu to choose your main course a la carte, made to order to ensure freshness. You’ll sample many of 18 Degrees’ delicacies in the dessert buffet all the while admiring the stunning views, 80-metres above the city.

Friday Brunch – Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi This spectacular Bubbly Brunch offers you the best of three restaurants! Enjoy classic German food, including a roast at Brauhaus and Japanese favourites at Benihana. At Essence, indulge in authentic Arabic, Asian and Continental dishes. There’s face painting, a bouncy castle, an ice cream station and balloon sculptors to keep the little ones occupied.

Crust Brunch – Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island Seasonal seafood, cocktails and roast meat cuts are served family style to the table at one of the most exciting waterfront locations in the capital. With a variety of delectable global cuisine, all displayed buffet style with live cooking stations, brunch is a delicious market-inspired occasion.

Jing Asia – Crowne Plaza Yas Island Families can enjoy an extensive selection of international dishes and free flowing beverages, with good quality food on offer. Pan-Asian dishes sizzling at Jing Asia’s live cooking stations, and views overlooking the Gulf, Friday Brunch is a real treat at this venue.

Friday Brunch – Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort Embark on a culinary journey around the world. Stroll around the buffet featuring live cooking stations; indulge in the aromas of sizzling meats, fresh seafood, and delicious desserts, at the Fizzy Friday Brunch in Flavours restaurant. Sofra Bld – Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri This is a uniquely splendid buffet that features exclusive stations offering a wide variety of oysters, cheese, foie gras, scallops, and nachos with traditional dips. A live Chinese wok station at the terrace offers diners an entertaining culinary experience, whilst a range of activities like face painting and a bouncy castle are available for kids.

FAMILY-FRIENDLY BRUNCH Giornotte – The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal This Friday brunch boasts 27 live cooking stations including Wagyu beef carving, live noodle pulling and a seafood and oyster bar. Entertainment - courtesy of the resident pianist - adds to the atmosphere of elegance and sophistication whilst families can feast their way through an excellent spread alongside a number of activities for children to keep entertained. Munch The Family Brunch – Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas This brunch really is for the whole family, with something for everyone. Unwind with live music or get that adrenaline rush with ‘Selfie scavenger hunt’ and beach games. Parents can feast on local and international cuisine at The Café while their little ones are kept busy with dedicated kids’ entertainment and games with activities like face painting, cooking classes and more at Camp Hyatt kids club. Silk Route – Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi This Friday Family Brunch is an international feast fact magazine



INDEPENDENT WEEKEND BRUNCH Andiamo Brunch – Roberto’s Abu Dhabi, The Galleria Inspired by the idyllic summers of the Amalfi coast, the relaxed elegance of Portofino and the jovial chic atmosphere of Capri, Andiamo Brunch captures the essence of the Italian Riviera and brings it to the waterfront terraces of Roberto’s in Abu Dhabi. Family and friends will discover a unique experience, taking the venue’s signature service and award-winning cuisine to the next level of enjoyment, in a new exciting setting.

please! Carluccio’s has hit success with its Rise and Dine grazing brunch, perfect for weekend catch-ups and complete indulgence with your nearest and dearest. Tuck into a full a la carte selection that includes everything from bruschetta to meatballs, homemade ravioli, risotto, pizza and pasta, plus so much more deliciousness.

Friday Brunch – Jazz@PizzaExpress, The Hub, The Mall at World Trade Centre Abu Dhabi Join in every Friday and enjoy unlimited food and house beverages all afternoon. There’s a great selection of tasty starters, salads, pizzas, pastas, desserts and an awesome variety of drinks too. The atmosphere is lively and you can finally indulge in that pizza and Prosecco life! Safina – Saadiyat Beach Club Indoor or al fresco on the sun shaded terrace, enjoy a delightful foodie experience as you feast on expertly prepared dishes including mouthwatering live BBQ grills, live cooking and Asian corner, a seafood spread and a cheese bar. An array of tempting desserts will provide a sweet end to your meal. There’s also a special kids’ brunch with a dedicated buffet and entertaining activities for the little ones.

The Ultimate Al Fresco Friday Brunch – BOA Steakhouse With an award winning view of the stunning Eastern Mangroves, guests can indulge in a free flow à la carte menu featuring BOA favourites such as our Black Angus New York Strip, Norwegian Salmon and the unforgettable S’mores. This delicious Friday Brunch is a must-visit for anyone who wants excellent service and reliably-tasty food. BUrnch! – BU!, The Hub, The Mall at World Trade Centre Abu Dhabi Giving Abu Dhabi foodies an extra reason to visit BU! on Fridays is the brand new BUrnch! – an al fresco feast served on BU!’s extensive roof terrace. Designed to invoke the spirit of a South American street market, expect live cooking stations featuring everything from design-yourown ceviche and tiraditos, street-style tacos, arepas and anticuchos, outdoor barbeque and a special dessert platter. Rise and Dine Weekend Brunch – Carluccio’s, Various Locations A four-hour lazy feast of yummy Italian food? Yes, 40

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Friday Brunch at Zuma – Al Maryah Island The best way to introduce yourself and feast on all the flawless dishes that Zuma has to offer – at the venue’s incredible brunch. Try a wide range of Japanese treats combining Zuma classics with bold, intense flavours and an emphasis on simple presentation acquired through quality ingredients. The vibe is sophisticated yet laidback with excellent service throughout. Saturday Gochiso Brunch – Koi Abu Dhabi End your weekend in true KOI style! Introducing our Asian inspired Japanese Brunch. Feast on traditional delicacies with a twist. Enjoy mouthwatering aromas, tantalising flavours served right to your table and the best part of all, its unlimited and accompanied by a free flowing beverage selection of your choice. Prepare to be delighted.

NEWCOMER Café Diego –Nation Galleria Mall An official link-up with the famed footballer Diego Maradona, this place is a cancas of colour with décor that is as quirky and original as the food. There’s a vintage Volkswagen camper van parked across the front and Maradona murals inspired by Argentinean street art. The food is based around his home country of Argentina plus the countries of the two clubs he’s played for internationally – Spain and Italy. Roberto’s Abu Dhabi – The Galleria This stunning venue brought complete luxury and glamour to Abu Dhabi’s food scene. With an unbelievable space made up of a fabulous bar and lounge area, a Crudo bar in the beautiful dining room and a recently-opened al fresco set-up, Roberto’s not only offers up the most exquisite and breathtaking food, but also offers a lovely, modern atmosphere. JW Steakhouse – Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi Carrying the famous JW Steakhouse values and unique approach to cooking, this is where you’ll find premium quality cuts enhanced with varied dry aging techniques, paired with modern interpretations of the classic steakhouse sides. The art of mixology is brought tableside with a range of concoctions; a world-class grape list compliments the food experience.


Nolu’s Downtown – The Galleria Nolu’s is renowned for serving a blend of healthy modern cuisine with traditional Afghan dishes in a contemporary and soothing environment. The menu is exquisitely curated to reflect the unique blend of American and Afghan cuisine. From the extensive breakfast to brunch menu, Nolu’s prides itself on serving the very best casual fusion cuisine using only the freshest ingredients to excite your palate. Butcher & Still – Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island Avenue unlike anything you’ve ever seen before – this place has been blowing people away since its doors opened. Butcher & Still transforms the steak restaurant experience with its rustic, retro design inspired by a 1940s Chicago steakhouse. Enjoys views of the city’s waterfront as you dine on prime-cut steaks, flown in from specially selected farms in the US. Limo Restaurant – Bab Al Qasr Showcasing the lip-licking flavours of Peru and Soith America, Limo is the newest place in town to experience some of the best dishes from this incredibly food-driven continent. Its urban atmosphere and decor reflects the modern menu offering everything from grilled fish and meat infused with Peruvian and South American ingredients. Loca – The Galleria Offering a range of delicious dishes including ceviche, fajitas and burritos. As well as well known Latin-American options, Executive Chef Juan Flores, who hails from Mexico, creates more traditional treats from his homeland such as his handmade corn husk tamales. Loca’s fun-filled atmosphere and outstanding guacamole earn it a spot on this list. Nusr-Et – The Galleria Nusr-Et Steakhouse became the primary and sole destination for connoisseurs of meat. Serving delicious meat in a homelike atmosphere. Meat is the main focus of Nusr-Et and by combining a delectable menu, great atmosphere and impeccable service, NusrEt Steakhouse brings a modern twist to the beloved traditions and expectations of an ultrapremium steakhouse. ✤

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Behind the Blog: Out & About UAE If you’re an avid social media user and like to be in-the-know of all the latest food, travel and hospitality happenings in Abu Dhabi and beyond, there’s a good chance that you’ve come across one of Out & About UAE’s posts. From sharing the latest culinary openings to finding the best staycation spots and even dabbling in a little photography, David Tapley is the brains behind this growing platform. FACT caught up with the East Londoner who now calls Abu Dhabi home to learn more about his creative approach and exactly what makes his brand so popular… Hi David! You’ve created quite a stir on the Abu Dhabi hospitality scene with Out & About UAE, take us back to where it all started…

Out & About UAE started as a means to share my finds with both friends here in the UAE and back home in the UK. Before long my passion for all things food took over and the blog became far more food and beverage focused, although we do still cover sights, attractions and events. In a very short space of time the blog became successful due to the fact that the UAE is so embracing of creative types and I know that if I had started this project back in London, it wouldn’t have had the same impact.

If there’s one thing the UAE does well, it’s food! Tell us your three favourite culinary spots in Abu Dhabi and why they stand out for you?

With so many options to choose from in a diverse city like Abu Dhabi it’s a difficult decision to make. I have quite literally fallen in love with Tamba for their modern interpretation of Indian cuisine and their show-stopping desserts (the break-up is a MUST-try for anyone visiting the capital). The recently opened Four Seasons has grabbed my attention too, due to the sheer quality of food and service and their brunch is becoming a firm favourite for my family. I’m really struggling to narrow it down to just three, so i’m just going to throw it 42

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all out there! As dim sum lovers it has to be Hakkasan, for views, atmosphere and location the floating pods at Sontaya can’t be beaten, for steak we enjoy The Foundry and for a completely unique experience The St. Regis’ Brunch in the Clouds elevates the dining experience to a whole new level!

How do you feel about being called a “blogger” – is that a term that you would identify with Out & About UAE, or is your goal to do something a little different?

I know that some people don’t like the term ‘blogger’ but personally I’m fine with it. The definition of a blog is of someone posting their own experiences on a website and that is exactly what I do. The beauty of having a blog is that you don’t have to conform to the practices of the mainstream media, as a blogger you have much more freedom. Hopefully one day ‘Out & About’ will become something bigger but for now, it’s very much a blog.

Why food and hotels and not music and tech, for example – what is it, specifically, about the UAE hospitality industry that sparks so much interest? The UAE has some remarkable properties that have captured the attention of the world and having the opportunity to explore places such as the seven star Burj

Al Arab, the worlds furthest leaning tower (Hyatt Capital Gate) or a private island like Zaya Nurai, is exciting. The UAE is renowned for its glamour and excess and there is no better representation of this than within the hospitality industry.

What’s your engagement like for Out & About UAE on social media?

I find Instagram to be the most successful platform for Out & About UAE. It’s a visual medium and a great way to share stories with my followers in a fun and interactive way. The UAE has really embraced Instagram and it provides an instant connection with your audience and allows them to become a part of the story. Instagram is where I have the most engagement and funnily enough, a lot of my invites come through Instagram.

Has the feedback to Out & About UAE been what you expected?

The success of Out & About UAE has been phenomenal and has completely surpassed my expectations. What started out as a hobby has become a full time commitment and one that is growing with each passing day. In 2016 we received approximately 100,000 unique visitors to the website and have had the opportunity to dine at some of the most sought after destinations in the capital. Many people say that the UAE is an ideal place to achieve your goals and for me this has transpired to be true.


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In your opinion, what makes a good hotel great – are there any specific elements that you look out for during a stay?

Service is key and how you’re made to feel as a guest is the most important part of any stay. If the staff is not happy it will be reflected in your stay and the service levels throughout this city can vary greatly. Aside from that I’m all about a comfy bed, quality slippers and robes and as regular readers of Out & About will know, how effective the blackout curtains are :)

Describe Out And About UAE in one sentence…

Detailed, honest and insightful reviews of the UAE’s fine dining restaurants, luxury hotels and attractions.

Apart from reviews – what other services/content does Out & About UAE offer to make it unique?

I think the unique selling point of Out & About UAE comes from our detailed reviews and high quality imagery. Going forward I would like to add some video blogs and potentially some dining experiences in which readers can participate. We are in talks with a number of brands about various projects for the year, so watch this space…

What is the ULTIMATE goal for Out & About UAE – where do you see it in the next few years and what are some of the ways in which you will achieve this? For me, it’s all about maintaining a level of consistency and not compromising the brand identity. I hope to continue to build on the relationships that I have with the various hotels, restaurants and PR firms and ultimately it would be ideal to make Out & About my full-time occupation. It stems from a passion and all the hours of hard work, writing and editing are really starting to come to fruition. ✤ GO: Go to www.outandaboutuae.net and check out all the latest food, hotel and nightlife reviews. Follow David on instagram @outandaboutuae for more information.


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An Artistic Celebration ofRoll Arabic Culture Camera

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Abu Dhabi Festival 2017 Culture and Tolerance is the message of this year’s amazing programme line-up which includes performances by artists from across the world. FACT has the upcoming highlights…

EVENT: Mohamed Abdo: One Moonlit Evening LOCATION: Emirates Palace Auditorium DATE & TIME: March 14, 8pm

EVENT: Festival Recital Series Juan Perez Floristan LOCATION: Black Box, The Arts Centre at NYU Abu Dhabi DATE & TIME: March 18, 8pm

With a prolific career spanning four decades, thousands of songs and more than 30 albums, Mohammed Abdo is a master beyond compare. Known as ‘The Artist of the Arabs’ – a name given to him by the Tunisian President Bourguiba, one of his admirers – Abdo is Saudi Arabia’s most revered musician. He is adored and celebrated is celebrated by legions of dedicated fans for his preservation of mawrouth (the inherited songs). Some of his greatest known albums include Al Amaken, Mouzhila, Shabeeh El Rih, Aallamtouha, Majmouat Insan and Wahdak. A legend and visionary whose significance resounds across the region and internationally, he has a particularly storied connection with the UAE – first performing in the early 1970s at the behest of the late Sheikh Zayed. In 2017, this historic talent makes his Abu Dhabi Festival debut with an ensemble of musicians from across the Arab world.

A beacon among the emergent nextgeneration of classical European artists, Spanish pianist Juan Pérez Floristán is an extraordinary rising virtuoso. He has won the First and Audience Prizes at the Paloma O’Shea Santander International Piano Competition (2015), the First Prize of the Steinway Competition in Berlin (2015) and the Honorific Prize Juventudes Musicales in Madrid. He has played in Madrid, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Warsaw, Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Malmö; with orchestras including the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, Malmö Symphony, and Seville Royal Symphony to name but a few. He studied for 10 years under his mother, María Floristán, following which Galina Eguiazarova guided him for four years at the Renia Sofía School of Music, Madrid. Currently, he studies in Berlin with Eldar Nebolsin. See this ferocious young talent in an intimate recital setting as his star ascends.


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EVENT: Festival Recital Series - Tarek Yamani: Portraits in Khaleeji Rhythms & Jazz LOCATION: Black Box, The Arts centre at NYU Abu Dhabi DATE & TIME: March 19, 8pm Critically acclaimed for music that is “full of poetry and mysticism”, Tarek revisits the classic traditions of the Khaleeji region through the complex rhythms and harmonies of jazz. In an invigorating style he calls “Afro Tarab”, Tarek ingeniously bridges the boundaries between two eclectic cultures and musical heritages. Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, Tarek moved to New York in 2011. A self-taught jazz pianist, composer and music programmer, he was exposed to jazz by chance at the age of 19. He immediately fell in love with it. Failing to find a mentor anywhere in Lebanon made him even more determined to explore the music on his own, by decoding theory books and transcribing jazz records. He went on to complete a BA in Jazz Piano at the Prins Claus Conservatorium, Netherlands. Winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz Composer’s Competition, Yamani is among the best talents of his generation.

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EVENT: Wynton Marsalis in Concert LOCATION: Emirates Palace Auditorium DATE & TIME: March 27, 8pm

Marsalis Ensemble returns to the UAE by popular demand, joined by a protégé from The Juilliard School, for a night of boundless talent.

EVENT: Tomatito – Soy Flamenco LOCATION: Red Theatre, The Arts Wynton Marsalis is an internationally centre at NYU Abu Dhabi acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, DATE & TIME: March 23, 8pm educator and a leading advocate of American culture. He is the world’s first jazz artist to perform and compose across the full jazz spectrum from its New Orleans roots to bebop and modern jazz. By creating and performing an expansive range of brilliant new music for quartets to big bands, chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras, tap dance to ballet, Wynton has expanded the vocabulary for jazz and created a vital body of work that places him amongst the world’s finest musicians and composers. After a legendary sold-out performance at the 2010 Abu Dhabi Festival, the Wynton 48

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Multi-Grammy-Award winner José Fernández Torres, known as Tomatito, has been pivotal in the evolution of flamenco guitar. He accompanied Camarón de la Isla for the last 18 years of the great singer’s life and has since secured his own place as the leading flamenco guitarist of his generation and indeed of all time. A master of the passionate Spanish art form that melds dance, song, guitar and percussion, his extraordinary talent has included collaborations with giants such as Elton John, Mohamed Rouicha and Omar Faruk.

Tomatito was born in Almería in 1958 into a family of great flamenco guitarists, beginning his musical career aged 12, performing in renowned flamenco clubs. Since these early beginnings, he has recorded six solo albums and has performed at international venues from the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels to London’s Royal Albert Hall. Tomatito’s innovative ‘nouveau flamenco’ style fuses the traditional Spanish form with jazz, gypsy, Brazilian and even Turkish influences.

EVENT: China’s National Centre for the Performing Arts Orchestra LOCATION: Emirates Palace Auditorium DATE & TIME: March 24 & 25, 8pm NCPA Orchestra was established in March 2010 and performs in more than a dozen of its home venue’s opera productions every year, as well as in regular orchestral concerts in its own season. The NCPA Orchestra has flexed its wings on the international stage, receiving widespread international praise for its performances at the Kissingen Summer Music Festival and the SchleswigHolstein Musik Festival as well as concerts across Germany, Sydney, Singapore, Seoul, Daegu, Taipei and Macau. In their Arab World Debut conducted by Maestro Yi Zhang, the orchestra will present two sublime concerts. Night one features Tchaikovsky’s Slavonic March, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2 with pianist Haochen Zhang and Dvořák Symphony No.9 in E Minor. Night two features Bach’s Chaconne in D Minor, the prolific violinist Siqing Lü with The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto – a masterpiece by He Zhanhao & Chen Gang – and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite. Fabulous! fact magazine



EVENT: The Queen of Fado, Mariza – Live in Abu Dhabi LOCATION: Emirates Palace Auditorium DATE & TIME: March 29, 8pm In less than 12 years, Mariza has risen from a well-hidden local phenomenon, known only to a small circle of admirers in Lisbon, to one of the most widely acclaimed world music stars. No Portuguese artist since Amália Rodrigues has experienced such a triumphant international career, accumulating success after success on the most prestigious world stages, rave reviews and numerous international awards and distinctions. Affectionately known as the ‘Queen of Fado’, Grammynominated singer Mariza is the most celebrated champion of the Portuguese musical genre. Inscribed with UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity status, Fado is a Portuguese tradition that infuses music and poetry to form a multicultural synthesis including traditional rural music, Afro-Brazilian sung dance influences and cosmopolitan urban song patterns. Marizae has collaborated with stars including Lenny Kravitz, Sting, Jacques Morelenbaum, and John Mauceri to name but a few.

EVENT: The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma LOCATION: Emirates Palace Auditorium DATE & TIME: March 29, 8pm Since 2000, the Silk Road Ensemble has redefined classical music for 21st century audiences. Described as “vibrant and virtuosic” by the Wall Street Journal, “one of the 21st century’s great ensembles” by the Vancouver Sun, and a “roving musical


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laboratory without walls” by the Boston Globe, The Ensemble features musicians from more than 20 countries, including spellbinding Syrian clarinettist Kinan Azmeh. They come together under the direction of renowned cellist and UN Messenger of Peace Yo-Yo Ma to cocreate art, performances and ideas that fuse, exchange and explore an array of global cultures. Passionate about learning from one another’s traditions, these explorers perform on instruments ranging from world percussion to Western strings.


Under the artistic direction of Mr Ma, these storytellers celebrate the multiplicity of approaches to music from around the world. In engaging, highenergy performances, they draw on the rich tapestry of traditions that make up our shared cultural heritage, creating a new musical language. ✤ GO: Go online to www.800tickets.com/ AbuDhabiFestival for tickets and www. abudhabifestival.ae for more information on other cultural activities and festival events.

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Listen up

The Worthy Abu Dhabi’s cinematic talent is once again under the spotlight as Image Nation’s new thriller is released in UAE cinemas – being the first-ever Arabic film to be screened in the 4DX format. Image Nation Abu Dhabi, one of the leading media and entertainment companies in the region, released its latest feature film The Worthy, last month. It became the first-ever Arabic film to be released in the 4DX format. Directed by Emirati filmmaking pioneer Ali Mostafa and produced by horror film veterans Peter Safran (The Conjuring) and Steven Schneider (Paranormal Activity), The Worthy is a post-apocalyptic thriller that first premiered at the BFI London Film Festival and was later screened at the Dubai International Film Festival in December to outstanding reviews from critics and audiences alike. The film’s ensemble cast is made up of Arabic superstars Ali Suliman (Paradise Now, Zinzana), Samr Al Masri (Bab-Al Hara) and Screen International’s Arab Star of Tomorrow - Samer Ismail (Omar). Distributed in 4DX in VOX Cinemas across the region, cinemagoers can experience the post-apocalyptic thriller with motion chairs, scent, wind, light and water effects in a complete cinematic experience. Cameron Mitchell, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas - VOX Cinemas, said: “The 4DX cinema experience is really something special and we are hugely excited to be hosting The Worthy as the first ever Arabic film in this format. With so many action scenes and edge-of-your-seat moments, this is the perfect film for 4DX,” he added. “Audiences can expect water effects such as mist and rain, wind with a gentle breeze or turbulent storm - they are going to have a truly exhilarating time and this truly represents how we are all about creating great moments.” The Worthy’s synopsis sees that after a vast majority of the world’s water supply is lethally contaminated, a small group of survivors who have taken refuge near a rare clean water source are thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse and must defend their lives from infiltrators who aren’t what they seem. This is Mostafa’s third feature film, following his Dubai-based drama City of Life (2009) and road-trip comedy From A to B (2014). ✤ GO: Visit www.imagenationabudhabi.com for more information. 52

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Folklore Fix

The Chronicles of Shamal Forget Marvel and DC, the GCC has its very own powerful comic book inspired by old superstitions from the region. Shabana Adam meets Bahrain-based artist Anna Thackray, the creative mind behind the gripping story The Chronicles of Shamal. Here, she talks supernatural inspirations and how her work is pioneering a new era for illustrators and comic fans‌

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Arts interview

I always wanted to be a novelist, but words don’t come easy to me,” Anna explains. “And images do.” What started off as scribbles on the side of a Bahrain guidebook that she worked on, has now turned into a fullyfledged story with the most stunning visuals. In fact, we’re meeting Anna at her home studio and we can’t take our eyes off her vibrant drawings that have been blown up and framed on the walls. In case you haven’t come across it, The Chronicles of Shamal is a comic book that tells the story of a man from a different era. Awoken from a deep hibernation he finds himself in a present day metropolis. Puzzled and half delirious, not recounting who or what he was. His only driving factor is a ravenous need to protect others in peril as punishment for being evil in his previous life. He has the power to communicate telepathically with his two loyal followers Asfar (an Arabian stallion) and Shaheen (his falcon), and is able to change the structure of elements causing them to melt. This is the story of legends; one that is deep-rooted in Bahraini culture and is especially significant to the tales surrounding the famous Tree of Life. With 54

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“What’s uncanny is that every one of the superstitions boils down to teaching kids to come inside before dark! It’s really an interesting part of the culture...” a strong supernatural element and knowing that superstitions aren’t really common conversation topics in the Gulf, we’re curious to find out if Anna has faced any challenges in her research and sharing these myths through such fantastical storytelling. She tells us: “I lived in Africa and in Europe, but it’s in Bahrain that I’ve met the most superstitious people ever. They love it! Once they open up to you, they start telling you all these incredible stories, and I even get people emailing me ‘this is another story – have you heard of it?’ – and I love that. “I’ll listen and read as much as I can,

and what I like the most is coming across characters,” Anna says. “ Like the mother donkey tale – what an excellent villain. I can pin point where people are from in the GCC because they call her different things, but the stories in essence are very similar to one another. “So, it’s been quite the opposite where the information has been streaming in,” she smiles. “What’s uncanny is that every one of the superstitions boils down to teaching kids to come inside before dark! It’s really an interesting part of the culture and I love receiving these messages,” she adds. Spoiler alert – if you haven’t read the first chapter, you might want to skip this paragraph! Anna has just released the second part of The Chronicles of Shamal, which sees the protagonist arrive in Dubai in pursuit of The Donkey Lady; she has cast a spell over Asfar and Shaheen, forcing them to board a UAE-bound dhow and Shamal is on a new quest to save his friends. We’ll stop there so you can read the rest for yourself ! Even though these characters and stories are interpretations of Anna’s own imagination, being respectful of their cultural background is at the forefront of her work. “I will never present these stories as too scary or too off track,” she says.

Arts interview

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“I like to listen and learn about them, but the stories are from my expat mind, so it’s my fiction.” Regardless of having historical fables to work with, it must require an otherworldly imagination to produce work that is stimulating both visually and as a narrative – how does she do it? “You know how writers have plots?,” Anna asks us. “A little bit like that, I start off with an image and create a story around it. Honestly speaking, it’s slightly obsessive – if I don’t control myself, I’ll just keep going and going,” she laughs. So, how long does it take to complete these mind-blowing illustrations? “I try to do one page every week,” Anna says. “The Chronicles of Shamal actually took three years to complete. The first 24 pages I did on paper and it took around a year, and then I switched to computer software because it’s just more productive – there are so many tools and colours, and if you make a mistake, you can go back.” Interestingly, Anna has received warm and intriguing feedback from readers in the Gulf. I’ve been to many, many Comic Cons in the region and usually I’m the only expat showcasing their work, and there are a huge number of local visitors who approach me,” Anna shares. “Firstyly, they’re shocked. They always say ‘how do you know that?’ But, I always think ‘how do people not know all of that?!’ – this is part of the culture that you should hold dear.” On the contrary, Anna loves it when young Bahraini or Emirati children approach her and talk about the comic book. “Young kids will come up to me and they’ll say ‘oohh mother donkey, we know about her’ and I’ll ask them what they thought of the story,” she says. “Usually, I’ll get a response like ‘I read it and I was a bit scared but not too much and I liked the pictures’ – which is just amazing to hear!”

Arts interview

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Arts interview

“So, the excitement actually comes from the end result – I have to get the story out of my head...” What keeps Anna excited about The Chronicles of Shamal? Just like us, you’ll be stunned to learn that, even after producing some of the most intricate and detailed illustrations that we’ve ever seen, Anna believes: “I’m not good at drawing. I’m really bad at drawing – but the more I do it, the better I get. So, it’s lots of practice but I wish I could draw faster because it’s like you know the ending of the story but you can’t get there in time,” she explains. “So, the excitement actually comes from the end result – I have to get the story out of my head, it’s a cathartic experience.” Anna’s reason for telling the forgotten superstitions of the Gulf comes from not only a need to provide escapism for readers, but also because she wants to ignite that spark in her audience, the one that will encourage them to do more reading on the topic – or any interest for that matter. “I also want to influence the young generation to keep drawing, because at some point, we just stop drawing, but it’s so useful in many fields,” she says. “Also, the main character of Shamal, he’s supposed be bad but then he’s good and I want to show that chance for change and hope.” Anna has discovered that many hidden talents in Bahrain and the Gulf have come to light following the release of her comic book. “A lot of the time I get the feeling that it just takes one person, and in this case, a female expat, to push people into their creativity and not being so shy to share it,” she smiles. “Since I started, there has been an increase in the field and I’m looking into collaborating with a Bahraini comic book artist where they could carry on the legacy of superstition storytelling or maybe we can do a comic with lots of different stories.” Much like The Chronicles of Shamal, the future possibilities and potential for Anna, are limitless. ✤ GO: Visit www.desert-comic.com for more information. 58

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sha·mal noun: shamal; plural noun: shamals a hot, dry northwesterly wind blowing across the Persian Gulf in summer, typically causing sandstorms.


source: google


BAHRAIN From the Arabic term al-bahrayn, meaning “two seas.”


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Big Screen Beauty and the Beast What’s it about? Belle, a beautiful and independent small-town girl is taken prisoner by a beast in exchange for her father’s freedom. While captive, she befriends the beast’s enchanted staff and dares to look beyond his forbidding exterior. She soon realises that behind his monstrous appearance is a kind and generous soul.

Director: Bill Condon cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans Why it’s worth watching? Disney nuts unite for a favourite classic in live action form. Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the beast, is a mystical retelling of a tale as old as time. We all know how it goes; the beautiful Belle is taken prisoner by a Prince who has been cursed to look like a beast and the sole way to break the curse is through the love of a maiden. Belle is able to give him the love he has been waiting for, hence turning the beast back into a handsome prince. You may have heard the story time and again, but you’re not ready for what you’re about to witness! The film’s stunning and other-worldly cinematic fare will have you entranced. Akin to the original story, the film is set in the south of France with lots of influences from other film musicals, including the Sound of Music. Emma Watson is mesmerising as Belle (no shocker there!) and fits into the role flawlessly. The film features its original iconic music along with new sounds too. This is Beauty and the Beast like never before!


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Highlights “The film’s stunning and other-worldly cinematic fare will have you entranced. Akin to the original story, the film is set in the south of France with lots of influences from other film musicals...”

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword What’s it about: Unaware of his royal lineage, Arthur’s life was as normal as it gets until he gets his hands on the sword Excalibur. Instantly confronted by the sword’s influence, he learns to master the sword to hunt down the tyrant who murdered his parents and stole his crown.

– Beauty and the Beast

“The film’s impressive visuals and adrenalinepacked performances make it worth a watch.” – King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Director: Guy Ritchie cast: Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Eric Bana, Astrid Berges-Frisbey Why it’s worth watching? You know it’s going to be good when you see Charlie Hunnam looking all kinds of fine in a testosterone-fuelled, rule-breaking take on the story of the legendary King Arthur. This film tells the story of the legendary monarch through the lens of the dynamic Guy Ritchie. Young Arthur spends his days running the back alleys of Londinium with his crew. He soon learns of his royal ancestry after pulling the sword Excalibur from stone. The story follows his journey from the neighbourhood to the throne. Unlike other retellings of the legend, this version covers more of Arthur’s life on the streets. Ritchie uses his signature visuals to breathe new life into the age old legend. The film’s impressive visuals and adrenaline-packed performances make it worth a watch.


on the record

Fully Booked


The Metabolism Plan By Lyn-Genet Recitas

Alt/Rock Hip-Hop/Rap


By Rag’n’Bone Man

After years of dabbling in the UK hip-hop scene, Rag’n’Bone Man AKA Rory Graham is finally getting the attention he deserves, thanks to his massive hit Human. The track is a blend of classic blues and dynamic soul that displays his stunning vocal ability in all its glory. The honest lyrics and gritty sound make an instant impact. Graham’s blues-soaked voice is fresh and pleasantly gravel at the same time. The album offers a super eclectic selection of songs. People expecting to see an extension of the title track in the album are in for a surprise as every track has a unique and distinct sound. While the sultry beats of Love You Any Less are beautifully soothing, As You Are is a poignant gospel, reminding you of the power of the love. Gospel backing choirs and Graham’s heartfelt falsetto are a fixture all throughout the album. His work is an amalgamation of old and new genres; urban rhythms of hip-hop and RnB meshed with soulful blues lend Graham his signature sound. Rag’n’Bone Man is just getting started and we can’t wait to see him grow!


Have you been eating healthier than ever and are still not able to shed those extra pounds? Lyn-Genet Recitas shares her new and advanced 30-day programme that will help you create a customised diet and exercise plan to boost your metabolism and help burn fat. Recitas explains how as little as twelve minutes of exercising can make a huge difference. While foods like oatmeal and salmon may look healthy, they might actually be the reason you’re not seeing any progress! With all new recipes and exercises, losing weight is now easier than ever!

By Lupe Fiasco

If you thought you had seen the last of Lupe Fiasco, we have some news for you! Despite the news of his retirement doing the rounds, the Chicago rapper is back with his sixth studio album, DROGAS Light. The album is the first part of the trilogy that Lupe plans on releasing this year. This is his first album since bidding goodbye to Atlanta Records and it has us fans expecting a much more liberated sound. The album opens with Dopamine Lit, a bass heavy track that gives you a taste of what is to come. While NGL featuring Ty Dolla Sign is a clear standout, Made in the USA and Jump can be considered the weaker ones on the set. The first half of the album features trap beats and repetitive choruses, the second half shifts from genre to genre. The new Atlanta sound influence is pretty evident on some tracks oN the album. While DROGAS Light may not be the best Lupe has had to offer, it is just enough to remind us all why he’s a force to be reckoned with.


A Separation

By Katie Kitamura Following the breakdown of their marriage, a young woman and her husband decide to go their separate ways, but fate has other plans. Christopher goes missing in a remote Greek region and his estranged wife reluctantly agrees to go looking for him, keeping the split to herself. In her search, she realises that she never truly understood her relationship or the man she loved. Kitamura lays bare the anxieties of separation through the inner musings of the narrator. This beautifully written psychological thriller is thought provoking and will have you on the edge of your seat!

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Is This Heaven on Earth? A s t y li s h cli f f s ide h ideo u t s et a b ove C a p e T o w n ’ s b e s t b eac h e s , wit h k noc k o u t ocean and mo u ntain view s ? So u nd s g ood to u s . A n g e l a B e i t z c h ec k s into t h e b ea u ti f u l C a p e V i e w C l i f t o n to e x p e r ience one o f t h e cit y ’ s mo s t e x cl u s ive s tay s .


e get to do quite a few reviews here at Fact and some will call us jaded, maybe even spoilt. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that after hundreds (literally) of stays in the world’s best resorts and hotels, it takes a lot to make say wow, and really mean it. Walking out for the first time onto the deck at Cape View Clifton simply took our breath away. Looking out towards the mountains are the 12 Apostles with the gorgeous white beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay beneath. Look behind you and there’s the Lion’s Head mountain. In fact, everywhere you turn, you’re met with a different view of another great wonder, each one as impressive as the last. As an Australian and having lived in the Gulf for years now, I’ve seen my fair share of incredible evening skies. But, Cape View plays host to a glorious sunset like no other – prepare to be hypnotised (and, of course, snap that instaworthy shot). Clifton is well known in the region, the bay is minutes away from the centre of Cape Town, its cliffs are filled with the houses of the affluent and the beaches are stunning, but to be staying here at Cape View is really a special treat as the property is truly unique. The property is a converted house with room for only 20 guests. It offers modern luxury but avoids the trappings of so many fivestar hotels; it feels really personal. There are just a handful of people to make you feel at home and they’re all so lovely and unobtrusive – just what I like on a getaway. fact magazine




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At the heart of the hotel is an enormous, light-filled room with a large, open kitchen, an honesty bar, a lounge, and long dining tables. It’s the sort of house you’d expect to see in high-end interior magazines and the décor is painfully chic and so well done. The foldaway glass front wall is the spacious deck where you can eat, drink, lounge, swim and enjoy the stunning views. The bedrooms are also sea-facing with beautiful balconies which again make for stunning views. The interiors are stylish, with a neutral palette and cushions covered in graphic prints, with illustrations of palm trees and sea shells on the walls, along with elements of blue and white. Light, bright and airy, the spaces have been immaculately designed to give off an aura of a dreamy beach-front condo – the kind you see in Hollywood films set in Malibu. Made up of seven rooms and suites, Cape View Clifton has nailed the unique guesthouse concept designed to perfectly cater for the relaxed luxury traveller. fact magazine



The house could be described as a B&B and the breakfasts are truly incredible. You can also order lunch and dinner in advance but with such excellent choice for dining out in Cape Town, you’re more likely to want to explore the cool restaurants. You will not forget the view that you wake up to and lounge to, eat and drink to at Cape View. The whole place feels like it’s made of ocean breezes and ocean views, with beautiful attention to detail, while the vibe is somewhere between being comfortable at home to being in an upscale, boutique hotel. General Manager Cobus Bester also deserves a special mention as he helped us with everything we needed including booking all of our restaurant reservations for us. This was a truly unforgettable experience and one that we will not be forgetting anytime soon. ✤ GO: Visit Cape View Clifton in Cape Town, South Africa. Go to www.capeviewclifton. co.za for reservations and more information. 66

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hotel hotspot

Paradise Perfect V i va n ta by Ta j i n B E A U T IF U L B e n t o ta , S r i L a n k a i s th e p e r f e ct g e taway f o r a n y o n e l o o k i n g t o m i x r e la x at i o n, r e v e lr y a n d pur e b e ach f r o n t i n dulg e n c e !


hen a long weekend of relaxation and chill-time calls out, there’s one place close enough to the Gulf for short flying time, yet far enough for a completely rejuvenating experience. Of course, we’re talking about the stunning shores of Sri Lanka. Not only is it the home of tea, herbal healing and exotic fruit and vegetables, Sri Lanka’s beaches are known to be some of the best in the Indian Ocean region - and that’s no lie. When we arrived at the stunning Vivanta by Taj in Bentota (a sleepy beach town around 90 minutes from the capital city of Colombo), there was an air of calm that immediately set in. Its beachfront location is utterly picturesque, with lush green gardens extending out onto a golden-sand shoreline, hugged by the glistening waters. This postcard image is made all the more amazing with a palm tree-lined path, vendors selling fresh coconut drink, tasty snacks, traditional clothes and a chance for you to try out a


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hotel hotspot

number of watersports including surfing, paddle boats, parasailing and so much more. The hotel itself is straight out of a luxury travel brochure with serene, light-filed corridors, delicious dining options and plush rooms. When we step into the main lobby, the high, wood ceiling catches our attention. We’re greeted with a warm ‘Ayubowan’ and friendly smiles, a choice of refreshing juice or iced tea, a cold towel and a pretty lei (a fresh flower wreath that is put around the guest as a necklace). First impressions? Magic! Vivanta by Taj is inspired by the cerulean waters and spices of the region. Its architecture draws from local carved influences and its location boasts the most spectacular oceanfront views. There are 160 European-styled rooms and suites alongside a high energy bar called Tease, a majestic Jiva Spa and, of course, a sprawling garden and beach - all of which should please anyone who wants pure bliss with a touch of revelry. This same laid back yet sophisticated vibe carries on into the restaurants; The Palms, Sea View, Shack and Oriental Pavilion where food is crafted with creativity and quality. fact magazine


hotel hotspot


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hotel hotspot

Whether you’re planning to stay at Vivanta by Taj for your entire trip or visit for a beach day (which we highly recommend!), opt for the Deluxe Delight Garden Terrace room. Why? Because you’re practically on the doorstep of the beach. Located on the ground floor, these signature rooms come with a private sit-out area that opens out to lovely green lawns leading straight to the beach - it took us barely a minute to get from the room to the sea - winner! We also loved the designer bathrooms with the truly fabulous rain shower - just what you need after a quiet day of catching the rays. Speaking of... the main attraction here is the idyllic beach; whether the waves lure you in or you take a seat to sunbathe, there is no place that will give you such a sense of tranquility as you’ll get here. We divided our time between the beach and unwinding by the mesmerising pool - the views from here are incredible. Word of advice: grab a lounger facing the ocean in time to watch the sunset that’s going to be your most like-worthy instagram shot! When you need to feast, head to The Palms - the resort’s All Day Dining venue which features everything from mouthwatering Sri Lankan delicacies to Indian curries, healthy salads, yummy multi-cuisine appetisers and exquisite desserts. The lunch buffet is just as impressive as any 5-star offering you’d find in the Gulf - we literally went back for third helpings - it was THAT good! What makes Vivanta by Taj stand out? Firstly, the location is unlike any other beachside setting that we’ve experienced in Sri Lanka. Team this with excellent facilities, friendly service and a true sense of local hospitality meets worldclass comfort, and you’ve got yourself a signature Vivanta experience that will not only leave your globetrotting friends envious, but will surely be the start of your new travel affair with this charming destination. ✤ GO: Fly with Qatar Airways to Colombo via Doha (www.qatarairways.com). Visit www. vivanta.tajhotels.com for reservations and more information. fact magazine


motoring news

Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400

The Infiniti Q60 is a premium sports coupe that combines expressive design with exhilarating performance and dynamics. Following the arrival of the 2.0T that is currently available at Infiniti Partner’s across the region, the Middle East now counts down to the arrival of the all-new powerful Q60 Red Sport 400. Juergen Schmitz, Managing Director, Infiniti Middle East, says: “The Infiniti Q60 Coupe has been one of the most eagerly anticipated models ever since the concept was first announced. “As we now draw closer to the official launch of the Red Sport 400 in our region, I am confident that our customers will be given yet another daring choice to enjoy Infiniti’s premium motoring experience. For customers who are eager to get their hands on this coupe now, we already have the 3.0T Premium and 2.0T variant available across all markets in the Middle East,” he adds. The Q60 Coupe’s entry-level powertrain into the segment offers a four-cylinder 2.0-litre gasoline engine, turbocharged to produce 208 hp and is available at Infiniti NSC’s starting at a suggested retail price of AED153,900. The top of the line model will feature Infiniti’s high performance 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo engine delivering 400hp in the Q60 Red Sport 400. This variant will come equipped with Infiniti’s full suite of driver assistance and safety technologies along with two exclusive new colours encompassed in the empowering new design that has received global acclaim. ✤ 72

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Abu Dhabi’s Toyota Flagship Facility

Al-Futtaim Motors, the exclusive distributor of Toyota in the UAE for the past 61 years, officially opened the doors to the most advanced and largest Toyota facility in the UAE – The Wave – making Abu Dhabi home to an awe-inspiring flagship building and marking the company’s continuous investment in the capital. The new five-level three-in-one building is a 3S facility housing world-class Sales, Service and Spare Parts offerings, spread over approximately 14,000sqms and considered the largest, most sophisticated retail and service space for Toyota in the Middle East, promising to set world-class customer experience standards for all visitors be it Sales, Service or even leisure customers. The Wave houses more than 80 new and used models on display, while the service area includes 64 simultaneous working bays that can accommodate up to 250 cars per day. Saud Abbasi, Managing Director of Toyota at AlFuttaim Motors, said: “Coming on the heels of the opening of our latest facility in Madinat Zayed, The Wave, reiterates our commitment to Abu Dhabi and aligns with our promise of being closer to our customers wherever they are. “The Wave is not just a unique building that pushes the boundaries of modern architecture, it is a representation of our dedication to customer service excellence,” he continued. “We have designed the facility to put the customer first, and to offer all our guests interactive and engaging experiences regardless of the purpose of their visit.” Each step of the customer journey has been designed to include many forms of physical and digital interactions, answering visitors’ interests and needs during their journey at the facility. The space’s interior has been designed by UKbased Greenspace, a design consultancy firm that specializes in creating legacy experience destinations and which has been selected for their history of working with Toyota Motor Europe and other automotive retail brands. ✤

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360 Smart Bed


reading position. The bed also acts as an alarm as the SleepIQ technology can tell when you would like to wake up and sounds off the alarm when you’re in the lightest stage of sleep. Who knew a bed could do all that and more? Sleep Number will release the 360 beds in stages all throughout the year with a variety of mattress options. One thing’s for sure, with the 360 Smart Bed in our lives, leaving our comfy beds in the morning just going to get harder! ✤

leep Number brings to you the 360 Smart Bed that is going to revolutionise the way you sleep. The 360 has built-in tech that warms the foot of your bed as you’re falling asleep - no more cold sheet feet! If you think that’s amazing, the 360 bed can also help reduce snoring through its snore-detect technology. The Technology never ceases to amaze us. Thought you had 360 bed reads biometric cues to find out seen it all? What if we told you that there’s a Smart Bed if someone’s snoring. If it’s able to detect out there that will not only keep your feet toasty but snoring, the dual-sided adjustable bed will also ensure optimum shut-eye time? Keep reading… is designed to raise the sleeper’s head and help reduce the sound. Your tossing and turning does not go unnoticed by the 360 Smart Bed, its selfadjusting mattress corrects based on your sleeping position. So, if you switch from your back to your side, SleepIQ software will deflate the mattress slightly for your ideal sleeping position. The bed comes with the SleepIQ app, compatible with both Android and iPhone. The app enables you to change the settings of the mattress yourself while also letting you know how well you slept the night before or how well you have been sleeping for the past week or month. Through the SleepIQ software, you can also integrate the 360 Smart Bed with products from Nest, Fitbit and other manufacturers. That’s not all! The Smart Bed can detect if you’re asleep or not while you’re on the bed and then adjust accordingly. If you’re someone who likes to read in bed, the bed is going to let you choose your favourite 74

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App-licious L e t ’ s s e e wh at ’ s o n th e s m a r t p h o n e a g e n d a f o r m a r ch …



Vacationing just got easier and a lot more fun thanks to Viator, the pioneer of online excursion booking. It lets you choose from more than 1,300 food and drink itineraries around the world. Whether you’re travelling locally or are on an international adventure, Viator offers exclusive deals at the lowest prices. It uses your location to locate the best options that are closest to your hotel with low-price guarantees. The app also lets you create a customised experience if it doesn’t have what you’re looking for. More reasons to take some time off!

Rekindle your imagination with HaikuJam, a social writing app that lets people write stories and poetry together. You can write and create within a circle of friends or with strangers from around the world. It is a great way to inspire and get inspired. Everything from poetry, haiku poems to short stories are welcome and your work can also get selected for the ‘Featured’ feed. You can also participate in a number of writing competitions and win prizes! If you need to pass time, find a new addiction or stimulating hobby, this app will get those creative juices flowing!

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#La #Nature #De #Chaumet #Exclusive #Presentation

Chaumet, the Parisian High Jewellery brand, showcased their high jewelry collection La Nature de Chaumet, during an exclusive presentation in Dubai. The Maison Chaumet presented an ethereal depiction of the La Nature de Chaumet collection, with a local interpretation of the house’s reinvention of a symbolic garden, set in the courtyard of the Royal Majlis at Emirates Golf Club. Guests attended a daytime press event, an afternoon tea party and an evening cocktail, in a beautiful setting surrounded by greenery and a backdrop of the city skyline, whilst they discovered the house’s heritage, treasured jewels and latest high jewellery creations. 76

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Massimo Dutti SS’17 Inspiring new collections for men and women with designs embodying the essence of Massimo Dutti and its panoramic vision of the upcoming season are perfect for every style-savvy wardrobe! fact magazine


fashion focus


he new season brings us new versions of full suits, blazers, jackets, shirts and an endless range of musthave items that can be matched with opposing styles. Functional, modern looks that bring together innovation and timeless luxury plus accessories that are also set for spring, step up to transform both the feminine and masculine look, turning daily wear into something extraordinarily comfortable. The Massimo Dutti Women’s line of clothing for the SS’17 season focuses on a chic and urban women, defined by eclectic seventies outfits, which are now invading women’s wardrobes. The option for a more modern and feminine style is, without hesitation, with pieces of clothing which represent a perfect balance between classic and modern. On the other side, Massimo Dutti’s Men’s line for SS’17 blurs the line between a smart and casual style. A suit combined with sneakers is a must. The brand offers timeless, versatile, modern and cool proposals to dress men during spring-summer. The collection was previewed at the inauguration event of Massimo Dutti’s new flagship store in Barcelona. The store was dressed up to host this event which is considered an architectural masterpiece of immeasurable historical value. Innovative architecture and decorative elements live together with original features, recuperated and restored to create a unique atmosphere which leads to an unforgettable experience for special guests and shoppers. ✤ GO: Shop Massimo Dutti in Qatar at Villaggio Mall and Landmark Mall.


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fashion focus

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fashion focus

Shop the brand Here’s our wishlist from MASSIMO DUTTI’S SS’17 collection for him

for her



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For the Modern Middle-Eastern woman THE ESSENCE OF STYLE


















MAY 2014 | ISSUE 35


Available in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain & Qatar THE ESSENCE OF STYLE





Hot for Winter




Colour Me Crazy










Haute Couture


JANUARY 2014 | ISSUE 110




Basking in Royal Allure WWW.OHLALA-MAGAZINE.COM







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Ladies, this is the season to up your work fashion game! Refreshing silhouettes are elevated with structured stripes and embroidered patterns. You can put in a parallel-lined shirt reminiscent of Breton styles to keep your look sleek with statement bell sleeves, or a sharp miliatray skirt and A-line blazer with shoulder cuts and hoodie layering is a stylish number. Put a twist on tradition with feminine, floral detail and make mules your go-to shoe!











01. Bershka 02. Dorothy Perkins 03. Dune 04. H&M 05. Marks and Spencer 06. Matalan 07. Miss Selfridge 08. New Look 09. River Island 10. Splash 82

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ET Lif E R


Urban sportswear is a key trend for the SS17 season with the humble hoodie making a casual statement. Play with layers and textures through a jersey and suede combo, or go grunge with a biker jacket pairing. Don your hoodie with your favourite trousers or pair of skinny jeans – the styling options are super versatile. Give a nostalgic nod to the 90s and team your hoodie with distressed denim for an on-trend look.











01. Aldo 02. Bershka 03. Debenhams 04. H&M 05. Marks and Spencer 06. Mens at Dune 07. Next 08. Salsa 09. Superdry 10. Zara Men fact magazine


BEAUTY checklist

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get r eady to glow From prepping your skin for the perfect makeup look to dabbing the best blushes and eyeshadows on, and even going gold with your scent, here’s your March beauty fix...


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Shiseido 7 Lights Powder Illuminator If you aren’t glowing for the Gods, what is even the point of makeup? This product compliments every skin tone with the power of “seven colours”. It shows off your skin tone while also keeping it fresh and hydrated. Use it as a highlighter, contour powder, blush or even as an eyeshadow. 84

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Konjac French Pink Clay Heart Sponge Scrub away all the dirt and impurities with Konjac’s all natural French Pink Clay Heart Sponge! Ideal for daily exfoliation, the sponge is made up of 100% natural vegetable fibre. Infused with pink clay, the scrub helps soothe dry and irritated skin without stripping the skin of its natural oils.


Laura Mercier Editorial Eye Palette Intense Clays Studio-inspired, high performance Brushed Metal & Matte Textured Clays give you intense colour in a whole new graphic way. Soft, flexible, clay-like hybrid textures go on beautifully with a unique ‘wet-feel’ that melts onto the skin. This might just become your newest eye obsession.


Ciate London Precious Metal Eyeshadow in Washington Make your eyes pop with Ciate London’s Precious Metal Eyeshadow in Washington! The long wearing loose pigment eyeshadow comes with a high performance primer embedded in the lid for the perfect application. You’ll get a metal-finish to achieve the ultimate bronzed goddess look.


Nip+Fab Skincare Boosting Shots Take your skincare regime up a notch with Nip+Fab. Packed with nutrients and antioxidants, the shots aim to protect and nourish your skin by catering to your specific skincare needs. From radiance and repairing to blurring, moisturising and protecting, there’s a shot for every need. Go and try it, your skin will thank you!


Calvin Klein Pure Gold Euphoria for Women We all deserve a little luxury in our lives! With its sensual and addictive scent, this is luxury in a bottle. With top notes of Moroccan date, golden solar accord and neroli, the fragrance captures a sense of luminescent luxury and olfactive sophistication. Aah, sweet and refreshing!

grooming checklist

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keep it fr esh Nothing beats the perfect products to ease irritation and keep your skin, hair and even your scent as fresh as the spring breeze. Here are just some of the best items to get you started...


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Jo Malone Lime, Basil and Mandarin Cologne The fresh and tangy scent of Jo Malone’s Lime, Basil and Mandarin Cologne will get you all prepped up for the upcoming warmer months! The scent perks you up without being too overwhelming and can be worn alone or layered with other scents. It’s long lasting and perfect for daywear - bonus!


Jack Black Jack Black Hair Gel Unlike other pomades and mousses that can leave hair dry and brittle, the Jack Black Hair Gel is lightweight with conditioning properties. Enriched with basil lead, organic kelp and ginger root, it dries instantly and will keep your hair in place without looking too severe. Its organic ingredients provide the best results!


Paul Mitchell Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Shampoo For a frizz-free mane, try Paul Mitchell’s Awapuhi Shampoo that works to naturally moisturise your hair. Awapuhi, is a natural moisturiser from the ancient Hawaiian ginger plant that helps tame frizz and flyaways. The gentle formula can be used as a daily shampoo without drying out your hair.



Origins Blemish Treatment Gel Origins’ Blemish Treatment Gel is naturally-formulated and works well on all skin types. The gel formula contains the effective combination of Salicylic acid and Red Algae that helps accelerate the breakdown of blemishes and provides relief from redness and irritation. It’s a must-have for acneprone skin.


Oribe Signature Conditioner Your hair requires a little extra TLC during the winter months. If the cold and dry weather has made your locks lackluster, give the Signature Conditioner by Oribe a try! Packed with a unique blend of watermelon, lychee and edelweiss flower extracts, hair is nourished while maintaining its natural keratin balance.


Clarins Smooth Shave Foaming Gel Smooth Shave Foaming Gel is the perfect shaving gel for sensitive skin! Enriched with aloe vera, galangal and wintergreen, Clarins’ Foaming Gel moisturises and purifies skin and helps soothe aggravation. Ideal for sensitive and acne prone skin, it is gentle on the skin and helps reduce redness and inflamation. fact magazine



Let’s Get Floral As spring approaches, décor gets a breezy spin with one of the season’s most-loved trends: floral. From cushions to cutlery, vases and wall art, adding a little bit of colour and garden-inspired pattern to your interiors will brighten up any home!

Cath Kidston



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Laura Ashley

Marks and Spencer


Laura Ashley


Lak ela nd L é ku é M icrowave R a n ge B






Ideal for rice, pasta, stews, soups, meat, fish and vegetables, they’re so easy to use. Cook an entire chicken in the deep one, or like our buyer Veronica who swears by her go-to recipe for good food fast, use the shallow one to whip up delicious salmon with veggie noodles in minutes.

It takes just 2 or 3 minutes to make a yummy filled omelette in this silicone wonder. You can cook fillings in it first, and then add your eggs – no need to flip as the double-sided design ensures both sides are cooked.

E: RICE COOKER C: SPANISH OMELETTE MAKER In just 12 minutes you can be tucking into a delectable Spanish omelette or frittata thanks to this double-sided microwave marvel. Use it to cook your fillings first before adding your eggs to finish off with no tricky flipping required, and the hinged silicone mould will turn out a perfectly round finished result.

Here’s a fun silicone mould that lets you make hard-boiled eggs, soft-boiled eggs, poached eggs, even delicious filled omelettes in seconds. It’s quick and convenient and the finished item looks great on the plate too. GO: Shop the Lékué Microwave Range at your nearest Lakeland store. fact magazine



#Tryano #Hosts #Kiehl’s #Exclusive #Skincare #Masterclass

TRYANO, Chalhoub Group’s Premium specialty department Store in Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi, hosted an exclusive Kiehl’s skincare master class last month to showcase the brand’s new Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream. Kiehl’s Vice President of Global Education Development, Cammie Cannella, gave an in-depth master class on maintaining healthy skin and protecting it from the external factors. Amongst a few of other Kiehl’s must-haves, Cammie introduced Kiehl’s Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream, along with its key benefits to the audience. 88

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Breaking Brunch Barriers The new Andiamo brunch at Roberto’s Abu Dhabi, turns tradtional brunching upside down for a one-of-kind concept in a gorgeous setting. Angela Beitz discovers what makes this new Friday favourite so unique‌ fact magazine




oberto’s Abu Dhabi opened with a bang last year, serving up excellent creative food in a venue with fabulous décor and great service. This is what it was already known for at their well-established Dubai outlet, and they were determined to make the same mark in Abu Dhabi. So, it was only a matter of time before the world-class restaurant launched its very own Friday Brunch at both UAE locations, in a bid to shake up the weekend dining scène. Naturally, we were the first ones there (where there’s good food, we’ll always be close by). Located at the Rosewood hotel end of The Galleria Mall on Al Maryah Island, Roberto’s Abu Dhabi has an upscale and refreshing vibe. We love that it’s separated into different spaces and how each flows into the other, effortlessly. There’s a finedining restaurant, lovely outdoor terrace and a trendy lounge and bar area, and with amazing waterfront views – you just can’t go wrong here. The brunch kicks off at noon and there are SO many options to suit a variety of palates. Inspired by the idyllic summers of the Amalfi coast, the relaxed elegance of Portofino and the jovial chic atmosphere of Capri, Andiamo Brunch captures the essence of the Italian Riviera – and with that said, we were about ready to jump on the food! If you aren’t into buffet brunches or if you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated then this is the brunch for you. The staff are super attentive and full of pizzazz. The majority of the food is prepared in front of you and served fresh to your table which is a great interactive element that makes the experience fun and personable. The trademark Crudo Bar has been transformed into an extensive oyster and cocktail bar, where guests can shuck away while sipping the unusually delicious oyster cocktail – it’s ALL about the surprises here. The feast continues at the table, with a mouthwatering selection of classic and contemporary antipasti including Tartare di Manzo, a grade 9 wagyu beef tartare, prepared at the tableside, followed by the show-stopping Risotto Bosco finished in the parmesan wheel. It’s not only a delight to


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watch but your inner foodie will ignite with EVERY incredible show of culinary flair. For mains (oh yes, there’s more, and we weren’t complaining!) there are lots of tasty options such as the charcoal-grilled Chilean sea bass with bell peppers and potatoes, slow-cooked beef short ribs, veal tenderloin and confit duck leg. Vegetarians won’t go hungry either – there are plenty of innovative pizza and pasta options. The Chilean Seabass was an absolute standout, packed with subtle flavour and completely satisfying to our taste buds. If you’ve got room left (let’s face it, there’s always room for dessert) then you’ll be super impressed with the lavish desserts that are set up across the whole bar boasting a chocolate fountain, cheesecakes, traditional tarts, tiramisu, strawberries and so much more. The experience is a great mix of buffet and à la carte options allowing guests to be social, as friends and family mingle and catchup. The chatter and laughter carry into the late afternoon, to up-tempo DJ music for a decadent and lazy Friday brunch. Great food and company are at the core of the concept, so sit back, relax and experience true Italian hospitality. For the five-star surroundings and topnotch dishes, this is a pocket-friendly brunch. The quality of the food is really what makes this brunch memorable – worth every last dirham! ✤ GO: Roberto’s Adiamo brunch, every Friday from 12noon to 4pm. AED295 – AED455 (depending on drinks package) Children between six and 12-years-old eat for AED150 - children below six dine for free. Call (0)2 627 9009 for reservations and more information. fact magazine



For the culture-savvy in Abu Dhabi




August Edition available now on issuu.com/factmagazine 92

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Sensational Sacci

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foodie corner


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Looking for amazing wholesome Italian fare in a homely setting? Angela Beitz heads to Sacci at The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa for a dining experience straight out of an Italian mama’s kitchen…


here are many fine-dining venues within The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa including Lemon & Lime Lounge, The Retreat and Fairways which boasts the famous Friday Bubbalicious Brunch, but there’s one venue that still remains somewhat of a hidden gem. Prepped to indulge at the boutique Italian restaurant Sacci, we took sunk into one of the cosy seats inside. The venue is located overlooking the pool and when the weather permits, you can dine al fresco. There’s an immediate warmth and charm about Sacci, thanks to the rustic Italian décor. This is further enhanced by the friendly staff; first impressions get a huge tick. The menu is extensive with many delicious options, but it takes us quite a while to decide on what we want. Having options is great and if you’re not familiar with Italian fare beyond pasta and pizza – this is your chance to explore the cuisine. While we decide on our food, we are brought a large, homemade loaf of bread with three different types of our favourite carb treat; there’s a sun dried tomato bread, olive bread and good old white bread. All have been baked to perfection and we get to dipping with olive oil and balsamic – tasty. We continue to persue the menu which is full of Italian classics, presented with a Sacci twist. To start, we go for the beef carpaccio (beef, wild rocket, olive paste, toasted peanuts, lemon dressing and tomato). This dish is beautiful to taste – if you love carpaccio, GET IT! The combination of the fresh, thin meat with the zesty lemon dressing and slightly-bitter rocket is SO good. We also try the Prosciutto De Parma pizza

which is adorned in a generous helping of prosciutto on top - love. Both are excellent dishes to start off with, as are the super light tuna tartare and the rich mushroom arancini. Mains bring to us a wide range of options from pizza, pasta, risotto and secondi sections. We choose the beef cheek and grilled seafood platter. The first is mouthwateringly tender and falls apart the second we take our fork to it. It’s served atop a cauliflower puree with fried arancini mushrooms – very unique and incredibly tasty. The grilled seafood platted consists of a meaty lobster tail, prawns, sea bass, scallops, octopus and grilled vegetables. Talk about a feast from the sea, this is every seafood lover’s dream. Dessert at Sacci is an absolute must and we try the 72 per cent chocolate fondant. This decadent sweet delight is served up with the prefect scoop of vanilla ice cream and crème inglese. We dip our spoon into the top of the fondant and rich, gooey chocolate oozes out – GET IN MY BELLY! The ice cream and crème inglese are good accompaniments and it’s the just-one-more-bite kind of dessert we devoured in minutes. If you can’t resist classic Italian dishes then you should absolutely pay a visit to Sacci. This is the place to go with a big group of friends to catch up over hearty dishes. The food raises the bar as some of the best Italian we’ve tried in the city and its great to see a passionate team that loves coming up with new and exciting ways to present traditional Italian recipes to modern-day diners. ✤ GO: Visit Sacci at The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa. Call (0)2 616 9999 for reservations and more information. fact magazine



A Journey through

Iridium Spa Iridium Spa at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort is the epitome of the word blissful and the right choice for some much-deserved pampering. Angela Beitz explores…


f you’re in need of some serious me-time then we can almost guarantee that you’ll love the decadent experience at Iridium Spa. As soon as you step into the beautiful space you’ll feel tranquility. I’m ushered to the changing rooms and would be happy to even just spend the afternoon here making use of the sauna, steam room and whirlpool – it’s amazing. Be sure to bring your bathers so that you can enjoy these facilities as they make up an incredibly beautiful area of relaxation and will get you in the right frame of mind for your spa treatment. I’m trying the Iridium Hammam experience followed by a facial. Showing major excitement to try the hammam (my skin needed a good cleanse) I was ready for this centuries-old ritual. Drawing on ancient bathing and cleansing methods from various oriental cultures, the Iridium Hammam Experience is a treatment that provides the benefits of a traditional hammam in a very contemporary setting. The treatments are crafted with a promise to take you on a journey of awakening the senses and leaving you cleansed, with a feeling of deep relaxation and rejuvenation. If you’ve never visited a hammam before it’s basically a purifying ritual. I chose a Jasmine moisturiser to be used on my skin at the end of the treatment for hydration. And we begin; I’m slathered in concentrated olive soap, infused with Argan oil, that softens the skin. Then it’s steam room time at a super hot 43 degrees - the steam helps to open the pores and clear any congestion. I’m given a cold wash cloth and some cold water so that I don’t feel light-headed. Once the steam room is over, I lay on the hammam stone and a vigorous exfoliation with Kese mitts is followed where lots of dry skin is removed. My body is then soaped again and I rinse it all off in a cold shower. My skin is the smoothest it has been in a long time and I feel completely relaxed and awakened. Moving to a mood-lit treatment room, it’s time for the Skin Renewal Facial. This facial aims to combat wrinkles, 96

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loss of elasticity and reduce pigmentation. After a deep double cleanse, a stimulating massage is performed on my skin to help boost cellular energy. A steam machine is also used to allow the pores to open up and some much needed extractions are performed. An anti-ageing serum is then applied to the skin and we move onto my favourite part a facial massage. Another hydrating mask is then applied and while this is working its magic, my therapist gives me a scalp massage – a heavenly end to an incredibly indulgent and satisfying spa experience. I immediately notice a visible reduction of fine lines, which is always a bonus! After all this pampering, don’t rush out. You’ll want to chill out in the Relaxation Room with dates, dried apricots and a fresh labneh drink to replenish. This is one genuinely, mind-blowing spa and, just like me, you’ll definitely want to linger a little longer before going out into the real-world bustle. ✤ GO: Visit Iridium Spa at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort. Call (0)2 498 8888 for reservations and more information.

“...a heavenly end to an incredibly indulgent and satisfying spa experience. I immediately notice a visible reduction of fine lines, which is always a bonus!”

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Paris Kounoudis

Director of Spa, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal

Hi Paris! Tell us three things that make The RitzCarlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal stand out from its competitors... The Ladies and Gentlemen of The Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal offer a genuine personalized experience to all of the guests staying with us. We are dedicated to create memorable experiences that will touch our guests’ heart and feelings. The hotel’s location is unique, offering breathtaking views over the Grand Mosque on one side and spectacular scenery of Al Maqta creek’s waterfront


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City Insider

on the other. The Spa at The Ritz Carlton is also a key differentiator and the five awards we won last year alone say it all. The team is focused on providing an outstanding experience to each guest who can enjoy exclusive treatments and facilities including saunas, hammam, steam rooms and a private spa beach.

What are some of your favourite cultural hotspots in the city and why? As my hobby is photography, I am very

sensible to the aesthetics of a place and my favourite spots are the Corniche, the Heritage Village and the old dhow port. There, I can capture beautiful images while discovering the history of the UAE.

Share with us some of your goals for 2017... On a professional note, I would like to continue maintaining the Spa as one of the best in the region and keep my team happy and motivated. Personally, I would try to travel as much as I can and explore Asian countries and cultures.

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©2017 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.

AbadiMTStd-LightItalic_abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz`1234567890-=[]\;’,./ ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ~!@#$%^&*()_+{}|:”<>? å∫ç∂´ƒ©˙ˆΔ˚¬µ˜øϖœ®ß†¨√∑≈¥Ω`¡™£¢∞§¶•ªº–≠“‘«…æ≤≥÷ ÅıÇÎ´Ï˝ÓˆÔÒ˜Ø∏Œ‰Íˇ¨◊„˛Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿ Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿|áéíóúâêîôûàèìòùäëïöüÿãñõÁÉÍÓÚÀÈÌÒÙÄËÏÖÜŸÑÃÕÂÊÎÔÛ ”“’‘ '" $‚Ǩ¬£¬•‚Ç©‡∏ø—Ä—É–± AbadiMTStd_abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz`1234567890-=[]\;’,./ ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ~!@#$%^&*()_+{}|:”<>? å∫ç∂´ƒ©˙ˆΔ˚¬µ˜øϖœ®ß†¨√∑≈¥Ω`¡™£¢∞§¶•ªº–≠“‘«…æ≤≥÷ ÅıÇÎ´Ï˝ÓˆÔÒ˜Ø∏Œ‰Íˇ¨◊„˛Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿ Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿|áéíóúâêîôûàèìòùäëïöüÿãñõÁÉÍÓÚÀÈÌÒÙÄËÏÖÜŸÑÃÕÂÊÎÔÛ ”“’‘ '" $‚Ǩ¬£¬•‚Ç©‡∏ø—Ä—É–±

Finish the weekend with a casual Saturday Brunch at Li Jiang.

Enjoy the newest addition to the thriving restaurant scene at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal. Saturday brunch at Li Jiang brings together authentic Pan Asian cuisine, creative beverages and a relaxed ambience in an open air setting. Starting at AED 170++ per person.

For more information and reservations, please contact 9712-818-8282 or e-mail abudhabi.restaurants@ritzcarlton.com.

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The St Regis Bar Presents Nola Week The St. Regis Bar celebrates vibrant sounds and rich flavours of New Orleans for first time in the capital. Embrace festival spirit with soulful live music and timeless family recipes.

Š2016 Marriott International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, St. Regis and their logos are the trademarks of Marriott International, Inc., or its affiliates.

2nd - 6th March Available daily, from 8pm

100 fact magazine

For reservations, please call +971 2 694 4553 or email restaurants.abudhabi@stregis.com