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A hideaway for intimate evenings Be amazed by creative presentations of Mediterranean recipes and tastes, especially curated by our Executive Chef Joseph, and embark on a journey of culinary delight. Indulge into the magical scenery and the panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf, while enjoying an exceptional weekend lunch or intimate evening gatherings.

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The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers, Corniche, Abu Dhabi, UAE 02 694 4553 | restaurants.abudhabi@stregis.com | azuraabudhabi.com


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VALENTINE'S DAY

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ARTS Q&A

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HOTEL HOTSPOT

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CITY RIDES

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FASHION FOCUS

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CULINARY SPOTLIGHT

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FOODIE CORNER

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Dubai: City Centre Mirdif • Mall of the Emirates • The Dubai Mall IBN Battuta Mall • City Centre Deira • Dubai Marina Mall • Springs Village First Avenue Mall • Burjuman Center • Dubai Festival City Mall • City Centre Me’aisem Dubai International Airport Concourse B • Nakheel Mall • Arabian Center • Oasis Mall

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• THE EDITOR

Single? Taken? Always Hungry?

What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork. - Pearl Bailey

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ey friends – those closest to me will tell you that those two words are my most expressive. If that’s how I greet you, I might as well be saying “I love you” – indirectly, but with a lot more enthusiasm. It turns out that, after an entire month of typing the word Valentine’s hundreds of times, I’m still no closer to figuring out how I really feel about this annual and very corporate celebration of love. On one hand, February 14 in all its candy, card and flowers glory is a commercially-driven day, and on the other it’s when love-budding wild hearts, both young and old, get to do something special for one another. Who wants to get bitter about that? Not me. For all the right reasons, Valentine’s Day in Dubai can be your most memorable yet – and you know that this city doesn’t do things unless it’s all the way up to 100. Turn to p25 and check out Show Me Love where we bring you everything from dinner dates, sweet afternoon treats, spa indulgence, romantic revelry, and beautiful gifts to inspire your plans! If you’re really looking to impress, head straight to p58 and check out this month’s Staycation Spotlight at the instagram-worthy and picturesque Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort. A few days here and you’ll be in the good books for a very long time! My very own love affair, with the one thing that never lets me down in Abu Dhabi (or life) continues this month. You’ve guessed it: F.O.O.D. For all the palate-pleasing pleasures in the city, we’ve tasted some of the most amazing cuisines and dishes in the cityl this month. Our New in Town takes us to the delicacies of Nassau, a fresh and vibrant dining destination that stays true to its culinary flair (p89). In Long's Bar, classic pub grub is elevated to show that it’s a serious contender in the food game (p93), and in the Culinary Spotlight, we stop by a restaurant that is romantic, inviting and the perfect spot for a guaranteed delicious date night – BABA (p85). That’s what I call love; your favourite Netflix series on the TV and a table full of takeout to share with all your “hey friends” people. Plus, the only thing better than a Christmas playlist is a cheesy Valentine’s playlist – nothing better than a little Luther Vandross to annoy – I mean, motivate the whole office, right? Of course, a shiny diamond or a plane ticket to Paris wouldn’t hurt too... a girl can only dream.☺

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

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FACT Magazine Dubai Edition • FEBRUARY 2020 VOLUME 03, ISSUE 04

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER GREG HUGHES PUBLISHERS EDWARD SMITH RAMI KHALIL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF SHABANA ADAM (shabana@fact-magazine.com) ASSISTANT EDITOR AANCHAL DUGGAL SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS SYED MUHAMMED RAIHAN JYOTI RAWAT CONTRIBUTORS DAVID TAPLEY PRODUCTION & DISTRIBUTION NEIL MAHMOOD AJIT KUMAR SALES COORDINATOR KIA MARIE PLACIDO ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES EDWARD SMITH (edward@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. 361/17/F


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• CONNECT

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Combining all four editions of FACT in Dubai and the region, keep up with us on instagram for the best behind-the-scenes photos from monthly food shoots, the best local events and all things fun from the FACT team around the Gulf.

FACEBOOK FACT Dubai 12,253 likes Keep up with all things Dubai as the FACT team posts the latest competitions, events and everything we’re getting up to. Send us a message – we love hearing from our readers!

Your one-stop culture fix for life in Dubai | 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 celebrity-world movers and shakers too | Get your copy of FACT Dubai in local supermarkets now!

Seven billion smiles and yours is my favourite.

ISSUU.COM FACT Dubai 71,956 reads of the January issue online 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 more in Dubai.

OUR FAVE FEATURE • VALENTINE’S DAY P25 •

#FACTMAGAZINE #FACTMIDDLEEAST #FOODARTSCULTURETRAVEL #THEONLYWAYISFACT 8

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• CHECK IT OUT

FACT FINDS

The Muse Experience IF YOU LOVE SHOPPING AND ADVENTURE, THERE’S A NEW LOYALTY PROGRAMME IN TOWN TO MAKE ALL YOUR PURCHASES WORTHWHILE – THANKS TO CHALHOUB GROUP.

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halhoub Group announced the launch of its new, experience-led loyalty programme, Muse, across its retail network in the UAE. Muse is a new-age loyalty programme for shoppers across the GCC, that brings together a collection of aspirational fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands from across Chalhoub’s vast portfolio. The programme includes benefits at over 35 luxury brands from fashion retailers such as Level Shoes, Michael Kors and Salvatore Ferragamo to coveted beauty brands including L’Occitane, NARS and Urban Decay, as well as lifestyle brands Tanagra, Swarovski and Tumi. The loyalty programme, which can be managed and accessed directly by each member through the Muse App, speaks directly to the consumer of today looking for highly personalized and multi-dimensional experiences. MUSE brings more than just transactional value to retail, aiming to be adaptive and responsive to the desires of each member, enhancing their journey as they collect and redeem points, unlock benefits and enjoy experiences that are truly unique, personalised and unforgettable. As a MUSE member, look forward to meaningful moments tailored just for you! Experiences range from complimentary services such as makeovers by NARS to preferred rates at bespoke florist, Bliss Flowers. Members can also enjoy indulgences redeemed by MUSE points such as luxury spa days and high tea experiences. Finally, elevated moments that MUSE offers exclusively to 10

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members are contests to win immersive experiences including extraordinary getaways personally tailored to you. In addition to memorable experiences, Muse members will also be privy to exclusive benefits such as a dedicated Muse concierge, valet parking, complimentary home delivery, birthday rewards, priority access to sales and tailored Muse gift boxes throughout the year. ✤

GO: THE MUSE APP IS AVAILABLE ON IOS AND ANDROID. VISIT WWW.EXPERIENCE-MUSE.COM FOR A FULL LIST OF PARTICIPATING STORES AND MORE INFORMATION.


A destination to love Share dining experiences together and create memories that will last forever. Valentine’s offers starting from AED 150

T: +971 2 811 4342 | E: JSIrestaurants@jumeirah.com All prices are inclusive of all applicable service charges, local fees and taxes

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• LISTEN UP

NEW EATS AT BOCA Promising to dish out menus four times a year, following the seasonality of local produce, seafood and fish in the Arabian Gulf - Boca brings you the first menu release of the year: Winter 2020. AS BOCA HAS DONE numerous times in the past, the eatery is placing the humble beetroot as a star in the new winter menu: Dry Aged Meatroot is a vegan dish of intensified beetroot, aged like a fine steak and served with infused watermelon, cherry and kombucha glaze. They also feature beetroot in the FiveTexture Risotto. Building on the popularity of their previous sweet potato version, Boca continues to try out different renditions of hummus. This season they present the White Bean Hummous made with Tuscan beans (they may have come full circle here). The Black Rice Stuffed Local Squid is served over a bed of mixed sautéed local spinach with cauliflower purée and roasted squid consommé. Seared Emirati Seabream is made using fish from the local Fish Farm in Jebal Ali and is served with kimchi, eggplant aioli, crispy black rice and local herbs and flowers, while scallop and avocado is a dish of raw Hokkaido scallops, coriander gel, crispy corn, and ají amarillo. Boca’s zero-waste techniques are coming of age in their paellas as they present the new Vegan Paella with almost no food wastage and now use the entire octopus including the head in their Black Seafoof Paella. 12

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Two desserts deserve special mentions: Chocolate and Blood Orange and Crema Del Golfo. The latter is their take on the Crema Catalana prepared using camel milk ice-cream, saffron and glazed with a local delicacy from the Arabian Gulf, ‘Omani Halwa’. At Boca, they continue to strive to keep sustainability at the core of their operation. This year they have four main goals they’d like to achieve: Continue to source, present and experiment with local and lesser known varieties of produce driving attention to what we can grow and consume locally; Produce own filtered water; Based on the wastage data collected in 2019, they plan to reduce glass wastage by 15%, plastic by 10%, and cardboard by 10%; Demand radical changes from suppliers to deliver using less packaging and reclaim some of it back. On that note, bon appetit! ✤

GO: CALL (0)4 323 1833 FOR RESERVATIONS AND FOLLOW @BOCADUBAI ON INSTAGRAM FOR ALL THE LATEST INFORMATION.


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EAT, PLAY AND CREATE Schoko Group has launched two new eat, play and create dining concepts in Dubai. Both outlets combine indoor and outdoor seating with a soft play area and include a Willy Wonka-themed chocolate masterclass. EACH MENU AND OUTLET interior are different but both promise plenty of fun for the whole family. Oompa Loompa offers a full dining experience and Schoko Fabrik has a compact yet delightful café menu. Both restaurants serve a mix of international cuisine however since the group originates from Russia, diners will notice some native dishes on the menu. Both specialise in healthy or naughty crepes and waffles, that can be covered in treats that kids will no doubt love, but Oompa Loompa is also a food haven for parents who can enjoy a more sophisticated meal. Oompa Loompa is a wonderland nestled in the heart of JBR that takes guests on a magical journey of exploration and adventure. Beautiful hand-drawn artworks fill the walls imitating the journey Alice took when she fell down the rabbit hole and a full-sized tree sits in the middle of the restaurant. Little guests can relax in the movie area where all their favourite films are shown whilst they colour and create. Alternatively, the soft play area is great for kids who want to blow off steam before bedtime. Schoko Fabrik is located beneath the Bluewater wheel and has a smaller menu but a larger soft play area that is spread across three floors. Its interiors imitate a workshop, a full-sized motorcycle greets guests on entry and quirky trinkets will be 14

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hiding throughout the restaurant. This creative café is the perfect place for parents and kids to enjoy together. As well as a soft play area to keep children entertained, both outlets will have an area dedicated to chocolate masterclasses. Each class runs for 90 minutes and is available to book before visiting the restaurant or on arrival. An array of chocolate gifts can also be purchased after visiting with many iconic Dubai destinations available completely made out of chocolate. Each masterclass begins with a brief history of chocolate and includes some interesting samples for children to try before little ones will be able to choose from over 200 molds that can create many designs. Whilst the molds are freezing, kids can feast on a variety of crepes or waffles before they're given a selection of edible paints that they can use to decorate their chocolate masterpieces. Masterclasses can also be booked exclusively for groups such as schools or birthday parties. Both restaurants are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. ✤

GO: CALL (0)4 578 6121 (OOMPA LOOMPA) OR (0)4 578 6121 (SCHOKO FABRIK) FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION.


It’s always a good time, for coffee Experiencea unique ambience at 90c cafÊ, located at Grand Millennium Al Wahda. A relaxed and cosy environment lets guests feel right at home, whilst the chefs whip up unpretentious dishesfor breakfast,lunch and dinner; servedby our friendly staff. Open daily from 6:30 am until 1:00 am. Stayup-to-date with our weekly and monthly promotions and follow us on Facebook and Instagram

For reservations, please call: +97124953968 or Email 90centigrade.gmaw@millenniumhotels.com @90centigrade fact magazine

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• LISTEN UP

EL CAMINO DE FLORES Release your inner spirit into the new decade with a spectacular Saturday brunch celebration at Dubai’s homegrown, sophisticated, and modern Mexican eatery; Chingon - located at the Grand Millennium Hotel in Business Bay. INTEGRATED WITH SLEEK AND trendy interiors, alongside splashes of vibrant colours that reflect a fusion of the old and the new; Chingon is a present-day interpretation and celebration of Mexico’s culture and heritage with its plush furnishings, fresh food, lively ambience and exotic entertainment. Running from 1pm to 5pm every Saturday, CHINGÓN’s party brunch, ‘El Camino de Flores’, meaning; ‘the path of flowers’, features contemporary Mexican offerings and signature sips, live entertainment with dancers, drummers and musicians, resident and international DJs to get you into the Mayan spirit. The brunch menu reinterprets traditional Mexican favourites with a current day twist adapted by Chingon’s culinary team. Try the Duck Quesadilla’s (consisting of sweet pickled Jalapeno’s folded into a warmly toasted paratha bread), King Crab Nachos topped with smoky melting cheddar, slow-cooked Wagyu Short rib comprising of a spicy Tamarind glaze, the now famous Chimichurri Burrata consisting of Truffle Polenta and pickled tomatillo’s and many more decadent offerings – a truly divine slice of Mexican haven. The brunch also offers a specially curated menu for vegetarians and vegans which includes a series of sumptuous dishes such as 16

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the exotic Wild Mushroom Ceviche, Chipotle Kale Salad (adorned with chunks of pumpkin and green apple), Pablano Quesadilla featuring authentic traditional ingredients of Huitlacoche and baby corn, to flavourfully roasted Cauliflower garnished with crunchy almonds and Ajillo Mushrooms. Alongside this food feast, guests can also enjoy an assortment of refreshing mocktails, bubbles and signature cocktails inspired by the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Tulum and Puebla. Brace yourself for the hottest new brunch party in town every Saturday as Chingon promises to transport you to a sophisticated Mexican carnival with an abundance of popular Mexican dishes and drinks, live entertainment and soul hitting music in an uber-stylish setting. Priced at AED295 per person with soft beverages and AED395 per person with premium beverages, signature cocktails, house spirits and hops. ✤

GO: CALL (0)4 873 3377 FOR RESERVATIONS AND FOLLOW @CHINGONDUBAI ON INSTAGRAM FOR ALL THE LATEST INFORMATION.


LISTEN UP •

COYA’S CALORIE COUNT Counting your calories in 2020 just got a little easier at COYA Dubai. All menus in the restaurant now feature calories for each dish, enabling guests to make informed eating choices. THE TEAM AT COYA has worked extensively with a certified dietitian to secure accurate calorie information for all menu options. Guests can see a Salmon Nikkei has 174 calories, Arroz Nikkei has 1070 calories and Tarta de Queso Manchego has 554 calories. Mathias Piras, Middle East Operations Manager at Coya, said: “Displaying the caloric value of each dish on COYA’s menus will empower our diners to make healthier food choices and raise their awareness of the calories they consume relative to the calories they need. We want them to know the calorie value of our dishes, but we also want to underscore the quality calories and beneficial nutrients within COYA’s menus." Coya Dubai, where dishes are usually shared between friends and family, have a diversity of healthy options. Ceviche - raw fish cured in citrus juices – is light, fresh and low in calories, made with minimal oil, and packed with protein and flavor. Coya’s guests can choose between sea bass and yellow fin tuna ceviche, paired with a salad to get a complete and well-balanced meal. Ensalada de Coya is perfectly suited for waistline-watchers with 179 calories. Chilean sea bass has only 473 calories but delivers enough protein to keep you satisfied long after the meal. Quinoa salad with coriander, mint and pomegranate is delightful and filling – and it's only 324 calories! ✤

GO: COYA DUBAI IS LOCATED AT FOUR SEASONS RESORT, JUMEIRAH BEACH. CALL (0)4 316 9600 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. fact magazine

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• LISTEN UP

A FUSION FIRST Italian restaurant GIA has added an ace to their sleeve by becoming the first restaurant in the UAE to launch a fusion Italian-Emirati menu. The menu will run for a limited time only until February 12 and features unique flavours combining classic Italian with nostalgic Emirati dishes. RICH OF FLAVOURS, THE menu at GIA is conceptualised by the expert culinary team behind GIA and Emirati Chef, Faisal Mohammed Al Harmoodi. Together, they have created a brandnew menu featuring classic and reimagined Italian and Emirati favourites. Emirati with roots in Abu Dhabi, Chef Faisal was always very passionate about his cultural heritage and looking at his vast repertoire of work, he made the perfect fit for putting together a fusion menu to bring the best of two worlds together under one roof. Choosing your favorite dishes from the menu won’t be easy with options including the Samosa Burrata, a crunchy samosa with burrata, arrabiata sauce and tomato and pesto mint chutney. The Salona Risotto is served with Salona mushroom risotto, slow cooked lamb shank and Emirati favourite daqoos, a spicy tomato and garlic sauce. Served with Rigatoni, grilled chicken breast, biryani sauce, green maabouj, daqoos, rgag and pesto and mint chutney, the flavoursome Rigatoni Biryani is the ultimate fusion of both cuisines. And not to forget, the most intriguing find on the menu is definitely the Camel Lasagna, puffed lasagna layers filled with Camel bolognese, parmesan cheese and olive oil powder. 18

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There’s more reason to be excited with the selection of the desserts. The Asida Cannoli is a homemade Italian pastry filled with the Arabic asida, saffron mascarpone sauce and topped with pistachio. Or opt for the secret box featuring a secret concoction of Italian and Emirati sweets. Place your order to know what it is! The collaborative fusion with best of both worlds is available until February 12 at GIA, located in the Dubai Mall, Fashion Avenue extension. ✤

GO: CALL (0)4 234 9986 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION.


LISTEN UP •

THE LIGHTHOUSE Named after the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, The Lighthouse celebrates everyday design in its many forms and functions. THE LIGHTHOUSE IS ALSO a subtle nod to Virginia Woolf and members of the Bloomsbury set who gathered for conversation, good food and company, thus building the foundations of the D3 restaurant and concept store; a place for people to come together and refuel with creative energy. Combining a design store, restaurant and activation space, The Lighthouse offers an integrated experience where guests can shop, eat, mingle or work alongside others in a lively location. And with its monthly interview series “TLH Conversations” which features cultural entrepreneurs and tastemakers from around the Middle East, The Lighthouse aims to give back to the community, encouraging a fresh dialogue and collaborative approach to arts and culture. Dubai’s growing number of creative concepts that encapsulate both retail and F&B sparked The Lighthouse’s popularity amongst consumers, making it the go-to spot in the Design District and Downtown Dubai. The menu, created by Executive Chef and Partner of The Lighthouse, Izu Ani, focuses on innovative Mediterraneaninspired dishes prepared from fresh, organic and seasonal produce with the aim to provide the best quality food in a relaxed environment – whether that’s indoors in the stylish restaurant space or al fresco in The Lighthouse terrace. ✤

GO: VISIT WWW.THELIGHOUSE.AE FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. fact magazine

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• LISTEN UP

FROM FASHION TO ART One of the most prominent figures from the Italian world of art and culture, Flavio Lucchini, will showcase a series of his artworks at the new Oblong Contemporary Art Gallery on the Bluewaters Island from February 6 to March 10. THE EXHIBITION, TITLED ‘FROM Fashion to Art: the Vogue Lesson’ features works by Lucchini including classics and unpublished works of the artist, all of which offer a fusion of Flavio’s professional journey to date and his continuous search for the meaning of the dress. The artworks are created with different mediums and styles, including bronze resin, steel sculptures, paintings, bas-reliefs, digital art and the experience of dematerialisation as conceptual art, keeping the message constant. “The woman’s dress can convey beauty, irony, boldness, eroticism and many other emotions,” Flavio says. “They have represented a major part of my life and I have never considered them as simple shells, from the divine haute couture dresses, to miniskirts, to the hippy, folk, punk dresses and even abayas and burqas, with their ethical and aesthetic implications,” he continues. “Dresses are a tool which the world can witness the changes and aspirations of society, together with the celebration of beauty, femininity and creativity.” Flavio’s artworks highlight the close link between art and 20

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fashion, thanks to his background as an avant-garde art director and publisher of L’Uomo Vogue, Casa Vogue, Vogue Bambini and Lei-Glamour in the 60’s and 70’s in Italy and other successful magazines. He has seen trends fade away with every passing season and would always want to fix them with bronze, steel and resin in order to save them from their untimely destiny and make them last forever. A world of his own, where the dress goes back to be the enchanted and creative emotion as it was in his publishing days, Flavio’s exhibition at the Oblong gallery transforms fashion into art and puts art into fashion. “I like to move from classicism to new pop,” Flavio shares. “In a sort of direct line, right between Canova and Jeff Koons. I’m interested in the mystery and magic of fashion. To glorify it and at the same time to desecrate it.” ✤

GO: VISIT WWW.OBLONGCONTEMPORARY.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION.


LISTEN UP •

THE PERFECT SMILE Dubai’s first luxury dental care concept store, Maison Dentaire has opened its doors in DIFC. MAISON DENTAIRE, A ONE-stop shop for the connoisseurs of perfect oral care recently launched its world-class concept store in the UAE. Specialising in a range of dental care and treatments, the brand is renowned for being masters in all oralcare. Maison Dentaire has dental health competences in a wide range of hygiene and healthcare needs such as medical dental conditions, aesthetics and maintenance of general oral hygiene. Located in the heart of Dubai, DIFC, Maison Dentaire plays home to a range of global brands that provide luxury oral care products and services. These brands include; Curaprox, BE YOU, Black is White, Swiss Smile, Dentaid and Gengigel. While Swiss Smile specializes in luxury high quality cosmetic dental and oral care products, BE YOU is home for everything you could ever want from a toothpaste. On the other hand, Curaprox is your go-to product in order to ensure your oral hygiene is long lasting. Dentaid offers a wide range of dental solutions which are specifically tailored to everyone’s needs despite the age group. With Black is White, you can be sure of long-lasting breath and white teeth, as it contains activated charcoal that leave your teeth spotless. In addition to its wide range of products, Maison Dentaire also provides tailor made services and consultations. These services are provided by the ‘Maison Tooth Fairies’ who give professional advice in a comfortable luxury environment.

Enjoy an experience of Maison Dentaire’s premium oral health care service at Gate Avenue, DIFC. ✤

GO: VISIT WWW.MAISONDENTAIRE.AE FOR MORE INFORMATION. fact magazine

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• LISTEN UP

DUBAI FOOD FESTIVAL 2020 Delicious offerings will shine a light on Dubai’s gastronomy scene, starting February 26.

ENJOY AN ARRAY OF delectable offerings, as the muchawaited Dubai Food Festival (DFF) returns for its seventh edition on February 26 with a city-wide culinary extravaganza that will cement Dubai’s position as the gastronomy capital of the region. Running until March 14, the upcoming edition of DFF will celebrate the city’s culinary diversity drawn from the UAE and the cultures of over 200 nationalities in Dubai, and also give residents, visitors, families and foodies an insight into the latest tastes and trends from the global epicurean scene. Organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), the 18-day DFF 2020 will offer an appealing range of mouth-watering events including annual favourites including Dubai Restaurant Week, Beach Canteen, Hidden Gems and Foodie Experiences featuring masterclasses, chef tables and unique dining fare as well as exciting new activations, 22

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appearances by celebrity chefs, food-related events and promotions at malls, restaurants, hypermarkets, and much more. The Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, is responsible for developing Dubai’s retail and festival sectors and supporting the positioning of Dubai as a world-class tourism destination with year-round family entertainment, shopping and events. ✤

GO: VISIT WWW.DUBAIFOODFESTIVAL.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION AND FOLLOW @DUBAIFOODFEST ON INSTAGRAM FOR ALL THE LATEST UPDATES.


LISTEN UP •

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• SOCIETY

CÉ LA VI GRAND OPENING PARTY AT ADDRESS SKY VIEW Highly anticipated luxury lifestyle and entertainment experience, CÉ LA VI Dubai is now officially open following its extravagant launch party. CÉ LA VI welcomed some of Dubai’s hottest influential guests to celebrate its grand opening, including HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Mark Bedingham, Ravi Thakran, amongst others. Guests dined on a sumptuous array of delicacies from CÉ LA VI’s Asian inspired menu, including Prat-Au-Coum Oysters, A5 Wagyu Striploin Nigiri, Crab Cake with Osetra Caviar, Pea Ravioli with Seaweed & Cacio Pepe Sauce, whilst sipping on an experimental mix of eclectic cocktails created by some of Dubai’s most impressive mixologists. Entertainment was provided by CÉ LA VI Dubai’s resident DJ and Brendan Fallis, one of the most sought-after DJ’s in the world. Drawing inspiration from Southeast Asia, CÉ LA VI celebrates the popular French saying that translated to “This is Life” – the DNA is deeply rooted in the artistic influences of the region’s art, carvings, paintings, and architecture.

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SHOW ME LOVE

Sweep your other half of their feet with the perfect date – FACT has got you covered with larger-thanlife brunches, sweet treats, romantic dinners, spa escapes and so much more at some of the city’s best locations.

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• VALENTINE’S the starters, an aphrodisiac sorbet (chilli/ pomegranate and ginseng sorbet) will be served to refresh their palate, ready for the next course. Followed by main courses and a sweet ending with chocolate aphrodisiac. AED590 per couple, AED690 for guaranteed window seating. Including a six-course set menu plus soft beverage and two glasses of prosecco upon arrival. This is for the adventurous couple who likes to try something unconventional! February 14, 7pm to 12am. GO: Call (0)4 435 5577 for reservations and more information.

ONE OF A KIND FOUR SEASONS RESORT DUBAI AT JUMEIRAH BEACH Private Dinner at Sea Couples can enjoy a truly unique dinner with the most exclusive table for two on the private floating platform just off the shore of the private stretch of beach. An enticing dining experience awaits, aglow with lanterns and moonlight to create a perfect intimate hideaway for two. AED10,000 per couple including a five-course set menu with caviar and a complimentary rosé for ladies. GO: Call (0)4 270 7777 for reservations and more information.

V HOTEL DUBAI K-POP Your Cherry at Namu The cheeky Korean Valentine’s celebration is back. The lady takes the lead in this one! The inspiration is Valentine’s Day in Korea. Rather than the catch-all holiday it is in the rest of the world, on Valentine's Day in Korea, women give chocolate to men as a sign of affection. Traditionally, men that receive these gifts will give a gift in return the following month on White Day. This Valentine’s try a new tradition where women are put in-charge of all romantic proceedings. During the dining experience, the ladies will choose one aphrodisiac shooter for their blindfolded men before they start the Amuse Bouche. After having

ADDRESS DUBAI MARINA Romance Under The Stars at Shades Impress your other half with a romantic Valentines dinner at Shades, a spectacular setting overlooking the magical skyline of Dubai Marina. Enjoy a delightful six-course Valentine’s set menu complimented by two glasses of bubbly for AED999. Menu highlights include truffle scented cauliflower puree and burrata, mini shrimp cocktail, grilled scallops with caviar and strawberry sauce, char grilled Tenderloin with potato dauphinoise and sautéed mushroom. The team of chefs will sweeten your special evening with a delicious cupid heart dessert option. Served on February 14 from 7pm onwards. GO: Call (0)4 888 3444 for reservations and more information.

RIXOS THE PALM DUBAI HOTEL & SUITES Love Birds Getaway An ideal choice for couples looking for a Valentine’s Day staycation, this UltraAll-Inclusive offer includes a romantic sea view room, private beach cabana, complimentary breakfast in bed, 90-minute couples’ massage and an intimate four-course dinner serenaded by a professional violinist. The Love Birds 26

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VALENTINE’S •

Ultra-All-Inclusive Getaway at Rixos The Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites Starting from AED1,800++ per night based on two people sharing and includes in room romantic set up with special amenities upon arrival, complimentary upgrade to a sea view room, guaranteed private beach cabana, one complimentary in-room breakfast, one romantic four-course dinner with violinist, one relaxing 90-minute couples massage, unlimited dining at your choice of 10 restaurants, a choice of 100 premium brand beverages, daily mini services, access to daily fitness activities,, and use of the wellness facilities at Anjana Spa. Advance booking is required and the offer is only valid for on a minimum of three nights. GO: Call (0)4 457 5555 for reservations and more information. CAVALLI CLUB RESTAURANT & LOUNGE Friday Roman Empire Night Romans, countrymen and lovers, get ready for the biggest Valentine’s Day night ever at Cavalli Club Restaurant & Lounge. Paying homage to Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty, Cavalli Club will be romanticising its famous Friday Roman Empire night to be filled with passion and excitement on February 14. Singles looking for their perfect partner and loved-up couples alike are all invited to eat, drink and dance at this legendary Valentine’s Day gathering. Dine on a sumptuous special menu inclusive of unlimited beverages whilst watching the breath-taking performances unfolding in the centre of the magnificent venue. You’ll

be welcomed with a Love Potion cocktail and transported to a whimsical world of romance by the enchanting decorations throughout. Priced at AED 395 per person, a la carte is also available. GO: Call (0)50 991 0400 for reservations and more information. MANDARIN ORIENTAL JUMEIRA, DUBAI Valentine’s Day at Beluga Beluga, the sophisticated caviardedicated restaurant, is giving diners a chance to celebrate a one-of-akind Valentine’s Day with its decadent promotion, available only on February 14. Spoil your loved one on this special day in style, with exceptional service, and attention to detail. Guests will have the chance to savour some of the most coveted caviar from Beluga. There will

be two menus to choose from, where one will offer the Russian Oscietra Caviar (50g), a delicious heart shaped dessert that will delight diners, complemented by one glass of bubbly per person, priced at AED650 for two people. The other option will offer one of the visitors’ favourites, Beluga Caviar (50g), which includes all the same and is priced at AED850 for two people. GO: Call (0)4 340 8882 for reservations and more information.

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DINNER DATES JW MARRIOTT MARQUIS HOTEL DUBAI Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra Experience love at Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra. Whether it’s a first date or you’re reminiscing on the years gone by, the team at this award-winning eatery will turn this special day into an unforgettable occasion with the exquisite Masala Valentine’s Experience Menu. AED595 per couple including a glass of bubbly. February 14, from 6pm to 11.30pm. GO: Call (0)4 457 5555 for reservations and more information. HOLIDAY INN DUBAI FESTIVAL CITY Joe’s Backyard Starting from 8pm on February 14, this dynamic venue will be offering a delicious set menu for couples and friends. Guests can enjoy three courses with a bottle of grape for AED299 per couple, or three courses with a bottle of sparkling for AED399 per couple. GO: Call (0)55 709 4509 for reservations and more information.

INTERCONTINENTAL DUBAI MARINA Marina Social by Jason Atherton They say the way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach, and at the awardwinning Marina Social by Jason Atherton, this saying holds especially true. In the spirit of love, the Executive Chef has prepared a sensational five-course Valentine’s Day Dinner menu for the special night. Overlooking the panoramic views of Dubai Marina, it is truly the perfect place to celebrate love and embark on a romantic gastronomic journey with your loved one on February 14. Ready your taste buds for a romantic gastronomic journey starting with succulent oysters sourced from the pure waters of Loch Fyne in Scotland, a known aphrodisiac; an Italian Beef Tomato dressed with 25 years aged balsamic followed by the velvety-smooth King Crab Linguini smothered in butter. Declare your love with gusto to your Valentine with a delectable Beef Wellington that will bound to satisfy the palate. Melt her heart with an enticing dessert - the delicious Pink Lady Apple Tart Tatin, topped with Madagascan

vanilla ice-cream and caramel and some takeaway ‘After Eight’ treats for a sweet ending! Priced at AED895 per couple, served with a glass of bubbly from 7.30pm onwards. GO: Call (0)55 483 5962 for reservations and more information. WALDORF ASTORIA DIFC Dinner at Bull & Bear For couples, Bull & Bear promises a delightful six-course romantic dinner, spreading the joyous celebrations for two weeks, available from February 9 to 22. The menu includes a selection of starters to share such as oysters, foie gras and sea urchin risotto, followed by guests’ choice of main dish and a sharing dessert platter; available for AED675 per couple. GO: Call (0)50 991 0400 for reservations and more information. HILTON DUBAI THE WALK Romance in the Sky at Pure Sky Lounge & Dining Located high up on the 35th floor of the Hilton Dubai The Walk, Pure Sky Lounge & Dining - Dubai Marina’s highest rooftop bar in JBR, offers an ultimate romantic setting under the stars on February 14. Start your meal with a selection of starters including deep fried crab, seared scallop and baby mozzarella with caramelised fig. For the mains, guests can indulge in sharing braised short ribs with Asian spices, or dry fruits stuffed corn-fed chicken and miso glazed seabass. A mini

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raspberry dome with white chocolate shave and mixed berries ends the meal. Priced at AED495 per couple including two glasses of bubbly, served 6.30pm onwards. GO: Call (0)4 374 7888 for reservations and more information. KETCH UP Valentine’s Day Dinner Celebrate February 14 at Ketch Up restaurant in Bluewaters Dubai with a yummy set menu that includes oysters, tempura tiger prawns with wasabi mayo and tender beef medallions. Although the view from the terrace doesn’t change, this menu will only be available for one day. AED690 per couple for a four-course set menu and bottle of Prosecco | AED1,200 per group (four pax) for a four-set course menu and bottle of Prosecco or AED1,200 minimum spend on a la carte. From 6pm onwards. GO: Call (0)4 399 9404 for reservations and more information.

BRUNCH OF LOVE FOUR SEASONS RESORT, JUMEIRAH BEACH COYA Dubai Guests at COYA’s one-of-a-kind Friday Brunch are in for a treat as special rose bubbly will be offered as part of its bubbly package, and its newest attraction, party piñata will be stuffed with Valentine’s Day prizes. COYA Dubai will also prepare a beautifully plated dessert that is sure

to delight any sweet tooth! Diners can indulge in the limited-edition sweet course that will include rose water mousse, strawberry and raspberry flavoured sorbet, raspberry ganache, alfajores, and assorted fruits. For this loving occasion, mixologists at COYA Dubai will make its Pisco Sour signature cocktail more special by adding refreshing strawberry, rose, and lychee flavours that complement the restaurant’s dining menu. The Valentine’s Day-themed platter and Pisco Sour will be priced at AED118 and AED70, respectively, and will only be offered on February 14; while brunch prices start at AED419 per guest including soft beverages; AED619 per guest including house beverages (spirits and grape); AED709 per guest including premium bubbly and beverages. GO: Call (0)4 316 9600 for reservations and more information. fact magazine

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• VALENTINE’S AED325 per person including soft beverages; AED450 per person including house beverages; and AED495 per person including house beverages and bubbly. February 14 from 12.30pm to 3.30pm. GO: Call (0)4 888 3444 for reservations and more information.

HABTOOR PALACE DUBAI, LXR HOTELS & RESORTS En Blanc Brunch, Pink Edition at BQ French Kitchen & Bar Inspired by the famous ‘Diner en Blanc’, where guests arrive in outfits of white, diners at the brunch are encouraged to also wear white. The sharing-style brunch evokes the classic atmosphere and exceptional tastes of authentic Parisian brasseries found on the city’s most famous streets, such Avenue des Champs-Élysées, with diners enjoying three courses of expertly prepared and superbly cooked signature French dishes. Diners can enjoy a great selection of appetisers, followed by traditional mains all brought to the table with a grand finale of desserts presented on a charming sweet trolley. The Parisian classic becomes even more romantic this Valentine’s Day. From 12noon to 4pm, priced at AED350 per person including rose, cocktails and mocktails. Three pieces of pearl jewellery, sponsored by Damani, will be given away. GO: Call (0)4 435 5555 for reservations and more information.

breads, Mexican sizzling fajitas, pasta station, and the greatest hit of all time – the Mongolian station. Discover a spread of meat, fish and seafood cooked live at the unique Mongolian flat-top grill mixed with veggies, mushrooms and spices of your choice. The restaurant will be dressed in love-ly décor and illuminated with candles. The mega-sized dessert station will make your heart melt as you indulge in the variety of heart-shaped and love-themed desserts, cakes, pastries and cheesecake. Ice cream and chocolate fountain will be the cherry on top of your Valentine’s Day adventure. The famous Cuban trio, Kubanda, will be performing live during brunch and dinner, creating a perfect romantic atmosphere and adding heart-warming tunes to the Spice Island ambience. AED159 with soft drinks per person; AED225 with house drinks per person; kids aged six and below dine for free. February 14, brunch is served 12noon to 4pm and dinner is served from 6.30pm to 11.30pm. GO: Call (0)4 262 5555 for reservations and more information.

CROWNE PLAZA DUBAI, DEIRA Valentine’s Brunch or Dinner at Spice Island Spend a romantic day with your better half at this cosy restaurant! Fall in love with the extensive international spread boasting five live cooking stations including Arabic grill (meshawi), Indian tandoor with freshly made meat and naan

ADDRESS DUBAI MARINA Brunch with Love at Mazina Valentine's Day doesn't always have to be about candlelit dinners. Invite your favourite person to a romantic brunch feast at Mazina. The Farm-To-Table Brunch features an extensive buffet of seasonallyinspired and globally-influenced dishes, all prepared live from five show kitchens.

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JW MARRIOTT MARQUIS HOTEL DUBAI Wanderlove Brunch Join in this Valentine’s Day for an eclectic and exotic journey through taste and celebrate love. The Wanderlove brunch is a one-stop culinary journey around the world. With more than 10 live stations, including an extended Japanese section and a variety of beverage stations, this food odyssey will satisfy even the restless foodie. Embrace your inner wanderlust and enjoy the innovate beats of DJ Adam J and special live entertainment and beverages. Age policy: 21 and above. AED395 per person, including food and house beverages. February 14, from 1pm to 4pm. GO: Call (0)4 457 5555 for reservations and more information.


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HILTON DUBAI AL HABTOOR CITY City Brunch at The Market The place to come, drop your kids at the kids’ club where they’ll be taken care of by an expert team, and enjoy a fun brunch with loved ones and friends. Celebrate your love and friendship for each other by indulging in the humongous buffet spread and enjoy the drinks selection whilst the kids will be entertained in the supervised kid’s corner or can even visit the Hilton Kids’ Club (four years and above) where they’ll be baking heart shaped pizza and decorating cookies, playing on a playstation or even jumping in the kids’ pool. Participate in the big lottery draw to win outstanding prices like brunches around Al Habtoor City, massages at Silk Spa or even an overnight stay. February 14, from 1pm to 4.30pm. AED350 incl. nonalcoholic beverages; and AED425 incl. house beverages. Free for kids aged under 12. GO: Call (0)4 437 3333 for reservations and more information.

TABLE FOR TWO HILTON DUBAI JUMEIRAH Wavebreaker Beach & Grill Enjoy an evening under a blanket of stars with a perfect meal followed by a long

walk on a private beach and a glass of bubbly as you soak in the last rays of the sun. Get this specially-crafted experience for AED599 per couple on February 14. Enjoy a three-course menu and a glass of prosecco. For starters, patrons can choose between a crab cake in sriracha cocktail sauce and organic beetroot and butternut sprinkled with crispy crumbled feta. For the main course, guests pick from three dishes; beef tenderloin, slow roasted cod or wild mushroom ravioli. To finish on a sweet note, indulge in a black forest cake. GO: Call (0)4 318 2582 for reservations and more information. fact magazine

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• VALENTINE’S enjoy a special Valentine’s set menu, inclusive of starter, main and dessert for two, accompanied by one glass of bubbly per person. GO: Call (0)4 583 6366 for reservations and more information. JW MARRIOTT MARQUIS HOTEL DUBAI Valentine’s Dinner at Prime68 Elevate love at Prime68. Incredible views from the 68th floor are enough to make anyone weak on their knees. Sip on a welcome glass of French bubbly, followed by a flavorsome five-course set menu to top the evening off. AED895 per couple or AED995 for a table by the window so you can take full advantage of the exceptional views. February 14, from 6pm to 11.30pm. GO: Call (0)4 457 5555 for reservations and more information. TANUKI DUBAI Valentine’s Day Menu The delicious Valentine’s Day menu at Tanuki Dubai Mall includes exclusive dishes such as Ebi katsu curry and Shinzo maki roll that will only be available for one day. As well as lots of meat and seafood, the menu will also have plenty of options for vegetarians too. AED150 per couple for a four-course set menu, served on February 14. GO: Call (0)4 580 8228 for reservations and more information.

RAFFLES DUBAI Secret Garden – The Valentine’s Cabana Experience Couples can rekindle their love under the stars as Raffles Garden transforms into a Valentine’s Day haven with romanticallythemed cabanas. A rich sharing set-menu of international specialities will be on offer such as pan seared seabass with pea puree, sage and lime croquettes, wilted swiss chard, girolle and clam sauce and a Valentine chocolate mousse with raspberry pulp, milk chocolate financier and white chocolate ice cream. Guest can also opt for a tantalising Arabic menu with mezze and your choice of sizzling 32

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seafood or meat barbecue while taking in the beauty of the garden views. The Valentine’s Cabana Experience is priced at AED950 per couple including a glass of bubbly on arrival. February 14, 7pm to midnight. GO: Call (0)4 324 8888 for reservations and more information. DUKES THE PALM Valentine’s Day at West 14th Steakhouse Set to enhance the magic of Valentine’s Day, couples are able to book the perfect dinner of their dreams not only on February 14, but throughout the entire month. Priced at AED499, guests can

MAREA DUBAI Valentine’s Day Package White tablecloths, relaxing atmosphere and indulgent seafood and pasta; Marea Dubai is the perfect restaurant for a memorable Valentine’s Day dinner. Chef Michael White has curated a truly exceptional romantic experience for you and your loved one, with a delicious fourcourse couples’ menu. The Valentine’s menu begins with a


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glass of bubbly and offers a selection of flavourful dishes to choose from including Sea Bream, seasoned with a nutty truffle vinaigrette and Tricolore Caprese, a soft and milky burrata served with tomatoes, salsa verde and taggiasca olives. Marea’s signature mouth-watering dishes make it onto the exclusive menu, including the famed Garganelli, an earthy rich truffle quill pasta paired with parmigiano and Gnochetti, a tantalising Sicilian red prawn in a light tomato sauce garnished with rosemary and chilli. For meat lovers, the traditional Bistecca Wagyu Sirloin is served with pomme puree and drizzled in truffle jus, whilst the Sea Bass is dished up with an indulgent caviar sauce. The meal concludes with an unmissable and sinful chocolate dessert to share with your Valentine. Marea’s fourcourse set menu will be served in February 14 for AED650 per couple. Vegetarian options available for each course. GO: Call (0)4 583 6366 for reservations and more information.

INTERCONTINENTAL DUBAI MARINA Skyline39 Bar & Lounge Dine under the stars, against the glistening backdrop of Dubai’s skyline for a magical evening with your loved one. The experience begins with your host ushering you to a table for two on the exclusive 39th floor. A red carpet leads you to an elegant private set-up, adorned with flowers and lamps. Here, on a candlelit table, you can sip on bubbly before you're presented with a selection of indulgent treats. As the stars twinkle above you, savour a delicious six-course meal curated for the occasion by the Executive Chef, Brent Devlin, which is sure to delight. And to add a little sparkle to this memorable evening, a brilliant piece of jewellery will be presented to the lady after dinner. AED3,000 per couple for

a six-course menu with grape pairing. Dinner is served on February 14 from 7.30pm onwards. Since Valentine's Day falls on a Friday, also included is an overnight stay for two in the exclusive Club InterContinental Suite complete with a late-checkout and access to the Club InterContinental Lounge. Special romantic amenities will be set up in the room prior to arrival, including roses and chocolate-dipped strawberries. The Club InterContinental Lounge will serve a leisurely breakfast the morning after as well as a delightful afternoon tea. Extra charges of AED1,000 apply for overnight stay and must be booked in advance with 48 hours’ notice. GO: Call (0)4 446 6788 for reservations and more information.

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WELLNESS RETREATS JW MARRIOTT MARQUIS HOTEL DUBAI Wedded Bliss at Saray Spa Get swept away by romance in Saray Spa’s couples suite and enjoy wedded bliss. Indulge in handmade chocolates and a bottle of sparkling beverage, while experiencing a fully customised journey, including a revitalising scrub, glowing facial and a relaxing massage. The perfect preparation for a special occasion such as Valentine’s Day. AED2,620 per couple for 210 minutes. GO: Call (0)4 414 6754 for reservations and more information.

SWEET TEMPTATIONS FOUR SEASONS HOTEL DIFC Tea for Two at Penrose Lounge All you need is love, but a cup of freshlybrewed tea or a glass of sparkling alongside handcrafted, signature delights prepared by the world’s most-renowned pâtissier surely wouldn’t hurt! On this special day, Four Seasons calls for all the sweethearts to step into a gastronomical heaven with Penrose’s delicious Afternoon Tea treats and make this day truly memorable. The Valentines Afternoon Tea is priced at AED200. Available throughout Valentine’s weekend from February 14 to 15. HABTOOR PALACE DUBAI, LXR HOTELS & RESORTS Valentine’s Themed Afternoon Tea at Sidra Traditional Afternoon tea with a selection of pure and blended teas, scrumptious sweet and savoury Valentine’s-themed tidbits, and live carvery station. AED180 per person, from February 9 to 14, 3pm to 6pm. GO: Call (0)4 435 5555 for reservations and more information. ADDRESS DUBAI MARINA Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea at Kambaa Why wait until dinner to show your 34

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Valentine how much you care? Spoil your favourite person with a special treat at Kambaa. The Afternoon Tea selection has been crafted to celebrate the season of love with all romantic colours, evocative smells and indulgent treats to enjoy. Reds, pinks and crisp whites adorn the selection, accompanied by the sumptuous tastes of luxurious cocoa; the classic way to celebrating your affections. AED141, available from February 1 to 14, 3pm to 6pm. GO: Call (0)4 888 3444 for reservations and more information. MIRDIF CITY CENTRE Toplum Dubai It’s almost the most romantic time of the year and nothing spells love more than food. Toplum understands this more than anyone, so they have created some dreamy deals for the occasion. For the coffee devotees, get ready to indulge in a free mini Ispahan Croissant for every brew purchased on Valentine’s Day. A tantalising blend of rose, litchi and raspberry we understand if one won’t be enough. Why not invest in a gift box of 12 Ispahan croissants for a loved one? At AED250 a case, who knows they might even adore you enough to share. GO: Call (0)4 222 6561 for reservations and more information.

RAFFLES DUBAI Romantic Retreat at Raffles Spa A bonding experience, designed to allow for genuine together time away from the hustle and bustle of city life, couples are invited to experience the “Romantic Retreat” at Raffles Spa and make a day of it, at their convenience during the month of February. From the start to the end of this special journey, the Romantic Retreat treatment is designed to capture guests and make them reconnect with sweet and floral notes of ylang ylang, geranium and lavender aromatherapy oils that support relaxation and emotional balance allowing their body and mind to glow. The luxurious couple’s suite invites them to a 30-minute private Jacuzzi time accompanied by soft drinks and a fruit platter, followed by a side by side full body deep relaxation massage nourishing the skin deeply and unwinding spirits on luxurious treatment beds. AED1,569 per couple for a 90-minute treatment. GO: Call (0)4 314 9869 for reservations and more information.


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FOUR SEASONS HOTELS Valentine’s Bliss at The Pearl Spa Guests are invited to spoil themselves at The Pearl Spa with The Valentine’s Bliss experience. The treatment begins with a highly fragrant all over body exfoliation, before completely unwinding with a rejuvenating back massage, followed by a tailor-made diamond fresh facial to restore their glow. The ultimate indulgence this Valentine’s Day. AED990 per person – one hour and 45-minute treatment, valid from February 9 to 15 February at both Four Seasons properties. GO: Call (0)4 506 0000 (FS DIFC) and (0)4 270 7777 for reservations and more information. ADDRESS DUBAI MARINA Romantic Couple’s Treatment at The Spa Create blissful memories in a romantic ambience as you relax in the couple’s suite with private balcony. Experience a heavenly ritual including body scrub, wrap and massage for total rejuvenation. Complete this retreat with chocolatecovered strawberries and dates juice. AED650 per couple on February 14, available between 10am and 10pm. GO: Call (0)4 436 7424 for reservations and more information. WALDORF ASTORIA DIFC Be My Bubbly Valentine at The SPA And for those looking to take advantage of the weekend to completely de-stress, the SPA at Waldorf Astoria DIFC has created Be My Bubbly Valentine package which starts with an aromatic bubble bath followed

by a full body massage at the spa’s exclusive quartz bed suite. The package also includes a bottle of sparkling drink plus dark and white chocolate which will be served as part of the two-hour journey; starting at AED2,200 for two people. GO: Call (0)4 515 9999 for reservations and more information. fact magazine

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11 FOR ROMANTIC REVELRY Celebrate the month of love with our specially-selected hotspots for Valentine’s offerings in Dubai…

PARAMOUNT HOTEL DUBAI ‘LOVE STORY’ AT PARAMOUNT HOTEL DUBAI Paramount are writing the script to your very own Love Story with this Valentine’s staycation. Relax in one of the Premiere Suites and let them worry about the little details of the bubbly, flowers and chocolates as you celebrate your love. Indulge in a couple’s breakfast in bed or spend your day by the pool in a private cabana for an occasion to remember with a set menu dinner included. AED2,499 for the Premiere Suite Package which includes a breakfast for two in bed, a special flower and chocolate arrangement from The Cheat, an early check in and late check out and a set menu dinner to remember at Pacific Groove, Restaurant & Lounge. Or, AED2,999 for the Themed Suites which includes all of the above. Valid on February 14. 36

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THE RITZ-CARLTON, DUBAI

Dibba Bay Oysters, followed by a warm duck salad, surf and turf for main course and a rich raspberry and rose dessert. You’ll also be able to savour islandinspired beverages, live tunes and the natural background music of the water breaking on the beach’s edge. February 13 and 14, 6pm to 11pm. Valentino – AED645 per couple including a premium fourcourse set menu and soft beverages. Sparkle - AED895 per couple including a premium four-course set menu, soft beverages and a bottle of bubbly. Kiss of a Rose – AED1,295 per couple including a premium four-course set menu, soft beverages and a bottle of champagne. Live entertainment on February 14.

SEASIDE LOVE AT PALM GRILL Nestled on The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai’s white-sand beach, rediscover your love by the sea – al fresco style – as Palm Grill serves up a tempting Mediterranean inspired four-course set menu, starring

LOVABLE LADIES AND LIKEABLE LADS AT LA BAIE Gather your friends and celebrate all through Valentine’s evening in style at a laidback indoor-outdoor venue perfect

THE CINE-MANIC BRUNCH AT PACIFIC GROOVE, PARAMOUNT HOTEL DUBAI Playing to the tunes of Paramount’s classic Rom-coms, join us for the most romantic cine-manic brunch in town. We are packing in doses of love, delicious food and music from all our favorite movies for the Valentine’s Day brunch at The Stage. February 14, 1pm to 4pm. AED495 per person with bubbly and house beverages; and AED 275per person with food and soft beverages. GO: Call (0)4 246 6777 for more info.


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for socializing with loved ones. Cherish every moment and your special bond of friendship with one another in a relaxed setting with a cool Mediterranean vibe and an on-point playlist. Sample bar favourites, alongside more substantial meals and only on this special day, receive complimentary beverages on the house. February 14, 7pm ‘til late. Four complimentary beverages for the lovely ladies and two complimentary beverages for the likeable lads along with 25% off on food. MOVIE DATE UNDER THE SKY Kick back, relax comfortably with your pop-corn and drinks, as you watch the classic romantic comedy, Bridesmaids under the twinkling stars at our Open-Air Cinema Nights. The dream-like evening unfolds in the heart of our resort at our sea-facing gardens, and is the perfect movie night to be enjoyed with your special someone. February 13 from 7pm onwards. AED50 per person, movie only or AED100 per person, redeemable on food and beverages pre, during or post the movie at one of six outlets with a choice of Amaseena, Blue Jade, Splendido, Palm Grill, La Baie Lounge and the pop-up light bite cinema menu. AMORE ITALIANO AT SPLENDIDO Toast to your beloved at Splendido Social Bar and Kitchen, an alluring Italian restaurant of impeccable character and flair. Dine under the stars on the Tuscanstyle terrace, or indoors for classical sophistication, as Chef Francesco and

his team serve a specially-crafted ‘San Valentino’ menu. Featuring decadent delights such as baked oysters, wild line caught Sea Bass under a salt crust with black truffle, and for the sweet ending saffron and white chocolate Mille Feuille served with honeycomb ice cream, all accompanied with perfectly paired beverages. February 13 and 14, 6pm to 11pm. AED795 per couple inclusive of fivecourse Italian set menu with a welcome glass of bubbly and soft beverages. AED1,395 per couple inclusive of fivecourse Italian set menu, soft beverages and free flowing Italian bubbly. A la carte options also available. Live entertainment on February 14 ROMANTIC COUPLES SPA RETREAT Enjoy an indulgent spa day fit for a King and Queen in The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai.

Begin your journey to ultimate bliss with a steam in the suite’s private steam room, and melt away any tension with a couple’s relaxation massage. Luxuriate in the suite’s tranquil setting, post treatment, over a glass of bubbly and chocolate coated strawberry plate, while treated with a take-home gift for ‘her’ and ‘him.’ This royal retreat is complemented with full day access to all the spa facilities along with the resort’s swimming pools and private beach. Available February 1 to 28. AED1,650 per couple, including exclusive use of The Ritz-Carlton Spa Suite with private steam room, 60-minute couples relaxation massage, a glass of bubbly and chocolate covered strawberry plate post treatment, resort pool and beach access and a special gift for him and her. 48 hours advance notice required. GO: Call (0)4 318 6150 for more info.

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SWISSOTEL AL GHURAIR LIWAN RESTAURANT Enjoy an exclusive gourmet dinner, curated by Executive Chef, Akhilesh Singh. The unique menu includes carefully selected items such as fresh oysters, Swiss Alplermagronen, dim sums, Spanish paella and mains such as live barbecue, Indian tandoori chicken and Mexican delicacies. Conclude the evening with the delicious tres leches, sumptuous verrines and decadent hot chocolate lava cake. This international restaurant is a destination for romance, offering a red rose on arrival plus panoramic views of Old Dubai from its terrace, accompanied by the sweet melodies of a live saxophonist. February 14, 7pm to 11pm. Buffet including sparking soft drinks and a red rose on arrival is priced at AED450 per couple. GO: Call (0)4 293 3271 for more info. THE SPA The Spa at Swissotel Al Ghurair has curated a special “Happier, Together” offer for couples this Valentine’s Day, a session

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HI-TEA FOR YOU AND YOURS Looking for the perfect way to spoil your Valentine? Snuggle up in the cosy and beautiful surroundings of the Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates for an afternoon tea to remember. The menu has been specially crafted to celebrate the season of love ranging from Caramelized Goats Cheese with Orange Marmalade, Baby Shrimp Tart with Mango Salsa, Heirloom Tomatoes and more. Each couple will enjoy mouth-watering delicacies such as Raspberry Cheesecake, Lemon Vanilla Tart, Passion Chocolate Financier whilst sipping on fresh coffee and tea. February 14 to 16, 3pm to 6pm. AED288 per couple. GO: Call (0)4 341 0000 for more info. of pampering and relaxation spa treatment where guests will enjoy an additional 30-minute complimentary treatment when they book a 60 minute session. Located on the 5th Floor of the luxurious Swissôtel Spa is a gold cocoon of sheer relaxation that hosts several sensational spa facilities including a sauna, jacuzzi, steam room and relaxing lounge, while there are also private treatment rooms offering everything from an olive body scrub to a rebalancing Thai massage. Available throughout February, AED560 for two adults for a 90-minute treatment GO: Call (0)4 293 3322 for more info.

KEMPINSKI HOTEL MALL OF THE EMIRATES THE GAME OF LOVE Couples eying an extraordinary getaway of sheer romance can prepare for an experience planned exquisitely by Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates. Launching a special one-off progressive dinner coupled with riddles and an eventful itinerary for Valentine’s Day. Kickstart your romantic evening sipping on bubblies and mouth-watering canapes in the Aspen Ski Chalet. Continue with appetizers and drinks at Salero, followed by mains under the stars by the pool deck and fall in love all over again in a chocolate haven at Noir paired with sweet grapes. February 14, 7pm to 12am. AED900 and AED3000 for those who would like to spend the night in the pool chalet. A draw will be made, and one lucky couple will have the chance to win a night stay in the hotel in one of their beautiful grand deluxe rooms.

ANDAZ DUBAI THE PALM BREAKFAST IN BED + EXCLUSIVE DINING EXPERIENCE: FROM AED1,749 Make it a Valentine’s Day to remember and enjoy an exclusive dining experience at the Cabana Pool. For one night only, guests can enjoy breathtaking views of the Burj Al Arab and the Burj Khalifa whilst dining with your loved one. Quote VAL2DBB when booking. Package includes: Overnight stay for two people | Early check-in: 12noon | Exclusive romantic dinner for two at Cabana Pool | Breakfast in bed | Use of leisure facilities | Late check-out: 4pm. THE ULTIMATE VALENTINE’S TREAT: FROM AED1,949 Want to go the extra mile? Treat yourselves to the ultimate Valentine’s treat and enjoy an early check-in, late checkout and breakfast in bed in the comfort of your room, plus a couple’s treatment in Ora Spa. Quote VAL3SBB when booking. Package includes: Overnight stay for two people | Early check-in: 12noon | Breakfast in bed | Use of leisure facilities | Late check-out: 4pm | Couple Voyager Massage Journey | Additional 20-minute massage per person. GO: Call (0)4 581 1234 for more info.

QE2 LA VOCE DELL' AMORE - THE VOICE OF LOVE Rediscover the meaning of romance this Valentine’s Day with a candle lit meal under the stars and a night of Italian opera at ‘La Voce Dell' Amore - The voice of love’.


VALENTINE’S •

Set under a ceiling of stars on the decks of the Pavilion, indulge your loved one with a delectable three-course meal and let the renowned opera duo Antonio Perez Iranzi and Fiona Tanner Baldwin serenade your table through the evening. Brought to you by Theatre by QE2 and Outside the Box Events, the spine-tingling theatrical performance set against the backdrop of Dubai’s glistening skyline is the ultimate destination for romance. Indulge in a three-hour free-flowing beverage package with a three-course meal showcasing a menu of freshly prepared ingredients including Smoked Salmon and Prawn Roulade, Herb Crusted Pan Roasted Corn Fed Chicken and White Chocolate Mousse with Pralines and Dark Chocolate Brownie. February 14, from 8pm to 11pm. AED395 per person (includes soft beverages) and AED495 per person (includes soft beverages and house beverages). GO: Call (0)4 526 8811 for more info.

SOFITEL DUBAI THE PALM VALENTINE’S OFFERS Throughout the month of February, the hotel offers a one-night staycation in a Luxury Sea View room for two, priced at AED850++ including breakfast per night. For the ones looking for a romantic pampering experience, don’t miss the couple’s indulgence therapy at Sofitel SPA priced at AED1,399 that includes a 30-minute Pink Himalayan Salt aroma bath, a 75-minute personalised massage to relax the senses and two glasses of grape fizz to refresh and rejuvenate the

mind and body. If you’re looking to impress your loved one with an extraordinary evening of romance or for the ladies who would like to pop the question this Leap Year, Sofitel Dubai The Palm is offering a four-course set menu at two of its dining outlets to make a night to remember. Priced at AED1,960 per couple, Maui Beach Restaurant & Bar, invites couples on a four-course culinary journey in a private cabana with the breathtaking sea and The Palm view including a bottle of sparkling vino, roses and chocolates. Priced at AED1,600 per couple, Moana Seafood restaurant offers couples a fourcourse set menu including a glass of sparkling vino, roses and chocolates. GO: Call (0)4 455 6677 for more info.

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CAESARS BLUEWATERS DUBAI ROMANCE #LIKEACAESAR For those who want to take romance to a whole new level, and take advantage of Valentine’s Day falling on a Friday this year, two Romance #LikeACaesar packages have been created especially for you! At Caesars Palace, couples can set the mood just right with a treatment at Qua Spa – the Sense of Collection Massage for her and the Tailor for You Massage for him. With access to Cove Beach and an open buffet breakfast at Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen, the staycation will be all the more memorable thanks to the destination’s picturesque sunsets and breath-taking views. Stays valid until February 29. AED2,750 per room, per night (excludes taxes and fees) QUA SPA’S VALENTINE’S DAY ‘RELAX WITH LOVE’ Lovebirds can enjoy some much-needed TLC at Qua Spa, who have an exclusive couples’ treatment on offer throughout the month of Valentine’s. Celebrate love side-by-side and soothe all senses with a 60-minute full body massage and an express facial to will restore the ultimate radiance and boost, before unwinding in a private couple’s suite with refreshments. This is the perfect opportunity for romantics to make their honey love them even more! Available throughout February for AED1,800 per couple. FROM GORDON RAMSAY WITH LOVE The chefs at Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen will fire things up with a decadent four-course menu including signature dishes such as Lobster and Scallop Ravioli, as well as Chateaubriand for two, welcomed with a glass of bubbly on arrival and perfectly rounded off with a heavenly signature sharing dessert. What’s more, ladies will be treated to luxurious, heartshaped chocolates and a beautiful red rose – the ultimate romantic gesture. February 14 from 6pm to 10.30pm, priced at AED650 per person. AN AFTERNOON TEA OF LOVE Indulge in the ultimate taste of luxury with an exquisite afternoon tea in Roman Lounge and The Piazza, both serving a 40

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range of decadent Valentines-themed bites. Lovebirds can be enamoured by a variety of finger sandwiches, delicate pastries and freshly baked scones served with clotted cream, whilst enjoying a range of exquisite teas. For that extra Valentine’s Day treat, ladies booking the afternoon tea can enjoy a 20% discount on spa treatments booked within three months at Qua Spa. Daily from 2pm to 6pm. AED185 afternoon tea per person, AED285 per person with a glass of rose. GO: Call (0)4 556 6466 for more info.

PALACE DOWNTOWN ROMANTIC EVENING AT THIPTARA Secure an exclusive spot on the terrace at Thiptara this Valentine’s Day and impress your date with an exquisite Thai sharing menu and an unforgettable performance by The Dubai Fountain. Walk away with a sweet souvenir and a night you will always remember. February 14, 6pm to 11.30pm. AED699 set menu for two incl. soft beverages; AED799 set menu for two incl. unlimited soft beverages and a bottle of grape; AED1,199 set menu for two incl. a bottle of premium French bubbly. ROMANTIC EVENING AT ASADO Share a lovingly curated five-course set menu brimming with Argentinean flair at Asado this Valentine’s Day. Dance to the passionate rhythm of the live band and take in the views of the glittering Burj Khalifa. End the night with a sweet souvenir and magical memories. February 14, 6pm

to 11.30pm. AED699 set menu for two incl. soft beverages; AED899 set menu for two incl. unlimited soft beverages and a bottle of grape; AED1,299 set menu for two incl. a bottle of premium French bubbly. GO: Call (0)4 428 7888 for more info.

WALDORF ASTORIA DUBAI THE PALM PALM AVENUE/BEACH Guests can sweep their date off their feet with a private dinner on the beach or in one of Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah’s chic over-water cabanas on the pool’s edge. Delicately complimented with romantic touches, vast views of the Palm and a star-filled night’s sky, the ambiance will help to deliver an unforgettable night. Couples can indulge in a six-course dinner featuring caviar, lobster, lamb loin and an exclusively crafted dessert created just for this special moment. For an even more luxurious evening, transportation in a Bentley is available upon request. February 14, 7.30pm to 11pm. AED1,200 per couple for food only; and AED2,500 per couple, including two glasses of bubbly and a bottle of grape. SOCIAL BY HEINZ BECK Let the world renowned, three-Michelin -star Chef Heinz Beck make this Valentine’s Day one to remember. Social by Heinz Beck is bringing a taste of iconic Italian romance to Dubai with a twist of luxury, by featuring the amorous delicacy


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caviar in every dish. Guests can impress their date and honour their romance in an idyllic setting with a five-course menu, beautifully curated just for the special occasion. The menu courses include foie gras, tuna, lobster in zucchini cream along with a dover sole fillet followed by a special Valentine’s Day dessert to end off a romantic evening. February 14, 6.30pm to 11pm. AED960 per person for a fivecourse menu. LAO Visitors and their special someone can delve into a three-course menu of the finest Vietnamese cuisine at LAO. Starting with lemongrass beef noodles, followed by pho-spiced duck to tantalise guests’ taste buds and finished off with a creamy banana and coconut cake, it’s a delicious meal to celebrate. Couples can enjoy the amorous culinary journey in Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah’s Asianinspired restaurant or dine al fresco in the hotel’s central gardens. February 14, 6.30pm to 11pm. AED300 per person including a glass of bubbly. WALDORF ASTORIA SPA Couples can indulge in relaxation together this Valentine’s Day in a private luxurious spa suite. Enjoy one of the purifying pearl or 24 karat rejuvenating gold treatments by AMRA. They can relax both body and mind with an opulent bath, laced with sumptuous AMRA aromas followed with a gentle full body exfoliation to rejuvenate the skin. To complete the romantic experience, they can enjoy a side by

side couples’ massage and finish the heavenly journey with the choice of either a mini facial or gold hand and foot ritual. Available until March 31. AED2,100 per couple for 180 minutes. Receive a full-size gift with any ‘Couples Journey’ booked. GO: Call (0)4 818 2222 for more info.

CARINE UNE SOIRÉE ROMANTIQUE Chic French Mediterranean restaurant carine has curated a special evening to celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14. Located within the picturesque grounds of Emirates Golf Club, the charming venue presents Une Soirée Romantique, featuring live music from beautiful singer Gosia and mixes from the resident DJ, along with a special “His & Hers” cocktail and exclusive desserts, perfect for sharing.

With stunning interiors and a scenic view of the city’s skyline from the stylish terrace, set amidst the beautiful golf course, carine’s intimate setting is perfect for couples to escape the city and celebrate a special moment together. If you are looking to enjoy Valentine’s Day earlier on, then carine will also be open for both breakfast and lunch, allowing guests to revere with their loved ones throughout the most romantic day of the year. From high-quality ingredients sourced directly from the Mediterranean to the warm, welcoming atmosphere and accommodating service offered by the carine team, Une Soirée Romantique will ensure a truly special Valentine’s occasion. ✤ GO: Call (0)4 417 9885 for more info.

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• GIFT GUIDE

G I FT G UI DE: H ER VALENTINE’S GIFTS FOR HER

Rituals

MANGO

Lipstick Queen

Guess

Robinsons Swarovski @ Namshi

Love Moschino @ Namshi

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Monki

Pandora

Silsal

WetnWild - ZodiacSet


GIFT GUIDE •

G I FT G UI DE: H I M VALENTINE’S GIFTS FOR HIM

MANGO Man

Coach

Hawkins & Brimble - After shave Balm

Ted Baker Calvin Klein Euphoria

P PJ Cufflinks @ Namshi

Marshall Killburn @ Namshi

Ray Ban

Givenchy

Berluti

Swiss Military - Sea Leon Watch

Adidas Originals

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• ANTI-VALENTINE’S

WHEN A GROUP OF GIRLS GET TOGETHER FOR A NIGHT IN, IT’S ALL ABOUT GOOD-OLD FASHIONED FUN AND LOADS OF LAUGHS. CONVERSATION GAME STRONG, COMFY PJS ON TO SLAY AND THE BEST TIME WITH ALL THEIR FAVOURITE HUMANS!

Baker’s Delight

Home Spa Day There is no better way to have a relaxed evening than to gather your girlfriends and indulge in some much-needed pampering whilst watching a chick flick on the telly. Stock up on face masks, eye masks, foot scrubs and any beauty hack that is fun and easy to make use of at home. Slip into your pjs and robes and get ready for some quality rejuvenation. Mani-pedi kits are also a big hit at pamper slumber parties and, much to our delight, there are plenty of salons in the city that provide home calls. So, if you want pure indulgence, book a few therapists to visit your home and carry out the treatments of your choice. Light those candles, press play on your favourite playlist and put your feet up... it’s chillax time!

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Karaoke Night After a couple of glasses of bubblies, everything sounds better, even the sound of your own voice. Nothing beats an impromptu night of karaoke to get you into the singsong mood. Maybe even do it in teams of two for a friendly battle of the tunes and have the winners crowned the nightingales. Plenty of hotspots in town offer up private rooms or even open crowd karaoke where any anti-valentine’s song will surely hgo down a treat. Belt them out, ladies... sing (and dance) like no one’s watching!

Batch maker, batch maker, make me a batch... of course, we’re talking about baking anti-v-day biscuits and cupcakes. The smell of freshly baked goodies is enough to make everyone dizzy with decadence - the diet is definitely going out of the window. Make it a fun evening by getting customised aprons for all your girlfriends. You can even swap your favourite cookie recipes and get creative with icing and fondant. It’s time to put on the chef ’s hats and get baking, accompanied with a cup of hot chocolate. Time to eat ALL the feelings!


ANTI-VALENTINE’S •

BOISTEROUS FUN, PLENTY OF BANTER, GOOD FOOD AND A FREE FLOW OF TIPPLE... THAT’S YOUR BOYS’ NIGHT IN SORTED. FUSS FREE AND SIMPLE - THE LADS REALLY ARE QUITE EASY TO PLEASE!

Games Night Every boy is a geek to an extent any time a game night is on the cards. A bit of competitiveness is not just healthy, but also gives you an adrenalin rush. Whether it’s FIFA, Call of Duty or something a little more specific like The Legend of Zelda, a games night is all the lads need for a good time. Make it more interesting and go head to head with other gamers online. If all else fails, take it back to basics with a dose of monopoly or charades. So, get the boys to come around, plug in your games, pop the bottles, order the pizza and ready, set, go... may the best team win!

Series Marathon Sports Evening Whether you’re a football fan, a basketball supporter or a cricket follower – when it comes to sports, boys are down for a comfy sit down on the couch and glued to the screen. Check out the food delivery apps on match days as many have offers from restaurants with special deals to accompany your game time. Order in, keep the ice box handy, recline that lazy chair and let the perfect testosteroneinfused evening begin. Why not exchange your team shirts just for fun (or is that actually sacrilegious?). The only activity this evening will be couch potato calisthenics!

Feel like a gangster for a night, with a marathon of the best mafia series, be it The Sopranos or The Godfather trilogy – you can’t go wrong. Enact the bad boy side of you with your very own gang of friends. Turn it into a theme night by asking your mates to dress up like their favourite mafia lord for added effect. Make sure you mean serious business... this will separate the men from the boys!

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• ARTS Q&A

BEAUTY IN DIVERSITY

Dubai-based Kristel Bechara is an award-winning contemporary artist from Lebanon, whose artwork illustrates the revolutionary creation of photographic imagery with oil, acrylic and giclée printmaking mediums to depict emotion. Having showcased her work in galleries worldwide; from Tokyo to Milan, Brussels and France, it was here at World Art Dubai 2018 that the mother-of-two received the UAE Resident Artist Award for her Beauty in Diversity collection. FACT caught up with the lady herself to learn more about her creative techniques and life for an artist in the UAE…

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ARTS Q&A •

Hi Kristel! Tell us more about your journey into art - how did you get started and what inspires your work? I am influenced by my late father, who was a surrealist artist and sculptor. I must have gotten his gift and I have been encouraged to express myself and create art ever since I was a child. My transition from art hobbyist into a professional artist started about 12 years ago when I moved to Dubai and started experimenting with a new style that combines my fondness of artistic styles into one medium; combining my love of fabrics, graphic patterns and painting into a single dynamic and colourful artwork that expresses beauty in diversity of various topics. Your work is stunning. There is a sense of spirited freedom and vibrant use of colours. What is it about creating this unique form of art that grips you? Thank you! I generally select topics that move me and have an impact on my emotions during a period of time but generally both extremes of the happiness and sadness spectrum have the most lasting impact on me and on my art.

Describe your artistic style for someone who is viewing your work for the first time… I always wanted to have a signature style through which I could express myself. So, the whole idea was to have silhouettes in blacks, whites and greys with colour thrown in. It’s just my perspective on things. Is there a message that you’re trying to convey through your art? “Beauty in Diversity” is the statement that defines my art. Our world is beautiful because it is diverse and full of contrast. I try my hardest to highlight this aspect through my artwork and show that our differences are what makes us unique and divine; we should embrace theses diversities and develop and open our minds to tolerance and inclusion. What do you think about the art scene in the UAE - are there any challenges faced by contemporary artists and is there room for improvement? The art scene and art events in the UAE have been achieving fact magazine

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• ARTS Q&A significant growth year on year. People in Dubai specifically are culturally diverse and they love art. Because of the incredible economic opportunity that the city presents to majority of its residents, a lot of them can afford to collect art. Dubai represents an opportunity for uprising artists to interact with collectors and potentially serve as a launching pad into a successful career. The most challenging part is not UAE specific but rather a universal profession issue – developing your own style that is instantly attributed to the artist takes a lot of time and requires significant sacrifices without guaranteed successful outcome – artists need to transition from an amateur artist to a full-time professional artist by leaving behind an careers and taking a gamble that their art is going to be popular and commercially viable. Your artwork can be deemed revolutionary for its methods. Tell us about some of the materials, tools and techniques that you use and why these in particular…. I endeavor to make my art evoke a sense of joy and intense emotions. My methods involve characteristic stencil-like drawings and sketching combined with modern mixed media lines to form multi layered paintings. My art style is best identified by its dynamic patterns and expressive colours using oil, acrylic and giclée printmaking mediums to depict emotion. When you are working on a piece, how do you know when to stop and when it is finished? I always carry with me a small sketch book – I write down and sketch my thoughts and ideas that jump at me from my everyday life and specially ones

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ARTS Q&A •

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• ARTS Q&A that evoke some feelings and emotions. Every painting starts with an idea /statement / object that becomes at that moment in time important for me to express in an artwork. I then endlessly sketch and doodle until my emotions and thoughts about that particular topic crystallise in my mind and I finally figure out the best way to represent / express it on canvas. The final and longest step in the process is the selection and application of the color palette. Often, I work on more than one artwork at a time, each will be at a different stage of the process. How has social media affected you as an artist - has the impact been positive or otherwise? I first published my work through social media and received an order within the hour. Social media presence is assuring that there is greater attention to the work. I think it’s important in terms of reaching out to other artists and collectors. I, for one, have not done any advertising for my works but just put up images with hashtags and that has attracted a lot of followers, collectors and gallerists. Who are some of your biggest artistic influences and why? My absolute influence is Henri Matisse - the greatest color maestro to have ever lived - he is such an inspiration across culture that I sometimes feel he is not given enough credit. His color palettes are the baseline of what we now consider as beauty norms across many industries (from fashion to architecture). Some of my favourite artists are Andy Warhol, Miriam Shapiro and Frida Kahlo. What is your advice for young budding artists? Believe in yourself, try to develop your own style that you are passionate about and always create to satisfy yourself first. Then work really hard and be relentless - hard work always pays. What’s coming up for you in 2020? I am working on a solo exhibition in Dubai at DIFC with a major gallery that already represented me during Dubai Art Week for my original acrylic on canvas paintings – I am very excited about this event and will post details soon on my social media channels. I have also booked my space at World Art Dubai 2020 where I will showcase a new series that I am currently working on for my Beauty in Diversity collection. Last year was a very positive and busy year for me. I participated in several exhibition events and projects and no doubt I will be taking part in many more in 2020. ✤

GO: FOLLOW @KRISTELBECHARA ON INSTAGRAM FOR ALL THE LATEST INFORMATION. 50

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Celebrate love at one of the most romantic venues in the capital, Buddha-Bar Beach Abu Dhabi and a chance to win a one night stay at our beautiful St. Regis Suite. Enjoy your evening in the beautiful romantic settings with International DJ Margo Sahara on the decks. 7:00 pm — 11:30 pm Set menu AED 300 per person

Enjoy your Valentine’s evening with your beloved in a romantic Greek setting with live pianist playing love tunes. Win a chance for a 60 minutes couples massage at Iridium Spa

Loved ones can indulge in a delectable Southeast Asian four-course set menu, live violinist, and candlelight setup, creating delightful memories at Sontaya.

7:00 pm — 11:00 pm Set menu AED 225 per person

6:30 pm — 11:00 pm Set Menu @ AED 550 per couple with a Complimentary Valentine's Cocktail on arrival

All prices are in UAE Dirham and are inclusive of all applicable service charges, local fees and taxes.

For reservations, please call us on +971 2 498 8888, Email us on restaurant.saadiyat@stregis.com or please visit stregissaadiyatisland.com Follow us on:

| Love us on

@stregissaadiyatisland

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• HOMEGROWN

THE SAFFRON SOUK Whether you’re looking for a unique gift or you’d like to treat yourself to something new and a little different, The Saffron Souk is ready to help fulfil your quest, just one click away.

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HOMEGROWN •

T

he Saffron Souk is a new website that offers an extensive product range, and the best part? All of the items are locally produced meaning you are supporting small businesses in the region whilst being able to purchase something creative and different to the norm. From homegrown fashion, homewares and jewellery, to products for men and little ones, there really is something for everyone at The Saffron Souk. By working with, and supporting local vendors, the website promises the most individual items for sale that can’t be found inside a mall. With online shopping on the rise in the region, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your home to shop both locally, and creatively. The easy to use platform stocks brands including Melanie Gissing Design, Organic Essentials, The Attic, Homebird Gifts, Vice, Fabric Kate, Beach 2 Barnyard, Third Cultchr, Lilian Art and many more. The website is categorised by themes including gifts, fashion, jewellery, men, baby and child and more. Each theme then has a sub-category making online browsing as easy and efficient as can be. You can also shop by occasion too; whether you have an engagement or wedding gift to purchase or a baby shower or birthday present, to a leaving, new home or anniversary gift, The Saffron Souk makes life a little easier by giving you a wealth of options to choose from. If you have a budget in mind, you can also search the website based upon price with curated gifts under AED50, under AED200, under AED500 through to luxury gifting options. Customised and corporate gifting options are also available upon request. More than just a marketplace, The Saffron Souk is a creative movement that allows budding shop owners the opportunity to have their own shopfront, with a direct URL, access to payment gateway and various other functions that make operating your online store a dream. Not only this, The Saffron Souk has no hidden costs and assists shop owners with marketing, support and education that guides sellers to have a booming business in no time! ✤

GO: BE INSPIRED, SHOP LOCAL AND VISIT WWW. SAFFRONSOUK.COM TO SEE THE FULL RANGE OF ITEMS AVAILABLE. FOLLOW @THESAFFRONSOUK ON INSTAGRAM FOR ALL THE LATEST UPDATES AND INFORMATION. fact magazine

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• HOTEL HOTSPOT

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HOTEL HOTSPOT •

CLASS MEETS COMFORT THE BUSTLE OF SHEIKH ZAYED ROAD INSTANTLY MELTS AWAY ONCE WE’RE THROUGH THE DOORS OF THE 5-STAR SHERATON GRAND HOTEL, DUBAI. ITS SLEEK INTERIORS, FRIENDLY STAFF AND QUICK SERVICE ALL HELP TO CALM OUR WORK-WEEK WOES, AND WE FEEL AN IMMEDIATE SENSE OF SERENITY AS THE LIFT WHISKS US UP TO A LOVELY CLUB ROOM…

D

ynamic Dubai is home to some of the world’s best in the hospitality game, so it takes a special kind of hotel to really offer both business and leisure travellers equal amounts of comfort, luxury and convenience. FACT checked in to the 5-star Sheraton Grand Hotel, Dubai for a visit that really ticked all of the boxes for an ideal city staycation. We walk into the spacious and tastefully-designed Club Room with sprawling views for miles, only to find the utmost cosiness of a home away from home…

LUXURY LIVIN’ Flanked with stylish neutral, earthy-inspired interiors, the chic and comfortable Club Room is equipped with the snug Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience, offering magnificent views over Dubai through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The Club Rooms are super spacious and provide elegant accommodation for a truly unparalleled stay along with welcoming atmosphere at the Sheraton Club, all designed for a relaxed and memorable time. The practical use of space and luxury furnishings make for a beautiful space. The large bedroom with chaise longue is the best place to haul up with a good book, your favourite Netflix series or for an afternoon nap. The super comfy Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience Bed, fringed by a modern and inviting bathroom with a deep soaking tub, walk-in shower, and a separate restroom with bidet all add to the five-star surroundings. All 464 luxurious rooms and suites at the hotel feature complimentary wireless internet access, telephone, mini bar, tea/ fact magazine

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• HOTEL HOTSPOT

coffee making facilities, and small added details like soundproof windows, plenty of USB outlets, grocery shopping service and even a snack-ordering option for those who are craving their favourite chocolate bar or biscuits – you name it, they’ll bring it. Guests staying in the Club Room enjoy privileges and superb facilities, including exclusive, private check-in and check-out, and access to the Club Lounge with complimentary refreshments throughout the day – we’d highly recommend the afternoon tea and an evening jaunt to enjoy the hors d’oeuvres and complimentary cocktails and beverages – and like all hotel guests, you can enjoy the private health club and rooftop pool at any time.

FRESH FLAVOURS If there’s one thing you’ll love about this hotel, it’s the enticing global flavours at its dining venues. Head to Feast for breakfast and expect a buffet and live stations like no other. We would highly recommend ordering a plate of fresh pancakes topped with maple syrup – so, so yummy. There’s everything from Asian breakfast delicacies to Indian classics, international favourites and healthy choices too. Designed like a marketplace for the discerning diner, Feast is influenced by the seasons and underpinned by a belief in a ‘fresh from the market’ approach. The open kitchen and familystyle service at Feast make it the perfect choice for families, groups and business people to gather, mingle and taste an abundance of flavours. We highly recommend you to try the delicious fried fish and the unusual blackberry sorbet – standouts from our dinner. There’s also the 24-hour Link@Sheraton Cafe which does the most exquisite winter warmer pies. Of course, the hotel is also home to the very famous Caribbean hotspot – the one and only Miss Lily’s.

SOOTHE THE SOUL Aside from its attractive pool area and well-equipped health club, a staycation wouldn’t be complete without some me-time. Be prepared because Sheraton Grand Hotel, Dubai has just the place to ease all your troubles away. Head to Soul Wellness & Spa which takes 56

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HOTEL HOTSPOT •

its guests through a journey of mind, body and soul, offering luxurious bespoke treatments with customised skincare using organic locally-grown remedies alongside some of the finest skincare brands, including Elemis. Achieve balance and peace of mind here, where the principles of vitality, fitness and beauty combine in unique therapies. Let the skilled therapists customise a personal spa journey for you, for the utmost in indulgence or choose a treatment that sounds bliss to you. Make sure you get there early for a cheeky use of the Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna. As far as city spas go, the Sheraton Grand Hotel, Dubai does an excellent job of concealing the fact that you’re in the middle of the busiest emirate – instead, you’ll feel just as relaxed as you would when visiting a resort spa. We opt for the signature soul massage, which targets all the muscle tension with kneading techniques that send us straight into a light slumber. Our therapist is professional and a complete expert in her field. The whole experience from arrival until sitting in the relaxation lounge is utter tranquility. If recharging those wellbeing batteries whilst having every need catered to is what you’re looking for from your next city staycation - this is the 5-star hotel that really does have it all. One thing’s for sure, after a weekend spent here, you’ll be ready to tackle the hustle of Dubai life to the fullest. ✤

VALENTINE’S PACKAGE Throughout February, guests can book the Valentines Package which includes: special room rate, daily buffet breakfast for two people, buffet dinner per stay including a glass of prosecco for two people, and a 60-minute Soul Spa Signature Couples Massage including a glass of prosecco and sweet treats. Price: 1 night – AED1,500 2 nights – AED2,000 + taxes T&C: Bookable only Thurs or Fridays of February, for one or two nights max. and at least 48 hours prior arrival. Cancellations allow within seven days prior arrival. Deposit required. CODE to be used when booking: 5RP GO: Call (0)4 503 4444 for reservations and more information. Follow @sheratongranddubai on instagram for all the latest updates and offers.

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• STAYCATION SPOTLIGHT

BEACHFRONT BLISS

THERE ARE YOUR REGULAR HOTEL BRANDS AND THEN THERE ARE THOSE THAT SET THE STANDARDS FOR A LIFESTYLE OF LUXURY. THE TYPE OF PLACE THAT DELIVERS THE FINEST OF SERVICES, WHETHER THAT IS ACCOMMODATION, DINING, OR WELLNESS - FEW HOSPITALITY PLAYERS MANAGE TO GET EVERY LITTLE DETAIL JUST RIGHT. SO, WHEN WE FIND OURSELVES CHECKING OUT AFTER ONE OF THE MOST CONSISTENTLY PERFECT STAYCATIONS, SURELY, IT’S WORTH SHOUTING ABOUT, RIGHT? IF YOU’RE NOT ALREADY FAMILIAR WITH THE JUMEIRAH AT SAADIYAT ISLAND RESORT, IT IS TIME TO GET YOU ACQUAINTED…

THE JUMEIRAH ALLURE Overlooking the pristine shores of the Arabian Gulf and views of the city’s distant glittering skyline, Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort is pure magic. Set on a gorgeous beachfront with a stunning exterior design and breezy, nautical interiors and unmatched levels of service, the resort brings a new wave of luxury to the shores of Abu Dhabi. Conveying signature Jumeirah touches, the property boasts distinctive design and a strong sense of place, with both contemporary and Arabic charm meeting to create a unique resort that encourages you to adapt a slower more relaxed pace of life from the moment you step into the insta-worthy lobby. Walk into the lobby and admire the most breath-taking space; majestic figurine glass, shaped like ethereal jellyfish hang from the ceiling in shades of blue whilst floor-to-ceiling windows give you a glimpse of what awaits – a sprawling pool and a beautiful, sandy beach. Throughout the resort, the stylish contemporary architecture is decorated with marine themed touches that bring the aquatic world to life. As guests who live and work in the city, we often forget just how tranquil Saadiyat Island can be. When you check into the Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, it’s a stark reminder that we need to switch off and appreciate the natural surroundings on our door steps a little more. Instantly, you will recognise that this place is not doing things by halves – they are here to make a strong impression and, with the amount of people trying to take the perfect shot of the otherworldly lobby, it really is working. 58

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One of the most pleasant surprises, and a core value that makes the hotel stand out even more is their dedication to keeping with the location. The 293-room hotel values sustainable tourism with a plastic-free approach and no use of straws. So, when you check-in, you’ll be given a neon-coloured single-use plastics bottle which you can re-fill at different points around the hotel to stay hydrated. Genius! ISLAND LIFE The property’s 293 rooms include eight villas with private pools, 64 suites and six panoramic suites offering floor-to-ceiling glass walls which open up to take advantage of the far-reaching sea views. Guests can enjoy relaxing on their extended patios or huge balconies (depending on which floor your room is on), overlooking the pristine beach and serene waters. An Ocean Deluxe Room is our accommodation for two nights and we couldn’t be more in awe. The room is a super generous size, designed with a meticulous beach-vibes approach where space has been used practically and stylishly. Neautral creams and beiges are punctuated with bold cushions and elevated with thoughtful artwork. These lovely rooms feature a large bedroom with a huge king bed and sliding doors that lead out onto a balcony that offers fabulous views out to sea. We spend a considerable amount of time lounging on the comfy round relaxation bed here with a cup of coffee in hand. Featuring sweeping views of the Arabian Gulf, this

room type offers a sense of comfort and understated luxury. The storage is plenty and designed in a way that is accessible but not intrusive to your space. A lush seating area catches our attention as considerate welcome amenities including chocolates, sparkling date juice and a welcome note all greet us upon entering. The en-suite bathroom is one of those that you would dream of having in your own home; elegantly kitted out with a deepsoaking bathtub, a separate shower and great luxury amenities. The double vanity is ideal for couples and friends who need their own space for makeup or grooming. This is definitely in our top five rooms to experience in Abu Dhabi – everything just flows naturally and we could have easily spent an entire week hiding out here. On top of this, the capsule tea and coffee making facilities are of premium standard, whilst every other in-room amenity means that you literally have everything that you could need at the convenience of your fingertips. RELAXATION REFINED Just when we thought we’d experienced it all, we venture to the beachfront of Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort. It’s a beautiful breezy day and we’re equipped with our very own complimentary Jumeirah beach bags filled with all the essentials. This is another added detail that we can appreciate, definitely because beach bags are usually large and bulky to pack. Knowing there is one waiting in your room is very handy. We decide to take get comfy on a pool fact magazine

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lounger adjacent to the swim-up pool bar. Alternatively, the team will place a round buzzer which is useful for getting a waiter’s attention if you want to order food and drinks. The beach is one of the best stretches of sand in Abu Dhabi. Super clean, powder soft and a real weekend treat. There’s plenty of sun loungers, both on the beach and around the three inviting outdoor pools (an adultsonly pool is another very attentive addition). The whole ambiance is very summertime fine with everyone in a chilled out mood, enjoying a good book, chatting with friends or taking lazy swims. We also try out the SPA and we’re mesmerised from the moment we walk through the doors. This wellness haven is actually a whole entire building on its own – easily accessed through the hotel. The SPA embodies a strong passion for organic rituals and innovative therapies, placing your physical, emotional and mental wellbeing at the centre of everything they do. The team are so accommodating and enthusiastic about making sure that you have the best escape. Before we head into the apartment-sized – maybe even bigger – changing area, we check out the facilities and are truly blown away. The hydro facilities area includes a hydro pool, cold plunge pool, sauna, steam, rhassoul, salt room, experience showers and ice fountain. It is a whole mini sanctuary on its own. There’s also a grand Moroccan Bath and Hammam for those who want extra indulgence. We opt for a the 60-minute Saadiyat Revitalising Massage with 60

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the add-on of a face mask by 111SKIN. The massage sends us into a deep slumber almost instantly, and all we remember is feeling the most relaxed we have in a long time. One of the nice added touches is having a hot compress placed on the upper back and shoulders throughout the treatment – the area that had been pointed out for special attention due to its tight and tense muscles. What’s nice is that the therapist doesn't rush us to get up and leave once finished, she encourages naturally waking up and having a stretch to bring your senses back to the real world. Most of all, we’re in absolute astonishment at the brightness and glow of our faces; the 111SKIN mask is indeed like magic. It tightens the skin and the complexion appears fresh and full of life – highly recommended. We LOVE the incredibly comfy relaxation lounge with a bed-style lounging area as well as individual loungers with the thickest, cosiest blankets. Hot, fruity tea with a selection of nuts and dried apricot is served as we take deep breaths and come back to centre, ready to head to our room for a restful night’s sleep. The hotel is also home to a state-of-the-art Fitness & Wellness Centre aptly named Bodyism. Guests staying at the resort will have access to Bodyism Saadiyat’s state-of-the-art gym, equipped for strength training, cardio, stretching and overall fitness. Our fitness studio hosts a number of signature Bodyism classes, many of which are open to hotel guests. The facilities also include a ladies-only gym for full privacy.


STAYCATION SPOTLIGHT •

WORLD-CLASS DINING If food is your forte, then Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort has it all to make your stay the most exciting for every palate. If you’re a fan of both Italian fare and seafood then Mare Mare will be sure to please. The restaurant is tucked away at the right-hand side of the hotel and the views here are something to behold. To start, we opt to share the eggplant parmigiana; thin slices of eggplant with a rich marinara sauce and mozzarella topped with basil are served up to savour in a terra-cotta dish. This is such a simple dish but hits the spot perfectly and was a beautiful start to an Italian feast. The rest of the menu is made up of lots of other antipasti dishes like beef carpaccio, burrata salad, roasted tomato soup and seafood salad. The menu then moves onto pasta dishes, mains and pizza. For the main event we went for the grilled sea bass, which is meticulously de-boned at the table and a wood-fired margherita pizza. Needless to say, the table fell quiet whilst we devoured the entire spread with a side of veggies. Then there’s Tean; an Arabic cuisine restaurant that, again, exceeded our expectations. Must order dishes include the manti dumplings and the tender grills, however, it was the chicken liver draped in pomegranate molasses that we couldn’t stop raving about. Dessert was a lovely light ending with the Rose and Pistachio Crème Brulee. We also thoroughly enjoyed some evening tapas-style dishes alongside hot drinks and stunning live music up at The Lounge, where our server Youssef was an absolute joy to

converse with. To top that off, the hotel also houses the contemporary all-day dining White restaurant, a lively bar in the form of Offside Sports Lounge and the very elegant Majlis Saadiyat where afternoon tea seems to be a hit with diners - rounding off the dining options. Tip: if you REALLY can’t make it out of your robe and would rather stay comfy, order room service from the extensive menu (the fluffy pancakes for dinner are an excellent option), and take advantage of full-on staycation mode. The hotel’s prime location on the island results in an experience where world class art and culture seamlessly cohabit with mangroves, dolphins and turtles - the original ‘guests’ of Saadiyat Island. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a Hawksbill Turtle or two. Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort’s is exactly what the city needed to shake up the hospitality scene and showcase that when time and thought, along with flawless service and passion in all departments, is put into perfecting a product, the result is beyond anything we could have imagined. ✤

GO: CALL (0)4 811 4444 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. FOLLOW @JUMEIRAHSIR ON INSTAGRAM FOR ALL THE LATEST UPDATES AND OFFERS. fact magazine

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ALL THE WAY UP The stunning new Address Sky View by Emaar Hospitality Group is now open in the heart of Downtown Dubai.

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inimalistic yet sophisticated, the interiors of the hotel feature the typically elegant Address Hotels + Resorts design which offers an inviting atmosphere for vacationers and businesspersons alike. From the quality of the materials to the composition of the colour schemes, each of the 169 rooms at Address Sky View have been designed with utmost care and dedication. Guests can choose to stay at the spectacular Presidential suite that exudes luxury in every sense, or pick between the executive suites and premier rooms, both offering ultra-modern amenities and equally spectacular views. The waters of the Arabian Gulf beckon through floor-to-ceiling windows, while premium in-room comforts and matchless services are available around the clock, providing a sense of regal luxury to those seeking Dubai’s finest hospitality experience. At Address Sky View, culinary opportunities of every flavour await, delivering immersive experiences of sensorial delight. Experience gastronomic distinction across a remarkable array of restaurants and lounges, where enlivening surroundings and world-class service heighten the experience. Sample an appetizing selection of gourmet preparations from around the world at The Restaurant; centered around the theme of a stylish apartment, The Restaurant features modular spaces - from a living room, lounge, communal and individual dining tables, to workspaces, a media room, a kitchen and an outdoor terrace. For a more relaxed affair, feel refreshed by afternoon tea, light bites and enthusiastic conversations in the exclusive environs of the Lobby Lounge, or catch the sunset at the Pool Lounge, where each evening is made special with the company of live entertainment. Those seeking something more laidback can visit The Spa at Address Sky View, a calm and quiet space that offers enriching experiences for every mood and every occasion. On the list of options are bespoke experiences featuring avant-garde water treatments, an array of massage therapies, and beauty solutions combining the curative properties of natural ingredients with intelligent techniques. Tranquility is achieved across spacious treatment rooms and an enchanting spa suite, as well as quiet relaxation areas including an outdoor cabana and vitality pool. The Fitness Centre extends the emphasis on wellness with a positive, invigorating atmosphere. In addition to advanced equipment that caters to a variety of training styles, the impressive facility also features a private studio for personalized routines with professional trainers, a serene studio, and an immaculate zen area. The two resplendent towers at Address Sky View compose a duet 62

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of style and splendor amidst the Dubai skyline, setting a new standard for premium luxury in the scenic centre of Downtown Dubai. Bringing together culinary flair from around the world, paired with stellar recreational facilities and a warm, hospitable atmosphere, Address Sky View promises an experience to remember. ✤

GO: CALL (0)4 873 8888 FOR RESERVATIONS AND FOLLOW @ ADHSKYVIEW ON INSTAGRAM FOR ALL THE LATEST INFORMATION. fact magazine

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BIG SCREEN

Highlights

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

WHAT’S IT ABOUT:

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Following the events of Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn splits with the Joker and joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya. When a narcissistic crime lord known as Black Mask places a target on a young girl named Cassandra Cain, Harley and the superheroes protect the girl and defeat Sionis.

DIRECTOR: Cathy Yan CAST: Margot Robbie, Bryan Unkeless

WHY IT’S WORTH WATCHING?

Giving the amazing Harley Quinn the spotlight she deserves, Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn offers a quirky twist to the conventional superhero storyline. The eighth film in the DC Extended Universe and a follow-up spin-off to 2016’s Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey features Harley Quinn and her own team of female superheroes. Bringing Harley’s spunky energy front and centre, the world of Birds of Prey is very different to its predecessors in terms of the aesthetic and tone - but just as fascinating. Set after the events of Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn has split from the Joker and Batman has disappeared, leaving Gotham City vulnerable. As Cassandra Cain, a young girl, comes across a diamond belonging to crime lord Black Mask, Harley teams up with Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to help save her from the evil crime lord. What follows is Harley’s journey to start a whole new life as she overcomes her breakup with the Joker and leads an all-girl gang to take on a dangerous mob boss. Sounds like a whole lot of bad-a$$ fun!

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Ordinary Love

After being blissfully married for many years, Joan and Tom’s loving sanctuary is rattled by Joan’s unexpected breast cancer diagnosis. What follows are a number of challenges and the prospect of a future without Joan if something were to happen to her.

Bringing Harley’s spunky energy front and centre, the world of Birds of Prey is very different to its predecessors in terms of the aesthetic and tone - but just as fascinating. – Birds of Prey

DIRECTOR: Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn

CAST: Liam Neeson, Lesley Manville

WHY IT’S WORTH WATCHING?

Depicting a love and an effortless ease that only comes with spending a lifetime together, Ordinary Love follows a couple’s remarkable love as they survive a year of adversity. A moving and insightful drama by Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn, the film packs a ton of emotional honesty and presents a story that strikes a personal chord with many. After the death of their daughter, Joan and Tom have slowly come to terms with the deep sadness in their hearts. Testing their already fragile relationship further, Joan is unexpectedly diagnosed with breast cancer. As they fight this grim battle with conviction and force, they realise that despite everything, nothing has really changed. Blending the boundaries between the mundane and the monumental, Ordinary Love makes for a breathtaking and compelling saga.


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FULLY BOOKED

ON THE RECORD

FICTION

The Authenticity Project By Clare Pooley

ALT/INDIE

Manic

By Halsey

With the release of her highly anticipated third album, Manic, Halsey is gearing up for a whole new era of music. Blessing us with the unexpected, the singer’s latest offering has us jumping in our seats with excitement. Moving away from the dystopian fantasy world genre, the album is more about Halsey’s current worldview. Sampling a mix of everything from hiphop and rock to country, the record gives her a chance to express herself like never before. A gorgeous pop and electropop composition, “Graveyard” is all about loving someone who is in a bad place and unknowingly following them into this bad place. A relatable and pleasing track, it has all the makings of a quintessential Halsey song. On the other hand, “Without Me”, a mid-tempo pop and R&B track interpolates Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River”. Bringing the singer’s raw and honest side to the fore, her raspy vocals and unfiltered lyrics embolden the track and hold nothing back. Making us fall in love with her all over again, Halsey offers a soundtrack in which no song is similar to the other. Displaying a sense of duality, vulnerable lyrics and intoxicating vocals, Manic is all set to become another notch on Halsey’s musical belt.

POP/DANCE

Rare

By Selena Gomez

Making a comeback into the limelight with her newly enlightened self, Rare sees Selena Gomez returning to the musical scene at her assertive best. One of the best pop albums in recent times, Rare is a compilation of everything that the singer has overcome and experienced in her time away from the spotlight. A celestial ballad chronicling her journey to wellness and the drama surrounding her life, “Lose You to Love Me” is hands down one of the best songs on the album. The stripped back emotional track sees the singer laying her heart bare, surrounded with somber yet enthralling piano chords. Celebrating her newfound peace and clarity, the album sees Selena taking chances and getting out of her comfort zone. A fresh and upbeat danceable track, “Look at Her Now” is all about bouncing back from heartbreak. The empowering techno vibes are all we need to start this New Year off right! Offering a consistently unified sound across the tracks, Rare suggests tanatlising new directions for the singer.

When Julian Jessop, an eccentric, lonely artist leaves a green journal about his life in a local café, it brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love. The novel’s quirky set of characters including a fabulous mommy Instagrammer and a charming addict make for a heartbreakingly sad and painfully true narrative. A story about being brave and putting your most authentic self forward is an uplifting novel.

NON-FICTION

You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters By Kate Murphy Changing the way you converse and put your point across forever, this book delves deeper into our need to understand and be understood. Expounding upon the potential of listening to change our relationships, Kate Murphy draws on countless conversations she has had with everyone from priests to CIA interrogators, focus group moderators to bartenders, her great-great aunt and her friend’s toddler. Presenting listening as more of a state of mind, the enlightening read will introduce you to a whole new mindset.

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AL SHIRA’AA THREE WEEK SHOWJUMPING EXTRAVAGANZA AT AL FORSAN Al Shira'aa International Horse Show took on a new look in 2020 with a series of showjumping events held over three weekends at the Al Forsan International Equestrian Centre. The Al Shira’aa Series 2020 got underway on January 9, with the CSI2* event. A week later it was the turn of the CSI3* show and finally a cast of the world’s most well-known international riders and horses, as well as their globe-trotting UAE-based counterparts, took to the arena from January 22 to 25 for the fourth renewal of the CSI4* Al Shira’aa International Horse Show.

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THE REIMAGINED CROSSOVER: ALL-NEW 2019 CHEVROLET BLAZER

Inspired styling, modern driving aids, and smart tech are just some of the reasons why the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer deserves attention. FACT takes the roaring red vehicle out for a drive…

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n a segment dominated by big motoring names such as Ford, Jaguar, Toyota, Nissan, and BMW, the mid-size SUV has become the automotive equivalent of a tiny house. For families who plan to haul around five people – plus maybe a few suitcases – on a regularity, choosing the ideal crossover is a decision not to be made lightly. We’re here to tell you all about the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer and why it should make the cut. We’re helmed with the keys to a sleek and luscious red crossover that bares the iconic nameplate of the Blazer. This tale dates back to 1969. The first generation of the Blazer launched to rival the likes of the Ford Bronco and Jeep Cherokee with a sturdy frame of the pickup truck and the agility of a two-door sports machine – the result was the K5 Blazer - a four-wheel drive which included three different engines to choose from. What made it extra special? The first-gen Blazers also came from the factory without a roof and quickly proved to be a giant success with motorists. In 1973, the second-generation Blazer hit the scene, bolder and better than ever. It was 18 years later in 1991 when we got word of the third dose of a new Blazer hitting the streets. The S-10 Blazer arrived in 1992, trimming down in comparison to its bigger siblings but sticking to its off-road roots. A few years later, the full-size Blazer evolved into the Tahoe and in the early 00's, the line became widelyknown as Trailblazer after a special edition package, marking the nameplate’s off-road heritage, proved hugely popular with drivers. Having spawned various models that are now well and truly classics, the legendary Blazer makes a reimagined comeback 68

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for modern times – and we are here for it! Attitude is what we see and feel in the 2019 Chevy Blazer. With a massive focus on design, the makers of this vehicle have not done things by halves. The car is bold and striking, standing its ground and turning heads whenever we pull up to any valet in the city. Style credentials are important here – and borrowed from some of the brand’s performance classics such as the famous Camaro – because this model is the foremost representation of the brand’s new design language – one that truly catapults the Blazer into the 21st century and a whole new decade. Imposing and finished in a honeycomb pattern, the front grille is punctuated by sleek headlights that feature menacing LED design details. The aggressive front end is complemented by a toned body, which features strong lines including a prominent character line that runs along the side of the vehicle and swoops up at the rear to merge with a stylish roof spoiler. The wheel arches are pronounced and house 18-inch standard alloy wheels on base model and 20-inch on all other trims with available 21inch designs on Premier and RS models. Chevrolet have taken their time with this one and the optional features are excellent. The all-new 2019 Blazer also offers unrivalled utility through five-passenger seating with up to 1,818 Litre of max cargo space with second-row seats folded flat. The adjustable sliding rear seats enhance practicality further along with a Chevroletfirst cargo management system including a rail system and cargo fence. For friends going on road trips or anyone who’s into mall sprees, you can basically lug around bulky luggage and shopping, comfortably. That’s something we can definitely appreciate living in the UAE and planning weekends away.


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When we manage to turn our gaze from the exterior, we find that the 2019 Chevy Blazer is chock-full with cutting-edge technology features that elevate its status to one of the most connected and safest vehicles in its class. Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system is standard across the range and offers a more personalised, intuitive user interface on an 8-inch HD touchscreen. With functionality that mimics popular apps and smartphones, it is Chevrolet’s most advanced and seamless experience yet. If you’re all about the perfect playlist with business or leisure calls in between, both are easy to enjoy from the comfort of the driver’s seat, at the touch of a button. The 2019 Chevy Blazer also packs active safety features that constantly work in the background to ensure safe progress. Safety features available on LT, RS and Premier trims include Lane Change Alert – an apt feature for those long highway drives, especially at peak times – with Side Blind Zone Alert, rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Rear Park Assist to effortlessly aid the driver and help to keep passengers safe. RS and Premier trims also offer following distance indicator, forward collision alert, adaptive cruise control and front pedestrian braking. This car is ready to handle every surprise on the roads. Under the hood, the vehicle comes packing. The model is available with two engine choices with a standard 2.5L I-4 70

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engine developing 193 horsepower and an available 3.6L V-6 making 305 horsepower. Both units are mated with an advanced 9-speed transmission and feature intelligent stop/start technology that efficiently shuts down the engine when the power is not needed. All these technologies mean that the Blazer delivers a superb balance of performance and fuel efficiency. We can vouch for this having driven the car frequently over one week, we only filled up the tank on full, once. Furthermore, Traction Select comes standard on all model variants and allows the driver to make real-time adjustments to the vehicle’s driving mode to account for varying road conditions – something that is a definite advantage, especially in the current climate where stormy weather and heavy rains pose obstacles on the roads. On AWD models, it also allows the system to be completely disconnected from the rear axle, meaning drivers can opt to have their vehicle operate in FWD when AWD capability is not necessary. RS and Premier models offer a more sophisticated twin-clutch AWD technology that helps optimise traction for every condition. It provides excellent performance in wet conditions, while also providing enhanced stability in dry weather. It’s hard to fault the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer. Fans of the classics may have a hard time adjusting to the braver and more sophisticated design – but in its most refined form, the vehicle’s presence is hard to ignore. Chevrolet has flawlessly teamed style, technology and performance with great attention to detail, and still allowing for versatility and optional customisation. It took just one drive to win us over, and we’re confident that every modernday crossover connoisseur will feel the same way after taking a seat in the impressive 2019 Chevrolet Blazer. ✤

GO: VISIT WWW.CHEVROLETARABIA.COM TO BOOK A TEST DRIVE AND FOR MORE INFORMATION. fact magazine

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• PLUGGED IN

APP-LICIOUS LET’S SEE WHAT’S ON THE SMARTPHONE AGENDA FOR FEBRUARY…

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Tap In

Post-it App

A refreshing alternative to the usual meditation apps, Tap In takes a much more relaxed approach that lets you participate in guided live meditation sessions. Offering a daily, ten-minute meditation appropriate for everyone whether new or experienced, the live sessions allow you to sit with a community while teachers speak to current shared experiences. The perfect blend of science-backed tools and ancient traditions will help you ‘check-in’ with yourself as you effectively manage and work through the stresses of everyday life.

Bringing the simplicity of the Post-it Note to your smartphone, the app lets your organise and take notes for collaboration or for personal use. Simply capture analog notes from a photo, or create new notes right on your device for those important reminders. Arrange, refine and organize notes and ideas on your board anyway you see fit. The app also lets you share your organised board with friends and coworkers, or export to your favorite applications and cloud services.

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DARE TO LEAP In a time where the mobile phone market has become saturated with the latest tech and features, Realme is bringing more innovation and stylish design to the Middle East market. Created to deliver outstanding performance in a sleek package, Realme is stepping up its game with its latest offering – the 5 Pro – and FACT took a closer look.

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aking a giant gadget leap in performance, Realme’s penchant for quality on a budget has made the 5 Pro the default choice in the value segment for smartphones. It’s easy to see that Realme is perfectly targeted towards the trendsetters of now – young people with an interest in breaking boundaries and those who want to enjoy the happy life brought by the beauty of technology – at an affordable price. Insisting in the philosophy of real design, Realme doesn’t compromise on aesthetic taste. With a motto of “Dare To Leap” – the Realme 5 Pro boasts a whole lot of firsts for the brand, the Full Speed Flagship phone comes equipped with a big 6.3-inch LCD screen on the front, claiming a 90.6 screen-to-body ratio. The pre-applied screen guard is also great for protection. Though the phone appears glossy – it is not slippery. We have a good grip on the phone and scrolling is as faster and smoother than ever, letting us enjoy a higher refresh rate. Even the 8.9mm thickness doesn’t pose any issues. One of the phone’s biggest unique selling points is its four rear cameras. When using the phone outdoors and at night, you’ll see that the screen can get quite bright. Photos are sharp and vibrant – especially as you get separate controls for HDR, Filters, and Chroma Boost, whilst video content is also decent and “social media worthy”. The Realme 5 Pro’s support of Widevine L1 DRM for high-res video streaming is another bonus for those who spend a lot of time watching content on their phone. The 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor has an f/1.79 aperture and

supports PDAF, which is usually found in more expensive phones. This is next to an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera with an f/2.25 aperture, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The front camera has a 16-megapixel sensor and f/2 aperture. It might take a few attempts to master the perfect selfie but once you’ve got the hang of it – prepare for Insta-ready pics, every single day. There’s also a fingerprint sensor on the rear, rather than embedded into the screen like other smartphones. Fingerprints and face recognition can be used to unlock not only the phone but also individual apps and a Private Safe which lets you store documents and photos away from prying eyes. For a phone in this price range, that’s a pretty nifty feature that we appreciate. Battery life is more than good for a phone in this segment. You’ll likely get a full day on single charge whilst using it for daily tasks like whatsapp messages, insta stories, internet browsing, and video streaming. Charging time is also reasonable, with the phone managing to reach up to 80 per cent in just over half an hour. For general day-to-day usage and multitasking between apps, the Realme 5 Pro is a true ally for users. For a low-cost device it looks and feels incredibly premium. The geometric pattern and metallic sheen achieve a lovely smooth finish. Crystal Green and Sparkling Blue add a distinct jewel-toned appearance that wouldn’t look out of place in any millennial’s hand. ✤ GO: VISIT WWW.REALME.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION. fact magazine

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REAL TALK: LES BENJAMINS SS20 Taking inspiration from feminine sophistication and urban staples, Les Benjamins is unveiling a new collection for the Spring/Summer 2020 season, one that is thoroughly rooted in the brand’s commitment to design real garments made for real people.

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This season, Les Benjamins explore new interpretations of ease and luxury through a cycling-wear influenced ready-to-wear collection. Inspired by The 4 Rivers Path, Korea’s most popular cross country bicycle trail from Seoul to Busan, the new collection offers a curated selection of easy-to- wear silhouettes complemented with timeless evening-wear pieces. In this context, the freedom of movement, and the abolishment of any physical restraints are primordial. The Spring/Summer 2020 collection, therefore, introduces dynamic styles that are emphasized by color-blocking styles and graphic mixed media prints. Silhouettes emphasise the theme and balance the contemporary spirit of Les Benjamins – one of arts, craftsmanship, and street-culture – rendering it as relevant as ever. The distinctive outfits incorporate casual and engineered looks directly drawn from cycling-wear. Each piece is thereby cut in a range of premium and hi-tech fabrics and enriched with a multitude of cycling details such as utilitarian pockets and protective coatings. Minimalist, active tailoring blends cycling elements into the brand’s archetypal urban styles. Fits suggest ease, first and foremost: cropped cycling tops and jackets, as well as form-fitting cycling shorts and high-waisted flared track-pants ensure absolute comfort and style. This season’s leading print, the Carpet Design jacquard, for its part, embellishes the surface of a variety of key pieces, such as maxi dresses, cropped jackets and asymmetric skirts. In addition, sequined racing tops and asymmetric styles add a sophisticated edge to the collection. The palette, for its part, is both tropical and urban: colorways of sundowner pink, sky blue, and fresh mint are celebrating the feeling of summer and put in stark contrast to urban shades, such as light grey, off-white and black. 76

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Consistently evolving around the notions of cultural heritage and urban contemporaneity, the collection retains LES BENJAMIN’s signature style in clothing and mixes it with activewear to create something new and unexpected for women that will only settle for the best style and quality. ✤

GO: SHOP LES BENJAMINS’ SS20 COLLECTION IN STORES AND ONLINE AT WWW.LESBANJAMINS.COM NOW. fact magazine

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• FASHION FOCUS

SHOP THE BRAND HERE’S OUR WISHLIST FROM LES BENJAMINS SS20 COLLECTION FOR HER

FOR HIM

THIS COLLECTION IS AVAILABLE IN LES BENJAMINS STORES ACROSS THE GULF. 78

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Better Together

Treat your loved one to an exciting Valentine’s Day experience at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr. Brunch-lovers will be spoilt for choice at the “picture-perfect” Fairmont Valentine’S Brunch featuring more than 200 international delicacies. Indulge at the award-winning Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill, fall-in-love at Marco’ S New York Italian with serenading live entertainment, or embrace the beauty of Arabia at the stunning Lebanese restaurant, Maison Beirut. Spend more time together with a Romantic Stay Package or dine exclusively on the beach, under the stars. For all singles and ready to mingle, enjoy a party at Bridges Bar.

FROM

AED 249

PER PERSON

To make a reservation or for more information, please call +971 2 654 3238 Email: dining.bab@fairmont.com or visit: fairmont.com/babalbahr fact magazine

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• BEAUTY BOX

Beauty Checklist HEAD INTO THE MONTH OF LOVE WITH OUR PICK OF THE BEST PRODUCTS TO KEEP YOUR SKINCARE AND MAKEUP GAME ON LOCK.

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L’Occitane LIMITED-EDITION SHEA CLASSIC ULTRA RICH BODY CREAM Give your skin some extra TLC this winter. Made with an exceptional concentration of Shea butter that is ideal for dry to very dry skin, this complete body cream provides long-lasting hydration and works to intensely nourish the skin, protecting against dryness and strengthening the hydrolipidic barrier.

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Aesop

DAMASCAN ROSE FACIAL TREATMENT

With Valentine’s Day approaching, prep your skin to look ultra smooth and replenished. A concentrated blend of precious plant extracts, it delivers your skin with potent doses of vitamins and fatty acids. Immerse yourself in immense hydration as it leaves your skin feeling supple and nourished with a sustained finish.

Barkha Beauty MATTE LIPSTICK

The New year is the perfect time to switch up your regular lipstick shade and opt for a more subtle everyday nude or a daring cherry red. Whether you’re looking for a bold lip to kick start the new year or a soft nude to take you through from Winter to Spring, Barkha Beauty has got you covered with luxurious texture and endless hydration.

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Missha MISSHA’S TIME REVOLUTION - THE FIRST TREATMENT ESSENCE INTENSIVE MOIST Pamper your skin back to perfection. Enriched with fermented yeast extract of Himalayan purple barley and Vitamin B, Missha helps ensure your skin’s hydration by restoring and rejuvenating your complexion. Nourishing and leaving skin with a healthy glow.

Givenchy

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PRISME BLUSH LIMITED EDITION Add a pop of colour to your makeup. The Le Prisme Blush No. 3 Spice is reinvented with a bucolicthemed case. Featuring four prisms and two colours, the blush includes an orangey shade, a pure, matte and ultra-pigmented colour, paired with an iridescent pink highlighter. These two shades can be blended together or applied next to each other for a flawless glow.

Fenty Beauty FULL FRONTAL VOLUME, LIFT AND CURL MASCARA Get the lashes of your dreams. A do-it-all mascara, it is designed to expose every lash; featuring an exclusive flat-to-fat brush that instantly volumises, lifts, lengthens, and curls. The fat side loads and lifts lashes, while the flat side defines and curls. The long wear formula keeps lashes looking amazing all day long!

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GROOMING BOX •

Grooming Checklist KEEP ON TOP OF YOUR REGIME WITH OUR PICK OF THE TOP PRODUCTS FOR MEN TO STOCK IN YOUR GROOMING CUPBOARD THIS MONTH!

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AESOP

CAMELLIA NUT FACIAL HYDRATING CREAM

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One of our absolute favourites this season, this cream helps keep dryness at bay, leaving skin feeling soft and replenished. Formulated with chamomile bud and sandalwood, the complex, richly nourishing blend of nut and plant extracts delivers antioxidant fortification and richly nourishing hydration without a weighty after-feel.

L’OREAL PURE-CLAY MASK Detox and nourish your skin after the busy holiday season. Formulated to provide a luxurious skincare experience, the potent pure clays, red algae, and volcanic rock help exfoliate dead skin on the face and smooth surface imperfections. Skin is left feeling healthier and smoother, while pores are visibly minimised and dead cells, dirt and oil are removed.

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AVENE ANTIROUGEURS CLEAN REFRESHING CLEANSING LOTION

Rooted in dermatology and hydrotherapy, this is the holy grail when it comes to caring for sensitive skin. This gentle, calming and soothing cleansing lotion is formulated with carefully selected ingredients to gently reduce heat, tightness and irritation while cleansing even the most rednessprone skin.

DICKINSON’S DICKINSON’S ORIGINAL WITCH HAZEL PORE PERFECTING TONER

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Getting clear skin has never been easier! Made from 100% natural, distilled witch hazel for an exclusive, plant-to-bottle formula, this toner purifies skin in one, multi-benefit step. Ideal for sensitive skin, the gentle formula Removes and balances oil while gently soothing and refreshing, all without over drying.

SIMPLE REPLENISHING RICH FACIAL MOISTURISER

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Perfect for all the skincare minimalists out there! This is all you need for a healthy complexion. Made with skin loving ingredients and triple purified water, this face lotion provides instant hydration to the skin and locks moisture in for 24 hours. While Glycerin, Allantoin, and Bisabolol help hydrate, calm, and nourish your skin.

DOVE MEN SPORTCARE BODY WASH ACTIVE+FRESH

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End your workouts with a burst of invigorating freshness. Developed specifically for men’s skin for after sports skincare, it effectively cleans sweat and dirt from active skin for a fresh, clean feeling. Formulated with Eucalyptus + Cedarwood scent and Cooling Menthol, the Micromoisture activates on skin and helps fight the drying out of skin after showering.

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• DUBAI DINING

FEBRUARY DINING DEALS Just a few of our favourite foodie picks for the month ahead…

SCOOPI CAFÉ

LA VILLE HOTEL & SUITES, CITY WALK This Tuesday, We Want ‘No Bull’ at GRAZE On popular demand, GRAZE Gastro Grill & Bar is bringing back the three-course No Bull menu every Tuesday. Revolving around the Australian Black Angus, there are no hidden agendas and only uncompromising portions and flavours that include an appetizer, a main dish and dessert. From 6pm to 11.30pm. AED195 per person for a three-course set menu. Freaky Fridays at LookUp! Nothing freaky about this Friday, we just thought it had a nice ring to it – the name and the cocktails we are concocting. Sip into the perfect weather, with a site of the glittering Downtown view at LookUp! From 7pm to 12am. AED40 per cocktail. GO: Call (0)4 403 3111 for reservations and more information.

THE RITZ-CARLTON, DUBAI AT THE WALK, JBR Beach and Brunch at Palm Grill Feel the sand between your toes and enjoy a leisurely lunch or dinner with inspiring 180-degree views of the Arabian Gulf. Guests can enjoy a selection of grilled beachfront favorites and generous buckets of freshly-caught seafood, complemented by island-inspired cocktails. A stunning setting to watch the sun go down while enjoying the daily happy hours, or to relish in a chilled Saturday Brunch, with music and entertainment, Palm Grill is the perfect ‘no-shoes’ dining experience. Every Saturday from 1pm to 4pm. AED275 per person including soft beverages; AED415 per person including house beverages; AED395 per person inclusive of soft beverages and beach access from 10am to 6pm; and AED 495 per person inclusive of house beverages, beach access from 10am to 6pm. GO: Call (0)4 399 4000 for reservations and more information. 82

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Edible Gold Creations Scoopi Café popularly known for their wacky dessert creations welcomes the new decade with a bang and a bit of glam as they unveil a host of wondrous new additions including an Edible Gold Ice Cream Burger (AED199) and a Golden Coffee (AED50) as part of the café’s Gold Menu offering. The Burger which is a 100% handmade can be created with any flavour and is topped with white and dark chocolate sauce and layered with a 24-carat edible gold leaf for that added luxe appeal. The three-tier bun creation features two flavors of liquid nitrogen ice-cream sandwiched in between and made fresh to order. The ice cream at Scoopi Café is made extra special with the use of liquid nitrogen that freezes it at an extremely low temperature resulting in a creamier and smoother texture. GO: Call (0)52 804 7935 for reservations and more information.


DUBAI DINING •

TUCANO, THE POINTE, PALM JUMEIRAH Carnival Flair Tucano is a vibrant Brazilian churrascaria now open at The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, where guests can experience the spirit of Brazil through the authentic food and beverages, vivacious live entertainment and trendy décor. Tucano is set across two floors, with the steakhouse (churrascaria) located on the ground floor and the lounge (caipirinha) on the upper level, both with remarkable sea views and al fresco seating. The chef behind Tucano is Rodrigo Ramos, who has carved out an exciting, eclectic menu showcasing the traditional flavours of Brazil, with a modern twist. Highlights include Coxinhas, crispy chicken croquettes and the much-loved Pão de Queijo – Brazilian cheese bread which melts in the mouth. Moreover, diners can enjoy the best quality ingredients such as USDA beef, with decadent marbling which caramelises to perfection when slow cooked, and tropical fruits including caju, graviola and the well-known açaí berry. Elevating the playful atmosphere are the live fiesta bands and DJ on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, so guests can sashay the night away. GO: Call (0)4 568 2142 reservations and more information.

LA MEZCALERIA, THE OBEROI Latino Vibes With the impeccable combination of Latino Oriental beats, flamboyant Mezcal drinks and the Mexican-inspired cuisine, every evening at La Mezcaleria is set to be a fiesta! Prepare to be charmed by the playful yet rustic atmosphere of this visually conceptualised lounge, while enjoying an array of Pan Latin fusion twists and contemporary Mexican flavours. Soft furnishings dressed in vibrant colours of bright yellow and deep blue perfectly complement the Latin-inspired fittings and the mesmerizing wall mural of Frida Kahlo. Open from 5pm every day and 1pm on Fridays, La Mezcaleria welcomes you to indulge in a delectable Pan-Latin feast prepared by their team of talented chefs and skilled mixologists. Lounge on their outdoor terrace that offers an on-top-of-theworld experience accompanied by smooth Latin rhythms. Sing and dance along with foot-tapping music on regular nights and live music from the famous Cubache band that will

keep you on your toes every Wednesday. GO: Call (0)4 423 4044 reservations and more information.

AMAZONICA Business Lunch DIFC’s hottest new restaurant inspired by the tropics, Amazonico, has launched a business lunch menu for diners looking for a delightful weekday meal while taking a quick break from the office. From 12noon to 3pm, Sunday to Thursday, choose from the three course or four course menus offering a rich Latin-American culinary journey. Amazonico’s four-course business lunch menu offers delicious options of Salads, Bites and Wok, Main Courses and Desserts at AED148, and guests deciding on their three-course business lunch can pick any three of the above offerings at AED125 only. The menu is unique as it changes seasonally to ensure the preparation of the freshest ingredients. The inclusive lunch menu features a light and flavourful Tambo Achiote (succulent chicken breast marinated in three ways, crispy romaine lettuce and a zingy anchovy dressing), the Amazonico signature, Patacones Mechados (a crispy plantain chip topped with slow-cooked pulled veal and achiote seeds), every pescatarian’s dream dish, Dorada (sea bream with quinoa crust, hot leche de tigre) and the indulgent Baklava with a Latin-American twist made with passion fruit cream, dulce de leche and roasted nuts; and many more indulgent options to choose from. GO: Call (0)4 571 3999 reservations and more information.

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CHECK OUT OUR NEW WEBSITE www.fact-magazine.com 84

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CULINARY SPOTLIGHT •

TURKISH SOUL BABA at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Spa is one of the most romantic restaurants we’ve walked into, in the city. Guaranteeing to impress diners with a winning combination of service, food and atmosphere, BABA is one of the hotel’s newest venues and a concept that fits in beautifully with the resort surroundings. FACT’s Shabana Adam visits for dinner… fact magazine

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ABA’s mood-lit venue is warm yet mysterious. Brick walls of mismatched white and grey project sophisticated industrial vibes, whilst large white marble tables are flanked by leather armchairs and comfy wooden seats. As far as steakhouses go, BABA has executed design down to a tee. We walk to the outdoor area which is one of the largest terrace-style spaces we’ve encountered at a restaurant in a resort of this calibre. Once more, lighting and décor seamlessly blend to give the illusion of a cosy winter garden where tall electrical fireplaces provide warmth on these recent chilly days. We take a seat and the attentive service begins right away. Our servers are friendly without being intrusive – and we get comfortable with menus in hand. BABA is a Turkish steakhouse that keeps things simple yet elegant. The focus is to shine a spotlight on flavours native to Turkish cuisine, using quality ingredients. A comprehensive one-page menu showcases BABA’s home-grown concept which brings the traditional soul of a good steakhouse to a trendy setting. Rich, savoury and exceptionally priced – the finest delicacies grace the menu at BABA, designed to take diners on an epicurean experience to the very heart of Turkey. Guests can expect a satisfying selection of salads and appetisers, superb hot and cold mezze, mouth-watering kebabs, hearty mains with meats, seafood and vegetarian options, and sharing platters, perfect for large gatherings. To begin with, we order the Smoked Eggplant Salad, Beef and Spinach Pastry, and the rather intriguing Stuffed. Each dish was a crowd pleaser, so much so that we found ourselves on Google, trying to find recipes to replicate them at home. The salad is a beautiful smoky and tangy mix of fresh rocket leaves, goats’ cheese, pomegranate, and walnuts – delicious. The beef and spinach pastry is hot and crispy, packed with a luscious mix of meat and vegetable, packed in a flaky dough. It’s a nostalgic reminder of the many Turkish Borek we made our way through on our trip to Istanbul. The Stuffed is the biggest surprise of them all. Warm vine leaves are literally stuffed with lamb, sundried eggplant, and herbed rice, with a side of tomato and yogurt sauce. Just order it! BABA is home to the famed mangal BBQ, an integral part of Turkish food culture, with a charcoal base and copper head. The mangal BBQ is designed to give meat the best flavours imaginable. For mains, we opted for the 200gr 150-day grain fed Oakey Angus Reserve Tenderloin, cooked medium well. It’s prepared perfectly – we choose a French-made steak knife from the special storage box and slice into the meat like tender magic. A whole tray of ten 86

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different salts is presented to season your steak, and we go for the reliably tasty Himalayan variety. The steak is juicy and boasts a pronounced complexity of flavour that is rich and satisfying. A portion of Spiced Kebabs made up of adana lamb, mixed herbs and Turkish spices is an absolute treat. The meat is salacious, oozing flavour and resting on a bed of soft, warm pide bread. The creamiest mashed potato and piping hot cauliflower and cheese make for the most exquisite sides. Needless to say, we fall quiet and devour our food, with the odd “mmmh” to reinforce how good the dining experience is. If you have space for dessert (we would recommend taking a little break and finishing off the meal on a sweet note), order the crème brulee and the Kunefe, both excellent choices. The latter is a showstopper, taking 15 minutes to be freshly-made and served hot with a crunchy top and bottom crust, stuffed with stringy melted cheese and coated in sweet syrup and crushed pistachio. Divine! In a nod to a more relaxed and laid-back offering – BABA wants the public to know #ThisIsNotFineDining. Guests can choose from the finest grape or a healthy cocktail list packed full of Turkic influences and sit back and share special memories with loved ones. Stylish and sophisticated, BABA boasts bags of atmosphere, some of the finest food in Dubai and top-notch, knowledgeable service. A meal we won’t be forgetting anytime soon, BABA is somewhere that every single food lover can appreciate. ✤

GO: CALL (0)4 511 7373 OR VISIT WWW.BABA-DUBAI.COM FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. FOLLOW @BABAGRILLDXB ON INSTAGRAM FOR ALL THE LATEST UPDATES. fact magazine

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For the culture-savvy in Dubai

FEBRUARY 2020 EDITION AVAILABLE NOW on issuu.com/factmagazine 88

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NEW IN TOWN •

FRESH FOOD VIBES A flawless meeting of Europe and Arabia, Nassau is a breath of fresh air in Dubai’s overcrowded dining scene. FACT’s David Tapley sits down for a meal that is deliciously pleasant and surprisingly frugal for its high quality and service… fact magazine

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• NEW IN TOWN

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rying to locate the newly-opened Nassau at the Jumeriah Golf Estates is a little bit problematic as we find ourselves getting lost amongst the idyllic villas and pristine greens of the expansive golf course before eventually arriving at the clubhouse. It’s well worth the effort though because Chef Silvena Rowe’s latest Dubai opening is as exciting as it is beautiful. Nassau has been thoughtfully designed and the interiors aspire to reflect the fresh Mediterranean vibes of the restaurant’s menu. Floor to ceiling windows bathe the dining room in natural light, while an olive tree takes pride of place with its twisted bows stretching skywards. There’s plenty of potted vegetation and trinkets to provide the feeling of dining in a stately home rather than a custom-built space, while a large stone terrace offers pleasing views over the fairway. As a Masterchef Bulgari judge and regular guest on the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, Chef Silvena Rowe is likely to be recognisable to many diners at Nassau but it’s her ability to seamlessly blend European and Arabian influences into the food that is the real highlight of this particular dining experience. Nassau’s one-page menu is simply constructed and broken down into a relatively small selection of starters, mains, sides and desserts. The notion of less is more certainly appears to prevail here and it's evident that each dish featured on the menu has been thoughtfully designed and flawlessly executed. We begin with the vegetarian-friendly black truffle labneh (AED65) a dish we perhaps wouldn’t have ordered if it wasn’t for the helpful restaurant manager, whose recommendations are spot on and well-intentioned, without a hint of up-selling. The creamy labneh uses black truffle to subtly enhance rather than overpower the flavours of the soft cheese which floats whimsically upon the vibrant green basil oil. Adorned with seasonal vegetables and lotus roots to bring texture to the plate, the labneh works as an accomplished introduction to Rowe’s food and her penchant for locally-sourced produce and healthy eating. Nassau takes an interesting approach to fine dining, with a price point reflective of the current market trend in which customers are looking for value for money as much as an experience. The price point for many dishes are significantly lower than expected and the portion sizes are generous. Our tuna tartare (AED89) is beautifully plated with cubes of fresh yellowfin tuna sat

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upon a wasabi scented avocado puree that brings a burst of colour and a burst of flavour to the plate. Other interesting starters include the foie gras and date crème brûlée and the crispy prawn dumplings which we have made a mental note of for future visits. Fifteen main courses range from burgers, Wagyu steaks and risotto through to delicately poached organic salmon and grilled jumbo shawarma-marinated-style king prawns. The confluence of European and Arabic influences is evident and help to provide Nassau with a unique stance in the saturated dining landscape of Dubai. We adore the 48 Hour slow-cooked Ottoman style shoulder of lamb (AED125) that is resolutely tender and slides from the bone with unhindered ease. The dish represents comfort food at its best and the lamb is well seasoned, accompanied by a truffle celeriac purée. Chef Silvena’s desserts make the most impact and Nassau. Featuring a beautiful mile-high lemon meringue


NEW IN TOWN •

tart, Nutella tiramisu and a rich chocolate and pecan tart (AED59) that has been created for the chocolate lovers amongst us. Silvena’s Velvet Vanilla Cheesecake (AED49) is just as the name suggests with the feather-light taste making you wonder quite how the texture is so perfect. Nassau achieves the goal of providing diners with high-quality food at reasonable prices and the venue is certainly a delight, despite the out-of-town location that may deter some from visiting. It shouldn’t though, for the food and service levels are far above the Dubai norm and the menu is offering something different while adhering to the ethos surrounding healthy eating.✤

GO: CALL (0)4 360 1816 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. fact magazine

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FOODIE CORNER •

ICONIC PUB GRUB

Long’s Bar at Towers Rotana has been around since the beginning of Dubai’s skyscrapers – at least, it would seem that way for the reputation it has garnered. Taking a more focused approach to its menu, the food offerings are heartier and tastier than ever before. FACT’s Shabana Adam settles in for a leisurely lunch… fact magazine

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ong’s Bar at Towers Rotana has been around since the beginning of Dubai’s skyscrapers – at least, it would seem that way for the reputation it has garnered. A British pub-cum-bar, the venue’s appeal lies in its reliability. Split into various sections, there’s restaurant seating, an actual spherical “long bar” which takes pride of place in the centre, and more casual gathering areas too. A DJ and dance floor as well as a stage where live music is played add a sense of boisterousness to Long’s Bar. For a place where crowds have been flocking to for after-work drinks, match day viewings and a general lively time, Long’s Bar is also home to classic, comfort pick-me-ups and a surprisingly varied menu of bar food, hearty selections and even healthier options. With a revamped menu offering, the gastronomic team at Long’s Bar is honing in on what the restaurant does best and, more importantly – what its loyal patrons love. However, with the aim of keeping things exciting and appealing to a new generation of foodies, the restaurant has amped up its culinary flair. The Rocca Salad is as fresh and tasty as salads that we’ve ordered at fancy five-star establishments – if not, better. Bathed in a tantalising pomegranate dressing, the simple, vibrant concoction of Rocca leaves, avocado, cherry tomato, cucumber, carrot and sumac is entirely refreshing. As far as British food goes, the Shepherd’s Pie is a savoury classic. Here, it’s the dish of the day for us. A generous portion of ground lamb with peas and carrot in a delicious gravy, layered with piped and beautifully-browned mashed potato. It sends us into a joyful silence. If there was to be a perfect Shepherd’s Pie in Dubai, it would be this one. Would it be a British pub without the king of all dishes? Of course, we’re talking about fish and chips. The batter is crispy and the fish soft and tender. We mop up the plate, freely dipping our chunky chips in a yummy side of curry sauce and mushy peas. Currently, the venue is offering up a worldly menu of street food classics; from the most lip-licking Indian Vada Pav, to the crunchy-coated New York Corn Dog, and the Turkish staple Lamb Kebab wrap – the servings resemble that of food truck portions, designed to let you taste a little bit of everything and illustrating the inclusiveness and creativity at Long’s Bar. Desserts are, simply, utterly delectable. The Blackberry and Apple Crumble topped with yogurt and cinnamon is like a warm hug on a cold Sunday afternoon, whilst the Baked Cheesecake

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FOODIE CORNER •

with salted caramel sauce is a dish that we would go back for time and again – you might not want to share that last one – it’s SO GOOD. It’s worth noting that Long’s Bar has a premium meat menu where Cumberland Sausages and the like are the real deal. Not to mention, a variety of burgers, steaks, fish, and more, all add to the wholesome selection of food. When we say that there’s something for everyone, we really mean it. Service is fast and accommodating, food portions are large and filling, and the atmosphere at Long’s Bar is an unpretentious one. Plus, this place is not just reserved for a “laddish” crowd – everyone is welcome. Attractive prices and consistency means that every time you walk into Long’s Bar, you can leave your worries and your woes at the door, knowing that it’s all about good vibes only in a venue that is truly a bona fide Dubai institution. ✤

WHAT’S ON AT LONG’S BAR Introducing a new live music duo ‘Evergreen’ straight from the UK singing a mix of upbeat acoustic hits from the 60’s to today. Every day is a happy day with the super long happy hour from 12pm to 8pm on selected beverages. Sunday: The Longest Happy Hour from 12pm to 12am. Monday: The all new Quiz Night with DJ Dwayne Anthony from 8pm to 10pm, with 20% discount on selected beverages. Tuesday: Ladies Night from 9pm to 12pm. Wednesday: ‘Why Not? Wednesdays’, four selected drinks for AED109 per person from 9pm to 11pm. Friday: The famous Friday Brunch from 12pm to 4pm and the all new Drunch 4pm to 6pm. AED190 on selected beverages. Saturday: The all new traditional Roast Lunch from 2pm to 4pm AED95 including a glass of grapes. Hotelier Night from 9pm onwards. GO: CALL (0)4 343 8000 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION.

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• CONCEPT EATS

HEALTHY

HOME COMFORTS FAMED AUTHOR AND CULINARY PERSONALITY TURNED ENTREPRENEUR, ZAHRA ABDALLA TAKES HER JOURNEY THROUGH TO THE NEXT LEVEL WITH THE LAUNCH OF HER NEW FOOD CONCEPT, ZAHRA’S KITCHEN.

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inimalistic yet sophisticated, the interiors of the hotel feature the typically elegant Address Hotels + Resorts design which offers an inviting atmosphere for vacationers and businesspersons alike. From the quality of the materials to the composition of the colour schemes, each of the 169 rooms at Address Sky View have been designed with utmost care and dedication. Guests can choose to stay at the spectacular Presidential suite that exudes luxury in every sense, or pick between the executive suites and premier rooms, both offering ultra-modern amenities and equally spectacular views. The waters of the Arabian Gulf beckon through floor-to-ceiling windows, while premium in-room comforts and matchless services are available around the clock, providing a sense of regal luxury to those seeking Dubai’s finest hospitality experience. At Address Sky View, culinary opportunities of every flavour 96

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CONCEPT EATS •

await, delivering immersive experiences of sensorial delight. Experience gastronomic distinction across a remarkable array of restaurants and lounges, where enlivening surroundings and world-class service heighten the experience. Sample an appetizing selection of gourmet preparations from around the world at The Restaurant; centered around the theme of a stylish apartment, The Restaurant features modular spaces - from a living room, lounge, communal and individual dining tables, to workspaces, a media room, a kitchen and an outdoor terrace. For a more relaxed affair, feel refreshed by afternoon tea, light bites and enthusiastic conversations in the exclusive environs of the Lobby Lounge, or catch the sunset at the Pool Lounge, where each evening is made special with the company of live entertainment. Those seeking something more laidback can visit The Spa at Address Sky View, a calm and quiet space that offers enriching experiences for every mood and every occasion. On the list of options are bespoke experiences featuring avant-garde water treatments, an array of massage therapies, and beauty solutions combining the curative properties of natural ingredients with intelligent techniques. Tranquility is achieved across spacious treatment rooms and an enchanting spa suite, as well as quiet relaxation areas including an outdoor cabana and vitality pool. The Fitness Centre extends the emphasis on wellness with a positive, invigorating atmosphere. In addition to advanced equipment that caters to a variety of training styles, the impressive facility also features a private studio for personalized routines with professional trainers, a serene studio, and an immaculate zen area. The two resplendent towers at Address Sky View compose a duet of style and splendor amidst the Dubai skyline, setting a new standard for premium luxury in the scenic centre of Downtown Dubai. Bringing together culinary flair from around the world, paired with stellar recreational facilities and a warm, hospitable atmosphere, Address Sky View promises an experience to remember. ✤

GO: VISIT WWW.COOKINGWITHZAHRA.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION. fact magazine

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CITY INSIDER

Miljana Zvicer

Assistant Hotel Manager, Hyatt Place Dubai/Jumeirah

Tell us more about your day-to-day role and what keeps it challenging and exciting... Running the operation of the hotel and residences of Hyatt Place Dubai/ Jumeirah has been so far, the most exciting part of my professional life. I always look forward to coming to work, knowing that each day will be completely different. The best part of it is when guests are recognizing your efforts, that’s when you know that you are doing the right thing. It only motivates me to continuously work on being the best version of myself and also to give empowerment to all of my associates and make them feel the same. At the end, hospitality industry is all 98

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about dealing with different people and that’s what I love the most. What are some of your favourite cultural hotspots in Dubai and why? The Al Fahidi Historical District (Bastakiya area) is one of my favourite cultural hotspots in Dubai, it is a great reminder of old Dubai. I am very fortunate to witness this amazing city turned into one of the leading cities in the world. I think that the most amazing part of living here is to see how one young city has developed in so many aspects over only a few decades.

Share with us some of your professional goals for the rest of the year... For the year 2020, our goal is to deliver distinctive experiences to all guests at Hyatt Place Dubai/ Jumeirah. With such a fast-paced and diverse market like Dubai we need to make sure that we cater to the demand of today’s travellers by staying innovative yet simple and genuine in delivering our hospitality beliefs. The Hyatt brand evolves around advancing care, for our guests, clients, employees and owners and I believe that we will continue working within this core and be the leading upscale select service property in Dubai.


Join us 8pm – 10pm every Monday for our brand new quiz night. Flex that grey matter for your chance to win amazing prizes and prove you are the smartest by a Long’s Bar way! Free entry for all. Quiz starts at 8pm sharp.

Only at Towers Rotana... For bookings, log on to rotanatimes.com, call 04 343 8000 or email fb.towers@rotana.com fact magazine

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Celebrate your love story at Address Dubai Mall and indulge in a romantic al fresco dining experience with a special four-course menu candlelit dinner under the dreamy, moonlit sky in an exclusive private Cabana. Take in the stunning views of Burj Khalifa while our talented Harpist and Violinist set the tone of the evening for a memorable dining experience.

Contact us ADDRESS DUBAI MALL T +971 4 888 3444 F + 971 4 438 7888 DINE@EMAAR.COM 100 fact magazine

ADDRESSHOTELS.COM

Profile for Fact Magazine

FACT DUBAI FEBRUARY 2020  

It's the month of love and FACT has an issue filled with all the best romantic spots in town; think date nights, special treats and lush gif...

FACT DUBAI FEBRUARY 2020  

It's the month of love and FACT has an issue filled with all the best romantic spots in town; think date nights, special treats and lush gif...

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