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Micro-light flying. Pearl Excursions.

Ras Al Khaimah Escapades New adventures. Exciting treats. Special Feature

Travelling to the UAE: A closer look

Arabian Experience

A Thousand and One Nights

Taste Travel

Bahrain chef likes to surprise guests

Customize your experience

International Media Production Zone

May 2012, Volume 8, Issue 88

Editor’s Note This edition of Travel Arabia should be quite interesting with features on Ras Al Khaimah’s pearl farms, and one providing a closer look on traveling in the UAE, the latter a contributed piece by Ayesha Attique, chair of Preston University’s Interior Design Program in Ajman. The UAE had a thriving natural pearl industry for ages. which ended with Japan’s introduction of cultured pearls in the 1930s. To revisit this, Ras Al Khaimah established its Pearl Excursion program in 2005, which now produces approximately100,000 pearls a year. The program has also become a unique attraction for people interested to know how the cultivation process goes. For her part, Attique tells about how UAE has developed rapidly over the past 10 years and the efforts to preserve local heritage sites in the face of modernization. **** In our next edition, Doreen Jose, another contributor, will gives us a first-hand account of Socotra, an island in Yemen described as the “most alien-looking place on earth.”

pia, and most recently, Yemen. **** A Thousand and One Nights, which is featured in Arabian Experience, is a story within a story that keeps readers aching for the usual happy ending which turns out to be the storyteller being spared death— happy indeed! **** Italian fashion icon Roberto Cavalli was recently in Dubai to launch his perfume. Travel Arabia caught up with him for his Travel Bag to which he happily shared. Check out what he has in our next edition.

Jojo Dass Editor

Jose who is with the UN peacekeeping force, works as a development officer, a job that has taken her to Timor-Leste, Kosovo, Eritrea, EthioEscape to the Maldives where various high-end luxury resorts are waiting to pamper you.

Travel Arabia I 1



Paradise Revisited Dusit Thani Maldives


Meling Pot



40 34


P.01 P.04 P.06 P.12

46 LIVING ARABIA P.14 Special Feature P.20 Storyteller P.26 Luxury Retreat p.32

City Living p.38 Taste Travel p.46 MELTING POT P.56 Tranquil Moments P.62

May 2012, Volume 8, Issue 88

50 Micro-light flying. Pearl Excursions.

Ras Al Khaimah Escapades New adventures. Exciting treats. Special Feature

Travelling to the UAE: A closer look

Arabian Experience

A Thousand and One Nights

Taste Travel

Bahrain chef likes to surprise guests

Customize your experience

2 I Travel Arabia

International Media Production Zone


May 2012 13

on the cover Ras Al Khaimah takes off. The emirate has become popular for a host of leisure activities from scuba diving to desert safaris and breathtaking light aviation.

Morocco, a place of fun for the entire family.


Welcome to Morocco, the land of contrasts. Vibrant and enchanting, where shadows meld with sunlight, and sky and sea kiss at the horizon. A land that for centuries has been romanticized by storytellers in their books. Weaving tales about its natural beauty, the warm hearts of its people and the elegance of its architecture. Not to mention its lazy beaches crawling on the Atlantic and Mediterranean seas, its snow-covered peaks, water springs and thick forests, as well as the stunning beauty of its old cities. Come, discover Morocco today. 101, Green Tower, Baniyas Street • PO Box : 64 109, Deira, Dubai • Emirates Arabes Unis • Tel : 042292394

travel for real


with their families. I think the more appropriate way to put it would be “first documented crossing by a female.” Ivan Ahearn Galway, Ireland

Publisher KGI Address Travel Arabia Head Office Office G4, Building No.1 Phase One, P.O.Box 502408 Dubai Media City, UAE Tel +971 4 391 0410/1/2/3 Fax +971 4 391 6619 E-mail

Dear Mr. Ahearn That hit the spot. Editor

Media House Indigo

Humble beginnings

General Manager Shaza Sharaffdeen Editor Jojo Dass Contributors Elaine Nettleton Caroline Tapken Sharon Garrett Ayesha Attique Photographer Maher Youssef Creative Manager Karen Haroon Designer Najeeb Hamza Sales & Marketing Manager Syed Muhammad Arif Sales & Marketing Executive Crisna De Guzman Circulation Manager Ihab Abdallah Distributor Jashanmal National Co. LLC Travel Arabia Lebanon Office Riad el solh 11072070 P.O.Box 11-1197, Beirut, Lebanon Tel +961 3 435 780 Fax +961 7 762 104

Travel Arabia disclaimer All text and layout remains the copyright of KGI unless stated otherwise. Travel Arabia is fully independent, and its views are not those of any company mentioned herein. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. © 2012 KGI

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List it Dear editor In reference to your feature about Empty Quarter that came out in last month’s edition, it baffles the mind to learn that for all its extreme characteristics, the place, dubbed, “Ocean of Hell,” has not been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for mainstream expeditions. For crying out loud, a place where the weather is almost constantly at 50 Celsius, composed of dunes 800 meters high and where getting lost in would certainly spell death in all caps is as challenging a place to conquer as Mt. Everest or the South and North Poles. I agree with Ms. Hajar Ali, the first woman to officially cross Empty Quarter—albeit in an SUV and not on a camel as would have been more challenging, might you think?— that a female crossing this vast “inhospitable” land as you put it should be one for the record. I therefore call on authorities concerned, especially tourism boards and other government agencies, to seriously look into this and start lobbying Guinness. Amber Wollen Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Dear Ms. Wollen Maybe you can start with signing petitions? Regards Editor

Seriously Dear editor Questions have doubtless been raised by some people as to whether Ms. Hajar Ali was indeed the first female to cross Empty Quarter (Travel Arabia April 2012). Certainly, the Bedouins who have lived throughout this part of the world for ages most probably have been crossing it back and forth

Dear editor It’s humbling to note that Cannes, one of the places to be seen and, as your feature about the place in your April 2012 edition put it, the playground of the rich and famous, started as a small harbour town over a thousand years ago. I had been to the place a few years back and you are right, “An ordinary day in Cannes is an extraordinary one elsewhere.” Margaret Wright Doha, Qatar. Dear Ms. Wright Indeed! Editor

Out of this world Dear editor Thanks for coming up with a feature on Yotel, the first-of-its-kind, which is really a relief for henceforth a long-haul traveler would not have to be confined to airport facilities waiting for the connecting flight to start boarding. I have actually planned to book myself a spot on my next travel. Vaughn Morre Dubai, UAE Dear Mr. Morre You’re most welcome. Editor


Next stop: Millennium & Copthorne

Swiss bliss Quintessentially Estates Switzerland which manages sales for some of Switzerland’s most prestigious fully serviced homes has developed Du Parc Kempinski Private Residences and 51˚ Spa Residences. Du Parc Kempinski Private Residences is a commanding Belle Epoque-inspired property just an hour from Geneva sitting amidst a UNESCO-protected vineyards of the Lavaux overlooking Lake Geneva and offering panoramic views of the Alps. It was originally the site of a famous hotel which opened in 1907. On completion in 2013, it will comprise 24 freehold apartments which will be fully managed and serviced by the neighbouring 5-star hotel Le Mirador Kempinski. The 51˚ Spa Residences luxury residential development is set to transform the largest thermal spa and wellness resort in the Alps. Designed in an iconic chalet style, synonymous with the Swiss Alps, each luxury apartment will feature an exclusive in-home thermal spa, with unlimited supply to Leukerbad’s renowned thermal waters which have run naturally at 51˚ since the Roman times and are renowned for their restorative qualities. Inquiries:

New SWISS arrival lounge at Zurich Located in the public area of Arrivals 2 at Zurich Airport, the lounge is readily accessible within a few minutes of landing and particularly appealing for passengers coming off long-haul flights. The SWISS Arrival Lounge’s impressively spacious refresh facilities include 20 showers, from which it is possible to order an ironing service with the press of a button. Three hotel-style bedrooms, one with a private bathroom, round out the features of this attractive facility. Lounge users with a thirst to quench or hunger to satisfy will find the bistro area offers an extensive buffet with a wide selection of cold and warm breakfast dishes along with fresh juices and a choice of coffees. Guests wishing to get some work done will be able to take advantage of the 10 work stations and free W-LAN. Guests also have a private telephone cubicle at their disposal where they make calls undisturbed.

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When in Doha, note that Millennium & Copthorne Hotels has opened the new three-star Kingsgate Hotel in Al Ghanim old city—the group’s first Kingsgate hotel in Qatar, and only the second in the Middle East. The new property, a sister hotel to the five-star Millennium Hotel Doha, offers quality hassle free accommodation and great value in the ideal location close to the city’s key administrative, business and leisure attractions, including Souk Wakif and the National Islamic Museum. Moreover, Millennium Executive Apartments, the serviced residences brand from Millennium &

Copthorne, will also enter the Qatar market with two new properties under way in Doha. Kingsgate Hotel Doha offers 140 spacious guest rooms and suites along with a wide range of amenities and services to make the stay an unforgettable experience. It also boasts an all-day dining restaurant, corporate and leisure facilities for guests, including an indoor pool, a fitness room with state of the art machines for workout, a sauna, a steam room and a massage and treatment room. The dedicated business center features a small meeting room to cater to all business travellers needs. To contact the hotel or to book a room at Kingsgate Hotel Doha, please visit com or call 00974 4408 5555. Meantime, Millennium & Copthorne has revealed it will be opening six new Copthorne hotels, bringing the total number of Copthorne Hotels in the Middle East to eight. Accounting for more than 1,000 guest rooms in the coming 12 months, these new hotels are currently under way in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and the UAE, adding to the two established popular Copthorne hotels currently operating in Dubai, and Al Jahra, Kuwait, and the recently opened Copthorne Doha.

Romantic sunset cruise Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah Beach has a treat. Embark on a short romantic trip and spend the late afternoon relaxing in a traditional Abra, an Arabic boat that will take you out to the bay. Indulge in a glass of bubbly, enjoy strawberries and cream while watching the breathtaking Arabian sun dips into the tranquil waters. Indeed no better way to spend a romantic evening. Children will be served juice and a light snack. Cruise is at 5:45pm – 6:45pm. Inquiries: alwadi@

Mercure Gold Hotel Al Mina Road DUBAI A stylish hotel, centrally located near the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre and Jumeirah Beach. The preferential choice for travelers both business and leisure.





700 Hotels worldwide

Tel.: +971 (4) 3019888 Email:

The Address Dubai Mall

Zürich Festival at The Dolder Grand

The Ultimate Wellness Retreat

During this exclusive six-night and seven-day programme, take advantage of the highly trained and experienced PTX Performance Training physical fitness instructors, healthy meals, and personal mentoring. A typical day will include a full board programme of healthy and nutritious meals, beverages and snacks at Cabana, the poolside restaurant, prepared by the hotel’s acclaimed in-house chefs. The programme also includes a range of complimentary treatments at The Spa to de-stress and unwind over the course of your stay. Participants can expect a significant transformation in terms of weight loss with lean muscle tissue, making them fitter and stronger. Inquiries and reservations:04 4238888 or email

This summer, The Dolder Grand invites GCC residents to celebrate the Zürich Festival, one of Europe’s greatest performing arts festivities held annually from June 15 July 8, the festival is renowned for being an iconic part of Zürich since the mid-1990s. Along with its eclectic mix of theatre, opera, dance and classical music, this year the Zurich Festival will once again be presenting a unique combination of performances, filling the city’s cultural venues and outdoor spaces with a program full enough to keep any culture-lover busy. Take advantage of the Spring Taste of The Dolder Grand package where along with your two nights’ stay, you benefit from a Garden Breakfast, a 3- course dinner including a glass of champagne plus a 60-minute massage therapy of your choice The spectacular starting price is at CHF 1,560 (equivalent to US$ 1,638) for one person in a Double Room Superior and CHF 1,960 (equivalent to US$ 2,058) for two persons in a Double Room Superior. This offer is valid until 30 June 2012. Reservations and inquiries:

How about a ‘fragrance butler’?

Boracay! Emirates Holidays, in coordination with the Philippine Department of Tourism, has come up with holiday packages for Manila, Boracay and Cebu. The packages come in two—one designed for couples; the other for families. All packages include return economy class tickets return airport transfers, four days three nights with breakfast. Prices range from AED 4851 to AED 4011 per person. Packages valid till Sept. 30, 2012. Inquiries: emirates.

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Hotel guests checking in at Jeddah’s most luxurious property can now travel as light as possible with the launch of a new “fragrance butler” who will offer them a choice of exotic scents. A seemingly unusual amenity, the new service has been unveiled at Rosewood Corniche to go one step further in providing a truly personalised stay.

The fragrance menu for women is extensive, comprising international brands Burberry, Aqua di Gio and Chanel Chance, and Arabic luxury fragrances Al Ostura (Legend) and Domou Al Zahab (Golden Tears), while the men’s range includes a choice of Chanel Blue, Davidoff Cool Water, CK-Shock, Black Stone and Al Khalta Al Qurashia by Abdul Samad Al Quraishi. Rosewood Corniche is ideally located on Jeddah’s Corniche, one of the city’s most impressive districts. The celebrated Jeddah Corniche runs parallel to the Red Sea for over 32 kilometres. Rosewood Corniche redefines modern elegance and offers personal service and world-class amenities, including 24-hour butler service for each of the 127 guest rooms and suites.


The Address



the sparkling Dubai Marina and situated in one of Dubai’s most popular lifestyle districts, The Address Dubai Marina, offers state of-the-art meeting and spa facilities, stunning guest rooms and residences, stylish dining and vibrant nightlife. Directly connected to Dubai Marina Mall and just a stroll away from the beach, the hotel offers 200 guest rooms, 4 restaurants & lounges and an impeccably relaxing spa with a modern and expansive fitness facility which is open 24-hours. Hotel guests can also enjoy the elevated infinity pool on the 4th floor with its outside dining and spectacular view of the marina and beyond. It’s more than a haven for the modern traveller, it’s your first port of call. This is The Address Dubai Marina.


Frasers Hospitality loyalty program launched Frasers Hospitality Pte Ltd, a world leader in luxury apartments and serviced residences, has introduced its exclusive guest recognition programme, Fraser World, to reward frequent and extended stay residents of its 46 properties worldwide. Specially designed to offer residents an extensive range of premier privileges that suit all needs, the programme will have four membership tiers that include Crystal, Sapphire, Diamond and Platinum. Rewarding points for every room night stayed, Fraser World’s wide range of benefits also include complimentary upgrades, preferential rates, and other member-exclusive conveniences to further enhance the quality of their stay such as complimentary dry cleaning and pressing, airport transfers, breakfast, newspapers, welcome amenities and local calls. Complementing their travel and living lifestyle, Fraser World members will also enjoy elite access to member-only news, exclusive offers as well as updates on the benefits that cater to their lifestyle needs. Guests can apply by first logging on to to update their profile, and subsequently set their preferences and personalise their account upon receiving their membership card. *terms and conditions apply

Maldives de-stress

Summer holidays at Yas Viceroy Yas Viceroy’s summer packages have you covered. If you cannot decide between flying around on a rollercoaster or flopping by the pool why not do both? Yas Viceroy is offering a Ferrari World and ESPA package for adrenaline junkies who also need to relax. The package includes two-day tickets to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, where you can test the boundaries of speed on the track. Then drop down a gear and recharge your batteries with a treatment of your choice in ESPA at Yas Viceroy and make use of the male and female spa relaxation facilities. Prices start from AED 950* per night** in a Deluxe room for two with breakfast as well as lunch or dinner in the hotels all-day dining restaurant Origins. Yas Viceroy is also offering a Family Fun package. Inquiries and reservations: +971 2 656 0700 .

Gordon Ramsays at St. Regis Doha The St. Regis Doha, Qatar’s newest luxury destination, has announced it will open two Gordon Ramsay restaurants in May. Headed by Michelin-starred Chef Gilles Bosquet, both restaurants will provide food enthusiasts with culinary delights inspired by Gordon Ramsay, one of the world’s most famed chefs. Launching on May 1, Gordon Ramsay Doha will offer fine-dining experiences in an intimate setting, while Opal by Gordon Ramsay Doha will serve western classics in a relaxed bistro-style environment from May 15. Inquiries: (974) 4446 0000, via email at com or online at

VisitBritain Online Shop

Where: Baros Maldives – an exclusive, five-star boutique resort nestled in a lush, tropical island set in shimmering waters. The plan: Exotic dining experiences. Be pampered and rejuvenated at The Spa, or explore one of the host of activities available. The offer: Baros De-Stress Deluxe Package designed for ultimate relaxation. To inspire guests to leave the world behind, this package includes special relaxation programmes including a hot stone massage for two in the resort’s exclusive spa, a sunrise yoga session on a private sandbank and a meditation session. Package is valid during 1 April – 31 May 2012 and is available as a four-night or seven-night package, including airport transfers by speed boat. Inquiries:

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Gulf-based travellers to Britain now have access to an official online resource allowing them to shop for and purchase tourist authority-recommended accommodation, transport, and feature attraction ticketing, bringing further ease for Gulf travellers to the UK, according to VisitBritain officials based in Dubai. Carol Maddison, Manager, UAE, VisitBritain: “By first visiting VisitBritain’s online shop, Gulf visitors can get the most out of their holiday in the UK. They will save time and money by purchasing travel cards, tickets, maps and other things before they travel. In our online shop, they can buy everything they need.”

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Abu Dhabi, Chicago, Paris, Dubai, Bangkok... Discover all our magnifique addresses around the world on

Arabian Experience

night of the

virgin bride

Scheherazade tells tales to save her life

12 Travel Arabia

Arabian Nights keeps holding the happy ending for the next page—a good read.


n ifrit of a Jinni coming out of a cucurbit flask in clouds of smoke and granting a woeful, griping fisherman his wish: a good catch that, in turn, leads to a king unraveling the secrets of a tarn which brings him to a prince ensorcelled by his cousin-wife who loathes him to the bone and steals away into the night to have fun with her blackamoor slave of a lover… …the story goes on: The Thousand and One Nights as told by a virgin who refused to die, Scheherazade, to her husband, a jaded paranoid Persian king, Shahryar who goes into the habit of slaying his wife after honeymoon for fear that she’d jump into bed with another guy, then marrying a new virgin for the same purpose. He finally ran out of virgins and thus ended up with Scheherazade, the last in his kingdom and daughter of his political adviser, who himself had been responsible for the king’s supply of virgins. A Thousand and One Nights, as compiled and translated by scholars, are stories Scheherazade supposedly told the king in a manner so clever—a story within a story kind of way—that each night’s narrative is sewn into another to be told on the next, thus keeping the king wanting to hear more and some more till he finally changed his mind about her execution—on the thousand and first that is. Common in the stories is the theme

on fate and destiny—Scheherazade herself was supposed to be destined to die but fate has it that she lives. As the Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini noted, the “chain of anomalies” created by the “appearance of destiny” in the stories culminate in something that would have to be followed through in the next story—in other words there was no deus ex machina ending where suddenly a complex thing is resolved and everybody goes home happy. And this is a good thing because deus ex machina endings are works of idle minds, as some writers agree. But while The One Thousand and One Nights has great influence on the western world with many films produced and books written about its characters, literatis say the masterpiece actually had little impact on Arab culture where it was actually disdained, “its stories regularly denounced as vulgar, improbable, childish and, above all, badly written,” said American Installation artist, Robert Irwin. Moreover, scholars, noting how fiction had a low cultural value among Medieval Arabs, said the stories were dismissed as “khurafa,” or fantasies fit for children. Stories in the Arabian Nights, as The Thousand and One Nights has also been known to be called, include the Tale of the Bull and the Ass where a merchant was endowed power to hear animals talking but dare not tell about it for fear of death; and the ever-popular Fisherman and the Jinni where a jinni comes out of a bottle and grants the fisherman a wish—not three as some western versions have it. And who can forget Ali Baba who opened a cave full of treasure with a chant that went, “Open Sesame!”

Living Arabia

14 Travel Arabia

Reliving it Ras Al Khaimah traces the country’s roots in ‘Pearl Excursions’

Travel Arabia 15


as Al Khaimah is very popular for its host of leisure activities— scuba diving, which provides awesome views of what lies beneath, as well as other water sport; desert safaris, which allows one to relive a Bedouin’s life; and the breath-taking light aviation where one co-flies a micro-light aircraft or a powered parachute to enjoy scenic views of the desert, the white sandy beach, the turquoise sea and the majestic mountains from the sky. But no visit to the emirate is complete without doing the Pearl Excursion, the first of its kind in the Gulf, where visitors enjoy unique opportunities to learn and experience first-hand the processes of natural pearl cultivation — call it “edu-tourism” if you will.

Pearl Excursion One of the first and important industries in the Gulf region especially in Ras Al Khaimah included diving for natural pearl. Pearl was the main economic mover for hundreds of years, providing the only tangible source of subsistence because land was too barren for farming. The booming industry had its death knell reverberating mournfully with the advent of cultured pearls that the Japanese developed and started exporting globally in the 1930s. Today, the Pearl Farm, established in 2005, presents the rebirth of the industry, which this time produces over 100,000 pearls a year. During the Pearl Excursion, guests visit a pearl laboratory to see the implanting of a seed in an oyster then take a dhow ride to a pearl farm where they are greeted by oyster nets implanted to the sea for

Land of Pearls

Visitors get a chance to see how cultivation of this oldest known gem is done cultivation and are given an oyster for them to see if a pearl is inside. A specialist on the dhow opens every oyster following a sequence of sensitive steps to search for the cultivated pearl; once allocating it, he then proceeds with the pearl cleaning process that starts with rubbing it with salt and ends by pouring it with water. Last step is identifying the pearl through colour and size, which is measured by a digital scale; the specialist then proceeds to brief visitors on some valuable information about their newly owned pearls.

Pearl Museum Al Hajjar Mountain

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A complete background information on the pearl industry is at the Pearl Museum in the Al Qawasim Corniche.

Here, a story is told about the success of the ancestors in the past, the latest technologies of the present, and the ambitions for the future. A collection of ancient tools and equipment are also presented, including a 1740 map showing Julfar (the old name of Ras Al Khaimah) with the locations of pearl banks, and a medium sized jalbout—a boat used in the past for diving journeys. Visitors can also explore the technology used in producing cultured pearls, a number of theories on the origin of natural pearls together as well as ways to differentiate between natural and cultivated pearls. For more information visit To know more about Ras Al Khaimah visit

Want a life? Fly... A truly amazing experience awaiting Ras Al Khaimah visitors is flying with a micro-light aircraft or powered parachutes to enjoy scenic views of the desert, the white sandy beach, the turquoise sea and the majestic mountains. A company specializing on this is Jazirah Aviation Club which was established in 1998 is the first Micro light and LSA flying club of the United Arab Emirates which is approved by the General Civil Aviation Authority. The Club has over 300 members and a fleet of 50 different flying machines including advanced certified Micro light aircrafts and gyrocopters. The club is at the Jazirah Airport (OMRJ) along the majestic coast of Ras Al Khaimah’s beautiful sea. The Club has two runways and the area is ideal for fun and hobby flyers. The club also provides approved training on various flying machines by qualified aviation instructors. Training includes ground, flight, safety and communication. Proper safety and security measures have been adopted by the club to ensure smooth, healthy and efficient running of the activity. The aircrafts are maintained by qualified aircraft engineers to the highest standards and proper safety and security measures are taken for parking the aircrafts. The club owns six fixed wing micro light aircrafts and provides hanger facilities for more than 40 member’s aircraft. Visit

Jazirah Aviation Club

Banyan Tree Al Wadi-Wildlife a safari, take to the sea... From the ground, adventure is provided for by Banyan Tree Al Wadi which offers a host of activities—desert and mountain safaris, bike rides, guided walks, archery, horseback and camel riding, and a must-see falcon show. Or you can set sail on the Arabian Sea on board a luxury yacht at Al Hamra Marina & Yacht Club. Banyan Tree Al Wadi has the region’s most diverse and interactive display of falcons, hawks, kestrels, owls and eagles. Visitors can be part of the action at the Falconry Deck or just sit back in amazement. A tour of the world class Falconry Mews, Rehabilitation and Breeding Centre, rounds off this one-of-a-kind experience in style. Visitors can also have a more private interactive experience and get up close and personal with some of the birds of prey.

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Banyan Tree Al Wadi’s desert and mountain safaris use tough and rugged vehicles and professional guides who will sweep you off on a journey through the dunes of Al Wadi Nature Reserve, where you will be able to take in its natural beauty as you amble between wild ghaf trees and running gazelles. Furthermore, the awesome Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah Beach also runs The Beach Club, which offers a selection of recreational activities like snorkeling, water-skiing, wake-boarding and sailing in the shimmering turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf. Schooner-chartering, fishing and scuba-diving trips can also be organised. Guests who prefer to lounge by the private beach may do so in comfort at the Beach Club’s bar. Archery is an art ancient as art itself. At Banyan Tree Al Wadi, visitors can try their

hands on the bow and arrow at its archery range and discover for themselves why this age-old sport just would not die. Banyan Tree Al Wadi has a specially designed tented deck that provides a safe and comfortable place to try your aim. Visit for more details. Meantime, you can as well hop in to Al Hamra Marina & Yacht Club’s Chopin, a stylish Moody DS 45 yacht—the first of its kind in the Middle East—for a sail experience on the Arabian Sea. While on board, you can as well go for a quick plunge into the sea and later enjoy later on a serene sunset cruise. Chopin can also be made available for private runs. On board the Chopin is an all-round panorama from a fully air-conditioned and spacious deck saloon. Visit for more details.

Falcon Show Banyan Tree Al Wadi

Al Hamra Marina and Yacht Club

…or hit the links.

Al Hamra Golf Club

In Ras Al Khaimah are greens so tempting you’d keep coming back swinging for a hole in one. The Al Hamra Golf Club is an 18-hole golf course, designed by Peter Harradine, meandering around four inter-connected open water lagoons that merge seamless with the water of the Arabian Gulf. As many traditional links course do, the front nine measuring 3,578 yards makes its way out and away from the Clubhouse, whilst the back nine measuring 3,747 yards returns home around the lagoon to the Clubhouse. The result is a stunning Par 72 Championship Golf course measuring 7,325 yards at full length designed with five varying tee options on each hole. The Al Hamra Golf Club lends itself perfectly to all levels of golfers. Visit for more details.

For its part, Tower Links Golf Club, which opened its doors in May 2004 with the floodlit back nine and Golf Academy, bends and winds through a mangrove reserve with the Hajar Mountains serving as a majestic backdrop. Tower Links now possesses an active Golf and Social Membership whilst also catering for the demands of golfers from the surrounding emirates as well as the growing number of international tourists. Tower Links Golf Club is also an 18-hole, par 72 golf course with an outstanding range of facilities enabling golfers to improve their standard of play. The course is 7,200 yards in length with four tees: the championship, men’s, senior’s and ladies. Visit

Travel Arabia I 19

Special Feature

Travelling to the UAE: A closer look

By Ayesha Attique Contributor


n a short span of a decade, the UAE has experienced a period of continued rapid development and cultural renaissance. It has earned a worldwide reputation for excellence in several important fields including architecture, trade and commerce, exhibition and events, leisure, and sports, among others. The geographical location of UAE, at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, supports the influx of people all year round, from all over the world. Be it the quest for modernism and technology, or culture, history and heritage; in the scorching summer season or the mild winters, the UAE has plentiful to offer for all. Thus, UAE may rightly be termed as the global centre for tourism.

tion of Al Jahili Fort, a structure dating back to1898, the restoration of the house of Hamad bin Hadi Al Darmaki and the multi-million dirham makeover of Qasr Al Hosn. These serve as a repository and

Preservation of Heritage Preserving heritage can be a challenging task and the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage makes sure this is met by restoring historic buildings in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain to maintain their importance as cultural and tourist destinations. Some of the projects are the restora-

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Al Hahili fort

museum, as well as symbols of cultural heritage for the nation. Dubai’s Architectural Heritage Department, for its part, is the agency responsible for preserving and maintain-

Arab and Islamic culture through the centuries houses more than 5,000 exquisite Islamic artifacts from all over the Islamic world arranged in themes in seven spacious galleries and display areas. Among restoration efforts involved the 18th century fort in Ajman , Ummal Quwain Fort, Ras Al Khaima Fort and Fujairah Fort have also been lovingly restored and turned into fascinating museums.

Tourism The economic prosperity and population explosion brought about by the massive injection of oil revenues had a huge social and cultural impact. Modern designs, building materials and technology rapidly replaced vernacular architecture, which was soon confined to museums and heritage centers. In a very short span of time, sleek glass-fronted skyscrapers

Burj Khalifa

Sharjah art museum

ing historic buildings and cultural centers in the emirate, including the heritage districts in Bastakiya, Shindagha, and Al Ra,a where a large number of historic sites have been restored to their former glory.

Restoration The restored Fahidi Fort, for one, is now a thriving interactive museum with a wide range of archaeological ethnographic exhibits. The renovation and restoration of Sharjah’s Art and Heritage Area have acclaimed it international recognition. This emirate has 17 museums including the Sharjah Art Museum of Contemporary Arab Art which is the largest in the Gulf. The Sharjah Islamic Museum depicting

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Zayed National Museum Abu Dhabi

rapidly altered the urban landscape. Diversifying from an oil-based economy to one that is service- and tourismbased required the construction of iconic tourism projects like the Burj Al Arab, Burj Kkalifa, Emirates Palace Hotel, Mall of the Emirates and the Atlantis among others. All this projects are results of imaginative planning, forward thinking, and above all, professional organization and responsibility to work in particular areas of tourism development. The design of Burj Khalifa, the tallest free standing structure in the world was inspired by the desert flower Hymenocallis and the patterning systems embodied in Islamic architecture. The building’s design incorporates cultural and historical elements particular to the region. The Yshaped floor plan maximizes views of the Persian Gulf. Viewed from above or from the base, the form also evokes the onion


Staying true to its Thai heritage, Dusit Thani hotel embodies everything that Thai hospitality is known for - warm smiles, excellent service, great tasting cuisine, authentic cultural entertainment. For enquiries and reservations: Tel: +971 4 343 3333 Email: Web:

domes of Islamic architecture

Islamic architecture During this period of rapid development, the construction of new mosques has been a symbolic feature throughout the seven emirates. This not only facilitated the growing number of worshippers but also depicted the love and devotion for Islam. The majestic Sheikh Zayed Mosque popularly called the Grand Mosque by local residents is the most important architectural treasures of contemporary UAE society. Using manpower and materials from countries such as Italy, Germany, Morocco, India, Turkey, Iran, China, Greece and the UAE, the country proves its strong belief in the artisans from around the globe. Natural materials are chosen for its design and construction including marble, stone, gold, semiprecious stones, including lapis lazuli, red agate, amethyst, abalone shell and mother of pearl, crystals and ceramics. Reflective pools, totaling 787 reflect the mosque’s spectacular image, which becomes even more resplended at night. An equally impressive interior design

complements the mosque’s awesome exterior. The walls have decorative goldglass mosaic features. The main prayer hall features the world’s largest chandelier with thousands of Swarovski crystals. The main prayer hall features the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet. Artisans were flown from Iran to Abu Dhabi to stitch the carpet pieces together for the final fitting. The Qibla wall is subtly decorated with gold-glass mosaic. The 99 names (qualities) of Allah featured on the Qibla wall exemplify traditional Kufi calligraphy. In total, three separate calligraphy styles - Naskhi, Thuloth and Kufi – are used throughout the mosque.

Theme Parks A key ingredient of the UAE’s tourism development campaign is the creation of theme parks. The massive projects at Dubailand are expected to boost the tourism sector tremendously. Al Qasba is a small art, culture, leisure, and tourist area in Sharjah including the Maraya Art Center, Eye of the Emirates Ferris wheel, restaurants, cafes, canal with abra rides. Al Qasba is an interesting place to visit for a few hours to relax over a cup

Al Bastakiya

Um Al Quwain fort

Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre

Ayesha Attique is Department Chair of the Interior Design Programme at Preston University in Ajman.

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Bithna Fort Fujairah

of coffee, enjoy a meal with family and friends, a smooth ride in the abra, or to enjoy good views from the Ferris wheel. For those who do not wish to participate actively, can just sit and gaze and get absorbed in the ambiance of the atmosphere around. The activities attractions and facilities provided at Al Qasba also include a musical fountain Food Festivals and a series of lectures and other activities about Islamic culture in the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Cultural development Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE, is investing heavily in cultural development. The cultural district in Saadiyat is expected to house the largest single cluster of world-class cultural projects. These include the Louvre Abu Dhabi, The Sheikh Zayed National Museum, and The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi , scheduled to open between 2012 and 2014. In this period of rapid change, the leadership and people of UAE have not forgotten their core values that have shaped their lives and have brought them, where they are today. They strongly believe and proudly acknowledge their past and their rich heritage. This selfknowledge and respect for transcendent values has spawned a cultural renaissance in the UAE aimed at preserving the finest elements of their society. Concern for cultural continuity can be seen in the use of elements of traditional architecture, in the design of new buildings as well as renewed efforts to preserve and maintain traditional buildings. The country’s imaginative development of major new cultural centers is a bright beacon of hope and inspiration in a world that has become overly concerned with commercial issues and less so with origin and values.


The Paris I saw

Subway notes on the champs to Morrison’s ‘grave’ By Jojo Dass Editor

There were two stories on why Paris was not levelled to the ground during WWII


ne was that the French leadership declared Paris an “Open City,” collaborating with the Germans with their widely unpopular Vichy Regime even as the rest of Europe was falling on dead bodies to defend theirs. The other was that Germany recognised Paris’ cultural importance while planning its conquest at the onset of war; while the Allied forces noted that the city had no strategic value in the D-Day race to Berlin. Hitler himself was rumored to

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have fallen in love with Paris so much that he had wanted to make it his Nazi empire’s capital.

Haussmannian For what it’s worth, Paris came out of the war unscathed—the Haussmannian side at least. As the cliché goes, “It’s not Paris if it’s not Haussmannian,” referring to the prefect of the Seine, Georges Haussmann, who from 1853 to 1870 and onwards transformed Paris on orders of Napoleon III from an overgrown

medieval city to what it has remained to be today. Most Parisians at the time hated Haussmann for destroying the “Old Paris.” His design is highlighted by uniform building heights, grand boulevards, and anchoring elements--monuments. Approximately 70 percent of Paris is Haussmannian.

Champs-Élysées At the heart of Paris is the ChampsÉlysées, originally fields and market gardens that became a popular public

Summer stay and splash! Make Park Rotana & Park Arjaan by Rotana Abu Dhabi your destination, when visiting the UAE capital this summer. Stay in luxury while you and your family can also enjoy the views of the city as well as soak in the thrills and splashes on offer. AED 350* including accommodation in a Classic room, buffet breakfast for 2 persons, internet and 2 tickets to Murjan Splash Park. AED 500* including accommodation in 1 bedroom apartment, buffet breakfast for 2 persons, internet and 4 tickets to Murjan Splash Park. AED 650* including accommodation in 2 bedroom apartment, buffet breakfast for 4 persons, internet, 4 tickets to Murjan Splash Park. *Terms & Conditions: The offers are valid from May 15 to August 20, 2012 and subject to availability The price is per room per night including 10% service charge and 6% Tourism fee

For reservations, visit or call +971 (0)2 657 3333

P.O. Box: 43377, Abu Dhabi, UAE. T: +971 (0)2 657 3333, F: +971 (0)2 657 3000,

The Arc de Triomphe

Haussmannian Paris

Cimetière Père Lachaise

Typical day on Champs-Élysées

park after the French Revolution in 1799. “Champs” in English is “fields.” “La plus belle avenue du monde,” Champs-Élysées, with its cinemas, luxury shops, al fresco restaurants, and the flagship Louis Vuitton store, indeed is “the most beautiful avenue in the world.” In Greek mythology is the Elysian Fields, a sacred place for the blessed dead; in Paris is Champs-Élysées where stands the Arc de Triomphe or Arch of Triumph which pays tribute to those who fought and died for France during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.

Cimetière Père Lachaise And on Champs-Élysées is the Paris Metro’s George V station to which I sank myself in on my way to visit a dead. Noting written directions from the concierge at the Hotel Fouquet’s Barrière, where I stayed at along with a group of

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fellow writers from Dubai, I snickered at the thought that I had barely been in the Paris for a day and there I was going down the stairs to its elaborate subway system on my own. I stared once more at the gray sky as the sound of arriving trains somewhere came faintly by. It didn’t take much effort to get to my last stop, the Père Lachaise station. I had wanted to visit the late 1960s pop icon Jim Morrison’s purported grave at the Cimetière Père Lachaise, final resting place for poets like Oscar Wilde and other icons, Haussmann himself among them. Morrison, lead singer of the American rock band, The Doors, reportedly died of a heart attack or heroin overdose in his rented apartment on 17 Rue Beautreillis in this city, July 3, 1971; he was 27. Questions surrounding his death have remained alive.

Nonetheless “pilgrims” have continued to flock to his supposed burial ground over the years.

Lost Getting back to Champs-Élysées was a challenge I never realized how hard till I started to frantically try finding my way through the labyrinth of interconnecting rail lines and stations—now who’s snickering, I asked myself. I went again to the concierge’s notes but somehow still missed a station on at least two counts. Why? Because I followed the lines to switch to and the stations to take off from as listed going to Père Lachaise. Getting back was supposed to be simply just going through the written directions backwards—but it got to be confusing. It was getting dark per my timepiece and the confusion started getting thicker by the minute.

Snobs? Other people say Parisians are snobs; they say the French have this condescending air in their heads because they won the 100-year war with the British which started 1399; Napoleon who tenaciously fought against marauders in what is now the Napoleonic Wars; and by Charles de Gaulle’s leadership, their independence after WW II, as they refused to stand down to the Allied forces which had “lib-

erated” them and wanted to put them under military control. But this could probably be a sweeping misrepresentation. Trying to decipher my way back to George V station, I asked help from people each of whom made sure, despite some having a not-so-good conversational English, that I boarded the right train for the next station and on till I finally was climbing up the stairs again where the Arc de Triomphe was just where I left it. And I was back snickering.

I made it, after all. Finding your way in a big city’s underground rail system is like entering the woods—easy to get to where you’re going; difficult to get back especially when it’s getting dark. All said, the Paris I saw was one that gave me a state of mind I would love to keep forever. The trip was organized by Atoute France, the French tourism board, in cooperation with KLM-Air France.

Where to stay Shopping indeed as right across the street is the flagship store of Louis Vuitton where, as early as an hour before opening for the day, long queues of tourists can be seen. And with Paris being 70 percent Muslim, getting your way around should be a breeze. Thabet describes the Arabian traveller as someone who “goes for a very high level of service” to which the hotel can provide. Prayer room, shisha and private parties can be arranged.

Hotel Fouquet’s Barrière would be the best choice if you’re in Paris to see places and people. The turn-of-the-century, five-star, landmark hotel is a tribute to the legendary brasserie on the Champs-Elysées that has been meeting place of big names. Hotel Fouquet’s Barrière straddles the Avenue George V that heads down to the River Seine, and Champs-Elysées. The hotel, with its 51 rooms and 30

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suites including those that have splendid views of the Eiffel Tower and the ChampsElysées, is also a favorite of Arabian travelers, comprising 50 percent of annual occupancy, according to Ahmed Thabet, international sales manager. Thabet says Middle East visitors usually come in groves. “They all like Paris,” Thabet, who’s from Tunisia, tells Travel Arabia. “They come here for shopping and relaxation.”

Getting there Business Class on aboard Air France KLM is the way to go. Seat legroom or pitch is five feet. The seat, which has a horizontal length of 1.9 meters, reclines 170 degrees with extra long foot rest, in-seat power outlet, an AVOD IFE with a10.4” screen and a massage button. The seat also has pre-set positions. The multi-language cabin staff provides customized service Interactive entertainment includes over 85 movies, 80 hours of T V programs, video games, language lessons, audio books and a choice of over 300 CDs. Moreover, every customer gets one of the much coveted Delft Blue miniature houses as a gift. The meals, designed by top Dutch chefs, are superb too.

Experience the difference at Al Raha Beach Hotel Experience the difference at Al Raha Beach Hotel Experience the difference at Al Raha Beach Hotel Experience the difference at Al Raha Beach Hotel

The Al Raha Beach Hotel symbolizes the very essence of of elegance. It offers guests the perfect venue to combine both the perfect venue to combine both business and business and pleasure. pleasure. The Al Raha Beach Hotel symbolizes the very essence of In beautifully landscaped gardens, a variety of leisure elegance. It offers guests the perfectwith venue to combine both In beautifully landscaped gardens, with a variety of leisure and eclectic dining experiences, it has easy access to Abu business and pleasure. and eclectic dining Hotel experiences, it hasthe easy access to Abu The Al RahaDubai, Beach symbolizes very essence of of Dhabi and the Al Raha Beach Hotel effortlessly Dhabi andItDubai, thetype Althe Raha Beach Hotel effortlessly elegance. offers guests perfect venue to combine both accommodates every of event from small business the perfectwith venue to combine both In beautifully landscaped a variety of leisure accommodates every typegardens, of event from business and pleasure. meetings to large outdoor celebrations insmall any ofbusiness its stylish business and pleasure. and eclectic dining experiences, it hasthe easy access Abu The Al Raha Beach Hotel symbolizes essence of meetings to large outdoor celebrations in very any of its to stylish venues. Dhabi and Dubai, the Al Raha Beach Hotel effortlessly In beautifully landscaped gardens, with a variety of leisure elegance. It offers guests the perfect venue to combine both venues. In beautifully landscaped gardens, with asmall variety of leisure accommodates every type of event from and eclectic dining experiences, has easy access to Abuof This summer experience style andit exclusivity inbusiness a haven business and pleasure. and eclectic dining experiences, it has easy access to Abu meetings towith large outdoor celebrations in any of its stylish Dhabi and Dubai, the Al Raha Beach Hotel effortlessly tranquility our advance purchase room rate starting from Al Raha Beach Hotel...To enjoy both business and pleasure! Dhabi and including Dubai, thebuffet Al Raha Beach Hotel effortlessly accommodates every type of event from small business AED 399* breakfast. venues. In beautifully landscaped a variety of leisure accommodates every typegardens, of event with from meetings to large outdoor celebrations insmall any ofbusiness its stylish and eclectic dining experiences, it has easy access to Abu For more information, call +971 2 508 0555 or 800 ALRAHA meetings to large outdoor celebrations in any of itspleasure! stylish Call on +971 2Hotel...To 508 0555enjoy or visit venues. Al Raha Beach both business and Dhabi and Dubai, the Al Raha Beach Hotel effortlessly or visit for more information venues. accommodates every type of event from smallinbusiness This summer experience style and exclusivity a haven of For more information, call +971 2 508 0555 or 800 ALRAHA meetings to large outdoor celebrations in any of its stylish tranquility with our advance purchase room rate starting from Al Beach Hotel...To enjoy both business and pleasure! or visit AED 399* including buffet breakfast. venues. For more information, call or +971 508 0555 or 800 ALRAHA Call on +971 508 0555 visit Al Raha Beach2Hotel...To enjoy both business and pleasure! or visit for more information For more information, call +971 2 508 orper 800 *Rate is subject to 10% service charge & 6% tourism fee0555 per room nightALRAHA and inclusive of buffet breakfast. Rate is for single or double occupancy. 3-days advance purchase – no refund. Valid 16th May until end of Ramadan 2012. or visit -ANAGEDBY$ANAT(OTELS2ESORTS A$IVISIONOF.ATIONAL#ORPORATIONFOR4OURISM(OTELS 0/"OX !BU$HABI 5!%\4 \& \%INFOALRAHA DANATHOTELSCOM\WWWDANATHOTELSCOM !-EMBEROF0REFERRED(OTELS2ESORTS -ANAGEDBY$ANAT(OTELS2ESORTS A$IVISIONOF.ATIONAL#ORPORATIONFOR4OURISM(OTELS 0/"OX !BU$HABI 5!%\4 \& \%INFOALRAHA DANATHOTELSCOM\WWWDANATHOTELSCOM *Rate is subject to 10% service charge & 6% tourism fee per room per night and inclusive of buffet breakfast. Rate is for single or double occupancy. 3-days advance purchase – no refund. !-EMBEROF0REFERRED(OTELS2ESORTS Valid from 16th May until end of Ramadan 2012. -ANAGEDBY$ANAT(OTELS2ESORTS A$IVISIONOF.ATIONAL#ORPORATIONFOR4OURISM(OTELS

Luxury Retreat

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Paradise Revisited Dusit Thani Maldives


Getting there Flying time is roughly 4 ½ hours from Dubai or Abu Dhabi to Male on Emirates or Etihad Airways, with Qatar Airways offering convenient connections to onward flights via Doha. No visa is required and there are no airport departure taxes to be paid. Reservations can be made via www. or contact your local travel agent for the latest promotions.

e were among the very first guests to visit the luxurious Dusit Thani Maldives which opened February 2012 on the island of Mudhdhoo in Baa Atoll, a 30-minute seaplane flight north of Male. A colourful 360 degree coral reef and brilliant turquoise lagoon surround the island on which the hotel is built and Dusit Thani Maldives successfully blends Maldivian and Thai cultures in a discreet all-villa resort. Each villa is cleverly positioned to offer the utmost privacy whilst ensuring either the beach or the ocean view remains uninterrupted; some have plunge pools in the outdoor bathrooms, some with pools overlooking the beach. The ocean villas have infinity plunge pools on the wooden deck overlooking the sea. The rooms are all very well appointed, and we really appreciated the complimentary WiFi in all rooms and throughout the island; there

are even international TV channels with complimentary movies and iPod docking stations. The infinity swimming pool is the largest in the Maldives at 750 square metres and the hotel itself sits within the first UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in the country. This means that it is built to ensure minimal impact on the environment using technology such as solar thermal heating, producing and bottling its own drinking water to reduce use of plastics, and pioneering green energy solutions using power from the air conditioning to heat water for the shower and other ingenious engineering feats. A resident marine biologist is on hand to guide visitors around the underwater world on snorkelling expeditions as well as provide information on the aquatic life and work with local communities to protect endangered species such as the turtles that lay their eggs on the island

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Our favourite feature of the resort, apart from the absolutely gorgeous rooms, was the Butler service and the manta rays that swim around the reefs. Scuba diving on the house reef is amazing year round, and the famous Hanifaru Huraa dive site where manta rays and whale sharks congregate from July to September is just a short boat ride away. With three restaurants including Dusit International’s signature Benjarong Thai restaurant, two bars, a tree-top Devarana Spa plus an extensive dive and water sports facility, there is no shortage of activity. Our favourite feature of the resort, apart from the absolutely gorgeous rooms, was the Butler service which actually meant we never had to think for ourselves or worry about how to get anywhere or who to call – our delightful Butler Aishath did it all for us. A Maldivian, she was friendly, helpful, knowledgeable about the resort and her home, and really knew how to spoil us. Whether a romantic holiday for two,

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a family beach holiday or a getaway with friends, Dusit Thani Maldives is a perfect escape from daily routines. Just a word of advice: leave you heels at home, kick back, and enjoy being pampered!

Reservations: +971 4 440 1400, Email:

Getaways For ultimate relaxation, surrender yourself to the magic of the worldrenowned Six Senses Spa treatments to restore the balance to your body and soul.

Crowne Plaza

InterContinental The Palace lobby

Luxury in mind? You’ve worked hard for this. Now, go and get it. Imagine your feet and toes caress the softest sand, which stretches for kilometres along the shoreline; there is nothing ahead but the light and colours that glimmer and shimmer from the rippling sea. You have escaped to the peace and tranquillity that is Port Ghalib. Today, Port Ghalib comprises the finest shops, restaurants and bars along the Corniche and Khan, an international marina that is home to dazzling yachts from around the world; also, upmarket hotels and the International Convention Centre, the largest state-of-the-art meetings centre on the Red Sea capable of hosting up to 2,000 delegates, are all

just a few kilometres from Marsa Alam International Airport.

The Palace The five-star deluxe InterContinental The Palace Port Ghalib Resort comprises 308 luxurious rooms and suites with stunning sea, saltwater lagoon or gardens views. The resort offers an enticing array of dining experiences and features heated pool, saltwater lagoon, lazy river, tennis courts, and an array of water and land activities. Children also have their outdoor pool, and a range of activities at Lulee Kids Club; babysitting service is available.

Crowne Plaza Sahara Sands & Sahara Oasis overview

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Meantime, Crowne Plaza Sahara Sands Port Ghalib Resort and Crowne Plaza Sahara Oasis Port Ghalib Resort offer 637 premier rooms, suites, and rooms equipped for persons with disabilities. Accommodation in these five stars hotels overlooks the sea, luxuriant gardens or the saltwater lagoon and all feature a private terrace or balcony. Whatever your mood, whatever the time of day, the restaurants, bars and 24hour room service will satisfy every taste and need. Port Ghalib’s Red Sea location is one of the finest on Earth to enjoy diving, snorkelling and the wonders of marine life around the spectacular reefs. And when you have Crowne Plaza Sahara Sands & Sahara Oasis as your base, there is so much more to do including horseback and camel riding, quad bikes, tennis, and mini golf.

Marina Lodge Marina Lodge at Port Ghalib, a four-star resort, overlooks the stunning International Marina. The Nubian-style hotel creates a warm welcome to the accommodation in Marina Lodge, which features 201 stylishly-appointed rooms with beguiling garden or marina views. At Marina Lodge we have the choices waiting for you at our bars and restaurants, plus 24-hour room service, a private beach, two swimming pools, large sun terrace, gymnasium, and a PADI-registered diving operator provides diving courses and lectures, equipment and a dive shop.

Arabian Ranches Golf Club SUMMER MEMBERSHIP

Dubai’s hottest offer starting from AED 799/monthly Join Arabian Ranches Golf Club Summer Membership and experience the five month sevenday unlimited golf access between 1st May and 30th September 2012 for just AED 3,995*. Membership also includes 20% discounts on food and beverage at the club and selected outlets of Emaar Hospitality Leisure Clubs and The Address Hotels + Resorts, reciprocal club weekday green fee rate of AED 175 at The Address Montgomerie Dubai, preferential green fees for your guests, use of practice facilities with unlimited range balls, 10% discounts in the Pro Shop and discounts on golf lessons. This is an exclusive offer to golfers who want to feel part of a golf club with a club and social atmosphere. For more information, please contact Membership on +971 4 3664707 or email

* Terms and conditions apply.

Arabian Ranches Golf Club | P.O. Box 36700, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 3663000 | Fax: +971 4 3663355 |

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City Living providing excellent standards of service and comfort.


Get the Abu Dhabi spirit Stay at Al Manzel Hotel Apartments Indulge in the finest traditions of Arabian hospitality with all modern comforts. Visiting Abu Dhabi? Newly built in the heart of the emirate’s commercial district is Al Manzel Hotel Apartments—a place that perfectly captures the city’s spirit with its warm and vivacious atmosphere. Ideally situated for business and pleasure, the deluxe hotel apartments combine the finest traditions of Arabian hospitality with all modern comforts. The hotel’s beautiful and cozy interiors offer a peaceful refuge amidst the bustle of the town. In short, the place fulfills guests’ expectations with passion and creativity. Al Manzel Hotel Apartments Abu Dhabi is a walking distance to the most famous Abu Dhabi Mall; is only 15 minutes’ drive from the Abu Dhabi International Exhibition Center; and 30 minutes away from the Abu Dhabi International Airport. Al Manzel Hotel Apartments has 216 suites. The units range from 73 Deluxe Studio Suites (47 square metres) to 143 One-Bedroom Suites (62 square metres). All suites are luxuriously appointed and tastefully decorated. Stylish and spacious, 38 I Travel Arabia

each unit has been designed with the guest’s comfort in mind. All suites feature a fully equipped kitchenette and a beautiful living room. The bedrooms are engaging and full of personality. From contemporary design and colour palette to superior furnishings and fittings, each suite reflects class of its own. All the suites are fully equipped and feature world-class amenities and conveniences. Al Manzel Hotel Apartments officially opened its first brand hotel in the region on May 19, 2008. The luxury hotel apartments with 216 units take great pride

Al Manzel Hotel Apartments also offers diners with an enticing selection of options. The team of international chefs uses the freshest seasonal ingredients to prepare an array of delicious regional and international delights. Al Iwan Restaurant is where guests and enjoy an intimate fusion of mixed flavours or tuck into authentic Arabic delicacies. Al Multaqa Café is perfect for meeting friends or business associates with its delicious selection of fresh juices, tea, coffee and snacks. On the rooftop, the Blue Moon Pool Corner offers amazing views of the city. Here, guests unwind by the pool with an enticing selection of snacks, sandwiches, chilled salads and beverage anytime of the day. Al Manzel Hotel Apartments also has in-room dinning service where you can have your meal in minutes.

Leisure From a state-of-art health gymnasium to a beautiful temperature-controlled outdoor swimming pool, Al Manzel Hotel Apartments is teeming with features to make a stay enjoyable. Workout and keep fit at Samaa Health and Fitness Club, featuring the finest machines and set-up including free weights and cardiovascular equipment. Relax and rejuvenate at the sauna and enjoy the hot and cold Jacuzzis. There are separate changing rooms for males and females. Access to the beach is available to groups. For reservation or inquiries, +971 2 6448000 or visit

Staying at a hotel should be fun At Mercure Gold, it definitely is

Mercure Hotel has arrived in Dubai. Business executives or families looking for attractive, contemporary accommodation, need not look far anymore as the hotel has 184 stylish guest rooms and suites. The hotel’s selection of accommodation comprises of 96 Superior King and 56 Superior Twin bedrooms, 16 Executive King Suites as well as 16 Standard Single bedrooms. The hotel also offers 40 sets of interconnecting rooms perfect for families. All rooms are stylishly furnished and designed to provide every comfort and essential amenity. The en-suite marble bathrooms are fitted with both bathtub and separate

rain-forest style shower, executive desks with computer socket and high speed wired Internet connection provide the necessary essentials for business and the wall-mounted LCD TV offers a wide choice of satellite channels. Additional amenities include the convenience of tea and coffee making facilities together with an iron and ironing board as well as a safe deposit box. Each guest room is tastefully appointed using superior furnishing and fabrics in neutral and muted tones combined with dark contrasting timber. The vivid red designer armchair with footstool adds both comfort and colour.

Contemporary cuisine, relaxing venues From stylish restaurants to 24-hour room service, an elegant lobby lounge and a pool deck snack bar, guests can enjoy a choice of dining options, including Senses all-day dining restaurant; Kebab Connection with its choice of Indian cuisine. To complete the authentic Indian experience; and Liquid Lounge the ideal venue for a pre-dinner drink or an after meal cocktail. Equipped for business From meetings to medium scale conferences, the Mercure Gold Hotel provides a comprehensive range of business facilities at the Al Mina Gold Room, a 68- square-metre function room that can host up to 50 delegates theatre style, 40 for a conference or 30 in a classroom set-up. Healthy retreat For working out or winding down, guests can choose from a range of leisure options. The in-house gymnasium features a range of state-of-the-art, weight resistance equipment with fully adjustable exercise machines. Guests can also relax in the steam rooms or unwind at the roof-top Pool Deck. The temperature controlled swimming pool with sunshade canopy is ideal for an early morning.

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Stay at Golden Tulip Al Barsha Hotel “The ideal choice for business, leisure & shopping” Hotel Facilities: FRESH Restaurant (all-day-dining) The Locker Room (Sports Lounge) Catwalk (Night Club) Sky (Korean Restaurants) Meeting Room & Banqueting Swimming pool Sauna Gym 24 hours room service

PO Box 125962 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 341 7750 Fax: +971 4 341 7751

a separate living room and connecting dining area is the perfect long-stay option. You can choose either a king size or twin beds for your room, with smoking and non-smoking rooms available. The same in-room amenities apply to with a writing desk and chair for all your pleasure or business deals.

Ambassador Suite These suites are ideal for a group or family of four. The ample space and separate kitchen make this the perfect choice. Offering one room with a king size bed and another room with twin beds, the Ambassador Suite is complete with inroom amenities, bathroom amenities and full access to the hotel’s health and fitness facilities. The rooms are equipped with state of the art amenities. If you choose to stay for a year, the property is also offering long stay amenities and discounts.

Convenient. Comfortable.

Two words that define Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman In another city for a holiday or business stay, you look for a place with the two Cs: Convenient. Comfortable. Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman has 336 luxuriously appointed rooms and suites, designed and decorated in a chic and elegant style to appeal to the most discerning of travellers. Located on Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Street, close to the Corniche Road and near the GMC hospital in the centre of the main city of Ajman, Ramada Hotel & Suites offers a spacious studio style Executive Room, an elegant one-bedroom Executive Suite or a luxurious two-bedroom Ambassador Suite.

Executive Room These stylish, spacious studio type suites include their own kitchen so you can cook for yourself should you want to. You can also choose a king size or twin beds for your room. In-room amenities include coffee/tea making facilities, bottled water, in-room safe, temperature controlled AC, iron and ironing board, LCD TV with international cable channels

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and IDD telephone. One can also request for delivery of local newspaper. Guests and residents staying at the Executive Room also get access to the health and fitness centre facilities, use of swimming pool, sauna, steam room and gym, high-speed internet connection, 24-hour room service and shuttle transfer to Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman Shopping malls.

Executive Suite An elegant one-bedroom suite with

Comfort and Convenience The four-star hotel is just minutes away from the Emirates Road, ensuring easy access to Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Dubai international airports. It is also ideally situated to offer access to key business and industrial centres like the Sharjah Expo Centre and the Ajman Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The hotel’s central location means that it is the perfect place to stay if you want to attend the UAE’s many sporting events, such as the UIM Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship in Sharjah, the Sharjah Cricket Stadium and Dubai’s spectacular horse racing World Cup. The hotel offers a variety of dining and entertainment options, including outdoor catering, as well as banqueting and MICE facilities with the latest technology.

Designed for you Contemporary Centro Developed by one of the most successful and applauded hotel groups in the region, Centro is a contemporary concept that is young and fresh in its approach, original in its presentation, and dynamic in its offerings. It is designed for a new generation of travelling executives who demand both finesse and functionality at reasonable rates. Created for purpose—from the ground up—Centro signals the launch of a new genre of executive hospitality. With chic looks and slick delivery underlying its service offering, Centro is an inspired philosophy and sets an unparalleled benchmark for the budget conscious business traveler. Centro Sharjah is the ultimate solution for smart travelers on an affordable budget, who don’t want to compromise on style or quality. The hotel is uniquely located adjacent to Sharjah International Airport and close to the business districts of Sharjah. The hotel is just 15 minutes away from the city centre. Centro Sharjah combines style, warmth and convenience with a dash of creativity to deliver an experience, which is unlike any other. Centro features 306 meticulously designed rooms and suites, Wi- Fi access

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throughout the hotel, meeting rooms and a dedicated team for all your catering requirements. This is in addition to the fully-equipped gymnasium overlooking the swimming pool and stunning garden,’ c. taste’ restaurant and ‘c. deli take-away concept.

Dynamic design Meantime, every bedroom was meticulously designed to maximize space, light and efficiency, providing guests with the latest technology; in-room entertainment options and a selection of contemporary classic furniture where comfort and aesthetics are key. The Centro ethos is highly distinctive and is expressed through its contemporary architecture and unique living space embodying the personality of an executive hotel. While dramatic exteriors reflect Centro’s present-day style, its crisp and modern interiors provide essential requisites and advanced technologies. The emphasis of the Centro dining

experience is on serving a delicious array of international food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Innovative Centro’s innovative 24-hour, takeaway dining concept allows guests to enjoy great food and drinks in addition to the purchase of any items they may need during their stay for their convenience. Crew Lounge – A special private area for cabin crew serving delicate crew meals. Centro Sharjah has two well-equipped meeting rooms and Link (where I connect) that are designed to appeal to the new genre of executives. The colors, layout, lighting and equipment have all been carefully selected to enhance interaction, encourage communication and ensure productivity. From wi-fi to PowerPoint presentation aids, each meeting room is fully equipped. Indeed, Centro Sharjah, with its contemporary design, is a hotel designed for the discerning.

Country Club Hotel Dubai - WHy go anyWHere else‌ Location: Located in the heart of city, The Country Club Hotel Dubai is within easy reach to exhibition/trade halls (10 minutes away from World Trade Centre). It also enjoys easy proximity to various pulse points of the city-malls, business avenues and tourist attractions, and is 5 minutes away from Jumeirah beach. Rooms: 102 spacious, tastefully decorated rooms equipped with the latest features and facilities. cUisinE: Multi-cuisine with an international choice of irresistible delicacies.

The Country Club Hotel, Behind New Gold Souk, P.O. Box 118094, Dubai, UAE, Tel. +971 4 398 8840, Fax. +971 4 398 5352 Website:

Taste Travel

‘I like to surprise my customers.’ This from Olivier Catora, the next guy to make your dining experience exciting. Why this is so? Olivier, Chef de Cuisine at Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa’s flagship restaurant La Mer, has some interesting cuts on cooking you may want to take home with you from the buffet. “I couldn’t find in the restaurants what I wanted to eat,” he tells Travel Arabia matter-of-factly when asked why he chose a career in gastronomy while

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some would take on other professions like lawyering, even as an astronaut or a city mayor. The chef, who has been in the advertising world for 10 years before becoming a kitchen fixture, says this dual training has allowed him to create his own culinary identity. “In two words: Be different,” he says. “How do you make a Lobster Thermidor that is different from the classic Lobster Thermidor everyone knows and expects? “Lobster Thermidor flavoured with Szechuan pepper in creamy risotto asparagus flavoured with truffle oil,” Chef Olivier says. This, by the way, is his signature menu of sort and is what his regular guests would always ask, according to him. Thai, Moroccan and Italian cuisines are Chef Olivier’s influences. “Thai food (is about) the control of spices; Italian cuisine, the control of the generosity. Moroccan cuisine, the control of sweet and savoury,” he says, going further to cite as an example his Tom Khai soup with scallops and caviar on waffle with wasabi whipped cream. “I like to surprise my customers and offer a unique cuisine. In general for every dish I prepare, I mix the textures. I appeal to the four senses: the sight, smell, hearing and taste; and I always integrate the five flavours: salty sweet, sour, bitter and spicy,” he says. Chef Olivier loves to prepare seafood, to which La Mer is very popular for,

because “the creative and declination potential are infinite.” The chef also agrees there still are more cuisines waiting to be discovered and preparations to be explored despite the modern culinary world having gone a long way. “To cook is a question of personality. Each chef cooks with his sensibility (and) his technique. With millions of ingredients (available) the possibilities of new cuisines aren’t limited. That’s why this job is so exciting and always full of novelties,” he says. At the day’s end, Chef Olivier says it will still be all about freshness. “If I have to talk about cuisines of the future, it can be summarized into these: freshness in products; freshness in the combination of flavours; freshness in the plating of the dishes. “One thing the customers want is the respect of the food. They want to recognize the taste of the ingredients and be surprised by the combination of flavours. It’s basic but in recent years many chefs got lost in the technique and forgot that the main thing is the product.” La Mer has a dual offering where customers can choose the dishes à la carte or have the chefs prepare according to their desires, “but always with our style,” says Chef Olivier, adding that customers can expect an overall experience because here they get to dine in special place and enjoy food they otherwise can’t find elsewhere in Bahrain.

Roasted Hammour, purple mashed potato with orchid and beurre blanc with grape fruit

Of brunches and chocolates An InterContinental Doha treat

People looking for a great way to start the weekend in Qatar now have an incredible range of flavours available as InterContinental Doha The City’s restaurant, “The Square,” has launched Thursday evening specials and incredible Friday brunches. Featuring four interactive kitchens specialising in six influential cuisines from Japan, China, India, Thailand, Europe and the Middle East, The Square offers a mix of international dishes from East to West. Adding to this delicious treat is Criollo, InterContinental Doha The City’s chocolate emporium, which has also just recently opened. Already popular for its Business Lunch, which is available except on Fridays in the hotel’s stunning West Bay tower, The Square has now added weekend options for people looking to relax, unwind and enjoy a great selection of

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dishes from around the world. Friday Brunch is a tradition in Qatar. Brunch connoisseurs will find Friday Brunch at The Square, offered every Friday from 12pm to 4 pm, a delightful

experience from start to finish. With an emphasis on fresh, enticing menu options with Asian, Arabian, and European influences, guests will find a tempting array of favourites on offer. For reservations, please call 4015 8888 or email Meantime, using premium ingredients including the renowned Valrhona chocolate, Criollo’s chocolatiers create all delicacies onsite and guests can watch them working with the raw substance to create a range of sumptuous treats before their eyes. The first of its kind in Doha, Criollo is sure to prove popular among Doha’s discerning diners and gift-seekers, offering a wide range of everything chocolate. Located on the ground floor of the new InterContinental Doha The City in West Bay, Criollo is open from 6:00am until 10:00pm everyday, with the certified chocolatiers demonstrating live chocolate making from 9:00am until 5:00pm. The name Criollo hails from the cocoa bean of the same name – the rarest and most expensive of the main three different types of cocoa bean, offering a delicate and complex flavour which includes hints of caramel, nuts, and vanilla. The finest cocoa beans from around the world are used to produce stunning creations at Criollo, from unique birthday cakes, truffles for any special occasion to the ultimate hot chocolate.

Winner of the best Deluxe Hotel Apartment in Sharjah by Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority

M’s Seafood Bistro Contemporary European With so many seafood restaurants in Dubai, it takes a certain something to make a new addition to the dining scene stand out. M’s Seafood Bistro, which opened last month at Le Meridien Dubai, describes itself as a contemporary European seafood restaurant. The menu is exciting and well thought-out with a good array of starters as well as an innovative oyster bar where aficionados of this sophisticated seafood can choose from Fine de Claire N°1, Tsarskaya N°3 or Prat Ar Coum N°3. There is also a selection of light ceviche dishes made from prawns, royal hammour, salmon, tuna or baby octopus with a choice of dressings inspired by Mexican, Japanese, Peruvian and Caribbean flavours. The main courses continue in the same way with highly imaginative dishes that are exquisitely presented. Some of the most popular dishes include the sea bream with crushed potatoes and anchovy juice or the royal hammour with roasted banana and lime juice sauce. The desserts do not fail to deliver either with a decadent chocolate and caramel which is a delightful combination of chocolate soufflé and caramel ice cream; or, for those who want a lighter end to the meal, the raspberry and vanilla vacherin. Apart from the creative menu, M’s Seafood Bistro is a surprisingly comfortable restaurant with a choice of seating options from the casual high bar-style

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tables to the more intimate tables in the cosy dining interior. It also features a terrace just outside the front entrance for a more casual experience. As with great dining experiences, it is often the details that make a restaurant exceptional, and in an unusual twist on your everyday standard crockery M’s Seafood Bistro’s plates are certainly a talking point adorned with some of the menu items running around the edge.

Easily accessible with ample parking M’s Seafood Bistro is often frequented by business executives meeting colleagues or clients for a quick lunch or after-work dinner. It is also becoming increasingly popular with Dubai residents living in and around the Garhoud area who are slowly discovering its charms. M’s Seafood Bistro is open daily from 12.30 pm - 11:00 pm but is closed for lunch on Friday.

Frankie’s Welcome to the sublime

When Italian food is done well it is sublime. At Frankie’s, one of the flagship restaurants in the Fairmont Bab al Bahr, the emphasis is on good food using simple ingredients. Frankie’s is a collaboration between the well-known jockey Frankie Dettori and Michelin star Chef Marco Pierre White and it is a restaurant that has earned a reputation as a first class Italian restaurant. One that has, in fact, won several awards. From the warm welcome as you arrive, to the super fresh focaccia and olive bread that is served with a tempting trio of sun-dried tomatoes, black olive tapenade and pesto as you sit down, service at Frankie’s is consistently good. The ingredients are sourced from Italy and all the dishes from the antipasti and Frankie’s La Carne to the dolce are elegantly presented in oversized white bowls or plates. The restaurant is open and friendly but also has cosy semi-private booths for two that line the outside of the room and there is a private dining area that can accommodate ten diners. There is also a very relaxed outdoor patio area which is enclosed within stone walls and is often used for private parties and gatherings. The restaurant’s signature dishes

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are, of course, pasta-based and include Frankie’s traditional lasagne the Lasagne al Forno; and the Gnocchi tartufati alla crema di salmone affumicato - truffle scented gnocchi, lobster cream, smoked salmon. Also, popular with the younger diner, and well worth a mention, are the pizzas which have undergone a transformation recently.

“We’ve rethought our pizzas,” says Giorgio Cingolani, general manger Frankie’s Italian Restaurant & Bar. ”Now we use different flour and we allow the dough to proof for 48 hours before we use it. This makes the pizza much lighter so you don’t have that heavy feeling after you’ve eaten.” Frankie’s also has an impressive selection of Il Pescato, or fish, on the menu but you won’t find overfished varieties here. Instead the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, which have been a long-time supporter of environmental issues, use sustainable alternatives such as the little-known faskar, hilali and jesh that are caught locally and are prepared exactly the same way as other more well-known fish. The restaurant has also thoughtfully created a number of nutritious dishes designed around dietary needs such as vegan options and also offers meals that are gluten free and suitable for diabetics. While general manager Cingolani insists that the food is good old-fashioned cooking that is all home-made, the elegance of the dishes put this eatery in a class above traditional family meals around the kitchen table.

Fakhreldine Sisha. Mixed Grill. Wifi

You can stay all night—the place closes at six in the morning Day in the office is over, finally. You head for home but rush hour traffic on Zayed is, as usual, maddening. Don’t fret. Tucked cozily next to busy Sheikh Zayed Road’s financial district is a Lebanese restaurant popular for its Mixed Grill, as well as a variety of shishas, where people go for an after-work get-together over mocktails or simply chat online— Fakhreldine. Parking is not a problem: Fakhreldine, which, by the way, is also a few minutes’ walk from the Metro’s Financial Centre station in case you’re commuting, has free parking in a six-storey building fit for over 500 cars, if you’re driving instead. Closing time? You can stay all night. Fakhreldine, which has indoor and al fresco dining for over 200 people, opens at 12 noon and closes at 6am the following day—which also explains why the place is a favorite after-party spot. Also great for family occasions and special events. Now the food: Mixed Grill is what most people ask for; is what Fakhreldine is synonymous with, actually.

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“It’s also what they order for lunch deliveries going as far as Jebel Ali and Deira,” says Ivantha Nakulugamage, who oversees the restaurant’s operations Mixed Grill is Tikka, Kafta and Taewook, basically chicken and lamb meat, served on a huge platter with bread and sidings. Having this on the table with an oud player performing soulful songs in a corner adds up to the ambiance that seem to bring you elsewhere.

The place also has mixed Arabic sweets that go well with your sisha. The Lebanese cuisine served epitomises the conventions of the Mediterranien diet. Here you can pamper yourself with the savoury and mouth-watering recipes prepared with only the freshest, most nutritional and truly authentic local ingredients. All in a day’s work is Fakhreldine.

United Arab Emirates

Stay Downtown Location

Tulip Inn Sharjah is conveniently located in the heart of the city, right next to Mega Mall which includes upscale luxurious shopping, dining and a children’s arcade. The new property is conveniently located in downtown Sharjah and is located 20 minutes from Sharjah International Airport and 30 minutes from Dubai International Airport.

Facilities and Services The brand new hotel suites consists of 124 rooms, which include 57 studios, 33 one bedroom suites, 30 two bedroom suites and 4 three bedrooms penthouse suites, all overlooking the city of Sharjah. Tulip Inn Sharjah’s standard rooms are beautifully furnished and fully equipped to suit long and short-term guests alike. The following services and facilities are available in the Hotel: • IDD telephone • Individual air-conditioning units • Multi-lingual TV satellite channels • Bathroom with full shower, hair dryer and shaver outlet • In-room safe deposit boxes • Currency exchange • Laundry and dry cleaning • 24-hour room service • 24-hour housekeeping • Fully – equipped kitchen with cooking facilities • In-room washing machine • In-room iron and ironing board • Fridge / Mini Bar • Non- smoking rooms

Dining Facilities • Season’s is an all-day dining restaurant offering delicious specialties with buffet and a la carte menus. • Tulipa Lobby Café is a perfect venue for a casual get together. Enjoy a variety of light snacks and beverages. • Guests can also enjoy meals in the comfort of their room with 24-hour room service.

International standards, local flavours Tel +971 6 572 7206 Fax +971 6 573 4916 P.O.Box 28443 Sharjah, UAE E-mail Website

Melting Pot a cornucopia of the good times ahead

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DINING Arabian Ranches Golf Club

Media Rotana

Ranches Restaurant Theme Nights Tuesday Quiz Night Win prizes on offer while helping yourself to an impressive British buffet. Wednesday BBQ and Ribs Night Thursday Italian Night Friday British Roast Night Saturday Mexican Night Inquiries: +971 4 360 7935 or email

Prego’s Italian Restaurant Open daily 12pm – 3:30pm / 6pm – 11:30pm Unpretentious homemade pastas, thincrust pizzas chicken and veal, and many other Italian delicacies. Open for Brunch too. Early Bird Promotion. Dine between 6pm and 7:30pm and receive a 20% discount on total bill Lunch special Sunday – Thursday, 12 noon – 3:30pm only. Both offers are not valid in conjunction with any other promotions or discounts. Inquiries and reservations: +971 4 4350201

Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel and West 14th Chor Bazaar now serving Thali. Thali (“plate”) is a traditional Indian meal of a selection of some of the finest dishes from across India. And they are all served on one plate. Inquiries and reservations: 04 444 56 13 or email at restaurantreservations.

InterContinental Abu Dhabi Marina Friday Brunch 12 noon – 4pm Flamboyant and extended buffets. Live cooking stations. Dine inside or al fresco at Boccaccio, Chamas or Belgian Café terrace with music by DJ Rabih and the Chamas Band Boccaccio Quick lunchtime offer with a choice of starter, main course and dessert, including water soft drinks and coffee. Offer available Sunday to Thursday. Inquiries: 0800- IC-DINE (0800423463) or email Visit our newly launched dining website:!

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Imperium Imperium Theme Nights 6:30pm – 11pm Wednesday Mussel’s Night gives you a choice of four mussels dishes from a la carte menu only or in addition to these options - a starter and main buffet. Thursday Butcher Grill Night offers you a choice of 3 finest Imperium Wagyu cuts with starter and main buffet. Friday Seafood Night brings extensive seafood on the cold buffet along with additional seafood main course specials Inquiries and reservations: +971 4 453 0444

Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche Silk & Spice A selection of pure Thai dishes that blend effortlessly to deliver a pallet pleasing menu. The menu offers a handpicked selection of dishes, including Chef Sandee’s signature dishes Por Pia Goong: Deep Fried Prawn Spring Roll, Hoi Shell Ob: Roasted Scallop with Spicy Pepper Sauce and Peanut and Yam Nua Yang: Spicy Thai Beef Salad. Open 6:00pm to 1:00am except on Sundays. Inquiries and reservations: +971 2 813 7777.

The Address Dubai Marina Shades BBQ Fridays and Saturdays 12pm – 4pm Spend a lazy afternoon by the infinity pool, while feasting on the all-you-caneat barbeque that combines chilled out tunes with amazing views. Shades is the perfect place to unwind over weekends. Inquiries and reservations:04 4367777 or email dine.dubaimarina@theaddress. com Blends Wednesday Havana Nights 6pm – 1am Dance the Cuban way with Salsa instructor Aloy Junco whilst DJ Evo mixes the latest Cuban-Latino sounds with percussions to build the Havana ambiance. Complimentary beverages for the ladies all night. Thursday and Friday Cosmo Nights 6pm –3am Resident ‘mixologist’ concocts the per-

Soaring high! Offering a spectacular experience of a four-star deluxe hotel where your comfort is our satisfaction, we give you the best service and the best accommodation you will ever experience. We are centrally located in Al Nahda 1, Deira Dubai. Also, we are only 10 minutes' drive from Dubai International Airport, Mirdif City Center, Deira City Center and Al Mamzar Beach Park. With 271 guest suites and apartments having full facilities, Al Nawras Hotel Apartments is ideal for families and business travelers, providing convenience and best value for money. Experience our international cuisine from Arabic to Continental dishes prepared by our professional chefs, a well-equipped gymnasium, outdoor swimming pool, as well as steam and sauna.

Al Nawras Hotel Apartments, A Sophisticated Style of Living!

P.O. Box 88189, Amman St. Al Nahda, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel No. +971 4 607 9000, Fax. +971 4 607 9111 E-mail:, Website:

Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach Heart Salsa Night Mondays 9:30pm – 1am “Salsa Con Timba.” Swing your hips to the simmering Cuban-Latino sounds. Reservations: 04 448 4873. Minimum spend of 50 Dirhams AOC French Brasserie Three new dishes to try: Soupe a l’oignon, Bouillabaisse and Hailibut en papillote. Reservations: 04 448 4870 Plantation Cheese & Grape Buffet Wednesdays. 7:00pm10:00pm. A night of sophisticated indulgence with a buffet spread of over 20 French cheeses to choose from. Upgrade your cheese and wine experience and get an exclusive 50% off the best French or Millésime grape. Reservations: 04 448 4873 Rococo Tour the Tuscan hills and indulge in the islands of Sicily through the flavours of Rococo’s new Taste of Italy four-course set menu dinner starting from 31st May until 7th June. Reservations: 04 448 4860

fect elixirs in the ultra-stylish décor and vivacious ambience of Blends on Cosmo Nights. Complimentary Cosmos for ladies from 8pm to midnight. Inquiries and reservations: 04 4367777 or visit

The Palace Café Fusion of Arabic and international cuisine with varied shisha flavours and choice of indoor and al fresco dining on Emaar Boulevard. Customary breakfast features scrumptious options including Foul Medamas, Falafel, and Shakshuka Eggs, among others. The main menu builds on diverse flavours of the Middle East with an eclectic selection of Moutabal, Hummus, Falafel, Lemongrass Shawarma, Camel Burger & Grilled chicken with halloumi as well as grilled meats. Inquiries and reservations: 04 4287890 or email

The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa Fairways Maine lobsters promotion Choose from a variety of ways to sample your delicious sea food treat: BubbaliciousBrunch! Interactive champagne brunch with DJ Roberto Mermand, Magician Gaston Quieto, Jing tea party on the events lawns, croquet, pressed juice and cocktail station. With a range of live cooking stations that are transported around the restaurant, and with free flowing Louis Roederer bubbly this shapes up to be one of the top brunches of the Capital. Fridays 12:30pm – 4pm Inquiries: +971.2.616.9999 or email

Towers Rotana Teatro 6pm – 11pm April 18, 2012 – May 16, 2012 A selection of the finest lobster dishes from around the world. Flavours on Two Day Theme Night Saturday Flavours from the Silk Road Sunday Sizzling Salsa Sunday Monday Flavours from India Tuesday Flavours from Britain Wednesday Flavours from the Ocean Thursday/ Friday Flavours from Italy Book for 10, Sats. To Weds. And two eat free. Inquiries on 04 312 2201

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The Address Dubai Mall Ember Grill & Lounge Vintage Night Tuesdays 7pm – 11pm A stunning new season of distinctive dining has been launched:Vintage Nights, a line up a collection of fine cellared beverages for tasting, accompanied by a five-star, five-course feast of the world’s latest culinary trends. Inquiries and reservations: 04 888 3444 or email

Ramada Hotel Dubai Dynasty Restaurant Come sample our many different varieties of Dim Sum including steamed crystal dumpling, steamed chicken sio mai, chicken dumpling parcel, deep fried potato shrimp and crispy seafood roll. Also back by popular demand, the exciting Executive/ Business lunch set menu starting Dhs 78/- net per person. Inquiries and reservations: 04 5061148 Teppanyaki House Japanese Special Dinner Buffet Authentic Japanese dishes with Teppanyaki restaurant chef ’s live cooking recipes, gastronomic seafood treasures and ever popular Special Japanese dinner buffets. Inquiries and reservations: 04 5061150


InterContinental Abu Dhabi Health Club Les Mills fitness classes Body Pump: Proven to be the world’s fastest way to get in shape, tones major muscle groups and increases your metabolic rate to burn more fat. Body Balance: Brings together Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi with focus on improving core strength. Kids Yoga: Combine yoga and play for the kids through active games, storytelling and imagery to help the young ones build strength, flexibility and body awareness. *Exclusive offer: Pay for 10 fitness sessions and get 2 sessions free! Inquiries: Health Club reception 02-693 5285 or e-mail recreation.icabudhabi@

Madinat Jumeirah

The Address Dubai Marina The Spa Triple your indulgence. Our relaxing facility offers the ultimate way to ease stress from your mind and body and restore your natural balance with our pampering treatments and therapeutic aromatherapy. Get 30% off on your first spa treatment, 40% off on the second and 50% off on your third spa treatment. Valid till Until June 2012. Spa is open 10am to 9pm Inquiries and reservations: 04 436 7424 or email spa. Advance reservations required, all 50-minute treatments need to be availed on the same day. Tea of Spring Spa Package/120mn This spring, The Spa at The Address Dubai Marina introduces a luxurious treatment ‘Tea of Spring Spa Package’ that offers guests the revitalising effects of tea focusing on the regenerative quality of white tea, the stimulating attribute of black tea, soothing properties of red tea, and antioxidant potentials of green tea. The treatment commences with the Nepalese Tea Exfoliation, followed by the Singapore Massage, and concludes with the Green Tea Facial. The therapeutic experience of tea can continue at home with a complimentary Themae Organic Face, Body, and Hair Oil, infused with extracts from tea, upon purchasing two Themae products. Date: Until June 30, 2012 Time: 10am to 10pm Price: Introductory rate of AED765 for 120 minute treatment For further enquiries and reservations, call 04 436 7424 or email

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Talise Spa Marvelous Mom’s package Book two 60-minute treatments from AED 1299 and receive AED 300 discount, a complimentary lunch, a complimentary group yoga class and a special gift carefully selected by our specialists. 9am – 9pm Reservations: +971 4 366 6818

Media Rotana Bodylines Leisure & Fitness club Massage Treatments: Soothe away the stress of the day at our relaxing spa with a choice of treatments, starting from AED 150. Personal Training: Kick-start your fitness regime with one of our personal trainers - 5 hours for just AED 1,000. Aerobics, Boxing, Kickboxing, Mauy Thai and Swimming Classes available Membership Privileges and Benefits: • Gold Couple Annual Membership AED 5,000 1 night weekend stay for two on room only (subject to availability); 60-minute massages for two; 14 days free pass for a friend • Gold Single Annual Membership AED 3,500 60-minute massage; 7 days free pass for a friend • Silver Single Annual Membership AED 2,600 60-minute massage

ROOMS Hyatt Hotels UAE Summer Specials May 17, 2012 – Sept. 1, 2012 Offers that give guests a chance to enjoy numerous benefits booking three consecutive overnight stays at any of the Hyatt properties in the UAE. The summer promotions allow up to two children under the age of 12 with two paying adults to stay free of charge; also entitled to complimentary breakfast, lunch and dinner when accompanied by two paying adults. Complimentary ice-skating, complimentary access to the swimming pools, beach, kids’ clubs, and all other recreational facilities. Moreover, a 20% discount is available in all participating restaurants and bars, as well as the five spas. Inquiries: Bookings: UAE: 800 4097 Saudi Arabia: 800 897 1400 Bahrain: 800 04006 Other Countries: +971 4 209 6661 Online booking: uae-summer-specials

Dana Sahara Hotel offers travelers an elegantly designed home away from home hotel apartments in the heart of Sharjah. It ensures to take care of their guest stay and needs to an extensive level of quality service. At Dana Sahara Hotel, we are committed to provide you with warm hospitality service and comfort.

For resrvations: P.O.86880 Tel: +971 4 2589888 Fax: +971 4 2585682 Email: Website:

For resrvations:


PO Box 62600 Sharjah, UAE Tel: 00 971 6 5635555, 00 971 6 5635555 Fax: 00 971 6 5635999 Email:

Emirates Stars is a modern furnished hotel apartment Conveniently located near to Dubai International Airport, City Centre, Shopping Centres, AI Mamzar Beach. Easy access towards Sh. Zayed road via Al lttihad road. Each apartment offers a spacious living and dining area, fully equipped kitchenette for your comfort and convenience. Emirates Stars commits its promise into bringing you a warm hospitality service with privacy of a home whilst on business or leisure to Dubai.

Tranquil Moments and located away from the hustle and bustle of the lobby. It is an elegant spa that has taken its inspiration from nature with the clever use of natural materials fused with soothing neutral colours and traditional Turkish touches that evoke a feeling of serenity and calm. I arrived 20 minutes ahead of my appointment as was requested, and was led to the changing area – red for ladies and blue for men; my path lit by chocolate scented candles. In the changing room, I was given a cotton sarong like garment to wrap myself in as well as a pair of pristine white Turkish slippers before heading to the steam room where I spent a blissful ten minutes enveloped in the warm aromatic steam to relax and prepare my body for the hammam to follow The hammam is a large cavernous room that houses two enormous marble platforms big enough for two people each. Hammams are generally communal events so sharing this experience with friends is common. Lying face down on the platform, wearing just my underwear, my therapist liberally doused me with warm water scooped using silver bowls from one of

Not all hammams are created equal Rixos Royal Spa should be on the bucket list Not all hammams are created equal. As a Turkish brand the Rixos Royal Spa at the newly opened Rixos, The Palm Jumeirah is something of an expert in this ancient treatment. Conveniently located on the ground floor of the main hotel building, the spa is quite extensive, spread over 1,750 metres

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the stone basins that line the walls. She then donned an abrasive glove called a kese mitt and proceeded to scrub every inch of my body. There are two grades of this glove; one is fine textured designed for sensitive skin and the other a coarse glove which provides a more intense exfoliation. Thankfully my therapist opted for the milder version which, for my skin, is equally as effective as the coarser version but much gentler. After a thorough rinsing, again with warm water, my therapist then mixed rose water with the specially imported soap from turkey in the basin to create a pillow of silky smooth bubbles which are spread all over my body and massaged in. I am given a final rinse off, this time with cold water to close my pores, and then led to a very chilly relaxation room to bring down my temperature before getting dressed. Apart from feeling very clean I also felt thoroughly invigorated after my experience as I headed out to dinner. The Traditional Hammam Rixos Royal Spa takes around 40 minutes and costs Dhs 350.

Good for: an invigorating, feel good treatment that has many health benefits.





FROM AED 3020 3185 4550 FROM AED 2820 3195 3430 FROM AED 2520 3010 3785

Prices are person sharing double room excluding AIR TAXES and including the following * Hotel accomodation

* Air fare (Singapore Airlines)

* Daily breakfast

* Return airport transfers

* Offer is valid until 10th June, 2012

* Terms and Conditions apply

BUR DUBAI: 04 - 355 7700, JUMEIRAH: 04 - 394 0100 Website:

Travel Arabia May 2012  

The Leading Travel Magazine in the Middle East