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June 2011 Issue 398



LOCAL COMEDY FOR LOCAL PEOPLE ALSO INSIDE: Abu Dhabi’s top pub quizzes; find the gym for you; takeaway coffee and Thriller Live

“It seems like it’s the most futuristic place on the planet” Moby heads to the UAE – win a meet and greet!

UAE DHS 10 OMAN RO 1.000

Abu Dhabi Edition

WIN! WIN! WIN! Dhs50,000 worth of prizes, including mini-breaks, a Jeep, jewellery and more!




Live DJ, sensational drinks and spectacular views at The Lounge. Join the in crowd at At.mosphere, Dubai’s highest social hotspot. Open 12pm to 2am, no reservations required. THIS IS WHERE IT’S AT.

AT.MOSPHERE T +971 4 888 3828 E

Contents Features 13 Funny people Meet the three up and coming comedians joining Dubomedy’s Ali Al Sayed and Mina Liccione on the Rotana Comedy Tour, plus veteran funnymen Wonho Chung and Nitin Mirani 22 This is it Lead performer Brittany Woodrow on bringing Michael Jackson’s music to life in the extraordinary stage show, Thriller Live 25 Find a gym for you Take your pick from 20 of the capital’s best gyms

31 The take away test Which one of the nine takeaway cappuccinos we tested is for you?


33 Pub quizzes The best brain teasing evenings to test your general knowledge, ear for a tune and more 36 Moby The mega star producer talks about his new album and why it’s all go ahead of his first gig in the Middle East


p25 JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 3

The round-up 8 Salaam Your handy intro to June, including what’s hot and what’s not, where to watch Wimbledon, we meet film-maker Beno Saradzic, plus lots of entertaining stats, facts and figures 41 Win, win, win We celebrate our 32nd birthday by offering you the chance to win Dhs50,000 worth of prizes, including multiple mini breaks, a cooking masterclass and a Jeep for the weekend 48 Film All the latest releases, including British alien flick Attack The Block, JJ ‘Lost’ Abraham’s Super 8, Jim Carrey vehicle Mr Popper’s Penguins, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, Cars 2 and Prom 51 Eating out Everything you need to know about the UAE's food scene, including our verdict on the city’s newest restaurants, where to go for lunch, Abu Dhabi’s first fully sustainable menu, a local fruit and veg delivery service, the UAE’s first sturgeon farm and much more

p99 4 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

p48 65 Arts Kids’ Theatre Works, Egyptian artist Susan Hefuna at The Third Line, The Art Insider’s monthly missive, Syrian snapper Jaber Al Azmeh and our pick of the exhibitions

89 Sport & outdoor Features writer Matt goes all Blazing Saddles as he learns to ride a horse at Al Ahli Riding Club and Mr Fitness soothes your health concerns, plus our pick of the month’s sports events

99 Travel Our run-down of the finest international music fests, a trip to Georgia, best-selling crime writer Peter James reveals his travel tips, and this month’s local and international travel deals

73 Shopping What to buy your daddy on Father's Day, this month’s new openings, our fabulous fashionista Sophia solves your sartorial woes and The Bookworm with the latest worthy tomes

94 Music Groovecore rockers Sandwash pose for our Band Of The Month shoot, plus a round-up of the best live shows in town

113 Hot list We stir up debate with our monthly top ten bars, spas, restaurants and brunches

96 Club diary All the important dates for your clubbing calendar

130 Backchat Our man in Abu Dhabi dons his sandals and goes all eco warrior on us

81 Mind & body The best Egyptian and Moroccan treatments, his ‘n’ hers visits The Fairmont, we wax lyrical about a pair of wax treatments, plus this month’s spa deals



Upgrade option. entry to Skylite with unlimited selected house beverages or access to the pool dhs 100 Brunch with bubbles dhs 250 Brunch with house beverages dhs 200 Brunch with Mocktails dhs 180


Enjoy the fabulous brunch in Origins, then soak up the sun by the rooftop pool or take the party to the roof in Skylite! Every Friday and Saturday from 12.30pm. Make a week-end of it, take advantage of a special room rate and stay overnight. From only AED 500*. Please quote the booking code WOYBB when making your reservation. For reservations t: +971 (0) 2 656 0600 e:

AN ALDAR EXPERIENCE *All prices are subject to 10% service charge and 6% tourism fee. Terms and conditions apply.

This month we’ve been... Editor-in-Chief Obaid Humaid Al Tayer Group Editor & Managing Partner lan Fairservice Group Senior Editor Gina Johnson | Senior Editor Mark Evans | Deputy Editor Helen Spearman | Features & Food Editor Gareth Rees | Features Editor Abu Dhabi Adam Workman | Staff Writer Matt Priest | Chief Sub Editor Iain Smith | Senior Designer Sheila Cariño-Deocareza | Editorial Co-ordinator Concessaa D’souza | Editorial Assistant/Picture Researcher Jing Flores | Mabel Alphonso | Picture Researcher – Gulfpics Wayne Fernandez | Contributors Naveed Ahmed, Victor Besa, James Brennan, Louise Browne, Stef Burgon, Vikram Gawde, James Houghton, Catherine Jarvie, Charles Pocock, Mark Powell, Farooq Salik, Simon Smedley, Sophia Serin, Paul Sterry General Manager Production and Circulation S Sasidharan | Senior Production Manager Sunil Kumar | Production Manager Sudhakar Chandran | Production Supervisor Murali Krishnan | General Manager – Group Sales Anthony Milne | Group Advertisement Manager Dale Isaac | Advertisement Manager Varsha Bhatia | General Manager, Abu Dhabi Joe Marrit | Advertisement Manager, Abu Dhabi Darryl Wiley | Annual Subscription GCC Dhs120 other countries US$70 (including Airmail charges)

Head Office: PO Box 2331, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 282 4060, Fax: +971 4 282 4436, E-mail: Dubai Media City: Office 508, 5th Floor, Building 8, Dubai, UAE, Tel: +971 4 390 3550, Fax: +971 4 390 4845 Abu Dhabi: PO Box 43072, UAE, Tel: +971 2 677 2005, Fax: +971 2 677 0124, E-mail:

Clowning about with UAE comedians, p25

Hitting the gym, p13

Earning our spurs, p91

Editor’s note “OK, so I want you to jog along that path ‘till you hit the bridge over there – that’s roughly 1.5km – and that should warm us up nicely. Then, you’ll run up that flight of stairs, turn around, run back down and then I want 20 press-ups. Then it’s back up the stairs again, back down and another 20. And after that, we’ll do a series of short, sharp sprints back.” I looked Sharon in the eye. She wasn’t laughing. In fact, she was the exact opposite of laughing. She was deadly serious. “Er, has anyone ever, like, died doing this?”, I asked, and, I felt, not without good reason. Now the laughter. “Ha, no, I’ve never had anyone die on me, yet.” Yet? Sharon, the Sharon-aintor, Sharonos The Jackal and a few other slightly less flattering names I had for her, was my personal trainer; the person entrusted to take my couch-loving backside and make it shift in an altogether sportier manner, in the name of this month’s big fitness feature (p13). And our pain is your gain – along with my personal trauma, sorry, ‘training’, we’ve also endured mixed martial arts, Pilates, caveman keep fit (no, really), not to mention the odd spot of ball room dancing, so you can discover your tried and tested four weeks to fitness. Now all you have to do is pick which one you think is best for you, and give it a whirl. If, however, that fitness lark isn’t for you, then delve into our usual mix of monthly goodies, perfect for fun weekend, especially if you don’t have a crazy training lady demanding you drop and give her 20. Enjoy the issue.

London: Acre House, 11/15 William Road, London NW1 3ER, UK, E-mail:

Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai


We're officially part of the Twitterati. Follow us at WhatsOnAbuDhabi for exclusive updates on nightlife, restaurants and more around the UAE. Tweet yourself.

Salaam! June in one manageable mouthful

What’s hot SUCCESS FOR MAN CITY Mission accomplished for Abu Dhabi's surrogate football team as City win the FA Cup in the UK and qualify for the European Champions League. GREEN TAXIS Around 500 taxis in Abu Dhabi are being converted to run on compressed natural gas, with a back up system of regular fuel, making them friendlier to our old pal, the environment. BU TINAH ISLAND An unspoilt paradise off Abu Dhabi’s western coast, Bu Tinah Island has been shortlisted in a global campaign to find the new seven wonders of nature.

What’s not PRICE HIKE Travel agents are warning that airfares from the UAE are expected to rise 15 to 20 per cent this summer. CONFUSING TAXI DRIVERS Why do the capital's taxi drivers act like they haven't heard of your destination until approximately five seconds before you arrive? THE POLLS ARE IN Results from a recent poll claim that 82 per cent of workers in the region would consider a change in career. 8 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

Guess list Who are going to be the UAE's next celeb guests?

THE SCRIPT An informed insider in the capital told us to expect to see Irish popsters The Script after the summer.

10% DR DRE Last month’s Snoop Dogg gig surpassed expectations, and we hear his old schoolmate Andre MD will be the next rap star to hit the UAE.

We told you so...



LADY GAGA Rumours are circulating that the new queen of pop will soon be playing on our shores. But you just never know with Gaga, and we just can't read her, ahem, poker face.


Turns out we do know a thing or two – the bespectacled superstar DJ is leaving his beloved NYC to play Dubai World Trade Centre this month. July 4, World Trade Centre, Dubai, Dhs200 to Dhs350. Tel: (04) 3913460

This month we’re going to… HOT DINING Dining at the Yas Hotel just got cheaper, although you’ll need a tough hide to save some fils with its Too Hot To Handle offer. Eat at Angar and Noodle Box and when the heat outside exceeds 35°C, the top temperature will correspond to the percentage discount off your total food bill. The Yas Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Fri and Sat from 12.30pm, Dhs200. Tel: (02) 6560700.

Five Questions… Beno Saradzic Abu Dhabi-based filmmaker Beno Saradzic recently released a stunning time-lapse photography sequence of the capital. Compiled from 21,000 images, the four-minute film, entitled Abu Dhabi 2011, is available online now

NEW BALLS, PLEASE Where to watch Wimbledon this month STILLS Summer just doesn't seem complete without a fortnight spent lazing around in shorts and watching the tennis beamed to the UAE from London’s famous Wimbledon. Never ones to miss out on the sporting action, Stills be showing all the games from this year's third Grand Slam on the big screen, while serving cocktails. Smashing. Jun 20 to Jul 3, Stills Bar & Brasserie, Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, noon to late. Tel: (02) 6563053.

What was your initial inspiration? Two films: Koyaanisqatsi and Baraka. A huge chunk of those films was time lapse and I kept thinking ‘If only one day I could do something like that’. Then, in March, I was photographing the Emirates Palace from the 70th floor of a neighbouring building for Earth Hour . I remember looking back at the pictures like, ‘that would make an amazing time-lapse film. I’ve got to do the rest’. How did you set it up? I was on the top floors of not yet fully constructed towers in Abu Dhabi, but I managed to gain access. I was using three cameras. Time-lapse photography is very time consuming and you don’t get a lot of footage. So to maximise the time, I had several cameras at different vantage points, shooting simultaneously, and I was jumping between the cameras. Were there any unforeseen difficulties? Lots. I had absolutely no idea how much time it would take: after six hours of photography, another six processing and another two to edit, you’ve only got ten seconds to show for it. I was working pretty much solid for eight weeks.

Do you see the city differently now? I was absolutely shocked, to be honest. Standing on the top floors, to have that point of view of a city that I’ve known so well, glowing like a jewel, it was an absolute experience. Do you have any similar projects in the pipeline? There are some people who expect me to shoot Dubai. So that’s my next mission: I’m going to be shooting Dubai probably from September. It will be beautiful, I promise.

YAS MARINA KARTING Yes it is hot, but Yas Island's offer to race around the track with a pro-driver at the wheel of an Aston Martin GT4 is just too good to miss. If you book two passenger experiences you'll receive two, ten-minute karting sessions free. Take advantage now, before the tyres start to melt. Until Jun 30, Yas Island Circuit, Abu Dhabi, Dhs350. Tel: (02) 4460384. www.

FERRARI WORLD Can’t get enough of the planet’s largest indoor theme park? Well, now thrill-seeking motoring buffs can zoom around Ferrari World all year round with annual passes, allowing unlimited access to the entire complex. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Tue to Sun noon to 10pm, Dhs795 to Dhs1,195. Tel: (02) 496 8001. www.

NRG SPORTS CAFÉ In terms of classic sports bar atmosphere, you will struggle to top NRG, which will be showing all the matches on both indoor and outdoor screens. Sadly, there are no specific tennis-based drink offers, but don’t be too down heartened – an ample substitute is its delicious Sizzle Platter (Dhs85) that comes with a free pint. NRG Sports Café, Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6446666. COOPER’S BAR With four screens on the go at any one time, there can be little argument over which match to watch at Cooper's. And with happy hour running every day from noon to 2am, you will pay as little as Dhs15 for selected beers, wines and spirits. The nibbles are pretty good, too. Cooper’s Bar & Restaurant, Park Inn Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Al Maqtaa, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6573333 Find us at




The new contenders With a wave of top-of-the-range luxury hotels ready to open later this year – we see how they measure up

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Prepare to launch

The final frontier? Pah. A mere trifle for the country that built the Burj and introduced Modhesh to the world. Yep, the UAE government recently announced it's set to launch its second satellite. Yahsat2 (Y1B) will join its buddy Yahsat1 (Y1A), which launched in April. We crunch the numbers, and they are, er, astronomical…

... And Finally

The number of satellites launched by the UAE this year

number of people who have walked on the moon

The number of satellites the UAE will have in space by 2012

the speed in km/sec that Y1B will orbit (the same speed as the earth’s rotation)

10 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011




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The UAE Ministry of Transport has confirmed it is set to go ahead with plans to build a second motorway between our beloved Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Good idea, no? So what else do you, the beloved What's On public, think that we need in the UAE? An opera house? The world’s biggest crazy golf course? E-mail with your ideas or start a debate on our Twitter feed @WhatsOnAbuDhabi or visit



FUNNY PEOPLE Meet the future of UAE comedy

WHAT DO YOU CALL A BOOMERANG THAT DOESN’T COME BACK? A STICK. OK, so comedy isn’t our forte. Fortunately, the UAE’s comedic coffers are bursting at the seams with real talent, and this month sees the first ever regional tour from a group of home-grown comedians, with the launch of the Rotana Comedy Tour. Up until 2007, UAE comedy consisted of visiting Western comics holed up in smoky Western bars telling Western jokes. Then producer and comedy mastermind Jamil Abu-Wardeh created the Axis Of Evil Middle East Comedy Tour – inspired by its US namesake – to promote Arab talent from around the world. Bringing comedy into the mainstream by coining the three Bs – blue material, beliefs and ‘bolitics’ – the Axis Of Evil reached out to a local audience, making stars of performers like the Arabic speaking Korean-Jordanian Wonho Chung in the process. Emirati funnyman Ali Al Sayed and American comedienne Mina Liccione followed that in 2010 by setting up their Dubomedy comedy school, with the aim of nurturing local talent, and the Rotana tour is testament to their success. In the following pages we celebrate Mina, Ali and the first three of their former pupils to go pro – Rohit Jayakaran, Omar Ismail and Brent Jenkins, as well as popular Indian performer Nitin Mirani, who spent the past seven years building a large and devoted following with his show Komic Sutra. So, ladies and gentlemen, please, put your hands together, and welcome to the stage, as they boldly go where no comedian has gone before, the future faces of UAE comedy…



MINA LICCIONE ALL THE WAY FROM… THE UAE, VIA NEW YORK CITY How would you describe your comedy style? I’m American, so I am loud and nasal. Who is the funniest person you know? My dad. He’s the quintessential Italian-American ‘Guido’. I’m sure he has a secret life as a boxing coach called Tony. He wears leather jackets, drives a black Lincoln and loves Sinatra. What is the worst piece of advice you’ve been given? People say that you should imagine your audience naked. Why would you do that? An Arab audience would be all hair.

TOUR DATES June 16, Mina Liccione and the Funny Girls, Moodz, Al Ain Rotana, Al Ain, 8.30pm to 10pm, free. Tel: (03) 754 5111 June 21, Boys Night, Cooper’s, Park Rotana, Abu Dhabi, 8.30pm to 10pm, free. Tel: (02) 6573333

14 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

“People say that you should imagine your audience naked. Why would you do that? An Arab audience would be all hair” – Mina Liccione

ALI AL SAYED ALL THE WAY FROM… THE UAE Do you remember your first show? It was for 800 dentists at a corporate event. Dentists are scary. I remember preparing a routine and passing it to the committee who said ‘Yep, everything is fine, except for the dentist jokes’. What is your secret weapon? I wear comedic underwear. So if things start to go wrong I can always resort to that. What is something that you don’t get but everyone finds funny? Jackass. Why is that funny? What was the last joke you heard? Donald Trump is running as a Republican Presidential candidate, which is funny because I thought he was running as a joke.






Is it ever acceptable to wear a comedy tie? Only at inappropriate formal events, or to work [Rohit works for Bollywood radio station City 101.6FM] What would you do if you won the lottery? I’d buy a Dubai Metro station, call it The Last Station, and put it right in the middle of the line. Luckily, I don’t have that kind of money. Do you have to self-censor your natural humour in the UAE at all? I don’t like being vulgar on stage. It’s a simple promise I made to my mum a long time ago.

ALL THE WAY FROM… THE UAE, VIA NEWCASTLE Emirati-Geordie, eh? An interesting combination. It sure is. Both my Arab and English family are very loud; I was always the quiet one. When they ask me, “what do you do?” and I tell them comedy, they all say, “Go on then, be funny”. A tough crowd, my family. You’ve quit your job to do comedy. That’s very brave. I worked for a telecoms investment firm. When I left, I was asked to do a gig. They asked, “Do you have any telecoms investment jokes?” I said, “No, but nobody else does either, so you might as well hire me.” What’s the best prank you’ve ever pulled? My former boss asked me to ban Facebook from the office, so I blocked the management. To this day they’re not allowed to use Facebook and they have no idea everyone else can. It’s been 18 months.




So, Brent, is Texas funny? Most of my stuff is observational humour about my life and some crazy characters from back home in Texas. I’m from the small pocket of Texas that still votes Democrat. Tell us a joke There’s a saying back in Texas, women don’t sweat – they glisten. Well, during this photo shoot I was ‘glistening’ like a horse! What do other people find funny, but you just don’t get? Curb Your Enthusiasm. It’s just not for me. What’s the funniest word you know? Kumquat. JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 15

WAKE UP TO WILD WADI SATURDAYS IN MAY AND JUNE From 8-10am, Saturday mornings in May and June are for families only at Wild Wadi. Enjoy two hours of extra fun for you and your family at discounted rates! Come between 8.00am and 10.00am and stay all day! Tickets will be on sale every Saturday from 7.45am to 9.30am. Come as a family of 4 (couple + 2 children or more) and get 50% discount on child below 1.1 meters’ rate*.

Terms and conditions apply. For more information call +971 4 348 4444.



UAE COMEDY You’ve met the new breed, now put your hands together for the big guns of UAE comedy, Wonho Chung and Mr Komic Sutra himself, Nitin Mirani

NITIN MIRANI So, Nitin, tell us about your show, the Komic Sutra. Komic Sutra is the name of my touring show. The term Sutra in Sanskrit means ‘The Art’. So Komic Sutra is the art of comedy. What’s your act all about? I do observational humour. I’ve had a lot of jobs. I’ve cooked fries, sold credit cards and worked at a music store. It is relatable because I have that insight. Give us an example. The other day I ordered room temperature water. The waiter brought me back some cold water. I said, “I asked for room temperature.” He responded, “but the room is cold”. What makes you laugh? I love tangled phrases. Yesterday I heard someone say, “Coffee is not my cup of tea”. Do people expect you to be funny? Women come up to me and say: “Tell me a joke’”, so I say, “OK, but I’m also a gynaecologist”.

“Coffee is not my cup of tea” JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 17


WONHO CHUNG What is it like being a comic in the UAE? Challenging. In Dubai, a lot of the audiences are half Arab-speakers and half English, and because I can speak both I have to plan my sets carefully. It can be difficult to cater to people from different backgrounds, so I always have to ask – where is my audience from? You have a unique background. We can’t imagine there are many KoreanVietnamese people raised in Saudi and Jordan? I know two more. My sisters. Do you remember your first gig? November 16, 2007. The Axis Of Evil Comedy Tour invited me to tour with them in order to learn the ropes. The idea was that at the end of the month I would get up on stage and do my five minutes. One night we were in Jordan and they told me to go up and try – the only problem was that I didn’t have any material. So I went up on stage and pretended that I didn’t speak any English or Arabic, just Korean. After 20 seconds of me squirming on stage holding a microphone, I burst into

“Apples have no redeeming features. Fruit is only funny if it has hair”

18 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

a famous Arabic song and sang it perfectly. The crowd loved it. The next day I found myself performing in front of King Abdullah of Jordan! I didn’t know if I could even do comedy! What’s the best bit of advice you could give a young performer? The moment you lose that rush is the day you shouldn’t be there any more. What if they paid you a million dollars per show for a residency in Las Vegas? [Laughs] I’d do it five times a day. Who is your comedy hero? Russell Peters. He was the first comedian I watched on YouTube. I would watch him over and over. His brand of ethnic comedy really spoke to me. What is your favourite TV show? Friends. I went through a period when I would watch eight episodes a day. What is the funniest word you know? Ridonkydonk. Meaning ridiculously donkeylike What is the least funny fruit? Apples. They have no redeeming features. Fruit is only funny if it has hair. What was the last joke you heard? Girl gets prince. Bad guy is dead. Perfect Disney weekend. What’s funnier, a chimp on a bike or a man slipping on a banana peel? A chimp on a bike slipping on a banana peel. How long is too long? When a joke goes by and no one laughs – that’s too long.





British comedian Steve Steen is a veteran of legendary improv series Whose Line Is It Anyway?, plus roles in television programmes from Blackadder to The Rory Bremner Show. He heads to Abu Dhabi this month with a five-man live comedy show based on the programme

They would halt a scene right in the middle and say ‘Can we go back and start again?’ And you go, ‘No, not really. I can’t remember what I said two seconds ago’. We don’t get that onstage. That’s the joy: no confines. It sounds ridiculous, but do improv shows require preparation? The best preparation is absolutely none whatsoever. It’s always better to have a clear mind then you can really let yourself go. Have you enjoyed your previous Emirates shows? Yeah, it’s been fantastic. It’s our 11th or 12th year. We’ve played golf in 50-degree heat out there, too. That’s a bit gruelling. When Will you play a Whose Line Is It Anyway? the clubs start to wilt you know it’s time to game with us, Steve? Can you narrate stop playing. touching down here in 50-degree heat in June 14, Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island, a film noir style? Golf Plaza, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 8pm, [In gritty American lilt) As soon as I hit Dhs150. Tel: (02) 6563053. Abu Dhabi, the heat just hit me straight away. I started to sweat like the old men of the Cuban tavernas. I was wishing I was sucking myself inside a glass of beer right now, but it felt like I was the one that was the sucker. Nice. How will your Abu Dhabi show compare to the original? It’s a similar format. We throw in a few extra games that people won’t have seen before. It’s audience suggestion based, so whatever they suggest, we act out. It’s very simple, fast, slick and off the cuff. Was Whose Line Is It Anyway? always genuinely improvised? In the TV version I was always surprised.

“The best preparation is absolutely none whatsoever. It’s always better to have a clear mind then you can really let yourself go”

20 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

Away from the local comedy, The Laughter Factory continues to do its thing with this latest trio of visiting international talent


Critically acclaimed British stand up, satirist and TV presenter, Jeff Norcott is a regular on both radio and television in the UK, and has performed his popular solo show The Shocking Truth About Men & Women at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.


Frequently seen on US and Canadian television, Johansson has performed all over the world at prestigious venues including London’s Comedy Store, New York’ Carolinas Comedy Club and the Punch Line in San Francisco.


A popular female stand up who chose to forgo a career as an actress to risk the jeers and heckles of a live audience, Knight has performed with famous British comics Jo Brand and David Baddiel. June 8 to 17, The Laughter Factory, various locations, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, from 9pm, Dhs130.




FINALLY, NO MORE DEODORANT STAINS NIVEA INVISIBLE FOR BLACK & WHITE • First deodorant to stop white marks and yellow stains on clothes • Strong 48-hour anti-perspirant protection




 6 Ő 2 + :

The King Of Pop may be dead, but he lives on through bombastic West End show Thriller Live, which makes its Abu Dhabi debut this month…

With all the clamour, controversy and celebrity that surrounded Michael Jackson’s personal life, it’s possible to overlook his incomparable impact on popular music over the past four decades. Hit stage show Thriller Live cuts out the superfluous details, simply sticking to the songs and spectacularly energetic dance routines that made him the most successful entertainer of all time, both solo and with the Jackson 5. Debuting in London’s West End in 2008, three sell-out runs and high-profile dates across the world confirmed Thriller Live as a global phenomenon in its own right recreating wall-to-wall hits like I Want You Back, Smooth Criminal, Beat It, Billie Jean and Thriller itself. The show’s female lead singer, Brittany Woodrow, one of the newest members of the cast, reveals more… Thriller Live isn’t a musical, per se. Can you explain the concept? It’s is a concert to celebrate the music and live performances of Michael, and the Jackson 5. A musical or rock opera would have a story line or dialogue, whereas Thriller recreates the energy and atmosphere of a Michael Jackson concert. There are five main performers who sing the songs of Michael. I sing the duets and songs like The Way You Make Me Feel and Blame It On The Boogie. 22 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

The show began when Michael Jackson was still alive. Has it changed since his death? Thriller was running in its current format for two years prior to the loss of Michael. Before that it was an annual event put together by his fan club. The amazing back catalogue of material has always been the main focus, so that hasn’t changed, but certainly the feeling has become one of celebration and paying homage.

Is the reaction from fans different since his death? Do any get emotional? The show is definitely an emotional experience for fans. Not only sadness, but joy as well. When we sing Heal The World everyone seems to get emotional, audience and cast. I fight back tears every time we sing that song. The message is beautiful and so true. Michael’s vision for the world was amazing and he shared that vision through his music.


" ' $ % What’s your personal favourite song? You Are Not Alone. The song is absolutely beautiful. I was in love with Michael when the song came out. I honestly thought he would marry me! Is it essential to be a Michael Jackson fan to enjoy the show? It definitely isn’t essential. But who doesn’t love Michael’s music and dance moves? The five singers by no means try to impersonate him at all, but instead deliver his music with the utmost respect to Michael as an artist. Is recreating your hero’s music slightly intimidating? It’s extremely intimidating to be singing the songs of a man that I idolise so much. It’s scary. But it makes me want to up my performance every night, to make it better with each and every passing show. Had you seen Thriller Live as a fan before you joined the cast? I had actually only seen the show once. I’m from America and the show is not over there. But I was hooked after one time seeing it. I’m one of the newest members of the cast. I only started in April. And your favourite album? Definitely Thriller. So many amazing songs. Were you a massive fan of his growing up? Huge. I remember hearing Michael when I was seven. My parents loved his music and shared that with me. He’s one of the main reasons I decided to become a performer. He had such passion and motivation that not many performers possess today. I’ll always love him for what he’s done for the music industry. Singing songs that were a part of my childhood is an honour.

How much do you personally know about Abu Dhabi and the Emirates? To be honest, not very much. I’ve never been, so I’m super excited to check out everything there is to offer. I’ve heard great things and I expect that it’s going to be an amazing time while we are here. Jun 9 and 10, Flash Forum, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 8pm, Dhs100 to Dhs250. Tel: (800) 35274.

BLACK & WHITE Five figures from Michael Jackson’s colourful career


The number of followers who have ‘Liked’ Michael Jackson’s official Facebook page


Michael’s total estimated worldwide record sales.


The number of sold-out shows planned for the This Is It concert series in London in 2009. Tragically, it was also his age when he died on June 25, leading to the show’s cancellation.


The amount in US dollars – that’s a mindboggling $1billion – Jackson has reputedly generated since his death


An unlucky number for some, Jackson notched up 13 Grammy Awards and, coincidentally, the same amount of US number one singles. JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 23


We pull on our most flattering spandex to discover what the capital’s gyms have to offer, whatever your requirements



Don’t panic. Our gyms guide isn’t all this hardcore. But for those wishing to push toward the very peak of fitness, the Officers Club is the BEST FOR A MILITARY summit. You need to go through -LEVEL WORKOUT a selection process to join the management level-upward members club, but there’s a reason for the exclusivity. The main training hall is positively cavernous, jammed with equipment by industry leader Technogym, all superseded by the latest models every 12 months. To say there isn’t a tatty exercise bike in sight is an understatement: this is high-end stuff. The comparatively smaller free weights room, meanwhile, is sufficiently sizeable to house a lesser resort’s entire keep-fit facilities. The main gym is mixed, with a separate ladies’ facility, plus nearby Hypoxi studios, a martial arts space and two squash courts. Those starting young are well catered for at the 16-and-under Future Gym, and if you fancy a dip to cool off afterwards, the Olympic-size swimming pool is nearby, with designated ladies days. For serious body sculptors, the protein corner sells all manner of sports drinks, shakes and supplements. And there are no less than seven personal trainers available for the ultimate session. JOIN: Civilian membership Dhs2,500 for three months, Dhs4,000 for six months, Dhs6,000 for a year, Dhs100 per day, family rates also available. Armed Forces Officers Club & Hotel, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi, 6am to 10.30pm. Tel: (02) 4415900.

Armed Forces Officers Club & Hotel



While most hotel gyms nestle within huge complexes and the independent chains are rarely far from bustling thoroughfares, One To One’s eponymous village-esque setting instantly takes you away from it all. A stroll through a small grassy garden straight from the parking area is all it takes before you’re inside. It’s an intimate, relaxed space, sans any testosterone-charged, iron-pumping atmosphere. Numerous big screen televisions and soothing views towards the pool will distract from your toil on wallto-wall Technogym machines. JOIN: Dhs6,500 (men), Dhs2,000 (women) for six months, Dhs5,500 (men), Dhs3,000 (women) for a year, Sun to Thurs Dhs80 per day, Fri to Sat Dhs120 per day, couple and family rates also available. One To One The Village, Al Salam Street, Abu Dhabi, 6am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 4952070.



Don’t be fooled into thinking this institution’s moniker means it’s BEST FOR too sedate for working out: it PERSONAL TRAINERS did, after all, used to be known as Abu Dhabi Health & Fitness Club. What sets the ADCC apart, though, is its wealth of personal trainers, a whopping ten in total, priced at Dhs180 for members, or Dhs230 for anybody not signed up. Membership also affords unlimited group fitness classes, as well tennis, squash and padel (a Spanish racquet sport similar to tennis) courts, sauna and Jacuzzi. The gym itself is awash with colour, packed with red and yellow Hammer Strength machines. For an outdoors bonus, sample one of the tri fit programmes, held every Friday at Al Maya Island. JOIN: Dhs6,000 (men) Dhs3,000 (women) for six months, Dhs10,000 (men) Dhs5,000 (women) for a year, Sun to Thurs Dhs100 per day, Fri to Sat Dhs150 per day, couple and family rates also available. Abu Dhabi Country Club, Al Saada Street (19th Street), Al Mushriff, Abu Dhabi, 6am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6577777. JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 25




Perched next to Skylite nightclub, The Yas Hotel’s heavens-scraping gym provides ample distraction from your exercise toil. With BEST FOR panoramic views of Yas WORKOUT VIEWS Marina Circuit to one side and Ferrari World to the other, if there’s a better vantage point while working out in Abu Dhabi, we haven’t witnessed it. It’s a relatively new option for non-guests, too, only accepting outside memberships since January. With a full removable partition for privacy between male and female areas, the Yas Hotel’s blinding white interior colour scheme works well here. Members also get discounts on food and the spa, plus classes such as the weekly zumba, which rivals the gym itself for fat-burning potential, from 400 to 1,000 calories per hour. Better still, until the end of August there is a two-for-one deal on gym membership, with five free personal training sessions and half price day passes at Dhs75. JOIN: Dhs2,000 per month. The Yas Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 6.30am to 9.30pm. Tel: (02) 6560000.




Joining Abu Dhabi’s number one expat members club admittedly involves a one-off fee. Even added to the annual membership and the yearly gym fee, however, it remains more than competitive in the context of gym prices at the capital’s resorts. You get a lot of bang for your buck with all of The Club’s top-notch facilities, but the gym alone makes it a wise investment. The cardio machines come equipped with integrated TV screens and USB connections for loading exercise programs, while the Stairmaster Stepmill, a mini flights of steps, lends a touch of reality to your workout. The best deal currently is Eight Weeks To Summer, a twice-weekly exercise/nutrition personal training programme. For Dhs800, in two months you can be slipping into those Speedos or bikini with renewed confidence, tempting for the gym-shy who ordinarily bemoan the time it takes to see any positive results. JOIN: Dhs800 per year (plus membership with The Club: Dhs3,600 one-off joining fee and Dhs3,100 annual membership). The Club, Mina Sadiyat, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Thurs 6am to 10pm, Fri to Sat 6am to 9pm. Tel (02) 6731111. 26 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011



There’s scant room to swing a cat in the Yas Island Rotana’s gym. Fortunately, that isn’t really an issue, with all the necessary standard equipment needed for a vigorous circuit present. The functional triangular space is split into a cardio side with pool views and weights facing the Formula One circuit. Should queues develop, the gym facilities at sister hotel Centro next door are also available. It’s an even shorter walk to the Rotana’s five massage rooms, sauna, Jacuzzi and steam room for post-workout relaxation. JOIN: Dhs5,350 (men), Dhs3,500 (women) per year, couple rates also available. Yas Island Rotana, Golf Plaza, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 6am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 6564000.





Stretching out on Al Raha Beach is all well and good, but it won’t tone those thighs or shift the dreaded Abu Dhabi stone, lazy bones. Personal trainers here can aid those goals and membership gets a good range of discounts on the Beach Hotel’s food, rooms, spa treatments and gym use by additional guests. JOIN: Dhs8,500 (men), Dhs7,000 (women) for a year, Dhs5,500 (men), Dhs4,500 (women) for six months, couple rates also available. Al Raha Beach Hotel, Al Raha Beach, Abu Dhabi, 7am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 5080555.

Taking note of the wisdom that the best things come in small packages, the InterCon’s gym facilities are modestly sized but perfectly formed. The main fitness room comes with marina views, while the small balcony squirrels away an array of equipment for a mini-circuit in quieter surrounds. The most intriguing machine is the high-tech PowerPlate, shifting cellulite without you barely moving off the spot, strengthening muscles and bones into the bargain. After all that, you’ll deserve a trip to the adjacent sauna, steam room, Jacuzzis and massage rooms. JOIN: Annual leisure club membership Dhs9,500 peak/Dhs5,700 off peak (men), Dhs7,500 peak/Dhs4,500 off peak (women), annual health and beach club membership Dhs7,500 peak/Dhs4,500 off peak (men), Dhs5,500 peak/Dhs3,300 off peak (women),

couple and family rates also available. InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Bainouna Street, Abu Dhabi, 6am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6666888.



A good workout should prove invigorating, but energy levels can be sapped if you’ve BEST FOR pushed hard for that extra WINDING DOWN few km or so. What you need then is a top-notch wind down, something the Al Wahda understands perfectly. A relaxation room comes equipped with sun lounger-style benches and a selection of water and juices, with board games and a pool table nearby. There’s plenty of opportunity to earn to that well-earned rest, however, at the capital’s largest health club. The cardioequipment is resplendent with individual onboard TV and radio, plus USB connections. And poundstacking show-offs may find their bragging Armed Forces Officers Club & Hotel

GYMS hampered apply in the studio, which is full of ingenious hydraulic Easy Line machines, designed for iron-pumping circuit training minus physical weights. JOIN: Dhs3,800 for three months, Dhs7,200 for six months, Dhs14,000 for 12 months, couple and family rates also available. Grand Millennium Al Wahda, Hazza Bin Zayed Street, Al Wahda Complex, Abu Dhabi, 6am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 4439999.



Should you be overcome by the desperate urge to hit the BEST FOR treadmill at 3am – rather A MIDNIGHT WORKOUT you than us – the Crowne Plaza has the answer: a 24hour gym. At more sociable hours there are zumba, Pilates and aerobics classes, while members and non-members

BUDGET PICKS Money tighter than your waistband? Give these two quickfire budget options a go...



Personal trainers are available. JOIN: Dhs200 for a month, Dhs300 for three months, Dhs650 for six months, Dhs2,000 for a year. Al Rowad Gym, near Zayed University, opposite Ocean Chinese Restaurant, Muroor, Abu Dhabi, 7am to midnight. Tel: (02) 4433822


A female personal trainer is available for women. JOIN: Dhs200 for a month, Dhs500 for a quarter, Dhs950 for six months, Dhs1,750 for a year. Top Gym, opposite Gray Mackenzie, Mina Road, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Wed and Sat 11am to midnight, Thurs 11am to 11pm, Fri 3pm to 10pm. Tel: (02) 6764884.

One To One The Village can hire reasonably priced personal trainers for single sessions or in blocks of ten. Take out a membership for six months or more and you’ll get a free fitness assessment, a handy tool for the slightly more out-of-shape or anybody clueless about concocting an appropriate exercise regime. JOIN: Dhs1,500 (men), Dhs1,250 (women) for a month, Dhs3,000 (men), Dhs1,500 (women) for three months, Dhs4,500 (men), Dhs2,500 (women) for six months, Dhs6,000 (men), Dhs4,000 (women) for a year. Couple and family rates available. Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island, Golf Plaza, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, open 24 hours. Tel: (02) 6563000.



If you want to propel your gym work to the next level, this is BEST FOR the place. Simply get Googling PUMPING SOME SERIOUS for plenty of pictorial evidence IRON of the Arnold Classic’s status as the city’s go-to centre for building muscles upon bronzed muscles. The gym has produced plenty of competitive bodybuilding champions and is famed for decorated and grandly named coach Dr Captain Aziz Abdul Kareem Al Tamimi, responsible for a glittering array of honours around the world. Personal trainers for bodybuilding and fitness classes are available, but, tragically, we weren’t able to confirm whether the hyper-ripped Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, inspired that evocative mantle. We’re going to guess not. JOIN: Dhs320 per month, Dhs670 for three months and Dhs2,000 for a year. Arnold Classic Bodybuilding Club, Khalidiya Road, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Thurs and Sat 10.30am to midnight, Fri 10.30am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 6671117



Shangri-La balances its unisex fitness studio with a ladies-only facility. Cruelly for ambitious pound shedders, membership includes a 20 per cent food discount at numerous outlets in Shangri-La and its neighbour Traders. That isn’t the only temptation: with fabulous spa Chi in the vicinity, a workout session could very easily turn into an entire day of pampering, especially as a single membership includes Dhs1,000 of treatment vouchers. Other initial benefits include two personal training sessions and five group fitness classes. JOIN: Dhs15,000 per year, couple and family rates also available. Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 6am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 5098888.



With separate mixed and ladies’ spaces, the Fairmont has the all the expected cardio, strength equipment and free weights, with the added bonus of being open at all hours. Unlike many competitors, gymonly membership is offered, so you’re not forced to splash the cash for access to all the health facilities simply to use the gym. Membership allows discounts on personal trainers, too, as well as the Fairmont’s restaurants. JOIN: Dhs6,500 for a year, Dhs4,500 for six months, daily pass Dhs100, couple rates also available. Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 24 hours. Tel: (02) 6543333.

JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 27





With six branches across the capital, you’re seldom more than a few streets from a Lifeline BEST FOR gym. The chain has hungrily CONVENIENCE gobbled up a good slice of the market outside hotel health club gyms. While the gyms themselves aren’t especially world beating, the custom levels of membership make Lifeline extremely affordable: the bronze membership, tailored for gym use only, is available at an annual rate that would scarcely cover a month’s training at many of its posher counterparts. So if you’re unsure whether your health kick will last, or just don’t like to commit thousands of dirhams up front, Lifeline is definitely worth a gander. JOIN: Bronze membership Dhs2,500 per year, Dhs1,750 for six months, Dhs900 for three months, Dhs400 for a month. Branches at Al Muroor Road, Al Salam, Khalifa Street, Electra Street and Al Khalidiya. Tel: (02) 6437993.

Membership freebies and discounts are fairly standard when opening your wallet for hotel gym memberships, but the benefits are better than most at Park Rotana. Money off for members’ guests, tennis court rental, food and the spa are all handy. And a free class in yoga, boot camp and the running club, on top of an hourlong Swedish massage, could definitely swing the balance. The fitness centre opens at the crack of dawn as well, allowing extra minutes to work up a pre-commute sweat. JOIN: Dhs6,200 (men), Dhs5,800 (women) for a year, Dhs3,720 (men), Dhs3,480 (women) for six months, Dhs2,100 (men), Dhs1,850 (women) for three months, Dhs800 (men), Dhs700 (women) for one month. Park Rotana, Al Matar, Abu Dhabi, 5am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6573373.




BODYLINES @ KHALIDIYA PALACE RAYHAAN BY ROTANA More spacious than some of its sister Bodylines gyms, this is one of the city’s larger fitness facilities. The latest Nautilus resistance equipment is a jewel in the Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan’s crown and there are also plentiful treadmills, cross trainers, exercise bikes, steppers, Stairmasters, free weights and cables. Its location, on the mezzanine of the Beach Club, guarantees beach and pool scenery as you train. And if you’re not ready to sign up annually, grab a temporary membership for one to four weeks. JOIN: Full membership Dhs12,000 per year (men), Dhs8,500 per year (women), weekdayonly membership Dhs7,500 (men), Dhs5,500 (women), temporary membership Dhs660 for one week, Dhs1,020 for two weeks, Dhs1,320 for three weeks, Dhs1,560 for four weeks, couple and family rates also available. Non-members: Dhs170 per day or Dhs140 per day for members’ guests. Couples’ rates also available. Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, near The Corniche, Abu Dhabi, 6am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 6570000.

28 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011



Yas Island Rotana



The idea of being pushed to your limits by a personal trainer doesn’t appeal to everyone. Which is where the Sheraton’s airy fitness centre comes in, offering virtual trainers on all its LifeFitness cardio machines, and iPod connections to help inject a rhythmical bent into your workout. There are two real life trainers for those who prefer the human touch and a wealth of additional facilities – including squash and tennis courts – if you have any energy left. JOIN: Dhs11,500 (men), Dhs7,700 (women) for one year, Dhs7,200 (men), Dhs5,000 (women) for six months, Dhs4,500 (men), Dhs3,250 (women) for three months. Couples’ rates also available. Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, 6am to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 6773333.

When it comes down to it, choosing hotel gyms can often revolve more around convenient location and membership price, than the workout equipment available. The Hilton’s competition-trumping selling point? For small extra charges enjoy a genuine spread of fitness-based classes, from the serene (yoga) to the brutal (kickboxing), and, more unusually, hip hop dance. A brace of personal trainers are also on the roster. JOIN: Dhs4,000 (men), Dhs3,500 (women) for three months, Dhs7,150 (men), Dhs5,000 (women) for six months, Dhs9,900 (men), Dhs6,930 (women), Dhs600 for one week, Dhs1,100 for two weeks, Dhs1,400 for three weeks, Dhs1,600 for four weeks, Dhs150 per day (weekdays), Dhs185 (weekends), couple rates also available. Hilton Abu Dhabi, The Corniche, Abu Dhabi, 6am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 6811900.











VERDICT: Nero’s cappuccino comprises a shot of strong espresso, sipped through tightly packed foam. It’s a relatively small cup, eschewing the American trend for giant coffees. STRENGTH: Strong PRICE: Dhs12 Mazyad Mall, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 5591740

VERDICT: Extremely hot with velvety foam and medium strength coffee flavour coming through once it’s cooled down a bit. PRICE: Dhs14 STRENGTH: Medium Various locations, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 4437417

VERDICT: All froth and no substance. Not very well constructed at all. STRENGTH: Low PRICE: Dhs14 Various locations, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6814954

VERDICT: Quite strong, with a slightly bitter coffee taste beneath thick foam. STRENGTH: Strong PRICE: Dhs14 Al Najda Street, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6432414

VERDICT: Medium strength coffee topped with dense foam. Not as rich as some of the others. STRENGTH: Medium PRICE: Dhs14 Various locations, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6435755

VERDICT: Piping hot – giving you ample time to take this sweet, milky coffee back to the office. Not ideal for purists. STRENGTH: Low PRICE: Dhs13 Marina Mall, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6814642


VERDICT: A strong and full flavour with a decent layer of foam. Worth having without a doughnut – even better with. STRENGTH: Strong PRICE: Dhs12 Various locations, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 4494724

VERDICT: Not bad, but not really mind blowing. Medium strength, good, thick foam – a workmanlike coffee. STRENGTH: Medium PRICE: Dhs14 Abu Dhabi Mall, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6445387

VERDICT: Large and creamy, the Starbucks’ cappuccino is not for those who like their coffee super strong. It’s almost like hot milk with a caffeine twist. STRENGTH: Low PRICE: Dhs14 Various locations, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6261001

We ordered a small cappuccino to take away from nine high street coffee chains. Which coffee are you?

JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 31

ABU DHABI’S BEST PUB QUIZZES Starter for ten: where are Abu Dhabi’s best pub quizzes? Thinking caps on, and pens at the ready, the great British tradition has been teleported to the Middle East. Answers below…

The bsusayt oCnroe..w. ne Plaza Abu Dhabi Heroe

ch a staple of Abu m 8pm. eaves is almost as mu Gr When? Mondays fro ke Mi er ast s longizm qu Chirpy re jovial presence. Hi What’s the deal? ugh he’s clearly a mo ho ropean and alt Eu s, le ork eab dw siz a roa g as tin the capital, attrac Dhabi’s landscape in lar pu airs, Mike’s po aff st nt mo rre ge, cu bly the standing quiz is argua nine rounds run through general knowled crowds often swelling The Entry is free, but with American following. diness later on, and a picture round. , sic mu of t jec all heads toward row It sub le. ab vis specialist ad ty gh mi erving a table is into three figures, res have to uld. sho uchers. And you don’t hts nig od as all go ne Plaza and drinks vo also distributed at random to ow Cr the at als Me What can I win? zes: smaller loot is ght geniuses to win pri be a collection of outri r points will plummet. e question wrong and you lowlier finishers. on cky’, get : nd rou t eou wip The questions, three are ‘tri Any special rounds? ling. Mike roughly reckons that, per ten dd Difficulty rating: Mi and four are ‘middle of the road’. s’ daily ’ get can e advantage of Heroe dy bo ery three ‘ev o before the quiz to tak tw or ur ho an up ll Ro What’s On tip: ns noon to 8pm. 10000. www.ichotelsg happy hour, which ru t, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 62 ee Str an md Ha i, ab Dh Crowne Plaza Abu


k in r d p a e h c r o f t s e b e Th

NEW! The Club that The Horse and from 8.30pm. e Club Bar for a tester When? Wednesdays or so brainboxes at Th jects as geography, TV 80 r ula J reg o the n c Joi k such sub at Danat Al A ey What’s the deal? eral knowledge across st facial six rounds, testing gen twists, a video round will require your be of sts nsi in co R d wrong in e an er s s sw me o an e the r r on t ula get is a minefield: Looking for q d music. With reg nd an rou s nu bo iz caters to t qu ou s pe thi wi , ui ub the

capital? A few zzing fun outside the weeks ago yo been strugg ling, but now u might have the picturesq surrounds of ue A contest. Exp l Ain boast a newly found ect similar ja pes to Heroe ed only with less s’ quiz, musical roun slant toward d s the South A s and a greater frican and In expats that m dian ak punters. Tues e up a significant share of the days from 8p m. Danat Al Ain Re sort, Central D Dhabi. Tel: (03) ist 7046000. ww rict, Al Ain, Abu w.ichotelsgro

ile h Cl recognition skills, wh zero. As you might expect from The Britis distinctly Brit-friendly re the sco of u b yo d gru b an pu nd in rou ed the ect refl t’s tha ular themed d an e, audienc the like – as well as reg d an s ing dd a predominantly UK pu e hir es are unlimited, so get , pies, giant Yorks try is free and team siz variety – fish ’n’ chips En . s15 Dh in rga ba a truly . menus and drinks for of your smartest mates zen do a d un aro g gin nks. rin dri d. d an rs he uc vo t an staur ir entire drinks bill waive What can I win? Re e bonus round, the winners of which have the hurt. n’t uld wo ly bab Th pro it s? Any special round rmind champ, although won’t need to be a Maste at this quiz as you need to either be a Difficulty rating: You up k roc mbers, teaming up t just anybody can with 4,500 current me t What’s On tip: No Bu s. est gu ir the of or one member of The Club ve impossible. m with one shouldn’t pro u Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6731111. Ab t, iya Sad na Mi The Club, JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 33


For the easily bo

red... Abu Dhabi G olf Club W

Quizzing the quizmaster Heroes’ resident quizmaster Mike Greaves on the smart, sneaky and simply stupid highlights of his years posing the questions… How did you become a quizmaster? I’ve been DJing in Abu Dhabi for 25 years and started doing quizzes here, there and everywhere. I’ve been doing them on and off for about 20 years, here, in Al Ain and Dubai. What makes a good quiz? If it’s not taken too seriously, it’s quick and there’s no faffing around. People love it when they guess rather than know answers. They get more enjoyment out of that. It has nothing to do with prizes. People come back irrespective of prizes. How do you settle disputes? I have a drink rule: all those who feel they’ve been besmirched and wish to discuss an answer have to buy me a drink. I then drink it and don’t change my mind. That stops all arguments. Have you ever disqualified any cheats? I have caught a few people. I walk around with a head mic, so they don’t know exactly where I am. I don’t tend to disqualify them, just point it out very loudly in front of everybody. With 100 people at a quiz, they tend not to do it again. Have you got any other entertaining tales? I did a quiz once where the subject was ‘things you don’t know’. There were ten questions. What I didn’t say was that every one you got wrong, you got a point, because the subject matter was ‘things you don’t know’. We had a female doctor who complained vociferously. I said ‘OK, how many did you get?’ She said ‘Five out of ten’.

34 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

hen? Every seco What’s the de nd Tuesday from 7.30pm al? Revived after a break earlier th Golf Club’s quiz is ye take knowledge and tw s in four rounds, normally featur ar, Abu Dhabi in o more that are di to be a member fferent each time. g two of general of th You don’t have in recent weeks fro e club to take part, and interest has been swellin m non-member g quizzers. Drinks available, it’s free and snacks are en What can I win tr y and teams are limited to six pl ? ay Any special ro First prize is a free brunch for th ers. e winning team. un Difficulty ratin ds? Different themed rounds ev g: ery quiz. of Nick Faldo’s lif Never fear, you won’t need to kn ow e or despite the golfing the size of Tiger Woods’ nine-ir the finer details on to get ahead, venue. What’s On tip :A on-words abilitie Dingbats-style set of questions pu s. So bring along shes your playthat bloke you kn isn’t, shall we say, ow from work wh th o when it comes to e social butterfly, but boasts the brain of a savant lo Abu Dhabi Golf Cl gic. ub , Sas Al Nakhl, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 55 88990. m

The old school qu

iz... Hemingway’s a t H ilton Abu Dhabi When? Sunday s from 8pm What’s the de al? With quizm aste and challenging brainteasers, Hem r Chalkie dispensing the wit ingway’s two-ho in operation for ur quiz has been an impressive th ree and a half ye rounds delving de ars, split into six ep into sport, cin ema, celebs and and culinar y acco mor m featuring faves su paniment is taken from the bar’s e. Entry is free Tex Mex menu, ch as fajitas and the have a reputation for their competit seafood combo. The regular team to go toe-to-toe s iv e nature, so turn with up prepared ceremonies has tw would-be trivia masters. And th e master of o points of order Chalkie is alway s right. Rule two: for resolving disputes: “Rule one: see rule one”. Ca that. n’t say fairer than What can I win ? Prizes include dinner at the Hilt Hiltonia Beach Cl on and a day at ub Any special ro . unds? Regular spor screens is swappe d for video and m t coverage on Hemingway’s big usic rounds. Difficulty ratin g: There’s somet hing for ever yone What’s On tip : You’ll have book he a table in advanc re. only is far from e, as standing ro uncommon. om Hilton Abu Dhab i, ne ar Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6924567.



BY ITH MO REET W personal G D N A d A MEET get up close an ce to win Want to ? For your chan , e-mail im by with Mo unity to meet h with a ort the opp hatson@motiv the answer w nd winwith e subject line a . n th io in ’ st y e b u o q ame ‘M to this is the n g in w o ll fo e ? th m f u o Which of a Moby alb a)Play y b) Stra c) Fray

y b o M 36 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011


Fully 20 years into a glittering career, gazillion-selling New York-based electronic producer Moby is finally making his bow in the Emirates, playing Dubai’s World Trade Centre in July This is your first show in the Middle East. Are you excited to make it over here? Considering I’ve been touring for 20 years, it sort of surprises me that it’s my first time. It almost seems like there’s a subway stop in New York that goes directly to the UAE, because I know so many people here who have either lived or worked there. It seems like it’s the most futuristic, famous place on the planet. Every time I open an architecture or design magazine there’s some article on something being built there, so I’m really fascinated to be going. When I go to a new place, I try to go in without pre-conceived expectations. But everyone I know who’s visited comes back in awe. Also, I have this strange pathological love for intense heat. In New York, people start complaining when it gets up to 35C. For me, the heat in New York starts to get interesting at 40, 41, 42C. I love walking outside and feeling like you’re walking into a blast furnace. I’d rather be almost unbearably hot than pleasantly hot. That’s unusual. But then, a musician reading architecture magazines is pretty unusual, too? Well, it’s sort of a cliché, really, how so many musicians and public figures talk in interviews about if they weren’t a musician or public figure then they would be an architect. I’d happily fit into that cliché. On my last tour, one of the most exciting places I went to was Brasilia. I actually re-routed the tour to go there so I could see Oscar Niemeyer’s architecture. That’s the depth of my architecture nerdiness. Back to onstage nerdiness – what can we expect from this gig? You’re playing with your full live band, right?


featuring your own photography. The Emirates have some fairly strict laws on photography – has your camera ever landed you in trouble? None of the photographs in the book ever got me into trouble. The only place I’ve ever had trouble was in New York. Specifically in the 1980s, because in New York there were so many criminals that it was safe to say anyone on the street was probably doing something wrong. I had a few occasions where I was just innocently taking pictures on the street, and I would have big, thugged-out guys with pit bulls and guns either demand the film or tell Your new album, Destroyed, is nocturnally me to move on. I hope to have some time to inspired. At 45, do you find yourself going take a lot of pictures in the Emirates, because out until all hours still? Or are you more I’ve never been to that part of the world. nocturnal in the way your work? Unfortunately, I’ve had insomnia almost all my A few recent interviews have painted you life and it’s exacerbated by going on tour and as quite a solitary person. Is that a myth or living in hotel rooms. Rather than lie in bed fair assessment? late at night and rail against the fact that I can’t Well, I’m an only child, I grew up alone, I live sleep, I try to get up and do stuff: whether that alone and work alone, so as much as I like involves going for walks through empty cities at people, I do tend to spend most of my time by 3am, buying worthless crap on eBay or writing myself. I stopped drinking a couple of years music. So a lot of the music on this record was ago. When I was a crazy falling-down drunk, really inspired by that experience, being in a I spent a lot of time being social and I loved hotel room at 3am, staring out at a desolate, nothing more than being in a bar at 4am. empty city and feeling like you might be the Now I find, in sobriety, that has lost a lot of only person left alive. its appeal. Yeah, there are eight of us onstage – me playing guitar, keyboards, percussion and vocals, then we have a string section, two vocalists, bass player, drummer, and keyboardist, so it’s quite a big show. In so far as I have hits, I guess this would be considered a greatest hits show. There’ll be a few songs from the new album, but I realised if I go to see a band I don’t want to hear that much from their new album; I want to hear the songs I’m familiar with. So for the most part it’s music from older albums like Play and 18.

At the same time as Destroyed you’re also launching a book of the same name,

You’ve also talked about how spending money on material goods didn’t make JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 37

MOBY you any happier. So you won’t be dashing off to the UAE’s malls when you arrive here? I might go to some of the famous malls just for anthropology and observation, but to be honest I wouldn’t know how to buy luxury goods. I wouldn’t know the difference between any of the designers and brands. I had a Casio watch that I bought for about $15 that lasted a really long time! That whole world of very expensive luxury brands, for better or worse, is wasted on me. There’s a company called Moby Group here in Dubai. Are you aware of any entertaining companies or other entities that share your pseudonym? There are a bunch of things that share my name. Apparently in computer hacking circles ‘a Moby’ is a really big hack. There’s a line of gigantic ferries that go back and forth between North Africa and France/Italy called Moby. And I think there’s a company called Moby that makes Snuggies, you know, those blankets that you wear.

a lot of classical music, but also old punk rock and speed metal. And I love music based on how and when it was made. So, I really like early 1970s African disco, because it was produced really interestingly, and R&B from the late 1950s, because everything was covered in reverb. That’s one reason I don’t listen to a lot of modern music, because I rarely hear modern music that has been produced interestingly. I realised I don’t like professional, slick, polished recordings.

You’ve said that David Bowie and Brian Eno’s production inspired Destroyed. What else has been on your CD iPod lately? I have really odd musical tastes. I listen to

What’s next after your current touring? All I want to do with my life is make records and books and play records for people – and, maybe at some point, have an actual relationship that’s not interrupted by going on tour for six months. That’s my goal – when the tour ends, go home and work on music and have a decent, grown-up relationship. July 4, Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 7pm, Dhs200 to Dhs350. Tel: (04) 3913460.

Moby -o-meter From techno to thrash rock, Moby’s multi-million-selling discography spans the lot. Here are the most diverse highlights in decibels…



Moby’s tenth studio album is one of his most subtle, 15 melodic electronic tracks inspired by time spent alone on the road. One song, Victoria Lucas, is named after Sylvia Plath’s penname. Not a party record, then.

PLAY (1999)

Though Play irked music snobs, with every track licensed to TV adverts, Moby has never bettered its uplifting, soul-sampling impact. Shifting eight figures worldwide, it spawned countless hit singles.

38 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

After rising to cult status as a techno innovator, Moby picked up a guitar and started reliving his formative punk rock days. Arguably a career high in retrospect, it nevertheless split fans and critics alike.


Touring the world and making more money than a small country’s GDP didn’t sate Moby’s artistic lust. Here he returned to his DJ roots, roping in rappers from to reinvigorate his sound.


Blazing a trail for The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers towards mainstream domination, Moby’s breakthrough LP built on the success of club smash Go, twisting techno into accessible shapes.

Win with What’s On We're 32 this month, and to celebrate we're offering all you lovely readers the chance to win Dhs50,000 worth of prizes. Aren't we nice?


Need a bit of ‘me’ time? The ladies-only Thai Privilege Spa can help you wash away the stresses of the week by booking you in for two hours of nothing but pampering – you can even get your hair done, too. For your chance to win, tell us: What is the capital of Thailand? a) Bangkok b) Bangsock c) Bangfrock


WE ARE 32!

To win any these fantastic birthday prizes, all you have to do is e-mail winwithwhatson@ with the name of the competition in the subject line and the answer to the relevant question.

The Address Dubai Marina is offering a weekend night stay in a deluxe room coupled with a table for two at its family-friendly Saturday brunch at Mazina. The winner can pick either a Friday or Saturday to stay, depending if they would rather be fully rested for the brunch, or to sleep it off afterwards. What day does the Mazina Restaurant have its family brunch? a) Monday b) Saturday c) Wednesday

WIN! ROAST DINNER FOR TWO WIN! A ROUND AT CAFÉ BISTRO OF GOLF AND A BUFFET FOR There is nothing quite like a weekend roast. Don’t believe us? Then enter this competition TWO

WIN! A JEEP CHEROKEE FOR THE WEEKEND Impress your mates with some new wheels for the weekend with this fantastic prize. Hertz UAE is offering one of you motor-heads the chance to have a free pass on a Jeep Cherokee – insurance included. Just tell us: From which of these companies can you rent a Jeep Cherokee? a) Hardy’s b) HBO c) Hertz

and let the fine people at Dubai Marina Yacht Club change your mind. To win a roast dinner for two at Café Bistro, just answer this toughy: What is a classic centrepiece for a traditional roast dinner? a) Roast lamb b) Sushi c) Fruit salad

WIN! AN ITALIAN MEAL FOR TWO AT OSSIGENO Good Italian food is easy to imitate, but hard to replicate. That’s the idea behind Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort offering one hungry reader a meal for two people, including house wine, at its Italian eatery, Ossigeno. Buon appetito. Which of these is Italy’s main staple food? a) Potatoes b) Rice c) Pasta

If you think that the perfect start to a weekend is a round of golf followed by a fill-your-boots buffet, then definitely get involved to win this prize from the Arabian Ranches Golf Club. For your chance to win, tell us: How many holes do you play in a round of golf? a) 1 b) 18 c) 100

WIN! DINNER FOR TWO AT OTTOMANS Why not treat that special someone to dinner at Grosvenor House’s Turkish restaurant, Ottomans? If you answer the following question correctly, they’ll even throw in a bottle of vino to sweeten the deal. Which modern day country was the centre of the Ottoman Empire? a) Middle Earth b) Turkey c) New Zealand

JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 41




Nuts about pistachios? Empty your cupboards, as we have a giant box filled with ten packets from Wonderful Pistachios to keep your rumbling tummy at bay. To win these lemon-flavoured nibbles, simply tell us... Which of the following are not a variety of nut? a) Walnut b) Brazil c) Peach

To help celebrate the soon to be opened Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island, we are giving one outrageously lucky couple a two-night stay, including breakfast and a three-course dinner, in one of the Park Villas. To be in with a chance to win this prize, worth a staggering Dhs13,500, simply tell us… When is the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi opening? a) 2151 b) September 2011 c) 200BC




You know what makes a weekend even better? A free brunch – especially when that brunch is the fantastic Fazaris Vintage Friday Brunch. So pick a partner and answer this question… Which part of the world is not known for its vineyards? a) South Africa b) France c) Russia

One of our favourite Italian restaurants, BiCE at the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, is giving away a ‘family style’ meal for eight people to enjoy a lavish spread. Answer this question correctly for a chance to tuck in: What was the capital of the Roman Empire? a) Paris b) Rome c) Beirut

The masculine grooming gurus, Man/Age, are offering up the chance for five chaps to win a Signature Manicure worth Dhs130 each. It’s a nine-step process so it must be good. For a chance to win, tell us… How many fingers does the average male have? a) 18 b) 10 c) 3


WIN! BRUNCH FOR FOUR AT MARGAUX One of Dubai's newest brunches, Margaux's Friday feast is a glamorous affair, boasting a la carte dishes and cocktails, all by the Dubai Fountains at Souk al Bahar. For your chance to treat yourself and three friends, you'll have to know the answer to this question... Where is Margaux? a) Souk al Bahar b) Souk al A-ha c) Souk al Karama 42 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

We’ve got a city mini-break at the Crown Plaza Dubai to give away. One winner will enjoy a stay and dinner at Café Barbera for two, free entry to Zinc nightclub, and a personal training session for two. For your chance to win, tell us… What does a king usually wear on his head? a) A hairband b) A bucket c) A crown

WIN! A STAY FOR TWO AT THE QAMARDEEN HOTEL Situated next to Burj Khalifa, the Qamardeen Hotel is a little sanctuary at the heart of Downtown Dubai. One winner will leave wellrested after a weekend of lounging by the pool and enjoying dinner at Italian restaurant Esca. For your chance to win, tell us… What is the Qamardeen Hotel’s Italian restaurant called? a) Esca b) Pasta Place c) Bonjour



WIN! A DELUXE NIGHT AT THE BONNINGTON We like The Bonnington in JLT, and we like it even more when they offer a free night in one of their deluxe Rooms. To sweeten the deal, they have included breakfast for two and access to their terrace leisure deck. If you’re game, tell us: Which of these is not a small town in England? a) Bonnington b) Cavendish c) Ras Al Khaimah

Specifically for children between the ages of six and 12, this prize (worth Dhs900) allows the winner to experience five days of drawing, painting and ceramics classes. The camp runs from July 10. For a chance to win, tell us… Which of these is a famous painter? a) Tiger Woods b) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart c) Pablo Picasso

WIN! DINNER FOR TWO AT M’S AT EMIRATES GOLF CLUB Fancy trying somewhere new? Then enter here to win a meal for two people at M's, the new restaurant at the Emirates Golf Club. If you ask nicely we will also throw in a bottle of house wine to celebrate your win. Just tell us: Which number is M in the alphabet? a) 1st b) 13th c) 25th

WIN! DINNER AT WAREHOUSE Warehouse at Le Méridien Dubai is a bar, club, brunch venue and live music purveyor, and we’ve got a voucher worth Dhs250 to give away. If you fancy a night out on us, you’ll have to get this question right… Which neighbourhood is Warehouse in? a) Garhoud b) Greater Manchester c) Grimsby

Pink Pepper Photography will show one prizewinner the ropes, with a pre-shoot consult, a professional shoot and a private viewing of their images, You also get the chance to spend Dhs2,000 on digital images of your choice. To be in with a shot (hoho), you’ll have to know this… Which of these is not part of a camera? a) Lens b) Joystick c) Flash

WIN! DINNER AND A SPA WIN! TABLE FOR FOUR AT THE SESSION AT THE ARABIAN GRAMERCY’S NEW BRUNCH COURTYARD HOTEL The Jazz Brunch at the Gramercy is a new addition to the Friday brunch landscape. To celebrate that (and our birthday), they are offering a table for four people to while away the afternoon feasting and listening to some jazzy beats. For a chance to win, tell us… Which of these was a famous jazz musician? a) Louis Armstrong b) Neil Armstrong c) Lance Armstrong

The lovely people at Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa are not only giving away a dinner for two at the Silk Route restaurant, they are also throwing in a spa treatment from their Zaitoon Spa. You lucky people you. For a chance to win, tell us… Historically, across which continent was the Silk Route? a) The Moon b) Antarctica c) Asia

WIN! A LIALI PEARL NECKLACE WORTH DHS2,000 WIN! A PAIR OF TICKETS FOR HILI FUN CITY As far as theme parks go, you can’t go wrong with Al Ain’s Hili Fun City. Even the name suggests how much fun it is. Now is as good a time as any to go, especially as they are giving away not one, but ten pairs of tickets! For the chance to go with a fun-loving friend, tell us… In which Emirate is Al Ain situated? a) Abu Dhabi b) Qatar c) Egypt

Remember ‘that’ necklace in Breakfast At Tiffany’s? Well, here is your chance to pocket a Kimono freshwater pearl necklace with gold beads from Liali, retailing at a cool Dhs2,000. For your chance to win, just answer this question: From which sea creatures do pearls come from? a) Oysters b) The Titanic c) Seaweed JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 43

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We love a natty timepiece here at What’s On and have scored a Swiss-made Alfex watch from the nice people at Al Futtaim Watch House. Made of stainless steel, it is waterresistant and worth over Dhs1,000. For your chance to win, simply tell us… Switzerland is know for what kind of clock? a) Swan clock b) Cuckoo clock c) Seagull clock

Modern, sleek and what we imagine a Storm Trooper’s mansion to look like, the Yas Hotel is one of the most stylish pads around. To help us celebrate our birthday we’ve teamed up with the hotel to offer you a little something. How about a twonight stay in one of its suites, including breakfast? Not enough for you? Then we'll throw in entrance to both of its lounge bars, Rush and Skylite, and two detox treatments at its ESPA spa. For a shot at this amazing weekend, you’ll have to answer this question: Where is the 2011 Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix held? a) Treasure Island b) Yas Island c) Easter Island




Wow your friends with your new-found cookery skills after learning the tricks of the trade from Scott Price, the Executive Chef at Verre by Gordon Ramsay at the Hilton Dubai Creek. Worth Dhs950, the masterclass will teach you how to cook a three-course meal and how to choose the perfect bottle with the Wine Discovery course. For your chance to win, tell us… What country is Gordon Ramsey from? a) Scotland b) India c) Peru

The award-winning musical is coming to Dubai, and by answering the following question correctly you could win tickets for your whole family, worth Dhs550, for July 19. For a chance to win, tell us… Which Shakespeare play is West Side Story based on? a) Romeo and Julio b) Romeo and Juliet c) Romeo and Ethel

WIN! DINNER AND DRINKS AT CIPRIANI AND ALLURE The deliciously chic Cipriani restaurant at the Yas Island Yacht Club is offering a very lucky individual a meal for two (including Bellinis) and entrance to its Allure nightclub. Sadly there can only be one winner. For a chance to win, tell us… Traditionally what fruit is in a Bellini? a) Peach b) Rosemary c) Cumin

WIN! A VIDEO GAMES HAMPER FROM EA Obsessed with video games? Well, that’s good, because EA games is offering three hampers full of techie goodness, including FIFA Manager, Rock Band 3 and Bulletstorm. For your chance to win, tell us… Which of these is not a games console? a) Xbox360 b) Wii c) Sugarbox

Festival City’s far-eastern addition serves up Cantonese favourites alongside more unusual dishes to get your mouth watering. We have a voucher worth Dhs100 to give away to one reader. For a chance to win, tell us… Which of these was a famous Chinese leader? a) Mao Zedong b) Julius Caesar c) Margaret Thatcher

WIN! A PAMPERED STAY AT THE RAMADA IN AJMAN Away from the hustle and bustle of the cities, the Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman is offering up a voucher for two lucky winners (worth Dhs2,300 each). The prize offers a two-night stay for two people in the Executive Suite, with a body massage or facial treatment thrown in for good measure. For your chance to win, just answer this question: How many Emirates make up the UAE? a) 1 b) 7 c) 50

WIN! TWO DINNERS FOR TWO AT THE RADISSON BLU The nice people at the Radisson Blu are giving you lucky lot two dinners at their restaurant Chef House; one for the ‘curries of the world’ dinner and the other for a ‘culinary cruise’ dinner. For a chance to win, tell us… Where does a chef traditionally prepare his meals? a) In space b) A kitchen c) On a pogo stick JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 45



WIN! A SEMESTER OF CLASSES AT KIDVILLE This tremendously generous offer from early development centre Kidville offers one winner a block of 16 free classes for their little one, under five years of age. Kidville is opening new branches at Motor City and Uptown Mirdif, and to celebrate you can win this prize, worth a whopping Dhs2,325. Just tell us: Which of the following will not have a new Kidville branch this year? a) Motor City b) Uptown Mirdif c) The moon

With many different nights on offer, the Movenpick Hotel in Bur Dubai is letting the winner of this comp pick their prize from a choice of a Thursday night Grill, a Friday Brunch or The Fully Monty on Saturday. For your chance to win, tell us… What day comes after Saturday? a) Friday b) Sunday c) November

WIN! LUNCH AT CAFÉ CHIC Elegant eatery Café Chic at Le Méridien Dubai is a world away from the soggy fare you probably have in your Tupperware, so to inject a little je ne sais quoi into your day, we’re offering one reader lunch there for two people. For your chance to win, tell us… Which of these is a classic French bread? a) Wonderbread b) Nan c) Baguette

WIN! A VOUCHER WORTH WIN! ARTY BOOKS FROM THE DHS100 TO SPEND AT MANGO THIRD LINE GALLERY TREE BISTRO Fancy winning some really impressive books Up for a bit of Thai food? Mango Tree Bistro at Mirdif City Centre is the place to go – even better if you win this competition, as you’ll have Dhs100 to spend. For a chance to win, tell us… Which of these does not grow on trees? a) Beef b) Mango c) Apple

to improve your mind and coffee table? The Third Line gallery is offering books showcasing the skills of Emirati photographer Lamya Gargash and artist Susan Hefuna. For your chance to win, tell us… Where is the Third Line? a) Al Quoz b) Al Qasr c) Al Ain


WIN! A COOKERY COURSE AND MEAL FOR TWO AT THE NOODLE HOUSE Dubai favourite The Noodle House is opening its kitchen for one lucky winner to learn the secrets to cooking the top three dishes on its menu. Oh, they also get a meal for two thrown in for good measure. For a chance to win, tell us… What are you likely to find on the Noodle House menu? a) Tacos b) Burgers c) Dim Sum 46 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

Revamp your computer with the latest add-ons from hardware kings Logitech. The prize bundle, valued at Dhs965, includes a Comfortable MX1100 Mouse, a Webcam C510 and an Illuminated keyboard. For your chance to win, just answer this question: Which of these items is a piece of computer hardware? a) Virus b) Keyboard c) The internet

WIN! DINNER FOR TWO AT SANABEL Feeling hungry? Then read on, dear reader. Sanabel, the Mediterranean restaurant at The Pullman hotel in Barsha, is offering a table for two for the winner of this competition. For your chance to win, tell us… Which of these countries isn’t in the Mediterranean? a) Spain b) Turkey c) South Africa

WIN! A STABLE TOUR AND BREAKFAST AT THE DUBAI POLO CLUB Horse fans are in luck as we’ve teamed up with the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club to offer one winner (and seven pals) a tour its stables and a breakfast feast. For your chance to win, tell us… Which of these is a sport played on a horse? a) Polo b) Polio c) Apollo


The Address


Step into Fazaris, the cosmopolitan restaurant at The

Address Downtown Dubai and choose from an array of Asian, Indian, Arabic, and Mediterranean cuisines, combined with a fine selection of Red, White or Rosé’s. Every Friday from 12:30pm to 4:00pm, indulge in a sumptuous brunch buffet with an endless selection of dishes combined with our carefully selected beverages that will take your palate through an unforgettable journey.

Brunch packages range between AED 290 to AED 425 per person.


FILM Attack The Block

Mr Popper’s Penguins

Attack The Block

Mr Popper’s Penguins

Super 8


Nick Frost, Jodie Whittaker, Luke Treadaway, John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Joe Cornish (writerdirector)

Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, Madeline Carroll, Angela Lansbury, Ophelia Lovibond, Mark Waters (director)

Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Noah Emmerich, AJ Michalka, Steven Spielberg (producer), JJ Abrams (writer-director)


‘Inner city vs. outer space’

Er, ‘Jim Carrey’

‘It arrives’


Bonfire Night on a South London estate saw much nastier things than spent fireworks fall to Earth, but the hoodie-clad street kids were tooled up to defend their concrete jungle.

Icy businessman Tom Popper (Carrey) inherited a highly unusual package from frozen Antarctica, and soon found his heart thawing as rapidly as its contents.

A group of film-making friends in a small, late-1970s Ohio town witnessed a train derailed by a car, but the ‘accident’ quickly spiralled into a spate of eerie occurrences.


Watch one half of clownish comedy duo Adam & Joe craft his first feature almost entirely out of knowing references to others.

See rubber-faced Carrey and his trademark tomfoolery in a scenestealing contest with a gaggle of flightless seabirds.

Unravel what at first smells like another run-of-the-mill shady conspiracy, but soon starts to feel distinctly less Earthly.


The same movies as Joe Cornish. Alternatively, any other modern Brit-flick with Edgar Wright (exec producer) onboard – Shaun Of The Dead being an obvious contender.

Adaptations of 1938 children’s books. For those with marginally less esoteric tastes, think fishout-of-water animal crackers like Babe: Pig In The City, or earlier cautionary Carrey tale Liar Liar.

Statue Of Liberty-trashing 2008 snarler Cloverfield – produced, of course, by JJ Abrams. But if that was a one-trick pony, this looks likely to have a second up its sleeve.


When Cornish quizzed SXSW festival audiences over US plans to subtitle the film’s heavy London slang, nobody reported noticing an accent problem.

Ben Stiller was originally slated to play Popper, with Noah Baumbach (The Squid And The Whale) directing. Both dropped out – make of that what you will.

Despite early rumours to the contrary, Abrams insists Super 8 has no link to Cloverfield. Those powerfully magnetic teaser trailers hold more clues, we suspect...


Impressively toothy aliens, but a little more bite needed overall.

Carrey’s in a flap, but will he leave us cold?

Monstrous fun as Abrams rewrites the rules of attraction.





48 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011


Transformers: Dark Of The Moon

Cars 2

Transformers: Prom Dark Of The Moon

Winnie The Pooh

Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Eddie Izzard, John Lasseter (director)

Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Steven Spielberg (producer), Michael Bay (director)

Aimee Teegarden, Thomas McDonell, DeVaughn Nixon, Danielle Campbell, Yin Chang, Joe Nussbaum (director)

John Cleese, Jim Cummings, Tom Kenny, Craig Ferguson, Travis Oates, Stephen Anderson (director)

‘From the creators of Toy Story 3’

‘Earth’s last stand’

‘Who are you going with?’

‘Oh Pooh’

Star car Lightning McQueen (Wilson) took off to compete in the World Grand Prix, but skidded into a high-stakes game of fourwheeled international espionage.

The Autobots learned of a spacecraft hidden on the Moon, sparking a race to uncover its secrets and casting new light on our own 1960s lunar programme.

A disparate group of faintly selfabsorbed tweens fretted about the minutiae of pubescent life as the social event of the year loomed into view.

Christopher Robin’s favourite stuffed animal, Pooh bear (Cummings) ran out of honey. He set off to find more, but ended up in a hunt for a donkey’s missing tail.

Hear Michael Caine lording it as a top spy after more servile outings as butler Alfred Pennyworth in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

Watch an entire city get pummelled into dust for two solid, high-octane and decidedly mindnumbing hours.

Watch Disney’s hand-wringing highschoolers clatter through a few meaningless, but oddly satisfying, romantic encounters.

Be transported back to childhood by a relatively faithful adaptation. Unusually, the script here is based on two original AA Milne stories.

Pretty much anything from the impressive Pixar studios, but most importantly the original Cars (1996). If you didn’t like that, it may be time to head to the pits for an oil change.

Either of the first two instalments in Bay’s robo-smash franchise. Although, frankly, if you were a TF fan as a kid, you’ll have given up on this trilogy already.

Bring It On, which temporarily blotted Kirsten Dunst’s career copybook even as she carried her co-stars to box office safety.

The good old days of Disney family adventures, before CGI came along and polished everything to a dazzling (if slightly plastic) shimmer.

Since starring in the original Cars, both Hollywood icon Paul Newman and legendary US standup George Carlin have died.

During filming, the 2011 Chevy Camaro ‘playing’ Autobot Bumblebee was badly damaged by a cop car speeding to a bomb alert.

When Prom star Aimee Teegarden asked Miss Teen USA contestant Caitlin Upton about maps in 2007, the bungled response got 50million YouTube views.

This franchise reboot is the 51st feature-length film in the Disney cannon, and entirely made using traditional animation techniques.

We’re pretty revved-up about this one already.

Beats Revenge Of The Fallen, but won’t raise the Titanic.

Hardly the homecoming queen, but any port in a storm.

Sweet, natural, and well worth sticking a paw into.




★★★✩✩ JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 49

EATING OUT It’s fair to say that the UAE is not famed for its fresh, local produce. While the words ‘organic’, ‘seasonal’ and ‘local’ have been buzzwords in Europe for a decade or so – and not just among foodies, either, the revolution is mainstream there – the UAE has been pretty slow to catch on. But, recently, there have been a few steps in the right direction – Baker & Spice's Friday Farmers’ Market (now, unfortunately, closed for summer) was a huge hit with us, likewise the Choose Wisely campaign (, which promotes the use of sustainable, local fish. Though the latter, disappointingly, is still only supported by one local chef – Verre’s Scott Price. This month’s Eating Out is dedicated to this worthy cause – another small step towards a more localised food scene. We chatted to the chefs at Abu Dhabi’s Le Bistrot (p60), which has just introduced a sustainable, 100 per cent local menu, as well as introducing Bumble Box (p61) – a new local fruit and veg delivery service set up by Dubai-based businesswomen Sonia Veysey and Becky Balderstone, who also run a Farmers’ Market at the Dubai Garden Centre. But it’s not all about campaigning. In the following pages you can also enjoy a run down of speedy UAE lunches (p52), our verdict on new Japanese Honyaki (p54), trendy hangout Amika Lounge (p57), indy Indian Aryaas (p58) and Anatolian restaurant Lalezar (p58), plus the UAE’s first sturgeon farm, The Critic on food apps, and a warm welcome to The Ivy (p63), which finally opens this month. We tested the menu a couple of days before opening and everything, especially the cod with cauliflower, clams and samphire (the recipe is on page 63), certainly seemed in order. Get yourself down to the Bumble Box Farmers’ Market, refuse to eat another piece of hammour or, if it’s all you do, at least think twice about what you, or your favourite restaurant, put on your plate. The revolution begins here, ladies and gents.


Gareth Rees, Features & Food Editor

JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 51


Only one hour for lunch? Ditch the lunc canteen and make it can work, with our round wor up of o the UAE's best lunc lunch spots

course buffet. Or a few seconds quicker for those seated closest to the food. VALUE FOR MONEY With this quality and quantity you can have your cake and eat it for Dhs148. The Yas Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Thurs noon to 3.30pm, Dhs148. Tel: (02) 6560000.


WHA WHAT? A starter, star main, dessert and tea or coffee, coff with a glass of wine for a little extra. We enjoyed a nice goats’ cheese salad and a sweet red onion on velouté for appetisers, a fillin filling veal osso bucco off the bone aand several pink lamb chops for ma mains, and finished things off with wit a tarte tatin and a lemon pie. The Th sommelier suggested somet something lovely to complement our pl platefuls, and despite the Garho Garhoud location, it was busy on a Tuesday Tues lunchtime. TIME It really real depends how fast you eat, but there’s th no slacking between course courses and you could make it an hour-long hou quickie or more langu languid 90-minuter. VALU VALUE FOR MONEY Dhs19 Dhs190 with a glass of vino, Dhs17 Dhs170 without, making it one of the pricier lunches. Ideal for treatin treating yourself on a Thursday. Café C Chic, Le Méridien Dubai, Airpor Airport Road, Garhoud, Dubai, Sat to Thurs 12.30pm to 2.45pm, Dhs170 to Dhs190. Dhs Tel: (04) 2170000. www.

GL GLASSHOUSE HO WHA WHAT? There’ There’s nothing fussy about executive ch chef Scott Price’s new menu. Three starters, three mains and three desserts. d Scott is the only chef in tow town who has signed up to the 52 W WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011


WHAT? The lunch menu, which changes every fortnight, is the perfect introduction to the wonders of Michelin-starred master chef Pierre Gagnaire’s only Dubai Glasshouse outpost, enabling you to enjoy the challenging, often magical, cuisine Choose Wisely campaign, which to 3.30pm, Dhs75 and Dhs95. Tel: for relatively little money. First up supports sustainable fishing in the were four tiny tasters comprising (04) 2127551. UAE, and we ate an outstanding a beetroot puree with anchovy, appetiser of marinated faskar with a cube of hen broth (that’s right) beetroot and goats’ cheese salad. with bean sprout salad, a rataWHAT? We also tried a commendable touille with pepper coulis and Origins is already a cut above chicken and leek terrine, before quinoa tabouleh. Then came a moving on to mains of sea bream in the average all-day dining, but it delightfully light crayfish dish, ups the stakes for this sumptuous an intelligent paprika cream sauce followed by a manly main of roast and the star of the show – a base of lunchtime buffet. The ‘serve your- Normandy chicken with Dauphiself ’ element guarantees incredible nois potato, and a selection of the spicy horseradish mash filled with speed, regardless of how busy the beef and onion with a flaky pastry always excellent desserts. restaurant is. A huge array of cold TIME lid. A pie made light enough for cuts, salad, dips and more got us lunch. Pick of the desserts was a We took an hour and 20 minutes. off to a flying start, and provided custard tart, which the chef promYou could do it in an hour, but it a light prelude to our stomachised would be “sexy”. It was. would be a waste. We advise orswelling selection of mini steaks TIME dering a glass of wine and settling with oven roasted potatoes and We were in and out within 50 in for a two-hour ‘meeting’, espeminutes, having eaten three cours- buttered vegetables. A roast in a cially if you’re dining before June 6 rush, if you will. The desserts are es followed by coffee. Impressive. when Pierre himself is in town. plentiful, too, with a forkful of the VALUE FOR MONEY VALUE FOR MONEY gateau-esque signature Yas Cake An absolute bargain by anyone’s Dhs180 for three courses and a proving an essential sugar rush standards at Dhs95 for three dessert of this calibre is a dream. to power you through those post- InterContinental DFC, Dubai, courses and Dhs75 for two. A lunch hours. slap-up meal at a winning price. Mon to Fri noon to 2.30pm, TIME Glasshouse, Hilton Dubai Creek, Dhs180. Tel: (04) 7011199. www. A mere 35 minutes for a threeDeira, Dubai, Sat to Thurs noon




Rivington Grill


WHAT? Weekday lunches don’t need to be a hastily grabbed sandwich or sad leftovers. From Sunday to Thursday, the Riv serves up two courses for Dhs80 or three for Dhs100, with two choices for each course, which change daily. When we visited, a seasonal asparagus soup and blue cheese salad with apple and watercress started proceedings, followed by pan-fried salmon with fennel and citrus dressing or the famed beef and Yorkshire pudding salad for mains, nicely finished by either strawberry Eton mess or some tropical fruits with sorbet. Portions are more than enough to get you through the afternoon, but aren’t nap-inducing. TIME 50 minutes for three courses. Speedy indeedy. VALUE FOR MONEY A great way to sample the menu without splashing the cash - especially on days when there’s a nice steak on the menu. Rivington Grill, Souk al Bahar, Dubai, Sun to Thurs noon to 4pm, Dhs80 for two courses or Dhs100 for three courses. Tel: (04) 4230903.


WHAT? While an all-you-can-eat affair doesn’t, on the face of things, seem like a good idea for a whistle-stop lunch, the reasonable weekday prices for this yum cha offering ensure you don’t need to pile the dishes high. A mounted menu, that doubles as a checklist, makes ordering super simple and speedy. The piping hot clear chicken soup with fresh mushrooms and asparagus does take a little time to cool sufficiently to start, but after that small plates arrive with alacrity. Our personal pick was the wokfried radish cakes Singapore style, although save a few minutes for the alluringly rich crispy sesame ball dessert. TIME 55 minutes for three courses, and a mini banquet at that. VALUE FOR MONEY: Particularly ravenous fast eaters get the best VFM here. Shangri-La, Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, noon to 3pm (last orders at 2.30pm), Sun to Thurs Dhs88 for two courses, Dhs108 for three courses,. Tel: (02) 5098888. www.


WHAT? Okku feels like WHAT? a different place Getting to mall-based restaurants during its lunch normally involves strategically service; the noise planning your route through and excitement hoards of weekend shoppers. A of its evening bustle helpful tip is to visit them during replaced with serene chat and your weekday lunch break. While an easygoing vibe. The food is Wild Ginger’s kitchen offers up very much the same though, some pretty standard pan-Asian and the mixture of businessmen, favourites, it does operate like tourists and ladies that lunch a well-oiled machine – and it's scattered around the place are certainly not stingy with its porable to enjoy the classy Japanese’s tions. Time wise, a nasi goreng signatures of miso black cod and with skewered chicken in soy the Okku burger. sauce main was not far behind TIME the wasabi prawn starter, and the Exactly 58 minutes from entry to banana fritters were a crisp and exit. Two minutes to get back to clean way to end it. Tasty and full, the office, and you’d better look with 15 minutes to spare. sharp about it. TIME VALUE FOR MONEY Just 45 minutes for three a la There are four options, from carte courses. Dhs69 to Dhs125, depending on VALUE FOR MONEY whether you’d like an entrée and/ Excellent value considering all or desert and a drink, and all of three courses and a fruit juice will which are a great introduction to cost you less than Dhs80. the Okku menu. Wild Ginger, Deira City Centre, Okku, The Monarch, 1 Sheikh Dubai, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (04) Zayed Road,Dubai, Sun to Thurs 2953511 noon to 3pm, Dhs69 to Dhs125. Tel: (04) 5018777


WHAT? DIFC. Business. Zuma. The three go hand in hand, which is why this restaurant is packed with ‘city’ types come lunchtime. It’s all about suits and sushi, and some people actually seems to be working, too. TIME No messing around here. How long’s your lunch break? One hour? Zuma will have you fed and back at your desk in less than 50 minutes with three courses of the finest Japanese food Dubai has to offer filling your belly. Or, if you’re really pushed for time, skip a course and get back for that 1.30pm conference call, pronto. VALUE FOR MONEY Outstanding. A choice of three dishes for Dhs120 from the ebisu menu, or two from the ebisu express for Dhs62. That’ll explain the crowds, then... DIFC, Sun to Thurs 12.30pm to 3pm, Dhs120 for three courses, Dhs62 for two courses. Tel: (04) 4255660.


WHAT? A bright, buzzing space, Café M is a popular lunch spot with Media City workers. There’s an a la carte menu, but for speed and convenience opt for the midday deal which scores you unlimited access to a regularly replenished salad bar and ice tea (Dhs35), or add a freshly-made sandwich for Dhs50. Also recommended are the bento boxes (Dhs50), which include dishes from all over the globe, so choose from mini-meals from America, Malaysia and more. TIME The serve-yourself salad bar saves precious minutes and we were in and out within 40. VALUE FOR MONEY Starting from Dhs35, this deal is cheap enough to make your leftovers look redundant. Café M, Media One, Media City, Dubai, Sun to Thurs noon to 3pm. Tel: (04) 4271000. JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 53


On the menu


Feast on this month’s new additions ROAST WITH THE MOST In response to the blistering heat, the clever folks at Al Badia Golf Club have shifted their Friday brunch indoors to the Terra Firma Steakhouse. Dubbed the Roast & Grapes brunch, the a la carte service will enable you to devour endless cuts of roast meat without leaving your chair. Terra Firma Steakhouse, Al Badia Golf Club, Dubai Festival City Dubai, Fri noon to 4pm, Dhs195 to Dhs330. Tel: (04) 7011128. ZUMMER DRINKS Feeling a bit tubby? Worried about fitting into your summer bikini? Enter Zuma with its new range of low-calorie coolers and cleansers. The rejuvenated cocktail menu will include drinks created from fresh fruits and natural sweeteners to help you keep the extra kilos at bay. Zuma, DIFC, Dubai, from Dhs30. Tel: (04) 4255660 REGIONAL THAIS We love a bit of Thai Kitchen action, and the addition of new dishes to the menu is as good a reason as any to pay it a visit. Chef Supattra has developed several new dishes that showcase the flavours of her home in the north-east of Thailand. Chilli peppercorn and hot basil frogs’ legs, anyone? Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai. Tel: (04) 6021234 LITTLE ITALY Le Méridien Abu Dhabi’s Amalfi restaurant is launching its new menu, to coincide with its global nomination for the Best Traditional Italian Food award by Ospitalita Italiana – a panel set up by the Italian Chamber Of Commerce to recognise global Italian cuisine. Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6742020 54 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

Does Dubai need another Japanese restaurant? If we were opening a restaurant in Dubai, it wouldn’t be a Japanese one. That’s not because we don’t like Japanese food, you understand – there’s nothing we like better than a few slivers of skilfully sliced sashimi, a mustardy bowl of wasabi prawns or several strips of silky, seared wagyu. It’s just that the emirate is positively bursting with Japanese restaurants – it seemed at one stage a new place was practically opening every week – so we have the full range from conveyor belt quickies at Yo! Sushi to the sophistication of Zuma. We wouldn’t open a Japanese restaurant in Dubai, simply because we already have enough of them. Or so we thought. It didn’t start well, though. Honyaki claims to be “authentic”, which is always a worry. How on earth can a Japanese restaurant be authentic if it’s not in Japan? If it is, in fact, in a desert? But, having dined there, we know what chef de cuisine Keneth Kim means. Sort of. Kim arrived in Dubai having worked in Japan, Korea, London’s Nobu, Zakura in, of all places, Azerbaijan, and Kimu in Istanbul.

He is a Japanese chef. And he’s done a decent job with Honyaki. The restaurant itself is extremely small, seating just 30 inside and 30 on the terrace. The tables are close together. The staff greet you with the informal “moshi moshi” (hello). And, finally, there’s not too much messing about with the menu, or 'fusion’ as some like to call it. We’re not talking secret subterranean sashimi counter in Tokyo here, but there’s a layer of authenticity. The name, Honyaki, a type of Japanese knife, is appropriate, as the best of the food can be found on the sashimi section of the menu and all of the dishes are uncomplicated, produced with little more than dextrous hands, a sharp blade and quality ingredients. The edamame with spicy chilli paste were on the crunchy side of cooked, which we liked. The common miso with seaweed and tofu had more depth of flavour than your usual fast food broth, while a second option benefited from a handful of slippery nameko mushrooms sat at the bottom of the bowl.

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From the sashimi menu, a few scoops of bright orange and powerful flying fish roe (tobiko) went well with several fetching slices of yellowtail (hamachi) and the firm, meaty cuttlefish (ika). The nigiri sushi was just as good. A cool, clean strand of sea bream cruised nicely across the tongue on a portion of rice, as did the melt-in-the-mouth segments of scallop. The hand rolled cones of temaki sushi were a rare discovery, and the California temaki, king crab, cucumber, avocado and caviar wrapped in seaweed, was best shared – pass the sushi style – one bite at a time. Throw in three or four portions of gingery seared wagyu tataki, and that should be more than enough for two. But we stuffed ourselves silly with Honyaki’s take on the club sandwich, made of up salmon and crunchy tempura, some deep fried soft-shell crab with more of the flying fish roe and, finally, shrimp tempura. All scoffed without complaint, and wedged in with three scoops of mochi ice cream (the blueberry was a delight) and a bowl of sweet, sticky rice. So, it turns out that somewhere between Zuma and Yo! Sushi there is space for a small Japanese restaurant serving some straightforward, quality food. Honyaki now fills that space.

Need to know Location: Souk Madinat Jumeirah Tel: (04) 3666730 Web: Open: Sun to Thurs noon to midnight Cuisine type: Japanese Must eat: scallop nigiri Bill for two: Dhs550

In tweet form… Dubai’s newest Japanese restaurant. A welcome addition to the Dubai dining scene, serving unfussy, praiseworthy dishes at sensible prices. Follow us at WhatsOnDubai and WhatsOnAbuDhabi


Every Sunday, unlimited dishes from our menu only AED 165, from 7:00pm – 10:00pm

Every Tuesday, unlimited sushi only AED 110, from 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Every Friday, unlimited dishes and exotic drinks only AED 165, from 2:00pm – 6:00pm

For bookings and information, contact InterContinental Abu Dhabi on 800 423463 /

The freshest ingredients, perfectly prepared Experience the fresh new M’s restaurant at Emirates Golf Club.    








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Amika Lounge

A taste of things to come

Does modern Italian cuisine, late night drinks and an enthusiastic DJ make for Dubai’s most anticipated new opening? A transparent baby grand piano was being delivered to Amika as we walked through the door. Casual, it ain’t. Still in the soft opening phase, the Monarch’s latest resident has taken over a dark space, with raised dining area, cream and onyx lounge, VIP booths and bar. It’s glam, with chandeliers and luxurious fabrics, so it’s no surprise that Amika is billing itself as something of a late dining spot, batting against the likes of Cavalli to nab that loyal crowd of late starters – no mean feat. With this in mind, taking a table at 8.30pm was perhaps a little on the early side, but there were a few other people having some drinks and flicking through the menu, looking as though they couldn’t quite figure out how they had ended up there. The strangeness subsided as the night went on and hoards of people arrived for ladies’ night, but one more bit of the bizarre awaited before we settled down for dinner: there are no tables for two. At all. We were seated overlooking the bar (perfect for assessing the clientele), with two spare spots on the table. Spacious? Yes. Slightly awkward and effective at making us look like we’d been stood up? Certainly. Waiter Neo swooped in with menus to distract us, proffering pages of Italian food split by course, then into ‘modern’ and ‘traditional’, all listing impressive ingredients and introduced by a charming letter from chef Maurizio, previously of Frankie’s. It seems Amika is his baby, the place where he’s free to blend gold leaf with vanilla oil and baby spinach. And experiment he does, playing with conventional Italian flavours, and adding in a touch of the Blumenthals. We

New stamps for your food passport

started with organic breaded baby buffalo mozzarella with lavender and candied tomato, and warm sea scallops with truffle polenta and enoki mushrooms from the modern antipasti menu, and threw in the beef bresaola from the traditional side. The presentation was well done, and some flavours, such as the polenta and a goats’ cheese mousse that came with the beef, shone through, but the temperatures seemed off, as though the dishes had been sitting under a halogen light before serving. Luckily, the two generous veal dishes we ordered for mains saved the day – including a Milanese name-checked by the chef in his intro. It came with flawless fondant potatoes and lip-smacking garlic spinach, then a hunk of ossobuco on saffron risotto, dripping with a bone marrow sauce that tasted so home-made we wouldn’t have been surprised to see Chef Maurizio’s mamma peeking around the kitchen door to see how we liked it. Very good, indeed. By the time dessert came around, the music had changed from jazzy to jumping, with micro-skirted girls trotting through the door at an impressive rate. The jovial atmosphere felt a little forced, as

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did the concept tiramisu we were presented with; four narrow test tubes set in a hefty brick, each containing a flavour; in theory a true fusion of the modern and traditional, but we generally prefer to eat dessert with a spoon instead of a straw. Come 11.30pm, Amika’s bar was jammed, while the dining area was a little neglected. There’s no doubt that this will be a popular spot, with promises of a grand opening (Lady Gaga kicked off the London outpost) and a 1980s night on Sundays, the staff are already up to speed, and the punters are already proclaiming it the newest hot spot, but the restaurant needs a little more time. One to watch.

Need to know Location: The Monarch, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3544005 Web: Open: Daily 8pm to 3am (last food serving at midnight) Cuisine type: Italian Must eat: veal ossobuco Bill for two: Dhs600

In tweet form… A sultry bar spot that should play to its strengths until the kitchen is up to speed, but it could be a real contender in time. Follow us at WhatsOnDubai and WhatsOnAbuDhabi

JONES THE GROCER We’ve been fans of Jones since the Aussie-born cafédeli-grocery store opened its first branch in Abu Dhabi. Its wagyu burger is the best in the capital, bar none. And now, at last, we can welcome Jones The Grocer to Dubai. Hot on the heels of its fourth Abu Dhabi outpost in Al Raha Gardens, Jones is also entering the Dubai fray with its first store opposite Times Square Mall. Al Manara, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. BALANCE CAFÉ Healthy eating matters, but it matters more to some than to others. If you’re one of those people who obsessively check the calorie count on every item in your shopping trolley, the Balance Café is for you. The menu looks to marry your choice of food with your personality. Baffled? Don’t worry, there is a nutritionist on hand to help you determine which dominant element best suites you. A calorie count is also provided with each meal, so all you need to decide is whether you are more an earthy person or a windy one. Oasis Centre, Third Floor, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 5152051 BIKERS CAFÉ Set to become the hippest hangout for every hairy biker and his roaring hog from here to, well, Ras Al Khaimah, we’re guessing, the Bikers Café, on Jumeirah Beach Road, is now fully open for business. There’ll be bikes galore, both inside and out, and enough tea and cakes to keep even the most hellish of hell’s angels happy. Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah, Dubai. Tel: (050) 2913650

JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 57


Aryaas Restaurant The new Bur Dubai branch of the Indian restaurant chain proves to be a real hidden gem On the whole, food FOOD presented in metal, EDITOR’S prison-style trays PICK tends only to be served to people who owe a huge debt to society or, oddly, school children. But Aryaas, opposite BurJuman in Bur Dubai, is the exception to that rule. The vegetarian delights on offer in this unassuming new restaurant – one of a chain (usually a huge turn off ) – would be wasted on the unruly, or the under-tens. It’s not classy, it’s not going to blow your mind and there is no meat, but the confusingly named ‘family roast’ – actually a four-foot long dosa – we ordered to mop up the various included dips proved to be worth the journey alone. Then there was the terribly bad for you – but oh so good –fried paneer cheese, and plenty of doughy paratha and brittle papad (poppadoms) to accompany the chutneys, curries and pickles that came as part of the thali. We’re talking lots of freshly cooked bread and plenty of spicy, sweet, sour and creamy sauces and chutneys to dip it in – perfect for sharing, and packing just the right amount of spicy kick. Downstairs is reminiscent of an office canteen, so it’s best to take a seat upstairs in the more sophisticated ‘family’ section, and order away. We spent Dhs124 between two, but we went a bit wild with the menu; you could easily aim for a sub-Dhs50 for lunch. One caveat though: do not, under any circumstances, order a South Indian coffee – there’s enough sugar content to practically give you instant diabetes. Aryaas Restaurant, Khalid Bin Waleed Road, opposite BurJuman, Bur Dubai. Tel: (04) 3577800 58 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

Lalezar Does “Dubai’s first Anatolian restaurant” live up to our expectations? We’re suckers for anything purporting to be a little bit different here at What’s On. So the bold claim of newly opened Lalezar, at Jumeirah’s Zabeel Saray on The Palm, to be “Dubai’s first Anatolian restaurant” was always going to grab our attention. Anatolia was a part of the Ottoman Empire, a region that now sits in the middle of modern day Turkey, and its cuisine is made up dishes that are cooked in the home, rather than the fabulous street food or high-end restaurants found in Istanbul. And the food we ate at Lalezar can, indeed, most accurately be described as homely or rustic. Most people faced with a large menu in a Turkish restaurant will turn straight to the page listing the kebabs, demand a couple of meaty treats and be done with it. Do not

do that at Lalezar. We started well with a bowl of the mercimek corbasi; a lightly spiced red lentil soup served with bread and melted kashkaval, sheeps’ milk cheese. Of the appetisers, the scallops with marinated artichoke (zeytinyagli emginar) were edible, if uninspiring, whereas the icli kofte, several bulgur wheat croquettes stuffed with minced beef, were much more agreeable. For mains, we had a nice piece of sea bass doused in its own broth and a heavier dish of beef tenderloin with potato cake. The dessert selection, reasonably priced at Dhs45, included a delightful sponge cake and a decent baklava, as well as a baked quince and rice pudding. There’s nothing at Lalezar that

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will have you scouring through old maps for Anatolia, but the hand painted tiles are a welcome nod to the imperial grandeur of the Ottoman Empire, while the food is honest, well prepared and a darn sight better than your runof-the-mill kebab house.

Need to know Location: Zabeel Saray, The Palm, Crescent Road (West), Dubai Tel: (04) 4530444 Web: Open: Thurs to Tue 3pm to 11pm Cuisine type: Turkish Must eat: mercimek corbasi Bill for two: Dhs940

In tweet form… Discover Anatolian cuisine at Zabeel Saray’s Lalezar. Homely food in lavish surroundings. Followed by a shisha on the terrace. Follow us at WhatsOnDubai and WhatsOnAbuDhabi


Hakkasan Dubai to open in November CEO Niall Howard reveals all about the multi-million-dirham Hakkasan, Dubai, opening in Emirates Towers in November How will Hakkasan in Dubai differ from Abu Dhabi? All Hakkasans are different. We hate the word ‘chain’. We’ve got a unique design and we’re going to a have a magnificent terrace area. The lounge and private dining room will be different, but the rest will be very familiar to people who love Hakkasan. The menu should be the same. And the long bar and the blue glass will be there. There’s lots of competition around Emirates Towers, with The Ivy and La Petite Maison, Zuma and Royal China across the road at DIFC. Risky? I welcome the competition because it makes more of a culinary centre. We always targeted Dubai, but it took quite a long time to find a suitable site. We looked at DIFC, which is a great location, but Jumeirah are investing in Emirates Towers, putting in highend brands. It’s a big investment: we’ve taken on about 150 staff. Do you have bigger expansion plans for the region? O W T OR DINNER F njoy Hakkasan's We probably won’t open too many e e n to Ju ce n e an e ch For your ersary menu betw tson@ Hakkasans, because we don’t niv wha special an , e-mail winwith the subject want to dilute the brand, but we’re 6 in 1 d an an as k 12 with Hak this question. e .a looking for a site in Dubai for our te a v to moti e answer kasan line and th niversary is Hak sister restaurant Yauatcha, and we’ve What an rating in June? already found a location for it Abu celeb th a) Fiftie th Dhabi, so will begin to build this year. en b) Eighte c) First


Joya Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa’s new beach bar Joya is a themed carnival of hijinks, frolics and fun in the sun. We’re not just talking drinks and sand in your shorts. Joya’s Friday beach party runs from midafternoon offering VIP cabanas, bean bags and sun loungers on the shore, as well as DJs, food, water sports, beach volleyball, a bucking bronco and fashion shows. Appetite for fun not sated? Go all out on the Divaz floating VIP lounge. It doesn’t just bob about

near the shore – it sails out to sea for a party on the ocean waves. Coolio visited recently. That’s just the kind of place it is. Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa, Jebel Ali, Dubai, Fri 3pm to late, Dhs100 and free for ladies. Tel: (050) 8740980. JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 59


The grass is greener Sustainability hasn’t really taken off in the UAE – until now. Le Bistrot, at Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, this month introduces a new eco-friendly menu, comprising organic produce from UAE suppliers. Head chef Thierry Gallas and acting executive chef Daniel Brooker explain all What made you decide to go green at Le Bistrot? Daniel: We started off doing a special dinner. The theme was sustainability, so we had to source local products and find suppliers. We found some, so we thought, ‘why don’t we turn this into something new?’. I believe we’re the first restaurant in Abu Dhabi to go sustainable. Thierry: We have to think about the future, right now. It will be too late soon. Was it a challenge to find reliable suppliers? Thierry: It certainly was difficult, especially to find local vegetables, meat and fish. That was a big part of the work. Daniel: It’s quite hard to find sustainable products in Abu Dhabi. You can find organic, but mainly from international suppliers, not local. But we did manage to find a nice organic farm [Abu Dhabi Organic Farm, in Suweihan] that supplies us with all our fresh fruit and vegetables on a daily basis. It’s all local suppliers – our meat is killed locally, our fish is from local waters. It’s more fun and more creative, going to the farm, seeing the chickens and quails running around. It’s a little bit of inspiration. You understand more. 60 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

We’ve ordered biodegradable tablecloths, for example.

You’re offering a sustainable menu all year round. Won’t summer make that difficult? Daniel: Our menu is seasonal. In the summer months it does get a bit limited, but we’ll just change it based on what we can get. You can still get lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, so it shouldn’t be a problem. And you’re growing your own herbs just outside the restaurant? Daniel: Yeah, we have a small garden. We’ve harvested a little basil, but it’s still in the development stage.

Organic food is often quite expensive. Is that the case here? Daniel: Actually, the sustainable menu is cheaper than the original menu, due to not having to pay transportation and import charges. How have diners responded so far? Thierry: Very positively. But some people still want to eat French. Daniel: We have two menus on the same card: a sustainable menu and then ‘guilty pleasures’. We still have wagyu, foie gras and duck breasts for guests coming for the French menu. Are there plans to go 100 per cent sustainable? Daniel: At the moment it’s just the food, but we’re working on changing all the lights to lowenergy bulbs and our urinals don’t use water. Soon we’ll be getting rid of linen and other items, replacing them with sustainable products.

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WHAT’S ON’S VERDICT Although there’s a danger of a placebo feel-good effect with ethical cuisine, Le Bistrot’s menu more than matches its laudable intentions. The thin and crispy beetroot tart, topped with young leaves, is a lovely light starter that subtly showcases the straightfrom-the-soil local products. What really confirms the scheme as a nailed-on victory, however, is the all-day braised lamb shoulder. A deliciously tender cylinder of fall-apart-on-your-fork goodness, the accompanying carrots in particular outstrip chemically enhanced rivals in the depth of taste stakes. And for dessert, not only is the honey pannacotta a snip at Dhs25, but the locally produced natural mountain honey is so fresh from the hive that Winnie The Pooh himself would satisfy his ceaseless sweettoothed at Le Bistrot.

Need to know Location: Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi Tel: (02) 6446666 Web: www. Open: Sat to Thurs 12.30pm to 3.30pm, daily 7pm to 11.30pm Cuisine type: sustainable (alongside a ‘guilty pleasures’ French menu) Must eat: all-day braised lamb shoulder Bill for two: Dhs280 (without alcohol)

In tweet form… Le Méridien Abu Dhabi's Le Bistrot goes sustainable. And chefs Gallas and Brooker have our full support. Follow us at WhatsOnDubai and WhatsOnAbuDhabi


DO THEY DELIVER? Organic, local produce is still something of a rarity in the UAE. New service Bumble Box aims to change all that, promising the best seasonal fruit and veg delivered fresh to your door. We asked Verre's executive chef, Scott Price, to give us his verdict

CHEF SCOTT’S VERDICT… "Everything is fresh and ripe, there’s a good selection. You can smell it as well, which is always a good thing. It’s also clean and in good condition. You have eight different types of veg in this large box, which is plenty for a week. The cucumbers are really nice and small, full of flavour. The tomatoes smell lovely. The cherry tomatoes taste amazing – they’re as good as you’re going to get from anywhere else, especially in the UAE. We get everything delivered from Europe, and these are just as good. And they’re organic as well. Thumbs up from me." Bumble Box, Dubai Garden Centre, Dubai, Tue and Thurs from 9.30am. Tel: (04) 3400006 Bumble Box delivery service, large Dhs130, small Dhs180. E-mail:

STURGEON FISH The world’s largest caviar farm is currently being developed in Musaffah, Abu Dhabi. We break down the facts and figures associated with the factory, sturgeons and the exclusive dish itself…

As long as a high quality water supply is available, caviar plants can exist anywhere in the world, even – in this case – in the desert.

Fresh sturgeon has been shipped to the UAE every week since March, with 140 tonnes being transported in total.

Sturgeon is one of the oldest fish species alive today, estimated to have existed for around 250 million years.

Although the name suggests otherwise, the farm’s Siberian sturgeon aren’t from Siberia at all. They were bred at a plant in Germany, and then imported into the UAE, with many of them flown in by Etihad’s specialist cargo division.

During air transportation, state-of-the-art temperature control technology keeps the sturgeon at a constant 10°C to 15°C. Others are shipped by sea from Europe to Jebel Ali.

In total, 130,000 sturgeons will be imported into the Emirates before the first Abu Dhabi-made caviar is produced, all covering thousands of miles in air and sea freight crossings.

Siberian sturgeons aren’t used to the UAE’s high temperatures and keeping them in good condition is especially important, as they are an endangered species. The International Union For Conservation Of Nature warned last year that 85 per cent of all species of sturgeon are at risk of extinction.

Despite the costs associated with transporting the sturgeon, caviar prices from the new factory are expected to undercut imported lines. The caviar will be available all year round, with no added preservatives.

The farm has its own sturgeon nursery, and will eventually breed 80,000 sturgeons, producing 32 tonnes of premium caviar every year. Iran is the world’s largest caviar producer, exporting 300 tonnes per year. Its creamy white Royal Almas sold for around Dhs120,000 per kg last year.

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James Brennan knows food. Having written on everything from bhajis to burgers for a string of international publications, James is now the Middle East chairman of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants judging panel. Don’t miss his monthly musings every issue. I’ve opened my own restaurant. It’s a 24-hour affair. Minimalist decor, simple menu. I bought tables and chairs and pictures for the walls, stoves and ovens, and the punters love it. Which is surprising, because I’ve given it a rude name and it serves mainly clam chowder and macaroni cheese. It’s a virtual restaurant, of course, and I run it on an iPhone. That’s sad. The fact that I have to check my phone every few hours to make sure the chowder is cooked properly ranks alongside livetweeting the royal wedding as one of the sadder things I’ve done. And 62 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

“IT WON’T ROLL UP ITS SLEEVE AND KNEAD PASTA DOUGH FOR YOU, BUT IT CAN BE A HANDY ASSISTANT IN THE KITCHEN. BIG OVEN BOASTS OVER 170,000 RECIPES” I blame it all on technology. Since buying a smartphone (long overdue as my previous device was one step up from a couple of yoghurt pots on a string) I’ve been exposed to the world of apps. Which, inevitably, means I’ve plunged my ladle into the rich and addictive gumbo of food apps. Restaurant Story is the one that keeps me up all night stirring the macaroni. Of course, there are no health and safety inspectors, severed fingers, whining customers or pompous food critics to contend with, so it’s really no reflection of real restaurant life. But it’s just one of the many apps that connects a global community of food and restaurant obsessives.

Another far more useful app is Foodspotting, which allows ‘appy snappers to take a picture of whatever they’re eating at any restaurant around the world, tag it, map it, post it and allow others to rate it. Most of the users are in America at present, but the chicken shawarma at Reem Al Bawadi is the top-rated dish in Dubai. Which clearly means Dubai needs more users. One thing Dubai doesn’t need more of is careless piscivores, which is where the Safe Seafood app comes in. Not only does it tell you whether a species is overfished, or possibly contaminated, it also offers alternatives and recommendations. On top of that, ten per cent of all proceeds

is donated to the Environmental Defence Fund. All good news for the beleaguered hammour and bluefin tuna. And so to the business of actually cooking with your smartphone. It won’t roll up its sleeve and knead pasta dough for you, but it can be a handy assistant in the kitchen. Big Oven boasts over 170,000 recipes and no registration requirement. You can get ideas to use up leftovers, generate random recipes, read or leave reviews and, if you choose to subscribe, synch with your iPad and create grocery lists. But when you’re getting down to the nitty-gritty, there’s Ratio. Based on Michael Ruhlman’s brilliant book, it reveals the essential relationships between ingredients, and provides ratios for perfect sauces, doughs, stocks and so forth. So now I know that a basic bread dough is five parts flour and three parts water, for example. It’s just a shame that my life is now 999 parts messing about with food apps on my iPhone and one part doing anything else, otherwise I might be bothered to cook.

The Ivy arrives


The Ivy head chef, Simon Conboy, on (finally) opening the British culinary institution in the UAE The Ivy is finally here. Relieved? It’s been a roller-coaster ride, working with Colin [Clague, executive chef, Caprice Holdings] on the menu, making sure we found the right staff, spending two weeks at The Ivy in London, learning the ethos, the history, what it stands for – it’s certainly been manic. What can we expect when we visit? A high level of service, a grand brasserie. But we’re not talking Michelin stars – that’s not what The Ivy is about. If you want a burger, we have a burger. If you want caviar, you can have that. That’s why it’s been so successful in London. How does it compare to London? We’d like to have the celebrity-led element, which the London restaurant is famous for. Obviously, they’re in the West End and we don’t have that theatre business over here. Any good restaurant needs a regular client base, people who will support you through quieter times, coming once or twice a week, championing the restaurant. That is what’s important. La Petite Maison and Zuma are across the road, Hakassan is coming soon. You've picked a tough location. It all adds to the culinary map of Dubai, raising the standards. The Ivy is a British institution. There’s room for everybody. Finally, the million-dirham question – will people be able to get a reservation? There’s been a lot of excitement about The Ivy coming to Dubai, and for the first month it will be hard to get in. From June 9, The Ivy, The Boulevard, Ground Level, Emirates Towers, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3198767.

THE IVY’S FILLET OF COD WITH CAULIFLOWER MASH, CLAMS AND SAMPHIRE INGREDIENTS 4 x cod fillets 2 chopped shallots 250g clams 50g samphire 3tbsp white wine 2tbsp double cream 175g diced unsalted butter Olive oil Lemon juice For the mash 1 medium cauliflower, finely chopped 200ml double cream 50g butter Salt and pepper

METHOD 1. Season the cod with salt and pepper; fry in oil for approximately three minutes either side 2. Add clams, oil, shallots and white wine to a pan, cover with a lid and cook on a high heat until open 3. Add samphire, oil and cream, and bring to the boil 4. Remove from heat, stir in diced butter, season and finish with a squeeze of lemon For the mash 1. Melt butter in a pan, add cauliflower and several tsps of water, cover with a lid 2. When soft, add cream, bring to the boil and season 3. Remove from the heat and blend JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 63









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Never too young Still dreaming Art Insider Five to see JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 65


Never too young... With summer holidays looming it’s time to work out what to do with the children during those long, hot days. Emily Madghachian and Hayley Doyle of Kids’ Theatre Works tell us why their drama camps are the place to be

The summer drama camps have been running for a few years now. Why do you think they are such a success? The camps are filled with fun and games, but there is also a focus on one big aspect – performing on stage by the end of the week. This idea creates excited energy and gives the young performers a goal. Knowing that after five days they will be under the spotlight, with an audience cheering for them, and performing in a show filled with their own ideas is a big part of the success. One of your selling points for this year’s camps is the UK instructors – why bring people from overseas rather than focus on local talent? It’s fantastic that professional actors from the UK can come over because, from the West End to venues in major cities and beyond, it’s one of the most highly regarded and established theatrical centres in the world. Our young Dubai performers will learn so much from the expertise that UK instructors can bring. Dean Elliott [the star instructor] has worked as a professional actor since he was a child. He is best recognised now as Buddy Holly, having played him in the worldwide hit musical Buddy for many years. He is also wonderful with children having done workshops all over, including third world countries. Is this just fun or is it serious training for those considering a career as a performer? There is a lot of fun to be had in these workshops, and kids who don’t necessarily want to perform can benefit and enjoy it. If the kids are serious about performing, this is also the perfect summer activity because they are working with industry professionals, performing on stage, using their creativity and are under pressure to produce a show by the 66 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

end of just five days. The pressure is positive because it creates that electrical excitement and energy that makes theatre so magical. Can you describe a typical experience for the kids who come to the camp? The first thing that happens in a summer camp is that we all get to know each other through games. By the end of the first day – or even by lunchtime – all the kids have made new friends, and the wonderful thing about theatre is that you feel like you have known these friends for life because everyone feels expressive and relaxed. Their

confidence should build throughout the week because they are creating the show based on their ideas and every single child will have an idea that is incorporated, so they will feel a sense of achievement and pride. The skills they will learn are team work, dance, improvisation, comic timing, and stagecraft. Overall, the process has proved to be highly rewarding and quite unforgettable. Weekly from Jun 26 to Aug 25, DUCTAC, Mall Of The Emirates, Barsha, Dubai. Tel: (04) 341477 (ext 234).



Egyptian artist Susan Hefuna has returned to The Third Line with a new solo show. What’s On takes a look inside

The Schedule

Not sure which art camp to pick? Here’s the low-down... Week one: Soaps & Bubbles Create your own TV show with crazy characters and storylines. Week two: Milkshakes & Musicals Live rock’n’roll music and Shakespeare are combined to create a musical in a 1950s diner. Week three: Shipwrecked! Kids land on a desert island and take over. Grown-ups strictly not allowed. Week four: Futuramadrama Invent your own characters and take them on a journey through time and space. Week five: Spooky Studio Want to star in your own horror flick live on stage? Be prepared to be scared...

Your new exhibition features sculptured ‘vessels’ in aluminium. Tell us about them The newest elements to my repertoire are the three-dimensional structures in aluminium. They are not ‘vessels’, but are similar to my drawings in the sense that they are connected: their creation and formation has all been conceived in one go. The lines and dots (also seen in the drawings) are all linked and form a maplike molecular structure. They reflect the

intricacies of my mind – as do the drawings – which is finding a way, a path, a route to the next destination, chapter, stage. Is there a meaning to them? They are related to the Mashrabiya screens, the gridded windows of ancient Islamic architecture that allowed for air circulation, filtered light into houses and protected women from public view but also allowed them to see the outside world. The Mashribiya has always been a symbol in my work – I have been working with them for over 16 years. It represents separation, yet at the same time it filters and brings together; exterior and interior voyeurism. Does your work represent the struggles of women in Egypt and elsewhere? My work does not represent the struggle but rather the strengths of women and culture which is created by women. For example my series of Mashrabiyas since 2004 have inscribed on them and are titled ‘Woman Cairo’ and the date. Just think of Om Kalthoum, she was a very powerful singer in her time and even now, in Egypt and around the world. If you had to sum up your current exhibition in three words, what would they be? Concentration (a high contemplative state of mind which I find myself in when drawing); Mapping (which is what is happening in my works); and Clarity (how I feel after completion of a piece, when my thoughts are then ‘visible’). Until Jun 16, Cairo Dreams, The Third Line, Al Quoz 3, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3411367. www.

All aboard the Art Bus! Ok, ok, we’ve been banging on about this one for a while now, but if you haven’t done so already, we really must urge you to pay a visit to Abu Dhabi’s Manarat Al Saadiyat for Splendours of Mesopotamia, which pulls down its shutters for the last time at the end of this month. A journey through the creative birth of civilisation, Splendours... focuses on the three great centres of Mesopotamia as it was: Sumer, Assyria and Babylon. Featuring treasures on loan from the British Museum and Al Ain National Museum, this is once-in-a-lifetime stuff (or at least a taster for the Zayed National Museum, which this and forthcoming exhibitions on Saadiyat are a precursor for). And if you think not actually living in Abu Dhabi is an excuse not to visit, think again. On Thursday June 23, the Art Bus will be setting off for the capital for an evening of live music, poetry and workshops at the Artscape ‘Neo’ Babylon event. Book your ticket now. Dhs50. Tel: (04) 3417303. E-mail: JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 67


Still dreaming


Art historian, dedicated collector and managing director of Dubai’s Meem Gallery, Charles Pocock knows the UAE art scene like the back of a Picasso. Do you have an art question for Charles? E-mail: editor-wo@ This month sees the international art community jet into Venice for one of the biggest events on the 2011 art calendar – the 54th Biennale di Venezia. Critics, art connoisseurs, gallerists and tourists alike will briefly decamp to the northern Italian city to ogle, comment upon and criticise the numerous national pavilions. Follow my advice, and join them. Why? Well, the Venice Biennale is regarded internationally as the greatest of all art biennales, with numerous international pavilions displaying the talent emanating from various countries – in essence it is a cultural expo, with each country attempting to outdo the others. It will be thrilling. But, most importantly, this year the Middle East is heavily represented. Egypt’s show was cancelled, then brought back again, with Ahmed 68 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

Basiouny. Iraq is returning to the Biennale following an absence of 35 years with Adel Abidin, Halim Al Karim, Ahmed Al Soudani, Walid Siti, Ali Assaf and Azad Nanakeli. Turkey, Iran, Syria and the UAE returns with Saudi Arabia a new edition to the Middle Eastern line-up. We also have a pan-Arabic pavilion funded by the Jameel Group of Saudi Arabia and Abraaj Capital. Titled The Future Of Promise it will contain works by many leading names, such as Janane Al Ani, Mona Hatoum, Emily Jacir, Ayman Baalbaki and others. But, with Iraq, Turkey and The Future Of Promise being the exceptions, the other pavilions will feature heavily censored exhibitions, which is a real pity. By exhibiting artists that do not necessarily promote the true art scene of each country and the region, they are not presenting the best of what they have to offer. This is disappointing. Qatar, through Mathaf, has collected the best of modern and contemporary Arab art, presenting a credible body of work to an international audience. Why can’t the other GCC countries embrace pan-Arabism when it comes to culture and present the best the region has to offer, instead of exhibiting to the world what is in essence student work, especially on a stage such as the Venice Biennale?

Five minutes with... Syrian photographer Jaber Al Azmeh Why do you show your work in pairs? There are two main components for each of the photographs; the human element and the time element. Initially I had no intention of presenting them in pairs, but then I found that this method would complement the duality of components. Moreover, there’s a connection between the two photographs in each pair, sometimes it is visual, other times it is conceptual. So presenting them as ‘duets’ would allow the viewer to enjoy discovering these connections. There’s a lot of tight focus in your images, revealing patterns in the subject matter almost to the point of abstraction. Is that a conscious choice? Obviously, I would say yes. Most artists like it when their work is over-analysed, although they might pretend otherwise. The truth is, I am still in love with painting and in my photography work I consistently seek to create a painting. When I was a fine arts student, it seemed unquestionable to me that I would become a painter… it hasn’t happened, but perhaps I still try through various means. Your images rarely contain people yet you call them ‘portraits’ – why? Because when I look at these photos what I really want to see in front of this wall or behind that door is the people who passed by, the people who created or who were present in the scene. It could be a short, dark man, or a young woman getting on a train anticipating a reunion… it is a collection of short stories and portraits of their characters. Describe your work in three words Simple in form Until Jul 16. Traces, Green Art Gallery, Unit 28, Street 8, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3469305.

Skills set Fancy getting your head around a creative computer package such as Adobe Illustrator or learning how to make a collage? These are just two of the recent courses on offer at Taskkeel’s Ned Al Sheba space. With a regular roster of contemporary art exhibitions alongside well-equipped studio space and discount for members, Tashkeel remains one of Dubai’s best-kept creative secrets. We suggest you get onboard and discover it for yourself today. Nad Al Sheba, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3363313.


Five to see


Another new entrant on the UAE’s art scene, this summer exhibition from Ara Gallery is dedicated to showcasing Emirati artists and their work, inspired by the United Arab Emirates. Jun 7 to Aug 31, Burj Plaza, Emar Boulevard, Downtown, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4542784.


Rather more like peering through the dense, ever-changing patterns of a kaleidoscope than a looking glass, Mouteea Murad’s rich geometric abstractions, deeply rooted in Islamic culture and aesthetic traditions as they are, are a joy. Until Jun 16, Ayyam Gallery DIFC, Building 3, Gate Village, DIFC, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4392395.


Sharjah’s Bajeel Art Foundation’s vast private collection continues to impress in this group exhibition that aims to delve into how modern Arabs are both represented and projected in our busy, 24/7 communication world. Until Jul 31, Barjeel Art Foundation, Level 2, Maraya Art Centre, Al Qasba, Al Taawun Road, Sharjah. Tel: (06) 5566555. www.


Iranian painter Shahriar Ahmadi confirms Dubai’s new Etemad gallery as one to watch. Large, brightly-coloured canvases merge the ancient and the sacred with the modern – all that green, for example, is a nod to recent developments in Iran. Until Jun 11, Etemad Dubai, Unit B 12, Street 8, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai. www.galleryetemad. com 70 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011


Past and present connect in this fascinating exhibition that documents Islamic ornament and design by European scholars in the 19th century. Jun 18 to Jul 18, DUCTAC, Mall Of The Emirates, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3414777.

Carved magnesite statue of Ashurnasirpal II on reddish dolomite stand. From Nimrud, Ishtar Sharrat-nihi temple, 883-859 BCE. Š The Trustees of the British Museum.

Under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces

TDIC presents Splendours of Mesopotamia Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi

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Who’s your daddy? Whether your dad is the traditional pipe and slippers type, or a more young and trendy specimen, we’ve found the essential gifts to make his day


He might want to keep cool in the summer, or just hide that bald spot, but your dad should do it in style with this Panama hat instead of a handkerchief. Reiss, The Dubai Mall, Dubai, Dhs250. Tel: (04) 4340720

Off the cuff

A must-have for any man’s wardrobe, these chinos are an absolute bargain, and have a modern cuff to drag him up to date. New Look, Deira City Centre, Deira, Dubai, Dhs149. Tel: (04) 2952741

Time travel

This traditional-style suitcase will please your post-war padre no end, but the modern technology and sharp structure will last him for years. Harvey Nichols, Mall Of The Emirates, Barsha, Dubai, Dhs2,100. Tel: (04) 4098888

Tie land

Cliché? Yes. For good reason? Without a doubt. A luxurious twist on the predictable gift, these Bulgari ties are made from 100 per cent jacquard silk and will add a touch of elegance to any suit. Bloomingdale’s, The Dubai Mall, Dubai, Dhs1,550. Tel: (04) 3505333

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All that glitters

Handmade silver ashtrays don’t come cheap, but then neither did raising you, so it’s time to show your dad the love with this future heirloom from Patrick Mavros. Dhs6,000. www.patrickmavros. com



Playlist The pick of this month’s new releases DVD TRUE GRIT (Paramount)

The Coen brothers’ remake of the classic John Wayne-led Western sees Jeff Bridges take the starring role as the growling US Marshall Rooster Cogburn. Ably supported by an excellent cast of Matt Damon and first-timer Haliee Steinfeld, Bridges excels as the gruff sheriff on the trail of a gang of murderous outlaws. Out now

NU RAVE DAD Cool calls

Perfectly blending retro and futuristic, the Sagemcom Sixties phone has a wireless set, built-in answer machine and a 15-number phonebook. Dhs550.


May the force…

US super-producer Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz) and Italian composer Daniele Luppi take a modern brush to a spaghetti western theme here, reassembling original players from scores such as The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. Two cameos add the intriguing contemporary twist: The White Stripes' leader Jack White versus nice-but-dull songstress Norah Jones. Out now

Tap into his late-70s self with these R2-D2 headphones. They fold, have a built-in mic, and even a remote to control his tunes. Geek chic at its best. Dhs400.

Street chic

He’ll be doubly cool with these CC Ride trainers from Adidas, which are designed with summer in mind, featuring climate control material and 360 degree ventilation. Adidas, The Dubai Mall, Dubai, Dhs495. Tel: (04) 4340603


(Rockstar on PS3)

In the shade

Essential to any man’s summer, sunglasses are worth spending that little bit more on when you live in the UAE, and Burberry’s new foldable style comes in a rainbow of colours. Just remind him to maintain some fatherly dignity and take them off at night. Burberry, The Dubai Mall, Dubai, Dhs1,180. Tel: (04) 3398357

Rockstar Games’ eagerly anticipated LA Noire was worth the wait. Immersive, atmospheric and heavily reliant on psychology, this part adventure, part murder mystery conjures up images of James Ellroy’s Black Dahlia. Jointly developed with Australia’s Team Bondi, the setting is Los Angeles, 1947, with players taking the role of LAPD officer Cole Phelps as he attempts to solve a series of murder mysteries. Not your average adventure game, it combines crime solving with gunplay, car chases and fist fights in a free roaming environment. Impressive motion capture means a character’s expression can help you judge whether they are lying or not, while flashbacks, music and various side missions contribute to what is ultimately a superior video gaming experience. Out now

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Do you have a fashion question for Sophia? E-mail:

We drag the oh-so stylish Sophia Serin away from the helm at Emirates Woman into the grubby What’s On office to answer your wardrobe woes

What's hot in swimwear at the moment? Any colours or styles I should be looking out for? Sarah, Dubai Swimwear has taken an ultra girly turn this summer, so look to feminine ginghams, lace and polka dots. As always, the bikini is back – smaller and sexier than ever. If you want to go luxe with your swimmers this season, the brand of choice is Beach Bunny (pictured). With a selection to suit every body shape (and perfect for UAE pool parties) you will find yourself dressing up for the beach and feeling great about it. Beach Bunny swimwear is available at Rodeo Drive stores in Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Atlantis, Burj Al Arab, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Emirates Palace, BurJuman and Via Rodeo. 76 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

I'm buying my first custom-made shirt – what's your take on having monograms stitched onto cuffs? I like it, but my wife isn't a fan. Shadi, Abu Dhabi Do it. There is nothing nicer than a monogrammed shirt on a man, but buyer beware – there are some rules. You should only get your cuff monogrammed if there is no French cuff and no pocket on your shirt AND it should be on your right wrist. If you fancy getting a ‘smart’ shirt made with a French cuff, the monogram should sit on the left side on your last rib. Whatever you do, don’t forget to finish off your outfit with a pair of chic cufflinks. Shirts and cufflinks by Eton Shirts www. Colour blocking is all the rage, but I find some of the brighter colours really draining. I'm a pale brunette – what shades will suit me? Ellen, Sharjah Fear not. This trend is a tough one to master, but does suit all skin types. If you are on the paler side, opt for rich blues and greens; these will also look great with your dark locks. If your skin is darker, then knock yourself out with all the pinks, reds and oranges your wardrobe desires.

Images Gucci

I'm getting married in September and would love to find a dress as stunning as the McQueen gown the Duchess Of Cambridge wore. Which are the best bridal boutiques in the UAE? Rima, Dubai There are a few boutiques in the UAE, but if you are looking for something similar (and as spectacular) to the Duchess Of Cambridge, you need to go couture – enter Rami Al Ali Couture. Located on Al Wasl Road in Dubai, Mr Al Ali is the master of the wedding gown and will tailor a bespoke dress for your big day. Villa 697, Al Wasl, Road Jumeirah, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3945607.


The New openings bookworm More pages to turn from our bespectacled buddy GREAT HOUSE Nicole Krauss

Stories within stories can often be confusing – thankfully not in Great House. Shortlisted for the 2011 Orange Prize, this excellent book from the award-winning author Nicole Krauss (The History Of Love) follows several characters, all intrinsically linked to a wooden desk. The connections between the characters and the desk are carefully crafted, and a delight to pick out.


This is an enlightening look at the wife of the celebrated composer Richard Wagner. Not everyone’s favourite composer, due to his unpleasant opinions, it is fair to say there is a glaring lack of decent human beings in this book. Translated into English by Stewart Spencer, the book tells how Cosima took control of the famous Bayreuth Festival, now a magnet for Wagner devotees. Hilmes’ novel, however, also delves into controversy as he establishes Cosima as the link between Adolf Hitler and Richard Wagner.


Beautifully framed and worded by Carlos Alba, this moving novel follows Antonio Noguera, a man struggling with a midlife crisis. Occasionally humorous, this story is based on a concept well used in modern fiction. But it's the father-son relationship that makes it worth reading. Available from Magrudy’s, Borders, Jashanmal and Kinokuniya 78 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

The latest places to open their doors to the purchasing public Bell & Ross Despite the English name and the Swiss head designers, watchmakers Bell & Ross is actually a proudly French company. Its recently opened boutique in BurJuman sees it wading into the competitive UAE highend watch marketplace all guns blazing. BurJuman Mall, Bur Dubai, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3594115. Blue Glue Summer is well and truly upon us, so it’s the perfect time for bikini specialists Blue Glue to open its first store in the UAE. With stacks of Parisian-designed swimsuits, there are enough colours and styles on the racks to last the whole summer. Mercato Mall, Jumeriah, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3448633. JustKidding You should never take shortcuts when it comes to your kids – this adage holds true at JustKidding’s newly opened flagship store. There are over 55 international brands in everything from strollers to clothing to car seats, making it a one-stop shop for all new

parents or broody couples. Al Safa Park Interchange, Sheikh Zayed Road. Tel: (04) 3466050. Blissland Set up by sisterly duo Heema and Janvi, Blissland is the latest interior showroom to pop up in Al Barsha. The homely décor shows a heavy Balinese influence, with sourced materials and furniture from all across Asia on sale. Exotic and surprisingly affordable, this is the store for you if you’re sick of the laminate, cookie-cutter styles that everyone has in their homes. Umm Suqeim Road, Barsha, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3409118

refresh your day with our exciting summer spa promotions escape the heat and indulge yourself in luxury treatments at the award-winning ESPA at The Yas Hotel

Choose our exquisite Hammam Ritual and get a one hour free facial. Or come along with a friend for an afternoon of beauty and enjoy our buy one get one free offer on any treatment over one hour. ESPA at The Yas Hotel, summer relaxation at its best. For both offers, prices start from AED 345*. Book your treatment now, call +971 (0)2 656 0862 or email


For more information visit Terms and conditions apply. All prices are subject to 10% service charge and 6% tourism fee.

Villa G2/U1, Corner of Al Wasl Road & 79th Street, Jumeira 1 (Between Life Pharmacy & Iranian Hospital)

Open 7 days, 9 am -12 midnight



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Totally tropical Take a trip around the world, from the comfort of the massage table

What? Hijama Country of origin? Egypt Where can I try it? Cleopatra Spa at Wafi What does it involve? Brace yourselves, this doesn’t sound like one for the faint-hearted, but hear us out. Hijama is an ancient practice that started in Egypt before catching on in Greece and the rest of the Middle East. A few years ago you might remember Gwyneth Paltrow walking the red carpet in a dress that showed off what looked like sucker marks all over her back, and extolling the virtues of a detox treatment she’d tried – and thus ‘cupping’ was all over magazines. Hijama is a more extreme version where a doctor places plastic cups on troubled areas (in our case, knees and shoulders), creates a vacuum in the cup using a pump, removes it and then cuts the skin with the tip of a scalpel, to create tiny incisions, then replaces the cup until the bloodflow subsides. After a few minutes the ‘dirty’ blood will be released, which is darker and thicker than healthy blood – almost jelly-like. Told you it wasn’t for the squeamish. However, you don’t need to see the blood if you don’t want to, and it’s not painful. Dr Benazir Quraishi treats patients with a diverse range of complaints, from back pain to fertility, but hijama is often used to strengthen the immune system, help with sleep patterns and create a feeling of well-being. Does it work? We left swathed in gauze and medical tape, with instructions to take it easy, not shower until the next morning, avoid alcohol and red meat, and go home for a glass of antioxidant cranberry or pomegranate juice. After an afternoon of feeling a bit down, an early night later we woke feeling clearheaded with none of the usual shoulder pain. Quite strange. Depending on how ‘toxic’ or congested your body is, the circular marks on your back may be quite dark and can last for up to a week. Needless to say, ours were a purplish hue for a few days, but the results were worth the temporary war wounds. Details: Cleopatra Spa, Pyramids Building, Wafi, Oud Metha, Dubai, Dhs485 for 45 mins. Tel: (04) 3240000

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What? Classic hammam Country of origin? Morocco Where can I try it? ESPA at Yas Hotel What does it involve? The hammam was inspired by Roman baths, but after a cleansing footbath, it’s clear this is a little more civilised than gorillas-in-the-mist images of hairy, half-naked men. Strolling into the main hammam room – there are two at ESPA – is akin to entering an oversized steam room. The humidity is initially overpowering, and for the first five minutes simply regulating breathing is about all you can concentrate on. Quick warning: with the constant rushing sound of water a pre-treatment bathroom break is advisable. Hindsight is a wonderful thing… The black marble table visible through the vapour is your soon-to-be-soggy base. As a bathing-centric treatment, hammam is based around dousing you in piping hot water (shedloads of it) and vigorous scrubbing, using Les Sens de Marrakech black soap and an exfoliating glove. Drifting off is never an option: the marble slab only comes with a towel for cushioning and condensation from the ceiling will splatter down and make you spasm when you least expect it. Does it work? Without a doubt. Our exterior was still radiant days later, with dry skin banished. It’s more effective at cleansing than easing your aches, but for relaxation and squeaky skin, this is a traditional treatment that stands up to modern standards. Details: ESPA at Yas Hotel, Abu Dhabi, Dhs345 for an hour plus, until August 31, a free one-hour facial. Tel: (02) 6560862. www.



Our pampered pair check out the new spa menu at The Fairmont





TALK US THROUGH IT It’s a deep tissue massage, so you’ll be advised to enjoy a steam and a warm shower beforehand. Then, after the application of ginger and black pepper essential oils to loosen you up, your muscles receive a proper pummeling.

SLEEP FACTOR? About as much chance as Rocky had during his fight with Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. That’s zero. Zilch. Nada. Not a sausage.

THE BEST BIT My therapist, Louie, added five minutes of intensive stretches to the end of the treatment, which was a nice touch. Turns out I really needed them. Now that’s personalised service.

WHO SHOULD GET INVOLVED? No wimps should go anywhere near the muscle melt; it’s for sporty types with a high pain threshold who want their muscles pounded into submission.

ANY AWKWARD MOMENTS? Being tactfully told that my original treatment choice, the Citrus Detox Reviver, was really for girls.

HOW MUCH AND HOW LONG? On the expensive side at Dhs420 for 50 minutes.

HOW WERE THE DISPOSABLE PANTS? Loose fitting net briefs. Not too tight, but with plenty of support, once on I didn’t notice them at all.

TALK US THROUGH IT Designed for time zone hoppers, this massage starts with body brushing to get the blood pumping and inhalation of eucalyptus to clear the airways, then an invigorating massage with juniper and grapefruit oils to wake you up and re-set the body clock. THE BEST BIT After an overnight flight my spine was all crunched up, so the gentle stretches and pressure point massage sorted me out no end. ANY AWKWARD MOMENTS? They really need to get some signs – I nearly stumbled into reception in my dressing gown when looking for the relaxation lounge.

HOW WERE THE DISPOSABLE PANTS? Stretchy and very comfy indeed. Almost wore them home. SLEEP FACTOR? Minimal. Between the thigh pummelling and energising oils you’ll leave bright eyed and bushy tailed, but if you’re truly tired you could sneak a snooze during the head massage. WHO SHOULD GET INVOLVED? Frequent flyers and people who’ve been burning the candle at both ends. Most residents of the UAE, really. HOW MUCH AND HOW LONG? Not cheap at Dhs550 for 80 minutes. About the same as flight on Air Arabia. The Spa, Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3118800. www.fairmont. com/dubai JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 85


Wax works It’s not just for setting a romantic mood and keeping your mini Babybels fresh, wax is increasingly being used in spas for its skin-softening properties. We put two treatments to the test

“At one point we were fairly sure, through the towel over our eyes, that we were being straddled by our diminutive male therapist ”

The Paraffin Therapy Pedicure

Candle massage THE SALES PITCH

When it comes to ultimate THE SALES PITCH wax sets and then the therapist relaxation, the idea of having hot Hot paraffin adds that extra peels it off in a very pleasing wax poured all over your body element (no, not terror) to your manner, which might invoke a probably isn’t the most enticing nail treatment, with feet dipped flashback to peeling glue off your prospect we could list. Unless into the liquid wax, which is hand in art lessons. The pedicure you’re a particularly self-punishing blended with essential oils, to then resumes with a polish. candle user, it sounds better suited moisturise hard or cracked skin. to a gangster movie torture scene. THE VERDICT Never fear, though, because Man/ THE THERAPY The therapist promised this Age’s massage doesn’t use any Your pedicure starts much the treatment helps with calluses old candlestick. Instead you’re same as any other, with clipping, (sadly callousness isn’t treatable at slathered with the heated residue exfoliating, rubbing and the like. The Nail Spa) and, while it took of a massage oil candle created Then the wax arrives, in something longer than your usual pedicure at by skincare specialists Yon-Ka, that looks like a toaster, and your around 80 minutes, the time was chock full with anti-oxidants, antitootsies are briefly submerged well spent. We left the spa with the aging ingredients and more. Our three times to coat them. Fear not, feet of a painted newborn. therapist’s English was patchy, but it isn’t as hot as it looks. Your feet The Nail Spa, Mercato Mall, Beach we can tell you that it’s designed are then wrapped in cling film and Road, Jumeirah, Dubai. Tel: (04) to encourage ‘a perfect meditative popped into toweling booties, the 3497766. state of relaxation’.

THE TREATMENT After a rousing round of inhaling the oil’s vapour from our therapist’s hands, warm waxy oil was incrementally poured all over our back, legs, arms and chest, then 86 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

vigorously massaged in. Thankfully, the initial heat subsided almost instantly, leaving only pleasing warmth. The candlelit atmosphere turned the vibe a touch ‘romantic dinner’ and at one point we were fairly sure, through the towel over our eyes, that we were being pretty much straddled by our diminutive male therapist. But there’s no denying that the hot oil melted away our aches for an hour, even if we didn’t quite reach a higher meditative plain.

THE VERDICT Still coated in a fine layer of wax, we leave feeling a little like a Madame Tussauds model, glassy stare included. This is a good treatment for the evening, when you can return home to your sofa – it’s far too relaxing for a lunchtime appointment. Man/Age, Arjaan by Rotana Dubai, Dubai Media City, Dubai, 10am to 10pm, Dhs350 for an hour, Dhs120 for 30 minutes. Tel: (04) 4370868


Spa deals The best beauty bargains on offer this month THE NAIL SPA Bin the ballet flats and get the flip-flops out – it’s officially summer. To get you ready, The Nail Spa is offering 20 per cent off its Summer Beauty Indulgence package (now Dhs535), which includes a signature facial using Heaven by Deborah Mitchell products to cleanse, exfoliate, massage and moisturise, followed by a vitamin C ‘hand facial’ and manicure, topped off with a cocoon therapy pedicure to make sure your tootsies are ready to be revealed. The Nail Spa, various branches, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3399078.

REBECCA TRESTON AESTHETICS If you’ve ever wanted to know more about slimming treatments, laser hair removal and wrinkle reduction but didn’t want to commit to a treatment then mark June 15 in your diary. Skincare expert Rebecca Treston is hosting a free open day at her clinic from 10am to 1pm, where she’ll demonstrate various techniques, answer questions and hand out goodie bags containing samples and vouchers for free sessions. Guests will also be able to book treatments on the day, with extra discounts. Booking is essential and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Rebecca Treston Aesthetics, Euromed Clinic, Beach Road, Al Manara, Dubai, 10am to 1pm, free. Tel: (04) 3945422 SENSO SPA If you’ve been burnt at the beach, then a trip to Senso might be in order. The After Sun Solution package includes full body exfoliation, clay and oil masque to quench sensitive skin, massage, and an Extreme Moisture Phyto-aromatic facial designed for dry, sun-damage skin, plus access to the spa’s steam rooms and pool, for Dhs600. Senso, Radisson Blu Media City, Media City, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4369111

TIMELESS SPA Escape to the land of luxury with Al Maha’s spa special. The Summer Indulgence package (Dhs1,200) includes a 60-minute treatment of your choice at Timeless Spa, access to the main pool, sauna, steam and Jacuzzi, plus lunch at Al Diwaan, the resort’s signature restaurant. With treatments such as the Energy Reviver, Ancient Rasoul Ritual, After Sun Soother and Deep Tissue Massage on offer, you’re guaranteed to find something to cure your ails or suit your mood. Timeless Spa, Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai Desert Conservation, Dubai. Tel: (04) 8329900. SATORI SPA Head into the dunes for some peace and quiet at Bab Al Shams. Until the end of August, the resort’s Satori Spa is offering a Special Summer Retreat package (Dhs590) that includes a 50-minute body massage, two-course lunch, yoga session, access to the pool and spa facilities, plus lawn games, camel rides, volley ball and falcon show. Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, near Endurance City, Dubai. Tel: (04) 8096232 AL ASALLA SPA Another hammam for you, this time at the Dubai Ladies’ Club spa. Performed on a warm marble slab in a room filled with eucalyptus steam, you’ll be scrubbed using Moroccan black soap, and during June guests receive a free purifying, hydrating or brightening body mask. The treatment costs Dhs240 for members or Dhs280 for nonmembers, takes 55 minutes, and also includes use of the wet area facilities including 'experience' showers, sauna with light therapy, plus a whirlpool. Al Asalla Spa, Dubai Ladies Club, Beach Road, Jumeirah, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3449445

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SPORT & OUTDOOR Let’s face it – John Wayne was cool. I can be that cool. That’s what Team What’s On told me before they packed me off to the Al Ahli Horse Riding Club, and told me not to come back until I was a fully-fledged cowboy. GETTING STARTED Awaiting me in the riding school is Magico, my new four-legged friend. I am told that he is the schoolmaster and, despite his impressive look, his calm demeanour rubs off on me very quickly. My instructor, Mari, demonstrates the process of mounting the horse, and once I’m on she helps correct my saddle positioning and posture. And just like that… I’m off. HOT TO TROT After a few minutes riding, I start getting ahead of myself. I am a natural! Magico and I are kindred spirits – watch as we move effortlessly together, like Torvill and Dean, but with bigger teeth and a tail (the horse, that is). Olympics here we come! Then comes the trot. Mari instructs me to kick the horse with my heels and, reassuring me that it won’t hurt, Magico springs into life. Mari puts me through my paces, doing exercises in how to rise up and down on the saddle in rhythm.

MATT Every month we’ll be sending our intrepid, albeit slightly nervous, features writer Matt to brave whatever adventures we deem fun and/or silly enough to make us laugh. This month, Matt tackles…

Horse riding

BUILDING CONFIDENCE Anyone can climb into a saddle, but being in full control of the horse, and yourself, comes from practice, and that is the most important thing to master before moving on. Magico seems to be on his best behaviour – although it does take time for me to iron out my balance issues and build up my confidence transitioning from walking to trotting. PROGRESSING TO A CANTER The lessons are divided into six levels of difficulty, ranging from red (beginners) to white (competition ready). My goal for the second block of lessons was to achieve yellow, but to do that I would have to learn to canter. My new instructor, Samantha, talks me through preparing the horse to ride, or ‘tacking up’, and from there it’s into the bigger arena. Given more space, I quickly learn how to manoeuver round sharp bends and ‘change the reins’ (direction). Finally, the moment that I have been nervous about from the very beginning – the canter. But, after a brief struggle, I complete my mission with relative ease. VERDICT So maybe ‘fully-fledged’ was a bit ambitious – but having only been on a horse once before (I was swiftly unseated), my sessions gave me a solid base of knowledge and the confidence needed to ride. Yeehaw! Al Ahli Horse Riding Club, Amman Street, Dubai, Dhs150 per lesson. Tel: (04) 2988408. www. JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 91

MR FITNESS M In his seven years as a personal trainer, James Houghton has helped everyone from West End actresses to the Arabian Gulf rugby sevens team lose the pounds and keep in shape


Do you have a fitness question for James? E-mail:

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I’m 16 and I want to start lifting weights, but apparently it can stunt my growth – is that true? Jerry, Bur Dubai In my opinion, if you’re 16 years old and want to train with resistance and weight you should not be worried about stunting your growth. I would, however, look to start by mastering movements that involve using your own bodyweight – push ups, split squats, pull-ups, squats etc, with guidance from someone who knows what they are talking about, not one of your mates who thinks he knows. Once they are mastered, then you can look at adding in external load. The best thing about being the age you are is that your hormones are on your side. Your body will be flowing with testosterone and pretty much primed for anabolism – you are in a natural state of growth, so why not make the most of it. And I don’t want to hear you’re just doing chest and guns! I love tea and drink about five cups a day. Is this too much? Sunita, Dubai Marina If we were talking tea with milk and sugar, then I would definitely say that you are drinking too much. Sugar and the lactose in the milk have negative effects on the body. On the whole, though, drinking five cups of herbal, green or black tea shouldn’t result in any adverse effects on your body.

Can you settle an argument – my friend says horse riding is a great way to get fit and toned, but I say not, as you don’t even move your legs like you do when cycling. Who’s right? Suhas, Jumeirah It depends how you define fit and toned. Yes, the way in which the muscles are used in cycling are different to that of riding a horse but, again, it depends upon what type of horse riding you are doing – dressage, showing, cross country, polo, show jumping, hacking, flat racing… I’d like you to find me a top jockey that isn’t ‘fit’. People who ride horses are fit for the purpose of riding a horse, I wouldn’t necessarily expect them to be able to go out and run a marathon or get up on stage in a figure competition. Equally, a cyclist may be able to go out and cycle 100km, but I wouldn’t expect them to be able to play a game of squash or rugby sevens. What many people seem to miss is the fact that you need to train for the game you are playing. The bottom line is, anything that keeps you active will go someway towards being ‘fit, healthy and toned’ – so I’m going to go with your friend, sorry!




We’re forming a team of What’s On readers and staffers to take on Dubai 92 and its listeners – and with your help we’re going to win. Starting in mid-July, Team What’s On will be working out with a trainer once a week until the end of September. The competition involves an initial assessment and weigh-in, discounted classes with Urban Energy throughout the 12 weeks and then a final fitness test and team weigh-in to find out how many kilos we lost as a team. There will be prizes throughout for weight-loss, attendance and attitude. We’re looking for people of all ages and fitness levels to join us – the winners will be the team that has improved the most. Fun, free fitness – with some healthy competition, too...



There are some smashing summer golf deals on offer this month – here’s our top three SUMMER SWING This summer golf lovers can have full use of equipment to go with unlimited access to The Dubai Creek Golf Club’s floodlit driving range, par three course and the short game areas for just Dhs695 a month or Dhs1,950 for a four-month stint. Dubai Creek Golf Club, Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Deira, Dubai. Tel: (04) 2956000. GOLF & DINNER AT AL BADIA The Al Badia Golf Course at DFC has put together a tempting offer with 18 holes of golf and an a la carte dinner at Spikes restaurant, all for a not too shabby Dhs299. Par for the course. Al Badia Golf Club, InterContinental Dubai Festival City, Dubai. Tel: (04) 6010101. www. LESSONS IN THE OFF SEASON The Academy at the Emirates Gold Club has a selection of summer lessons tailored to all skill levels. The promotions range from a Gold Pass, which includes eight lessons, unlimited use of the driving range, and access to the gym for Dhs2,400, to individual lessons for Dhs210. The Academy, Emirates Golf Club, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3802222 JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 93


Sandwash You might not be familiar with the term ‘groovecore’, but it’s the sound local band Sandwash are championing; upbeat rock, sing-along melodies, classic riffs and, well, a bit of groove. The result is US-style post-punk rock. Still confused? Let’s just say that if you like music that you can have a headbang to, then sweetly sing the chorus, you’ll like Sandwash. Formed in 2004, the band has appeared on UAE radio, TV, supported the likes of 30 Seconds

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To Mars, Nickelback and Maximo Park, and won a legion of fans following the 2010 release of studio album Master Blaster. Performing across the Emirates, often with local metal movement heroes Metal Asylum, Mike, Pavel, Jason and Kris’ boundless energy, big personalities and obvious passion for their music makes them serious contenders to be the next regional band to conquer the international airwaves.


Three to see The pick of local live music this month

Musolicious Music Festival We live for giving love to the local music scene. If getting behind some up-and-coming local bands is your bag too (and it should be), then make sure you get along to the Musolicious Music Festival. The line-up boasts nine bands across two stages, including Dubai-based punk-rockers Grand Hotel Paradox before they to jet off to tour south-east Asia. Jun 10, The Ballroom, Excelsior Creek Hotel, Bur Dubai, Dubai, Dhs50, 6pm to 1am. Tel: (050) 4539727


Amir Mafakher The UAE is a mishmash of cultures at the best of times, but even here it’s not everyday that you come across an Iranian flamenco guitarist. The awardwinning Amir Mafakher and his guitar will be gracing The Fridge’s stage, as it continues with its Summer Concert Series, for one night only. Playing music from flamenco greats such as Gerardo Nunez and Pack de Lucia, it’s a must-see show. Jun 6, The Fridge, Al Quoz, Dubai. Dhs50, free for under-18s, 7.30pm. Tel: (04) 3477793. www.

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Sofitel celebrates The Fête de la Musique The annual French festival La Fête de la Musique is celebrated all over the world, and here is no different. Filled with as much wine and cheese you can stomach, the Plantation lounge at the Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach is hosting a night of live music to welcome the official start of the summer. Cheese, wine and live music? Count us in. Jun 22, Plantation lounge, Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, Dhs150, 7pm. Tel: (04) 4484873 JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 95

CLUB DIARY This month's clubbing highlights


Jamrock @ Sublime Lounge WEEKLY

Bamboo Selekta and DJ Brooklyn drop the best in urban and Caribbean hits, with added carnival dancers. Ibis World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, Dhs100, ladies free before midnight. Tel: (04) 3324444.


Italoboyz @ Ill Communications Techno, house and minimal from Italiansin-London duo Marco Donato and Federico Marton. Trilogy, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100 to Dhs130, ladies free until 11pm. Tel: (050) 7258277.

Joya @ Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa WEEKLY

DJs Lady Red Label, Trix and Sabrina Terence get the party started, alongside watersports, rodeo bull rides, shisha lounge and a fashion show. Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, Jebel Ali, Dubai, 2pm to midnight, Dhs100, free for ladies. Tel: (050) 8740980. Residents @ Audio Tonic Mr Mr, Vas Floyd and Raxon guide you through the penultimate edition of Audio Tonic’s fifth season at 360º. 360º, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai. 4pm to 2am, free. Tel: (050) 1076405. www.myspace. com/audiotonic Pool Party @ Barasti WEEKLY

Marty Metcalf and DJ Vanilla are on the ones and twos at Barasti’s chilled weekend doubleheader. Half price drinks from 2pm to 9pm. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai, 11am to late, free. Tel: (04) 3181313.

2 Turn Me Loose A fresh night from respected faces on the Dubai clubbing scene, Turn Me Loose is only two nights old but already packing in the crowds. Tristan Bain, who provides the quality house sounds alongside Rich Showell and Ray Burst, explains more.

What was the inspiration for setting up Turn Me Loose? Myself, Rich and Ray quickly identified soon after meeting each other that we have very similar tastes, ranging from soul and disco to quality house music. So when 360º ended up with a free Thursday each month we asked if we could put on a party. Being resident for other nights at 360º gave me an insight into what we needed to do. What does TML offer versus other nights in Dubai? Musically we start off on a soulful funky disco vibe, which progresses into a groovier house sound and keeps getting sexier. Although we bill it as forward thinking, with music you will not hear elsewhere, it’s still very accessible to people who might be used to the more commercial side of Dubai. And where did the name come from? Turn Me Loose evolved from firing 873,000 e-mails back and forth about whatever random thoughts we all had for naming the night. Turn Me Loose was the first suggestion that grabbed all our attentions. ‘Loose’ has connotations of freedom and fun without restraint, which musically gives us scope to move within genres, and ‘Turn’ fits in with the 360º circular vibe.

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30 Armin Van Buuren @ Flash Forum





Residents @ MustHaveSoul Conan Liquid, Dan Chadwick and Tristan Bain wind down MHS’s season. 360º, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai. 4pm to 2am (guest list only 4pm to 8pm), free. Tel: (055) 6160643.

The Ultimate Ladies Night @ Cinnabar WEEKLY

House, electro and club classics from Greg Stanier, DJ Georgeos and Simon B at this new extension of Zinc in Dubai’s successful ladies night. Hilton Abu Dhabi, near Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, 10pm to 3.30am, Dhs50, ladies free. Tel: (050) 7495512.

10 The crowds have been so large that you've already been turning people away. It must be nice to have an instant success on your hands? The first event was insane. Security told us there hadn’t been queues like that in three and a half years. We spent the night with silly grins on our faces, telling each other how nuts it was. It really isn't about numbers for us though. The overriding thing is that we want to create a party with lots of smiling faces and dancing feet, all to an incredible soundtrack. 360º, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai. 5pm to 2am, free. Tel: (050) 5523496.

Amnesia @ Relax@12 Smokingroove fire up their pioneering house sounds. Aloft, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi, 8pm to midnight, Dhs130 with unlimited house beverages. Tel: (02) 6545138. Season Closing Party @ Audio Tonic All the residents return to celebrate Audio Tonic’s successful season, with tunes from Mr Mr, Vas Floyd, Raxon, Julian Jinx and JC. See you in September. 360º, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai. 4pm to 2am, free. Tel: (050) 1076405. www.myspace. com/audiotonic UAE DJs Battle @ Allure The very best in the Emirates’ deck-spinning talent go stylus to stylus. The gloves come off and the tunes go on. Allure by Cipriani, Yas Island Yacht Club, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 10pm to late, Dhs100. Tel: (02) 6575400.

Season Closing Party @ MustHaveSoul Giveaways and drinks deals at the final MHS before their summer break. 360º, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai. 4pm to 2am (guest list only 4pm to 8pm), free. Tel: (055) 6160643.

Caspa @ Ill Communications British dubstep star brings over his wobbly bass-lines and bad attitude. Trilogy, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100 to Dhs130, ladies free until 11pm. Tel: (050) 7258277.


Jozif @ Ill Communications Hotly tipped East London house twister goes international. Trilogy, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100 to Dhs130, ladies free until 11pm. Tel: (050) 7258277. www.myspace. com/justporkjozif Loaded @ Casa Latina The second installment of indie, funk and rock 'n' roll from the See You Next Friday gang. Ibis Al Barsha, Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Barsha, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, free. Tel: (04) 3996699.


Armin Van Buuren @ Flash Forum Trance megastar makes his return to the Emirates, supported by fellow Dutchman Jochen Miller. Flash Forum, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 10pm to 4am, Dhs250 to Dhs395. Tel: (800) 35274.



Italoboyz @ Ill Communications

David Craig @ Relax@12 Lounging soulful beats from the Emirates’ own house star. Aloft, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi, 5pm to 3am, free. Tel: (02) 6545138.


Joya @ Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa

Steve Lawler @ We Love The British house champ launches his new compilation, Lights Out Decade. Trilogy, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs130, Dhs100 before. Tel: (050) 6245751.


Mr Mr @ Audio Tonic

10 Benny Benassi @ Peppermint Experience Peppermint is celebrating seven years in operation by inviting superstar DJ Benny Benassi to Dubai. We grabbed a word with the Italian stallion… The first single from your new album, Electroman, was Spaceship. Were you one of those kids that wanted to be an astronaut when you were younger? The lyrics were written by Jean Baptiste Kouame [who features on the single alongside Kelis], so maybe he always wanted to be an astronaut. I’m happier on a bicycle. Your show in Dubai is celebrating the Peppermint Club’s seventh birthday. What did you do for your last birthday? And do you have a favourite birthday memory? My birthday celebrations are always low key. I like to have a quiet dinner with my girlfriend and family. Really boring, sorry.

You appeared on FAME, the latest album by troubled pop star Chris Brown, released earlier this year. What was he like to work with? We did a single together – Beautiful People – which is on his album and my forthcoming album. It’s a great track and seems to be doing really well. It was all done over the Internet. I don’t want to comment on his well-

publicised troubles… June in Dubai is going to be rather sweaty. Are you a sun-seeker or more of an indoor type? I’m Italian and the summer for us means the Mediterranean and the beach. I like the sun. Where does Dubai rank in your top places to play in the world? How many times have you been out here now?

I’ve been to Dubai a few times. It’s just this amazing city, in the desert, on the sea. I love the architecture. And the clubbing scene is great. Saeed Hall, World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, Dhs150 to Dhs250. Tel: (050) 3571113 / (050) 1100678.

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Georgia on my mind

Capital stuff: flying the flag in Tbilisi


Fine food, fine wine, beautiful building and a proud history – Georgia has it all

A river runs through it: Tbilisi is built on the banks of the River Mtkvari

Travel is a many splendored thing. It allows you to visit places you’ve never been before, but it also lets you go where nobody else has been. Or, at least, nobody you know. With many such places, the reason your friends haven’t travelled there might be because it’s rubbish or in the middle of nowhere. Or both. Not Georgia. It’s often confused with the American state, home of REM and Coca-Cola – the place that’s on Ray Charles’ mind. But Georgia, the country, is a proud and plucky nation in the southern Caucasus, a diamond at the

crossroads between Asia and Europe, and it’s only just beginning to open up to tourists. This might seem strange for a country with so much to offer – beautiful mountain scenery, ski resorts, wine regions, history, Black Sea beaches and a vibrant yet traditional capital city – but Georgia is inexplicably absent from most people’s travel plans. True enough, it hasn’t enjoyed the best of times since it gained independence from the former Soviet Union. Corruption and conflict has dogged its recent past. These days, though, Georgians are looking towards a brighter and more positive future. You can feel the optimism in the streets of Tbilisi. The Old Town’s cobbled courtyards are cluttered with café tables and chattering youth. JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 101


See the sights: Tbilisi boasts numerous architectural gems

Walk its winding lanes and you’ll see balconied residences in pastel shades, ramshackle wooden abodes and countless churches. Doorways that waft the smell of baking bread into the street and windows that spray their lambent glow into the night. Dreaming spires puncture the skyline, and the River Mtkvari carves a lucid course through the hill-ridged city. On the banks, a glass dome, a symbol of Georgia’s newfound transparency, crowns the president’s residence. Yet it’s the clear waters of the natural hot springs that gave Tbilisi its foundation legend. In the 5th century, the story goes, King Vakhtang Gorgasali killed a pheasant, which fell into the steaming spring and was cooked to perfection. What better place to build a city? It’s no surprise that food should have such prominence in Tbilisi’s mythology. Georgians know how to eat, and eat well. The traditional feast, or supra, is a lavish and drawn-out affair overseen by a toastmaster called a tamada. The table groans under the weight of dishes familiar to both Europeans and Asians. Certainly the shashlik kebabs, stuffed vine-leaf dolma and plump kinkhali dumplings with 102 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

ground meat fillings have their origins in the East, from Persia to Mongolia. A celebratory supra may often be accompanied by traditional polyphonic singing, heart-rending folk songs and laments of lost love. A good tamada will pull the mood around with the occasional wisecrack and plenty of toasts, which is where Georgia’s wine plays its part. To the east of Tbilisi, and an easy daytrip away, is Kakheti, a sprawling wine region with hundreds of cellars, from major commercial wineries to the simple homes of local people. Tours through the region take in the picturesque fortress town of Sighnagi, the beautiful lake resort of Kvareli and the region’s capital, Telavi city. The ancient Georgian word ‘gvino’ is probably where the word wine has its origins. Indeed, there is archaeological evidence of viticulture in Georgia dating back over 7,000 years, giving it strong claims to being the birthplace of wine. Georgia is also the birthplace of one of the 20th century’s most infamous figures: Joseph Stalin. The supreme ruler of the Soviet Union and one of the world’s deadliest dictators, Stalin was born in the town of Gori, where a museum now stands near his modest

City Hall: Another city highlight


Shine a light: Sameba Cathedral

“Georgia is a proud and plucky nation, a diamond and the crossroads between Asia and Europe” childhood home. The last remaining public statue of Stalin in Georgia once towered six metres above Gori’s main square, but it was taken down last year to be replaced with a memorial to the victims of the 2008 conflict with Russia. The removal of Stalin’s hometown monument says much about Georgia’s desire to cut free from the past and reinvent itself as a forward-thinking and Western-looking nation. These days, European Union flags flutter outside Tbilisi’s stately buildings, not because Georgia actually belongs to the collective, but more in the hope that it will, someday. There’s even a street in Tbilisi named after George W Bush, although someone did try to kill him with a hand grenade the last time the ex-US President visited Georgia. Tourism plays a huge role in Georgia’s vision of the future. The historic townlet of

Mestia, high up in the Caucasus mountain region of Svaneti, was once so remote it took ten hours to reach by car from Tbilisi. Significant investment in a new airport has solved that problem, and discerning skiers are now relishing the chance to enjoy unspoiled views, uncluttered slopes and the fascinating mountain culture of the Svan people. Yet there are other, more accessible winter resorts in Georgia. Gudauri is less than two-hours from Tbilisi by car, and is popular with skiers and snowboarders alike. With winter wanderers aptly taken care of, what about those in need of a summer getaway? Georgia’s Black Sea coast is a pearl-string of beautiful resorts, with the seaside city of Batumi dangling at its southern end. With its exotic flora and relaxed vibe, the surrounding area has a distinctly Mediterranean air about it, and the beaches are JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 103



Tbilisi is around 3.5 hours by air from Dubai. Georgian Airways flies direct from Dubai to Tbilisi for Dhs1950.


Holiday Inn Tbilisi This new hotel is one of the best Holiday Inn properties that we’ve ever visited. As an international chain, it may lack something in traditional Georgian charm. But this is the new Georgia, so think bright and modern decor, a breezy lobby area and smart international restaurant, not to mention a rooftop swimming pool. 1, 26 May Square, Tbilisi. Tel: +995 32 300099 Hotel Villa Mtiebi Not short on grandiose flourishes, this recently renovated 19th century mansion is a sparkling gem amidst the crumbling buildings of the Old Town. It’s small, intimate and perfectly situated for those evening strolls through the snaking lanes of historic Tbilisi. Chakrukhadze Street, Tbilisi. Tel: +995 32920340.

Baratashvili Street: Modern Tbilisi is starting to attract toursits to Georgia

popular with Russian tourists eager to top up their tans. Batumi is Georgia’s main port, so there’s plenty of coming and going in the city. The atmosphere here is upbeat and vibrant, and the many new hotels being built will only add to its spirited ambience. Its larger towns and cities may be full of vim and vigour, but the beauty of Georgia lies in the ease with which you can escape them. A 20km ride from Tbilisi, for example, is the ancient city of Mtskheta. The old town at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers is a UNESCO world heritage site strewn with monuments and historical significance. The 6th century Jvari Monastery is an early example of south Caucasian medieval architecture, which towers over the town from its mountaintop perch. Standing on these windswept peaks evokes the mystery and romance of a time when Mtskheta was the capital of the Georgian Kingdom of Iberia, between the 3rd century BC and 5th century AD. Trace the Mtkvari River to the SamtskheJavakheti region of southern Georgia and you’ll find an astonishing ancient wonder, hewn into the rock of the Erusheli Mountain. The cave city of Vardzia was a monastic retreat built by Queen Tamar in 1185 as a refuge from the marauding Mongols. It was 104 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011


Port authority: Georgia's main port in Batumi

originally a vast complex of 6,000 halls and living quarters, some 13 storeys high, with a complicated irrigation and sanitation system. An earthquake destroyed up to two thirds of the monastery city in 1283, opening up many of the chambers like a sliced pomegranate. Around 300 chambers, tunnels and halls remain, some with detailed frescoes depicting the revered Queen Tamar in all her glory. The caves of Vardzia are a fitting metaphor for the hidden treasure that is Georgia – you have to go out and discover it for yourself, but the rewards for doing so cannot be overstated. When you’ve been, be sure to tell your friends all about it. They’ll wish they went there first.

Kopala With fine views across the spires and hills of old Tbilisi, Kopala is a fine choice to explore a traditional Georgian menu. Fill up on an abundance of plates, from kebabs and salads, to badrijani with roasted aubergine and ground walnuts. Don’t leave Kopala without trying the Georgian national staple, kachapuri, a delicious bread-cum-pastry that comes with a variety of heart-stopping toppings, from cheese to egg. Chekhov Street, Tbilisi. Tel: +995 32775520 Vong Talented local chef Tekuna Gachechiladze melds Asian and European influences with classic Georgian flavours to produce such stunning creations as badrijani with foie gras, Japanese gyoza-style kinkhali dumplings and dolma stuffed with shrimp at this exceptional Georgian-Asian fusion restaurant. Groundbreaking stuff. Abashidza Street, Tbilisi. Tel: +995 32303030


Give your family a summer break with InterContinental Abu Dhabi and wake up to some excellent room rate offers. Double rooms start at AED 500 net per room per night and suites from only AED 900 net per suite per night. Children under 12 stay free or book an additional room at 25% off, with free access to the health club, beach, pool, late check-out and free shuttle bus to Marina Mall. The hotel has nine restaurants, so there are plenty of dining options. Offer valid from 15th May 2011 until 10th September 2011, subject to availability. Valid only for nationals and residents of UAE & GCC.

For further information or to make a reservation call +971 2 693 5154/5155 or email

In over 170 locations across the globe including CAIRO • AMMAN • BEIRUT • DUBAI


Best fests in the West B As summer hits across the Emirates, what better time to jet off to far flung tim de destinations in search of more temperate en entertainment? Here’s our guide to the ten finest ou fes festivals money can buy tak taking place around the wo world in the coming weeks an and months… JUNE JU BON BONNAROO WH WHERE? Manchester, Eminem Tenn Tennessee, USA WH WHEN? June 9 to 12 WH WHO’S PLAYING? Eminem, Arcade Fire, Buff Springfield, Lil Wayne, The Strokes Buffalo WHA WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? For the ticketless thou thousands mourning Glastonbury selling out aeon aeons in advance, consider a transatlantic trip inste instead. Set in a 700-acre farm, Bonnaroo is the closest c America has to offer. And with hip h hop public enemy number one Eminem head heading proceedings in his homeland, a dramatic dra boundaries of taste-skirting spec spectacle is almost guaranteed. TICK TICKETS: Dhs916 BES BEST ROUTE: United Airlines (www. unite flies from Dubai to Nashville via Was Washington from Dhs8,319; Etihad Airways flies from Abu Dhabi to Nashville via Chicago from Dhs6,875 ( www SÓN SÓNAR WH WHERE? Barcelona, Spai Spain WH WHEN? June 16 to 18 WH WHO’S PLAYING? Underworld The Human League, Dizz Rascal, Aphex Twin, Dizzee Und Underworld, MIA WHA WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? Any electronic mus music fan worth their salt knows Sónar, whic which has blasted beats onto Barcelona’s


streets for 15 years. Split into ‘by day’ and ‘by night’ sections, everything truly comes to life during the latter, with festival-goers bussed out of town for huge raves. For offpiste thrills, meanwhile, explore the wealth of extracurricular parties around Barcelona. TICKETS: Dhs844 BEST ROUTE: Swiss International Air Lines ( flies from Dubai to Barcelona via Zurich from Dhs2,395; Lufthansa ( flies from Abu Dhabi to Barcelona via Frankfurt from Dhs2,454 ROSKILDE WHERE? Roskilde, Denmark WHEN? June 30 to July 3 WHO’S PLAYING? Arctic The Strokes Monkeys, Iron Maiden, Kings Of Leon, PJ Harvey, The Strokes WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? Once a hippy hangout, nowadays the Roskilde festival is an iconic weekend on the European festival calendar. Past headliners read like a who’s who



JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 107

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of po popular music – Bob Marley, U2, David Bow Bowie, Radiohead, Nirvana – and this year show shows no sign of letting that proud heritage slip. Extra bonus: all profits go to charity. TICK TICKETS: Dhs1,260 BES BEST ROUTE: Lufthansa (www.lufthansa. com com) flies from Dubai to Copenhagen via Mun from Dhs2,485 and from Abu Dhabi to Munich Cop Copenhagen via Frankfurt from Dhs2,516 www

JULY JU EXI EXIT WH WHERE? Novi Sad, MIA Serb Serbia WH WHEN? July 7 to 10 WH WHO’S PLAYING? Arcade Fire, Pulp, Jamiroquai, Portishead, MIA WHA WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? Invading the beautiful b 18th century Petrovaradin Fort Fortress, Exit was only founded in 2000, but has aalready been hailed as the best festival in Europe. Eu It stakes a further claim to that acco accolade this summer, with a strong focus on in international club stars below the main head headliners, including Underworld, Deadmau5 and Groove Armada. TICK TICKETS: Dhs644 BES BEST ROUTE: Austrian Airlines (www. aust flies from Dubai to Belgrade V via Vienna from Dhs2,687; Lufthansa (www. lufth flies from Abu Dhabi to Belg Belgrade via Frankfurt from Dhs2,651 www 108 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

OXEGEN WHERE? Punchestown, Ireland. Black Eyed WHEN? July 8 to 10. Peas WHO’S PLAYING? The Black Eyed Peas, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Tinie Tempah, My Chemical Romance WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? The famous Punchestown Racecourse plays host to Ireland’s biggest music fest, which prides itself on an environmentally friendly ethos. Aside from the litany of headlining names that everyone and their mother would know, you may even spot Clint Eastwood: apparently the Hollywood legend is an unlikely fan of UK chart-topper Tinie Tempah TICKETS: Dhs1,332 BEST ROUTE: Lufthansa (www.lufthansa. com) flies from Dubai to Dublin via Frankfurt from Dhs2,939; Etihad Airways (www. flies from Abu Dhabi to Dublin from Dhs4,905 BENICÀSSIM WHERE? Benicàssim, Spain WHEN? July 14 to 17 Arcade Fire WHO’S PLAYING? The Streets, The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, Arcade Fire, Primal Scream WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? Anybody who pines for the UAE lifestyle while abroad should sample Benicàssim. In close proximity


to artificial beaches, the festival enjoys a rather lackadaisical approach, with bands generally getting underway in the early evening. Not only is it perfect for topping up tans before getting your musical rocks off, the festival’s moniker is even of Arabic origin. TICKETS: Dhs1,008 BEST ROUTE: Swiss International Air Lines ( flies from Dubai to Valencia Airport via Zurich from Dhs2,935; Air France ( flies from Abu Dhabi to Valencia via Paris from Dhs3,871 DOUR WHERE? Dour, Belgium WHEN? July 14 to 17 Cypress Hill WHO’S PLAYING? Public Enemy, Pendulum, Ice Cube, Pulp, Cypress Hill WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? Anything but dour in reality, this Belgian behemoth has swiftly become one of Europe’s favourite fests. Attracting the very cream of rock and dance, hip hop lovers will also go crazy for the wealth of grade A rap talent gracing the 2011 line-up. Whoever dreamt up the cliché that Belgium is boring clearly never ventured this close to the French border.



TRAVEL | FESTS flies from Abu Dhabi to Chicago from Dhs7,335 SZIGET WHERE? Budapest, Hungary WHEN? August 10 to 15 WHO’S PLAYING? Amy Winehouse, Dizzee Rascal, Amy Winehouse La Roux, Good Charlotte, The Chemical Brothers WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? On the banks of the Danube, Sziget translates to ‘island’, and is top of a crop of eastern European festivals that have come to prominence in the past decade. What separates Sziget is its duration, lasting an impressive six days. The line-up is suitably weighty and, hey, Amy Winehouse surely can’t be any worse than her Dubai debacle a few months back. TICKETS: Dhs1,089 BEST ROUTE: Austrian Airlines (www. flies from Dubai to Budapest Airport via Vienna from Dhs2,264; Lufthansa ( flies from Abu Dhabi to Budpest via Frankfurt from Dhs2,626 READING AND LEEDS FESTIVALS WHERE? Reading and Leeds, UK Muse WHEN? August 26 to 28 WHO’S PLAYING? My Chemical Romance, Thirty Seconds To Mars, The Strokes, Muse, Elbow WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? This two-town beast continues to revolve its line-up across dual sites. Arguably the most ravenously anticipated weekend of the year for British rock kids, there are plenty of grown-up aural attractions this summer, too: Pulp, Elbow, The Streets, Lollapalooza founders Jane’s Addiction and more will keep the over-30s interested while the kids party hard. TICKETS: Dhs1,181 BEST ROUTE: British Airways (www. flies from Dubai to London Heathrow from Dhs3,445; British Airways ( flies from Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow from Dhs3,515 and


TICKETS: Dhs637 BEST ROUTE: Lufthansa (www.lufthansa. com) flies to Brussels via Munich from Dhs2,516; Etihad Airways (www.etihadairways. com) flies from Abu Dhabi to Munich from Dhs4,745

AUGUST LOLLAPALOOZA WHERE? Chicago, USA Coldplay WHEN? August 5 to 7 WHO’S PLAYING? Eminem, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Muse, Cee Lo Green WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? Originally a touring festival figurehead of 1990s alternative rock, Lollapalooza’s place in cultural history was cemented after it was immortalised in everyone’s favourite yellow cartoon, The Simpsons. Having begun with the intention of recreating the spirit of Woodstock, in 2011 that noble aim takes a back seat to an array of multi-million sellers. TICKETS: Dhs789 BEST ROUTE: American Airlines (www. flies from Dubai to Chicago via London from Dhs4,981; Etihad Airways (www.

Reading and Leeds festivals

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Travels with…


Peter James

British crime writer Peter James has travelled the world researching his numerous best-selling novels. The latest instalment in the series featuring detective superintendent Roy Grace, Dead Man’s Grip, is out this month What’s the best holiday you’ve ever had? Skiing in Zermatt, Switzerland, with friends over Christmas. The village is magical, with no cars. On Christmas Eve we walked up a hill in falling snow to a midnight carol service in the English church. On Christmas Day we skied until 3pm, then stopped at a mountain restaurant, where they had prepared a turkey for us, and we took in Christmas puds in our

Enjoy these sizzling summer deals TURKISH DELIGHT In our opinion, Istanbul is at its finest in June, and the Holiday Factory is offering various packages, ranging from Dhs1,996 to Dhs2,659 depending on the hotel and including three nights, airport transfers and breakfast. Now we’re talking Turkey. Jun 1 to Jul 28, Holiday Factory. Tel: (04) 2600700. 110 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

you have a fixed lounger for your entire stay, Laurent, the head barman, remembers your drinks from year to year, the food is superlative (chef Raymond Blanc holidays here) and the management are beyond charming. What are your top three tips for surviving a long airport stopover? Find a lounge – many airports have lounges you can enter for a small fee if you are not in first or business class. It makes all the difference. Avoid alcohol, it just makes you tired. Set your alarm clock – few flights are knapsacks. In the evening we skied back to the announced these days. village with a ski instructor friend, guided by What do you never travel without? burning torches. My laptop, my Bose noise-cancelling What’s your biggest travel disaster? headphones and a book for each day I’ll Years ago myself and two friends decided be away. to retrace the route of the writer Jerome What destination serves the best food? K Jerome’s classic Three Men In A Boat up My favourite restaurants are El Bulli in Spain, the Thames. We set off in my dingy and the The Fat Duck in Bray and the Standard Grill in first night we pitched our tent in a field in a NYC. But, in my view, Melbourne has the best thunderstorm. In the morning we woke to food overall in the world. find we had put the tent up over a stream, and Dead Man’s Grip by Peter James everything was washed away. Some people are is out June 3. Available from born to do camping, others are born to do five- Magrudy’s, Borders, Jashanmal star hotels. I now know which category I’m in. and Kinokuniya If you could advise people to visit one destination, what would it be? Le Club Hotel in Cavaliere, in the South of “Some people are born to France. This Relais Chateaux jewel has been do camping, others are my summer holiday paradise for years. It born to do five-star hotels” is actually on the beach, a white sand bay,

CHARMING CHOO-CHOOS It’s hard to beat the majesty of a romantic steam train ride – which is why this summer Dnata Travel is reviving one of the world’s most prestigious train trips, the Venice Simpton-Orient-Express line. Snap it up quick, Dnata is offering ten per cent off all its summer holiday packages if you book before July 15.

RELAX IN NEPAL Here’s our two-step guide to unwinding this summer. Step one. Book a package to the Dwarika Hotel in Nepal. Step two. Relax. The boutique hotel in Katmandu is currently offering three and five-day breaks from Dhs1,670 per double room, including full board and complimentary massage. They also have yoga and meditation classes. Total bliss. Jun 1 to Sept 15, Dwarika Hotel, Nepal.

Travel deals extra If you can’t face flying, here’s our pick of the best local getaways

Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort


1/2 AD

If you fancy adding a few extra days to your weekend, then the weekday offer at Le Méridien Al Aqah could be just what you’re looking for. At Dhs349 per person, per night, it's already a great deal, but throw in breakfast, lunch or dinner, and the fact that two children can go free of charge, and it’s a bargain deal for the whole family. Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Fujairah. Tel: (09) 2449000.


If bang for your buck is what you’re interested in, tuck in to Atlantis’ summer packages. Until Sept 30, the Dhs895 per room package also includes unlimited free access to the Aquaventure Waterpark, complimentary shuttle services to selected malls, and discounted rates at Dolphin Bay. Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4261000.

Altantis, The Palm


As the mercury rises, the prices for hotel rooms in the UAE start to drop. In order to help those who are working through the heat, The Westin Dubai is offering to shelter UAE residents with a special wallet relieving rate of Dhs333 per person. Jun 4 to Aug 27, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3994141 JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 111


The Hallmark of Luxury

THE HOTLIST Key New entry Non-mover Up

p115 p119 p123 p127

Bars Restaurants Brunches Spas JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 113











Cocktails don't come cheap, though other drinks are on a standard tip.

Summer strips Left Bank of its best asset – an outdoors element – but inside remains cool.

The Souk at Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed 7pm to 1pm, Thurs and Fri 7pm to 2am. Tel: (02) 5581680. www.emiratesleisureretail. com

Evoking of a fin de siècle European bar with almost perfect results.

The InterCon also boasts the Yacht Club and Chamas, so a full evening is easy to route within one hotel here.

Top grub and drink with your mates.

It's not too cheap. We think it's well worth the splurge, though.

You wouldn't go to Brussels without sampling the Belgian waffles, so don't do so here either.

InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen, 5pm to 1am. Tel: (02) 6666888. www.ichotelsgroup. com

As homely as a wooden chalet in the Black Forest.

The Beach Rotana Hotel also boasts the fantastic Pregos, Rodeo Grill and Benihana restaurants and the ace Trader Vic’s bar.

Living like it's Oktoberfest all year round.

Weighty bar tabs soon mount up if you get too stuck in to the speciality beers.

A great one for rowdy groups.

Beach Rotana Hotel, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, 12.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 6979000. www.rotana. com

An ultra-cool hangout out of the city centre

Yas Island's top notch bars and restaurants make it worth the drive – just give somebody else the keys or invest in a stopover, of course.

A switch from the usual bar landscape.


Fast becoming the landing pad for those living off the main island.

Yas Island Rotana Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 4pm to 2.30am. Tel: (02) 6564000.

Take it easy before the resident DJ spins house grooves that kicks the party into the evening.

Despite the summer putting the terrace out of play, Yacht Club is definitely showing the way for the capital's bars.

Dressing to impress and mingling with the in-crowd. Wednesday's ladies nights are a popular bar-filler.

A night out here will set you back a few dirhams if you don't choose your tipples wisely.

Y Bar

Yacht Club


Melting into the crowd and meeting new people.




With countless great bars and restaurants, the surrounding Souk can keep you occupied for hours.

Belgian Café



Busy and friendly, but with a touch of class into the bargain.

Left Bank



Left Bank

P Proximity to

plenty more fab restaurants and bars gives the Yacht Club one up on the opposition.

InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen, Sat to Wed noon to 1am, Thurs noon to 3am, Fri 2pm to 3am, Sat 5pm to 1am. Tel: (02) 6666888. www.

JUNE 2011 OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S WHAT’S ON ON 115 115


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Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi With an energetic expat-dominated crowd, the Crowne Plaza’s basement bar is an ideal base for pub-ish pursuits beyond the noble art of sinking a few ales. A regular Monday night quiz is a staple of the Heroes experience. And with more big screens than the average Jumbo outlet, it’s an ultra-reliable location to catch sports of all description throughout the year – often, indeed, several events concurrently.




The large bar and leather furniture lend a swish vibe.

Stills could be our new favourite local – if only we lived on Yas.

A couple of cheeky post-work drinks.

The drinks are reasonable, although the grub is a touch heavier on the bank balance.

Stills serves one of the finest beef pies in the city. Kudos from us.

Crowne Plaza Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, noon to 12.30am. Tel: (02) 6563000. www.ichotelsgroup. com


Transport yourself to a Polynesian island via the brica-brac lining the walls.

Age and class define The Beach Rotana.

The largest, fruitiest, ice cool cocktails money can buy.

Those cocktails we mentioned? You will need money to buy them, and a fair amount of it.

Try the Mai Tai. It’s the cocktail that made Trader Vic’s famous.

Beach Rotana, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to midnight. Tel: (02) 6979000.


Get dressed up and watch the beautiful people at Pearls, with a strictish door policy and stark interior.

Views over the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque add culture to the swishness.

Order some tapas and cocktails while you nod in time to sophisticated chill out tunes.

Don't hit the bar too hard, but that's not what Pearls is designed for anyway.

Cracking service and superb service could see Pearls climbing the Hot List soon.

Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri, Between the Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to midnight. Tel: (02) 5098888. www.

Grown-up fun in slick surrounds.

Housed in the world’s most expensive hotel, so as you might imagine, it's as smart as they come.

The inviting 3.30am closing time gives Etoiles one-up in the post-drinks dancing or dinner that morphs into a big one.

Pefect if your pay packet is beginning to burn a hole in your pocket.

Not as stuck-up as you’d expect for a seven-star hotel.

Emirates Palace Hotel, Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi, Mon to Wed 10pm to 3am, Thur to Fri 11pm to 3.30am. Tel: (02) 6907999.

One of Abu Dhabi's most frequented bars, and for good reason.

Perched on top of Aloft, one of the city's hippest hotels. It's a bit hot for outside, but inside is cool enough.

Getting that clubbing feeling minus all the yawnsome baggage that often goes with that experience.

Not too bad at all.

Reliably good tunes provide a quality soundtrack to your night out.

Aloft Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Khaleej Al Arabi Street, 5pm to 2am. Tel: (02) 6545000. www.aloftabudhabi. com


Trader Vic's


9 Etoiles

10 Relax@12

116 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011

Play Dubai Creek this Summer for AED 300

Reserve your tee time to enjoy 18 holes of golf on the championship course at Dubai Creek, every day this Summer for just AED 300, inclusive of shared cart and range balls before play.                       play as many holes as you can before dark. Rates are valid from 1st June to 30th September 2011, reservations can be made up to 7 days in advance of play.

For tee time bookings please contact    !"# $!    %& '% ()


Bord Eau




MPW Steakhouse & Grill

3 Ushna


Pearls & Caviar

MPW Steakhouse & Grill









Hakkasan's labyrinthine layout ensures privacy without total isolation from the discerning throngs of regular diners.

Oriental wooden panel-divided alcoves create a luxurious mazy vibe.

Favourite Far Eastern, Chef Of The Year and Best Newcomer at the What's On Awards. The dim sum alone warrants said accolades.

A Michelinstarred restaurant in the world’s most expensive hotel. And the expansive bar seals the deal.

Including sides and wine, you'll likely leave four figures lighter, but your stomach will thank you.

A year on from its opening, Hakkasan remains on top of its game: the finest food in town.

Emirates Palace, West Corniche, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6909000. www.hakkasan. com

Marco Pierre White's is swish, as you might expect, yet intimate and unpretentious.

Swathed in a relaxing dark warmth, with home comforts – such as a small wall fire – that shouldn't work in Abu Dhabi, but do.

This wasn't Favourite Steakhouse at our awards for nothing, you know. Veritable brilliance with beef.

The Fairmont oozes class at every juncture, the perfect place to explore post-MPW.

A la carte is a mite cheaper, although graze Dhs500 per head for the sublime fourcourse beef tasting menu until December.

For steak with typically British finesse, MPW deserves Abu Dhabi food hero status.

Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 1am. Tel: (02) 6543333. www.fairmont. com

Refined, elegant and classy. Or, in a word, French.

An adherence to stately, classical French restaurant decor makes Bord Eau a genuinely sophisticated destination.

You won't find traditional Gallic dishes presented better in the capital, not least the snails and frogs legs.

The Shangri-La excels in almost every area, from special spa to gorgeous rooms. Even Abu Dhabi residents stop over.

Without alcohol, Dhs800 for two isn't difficult. The superb wine list is almost essential, however.

Our Restaurant Of The Year is still holding its own.

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 6.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 5098888. www.shangri-la. com

An imaginative 21st Century take on the Indian dining experience.

The clean lines of Ushna's uncomplicated interior push full focus onto the food.

Northern Indian cuisine custom made to your personal spiciness preference. The butter chicken gets our vote.

The Souk boasts plentiful shops and entertainment, with ShangriLa and the Fairmont nearby.

Dhs400 to Dhs500 for two will afford an impressive spread of Indian delights.

Much more than a simple curry house, Ushna raises the bar for Indian dining in Abu Dhabi.

The Souk at Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 12.30pm to midnight. Tel: (02) 5581769.

Intimate and invitingly lit, Pearls & Caviar has enough life to feel vibrant, but sufficiently sultry for a romantic dinner.

A strong focus on black and white shades is P&C's theme, reflecting the tones of its eponymous items.

Majors on seafood, with a range of caviar to satisfy even the biggest cash flasher.

With Pearls bar upstairs and Shangri-La mere steps away, you have plenty of post-meal options.

Avoid flipping to the menu's caviar pages and two can easily eat for around Dhs700 without wine.

Seafood is where Pearls & Caviar's flair unsurprisingly lies.

Shangri-La, Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi., 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 5098888. www.

Bord Eau



JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 119



, Th 11 Nautilus ach Rotana um 12 Finz, Be illenni llo, Grand M Be o rt Po 13 da ah Al W Bab Al Bahr , Fairmont 14 Frankie’s , Park Rotana 15 Teatro









10 Mombasa Grille



Fairrmont Bab Al Bahr What’s in a name? Well in the case of Frankie’s Italian Restaurant & Bar, to give its full title, only half the story. A collaborative effort between Marco Pierre White and champion horse riding jockey Frankie Dettori, the vibe is brought into more relaxed mode in the evenings with live piano entertainment as you dine. The quality remains high, however, confirmed when it stcooped the Best Italian gong at our What’s On Awards. PRICE



Bustling, with meat-wielding waiters buzzing around constantly filling plates.

Multiple levels, a sizeable salad buffet and live music make for a varied yet lively Brazilianthemed vibe.

Skewered beefs, lambs and chickens of exquisite quality, sliced directly at your table.

The Yacht Club is so close for after-dinner drinks that it's more or less a no-brainer.

Dhs225 for as much freshlysliced skewerbased goodness as you can handle.

Favourite Americas Restaurant at the What's On Awards.

InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, 6pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 6666888. www. ichotelsgroup. com

Classy, highend and just a teensy bit snooty. Expect the occasional celeb too – we were shown where Kevin Spacey sat.

Clean, modern lines with an airy sense of sophistication.

Italian fine dining given a twist of forwardthinking innovation.

Views of the marina, including The Yas Hotel's space aged exterior, ensures this is Yas Island at its most iconic.

Not at all cheap – with wine for two, four figures is a realistic target – but then quality does come at a price.

Light and bright, this is lovely for lunch and is transformed at night.

Cipriani Abu Dhabi, Building 1, Yas Yacht Club, Abu Dhabi, noon to midnight. Tel: (02) 6575400.. com

This permapacked out spot is our favourite for sushi.

The darkly lit dining room is illuminated by a neon sushi station.

The extensive menu stars some unusual regional Japanese dishes that you won’t find anywhere else in the UAE.

The Hilton's old school charm counters its slightly outmoded feel.

A three-course meal for two will have the waiter returning with change from Dhs500.

It won Favourite Japanese at our awards. Well chosen indeed, folks.

Hilton Abu Dhabi, Corniche, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6814151.

This restaurant cum nightclub is relaxed initially, picking up pace as the night progresses.

You won't be able to ignore Etoiles' other function, with tables overlooking the dance floor.

European and British cuisine, done in style.

At the far end of Emirates Palace’s gigantic lobby, with the sauvé air to match.

A meal for two should come in around Dhs700.

Stay after dinner; Etoiles won Favourite Nightclub at our awards.

Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, noon to 3pm and 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 6909000. www.

Busy, without being rammed, meaning you should be able to find a table here.

Eclectic, to say the least, with African masks, spears and animal skins lining the walls.

A huge array of fine dishes from around the world, from Indian curries to African grilled meats.

Pop into Left Bank, our number one bar in the capital, after your meal. It’s virtually next door.

A meal for two should come in around Dhs700.

A restaurant that manages to master a variety of international cuisines.

Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to midnight. Tel: (02) 5581868.www.





120 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011




Al Fanar









At the summit of capital brunching, the classy drinks emphasis keep the crowds suitably smart.

An impressive 200-plus dishes that span CuiScene and Frankie's Italian Restaurant & Grill.

Plenty of post-brunch entertainment within reach, whether it be at the Fairmont, Shangri-La or the nearby Souk.

A special treat with the highest priced option, or a more regular weekend haunt sans champers.

A top end Dhs449 with Moët & Chandon champagne, or Dhs299 with beer and wine, Dhs249 without alcohol.

Top notch food and free-flowing champagne.

Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 12.30am to 4pm. Tel: (02) 6543333. www.fairmont. com

Classy, demure crowds flock to this city-topping brunch.

The seafood is as quality as it is plentiful, with a similarly huge haul of meats and salads.

Emirates Palace's impressive gardens help guarantee high marks.

Middle Eastern luxury fit to impress any diner.

Dhs565, which includes the finest Laurent Perrier Rosé champagne.

You’re paying through the nose, but it’s worth splashing out for.

Emirates Palace, West Corniche, Abu Dhabi, 12.30pm to 3.30pm. Tel: (02) 6907999. www. emiratespalace. com

A la carte brunch in relaxed surrounds, with the added bonus of a lovely bar.

The cream of pan-Asian cuisine: dim sum baskets, sushi platters, short ribs and more.

The terrace is a bit too toasty at this time of year, but Yacht Club is still one of the city's most appealing venues.

The prelude to a big night out ,or a late Friday recovery session.

Dhs200 with as much champagne as you can manage or Dhs165 for similarly unlimited mojitos.

Hatch Friday afternoons off in readiness for a chilled weekend centrepiece.

InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen, 2pm to 6pm. Tel: (02) 6666888. ichotelsgroup. com

An easy-going brunch with differing attractions on Fridays and Saturdays.

An international buffet is first up, with Chinese and Vietnamese offerings at the Saturday Global Brunch.

There's plenty of room to kick back and relax at ShangriLa's all-day restaurant.

Families through to party people, this is a brunch for everybody.

Fri Dhs260 with wine and beer; Sat Dhs240 with a glass of bubbly, Dhs190 with wine and beer.

Base-covering excellence at one of What's On's favourite hotels.

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 12.30pm to 4pm. Tel: (02) 5098888. www.shangri-la. com

Comparatively sedate earlier on, but can become boisterous later.

Seafood and salads are the best represented here.

A revolving view of the city is Al Fanar's unique selling point.

A brunch to remember, both visually and culinary.

Dhs220 with unlimited red or white wine.

You voted it Abu Dhabi's Favourite Brunch. And not without some justification.

Le Royal Méridien, Khalifah Street, Abu Dhabi, 12.30pm to 3.30pm. Tel: (02) 6742020.

Le Vendome Brasserie


Yacht Club


Sofra Bld


Al Fanar

Sofra Bld



JUNE 2011 WHAT’S ON 123

HOT ON THE HEatEQarLyaSt Al Beri


e Souk 11 Ushna, Th r, Park Rotana 12 Ginge el The Yas Hot n 13 Origins, ie rie, Le Mérid ien se as Br La 14 érid Le Royal M ’s, lly ei ’R O 15 PJ

11 USHNA The Souk at Qaryat Al Beri If you want to go the whole hog at the Souk’s quality modern Indian for brunch then bring a full wallet: with unlimited Lanson champagne, it will set you back Dhs475. That is among the capital’s most expsnsive Friday afternooners, but for Dhs200 less, you can still enjoy beverages with a wide selection of kebabs, biryanis and more. Vegetarians are extrememly well catered for, too.

One To One


Pearls & Caviar






The Village Club

10 Hakkasan








This upbeat 'brunner' is embellished by a resident DJ spinning smooth tunes.

Fish is, unsurprisingly, the P&C buffet staple, including a live sushi station.

The Grand Mosque views set off the classy interior.

Kicking back and overindulging in seafood.

Dhs349 with champagne, sparkling wine, cocktails, beer and soft drinks, Dhs249 with other drinks.

The lovely setting is more than worth pushing the financial boat out.

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 1pm to 4pm. Tel: (02) 5098888.

Barbecue aromas and live Latino beats: what more could a brunch need?

A two-sided card holds the key at Chamas: turn to green for more meat, red when you're fit to explode.

The InterCon's bars will keep you on the postbrunch trail, from the Yacht Club next door to the Belgian Café.

Those who regard the phrase 'the meat sweats' as a state to aspire to, in the best possible way.

Dhs235 or Dhs295 with free-flowing caipirinhas to get you in the South American mood.

You'll get your money's worth, and then some, in meaty treats at Chamas.

InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen, noon to 3pm. Tel: (02) 6666888. www. ichotelsgroup. com

An in-house band and freeflowing bubbly means Flavours' brunch gets progressively more lively.

The international buffet makes light of spanning roasts to Chinese.

The newly extended Sheraton brunch is sizeable, now heading out towards the Cloud Nine Cigar Bar.

Dessert and cocktail lovers: both ranges benefit greatly from the extra space now afforded to this brunch.

Dhs225, including unlimited bubbly.

Fun for all ages and fairly inexpensive to boot.

Sheraton Abu Dhabi, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, 12.30pm to 3.30pm. Tel: (02) 6773333. www.sheraton. com

A relaxed brunch sufficient distance from the city centre to really unwind.

As healthy as you want it to be, including vegetarian dishes and fresh falafel.

Finding One To One the first time takes some effort, but you'll keep coming back once you do.

An alcohol-free brunch – not always a bad idea on a Friday lunchtime.

Dhs140. Pleasantly affordable.

A brunch without the usual excesses.

One To One Hotel - The Village, Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi, noon to 5pm. Tel: (02) 4952000. www. onetoonehotels. com

The high end dining masterpiece that is Hakkasan in a less expensive brunching format.

Delicious dim sum, with a choice between set menu or a la carte dim sum

Hakkasan has its own entrance at the ever-luxurious Emirates Palace.

Tasting awardwinning fare without the full evening meal cost. It won three What's On Awards gongs. Yep, three.

Dhs199 with tea or Dhs325 with a bottle of Laurent Perrier champagne.

One of Abu Dhabi's finest restaurants in a bite-sized brunch.

Emirates Palace, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, Friday and Saturday noon to 3pm. Tel: (02) 6907999. www.

124 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011













The predominantly Thai staff get to work on an ultimate pampering experience.

Fancy a Journey To The Island Of Java or a Gateway To Arabia treatment? You won't be surprised to learn they're as grand as they sound.

It's probably fair to call Anantara palatial, afforded an entire wing of the Emirates Palace.

Most treatments hover around the Dhs1,000 mark.

We’re big fans of the diamond facial, which will knock years off.

Emirates Palace, West Corniche, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 6909000. www. emiratespalace. com

The friendly welcome at Chi Spa will put you immediately at your ease.

The variety is wide, from Filipino hilot massages to caviar facials.

Chi Spa’s rooms could almost be a small temple hidden in the Himalayas.

More than worth the relatively expensive outlay.

The spa has one of the best Jacuzzis in the capital.

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Between the Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 5098888. www.shangri-la. com

Everything is tailored to your personal needs, from the room temperature, to the soundtrack, to your treatments.

New options are added to the menu almost every month.

Zen Spa is so spacious you won’t feel like you’re underground, even though it's actually in Beach Rotana's basement.

The aromatherapy massage, as an example, costs Dhs348 for an hour. Not too terrifying for such a high-end hotel.

Try the signature treatment – it will melt all your stress and strains.

Beach Rotana Hotel, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 6979000.


Few therapists in the UAE are as friendly and skilled as those here.

Exfoliating sand baths and waterbased Vichy spas stand out from more regular treatments.

Away from the city, the dunes of the Liwa Desert outside lend an extra air of relaxation.

Costly, but you certainly get what you pay for.

This amazing desert retreat has just about got it all.

Qasr Al Sarab, Liwa Desert, Abu Dhabi 10am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 8862088. www.qasralsarab.


Therapist Rinti showed us around the vast spa then got to work on our knots.

Using all ESPA products, this is a luxurious spa. Great for both quick fixes and day-long pampering.

The outdoor loungers have wonderful marina views.

The quality of every aspect of ESPA's service ensures good value for money.

It’s Yas Island’s newest and finest spa.

ESPA, Yas Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 9am to 9pm. Tel: (02) 6560862. www.theyashotel. com



Chi Spa


Zen Spa

Anantara Spa, Qasr Al Sarab


JUNE 2011 OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S WHAT’S ON ON 127 127

HOT ON THE HxuEryEMLenS’s Spa,


Lu 11 Man/Age a Mall Marin Club & Spa, Soul Health el 12 Body & ot H h ac Be t Al Raha Spa, Touris olistic Day H l ta ys Cr 13 ea Ar ub Cl a Wellness Sp 14 Sharinis a & Fitness, Sp al 15 Orient Al Bateen

11 MAN/AGE LUXURY MEN’S SPA Marina Mall You might be in a shopping mall, but even retail-allergic guys can relax in style at Man/ Age. Treatments span the world, including manicures and pedicures to really spoil yourself. A wise choice for the gentlemen among us who love to be pampered and aren’t afraid to pay for the privilege.

Zayna Spa


6 7 8

Hiltonia Health Club & Spa


Eden Spa






A global selection of therapists, from Zimbabwe and Nepal.

Separate male and female menus, packed with imaginative treatments.

Sparse and functional décor.

Mid-range or thereabouts.

It will need to fight to keep customers now ESPA at Yas Hotel has opened...

Radisson Blu Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 6562000. www.radissonblu. com

Sweet and knowledgeable, which starts the treatments on the right foot.

The capital’s biggest health club and spa boasts a predictably extensive menu.

With ten treatment rooms, Jacuzzi, steam room and hydrotherapy area, there is something for all tastes here.

Quality this high guarantees above average prices, but especially for the rituals, it's warranted.

There's a great range of fitness classes, too.

Grand Millennium Al Wadha, Hazza Bin Zayed Street, Al Wahda Complex, Abu Dhabi, 9am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 4439999. www. millenniumhotels. com

The all-female staff won't interrupt with chatter if you fancy a snooze during your treatment.

All manner of options, with waxing, manicures and luxurious packages all available.

Small and intimate with an Oriental themed décor, which is good enough for us.

Not at all wallet stripping for a hotel spa.

Hiltonia is also home to one of the best beach clubs in the city.

Hiltonia Beach Club, Corniche, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 9pm. Tel: (02) 6924324.

Knot-busting and relaxation is a speciality from this talented bunch.

Extensive, with a spa, hammam and hair salon.

Pleasant, although slightly dated. Its centrepiece is a huge relaxation pool.

The spa prestige moisturising facial will set you back Dhs660, which is roughly mid-range for the capital.

Make time to relax by the pool after your spa. You won’t regret it.

Le Méridien, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, 9am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6446666. www.

The therapists at Serenity strive to find the right treatment for you.

We definitely recommend the aroma massage, which combines body exfoliation and a deep tissue massage.

Located on the mezzanine floor above a shop with separate rooms for facials, massages, Moroccan baths and hairstyling.

The location gives an advantage over hotels in price. Dhs450 for the 90-minute Aroma Massage floats our boat.

Undoubtedly the best femaleonly spa in the capital.

Serenity Spa, above Paris Gallery, Zayed The First Street, Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 6678880. www.uae-parisgallery. com

The Spa

Zayna Spa



Serenity Spa

128 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2011



Going green, with What’s On Features Ed Adam When I first moved to the Emirates, among multitudes of other desperately engaging intricacies to negotiate – Etisalat, visas, adjusting to local customs – the country’s general attitude towards green issues was something of an eye opener. In this very issue of What’s On we’ve visited one restaurant, Le Bistrot, attempting to redress the balance in its own small way. It has sourced an entirely sustainable organic menu from scratch with admirable results, which had us pondering the whole environmental hot potato. Since then, the problems necessitating a change in attitudes in this part of the world have been brought into sharp focus. The United Nations released a report naming the UAE third in the global rundown of countries consuming the most resources per citizen.

So what should, and indeed is, being done to make Abu Dhabi a greener place to live? Certainly getting on high horses won’t help, as many other major countries aren’t blame free either. Back in the UK, I owned a car, guilty as charged. Yet crippling fuel duties, road tax and the like meant jumping on public transport became a comparatively attractive option, even if you were likely to share your commute with several dozen strangers’ body odour and/or utter lack of spatial awareness. In Abu Dhabi, the bus service remains something of a mystery to most ex-pats, which is a shame. But without trains or a metro, the non-automobile options are frustratingly limited. At least the capital’s taxis are leading the way, 500 silver chariots being converted to run on compressed natural gas. In many Western countries, meanwhile, recycling is not so much rigmarole as a part of daily life: sort your trash into two bins, or more, and separate refuse


collections do the rest. The UAE economy is apparently losing Dhs1.5m a year via inadequate recycling, flying in the face of the efforts of organisations such as Emirates Environmental Group, which recently completed a drive that recovered 20 tonnes of cans from landfill sites. And we haven’t even mentioned the tricky subject of saving water: Abu Dhabi farmers are to be given grants of Dhs100,000 per year to ‘refrain from waterintensive cultivation’. How that will affect ceaseless H20 use remains to be seen. Of course, we could all take a leaf out of Masdar City’s book, the sustainable project set to revolutionise the way people view environmental issues in the UAE. The future isn’t entirely bleak for the next generation. Let’s just hope the noble example being set by the minority soon becomes the mindset of the majority. Adam Workman is What’s On Abu Dhabi’s features editor


swiss made

What's On | Abu Dhabi | June 2011  

What's On | Abu Dhabi | June 2011

What's On | Abu Dhabi | June 2011  

What's On | Abu Dhabi | June 2011