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Issue 400

August 2011 UAE DHS 10 OMAN RO 1.000

How to clean up your act this Ramadan WIN WIN WIN! 400 prizes, including mini-breaks, spa trips and cinema tickets!


Find the indoor sport for you, and the capital’s top bowling alleys


Abu Dhabi’s best iftars, new movie releases, and the top ten of everything!


This Ramadan, treat your family to the sights and sounds of Abu Dhabi with special rates starting at AED 500 per room, including breakfast or Suhoor. Or upgrade to a suite from AED 900 per night. Offer valid for GCC residents only until 10th September 2011, subject to availability. Children under 12 stay free and additional rooms can be booked at 25% off. Terms & conditions apply.

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Contents Features

13 Detox your life Ramadan is a time for reflection, so what better month to sort out your life? Find out how, with our comprehensive detox guide, covering everything from health testing, to financial planning and quitting the dreaded white sticks 20 The great indoors Tired of festering in your apartment this summer? Time to go out, and then in again, as we discover the perfect indoor sport for you

23 Abu Dhabi's best bowling alleys Bowling is one of our favourite summer pastimes. Enjoy our round up of the city’s finest lanes


24 Win, win, win In celebration of our 400th issue, we’ve rounded up more than 400 prizes, which could be yours. If you’re lucky…

p20 AUGUST 2011 WHAT’S ON 3

The round up 8 Salaam August dissected and served in easy to digest portions: what’s hot and what’s not, insider tips from a local UAE artist and some serious newsy number crunching 28 Film This month's movies include the Palme d’Orwinning The Tree Of Life, the side-splitting comedy Bridesmaids and the star-studded romantic drama Crazy, Stupid, Love. Plus the rest of the latest releases 31 Eating out Putting new summer menus to the test, our verdict on two new burger joints, the expansion of the Jones The Grocer empire, seafood restaurant Sennara and DIFC’s Blue Rain. Plus The Critic, this month’s Twitter recipe and all the latest new openings and food news 43 Arts Saudi Arabian artist Sami Al-Turki talks us through his exhibition, all the news on the latest exhibitions, The Art Insider on the importance of authenticity, Syrian painter Aboud Salman and a summer camp for grown ups


49 Shopping Our resident fashion expert solves your sartorial puzzles, we put the latest summer fragrances to the test, what not to put in your summer suitcase and our pick of the latest page-turners, DVDs, albums and games 57 Mind & body We go under the laser to rid ourselves of unwanted hair (we do it for you, remember that). Plus treatments from Tibet and France, improve your communication skills, our verdict on Al Maha’s spa and all August’s beauty deals 65 Sport & outdoor Discover your inner Robin Hood with archery lessons, Mr Fitness answers all your health and fitness queries, What’s On's world war, and our pick of the UAE’s football supporters clubs – just in time for the new Premiership season 73 Travel A culinary journey around the Jordanian capital, Amman, another globetrotter reveals his travel secrets and a trio of travel deals

81 Hot list The best iftars this Ramadan, plus our ten favourite bars, spas and restaurants 98 Backchat Emirati film-maker and producer Nayla Al Khaja reveals her new independent film club

p28 p24

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 Concessa D’souza | Picture Researcher – Gulfpics Wayne Fernandez | Contributors Charlie Banalo, Victor Besa, James Brennan, Louise Browne, Stef Burgon, Vikram Gawde, James Houghton, Catherine Jarvie, Charles Pocock, Mark Powell, Farooq Salik, Tia Seifert, Sophia Serin, Simon Smedley, Paul Sterry Interns Honor Brannelly, Rebecca Pudner Senior Production Manager Sunil Kumar | Production Manager Sudhakar Chandran | Production Supervisor Murali Krishnan | General Manager – Group Sales Anthony Milne | Advertisement Manager Varsha Bhatia | General Manager, Abu Dhabi Joe Marrit | Senior Advertisement Manager, Abu Dhabi Darryl Wiley | Senior Sales Executive, Abu Dhabi Hamdan Bawazir |

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Learning archery, p67

Testing summer perfumes, p53

Kicking off our fitness challenge, p69

Editor’s note OK, I’ll let you into a secret – I quite like Ramadan. Yes, I know the bogstandard response from most Western folk is to pull a face and start complaining about how their lives have been interrupted because they can’t eat a Big Mac in public during daylight hours or whatever, but they’re kind of missing the point. For Muslims, it’s obviously a very special time of year. And for me, even as a non-Muslim, it’s still a special time – like a lot of people, I use it as a time to reflect, take stock. Everything moves just that little bit slower during Ramadan, and when you’ve been here long enough you appreciate the respite in the traffic, or the hectic nightlife and brunch circuit or, well, the pace of Abu Dhabi life in general. And, again, like a lot people, I use that break as the perfect time to clear out all the rubbish that’s been accumulated over the past year – both mentally and physically – and get back on the right track. Which brings us nicely to our cover feature – detoxing your life. Detoxing doesn’t always have to mean dieting, or staying off the sauce (although both aren’t bad ideas now and again) – we’ve also explored our stress levels, checked our finances and investigated our sleeping patterns, for a whole new healthy us. And, of course, you. Enjoy the issue, and Ramadan kareem.

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Salaam! SALAAM

The world according to What's On, in handy bite-sized chunks

What’s hot MCDONALD’S McDonald’s in the UAE is to start running its delivery trucks on bio-fuel made from used cooking oil.

Guess list Big names rumoured to be visiting the UAE

CHEAP MEDICINE The Ministry Of Health has decided to slash the price of nearly 2,000 pharmacybought medicines.

FOO FIGHTERS With the success of their new DVD, Back And Forth – screened in the UAE last month – come fresh rumours that Dave Grohl and the boys will be stopping by as part of their world tour.


NAMING RIGHTS Manchester City will rename their stadium the Etihad Stadium after an agreement was struck for the new season.



Shooting has begun in the UAE for Wild Arabia, a new BBC nature documentary.

What’s not EXPENSIVE LIVING A recent study shows that the UAE is the most expensive place in the GCC for expats to live.

ENGLISH FOOTBALLERS Reports have surfaced that Chelsea football club captain John Terry was seen buying dodgy handbags in the UAE, despite his Dhs928,000-a-week wage.

HIDDEN AIRPORT COSTS As of this month, UAE airports will be charging passengers a Dhs5 security and safety fee.



TIGER WOODS Out of form, maybe, but the rumour in the clubhouse is that the Tiger will make his Abu Dhabi debut this year.

TOM CRUISE Our man in Hollywood tells us that the big little man will be at the UAE premiere of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol – filmed in the Emirates – later this year.


ART IN SPACE A wild and varied array of sculptures at Saadiyat’s Salwa Zeidan gallery. Until Aug 30, Salwa Zeidan, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi, free. Tel: (02) 6669656

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE Ghaf Art Gallery co-owner and professional artist Jalal Luqman Art supplies

I tend to buy my supplies from the Jarir Bookstore in the Meena area. I will also go to Ace Hardware occasionally. Jarir Bookstore, Meena Mall, Mina Zayed, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6733999. Ace Hardware, Meena Road, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6731665.


When I’m done working and delivering all the paintings to clients, I love to sit down in the Gold Class at Marina Mall Cinemas, and enjoy a good movie (it's the only time my phone is on silent). VOX cinemas, Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6818484.


As an artist I can gain inspiration from anything, but I particularly like to go to the Abu Dhabi Country Club where I use the gym and cycle. Abu Dhabi Country Club, AlSada Street, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6577777.


Eating out

Naturally I love my Ghaf Gallery, but I also enjoy going to Gallery One at Emirates Palace and the Salwa Zeidan Gallery – to name just a few. Ghaf Gallery. Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6655332. Gallery One, Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6908207 Salwa Zeidan Gallery, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6669656

RAMADAN FESTIVAL From 7pm to 3am, for most of Ramadan, ADNEC will be hosting various fun family events. Aug 9 to 30, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi.

Being an Emirati who has travelled a lot, I have a local favourite and an international favourite. For local food, I love going to the Saudi Kitchen and ordering a plate of mandi. At other times, I like to go to The Meat Company and have a steak. Saudi Kitchen, Gava Hotel, Defence Street, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6416744 The Meat Co, Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 5581713.

GAMES NIGHT From bingo to pictionary, if it's a board game then they will give it a go at PJ O'Reilly's. Every Sun, Le Royal Méredien, Sheikh Khalifa Street, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6742020.

LET THE GAMES BEGIN The grass is cut. The players are ready. All you need is a place to watch the games as the new football season kicks off Hemingway’s Ernest Hemingway was better known for his writing than any sporting prowess, but it’s a little known fact that he was a keen footballer in his school days. So, he would doubtless have appreciated the devotion to the sport displayed by the bar that carries his name, with big screens galore. A shame the great man isn’t around to pen the post-match reports. Hemmingway’s, Hilton, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, from sunset. Tel: (02) 6811900 NRG There might be a blooming great racing car suspended outside, but footy has its fair share of coverage at sports café NRG. Thanks to a host of offers that run until the end of August – including extended happy hours and a free pint with every sizzle platter – there are plenty of reasons to make it the bar to follow your boys at. NRG, Le Méridien, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, from sunset. Tel: (02) 6446666. 3rd Avenue Though Ramadan restrictions will prevent you from catching most of the Saturday afternoon kick-offs from European leagues, you can guarantee plenty of barflies will flock to 3rd Avenue once darkness falls. There are screens for viewing at almost every angle in the old school pub’s nooks and crannies, and plentiful seating too. 3rd Avenue, Sheraton Khalidiyah, Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, from sunset. Tel: (02) 6666220. Find us at




Hey, big spender

Who are the better 1,760,000 shawarmas Dinner for two at Hot List favourite Hakkasan, drivers – every day for 24 years men or 502 years of Mawaqif parking 880,000 copies of What’s On women? 12 flights to space on Virgin Galactic

An anonymous UAE man recently bought the world’s most expensive car – a custom-made Bugatti L’Or Blanc – for Dhs8.8million. Bargain. What else could he have bought for that pile of cash?

New Abu Dhabi waste disposal plans


of motor accidents caused by men in the last 18 months

As if taking notes from last month’s What’s On, the Abu Dhabi government is looking to give wide-scale recycling another go


The value of the five-year contract given to waste resource company Averda by the Centre For Waste Management


People employed to clean and collect waste


Trucks used to collect waste around the city

They are like buses The Department Of Transport recently pledged to expand the capital’s bus services. Here are the stats:


50km Total length of new bus lanes planned 1,360 The size of the projected bus fleet 123 The total number of bus routes

of motor accidents caused by women in the last 18 months

Super cow

Al Ain Dairy claims its cow 4307 produces an astounding 100 litres of milk per day – that's a million litres of milk during its nine years to date. Here’s how some other animals weigh-in with milk output

Average amount of litres produced per day: COW 4307 100





GOAT 25 Source: latest figures from Abu Dhabi Traffic Police

DETOX YOUR LIFE Have you been working and playing a little too hard of late? Feeling a bit run down? Well, the Holy Month of Ramadan is the ideal time to give your body a break, with our ultimate guide to detoxing

What is detoxing? We asked nutritional therapist Laura Holland from Food For Life to break it down…


Your body experiences a toxic accumulation as you go through life and detoxification is all about ridding your body of those toxins. From the air we breathe, through gas or fumes, chemicals in deodorants or cosmetics, chemicals we consume if we smoke, drink alcohol or a lot of coffee, or toxins we aquire through our diet – we absorb a lot of toxins.



When we start to digest, that digestion process isn’t optimal, with food often left in our systems, so we accumulate residue. This residue is toxic, so we start to build up a toxic accumulation. The point of a detox is to reduce those levels of toxicity and to clear out our bodies.


The golden rule when you’re detoxing is to never put anything into your body that has potential toxins. Tea with caffeine, coffee, alcohol, cigarettes... they’ve got to go, otherwise there’s no point detoxifying yourself.


It really does depend on the person. People detox for any number of days. Even one day will help your body find its balance and relieve your digestive system for a while. I like three days because it’s a nice soft approach to detoxing. That’s enough to start to get over the initial headaches and thinking ‘Oh my, what am I doing?’


A superfood is something that has exceptional nutrients that your body needs in a bioavailable form, like coconuts, goji berries, cocao beans and spirulina. Their nutrient profiles are amazing. Their ability to create balance, scavenge free radicals in your body, to provide minerals and vitamins, that essentially

aid the detoxification process, are in a league of their own. When you’re detoxing, the foods you want to eat are predominantly green, then pink and, finally, red.


Aduki beans and lentils are excellent. With fruit, eat the whole fruit as opposed to juice, because that’s very high in sugar. When you eat the whole fruit you’re getting fibre as well. Blueberries are superb for their antioxidant content. And drink as many fluids as possible – clean water and herbal teas. Nettle tea and dandelion tea are great choices.


Detox shouldn’t be used just for weight loss. You are going to lose a little bit of weight, but it isn’t the prime motivation. Detox should be a kick-start to a healthy way of eating, which will start weight loss. Food For Life, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (050) 5048523. AUGUST 2011 WHAT’S ON 13



Detox is not just a matter of cutting things out of your diet and lifestyle, there might be nutrients your body needs that you’re not providing it with. Fully understanding how your body functions is essential to getting it running properly. Metabolism is key, and here’s how you can improve it

What is metabolism?

The faster your metabolism, the more kilojoules your body burns, converting food into energy. Dependent on a series of chemical reactions, enzymes break down food and turn proteins into amino acids, fats into fatty acids and carbohydrates into simple sugars. These compounds are then absorbed into the blood. The number of calories an individual burns depends on the amount of exercise they do, levels of fat and muscle in the body and their BMR (basal metabolic rate), which measures how quickly energy is burned while at rest. It tells you how many calories you can eat per day without losing or gaining weight if you were to stay do nothing. If you have a low BMR then you’ll tend to gain more fat.

How can you test your metabolic rate?

Simple body composition tests will give you an indication of your BMR, along with your fat percentage and the amount of water and proteins in your system. However, these tests do not take into account any chemical problems in your body. If you are concerned that your BMR is preventing you from losing (or gaining) weight then it’s time to get scientific. It’s necessary to pick up on vitamin and mineral deficiencies, amino acid insufficiencies, antioxidant levels, central

nervous system function, bacteria or yeast overgrowth, and more. Problems could be caused by a nutrient deficiency, inherited enzyme defect, toxic build-up or a side effect from medication. Abu Dhabi’s NMC Healthcare offers a variety of tests to help identify many of these afflictions.

How can you boost your metabolism?

Metabolic disorders that can be medicated include thyroid problems and diabetes. If, however, you just have a sluggish system that can’t be treated with drugs, then a lifestyle change is needed. Eating breakfast and ‘front loading’ your food (eating the majority of your calories at the start of the day) is key to kick-starting your system. Also avoid eating three to four hours before bedtime, so your body has the chance to burn the calories. Small, light meals are preferable to keep your blood sugar constant – don’t starve yourself. Low GI (glycaemic index) foods like porridge, lean meat and fresh vegetables will help fuel your body, releasing energy slowly. You should also include fatty fish like salmon, which are rich in omega-3. A pinch of chilli is good, too, as it contains capsaicin, a chemical that speeds up your heart rate and keeps the body burning calories. And drinking enough water is crucial. Exercise wise, a combination of aerobic cardio to burn fat, and resistance or weight training is ideal; muscles burn more energy than fat, even converting calories while you rest. If your energy levels are low then you might be lacking in B vitamins, so try taking a B-12 supplement along with co-enzyme Q10 (sometimes labelled as CoQ10), which aids in the supply of energy to your muscles. NMC Healthcare, Electra Street, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6332255.



Three more tests to try…


Some allergies can be easy to spot; people allergic to nuts may go into anaphylactic shock or break out in a nasty rash. Intolerances, however, can be harder to pick up on. Feeling groggy or bloated after meals, or suffering from headaches, can be traced to food intolerances that you didn’t even know existed. Gulf Diagnostic Center Hospital can help you identify such problems: its allergy clinic uses methods including blood and skin prick tests. Gulf Diagnostic Center Hospital, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6658090.


Whether it is traffic, waiting for that urgent e-mail or moving house, nothing seems easy these days. We all deal with varying stress levels, but it’s important to ensure that it doesn’t start affecting your health. Breath And Health’s 90 minute consultations aim to determine your level of stress using a quantum biofeedback machine. It might sound like a science fiction film prop, but the machine actually monitors factors including your brainwave frequencies and hormone and toxicity levels, giving you a reading on your ‘bio-energetic data’, which is then used as a starting point for future treatment. Breath And Health Alternative Medical Centre, 1080 Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim 2, Dubai, Dhs550. Tel: (04) 3489940.


Ensuring a good night’s shut-eye is essential – it allows your body to relax and recharge. So, if you are struggling to get the required six hours per night, it might be worth seeing the clever clogs at the American Hospital Dubai’s The Sleep Centre. With everything from loud snoring to dropping off at work considered a sleeping disorder, the centre invites people to spend the night at the facility with various sensors placed on the body to monitor sleeping patterns. When you wake up, a diagnosis is provided – after breakfast of course. The Sleep Centre, American Hospital Dubai, Oud Metha Road, Dubai. Dhs4,110. Tel: (04) 3367777.


DETOX TREATMENTS Whatever your issue, there’s a treatment to deal with it







Anxiety – and especially in its excessive form, an anxiety disorder – causes a variety of physical problems, from headaches to heart palpitations, and can also lead to panic attacks. The Well-Being Zone combats anxiety with emotional freedom therapy. “We tap into the subconscious while working on the body and releasing kinetic energy to unblock negative emotions, attitudes or beliefs,” explains Well-Being Zone’s Houry Pappin. “We’re working on all levels: mental, emotional, physical and even spiritual.” While she admits this therapy won’t be for everybody, the technique does boast a significant worldwide following. The Well-Being Zone, Mina Road, Abu Dhabi, by appointment, Dhs500 per session (sessions resume after Ramadan). Tel: (050) 4457370. Rational or irrational, most of us have fears or phobias, from spiders or enclosed spaces to the more obscure afflictions (fear of clowns, and err, fear of knees). Susan Smith, who runs Healing 4 Hearts, tackles fears and phobias using elements of meridian psychotherapy and emotional freedom technique. “The body is made of energy and when we have a disruption in our energy that can create a fear or a phobia,’ explains Susan. “Depending on the fear and phobia it can take ten minutes or a couple of sessions.” The treatment works by tapping on meridian points, the same areas targeted in acupuncture, a technique that Susan logically describes as “a bit like acupuncture without needles.” These areas are manipulated to release energy flows, which in turn promises to take away the fear. Susan has successful alleviated past customers of fears of cats, water, flying and dentists. Healing 4 Hearts, Abu Dhabi, Dhs200 per session. Tel: (050) 7236703.

In an increasingly fraught world, controlling rage has become an important personal and professional issue. Statistics suggest that one in ten people have trouble controlling their temper. It’s an important issue to resolve too, as the long and short-term physical health effects of anger are wide-ranging, including increased risk of coronary heart disease or stroke, exacerbating digestive problems, weakening your immune system and taking a toll on mental wellbeing. Don’t get mad, don’t get even – do something about it. American Centre For Psychiatry And Neurology, behind Khalidiyah Mall, Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, 9am to 9pm, initial assessment Dhs600, subsequent sessions Dhs300 to Dhs600. Tel: (02) 6664866.

Stuck in a rut? Needing a kick-start to get back on track in life? Life coaching is a practice on the rise in the Middle East, designed to help you “set an agenda according to your priorities and desired accomplishments,” according to UAE expert HNI. Run by CEO Hanan Nagi, HNI helps you to figure out your goals, whether they be linked to your career, financial issues or relationships. “The first question I would ask is, ‘how badly do you want the change?’”, Hanan says. “People say, ‘I want to change this or change that’, but they’re not willing take the risk. The person that wants to change is the real player in this relationship. The coach helps them to get everything out of their mind. It’s like spaghetti: it’s all tangled and the coach helps arrange it on the table.” The first sample session is normally free, then depending on the scale of the goal, anything from three to four further meetings are required, based a personal understanding of yourself and your behaviours, thoughts and beliefs. HNI, Abu Dhabi, average price Dhs500 per session. (02) 4047174.

Despite the sceptics, alternative forms of medicines and practices are still very much trusted methods for curing ailments and relaxing the mind. The shirodhara treatment is a branch of traditional Indian method ayurveda, which involves pouring warm herbal oil over the forehead for a prolonged period. To the uninitiated, this might seem like an unusual treatment, but the hourlong sessions are recommended for people suffering from insomnia, chronic headaches and more, to help relax and clear your mind. The oil used varies depending on what is being treated, with a range of liquids from essential lavender oil to coconut water, tailored to the patient’s concerns. Eden Spa, Le Méridien, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, 9am to 11pm, Dhs360 for 60 minutes. Tel: (02) 6446666. Despite sounding like a particularly invasive medical procedure, this massage is actually very gentle. Intended to improve metabolism and help the body eliminate waste and toxins, it delicately stimulates the lymphatic system and boosts the immune system. Zen Spa, Beach Rotana, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 10pm, Dhs350 for 60 minutes, Dhs525 for 90 minutes. Tel: (02) 6979000.



ALIGN YOUR LIFE Is your dull office space getting you down at work? Forget forking out on flash furniture or moving to new premises, perhaps you need to try the ancient Chinese art of feng shui, says expert Shivani Adalja


Breakfast Coconut smoothie, with fresh coconut water and pulp, with added strawberries Snack Almonds and goji berries Lunch Spinach and avocado salad with parsley, celery, sugar snap peas and peppers, drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice Snack Raisins and pumpkin seeds Dinner Vegetable chilli with quinoa

Day two

Breakfast Fresh raspberries, blueberries and pomegranate salad with sunflower seeds, chopped banana and honey Snack Walnuts and dried apricots Lunch Roca leaf salad with mint, parsley and hummus and raw carrots, cucumber and broccoli with olives Snack Organic peanut butter (no added salt or sugar) on Ryvitas Dinner Vegetable stir fry with fresh ginger, lime and coriander (include veggies like cabbage, bean sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, beans)

Day three

Breakfast Strawberry and avocado smoothie Snack Brazil nuts with dried figs Lunch Mixed bean salad with a shredded cabbage, sultana and pine nut raw slaw (kind of like coleslaw but no mayo) Snack Goji berries and pumpkin seeds Dinner Vegetable Thai green curry

Feng shui is about creating balance between the five fundamental elements: fire, earth, metal, water and wood. Fire when burned creates earth, earth gives birth to metal, metal when corroded produces water, water nourishes wood, and wood when burned creates fire. This cycle can bring about harmony and growth. There are many conflicting schools of feng shui, so it is very important to implement changes only after employing a good feng shui consultant. The direction of the room is as important as the direction of the building. As your office or room is part of the building, it is very important to first assess the energies of the building and then locate your office within that energy grid of the building. Once you have identified which sector of the building your office is located in, we can then focus on enhancing the energies within the office. We also need to find out if the room is getting enough chi (movable life force energy) and how can we balance and enhance it. An office environment must be peaceful and conducive to good work. Feng shui can bring about wonderful positive changes if implemented correctly. It helps everyone be at peace and able to work as a team. It will create a sense of harmony, leading to growth and stability. Many establishments who have implemented feng shui successfully notice that employees are not reporting sick so often, productivity has improved and inter-office politics diminish.

“FENG SHUI CAN BRING ABOUT WONDERFUL POSITIVE CHANGES IF IMPLEMENTED CORRECTLY. IT HELPS EVERYONE BE AT PEACE AND ABLE TO WORK AS A TEAM” When designing an office space, be mindful of the harmony and balance. Water is for movement and prosperity, wood depicts growth and earth denotes stability. However, these elements must be placed in the right corners of the office to bring about balance. Seating arrangements for all employees must be based on the dates of births and kua number (a calculation based on date of birth and gender). The hierarchy in the office plays an important role. The most important person in the office has to sit in the most remote corner. Which will allow them to focus on important tasks. The Alignment Institute, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (050) 6811728. E-mail:


Shivani’s cut-out-and-keep guide to office alignment… 1. The desk should never be placed opposite the door of the office, as the chi will hit you hard. 2. There should be enough natural light in the office for chi to rotate. 3. The colours in the office should be yin (light) colours to help you focus with mental work. However, if the person working in the office is in sales and marketing, and will need to get out of the office often, then the office can be coloured in yang (bright) colours. 4. The office should not have any thorny plants. Bamboo or money plants are recommended in the lit corners of the office.



PUT YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER’s Dan Plant offers his top tips for sorting out your finances What age should you start saving for a pension?

Once it’s affordable, start as early as possible. A good rule of thumb for a comfortable retirement is to pay in a percentage of your salary equal to half of your age e.g. if you’re 25 years old, pay in 12.5 per cent of your salary, including any employer contributions.

What are the most important things to consider before you start saving?

Check if any tax-efficient savings schemes exist. In the UK, for example, all adults can save GBP5,340 per year in a cash ISA, which accrues interest and is safe from the taxman. Check if it is a pure savings account to make sure you are guaranteed to get back what you put in, plus the stated interest, with no risk involved. If there is risk, you are investing. Check how the money is protected in the worst-case scenario of a bank collapsing. And

finally, to get a higher rate, you often have the option of a ‘fixed rate’, but your money is locked away without access for a set time usually from one to five years. The penalties for accessing a fixed account are often substantial.

What’s the best bit of financial advice you’ve ever been given?

What immediate steps should you take to put your personal finances in order?

If somebody is a compulsive spender, what safeguards can they put in place to prevent unnecessary spending?

Most crucial is to do a budget, taking into account every single expense. We have built a tool to do this – Next, cut the cost of your debts. Don’t consolidate just for the sake of it – only move debts to a different card if it makes it cheaper overall. Pay of as much off as you can afford, focusing on the most expensive debt first. Also, plan what to buy on food shopping trips beforehand (and don’t go when you’re hungry) and, if you smoke, quit.

QUIT SMOKING Four ways to ditch the dreaded white sticks

1. Hypnotherapy 2. Nicotine gum 3. Champix Quit the ciggies with and patches It might sound like a programme tailored to you. The Well-Being Zone, Mina Road, Abu Dhabi, Dhs500, sessions restart after Ramadan. Tel: 050 4457370. thewell-beingzone. com

Kill the cravings with every quitter’s friend. Boots Pharmacy, Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi, gum Dhs15 to Dhs16, patches Dhs76. Tel: (02) 4437167.


dog food, but this nicotine-free tablet is popular at present. Boots Pharmacy, Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi, Dhs198 to Dhs444. Tel: (02) 4437167.

4. Acupuncture

Why not ditch the filthy habit by going full-on Hellraiser? Gulf Chinese Medical Centre, Mohammed Bin Butti Building, Abu Dhabi, Dhs100 for initial consultation, Dhs150 per session Tel: (02) 6343538.

Never pay more for something than you absolutely have to. You can often get exactly the same service or product by paying less – so why wouldn’t you? All it takes is a bit of research.

Leave credit cards at home, and only take cash out with you, so you can’t overspend. Plan everything in advance. We have built a great tool to show people the wastefulness of their spending ( When people see they spend two whole weeks a year working to afford their daily coffee, it often shocks them into submission. Dan Plant is the web editor of

The great

Use our highly scientific chart to find


You might not expect a punch in the nose at the International Tennis Complex, but tramlines and racquets aren’t the centre’s only sporty concerns. Its boxing facilities offer group classes and private tuition. Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex, Zayed Sports City, Airport Road, Abu Dhabi, daily 6am to 10pm, Dhs60 each to Dhs3,500 per person. Tel: (02) 4034200. 20 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2011


The quintessential lunchtime racquet game of office co-workers the world over, squash is a top workout. It’s also among Abu Dhabi’s most widespread sports, with a wealth of courts across the island. InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Bainouna Street, Abu Dhabi, daily 7am to 10pm, Dhs50 to Dhs 75 per hour, members free. Tel: (02) 6666888.


Al Forsan’s impressive 300m sniping range, plus 50m and 25m galleries, are sadly shut until September, but a rather fun laser alternative, with full recoil, is still operating through Ramadan with a special dual 10-minute shooting/15-arrows archery package. Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Khalifa City A, Abu Dhabi, daily 2pm to 10pm, Dhs200. Tel: (02) 5568555.


It’s a little humid to don your jodhpurs in the midday sun right now, a problem foreseen by Al Forsan’s 65m air-conditioned indoor equestrian training arena, offering lessons for all abilities. The horses, meanwhile, reside in air-conditioned stables. Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Khalifa City A, Abu Dhabi, daily 2pm to 10pm, Dhs150 to Dhs3,100. Tel: (02) 5568555.

Martial arts

Oriental Karate & Kobudo Club is the first stop in the capital on your quest to become a black belt. With more than 1000 active students, it runs Tourist Club, Airport Road, Khalifa Street, Madinat Zayed and Khalidiyah branches. The Oriental Karate & Kobudo Club, various branches, Abu Dhabi, various times, Dhs250 to Dhs675 per month (initial registration Dhs100). Tel: (02) 6771611.

indoors the perfect indoor pursuit for you this summer

Ice skating

If the habitual daily transition from street to air con isn’t extreme enough, a full on wintry blast at Abu Dhabi Ice Rink should do the trick. Public skating runs throughout the month, with ladies-only sessions on Thursdays. Abu Dhabi Ice Rink, Zayed Sports City, Airport Road, Abu Dhabi, various times, Dhs25 to Dhs35 for 90 minutes. Tel: (02) 4034200.


Summer can’t halt the beautiful game in the capital during August. And after the huge success of the Women’s World Cup, female players will be pleased to know they’re equally welcome at The Dome, too. The Dome @ Rawdhat, Airport Road, Abu Dhabi, daily 9am to midnight, pitches Dhs350 to Dhs700 per hour. Tel: (02) 4498480.

Indoor skydiving

Gagging for an adrenalin rush without jumping out of a plane at frightening altitude? Spacewalk’s parachute-less indoor skydiving lets you do exactly that in complete safety. You can even grab a souvenir DVD of the experience. Abu Dhabi Country Club, Al Saada Street, Al Mushriff, Abu Dhabi, daily 9am to 11pm, Dhs180 to Dhs700 per person. Tel: (02) 6577777.

Table tennis

Picking up a ping pong paddle isn’t quite as exciting as many of the indoor sports you can indulge in this August, but it’s a popular pursuit in the UAE. It’s an Olympic sport too, with Emirati hopes for London 2012 qualification. Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex, Zayed Sports City, Airport Road, Abu Dhabi, daily, 7am to 11pm, Dhs15 per person per hour. Tel: (02) 4034200.

AFOC’s 15th Open Sports Festival

Though registration just closed for this Ramadan extravaganza, you can still turn up as a spectator. More than 3,000 competitors contest football, boxing, shooting and more. August 2 to 21, Armed Forces Officers Club & Hotel, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi, daily after Kyam Prayer (around 9.30pm) to midnight, free. Tel: (02) 4415900.


ABU DHABI’S BEST BOWLING ALLEYS The ridiculous (read stylish) footwear, the highly polished wood, the clink of pins and the heady scent of success and failure. If you love bowling as much as we do, check out one of these ten bowling alleys ABU DHABI COUNTRY CLUB With a bar and a la carte menu, the Country Club’s four-lane bowling alley is a step up from the average snacks and milkshakes experience. Inflate the balloons, too – they welcome birthday parties of all ages. And club membership isn’t required. Abu Dhabi Country Club, Al Saada Street, Al Mushriff, Abu Dhabi, daily 7am to 11pm, Dhs100 per hour, Dhs60 per half hour. Tel: (02) 6577777. AL AIN INTERNATIONAL BOWLING CENTRE They sure love their bowling in Al Ain, with several choices in the city’s relatively cosy confines. The International Bowling Centre has five lanes and is dirt cheap. Even better, the surrounding International Centre houses additional attractions from videogaming to restaurants and shisha. Al Ain International Bowling Centre, opposite Park Saleme, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, 8am to 2am, Dhs10. Tel: (03) 7630222. AL JAZIRA BOWLING CENTRE Not only can you associate yourself with Abu Dhabi’s double-winning footy champions at Al Jazira, but these six lanes are exceptionally high-tech. Prices are mighty reasonable, too. And add in table tennis (three tables), darts (two boards) or pool (one table) and it’s an all-round winner. Al Jazira Sports Club, Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, 4pm to midnight, Dhs12 per hour. Tel: (02) 4454455. BOWLING CITY A reliable ten-pin shaped fixture across the Emirates’ landscape, widespread chain Bowling City began life at this state-of-the-art Garden City branch. Planning a full day’s entertainment here couldn’t be easier, with 12 lanes, reasonably priced pool tables and karaoke, to boot. Al Ain Mall, Kuwait Area, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, 10am to midnight, Dhs12 per game. Tel: (03) 7510006. BOWLING CITY Swap the hustle of the capital’s bustling heart

for the crash of balls on pins at this downtown entertainment haven. As well as an above-average 18 lanes, videogame nuts will love the PlayStations, alongside plenty of shopping and guzzling options around Al Mariah Mall. Al Mariah Mall, Hamdan Street, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 1am, Dhs12 per game. Tel: (02) 6760444. BOWLING CITY @ SPARKY’S The manic surrounds of Sparky’s house this 12-lane bowling centre, right next-door to a bevy of pool tables should you fancy a spot of between-frame potting. And Sparky’s borderline headache-inducing attractions – indoor rollercoaster and all – will help to banish any lurking boredom. Sparky’s, Khalidiyah Mall, 26th Street, Abu Dhabi, 10am to midnight, Dhs15. Tel: (02) 6354315. EMIRATES BOWLING VILLAGE Want to add status to your strikes? With four VIP lanes, Emirates Bowling Village is the solution. Timing is key if you’re on a budget, though. Take advantage of happy hour (Sun to Wed 10am to 5pm) for Dhs10 games on one of the 32 lanes. Night owls note that EBV has the latest opening hours in the city. Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed 10am to 1am, Thurs and Fri 10am to 3am, Dhs10 to Dhs20. Tel: (02) 6811185. KHALIFA INTERNATIONAL BOWLING CENTRE If the name wasn’t a dead giveaway then the bouldersized ball above the door should do it. These 40 huge lanes are home to several established bowling

leagues. And afterwards why not head upstairs to aptly named restaurant Noodle Bowl? Pun, we imagine, intended. Zayed Sports City, Airport Road, Abu Dhabi, 9am to 1am, Sun to Wed Dhs10, Thurs to Sat Dhs12. Tel: (02) 4034648. SUPER STRIKE Part of Bawadi Mall’s sprawling family entertainment centre, the garish surrounds of Fun City aren’t solely for ankle biters. Super Strike’s dozen lanes provide enough space to knock ‘em down for everyone from gutter ball-prone novices to maximum score-eyeing pros. Fun City, Bawadi Mall, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thurs 10am to 11pm, Fri noon to 11pm, Dhs12 before noon, Dhs15 noon to 11pm. Tel: (03) 7840338. WANASA BOWLING CENTRE Wanasa’s grammatically challenged aim – ‘make the life always happy’ – is aided nicely by walletfriendly bowling on one of the six lanes and live sports coverage. If your fun can only begin once the children are occupied, however, simply dispatch the little blighters to Wanasa Land’s veritable kingdom of entertainment. Wanasa Land, Al Wahda Mall, Hazaa Bin Zayed Street, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Wed 10am to 10.30pm, Thurs to Sat 10am to 11.30pm, Dhs15. Tel: (02) 4437654




We’ve reached a staggering milestone – our 400th issue. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up more than 400 prizes, from mini-breaks to fitness classes, waterpark passes to iftars.Are you feeling lucky?


Sampling the excellent iftars around the UAE during Ramadan is a must, so why not answer this little question and be in with a chance of winning one of ten vouchers for the Bastikiya restaurant at the Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa. Just tell us... Which month does Ramadan fall in this year? a) April b) January c) August

Almost 1,000 revellers flocked to Aloft’s Liquid by Mai Café rain pool party last month. After a Ramadan break, they’re doing it all again on September 30, in collaboration with Radio 1. We’ve teamed up with Aloft to give away four onenight stays for two, worth around Dhs400, valid for any weekend, plus six runners-up prizes of entry for two to their September pool party. Which of these wouldn’t you expect to find at a swimming pool? a) Lifeguard b) Life preserver c) Life coach

WIN! DINNER AT THE SILK ROUTE We have six vouchers worth Dhs100 each to redeem at The Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa’s Silk Route restaurantany time until December 31. To get your hands on one, just tell us... Which of these is not traditionally made from silk? a) Scarves b) Handkerchiefs c) Jeans


Fans of musical and culinary pleasures won't struggle to find reasons to enter to win an overnight stay for two at Citymax Hotel Al Barsha, inclusive of dinner at MAXX Music Bar & Grill. The whole package clocks in at Dhs600 (subject to availability and prior reservation; the three-course meal includes soft drinks). What was Mel Gibson’s breakthrough film Escape the city with a one-night stay for two at Yas called? Island Rotana, worth Dhs800. Two runners-up will win meals for two at Indian restaurant Rangoli (worth a) Sad Max Dhs300) and another duo will nab international meals b) Glad Max c) Mad Max for two at Choices (worth Dhs350).


Which of these attractions isn’t on Yas Island? a) Ferrari World b) Marina Park c) The Coliseum

WIN! IFTAR AT HILTON ABU DHABI We have iftar vouchers for two (worth Dhs159 per person), courtesy of our chums at Hilton Abu Dhabi to give away, for their wonderful La Terrazza restaurant, including Arabic fruit juices. Fancy it?

Try your luck by telling us… The Hilton family’s famous socialite is named after which iconic city? a) Mogadishu b) Paris c) Honolulu


WIN! GOODIES FROM JONES THE GROCER Having championed the splendid Abu Dhabi outlets, What’s On teamed up with Jones The Grocer to throw a party for gourmet chain’s first Dubai store last month. To coincide, we have ten sets of JTG food goodie packs for you hungry readers. What is Jones The Grocer's country of origin? a) France b) Japan c) Australia

WIN! A VALERA HAIRDRYER Want to look your best this summer? Valera has given us an i-f@n digital travel hairdryer worth Dhs359, plus five runner-up prizes of silent 2200 super ionic hairdryers, worth Dhs219. To have a chance of winning, tell us… What makes up human hair? a) Keratin b) Carrots c) Caramel

WIN! DINNER AT FANR Airy new contemporary international restaurant Fanr at Manarat Al Saadiyat is an early culinary attraction on the fast-developing Saadiyat Island. We’re giving away four meals for two (worth approx Dhs350 per person), and you could grab one by telling us… Which of these attractions isn’t being built on Saadiyat Island? a) The Louvre b) London Olympic Stadium c) Guggenheim

WIN! DINNER AT FLAVOURS You could win dinner for two at Flavours restaurant, worth Dhs350, including soft drinks, or a pair of fullday resort access passes, including use of the gym, three pools, sauna and private lagoon (worth Dhs400 per pair). To enter, please tell us... Which body of water does The Corniche overlook? a) Persian Gulf b) Indian Ocean c) Pacific Ocean

WIN! IFTAR AT THE ONE TO ONE HOTEL The homely One To One Hotel is a Ramadan favourite and four readers can find out why by winning an iftar buffet for two, worth Dhs300. Which of these isn’t a real football team? a) Aston Villa b) Villareal c) Toon-real-rubbish

Terms and conditions apply. The editor’s decision is final.


WIN! CINEMA TICKETS FROM VOX Our friends at VOX cinemas have given us 20 pairs of VOX Max tickets to use at any VOX cinema this month – the winners can choose from Ajman City Centre, Deira City Centre, Mirdif City Centre, Mall Of The Emirates and Marina Mall Abu Dhabi. If you want to be in with a chance of checking out the latest releases on the 20-metre screens with super-modern technology and bigger, VIP seating, just tell us... How many VOX cinemas complexes are there in the UAE? a) Five b) Zero c) One



Abu Dhabi Golf Club has handed us four golf vouchers (worth Dhs425 each), to drive, chip and putt to your heart’s content on the beautiful course. To enter, tell us... What is the golfing term for completing a hole one under par? a) Birdie b) Albatross c) Puffin

Which of these is a character from a famous story? a) The Pied Piper Of Hamelin b) Billie Piper c) Rowdy Roddy Piper

WIN! IFTAR AT LE ROYAL MÉRIDIEN WIN! A BODY FAT ANALYSER They don’t do Ramadan by halves at Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, and you can see for yourself by winning vouchers for two at their Ramadan tent, worth Dhs200 per person. To enter, tell us… Which of these are usually used to hold up a tent? a) Scaffolding b) Guy rope c) Elephants

If you’re following our detox tips this issue, you may want to keep an eye on your pounds and ounces. Now you can, by winning a set of Terraillon Body Fat Analysers, state-of-the-art bathroom scales worth Dhs350. How many grams are there in a kilogram? a) 14 b) 1,000 c) 1,000,000



One lucky reader will win a relaxing one-night stay for two at Abu Dhabi’s five-star Park Rotana hotel, completed by two one-hour massage treatments (total value Dhs1,200). Is it you? Try answering this question correctly… Rock group Blur had a hit with Parklife. Who did it feature? a) Phil Daniels b) Phil Collins c) Phil Spector

We have a great spread from Abu Dhabi’s top ladies-only facility, Serenity Spa. The top prize is a one-month gym membership, including fitness classes (worth an impressive Dhs1,000). Runnersup, meanwhile, will receive either two sessions of Hypoxi (worth a total of Dhs400) or a Kerastase hair treatment (Dhs150). What is Lady Gaga’s latest album called? a) Born This Way b) Walk This Way c) Born In The USA


Let’s not kid ourselves, August is hot. But luckily, those brain-boxes at Wild Wadi have decided to keep the park open this month from 10am to 8pm (with all of its restaurants open throughout the day), and from noon until midnight every weekend, with special Ramadan rates for visitors between 8pm and midnight. We’ve teamed up with Wild Wadi to give away 30 pairs of tickets to the waterpark. For your chance to win, just tell us the name of a Wild Wadi character:

a) Juha b) Julia Childs c) Julia Roberts *Terms and conditions apply: all tickets must be redeemed by Aug 17th 2011 and used by the last day of Ramadan.

To celebrate our 400th issue, our generous friends behind soft drink Piper are offering the chance to win 400 cans. Don’t worry if you’re not the main winner, though: 12 runners-up will receive a month’s supply.

WIN! A MASSAGE AT THE PALACE What’s On and The Palace in Old Town are giving ten people the chance to unwind and de-stress with 30-minute massages in their lovely spa. If you’d like the chance to relax for gratis, simply tell us… Massages a great way of getting rid of... a) Mist and fog b) Stress and tension c) Cookies and milk

WIN! DINNER AT LA VERANDA Whatever your food preference, it should be catered to by Sheraton Khalidiya’s mouthwatering prize: winners will enjoy dinner for two at La Veranda (worth Dhs400), which serves up seafood, Italian, Chinese, Indian and Arabic dishes. In architecture, what is a veranda? a) A wall b) A porch c) A window

WIN! MEALS AT THE CROWNE PLAZA YAS ISLAND Crowne Plaza Yas Island contains a wealth of great restaurants and you can sample some of the best with this giveaway. Win a meal for two at Jing Asia (choose from lunch, worth Dhs260, or dinner, worth Dhs320) or you can enjoy the lunch delicacies of Lebanese restaurant Barouk (worth Dhs510). To enter, tell us… What is the capital city of Lebanon? a) Abu Dhabi b) Amman c) Beirut




Music connoisseurs – we have five copies of five new albums from Virgin Megastore up for grabs – that’s 25 CDs to give away, maths fans, including the latest from Tiesto. For a chance to win, just tell us... Which of these is a genre of music? a) Krumping b) R&B c) Googlie

We have two vouchers apiece to giveaway for lunch at Cho Gao, tasty Italian Spaccanapoli, Friday roast lunch at Heroes, Vincent’s Bar, and Cappuccino’s Café. Ten runners-up can enjoy 40 per cent off the iftar buffet at Cho Gao, Spaccanapoli and The Garden. Want to enter? Simply tell us… Where are the British crown jewels kept? a) Wembley Stadium b) Tower Of London c) Legoland

WIN! BEACH PASSES FOR THE INTERCONTINENTAL ABU DHABI Fancy taking it easy on one of the most inviting shorelines on Abu Dhabi’s main island? We have ten beach access passes, worth Dhs95 each, for the InterContinental. To be in with the chance of winning one, tell us… Who played the lead role in 2000 movie The Beach? a) Leonardo DiCaprio b) John O’Shea c) Rod Hull

WIN! MEALS AT THE AL MANZIL HOTEL We have vouchers for lunch at Nezesaussi Grill, where you’ll find giant portions, big screen sporting action and super-friendly staff, plus two vouchers for lunch at the lovely, sunny Conservatory Restaurant. To be in with a chance of winning any of these vouchers, answer this question correctly… Nezeaussi Grill screens what genre of entertainment? a) Sport b) Cartoons c) Chat shows

WIN! SPA VOUCHERS FOR THE LOUNGE When it comes to pampering for men in Abu Dhabi, the Lounge are executive grooming experts. One reader will win a Dhs500 voucher, while two runners-up will pick up Dhs300 vouchers and a further 17 people will receive Dhs100 vouchers. Which of these is a famous men’s fragrance? a) Old Hat b) Old Spice c) Old School

WIN! APPETISERS AT BORD EAU Readers with finely-tuned palettes can win an appetiser at Shangri-La’s What's On-recommended French restaurant Bord Eau (worth approximately Dhs100). To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following question: How tall is the Eiffel Tower in Paris? a) 324m b) 1m c) Invisible to the naked eye


WIN! A STAY AT THE DANAT JEBEL DHANNA RESORT Escape the city with a one-night weekend stay for two, including buffet breakfast (worth Dhs499 during Ramadan and Dhs699 afterwards). Which of these is on the USA's west coast? a) New York b) Chicago c) Los Angeles

WIN! A HEALTHY BREAK AT ABU DHABI’S BEACH ROTANA HOTEL We have beach and gym access passes for two – worth Dhs300 to Dhs400 – for the Beach Rotana. Also up for grabs is Italian lunch for two at Prego’s (Dhs350). Please specify which prize you would prefer. What car was famously featured in the movie The Italian Job? a) Mini b) Range Rover c) Ford Mustang

WIN! LUNCH AT THE QAMARDEEN We’ve teamed up with the Qamadeen hotel, Old Town to give away lunch vouchers for two for their Esca Italian restaurant, plus lunch vouchers for two for their new Italian-themed café, Esca. To be in with a chance of winning lunch at either of these venues, tell us... Which of the following cities is not in Italy? a) Rome b) Milan c) Glasgow

WIN! A STAY AT THE AL AIN ROTANA The Al Ain Rotana is its premier hotel and we have a one-night stay, with breakfast for two at Zest, to give away. A total of 25 runners-up will snaffle free pool access. Which of these is a famous gardener? a) Monty Don b) Monty Burns c) The Count Of Monte Cristo

WIN! URBAN ENERGY FITNESS CLASSES These fitness experts are training our World War team, and have given us 100 vouchers for classes, including Urban Prenatal, Running, Kick and Boost, that could be yours. Answer this simple question... What footwear should you wear for running? a) Stilettos b) Trainers c) Brogues

WIN! A STAY AT THE CRISTAL HOTEL Want to spend a night in a plush hotel in the heart of Abu Dhabi? Our lovely pals at the Cristal Hotel have given us an overnight weekend stay to give away, including buffet breakfast for two (worth a cool Dhs2,680). For your chance to win, tell us… Which of the following companies isn’t associated with crystal? a) Waterford b) Swarovski c) McDonald’s

WIN! VOUCHERS FOR SAADIYAT BEACH GOLF CLUB Want to work on your swing? Grab yourself one of these four golf vouchers – worth Dhs825 each – for use at the picturesque Saadiyat Beach Golf Club course. To enter, tell us… How old was Rory McIlroy when he won the US Open recently? a) 12 b) 22 c) 42


Thanks to What’s On and Le Méridien Abu Dhabi you can ease away those summer aches and pains – we’re giving a one-hour relaxing body massage at Eden Spa (weekdays only, advance booking required) worth Dhs300. To enter, tell us… How many seconds are there in an hour? a) 360 b) 3,600 c) 36,000


From Prada To Nada

The Tree Of Life

From Prada To Nada

The Tree Of Life



Camilla Belle, Alexa Vega, Wilmer Valderrama, Nicholas D’Agosto, Luis Alfaro (screenplay), Angel Garcia (director)

Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Terrence Malick (writer/director), Emmanuel Lubezki (cinematography)

Kiefer Sutherland (narrator), Chace Crawford, Emma Roberts, Curtis Jackson, Esti Ginzburg, Joel Schumacher (director)


‘A riches to rags story’

‘Nothing stands still’

‘No one needs anything here. It’s all about want’


Spoiled Beverly Hills sisters Nora (Belle) and Mary (Vega) barely engaged with their Mexican roots, but their father’s sudden death sent them on a crash course in East LA Latino life.

A troubled architect (Penn) struggled to reconcile the death of his brother and a conflicted Texas upbringing. Then Malick introduced ruminations on planets and dinosaurs, and critics were wildly polarised.

Hard-partying lifestyles among the dispossessed teenagers of Manhattan’s wealthy Upper East Side led to a spiralling body count as the façade began to crumble.


Nod sagely along with a handful of well meaning, if faintly patronising, truisms about the value of migrant cultures in a modern cosmopolitan society.

Get all weighty and existential about life’s fundamental questions, while basking in the glow of a deeply poetic thought experiment bolstered by a couple of A-listers.

Be alternately titillated, shocked and depressed by witnessing lives of narcissistic privilege so quickly and bleakly eroded by greed, violence and envy.


Fish-out-of-water comedies are hardly a Hollywood rarity; last month’s Monte Carlo pulled a similar trick, albeit in (financial) reverse. Perhaps avoid if you’re a huge Jane Austen fan, though – see below.

Any of Malick’s oddly sparse back catalogue – notably Badlands (1973), Days Of Heaven (1978) or The Thin Red Line (1998), all of which wax philosophical about man, violence and nature.

The 2004 novel, penned by then 17-year-old NYC writer Nick McDonnell. If you didn’t read it, superior early Leonardo DiCaprio flick The Basketball Diaries (1995) offers a few parallels.


The screenplay is actually an adaptation of Austen’s seminal romantic satire Sense And Sensibility, uprooted from 19thcentury England and given a modern Latin twist. Hmm.

One Italian cinema screened an early preview of the film with the reels in the wrong order. Nobody noticed, which gives you an idea as to what you’re in for.

Joel Schumacher also directed Kiefer Sutherland in Flatliners (1990), A Time To Kill (1996) and Phone Booth (2003), the latter of which also saw largely Sutherland restricted to a voiceover role.


Mawkish and predictable, but the title remains its gravest crime.

The great auteur Malick proves himself master of the mystifying.

Overly slick in translation, it worked better as a book.










Crazy, Stupid, Love



Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendonCovey, Judd Apatow (producer), Paul Feig (director)

Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Kevin Bacon, Glenn Ficarra/ John Requa (directors)

Kevin James, Rosario Dawson, Leslie Bibb, Adam Sandler, Sylvester Stallone, Frank Coraci (director)

Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette, Rémy Girard, Denis Villeneuve (writer/director)

‘From the producers of Superbad and Knocked Up’

‘This is crazy. This is stupid. This is love’

‘Welcome to his jungle’

‘The search began at the opening of their mother’s will’

Having been sacked as maid of honour at her best friend’s wedding due to a comedic selfdestruct in rehearsals, a luckless thirty-something mounted a onewoman quest for redemption.

Comfortable mid-life success story Cal Weaver (Carell) was thrust back on to the dating minefield when his wife asked for a divorce, so laddish pal Jacob (Gosling) agreed to take him on as a pet project.

A misfit zoo employee (James) tried to quit in order to focus on making human friends. But the animals didn’t want him to go, and revealed their secret gift of speech in order to coach him in social skills.

The dying wishes recorded in a mother’s final testament sent twin sisters Jeanne (DésormeauxPoulin) and Nawal (Azabal) on a Middle East voyage to explore their knotted family heritage.

See yet another nail driven into the already-liberally-perforated coffin of that risible old ‘women can’t do funny’ argument.

See US comedy royalty Carell playing it a little – not much, but a little – straighter than his oafish turns in Anchorman and Dinner For Schmucks.

Walk, talk, squeak and squawk with the animals, while watching an inherently likeable leading man mugging along with a gag-filled, but profoundly immature, script.

See the fine line between intimate and epic artfully trodden by a stirring Quebec-made drama that deftly tackles issues of family, faith and mythology.

The Hangover, 2009’s successfully blokey pre-wedding disaster opus to which the female-led Bridesmaids has repeatedly (and favourably) been compared.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Date Night or Dan In Real Life, all of which starred Carell in similarly clownish roles. As did his careerdefining turn in the US version of The Office.

Goofy Jim Carrey vehicle Ace Venture: Pet Detective, or any other live-action film in which the animals flatly refuse to be portrayed as cutesy CGI caricatures.

Skilled, source-faithful adaptations of revered stage works – the original theatre production, Scorched (2005), was a critical hit for Canadian playwright Wajdi Mouawad.

The film was overseen by Apatow Productions, responsible for such hits as Anchorman and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and quickly overtook Knocked Up (2007) as their biggest earner to date.

Co-directors Ficarra and Requa made their directorial debut in 2009 with the well-received, factbased romcom I Love You Phillip Morris (starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor).

Various animal welfare groups (including PETA) called for a boycott of Zookeeper, after video emerged of its elephant star being abused by a former trainer in 2005.

Incendies was Academynominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category at last year’s Oscars, narrowly losing out to Susanne Bier’s Danish masterpiece, In A Better World.

A chick-flick by definition, but with defiantly broad appeal.

A solid cast drag us along, but nobody’s stretching far.

Unlikely to leave lasting paw-prints; Expertly directed slow-burner file under ‘harmlessly fuzzy’. packing genuine sting in the tail.




★★★★✩ AUGUST 2011 WHAT’S ON 29


The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre sets the stage for a memorable Ramadan to be shared with family, friends and colleagues and is offering a choice of two spectacular venues for Iftar and Sohour. Lavish buffet with


six live cooking stations and an a la


carte menu offer an extensive range of

Including Ramadan Juices

international cuisines and traditional




Ramadan beverages.



Including soft beverages

Š 2011 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.

For more information and reser vations please call 9714 372 2323 Group Iftar: or visit



Gareth Rees, Features & Food Editor



Most people think the Holy Month Of Ramadan is about fasting, and that’s true, but only during daylight hours. The nights of August will be all about feasting. Once the fast is broken around sunset, there will be innumerable iftar banquets to attend (check out our Iftar Hot List, p83). And restaurants are still open during the evening, too, so Eating Out’s cupboards are as fully stocked as ever. Following its grand What’s On opening in July, Jones The Grocer’s doors have been besieged by diners eager to sample its superb cheeses, cold cuts, bakery and café menu – and we bring you our verdict just over the page (p32). We also put two new burger restaurants to the test (p33), visit Abu Dhabi seafood restaurant Sennara (p36), test eight new and revitalised summer menus (p34) and discover the overlooked Ritz-Carlton Thai restaurant Blue Rain (p38). Plus, of course, The Critic – this month asking if the UAE really needs Michelin (we think it does, but our opinionated friend has other ideas) – all the most recent food news, new openings, and our monthly Twitter recipe. Wishing you and yours Ramadan kareem. Enjoy.



Jones The Grocer It’s caused a sensation in Abu Dhabi, but is the Aussie café chain’s first Dubai outlet up to scratch? Aussie café and grocery chain Jones The Grocer has proved a hit down under, in neighbouring New Zealand, Singapore, and, of course, Abu Dhabi. Why? Well, we have no idea how the Aussies, Kiwis and Singaporeans think, but Jones has caused a big stir in our beloved capital for one reason – it’s different. And that holds true for Dubai, too. We’re talking clean-cut, industrial design – concrete floors, the odd bit of exposed metal girder, high ceilings and bright exposed strip lights. Then there are the shelves, stacked with jars, tins and packets of ‘gourmet’ this and that and a few choice cookbooks and magazines (Monocle and Wallpaper*). Add to that an open kitchen, cheese room, charcuterie counter and, perhaps most impressive of all, a coffee station where a barista, equipped with a Bunsen burner, creates magical brews with endlessly entertaining siphons and drips. It’s a winning formula. Oh yes, the food is pretty good, too. The menu is full of the sort of food people want to eat. Burger? Check. Steak. Check. Fish ’n’ chips. Check, check and double check. And that’s before you consider the cold cuts and the cheese, which is what we started off with. A whole platter filled with a meaty, dairy melange. The sharing platters could be ordered on their own with one of the superb smoothies, or the invigorating Granny Smith and ginger cordial with sparkling water. Or as a starter. There’s the option of three (Dhs45), five (Dhs65) or seven (Dhs85) items from an extensive 32 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2011

list of cheeses, cured meats, seafood and antipasti. We went for the full seven – a mound of surprisingly impressive chicken chorizo; greyish slices of UAE beef (pat on the back for local sourcing), which weren’t too good on their own, but went terribly well with a hunk of the nutty bread; a bowl of ‘stuffed’ olives (good olives, but they seemed to have forgotten the stuffing in several of them); several thick cuts of gleaming gravlax salmon; a poky Roquefort, a nice brie and a fine semi hard petite cantal. All of which would have benefitted from a glass of something red, but that can’t be helped. One of

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the excellent coffees would be an acceptable alternative. We’ve raved about the Jones wagyu burger before on these pages, but, suffice it to say, ordered medium (at most) it is one of the juiciest, most delectable renderings of the most primal of menu staples we have ever tasted. The fish ’n’ chips, consisting of three decent chunks of sheri (thumbs up for sustainability) in a crisp, fairly airy batter accompanied by a good handful of fries, was satisfying, but would have been easier to eat had it been served on a plate, rather than a wooden board.

In tweet form… Finally, Jones The Grocer has landed in Dubai. Order the burger, explore the cheese room and ask for a demonstration of the coffee siphon. Follow us at WhatsOnDubai and WhatsOnAbuDhabi

Finally, a neat, remarkably crumbly apple crumble, and a gooey chocolate brownie, both with good ice cream, did the job. Since last month’s opening party (check out the footage on, ravenous diners have been flocking to Jones The Grocer. If you aren’t one of them, you should be. Go. Now.

Need to know Location: Sheikh Zayed Road, opposite Times Square, Dubai Tel: (04) 3466886 Web: Open: daily 10am to 9pm Cuisine type: café, deli Must eat: Jones wagyu burger Bill for two: Dhs230


Two to try: new burger bars WHAT? THE BURGER JOINT WHERE? TBJ is on the concourse in Atlantis hotel, near the entrance to Aquaventure. Most of the seating is on the thoroughfare, which means it’s quite noisy, but this is also a prime spot for people watching. We spotted some fairly unique swimwear. Inside, there’s a diner theme, with red walls and an open kitchen, complete with singing chefs. THE BURGERS ARE… Generous. We recommend signature burger The Works (Dhs60), a juicy patty with beef bacon, cheese, mushrooms, pickles, lettuce, tomato, onions and TBJ sauce, and the Rooster Booster (Dhs45), for a crispy chicken burger with salad, pickles and a tangy mayo. Add Dhs15 to the burger price to include a soft drink and fries. AND THE FRIES? Far from the tasteless, over-salted fare found elsewhere, TBJ’s fries are more ‘home-style’, with some skin left on, a rich golden colour and excellent spices. Extra points for Hellman’s mayo and Heinz ketchup on the tables, too. ANY MILKSHAKES? Do you really have room after all that? If so, try the cookie milkshake, or go classic with vanilla (both Dhs25). Word to the wise though, they are enormous, so unless you’re on a weight-gain mission, it’s best to share. FINAL VERDICT: You wouldn’t make the journey to Atlantis just to visit TBJ, but for a wallet-friendly pre-waterpark meal it’s a tasty, well-seasoned bet. The staff are keen to the point of exhausting, but this might be early days enthusiasm. The Burger Joint, Atlantis The Palm, The Palm, Dubai, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 4260747

WHAT? BURGERFUEL WHERE? You can’t miss New Zealand chain BurgerFuel, thanks to a display of purple-liveried flags outside that would satisfy any monarch. The outdoor seating on JBR isn’t inviting right now, so we headed inside, where large wooden tables, exposed ceiling fittings and an open kitchen of polished metal lends a converted Brooklyn warehouse vibe. THE BURGERS ARE… Borderline terrifying, in the best possible way. We couldn’t pass up the challenge of the BF Monster. Good luck fitting your jaws around the third-pounder of char-grilled New Zealand ground beef (Dhs35). The extras jammed into a wholemeal bun mean the monster matches its moniker, featuring melted cheese, sliced beetroot, surprisingly fine beef bacon, mango and fresh avocado. For such a mouthful, that’s incredibly good value. AND THE FRIES? We wondered whether the modest box of 'spud fries' (Dhs11), with aioli dip, were a touch on the stingy side. But the chunky specimens proved more than enough. ANY MILKSHAKES? Yep. Classic flavours are order of the day: chocolate, vanilla or strawberry (all Dhs15). All are suitably frothy and towering. FINAL VERDICT: If you’re still peckish after a visit to BurgerFuel, you should probably join the circus as a sideshow freak. As gourmet burgers go, in both quality and price, this is right up there. Expect BF to be jam-packed come the weekend. BurgerFuel, Bahar, JBR Walk, Dubai, 11am to 5am. Tel: (04) 4458220.

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Enjoy a blend of tradition and novelty in the coolest of settings for Ramadan One&Only Royal Mirage offers you the ‘coolest’ of two Ramadan Cafés – a uniquely comfortable, temperature-controlled environment in a traditional setting, at The Palace “Courtyard” and the “Peregrine Garden” at the Arabian Court. Enjoy Iftar buffets, served every day in Tagine restaurant and The Rotisserie, then spend the evening among friends in a relaxing atmosphere, enjoying oriental specialities, coffee and tea. Iftar: 7.10pm - 8.30pm Ramadan Cafés: 8pm - 2.30am Group Bookings/Corporate Packages: Please contact us directly for special Ramadan offers. Ramadan Special Room Rates: Starting from AED 975++* Rate valid until 30 August 2011 excluding 10% service charge and 10% municipality fee. *Subject to availability. Valid for GCC and Middle East residents only.

The Palace Residence & Spa** Arabian Court


Telephone +971 4 399 99 99 Fax +971 4 399 99 98



New summer menus: tested The quiet summer months are the perfect time for restaurants to test out fresh ideas and launch new menus. Take your pick from these beauties OTTOMANS CUISINE: Turkish MENU: Appetisers of deep fried courgette cakes (mujver) served with garlic and mint yoghurt – light and refreshing, though the cakes themselves were a little bland – and deep fried prawns with crispy, shredded kunafeh pastry and a lightly spiced acuka sauce (sehriyeli karides) were pleasant enough, but a yoghurt and rice soup (yayla corbasi) served with mint and chilli sauce had real depth of flavour and, as a starter, would be enough on its own. The slow cooked lamb shank with mash and a tomato sauce (kuzu incik) was homely and filling, if far from mind blowing, and the chocolate fondant (sicak cikolatali kek) ticked all the right boxes. If you want traditional Turkish, Ottomans isn’t a bad option. BILL FOR TWO: You’re talking around the Dhs690 mark without alcohol Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Tue to Sun 7.30pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 3176000. FILINI CUISINE: Italian MENU: Chef Thomas Marchi has pulled out all the stops with an imaginative array of fresh flair at Filini. Carpaccio di polpo (octopus carpaccio) is the obvious standout 34 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2011

antipasti, moist morsels of meat simply but effectively presented with lemon olive oil and rocket leaves. The spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams and cherry tomatoes) keeps an oceanic theme flowing in pleasingly healthy fashion. The good waistline karma is dented a little by the semifreddo al torroncino con salsa ai lamponi (nougat semifreddo with raspberry sauce), although its fruity tang at least lends a nod to healthiness. BILL FOR TWO: Approximately Dhs340, without alcohol Radisson Blu Yas Island, Golf Plaza, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 6pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6562000. HAWKSBILL CUISINE: International MENU: Open throughout Ramadan, you can start light with vegetable spring rolls brought to life by soya and plum dip. The chicken makhani – seared chopped chicken breast with cashew nuts in tomato gravy embellished by basmati

rice, roti and pickles – is the most adventurous new main. And for dessert? Classic sweet blueberry cheesecake with glazed strawberries. BILL FOR TWO: Dhs250 Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, 6am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 5578000. JONES THE GROCER CUISINE: Café MENU: An ingenious puff crusted truffle soup (perigord truffle stock in crisp puff pastry) sets taste buds tingling before a welcome menu return for steak. Indeed, it would be rude not to sample the 250g char-grilled rib-eye drizzled in our choice of green peppercorn sauce. Sadly, there are no new dessert options. That shouldn't stop you yielding to temptation and ordering the mini indulgence selection of tarts and pastries. BILL FOR TWO: Approximately Dhs340, without alcohol Al Mamoura Building B, Muroor and 15th Street, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Thurs 8am to 11pm, Sat 9am

to 11pm. Tel: (02) 4438762; Pearl Plaza Tower, next to Oryx Hotel, Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Thurs 8am to 11pm, Sat 9am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6395883; Garden Plaza, Al Raha, Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Thurs 7.30am to 10.30pm, Fri and Sat 8.30am to 10.30pm. Tel: (02) 5574882. INDEGO BY VINEET CUISINE: Indian MENU: As our favourite Indian restaurant, any new menu at Indego makes us sit up and take notice. And the summer menu is a very affordable sneak peek at what is normally on offer at this Hot List mainstay. The four courses on the non-vegetarian set menu include a couple of Indego’s signature dishes, such as the excellent tandoori salmon and the inventive marbled chocolate samosa. The only fault is the main course choice of either chicken tikka or lamb rogan josh.

a meat, veg and pastry joy sure to keep you stuffed until dinner the following evening. After that, it’s probably wise to order a slightly less plate-engulfing dessert, and the warm rhubarb and strawberry tartlet is a sweet and charming conclusion to proceedings. BILL FOR TWO: Around Dhs500 Beach Rotana, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 6979000.

Despite being well made and presented, the option is rather safe and doesn’t display just how creative the kitchen at Indego really is. Still, food of this quality is a bargain for just Dhs250 per person. BILL FOR TWO: Dhs250 per person, with two glasses of wine Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Tue to Sun 7.30pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 3176000. CARAMEL CUISINE: International MENU: It is quite hard to pigeonhole Caramel’s cuisine, and the new summer additions to the menu reflect that difficulty. There are some exceptional additions – the salmon salad, the spicy tuna roll, and the glorious baked Alaska – but some items are slightly off target, such as the TNT shrimp, which is far too creamy and rather expensive. All in all, though, a welcome renewal of the menu. BILL FOR TWO: Dhs600 with a cocktail DIFC, Building 3, 2nd Floor, Dubai, 11am to 2am, Tel: (04) 4256677. RODEO GRILL CUISINE: Steakhouse MENU: Tiny helpings or overblown dishes aren’t really on Rodeo Grill’s radar, so take it easy by starting with an appetiser of chicken liver pate, because the hearty steak and mushroom pie is

WHITE ORCHID CUISINE: Asian MENU: The token Asian staples are all here, including vegetable spring rolls and chicken satay for starters, but go for the crispy tiger prawns, smothered in spicy wasabi salsa, or the prawn salad (plaa goong) flavoured with lemongrass, mint and Thai coriander. The Madam Pa's chicken curry lacked spice and was terribly sweet, but the roasted duck, with pineapple, cherry tomatoes and roast lychee in a red curry sauce, had us wiping the plate clean. The wok-fried snapper was overcooked and without flavour, but the stir-fried beef and hot basil had plenty of heat. White Orchid has everything from Hong Kong-style favourites to hand-rolled sushi and a range of Thai curries. It's a jack-of-alltrades, but only a master of some. BILL FOR TWO: Our meal cost Dhs490 without alcohol Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, Dubai, 12pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 814 5604.







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Ramadan Kareem Enjoy an array of 35 dishes at Citymax Iftar Buffet  every night during Ramadan Ample free parking

For reservations call:  Al Barsha:  04 409 8000 Bur Dubai:  04 407 8000 Sharjah:  06 598 5000 |  A division of Landmark Hospitality & Leisure Services Ltd.




A taste of things to come

Will One To One’s new seafood restaurant sink or swim? Hooking the finest catch, as any fisherman will doubtless tell you, requires the perfect bait. And Sennara (‘fishhook’ in Arabic) has many attractive facets sure to entice its human prey. Taking cues from traditional shoreline cafés of the quintessentially Lebanese variety, Sennara’s catch of the day menu arranges a lip-smacking display of straight-from-the-boat treats in raw form, ready for pre-preparation deliberation. The welcome is warm and the décor – nets thronging the ceilings and walls smattered with other assorted seafaring props – manages, just about, to avoid going overboard. So far, so good. A handful of light mezze selections, including a zingy fattoush, the patatas bravasesque batata harra (fried potato cubes with tomato, green pepper and onion) and consummately presented classic, deep fried calamari, all slipped down well. But it was the mains that impressed the most. The fishmonger’s arrangement comprises rotating selections priced by the kilo rather than the serving – a welcome option for those who, like us, prefer dictating their own portion sizes. You can also choose the cooking method – char-grilled, deep-fried, steamed or Provencal – and there are sauces to suit every palate. Anybody longing to pick their dinner while it's still alive – select from several fine specimens of Australian spiny lobster, Canadian lobster and mud crab – can now indulge their crustaceanbased food fantasies, although sadly when we visited Sennara’s tank was still on the cusp of being fully completed and stocked. Without the lobester to tempt 36 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2011

It’s a good month if you like your food fast CHI’ZEN We’re fans of Chi’zen’s first branch in Dubai Festival City for a spot of lunch, so the opening of a branch in Mall Of The Emirates is welcome news. Like most Chinese restaurants, its menu is extensive and includes the usual range of dishes from barbecue-roasted duck to kungpao chicken; the difference is the standard of ingredients and Chi’Zen’s reliability. Far from your typical mall fast food joint. Mall Of The Emirates, Al Barsha, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3549288

our taste buds, we opted for a hearty steak of local favourite, kingfish. Every drop of flavour is coaxed from the meaty flesh by charcoal grilling and complemented smartly with sautéed veg and handcut fries. Delicious. The dessert options were limited, though by that point you’ll doubtless be full enough to need only a plate of the fresh cut fruits. All in all, not the finest fish in the ocean, but far from a bait box tiddler.

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Need to know Location: One To One Hotel – The Village, Al Salam Street, Abu Dhabi Tel: (02) 4952000 Web: Open: Sun to Fri noon to 4pm and 8pm to midnight Cuisine type: seafood Must eat: char-grilled kingfish Bill for two: Dhs329

In tweet form… Sennara sets sail (sorry) to be one of the city’s best seafood specialists. It’s early days yet, but so far, so good… Follow us at WhatsOnDubai and WhatsOnAbuDhabi

BARCELOS Having opened 100 outlets across the world, it was only a matter of time before Portuguese fowl specialist Barcelos arrived in the UAE. Famed for its spicy peri-peri chicken dishes, Barcelos will soon be part of your take-away rotation. If you like Nando’s, odds on you’ll like Barcelos. Sama Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3425440 RED LOBSTER Red Lobster has been whipping up clam chowder and grilling crustaceans in the US since 1968. We’ve visited the branch in Orlando, Florida, and though the ingredients weren’t of the highest quality – not that you’d expect just out of the ocean freshness from a fast food restaurant – it’s a safe choice for the casual, value for money diner. The Dubai Mall, Downtown, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3253131

On the menu New Asian nights and bites NEW SUMMER MENU If we’re looking for dim sum in a hurry, Ping Pong is our first port of call. We love those little parcels of joy, so we’ll certainly be checking out the new Ping Pong summer menu. The steamed lobster dumplings, crab spring rolls and refreshing mocktails are all healthy options, too, so the indulgence is fairly guilt-free. Ping Pong, The Dubai Mall, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3399088. CURRY ON SPECTRUM As if summer wasn’t hot enough already, Spectrum on One’s Curry And Hops night is cranking up the temperature on Mondays. With unlimited curry on offer, the chefs will be dishing up more Kashmiri rogan josh, butter chicken and biryani than you can shake a naan at. Even better, there’s unlimited beer to wash it all down with. Spectrum on One, Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3118316.

GOOD VERSUS BAD The Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang promotes balancing good and bad – but in the case of the Sizzling Wok's all-youcaneat night challenges you to ignore your good side and indulge in the set menu of Chinese platters and dim sum. You wont feel too bad, however, as it will only set you back Dhs99. Tasty and cheap. A fine balance, indeed. Sizzling Wok, Citymax Hotel, Al Mankhool, Bur Dubai, Dubai, Dhs99, 8pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 4078000. DIABETES MENU Chefs from the Millennium Hotel have been working with diabetes experts from Mafraq Hospital, to create a menu that is nutritionally balanced and helps those with diabetes to control levels of blood glucose, blood fats, and blood pressure. Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi Khalifa Street, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 614 6000.

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TWITTER RECIPE Cooking couldn’t be simpler with our monthly recipe in 140 characters 400g GRILLED RIB-EYE STEAK Marinate rib-eye with green chili, garlic, rosemary and olive oil. Season with rosemary and garlic salt mixture. Grill. Serve. Chef Izi, La Petite Maison La Petite Maison, DIFC, Gate Village 8, Dubai, Sun to Fri noon to 2.30pm and 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 4390505. Follow us at WhatsOnDubai and WhatsOnAbuDhabi



Blue Rain It opened quietly a few months back, but Ritz-Carlton’s Thai restaurant is only now starting to make some noise. But is it as good as word on the street suggests? We visited Ritz-Carlton’s DIFC steak restaurant Center Cut (their American spelling, not ours) back in August, reporting back that, although it was decent, it was entirely bereft of patronage. In fact, after its grand opening, talk of the Ritz-Carlton seemed to fizzle and fade pretty quickly. But recently, its Thai restaurant, Blue Rain, started to be dropped into conversation – the kind of conversations we have, anyway. Word was it was worth a visit. And who are we to argue with the word – so time to revisit The Ritz. On a Tuesday night the restaurant was empty, but it shouldn’t have been. There are a handful of laudable Thai places in the UAE – and Blue Rain deserves to be counted among them. Not least because the staff are so enthusiastic about their restaurant. Especially our waiter, Nirut, who harbours a strong, and not particularly well hidden, desire to be a chef – he loves Thai food, and is ready and willing to explain every little detail to you, from flavours and provenance to how to devour particular dishes. Current chef Sawai Krasian creates food for Nirut and his colleagues to be passionate about. Of the soups, salads and appetisers, the pick was an exemplary tom yum soup – a giant prawn, not overcooked as they so often are in this most ubiquitous of broths, bobbing about in a sour and spicy stock of coconut, lemongrass, coriander, mushrooms and lime. Also good were the mieng kham 38 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2011

kung (prawn wrapped in a betel leaf with ginger, lime, chilli and coconut), gai hor bai toey (a nubile nibble of chicken, again wrapped in a leaf, this time pandan, with crunchy noodles) and some fresh popia sot, or Thai spring rolls. And finally, a tangy papaya salad with fried catfish. We were advised to try the Panang beef curry (a speciality, apparently), which, thankfully, we did. Beef curries in Thailand, as the restaurant manager reminded us, are often made with extremely tough beef from the shabby local cattle stewed for hours and thus lacking in flavour – not so at Blue Rain. Made with mellifluous wagyu, steeped in a smooth curry sauce, we can see why the punters love it. But it’s not the be all and end all; the grilled lamb rack in ‘holy

basil marinade’ also hit the spot, especially accompanied by a large helping of soupy morning glory (water spinach). So called, according to Nirut, because it makes the eyes brighter, and one has to wake up early to buy the best of it. A light, tea flavoured panna cotta, an attempt to create a dessert with a Thai twist that has the advantage of a broad appeal to all palates, was a success. As is Blue Rain – dinner and a culinary education, what more could you ask for?

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Need to know Location: The Ritz-Carlton, Gate Village, DIFC, Dubai Tel: (04) 3722222 Web: Open: Sun to Thurs noon to 3pm and 6.30pm to 11pm, Fri to Sat 6.30pm to 11pm Cuisine type: Thai Must eat: Panang nua wagyu Bill for two: Dhs700 (without alcohol)

In tweet form… Blue Rain is better than your average Thai. Order the wagyu curry, and don’t miss the lunchtime Express menu or Saturday Thaipas Nights. Follow us at WhatsOnDubai and WhatsOnAbuDhabi


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. Rumours that the Michelin Red Guide could appear in the UAE by 2013 are enough to get most chefs toques standing on end. The thought of something as big and sparkly as a Michelin star to brag about must be the stuff of saucy dreams for the local big-hitters. In fact, if you put your ear to the ground and feel a nascent rumble, that’ll be the food and beverage PRs of the Emirates, vibrating gently. Exciting stuff, there’s no doubt. But just a month or so after a French restaurant handed back its Michelin star, it has 40 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2011

“THERE’S REASON TO BELIEVE DINERS AROUND THE WORLD ARE LOOKING FOR A MORE RELAXED AND INFORMAL EXPERIENCE – WITHOUT COMPROMISING ON THE FOOD” to be asked: are Michelin stars becoming an irrelevance? Le Lisita – the only restaurant to be awarded the accolade in the southern French town of Nimes – offloaded its star because the demands of being a Michelinrated restaurant were just too great. More staff had to be hired to deliver the exacting level of service required and costs went up, driving punters away. Once the restaurant reverted back to its brasserie-style service, the customers returned in their droves. The food hadn’t changed. The above case may be down to the economic situation in Europe, but there’s reason to believe diners around the world are looking for a more relaxed and informal experience – without compromising on the food. Three Michelin stars

disappeared off the face of the earth last month when El Bulli closed for good. But the legendary restaurant of Catalan chef Ferran Adria has been superseded in Barcelona by Tickets – a casual tapas concept with a fairground theme. Standards are still impeccably high, of course, but instead of having a snotty maître d’ glare at you for picking up the wrong spoon, the emphasis is on having fun. Perhaps Michelin will award Adria’s latest venture a star? That might be the catalyst for changing the way Michelin

judges restaurants. But should we really pay attention to a bunch of self-important and stuffy inspectors with anal fixations on how many creases there are in a folded napkin anyway? Even the number one restaurant in the world (according to the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants) has yet to win its third Michelin star. Yet you’ll have to be cryogenically frozen and thawed out when Aston Villa win the Premier League [for which read, never – Ed] to get a reservation at Copenhagen’s Noma. Don’t get me wrong. The kudos that comes with Michelin stars is something all chefs crave. But by the time the Michelin guide comes to the UAE – with all the pyrotechnic promotional hoo-ha that will involve – the light shed from its coveted stars may well be starting to fizzle out.



p44 Building blocks p45 Five to see p46 The art insider AUGUST 2011 WHAT’S ON 43


Building blocks How did you come to work in Dubai? Well, I grew up in Saudi Arabia, where it was said that the city’s people bathe in black gold. When the time came to move on to higher education I left in search of a dream, one that was promised by ad campaigns and the giant billboards in this new oasis called Dubai. Your current exhibition charts the continuing growth of the city. Why is that so important to you? ‘Continuing growth’ – not any more, as one can see; as the whalers of the city are now realising, what goes up must come down. The only thing that kept the momentum going was a presence of a monster slowing down the ship, but the wake of the boom is finally catching up with the vessel. Tell us a little about your fascination with construction and machinery. I’m just like any young boy who became fascinated with machines and the way that they can construct something out of nothing – not on their own, obviously, but with the aid of humans. The principal of shifting earth around and forcing a change to what was laid by nature and transforming the landscape into a creation of their own is somewhat bewildering, but has consequences in the long run, I believe. As a photographic and video artist, are you merely recording what you see or do you put something more personal into your subjects? Artists have several ideas and judgments about one thing; there must be a form of a complex compassion between the receiver, messenger and the message. So being an observer is only a part of what is expected, otherwise I would have been wildlife photographer. 44 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2011


Saudi Arabian artist Sami Al-Turki made a name for himself charting the physical development of Dubai, a passion that continues in his latest series, Constructakons

You first came to attention with a series recording the lives of Dubai’s migrant workers. How did that come about? The idea of the project Lifts was that I would give a lift/ride to anyone who seemed to need one, and by the wheels that turned in Dubai all who did were the migrant workers who put their hopes and dreams into the city. Then I ended up in Sanapor, a labour camp on the city limits. Funnily enough, I think the name translates to city of gold. Why does Dubai remain such an interesting subject for you? In pre-recession, the city was a test subject to the whims and the ideas that any human could come up with. Whatever they dreamed

of, everyone was ready to lay their life on the line for it – cites in the sky, vertical gardens in the desert, underwater hotels, islands dropped in the sea, canals running for miles through the dry deserts. I guess in a sense that an old proverb could work here – ‘No one ever thinks that the well will run dry’, and that is what fascinated me about Dubai in the past. Now being a part of the city that gave all the opportunities I could have ever dreamed of is something special, unforgettable and I’m hopeful for what comes next. But only time will tell. Until Aug 31, Gallery 2, The Pavilion Downtown Dubai, Emaar Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, free.

Paint charts Take advantage of the quiet summer season with the Jam Jar’s cut-price rates for painting sessions. With prices starting from as little as Dhs35 for a seven-inch-square canvas, there’s no reason for you not to add it to your list of summer resolutions (see page 46). Picasso, your canvas awaits!


Five to see


The Iranian artist’s solo show reopens after a short summer nap. The fascination in Hashemi’s drawings of traditional Iranian ceremonies and celebrations lies in the subtext. Not only do they speak of her awkwardness in relation to such affairs, but drawn as they are from real events, they reveal the clash between ‘traditional’ Iran and its ÅPOSITION, VELOCITY, ACCELERATION Rather appropriately, this group exhibition at XVA takes summer as its recent political struggles. Fascinating. focus. Seven artists stick more or less loosely to the theme, including Aug 15 to 31, Gallery IVDE, Unit 17, Street 8, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1, Sami al Karim, Nelda Gilliam and Caroline Kropff. Loredana Mantello’s Dubai. Tel: (04) 3235052. Sea Serpent is staggering for its scale alone. Until Sept 19, XVA Gallery DIFC, Building 7, Gate Village, DIFC, off Zabeel ÉSTEPHANO GALLI The Italian artist takes up Road, Dubai. Tel: (056) 1032766. residence at Abu Dhabi’s The Social Hub café throughout this month. We think their colourful slice-of-life scenes are a little reminiscent of popular British artist Beryl Cook (minus her trademark fat ladies). Not challenging, perhaps, but just the thing to brighten up a long summer’s day. Until Aug 31, The Social Hub, 2454 Bldg 4, Al Salam Street, Khalifa Park, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 4411117



Artist and gallerist Cynthia Reta Richards presents a solo show of her own work this month. Expect to see much of her trademark colour and pattern, mixed with a rich geometry. And on August 23 the gallery’s monthly Art & Coffee event will be looking at how ‘art soothes’, with Ayushy Sajnani. Until Aug 31, Art Couture Gallery, Blue Al Fattan Marine Towers, The Walk, JBR, between the Ritz Carlton and Hilton hotels, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3994331.

Carbon 12 presents one of the strongest of this year’s crop of summer exhibitions. Anahita Razmi, Mathias Garnitschnig, Aamir Habib and Florian Hafel explore the criss-crossing boundaries of contemporary art, investigating the path from concept to form between the personal and the political. Until Sept 15, Carbon 12, Warehouse D37, Al Serkal Avenue, Dubai. Tel: (050) 4644392. AUGUST 2011 WHAT’S ON 45



Five minutes with...

Syrian artist Aboud Salman

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: Having covered the pricing of artworks in my last column, I will now delve into the often-tricky world of authenticity. When buying a work of art, a certificate of authenticity should always be requested from the seller. It acts as a warranty that gives you the right to reclaim your funds if the work turns out to be an outright fake or has perhaps been predated by the artist to add more to its value. The artwork in question may have been looted, and there have been instances when the seller is unauthorised in their dealings, that is he or she is not the legal owner (who in this case would be unaware of the sale). If something unpleasant arises in the future, and if there is proof that there was intent to deceive, it is this certificate or printed warranty that 46 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2011

gives you the right to reclaim, as well as sue for damages. All galleries, art dealers and auction houses have a responsibility to supply such documents to the buyer if requested. One way to ensure that the information provided is correct is to buy the work from the recognised agent of the artist. There was a case, in New Delhi in 2009, which was well reported internationally, when SH Raza turned up at his own show and stated that a few of the works displayed were by him, but that most were fake. The show was organised by an unauthorised dealer and the work came from the secondary market. When you can, buy artwork from the recognised gallery that represents the artist, whom in turn can, and will, liaise with the artist on your behalf. In relation to auction houses, Sotheby’s will supply certificates of authenticity when and where available, as will Bonham’s. The senior legal counsel of Christie’s informed me by email that: “Christie’s does not issue certificates of authenticity.” Christie’s states in its list what is guaranteed, this being what is listed in the catalogue in upper case script only – anything else they do not guarantee.

What inspires your work? My wonderful mother's small talk was the first thing that helped me to create my paintings. My works are heavy with colours and fonts, amulets and icons, the life of the people of my country and everyone who is full of creative anarchy. They represent beauty fighting back against the forces of ignorance, disease and stagnant minds, because beauty alone puts man on the purest and highest level of life. Your canvases are full of imagery – what’s behind that? The experience of transforming my work on paper, with all its elements, to a work of art on canvas was one of my dreams after my work about the Euphrates and the Syrian desert was exhibited in Paris in 1992. I became obsessed with the idea of adapting the work of art and its subjects into other assets that may riot against the human and turn into other objects. Describe your work in three words… Love and life. Until Sept 6, Aspen, Kempinski Hotel, Dubai, free. vindemia2010.

Learning Zone Think summer camps are just for kids? Think again. DIAC has a list of activities to get any grown-up’s creative juices flowing. Fancy channelling your inner Monet? Then there’s a short course in impressionist painting. Or perhaps Van Gough’s fervent, thickly daubed paint is where you see your talent developing? Then it would be the weekly palette knife painting course for you. To learn more about a traditional art form, there is Arabic calligraphy. Or you could take your genre off the page completely with a lesson in sculpture, pottery, dress pattern making, photography, knitting, crochet or stuffed toy making: the list, while not quite endless, is certainly exhaustive.

25˚55˚. THE LOCATION FOR THE PERFECT IFTAR Sublime sunset views of Dubai Marina create the perfect backdrop to an unforgettable Iftar. Enjoy the unique ambience with live-cooking on our seafront terrace – serving sizzling mixed grills, shawarma, a hot and cold oriental buffet and traditional Ramadan beverages. So relax well into the night to the classic melodies of live Oud. The quintessential Ramadan with family and friends – every day from 6.00pm onwards. AED 99 per person. Group bookings also available. For further inquiries or reservations, call +971 4 362 7900 or visit Free valet parking available upon validation.


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Sophia says... Summer fragrances tested The blog Playlist AUGUST 2011 WHAT’S ON 49



Do you have a fashion question for Sophia? E-mail: I often wear flip-flops for work and need to up my game, but don’t want to We drag the oh-so stylish Sophia wear heels. What style of flat should I be Serin away from the helm at looking for? Emirates Woman into the grubby Sylvia, Abu Dhabi What’s On office to answer your You can’t go wrong with a chic pair of ballet wardrobe woes flats. Depending on your budget, New Look have some cheap and cheerful options, but if you want to walk the designer route Repetto The strap on my Mulberry Alexa bag has or French Sole are a stylish option. You can snapped – is there anyone in the UAE who wear these slippers with a skirt, jeans or day can repair it? And sort out the scuffmarks, dress and the best part – you will be comfy, too? as well as chic. Sarah, Dubai I would definitely take it back to the place of I am travelling this month and my wife purchase. This bag is so new to the market has told me to ditch the backpack that it really should not be falling apart and buy some new luggage – any just yet. This might be a problem if you are suggestions? pushed for time, as they may need to send the Farid, Sharjah bag back to England, but good things take The backpack has definitely got to go, as time. If they refuse to fix it, try Minutes in these are only acceptable for people under The Dubai Mall for the strap and scuffmarks. the age of 21. Head to Samsonite for good Whenever you buy a new bag (or shoes) it quality luggage that will last a lifetime, and is vital to spray it with protector before you bon voyage. take it out for its first wear – this will keep the scuffmarks at bay and protect from things like drink spills, dust and general wear and tear.

I love the colourblocking look this season, but it seems like a passing trend – how can I incorporate this look into my wardrobe without spending too much money? Anna, Dubai. Buy from the high street. You won’t care as much when you throw out a Dhs100 dress from H&M than you would a Dhs10,000 number from Gucci.








Nominations for the ADCB Ambition Award are now open. To enter, simply log in to and tell us (in 500 words or less) your greatest entrepreneurial or community improvement ambition and what you are doing to achieve it. The winner will receive USD10,000, a place on an INSEAD Key Management Challenge course part of INSEAD’s Global Executive MBA at Abu Dhabi campus and AED2,000 worth of shopping vouchers to spend in BurJuman Mall, Dubai. Nominations close on the 15th August 2011. For terms and conditions, visit




Find a new signature perfume, or the perfect olfactory companion to your wardrobe, with the latest summer fragrances

CALVIN KLEIN CK One Summer A summery twist on the 1990s classic, CK One Summer has a long-lasting citrus smell, fresh packaging and a tres reasonable price tag, making it a musthave for the young ‘uns out there. But a word of caution, as it is unisex, there is a slightly masculine edge. Dhs185 for 100ml

MARC JACOBS Daisy Eau So Fresh Sweet smelling with a floral, fruity twist, Daisy Eau So Fresh has a playful, feminine personality and the bottle makes owning a bit of Marc Jacobs design eau so easy. A woody note follows the initial flowery whiff, which is pleasant but it doesn’t last long. Dhs440 for 125ml

NINA RICCI Dancing Ribbon At the pricier end of the scale, but undoubtedly worth it, Nina Ricci’s new scent practically reeks of holiday romance. No, not Hawaiian Tropic and teenage boys, Dancing Ribbon has sweet berry notes and is distinctive enough for evenings, too. Dhs225 for 50ml

BULGARI Mon Jasmin Noir Bulgari’s new perfume embodies modern sophistication, while pitching to a younger audience than the original Jasmin Noir. It has a musky base with floral top notes, resulting in a ladylike fragrance with a hint of mystery. Expensive, but high quality. Dhs320 for 50ml

BECKHAM Intimately Yours For Her This is more of a cleaning product than a summer fragrance, smelling artificial and fairly unpleasant. On the bright side, the scent fades quickly. Perhaps the Beckhams should stick to socialising and choosing bizarre names for their spawn. Dhs195 for 75ml

YVES SAINT LAURENT Saharienne Saharienne promises to be an ideal summer scent, contrasting the warmer desert aromas with more fresh, cooler accents to give a powerful and exotic blend. The result is an edgy, unusual mix with a spicy side that we took quite the fancy to. Dhs295 for 75ml

KENZO L’eau De Kenzo Amour The dominant notes of vanilla, subtle floral accents and hints of orange attract a more mature audience to this summer scent, but sadly it fades fast. We loved the packaging, but sadly aesthetic appeal isn’t enough when you’re buying perfume. Dhs327 for 70ml

GUCCI Guilty Gucci’s latest offering is well suited to fans of fresh scents, with a mix of pink pepper, peach and mandarin creating a sophisticated aroma. It’s more grownup than many on the market, and would be a good choice for a romantic dinner a deux. Dhs390 for 75ml

DAVIDOFF Cool Water Summer Dive Fresh, clean and simple, you’ll sniff out hints of lemon lingering after the initial scent of zesty melon. A great daytime fragrance, it’s not strong enough for the evening, but is really refreshing and ideal for the under-25s. Dhs190 for 100ml

ISSEY MIYAKE L’eau D’Issey Summer The intriguing smell of this scent is just as unique as its packaging – bold and bright. A new take on Miyake’s popular perfume, the crisp smell of pear with a woody base note has a lasting effect, perfect for a long summer day. Dhs288 for 100ml

JEAN-PAUL GAULTIER Classique The striking packaging raised our hopes, but the initial scent was a let down. Although distinct, the lemony aroma was reminiscent of the hot flannels you’re given on a plane. It’s nice for the dressing table, but not the nose. Dhs283 for 100ml

GUESS Seductive Wild Summer Youthful and pretty, Guess’ new perfume is a long-lasting blend of pear, lychee, berries and vanilla that is inspired by hot summer nights. Think Brazil rather than Barsha, this is an exotic scent design to seduce. Lock up your sons. Dhs175 for 50ml



The bookworm Recommendations from our wriggly, book-reading friend THE STRANGER’S CHILD Alan Hollinghurst The latest novel from literary giant Alan Hollinghurst – his first outing since winning the 2004 Man Booker-Prize for The Line Of Beauty – spans 95 years from 1913 to 2008. But the subject throughout is young, aristocratic poet Cecil Valance and a poem written before he heads off to fight, and die, in WW1. Valance scribbles the work in question in the diary belonging to a friend’s sister during a debauched weekend at Two Acres – a majestic villa in the London suburbs. And, as Hollinghurst guides us into the new millennium, it is that solitary work that serves as the driving force of what is a sophisticated and absorbing story, as the impact of Cecil’s weekend at Two Acres is slowly revealed. HERRING ON THE NILE LC Tyler Ethelred Tressider is a struggling writer attempting to breathe new life into his career by embarking on a trip down the Nile. However, almost as soon as the boat sets off, a passenger is found dead – murder is afoot, and everyone is a suspect. Tyler is clearly a fan of the queen of crime fiction, Agatha Christie – even the title is a nod to the mistress of murder mystery – but that’s by no means a bad thing. With dark wit and shady characters, Tyler’s contemporary spin on a Christie-esque tale of intrigue and adventure is at worst an entertaining homage, and at best an exhilarating read. IN DEFENCE OF DOGS John Bradshaw The age-old question beckons: if dogs could talk, then what would they say? It is this poser that biologist, and all-round dog man, John Bradshaw attempts to answer in his book, In Defence Of Dogs.. The book looks into the evolution of the canine, from being kept for working purposes to their more common role as a domesticated pet and, in many cases, a member of the family. Having studied the behaviour of domestic dogs for over 25 years, the author proposes modern ideas of the role of dogs and the way they are understood by contemporary society. All available from Magrudy’s, Borders, Jashanmal and Kinokuniya 54 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2011

THE BLOG In this month’s blog, editor and blogger Primrose Skelton gives us some tips on what not to pack. Hint: burn the

The holidays are here, and for most of us it’s a chance to escape the heat of the Emirates and head to a country where the average daily temperature isn’t 45 degrees – and rising. And with a summer trip comes the inevitable wardrobe meltdown, which, for some people, means a chance to ‘go wild’. What is it about the holidays that bring normally sane, relatively welldressed men and women out in ridiculous wardrobe attire? Shorts and office shoes (boys, you know who you are), see-through white dresses (crime against fashion) Hawaiian shirts, Speedos – they all scream ‘bad holiday wardrobe’. And, judging by the Facebook photos already popping up, no-one is safe from this phenomenon. There’s nothing like a Speedowearing perpetrator in the background of your holiday snaps to ruin a new potential profile pic. I remember one afternoon when the beautiful view of the Indian Ocean from my remote island getaway in the Maldives was spoilt by the outline of a rather large and tubby man in a very tiny pair of shorts – not nice. In fact, things were so bad amongst the British population that last summer a list of what not to wear when on holiday was compiled by Heathrow Airport. At the top of the list were beach thongs. This awful, dental flosssized beachwear, so popular with Britney Spears and sleazy nightclub owners, might give you an ‘all over tan’ but it’s the ultimate in

bad taste. Next up were socks and sandals – although this has been a recent catwalk trend, I can verify it is a look for supermodels and fashion designers only. For me ‘crazzzzyyy’ neon, bum bags, Bermuda shorts, Crocs and the wrong swimwear are all holiday fashion monstrosities. Of course, style and holidays can be great partners; it just takes a push in the right direction. Firstly, remember that just because you are abroad, it doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish. OK, so you might not see anyone you know for a couple of weeks (other than the people who are away with you – show some respect) but for your own self-worth try to pick pieces that still represent who you are. Ladies – the S/S11 trend of colour blocking is great for a capsule wardrobe while away. Take one bright skirt, and mix and match with a couple of different coloured vests. Zara and Topshop have a great selection. Next up, grab a maxi dress – or two. They are cool and versatile, plus buy in light cotton and you won’t have to worry about creases. Gladiator flats in gold or silver will work well with dresses and jeans, while Havaianas are ideal for the beach and sightseeing. Boys – think tailored cotton shorts, dark jeans, a couple of T-shirts, a few nice fitted shirts, loafers and flip-flops. Both sexes should wear Ray-Ban aviators, a trilby and a laid-back attitude. Happy holidays! Primrose Skelton is the editor of

Playlist The pick of this month’s new releases DVD THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU (Universal Pictures)

While the trailer has you expecting two hours of Matt Damon running away from men with fedoras, The Adjustment Bureau is actually a well-paced film that tries hard not to rely on action-heavy sequences (until the last 20 minutes, anyway), and more on the relationship between the two protagonists. Damon plays an ambitious politician, David Norris, whose life is turned on its head after a chance meeting with Elise (Emily Blunt), a beautiful ballerina – but was their meeting really by chance? Out now


Feather-fringed Frenchman David Guetta’s fifth studio album shows off his mega-star status with a host of big name guesting alongside the dance doyen. And if Guetta’s transition to fullyfledged popstar was ever in doubt, then this is an album that clearly sets the record straight, as Guetta and chums Snoop Dogg, Akon, Nicki Minaj, Flo Rida, Usher and show off their lyrical prowess. Out now


The UFC fighting crew throw their hats into the gaming fitness ring, with their version of personal training, fighting style. Using the motion detecting Kinect or Playstation Move, users fight and kick their way through a specially programmed workout. You can select from either pre-made or customised workouts, or even follow 30-day programmes if you’re dedicated, but either way make sure you like throwing a lot of air punches and kicks. Out now

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The verdict Totally tropical Public speaking His ‘n’ hers Spa news


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Hair today... Think laser hair removal is for girls? Not so: it’s fast becoming a grooming essential for fellas, too WHY? Simple: clearing hair in unsightly places. male customers at clinic Silkor have backs, stomachs, chests, toes and even fingers turned into hairless expanses smoother than the proverbial baby’s backside.

The verdict


Life changing treatment, or utterly terrifying? We don the protective glasses and let a laser tackle the stubble trouble During wintery months in cold countries, our legs, under arms and bikini lines are hidden beneath layers of 60 denier tights and swathes of wool, allowing a cosy cocoon of ignorance. Not so in the UAE, when each weekend seems to offer up beaches, boat parties and brunches, all in the glaring sunlight. Rogue hairs seem magnified, one-day growth looms like the Black Forest and good luck if you are a stranger to the waxer’s table. So what to do? To quote Dr Evil, we need a sophisticated heat beam, which we call “a laser”. Many use a machine called Cynosure, which is one of the most effective methods of permanent hair removal; most clients require three to six sessions to become fuzz-free forever. Quick word of warning to the blondes though – lasers aren’t for you; the technique ‘explodes’ the pigmentation in the hair, which destroys the follicle and ultimately leads to smooth skin. So while you might think fair, fine fur would be easy to get rid of, it’s actually dark, coarse hair that yields the best results. For those of you who incorporate hair removal into your monthly grooming regime, view the laser approach like buying a house, an investment, while temporary methods like epilating, removal creams and waxing are more like renting.

Dubai’s Beach Road is lined with clinics offering the service, including EuroMed. Rebecca Treston, our practitioner, whips up her trouser leg to demonstrate shins that look like they’ve always been hairless. It’s quite extraordinary. Filled with confidence, we hop up on the table and put on some protective glasses and after shaving the unwanted hair, Rebecca gets to work with a small laser, administered via a pen-shaped gun. Depending on the body part you’re treating – clearly some areas are more, well, sensitive than others – your reaction will range from ‘is that all?’ to ‘yeowwww!’ but each session takes mere minutes, numbing gel is used and the heat generated by the laser quickly cools down. Afterwards, some people might suffer from tenderness or blisters, but it’s rare and a quick slick of a healing cream will sooth any discomfort. With a wait of a month between sessions, it’s best to leave the blitzed area alone if you can and it took four trips to leave us hairfree. Do our shins measure up to Rebecca’s? Yes. It’s weird – as if stubble never grew there. Byebye razors and having hair ripped away with wax. Forever. Gotta love technological advances. Rebecca Treston @ Euromed Clinic, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah, Dubai, from Dhs250 per session. Tel: (04) 3945422.

HOW? First, obviously, select the desired area. I went for my stomach, not least as the pain increases closer to the bone. A pen guideline is sketched out in macabre Frankenstein’s monster manner, before a trimmer and disposable razor begin the initial, err, deforestation. Then comes the laser, a small handheld gun the size of a barcode scanner, dragged across the skin and lubricated with gel reminiscent of antenatal scans. PAIN FACTOR? With a prickling, pulling sensation that feels like hair being tweezered from the inside, therapist Patricia warns this isn’t a relaxing treatment. It is bearable – just – although the sizzled follicle odour hardly heightens enjoyment. RESULTS? One session isn’t permanent; several more are required for that effect. But once heat rash-esque irritation subsides, I’m left with a stomach covered in stubbly hair roots that gradually fall out. A followup session ten days later completes the zapping process.

Silkor, Villa 1, Zayed The First Street, Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, from Dhs400 per session. Tel: (02) 6816070.



Totally tropical Try the world’s best treatments from the comfort of the spa. This month month we take trips to Tibet and France for a massage and a mani-pedi

What? Ku Nye massage Country of origin? Tibet Where can I try it? The Spa at Ritz-Carlton DIFC What does it involve? Forget Mount Everest, anti-Chinese occupation campaigns and, um, yaks; Tibet also has a rich history of traditional medicines and therapies to experience. The Ku Nye massage would be ideal if you’ve been hiking in the Himalayas, but is equally useful for straightening you out after a week of pounding the mean streets of Manhattan and a 14-hour flight, as we found out. It aims to balance the five elements in your body with five essential oils, using Tibetan techniques of massage, kneading, acupressure on meridian points and cupping. The spa also incorporates hot herb poultices and stones, with the therapist working on each limb, leaving heat behind to soothe and detoxify. Does it work? Maybe it was the jetlag. Maybe it was the warm stones. Who knows? But after 15 minutes of stretching, muscle manipulation and massage, it was sleep central. The Ku Nye treatment left us refreshed, with the therapist working on pressure points to energise the body. The combination of snoozing, moisturising oils and knot-busting beat the body clock blues and we strolled out recharged. Details: The Spa, Ritz-Carlton DIFC, DIFC, Dubai, Dhs600 for 80 minutes. Tel: (04) 3722222.


What? Gelish French mani-pedi Country of origin? France Where can I try it? Tips & Toes What does it involve? French manicures are characterised by natural, pink polish with white at the tips and are thought to have been introduced in Paris during the 18th century. Times they are a-changing, though, and new techniques have been developed to make your mani-pedi last longer. Gelish is a soakoff gel polish that, after nails are clipped, filed and buffed, is applied in layers (base coat, polish, white tip, polish, white tip, polish and top coat – phew), each sealed with a 30-second blast of UV light, promising no chipping or peeling for up to three weeks. The process takes longer than your usual trip to the nail salon (we started to get a numb bum after an hour and a half ), but promises the durability of acrylic nails, without the damage. Does it work? Instead of looking like scary false nails, this mani-pedi looks like your own nails – but better. The big bonus for clumsy types is that because the gel is ‘set’ by the UV light, you leave the salon with rock-hard polish, so there’s no danger of smudging and cursing the second you leave. The only downside is not being able to remove it with nail varnish remover and a cotton wool pad – you need to soak your fingertips in acetone for five minutes then scrape it off, or go to the salon for the therapists to do it. Still, Gelish saves on the weekly mani-pedis and looks so good chances are you’ll be back to try it again anyway. Details: Tips & Toes, various branches, Dhs240. Tel: (04) 3492918.

Speak up Terrified of public speaking? Improve your communication skills. Coach and consultant Jacqueline Harris breaks down how…

Iftar at Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City Break your daily fast and spend more quality time with your family and friends this holy month of Ramadan at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City. During this month of blessing, Chef’s House welcomes you with a delicious array of traditional Iftar Buffet at sundown for only AED 99 per person or AED 119 including fresh juices, coffee and tea. For private or group Iftar bookings, corporate packages are available on request. Ramadan Kareem.

What are the most common mistakes people make in their communications? One of the biggest I come across is overuse of e-mail, assuming that it’s the most efficient method. It’s often not the best or most appropriate method for the message or the receiver. I go into businesses and talk about how e-mails are used in an office: people will say they e-mail the person at the desk next to them. Has overuse of e-mail and the Internet significantly affected people’s skills? I think so. Fundamentally beneath communications skills is the rapport and connection you have with the people you’re communicating with. It’s very difficult when it’s a screen in front of you rather than a person. Think through what you want to communicate and what’s the best method to do that. What are your top tips for public speaking? I really can’t underestimate the importance of preparation, planning and practicing.

When I work with people who put the proper preparation in, they reduce their nerves hugely, because they feel a lot more confident in what they’re saying, and come across a lot more professional. Make eye contact with everyone in the audience. Be comfortable with silence. Make sure your body language and tone of voice supports what you’re saying. Are there any other important things to remember? Bring your personality across. Sometimes, in business, we feel that we can’t do that. People buy from people, so remember to bring personality into the presentation of any communication. On a personal level, improving your communication skills will help with raising your profile, establishing credibility and enhancing career prospects. Professional Coaching International, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (050) 9087434. E-mail: shan.

For bookings or more information, please call 04 366 9111 or email




We head to the dunes to unwind at Al Maha Resort’s Timeless spa





TALK US THROUGH IT This detoxifying massage serves up half an hour of exfoliation and basting in algae, before being tightly wrapped in foil and left to gently heat while enjoying a head massage. This is followed by a shower to remove the algae and an hour-long massage with detox oil.

TALK US THROUGH IT Fear not, you won’t emerge from this massage smelling of camels. The treatment begins with some body brushing, then it’s on to a full body rub-down with gentle stretching, using relaxing, balancing or energising aromatherapy oils.

BEST BIT Call me childish, but I enjoyed blasting the algae off in the shower with the nine, count them, nine jets. It made me feel like I was going through a car wash. AWKWARD MOMENTS Not really, other than realising that my entire body had been painted green, except for my nipples. HOW WERE THE DISPOSABLE PANTS? By the end of the first half an hour, they were covered in algae, but a second pair kept me fresh for the massage. In one word: supportive. SLEEP FACTOR The massage was extremely relaxing, but also gave my stressed-out shoulders and back a good working, so no danger of falling asleep. There was too much enjoyment to be had from the stress absconding to waste it by falling asleep. 62 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2011

WHO SHOULD GET INVOLVED? Anyone – the staff are incredibly funny, and seem to really enjoy their work. Anyone looking for a retreat from the city should make the visit, as the spa also benefits from an enormous infinity pool overlooking the desert. HOW MUCH AND HOW LONG? The Algae Detox Massage Therapy costs Dhs600 for 90 minutes of total escapism from everyday life.

THE BEST BIT Instead of staring through the hole in the massage table at a flower in a bowl, there’s a tiny sandpit within arms reach so you can fiddle with that. The shoulder rub was excellent, too. ANY AWKWARD MOMENTS? The therapist had some good chat, and I got an attack of the

giggles for no apparent reason. I also had to be shaken awake. So two fairly awkward moments. You can’t take me anywhere. HOW WERE THE DISPOSABLE PANTS? Stretchy mini-shorts. None of your papery pants here. Very good indeed. SLEEP FACTOR? High. Very. Embarrassingly so. But I woke up feeling refreshed rather than disorientated, so major points for that. WHO SHOULD GET INVOLVED? If you need some serious time out, have aching muscles and want to enjoy a spa session in a stunning location then, get thee to the Al Maha. HOW MUCH AND HOW LONG? Dhs370 for one hour, or take advantage of Al Maha’s Summer Indulgence package (Dhs1,200) which includes a 60-minute treatment, use of the pool, spa facilities and lunch. Al Maha, Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, Dubai, 8am to 8pm. Tel: (04) 8329900.

Spa news Beauty bargains and extraordinary offers to enjoy this month 30 PER CENT OFF AT THE SPA AT THE ADDRESS DUBAI MARINA What’s On readers can enjoy 30 per cent off all treatments (excluding packages) at The Address Dubai Marina’s spa this month. Yes, you can take advantage of a whopping discount on facials, massages and more, then kick back in the steam and sauna rooms. Just mention What’s On when you book and bring along this page to your appointment. Until Aug 31, The Address Dubai Marina, Dubai Marina, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4367777.

SARAY SPA Get in touch with local traditions this Ramadan at Saray Spa. Through the use of ancient healing techniques, the elasticity-granting fruit enzyme facial (Dhs230) and the replenishing lemon and mint body polish (Dhs190) will revive you in a swift hour. Say goodbye to A/C-ruined skin. Until Sept 30, Saray Spa, Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel, Dubai Marina, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3194000. JEBEL ALI GOLF RESORT & SPA Leave your little monsters in the kids’ club while you enjoy a weekend spa treat at Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa and unwind with either a 60minute massage or foot reflexology (Dhs495). This summer treat also includes a lunch buffet and access to both the pool and beach. Until Aug 31, Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, Dubai. Tel: (04) 8145555. SENSO WELLNESS CENTRE Feel the need to relax but don’t know what to choose? It seems The Senso Wellness Centre has the solution. The three and half hour August special (Dhs700) includes a Swedish massage, body polish and wrap, an energising facial, and the choice of either a manicure or pedicure. Top to toe body blitzing. Until Aug 31, Senso Wellness Centre, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City. Tel: (04) 3669111. THAI PRIVILEGE SPA Start booking ladies, the Thai Privilege Spa is offering half-price wellness and relaxation courtesy of its exotic spa concepts. Book an appointment between 4pm and 9pm from Sunday to Thursday until the end of August and prepare to be spoiled by a 50 per cent discount on your chosen therapy. Until Aug 31, Thai Privilege Spa, Villa 1047, Uttamah Villas, Al Wasl Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3489679.

1/2 AD Ramadan Iftar Buffet Spice Island invites you to break your fast with a wide selection of Arabic specialities. Share this special time with your family, friends and colleagues while enjoying an array of traditional salads, fresh Arabic grilled meats, live cooking stations including Asian, Mongolian and Tandoori as well as refreshing juices, accompanied by a selection of fresh fruits, Oriental and international desserts with the all-time favourite, baklava.

AED 119/- net per person for the Iftar Buffet Function rooms with dedicated service are available for private or company Iftar events. Special prices are available for larger events. CROWNE PLAZA DUBAI - DEIRA Salahuddin Road Deira, P.O. Box 8668 Dubai t: 971.4.2625555 f: 971.4.2697358 email:



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Archery Mr Fitness World War What's On Show your colours


Bull’s-eye There’s nothing we like more than to send 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… archery Who didn’t play cowboys and Indians when they were growing up? I did, and I remember how accurate I was back then with my imaginary bow and arrow (fashioned, quite accurately, I thought, from a coat hanger), so I feel more than confident that after a few sessions with the Dubai Archers I’ll be able to fire a real arrow and split an apple from 70 metres away. Bring. It. On.


Archery is more complicated than you’d think. A lot more complicated. The terminology alone is enough to baffle Stephen Hawking but, luckily, instructor Rao is on hand to talk me through the basics, such as determining which is my dominant eye. Turns out it’s my right one. Cracking. All fired up, I fire off a few imaginary arrows with my bow (known as ‘dry firing’ in the sport). Big mistake. The string whips into the forearm of my bow

arm, and boy, does it sting. Lesson learnt, and with Rao’s “don’t do that again” warning still ringing in my ears, I’m ready to do it for real.


The process of shooting is broken down into stages – stance, nock, set, pre-draw, draw, release. See, told you it was complicated. The thinking is that if you can perfect each stage you can develop a routine and improve your consistency. I strap on an arm guard, give a half-hearted shout of ‘Release!’ and unload my first set of arrows. Not bad – not bad at all, considering the shaking from the string tension. I’m secretly smug, and start working on a series of Robin Hood jokes.


There’s no geting away from it – in the wrong hands these babies could do some serious damage, and, not unsurprisingly, safety

is key. Rules are enforced rigidly on the range at all times, the most important of which being ‘only collect your arrows once everyone has finished shooting and an all clear is given’. Having watched the speed of the arrows fly, I’m more than happy to comply – after all, I’ve just worked out which is my dominate eye, so feel in no hurry to lose it.


Surprisingly, the aim of the game, for beginners anyway, is not so much to hit the bull’s-eye, but rather to get all your arrows close together on the target. You can always adjust your sight after – if you can group them around the bull’s-eye you’re on the right track. Having a close grouping shows that you have a steady technique, which, can only

be perfected after hours of practice. However, it’s all very addictive, especially when the shots start going your way, so the hours just fly by.


Once the basics have been mastered, then archery is all about practice. Put in the hours, and you’ll start to see results, and with Rao and the other archers more than happy to give out advice my skills were improving constantly. OK, I wouldn’t volunteer to let me shoot an apple off your head just yet, but with more practice, fruit everywhere will fear for its life. Dubai Archers, Sharjah Wanderers Golf Club, Fri 8am to12.30pm, Dhs50. Tel: (050) 5580951.

The stages


STANCE Stand side on to the target with your feet shoulder-width apart, spreading your weight equally.


NOCK AND SET Take an arrow and place the nock on the string underneath the nocking point. Place your bow hand in the bow grip. Hook the string with three fingers, one above the arrow nock, two below.


PREDRAW Keep your bow arm straight as you lift the bow to shoulder height.


DRAW Pull back on the string using your shoulder and back muscles. Hold at the anchor point, with your index finger touching the corner of your mouth, close your non-dominate eye.


RELEASE Line up your aim, pull the string back and relax your fingers on the draw hand.


MR FITNESS quite complicated, so I would stick to the basics. Electrolyte replacement drinks are definitely a must, especially if you’re running out in the heat that we experience here in the Middle East. Take a bottle with you with an electrolyte mix in it and make sure you take regular sips whilst training. Remember, thirst is not an indication of dehydration. Once you are thirsty, you are already low on fluids.


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

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 I read somewhere about barefoot running. What is it, and how does it work? Harold, Jumeirah Simply, barefoot running is running without the aid, or support, of shoes. When we change from a walk into a jog, run or sprint, the emphasis of the load going through the body as the foot makes contact with the ground changes. Biomechanically, the first ground contact point when walking is the heel followed by a roll through the foot towards the toes. When running, the ground contact should be through the ball of the foot. As shoe and trainer companies have developed their products over the years, they’ve added 68 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2011

I am usually very active, exercising four or five times a week, but I am five months pregnant. What exercises could I still be doing? Sunita, Greens, Dubai If you have not been used to training for the past five months then I would recommend that you don’t start a strenuous

training plan. As your pregnancy advances, you should avoid exercises that involve lying on your back or pressing against your stomach. As your centre of gravity changes, it is important to maintain strong postural muscles such as the ones that run the length of the back. You can probably get away with stability ball hip bridges (it should only be your upper back on the ball). Avoid too much stretching or over-reaching.

in more and more cushioning for the heel, which resulted in a biomechanical adaptation in running patterns creating a heelto-toe running style. Because of the removal of the thick cushioning from shoes such as the Nike Frees and Vibram 5 Fingers, you are forced to start running on the ball of your foot. Be careful, though, if you haven’t run on the ball of your foot for a while you will be in for some sore calves. I’m terribly confused by all the supplements and sports drinks on the market. A friend says I should be drinking protein shakes before weights sessions and drinking electrolyte drinks when running, but I don’t know what to drink when. Help. Arash, Discovery Gardens, Dubai I would always recommend eating a pre-workout meal before training rather than drinking a protein replacement. I would also have a post workout meal ready to go once I finish training in order to speed up the recovery process. This can get

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Whats On.pdf






The teams have been picked, our fitness scrutinised and the war against Dubai 92 has begun – and you can get involved too

THE CHALLENGE Three months, two teams, one winner. A fight to the death. Well, maybe not to the death, but there are some seriously tough few months ahead. Last month we kicked off World War – a 12-week fitness challenge pitting What’s On against Dubai 92, with teams consisting of 15 wannabe warriors from all walks of life, each looking to up the number of sit-ups they can do in a minute and lose some kilos. The regime involves weekly training sessions at with Urban Energy Fitness, extra classes, free membership at Hercules gym and an end to the carbs and cookies we love so much. It all started with a body composition analysis to establish weight and body fat percentage, followed by a series of tests to see just how much trouble we were in. From an assault course to wall squats, press-ups to the plank, each team member has had their fitness assessed and recorded, so team trainers Nicola and

Amy can measure our progress. The aim of the game is to improve our fitness and lose weight as a team, with the winners enjoying some goodies from Reebok, and free classes with Urban Energy until the end of the year.

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WANT TO GET INVOLVED? Even if you’re not part of Team What’s On, you can come along to our weekly sessions on Tuesdays at 7.30pm at Hercules Fitness near the bowling centre in Al Quoz and train with us. Nicola, our personal guru of all things healthy, will put you through your paces with circuits, cardio, resistance and more. If you can’t make Tuesday nights, we’ll be attending Urban Energy classes throughout the week, so you can join us for some kickboxing and circuits. Prepare to sweat. Hercules Fitness Centre, The Bowling Centre, Al Quoz, Dubai, Tue 7.30pm to 8.30pm. Tel: (055) 8869158. AUGUST 2011 WHAT’S ON 69


Show your true colours For football fans, World Cup-free summers are the worst.Thankfully, the wait is over, with Europe’s leagues flooding back onto our screens this month. If you want to celebrate the highs and lows of your team with fellow fanatics, then your best bet is to join a supporters’ club. Here are just a few of our favourites… WHO: THE BUSBY BOYS TEAM: Manchester United ESTABLISHED: 2007 MEET: Harvester's, Crowne Plaza, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3311111 HOW MANY MEMBERS: 80 CONTACT: WEBSITE: WHO: DUBAI MANCHESTER CITY SUPPORTERS CLUB TEAM: Manchester City ESTABLISHED: 2007 MEET: Crown & Lion, Byblos Hotel, Al Barsha, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4488000 HOW MANY MEMBERS: 45 CONTACT: WEBSITE:

Norwich City

WHO: DUBAI CHELSEA SUPPORTERS CLUB TEAM: Chelsea ESTABLISHED: 2000 MEET: Fibber Magee’s, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3222400 HOW MANY MEMBERS: 83 CONTACT: WEBSITE: WHO: UAE CANARIES TEAM: Norwich City ESTABLISHED: 2009 MEET: Dhow And Anchor, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4068999 HOW MANY MEMBERS: 28 CONTACT: WEBSITE: Search Facebook for ‘UAE Canaries’

Glasgow Rangers

WHO: DUBAI LOYAL TEAM: Glasgow Rangers ESTABLISHED: 2000 MEET: Centre Circle, Ramada Chelsea Hotel, Al Barsha, Dubai. Tel: (04) 5019000 HOW MANY MEMBERS: 75 WHO: ABU DHABI BLUES CONTACT: jim.graham WHO: DUBAI WOLVES TEAM: Manchester City TEAM: Wolverhampton Wanderers ESTABLISHED: 2009 WEBSITE: ESTABLISHED: 2009 MEET: Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Sas MEET: Loca, Dubai Marine Beach Al Nakh, Abu Dhabi. WHO: DUBAI HOOPS Resort & Spa, Jumeirah Beach Tel: (02) 5588990 TEAM: Glasgow Celtic Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3461111 HOW MANY MEMBERS: 84 ESTABLISHED: 2004 CONTACT: abudhabiblues@gmail. HOW MANY MEMBERS: 119 MEET: Dubliners, Le Méridien CONTACT: com Dubai, Garhoud, Dubai. Tel:(04) WEBSITE: Search Facebook for WEBSITE: 2824040 ‘Dubai Wolves’ HOW MANY MEMBERS: 100 WHO: DUBAI REDS CONTACT: WHO: DUBAI RS TEAM: Liverpool WEBSITE: TEAM: Queens Park Rangers ESTABLISHED: 2006 MEET: Goodfellas Sports Lounge, ESTABLISHED: 2009 WHO: BARCA FAN CLUB UAE MEET: Centre Circle, Ramada Ramee Rose Hotel, Tecom, Al Chelsea Hotel, Al Barsha, Dubai. TEAM: FC Barcelona Barsha, Dubai. Tel: (04) 500111 ESTABLISHED: 2008 Tel: (04) 5019000 HOW MANY MEMBERS: 200 MEET: Seville’s, Wafi, Oud Metha, CONTACT: HOW MANY MEMBERS: 42 CONTACT: Dubai. Tel: (04) 324 7300 WEBSITE: HOW MANY MEMBERS: 155 WEBSITE: Search Facebook for CONTACT: ‘Official QPR Supporters Club’ WEBSITE:


Wolverhampton Wanderers

WHO: EVERTON SUPPORTERS CLUB DUBAI TEAM: Everton ESTABLISHED: 2008 MEET: The Locker Room, Golden Tulip, Al Barsha, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3417750 HOW MANY MEMBERS: 70 CONTACT: or WEBSITE: Search Facebook for ‘Everton Supporters Club Dubai’ WHO: DUBAI TOTTENHAM APPRECIATION FAN CLUB TEAM: Tottenham Hotspur ESTABLISHED: 2010 MEET: West Beach Bistro & Sports Lounge, Mövenpick Hotel, Jumeirah Beach, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4498888 HOW MANY MEMBERS: 84 CONTACT: steveindubai15@ WEBSITE: Search Facebook for ‘Dubai Tottenham Appreciation Fan Club’



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Capital cuisine Travels with... AUGUST 2011 WHAT’S ON 73



Capital cuisine Most people visit Jordan to ogle at its historical sites and float in the Dead Sea, stopping in Amman only for a brief visit. But should you spend a little longer in the capital city, there’s a host of culinary delights to discover

The old man’s face is as wrinkled and leathery as his desert truffles. Yusef stands there most days, watching over his side-street grocery stall as the glaring sun adds layers of character to his grin. “Eat the desert truffle like a mushroom,” he says. “Squeeze the juice into your eyes. It’s good for your eyes.” Round a corner, a clutch of sugar cane juts from a tin bucket outside a drinks kiosk. A sign lists the health benefits of the juice: ‘preventing arteries stiffness, cleaning chest, sexual supporter…’


In Jordan, it seems, everything you eat or drink is an aid to vigour, well-being or social interaction. The hungry huddle each lunchtime outside Amman’s famous Reem Cafeteria (+962 4645725, 2nd Circle, Jebel Amman), the shawarmary hums with friendly chit-chat as they wait for the meat to be carved. This place is renowned across Jordan, not just for serving up some of the best shawarmas in the Levant, but also for being a favourite of King Abdullah himself. A king eating a shawarma. It’s an image AUGUST 2011 WHAT’S ON 75


Desert Wadi Rum

that encapsulates the spirit of food in Jordan. Nothing is considered too low rent; if it tastes good enough, it’s fit for royalty. Even the humblest of Arabic street foods, the falafel, is imbued with a sense of backstreet reverence at the legendary Hashem Restaurant (Al-Amir Mohammed St, Downtown Amman). The ‘dining room’ amounts to a cluster of plastic garden furniture in a bland alleyway, but its golden brown falafel, velvety hummus and heart-warming ful medames are nothing short of regal. Amman is full of institutions like Hashem. Independent family restaurants, loved by young and old, are scattered all across this city of nooks, hills and wandering roads. Just across the street from Hashem is Al Quds (+962 4630168, Al-Malek al-Hussein St), where some of the heartiest examples of traditional bedouin cuisine can be found. The mansaf here is famous throughout the city. The dish of lamb or chicken and rice is doused with ‘jameed’, dried yoghurt, which is mixed with hot water and made into a heavy, but delicious, sauce. Mansaf is what the bedouin have been offering guests and travellers for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Traditionally served on a huge platter and eaten communally, always with the right hand, it is a symbol of humanity and hospitality in an inhospitable environment. Tourists passing through the beautiful, arid sandscapes of Wadi Rum can enjoy alfresco feasts with bedouin hosts under the stars. But there are countless tales of independent travellers being taken in and fed by kind strangers without any tourist dinars changing hands. Jordan’s cuisine is as much about its bountiful produce and Ottoman influenced delicacies as its simple bedouin origins. 76 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2011


Another of Amman’s institutions is Zalatimo Sweets (Rivoli Plaza, Shmeisani,, purveyors of luxury Arabic pastries and baklava. The family business was started in 1860 in Jerusalem by the great, great grandfather of the current general manager, Abdallah Zalatimo. It has expanded across Jordan to include Europeanstyle cakes and chocolates, but the traditional baklava – around 45 varieties – never veers too far away from its roots. “A lot of the cuisine in Jordan has been influenced by the close ties with Palestine. It’s almost like one country,” says Abdallah. “But both countries were very much developed by the Ottomans. Their empire was vast and culturally diverse. We were influenced by the gifts brought for the Sultan. He’d say to his head chef, I have a new spice, give it a go. That’s when fusion started happening.” The building blocks of fusion can be found in the souks around Amman’s vibrant Hashemi Street. Spice shops have dunes of cumin and

“INDEPENDENT FAMILY RESTAURANTS, LOVED BY YOUNG AND OLD, ARE SCATTERED ALL ACROSS THIS CITY OF NOOKS, HILLS AND WANDERING ROADS” paprika sitting under loops of dried lemons hung from the rafters. Mounds of fresh parsley and coriander roll like green fields opposite bloody butcher’s shop displays. A shark’s head dangles on a hook outside a fishmonger’s, and everywhere people are munching on fresh green almonds, young, tart and sprinkled with salt. For a country that’s 90 per cent desert, Jordan’s produce is surprisingly diverse. “In the coastal parts you have a lot of produce, vegetables, fruit from the orchards, oranges, cherries, grapes and grape leaves,” Abdallah explains. Madaba is where some of the best organic vineyards in the Middle East can be found, but you don’t have to leave the capital to have a taste. The Winemaker (Wadi Saqra, has up to 34 varieties of awardwinning bottles. The man behind the vines is Omar Zumot, who started out 15 years ago with nothing but a bit of land and boundless determination.



FlyDubai has a daily service to Amman, from Dhs980.


Grand Hyatt Amman This huge top-end hotel complex is one of the plushest in the city. Lose yourself amongst its shops and pools, and stuff yourself at its many restaurants, from Arabic to Asian. Hussein Bin Ali Street, Jebel Amman. Tel: +962 64651234. Kebab

“In Jordan, previously the wine was not of a high quality and I wanted to produce something that’s really Jordanian, that’s really got character and its own personality,” says Omar. “The problem I faced was that there was nobody before me who planted grapes, so I didn’t know what to plant or where.” Through dogged trial and error, and using as many different grape varieties as possible, Omar succeeded in creating a natural product that has won plaudits from tasters around the world, not to mention 15 international medals. “What’s my secret? I do nothing,” teases Omar. “When you do nothing, you allow nature to express itself, and nature can give you much more than 34 different flavours. Our strength is in how we grow the grapes. All of it is organic. We’ve never used any pesticides. We fertilise with different techniques. And every year our wine is better – not because we know how to make wine better, but because our roots are deeper and our soil is richer and more alive.” Roots go deep when it comes to food and drink in Jordan. Beit Sitti (+962 795 633 868, is a restaurant and cookery school that is all about upholding traditional homemade recipes and teaching them to a generation of Jordanians who are losing touch with their heritage. “The art is being lost,” says owner Maria Hadad. “It’s not being handed down from generation to generation, because women aren’t getting the chance to teach these recipes to their kids. So we’re trying to bring it back. It’s funny because you see women who are 40 or 50 that come to learn. They are tired of not knowing how to do this. So we have all different ages.” Set in a beautiful townhouse in the Jebel


Weibdeh district of Amman, the initiative concentrates on the type of food that can’t be found in many of Jordan’s restaurants. “We originally started for tourists, but then we found that it’s really popular with locals as well,” explains Maria. “Locals really enjoy homemade food. They really want to learn how to make it because you can’t get it in restaurants. They’re often newlyweds who are sick of takeaways, so they want to learn how to make Arabic food.” An evening session at Beit Sitti will teach you how to make four courses from scratch – a mezze, a salad, a main dish and a dessert. Guests are shown how to prepare and cook aubergines on an open flame to make the smokiest moutabel dip imaginable. And for the main course, spices are blended with layers of tomatoes and chicken to make an aromatic rice dish called maqlooba. A huge pan is stuffed to the brim and simmered slowly before being turned over onto a vast platter – ‘maqlooba’ means ‘upside down’ in Arabic. By the time you get around to dessert, you might also wish to learn the phrase for “please, stop feeding me, I’m about to explode”. “As Arabs, we’re very hospitable and portions are always huge,” says Maria. She tells a story about a journey King Abdullah and Prince Hassan once made on camelback in the desert. They came upon a bedouin tent, and were invited in for a large lunch. “When they were leaving, the King found out that the man had killed his only camel to feed them. So the King bought him 30 times what he had given up. People would really feed their guests rather than themselves or their family.”

Palace Hotel A simple but clean budget option, right in the thick of the Amman action. The rooms are of a pretty basic standard, but the daily sightseeing tours to outside of Amman are excellent value. Al-Malek Faisal Street, Downtown Amman. Tel: +962 4624326.


Blue Fig Café Keep your dining options open at this laid-back café, with a range of international dishes and Arabic favourites. With a multicultural vibe, it’s the feel of the Blue Fig, as well as the food, that will keep you coming back. Jebel Amman. Tel: +962 5928800 Habibah For some of the city’s freshest, gooiest, sweetest and best kunafe (soft-cheese desserts) head to this famous sweet shop. The warbat bil ashta, or pastries with clotted cream, are also sublime. Al-Malek al-Hussein St, Downtown Amman Zad el Khair A fine Iraqi restaurant serving one of the delights of Middle Eastern cuisine – masquf. The delicious fresh-water fish is sliced open, flattened out and roasted around an open charcoal fire in the traditional way, before begin served with plenty of lemon juice, salad and freshly baked flatbread. Um Uzaina Main Street, Amman. Tel: +962 65540057. AUGUST 2011 WHAT’S ON 77


Travels with…


Wael Al Sayegh

Emirati writer Wael Al Sayegh co-hosts a live talk radio show every Tuesday on Dubai Eye 103.8FM, as well as writing a regular column in the Emirates inflight magazine, Open Skies. Describing himself as a ‘promoter of inter-cultural intelligence’, travel is an integral part of his life

Fancy a trip? THANK EID Eid is a time that just keeps on giving. How about a half-price, four-night stay for two at the Zitahli Kuda-Funafaru Resort & Spa in the Maldives? Now factor in that it includes breakfast and all taxes. Thanks, Eid. Until Oct 31, Dnata Travel, from Dhs4,830. Tel: 8008118. HOLIDAY IN CAMBODIA If you’re of an adventurous disposition, signing up to do a 1,350km trip on a tuk-tuk through the challenging Cambodian wilderness should be right up your street. The 21-day 78 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2011

What’s the best holiday you have ever had? My most memorable trip has to be my 2004 visit to South Africa. I absolutely loved Cape Town, and I have never quite been the same since. When I got back to Dubai, I quit my banking job and started a new way of life. What has been your biggest travel disaster? Strangely enough, I have to say South Africa again, but it was a different trip in 2006. I went out to attend a wedding and I had boxes to deliver. The airport staff in Johannesburg claimed that my boxes were over the permitted weight – although I knew they weren’t. The guy told me he could only put me onboard the flight if I paid him a bribe. I hated the whole experience.

If you could advise people to visit one destination, what would it be? It would have to be mainland China. You can read about China all you want, but until you go there, walk the streets and ride the subways, you have no idea what it is really like. The whole world must learn to understand China, and China must learn to understand the world. What are your three top tips for surviving a long airport stopover? You should always take a good novel with you – personally, I love Haruki Murakami’s books. It is important that you always stay hydrated and fed, and, lastly, make sure you have a bag of toiletries with you. What do you never travel without? A sense of adventure and a compass that points in the direction of Mecca.

“The world must learn to understand China, and China must learn to understand the world”

Cambo Challenge trek is carried out in teams, and is an excellent way to meet the Cambodian people. Sign up now. We dare you. Nov 6 to 14, Cambo Challenge, Cambodia, Dhs12,000 for a team of two. WOMEN ONLY The World At Her Feet, a new travel organisation for women in the Middle East, is launching its first trip to India. The seven-day trip will take female-only travellers to Mandawa, Jaipur, Agra and New Delhi, with transport and most meals included in the price. Holiday, ladies? Sept 1 to 7, The World At Her Feet, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, from Dhs4,000. Tel: (50) 6254251.

SPLASH TOTAL LUXURY OUT Flights to and from Florence in a private jet, three nights stay in a deluxe room at the swanky Il Salvatino Villa overlooking the Duomo, with breakfast and a private car. What’s the point of money if not to spend it lavishly? Warning. For the super rich only. Dnata Travel, Dhs66,590. Tel: 8008118. App: Tripit Function: Organise your travel plans into an easy to use itinerary Available for: iPhone and iPad Price: free


iftar& suhour better





Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort, PO BOX 640, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi UAE. T 971 2 677 3333 F 971 2 672 5149



Key New entry Non-mover Up Down

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Iftar Bars Restaurants Spas AUGUST 2011 WHAT’S ON 81

After Sunset Relax and delight in a sumptuous buffet spread, set menus and your choice of beverage. Throughout August.

For reservations, please call 04 332 9260 or 050 856 6044 Buffet is AED 150 per person and set menus are from AED 200 to AED 350 per person.





Emirates Palace








Grand Millennium Al Wahda






Traditional Arabic dishes. Head to Emirati restaurant Mezlai for unrivaled all-year-round expertise.

Spread across Emirates Palace’s Ramadan tent, Mezlai, Anar and Diwan L’Auberge.

Live music perfectly complements the atmosphere.

Sampling several classy takes on iftars under one roof.

More than 50 Arabic, Asian and European buffet dishes, majoring on Emirati, Syrian and Lebanese.

CuiScene, plus a sizeable 375square metre Ramadan tent nearby.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque views are easily as spectacular as the food.

Pearls & Caviar’s Mediterranean selections, plus Sofra Bld, embellished by specialties from Shang Palace and Hoi An.

Pearls & Caviar offers a contemporary Ramadan, while Sofra Bld’s relaxed expanses are equally inviting.

Extensive buffet, plus all manner of juices, dates and Arabic coffee.

Arabic specialities and continental mains, in partnership with Alhan restaurant.




Dhs230. The summit of the city’s iftar pricelist.

As ever, expect seven-star splendour from Emirates Palace.

Emirates Palace, West Corniche, Abu Dhabi, sunset to 9pm. Tel: (02) 6909000. emiratespalace. com

Watching the sunset across the Abu Dhabi Creek, and donating to the three charities the Fairmont is supporting this month.

A high-end, but worth it, Dhs195.

The lovely location and dizzying spread makes for an Abu Dhabi Ramadan must.

Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, sunset to 8.30pm. Tel: (02) 6543333.

P&C also offers a splendid buffet for larger groups alongside its set menu.

Anybody who prefers not to restrict an iftar menu to one continent.

Dhs199 for Pearls & Caviar and Dhs185 at Sofra Bld.

A hugely varied spread in one of the most charismatic hotels the capital has to offer.

Shangri-La, Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 5098777, Sofra Bld sunset to 8pm. shangri-la. com

The InterCon’s all-day restaurant maintains the hotel’s well-deserved reputation.

Kanoon music throughout the evening

Enjoying a taste of iftar as it should be.

Dhs195, reflecting the class of the establishment.

It’s hard to pick fault with the InterCon, and the Ramadan showing is no exception.

InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Bainouna Street, Abu Dhabi, sunset to 10.30pm. Tel: (02) 6666888. ichotelsgroup. com

The Grand Millennium has a huge tent set up in the Al Wahda courtyard.

Book for gatherings of ten or more and get two iftars for nothing, plus free valet parking.

Enjoying Ramadan at a new heavyweight on the Abu Dhabi hotel landscape.

Dhs160. Not too shoddy at all.

A Syrian oud, violin and percussion trio atmospherically soundtrack the evening.

Grand Millennium Al Wahda, Hazza Bin Zayed Street, Abu Dhabi, sunset to 8.30pm. Tel: (02) 4439999 millenniumhotels. com


HOT ON ELS HE THE ya l Méridien


11 Le Ro land Plaza Yas Is 12 Crowne on at er 13 Sh Plaza 14 Crowne tana 15 Al Ain Ro



6 Hilton

7 Origins

8 Aloft


Beach Rotana

10 Choices


Grand Millenium Al Wahda


11 LE ROYAL MÉRIDIEN For a taste of iftar in ordinarily French surrounds, head to L’Opera Brasserie this month (Dhs160 per person). That’s followed by sohour in Le Royal Méridien’s expansive Layali El Hilmiya tent, which can hold gatherings of up to 1,000 people, for mezze, teas, juices, shisha and traditional music. Khalifa Street, Abu Dhabi, sunset to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6742020.





Mixed grills, lamb ouzzi, shawarmas and traditional Arabic desserts.

La Terrazza is the primary destination, while groups can book Liwa Ballroom or Hiltonia Beach Garden’s Arabic tent.

The specially decorated La Terrazza makes for a colourful Ramadan experience.

Taking in the season in close proximity to the beach, before taking it easy with shisha in the Sohour Zaman tent.

A none-toowallet-crippling Dhs159.

A complete Ramadan experience in a single complex.

Hilton Abu Dhabi, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, sunset to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6811900.

International and regional additions to Arabic offerings including, most mouthwateringly, whole roast baby lamb.

Airy and – in keeping with the Yas Hotel’s dazzling interior – white all-day dining restaurant, Origins.

You can head over to pan-Arab outlet Atayeb afterwards for one of the city’s most inviting sohours.

Celebrating the season while gazing across the ever-impressive Marina F1 circuit.

Dhs175, as you might expect at somewhere of the Yas Hotel’s standing.

You won’t regret making the journey to Yas Island.

Yas Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6560600, sunset to 8.30pm. theyashotel. com

A lavish range of Arabic delicacies, from hot and cold mezzes to Ramadan juices.

The deceptively roomy spaces of Aloft’s quietly quality Dine restaurant.

The sohour menu is varied and inviting.

Breaking your fast then sampling sohour at Aloft’s marquee, with oud, games and Syrian television treats.

A rather bargain-tastic Dhs135.

A great iftar at one of Abu Dhabi’s most imaginatively kitted out hotels.

Aloft, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi, sunset to 8.30pm. Tel: (02) 6545138. aloftabudhabi. com

All the expected traditional iftar delights, plus international selections to keep every taste satisfied.

On the eighth day of Ramadan, this iftar ups sticks from the Al Diwan Ballroom to the Essence restaurant.

You can sample this iftar in two different venues, which is an extra in itself.

Taking family and friends to a five-star Ramadan feast.

Dhs165, which is pretty spot on for such a leading hotel.

Capture the essence of Ramadan at Essence.

Beach Rotana, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, sunset to 10.30pm. Tel: (02) 6979000.

Arabic delicacies, on top of Choices’ regular Oriental-style favourites from live cooking stations.

International and Asian all-day dining restaurant, Choices.

Groups of ten get two iftars free.

Putting an Oriental slant on your iftar.

A middle of the range Dhs155.

One of the best value iftars on Yas Island.

Yas Island Rotana, Golf Plaza, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, sunset to 10.30pm. Tel: (02) 6564000.


83-96 HOT LIST AUD•.indd 84


7/29/11 12:40:55 PM




Left Bank









This desirable brickwalled hangout, away from the hectic city centre, is nicely understated.

All of Yas’s widespread entertainment is within easy striking distance from the Rotana.

Escaping the hustle and bustle.

More than reasonable value for money.

Rising to the top for Ramadan, this month Y is Yas Island’s best bar none.

Yas Island Rotana, Yas Plaza, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 7.30pm to 2.30am. Tel: (02) 6564000.

A large turnover of people almost any night of the week. Sufficiently busy to stay interesting but keeping its cool throughout.

The souk is a onestop shop for dining and going out, with great views across the water to boot.

Melting into the crowd and meeting new people.

The cocktails aren’t exactly friends of austerity, but swerve those and you’ll be laughing.

Left Bank has enough going on indoors that you will barely miss the alfresco terrace this summer.

The Souk at Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 1am. Tel: (02) 5581680. emiratesleisureretail. com


Encapsulating the spirit of a European bar perfectly. Serving alcohol after 7.30pm during Ramadan.

The InterCon’s normally thriving outlets are a little diminished during Ramadan, although the meaty treats of Chamas are only a short dash away still.

Top grub and drink with your mates.

Good things come at a price, so don’t turn up at Belgian Café with chump change only.

You wouldn’t go to Brussels without sampling the Belgian waffles, so make sure you indulge.

InterContinental, Bainouna Street, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 1am. Tel: (02) 6666888.


Spacious bar and plush furniture equals a swish vibe. Serving alcohol from 7pm to 1am during Ramadan.

It’s only a few steps from all the restaurants and bars a reveller could ever need around Yas Island.

The snack menu, which fills a hole on a budget.

The meals might set you back a bit, but the drinks are fairly priced.

Whether lounging early evening, or kicking the pace up later, Stills excels.

Crowne Plaza Yas Island, Yas Plaza, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 1am. Tel: (02) 6210000.

A British pub vibe, with an abundance of media types knocking around thanks to its proximity to TwoFour54.

The five-star Park Rotana’s range of restaurants mean it’s easy to make a night of it.

Catching the big match on the plentiful screens in relatively sedate surrounds.

Wallet friendly, without being suspiciously cheap.

Cooper's will temporarily keep Western expats from missing their local.

Park Rotana, Al Matar, Abu Dhabi, 7.30pm to 2.30am. Tel: (02) 6573333.

Y Bar


Left Bank

Belgian Café






HOT ON HE,EAlLofSt THE x@ 12

11 Rela Palace n, Emirates alidiya 12 Hakkasa Kh on at er Sh , ue 13 3rd Aven , Le Méridien 14 NRG , Hilton 15 Cinnabar

Trader Vic's




Belgian Beer Café

Sheraton Khalidiya While several of the capital’s swankier bars take a breather for Ramadan, Abu Dhabi’s more straightforward pubs come to the fore. With sports screens at every angle and various alcoves, 3rd Avenue is just such a location, perfect for grabbing plates of pub grub in refreshingly unfussy surroundings. Zayed The First Street, Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, 7.30pm to 1am. Tel: (02) 6666220.






One of the most bustling expat bars in town. Serving alcohol after sunset throughout Ramadan.

While the Hilton's usual complex of nearby bars is depleted for Ramadan, there's plenty of other entertainment within easy reach.

The pub grub, which is far superior to the average standard around Abu Dhabi.

Not bad at all, even if certain dishes on the menu are a touch more expensive.

At Hemingway’s you can enjoy a night out that the eponymous writer would be proud of.

Hilton Abu Dhabi, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, Sun, Mon, Wed and Sat noon to midnight, Tue, Thurs and Fri noon to 1am. Tel: (02) 6811900.


Energetic, with, big screens everywhere and a smoky basement vibe reminiscent of how bars used to be.

Step out onto Hamdan Street for all the convenience of downtown, or stay in the Crowne Plaza for their underrated cuisine options.

A big night out, or watching whichever sport you follow over a lively pint.

Cheap as chips, with free drinks tokens on admission on some nights.

As no-frills fun goes, Heroes is an Abu Dhabi institution.

Crowne Plaza, Hamdan Street, Abu Dhabi, 7.30pm to 2am. Tel: (02) 6210000.

Lively. If you’ve been to an Irish bar, you’ll know the drill at PJ’s.

The busy heart of Abu Dhabi city centre, although parking is thankfully less headache inducing since the introduction of pay meters in the area.

The pub quiz, which runs every Tuesday from 7.30pm during Ramadan.

Value for money and then some.

If you’re in search of unpretentious enjoyment, PJ’s has it covered.

Le Royal Méridien, Khalifa Street, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 2.30am. Tel: (02) 6742020.

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

The Beach Rotana’s ageless class will see it throughout Ramadan, despite several outlets closing for the month.

A spot of geographical escapism.

Not entirely cheap, but you won’t end up penniless either.

A Polynesian paradise reimagined in the Emirates.

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

Successfully recreating the vibe of a spit 'n' sawdust British pub. Serving alcohol after sunset during Ramadan.

In the enclosed courtyard at the heart of Le Méridien, with the NRG sports café a mere stone's throw away.

Spending the evening in the company of various interesting conversationstriking characters at the bar.

No need for an overdraft here, as proved by the endless streams of punters that pack the Captain's Arms come evening.

A proper pub in the best British boozer traditions.

Le Méridien, Khalifa Street, Abu Dhabi, noon to 12.30am. Tel: (02) 6742020.




PJ O'Reilly's


Trader Vic's

10 Captain's Arms




MPW Steakhouse & Grill





MPW Steakhouse & Grill


Pearl & Caviar


Bord Eau

5 Ushna








A laid-back, privacyenshrouded vibe. Serving alcohol after sunset during Ramadan.

Thoughtful layout of Oriental wooden paneldivided alcoves; mazy and luxurious.

Fine dining in Asian fusion style that could win over any customer – and won three What’s On Awards.

A Michelinstarred restaurant in the world’s most expensive hotel. The bar is fantabulous, too.

You won’t want to hit Hakkasan every day unless you’re minted, but it’s perfect for special occasions.

Great décor, plus the best dim sum that’s ever passed our lips.

Emirates Palace, West Corniche, Abu Dhabi, 7.30pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6909000.

Marco Pierre White’s manages to be both cosy and swish. Serving alcohol 7pm to midnight.

Relaxing dark warmth, with features that might not work in many other restaurants – such as a small wall fire – but do here.

Kings of beef, no doubt. That’s why it scooped What’s On’s Favourite Steakhouse gong.

The Fairmont’s quality-oozing surrounds are custom made for an under-one-roof experience post-MPW.

The four-course beef tasting menu (Dhs489 with wine until December) gives a fair indication this is pricey yet justifiably so.

MPW deserves a foodie knighthood for steak served with undeniable British finesse.

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

A romantic dinner is on the menu at P&C, thanks to alluring lighting. Alcohol is off during Ramadan.

The smooth black and white interior represents caviar and – surprise, surprise – pearls.

Exquisite caviar and freshly hooked seafood head up an imaginative menu.

While the rooftop Pearls bar is closed for summer, why not explore Shangri-La and the Souk.

Perfectly acceptable for such top notch-cuisine, unless you fancy splashing the cash on caviar.

Two-toned delicacies with contemporary class throughout.

Shangri-La, Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 7.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 5098888.

Refined, classy, elegant and quintessentially French. Serving alcohol after 8pm during Ramadan.

Stately traditional Gallic sophistication, from the paintings to the tables.

The finest French classics available in Abu Dhabi.

The Shangri-La is a joy right down to its wonderfully designed rooms.

It isn’t difficult to top Dhs800 for two, sans alcohol, although the wine list is sumptuous.

Our restaurant of the year continues to ride high.

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

Updating Indian dining for the 21st Century in relaxing surrounds. Serving alcohol after iftar.

A simple interior full of clean lines and soothingly subtle colours.

This is North Indian cuisine customised to your spice preference. Order the butter chicken.

The Souk, Shangri-La and nearby Fairmont will keep you comfortably occupied for hours.

An impressive spread for two only costs around Dhs400 to Dhs500.

Raising the bar for Indian restaurants in Abu Dhabi.

The Souk at Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 6pm to midnight. Tel: (02) 5581769.



HOT ON EELSAl Bahr THe’sE, FaH irmont Bab

11 Franki ach Rotana 12 Finz, Be n t, Le Méridie ro st Bi Le 13 irates Palace rt Em i, la ez M 14 s Reso Desert Island 15 Samak, & Spa




Porto Bello


12 FINZ Beach Rotana Housed in a wooden chalet, if you’re looking for a romantic spot and seafood tickles your taste buds, Finz is just about the capital’s finest. The décor is trawler-worthy – shark skulls, fishing nets, lobster baskets – yet Finz isn’t a cheap theme restaurant. At Dhs700 for two as a ballpark figure sans alcohol, the prices are matched by quality. Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 6979000.





Bustling, with skewerwielding waiters dispensing meat. Serving alcohol after 8pm this month with the bar open to 1.30am.

Multiple dining levels, a sizeable salad bar installation and a separate bar all add up to an intriguing scene.

Like meat? You’ll be in heaven as ceaseless servings of exquisite beef, lamb and chicken are sliced onto your plate.

If you can move after Chamas’ meat overdose, we recommend struggling over to the Belgian Beer Café for a few brews.

Dhs225 for as much meat as you can handle. Loosen that belt.

The Favourite Americas Restaurant at the What’s On Awards remains a top draw.

InterContinental, Bainouna Street, Abu Dhabi, 8pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 6666888.

Relaxed and inviting – a popular spot for Yas Island diners.

Clean lines and a spacious layout make this an unpretentious Italian.

Updating Italian staples with smart twists, particularly when it comes to seafood. It's just launched a new menu, too.

If you can’t find entertainment around Yas Island, you’re not looking hard enough.

Dhs400 for two without alcohol is easily obtainable, although do take a look at the extensive wine list.

Classic Italian dishes with a deal of contemporary flair.

Radisson Blu Yas Island, Golf Plaza, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 6562000.


Like sushi? So do the hordes of diners constantly frequenting Toki.

A neon sushi station is the beacon in the restaurant’s otherwise darkly lit room

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

The Hilton’s bars are within easy reach, as is most of downtown via Corniche Road.

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.


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 two 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.


Refined and, without an alcohol license currently, a certain sober gravitas.

Sleek modern furniture and a piano nestled opposite the main entrance.

Italian smartly done, using a towering brick pizza oven nicely. Try the veal, too.

Work off your meal at the largest health club in Abu Dhabi.

Affordable enough to ensure regular visits aren’t financially painful.

Porto Bello excels in doing all the simple things an Italian should.

Grand Millennium Al Wahda, Hazza Bin Zayed Street, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 1am. Tel: (02) 4439999. millennium


7 Filini


Mombasa Grille

Porto Bello










Zayna Spa




Some of the most amiable and expertly skilled staff you’re likely to encounter in the capital.

We recommend the invigorating Moroccan bath, but the choice is huge: haircuts/ styling, shaves, bronzing, baths. It’s all here.

The compact yet spacious villa layout means minimum traipsing between treatment rooms. Parking is as easy as you like, too.

Quite high, but when the service is this good, price is only really a secondary concern.

If you’re a self-respecting gentleman in Abu Dhabi, you need The Lounge in your life.

Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thurs 11am to 10pm, Tel: (02) 6677377.


You’ll get an ultimate pampering from the predominantly Thai staff.

You can tell you’re in for a treat from a cursory glance at the pricelist: the Gateway To Arabia is never likely to be mediocre.

Anantara occupies its own wing of Emirates Palace. It’s that big.

Expect to hand over around Dhs1,000.

The diamond facial will take years off.

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

Sweet and cheerful, you’ll relax from the second you stroll in the door.

Very wide ranging options, from Filipino hilot massages to caviar facials.

Serene. If somebody said you were in a hidden temple in the Himalayas, you could probably believe it.

Relatively expensive, but you’re undoubtedly getting what you pay for.

Chi has one of the greatest Jacuzzis in Abu Dhabi.

Shangri-La, Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 5098888.

The friendly and knowledgeable staff at this ladiesonly spa will analyse your skin before selecting a tailor-made treatment.

Varied full body and facial treatments, plus waxing, hairstyling, Hypoxi and even personal training. The Clarins Facial is recommended.

Tricky to locate the first time, above the cosmeticsfilled displays of Paris Gallery. Once in the treatment room though it’s relaxation personified.

Mostly a little above upper midrange, although certain longer treatments can crash through the four-figure mark.

Ladies in search of serenity will find it here in every sense.

Paris Gallery, Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thurs 11am to 9pm, Fri 3pm to 9pm (times vary from August 11). Tel: (02) 6678880.

Attentive, eager to please and happy to recommend post-treatment products.

Almost as huge as the Grand Millennium itself. We recommend the facials: they really do work on every last pore.

Dreamy lighting, with individual changing areas in treatment rooms ensuring ultimate privacy for the shy.

Pocket change won’t see you through here. It will be worth it, though.

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

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

The Lounge

Anantara Spa


Chi, The Spa


Serenity Spa


Anantara Spa, Qasr Al Sarab



HOT ON THE HClEubE&LSpSa, Hilton

Health ’s Spa 11 Hiltonia Luxury Men 12 Man/Age ealth Club & Spa, Al H Soul 13 Body & Hotel Raha Beach Spa, Tourist olistic Day H l ta ys Cr 14 Club Area a Wellness Sp 15 Sharinis






Zen Spa


Hilton Opposite the main Hilton complex, this spacious spa’s proximity to the health club gym next door ensures it’s a perfect spot to soothe those post-workout aches and pains. Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 9pm. Tel: (02) 6924324. PRICE



Attentive, eager to please and happy to recommend post-treatment products.

The facials are a highlight of a menu that rivals the hotel’s imposing size, getting to work on every last pore.

Individual changing in the treatment rooms themselves guarantee ultimate privacy and the lighting is pleasingly low level.

Above average, much like Zayna itself.

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

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


Friendly beyond the call of duty and brilliant at teasing away tension.

Imaginative and spanning a plethora of treatments.

The dimmed changing room lights set the scene for a spa that thinks about your relaxation at every possible juncture.

Nudging the upper end of mid-range.

There isn’t a better spa on Yas Island right now.

Radisson Blu, Golf Plaza, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 6562000.


Very personable, until you ask for ‘firm’, and then there’s no messing around.

The latest addition to a regularly updated range is a candle wax massage.

Soft lighting and relaxing fragrance characterise Zen, with facilities including tranquility suites for couples.

Very reasonable considering the quality of hotel you’re in.

A subterranean sanctuary to steal you away from the city.

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

An excellent mix of polite and professional.

Luxurious and expansive. The hammams are something of a specialty.

The running water themes throughout ensure there’s scarcely a corner that doesn’t soothe the senses.

In pure cost terms, expensive. ESPA scores highly on value for money, however.

A spa adjacent to a Formula One circuit is about as glamorous as they come.

Yas Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 9am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6560862.

Chatty and cheery – you may make a new friend before the treatment is over.

All the necessary treatments you’d expect, plus notable facilities such as hammams.

Eden is a scaleddown paradise, once out of the leisure centreesque changing areas, at least.

In terms of cost, this is right about average.

Wind down in the aquamedic pool afterwards to complete a soothing visit.

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

Zayna Spa

The Spa

Zen Spa



Eden Spa




Abu Dhabi has a fast-growing movie scene, but the capital needs something beyond film festivals and big-screen blockbusters, says Nayla Al Khaja. So, she’s planning to launch an independent film club… There are a lot of film clubs in the world. I was part of one in Canada when I lived there, but it’s something that’s missing here. I can’t understand why it’s never been tried before in Abu Dhabi. Film fever is catching all around the region, especially in Gulf countries. It’s fantastic that we have film festivals, but they only happen once a year, and once they’re over, they’re over. We need something more constant and consistent on a monthly basis for people with like-minded interests to come together, almost like a festival but spread out over 12 months of the year. My film club will celebrate independent Arab

cinema, because there’s nowhere dedicated to it. However, it will show films that speak to a broader range of audiences, regardless of language. The films don’t necessarily have to be by an Arabic film-maker – it could be a German director who shot something in Abu Dhabi – but it has to have something about the region, an aesthetic value or storyline. That’s the only clause. The idea is to make people excited to watch independent cinema as opposed to commercial movies. The venue won’t change every month. This way people become familiar with a location, and it starts to be part of their routine. The only thing that will change is the film-makers and the films. I’m looking for a venue that will be very cosy, that can accommodate 300-plus people, with the right facilities, projectors and soundsystem, so people can really enjoy the experience and mingle afterwards in a networking room. I really want to bring locals and expats together. That’s important. I think a lot of misconceptions will be broken down at the club; it’s a fantastic opportunity for nationals and expats to talk beyond work and ask questions they might normally be worried to ask.


A film club will never make money, so the idea is just to create a platform to really enjoy film-making. What’s my motivation? I love film. It’s something you enjoy and you want to share with people who have the same thoughts. I wouldn’t be surprised if people who meet at the club actually end up making films together. That’s another motivation to start the club. I have a list of 20 films and I’m going to filter them and see which directors are interested in coming, because we have to fly them in. There will be screenings with debates with the director afterwards. You have to find a balance and keep in mind cultural taboos and boundaries, because a lot of independent films do have scenes that aren’t suitable. But I would never ever edit an independent film. I would rather not screen it. It would be so insulting. It’s like dribbling paint on somebody’s canvas. It’s made from the heart and should be respected. I’m going to make sure the club is done right, because I’m so passionate about it. Nayla Al Khaja is the CEO of D-Seven Motion Pictures. She begins filming her first feature-length movie next year

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What's On | Abu Dhabi | August 2011  

What's On | Abu Dhabi | August 2011

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