DHS 10 August 2010 ISSUE 388
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UAE DHS 10 OMAN RO 1.000
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detOX PICK YOUR PERFECT PLAN
We meet Gary Rhodes top ten getaways Luxury cinemas tested the UAE’s best sandwiches
Netherlands beat Spain in the UAE. I’m Dutch. So when my Spanish friends came over to watch the game, I had something else up my sleeve. Draadjesvlees, a traditional Dutch dinner. Thankfully I knew just where to go for the most original ingredients. LuLu! Crispy red cabbage and potato from the Netherlands with fresh US beef. And for desert, the popular Catalan cold custard with a crispy caramel coating. To cut a long story short, the food vanished off the plates… Spain won the World Cup but Netherlands won the day! LuLu, with the finest ingredients flown in fresh daily from around the world, you always get the best, at any time. As for the winner…well…
LuLu, where the world comes to shop!
Contents Features 19 The detox dozen Twelve plans to help you have your healthiest summer ever 30 Hot summer deals We’ve found the UAE’s best bargain breaks 32 Cinema guide Is it worth forking out extra for luxury cinema tickets? We find out 34 Gary Rhodes The UK’s spiky-haired celebrity chef invites us into his new restaurant to cook with locally sourced produce
p34 10 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
The round-up 14 Salaam August condensed into two pages 17 Competitions Feeling lucky? See what you could win this month 38 Films Our verdict on futuristic Western Jonah Hex, zombieflick sequel Resident Evil: Afterlife and comedy Cyrus, starring John C Reilly
79 Travel Checking out the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. Plus a round-up of the best adventure breaks
89 Hot lists The premier league of Iftars, restaurants, bars and spas 98 Backchat Monthly musings from Dubai 92’s Catboy
41 Eating out Taking a spin at the capital’s Al Fanar restaurant, tapas at Seville’s and steak at Exchange Grill, plus the UAE’s best sandwiches and cafes 55 Arts We pop into Sharjah’s newest gallery, plus five Ramadan exhibitions you need to view
61 Shopping The best gadgets out there and our in-house style guru, Sophia Triantafillou, with some fashion tips 69 Mind & body His and hers treatments at the Mövenpick Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s new spa and our devoted dieter 76 Sports & outdoor American football in the UAE and fitness advice from the very healthy James Houghton
p38 AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 11
This month we’ve been... Editor-in-Chief Obaid Humaid Al Tayer Group Editor & Managing Partner lan Fairservice Group Senior Editor Gina Johnson | firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Mark Evans | email@example.com Deputy Editor Helen Spearman | firstname.lastname@example.org Features Editor Gareth Rees | email@example.com Contributing Editor Hugo Berger | firstname.lastname@example.org Chief Sub Editor Iain Smith | email@example.com Senior Designer Sheila Lyn Carino | firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Assistant/Picture Researcher Karen Sequeira | email@example.com Picture Researcher Wayne Fernandez | firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Intern Gemma Matthewman Contributors Emily Baxter, Victor Besa, James Brennan, Louise Browne, Leah Fielding, Vikram Gawde, James Houghton, Catherine Jarvie, Richard Luck, Nick Rice, Sarah J Ross, Farooq Salik, Simon Smedley, Thomas Shambler, Janelle Sabareza, Rachel Silvestri, Sophia Triantafillou, Sarah Walker General Manager Production and Circulation S Sasidharan | email@example.com Production Manager Sudhakar Chandran | firstname.lastname@example.org General Manager – Group Sales Anthony Milne | email@example.com Senior Advertisement Manager Dale Isaac | firstname.lastname@example.org Saffron Goodyear | email@example.com Advertisement Manager Varsha Bhatia | firstname.lastname@example.org General Manager, Abu Dhabi Joe Marrit | email@example.com Advertisement Manager, Abu Dhabi Darryl Wiley | firstname.lastname@example.org Annual Subscription GCC Dhs120 other countries US$70 (including Airmail charges)
Head Office: PO Box 2331, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 282 4060, Fax: +971 4 282 4436, E-mail: email@example.com Dubai Media City: Office 508, 5th Floor, Building 8, Dubai, UAE, Tel: +971 4 390 3550, Fax: +971 4 390 4845 Abu Dhabi: PO Box 43072, UAE, Tel: +971 2 677 2005, Fax: +971 2 677 0124, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org London: Acre House, 11/15 William Road, London NW1 3ER, UK, E-mail: email@example.com 34,432 copies June 2009
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12 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
Hitting the gym, p73
Going on a detox diet, p19
Chomping on sandwiches, p52
Editor’s note There’s a scene in the classic 1957 Sidney Lumet movie, 12 Angry Men, when ‘juror eight’ (the brilliant Henry Fonda), a lone dissenter in a jury hell bent on delivering a guilty verdict in a murder trial, passionately persuades the other 11 jurors to hear him out. “It’s not easy to raise my hand and send a boy off to die without talking about it first,” he argues. “We’re talking about somebody’s life here. We can’t decide in five minutes. Supposin’ we’re wrong?” Fast forward some 53 years, and there was a similar argument here at What’s On, when the rest of the editorial team lunged at me with plans for a detox feature. “A detox? You want me to take part in a lifestyle change, for the good of my health? I can’t decide that in five minutes. Supposin’ you’re wrong?” They weren’t though, were they? Given the hectic lifestyles we all lead in Dubai – mine especially – it makes sense for us all to take time out now and again, recharge the batteries, spring clean the system, call it what you like, and there’s probably no better time than now to do it. Team What’s On, as always, took the plunge on your behalf (p19), undergoing all manner of fun, and not so fun, detox treatments for a newly improved, freshened up you. And a freshened up me, too, although I’m still often a lone voice when it comes to saying no to health matters (and my movie choices too, but take a tip from me and hunt out 12 Angry Men if you’ve not seen it. You won’t regret it). More my style, this issue we also uncover the UAE’s top sandwich (p52). Ten of the best bread-based blighters, tried and tested by us, so you know exactly where to go for the best sarnie. That was one jury I was happy to be on. Enjoy the issue, and Ramadan Kareem.
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Salaam! Honey we shrunk August
What’s hot Insects Please extend a warm welcome to the two-millimetre long aquatic beetle Ochthebius Wurayah and the wasp species Nanomutilla Wurayahensis, discovered during an inventory of the arthropod fauna of the UAE. Giving The Dunia Cares initiative will collect your unwanted goods, whether clothes or electrical products, and distribute them to those in need. Giving is the new taking, don’t you know? Tel: (04) 4238642. www.dunia.ae Making new friends Happy birthday to Social Circles, a website that has been bringing expats together in Dubai for a year. We suggest a party with all your new chums. www.socialcirclesuae.
What’s not Not saving the planet Dubai is still not quite there when it comes to recycling. The job’s not even been started properly until each household has recycling boxes for paper, plastic and glass collected on a weekly basis. Come on, people.
GULFPICS AND ISTOCK
Shrinkage Is there a more rage-inducing feeling than lovingly lifting your brand new T-shirt from what purports to be a 30-degree wash only to find it’s boiling hot and would now fit a three year old.
August in numbers You can count on it
The number of Rex Stevensons prior to the birth of American Football Academy head coach Rex Stevenson III, p77
Extraordinarily low number of calories permitted per day by one of our detox diets, p19
Dishes What’s On helped create on the menu at Gary Rhodes’ new Rhodes Twenty10 restaurant, p34
Years since the Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union and our international travel destination Kiev became the capital, p81
This month we’re going to…
DUBAI LADIES CLUB Dubai Ladies Club is offering a free diving lesson for ladies this month, so now’s your chance to learn how to breathe underwater with a qualified PADI instructor. All equipment will be provided and the class takes just ten minutes. Bring your own Amazon swimmers. Children over ten also welcome. We’ve been waiting almost a month for Dubai Ladies Club, Beach Road, Jumeirah, Amazon to deliver our order. A week is fair. Ten Dubai, Weds 10.30am to midday, 8pm to 10pm days is acceptable. Two weeks irritating. But a during Ramadan. Tel: (04) 3499955. month is just absurd. www.amazon.com www.dubailadiesclub.com 14 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
Pieces of popcorn consumed (approximately) while testing the UAE’s luxury cinemas, p32
Five Questions… Absolace
IMPERIAL BEDROOMS, BRETT EASTON ELLIS If you haven’t heard of Brett Easton Ellis, you must have been hiding under a rock for the past 20 years. You probably know his book American Psycho. But it was his 1985 debut Less Than Zero – charting the lives of a group of nihilistic, materialistic LA teens – that made his name. Imperial Bedrooms is the sequel. Clay, now a middle aged New York screenwriter, returns to the LA of his youth and becomes entangled in the lives of his former friends. If you liked Less Than Zero, you should enjoy Imperial Bedrooms – even if it’s not quite as bang on the zeitgeist as the original novel was in the mid-1980s. Available from Magrudy’s, Borders, Jashanmal and Kinokuniya
Drummer Greg Cargopoulos, guitarist Jack Skinner, keyboardist Kyle Roberts, vocalist Nadim Jamal and new bassist Ben Harris are Absolace,, the Dubaibased rock-metal WIN! band touted as A COPY OF RESOLVE [D] Do you want to wrap your shell-like around the new sound of the UAE? Then the UAE’s next big here’s your chance to add a copy of new album to your collection. thing. Following their Absolace’s All you have to do is log on to You wouldn’t believe the www.winwithmotivate.com and answer this simple question. frustration involved. We spent first live gig and Which of these is NOT a UAE band? nine months recording, followed a) Beat Antenna the recent release b) Abri by two months post-production. c) Bloc Party of debut album The bureaucracy involved in getting LISTEN… your album on the shelves, and the time MAN ALIVE, Resolve[d],, Cargopoulos EVERYTHING it takes to promote the album, make it a lot talks about the challenges of more difficult than producing the album itself. EVERYTHING producing a record in Dubai Is there plenty of support for local bands? These quirky northernThere’s definitely not enough going on for original bands. If venues just took the initiative How’s the reception to the album and started booking bands regularly then they been so far? would get quite a lot of business. Instead they So far the feedback has been great. But a lot of wait for a gig promoter to come to them and it has come from our friends, so we take it a little throw a gig night with five bands playing. lightly. But then again, some unknowns have Some of the tracks from the album have approached us praising the album. been played on radio stations in the US. Are We’ve had a little listen and we’d you looking beyond the UAE? probably class your sound as prog-rock. Actually, a couple of radio stations randomly Some listeners have labelled us as a prog-rock stumbled upon our MySpace page and asked band, but others have said we are more of a for album copies. We would like to play gigs prog-metal band. Others have even said we are abroad eventually, so every little bit helps. The alternative rock. And believe me, we are just next step is lots and lots of gigs hopefully, both as confused as they are as to which genre we in our hometown and abroad. Also, we are belong to. going to get started soon on the next album. How much of a challenge was it to put an We would like to be a very productive band. album out in the UAE? Resolve[d] is out now The production of the album was a nightmare. www.myspace.com/absolace
OSSIANO A five-course menu with wine pairings composed by multi-Michelin starred Catalan chef, Santi Santamaria, for Dhs550 ain’t half bad. And just wait until you hear what’s on offer. Hamachi tartare, octopus, scallop with summer truffles, king prawn or wagyu beef for main and chocolate bunyols to finish off. Hungry yet? You have until September 30 to get yourself down to Atlantis. Ossiano, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4261000. www.atlantisthepalm.com
WWW.GONABIT.COM You don’t really need to go anywhere to check out this new website, but if you sign up to GoNabit – thus becoming a Nabber – you and your friends will be able to take advantage of its daily offers for discounted activities in the UAE. GoNabit. Tel: (04) 4493150. www.gonabit.com
ers have been tearing up the UK’s radio waves with tunes that simply can’t be summed up in one sentence. Listing inspirations from R Kelly to The Smiths, they’ve been deemed ‘bizarre’n’B’ and much hailed by indie legend Johnny Marr and friend of What’s On, Zane Lowe. Did we mention that the drummer is our Deputy Editor’s brother? Pass the backstage passes, Helen. Top track: Photoshop Handsome Available from www.amazon.co.uk and iTunes www.everything-everything.co.uk
MONEY DVD It only aired on BBC2 in the UK in May, so we’re pretty lucky to be able to lay our hands on this adaptation of Martin Amis’ lauded 1984 novel, Money. With comic actor Nick Frost – Shaun Of The Dead, The Boat That Rocked – flaunting his acting chops (quite considerable they are, too) in the lead role of pleasure seeking dirt bag John Self, a 1980s TV commercial director in New York to make his debut feature film. Funny, dark and ever so slightly odd, it’s ideal for whiling away a Ramadan afternoon. And Martin Amis is said to be pleased. Not an easy task. Virgin Megastore, Dhs70 Find us at www.facebook.com/WhatsOnDubai
AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 15
Win with What’s On Want to get your hands on these lovely prizes? To be in with a chance, click on www.winwithmotivate.com, register your details and answer these easy questions
WIN! IFTAR FOR TEN AT THE PALACE
Gather together family and friends for a fine feasts this Ramadan at The Palace. The Arabian restaurant Ewaan is playing host, with views over Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountains, plus all the Arabic food you can eat. We’re offering you and nine hungry diners a chance to enjoy a traditional evening if you win our great competition. To be in with a chance of winning, simply tell us: Which of these dishes would you not normally find at an Iftar? a) Fattoush b) Hummous c) Chicken burgers
WIN! A WEEKEND STAY AT THE NEW CITYMAX HOTEL
This brand new abode in Barsha recently opened its doors and you too can join its fan club. We have a two-night stay, with dinner and breakfast up for grabs this August so you can take a local minibreak. For your chance to win, just tell us… Which world famous mall is in Barsha? a) Mall of the Emirates b) Mall of the Maldives c) Mall of the English
WIN! IFTAR AND A NIGHT’S STAY FOR TWO AT HILTON ABU DHABI
There are few hotels in Abu Dhabi that we’d rather be staying at during Ramadan than the Hilton Abu Dhabi. As well as an outstanding Iftar spread at the superb La Terrazza restaurant, there will also be a huge air-conditioned tent by the hotel’s private beach for you to take in the Sohour experience. We’re giving you the chance to try out the Iftar before spending the night at the hotel. Just tell us: Which of these professions is not usually employed in a hotel? a) Bellboy b) Chambermaid c) Lion tamer
WIN! IFTAR FOR EIGHT AT PARK HYATT DUBAI
Enjoy a traditional Iftar this Ramadan at Café Arabesque. You and seven friends could be feasting on local and Middle Eastern dishes, soups, grills and home-made sweets, all served in this gorgeous Arabian-style café. For your chance to win, simply tell us. Which fruit is popular in this region for breaking the fast? a) Pineapple b) Dates c) Limes AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 17
THE DETOX DOZEN
THE DETOX DOZEN
Dust off the juicer, bin the biscuits and buy some new gym kit, it’s time to get serious about getting healthy with What’s On’s detox special AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 19
THE DETOX DOZEN
FIVE-DAY YEAST FREE PLAN RECIPE
BEAN SALAD One can of red kidney beans, butter beans and pinto beans – drained One medium roughly chopped red onion One green pepper diced into squares Two tomatoes diced Half a can of sweet corn (optional) Three tablespoons honey Three tablespoons olive oil Salt and pepper Optional: tinned tuna, feta cheese, olives
I’m aiming to shed some well-earned brunch pounds, while treating my body like a temple with a DIY detox.
WHY: The idea is that your eating plan should enhance your life and promote brain function and overall well-being. The Five-Day Yeast Free Plan is not a diet, but a strategised ‘my body is a temple’ eating programme and a good way to start changing disordered eating patterns. It should slot easily into your lifestyle, where you ‘eat to tweak’ your metabolic hormones and get insulin levels under control to eliminate cravings (which is where the yeast-free element kicks in), learn to eat the right quantities, with a long-term healthier life change as the goal. The motto? “Rely on your strategies and planning, not your will power!”
For the next five days, it was ‘out with the old and in with the new’, as my kitchen made way for quinoa, fresh salmon, low-fat yoghurt and Ryvita. Sounds hard, but it really wasn’t. My eating regime (if you ignore my crisp addiction) is relatively healthy, so the emphasis was on paying attention to the brands I chose, low-fat equivalents, avoiding yeast and, most HOW: After a consultation with The Dubai importantly, portion sizes – ‘less is more yet London Clinic, I was handed my personalised also more often’ became my mantra. five-day 1,200 calories plan – one that would combat my kamikaze cravings and curb my RESULTS: Mission accomplished! My goal was constant grazing on biscuits and crisps (you to find an eating plan that worked for me – one know what they say about bigger pickers…). that fitted into my lifestyle, wasn’t so ‘intense’ Having swallowed my initial trepidation that I’d cave at the first sight of carrot cake, yet over new foodstuffs and smaller portion sizes, I curbed my cravings for most things ‘bad’. It was headed to Spinney’s armed with determination less about losing weight, more about longevity and my new culinary checklist in tow. and ten days in I’m still going strong.
REJUVENATE DETOX MARINE ALGAE WRAP SARAH W GOAL
I’m all for anything that means lying down in a dark room for two hours. Also wouldn’t mind a few “you look glowing” comments rather than the more common “you look tired”.
WHY: To give the body a helping hand to fight off the toxins inflicted on it courtesy of a fast-paced modern life. And to help avoid the bedraggled look that comes with burning the candle at both ends? HOW: The session begins with a footbath as you discuss the treatment (products can be tailored to aid relaxation or body gripes including cellulite). First up is all-over exfoliation to prepare the skin for a coating of 20 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
an algae cocktail, which is applied and sealed as you are wrapped in plastic. The warm cocoon helps the seaweed’s minerals, vitamins and enzymes to penetrate your pores and nourish your skin, and you are treated to an acupressure facial massage, mini facial and head massage while it kicks into gear. Then it’s a quick shower and 45-minute massage. RESULTS: My skin was definitely softer and I felt as if every inch of my body had been given some much-needed TLC. Perhaps not enough to feel fully detoxified, but certainly a blissful two hours of ‘me time’ guaranteed to relax. COST: Dhs995 for a two-hour treatment. The Spa, The Address Downtown Dubai. Tel: (04) 4368751. www.theaddress.com
Stores well for up to five days. Not having to cut back on life’s little culinary luxuries, nor feel like a slave to a diet, whilst merely adapting my eating habits and portion sizes, meant that having followed the plan properly (my halo is glowing), I have shaved a few pounds off my waistline, while making my conscience a whole lot lighter, too. COST: The initial 90-minute consultation costs Dhs375, where you’ll discuss your eating habits, diet and goals, with body composition measurements taken. Each follow-up session costs Dhs200. Dubai London Clinic, Dubai Festival City, Dubai. Tel: (04) 344663. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
THE DETOX DOZEN
AJURVEDIC SHIRODHARA TREATMENT MARK GOAL
I’d like to reduce stress and improve sleep through this ancient Indian technique.
WHY: Few people are as healthy as those Indian yogis, and they swear by ajurvedic treatments to keep themselves so spritely. The medical techniques go back some 3,000 years and apparently have a proven track record in detoxing the body. This ancient Indian detox treatment involves a massage with scented oils, before two litres of oil are slowly dripped on your head. HOW: The oil massage is supposed to stimulate the nadis (the Hindi word for nerves) and the chakras – energy centres. The oil is scented with various herbs that are absorbed through the
skin. After this, you lie on your back and two litres of sesame oil are slowly drizzled on your forehead. This so-called shirodhara treatment is supposed to help eradicate toxins from your skin and calm you down by synchronising brain waves. RESULTS: Having oil poured on your head might not sound particularly pleasurable, but it is sublimely relaxing. And don’t worry – a barrier is put over your eyebrows to stop the oil dripping into your eyes and mouth. My skin was so shiny I was sure women were checking their make-up in the reflection on my forehead – and I definitely felt extremely tranquil afterwards. COST: Dhs350 for 50 minutes. Eden Spa, Le Royal Méridien, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, 9am to 9pm. Tel: (02) 6446666. www.lemeridien.com
THE REVIVE WAKE UP AND DETOX SPA RITUAL LEAH GOAL
I need to banish those pesky toxins, probably caused from smoking far too many cigarettes
WHY: If you’re feeling lethargic, sluggish or suffer with an aching body, it could mean your body has more than its fair share of toxins. In order to help remove the build-up of toxins, this treatment targets the forms of tiredness directly, reenergising your body and mind for perfect head-to-toe health. HOW: The Revive Wake Up and Detox Spa Ritual helps to energise your body, leaving you feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Performed in three stages, the process begins with a refreshing citrus detox scrub, followed by an invigorating jet lag massage and ending with a refining facial. RESULTS: By treating the toxins like symptoms of jet lag, my body’s rhythm felt perfectly balanced. After suffering from
insomnia for the past week, I had the best night’s sleep and instead of feeling fatigued, I felt awake, relaxed and refreshed. I did feel slightly dehydrated afterwards, but this was to be expected and after drinking a couple of glasses of water in the spa’s tranquil and luxurious relaxation room, I felt a million dirhams.
COST: Dhs875 for a two and half hour treatment. The Spa, The Address Dubai Marina. Tel: (04) 4367777. www.theaddress.com
SUPER DETOX TREATMENT RACHEL GOAL
I want a firming and toning treatment after the long, lazy summer.
WHY: The long, hot, inactive summer months can result in a wobbly body and more pronounced cellulite – this treatment is perfect for battling those extra inches to get you back on track for bikini season. HOW: After being meticulously measured, quickly scrubbed and swept with toner, the tummy and thighs are slathered in a variety of slimming, cellulite-busting and water retention-draining lotions. Gauze is draped over the top, then a thick, slimming mask and finally electrode pads – two on the tummy and two on each thigh – which provide an involuntary muscle response, simulating a workout while you enjoy a relaxing head massage. Six to eight inches can be lost from the body in one session. RESULTS: I immediately felt more toned and in shape. Cellulite was visibly reduced and, according to the measurements, I’d lost two inches. Not a huge amount, but as a fairly slim person that was more than enough. For those with a lot of weight to lose and a lack of inclination to go to the gym, this is a very sedate method – with all the advantages of the luxurious Atlantis spa. Results lasted for a few days, but three to four treatments are recommended for optimum circulation increase and toxin elimination. I was impressed. COST : Dhs475 for 1 hour 30 minutes. The Spa & Fitness Centre, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4261020. www.atlantisthepalm.com
AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 21
Pantone Metallic Gold 871
100% Process Black
4c Graphic Logo
Pantone Metallic Gold 871 + 4 c graphic
1c Simplified Logo
Pantone Metallic Gold 871
THE DETOX DOZEN
THE TIME FOR CHANGE RIGHT WEIGHT DETOX PLAN, COMBINED WITH PERSONAL TRAINING SESSIONS FROM THE ORIGINAL FITNESS CO NICK GOAL
I want a general health overview and to effectively detox for the first time ever. If this also results in belly shrinkage, then that’s a bonus worthy of a celebratory drink. Of green tea.
WHY: Because sometimes it’s just easier to hand yourself over to the professionals. Combining exercise and a therapeutic approach, this is one detox plan that claims to do it all. HOW: First, a trip to the Dubai Herbal and Treatment Centre for a Body Composition Analysis (BCA). Fairly simple – you just whip off your clothes off, put on a hospital robe and step onto a futuristic machine while holding two joysticks that look like they might electrocute you. In fact, what they do is calculate your total body water, soft lean muscle mass, fat free mass and overall weight. The analysis then breaks down your body fat mass and your skeletal muscle mass. It is your skeletal muscle mass that needs to be in the correct ratio for you to feel healthy and look ‘in shape’, as this is the type of muscle that we see and feel. My BCA showed I was overweight with low skeletal muscle and a high percentage of body fat for my age, height and gender. I needed to lose 8.2kg to be within normal parameters. The good news was that within two to four weeks on the Right Weigh Detox Plan, combined with some personal training with Original Fitness Co, I could shed half of that. But, as the age old fitness mantra goes… no pain, no gain. Unsurprisingly, alcohol and dairy products have to go, as do sugars or refined carbohydrates – so forget white bread, cakes, biscuits and crisps. No processed foods or products using preservatives – so goodbye food in tins, packets and wrappers. And finally, no combining animal proteins such as beef, chicken or fish with starchy carbohydrates such as 100 per cent whole grain bread, brown rice, potato or pasta – so no sandwiches. Plus, you also take six herbal cleansing tablets daily and a daily fibre blend two hours before going to bed.
The guys at Original Fitness Co, meanwhile, are experts in improving the mental and physical fitness of their customers and my personal trainer was superb. No boot camp barking here – expect sensible, dedicated professionalism with friendly encouragement. RESULTS: Although not immediate, after a week of food privation you may also feel alert and focused. No heavy belly after a stodgy lunch. The weight does come off and if you limit the prohibited food back into your diet, the results will continue. It might seem as difficult as trying to pin a badge onto a wet ferret, but you’re sure to feel a comparable amount of satisfaction should you manage to do it. COST: Time For Change one-hour consultation and BCA costs Dhs380. Supplements for one month, Dhs300. Pricing for one-on-one training starts from Dhs270. Dubai Herbal and Treatment Centre, Zabeel 2, Oud Metha Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3351200. www.dubaihtc.com. Training available in affiliated gyms or in home, office or outdoor locations.Original Fitness Co, Level 41, Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3132081. www.originalfitnessco.com
EMERALD CEREMONY GARETH GOAL
I would like healthier looking skin after a few too many afternoons in the sun – and losing a few inches from sitting in a seaweed bath wouldn’t be bad either.
WHY: A treatment designed for people who want results, rather than spa goers looking for escapism – although Amara must be one of the most relaxing retreats in the UAE. It’s best suited to those who are already following a healthy eating plan and exercising because it can assist with the removal of toxins – but can’t do all the work for you. HOW: Begin with a footbath in your private garden, before skin is prepared with a grapefruit body scrub. You then take an outdoor shower under the skies and kick back for 20 minutes in a foamy seaweed bath, full of nutrients and powerful jets to stimulate lymphatic drainage. After another shower (we were joined by a little lizard), hot mud infused with juniper, pine and rosemary is applied and you’re then cocooned on a heated bed, while enjoying an acupressure scalp massage. Bliss. RESULTS: We were surprised by how effective the treatment was, especially after only one session. Thighs felt firmer, skin was definitely smoother and we slept like a baby, waking up with a decidedly flatter stomach. COST: Dhs750 for two hours. Amara Spa, Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai. Tel: (04) 6021234. www.dubai.park.hyatt.com
AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 23
THE DETOX DOZEN
DETOX TIPS Jaclyn Harris from Talise Spa shares her secrets to a successful detox Detoxifying is a normal bodily function. The organs of detoxification and elimination are the liver, kidneys, lymphatics, lungs and skin, which means our body gets rid of waste through each of these. Detoxifying is the process of changing a toxin to make it less harmful and then eliminating the waste out of the body. It’s a fresh start. TOP FIVE DETOX TIPS CUT BACK Take a complete break from cigarettes, alcohol, white bread and processed foods. Instead, eat small amounts often, including lots of different fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and whole grains. Nourish your body and give it a break from the chemicals. Choose organic where possible.
LEMON IN WATER Start every morning with the juice of half a lemon or lime in a cup of room temperature water. The bitterness will stimulate your digestive tract and liver for the day.
DECLUTTER Fill the fridge with all the nutritious foods you will be eating and get rid of the others. This is also the perfect time to de-clutter your mind and be guided through meditation to help cleanse your thoughts.
COLONIC HYDROTHERAPY A healthy bowel is vital to your detox. The digestive tract is the key player in detoxification. Try to have a minimum of two colonics, one at the start and another at the end of your detox.
BODY CARE At home, follow dry skin brushing over your whole body to help detoxify the skin, the largest organ in the body.
24 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
THE OPTIMAL HEATH ASSESSMENT
mean that my parents suffer). Blood work suggested I could aid digestion by chewing food more and eating more slowly. Guilty GOAL as charged. Not surprisingly for a summer’s I’d like an overall health assessment, with a structured plan for weight loss day in Dubai, dehydration was an issue, but and lifestyle changes. Jaclyn suggested putting a squeeze of lemon in some water to slow its journey through the body. All in all, it was an educational and WHY: To understand very reassuring experience, with everything your body fully, it may explained clearly. be necessary to take A detoxifying two-week nutritional things further than programme was provided, with body your regular check up with a GP. This threebrushing, supplements, exercise and hour consultation looks at well-being, lifestyle treatments including wraps and colonic and diet, and provides a full report to help hydrotherapy suggested. You can do as little or you become as healthy as possible. as much as you like (or can afford) and should return in three weeks to reassess your body. HOW: This assessment includes full blood work evaluation, live blood analysis, wellness RESULTS: While the diet (see below) may body scan, iris diagnosis, GP checkappear a little on the strict side – sprouts for up (including breast exam for women), snacks? – there are several options for each nutritional plan, lifestyle consultation and a meal and all ingredients are easily available. comprehensive health report. You even get an The emphasis is on ‘clean foods’ with nothing hour spa treatment of your choice while they processed and plenty of fibre. After a low await the results and write the evaluation. period of weakness and headaches, I started Our kind of test. feeling healthier and more alert within a few Some results, such as the breast days and didn’t miss the white carbs as much as examination, you get on the spot, but most expected. A total of 3kg was lost, but there was are collated into a report which naturopath some pretty serious exercising involved too. Jaclyn Harris talks you through after your spa treatment. Aside from needing to shift a few COST: Until December 1, Talise Spa is offering kilos, I was found to be pretty darn healthy, the Optimal Health Assessment for Dhs1,495 with optimal cholesterol and triglycerides. (usual price Dhs2,695). The iris scan revealed that I had ‘an iron constitution’ (true) and stress is present Talise Spa, Al Qasr, Al Sufouh, Dubai. in our body (probably true, but it can also Tel: (04) 3666818. www.jumeirah.com/talise
THE TALISE PLAN UPON RISING: Take two Alka Balance tablets and 5ml of Meta-Boost oil with water then fresh lime juice in warm water. Dry body brushing before shower BREAKFAST: Fresh vegetable juice, poached egg on spelt bread with sautéed mushrooms MIDMORNING: Herbal tea and nuts LUNCH: Salad and egg pitta SNACK: Sprouts, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetable sticks DINNER: Grilled salmon with fresh rainbow salad and on a bed of mash (no butter or milk) DRINKS: Fresh juices, pure water, herbal teas, mineral water with lemon
Ramadan Kareem 2010 at the hawksbill restaurant Gather all of your family and friends and enjoy a wide variety of Iftar menu options at the hawksbill restaurant overlooking the breathtaking views of Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. Be amongst the first to experience the specially designed hawksbill restaurant Arabic menu available exclusively throughout the months of August & September 2010. Offering a variety of traditional Arabic cuisine ranging from hot & cold Arabic mezze, mixed grill to the umm ali dessert. Book a unique Iftar Banquet menu for families & groups to enjoy your own private dining experience. You may also choose to sample our internationally inspired menu that offers more than 60 dishes from around the world.
The team at the hawksbill restaurant look forward to welcoming you throughout the holy month of Ramadan. The hawksbill restaurant is open daily from 6am to 10pm & located only minutes from downtown Corniche with ample parking available. For all reservations please telephone 02 499 8107 or email email@example.com Visit us at www.sbgolfclub.ae
THE DETOX DOZEN
THE MONTH-LONG HEALTH FACTORY DETOX DIET HUGO GOAL
I’m aiming to eat less meat and wheat-based foods, which are apparently bad for you, and more vegetables to eradicate toxins from my body and improve my general well-being
WHY: The lengthy working hours plus the scarcity of readily available healthy food, means it’s so tempting to forget cooking, pick up the phone and have some guy bring junk food to your door. Health Factory’s detox diet aims to solve this problem with a month’s supply of convenient, nutritious meals and snacks.
low fat and has enough fruit and vegetables to feed a colony of rabbits. The meals change daily, but a typical day’s diet might include porridge and honey for breakfast; melon pieces as a mid-morning snack; vegetable stir fry and green salad for lunch; a handful of almonds in the afternoon; with salmon steak with steamed vegetables in the evening.
RESULTS: There’s no way this amount of fruit and veg can’t improve your health. Admittedly, I strayed from the diet once or twice, but generally adhered to it. The amount of food like a child’s portions, but it was about enough to keep hunger at bay. After a month, I felt calmer, healthier and had more energy. A HOW: Every morning, a selection of pre-packed number of people even commented how well meals arrives. The food is organic, wheat-free, rested and relaxed I looked.
ACUPUNCTURE DETOX TREATMENT
I’d like to alleviate my asthma and eczema through acupuncture, which balances your body’s Chi energies.
WHY: As our acupuncturist, Dr Hu Qiwen, explains, living in the UAE is generally bad for your health. Your food is pumped with fertilisers and pesticides and, especially during the summer, you rarely breathe any fresh, non air-conditioned air. According to Chinese medicine, these factors act to ruin the balance (or yin and yang) of your body, leading to various complaints like insomnia, skin rashes, breathing difficulties and irritability.
HOW: The needles are inserted into various pressure points across your body. In my case, Dr Hu stuck them up the length of my spine and at various intervals in my arms and legs. There’s a slight twinge when they’re inserted, but nothing worse than a syringe injection. You then lie there for about 15 minutes while the needles do their work. A word of warning though, when the doctor tells you not to move your head while the pins are in – don’t. I tried it once and the agonising pain means I won’t be doing that again in a hurry.
COST: Dhs3,780 per month for three meals and two snacks daily, except Fri. Health Factory, Al Quoz, Dubai, Deliveries to addresses in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Tel: (04) 3473808. www.healthfactory.com
HOW CAN DETOX MASSAGES HELP? Dr Deepa Dhavjekar, of the Thai Privilege Spa, explains why a relaxing treatment might be doing more than you think…
COST: Dhs150 for one hour.
Detox massage therapies help combat problems such as water retention, stubborn stress knots, reduce of fatigue and aid weight loss. The lymphatic system, along with the liver, is responsible for much of the body’s natural detox, acting as our own internal waste disposal unit. Having no natural ‘pump’ of its own, the lymphatic system is dependent on strong muscles, efficient breathing and exercise to function. An overload of toxins can prevent the lymphatic system from working properly, and that leads to lethargy or illness; however, a detox massage stimulates this vital system into action so that waste can be eliminated more easily. One of the major symptoms of chemical toxicity is likened to the breakdown of the immune system that encourages all kinds of symptoms in the body, such as headaches, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, bloating, heartburn, irritability, allergies and depression.
Gulf Chinese Medical Centre, corner of Al Nasr Street and Airport Road, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6343538. www.gulfchinesemedical.com
Thai Privilege Spa, 1047 Uttamah Villas, Al Wasl Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3489679. www.thaiprivilegespadubai.com
RESULTS: Being a bit cynical, I was slightly dubious as to Dr Hu’s grand claims that acupuncture would alleviate the asthma and eczema I suffer from. But after just one session, I saw my eczema begin to ease off. Plus I haven’t had an asthma attack since my appointment with Dr Hu. As an added bonus, I left each session with a Zen-like sense of calm and have been sleeping a lot better. Conventional medical practitioners may scoff at the effectiveness of acupuncture, but I’ve been convinced there’s something in it.
AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 27
THE DETOX DOZEN
1 1 12 STRENGTH TRAINING
G5 PLUS CELLULITE AND SLIMMING MASSAGE, PLUS BLOOD DIET
To get back to pre-Dubai size. And fast.
WHY: Quite frankly, I can’t seem to get my backside into gear all by myself. Oh, and UAE life doesn’t really help – I rotate from the couch, to car, to office seat and back again. And my penchant for fast food delivery, brunches and all you can eat affairs have led to some serious weight gain. The infamous ‘Dubai stone’? Whatever it is, I need to lose it, and fast. HOW: First things first… the diet stuff. My trainer, Claire Falconer, says that losing the weight will be 80 per cent diet and 20 per cent training. So we go through the usual – the evils of white bread, sugary snacks and processed foods. The merits of protein and vegetables. She sends me loads of information via e-mail, so I can follow her plan to the letter. Her recommendation is five small meals per day. Claire is also an advocate of good fats like avocado and olive oils, so these I can eat in abundance, as long as I don’t consume bad carbs. The training bit is tough. We do resistance training – and she uses your own body weight to really tone up. So step-ups, star-jumps, pressups and lunges, lunges, lunges. The thigh is the biggest muscle group, so this will apparently speed up the whole weight loss thing. She also uses some oversized rubber bands, kettle balls and weights. In the beginning I feel nauseas after a few reps of each. And after the first session I was in so much pain the next day I had to use the disabled toilet – I needed something to hold onto. But after each session I become more flexible and accustomed to the moves. RESULTS: It’s only week three, but I am starting to regain my original shape, and even though I might not be Heidi Klum just yet, I am at least on my way… COST: Dhs250 per session. Claire Falconer, Phoenix Fitness, Dubai. Tel: (050) 8754677 28 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
I would like to lose baby fat without gym work, get a toned body, stay fit and maintain a healthy diet.
WHY: I’d gained 5kg in the past 16 months without realising. Even with rigorous gym and a rigid diet, deposited fats in our thighs and legs just won’t go away on its own. You might have lost weight, but to feel fully fabulous in your swimmer you might need a little extra help. Akaru Spa had just the right treatment – the G5 plus Cellulite and Slimming massage. They also suggested that I try the Blood Diet programme, which can help you drop a dress size – fast. HOW: Every person’s metabolism is different, depending on his or her blood type. I was handed a list of what to eat and what not to eat for the next 30 days, according to my Type O positive blood group. Its aim is to change food consumption and eventually become a way of life. There are certain foods that when put together are stored in the body due to insulin, while by putting the right food group together the meal is burnt off more easily. However, eating the right food is not enough. For someone like me, who can’t stand strenuous physical exercise, there is no greater comfort than getting an introduction to the G5 machine.
I had jitters on my first session. I’ve always been conscious about my body, but the thoughts of shedding off my belly was motivation enough. The first touch of vibrating massage on my back was a bit uneasy but I chatted the session away with Gloria who was now very familiar with my thighs and buttocks. According to her, the vibration and massage improves blood circulation on particular areas. It breaks the fat molecules into more simple molecules so that they can be easily circulated by blood for excretion. The treatment is most effective in removing toxins from our body. The massage tones the skin, improves elasticity and rejuvenates skin cells. A mere 40 minutes with the G5 and 20 minutes of manual relaxing massage and I was feeling refreshed and more confident about that bikini. RESULTS: The best part about getting a firmer body is that you can just lay back and chill out while G5 pixie powder does all the magic. After my second session, I could feel my skin getting tighter and thighs less loose. To achieve the best result, a session of six is recommended. COST: Dhs310 for 60 minutes (a course is available: six sessions for the price of five). Akaru Spa, The Aviation Club, Dubai, Tel (04) 2824611. www.akaruspa.com
GETAWAYS FOR LESS
Book it, pack it and take off with our pick of the best deals this summer
ARABIAN RANCHES GOLF CLUB Ñ
ATLANTIS THE PALM Å
GREAT FOR KIDS
DHS895 Do you have kids to tire out? Can’t face another week of the summer holidays? No need to call Supernanny, The Atlantis is coming the rescue. The hotel is offering deluxe rooms for Dhs895 (interconnecting family rooms are available), which includes unlimited access to facilities, reduced rates to swim with the dolphins and one free entry to Kids Club and Club Rush. Offer valid until September 30. The Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4262000. www.atlantisthepalm.com LOADS OF EXTRAS
KEMPINSKI HOTEL MALL OF THE EMIRATES Å
DHS999 Shopping or a movie? Bowling or a snowball fight? Do it all when you stay for three nights at the Kempinski. Enjoy two Snow Park tickets, two loaded Magic Planet cards, two CineStar Gold Class cinema tickets and a shopping voucher worth Dhs500 at Mall of the Emirates per stay. Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3410000. www.kempinski.com/dubai 30 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
DHS375 Listen up golfers, Arabian Ranches Golf Club is promoting enough deals to fill a bunker. How about a mere Dhs375 a room, inclusive of full English breakfast? Even better, they’ve discounted the golf and equipment rates, and even give you unlimited access to their facilities. A hole in one. Available until September 10. Arabian Ranches Golf Club, Emirates Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4238877. www.arabianranchesgolfdubai.com KIDS EAT FOR FREE
THE WESTIN É
DHS999 Book a Queen Room at The Westin this summer and you’ll get breakfast, plus lunch or dinner included for Dhs999 (based on two people sharing). Don’t forget the children – under-12s eat for free. Take Tupperware boxes (you didn’t read that here). Offer runs until September 8. The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai Marina, Dubai. Tel: (04) 5117115 www.westinminaseyahi.com
LE MÉRIDIEN, MINA SEYAHI BEACH RESORT & MARINA Ñ
DHS600 Get the family together at Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina this summer. You’ll get a night’s stay (inclusive of breakfast) for Dhs600 and enjoy the facilities at Le Méridien Mina Seyahi and The Westin. Massive swimming pools and private beaches await. Le Méridien, Minda Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai Marina, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3994141. www.starwoodhotels.com FAMILY FRIENDLY FACILITIES
TOP 10 GETAWAYS FOR LESS NURAN SERVICED RESIDENCES Ñ
DHS660 Set in two upscale locations in Dubai, Nuran Serviced Residences are a great choice for a family holiday – especially with these offers Enjoy a 25 per cent discount when you stay for two nights, or if you book 14 days prior to arrival. You’ll also get a free KidZania ticket per child per stay, or a free ticket to Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo per person, per stay, when you stay for four nights. Two locations: Nuran Greens Serviced Residences and Nuran Marina Serviced Residences, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4238877. www.nuran.com SUPER CHEAP
THE ADDRESS MONTGOMERIE DUBAI Å
DHS1,199 A luxury indulgence summer promotion. Sound’s good, doesn’t it? Spend the night at the exclusive Address Montgomerie and take your pick from one of the following add-ons: dinner for two in Nineteen, a 60-minute massage for two in Angsana Spa, or a round of golf for two on the championship golf course. Offer is valid until September 9. The Address Montgomerie, Emirates Hills, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4238888. www.theaddress.com TOP SPA BREAK
TRADERS HOTEL Å
DHS420 If you’re looking for a bargain break, look no further. Traders is offering deals over the summer including a mere Dhs420 for single rooms and Dhs406 for double rooms. The Ramadan Kareem Special package also offers accommodation in a Superior Room and a choice of complimentary Sohour or Iftar buffets at The Junction restaurant. Traders Hotel, Bur Dubai, Dubai. Tel: (04) 2147308. www.tradershotels.com/dubai
HOME FROM HOME
Further Afield InterContinental Mzaar, Lebanon ACTIONDhs330 PACKED If it’s outdoor activities you’re after, the Mountain Adventure package at Mzaar will get you lacing up those hiking boots. Discover Mount Lebanon’s peaks for only Dhs330 per person and choose either a one-hour ATV ride or two-hour mountain hike. This includes accommodation in a double room, breakfast and full use of the hotel’s facilities. InterContinental Mzaar, Ouyoun el Simane, Lebanon. Tel: (00961) 9340100. www.ichotelsgroup.com KIDS Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort STAY FREE Dhs349 On weekdays, two children stay free of charge when you book a double room at Al Aqah (Dhs349 per person, per night). We went last month and took full advantage of frozen cocktails at the swim-up bar, then devoured the duck curry in the Thai restaurant. You can even grab a free weeknight stay during Ramadan with every two consecutive nights booked. Available until September 8. Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Fujairah. Tel: (09) 2449000. www.lemeridien-alaqah.com ULTIMATE
QASR AL SARAB DESERT RESORT BY ANANTARA Å DHS800 Feeling glamorous is so much easier when you can stay at a five-star luxury resort at a discount. If you book at least 20 days in advance with Anantara, you can get 20 per cent off (Deluxe Room rates start from Dhs800). This package also includes a buffet breakfast for two. Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 8862088. www.qasralsarab.anantara.com
PARK HYATT DUBAI Å
DHS1,500 One of our favourite retreats, Park Hyatt Dubai is making your summer just that bit more special. Simply spend a minimum of Dhs1,500 in Café Arabesque, Traiteur or The Thai Kitchen and you’ll get a free night’s stay at this heavenly hotel. Valid until August 10. Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai. Tel: (04) 6021234. www.dubai.park.hyatt.com
IN LUXURY Shangri-la’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives Dhs3,850 per night The mere mention of a trip to the Maldives is enough to make most people envious, but this popular destination won’t clear out your pockets with its four-night stay package. You’ll get one free night and a range of complimentary benefits, as well as an exclusive 25 per cent discount on the second villa booked. Valid from September 8 to 18. Shangri-la’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives. Tel: (960) 6897888. www.shangri-la.com
AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 31
THE REEL DEAL
THE REEL DEAL Want more class for your cash? We put the UAE’s slickest cinemas to the test to find your dream screen this summer
GOLD CLASS AT MALL OF THE EMIRATES
It started the luxury cinema trend and remains one of the most popular – but can it hold its own against the new kids on the block?
Screens: Two screens with two different movies shown per week. Price: Dhs110 per ticket, plus Dhs7.50 fee if booking online. Chairs: Some giant, chair-shaped cows may have died for your viewing pleasure, but it wasn’t in vain. With a lever to get you horizontal, fleece blankets to protect against the A/C and a table between each pair of seats, you’re set. A pillow might have been nice, though. Service: You can order your food from a huge menu in the Gold Class lounge (the mega nachos were a winner) and it’s delivered to your seat. Peckish during the film? Press the button on the table and a waiter will bring whatever your hungry heart desires, so you don’t need to miss a minute of the movie. If only they could go to the bathroom for you... What extras do I get? There’s a special lift so you don’t need to mingle with the riff-raff, a small lounge and jazzy VIP toilets (only one for the ladies though). 32 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
We may have dreamt this, but in the past they served popcorn in silver bowls and milkshakes in Wellington boot-shaped glasses. Hmm. That does sound like something from a dream. Either way, make it happen, please. How much is a medium Diet Coke and a medium popcorn? A non-glitzy Dhs24 in total. Thumbs up. What’s On says: The original Gold Class may be a little dated compared to some of the new guys, but it’s about to undergo a renovation. In the meantime, it’s a reliable choice that puts the newest movies on its big screens. Watch out for 3D specials. CineStar, Mall Of The Emirates, Al Barsha, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3414222. www.cinestarcinemas.com
THE REEL DEAL
PLATINUM CLASS AT DUBAI MALL Is platinum better than gold in the land of the silver screen? Screens: Four screens (each has 16 pairs of seats) with four different movies shown per week. Price: Dhs120 per ticket, plus Dhs5 online booking fee. More expensive than MOE’s Gold Class… Chairs: We couldn’t have been more comfortable. The chairs are huge, complete with a headrest cover for all you germ-a-phobes. Find your ideal position with electronic buttons, and then snuggle down with a blanket and pillow. Action films are recommended to avoid snoozing. Service: Top-notch, with very speedy waiters. Order in the lounge or press that magic button on the table between your seats to get more supplies. What extras do I get? Loads. Stars of the show are two very glam private lounges with chandeliers, designer furniture and vast bathrooms, but on our visit we were even given a voucher for a free manicure at NStyle. An outstanding performance. How much is a medium Diet Coke and a medium popcorn? Dhs13 and Dhs15 respectively, but they’re served in regular packaging. Where’s our fancy bowl? What’s On says: With four films per week, snazzy chairs and quality freebies, Dubai Mall has done itself proud. Our only gripe would be the extremely confusing lifts – make up your mind which floor number we’re on, please. Reel Cinema, Dubai Mall, Old Town, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4491988. www.reelcinemas.ae
GOLD CLASS AT MIRDIF CITY CENTRE One of the newest posh picture experiences, CineStar Mirdif is nothing to be sniffed at Screens: Two screens with 40 seats each. Price: Dhs120 per ticket. Chairs: These chairs may not be stylish, but they are big, squishy and recline by he power of a button. When it’s dark a chair can be covered with shocking pink faux fur and shaped like a giant gerbil for all we care, as long as it’s comfortable. Tables between the seats provide plenty of space for your heart attack-inducing snacks, blankets are available and there’s enough legroom to please a supermodel. Service: The Gold Class lounge provides all the snacks you’ll need and will deliver to your seat. We ordered a coffee 45 minutes into the film and it came swiftly, with the milk in a china cow on the side – moovellous. What extras do I get? There’s the lounge, the blanket, the service to your seat, the comfortable chairs, the legroom, the china cow – what more do you want? Of course, there’s also the naughty but nice feeling you get when you think how much you paid for this luxury. How much is a medium Diet Coke and a medium popcorn? Dhs24, but it’s just Dhs1 extra to go large. What’s On says: Unlike some other Gold Class experiences under our belt, Mirdif really seemed worth the cash. The chairs are so well spaced you could be watching the film alone. And when they brought the cow out, well… Gold Class, CineStar, Mirdif City Centre, Dubai. Tel: (04) 2840001. www.cinestarcinemas.com
GOLD CLASS AT MARINA MALL, ABU DHABI How does the capital fare in the fancy film stakes? Screens: One screen, with 32 seats, showing five screenings a day. Price: Dhs110, plus a Dhs7.50 online booking fee. Chairs: Huge, leather La-Z-Boy chairs. A lady sitting near us seemed to take her chair’s soporific qualities too far and slept her way throughout the entire movie. Service: Order from the menu as you arrive in the lounge and your food will be brought to your chair before the trailers are over. Should you get hungry while watching, the staff are vigilantly waiting by the entrance for you to press the buzzer on your table and they’ll rush over within seconds to take your order. Extras? There’s a comfy lounge for you to chill in before the film starts. The bathrooms were palatial, with gold fittings and mosaic floors, although the fact there was only one toilet each for men and women led to a bit of a queue before the film started. Once inside the cinema, our popcorn came in a silver bowl, which was a nice touch. How much is a medium Diet Coke and a medium popcorn? Dhs13 for the drink and Dhs13 for the popcorn. What’s On says: The best luxury cinema experience in Abu Dhabi. CineStar, Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6818484. www.cinestarcinemas.com
THE LATEST IN LUXURY A brand new cinema has added the finishing touches to the Dubai Marina Mall. And it has done it with a little bit of class. Reel Cinema’s Premier Screen Cinema offers six screens, halfway between your regular seating and full blown La-Z-Boy recliners. Cosy bucket seats are arranged two by two, ideal for a date, with ample legroom, extra space for your super-sized popcorn and they even recline for maximum movie slouching. Tickets will set you back Dhs50, worth it for the seats alone. If you live in the marina, your movie night trek to MOE, Dubai Mall or further has just become a thing of the past. Premier Screen Cinema, Marina Mall, Dubai Marina, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4491988. www.reelcinemas.ae
AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 33
Passionate chef, globestraddling restaurateur and all-round nice bloke, Gary Rhodes gives us an exclusive pre-opening tour of his new Dubai restaurant, and puts us to work chopping veg for a three-course meal comprised of the finest local ingredients
S E D O H R
0 1 20
34 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
Striding into the bright, gleaming foyer of the five-star Le Royal Méridien hotel, Gary Rhodes looks like just another guy off the street – albeit a guy with a purposeful gait. But place the British-born chef-cum-TV star in his natural environment and he’s far from ordinary. Exploding through the doors of his enormous new kitchen at Rhodes Twenty10, the celebrity chef (we’ll call him that, although he hates it, insisting he’s “a chef, not some E-list celebrity”) is clearly the man in charge, dispensing plain, staccato orders and chatting to his chefs while tying on his apron and ordering his fourth coffee of the day (it’s 10.30am), before focusing on the task ahead. Before we’re allowed to see his new restaurant, resplendent in black and purple and decorated with Jack Vettriano paintings (“a touch of the gangster about it”), we first have to don an apron of our own and help Gary knock out a three-course meal using, at our insistence, choice local ingredients – sourced by the man himself. Voicing his surprise that his chefs had managed to find the quails’ eggs he asked for, Gary nibbles the arrish cheese, before nodding his approval and admitting he’s never cooked with either the Sultan Ibrahim or shari fishes before. But the local potatoes are, he says, “the very best”, and by morning’s end the date bread and butter pudding we prepare is, he says adamantly, “going on the menu” ( and it has). For Gary, home cooking is all about quality ingredients and, above all, keeping it simple – even if you are a Michelin-starred chef. “You can create colourful, attractive, sexy little dishes from just a few ingredients,” he assures us. “The trouble is, when people come to our restaurant they think they’re going to have some kind of gastronomic extravaganza. No. I much prefer sharing really nice, simple, little dishes like these, which show off the flavours.” And then, with a swift clap of his hands, he commands, “Right, let’s get started” – chef doesn’t like to waste any time. So here we go. Gary Rhodes – and What’s On’s – UAE-sourced feast…
STARTERS NEW POTATO, TOMATO AND ARRISH CHEESE SALAD
MAIN COURSE ONE SHARI WITH SAUTÉED HONEY AND SESAME SPINACH
MAIN COURSE TWO SULTAN IBRAHIM WITH FENNEL AND OLIVES
450g local new potatoes, boiled, halved and peeled Eight local quails’ eggs, boiled for 2.5 minutes before refreshing in iced water and shelling 12 cherry tomatoes, halved 110g arrish cheese, broken into nuggets Three spring onions, finely sliced Three tbsp of salad cream or mayonnaise Handful of rocket leaves, washed Three tbsp olive oil Juice of one lemon Pinch of sugar Salt and pepper
Two tbsp sour cream; One tsp clear honey Salt and pepper Olive oil 15g butter, plus a knob for frying 175g local spinach, pre-blanched in boiling water for one minute Two tsp sesame seeds, toasted Two x 150g shari fillets, pin-boned (ask your fishmonger) Flour, for dusting Squeeze of lemon juice
METHOD Drizzle a tbsp of salad cream or mayo on plate, binding remainder with new potatoes and spring onions. Arrange on plate, scattering halved cherry tomatoes and cheese nuggets before halving shelled quails’ eggs and placing on top. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and sugar, seasoning with salt and pepper. Place a few rocket leaves on top, drizzling with sweet lemon dressing.
For the tomatoes, add a little hint of garlic, a touch of olive oil and a bit of thyme for seasoning, then pop them on a tray and semi-dry them in a very low oven for 20 or 30 minutes. What this does is draw in all the juices and you’ll have something explosive when you eat it. Never refrigerate your potatoes and always leave them to cool naturally to ensure a light, fluffy texture. You can always microwave them before serving. We looked at lots of new potatoes – French, Spanish, British – but these local ones; you’re eating the very best. When binding the ingredients treat them like a lady (or a gent if you’re a lady, we presume). Don’t crumble the cheese; make sure there are little nuggets. It changes the whole bite and personality of the dish. For the eggs, you need a lovely, soft, oozing yoke. So only cook them for a couple of minutes.
METHOD Mix together sour cream and honey, seasoning with salt and pepper. Dry shari on kitchen paper and season with salt and pepper before lightly flouring on the skin side only. Heat some olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Fry the fish for five to six minutes until golden brown, before adding a squeeze of lemon juice and a knob of butter, once sizzling. Turn fish and remove from heat. Sauté spinach in 15g of butter, seasoning with a twist of pepper. Once hot, add toasted sesame seeds and divide between the two plates. Spoon honey sour cream mix over the top of each.
One fennel bulb Two plum tomatoes Six to eight green olives, halved Four tbsp olive oil Sea salt and pepper Squeeze of lemon Pinch of sugar Two x 350g to 400g Sultan Ibrahim, scaled, filleted and pin-boned Flour, for dusting Large knob of butter One tsp chopped dill or fennel top
METHOD Remove fennel top, saving fronds. Shred finely and place in a bowl. With the point of a knife, remove eye from the tomato and place in the bowl with fennel. Cover with boiling water and, after ten to 12 seconds, refresh tomato and fennel under cold water before draining. Peel, halve and deseed the tomato before cutting into cubes and mixing with fennel and green olives. Add olive oil, season and squeeze over lemon and add a pinch of sugar. Lightly dust skin side of Sultan Ibrahim fillets with flour and season with salt and pepper. Melt butter in a frying pan and, once foaming, add fillets, skinside down, and fry for three to four minutes until golden brown. Turn and fry for a further one to two minutes. Add fronds to the fennel salad and serve with crispy fried Sultan Ibrahim.
t t t
t If you’re going to use extra virgin olive oil, it has to be Italian. It doesn’t have the sharpness on the
back of your palate; it’s a little fruitier – not bitter. When you’ve floured the fish, brush off any excess. The flour takes the shine off and acts as armour to protect and crisp the skin. Never put pepper on the skin (presentation) side. Hold down the fish in the pan for the first couple of seconds, because the skin will tighten and curl. Once it’s taken the initial heat, it will flatten down naturally. A lot of people are afraid of cooking fish, but it’s so easy. Fish isn’t about cooking; it’s a warming process. The skin cooks and the heat from underneath comes through, sets, and colours the flesh, so you maintain the moistness. Don’t flip it to the flesh side until the last ten seconds. Piling food on the plate has become a little outdated. Presentation for me is secondary. Flavour is the most important thing.
AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 35
GARY ON... THE RESTAURANT OPENING
It opens on August 5, my mother’s birthday. She’s not coming out for this one, but I definitely will be. On the opening night we’ll be having a tapas style tasting so people can walk around and enjoy the whole atmosphere of the room and get to see the character of it.
DESSERT LOCAL DATE BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING SERVES SIX
175g ready-to-eat dates, roughly chopped One vanilla pod, split lengthways, or a few drops of vanilla extract 400ml double cream 400ml (14fl oz) milk Eight egg yolks 175g (six oz) caster sugar, plus extra for glazing 12 medium slices of white bread, buttered and crusts cut off Butter, for greasing
METHOD Preheat oven to 170˚C. Butter a 1.5 litre pudding dish. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar. Put vanilla pod or extract into a saucepan with cream and milk and bring to the boil before whisking into egg yolks. Remove vanilla pod and leave to slightly cool. Cut bread into triangular halves and arrange eight in the base of the dish. Top with half the dates and cover with six triangles of bread. Scatter over remaining dates, arranging final slices of bread slightly overlapping on top. Pour over warm custard and leave to stand for 20 to 30 minutes. Place dish in a roasting tray, three-quarters filled with warm water. Cover with buttered foil and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until just beginning to set. Remove pudding from tray and leave to stand for ten to 15 minutes before sprinkling extra sugar liberally on top. Preheat the grill. To glaze, pop under grill and colour to a crunchy caramelised finish. A blowtorch can also be used.
t Be patient with the blowtorch. If the
sugar starts to blacken in one area, move away and come back to it. Use plenty of sugar. It may seem a lot, but it’s necessary for the proper caramelised finish and won’t taste too sweet.
36 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
It’s the design of the restaurant and the kitchen that have taken longer than expected. There are pieces of equipment we’re still waiting for. I don’t want to open when we’re halfway there.
This restaurant was the Rib Room previously. I went to eat there one day and said ‘please, can I have it?’ and here we are. After doing a lot of homework – and there are some fabulous steakhouses I’ve eaten at in Dubai, good quality meat, everything – I felt it was all pretty much of a muchness. That’s no disrespect to anybody, because it was good quality, but there was nothing that made any particular one stand out. I was hoping to add an edge to this whole concept, really create something where a guest can go to a restaurant and have things the way they want.
I have 12 sharing plates. So if there are four of you at the table you might say, ‘hang on, why don’t we start off with half a dozen sharing plates on the table’. That will give that European touch. Then we have the individual starters, if you don’t fancy sharing. There are eight of those – a nice chicken liver parfait, smooth, silky and rich with fresh grape chutney, for example.
You have a pork dish, a lamb dish, a fish dish and you order accompaniments on the side. Then there are the grills – a whole list of steaks. I’m going to do a classy surf and turf, so you’ve got the chateaubriand that’s carved at the table, with the king prawns that have been lightly buttered with a beurre blanc. Then you can choose your own sauces, salsas and flavoured butters, anything you like.
It can be a reasonably priced menu because you have the option. You could eat as expensively as you like – wagyu beef, individual starter, sides, you could spend a fortune. But it could also be one of the most reasonably priced restaurants in town.
At the moment I get it all. That’s the way I am with all my restaurants. That’s not me being smart, but somebody has to have worked with me a lot longer than five years [as head chef at Rhodes Twenty10, Omar Romero, has] before I’ll let them get any form of control.
THE DRESS CODE
Madonna comes into one of our Michelinstarred London restaurants in jeans, flip-flops and everything else, but we don’t turn her away because she still looks really smart. But I don’t want anyone in shorts, because that’s not our style. Treat it casually, but it will have elegance about it.
We have a bar-lounge area and Bar Below is right next door to us. We have a private room upstairs that would be ideal for a private function, looking down on everybody.
PREPARING FOR THE OPENING On my last visit I cooked all the dishes. The first week I was with the kitchen team, and the boys tasted the dishes so they could understand, give their feedback and tell me what they felt. The following week I did the same with the restaurant team watching us cook so they could taste and give their response. One thing I can’t stand is visiting a restaurant and asking ‘has this got any garlic in it?’ and the reply, ‘I’ll have to check for you, sir’.
FILM The Girl Who Played With Fire
The Adjustment Bureau
The Adjustment The Girl Who The Other Guys Bureau Played With Fire WHO?
Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Terence Stamp, John Slattery, Anthony Mackie, George Nolfi (writer-director)
Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist, Lena Endre, Sofia Ledarp, Daniel Alfredson (director)
Mark Wahlberg, Samuel L Jackson, Will Ferrell, Dwyane Johnson, Steve Coogan, Adam McKay (writer-director)
‘Based on a short story by Philip K Dick’
‘Based on the best-selling book by Stieg Larsson’
‘From the director of Step Brothers and Anchor Man’
ONCE UPON A TIME...
The relationship between politician David Norris (Damon) and ballerina Elise Sellas (Blunt) was complicated by forces beyond mankind’s comprehension.
Computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rapace) helped journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Nyqvist) hunt down a woman who’s been dead for 40 years. Or has she?
Unassuming detectives Terry Hoitz (Wahlberg) and Allen Gamble (Ferrell) took on a case that could elevate them to the level of top cops Danson (Johnson) and Highsmith (Jackson).
IDEAL IF YOU’RE IN THE MOOD TO...
See if Bourne Ultimatum screenwriter George Nolfi is as good behind the camera as when he’s sat at the typewriter.
See the follow-up to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, aka the best European film in eons.
Watch Will Ferrell scream at the top of his lungs and mug furiously for 89 minutes.
WATCH THIS IF YOU LIKE...
Previous decent Philip K Dick adaptations such as Blade Runner, Total Recall and Minority Report.
The hugely popular novels of the late, great Stieg Larsson, whose The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest will hit cinemas later this year.
Broad ‘Frat Pack’ comedies like Old School, Talladega Nights and Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy.
Actresses in the running for the role of Elise Sellas included the Australian starlet Abbie Cornish (A Good Year, Elizabeth: The Golden Age).
To prepare for the part of Lisbeth Salander, Noomi Rapace studied kick-boxing for seven months and had her nose and eyebrow pierced.
The role of the hard-ass detective Highsmith was earmarked for The Shield’s Michael Chiklis, but he turned it down to avoid typecasting.
WHAT’S ON TEN WORD REVIEW
We love a bit of Philip K.
Essential for fans of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
Bound to please those who like their comedy ‘large’.
RATE OR SLATE?
38 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
FILM | NEW RELEASES Jonah Hex
Resident Evil: Afterlife
Resident Evil: Afterlife
John C Reilly, Jonah Hill, Marisa Tomei, Catherine Keener, Matt Walsh, Jay and Mark Duplass (writer-directors)
Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Wentworth Miller, Sienna Guillory, Shawn Roberts, Paul WS Anderson (writer-director)
Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, Jimmy Hayward (director)
Priyanka Chopra, Ranbir Kapoor, Zayed Khan, Pooja Kumar, Siddharth Anand (director)
‘John met the woman of his dreams. Then he met her son...’
‘She’s back. And she’s bringing a few of her friends’
‘Revenge gets ugly’
‘From the director of Salaam Namaste’
Depressed divorcee John (Reilly) hits it off with the comely Molly (Tomei) only to discover that she already has a man in her life, her spoilt 21-year-old son Cyrus (Hill).
The indomitable Alice (Jovovich) used help from an old friend to continue her war upon the evil Umbrella Corporation.
Scar-faced bounty killer Jonah Hex (Brolin) took up an offer from the US Army to slay a Hell-bound terrorist, Quentin Turnbull (Malkovich), in return for his freedom.
Love blossomed between a man (Kapoor) and a woman (Chopra) who thought their romantic lives were over.
Watch John C Reilly model the greatest hangdog expression in Hollywood.
To see a very attractive Ukrainian lady kick-butt for what seems like the umpteenth time.
See what happens when what would appear to be a decent picture on paper comes apart due to ugly editing, terrible direction and shoddy special effects.
Savour the traditional delights of Bollywood cinema, which is to say superbly choreographed dance sequences, impossibly elaborate costumes and catchy-as-all-hell musical numbers.
The Duplass brothers’ earlier lo-fi efforts such as Baghead (about a killer who wears a bag on his head) and The Puffy Chair (about a couple trying to deliver a puffy chair).
Resident Evils I to III plus other Milla Jovovich sci-fi action movies such as Ultraviolet and The Fifth Element.
Other comic book-inspired misfires such as Elektra, Daredevil, The Phantom and The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Director Siddharth Anand’s previous pictures Bachna Ae Haseeno (which also starred Ranbir Kapoor), Ta Ra Rum Pum and the smash Salaam Namaste.
Jonah Hill, who plays the 21-year-old Cyrus, is actually 27.
Leading lady Milla Jovovich is married to Paul WS Anderson, director of Event Horizon, Alien Vs Predator, Death Race and Resident Evil: Afterlife.
The role of Colonel Slocum is played by Tom Wopat, aka Luke Duke from TV’s The Dukes Of Hazzard.
Siddharth Anand was shooting an additional musical number for Anjaana Anjaani just three weeks before the film’s cinema release.
Light on belly laughs, but big on ‘smile humour’.
The Resident Evil series continues to improve, albeit rather slowly.
Alas, Jonah Hex fires nothing but blanks.
After Salaam Namaste, hopes will be high for Anjaana Anjaani.
PREVIEW AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 39
EATING OUT Cooking with Gary Rhodes – one of the most passionate chefs in the business – this month (p34) really illustrated that food is not all about glitz and glamour. Gary, all set to open his “relaxed” Rhodes Twenty10 restaurant, was in the mood for simplicity and showed that good cooking is all about flavour, passion and keeping things fresh. The latter could be the theme of this month’s Eating Out. Read on as we let you know what we thought of Exchange Grill’s revitalised menu (p43), new French chef Alain Roin’s innovations at Abu Dhabi’s Al Fanar (p45), plus the last of our essential guide series (p46), tapas at Seville’s (p49), The Critic on camels and their contribution to our bellies (51) and sandwiches put to test (p52). That should fill you up until next month. Happy eating. Gareth Rees, Features Editor
AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 41
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A taste of things to come
A new chef and a new menu have transformed the Fairmont’s signature steakhouse In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Until about 18 months ago, when it came to steakhouses, the Exchange Grill was our place to be, despite its, at times, ghostly atmosphere, thanks to a combination of fine dining and a lack of any serious competition. But then it came – a new breed of steakhouse, exemplified by Terra Firma and Ruth’s Chris in Dubai and Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse and Grill at Fairmont’s spanking new Abu Dhabi property. Warm, inviting and alive, they set new standards. Time for Exchange Grill to up its game, which it has done thanks to new Columbian chef Fabio Pineda, sommelier Ritwik Shastri and a new, stripped down steakhouse menu. The chef and the sommelier work well together, the South American at work behind the scenes, while Shastri injects life into the place, gliding gracefully from table to table, politely suggesting wine pairings and extolling the skills of the kitchens. Shastri obviously has a lot of faith in chef Fabio. He suggested the chef ’s customised menu (four courses for Dhs390) to us and, of course, we accepted. After a brief con-flab with chef Fabio to establish our likes and dislikes, out came a starter of tuna tartar with apple, avocado and a sliver of seared tuna loin. Light and fresh, if lacking a little zing, it was a strong start. Next up came the duo of duck liver, a creamy hunk of rich, cold foie gras and a melting, slippery portion of seared foie gras. Not for the faint hearted, but right on the money as far as we were concerned. The main event, not surprisingly, was steak. Slices
New restaurants vying for the right to fill your belly WENDY’S ARBY’S Fast food favourites Wendy’s and Arby’s have come together to open a new restaurant – a groundbreaking amalgamation of culinary institutions. What have they called it? Wendy’s Arby’s, of course. Not so much as an ‘and’. We would have gone with ‘Warby’s’, but, hey, that’s just us. Here’s hoping the food is better than the name. Level 2, Festival Centre, Dubai Festival City, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to midnight, Thurs to Sat 10am to 1am. Tel: (04) 2328500. www.wendysarbys.com
of silky wagyu fillet, a dollop of creamy mash and a healthy drizzle of sumptuous sauce. Heart-warming stuff, tonguepleasing textures and plenty of flavour. The only criticism is that if we’re at a steakhouse we want our prime cut of meat to come big, fat and whole, rather than sliced into pretty pieces. Keep your machete away from the meat, chef Fabio. And the pomme fritte fried in duck fat would have been a welcome side. To finish we were presented with a well-made chocolate tart – firm, crumbly pastry and buttery chocolate – and a fabulously fudgy fudge fondant.
The experience is still highly polished, but gone is the fine dining stuffiness of yesteryear. Everything is a little bit more, shall we say, fun. Exchange Grill is back in the game.
Need to know Location: Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Tel: (04) 3325555 Web: www.celebrateaclassic. com Open: 7pm to midnight Cuisine type: steakhouse Must eat: wagyu fillet Bill for two: Dhs780
In Tweet form… It’s all new at Exchange Grill. Simpler steakhouse menu, lively sommelier Ritwik Shastri and a Columbian chef called Fabio committed to less flashy fare. Follow us at WhatsOnDubai and WhatsOnAbuDhabi
SARPINO’S PIZZERIA Oh no, not more pizza. We ate 20 of the cheesy beasts last month and would be quite happy never to see one ever again. Unless it was a particularly fine specimen. As its first Dubai restaurant has just opened, we’re yet to see if Sarpino’s pizza can beat the best in Dubai (Epicure, Desert Palm). We’re looking for a thin, crisp base – produced in a real, authentic pizza oven – and a topping raging with freshness and flavour. Arabian Courtyard Hotel and Spa, opposite Dubai Museum, Bur Dubai, Dubai, 11am to midnight. Tel: (04) 3519111. www.sarpinos.com LA BRIOCHE Rents are lower in the suburbs of Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa A district, but there’s not much in the way of quality dining. La Brioche, however, could change all that. It sells French cakes, croissants and breads, and also serves up sandwiches and pasta dishes at pretty reasonable prices. La Brioche, next to Al Hilal Bank, Khalifa A, Abu Dhabi, 6am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 5567079. www. labriocheuae.com
AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 43
Up in the air
Al Fanar We go for a spin at Al Fanar, Le Royal Méridien’s revolving restaurant Restaurant clientele can be an unforgiving lot, and this is especially true in Abu Dhabi. As the number of quality restaurants has multiplied over the last couple of years, why would the capital's foodies bother returning to one that has a pretty average track record? Al Fanar, unfortunately, found itself in this predicament. Yes, it’s a revolving restaurant perched some 31-storeys above Abu Dhabi, but the uninspiring food on offer has never matched the stunning panoramic vistas. But we’re a fair bunch here at What’s On and reckoned Al Fanar was due a shot at redemption, especially with the arrival of new French chef Alain Roin. His CV boasts spells working for the legendary Alain Ducasse – the chef who has achieved a record 19 Michelin stars in his time. And the dishes on Monsieur Roin’s revamped menu are so imaginative that we suspect they’d make his former master glow with pride. Take the scallops carpaccio starter. To the uninitiated, raw shellfish sounds, at best, unappealing (and a recipe for chronic food poisoning at worst), but the chef assured us it’s a common addition to many European menus. Show some backbone and order it. The slices of scallop, cut so thinly that they’re almost translucent, were superbly complemented by a subtle, tangy vinaigrette, concocted with hints of lime and, what the menu called ‘the chef ’s secret spices’ (we’re sure there was paprika and oregano involved). Underdone seafood seems to be one of the chef ’s specialities, as proven in the main course of bluefin tuna steak. The barely
Hop on board Emirates Airline’s new DubaiMadrid flight and, providing you’re in first or business class, you can now enjoy a menu created by multi-Michelin starred Catalan chef Santi Santamaria. Chef Santi, who also counts Ossiano at Dubai’s Atlantis as part of his international restaurant empire, tells us more…
seared chunk of fish had a centre that was pinker than Barbie’s bedroom, yet was still amazingly tender. Served with a warming garlic and ginger sauce and a generous scoop of kumquat marmalade, the chef had produced another winning dish. If rare fish isn’t up your street, opt for the veal rack steak. You’ll be offered a vast chunk of plump veal, accompanied by aubergine and green apple purée and a sprinkling of delicious porcini mushrooms. We finished our meal with a refreshing orange salad, swimming in orange blossom water and jasmine ice tea. Then suddenly, it struck us;
the food was so excellent, we barely had time to consider the ever-changing views. Which is exactly how it should be. You visit a restaurant primarily for a good meal, not for the ride. Yet Al Fanar’s impressive comeback means you’ll get both.
Need to know Location: Le Royal Méridien, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi Tel: (02) 6742020 Open: 7pm to 11pm Cuisine type: European Must eat: bluefin tuna steak Bill for two: Dhs900
In tweet form… Al Fanar. Don’t let the stunning views distract you from the amazing revamped menu from French chef Alain Roin. Follow us at WhatsOnDubai and WhatsOnAbuDhabi
Award-winning chefs and airline food? Unusual. How did you end up working with Emirates? Dubai and Madrid are both popular tourist destinations and I have restaurants in both cities. I wanted to create food that connects the two cities, something authentic. But the guests must understand that the food will not be the same as in the restaurants. There must be a few perks too, right? Emirates supply me with a bunch of tickets [laughs]. I am attracted by [the idea of going to] Senegal. There’s something appealing about eating seafood on the beach. I’m always in hotels and I like freedom. I work in Dubai so I won’t come for a vacation. How are things at Ossiano? At the moment I am working on the autumn menu for Ossiano. It will launch in September. We’re still very new in town so it's still settling down. But you like Dubai? Many years ago, people were saying you must go to New York and see what they’re doing in Manhattan. Now people are saying you must go and see what Dubai has built.
AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 45
UR AT A MEAL FOR FO DUBAI IN FÉ CA THE ONE OR ABU DHABI e One's
why we think Th E. For a See for yourself the best in the UA cafés are among win, click on chance to tivate.com and www.winwithmosy question: answer this ea is a well-known Which of these tea? type of kfast a) English Brea h b) Scottish Lunc c) Welsh Supper
Forget bars, in 2010 café culture’s taking over, meaning your local coffee shop is the place where all the cool people hang out. This month, Rebecca Light, the executive chef at both the Dubai and Abu Dhabi branches of The One Café, talks us through what makes a great café. So take a sip of your grande latte and read on
REBECCA LIGHT ON… …A GREAT CAFÉ
It’s all about good quality, simple food and a menu that’s unique but unpretentious. Service should be professional but personalised, without the stuffiness and formality of a five-star restaurant – you should be welcomed and treated like a member of the family. The atmosphere is very important – it should be buzzing yet relaxed and comfortable. And customers should feel like they can hang around as long as they like.
…A GOOD CUP OF TEA OR COFFEE You need the finest quality tea leaves or coffee beans and a well-trained barista. He or she has to be aware that different nationalities prefer their tea and coffee served in different ways so we try to accommodate different styles and tastes.
trend in the market is moving towards healthier food and so we feature organic, free-range and gluten and wheat-free options.
I’m a big fan of Costa Coffee. They have this guy in their branch at the gas station in The Greens who’s the bubbliest person I’ve ever met! I also like the Le Pain Quotidien and Paul café chains as they offer a great quality product.
Obviously our own espresso fudge brownie is the best, but I love the apple flapjack at The Aviation Club in Dubai.
…CAFÉS VS BARS
In this part of the world, where a lot of people don’t drink alcohol, cafés are the most important meeting places. I think all nationalities are increasingly using cafés as comfortable hangouts. For example, in our …A GOOD CAFÉ MENU Abu Dhabi café we have lots A good range, but not a massive of teenage students who come one – I hate menus that take 20 to study and hangout with minutes to read. I like to see some friends. I don’t think cafés are an classic dishes, but I also like the alternative to bars – they should option of ordering something be considered as two different I’ve never had before. I think the environments. 46 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
THE ONE’S ESPRESSO FUDGE BROWNIE Not quite in keeping with our detox issue, but delicious all the same... INGREDIENTS 400g Valrhona chocolate, 450g butter, 35g cocoa powder, Two tablespoons instant coffee powder, six eggs. ½ tablespoon vanilla essence, 270g granulated sugar, 200g light brown sugar, One teaspoon salt, 300g plain flour, two tablespoons maple syrup, 110g roughly crushed pecan nuts PREPARATION Pre-heat the oven to 170˚C. Grease the base and sides of a 27x35cm stainless steel pan and line with a double layer of foil, leaving the edges to hang over the sides. Brush the surface of the foil with melted butter. In a medium sized bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the cocoa and coffee powder and set aside to cool slightly. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, maple syrup and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and then stir in flour and pecan nuts. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading into the corners and levelling the surface with a rubber spatula. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until slightly puffed. Use the foil to lift from the pan. Place a wire rack on top of the brownie slab, flip and remove foil. Flip back onto another wire rack and leave to cool.
Our pick of the UAE’s cafés MORE CAFÉ
LIME TREE CAFÉ
BOULEVARD THE ONE CAFÉ CAFÉ
how many Mores open across Dubai, there are always dedicated patrons to fill them.
Arrive early to avoid fisticuffs with a territorial Jumeirah Jayne. A good seat at weekends is as rare as a vegetarian lion.
Decidedly Parisian, compete with pavement dining. Packed on weekend mornings, with waiters whizzing around.
A leisurely vibe, with groups of all ages whiling away the hours accompanied by fine coffee and cakes.
Generally packed all of the time, with groups of friends, couples and businessmen enjoying a quick bite.
Open-plan, making it ideal for a spot of people watching. If voyeurism is not your bag, sit near the window, or in cooler months take a table on the terrace.
White, with bright orange and lime seating and a giant fridge displaying delicious goods. There’s also alfresco seating upstairs.
Bright, with wrought iron tables and a glass counter displaying tempting pastries. Nab a spot under the canopy if you can.
The giant leather sofas and dark colour scheme makes for a cosy but stylish feel.
Smart and modern, with comfortable leather sofas and a lively open kitchen. There’s also a segregated smoking section, should you need to puff away.
Simple, homely and quick to arrive. Nobody will struggle to find a dish they desire. The burger is impressive, the Brazilian chicken sarnie is a safe bet and the soup, pie and salad deal (Dhs48) is a winner, too.
If Jamie Oliver entered into partnership with a 1950s housewife they would create the kind of unpretentious, fresh grub on offer at Lime Tree. Think pasta salads, cakes, paninis – the trimmings at a really good barbecue.
The breakfast fare is the main draw, but French staples like onion soup and crêpes keep the customers coming throughout the evening. The croquemonsieur is our pick – perfect for a late night snack.
Traditional café food with an innovative twist. The Mexican-style falafel is our pick of the bunch. Plus, there’s almost no way you can spy the delicious-looking cakes in the glass display without cracking and ordering a slice.
The emphasis is on organic food, with an impressive selection of sandwiches, soups and salads to choose from. If you’re not watching your figure, the pizzas are also pretty good.
There are More Cafés in various locations across Dubai, but the Dubai Mall branch is the most central. There’s even a view of the Dubai Fountain if you sit outside.
It’s a Jumeirah institution loved by the locals, but people travel from far and wide to eat at the Lime Tree Café.
It's on Burj Boulevard, the main road through Old Town. Nice and central with underground parking.
Both the Dubai and Abu Dhabi stores are located in the most desirable parts of town – Jumeirah and Khalidiyah respectively.
The Fotouh Al Khair Centre (or Marks & Spencer building as it’s more commonly known) is centrally located, but parking can be a bit of a headache.
A big serving of chow and a proper drink is about Dhs140 for two.
Dhs150 for two should cover it.
The most important meal of the days costs around Dhs35.
Mid-range, but with bargains like Dhs38 for afternoon tea and cakes.
Roughly Dhs100 a head for a sandwich, coffee and smoothie.
WHAT'S ON SAYS
The most reliable café in Dubai. You will always leave satisfied.
Just the kind of place you wish you could find on every corner but can’t.
Newspapers, plus coffee and eggs cooked to our liking. It's our new favourite weekend hangout.
The One Café is located in a furniture store and worth checking out, even if you're not looking for a new sofa .
The food is great – we reckon they serve the best organic smoothies in the capital. Dr Juice is our recommendation.
Dubai Mall, Dubai, 8am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 3398934. www.morecafe.biz
Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, 7.30am to 6pm. Tel: (04) 3498498. www. thelimetreecafe.com
Al Manzil Hotel, Burj Boulevard, Old Town, Dubai,. 7am to midnight. Tel: (04) 4285888
Sheikh Zayed The First Street, Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thurs, 8am to 9pm, Fri 10am to 9pm. Tel: (02) 6816500 www.theoneplanet.com
Fotouh Al Khair Centre, Airport Road, Abu Dhabi, 9am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 6346624
ATMOSPHERE Always busy. No matter
AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 47
Seville’s that will keep us going back until some competition arrives. The busy, bar environment demands it. It’s kitsch; it’s a holiday in Spain – chilled beer in one hand, glistening fork in the other and not a care in the world. We ordered nine dishes between two people – along with the complimentary hunks of toast smeared with garlic and tomato – which just about did it. There were skewers of juicy grilled chicken, oozing a paprika and sherry vinegar marinade the meat had absorbed like a poultry sponge, firm but not chewy deep fried calamari rings; beef meatballs in a zingy tomato sauce, prawns lightly sautéed with garlic, parsley and chilli yielding between our teeth… The traditional favourite patatas bravas, skins crisped in the depths of a pan of hot oil, centres fluffy, kept the parade of food coming, while meaty chorizo cooked in cider, and soft, fishy seafood croquettes, proved, as always, a big hit. And on top of all that were the delicious vongole and blue mussels in a subtle lemon sauce. Sharing may not always be OK, but tapas is the future. Embrace it.
Wafi’s Spanish restaurant reminds us how much fun the tapas concept can be
wildfire. A huge hit in Europe, it’s very similar to Lebanese mezze – so why is it limited to just a couple of restaurants? Seriously, we demand more tapas. Until our wish is granted, Seville’s – our trusty go-to tapas joint for some time – will provide Need to know Some people – including us – don’t us with the tiny bowls of joy for always like to share food. Say, if we our busy hands and greedy bellies Location: Wafi, Oud Metha, order steak frites, for example, it is to enjoy. Dubai not OK for you to reach over and A recently revitalised menu Tel: (04) 3244777 grab a handful of our crunchy, hot from sous chef Carles Colome Web: www.wafi.com fries. Order your own. just makes it all the better – we’re Open: Sat to Mon noon to However, in other situations, loving the new tostas y tablas 1am, Tue to Fri noon to 2am sharing can make a meal dishes, including toasted ciabatta Cuisine type: Spanish memorable. Bowls brimming with topped with roasted red pepper (tapas) beautifully fresh salads at a long or beef tenderloin. There’s also Must eat: vongole clams picnic lunch picked at by family a black squid ink paella with Bill for two: Dhs375 for two and friends, a platter of meat – vongole clams, for those who (without alcohol) tasting of the coals – devoured insist on sticking to one dish. by the pack at a barbecue, or a For us, however, it is the tapas dessert and two spoons to round off a romantic meal. In tweet form… Seville’s. A new menu Then there’s the greatest sharing from sous chef Carles Colome and still our concept of them all – tapas. For number one choice for tapas in Dubai. Great the life of us, we just don’t know to chew, even better to share. Follow us at why this wonderful concept has WhatsOnDubai and WhatsOnAbuDhabi not spread across the UAE like follow me
On the menu Things you didn’t know about the UAE's food scene, but should ONE FOR THE LADIES Spice Island is offering ladies a 50 per cent discount on its Original Grand Buffet every Tuesday night (which, handily enough, is Ladies Night) until September, meaning that if you look good in a dress you can enjoy unlimited food and drink for just Dhs109.50. That means you’ll have enough money to throw your husband a Dhs50 note and tell him to buy himself something pretty. Renaissance Dubai Hotel, Salah Al Din Road, Deira, Dubai. Tel: (04) 2625555. www.marriott.com RAMADAN BRUNCH If iftars aren’t enough and you can’t go a whole month without a brunch, The Market Café has the answer. Every Friday throughout the Holy Month, the Grand Hyatt will be putting on a brunch amidst the greenery of the indoor atrium. Serving Italian, Arabic, grill and rotisserie, Indian and desserts it’s one to treat the nippers to (half price for under-12s, free for under-sixes). It’s alcohol free, but the fresh juice bar is better for you anyway. Grand Hyatt Dubai, Dubai, 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs170. Tel: (04) 3172222. www.dubai.grand.hyatt.com CULINARY JOURNEY We’re big fans of The Hilton's beachside diner, despite its slightly kitsch name – it's named after the 15th century explorer Vasco De Gama, the first man to sail from Europe to India – so we're really looking forward to trying out the new summer menu and its interesting new additions, such as tandoori chicken ravioli, sako tuna steak and Goan vegetable curry. Vasco’s, Hiltonia Beach Club, Hilton Abu Dhabi, Corniche, Abu Dhabi, noon to 3pm and 7pm to 11pm. Tel (02) 6811900. www.hilton.com AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 49
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
Local House restaurant
these days you don’t have to marry a Bedouin to try a bit. Local House restaurant in Dubai has recently been offering camels' meat in a range of styles, from grilled ribs to curry and biryani. But in order to transcend cultural barriers, they’ve come up with the camel burger. Slapped in a bun of localstyle khameer bread, covered with cheese and slathered with mayonnaise and tomato ketchup, the burger looks pretty much like any other. But the meat – which is supposedly low in fat and cholesterol – is a slightly drier, leaner and more gamey alternative to beef. It’s reasonably tender too, so perhaps all that robot-thrashing does pay off in the end. As inoffensive as the camel burger may be, it’s unlikely to
GETTY /GALLO IMAGE
If you’ve got it, use it. I was reminded of this old adage when I came across an article about cobra meat on the internet. As you do. In Indonesia, not only can the venomous snakes can be found roaming (slithering?) in the wild, but they are also being farmed, slaughtered and turned into processed patties for hamburgers. Apparently cobra meat is in great demand for its high nutritional value, medicinal properties and aphrodisiacal powers. Which is all fascinating, except in some parts of southeast Asia bear bile is considered an aphrodisiac, so forgive me if I don’t dribble with excitement. But it did get me thinking about the UAE and its own natural resources. Take the humble camel, for example. Since the time of the early Bedouin, camels have been used as a means of transport in harsh desert conditions. Their milk and meat has been a vital source of sustenance for generations. And more recently, they’ve done a worthy job getting thrashed by robot jockeys on the race track. How many Indonesian cobras can you say that about? Let’s go back to the meat, though. Although traditionally camels were only eaten on special occasions,
“CAMELS' MEAT COMES IN A RANGE OF STYLES, FROM GRILLED RIBS TO BIRYANI. BUT IN ORDER TO TRANSCEND CULTURAL BARRIERS, THEY’VE COME UP WITH THE CAMEL BURGER”
give Ronald McDonald the hump – but there’s one camel product that might yet take the world by storm. Camels' milk has long been available in the UAE, but after being granted permission by the EU, plans are afoot to export it to European markets. It’s considered to be lower in fat and higher in minerals such as iron and magnesium than cow’s milk. Rich in vitamins B and C, it is also believed to contain high levels of insulin, which can help sufferers of Type 2 diabetes. And like all good ‘health foods’, it’s also thought by some to be an aphrodisiac. On the downside, camels' milk is a little thick and salty. But it’s got to be better on your cornflakes than bear bile. AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 51
10 SANDWICHES Ah, the elusive sandwich – seemingly simple, yet so many get it wrong. What’s On and the Dubai 92 gang put the UAE’s offerings to the taste test and find the best in the land
BOULEVARD CAFÉ 9/10 Dhs35 We’re never shy when talk- WINNER ing about our love for this Old Town café, and with sandwiches like this legendary plateful, you should pull up a chair, too. You’ll find eggs, veal bacon, home-made tomato relish, grated emmental cheese and sliced avocado on poilane bread (with crisps on the side). It might be called the Brekkie Sand- CORONATION CHICKEN SALAD wich, but it’s also a winner after a WRAP few drinks in the nearby bars. We DANTE 8/10 speak from experience. Boulevard Café, Burj Boulevard, Old Dhs20 CB & GB’S PICK It’s the crunch of Town, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4285923 fresh apple slices that turn this wrap from tasty snack to true contender for the title. CRISPY FISH Packed with lettuce and lightly AFYA 9/10 spiced, creamy chicken, Dante’s Dhs60 offering can be bought Two of the Brits’ finest culinary everywhere from Spinneys to the inventions are fish and chips and petrol station. Good price, great the sandwich. The chefs at Afya crunch and a new favourite. have combined them both into Available throughout the UAE. one handy dish. What you get is Tel: (04) 8850573 an ample sized chunk of battered hammour, served in a crispy ciabatta and doused in a tangy tartar sauce. In our expert opinion, the best sandwich in Abu Dhabi. Afya, Traders Hotel, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 5108888 52 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
DESERT PALM 8/10 Dhs40 Falafel is a word that often leaves us tongue-tied with a smattering of dribble on the lips. Epicure’s falafel sanger has a similar effect. Choose from wholewheat (our choice) or white sourdough, onion or olive. The texture does it for us – soft but dense bread, with spicy chickpea falafel crisp on the outside, yielding on the inside and the mayo to take away the dryness. Desert Palm, Al Awir Road, after International City, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3238888. www.desertpalm. peraquum.com
BEEF SHORT RIBS
AFYA 8/10 Dhs60 The beef in this massive hunk of sandwich is apparently slowcooked for five hours, which explains how it’s so tender it’s just about grasping onto solidity. The sandwich is completed with some thick slices of smoked mozzarella, roasted tomato and barbecue sauce, to make one of the tastiest sandwiches we’ve ever tried. Afya, Traders Hotel, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 5108888
TANDOORI STYLE BRAZILIAN CHICKEN
MORE CAFÉ 8/10 Dhs48 Gently charred pieces of tender chicken tikka, two slices of thickcut bloomer, a generous handful of greens, minted yoghurt dressing, lashings of mango chutney and topped with cashew nuts. This tangy salad-sarnie combo is the perfect fallback when you’re overwhelmed by More’s mammoth menu. More Café, Dubai Mall, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3398934
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AUSTRALIAN ROAST BEEF
DELI EXPRESS 8/10 Dhs35 We had a top-notch cheese and Branston pickle at this foodcourt favourite, but couldn’t help but notice that everyone else was ordering the beef. Curious. On our next visit we got involved. Tender, carved meat, glorious gravy, fresh, bitter greens and a host of toppings (horseradish, stuffing, mint yoghurt…) between bread of your choice resulted in a roast dinner on the run. Juicy, comforting and perhaps a little too convenient… Deli Express, Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3412483
CHEDDAR CHEESE PLOUGHMAN’S
COSTA 7/10 Dhs23 The ploughman will be very cheesed off that we ate this particular sandwich. Costa makes some quality sarnies, no doubt about it, and this is the finest. They’re not made to order and they’re refrigerated, so staleMEXICANO STEAK ness around the edges and HEMMINGWAY’S 7/10 exceedingly cold cheese (maybe Dhs59 breathing on it would help) can Hemmingway’s bar is a habitual be an issue, but you can’t go What’s On Award-winner for its wrong with the classic combo quality pub grub. And this of nutty multigrain bread, tangy colossal beast is proof of the chunks of pickle, mature cheddar place’s excellence when it comes and the watery crunch of lettuce. to hearty, filling bar room tucker. We’ll give you the key to our A generous chunk of cow is brand new combine harvester, dished up between ciabatta but our ploughman’s sandwich – bread, cheddar cheese, jalapeno forget it. peppers and sour cream and Various locations, Dubai and Abu salsa on the side. A novel twist on Dhabi. Tel: (04) 2329075. the traditional steak sandwich. www.costacoffee.com Hemmingway’s, Hilton Abu Dhabi, Corniche, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6811900.
PIANO LOUNGE 7/10 Dhs120 We love lobster, and we love club sandwiches. So the two of them combined is like a dream come true for us. Thankfully the sandwich lived up to our expectations, even though it came with a whopping Dhs120 price tag. What you get for your money is a three-tiered beast of a sandwich, with layers of lobster, chicken and avocado and salad. Served up with some crispy fries, this sandwich is a tasty, if expensive, meal. Piano Lounge, InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6666888
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: 7.00pm - 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 950++* Rate valid until 8th September 2010 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 One&Only Royal Mirage, Telephone +971 4 399 99 99 Fax +971 4 399 99 98 oneandonlyroyalmirage.com
AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 53
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Art for art's sake When in Sharjah... Summer workshops Five to see News flash AUGUST 2010 WHATâ€™S ON 55
Art for art’s sake A private collection of contemporary Middle Eastern art forms the basis of Sharjah’s newest art gallery. But this is only the beginning for the Barjeel Art Foundation, gallery manager Mandy Merzaban tells What’s On
The gallery exhibits work from its own collection – how did that come about? The Barjeel Art Foundation was conceived by Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, a young UAE-based art collector. Still in its beginnings, the foundation’s central aim is to represent the Arab identity and promote the wide range of work that is being produced by both established and emerging Arab artists living in the region and abroad. One of our guiding principles is to create a platform for critical dialogue and an informed appreciation for contemporary Arab art. The first step in creating greater accessibility for these artworks was to designate a space where we could hold rotating exhibitions of a selection of works from the collection. What do you feel are the highlights of the collection and of the current show? Our debut exhibition, Peripheral Vision, features a rich spectrum of artists from the Arab world. The works currently being shown in the gallery were all produced within the past five years. The exhibition offers a point of entry into the many different expressions that represent the cross-cultural story of Arab art and showcases works by Emirati, Palestinian, Saudi Arabian, 56 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
Bahraini, Egyptian, Iraqi, Syrian and Lebanese artists, including Egyptian artist Khaled Hafez and Saudi artist Manal Al Dowayan. There is a strong focus on Emirati art and work by artists based in the UAE. Is it important to the gallery to support local artists? The Barjeel Art Foundation has many works from Emirati artists working in the region, both emerging and established, many of which are featured in our debut exhibition. Promoting artwork from the region is very important to the foundation, and bringing these works to other regions is essential to cultivating a dynamic Emirati art identity. A couple of pieces from the current exhibition are to be loaned to international galleries. How did that happen? Since opening in March, we have hosted guided tours of our exhibition for members of the Art Dubai Collectors’ Circle, as part of
I think the location has definitely given us the space we need to experiment and create something new the official Art Dubai programme, the Fellows of Contemporary Art (FOCA) from the United States, and the President of Christie’s Europe, among others. The benefit of having this kind of exposure is that it gives the Barjeel Art Foundation more footing in becoming a resource for contemporary Arab art. We would like for these works to become a point of entry into a critical discussion about Arab societies, identities and modes of expression. Having these artworks appear in different contexts and be viewed by many different people is important to developing and shaping this vision. Why choose to set up in Sharjah rather than Dubai or Abu Dhabi? Sharjah has a vibrant arts and
culture scene, hosting events like the Sharjah Biennial, the Sharjah Book Fair, March Meeting and many other art exhibitions during the year. I think the location has definitely given us the space we need to experiment and create something new. Being situated in a place like the Maraya Art Centre, which also features another gallery space for emerging artists on the third floor, presents a particularly interesting opportunity for us. Can you tell us about the gallery’s future plans? We will be hosting our second exhibition in the gallery this coming September and we hope to have many more tours, host more guests and invite students to use the space. We welcome
When in Sharjah... This little emirate packs a surprisingly large cultural punch, including these three must-sees
SHARJAH ART MUSEUM Located in the heart of Sharjah’s Heritage Quarter, just behind the picturesque corniche, Sharjah Art Museum hosts local and visiting exhibitions throughout the year and is also home to the UAE’s largest library. www.sharjahmuseums.ae
SHARJAH MUSEUM OF ISLAMIC CIVILISATION This vast space is home to one of the most impressive museums in the UAE. The four huge galleries on the site of what was once an indoor market house more than 5,000 artifacts from all over the Islamic world. www.islamicmuseum.ae
SHARJAH CALLIGRAPHY MUSEUM The only museum in the Middle East devoted entirely to calligraphy; this is the place to visit if you want to learn more about this ancient script and artform with regular exhibitions and a stunning permanent collection. www.sharjahmuseums.ae
Summer workshops schools, universities and cultural institutions to use the space for critiques, seminars and discussions about contemporary Arab art. In addition to events held in the space, we are looking to exhibit works abroad as part of exhibitions, fairs and art programmess. We would eventually like to extend into the more informative fields of art education and allow viewers and participants to learn more about the dynamic state of Arab art today. Is the collection still being added to? The collection is constantly transforming as we acquire new works from different places. We would like to continue to update and add to the collection, as we believe the story of the Arab world is ever changing. Until Aug 28, The Barjeel Art Foundation, Al Maraya Centre, Sharjah. www.barjeelartfoundation.com
Long summer days spent in temperature-controlled confinement with nothing to keep you company but a box-set season finale of 24 are all well and good, but may we suggest a fruitful use of your down time? Dubai International Arts Centre (DIAC) has been nurturing the city’s artistic talent since 1976. Over that time it has built a reputation for developing and showcasing a myriad of multidisciplinary talents in the form of its regular workshop sessions. Its summer programme is now in full swing with courses running throughout August in everything from Fashion Design and Illustration to Abstract Painting and Photoshop. For the little ones there are one-off Drawing and Painting workshops (split into groups of four to seven and eight to twelve years) or, for the truly committed, a series of Summer Camps, proving that it’s never too late – or two early – to get in touch with your artistic side. www.artdubai.com AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 57
Five to see ÉVIVID, VIBRANT AND IRANIAN
Doing exactly what the name says, this colourful selection of largely abstract art sets out to uncover some of Iran’s freshest new talents, including Shahpour Pouyan, Mansour Rafie and Mohsen Jamalinik. Total Arts at the Courtyard, Courtyard Building, Street 4, Al Quoz 1, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3475050 www.courtyard-uae.com
Both professional and amateur artists have come together for this exhibition in honour of the Holy Month. Setting out to reflect the the Arab world's spirit and wealth of culture, expect to find calligraphy and Arabesque stylings aplenty in everything from watercolours to oils. Until Sept 4, Gallery 76, DIAC, Villa 27, Street 75b (near Town Centre), Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai. www.artdubai.com
Summer brings a kind of ‘greatest hits’ collection to Green, with the walls of this Jumeirah favourite paying homage to artists presented by the gallery over its 2009/10 programme, including the likes of Hakim Ghazali, Ahmad Moualla, Oussama Baalbaki and Nazif Topcuoglu. Until Sept 25, Green Art Gallery, 51st Street, Villa 23, Jumeirah (near Dubai Zoo), Dubai. www.gagallery.com
ÇBLUE SKIE’D AND CLEAR
There’s been a huge shift from paintings to other media in the UAE's art scene over the past 12 months and this photographybased summer exhibition, showcasing the work of six international practitioners, presents a worthwhile introduction to photography that is more ‘art’ than point-and-shoot. Until Sept 25, Carbon 12, Street 8, Al Serkal Avenue, Warehouse D37, Al Quoz, Dubai. Tel: (050) 4644392. www.carbon12dubai.com
ÅIRAQ: TRANSITION TO PEACE
Photojournalist Tina Hager’s astonishing images of a war-torn country in recovery go behind the headlines to reveal life as it is lived by the soldiers and citizens of Iraq. Last thing we heard, Hager and her trusty camera were in Afghanistan, so watch this space: we suspect there’s plenty more where this came from and that’s definitely a good thing. Until Aug 15, Portfolio Gallery, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai. Tel: (04) 323 2395 58 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
%NJOY 2AMADAN AT ,AYIA /AK (OTEL 3UITES 4HIS YEAR WE AIM TO MAKE YOUR CELEBRATIONS EVEN MORE ENJOYABLE WITH TWO SPECIAL DINING OFFERS FOR THE (OLY -ONTH OF 2AMADAN
The UAEâ€™s galleries may be relatively quiet as they close â€“ or enjoy extended summer shows â€“ for the month of August, but thatâ€™s not to say allâ€™s quiet on the arts front. On the contrary, some of the biggest wheels in the local art scene have been busy rolling along. In Dubai, for example, the news that Antonia Carver is to succeed John Martin as fair director of Art Dubai could have some serious ramifications on next yearâ€™s show. Not least because Carver not only lives in Dubai (whereas Martin, the fairâ€™s founder, is based in London), potentially bringing more local focus to the fair, but also because, as a co-founder of Middle Eastern arts organisation Bidoun, her expertise on the regionâ€™s art and its impact elsewhere is second to none. Over in Abu Dhabi, meanwhile, as Saadiyat Island inches ever closer to completion, leaders from the emirateâ€™s major culture and higher education institutions have been meeting with partners from the islandâ€™s museums for a series of workshops designed â€œto ensure the success of the Cultural Districtâ€™s educational and training mission, and the long-term cultural development programme of Abu Dhabiâ€?. The Louvre on Saadiyat Island isnâ€™t slated for completion until 2013, with the Guggenheim opening estimated to take place a year later, but as Aesop so astutely pointed out in his tortoise and hare-based fable all those years ago, slow and steady wins the race.
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AUGUST 2010 WHATâ€™S ON 59
p63 Let us entertain you p63 New openings p64 Sophia says... AUGUST 2010 WHATâ€™S ON 61
SHOPPING Sony PlayStation 3 Slim
Dhs2,396 | www.playstation.com Need to fill the gaps between films? Get on YouTube to watch movie trailers (with the PSN’s handy app) or load up Tom Clancy’s HAWX 2 - perfect for replaying your favourite Top Gun moments. ‘That’s right! Iceman. I am dangerous!’
New Openings LG15EL9500
Dhs16,895 | www.jvc.com For a full-blown cinema experience, a piddly 40in LCD simply won’t do. This will though, JVC’s massive projector pipes out 1080p HD film with a whopping 30,000:1 contrast ratio. That means a scintillating 100+in image that will transport you right to the heart of the action.
Dhs9,899 | www.lge.com Still, if you must have a telly, why not have the best (note: we did not say the biggest). This heftily-priced screen might be only 15in, but LG’s clever organiclight-emitting-diode technology means it’s sharper and brighter than any screen that’s so far shone through your low-res human cornea.
ENTERTAIN YOU Why settle for a boring old night in, when you could be enjoying a viewing experience that you and your chums will be talking about for years to come?
Stuff magazine’s Thomas Shambler
Dhs8,484 | www.kef.com KEF’s iconic speaker package now comes in limited-edition gloss white, so you can match the drapes. Or, you could simply enjoy their rollicking, wrap-around 5.1 sound for its ambience-conjuring talents alone.
La-Z-Boy Cool Chair
Dhs7,897 | www.lay-z-boy.com You’ve got a movie marathon to get through, so comfort counts. Enter the Cool Chair: with its six-motor in-seat massage system, full reclining facility and armrest-mounted drinks fridge, it’s the solid foundation every armchair-warrior needs.
The newest stores to open their doors MANOUKIAN Oooh la la. French fashion chain Manoukian has opened its UAE flagship store in Dubai Mall. With modern, feminine designs from the same team the brought us BCBGMAXAZRIA, the collection includes fine knits, evening dresses and chic workwear. Manoukian, Level One, Dubai Mall, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thurs to Sat 10am to midnight. Tel: (04) 4340724. www.groupe-manoukian.com WRAPT As little orphan Annie sang, ‘you’re never fully dressed without a smile’. Well, the folks at Wrapt reckon there’s no point in splashing the big bucks if you’re going to give your gift in a plastic bag. Get custom wrapping, with a bow on top, all tied up by the experts at Dubai’s latest designer giftwrap and accessory store. There’s even recycled paper if you’re already thinking about the trees. Wrapt, Mercato Mall, Beach Road, Jumeirah, Dubai. www.wrapt.ae AÉROPOSTALE It's tough being a teenager. But with the opening of Aéropostale Abu Dhabi’s adolescents have a decent clothes shop where they can spend their pocket money – an American store that specialises in accessories and casual clothing for the fashion conscious youngster. Abu Dhabi Mall, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thurs 10am to 11pm, Fri 3.30pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6454788. www. abudhabi-mall.com
Offside Football Coffee Table
Dhs2,259 | www.trifledesign.co.uk Oak, stainless steel and glass have seldom been put to such good use: this coffee table doubles up as a table-football game, the perfect analogue antidote to the hi-def overdose of last month’s World Cup. Spillage might be a problem though, so no spinning. AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 63
Sophia says... We drag the oh-so stylish Sophia Triantafillou away from the helm at Emirates Woman into the grubby What’s On office to answer your wardrobe woes I heard through the fashion grapevine that dressing in denim head to toe is no longer a wardrobe mishap. Is double denim really in fashion? Sunita, The Greens No, no and no. Just because something is ‘in fashion’ it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good, you should buy it or that it will suit you. Save denim on denim for your next trip to the farm or a 1980s dress up disco night.
Bangles: Stradivarius Top: Mango
Floral print was a must last summer. I went all out and brought a huge collection of tops, dresses, skirts and even trousers in floral print. Can I still get away with wearing them even though this was very much last summer's trend? Gemma, Old Town
Jean Paul Gaultier
I’m after some grey jeans, slim-line but NOT skinny (bit too hot for that). If Lanvin did some on the cheap I’d be a happy man. Can I find something similar on the high street? Mike, JBR Topman does the best high street jeans, so make that your first stop. Forever 21 also have a great men’s section and their jeans are surprisingly good. Lanvin 64 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
Knock yourself out. Floral is like stripes, it never goes out of vogue. It's just a trend that is best kept for the summer, and the key to wearing it successfully it to avoid floral with floral. For example, if you have a cute floral top, wear it with blue jeans, or a white T-shirt makes a floral skirt stand out from the crowd.
Maxi dresses are everywhere at the moment and I'm a big fan. Can I get away with wearing them to work or will this look too dressy? Vajaya, Al Bateen Too dressy, no, too barbecue, yes. Maxi dresses are best left for the beach as a cover-up for your favourite bikini, and the trend of wearing these dresses anywhere else should be banned. Dress:
Got a fashion question for Sophia? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
With the onset of Ramadan, I need to find some more suitable work clothes. I want to respect the need to cover up, but I find this quite difficult in the heat and hate looking frumpy. What can I do? Pippa, DIFC Buy a great suit and day dress. These items can be dressed up or down and accessorised for day or night. If you choose the suit option, wear a dressy T-shirt under the jacket so you don’t overheat, and make sure your skirt length sits just under your knee. You always look like you show more leg when you wear heels, so during the Holy Month opt for ballerinas instead.
I have a formal drinks party coming up. I have seen a designer dress I am dying to wear, but I can’t afford to spend so much money. I know some tailors will copy dresses, but have heard some horror stories. Please help? Katherine, Dubai Marina This is a tough one, as it is really very difficult to copy a designer dress. The main reasons being that the fabric used on a designer piece is usually of the highest quality and made by tailors that have many years of experience. The attention to detail is also paramount when spending money on labels. The buttons are better, the trimmings luxurious and the patterns are as close to perfect as you can get. As a start, get a picture of the dress, and try to get the fabric and details to match. If you can do a sketch, that would also help. Once you have been measured, talk through the design with your tailor so he or she understands what you want, then the most important thing to do is to go for fittings. You must allow time in your schedule for this, as you may need three ot four before you get it right. Good luck.
TREAT YOURSELF TO A MORE REWARDING RAMADAN.
This Ramadan, InterContinental Abu Dhabi is the place to be for all things after dark. From the generous Iftar buffet at Selections with live oud and tabla, to the late night delights in The Piano Lounge with celebrated kanoun player, Khalil Ghadri, the rewards just keep on coming. Ramadan Kareem to all.
For more information or to make a reservation call 800 423463 or visit intercontinental.com
The Essential Arabian Library In celebration of the centenary of the birth of Sir Wilfred Thesiger, the last of the great explorers, we offer 17 books and a limited edition print from The Arabian Heritage Series.
Described as a “Masterpiece” in The Times, this classic of travel literature is a must-read for anyone interested in the Arab world. The special Centenary Edition celebrates the anniversary of Thesiger’s birth in 1910, and includes 84 photographs and a old-out map.
The authorised biography of Sir Wilfred Thesiger investigates this fascinating figure’s family influences, his wartime experiences, his philosophy as a hunter and conservationist, his writing and photography, and his friendships with tribal people.
This book is a breathtaking pictorial edition of the travel classic Arabian Sands, and contains the same fold-out map which appeared in the first edition of Arabian Sands in 1959.
Dhs 120 *
Dhs 185 *
normal retail price
This title by Daniel and Serga Nadler takes an in-depth look at the world of silver and how it is valued for its many purposes by different cultures around the globe.
A wonderfully illustrated book that covers the fascinating history of shawls from their earliest origins. The history of the Kerman shawl, is one of its delightful highlights.
Arabian Destiny is an insightful autobiography and a very personal account of the life of the late Edward Henderson – a man whose life was inextricably linked to the history of the UAE.
Dhs 295 *
Dhs 295 *
Dhs 55 *
This enchanting book is a showcase of the people of the Emirates during the mid-20th century. A superb collection of photographs by Ronald Codrai, documenting times gone by.
A wonderful photographic memoir by world renowned photographer Ronald Codrai. This book focuses on Codrai’s time spent in the Arab world during the past half-century.
This personal record of the seafarers of the Emirates focuses on a time when the Gulf was home to the largest merchant-sailing fleet in the world.
In this concise, yet thorough, description of
Dhs 185 *
Dhs 185 *
Dhs 185 *
Dhs 85 *
Tel +971 4 282 4060 Tel +971 2 677 2005
Fax +971 4 282 7898 Fax +971 2 677 0124
the Arabian countries benefiting most from 21st century affluence, Edward O’Sullivan summarizes years of experience.
Entire collection now only Dhs 1450
including free delivery in the GCC A saving of over 50% off the normal retail price of Dhs 3000
Free Limited Edition Print Worth Dhs 350 Launching a Dhow, Abu Dhabi, 1948 by Sir Wilfred Thesiger (16â€? x 12â€?)
an aerial tour
Dubai is an emirate of spectacular sights. With post-modern architecture and high-rise towers that jostle with one another, the cityâ€™s aerial views provide a magnificent insight into its different landscapes â€“ be they manmade islands or landscaped villas, magnificent highways or grand hotels, verdant green parks or giant shopping malls â€“ taking the reader on an awe-inspiring scenic tour.
an aerial tour
Beyond the cityâ€™s limits, turquoise-blue waters with sandy beaches, symmetrical palm trees and ancient desert landscapes provide photographers with many opportunities. International aerial photographer, Dirk Laubner, has produced a fine portrait of the emirate that reveals why Dubai is such a popular tourist destination. Published in a single, five-language edition, Dubai â€“ An Aerial Tour is a collection of brilliant images of the emirate and a fascinating record of Dubai from the air as we see it today. Placing tourist attractions and significant landmarks in perspective, it provides a magnificent aerial tour for visitors and residents alike.
This book by internationally acclaimed photographer Dirk Laubner takes you on a breathtaking aerial tour around the emirate of Dubai.
This intimate and colourful view of the Emirates is a reproduction of one of famed British artist Trevor Waughâ€™s journals, kept while travelling the length and breadth of the land.
This book is part of the â€˜Noor Ali Rashidâ€™s Royal Collectionâ€™, and includes beautiful historical images, highlighting the 40 years of remarkable transformation undergone by the UAE.
Dhs 145 *
Dhs 185 *
Dhs 125 *
Patrick Lichfieldâ€™s photography has spanned four decades of change. His iconic images from the early 1960s to the present day, include notable personalities and events that characterised their times.
A cousin of Queen Elizabeth, The Earl of Lichfield, launched himself as a photographer in 1962. He soon progressed from photographing Londonâ€™s party set to editorial work for national daily newspapers. Success in notable London magazines, such as the highly influential magazine, led to commissions from , and #& ! magazines in the United States. Since that time, his pictures â€“ ranging from formal and informal portraits, including many members of royalty as well as celebrities, prominent figures from the world of fashion and beauty to high profile advertising â€“ have become well known around the world.
In recent years, Patrick Lichfield has been a frequent visitor to Dubai, a destination he admires and enjoys and one which certainly provides a wealth of fascinating subjects for his camera. ' #& !#!# is the outcome of these visits; it is a rich study of one of the worldâ€™s most dynamic and fastest growing cities.
P a t r i c k
L i c h f i e l d
Patrick Lichfieldâ€™s portrait of Dubai presents images of a cosmopolitan city, a vibrant emirate and a dynamic people in tribute to one of the fastest growing cities in the world.
A beautiful heartfelt tale of two cultures, and a love and understanding between a Western and Arab family. The Times called it â€œa deeply sympathetic evaluation of a cultureâ€?.
A compilation of poetry by Dubaiâ€™s leader, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Sheikh Mohammed reveals his passions but tempers them with justice and tolerance.
Dr Frauke Heard-Beyâ€™s definitive history of the UAE is a must-read about life in the seven Trucial States before the wealth of oil, and events leading up to the 21st century UAE.
Dhs 185 *
Dhs 55 *
Dhs 75 *
Dhs 120 *
MIND & BODY p70 p73 p74
His ‘n’ hers Slim with us! Spa deals
AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 69
MIND & BODY
We visit the new spa at the Mövenpick for massages and more
His TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
TALK US THROUGH IT... A thorough manipulation of your body. You’re stretched, pummelled and kneaded by a deceptively strong therapist who, starting at your feet and moving up, twists and pulls you into positions that literally take your breath away. It’s brilliant stuff. THE BEST BIT While having your legs and arms tied in knots and your back stretched into otherwise unthinkable positions might not sound like fun, there’s something rather invigorating about hearing your bones crack and feeling your muscles pop. ANY AWKWARD MOMENTS? The moment when, while lying face down, my arms and shoulders were pulled back towards my legs, arching my back and forcing me to give out a little yelp in distress. HOW WERE THE DISPOSABLE PANTS? Huge, black and papery with a
DE-AGEING BODY TROPICAL ESCAPE
flimsy elasticated waist. The one size fits all look was taken to the extreme with these bad boys. SLEEP FACTOR? Not a chance. Every time the therapist did something pleasant, he was only lulling me into a false state of relaxation before applying tear-inducing pressure. Ouch. WHO SHOULD GET INVOLVED? Anyone looking for a no holds barred massage that leaves you feeling loose and supple for the rest of the day and doesn’t mind a bit of pain. You can even ask the therapist to apply more pressure if you think he’s wimping out on you. HOW MUCH AND HOW LONG? Dhs395 for a 90-minute treatment Rambo would be proud of.
TALK US THROUGH IT... The treatment starts with a full body scrub, followed by a refreshing shower, then a papaya and pineapple balm is rubbed all over your body. You’re then covered in cold yoghurt and wrapped in foil. While you’re wrapped in your warm cocoon soaking up all that crème fraiche goodness, you’re treated to a foot and an Indian head massage. You finish with a second shower before a final balm is applied to your skin. THE BEST BIT? Singling out one bit is tricky as the whole experience was wonderful. You’re thoroughly soothed from head to toe, from start to finish, but being covered in yoghurt was pretty special. ANY AWKWARD MOMENTS? We escaped unscathed with no cringe-worthy moments during the whole treatment. HOW WERE THE DISPOSABLE PANTS? Let’s just say they were not designed for the petite lady. Big, white, almost transparent and very, very unflattering was the order of the day. They just about managed to hide our shame for the full treatment. SLEEP FACTOR? It is very relaxing, but there is so much going on with different lotions and potions being applied that you can’t really nod off, no matter how much you may want
70 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
to. It’s worth staying awake just to take in what’s happening and get a whiff of the papaya and pineapple, even if the wrap can make you feel a bit like a human baked potato. WHO SHOULD GET INVOLVED? This treatment is great for people with discoloured or uneven skin, and anyone who wants a healthy glow. If you want to feel and look like a million dollars (and who doesn’t?) then this is the treatment for you. HOW MUCH AND HOW LONG? A bargain Dhs650 for one and a half hours of beautifying bliss. Body Talk Spa, Mövenpick Hotel, The Walk, JBR, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4498888
thyme for a weekend brunch
Friday & Saturday
Enjoy a delicious brunch experience at ‘thyme’ all weekend long! Slept in on Friday? No problem! Centrally located on The Walk, ‘thyme’ at the Oasis Beach Tower offers the signature tastes of a Mediterranean brunch on both days from AED 125* including soft drinks. Fridays and Saturdays from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm. Bring this copy of the advertisement and receive AED 100 off your dinner bill for 4 guests or more during the week (Sunday to Wednesday) before 30th September. For reservations and more information, please call 04 315 4200 and quote “What’s On“ or e-mail: email@example.com
www.oasisbeachtower.com *Rate inclusive of 10% municipality tax and service charges. Terms and conditions apply.
À La Carte Dinner
DISCOVER WILDLIFE AFTER DARK. VISIT WILD NIGHTS IN AL AIN. During Ramadan, open from 9pm to 2am* Nightly 4pm to 12 midnight* Fridays 10am to 12 midnight*
Youâ€™ll find wilder nights when you visit the Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort between 1st May and 30th September. Be enthralled by â€˜Wild Nightsâ€™ with extended hours and discover natureâ€™s secrets after dark. In a way youâ€™ve never experienced before. Our regular attractions are awaiting you with tons of fun activities. Enjoy Wild Nights this summer. Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort â€“ In Touch With Nature. Wild Nights Activities: Animal Feedings s -OVIE .IGHTS s .OCTURNAL !NIMAL %XHIBITS s .IGHTTIME !MBIANCE s &UN &AMILY !CTIVITIES
)FTAR "UFFET !%$ )NDULGE IN A SUMPTUOUS )FTAR "UFFET AT "AHARAT 2ESTAURANT DURING THE MONTH OF 2AMADAN FROM SUNSET TO PM DAILY FOR !%$ PER PERSON 3HISHA AVAILABLE AT THE 4ERRACE ,OUNGE &OR #ORPORATE OR GROUP )FTAR PLEASE CALL )BIS !L "ARSHA LOCATED ALONGSIDE 3HEIKH :AYED 2OAD ON OR EMAIL ( &" ACCORCOM
For more information call 800 AWPR (2977) or visit www.awpr.ae *Last ticket sold 1 hour before the park closes.
72 WHATâ€™S ON AUGUST 2010
!LL PRICES ARE IN !%$ INCLUSIVE OF MUNICIPALITY FEES AND SERVICE CHARGE )NFORMATION CORRECT AT THE TIME OF PRINT SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITH OR WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE AT MANAGEMENTÂªS DISCRETION
MIND & BODY
Slim with us! After a month off, it’s time for our desperate dieter to get physical
Last month, a friend said he’d read a book that claimed an hour’s exercise each day was the best way to get fit fast. “What’s one hour out of 24?” he innocently asked, as we puffed our way around Dubai Marina in 40 degree heat. I glared at him and muttered “It’s an hour when I can’t be sleeping”. But he’s right. And so is his stupid book. And so is my new trainer, Dominic. I hate being wrong. A series of chaotic weekends, a holiday in Spain (where our fridge resembled something out of Animal House), guests over to stay and several birthdays meant that fitness has been the last thing on my agenda – and that was OK by me. Tell a lie, I went for a jog in Spain. To the supermarket to buy more meat for the barbecue. In short, upon my return serious action was required. I have a lovely gym upstairs in my building, but there seems to be a mental barrier between me and the 39th floor, so another venue was needed – one where I’d enjoy going, was close to work to make life as easy as possible and preferably had a spa attached. The Natural Elements gym at Le Méridien fit the bill, with its ultra-modern technology (you log into the FitLinxx system upon arrival so all the strength machines know what weight and number of reps you should be doing – it’s like exercising in the future), including individual TVs on each cardio machine so you can indulge in the genius of Canada’s Next Top Model or vintage Crystal Maze to make the time go faster. You’ve got to love that Aztec zone. As you can see, I can’t be trusted to workout alone. I’d happily spend an hour strolling on the treadmill at glacial speed, reducing my IQ with every step. Time to bring in the professionals. I’d list the qualifications of trainer Dominic, but we’d be here all month, but know this: he knows his stuff. A former champion weightlifter and one of the nicest chaps in Dubai, I was in safe – and giant – hands. But don’t be fooled by the smile – tough times were ahead. We assessed my fitness, made three appointments per week for a month (including a few too many at 8am) and I promised to go to the gym at least twice a week on my own to watch The Apprentice, sorry, I meant do cardio. It’s impossible to overstate what a difference
FOLLOW MY BLOG ON…. http://dubaidietdiary.wordpress.com
device that involves throwing weighted basketballs at a target (not as fun as it sounds) and I was sent to some spinning classes (merry hell with Ricky Martin remixes as the soundtrack). We ran, cross-trained, mocked my biceps, did the plank for way too long and got fitter with every session. We went all out and got results – I lost 1kg each week throughout the month. Impressive indeed. And what did I sacrifice? A measly hour a day. While costly, for those who are intimidated by a huge gym full of gadgetry and buff bodies, the help of a personal trainer can make the difference between dreading a workout and catching the exercise bug. From now on, I’ll be enlisting his help to keep me on track and away from the trash television. Natural Elements, Le Méridien Dubai, Airport Road, Garhoud, Dubai. Tel: (04) 7022500 having a personal trainer makes; suddenly those mysterious machines you usually ignore are integral to your workout, you have someone pushing you to beat your best time on the rower and you know how to turn the Power Plate machine on. Each session was different, with a true mix of cardio and strength training, Dominic threw in some moves on the step, we conquered the abs
“I can’t be trusted to workout alone. I’d happily spend an hour strolling on the treadmill at glacial speed, reducing my IQ with every step” AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 73
MIND & BODY
Spa Deals Our round-up of the best offers in the land of all things lovely
TALISE SPA Talise Spa at Madinat Jumeirah may have created the perfect setting for practising yoga. The Full Moon Yoga classes are taught on a private beach, so you can listen to the waves whilst enjoying physical and mental relaxation. Each class costs Dhs200 (or Dhs150 if booked before the August 20), and you’ll receive a complimentary yoga session in the studio. Talise Spa, Al Qasr, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3666818. www.jumeirah.com ELIXIR SPA Pamper packages are a great way to escape the summer heat – especially at these prices. Elixir Spa is currently offering a 90-minute tailored spa treatment, with full access to the pool and beach, for only Dhs450. Mothers-to-be can also indulge in a pre-natal bliss treatment for Dhs800, which includes a full body exfoliation, back, neck and shoulder massage and a relaxing facial. Elixir Spa, Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3995000. www.grandjumeirah.habtoorhotels.com WILLOW STREAM SPA Treat yourself with a choice of packages this month at the Fairmont. Choose from the onehour Revive package (Dhs420), the 90-minute Refresh package (Dhs550) or the Renew package (Dhs650) and receive a free lunch and all-day pool access. Our kind of spa experience. Fairmont, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3325555. www.fairmont.com 74 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
THAI PRIVILEGE SPA August is the month to take advantage of the Ramadan period and detox (see page 18). Purify yourself with the 16-day course, at a discount of 30 per cent. You receive 29 specialised sessions, which can be completed over a continuous 16-day period or three times a week. The course costs Dhs7,000 and includes a free consultancy with the spa’s resident doctor, plus two complimentary Earth Purifying Facials. Money well spent if you’re serious about sorting your body out. Thai Privilege Spa, Al Wasl Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3489679. www.thaiprivilegespadubai.com AL ASALLA SPA Al Asalla Spa at Dubai’s Ladies Club has gone discount crazy this summer. Indulge in facial treatments and receive 50 per cent off a Back Tension Release Massage or free hand care treatments. Furthermore, their Traditional Hammam offer not only cleanses your body but also gives you a 15-minute Indian head massage for free. These treatments range from Dhs240 to Dhs450 and include the use of their ice cold scented experience showers, sauna with light therapy and whirlpool. Al Asalla Spa, Dubai Ladies Club, Beach Road, Jumeirah, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3449445. www.dubailadiesclub.com THE SPA AT THE ADDRESS It’s fantastic to be a woman when The Address Dubai Mall is offering all ladies a 30 per cent discount on any facial and body treatment. Treating yourself to a full day experience at the spa will allow you to enjoy their facilities including, steam and sauna rooms, fitness centre and swimming pool. The Spa at The Address Dubai Mall. Tel: (04) 4388010. www.theaddress.com DERMALOGICA Rejuvenate your skin by taking advantage of Dermalogica’s ten per cent discount off all 75-minute face treatments. What’s more, when you spend more than Dhs600 on products, you will receive a free MicroZone treatment. Complimentary face mapping skin analysis is also available. Dermalogica, The Dubai Mall, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3398250. www.dermalogica.com.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY NAVEED AHMED
TIPS & TOES LPG’s new treatments at Tips & Toes will have you putting on that teeny weeny bikini with glee. Lipomassage treats the body, shifting unwanted cellulite, while Liftmassage addresses the face, revitalising and toning your skin. The treatments are as relaxing as they are effective – a rare and beautiful combination – and this summer you’ll get a discount of 20 per cent when 15 sessions are block booked. Prices start at Dhs250 per session. Tips & Toes, various locations across Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Tel: (04) 4305848. www.tipsntoeshaven.com
Got a fitness question for James? E-mail otivate.ae o editor-w @m
SPORT & OUTDOOR
SPORT & OUTDOOR Mr Fitness
range of motion. Low impact exercises could include the rowing machine or bike. There’s no real reason why you can’t train your upper body as normal while getting your knee back on track.
Our resident exercise guru answers your health and fitness questions What’s the best fat-burning exercise: running or swimming? Borgh, Mirdif
What kind of balance should I maintain between cardio and weight training? Yousef, JBR
Some of the best research regarding fat burning has been done on sprinting. All you need to do is look at the physique of any athlete who predominantly sprints. However, the amount of stress that is put upon the body each and every time your foot makes contact with the floor is a problem. Swimming is fantastic, but I have found very few people who swim at a high enough intensity to illicit positive fat loss. Breaststroke just doesn’t cut it. An alternative is Metabolic Resistance Training (MRT). MRT works in very much the same way as interval running, but the body is put under a lot less gravitational stress. For example, you could do as many squats as you can in 30 seconds and then take one-minute recovery. Follow that with 30 seconds of all out press-ups and another one-minute recovery and repeat for 15 to 20 minutes.
This really depends upon what your goals are. For example, if you are a marathon runner then you will need to devote a lot of your training time to covering miles. If you are a bodybuilder, however, then a greater percentage of your training will be focused on hitting the weights in the gym. Say you only have two hours a week, then I would suggest incorporating your weight training and cardio into the same session. So you would do a total body weight training session, with minimal rest periods between exercises and then finish off with a 15-minute energy system (cardio) workout. If you have, say, five hours a week then you could do three weight training sessions a week, with two cardio/energy system workouts on your ‘off ’ days. Remember, muscle tissue is the best fat burning property we possess – so don’t neglect your weight training. Shorter, higher intensity cardio sessions are more efficient at burning fat than longer, slower duration sessions, so be smart with your training.
What’s the deal with drinking water in gyms over Ramadan? I can’t get through a workout without it and don’t want a month away from the treadmill. James, Jebel Ali I can’t speak for every gym in Dubai, but I do know most gyms will allow you to drink water while you workout during Ramadan. I have been told by one chain
76 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
that you are able to use their designated drinks stations and they would prefer you were to use them, as opposed to carrying around your drinks bottle, out of respect for those who may be fasting. It’s good to see that you are looking for solutions to keep your training up throughout the Holy Month. I’m recovering from a knee operation and the doctor suggested resting it for three to four weeks. What’s the best way to get back into exercise? Mark, editor of What’s On There comes a time in the life of every magazine editor when the dream of pulling on the red and white-striped shirt of his beloved Sunderland is quashed with a career threatening injury. Fear not though Mark, all is not lost! Fortunately three to four weeks is not too long of a break. After a knee operation, avoid too much loading and impact on the joint, so cut back on running and other high impact exercises. You would be better off balancing out the strength of each leg, building up the muscles that stabilise the knee cap and re-establishing the joint’s
What Mr Fitness James Houghton doesn't know about staying healthy isn't worth knowing. In his seven years as a personal trainer, he's helped West End actresses lose the pounds and worked with the Arabian Gulf rugby sevens team to keep them in peak condition.
wagamama The Greens Tel 04 361 5757 wagamama Al Fattan Towers Tel 04 399 5900 (Open daily noon to midnight, deliveries) www.rmalhospitality.com/wagamama.asp
SPORT & OUTDOOR
Touch down The UAE now has its first American Football Academy. Head coach Rex Stevenson III talks quarterbacks, cheerleaders and why American football is tougher than rugby What is the American Football Academy? A combination of formal classroom instruction, on-the-field instruction and physical conditioning for young athletes aged seven to 18 years of age who are interested in learning how to play American rules football. Why do we need one in the UAE? To scare the crap out of all the rugby and soccer players. It leaves no time for rugby or soccer. But isn’t it just rugby for sissies? What’s with all the padding? It protects our boys from grab-ass rugby ladies.
Oh, tough talk. But how tough are you – what’s the worst injury you’ve ever seen? Compound fracture of the femur [thigh bone] and accompanying laceration. OK, pretty harsh. Sell American rules football to us, then. Simply stated, American football is the best, most competitive sport on planet Earth. Really? Even with all that stopping and starting? The stopping and starting occurs between downs, and there are four downs in a series which is an attempt to gain ten yards and another series of downs, until the team with the ball either scores or loses possession of the ball. Does the quarterback always get the head cheerleader in real life? Not always, but most of the time... and the head cheerleader is referred to as the Cheerleader Captain. Why hasn’t the game spread outside the US, like football has? You must be living in a cave! Either that,
or you have the IQ of a common ground squirrel. There are more than 2,600 adult teams in 60 countries and the number continues to increase on an annual basis. Even China, Russia and countries like the Bahamas have their own national teams. Oh, pardon us. In fact, you’re looking at setting up a UAE national team, right? How is that coming along? It looks promising so far. We’ve found a handful of athletes who could physically hold their own against an American team that has yet to lose a game. How often can people come and watch competitive games? The Dubai Youth Football League will play games every Saturday in the autumn, and the UAE National Team will play its home game schedule next spring. And yes, there will be hotdogs, hamburgers and coke-floats. American Football Academy, Universal American School, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3431443. www.afa-uae.com
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AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 77
A BUSINESS HOTEL THAT SPECIALIZES IN TAKING CARE OF OTHERS. HOW COME?
When it comes to caring, we mean business. And we celebrate Ramadan with the importance of giving to people who may be less privileged than we are. Have IFTAR BUFFET for AED 99* at GEMS RESTAURANT and sponsor a free meal for an orphan. Call us a Hotel if you want, we prefer to be thought of as dynamic hospitality. Try us, you will enjoy. “Ramadan Kareem”
Call 02 652 0000 Zayed the 1st Street, adjacent to Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre Web: cristalhotelsandresorts.com * Inclusive 10% service charge and 6% tourism fees
p81 Checkin’ Kiev p86 Wild weekends AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 79
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Autumn in Kiev
Checkin’ Kiev From elegant city squares to goldtipped orthodox cathedrals, the Ukrainian capital of Kiev has far more to offer visitors than chicken in breadcrumbs
There are nasty rumours circulating on the web that a Frenchman, Nicholas Appert, created the chicken Kiev. The recipe, so some bloggers say, made its way to Eastern Europe via the Russian Empress Elizabeth Petrovana, whose love of French cuisine prompted the Russian elite to employ French chefs in their homes during the 18th century. Somewhere along the line, Appert and his killer combo of chicken, garlic butter and breadcrumbs became part of local Kiev folklore. Seemingly unaware of this fact, restaurants in Kiev continue to proudly promote their own versions of the famous dish as if it were their own. But Kiev has far more to offer than chicken. With vast city squares, wide, seemingly never-ending boulevards and glistening golden-domed Eastern
Orthodox Christian churches, the city boasts some of the region’s finest architecture and at times can offer an intriguing glimpse into the old Soviet Union without having to breach Russia’s mammoth boundaries. The histories of Kiev and neighbouring Russia are intricately linked through tsars, wars and revolutions. Even today, the country can be divided neatly between the Russian-speaking east and the Ukrainian-speaking west, with both languages commonly spoken in the capital. Regardless of the dialect, the city’s residents, if they bother to stop when you ask them, often possess enough English to growl some form of directions at tourists. This is not to say that Kiev and its residents aren’t hospitable, more that they are yet to fully embrace AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 81
TRAVEL | KIEV
Monument dedicated to the founders of Kiev
Lights illuminating the Podil district and Dnieper River area
tourism – a fact that could change in 2012 when the country co-hosts football’s European Championships with Poland – and this is largely why it remains such a fascinating place to visit. While other eastern European cities such as Prague or Krakow have been partly condemned as a destination for stag parties looking for a cheap pint, Kiev’s café culture is a completely exuberant-gang-of-lads free zone The only way to infiltrate the seemingly serious and sternlooking local population is, therefore, to engage in some good old-fashioned people watching, and Kreshchatyk – the city’s most famous and busiest street – is a fine place to start. Stretching from Europeiskaya Square to Besarabskay Square, this chestnut tree lined boulevard is a symbol of the city’s growing affluence and mainly contains luxury hotels, banks and businesses. Just off Kreshchatyk is the city’s central and most impressive square, Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square), which has changed names throughout the city’s many wars and revolutions, but now firmly commemorates Ukrainian independence from Russia in 1991. Fountains of all shapes and sizes congregate around the 50-metre high Independence Column, which has a glistening golden figure of the city’s saint, Archangel Mikhail, perched elegantly at its peak. By day, visitors can sit in the surrounding restaurants and cafés and gaze contently at the panoramic views of Old Kiev, while at night the fountains, column and surrounding buildings are lit up by an orchestra of lights as young Ukrainians mingle on its steps. A quieter, more ethereal slice of the city can be found by following cobbled streets uphill to the Podil neighbourhood, which can be identified by the golden domes of two of the city’s most prized religious landmarks. The forest green St Sophia’s Cathedral and the baby blue St Michael’s GoldenDomed Monastery sit opposite one another on the same street and are both quintessential examples of Baroque Ukrainian architecture, but there are many differences between the two churches than first meet the eye.
“The only way to infiltrate the seemingly serious and stern-looking local population is to engage in some good old-fashioned people watching” AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 83
TRAVEL | KIEV
St Sophia’s Cathedral is the first Ukrainian building to be placed on the World Heritage List and its ancient walls are as fine an introduction as any to Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Its trademark domes, the tips of which are typically dipped in gold, easily identifies the orthodox church. Built over the course of nine centuries, a small entrance fee is required to enter, but the lavish mosaics and frescos inside date back to the 11th century and are well worth further investigation. From a distance, the cathedral’s neighbouring monastery appears to be from the same era. Yet St Michael’s is a carbon copy of a cathedral dating back to the Middle Ages, which was ripped down by Stalin during an anti-religious campaign in the 1930s. Following the country’s independence, the newly founded Ukranian government reconstructed the cathedral from scratch in just two years, and today its vibrant blue and white structure stands defiant and proud. Copies of former mosaics and frescoes, as well as wooden baroque icons, were added to the inside of the functioning monastery in 2000 by local artists and the complex also has some tranquil wooded grounds to explore. In fact, Kiev has a remarkable amount of green space for a capital city, best viewed from the lofty hills of Mariinsky Park. To be found on the east side of the city, the park 84 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
St Sophia’s Cathedral was built in 1037
Mosaic of Archangel Gabriel in St Sophia’s Cathedral runs parallel to the Dnieper River and offers some fine views of both city and water. If you join the park from its northernmost entrance, it is possible to glimpse through the woodland at the city’s proudest football shrine, Dynamo Kiev’s Lobanovsky Dynamo Stadium. If you happen to walk past during a match, you will hear the noise of the crowd
bellowing through the trees and bouncing back off the water. Continue the steep walk upwards and you are rewarded with a scene straight from the pages of a fairytale novel, the picturesque Mariinsky Palace set in the midst of a large park. Now the official ceremonial residence of the President of Ukraine, visitors can only peer longingly through its fierce iron fence, but it nevertheless remains a striking vision of tsar-era Kiev. Like many of the city’s most famous monuments, the building has undergone several major restorations in recent years, but once again Ukrainian craftsmen have performed an immaculate operation. It seems that from cathedrals through to palaces and poultry dishes, Kiev always finds a way of breathing new beauty into even the most testing of circumstances.
Getting there Direct flights from Dubai to Kiev are available from Turkish Airlines, Ukraine International Airlines and Aeroflot Russian Airlines. Prices start from around Dhs2,419. Limited direct flights are also available from Abu Dhabi via Etihad for as little as Dhs2,105
Life in the UAE can be exciting, but do you yearn to leave the rat race behind and spend a few days fuelling your inner daredevil? Time for an adventurous mini-break SNOWBOARDING IN LEBANON
Beirut is widely regarded as the party capital of the Middle East, but Lebanon also has fantastic options for snowboarding and skiing. The country’s most famous ski facility is the worldclass Mzaar resort, just 45 minutes from Beirut and the coast and a lot cheaper than travelling to a European or North American resort. Beirut is only a three and a half hour flight from the Emirates, and where else can you ski in the morning and plunge into the Mediterranean in the afternoon?
WILDERNESS WALKING TOUR IN KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH AFRICA
GETTY/GALLO IMAGES AND ISTOCK
An African safari should be on everybody’s ‘things to do before I die’ list, but for that extra adrenaline rush forgo the car and take to the wilderness on foot. Explore the terrain with an experienced, and armed, safari game ranger and keep an eye out for elephants, rhinos, buffalos and lions, as well as smaller mammals and birds often overlooked on a driving tour. The tours are in groups of eight people and last for three nights and two days, including staying in a rest camp. However, tours are very popular, so you may need to book at least one year in advance. So get on it now. Fitness Level: 3/5. In case you have to outrun a hungry lion Best for: Couples looking for adventure Price: Flights from Dhs3,675 to Johannesburg and safari prices are on request Top tip: Emirates offer direct flights to Johannesburg, where you can connect to Kruger National Park. Transfer flights and walking tours can be organised through www. krugerpark.safari.co.za 86 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
Fitness Level: 4/5. We recommend getting your ski legs at Ski Dubai first Best for: Groups looking for sport and après ski Price: Expect to pay from Dhs300 to Dhs1,000 depending on travel dates and special offers Top tip: Flydubai offers fantastic rates to Beirut from Dubai and all accommodation and packages can be booked through www.skileb.com
WHITE-WATER RAFTING IN NEPAL
Nepal is home to eight of the 14 highest peaks in the world. From these great heights, water cascades through the foothills, fed by monsoon rains and melting snow, on its way to the Ganges River. The roaring rivers make great sites for white-water rafting, with a range of difficulties, warm water and beaches for camping all adding up to a thrilling trip. There’s a wide selection of rivers available and all allow a fantastic way to discover the remote countryside and the country’s fascinating mix of cultures. Fitness Level: 3/5. Depending on the difficulty of the route Best for: Pals with a passion for action Price: Around Dhs500 to Dhs1,000, depending on travel dates and special offers. What’s On visited last Eid and paid Dhs590 per person for three days of rafting and two nights of camping, including food and equipment Top tip: Flydubai offers flights to Kathmandu, where transfers can be arranged to rafting sites. www.raftnepal.com
TRAVEL | MINI-BREAK SCUBA-DIVING IN THE RED SEA
KAYAKING IN MUSANDAM
The Red Sea is teeming with sea life, with over 1,000 species of fish and 150 types of coral found in the water, making it one of the best and most famous places to scubadive in the world. Egypt is a popular destination to access the Red Sea, with top resorts Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada only a short flight from the UAE.
The fjords of Musandam are famous in the GCC for their stunning natural beauty and calm waters, not to mention the wild dolphins that often pay a visit to passing dhows. A fantastic and energetic way to explore the Omani peninsula is via kayak and Element Fitness is challenging people to navigate 155km from Khasab to Dibba over five days later in the year.
Fitness Level: 1/5. But youâ€™ll need to be able to swim. Obviously Best for: Honeymooners Price: Flights to Sharm El Sheikh or Hurghada are around Dhs2,500 per person with Egypt Air Top tip: Diving trips can be booked via your hotel or an online diving centre, such as www.emperordivers.com
Fitness Level: 4/5 Best for: Local adventure Price: Just over Dhs5,000 per person Top tip: The trip includes kayaks and paddles; breakfast, lunch and dinner on each of the days; all soft drinks; support boat with crew; T-shirt and entry to Oman and permits. Transport to Khasab can also be arranged. www.element-fitness.net
SKYDIVING IN MAURITIUS
Throwing yourself out of a plane at 10,000 feet is always going to be an adventure, but how about doing it over a tropical island paradise? Mauritius is nestled in the cool azure waters of the Indian Ocean and boasts a dramatic mountainous landscape lush with flora and fauna. And with a number of certified skydiving centres on the island, you will not only enjoy a great view, but also experience the closest thing to flying, which is kind of ironic considering the island was home to the now extinct flightless dodo. Fitness Level: 1/5. But weight restrictions may apply Best for: Blowing the budget Price: From Dhs6,245 for flights (travelling in September). Skydive prices start around Dhs1,150 with Skydive Mauritius Top tip: Emirates flies direct to Mauritius nine times a week AUGUST 2010 WHATâ€™S ON 87
Special Iftar Buffet
/GADGETS /GEAR /TECHNOLOGY /ONLINE
BEST’S D L R O W THE ADGET SELLING GE IS NOW... MAGAZIN
E N I L ON
THE HOT LIST THE TEN BEST IFTARS, BARS, RESTAURANTS AND SPAS THIS MONTH
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DUE TO THE HOLY MONTH OF RAMADAN SOME OUTLETS MAY NOT OPERATE REGULAR OPENING HOURS. CALL AHEAD FOR DETAILS.
Iftars Bars Restaurants Spas AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 89
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THE HOT LIST IFTARS
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WHERE YOU SHOULD BE BREAKING FAST THIS RAMADAN
WHAT’S ON SAYS...
Al Sultan Tent
1 The Talk
2 Athena Dubai 3 Al Sultan Tent
4 Hatta Ballroom
This spread is going to be something a little bit special, with live cooking stations preparing such delights as lamb ouzi and Arabic marinated chicken, plus hot and cold mezze and a selection of regional juices.
It’s entirely up to you. Book the boat and the Yacht Club team will cook you whatever you desire, within reason, obviously.
On Fridays you can enjoy the Iftar buffet – hot and cold mezze, soup, a selection of Arabic mains and desserts, tea, coffee and juices. During the week, take your pick from a Ramadan a la carte menu.
In addition to your standard Arabic grills, Sheraton will be serving cuisine from a different region each night, starting with Moroccan on Sundays and including Pakistani, South East Asian, Egyptian, Gulf, Iranian and Turkish.
Shabestan serves the best Iranian cuisine in town and is, without doubt, one of the best Arabic restaurants. Juicy, charcoal singed flesh; hot, fresh bread releasing a puff of steam as you rip it; and some marvelous mezze.
The Talk is a vast restaurant with access to a large outdoor terrace where there will be a lounge and majilis.
Gliding across the calm waters of the Arabian Gulf.
An air-conditioned tent at QD’s. Traditional but comfortable. Very Dubai.
It’s being held in a banquet room in Deira, but the ‘five-star’ hotel promises ‘wholesome Arabic hospitality’ so it should be an authentic affair.
OK, so it’s in Deira. But Shabestan offers a terrific view of Dubai Creek.
Moroccan tea, Turkish coffee and shisha outside on the outdoor terrace.
Privacy, the view and the uniqueness of the experience. And, just think, you will only have to fight your friends for first go at the buffet.
QD’s is well known for its shisha, and everyone likes a good puff to aid digestion.
Dine at the Iftar buffet three times and the fourth will be free. And make sure you enter the raffle to win a Qatar Airways flight.
The food is the big draw here. Get those stretchy pants out.
A lively feast for people who want entertaining as well as feeding.
A group of six to 12 pals looking to Iftar in style.
If you’re really looking to get into the spirit of Ramadan, QD’s bustling, festive tent is the place for you.
Adventurous foodies looking to sample a range of rare cuisines.
If you’re lucky you’ll catch the nightly firework display over the creek.
Dhs165, but it’s extra for the tea, coffee, shisha and juices. Cheeky.
Dhs300 per person for a group of six to 12. Dhs1,500 per person if you want a smaller party of fewer than four.
Dhs100 for the Friday buffet.
Dhs135. Mid-range. But for this inventive twist on the standard Iftar menu, it’s definitely worht it.
Dhs125. Verging on the cheap for the quality of victuals on offer at Shabestan.
Lamb ouzi carved before our very eyes. We’re sold.
Ahoy there, bring me that delicious shawarma, ye old salty sea dog ye.
This is where we will be spending our Friday nights during The Holy Month.
Seven days, seven cuisines. Your week is sorted.
An Iftar for those who appreciate their food and demand lots of it.
MÖvenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach, The Walk, JBR, Dubai Sunset to 10pm Tel: (04) 4498888 www.moevenpick-hotels.com
Dubai Marine Yacht Club, Dubai Marina, Dubai 6pm to 8pm Tel: (04) 3627934 www.dubaimarinayacht club.com
QD’s, Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, Deira, Dubai Sunset to 9pm Tel: (04) 2956000 www.dubaigolf.com
Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers, Dubai Sunset to 8pm Tel: (04) 2071404 www.starwoodhotels.com
Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, Baniyas Road, Dubai Sunset to 11.30pm Tel: (04) 2057333 www.radissonblu.com
90 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
THE HOT LIST IFTARS
Al Samadi Café and Sweet Shop
6 Café Arabesque
7 Ewaan Lounge
8 Al Samadi Café 9 Al Dawaar and Sweet Shop
10 Dusit Thani Dubai
This one’s all about the grub, with a selection of 40 hot and cold mezze, ten traditional Middle Eastern mains prepared in a wood-fired oven, rotisserie, carved meats and kebabs. And an impressive selection of desserts.
All the classics, from mezze favourites kebbeh, labneh and fattoush to chicken maghhrabia and mohalabiah for mains.
A special Iftar menu promising a blend of Arabic and French dishes. Arabic classics like ouzi, kofta and harra are all there.
You’re looking at dates and juices to break your fast, followed by a selection of traditional mezze, mains and sweets. Unless you go all out and order a whole local lamb (ouzi) with all the trimmings (Dhs1,200), that is. Half a local lamb is Dhs600.
Take your pick of the culinary inventory on offer at Italian restaurant PAX, The Californian buffet, Benjarong’s Thai treats and Arabic classics like ouzi, chicken molokhiah and sharhat moutafaya.
The calming Café Arabesque at our favourite hotel, Park Hyatt Dubai.
Enchanting surrounds, poolside at The Palace with views of the Dubai Fountain.
Downtown Burj Khalifa. Ideal for Old Town residents or anyone who fancies a spot of post-Iftar shopping.
Dubai’s only revolving restaurant.
Spread across three restaurants on the Dusit’s 24th floor.
Café Arabesque provides a serene setting, and there’s a first-class view of Dubai Creek.
After filling your belly you can enjoy a steaming coffee and a relaxing shisha.
Al Samadi is offering a delivery service throughout Ramadan for the lazy diner.
The restaurant revolves. Didn’t your hear us the first time?
You don’t need extras with all that choice.
Good grub and charming chat with a select group of your best buddies.
A traditional taste of the Middle East.
Anyone looking for a quick, cheap Iftar.
Impressing your friends and family by ordering a whole lamb for the table.
This one’s for those picky people among us who like to eat from a mixed plate.
Dhs160. Not cheap, but it’s not going to have the bank manager worried.
Dhs180. A little on the expensive side.
Dhs75. A bonafide bargain.
Dhs150 for the standard Iftar (sans lamb)
Dhs149. For all that food, this is an eminently fair price.
A delightful way to break your fast without being overwhelmed by the noise of one of the bigger Iftar feasts.
The Palace’s Arabian design makes this the ideal place to fully embrace tradition.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with sweetie specialist Samadi Cafe.
Just picture it. You, a coven of your bestest chums and an entire lamb spinning round and round and round and...
We’re not fans of the ‘international’ tag usually, but with three speciality restaurants we’re willing to go global.
The Palace – The Old Town, Downtown Burj Khalifa, Dubai Sunset to 9pm Tel: (04) 4287951 www.theaddress.com
The Boulevard, Downtown Burj Khalifa, Dubai Sunset to 9pm Tel: 800 25726234 www.alsamadicafes.com
Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai Sunset to 7.30pm Tel: (04) 6021234 www.hyatt.com
Hyatt Regency Dubai, Dubai Sunset to 8.30pm Tel: (04) 3172222 www.dubai.regency.hyatt.com
Dusit Thani Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Sunset to 8.30pm Tel: (04) 3433333 www.dubai.dusit.com
AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 91
THE HOT LIST BARS THE FINEST FOR BEVERAGES AND BITES Caramel
WHAT’S ON SAYS...
Belgian Beer Café
4 Zuma „
The vibe in Blends depends on where you sit and when you go. Weekends are packed, but mid-week it’s a good shout for a quiet drink.
It’s always nice to go a bit Mad Men with suits and frocks for an upmarket night at Zuma. You’ll find a crowd of professional minglers who play as hard as they work.
Dominated by a jaw-dropping window and art deco pillars, Neos is very smart, very adult and reassuringly expensive.
On the classic Sheikh Zayed stretch, the Towers Rotana hides this basement bar below. Dark wood, dancefloor and, of course, that long bar.
Slap bang in the middle of the Marina, Blends has mini balconies with lovely views. It’s what this area needed.
Do some shopping at Dries Van Noten then head to Zuma for the evening. Downtown chic at DIFC.
Sky high on the 63rd floor, you’ll need to take two lifts to reach this slick spot with its prime view over Dubai.
Unwinding with pals. This is the place to head come sunset. Pull up a wooden chair and chat.
Finding people during Ramadan. Call it tradition, call it an institution, all we know is that Longs is the place to be.
The deals. Ladies should head there on Thursdays and Fridays for free Cosmos.
It’s all multi-levels, glass and trendy folks, so head here if you want to feel grown-up for a few hours.
Checking out the skyline, martini in hand. The drinks list will impress even the most jaded Dubai dwellers.
Some of the beers will set you back over Dhs50 each, but food is reasonable for the portions.
Pub prices, with hefty bar food for a decent number ot dirhams.
Mid-range. Unless you’re a lady on a Thursday or Friday, in which case leave your purse at home.
We’ve paid over Dhs90 for a glass of house white. Best to stick to beers and cocktails.
The cocktails are around Dhs50, but spirits are as steep as the Burj Khalifa.
Who doesn’t love great food, cold drinks and good views at a decent price? During Ramadan the BBC will be serving alcohol from 7.30pm onwards.
Just when you thought no-one went out during this month, you descend the stairs to Longs Bar and find where everyone has been hiding. It’s serving alcohol from 7.30pm during Ramadan.
You probably won’t spend the whole evening there, but Blends is a good meeting point. Find us in the cigar lounge being terribly British. Alcohol will be served from 7.30pm during Ramadan.
It’s a shame the patio is out of action (hence the slip down our charts), but hot bar staff, a smart international crowd and one of the slickest brunches in town keeps Zuma in the Hot List. Alcohol will be served from 7.30pm during Ramadan.
With its 1920s style in the middle of Bladerunner skyscrapers, Neos is a great choice for wowing visitors or taking a first date. Alcohol will be served from 7.30pm during Ramadan.
Crowne Plaza, DFC, Dubai Sun to Mon 6pm to 2am, Tue to Wed noon to 2am, Thurs to Fri noon to 3am Tel: (04) 7012222 www.ichotelsgroup.com
Towers Rotana, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai sunset to 3am Tel: (04) 3122202 www.rotana.com
The Address Dubai Marina, Dubai 7.30pm to 2.30am Tel: (04) 4367777 www.the address.com
Building 6, DIFC, Dubai Fri to Wed, 12pm to 2am, Thurs, 12pm to 3am Tel: (04) 4255660 www.zumarestaurant.com
The Address Downtown Dubai, Dubai 6pm to 2.30am Tel: (04) 4368927 www.the address.com
1 Belgian Beer Café –
2 Longs Bar
Still riding high at number one, the BBC gives you a taste of Europe during summer in the desert.
Longs’ popularity during Ramadan is something of a mystery, but night after night it’s jammed.
There’s valet parking and a cracking view of the skyline. Spend in the Ramadan sales next door in Festival City then relax with some waffles.
WHAT’SON ON AUGUST AUGUST2010 2010 92 WHAT’S
HOT ON EELSs THE H , The Addres
THE HOT LIST BARS
11 Shades a Dubai Marin ess The Addr 12 Calabar, Dubai Downtown Bahar uk al 13 Hive, So , Garhoud ge 14 Irish Villa , Madinat 15 Left Bank h Jumeira
9 Nezesaussi Grill –
10 Fibber McGees
It might stop serving at midnight, but Left Bank is still a reliable spot for a casual date, celebrations or impromptu night out.
One of the finest sports bars in town, with Flintstones-style ribs and screens everywhere.
With cheesy chips and a cracking pub quiz, there’s no room for pretension here.
Right on the beach. Thanks to the Mega Dome, this sandy favourite isn’t out of action over the summer.
Souk al Bahar is the hub of Old Town action, packed with some of Dubai’s finest restaurants. LB is a popular shout for pre or post dinner drinks.
It’s a welcome hideaway from the ever-so glam bars elsewhere in Old Town, but well-positioned so you can have the best of both worlds.
Tricky. If you’re planning your Fibbers debut then take a regular. Or a compass. Turn right at KFC before the Crowne Plaza and hope for the best.
We went for cocktails but it turned into a very late night. Trust us, Caramel is ideal for mid-week mischief.
Is it possible to go to Barasti without seeing a familiar face? It’s packed with people. All the time.
Mingling. Commandeer a booth for people watching or join the throngs near the bar.
Meaty, meaty goodness. Ribs, pies, steaks and ‘fush and chups’ all washed down with surprisingly good wines.
It’s home to people who are pretending they’re not in Dubai. A proper pub.
Given the neighbourhood it’s far from cheap, but ladies get half price Cosmos on Tuesdays.
It’s not the cheapest. And those little plastic cups aren’t great either. We suggest you buy a bottle instead.
About Dhs50 for a (top quality) cocktail. Bar snacks are pricey but hard to resist. Did someone say ‘mini burgers’?
Food is on the pricey side for a pub, but portions are huge and the ingredients are among the best.
Cheap and cheerful, with regular promotions.
Still enjoying its first flush of success, it can be rather busy at Caramel and the service can be dismissive at times. Our advice? Book a table. Alcohol will be available from 7pm to midnight throughout Ramadan.
Barasti clings onto its spot in the Hot List thanks to that chilly stadium on the beach. There’ll be no live music during Ramadan, but alcohol will be served from sunset.
With just the right level of glitz, Left Bank is a ‘solve-all’ bar. Not too dressy but not flip-flop territory either, and with the central location, it’s one of those bars that everyone can agree on. During Ramadan alcohol will be served from 7pm.
Nezesaussi strikes the balance between sports and style. It’s friendly enough for non-athletic types but the banter at the bar should get some healthy discussions going. Alcohol will be served from 7pm during Ramadan.
Surprisingly good grub, charmingly scruffy decor and reliable regulars. What a refreshing change. Alcohol will be available from 7.30pm over Ramadan.
Building 3, DIFC, Dubai Sun to Thurs 11am to 2am, Fri 5pm to 2am Tel: (04) 4256677 www.carameldubai.com
Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina, Dubai 11am to 2am Tel: (04) 3993333 www.lemeridien-minaseyahi.com
Souk Al Bahar, Old Town, Dubai 7pm to midnight Tel: (04) 3684501
Al Manzil Hotel, Burj Boulevard, Old Town, Dubai 7pm to midnight Tel: (04) 4285927 www.southernsunme.com
Between Crowne Plaza and Fairmont, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai 6.30pm to late Tel: (04) 3322400
6 Caramel ‰
7 Barasti ‰
8 Left Bank
Buzzing. Caramel conspires to whisk you away from the Dubai sands to some slick city far from home.
Enjoyed Barasti’s giant stadium during the World Cup? Well, it’s still on the beach and they’re pumping out the AC.
The clever kids at Caramel have enclosed the back patio and chilled it to icy perfection for the summer. Ideal respite from the shimmering DIFC heat.
AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 93
THE HOT LIST RESTAURANTS THE ELITE OF THE EATING OUT SCENE
HOT ON EELS TH11ETeH rra Firma 12 Rare 13 Asado Kitchen 14 The Thai Grill 15 Exchange
WHAT’S ON SAYS...
1 Zuma „
2 Rivington Grill ‰
3 Traiteur ‰
4 Verre ‰
5Armani Ristorante „
Busy but pleasant, with a flock of loyal diners clicking their chopsticks in perfect harmony.
Once you’ve eaten at RG you’re 100 per cent certain to return, so there’s always a healthy flow of trade. Booking ahead is recommended.
For the French, food and flirting (food and everything) are immutably conjoined. At Traiteur, romance and the giddy aroma of classic French fare are thick in the air. Nice spot for a tête-à-tête.
Modern fine dining, a dressingup occasion, certainly, but definitely not stuffy.
As slick and stylish as an Italian playboy. Head chef Alessandro Salvatico and restaurant manager Roberto Di Pierno work the tables chatting with guests and injecting a spark of liveliness into proceedings.
Clean, with no fussiness and lots of glass letting in plenty of light during the day. And there’s a sexy bar upstairs for pre and postprandial lubrication.
Fresh, simple and stylish, just like the food. White walls, and linen, dark wood floors and furniture, and a chalkboard advertising the daily specials.
Uncomplicated elegance, with an open kitchen and a vaulted ceiling that is one of the most memorable restaurant design features in the city
Low-key elegance, with nothing extravagant to detract from the dining experience. There’s also a chef’s table and a private dining salon.
Lighting. Just right. View. Superb. Seating. Comfortable. Add in a vivid and animated open kitchen and you have everything you require.
Colin Clague’s kitchen is a hive of culinary cleverness and invention. The menu is never boring at Zuma.
It’s refreshingly simple and focused on flavour rather than fussiness. There’s plenty of British summer produce in at the moment. Skate wings are all the rage in August, apparently.
Chef Franck Detrait and his team do classic French brasserie better than any other restaurant in Dubai.
Scott Price has eased himself into the role of executive chef nicely, imprinting his own personality on the menu and restaurant operation without disturbing the already winning modus operandi.
Simple Italian dishes cooked with a flourish and presented as works of art.
DIFC is now known to all but the moneymen as the home of Zuma, rather than Dubai’s financial epicentre.
Foodie central, Souk Al Bahar. It’s Our favourite hotel, the Park too hot to sit on the fountainHyatt Dubai. view terrace, but the windows still allow a tsunami of light in.
Deira is certainly not the coolest place to eat in this town, but Verre is worth the journey.
Destination numero uno. The Burj Khalifa.
Dhs1,000 for two should do it, and Zuma is worth it.
Dhs400 for two. No lunch this month, so no Dhs100 lunch menu.
Three courses for two for around Dhs615. Dhs280 per person for the three-course set menu.
Dhs395 per person for three courses and Dhs495 for the six-course menu.
Dhs850 for two.
Business as usual during Ramadan for the UAE’s best Japanese.
RG is closed for lunch during Ramadan, but it’s still our favourite spot for dinner.
We’ll have the onion soup to start and, let’s see, the steak tartare to follow, please.
Verre remains one of the most reliable restaurants in Dubai.
Our Italian restaurant of the moment.
Building 6, Gate Village, DIFC Sat to Thurs 12.30pm to 3pm, Sat to Wed 7pm to midnight, Thurs and Fri 7pm to 1am Tel: (04) 4255660 www.zumarestaurant.com
Souk Al Bahar, Level 3, Old Town, Dubai 7pm to 11pm Tel: (04) 4230903 www.rivingtongrill.ae
WHAT’SON ON AUGUST AUGUST2010 2010 94 WHAT’S
Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai Sun to Fri 7pm to midnight Tel: (04) 3172222 www.dubai.park.hyatt.com
Hilton Dubai Creek 7pm to 11.30pm (closed Sat) Tel: (04) 2277550 www.gordonramsay.com
Armani Hotel Dubai, Old Town midday to 3pm and 7pm to 11pm Tel: (04) 8883888 www.dubai.armanihotels.com
THE HOT LIST RESTAURANTS Indego
6 Reflets Par Pierre Gagniere ‰
7 Okku –
8 Rhodes Mezzanine –
9 Indego –
There’s an air of reverence from diners at French maestro Pierre Gagniere’s Dubai outpost. It’s not overly formal, but pop something nice on for the occasion.
Spotting a vacant table at Okku is like trying to find sushi at a burger bar. So book ahead.
Ever popular, Gary Rhodes’ fine dining restaurant is never lacking custom.
Vineet Bhatia’s place is never short of punters eager to sample his inimitable Indian cuisine.
Think Paris, think glamour, think ever so slightly camp.
Dark, sexy and as chilled as a frozen Margarita.
White with the odd touch of neon and a tiny, tantalising glimpse of the busy kitchen.
Warm lighting, modern design and comfortable furniture. A delicious blend of Michelin and Mumbai.
Well lit with well-spaced circular tables, pale wood walls and plenty of windows.
Never boring, every course is a pleasant surprise. This is a true culinary occasion so save plenty of room and loosen the belt buckle as well as the purse strings.
Order the miso lobster with crispy rice and then go and shake the chef’s hand.
The recently reinvigorated menu includes a dish of roast beef fillet with snail, garlic and parsley risotto. A seriously impressive combination.
Outside of Bhatia’s other restaurants you won’t be able to eat food like this anywhere else on Planet Earth.
We ate the Provencal beef stew from the Monday lunch menu recently. Wow. And dinner never fails to impress either. Chilled pea soup, cold lobster with Greek vegetables and lamb ravioli are among the latest inclusions.
The InterCon DFC. No complaints from us.
Number One Sheikh Zayed Road. Can’t argue with that.
Grosvenor House is home to both Rhodes and Vineet Bhatia’s Indego. Chefs of that calibre don’t open restaurants anywhere, you know.
Grosvenor House. Home to both Bhatia and Rhodes. That’s just greedy, now, isn’t it?
You can’t go wrong with Souk Al Bahar.
Dinner is a good few rungs of the pricing ladder above Dhs1,000. The Dhs230 lunch menu is not available during Ramadan.
Dhs700 should buy you three courses, sushi and sashimi. Significantly cheaper than Zuma or Nobu.
Around Dhs760 for two.
Around Dhs800 for two.
Dhs600 for two, give or take a few dirhams.
Without the reasonably priced lunch menu, Reflets drops a spot this month.
If you like Japanese but your budget won’t stretch to Zuma prices, Okku is waiting to tickle your taste buds.
The success of Rhodes Mezzanine has encouraged Gary to open his second Dubai restaurant this month. We spent some time in the kitchen with the celeb chef, p34.
Vineet Bhatia produces the most innovative Indian cuisine we’ve ever tasted.
Margaux has been biting at the heels of the Hot List top 10 for a while. We’re letting it in thanks to chef Didierjean’s dinner menu changes.
Grosvenor House Hotel, Dubai Marina, Dubai Mon to Sat, 7pm to midnight Tel: (04) 3998888 www.grosvenorhouse-dubai.com
Grosvenor House Hotel, Dubai Marina, Dubai Sun to Thurs, 7pm to 11pm Tel: (04) 3176000 www.grosvenorhouse-dubai.com
Souk Al Bahar, Downtown, Dubai 7pm to 11.30pm Tel: (04) 4397555 www.margaux.ae
InterContinental Dubai Festival City, Dubai 7pm to 1am Tel: (04) 7011128 www.ichotelsgroup.com
The Monarch Dubai, SZR 7pm to 2.30am Tel: (04) 5018777 www.okkudubai.com
AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 95
THE HOT LIST SPAS
HOT ON THE HEyESpLa,S
11One&Onl Mirage Royal One&Only , Old Town 12 Lilypond aha s Spa, Al M 13 Timeles ge, JBR /A 14 Man , 15 Assawan Burj Al Arab
THE DADDIES OF THE HEALTH AND LEISURE SCENE
3 SensAsia Urban Spa –
4 Armani / Spa –
5 Talise Spa
The staff are among the best in the business following extensive training at Banyan Tree academies.
Inconspicuous and very professional, these guys make your experience at Amara truly pleasant.
Quiet and charming, they get the job done without causing a fuss, but can answer any question you may have.
Staff have come from all over the world to work for Mr Armani. Our therapist was from South Africa and a pro at knot-busting.
A mix of natioanlities and specialities, from a GP to a naturopath, this spa is packed with experts.
Extremely luxurious. The Asian-inspired treatments will take you from the desert sands to distant shores.
Vast and decadent. Treatments are grouped by theme and there’s an emphasis on pampering packages. The food menu is great, too. Try the barbecue chicken.
Loads of choice and the innovative team behind the brand are always coming up with new treatments. We love specific massages like The High Heeler.
There’s no treatment list as such, you just book a time slot (from 90 mins) and the therapist decides. Our deep tissue massage was outstanding.
There’s a large spa menu, but Talise sets itself apart with the addition of medical tests and life coaching. See our detox special on page 19 for more.
The treatment rooms are lovely, but The Rainforest hydrotherapy experience is the reason this spa is number one.
Just gorgeous, with rooms boasting their own garden and outdoor shower. There’s even a music menu.
Small and intimate, it’s the ideal place to escape on a hot weekend. And the dressing gowns are amazing.
As stylish as you’d expect from Giorgio. The spa is slick, with dark greys and clean lines. The sauna and steam rooms are now open, too.
The treatment rooms are linked by leafy outdoor pathways. You’ll also find a large pool tucked away for those day-long spa sessions.
This is a five-star retreat and on the pricey side, but an hour in The Rainforest is only Dhs77 or free if staying at the resort.
Far from cheap, but there are monthly deals, and this is a retreat worth every fil, especially when you use the pool.
Pick wisely and treatments are reasonably priced, with an hour-long Balinese massage for Dhs310.
Actually, it’s not as bad as your bank manager might fear, with 90 minutes costing Dhs650, up to Dhs2,500 for a full day.
Various, but the Royal Hammam treatment is a fair Dhs450 for 80 minutes.
Walk through The Rainforest and discover an ice igloo, brine cave, tropical rain showers, hammam and more. Not what you expect in Ras Al Khaimah.
Book a treatment costing more than Dhs460 at the weekends (or longer than an hour during the week) and you can use the pool, steam room and gym all day. And what a pool it is.
Allow some time afterwards to enjoy the amazing ginger tea and vegetable crudités in the turquoise relaxation room. Seriously, that ginger tea is golden nectar.
Answer some questions and a treatment is suggested for you. Great for spa amateurs but not so suited to the control freaks out there. Our treatment was top-notch. Recommended.
For top to toe beauty (inside and out) the team at Talise is your one-stop shop. You’ll leave with an armload of supplements and a head full of good intentions.
Banyan Tree Al Wadi, Ras Al Khaimah 10am to 10pm Tel: (07) 2067777 www. banyantree.com
Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai 9am to 10pm Tel: (04) 6021234 www. dubai.park.hyatt.com
The Palm Jumeirah Beach Club, Dubai 10am to 10pm Tel: (04) 4227115 www.sensasiaspas.com
Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Old Town, Dubai 9am to 9pm Tel: (04) 8883888 www.armanihotels.com
Al Qasr, Al Sufouh, Dubai 9am to 10pm Tel: (04) 3666818 www.jumeriah.com/talise
WHAT’S ON SAYS...
2 Amara –
1 Banyan Tree Al Wadi –
Banyan Tree Al Wadi
WHAT’SON ON AUGUST AUGUST2010 2010 96 WHAT’S
THE HOT LIST SPAS SensAsia Urban Spa
6 Thai Privilege Spa –
7 Lime Spa –
8 The Spa ‰
9 Spa & Fitness Centre –
10 Mandara Spa ‰
The female therapists at this ladies-only spa undergo two years of training and the results are impressive.
The all-female staff will talk you through your treatment or leave you to snooze, depending on your preference.
Modern zen awaits you at this vast spa, with experienced therapists on hand to guide you from reception to relaxation.
The team at Atlantis will greet you with ginger tea, treat you to a top quality pampering then bring you more tea. We were chuffed.
Super friendly and guaranteed to make your spa time as enjoyable as possible.
Extensive, with everything from waxing and blow-dries to luxurious packages. They are pretty hot on discounts so give them a call to see what the monthly deal is.
From massage and body polishes to reflexology and ear candling, plus manis, pedis and haircuts, it’s all here. We haven’t tired of returning again and again.
With separate menus for ladies and gents you’ll be spoilt for choice. The Aromatherapy Associates treatments are highly recommended and the Jetlag package has saved our sanity.
The extensive menu covers everything from expert pedicures and shaves to rituals to revel in. Particularly recommended are the Clarins facials.
Try the four-handed Mandara Massage. You’ll be pushed, pulled and pulverised into a state of somnolence by two therapists.
In a villa on Al Wasl Road, it’s a decadent escape with a lovely garden for yoga.
Clever one-way windows in the treatment rooms allow you to gaze onto lush green polo fields as you are indulged.
You’d never expect this shrine to relaxation to be within five minutes of the manic Dubai Mall. A welcome surprise.
It’s an impressive space with a vast staircase, beautiful ‘floating’ corridor and underwater-themed treatment rooms.
The softest dressing gowns in town, Elemis facials and a beautiful steam room are our highlights.
Surprisingly reasonable at around Dhs350 for an hour-long massage, but they have deals running throughout DSS.
Sixty minutes of reflexology is a quite reasonable Dhs400.
It’s steep, but the quality of treatments, therapists and postmassage snooze justify the bill.
It’s expensive, with two hour-long packages costing around Dhs1,000, but you’ll emerge a more relaxed and glowing version of yourself.
We’d say it was mid-range. The excellent Muscle Ease massage is Dhs470 for 65 minutes.
The pick-up service (in a Porsche Cayenne or Mercedes no less) and knowledgeable staff make for a truly relaxing spa experience.
Enjoy a sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and heated recliners before and after your treatment. Then head to Epicure or Rare for a top feed.
Make time to nibble on the juicy dates and sip tea in the relaxation room. They nearly had to ask us to leave...
We were pleasantly surprised by Atlantis’ spa offering. Far from a token hotel effort, this is truly a destination spa that will have you coming back for more.
If you’re lucky enough to work nearby, keep an eye out for Mandara’s mid-week hookup with restaurants in The Monarch. Lunch and a massage for Dhs295? Sign us up.
1047 Uttamah Villas, Al Wasl Road, Jumeira, Dubai 10am to 10pm Tel: (04) 3489679 www.thaiprivilegespadubai.com
Desert Palm, Al Awir Road, after International City, Dubai 9am to 9pm Tel: (04) 3238888 www.desertpalm.ae
The Address Dubai Mall, Old Town, Dubai 9am to 9pm Tel: (04) 4388888 www.theaddress.com
Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai 10am to 10pm Tel: (04) 4261020 www.atlantisthepalm.com
The Monarch Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai 9am to 10pm Tel: (04) 5018888 www.themonarchdubai.com
AUGUST 2010 WHAT’S ON 97
Backchat with Catbos
L MAI N AIR VI ION VIO BY R AV PA
BY AIR MA PAR AVIONIL
You’d never guess it from the nonsense on this page, but as a younger man I was a prolific letter-writer. Holden Caulfield, the protagonist in JD Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye, largely inspired me, and I saw myself as an adventurer, a teenage Hemingway, having swashbuckling capers and journaling everything for friends and family. Throughout my first summer working on kids camps in the United States, I wrote letters almost daily, affixed the ‘par avion’ labels and sent them off to my parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents. They still have them and it is with some bemusement I noticed that, whilst I had printed the correct addresses, I seemed to have had a fixation for addressing the letters to various serial killers. Whether or not our postman actually believed my dad was Peter Sutcliffe and my mum was Dennis Nilsen will forever remain a mystery. He was never too keen to bother our front door for his Christmas tip, so I probably saved them a fortune. What meant a great deal to me was receiving the replies from home. Remember,
I was young and a long way from home. I also knew my mum wasn’t much of a scribe, so it was an amazing feeling when the girl in the camp cirector’s office told me I had mail. My mum would, invariably, always begin with telling me where she was sitting (normally in the garden, feet-up, watching our dog, Jessie, tearing around, while my dad would be putting up or taking down something to further fuel the feud with the neighbours). I could close my eyes and see the scene. She painted a perfect picture of the quintessential summer afternoon. She would then go on to tell me the big news around town. I remember the aplomb with which she described Helen Sharman (also from my hometown of Sheffield, and the UK's first astronaut) tripping and smashing the torch at the opening of the World Student Games in 1991. Finally, she would give me several reminders of all the evil things that could happen to me if I didn’t pay heed whilst abroad. This paragraph was the equivalent of the Government public safety
Advertisements I’d been terrified of in the 1970s, ergo, I spent those foreign summers refusing rides from strangers, avoiding flying kites near power lines and never, under any circumstances, climbing into old fridges. Of course, these days the letter has been replaced by e-mail and e-mail is instant. No longer do we feel the anticipation of the postman’s arrival each morning, followed by the rattle of the letterbox. Instead there’s a quick click of the inbox every couple of minutes. Lengthy, meandering musings with strokes of the pen as unique as the author’s fingerprints have been replaced by SUBJECT: QUICK CATCH UP, followed by a sentence or two, written in Times New Roman with all the emotion of a phone bill. And now we have iChat, MSN Messenger, Skype and Face-Time. People on the other side of the world are literally sitting in our laps. Yes, it’s amazing… A technological marvel… The ‘future’... But consider this. In years to come when you’re old and grey, you’ll reach for that dusty box of memories buried at the back of your attic and instead of finding it full of visceral delights, faded photographs, long-forgotten letters and yellowing postcards, you’re going to find a bulky, obsolete laptop that no longer boots up… And that, my friends, is nothing to write home about. The Catboy & Geordiebird Breakfast Show on DUBAI 92 Weekdays 6am to 10am www.dubai92.com
Don’t miss next month’s What’s On – Come Dine With Us special: how to hold the perfect dinner party and the ultimate chef’s cook-off 98 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2010
Published on Aug 8, 2010