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Issue 400

August 2011 UAE DHS 10 OMAN RO 1.000

How to clean up your act this Ramadan WIN WIN WIN!

400 prizes, including mini-breaks, spa trips and tickets to Wild Wadi

ALSO INSIDE: Find the indoor sport for you, and we visit Jones the Grocer


Dubai’s best iftars, Catboy goes home, and all the latest movie releases


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

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

In over 170 locations across the globe including " Ê" ÊUÊ" " ÊUÊ 7Ê9",ÊUÊ*,-

Contents Features

13 Detox your life Ramadan is a time for reflection, so what better month to sort out your life? Find out how, with our comprehensive detox guide, covering everything from health testing, to quitting the dreaded white sticks and financial planning

20 The great indoors Tired of festering in your apartment this summer? Time to go out, and then in again, as we discover the perfect indoor sport for you

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


p20 AUGUST 2011 WHAT’S ON 3

The round up 8 Salaam August dissected and served in easy to digest portions: what’s hot and what’s not, insider tips from a local UAE artist and some serious newsy number crunching 24 Win, win, win In celebration of our 400th issue, we’ve rounded up more than 400 prizes, which could be yours. If you’re lucky… 28 Film This month's movies include the Palme d’Or winning The Tree Of Life, the side-splitting comedy Bridesmaids and the star-studded romantic drama Crazy, Stupid, Love. Plus the rest of the latest releases 31 Eating out Putting new summer menus to the test, our verdict on two new burger joints, the expansion of the Jones The Grocer empire, Abu Dhabi seafood restaurant Sennara and DIFC’s Blue Rain. Plus, The Critic, this month’s Twitter recipe and all the latest new openings and food news 43 Arts Saudi Arabian artist Sami Al-Turki talks us through his new show at The Pavilion, we give you the inside info on all the latest exhibitions,


The Art Insider let’s us know the importance of authenticity, we meet Syrian painter Aboud Salman and there’s a summer camp for grown ups. Phew 49 Shopping Our resident fashion expert solves your sartorial puzzles, we put the latest summer fragrances to the test, what not to put in your summer suitcase, and our pick of the latest page-turners, DVDs, albums and games 57 Mind & body We go under the laser to rid ourselves of unwanted hair (we do it for you, remember that). Plus treatments from Tibet and France, improve your communication skills, our verdict on Al Maha’s spa and the August beauty deals 65 Sport & outdoor Discover your inner Robin Hood with archery lessons, Mr Fitness answers all your health and fitness queries, What’s On versus Dubai 92, and our pick of the UAE’s football supporters clubs – just in time for the new Premiership season 73 Travel A culinary journey around the Jordanian capital, Amman, another globetrotter reveals his travel secrets and a trio of travel deals

81 Hot list The best iftars this Ramadan, plus our ten favourite bars, spas and restaurants 98 Backchat Dubai 92’s Catboy bemoans having to take a summer trip to his rainy UK hometown



This month we’ve been... Editor-in-Chief Obaid Humaid Al Tayer Group Editor & Managing Partner lan Fairservice Group Senior Editor Gina Johnson | Senior Editor Mark Evans | Deputy Editor Helen Spearman | Features & Food Editor Gareth Rees | Features Editor, Abu Dhabi Adam Workman | Staff Writer Matt Priest | Chief Sub Editor Iain Smith | Senior Designer Sheila Cariño-Deocareza | Editorial Co-ordinator Concessa D’souza | Picture Researcher – Gulfpics Wayne Fernandez | Contributors Charlie Banalo, Victor Besa, James Brennan, Louise Browne, Stef Burgon, Vikram Gawde, James Houghton, Catherine Jarvie, Charles Pocock, Mark Powell, Farooq Salik, Tia Seifert, Sophia Serin, Simon Smedley, Paul Sterry Interns Honor Brannelly, Rebecca Pudner Senior Production Manager Sunil Kumar | Production Manager Sudhakar Chandran | Production Supervisor Murali Krishnan | General Manager – Group Sales Anthony Milne | Advertisement Manager Varsha Bhatia | General Manager, Abu Dhabi Joe Marrit | Senior Advertisement Manager, Abu Dhabi Darryl Wiley | Senior Sales Executive, Abu Dhabi Hamdan Bawazir |

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:

Learning archery, p67

Testing summer perfumes, p53

Kicking off our fitness challenge, p69

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

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Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai


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Salaam! SALAAM

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

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

Guess list Big names rumoured to be visiting the UAE

THE DUBAI SKYLINE Dubai’s skyline has been named the eighth best in the world by leading building-data firm, Emporis.


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

DUBIZZLE The ever-popular UAE website, Dubizzle, is now available as a smartphone app.

What’s not NON-ECO TAXIS The RTA has backtracked on plans to make all Dubai taxis hybrid cars.

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



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

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

EXPENSIVE LIVING A recent study shows that the UAE is the most expensive place in the GCC for expats to live.

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



SHORT FILM FESTIVAL Three films that focus on the increasing importance of environmental issues in the UAE. Until Aug 27, The Pavilion, Emaar Boulevard, Downtown, free. Tel: (04) 4477025.

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE Wasel Safwan, leading Emirati artist Art supplies

I usually buy my supplies from Daler Rowney and the Mitsubishi Japanese Pencil Co. Kazim Gulf Traders, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3524648. Mitsubishi Japanese Pencil Co.


I feel the most relaxed when I drive through the Nad Al Sheba 1 district. I feel attached to that place although I have no house or history there, it’s just a beautiful stretch of landscape and nature.

Dubai 92’s Geordie Bird gives us the heads up from the UAE bar scene THIS MONTH:


When the moon is full, I go at midnight to Jumeirah Beach and enjoy the sound of the waves with the moonlight reflected on the water. I have secretly produced several art works there.

Eating out

I prefer Emirati and Indian food, and I like to sit on the ground and eat with my hands. But when it comes to eating out, then Noodle Factory is top of my list. Noodle Factory, various locations, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3399419


Working as an artist in Dubai, I have often received encouragement from both The Third Line and The JamJar galleries. The Third Line, Al Quoz 3, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3411367. The JamJar, Al Quoz, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3417303.

FASHION SOUQ Dubai Ladies' Club is setting up a make-shift souq involving small businesses and new designers. Aug 4 and 5, Dubai Ladies' Club, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3499922.


GROUP POWER The new exhibition Divison By Zero explores the different boundaries of contemporary art. Aug, Carbon12, Warehouse D37, Al Quoz, Dubai. free. Tel: (050) 4644392.

CABANA What does it look like? The pool is stunning and the view tops the pool. The Dubai skyline to one side and Burj Khalifa to the other. Who goes there? It was pretty quiet and seemed to be mainly hotel and hotel apartment guests. Any bar nibbles? The bar snack menu was pretty limited for veggies like me, but I did take a carnivore along with me. Unfortunately, the meaty treats weren't great, either. The nachos weren’t really worthy of the name, and they forgot the salsa and guacamole, which I’m sure were on the menu. Drink recommendations? They do a bucket of four beers for Dhs99. Not bad at all. When should you go? Sunday night is movie night by the pool. So that would be a good time to visit I you’re a movie fan. Dress code? If you're not too fussed about jumping in the pool, there were a lot of people sitting around fully clothed. How's the service? Service was fine, but the time from kitchen to table was pretty poor. What's the taxi situation? You're at The Address Hotel, near (in) Dubai Mall, so grabbing a cab was easy. GB VERDICT: There were no inflatables, the screen wasn't angled towards the pool, and I didn't see anyone with towels. Not one of the best movies in the pool nights, but it wasn’t too bad. Cabana, The Address Dubai Mall, Dubai Mall, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4388888.

Find us at




Hey big spender

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

1,760,000 shawarmas Ten top-of-the-range Mercedes AMG S65 Dinner for two at Hot List favourite La Petite Maison, every day for 24 years Crossing Garhoud Bridge 2,200,000 times Playing 586,000 games of bowling Flying into space 12 times on Virgin Galactic

Dubai International versus the world As Dubai Airports moves ahead with its Dhs28,650 billion expansion plan, here’s how Dubai International compares to two other global big hitters

Dubai International

London Heathrow

New York (JFK)

Number of terminals – three Number of runways – two Passengers per year – 46,909,812 Number of Starbucks – four

Number of terminals – five Number of runways – two Passengers per year – 61,113,190 Number of Starbucks – four

Number of terminals – eight Number of runways – four Passengers per year – 23,186,800 Number of Starbucks – ten

Power to the people

More than 180million passengers have used Dubai public transport since the beginning of the year, according to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). Here’s the breakdown:

TAXICABS 90,188,898

BUSES 54,077,652

DUBAI METRO 28,986,110

Who are the better drivers – men or women? 91%

of motor accidents were caused by men in the past 17 months


of motor accidents were caused by women in the past 17 months


Source: General Department of Traffic, Dubai Police 10 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2011

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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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



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

What is metabolism?

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

How can you test your metabolic rate?

Simple body composition tests will give you an indication of your BMR, along with your fat percentage and the amount of water and proteins in your system. However, these tests do not take into account any chemical problems in your body. If you are concerned that your BMR is preventing you from losing (or gaining) weight then it’s time to get scientific. Dubai company Diagnostika can run an Organic Profile check (Dhs1,750) to detect imbalances, using a simple urine test. From a single sample they can pick up on vitamin and mineral deficiencies, amino acid insufficiencies, antioxidant levels, central nervous system function, bacteria or yeast overgrowth, and more. Looking at these markers, Diagnostika then assesses if there is a metabolic ‘inhibition’ or block, which could be due to a nutrient deficiency, inherited enzyme defect, toxic build-up or a side effect from medication. 14 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2011

A bottle is delivered to you, overnight and early morning samples are deposited, and they pick it up the next day. The results take 12 days and reveal any genetic or chemical complications.

How can you boost your metabolism?

Metabolic disorders that can be medicated include thyroid problems and diabetes. If, however, you just have a sluggish system that can’t be treated with drugs, then a lifestyle change is needed. Eating breakfast and ‘front loading’ your food (eating the majority of your calories at the start of the day) is key to kick-starting your system. Also avoid eating three to four hours before bedtime, so your body has the chance to burn the calories. Small, light meals are preferable to keep your blood sugar constant – don’t starve yourself. Low GI (glycaemic index) foods like porridge, lean meat and fresh vegetables will help fuel your body, releasing energy slowly. You should also include fatty fish like salmon, which are rich in omega-3. A pinch of chilli is good, too, as it contains capsaicin, a chemical that speeds up your heart rate and keeps the body burning calories. And drinking enough water is crucial. Exercise wise, a combination of aerobic cardio to burn fat, and resistance or weight training is ideal; muscles burn more energy than fat, even converting calories while you rest. If your energy levels are low then you might be lacking in B vitamins, so try taking a B-12 supplement along with co-enzyme Q10 (sometimes labelled as CoQ10), which aids in the supply of energy to your muscles. Diagnostika, Nucleotide Complex, Dubai Biotechnology & Research Park, near Motor City, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4473820.


Three more tests to try…


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


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


Feeling groggy or bloated, or experiencing headaches can be often traced to dietary habits and food intolerances that you didn’t know existed. The Eastern Biotech Institute runs an extensive Food Print Test that examines up to 221 different foods in your blood and plasma, testing for everything from eggs and wheat to seafood intolerances. Eastern Biotech, Building 3, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4503875.


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


Sometimes it can feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders – and with the added pressures of balancing work and life, it can be easy to lose focus on what is most important to us. The obvious question beckons: what can I do about it? Holistic hypnotherapy looks at dealing with a problem as a whole, rather than pinpointing a specific issue that is holding you back. “It is important to understand the core principles in life such as who you are, why you act as you do and why you hold on to negative perceptions of things,” explains clinical hypnotherapist and founder of the Illuminations clinic, Soniyaa Kiran Punjabi. The idea is that to achieve better mental health you have to get beyond the “belief of failure” and learn to live your life by thinking positively. Illuminations, Dubai, Sat to Thurs 9am to 9pm, daily meditations Dhs20, group workshops Dhs200 to Dhs500. Tel: (050) 4665849.


In an increasingly fraught world, controlling rage has become an important personal and professional issue. Statistics suggest that one in ten people have trouble controlling their temper. It’s an important issue to resolve too, as the long and short-term physical health effects of anger are wide-ranging, including increased risk of coronary heart disease or stroke, exacerbating digestive problems, weakening your immune system and taking a toll on mental wellbeing. Don’t get mad, do something about it. “It is often the case that fear is the main cause of anger issues,” says Change Associates’ Beryl Comar. “Our sessions aim to get to the root of these fears, to understand where they come from, and to teach them to learn to let go and forgive – whether those be at home or at work.” The Change Associates, Block 2B, Dubai Knowledge Village, Dubai, Sun to Thurs 8am to 3pm, Dhs800 for 90 minutes. Tel: (04) 3902217.


Agreed, this treatment doesn’t have the most appealing of names, but inflamed lymph glands can be cause for concern as they play a major part in the body’s immune system. The MLD treatment involves circular massage to stimulate the lymph glands, which helps the body eliminate metabolic waste and excess fluid from the tissue. The sessions last anywhere up to an hour, after you and your therapist have discussed a treatment plan. This treatment is often used to counteract chronic inflammatory condition such as sinusitis and arthritis, however, due to it alleviating fluid congestion it is also particularly good for those sporty types who have picked up a sprain or ligament damage. Dubai Herbal & Treatment Centre, Oud Metha, Dubai, Dhs350 per session. Tel:(04) 3351200.


Despite the sceptics, alternative forms of medicines and practices are still very much trusted methods for curing ailments and relaxing the mind. The Shirodhara treatment is a branch of the traditional Indian method of Ayurveda, which involves pouring warm herbal oil over the forehead for a prolonged period. To the uninitiated, this might seem like an unusual treatment, but the 30 to 50 minute sessions are recommended for people suffering from insomnia, anxiety and chronic headaches as way to help relax and clear your mind. The oil used varies depending on what is being treated, with a range of liquids from essential lavender oil and buttermilk to coconut water, all tailored to the patient’s concerns. Breath And Health Alternative Medical Centre, 1080 Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim 2, Dubai, Dhs450. Tel: (04) 3489940.


The yeast-free programme is not a ‘diet that will change your life’ like so many promise, but a guide to help you develop a less destructive eating pattern. It teaches you to ‘eat to tweak’ your metabolic hormones and get your insulin levels under control to eliminate cravings. Booking in a 90-minute consultation at the Dubai London Clinic will allow you talk over your eating habits, diet and goals. From there, you are given a personalised five-day eating plan that concentrates on regulating your intake and eating the right quantities for your body type. Dubai London Clinic, Dubai Festival City, Dubai, initial consultation Dhs375. Tel: (04) 2325751.


Stuck in a rut? Needing a kick-start to get back on track in life? Life coaching is a practice on the rise in the Middle East, designed to help you “set an agenda according to your priorities and desired accomplishments,” according to UAE expert HNI. Run by CEO Hanan Nagi, HNI helps you to figure out your goals, whether they be linked to your career, financial issues or relationships. “The first question I would ask is ‘how badly do you want the change?’” Hanan says. “People say ‘I want to change this or change that’, but they’re not willing take the risk. The person that wants to change is the real player in this relationship. The coach helps them to get everything out of their mind. It’s like spaghetti: it’s all tangled and the coach helps arrange it on the table.” The first sample session is normally free, then depending on the scale of the goal, anything from three to four further meetings are required, based a personal understanding of yourself and your behaviours, thoughts and beliefs. HNI, The Walk, JBR, Dubai, Dhs500 per session. Tel: (04) 8019253. AUGUST 2011 WHAT’S ON 15


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


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

Day two

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

Day three

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

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

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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QUIT SMOKING Four ways to ditch the dreaded white sticks

1. Hypnotherapy 2. Nicotine gum 3. Champix Quit the ciggies with and patches It might sound like a programme tailored to the peculiarities of your addiction. Orator’s Forum, Knowledge Village, Dubai, Dhs1,500 to Dhs3,000. Tel: (04) 2848001.

Kill the cravings with every quitter’s friend. Super-Care Pharmacy, The Dubai Mall, Dubai, gum Dhs15, patches Dhs76. Tel: (04) 4341687


dog food, but this nicotine-free tablet is popular at present. Super-Care Pharmacy, The Dubai Mall, Dubai, Dhs198 to Dhs440. Tel: (04) 4341687

4. Acupuncture

What better way to punish yourself for your filthy habit, than going for the full-on Hellraiser treatment? Dubai Herbal And Treatment Centre, Oud Metha, Dubai, Dhs500 to Dhs1,050. Tel: (04) 3351200.

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

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

The great Use our highly scientific chart to

Chevrolet Insportz

There’s no better place during a Dubai summer to shoot some hoops than this huge, air-conditioned indoor sports arena in Al Quoz. Insportz is purpose built for team sports, and there are also pitches for cricket, football and hockey. Street 17A, Al Quoz, Dubai, Mon to Sat 9.30am to 9.30pm, Dhs50 per person, per hour. Tel: (04) 3475833.


Dubai Ice Rink

To really stick it to the weather outside, head on down to the Dubai ice rink. Whether you are perfecting your triple salchow, strapping on your hockey pads, or trying to stop wobbling like Bambi, the Olympic-sized ice rink is large enough for people of all ages (and skills) to hit the ice. The Dubai Mall, Downtown, Dubai, daily 10am to 1am, Dhs20. Tel: (04) 4485111.

Ski Dubai

Being in the desert during summer shouldn’t stop you from enjoying winter sports. So dig out that snowboard, and head down to Ski Dubai. If you’re a bit rusty, lessons are available. And you can also enjoy skiing, tobogganing or even zorbing. Mall Of The Emirates, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 11pm, Thurs 10am to midnight, Fri 9am to midnight, Sat 9am to 11pm, Dhs120, children Dhs110, lesson Dhs220. Tel: (800) 5347873.

Al Nasr Leisureland

Is being stuck indoors making you angry? Do you feel like punching something? Head down to Al Nasr Leisureland and try your hand (fist) at boxing. A month of coaching and you’ll be floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee. Hopefully. Al Nasr Leisureland, Oud Metha, Dubai, Sat, Mon and Wed 8.30pm to 10.30pm, 12 lessons Dhs550. Tel: (04) 3371234.

Dubai Karate Centre

We’re not advising you to go on a Street Fighter-style rampage, but we are partial to an afternoon spent watching the Karate Kid flicks (the originals, that is). If you’re a man (or woman) of action, The Dubai Karate Centre has courses in karate, aikido, judo and taekwondo. Al Raizi Boys School, Jumeirah 3, Dubai, various times Wed to Fri, Dhs350 per month. Tel: (04) 3447797.

indoors find the perfect indoor pursuit for you this summer

Dubai Kartdrome

For those petrol-heads who can’t wait until the cooler months to hit the track, Dubai Kartdrome’s 500m indoor circuit is ideal. Its fully air conditioned warehouse means that up to 20 drivers can race against each other all summer long. Dubai Kartdrome, Motor City, Emirates Road, Dubai, Dhs100 for 15mins. Tel: (04) 3678744.

Soccer Circus Dubai

Soccer Circus is a great place to shake off those offseason cobwebs, offering a series of electronic games and challenges, developed to improve your skills. There are also three five-a-side pitches available for hire. Playnation, Mirdif City Centre, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thurs to Sat 10am to midnight, Dhs70, pitch hire Dhs400 per hour. Tel: (800) 5347873.

Al Badia Golf Academy

A two-hour session at Al Badia Golf Club’s TaylorMade Performance Lab – equipped with motion-capture technology to analyse your golf swing – is a must for all serious golfers. Al Badia Golf Club, DFC, Dubai, daily 6.30pm to 11pm, Dhs750. Tel: (04) 6010101.

The Quay Healthclub

Perfect your front crawl with The Quay Healthclub’s indoor pool, and you can and impress everyone on the beach come the cooler months. It is, however, members only – so you’ll need to cough up for a membership. Mina A’ Salam, Dubai, single Dhs18,500 per year, couples Dhs23,000 per year. Tel (04) 3666821.

Adventure HQ

Visit Adventure HQ to test the latest outdoor equipment and have a go at climbing its enormous indoor climbing wall, Walltopia. If that isn’t daring enough for you, its suspended obstacle course should sate your inner adrenalin junkie until the cooler months kick in. Times Square Mall, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily 10am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 3466824. AUGUST 2011 WHAT’S ON 21

DUBAI’S BEST BOWLING ALLEYS The ridiculous (read stylish) footwear, the highly polished wood, the clink of pins and the heady scent of success and failure. If you love bowling as much as we do, check out one of these ten bowling alleys

YALLA! BOWLING The newest addition to the Dubai bowling scene, PlayNation’s Yalla! Bowling is stylishly designed, with 12 lanes, a billiards area and even its own Johnny Rockets attached. Burgers and bowling. Yes, please. And – big plus – if you’ve forgotten your socks, they will sell you a new pair for Dhs5. Nice touch, that. Mirdif City Centre, Mirdif, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 11pm, Dhs20, Thurs to Sat 10am to midnight, Dhs25. Tel: (800) 5347873. DUBAI INTERNATIONAL BOWLING CENTRE No fancy gimmicks, booming music or flashing lights here – DIBC is for the serious bowler only. And, with 36 lanes, it is the largest in the city and home to most of the city’s bowling teams – including the UAE national team. Bring your A-game. Al Mamzar, near Century Mall, Sun to Wed 9am to 4pm, Dhs10, 4pm to 1am, Dhs12, Thurs to Sat Dhs15. Tel: (04) 2969222. DUBAI BOWLING CENTRE This quirky-looking Dubai landmark near Al Quoz is a popular haunt for both serious ‘rollers’ and novices alike. Its 24 lanes ensure that, most of the time, you won’t need to wait too long to get your bowl on. Al Hadiqa Street, Al Quoz 1, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 6pm Dhs15 per person, Dhs85 a lane per hour, 6pm to midnight Dhs17 per person, Dhs100 a lane per hour, Thurs to Sat Dhs120 a lane per hour. Tel: (04) 3391010. BOWLING CITY Tucked away in a far corner of Dubai Festival City, Bowling City is kitted out with all manner of

entertainment. Its 12 lanes come with a good selection of bowling ball weights and sizes, while the music comes in one volume – loud. Dubai Festival City, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to midnight, Dhs15, Thurs to Sat Dhs20. Tel: (04) 2328600. SWITCH BOWLING Lit up with blue neon, music pounding, the set-up at Switch Bowling is what bowling would be like if it were available in a nightclub. With big screen TVs flickering with animation, sleek billiard tables and private karaoke and gaming rooms – it’s bowling for the sci-fi generation. Indian Court, Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai, daily 10.30am to 11pm, Dhs25, Dhs125 a lane per hour. Tel: (04) 4405961. MAGIC PLANET With swirling lights and playful LCD animations, Magic Planet is for people who don’t take the game of bowling too seriously. You’ll find its 12 lanes are often filled by families, who divide their time between bowling and two floors of arcade games. Mall Of The Emirates, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Dhs20, Thurs to Sat 10am to midnight Dhs25. Tel: (04) 3414444. AL NASR LEISURELAND There are only eight lanes at Leisureland. But it’s not as well known as the purpose-built centres, so you can perfect your technique away from prying eyes. Members of Leisureland also enjoy discounted rates. Al Nasr Leisureland, Dubai, daily 9am to midnight, Dhs15. Tel: (04) 3371234.

DEIRA CITY CENTRE BOWLING Deira City Centre is a place for families, and its eight-lane bowling alley reflects this. The place is often busy, and always loud, so not ideal for young singletons. Perfect for parents looking to treat their brood to a thrashing on the lanes, though. Bowling City, Deira City Centre, Deira, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Dhs15, Thurs to Sat 10am to midnight, Dhs20. Tel: (04) 2957070. GOLDEN HALL BILLIARDS AND BOWLING Golden Hall only has four lanes, but if you are happy to wait until it’s your turn, then there is plenty to keep you amused, including pool tables, foosball, gaming consoles and even a decent little café. Building, near Lamcy Plaza, Oud Metha, Dubai, daily 9am to 3am, Dhs25 Tel: (04) 2629290 VIRTUAL BOWLING AT SEGA REPUBLIC It might dismay the traditionalists, but SEGA Republic’s virtual bowling is a must for the iPad generation. It’s not the bowling you’re used to, but the novelty adds a little something extra. There are no pins, the lane is shorter than the dreary old alleys of the real world and you can choose from various different sized balls. Word of warning: it might bemuse the old folks. SEGA Republic, The Dubai Mall, Downtown, 10am to midnight, Dhs15. Tel: (04) 4488484. AUGUST 2011 WHAT’S ON 23



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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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



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

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

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

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



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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


From Prada To Nada

The Tree Of Life

From Prada To Nada

The Tree Of Life



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

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

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


‘A riches to rags story’

‘Nothing stands still’

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

The great auteur Malick proves himself master of the mystifying.

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










Crazy, Stupid, Love



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

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

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

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

‘From the producers of Superbad and Knocked Up’

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

‘Welcome to his jungle’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




★★★★✩ AUGUST 2011 WHAT’S ON 29


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


six live cooking stations and an a la


carte menu offer an extensive range of

Including Ramadan Juices

international cuisines and traditional




Ramadan beverages.



Including soft beverages

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

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



Gareth Rees, Features & Food Editor



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



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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

The Palace Residence & Spa** Arabian Court


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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







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

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




A taste of things to come

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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


James Brennan knows food. Having written on everything from bhajis to burgers for a string of international publications, James is now the Middle East chairman of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants judging panel. Don’t miss his monthly musings every issue. Rumours that the Michelin Red Guide could appear in the UAE by 2013 are enough to get most chefs toques standing on end. The thought of something as big and sparkly as a Michelin star to brag about must be the stuff of saucy dreams for the local big-hitters. In fact, if you put your ear to the ground and feel a nascent rumble, that’ll be the food and beverage PRs of the Emirates, vibrating gently. Exciting stuff, there’s no doubt. But just a month or so after a French restaurant handed back its Michelin star, it has 40 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2011

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

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

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



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


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


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

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

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

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


Five to see


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



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

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



Five minutes with...

Syrian artist Aboud Salman

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

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

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

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

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


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



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

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








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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

The verdict


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

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

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

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



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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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




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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


Bull’s-eye There’s nothing we like more than to send our intrepid, albeit slightly nervous features writer, Matt, to brave whatever adventures we deem fun and/or silly enough to make us laugh. This month, Matt tackles… archery Who didn’t play cowboys and Indians when they were growing up? I did, and I remember how accurate I was back then with my imaginary bow and arrow (fashioned, quite accurately, I thought, from a coat hanger), so I feel more than confident that after a few sessions with the Dubai Archers I’ll be able to fire a real arrow and split an apple from 70 metres away. Bring. It. On.


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

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


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


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

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


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

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


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

The stages


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

In his seven years as a personal trainer, James Houghton has helped everyone from West End actresses to the Arabian Gulf rugby sevens team lose the pounds and keep in shape I read somewhere about barefoot running. What is it, and how does it work? Harold, Jumeirah Simply, barefoot running is running without the aid, or support, of shoes. When we change from a walk into a jog, run or sprint, the emphasis of the load going through the body as the foot makes contact with the ground changes. Biomechanically, the first ground contact point when walking is the heel followed by a roll through the foot towards the toes. When running, the ground contact should be through the ball of the foot. As shoe and trainer companies have developed their products over the years, they’ve added 68 WHAT’S ON AUGUST 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Norwich City

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

Glasgow Rangers

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


Wolverhampton Wanderers

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



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



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

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


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


Desert Wadi Rum

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


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

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



FlyDubai has a daily service to Amman, from Dhs980.


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

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


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

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


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


Travels with…


Wael Al Sayegh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


iftar& suhour better





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



Key New entry Non-mover Up Down

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Iftar Bars Restaurants Spas AUGUST 2011 WHAT’S ON 81

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

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





Mina Seyahi Ramadan Tent


The Talk


QD's Al Sultan Tent


The Creek Ballroom

5 Ewaan









It’s an authentic Arabic buffet, of course, but spread over two floors, so vast – something for everyone.

A two-storey glass tent with a capacity of 500 with views of Dubai Marina. Can’t ask for better than that, can you? Good effort.

Airconditioning, valet parking, VIP lounge and shisha terrace with views of The Palm.

Anybody, any day of the week. This is going to be the iftar to beat all iftars.

Dhs140, Dhs100 for children, which seems to be about average this year.

Stay for sohour and enjoy the a la carte menu, too.

Le Méridien Mina Seyahi, Dubai, from sunset, Dhs140, children Dhs100. Tel: (04) 3181398. lemeridienminaseyahi. com

If its Friday brunch is anything to go by, The Talk’s buffet and live cooking stations should have you covered.

The Walk, which is perfect for Marinaites. The restaurant has hung drapes to give The Talk a more authentic Arabian feel.

Arabic music, henna painting and an optional a la carte menu.

It’s an allrounder, focused on both entertainment and feasting.

A reasonable Dhs139 or Dhs120 per person if you're in a group of ten or more.

It's a the pricier Enjoy a shisha end of the (Dhs70) in one spectrum, but of the outdoor Traiteur never majilis by the disappoints. pool.

Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach, JBR, Dubai, from sunset, Dhs139. Tel: (04) 4498888.

Hot and cold mezze, soups, all manner of Arabic and international mains, desserts, juices and coffee.

The airconditioned Al Sultan tent at the popular QD’s beside Dubai Creek.

Shisha is the speciality at QD’s.

This is one for the shisha lovers of Dubai.

Edging a little closer to the lower end of the price spectrum at Dhs120.

Latecomers can enjoy a Dhs120 sohour menu from 9pm.

Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Deira, Dubai, 6pm to 9pm, Dhs120, children Dhs60. Tel: (04) 2956000.

It’s a buffet, as these things usually are, serving Arabic Ramadan classics.

The ballroom at one of our favourite hotels – Park Hyatt Dubai. Head out to the terrace for shisha.

There will be an oud player providing a smattering of traditional tunes to liven things up a bit.

Well, everyone enjoys a spot of oud, don’t they?

It will set you back Dhs160.

Park At justHyatt Dhs350, Dubai The Talkis just the kind of place definitely walks to celebrate a the walk. special occasion like Ramadan.

Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai, sunset to 10pm, Dhs160. Tel: (04) 6021804. dubai.

The Palace’s all-day-dining restaurant will serve traditional fare from live cooking stations and a buffet.

Ewaan’s Arabian décor ensures the complete Ramadan experience.

You can enjoy a la carte suhour from 10pm to 2am weekdays, and until 3am Friday and Saturday.

An authentic Ramadan experience. It’s popular with lots of UAE locals.

At Dhs190, it’s one of the most expensive in town.

The Palace really gets into the spirit of things during Ramadan.

The Palace, Downtown, Dubai, sunset to 9pm, Dhs190. Tel: (04) 4287806.


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Al Meera Ballroom



AOC Restaurant


Cavalli Club, Restaurant & Lounge




10 Al Meera Ballroom





Armani/Mediterraneo hasn’t even considered straying from its Italian roots this Ramadan, and a good job, too – Mediterranean buffet is just the ticket. The perfect antidote to break the cycle of ‘traditional Arabic’ chow-downs, there are grand views of the Dubai Fountain, too. Armani Hotel Dubai, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, sunset to 9.30pm, Dhs260 to Dhs290. Tel: (04) 8883444. PRICE



There will be cuisine from countries across the region on offer, including Morocco, Turkey, Egypt and the Middle East.

The Sofitel is slap bang in the middle of The Walk, which is within walking distance for anyone living in Dubai Marina.

There will be live grill stations, as well as the buffet selection.

A taste of the MENA region.

A pretty standard Dhs145.

At last, something a tiny bit different on the food front.

Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach, The Walk, JBR, Dubai, sunset to 11.30pm, Dhs145. Tel: (04) 4484848. sofitel. com

Cavalli is promising traditional Arabic cuisine with a “fashionable twist”. What else?

The Cavalli Club might be far from a traditional iftar venue, but you could definitely do a lot worse, right?

There will be music from pianist Malika Omar.

Fashionistas, who will enjoy that twist we mentioned.

Dhs150. Surprisingly reasonable for this designer hangout.

Set menus will also be available for Dhs200 to Dhs350.

Cavalli Club, Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, from sunset, Dhs150. Tel: (04) 3329260. cavalliclubdubai. com

Some of the best Persian food you’ll find outside of Iran.

The Radisson Blu Hotel is in Deira, beside the creek.

The rose water ice cream and Persian sweets.

Lovers of Persian cuisine, and those sick of the run-of-themill pseudo Lebanese buffets.

Dhs125 is not bad for a meal at a What’s On Award-winning restaurant.

Shabestan has a nice view over the creek, and if you’re lucky you’ll see a firework display.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Deira, Dubai, from sunset, Dhs125. Tel: (04) 2057333. radissonblu. com

Fresh bread, meat and seafood grilled to order and a plethora of mezze options and desserts.

The Address Dubai Mall is connected to the mall itself – perfect for a pre or post iftar shopping spree in the Ramadan sales.

There’s an oud player. Yes, please. We love a bit of oud.

Hungry people who like their food freshly prepared.

A rather pricy Dhs170.

We’ve enjoyed some satisfying dinners at Na3Na3, and you can trust the kitchen.

The Address Dubai Mall, Dubai, sunset to 11pm, Dhs170. Tel: (04) 4388999. theaddress. com

It’s Arabic, and the cooking will done by guest chefs from Jordan, Egypt and Syria.

Grand Hyatt Dubai is just the right side of Garhoud Bridge, and handy for a quick whizz around the shops at Wafi.

Make sure you try the traditional Arabic drinks created by Syrian chef Abou Ala’a.

Those who appreciate a bit of effort on the food front.

Dhs150, which isn’t too bad when you consider the visiting chefs.

There’s a 50 per cent discount for children between six and 12.

Grand Hyatt Dubai, Oud Metha, Dubai, sunset to 9pm, Dhs150. Tel: (04) 3171234. dubai. com











Long’s Bar

2 Loca

3 Zuma












During the other 11 months of the year, Long’s is an average pub. Come Ramadan, however, and it’s the hottest spot in Dubai. We have no idea why, but it’s tradition.

On the classic SZR stretch, this basement bar harks back to a less glitzy time, with dark wood, dance floor and, of course, a long bar.

This is where the party’s at this month. Everyone from your boss to your personal trainer will be at Long’s. Seriously.

Decent prices, with hefty portions of pub grub that won’t break the bank.

When every other bar is empty you’ll descend the stars at Long’s and find mayhem.

Sheikh Zayed Road, Towers Rotana Hotel, Dubai, 8pm to 2.30am (serving alcohol during this time). Tel: (04) 3122202.

Low-key and cool, with groups of friends around high tables and gossiping at the bar.

It’s a trek from the marina, but Loca has breathed new life into this resort.

Casual gettogethers and quality Mexican munchies – the ribs are worth a plate or two.

Average, but there are offers on during the week.

During Ramadan alcohol will be served from 7.30pm.

Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Beach Road, Jumeirah, Dubai, 7pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 3461111.

Cooler than a polar bear’s nose. Slick décor, gorgeous staff and seriously stylish clientele. Dress down at your peril.

Slap bang in the middle of DIFC’s stylish concrete jungle.

Fixing up and looking sharp, creative cocktails and the amazing menu downstairs.

Steep, but ultimately worth it. You get what you pay for, after all.

Buzzing. Caramel’s crowd of city slickers pile through the doors for mid-week drinks, but Fridays are a bit quieter.

Another jewel in DIFC’s crown, Caramel keeps well-heeled types well fed and watered.

Some of the best bar snacks in town. See page 34 for the scoop on the new menu.

It’s pricey, but that goes with the territory in this part of town.

Ladies can enjoy half price signature cocktails from 7pm all summer.

Building 3, DIFC, Dubai, 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 4256677.

As JLT’s only watering hole it’s busy, busy, busy, especially when there’s a game on.

McGettigan’s is attached to the Bonnington, but has its own entrance so there’s no bright lobby to contend with after closing time. Yay.

Sports, fish ’n’ chips, an Irish fry-up and a relaxed gang of revellers.

Very well priced indeed, and the food portions are enormous.

We love the non-traditional pub décor – check out the cool log-lined wall.

Bonnington Hotel, JLT, Dubai, 7.30pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 3560470.

, Zuma is

open for lunch during Ramadan, but alcohol won’t be served until 7.30pm.

Building 6, DIFC, Dubai, 7pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 4255660.



HOT ON THE HesEsEDLubSai Marina

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Belgian Beer Café


6 Oeno


Belgian Beer Café


West Beach Bistro


Nezesaussi Grill

10 Fibber Magees



Long's Bar


Neos is dominated by a jaw-dropping window, allowing views across SZR. The art deco decor, with mirrors, pillars and glam bathrooms add to the luxury feel, so this a place where you should dress up. Speaking of up, you’ll need to take two lifts to reach Neos’ lofty heights. A great choice for wowing visitors and doing business in style. Alcohol will be served from 7.30pm. The Address Downtown Dubai, 7pm to 2.30am. Tel: (04) 4368927.




Upmarket wine bar, with a ridiculously popular ladies’ night on Tuesday. Packed to the rafters.

The Westin, so Senyar is across the lobby if you fancy a change (or need to avoid someone at ladies’ night).

Oenophiles. Obviously. There’s an impressive list of vinos for all budgets waiting to be sampled.

A real mixed bag, starting from free for the fairer sex, to some pricey bottles for true connoisseurs.

Remember there’s no live music from the Brian Elwood Trio this month.

The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai, Sat to Thurs 7pm to 2am, Fri 7pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 3994141.

We love the Victorian tiles, vintage signage and European pub feel.

One of the first dining and drinking spots in Festival City, the BBC has been joined by a bevy of outlets.

Want to feel like you’re not in Dubai? This is the place for you. Order the moules frites and you’ll practically get a stamp in your passport.

There are drink and dinner deals through the week, but it can be on the expensive side otherwise.

Busy at the bar, packed out pews and more chilled upstairs. Love it.

Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City, Festival City, Dubai, 7.30pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 7012222.

The English Premiership kicks off mid-August and this is where the marina’s footie fans will be congregating.

WBB (as we’re coining it – it’ll catch on) is what JBR has been crying out for.

The massive curved screen is the main draw, but the menu, pool table and chat at the bar are worth the visit, too.

Fair – and in true sports bar style, there’s a happy hour too.

A bucket of onion rings, a drink and the match. Good times.

Movenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach, JBR, Dubai Marina, Dubai, 8pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 4498888.

A sporty sanctuary for your summer, Nezesaussi isn’t so masculine nonathletic types won’t feel alienated.

It’s in the Al Manzil Hotel, where there’s also an air-conditioned courtyard with Wi-Fi and Arabic nibbles, should you want to calm down during half-time.

Big screens and big portions. You’ll find dishes from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand – and the pies are epic.

Quite expensive for a sports bar, but this is place manages to be both pub and place suitable for a date. Impressive.

The speedy staff make a visit a pleasure.

Al Manzil Hotel, Downtown Burj Khalifa, Dubai, 7pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 4285888.

Do the regulars ever actually leave? A real neighbourhood spot, Fibber’s is a cosy, scruffy pub for a pretensionfree night.

Tricky. If you’re visiting for the first time then take a regular. Or a compass. It’s behind the Crowne Plaza on SZR. Kind of. Good luck.

Chips and cheese, ardent football fans, the quiz and a night away from five-star luxury.

Cheap and cheerful, with regular promotions.

Wear your trainers and feel overdressed. What a refreshing change.

Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 7pm to 1.30am. Tel: (04) 3322400.





The Ivy



Rhodes Mezzanine



MARCH 2010 WHAT’S ON 91Indego by Vineet LOCATION




It might be a touch quieter during Ramadan, but The Ivy is still the restaurant to dine at this summer.

Green leather, dark wood and crisp, white table clothes. And there's a handy, little cocktail bar and lounge area, to boot.

Venison carpaccio, shepherd's pie and blueberry pie should do the job.

It might be in a mall, but The Ivy's designers have done a good job of disguising the fact.

You could enjoy three courses for around Dhs550 (sans booze), but spending more would be easy.

Lunchtime will be busy this month, as The Ivy is one of the few restaurants open for business.

Book a table to avoid disappointment; LPM is always busy.

There are certainly worse places to be locked away for a long Ramadan lunch, but few better in Dubai.

Splash out on the lobster. You will not be disappointed.

DIFC. Location of a fair whack of Dubai's best restaurants.

If you're paying for two and it's not at least Dhs1,000, you will do yourself and LPM a disservice.

As soon as some of the new opening lustre wears off The Ivy, LPM is sure to be back.

DIFC, Gate Village 8, Dubai, Sun to Fri noon to 2.30pm and 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 4390505.

The Zuma formula – fine Japanese cusine and a laid-back elegant style – inspires loyalty, and it's sure to remain busy this month.

Specifically tailored to its clientele, with a bar and lounge upstairs and an industrious, interactive restaurant downstairs.

Order the wagyu tenderloin from the robata grill menu or the delicious veal.

DIFC. Where else?

Dhs1,000 for two is to be expected.

The perfect spot for a light (or not so light) lunch this month.

Building 6, DIFC, Sat to Thurs 12.30pm to 3pm, Sat to Wed 7pm to midnight, Thurs and Fri 7pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 4255660. zumarestaurant. com


Both peaceful and inviting, Indego never seems either packed nor empty.

A winding stairway leading to a warm elegantly designed restaurant.

Always inventive, the kitchen at Indego is pure Bhatia.

Dubai Marina, where everyone knows its name.

Dhs900 (without alcohol) if two of you are eating three courses from the main menu.

Check out our verdict on the new Dhs250 summer menu on page 34.

Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Sun to Thurs 7.30pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 3176000.


It can be a smidgen on the quiet side, but the food more than makes up for it.

Since chef Scott Price arrived he has made the most of what is an odd space, installing a must-book chef's table.

Last year's What's On Chef Of The Year rarely puts a foot wrong. Order the paprika smoked salmon.

You never listen to us, but it's time to move out of Deira, Gordon.

Dhs395 for three courses, Dhs495 for six courses. For the chef’s table it’s Dhs695, with wine pairings Dhs350 to Dhs600.

Ramadan is a time for celebration, so book the chef's table for you and yours.

Hilton Dubai Creek, Sun to Fri, 7.30pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 2271111. gordonramsay. com

The Ivy


La Petite Maison

3 Zuma

Indego by Vineet


The Ivy, The Boulevard, Emirates Towers, Dubai, noon to 3pm, 6.30pm to 11pm, bar to 2am. Tel: (04) 3198767.



HOT ON EELSl Méridien THE H 10, Le Roya

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Blue Rain



Rivington Grill


Rhodes Mezzanine

8 Asado

9 Okku

10 Blue Rain

Rhodes Mezzanine


11RHODES TWENTY10 Since its grand opening last year, Rhodes Twenty10 has fast become one of Dubai’s most popular grills. More laid-back than Rhodes Mezzanine, but not so relaxed you lose the sense of occasion, it will always be a contender for the Hot List. Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai, 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 3995555.





RG is closed for lunch this month (boo), which means its loyal fans will be itching for a table come dinner time.

Clean, bright and white, with chalkboards displaying the delicious daily specials and a buzzing open kitchen.

Try the heritage tomato bruschetta and crab salad. And you can't really go wrong with the chicken, leek and bacon pie.

Pretty central, and right next to The Dubai Mall, Souk Al Bahar is just about as handy as you could wish for.

Around Dhs400 for two, but on weekdays you can enjoy two courses at lunchtime for Dhs80, or three for Dhs100.

Take a night of from the iftar feasting and book a table for dinner at The Riv.

Souk Al Bahar, Level 3, Old Town, Dubai, noon to 7pm. Tel: (04) 4230903.

It's not exactly jumping, but Mezzanine is never lacking custom.

The colour scheme is pretty simple – it's white. But the odd colourful, velvet chair livens things up a bit.

Chef Paul Lupton is one of Dubai's most talented chefs. Order the seared tempura scallops.

Dubai Marina. Gary's Dubai stomping ground. And just a short stomp from his Rhodes Twenty10 restaurant.

Dhs800 for two. Good value for such fine food.

One of the most established restaurants on the Hot List, it's a must visit.

Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Mon to Sat 7.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 3998888.

Asado will be closed on Sundays during Ramadan, so no Tango. But, no fear, the tunes will still play on the stereo.

Take a table by the window for a view of the Burj Khalifa.

Try the lamb rack or slowcooked veal brisket.

Downtown Burj Khalifa. A prime spot any day of the week.

Around Dhs700 for two.

If you love meat, as we do, you will love Asado.

The Palace – The Old Town, Downtown Dubai, Mon to Sat 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 4287888.

We advise booking ahead, Okku's tables don't usually lack occupants.

It's like dining in a basement – in a good way. The perfect refuge from the unpleasant summer fug.

The Okku burger is a must for any first timer, but the sashimi is also top drawer.

Number One Sheikh Zayed Road. Prime real estate.

Dhs700 should cover dinner for two.

Okku is back in the game. Welcome back to the Hot List.

The Monarch Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, 7pm to 2.30am. Tel: (04) 5018777.

It's not busy at the moment, but the Saturday Thaipas (that's right) night is becoming popular.

Dimly lit, but serene, with plenty of flowing water and a seriously impressive wine wall.

Read our verdict on page 38.

Ritz-Carlton DIFC is a quiet place, making Blu Rain a bit of a hidden gem.

Around Dhs700 for a big meal for two.

Okku back WaiterisNirut in game. is athe delightful Welcome fellow andback full to Hot List. of the passion for Thai cuisine.

The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC, Dubai, Sun to Thurs noon to 3pm and 6.30pm to 11pm, Fri to Sat 6.30pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 3722222




SensAsia Urban Spa



Amara Spa


One&Only Spa


SensAsia Urban Spa


Talise Spa


The Spa


The Spa





Pleasant and efficient, they’ll welcome you back like an old friend. What more can you ask for?

Grouped by theme, there’s an emphasis on rituals and packages that include pool and health club access. And the pool is a knockout.

From the tiled entrance to the outdoor showers, Amara is gorgeous. It is especially good for couples, with romantic VIP suites.

Steep, but there are monthly offers that take the sting out. We reckon the quality of products, spa and therapists are worth it anyway.

Make a day of it with pool access and dinner at Traiteur afterwards.

Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai, 9am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 6021234.

At ease to explain the hows-andwhys behind your treatment, the staff are utterly expert, super friendly and skilled beyond belief.

Bursting with ESPA treatments and products, there’s something for everyone.

Sumptuous and secluded. Expect lots of wood, terracotta and gorgeous fabrics.

Surprisingly less expensive than it could demand (shush) with a 25minute body scrub for Dhs215 and one-hour massage at Dhs490. Big thumbs up.

We’re dying to try the medi-pedi, which promises healthy, pretty feet.

One&Only The Palm, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, 10am to 9pm. Tel: (04) 4401010. www.thepalm. oneandonlyresorts. com

Gentle, kind and with a firm hand when required, SensAsia’s staff are top-notch at what they do.

Simply put, the menu is both innovative and imaginative. It caters specifically for mum-to-bes, golfers, high-heel fans and frequent flyers.

Asian chic with splashes of jewel tones to balance the signature Oriental ambience; the cosy rooms are a true treat. Best dressing gowns in town, too.

Worth a visit for the ginger tea alone, but if you choose wisely you’ll get an hourlong massage for Dhs310.

Take your pick from branches at MOE, Village Mall and The Palm.

Emirates Golf Club, Dubai, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 4179820.

Packed with experts, there’s a mix of nationalities and specialties, from massage therapists to a GP.

In addition to a packed spa menu, Talise has a naturopath, life coaching and medical testing on offer.

Explore the leafy pathways leading to treatment rooms and an outdoor pool that’s tucked away just for those daylong spa sessions.

Not bad for such a high-end establishment. The 80-minute Royal Hammam costs a fair Dhs450.

Try out the day retreat with sunrise yoga, a signature massage, mini-facial and beach access.

Al Qasr, Al Sufouh, Dubai, 9am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 3666681.

Superbly trained therapists are on hand to guide you through the vast spa on your journey from reception to relaxation.

Tired? Try out the highly recommended jet lag treatment. If you’re looking for something else, there’s a separate menu for ladies and gents.

Only minutes away from the stress of The Dubai Mall, this shrine is a tranquil haven.

For the quality of the treatments and snooze you’ll enjoy, the higher prices are worth it.

Give the summer citrus reviver treatment a try and leave with a spring in your step.

The Address Dubai Mall, Old Town, Dubai, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 4388888.


HOT ON S ch THE Ha,EThEe LMon ar

Sp 11 Mandara Spa, One&Only y 12 One&Onl Mirage Royal l, rContinenta City 13 Spa Inte Festival ai ub D l ta en InterContin a & Fitness, Atlantis 14 ShuiQi Sp Grand Spa, 15 The Dubai Grand Hyatt


Banyan Tree Al Wadi



The Spa




Banyan Tree Al Wadi



Situated in the busy Monarch hotel, this spa is a world away from the business and conferences happening nearby. There’s a health club and pool, but the best reason to go is the lunch deal; occasionally they’ll team up with a neighbouring restaurant like Okku to offer a midweek meal and massage deal, usually a bargain at around Dhs350. The Monarch, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 9am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 5018888.




Be prepared for the therapists to whisk you away from the daily grind into a cocoon of comfort.

You won’t be spoilt for choice here but there is a decent selection of rituals for lengthy pampering.

High-quality spa real estate – the relaxation rooms overlook the lakes at the base of the Burj Khalifa.

It may seem pricey, but you’ll get your money’s worth by enjoying the relaxation and steam areas.

A lovely spot to relax before Iftar at Ewaan.

The Palace, Old Town, Dubai, 9am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 4287888.

Very knowledgeable, super sweet and über-attentive.

It’s all here, from express facials for DIFC office-dwellers, a men’s menu and a host of exotic treatments.

Modern, bright and calming, with steam and sauna rooms, plus a lovely relaxation area.

At the top end of the scale, with an 80-minute Thai massage costing Dhs600, but there are regular promotions.

Check out page 60 to read about the Tibetan massage.

The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC, Dubai, 9am to 8pm. Tel: (04) 3722777.

A mix of staff from all over the world. We had a knotbusting South African who was truly impressive.

Choose from 90-minutes to a full day, book your time slot and let the therapist decide what’s best – there’s no treatment menu as such.

As stylish as you’d expect from Giorgio. This sleek space with dark greys and clean lines gives off a masculine aura.

Don’t be afraid, they’re not as bad as you would’ve expected with 90-minutes costing Dhs650 and up to Dhs2,500 for a full day.

A great one for chaps who don’t like fluffy luxury.

Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Old Town, Dubai, 9am to 9pm. Tel: (04) 8883888. dubai.armanihotels. com

Although the spa at Banyan Tree is split in two (The Rainforest hydrotherapy area and the treatment rooms) the staff are fab.

Our favourite from the Asianinspired menu is The Rainforest Indulgence, where you journey through various saunas and steam rooms.

Whilst the drive to Ras Al Khaimah might be off putting, just think of the gigantic and utterly decadent spa that awaits you.

If you’re not a hotel guest, an hour in The Rainforest is Dhs77. Treatments may be on the expensive side but they’re high quality.

Male and female therapists, all with extensive knowledge.

There’s an array of treatments from Eve Lom and Anne Semonin plus a ton of other stuff – whatever takes your fancy.

The steam and sauna facilities are shared. Ideal for couples. We love the twoway windows overlooking the polo fields.

For an hour in the spa you could enjoy either the Anne Semonin massage for Dhs450 or reflexology for Dhs395.

The Spa



Talise Spa


Lime Spa


' A wonderful

way to spend a hot summer’s day.

Banyan Tree Al Wadi, Ras Al Khaimah, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (07) 2067777.

Check out the Movies & Munchies nights while you’re there this summer.

Desert Palm, Al Awir Road, after International City, Dubai, 9am to 9pm. Tel: (04) 3238888.


in the Maldives, or trekking round Nepal, or a shopping trip in New York and then you get home to that e-mail from the parents… “Hope you had a good time. We haven’t been up to much. We’re just a bit nearer death.” I’ve been so excited about this trip, even As you read this I am on my summer break. the parents bit. At the time of writing, I’m 16 I’ve got five weeks of it. Indulgent, eh? Well, I days away from the first leg of the flight. I just do put in a good four hours a day in the studio. spoke to my mum and she literally drained the I won’t go into the nitty-gritty of the trip battery on my Mac with her pessimism. At the but, suffice to say, the parental guilt-vice has end of the call I said, “Just make sure you’re as been twisted enough to guarantee at least a happy as this when I arrive.” week of my break will be spent in Sheffield, Of course, I’m ever so slightly exaggerating more than likely huddled round a steaming here but it’s like the whole visit is designed to cup of tea in a greasy café, watching the rain make me feel as awful as possible. Forget doing bounce off the road, as angry folk tut and anything leisurely or relaxing. Most days are grunt at the bus stop. made up of seeing every single member of my And as I sit there, bleary-eyed, the white extended family. And woe betide me if I don’t noise of my mum’s moaning buzzing around drive the 300-mile round trip to see aunty my head, I’ll once again think to myself, “I Agnes who, by the way, never takes her eyes could be anywhere in the world right now.” off the telly the whole time I’m there and never I know I’m not alone in this. The country, calls me by my own name, choosing instead to city and café are interchangeable, but most call me my dad’s name, my brother’s name, her of us go through this merry little dance at dead husband’s name and my granddad’s name. least once every couple of years. We treat Next up is not being allowed to enjoy spendourselves to an indulgent week ing my money. These days, not only am I a

Our man on the radio bids adieu to Dubai for the summer – and, boy, is he excited…


Z-list, showbiz, radio cheese-ball, I also live in the gold-est place on earth… Dubai. I’m used to eating five-star nosh, brought to me by fawning fleets of friendly servants in big, shiny, marble wonderlands. So when I go home I like to take mum and dad to nice places to eat. Sadly, the very suggestion of this starts the inevitable chain reaction of my dad’s hypnotic long con. He takes my suggestion of a well-reviewed restaurant with fantastic ambience and a view to die for, then, through a combination of fast-talking and brow-beating, somehow convinces me that the chain-pub round the corner from his house that does two meals for a ten pounds is just as good an option. Plus there’s always the chance of a bare-knuckle boxing match in the car park as the afternoon sun glints off the burnt out shell of a 1993 Vauxhall Astra in the rear garden. I’m back on Dubai 92’s Catboy & Geordiebird Breakfast Show the first week of September and, as usual, my first words will be “it is so great to be back on-air and back in Dubai”. Well, now you know I mean it. Catboy hosts the Catboy & Geordiebird Breakfast Show, Sun to Thurs, 6am to 10am, Dubai 92.

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What's On | August 2011  
What's On | August 2011  

What's On | August 2011