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Dubai Edition


April 2011 Issue 396


UAE DHS 10 OMAN RO 1.000



Japanese cuisine, a cut above the rest

Armani/Hashi, the Japanese restaurant and lounge in Armani Hotel Dubai, introduces the Friday brunch offering guests an eclectic selection of Japanese cuisine - from Sushi and Sashimi to Maki, Robatayaki, Tepanyaki, salads, soups and a sumptuous selection of mouthwatering desserts. The freshest fish flown in daily from accross the globe, are complemented by a selection of specialty beverages. A live Odeng Bar will add to the choices for connoisseurs, while enjoying panoramic terrace views of the iconic Dubai Fountain to make the dining experience a delight for all the senses. Experience Armani/Hashi with this exclusive offer of 15% off your total bill while you enjoy the Friday brunch*.

* Terms & Conditions apply. Price starting from AED 295 Please present this voucher to avail your discount. Offer valid until 30th June 2011.

Burj Khalifa Dubai UAE Telephone +971 4 888 3888

Contents Features

35 Here & Now We engage 1980s stars Paul Young and Curiosity Killed The Cat in nostalgic conversation

28 Cheesecakes From passion fruit to Snickers toppings, we take a fork to Dubai’s 20 best dessert delights

38 Maroon 5 The arena-filling rockers chat ahead of their Dubai World Trade Centre show

31 Chill Out Festival Hot Chip, Matthew Herbert and more talk to us about the relaxed two-day fest

41 Westlife The Irish heartthrobs spill the beans on life without former member Brian McFadden



14 103 best-kept secrets Think you know Dubai? Well, think again, with our rundown of the city’s finest hidden gems

p41 APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 3

The round-up 10 Salaam The April low-down: hots and nots, places to be, Middle Eastern art with Christie’s expert Jussi Pylkkänen, a peek at Clique and rumours 12 Win, win, win! Picnic On The Park tickets, golf for four at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club and a hotel stay are up for grabs 44 Films Jack Sparrow is back in the latest Pirates Of The Caribbean, plus Thor, Fast Five, The Hangover Part II, Water For Elephants, Something Borrowed and The Way 47 Eating out Our BBQ guide, Saturday brunches, Jamie’s Italian, new Indian restaurant Amala, Aussie gourmet café chain Jones The Grocer, craving Santi Santamaria’s pastilla and essential food news 59 Art Bonhams' big Orientalism and photography sale, as well as news and the best exhibitions 67 Shopping Hit the racks without wrecking the planet with our eco shopping recommendations, plus the best new books and Sophia solves your wardrobe woes 4 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011


75 Mind & body We examine therapy techniques, visit SensAsia Urban Spa, pick the globe’s premier spa treatments and this month’s deals 85 Sport & outdoor Daredevil bike stunts with the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour, turning bored into boarding, learning golf and Mr Fitness's advice 93 Music Musician of the month DaNnY, plus the full clubland picture, including Ministry Of Sound’s 20th anniversary celebration 97 Travel We go east to the island of Singapore, presummer getaways and travel presenter Martyn Andrews talks holidays 105 Hot lists Smashing the thermometer with the hottest bars, restaurants, brunches and spas 122 Backchat Catboy gets his claws into dodgy rental agencies



buy one dinner, get one free at Park Hyatt.

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Offer valid 01 March 2011 through 31 December 2011, subject to availability. For full terms and conditions, please visit




a day in the urban jungle, the most reserved creatures are lured out of hiding. Something stirs at sunset. But is it you?… or the exquisite cocktails in Cabana? Maybe it’s the shishas? Allow yourself to be instinctively drawn to where you will find the answer. Feel the primal urge as daily Happy Hour arouses your senses between 6:30pm and 9:00pm. Cabana lounge opens daily from 6.30pm to 11.30pm. T +971 4 438 8888 DUBAIMALL@THEADDRESS.COM WWW.THEADDRESS.COM


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 Editor Gareth Rees | Features Editor Abu Dhabi Adam Workman | Chief Sub Editor Iain Smith | Senior Designer Sheila Carino-Deocareza | Editorial Assistant/Picture Researcher Hilda D’Souza | Jing Flores | Picture Researcher – Gulfpics Wayne Fernandez | Contributors Naveed Ahmed, Victor Besa, James Brennan, Louise Browne, Stef Burgon, Vikram Gawde, James Houghton, Catherine Jarvie, Russell Kempson, Richard Luck, Farooq Salik, Simon Smedley, Sophia Serin General Manager Production and Circulation S Sasidharan | Production Manager Sudhakar Chandran | Production Controller Murali Krishnan | General Manager – Group Sales Anthony Milne | Senior Advertisement Manager Dale Isaac | Advertisement Manager Varsha Bhatia | General Manager, Abu Dhabi Joe Marrit | Advertisement Manager, Abu Dhabi Darryl Wiley | Annual Subscription GCC Dhs120 other countries US$70 (including Airmail charges)

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

Drinking coffee, p55

Testing cheesecake, p28

Finding hidden gems, p14

Editor’s note Dubai’s a great place to live, but like every other city in the world, it’s even better if you know where to find its hidden gems. Those backstreet cafés that the locals swear by, the bargain stores with discount designerwear for less, the off-the-beaten-track bars; life in the big city’s more fun if you know the tips and tricks. That’s where we come in. The 103 best-kept secrets is What’s On Dubai’s annual foray into secrets-ville – our third (after 101, 102… see what we did there?) and while it took some considerable effort to compile (as Team What’s On complained to me daily), I think it’s our best yet. See for yourself, on p14. And if there are any Dubai secrets that you know of – that you’d like to share, anyway – please do get in touch, as the team is already wondering how they’re going to come up with 104 new secrets for next year… One thing we do know, however; April is going to be a busy old month. Hot on the heels of last month’s music special, Dubai’s once again putting on a musical feast, with appearances by Westlife, Maroon 5 and a whole host of cool names at this year’s Chill Out Festival (my tip: don’t miss The Cinematic Orchestra, they’re ace). Never ones to miss a trick, we’ve ticket giveaways for all the big gigs, plus, better still, we’re also offering a chance to win a meet and greet with the stars. Yeah, that’s how we roll. Enjoy the issue.

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

Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai


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

Salaam! Avoid looking an April fool with our abridged guide

What’s hot The royal wedding A number of local hotels are going all out in celebration of Wills’ wedding to Kate on April 29. Raffles is our pick. The hotel will be showing the ceremony on eight screens and putting on a British buffet feast, including a traditional roast. Apr 29, Raffles Dubai, Oud Metha, Dubai, from 11am, Dhs450. Tel: (04) 3248888 Gulf Film Festival Catch films by directors from the Arabian Peninsula at the fourth annual edition of the Gulf Film Festival. Apr 14 to 20, InterContinental DFC and Grand Cinemas, Dubai Festival City, Dubai, free. Adopting a cat Feline Friends, the charity that rescues sick and homeless cats, has named April 16 Adopt A Cat Day. Turn up at the Vet Hospital in Al Quoz and choose your new furry little friend. Apr 16, Vet Hospital, Al Quoz. Tel: (050) 4510058.

What’s not Rubbish bar music Why can’t Dubai’s bars get their soundtrack right? It’s too loud, inappropriate or just plain bad. Main offenders are Dubai Marina Yacht Club (banging house and party tunes) and Shades at The Address Dubai Marina (too excitable, and far too loud). Chill. Out. Ridiculous signage You’re driving along and there it is, “Before leaving your house, plan your route”. The only place that sign would be useful is pinned to your fridge. 10 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011

Guess list Who was that someone said was coming to the Emirates?


FOO FIGHTERS Former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl and the lads do a cracking live set, and with a new album set for release this year a little birdie tells us they’re likely to pay a visit to the UAE.


KATY PERRY As the better half of surreal Brit-wit Russell Brand, Perry is the female half of Hollywood’s new odd couple. She appears in the film version of The Smurfs this year, and rumour has it she’s also set to appear on a stage near you.


JUSTIN BIEBER Bieber’s mentor Usher played one of the UAE’s most popular gigs last month and

word on the street is that the teenage popster will follow soon.

We told you so... Joe Cocker May 22, Al Badia Golf Club, Dubai. Look out for our feature in May’s issue.

This month we’re going to… PICNIC ON THE PARK The theme of Picnic On The Park this year, once again, is Bond to Bollywood. Expect film scores from The Blue Groove Orchestra, including The Godfather, Rocky and the James Bond movies, strings from Ovidio De Ferrari and his musicians and a host of West End dancers and entertainers. Turn to p12 to win tickets to the event. Apr 8, Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai, Dhs200 to Dhs475.

Five Questions… Jussi Pylkkänen Christie’s was the first international auction house to open a dedicated Middle East operation. As president of Christie’s for Europe, the Middle East and Russia Jussi Pylkkänen will act as auctioneer at the Middle East season’s CHECK OUT first sale of modern and THE INSIDER'S PICK OF THE contemporary Arab, AUCTION, p62 Iranian and Turkish art

institutions, private collectors, artists, galleries, art fairs, and magazines that help shape and President of Christie's for the Middle East. encourage the arts in the region. Since What qualifies you for that position? we opened an office in Dubai in 2005 and I am a frequent visitor to the Middle East, began to hold our regular sales here, the both professionally and personally. I have a huge appetite for art in the region has deep interest in the history, art and culture astonished me. of the region and have been fortunate to What's the highest price you've ever sold build strong friendships, over many years, a piece of art for at auction? with collectors in the region. One of my high points in Dubai took place What are the star items at the sale? last October when we offered 30 works from It will be particularly interesting to see how the Dr Mohammed Said Farsi collection. the six Saudi Arabian lots do. They are all When I finally put down the hammer on members of a group of artists known as Edge Mahmoud Said’s Whirling Dervishes, it sold Of Arabia. We’ve sold works by these artists for a world record $2,546,500 making it the before, and they were much admired. This most expensive Middle Eastern painting sale is a fundraiser to enable the expansion of ever sold. It was quite a moment. Edge Of Arabia’s education programme and What's been the biggest bargain? art workshops in Saudi Arabian schools and There are always bargains at auction. People universities. We are fortunate to have some associate Christie’s with million dollar lots, wonderful highlights but, with estimates but the majority of our business is done at a from $2,000, we want to encourage people much lower level. to come and look. What’s your opinion of the art scene Apr 20, Modern and Contemporary Arab, in Dubai? Iranian and Turkish Art, Jumeirah Emirates We are fortunate that there are so many Towers Hotel, Dubai.

SEVILLE’S FLAMENCO FESTIVAL Anyone who wants to immerse themselves in Spanish culture for the evening can head down to Seville's Flamenco Festival to enjoy a three-course meal while watching Espana Bravo Flamenco strut their stuff. There's also a special performance at Wafi's Peanut Butter Jam on April 29. Apr 25 to 28, Seville’s, Wafi, Oud Metha, Dubai, 9pm, Dhs145. Tel: (04) 3244555. www.

FASHION STILLS Sofitel’s Fashion Stills exhibition is showing work by photographers Derek Hudson, Francoise Huguier, Jean-Marie Perier and Gerard Uferas. The snappers have worked on shows by top fashion houses such as Dior, Chanel, Jean-Paul Gaultier and YSL, and the images on display paint a picture of life both on the catwalk and behind the scenes. Fashion Stills, Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach, The Walk, JBR, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4484848

GIRL ABOUT TOWN Each month Dubai 92’s Geordie Bird reports back from the UAE’s hottest new bars


What does it look like? Positioned on the roof deck beside the pool and health club, this bar can only be described as 'very Dubai'. As you sip on cocktails people workout in the gym and then wander past in just a towel. Which isn't always a bad thing... Who goes there? There were a lot of 30-plus business types in the bar on Wednesday night. Any bar nibbles? Yeah, there are a few bar snacks, such as spring rolls and bruschetta. But go straight for the chocolate truffles... if they have any left! I did take Big Lou as my plus one. Gulp. Hope they had enough stocks. Drink recommendations? The cocktails were great but the champagne was better. When should you go? Ladies night on a Tuesday, and it gets busy at the weekends. I was there on a Wednesday night and it was full enough to have a good atmosphere but not so full you couldn't grab one of the nice seating areas and patio heaters. How's the service? Fabulous, friendly staff. What's the taxi situation? Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. GEORDIEBIRD’S VERDICT: Make sure you plan your night out around some great Dubai weather because the bar is on the roof deck. And it's worth noting that DJ Rossi won't be swayed to play cheesy tunes. No matter how nicely you ask. Clique, Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3198088. Find us at



Kickback on a blanket, nibble on canapés and be entertained by a live 40-piece orchestra playing the best movie soundtracks ever. Guest artists include violinist Anna Phoebe, who has performed with Aerosmith, singer Austin Drange and soul-jazz vocalist Natalie Williams. Starting at 4pm, this family friendly event is taking over the lawns at Dubai Media City and we have a pair of Picnic Lounge tickets to give away, which include welcome drink and unlimited canapés. The theme of this year’s Picnic On The Park is ‘Bond To Bollywood’, so you can look forward to tracks from the likes of Rocky, Slumdog Millionaire, Moulin Rouge and, of course, James Bond. To be in with a chance of winning, simply tell us… In the song Teddy Bear’s Picnic, where is the picnic happening? a) The woods b) The helipad of Burj Al Arab c) Sharjah


Treat yourself to a suite stay in the city, with private check-in and check out at the 6th floor Club Lounge reception, with this prize from Crowne Plaza Dubai-Deira. One lucky reader will win an overnight stay for two in an Executive Suite, including breakfast in the Club Lounge or Sails Restaurant, and complimentary cocktails and canapés in the evening. The hotel is ideally located for exploring around the creek and gold souks, or you can just relax by the outdoor pool. For your chance to win, simply tell us... What is the name of the hotel's signature restaurant? a) Sugar Island b) Spice Island c) Salt Island




Explore the beautiful waters around the UAE, with a scuba diving session for beginners from Emirates Divers. You'll learn diving theory and have a lesson in the pool, before heading beneath the waves. Suitable for those over ten years old, the Discover Scuba Diving Experience is the ideal introduction to the underwater world. For your chance to win, tell us ... What is the name of the main character in the Disney movie The Little Mermaid? a) Ariel b) Daz c) Persil

WIN! GOLF FOR FOUR AT DUBAI CREEK GOLF & YACHT CLUB An oasis of green and calm in the city, and right on the creek, this golf course is one of Dubai’s sporting gems. The championship greens are also packed with features including water hazards, all in the shadow of the city’s skyline. To help you enjoy the par 71 and the lovely weather while you can, we have a mid-week four-ball game worth Dhs1,800 for one lucky club-wielding reader. For your chance to win, you’ll have to get this answer right. Which country is widely considered to be the ‘home’ of golf? a) Fiji b) Lithuania c) Scotland


It’s back, and it’s bigger than ever. We’ve searched the city streets to find you Dubai’s hidden gems, from the hottest new beach club and a 300-calorie burger, to free jui-jitsu classes and the mechanic you can call 24 hours a day. Want to be in the know? Read on...


Kabayan Restaurant is where you’ll find the Filipino shop assistants who work in Satwa having lunch. Highly recommended locally, and super cheap, you’ll get a plateful of Pinoy fare for a flat rate of Dhs10 and there’s free karaoke and screening of The Filipino Channel upstairs, too. Kabayan Restaurant, Plant Street, Satwa, Dubai


Have a nice sit down and a cup of tea at this Tecom café, where you can learn about their range of 100 teas. Do say: ‘Is it hand-picked?’ Don’t say: ‘Cup of PG for me’. Tea For You, shop6, Thuraya Telecommunications Tower, Tecom, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4572575

1 14 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011


Not many people have heard of The Desert Ranch at Al Sahra Desert Resort, but it’s well worth a visit. You can learn to ride a horse (Dhs1,500 to Dhs2,450), cuddle a camel (Dhs200), join in with a fireside sing-along (Dhs50) or visit a Bedouin farm (Dhs50). The Desert Ranch, Al Sahra Desert Resort, Dubai. Tel: (04) 8327171.




One What’s On staffer was 1cm taller after a trip to osteopath Stephen Richardson. He’s that good. MediCentre, Motor City, Dubai, Dhs400. Tel: (04) 3608866



One of the cheapest massages in town, and they’re good quality, too. Also recommended is the reflexology (Dhs80 for 30 minutes). Open for both ladies and gents. Mary Foot Spa, JBR, Dubai. Tel: (04) 2887077



Us pizza lovers have waited years, but it’s finally here. NKD Pizza uses healthy ingredients, such as wholemeal flour, so pizzas are better for you. Our favourite is the Smokehouse (Dhs29 to Dhs49). NKD Pizza, Dubai Marina, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4534313.

Got a craving for borscht? At 4am? With free Wi-Fi? Now you know where to go. Antalya Café, Fortune Tower, JLT, Dubai



A lone, industrious baker standing at a holein-the-wall forming balls of dough ready for a makeshift stone oven. They come out as the freshest, fluffiest bread you could wish for. Al Shams Bakery, Al Satwa Road, opposite Emarat, Satwa, Dhs1 a bag


Specialist shop Rabsha Smoking has a vast selection of shisha pipes and can post them anywhere in the world should you want to spread the flavoured smoky love. Rabsha Smoking, Ground Floor, Sheikh Ahmad Building, Al Badaa Road, Satwa, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3422554


If you’re schlepping around town in your dirty, broken clod hoppers because you’re too skint to buy a new pair, too lazy to clean them, or just don’t know where to have them fixed, give Ndust a call. Ndust will pick up your shoes, repair them or clean them and bring them right back to you. Ndust Shoe Repairs, Al Barsha 1, Rabwah Building, Shop 5, Dubai, Sat to Thurs 10am to 9pm. Tel: (04) 3255016.


Want to learn the Brazilian version of this martial art for gratis? This studio will teach you the basics during a free 40-minute session. Emirates Jui-Jitsu Centre, behind Mall Of The Emirates, Barsha, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4475120

It’s not easy finding a reliable tuxedo rental shop in Dubai. Cue Murad Boutique in Satwa, the place for all your dinner jacket needs. There’s a Dhs1,000 deposit, but the cost of the penguin suit hire is just Dhs250. Murad Boutique, Al Dhiyafa Street, Satwa, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3458979


If you’re into softball – and who isn’t? – and looking for somewhere to swing your bat, Dubai Softball Field is located on the playing fields next to the Metropolitan Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road.


In this dusty Al Quoz warehouse you’ll find mountains of furniture and objects d’art from around the world. There’s also amazing jewellery pieces from Yemen, some nice budget friendly pashminas and home furnishings. Antique Museum, Al Quoz. Tel: (04) 3479935

Chef Norberto Palacios, Asado




Mövenpick’s Full Monty Saturday brunch is a real bargain, stocked to the gills with British classics such as roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, fully cooked English breakfast and jam roly-poly. All for less than Dhs200. Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments, Bur Dubai, Dubai, noon to 3pm, Dhs195. Tel: (04) 3366000.



“I only know of one place that sells our authentic Argentinean tea, yerba mate, and that’s Lifco Supermarket. My family and I like to go to the SZR branch in Zabeel, stock up on tea and choose our favourite items from the supermarket’s daily bakery produce. Everything is freshly baked. I highly recommend the Lebanese fatayers (mini spinach or meat triangles).”



22 TRADITIONAL BACK17 CUT N’ SHAVE 21 STREET BARBERS KOREAN DINER We’d go just for a photo in the red vintage chairs, they’re so cool, but happily a great cut will only cost you Dhs15. And, as you’d expect, old school shaves are also a speciality. Hussain Mahmood, Satwa Road, Satwa. Tel: (04) 3495628

Korean and Japanese cuisine under one roof (and often on the same plate) at great prices. Far from a grimy diner, Koreana is a clean, friendly spot for unusual eats, with a tasty seafood hotpot to share for Dhs130. Koreana, Plant Street, Satwa, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3544354

DAY DISCOUNT 18 DOGGY CARE 22 DESIGNER SHOES The ultimate doggy day care centre, with vast indoor and outdoor spaces (where they can be let off-leash), a canine spa, obedience school, hydrotherapy, and grooming. They even pick up and drop off. Paw Pet Planet, Dubai Investment Park, Dubai. Tel: (04) 8848894.


If we have pictures to be framed, go to Satwa’s Desert Frames. Why? Because it can’t be beaten on speed or price, and it’s never failed us. Desert Frames, Al Biddaa Building, Plant Street, Satwa, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3441354


It’s not just yummy mummies who need some support. Luckily, Dubai dads can log onto to compare notes on fatherhood in the UAE. There’s a forum, a fitness expert on hand, giveaways and more. 16 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011

No need to schlep to the Outlet Mall for discounted designer gear; Brands For Less gets big names in store on a regular basis. Aside from the Michael Kors heels, there were Elle Macpherson undies for Dhs15 on our last visit. Brands For Less, Al Bada Building, Plant Street, Satwa, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3455008


It’s good to talk, even more so when you’re enjoying Motor City Indian Bhoujan’s daily Dhs16 chat happy hour between 3pm and 6pm. Cheap, and very cheerful. Bhoujan, Motorcity, Dubai


Red Rose Mart has a supermarket where fresh bread is baked on site, offers Filipino cuisine to go and has a lovely outdoor seating area. Lake Terrace, JLT, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4279793

17 25


Let your little horrors run riot at Prince Amir’s gym. Monthly membership is Dhs300 for unlimited classes, which is a darn sight cheaper than taking them to the mall. The Champion Club by Prince Amir, Icon 2, JLT, Dubai, Sun, Tues, Thurs 5pm, Dhs300. Tel: (050) 6397646

INSIDER SECRET Catboy, Dubai 92

SECRET 26 CAMPING SPOT “Going camping? Let me tell you my secret camping spot, which is near Schwaib. It’s half an hour off-road from the Dubai-Hatta Road. Basically, you follow the flat land between the Hatta Mountains and the dunes. Eventually the two meet and there’s a right hook, which leads into a large but secluded bowl. The clear evenings often lead to nights gazing at starry skies, shooting stars and planes. The next morning, as the sun rises above the mountains, the colour of the dunes is tremendous. There’s no better place to sit and eat a sausage sandwich.”




Swing out with your sisters, with no Mr Miyagis in sight. Seibukan Karate Academy, JLT, Dubai. Tel: (050) 6453767



This tiny gelateria serves scoops of authentic Italian gelato, from the freshest lemon to decadent frozen cakes. We particularly recommend the affogato (Dhs15); vanilla gelato drenched in a double shot of espresso. Bacio Gelato, behind Lulu Hypermarket, Barsha, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3232949



Lily Bakes is a home-based company making jams, marmalades and chutneys. Our favourite is the chili apple chutney and the lemon curd (not together), Dhs35 a jar. Hampers, desserts and cakes are also available.



Mister Inasal, a Filipino favourite, is known for its barbecue grills and unlimited garlic rice, but we love the ginger chicken broth and pickled carrot salad, all of which you can try for Dhs45. Mister Inasal, Juma Khalifa Al Naboodah Building, off Plant Street, Satwa, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3277200

INSIDER SECRET Scott Price, Verre

CHEF’S 31 SECRET GREEK “After the Music Room I often head upstairs to Elia. You wouldn’t expect to find a traditional Greek taverna there. Big wooden tables, proper Greek food – there’s even a flower garden.” Majestic Hotel Dubai, Mankhool Road, Bur Dubai, Dubai. Tel: (04) 359 8888. 18 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011



Take along your favourite picture and Brand In Style printers in Al Quoz will blow it up to full poster size for you to hang on your living room wall. Brand In Style, Al Quoz, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3408788.


It’s the fast food fan’s dream – a healthy takeaway that doesn’t make you tubby. Kcal does everything from soup and salads to burgers, sarnies and even desserts. All of it less than 300 calories. Delivery is available. The café also offers free Wi-Fi. Kcal, Lake Terrace Tower, JLT, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4473844.




Get a slice of old school design with Casio watches, complete with mini calculator. We love the gold models for only Dhs75, while the silver watches come in at Dhs150. Classic City, opposite the bus station, Satwa, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3491012

36 24/7 MECHANIC

Al Suwaidi International Garage’s manager Khalid Nazir will collect your car from wherever it happens to be, fix it (usually cheaper than a dealership), and return it back to you in perfect nick. Weekends, middle of the night, he’s never failed us. Tel: (050) 4545021



Second-hand stores are a rare find in Dubai, so when we stumbled across this one we We’ve paid Dhs600 for longer lashes in the struck gold – especially with ball-gowns and past, so were relieved to get the same treatment bridesmaid dresses for sale from Dhs75. for a mere Dhs350 at this new salon. Factoid: ‘ukay-ukay’ means ‘second-hand’ or Pink Nails, Fortune Tower, JLT, Dubai. Tel: (04) ‘to rummage’ in Tagalog. 423068 Ukay-Ukay, behind Al Bada Building, Plant Street, Satwa, Dubai




Kas Café offers literature lovers the chance to swap their well-thumbed paperbacks for something on the café’s bookshelf. They also have musicians performing, too. Bonus. Kas Café, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, D Cluster, opposite JLT Metro, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4471703



Finding a new bookshop always pleases us, and New Era at Motor City has a sizeable collection of Dhs20 classics with fetching covers. Bargain book shopping you’ll love. New Era, Motor City, Dubai. Tel: 050 6586317


CRACKING FANTASTIC 39 45 PARTY FALAFEL CATERER SHOP From small dinners to lavish parties, Myriam El Soueidi is the foodie whose number you want in your phone. She’ll whip up canapés, sandwiches, desserts, three-course menus… you name it. Simply tell her numbers and your needs and she’ll come up with the concepts. Tel: (050) 6259051



If you love falafel as much as we do, head to Al Barsha’s Just Falafel and order up a themed batch. They serve everything from Lebanese to Mexican and Japanese styles, from Dhs8. Just Falafel, Bur Dubai and Barsha. Tel: (04) 3951559.



If you’ve invested in an expensive Persian carpet, then you better look after it with regular Fed up of bumping into civilians when you’re expert washing and repairs when needed. This hammering the tarmac? Head over to JLT and is the place to go. They sell rugs, too. you’ll find the path around the rather murky Al Madean Carpet Trading, Plant Street, Satwa, lakes completely devoid of the general public. Dubai. Tel: (04) 3454488 Behind Lake Terrace Tower, JLT, Dubai



You will leave the chair at Dubai’s first Japanese hair salon with a perfect precision cut every time. Friendly staff and a great range of Japanese imported products, too. Miyazaki Hair Salon, Dome 1, Tower 102, behind Mall Of The Emirates, Al Barsha 1, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3237856.



Fed up of kicking a ball around on the beach? Hire an indoor five-aside pitch at Ahdaaf sports centre in Al Quoz and you can play the beautiful game on a hard surface with proper size goals. And there’s air-con for summer. Ahdaaf, Al Quoz, Dubai, Dhs 350 to Dhs450 per hour. Tel: (04) 3441285



We love to give flowers. And when we do, it’s usually Flowers by Contempo we go to. Try this quieter branch for a more relaxed flower purchasing experience. Flowers by Contempo, Motor City, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4474353.

For your weekly dose of the English Premier League head to Motor City and cheer on your team with a portion of fish ‘n’ chips. A perfect slice of Blightly, without the rain. London Fish ‘n’ Chips, Motor City, Dubai. Tel: (800) 566366

Schools in for summer. The Centre For Musical Arts Dubai’s summer term starts April 23, and they’re offering a few rare specialities like jazz piano and folk guitar. From Apr 23, Centre For Musical Arts Dubai, Dubai, Dhs1,250. Tel: (04) 3418872.








“This one won’t be a secret for long. The recently opened French-style boulangerie is already a big hit with those lucky Marina residents who’ve stumbled upon it. Freshly baked bread, pastries, sandwiches, coffee and more. Get it while it’s hot.” The Bakery, Marina Mansions, Dubai Marina, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4542770.



INSIDER SECRET Conor Purcell, editor Open Skies

HIDDEN 50 BEACH COVE “Take the next turn-off after the Jebel Ali Resort and you can drive right up to a secluded rocky cove; a secret delight unknown to few outside the Emiratis who fish in the area. With significant coral reef visible, the best time is just after sunrise, dawn light framing many emerging fish.”



You wouldn’t expect to find a classic, homely Italian boasting a traditional wood-fired pizza oven in the heart of Al Barsha. But Red Tomato Pizza fits that description to a tee. Red Tomato Pizza, Saleh Bin Lahej Building, Al Barsha, Dubai. Tel: 800866286.


TERRIFIC THAI TAKEOUT It’s not easy to find (you’ll need the map on the website), but the traditional Thai cuisine cooked by chefs Saing and Lek is something special. We tend to opt for delivery. Thai Wok, Al Barsha, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4308119.

Any eatery bold enough to serve the wildly different cuisines of these two countries is worth investigating. Order the chicken tikka pizza (Dhs37). Eat’Alley, Shop 3, Summerland Building, behind Lulu Hypermarket, Al Barsha, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4475409.



You know you’ve made it when you’re able to commission your own artwork. Dubai-based artist Carrie Brummer creates watercolours and acrylics from Dhs850 and drawings from Dhs500 in just one month. E-mail:



It’s good to talk, even more so when you’re enjoying Motor City Indian Bhoujan’s daily Dhs16 chat happy hour between 3pm and 6pm. Bhoujan, Motor City, Dubai

54 GYM


At the little-known Al Barsha Park you can work out for free. To find the park, turn right after LuLu Hypermarket on Umm Suqeim Road, continue straight ahead until the third set of traffic lights, and then turn left. The park will be on your left. There is a range of weights and other gym equipment available.

A brand new members’ website is the answer to harassed Dubai mums’ woes, with coffee mornings, promotions, competitions, a message board and, most helpfully, a virtual PA service to help with school registration, finding nurseries, restaurant and holiday bookings, and reminder system.


Finding a decent steamer basket in Dubai is not easy. Ditto authentic miso rice crackers and proper sushi ingredients. Deans Fujiya has it all. Deans Fujiya Japanese Supermarket, Oud Metha Building, near Lamcy Plaza, Oud Metha, Dubai, Sat to Thurs 10 am to 8.30pm, Fri 5pm to 8.30pm. Tel: (04) 3370503


Aerial silk is not for the faint hearted but it promises to turn you into fearless anti-gravity artist. It’s a great acrobatic work out and a laugh a minute. You have to try it once. The Fridge, Al Quoz, Dubai, Dhs75 for a trial class. Tel: (04) 3477793






Graphic designer Alexandra Dionisio of Bubble-U creates bespoke birthday cards for kids. Children will love their made-justfor-them cards, and mum and dad will, too Bubble-U, Dubai. Tel: (050) 9559151.

INSIDER SECRET Nathalie, Dubai 92


SUPER FRESH SEAFOOD “Looking for great seafood? Try Sammach. The food is cheap and delicious. It’s by far my favourite seafood restaurant in Dubai.” Beach Centre, Beach Road, Jumeirah, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3494140





Whether you’re a DIY dummy or just don’t have the time to get your hands dirty, Jim’ll Fix It can help. Plumbing, electrical work, painting, DIY, A/C repair and more are charged by the hour so you can leave all those jobs to the experts. Tel: (800) FIX.


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Aprilia has scooters, dirt bikes and motorcycles for sale, but if you want to trade in yours then this is the place to go, and it’s one of the most respected names in the business. Warehouse B3, Umm Suqeim Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3476712.


Sick of seeing knockout photos of the world’s tallest building? Get yourself to Business Bay (behind DNATA on SZR) and you’ll be privy to uninterrupted views, perfect for snapping. Get there before another skyscraper goes up.



It’s not as easy as you’d think to get a shawarma before 6pm. Shawermama does a variety of cheap (Dhs13 to Dhs20) shawarma all day, both to eat in or delivered. Popular with the locals, which is always a good sign. Shawermama, near City Max Hotel, Al Barsha, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4534704



Slept through your alarm? No time to eat your porridge? Order crepes, waffles, pancakes and pastries from JLT’s Counter Culture Café and have them delivered to your home or office. Green Lakes Serviced Apartments, S2 Tower, Ground Floor, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4474133


If you’ve been strapped into a seat with three wheels, handle bars and sails it’s likely you’ve tried the little known sport of blokart. If you’ve never been in that situation, get in it. Now. Dreamdays, Dubai, Dhs275. Tel: (04) 4329392.



There’s an international extravaganza for children at Soda Box, the new retro-style diner, with Alliance Française reading traditional Indian stories in French to children aged six to 12 on Saturday afternoons from 3.30pm to 4.30pm. Soda Box, The Pullman, Barsha, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3772353

INSIDER SECRET Geordiebird, Dubai 92

FREE71 RUNNING COURSE Urban sport Parkour is up there with snowboarding as being the best fun you can have with your clothes on (diving is the best fun you can have with your clothes off, obviously...). There wasn’t a single muscle in my body that didn’t hurt the following day, including my extra-oculars (the muscles in your eyes) from staring at Jonny the instructor. Emirates International School, Emirates Hills, Dubai, Dhs350 for ten classes. E-mail: mannd@

Cycle Safe Dubai is a group formed to keep UAE cyclists up to date with all things pedal powered. They hold regular sessions at Dubai Autodrome. Cycle Safe Dubai, Dubai. Tel: (050) 6804528.


It might not look it, but the Sconto store in the Dubai Marina Mall sells designer brands like See By Chloé at discount prices, sometimes offering up to 70 per cent off. Grab yourself a bargain, before word gets out. Sconto, 1st floor, Dubai Marina Mall, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3997899

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INSIDER SECRET Tom & Dan, Dubai 92


“Our little find is Yehjun, a restaurant above Safestway on Sheikh Zayed Road. Everyone knows about the fish place, but upstairs on the left-hand side, there’s a little Korean restaurant. Really cheap, great food and they even have the small traditional rooms with barbecue pits.” Safestway Building, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3211500



Fight & Power in Tecom is full of lean, mean fighting machines buying apparel, protein powder, gloves and equipment for MMA, boxing and Muay Thai. You can even buy customised fighting rings and cages. Grrr. Fight & Power, Shop 2, G+27 Warsan, Tecom, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4572357.



Run by a lovely Scouser, Brick Lane is home to quality, well-priced curries. Particularly recommended is the chicken dupiaza (Dhs30). Eat in or take away. Behind Sharaf DG Metro station, Barsha, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3996786.

INSIDER SECRET Leah Fielding, senior editor, Jumeirah magazine

FREE80 RANGE BUTCHER “If you enjoy eating red meat, but care deeply about how the animals are treated, then New Zealand-based Wallace Corporation is for you. The animals are reared on a diet of lush, green grass, good clean pastures and are free range, meaning you can enjoy a juicy steak or a succulent joint without the added guilt. Processed according to Halal guidelines, this cut of prime beef is a winner.” Selected Spinneys stores, Dubai




This new restaurant serves one thing and one thing only. Potatoes. Everything from the classic beans (Dhs18) to caviar and sour cream (Dhs38). Tubers, Dorrabay Building, Shop 1, Dubai Marina, JBR, Dubai. Tel: (800) 563.



“Jetty Lounge opened under the radar but it’s about time it got some love. This sandy spot offers lovely tapas, chilled tunes and a great wine list. Perfect for sundowners or a tête-à-tête.” One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai Marina, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3999999


The brand new, super glam XL Beach Club is right on the beach, with pools, pagodas, tunes and a ladies night on Sundays. And it won’t be a secret for long. XL Beach Club, Habtoor Grand Hotel, Dubai Marina, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3995000



Urban Tails animal resort has a doggy boot camp, limo transport, outdoor swimming pool, pet butlers, a gym, vets on hand and hotel suites with plasma TVs. Yeah, for dogs. Dubai Investment Park, Dubai. Tel: (04) 8848847.



Part-time jewellery designer Antonia Walsh uses semi-precious stones, silver and gold, plus charms and initials to create gorgeous necklaces. Cool and individual, we love them. From Dhs400. Tel: (056) 7593053 24 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011


You, the cue, the table and a professional billiards player. And a few balls. Impress your pool shark pals with your new skills; it could be the best investment you ever made. Dubai Billiard Academy, Shaiba Towers, Tecom, Dubai, Dhs99. Tel: (050) 1518532. www.


INSIDER SECRET Nick Zilber, Chief Concierge, InterContinental Dubai Festival City



“Given the temperature and sand in the water, some of the finest pearls in the world are found in the Gulf. Ali Bin Abdullah Al Owais was a pearl trader who went on to establish the Emirates NBD bank. Whilst he worked in international banking, he continued to collect pearls and thus creates one of the world’s finest collections of pearls, which is now on display at this Pearl Museum.” Emirates NBD Tower, Deira, Dubai.



Bu Qtair Cafeteria can be found on Street 2b at the north end of Umm Suqeim Beach, but few people have discovered it. Most would walk straight by the unpreposessing, makeshift shack opposite the Port, Customs And Freezone Corporation, but it houses a curry kitchen run by local fishermen every evening where you can pick up a fish curry with bread and rice for Dhs5 or a whole fresh catch of the day (fried to perfection) for as little as Dhs25. Bu Qtair Cafeteria, Street 2b, Umm Suqeim, Dubai, 7pm to midnight




EMIRATI HONEY SPECIALIST Bee Kingdom, a small store in Bur Dubai, has been in business for over 25 years. It specialises in pure honey from the Emirates and all over the gulf. Its best is an Emirati honey that sells for Dhs500 per kilo. You can expect staff who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their product. Al Rolla Street, Bur Dubai, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3522455



Recently, due to efforts by the UAE Government, falconry was highlighted by UNESCO as a key part of the Gulf ’s heritage, thus demonstrating how important these birds are to the people of the UAE. Al Hurr Falconry experts provide demonstrations in order to educate on the role of falcons in both historic and modern Dubai. Nad Al Sheba, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3270070


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You won’t find goat in the meat counter at Waitrose, so you’ll have to go off the beaten track. Bastiki has cuts of meat, friendly staff, logs for chopping and an… authentic aroma. Bastiki Meat Trading, off Satwa Road, Satwa. Tel: (04) 3324077



Dates have been an essential part of the Middle Eastern diet for thousands of years and the UAE is the third largest producer of dates in the world. In the Emirates Dates Showroom, one of UAE’ s largest suppliers of dates, you will be able to see and sample some of the different products on offer including plain, pitted and stuffed dates. It’s a great place to pick up some gifts. Emirates Dates Showroom, Abu Hail Centre, Dubai. Tel: (04) 2690629


Sick of being the slow one in your bootcamp? Tribes, a new concept from Caveman Fitness Evolution, involves forming your own ‘tribe’ of ten people that work together as a team The TaylorMade Performance Lab provides to accomplish goals during the session. the ultimate club fitting and swing analyses. Exercises include spear fishing, kayaking, pad After a two-hour session, you will be able to work fighting off faux woolly mammoths, accurately capture your swing and analyse moving ‘the village’ out of danger and it with one of the clubs professionals. You everything else our cavemen ancestors had to will be able to order completely custom achieve. Times and locations are clubs, fitted to improve your swing, suited to your tribe. allowing you to hit longer and straighter. Dhs600 per person for 12 sessions. This is the only facility of its kind in the Middle East. Al Badia Golf Club, Dubai. Tel: (04) 6010101

Nobody likes a queue. Fortunately, for Dhs220 iVa will stand in line to renew your car registration and insurance for you. iMan, 404 Kharbash Tower, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai.

INSIDER SECRET Alicia Buller, editor of Gulf Business


“ is an Arabic take on the LinkedIn concept, with the glaring advantage of having an Arabic (as well as English) interface. Job hunters and professionals alike are beginning to log onto to take advantage of a site specialised in the local career market. Expect to see it grow, especially in the regional microclimate of a youthful, mobile population seeking employment.”




“Seek out Xiao Fei Yang (Little Mongolian Sheep) and order the Chinese steamboat. Choose spicy or non-spicy, then add your own ingredients from a selection of beef and chicken slices, assorted mushrooms, tofu skin, handmade shrimp and vegetables.” Xiao Fei Yang, International City, China Cluster, Building B03, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4327211



Recommended for snorkelers, though shallow, Ras Al Gharab boasts stunning coral scenery. Sea turtles forage in the sea grass meadows and hawksbill turtles have also nested on the nearby beaches; a great daytrip destination just a short distance from the city. Drive to Abu Dhabi; Ras Al Gharab is eight nautical miles from Abu Dhabi (bearing 055degT)



Hidden away in Satwa is Arabic bookshop Dar Al Hikmah Book Shop, which has one of the finest collections of magazines in the city. Dar Al Hikmah Book Shop, Al Diyafah Street, Satwa, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3459953

FEATURES ED’S PICK SECLUDED 95 DESERT ISLAND “If you’re looking for a camping spot to boast about, Martini Rock is it. Head to Khor Fakkan Corniche in Fujairah, find yourself a willing boatman on the beach and ask him to take you to Martini Rock. You can haggle, but it should be around Dhs600. Within 20 minutes you’ll be dropped off on a deserted beach surrounded on three sides by rocks and on the fourth by the sea. Peace at last.”




If you’re a dancer looking for a specialist dance clothing store in Dubai, you’re probably having a pretty tough time of it. Meeting Love Sports is pretty much your only option and should have everything you need. Meeting Love Sports, Palm Strip Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3454563



If you’re after a little something for a friend, Gift X has it covered with its cheap personalisation service. For around Dhs30 you can buy key rings, mugs and more and have a personal message printed. Gift X, Dragon Mart, International City, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3687188.



If you’re a fan of manakish, or Lebanese pizza, as we like to call it, then Akawi Oven is the place for you. More than 30 different varieties, from the classic cheese to hotdog. They also do manakish wraps. Delivery only. Akawi Oven, 1 Lake Plaza, PR Level, JLT, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4474404

INSIDER SECRET Sophia Serin, editor, Emirates Woman

101 DAY


“Curb your carb cravings and visit The Organic Café in The Dubai Mall every Tuesday for freshly baked bread that is gluten and wheat free. They only bake once a week and by the end of the day most of it has gone, so get in fast, or better still call to place an order.” The Dubai Mall, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3384822

102 DUBAI ANIME CLUB Exactly as the name suggests, this is a club for those interested in Japanese anime. The group brings together anime fans from across Dubai and is a one-stop shop for all things anime in the UAE. Dubai Anime Club. dubaianimeclub

99 PHOTO DARKROOM 103 GAELIC GAMES Anyone who still prefers the hands-on process involved in film photography to the new world of digital may be having a hard time finding a darkroom in Dubai. Your search is now over. Tashkeel arts centre in Nad Al Sheeba 1 allows members to use their darkroom free of charge, though you might have to pay for some chemicals. Weekly membership is Dhs200, monthly is Dhs700. Tashkeel, Nad Al Sheeba 1, behind Nad Al Sheeba Health Centre, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3363313.

Get all Celtic with Gaelic football, hurling and camogie. You can train with the Dubai Celts who arrange monthly matches within the UAE and international tournaments. Men, women and children are all welcome. www.


If you’re into philately (that’s stamp collecting for those who aren’t), why not put in an application to join the Emirates Philatelic Association. Set up by ministerial decree in 1996 and boasting its own constitution, EPA is not for the faint hearted. Emirates Philatelic Association, Bastakia Heritage Area, Bur Dubai, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3538383.


You like cheese. You like cake. You love cheesecake. And we do too, which is why we searched the city for the nicest slice



La Petite Maison Vanilla Cheesecake

You can see the vanilla seeds in this sophisticated cheesecake – proof of quality ingredients and a love of food. With light cheese, clean flavours from the zest and berries, and a thin crust, this was the plate we kept coming back to. Our favourite. DIFC, Gate Village 8, Dubai, Dhs45. Tel: (04) 4390505

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Original Cheesecake La Petite Maison


Snickers Cheesecake


Banana Toffee Cheesecake with Salted Crust

Fountain Café

Marbled Cheesecake

Lovely swirls of dense vanilla and chocolate filling are complemented by a choice of sauces, which makes this a bowlful of sinful delight. A buttery biscuit crust provided the crunch, and we couldn’t resist taking a slice home. Seriously good. Mövenpick, Oud Metha Road, Bur Dubai, Dubai, Dhs35. Tel: (04) 3366000

Magnolia Bakery

Not one for those with CATBOY’S peanut allergies, this Snickers PICK cheesecake has a nutty cookie base, whipped filling and is topped with mini chocolate bars. Lip-smackingly good. Catboy can’t get enough, and we have to agree. Bloomingdale’s, The Dubai Mall, Dubai, Dhs20. Tel: (04) 3505440


These mini puds packed a serious palate punch, with sweet toffee nicely off-set by the unusual salty taste. A more modern take on the traditional cheesecake. Thumbs up. Fairmont, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Dhs15. Tel: (04) 3325555

Ruth’s Chris

Absolutely delicious. A rich, runny mousse filling, substantial base and fresh strawberries create a cheesecake that’s not too sweet – just a grown-up dessert that we’ll eat again and again. The Monarch Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Dhs49. Tel: (04) 5018666


What's On and the 92 crew

Lime Tree Café Pistachio & Praline

Another monster slice (we wouldn’t expect anything less from Lime Tree). The filling itself was a little heavy, but the toffeenut topping was fantastic. One to share – just make sure the plate is closer to you. Beach Road, Jumeirah, Dubai, Dhs26. Tel: (04) 3256325


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West 14th

Signature Cheesecake

This mini cheesecake came with a little syringe to inject vanilla sauce into the centre, which was a nice novelty. Great size and tangy lime flavour which cut through the sweetness. Oceana, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, Dhs40. Tel: (04) 4477606


Pistache, Park Hyatt

Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake


Jamie’s Italian Vanilla & Ricotta Cheesecake

Credit to Jamie for the crème brulee-style crunchy top, and lovely vanilla underneath. It comes on a chopping board, with a scoop of cream to stop dryness in its tracks and makes a pleasing end to a meal. Festival City, Dubai, Dhs39. Tel: (04) 2329969


Magnolia Bakery Blueberry Jamboree

This generous slab is covered in lovely thick syrup and whole blueberries so we’re convinced you’ll get at least one of your five-a-day. The fruit flavour overwhelms the cheesecake aspect, but it’s delicious so we didn’t mind too much. Bloomingdale’s, The Dubai Mall, Dubai, Dhs20. Tel: (04) 3505440

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Twelve-year-old Robert was hooked up by Dubai 92 ROBERT’S FAVOURITE and tried some cheesecakes with us live on air. Wowed by the raspberries dotted with gold leaf and the fresh filling, this was his favourite. He’s a food critic in the making, and we agree it’s great. Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai, Dhs30 per slice or Dhs200 per kilo. Tel: (04) 6021234

Blueberry Cheesecake

Pastry Boutique Cold Cheesecake

Not a terribly imaginative name, but not a terribly imaginative cheesecake either. Fairly tasty though, with an icecreamy filling and covered in a jammy topping. Ramada Hotel, Al Mankhool Road, Bur Dubai, Dubai, Dhs110 per kg. Tel: (04) 5061189

Cappuccino’s Café

Baked Cheesecake

Caffè Nero

This is your classic cheesecake. No gimmicks, just a buttery crust, cold creamy filling and rich topping. Great price, too. DIFC, Dubai, Dhs18. Tel: (04) 3700505

A real hit among the tasters, this cheesecake was more of a sponge, with a delicious chocolate ganache topping. There were even a few macaroons on the top. Stellar effort. Crowne Plaza, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Dhs20 per slice or Dhs110 for whole. Tel: (04) 3311111


Passionfruit Cheesecake

The huge slice broke our plastic fork, but once we’d managed to taste it we were rewarded with a mouthful of dense, fruity filling that somehow tasted of pancakes. Yum. And it’s massive. Souk al Bahar, Old Town, Dubai, Dhs30 per slice or Dhs 300 for whole. Tel: (04) 4252240



Baker & Spice

Ruth's Chris


The One

Banana Caramel Cheesecake

Frozen and very fruity with a soft, light filling. Drizzled with caramel, this would be a lovely accompaniment to an afternoon coffee. Beach Road, Jumeirah, Dubai, Dhs 18 per slice or Dhs144 for whole. Tel: (04) 3456687



Baked Banoffee Cheesecake

Scoring points for being a Banoffee from Wafi, this huge cheesecake was also very tasty indeed. Definitely on the sweet side, it’s a good choice when only calories can make your day better. Add more peanut butter sauce if it’s been a particularly bad day. Pyramid @ Wafi, Oud Metha, Dubai, Dhs38. Tel: (04) 3244100



Marble Cheesecake

Crowne Plaza Dubai Deira

Strawberry Cheesecake

From the hotel formerly known as the Renaissance, this cheesecake came with white chocolate and berries, and was almost too creamy. One of the cheesier desserts we sampled, we appreciated the thick texture and lovely crust, but quickly disposed of the fake whipped cream. Crowne Plaza Dubai Deira, Saluaddin Road, Deira, Dubai, Dhs100 per kg. Tel: (04) 2625555


Palm Grill

New York Baked Cheesecake

Very gloopy and comforting. The testers loved the plain filling and fruit topping. And we all agreed that it was a nice sized portion, too. Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, Dubai, Dhs35. Tel: (04) 2227171


40 Carrots

Baked New York Cheesecake

This one looked a bit dated (let's aim to phase out squirty cream in 2011, please folks), but the texture was great and the fruit coulis was a welcome addition. Bloomingdale’s, The Dubai Mall, Dubai, Dhs25. Tel: (04) 3505441

Very fancy looking, with a layer of caramel above the base to truly guarantee a diabetic coma. Enjoyable, but a little rich. Oud Metha, Dubai, Dhs40 per slice or Dhs275 for whole. Tel: (04) 3149828 APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 29

Chill Festival Out The Chill Out Festival reaches its five-year milestone this year with its most impressive line-up yet. We caught up with Hot Chip, Matthew Herbert and Matthew Hawtin, who share the stage with Erykah Badu, Röyksopp, The Cinematic Orchestra and more…

Hot Chip Taking a break from live duties, broadsheet-pleasing expansive London gang Hot Chip send their drum machine/synth specialist, Felix Martin, to DJ at Chill Out WHAT DOES A HOT CHIP DJ SET CURRENTLY ENTAIL? A Hot Chip DJ set can be a lot of different things as we all play different kinds of music and tailor things to fit with specific events. Judging by the name of the festival it could be a pretty chilled out set, which I would very much enjoy playing. IS THIS YOUR FIRST TIME IN THE UAE? My only previous trip was a stopover in the airport when I was 19 years old on the way to Sri Lanka to teach English for several months. It was We have a meet and greet with Erykah my first plane Badu plus several runner's up prizes of trip and I tickets to the Chill Out Festival remember up for grabs. For your chance to win, being e-mail with the correct answer to this question, amazed by and the name of the prize in the variety the subject line... of shops in Which island is known for chill out tunes? the airport,


a) Ibiza b) Isle of Wight c) Long Island

and the humid atmosphere outside, with a huge yellow moon hanging over the airstrip. YOU ANNOUNCED RECENTLY THAT THERE WOULD BE NO HOT CHIP LIVE SHOWS WHILE THE BAND WRITES NEW MUSIC. HOW’S THAT GOING? We’re all working hard on separate projects at the moment. I’m preparing a film soundtrack with [Hot Chip bandmate] Al Doyle concerning an elderly Jewish couple who originally met in a concentration camp and have restarted their romance 60 years down the line. Joe [Goddard] is working with Raf [Rundell, DJ] on a wonderful house music project called 2 Bears. Owen [Clarke] is drawing and creating visual artwork, and Alexis [Taylor] is touring with his other band, About Group. ARE DJ DATES A NICE DISTRACTION FROM THE CREATIVE PROCESS, OR DO YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM THEM? DJing is a big part of what we do and who we are as musicians, producers and performers. It predates playing live and releasing records for some of us in the band, myself included. It’s part of our heritage.

SEVERAL CRITICS LABELLED YOUR LATEST ALBUM, ONE LIFE STAND, A MORE SERIOUS RECORD. DO YOU FEEL HOT CHIP HAVE GROWN UP? We’ve certainly grown up as people. We’ve been going for over a decade now in one form or another and we are, by and large, the wrong side of 30. Playing live all over the world and releasing records does change your approach and attitude towards your own creativity. If you don’t absorb some of that and just keep trying to plough the same furrow your music will suffer. HOT CHIP HAVE COLLABORATED WITH NEW ORDER’S BERNARD SUMNER AND PIONEERS SUCH AS OMD HAVE COMPLIMENTED THE BAND. IS THAT HUMBLING? It’s a great honour. Receiving an email from Ralf [Hütter] from Kraftwerk praising our remixes of their material was, for me, the high point of our career to date. APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 31


Matthew Herbert

We attempt to unravel British experimental provocateur Matthew Herbert, whose past projects have veered from turning an edition of the Guardian newspaper into a live show to working with Björk WHAT ARE YOU EXPECTING FROM THE CHILL OUT FESTIVAL? I’ve not played in Dubai before and I’m not sure what kind of music people listen to there, so I’ll be bringing a lot of different styles and hoping to have something that makes sense on the night. I tend to play wonky club music if it’s a dance event, but will also be bringing some more mellow records with me, as this is a chill out festival. YOUR RECORDED WORK OFTEN TRAVERSES CONCEPTUAL TERRITORY. IS DJING AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT CHALLENGE, WITH LESS TIME TO WEAVE A NARRATIVE? Audiences are generally less expectant of something visually stimulating with a DJ show and so there is less pressure than a live show. However, it’s always a challenge when you’re DJing to play music that the audience like and are familiar with, and new musical ideas, sounds and records that you want to introduce them to. ONE PIG, YOUR NEXT ALBUM, HAS ATTRACTED ATTENTION FROM ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS. DO YOU SEE YOUR WORK AS CONTROVERSIAL? I’d probably prefer ‘thoughtful’ to ‘controversial’. I try and make records out of noises that haven’t been heard in music before. This sometimes leads me to difficult places, but I’m not interested in infamy; I’m interested in the friction that comes from interacting with our world in new ways. Consumerism doesn’t encourage us to dig deeper, so I’m determined to find out the real story behind things. That’s one of the reasons why, for example, my new record follows the life of a modern farmed pig from birth to dinner plate. 32 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011

Erykah Take Badu it easy

Stars of the Chill Out Festival reveal how they enjoy, err, chilling out... MATTHEW HAWTIN

I go for simple pleasures: laying on a beach and hearing the waves breaking, sitting in a café watching the world go by, or taking a long bike ride as the day begins.


I like to read books and take walks. I’m currently enjoying the last James Lovelock book.


As I’m going to Dubai, it’s definitely going to be something very much legal!

Dos and don’ts: a blagger’s guide to the American soulstress’ life and career... DON’T assume that a multi-million-selling discography, which began with 1997 debut album Baduizm, has come easily to Erykah: her Frustrated Artist tour in 2003 was a direct response to suffering crippling writer’s block.

DO look out for her outlandish fashion sense: from mohawks to crew cuts and afros to towering headwraps, the 40-year-old is rarely less than captivating, with her ever-changing outfits nearly always catwalk-level bonkers. DON’T call her music ‘neo-soul’ – she was never a fan of the term, despite being variously proclaimed as the sub-genre’s ‘queen’ and ‘first lady’. DO hope her kit stays on: she landed a disorderly conduct charge for last year’s controversial music video for Window Seat, which saw her walk along a public street in her hometown Dallas shedding clothes until being ‘shot’ at the spot President Kennedy was assassinated. A repeat performance isn’t advised at Chill Out. DON’T introduce her to any more rappers: US hip hoppers André ‘André 3000’ Benjamin of OutKast, The DOC and Jay Electronica are respective fathers of her three children, while she also previously dated vocalist-turnedactor Common.


The Cinematic Orchestra Say hello to the easygoing British jazz outfit, led by Jason Swinscoe If any one person embodies feted British electronic imprint Ninja Tune, which chalked up its 20th birthday last September, it’s The Cinematic Orchestra’s unassuming leader Jason Swinscoe. A model example of how to scale the music industry’s slippery career ladder, not many artists can say they went from interning at a label to one of its bestselling acts. But that’s exactly the story for Swinscoe, who subsequently became Ninja’s export sales manager and was soon shifting plentiful units around the globe himself, creating music in the hours away from his day job. A decade or so down the line and The Cinematic Orchestra’s reputation precedes them: four studio albums, several compilations

Röyksopp Röyksopp’s music videos have won awards and accolades. Here are five of the best…


EPLE Taking an ingenious landscape-withina-landscape approach, Eple’s visuals zoom in and out of windows and picture frames toward previously unnoticed views; a trip through a past vision of their native Norway with faded photograph charm.


REMIND ME This MTV Award-winner brings science textbook graphics and instructional diagrams to life, at points approaching a Day-Glo Sims crossed with bizarre product placement, flicking through stats and maps with eye-bruising abandon.


ONLY THIS MOMENT Loosely based on the Paris riots of 1968, cutting up archive footage and propaganda snippets, there’s plenty of eye candy on display here, not least plentiful impossibly beautiful French women of the era. Such Gallic cool will make you wish for a time machine.

and a not-to-be-sniffed at live album recorded at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall incrementally have developed a grandiose sound as widescreen and, well, cinematic as that moniker suggests. Even if the name doesn’t ring any bells, chances are you have already heard the Cinematics in full flow: signature tune To Build A Home, from 2007 album Ma Fleur, has racked up more TV and advert soundtracking duties than most musicians manage in a lifetime. And its heartfelt splendour is a perfect entry point for any listeners as yet unacquainted with Swinscoe and his mutating band of top free jazz players.

Matthew Hawtin The Berlin-based DJ and producer, brother of Richie ‘Plastikman’ Hawtin, examines his expert subject: ambient/chill out music...

The chill out sounds of 2011 are hard to define because it is such a big and broad genre now, sub-divided into many different sounds. I would say in the early years of electronic music ambient was more specific, because for many of the experiences it was encapsulated into a chill out room at a club or party, so people would be more aware of the music and the genre. Certainly there are less chill out rooms now but I don’t think that means ambient is less liked, it’s simply experienced in different ways by people, in clubs, at home, at festivals, or through the internet. Chill out music continues to evolve HAPPY UP HERE and progress just as most other music forms. Ever played so many videogames that For me, a great chill out track usually has your inner eyelids project graphics and an emotional undercurrent to it, pinpoints your dreams swim with pixels? Prepare for a certain feeling by a sound or melody and a flashback then, as space invaders fall from takes the listener on a journey from beginning the sky midway through a hyperactive dash to end. The best tracks are usually long and through nocturnal neon cityscapes and what somewhere in the track is a culmination of appears to be the inside of a pinball machine. sounds, where the magic or greatness of the track exists. The magic is best left as a THE DRUG mystery, to be enjoyed again and again. Filmed in the urban wastelands of Detroit, three teenage girls wander Apr 8 to 9, Nasimi Beach, Atlantis, The through dystopian surrounds, variously Palm, Dubai, 4pm to 2am, Dhs150 to encountering a post-apocalyptic attacker, a naked Dhs300. Tel: (050) 5944740. disfigured child and – less terrifyingly – flaming letters spelling out ‘RÖYKSOPP’ (umlaut and all).

4 5


NOW THAT’S WHAT WE CALL THE EIGHTIES! The decade that taste forgot brought us hairspray, stonewash jeans and fingerless lace gloves (shudder), but also produced some top tunes from enduring artists. This month, your eighties favourites take to the Meydan stage to take us back in time

PAUL PAUL YOUNG YOUNG Heartthrob Paul successfully serenaded a generation with hits Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home), Love Of The Common People and Every Time You Go Away, and appeared on Band Aid’s iconic single Do They Know It’s Christmas?

How’s life these days, Paul?

It’s fairly busy, I’ve got a large family and when I’m not doing shows, I’ve got a Tex-Mex band.

Not what we expected to hear.

The band’s been going nearly 18 years now.

WHAT HAPPENED ONCE THE BACK COMBING STOPPED? BELINDA CARLISLE THEN The Grammy Award winner gained fame and notoriety as the lead singer of The Go-Gos, before enjoying a successful solo career with singles including Heaven Is A Place On Earth, Circle In The Sand and We Want The Same Things.

BOY GEORGE NOW Carlisle has appeared as a judge on MTV show Rock The Cradle Cradle, and appeared in the West End production of Hairspray She Hairspray. released her autobiography last year and continues to record.

THEN Best known for singing Do You Really Want To Hurt Me and Karma Chameleon with band Culture Club, Boy George was the muchcopied androgynous icon of the 80s. Despite providing the lead vocals on Do They Know It’s Christmas? he never appeared on the sleeve of the single. Ouch.

NOW Boy George has forged a career as a DJ, appeared in biographical musical Taboo, produced a fashion line, wrote two Take It Like autobiographies (Take A Man and Straight) and worked with Mark Ronson. He also went to jail for assault and false imprisonment, so it hasn’t all been good news.




Apr 7, Mey TAILS Dhs350, D dan, Dubai, hs Circle (incl 750 for Golden udes VIP en trance, five drinks , hot snac after-part ks and y) . www.herea ndnowdu

CURIOUS ABOUT CURIOSITY? It’s all friends of mine, and they are all great players. They’ve played with The Pretenders, Robbie Williams… everybody you would know. We all get together and play Tex-Mex music in cowboy hats.

Sounds like a laugh. Are you growing old disgracefully?

I was growing old gracefully until I was 50 – now I really hate it! At that age, everything really starts going south. I suppose the thing about me is that I used to have a really highenergy show – I was running, sliding on my knees… That’s the frustration, because I would like to continue to be able to do the same show.

Are you watching American Idol? Steven Tyler is a good age now.

just constant life on the road. It wasn’t just given to me on a plate. But the problem with shows like that is the winner gets a deal, but what happens to the rest of them?

Be-hatted Curiosity Killed The Cat front man Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot on his favourite 1980s items…

Mobile phone sales probably. But you went on to have some massive hits. Which song represents your career?

I don’t really drive, so my favourite were just chauffeur-driven cars, whatever type they were. Party now and pay later, right?

The song I’m most proud of is actually not a single. It’s a song called One Look Back and was on an album called The Crossing. It’s beautifully recorded with some of the best musicians out of America, but what I like about it is that it’s well played; it’s the most beautiful song a friend of mine wrote about the break up of his marriage. The lyrics are really nice. And I was happy with my performance and I just think it’s lovely. The record company said it was too adult and difficult to edit down so it was never released. But I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

I love Steven Tyler. He’s got such an amazing voice. I was such a big fan of Aerosmith. I do what most people do – watch all the heats and the embarrassing moments. And then And how do you feel about these it gets boring after that. I always feel for the Here & Now shows? contestants – it’s a bit too much too soon, Initially I resented the idea, but I had a lot of and they are thrown into the limelight from absolutely nothing. I’d been working for seven fun in the 1980s. We stick to the hits and we years before anything happened, and that was all tend to watch each other’s shows. It’s great.



THEN With zoot suits, glamorous ladies in sequined numbers and big band-style tunes, August Darnell and his entourage entertained with Latino tunes, including I’m A Wonderful Thing Baby and Annie, I’m Not Your Daddy.

THEN The UK soul group would have taken the stars out of the sky for you (You To Me Are Everything) and asked Can You Feel the Force?

NOW The suits and girls are still there, with Darnell back in the studio recording and remixing. There have also been some tours with the likes of Sir Cliff Richard and Donna Summer.


NOW The Real Thing still tour internationally, Mary J Blige has performed their track Children Of The Ghetto and they released The Very Best Of album in 2008.



There were a few that had a big influence, but I would say probably Fresh Fruit In Foreign Places by Kid Creole And The Coconuts. It was just really fresh. It was a New York album, so it had a funky feel but with a bit of a Latin twist. It was really uplifting, a great live sound.


When the band first got signed we took a well-deserved holiday and took the first ticket we could get from my friend, who had a travel agency. We ended up in Greece buying Greek fishermen’s hats at a market. I turned mine backwards and that was that. And I did, to my shame, get into the New Romantic scene a bit – Visage and Spandau Ballet – but I was also into Adam Ant, so I used to wear baggy pleated trousers with sashes and headbands, kind of pirate-ish. It was all well embarrassing.


The record company that we worked with, Phonogram, was actually owned by Phillips and they gave us their first CD player that came out. That was in about 1985, something like that. It wasn’t just a CD player either: it was CD V – compact disc video – and LaserDisc. It was totally like living in the future.


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L-R: Ryan Dusick, Mickey Madden, Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael and James Valentine

LA rockers Maroon 5 have been doing their thing since the late 1990s, winning an army of fans along the way, despite not always scoring a hit with the critics. Guitarist James Valentine explains why On a 2004 episode of MTV Cribs (which was probably aired on Dubai TV the other day…), Maroon 5’s frontman Adam Levine introduced the audience to his model girlfriend and recently acquired artwork of The Beatles, while bandmate Mickey Madden bounced around the bachelor pad displaying the sundrenched courtyard, cars and geekchic Scrabble set. In short, it was a perfectly engineered insight into their lives – girls, cars, LA pad, sincere love of music and a dash of normality. It was a little irritating, truth be told. And Maroon 5 seem to get that reaction a lot. Their rock-pop tunes are innocuous, safe, radio fodder and very popular, which has earned them a hard time from the critics, but gained them a massive fan base. Commercially successful, but easy to sneer at. Debut album Songs About Jane spawned four hit singles, including This Love and Harder To Breathe, selling a bank accountswelling 2.7 million copies worldwide when it was released in 2004, and suddenly Adam was the hottest man on the planet. And sensitive, y’know? A stratospheric rise to fame followed for the band, with a three-year break before the

next album, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long, came out. “There was definitely a lot of pressure to follow the success of Songs About Jane,” says guitarist James Valentine, “but we did our best to keep it in the back of our minds. Music is hard to make with so many expectations, but it’s unavoidable if you are trying to reach people on a mass scale. I guess over the years we have learnt how to thrive on that pressure. You really have no choice.” It Won’t Be Soon Before Long further cemented the band’s popularity, with hits such as Makes Me Wonder and Won’t Go Home Without You guaranteeing airtime, sold-out tours and the kind of slick LA homes seen on Cribs. “I mostly just wanted to make a living playing music,” insists James. “That was the basic plan. The band had big aspirations from the start, we knew our music could reach a lot of people, but I don’t think that I’m the first person to point out that the glamorous lifestyle can leave you desiring more out of life.” Their popularity grew, but the critics were getting restless. Did the band care then, and do they listen now? “A lot of the time I understand their criticisms,” says James “But I don’t think we’re the type of band that critics will ever root for, and we’re totally OK with that”. Maroon 5’s third studio album, Hands All Over, was released last year and was a relatively slow starter, sales-wise. “I guess we could point at a lot of different factors, but basically it doesn’t always happen,” James told us. “A lot of things have to come together for the success of an album like Songs About Jane and that’s not always the case.” Produced by the legendary Robert ‘Mutt’

Lange, whose previous output has included the likes of AC/DC and Def Leppard, the album takes the pop band in a rockier direction, and was recorded at Lange’s remote Swiss hideaway. The band describes it as “contemporary soul-influenced rock’n’roll”, which is fair, with single Misery being well received, even gleaning the ultimate modern day accolade – being covered on the hit TV show Glee. “When we found out Mutt wanted to work with us we basically couldn’t say no,” the guitarist says with enthusiasm. “He is a living legend and has had success with so many different styles and eras we thought that we could learn a lot from his approach.” Do they feel they’ve reached their peak? “We’ve been blessed with some pretty amazing success over the years and we’d love to continue to have our songs played all over the world,” James says. “We have a longer term view of our career.” Long breaks between albums (“We need to get better at writing on the road”) has meant extensive touring, which bodes well for the upcoming UAE gig, following their wellreceived Dubai show a few years back. “That was a great show,” James tells What’s On. “We had been wanting to get to that part of the world for a long time. With this show we’ve got three records so there’ll be more songs. The crowd will also benefit from the fact that we have been on the road a while. Our show is pretty slick right now. We are a well-oiled machine. We’ve been getting pretty consistent feedback that these are the best shows we have ever played. I think we just get better with age.” Apr 21, Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Dhs275. APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 39


WOMAD, World of Music, Arts and Dance, is returning to the Corniche (Abu Dhabi) and Al Jahili Fort (Al Ain) for 2011. Three days of magical music, interactive workshops, cookery and conversation, children’s activities and much much more.

Entrance is FREE!













Organized by:

In conversation with...

Westlife They’ve sold 50 million records worldwide, lost a founding member and gained a legion of followers. This month, Westlife performs in Dubai for the first time You’ve been performing together for 12 years. Did you ever think you’d last that long?

KIAN: When we started out as a band, the idea of holding our own album in our hands was kind of like the be all and end all. I don’t think we even realised what was going on around us – the fact that we had so many number one singles in such a short a period of time or that we were having huge success and flying around the world with ‘Westlife’ written on the side of the plane. It was amazing and I don’t think it’s until you start growing up a bit that you actually look back and go, ‘Wow, we just did all that – and we’re still doing it’. It doesn’t feel like 12 years.

Does that mean you’re able to deal with the pressures of fame better now?

MARK: We were quite green at the start, quite naive, thinking, ‘Oh wow, that’s fabulous, we’re going to be on Top Of The Pops and stay in fancy hotels’ and all that. But we hit this harsh wall of reality and found out it’s not all just fun and games and you actually have to work really hard at it. Now we’ve come out of the end of all that, we’ve learnt how to ride the wave, so it’s a much more comfortable place to be in.

What did you make of Brian’s [McFadden, former member] tweets saying that he may come back to the band? [“If I’m to be


Want to get up close and personal with Westlife? One very lucky reader and a pal can win two golden circle tickets, plus a meet and greet with the band. For your chance to win, e-mail with the correct answer to this question, and the name of the prize in the subject line... What is the last name of ex-member Brian? a) McFadden b) McDonald c) McFlurry

honest yes I would love to do an album with the boys and show JLS and Take That what we are really made of!” and “If the boys wanna challenge these newcomers I am always up for a fight. They know where I am. Armed and ready to reclaim glory!”]

SHANE: I was actually quite shocked, if I’m honest. I couldn’t believe it when I heard about it. Because Brian is the type of person who’s very proud of what he is and what he does and he was very satisfied with his decision to leave

Westlife at the time. I was very much in shock. MARK: We actually haven’t spoken to him about it. SHANE: Yeah, we haven’t spoken to him since. KIAN: I got a text message from him off the back of it. MARK: Oh, really? KIAN: Yeah, let me try and find it here.

You still have the text? What did it say? MARK: We probably should try and talk to him first. NICKY: Surely a text message is personal,


WESTLIFE Kian? I wouldn’t be reading that out. KIAN: No, no, no. I’m not reading his text message out – I’m just saying what he said. He actually said that he was quite angry reading some of the things that people were saying about us on Twitter and that it was him kind of having a rant off the back of that. If you read the three or four tweets that he sent, I think they were almost in response to some other person making a nasty comment towards Westlife and him going, ‘Aw, don’t be stupid’. I think he meant it from a very good place, which is Brian in general. He’s that kind of person.

It’s easy to become embroiled in these Twitter things, isn’t it?

MARK: I have to bite my lip sometimes on Twitter. One of the negative things about it is that anyone can follow you, and sometimes people who have no interest in you will start messaging you. It can be quite vile, negative and offensive stuff, and I’ve sometimes got the reply written with every curse word in the dictionary, and I’m ready to go and then I just delete it. You have to take a deep breath and not bother. Maybe Brian just had a moment where he didn’t take the deep breath and went for it.

Did you think his tweet would have such an impact?

NICKY: The fall out from that is when I saw the tweets come through – we’re all on Twitter – I read them and I actually thought, ‘this is going to get bigger’. Because you know the press are following you. But the problem with not responding is that, going into interviews and talking about it, if we say, ‘No, Brian was having a laugh we’re not going to take him back’, well, straight away it’s like ‘Westlife refuse Brian’s offer’. Well, no – we didn’t actually sit down with Brian and say right – do you want to do this? And do we want to do this?

Has he even hinted about coming back before?

NICKY: This has never been spoken about in any of the years since he left. Brian has never publicly said anything about coming back, ever – or even privately to us. So it’s not something we’ve even thought about and I don’t see it, personally. Where would he fit? Everything he did, we’ve done by ourselves for the past seven years – it’s not like Take That where they actually broke up when Robbie left. I would never say never, but I don’t see where, how, or why he would, you know? MARK: It’s just like having an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend and every day, just even seven, eight, nine years later, people still asking you 42 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011

“WHEN BRIAN LEFT WE JUST GOT THROUGH IT. AND WE’VE HAD EVEN BIGGER SUCCESS WITHOUT HIM” all about it and you’re trying to move on with your new love life.

sound – he just makes things sound huge and that’s exactly what we’re all about.

Shane, you’re very quiet over there…

Do you prefer doing the live shows?

Would Westlife fans want to see him back?

There’s quite a boy band battle now, what with you, JLS, Take That…

SHANE: I just think it’s funny, to be honest. When I heard about the tweet I thought about Brian in the band back all those years ago. I thought it would be fun to sing with him again, definitely, and I’m not going to deny that, but being in the band with him, going on tour and making albums? I just can’t see it. KIAN: He’s too different. SHANE: It’s like bringing someone else into our band – we are a four-piece now. But I respect him, and I love him but it’s just weird you know, it would just be weird.

KIAN: Would Westlife fans want to see him back? I mean this whole-heartedly – I think they wouldn’t. How interesting is it? MARK: I think some would and some wouldn’t. SHANE: I think it’d be a mixed debate. MARK: When Brian left we just got through it, and we’ve had even bigger success without him, and that’s no diss to Brian – it just happened after he left.

The Grammy Award-winner John Shanks produced your current album, Gravity, and he’s brought with him a big sound. MARK: That’s exactly what we wanted him to do. That’s what we felt was missing. We had these big songs and we just didn’t feel that the production was quite showcasing them in their best light. We’re not dissing previous producers at all, but it’s kind of hard to compete with John Shanks’ level of epic

NICKY: Yeah, but we love recording as well – we just love the whole buzz. Westlife is an amazing gig like that. I don’t mean just the actual show, I mean the whole thing of being in Westlife. MARK: We are great live by the way! NICKY: No, the gigs are cool too, but you know what I mean, it’s just phenomenal to be honest with you. Twelve years in, what we’ve done and how much we’ve enjoyed it – it’s been incredible.

SHANE: Yeah, the press love that story. Whatever band it may be it’s always there – Oasis and Blur, JLS, Take That and Westlife. It’s always great to have big bands out against each other and the other two bands you’ve mentioned there are great for their own fans. We don’t focus too much on other people – we focus on us.

What’s the future for Westlife?

SHANE: We’re on our 11th album, which we feel is the best we’ve ever made. In this industry you’ve got to take it one album at a time – you can’t plan too far ahead because you just don’t know where you’re going to be. But, as a band, we hope that we’re still together and still making albums. We’ve got to make sure that Westlife as a brand is still at the top of its game. Apr 14, Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, Dubai, Dhs250.

4c Graphic Logo

Pantone Metallic Gold 871 + 4 c graphic

1c Simplified Logo

Pantone Metallic Gold 871


The Hangover Part II


The Hangover Part II

Fast Five


Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston, Kenneth Branagh (director)

Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, Todd Phillips (writer-director)

Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Justin Lin (director)


‘Two worlds. One hero’

‘From the people who brought you, er..., The Hangover’

‘From the director of Fast & Furious’


The Norse thunder god Thor (Hemsworth) was banished from Asgard to live amongst mortal men, much to the amusement of his scheming half-brother Loki (Hiddleston).

Best buds Phil, Stu, Alan and Doug (Cooper, Helms, Galifianakis and Bartha) headed to Bangkok to celebrate Stu’s impending nuptials in ways that would have caused Caligula to blush.

Ex-cop Brian O’Connor (Walker) and the enigmatic Dominic Toretto (Diesel) dared to take on a seemingly impossible job in order to put themselves in the clear once and for all.


Watch a superhero movie that takes it subject matter very seriously indeed. Should also delight those who like men with long hair dressed in armour.

Watch a band of friends have the ultimate night on the tiles rather than embarking on such a task yourself.

Watch people drive ridiculously pimped-out cars in a fashion even Lewis Hamilton might consider excessive.


Superior Marvel adaptations such as Spider-Mans I and II, Iron Mans I and II and the underrated Hulk pictures.

The Hangover and the movies it The earlier films in the series, plus has inspired (Grown Ups) and was entertaining Dwayne Johnson inspired by (Old School). offerings like Faster and halfdecent Vin Diesel movies such as... hmm, we’ll get back to you on that one.


Director Kenneth Branagh approached Thor as a souped-up version of Shakespeare’s Henry V, a play he adapted for the screen in 1989.

Mel Gibson was meant to cameo in The Hangover II but was dropped after the latest in a long series of outbursts.

Fast Five is set directly before the third F&F movie, aka The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift.


The trailer’s cool, but can Thor live up to it?

Could struggle to live up to the over-achieving original.

Sure to prove popular with revheads the world over.






FILM | NEW RELEASES Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Water For Elephants

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Water For Elephants

The Way

Something Borrowed

Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Penélope Cruz, Ian McShane, Keith Richards, Rob Marshall (director)

Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz, James Frain, Hal Holbrook, Francis Lawrence (director)

Martin Sheen, James Nesbitt, Deborah Kara Unger, Yorick van Wageningen, Joaquim de Almeida, Emilio Estevez (writerdirector-star)

Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin, John Krasinski, Colin Egglesfield, Ashley Williams, Luke Greenfield (director)

‘From the director of Chicago’

‘Life is the most spectacular show on earth’

‘It is never too late to find...’

‘It’s a thin line between love and friendship’

Captains Jack Sparrow (Depp) and Barbossa (Rush) set out to discover the fountain of youth, only to find that the notorious Blackbeard (McShane) also longs for immortality.

Veterinary student Jacob Jankowski (Pattinson) was so distraught following the death of his parents, he decided to quit his studies and join a travelling circus.

The ageing Tom (Sheen) travels to Spain to retrieve the body of his son who perished while walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route.

Terminally ill singleton Rachel (Goodwin) put the cat amongst the pigeons when she fell for Dex (Egglesfield), the fiancé of her best friend Darcy (Hudson).

Set sail with the greatest pirate the Watch Robert Pattinson trot out cinema’s seen since the premature the mean, moody, magnificent departure of Errol Flynn. thing that has made the Twilight films so successful.

Watch Martin Sheen make acting look every bit as easy as breathing.

See nice looking people work their way through the sort of problems that we rarely encounter in everyday life.

The previous Pirates movies and similarly comedic swashbucklers like The Princess Bride.

The aforementioned Twilight series plus the countless other films that have been made about young academics who chuck in university to follow the carny code.

Mr Sheen’s sparkling body of work, principally Apocalypse Now and The West Wing, and Emilio Estevez’s earlier behind-thecamera efforts such as The War At Home and the diverting ensemble drama Bobby.

Better than average chick flicks of the sort Kate Hudson seldom appears in. Still, according to her PA, “she lights up a room when she enters it” which could prove handy come the next energy crisis.

The combination of a huge pay cheque and a chance to revisit his favourite character meant Depp signed on for Pirates IV “before there was a script or anything”.

Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) joined Water For Elephants following the last minute withdrawal of Sean Penn.

This is the seventh film on which Martin Sheen has collaborated with his eldest son Emilio Estevez.

Marcus, the part played by Steve Howey, was originally earmarked for Colin Farrell.

Why are the Pirates movies great? They just ‘aaaarh’!

Solid supporting turns can’t compensate for the overall flimsiness.

A road movie as unusual as it is rewarding.

There’s lots to like, but Hudson remains defiantly resistible.




★★★✩✩ APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 45

EATING OUT Summer will arrive in earnest around mid-May, an event that will have a definite negative effect on our dining habits. It will replace dos with don’ts and cans with can nots. We won’t want to take our usual table on the terrace for Rivington Grill’s Saturday roast, Al Badia Golf Club’s new picnic brunch will go into hibernation for the summer and a post-brunch tipple on the Traiteur terrace will not be quite as pleasurable. So, this month we have asked Asado’s Norberto Palacios for his barbecue wisdom and rounded up the city’s best BBQs, so you can enjoy the temperate weather before it becomes no more than a happy memory (p48). Enjoy. We also give our verdict on celeb chef Jamie Oliver’s new Festival City restaurant (p50), Amala (p53) and the new Khalidiyah branch of Jones The Grocer (p55). Plus The Critic’s touching tribute to recently departed chef Santi Santamaria (p56) and a couple of new Saturday brunches (p57). That should keep you going for a while.


Gareth Rees, Features Editor






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With one cool month remaining, barbecue master and Asado head chef Norberto Palacios lets us in on the secrets of alfresco grilling, plus a round-up of Dubai’s best BBQs

INGREDIENTS 8g dried oregano, 80g parsley, 320g corn oil, 20g garlic, 12g black pepper corns, 12g salt, 4g chilli flakes and 20ml white vinegar

CHEF NORBERTO ON… THE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL BBQ Getting the barbecue started is the first thing to consider, but using the best quality ingredients ensure the best quality barbecue. SALADS AND SIDES First and foremost, a good mixed salad comprised of lettuce, onions, rocket, tomatoes and balsamic dressing. Secondly, grilled bell peppers and onions. And, of course, corn on the cob with lots of butter. ESSENTIAL TOOLS A shovel for charcoal, long tongs, because you should never use a fork to pick up the meat, a lighter and a chilled summer beverage. ESSENTIAL DISHES Always use meat with the bones in, Provolone cheese, grilled onions and jacket potatoes and chimichurri dressing. THE BIGGEST BBQ SIN A gas grill. If you’re not ready to do it with wood or charcoal, don’t barbecue, just bake. THAT PERFECT BBQ TASTE Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside with a smoky aroma and just a little saltiness. HIS FAVOURITE BBQ DISHES Short ribs, veal brisket, chorizo, baby goat, Provolone cheese and bell peppers.



THE BEST BBQ IN THE WORLD Argentina has the highest consumption of meat in the world and 90 per cent of that meat is consumed from the grill. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Weekends in Argentina are synonymous with barbecue. By the time you’re a teen you have already mastered the ways of barbecue, and I do believe the Argentineans are the best.

NORBERTO’S SIX BBQ TIPS t A barbecue is best enjoyed at lunch time on a bright, sunny day with no wind’. The weather has got to be on your side u The side of the meat with the bones should always be grilled first v Use coarse sea salt, never fine salt wDo not marinate if your meat, fish or vegetables are of a high quality, only when the flavour is not so special xCook the vegetables with the skin placed directly on the charcoal fire. When they’re done you can peel them and enjoy the smoky flavour yHave a barbecue in Argentina, at least once in your lifetime

METHOD Chop the parsley and the garlic and place in a mixing bowl, add dry oregano and mix with the corn oil, black pepper corn and chilli flakes. In a separate bowl dissolve the salt into the vinegar and add it to the first mixture. THE LESSON You may think that barbecuing just means turning on the gas and chucking some steak on. How wrong you are. Chef Norberto is dedicated to the cause of skilled grills, and this two-hour lesson guides you through sauces, sides and cuts, before sitting down on Asado’s terrace to enjoy a meat feast. You’ll sample Argentinean steaks, sweetbread, seafood, sausages, lamb chops, short ribs and more, then finish with grilled fruits, all washed down with sangria. A superb way to spend an afternoon in the sun, learn how to impress behind the grill, and leave with an apron, chef’s hat and some recipes. Asado, The Palace, Old Town, Dubai, Sat 11am to 1.30pm, Dhs445, Dhs295 without alcohol. Tel: (04) 428797.


BBQ THE CITY’S BEST BBQS THE BEST OF THE REST SHADES The Address Dubai Marina loves BBQ so much that its rooftop pool bar, Shades, has dedicated both days of the weekend to grilled meat. Be sure to pack your swimmers. The Address Dubai Marina, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Fri and Sat 11am to 5pm, Dhs160. Tel: (04) 4367777. THE TALK The ideal spot to relax on a Saturday afternoon, The Talk’s poolside Saturday BBQ provides nourishment and entertainment in the form of an acoustic guitarist. Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach, The Walk, JBR, Dubai, Sat 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs180, Dhs120 without alcohol. Tel: (04) 4498888. THE TERRACE What better way to celebrate Easter with the family than a BBQ at Park Hyatt’s creek-side bar? Expect the regular BBQ fare as well as a leg of lamb, dessert buffet and activities for the children. Apr 23, Easter barbecue, Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai, 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs248. Tel: (04) 6021234. APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 49


On the menu Foodie things you need to know MICHELIN MAN Al Bustan Rotana’s Rodeo Grill Restaurant is know primarily as a steakhouse, but for one week only it will be taken over by Michelin-starred chef Christian Etienne, owner of the Michelin-starred Restaurant Christian Etienne in Provence. The Gallic master-chef will take charge of the kitchen for lunch and dinner from April 3 to 8 and will also offer Dhs199 cooking classes on April 5 and 6 and a special Dhs565 dinner menu on April 8. Oo la la. Apr 3 to 8, Rodeo Grill Restaurant, Al Bustan Rotana Dubai, Dubai. Tel: (04) 7054818. www.rotana. com MEAT AND MUSIC We’ve been regular visitors to Ember since it opened, even after they removed our beloved truffle risotto from the menu (there were tears). And we’ll certainly be visiting the new Thursday Jazz Night. Why? Live jazz, and just Dhs245 for all the grilled meat and seafood you can wedge into your gut, washed down with several glasses of something red that will cure all that ails you. Ember Grill & Lounge, The Address Dubai Mall, Downtown, Dubai, Thurs 6.30pm to 11.30pm, Dhs245. Tel: (04) 4388999. www. A FLURRY OF CURRY We do enjoy a good curry here at What’s On. Who doesn’t? Radisson Blu’s new Tuesday Curries of the World night is a curry lover’s dream, serving up dishes from the usual suspects such as India and Thailand along with rare treats from Japan, Bangladesh and Mauritius. Ready those naans. Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City, Dubai, Tues, Dhs180, Dhs135 without alcohol. Tel: (04) 3669111.


Jamie’s Italian Yet another celeb chef restaurant opens for business in Dubai, but Jamie’s Italian is in desperate need of a visit from The Naked Chef himself

Three lamb chop ‘lollipops’ were charred from the grill and oozing with that thick, salty juiciness that only the best quality meat can provide. Pricey at Dhs104 for three, but the best dish we tried. Unfortunately, the ‘funky chips’ (their words, not ours) didn’t dance down our gullets. They were undercooked and not nearly garlicky enough. The rocket and radicchio salad served with balsamic and shaved Jamie Oliver is a global star these Parmesan, which we ordered as days. But, just like most bands, we a side to our small (large would preferred him before he hit the be too rich) serving of buttery big time. Before he became brand wild truffle tagliatelle, was Oliver. disappointingly tasteless. The pasta Back in the 1990s, we loved the dish itself was satisfying enough, if young, cheeky chappy in jeans the promise of premium quality a bit stingy with the truffle. and a T-shirt, with the big hair, produce and a focus on sharing Pick of the desserts was the the bigger smile and the Brit Pop simple, well-cooked food in a busy lemon curd. Fresh, bursting with background music. Why? Because, restaurant full of happy chatter. citrus tang and accompanied despite the potentially grating That’s not to say the food is nicely by toasted pistachios catchphrases – pukka, lovely jubbly, terrible, certain aspects are actually and fresh berries. Or, if you’re etc – he encouraged a generation extremely good. looking for something lighter, to embrace his passion. Jamie was We started with the antipasti the affogato, made up of a shot unquestionably in love with food. misti plank. It came bearing gifts of espresso poured over a scoop The ingredients, the process, getting of oak smoked chicken, which of proper vanilla ice cream, was his hands dirty. And he did it all in would have gone well in a sandwich straightforward but fabulous. his own home kitchen just to show but was underwhelming alone, Jamie Oliver’s first restaurant in he was a regular guy – if he could a few strips of bland salmon in Dubai is yet to ‘officially’ open, and do it, so could we. ice water, a nice, creamy lump of the kernel of a successful concept is Oliver hasn’t worked full time buffalo mozzarella, a good quality there, but it’s time Jamie took some in the kitchen since his days at The pecorino, decent olives and a time off from filming and paid his River Café in London, so nobody forgettable fennel salad. It wasn’t Italian a visit. expects him to be behind the stove a disaster, but with a bit more at Jamie’s Italian. That’s fair enough. thought and skill could have been Need to know But if his name is above the door, so much better. he has a responsibility to ensure the The Italian nachos – crunchy, Location: Marina Pavilion, restaurant is up to scratch. cheesy ravioli parsels with an Festival City, Dubai Jamie Oliver has visited Dubai arrabiata dip – were devilishly Tel: (04) 2329969 many times, but his UK team tells moreish and would go down a treat Web: us he’s not planning a visit to Jamie’s as a welcome nibble at a dinner italian/dubai Italian any time soon. The only party. The selection of Italian dips Open: Thurs to Sat noon to signs of the celeb chef at his newest (can you see a theme emerging 1am, Sun noon to midnight restaurant are material. A red Vespa here?) with several chunks of Cuisine type: Italian leans in the entrance, a bookshelf warm ciabatta were a mixed bag. A Must eat: lamb chop is filled with his cookbooks and his bland salsa verde, a pleasant blend lollipops T-shirts and tea towels are touted of balsamic, beetroot and ricotta, Bill for two: Dhs450 on the menu. and a lacklustre dollop of crushed The décor is pleasant, the staff chickpeas. know the menu inside out, all should be well at Jamie’s Italian. But In tweet form… A visit from Jamie Oliver it’s not, because we aren’t feeling would create a much-needed buzz and the love. The passion is absent. bring some passion and order to the Restaurants exist to make money, kitchen at Jamie’s Italian. Follow us at but not from T-shirt sales. Jamie’s WhatsOnDubai and WhatsOnAbuDhabi Italian should entice people with follow me



A taste of things to come

Yet another Indian restaurant in Dubai? The Palm’s Zabeel Saray throws its hat into an already crowded ring Does Dubai need another Indian restaurant? From cheap eats to fine dining, some of the city’s best restaurants are those serving food from South Asia, and it’s rare that you’re faced with a truly bad one. So much so, that the standard is very high – and anyone thinking of adding one to that list needs to have their game on from the get go. Fortunately, Amala, at Jumeirah’s new Zabeel Saray hotel, is ready to fight with the big boys, with a menu that’s not just good – it’s outstanding. The restaurant, befitting the palatial hotel, is regal. It’s lavish while remaining elegant. With its central fountain, ornate tiles, marble floors, white walls and wood panelling it has the feel of a place of worship and is one of the most beautiful interior settings in which to eat that the city has to offer. But while the décor is luxurious, the food is affordable, thanks to a set price a la carte menu. Handing over a mere Dhs225 each entitles you to order as many dishes as you like from an extensive list. And you won’t be laden with huge plates, mounds of rice or vats of buttery curry – Amala specialises in the Mughlai cuisine that hails from Delhi, Lucknow, Punjab and Kashmir, but the portions are more in line with European fine dining – manageable and carefully constructed. The four scallops comprising the tawa kanagoora had barely been introduced to the pan. Cleverly flavoured with cumin and coriander on the outside, the knife slid through the silky interior with barely an effort. Served with a simple salad of fennel, they were so delightful we ordered a second

Who is entering the culinary fray this month?

portion. The murgh kathi kebab, a roomali roti rapped around a filling of chicken, mushroom and mango chutney, was also delicious. And we were served a bread we’ve never encountered before, which the waiter told us was called kastha (he didn’t seem entirely sure) – light and crumbly like a good pasty or pie-crust. The beauty of Amala’s small plates and order as much as you like attitude is that it encourages sharing and enables you to try a wider variety of mains than usual. We picked out the nali ka gosht (lamb shank), achari bater (quail), murgh shahi korma, one prawn and one vegetable biriyani. Chicken thigh in a creamy almond, onion and cashew sauce was more interesting than your average korma, the quail, flavoured with a blend of mustard seeds, coriander, cumin, onion seeds and fennel, was a unique and welcome dish and the two biryanis were excellent examples of their kind.

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But, for anyone who loves slow cooked meat as much as we do, the lamb shank was the dish we ordered twice. Soft, dark pink meat falling from the bone like a silk shawl into a pool of rich tomato, cumin and nutmeg sauce. Even dessert, which is rarely the highlight of an Indian menu, was excellent. A refreshing pistachio and mango ice cream (kulfi) and inventive banana and chocolate samosas provided a happy end to a lovely meal.

Need to know Location: Zabeel Saray, The Palm, Crescent Road West, Dubai Tel: (04) 4530000 Web: Open: 6.30pm to 2am Cuisine type: Indian Must eat: Nali ka gosht Bill for two: Dhs450

In tweet form… Amala is a welcome addition to the extensive list of Dubai Indians with a set price a la carte menu and smart portion sizes. Follow us at WhatsOnDubai and WhatsOnAbuDhabi

ZAATAR W ZEIT If you don’t know Zaatar W Zeit by now you can’t be a fan of Lebanese fast food. The popular purveyor of bread-based sustenance has not only revamped its menu with a number of new flat bread wraps and several new salads and desserts, but a new outlet has opened at the ENOC petrol station in Dubai’s The Meadows. ENOC, The Meadows, Dubai. Tel: 600522231. POTBELLY From the name we’re guessing this new sarnie shop isn’t that fussed about helping you beat the bulge, but we hear the warm sandwiches served up at Potbelly are pretty popular in its native Chicago. And we also hear there’s going to be live music, which is not that common in Dubai. Songs and sandwiches. We’ll certainly be giving it a go. Dubai Mall, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3253090. DINNER IN THE SKY We suffer from a spot of vertigo at What’s On, but we’re going to have to be brave and give this one a go. Dreamdays promises to strap you into a specially designed seat with 21 other diners positioned around a rotating table and winch you 50m above Marina Walk using a 100 tonne crane. They call each meal a ‘flight’. Who wouldn’t be up for that? Breakfast (Dhs275), lunch (Dhs375), afternoon tea (Dhs250) and dinner (Dhs475) are all available. Until May 23, Dubai Marina Walk, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Dhs250 to Dhs475. Tel: (04) 4329392. www.



Jones The Grocer The second branch of the Aussie chain promises “gourmet food for everyday living”. But does it deliver?

The chain restaurant is generally not food’s friend. Each time a restaurant is replicated, the food tends to suffer. Launched in Sydney in 1996, the original Jones The Grocer was both a high-end food retailer and a café. Nothing startlingly original about that. Plenty have done it before and will, no doubt, do it again. Fortunately, Jones The Grocer isn’t just a seller of foodstuffs with a sandwich and soup stall attached. Whoever Jones is, he or she is much more than simply a grocer. Jones’ new Khalidiyah branch, Abu Dhabi’s second (a further Abu Dhabi branch will open soon at Al Raha Gardens and Jones The Grocer Dubai is scheduled for May), has been open for just over a month, but when we visited almost every table was taken and the sound of satisfied diners already palpable. And the contented blend of yummy mummies, be-suited businessmen and hungry journalists looking for lunch has every reason to be satisfied. To say Jones The Grocer impressed us is an understatement. We didn’t just leave with full bellies. We walked out the door grinning like a fat man who’s just discovered a KitKat lurking at the back of the fridge and that pleased with yourself feeling that only surfaces following the best of big, long lunches. What left us in such a sublime semi-stupor? The glass walled cheese room? The bakery? The small taster plates served at the nibbles counter? The tea and coffee

distillery? Definitely. But it was the dishes we sampled from the café menu that were the real surprise. With the list of mains boasting big dishes such as wagyu beef pie and traditional fish and chips, it had to be the soup to start. The lentil broth was delicately spiced and packed with softened lentils while the pumpkin soup was clean and smooth with a sprinkling of saffron bringing out the sweetness of the fruit. Both were served in an earthenware bowl on a chunk of wood with a bread roll still warm from the oven. Pick of the mains were the lamb kebabs with chickpea salad and the wagyu burger – already Jones’ best-seller. Five mini burger patties of tender gently spiced lamb sitting in a pool of cool minted yoghurt, an avalanche of firm chickpeas strewn over the top. Light, but filling. Straightforward, yet delicious. And the burger. Well, the burger is definitely a new

contender for the UAE’s best. It’s certainly the best in Abu Dhabi. Minced wagyu, perfectly seasoned, topped with cheese and good veal bacon, smeared with a blend of ketchup and mayo in a lightly toasted bun with a side of exemplary fries. Why, when a burger can be this good, do people still go for the fast food option? For dessert, order the small apple crumble, which delivers just what one requires. Stewed apple topped with crumble. No messing about. Wash it all down with the delicious Granny Smith apple and ginger cordial with sparkling water (bottles are available to purchase) and a unique coffee prepared by the talented barista at the magical coffee distillery.

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Need to know Location: Pearl Plaza Tower, next to the ORYX hotel, Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi Tel: (02) 6395883 Web: www.jonesthegrocer. com Open: Sun to Thurs 8am to 9pm, Fri 10am to 9pm, Sat 8am to 9pm Cuisine type: café Must eat: Jones wagyu burger Bill for two: Dhs200

In tweet form… Jones The Grocer. Our new favourite Abu Dhabi café. Check out the coffee distillery. And don’t you dare not order the Jones wagyu burger. Follow us at WhatsOnDubai and WhatsOnAbuDhabi

ender for the UAE’s best” nt co w ne a ly ite fin de is er rg “…the bu APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 55


all, from prawn ravioli to blue lobster with sofrito and coral sauce. It was comfort food, his food, the food he loved. His passion in eating it was every bit as intense as his passion in cooking it. Somehow, him being there made it taste better. If the pastilla had been served to me in a stately home or a shanty town, it would still have been great. Feather-light wisps of phyllo pastry encased a dewy ensemble of devastatingly rich lamb, dried fruit and nuts, I crave Santi Santamaria’s pastilla, emboldened with a black truffle although I’ve had it only once sauce. The flavours, textures and before. It was in 2009, in his aromas were all on note, but lavish Ossiano restaurant at the there was something else that Atlantis hotel on The Palm. But it really made it sing: it had soul. couldn’t have been at a better time Santamaria made the headlines or place because I ate it opposite in 2007, when he famously the great Catalan chef himself. attacked the so-called molecular I was fortunate enough to gastronomy of fellow Catalonian be invited to a dinner with Ferran Adria, who pioneered Santamaria to celebrate the such culinary curiosities as foams opening of the restaurant. It was and spheres. When I interviewed an opulent, extravagant homage him prior to our dinner, he was to the sea, with an aquarium still vehemently opposed to the the size of the Arabian Gulf, yet cuisine. “People who eat this will it seemed so at odds with his end up with something like mad traditional and homely Catalan cow disease,” he said. food. But Adria was the darling of I watched the chef as each a global cabal of food writers, dish arrived, and noted the zeal and Santamaria was dismissed with which he dispatched them as being bitter and jealous of

James Brennan knows food. Having written on everything from bhajis to burgers for a string of international publications, James is now the Middle East chairman of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants judging panel. Don’t miss his monthly musings every issue


“I COULD THINK OF NOWHERE HE’D RATHER DEPART THIS WORLD THAN IN ONE OF HIS RESTAURANTS” another chef ’s success. That’s Santi Santamaria, the first Catalan chef to win three Michelin stars (which his original restaurant just outside Barcelona retains). Perhaps he’d gone a little overboard with his criticism, his passion boiling over as it often did in all matters food-related. But as an advocate of natural, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients and traditional simplicity, he was vindicated somewhat when Noma was voted the best restaurant in the world in 2010. The Danish restaurant was lauded in the media as a new flag-bearer for a more natural

style of cooking. I’m glad he lived to see that. Santi Santamaria died in February. He suffered a heart attack while showing journalists around his new outlet in Singapore. I was shocked when I heard the news. But apart from his beloved Can Fabes in Catalonia, I could think of nowhere he’d rather depart this world than in one of his other restaurants. I know it could never be the same without him sitting opposite, but I still crave his pastilla. I don’t think I could say the same about truffle foam or ‘spherified’ olive oil.

When Saturday comes Can’t face the notorious Friday feast? Saturday brunch is the new way to end your weekend. Here’s our pick YUM CHA Best for… lovers of Chinese cuisine As you can guess from the name, the Yum Cha brunch is a taste of the Orient, including steamed nibbles brought to your table with dipping sauces, miso soup, live cooking stations, grilled goodies, duck pancakes, numerous noodles and Asian desserts to finish. Drinkswise you can remain authentic with Chinese teas, or try an exotic coconut icecream cocktail. Children are looked after with an indoor 3D cinema, magician, acrobats and the must-see Chinese Lion dance. How much? Dhs299 per person including free flowing sojhu, sake, Chinese and Thai wine selections, plus a variety of beers and spirits. Dhs185 per person excluding alcohol, Dhs99 for children and free for children under six. Where? The Westin, Dubai Marina, Dubai. Tel: (04) 5117136 When? 1pm to 4pm MAZINA Best for… families On Saturdays Mazina is transformed into a kid-friendly foodie haven with a bouncy castle, face-painter, Wii, Shrek movies and furniture on foam flooring to entertain the little ones. Adults are also well catered to, with a quiet balcony overlooking the marina, drinks aplenty and an impressive spread. You’ll find sushi, salads, dim sum and noodles to order, some fantastic kebabs, and traditional roasts including wonderfully pink roast beef with Yorkshire puddings and gravy. There’s a sweet ending too, with a wide selection of desserts. How much? Dhs195 including soft beverages, half price for children aged seven to 12 and free for under-sixes. Where? Mazina, The Address Dubai Marina, Dubai Marina, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4367777 When? 12:30pm to 4pm M-DEK Best for… barbecue guzzlers Forget what the health nuts tell you: the only way to shake off Friday evening is to stuff yourself back to full health with meaty treats on a Saturday. M-Dek aids such a mission at its threehour barbecue brunch, providing fresh-from-the-grill sausages, hot dogs and burgers, as well as shawarma and a range of mezze and cold appetisers, finished off with ice cream, seasonal fruits and dessert cakes, and all washed down with house beverages. How much? Dhs199 gets you all the charred meat you can handle, plus drinks to wash it down. Where? Media One, Dubai Media City, Dubai. Tel: (056) 7893897 When? 3pm to 6pm (beverages 3pm to 5.30pm) APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 57



Contact InterContinental Abu Dhabi on 800 423463 /



p60 p61 p62 p64

Bidding war The dunes are alive The Insider Five to see APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 59


Bidding war International auction house Bonhams is gearing up for its next big sale in Dubai, featuring Orientalism and its first foray into photography. We catch up with experts from each department to find out more Jocelyn Phillips,

Head of photography This is Bonham’s first dedicated photography auction in the region – why photography and why now? Contemporary Middle Eastern photographers have been performing very well at auctions in the region for several years now. At Bonhams we wanted to broaden the scope of material offered to bring photography to the Middle East on an international level, while demonstrating how imagery from the region has found its rightful place in the history of the medium. Photography is not traditionally seen as ‘fine art’ – what’s its appeal to collectors? Photography is central to contemporary culture. We encounter photographic images hundreds of times a day and in this way they have become part of our visual vocabulary. It is this that makes photography accessible and interesting to collectors. Added to that is the extraordinary range of imagery and printing processes available. What are your highlights of the sale? Stand-outs include a beautiful 60 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011

Frederick Arthur Bridgman A Street in Algeria

study of the Library of St Florian Abbey in Austria by Ahmet Ertug (estimate US$35,00040,000) and a unique work, covered with black silk, by Halim Al-Karim (US$35,000-45,000). Included in the selection of international works are four rare vintage prints by celebrated British photographer Norman Parkinson taken on assignment for Vogue and Queen magazines (estimates US$5,000-7,000 each), and fashion imagery by Horst P. Horst, Lillian Bassman and Irving Penn. Any tips for would-be collectors? It sounds obvious, but it is important to buy what you like. I would also advise potential buyers to do their research into

the artist and his/her work, so that you understand the history behind the piece you are interested in. Ask questions about edition numbers, condition of prints, signatures and stamps. Our specialists are available to answer all such questions so collectors shouldn’t be afraid to ask.

Taline Aynilian,

Senior Orientalisism specialist Why is Orientalism so popular as a genre in the Middle East? Orientalism should be inherently interesting to Middle Eastern

collectors. The scenes rendered in these paintings are specific cities, streets, mosques, café, and memorial sites which either still exist today or act as evidence and propaganda of their greatness in history. Do buyers see the style as reflective of the region or as a Westernised (and arguably romanticised) view? There are generally two groups of collectors: the Westerner who is still very much fascinated and attracted to the mystery and allure of ‘the unknown’ or aspects of Middle Eastern culture and sites. Second, is the Middle Eastern collector who finds the beauty and historically accurate renditions of their traditions, lands and religion


The dunes are alive

Ahmet Ertug, The Library of St Florian Abbey, Austria

Etienne Dinet - L' Arabe et Son Cheval

Lillian Bassman, Carmen Having Tea

“We encounter photographic images hundreds of times a day. They have become part of our visual vocabulary” irresistible. For both, the rarity and sophistication of the art is very important. These collectors understand the significance of these works in the history of art, trade and exchange of ideas. If you had to pick a star lot in this sale what would it be? One of the star lots is a work by Frederick Arthur Bridgman called A Street in Algeria (estimate US$200,000–300,000). Bridgman was an American artist who studied in Paris and then travelled to North Africa. A member of the Dodge family (of Dodge automobiles) in Michigan may have purchased the work directly from the artist in the late 1800s. The painting was purchased and passed down to another family, but

remained in the Midwest. For the first time, this painting will be travelling back over the Atlantic. It may well sell in the Eastern hemisphere and stay here for the next 100 years. Auction sales have been picking up internationally – do you think this is going to be a record-breaker? The sales get stronger and stronger as the market is finding its feet again. There will certainly be some star lots that make record prices, but buyers will still exercise caution, especially in this political climate. Apr 13, One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai, public viewing days April 12, 2pm to 7pm, Apr 13, 9am to 7pm. Tel: (04) 3449945. www.

What’s On is stupidly excited by the news that one of our favourite musicals is making its way to the UAE this month. We all know the story of Maria, the would-be nun, who is sent to work as governess for the von Trapp family in pre-Second World War Austria, only to fall in love with their irascible widowed father before fleeing the Nazis to Switzerland in a whirl of DoRe-Mi’s and Lonely Goatherds. But did you also know... LThe 1965 film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer was actually based on a Broadway musical, which in turn was based on the book The Story Of The Trapp Family Singers, by Maria von Trapp. LThe ‘real’ Maria, one of her daughters and a granddaughter all have a walk-on part in the film. As Julie Andrews’ Maria leaves the abbey for the von Trapp home she passes an archway – the von Trapps can be seen beginning to cross the road. LSecond oldest child Liesl (she who is Sixteen Going on Seventeen) was, within the actual von Trapp family, a boy named Rupert. We think it’s safe to say he probably wasn’t in love with a messenger-

turned-member of the Nazi party, as Liesl is in the film. LTaking inflation into account, The Sound Of Music is the third biggest box office film of all time, beaten only by Gone With The Wind and Star Wars. LAndrew Lloyd Webber opened his version of The Sound of Music on the West End stage in 2006. Unknown Connie Fisher starred as Maria, after winning her place in a television singing competition, unleashing a new strain of viewer-voted musical talent shows across our screens. What’s On remains unconvinced that this is a good thing. Apr 11to 23, Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, Dhs170. Tel: (04) 4390960. www. APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 61


Freeze frame The Dubai International Film Festival may be over for another year, but this month sees the return of the fourth annual Gulf Film Festival (GFF), running in and around Dubai's Festival City. Featuring films from the GCC, Iraq and Yemen, screenings are free of charge, so there’s no excuse not to make the most of this rare chance to get up close to what’s being produced in the region. Better yet, this year's list of special events and classes features a masterclass by renowned Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami – what more could a budding Spielberg ask for? Apr 14 to 20.

Vision on We told you last month about Splendours of Mesopotamia, the epic new exhibition running on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island. Now up and running, our suggestion this month is to plan a visit around one of the fine programme of talks and workshops. April’s offerings include an introduction to the exhibition, along with dedicated adult and children’s workshops in which participants are encouraged to get their hands dirty with clay to ‘draw’ their own friezes, Mesopotamian-style. Or you could learn more about cuneiform writing – the earliest known – in an illustrated lecture.

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? Email: editor-wo@ Christie’s will hold the first of its annual sales of modern and contemporary Middle Eastern art this month. At the last sale in October 2010, 31 lots were withdrawn and the director of department resigned. But the managing director and the specialist have assured me that there will be no unwelcome surprises at the upcoming auction. Fortunately, there are plenty of welcome ones. For starters, the April 19 sale at Emirates Towers holds a 1957 painting, Fishing (lot 8), by Egyptian artist Abdul Hadi El-Gazzar, with an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000, which is a true masterpiece and the finest to come to market so far. Also included is Armenian painter Paul Guiragossian’s Madonna And Child (lot 13), a painting that boasts a rare subject matter and is therefore an important example of his work. There is a retrospec62 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011

tive of Lebanese artist Shafic Abboud’s work currently being held at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, and his Fleurs de Fevrier (lot 18), painted in 1998, has been given an estimate of $50,000 to $70,000. Meanwhile, a ceramic plate by Shafic Abboud (lot 17), previously exhibited at the TDIC exhibition Opening the Doors held in 2010, is listed as being from the collection of Ali Khadra of Canvas Magazine and is now being sold by him. And last, but by no means least, there is Standing Figure (lot 32) by Jewad Selim. Presented as a wedding present by Jewad to his fellow artist Ismail Sheikhly, it was later bought from Sheikhly’s family by another artist. An incredible work with an intensely personal provenance.

Songs of praise Fans of classical music can feel a little thwarted in the UAE. There is a healthy local performance scene, which is certainly not to be sniffed at, but unlike other art forms, truly international performances can feel like they’re few and far between, making the good work of the Dubai Concert Committee (DCC) all the more worthwhile. DCC celebrated its 15th anniversary in January and is continuing its commitment to all things classical with a regular schedule of concerts throughout the rest of 2011. Next up is The King’s Singers, a six-strong troupe of classical British singers who will be performing at DUCTAC. Be there and be square – in a good way. From Apr 11.



Five to see


US/Iranian artist Laleh Khorramian debuts her latest piece at one of Dubai’s newest gallery spaces. An epic stop-motion animation that was three years in the making, it is the fourth in a series of five works dedicated to the elements – earth, wind, fire, water and ether. Until Jun 13. Pavilion Downtown Dubai, Emaar Boulevard, Old Town, Dubai.



Reza Aramesh’s second solo show in Dubai picks up where his 2009 show ended, with his now-familiar selection of photography and unsettlingly realistic sculpture. Conflict, wealth, culture and oppression are all played for the moral quandaries they continue to provoke in both the personal and the world stage. Until May 6, Gallery IVDE, Al Serkal Avenue, 8th Street, Al Quoz, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3235052.


Meem’s long-spanning overview of contemporary Iraqi art reaches its penultimate conclusion with work by Dia Al-Azzawi, Rafa Al-Nasiri and Ali Talib, with the final instalment – Part V – opening from April 25. Until April 18, Meem Gallery, Umm Suqeim Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3477883.


Art Dubai may be over for another year, but the Sharjah Biennial is just getting into its stride. With exhibitions and events taking place all over the city, head towards the Heritage Centre for a map and get ready to explore. Until May 16., in and around the Heritage Centre and at various venues across the city. www.



This is your last chance to catch this exhibition, which started life in London and was brought to Dubai to tie in with the Sharjah Biennial. The pop-up gallery space is transformed into a full airport ‘experience’, complete with security checks and passport control. Gimmicks aside, it’s a fine showcase of contemporary art from Saudi Arabia – book your seat now. Until April 15, Building 9, Gate Village, DIFC, off Zabeel Road, Dubai.

Lapis lazuli and carnelian bead headdress with 14 gold-leaf pendants. 2600 BCE From Ur, Royal Cemetery, Grave 789, 2600 BCE. Š The Trustees of the British Museum.

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

TDIC presents Splendours of Mesopotamia Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi

P.O. Box.17684, W/H: FZS1/AJ02 , Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai - UAE Tel: + 971 4 886 0715, Fax: +971 4 886 0716 E-mail:

Available at : BAHRAIN : Debenhams, Sun & Sands Sports, The Athletes Foot, Heels Boutique, Shoe City, Al Boom Marine, Duty Free || KUWAIT : Debenhams, Shoe Mart, The Athletes Foot, Intersport || LEBANON Dbayeh || OMAN : Shoe City || QATAR : Courir Go Sports, Debenhams, Galaxy Sports, Shoe Mart, The Athletes Foot, Blue Salon, Shoe City, Ozone || UAE : Dubai Duty Free, Go Sports, Harvey Nichols, Impressions, Intersport, Shoe City, Jumeirah Sports House, K Corner, Picnico, Shoe Mart, Sun & Sands Sports, Beyond The Beach, Shoes 4 Us, Rip Curl Stores, The Athletes Foot, Debenhams || SAUDI ARABIA : Shoe Mart, Zahid Trec, Sun & Sand Sports, Intersport, Shoe City, Go Sports Debenhams,

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Eco-friendly Sophia says... New openings The bookworm APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 67




Eco-friendly Captain Planet, he’s our hero, and it seems big brands are taking inspiration from the green-haired eco-warrior, too. Do your bit with these products designed to take pollution down to zero

Instead of using the disposable cups at your local coffeehouse, take one of these KeepCups to be filled each morning. The Green Eco Store, Mercato Mall, Dubai, Dhs50. We don’t recommend swimming in these super cool time pieces, but love how they look and thumbs up to WeWood for planting a tree for every watch made. Even better, whenever possible the company uses leftover materials from flooring and musical instruments that would normally be destroyed. Bloomingdale’s, The Dubai Mall, Dubai, Dhs400. Tel: (04) 3505333

Shed some light on charity, with this solar powered lamp. Not only is it environmentallyfriendly, but for every lamp purchased IKEA will donate one to UNICEF and Save the Children. IKEA, Festival City, Dubai, Dhs75. These laptop sleeves are made from 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles and each comes with details how many bottles were used to create it, and how much power was saved by its manufacture. Various prices.

Always at the fore of planetfriendly shopping, The Body Shop has brought out this wide-toothed comb made from Forest Stewardship Council beech wood, which comes from sustainable forests. And the packing is recyclable, too. The Body Shop, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, Dhs20. Chucking out batteries is a serious eco sin. Instead of buying and binning, invest in these rechargeable batteries, which can be powered up using the USB port on your laptop. Handy. The Green Eco Store, Mercato Mall, Dubai, Dhs80. 68 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011

No need to compromise your ethics to look good. H&M’s Conscious Collection uses organic cotton and sustainable materials such as recycled polyester and Tencel, a silk-like renewable fabric. H&M, The Dubai Mall, Dhs199.

Topshop jeans form the backbone of many a fashionista's wardrobe. This skinny Baxter pair are made from 98 per cent Fairtrade cotton and are part of a collection that includes denim shorts and detailed vests. Topshop, The Dubai Mall, Dhs250.


We drag the oh-so stylish Sophia Serin away from the helm at Emirates Woman into the grubby What’s On office to answer your wardrobe woes The ‘genuine copy’ handbags my friends all have always impress me. Are they a good buy? Katie, JBR It fascinates me that you are impressed with a ‘copy’ of anything. If you are over the age of 21, any hope of getting away with wearing a fake is gone, it’s time to start saving your dirhams and invest in the real thing. And who has the time, or money, to replace a broken Birkin or shoddy Speedy? Not only is it illegal to purchase counterfeit goods but a huge fashion faux pas. My advice is to stick with Topshop, Zara or Mango until you can afford to make a real purchase that will last a lifetime.


I'm getting married in the summer and have three bridesmaids – all very different shapes and sizes, and scattered all over the world. Are there any websites that can help me find them outfits? Or is dressing them in a similar way a bit outdated now? Rebecca, Abu Dhabi What ever you do, DO NOT go to a bridal label or website to find your bridesmaids’ dresses – huge, huge mistake. Have you seen 27 Dresses? Anything too matching, frou frou or bright is a bridesmaid’s worst nightmare. As your wedding party have different body shapes, it will be impossible for you to find one look that will suit all so the best option is to choose a designer/s that you like, search their websites for different styles and colours and send the links on to your bridesmaids. They will love you for picking something fashionable that they will be able to wear again and you won’t have them gossiping about you behind your back on your big day.

As the weather is hotting up, it is becoming increasingly difficult to know what to wear on a night out. Some places in the Emirates say ‘no sandals or shorts’ at the door. Girls can wear skirts and open toed shoes, so where does that leave us men? Simon, Satwa. As us ladies have to suffer a certain amount of pain for fashion (and beauty) – the least you can do is don a pair of chinos and a shirt when you go out. If you want to wear sandals and shorts, go to the beach. I'm sick of Alexa, overdosed on Olivia and don't get me started on the Olsen twins. Who are the new girls on the fashion block that I should be taking my trend cues from? Fatima, Dubai The front-runners at the moment have to be Blake Lively and Emma Watson. With their enviable wardrobes (and looks) Blake has recently been crowned the new face of Chanel while Emma, is now the face of beauty giant Lancôme. Fabulous, fresh faced and fashion forward these two ladies have developed their own sense of style and are the ones to watch for great ideas on the fashion front.


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

With the men behind Dior and American Apparel getting into the headlines for their controversial personal lives, am I right to boycott their products? Will it make a difference? Justin, Satwa Sure, if you want to boycott, then go ahead. Will it make a difference? I’m not so sure. Any publicity, good or bad, is usually good news for fashion houses. Just take your mind back to when Alexander McQueen sadly committed suicide, sales went through the roof and now his last collection is selling online at treble the original price. Whether you believe the allegations or not, you should deal with this the way one should deal with anything in life – if it feels wrong, don’t do it.


swiss made


NEW OPENINGS Merle Norman Cosmetics Just in time for the punishing summer sun comes skincare and cosmetics specialist Merle Norman’s fourth UAE studio on Jumeirah Beach Road, joining outlets at Sharjah Mega Mall, Dubai Festival City and Mirdif City Centre. There’s a private facial room, dedicated nail services and make-up artistry areas. And with headquarters in facial vanity’s global capital, Los Angeles, they must be on top of their game. Jumeirah Beach Road, Sun to Sat 10am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 3427232 Gina If the clichés about women never having enough bags or shoes contain a grain of truth, then female ears across Dubai will be pricking up at news that London luxury accessories store Gina now has a second shop in Mall Of The Emirates. The décor is just as swanky as the stock, too, designed by British architects Caulder Moore, resplendent in more mink and suede than a hunting lodge. Mall Of The Emirates, Sun to Sat 10am to 10pm, Thu to Sat 10am to midnight. Tel: (04) 3232219

Apple The region’s Mac lovers are raising a half-hearted cheer for the new Apple concession in Mall Of The Emirates' Virgin MegaStore. Sadly it’s not the full experience (where’s our Genius Bar and free workshops?) and doesn’t have the slick look of standalone Apple outlets, but it’s a step in the right direction. We just need the iPad 2 now. Jobs and Branson, hear us roar. Virgin MegaStore, Mall Of The Emirates, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thurs to Sat 10am to midnight. Tel: (04) 3414353 72 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011



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The bookworm More recommended reads from our book-dwelling chum THE PERFECTION POINT John Brenkus

If you’ve ever watched or run a marathon and wondered how professional athletes manage to cover the distance in just over two hours or, indeed, how it is possible for man to run 26.2 miles, sports scientist John Brenkus’ book is for you. Taking into account numerous factors, the creator of ESPN’s Sport Science makes a number of predictions about sports from baseball to weightlifting, calculating, among other things, the fastest possible marathon time. A captivating read for sports fans.






Helen Oyeyemi Already compared to heavyweight female author Sarah Waters, who is quoted on the cover of Mr Fox, the author of The Icarus Girl and the winner of last year’s Somerset Maugham Award for White Is For Witching, 27-year-old Oyeyemi has a lot to live up to. The Mr Fox of the title is a writer who enjoys inflicting nastiness on his heroines until his muse, Mary Foxe, turns up and sucks him into his own gruesome stories and a strange love story emerges. The narrator’s droll tone may grate on some, but nobody can deny Mr Fox is an original and compelling novel. Expect to hear much more from Helen Oyeyemi.






Ever wondered who decides a psychopath is, well, psycho? What do they look for? To find out, journalist Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare At Goats) delves into the compelling world of madness, meeting Broadmoor inmate Tony who claims to have faked a mental disorder to get a lighter sentence and leading psychologists who teach Ronson how to spot a psycho. What starts as a whodunit once a neurologist contacts him with a mysterious package, turns into an investigative journey into the corridors of power, armed with his new psycho-spotting skills. Available from Magrudy’s, Borders, Jashanmal and Kinokuniya APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 73

MIND & BODY Totally tropical His 'n' hers Mind games Spa news


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Totally tropical We’ve found the best spa treatments from all over the world, right here in the UAE NEXT


What? Signature Shiseido face and body treatment Country of origin? Japan Where can I try it? ShuiQi Spa & Fitness What does it involve? When it comes to Japanese spa treatments you can go one of two ways: traditional or scientific. Never ones to deny progress, we went for the modern approach, with new products from famed skincare line Shiseido. This treatment starts with a footbath while you choose from various scents, potions and pressure levels, before dead skin cells are sloughed off with a gentle exfoliator. After a rainshower your body is treated to a Qi massage with cream instead of oil, which is much richer. The cream is removed with hot towels (amazing) and the skin is nourished with a lotion of your choice. Just as you’re nodding off you’ll enjoy a mini-facial customised to your needs (ours included a deep cleanse with vitamin E beads), finished off with an anti-ageing serum, eye-cream, pressure point manipulation to wake you up, and a nice cup of jasmine tea. Does it work? Truth be told, the treatment would have been more enjoyable if the room hadn’t been so cold, so after the body scrub we lay shivering under a towel. But it left sunparched skin smooth and soft, while the facial gave a good brightening boost. Best of all, the massage struck a perfect balance between relaxing and enlivening. Details: ShuiQi Spa & Fitness, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, Dhs1,600 for two and a half hours. Tel: (04) 4261020.


What? Swedish massage Country of origin? Sweden Where can I try it? Retreat Health & Spa What does it involve? There’s none of the foot washing ceremonial flim-flam so common in many of the UAE’s spas. Oh no. It’s straight down to business, and forget the ridiculous underwear, too. Having said that, our therapist was ever so polite, checking the temperature and the lighting were right and handling our spectacles extremely carefully. And he did offer us the pants, we just didn’t want them. The massage itself was 55-minutes long and administered at a medium pressure with enough oil to please a Texan. Does it work? It wasn’t as firm as your regular Swedish massage, but the kneading was concentrated on particular muscle groups and relieved the tension in our shoulders and a lurking cramp in our leg, which our therapist managed to locate. There is also a lovely relaxation area with heated beds, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. Details: Retreat Health & Spa, Grosvenor House Dubai, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Dhs390 for 55 minutes. Tel: (04) 3998888.


Dig in to all you can eat mussels every Monday night at Stills Bar, Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island AED 99* per person 7.00pm - 12.00midnight

For bookings & information, please contact Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island Restaurant Reservations Tel. 02 656 3053 or Email: *Subject to 10% service charge & 6% tourism fee



The new SensAsia Urban Spa pampers our jaded journos





TALK US THROUGH IT First you enjoy a firm massage to warm up your muscles, then the female therapist heats a large bamboo with oil and irons your body, before a few highly effective contortions to finish things off.

TALK US THROUGH IT Designed for golfers and other sporty types, this treatment works out the tension in the back, neck, legs and feet. After a refreshing peppermint footbath my back and neck were treated to a dry Thai-style massage, then it was time for a full body rubdown with Muscle Ease Oil, using two golf balls. Yup.

THE BEST BIT Having my legs and arms ironed. The bamboo revealed aches in my limbs I never knew I had. ANY AWKWARD MOMENTS? A man never likes to flinch, it shows weakness, but having one’s ribs steamrollered by a giant bamboo feels a little awkward and will illicit a jolt from even the manliest of men. HOW WERE THE DISPOSABLE PANTS? Stretchy and comfortable. Once on I didn’t even notice them. SLEEP FACTOR? I managed a few moments, but a firm massage is not slumber’s best friend. WHO SHOULD GET INVOLVED? Before signing up for the treatments I was warned it was for men and not for skinny, boney types. They said it could hurt. But it didn’t. Not at all. HOW MUCH AND HOW LONG? Dhs495 for 90 minutes. Not bad at all.

THE BEST BIT Therapist Ronnie went to town on the shoulder knots and hamstring tension, which was exactly what I needed after a week of golf lessons (p86). And that ginger tea in the relaxation lounge finished the afternoon off a treat. ANY AWKWARD MOMENTS? I yelped a bit during the more painful parts, but it was a necessary evil for the relief afterwards.

HOW WERE THE DISPOSABLE PANTS? They came with advice, which is pretty rare for pants. Basically, you can go without for massages, but should wear them for body scrubs ‘to avoid salt and things in the wrong places’. They also cockily claimed to be ‘the comfiest spa undies in town’, and I’d have to agree. SLEEP FACTOR? After the back wrangling I had a little doze as Ronnie massaged my feet. Who knew some oil and a couple of Callaways had sleepinducing properties? WHO SHOULD GET INVOLVED? Anyone who has been hitting it hard on the greens, in the gym or on the court. This is great for working out the knots, crunching the back and soothing muscles. HOW MUCH AND HOW LONG? Dhs570 for 90 minutes. Good value for a cracking massage.

SensAsia, Emirates Golf Club, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 9am to 9pm. Tel: (04) 4179820 APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 79


Mind games Want to get ahead at work? Need to address emotional issues? Or just give up a bad habit? We try out a range of therapy techniques in one session to see which, if any, is the answer THE TECHNIQUE: NLP What is it? NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) explores the relationship between how we think (neuro), how we communicate (linguistic) and our patterns of behaviour (programming). This establishes how your brain functions. By knowing how your brain works you can change its pattern, so that it is always working in your favour, improving your life and the lives of those around you. NLP is often used in sales, and has proved successful in helping people overcome phobias. What happened? NLP is very interesting, in that it applies logic to thoughts and breaks down what your objective is (in this case to become more emotionally open) and what success will look like if you achieve it. Our therapist for the day, Teesha, asked us to list and go through values of what being more emotionally open is, and to prioritise these. It really helps you understand how and why we all behave in certain ways with particular patterns. THE TECHNIQUE: TIMELINE THERAPY What is it? Who are you if not your collection of memories? Memories are recorded and stored within us and over time have more and more influence over our behaviour. Timeline therapy uses a person’s own internal ‘timeline’ to work with the unconscious mind in a variety of ways including healing emotional traumas and eradicating unwanted thoughts, emotions and behaviours. This process is a methodology in which a series of techniques are used to bring about changes on an unconscious level and alter future actions. What happened? We were a little dubious about timeline therapy, but after Teesha had helped with the visualisation and we’d relaxed into it answering her questions was spontaneous, and 80 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011

surprising, with thoughts forming that had never occurred before. THE TECHNIQUE: HYPNOTHERAPY What is it? Hypnosis is thought to work by altering our state of consciousness in such a way that the analytical left-hand side of the brain is turned off, while the non-analytical right-hand side is made more alert. The conscious control of the mind is inhibited, and the subconscious mind awoken. Since the subconscious mind is a deeper-seated, more instinctive force than the conscious mind, this is the part which has to change for the person’s behaviour and physical state to alter. What happened? Hypnotherapy was the last therapy and Teesha says she uses it in these sessions mainly to cement the work that has already been done. It involved lying on the day bed while she put on a CD for about 15 minutes. Unrelated thoughts were already buzzing around but they soon subsided and a dream-like state settled, with images and scenarios appearing as prompted by the CD. Teesha said it was completely normal, and all had gone well, which was a relief. THE VERDICT One session made a noticeable difference, with increased relaxation and real confidence going into decision-making. It was great to sample all the techniques in one go, too. All in all, our mood has been a lot more positive since meeting Teesha. Remarkable after two hours. The Alignment Institute, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, from Dhs900 per session. Tel: (050) 6811728.

Brain food Digest our pick of the best books on NLP, timeline therapy and hypnotherapy SUCCESSFUL NLP (Crimson Publishing) Certified NLP master trainer Jeremy Lazarus examines how the technique can be used to get ahead in life, including improving communication and negotiation skills, changing negative behaviour and achieving your goals faster. Mensa magazine labelled it ‘a fascinating read’, and who are we to argue with those smart Alecs? TIMELINE THERAPY AND THE BASIS OF PERSONALITY (Meta Publications) Co-written by doctor/author Tad James, the architect of the technique, this introduction to timeline therapy is split into three recognisable sections. In the first, Dr James discusses the therapy and lays out how it works. In the second and third, International NLP Trainers Association co-founder Wyatt Woodsmall goes deeper into the programmes used. INSTANT CONFIDENCE (Bantam Press) One of a multitude of books from vaguely creepy hypnotherapy guru Paul McKenna, Instant Confidence is a distilled dose of the UK’s most successful self-improvement author’s methods for a better life. It comes with a CD to help you learn how to push the ‘off’ switch on fear and desperation, and feel stronger in tough situations from business to romance.

Etoiles Favourite Nightclub


Spa news Kickback by the poolside or be groomed for the new season with the best spa and beauty deals this April SENSO WELLNESS CENTRE With the aim of thoroughly de-stressing the aching man or woman, Senso’s signature combination package of a Sport and Swedish or Balinese massage is crafted to restore energy levels with the scent of white ginger lily. This month, Senso offers a special deal that includes its Signature massage plus a deep cleansing express facial and access to the swimming pool and steam room for Dhs450. Senso Wellness Centre, Radisson Blu Hotel, Media City, Dubai. Tel: (04) 43669111

THE SPA AT THE ADDRESS DUBAI MALL The Spa at The Address Dubai Mall has teamed up with Natura Bisse to present an exclusive concept in skin therapy by introducing The Bubble; a rejuvenating and pure air environment. This 99.9 per cent pure air bubble is a spacious isolated area specifically designed to enhance treatments, increase the efficiency of the products and transport the client to a state of complete tranquillity. Available from April 17 to 30. The Address Dubai Mall, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4388888 THE SPA AT THE PALACE The spa at The Palace is renowned for keeping the chaps thoroughly groomed. This month it’s offering the ultimate men’s package; 90minutes including everything from a hot stone back massage and deep cleansing black diamond exfoliation to lymphatic drainage and acupressure massage as well as a black silt mask application, all for Dhs675. The Palace, Old Town, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4287805

THE SANCTUARY Ladies rejoice, the Pullman hotel is offering a 30-minute massage followed by a low calorie lunch at its spacious rooftop spa with spectacular views over Dubai’s skyline for just Dhs300. You’ll also get access to facilities ranging from the steam and sauna rooms to the roof top pool whilst you sip unlimited tea and coffee throughout the day. We’re impressed. The Sanctuary, Pullman, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3772380


PASTELS SALON Sort out your look for spring with this deal from Pastels. Its stylists can help you find a new hair colour, while a manicurist treats you to a free file and polish at either its Jumeirah or Ritz-Carlton branch. Pastels Salon, Jumeirah, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3947393 The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai Marina, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3995016



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First steps in golf Wheels of fortune Board games Mr Fitness APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 85


First steps in golf Five hours. Four lessons. One week to master the sport of golf and be transformed from pathetic putter to queen of the greens The first lesson for any potential golfer takes place at home and the mirror is the teacher – you should know, golf shoes are not flattering. As a rule, your average wardrobe isn’t full of pastel polos and natty Pringle sweaters, but golf clubs have a dress code – trainers for those who don’t have proper golf shoes, tailored shorts and collared T-shirts. I’d met the criteria for my beginner’s lesson at the Emirates Golf Club, but wasn’t winning any sartorial prizes. However, dress code sorted, it was the actual ball-hitting skills I’d have to deal with next. Here’s the diary of deputy editor Helen Spearman’s first week on the fairway… LESSON ONE Introduction to the game I turned up at the academy where pro Alistair seemed to think my borrowed shoes meant I’d played this before. I quickly corrected him; the only golf I’ve done is of the crazy variety, and one par three which was as humiliating for me as it was irritating for everyone else. Thankfully, my four fellow classmates were all beginners too, although one chap brought his own clubs and a natty glove. We spent the first 45 minutes inside, learning about posture, grip and aim before being unleashed on the driving range where I nailed the stance, but spent the rest of 86 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011

golf, I fear I’ll be spending a fair amount of time. So I paid attention. We started with chip and runs with the seven-iron (amazing – it sounds like I know what I’m talking about), before using the wedge to get over and then out of bunkers. It seems I’m getting better – Stephen actually claimed I have some natural ability. Remarkable. Really starting to enjoy golf and might have to pester friends to join me on the driving range at weekends.

the session gouging out chunks of turf instead of hitting the ball. Not a natural it seems. LESSON TWO Putting This is more like it. Putting is apparently where most people should spend their practice time as it can save strokes during the course. A different pro tonight, Dave, lead us to the floodlit putting green where he talked us through the putter and its abilities, before starting us off with an aim game involving us being awarded points for hitting the ball into different zones. And I wasn’t bad – must be all that crazy golf. The hour flew by, there was some good banter, and afterwards we all headed to the driving range; I suspect the others might have been practicing. LESSON THREE Chipping, pitching and bunker shots Another night, another pro, and Stephen introduced us to the short game and the bunker where, should I pursue

LESSON FOUR Introduction to the golf course Our final lesson, and Alistair was back to see what we’d learnt. We returned to the driving range where we were surprised to find the bunker session had put us in good stead. I was still lacking the force to belt the balls up the fairway, so Alistair showed us a drill that involves holding the club the wrong way up and whipping it through the air. Sure enough, it worked and I was finally getting good height and connection. Next we met the driver, a massive club used to tee off, so powerful that when Alistair demonstrated I couldn’t see where the ball went. It was a fun way to finish the week and we all stayed late to practice. Surely a good sign. THE VERDICT Trying to pick up a sport in a week may sound ambitious, but the way the game is broken down, combined with the quality of the teaching, meant that while I didn’t exactly master golf I certainly have a good foundation for further lessons. Highly recommended and really enjoyable. First Steps In Golf, Emirates Golf Club, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Dhs800. Tel: (04) 3802222. www.

Learner driver Three golf clubs where you can take your first steps towards becoming the next Colin Montgomerie ARABIAN RANCHES GOLF CLUB Choose between a 30-minute lesson (Dhs200) or the Mirador course (ten 30-minute lessons, a six-hole playing lesson, a CD-ROM and digital swing analysis, Dhs1,875). Arabian Ranches, Emirates Road, PO Box 36700, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3663000. DUBAI CREEK GOLF & YACHT CLUB PGA-qualified professionals take you through the basics with individual lessons (30 minutes Dhs210, one hour Dhs400) or the tee-to-green package (ten 30-minute lessons, unlimited use of practice facilities on lesson days and swing analysis, Dhs1,900). Opposite Deira City Centre Mall, Garhoud, Dubai. Tel: (04) 2956000. www.dubaigolf. com EMIRATES GOLF CLUB Emirates keeps it simple at its academy run in association with globally recognised coach Peter Cowen, with lessons in 30-minute (Dhs210) and one-hour (Dhs400) blocks. Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3802222. www.



Wheels of fortune The world’s finest freestyle motorcross bikers will ride their roaring metal steeds into Dubai this month for the first of six events on the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour. Get set to stare on in awe as freestyle motocross stars such as Nate Adams and Robbie Maddison perform all manner of daredevil stunts at JBR Beach, Dubai, in what’s sure to be an all-action show. Like, radical, dude. Apr 15, Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour, JBR Beach, Dubai, 8pm, Dhs55 to Dhs145. Tel: (04) 3414353.



Board games With this month, the last before rising thermometer readings render strenuous outdoor pursuits about as much fun as taking a sauna in an ankle-length fur coat, why not make the most of the pleasant temperatures. Bored? Then board… LONGBOARD SKATEBOARDING The ol’ wheeled plank with a snazzy twist, longboard skateboards logically elongates the skateboard, creating a cruising device great for cooler weather commuting… Harking back to 1970s sidewalk surfing, tricks are more difficult and decks more expensive than regular skateboards, but find a nice downhill location – Fujairah or Jebel Hafeet being two prime examples in the Emirates – and thrill-seekers can still get their adrenaline flowing. Go online for Facebook group ‘Skateboarders of the UAE’ or move your mouse over to community site Silverfish Longboarding. SKATEBOARDING There’s no need for budding Tony Hawks to pester pedestrians or restrict ollies and kick-flips to their PlayStations… While Dubai’s urban sprawl is a tempting playground for skaters, those looking to learn can hone their skills in safe, and legal, surrounds with lessons at the Rage shop’s indoor skate facility The Bowl at The Dubai Mall. The Rage riders teach individuals and groups of all ages from 4pm to 8pm every day and there are also free sessions open to the public. More confident on wheels? Head over to the Rage skatepark at Dubai Festival City. SKIMBOARDING Throw your almond-shaped board down on shallow waters at the beach, skim out to an oncoming wave and surf back to the shore: welcome to skimboarding, 88 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011

originally developed by US lifeguards… Relatively new to Dubai, yet already boasting a solid scene, skimboarding is perfectly suited to the emirate’s smallish breakers. Price is no excuse either, with Californian import boards available from the Beach Hut on JBR Walk from as little as Dhs265. To join the community, get on Facebook and search for ‘Skimboarders of the UAE’. STAND UP PADDLE BOARDING The most visually bizarre of our selections, SUP boarding requires an oversized longboard, a lengthy canoe-style paddle and the chutzpah to stand up while heading for the waves… This Hawaiian sport has only extended beyond the island in the past decade or so and though riders resemble a kayaker who accidentally packed a surfboard instead of a

canoe, SUP boarding is great fun. Try it yourself by renting from the Beach Hut on JBR Walk or else Surf Dubai has boards available on Sunset Beach, next to the Burj. SURFBOARDING Thankfully things have moved on a bit since everybody wore Hawaiian shorts and drawled ‘duuude’ every five seconds… Thanks to a dedicated community to integrate with, surfing in the Emirates is a doddle. Organisations such as Surf Dubai, the UAE’s first surf school, cover the whole spectrum of abilities, from beginner lessons and rentals right through to competitions. Though Dubai’s swell is merely moderate throughout the winter, sling your board over to Oman for spectacular summer waves.


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WAKEBOARDING A motorboat does most of the work towing you along in this hybrid of surfing, water-skiing and snowboarding techniques… Warm weather and flat water are resources Dubai possesses in abundance, making wakeboarding a popular pursuit. So popular in fact that you may want to avoid busy weekend sessions in the Lagoon next to The Palm, where wakeboarding is permitted, and try midweek early mornings instead. There are also several coaching clinics with marine clubs in Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah.

GET BOARD AT... L Rage, The Dubai Mall, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thurs to

Sat, 10am to midnight, Dhs100 lessons, Dhs25 two-hour pass, free Sun to Wed 6pm to 8pm. Tel: 04 4341549 L Rage, Dubai Festival City, Dubai, 10am to 10pm, Dhs25. Tel: (04) 3750117. L The Beach Hut/Act Marine, The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 4243191 APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 89

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


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

1/4 AD


After a meal I like to eat something sweet, so instead of a chocolate bar I just have a diet fizzy drink. A colleague told me that this is worse, as it takes a long time for my body to process it. Who’s right? Grace, JBR, Dubai Soda drinks and diet sodas illicit an insulin response which is not an ideal scenario. Furthermore, they are full of sweeteners which have an allergic potential as well as a neuro-toxic one. To further put the nail in the coffin for carbonated drinks, they can affect the absorption of nutrients as well as lead to the leaching of important bone minerals. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You can eat chocolate. New research tells us that chocolate is rich in anti-oxidants called flavonols. But look for a brand with at least 70 per cent cocoa.

up scar tissue worked on so that you can release a muscle enabling greater range of motion, then it is unlikely to be relaxing and you most definitely won’t be sleeping. If you feel you need some ‘deeper’ work then look for a decent sports therapist who specialises in active release technique, deep tissue massage rolfing or fascial therapy.

I’m working out hard, eating well and I’m at my goal weight. The doctor says my body composition is what it should be, but I can’t shift my double chin. `is there anything I have a massage every few I can do? weeks for both relaxation and to get the knots out. Is massage Suresh, Bur Dubai If you’re body composition was useful for muscle recovery or really what it “should” be then am I wasting my money? I am prepared to say that you Brod, Discovery Gardens, Dubai To put it simply, yes, massage is wouldn’t have a double chin. If your doctor is basing your useful for muscle recovery and it’s good that you are getting one measurements on your Body Mass Index (BMI) then I would regularly. Are you wasting your money? Probably not, but not all recommend having your body composition taken by a skilled massages are created equal. At a basic level if you want a relax- professional as well as having your training plan reviewed. My ing, de-stressing massage then the go for firm to light pressure. version of body composition If, however, you need some built means taking skin-fold sites. It is slightly more invasive but it’s also a better overall indicator. Let me know if you need help finding someone.



DaNnY Canadian pop-rocker Danny Shirran has had a busy month, so we rewarded him with a bit of pool action, Club Tropicana style. Not content with the release of his album Long Time Comin’ and being hooked up by Dubai 92 to perform live on air, he has also just won the Yas Rock Factory battle of the bands, which not netted him a shiny award, but has led to talk with a potential new manager. The singer-songwriter has been in Dubai for seven years now, and with the scene in full swing he’s at the fore, further proved by Long

Time Comin’ which was recorded in Sweden and features Dubai rapper Phat Mo. Full of radiofriendly rock pop, it’s the summery soundtrack to your time in the UAE. Catch DaNnY live, Wednesday and Thursdays at the Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach, JBR, Dubai, Fridays at Abu Dhabi Golf Club and at Stills’ Saturday brunch at the Crowne Plaza on Yas Island. Long Time Comin’.


CLUB DIARY This month's clubbing highlights


Faithless @ Nasimi Beach The multi-million-selling Insomnia hit-makers make for the beach on the only Middle Eastern date of their world tour. Support including Goldfish and Jon Ulysses. Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, 3pm to 2am, Dhs200 to Dhs300. Tel: (055) 20043210.


Faithless @ Nasimi Beach

Guido Schneider @ Ill Communications Collaboration-happy German, currently promoting his Bob & Curly EP with Jens Bond. Trilogy, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100 to Dhs130, ladies free before 11pm. Tel: (050) 7258277. www.myspace. com/guidoschneider


Jimpster @ Audio Tonic


Kiko Navarro @ MustHaveSoul The Ibiza star returns as MHS’s exclusive international resident. 360°, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 4pm to 2am (guest list only 4pm to 8pm), free. Tel: (055) 6160643.



Sandy Rivera @ Stereo Sushi US house king, best known for Kings Of Tomorrow smash Finally, tears up the decks. Sanctuary, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100, ladies free before 11pm. Tel: (04) 4260561.

8 Funk D'Void @ Audio Tonic A favourite with fellow DJs and crowds alike, Barcelona-based Scottish DJ/producer Funk D'Void has picked up fans in high places outside clubbing circles across two decades in the game Do you miss anything about your hometown, Glasgow? All the comfort foods mainly, also the pubs and the sense of humour. We really know how to take the Mickey out of each other in Glasgow and I really miss my old friends in that respect, but it's always something I look forward to when I play there. The Mediterranean weather kind of swings Barcelona, though. Do you enjoy playing the UAE? The Audio Tonic events have been the highlight of a 20-year career for me. It's my choice for real, soulful deep electronic music, my number one place to play, without a doubt. I'm really left to my own devices and can take the crowd onto my wavelength over a long set – long enough to bring me to tears on my last visit. That never happens! You've previously said that you’d fallen out of love with techno... I've fallen back in love with it. I just got bored of some of the formulaic



Hed Kandi @ Etoiles Scene-leading house brand gives Emirates Palace another dose of its glamorous, sophisticated wares. Etoiles, Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi, 11.30am to 4am, free. Tel: (02) 6909000. Chill Out Festival @ Nasimi Beach The fifth annual relaxed two-dayer flies in the big name likes of Röyksopp, Hot Chip and Midival Punditz (8th) and Erykah Badu, The Cinematic Orchestra and Matthew Herbert (9th). See page 31 Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, 4pm to 2am, Dhs150 to Dhs300. Tel: (050) 5944740. www.

stuff. Right now, it's the most exciting time for electronic music. I'm hearing so many productions that are inspiring me again, it's that source that really motivates me to make music. I never really left techno, just took a break from it and went a bit deeper for a couple of years. In my new tracks you can still hear the emotion and I feel people connect with me because I've stuck to that thread in my sound since the beginning. Is it true that Oscar-winning Hollywood director Darren Aronofsky is a Funk fan? He told me that I 'rocked' when he was on his promo tour for his movie The Fountain in Barcelona. I know he listens to techno and electronic music. I'm probably his biggest fan, to be honest. 360°, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 4pm to 2am, free. Tel: (050) 1076405. www.



Jose Carretas @ MustHaveSoul Restless Soul rising star gets suitably soulful for MHS. 360°, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 4pm to 2am (guest list only 4pm to 8pm), free. Tel: (055) 6160643.


Bargrooves @ 360° Slick cocktail soundtracks from Bargrooves head Ben Sowton, plus Kristian Valdini and Tristan Bain. 360°, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 5pm to 2am, free. Tel: (050) 1076405. www.

Jimpster @ Audio Tonic British deep house hero and founder of Freerange Records, plus Vas Lloyd and Raxon. 360°, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 4pm to 2am, free. Tel: (050) 1076405. www. Sebastian Gamboa @ Etoiles Latin house from the Ibiza-born and bred DJ, a regular at top Balearic club Pacha. Etoiles, Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi, 11.30am to 4am, free. Tel: (02) 6909000. Slam @ Ill Communications Glasgow duo responsible for two decades of techno, co-founders of influential label Soma. Trilogy, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100 to Dhs130, ladies free before 11pm. Tel: (050) 7258277. www.


DJ T @ Ill Communications

CLUB DIARY Sebastian Davidson @ Audio Tonic Dutch tech/deep houser, the DJ behind Nightbird Music, plus Mr Mr and Matthew Charles. 360°, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 4pm to 2am, free. Tel: (050) 1076405. www. Vassili Tsilichristos @ Sanctuary Trailblazing Greek kingpin brings the house down. Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100, ladies free before 11pm. Tel: (04) 4260561.

Heidi @ Ill Communications

Gunther & Stamina @ BO18 Beirut Representatives of the infamous tombesque Lebanese club bring the party to town Beirut style. Sanctuary, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100, ladies free before 11pm. Tel: (04) 4260561. DJ Irwan @ Etoiles Lil Wayne-collaborating, house, hip hop and R&B-navigating Dutchman returns to the UAE. Etoiles, Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi, 11.30am to 4am, free. Tel: (02) 6909000.


Heidi @ Ill Communications Blonde-locked Berlin-based BBC Radio 1-approved techno and jackin’ house madam. Trilogy, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100 to Dhs130, ladies free before 11pm. Tel: (050) 7258277. www.myspace. com/heidivandenamstel

Nasimi Beach Anniversary Full Moon Party @ Nasimi Beach 20 DJs over three rooms. Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, 8pm to 2am, Dhs100, Dhs50 and ladies free 5pm to 8pm. Tel: (050) 8717493.


David Morales @ Rasiani Grammy-winning club legend heads back to the emirate by popular demand. Sanctuary, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100, ladies free before 11pm. Tel: (04) 4260561. Collette @ Infusion Magazine Experience Ohm Records’ blonde bombshell serves up her post-millennium house. 360°, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 6pm to 2am, free. Tel: (050) 8717493.


DJ T @ Ill Communications Multi-talented Thomas Koch puts on his DJ hat ahead of highly-anticipated third LP, Pleasure Principle. Trilogy, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100 to Dhs130, ladies free before 11pm. Tel: (050) 7258277. www.myspace. com/deejaytea Ms Dynamite @ Etoiles Rejuvenated ex-So Solid Crew associate continues her clubland comeback.



14 Ministry Of Sound 20:20 @ Sanctuary

One of the known universe’s most celebrated clubs, Ministry Of Sound is 20 years old in 2011. And where better to mark the occasion than Dubai. Its international events manager Gareth Cooke gives us the low-down... The series of parties to celebrate Ministry Of Sound's birthday is called 20:20. Can you explain the concept? We're doing 20 parties around the world at various residencies and events. We kicked off with Roger Sanchez at Mansion for the Miami Winter Music Conference. What can we expect from the Dubai leg? We have house fave Eve Carey and the wonderful Kiss FM superstar DJ Swerve hosting the R&B and hip hop

29 Groove Assassin @ MustHaveSoul Fresh from joining the cream of clubland in Miami for the annual Winter Music Conference extravaganza last month, UK producer and DJ Nick Moss, aka Groove Assassin, returns to rock MustHaveSoul. This time around he has a host of new productions and remixes ready to go... How was your previous trip to the UAE? I had an amazing trip last time I was in Dubai. The MHS crew really know how to throw a great party: breathtaking venue and a really up-for-it crowd. They definitely know their onions. It's a great pleasure to be asked back. I was lucky enough to check out the cocktail bar out at the Burj Al Arab. The cocktails and views were incredible.

You're just back from Miami. How did that go? It was well worth the jet lag I'm going through now. I ended up playing a total of eight parties and attending about 10,000. It was much better than the previous year and it was great to hang with new friends and old, but you need a holiday after, it's so exhausting.

In contrast to such exotic locations, you're from the no-nonsense northern English city Sheffield. What are your most/least favourite things about living there? My favourite thing is being home with the family and friends, familiar surroundings, back to the norm. It's only really the weather, which is sometimes depressing. Other than that I love being at home. As a seasoned globetrotter, do you have any tips for enduring long, arduous flights? Always book yourself the seat right at the back of the plane because they fill that part up last, so there's more chance of getting three seats to lay out. Skylite, The Yas Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 4pm to 2am, free. Tel: (055) 6160643.

room as a special treat. Why did you choose the city? We always choose Dubai! We couldn’t miss Dubai out. We have a very successful monthly party at Sanctuary, with a loyal crowd who enjoy what we do. Many superclubs have long disappeared yet MOS remains a huge worldwide brand. What's the secret of your longevity? Diversity is the key and making sure we try and stay one step in front, musically and with our talent. What are your highlights from the past two decades? There are way too many to mention. If I had to pinpoint some, playing Knebworth and The Dome in the UK and our residency at Pacha Ibiza hold very fond memories. Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100, ladies free before midnight. Tel: (04) 4260561.

Etoiles, Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi, 11.30am to 4am, free. Tel: (02) 6909000. Spin Science @ Audio Tonic The house stylings of Estonian-born Ülar Aasmäe, plus JC and Vas Floyd. 360°, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 4pm to 2am, free. Tel: (050) 1076405. www.


Groove Assassin @ MustHaveSoul The Dubai leg of his two-day visit. 360°, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 4pm to 2am (guest list only 4pm to 8pm), free. Tel: (055) 6160643.


DJ Irwan @ Etoiles




22 & 23 April 2011 Enjoy an extensive brunch buffet with European and Asian specialties, seafood selections and chocolate extravaganza at Flavours International Fusion restaurant! BRUNCH STARTS AT 12:30PM including unlimited bubbly for adults CHILDREN ACTIVITIES Egg Coloring | Craft | Face Painting | Movie Corner Bunny Treasure Hunt in the Resort Area 12 Noon - 12:30PM ADULTS: AED 225 CHILDREN aged 4 to 11 years: AED 95 (under 3 years enter free)

Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort, P.O.Box 640, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Phone (971) (2) 677 33 33 Fax: (971) (2) 672 51 49



Treasure island Singapore is a pearl of a place; small, perfectly formed and apparently rather expensive. But dig a little deeper and you’ll discover a glittering cultural scene fitting every preference and every purse

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2011 is the year of ‘The Golden Rabbit’: not a time for prizing unusually-coloured small fluffy creatures, but rather a period of peace and prosperity, when we’ll apparently feel more carefree and eager to enjoy artistic pursuits. And nowhere is this upbeat, artsy new year’s vibe more in evidence than Singapore. Having celebrated the new year in February with a riot of colourful carnivals, the island’s now settling in for a year of culture and creativity – with lucky folk in the UAE (just half a day’s flight away) ideally placed to reap the benefits. The island of Singapore – from the Malay singa pura, meaning Lion City – is a prosperous little state off the southern tip of Malaysia. Having gained sovereignty in 1965, today it’s a cosmopolitan, tolerant home to a local population with roots in China, Malaysia and India, as well as a large expat community. The result of this melting-pot of nationalities is a country with an eclectic, but undeniably charming, character. The first thing everyone notices is just how green Singapore is: trees covered in flowers bloom along every street, while carefully tended shrubs line busy main roads. This well-manicured greenery harks back to a time when nature was in charge of the island – so for a taste of more tropical times, visit the famed Botanic Gardens. Entry’s free, but you have to pay to get into some of the attractions inside, including the sweet-scented Orchid Gardens. Another must-see for nature lovers is the Singapore Zoo, set in 28 hectares of rainforest. This centre has established breeding

The Esplanade, affectionately known as the Durian by locals due to the shape of the roof, is a concert and theatre hall in Singapore



The Singapore skyline at dusk

programmes for several endangered species and is home to more than 2,500 animals. If you prefer your attractions in a more manmade format, then take a tour around the city’s wealth of lovingly restored historical landmarks. The golden-domed Masjid Sultan, built in the 1800s, is the city’s biggest mosque – and its proximity to the colourful Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple and the neo-classical Armenian Church, are an indication of the harmony between the country’s diverse ethnic groups. If you’re simply after a taste of local life, enjoy a gentle stroll around Chinatown, or Little India: two sectors with beautiful old buildings and a lively atmosphere. Anyone looking to brush up on their history should visit the centrally located National Museum – or perhaps check out the world’s first Art Science Museum, an incredible piece of modern architecture which opened this year, and now floats like a giant water lily in Marina Bay. Of course, you won’t get a true taste of this vibrant culture simply by traipsing around landmarks – which is why What’s On would strongly advise taking some time to experience the two top national past times: shopping and eating.

“The mosque’s proximity to the Hindu Temple and the Armenian Church indicates harmony between ethnic groups”

ENTERTAINMENT LThe Singapore Food Festival –

platefuls of delicious local food deals cement Singapore’s rep as Asia’s top culinary destination. July The Merlion in Merlion Park in Marina Bay

LThe Esplanade – otherwise known

as ‘the Durian of Singapore’ for its recognisable shape, the concert and theatre hall show everything from traditional Asian opera and dance to internationally acclaimed plays. L F1 Singapore Grand Prix

Marina Bay Sands complex

This high-octane race, through the streets of the city itself, is a noisy and breathtaking experience. September 23 to 25 APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 99

TRAVEL | SINGAPORE Anyone familiar with the UAE is no stranger to shopping malls, but Singapore’s Orchard Road is a retail experience like no other. Snaking 2.2km across the island, this street is lined with 19 enormous shopping malls featuring more than 5,000 international brands. If you’re after something a little more esoteric, head to Little India or the Arab Street area, where regional goods such as textiles and carved wooden items are on sale for reasonable prices – although don’t miss out on the opportunity to practice your haggling skills. For a more down-to-earth shopping experience, spend a morning at one of the ‘wet markets’, selling every edible (and arguably inedible) item you can imagine, from pungent dried whole fish to fresh animal organs. A hard day’s spending can really work up an appetite, so kick back and relax afterwards with a trip to one of the plentiful eateries. Just next door to the new Art Science Museum is Marina Bay Sands Hotel – a whopping triple-tower, 2651-room integrated resort and casino topped by the Sands SkyPark, boasting 360-degree views and some top-end restaurants. If you’re in the mood for a gourmet take on more local flavours, head straight for Cherry Garden at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. This elegant outlet has been a firm favourite among local residents for years, serving up delicious Cantonese cuisine in traditional surroundings. Try the signature chilli crab if you get the chance: the meaty, sweet yet spicy dish is quintessentially Singaporean. For all-out foodies, time your trip right and you might be lucky enough to snare a spot at the twice-yearly mega brunch blow-out at The Ritz-Carlton Millenia. This ‘Super Brunch’ is like a mini-food festival, flying in internationally renowned masterchefs to work with the in-house team, resulting in a 78-metre buffet spectacular. Alternatively, if you fancy a nibble of neighbourhood nosh – or you’re simply trying to conserve the pennies – do what all the locals do and head to a hawker market. These food bazaars are filled with a riot of colourful stands, jostling for attention as they try to tempt the crowds with various regional goodies. Those in the know make a beeline for Lau Pa Sat, located in the heart of the city’s central business district. You can spend hours wandering through the avenues of this covered market, browsing stalls serving up the diverse dishes that have come to form Singapore’s culinary identity: Malay, Cantonese, Indian, Korean, Mongolian and Thai. More affordable dining can be found at Race Course Road in Little India, where rows 100 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011

Masjid Sultan Mosque

Peking ducks and raw crabs on display

Sri Mariamman Temple in Singapore. This is one of the oldest hindu temples and is a popular tourist attraction

SMRT, Singapore's most common public transport

of restaurants serve up hot, delicious curry on banana leaves; or at the coastal Eastern Road, on the outskirts of the city, where you’ll get flapping-fresh seafood straight off local boats. Any trip to Singapore will leave you feeling full to bursting, in terms of culture, fun and food. The only problem, with so much to do, is fitting it all in – which is why visitors invariably find one trip to this sparkling city of contrasts is never enough.

Botanic Gardens

Need to know WHERE TO STAY

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel – classic Singapore chic, with bags of class, stunning restaurants and bars, the best pool in town and the nicest staff you could possibly meet. Talk to the ever-friendly concierge, Musa; a Singaporean who always has time to chat about his beloved country, whether to discuss its history or recommend the latest hot night spot. From SGD439, subject to ten per cent service charge and government taxes.


For more affordable accommodation, check out the Singapore Recreation Club, positioned at one end of the city’s central ‘padang’ (or field). The low-rise building might look a little dated, but its location is superb; just off Marina Bay waterfront, it’s an ideal spot to catch the F1. The third floor of this 19th century building is now ‘The Residence’ – featuring 26 comfortable and spacious rooms. Three basement floors house a fully equipped gym, steam room and, most impressively, a huge swimming pool set into an underground cavern. From SG200 inc. breakfast, subject to ten per cent service charge and government taxes.


Singapore Airlines Emirates Airline


Singaporean dollars (1 SGD to Dhs2.88)


Thanks to a strong environmental push, the city’s public transport system is brilliant. A cheap, clean and reliable network of buses, taxis and the MRT (‘Mass Rapid Transport’) train system make for hassle-free exploring.



Durians on sale at Geylang APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 101


Travels with…


Martyn Andrews

TV travel presenter Martyn Andrews has visited more than 550 cities and has been swinging by the UAE for a decade. A regular on Euronews, Russia Today and the BBC, he is set to appear on Dubai One soon What’s the best holiday you’ve ever had? Panama to Acapulco overground. Drama and luck follow me everywhere. Lost phones, credit cards and luggage, runways over volcanic craters, hotels that didn’t exist, food poisoning in Mexico, being involved in a shoot out in Nicaragua and being left with no money in Acapulco as my bank had cancelled all my cards for the seventh time. What fun! From the spectacular volcanoes and vibrant wildlife of Costa Rica and Guatemala to the gorgeous beaches and ancient temples of Mexico, it was one of the best travel adventures of my life. Not for the faint hearted though.

Get away from it all before the summer hits CAPITAL EASTER Liwa Desert's Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort is offering a three-night Easter package for four people, including breakfast, Sunday champagne brunch and a 90minute spa treatment for each guest. From Dhs3,326 per night. Apr 22 to 26, Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, Abu Dhabi, Dhs3,326 to Dhs7,865. Tel: (02) 8862088. 102 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011

What’s your biggest travel disaster? I’m actually very, very lucky. I’ve missed a plane crash due to re-booking, three terrorist bombs within several minutes and a Soviet mine that I filmed in collapsed and killed dozens the next day. I am constantly faced with sagas and problems. I just take it in my stride now, but I sometimes think people are filming my responses to dramatic travel situations. If you could advise people to visit one destination, what would it be? Apart from Dubai and London? New York in the spring. The energy, the zest for life, the bright lights, Broadway, the noise, characters and those tall buildings. Wow! It’s bold, grand, chic, packed with culture, style and shopping. It’s life on overdrive. What are your three top tips for surviving a long airport stopover? I always try and turn stopovers into short

CZECH IT OUT What is the capital of the Czech Republic? That’s right. It’s Prague. If you fancy visiting the travel hotspot, Emirates Holidays will oblige you with their new Dhs3,748 per person three-night package, which includes return economy flights, three nights at the InterContinental Praha on the banks of the Vltava River, breakfast and hotel transfers. The hotel is just 15km from the airport and within walking distance of the captivating old town. Emirates Holidays. Tel: (800) 5252. www.

breaks. Whether it’s Bangkok, Dubai, Singapore, or Kuala Lumpur, many airlines will let you stay for three days to break up any long trip. I recently stopped in Abu Dhabi on the way home from Australia. I was at the airport for just ten hours, so I went to one of the business lounges and paid to use it. Perfect. Not many people know you can do that. Do your research. Also, stay comfortable, keep warm, hydrate, sleep, listen to music, read and relax. What do you never travel without? My own pillow. I often see people on planes thinking, “Why didn’t I think of that?” and I chuckle. A plush white pillow from home, relaxing, light and soothing music can make a huge difference after a chaotic day. I also take a nice selection of scented, coloured candles with me wherever I go. And I try and get massages whenever I can. What destination serves the best food? I’ve eaten in some of the best, and worst, restaurants in the world. My top choices? Scott’s or The Ivy in London. Balthazar in New York, Nedalny Vostok in Moscow and Le Georges in Paris. Amazing views of the Paris Skyline.

“I take a nice selection of scented, coloured candles with me wherever I go”

CATCH OF THE MONTH It’s that time of year again. Fly fishing time. British angler, and true gent, Martin James is back at Le Méridien Al Aqah for his annual Fly Fishing Academy from April 6 to 13. If you fancy learning how to fly fish from a master, the hotel offers weekday or weekend packages. A two day course is just Dhs600, including lunch. Or if you want to make a vacation proper of it, you can opt for the all inclusive package, including a hotel stay (weekdays Dhs999, weekends Dhs1,250). Apr 6 to 13, Le Méridien Al Aqah, Fujairah, from Dhs600 Tel: (09) 2249000.

THE HOTLIST Key New entry Non-mover Up Down

Bars Restaurants Brunches Spas


p107 p111 p115 p119

APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 105

Under the kind patronship of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum

The Dubai Concert Committee is proud to present

The King's Singers on Monday, April 11, 2011 at 8 pm at the Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre PROGRAMME The evening with one of the world’s most celebrated ensembles includes works by Alonso de Alba, Juan de Padilla, Mateo Flecha, Peter Louis van Dijk, John McCabe and traditional arrangements by Chilcott, Lawson, Goodall, Langford and Richards ADMISSION Free on a first-come, first-served basis. Conditions apply. MORE DETAILS Corporate Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Mrs Lise Annen, Mr & Mrs Ataya, Paul & Christine Bagatelas, Christine Belbelian, Dr Marco & Annick Fedele, Captain Richard Laurence, Mr & Mrs Bomi Motiwalla, Mr Lars Pertwee, Consul General of the Kingdom of Netherlands, Yalsa






1 Barasti

2 Zuma



4 M Dek

5 360˚






Barasti has had a new lease of life of late, with concerts on the beach. In the afternoon it's chilled, but hots up once the sun goes down.

Split between poolside and beachside, there's usually a quiet or hot spot depending on what you’re after.

We love Barasti for a spot of lunch on a Saturday. Catch up with mates, share a pizza and vow to drive home, but end up a few drinks down. Always good.

Spirits and mixers are expenisve given they're served in a tiny plastic cup. Stick with beers.

It's number one because it's your last chance to go before the heat leaves you whinging in the loo queue.

Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina, Dubai, 11am to 2am. Tel: (04) 3993333.

Glass, dark wood, low slung sofas and a terrace perfect for post-work drinks. We feel like proper grown-ups in Zuma. A rare thing.

Zuma was the first big-hitter to set up shop in DIFC, starting quite the trend. It's still at the heart of this nightlife hub.

Break out the Hugo Boss, shine those shoes and get your best garb on. This lounge is anything but casual.

High prices at a high quality bar.

They have a new menu, fab Friday brunch and that delightful terrace. We're hooked.

Building 3, DIFC, Dubai, Sun to Thurs 11am to 2am. Tel: (04) 4256677. www.carameldubai. com

This is a place to see and be seen. Caramel is packed with pretty girls and pretty men with a pretty healthy bank balance.

You'll have to book a table, but the leafy terrace at the back provides desirable respite from the concrete jungle of DIFC.

Meet friends for a quick post-work drink, be tempted by the menu then settle in until midnight. Try the kobe sliders.

The food is pretty expensive, but drinks are no more expensive than any other bar in the neighbourhood. Ladies get discount Cosmos on Tuesdays.

, It has dropped

Building 6, DIFC, Dubai, Fri to Wed noon to 2am, Thurs noon to 3am. Tel: (04) 4255660. www.zumarestaurant. com

LA pool party. DJ under the stars. That constant threat of being thrown in the deep end. We love it.

Media City is the last place you'd expect to find watery debauchery. But it's here in buckets.

This place is packed with revellers both post-brunch and mid-week. Go with a group and make new friends.

Not bad, to be honest. There are happy hours and deals aplenty, too.

We're hearing good things about the Saturday afternoon brunch (Dhs199).

Media One, Dubai Media City, Dubai, Tue to Sat noon to 3am. Tel: (04) 4271000. www.

It's chilled on Friday and Saturday afternoons but once the sun sets, the party goes off.

Slap bang in the Arabian Gulf, we recommended catching a golf buggy up the jetty to 360˚'s gangplank.

Dubai's finest break out their finery come Friday to pose for those all-important photos ops.

The dirhams stack up if you arrive early and leave late.

We're willing to overlook the slow service for the tunes and views.

Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai, Sun to Thurs 5pm to late, Fri and Sat 4pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 4068769

a few places because that plastic smoking section is so darn ugly.



HOT ON E HEsEDLubSai Marinai TH The Addres


11 Blends, ercy, DIFC 12 The Gram s Downtown dres Ad e Th s, 13 Neo Dubai Mall ani Hotel i/Prive, Arm an m 14 Ar tin es W e 15 Senyar, Th

The Terrace









Now the weather is dreamy you'll have to be quick to nab a table on the terrace. Inside, the pews are rammed with diners, and the bar busy with beer fans.

Don't dismiss Festival Centre as the land of IKEA, the BBC is king of a huge swathe of new bars and restaurants in this part of town.

If you’re in the mood for some European charm, this is the only pub to go to.

There’s a Monday night all you can eat moules and beer affair for Dhs199. Bargain Belgian.

A cracking brunch, decent deals and a spectacular drinks list mean we're regulars.

Crowne Plaza Festival City, Dubai, Sun to Mon 6pm to 2am, Tue to Wed noon to 2am, Thurs and Fri noon to 3am. Tel: (04) 7012222. www.ichotelsgroup. com

Under the stars with a brilliant view of the Sheikh Zayed Road skyline.

The ladies night is as popular with the girls as it is with businessmen. Mingling opportunities ahoy. There's a DJ on Thursdays and Fridays, too.

Average for this part of town, but there's a happy hour 6pm to 8pm from Wednesdays to Saturdays. Perfect for postweek bevvies.

Check out what Dubai 92's Geordiebird thought on page 11.

Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Tues to Sat 6pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 3198088


Laid-back openair bar. In fact, it's surprisingly laid-back given its Emirates Towers address.


Ditch the pashmina or John Smedley knit, the winter is warming up so it's the right time for drinks at Calabar.

At the centre of Old Town, affording you great views of the Burj Khalifa from the coveted beanbags.

Don’t expect super speedy service, but for laid-back drinks with some pals this is a solid choice.

Above average, but you'll be so relaxed that you'll sip your drinks anyway.

Did we mention the beanbags?

The Address Downtown Dubai, Emaar Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, daily from 6pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 436 8888.

Sophisticated, with outdoor tables overlooking the yachts.

The Terraces is at one of the most beautiful hotels in the land, just next to the creek.

Picking out which boat you'd have. We'll take the Pershing, please. Perfect with nibbles and cocktails.

Pretty reasonable given the stunning setting and quality of fare.

The raw bar alone warrants the Salik charge to this part of town.

Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai, Sun to Fri from 6pm to 1am, Tel: (04) 3172222. www.

Pretty busy most nights, but out of control come Thursday when the world and his pal turn up for happy hour.

At the heart of Dubai Marina, with the water literally a stone’s throw from the vast deck.

Great BOGOF value and the weather is perfect for this place at the moment.

Not bad at all, even outside of happy hour.

Get some amazing seafood at Aquara before hitting the deck for drinks.

The Yacht Club, Dubai Marina, Dubai, daily from 6pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 3627900. www. dubaimarinayachtclub. com

Belgian Beer Café

7 Calabar


The Terrace

10 The Yacht Club

108 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011




La Petite Maison



La Petite Maison

2 Zuma


Indego by Vineet


Rivington Grill

5 Verre



The best in Dubai. LPM is never short of customers and boasts a long bar for pre and postprandial drinks.

White panelled walls, moulding aplenty, contemporary art, dark, wood floors, a long bar, crisp tablecloths and romantic lighting.

You're encouraged to share Chef Izi's delightful Niçoise (from Nice) cuisine. Best cheesecake in Dubai (p28).

The fashionable foodies' favourite never lacks custom. Book ahead.

For the full restaurant experience book a table downstairs. For a more casual tipple, relax into a sofa in the upstairs lounge.

One of the friendliest in the city. The staff at Indego greet you like a friend, serve you like royalty and feed you like a god.

MARCH 2010 WHAT’S ON 111 Rivington Grill LOCATION




Will DIFC's popularity be challenged by the imminent arrival of The Ivy at Emirates Towers?

We've managed Dhs900 plus on several occasions, but two could eat very well for Dhs650.

It’s all on The Ivy to knock LPM off the top spot.

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

The 'From the Grill' selection is a must. Cuts of prime wagyu cooked over charcoal. Also try the new Japanese jacket potato.

Practically holding hands with DIFC sister restaurant LPM.

Dhs1,000 for two. Ebisu Express lunch menu Dhs62 (miso plus main), Ebisu Dhs120 (miso plus three courses).

The goliath that bestrides all other Japanese restaurants in Dubai.

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

A be-cushioned welcome area, a winding stairway and a cosy restaurant with several statues of golden gods.

Order anything. It's all terrific.

Retire to the terrace for a coffee or post meal drink.

Dhs900 (without alcohol). We couldn't think of a more pleasurable way to spend nine large ones.

Vineet Bhatia's reputations as the man who revolutionised Indian cuisine speaks for itself.

Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Sun to Thurs 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 3176000. www.

Lunchtime can be a bit quiet during the week, but evenings and weekends RG is buzzing.

Uncomplicated, with an open kitchen, white walls and linen and, of course, daily specials scribbled on chalkboards.

British cuisine at its best. Take advantage of the weekday bargain lunch menus (two courses Dhs80, three courses Dhs100).

The Friday Farmer's Market just downstairs has brought a real buzz to Souk Al Bahar.

Dhs400 for two.

We can't wait for the arrival of the Riv mark two at the Madinat later this year.

Souk Al Bahar, Level 3, Old Town, Dubai, noon to 11pm. Tel: (04) 4230903. www.

Chef Scott Price is managing to entice a whole new clientele and the longterm regulars continue to dine at Verre.

Pure Gordon Ramsay. Clean, neat and inoffensive. Book the chef's table.

Chef Scott promises menu changes this month when the spring produce starts coming in. We're already excited.

Deira. We know, we know, but it really is worth the trip.

Dhs395 for three courses, Dhs495 for six courses. For the chef's table it's Dhs695 without alcohol, wine pairings Dhs350 to Dhs600.

Time to move, Gordon? Gary’s got two in the Marina, you know.

Hilton Dubai Creek, Sun to Fri, 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 2277550. www. gordonramsay. com

APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 111



enty10 12 Rhodes Tw 13 Okku Mezzanine 14 Rhodes 15 Margaux






Reflets Par Pierre Gagnaire

8 Traiteur

9 Rare

10 Asado








Not completely full, but the kind of experience you would hope for (almost) at the top of the Burj.

It's a high-end modern grill. Dim lighting, an open kitchen, crisp tablecloths and unfussy service.

Go for the steak tartare followed by the lamb and wash it down with an appropriate suggestion from the sommelier.

The 122nd floor of the tallest building in the world. Can't be beaten.

It will worry your bank manager. With a minimum spend of Dhs450 per person we dropped Dhs1,250 when we visited.

Expensive, but you have to visit at least once.

Burj Khalifa, 1 Emaar Boulevard, Dubai, 12.30pm to 3pm and 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 8883828.

A feeling of reverence is palpable. All eyes and forks are on the challenging and sensational food at Reflets.

Purple carpet, pink chandeliers and mahogany balloon-back chairs. Classic, camp and ever so French.

Pierre Gagnaire is one of the world's most creative and respected chefs and the master trained the team at Reflets well.

Reflets has its own floor and its own lift. That's how special it is.

Dhs1,000plus, but the threecourse lunch menu, available Monday to Friday, is a bargain at just Dhs180.

Book a table for lunch and you’re sure to go back for dinner.

InterContinental Dubai Festival City, Dubai, 7pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 7011128. www. ichotelsgroup. com

Don't expect a busy, bustling restaurant. Traiteur is for a more romantic occasion.

We love the high, vaulted ceiling and the open kitchen.

Chef Franck Detrait and his team do French brasserie better than any other restaurant in Dubai.

You know how we feel about Park Hyatt. Still our favourite hotel.

Three courses for two for around Dhs615. Dhs280 per person for the three-course set menu.

Book a table for two outside before it gets too hot.

Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai, Sun to Fri 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 3172222.

You know you're out of town when you visit Desert Palm. Everyone is a little more relaxed.

Take a table on the terrace and enjoy the view over the lush polo fields with the Burj in the background.

New Chef Kevin Little is constantly working on his menu. Order the Aussie wagyu rib-eye.

Desert Palm allows you to escape from the city without travelling too far.

Dhs700 (without alcohol).

Now is the time to visit Rare and take a table on the terrace.

Desert Palm, Al Awir Road, Dubai, Mon to Sat 7pm to 10.30pm. Tel: (04) 43238888. www. desertpalm. peraquum. com

Asado provides the perfect setting in which to eat meat. It's warm, welcoming and full of the smell of meat seared over charcoal.

Chalet-like with dark woods, an extensive wine cellar, two private dining rooms and a small stage for live music.

Order the roasted baby goat to discover what Asado is all about. For dessert, the apple tart is delicious.

Downtown Dubai is a handy, central location and the outdoor terrace sits at the foot of Burj Khalifa.

Around Dhs700 for two. Not bad, not bad at all.

We enjoyed the Saturday BBQ lesson with chef Norberto this month (p48). Don't miss it.

The Palace – The Old Town, Downtown, Dubai, 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 287888. www.

112 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011



Al Qasr

1 Al Qasr

2 Traiteur

3 Zuma


The Talk

5 Toshi









The brunchers at Al Qasr have paid the best part of Dhs500 to be there. They know how good the food is and intend to make the most of it.

Cheese trolley, made-to-order steak, sushi, oxtail burger and just about every other food you could possibly require.

There are three rooms full of food and a terrace so there's plenty of room to roam around in.

Splashing out. Treating yourself, your family or visitors.

A not so cheap Dhs495.

Say brunch to a Dubai veteran and the words Al Qasr won't be far from their lips.

Al Qasr Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 12.30pm to 4pm. Tel: (04) 3666730. www.

Like a summer's day somewhere pleasant in Europe, with a live jazz band, buffet in the open kitchen and an outdoor terrace.

Classic French brasserie, just like the a la carte but you can scoff as much as you like.

For a special occasion book the private dining room. Alternatively, grab a seat on the terrace and enjoy the weather.

Dapper gents and their lovely ladies. Anyone who enjoys good food, champagne and fine wine.

Up to you. Dhs375 sans booze, Dhs450 with wine and beer, Dhs595 with bubbly and Dhs1,998 with a limo pick up.

This is where we like to treat ourselves.

Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai, noon to 4pm. Tel: (04) 3172222. www. dubai.park.

Make sure you book ahead; Zuma is one of the most popular brunches in town.

Fresh sushi and sashimi and a wide array of dishes from the ever-changing regular menu.

The upstairs lounge and bar means there's no need to leave at 4pm. We can often be found celebrating a fine brunch at 6pm.

What is, without question, the best Japanese food in Dubai.

Kitsu (no alcohol) Dhs315, Kowaku Dhs425 (with alcohol) and Kyasha (with champers) Dhs550.

You can always rely on the food and service at Zuma.

Building 6, DIFC, Dubai, 12.30pm to 4pm. Tel: (04) 4255660. www. zumarestaurant. com

The jazz guitarist accompanies the sound of many eager brunchers filling their plates from the ample food stations.

Lobster galore, a pizza oven and roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. And that's just the highlights.

The resident's pool and several cabanas surround The Talk adding to the lively atmosphere.

Hungry people. The Talk has one of the most impressive food offerings in town.

Just right. Dhs350 makes it one of the city's cheaper brunches.

Take a seat outside with a sea view.

Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach, The Walk, JBR, Dubai, 12.30pm to 4pm. Tel: (04) 4498888. www.

It's an evening brunch, so the vibe is different to a daytime session. Calmer.

It's Asian Night, so sushi, dim sum, soup and grilled meats made to order. An impressive spread.

Well hidden on the Grand Millennium's 18th floor. Adjourn to the adjoining bar for post-dinner drinks.

The set price and buffet set up makes it ideal for a big dinner with friends.

Dhs195. Bargain.

Post 7pm is now brunching time. A trend you'll want to follow.

Grand Millennium Dubai, Tecom, Al Barsha, Dubai, 7pm to 10pm. Tel: (04) 4299999. www. millenniumhotels. com

APRIL 2011 WHAT’S ON 115

HOT ON EELS THSpEectrH um On One



hen 12 Thai Kitc h Malt Drunc se ou eh ar 13 W ious 14 Bubbalic Beer Café 15 Belgian



6 Anise


Mina A'Salam

9 Maya

10 The Grand Grill





We're talking civilised, catered garden party. Lovely.

You get your own picnic hamper, a stream of dishes from the kitchen and all manner of barbecued meats.

On the grass at the Al Badia Golf Club. Just a couple of weeks left to enjoy it.

Right now.

Dhs199 sans booze, Dhs330 with house beverages and Dhs495 with Veuve.

Make the most of it before the picnic blankets are packed away for summer.

Al Badia Golf Club by InterContinental Dubai Festival City, The Lawn, Festival City, Dubai. Tel: (04) 7011127. www.

The live band has lifted Anise from sedate to spirited. There should be live music at every brunch.

Live cooking stations serving up Peking duck, pizzas, barbecued cuts, curries and more.

Wander onto the terrace with a drink and enjoy and what is a superb view of the Dubai skyline.

One and all.

Dhs395 with alcohol, Dhs295 without.

Don't miss the dedicated cheese room.

Anise, InterContinental Dubai Festival City, Dubai, 12.30pm to 4pm. Tel: (04) 7011111. www. ichotelsgroup. com

A good mix of friends, families and couples makes for a laid-back but amiable atmosphere.

Bubbly, steak, seafood, sushi. Everything you would expect at a high-end brunch.

Book a table outside beside the water. It might be your last chance for a while.

A family feed or a casual brunch with friends.


There was a magician last time we visited. Who doesn't love trickery with their duck pancakes?

Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 12.30pm to 4pm. Tel: (04) 3668888. www.

Imagine a day by the hotel pool or chilling on the beach. That’s Maya's Playa Buena Vista brunch. There's also a live mariachi band.

Authentic Mexican. Platters of grilled meat and fish between 1pm and 4pm on the Maya terrace.

Digging your toes into the warm sand on the beach or taking a cooling dip in the hotel pool.

Topping up the tan.

Dhs300 for pool and beach access from 10am to 6pm, plus lunch and a 30 per cent drinks discount between 5pm and 7pm.

A brunch that isn't really a brunch at all. One for that weekend when you need a rest.

Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina, Dubai, 10am to 6pm. Tel: (04) 3165550. www.

People visit Grand Grill to up their protein intake and have a good time. Let's call it lively, shall we?

“BBQ the South African way” roughly translated means lots of meat washed down with many beverages.

Take a table outside while you still can.

Ravenous carnivores.

A bargain at Dhs295 with alcohol or Dhs225 without.

We're big fans of BBQ this month. Check out our feature (p48)

The Grand Grill Steakhouse, Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina, 12.30pm to 4pm. Tel: (04) 3994221

Friday Picnic Brunch



Thai Kitchen

116 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011


SensAsia Urban Spa




The Spa




Talise Spa at Emirates Towers



Utterly expert, very friendly and skilled beyond belief. Truly the best therapists we've ever been tended by in Dubai.

Most treatments are by ESPA, so the menu is well-chosen and addresses every possible concern. There are even wellness journeys lasting up to five days. We want.

Absolutely gorgeous. The hotel is a fair trek to get to, but the result is an away from it all experience. Expect lots of wood, terracotta and gorgeous fabrics.

Not as expensive as they could probably demand (shush) with a 25minute body scrub for Dhs215 and one-hour massage costing Dhs490. Thumbs up.

This is the ultimate day spa destination. We love it, and think you will too.

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


We recommended Sue if knots are your main problem, but they are all very knowledgeable and professional.

There's a lengthy and luxurious list of treatments on offer. Grouped by theme, there's an emphasis on rituals and packages that include pool and health club access.

Stunning. Particularly good for couples, with private outdoor showers and VIP suites.

There are monthly offers that take the sting out of the steep prices – but the quality of products, spa and therapists more than justify them.

It's finally off the number one spot, but is a worthy holder of the silver medal.

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


Quiet, kind and with a firm hand when necessary, SensAsia's staff are trained to the highest standards.

Innovative and imaginative, you'll find treatments you never knew you needed. We love specific massages like the Hi Heeler for aching feet.

Asian chic with splashes of jewel tones; the cosy rooms are a true retreat. And the dressing gowns are the best in town.

Choose wisely and you'll get an hourlong massage for Dhs310, and they'll often do monthly discounts.

Check our review of SensAsia's latest outpost on page 79. It was knotbustingly good.

The Beach Club, Al Nafura, Shoreline Apartments, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 4227115. www.sensasiaspas. com

There's a mix of nationalities and specialities, from massage therapists to a GP. This spa is packed with experts.

Talise sets itself apart with its naturopath, life coaching and medical testing, in addition to the large spa menu.

The treatment rooms are linked by leafy outdoor pathways, with an outdoor pool tucked away for those day-long spa sessions.

Various, but the 80-minute Royal Hammam is a fair Dhs450.

Ask them about the Talise detox minibreak at Bab Al Shams desert resort. Superb.

Al Qasr, Al Sufouh, Dubai, 9am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 3666818. talise

Modern zen awaits at this vast spa, with experienced therapists on hand to guide you from reception to relaxation.

There are separate menus for ladies and gents. Particularly recommended is the Jet Lag treatment.

You'd never expect this shrine to de-stressing to be mere minutes from The Dubai Mall.

It's pricey, but worth it for the quality of treatments and snooze you'll enjoy.

Quiet and luxurious, with quality added extras, this spa is a true sanctuary.

The Address Dubai Mall, Old Town, Dubai, 9am to 9pm. Tel: (04) 4388888.

One&Only Spa

Amara Spa

SensAsia Urban Spa


Talise Spa


The Spa



HOT ON S ch THdaEra SpHa,EThEe LMon ar

nly 11 Man y Spa, One&O 12 One&Onl Mirage Royal l, rContinenta City 13 Spa Inte al Dubai Festiv l ta en tin InterCon ee Al Wadi Tr an ny Ba 14 Spa, 15 The Grand ubai D Grand Hyatt

Lime Spa




Amara Spa






An international mix of staff. We had a knot-busting South African. Impressive.

There's no treatment menu as such, just book a time slot (from 90 minutes to a full day) and the therapist decides.

As stylish as you'd expect from Giorgio. It's a sleek space with dark greys and clean lines. Very masculine indeed.

Not as bad as you fear, with 90 minutes costing Dhs650, up to Dhs2,500 for a full day.

The unique 'decide for you' approach is great for spa newbies.

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

Male and female therapists are available with extensive knowledge. They're happy to answer questions, or just let you nod off.

The menu invites you to 'drop your robe, cares and guard'. Cheeky. There are Anne Semonin and Eve Lom treatments, plus everything from ear candling to sculpting rituals.

Shared steam and sauna facilities make it an ideal destination for couples. We especially like the clever two-way windows so you can look out over the polo fields.

Mid-range, with a 60-minute Anne Semonin massage for Dhs450 and an hour of reflexology for Dhs395.

We thoroughly recommend a massage then steak at the all-new Rare restaurant.

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


The female therapists at this ladies-only spa undergo two years of training and the results are impressive.

Each month brings new treatments and discounts. You'll find everything from blow-dries to luxury rituals, all with a Thai flavour.

Hidden away in an Al Wasl villa, the spa is a cosy escape with a lovely garden for yoga.

Well priced at around Dhs350 for an hour-long massage. Keep an eye out for special offers, too.

The spa offers a pick up and drop off service, in a luxury car. A fab way to end a treatment.

1074 Uttamah Villas, Al Wasl Road, Jumeira, Dubai, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 3489679. www. thaiprivilegespadubai. com


Expert, unassuming and happy to talk you through what they're doing and why. Excellent.

Not a huge selection, but everything you could want from rituals to tanning.

An unexpected sanctuary in the depths of Emirates Towers. Previously H2O male spa, it has opened its doors to the ladies.

Definitely on the more expensive side, which is no surprise given the hotel and neighbourhood it's in.

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

There is an Asianinspired menu, but we vote going for The Rainforest where you journey through various saunas and steamrooms.

It's gigantic and utterly decadent, Well worth the drive to Ras Al Khaimah.

If you're not a guest at the hotel an hour in The Rainforest is Dhs77. Treatments are on the expensive side, but high quality.



Lime Spa

Thai Privilege Spa

Talise Spa at Emirates Towers


Banyan Tree Al Wadi

120 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011

' A lunchtime

massage is the perfect pick-me-up for stressed execs.

Make a day of it with lunch or dinner at one of the hotel's restaurants.

Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 9am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 3198181.

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


An Englishman’s home is his castle. But does our man on the radio really have to go to war before he gets his? It’s 2.30am on a Tuesday. I can’t sleep. I’ve been tossing and turning all night, spreadeagled on top of the duvet, fighting off the urge to turn on the A/C. Eventually, I give up, go downstairs and now, much to the confusion of my two cats (who normally have this floor of the villa to themselves for at least another hour), I’m staring blearyeyed at a computer screen. I’ve got a lot on today. The Catboy & Geordiebird Breakfast Show starts in a few hours, after which I’m required at a TV studio to have my face plastered in makeup, before sitting around for ages just to say two lines to camera. I then have my nowweekly visit to the dentist, so I can give him enough money to fund a small nation and in return he can tell me lies about how what he’s going to do to my mouth isn’t going to hurt. All in all, it’s going to be the kind of day I would normally avoid at all costs. But I’d rather spend a day enduring all of that than do what I have been doing lately – looking for a new villa. Last year I threw caution to the wind and did the very Dubai thing of renting myself a pile that is way too grand for what I require. It’s not far from the Dubai 92 122 WHAT’S ON APRIL 2011

studio, so I can ride my bike in every day. It has a garden that I can sit in and watch the sun disappear behind a man-made lake every evening, and it has six or seven rooms that I’ve never been in. I literally only use the living room, bathroom, kitchen and master bedroom. Recently, I’ve started hallucinating visions of floating, ghostly numbers on the doors of the rooms I don’t use, showing me just how much cash I’m wasting. So I’m downsizing. Luckily, the neighbourhood I live in has a high turnover of villas, so much so that on a daily basis I see as many removal lorries as I do white Land Cruisers. I’ve taken to cycling home after the show and cruising the streets, stopping outside the villas with ‘TO RENT’ boards on display and calling to get a price. Sounds straightforward enough, right? Well… Not so much. I’m not going to name and shame letting companies, because I’ve pretty much had a raw deal from all of them. So far, I’ve been left on hold for quarter of an hour at a time, ignored, called back at unreasonable hours by ‘consultants’ who have no idea why they’re calling me, and lied to by polite but useless receptionists. Considering these people work in a commission-based industry, you’d think they’d make a bit more of an effort. Last week, I was sat outside a vacant villa speaking to a woman whose only mission seemed to be to not tell me how much it would be to rent. First of all she asked me

for more personal details than I normally need to give to renew my passport, then she went through a questionnaire about my inside leg measurement, preferred genre of film, blood type, etc, whilst I kept repeating the mantra of, “But how much is the rent?” She was a slippery character and even went so far as to say she had no way of knowing how much the villa rent would be. I suggested she log onto her company’s website where the price would be emblazoned in big, bold numbers. Seeing that I was backing her into a corner, she eventually asked how much my budget was, then, on gleaning the information, told me that was exactly how much the villa’s rent would cost me. Genius. Surprisingly, I have severed ties with that particular company, but the fun didn’t end there. I viewed another place recently and had the letting agent practically tugging at my shorts, begging me to sign up immediately to avoid the impending property Armageddon. If she was to be believed, I was currently viewing the last villa on Earth, at a price that would double the moment I walked away, which was being viewed by thousands of people that very afternoon, all of whom were willing to pay more than me and move in immediately. Which is all the more confusing because, at the time of going to press, it’s still empty. Catboy hosts the Catboy & Geordiebird Breakfast Show, Sun to Thurs, 6am to 10am, Dubai 92.

FOR THE FIRST TIME ON PUBLIC DISPLAY IN THE UAE. WHITE TIGERS. ONLY AT AL AIN WILDLIFE PARK & RESORT. Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort expresses its gratitude to Sheikha Latifa Bint Rashid Bin Khalifa Bin Saeed Al Maktoum for the generous donation of two extraordinary White tigers. The almost two year old White tiger siblings, a female and a male, have relocated to their new home at Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort and are now on exhibit. Come and watch them in their new enclosure in the zoo’s cathouse. Today, White tigers are reported to live only in captivity. White tigers are ambassadors for their cousins in the wild (India, South-East Asia and Russia). Tigers are critically endangered with some subspecies such as the Sumatra tiger almost being extinct in the wild. They are in a badly need for protection and it is our obligation to conserve them for future generations. Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort – In Touch With Nature.

For those with taste

The destination of choice in the heart of Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue, Ember Grill and Lounge brings you the Fashion Lunch Buffet every weekend. Accessorise your steak with rich sauces while mixing and matching appetisers, sides and desserts. Also enjoy a glass of house beverage with your meal for just AED 180 per person from 12.30pm to 4.00pm every Friday and Saturday. For reservations call + 971 4 438 8999 or email

What's On | April 2011  

What's On Dubai April 2011

What's On | April 2011  

What's On Dubai April 2011