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DHS 10 MAY 2010 ISSUE 385

+ WIN!

• A Motorola Milestone smartphone • A weekend at Aloft • A helicopter tour • Harry Connick Jr tickets

Now with added Catboy! Che

ck out o new column ur ist inside

Your total body tune up from fitness and facials to the city’s best dentist your guide to well-being in abu dhabi


A place where rich interiors merge with a lavishly conceived menu and a casually laid back atmosphere gives way to magnificent views‌ it could only be hawksbill, the restaurant at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. Come mingle, come relax, come eat. All at hawksbill – simply a cut above. For reservations please call 02 557 8000 visit us at










It’s Ladies Night in Stills Bar at Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island every Thursday with FREE bubbly and selected cocktails from 8pm till midnight and we have no work on Friday!

Stills Bar & Brasserie Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island Tel. 02 656 3053 Email

Contents Features 20 Total body tune-up Your guide to staying healthy in the UAE, from blood tests to baldness 30 The UAE’s top ten markets Shop your way around the Emirates with the UAE's best markets

38 Harry Connick Jr The smooth talkin’ crooner arrives in the capital 42 Streetwise DIFC We explore Dubai’s financial centre to reveal the must-do shops, art, bars and more

35 Culture club Break out your inner drama king or queen at the region’s theatres and performance groups

p88 p76

p30 MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 11

The round-up 16 Salaam All you need to know about the month of May, plus fighter Marcos Oliveira answers five questions

about clubland this month 93 Travel This month is brought to you by the letter K, with Kuwait and Kuala Lumpur

46 Films City Of Life, Nightmare On Elm Street, Date Night and more rated and slated

105 Hot list What’s on fire this month?

49 Eating Out Culinary treats put to the test, the best European restaurants and the new menu at Thai Kitchen

114 Back chat New What's On scribe Catboy gets a few things off his chest

63 Arts It’s all change at the B21 gallery, plus May’s four must-see exhibitions 71 Shopping Fitness gear keeps up our healthy theme, plus diamonds and the newest stores to open in the region


79 Mind & Body De-stressing at The Address Dubai Mall and dieting with Health Factory 86 Sport & Outdoor Our very own Mr Fitness answers your burning questions 88 Music We meet The Subways for a chinwag about sandwiches 90 Nightlife All you need to know 12 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010



This month we've been... Editor-in-Chief Obaid Humaid Al Tayer Group Editor & Managing Partner lan Fairservice Group Senior Editor Gina Johnson | Editor Mark Evans | Deputy Editor Helen Spearman | Senior Designer Sheila Lyn Carino | Contributing Editor Hugo Berger | Features Editor Gareth Rees | Editorial Assistant Karen Sequeira | Chief Sub Editor Iain Smith | Contributors Victor Besa, James Brennan, Anthony Broadhurst, Louise Browne, Jola Chudy, Vikram Gawde, James Houghton, Catherine Jarvie, Richard Luck, Joseph Maher, Conor Purcell, Matt Ross, Farooq Salik, Simon Smedley General Manager Production and Circulation S Sasidharan | Production Manager Sudhakar Chandran | Production Supervisor Sunita Cordeiro |

Drinking milk, p58

Shopping at the UAE’s markets, p30

Testing our health, p20


Group Publisher Jason Leavy | Publisher Joe Marrit | Group Advertisement Manager Saffron Goodyear | Senior Advertisement Manager Brian Cordeiro | Advertisement Manager Varsha Bhatia | 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: London: Acre House, 11/15 William Road, London NW1 3ER, UK, E-mail: 34,432 copies June 2009

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14 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

RICHARD LUCK Lucko, as we lovingly refer to him, is a man of many hobbies. He’s an expert birdwatcher, a devotee of UFC, a rugby fanatic and a film buff. But it’s his movie obsession that pays the bills, with regular contributions for Empire magazine and the Rotten Tomatoes website. More importantly, he also writes for What’s On. This month, Lucko casts his discerning eye over Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, p46

CATBOY JAMES BRENNAN The irrepressible Catboy – If there’s one thing bearded Simon Smedley to his postBrummie James knows man – is one of the Emirates’ about, it’s food. Having leading radio stars, with his written on everything from Catboy & Geordie Bird show on bhajis to burgers for a string Dubai 92 boasting an army of international publications, of fans. It’s not just his fans James is also the Middle East that love him – in his time the chairman of the World’s 50 sublime spinner has scooped Best Restaurants judging a host of awards, including a panel. And this month, we Sony Radio Award, New York twisted his arm into Radio Award and, his crown- recommending just a few of ing achievement, Dubai’s Best Abu Dhabi’s newest Hair 2009. Check out his new restaurants for our Eating column, p114 Out section, p49






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


The month of May in bite-size form

What’s hot Hakkasan We have it on good authority that London’s amazing Cantonese restaurant is set to open a branch at Emirates Palace over the summer. We can’t wait. Arabian music The ten-day Sounds Of Arabia music festival in Abu Dhabi is worth checking out if you want to learn more about Middle Eastern culture. May 6 to 16, Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation, Al Hosn Fort, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6215300. Hive The chic Souk Al Bahar bar, which closed its doors unexpectedly last month, has reopened. We’re delighted – as we were beginning to miss the Saturday roasts and the cool cocktails.

What’s not


Snow Patrol Once again rumours of an upcoming appearance by the Northern Irish rockers sweep the UAE – this time they were said to be playing Abu Dhabi – and once again they turn out to be not true. Seriously, lads, are you coming or what? Petrol price increases OK, we know it’s only an increase of 11 per cent, and that we get a pretty sweet deal even then, but still – it’s the Middle East for crying out loud! What next – Eskimos paying for snow?

May in numbers Do the math



Percentage of people living in the UAE who suffer from diabetes. Discover more health facts and what to do about them with our body tune-up, p20

The age Harry Connick Jr gave his first public performance. Some 36 years later and there’s no stopping the crooner, who hits Abu Dhabi this month. Read our exclusive interview, p38


Floors of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. We climbed them all on our visit to the Malaysian capital, p95


km², the size of San Juan De Dios Market in Mexico, the largest market in the world. The UAE has its fair share of markets, albeit somewhat smaller ones, p30

This month we’re going to…

Pure Fridays at Media One DJ Snezana from Miami’s Nikki Beach may just be our new best friend. We’ll be joining her on Fridays at the Media One for drinks, poolside dancing and general mayhem – Hygiene standards but next time the camera should stay at A recent investigation by Abu Dhabi Food home. Get involved in the Mediterranean Control Authority found that only one in ten evening brunch (7pm to 10pm) for a restaurants it visited in capital’s Tourist Club wallet-friendly Dhs175. Bargain. Area met their hygiene standards. One in ten! Media One, Dubai Media City, Dubai, noon One restaurant apparently failed on 20 different to 3am, free for ladies, Dhs50 for men accounts. Gross. after 8pm. Tel: (04) 4271000 16 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010


Years the Agatha Christie play The Mousetrap has been running in London’s West End. Read about the UAE’s thriving theatre scene, p35

London College of Fashion LCF is bringing a selection of its popular short courses to the UAE, including classes in personal styling, fashion marketing, visual merchandising and luxury brand management. The courses range from one to five days, and are taught by European experts in everything from journalism to image consulting. Expect waiting lists, so sharpen those elbows if you want join your fellow fashionistas at the Kempinski, Mall of the Emirates.

Five Questions… Marcos Oliveira Guess list If last month’s Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) hasn’t satisfied your bloodlust, there’s more to come with the Abu Dhabi Fighting Championship. The event will see 20 rock hard fighters slug it out for a Dhs1 million prize. UAE-based Brazilian Marcos is the 2009 Western World Champion and a firm favourite to win the event

News from the celebrity grapevine


David Haye The flamboyant British heavyweight WBA boxing champ has claimed Abu Dhabi was his first choice of venue to stage a unification bout against either of the colossal Klitschko brothers. The biggest heavyweight boxing match in years right here on these shores? Yes please.


Are you the toughest man in the UAE? Yeah, probably. I mean, I’ve had so much experience fighting over the years and I was Western World Champion in 2009. Maybe there is a better MMA fighter in the UAE. But I haven’t met him yet. You versus Mike Tyson in his prime. Who’s the winner? If it were boxing rules, then he’d beat me easily. He was better trained than me. But in a straight fight, with all disciplines allowed? Yes, I could beat him. I know so many martial arts and he only knows boxing. I could grapple him into submission. How’s this different from last month’s UFC event? It’s exactly the same sport. The UFC and ADFC are just different organisations. The levels of the fighters are pretty much the same. Three of the guys fighting this month have fought in the UFC, and in my last fight I beat a guy called Gary Jordan who used to

be in the UFC. I could compete in the UFC, but at the moment I don’t want to. It’s a rough game, this MMA lark. You ever take a serious beating? Seriously no, nothing worse than a few cuts, bruises and strains. We’re all such skilled fighters; we know how to take punches. There’s Dhs1 million up for grabs. Nice new yacht if you win? No, definitely not. I want to make money, but it’s not everything for me. Having a new yacht or a car will not make me happy. I’m just happy if I can spend every day in the gym, training hard and staying healthy. May 14, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Khaleej Al Arabi Street, 6.30pm, Dhs180 to Dhs2,650. Tel: (02) 6810989.

ROD STEWART Last month Rod The Mod told us that he’s “in it for the love of music”, that he “watches five movies a week” and that Britt Ekland (“God, she hates me”) still holds a grudge. Aw, we love having close, personal showbiz chums. Don’t miss the man himself, if you can still get a ticket, at the Sevens Stadium on, appropriately, the seventh. May 7, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai, doors open 4pm, show 7pm, Dhs350 to Dhs750. Tel: (04) 4334911.

BEST OF BRITISH GALA The Abu Dhabi Classic season concludes with a recreation of the famous Last Night Of The Proms concert. Get your Union Jack flags ready for some waving as the BBC Symphony Orchestra will be on hand to belt out some stirring classics like Land Of Hope And Glory, Jerusalem and Rule Britannia. It’ll bring a tear to the eye of any true Brit. May 15, Emirates Palace Auditorium, Abu Dhabi, 8pm, Dhs250 to Dhs650. www.

Noel Gallagher A little bird told us that ex-Oasis star Noel has been invited to partake in some five-star hospitality at October’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The welcome mat is out, so it’s up to Noel now if he fancies a cushy trip.


Leona Lewis The golden-voiced X Factor winner has just embarked on a two–year long world tour. And, according to our insider, the UAE is vying to be one of her stop-offs.

: May 7 Rod Stewart 16 ick Jr: May Harry Conn 0 ada: May 2 Groove Arm MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 17

WIN! WIN! WIN! We’re in a generous mood again, so take a trip to competitions for your chance to win these goodies

WIN! A HELICOPTER TOUR FOR TWO OVER ABU DHABI Abu Dhabi has its fair share of spectacular sights, but imagine how much more impressive they’ll look from the air. Now it’s not just the mega-rich who can check out these bird’s eye views thanks to Falcon Aviation’s new helicopter tours of the capital. And they’re offering one of our readers, plus a friend, a 20-minute flight over downtown Abu Dhabi and its coastline. All you have to do is answer this simple question: Which of these TV programmes was about a helicopter? a) Airwolf b) Sex & The City c) Teletubbies

WIN! A fitness MAKEOVER We have a body composition test, personal training session and a month’s membership to Le Méridien Dubai’s state-of-the-art gym (worth Dhs2,450) to give away. The package includes various classes at Natural Elements Fitness, plus access to tennis courts and swimming pools so you can tailor a fitness regime to suit your needs. For your chance to win, tell us: What does a power plate do? a) Vibrate b) Levitate c) Hydrate 18 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

WIN! A Motorola Milestone It’s the UAE’s newest, slimmest smartphone and we have one in our hot little hands. Powered by Android 2.1, this QWERTY bad boy is hooked up to YouTube, Google Maps and Gmail so you’ll have business and entertainment literally at your fingertips. Chuck in a five megapixel camera with flash, Bluetooth, 8GB memory card, GPS and a 3.7” widescreen display and we might have found a contender to our beloved BlackBerry. For your chance to win this bit of kit, tell us what does Gmail stand for? a) Google Mail b) Goonie Mail c) Gooner Mail

WIN! TWO NIGHTS STAY AT ALOFT ABU DHABI Aloft is Abu Dhabi’s coolest new hotel. And this month one lucky reader can win a stay for two for a couple of nights, plus breakfast and a barbecue lunch at the poolside Mai café thrown in. Just answer the following question to be in with a chance of winning: Which room in a house is also known as a loft? a) Kitchen b) Cellar c) Attic

Is the UAE making you sick? It seems UAE residents are an unhealthy bunch, from the odd weekly hangover, to more serious concerns linked with this part of the world. Here are just some of the common ailments and what you need to tackle them using both scientific and natural remedies



The UAE has the second highest rate of Type Two Diabetes in the world. Only the native island of Narau, in the South Pacific, is injecting more insulin. Amongst the adult citizens of the UAE, 24 per cent of people are affected, while 17.4 per cent of expats suffer. Grim reading. What’s worse is that if untreated, Type Two Diabetes can cause heart attacks, blindness, strokes, loss of limbs, poor circulation and death. So much so, that last year Type Two Diabetes was the biggest killer of people in the UAE. WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR Constant thirst, passing large amounts of urine, tiredness and weight loss. In some people vision is affected. TREATMENT Type Two Diabetes is associated with obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle. In severe cases medical help, in the form of monitoring and managing glucose levels, may be required but it can be controlled by maintaining a healthy and balanced diet and by exercising regularly. 20 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

WHAT’S ON SAYS Get yourself down to Boot Camp twice a week – it’s one of the easiest ways to get and stay fit and combat an unhealthy lifestyle. Supplement that with a healthy diet – www. provide everything you need, and deliver to your doorstep.


Life in the 21st century UAE is fast-paced. As we try to fit in family, work, social life, fitness and hobbies, stress can become an increasingly prevalent danger. Add in the type of daily commute that’s enough to take anyone to the point of boiling, and it’s not hard to see why many people in the Emirates are affected by stress. Stress

is actually a medical condition, caused by wayward thought processes about the past, present and future. These thought processes cause a downward psychological spiral and can have a serious affect on your life and wellbeing. WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR Withdrawal from social life and relationships, general unhappy demeanour, insomnia, constant worrying. TREATMENT Severe stress can be treated with drugs and counselling but you can reduce the risk of stress affecting you by taking time out to relax, away from work and the chaos of everyday life, and by meditating or practising a form of relaxation such as tai chi or yoga. WHAT’S ON SAYS Take up meditation and yoga at the same time to help you with your stress-busting battle.

cup of green tea after dinner will also help to ease digestion. WHAT’S ON SAYS SensAsia Urban Spa offers a combined colon and cellulite two-week detox programme for Dhs2,850. Somewhat cheaper at Dhs285 (and perhaps less invasive) are Rodial’s Tummy Tuck Sticks, a soluble powder that claims to speed up digestion and help fight bloating.


Osteoporosis caused by Vitamin D deficiency can be a major problem among Muslim women. An essential vitamin for strong bones and muscles, most of our Vitamin D intake comes from sunlight reacting with our bare skin, and as Muslim women cover up their skin this can .STOMACH BLOATING. unfortunately cause problems. Vitamin With so many options for good food in D deficiency is also common in children, the Emirates, it’s tempting to eat out every pregnant women and breast-feeding babies. night of the week. As a result, stomach WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR bloating is a common complaint for many Pain in the bones, muscle pain or weakness, people in the region and, although not cramps, tiredness, aches. life-threatening, it can be thoroughly TREATMENT uncomfortable and unpleasant. It is caused Vitamin D deficiency can easily be by the stomach or intestines pushing treated with dietary supplements. It against the skin, which is due to a build up is recommended that pregnant and of wind or gas in the abdomen. breastfeeding women and breastfeeding WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR babies take a Vitamin D supplement. For A distended or hardened stomach, those who don’t get much sunshine, which uncomfortable ‘full’ feeling in your guts. is the best source of Vitamin D, it is also TREATMENT prevalent in liver, some fish, egg yolk and Persistent stomach bloating may be caused cod liver oil – so eat plenty. by a medical problem such as Irritable WHAT’S ON SAYS Bowel Syndrome (IBS), so seek a doctor’s A family daytrip to the sun-filled advice if you feel this is the case. Occasional Lu Lu Island will provide plenty of bloating can be avoided by taking your time exposure to the sun, but, of course, over your dinner, not talking while chewing remember to apply sunscreen – too much your food and by not eating too many dairy sun is never good. products or food that contains starch. A


Alcohol has diuretic effects which means that you expel more fluid than you take in, leaving your body dehydrated. Drinking to excess leads your organs to take water from wherever they can get it, including the brain. The brain does not feel pain but, when dehydrated, it shrinks and the pain sensitive filaments attaching it to the inside of the skull are stretched giving the symptoms of a headache. You also lose vital salts and sugars as the body tries to flush out the poison. WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR Headache, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, dehydration. TREATMENT If you happen to have a kidney dialysis machine, a saline drip and a nurse to monitor you overnight, you will wake up feeling like you didn’t touch a drop the previous night but let’s face it, that’s highly unlikely. More realistic treatments are: drink plenty of water throughout your drinking session, more water before you go to bed, drink a non-fizzy isotonic sports drink to replace those salts and sugars and make sure you eat if you are going to drink. Eating is not cheating. WHAT’S ON SAYS l A swim in The Gulf will make you feel instantly more human, and it’s free. l Treat yourself to a croque-monsieur – carbs, salt and some crisps on the side. Dhs35, Boulevard Café, Old Town. Tel: (04) 4285924


There is a strange and unwelcome phenomenon about the UAE: hair loss. No one knows why but our scalps seem to be shedding quicker than a Siamese in summer. In the UAE 47 per cent of women have experienced hair loss with over 30 per cent of men noticing their hairline receding. Many claim it’s due to the quality of the water and the dry conditions, but nobody really knows for sure. There is speculation that chlorine in shower water and swimming pools may be to blame but, in scientific tests, no correlation has ever been found between chlorine and hair loss. WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR Increased hair loss – check your pillow in the morning. TREATMENT Filters for showers are reported to help (available from Carrefour). Let your hair dry naturally or use a hair dryer rather than a towel. Don’t brush wet hair, use a widetoothed comb instead. Use a mild shampoo and drink plenty of water to help keep your hair nourished. In severe cases, men can look at having a hair transplant, there are plenty of clinics in the region that can do this. WHAT’S ON SAYS Men – put your vanity to one side and shave it off. It hasn’t done Bruce Willis any harm. MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 21

Testing Times

.The Diet Test.

Name? Food Intolerance Test What? Blood tests to discover food intolerance levels. How? A sample of blood is taken and examined against a range of foods to check your intolerance levels. Now, intolerance is the key word here. A lot of people will have an instant reaction and feel ill with some foods – which is an allergic reaction – whereas with an intolerant reaction they may not feel anything for days or even weeks later. Food intolerance can bring with it a range of symptoms, including tiredness, bloating, headaches, cramps – the list is endless, and because of the timescales most people will have no idea what it is that’s caused it. Results? Results are delivered in three lists: a green, permitted and recommended list; a blue, permitted once or twice weekly list; and a red, strong reaction list, forbidden for three to four months. Our results came back with, thankfully, a long green list; a medium blue list – codfish, goats’ milk and lentils, among others; and a red list of three: crab, cane sugar and cows’ milk. Ah. Just two of our daily staples then. As results won’t show up for three to four months, we’re now undergoing cold turkey, with our morning cuppa well out of the window. How long? A quick jab in the arm with a needle and you’re done. Results are sent the next day, however, there’s a three to four month wait until you discover just what it was that pesky crab was doing to you. How much? Dhs1,500. Where? Medsol clinics throughout the UAE. Tel: 800 MEDSOL.

.The General. .examination. Name? Medical Check-Up What? A full physical examination. How? MediCentres’ Dr Dejan Jovanoic is bemused. “Our cars, metal things we use to get from A to B, we have checked up at least once a year,” he says in his ever-so-slight East European accent. “Sometimes more. But our bodies? When do we have them checked?” The good doctor is right, of course – a general examination like the one he does at his clinic in Barsha probably isn’t top of most people’s to do lists, but it takes so little effort. His is a series of tests much like those you had as a child – shining a torch in the eye, hitting the knee with a small hammer, stethoscope to the chest – to determine any abnormalities with your everyday well-being. While they won’t reveal everything, they’re a pretty good evaluation of how fit for the road you are. Results? Thankfully, when the test results landed a day or two later it’s a clean bill of health; no problems with ears, eyes, heart, lungs, BMI within recommended range, everything looking as it should. As with all check ups, the Doc recommends further diagnostic evaluation, such as blood tests, liver, glucose, which will paint an even more accurate picture of health. How long? 30 to 45 minutes, longer if blood tests are taken. How much? From Dhs450. Where? MediCentres International, Iridium Building, Umm Suqeim Road, Al Barsha, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3233715.

.The Well Woman. .Test. Name? Extended Female Medical Check-Up What? A full body MOT to ensure a woman’s total health, from blood work to breast examination. How? This extensive well woman test includes: complete medical history discussion, physical exam, immunisation update, measurements, gynaecology consultation, mammogram, pelvic and organ ultrasound, bone density scan, fasting blood sugar tests (for cholesterol, liver and renal function, proteins and thyroid levels), pulmonary function, 12-lead ECG resting and treadmill ECG stress tests, plus follow-up consultation. Phew. Results? Many of the tests give instant results – we were surprised to learn that our liver is very good looking – but it takes up to four days to get blood work back. How long? Around two and half hours, but you may need to come back for the treadmill test and gynaecological appointments. How much? The full test costs Dhs3,700, but you can create your own package according to specific concerns. Contact the clinic to discuss options. Where? Health Bay Clinic, Villa 977, Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3487140.

.The Anti. .Pollution. .Treatment. Name? Glow Facial by Kaya Skin Clinic What? A deep cleansing facial to unblock pores, clear skin of pollution build-up and refresh a dull complexion. How? Using a clever machine that exfoliates and acts like a mini vacuum cleaner, a therapist removes dead skin cells to improve the texture of your skin. Focusing on one half of the face first, you can see instant results (and can even take a peek at the dirt that was removed if you so desire – yuck). After treating the whole face, individual pores are unblocked without the use of steam, which can stretch the skin, to leave it softer and brighter. If a little pink and sore around the nose. Results? You can see and feel the difference instantly, but to combat the UAE’s pollution problems (plus heavy use of sunscreen), a treatment once a month is recommended. How long? One hour. How much? Dhs350. Where? Kaya Skin Clinic, throughout the UAE. MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 23

.The Colon. Cleanser.

is wrong, or right, with your body. A fitness instructor will give you advice on work out regimes and diet tips. We were told to work Name? Colonic Hydrotherapy out for longer, stock up on protein and give What? There’s no delicate way to put this – it’s carbs the heave-ho. Simple. a treatment that uses water (via a machine) How long? The scan takes no longer than to flush waste out of your colon. Following a minute and the results are printed out an in-depth consultation, Dr Heather Eade instantly and presented in an easy to read, inserts a speculum, which then feeds warm colour-coded chart, which your instructor water into your digestive tract to loosen any discusses with you. The results are useful waste, undigested food, bile, mucus and in setting goals to get you in shape and it’s more. Don’t fear – the high-tech machine can recommended that you come back after a vary the pressure and temperature so you’re month of hard slog for a further test to see comfortable, modesty is preserved at all times how you are getting on. (thanks to some well-designed trousers) and How much? The test costs Dhs200 and Dr Eade explains every step of the procedure. includes a consultation with a fitness And yes, you can see what comes out if you instructor. want to. Where? Natural Elements Fitness Centre, Le Results? The outcome (so to speak) varies Méridien Dubai, Airport Road, Dubai. Tel: vastly between patients. Many use colon (04) 2170000. hydrotherapy to address issues such as IBS, .The Teeth. candida, allergies, skin problems, migraines .The Acne buster. and severe digestive problems, while others .Treatment. Name? Medical Acne Facial by Biolite Skin may just feel sluggish. You could need up Name? Office Teeth Whitening Treatment Clinic to ten sessions, but one will be sufficient to What? A teeth whitening treatment to make What? A tripartite of skin clearing treatments reduce mild bloating. Immediately after a those pearly whites brighter, whiter and stain- treatment you may be a bit wild-eyed and that helps reduce acne and improve skin free. It’s particularly effective for those who quality. giddy, your stomach will feel flat and you’ll have enjoyed a little too much caffeine and How? The facial joins the benefits of three need a little nap. nicotine over the years. treatments: a crystal peel, IPL photo facial How long? The consultation will take How? This treatment is performed in two and Rejuvi acne treatment. Before the crystal about an hour and you’ll be attached to the sessions. The first part is a scale and polish peel, the therapist does a deep cleansing – hydrotherapy machine for 45 minutes, so to irradiate all those annoying stains. The unblocking pores and gently exfoliating. allow around two hours in total. second part is the whitening treatment where How much? Dhs550 plus Dhs500 for Then the skin undergoes the light microderm hydrogen peroxide whitening gel is applied to consultation at first appointment. abrasion – a bit like having your face your teeth and then an ultraviolet light is left Where? Dubai Mall Medical Centre, Fashion sand-blasted with sterile crystals. It sounds to work its magic. intense, but it’s not, and feels a bit like having Carpark, Level 7, Dubai Mall, Dubai. Results? You can see the difference your face licked by a cat. Tel: (04) 4495111. immediately and your teeth should be at When your skin’s at its cleanest and barest, least two shades lighter. But be aware that for the therapist brings out the big guns – the .The Fit Or Fat Test. IPL wand. This treatment uses broadthree to four days afterwards your teeth act Name? Body Composition Test like sponges absorbing stains easier, so try spectrum light to sterilise acne-causing What? A quick and easy test to find out just to avoid smoking, caffeine, fizzy drinks and bacteria in the skin, shrink the oil-producing how fit and healthy your body really is, inside glands, and lighten your dark spots and even red pasta sauces. Basically, anything and out. with colour is a no-go area. Apart from scars. The therapist coats your skin with How? This simple check-up requires you to experiencing a little sensitivity afterwards, a protective layer of icy cold gel and then this treatment should last a lifetime as long as do nothing more strenuous than stand on a methodically goes over your face, zapping it you continue to look after your gnashers and shiny set of scales barefoot while gripping with light, which stings slightly – as if you a sensor in each hand. Technology does the have regular check-ups. were flicked with a rubber band. How long? The scale and polish takes around rest. Your body is scanned to give accurate After a week, you come back for the Rejuvi details of your weight, muscle mass and 15 minutes and the whitening treatment will treatment, which uses a mix of acids to take approximately 30 minutes depending on percentage body fat. It’ll tell you how much further smooth and clean up the skin. For water you need to drink as well as your the discolouration. Just sit back and relax to the next month, as your skin slowly clears protein intake and all-important BMI. Your the sounds on your iPod. If that doesn’t seal up, make sure to slather on the sun block basel metabolic rate will figure out how many and follow their recommended daily care the deal, the mood lighting, contemporary calories your body needs to get you through artwork from Opera and valet parking guidelines. the day and the maximum you should have. definitely will. How long? The basic three-part treatment The test also points out which of your wobbly takes place in two sessions of less than an How much? Dhs2,500, which includes the bits contain the most fat. Unsurprisingly, consultation, scale and polish, and teeth hour each. our belly, waist and hips came in for special whitening treatment. How much? Dhs950. attention. Where? The Clinic, Building 7, DIFC. Tel: Where? Biolite Skin Clinic, Dubai Results? The information is pretty (04) 3230900. Healthcare City, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3752122. comprehensive; pointing out exactly what 24 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

.The Lung check-up. .corrective eye. Name? Respiratory Test surgery. What? A complete examination of your

.The Eye test.

Name? Ophthalmology Test What? Giving your eyes a complete examination, looking for short or long sightedness and diseases such as glaucoma and conjunctivitis. How? The UAE’s incessant sunshine causes major harm to your eyes, so it’s essential to have regular eye tests. First up, the intense sunlight can, without top quality polarised sunglasses, lead to eyestrain, which will eventually reduce your vision. Also, air conditioning is constantly drying your eyes. This, combined with the dust and sand in the atmosphere, can trigger eye infections such as conjunctivitis. To help prevent this it’s best to undergo regular eye tests. The New Medical Centre Hospital’s ophthalmology department offer such tests, consisting of the classic ‘read the ever-decreasing letters on a board’, as well a succession of other tests such as shining bright lights into your eyeballs and eye drops with yellow dye to check for glaucoma. Results? Despite the long hours we spend staring at computer monitors, we’ve been told our eyes are in relatively good nick. We’re slightly long sighted in our right eye, which will deteriorate with age. But at present, we’re hanging in there – we’re just short of becoming a glasses wearer. However, our ophthalmologist, Dr Philip Koshy, says our eyes are a bit dry and we should blink more and always wear sunglasses when driving to stop the blast of A/C parching our peepers. How long? Around 30 minutes. How much? Dhs800. Where? New Medical Centre Hospital, corner of Electra Street and Airport Road, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6332255.

lungs, to find out lung capacity and whether you have any lung conditions or diseases. How? After a brief check-up, you’re asked to breath into a mouthpiece, which is hooked up to a computer. With your nose blocked off by nose plugs, you breathe normally in and out through your mouth. When asked by the nurse, you have to inhale and then exhale as fast as you can. You then take a puff of ventolin – a common asthma inhaler – and repeat the test. The computer then analyses whether your airways are obstructed or inflamed, as well as what affects the ventolin has had. Results? Despite being an asthma sufferer all our lives, we were pleased to know that our lung capacity was normal. When we repeated the test with ventolin, there was a small improvement, which proves we have mild asthma. With some helpful tips from the clinic’s respiratory expert, Dr Zouhair Harb, this should be controllable. How long? The test and consultation takes about 30 minutes. How much? The full test costs Dhs750. Where? Cure Clinic, off 32nd Street, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6675050.

Tips to prevent lung conditions 1. Wash your pillow covers and bed sheets regularly, as mites in your bed often inflame the lungs. Also, every three months or so, you should wash the pillows in water hotter than 60°C to kill the mites. 2. Have your air conditioning units at home and in your car cleaned regularly. Mould in the unit will spark off asthma attacks. 3. Try to avoid building sites. Cement dust and sand are inflammatory to asthmatics. 4. Take care when workers are using fertiliser on plant beds. This is another major cause of lung inflammation. 5. We all know tobacco is bad for us, but smoking shisha is even worse. The molasses used in the tobacco mix creates a smoke that coats the lungs. Just say no to that double grape.

Name? Ultra Lasik Eye Surgery What? A restorative procedure on one or both eyes that will allow you to sling those specs and consign your contact lenses to the bin for good by correcting any of your sight problems with a concentrated light beam. Long and short sightedness, astigmatism; all can be sorted out with the state-of-the-art Ultra Lasik facilities available at the centre. How? The procedure includes the eye test that you’d normally have at your high street opticians, with some additional tests included to make sure your eyeball is healthy enough for surgery. As soon as your requirements are assessed, you’re scheduled in for the work to be done. The procedure involves two cutting-edge machines. One to prepare your eye for the laser beam to be applied, and the other to do the correcting. After surgery you’re advised to wear goggles to protect yourself from rubbing your eyes while you sleep for the first night, and then not to do anything silly like poke yourself in the eye for a couple of weeks. But there’s no eye-patch or hibernation in a darkened room needed. Results? Sensational. From squinting to flagging down the right bus to pin-sharp vision. Sincerely life-changing stuff. How long? For such significant and lifechanging surgery, you’d assume you’d be in the operating theatre for a respectable period. But with the latest technology in harness, it really is blink-and-you’ll-miss-it stuff. You’re in a surgical gown and prone for around eight minutes. That’s it. The consultations and follow-ups obviously take a bit longer. How much? The prices vary depending on the amount of work your peepers need. Both eyes will cost anything from Dhs8,000 to Dhs18,000 to be fixed. Where? Sharaf Eye Centre, Healthcare City, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4233664. the info gadget If you have severe allergies, suffer from seizures or need to carry medication, then CareId from UniCare Medical Centre, could be a lifesaver. The portable USB is designed to carry patients’ history so doctors at the scene of an accident or emergency will have the essential information to treat you. Diabetics can also use CareId to maintain a log of their glucose readings. The devices are available from 8.30am to 9.00pm from UniCare. UniCare Medical Centre, ground floor of BurJuman, next to Dome Café, Bur Dubai, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3529292.

MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 25

Experience the art of chic, urban, casual dining Afyä – the new restaurant in Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi. Enjoy the unique ambience and no fuss, high quality cuisine of Afyä’s extensive international menu, morning, noon or night. Call Restaurant Reservations on +971 2 510 8818 or visit Between the Bridges, PO Box 128881, Abu Dhabi, UAE

The Science Of Sleep Insomnia is a major problem in these increasingly stressful times. If you’re in dire need of a good night’s rest, we have the keys to the land of nod

.Pills, Schmills.

In the very excellent Fight Club, Edward Norton’s insomnia-wracked narrator fantasises about the medication that might help him rest. “Red and blue tuinals, lipstick-red seconals...” – to the sleepless man, they sound like manna from heaven. The problem is, people are swift to adapt to the effects of sleeping tablets – so swift in fact that the pill that knocked you out cold one night might only lay you out for a couple of hours the following evening. Useful only in the short-term, those who put their trust in tablets would be far better off listening to the advice of Norton’s world-weary physician: “Chew some valerian root and get more exercise.”

.The Eight Hour. .Illusion. Unless you’re a dolphin or Margaret Thatcher, you probably think you need eight hours of sleep to refresh your mind and body. In actual fact, human beings can function perfectly well on far less rest. The key to a relaxing night isn’t how long you sleep, but the amount of dream or REM sleep you enjoy. This is another problem with sleeping tablets – while they knock you out, they inhibit healthy sleep. So, if you’ve only slept for five hours but you’ve spent four of those rubbing coconut oil over Angelina Jolie while a unicorn looks on, the chances are you’re in fine fettle.

Name? The Ultimate Detox at Absolute Sanctuary, Koh Samui, Thailand What? An intensive programme of fasting, nutritional supplements and colon hydrotherapy under the supervision of experts

.Become A Fan-atic.

Just before you turn in, turn a fan or the A/C on. That low drone mightn’t sound that special but it’s a noise that helps plenty of people who have trouble dropping off. If you don’t have access to a fan, a hairdryer or silent TV ‘white noise’ has much the same effect. A remarkably successful sleeping aid, those in need of celebrity endorsement might be interested to hear that Wayne Rooney swears by this technique with the same enthusiasm he swears at referees.

the detox holiday

.The Sound Of. .Silence. When people can’t sleep it’s common practice to turn on the TV. It can be pretty lonely when you’re up at 3.30am so you could do worse than watch a dreadful infomercial. Or so you might think. In fact, in those moments before you fall asleep your brain is incredibly receptive to taking in information. So if you have, say, a television blaring away, the brain becomes so active the body can’t help but ready itself for stress. Next time you find yourself reaching for the remote, you’d be better off turning on that fan – if it’s good enough for a complex individual like Wayne Rooney, it should prove useful to you.

.Get Some. .Therapy. You might be the last person who’d think they’d benefit from talking about their feelings once a fortnight, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t benefits to be had from talking to sleep therapists. Whether it’s problems with your daily routine, your bedroom layout or your general health, a sleep specialist can save you a lot of worry not to mention countless hours staring at the ceiling (stop that!). As for a good place to start, you could do a lot worse than the Sleep Centre at the American Hospital Dubai (, whose talented professionals can help you with everything from somnambulism to sleep apnoea.

How? A three, five or seven-day detox devoted ‘holiday’ where you will consume nothing but cocktails of fruit juice, psyllium husks and bentonite clay, broth and a barrage of herbal nutritional supplements; indulge in daily colonic hydrotherapy and take part in yoga sessions – if your energy levels allow. Blood pressure, weight, body fat and water levels are read and monitored by a doctor and detoxers have a team of medical professionals to call on at any time. Not for the faint hearted. Results? An average weight loss of 3kg to 5kgs on the seven-day programme, removal of years of toxins and impacted waste creating healthier long-term digestion, improved energy levels, clearer skin and a cold turkey kick-start for longterm clean living. How long? Three days is enough for a beauty boost, five days is a serious commitment to health. Seven days? Go into that one with your game face on. How much? An all-inclusive Signature Detox Programme (excluding accommodation) costs Dhs2,448 for three days, Dhs3,244 for five days and Dhs3,927 for seven days. Where? Absolute Sanctuary, Koh Samui, Thailand. Tel: (+662) 2524400.

Ship Out e Up h & Shap ’t, but a weekend wit

ain Relaxing getaway it e kick start your exercis Dunamis could be the Golden ira Jaz Al at aks bre regime needs. The g together people for Tulip in Ghantoot brin nts, martial arts and training, with team eve for meeting fellow great bootcamp sessions 7 t weekend is on May fitness fans. The nex 9544. 367 5) (05 Tel: . ited and spaces are lim E-mail: admindunam

MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 27

Smile like you mean it

Terrifying Takeaways We asked Dubai London Clinic’s nutritionist Stephanie Karl for her advice on healthy eating when ordering in


Chicken tikka masala is a popular choice, but it also has an average of 700 calories per portion. Unfortunately, it’s Western influences that have added the calories to Indian meals that were traditionally quite low in fat. Avoid creamy curries, like korma and masala, and go instead for the tandoori, which has 350 calories per portion. This hardly makes it a healthy option, but it’s considerably better by comparison. Stay away from deep fried bhajis and samosas. Keep it simple with plain boiled rice and avoid naan bread, which is high in fat and just one half contains 269 calories.


All that cheese is not good news. Then many of us add any number of toppings that are high in fat. Just eating half a plain margherita pizza from Pizza Express gives you 263 calories. A single slice of Domino’s Deluxe has 171 calories. If you can’t resist the occasional pizza, try going for the lower fat toppings such as vegetables and prawns. Don’t ask for extra cheese and avoid garlic dips or garlic bread. Contrary to what you might think, the deep pan pizza is actually a healthier option than the thin crust as it contains less fat.


Chinese food is hugely popular, but not a wise choice for dieters. If you can’t resist the temptation, at least try to avoid the deep fried dishes. This includes starters like prawn crackers and spring rolls. Just one serving of crispy duck contains over 30g of fat. Instead, try fish and steamed vegetables. Other dishes that are higher in vegetables and therefore lower in fat include beef in black bean sauce. Still, a typical serving contains 432 calories, whereas chicken and cashew nuts has 311 calories. Stir-fries aren’t as bad as you might think, as the amount of oil used is generally not high. Go for the plain (preferable brown) rice rather than the egg fried which contains more fat. Better still, order Thai food instead which is much lighter.

Dr Michael Apa can rightly claim to be the facial aesthetic dentist to the stars, having perfected the gnashers of Matt Damon, Chloe Sevigny, not to mention all manner of royalty. Here’s his scoop on achieving a gorgeous grin After smoking and drinking coffee for 15 years my teeth aren’t exactly sparkling. I’ve heard whitening can be damaging to the enamel – what can I do? That’s actually not true. Bleaching simply changes the structure of enamel to reflect more light making teeth appear brighter. Done in moderation, it’s completely harmless to the teeth. It is the simplest way to attempt to gain a better smile. However, most people need more than bleaching to really achieve that great smile. I need a total mouth makeover but I’m concerned about how long the veneers last. Are they really permanent and will I get my money’s worth over a lifetime? How long does the process take and what’s the recovery time like? Nothing in dentistry, or that’s put in the human body, is permanent. Veneers, however, are the longest lasting restoration in the mouth. The average life span is about 15 to 20 years, but you have to take care of them. Taking care of them means regular hygiene visits and check ups with the dentist. I have two offices, one in New York and one in Dubai. When I come to Dubai, I bring my ceramist, Jason Kim, and we finish the entire process in less than a week – about five days, actually. The process consists of two main visits and two check visits. There is no recovery time, from the time the process starts you will look great (even while in temporary phase, or trial smile) and will be able to go to social events and work. I’m 27 and my wisdom teeth have been threatening to come through for a few years. What happens if they do and there’s no room? Will my smile be ruined? I can’t face braces at my age. It’s not true that wisdom teeth crowd your teeth if they grow in impacted… however, it’s not good if they are impacted – they should be removed. If not, they can ruin the second molar that is in front of them and they can become infected causing severe pain and swelling. Braces, however, in today’s dentistry aren’t like they used to be. There are now clear braces called invisalign or ceramic braces that are tooth coloured that can actually be placed on the backs of the teeth. Many actors and actresses are using this option today to obtain a better smile. Dr Michael Apa, Villa 1016, Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqiem, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3949433. E-mail:

MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 29

The UAE’s top There’s an array of up-andcoming designers, artisans, crafty people and hidden gems out there at a stall near you

Dubai Flea Market, Al Safa Park

“By 11.30am, everything is usually gone,” warns the UAE’s flea market queen, Melanie One man’s trash is another man’s secondBeese. “Everything you can imagine is sold hand sofa. Here in the UAE, the market for here – electronics, clothes, shoes, antiques, the used, the quaintly handcrafted and the books, ceramics and furniture. Vendors sell downright bargain but bizarre is thriving. While the Emirates might be full of top name the craziest stuff, and last time we had more stores, there’s something quite magical – and than 6,000 visitors.” Sharpen your elbows and prepare to haggle for must-have bricnot to mention money-saving – about going off the beaten track and searching for hidden a-brac. A mere Dhs3 entry fee grants you unlimited access to the second-hand treasures treasure, secret tat and undiscovered arts. on display, while a stall of your own costs Dhs230. Just be sure to get there early to get one up on those ruthless bargain hunters. WHEN: Oct to May, first Sat of the month 8am to 3pm WHERE: Entrance Gate Five, Safa Park, Dubai WHO: MUST BUY: Jewellery, handmade by Fatin Arya, Dhs20 Dubai Flea Market

Dubai Designer Market The posh edition of a flea market, where some of Dubai’s up-and-coming designers meet vintage products from established brands including Gucci, Prada and Chanel. Karama eat your heart out. The UAE’s answer to Delboy, Melanie Beese, is also behind this little endeavour that showcases high-end bargains for label-conscious shoppers. Here, a young Polish couple tout their new brand, Poca & Poca; add one of Farrah Phillips’ vintage handbags and a little something from Hermès and you’re away… once you’ve bought one of the gorgeous silver frames in which to put a photo of yourself, resplendent in your cut-price designer wear, of course. WHEN: Every second Sat of the month, 1pm to 6pm WHERE: Jumeirah Beach Park, Dubai WHO: Melanie Beese. Tel: (050) 2960680 MUST BUY: Farrah Phillips’ gorgeous designer handbags, Dhs120 to 400

Covent Garden Flea Market Overlooking the sea on one side, and JBR on the other, the Covent Garden Flea Market is the perfect way to combine a day’s browsing with a pleasant walk along the beach and a bite to eat at one of the many cafés that line this stretch of Dubai coastline. Sellers here include Jingerlily, who sell gorgeous dyed seashell jewellery, silver pendants, rings, bracelets and necklaces in a range of bright colours, and Cairo Koshek’s Marwa Moharem, whose quirky newspaper and magazine collaged trays, plates and boxes we just love. There are also a range of clothes designers, vintage items, Indian silver and art on show, and at bargain prices if you’re quick. WHEN: Oct to Apr, Wed and Thurs 5pm to midnight, Fri and Sat 10am to 9pm WHERE: The Walk, JBR, Dubai WHO: MUST BUY: Egyptian Trays from Marwa Moharem, Dhs180 to 320

30 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010


ARTE “We’re not a flea market, but an arts and crafts market,” explains Miriam Walsh, the organiser of ARTE, one of the craftiest places to pick up creative arts and crafts. “There’s nothing second hand here, it’s all original works.” ARTE pride itself on selling works by artists passionate about their craft. Cutesy knitted cupcake fridge magnets sit next to stained glass bowls, original paintings and handmade jewellery; just some of the little treasures to be found here and great for unusual gift ideas. Check out the Waldorf dolls, pottery, silk and wool scarves, photography and digital art – the market has more than 100 members so there is always something new to peruse and covet. WHEN: First and second Fri of the month WHERE: Times Square Mall and Dubai Festival City, Dubai WHO: MUST BUY: Cute as pie knitted cupcakes, Dhs10 ARTE

PHOTOS: Naveed Ahmed

ten markets Dubai Designer Market

Abu Dhabi Community Market

Abu Dhabi Community Market A relative newcomer to the capital, this ongoing event combines flea, art and international markets at Khalifa Park. The market will be closed over the summer but will reopen in October. The park entrance fee is Dhs5. Sellers can book tables online from Dh180 to Dhs330 depending on the products they’re selling. WHEN: Sun to Wed, 4pm to noon, Thurs to Sat, 4pm to noon WHERE: Khalifa Park, Dubai WHO: Must Buy: Scented oils, Dhs40 each

MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 31


Fruit & Vegetable Market & Deira Fish Market Dubai’s answer to a farmer’s market, this is the place to get fresh bargain fruit and veg and eschew the overpriced, wilting nonsense that passes for the fresh counter in most supermarkets. There’s a lot of choice from the various stalls competing to sell you their produce, so a good-natured haggle is certainly in order here. And, if your stomach can handle the overpowering stench of seafood, head next door where the catch of the day lies on open slabs of melting ice. The trick is to arrive early in the morning, haggle hard and check the produce carefully – there’s a fine line between bargains and bad, so make sure you get fresh produce at the right price. WHEN: Daily WHERE: Next to Hyatt Regency, Deira, Dubai MUST BUY: Haggle for those five a day

Old Gold Souk Although the jewellery-filled alleyways of the gold souk entice sunburned tourists on the hunt for cut-price bling, the warrens of grubby little stores in this old part of town are also worth a punt. Indian fabrics, cheap electronics, pretty cushion covers, spices and teas are just some of the items sold in this somewhat unfashionable part of town. This is one of the few parts of Dubai where you can still see a glimpse of the old-fashioned sea trading that was the city’s bread and butter before oil was discovered. It’s hard not to be impressed at the piles of goods that line the Creek as dhows that look barely seaworthy load and unload their goods, dodging little abras that take people from one side of the water to another. You may need to do some digging to find what you’re looking for but remember that the haggle is king here. The words ‘is that your best price?’ will instantly see calculator buttons being pressed furiously and dirhams dropped. WHEN: Daily, 9am to late WHERE: Baniyas Road, Deira, Dubai WHO: A collection of hundreds of stores and stalls make up the souk Must Buy: Topaz Brazilian ring, Dhs3,000, from Nanjee Parshotam Jewellers

32 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

Karama Market

Deira Fish Market

Exotica Furniture & Antique Museum Not strictly ‘markets’ as such, these pile ‘em high warehouses are filled with furniture treasure for those looking to avoid the curse of identikit superstore homeware the same as everyone else in the UAE. Exotica offer a tantalising treasure trove of beautiful Chinese treasures – think brass Buddhas, antique wooden furniture and delicate porcelain – while the altogether brusquer Antique Museum is actually neither antique-filled or a museum. Instead, it offers the opportunity to go on a giant, dust-filled treasure hunt for wooden furniture. Yes, it may also be sold in furniture stores in the malls, but it ain’t nearly as much fun if you find it yourself. And you should end up saving a good few dirhams into the bargain, too. WHEN: Exotica Sat to Thurs, 10am to 7pm daily, Fri 4pm to 7pm, Antique Warehouse, Sat to Thurs 9.30am to 8.30pm, Fri, 9am to 11.30am and 3.30pm to 8.30pm. WHERE: Exotica is behind Times Square Mall. Antique Warehouse is the first right before the Kanoo building, Al Quoz 3, Dubai WHO: Exotica. Tel: (04) 3402966; Antique Warehouse. Tel: (04) 3479935 MUST BUY: Exotica’s Chinese photo frame, Dhs110

This dodgy little bastion of fakery is something of a Dubai institution. Before the era of the download, this was the place to buy DVDs that sometimes worked, but mostly didn’t. Now it’s the place to go to get your visiting mates that fake watch and handbag, my friend, as well as picking up cheap versions of everything, including shoes, T-shirts and trainers that may or may not be the real thing (tip: they’re not). Tourists love it though and it’s a fun day out diving into illicit attics and secret doorways, although we say it’s better to buy the real thing and know that no children were harmed during the making of your handbag. Go, look, but spend your money in the gorgeously fiery Karachi Darbar restaurant nearby for a real bargain day out. WHEN: Daily, most shops tend to close 1pm to 4pm WHERE: Karama is between Lamcy Plaza and Bur Dubai, Dubai WHO: We’d tell you, but then we’d have to kill you Must Buy: Indian style slippers, Dhs25

Fujairah Friday Market This odd little roadside market has become something of a road trip destination, although we’re not entirely sure that we can put our finger on its elusive charm. But there’s something about driving along the East Coast Road that almost requires a stop-off here: massive, slightly scary technicolour rugs, ochre-coloured piles of clay tubs and plant pots, plastic, colourful things that will attract any backseat child at 200 metres and, of course, locally grown fruit and vegetables. WHEN: Daily 8am to10pm WHERE: Follow the Dubai Fujairah road to Masafi WHO: Local traders and farmers MUST BUY: Earthenware plant pot, Dhs15


Culture club Two decades ago it was practically non-existent. These days the UAE’s theatre scene is thriving, with new theatres filled with ever-increasing numbers of productions by both professional and community companies. So how did we become a nation of theatre lovers?


Ask Damian Calderbank about the history of theatre in the UAE and he’ll take you back to a time that, to current residents, sounds like another world. “[Veteran British actor] Derek Nimmo used to come over with his drama group and they would play in the little theatre at the Crowne Plaza on Sheikh Zayed Road,” recalls the theatre consultant who has worked on such high-profile Dubai-based ventures from DUCTAC to the Palladium. “All the expat community would go and see those shows – real ‘how’s your father’ type of things, you know, all the old farces.”

Fast-forward a couple of decades and, while it’s hardly a scene to rival the West End or Broadway, the city now offers a regular programme of theatre that caters to an ever wider selection of tastes, be that all-singing, all-dancing successes of the likes of High School Musical (both 1 and 2) or ‘straight’ plays such as thriller The Woman In Black and tragic-comedy Stones In His Pocket. Better yet, however, is that this interest is growing at all levels: for every Blood Brothers – the hit West End show brought to the Madinat Theatre by UK-based production company Popular Productions that enjoyed a two-week sell-out run in February – there are several more staged by local, nonprofit community theatre troupes. Which is not to say that there has never been any other kind of middle ground – neighbouring emirate Sharjah last month celebrated the 19th edition of Sharjah Theatre Week, while members of that very same expat audience that was guffawing to Alan Ayckbourn-style bedroom farces back in the day went on to form Dubai Community Theatre, better known now as DUCTAC. Along the way, something that was once considered slightly ‘other’, the province of an imagined cultural elite, has become hugely

popular across the board, with all areas of the performing arts enjoying a keen boost in interest and quality. Just look at the ongoing success of the Abu Dhabi Festival, which in March once again brought world-class opera, ballet and classical music performances – from highbrow Chopin recitals to charttopping populists Il Divo – to the capital. Back in Dubai, venues such as DUCTAC, the Madinat and the recently-opened Palladium stage an increasingly sophisticated selection of professional shows that are, says Calderbank “raising the bar of what’s been here before and by doing that it raises other people’s aspirations – they’re encouraged to go to theatre groups and get involved. “There are more people willing to go and see a wider variety of theatre,” he continues. “Dubai Drama Group put on Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett last year, which isn’t to everyone’s taste but shows how things have changed.” All well and good, but there’s no time to rest on our collective laurels just yet. The success of Blood Brothers may mean that Popular Productions is bringing another award-winning musical – Fame – to Dubai in the coming months (marking its 20th production in the UAE) and a “Hollywood season” later in the year but, as co-founder Lucy Blakeman explains, the high cost of staging theatre in the limited number of venues currently available in Dubai means that “the UAE is not yet ready for open-ended runs of big shows like those you will see in London, New York or Las Vegas.” Blakeman suggests that support is needed “at governmental level” to help take things on to the next stage. Visit London or New York and one of the first things you see when you land is “a presentation wall showing you what’s on and how to get tickets for the West End or Broadway. The authorities need to help the entertainment companies, like us, to develop bigger audiences by supporting increased marketing and advertising campaigns at the airport, hotels and throughout the city,” she suggests. “That way, we can take more of a chance on much longer runs and bigger productions.” And if the sky was the limit? Popular Productions has “always wanted to stage outdoor theatre in the colder months in the UAE and it’s perhaps something that might happen in the future. How about Treasure Island on the tip of the Palm Jumeirah?” How about it indeed. MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 35


Treading the Boards It’s not just professional theatre that’s on the increase, growing numbers of community theatre groups offer a chance for UAE residents to get involved at a grassroots level, as Gautam Goenka of local troupe Backstage reveals How did Backstage get started? We started up towards the end of 2009 by a number of people who used to be part of a student body theatre group at the American University in Dubai (AUD). People who were graduating were looking for more of an avenue, an outlet, and we weren’t just finding the right fit, so about 20 members stuck together and that’s how we formed our group. We had our first production, Art, in December last year at the JamJar Gallery. Now we have about three plays of our own coming up very shortly. Describe a typical Backstage member We’ve got members aged from ten up to 60 years old, so there’s a wide variety of ages and a wide variety of nationalities – 15 to 20 nationalities within a membership of well over 150 people. And they’re doing pretty well in terms of the fact that most of them are working professionals – they all have day jobs, but we all seem to find time on weekends and after work. How do you see yourself within the local theatre scene? Dubai has an appetite for theatre. Unfortunately, what we’ve seen is more and more productions from professional theatre companies that are just brought here for a performance and then go away. What Backstage is trying to do is cater to other residents who want to get involved themselves. We see ourselves as a melting pot, a place to make new friends, a place to

Doing it for the kids If you think theatre and drama groups are all about showing off on stage, think again. As Kids Theatre Works founder Emily Madghachian tells What’s On, there’s far, far more to it than that

showcase your creativity and a place to have fun. People don’t get paid for this – whatever money we make goes into future productions or sometimes charity – but there’s a sense of accomplishment. Where do you go from here? The biggest problem we face is that it’s largely an expat population in Dubai, because people come and go. I’ve seen it happen so many times – you have a nice thing going on but the core of it all move out and because of that the group has to completely restart itself. We’re hoping to broaden our net a little more so that problem doesn’t affect us. The vision that the current committee has for Backstage is to see it grow into a body that puts up five to six plays every year, develops some new talent in terms of acting and directing, and offers a chance for people to come and be part of something. May 28 and 29, Backstage performs Strangers On A Train, American University in Dubai Auditorium, Sheikh Zayed Road, Exit 32, Dubai.

“I’ve been in Dubai for 28 years so I’ve seen it grow from one main community drama group driven by Brian Wilkie, who had this brainchild for DUCTAC, where I’m based. That theatre did so much to the community in Dubai, not least because lots of different classes are offered there by lots of different artistic providers. “I’m probably the longest-running provider of drama for children in Dubai. The classes start at the age of four. What they’re building isn’t acting talent so much, it’s as basic as learning to listen to one another and recognise people’s emotions. What they’re learning along the way are life skills. They’re also learning to take risks and if things fail, absolutely fine – just find something else; we’re all supporting you to give it a go. I get wonderful phone calls from time to time saying things like, ‘My child is suddenly excelling in maths,’ or that they’ve started smiling at school when before they’d been chronically shy. “What’s really lovely is that for the older kids in a place like Dubai, where a sense of community is a very hard thing to create, these classes where they produce something together, offers a small community that they really belong to. For expatriate kids, for whom so many areas of their lives are uncertain, it really gives them a very safe, comfortable place to be and they are so happy.”

Get involved Abu Dhabi

Better known for its classical and musical performing arts programme, Abu Dhabi’s theatre commission promises workshops and a performance in 2010.

36 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010


Theatre Week may be over for another year, but the Al Qasba complex offers visitors art and culture – including a regular theatre programme and various workshops and classes – throughout the year.


DUCTAC remains the emirate’s leading venue for all manner of theatre-related workshops and classes. If your passion lies more directly with treading the boards, Dubai Drama Group has been presenting plays in the emirate for the past 25 years.

F R I D AY 1 6 5

O N E D AY. T H R E E R E S TA U R A N T S . O N E P R I C E .

The Belgian Café Brunch 11am–3pm Croissants, orange juice, one house brew and unlimited dishes from our special brunch menu. AED 165

The Chamas Carnival Lunch 12 noon– 3pm Braziliant value with salad bar, select cuts of meat, dessert and a complimentary exotic house cocktail. AED 165

The Yacht Club Late Lunch 2pm– 6pm Order unlimited dishes from our exclusive Late menu, including a free flow of sundowner refreshments. AED 165

For reservations, call InterContinental Abu Dhabi at 800 423463.

Three Grammys, one Emmy and more than 25 million albums sold. Ladies and gentleman, it’s Mr…

Harry Con




If you’re a fan of Harry C’s jazz stylings en ter this compesmooth We have an am azingly genero tition now. of tickets to gi us five pa ve win a pair, log away to his Abu Dhabi sh irs onto ww ow. To com/competit w.motivatepublishing. ions and tell us Where does Ha ... rry Co come from? nnick Jr a) New Orlean b) New Delh s c) New-castlei


nick Jr It’s fair to say Harry Connick Jr is what you’d call naturally gifted. The iconic New Orleansborn singer/pianist/arranger first learnt to play keyboards at the tender age of three, played publicly at six, and had recorded with a local jazz band by the time he was ten-years-old. He’s since gone on to enjoy a career that has seen him ranked among the Top 60 best-selling male artists in the USA since 1952, selling more than 25 million records worldwide, winning three Grammy Awards, plus one Emmy Award just for good measure. Meanwhile, his simultaneously successful career in acting has found him gracing the big screen via roles in such significant films as 1990’s Memphis Belle; 1996’s Independence Day (with Will Smith); and, most recently, 2009’s New In Town, in which he stars alongside Renee Zellweger. We caught up with Harry before his upcoming Abu Dhabi gig later this month.

HARRY ON... HIS early background, with his father being District Attorney of New Orleans and his mother (who sadly diEd when he was 13) a judge “I grew up in a predominantly white, straight-up middle-class environment. Yeah, the story that my parents did also own a record store is true – but that was ten years before I was born. You know, they loved music, and that was their source of income to put themselves through law school. So they were constantly playing music around the house. A lot of Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, classical music… Plus I have an older sister who loved rock’n’roll and The Beatles. And, of course, growing up in New Orleans we had immediate access to all the traditional jazz, which was an immense influence on me. I basically started playing just because we had a piano in the house.

And from there I just kept on going, using all the opportunities I had around me from just being in New Orleans.” The famous story that, at just six-years-old, Harry was playing jazz to drug addicts and prostitutes on New Orleans’ legendary Bourbon Street “That’s sort of true. You know, The French Quarter is the centre of New Orleans. There is a lot of activity going on down there. There are prostitutes, there are drug dealers, and there are people involved in different activities. So, when I was down there playing as a child musician, a lot of that stuff was going on. But, while there may have been drug dealers and prostitutes around and they may have been in the room, at that age I was totally unaware of it. And even when I was old enough to know, they were still just there as part of general society. So, while it may sound dramatic and wonderful to think of this little kid going into these clubs with people using drugs all around and turning tricks in the back room, in truth it wasn’t anything like that extreme.”

Toussaint and The Meters’ stuff that came around in the late 1960s and 1970s. And so with that coinciding with the time I myself was coming around, I grew up hearing a lot of it and it became a huge influence on me. You know, James Booker, Professor Longhair, Dr John, The Neville Brothers… A lot of that stuff was real big, and it was just everywhere. And, with me being in The Musicians Union as local piano player, I’d end up playing every style that was happening in the city at the time. For one gig they might say, “Wear a suit and be at this place for eight o’clock on Thursday night” – and I’d go and be playing with a jazz trio. Then the next night I’d go, and it would be a funk group with a guitarist, bass player and drummer. Then another night I might be playing classical music in a hotel lobby. So yeah, I played funk along with everything else. And to me, it was a lot more groove-based, and harmonically much more contained, than jazz. Which made it much easier to play, but at the same time a lot of fun. You know, while one of them is like going to Nobu, the other one is like going to McDonald’s. But I like doing both.”

The backlash he suffered from jazz purists after recording, What first attracted him to and touring, his funk albums playing jazz “I don’t know exactly who these ‘jazz purists’ “Jazz music is hard to play and you have to are. There are some people out there who know a lot to play it. And so it was the quest absolutely cannot stand anything I do, and then for that knowledge and experience that first there are other people out there who love what attracted me to it. You know, it was a challenge. I do. And I can’t spend too much time thinking Because, just like there are certain types of about either. With the funk albums there was music where you don’t need to know much and some backlash in terms of bad reviews and stuff. you can play whatever you want, there are also And also there was a lot of confusion amongst those where you do need to have knowledge. the public in that people would come to my And, with jazz being one of those, for me it was shows expecting a jazz crooner, and I’d show a big mountain to climb. And I was interested in up playing this New Orleans funk – which was doing that.” unfortunate. That’s because when you’re around 25-years-old – which I was at the time – you The early history behind HIS just don’t think about stuff like that. So while brief mid-1990s flirtation with I definitely would make another funk album, New Orleans funk, via his 1994 LP next time I’d also make sure people do know She plus its 1996 follow-up what to expect. Because you don’t want people Star Turtle spending money on something they don’t want. “What we call New Orleans funk is that Allen You don’t want to manipulate people like that.” MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 39


“People would come to my shows expecting a jazz crooner, and I’d show up playing this New Orleans funk” How the concept behind his last album, Your Songs, came about “It started with me getting a call from [Sony music impresario] Clive Davis. He was asking if I’d be interested in meeting with him because he had some ideas. So I went to his office, and he was like, “What do you think about singing a bunch of really, really famous songs, presenting them in a very accessible, easy way and really featuring your vocals as opposed to some of the other things you do like piano-playing or arranging?” And with me having previously done some 20-odd records in my own way, this looked like an interesting road to go down that I hadn’t been down before. So I said, “Yeah, let’s give it a try.” Together we began a very collaborative process, picking songs and deciding how they were going to be presented. And it turned out to be a great new experience for me.” Duetting with France’s first lady – one-time supermodel Carla Bruni-SARKOZY – on A version of The Beatles’ And I Love Her “Carla was the idea of the record company, because they were looking for a song that could tie the album into the European market – specifically France. But though my wife [former supermodel Jill Goodacre] knew Carla professionally from her modelling days, I didn’t actually know much about her music. But after I’d listened to it and thought And I Love Her might be a nice tune for us to do, I went to Paris – and we sang it live together in the studio. We were just ten feet away from each other so it was a really cool, intimate recording session.” HIS involvement in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, by helping set up a Musicians Village in the city “We’ve already built 80 homes as part of the village – and there’s also now a big centre for music being constructed as we speak. It’s called The Ellis Marsalis Centre For Music, 40 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

and it’s going to have both Internet access plus performance-based teaching facilities. We’re really excited about getting it off the ground.” Whether the strong musical culture of New Orleans is now getting back on track “With it being such a strong, multigenerational society, the musical culture in New Orleans is now getting back on its feet. After Hurricane Katrina, there was so much physical devastation that it’s going to take a long time to fix. It’s like you have a house and

you have some insurance. But then the house gets flooded, and the insurance doesn’t cover the flood. So what do you then do with this worthless piece of real estate that you also have a mortgage on? It’s very complicated – and there are thousands of people still dealing with these situations even today. But, while it is a complex issue, the city and its music is getting back on track and it will, in due course, return to its past glory.” May 16, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, 8.30pm, Dhs395 to Dhs595. Tel: (02) 4446900.

42 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010


DIFC Think DIFC is all business and bankers? Think again

One of What’s On’s favourite galleries, Art Space is the place for the discerning collector. Specialising in close client care, it can source works by desirable artists if there’s something or someone you particularly want on your walls. Tel: (04) 3230820.

For an injection of personality for your vast villa or identikit apartment, pay Opera a visit. Featuring bright, contemporary works, the gallery takes a fresh look at the international art scene. From May 1 to May 21, there will be an exhibition by Johanne Corno and Wand Ye-Han, displaying modern portraiture and abstract pieces. Tel: (04) 3230909.

Dries Van Noten

Both film and furniture fanatics should visit this British designer’s super-cool store. Vintage movie posters of Bogart, Bergman and co are made to order, and therefore not on the cheap side at Dhs6,500 for canvas, but that’s show business. Tel: (04) 3231388

Not to be confused with the desert of the same name, The Empty Quarter is far from culturally barren. As the only gallery in Dubai devoted exclusively to fine art photography, you’ll find examples of work from both young and established snappers from all over the world. From May 18 the gallery is bringing two photographers together in Beyond Borders and Time Regained to explore the boundaries between The ultimate bag lady and her little bow logo may have shot to mainstream fame with the East and West. eco-friendly ‘I’m Not A Plastic Bag’ tote, but Tel: (04) 3231210. the DIFC store is full of butter-soft leather and high-gleam patent, from coin purses to luggage. Tel: (04) 3825190

Showcasing a rotating collection of pieces from the world-class Farjam Collection, this two-storey gallery also hosts educational events on the first Wednesday of each month in line with its exhibitions. Until June 15, you can visit Iran Inside Out, featuring collected works from contemporary Iranian artists. Tel: (04) 2320303.

The Gate, DIFC

While Belgium is better know for its food than its fashion, sharp cutting Dries Van Noten is surely the exception. Known for his minimalist and attainable ready-to-wear collections, the Belgian designs with city slickers in mind, which explains why he’s so darn popular in Dubai. Tel: (04) 3825130

Art Space

MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 43


Italian label Marni brings some colour to the linear grey of the DIFC. With typical Mediterranean flair, you’ll find offbeat prints, feminine cuts and interesting textures within. Tel: (04) 3825120

With a glass-cube store as stylish as the pieces it sells, Villa Moda is a veritable emporium of covetable clothing. DIFC has both men’s and women’s stores, boasting labels from local designers to international big hitters like Yves Saint-Laurent, Proenza Schouler and Gucci. Tel: (04) 3825150

The Empty Quarter


44 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

The grand dame of British fashion has hit our sandy shores with this modern store, filled with her saucy signature dresses and perilously high heels. Tel: (04) 3825140

A good dentist is hard to find, so when we heard whispers of Dr Karin Fekih being ‘the most charming man in a white coat since George Clooney’ we had to investigate. Not only are Dr Fekih and his team thoroughly nice people and excellent dentists, they even have posters of JFK on the clinic walls. And it’s open until 8pm and offers free valet parking. Tel: (04) 3230900.

Homeless chic is not a welcome look in the DIFC, so address that bushy beard. Get ahead of the pack with Urban Male Lounge who, until the end of May, are offering chaps one free treatment when you buy five and 15 per cent off their 60-minute Swedish massage. You’ll be ready for the trading floor, or dance floor, in no time. Tel: (04) 4250350 Caramel

Fresh from Las Vegas and shooting to the top of our bars Hot List this month (p104) is Caramel. This new addition to Dubai’s nightlife scene is filled with the beautiful people who flock for the upmarket US-style menu, outdoor patio and chic décor. Ideal for pretending you’re in NYC for the night, we’ll be found outside, mini lobster taco and glass of bubbly in hand. Tel: (04) 4256677 or 800 CARAMEL

At the heart of the post-work drinks action, Zuma is a sophisticated spot packed with a (usually) well-behaved crowd. It’s also the prime place to bag a banker – if there are any left. We, however, go there for the winning Japanese food, Friday brunch and Asianinspired drinks. Try the three-course tasting menu, 7pm to 8pm, (Dhs195 including carafe of sake or glass of wine), which features the signature miso marinated black cod. Tel: (04) 4255660.

Always packed with busy financial types getting their five-a-day, Joga is also a good refuelling point at the weekends before you get back to the shops. With fresh soups and salads, it also has the most extensive list of juices and smoothies we’ve seen this side of California. Tel: (04) 3700304


E n j o y

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Programme Includes: Dune Bashing Sand Boarding & Camel Riding BBQ Dinner - Arabic Tea & Coffee Soft Drinks & Refreshments Photograph in Local Dress Henna Painting & Tattoos Enchanting Belly Dancing Show Sheesha (Hubbly-Bubbly)

Dhs. 200/-

Per Person

Timing: Pick up: 3:00 - 3:30pm - Drop off: 9:00 - 9:30pm Pick-up & drop-back facility included

& lots more entertainment throughout the evening


Programme Includes: Red Dunes Safari & Sand Boarding - Sight Seeing to various scenic locations Visit to Carpet Market & Heritage Village - Hatta Mountain Safari Chance to Dip or Dive in fresh water pools - Lunch at 5 Star Hatta Fort Hotel Transfers from all the hotels & residences in Dubai & Sharjah Timing: 8:00am to 2:30pm

Dhs. 300/-

Per Person

DHOW CRUISE DINNER Programme Includes: Continental dinner, Soft drinks, Tea and Coffee, Soft Music in cozy ambiance, Fully airconditioned lower deck, Open air upper deck Pick-up and drop-back facility included (Deira & Bur Dubai Only) Cruising Time: From 8:30pm to 10:30pm

Dhs. 150/-

Per Person


24 Hrs. Reservation E-mail: Web:

ISO 9001:2008 Certified


Robin Hood

A Nightmare On Elm Street

Robin Hood

A Nightmare On Elm Street

City Of Life


Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Matthew Macfadyen, Danny Huston, Mark Strong, Ridley Scott (director)

Jackie Earle Haley, Katie Cassidy, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara,Thomas Deeker, Clancy Brown, Samuel Bayer (director)

Alexandra Maria Lara, Sonu Sood, Jason Flemyng, Saoud Al Kabbi, Susan George, Ali F Mostafa (director)


‘From Ridley Scott, director of Gladiator’

‘Welcome to your new Nightmare’

‘Every day you can change another person’s life without ever knowing it’

Once upon a time...

Nottingham’s finest (Crowe) banded together with Little John (Kevin Durand), Friar Tuck (The Full Monty’s Mark Addy) and his better half Maid Marian (Blanchett) to do battle with the city’s villainous sheriff (Macfadyen).

Freddy Kruger (Earle Haley), the man with the deadly manicure, returned to terminate the slumbering teens of Elm Street.

The lives of three complete strangers collided in the midst of the complex modern city that is Dubai.

Ideal if you’re in the mood to...

Forget Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe’s recent run of so-so films and remember what happens when they ‘unleash hell’.

Remember the cycle of films that made Wes Craven a millionaire while turning Robert Englund’s on-screen alter-ego into a horror phenomenon to rival Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers.

See the city you live in from every possible perspective.

Watch this if you like...

Previous winning takes on the legend such as The Adventures Of Robin Hood and the peerless British TV series Robin Of Sherwood.

The earlier Freddy films, in particular episode one and the hugely entertaining post-modern slash-fest Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.

The vast ensemble dramas of the late, great Robert Altman (M*A*S*H, Gosford Park) and the perpetually underrated John Sayles (Eight Men Out, Lone Star).

Top trivia

Bryan Singer (X-Men) and Sam Raimi (Spider-Man) were both in the running to direct Robin Hood.

Before they signed up Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen’s Rorschach), the producers toyed with casting Billy Bob Thornton as Freddy Krueger.

Jason Flemyng’s father, Gordon, directed the big-screen Dr Who adventures Dr Who And The Daleks and Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 AD.

What’s On ten word review

If Scott and Crowe rekindle Gladiator’s glory, this’ll be awesome.

A so-so remake is elevated by Earle Haley’s spirited performance.

Serious film fans will be salivating over City Of Life.

Rate or slate?




46 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010


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mas ar r either CineStar cine of Gold Class tickets fo Centre or ir readers a pa e Emirates, Mirdif City to win ce of th l an al ch M ur ar yo St r Cine ). Fo ompetitions l (Abu Dhabi Marina Mal n: tio es .mot w qu w g w in to w go the follo and answer llowing isn't included fo e th ence? Which of ass experi the Gold Cl s as part of et a) Blank rvice b) Waiter se c) Foot rubs

Tooth Fairy

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Tooth Fairy

Date Night

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Letters To Juliet

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Ashley Judd, Ryan Sheckler, Julie Andrews, Stephen Merchant, Michael Lembeck (director)

Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg, Mark Ruffalo, James Franco, Shawn Levy (director)

Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan, Josh Brolin, Susan Sarandon, Oliver Stone (director)

Amanda Seyfried, Gael García Bernal, Christopher Egan, Vanessa Redgrave, Franco Nero, Gary Winick (director)

‘The tooth hurts’

‘From the director of Night At The Museum’

‘An Oliver Stone film’

‘What if you had a second chance to find love?’

Misbehavin’ ice hockey player Derek Thompson (Johnson) was sentenced to spend one week as the tooth fairy. With hilarious consequences.

Phil and Claire Foster (Carell and Fey) decided to spice things up a bit by impersonating another couple – a couple who have fallen foul of the Mob.

Reformed corporate raider Gordon Gecko (Douglas) leaves jail and teams up with rookie trader Jacob Moore (LaBeouf) in order to alert the world to imminent financial catastrophe.

Young Sophie (Seyfried) found a letter that took her on the romantic voyage of a lifetime.

Watch Mr Johnson flex his comedy muscles or erase memories of the rotten Tooth, a British family ‘comedy’ featuring career-low performances from Harry Enfield and Richard E Grant.

Watch two people do the sort of thing you might try were you not convinced it would end disastrously.

See the moneymen get what they deserve. And, no, we don’t mean a great fat bonus.

Watch the sort of film Sandra Bullock might have starred in when she was i) younger, and ii) just as clueless about picking decent scripts.

See the erstwhile WWE superstar make something very difficult (film acting) look remarkably simple.

Second tier Steve Carell pictures such as Get Smart and Evan Almighty.

Superior Oliver Stone movies such as Platoon, JFK, Nixon and the cruelly underrated George Bush biopic W.

Anything from Amanda Seyfried’s CV, be it the bafflingly successful Mamma Mia! or the thematically similar and equally disappointing Dear John.

This is the first time Dwayne Johnson has been billed as The Rock since he made 2007’s The Game Plan.

Director Shawn Levy is a Yale graduate. A Yale graduate who thought it would be a good idea to revive the Pink Panther series without Peter Sellers.

Martin and Charlie Sheen, who co-starred with Michael Douglas in the original Wall Street, each make a cameo appearance.

The supporting cast includes Franco Nero and Vanessa Redgrave who, when they’re not busy being movie legends, live together as man and wife.

The Rock’s solid, but elsewhere there are signs of decay.

Even with Carell and Fey, this is merely OK.

Stone savours a steaming bowl of credit crunch.

Hollywood’s convinced Seyfried’s the next big thing. We aren’t.




★★✩✩✩ MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 47

EATING OUT Rococo Essential... European Blue Grill Thai Kitchen Take Five Moonlight Sushi Nights Angar

blue grill

p51 p52 p55 p57 p58 p59 p60

MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 49



A taste of things to come

At Sofitel’s new signature restaurant chef de cuisine Enzo Neri is determined to broaden your perception of Italian food Italian cuisine is all about simplicity. Simple ingredients – basil, garlic, tomatoes, etc. Simple dishes – insalata caprese, spaghetti vongole, minestrone. And, above all, a simple rustic style. Making the most of the freshest and best ingredients available. But simplicity doesn’t just mean pizza with mozzarella and pasta with tomato sauce (though, of course, Italy excels at both). It doesn’t mean there are limitations. From Lombardi to Liguria, Sicily to Sardinia, the cuisine of Italy is as diverse as any in the world. Rococo’s passionate chef de cuisine Enzo Neri has created a refined menu showcasing not only the breadth of his country’s cuisine, but a few of the tricks he picked up working in Michelinstarred kitchens in Europe. It’s something a little bit different. The décor is also unique. Rococo interior design, prevalent in the 18th century, was characterised by being a little over the top. Rococo’s restaurant design is characterised by combining purple and lime green in a rather psychedelic fashion. It’s all a little Alice In Wonderland, but it works in an odd way. The food, fortunately, is not odd. And, again, it too works. With the beef carpaccio, served with rocket salad, mustard sauce and a rich slice of pan-fried fois gras (a UAE necessity, it seems), Neri does justice to a classic combination. But it’s the less common sea bream carpaccio that really impresses. Thick slices of fish flesh boosted by a garnish of cress, tomatoes, a salty mullet roe and a burst of citrus and spice provided by ‘orange and ginger air’ (whatever that may be).

This month tastes good thanks to some exciting new restaurants BOULEVARD CAFÉ Old Town's café quotient just increased by one, with the opening of the Parisian-influenced Boulevard Café. The charming spot serves up breakfast classics such as French toast, eggs Benedict and granola, as well as bistro favourites like croque monsieur, onion soup and chocolate mousse. We think an alfresco breakfast here is the best way to start the weekend. Al Manzil Hotel, Downtown Dubai, 7am to midnight. Tel: (04) 4285923. www.

“The guinea fowl was irresistible, and when it arrived, succulent and stuffed with fungi and fois gras, we didn’t even put up a fight” The guinea fowl was irresistible, and when it arrived, succulent and stuffed with fungi and fois gras, we didn’t even put up a fight. Why would we? The meat was adroitly prepared with a dollop of buttery mash and a dark, fruity Chianti drizzle. It’s the kind of dish served for Sunday lunch in chef Neri’s native Umbria. Proof of what a clear, yet unfussy, vision and a skilled chef can achieve. When it came to the fish, the skate with capers and olives tempted us, but the lure of the wild sea bass was too great. It didn’t disappoint. The fillet was pan-fried to perfection, with raisins and wilted spinach, toasted almonds and mustard sauce providing just enough flavour and texture without overpowering the fish.

Celery parfait with candied fruit, lime and carrot coulis was as fresh and zingy as the description implies. Amaretto panacotta with red orange compote and pistachio ice cream was an adept play on a classic Italian dessert. Of course, no Italian meal would be complete without an espresso on the terrace. Bellisimo.

Need to know Location: Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach Tel: (04) 4484860 Web: Open: 7pm to 11.30pm Cuisine type: Italian Must eat: guinea fowl Bill for two: Dhs495

SILVER FALCON SPUR No, it’s not a John Wayne western. Spur is, in fact, a popular South African restaurant aimed at children – you know, the kind of place that inspires the little blighters to nag you incessantly for a visit. The menu is typified by buffalo wings, burgers, enormous steaks and calorific desserts. All guaranteed to put a smile on little Billy’s face and a smear of grease on his chin. Remember, the family that eats together, stays together. Dubai Festival City, Dubai, 10am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 2328866. www. SUCRÉ SALÉ People have been calling JLT home for a while now, but the area is not exactly buzzing yet. So hungry residents will welcome news of the opening of European café Sucré Salé, offering croissants and crêpes, pizza and pasta, sarnies and wraps. Ground Floor, SABA Tower 1, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai, Sun to Thurs, 8.30am to 10pm, Fri and Sat, 9.30am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 4484648

MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 51

. . . l a i t n e s s E



sons fro Want cooking les rant? European restau Abu Dhabi's best y classes the new cooker for s sse pa win w. To l, just log onto ww for you and a pa competitions m/ .co ng shi bli motivatepu ion... following quest and answer the is a Which of these h dish? popular Frenc a) Newt’s legs b) Toad’s legs c) Frog’s legs

Ramsay, Rhodes, Locatelli and Gagnaire – their presence is proof of European cuisine’s standing in the UAE. Verre executive head chef Scott Price lets us in on the secrets of European food, plus our pick of the UAE’s best European restaurants SCOTT PRICE ON… …THE ESSENCE OF EUROPEAN CUISINE

Family oriented, traditional and wholesome food. The essence of any cuisine stems from the roots of the community that surrounds it.


Salt, butter, root vegetables, fresh herbs, garlic.

cook simple, delicious food and allows true, natural flavours to really come alive. For this reason, it would have to be a simple, fresh foie gras terrine, some pickled wild mushrooms and lots of freshly toasted brioche. And perhaps a few slices of chorizo Iberico on the side, perfect.


The current style focuses on very light cooking, yet producing …THE CLASSICS incredibly intense flavours. The In Spain, it would have to be the introduction of the term ‘moclassic paella from Valencia. The lecular gastronomy’ to European Scandinavian classic, gravaldlax cooking, and the work of chefs of salmon. In France, it would such as Ferran Adrià, has had be another beloved classic – the a huge impact on the developcassoulet. I’ve been lucky enough ment of European cuisine over to visit Carcassonne and sample the past 25 years. This idea of this classic dish in its hometown. combining scientific knowledge As for the UK, fish and chips with with cookery skill to challenge mushy peas and plenty of salt and our perceptions concerning what vinegar, when done well, is hard food ‘should’ taste or look like to beat. has been felt all over Europe.


If an ingredient is at its seasonal best very little has to be done to make it taste great, because it’s already bursting with natural flavour.


I passionately believe in the importance of using high quality ingredients, as this enables you to 52 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010


I’ve been lucky enough to eat in lots of great restaurants across Europe, but the ones I particularly enjoyed were in San Sebastian in northern Spain. I would honestly have to say France and Spain, because they both have deep rooted cultures that produce fantastic cuisine.

VERRE’S ULTIMATE EUROPEAN DESsERT HONEY CRÈME BRÛLÉE Sweets for our sweet, sugar for our honey… INGREDIENTS 125ml double cream, 600ml milk, 430g egg yolks, 60g fennel seeds, 70g honey, 150g sugar, 10 fresh raspberries, 5 mint tips, half a vanilla pod, 50g caster sugar, 50ml water, 2 tsp lemon juice PREPARATION For the brûlée: bring cream and milk to the boil in a pan. Quickly toast fennel seeds in a smoking hot pan and add straight to the cream and milk. Beat egg yolk and sugar together. Pour on hot milk, cream and fennel seeds, whisk together and add honey to taste. Infuse for ten minutes. Cook slowly over a low heat to achieve a coating consistency (so it will cling to the other ingredients). Pour the mix in desired moulds and set in the refrigerator. To serve, sprinkle a little brown sugar on the top of the brûlée and caramelise quickly with a blowtorch or under the grill. Serve with freshly diced mango. For the mint salad: mix raspberries with mint tips. For the syrup: cut vanilla pod, scrape seeds into a pan and mix with caster sugar, 50ml water and a squeeze of lemon juice. Reduce to light syrup and allow cooling. Mix with mint and raspberries. Plate and serve



EUROPEAN Our pick of the UAE’s European eateries






One word. Romantic. The design is chic, the lighting just right, the food is French and fabulous. Love is in the air, mon cheri.

Fine dining demands stiff white tablecloths, but Verre is very much alive. Mainly thanks to eager and knowledgeable head sommelier and restaurant manager Luca Gagliardi.

It’s extremely busy and extremely bright. With lots of helpful waiters zipping about the place. It’s the kind of place you should iron a shirt or pop on a nice frock for.

Formal without being stuffy. Busy without being boisterous.

Refined, elegant, sophisticated, thanks to an equally refined, elegant and sophisticated clientele.


High ceilings and a distinctive, modern design. There isn’t another restaurant like it in the UAE.

It's very 2010 after a recent refurb, with a private dining room, chef’s table and mirrors.

There’s a lot of white – a lot. It gleams like an A-lister’s gnashers, with a splash of neon thrown in for good measure.

Purple, pink, Parisian and, of course, stylish.

Compact, with an authentically French look, including marble walls, oil paintings and linen tablecloths.


Welcome to Chef Franck Detrait’s authentic French brassiere menu. All the classics are there, from onion soup to steak tartare. And it’s all of the highest quality.

New chef Scott Price has upped Verre’s game. Something we didn’t think was possible from a kitchen that never fails to impress. Order the beef Wellington daily special.

As Gary himself told us, the food is, “British with a French influence”. It is all superb, but the white tomato soup is legendary.

Exactly what you’d expect from a kitchen team trained by a French chef of threestar Michelin calibre with a reputation for experimentation. The courses never stop.

Ingredients are flown in direct from Europe for an authentic taste, and it shows. The celeriac and fois gras soup is to die for.


Who isn’t a fan of Park Hyatt Dubai? It offers so much and demands only that you eat, drink and, well, pay (naturally). Take a seat outside with a view of the creek.

It’s at the old end of town, but it’s a journey you won't regret, no matter where you reside.

Grosvenor House is a primo hotel, in a primo location. Perfect for a primo chef’s restaurant.

The InterContinental DFC. A stylish hotel for a stylish chef.

The Between The Bridges area is a bit out on a limb for city-based folk, but there’s plenty going on to make your visit worthwhile.


Around Dhs615 for two.

We paid Dhs925 for two but it was worth it.

Dhs760 for two. Not bad, Gary, not bad.

Steep, but it’s a place for a special occasion.

You won’t see much change from Dhs800.


Nous aimons le traiteur. (That’s ‘we love Traiteur’, by the way.)

Scott Price has given Verre a new lease of life.

If Gary is in Dubai, he's in the kitchen. Thumbs up, Mr Rhodes.

Lunch for Dhs230 on Wednesdays and Thursdays is a must.

Head chef Jean Hurstel was trained in France by the three-Michelin Starowning Alain Passard.


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

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

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

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

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


Biryani Festival at Handi for Aed 99/- per person* *Subject to 20% service charge and municipality fees

P.O.Box 42211, Dubai – United Arab Emirates Tel +971 4 2232222, Fax +971 4 2278222,


Blue Grill It’s prime cuts all the way at Yas Island Rotana’s steakhouse Blue Grill is one of those steakhouses that just works. As cooking flames flash and flicker in the display kitchen, equally flash cars roll past the floor-to-ceiling windows that peer out onto the Yas Island streets. Medieval style singletier chandeliers hang over neat blue velvet chairs and simply laid tables, while relaxed jazz meanders through the air. There’s a decidedly urban buzz about the place, yet things are never too frantic to upset the sophisticated vibe. Whether you’re here for socialising, a romantic dinner or just for the meat – and oh, what great meat – you’ll never feel out of place. The synergy in the dining room continues on the menu – refreshingly modern and uncluttered, it confidently lists the steaks under the banner “The reason you came!” There’s an underlying post-modern quality here, but the food remains unpretentious. Among the starters you’ll find pan-seared foie gras with balsamic apple tart, crab cakes, Bradan Orach smoked salmon from Loch Fyne and steak tartar. But if you’re going to indulge in a large slab of meat, maybe all you need are the oysters, beautifully fresh and plump, accompanied by a zesty lemon shallot vinaigrette and a spicy chilli dressing. Among the steaks are prime cuts from America and Australia, including the wagyu from New South Wales. Yet the 1824 grainfed variety still offers an excellent tenderloin, lean, juicy and cooked to your exact specifications. Likewise, the ribeye is a boldly flavoured slab of flesh, rich with marbling and impossibly tender. And if you have a gap the size of a wardrobe to fill, the 600g

Porterhouse will capably step into the breach. All of the steaks are served with a choice of creamy whipped cheddar mashed potato, crisp fat fries or steamed new potatoes, but you’ll also find some great side-dishes to round things off, from broccoli with stilton and beef bacon cream, to tempurastyle onion rings with horseradish. Assuming your appetite is unfettered by such a large intake of meat, you really should opt for the

sublime dulce de leche cheesecake with guanaja chocolate ice cream, which spoils you with extra biscuit boulders to supplement the deliciously crumbly base. If you’re close to critical mass, the chilled fruits and berries with strawberry granita will freshen up your palate without pushing you over the edge. Whatever dessert you choose, you’ll want to linger over it and soak up the ambiance as Blue Grill does its thing.

Need to know Location: Yas Island Rotana, Abu Dhabi Tel: (02) 6564000 Website: Open: 7pm to midnight Cuisine type: Steakhouse Must eat: 600g Porterhouse steak Bill for two: Dhs650

e to fill, the 600g ob dr ar w a of e siz e th p ga a “If you have into the breach” Porterhouse will capably step MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 55

modern japanese restaurant and lounge

dubai marine beach resort & spa po box 5182, jumeirah dubai, u.a.e. tel: +9714 346111 fax: +9714 3541023 souk qaryat al beri (shangri la hotel) po box 95150 between the bridges abu dhabi, uae tel:+9712 5581117 fax: +9712 5581119


Thai Kitchen

On the menu

The new menu at Park Hyatt Dubai's signature Thai boasts some seriously impressive dishes from Thailand’s North Eastern region Sharing. Are you for it or against it? For us, it depends on the situation. Our last roast potato? No. Our toothbrush? Not if you were the last person on Earth, and we really liked you. But several bowls of Thai food? “Well, of course. Indulge, let us converse and weigh the abundant lure of this feast of nibbles,” would come our reply. Or something like that. You see, people have long loved the sharing ‘Spanish tapas style’ concept - and it’s not just the Spaniards who do it. Venetian cicchetti is becoming popular beyond the backstreet baccari (bars) of its watery home and Japanese izakaya, like all things from the land of the rising Michelin star count, is as big as ever in 2010. Sharing is definitely in. Thai Kitchen at Park Hyatt Dubai has been wise to the appeal of sharing; you order up seven or eight small dishes for two people, and enjoy. Wiser still, the recent re-imagining of the menu has added a welcome twist. Clearly buoyed by a recent trip to her homeland, chef Supattra has sprinkled a handful of dishes hailing from the province of Esarn in North Eastern Thailand over her menu like fairy dust – or, in this case, chilli seeds – giving the whole thing a kick in the pants. If you’re going this month, we advise that you book a table on the terrace with a view of the creek before the weather forces you inside. Not that the restaurant’s interior, resplendent with dark wood floors and seats arranged around several glass-enclosed kitchens (specialising in wok, steam, grill, etc) is any less inviting.

A month in the wonderful world of UAE food CARRY ON GARY After giving us the skinny on his new Dubai restaurant during a flying visit in March for Taste Of Dubai, we have now received confirmation that Gary Rhodes’ new Dubai restaurant will open in June. Rhodes Twenty10, located at Le Royal Méridien, will be a grillroom. More on this magnificent occasion in next month’s issue.

From the wok, nubile chunks of lobster tail are given a touch of crunch and punch by cashew nuts and spring onion, while a light prawn salad with white curcuma (turmeric) and lime juice peps up the palate. Catfish, slowly barbecued to avoid burning the skin, is a rare and intriguing treat. Small lumps of pleasantly chewy fish cling to crisp shreds of oily skin, flavoured with a subtle tamarind sauce. Then the red curry with, somewhat surprisingly, mussels and pineapple. Yes, you read that right. It’s a dish that sounds like a disaster but tastes like a dream. The mussels, surprisingly plump, soft and retaining a slight saltiness, and the sweet pineapple balance the creamy red curry sauce perfectly. Chicken curry rice noodles, shrimp spring rolls, steamed tiger prawn with garlic – menu staples

– are all awfully appetising, and then comes the diver scallop soufflé to top things off. Mighty, meaty molluscs sitting in their beautiful fan shaped shells beneath a delicately spiced cream. We'll take another round of those babies, please. In fact, we all should. Thai Kitchen – great for you, even better to share.

Need to know Location: Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai Tel: (04) 6021234 Web: com Open: 7pm to midnight Cuisine type: Thai Must eat: lobster tail Bill for two: Dhs440

AS IT IS The introduction of a new menu is always exciting, especially if it’s at a first-rate restaurant. So time to become excited, as the strangely-monikered AZ.U.R has done just that. Executive chef Chris Baker promises a more relaxed experience and a Mediterranean menu, comprised of Spanish, Moroccan, French and Italian dishes. See you there. AZ.U.R, Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Mon to Sat 5pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 3194794. www. BALI GOOD Heinz meanz, erm, superior Indonesian cuisine, apparently. Heinz von Holzen is a top chef specialising in Balinese cuisine and he’ll be visiting the Burj Al Arab’s Junsui restaurant this month. All manner of Indonesian-style fun will be had, with lunch and dinner buffets (Dhs325 and Dhs375), cooking classes between 4pm and 6pm (Dhs395) and a Balinese spa experience (Dhs725) all on the menu. May 11 to 15, Junsui, Burj Al Arab, Al Sufouh, Dubai, 12.30pm to 3pm and 6pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 3017600.

MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 57


take five What’s the best choice if you’re intolerant to cows' milk? We tasted (and retched) in the name of research Pure Harvest Oat Milk Dhs8.50

Delamere Dairy UHT Goats' Milk Dhs11.50

So Natural Rice Milk Dhs9.75

Waitrose Organic Eden Unsweetened Soya Blend Rice & Soy Dhs9.75 Dhs14


Unsurprisingly, it’s pretty oaty. A bit like milk after you’ve dunked a few HobNobs. 6/10

Good grief – get it away! Absolutely rank, unless you like drinking liquid goat’s cheese. 0/10

It looks like river water, smells like cooked rice and should never be ingested on its own. 1/10

We should have gone for the sweetened option – this was fairly unpleasant. 2/10


It tastes like tea postbiscuit dunk. No bad thing in our book. 7/10

The rural, farmy flavour was far too strong in tea. Earl Grey himself would be quaking in his boots. 1/10

The dark colour didn’t make the tea any less brown and it wasn’t creamy enough to make a taste difference. 5/10

The soya worked really By far the best choice, with a normal colour well in tea, resulting in and flavour. 8/10 a normal colour and almost no difference in taste to cow’s milk. 8/10


Doesn’t work so well with coffee, and there was a bit of curdling. Never nice. 4/10

Not too bad, actually. It is the colour of cows’ milk and pretty creamy so works well. As long as you like your coffee seriously strong to disguise the taste. 5/10

Not bad at all, with the coffee strong enough to overpower the rice taste. 6/10

It wasn’t strong or creamy enough to compete with the coffee. Weak effort. 4/10

As a creamier option, with a subtle tang, it was grand. 8/10


It slightly altered the taste of our cornflakes, but it wasn’t vile. 5/10

No. Just no. It tastes like animals – and not in a good way. 2/10

It's too savoury for cereal, but we weren’t sick in our mouth. 3/10

Far from pleasurable, but we didn’t turn green. 5/10

Pretty ruddy good and as inoffensive as it gets. 7/10


We like cheese. We The oaty taste slightly like chocolate. Just not overpowered the chocolately goodness – together. Ever. 0/10 and we don’t mess with the milkshake. 4/10

what's on says

It is quite sweet but far from unpleasant. The slight curdling in tea and coffee lost it a few points, nevertheless, a strong contender.



58 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

Darker than cows’ milk, but was really rather good. We even had an extra sip. 7/10

Great taste and suitably Worked pretty darn well Again, not creamy creamy. The best. with our chocolate milk enough to create a pleasing milky treat, but 8/10 powder. 6/10 the flavour had a nice nutty aftertaste. 6/10

It loses points on a) poor grammar on the carton b) Anthony Worrall Thompson’s saccharine tale of his runny-nosed daughter’s miracle cure, again on the carton and c) the vile aftertaste that stayed with us for hours.

The dark colour is pretty off-putting and we’re shallow, shallow people. Make it prettier and we’d think about drinking it again.



We’ll be giving the sweetened option a try, which will probably fare better with our cornflakes.

Thumbs up. We’ll be drinking this with wild abandon. It just needs to look a bit more normal…





7078 RM Hamam_WhatsOn_245x88

Moonlight Sushi Nights


11:31 AM

all you can eat

Oriental Hammam, Health & Beauty Institute Where? Every Wednesday night Fazaris keeps the Japanese chefs busy with a sushi buffet, in addition to its a la carte menu. Book a table under the stars and by the water for the full experience. What? Unlimited sushi and free-flowing sake you say? Sign us up. You’ll find a buffet with traditional and fusion sushi, freshly made sashimi tornado rolls (they’re massive) and a live cooking station for Okonomiyaki. These Japanese-style pancakes are made from cabbage with toppings like squid and egg – much tastier than it sounds – then smothered in a special Worcestershire sauce and mayonnaise. Finish with sweet fruit sushi and a very lovely ginger crème brulee from the dessert table. Why? All you can eat sushi is one of the UAE’s greatest inventions, offering the chance to try things you wouldn’t normally have the bravado, or budget, to order. Expand your Japanese horizons, wash it all down with warm sake and enjoy dining alfresco before it’s so hot that the evening air cooks your sashimi. Fazaris, The Address Downtown Burj Dubai, Old Town, Dubai, Wed, 6.30pm to midnight, Dhs210. Tel: (04) 4368888.

Escape from the stresses of modern life by stepping back in time. One&Only Royal Mirage traditional Oriental Hammam offers an oasis of retreat, a place where expert masseurs attend your every need; rejuvenating your skin and invigorating tired muscles. Located by the Residence & Spa at One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai’s most stylish beach resort. Oriental Hammam is open daily 9.30am - 10pm (Ladies only 9.30am - 2pm, Gentlemen only 7pm - 10pm) One&Only Royal Mirage, Telephone +971 4 399 99 99

The Palace * Residence & Spa Arabian Court

Page 1


Angar The Yas Hotel’s Indian restaurant mixes contemporary style with traditional flavours for an out-of-this-world experience If they ever build accommodation for humans on the moon, it might look something like The Yas Hotel. With its undulating curves and shimmering glass panels, the otherworldly landmark is an imposing and magical structure, which at night pulses and throbs with coloured LED lighting as though it were taking long, deep breaths. While it’s certainly exciting to dine in a hotel that might have been plucked from the imagination of Arthur C Clarke, the concern is that such futuristic hubris might not successfully translate to its Indian restaurant, and a cuisine that’s often resistant to modernisation. Thanks to head chef Satish Shenoy, the contemporary flourishes at Angar are beautifully grounded by the gravitational pull of tradition. It’s Shenoy’s respect for the recipes and flavours of the past that keeps his undoubted ambition tethered to planet Earth. Take his salmon shigdi tikka, for example. That the flame-grilled fish is flavoured by a marinade of fresh dill, honey and mustard might set your Indo-European fusion alarm bells ringing, but the chef ’s use of traditional Indian spices prevents the flavours from getting lost in deep space. Elsewhere, the tandoori ajwaini lobster presents beautifully tender and intense seafood in a vivid melange of vibrant spice that reminds you what Indian food is all about. Here at Angar, the bold and full flavours of the subcontinent have not been sacrificed in an attempt to win universal 60 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

The contemporary flourishes at Angar are beautifully grounded by the gravitational pull of tradition approval. Yet there are plenty of modern touches to old favourites like the nalli gosht rogan josh to keep them fresh and relevant. The tandoori potatoes are richly spiced without being overpowering, and the saag paneer remains a gloriously smooth and creamy preparation of spinach and Indian cheese that’s simply timeless. Like the food, the surroundings are contemporary without being harsh or impersonal. Pastel colours give the place warmth, yet the cool, clean lines are in keeping

with the overall feel of the hotel. If anything, the place is a little low-key, which is more than made up for by the friendly service, not to mention the dazzling desserts. The ras malai is a traditional Indian milk sweet speckled with glimmering ‘vark’ or edible gold leaf, while the saffron kulfi is an irresistibly rich confection with an inviting yellow hue. It may be years before we see hotels on the moon, but who really cares when we have restaurants this good here on Earth?

Need to know Location: The Yas Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi Tel: (02) 6560000 Website: www.theyashotel. com Open: 12.30pm to 3pm and 7pm to 11pm Cuisine type: Indian Must eat: Tandoori ajwaini lobster Bill for two: Dhs600

p64 p67 p67 p68

All change! Room with a view Project: MEGA Four to see MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 63

Carbon 12 GALLERY



All change! Leading Dubai gallery B21 has undergone a major transformation. With a new name and a brand new space in Al Quoz. We caught up with the eponymous owner of what will henceforth be known as Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde to get the lowdown You’ve recently moved into a new space in Al Serkel Avenue, not far from your old gallery – why did you decide to move? The new space is much, much bigger. The gallery has progressed so much in recent years in terms of our profile and the profile of our artists that we felt it was time to have a space that offered more freedom for larger shows. We have also changed the name from B21 to Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde. In Europe, all the galleries that I know bear the name of their owner and director. I wanted to go by this basic rule of an international gallery to reflect the growing presence that the gallery and Dubai has in the international art world. With a new name and a new space are you planning to take the gallery in a new direction or continue with the artists and vision you have become well known for? I want to develop the activities of the gallery and do that under a strong identity. B21 is a name that is now established and I will keep that space dedicated to work that is more experimental, more outside-the-box projects. The new space will schedule shows by artists that are already strong in our stable and need this sort of representation. We have now a book that is coming out about Rokni Haerizadeh, and this is a new initiative of the gallery. I wanted all these activities and projects to be developed along a stronger identity. There are a number of galleries in Al Serkal Avenue now – it seems to be becoming one of Dubai’s art hubs. I think that the galleries that have set up in Al Serkal Avenue share a common sense of the importance of contemporary work and Dubai as a platform for that. In terms of the 64 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

compound as a centre of the city’s scene, I’d say that Al Serkal has the advantage for us of people being able to wander between galleries. Al Quoz is so sprawling and, while there is a degree of centralisation, it’s not really the sort of place people can explore on foot. At least with Al Serkal, visitors can see five or six good shows of contemporary art all in one place. It’s been a difficult year or so for the art market in Dubai and around the world. How do you see things developing? I think the recession hits everyone. However, the advantage here is that the Middle East art scene has been tipped as the next emerg-

ing market. So we have that advantage, I think that interest has compensated. I think the second thing is that it’s a new market and our vision will pass the time of the recession. We have ideas and projects and are trying to make them happen in the long-term. What can visitors to the gallery look forward to in the coming months? In May, we’ve got a fascinating solo show by Lebanese-Egyptian artist Lara Baladi. She’s created a visual diary of the final months of her father’s life that takes the medium of coffee-cup reading – a popular language, you could say, of the Middle East

Al Quoz calling It’s fast becoming the heart of the Al Quoz scene. Here’s our pick of the best to see in Al Serkal Avenue


Ayyam Gallery The first big-name gallery to move in, Ayyam specialises in contemporary Syrian art (it is an off-shoot of the highly-respected gallery of the same name in Damascus). Combining its roster of high-quality artist with a flexible, multi-functional space that covers two floors of a vast warehouse, where Ayyam has led, others have followed. Carbon 12 Gallery Offering an overview of the art scene from Tehran to Lisbon via New York, Carbon 12 is perhaps one of the most international galleries in the UAE today. Shifting to Al Quoz late last year from its first space in the Marina has proved to be a canny move, as its growing reputation and increasing presence on the scene will attest to.

– to explore notions of subjectivity and the continuity of life in the face of death. After that we have a new Gallery IVDE artist, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, who was a winner of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize in 2008. She has created a whole collection of installation works that take the words of [Egyptian singer] Umm Kulthoum as their centre and evoke the human body through Arabic lettering. We’re really excited about this new addition to the gallery stable. Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Al Serkel Ave, Al Quoz 1, Dubai. Sat to Thurs, 10am to 7pm. Tel: (04) 3403965.

Mojo Gallery A more commercial approach from a gallery that is also a working studio, Mojo gets the balance right with interesting exhibitions from international artists working across all media, from painting to photography to sculpture. Added value comes in the form of its series of fine art workshops ranging from graphics to photography.



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Room with a view The Third Line is already one of Dubai’s most innovative galleries, seeking out and showcasing international artists with roots and inspiration firmly embedded in the Middle East. So it’s hardly surprising that when it comes time to take that to the next level – by focusing on talent that springs directly from the UAE – it is the gallery to be leading the charge. From this month, the Third Line is devoting its upstairs to a dedicated project space (cannily titled Projects) that aims to offer an outlet to the growing pool of talent in the region, kicking off with Dubai Episodes. Featuring work by three photographic artists – Raja’a Khalid, Mona Ayyash and Sara Naim – this group show draws on the notion that Dubai, as a largely transient city from which many people come and go, is but one incident in these people’s lives – made more or less significant over time and experience. What each of these photographers sets out to capture is the surface of the city – its textures and day-to-day life. Even so, it’s hard not to read something into Ayyash’s portraits of Mirror Men, in which members of the city’s working class sit outside on plush sofas, reflecting their view back at the viewer – quite literally with the aid of the mirror propped at their feet, but surely metaphorically too? We suspect that here, as in the city itself, there is more to this than meets the eye. We wouldn’t expect anything less from the Third Line. Until July, The Third Line, behind Spinney’s warehouse, Al Quoz 3, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3411367.

Mega Man What is it about adult toys? No, nothing saucy – we’re talking about the fashion for those knitted ones with crosses for eyes and a tale to tell (if only teddies could talk) and designer dolls fashioned by the likes of Christian Lacroix. Things have moved on a whole stage further, however, with the launch of the Mega. Megans are timetravellers, don’t you know, with “an affinity for metamorphosis”. Handy, since local UAE artists have customised 100 of the cheeky little critters, all of which are on display at DIFC from May 26 under the banner of Project Mega. The brainchild of young Emirati Mohammed Abedin, whose peripatetic lifestyle saw him becoming hooked on comic books and designer toys during a misspent youth in south-east Asia. It’s paid off, with self-proclaimed ‘toy nerds’ (wouldn’t you want to keep that to yourself?) whipping themselves into a pre-launch cyber frenzy, apparently. What’s On is rather more intrigued by the serious artistic collaboration that Project Mega affords our local urban artists. Though now we’ve had the chance to spend some time with one, the Mega is rather growing on us. OK, we want one. Now! From May 26, DIFC, off Zabeel Road, Dubai, free. MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 67


Four to see Calligraphy Biennial

Sharjah Calligraphy Museum – the only museum in the Arab world dedicated to this craft – is a must-visit for anyone interested in the ancient script and never more so than now, during its biennial. What’s On’s highlight is the selection of beautifully spare paintings by Iranian artist Golnaz Fathi. Inspiring stuff. Until Jun 7, Sharjah Calligraphy Museum, Heritage & Arts Area, Sharjah, free. Tel: (06) 5694561. www.

De Con Re Struct

Three for the price of one this month at Carbon 12 where this exhibition, showing works by a trio of international artists – Annabel Emson, Suzanne Jonak and Martin Eiter – invites viewers to get to grips with the “adventure of abstraction”. May 16 to Jun 9, Carbon 12, Street 8, Al Serkal Avenue, warehouse D37, Dubai. Tel: (050) 4644392.

COnnecting Heavens

A Story of Islamic Embroidery in Nomadic and Urban Traditions

The rather lengthy title may give you the nuts and bolts of what this exhibition’s about, but you have to see it for yourself to really get a sense of the wonder and the levels of skill involved in this most ancient of Islamic crafts. Get thee to the Emirates Palace forthwith. Until Jul 28, Gallery One, Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, free. Tel: (02) 6908207. 68 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

Lebanon has to be one of the most interesting places for contemporary art in the Middle East and this show, which promises to showcase some of the most exciting young artists working in the country today, will confirm that this is the case. From Oussama Baalbaki’s images of war to Tagreed Darghouth’s meditations on her fellow citizens’ passion for plastic surgery, it offers a fascinating glimpse into this fascinatingly complex society. 8 May to 15 Jun. Green Art Gallery, Villa 23, 51st Street, Jumeirah, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3449888.

SHOPPING p72 p75 p76

Bring on the bling New openings Fit kit

MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 71


Bring on the There are few places in the world as associated with all things gold and glittering than the Middle East – but where are the best spots to buy gems and jewellery?


Glittering gifts Want to get in your wife’s good books? Then make her next birthday present one to remember and splash out on some gemstones. “Many people associate particular gemstones with specific calendar months of the year,” explains Ivana Okereke, coowner of Dubai-based jewellers Gemme Couture. “In the West, people believe that the stone that correlates with the month of our birth is symbolic in our lives. In India, the tradition is even stronger. “Often, an astrological chart is made at birth when two to four important gemstones are identified as being beneficial for the person’s health. They are then encouraged to wear these stones in such a way that they are touching the person’s skin.” A great place to buy these stones at budget prices is Cara Jewellers. They have a readymade selection of birthstone pendants from Dhs300, and will also make your own design to order. If you decide to create your own, Ivana recommends 72 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

letting the gems themselves be an inspiration for the design. “Each stone has its own character and feel,” says Ivana. “Throughout history, gemstones have been linked to moods and have been thought to have healing powers and energies that can affect the wearer in some way. They emanate different vibes and have varied effects on the individual.” But how can you spot a top-notch gem? “Assessing the quality of a stone can be a technical job,” explains Sara Ashraf, of Bond Street Jewellers in Dubai. “But a novice should bear in mind that the clearer the stone and the more light passing through it, the better the quality. If the stone is milky or cloudy, the quality might not be superior. In diamonds some good standards to look out for are GIA, HRD and IGI, which all certify the stone’s quality.” Cara Jewellers, Gold & Diamond Park, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3478089 Gemme Couture, S*uce, Dubai Mall, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3116579



The UAE’s not-so hidden gems Damas

The Middle East’s one-stop shop for all things glittering, including their own range of mega-watt jewels and also international designers including Roberto Coin and Mikimoto. Tel: (02) 5757371.


“Gold is available in both yellow or white, however, the majority of customers, esecially those from India, prefer to wear yellow gold,” explains Ivana Okereke. And recently this colour has seen a re-emergence in fashionJoyalukkas able circles, says Sara Ashraf. Founded in Kerala, India in 1956, “For many years it was this brand now has more than seen as old fashioned 75 stores worldwide, stocking compared to everything from wallet-busting white gold, but gems to the sweet and sassy now people Teens & Twenties collection. are turning back to yellow gold.” Khushi Jewellers explains Sara. Launched in 1991, this Dubai“There are based jewellers has made a some things name for itself with big, bold to bear in mind pieces, sourced mainly from when buying India. Tel: (04) 3511166. www. yellow gold. For diamond jewellery it’s best to use 18 carat gold as Liali Jewellery it firmly secures the stones, but Diamonds are the big sellers at when buying plain gold jewelthis ten-year-old chain, which lery it’s better to buy 22 carat boasts 25 stores in the Middle for purity and value as 24 carat East and Europe. This is the place jewellery could bend and lose to go if your girl likes her best shape quickly.” friends in modern and stylish Bond Street Jewellers, Royal settings. Tel: (04) 3688500. www. Diamond Building, Deira Gold Souk, Dubai. Tel: (04) 2258253 MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 73

New Openings What new shopping delights are in store this month? Labels at Studio 8 Beach Road boutique Studio 8 is adding a dedicated section of its store exclusively for Pakistani designers this month. Expect bejewelled and embellished pieces from the likes of Ayesha Farook, Nickie Nina, Elan by Khadijah Shah and Zahra Saeed in the new section of the luxury designer store, which stocks a range of clothing, handbags and jewellery. Lables at Studio 8, Beach Road, Opposite Mercato, Dubai, Sat to Thurs, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 3443934 Papermoon Wrapping presents can be pretty annoying. What with all the hunting for scissors, sticky tape and paper, then wrestling the thing into some sort of reasonable shape – no, it’s not for us. Our advice is let the experts at this new shop do it for you. They have hundreds of different wrapping papers to choose from and the staff can wrap even the most awkwardly shaped gift. Abu Dhabi Mall, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thurs, 10am to 11pm, Fri, 3.30pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6454788. Furla Mirdif City Centre just keeps on adding the brands. Shoppers can now pick up Italian leather goods from long-time favourite Furla at the new mall, opting for either traditional handbags or trying something from the Furla Talent Hub. This design initiative encourages up-and-coming designers to take inspiration from unusual sources to create fresh, contemporary collections. Furla, Mirdif City Centre, Mirdif, Dubai. Tel: (04) 2843388

Soboho This vintage-style boutique may have opened its Marina Mall doors a few months back, but May sees its official launch and the shelves are fully stocked. Boasting a mix of LA brands and local designers, this little pocket of cool in mall mayhem is the answer to your gift-giving prayers. Check out the baby shower and bridal presents, fashion, accessories and hip homewares for the perfect antidotes to the faceless mega-brands that are oh so ubiquitous in the Emirates. Soboho, Marina Mall, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Sat to Wed, 10am to 10pm, Thurs and Fri, 10am to midnight. Tel: (04) 434 2535 MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 75


We don't expect you to get active all by yourself. Throw money at your fitness regime with our top pick of the new gear

Garmin Forerunner 310XT

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Speedo Biofuse Power Paddle

Dhs110 Improve your training for a bargain price. See you in the pool at the 2012 Olympics.

Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Dhs1,499 Capture aquatic action with Sony's slimline waterproof camera. 76 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

Puma top

Dhs259 Ideal for after your cool down, we love this colourful hoodie.

MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 77


TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE is a full body dry massage which is excellent for circulation and posture FOOT REFLEXOLOGY combines pressure point stimulation with massage on the feet and legs to re-energise and release toxins HERBAL COMPRESSION MASSAGE combines the Traditional Thai Massage with a hot herbal compress. Excellent for detoxing the body and metabolism AROMATHERAPY MASSAGE is a full body oil massage for relaxation and tension release SPECIFIC MASSAGE is a dry concentrated massage for the back, neck and shoulders. Herbal balm compliments this treatment.

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1 hour Thai Combo Massage

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The Spa, The Address Dubai Mall, Old Town

p81 His ‘n’ hers p83 Slim with us! p84 Face facts

MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 79



What can The Address Dubai Mall do for two stressed out Dubai dwellers?


His De-Stress – Focus & Clarity

Talk us through it… An hour in a hydro-pool (think bathtub with bubbles), before a relaxing all-over rub down, followed by a soothing face massage. Chilled with a capital C. The best bit? Having arrived still nursing the morning after pains of a heavy night out, the face and head massage couldn’t have come at a better time. Sure, the word soothing is often bandied about in these situations (look, I even did it myself, just up there), but soothed I was. Goodbye headache. Any awkward moments? On jumping out of the hydropool I was told to leave my disposable pants on the side. So I did. Erm, what about some more to put on? Five minutes frantic of searching, and I found a drawer

Jet Lag by Aromatherapy Associates with new ones, saving a drafty and embarrassing stroll down to the next room.

Talk us through it… You begin by inhaling eucalyptus to clear the airways before some How were the disposable rigorous body brushing to boost circulation. The therapist chooses pants? one of 12 massage oils, based on Black, nylon, and the briefest of a short questionnaire to suit on briefs. If I ever wanted to know your mood, and you can then opt what my bum would look like as a bank robber, I now have the answer. for a reviving or relaxing rubdown, depending on whether you want to spring into life or have a Sleep factor? little snooze. Amazing – out like a light. The best bit? I wasn’t jet lagged but had a fairly heavy weekend, so was chuffed when the combination of a nap and awakening scents meant I How much and how long? left the spa relaxed, but ready for action. Dhs1,050 for three hours – a finer dirham you’ll never spend Any awkward moments? in spa land. The knots in my shoulders were so bad that they made an audible ‘pop’ when therapist Grace got rid of them. She tactfully pretended not to hear. Bless. Who should get involved? Tired and stressed executives. And you won’t feel out of place if it’s the morning after the night before.

How were the disposable pants? Black, stretchy and skimpy. Totally adequate, but nothing to write home about. Sleep factor? Despite opting for the reviving massage, the face stroking and super-soft massage table conspired to create a few moments of zzzzz.

Who should get involved? If you’ve stepped off a long-haul flight or just missed some sleep, then this is for you. How much and how long? Dhs625 for 80 minutes of high quality massage-induced slumber. The Spa, The Address Dubai Mall, Old Town, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4388888 MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 81

The Private Reserve


Slim with us! Can daily food deliveries help our disillusioned dieter this month? Not a good month. Not a good month at all. My initial enthusiasm waned and, when I would previously be turning down invitations where tempting calories would be abundant, I was RSVPing with glee. Cartier polo for mini burgers and bubbly? Don’t mind if I do. Cosy night in for a Come Dine With Me marathon and Lemongrass takeaway? Sounds lovely thanks. Spot of brunch at Bice Mare? Perfect, we haven’t had a proper catch up in ages… And so it went on. Meanwhile, food from Health Factory was being delivered to my door at 7am every morning; a smart green cooler bag packed with breakfast, two snacks, lunch and dinner. In short, everything I was allowed to eat for the day and, to be honest, every day was a mixed bag. Previously, I’d have some Dorset muesli with low fat milk, milled fax seed and some fruit for breakfast. Now, I was getting a zataar croissant. On a good day it would be berry pancakes with maple syrup. Calorie controlled it was – nutritious? Not so much. Snacks fared better, with tropical fruit and mini salads, while lunch could be anything from a roast beef sandwich to fish with pasta. Frankly, by the time dinner rolled around (and I’d usually had the more desirable meal for lunch), I’d be making myself some scrambled eggs. My other issue was the sheer waste, with vast numbers of plastic boxes being binned each day. While Dubai is far from environmentally aware (have you heard those Masafi adverts boasting that they don’t recycle?), this was taking it too far… I really wanted to enjoy a month of convenience, but this

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just didn’t suit me. The main problem was choosing meals weeks in advance – how can you know what you’ll fancy then? What if I’m craving carbs and a California salad is on the menu? I also take weird pleasure from supermarket shopping so missed choosing ingredients and cooking, but can imagine for many that avoiding the wonky trolleys, crowds and headaches would be heaven. Health Factory would also be useful for those who need to get into a routine of eating regularly (not an issue here) or want food Total weight loss: -6kg designed around Total body fat percentage their needs, be it loss: -2.4 per cent Total muscle mass increase: de-toxing, post+2.5 per cent pregnancy or meals Total waist measurement: for athletes (again, -13cm Overall BMI: -1.6 not an issue here). I couldn’t fault the service or efficiency and think this could be a very handy service for busy hoards across Dubai – but sadly, not for me. As a result of not doing Health Factory properly, going out more and not prioritising exercise, results have been minimal this month. I’d lose a kilo, gain a kilo, stay the same and then lose about a gram. Trust me, the plateau is not a happy place to be. On the bright side, I was shocked at how my fitness levels have improved, so next month I’m tackling Bikram yoga, will be running more and following a strict 1,500 calorie (homemade) plan designed by nutritionist Stephanie at Dubai London Clinic. I’m off to a wedding in Spain at the end of June and want to lose 5kg before then – because I can guarantee it will be Cava and barbecues all week long. Health Factory, Full Miracle Package, Dhs2,950 for one month. Tel: (04) 3473808. Stephanie Karl, Dubai London Clinic, Festival City, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3446663. nutritiondubailondonclinic@ MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 83


Spa Deals Scrub off the barnacles and get shipshape this May with these bargain beauty treatments Amara Spa Using the brilliant Anne Semonin products, the Regenerating Ruby Facial Experience (one hour 45 minutes) promises to help you defy both age and stress. It includes an outdoor rain shower in a private garden, a firming eye treatment, active plant serums, masques, expert drainage massage and food from the poolside menu, plus full use of the pool, whirlpools, steam room and gym. Amara Spa, Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai, Dhs590. Tel: (04) 6021660.

Mandara Spa The Monarch’s spa has some cracking deals this month. First up is a 50-minute Balinese massage followed by lunch at Ruth’s Chris Steak house for Dhs299 per person (Sunday to Thursday only). If you want to make a day of it then the May deal of aroma foot ritual, Balinese massage, refresher facial, herbal teas and fruits, complimentary product and use of the pool and health club for Dhs490 should do the trick. Mandara Spa, The Monarch Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 5018270. www.

Face facts Harvey Nichols’ Profile Men’s Grooming Salon offers men the chance to revive their skin.That’s right, men Men – you might not know it (or want to admit you know it), but your skin’s not what it used to be. Living here in the Middle East means your poor epidermis – and beyond – suffers the slings and arrows of outrageous climate conditions every single day. Dirt, sweat, UV rays, it sits there and takes a beating from the whole gamut. As a result, you skin can become dry, greasy, wrinkly, dirty and a breeding ground for brutish blackheads. Mucky, in other words. This despite the use of that expensive exfoliating wash and a fluffy flannel you bought/had thrust on you by your better half. The answer, however, could lie in that bastion of all things stylish, Harvey Nics, and their Profile Men’s Grooming Salon, which offers a range of skin-sav84 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

ing services, including the oxygen facial. One of several new Natura Bisse treatments available at the salon, the oxygen facial promises to infuse your tired mug with pure oxygen, eliminating those dreaded toxins. That’s the science. The reality is that behind an inconspicuous door at the back of the third level men’s department at the Mall of the Emirates store there is a small salon, offering haircuts, shaving, waxing, massages and a very fine facial. There, your face will be smeared with various lotions and potions for a good 45 minutes, and then, if you have blackheads, the steam will come out, shortly followed by a metal instrument that causes a fair bit of eye watering pain. After an hour, you’re done. Sure, it’s probably not the sort of thing you’ll brag about in the locker room with the boys, but at least you’ll be the one with good skin. Profile Men’s Grooming Salon, Level 3, Harvey Nichols, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, Dhs450. Tel: (04) 4098989


fit the circadian rhythms, however if you’re consistent and you always train at that time, your body will adjust. In my experience, having a regular training time is very important. So for the average girl or guy with a job, you’ll see better results if you pick a training time and stick with it. When you mess around with your times, you mess around with your results.

Each month James Houghton, our exercise expert, will be answering all your health and fitness questions If I want to gain muscle should I be eating protein and drinking supplements on days that I’m not exercising? Joseph, Abu Dhabi In a word, yes! Protein is the building block of muscle, so if your aim is to gain muscle then you need to ensure that your protein requirement is being fulfilled. As a starting point, aim to ingest a minimum of one gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds and you were eating six meals a day then you could spread the 180 grams over the six meals and ingest 30 grams per meal. On workout days you need to start addressing your post workout nutrition. This is where supplement drinks really come into play. To aid in recovery look to consume 0.8g of carbs per kg of body weight and 0.4g protein per kg of body weight, post workout, to rapidly improve your recovery and muscle building potential. A fitter friend wants us to start running together. Will having an exercise buddy help me? Eman, Old Town Training with a partner or buddy is definitely a good move and can tremendously enhance your results. I currently

train with a friend of mine and it makes a huge difference. We are both really busy and would find it easy to ‘forget’ to go train, but as we both know we are accountable to each other, that never happens. You always have someone to pick you up if you’re not totally up for it that day. Also, working out with someone who is a bit fitter than you will make you raise your game and the results you achieve will come about much faster.


86 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

I’ve finally bought myself an iPod and everyone seems to be an expert on the best music to listen to when running. Is there any science behind this, or is it totally personal? Grace, Discovery Gardens

When is the best time to exercise? I can’t face getting up at 6am to work out, but if I go to the gym late at night sleeping can be a problem. Charlotte, Dubai Marina

Undoubtedly, there is probably some behavioural science behind this, but in my opinion I feel that this is a totally personal decision. We are all motivated by different types of music and for different emotional reasons. I once trained a tri-athlete who loved working out to AC/DC – it enabled him to push himself to his limits, so I made a playlist of AC/DC songs for when he trained. The results were outstanding. Generally, for running go for some higher tempo music, with some slower music for your cool down. At the end of the day choose something that motivates you and will enable you to get through the workout.

Based on circadian rhythms there are actually two times that are best: three hours and 11 hours after you wake up. However, for most of us this isn’t realistic and your body will adjust its cycle to fit your pattern. So, if you always wake up at 6am, and train at 7am, that doesn’t

What Mr Fitness James Houghton doesn't know about staying healthy isn't worth knowing. In his seven years as a personal trainer, he's helped West End actresses lose the pounds and worked with the Arabian Gulf rugby sevens team to keep them in peak condition.

Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai 04 366 5646

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Sports shorts

The month's sports in bitesize pieces

Icemen cometh

Vertical limits

If you think you’re are downhill skiing master, sign up for this ultra-tough challenge at Ski Dubai. The Aprilia Ice Warrior Challenge will see participants pushed to the limits of physical endurance by a 2km obstacle course at the indoor ski slope at Mall Of The Emirates. As well as raising cash for charity, the winner will take away an Aprilia motorbike, worth Dhs20,000. But you need to get your application in by May 21, so better get your skates (or skis if you prefer) on quick. Jun 4, Aprilia Ice Warrior Challenge, Ski Dubai, Mall Of The Emirates, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4094000.

The UAE has its fair share of tall buildings, but thanks to those trusty elevators, getting to the upper floors isn’t a major challenge. Not so for the athletes taking part in the Vertical Challenge at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers. They’ll be forsaking the elevator in favour of their legs as they climb 265 metres, up 1,334 stairs from the ground to the 52nd floor. It will be tough, but when it’s raising money for the Red Crescent and Médecins Sans Frontières charities, it’ll be worth the lungsearing exhaustion. May 28, Jumeirah Emirates Tower, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3458177.

Swimming with sharks

To mark the opening of Dubai Aquarium in December 2008, a group of free divers amazed onlookers by swimming amongst the marine life without any oxygen tanks. And, as they were holding their breath for up to 10 minutes and swimming amongst 50 giant sharks, this was no mean feat. Don’t worry if you missed them, because the divers – who go by the hilarious name of NoTanx (it works on so many levels) – are back this month for another breathtaking (pun intended) display. May 5 to 8, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, Dubai Mall.

MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 87

MUSIC “We had to get over each other. We loved music too much to let it get in the way”

Hello Billy Lunn. Hello What’s On magazine. You had an amazing rise to fame. Tell me about it. Actually, could you tell us about it? OK. I was about 12 and remember hearing Oasis’ Supersonic on the radio and knew I had to play guitar. I started by looking at posters of guitarists, checking out the shapes of their fingers, and teaching myself the chords. Meanwhile Josh [Morgan, drummer and Billy’s brother – despite the difference in surname] taught himself to play drums and I started going out with Charlotte [Cooper – bassist] when I was 15 and so she joined us. Finally we started writing our own songs and playing some shows. We played our first gig and were terrible, I felt like crying during the first song – but shortly after that we started thinking about playing in London. Eventually, after a couple of years of doing that, we started getting good. We started getting noticed. Then Glastonbury? Then Glastonbury. It was 2004. I used to record local bands in my parent’s front room because 88 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

Getty/Gallo Images

The Subways’ Billy Lunn talks about splitting up with bassist Charlotte Cooper, going up the Burj Khalifa and pigging out on meatball marinaras

The Subways

they couldn’t afford the £200 (Dhs1,130) fee for the local recording studio. I asked one band what they were going to do with the CD I helped them make and they told me that [Glastonbury organiser] Michael Eavis was running a competition in which the winner would play Glasto that year. So we thought, we should enter. We won! We went from playing for 130 people to about 10,000 people at the drop of a hat. How nervous were you on the day? Not bad until I was walking on stage and realised the gravity of the situation. That thrashing around won’t cut it anymore and that the songs needed to

stand up. Thankfully, they did. After that we organised our first tour of the UK. It basically just kicked off. In 2004, in November, we signed a record deal with Warner to record our first album, Young For Eternity, and released it in 2005. And now you’re writing your third album. When’s it out? Fingers crossed, early next year. Are you killing each other in the studio? All the time, but we’re so close that we get over it. Josh and I are brothers so we’ve always fought and Charlotte and I went out for eight years so we’ve had our share of disagreements. Is that eight year relationship thing not, you know, problematic?

Erm... not really. The break up was amicable and I think we both love the music way too much to let it get in the way. We’re not in touch with any of our exes. Well, we were forced to stay in touch. We broke up while making the second record and because we were forced into that environment, forced into the studio, we just focused on writing great songs. And we got over it. You must hate all the boyfriends that come in and out of her life. Oh no, not at all. Lies. No, honestly. She’s getting married soon, he’s the funniest guy I’ve ever met and totally cool.

Getty/Gallo Images

The Subways

You’re a stronger man than us. Tell us what you make of the UAE. I was booked to do a DJ set in Dubai a year or so ago, but did some DJing and some acoustic. It was brilliant. I thought nobody would know the songs but loads did and I was even trying to tell a few jokes. Usually, I’m quite reserved at acoustics. I feel so naked during them. I normally have Josh thrashing about on drums and Charlotte on bass to give me support, but the acoustic set offers none of that. But in Dubai, oddly, it was fine. Any plans to go up the Burj Khalifa? Definitely. But I fear heights. Any plans to lob a TV out of a seven-star hotel? Why would you waste a perfectly good TV? Fair point. How did you come up with the band name? It’s not a great name is it? We came up with worse before that. We would hang out in a green area between some subways – that’s pretty much our reason. We were called Mustardseed – the fairy from Midsummer Night’s Dream – and then we moved on to Platypus, after the Green Day song Platypus (I Hate You) before settling on The Subways. So what’s your all time favourite band name? Death Cab For Cutie. People’s eyes cross when they hear it. Do you have a favourite Subway sandwich?

I used to love the meatball marinara until I found out there’s more salt in it than in 24 packs of crisps. I’m never having another one again. They deliver Subway in the UAE. No! That makes it too easy! I won’t leave the hotel room. Must. Stay. Strong. You supported AC/DC last year, did you not? We did. It was scary and amazing. The audience didn’t care who we were, they just wanted DC on. We walked on stage and one guy clapped... probably because his mate bought him a beer. So we decided to strap in and look at each other and go for it. We even got them clapping. I worked out that as soon as you mention AC/DC the whole placed roared. So I just said that lots. “AC/DC!” And you were in the Guy Ritchie movie RocknRolla. That was really cool. We were making the second record and I woke up one morning in LA, in my pants, stumbling into the kitchen to make some cereal and the phone rings. “Hi, it’s Guy Ritchie.” He said he’d love us to play in the movie. We didn’t have to think twice. Can you act? I think I’m brilliant. Finally, who’s the most famous person on your mobile? Zane Lowe. Who’s yours? You. Ha! MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 89


CLUB DIARY All the goings-on in clubland this month



Bill Patrick @ Ill Communications The New York tech house master has filled floors at London’s Fabric and Ibiza’s Space. Expect him to do the same at Dubai’s best alfresco club. The Rooftop, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100, ladies and Face Card free until 100pm. Tel: (050) 7258277 David Craig @ Relax@12 Funky house and electro beats at the cool rooftop bar. Relax@12, Aloft, Abu Dhabi, 8pm to late, free. Tel: (02) 6545138.


Acos Coolkas @ Audio Tonic The Russian deep house and nu disco ace leads the line at the ever-popular Dubai hangout. 360˚, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 4pm to 2am, free. Tel: (04) 4068769. www.


TICKETS TO GROOVE ARMADA Superstar DJs Andy Cato and Tom Findlay hit Chi on May 20. To get your hands on one of five pairs of tickets log onto www. and answer this simple question. Name the hit song by Groove Armada? a) I See You Baby b) I See You Teenager c) I See You Pensioner

Step On @ Home Dubai’s only weekly indie night serves up a dose of guitar-based fun. Chi @ The Lodge, Al Nasr Leisureland, Dubai, 8pm to 3am, Dhs100, free before 11pm, ladies free before midnight. Tel: (04) 3379470 WEEKLY

Native @ Sanctuary Sanctuary residents Rod Lee Winters and Aaron Bryan drop commercial house. Atlantis, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, free. Tel: (04) 4260561. www.


Simon B @ Bewitched Chart R&B and house from the Radio 1 regular. Relax@12, Aloft, Abu Dhabi, 8pm to late, free. Tel: (02) 6545138. www.aloftabudhabi. com

20 Groove Armada @ Chi

20 Prok 'N Fitch @ Sanctuary

UK-based duo Ben Prokopowicz and James Fitchett first teamed up three years ago to produce their own brand of upfront house, and it’s been all go ever since. They’ve since gone on to remix for such house heavyweights as Laidback Luke and Gregor Salto, as well

90 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

as running their own Floorplay Music record label. They make a welcome return to Sanctuary this month Prok ‘N Fitch. Sum it up in one sentence. Two laid-back guys who produce good

music and who like a drink. That pretty much says it all. It does. How did you first meet? I was working in a record shop in Brighton and Ben used to come in a lot. We kind of got on, decided to make a record together and the rest is history. So who does what? Well, Ben’s a lot more laid-back than me. I tend to stress about things a lot more, while he just tends to be a bit more chilled. You know, we have the odd disagreement about music, but considering we spend so much time together, it’s a surprisingly amicable partnership. OK, so exactly what kind of name is Prok ‘N Fitch? Ha! Well, they’ve just been our nicknames since we were kids. People often think we’re German though, because Ben has a Polish surname. They’re surprised when we tell them we’re from England. Tell us something about Prok 'N Fitch that we wouldn’t know. We’re both keen golfers. Ben’s played for ages, but I’ve only recently taken up the sport but I’ve been told I’m a natural. But you’d be surprised, there are more DJs and producers who are into golf than you would think. Oh. We did not know that. Plenty of great golf courses in the UAE – is that why you wanted to come? We’ve actually been to the UAE a couple of times – we love it. We played Sanctuary last year and it was amazing. The crowd were really up for it and totally responsive. You know, we didn’t have to play the commercial stuff as they were familiar with our more underground tunes. Atlantis, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, Dhs150. Tel: (04) 4260561. www.


Mr Mr @ Audio Tonic It’s four years since the electro fest that is Audio Tonic first hit 360˚. Join regulars Mr Mr, Vas Floyd, Raxon and Julian Jinx for a party to remember. 360˚, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 4pm to 2am, free. Tel: (04) 4068769. www. Smirnoff Black Party @ Cubes A winning combo of house music and cocktails at the small but perfectly formed club. Cubes, One To One Hotel, Abu Dhabi, 9pm to 2am, free. Tel: (055) 6560801


DJ Ravin @ Yacht Club The founder of the Buddha Bar pays Abu Dhabi’s marina-side haunt a flying visit for a set of deep house. InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen, 8pm to 2am, free entry. Tel: (02) 6666888



Groove Armada @ Chi This one will be HUGE. The inordinately tall Andy Cato (he’s pushing 7ft) and partner Tom Findlay (he’s not so tall) were the darlings of the UK’s big beat scene before going on to win even more fans with their synth-pop directions. Their DJs sets are wildly eclectic, but we’re sure they’ll find room for mega-hits Superstylin’ and I See You Baby. Chi @ The Lodge, Al Nasr Leisureland, Dubai, 8pm to 3am, Dhs150. Tel: (04) 3379470



The Subways @ See You Next Friday The English indie trio join resident spinner Da:Funct to celebrate SYNF’s second birthday. See p88 for an interview with Subways’ lead singer Billy Lunn. Alpha, Le Méridien Dubai, Garhoud, 9pm to 3am, Dhs100. Tel: (02) 3379479. www. Spin Science @ Audio Tonic Funky house and then some from the Estonian DJ and producer. 360˚, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 4pm to 2am, free. Tel: (04) 4068769. www.

Moonlight Dance Party @ Escape Lounge The capital’s chilled beachside club hosts a night of house vibes, courtesy of DJs Nathalie B and Shaft Raisi. Hiltonia Beach Club, Hilton Abu Dhabi, 8pm to late, Dhs100, free before midnight. Tel: (055) 6560801


Michael Canitrot @ Yacht Club The man behind the phenomenally successful So Happy In Paris club nights touches down for a set of deep house and electro. InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen, 8pm to 2am, free entry. Tel: (02) 6666888

21 Tinie Tempah @ Chi

27 Alex Dolby @ Audio Tonic Italian tech house don Alex Dolby is considered one of the industry’s shining stars, remixing for the likes of Timo Maas and Jon Digweed. His debut album, Psiko Garden, was released on the Global Underground Recordings label, while his track Long Beach was featured on a recent compilation by Nick Warren Italian house music seems to be undergoing a renaissance at the moment. Why? The club scene in Rome used to be really bad, and so all the good DJs had to move away. But now there are a lot of great clubs in Rome and all the DJs are moving back, bringing foreign influences with them. Rome has an exciting musical scene at the moment. Alex Dolby. Doesn’t sound that Italian to us… My real name’s Alessandro Salvatori. But

my friend and teacher, DJ Santos, gave me the name after the surround sound system because he said my real name didn’t sound very memorable. Describe the Alex Dolby sound. I made my name DJing and producing progressive house music, but now I’m more into the tech house. But a DJ has to be a psychologist and see what the crowd wants. What’s the best gig you’ve ever played? Without doubt it was Pacha Buenos Aires. There’s a big Italian influence in Argentina and so, whereas I’m relatively unknown in some parts of the world, everyone knew me there and treated me like a star. Will your gig in the UAE match this? My DJ friends who've played there said the crowds were amazing, so I hope so. 360˚, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 4pm to 2am, free. Tel: (04) 4068769. www.


VIP TABLE FOR FOUR AT MOONLIGHT DANCE PARTY On May 21, you and three of your friends could be enjoying one of Abu Dhabi’s best club nights from the comfort of a VIP table. Log onto competitions and answer this question for a chance to win. Which of these was a famous rock drummer? a) Keith Moon b) Keith Spaceship c) Keith Asteroid


We have a whopping ten pairs of tickets to see the grime superstar perform live at Chi. All you have to do is log onto www. and tell us… Which of these artists is not associated with the grime scene? a) Dizzee Rascal b) Lady Sovereign c) Frank Sinatra

Patrick Junior C Okogwu’s better known to the world as Tinie Tempah, one of the hottest artists on the UK’s grime scene. The London-born star, whose recent single Pass Out hit number one in the UK charts, makes his Middle East debut at Chi this month Hey Patrick. Or should we call you Tinie? Tinie, of course. My real name’s gone out the window, apart from if I have to go to the dentist or the doctor. Everyone calls me Tinie, even my mum. OK, Tinie – what’s the deal with grime? It’s huge in the UK. The grimy base lines and big beats are just a good sound. But, you know, I don’t see myself as just a grime artist. The underground grime scene is the avenue I went through to be discovered. But ultimately, I’ve always been an experimental and eclectic artist. Are you trying to distance yourself from grime because it gets such a rough time from the UK’s media? No, not at all. I think grime was just

made a scapegoat for a lot of bad things that were going on. But I grew up on a council estate in London, there was a lot of crime around and this is reflected in my music. But now artists like Dizzee Rascal are crossing over to the mainstream, I think some of the media realise it’s just good music and are laying off a bit. Some have labelled you the new Dizzee Rascal. Do you mind? No, it’s really flattering. I’ve been Dizzee’s biggest fan since I was 13years-old. In fact, he’s the only famous person that I’ve ever been star struck by. We played together at a gig in Dublin and I was so nervous when I met him. From Dublin to Dubai. You’re getting around a bit. Yeah, I’m going everywhere. The world’s finally catching on to grime. I mean, my lyrics are about London but I think anyone can relate to a heavy bass line, whether you speak English or not. Chi @ The Lodge, Al Nasr Leisureland, Dubai, 8pm to 3am, Dhs100. Tel: (04) 3379470.

MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 91

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TRAVEL p95 Kuala Lumpur p101 Kuwait

MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 93



Kuala Lumpur


Juxtaposition and adventure in Malaysia’s capital Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur is something of an anomaly. While a resolutely Muslim state, with some of the harshest capital punishment in the world, it also lays claim to some of Asia’s best nightlife parties, not to mention a thriving cultural scene. It mixes Chinese, Malay and Indian influences and yet retains a very particular Malaysian sensibility. It has all the trappings of a modern Asian capital yet has the prices – food and hotels particularly – of a third world country. The long drive from Kuala Lumpur International Airport gives some hint of the city’s past.

Urban scene: Downtown KL

Rubber plantations dominate the countryside and until 157 years ago, Kuala Lumpur was nothing more than a tin mine, chopped out of the jungle by Chinese prospectors. That the city known as KL by almost everyone has undergone something of a transformation is clear as the spectacular Petronas Towers emerge from the horizon. As you drive further towards the city centre, KL’s British influence becomes obvious – the tree-lined avenues, the crumbling town houses, even the white-gloved old women on their way to afternoon tea. Yet the centre of KL is typically Asian: modern, and with a chaotic charm only Asia’s biggest cities can pull off. For evidence of this make your first stop Little India, a slice of Mumbai that is MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 95



Local speciality: Malaysian-style barbecued fish full of restaurants, street vendors, teashops and suit salesman. Grab a roti and make the short journey to Chinatown, which is equally enthralling. The streets here are even narrower, and the smell of incense and frying food can be overwhelming – if so, duck into the 145-year-old Sin Sze Si Ya Temple, where you can find solitude among the mystics. The intriguing thing about Kuala Lumpur is that all these districts are right in the centre of the city, and nowhere is more central than the Golden Triangle. This is the district that is home to the Petronas Twin Towers, that symbol of Malaysia’s rise from regional backwater to global player. Truly breathtaking – particularly at night – the towers host a range of restaurants and cafes around their base, which are the perfect place to watch the hordes of visitors shuffling past. Given KL’s year-round humidity it is no surprise that the city is dotted with shopping malls – they provide a respite from the heat as much as a spot of retail therapy. Be warned though, the malls are packed all day, every day and make the UAE’s look empty by comparison. There are more than 70 malls in the capital alone, and many mainland Chinese make the trip to Malaysia a few times a year just to shop. The Bukit Bintang area of the Golden Triangle has the most malls, and the highest prices. Starhill Plaza, Pavillion Kuala Lumpur and SOGO Kuala Lumpur are three of the best. All the usual brand names are present, but if you are looking for something with a bit

Looking up: Petronas Twin Towers

“The Petronas Twin Towers are the symbol of Malaysia’s rise from regional backwater to global player” Hindu Shrine: Batu Caves

more of a traditional feel, you are better sticking to Little India and China Town. While KL is not noted as a book lover’s city, it does house one of the best bookshops in Asia. SKOOB books in Menara Mutiara Majestic (ask your concierge for directions) is huge and well-stocked, with new and second hand books, as well as imported books from around the world. If the madness of KL seems too much, this is the perfect place to take a respite from it all. Once rested, you’ll need to refuel. Luckily, Malaysians are obsessed with food. There seems to be street-side stalls on every corner and Indian, Chinese, Malay, Thai and Indonesian cuisine dominates, often all in the one place. Jalan Alor in the Golden Triangle is filled with more than 100 restaurants, spilling out onto the streets with touts trying to attract customers and sweating chefs frying, boiling and chopping in front of diners. With the temperature routinely topping 100˚C, be prepared to sweat, but the results are usually worth it. If you are looking for something more sedate – and traditionally Malay – try Enak KL in the Starhill Gallery. One of the finest Malay restaurants in the city, it mixes traditional Malay décor with subtle service and surprisingly cheap prices. If you want a view to match the food, make the short trip to the SkyBar, which serves up cocktails and jaw-dropping views of the Petronas Towers as they blink against the night sky. If you wish to extend your evening head to Changkat Bukit Bintang (CBB to the locals), a long street filled with lounge bars, dingy clubs and restaurants that see most patrons hop from bar to bar. Most of the restaurants stop serving at 10pm, but there are plenty of street stalls in the adjacent alleyways. Kuala Lumpur is not all about conspicuous consumption, however, and the city is dotted with parks, which provide a respite from the traffic-choked streets. One of the most interesting places to get in touch with nature is the MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 97


Things To See and Do l Climb up the Petronas Twin Towers for spectacular city views. l Check out mystical Chinatown, and then stuff your face with authentic Chinese food. l Visit the spectacular Batu Caves in northern Kuala Lumpur. l Mix with the city’s beautiful people and enjoy the amazing views from the Sky Bar KL. l Get one of the best foot massages in Asia in Bukit Bintang.

Serene spot: Sin Sze Si Ya Temple

Amazing views: Sky Bar Exotic species: KL Bird Park

Need to know How to Get There Qatar Airways flies via Qatar starting at Dhs1,800. Getting Around Traffic is a nightmare in Kuala Lumpur, so where possible use the three light transit lines that cross the city. There are numerous tour buses that can be arranged from your hotel, but again, the traffic can make that option rather frustrating. Luckily KL is a great walking city, well signposted and for many visitors it’s the easiest way to get around.


Street food: Jalan Alor KL Bird Park, which houses more than 200 species of bird. The noise can be deafening, but the birds, which are as unpronounceable as they are beautiful, are tame and can be fed by visitors – the perfect photo opportunity. Even more spectacular are the Batu Caves at the north of the city. The caves are stunning, dropping hundreds of feet below ground, and the atmosphere at the bottom is almost monastic, albeit some98 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

what ruined by the concrete steps and the metal banisters. And watch out for the aggressive monkeys who line the steps of the caves looking for food. There is plenty to do further from KL, but not too far to make a day trip unworkable. Forty minutes east of the city is the Genting Highlands, a blueprint for how not to build a theme park. Cheap, tacky and filled with lowgrade attractions, the only

plus is that the temperatures are considerably lower than in KL. Far more interesting is Kuala Selangor, a former Dutch town that retains all the charm Genting seems to have lost. There are hiking and trekking options outside the town and at night the surrounding forests are lit up by fireflies – a truly spectacular experience. The town itself is beautiful and has been well preserved, although one night here should be enough.

Accommodation KL has the full range of accommodation from Dhs35 a night youth hostels to surprisingly cheap five-star accommodation. The Ritz-Carlton is central, great value for money and will organise a complimentary airport pick up. Currency Malaysia’s official currency is the Malaysia Ringgit (MYR). 1MYR is equal to Dhs1.13 so calculating the exchange rate is pretty simple. Visas Malaysia has one of the most open visa systems in the world and tourist visas are available on arrival for virtually all nationalities for 100MYR valid for one to three months.

TRAVEL | kuwait

Kuwait For a relaxing weekend with a hint of the surreal, Kuwait is one of the Middle East’s hidden, if occasionally ignored, treasures. Bring an open mind (and a large wallet) and you will be rewarded with a break with a difference

Retro charm: Kuwait Liberation Tower all that tat, simply wandering around the narrow alleyways is a fascinating experience. Looming over the market is the Liberation Tower, one of the tallest telecommunication towers in the world and its futuristic


Kuwait has something of an image problem. Ignored by many travellers, this oil-rich state is perceived to be a cultural black hole, filled with identikit shopping malls, rich locals and acres of oil fields. While this may be partly true, Kuwait City has enough charm for a long weekend and its heritage, architecture and – believe it or not – vibrant art scene, is enough to keep most visitors occupied. The oil boom hit Kuwait in the 1970s and this is reflected in the downtown architecture, which, while sometimes garish, is never boring. The most celebrated example of this is the Kuwait Towers, three kitsch monuments to retro design. The centre of the city is a case in point, a snapshot of dated architecture that gives the business district a charm missing from the Gulf ’s other cities. Right next to these gleaming towers is the Old Souq, a mishmash of shops and holein-the-wall restaurants catering to the city’s large expatriate community. Prices are cheap and with everything from Yemeni to Ethiopian fare on offer, you won’t go hungry. The Souq – unlike, say, the refurbished market in Doha – is rough and ready, with stores selling everything from glow-in-the-dark wallpaper to snakes. While you might not find the perfect souvenir in amongst

outline dominates downtown Kuwait City. One of Kuwait’s most famous exports is Villa Moda, a luxury department store that houses brands such as Gucci, Prada and Evisu. Another homegrown shop (albeit

on a much smaller scale) is LBo J’zazz, a bead shop run by two local women who design their own creations. The results are beautiful and for a local souvenir, drop by their store in Shaab Al Bahary on Ibn Al Khatib Street. MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 101

TRAVEL | kuwait who express themselves rather differently. A growing creative community has emerged in the past few years and there are a number of galleries and creative spaces that showcase young Kuwait. Dar Al Funoon is one of the most exciting spaces, hosting monthly exhibitions that showcase contemporary art, calligraphy and custom furniture. Located between the Sheraton Hotel and Arabian Gulf Street, the whole area is filled with refurbished Kuwaiti town houses, Bargain hunt: galleries and boutique coffee The Old Souq shops. Another gallery worth checking out is the Sultan Gallery, Kuwait can’t match the UAE in north towards the Iraqi border. a large industrial space in South the shopping stakes, but The AvSaban. Eclectic in its exhibitions, The Kuwaiti authorities don’t enues is sure to satisfy any shoptake too kindly to tourists visiting the gallery showcases modern per, with more than 100 luxury Arabic art from around the region these sites, but they do make for outlets, a massive food court and an interesting – if rather macabre and is one of the most important a multi-screen cinema. galleries in the Gulf. – photo opportunity. For Kuwaitis, the most defining For something more intrinsiKuwait’s history extends long moment in their history was the cally Kuwaiti, pay a visit to Sadu past 1991, however. The Tareq 1991 invasion by Iraq. The ocRajab Museum in Jabrieh contains House, which sells Bedouin arts cupation may have been relatively one of the largest collections of and crafts, made on the premises short, but the scars are still in Islamic artefacts in the world, with by local Bedouin women. Even if evidence. The oil fields that were you don’t want to buy anything, the more than 10,000 items housed set on fire by the retreating Iraqi place gives an intriguing glimpse there. The collection is wonderforces created blankets of soot into local culture. The adjacent Abu fully eclectic with everything thousands of kilometres wide. Adnan Café is the perfect place to from ceramics, jewellery and Even today, the deserts around experience Bedouin hospitality ancient manuscripts on display. Kuwait City are blackened, a while resting those weary feet. Somewhere even more ancient legacy that will last for genAnother glimpse into the past lies 17km off the coast of Kuwait: erations. Elsewhere there are reis on offer at Dickson House, the Fallaka Island, which was first minders of the war, most notably settled in the Bronze Age, and was home of the British ‘political agent’ the ‘tank graveyards’ comprised in the country, Colonel Dickson, once occupied by Alexander the of hundreds of burnt-out Iraqi Great and his troops as they made who represented British interests tanks that were destroyed by (and oil) in the nascent Kingdom. their way to India. A ferry leaves US and British warplanes as the Kuwait City every morning and it The house is beautifully kept and Iraqis retreated back across the the bedrooms and kitchen have is worth a trip, if only to sample border. The ‘graveyards’ are dotbeen preserved as they were before the island’s unique wildlife. ted around Highway 80 that runs Kuwait is a dry country – which Dickson died in 1959. Try and is another reason it is off the radar avoid the official guide whose ill temper at having to show tourists of many tourists – but the locals around is matched only by his are Mediterranean in their timekeeping. Late nights are common- never-ending monologues. Another must-see – and across place and the coffee shop or shisha the road from the Dickson House café is where most congregate l Go back in time with a trip to the – is the Fish Market, which is well past midnight. The row of fascinating Fallaka Island right beside the Sharq Mall and a coffee shops outside the entrance l Take in the galleries, coffee shops marina. Every conceivable type of to the Movenpick Al Bida’a is and refurbished houses on Arabian underwater creature is on sale worth a visit just for the legion of Gulf Street here, all freshly caught. custom cars that roll past. While l Watch (and smell) commerce in Octopus, grouper, shark the Emirates has its fair share of action in the huge Fish Market exotic motors, Kuwait takes things and squid are just l Head to the Al Manshar some of the hundreds to extremes: gold-plated Humentertainment complex in Fahaheel, mers, pink Lamborghinis, chrome of options available. which offers spectacular views of Maybachs; the locals know how to Even if you are not the oil fields to the south interested in buying put on a show. l Wander around the wonderfully your dinner here, the If this seems all too sterechaotic old souq in the centre of town otypical of young Gulf Arabs, then fish auctions are well worth a visit. there is another group of people

Things To See and Do

102 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

Need to know How to Get There Kuwait Airways flies daily from Dh650, while Wataniya Airways flies daily from Dubai from Dh450. Getting Around Kuwait has a pretty good local bus network, but most visitors use taxis which are easy to find and not too expensive. Most taxis have meters although it is often cheaper to negotiate with the driver in advance. Ask your hotel concierge the standard local rates to your destination. Accommodation Kuwait doesn’t do budget hotels, so be prepared to splash out. We like the Movenpick Al Bida’a, which has its own private beach. The Sheraton Hotel & Towers is closer to the action in the centre of the city. Currency Kuwait’s official currency is the Kuwaiti Dinar (KD). 1KD is equal to US$3.46 making it the strongest currency in the world. Visas The citizens of most western countries can get a visa on arrival at Kuwait’s airport and land borders. This tourist visa lasts three months and costs US $20. Other nationalities need advance visas and an invitation from a sponsor in Kuwait. Your local Kuwaiti embassy or consulate can provide more details.

Deep sea treats: Fish Market

THE HOT LIST the ten best BRUNCHES, Bars, RESTAURANTS and spas this month

Key * –




p106 p108 p110 p112

New entry

Brunches Bars Restaurants Spas MAY 2010 WHAT’S ON 105








Al Fanar


1 Elements –

2 LeVendome Brasserie –

3 Chamas –

4 Sofra –

5 Al Fanar 

Becoming more popular by the week, it’s bustling, fun and friendly.

An elegant, classy atmosphere with an upmarket and wellbehaved crowd.

It’s lively as an army of waiters flit from around the restaurant carving up chunks of meat onto punters’ plates.

Very chilled, to the point of being comatose. Head here to unwind after a week in the office.

Loud, boisterous and it’s always busy. It’s always full so make sure you book ahead.

All the international cuisine bases are covered – including Arabic, Japanese, roast meats and Indian. And the dessert section is truly amazing.

Truly superb food, such as chilled lobster tails, oysters and royal strawberry cheesecake. All of it is first-rate.

Meat, meat, meat and more meat. Mountains of Brazilianstyle barbecued lamb, beef and chicken.

International. The Moroccan tagines are sublime and make sure you order something from the live cooking station.

The emphasis is on seafood. Don’t miss the oysters and lobster tails.

The restaurant’s a few strides from the classy Chameleon bar, where you should head to for a cheeky post-brunch cocktail.

Marble coated walls, chandeliers and fine linen tablecloths. Plus the terrace has stunning views of the Emirates Palace’s gardens.

You’re no distance from two great bars, the Yacht Club and Belgian Café, and after all that meat you’ll need a calming drink.

Bag yourself a table on the terrace and you’ll have some ace views of the Grand Mosque.

You’re 31 stories up, so best to avoid if you don’t have a head for heights. But it’s just an elevator ride from Sax nightclub and Oceans bar.

A lively brunch to mark a special occasion.

Taking visiting friends to impress them with Middle Eastern luxury.

A relaxed family gathering or a fun, but not rowdy, afternoon with a group of mates.

The spacious restaurant has room for party people and families to mix.

Revellers and party people.

Dhs399 with alcohol, Dhs222 without. Expensive, but it does include Moet et Chandon.

Dhs565 including bubbly, wines and beers or Dhs340 without alcohol. But quality costs.

Dhs165 with one cocktail is good value, but if you want to down drinks you could notch up a hefty tab.

Dhs220 for unlimited wine and soft drinks. About average for Abu Dhabi’s brunching scene.

Dhs220 with wine. It’s in the middle of Abu Dhabi’s brunch price graph.

Its ever-rising popularity and the fact that Moet et Chandon champers is part of the deal means Elements tops the list this month.

A truly amazing brunch, complete with a party vibe. And we can’t resist a good party.

There’s no better brunch for meat lovers. And on Friday, they add seafood to the menu.

A hugely reliable brunching option. We’re regulars and haven’t been let down yet.

Great views and good food. But be prepared to party hard.

Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Between The Bridges, Abu Dha bi 11.30am to 3pm Tel: (02) 6543000

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

InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen 1pm to 3pm Tel: (02) 6666888

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

Le Royal Méridien, Khalifah Street, Abu Dhabi 12.30pm to 3pm Tel: (02) 6742020

106 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010

HOT ON EELSdens, THEBrH unch at Gar


11 Gardens a Abu Dhabi Crowne Plaz unch at Flavours, Br e in Sh 12 Rise And u Dhabi Sheraton Ab ian Café, InterConlg Be at ch Brun 13 Belgian u Dhabi , tinental Ab at Jing Asia ch un Br al 14 Orient Yas Island a az Pl ne Crow symetri, Brunch at As 15 Skewered Blu Yas Island on ss Radi

Yacht Club


7 One To One 

8 Bubbles & Tapas –

9 Rosebuds 

10 ShujaYacht Brunch –

The Yacht Club has a laid-back holiday feel, like being on a beachside bar in the Med.

This brunch is usually super busy. But it’s spread over three restaurants so you won’t bump into people.

A small, cosy restaurant that’s generally packed to capacity for Friday brunch with cheery friendly people.

The Cuban band from nearby Trader Vic’s come on over for some fun. But it’s not too boisterous.

A relaxed boat cruise around Abu Dhabi’s harbour. It’s as laid-back as laid-back can be.

Its a la carte options are from the Pan-Pacific menu, so it’s hardly a mountain of food. But there’s some top sushi and noodles for you to try.

A trio of cuisines – Oriental from Wokcano, steaks from 180z and international from Resto – mean a variety of tastes are catered for.

The tapas comes in small portions, but the stream of dishes will soon fill you up.

A vast selection of cuisines, from pasta to steak to seafood to omelette. We could go on.

All the food ticks the right boxes, but especially the seafood and salads.

Lounge back on one of the sofas on the terrace and watch the shiny yachts bobbing in the marina.

One To One’s home to The Village, a huge outdoor drinking area’s that’s perfect for a post-brunch tipple.

Al Raha Beach Hotel’s a fair drive from the city, but the Black Pearl pub is a nice spot to carry on the brunch party.

Just yards from German-themed Brauhaus and Polynesian-themed Trader Vic’s, two of the capital’s best bars.

The huge yacht sets sail from Marina Mall and then peacefully floats around the bay.

A lazy afternoon with your pals, sipping cocktails and eating Oriental cuisine.

Groups of friends who want a party brunch without breaking the bank.

People who live off the main Abu Dhabi island, where there’s a lack of hotels and restaurants.

Keeping the children entertained. There’s a face painter and a clown to keep them amused

Taking visiting friends and families.

Dhs165 for the normal brunch menu with free-flowing cocktails, or Dhs295 with caviar thrown in.

Dhs200 with alcohol and Dhs140 without. Pleasantly affordable.

At Dhs350 it’s one of the more expensive, but with free-flowing sparkling wine and sangria you won’t feel short-changed.

Dhs174, which includes one glass of wine or beer.

Dhs185 includes a two-hour cruise, wine and food. Good value in our books.

We love Yacht Club and we love this brunch.

Make sure you book early. One To One is generally sold out days in advance.

The only brunch in the capital where Spanish tapas is served.

Just because you have children doesn’t mean brunches should be out of bounds. Rosebuds is totally family friendly.

A brunch and a boat cruise combined in one. So if your family’s visiting, that’s two items ticked off your must-do list.

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

One To One Hotel, Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi noon to 3pm Tel: (02) 4952000

Beach Rotana Hotel, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi 12.30pm to 4pm Tel: (02) 6979000

Organised by Le Royal Méridien, departs from Marina Mall Fri and Sat, 1pm to 3pm. Tel: (02) 6742020

6Yacht Club 

Al Raha Beach Hotel, Abu Dhabi 12.30pm to 4pm Tel: (02) 6742020



HOT ON EELSnd THr,ERoH tana Yas Isla


11 Y Ba éridien Le Royal M bi 12 Oceans, on Abu Dha ilt H r, Ba zz a 13 Ja Crowne Plaz s, oe er H 14 Abu Dhabi One llage, One To Vi e Th 15 Hotel

The finest for beverages and bites






Pearls & Caviar

1Yacht Club –

2 Pearls & Caviar –

3 Left Bank –

4 Belgian Café 

5 Sho Cho 

Lively and friendly.

Pearls & Caviar is generally empty before midnight but then becomes a hive of activity towards the end of the night.

With its laid-back funk and hip hop soundtrack, Left Bank has a chilled vibe.

Busy, with the aromas of hops and garlic in the air and a queue at the bar.

Sophisticated with a touch of Tokyo cool.

The outdoor terrace overlooks the hotel’s private marina. It’s the capital’s coolest drinking location.

Just a golf buggy ride from the Souk Qaryat Al Beri, which is rammed full of great bars and restaurants.

When you’re at the Souk Qaryat Al Beri you’re in the middle of the city’s best entertainment hub.

It’s in a prime location with Chamas and Yacht Club just a few yards away.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the Souk Qaryat Al Beri’s the best entertainment complex in the city.

Proving to visitors that Abu Dhabi does have some cool nightspots.

People looking for a great bar that’s out of the traffic-ridden downtown Abu Dhabi.

There’s a party inside, while outside, on the terrace, it’s very relaxed.

A few after-work drinks that could easily turn into a meal and a night out.

There’s no finer place to enjoy some sushi and a cocktail.

Don’t expect a cheap night out at Yacht Club, but it’s money well spent.

A round of drinks will cost you a tidy sum.

Not too expensive for Abu Dhabi.

Expensive, but worth it for the unusual Belgian beers on offer.

The drinks aren’t cheap, but they’re balanced out by the reasonably priced food.

It’s heating up out there, so enjoy the terrace while you can.

The best out-of-town bar in the capital.

As far as bar food goes, Left Bank has the best menu in town. It’s all delicious and affordable.

Seafood fans should order one of the huge bowls of mussels in authentic Belgian sauces. Our favourite is the white wine and cream.

Want a quality Oriental meal without the hassle of eating in a formal restaurant? Sho Cho’s your man.

InterContinental, Al Bateen 12.30pm to 3pm and 7pm to 1am, Thurs and Fri, 7pm to 2.30am Tel: (04) 4368888

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi 7.30pm to 1.30pm Tel: (02) 5098888

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

InterContinental Al Bateen 6.30pm to 12.30pm Tel: (02) 6666888

Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi 6pm to 1am Tel: (02) 5581117



Left Bank

Trader Vic’s

6 TraderVic’s –

7 Relax@12 

8 Chameleon 

9 Stills 

10 Rush Bar 

Cheery people enjoying large cocktails to the Samba beats of a Cuban band.

As word gets out, Relax@12 is getting busier by the day.

It’s chic, small and intimate, with low-level lighting and cosy alcoves.

A city pub feel, with a massive bar and black leather sofas. It’s not empty, but you’re not going to face extended queues at the lengthy bar.

Minimalist design, low-level lighting and great views over the Yas Marina Circuit track.

The Beach Rotana’s home to numerous superb bars and restaurants, such as Brauhaus and Prego’s.

On top of the massive Aloft Hotel, the modern, sleek alfresco bar has commanding views over the whole island.

At the heart of the Between The Bridges area, home to the city’s best bars and restaurants.

The Crowne Plaza Yas Island is surrounded by other hotels, giving you plenty of other choices for drinks.

The Yas Hotel’s some distance from the city centre, but the new highway to Yas Island makes for a pleasant, fast drive.

Fans of refreshing, fruity cocktails.

A first date. The bar has the best views of the capital bar none.

If you like champagne head here. Chameleon has the widest selection in the city – 15 in total.

A pint and a pie.

Groups of friends looking for a change of venue.

The food is cooked in a woodsmoked oven and is cheap and delicious. The cocktails, however, will set you back some.

Reasonably cheap and cheerful.

Beers are cheap, champagnes and cocktails aren’t.

The food and drink is very reasonably priced.

Relatively cheap for a designer bar.

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

With such a great location and a growing reputation, we can only see Relax@12 climbing the chart.

We love the Chameleon Club cocktail. The zesty, lemony drink is up there with the best we’ve ever sipped.

If you like beer, you can’t fail to be impressed by the whopping 14 draught beers on tap at Stills. And the steak pies are the best in the city.

During week nights, it can be all but empty. But come weekends, the place comes alive and is packed with party people.

Beach Rotana Hotel, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi 12.30pm to 3.30pm and 7pm to 11.30pm Tel: (02) 6979000

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

Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi 6pm to 3am Tel: (02) 6543333

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

The Yas Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi 6pm to 3am Tel: (02) 6560700



THE HOT LIST RESTAURANTS The elite of the eating out scene







MPW Steakhouse & Grill



5Toki –

1 MPW Steak- 2 Bord Eau – house & Grill –

3 Chamas –

4 Ushna

Marco Pierre White’s restaurant is always full of life – it’s rare to find an empty table any night of the week.

Typical French elegance, with smartly dressed diners tucking into haute cuisine.

It’s absolutely packed with satisifed meat lovers.

Cool and sophisticated, but definitely Indian.

Our favourite Japanese restaurant in the capital is always busy and buzzing.

Sophisticated and intimate, with leather armchairs, dim lighting and dark-stained walls.

Think Parisian boutique restaurant, complete with chandeliers, oil paintings and linen tablecloths.

Modern and spacious, with the smell of meat sizzling over charcoal.

Sleek, colourful and modern, with comfortable furniture and warm lighting.

The culinary machine is powered by the open sushi bar in the corner. It’s modern and stylish, but definitely Japanese.

The menu’s packed with unpretentious dishes that are screaming out to be eaten. From fish and chips and steaks to the bread and butter pudding, it’s the best of British cooking.

Chef Jean Hurstel’s menu is full of faultless French cuisine. We’re particularly partial to the truffled mashed potatoes.

You’re handed a card. Turn to the green side to keep the beef, lamb and chicken coming, turn to red when you’re ready to burst.

The best Indian food in Abu Dhabi and, given the amount of Indian restaurants in the emirate, that is saying something.

A huge selection of amazing sushi dishes. But make sure you order the sublime shrimp tempura popcorn.

Between the Bridges area is rammed full of great bars and superb restaurants.

The Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri has an excellent selection of bars and restaurants, plus some superb views of the Grand Mosque.

They’ve just opened a new terrace at Chamas, meaning you can now enjoy the meat feast alfresco until summer kicks in.

You’ll be spoilt for choice for stylish and sophisticated bars and restaurants at the Souk Qaryat Al Beri.

The Hilton Abu Dhabi is a bit dated, but parking is easy and Jazz Bar and Hemmingway’s are good spots for a post-meal drink.

A three-course meal for two will probably run into four figures, but it’s worth it.

Dhs600 for two. Reasonable for such amazing food.

Dhs600 for two people to eat a truckload of meat is a real bargain.

Dhs500 for two people is worth every fil in our book.

You’ll pay about Dhs200 per person, sans lubrication. Still good value for money.

Marco Pierre White still holds off the opposition as the best restaurant in the capital. A deserved number one and long may it reign.

The best French brasserie in Abu Dhabi.

Do you like meat? So do we, and so does Chamas. But it also has a great salad bar if vegetarians insist on coming along.

Ushna is the most innovative Indian restaurant in town. Make sure you try the brilliant murgh mankini tandoori chicken dish.

For overall experience, we think Toki’s modern vibe puts it ahead of Wasabi, its main rival in the Japanese restaurant stakes.

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

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Between the Bridges, Abu Dhabi 6.30pm to 11.30pm Tel: (02) 5098888

InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen 7pm to midnight Tel: (02) 6666888

Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Between the Bridges, Abu Dhabi 12.30pm to 11.45pm Tel: (02) 5581769

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


HOT ON LS THE HacEh E Rotana


11 Finz, Be na, 12 Mezzalu lace Emirates Pa Shangri-La 13 Hoi An, ri Qaryat Al Be otel , Yas H 14 Nautilus h Rotana Beac 15 Prego’s,

Mombasa Grill

6 Mombasa Grill  7 Fishmarket 

8 Etoiles –

9 Sardinia 

10 Indigo 

Not too busy, not too quiet.

The open kitchen brings the restaurant to life, creating a bustling atmosphere in the cosy diner.

Don’t bother getting here after 10.30pm if you’re after an intimate meal, as that’s when the nightclub vibe kicks in.

It’s a temple of high gastronomy and its worshippers are Abu Dhabi’s wealthy elite.

Always full with a cosy environment in which to savour the fine food on offer.

Decorated with spears, masks and all things Lion King, Mombasa Grill does a great job in creating an African atmosphere.

The bamboo shack has a rustic feel, with fish tanks lining the walls and a huge ice display of fishes.

Like everywhere in the Emirates Palace, it’s the height of luxury, decked with marble walls and chandeliers.

A grandiose interior with Baroque vases and ornaments lining the walls.

Warm lighting, chic furniture and a huge water feature. A fine mix of modern and traditional.

The menu’s influenced by African, Arabian and Indian dishes, so expect a blend of meaty meals from these regions.

Fill the shopping basket with shrimps, lobsters and fish and let the chefs turn it into a mouthwatering Thai-themed feast.

Generous portions of top-quality European cuisine.

Think the molecular gastronomy of Heston Blumenthal or Ferran Adria, with a touch less scientific craziness.

Indian super-chefs, the Qureshi brothers, drew up the menu and their expertise in blending spices is reflected in the fine curries.

You can’t go wrong with the Souk Qaryat Al Beri. It’s packed with great shops, bars and restaurants.

Sit on the terrace overlooking the InterCon’s private beach and listen to the waves lapping the shore. It’s a perfect place for a romantic rendezvous.

There are few places in the world that are more luxurious than the Emirates Palace.

At the Abu Dhabi Country Club sports centre on 19th street. Can be a bit tricky to find if you don’t know where you’re going.

Don’t let the roadworks in the area put you off visiting the Beach Rotana. It’s packed with quality bars and restaurants.

Very reasonable at Dhs450 for a cracking three-course meal for two.

Dhs700 for two is a good average, but fill your shopping basket too much and your bill will hit the grand mark.

One word you can’t level at Etoiles is ‘overpriced’. A mere Dhs500 will get two people a hearty threecourse meal.

If you don’t spend Dhs1,000 you’re not doing it right. Sardinia’s a once every two months kind of place.

The Dhs500 is a lot more than your average backstreet curry, but you pay extra for the quality of the food.

From pasta to curries, there’s something on the menu for everyone. Our advice is to go for the ostrich steak. It’s amazing.

Fishmarket is still our favourite seafood restaurant in the capital.

Order the Angus beefsteak with seared fois gras. One of the best meals we’ve ever eaten in the capital.

The only restaurant in the capital that uses molecular gastronomy in its kitchens. Sardinia is an experience you won’t forget.

A table for two at 8pm, please!

Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi 7pm to midnight Tel: (02) 5581868

InterContinental, Al Bateen 12.30pm to 3pm and 7pm to 11pm Tel: (02) 6666888

Abu Dhabi Country Club, 19th Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi noon to 3pm and 7pm to 11.30pm Street noon to 3pm and 7pm to 11pm Tel: (02) 6907999 Tel: (02) 4465455

Beach Rotana Hotel, Abu Dhabi 12.30pm to 3pm and 8.30pm to 11.30pm Tel: (02) 6979000



HOT ON EELS& Spa, THEulH Health Club


So 11 Body & ach Hotel Al Raha Be s, lth & Fitnes ea H ub 12 Le Cl Abu Dhabi el ot H um Millenni s, Al Bateen Spa & Fitnes habi 13 Oriental Abu D a, Sp ey sl 14 Si Ladies Club ne To ge Club, O 15 The Villa otel One H

The daddies of the health and leisure scene

2 Eden Spa 

3 Zen Spa 

4 Chi Spa 

5 The Lounge –


It’s the world’s most expensive hotel, hence the staff are the best in town. They’re geniuses at kneading your knotted muscles back into shape.

All the therapists are well trained but ask for Fe. She’s worked here for 15 years and is a veteran in dealing with knotted muscles.

They’re obsessed with your comfort. They’ll ask your opinion of the temperature of the room and the music being played.

There are male and female therapists from Nepal. They’re a quiet bunch who don’t let idle chitchat distract them.

A crack team of 20 hairdressers, masseurs and hammam steam room workers. They’re all friendly and polite.

A huge range of massages and facials. And with names like diamond ritual and gold facial, they’re as decadent as you can get.

With a spa, hamman and hair salon, it’s extensive to say the least.

Each month an innovative new treatment is added to the menu. This month, an olive scrub with aromatherapy – where you’re scrubbed with olive pitts – is the latest addition.

Tons of choices for men and women. The caviar facial rejuvenated our tired skin no end.

We recommend the Moroccan hammam steam massage. It’s rigorous and effective.

A luxurious two-floored marble-coated wing of the Emirates Palace. Inside it’s covered in mosaics and gold leaf.

It’s bright and airy, with plenty of natural light streaming in.

Modern, clean and spacious with separate lounging areas for guys and girls.

There are ten treatment rooms, all decorated with dark wood walls, giving a Tibetan Buddhist temple vibe.

A large villa, ideally located close to the city centre and with ample parking.

Luxury of this level doesn’t come cheap and many of the treatments will set you back more than a grand.

The Spa Prestige Moisturising Facial will set you back Dhs660. About mid-range for the capital.

Reasonable for a spa in a fivestar hotel. The aromatherapy massage costs Dhs348 for an hour.

The Chi Spa isn’t cheap, but worth the extra expenditure in our books.

A full body massage will only cost you a meagre Dhs240. Great value for money in our books.

Try the caviar facial. It will leave you feeling years younger.

We had the Ultimate Pampering Experience at the spa this month, and it was one of the best treatments we’d ever had.

Give yourself some time after your massage to chill out in the great relaxation room. Lie back on a lounge and sip some ginger tea.

Order the signature Chi Balance treatment, which is based on ancient Chinese healing techniques.

The best all male-only spa in the capital, bar none.

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

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

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

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



The Spa

1 Anantara Spa –


Zen Spa


Khaleej Al Arabi Street 11am to 10pm Tel: (02) 6677377



6 Hiltonia Health Club & Spa 

7 The Spa 

8 Sharinas Wellness Spa –

9 ZenZu –

10 Man/Age –

The female therapists hail from afar a field as South Africa and Thailand. They’re all quiet and charming.

They’re cheery and welcoming and try their best to make the spa experience as enjoyable as possible.

Unobtrusive and knowledgeable.

Silence is golden at ZenZu. The therapists aren’t the chatty type, making for the perfect relaxing massage.

The male staff at Man/Age are always friendly and welcoming.

A wide-ranging menu, including waxing, manicures and luxurious packages.

Lots of choices for men and women. And all the treatments use the exclusive Aromatherapy range of products.

They’re all about making you ladies look better. Waxings, blow-dries and luxurious all-day packages are on the menu.

A small, but well-selected menu that includes Thai, Swedish and Chinese massages.

A slew of treatments to make men look better, including waxing, laser hair removal, manicures and haircuts.

Small and intimate and ideally located at the traffic-free far end of the Corniche.

Minimalist décor and dim lighting make for a functional vibe.

It’s based in a huge villa in Khalifa A. It’s a fair distance from the city centre, but worth the extra taxi fare.

There are some major roadworks around the Al Diar Regency Hotel, so best to get a taxi here.

Conveniently located at Marina Mall, so you can get some shopping done afterwards.

Surprisingly affordable. The Tropical Bliss massage costs Dhs695 and is great value as two masseurs work you over.

We’d say it was cheaper than average. We paid Dhs450 for a 90-minute purifying facial and back massage.

Expect to pay slightly less than the equivalent in a hotel spa.

If you’re after a quality massage, but only have a limited budget, ZenZu’s the place for you. Dhs80 for a 30minute massage is dirt cheap.

Pretty cheap, plus if you’re a regular customer you score some great discounts.

A nice, friendly spa that ticks all the right boxes. Head here for a quick lunchtime rubdown.

Leave some time for a Jacuzzi, sauna or steam room after your spa treatment.

We’re confident that this is the best ladies-only spa in the capital. Get the girls together for a fun day of pampering.

Book a massage before 2pm on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday and you get an extra 15 minutes free. Worth getting up early for.

Reasonable prices and cheery service make Man/Age a mustvisit spot for stressed out guys.

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

Radisson Blu Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi 9am to 9pm Tel: (02) 6562000

Corner of 35th and 62nd Street, Khalifa A, Abu Dhabi 9am to 9pm Tel: (02) 5562601

Al Diar Regency Hotel, Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi 10am to midnight Tel: (02) 6714411

First Floor, Marina Mall, Breakwater Abu Dhabi 10am to 10pm Tel: (02) 6818837


Back chat with Catboy

I have been looking forward to writing this column. I’ve been given carte blanche to wax lyrical about any old twaddle I like, as long as it fits roughly within the parameters of what is being covered this month in What’s On. My mind raced... Will I be backstage with ageing rockers? Will I be indoor-skydiving at Dubai’s newest mall? Maybe even reporting from overseas about South Africa’s preparation for the up-and-coming World Cup. No such luck. They have me in for the health issue. I was 76kg when I arrived in Dubai back in August 2005. I was barely excess baggage. Leathery-faced, bleary-eyed, balding men in combat shorts, propping up some bar in Bur Dubai would corral me and warn me of the ‘Dubai Stone’ – a mythical unit of weight that every expat mysteriously adds within their first year in the Emirates. I laughed it off. I was athletic, I was motivated and I was excited to be in a place with so many possibilities... Beaches where I could jog barefoot without fear of getting spiked by a rogue syringe, seas that I could

I’ve even tried more extreme methods of shape-shifting, such as Laser Lipo, where I was made to undress down to my Calvin Kleins every couple of days whilst two ladies covered me in jelly, placed red-hot, metal plates on me and fired what felt like thousands of electric shocks right into my wobbling gut and lovehandles for the best part of 90 minutes. I’d then have to be photographed from all angles to see if there was any change. Uncomfortable swim in without developing hypothermia doesn’t even begin to describe it. or botulism, sports clubs full of young, And here’s the kicker. After months vibrant, beautiful people all wanting to play Ultimate Frisbee and hang out for smoothies of dieting and running and laxatives and electrocution, I asked to see the afterwards. This was my kind of town. I was before-and-after photos. The two jellygoing to thrive here. I was going to hit my ladies exchanged a guilty glance before mid-30s looking like Michelangelo’s David explaining to me that due to a problem and feeling like legendary UK sportsman with their computer, the photos had been Daley Thompson without the ‘tache. lost and were, sadly, irretrievable. Fast-forward four and a half years and Now, I can imagine your disappointment I’m tipping the scales at 99.9kg. I know that that one of these photos is not because every time I hit triple figures the accompanying this column, so let me depression kicks in and I crash-diet. I’ve tried them all. Atkins (my brain can’t accept paint a picture for you. Think heavily pregnant Demi Moore’s Vanity Fair that amount of fry-ups isn’t doing me any covershot, circa 1991, with the face of harm – FAIL), soup and laxatives (I can Gerard Depardieu and the body hair of never be more than 30 seconds from the a newborn chimpanzee. smallest room in the house – FAIL), Body And on that note, I’m off to stare through For Life (bored for life, more like – FAIL). the window of Fitness First while eating a I’ve deleted takeaway numbers from my sausage and egg McMuffin meal. iPhone, only to have my favourite Indian delivery service in Mirdif (Open House – try Catboy presents The Catboy & Geordiebird the Banjara Kebab – it’s to die for) call me to see if I was OK, which was very touching, Breakfast Show, weekdays on Dubai 92. but also extremely disturbing.

In next month’s What’s On: Your guide to the seven emirates, plus a World Cup special 114 WHAT’S ON MAY 2010


Al-Futtaim Motors is the exclusive distributor for Toyota in the United Arab Emirates Dubai: Dubai Festival City (04) 206 6666 Deira (04) 295 4231 Sheikh Zayed Road (04) 310 6666 Abu Dhabi: Airport Road (02) 419 9999 Mussafah (02) 659 3666 Al Ain (03) 721 0888 Sharjah (06) 503 0555 Fujairah (09) 222 4157 RAK (07) 235 1542 Ajman (06) 711 3333 UAQ (06) 766 5087 Khorfakkan (09) 238 6033

What's On | May 2010 | Abu Dhabi Edition  

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