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DHS 10 JUNE 2010 ISSUE 386


UAE DHS 10 OMAN RO 1.000



WELCOME TO AMERICA’S NUMBER 1 CHINA BISTRO P.F. Chang’s, the empire of Chinese cuisine, is now open in Dubai, offering an authentic American experience with a blend of outstanding Chinese cuisine, warm hospitality and an inviting environment. We bring you that delectable experience to take you on a wonderful MRXUQH\RIÀQHWDVWHDQG contemporary ambience.


Contents Features 19 The best roadtrips In the UAE Your guide to the greatest destinations in each of the seven emirates

40 Where to watch Football fever hits the UAE with our top picks of where to support your team in the World Cup

31 50 boredom beaters Stay sane this summer with 50 great things to do, from comedy to charity

51 Shall we dance? The Irish dance spectacular, Lord Of The Dance, hits the UAE capital


p40 JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 11

The round-up 16 Salaam Essential reading for the month of June, plus a cheeky chat with one of The Wiggles 44 Win, win, win To celebrate our 31st birthday there are a mammoth 31 competitions waiting to be won 54 Films We rate or slate this month’s films including Toy Story 3, The A-Team, Shrek Forever After and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse 57 Eating out Dinner at the Armani hotel, afternoon teas put to the test, the best seafood in the UAE and we introduce a brand new food critic 75 Arts A new project from The Third Line gallery, plus June’s must-see exhibitions 83 Shopping Interiors to transform your home and our pick of the most exciting new stores

99 Music Is Chesney Hawkes still the one and only? We find out 102 Club diary All that’s happening in Clubland this month, plus one-on-one chat with Steve Lawler 105 Travel Take a long-haul flight to explore beautiful New Zealand 113 Hot list Who’s top dog this month in spas, bars, brunches and restaurants? 122 Backchat Catboy shares a football supporter’s world of woe


89 Mind & body We visit the spa at Atlantis, try Bikram yoga and have our feet nibbled by fish 96 Sport & outdoor Our own Mr Motivator answers your fitness questions 12 WHAT’S ON JUNE 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, Louise Browne, Vikram Gawde, James Houghton, Catherine Jarvie, Richard Luck, Joseph Maher, Farooq Salik, Simon Smedley General Manager Production and Circulation S Sasidharan | Production Manager Sudhakar Chandran |

Learning to cook, p21

Taking a trip to the zoo, p24

Hunting crustaceans, p27


General Manager – Group Sales Anthony Milne | Senior Advertisement Manager Dale Isaac | Advertisement Manager Varsha Bhatia | General Manager, Abu Dhabi Joe Marrit | Advertisement Manager, Abu Dhabi Darryl Wiley |

Annual Subscription GCC Dhs120 other countries US$70 (including Airmail charges)

Head Office: PO Box 2331, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 282 4060, Fax: +971 4 282 4436, E-mail: Dubai Media City: Office 508, 5th Floor, Building 8, Dubai, UAE, Tel: +971 4 390 3550, Fax: +971 4 390 4845 Abu Dhabi: PO Box 43072, UAE, Tel: +971 2 677 2005, Fax: +971 2 677 0124, E-mail: London: Acre House, 11/15 William Road, London NW1 3ER, UK, E-mail: 34,432 copies June 2009

Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai

14 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

JAMES BRENNAN We’d like to extend a warm, What’s On welcome to big Jim, who this month joins us as our latest expert columnist. The talented wordsmith earns his crust writing about food for a host of international magazines. He’s also, more impressively, the Middle East judge for the Pellegrino World’s 50 Best restaurants. So we’re eagerly anticipating his opinions on the state of the UAE’s food industry, p67

CATHERINE JARVIE Having written on art for the likes of The Guardian, The Times and The Observer, Catherine’s a lady who knows her cubism from her surrealism. When she’s not churning out quality prose, you’ll find her in her local gallery eyeing up paintings and studying sculptures. Don’t miss her take on the UAE’s art scene, p75

CATBOY During his illustrious media career, Catboy has chauffeured around arguably football’s greatest player, Pelé, for three days, held the World Cup trophy in his hands, and filled the 1978 Panini World Cup sticker album before the tournament ended. No wonder he can’t wait for the World Cup. Backchat with Catboy on the beautiful game, p122


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


June in not much room

What’s hot UAE film Director Ashraf Ghori is taking UAE film to the world. The UAE’s first 3D animated short, Levity – Xero Error Minus 1, showed at Cannes last month, having already proved a success in the Gulf Film Festival. Justin Timberlake Yes, ladies, the one they call the trouser snake is heading to the desert this month. Unfortunately, he’s only in town for the launch of Givenchy’s new fragrance. Still, he has to venture outside at some point... Gold It sounds like something James Bond villain Goldfinger would own, but the new ATM at Emirates Palace is definitely real. Instead of cash, the machine dispenses gold nuggets, bars and coins. Only in the UAE.

What’s not


The Picturehouse We love Reel Cinemas’ alternative movies home, The Picturehouse. But we also love popcorn – it’s a vital part of our movie-going experience. So why is it all food and drink banned at The Picturehouse? Join our Twitter crusade to stop this madness. Gary Rhodes Twenty10 Chef Gary’s second UAE restaurant was supposed to open at Le Royal Méridien this month, but the opening has been pushed back to July. We do not like being made to wait for our dinner. Sex And The City 2 The latest adventures of the fab four may be partially set in Abu Dhabi, but due to its risqué content, it looks like it won’t be shown at the UAE’s cinemas. 16 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

June in numbers Sum might say


Tap dance taps per second for the Guinness World Record held by Lord Of The Dance creator Michael Flatley. His Irish dance spectacular hits Abu Dhabi in June, p51


Kilometres we travelled in total on our road trips to each of the seven Emirates, p19



Total goals scored at the France 1998 World Cup, a tournament record. We show you the best venues in the UAE to watch this month’s event, p40

Years ago this very month, What’s On, the UAE’s oldest and best magazine, was founded. And to celebrate, we have 31 cool prizes to give away, p44


The total number of sheep in New Zealand, outnumbering the human population 11 to one. We met some people, and sheep, on our visit to the country, p105

This month we’re going to… URBAN CONTEMPORARY ART How would you like a Warhol on your wall? No, not a fan of Andy’s work? How about the graffiti art of elusive Brit Banksy? Gold-toothed Goldie? Gorillaz’ Jamie Reid? London lad D’Face? Well, you had better join us at 1X1 Art Gallery this month where work by all will on display and up for sale. Jun 7 to 12, 1X1 Art Gallery, Villa 5, 1023 Al Wasl Road, Al Manara, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3483873.

COOL SUMMER NIGHTS There are few things we love more than waterslides, but throw in live cooking stations, entertainment, smaller queues plus zero danger of burning our feet and we’re sold. Aquaventure’s Thursday night offering is great for a few drinks before hitting the lazy river and enjoying the fireworks. Aquaventure, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, Thurs 7pm to midnight. Dhs150, Dhs120 for children under 1.1 metres. Tel: (04) 4260000. www.

Five Questions… The Wiggles Guess list The Wiggles have WIN! made 40-plus TICKETS THE WIGGLES This is like Dylan playing Deira for anyone under ten. And we have four records, November sets of four tickets to give away, worth a total of Dhs3,040. Simply log onto 1 is Wiggles Day and answer this simple question. What colour is Murray in New York City Cook’s outfit? a) Pink and the band has b) Silver c) Red a host of celebrity fans. Playing the UAE this month, we caught up with Red Wiggle Murray Cook Ready to rock the UAE? Well, the show is fairly eclectic, lots of songs and high energy. We encourage the children to be involved by doing the actions from songs or dancing. If you’re in a rock band you’re pretty tied to one genre, but one of the things we can do is play a lot of different kinds of music. You tour with a dinosaur, right? We have Dorothy the Dinosaur, Henry the Octopus, Captain Feathersword and Wags the Dog. And we have dancers too, so there are quite a few of us on stage. They say not to work with children and animals but it’s fine. They are very well behaved. What about the rest of you? Any big Wiggles bust-ups? There are always moments where you disagree on things. But one of the good things is the underlying philosophy that we all agree on, being child centred. We can usually refer back to that, which cuts down on a lot of the creative tension. No? Come on, give us the rock’n’roll dirt. When we’re touring in the states we’re on a proper rock‘n’roll tour bus, but we’re

HAKKASAN With a Michelin star to its name and a host of A-listers regularly dining there, London’s Hakkasan is definitely a celebrity restaurant. And this month a branch of the cool Chinese is opening at the Emirates Palace. And with dishes such as Peking duck with caviar and silver cod with champagne sauce, at last Abu Dhabi has somewhere to rival Dubai’s Nobu and Zuma restaurants. Hakkasan, Emirates Palace, West Corniche, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6909000.

older guys so we’re not hell raisers. We used to do a part of the show with Captain Feathersword where he’d sing our song Quack, Quack in the style of different performers. James Hetfield from Metallica was at one of the shows so we did the song in the style of Enter Sandman. James stood up and gave us the devil horns salute and shouted ‘yeah’. Pretty rock‘n’roll, no? Not bad. You’re bigger than Metallica, well, with the nippers, anyway. How do you handle the fame? Yeah, you do have people stopping you in the street. Mostly, it’s just parents saying they like what we do and their kids love us. It’s not really a problem. Jun 11 and 12, The Palladium, Dubai, Fri 11am and 2pm, Sat 11am, Dhs140 to Dhs250. www.

30”X30” An ambitious project at the ever interesting Ghaf Gallery this month. Featuring the work of around 20 national and international artists, 30”x30” was conceived as an “open call” to artists keen to serve up their art to Abu Dhabians in the same square (the 30x30 of the title) format. Intriguing. June 9 to 24. Ghaf Gallery, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 665 5332.

No less than three famous people who might be heading for our sandy shores


ZANE LOWE BBC Radio 1’s Mr Music is fast becoming a John Peel for our Tweeteration, and it seems he’s building quite an attachment to our fair desert land. After popping over to do his thing behind the decks at Chi’s Sound Of Live gig in April, Zane is rumoured to have signed a deal for thrice yearly UAE appearances. We must have impressed him with our ability to appreciate quality tunes and ceaseless party spirit. Or a big pot of dirhams.


JAMIE OLIVER It seems the Naked Chef is finally coming to the UAE. Yep, Jamie Oliver is recruiting chefs and managerial staff for a branch of Jamie’s Italian due to open in Dubai later this year. He’s sure to be in town for the launch, isn’t he? Pukka.


PAUL MCCARTNEY Macca is, arguably, the greatest living musical figure on the planet. Just try to ignore Band On The Run. And a deal seems to be in the pipeline to bring the erstwhile Beatle over to Abu Dhabi for one of those giant concerts only the capital can pull off. The who’s your favourite Beatle arguments have already started at What’s On towers. JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 17

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Happiness is an open road. Beg, borrow or steal a hot motor, stock up on snacks, line up the tunes and start exploring, with our pick of the finest routes the Emirates have to offer

JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 19


RAS AL KHAIMAH AKA THE GIRLIE DAY OUT THE TRIP: THE RAINFOREST SPA AT BANYAN TREE AL WADI THE ITINERARY 11.30AM – Leave Dubai 12.30PM – Arrive at Banyan Tree Al Wadi. Lunch at Al Waha 1.30PM – Head to the spa 2PM – Experience The Rainforest 4PM – Relax and get changed 4.30PM – Set off 5.30PM – Arrive in Dubai THE JOURNEY Simple. Head north on Emirates Road (E311), watch out for the speed cameras and come off at exit 119. Turn right at the roundabout and drive 4km until you see the Banyan Tree sign. Turn right and drive a further 3km, past goats and camels, where you’ll see low-lying Arabian-style buildings behind a grand gate. THE CAR The Audi A5 Sportback is a chic beast that will roar up Emirates Road. Program your destination into the sat-nav, flick on cruise control and watch the landscape whiz by. We were particularly enamoured with the rear-view camera for reversing, its beefy bodywork and an engine that made hitting 120km/h alarmingly easy. The A5 is a head turner and you’ll be proud to valet it – surely the ultimate UAE stamp of approval? Put the windows down and system up. You can buy one for Dhs179,000 or rent an A6 from from Dhs207 per day, based on a 30-day lease. THE MUSIC Girl power. Laura Marling’s I Speak Because I Can (Dhs51 from for laidback tunes and a bit of Metric’s new album Fantasies (Dhs47 from on the way home to make sure you don’t fall asleep. THE FOOD Skip the Haribo and save your appetite for lunch at Al Waha, the all-day dining

20 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

restaurant at the resort. The made-to-order risotto is the star of the show, but don’t leave without sampling some mini raspberry éclairs. THE SPA Spa fans, listen up. This place couldn’t be further from your run-of-the-mill hotel offering. In addition to a range of Asianinspired therapies in luxurious treatment rooms, the Banyan Tree has created The Rainforest. The first of its kind in the region, The Rainforest is a hydrothermal experience boasting 14 areas, designed to benefit your body in different ways. You’ll be treated to an ice igloo, tropical rain shower, brine cavern, bucket drench, grotto steam and herbal sauna, plus all manner of special steams, showers and more. Finish with a dip in the vitality pool, where nine types

of hydro jets target specific points of the body, then dry off on heated loungers. If all of that sounds a little bewildering, fear not – you’ll be given a map of The Rainforest, which explains the stations and suggests how long you should spend at each, totalling around two hours of pampering. Then recline with a chilled lemongrass tea before reluctantly heading home in a blissed-out state. THE DETAILS The one-hour Rainforest Experience is Dhs70 per hour per person and is complimentary for guests staying at the resort. Book a twohour spa treatment and receive a free one hour Rainforest Experience. Banyan Tree Al Wadi, Ras Al Khaimah. Tel: (07) 2067632.


DUBAI AKA THE CULINARY TOUR THE TRIP: A WHIRLWIND TASTING TOUR OF DUBAI THE ITINERARY 9AM – Breakfast at Boulevard Café 11AM – Coffee tasting at Orbis 1.30PM – Cooking lesson and lunch at Traiteur, Park Hyatt Dubai 4PM – Gingerbread Cocoon body treatment at the RitzCarlton Spa 7.45PM – Dinner at Reflet Par Pierre Gagnaire THE CAR What better for zipping around in than a Mini? The cheeky little car-about-town is perfect for navigating around Dubai’s streets, and couldn’t be easier to park. Get your hands on the cabriolet number, and open-air motoring – albeit with a blast of A/C to combat the June sun – is a joy. A number of companies hire Minis for the day, starting from around Dhs600. THE MUSIC The quirky, punchy, sounds of Northern Ireland’s Two Door Cinema Club (Tourist History, Dhs48, are ideal for fleeing around town. Stevie Wonder’s Songs In The Key Of Life (Dhs100, Virgin, Mall Of The Emirates) should finish your day nicely. BREAKFAST Start strong with some protein at Boulevard Café in Old Town. This Parisian-style pavement café serves up French fare until midnight but the breakfasts are sublime. We went for les oeuf a la mode; two eggs in any style, with herb roasted tomatoes, Provencale potatoes and chunky sourdough toast (Dhs35). Boulevard Café, Burj Boulevard, Old Town, Dubai, 7am to midnight. Tel: (04) 4285923

THE COFFEE TOUR We have our own coffee roastery on our doorstep and they sell caffeine to some of the finest hotels in the UAE, and even Sheikh Mohammed himself. You can sniff it out on their Saturday morning tours at 11am, when you’ll go behind the scenes and even make your own custom blend. Orbis Roastery, Al Lahbab, Hatta Road, Dubai, Dhs50. Tel: (04) 3417789. THE COOKING MASTERCLASS Man, according to the proverb, is what he eats. Which unfortunately makes certain members of the What’s On team beans on toast. The beautiful Park Hyatt Dubai hotel offers a way out for those that are kitchen-challenged, with cooking lessons at Traiteur from head chef Franck Detrait. Franck is everything you’d expect in a head chef; food is his life, he knows the kitchen like the back of his hand, and boasts the type of French accent that would make a fried egg butty sound exotic. Luckily, Franck wouldn’t lower himself to mess with mere butties – our lesson was in how to make the slightly daunting chilled avocado and green apple soup with smoked salmon and sesame seeds, followed by John Dory with asparagus. The lesson itself couldn’t be easier – Franck and his team have everything laid out, and it’s a simple case of he does, you do. Granted, his peeling, chopping and, well, everything else cooking related is way better than you could dream of, but it’s fun trying, even if you’ll never be able to cut asparagus perfectly. Trust us – it’s a lot trickier than it sounds. And when your avocados are all peeled, your apples chopped, limes squeezed, salmon diced and asparagus cut smaller than it should be (look, it’s really hard, OK?), the end result is yours to eat, dished up by Traiteur waiters. Hopefully, you’ll also take away with you a newfound skill, but even if you slump back to the tinned beans and toasted bread again, you’ll have at least had an afternoon to remember.

Traiteur master class, Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai, Dhs295. Tel: (04) 6021804 THE TREATMENT You deserve a nice little lie down after all that hard work. In keeping with the foodie theme head to the spa at the RitzCarlton for the Gingerbread Cocoon treatment. You’ll be scrubbed before a body masque is applied then you shower and are treated to a massage. All with the delicious scent of ginger. Gingerbread Cocoon, RitzCarlton, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Dhs750 for 110 minutes. Tel: (04) 3994000. DINNER If you’re going to devote a whole day to food then the piece de resistance has to be Reflets Par Pierre Gagnaire. And if you’re going to eat dinner, eat dinner, don’t be a pansy. Order the Dhs790 daily tasting menu, sit back and enjoy. What you eat depends entirely on “the mood of the chef”. You will not be disappointed, we assure you. InterContinental Dubai Festival City, Dubai, 7pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 7011128.

JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 21


FUJAIRAH AKA MAN AND MOUNTAIN THE TRIP: FUJAIRAH AND JABAL KARIM, MUSANDAM THE ITINERARY 7AM - Leave Dubai 8:30AM - Stop for refreshments at Friday market in Hajar hills 9:30AM - Arrive Wadi Beh 10:30AM - Discover road to Jabal Karim is impassble 11AM - Attempt to climb smaller peak 2PM - Take the crazy winding road to Zighy Bay 2:30PM - Lunch at Zighy Bay 4PM - Stop off at Sandy Beach motel for late afternoon snorkel 6PM - Depart 7PM - Crawl through heavy traffic in Al Dhaid 8PM - Arrive back in Dubai

THE MUSIC Get into the wilderness mood with Bukka White (Shake ‘em On Down, Dhs44, amazon. com), Johnny Cash (American III, Dhs30, and Wilco’s (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Dhs35,

THE JOURNEY One of the best drives. The road to the Eastern Regions takes you through some beautiful desert in Sharjah, and later through the barren moonscape of the Hajar mountains. Taking the Masafi route offers some of the best driving roads in the whole of the UAE, so if you’re itching to give your sports car a real test, this is one of the best routes to take. Long sweeping curves, spectacular scenery and few good tight bends offer some challenging conditions a world away for the straight-as-an-arrow multi-lane highways.

THE DRIVE The wadis in Musandam offer some of the best scenery in the Gulf. The hills are rocky and exposed, with trails vague at best and non-existent at worst. Pack plenty of water – and we mean plenty, if you’re venturing out in the summer months, even though it’s a little cooler than on the coast, the heat can still get oppressive. Elsewhere on the East Coast, snorkelling and diving are the main attractions. Watch out for the ‘red tides’ though. These choking algal blooms starve the water of oxygen, killing fish, hindering visibility and basically making the water a no-go zone. The rarer ‘brown tides’ do the same, but don’t last as long. On a clear day, though, the sea life is stunning. Expect to see turtles, sea snakes, sharks, and all manner of tropical fish, from huge stingrays to tiny – and surprisingly aggressive – clown fish. And if camping under the stars on a beach or in a barren wadi isn’t your thing, there are plenty of hotels and resorts to suit any budget, from the Sandy Beach and Golden Tulip at the lower end to Zighy Bay, which offers a remote, chilled out and out of this world experience.

THE CAR Land Cruiser Prado VXL. It does the journey in style, but for off-road, you may want something more robust. With less than 1000km on the clock, we didn’t want to test it too much in the rocky terrain of Wadi Beh, forcing us to call an early halt to a trip that would have been do-able in our beaten up Land Rover. Matchless, Dubai, Dhs630. Tel: (04) 3559699.

22 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

THE FOOD Fresh coconut juice at the Friday market is a must, even if you might as well have a placard screaming “tourist”. On the coast itself, there’s plenty to choose from. Sandy Beach isn’t as cheap and cheerful as it once was, but the fish is fresh. Zighy Bay is the real gem, just up the coast. It’s pricey – about Dhs400 for two with drinks – but the quality – and location is outstanding.

THE DETAILS Getting out into the wilderness does need some preparation, especially if you’re exploring the remote wadis. GPS is useful, as the terrain gets very confusing. Wadi Beh can be a frustrating journey – it’s not accessible from the Ras Al Khaimah side unless you’re a Gulf national, so a trip requires a journey to the East Coast, a border crossing and, the hope that the road is passable, and the need to double back on yourself even if it is. It’s worth it though, offering spectacular views and a respite from the coastal heat. Check online forums such as Middle East 4x4 ( for updates. Avoid going when heavy rain is expected – it gets very treacherous, and be aware that after the rains, roads and wadis can be blocked with fallen trees, rocks, mud and silt. The beaches are accessible all year round, of course, but snorkelling and diving is best in the cooler months. Watch for those red tides, though – and the occasional tropical storm: Cyclone Gonu played havoc with the reefs – and the hotels – back in 2007.


ABU DHABI AKA THE WILD ONE THE TRIP: AL AIN NIGHT ZOO THE ITINERARY 3PM – Leave Abu Dhabi 5PM – Arrive at the zoo 6.15PM – Watch the African animals being fed 7PM – Watch the penguins being fed 7.30PM – Watch the birds of prey show 8PM – Walk the Dinosaur Trail 8.30PM – Dinner at Tanjore 10PM – Set off home Midnight – Arrive home THE JOURNEY From Dubai, take the E66, which begins at the Nad Al Sheba interchange. Keep on this road for about 120km and you’ll hit Al Ain. Be careful, there are miles of roadworks, so watch out for closed lanes. From Abu Dhabi, simply head out of the city along Airport Road and follow the E22 for about 140km to Al Ain. When you reach Al Ain, the wildlife park is clearly signposted on brown road signs. Just be a bit wary of the city’s numerous roundabouts as approaching cars rarely slow down. THE CAR As we were off to see some of the world’s most magnificent beasts, we needed a beast of a car. And the giant Mercedes Viano is the elephant of the motoring world. Despite being a people carrier, the six-seater was incredibly fast, effortlessly hitting top speeds. It also ran as smoothly as a cruise liner cutting through tranquil waters, nonchalantly gliding over speed bumps and potholes. And with built in screens and DVD players in the back the little ‘uns were amused all the way to the zoo and back. Sixt Car Rental, Dhs875. Tel: (04) 2200777. THE MUSIC Animal-related hits. Go for The Beatles’ I Am The Walrus (Magical Mystery Tour, Dhs45,

24 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010 , The Lion Sleeps Tonight (The Tokens, Dhs45, and Arctic Monkeys (Humbug, Dhs45, THE FOOD The zoo has its own café, which serves up adequate burgers, shwarmas and the like. But we recommend hitting one of Al Ain’s best restaurants, Tanjore at the InterContinental. The service may be a bit more relaxed than what you’re used to in the big cities, but it’s more than made up for in the quality of dishes, especially those from the tandoori oven. THE ZOO From June to September, the zoo runs its Wild Nights visitors programme where the cages are lit up throughout the evening. As most of the animals sleep during the scorching summer days, an evening visit gives you a chance to see the creatures roaming around their spacious enclosures. And with more than 4,300 animal and 186 species, expect a long evening of wildlife spotting. Make sure you arrive by about 5pm, as that’s when feeding time starts

and you can see the animals devouring their supper. Our favourite was the African animal enclosure, where giraffes, gazelles, wildebeest and rhinos gather around a huge watering hole to eat and drink. It’s as close as you’ll get to seeing the savannahs of Africa here in the UAE. While later on in the evening, the zoo puts on a birds of prey display, in which eagles, falcons, vultures and owls fly from one handler to another, swooping right over your head. Then round off the trip by visiting the Dinosaur Trail, where you can see actual-sized, moving replicas of the giant prehistoric lizards. It’s a fascinating experience, although it may give some youngsters nightmares, meaning it’ll be tough to get them to sleep when you eventually get back home. THE DETAILS Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort, Sat to Thurs, 4pm to midnight, Fri 10am to midnight, Dhs25 with Dinosaur Trail entry, Dhs15 without, children Dhs15 with Dinosaur Trail entry, Dhs5 without. Tel: (03) 7828188.


SHARJAH AKA CULTURE US UP THE TRIP: THE PICK OF SHARJAH’S MUSEUMS AND CULTURAL SPOTS THE ITINERARY 11.30AM – Leave Dubai Noon – Arrive in Sharjah’s Heritage and Arts Centre and take a stroll along the Corniche 12.30PM – Gallery hop. Lunch under the blue and gold dome of the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation 3PM – Head to Al Qasba 3.15PM – Visit Shelter at Maraya Art Centre 4.30PM – Time for a quick abra ride 5PM – Set off 5.30PM – arrive in Dubai THE JOURNEY Ah, the National Paints roundabout, a legend in local traffic news. Luckily, come the weekend the sticky jams are rare so just follow the signs into Sharjah. The Heritage and Arts Centre is signposted. THE CAR Anything luxe will stick out in Sharjah like a sore thumb, so keep with the budget theme and hire a basic model. The cheapest we could find was a little Chevrolet Spark for Dhs29 per day with discountcardubai. com. Or if you want to buy, have a look on, we found a white Saab convertible for only Dhs10,000.

buildings in narrow strip of streets on the edge of Sharjah Creek. There are many reasons to head here, from the Sharjah Archaeology Museum (which offers a great selection of interactive activities for kids) to the Heritage Museum. Our picks, however, have to be the Sharjah Art Museum, home to an eclectic and impressive selection of contemporary art (it’s here that much of the Sharjah Biennale is based) and the largest library collection in the UAE, the nearby Calligraphy Museum and the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation. The latter began life more than two decades ago as an indoor market, the Souq al-Majarrah. Now comprising of four huge galleries – including one dedicated to Islamic Faith and another to Science and Innovation – it has become a world-quality museum showcasing the art and culture of the region. There are, however, other contenders to the heritage area’s cultural crown. Al Qasba, on the edge of Khalid Lagoon, is a family-friendly arts and culture centre that’s home to everything from abra rides to a musical fountain (you didn’t think the Dubai Fountain was the only one, surely?). It’s also

home to the Maraya Art Centre, into which Shelter, the Dubai-based multifunctional arts and events space, has recently extended its scope. Currently featuring Bauhaus an exhibition of textile design by Beatrice Gayer that is heavily influenced by the early 20th century German art and crafts movement of the same name. The gallery is also home to Experiment – A Contemporary Art Project throughout June. A multimedia showcase of young Emirati artists, it’s a rare opportunity to see indigenous contemporary art both in and of the UAE. THE DETAILS Sharjah Art Museum, Corniche Road, Sharjah, Sat to Thurs 8am to 8pm, Fri 4pm to 8pm, free. Tel: (06) 5688222. Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilsation, Corniche Road, Sharjah, Sat to Thurs 8am to 8pm, Fri 4pm to 8pm, Dhs10, families Dhs10 and free for children. Tel: (06) 5655455. Shelter, 1st Floor, Maraya Art Centre, Al Qasba, Sharjah, free. Tel: (06) 5560777.

THE MUSIC Get in the Middle Eastern mood with the awesome Now That’s What I Call Arabia (Dhs70, THE FOOD Keep it cheap and pack a picnic to enjoy under the blue and gold dome of the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation. THE CULTURE Sharjah is an absolute treat for culture vultures, the only one of the UAE states with a dedicated Heritage and Arts area set, rather picturesquely, in a series of ‘traditional’

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UMM AL QUWAIN AK A CRAB HUNTING EXPEDITION THE TRIP: FLAMINGO BEACH RESORT THE ITINERARY 4PM – Leave Dubai 5PM – Arrive Flamingo Beach Resort 5.05PM – Nip to the changing rooms and put on your swimmers 5.15PM – Sit back under a sun umbrella and enjoy your complimentary snacks (a beer is just Dhs15) 6.40PM – Slip on your life jacket, jump in the boat and head for the mangroves to hunt 7.30PM – Return to shore with your catch 7.45PM – Enjoy a three course meal culminating in a crab feast 8.45PM – Finish dinner and head for home 10PM – Crab in the fridge and off to bed THE JOURNEY From Dubai take Emirates Road, take the turn for Dreamland and then follow signs to Flamingo Beach Resort.

THE FOOD The hotel provides a couple of sarnies and soft drinks pre-hunt and you’re going to eat your catch just a few minutes after returning to shore, so a packet of sweeties for the journey would be fine. Make sure you offer the driver one. THE HUNT You don’t know you’re alive until you’ve stared into the wobbly black eyes of an angry crab. You know what’s going to happen. He knows what’s going to happen. And there’s that moment – just after you’ve caught him in your torchlight, just before you ram a spear through his shell so hard it hits the seabed, throwing up a cloud of sand – when his eyes are saying, “It’s OK, you win, I accept my fate like a crab.” The rush is so great it spurns a savage 45-minute period of bloodlust (do crabs have blood?), which left us with the souls of 29 crabs and

three squid on my conscience. The captain of the small, motorised boat that ferried us across the turquoise waters to the mangrove island, where the crabs were rife, has been taking groups crab hunting every night for the past 14 years. At 30 plus crabs a night, Mohammad Ali (for that was his name), has brought the lives of at least 153,300 crabs to an end. Don’t be mistaken. This is killing we’re dealing with. You should know what you’re getting yourself into. But as you wade through the waves, eyes pinned to the seabed, hunting your clawed prey you will be as close as you can come in the UAE to feeling like Ernest Hemingway on safari in Africa. THE DETAILS Dreamdays Gift Experiences, Dhs339 for two (including snacks, equipment and dinner). Tel: 2002080.

THE CAR No need for anything fancy here, just book a run of the mill RTA taxi, sit back and let somebody else do the driving for a change. It’s Dhs500 to hire car and driver for 12 hours. For those in Abu Dhabi it’s a little steeper at Dhs800. But the beauty of a taxi is that you can enjoy the experience fully without worrying about the journey home. THE MUSIC Something classical, like Wagner’s The Ride Of The Valkyries (Dhs30, or Queen’s Vultan’s Theme (Flash Gordon, Dhs50, from 1980s cult hit Flash Gordon (a What’s On favourite); the image of a winged Brian Blessed attacking a spaceship will inspire you to crab hunting glory.

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AJMAN AKA UNDER THE SEA THE TRIP: LEARNING TO DIVE IN AJMAN ITINERARY 7.40AM – Leave Union Bus Station, Dubai 8.45AM – Arrive at Ajman Bus Station 9PM – Arrive by taxi at Kempinski Hotel Ajman 10AM – Start first diving lesson 4PM – Finish first day’s diving lesson 8PM – Dinner at Hai Toa restaurant 9.30PM – Tenpin bowling a SECOND DAY 10AM – Start second day’s lessons 4PM – Finish lessons 5.20PM – Get on bus back to Dubai 6.25PM – Arrive back in Dubai THE JOURNEY Getting to Ajman from Dubai is seriously easy and cheap. Just hop on an E401 coach from Union Bus Station in Deira and the hour-long (traffic permitting) journey will cost you a bargain Dhs7. This service runs every 20 minutes every day. If travelling from Abu Dhabi by bus, you need to get the E100 bus from the main bus station on Muroor Road and 11th Street and change at Dubai. This 90-minute journey will cost Dhs20. The hotel is a tenminute taxi ride from Ajman Bus Station. THE VEHICLE The Dubai-Ajman bus leaves from Union Bus Station costs Dhs7. The coach to Dubai from Abu Dhabi is Dhs15. Crowded but cheap.

THE MUSIC What better way to get into the chilled out vibe than some smooth jazz? John Coltrane (Giant Steps, Dhs30, on our iPod on the bus journey there and Miles Davis (Kind Of Blue, Dhs30, on the way back. Nice. THE FOOD After an exhausting day, hit the Kempinki’s Hai Tao Chinese restaurant. There were some seriously tasty noodles on offer. The hotel also has a six-lane bowling alley, where you can enjoy some bar snacks and drinks while knocking down some pins. THE LESSONS As the UAE’s smallest Emirate, Ajman is fairly limited in the amount of activities on offer to the would-be road tripper. But what it does offer is some beautifully clear waters, teeming with wildlife and shipwrecks, which are ideal places to scuba dive. But before strapping on your tank, you have to learn the basics. We signed up for Blue Planet Diving’s two-day beginner course, and as the diving centre is based at the Kempinski Hotel Ajman, it’s an ideal opportunity to take a quick break at the hotel. The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) accredits the lessons, meaning that once you pass, you can dive anywhere in the world up to 12 metres deep.


We loved singing Getta Bloomin’ Move On! (Self Preservation Society) from The Italian Job whilst driving the Mini Cooper S around town this month. Now you can too. For a chance to win this little firecracker for the weekend, log onto and answer this simple question. Who starred in the 1969 version of The Italian Job? a) Penny Lane b) Michael Caine c) Ian McShane

28 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

And, as long as you’re an adequate swimmer, you should be able to easily pass. They start with the basics, like putting on your equipment, cleaning your mask under water and controlling buoyancy. The first day ends with an hour-long session in the swimming pool. The second day is trickier and finishes with two hours in open water. None of the lessons were seriously taxing, and the instructors were incredibly patient and helpful. If you get the diving bug go back for the four-day advance course, which grants you the licence to dive up to 18 metres down. DETAILS Blue Planet Diving, Kempinski Hotel Ajman, Dhs1,500 for two days beginners’ course, Dhs2,000 for four-day advanced course. Tel: (06) 7145555, ext 8515.


Nothing says class like a BMW. In fact, our very own Editor can be seen zipping about town in one. For a chance to win a BMW 5 Series from Holiday Autos for the weekend, log onto and answer the following question. Which country manufactures the BMW? a) UAE b) Germany c) China

100% Process Black

50 THINGS TO DO THIS SUMMER Take action people. Enough toasting by the pool and whinging about being bored, make this summer the time you get creative, get organised and get out more BECOME A MASTER CHEF


Wannabe Spidermen, and women, can aim high on the UAE’s newest climbing wall at Magic Planet in Mirdif City Centre. Open until midnight, Sky Trail is a top spot for exercising and mingling with fellow climbers, boasting 13 metres of obstacles to test your Spidey skills. Sky Trail, Magic Planet, Mirdif City Centre, Sat to Wed10am to 11pm, Thurs and Fri 10am to midnight, Price TBC. Tel: (800) 5347873.


If your dinner parties are a massive flop, sign up to these lessons. The friendly chefs at Bord Eau, our favourite Abu Dhabi restaurant, aren’t ones for keeping their recipes to themselves. Twice a month they hold regular lessons for adults and children, where they teach you the secrets to knocking up quality European cuisine. Bord Eau, Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Between the Bridges, Abu Dhabi, Fri 10am, Dhs320 including lunch. Tel: (02) 5098888. www.

PHOTOGRAPHY BOOT CAMP Kick off a new hobby with an intensive twoday photography course. You’ll learn the basics plus some sneaky tricks to impress. Jun 4 to 5, SAE Institute, Knowledge Village, Dubai, Dhs2,100. Tel: (04) 3616173.


“Professor Plum, in the library, with the candlestick.” Enjoy a real life version of Cluedo this summer with Yas Hotel’s Whodunit package. You and your friends will be given a character to play, before trying to track down the murderer in a mysterious plot that would leave Hercule Poirot scratching his head. Yas Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Dhs640 to Dhs880, including dinner, overnight stay and breakfast. Tel: (02) 6560000. JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 31


The Caracal Shooting Club at the Armed Forces Officers’ Club is the newest and best shooting club in the city. For a mere Dhs275 they’ll arm you with a pistol, as well as the know-how to fire it from their expert tutors. The indoor range is fully air-conditioned – very welcome in this weather – so with enough practice, you could be well on your way to becoming a master marksman. Caracal Shooting Club, Armed Forces Officers’ Club, Abu Dhabi, Dhs275 for gun rental and 50 bullets. Tel: (02) 4416404.


On the first Saturday of each month Nobu’s oh-so charming Chef de Cuisine Hervé Courtot can teach you some serious skills. Classes are limited to 12 people and include a cooking lesson, three-course lunch and Nobu apron. Jun 5, Jul 3, Aug 7, Nobu, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, Dhs980. Tel: (04) 4260760.


It might be hot outside, but it’s smokin’ on the tarmac. Make a day of karting and competing with your pals at Dubai Autodrome’s indoor track, which can accommodate 20 people. The Arrive & Drive package costs Dhs100 for 15 minutes, which includes all equipment and suits (just be sure to wear closed toe shoes) but we recommend booking ahead if you all want to race at the same time. Dubai Autodrome, Motor City, Dubai, Sun and Mon 2pm to 10pm, Tue and Weds 10am to 11.30pm, Thurs and Fri 9am to 1am, Sat 9am to 11.30pm, Dhs100. Tel: (04) 3678700. www.


Get all nostalgic for those disco days at The Dubai Mall. The Olympic-sized ice rink plays host to live DJs so if you fancy a little tongue-incheek fun, Blades Of Glory style, lace up those skates. Flesh-coloured leotards are optional but are in no way endorsed by What’s On magazine. The Dubai Mall, Old Town, Dubai, Mon, Thurs, Fri and Sat, Dhs75. Tel: (04) 4485111.


Buy a three month pass at Ski Dubai for Dhs2,500. You can ski as much as you like and also receive a free locker, two discovery ski or snowboard lessons for friends, 25 per cent discount at the Ski & Snowboard TOUR THE ISLANDS Academy, 40 per cent discount voucher for Take to the seas by jet ski for a guided tour of Snow Pro, 20 per cent off at Avalanche and St Abu Dhabi’s islands. The trips will take you on Moritz Café, Magic Planet card worth Dhs50 a 50km tour of the remote island that surround and Ski Dubai gift voucher worth Dhs100. Abu Dhabi, with plenty of time to stop off to Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, Barsha, Dubai, explore the island and have a picnic. The tours Dhs2,500. Tel: (04) 409 4000. take place regularly during the summer. TAKE TO THE (INDOOR) X-Ventures, Abu Dhabi Corniche, Abu Dhabi, SKIES Fri, 9.30am, Dhs350 per hour. Tel: (055) 404500. While you may get the same effect at A/ blasted cinemas across the UAE, if you want to LEARN TO SALSA actually enjoy a wind tunnel then there’s only Ditch the brunches and shape up with Cuban one place to go. iFly, at Playnation in Mirdif City salsa lessons. Ritmo De Havana run twice Centre, is a realistic indoor sky dive experience weekly classes for beginners from June 5, suitable for everyone over the age of five. It also where you and other first-timers will turn makes for cracking people watching, whether from clumpy-footed cygnets into elegant the user is a first-timer or practiced mid-air swans. Hopefully. somersault-ace. Warning: not recommended From Jun 5, Ritmo De Havana, Mall of the after hitting the food court hard. Emirates, Dubai, Sat and Tue 9pm to 10pm, Playnation, Mirdif City Centre, Mirdif, Sat to Wed Dhs800 for 12 hours of classes. Tel: (050) 10am to 11pm, Thurs and Fri 10am to midnight, 6963520. Dhs195 and Dhs145 for under 13s (peak) or 32 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

Dhs165, Dhs125 for under 13s (off-peak), which includes equipment, tuition and two flights. Tel: (800) 5347873.


Yoga Tree studios is the capital’s only dedicated yoga club. And, as all the classes take place in a cool, air-conditioned villa, there’s no excuse not to sign up for them throughout the summer. For beginners, we recommend the ashtanga yoga classes. Ashtanga yoga, Yoga Tree, Villa 405/1, 30th Street, Abu Dhabi, Mon, 8pm, Dhs450 for ten classes. Tel: (02) 6676579.


The Guggenheim and Louvre galleries on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island are, unfortunately, still a few years from being finished. But in the meantime, the island’s first museum has just opened. Manarat Al Saadiyat is a huge gallery space that will host numerous exhibitions in the coming months. Its first permanent exhibition is the Saadiyat Story, which reveals the island’s history and future. Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 8pm, daily, free. Tel: (02) 4061400.


Abu Dhabi’s surrounded by important wildlife sites but, unfortunately, people dumping their trash over them are seriously damaging the environment. So why not help save these sites this summer as well as improving your sense of self-worth, by joining the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency’s regular clean-up operations? It’s easy to get involved, and will cost you no more than your spare time to make a real difference. Al Mamoura Building, Muroor Road, Abu Dhabi, Fri. Tel: (02) 6934629.


The Abu Dhabi Toastmasters club has nothing to do with learning how to perfectly brown a slice of bread. In fact, this is a public speaking club where you’ll be taught how to sound convincing and confident when addressing people. Join and you could well be a public speaking genius by the end of the summer. Abu Dhabi Toastmasters 1950, every other Saturday, 5pm, LEED Training Building, next to Aldar offices, 6th Street, Abu Dhabi, Dhs150 for a year’s membership. Tel: (02) 6440805.


One of the highlights of our recent trip to Banyan Tree Al Wadi in RAK was visiting the falcons, owls and a gigantic eagle. Don’t dismiss this as tourist-tastic – it’s actually a fascinating glimpse into an important part of local history. Bedouins used to hunt gazelles with eagles. Eagles! If you want to learn more there are two courses, held by their resident friendly expert, covering handling, training and management, ending in written and practical examinations. Not many have that qualification on their CV… Banyan Tree Al Wadi, Ras al Khaimah, Dhs850 to Dhs1,000. Tel: (07) 2067777.



Every boy (and girl) racer’s dream, the R8 is actually within your grasp, if only for a day. Based at Dubai Autodrome, Audi is offering driving experiences on a number of its models, to teach UAE drivers about safety on the roads and try out some key features. The course runs on selected weekends throughout the summer. Dubai Autodrome, Dubai, Fri and Sat, Dhs920 for half day. Tel: (050) 2834053.


Put your stand-up skills to the test and learn a few more jokes at the Comedy 101 workshop. Based at DUCTAC, it covers all aspects of comedy, including improvisation, character development, history of the joke, acting, stand-up, sketch and monologue writing. Bring your own rotten tomatoes. DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates, Sat 1.30pm to 2.45pm, Dhs1,000 for a nine-week course, including one private coaching lesson and a final show. Tel: (050) 9273621.


Stitch and sow yourself a dazzling, colourful quilt this summer by joining the Abu Dhabi Quilters Guild. The expert members will teach everything you need to know about the art form, from where to buy materials to how to stitch together complicated patterns. Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Sas Al Nakhl, Abu Dhabi, second Wed of each month 8pm, Dhs100 for year membership. Tel: (02) 6212130.


You’re such a good actor that once you get discovered you’ll probably be more famous than Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow put together. In the meantime, why not refine your talent at these summer classes at Abu Dhabi School Of Film And Acting? Abu Dhabi School Of Film And Acting, Muroor Road, Abu Dhabi, Sun, Wed and Thurs, 7pm, Dhs11,500 for a four-week course, Tel: (02) 4466442.


Yeah, yeah we know – it’s too hot to work out. We’ve made that excuse ourselves but the team at Original Fitness Company aren’t taking no for an answer this summer. At 6am the weather is still pretty fresh so get along to their boot camp three times a week for a month and banish the post-brunch bulge. Original Fitness Co, JBR beach, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Sun, Tue and Thurs 6am to 7am, Dhs900 for 12 sessions. Tel: (04) 3132081.


At the start June, you may spot more longlimbed beauties around town than usual. The third Dubai Dance Festival kicks off with a party at El Malecon, and the dancing doesn’t stop. There’s a packed programme of performances and workshops all over Dubai, so you can sit back and watch or get involved. Jun 3 to Jun 4, Dubai Dance Festival, The First Group Theatre, Madinat, Dubai. Dhs175. Tel: (04) 3666546

Every Wednesday throughout the summer, Abu Dhabi Golf Club is organising a ninehole weekly competition that will cost you a bargain Dhs95 for members, or Dhs195 for non-members to enter. And at the end of the summer, the winner will bag a threenight stay at the classy Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, with direct flights included. Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Sas Al Nakhl, Abu Dhabi, Wed 4.30pm, Dhs95 to Dhs195. Tel: (02) 5588990.


The Address Dubai Marina is on a mission to get you to step away from the naff chocolate, and educate yourself with a cocoa buffet at Kambaa, where you’ll find decadent Valrhona desserts. The sweet treats include fresh strawberries dipped in melted chocolate, delicate cups filled with smooth chocolate creams and dreamy cakes. You can even meet with the pastry chef and try to steal his secrets, a bit like Slugworth from Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. The Address Dubai Marina, Dubai, Thurs and Fri 6.00pm to 9.30pm, Dhs90. Tel: (04) 4367777.


Everyone’s a winner with this charity event from Manzil, which is bringing together 5,000 people to cover 50,000km in 80 days. You can get fit running or walking 10km at your nearest Fitness First (gyms open to nonmembers who are taking part), while Manzil’s centre for children with special needs benefits from sponsorship money. From June 1, simply pick up a registration form from any Fitness First or download one from the Run The World website, hop on a machine and do your bit. Take as long as you want (up to three days in fact), then feel the warm glow of exercise and do-gooding.

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If you’ve ever dreamt of creating a sculpture to rival Michaelangelo’s David, sign up to these classes at the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture And Heritage (ADACH) building this summer. Your expert instructor Svelin will guide you through the arts of sculpting with clay and stone. ADACH also runs loads of other art classes, covering subjects from painting to photography to jewellery designing. Al Hosn Fort, Zayed The First Street, Abu Dhabi, Sun and Tues 10am, Mon and Wed 6pm, Dhs480 per month for eight lessons. Tel: (02) 6576355.



Sharmila is one of the UAE’s most popular dance teachers, so you’ll need to book soon for her summer workshop at DUCTAC. Incorporating street jazz, hip hop and musical theatre, the course culminates in a showcase so you can demonstrate what you’ve learnt. Shrinking violets need not apply… Jun 25 to 29, DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, Dhs1,300. Tel: (050) 4668793. www.


With 30 million date trees across the UAE, date growing is a lucrative business. Every July, to celebrate the dates ripening, the town of Liwa hosts a huge date-themed festival. The event is essentially a huge agricultural show, with date cookery tents, handicraft stalls and children’s rides. There’s even a free bus service from Abu Dhabi’s Marina Mall, leaving at 8am each day. Jul 17 to 26, Liwa Date Festival, Liwa, Western Region, Abu Dhabi, 10am to late, free. Tel: (02) 6215300.


From June 1 to July 31 you can escape the city and head to Bab Al Shams. You’ll get all day access to the infinity pool and sun loungers, complimentary camel rides and the falcon show, access to Sinbad’s Kids’ Club as well as games and fitness activities. Bab al Shams, 45 mins from Dubai, 7am to 6pm, Dhs275 for adults, Dhs150 for children years. Tel: (04) 8096167. 34 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

One of the most desirable courses in Dubai, the Competent Crew course is the first stage to becoming a sailor. The Dubai Off-Shore Sailing Club currently has a waiting list but it’s worth trying your luck and selling your granny to get on it this summer as they have dates throughout the summer. Dubai Off-Shore Sailing Club, Beach Road, Dubai, Dhs3,500 including breakfast, lunch, evening meals and snacks. Tel: (04) 3941669.


If you’ve ever fancied yourself as the next Lewis Hamilton, throughout the summer Yas Marina Circuit is offering you the chance to test your driving skills on the F1 track. You’ll start the day with some driving tuition before you take your own car on a few laps of the circuit. And if you have Dhs7,500 to spare, you can even get a ride in a two-seater F1 car, with top speeds up to

300km/h. It might just beat our Yaris. Jun 12 and 25, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Dhs650 to Dhs1,000. Tel: (02) 4460384.


Expand your musical horizons this summer with a series of world music concerts being put on in Abu Dhabi. On June 10, a five-piece folk group from Kyrgyzstan will be playing the indigenous music of the nomadic tribes of the country. And then on June 22, Alim Qasimov and his daughter Fargana will be presenting an evening of Azerbaijani classical music. Both concerts should be intriguing. Jun 10, Nomadic Music of Kyrgyzstan, Manarat Al Saadiyat, 7pm, free. Jun 22, Spiritual Music Of Azerbaijan, Manarat Al Saadiyat, 7pm, free. (02) 6908207.


We already have enough reasons to love Desert Palm (namely, conversely, the burgers and the spa) but this summer brings even more. Each Wednesday you can pull up an inflatable chair, grab a bowl of popcorn and kick back in the swimming pool for a movie double bill. June’s films include Monsters vs Aliens, The Hangover and He’s Just Not That Into You, with family-friendly films starting at 7pm and the less PG at 9pm. Desert Palm, Al Awir Road, Dubai, Dhs30 includes popcorn, towel hire and pool entry. Tel: (04) 3238888.


This fascinating collection of colourful Islamic embroidery is still running at the Emirates Palace’s Gallery One. But the organisers have also kindly put on a series of lectures and workshops connected with the exhibition throughout the summer. For example, Weaving With Burlap, on June 9 and 16 will show you how to turn the coarse cloth into stunning artwork. Until Jul 28, Gallery One, Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 10pm, free. Tel: (02) 6908207. E-mail:


If you enjoyed your Wednesdays at Desert Palm so much you fancy a repeat performance, then head to Dubai Polo Club on Thursdays. Great for families, there’s popcorn, candy floss, grilled food and pizzas that children can make themselves. The first film starts at 7pm, while the club caters to older viewers at 9.30pm. Entry is free for members and the non-members’ fee is Dhs30, which includes a welcome drink. Call ahead to find out about forthcoming titles. Dubai Polo Club, Arabian Ranches, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3618111








Now in its fourth year, this is one of the most popular art summer camps in Dubai for children and teens. It features a range of arty activities including painting and pottery (six to eight years and nine to 12 years) with five or ten-day workshops throughout July and August. The cost includes all materials and equipment. DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, Dhs900 to Dhs1500. Tel: (04) 341 4777.


Oh, to be young again. In fact, we’d merrily borrow children for the day in order to gain access to this fun wonderland. A funderland, if you will. The ultimate in make-believe, this scaled-down city encourages children (aged four to 16) to try out different job roles, from cashier to fireman. With costumes, money credits and even mini vehicles, Kidzania is a great blend of education and entertainment. Edutainment? OK, we’ll stop that now. Kidzania, Dubai Mall, Dubai, Sun to Wed 9am to 10pm, Thurs 9am to midnight, Fri 10am to midnight, Sat ten am to midnight. Tel: (04) 4485222.


Most hotels run their own summer camps for youngsters, but we reckon this is the best one in Abu Dhabi. The Beach Rotana offers a raft of lessons in arts and crafts, swimming, martial arts and squash, as well as activities such as sandcastle making, treasure hunting, volleyball and kite flying. Even the child with the shortest attention span won’t be bored. Beach Rotana Hotel, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, members Dhs100 per day, Dhs450 a week, non-members Dhs120 per day, Dhs550 per week. Tel: (02) 6979000


Your little ones will have a packed schedule at Peekaboo this summer, with daily activities ranging from dance and yoga to origami and story telling. Camps run five days a week across three locations in Dubai. Peekaboo, Ibn Battuta, Dubai Tel: (04) 297949. Mall of the Emirates, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3470622. Village Mall, Dubai. Tel (04) 3447122, Sun to Thurs 10am to 2.15pm, Dhs450 per child per week.


Kids Theatre Works will take your aspiring Hannah Montanas and Justin Biebers off your hands this summer with their creative camps. There are two venues (DUCTAC in Mall of the Emriates and DESS in Oud Metha) and a selection of weeklong dates, each with a different them, and every camp ends in a performance for parents. Kids Theatre Works, Dhs650 per child per camp. Tel: (050) 585653.


Fun City may save your sanity (and work surfaces) this summer if you’ve got crafty kids who need a creative outlet. The team has lined up arts, cooking, science experiments, theatre, martial arts and even yoga to keep them entertained. There’s even transportation to get families to the nearest Fun City branch, which includes Burjuman, Ibn Battuta, Mercato and the Arabian Centre. Fun City, various locations, Dubai, Dhs100 per day, Dhs350 per week or Dhs1,250 per month.


The capital’s ultimate boredom buster for children. The Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre is transformed into five fun-filled zones, each with a different theme. These include the Laser Zone, where you can fight it out with laser guns; Bee Amazed Zone, a series of physical challenges inspired by the cult Japanese TV show Takeshi’s Castle; and the Mad Scientist Laboratory, where you can learn the secrets of science. On top of this, the show will feature a visit from the world renowned New York’s Big Apple Circus, which will be performing throughout the event. Sounds brilliant. Jun 24 to Aug 5, ADNEC, Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thurs, 10am to 10pm, Fri, 10am to midnight, entry price TBC.

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Once you’re out at sea, the heat is a lot less intense. So why not charter a boat, grab your rod and see what bites? We recommend hiring one of Yas Hotel’s boats. A day trip will take you out to some of the Abu Dhabi’s prime fishing spots, where you can try and hook the Gulf’s fish, including the legendary blue marlin. The Yas Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Fri, Dhs480 per person (minimum four people). Tel: (02) 6560000.


Flee the sun and dive under the waves. The summer is a great time to learn to dive so you can take advantage of those cheapie Ramadan deals come August. We recommend Al Boom Diving Centre, where you get one Discover Scuba session plus an ocean dive for Dhs550. Al Boom Diving Centre, Al Wasl Road, Dubai, Dhs550. Tel: (04) 3422993.

for a knockout tournament. Abu Dhabi Chess Club, first Thurs of every month, Al Jazira Club, 15th Street, Abu Dhabi, 9pm, free. Tel: (02) 4430043.


Al Hamra is offering some wallet-friendly summer packages to dedicated golfers. Our favourite is a mere Dhs399 per month and includes three 30-minute lessons with a PGAqualified pro, unlimited use of the driving range and nine-hole par three course, free equipment hire on lesson days and preferred rate green fees. Whiz up after work for some swinging fun in the evenings. Race you to the range. Al Hamra Golf Club, Ras al Khaimah, 7am to 9.30pm. Tel: (07) 2447474.


Improve the lives of those who are worse off than yourself by getting involved with Gulf For Good. The charity organises adventure Improve your chess skills by joining the Abu trips around the globe to raise money for Dhabi Chess Club, which meets once a month impoverished people. For example, the for a few friendly games. And although there charity is still looking for volunteers to climb are some true chess geniuses among the Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro in members, they’re a friendly and welcoming July. But the Dhs18,000 you’ll need to raise lot, who’ll be happy to teach you some will definitely occupy the summer months. winning strategies. And every August, the Gulf 4 Good, last Tue of each month, One To One club organises an annual chess festival, where Hotel, Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi, 7pm. the world’s chess grandmasters come along


Plan a trip with a friend to somewhere wild and learn the language before you go. We have our eye on Japan, so will be swotting up at Berlitz with a one-week total immersion course (approx Dhs9,000). Konichiwa. Berlitz, Beach Road, Dubai, prices depending on course. Tel: (04) 3440034.


“Check that out – a brilliant list of fun, active and brainchallenging things to do this summer. No excuses for boredom. I, however, like the large majority of the UAE’s male population, will be completely ignoring most of that list in order to spend the summer screaming at a large TV screen. I’m talking, of course, about the World Cup. There’s a host of great spots in the UAE to watch England fail miserably at the quarter-final stage on penalties – I think Barasti or maybe the Park Hyatt will have my custom – but make your own choice, with our handy guide, p40. 38 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010


“I’ll be heading to Shelter every Tuesday night in June for their fashion-themed cinema screenings. Grey Gardens will be a highlight. – Drew Barrymore dressed up and acting crazy? Yes please. My main pursuit, however, will be avoiding football fever so I’ll mainly be found with the girls on the air-conditioned patio at Caramel, ordering lobster tacos.” Shelter, Road 318, Al Quoz, Dubai, free for members or Dhs15 for nonmembers. Tel: (04) 4345655. www. Caramel, DIFC, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4256677.


“Unlike most golfers, who are lazy, I like to sweat buckets when I swing a nine iron. Sweating makes one feel like a man. So I’ll be booking a cheeky afternoon or two off work and taking advantage of Al Badia Golf Club’s summer golf offer (until September 30). Just Dhs299 for 18 holes during the week, including dinner and drinks at the pleasant Spikes restaurant.” Al Badia Golf Club, Dubai Festival City, Dubai, weekdays Dhs179 to Dhs299, weekends Dhs235 to Dhs399. Tel: (04) 6010111.

HUGO BERGER CONTRIBUTING EDITOR “Instead of my usual summer DVD box set and junk food marathon, I intend to keep relatively healthy this year. So I’ll be signing up to the thriceweekly body pump classes at the Beach Club gym at the Beach Rotana Hotel. I’ve been told that they’re seriously tough and guaranteed to rid you of your summer paunch.” Beach Club, Beach Rotana Hotel, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, Sun, Tues and Wed, 6.25pm, Fri, 9.45am, Dhs35 for members, Dhs40 for nonmembers. Tel: (02) 6979000.

F R I D AY 1 6 5

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

The Chamas Carnival Lunch 12 noon – 3 pm Braziliant value with salad bar, select cuts of meat, dessert and a complimentary exotic house cocktail AED 165. Add AED 130 for free flow of exotic drinks.

The Belgian Café Brunch 11am–3pm Croissants, orange juice, one house brew and unlimited dishes from our special brunch menu AED 165. Add AED 110 for free flow of brews.

The Yacht Club Late Lunch 2 pm –6 pm Order unlimited dishes from our exclusive Late menu, including a free flow of sundowner refreshments AED 165. Add AED 200 for free flow of bubbly.

The Buffet Lunch 12 noon –3pm. International buffet, carvery, salads, dessert, juices and local water AED 165. Add AED 30 for free flow of house grape beverage. Add AED 100 for free flow of bubbly.

For reservations, call InterContinental Abu Dhabi at 800 423463.




f your a Worl at the F d Cup group mates could And th airmont Bab match in thebe watching e A VIP lou and fooy're throwing l Bahr's Cham n d. For a in two eleo ge ro c u h winwit nds of n Bar. ance to h Which win, go to wdrinks m and of the ww. won th se teams ha tell us: s neve e World r a) Braz Cup? il b) c) Faro Italy e Islan ds

The Red Lion

traditional pub, and you can enjoy the sunshine and all manner of giveaways as well. It’s only one lion, and it’s red, but this may be a suitable place for England fans. Metropolitan Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3430000.

BEST FOR… VENUE Sheraton Abu Dhabi

31st Bar & Terrace

BEST FOR… From dynamite SPLASHING OUT drinks deals to CHAMELEON fully-fledged sporting If watching the games in a arenas, it’s all on offer seedy pub doesn’t appeal to you, we recommend the classy as the UAE gears Chameleon Bar. It’s being up for the biggest transformed into a sophisticated sports lounge, with two 50in sporting event of plasma televisions and a range the year of World Cup themed bar bites BEST FOR… CHEAP DRINKS SHERATON ABU DHABI Head to the poolside bar, grab a beanbag or an inflatable chair in the pool, lay back and watch all the evening games. Dhs195 to eat and drink as much as you like throughout the evening. Sheraton Abu Dhabi, Corniche, Dhs195. Tel: (02) 6970224. 40 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

and cocktails. If you really want to push the boat out, hire the VIP lounge where your own butler will serve you bubbly and canapés – although prices start at Dhs4,000 for the group games, rising to Dhs10,000 to the final, so make sure you’ve a few dirhams tucked away before you book. Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, free. Tel: (02) 6543000.

BEST FOR… CHEAP DRINKS 31ST BAR & TERRACE On match days, a pint of beer at this cosy, rooftop bar will set you back a mere Dhs19. And if you think you’ll be too emotional after the game to make it home, you can get a room for as little as Dhs199. Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi, Airport Road, Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, free. Tel: (02) 6574888.

BEST FOR… ALFRESCO FOOTY THE RED LION It’s not the classiest place in the city, we know that, but with eight colossal screens standing proud in an air-conditioned garden you can’t really argue. There’s no better atmosphere in which to enjoy the footy than that of a

PARK ROTANA During the quarter-finals, semifinals and finals, the hotel’s giant ballroom will be transformed into a footy fan’s dream venue. The seats will be arranged in an arena-style, with TV screens in the centre, while there’ll be waitress service to keep you refreshed without missing any of the action. Park Rotana, Salaam Street, Abu Dhabi, free.. Tel: (02) 6573333.

BEST FOR… SETTING QASR AL SARAB The desert-based hotel will be showing each and every game of the tournament at its poolside bar. And with its stunning backdrop of the dunes of Liwa desert, there are few more picturesque places to catch the action. Qasr Al Sarab, Liwa Desert, Abu Dhabi, free. Tel: (02) 8862088.



BRAUHAUS Never write off the Germans is a common cliché among commentators during World Cup broadcasts. And rightly so. The Germans are always a safe bet to reach the later stages of the Cup. And so expect Brauhaus, the capital’s favourite Teutonic watering spot, to be a busy old place during the tournament. Beach Rotana, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, free. Tel: (02) 6979000.


ON THE BOX Watch the beautiful game the old fashioned way Al Jazeera Sports holds the rights to all the FIFA World Cup 2010 matches and are charging Dhs660 for a sixmonth package, including the World Cup. Tel: (04) 2283600.

BELGIAN BEER CAFÉ As if you needed an excuse to visit the BBC. Everyone loves it, don’t they? The serious beer, the saliva inducing pub grub, the fact that it’s a bona fide pub – yep, we like it. And, of course, it’s showing all the games. During the last 16 category matches a 10 per cent discount on drinks is applied every time a goal is scored. Let’s hope it’s 10-0, then, shall we? Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 7012222.

BELGIAN CAFÉ Deus Brut is known as the champagne of the beer world. It’s fermented for months in special cellars, before being served in fancy 75cl bottles. If you feel like popping a few corks of the stuff while watching your team win, you can buy a commemorative World Cup bottle for Dhs300 at Abu Dhabi’s best Europeanstyle bar. InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, free. Tel: (02) 6666888.

BEST FOR… GOING ALL OUT STILLS BAR & BRASSERIE On first glance, Dhs1,400 might seem a fair whack to spend on watching the World Cup, but just check out what it buys you at Stills. The bar’s platinum package will buy you 50 drinks vouchers, 12 food vouchers, one night’s stay in the hotel, one bottle of bubbly and plenty of other World Cup goodies. Crowne Plaza Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, free. Tel: (02) 6563000.


THE ARENA One of several big old venues vying for your patronage during the World Cup, The Arena has a BEST FOR… capacity of 600. It’s indoors and it’s free, but best of all – there’s WINNING A BIG a supervised children’s zone so DISCOUNT you can watch the game in peace LE MÉRIDIEN MAJILIS and quiet. There’s also a group It’s being billed as the ‘official VIP lounge, with prices ranging Majilis for the World Cup’, and we from Dhs400 per person during are officially quite excited about the group stage to Dhs1,000 for the chance to fill in the guess the final. the score card for the chance Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, free. to win 50 per cent off upon our Tel: (04) 4068999. second visit. Something to look forward to if your team is being thrashed. Le Méridien Dubai, Garhoud, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 2170000.

BEST FOR… CHEAP DRINKS SCARLETT’S FOOTBALL CLUBHOUSE Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. That’s what a moustachioed fellow once said to Scarlett O’Hara. Well, we do give a damn about Scarlett’s, or to be more precise, Scarlett’s happy hours, 5pm to 8pm. We also like the fact it’s Dhs80 for five drinks on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, with screens everywhere for the footy. Scarlett’s, Emirates Towers, Dubai, midday to 3am. Tel: (04) 3198088.

BEST FOR… CHEAP DRINKS HEROES The underground pub is a rough and ready kind of place where there’s bound to be plenty of passion on show among the punters. And with ten per cent off your bill during the games and house drinks costing just Dhs15 during happy hour, expect it to be packed out and extra noisy during those vital World Cup clashes. Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Hamdan Street, free. Tel: (02) 6210000.

BEST FOR… SETTING AL FORSAN OK, so it’s located at a luxury resort in the middle of the desert, but if you’re after a unique hideaway to watch the footy at the weekend, why not Bab Al Shams? Al Forsan is showing all the matches, there’s an unbeatable view of the dunes and there is 50 per cent off South African beverages for the full 90 minutes of each match. Back of the net! Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 8096194.

JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 41

WORLD CUP 2010 BEST FOR… WATCHING THE GAME IN STYLE THE TERRACE AND THAI KITCHEN The Park Hyatt is our favourite hotel, the seafood platter at The Terrace offers the freshest seafood in town and Thai Kitchen is one hell of a Thai restaurant. With two footy zones – one at The Terrace and the other an air-conditioned balcony for 50 at Thai Kitchen (call ahead to book) – there’s no better place to watch the game in style. Park Hyatt Dubai, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 6021804.

BEST FOR… HAPPY HOUR THE OBSERVATORY Since Marriott took over at the Harbour Hotel, it seems like every hour has been happy hour. Anyone who’s brunched nearby will have made their way to The Observatory to take advantage of the discounted drinks in the early evening. Well, during the tournament it’s a case of happy hours – plural. From 6pm to 9pm on match days everyone will have a smile on their face – providing their team is winning, that is. Marriott Dubai Harbour Hotel & Suites, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3194795. www.

BEST FOR… AFTER WORK ACTION EVORY LOUNGE ARENA Kempinski’s lounge bar is billing itself as the place to watch the footy after work, and is offering a range of complicated discounts. In short, it’s Dhs190 for six drinks, with groups of ten given a ten per cent discount and groups of 20 a 20 per cent discount. Or, pay Dhs20 entrance and enjoy 20 per cent off you bill for evening games. Or Dhs10 will buy you a 20 per cent discount for daytime games. Confused? We are. Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, Dhs10 to Dhs20. Tel: (04) 3410000. www.kempinski. com 42 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

BEST FOR… GOING FURTHER AFIELD AL HAMRA GOLF CLUB If you happen to be in Ras Al Khaimah, head for Lagoons Sports Bar, where the winning team could earn you some serious drinks discounts. When their first goal is scored you’ll receive ten per cent discount, 20 per cent for the second, and so on and so forth for the full 90 minutes. If there is another game later on, the discount lasts until kick-off. Al Hamra Golf Club, Ras Al Khaimah, free. Tel: (07) 2447474.

BEST FOR… VENUE GRAND HYATT DUBAI There’s Grand Stand seating in the air-conditioned tent for 450 people at the Grand Hyatt, and the What’s On team will be firmly pressed into several of them. Dhs45 will buy you entry and a drink and there are various group packages available. Grand Hyatt Dubai, Dubai, Dhs45. Tel: (04) 3171234.

BEST FOR… WATCHING BRAZIL CHAMAS Barbecued meat and football. It’s a combination that we definitely can’t resist. So what better way to end a meat-fest at this Brazilian restaurant by heading to Chamas’s upstairs bar to watch Kaka, Robinho and co show why football’s known as the beautiful game? InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen, free. Tel: (02) 6666888.

BEST FOR MATCH ANALYSIS PARADE RING RESTAURANT The brand new Meydan Hotel will be hosting this extra special World Cup watching experience. Former Showsports English Premier League pundits Rob McCaffrey and Derek Whyte will be joined by a panel of football

My Bar

players and managers to provide live match analysis of the finals’ major clashes. They’ll be there for a total of 11 matches, including all of England’s group games, plus the knockout stages of the competition. Parade Ring Restaurant, Meydan Hotel, Meydan Racecourse, Dubai, Dhs375. Tel: (04) 4456024.

BEST FOR… WATCHING SOUTH AFRICA NRG The capital’s only dedicated sports’ bar is giving itself a South African themed makeover for the World Cup. With authentic snacks and drinks on the menu and big screens covering every wall, it’s a dead cert to be the place where Abu Dhabi’s Saffer contingent gathers to cheer on the host nation. Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Tourist Club Area, free. Tel: (02) 6446666.

BEST FOR… DRINKS DEALS MY BAR This place promises to fill your stomach, quench your thirst and be kind to your bank balance. Eat your way around the world with the World Cup menu, offering dishes from the competing countries, then take advantage of the buy three get one free beer offer. If you buy a bottle of spirits, you’ll receive a buffet lunch or dinner for two at The Californian restaurant. Dusit Thani Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3174515.


What’s On pick BARASTI BEACH STADIUM Barasti is really going all out with an air-conditioned stadium. Yep, you heard right – a stadium. The Mega Dome will be five stories high and fit 1,200 screaming fans for each match. And it’s free. The atmosphere is sure to be the closest to being at the game as you will get in Dubai. And the air conditioning unit is 270 tonnes, for heaven’s sake. How impressive is that? Of course we’ll be there. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3181313. www.lemeridien-minaseyahi. com SHANGRI LA QARYAT AL BERI The hotel is erecting a fully air-conditioned, giant marquis that will have acres of seating, a huge TV screen, bar food and waitress service. We reckon this could well be the best place in the capital to see the goals fly in. Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, Dhs75.Tel: (02) 5098888.

WIN! WIN! WIN! It’s our 31st birthday this month so we should really be receving presents. But it’s better to give than to receive, apparently. So here are 31 prizes you can win

To be in with a chance of winning one of the 31 amazing prizes on offer visit and register your details. Good luck!

WEEKEND AT CROWNE PLAZA ABU DHABI How does a two-night stay at the Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi in a suite, with Dhs500 meal vouchers for both the superb Cho Gao and Spaccanapoli restaurants sound? Well that's what we're giving you the chance to win. Just tell us: Spaccanapoli restaurant is named after a street in which city? a) Napoli b) Newport c) Nagasaki


If you win this prize, you and three of your pals could be enjoying a spa treatment at the Beach Rotana’s amazingly tranquil Zen Spa, followed by dinner at Finz, one of the best seafood places in Abu Dhabi. Just tell us: Which of these do you rarely see on a fish? a) Fins b) Gills c) Arms


The Between The Bridges area is Abu Dhabi’s best entertainment hub. This prize, a night’s stay for two, plus breakfast in both the Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri and Traders hotels, will give you ample opportunity to find this out for yourself. Just tell us: What is the name of San Francisco’s famous bridge? a) Bronze Fence Bridge b) Silver Hedge Bridge c) Golden Gate Bridge

44 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010


The futuristic Yas Hotel is the UAE’s most visually stunning new hotel. Here’s your chance to find this out for yourself with a one-night stay for two plus dinner in the quality Angar, Atayeb or Amici restaurants. Just answer this: Yas Hotel overlooks what? a) An F1 racetrack b) The Amazon Rainforest c) The Hanging Gardens of Babylon


The super-chic Chinese restaurant has just opened a branch at Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace and we have a meal for two to give away. Just answer this question:Which of these meals is not likely to be served in a Chinese restaurant? a) Peking duck b) Dim sum c) Hamburgers

HOTEL STAY PLUS UNLIMITED FITNESS CLASSES If you win this prize, keeping fit during the summer months should be easy. We're offering you a weekend stay for two at the Sheraton Abu Dhabi, plus a week’s worth of fitness classes in the hotel’s modern, wellequipped gym. To win, just answer this: Which of these pieces of equipment are you unlikely to find in a gym? a) Treadmill b) Rowing machine c) Nuclear reactor

AN MINI-BREAK IN KERALA Situated on the banks of a fresh-water lake, the Zuri Kumarakom resort is one of the most luxurious retreats in Southern India. With an award-winning spa, fine dining restaurants and stunning surrounds, this is a getaway you’ll never forget. For your chance to win a three-night stay, all-inclusive (not including flights) at the resort answer this question: Kerala is known as: a) God’s own country b) Land of the rising sun c) The Big Apple

A NIGHT’S STAY AT THE BRUNCH MONTGOMERIE, DINNER AT NINETEEN FOR TWO AT THE AND GOLF FOR TWO OBSERVATORY We have a luxury weekend, perfect for golf lovers. The Montgomerie is mere minutes from Sheikh Zayed Road but is a world from the frantic city with rolling greens, top eateries and a stunning pool. To win a stay for two including dinner at Nineteen and a round of golf, tell us: Which of the following shouldn’t be used when playing golf? a) A putter b) A nine-iron c) A tennis raquet

A DINING MEZZALUNA EXTRAVAGANZA COOKING CLASS AT THE RADISSON FOR TWO PEOPLE Perfect your pasta with Italian chef BLU HOTEL Marco in his kitchen at Mezzeluna Check out this amazing prize from the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek. One hungry winner will get Friday brunch for two adults and two children at the Friday Fun Food Festival, a two-hour dhow dinner cruise for two people aboard the Al Mansour Dhow and lunch or dinner for two at Japanese restaurant Minato. To be in with a chance of winning, answer the following question correctly: Which creek is the Radisson Blu on? a) Dawson’s Creek b) Dubai Creek c) Jacob’s Creek

in the InterContinental Residence Suites. We have two places in a cooking class (worth Dhs600 each) for one lucky winner. The class includes breakfast, four-course teaching menu and lunch with paired beverages. For your chance to win, just tell us: Which of the following is not a type of pasta? a) Penne b) Linguine c) Penguin

Brunch at The Observatory at the Dubai Marriott Harbour is a decadent affair; bubbles, cocktail trolleys, oysters and some seriously impressive views over the Marina that you can check out with telescopes. For your chance to win brunch for two, answer this question: What is a telescope normally used for? a) Watching telly b) Looking at remote objects c) Scoping Teletubbies

A SUITE STAY AND DINNER AT TEATRO We’re huge fans of Teatro, the new international restaurant at Abu Dhabi’s Park Rotana hotel. And you could be winning a meal for two, plus an overnight stay in a suite room at the hotel. Just tell us… Which of these is not a famous theatre? a) The Globe b) The Old Vic c) Wild Wadi Waterpark


JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 45

PURE INDULGENCE TREATMENT FOR TWO AT MANDARA SPA One winner and a friend can enjoy a 170-minute Pure Indulgence treatment at the gorgeous Mandara Spa at The Monarch hotel. Worth Dhs2,380 in total, the treatments include reflex foot ritual, body scrub, floral bath and Balinese massage. To be in with a chance of winning this pampering package, tell us… Which of the following won’t you find at Mandara Spa? a) Jacuzzi b) Relaxation lounge c) Kebab shop


Here’s your chance to try a luxurious 75-minute hammam treatment at the spa at The Palace. Your body will be covered with traditional black soap then you’ll take a steam bath before a thorough scrub and soothing massage. To win this treatment for you and a friend tell us: Which part of the world did the hammam originate from? a) The Middle East b) Australia c) Antarctica

DINNER FOR TWO AT EMBER We’d do bad things for Ember’s black truffle risotto, and it’s only a side dish, so the winner of dinner for two should be a happy camper. The Address Dubai Mall’s signature restaurant serves up elegant grills and fine wines and for your chance to try it, answer this question correctly: What is black truffle? a) Meat b) Fungus c) Fizzy drink


We have two ‘More Than Golf’ packages to give away. The winner and a friend can play the 18-hole championship course at Al Badia Golf Club before enjoying a meal and drinks at Spikes restaurant. To be in with a chance of winning, answer this question correctly: What can often be found on the bottom of golf shoes? a) Spikes b) Wheels c) Stiletto heels WWW.WIN WITHMOTIV ATE.COM


This seriously slick bit of kit is up for grabs. Worth Dhs1,440 and featuring email (up to ten addresses), Ovi maps, QWERTY keyboard, five mega-pixel camera and internet, the E72 is an essential gadget for communication on the go. It also looks very nice. For your chance to win it, answer this question. What does GPS stand for? a) Great Problem Solver b) Global Positioning System c) Good Point Sir 46 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010


Arabic restaurant Ewaan at The Palace hosts Layali Ewaan, a Middle Eastern experience every Monday evening. With live cooking stations, musicians, henna painting, belly dancing, shisha and more you can have a truly Arabian night. If you’d like to try Layali Ewaan with five friends, answer this following question: Which of these won’t be found at an Arabian buffet? a) Falafel b) Tabbouleh c) Dim sum

BRUNCH FOR FOUR AND A NIGHT IN A TWO-BEDROOM SUITE AT THE FAIRMONT Kick off your weekend at one of our favourite brunches, with a feast for four at Spectrum on One before enjoying the rest of your weekend in a stunning two-bedroom suite at The Fairmont. One very lucky winner can get their hands on this amazing prize by answering the following question: What is the spa at The Fairmont called? a) Willow Stream Spa b) Wind in the Willows Spa c) Islands in the Stream Spa


If you win this prize you can treat five friends to a teppanyaki experience at Shiba, the Japanese restaurant at The Meydan. It’s all hot plates, egg throwing and mountains of delicious fare. For your chance to win a night of foodie fun, answer this question: What colour is the circle on the Japanese flag? a) White b) Black c) Red


Take a free stay-cation in a suite at the new Sofitel hotel in Dubai Marina. The winner will also receive dinner and breakfast for two in the AOC French Brasserie and butler service throughout the stay. To win this luxury prize, you’ll have to get this question right. Which beach is the hotel situated on? a) Jumeirah Beach b) Summer Bay c) Brighton Beach

Prime, the signature steakhouse at The Meydan, is one of the newest spots on the block for meat-lovers. If you and three friends want to pay this restaurant a visit for free, then tell us: Which of the following is not a well-known steak? a) T-bone b) Bull’s eye c) Rib-eye


With surely one of Dubai’s most unusual names, NA3NA3 is a stylish Arabic buffet restaurant in The Address Dubai Mall. There’s an open kitchen grilling meats, vast counters of fresh salads and enough desserts to bring on a sugar coma just from looking. For your chance to dine at NA3NA3 with a friend, tell us: Which of these is a traditional Arabic dessert? a) Umm ali b) Baked Alaska c) Arctic roll


Escape the heat at The Meydan with this prize. You and three friends can enjoy brunch (including drinks) at Farriers restaurant. This month there is such a thing as a free brunch. For your chance to win this fantastic prize, simply tell us: Brunch is a combination of which words? a) Breakfast and lunch b) Breakfast and munch c) Breakfast and crunch JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 47



We have a three-night stay in the gorgeous Tschuggen Grand hotel in Switzerland up for grabs. The winner will get accommodation for two with breakfast included, access to the world-famous spa and use of the Tschuggen Express, a shuttle service that whisks you from Arosa to the top of the mountain in two minutes (flights not included). For your chance to win a five-star stay in Switzerland, tell us… What’s the name of the Swiss mountain range? a) The Alps b) The Andes c) The Rockies


One reader can win a night for two at the Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi, including Friday brunch, a 50-minute massage and drinks vouchers for 31st Bar. To be in with a chance of winning just tell us: Which popstar sang the song Holiday? a) Maradonna b) Madonna c) Donatella Versace


One reader can spend a weekend in a new Superior Art & Tech room at Le Méridien Dubai, which boasts the latest in comfort and technology. Also included is access to the gardens, three temperature-controlled pools and the Natural Elements Spa. For your chance to relax in style, answer this simple question: In which area is Le Méridien Dubai? a) Graceland b) Garhoud c) Byker Grove 48 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010


Combine food and fun with a night’s stay at Arabian Ranches Golf Club. Also included is a full English breakfast, three-course dinner and 30-minute golf lessons for two people. To escape city life to the rolling greens, tell us… What kind of beans would you find in a full English breakfast? a) Baked b) Mung c) Kidney


Inspired by some of the most glam destinations in the world, the summer colour collection of Fins footwear have names like Rio Red and Mustique Green. You can get your hands, and feet, on a pair of these stylish kicks by answering the following question. What colour were Elvis’ suede shoes? a) Lilac b) Blue c) Beige


Start a new hobby this summer with these dance lessons from You can choose the style of dance or switch between Latino, Arabic, Western, Indian and fusion with eight one-hour classes at the Nora Dance Studio. For a chance to win, tell us: Which of the following is a traditional form of Middle Eastern dance? a) Abdominal dancing b) Six-pack dancing c) Belly dancing


Spend the weekend in the capital with this generous prize. The winner will get brunch at the Belgian Café, lunch at Chamas or late lunch at the Yacht Club from 2pm to 6pm, including beach and pool access, plus accommodation for two people. For your chance to win this marvelous minibreak, answer the following question: Which dish is commonly associated with Belgium? a) Sashimi b) Moules et frites c) Spaghetti carbonara


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


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

Dhs. 300/-

Per Person

Pick-up and drop-back facility included Timing: 8:00am to 2:30pm

DHOW CRUISE DINNER Programme Includes:

Two hours cruising on Dubai Creek Continental & Arabic Buffet Dinner Soft drinks, tea and coffee English, Hindi and Arabic Music Fully air-conditioned lower deck & Open air upper deck

Dhs. 150/-

Per Person

Pick-up and drop-back facility included Cruising Time: From 8:30pm to 10:30pm


24 Hrs. Reservation E-mail: Web:

ISO 9001:2008 Certified

Shall we dance? The Lord Of The Dance spectacular hits Abu Dhabi this month. But how did the Irish dance show conquer the world? Damien O’Kane, star of the show, talks us through it

It started with the Eurovision Song Contest – the trans-European annual showcase of mediocre pop songs. In 1994, Ireland was hosting the event for the second year in succession, a dubious honour granted for winning the previous year’s event. On the night, as millions of pop fans from across Europe tuned in, it was neither Lithuania’s entry, Lullaby For My Beloved by Ovidijus Vyšniauskas, nor Germany’s

Mekado with We’re Giving A Party who stole the show. Even the eventual winners, Dublin folk singers Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan and their catchy tune Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids, hardly went on to become a household name, even though it won Ireland an unprecedented third successive title. Instead, it was an Irish dance troupe that precision jigged its way through the intermission that received the loudest ovation of the night. The huge acclaim convinced the show’s choreographer and lead dancer, the US-born Michael Flatley, to create Riverdance, a fulllength theatre show based around the fast kicking dance act. But, after a sell-out run in London’s West End, Flatley had an acrimonious split with the show’s producers and left Riverdance. Undeterred, he set about creating his own dance spectacular.

And in 1996, Lord Of The Dance, a grandiose dance interpretation of Irish folk tales, was born. It was another global phenomenon and Flatley regained his crown as the king of Irish dance. Some 14 years later the show is still going strong. It has two different troupes on tour at one time, has amassed a US$300 million fortune for Flatley and has played to 60 million people in more than 60 countries. Flatley retired from dancing in 1998, and since then the role of Lord Of The Dance has been played by Damien O’Kane. “Of course, Michael’s shoes were huge ones to fill and it was very nerve-wracking on the first night I took over,” recollects Damien, who’s in the middle of a seven-month world tour that will include a three-day stop off in the capital to perform at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. “I’ll never be able to beat Michael, but I

JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 51


“I’ll never be able to beat Michael, but I think I’ve made the role my own and added my own technique and character to it” think I’ve made the role my own and added my own technique and character to it.” Damien has played the high-energy role more then 1,000 times, but insists he never tires of it. “We’re constantly changing the choreography and costumes, so when we start every tour we do something new. And the fact that I’m on tour with my wife means I always have a companion with me, so I don’t plan to hang up my dance shoes any time soon.” His said wife is Bernadette Flynn, who’s played the lead female role of Colleen since the show began. But surely it must be hard to have your husband touring, dancing and living with you? “Of course we have the odd argument, every couple does,” admits Bernadette. “But we never let it get in the way of our performance. To be honest, if Damien hadn’t been here with me, I wouldn’t have stuck it out for so long. It’s hard living out of suitcases on a tour bus. But it’s also a great life. “I’ve danced at places like Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Gardens in New York in front of royalty and presidents. “Who’d have ever thought Irish dancing would have ever given us opportunities like this? Definitely not me when I started dancing lessons when I was a little girl in my small town in County Tipperary.” And with Michael Flatley promising to step out of retirement and return to the stage later this year, despite now being aged 53, and massive tours of the US and Europe planned, the LOTD bandwagon won’t be slowing down any time soon. The same cannot be said for the career of Ovidijus Vyšniauskas. Jun 23 and 24, 8pm, Jun 25, 3pm and 8pm, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi, Dhs295 to Dhs795. 52 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010



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Shrek Forever After

Knight And Day

Knight And Day Shrek Forever After



Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Maggie Grace, Paul Dano, Viola Davis, James Mangold (director)

Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Jon Hamm, Jane Lynch, Mike Mitchell (director)

Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Joseph GordonLevitt, Michael Caine, Christopher Nolan (writer/director)


‘Cruise and Diaz are Knight And Day’

‘The Final Chapter’

‘Your mind is the scene of the crime’


Fugitive couple Miller and June (Cruise and Diaz) undertook a globe-spanning adventure of the sort that might leave even James Bond feeling a tad discombobulated.

The world’s favourite ogre, having grown bored with the peace and seclusion of Far, Far Away, made a pact with an enigmatic little chap called Rumpelstiltskin...

In a world where thoughts can be stolen while the victim sleeps, ‘dream thief ’ Dom (DiCaprio) finds himself on the run from the authorities.


Erase all memories of the movie nightmare that was Vanilla Sky.

Listen to Mike Myers talk in that not-terribly-convincing Scots accent of his for the better part of two hours.

See perhaps the most conceptually satisfying film since The Matrix. Not the rubbishy sequels of course, but the peerless, bullet-time-introducing original.


Bond-ish action adventure, which will soon be in short supply now that 007’s been handed his marching orders.

Shrek The Third, which wasn’t a patch on Shrek 2, which wasn’t half as good as the superb Shrek.

Anything else by the blistering British visionary Christopher Nolan, from The Dark Knight to Following.


Before Tom Cruise was cast, the producers considered Gerard Butler (300, Law Abiding Citizen) and Chris Tucker (Rush Hour and, ahem, Rush Hour 2) for the role of Miller.

Rumpelstiltskin is voiced by Walt Dohm, co-writer of Shrek The Third and director of countless episodes of Dexter’s Laboratory and SpongeBob SquarePants.

Desperate to keep Inception under wraps, Christopher Nolan wouldn’t talk about the movie in interviews, saying only that “it’s a sci-fi thriller set within the architecture of the mind”.


Has the star power to become the movie of 2010.

It’ll enchant kids but Shrek’s lost his spell over adults.

Makes Nolan’s Batman movies look like Howard The Duck.





54 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010


The A-Team

Toy Story 3

The A-Team

Hippie Hippie Shake

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Michael Keaton, Timothy Dalton, Joan Cusack, Whoopi Goldberg, Lee Unkrich (director)

Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton‘Rampage’ Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Jessica Biel, Patrick Wilson, Joe Carnahan (director)

Sienna Miller, Cillian Murphy, Max Minghella, Derek Jacobi, Chris O’Dowd, Daniel Mays, Beeban Kidron (director)

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, David Slade (director)

‘No toy gets left behind’

‘There is no plan B’

‘From Beeban Kidron, director of Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason’

‘It all begins... with a choice’

Woody, Buzz and co were sent to a day-care centre when their owner, Andy, left for college. Now obliged to fend for themselves, our heroes discover that their new charges have next to no respect for toys...

‘A crack commando unit was sent to prison... for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped... to the Los Angeles underground. Today... they survive as soldiers of fortune,’ etc.

There was an exciting time called the 1960s, during which skirts became shorter, hair became longer and three blokes launched an incendiary magazine called Oz.

A series of bizarre killings strained the relationship between our heroine Bella (Stewart), her vampire lover Edward (Pattinson) and her lupine best friend Jacob (Lautner).

Spend more time with Pixar’s great- Revisit that special time when Mr T est creations to date. pitied fools and point blank refused to go on no airplane.

See a film that celebrates rock’n’roll while also profiling one of the most controversial trials of recent times.

Watch wane-faced teens moon over one another. Like you can’t see that anywhere else.

Toy Story I and II, plus modern animated gems such as Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Up.

So-so guys-on-mission movies like The Wild Geese and below-par movie remakes of hit TV shows such as Starsky & Hutch.

1960s British cinema classics such as Blow-Up, Alfie, Performance and A Hard Day’s Night.

The previous Twilight films, which turned the near-translucent Robert Pattinson (aka R-Pattz) into the pastiest international star since Marcel Marceau.

It took Pixar and their new business partners Disney Studios five long years to get a second Toy Story sequel up and running.

When an A-Team movie was first mooted way back in 1999, Mel Gibson was the studio’s choice to play head honcho ‘Hannibal’ Smith.

Hippie Hippie Shake features cameo appearances from Tom GoodmanHill and Emma Booth as 1960s luminaries David Frost and Germaine Greer.

Chris Weitz, who directed Twilight: New Moon, turned down Eclipse because the previous picture took too long to complete.

At last, the toys are back in town!

Alas, this plan doesn’t really come together.

OK, but the soundtrack could do with more music from The Kinks.

Heaven for fans, but it’ll leave newcomers in the dark.




★★★✩✩ JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 55


EATING OUT Café Chic Essential... Seafood Armani Kazu The critic Teatro Take five


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JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 57


Café Chic

A taste of things to come

Café Chic is now hip and trendy We’d heard exciting things were going on at Le Méridien Dubai’s Café Chic. So when we received a press release entitled ‘Café Chic is now hip and trendy!’ – yep, it really said that – we laughed heartily, and then began to worry. For a start, a restaurant called Café Chic, by definition, should always have been hip and trendy. And secondly, the description was one small step away from funky. And funky is bad. Very bad. Then we received the menu, and we began to forgive the cool Gallic cats over there in Le Méridien’s kitchens. There are already a slew of French restaurants in Dubai, most of which more than cut the Dijon mustard – shining examples are Franck Detrait’s Traiteur and Pierre Gagnaire’s emporium of culinary wonder Reflets – but there’s always room for more. Variety is the spice of life, or in this case the pan-fried crispy duck liver of life. And chef de cuisine Sylvain Gohier has created a menu that is both classic and contemporary. Fresh, but not too experimental. A list of dishes that doesn’t bore you or fill you with dread. Duck liver terrine, half roasted lobster salad, pan fried frogs legs (more on those later), lobster bisque with coral and lemongrass – salivating over page 59 yet? It’s certainly the kind of menu that makes our taste buds perspire. The restaurant itself is both hip and trendy, but perhaps lacking that je ne sais quoi. It feels a little like it’s been installed in the hotel’s only available space, but it’s nice enough, with a lot of dark wood and a nice cocktail bar looking out onto a busy terrace (not for the summer months). Before we move on to the food – a warning. Do not order a glass of champagne. It is, perhaps, one of the most expensive in the city. Do order the king prawn ravioli

Which of these new restaurants will you be eating at this month?

“There is nothing more satisfying than the taste of garlic and white wine on the tongue and a smattering of tiny frog femurs on your plate” with leek compote, Parmesan and beetroot butter – packed with flavour – and, of course, the frog legs. The meat was silky soft, and there is nothing more satisfying than the taste of garlic and white wine on the tongue and a smattering of tiny frog femurs on your plate. Not to mention the seafood would be remiss. Pan-fried scallops, tajine of lobster, Atlantic bass, Meuniere Dover sole and confit of salmon all sounded delightful. But it was impossible to refuse the blend of flavours promised, and delivered, by endless slices of blood red duck breast, stuffed with rich wild mushrooms and accompanied by a fresh artichoke mousseline, green peas with spring onion and a surprisingly gentle Szechuan pepper sauce. And the Guinea

fowl breast with hazelnut sauce was also a triumph. The After Eight mint mousse was a tad 1970s and a little too minty for our palette. What is required is that most French of offerings – a cheese trolley. Unfortunately it’s not really hip these days. Fortunately, Café Chic is.

Need to know Location: Le Méridien Dubai Tel: (04) 2170000 Web: www.starwoodhotels. com Open: 12.30pm to 2.45pm and 7.30pm to 11.45pm Cuisine type: French Must eat: pan-fried frog legs Bill for two: Dhs700 (excluding drinks)

PICCOLO MONDO BAY To progress from International City to a prime Marina Walk spot next to the Grosvenor House Hotel, a restaurant needs to be doing something right. The original PM is a local haunt of ours in the IC – an Aladdin’s cave of bric-a-brac collected by Iraqi owner Mr Zaki from 50-plus years of travelling the globe, shrouded in shisha smoke and serving good coffee and decent food. The new café promises more of the same. Marina Walk, Dubai Marina, Dubai, 11am to midnight. Tel: (04) 4475449 WEST BEACH BISTRO The opening of the Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach has long been awaited by residents of JBR. And West Beach Bistro promises the kind of casual dining beloved of those who like to walk The Walk. Chef Jason Wass boasts a reasonably priced menu, with a roast rack of lamb just Dhs125. Gents should check out the Boys' Night every Tuesday, where wine is two for one. Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach, The Walk, JBR, Dubai, 6.30pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 4498888. www. CEDAR LOUNGE If this new Lebanese fusion restaurant is on a par with Fairmont Bab Al Bahr's other offerings – Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill and Frankie's – we'll be happy. Expect unusual takes on classic Arabian dishes such a vine leaf sushi and falafel with red berry sauce. Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, noon to 3pm and 7pm to midnight. Tel: (02) 6543333.

JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 59





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Given the UAE’s coastal position, it’s no surprise to see a host of top class seafood restaurants throughout the emirates. Shaiful Bin Kassim – the chef de cuisine at the Yas Hotel’s fantastic seafood restaurant, Nautilus – lets us in on the secrets of cooking fish, while we pick out our favourite top five eateries SHAIFUL BIN KASSIM ON… …THE ESSENCE OF COOKING SEAFOOD

It’s all about the freshness of the fish. At Nautilus, we throw away any fish that’s over three of four days old. If you have good ingredients, try and keep it simple. If you’re cooking a fillet of fish, do nothing other than cook the skin side for four to five minutes in olive oil, then turn over and cook the other side for a minute. Add some butter, seasoning and lemon juice and it’s done.


Good quality olive oil, butter, lemon and herbs like thyme, coriander and oregano are essential to seafood cooking.


We fly in the best sea bass and salmon from Europe. But there are plenty of great fishes you can get from the Gulf. Everyone knows hammour, but there are also other local fishes like Sultan Ibrahim fish and red snapper that I would also recommend highly. Always check the eye isn’t cloudy when buying a fish. That’s how you tell its freshness.


This has to be sea bass, cooked 60 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

with olive oil and butter. The smoky taste of the fish is simply amazing.


I think molecular gastronomy is an exciting development and we make some use of it in our restaurant with foams and sauces. But for seafood, the classical way of cooking is still the best in my books. A nicely grilled or panfried fillet of fish can’t be topped.


I worked with him at The Connaught in London. We didn't see that much of him as he only came in twice a week. But when he was there, you knew you had get everything exactly right. He never lost his temper at me, but I've seen him do it to other people a few times and it wasn't pretty to watch.


This one, of course. Apart from us, I like Sayad at the Emirates Palace, while Ossiano at Atlantis is also pretty special. As freshly caught seafood is so readily available, the quality is generally pretty high over here. Even a small restaurant should serve reasonably fresh and good quality fish.

NAUTILUS KING PRAWN WITH SEAFOOD AND VEGETABLE RAVIOLI A dish Captain Nemo would have been proud of... INGREDIENTS Two large king prawns, 30g prawn, 30g hammour or sea bass, 80g chicken stock, 20g flour, 25g egg yolks, lime zest, 15g baby corn, 15g asparagus, 15g baby carrot, one tomato, two cloves of garlic, 20ml cream, 20g butter, 1g saffron, parmesan cheese PREPARATION Season the king prawn and grill on both sides. Then glaze in a hot pan with olive oil, butter, garlic and thyme. For the ravioli: cut the asparagus, baby corn and carrots into diamonds. Sear the fish and prawn in a pan, but don’t cook them. In another pan, sweat the vegetables for three minutes. Then add the seafood and cook for another three minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, lime and thyme. For the pasta dough, mix the flour, salt and olive oil in a blender, and then stir in egg yolks slowly. Let it rest for 30 minutes. Roll with a rolling pin, add some filling and cut. Boil for one minute then place it on king prawn. For the foam: sweat a white onion with thyme leaves. Add chicken stock then reduce by half, then add grated Parmesan. Season and add cream and saffron. Boil for five minutes, and then blend in a blender. Pass through a fine sieve and pour on the king prawn.




Our pick of the UAE’s seafood restaurants AMWAJ






Amwaj provides the calm you would expect from such an upmarket and elegant restaurant.

Calm and romantic with the lapping of the waves and the sound of the sea breeze whispering in your ears.

The respectful hush of a formal fine dining restaurant.

Relaxed sophistication. Fairly empty when it opened, diners are begining to flock to The Yas Hotel.

Flaming woks and steaming pots in the open kitchen brings this rustic beachside restaurant to life.


According to the rule book (if there actually was one) a contemporary restaurant has dark wood floors, stiff white table linen, an open kitchen, lots of light and nothing garish or kitsch. Amwaj has read it cover to cover.

It’s more of an exterior. With panoramic views from the terrace, you can take in the lights of the Al Qasr Hotel and the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf.

Ever wondered what it’s like to dine under the sea? Like Ossiano. Dim lighting and an aquarium view that allows you to ogle all manner of sea creatures as you eat their piscine cousins.

Glass-windowed walls give views over the nearby marina and F1 racetrack, while inside, it’s sparse, functional and modern.

A bamboo shack with fish tanks lining the walls and a huge ice display of fresh seafood in one corner.


A favourite of real seafood aficionados, some of the freshest seafood in Dubai is to be found on this menu. And they can do it all, from snapper and salmon to sea bass and swordfish.

Lots of inventive fish dishes, including oven roasted Tasmanian ocean trout with carrot and lobster falafel (Dhs140) – yes, please.

Officially Michelin starred Catalan chef Santi Santamaria’s UAE outpost is only “inspired by the ocean depths”, but in our book it’s a darn good fine dining seafood restaurant.

Imported and locally caught fish, beautifully cooked, and served with a selection of sauces and purees. There are also five different kinds of oysters to choose from.

Fill your shopping basket with lobster, shrimps and fish and let the talented chefs transform it into a Thai feast.


The Shangri-La sits on Sheikh Zayed Road – both central and away from the crowds.

Torches light your stroll along the pier leading to a terrace above the calming waters of the Arabian Gulf. And if that’s not enough, you can add the Burj Al Arab into the scene as well.

For a seafood restaurant, you can’t ask for a better location than the depths of the lost city of Atlantis (well, the famous hotel of Atlantis, anyway).

Yas Island is only 20 minutes drive from Abu Dhabi and 45 minutes from Dubai. It’s well worth visiting for a night out or a weekend break.

Overlooking the InterCon’s private beach, it’s a perfect spot for a quiet, romantic tête-à-tête.


It’s reasonable a la carte, but the Dhs225 set menu is a drop in the ocean for fish this good.

Around Dhs700 for two.

One starter below Dhs200. Cheapest main, Dhs295. The bill for two, Dhs1,000 plus.

Splash out, you’ll easily drop a grand. Choose wisely, it’ll be about half that.

The average for two is around Dhs700.


It re-opens this month after some hotel refurbishments, and we’ll be the first in.

One of the most romantic environments in which to wield a fish knife in the UAE.

It’s hellishly expensive, but one hell of an experience.

Nautilus is a favourite haunt of sheikhs, celebrities and other VIPs. It’s easy to see why.

If we don’t visit Fishmarket once every four weeks, it’s been a bad month for us.


Shangri-La, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Sun to Fri 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 4052703. www.

Madinat Jumeirah, Al Qasr Hotel, Dubai, 1pm to 3pm and 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 3666730. www.

Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 4261000. www.

The Yas Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 11pm daily. Tel: (02) 6560600.

InterContinental Abu Dhabi, 12.30pm to 3pm, and 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6666888. www.



Armani Ristorante Dubai’s first designer hotel impresses with its Italian fine dining restaurant The fashion world is all about glitz and glamour, VIPs, presentation and pretension – style over substance. Isn’t it? OK, so Giorgio Armani can throw together a top suit, but what does the man with the tan know about food? Well, the installation of eight food and beverage outlets at the much-hyped Armani Hotel Dubai – three of them fine dining establishments – suggests feeding his guests, and feeding them well, is a priority. The great man is Italian, after all. And if there’s one thing the Italians care about even more than the clothes on their backs, it’s the food on their plates. We expected high prices and showy dishes from the menu at Armani Ristorante. Instead, chef Alessandro Salvatico wowed us with promises of rustic delights from his homeland – veal liver bruschetta, seafood soup, ravioli filled with braised beef cheek and pappardelle with rabbit ragout – that although far from cheap, aren’t impossibly exclusive. And the restaurant itself is a beauty. One of the chicest in a town where chic is a must. Parts of this designer property seem drab, a tad lacking in something – furniture, things to fill space – and suffering from Mr Armani’s ‘minimalist’ style. But Armani Ristorante’s design is spot on. A grey stone floor, flesh coloured blinds half raised to reveal a wonderful view, cushioned booths with overhanging lamps, perfect lighting and several occupied tables – even at 7pm. And the food, down to earth though it may be, was beautifully prepared and presented by the

brigade of chefs – mostly fullyfledged Italians – gliding about the central open kitchen, while Salvatico himself – accompanied by enthusiastic restaurant manager Roberto Di Pierno – hopped from table to table peddling his culinary wares. Steak tartare – an unusually burly amuse bouche – was served with a sweet pepper sauce and a yolky quails egg which impressed us from the off. Cod brandade, a hearty Ligurian dish, sometimes served as a spread, was presented as a delicate heap of shredded salty cod blended with olive oil on a bed of buttery, soft polenta. We scooped it up with a few hunks of fresh olive bread. Another starter, giant pink prawns with cannellini beans and

turnip tops, was fresh and pretty as a picture. And then came the saffron risotto with ossobuco. Bulb bright yellow rice blended with a superior Parmigiano-Reggiano and perfectly seasoned made up the best risotto we’ve ever tasted, while the chunks of partially shredded slow-cooked veal shank in a rich tomato sauce – the Milanese ossobuco – provided a tangy balance. Herb crusted lamb rack was as tender as the night. And sweet pink tuna loin with a salty olive and herb crust, served with spinach purée and sautéed chaterelles, represented a clever synchronisation of flavours. We hear the desserts are not to be missed, but we couldn’t resist the cheese trolley. It wasn’t

a mistake. Creamy Gorgonzola with a kick and magnificently crumbly and salty ParmigianoReggiano were the stars. Salutations, Signore Armani. Armani Ristorante is our new favourite Italian.

Need to know Location: Armani Hotel Dubai Tel: (04) 8883888 Web: Open: midday to 3pm and 7pm to 11pm Cuisine type: Italian Must eat: saffron risotto Bill for two: Dhs850

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The Yas Hotel’s understated Japanese holds its own against its much-hyped Dubai counterparts Kazu isn’t a restaurant name that’ll have the paparazzi reaching for their flashguns. It doesn’t have a branch in Beverley Hills or Manhattan, it’s not owned by a legendary actor and you won’t find millionaire footballers or pop stars posing at the bar. In fact, it’s fair to say it distinctly lacks celebrity status, despite being based at the ultra-trendy Yas Hotel, Abu Dhabi’s futuristic new landmark stopover. And what better way to get the glare of publicity shining on the place than a Japanese restaurant with a celebrity following? It worked for Nobu at the Atlantis in Dubai, right? Maybe so, but head chef Yu Cao seems determined to find fame for his restaurant through its food, rather than the column inches it generates in gossip magazines. Cao, who ironically used to work at The Bahamas branch of Nobu, knows that minimalist simplicity is the bedrock of good Japanese cooking. Take his sushi and sashimi. It’s nothing more than superbly fresh, well cut fish, quality rice, pickled ginger and wasabi. Simple, healthy and tasty. The dishes from the robotayaki grill – an old fashioned cooking technique in which fish and meat are grilled over charcoal – continue the theme. We loved the skewered wagyu simibiyaki beef chunks, which were glazed with a warm balsamic vinegar sauce, while the kohisuji suminiyaki – two succulent lamb chops doused in a sweet and intense garlic miso – was the pick of the menu. They’re small, so, like us, you’ll probably find yourself ordering a second serving, but couple them with the skewered beef chunks glazed with a warm

Meat lover? Visit Hilton Dubai Jumeirah’s Pachanga Churassco night

“Head chef Yu Cao knows that minimalist simplicity is the bedrock of good Japanese cooking” balsamic vinegar sauce and you’ll leave happy. Like the food, the simplicity continues in the décor. The white, clinical theme of the hotel is interrupted by the bamboo rod screens and the open kitchen in the centre of the restaurant. And although Kazu clearly isn’t on the restaurant world’s A-list yet, if quality of food is anything to go by, it surely deserves its 15 minutes and then some.

Need to know Location: The Yas Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi Tel: (02) 6560600 Web: Open: 12.30pm to 3pm and 7pm to 11pm Cuisine type: Japanese Must eat: kohisuji suminiyaki Bill for two: Dhs500

How many pieces of meat can you eat in one sitting? It might not be a question you’ve often asked, but should you ask us we now know the answer. And that answer is, can you believe, 28 – plus a little nibble here and there that we haven’t included. Our slightly strange meat conundrum was answered at Pachanga’s Tuesday night, Churassco. Churassco is a Brazilian concept and, as with many ideas from that part of the world, involves big chunks of meat which are delivered in a stream one after the other. Probably not the best place to take that vegatarian date. Carved tableside from a large metal skewer by one of a host of jolly Pasadores – the purveyors of 14 different cuts of beautifully cooked animal protein – the supply was seemingly neverending, including chicken, all manner of beef cuts from rib eye to sirloin, lamb… in fact, you name it, Pachanga has probably speared it and is ready to carve you a slice. It’s extremely busy and while the live music leaves a little to be desired, Pachanga is a party, so expect lots of merriment and meat. Lots and lots of meat. We’d advise those hungry for flesh – or competitive eating, anyway – to keep Tuesdays free. Just make sure you’re hungry – 28 is a big number to beat…

Need to know Location: Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Tel: (04) 3182530 Web: Open: Tues 7pm to 11.30pm Cuisine type: Brazilian Must eat: meat, meat and more meat Bill for two: Dhs700 (excluding drinks) JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 65

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,


THE CRITIC James Brennan knows food. Having written on everything from bhajis to burgers for a string of international publications, James is now the Middle East chairman of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants judging panel

It was once dismissed as the “stinking whale”. But when the Danish restaurant Noma topped the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list a few weeks ago, it heralded a new order in the world of gastronomy. Those molecular morsels at Ferran Adria's El Bulli and Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck were outdone by the simpler, more natural cuisine of René Redzepi, whose restaurant – a converted whale-blubber warehouse in Copenhagen – serves only seasonal ingredients that are locally sourced. Forget culinary foams and foie gras frozen in liquid nitrogen, the long-simmering trend for local ingredients is now at boiling point thanks to Noma. But where does that leave us in the UAE? Thankfully, in a much better place than we used to be. Once upon a time, if a chef needed a decent tomato he had to get on the phone to Holland or Italy. Practically everything worth eating had to be flown in from around the globe in what could be described as the world’s biggest take-out. But a recent mini explosion of organic farms, farm shops and farmers markets in the UAE might just change all that.


OK, you’re not going to get your arm ripped off by a flying cauliflower or have to dodge a deluge of lettuce shrapnel any time soon, so perhaps explosion is the wrong word. But it’s easy to get carried away with what’s been happening on the local food front. Where once the UAE’s larder for high-quality local food was as barren and moth-ridden as Birmingham City Football Club's trophy cabinet, now there’s a burgeoning scene for locally

sourced ingredients that’s making excited locavores as flushed as an organic strawberry. The Nazwa Organic Farm off the Dubai-Hatta Road gained official certification last year. Now it sells fresh local produce through its recently opened Umm Suqeim store, and makes regular deliveries to the Arabian Ranches. Mazaara organic farm in Al Ain grows such diverse crops as maize, mangoes and aubergines, and will be officially opened in the autumn. Meanwhile, Baker & Spice restaurant in Dubai’s Souk Al Bahar set up its very own farmers' market in April, which


will resume after the summer. But it’s not just everyday punters who are benefiting from the local food movement in the UAE. Top chefs like Scott Price at Verre by Gordon Ramsay are examining local farms with a view to cutting back on imports and reducing their carbon footprint. And since there were no UAE restaurants on the 50 Best list this year, perhaps going local is what’s needed to put the UAE back on the culinary map. It certainly worked for the stinking whale. FOLLOW JAMES' BLOG ON….

JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 67

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



On the menu

Cultural differences are put aside at the Park Rotana’s new international restaurant In this cosmopolitan country we live in, in many ways it’s pretty much a given that restaurants would want to appeal to people of various creeds and cultures. But these admirable sentiments often lead to disaster. We’ve had the misfortune to eat in some restaurants where the food has been such an insult to the cuisine it's purporting to be, it's more likely to start World War Three than unite us with our fellow man. Thankfully Teatro is by no means one of these. In Dubai, its restaurant at the Tower Rotana Hotel has been happily serving for more than a decade and is something of an institution in the city. And its new opening at the Park Rotana in Abu Dhabi deserves to achieve the same longevity. On first glance, it could be mistaken for an Italian. But the Italian name and the opera masks lining the walls are a red herring. Indian, Chinese, Western steaks, Thai and Japanese sushi are all featured in the extensive menu. That’s not to say Italian food doesn’t figure large. And the wood-baked, topping heavy pizzas were incredibly moreish, as was the steamed hammour fillet with a handmade linguini and doused in a sauce brimming with halved cherry tomatoes and herbs. But the place really comes into its own with its Asian selection. The Thai Tom Ka Kai soup – an intense chicken soup in which the overbearing flavours of the chillies were mellowed by the cool coconut milk – should be the way to launch your meal. From the choice of mains, the Chinese chilli beef was outstanding. The meat was crisped to a tee and

The UAE culinary world is serving up a feast of events this month THREE FOR THE PRICE OF ONE A few months ago we enjoyed our first ‘progressive’ dinner at Radisson Blu Yas Island – starter in one restaurant, main in second, desert in a third. Now, Radisson Blu in Deira is offering an Asian progressive dinner, giving you the chance to eat Asian fusion at Yum, Japanese at Sumibiya and Chinese at The China Club. We think it’s a snip atDhs150 for just food or Dhs220 with beverages. The Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, Dubai, 7.30pm to 11.30pm, daily. Tel: (04) 2057333. BLADES’ RUNNER We’re big fans of Al Badia Golf Club. We enjoy a round on the beautiful course, the five-star changing room facilities, a juicy steak at Terra Firma (best steakhouse in Dubai), even the odd mocktail on the Spikes balcony. But not satisfied with all that, Asian fusion restaurant Blades has launched a new weekend brunch (Fri and Sat) – and it’s just Dhs199. Hole in one. Al Badia Golf Club, Dubai Festival City, Dubai, Fri and Sat midday to 3pm, Dhs199. Tel: (04) 7011128.

The restaurant's Italian name and the opera masks lining the walls are a red herring served in a fiery chilli sauce that delivered a hefty uppercut to our taste buds. The dessert menu, unfortunately, was laden with the clichéd tiramisu and chocolate fondants. But an unusual addition was the sweet miso soup, a creamy, rice-based soup swimming with wild berries and marshmallow pieces. Choose this as a refreshing finale to your globetrotting culinary experience.

Need to know Location: Park Rotana Hotel, Abu Dhabi Tel: (02) 6573333 Web: Open: 6pm to 1am Cuisine type: international Must eat: crispy chilli beef Bill for two: Dhs450

PRECIOUS MOMENTS OK, there’s good news and bad news. Bad news first – Pearls & Caviar’s cool upstairs alfresco bar will very soon be closed down for the duration of the summer. Good news, however, is that the super-cool downstairs restaurant has just started a Friday brunch, with freshly cooked seafood and quality champagne. That’s our Fridays sorted then. Pearls & Caviar, Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 1pm to 4pm, Dhs299 with champagne, Dhs199 without. Tel: (02) 5098888. JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 69


TAKE FIVE Where’s the best place to take your afternoon tea? On your behalf, we went in search of afternoon delight BAKER & SPICE




There’s a need for more savoury, though the mini brioche rolls and vol au vents were superb. Scones, cakes, doughnuts and a chunk of Victoria sponge to finish things off. 6/10

Four courses with scones and madeleines to start, sandwiches, cakes and then pastries. Portions are dainty but the choice is fantastic, and each person gets their own mini feast. 9/10

A tier of three plates filled with enough food to last you for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Delicious salmon and beef sandwiches, scones, pastries and cakes. 9/10

Three plates packed with sarnies, cream buns, toasted teacakes and scones. It’s more than enough to cure your midafternoon hunger pangs. 9/10

It’s your classic tier-style serving, with a mix of sandwiches on top, savoury pastries below, and biscuits and cakes below that. The whole thing is then rounded off with scones and jam. 7/10


An pot of English breakfast protected by an entertainingly kitsch tea cosy. There were several appealing alternatives, but not enough to delight tea aficionados. 7/10

Practically all the tea in China, with a staggering 24 different varieties on the menu. The caramel tea was the perfect partner for the cake course. 10/10

The Emirates Palace serves 23 different kinds of organic tea, from Moroccan mint to Darjeeling. We chose Earl Grey and the fragrant brew was up there with the best teas we’ve ever had. 10/10

Choose from coffee, Darjeeling or Earl Grey. You get a fair-sized pot for all of the choices, but none of the beverages were anything special. 6/10

You name it, it’s available. The choice of both teas and coffee is very impressive – the black oolong was outstanding – and the whole thing starts with a cheeky glass of Champers. 8/10


One of our favourite places for spot of breakfast or lunch at the weekend. Fountain-side at Souk Al Bahar and a commitment to organic, local produce. 8/10

The lobby lounge at The Address Dubai Mall, but it couldn’t be further from the nearby foodcourt madness. Big chairs and elegant staff, but not a lot of atmosphere. 7/10

The café sits in the excessively decadent lobby of the Emirates Palace. If this doesn’t impress your dining companion, nothing will. 9/10

A nice, cosy café tucked away above a furniture store. There’s plenty of comfy leather sofas should you want to lounge around for a few hours. 7/10

High up in one of the Emirates’ most iconic buildings. It’s hard not to feel a little special. Unluckily, it was one of the mistiest days of the year on our visited but still... the Burj rocks. 9/10


A decent cuppa, but it is the beautiful scones with homemade jam and fresh cream that do it for us. 6/10

It would have to be either the salted caramel and raspberry macaron, or the tiny blue-fin tuna sandwich. 8/10

We couldn’t get enough of the crumbly scones, served with three choices of jam with some solid clotted cream. 9/10

The chocolate fudge cake was so good we could have eaten a whole plate of it. 8/10

Would have been the view, but thanks to the weather, we’ll go for the drive up. 7/10


Dhs145 for two. Not bad at all. 8/10

Dhs125 per person, but it’s well worth it. 9/10

Dhs195, but you’d expect luxury of this level to hit your wallet harder. 7/10

Dhs38 for one person or Dhs60 for two is an undisputed bargain. 9/10

Dhs395 each. Ouch. 5/10

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. From the individual tea-warmers to the glass boxes each course is served in, this is a stylish way to spend an afternoon.

A relaxed afternoon tea You can’t get a classier high tea than that served that won’t leave you broke. at London’s famous The Ritz hotel. But the Emirates Palace’s version comes mighty close.

WHAT’S ON SAYS The perfect place to relax and recuperate after a hard day on the sand or with hundreds of shopping bags in your hands. And it won’t unduly worry your accountant, either.








Souk Al Bahar, Old Town, Dubai, 3pm to 6pm, Dhs145 for two. Tel: (04) 4252240. www.

The Address Dubai Mall, Dubai., 3pm to 6pm, Dhs125. Tel: (04) 4388888.

Le Café, Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, 2pm to 6pm, Dhs195. Tel: (02) 6909000.

70 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010


While the food's nice, it's not life changing – what you're paying for here is the experience. Take your mum when she visits, she'll love it.



Sheikh Zayed The First Street, Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, 3pm to 6pm, Dhs38. Tel: (02) 6816500.

Burj Al Arab, Beach Road, Jumeirah, Dubai, 1pm to 4pm, Dhs395. Tel: (04) 3017777. www.jumeirah. com

Vote today for your chance to win a fantastic five-night stay in the Maldives, plus return flights Vote by SMS and double your chances to win!

Who wins...? You decide!



1. By completing a voting slip when next dining out at a nominated restaurant 2. By logging onto 3. SMS the name of your favourite outlets and events along with your email address to 3908 for Etisalat users* 4478 for du users * * Dhs3 charge applies for every vote by SMS


Relax, replenish and rejuvenate in five-star luxury with a fantastic five-night stay, courtesy of our friends at Four Seasons Resorts Maldives. You’ll be whisked by speedboat from Malé International Airport to Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, a stunning private island where you will experience the laid-back Maldivian village life. The island is awash with the delicious scents of bougainvilleas and frangipani blossoms, and is surrounded by the crystal blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Trying out the renowned Island Spa is a must. Located on its own private island – a minute’s dhoni (native Maldivian wooden boat) ride from the resort – it offers world-class treatments to sink you further into island bliss. Four Seasons will then take you by seaplane to Landaa Giraavaru, situated in the remote Baa Atoll where you will spend three incredible days. The Island, surrounded by the Maldives’ most breathtaking turquoise lagoon and a vibrant coral reef teeming with colourful marine life, is every snorkeller’s and diver’s dream. The white sand beaches, delectable culinary experiences and Ayurvedic spa treatments, create the perfect place for you to continue to unwind while enjoying the phenomenal Four Seasons service. Two return flights included (Dubai-Malé-Dubai) OFFICIAL VOTE-PROCESSING PARTNER

PRIZE SUMMARY: Two night stay at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa and a 3-night stay at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru inclusive of breakfast for two. This will also include complimentary speedboat transfer (Airport/ Kuda Huraa) and seaplane transfer (Kuda Huraa/ Landaa Giraavaru/ Airport) for two. Two economy return flights included (Dubai-Malé-Dubai). GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS The competition promoted is open to residents of the Gulf and Levant regions only, excluding employees of Motivate Publishing, its partners in this promotion or any of their affiliates. Entrants must be 18 years old or over. The closing date for this competition is the 10th October 2010. The competition winner will be selected at random from all entries received. The winner will be contacted directly, within two weeks of the competition draw. Motivate Publishing’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The competition prize is as stated and not transferable. No cash substitute can be provided. Motivate Publishing reserves the right to replace the prize in this promotion with another of the same or similar value, should the prize for some reason become unavailable. Motivate Publishing reserves the right to alter, amend, or foreclose this competition without prior notice. Advance reservation is required and will be subject to availability at the time of booking. By entering the competition, you accept the terms and conditions as stated and you give Motivate Publishing permission to add your details to our database, so that we may contact you in future with news, promotions and information we think may be of interest to you. Should you wish to be removed from our mailing list at any time, you can send an e-mail to


of the The winners ards are w A n O What’s either fill in vo you. To te, voted for by usands of forms that o one of the th placed in the g n ei b e ar onto staurants, log UAE’s best re so www.what S with the or send a SM s your email p es, lu winners’ nam Etisalat users fo 8 to 390 r or 4478 for Du users

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The What’s On Awards – the UAE’s biggest and most respected entertainment awards – hits Dubai this November, and as always you choose which restaurants, bars and events take home the coveted gongs. But it’s not just the award-winners that can scoop a prize – this year, everyone that votes for their favourite outlets and events will be automatically entered into a competition to win a five-night holiday in the tropical paradise that is the Maldives. The lucky winner will be flown from Dubai to the amazing Four Seasons hotel on the remote Landaa Giraavaru resort for two nights, before spending three nights on the incredible Kuda Huraa Island. This truly is a once in a lifetime holiday that could be yours, simply by voting in the 72 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

2010 What’s On Awards Dubai. Don’t believe us? Check it out for yourself…

THE ACCOMMODATION There can be few more relaxing hotels in the world than the two Four Seasons Resorts in the Maldives. Both are on their own private islands, giving guests an authentic castaway experience. Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru consists of 102 thatched bungalows and villas, all overlooking a spectacular turquoise lagoon with its coral reef. And with powder soft white beaches, restaurants and spa, this is a self-contained paradise for holidaymakers looking to get away from the stresses of modern life. Meanwhile, the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa is also based on its own private

island and consists of 96 waterside bungalows. The idyllic resort resembles an island village, with shops, restaurants and spas within walking distance of the bungalows. And once you’ve completely relaxed and unwound, why not sign up for a diving, water sports or surfing course? If this sounds far too energetic, just recline on a sun lounger or swim in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.

CUISINE Both Four Seasons hotels are home to some of the best fine dining restaurants in the whole of the Maldives. The islands have long been a crossroads for travellers from as far a field as Europe, Arabia and India, and the restaurants reflect

their global appeal. On Landaa Giraavaru, make sure you eat at Blu. With a stunning location overlooking a 2km-long lagoon and beach, this fine dining restaurant serves contemporary Italian cuisine. Meanwhile, alfresco spot Al Barakat offers a taste of the Middle East, specialising in Lebanese and Moroccan food. Kuda Huraa has equally impressive dining options, from the Indian Baraabaru Restaurant to the classical Italian Reef Club.

BOAT TRIPS The calm, azure seas surrounding the Maldives are just waiting to be discovered. There’s no better way than on the Four Seasons Explorer private yacht. The 39-metre, threedeck catamaran boasts 11 rooms, all with king-size beds and wall-


Islands to-wall carpeting. There’s even a dining room on the upper deck. The vessel is also fitted with the latest technology, such as 26-inch LCD flat screen TVs and DVD players in all the rooms and wireless Internet access. The boat sets sail from the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa, visiting the remote isles and atolls of the area. Along the way, guests can snorkel in the turquoise waters or simply watch the world drift by.

WILDLIFE The Maldives is a nature lover’s paradise, with a cornucopia of species inhabiting the islands and surrounding waters. The Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru is just a 20-minute boat ride from Hanifaru, one of the natural

wonders of the world. Other islands are enclosed by huge coral reefs, teeming with exotic fish, including giant whale sharks and manta rays. An afternoon snorkelling through the reefs will be one of the most amazing experiences of your life. Sadly, the reefs are under threat by pollution and global warming, so the Four Seasons resorts are actively involved in replanting coral to rebuild the battered reefs. With international projects to conserve the manta rays, whale sharks and sea turtles, the islands’ rare wildlife is being given a massive survival boost. AYURVEDIC CENTRE AND SPA Should you want to take tranquillity to a whole new level, visit the Ayurvedic Retreat & Spa at Four Seasons Landaa

Giraavaru. With its own thatched treatment pavilions and private gardens it’s a picturesque and totally serene getaway. The centre offers treatments ranging from a quick 75minute massage to a three-day immersion experience and lifechanging programmes lasting up to 28 days. Whatever you choose, you can be sure the treatment will be of the highest possible standards. From therapists who are experts at unravelling knotted muscles, to yoga teachers who will share the arts of stretching, deep breathing and meditation, you’ll be pampered beyond belief. THE ISLAND SPA Located on its own tiny island away from the main resort, the

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa’s spa is another must-visit attraction. The spa’s signature treatments are amazingly decadent, such as the Kuda Huraa massage, which combines Thai pressure points, Filipino Hilot and Malaysian urut techniques to make it the panacea for aches and pains. For the ultimate pampering treatment, treat yourself to the two-and-a-half hour Sea Escape Ritual, where you’re soaked in a seawater bath, before being covered in a marine algae body mask. Those with time to spare should try the two-day Enchanted Reef treatment. It’s 48 hours of seaweed body wraps, coconut oil and cocoa butter massages, and yoga sessions. You’re guaranteed to go away feeling reborn. JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 73


’ s d r a w a e c i o h c ’s e l p o e p e h ‘T u decide! Who wins...? Yo

Y S A E S I G N I T O V be carried out in one of 3 ways!

and can ing out in d t x e n n e h w p li s oting 1. By completing a v urant at a nominated resta ts and events e tl u o te ri u o v fa r u o y 2. SMS the name of ail address to 3908 (Etisalat) along with your em or 4478 (du) w a n o ts a h .w w w w 3. By logging onto OFFICIAL VOTE-PROCESSING PARTNER

To enjoy award-winning fine dining offers from MasterCard, check out Best Card For Dining

Please refer to for voting and competition terms and conditions. Dhs3 charge applies for every vote by SMS.


Life in the Projects Eye on the Prize Save the Date To Market, To Market... Five to see


p76 p79 p79 p79 p80

JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 75


Life in the Projects


s, The Third Line As one of the UAE’s most prestigious gallerie art for the past has been flying the flag for Middle Eastern erimental new five years. As they prepare to launch an exp talks to What’s project space, co-director Claudia Cellini k to their roots On about moving forward while going bac Tell us about Projects – what were the thoughts behind setting it up? The Third Line is five years old now. It’s been a really thrilling, exhausting, interesting five years for us. I think when we started out we had an opportunity for experimentation and to look at trying to establish our artists and getting them introduced to the market and getting a critical cognisance around their work. Now, five years on I think that we’re – I don’t want to sound boastful – but we’re pleased for them and for ourselves. I think that we’re excited to return to the element that allows us to go back to experimentation or maybe a space both for our artists and different, younger members of the community to participate in. So in a sense this is an opportunity for the gallery to go back to its roots? We’ve thought about expanding and having more space for a long time, and with the sort of boom in the UAE and Dubai especially, everything financially became way out of our reach; it became too expensive to take too many chances. The downturn has had a few benefits in that it’s allowed everybody to slow down a bit but it’s also allowed us to look a little bit more creatively at our own programme and how we’re able to do things. The first year it’s going to focus on people working within the UAE – budding artists making bodies of work that are smaller; perhaps they’re not ready for a full solo show; perhaps their ideas are half-developed. We’re offering a project space that’s perhaps less intimidating than trying to come up with something that fills a huge area, but it’s a place to capture smaller bodies of work as well. Is it an indication of how the art scene in the city is developing that there’s room for such experimentation? I think so, yeah. I think that part of what we do there is also for our own entertainment if you will, so part of it is that we’re really excited to develop it. The other part is, I think there’s an interest in seeing more complicated programming, at least in Dubai, and that’s quite exciting. We’ve approached a couple of people that we know make work and said to 76 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

them: “This is the space – come have a look at it. What are you working on now, what are you wanting to develop? Is it suitable for this smaller venue?” Does the development of initiatives like Projects show that people are becoming interested in things other than big-name blockbuster shows? Yeah, definitely, and maybe there’s something about reaching different people. If we had five spaces and a small lump sum of money we could programme the heck out of it. There are tons of different artists or ideas to be represented, it’s just that we don’t have spaces and we don’t really have grants or any sort of funding structures to help produce them [in the UAE] so this is sort of an opportunity for us to do things on a smaller scale, if you will. Projects takes place upstairs in The Third Line’s existing space – why not move elsewhere? The area is upstairs, above the main gallery in what was previously our office space, which we’ve now moved. It didn’t make

sense to divide up that new space – we wanted something that would enhance what we already had. And for visitors, it’s great to be able to experience two separate things in one space. We’re even looking now at our 2011 plans and at how some projects that we’ll slot in there will be able to interact with the main space and vice versa. I think the first year will focus on work developed in the UAE and then after that, we’re not really sure at the direction we’ll go in; I think we’ll take direction from what happens over the next six months. Mainly, we want to see how it goes from here. When I first met Sunny [Rahbar, co-director of the gallery] here she was curating shows that involved local art practitioners and it still remains a big interest of hers – finding younger talent, finding really great work that hasn’t had an opportunity to be presented. It’s an exciting time for all of us. The Third Line, behind Spinneys warehouse, Al Quoz 3, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3411367. www.

JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 77


Save the date

Yes, we know, November feels a long way away now, but you know what it’s like – before you know it, it’ll be Ramadan, then five metaphorical minutes later you’ll be ringing in the New Year, so better early than not at all, we say. In that spirit, get your diary out and make a big red mark over November 5 to 7 – the just-confirmed date for the second edition of last year’s

Eye on the prize Now, we don’t generally need a reason to visit the delightful XVA Gallery – their excellent exhibition roster and cool courtyard is rationale enough. For those of you who do need a gentle incentive to wend your way through Bastakiya’s walled alleyways, however, this latest wheeze from the gallery should get the motivational juices flowing. The gallery’s current show is a trio of solo exhibitions by three female artists with very different practices – Dubaibased US artist Julia Townsend presents her slightly surreal humorous paintings in Things That Go In, Out, Back, Up And Around; Suzanne Kanatsiz plays with classical Arabic form in Writing The Written; while emerging Sri Lankan abstract artist Anoma Wijewardene reflects on nature and the manmade in Earth, Rise Within Us. Presumably it’s the latter artist who has inspired the aforementioned incentive to visit – the chance to win a three-night stay at the boutique Kahanda Kanda hotel in Galle, Sri Lanka. Simply drop your business card in when you visit the show and you’ll be in with a chance to win. Sorted. Until Jun 9, XVA Gallery, Bastakiya, Bur Dubai, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3535383.

hugely successful Abu Dhabi Art. Last year saw some of the biggest names in the international art world bring their galleries and artists to the fair, alongside the best emerging work from the Middle East. With a full programme of talks, events and exhibitions still yet to be announced, 2010 promises to be another winner – let the countdown begin.

To market, to market...

More reasons to visit Bastakiya this month – head down to the pretty courtyard of the Majlis Gallery before the worst of the summer’s heat kicks in for its Majlis Market. It’s not strictly confined to ‘art’ as such, but there will be plenty of prints and canvases to peruse along with selected crafts, jewellery and hand-blocked Indian textiles, with

cakes and other sweet treats there to keep the energy levels up while you browse. And there’s always the gallery itself to explore, of course, should you wish to make a morning or afternoon of it. Jun 5, Majlis Gallery, Al Musalla roundabout, Bastakiya, Bur Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3536233. www. JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 79


Five to see ÉTHAT


Not, you might be forgiven for thinking, an animal of land or sea, but the shifting, mercurial essence of our cities and the echoes of those who inhabit them as captured by photographers Virgilio Ferreira, Mehrdad Naraghi and Miyuki Okuyama. Jun 8 to Jul 4, The Empty Quarter, Bldg 2, Gate Village, DIFC, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3231210. www.



Lara Baladi documents the final months of her father’s life through the ritual and pattern of coffee drinking, the process of which marked seven months of worry, connection and, finally, bereavement. Both restrained and beautiful, this is powerful stuff. Until Jun 10, IVDE Gallery, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3235052.

Vibrant group show featuring international artists from South Africa to Vietnam as well as India and Pakistan. Also showing is Cynthia ‘Reta’ Richards’ latest exhibition of work, Blooming Artitudes. Until Jun 24, Art Couture Gallery, Al Fattan Towers, The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3994331. www.


Last chance to catch this group show featuring several of the most interesting emerging artists from Lebanon. We’re particularly smitten with Tagreed Darghouth’s glimpse into her culture’s passion for plastic surgery, but there’s plenty more to see. May 8 to Jun 15, Green Art Gallery, Villa 23, 51st Street, Jumeirah, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3449888.


We’re just going to keep on plugging this one until you go – now into its second month, this look at the history and significance of textiles within Middle Eastern craft and culture is a must-see. Until Jul 28, Gallery One, Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, free. Tel: (02) 6908207. 80 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

SHOPPING p84 p87 p87

Interior motives Temperley London New openings

JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 83


You'll be spending more time indoors

as the mercury rises, so take the chance to update your home with these nifty pieces

84 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010


1. The Rug Company, Dhs2,200 2. Marks & Spencer, Dhs115 3. Marks & Spencer, Dhs110 4. THE One, Dhs249 5. THE One, Dhs599 6. Andrew Martin, Dhs7,250 7. Crate & Barrel, Dhs3,299 8. The Rug Company, Dhs10,570 9. The Rug Company, Dhs8,678 10. Crate & Barrel, Dhs179 11. Crate & Barrel, Dhs29 each 12. Andrew Martin, Dhs33,357 Stockists: Andrew Martin 5FM  tCrate & Barrel 5FM  tMarks & Spencer %VCBJ5FM  "CV%IBCJ5FM  t THE One %VCBJ5FM  "CV%IBCJ5FM  t The Rug Company, Tel: (04) 3231161 JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 85




Reprising her critically acclaimed role as ‘Tracy Turnblad’ Laurence Olivier Award 2008 for Best Actress in a musical Critics Circle Award for Best Newcomer Theatregoers Choice Award 2008 for Best Actress in a musical






New Openings Which new shops will relieve you of your dirhams this month? AMOUAGE Much like Marmite, you either love or hate Arabian scents. For some, they evoke heady nights of exoticism, for others, they just mean a headache. Regardless, the best come from Amouage, an Omani fragrance house which stays true to its local roots, so you’ll find no celeb perfumes here. These luxurious, iconic products make wonderful souvenirs and a trip to the new store is an education in itself. The Dubai Mall, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thurs to Sat 10am to midnight. Tel: (04) 3308184. BILLIONAIRE ITALIAN COUTURE If you’re on the search for highend menswear (and by high-end we mean downright swank) then Billionaire Italian Couture could be for you. Far from subtle – what do you expect from Flavio Briatore? – the store is full of animal prints, fine fabrics and belt buckles emblazoned with ‘Billionaire’. It’s all very Dubai, and as far from street style as you can get, but perfect for a night at Cavalli Club. The Dubai Mall, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thurs to Sat 10am to midnight. Tel: (04) 4341223.

Temperley London Alice Temperley, the queen of the British fashion scene, has just opened a branch of her eponymous boutique in Abu Dhabi. Her colourful hand-embellished evening gowns are the red carpet favourites for A-listers such as Scarlett Johansson, Sarah Jessica Parker and Charlize Theron. And these frocks, as well as knitwear, cocktail dresses, shoes and accessories, are all about bringing the feel-good factor back into fashion. With boutiques in London, New York, LA and Dubai, Temperley’s foray into Abu Dhabi has clearly boosted the city’s fashion credentials. Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thurs 10am to 11pm, Fri 2pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6810926. www. JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 87


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.

This month's special

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His ‘n’ hers Slim with us! Philippine Hilot massage Spa Deals


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JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 89

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Onboard Facilities: Professional skipper and crew Fishing equipment and bait Refreshments - Soft Drinks - Fruits etc... Boats are fully insured

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We explore a watery wonderland and discover relaxation at Atlantis



TALK US THROUGH IT... The menu said exfoliation and a silt clay wrap followed by a soak in the tub and a deep tissue massage. We enjoyed a hydro bath to loosen us up, an exfoliating scrub, a seaweed wrap and a deep tissue massage. Extremely pleasurable, but they might want to work on their descriptions. THE BEST BIT? When the lid was closed over the bubbling hydro bath and I was left cocooned in steam and dazzled by colourful lights, I felt like Sigourney Weaver in her Avatar pod. And, I assure you, it’s not often I feel like a hot middleaged woman. ANY AWKWARD MOMENTS? As my perky therapist slopped on the seaweed gloop, he uttered the confidence boosting line, “you look just like the Hulk… Or Shrek”. Charming.

DUBAI GLAMOUR RITUAL TALK US THROUGH IT... First, you can’t help but be wowed by the grand staircase and stunning floating walkway, before you’re then taken to an underwater themed treatment room. Then there’s an almond and SLEEP FACTOR? coconut body scrub, green tea and Zero. There’s far too much going on to snooze. I did daydream about herb wrap, full body massage and Express Radiance facial. having serious words with John Lithgow regarding his treatment of THE BEST BIT? the gingerbread men, mind. During the wrap you’re cocooned in warm towels and treated to a WHO SHOULD GET head massage – no cold Clingfilm INVOLVED? or being abandoned for 20 Shrek, The Hulk, Sigourney Weaver and adventurous souls in minutes here. search of soft skin and something ANY AWKWARD MOMENTS? a little bit different. I’ve become incapable of staying HOW MUCH AND HOW LONG? awake during massages. After the scrub I was just one smoothDhs1,020 for one hour and 40 skinned narcoleptic. minutes. HOW WERE THE DISPOSABLE PANTS? Disposable board shorts. I’d wear them on the beach if they weren’t so loose around the merchandise.

HOW WERE THE DISPOSABLE PANTS? Black and papery with elasticated leg holes. Not a winning look but comfy enough. SLEEP FACTOR? See above. You might be able to sneak in a little nap in the relaxation lounge, too. WHO SHOULD GET INVOLVED? This is the ideal treatment if you’re getting ready for a big

night out – you’ll be fresh-faced, glowing and feeling like royalty. HOW MUCH AND HOW LONG? Dhs1,380 for two hours and 20 minutes of princess-style pampering. The Spa Atlantis, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 4261020. JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 91


Slim with us! Our disastrous dieter turns up the heat with a month of Bikram yoga

I could write a litany of excuses. An ode to procrastination. Justify. Explain. Defend. But it really just comes down to this: I moved house this month and haven’t tried hard enough to lose weight. And furniture shopping is much more fun than running in 36 degree heat. Not to mention how time-consuming playing house is – have you ever been to the DEWA office? Unfortunately, I can’t see the diet situation getting better – living with two other people can force you to up your game a little on the healthy food front, but


now I’m going solo I have visions of eating golden syrup off a spoon and surviving on toast. If no-one sees it doesn’t count. However, in the name of research, I started Bikram yoga at Club Stretch and it has kept me sane during the dark days of waiting for IKEA to show up. The ‘hot yoga’ sessions were attributed to Madonna’s frankly terrifying arms so I was looking forward to checking out my fellow classmates and their veiny limbs. There were, of course, a smattering of super-bendy types but it wasn’t as intimidating as you’d think. It was, however, as hot as Ravi’s in August in the studio. Each class lasts 90 minutes and you are taken through 26 postures and two breathing

exercises – standing then on the mat. It can’t be over-emphasised how difficult it is to focus, balance and use strength in the 43 degree heat. Also, I have what the French call ‘il y a du monde au balcon’ (translation: the whole world on the balcony or, if you prefer, a large chest) and some of the postures are near impossible. My favourite is number 13 – Savasana, or ‘corpse pose’. This involves lying on your back while mentally pleading with the instructor to open the studio door just an inch so some delicious cool air can creep in. The point of the heat is to warm your muscles properly so your flexibility is increased and you’re less likely to injure yourself. It’s also an efficient way to tick ‘taste own sweat’ off your bucket list. Yes, you sweat. A lot. After the first class I had to sit in the car with the AC on for 20 minutes before I felt physically capable of driving. Recovery 92 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

time is swift though, and most people (thankfully myself included) get a great natural high afterwards, with sleep patterns improving and skin looking brighter too. That may be due to the fact you neck water like a parched possum. What was particularly surprising was the addictive nature of Bikram, and I found myself thinking about classes a lot, dragging friends along and chirping about ‘how amaaaaazing you feel afterwards’ only to get glowering looks as sweat dripped of the ends of their noses. It’s a little cultish and something I would do again – maybe taking instructor Brian’s suggestion and doing a ‘30 Day Challenge’ with a class every day for a month. In the meantime though, there are boxes to unpack. Club Stretch, Al Mina Road, Satwa, Dubai, Dhs70 per class or Dhs100 for a week of unlimited classes (first-timers only). Tel: (04) 3452131.

For more information or to make a booking, please contact our Reservations Department on 02 509 8630 or email


Philippine Hilot Massage The ancient arts of healing from the Philippines makes its debut at the Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri’s Chi Spa

“Think of it as reflexology on your whole body, rather than just your feet,” our masseur Dev tells us as we arrive. So, using coconut oil to increase the heat from his hands, Dev gets to work on us. This is far from being one of those sublimely relaxing massages where you’ll drift off into a peaceful slumber. Expect a bit of pain as the therapist prods and kneads away at your flesh. But it was worth it. Lower back pain has always been our Achilles heel, so to speak. And so Dev spent 30 minutes digging his thumbs into the small of our back and massaging the surrounding area. It hurt a bit, but afterwards all traces of our spine problems had apparently been eliminated. Only time will tell whether this has been a long-term fix to our backache, but so far so good. Chi Spa, Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, Dhs700 for 90 minutes. Tel: (02) 5098888. www.

Over in the Philippines, the manghihilot was a part-mysticcum-part-doctor type who, until the advent of modern medicine, was the go-to guy for pretty much any illness. Using a combination of chanting, herbal concoctions and massage, he was, supposedly, able to identify and cure whatever ailed you. The Chi Spa’s interpretation of this traditional massage may have, thankfully, ditched the chanting and spiritual side of the treatment, but it’s still based on the manghihilot’s tried and tested technique of massaging various pressure points dotted around your body.

Fisho Fish Spa

Feeding the fish – with your feet – at Wild Wadi

94 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

Fish Spa? What’s this all about? Feet cleaning using live fish. I’m sorry, feet cleaning using what? Live fish. It couldn't be simpler. After giving your feet a thorough clean, roll up your trousers and dip them into a tank full of tiny fish. What on earth would that do? Well, once in the water, dozens of toothless Garra Ruffa swarm around your toes and begin to nibble away at the dead skin. Wow, that sounds weird. Well, the sight of your feet disappearing in a cloud of little black fish can be a bit unnerving, but that’s nothing compared to the tickling sensation you feel when they start to do their thing. Thankfully this soon subsides and

what’s described as a micro-massage, which is sort of like an ever so slight electric current pulsing through you feet and lower legs, replaces the awkward tingling. Is it relaxing? It is quite relaxing, really, despite the fact you're sweating it out in the middle of a crowded water park. How long does all this take? The fish are done in about 15 minutes and the results are instant. Your feet feel smoother and softer, with almost all of the unsightly patches of tough old skin being eaten away. The fish also clean out the pores on your feet, removing dead cells and improving blood circulation. Bonus. Fisho Fish Spa, Wild Wadi, Dubai, Dhs40, Dhs30 for children. Tel (04) 3484444.

Spa Deals Your guide to the best discounts in Spa Land this month

Exclusive reader offer!

Take this page to Natural Elements spa at Le Meridien Dubai and you’ll get 50 per cent off the High Performance Facial treatment (usually Dhs650 for 90 minutes) and the Deluxe Manicure or Pedicure (normally priced at Dhs180 and Dhs200). For more information, call the spa on (04) 2170000 AL ASALLA SPA Take an aromatic journey at Dubai Ladies Club this month. Choose the Decleor massage that best suits your needs (choose from Relax, Flow, Detox or Tonic) and you’ll get a free 15-minute paraffin wax treatment for your hands, plus ten per cent off Decleor products. The massages use acupressure to soothe and invigorate and costs Dhs695 for non-members (two hours and 15 minutes). Al Asalla Spa, Dubai Ladies Club, Beach Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3499922 LIME SPA Freshen up with the spa at Desert Palm. During June you get a free 30-minute Anne Semonin body exfoliation when you experience the earth clay cocoon treatment (Dhs480) and can enjoy complimentary access to the swimming pool and fitness studio when you book any spa treatment. Lime Spa, Desert Palm, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3238888 THAI PRIVILEGE SPA The ladies at TPS have gone discount crazy. As part of Dubai Summer Surprises, from June 17 you’ll get a whopping 50 per cent off spa treatments and 30 per cent off salon services. Plus, from June 1 to 16, if you book two spa sessions you’ll get one free at this Al Wasl Road hideaway. Thai Privilege Spa, 1047 Uttamah Villas, Al Wasl Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3489679

JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 95


eficial, if fat loss is your goal. Look to add more resistance training into your workout, perhaps alternating upper and lower body exercises with relatively short rest periods. Another aspect to address is your nutrition. Fat storage around the gut tends to be linked to insulin sensitivity as well as high levels of the hormone cortisol. Make sure that you are consuming foods low on the glycemic index and that have a low glycemic load as well as getting to bed at a reasonable time and having a good nights sleep.

Our resident exercise guru James Houghton answers your health and fitness questions. I’ve just started going to the gym and I would like to get my body, especially my arms, in good shape. Could you recommend a few exercises that would help a beginner? Adam, The Greens, Dubai As you are new to the gym, I would suggest that you begin with a higher volume of repetitions and a lower weight, a phase of strength endurance. This will allow your connective tissue (muscles, ligaments and tendons) to adapt to the new stresses. You should also experience some pretty good strength gains in the first few weeks as your neurological system will become more efficient at the new patterns you are using, so don’t be afraid to increase the weights accordingly. As for exercises, look to bicep curls, hammer curls and reverse curls to hit the different muscles of the biceps. For triceps, dips, if you can manage them, are awesome as well as lying tricep extensions and to add a bit of definition to the shoulders, lateral raises and overhead presses will do the trick. It’s getting hot outside – is it safe to do my normal twice-weekly laps of Safa Park with the temperature creeping up? Sunil, Jumeirah, Dubai As long as you are used to running in the heat then I would say that continuing to do so in the heat of the summer is safe. It is important though that you ensure your

body is properly hydrated and that your balance of electrolytes remains intact. One little trick to make sure you hydrate properly is to weigh yourself before you go out for your run and then again when you get back. The difference in weight (likely to be a few pounds) will be the amount of fluid you have lost whilst training. For every pound lost aim to consume 16 fluid ounces or about half a litre of water and you should remain properly hydrated. I’m a 30-year-old man who is pretty fit (I did the RAK half marathon without much bother) but I have a bit of a gut. What’s the best way to shift it? Sit-ups? Darren, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi Firstly, let me congratulate you on completing the RAK half marathon. However, contrary to popular belief endless amounts of sit-ups are not going to shift the gut. I would look at the type of training you are doing and whether it is conducive to fat loss. As strange as it sounds, marathon training doesn’t tend to be particularly ben-

Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai 04 366 5646



96 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

Got a fitness question for James? E-mail o editor-w @m

What essential bits of fitness kit do I need in my gym bag? Karina, DIFC, Dubai To answer this question I’ll give you three of the essentials that I tend to carry around in my gym bag. Number one is my foam roller. I use this pre and post-workout for mobility and regeneration work and to ensure that I release any restrictions that I may have, which could limit my ranges of movement in training as well as lead to injury. Think of it as a quick and simple massage technique. Second, I have my skipping rope, which I use for active isolated stretching. It is also an excellent tool for warming up as well as conditioning. Finally, I have my post workout nutritional drink, which usually consists of a mixture of carbohydrate and protein in a 2:1 ratio in order to maximise and speed up the body’s recovery process from training. 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.

Al Fattan Towers Dubai Marina 04 399 8993


Sports shorts Just the ticket

Get fit quick

The fast cars, the yachts, the beautiful people as well as some amazing after-show concerts from the likes of Aerosmith and Beyoncé made the inaugural Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix the undoubted sporting highlight of 2009. And on November 12, the F1 machine hits Abu Dhabi again for three days of thrilling qualifying and racing. Tickets have gone on sale this month. But if want to make sure you don’t miss out on the action, you better buy yours quick smart as last year the tickets, especially the cheaper ones, sold out in days. Nov 12 to 14, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Dhs1,400 to Dhs3,400. Tel: (02) 4460384. www.

What with our hectic social schedules, we all know how hard it is to find time to fit in an hour or two in the gym. That’s why a new health centre in Abu Dhabi is so appealing. The Concept 10:10 technique claims to be able to keep you fit with just 20 minutes of exercise per week. Apparently, it works by using regular gym exercises, such as lifting weights, but done at an extra slow pace. We’ve just signed up, so read next month’s issue to see if it really is too good to be true. Maskar Al Nahayan Commerical Complex, next to Emirates National School, Muroor Road, Abu Dhabi, Dhs499 for four sessions. Tel: (02) 4298567.



News to make you sweat

Paintball for less Who doesn’t like nailing their pals in the particulars with paint during a summer weekend? There’s always one friend, though, who gains an advantage by splashing out on loads of balls. Even up the score at Al Ain Paintball, where the 30 per cent summer discount (until end of August) will allow you to buy all the ammo you need. It’s Dhs200 for full protection and 500 balls. We’ll be back. Al Ain Paintball, Al Ain. Tel: 0507439648/ 0507732818.

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e burg e one drinks foers at a BBQ. T and only are se o win a r lling y o u a winwith V n motiva d yours, log oIP table and nto ww a fo n In whic llowing qu d answer th w. estion. h year d e top theid The One an d Only UK cha a) 1066 rts? b) 1991 c) 1815

Still the one and only


1991. America and its allies were busy trying to liberate Kuwait in the Gulf War, most of Eastern Europe was busy trying to liberate itself with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the LAPD was busy trying to liberate Rodney King of his senses. In the UK and the US, a pop sensation was busy doing some liberating of his own, as young Chesney Hawkes – a mere slip of a thing at 19years-old – began his assault on the music world, with the track The One And Only. “That particular period of my life was like being in the eye of a storm,” says a still remarkably fresh-faced Chesney looking back. “It was a conveyor belt of madness, going from concert venue, to radio station, to airport. There were always crazy fans everywhere I went. I look back at footage of that now and it’s like watching a cartoon character.” The song was, of course, a huge success; topping the charts in the UK and reaching number ten on the US Billboard charts, meaning for


© Gap 2010

Pop star Chesney Hawkes had a huge hit with The One And Only back in 1991. But what has be been doing since? We found out from the man himself ahead of his Dubai gig at Chi this month


JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 99

© Gap 2010


again now and you will definitely hear it in Dubai.” Despite the temporary resentment towards his biggest hit, Chesney didn’t fall out of love with music, and can now be found dividing his time between personal appearances, such as this month’s visit to Chi@The Lodge, and writing – he’s penned songs for the likes of Caprice, Hepburn, A1, Jennifer Paige and Tricky. “My day job these days is writing and producing for other people,” he says chirpily. “I work with lots of different people – at the moment it’s Sean Rumsey, a finalist on the UK TV talent show The XFactor a couple of years ago.” And he’s still working on his own music, too. Since Stay Away Baby Jane in 2002, he a brief period in 1991 Chesdreamed of.” has released one other album, ney Hawkes – while perhaps The singer went on to reAnother Fine Mess in 2005, not the most rock‘n’roll of lease three further singles in toured constantly and started musicians – was hot property. 1991, none of them, unfortu- the Marvellous Mechanical “I wouldn’t want that now,” nately, particularly successful. Mouse project, produche says earnestly as he chats I’m a Man Not A Boy reached ing music he describes as, to What’s On prior to his 27 in the charts, but Secrets “Quirky, interesting sounds, upcoming appearance at the Of The Heart only managed electronica”, and released the ever-popular Cheese night 57 and Feel So Alive failed EP Me, My Mouse And I. in Dubai. “I’m quite a private to chart. The only single “I’ve just finished an acousperson and I like my life now. released from his follow up tic tour, just me and a guitar,” Of course, I enjoyed it then. long player, Get The Picture, he says. “Most of my gigs are I was 19 years old, a young charted at 63 – and Chesney big student union things, boy, and I took advantage of Hawkes didn’t put out anwhich is great fun, obviously. the rock‘n’roll lifestyle that other album until 2002’s Stay But this last tour was nice any young kid would have Away Baby Jane. because I got to do my music “When you’re young you and have people appreciate haven’t experienced anyjust the songs.” And that’s thing terrible. You haven’t what Chesney Hawkes cares experienced the downsides so about – the songs. Still, there you take what comes at you,” must be a part of him that declares Chesney, knowingly. wishes, ‘if only…’ we ask? “When I put that record out “No, I’m quite happy right and it went to number one, now,” he says, chuckling. “For I thought ‘brilliant, let’s put the Dubai gig I’m bringing another one out, I’m sure it’ll my brother along. So it will THE TUNES do the same’.” be acoustic with my little “I’ve discovered this band But it didn’t. So how did he brother on drums.” called Broken Bells. It’s feel about that song after the Danger Mouse’s new relative failure of his followproject with the lead singer NEED TO KNOW ing efforts? “I went through a from The Shins. It’s brilliant.” Jun 11, Chi @ The Lodge, period of seven years where I Al Nasr Leisureland, didn’t play it,” he says. “I beTHE VERDICT Dubai, 8pm to 3am, came a bit of a shoe gazer, got An awesome album. Dhs100, free before into grunge music, turning Proving that Chesney 11pm, ladies free the guitar up to 11, kicking Hawkes is not just the one before midnight. Tel: my amplifier and sticking my and only, but a pretty cool (04) 3379470. www. fingers up at the crowd. It was guy in our book. my angry period. “But,” he says, “we’re friends

What’s on Chesney’s iPod?


100 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

 # 0 ! 1  3 7  2&#71!-0#

2 #*%',!$# !2'-,



Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City, Tel: 04 701 1128,

CLUB DIARY Fight for your right to party



18 Barry Fratelli @ SYNF

Ali Mak @ Glow Shef Codes and Mass Ramli join the king of Virgin Radio for a night of urban tuneage. Sanctuary, Atlantis, The Palm, Jumeirah, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, Dhs100, ladies free. Tel: (04) 4260561.


Tiefschwarz @ Ill Communications Electro-tinged fun from the German siblings. Rooftop, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100, ladies free until 11pm. 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.


Mr Mr @ Audio Tonic It’s four years since the electro fest that is Audio Tonic night first hit 360˚ bar. 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. WEEKLY

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

With his Brit award-winning band, The Fratellis,on an extended break, bassist and Scotsman Barry Fratelli (AKA Barry Wallace) tells us about DJing, Dubai and how the band has ‘definitely’ not split up We heard The Fratellis had split? No, no. We never said we were splitting up. That’s the thing, it was the press

that decided to call it that. The band are still very much together, we’re just not working on anything right now. We all want to go and do our own thing. I’m in the process of putting a new project together. Tell us more. It’s probably a departure from The Fratellis, but it’s in the indie-alternative vein. I’m not going to turn around and do

10 DJ Chad Phunk @ Relax@12 WEEKLY

UK-born spinner DJ Chad Phunk has performed at London’s Pacha, as well as playing on the same bill as house legends such as Judge Jules and K-Class. Now a regular at Abu Dhabi’s clubs, here’s his top ten tracks for this summer 1. Hey Hey (Tom De Neef Remix) – Dennis Ferrer “These huge vocals will be sung on every dance floor throughout the UAE

102 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

this summer. This tune will be massive.”

reinvented for 2010. Expect me to play this to death over the summer.”

2. El Ritmo – Grant Nelson Label “Everyone’s loving this Latin-influenced house track at the moment, as it has a real carnival feel.”

7. Add Suv (Armand Van Helden Remix) – Pharrel Williams and Uffie “A huge chunk of disco funk from hip hop legend Pharrell and French electro queen Uffie. AVH has turned out another classic.”

3. Track A – Da Sunlounge & Inland Knights “A cool remix of an underrated De La Soul classic, which bounces along nicely.”

8. Back Home – Chocolate Puma featuring Colonel Red “Big beats, infectious vocals and a sax riff mean this will have you piling onto the dance floor to.”

4. Sax Lover – JamFunk “There’s sax, sax and more sax in this funky dance floor filler.” 5. Still In Love (Joey Negro Love Symphony Mix) – AC Soul Symphony “Joey Negro turns this 1980s soul classic by Rose Royce into a soulful, funky house masterpiece.” 6. 99 (Tim Green Remix) – Cassius “This piece of classic French house is

9. Devil Walking – Mark Knight “It’s all about the disco grooves this summer and this remix of another 1980s track is another current favourite of mine.” 10. Latin Thing – Tommy Largo “One for the Latin lovers out there and guaranteed to get the ladies up and dancing throughout the summer.” Relax@12, Aloft, Abu Dhabi, 8pm to late, free. Tel: (02) 6545138.

some mad jazz experiments. I’m pretty secure in my position. I’m a bass player, I’m a musician and I have no desire to be a frontman or anything like that. Getting this new project off the ground is my main priority, and doing some more DJing. And what can we expect with a Fratelli behind the decks? It’s definitely more of a mod, indie rock vibe. There’s a lot of Motown as well and I play plenty of soul. Just the kind of music I’m influenced by, from the 1960s onwards. I would certainly say if you’re expecting to hear Girls Aloud you probably shouldn’t come. Is DJ Barry a regular guise for you? I’ve always done it on and off. It’s another aspect to things. I just get to enjoy playing other people’s music. It’s definitely not my number one priority, but it’s an outlet to do something different. Up until last year, when my daughter was born, I was doing two or three a month. Now I’m getting back into it. Is this your first visit to Dubai? I was supposed to come out in April, but the ash cloud spolit my plans. It was quite disappointing, actually, but you can’t argue with nature and volcanoes. Everybody tells me the UAE is a beautiful place and I’ve got some extended family out there as well, so it will be nice to catch up with them. I’m over there for three days. I’ve never been one for turning up somewhere, doing the gig and then leaving. I like to get out and see what it’s all about. Alpha, Le Méridien Dubai, Garhoud, 9pm to 3am, Dhs100. Tel: (04) 34479479


Native @ Sanctuary Sanctuary residents Rod Lee Winters and Aaron Bryan drop commercial house. Atlantis, The Palm, Jumeirah, Dubai, 9pm to 3pm, free. Tel: (04) 4260561. www. Evil Nine @ SYNF Brighton breakbeat duo bring a slice of Fabric to Alpha. Alpha, Le Méridien Dubai, Garhoud, 9pm to 3am, Dhs100. Tel: (04) 34479479 WE ARE: Circus @ Catwalk Underground and tech house from Afroboogie and Charl Chaka Golden Tulip, Al Barsha, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, free. Tel: (04) 3417750 Black Label Party @ Cubes Lounge A winning combo of house music and cocktails at the small but perfectly formed club. Cubes Lounge, One To One Hotel, Abu Dhabi, 9pm to 2pm, free. Tel: (055) 6560801


Claude VonStroke @ Ill Communications Who’s afraid of Detroit? The minimal techno master is still looking for an answer. Rooftop, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100, ladies free until 11pm. Tel: (050) 7258277.



Break beat this month. duo Evil Nine hit Alpha’s To passes for yo lay your grubby mitts SYNF on u winwithmot and five friends visit w VIP ww. following qu and answer the What numbe estion. r follows 9? a) 12 b) 76 c) 10




Ace of Spades @ Cubes Lounge One for the ladies. The fairer sex drink free bubbly until the clock strikes 12. Strictly guest list, text names quoting the word ‘ace’. Ace, eh? Cubes Lounge, One To One Hotel, Abu Dhabi, 9pm to 2pm, free. Tel: (055) 6560801.

M.A.N.D.Y. @ Ill Communications

Andre Pulse @ Life World cup themed party with the Brazilian spinner. Sanctuary, Atlantis, The Palm, Jumeirah, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, Dhs100, ladies free. Tel: (04) 4260561. www.sanctuarydubai. com Mark Pickup @ Relax@12 Do you like deep house with a smattering of vocals? Pickup is for you. Relax@12, Aloft, Abu Dhabi, 8pm to late, free. Tel: (02) 6545138. www.

July 2 Sixth Anniversary @ Peppermint Club WHAT'S ON PICK


Space Ibiza Pool Party @ Sundowner Don’t forget your swimmers for this Yas Island pool party from the legendary Space Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 2pm to 11pm, Dhs120, ladies free until 4pm. Tel: (02) 6563000. Cruise Boat Party @ En Vogue Ahoy there me hearties! Weigh anchor for this commercial house party on the water Al Bateen Marina, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 1am, Dhs150. Tel: (055) 6560801 DJ Said Mrad @ Yacht Club Oriental beats. InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen, 8pm to 2am, free. Tel: (02) 6666888


M.A.N.D.Y. @ Ill Communications ‘Oh, Mandy.’ No, it’s not Baz Manilow. It’s Berlin’s electro house duo Patrick Bodmer and Philipp Jung. Rooftop, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100, ladies free before 11pm. Tel: (050) 7258277. www. ZEBRADISKO @ Sanctuary Please extend a very warm welcome to the new Sanctuary residents. Sanctuary, Atlantis, The Palm,

© Gap 2010

Jumeirah, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, Dhs100, ladies free. Tel: (04) 4260561. www. Battle of the DJs @ Relax@12 DJ Stew Magoo takes on DJ Chad Phunk in a house war. Relax@12, Aloft, Abu Dhabi, 8pm to late, free. Tel: (02) 6545138. www. Funk D’Void @ Audiotonic Scottish house DJ with resident Mr Mr. Alpha, Le Méridien Dubai, Garhoud, 9pm to 3am, Dhs75, ladies free before midnight. Tel: (04) 34479479

We get personal with house DJ Steve Lawler as he prepares to join DJ Chus and Hernan Cattaneo in celebration of Peppermint Club’s sixth anniversary You’ve visited Dubai a few times. Where do you like to hang out when you’re here? Buddha Bar in Dubai is amazing. The Armani Hotel Dubai recently opened. Are you an Armani man? Ha, no, I can’t say that I am. Not my style at all, sorry. You must travel quite a lot. What’s

the most impressive thing you’ve ever done on a plane? Now that would be telling. Oh. Do you travel first class? Always, with the amount we travel it couldn't be any other way. What’s the most interesting item you have in your bag? My laptop, I couldn't leave home without it now. Mac or PC? Mac. What’s on your rider? Vodka, Tequila, Dom Peringnon, soft drink mixers, water, potato chips, fruit platter. What’s your secret to success with the ladies? Ha, I’m engaged to be married. That’s why I’m lucky, because I found my soul mate. Dinner or a movie? Dinner. Flowers or chocolates? Chocolates Looks or personality? Personality. Vinyl or CD or digital? Digital. Money or power? Money. Fame or respect? Respect. What’s the strangest thing ever to happen to you at a gig? I had a machete blade pulled out on me in Guadalajara in Mexico once, which was pretty scary. What’s currently on your iPod? Everything… except trance and electro house. Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, Dhs100 to 150. Tel: (04) 2955153


JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 103




Vibrant city: Auckland’s skyline [Inset] Deep water: Pools at Maori Bay

Land of the Long White Cloud You may know it better for its remarkable scenery, but New Zealand’s major cities offer more to the visitor than somewhere to pass through on the way to the land of the hobbits and orcs

New Zealand is known by the people who live there as Godzone. As in God’s own country – a reference, largely, to the beauty and rich variety of a land that features everything from boiling mud and volcanic geysers to snow-capped mountains, perfect sandy beaches and dense native bush. It is for all this that most visitors come. The chance to experience the near other-worldly landscape that captured millions

of imaginations in Kiwi director Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy; the chance to ski before breakfast and be on the beach by lunchtime, as the popular cliché goes. The gateways to all this – the cities that accommodate most of New Zealand’s four and a half million citizens – tend to remain just that: places to pass through en route to the ‘real’ NZ. To miss them, however, is to miss a trick. New Zealand’s major

cities may not offer the high-rise excitement of a New York, London or Paris. But they tell their own rich story of a young, vibrant culture and its unique dual history of Maori and European heritage. Spend a few days in each of them and you’ll learn more about NZ and its people than any white-water rafting, bungeejumping adventure, the ‘typical’ New Zealand holiday, could hope to impart. JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 105




Remote wilderness: NZ South Island

“New Zealand’s major cities may not offer the high-rise excitement of a New York or Paris. But they tell their own rich story of a young, vibrant culture and its unique dual history of Maori and European heritage.”

Where to stay WELLINGTON InterContinental Treat yourself to a Club Room for views over the harbour from the private club lounge, free Internet access and complimentary evening drinks and nibbles, and airport transfers. Perfect. From NZ$255. www.

AUCKLAND Sky City Grand Luxury five-star in the heart of the city, adjacent to Sky Tower – the tallest freestanding structure in the southern hemisphere. From NZ$195. www. The Quadrant Dubbed “Auckland’s hippest hotel” – need we say more? From NZ$120. www.thequadrant. com


CITY OF SAILS With over a third of the country’s overall population, its most densely populated city, Auckland, is the obvious place to start on a city-sider visit to NZ. Nicknamed the City Of Sails, it quickly becomes apparent why – boats of all descriptions bob in the harbour, from two-man pleasure craft to huge, ocean-going liners. The waterfront is also the stepping off point to the islands that dot the Hauraki Gulf around which Auckland sits. Must-sees for visitors are Waiheke, a lush piece of the tropics only 30 minutes from the city that has become as well known for its awardwinning wineries and restaurants as it is for its beautiful beaches, and Rangitoto, the arid volcanic island, the iconic outline of which forms the backdrop to almost every one of the city’s waterside views. Heading into the city itself there are the usual attractions of

city art gallery, currently located on Lorne Street while the main gallery undergoes a major facelift, and the impressive Auckland Museum (worth a visit for its setting alone in the rolling vales of the Domain). But you could just as easily while away the whole of your stay café-hopping around three of Auckland’s coolest central suburbs, Parnell, Newmarket and Ponsonby. The latter, particularly, carves an essentially cool groove. Bars such as the Chapel ( typify the area’s quirky-but-hip feel while sleek Italian restaurant Prego (, a little further along Ponsonby Road, pairs style with substance in a venue that’s been packing in the city’s chicest punters for over two decades. Auckland’s cool-with-a-twist style even extends to its accommodation. For all the sleek glamour of the Sky City Grand (it’s pretty impressive opening your blinds of a morning to the sight of an adrenaline-junkie tourist hurling themselves from the top of the adjacent Sky Tower in a static line jump that, at 192 metres, is the country’s highest – no mean feat in the country that invented bungee jumping as we know it), What’s On’s prize for the city’s hippest temporary residence goes to the Quadrant ( A sleek apartment hotel next to lovely Albert Park, the place is all slick white walkways and funky grooves with stays that come in packages, such as the Rock Star and Weekender.

CHRISTCHURCH The Heritage Hotel Located right on Cathedral Square, the Old Government Building has been lovingly restored to offer fivestar comfort in one of the most beautiful settings in the city. From NZ$170. www. christchurch

JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 107


Seat of power: The Wellington Parliament Building [Inset] Past revealed: Te Papa Museum

of Thorndon and Oriental Bay to the boutiques and cafes around Lambton Quay, riding the rickety cable car up to Mount Victoria for some leafy respite before heading back down to enjoy the shabby chic shops, bars and restaurants around Cuba Street. The star attraction in this town, however, is Te Papa (‘Our Place’ in Maori) Museum (tepapa.govt. nz). A comprehensive and detailed overview of the nation’s history from before the first Maori settlers to the present day, it covers six floors and several thousand years of the country’s culture. It’s interactive and slick, but you may be are better entranced by the quirky delights of the Museum of Wellington City & Sea in JUNE 2010 WHAT’S ON 109


THE WINDY CITY Wellington has so much to offer, it’s very hard to leave. The city is the country’s capital and home to its parliament (housed in a building affectionately known as the ‘beehive’ due to its layered, circular structure). Located at the southernmost tip of the North Island, Wellington sits on the Cook Strait, the narrow stretch of water that connects the Tasmin Sea on the west with the South Pacific Ocean on the east and is one of the most dangerous and unpredictable stretches of water in the world. Blustery is not the word. One of Wellington’s greatest attractions is its size. Compact by any standards, it’s easy to navigate entirely on foot – from the pretty colonial wooden houses



On the up: Wellington Cable Car ride



English style: Christchurch Cathedral

the old Bond Store five minutes walk along the waterfront where the permanent collection tells the city’s history through some slightly kitsch exhibits. ENGLISH ROSE Christchurch couldn’t be more different. Set slightly inland, next to the flat expanse of the Canterbury Plains, a river (the Avon) runs through it. Its large central Cathedral sets the tone for a city that is rich in the 18th century architecture that contributes heavily to its reputation as the most ‘English’ of NZ cities. There is, however, a fairly

The Insider WELLINGTON Take the ferry over to the tiny island of Eastbourne. An easy 20-minute ride away from central Wellington, it plays host to a handful of art galleries and cafes. Perfect for whiling away an afternoon. For something more physical, check out a Sevens rugby game at Westpac stadium – Wellingtonians take their national game very seriously.; www.

AUCKLAND Don’t miss the chance to ‘race’ NZL 40, a spectacular catamaran that competed in the America’s Cup, one of yachting’s most prestigious challenges. Alternative thrillseekers may want to bungee from the harbour bridge. Or how about visiting a magnificent beach such as Muriwai? With black sands and amazing surf, you’ve never seen anything like it.; www.bungee.

bohemian vibe at work here – the Arts Centre ( and neighbouring Dux pub and restaurant offer arts, craft and live music. Visit on the weekend if you can, when the square that joins the two venues is taken over by a bustling market. From here, it’s a short hop to Hagley Park, a huge, flat piece of green that roughly cuts the city in two. Here you’ll find everything from a public golf course and cricket pitches to one of the city’s crown jewels – the lush botanic gardens (the don’t call this the Garden City for nothing). Then, drop into Christchurch Art Gallery

( and fall in love with the stark abstraction of one of the country’s most famous 20th century artists, Colin McCahon. Culturally sated, jump on the tram to the slick boutiques in and around High Street – the upmarket eclecticism of World ( is a winner – before moving on to Sol Square, a vibrant quarter overflowing with bars and restaurants, including the Fish & Chip Shop, a paean to all things Kiwi with quirky, 1960s decor and delicious food. If this is city life Kiwi style, you may never want to leave.

CHRISTCHURCH The killer 5am start aside, a hot-air balloon ride is a Christchurch must-do, offering views all the way to the snow-capped Southern Alps and the farms, pine forests and patchwork beauty of the Canterbury Plains. Later, try whale and dolphin watching at Akaroa or a gentle punt on the river Avon. Landlubbers might prefer a visit to a local winery. www.; www.

Need to know How to get there: Emirates fly to NZ daily, from Dhs 6,325 (to Auckland) and Dhs6,245 (Christchurch) Currency: NZ$1 = Dhs2.57 Visa: A free, three-month visitor visa is issued to most nationalities (including UAE and British) on arrival. Passports must be valid for at least three months.


Up in the sky: Canterbury Plains ballooning

110 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

Experience the atmosphere – experience Mawal

Enjoy a night of excellent food and atmosphere when you visit Mawal

Belly Dancing and traditional singers every evening from 11pm

Enjoy a night of excellent food and atmosphere when you visit Mawal

Serving a variety of authentic Lebanese dishes. Enjoy mouthwatering mezzeh, fresh fish and a great variety of grills. We serve freshly baked bread, delicious salads and a range of vegetarian dishes.

Every Night is a special night at Mawal

Open 7 days a week Lunch 12:30pm - 3:30pm Dinner 8pm - 3am

Make your reservation today on: Abu Dhabi (Hilton) 02 681 2773 Dubai (Al Bustan Rotana) 04 282 6530 Dubai (Al Murooj Rotana) 04 321 5050




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Brunches Bars Restaurants Spas

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2 LeVendome Brasserie –

3 Sofra „

4 Chamas ‰

5 Al Fanar –

There’s a healthy buzz, but it isn’t too rowdy, so civilised brunchers won’t have their meal ruined.

A sophisticated and wellbehaved crowd means this isn’t the brunch to go wild at.

Chilled with a capital C. Sofra brunch is a great way to unwind after a hard week at the office.

It’s lively, with legions of waiters dashing around slicing meat directly onto the hungry diners’ plates.

Al Fanar has a reputation as a party brunch, but a few families have been known to brave it as well.

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.

From Arabic lamb roasts, through Moroccan tagines to sushi, eating here is a culinary trip around the world.

On arrival, you’re handed a two-sided card. Turn it to green to keep the meat coming, turn it to red when you’re ready to explode.

The emphasis is on seafood. Try some of the delicious oysters and lobster tails.

Need a cheeky post-brunch cocktail? Head to the nearby Chameleon Bar.

If the seven-star luxury of the Emirates Palace doesn’t impress people, nothing ever will.

The Shangri-La – very much the decadent out-of-town hotel – that’s handily surrounded by other bars and restaurants.

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.

Avoid if you have a fear of heights, as the revolving restaurant is 31-storeys up. But you’re guaranteed some astounding views from up there.

Special occasions, where a few glasses of bubbly is what’s required.

Impressing those who need to be impressed.

All and sunder. The vast restaurant is spacious enough to accommodate all.

A special celebration with a group of friends, none of whom are vegetarian.

A memorable brunch in a truly unusual restaurant.

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

The Dhs565 includes Laurent Perrier rosé champagne, wines and beers, but you have to pay for quality.

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

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

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

If you’re looking for a touch of class on Friday lunchtime, Elements is your man.

This is where Abu Dhabi’s jet set come to brunch.

Everyone. It’s peaceful enough for families and lively enough for a knees-up with your mates.

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

Great views and good food. But be prepared for a party vibe later on.

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

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

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

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

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






1 Elements –


Al Fanar

114 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

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7 One To One „

8 Belgian Brunch „

9 Rosebuds –

10 Pearls & Caviar

One of Abu Dhabi’s best bars also hosts one of Abu Dhabi’s busiest and best brunches.

One of the capital’s busiest brunches. But it’s spread over three restaurants so you won’t feel hemmed in.

Expect the clatter of a friendly pub lunch.

There’s a friendly, family feel at Rosebuds, enhanced by the lively sounds of a Cuban band.

A relatively new brunch, so it’s not teeming with diners yet. But expect this to change once word gets out.

There’s an a la carte menu consisting of mostly noodles and sushi dishes. But you can order as much as you like.

A trio of restaurants with three different cuisines – Oriental food from Wokcano, steaks from 180z and international from Resto.

From meatballs to mussels, it’s the kind of hearty grub that’s associated with the Belgian Café. It’s a la carte, but you can order as much as you like.

From steaks, to curries, to pasta and seafood. Whatever your tastes are, you won’t feel left out.

Mountains of seafood all prepared to your liking at a live cooking station.

With its views over the boats bobbing in the InterCon’s private marina, there’s a resort feel to the place.

The restaurants are stacked on top of each other, so expect some stair climbing if you want to refill your plate.

The Belgian Café is so convincingly European in style it’s easy to forget you’re in the Middle East.

Brauhaus and Trader Vic’s, two of Abu Dhabi’s best bars, are right next door.

Pearls & Caviar’s waterfront location has great views of the Grand Mosque.

Taking up your whole afternoon. As the Yacht Club brunch finishes at 6pm, it drifts perfectly into an evening out.

Groups of friends who want to party without breaking the bank.

Whether you’re after a full on party or just a quiet meal with your friends, you won’t feel out of place.

Fun for all the family – the kids will love the resident clown and face-painter.

Seafood fanatics.

The Dhs165 includes only one drink, so can get a bit pricey if you try too many cocktails.

Dhs200 with alcohol and Dhs140 without. Pleasantly affordable.

Dhs165 will get you tons of food and one beer. Not excessively expensive.

The Dhs174 includes one glass of beer or wine, so it’s not the most raucous brunches out there.

Dhs299 with champagne, Dhs199 with other drinks. On the upper end of the scale, but bubbly’s included in the bill.

We love the Yacht Club and we love this brunch.

Most weekends this brunch is sold out. Best to book early or you’ll be disappointed.

If you haven’t tried the BC’s chips and mayonnaise you haven’t lived. Order some now.

We hear Rosebuds might be closing for a refit soon, so enjoy this brunch while you can.

Summer’s here, meaning the upstairs terrace bar is probably off limits to all but the brave, but P&C’s still worth a visit.

InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen 2pm to 6pm Tel: (02) 6666888

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

InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen 1pm to 4pm Tel: (02) 6666888

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

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi 1pm to 4pm Tel: (02) 5098888

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Lively and friendly.

Bustling, with groups of all ages enjoying the European hospitality.

It’s only been open a few months, but it’s rapidly gaining a reputation as one of Abu Dhabi’s best and busiest bars.

As the capital’s only dedicated sports bar, it’s wall-to-wall punters on big match days.

Heroes is packed to the rafters at weekends. There’s a fog of smoke in the air and sweat dripping off the walls as the live band churn out rock classics.

You’re in the Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi’s entertainment hotbed.

The InterCon, one of the capital’s best hotels.

Perched on top of the Aloft Hotel, the bar has commanding views over the whole of Abu Dhabi.

Le Méridien Hotel’s seen better days, but does have it’s share of rough and ready bars and good value restaurants.

In the Crowne Plaza’s basement, just yards from two quality new restaurants – Cho Gao and Spaccanapoli.

Mingling and catching up or a few drinks to launch a night out.

European style after work drinks that turn into dinner and a night out.

During the week, the relaxed vibe makes it a perfect date venue. At the weekend, there’s more of a party going on.

Sports fans. As well as the plentiful TV screens, NRG’s one of the few bars in the capital to have pool tables.

Singing along at the top of your voice to some Guns ‘N Roses.

Drinks are on the pricey side, but not as expensive as some other options.

Some of the more unusual beers will set you back more than Dhs50, but the food is reasonable.

Fairly cheap and cheerful.

The drinks are cheap, the bar food tends to be a bit pricey.

Cheap and cheerful. But you’ll have to queue to get your drinks.

Left Bank has the best bar food in the capital. It’s affordable and delicious.

With its new brunch and cool European atmosphere, Belgian Café is a great bar, period.

Panoramic city views and lively earlier evening atmosphere make this a great starting off point for your weekend night out.

This is the bar to watch all the action at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Heroes lands back in our Hot List during the summer months, as it’s the best place to escape the searing heat.

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 Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen 6.30pm to 12.30pm Tel: (02) 6666888

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

Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi 4pm to 1am Tel: (02) 6446666

Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Hamden Street noon to 1am Tel: (02) 6210000


5 Heroes


Trader Vic’s

6 Third Avenue

7 Stills „

8 TraderVics ‰

9 Chameleon ‰

10Yacht Club ‰

Third Avenue’s the hub of the Khalidiyah area’s social scene, so expect it to be packed most nights of the week.

The sleek black leather chairs and the lengthy bar create a classy city pub feel.

The pounding Samba beats from the live band and the flow of cocktails creates a Latino party vibe.

Chic, small and intimate, with lowlevel lighting and cosy alcoves.

Calm early on, but the nightclub vibe kicks in later on when the resident DJs hit the decks.

For residents in exclusive Khalidiyah area, it’s right on the doorstep, but it’s a trek for everyone else.

The Yas Island complex of hotels has plenty of bars and restaurants to make your lengthy journey here worthwhile.

The Beach Rotana has some of the best food and beverage outlets in the city. Rodeo Grill steakhouse and Brauhaus bar, to name just two.

The sparkling new Fairmont Al Bahr is the perfect location for this glamorous new bar.

Downstairs at the InterCon and just a short stumble from the Belgian Café – another of our favourite bars.

An English pub feel, without the accompanying rowdiness.

A pint and a pie.

If slurping on a fruity cocktail is your idea of a good night out, then this is the place for you.

Lovers of fine champagnes. Chameleon has the widest range in the city – 15 in total.

A bit of posing in your designer clothes at the weekend.


You won’t feel you’re being hard done by here.

Your bar tab might eat into your overdraft if you have too many cocktails.

Beers are cheap, wines, cocktails and bubbly aren’t.

Reassuringly expensive.

Third Avenue’s a great place to escape from the summer sun. Plus, with its wall-to-wall TV screens, you won’t miss any of the World Cup action.

We spotted England cricket legend Freddie Flintoff here last month. If it’s good enough for the big allrounder, it’s good enough for us.

Don’t miss the superb bar food, which is cooked in a wood smoke oven.

For the mother of all sugar rushes, try the signature candyfloss cocktail.

Yacht Club’s terrace is it’s main selling point, but only the very brave would venture out in this weather. So it’s time to get reacquainted with the bar’s cool indoor area.

Sheraton Khalidiya, Zayed The First Street, Abu Dhabi noon to 1am Tel: (02) 6666220

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

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

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

InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen 12.30pm to 3pm and 7pm to 1am, Thus and Fri 7pm to 2.30am Tel: (02) 6666888





2 MPW Steak- 3 Toki „ house & Grill ‰

4 Chamas ‰

5 Nautilus „

A sophisticated restaurant with an equally sophisticated clientele. It’s busy, but calm and relaxed.

You’ll rarely find an empty table at Marco Pierre White’s English restaurant.

Toki welcomes Japanese food fans in their droves. You’ll struggle to get one of the private dining rooms without booking first.

Jammed with hordes of ravenous carnivores.

Chic and sophisticated. The luxury yachts bobbing away in the nearby marina reminds you this is an exclusive dining spot.


Oil paintings and art deco style lamps deck the marble walls, while chandeliers hang from the ceiling. It’s grand without being gaudy.

The dim lighting, dark-stained wood walls and leather chairs create a cosy, intimate dining venue.

Relatively small, with black walls and black leather chairs, there’s a definite cool Japanese feel to the place.

Modern and spacious, with the aromas of charcoaled meat drifting through the air.

With its gleaming white walls, neon lights and minimalist furniture, Nautilus looks like the set of a 1970s sci-fi flick.


Chef Jean Hurstel’s brasserie menu is packed with faultless European cuisine. We can’t get enough of the celeriac and fois gras soup.

British favourites such as fish and chips and Lancashire hotpot share the menu with the finest steaks in the capital.

A massive menu that may appear overwhelming to sushi novices. Don’t worry – the helpful staff will point you in the right direction.

Meat, meat, meat and more meat. Teams of waiters run around delivering cuts of steak, chicken and lamb to your plate.

The mains are all about superbly fresh fish, served with a variety of purees. And king among these is the halibut with a swirl of courgette sauce.


The Between The Bridges area is Abu Dhabi’s entertainment epicentre, boasting a slew of great bars and restaurants.

The glitzy Fairmont Bab Al Bahr is the ideal location for Abu Dhabi’s first celebrity endorsed restaurant.

You’re near to the Hemmingway’s complex, a collection of cheery, if slightly dated bars and pubs.

The InterCon isn’t that close to any other hotels, but has enough bars and restaurants to stop you from wanting to leave.

With a tranquil, waterfront location, you won’t find a more romantic dining spot that this.

We paid Dhs700 for a threecourse meal for two on our last visit. Good value for such great food.

Expect to pay Dhs800 for two people, but you won’t feel shortchanged.

Expect to pay around Dhs200 per person, sans lubrication. Good value for money in our books.

Dhs600 for two and worth every dirham.

Your meal for two people will be approaching the Dhs1,000 mark, but it’ll be money well spent.

The restaurant has just introduced an excellent new summer menu, elevating it to this month’s top spot.

The culinary legend that is Marco Pierre White would never let a restaurant bearing his name be anything but the best.

With constant newcomers on Abu Dhabi’s Japanese food scene, Toki still holds out as our favourite capital sushi spot.

As well as being a meat-lover’s paradise, Chamas also has the best salad bar in the capital.

Abu Dhabi has its share of quality seafood restaurants, but Nautilus is the winner in our books.

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

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

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

The Yas Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi 7pm to 11pm Tel: (02) 6560600



1 Bord Eau „




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


HOT ON EELSbi THE H ia, Abu Dha

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Mombasa Grille



9 Finz „

10 Mombasa Grille ‰

Lively, with the large open kitchen and sushi bar in the centre powering the restaurant.

The waterside chalet has a peaceful and romantic vibe.

Not too busy, not too quiet. About right.

The height of luxury, with chandeliers, marble walls and fine silver cutlery. Remember, Etoiles is in the world’s most expensive hotel.

Like the rest of the Yas Hotel, it’s minimalist and modern, while the rows of bamboo rods are a nod to the Far East.

There’s a nautical theme all right, with fishnets, lobster baskets and shark skulls adorning the walls.

The spears, masks and animal skins that line the walls look like props from a Tarzan movie, but it creates an authentic African atmosphere.

If you’re after searing hot curries to put a sweat on your brow, head elsewhere. Ushna specialises in delicately spiced and refined Indian food.

Generous portions of top-quality European cuisine.

The sushi’s superb, but it’s the succulent meats and fishes from the robatayaki grill that are the standout dishes.

Choose one of the a la carte dishes, or the catch of the day in a variety of sauces. It’s all good.

From African ostrich steaks to Indian curries, they’re all done with aplomb at Mombasa Grille.

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

With its bars, museums and galleries the Emirates Palace is a day out in itself.

Once you reach the sticks of Yas Island, you’ll find there are more than enough bars and restaurants to have made the trip worthwhile.

The beachside chalet is a romantic little dining spot. Plus you’re within sight of Brauhaus and Trader Vic’s, two of our favourite bars.

Why not hit our number one Abu Dhabi bar, Left Bank, after your meal? It’s a short stroll away.

Dhs500 for two might sound expensive for curry, but not for fine cuisine such as this.

Surprisingly cheap considering the surroundings. A meal for two shouldn’t cost more than Dhs500.

You can quite easily enjoy a satisfying three-course meal for less than Dhs500.

Expect your wallet to be Dhs700 lighter after a meal for two here.

You can get away with a threecourse meal for two for less than Dhs500 if you want.

Ushna has sidled into the already crowded Indian restaurant market and emerged as champion. It’s by far the best in the city.

Etoiles is a rare but winning combination of a fine dining restaurant and nightclub under one roof.

Kazu has recently introduced a better, bigger menu, which gives it a well-earned spot in our Hot List.

The chefs at Finz live by the mantra that you can’t really go wrong if you use the freshest fish and fine quality ingredients.

A rare example of an international restaurant that isn’t a jackof-all-trades, but master of none.

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

Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi noon to 3pm and 7pm to 11.30pm Tel: (02) 6907999

The Yas Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi 12.30pm to 3pm and 7pm to 11pm Tel: (02) 6560600

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

Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi Sun to Thurs, 3pm to 11pm, Fri, noon to 3pm and 6pm to late, Tel: (02) 5581868

6 Ushna „

7 Etoiles ‰

8 Kazu

Chic and sophisticated, but definitely Indian.

Early doors, there’s a calm ambience. Later on, the nightclub vibe begins to kick in.

Earth-coloured walls and warm lighting create an inviting atmosphere.








Anantara Spa

Hiltonia Health * 5Club & Spa ‰

1 Anantara Spa –

2 Zen Spa „

3 Chi Spa „

4 Serenity Spa

These are the best therapists in town. They’re the sworn enemies of knotted muscles.

They’re totally committed to your comfort. They’ll ask your opinion of the temperature of the room and the music being played.

The predominantly Nepalese masseurs are a quiet bunch. They’re not ones for small talk.

They’re friendly, welcoming and genuinely concerned about giving you just the treatment you want. They also really seem to like their jobs.

They’re an international bunch, coming from afar a field as South Africa. But they’re all incredibly polite and charming.

When the treatments are called names like Diamond Ritual and Gold Facial, you can expect them to pretty luxurious.

A vast range of treatments, plus each month an innovative new one is added to the menu.

Tons of choices for men and women. The new Filipino Hilot massage is a must.

They have the full gamut of massages, plus a few unusual ones thrown in there. The Aroma Massage, which combines body exfoliation and a deep tissue massage, was our pick of the bunch.

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

A palatial spa, set in its own wing of the hotel. Inside, it’s decorated in mosaics and gold leaf.

Clean and spacious, with separate lounging areas for guys and girls.

A total of ten treatment rooms, all decorated with dark wood walls, giving a Tibetan Buddhist temple vibe.

Although it’s located above a shop, this Renaissance-style spa is deceptively big. with separate rooms for facials, massages, Moroccan baths and hair styling.

A small, intimate spa that’s located at the far end of the Corniche, where traffic jams are a rarity.

You wouldn’t expect the treatments to be cheap, and they aren’t. Most are near the fourfigure mark.

It’s a five-star hotel but they’re still reasonable. For example, the aromatherapy massage costs Dhs348 for an hour.

The Chi Spa is one of the more costly out there, but you’ll feel you’re getting your money’s worth.

Treatments are reasonably priced. Dhs450 for the 90 minute Aroma Massage is worth every fil.

The Tropical Bliss massage costs Dhs695. And as you get two masseurs rubbing you down it’s very good value.

Golf fans should try the specially designed golfers’ massage to rid you of the aches and pains picked up while knocking the dimpled ball around.

Try the new signature treatment, which combines Thai massage, acupressure and aromatherapy. Calling it relaxing is a huge understatement.

We recommend booking a Chi Balance treatment, which is based on ancient Chinese healing techniques.

You could quite easily walk past Serenity Spa without seeing it. However, it’s a hidden secret that deserves to be found, as it’s the best femaleonly spa in the city.

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

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

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

Serenity Spa, above Paris Gallery, Zayed The First Street, Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi 10am to 10pm Tel: (02) 6778880

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



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11 Anan

Zen Spa

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Eden Spa

6 The Spa ‰

7 Eden Spa ‰

8 Sharinas Wellness Spa „

9 ZenZu –

10 The Lounge ‰

Everyone in this spa works extra hard to make you feel welcome and relaxed.

They’re all knowledgeable, but therapist Fe has been there for 15 years and is a bona fide genius when it comes to massages and facials.

Unobtrusive and knowledgeable.

Silence is golden at ZenZu as the therapists aren’t really into their small talk.

A crack team of hairdressers and masseurs. They’re all friendly and polite.

All the treatments use the exclusive Aromatherapy range of products.

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

From waxing to blow dries, Sharinas covers all the treatment bases to make ladies look better.

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

The whole spectrum of treatments – from haircuts to hammam baths – to make dishevelled guys look good.

There’s a functional feel with minimalist décor and dim lighting.

The huge relaxation pool is the centrepiece of this bright and airy spa.

It’s based in a huge villa in Khalifa A, a decadent escape from the hectic pace of city life.

The spa is clean and modern. But there are some major roadworks around the Al Diar Regency Hotel, so best to get a taxi here.

It’s located in a large villa, that’s centrally located but, crucially, has ample parking.

We’d say it was mid-range. We paid Dhs450 for a 90-minute purifying facial and back massage.

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

It’s all slightly cheaper than the equivalent in a hotel spa.

Dhs80 for a 30-minute massage. A bargain.

Dhs240 for a full body massage isn’t going to break the bank.

Don’t leave the building without trying out the Jacuzzi. It’ll round off a couple of hours of pleasure.

Try the ultimate pampering experience. It’s one of the best treatments we’d ever had. Honest.

Up there with the best ladies-only spa. A great place to head to for a girls’ day out.

Book massages before 2pm on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday and you get an extra 15 minutes free.

We’re confident that this is the best male-only spa in the capital.

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

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

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

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


Backchat with Catboy

is destined to look like their strip has been painted on. The last time England looked like this was 1982, when the kits were aerodynamic but the perms were anything but. Now, from an athletic point of view, I can totally understand the thinking behind the design aesthetic. Nothing for opponents to grab. Less drag. It makes total sense. However, at every single game that is played during the World Cup, there are more than It is upon us once again. A solid month 50,000 people in every stadium and millions The pain I felt afterwards was akin to being of uninhibited worship, screaming at TV dumped by someone you love. I wandered the in bars, homes and arenas around the world screens in bars, nodding approvingly as watching these matches and every single streets, alone, teary-eyed, feeling empty and producers get their cameramen to focus lost. It was over and there was nothing I could one of us wants to wear our team’s shirt. on hot Brazilian women in the crowd The problem is most of us don’t look like do about it. and going to work each day with a pretty professional footballers. We like to think Now, four years later, I’m going to do it bad headache. we do when we kick a ball around with all over again. I have no idea of my team’s I am, of course, talking about the planet’s current form or chances but I will be there our mates on Tuesday nights but the truth greatest sporting spectacle, the FIFA World is, we’ve got 20kgs of ‘good times’ round with everybody else, yelling profanities, Cup. Four years ago I was there. I had three our waist that cannot be disguised in a chanting and generally having a blast. I of the best days of my life in Dusseldorf, tight football top. My shirt is so tight small even bought my replica England shirt (red, soaking up the electric atmosphere, children have been using the material across obviously) months ago in preparation for wrapping my arms around people from my belly-button as a trampoline. the event. This brings me onto something all over the world, kicking balls through So here’s my advice for potential shoppers that I noticed creeping-in during the last the streets with strangers, celebrating tournament that seems even more prevalent when choosing your replica kit this their victories as if they were my own and summer… Add two XXs to your normal this time around… Tight shirts. generally feeling a unity with my fellow size. It’s depressing, it’s embarrassing I’m sure everyone remembers seeing man that I’d never felt before. It was current champions, Italy, prancing around the at the checkout, but at least when unforgettable. your team scores and you raise your pitch in Germany, wearing skin-tight blue or Then came match day for my team, England. white shirts, resembling charging stallions, arms in celebration, your nipples will I stood in the stadium at Gelsenkirchen, remain covered. muscles rippling beneath lycra. They looked watching Portugal break the hearts of an amazing, right? Even the most red-blooded entire country, all of us knowing that the Catboy presents The Catboy & Geordiebird man can admit that. chances of England ever winning a penalty This time around, everyone seems to have Breakfast Show, weekdays on Dubai 92. shoot-out were practically non-existent. taken note. Every competing nation’s team

Don’t miss next month’s What’s On... 100 things to do in your city for Dhs100 or less 122 WHAT’S ON JUNE 2010

What's On | June 2010 | Abu Dhabi Edition