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63 spots to eat, drink and dance alfresco

UAE DHS 10 OMAN RO 1.000

Contents Features 17 The return of the terrace Embrace the great outdoors with our pick of the best alfresco venues 28 Festival fever We speak to the big stars appearing at the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival 35 Cupcakes tested Get a taste of the sweet stuff with the What’s On guide to the UAE’s best cupcakes 39 Battle of the bashes Which high society event should you be attending? 40 All you can eat Loosen that belt – we’ve rounded up the finest evening brunches in the land

p17 p46

44 Start your engines A sneak peak at what awaits at Abu Dhabi’s shiny new Ferrari World

p35 OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 3

The round-up 12 Salaam The whole of October on two handy pages 14 Competitions It’s a bumper month with five pages of prizes – plus discover even more goodies up for grabs on pages 48, 66, 82 and 144 46 Films Our take on the big new releases, including Jon Hamm thriller The Town, the latest Harry Potter and Facebook’s inside story, The Social Network 51 Eating out Breakfasts from around the world, the newest steakhouse in Dubai, Verre’s chef’s table, The Critic on truffles, the latest foodie news and more 69 Art We catch up with Iranian artist Golnaz Fhati, check out Burglar Bill on stage and suggest five exhibitions to see this month

answers your questions, an inside look at White Collar boxing and the KO Survivor Challenge, plus we launch a new running challenge 103 Music The hills are alive with the sound of rock, the beach is banging and October’s clubland happenings 111 Travel We are Havana good time in Cuba, spending 48 hours in Beirut and get travel tips from the man behind Zuma 127 Hot list What’s hot in the world of bars, spas, restaurants and brunches 146 Backchat Catboy vows to lose weight and be more fun on Dubai 92’s upcoming jaunt


75 Shopping Shoe talk with Christian Louboutin, your wardrobe woes sorted and the smartest smartphones on the market

93 Sport & outdoor Our exercise expert 4 WHAT’S ON OCTOBER 2010


85 Mind & body A trip to Lime Spa, rowing on Dubai Creek plus the best beauty bargains






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 | Features Editor Gareth Rees | Chief Sub Editor Iain Smith | Senior Designer Sheila Lyn Carino | Editorial Assistant/Picture Researcher Karen Sequeira | Picture Researcher-Gulfpics Wayne Fernandez | Contributors Naveed Ahmed, Iain Akerman, Emily Baxter, Victor Besa, James Brennan, Louise Browne, Nick Cooper, Leah Fielding, Vikram Gawde, James Houghton, Catherine Jarvie, Richard Luck, Nick Rice, Farooq Salik, Simon Smedley, Sophia Triantafillou, Tom Watterson General Manager Production and Circulation S Sasidharan | Production Manager Sudhakar Chandran |

Mucking about on the water, p89

Eating cupcakes, p35

Running again, p94

Editor’s note

Abu Dhabi: PO Box 43072, UAE, Tel: +971 2 677 2005, Fax: +971 2 677 0124, E-mail:

I was on holiday recently. Well, I say holiday, but I actually went back to the UK to drink eight million cups of tea an hour (thank you mother), and brave the extremities of the north east of England. Living in the UAE for close to half a decade has made me what my friends and family in England have lovingly termed ‘soft’. Back there, a coat is seen as an outright admission of not being a man (bizarrely that also applies to women, who wear them even less); something worn only by the old, weak and fragile and even they will be given a disapproving look. Quite simply, the cold is something never addressed, never admitted to and never, ever tackled in coat form. The rest of Britain, on the other hand, loves to complain about the weather. It’s a very British thing to do. If the temperature dips below 15˚C (which it very often does), then it’s, ‘Oh, it’s cold out today’ and, ‘my, feel that wind – it goes right through you’. Meanwhile, the entire populace of Sunderland is walking around in Speedos, applying sun cream and beating up winter coat salesmen. In the Emirates we like to complain about the weather too, but of the hot variety. No one’s a fan of the summer heat, and with our favourite cafés, bars and clubs closing their terraces, the place can seem a little hard to bear. Well, complain no more – October marks the return of the cooler weather and with it the reopening of outdoor terraces, alfresco venues and gardens galore. To celebrate, this issue we present our guide to the best places to have fun in the sun (p17), so you can make the most of living in a city with such a great climate. So read on, then kick back and take it easy in one of Dubai’s many cool outdoor spots. And of course, the folks back home will be glad to hear, no need for a coat.

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

Enjoy the issue

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

Salaam! October on two pages

What’s hot Tom in the UAE Rumour has it that little Tom Cruise will reprise the role of American secret agent Ethan Hunt in the fourth instalment of the Mission: Impossible series. Oh yeah, and it’s going to be filmed right here in the UAE. More Metro Your daily commute could become that little bit easier now, with five more Metro stations due to open this month. The RTA announced that the Business Bay, First Gulf Bank, Sharaf DG, Jumeirah Lake Towers and Nakheel stations would be open for business, leaving just three more of the Red Line’s 29 to open.

What’s not

Guess list You'll never guess what we've just heard...


THE ARCTIC MONKEYS Not the full band, we're afraid, but just the drummer, Matt Helders. Apparently Matt's being lined up for a DJ spot at a nightclub near you soon. Fancy that? We do.


NOEL GALLAGHER This one just won't go away. Rumour has it that an Abu Dhabi-based PR company has been tasked with throwing a huge celeb party, and it just so happens that the owners of said PR company are the biggest Oasis fans. Ever. Short of kidnap, they're busy doing everything humanely possible to get their hero, Noel, UAE-side.

Heights According to a recent survey, the biggest phobia in the UAE is acrophobia – the fear of heights. Somewhat strange, given the number THE ROLLING STONES Rumours were hot that The Stones were due of tall buildings here, including the world’s tallest, Burj Khalifa. Or maybe that’s the reason why? Careful up there, now…



Face/off The new iPhone 4 hits the shops this month – but minus the much-vaunted Facetime application. Apple, in their wisdom, has removed the video-calling application fearing a ban. So no face-to-face calls with granny for us. Meh. Paul McCartney The erstwhile Beatle was set to play at this year’s F1 party, according to our sources, but was dropped when word got out, as organisers didn’t want to spoil the surprise. Surprise or not, we want Macca – what a gig that would be. 12 WHAT’S ON OCTOBER 2010

to appear at this year's F1 shindig, but alas it was not to be. Fear not, however, as whispers around town say that Mick and co are being lined up for a massive event soon.


GOOGLE BANNED IN THE UAE IT geeks are not known for their reliability when it comes to rumours, and we're pretty sure that this one is bogus, but still... Stranger things have happened.

This month we’re going to… DUBAI SUPER SIXES 2010 We don’t like cricket. We love it. So the news that cricketing legends Wasim Akram and Moin Khan from Pakistan, Rohan Gavaskar, Venkatesh Prasad and Vinod Kambli from India, Lance Klusener from South Africa and Aravinda De Silva and Roshan Mahanama from Sri Lanka are set to take part in a cricket tournament here in Dubai, had us shouting ‘Owzat!’ in excitement. Oct 1 to 15, Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai.

ICE LAND WATER PARK Ras Al Khaimah is just a short journey from Dubai and the new Ice Land Water Park is set to be a great day out. It can accommodate 10,000 guests and boasts, among many other things, Penguin Falls, the world’s largest man-made waterfall, Aqua Soccer, a snorkelling pool and Arctic Wave Pool. A day of fun for the whole family.


Five Questions… DJs Tom Bushell and Dan Marsh present Dubai 92's new drive-time which is, rather handily, named The Tom & Dan Show




Ever been arrested and what for?

Yeah, but surely everyone tries to steal a road sign once in their life? 1

Nope. I've had a few 'sorry officer, I thought the speed limit was higher through here' moments though. 0

How many shwarmas could you eat in one sitting?

I’ve never ever had one... 0

I believe in the three-Fajita rule. It's not possible to eat any more than three, no matter how hard you try. I reckon there could be a four shwarma rule. I’m willing to put to the test. 1/2

Who would win in a fight?

In the play fights that we have had, the contest always ends with a draw. Dan likes to call himself the British Bull Dog from WWF. It doesn't intimate me. 1/2

Against Tom? We'd end up just doing that thing that boxers do when they're basically hugging. 1/2

Who would win in a dance-off?

Dan can have this one. We recently filmed a dance to Kylie's Can't Get You Out Of My Head and Dan nailed it. Good lad. I have been known to breakdance, but rarely in public. 0

Me. Tom has no rhythm. We did actually put this to the test recently. It wasn't pretty. 1

What's the longest you've ever gone without changing your underwear?

Three days is fine, right? 1

Too long. 1

Never eaten a shwarma?! It's a miserly 2 and 1/2 out of five for Tom.

3 out of 5 for winner Dan, whose mean dancing skills finely come up trumps for him.


We reveal the after-race entertainment at this year’s Abu Dhabi F1

The artist formerly known as ‘symbol’ will be wiggling his tiny hips for you track-side in November. The 52-year-old will be the event's hottest ticket in the eyes of many race goers, with hits such as Little Red Corvette, Cream, Purple Rain and Kiss surely on the set list. WO factoid: The infamous name change from Prince to ‘symbol’ was actually a smart business move. The singer wanted free of his Time Warner record deal, which was under his Prince moniker, and so the new name allowed him to record elsewhere. When the Time Warner deal ended, he then reverted back to Prince.


The American rapper's iconic status on the hip hop scene means he didn’t need to bother releasing an album for two years, and he was still able to stay in the limelight. Best known for his smash hit Gold Digger, bling will be the thing when West heads to the Middle East. Expect him to belt out latest single, Runaway, from his brand new offering, Dark Twisted Fantasy. WO factoid: Kanye's name means 'the only one' in Swahili.


The Californian rockers are a good fit for F1 – loud, exciting and sure to set pulses racing. At the top of their game since releasing their 2000 debut album, Hybrid Theory, which has sold 24 million copies and features in the top 50 list of all-time bestselling albums. Expect US number one hits Somewhere I Belong, Numb and Breaking the Habit to make it into their set. WO factoid: The band started off with the name Xero, then Hybrid Theory, and finally Linkin Park. Lead singer Chester Bennington was inspired by Lincoln Park in Santa Monica, California, which he drove past each day. Nov 12 to14, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Find us at


Win with What’s On Another festival of freebies this month. Want to get your hands on the goods? Visit to be in with a chance of winning


To celebrate the launch of Warehouse's new 'Malt Drunch' we have a table for you and three pals to enjoy. Every Friday afternoon from 1pm to 4pm you’ll find a buffet of starters and desserts, with a la carte mains and a vast selection of beers on tap. Even better, the first ten people to book each week enjoy a complimentary brunch. To be in with chance of winning a hops-based brunch, you'll need to get this question right. What is not a key ingredient in beer? a) Water b) Hops c) Chips and curry sauce


Ignore the photo of Nineteen, if you win this prize you'll be celebrating Halloween at the restaurant – but with the lights out. On October 28 The Montgomerie's signature eatery is hosting a one-off 'dining in the dark' experience and we have a table for two to give away. Worth Dhs495 per person, this unique experience includes a welcome drink and four-course meal with vintage wine pairings. For your chance to win this spooky dinner, just answer this question correctly: Which of the following is not one of our five senses? a) Taste b) Touch c) X-ray vision 14 WHAT’S ON OCTOBER 2010

WIN! A MONTH OF DINING AND A COOKERY LESSON AT THE NOODLE HOUSE One lucky (and hopefully hungry) winner can get their chopsticks stuck into a three-course meal for four people once a week for a month at The Noodle House. In addition to this gut-busting prize, they'll also learn how to recreate the magic at home with an exclusive cookery lesson in the kitchens with one of the restaurant’s top chefs. For your chance to win, you’ll need to know the answer to this question. Which country are chopsticks commonly associated with? a) Scotland b) China c) Mexico


Your summer holidays might seem like a distant memory, so it's time for a mini-break. We have a night's stay for two at The Westin (including breakfast at Blue Orange) so you can enjoy pool and beach access at the five-star, shore-side hotel and return to work pampered, well-fed and enviably tanned. To be in with a chance of winning, simply tell us: What is the name of the popular pizza restaurant at The Westin? a) Tombola b) Bussola c) Gondola

i nt e ’s hi g h po u re lif Ca pt Get ready to enter the record books. Travel on a journey through the history of the U.A.E to above the clouds and beyond your highest expectations. With timed ticketing for your convenience, visit At the Top, Burj Khalifa to see Dubai as it has never been seen before. For more information please call us on 800 AT THE TOP, or visit to purchase your tickets today.

The return of the


TERRACE Now summer’s finally over, there’s no need to hide inside, with the UAE’s alfresco decks and terraces once again open for business. Time to rediscover the great outdoors



Dubai The classic. Wooden decking, beach beds, live music, that quiet upper floor and the threat of being thrown in the pool; Barasti is back. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai, daily 11am to 2am. Tel: (04) 3993333. www.


As the temperature comes down, so do the walls that have enclosed BEST Caramel’s outdoor FOR terrace. Enjoy this AFTERrare slice of alfresco WORK fun in the heart of the financial district. DIFC, Dubai, Sun to Thurs 11am to midnight, Fri 5pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 4256677.


This downtown bar is nothing without its multi-level outdoor area, complete with beanbags, waiter service and Burj Khalifa views. Time to rediscover Calabar. The Address Downtown Dubai, daily 6pm to 2.30am. Tel: (04) 4368888.

Thai Kitchen

Not only is this one of the best value brunches in Dubai, the lovely dining terrace is perfect for long evenings spent sampling Thai-style tapas with friends. Park Hyatt Dubai, brunch Fri 12.30pm to 4pm, dinner daily 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 3172222. www.


A table on the terrace at The Westin’s Friday brunch, but it’s worth the wait. Fab food, entertainment and candlyfloss cocktails in the sun. Happy days. The Westin Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai, Fri 1pm to 4pm. Tel: (04) 5117136. 18 WHAT’S ON OCTOBER 2010

Belgian Beer Café One of our perennial favourites opens its large balcony in autumn so you can go all continental with some moules and something hard to pronounce from the beer menu. The skyline view, afterwork drinks that go long into the night and a warm breeze. Sounds good to us. Crowne Plaza Hotel, Festival City, Dubai, daily 6pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 7012222. www.crowneplaza. com/dfc

Al Qasr

eer Caf e B n a i lg e B


The darling of the brunch scene is packed yearround, but when the mercury drops you better book ahead. Way ahead. A table in the sun within earshot of the live band is guaranteed to impress visitors and jaded Dubai dwellers alike. Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, brunch Fri 12.30pm to 4pm. Tel: (04) 3666730.

Belgian Beer Café – Barsha Belgian beers in Barsha, rather than Bruges, is a nice surprise, with cosy corners inside and a winning alfresco space for you to while away the waffles on. Grand Millennium, TECOM, Dubai, daily noon to 1am. Tel: (04) 4234111.




Mezze, martinis and music in the Marina, plus a huge pool under the stars and vast vistas of the skyscrapers. Genius. The Address Dubai Marina, daily 9am to midnight. Tel: (04) 4367777.

k Left Ban


Left Bank Madinat For a lazy weekend lunch of fish ‘n’ chips at the wooden tables or a few sundowners while people watching, you’ll struggle to find a better spot that Left Bank. Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, daily noon to 2am. Tel: (04) 3686171

Rivington Grill


GARETH’S Any closer to the PICK Dubai Fountains and you’ll need swimming goggles. Perched elegantly over the lake, The Riv’s balcony gives you a front row seat for a watery rendition of Time To Say Goodbye, not to mention a serving of top British nosh. Souk al Bahar, Downtown, Dubai, daily noon to 11pm. Tel: (04) 4230903.


Media One

The Friday afternoon pool parties quickly became notorious when they kicked off, and now they’re back for your viewing pleasure. Hot bods, cold drinks and tunes to warm up your evening. Dubai Media City, Fri noon to sunset. Tel: (04) 4271000.


Tamanya Terrace

The Yacht Club Chi The Yacht Club isn’t much to shout about during a searing Dubai summer (sort out that shocking blue lighting, please), but the outdoor deck is packed with happy hour revellers come the cooler winter months. The Friday brunch at Aquara is also rather lovely, with plates of seafood and an array of boats to coo over. Dubai Marina Yacht Club, brunch Fri 12.30pm to 3.30pm, dinner daily 7.30pm to 10.30pm. Tel: (04) 3627900. www.

Bathed in pink light and packed with media types hiding from their deadlines, this open-air bar is a welcome surprise amid the office blocks. Keep an ear out for announcements of live acts and guest DJs. Radisson Blu, Dubai Media City, Sun to Thurs 5pm to 2am, Fri and Sat 6pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 3669111.

Yes, the bar queues are a nightmare and there’s posing of Olympian standards, but this bastion of cool is back. Slap bang in the waters of the Arabian Gulf, 360˚ reopening marks a season of fun in the sun. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, Tues to Thurs 6pm to 2am, Fri and Sat 4pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 4068769.

Once that garden opens, silly season in Dubai officially starts. With a sweltering summer behind us, it’s time to enjoy everything from live bands to fancy dress, all in the balmy heat of an autumn night. You just know mischief will be made. The Lodge, Al Nasr Leisureland, Oud Metha, Dubai, daily 9pm to 3am. The One&Only Royal Mirage Tel: (04) 3379470. has been designed with outdoor living in mind. Stroll to the shore and pull up a chair for a The waterside terrace at Bar-Zar dinner that would keep King has been home to many a late Neptune happy. night, where a quick catch up One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai with shisha turns into fish ‘n’ Marina, Dubai, daily noon to chips and drinks deals, then you 3.30pm, 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) hear the siren song of the band 3999999. inside and the next thing you know it’s 3am. Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, Mon, Wed, Sat and Sun 5pm to 2am, Tues and Thurs 5pm to 3am, Fri 4pm to 3am. Tel: (04) 3666730.




Dancing under a star-studded sky to world-class BEST FOR tunes is enough DANCING to remind us why we love this crazy town so much. Rooftop consistently books big names DJs and packs in the shiny, happy people so if you haven’t been yet, go. Immediately. Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 7pm to 3am. Tel: (04) 3666730.

Beach Bar & Grill


Boats bobbing by, shisha by your side and a pizza on the way – QD’s is the ultimate in laidback alfresco fun. This creekside bar closes down during the summer, but now you can enjoy beanbags and sofas for at least the next six months. Great for a quiet Saturday night or a lowkey evening with guests. Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, Deira, Dubai, daily 6pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 2949556.

Nasimi Beach

Not the poser’s playground we first feared, Nasimi’s day-to-night concept, cabanas, fire dancers, BEST DJs and up-for-it FOR crowd makes it the MINGLING place to be. Friday nights see international club nights like Ministry of Sound and Hed Kandi grace the shores of Atlantis, so be sure to arrive early – or fear jealously flicking through everyone else’s Facebook photos. The Atlantis, The Palm, Sun to Wed 4pm to 11.45pm, Thurs 4pm to 1.45am, Fri 1pm to 1.45am, Sat 1pm to12.45am. Tel: (056) 6035713


Shoreside’s enviable beachfront location sent shockwaves through Dubai’s nightlife community and now it’s back. Watersports, dining, DJs and some new surprises will be unveiled soon. We’ll keep you up to date. Beach Road, Jumeirah, Chill Out Lounge, Sun to Wed 5pm to 8pm, Thurs to Sat 5pm to Midnight. Tel: (04) 3446705.

The Meat Co

With the Madinat’s waterways snaking around your outdoor table, a plate of ribs and the night still young, The Meat Co is a reliable choice for starting a Thursday night or livening up the working week. Madinat Jumeirah, Sat to Wed 11am to11pm, Thurs to Fri 1pm to12.30am. Tel: (04) 3686040.

Roo ftop




A surprisingly peaceful spot at the centre of downtown, Cabana is a casual, poolside spot BEST FOR where a salad SWIMMING and mocktail in dappled shade provides the perfect respite from hectic city life. The Friday barbecue includes pool access, but be sure to get in the water before 2pm when the looming Burj Khalifa blocks out the sun. The Address Dubai Mall, Old Town, Dubai, daily 9am to 2am. Tel: (04) 4388888.


Margaux’s vast terrace is sorely missed when the temperature soars. Celebrate its return with a nice bottle of vino, the rack of lamb and that amazing lemon tart. Don’t forget the staggeringly close Dubai Fountains. Souk Al Bahar, Old Town, Dubai, daily noon to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 4397555.

Irish Village

Old faithful. Our Guinness-soaked, pie-serving pal, the Irish Village welcomes you back to its patio for evenings of fun in the fading light. Bet you Bob Geldof makes an appearance before Christmas. The Aviation Club, Garhoud, Dubai, daily 11am to 1am. Tel: (04) 2824750.

Mango Tree

Another Souk al Bahar highlight, this exotic restaurant is all dark wood and clean lines inside, but these days a table on the terrace is the way to go now. The duck curry, a cold beer and one of the best views of the world’s tallest building should impress. Souk Al Bahar, Old Town, Dubai, Sun to Thurs noon to 3pm. Tel: (04) 4267313 20 WHAT’S ON OCTOBER 2010

Mango T ree

ge ish Villa


Sho Cho

Home to champagne, sushi and enough hair gel to make Peter Andre wince, Sho Cho pulls in the punters with its shore-side location, 1980s night on Sundays and openair vodka bar. Come winter, the outdoor dance floor will be packed and they’ll have run out of that winning prawn tempura. Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Jumeriah, Dubai, 7pm to 3am. Tel: (04) 3461111.


A previous Hot List number one, Maya’s pool access, jugs of beer and tasty Mexican fare is crying out for you to enjoy with some mates, come Friday afternoon. Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina, Dubai, daily 7.30pm to midnight, lounge 6pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 3165550. www.


One of Dubai’s few Spanish restaurants, Seville’s has a loyal We reckon following who come for the BEST Pierchic must vast paellas, sangria and cosy FOR ROMANCE have seen more feel. Come the cooler months, proposals than however, outdoor dining and Elizabeth Taylor. drinking is the main draw, with Surely one of the most really clever diners booking tables romantic restaurants in Dubai, the on Sunday nights, when you’ll combination of sea air, seafood and also enjoy a free film courtesy of seeing the moonlight dance on the Movies Under The Stars. waters beneath you would melt Wafi, Oud Metha Sat to Mon, noon even the hardest of hearts. to 1am and Tues to Fri noon to Al Qasr, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai, 1pm 2am. Tel: (04) 3244777. www.wafi. to 3pm, 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) com 3666730.


Grand Grill at Habtoor What seems to be a cosy, traditional steakhouse hides a secret. The terrace at the back of Grand Grill is not only a cracking brunch venue, but the outdoor air conditioning will keep you there long into the night. Peroni and a burger, please. Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa, 1pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 3994221.

Café Chic

Exceptional French food at great prices is a rare find indeed, but Café Chic’s set lunch deals, refined feel and sunny patio should propel it to your ‘must book’ list. Le Méridien Dubai, Garhoud, Dubai, Sat to Thurs 12.30pm to 2.45pm, daily 7.30pm to 11.45pm. Tel: (04) 2170000. www.starwoodhotels. com/lemeridien


Granted, the interior of Traitueur is knockout, but an elegant Friday brunch alfresco is a true treat. A fine cut of meat, lashings of champagne and sunshine. It’s tough in the Gulf. Park Hyatt Dubai, brunch Fri 12.30pm to 4pm, dinner Sun to Fri, 7pm to midnight, bar Sun to Fri, 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 3172222.

Boulevard Café

Whether you’re grabbing a quick coffee and pastry at BEST FOR 7am or absorbing BREAKFAST A lovely choice for Francophile the evening’s fare, the continental breakfasts excesses with a at Bistro Madeleine are reason Croque Madame at enough to warrant a trip. midnight, a table on the However, lunch deals under pavement outside Boulevard umbrellas outside also conspire to Café brings a taste of the create a weekend spot. Great for continent to our sandy shores. when the parents are in town. A weekend must. InterContinental Dubai Festival City, Al Manzil Hotel, Old Town, Dubai, Dubai, daily 8am to midnight. daily 7am to midnight. Tel: (04) Tel: (04) 7011128. 4285931. www.southernsunme. com/almanzil

Bistro Madeleine

The Oktoberfest Experience at Brauhaus 20th - 29th October 2010 Daily 7pm till midnight Saturday from 11am – 4pm “Weisswurst Frühstück” When you hear "Oktoberfest", the first thing that comes to your mind is...Bavarian Fever! Brauhaus Restaurant is celebrating the world’s biggest fair, taking you on a culinary ride with our authentic German cuisine to a world of good times. Enjoy live music with Austrian band Tschirgant Trio, and be a part of our fun-filled games such as ‘Nagelschlagen’. Tourist Club Area, P.O. Box 45200, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates T: +971 (0)2 697 9011, F: +971 (0)2 697 9018,


This What’s On favourite regularly reminds us of the reason for our love. Come autumn, tables on the terrace overlooking the verdant polo fields are hot property. Add in unusual carnivore-friendly dishes and a very well-priced wine list and you might fall head over heels, too. Desert Palm Dubai, Al Awir Road, Mon to Thurs 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 3238888. www.desertpalm.

The Terrace

One of Dubai’s most underrated bars, The Terrace is all cool whites, chic staff and sparkling glass. Sitting outside affords you views of the creek – all you need now is one of their seafood platters and a sundowner. Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai, daily noon to 2am. Tel: (04) 3172222.


Casual, Mediterranean fare by a pool on The Palm. This beach club is worth a day pass (Dhs100). Al Shalal Beach Club Palm Jumeirah, daily 11.30am to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 4309466.


Chaos inside and out, Yalumba’s party vibe comes into its own when summer is over, with tables on the patio and mingling on the lawn. Le Méridien Dubai, Garhoud, Dubai, breakfast 5.30am to 10.30am, lunch 12.30pm to 3pm, dinner 8pm to 10.30pm, Tues and Thurs: 8pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 7022328.

Dubai Polo Club Get your gladrags on – we’re going to the polo. Whether you option for a picnic and BYOB by the sporting action, or book a table for a champagne brunch, it’s an experience you’ll want to repeat. Near Arabian Ranches, Dubai, brunch Fri noon to 3.30pm. Tel: (04) 3618111.


No need for finery here, flipflops will do. Pints and club sandwiches are dished up to sun-kissed customers who come for the attentive service, decent prices and beachside views. It’s like being on holiday – every weekend. Everything you’d expect from an Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, The Walk, Dubai, daily 10am to 8pm. Tel: (04) antipodean offering and more awaits at Bidi Bondi; burgers in 3991111.

Bidi Bondi

the sun, sport on the big screens The Roof Top and a friendly crowd. Shoreline, Palm Jumeirah, daily 10am This is a trusty spot for a first date under the stars, and a laidto midnight. Tel: (04) 4270515. back bar to kick off the night.


At the start of each summer, Dubai mourns the temporary loss DEP ED HELEN’S of Bussola’s PICK upstairs deck, and when it reopens we can’t get enough of the sea breeze, crispy pizzas and laid-back charm. The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina, daily noon to 2.45pm and 7pm to 10.45pm. Tel: (04) 3994141.

errace T e h T

The Roof Top is complete with cosy seating, cracking cocktails and stunning views. Bag a secluded majlis and settle in for the evening. One&Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai, daily 5pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 3999999. www.royalmirage.


Carbs sold by the centimentre? A rooftop terrace? Cocktails and lounge music? Yes please. Madinat Jumeirah, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai, daily 6pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04)



Trader Vic’s The Madinat is the closest thing you’ll get to

a bar crawl in Dubai and Trader Vic’s is a worthy stop-off, especially when you can sit outside with a cocktail and watch the world go by, or just try to get off an abra. Madinat Jumeirah, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai, daily 6pm to 1.15am.Tel: (04) 3665646 .


Escape the mania indoors and head to Sanctuary’s sanctuary – the outdoor terrace. This vast space has its own tunes, bar and atmosphere, and beats the main room hands down in our book. The Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, daily 9pm to 3am. Tel: (04) 4260561.





Al Hadeera

Bab al Sham’s crown jewel offers more of an experience than just a meal. BEST With a live show FOR (complete with FAMILYbattle scenes and FRIENDLY baby goats), dancing and a mini heritage village, the buffet of salads, freshly grilled meats and traditional desserts makes it a must when visitors are in town. Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, 45 mins from Dubai, daily 7.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 8096100.


Movies Under The Stars on Sundays and Peanut Butter Jam on Fridays are the essence of alfresco living. Live music, free films, nibbles and a relaxed crowd BEST FOR conspires to create BUDGET the kind of nights to make the folks back home very jealous. Wafi, Oud Metha, Dubai, Sun and Fri 8pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 3244100.

Lime Tree Café Fresh salads and smoothies like the ones whizzed up by the chefs at Lime Tree are just meant to be enjoyed in the sun. Nab a table upstairs or at the front to enjoy the weather. Beach Road, Dubai, daily 7.30am to 6pm Ibn Battuta, Dubai, daily Sun to Thurs 8am to 9pm, Fri and Sat 9am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 3498498. www. thelimetreecafecom

Baker & Spice

Popular year-round for its afternoon tea, giant slices of cake and tasty salads, Baker & Spice adds another string to its bow with outdoor dining in the cooler months. Of course, the splashingly close proximity of the Dubai Fountains doesn’t hurt either. Souk Al Bahar, Old Town, Dubai, daily 8am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 4252240.

eera Al Had Meydan

Don’t forget about Meydan just because the galloping has stopped for another season. There’s a range of restaurants, from steakhouse to all-day dining, each with cracking views over the racecourse. Al Meydan Road, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai., daily. Tel: (04) 3813111.

Pai Thai

Pai Thai

Take a magical ride on an abra to reach this special spot, where you’ll find an enchanting outdoor space, exotic menu and enough romance to sicken Cupid. Al Qasr, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai, daily 6.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 3666730.


Meat-lovers beware, this is veggie territory. However, what you miss in protein you make up for in atmosphere, with a gorgeous garden surrounded by high trees. A truly beautiful restaurant. Al Qasr Madinat Jumeirah, Wed to Mon 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 3666730.

Villa Beach

You can’t get closer to the sand than Villa Beach (well, you could but it would be mighty uncomfortable). Its upmarket shack feel lends itself well to a seafood feast with friends. Crack a crab claw and admire the best views of the Burj Arab. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Beach Road, Dubai., daily 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 3480000.

Le Mer idien Vil lage

The Courtyard

Le Mériden Village

Al Manzil’s alfresco offering is slap bang in the middle of the hotel; a sheltered courtyard where you’ll find Arabic food, shisha, sweet mint tea and wellpriced wines. A great place to end a hectic weekend. Al Manzil Hotel, Old Town, Dubai daily 6pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 4285888. almanzil

Theme nights throughout the week, from a British buffet to Latino, keep the outdoor tables at Le Méridien Village packed throughout the cooler months. Ideal for groups, it’s great value for money and there’s great live music from the Flames Band Le Méridien Dubai, daily 8pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 2170000. OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 25


Abu Dhabi

Filini Yacht Club

The fashionable flock can now return to the Yacht Club’s deck, where Euro-Asian food is served to an equally stylish crowd. You’ll wonder how you coped without this bar during the summer. InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Sun to Wed noon to 1am, Thurs noon to 3am, Fri 2pm to 3am, Sat 5pm to 1am. Tel: (0800) 423463

Left Bank

With low lighting, lounge music and a knockout view of the Grand Mosque, Left Bank’s balcony is more loved-up than lairy. Ideal for a midweek date under the night sky. Souk Qaryat, Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi Sun to Thurs 6pm to midnight, Fri and Sat noon to midnight. Tel: (02) 5581680

b Yacht Clu Relax@12

A relatively new addition to Abu Dhabi’s bar scene, this rooftop beauty is becoming known for its weekly club nights, with both guest and resident DJs, great cocktails and bar snacks. Well worth a visit. Aloft Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed 5pm to 2am, Thurs and Fri 5pm to 3am. Tel: (02) 6545138. www.aloftabudhabi. com


& Cav iar


Many diners have spent the last few months looking longingly at the terrace. Rightly so, with a fountain, views of the golf course and loads of comfy seating you’ll struggle to find a finer place for an alfresco dinner in the capital. Radisson Blu, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Thurs 6pm to 11pm, Fri and Sat 6pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 6562000

Pearls & Caviar Frankie’s One of the capital’s nightlife destinations. And you’d hope so with that name. Now the annual scorch-fest is over, head to the gorgeous terrace at all-white Pearls bar where a DJ plays chill-out for the low-key, glamorous crowd. Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, daily 7pm to midnight. Tel: (02) 5098777. 26 WHAT’S ON OCTOBER 2010

Marco Pierre White and Dettori’s Dubai offering is sadly lacking any outdoor space, so the courtyard at Frankie’s is a welcome addition. Fresh ingredients in the fresh air, with good wine and good chat. See you there. Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi, daily noon to 3pm and 7pm to 1am, Friday brunch noon to 3pm. Tel: (02) 6543333

@ 12 x a l e R

Festival Hollywood returns to the Emirates courtesy of the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival. What’s On chats to the biggest names and checks out the must-see movies

Abu Dhabi essentials


If you miss any of these, you're nuthin'!

In the dictionary under ‘eclectic’, it ought to say ‘see the 2010 Abu Dhabi International Film Festival’. To gauge the wide variety of movies on exhibition this year, you need only compare Mark ‘One Hour Photo’ Romanek’s starstudded Never Let Me Go with Jane’s Journey, a lo-fi documentary examining the work of ace anthropologist-cumchampion chimp nuzzler, Jane Goodall. Other quirky-but-essential offerings include Che – Un Hombre Neuvo which celebrates the enduring image of Mrs Guevara’s little boy, and a brand spanking new version of Metropolis, the Fritz Lang silent film that introduced science fiction to the cinema and inspired countless Queen videos. Abu Dhabi 2010 will also showcase Miral, an Arab-Israeli drama from The Diving Bell And The Butterfly helmer Julian Schnabel, and Potiche, which stars French legends Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu and is directed by the Gallic film-maker du jour François Ozon (Swimming Pool, Under The Sand). Cult film fans, meanwhile, should keep an eye out for Michael Greenspan’s Wrecked in which Oscar-winner Adrien Brody (The Pianist, King Kong) plays a man trapped at the bottom of a ravine with next to no chance of survival. Needless to say, it isn’t a comedy.


Keira Knightley The Never Let Me Go star on 'It' girl Carey Mulligan and Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 How did you get on with co-star Carey Mulligan? Oh, I hate her! She’s so young, she’s so talented, she’s already been nominated for an Oscar. The thing is, she’s also absolutely lovely. I probably should despise her but we got on fantastically. Her character in Never Let Me Go is quite a nasty piece of work. I think a lot of people will see her as a villain. But the way her character, Kathy, behaves has less to do with her being bad than with the complications that can develop between loving friends. I think that’s what the film is about, at its core. What's in the future? Well, I’m heading to Abu Dhabi for the festival which will be exciting. I’m about to play Scott Fitzgerald’s wife, Zelda, in a film called The Beautiful And The Damned. And I’ve just completed David Cronenberg’s Sigmund Freud drama A Dangerous Method. And can you tell us anything about Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides? You’ve probably guessed that there’s next to nothing I can tell you about the picture. But I think it’s safe to say that if you loved the first three films, there’s a good chance you’ll love part four.

fever Andrew Garfield Miss Knightley's co-star on being a sex symbol and a little something called Spider-Man 4 Is Never Let Me Go the film that will turn Andrew Garfield into a international sex symbol? Oh, I hope not. There’s something very wrong with the world if I’m seen to symbolise sex. It must have been hell being torn between Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan. Oh, sure – I spent every day hoping that someone would call up Amnesty International. Meeting Kazuo Ishiguro was hopefully less distressing. Actually, that was really intimidating. He’s a lovely man, Kazuo, and an incredible writer. But that first time you meet him, you can’t help thinking, ‘I do hope I was what you had in mind when you thought up Tommy’. You seem very content with the picture. Yes, I couldn’t be happier with it. Choices are the only thing an actor has any autonomy over – both the choices you make playing a part and the choices you make with regard to the parts you’re offered, I think I’ve made some good choices and Never Let Me Go might be the best of the lot. And you've chosen to be in Spider-Man 4, too. Spider-Man 4’s a little art house movie that I’m really keeping my fingers crossed for. Here’s hoping it finds an audience. OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 29



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For bookings and information, call InterContinental Abu Dhabi on 800 423 463.



Adrien Brody The Wrecked star on neardeath experiences and sharing the screen with a damn stinkin' ape Your character in Wrecked finds himself in quite a predicament. Have you ever been that close to death? I crashed a motorcycle in 1992. I went over the handle bars, flew over a parked car and crashed head-first into a pedestrian crossing. It took months for me to get over that accident, but the upshot is that I know what it is to feel lucky to be alive. You've actually played several characters who live cheek-by-jowl with death. Hmmm, I guess you’re right. Szpilman in The Pianist, Fyfe in The Thin Red Line, Ben in The Last Time I Committed Suicide... There’s something of a pattern. I wonder what that says about me?

Julian Schnabel The Miral director on swapping art for cinema and missing Dennis Hopper

Do you enjoy the festival circuit? Yeah, absolutely. To get a chance to come And you fended off the world's largest ape to a place like Abu Dhabi and meet a new audience – I can’t think of many things more in King Kong. Yeah, that was lots of fun. I think people have exciting. Some of my fondest memories are this impression of me as an incredibly earnest of travelling the world with my first film, Basquiat. Carousing the streets of London art house actor. But to spend all that time in with a ‘refreshed’ Christopher Walken – it New Zealand, dodging monsters with Jack doesn’t get much better than that. Black, that was a awesome. You seemed to have a lot of fun in Predators, too. Absolutely – what’s the point of working if you don’t have the chance to enjoy it. It’s like coming to the festival – some people might see that as work but for me it’s a blast.

This is your fifth film. Do you see your movies as an extension of your painting, or do they represent something different? I suppose some people might say the films are a ‘progression’, but I really don’t think that’s the case. For me it was just another medium

to work in. If I was really pretentious I might say it was a fresh canvas to create new images on, but I’m not so I won’t. You were good friends with Dennis Hopper. You must miss him terribly. Oh, absolutely. A light went out in the world when Dennis died. He once said to me that he felt privileged to call me his friend. He felt privileged to be friends with me – I just hope he knew what it was like to able to say the same about him.

Details Oct 14 to Oct 23, various locations throughout Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 5564000



Abu Dhabi Film Festival THURSDAY OCTOBER 14 EMIRATES PALACE 8pm Opening gala Secretariat

FRIDAY OCTOBER 15 5.30pm Incendies 9.30pm Wrecked ABU DHABI THEATRE 6.30pm In Your Hands 9.30pm Taming CINESTAR 1 4pm Secretariat 7.15pm China, The Empire Of Art? 9.45pm Children Of The Stones Children Of The Wall CINESTAR 4 3.45pm Think Global, Act Rural 7pm The Oath 10pm Emirates Competition Two: Short Narrative CINESTAR 8 6pm Emirates Competition One: Short Narrative

SATURDAY OCTOBER 16 EMIRATES PALACE 6.30pm Cirkus Columbia 9.30pm West Is West

ABU DHABI THEATRE 4pm The Mummy 7pm Bill Cunningham New York 9.30pm Nostalgia For The Light CINESTAR 1 4pm Back Door Channels: The Price of Peace 6.45pm Earth Made of Glass 9.30pm Kingdom Of Women CINESTAR 2 5pm Children Of The Stones Children Of The Wall 8.45pm In Your Hands CINESTAR 4 1pm Emirates Competition One: Short Narrative 4.15pm The Oath 6.45pm Emirates Competition Short Documentary 10.15pm Submission CINESTAR 5 4.30pm Cane Toads: The Conquest 9pm Silent Souls CINESTAR 6 7.15pm Wrecked 9.45pm Incendies CINESTAR 8 6.45pm China, The Empire Of Art?

Secretariat In the 1970s, Secretariat took the horse racing world by storm. Now he is being celebrated on film. As the writer of Braveheart and Pearl Harbor, director Randall Wallace knows a few things about creating movie myths. With Diane Lane, John Malkovich and James Cromwell, there’s no doubting the pedigree of the cast. But the true stars are the steeds. 32 WHAT’S ON OCTOBER 2010

TENT 6pm Domestic Tourism II

SUNDAY OCTOBER 17 EMIRATES PALACE 3.30pm Cirkus Columbia 6.30pm Never Let Me Go 9.30pm Potiche ABU DHABI THEATRE 4pm I Travel Because I Have To... 7.30pm Queen Of The Sun... 10pm The Mummy CINESTAR 1 3.45pm Kingdom Of Women 6pm Slackistan 9pm Back Door Channels: The Price Of Peace CINESTAR 2 4.30pm Earth Made Of Glass 7.15pm Nostalgia for the Light CINESTAR 4 1pm Emirates Competition Two: Short Narrative 4pm Think Global, Act Rural 6.45pm Emirates Competition Four: Student Short Narrative 10pm Tears of Gaza CINESTAR 5 9.30pm Qarantina CINESTAR 6 7.15pm Women Are Heroes 9.45pm Chronicle of a Disappearance CINESTAR 8 5pm Silent Souls 7.30pm Cane Toads: The Conquest

MONDAY OCTOBER 18 EMIRATES PALACE 6.30pm Certified Copy 9.30pm Let Me In ABU DHABI THEATRE 3.30pm Life Of fish 6.30pm In A Better World 9.45pm Gesher CINESTAR 1 3.45pm In/Out Of The Room 6pm Pink Saris 9pm Chico & Rita CINESTAR 2 1.30pm Slackistan 5pm Tears Of Gaza 7.30pm Queen Of The Sun... 10.15pm How Bitter My Sweet! CINESTAR 4 1pm Emirates Competition Three: Short Documentary 4.30pm Submission 7pm To The Sea 9.30pm Emirates Competition Five: Student Shorts Documentary CINESTAR 6 7pm Once Again 9.45pm Divine Intervention

CINESTAR 8 4pm Qarantina 6.30pm Al-Yazerli 9.15pm Bill Cunningham New York

TUESDAY OCTOBER 19 EMIRATES PALACE 4pm Life Of fish 6.30pm Virgin Goat 9.30pm Messages From The Sea ABU DHABI THEATRE 4pm Taming 7pm Zephyr 9.45pm Waste Land CINESTAR 1 3.45pm Pink Saris 6.30pm Homeland 9pm OK, Enough, Goodbye CINESTAR 2 1.30pm Once Again 4.15pm In/Out of the Room 6.45pm In My Mother’s Arms 9.15pm Chico & Rita CINESTAR 4 1pm Emirates Competition Four Student Short Narrative 4pm Shorts Competition One

Slackistan That superb pun isn’t the only irresistible thing about this Islamabad-based comedydrama. UK-educated, relatively rich but very bored, Hassan (Shahbaz Shigri) wants to become a film-maker but finds it hard to get worked up about anything. Leant further poignancy by the country’s floods, Slackistan hits the head and the heart with equal force.


7pm Student Shorts 1 10pm Shorts Competition 2 CINESTAR 5 7:15pm The Ditch CINESTAR 6 6:45pm Never Let Me Go 9:30pm Certified Copy CINESTAR 8 5pm To the Sea

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 20 EMIRATES PALACE 3pm In a Better World 6pm Carlos 9:45pm Paan Singh Tomar ABU DHABI THEATRE 6:30pm A Man’s Story 10pm El ambulante CINESTAR 1 1pm Emirates Comp. 5 Student Shorts Documentary 4:45pm Living Skin 7:15pm Orion 9:45pm Potiche CINESTAR 2 4:30pm Gesher 7:30pm Virgin Goat 10pm We Were Communists

CINESTAR 4 4pm Shorts Competition 3 7pm Jane’s Journey 10pm Shorts Competition 4 CINESTAR 5 9:30pm Here Comes the Rain CINESTAR 6 6:30pm West Is West 10:15pm Women Are Heroes CINESTAR 8 4pm The Ditch 6:45pm Student Shorts Competition 2

THURSDAY OCTOBER 21 EMIRATES PALACE 6:30pm Miral 9:45pm Fair game ABU DHABI THEATRE 6:30pm Metropolis 9:45pm Furious Force of Rhymes CINESTAR 1 4:15pm Orion 6:45pm Che – un hombre nuevo 9:45pm I Travel Because I Have to... CINESTAR 2 2:30pm Living Skin 4:30pm We Were Communists

Carlos A five-hour French/German TV series mightn’t be everyone’s idea of fun. This lean, two-and-a-half hour festivalfriendly edition sees director Olivier Assayas serve up an admirable take on the trials and tribulations of Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, aka Carlos The Jackal. After 150 minutes in his company, you’ll be dying to check out the rest of Assayas’s epic.

7:15pm Homeland 9:30pm El ambulante CINESTAR 4 1pm Shorts Competition 1 4pm Student Shorts Competition 1 7pm Shorts Competition 2 10pm Kings of Pastry CINESTAR 5 7:45pm Surprise film 9 CINESTAR 6 7pm Sun dress 10:15pm Zephyr CINESTAR 8 4pm Carlos

FRIDAY OCTOBER 22 EMIRATES PALACE 8pm Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame ABU DHABI THEATRE 3:30pm Jane’s Journey 6:30pm Waste Land 9:15pm Ok, Enough, Goodbye CINESTAR 1 3:30pm A Man’s Story 6:15pm Messages from the Sea CINESTAR 2 3:15pm Metropolis 6:45pm Furious Force of Rhymes CINESTAR 4 1pm Shorts Competition 3 4pm Shorts Comp etition 4 7pm Kings of Pastry

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CINESTAR 8 1pm How Bitter My Sweet! 3:30pm Che - un hombre nuevo 6:45pm Here Comes the Rain

SATURDAY OCTOBER 23 ABU DHABI THEATRE 4pm Focus: Annecy Film Festival 6:30pm The Circus CINESTAR 1 4:30pm Competition Winner 7pm Competition Winner

CINESTAR 2 5pm Sun dress 7:30pm Competition Winner CINESTAR 4 2:15pm Competition Winner 4:45pm Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame 7:15pm Miral CINESTAR 8 1pm Student Shorts Competition 2 4:15pm Al-Yazerli

Fair Game Of the many appalling things that occurred while George W Bush was President, the Valerie Plame Watson affair attracted attention and scorn in equal measure. This extraordinary espionage story is now a movie by Doug Liman, who as The Bourne Identity’s director, knows plenty about exposed spies. What makes Fair Game must-see fare are Naomi Watts and Sean Penn as Plame Watson and her husband. Look out for David Andrews as Scooter Libby, a Bush crony who makes the ex-President look like Mary Poppins.

THE BEST OF THE REST... If you’re environmentally minded, the What In The World Are We Doing To Our World? strand boasts the superb Australian documentary Cane Toads: The Conquest (in spectacular 3D!). And if you like getting done up to the nines, don’t miss the gala presentation of Matt ‘Cloverfield’ Reeves’ ace vampire drama Let Me In. OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 33


at a glance



ingredients Walk into LuLu and you'll find a world of difference in everything we bring to table. Fresh foods, ready-to-cook, fruits & vegetables, spices, cheese, seafood… anything you need to cook up your favorite meal is flown in daily from around the world.

With 83 branches in easy-to-reach locations and award winning customer service catering to over 410,000 shoppers a day, no wonder the world comes to shop at LuLu.










We team up with Dubai 92, risking dental work, dizziness and diabetes to find the finest cupcake in the UAE OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 35



RED V 10/10



Smooth dark red sponge, creamy cheese frosting and covered in pink hearts, this is the ultimate cupcake. The thick topping manages to be indulgent without sickly, and they have the cake to icing ratio perfect, too. This is a science. Lick your fingers with glee and enjoy every calorie-soaked second. Kitsch, various locations, Dhs14 or Dhs140 for box of 12. Tel: 800 CUPCAKE.




A slightly plain-looking cupcake with simple buttery icing, but one bite and the fresh pistachio filling inside the spongy cake convinces you that it’s a bit special. Sweet, buttery and delicious. Jones the Grocer, Mamoura Building B, 4th Muroor and 15th Street, Abu Dhabi, Dhs15. Tel: (02) 4438762



Vanilla sponge with a CATBOY’S PICK lovely, homemade feel then a veritable duvet of caramel frosting (at least two inches thick), drizzled with caramel syrup. This bakery kick-started the cupcake trend, thanks to the praise heaped on by a certain Carrie Bradshaw’. We doubt one actually passed her horsey lips, but this was the best sugar high we’ve ever had. Magnolia Bakery, Bloomingdale's, Dubai Mall, Dubai, Dhs12. Tel: (04) 3505440

24 CARROT 9/10


BIRD’S A carrot does not die PICK in vain when it goes into this cupcake. The dense sponge is lightly spiced and truly tasty, with warm flavours offset by the cool, cream cheese frosting. They even do a low-fat version called 18 Carrot. But if you’re going to do it wrong, do it right. Sugar Daddy’s, various locations, Dhs12. Tel: (04) 3448204.

24 Carrot by Sugar Daddy's






Buttery icing atop a perfectly sized sponge, this cupcake gives you a sugary hit but without the post-binge regret. To quote Goldilocks, it’s not too big, it’s not too small, it’s just right. Kambaa Lobby Lounge, The Address Dubai Marina, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Dhs12. Tel: (04) 4367777



Get a bit of local flavour with this rich chocolate and date offering. With sticky sponge, pieces of fruit and thick icing, you’ll need a glass of (camel?) milk to wash it down, but they’d make a great gift and are a total bargain. Courtyard by Marriott, Dubai Green Community, Dubai, Dhs6. Tel: (04) 8852222



These home-made mini treats are kiddie-sized or ideal party nibbles, and even better, with their brightly coloured icing there’s scope for a kooky theme. Cute, cute, cute. Sisters Flavors, Dhs40 for six mini cupcakes. Tel: (04) 1057799


Boulevard Café spoilt us for choice with a selection of inventive cupcakes, but it was the gingerbread offering that stole out hearts. It’s petite but packed with flavour, with lemony icing (rather than frosting) and made us feel all warm inside. Eat after walking through autumn leaves and looking for conkers. Relocation may be necessary. Boulevard Café, Al Manzil Hotel, Old Town, Dubai, Dhs10. Tel: (04) 4285931

Vanilla Fairy cakes by Scrumptious


12 9


Sugar roses and a pink ribbon sit pretty on the double whipped strawberry frosting of this Belgian chocolate cupcake, off-setting the deliciously dark sponge. Available in a variety of flavours, these home-made treats can be personalised to suit the occasion. Project Cupcake, Dubai Mall, Dhs10. Tel: (050) 6546287

LEMON 7/10

The colour might be a little lurid, but with sponge that tastes like lemon curd and crunchy frosting, this is a refreshing, light cupcake. The flavour tastes authentic, rather than synthetic and when teamed with the lavender cupcakes from the same range, these look gorgeous. Perfect for a garden party. SugarBox, Dhs12. Tel: (050) 6965883



Home-baked rather than factory made, you can taste the personal touch in these charming cakes. Colourful and decorated with sprinkles, Smarties and all manner of Willy Wonka confectionery you’ll find it hard to pick just one. Luckily, the medium size means you could probably manage two. Scrumptious, Dhs10, Dhs70 for eight. Tel: (050) 7356268



Wildly indulgent, this vanilla cake is filled with pastry cream, dipped in chocolate ganache, drizzled in white chocolate and topped with yet more chocolate. Not one for the lactose intolerant but, recommended if you’ve had a nasty break up. Arlequin, Khalidiya Abu Dhabi, Dhs12. Tel: (02) 6666855



Pronto boasts an exotic selection, but this green goddess tempted us with slivers of coconut, moist sponge and a tangy taste. It’s a far cry from the usual cupcake offerings, but a welcome addition to the sweet scene. Pronto, Fairmont Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Dhs12. Tel: (04) 3111300



Diabetics beware; we suspect these eyepopping cupcakes might not be 100 per cent natural. They are, however, very fresh, great fun and well suited to a children’s birthday spread. They come in individual plastic cups to keep crumbs (and glitter) at bay. Nice touch. The edible Barney scared us a little though. House of Cakes, Dhs15 to Dhs30. Tel: (04) 4206973



Belgian dark chocolate by Project Cupcake



We were divided on these flowery cakes. The ladies cooed over the intricate edible rose and piped icing, while the men dismissed them for looking a little granny-ish. Either way, they tasted great – just don’t take them to a stag do. JW Marriott, Deira, Dubai, Dhs13. Tel: (04) 2624444



By far the largest offering we tried, these cupcakes clearly involved a great deal of talent in the icing department, but the 1970s style and slightly dry sponge left us wishing we’d put them on the mantle piece instead of in our tummies. Deli Café, Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Dhs12. Tel: (04) 3176000

We adored the topping on these little gems (caramel butter-cream, marshmallows and caramelised hazelnuts) but the too-dense chocolate sponge let them down. Pistache, Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai, Dhs12. Tel: (04) 3172222



These cupcakes might not be cheap, but you can see some serious effort has gone into the decoration, with the sponge loaded with multi-coloured gems, flowers and more. Full marks for the toppings, but these beauties lose marks for the overly sticky cake. Piano Lounge, located at the lobby level, InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Dhs20. Tel: (02) 6666888



CHEQUERED FLAG BALL WHERE? InterContinental Hotel, Abu Dhabi. WHY? To kick off the F1 weekend in style. WHO? In addition to well-heeled race fans and hopefully a smattering of industry players, there’s the celeb factor, with a live performance from UK soul singer Beverly Knight, and F1 pundit Eddie Jordan playing host. WHAT? A champagne reception and five-course gourmet meal, plus a bit of a dance at the after-party. Chequered Flag Ball, InterContinental Hotel, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (04) 4456842.

Battle of the

Big Bashes Two huge events are vying for your diary and finery on November 12. Here’s the low-down on high society

THE OIL BARON’S BALL WHERE? Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai. WHY? To crown 2010’s most influential member of the energy industry as this year’s oil baron. Not to mention the fact you get a good feed and shindig under the stars.


WHO? Billed as Dubai’s premier corporate social event, you’ll find all the big energy players (usually in stonking great cowboy hats), plus the city’s party people. WHAT? A three-course sit down dinner, live soul band, charity auction and raffle in aid of Friends of Cancer Patients and the crowning ceremony, all in the stunning outdoor amphitheatre setting. Oil Baron’s Ball, Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3910830.


Roll up, roll up, it’s What’s On’s guide to Dubai’s best evening buffets, the finest feasts and the best value beverages your dirhams can buy



Dubai’s Marina Yacht Club plays host to quite possibly the emirate’s most ‘bijou’ brunch. Come Friday nights, Aquara splits in half – one side bar, the other buffet – and a predominantly seafood spread is laid on. The choice of food isn’t extensive, but what they do, they do well. Dim sum, sushi, king crab, a carvery and a la carte noodles are all washed down with house wine, beer and cocktails – whipped up by the mixologist. Plus, a room dedicated to desserts will always hit the spot. It takes a while to ‘perk up’ and pumping house music feels out of place so early in an eveningut for the views, the service, and the smaller set-up, it works. Aquara, Dubai Marina Yacht Club, , Dubai, Fri 7.30 to 10.30pm, Dhs220 including soft drinks, Dhs295 including wine and beer, Dhs350 including wine, beer, cocktails and a glass OVERALL

Food: 8/10 Drink: 8/10 Venue: 7/10 Crowd: 6/10 Value for money: 7/10



They might be missing a mariachi band and a few well-placed sombreros, but at least the food at Channel’s Mexican night is authentic, with a decent range of spicy salads, tasty taquitos, fab fajitas and cheesy quesadillas. There is also a selection of hot dishes and a smattering of seafood options so something for everyone is pretty much assured. Wine and beer is unlimited – as are Mexican margaritas – however, these come from a self-serving machine as opposed to being freshly made, so it you’re fussy about your cocktails take note. The desserts are not essentially Mexican in any way, but still difficult to resist with plenty of fresh fruit and chocolatebased temptations. All in all, worth a visit. Vamos! Channels, Media Rotana, TECOM, Dubai, Tues 7pm to 10.30pm, Dhs179 including unlimited selected beverages. Tel: (04) 4350000

There’s something oh-so polite about sitting with a glass of wine and chatting, isn’t there? Forget your ravenous hoards and beerhungry mobs; this is sophistication all the way, with a selection of fine wines and even finer cheeses to enjoy. The premise is simple – book a table, turn up, and your waiter will offer you a selection of fromage and a suitably paired vino while you kick back and become part of the chattering classes. You can help yourself to the buffet as you go along, the staff are knowledgeable (who knew there was so much to know about cheese?) and the evening rolls by with an easygoing swing. It’s perhaps an idea not to go too hungry – it’s wine and cheese, not wine and a three-course meal – but for a refined evening out, it’s hard to beat.

The Alpha brunch. ‘Tis a strange beast. Shoehorning a brunch concept into a nightclub is a pretty interesting idea, but Alpha just about pulls it off. Its 4pm start appeals to those who don’t fancy the prospect of traditional midday timings, and also to those who can think of nothing better than whiling away a Friday afternoon nursing a pint and meeting fellow revellers. The price is cheap at Dhs149, but unfortunately, this is reflected in the food, which is very limited, and the bar can get a little busy, especially at 6.55pm. However, table service is relatively efficient and the in-house band that strikes up après food is a lot of fun. Alpha also offers a happy hour after the brunch finishes at 7pm, so all in all it’s a value for money afternoon.

Media One, Media City, Dubai, Sun to Thurs 7pm to 10pm, Dhs145. Tel: (04) 4271000

Alpha, Le Méridien Dubai, Airport Road, Dubai, Fri 4pm to 7pm, Dhs149. Tel: (04) 7022640


Food: 7/10 Drink: 7/10 Venue: 7/10 Crowd: 6/10 Value for money: 8/10



Food: 6/10 Drink: 9/10 Venue: 8/10 Crowd: 8/10 Value for money: 9/10



Food: 2/10 Drink: 6/10 Venue: 4/10 Crowd: 6/10 Value for money: 8/10





Any restaurant that offers piles of perfectly cooked lobsters with a creamy lemon butter sauce, calamari tempura and a one-metre dish of paella is always going to attract serious seafoodies. And Pergolas’ seafood buffet does exactly what it says on the tin. Lashings of prawns, mussels, oysters and whelks means even the biggest mollusc maniac will be satisfied. Only scallops were missing from this fishy feast on our visit, but fresh sushi and sashimi abound. Everything else, from roasted salmon to lobster bisque, plus other piscine delights is on offer at the seemingly endless buffet stations. Hosting the night mid-week means it was quiet, but when measured against the food and service, it’s a minor quibble.

A far cry from the mayhem of the famed Friday brunch, Yalumba’s Thursday night offering is a much more civilised way to enjoy unlimited Bollinger. There’s an extensive buffet with particular emphasis on seafood and sushi, while the best mains action comes from the a la carte menu, including steak with sweet potato chips and kangaroo – both superb. The party hats are available should you want to celebrate, the guilty pleasure music (Michael Buble, The Commodores et al) will tempt a few tipsy mums to have a dance between the tables, and the atmosphere is pretty darn jolly, certainly aided by the helpful waiters and their generous pouring skills. Pick ‘n’ mix always makes a party in our eyes, too.

Fancy a night out at Flavours on Two? Then decisions have to be made. This is no mixed cuisine buffet. No, this is a specialised affair, with international food on Saturdays, flavours from the rotisserie on Sundays, Indian food on Mondays, British grub on Tuesdays, seafood on Wednesdays and Italian served up on Thursdays and Fridays. Whatever evening you opt for, you’ll be treated to an unlimited selection of drinks, a live cooking station and an atmosphere that borders on the boisterous. The selection of food is wide, but the quality is middle of the road. The disappointment of lukewarm roast potatoes and a limited cheese board is only partially turned around by the free-flowing drinks.

Pergolas, Al Murooj Rotana, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tues, Dhs200, Dhs250 including unlimited house wines, beer and spirits. Tel: (04) 3211111

Yalumba, Le Méridien Dubai, Airport Road, Garhoud, Dubai. Thurs 8pm to 11pm and happy hour 11pm to 1.30am, Dhs449. Tel: (04) 2170000

Flavours on Two, Towers Rotana, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. 7pm to 11.30pm, Dhs169 to Dhs189. Tel: (04) 3122202.


Food: 9/10 Drink: 7/10 Venue: 7/10 Crowd: 4/10 Value for money: 8/10



Food: 9/10 Drink: 9/10 Venue: 7/10 Crowd: 7/10 Value for money: 8/10



Food: 6/10 Drink: 8/10 Venue: 6/10 Crowd: 7/10 Value for money: 8/10


SUSHI AT TOSHI Turn a corner in dusty TECOM and the vast Grand Millennium hotel appears, with surprising Japanese delights on its 18th floor. The benefit of a sushi buffet is that you can sample all those weird and wonderful dishes that you’d normally shun in favour of salmon nigiri in case you misorder. At Toshi on a Tuesday you’ll find the usual sushi suspects, plus crispy rolls, tempura, salads, noodles, grills from the live cooking station, soup and desserts. The staff are constantly replenishing the buffet, with many dishes created in front of you. Our only niggle would be the lack of labels, which could be a tad problematic if you have allergies, but chefs are on hand to answer any questions. Toshi, Grand Millennium, TECOM, Dubai, Tues 7pm to 11.30pm, Dhs159 including a glass of wine or beer and soft drinks, Dhs195 with unlimited house beer, wine and spirits. Tel: (04) 4299999 OVERALL

Food: 9/10 Drink: 8/10 Venue: 7/10 Crowd: 6/10 Value for money: 8/10







If you’re looking to sink a few jars of something curative and indulge in some rowdy hi-jinks, Park Hyatt’s Café Arabesque is probably not the place for you. If you fancy a mellow buffet in a charming restaurant with a significant other or a few close pals, you couldn’t find anywhere better. It’s ideal for a quiet evening after a day spent recovering from the night before. The Levantine food exhorts one to pile it high, eat it slow and enjoy. Hot and cold mezze, made to order saj, rice, bread, a fine array of hot, meaty dishes and a variety of traditional desserts should fill that hole in your belly. Alcoholic beverages are not included, but if the list of juices and tea doesn’t do it for you, a glass of something pleasant can be purchased for a little extra. A truly restorative feast.

An amazingly good cover of Wonderful World was particularly apt for the first night deemed cool enough for alfresco dining. Saturdays at Le Méridien Village boasts a buffet of unlimited ‘English’ food (think roast beef, fish ‘n’ chips, curry, minted lamb chops and sticky toffee pudding) but other evenings dish up South East Asian cuisine (Mondays), a barbecue (Thursday) and Latino fare (Fridays) among others. Dining under the night sky, an embarrassment of food on offer, a truly excellent band and super sweet staff make this a winning choice for a group dinner at a decent price.

Nestled just off the lobby in Media City’s incarnation of Radisson Blu sits Chef ’s House, a cosy buffet restaurant offering a variety of themed cuisine nights. Thursday’s offering is ‘unlimited skewers’, which treats the diner to a meat extravaganza, including different varieties of lamb, chicken, beef, shrimp and fish, accompanied by stir fried vegetables and rice. There’s also a plethora of different starters (most of which contain meat), as well as a couple of live cooking stations, rounded off by an impressive array of tasty desserts. The staff are friendly and attentive, but ultimately the food is a bit hit and miss, with limited drink options. With a good location and reasonable price, it is worth a look, but strictly only for meat lovers.

Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, Dubai, Wed to Sat 6.30pm to 11.30pm, Dhs139. Tel: (04) 3172222. www. OVERALL

Food: 7/10 Drink: 5/10 Venue: 8/10 Crowd: 5/10 Value for money: 8/10



Le Méridien Village, Le Méridien Dubai, Airport Road, Garhoud, Dubai. 8pm to 11pm, Dhs190 including unlimited regular beverages, Dhs250 with unlimited regular and premium beverages. Tel: (04) 7022455. www.


Food: 8/10 Drink: 8/10 Venue: 9/10 Crowd: 7/10 Value for money: 8/10


Chef’s House, Radisson Blu, Media City, Dubai, 7pm to 11pm, Dhs135 including soft drinks, Dhs180 including house beverages. Tel: (04) 3669111


Food: 6/10 Drink: 7/10 Venue: 7/10 Crowd: 6/10 Value for money: 7/10


LOCKER ROOM If truth be told, the Locker Room’s barbecue buffet sees the food play second fiddle to the drinks. Once you eventually find The Golden Tulip (tell your taxi driver NOT to head to the Golden Tulip residences near MoE) you’ll notice most of the clientele gathered around the bar, occasionally checking out the silver warming trays between rounds of drinks. Thankfully they’re not stuck for choice; the buffet offers a decent selection of chilli con carne, lasagne, curries, cheese, salads, roast meat and even Yorkshire puddings. And if you wander outside, you’ll find a barbecue serving chops, kebabs and sausages on offer too. Fine dining it ain’t, but if you’re saving your dirhams and looking for a cheap night out, or a maybe a post brunch, pre club venue, then you could do a lot worse. The Locker Room, The Golden Tulip, Al Barsha, Dubai, Fri 6pm to 10pm, Dhs159. Tel (04) 3417750


Food: 3/10 Drink: 6/10 Venue: 6/10 Crowd: 5/10 Value for money: 7/10





Speed fans everywhere rejoice – Ferrari World is here A sprawling red starfish has appeared on Yas Island; topped with that yellow logo every petrol-head wishes was on their motor. Inside this vast structure is the world’s largest indoor theme park, and the world’s first Ferrari World, covering a whopping 86,000 square metres. And, of course, the huge yellow crest is the largest Ferrari logo ever created. So what’s inside? Andy Keeling, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi’s park manager, told What’s On we can expect 20 rides and attractions, from the family-friendly to the downright terrifying, all recreating the thrill of driving one of these beautiful cars. There’s the Formula Rossa rollercoaster (the world’s fastest, obviously) which uses cars that look like stretched Grand Prix racers and is close to the ground to give you a scarily authentic F1 experience, including G force inducing acceleration and speeds of 240km/h. Hold on to your lunch. Dare devils will also get


a kick out the Fiorano GT Challenge, a duelling ride where two rollercoasters battle it out on two tracks. These big guns aren’t suitable for children, but little ones can still get a piece of the action with flume rides, simulators, a ‘4-D journey’, a virtual trip to the Ferrari factory in Maranello and Junior GT, a driving school with scaled down Ferrari F1 racers. The Paddock allows you to try changing the tyres on a Ferrari using the same equipment as the pros, while the Pit Wall invites you to test your own judgment in realistic racing scenarios. Should you need to refuel, the restaurants have imported Italian ingredients and all the food on the children’s menu is organic so you can get a flavour of Italy with your taste of the action. From Oct 28, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. www.




FILM London Harry Potter And The Deathly Boulevard Hallows: Part I

The Social Network


Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, David Yates (director)

Keira Knightley, Colin Farrell, Anna Friel, Ray Winstone, David Thewlis, William Monahan (writer-director)

Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, Joseph Mazzello, Andrew Garfield, Max Minghella, David Fincher (director)


‘It all ends here’ [except that it doesn’t]

‘From the writer of Kingdom Of Heaven’

‘You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies’


The seemingly endless saga of the world’s most famous boy wizard begins to draw to a conclusion.

Former jailbird Mitchell (Farrell) found himself back in the free world where he had the good fortune to fall for the comely Charlotte (Knightley) and the misfortune to fall out with top gangster, Gant (Winstone).

Mark Zuckerberg (Eisenberg) started work on a little something called Facebook, the finished version of which would make him both a billionaire and one of the most unpopular people since the demise of Benito Mussolini.


Find out what happens to young Master Potter and his friends but can’t be bothered reading the first 375 pages of Ms Rowling’s epic tome.

Give Colin Farrell yet another crack at proving he’s a bona fide movie star rather than the planet’s luckiest chancer.

Find out about the cloak-anddagger story behind the world’s favourite social networking tool.


The previous Potter pictures, especially the ones directed by State Of Play helmer David Yates (episode five onwards).

The scripts for writer-turneddirector William Monahan’s previous thrillers The Departed and Edge Of Darkness.

The intelligent adult thrillers of David Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac, Se7en, etc).


M Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, The Last Airbender) was keen to direct the series’ penultimate instalment.

The supporting cast includes Matt King, aka Peep Show’s Super Hans.

The Social Network was adapted for the big screen by Aaron Sorkin of West Wing fame.


The year’s biggest blockbuster is finally upon us. Sort of.

Should be superb, but Farrell remains a sticking point.

Gripping stuff featuring careermaking work from Justin Timberlake. No, really.








The Kids Are All Right

The Town

Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai

Chris Brown, Matt Dillon, Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba, John Luessenhop (writer-director)

Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson, Lisa Cholodenko (writer-director)

John Hamm, Rebecca Hall, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Slaine, Ben Affleck (actorwriter-director)

Ajay Devgan, Emraan Hashmi, Kangana Ranaut, Prachi Desai, Randeep Hooda, Milan Luthria (director)

‘Who’s taking who?’

‘The new film from the director of Laurel Canyon’

‘Welcome to the bank robbery capital of America’

‘The man Mumbaai once feared. The man Mumbaai now fears’

A band of bank robbers thought they’d hit the motherload, only for their plans to be uncovered by rogue cop Jack Welles (Matt Dillon).

Test tube babies, Joni and Laser (Wasikowska and Hutcherson), decided to make their biological parents a part of their nonbiological family.

Heist king, Doug MacRay (Affleck), hit a snag when he found himself falling for Claire Keesey (Hall), the manager of one of the bank’s he’d previously turned over.

The gangsters of old Bombay found themselves crossing swords with Mumbai’s baddest of the bad.

See domestic violence fan Chris Brown get his comeuppance by being cast in a dreadful film in which he’s out-acted by everyone, including Manakin Skywalker himself, Hayden Christensen.

Watch a film about American family life that doesn’t leave you reaching for the sick bucket and/or your shotgun.

Watch a thriller that’s so well executed you’ll happily forgive Mr Affleck for the likes of Jersey Girl and Surviving Christmas. And Daredevil. And Gigli.

Watch a Bollywood film that combines the best elements of Indian cinema with all the things you love about British and American crime dramas.

Dire ensemble crime dramas such as Four Brothers, Confidence and The Italian Job remake.

Lisa Cholodenko’s criminally underrated Laurel Canyon, a similarly adult affair which features great work from Christian Bale and Kate Beckinsale.

Affleck’s superb directorial debut Gone Baby Gone, plus superior heist pictures like Reservoir Dogs, Rififi and The Thomas Crown Affair.

Milan Luthria’s previous pictures, namely Hattrick, Taxi No. 9211 and Chori Chori.

Takers was the first film eligible to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange. It sold badly, to say the least.

The Kids Are All Right features supporting work from Steven Spielberg’s daughter, Sasha.

The Town was co-written by Aaron The film is loosely based upon the lives of Haji Mastan and Dawood Stockard, previously personal Ibrahim, racketeers who became assistant to one Matt Damon. Kray brothers-style celebrities.

It should be a crime to release movies this bad.

Intelligent fare of the kind that rarely emerges from America.

Affleck the director has rapidly outstripped Affleck the actor.

A highly satisfying blend of East and West.






Win with What’s On WIN! PRIVATE DINING FOR TEN PEOPLE AT OKKU Last month we sampled the delights of private dining at Okku, so thought it was only fair to share the fun with you. We have the Tatami room with a table for ten, just waiting to be enjoyed. The lucky winner can take nine mates for an evening of welcome cocktails in the private mezzanine bar, a set menu of amazing Japanese cuisine (worth Dhs350 per head), three bottles of wine and their own waiting staff. For your chance to win this amazing evening, simply tell us: Which dish is Okku known for? a) Sashimi b) Swedish meatballs c) Scottish haggis



WIN! BRUNCH FOR SIX AT BUBBALICIOUS Welcome in the cooler weather with a fabulous brunch at The Westin. Bubbalicious serves up a vast buffet of Asian flavours from The Spice Emporium, steaks from Hunters Room & Grill and international fare from Blue Orange. Granted, the food is amazing but it's the extras like candyfloss cocktails, entertainers and a petting zoo that set this brunch apart. We have a table for six, so if you fancy joining in the fun, whether inside or poolside, and eating your way around the world just tell us: Who wrote the novel Around The World in Eighty Days? a) Jools Holland b) Jules Verne c) Julia Roberts


EATING OUT Welcome to October, cupcakes. Don’t worry, that disturbing appellation will never be used again. It’s just that the diminutive girly (sorry, ladies, but they are) treats are on our minds, in our stomachs and in this here magazine (p35). Other foodie content also featured this month includes our verdict on the Palm’s New York-style steakhouse West 14th at the recently opened Oceana Beach Club (p53), Verre maestro Scott Price’s new chef’s table (p54) and a timely reminder that voting is still open for the exalted What’s On Awards (p64). You can also learn how to eat your way around the world in a UAE morning (p56), we visit a new French café with a view (p60) and a rejuvenated Italian menu (p59), plus, as always, The Critic has more than enough to say (p63). And, because we always have one eye on what’s next, we've had a sneak peek into the new La Petite Maison (p54) – opening next month at DIFC. We can’t wait, but for now you can devour Eating Out. Gareth Rees, Features Editor


West 14th Oceana Beach Club’s New York-style steakhouse and bar on The Palm Many steak restaurants in Dubai lack that little je ne sais quoi that elevates a reputable grill to the lofty mantle of steakhouse. To achieve purebred status, to become a home of meat if you will, a restaurant must have not just the best steak, but also the right design, the right atmosphere and, above all, the right attitude. It’s a big ask. West 14th, however, though it is yet to draw the numbers, has that magic formula. They should bottle it. Despite the allure of Atlantis, The Palm has yet to really take off as a dining hotspot. Perhaps that could change with the opening of the long-awaited Oceana Beach Club, which is just a short taxi journey from Dubai Marina, JBR and Media City, the stalking ground of many a food loving young professional. West 14th should certainly become a talking point, even if only for its bar – soon to offer a live singer – which is calling out to be noticed by the post-office cocktail crowd. The restaurant’s design could have come from the How To Design The Perfect Steakhouse handbook. From the stainless steel counters fronting the steaming buzz of the open kitchen, to the sultry lighting and even the exposed brickwork in the gentlemen’s restroom, it’s pure New York. Which leaves the most important attribute of a proper steakhouse – attitude. If you’re going to eat prime cuts of meat, you want to do it in cool, laidback style in a setting that is modern but maintains a dash of timeless grace. From the welcoming and chatty waiting staff to amiable restaurant

manager Brenton Coghlan, West 14th has it all. And, as the creamy but not too thick soup was poured ceremoniously over the clams, releasing the subtle but unmistakable aroma of New England chowder, we knew the food was going to measure up, too. A spinach salad was given a faint salt kick by several slices of grilled halloumi balanced by the nuttiness of grilled pecans and fruity tang of a raspberry dressing. Then came the steak, or rather the steak knives. We were offered a choice of four blades (two for ladies, two for gents) and informed

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that if we would care to purchase them, they would be engraved and kept in a special wall-mounted cabinet for our next visit. A touch that men fostering a love of kit, in particular, will love. Then came the salt and mustard trolley from which we chose a grape mustard of a deep purple hew, which tasted like mulled wine, and a potent blend of Dijon and horseradish. And, finally, the steaks. A 300g Australian rib-eye, salty fat melting in the mouth, served with a deep, lustrous bordelaise sauce, and a fist sized hunk of tenderloin (the ladies’ cut), pink and silky smooth, accompanied by a drizzle

In tweet form… Our new favourite steakhouse? It’s certainly up there. Follow us at WhatsOnDubai and WhatsOnAbuDhabi

of peppercorn sauce. Sides of city fries (chunky chips), potato fondant and a bowl of earthy, truffley roasted wild mushrooms ensured we were almost, but not quite, too full for a fitting deconstructed apple crumble, rich chocolate brownies with ice cream and a dandy cup of coffee.

Need to know Location: Oceana Beach Club, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Tel: (04) 4477601 Web: Open: noon to 3pm and 6pm to midnight Cuisine type: steakhouse Must eat: 300g Australian rib-eye Bill for two: Dhs550 (without alcohol)

staff to amiable g tin ai w ty at ch d an g in m co “From the wel has it all” restaurant manager, West 14th OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 53


Verre: the chef’s table Our verdict on Verre’s new chef’s table It’s all going on at Verre. The boss is in town this month to oversee the official launch of Scott Price’s new chef ’s table. And when Gordon Ramsay is stalking about your kitchen, startling your junior chefs with the creepy soubriquet ‘big boy’ and saying ‘yes’ a lot, there’s cause for worry – especially if you’re a 29-year-old chef at the helm of your first culinary ship. But Price is an exceedingly talented young chap. He has nothing to worry about, least of all the long-awaited chef ’s table at which we recently dined – privileged guinea pigs among the first to taste the new seven course menu (plus canapés). The chef ’s table is positioned just to the right of the main entrance, beside the glass doors of what is an industrious and tightly run kitchen. Our table of four (they can seat up to eight) separated from the main restaurant by a seethrough curtain, allowed both the absorption of the general atmosphere and a feeling of privacy and exclusivity. We enjoyed a couple of canapés, including truffley cream cheese choux buns and chunks of sublimely salty cod in the lightest of batters, which were truly magnificent, and the first of the wines chosen by temporary sommelier, Rey Dabasol, and new restaurant manager, Alex Gomez. (Gomez has been a Ramsay man for half a dozen years, working with Angela Hartnett at The Connaught, amongst other roles, and has been ‘stolen’ from the UK.) Then the pageant began, each dish bringing audible sighs of delight from a normally hardnosed group of diners. Tomato tea flavoured with a basil teabag and poured from a clear teapot over a supple tortellini parcel with a creamy, rich cheese filling was followed 54 WHAT’S ON OCTOBER 2010

what it really is) and a pleasantly strong truffle fug. A perfect pea risotto prepared tableside was up next, and then… and then, the beef Wellington. We’ve raved about this dish before, but it is one of the finest specimens of this most delectable of species in the UAE. Succulent tenderloin smothered in pate de foie gras and mushroom duxelle, rolled in prosciutto and encased in pastry baked to a slick, golden sheen. We could eat it every day. To end, we were served a palate-cleansing apple parfait – with a secret ingredient – and a light (ish) chilled chocolate fondant with pear sorbet. Then we loosened our belts, exhaled and found room for espressos. Let’s just hope Gordon is as impressed.

Need to know by naughty slabs of foie gras accompanied by light, toasted brioche, a selection of chutneys, crumbled ginger bread and various flavoured salts. Foie gras is on practically every menu in Dubai and often served in the

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most pedestrian fashion, but this was a revelation. Then, before we had a chance to recover, came a small herb garden salad, looking very much like an actual herb garden with ‘soil’ (we’ll let you try and guess

In tweet form… Chef Scott Price's new chef's table receives a resounding thumbs up from us. Let's just hope Gordon likes it. Follow us at WhatsOnDubai and WhatsOnAbuDhabi

Location: Hilton Dubai Creek, Deira, Dubai Tel: (04) 2277550 Web: www.gordonramsay. com Open: Sun to Fri 7pm to 11.30pm Cuisine type: European Must eat: foie gras de la maison Bill for two: Dhs695 per person (without alcohol), wine pairings Dhs350 to Dhs600

La Petite Maison An exclusive look at the newest bistro to say bienvenue to food fans. Using our famed stealth, we tip-toed into DIFC's latest dining addition. Inside there's seasonal fare, an inviting decor and we can't wait to eat there next month. Watch this space.

Palm Grill

Contemporary Steakhouse Imagine the ďŹ nest cuts of meat, charcoal grilled to perfection by our experienced chefs, then served in a contemporary yet relaxed setting. Add to this an extensive menu with dishes to suit all tastes, a carefully selected wine list, a trendy Martini Bar and great service, all of which to ensure your experience is unforgettable! Restaurant open daily for dinner from 7:00 pm - 12:30 am and Thursdays until 1:30 am. Bar open daily from 6:30 pm - 2:00 am.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek Baniyas Road, P.O. Box 476, Dubai UAE For Bookings, please call 04-205 7333


Around the world in

breakfasts It’s the most important meal of the day, but each country has its own traditional breakfast feast. Here’s our round-up of six different ways to start your day, right here in the UAE




FOOD: You’re looking at the full Gallic gamut, from French toast and pastries, to crêpes and fresh bread with jam. We started our day in typical, yet refreshingly ill-disciplined, fashion with oeufs benedict and a freshly brewed cup of café au lait. RESTAURANT: As close to a Parisian bistro as you’re going to get in Dubai Festival City. Amidst the gingham table clothes, chalkboard specials and typical art nouveau-style café posters, a bit of imagination will almost transport you to the city of light. TOP TIP: Now the weather is a bit cooler, take a post-brekkie stroll along the marina to help the croissants settle. PRICE: Dhs58 for eggs benedicte and a café au lait. Bargain. InterContinental Dubai Festival City, Dubai, 6am to 11am. Tel: (04) 7011111.

T’S ON WHAC T SE REof America in

ste y ncy a ta lueberr If you fa ning, try the b e (Dhs38). r o ic the m t Baker & Sp r, Al Baha es a pancak & Spice, Souk to 11pm. r e m Bak ai, 8a wn, Dub 0. Downto el: (04) 425224 T m e pic kerands



RANCHES RESTAURANT FOOD: One of the only full English breakfasts on offer in this town, including proper sausages and bacon, beans, hash brown, grilled tomato, eggs cooked to your liking, mushrooms, toast and even brown sauce. RESTAURANT: During the week, this is the domain of the housewives and their broods. At the weekend you will be dining with hungry golfers filling their plus fours before a tee off. TOP TIP: Men, make sure you’re wearing a collar or you will be forced to enjoy your brekkie enveloped in an enormous XXL orange shirt. PRICE: A cheap Dhs42. Ranches Restaurant, Arabian Ranches Golf Club, Dubai, 6.30am to 11am. Tel: (04) 3663000. www.


FOOD: With Al Samadi's Lebanese breakfast you'll get dishes of hummus, labneh, foul madoumas, and your choice or zataar or cheese saj, all with Arabic bread, orange juice, a hot drink and halawa sweets. It's a carb-heavy way to start the day and you'll leave stuffed. RESTAURANT: This quiet, Parisian-style venue has stunning Arabic sweets on display so don't forget to pick some up on your way out. TOP TIP: The saj is delicious, with a tasty filling packed between delicate pieces of bread. Go local and dip the zataar saj in your labneh. PRICE: A reasonable Dhs48. Al Samadi Cafe, Burj Boulevard, Old Town, Dubai, Dhs48. Tel: (04) 4329520.




SUKH SAGAR FOOD: In Indian cuisine, variety is, quite literally, the spice of life. Vegetarian restaurant, Sukh Sagar, serves predominantly southern Indian cuisine, but every region is represented and making a choice is hard. You can enjoy the usual southern delicacies, such as puris, aloo bhajis (potato and vegetable), sambar, chutneys and ten different varieties of dosa (the pancake with an oomph, as it is called). Or there are northern specialties like paratha and sindhi koki. The fresh juices and fruit lassis are the ideal accompaniment, or you can always rely on the masala chai to finish off an appetising meal. RESTAURANT: Very busy, with a queue of hungry punters waiting outside to fill their bellies in the morning. Inside, the furnishings are nothing to crow about, but the service and quality of food are superb. TOP TIP: The mysore masala dosa, with a spicy chutney spread on the inside of the pancake, and aloo paratha stand out. PRICE: Our bill for two came to a healthy Dhs75, but we ate a lot. Sukh Sagar, Karama, Dubai, 9am. Tel: (04) 3237012. www.



SHEIKH MOHAMMED CENTRE FOR CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING FOOD: Traditional Emirati fare, as one would expect, including lugaimat, Arabic bread, blalet, chickpeas, humus, syrup, crêpe cheese and tea and coffee. RESTAURANT: After a cultural presentation, a Bastakiya House walk and a Q&A session, you can sit down with your guide and enjoy your breakfast in traditional surrounds. TOP TIP: Maybe have a bite to eat beforehand, the eating of breakfast is the last stop on this cultural tour and it’s not the main focus. PRICE: Dhs60 per person is a small price to pay for cultural enlightenment. Sheikh Mohammed Centre For Cultural Understanding, House 26, Al Musallah Road, Bur Dubai, Al Bastakiya, Dubai, Mon and Wed 10am, Dhs60. Te: (04) 3536666.

FOOD: Order the tapsilog menu and enjoy the tapa (soft beef strips marinated in garlic, sugar, soy sauce and vinegar from which it takes its name), sinangag (fried garlic rice) and itlog (fried egg, commonly served sunny side up). This authentic Filipino favourite, usually served with spicy vinegar or achara (papaya pickles), can be enjoyed at any time of day, but is traditionally eaten at breakfast. RESTAURANT: Quiet and cosy during the day and busy at noon and in the evening. TOP TIP: If the tapsilog menu is a bit high in protein for you, try daing na bangus (crispy fried milkfish marinated in garlic-vinegar sauce), sinangag (fried garlic rice) and itlog (fried egg). It's not part of a set menu, so you'll pay a little more, but it's just as delicious. PRICE: A bargain at Dhs14 for the tapsilog menu. Salt ‘n’ Pepper, Warba Center, Deira, Dubai, 10am to 2am. Tel: (04) 2628203.



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Please refer to for voting and competition terms and conditions. *Dhs3 charge applies for every vote by SMS. MasterCard is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated. Terms and conditions apply.


A taste of things to come They’re restaurants. They’re new. They’re open for business ZAROOB A multi-levelled restaurant specialising in Levantine street food cooked before your eyes is a pretty exciting prospect. Theatrics are promised, which excites us even more, and Zaroob is offering an ‘education’ to those unfamiliar with the cuisine of the Levant region (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine). We’re familiar with foul, fond of falafel and have been known to take care of several shawarma in one sitting, but we are always open to further education. Jumeirah Tower, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3276060. www.

Ossigeno With a new chef and a rejuvenated menu, Le Royal Méridien’s Italian has upped its game

of bold pruning – by combining the starters and soups into one list of eight appetisers (rather than nine starters and four soups), for example. This would leave breathing space for the accomplished dishes that had us departing Ossigeno happy. The new head chef at Ossigeno, A mound of mussels in a Marco Lucentini, is an Italian from garlicky tomato sauce with a Umbria. We know that because subtle spice was both simple and he told us so himself. Our brief sublime, as Italian food should encounter also demonstrated to us be. Be sure to soak up the rich that, despite being used to working sauce after the molluscs have in Michelin-starred kitchens, been devoured. Alternatively, the Lucentini is excited to be in Dubai black-crusted king scallop was and in charge of his own kitchen. perfectly adequate, though the At first glance, we must admit carrot flan and cabbage sauce his new menu didn’t blow our were a tad bland and the dish was minds. It’s too long and none a little pricy at Dhs125. of the dishes demands to be A hearty dish of black ordered. But the overpopulation cannelloni with lobster and problem can be solved with a bit artichoke with onion and

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In tweet form… It's well worth ploughing through the menu at this intriguing Italian. Follow us at WhatsOnDubai and WhatsOnAbuDhabi

Parmesan sauce was not the most inspiring of dishes, but the huge duck leg was beautifully cooked and perfectly seasoned, served with asparagus, morels, sweet potato and an understated apple calvados sauce. We eschewed the unnecessarily long list of salads and side dishes and finished things off with one of the better tiramisus in town – soft, creamy and not overly boozy.

Need to know Location: Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort and Spa, Dubai Marina, Dubai Tel: (04) 3995555 Web: Open: Sun to Fri 7pm to midnight Cuisine type: Italian Must eat: peppered mussels with garlic in tomato sauce Bill for two: Dhs565 (without alcohol)

KITSCH CUPCAKES We’ve eaten a lot of cupcakes this month. So it’s safe to say we know the sugary sweet, belly-fattening little blighters quite well. Kitsch Cupcakes, as you can see from our ‘tested’ feature (p33), scores very high on the What’s On cupcake-ometer. Good news, then, cupcake fans – head baker Dalia Dogmoch’s Kitsch empire is spreading with a new outlet now open in the capital. The Souk, Central Market, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 3956963. www. MISTRAL Moroccan scholar Ibn Battuta spent 30 years travelling the Islamic world, so it’s safe to say he sampled a few different cuisines. Fitting, then, that the new Dubai hotel named after the great man has opened Mistral – a restaurant proffering the type of fare Battuta wrote about in his travel log, cooked to order at a plethora of live cooking stations. Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel, Dubai, 6.30pm. Tel: (04) 4445568. www. OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 59


On the menu A triumvirate of treats for gluttonous food fiends IT’S OKTOBERFEST It’s that time of year when we allow the proud, eternally thirsty, Teutonic people of that plentiful land called Germany to change the ‘c’ to a ‘k’ and embark on an epic banquet of grog and grub until their inspiring hunger is sated. And, of course, we join in. We’ll be enjoying the festivities at Grand Hyatt, where Munich has been transported to Oud Metha in the shape of a large Oktoberfest tent serving Bavarian food and drink to imbibe to the rhythm of Munich musicians Die Kirchdorfer. Oct 13 to 23, Grand Hyatt Dubai, Oud Metha, Dubai, 7pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 3171234. HOT FIZZ Food, drink and music – these are a few of our favourite things, as Julie Andrews’ Maria may have put it. Imagine our delight, then, when we discovered that The Address Dubai Marina’s brasserie, Rive Gauche, has teamed up with the famous French bubbly house, Veuve Clicquot, to create a champagne lounge, serving delightful dishes from their alluring menu, providing a live DJ and, naturally, an abundance of fizzy pop. Rive Gauche, The Address Dubai Marina, Dubai, Mon to Sat 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 4367777. www. TALKING TURKEY Oktoberfest may be the biggie, but Sheraton Abu Dhabi is putting on a Turkish Food Festival for those who don’t dig lederhosen and pretzels. Three chefs cooking and holding master-classes, an exhibition of work by Turkish ceramic artist Mehmet Gursoy, live marble painting from Atilla Can and tunes from guitarist and singer, Emre Sonmezler. And all for just Dhs185. Oct 20 to 27, Flavours, Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort, Abu Dhabi, Dhs185. Tel: (02) 6773333. www. 60 WHAT’S ON OCTOBER 2010

Madeleine Café & Boulangerie The new French café in the Dubai Mall has one of the best views in the city No matter where you happen to be in the world, life always seems brighter with a magnificent view. Throw in a French café, its raison d'etre to serve fairly-priced, homely bistro dishes, and life seems that little bit brighter still. Happily, providence has divined that such a place should open in Dubai. The Madeleine Café & Boulangerie at the Dubai Mall, boasts an enormous, table-littered terrace, offering a peerless view of the sometimes irritating but always astounding Dubai Fountain and equally impressive views of the mighty Burj Khalifa. A visit is worth it for the scenery alone, especially if you have visitors in town demanding to be wowed, but it just so happens that the food is eminently palatable, too. Classic of classics, the authentic onion soup dwells below a grilled and gooey Gruyère and spongy crouton lid, absorbing the steaming, sweet onion essence. While the well-dressed rocket salad is afforded sufficient heft by several breaded, glutinous goats cheese goujons. From the ‘meat’ portion of the menu, we ordered up a robust chicken and tarragon stew (chicken chasseur) and an almost dangerously heavy dish of steak haché with macaroni gratin. The chopped beef, formed into a burger-like patty, was of a decent enough quality and served in a sufficiently flavoursome sauce, but the gigantic swell of pasta and

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In tweet form… New café serving classic French fare with a splendid view of the Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa. Ideal for lunch or dinner with visitors. Follow us at WhatsOnDubai and WhatsOnAbuDhabi

cheese was an excessive addition. Having washed the first two courses down with a refreshing vive la France fruit smoothie, we still had room for half a dozen freshly boulangered Madeleines – the shell-shaped sponge cakes that the restaurant hopes will become a popular talking point. They got along famously with a strong double shot of espresso, as we finally found time to lift our heads and admire the view. Marvellous.

Need to know Location: Fashion Avenue, Dubai Mall, Dubai Tel: (04) 4384335 Open: Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thurs to Sat 10am to midnight Cuisine type: French Must eat: onion soup Bill for two: Dhs250

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James Brennan knows food. Having written on everything from bhajis to burgers for a string of international publications, James is now the Middle East chairman of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants judging panel. Don’t miss his monthly musings every issue. Did somebody say summer was over? Good. As the mercury skulks back down to its rightful place – below the 40 degree mark – the whole landscape of the UAE appears to change, as do our eating habits. The things we eat will probably stay the same, since the notion of seasonality is as alien to us here as walking up stairs or cleaning our own apartments. But the way we eat will certainly be transformed by the more clement weather. As temperatures and humidity levels fall, it will be possible to eat outdoors without setting off the sprinkler systems in our armpits. But even then, there’s the ever present worry that there will be rain. Well, that’s how it is for me.

Over 30 years of living in England does that to you. Just as some folk check out where the emergency exits are on a plane before take off, I always make sure I’m within 100 yards of a duffle coat and an umbrella. Even in the desert. Now, I know what you’re thinking: oh no, not another soporific diatribe from an Englishman about the weather – quick, suffocate me with a paca-mac. But this is no such rant. Although rain in the UAE is rare, when it comes it usually means floods, traffic accidents, leaky roofs and general, all-round wetness. But it also heralds the appearance of a truly uncommon, little known and expensive local delicacy: the desert truffle. This is not a food hoax, like spaghetti trees or the KFC Chicken Skinwich – it’s real. The desert truffle is a fungus that only grows in the wild, in arid areas, from the Mediterranean and North Africa, to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Known as faqah, the knurled and knotty ingredient looks something like a cross between a mushroom and a potato, and imparts a mild fragrance and flavour, not to mention a distinctive, slightly crunchy texture. In Emirati cuisine, they are cooked in stews such as lamb or chicken saloona with vegetables. And in the Levant, I’ve seen them on skewers as part of a kebab. Once upon a time, Dubai was a particularly fertile ground for


desert truffles, especially around Jumeirah. These days they can be found in undeveloped parts of Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah by Bedouin who know where to look. As local legend has it, a bumper crop is likely only when there is autumnal rain, even more so if there are thunderstorms. So worry not if a downpour ruins your alfresco party – it’s doing wonders for the truffles. A dry January followed by the occasional light rain will provide ideal conditions for the truffles to flourish in time for harvest from March to May. Which by my reckoning is when it starts getting stupidly, ridiculously, and unbearably hot again. But please don’t get me started on the weather. OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 63


What’s On Awards 2010


The people’s choice awards are back – it’s time for you to have your say. Here’s how to start voting for your favourite restaurants

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There’s nothing restaurants love more than a sparkling plaque to proudly hang in the entrance to their eatery and, as a result, there are plenty of awards ceremonies around. But we like to be unique here at What’s On, so our awards, launched in 2001, are the only major prizes presented to the UAE’s restaurants voted for by you – the dining public. The power is in your hands. Now here’s how you can use it. The more observant of you have probably already spotted the voting cards currently adorning the tables of the UAE’s finest venues, and may even have already cast your vote. If not, there are now three ways to vote for your favourite restaurant, café, bar, brunch, concert, club, sporting event, festival and getaway. The old fashioned way entails filling in one of those marvellous voting slips already mentioned (they should come with your bill if you’re eating at a nominated establishment), but this year – for the first time – you can also vote online at our dedicated awards website (www.whatsonawards. com) and via SMS for a measly Dhs3 charge, by texting the name of the nominee you would

like to vote for along with your e-mail address to 3908 (Etisalat) or 4478 (Du). And, because we’re not only the best-selling entertainment magazine in town but the nicest too, casting your vote will ensure you’re entered into a draw to win our grand prize – a five-night stay at the luxurious Four Seasons Resorts in the Maldives, with return flights. When you’re on the What’s On Awards site, be sure to check out the delectable discounts offered by our award sponsors MasterCard. Venues across town are giving MasterCard holders money off their bills, just for using their flexible friend. Last year’s awards were a resounding success, especially for our favourite Japanese restaurant Zuma who walked away with four What’s On Awards. Now, it’s down to you to ensure the What’s On Awards 2010, to be held at the impressive Dubai Media City Ampitheatre on November 2, are just as special. Will Zuma triumph again? Or will one of the UAE’s many new restaurants walk away bathed in glory? It’s up to you. Now get voting.





1st Oct. - 12th/PWtEVCBJDPNCBSBTUJCJHEFBM Have you got what it takes to be Mr. or Ms Barasti? When you purchase a Corona at Barasti this October, you’ll receive a entry card which entitles you to enter into a draw to win a ‘Barasti Big Deal T-Shirt’ and become one of 52 people that will be playing the biggest game of their lives! We’ll be picking a winner every day. Once you have won your T-shirt you get to drink in Barasti, for free, until 30th October, when we will eliminate 22 players from the pack of cards and 30 lucky T-shirt holders will join Barasti in LA and Hawaii from the 5th - 12th November, where further elimations will take place. The longer you stay the greater the stakes. This is not just any game, this is the Dubai 92 Barasti Big Deal! So what are you waiting for? Head to Barasti or listen to Catboy and Geordiebird on Dubai 92 every morning. Do whatever it takes to enter! For more information call Barasti at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi on 04-399 3333, or visit | Terms and conditions apply

Win with What’s On WIN! BRUNCH AND STAYS FOR TEN AT IBN BATTUTA GATE HOTEL There's a new five-star hotel on the block. To celebrate the opening of Ibn Battuta Gate, Mövenpick's latest offering, we have a bumper prize of brunch for ten, plus rooms for the night. Pretty sweet. The very lucky winner can invite nine pals for brunch in Mistral (worth Dhs395 per head), for international cuisine from the live cooking stations, then host a sleepover in the hotel's luxurious rooms. For your chance to win this amazing prize, simply tell us: Each floor is named after an area visited by Ibn Battuta. Which of the following is not represented? a) Thailand b) Andalucía c) Jordan

WIN! OKTOBERFEST BRUNCH FOR FOUR AT THE GRAND HYATT Get into the Oktoberfest spirit with a lively themed brunch at the Grand Hyatt with three friends. The extensive menu includes Bavarian favourites such as sausages, sour dough bread, potato dumplings, veal schnitzel and apple strudel, with a few beers to wash it down in traditional style. If you want to join in the festivities at this brunch on October 22, simply tell us: What are lederhosen usually made from? a) Fur b) Leather c) Feathers





A weekend away from the big smoke awaits at the five-star Al Ain Rotana hotel. We have a night's stay for two people (including breakfast at Zest, dinner at Trader Vic's and access to Moodz lounge) to give away, so one lucky winner and a friend will be able to enjoy all the hotel's facilities, including the pool and gym. For a chance to win a staycation in Al Ain, with some cocktails thrown in, tell us: Al Ain is known as… a) The Garden City b) The Windy City c) The Garden State



p70 p71 p71 p72 p73

Let chaos reign Burglar Bill News flash Five to see FotoWeekend 2010 OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 69


Let chaos reign For her new Dubai show, Controlled Chaos, Iranian artist, Golnaz Fathi, has produced a series of light-boxes and works on paper that are full of colour and vibrancy. It’s all very different from the last time she was in town


Tell us a little about your new exhibition – you’re producing light-boxes rather than the canvases you’re more usually associated with… I started working with light-boxes in 2007 and it was a new experience for me and, to be honest, I was a bit afraid because I was doing something a little bit out of my world for the first time. It wasn’t canvases – it was nothing to do with painting. Sometimes, you have an idea in your mind and when it becomes real it’s not what you were thinking, but this was the opposite – it was much, much better than I’d imagined and opened a new door for me to do more. There’s a lot of colour in this exhibition. In your last Dubai show you were working largely in black and white with flashes of red. What’s changed? For three or four years I couldn’t use any colours – only black and white – but it started last year. It’s amazing that despite the last year being a really hard time in my country – not for me, for all Iranians – these colours, these shining colours – yellows, blue, turquoise – came to my work. I don’t do it on purpose. People say to me, ‘Look what have you done, it’s amazing,’ but it was nothing I thought of – that day I just woke up and said, ‘I need colours.’ Last time we spoke you had insomnia and you were painting at night. Are you still working that way? No, no – I work through the daylight. The room I used to


work in didn’t have much light during the day, but for the past year and a half I have been working in my new atelier with big windows and lots of natural light. It’s the opposite to before – now I’m working from morning to evening and when the light goes down, I come back home. You know, that’s something I didn’t notice until right now. Maybe this thing of having so much light, maybe this is the reason I’m using so much colour in my work. Every day I can say, ‘It’s such a beautiful day,’ just because I have the light. It gives me energy. This show is your most abstract yet – has that been a conscious choice? When I work, I’m very much improvising, like jazz music: I put the pens on the paper and start working. I turn the page to every different side – because the writing that I’m doing is not legible, it doesn’t matter if I’m doing it from right to left, up or down – and I play with these words, which mean nothing, even the alphabets are not recognisable. It’s the way I approach all my work. If someone asks me what’s going to be my next exhibition, I never know. I follow my moods; I never force myself to do anything. I wake up with adventurous new ideas and feelings. Before these light-boxes, I was making paintings on paper – there’s a huge difference between working on paper and canvas. It’s just the different touch; the texture is different and


Burglar Bill The tale of an inveterate thief within whose every home item – from the toaster to the bed he sleeps on – is stolen may not seem like the first choice for a production aimed at impressionable young minds. But that’s before you realise the story in question is that of Burglar Bill. Charting the adventures of its eponymous striped vest-wearing, swag bag-toting hero, this classic children’s storybook has been adapted into a stage musical aimed at young children (roughly three to eight years old) that is getting ready to grace the Madinat Theatre stage for a short season this month. The plot stays true to Allan and Janet Ahlberg’s book, which was, fact-seekers, based on an 1888 poem – Burglar Bill of Pentonville – by Thomas Anstie Guthrie. Essentially, a man steals everything

News flash The first-ever Berlin-Dubai Festival takes place at The Jamjar at the end of this month. Kicking off with Let it Rock, a funny warts-and-all look at the development of the German city’s underground art scene – one of the hippest and most creative in all of Europe – and promising literature readings, discussions and, of course, art, we hope it is the first of many. From Oct 28, The Jamjar, Street 17a, Al Quoz 3, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3417303. OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 71


that affects what I produce. But I never know what’s going to happen – I never know what I’m going to do tomorrow. You trained as a traditional calligrapher for six years and were the first woman to receive an award for ketabat, but you chose to leave the practice to pursue your art. What is the legacy of that now? One day I went to the Calligraphy Association and announced that I was choosing painting over calligraphy. All the professors told me that they were sure I’d be back, that I’d be sorry. Every year I look back and every year I’m so happy with my choice – I need the freedom to follow my emotions and feelings. Learning calligraphy is hard, it’s very rigorous. It’s something that I have so much respect for it and I’m grateful I did it. Those years studying, that’s the key to my success; if I didn’t do that, I would never be able to do these works. I know the alphabet, the working the correct way, by heart, and when I start to do these words, without that knowledge I would not be able to create that kind of abstraction. I don’t know what kind of painting I’m going to do next year for my next show, but I know calligraphy will be part of it. There may be other ways, other colours, other methods, other techniques, but I will always go with calligraphy. Until Oct 21, The Third Line, Al Quoz, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3411367.

in sight (catchphrase: “I’ll ’ave that”), including, much to his own surprise, a baby in a basket, until he himself is burgled – by none other than Burglar Barbara, who just happens to be the mother of that nicked baby. Cue instant attraction and subsequent pledge to mend the error of their thieving ways and what started as a cheeky chappy comedy of lawlessness turns into a happy-ever-after morality tale. It’s never too early to get children creatively engaged and this cheerfully offbeat adaptation (a version of which won rave reviews when performed at the Edinburgh Festival last year) scores big on every count. We’ll definitely ’ave some of that. Oct 5 to 9, Madinat Theatre, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3666546.


Five to see


US-based Iranian artist, Afruz Amighi, is the first recipient of the Jameel Prize, a new international award for Islamic-inspired contemporary art and design from London’s prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum. UAE residents get to see what the fuss is about at this, her first solo show in Dubai. Working in mixed and multimedia this is powerful stuff: shadow plays and chainmail are just some of the devices she uses to talk of politics and war. Don’t miss. Until Oct 28, Gallery IVDE, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3235052.


Drawing inspiration from everything from Fight Club to palm trees in his work, German artist, Ralf Zeiervogal’s, debut solo show in the Middle East focuses on the artist’s drawings. There are some big ideas in here, but it’s all tightly executed. From Oct 5, Carbon 12, Warehouse D37, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1. Tel: (050) 4644392.


The UAE’s first homegrown female digital artist, Sumayyah Al Suwaidi, creates imaginary worlds free from worry and the pressures of day-to-day life. Luckily we get to go along for the ride as her second solo show opens in Abu Dhabi this month – is it just us, or is there something a little sinister as well as sweet in Suwaidi’s artificial world? Oct 3 to 13, Ghaf Gallery, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6655332.



This latest rummage into the extensive cupboard of art collector and Barjeel founder Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi – the second in a series of revolving exhibitions at this impressive new Sharjah gallery – throws up work from both established and rising stars of the UAE and Middle Eastern art scene, including Youssef Nabil and Jeffar Khaldi. From Oct 4, Barjeel Art Foundation, Al Maraya Centre, Sharjah. Tel: (06) 5566555. www. 72 WHAT’S ON OCTOBER 2010


Hatty Pedder follows a long tradition of artist-caricaturists who use their brush to cast a wry, funny – some might say slightly cruel – eye over the world in which they live; in this case, Dubai’s social scene. Like the sharp-eyed images of award-winning photographer, Martin Parr, who famously shot at Art Dubai and the Dubai World Cup in 2007/08, it may not always flatter, but it will definitely amuse. Oct 6 to 30, Mojo Gallery, Unit 33 Al Serkal Avenue, Street 8, Al Quoz 1, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3477388.

FotoWeekend 2010 You’ll have to forgive us for getting a little ahead of ourselves as it isn’t officially on until November, but with Gulf Photo Plus’ annual series of weekend workshops growing in popularity and attendance year on year, it’s worth getting out of the starting blocks early on this one as places fill up fast. The four-day event dedicated to all things photographic, from workshops and seminars to talks, looks like it’s going to be bigger and better than ever this year. Belgian snapper, Bert Stephani, for example, will be leading the event’s first-ever ‘guerrilla’ workshop, in which attendees are on a mission to go on location armed only with a single camera, flash and lens – a process that WILD GINGER_WHATSON_HP will force them, it is promised, to HOR_SEPT2010_OUT.pdf



challenge their creativity. Not to mention learning how to think on their feet. Previous FotoWeekend experts, such as photographers Bobbi Lane, David Nightingale and Carol Dragon, are back again this year to lead dedicated workshops in everything from 12:53:52 PM portraiture to lighting and

studio sessions and Photoshop. If you’re even remotely serious about learning more about the tricks – and tools – of the trade, this is definitely a weekend not to be missed. Visit the website for course details and session times. Nov 4 to 9, Dubai Knowledge Village, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3602365.



p77 Iphone vs smartphones p80 Heel the world p81 Sophia says... OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 75

16–23 October 2010 Airport E xpo Dubai


WIN! WIN! WIN! SHOP & WIN : Shop at GITEX Shopper and win many exciting Panasonic prizes including plasma tvs, digital cameras and many more VISIT & WIN : Your entry ticket gives you free raffle entry REGISTER & WIN : Register at and win tickets to the show


Free parking and easy access to the venue park at Sheikh Hamdan Mosque, Garhoud, and use the free shuttle bus service throughout the day Avoid the traffic and use the Rashidiya Metro Station with free shuttle buses to and from the venue

An 8 day consumer electronics shopping extravaganza NEW Home World featuring white goods Fabulous bundled offers Win prizes worth over AED 2.5 million! Latest launches Exclusive deals Competitions OPENING HOURS:

Admission: AED 25 School / College student groups: AED10 per student, per entry between 11am-2pm (except Friday). Minimum 50 students per group

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from Dhs2049 (with 12 month contract of Dhs99 per month) This is the most significant update to Apple’s mobile marvel since its launch back in 2007 and it is, to put it bluntly, superb. The new design is better in the flesh than in pictures, with reinforced glass on both the front and the back that makes the original plastic iPhone look decrepit. The steel rim acts as an aerial too, with reception noticeably improved. Apparently it’s prone to signal problems in low bandwidth areas, but we had no problem testing it around the streets of Dubai. The same Apple A4 chip that powers the iPad powers the iPhone 4 – and it shows. The screen is so responsive that it feels like it’s one step ahead of you, and that teeth-grinding wait for the camera app is totally gone. Even image and video editing is quick and snappy, which is impressive when you remember this is a smartphone. And if you thought the iPad’s screen was nice, this one’s even better. Apple has squashed almost as many pixels into a screen a quarter of the size, making pictures burst with detail and text appear smooth, even when zoomed in. In fact, it’s so good you can read a webpage while fully zoomed out, if your eyesight’s good enough, that is. Of course, a real boon to the iPhone 4 is the arrival of multitasking. Being able to run music apps in the background is a relief, and it doesn’t eat battery life. The updated software gives you folders, letting you organise and store over 2,000 apps, and a uniform inbox that puts all your mail in one place (nothing revolutionary, but a step forward for Apple). Unlike the 3GS, the iPhone 4 has decent battery life. However, if you go a bit app-nuts and start downloading like crazy, you’ll need to charge it every night. The iPhone 4 improves on the 3GS in every way, and blows away the competition from the likes of Nokia, BlackBerry or Android. A good buy – if you can afford it.

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IPHONE VS SMARTPHONES The king of smartphones is back, but does the fourth iteration of Apple’s wonder-phone do enough to stop gadgeteers from signing up with the competition?


Stuff magazine’s Thomas Shambler



If the iPhone 4’s not your style... Nokia E72

Dhs1,300 BlackBerry fans will pull their hair out when they see we haven’t included the precious CrackBerry in this list, but that’s because Nokia’s E72 is our favourite messenger mobile. It packs a potent mix of multimedia talents (5MP camera, GPS) and beats the BB on price, too.

Motorola Milestone

Dhs2,400 Another QWERTY keyboard-packing Android slider, but this one’s built to withstand the force of a thousand angry Apple fans. The sturdy metal casing will fend off even the most forceful of drops, and it packs enough tech on the inside to make the iPhone blush crimson. Also called the Droid in some areas.

HTC Desire Z

Dhs2,500 (approx) If keys are more your thing, but you can’t bare to ditch the iPhone’s gorgeous screen, then HTC’s soon to be launched Desire Z is right up your gadget alley. It packs a 3.5in screen (the same as the iPhone’s) but squeezes a full QWERTY keyboard beneath its slim sides.


Samsung Galaxy S

Dhs2,570 Its iPhone-aping design won’t win any style awards for originality, but the Galaxy S is one of the most capable Android phones out there. Its huge 4in AMOLED screen gives the iPhone’s Retina display a run for its pixels, along with an impressive 5MP camera capable of stunning HD video.


Open for business Shop ‘til you drop with this month’s new openings

BOUTIQUE 1 Fashionistas favourite, Boutique 1, is opening its doors in the new Fashion Dome at Mall of the Emirates. The luxurious store spans 2,000 square metres and displays labels such as DVF and Paul & Joe in true style, with pieces offset by mirrors, metals and signature white. Boutique 1, Fashion Dome, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thurs to Sat 10am to midnight. Tel: (04) 3951200 MIDDLE EAST FASHION DAYS This Parisian three-day trade fair comes to the Madinat Jumeirah courtesy of Who’s Next and Premiere Class and will exhibit brands such as Mischa Barton Bags, plus many never seen before in the region. The first two days are for industry insiders only, but the public are welcome on the third day (October 21), when they can explore and shop from the 200 brands exhibiting at this giant pop-up store. Oct 19 to 21, Madinat Jumeirah, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai, free.


Heel the world As Christian Louboutin opens his first Dubai store, we meet the man behind the empire to talk fakes, hats and, of course, shoes How did your fascination with footwear start? It was because of a 1950s sketch of a heel, which had been slashed out with a red line that I saw at Paris’ African & Oceanic Art Museum. Back then, the very high skinny heel – the stiletto – was made with a piece of metal at the end of it, and it was forbidden to wear the heel inside the museums in France, as it would ruin the floors, which were made from parquet or mosaic. That primary sketch got me contemplating why these people had been designing this drawing of a heel only to simply cross it out with a big slash, and that’s when it hit me: everything is drawn before it exists. Do you always judge a woman on her shoes? No, I don’t judge women on their shoes. I find the foot sexy and beautiful and I think the best results are when a woman incorporates my designs into her personal style. A confident woman is beautiful. Your designs, and the famous red sole, are now much copied. Is that flattering or frustrating? What frustrates me is the selling of fakes that claim to be authentic Louboutin. We take this very seriously, and we’ve launched a website – – to raise awareness and inform people that these websites are not authorised to sell my collections and are often selling fake products. Which design are you most proud of? It’s funny, recently many people have asked me this question. I’d say the Pense shoe is one of my favourites. Which styles of shoes should every woman have in her wardrobe? Simply a sky-high heel. Women lust over your shoes. What's your sartorial weakness? I’m a hat person. I love hats! I also love shopping for antiques and furniture, artefacts that I discover on my travels.

You’re obviously passionate about footwear, but what would you be doing if you weren’t a shoe designer? I would be a landscaper or a film director. How do you feel about fashion in the Middle East? I spend hours in my stores and really enjoy meeting my clients from all over the world. The Middle Eastern client is a woman who is very interested in fashion, loves to shop and takes pride in dressing and looking beautiful. The plans to expand into this region have been in the works for a while, because so many of my clients shop in the boutiques in Paris and London. They were all asking me when I was going to open a boutique in the region. We now have boutiques in Jeddah, Beirut and Dubai. You are instrumental in the design of each of your boutiques. What was the thinking behind the Dubai store? The Dubai store is meant to make clients feel as if they are at home in a very intimate setting. The signature red carpet brings warmth to the shop and the styles are displayed on mirrored and disappearing shelves. I’ve incorporated fabrics that I found in Damascus for the furnishings, which are lounge chairs where the client feels as if everything is within arm’s reach. What's next? We are continuing to open stores – in fact I am travelling to Dallas and Hong Kong to meet my clients there in the coming weeks. I look forward to returning to Dubai again soon to check on how the store is doing here. I am expanding on my men’s line, as the response has been incredible. Christian Louboutin, Fashion Dome, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thurs to Sat 10am to midnight. Tel: (04) 3990998

Sophia says...

Got a fashion question for Sophia? E-mail

We drag the oh-so stylish Sophia Triantafillou away from the helm at Emirates Woman into the grubby What’s On office to answer your wardrobe woes It's my birthday soon, and my lovely husband is letting me choose my own present. I'd love to get a handbag to treasure and have up to Dhs5,000 to spend. Any suggestions? Sasha, Mirdif, Dubai Wow, that's a great gift. You will definitely be able to get a beautiful bag with this kitty. Firstly, you need to decide what you want this bag for – is it for work or play? Do you want to use it every day? If you want to go for a carry-all, a chic shopper by Louis Vuitton is your best bet. Tods also have a great A/W 10 collection for staple bags that will last a lifetime. Marc by Marc Jacobs have a great collection in Saks Fifth Avenue priced at Dhs2,230 so you can buy two bags with your budget. Bag by Marc by Marc Jacobs

Where can I find fashionable maternity wear? There seems to be a lot online but I prefer trying things on, especially since I'm growing – fast! Grace, Jumeirah, Dubai Fashionable and maternity wear are a contradiction in terms. Your best bet is to go for the largest sizes available in the high street stores. Think Gap and H&M who do larger sizes in great styles. You should also invest in capes and empire line tops as these have enough fabric to fit your pregnant tummy. Topshop has a maternity line which is fantastic and head to your nearest New Look's plus size section for great leggings and cotton swing tops. Scarf by H&M

Shoes by Valentino, Long red dress by Carolina Herrera

I've been invited to a wedding on the lawns of a fivestar hotel, then a party in the ballroom. What dress would be appropriate? I'm 26 and a size 12. Sunita, Bur Dubai If it is a black tie wedding, then a long dress is essential. There are some beauties in store this season, so you are spoilt for choice. If the wedding has a formal dress code, then cocktail length is fine, just make sure your hemline sits right on top of your knee and not shorter. The colour rules have changed for weddings and it is now a chic option to wear black. Florals are nice for garden weddings but don’t translate well in a ballroom, so keep it chic and simple and you can’t go wrong. Also, watch the height of your shoes. I wouldn’t go more than three inches as sinking into the grass during the ceremony is a fashion faux pas no one should make. I have seen lots of celebrities wearing Ugg boots and have noticed that Jimmy Choo is now selling them. Should I invest in a pair? Lindsay, Dubai Marina Under no circumstances should Ugg boots be worn outside the confines of your own home. It might be OK for celebrities to wear them on set, but this choice of footwear certainly doesn’t work on the street. Designer or not, Ugg's sole purpose is to keep your feet warm and are not a fashion accessory. At all. Ugg boots by Jimmy Choo


Win with What’s On WIN! DINNER FOR FOUR AT RHODES TWENTY10 Gary Rhodes, culinary boy wonder and friend of What's On, launched his latest restaurant venture back in August. Rhodes Twenty10 is already one of the year's biggest success stories, with busy tables ordering custom grills throughout the week. We have a table for four to give to one lucky winner, so they can dress up and kick back with the extensive menu and fine wines. For your chance to win this wonderful evening, simply tell us… Which of these is not on the menu at Rhodes Twenty10? a) Roast rack of lamb b) Organic salmon with lemon butter sauce c) Pickled onion Monster Munch




To celebrate the launch of Nobu's new High Brunch, we have a table for six up for grabs. This luxurious a la carte affair features the world-famous dishes that made chef Nobu an international star, including black cod, yellow tail tuna and wagyu beef teriyaki. This new gastronomic delight takes place every Friday from noon to 4pm and includes wines, champagnes and sake, all in stunning surrounds. To be in with a chance of winning brunch for you and five friends, tell us: Black cod is a variety of… a) Fish b) Flower c) Fairy




arpino’s Pizzeria – Great Value! The word Pizza sends

everyone’s taste buds in a frenzy – tangy tomato sauce, rich crisp golden crust, fresh toppings oozing with hot bubbly cheese…. the name Sarpino’s has a similar effect once you’ve had a bite. It’s Italian flair at its best. Located in the Bastakiya district of Dubai which is a heritage site and right across the road from Dubai Museum, the setting of this pizzeria offers a unique experience to tourists – locals and expats. With the creek flowing close by and the souks around, the sights and sounds of the area attract people from various cultures. I was hesitant to visit them initially, considering their busy location, but was so relieved when their valet assisted me for the parking. As I entered the outlet, a friendly staff welcomed and assisted me to my table from where I could view the museum and while looking around the restaurant interior, I was impressed because of the classy ambiance - smelt the aromas of freshly baked crust and roasted herbs, the colors scheme, eclectic Italian music and the wooden panels on the ceiling, which took me to a real Italian Experience.

You can see the Chefs working at your meal with artistic pizzazz through the open kitchen counter. Striking a right balance between classy and cozy, Sarpino’s appears to be a favourite among the youngsters and grownups a-like, probably because of its fine dining experience at a reasonable price. Looking through the menu you will find the prices very affordable, offering a wide selection of Italian delicacies, pastas, salads, desserts and more. They are a fully licensed restaurant that serves wide variety of wines and aperitif which will make one’s meal complete. I ordered the Alli pollo di fritti Antipasti – chicken wings fried to perfection, served with tomato salsa. For the main course, I decided to experiment with one of their gourmet pizza - Seafood Bonanza which had a superb mingling of subtle flavors and bubbly cheese on a thin and crisp crust. I rounded off my meal with the delectable Lemon Cheesecake served with Strawberry Coulis which was a great compliment to the citrus flavor.

Sarpino’s Pizzeria is part of a worldwide food chain and it is their first restaurant in the UAE at the Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa in Dubai. Its founder Gerry Koutougos learnt the secrets of authentic Italian cooking in 1972, which are used in Sarpino’s Pizzeria to this day.

Sarpino’s recently introduced their whole wheat crust pizza in British Columbia which was a huge hit with the local crowd because of its healthy nutritional balance. Whole wheat crusts provide your system with fiber and other important nutrients while tomato sauce is a powerful antioxidant and cheese is an excellent source of calcium. Choosing lean toppings such as chicken or shrimp make a delicious pizza.

to sports practice, Sarpino’s provides variety of fresh, healthy, and authentic dishes delivered right to your home or office. Featuring the freshest ingredients, in time tested authentic recipes, presented in a modern Italian décor for a truly ‘Italian experience’ with an unbeatable taste. Sarpino’s is definitely the right place for a casual dining experience!

The goodness of veggies – olives, peppers, mushrooms, onions, broccoli and herbs – basil and oregano, make for great taste too. They are open all days of the week 11 am until midnight, which is nice because today’s busy schedules force late dinners. So whether you are working late at the office or in-between dropping kids off

Need to know Location: Al Fahidi Street, Bur Dubai, Opp. Dubai Museum, Dubai, U.A.E. Tel: (04) 5087508 Cuisine Type: Italian Open: 11:00 am to 12.00 midnight

MIND & BODY p86 p89 p90

His 'n' hers Slim with us! Spa deals



His‘n’hers Our guy and gal check out Desert Palm’s Lime Spa





TALK US THROUGH IT… As the name suggests, it’s a massage with hot basalt stones. One might dismiss it as a gimmick, but these rocks, combined with warm, aromatic oils, really do the trick. Why don’t all masseurs embrace the hot pebble? THE BEST BIT? At Lime Spa you are asked to fill out the usual form asking about allergies and such like, but you’re also asked to specify where you like to be massaged. As a result, my scalp and my hands received a good going over. You can always ask, but it’s nice that the therapist knows from the off. ANY AWKWARD MOMENTS? I’m afraid it has to be attempting to hold in a salvo of chuckles when asked what colour I was feeling that day and, having replied that I was feeling green, watching as the therapist put the ‘green’ music on. Not one for mystic hokum, me. HOW WERE THE DISPOSABLE PANTS? I did away with the things. I won’t go into it too far. Suffice to say, they did. SLEEP FACTOR? The aim of this treatment is relaxation and it certainly did the trick. For at least 30 minutes I was out like a particularly tired narcoleptic. 86 WHAT’S ON OCTOBER 2010

WHO SHOULD GET INVOLVED? Lime Spa is one of the best in Dubai, so I’d advise everyone to give it a try. People who like restrained luxury will love its combination elegance, tranquillity and functionality. HOW MUCH AND HOW LONG? A tad pricey at Dhs595 for an hour and Dhs735 for 90 minutes, but it is well worth splashing out.

TALK US THROUGH IT… It’s entirely up to you. The therapist will ask what you want, from massage techniques to the Anne Semonin oil, where you want it and how firmly. Entirely bespoke. THE BEST BIT? The shoulder and head massage at the end of the treatment hit just the spot we wanted it to. ANY AWKWARD MOMENTS? Being extremely ticklish, there was a good deal of lip biting when the therapist went at my feet, stomach and arms. Otherwise, the experience was embarrassment free. HOW WERE THE DISPOSABLE PANTS? Some of the best. Superb coverage. Quite flattering, actually.

SLEEP FACTOR? Sleep was certainly on the agenda, but I’m very much of the opinion that if one snoozes, one loses. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on a treatment created just for little old me. WHO SHOULD GET INVOLVED? Fussy people and those who need to feel special. HOW MUCH AND HOW LONG? Pretty standard at Dhs450 for 60 minutes and Dhs635 for 90 minutes. Lime Spa, Desert Palm, Al Awir Road, after International City, Dubai, 9am to 9pm. Tel: (04) 3238888.


Slim with us! This month we escape the indoors for some messing about on the water

“I’m just here to stop you from capsizing,” Monty says, as I fasten my feet into the training shoes fixed inside his two-man scull. “I won’t actually be doing any rowing”. This means I’m the sole energy force that will get us from Garhoud Bridge up to the Floating Bridge and back again – a total of 3km. And, apart from a few quick bursts on the rowing machine in the gym and some leisurely larking about on lakes, this was the first time I’d been given oars. Luckily, rowing on water in a scull is completely different from what you do in a gym – the most noticeable difference being where you are. Monty’s base near Al Boom Tourist Village, just minutes from What’s On Towers, transports you from frenetic city life, of air-conditioning, phones and stress, to calm creek waters, peaceful birdsong and an almost eerie lack of people. At sunset the temperature was cool enough to inspire great plans for the Dubai winter, but first I had to get us to the Floating Bridge. Monty, of course, has rowed this route thousands of times in his ten years in Dubai. A former gold medallist in the Asian Games, this salty sea-dog and Pakistani expat refused to bow to the cricket and Indo-Pak wrestling peer pressure and went on to appear at the Henley Royal Regatta and set up one of Dubai’s few rowing schools. He has a calm manner and easy smile, happy to chat about his time in the city or just let me concentrate on mastering the rhythm of stretching forward, oars down, left hand above right, lifting then pulling the oars to the chest, all while he balances the sleek scull. For a few magical moments I have conquered it, and we

glide up the creek in an almost meditative state, then I notice we’re going past the Park Hyatt and I have a little look at the yachts – the rhythm is lost. Strangely, it’s only when we stop that you realize the effort that goes into keeping the little boat moving, with your whole body brought into play. Not just the arms and shoulders that you’d assume, your thighs work as you slide forward, while your core is engaged to keep you balanced. “Many people, especially women, love rowing for the lean muscle and body it gives them.” Monty tells me. And sure enough I’m reassuringly achy the next morning. But it was the sense of peace rather than the exertion that stays with me over the following days – it seems rowing might just be the thing many a Dubai dweller needs for keeping sane, as well staying in shape. Monty’s Rowing School, Al Boom Tourist Village, Dubai Creek, Dubai, one-on-one lessons cost Dhs200, with group classes starting from Dhs60, depending on class size. Tel: (050) 7380910.


1/4 AD



Spa deals Our pick of this month’s beauty bargains


NATURAL ELEMENTS SPA What’s On readers will get 50 per cent discount off the price of the 60-minute Ku Nye facial (usually Dhs525) at Le Méridien Dubai’s spa upon presentation of this page. The facial uses Tibetan and organic oils to strengthen cell walls, improve circulation and balance energy in the skin, with a scrub, lymphatic drainage and acupressure to restore radiance. Quote What’s On when making your booking. Le Méridien Dubai, Airport Road, Garhoud, Dubai. Tel: (04) 2170000

TALISE SPA If an hour’s massage isn’t going to cut it, then dedicate a full day to pampering at Talise. At Al Qasr’s beautiful spa you’ll get a 90-minute massage and a 90-minute facial of your choice, day access to the plunge pool, steam, sauna and outdoor pool, plus a two-course menu at vegetarian restaurant Magnolia, all for Dhs1,190. Talise Spa, Al Qasr, Al Sufour Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3666818 MANDARA SPA The lovely spa at The Monarch is offering you a free 30-minute Pure Nature facial or back, neck and shoulder massage when you book any 65-minute treatment. Access to the sauna, steam, Jacuzzi and swimming pool is also included. Mandara Spa, The Monarch, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 5018270 90 WHAT’S ON OCTOBER 2010

THAI PRIVILEGE SPA This cosy Al Wasl spa with its expert therapists is offering 30 per cent off all facials during October. Try a facial from the new Fresh Fruit range, or select one from the spa menu, which treat issues such as acne, pigmentation and ageing. Thai Privilege Spa, Villa 1047, Uttamah Villas, Al Wasl Road, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3489679 THE SPA The Address Downtown is offering you some serenity with its weekday package. For Dhs795 you get 90 minutes of treatments, including a bamboo scrub, full body aromatherpay massage with hot stones and a booster facial. You'll also be able to use the aroma room, steam and ice cave. The Spa, The Address Downtown, Old Town, Dubai. Tel: (04) 368751 HEAVENLY SPA Take some time out at The Westin, where you can enjoy a Tranquility treatment. Two hours and 15 minutes of relaxation includes a body scrub, nourishing body cocoon, 55minute massage and refreshing facial for Dhs895. You'll even get two complimentary spa products to take home if you book the Tranquility offer with a friend. Heavenly Spa, The Westin, Dubai Marina, Dubai. Tel: (04) 5117901 AKARU SPA In a month traditionally associated with breast cancer awareness, Akaru Spa is doing its bit by giving you a free Guinot Hydradermie bust treatment (worth Dhs95) with every 90minute Hydradermie Plus facial (Dhs385) booked. The facial is deep cleansing and oxygenating to stimulate cell renewal, improve skin texture and reduce fine lines. Akaru Spa, Aviation Club, Garhoud, Dubai. Tel: (04) 2828578

Oktober Wiesn Fest  

Bavarian fever kicks in and kegs tap out. Featuring Bretzel & Co, the original Wiesn brew and live DJ with a traditional Oompah band directly from Munich. Dates & Timings : 7th October and 9th October from 5pm to 1am 8th October from 1pm to 1am Entry Fee:

AED 70net inclusive 2 beverages & AED 180net inclusive of German specialty buffet or brunch and 2 beverages.

Weekend room rates starting AED 345* onwards. *Rates subject to availability.

For more information call +971 2 4952 000.

Al Salam Street, 128967, Abu Dhabi, UAE. t. +971 2 4952000 f. +971 2 4952001 GPS coordinates +24° 28' 31.11", +54° 23' 16.84"



p94 Run with us p97 Mr Fitness p99 Rumble in the (concrete) jungle OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 93


Run with us!

Have you ever felt like you needed a challenge? Something tough, something that you can really work for, something that will give you an enormous sense of well-being, as that fellow in the Blur song once said before going for a walk in the park. Something like a long-distance race. Well, we have, which is why we’ve decided to sign up for three races – the Dubai Marathon 2011, its shorter 10km race and the RAK Half Marathon, which we completed in a quite respectable one hour and 58 minutes earlier this year. And because we don’t like to do things by halves, or alone, we will be restarting our running blog and have enlisted our very own Mr Fitness, James Houghton, and his marathon veteran training partner, Chris Miller, to help train us and hold a weekly What’s On running session at Dubai’s Safa Park. We’d be honoured if you’d join us. It will be free and you may even get a T-shirt. To help persuade you, we asked Mr Fitness to provide some useful tips for would-be runners so you don’t look a complete novice at our first Run With Us session, on October 11. So, Mr Fitness, how hard is this going to be? It depends on what you want to achieve, whether you just want to finish the race, get a good time or achieve a personal best if you’ve run it before. Just about anyone who doesn’t have any underlying medical condition could complete a 10km and three months should be plenty of time to prepare for a half marathon if you have a basic level of fitness. People do train and run marathons having done 94 WHAT’S ON OCTOBER 2010


Having competed in the RAK Half Marathon last year, we’ve decided it’s time for a new challenge. So three members of the What’s On team have signed up for three different races, and we’d like you to join us at a special weekly training session. Go on, you know you want to – Run with us!

nothing previously, but it’s tough and some experience would be useful. The jump from a 10km to a half marathon is not as great as the jump from a half to a full. A marathon requires a lot of work. What kind of times should we be aiming for? A decent time for a 10km would be anywhere between 40 minutes and 60 minutes. For a half, 90 to 120 minutes would be a respectable time and for a marathon anything under four hours would be good. What can we do in the next couple of weeks to prepare for the first Run With Us session? For now, I would advise anyone thinking of taking part in any of the races to go to somewhere like Safa Park and complete three laps, which is just over 10km, so that they have a base time to play with. Even if that means walking, it’s a useful tool. Then try and improve on that time with each running session. The less body fat you have the better, because that weight will put more pressure on your joints. Strength is also important, because the stronger you are, the easier it will be. Maybe try some split squats

or lunges. Three sets of 12 to 15, holding the position for two seconds. Then, of course, make sure you turn up to our weekly running session. And why exactly should we put ourselves through this? The two longer races, in particular the marathon, are mental challenges. It’s a matter of will power. Long distance running, in my opinion, is not great for lowering your body fat or improving body composition, but it’s a great test of endurance – mental and physical.


THE DUBAI MARATHON Jan 21, 2011, 42.195km, Dhs370. THE RAK HALF MARATHON Feb 18, 2011, 21.095km, Dhs150 (until Oct 31). THE DUBAI 10KM ROAD RACE Jan 21, 10km, Dhs185.



Features Editor I ran the RAK Half Marathon earlier this year, having not run more than 50 metres for a good decade until I started training. When I sprinted (oh yes, sprint finish) over the finish line I felt I could have kept going. So by January 2011, I will be ready to run the full 26 and a bit miles. No problem. Will you be joining me?


10km Helen

Deputy Editor I’m not built for speed. It’s a sad fact I’ve come to accept over the years, but 2010 has seen me improve my fitness through all manner of weird sports and I feel it’s time to put the ticker to the test. 10km is only three laps of Safa Park – be a pal and come along?


Chief Sub Editor I’ve always fancied myself as a (sort of) runner and I’ve taken part in a half marathon or two in the UK. It was the Great North Run and it finished a handy five-minute crawl from my flat. I’d like to beat my best time of two hours – and I could do with all the support I can get!

Half Marathon

RUN WITH US! Our first What’s On Run With Us session with James and Chris will be held at Safa Park, October 11. For more information and to register, contact Please join us, we’ll look silly running on our own and Mr Fitness really needs to train people or there’s no reason for him to don the luminous spandex.



Whether you are captivated by the thought of playing at Abu Dhabi’s latest golfing facility, or are looking for a dining experience like no other, then Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, with its renowned hawksbill restaurant, has come up with two perfect reasons for you to check out the most talked about venue in town. Every evening, between 5 and 8 o’clock, you can enjoy a ‘Happy Hour’ on the greens – a two-for-one offer on selected beverages, accompanied by complimentary bar snacks. During the day, the hawksbill is offering a special promotional two course business lunch at just 80 dirhams: You can choose whether you would like an appetiser or dessert to accompany your main course of Chicken cordon bleu, Spaghetti chitarra, or Nasi goring; starters include Cream of zucchini, Grilled vegetable salad or Tomato soup, whilst desserts are bound to tempt you with a choice of Vanilla soufflé, Chocolate fudge cake or Exotic fruit salad. You may also be tempted to sample our internationally inspired menu that features as many as 60 dishes from around the world.

Inside or out– it’s your choice; the team at the hawksbill restaurant, just minutes away from Abu Dhabi’s Corniche, looks forward to welcoming you to what is fast becoming the business lunch venue in town. The hawksbill restaurant is open daily from 6am to 10pm and has ample parking. For all reservations please telephone 02 499 8107 or email Visit us at * All prices subject to a 6% tourism charge ** Promotional business lunches must be pre-booked


Mr Fitness Our resident exercise guru answers your health and fitness questions

Got a fitness question for James? E-mail e @motivate.a o w redito

started jogging? These are some basic but simple variables that could lead to pain if changed. One thing to bear in mind whilst running is that up to six times your body weight can be transferred through your joints for each time your foot hits the ground. This is a lot of repetitive impact, and if parts of your body aren’t working correctly then injuries become quite common. If the pain continues I would recommend taking a trip to see a good sports injury rehabilitation specialist for a check-up.

I’m training in the mornings but don’t know if I should be eating before (and risk throwing up) or after… Majid, International City, Dubai Something I have found to work quite well for people who train first thing in the morning is liquid nutrition. Although there are those who say you should do fasted cardio in the morning, my experience shows that training is more effective with the added energy of a homemade shake or store-bought product consisting of proteins and carbs. There is a lot of research to show the benefits of ingesting nutrients as close to waking as possible. If you are not used to eating early in the morning, then your appetite might be lacking. Over time your body will get used to it and you will reap the benefits. What’s the benefit of using a heart rate monitor? I’ve just started to run and would be interested if they were useful for beginners. Joy, Dubai Marina The real benefit of a heart rate monitor is that it enables you to track your work and recovery periods to a more accurate degree, which will lead to a lesser chance of overtraining or injury. As a beginner, you could work off the very rough formula of 220 minus your age in order to figure out your ‘maximum’ heart rate. From there you would need to figure out what could be classed as a ‘comfortable’ training zone, between 65 per cent and 85 per cent of your maximum by multiplying you heart rate max by 0.65 and 0.85 respectively. To begin with, try and


When running long distances in the heat I obviously need water, but it’s a pain to carry. Is there a good product you can suggest to help? Claire, Bur Dubai

maintain your heart rate around the 65 per cent mark. Once you feel comfortable at that percentage, start playing around with your training zones. When jogging I get pains in my knees, despite never suffering before. Could this be because of my running shoes? Ryan, Mirdif, Dubai It is a possibility that it could be your shoes; however, there are numerous factors that could be causing the pain. Have you increased the volume of your running distance? Have you changed the surface you are running on? Have you just

It’s good to hear that you are trying to plan your hydration solution for when you are out running. It is not wise to go too far in the heat without some form of liquid, be it water or another more specific solution designed to replenish our bodies in the high temperatures. You could look at getting a fuel belt – it’s a bit like a bum-bag, which allows you to securely slip bottles into it whilst running. Another option is to get yourself a CamelBak, which you can wear like a slim-fitting rucksack – they have a straw system for ease of drinking. What Mr Fitness James Houghton doesn't know about staying healthy isn't worth knowing. In his seven years as a personal trainer, he's helped West End actresses lose the pounds and worked with the Arabian Gulf rugby sevens team to keep them in peak condition.

wagamama The Greens Tel 04 361 5757 wagamama Al Fattan Towers Tel 04 399 5900 (Open daily noon to midnight, deliveries)





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Want your chance to win these amazing prizes and more? Then get texting (*texts cost Dhs3). Check out the rest of the prizes by logging onto and then head to our Gitex Giveaway section. Choose your competition, follow the links and then text the message to 5197. Good luck.


Rumble in the (concrete) jungle Doing White Collar means your life beats to the sound of buzzers, signalling the end of one activity and the start of the next. The first is my alarm, sounding at 4.45am, three days a week, sleep over, training starts. A creatine tablet loaded with caffeine and a banana and a bottle of water in the car to KO Gym, where an hour and a half of sparring with the mighty red team takes place. Buzzer – two minutes body shots. Buzzer – two minutes jabbing. Buzzer – two minutes of freestyle is the call from head trainer Zack Taumafai. Final buzzer, first protein intake – the first of the day, in shake form – I hate these, but it has to be done. Buzzer – my car, I’m going too fast but I need to get home, shower and get ready for work.

‘Smoking Barrels’


For many, White Collar Fight Night means a flashy black tie dinner, a few fights then some dancing in the boxing ring, but for a small group it spells the end of a punishing training regime, hardcore diet and zero social life. Nick ‘Smoking Barrels’ Farmer of the red team shares his daily routine


SPORT & OUTDOOR Buzzer – the microwave, three eggs are scrambled and ready to eat. Two weeks in and I have now eaten 42 eggs, and I wonder if I will ever be able to eat another once training is over. Buzzer – 11am and my next meal is ready from the microwave – chicken stew cooked, portioned and frozen – my own range of ready meals. Buzzer – it is my car again, telling me I am going too fast as I race to training after work, and it’s time again for three eggs, a chicken stew, a chicken salad, a nut bar and another creatine tablet. Buzzer – we run laps, do squats, burpees, push-ups and heavy bag work. Buzzer – combinations with my training partner. Buzzer – we swap round. Buzzer – my kit is so sweat-soaked I look like I have been swimming. An hour and a half and 90 buzzers later, we are done, and once again another protein shake flies down my throat. I ache, I try to find my motivation and struggle, but I am glad I am doing this. I’ve dropped 5kg so far, with more to go before November 5 and the red team, La Furia Roja, are a great bunch of people, who I will be e-mailing throughout the next day, and training with the day after that. Nov 5, Habtoor Grand, Dubai Marina, Dubai. Tel: (050) 6257359

Box clever Armed with boxing gloves, protein shakes and an alarm clock, What’s On deputy editor Helen embarks upon the KO Survivor Challenge The clue is in the title. This isn’t meant to be easy. Two weeks ago I cheerily arrived at KO Gym in Dubai Marina to learn how I’ll be spending the next 12 weeks (that sounds shorter than three months). Our merry band of 25 had signed up for thrice-weekly 6am workouts, full support from expert trainers and a nutritionist, plus all the kit we needed, with a gala dinner shimmering in the December distance and the prize of a trip to Thailand to keep us going. It’s a mixed group with some KO regulars mixed in with others who need to be shown how to put the giant boxing gloves on


(namely me). Each week is packed with one session of boxing and kicking cardio, one of weights and the already dreaded Thursday beach-based torture, which involves running on sand (horrendous), lateral jumps on sand (impossible) and wheelbarrow push-ups on sand (just embarrassing, to be honest). We’ve had six classes so far and the 5am wake-up call is getting easier, and there’s something to be said for this clean living, 10pm bedtime malarkey. In addition to the gruelling fitness schedule, we have Alena looking after our diet – lots of protein, minimal carbs, plenty of water and as much green veg as we can afford. The alcohol allowance is two units per week, so it’s barely worth bothering, and dairy is a no-no (last week someone innocently asked about milk in their tea only to be told “Milk is for BABIES!”). Pass the protein shake. Stay tuned to see how the next 12 weeks go. Who will survive and who will go back to bed? I feel a montage coming on…




Mountains The hills are alive with the sound of music Probably best known for the occasional cheeky visa run or a trip to the heritage village, Hatta is set to play host to a noisy weekend this month with the Hatta Mountains Rocktoberfest mini-fest. Expect the serene peace and quiet to be shattered, with the roar of 12 visiting bands, countless Harley Davidsons and a dance tent. Hatta Fort Hotel will be playing host to music fans who

can hear local bands Nikotin (pictured), The Crow Murder, Absolace and Maple Jacks, plus international offerings from the likes of Columbian-born Fantiniza and the UK’s Bootleg Blues Brothers. There will also be bike demos, skateboarding and family-friendly activities like face painting, gaming and a bouncy castle so it’s time for a rock ‘n’ roll roadtrip. Oct 7 to 9, Hatta Fort Hotel, Hatta, Dhs550 for two-day VIP pass including camping, Dhs350 for a two-day pass, Dhs200 for a day pass, free for under-14s. www.



CLUB DIARY The clubbing season is upon us




Step On presents The Kaiser Chiefs The UK indie funsters take over Chi's garden. Chi @ The Lodge, Al Nasr Leisureland, Dubai, 8pm to 3am, Dhs120. Tel: (04) 3379470


Desyn Masiello @ Digital SOS Collective's Masiello follows partner in crime OMID’s Audiotonic set on October 8, playing the whole house spectrum from tech to funky. Trilogy, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, Dhs130 to Dhs150. Tel: (050) 7258277

Le Cirque @ Boudoir Parisian DJ Keza spins everything from deep house to hip hop. Boudoir, Dubai Marine Resort & Spa, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, Dhs85, ladies free. Tel: (04) 3455995

Cagedbaby @ Digital The sometime Ibiza resident treats us to his particular brand of electro-inspired disco. Trilogy, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, Dhs130 to Dhs150. Tel: (050) 7258277 Disco Bloodbath @ SYNF From a gathering of 50 people in a basement just two years ago, the hugely popular Disco Bloodbath club night now calls Space and Fabric home, playing disco, nu disco and house. Trilogy, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs130 to Dhs150, ladies free before 11pm. (055) 882 5675 OMID 16B @ Audiotonic The SOS Collective DJ makes his Dubai debut. 360, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 4pm to 2am, free. Tel: (050) 1076405. www.

A TABLE AT BOUDOIR We have a table for two at Cirque, Boudoir's new circus-themed night, to give away. The lucky winner will enjoy free-flowing cocktails all night. For your chance to win, visit and answer this question. Which of the following will you not find at Cirque? a) Seals balancing balls on their noses b) Jugglers c) Acrobats


Sandance @ Nasimi Beach Armin Van Helden, Zero 7 and Chicane headline this all day festival. Check out our feature, p107. Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, 2pm to 2am, Dhs150 to Dhs250. Tel: (04) 4260700 Armin Van Buuren @ Peppermint Experience The Dutch trance legend is back again with a massive set at the DWTC. Dubai World Trade Centre Arena, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, Dhs150 to Dhs400. Tel: (050) 3571113 WHAT'S ON PICK

Ronnie Size @ Home Drum'n'bass legend Ronnie lands in Dubai for what is sure to be a huge night at Chi. Chi @ The Lodge, Al Nasr Leisureland, Dubai, 8pm to 3am, Dhs100, free before 11pm, ladies free before midnight. Tel: (04) 3379470


Armin Van Buuren @ Peppermint Experience

21 Edward Maya @ Chi


He's only released two tunes, but Edward Maya is set to draw a huge crowd at Chi Garden. Why? Because the music student and label boss is the man behind runaway hit Stereo Love, which topped the European charts and has received 60 million YouTube hits. The Romanian DJ says he's only just begun… What can we expect from your Dubai gig? I have a lot of fans in Dubai, but it's a long time since I've been there. I promise them all a night they will never forget. Stereo Love was a huge hit. Are you worried about being a one-hit wonder? Never. I know how much I work. I know how much soul I put into my songs. I make everything so that my fans all around the world will be happy. They are the ones that helped me to become known. You must be a pretty big celebrity in your native Bucharest? I don't know, in my country I don't run into my fans every day. When I'm at home I’m stuck in the studio preparing


something, either for myself or for artists on my music label, Mayavin Records. I'm always working. Sometimes I forget to eat or sleep. How's it going with the label? I looked at all the independent artists searching for a music label and artists dreaming of a concert abroad. The online store is made for the fans who want to listen to new music, or to have a T-shirt signed by me. I'm working with my team now to release a modeling agency and a film label – lots of surprises. I do everything I can to make the climb easier for talented young artists. Romania is not famed for its DJs and musicians, is it? Yes it is. Romania is famed around Europe for its DJs. Romanian producers and DJs have made lots of the hits in the past two years and I'm very proud to be Romanian. I hope more young talent from Romania produce good music and become known all around the world. What are your plans for the remainder of 2010? Some concerts in the UK, USA, Norway and Brazil, plus the release of the third single and video, the launch of my first album and working at Mayavin Records. Chi @ The Lodge, Al Nasr Leisureland, Dubai, 8pm to 3am, Dhs150. Tel: (04) 3379470

CLUB DIARY Tonic residents @ Audiotonic Vas Floyd, Raxon and JC spin house into the wee small hours. 360, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 4pm to 2am, free. Tel: (050) 1076405. www.

29 Dion Mavath @ Thrust


The Star Wars Battles @ Audiotonic The Force (Mr Mr, Charl Chaka, Raxon, Da:Funct and MC Swerte) takes on The Darkside (Dany Neville, Rone Jaxx, Emtee, David Craig and MC Olly Wood) in a battle of good versus evil. Enjoy it you will. Alpha, Le Méridien Dubai, Garhoud, 10pm to 3am, free, guest list only. Tel: (050) 2269440.


Ben Sowton @ Bar Grooves The man behind the house brand is joined by DJs Kristian Valdini and Salah Sadeq. 360˚, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 5pm to late, free. Tel: (04) 4068769


Danny Howells @ Digital A truly eclectic mix of tunes is in store from the prog house stalwart. Trilogy, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, Dhs130 to Dhs150. Tel: (050) 7258277 Scratch Perverts @ SYNF The London turntablist collective plays Trilogy's third room, Studio. Trilogy, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs130 to Dhs150, ladies free before 11pm. (055) 882 5675 Will Saul @ Audiotonic Electro from Simple Music owner and former The End resident. 360˚, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 4pm to 2am, free. Tel: (050) 1076405. www.

It's been a productive few years for Dion Mavath, who followed up his 2006 entry to DJ Mag's Top 100 list by going on to write and record his debut album, Warrior. Recently signed to Sony Music International, the Dubai-based DJ and producer plays Thrust this month

You must be excited about your deal with Sony? It's a massive boost for my career, especially on the production side. The support they can give me will add serious weight to my product and it means tremendous exposure internationally. People will know my name and music even before I set foot on their shores to perform. Your album, Warrior, must have helped with that. How has it been received? It sold out twice and went top ten in Virgin in its first full week. However, the process of producing an album in Dubai was a very lonely one. It involved countless hours by myself in a studio, money, and sacrifices to acquire the necessary skills to produce an album of quality. I produced the album myself in Dubai, and then wrote the vocals with my writing partner in the USA. The singers are from all over the world and the final mastering was done in the UK. You've just made a music video as well. Not something that happens often in the UAE? The actual day was fantastic. Amazing director, producer, video team and cast. It was a valuable learning experience for me being able to see what’s involved in making a video. It was my choice to film in Dubai, as I really wanted to sell the city in which I live. Do you see Dubai becoming a global clubbing destination? It already is a global clubbing destination. All the visitors that come here are surprised how vibrant a nightlife we have. Every weekend we have several big international DJs performing along with some amazing local talent, but the Government should take a more active role in promoting the nightlife to enhance tourism. Any big plans in the pipeline for the rest of 2010? It's been such a fantastic year for me. We have more tracks being released later this year, which are being hammered now by some of the biggest DJs in the world. We have the Refugee music video to release and another one to shoot. We have a project planned with a very big international TV station, a clothing line being designed and a brand new night to open. I also just finished working with Christina Aguilera on a remix that will be released by Sony Music Middle East, so there is a lot of work with A-list performers coming up as well as work on the new album. Sensation, Crowne Plaza, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs120. Tel: (050) 2424037


Sultan @ Armani/Prive As a producer he's worked with Deep Dish and Tiesto. As a DJ he's played alongside Sander Kleinberg and Lee Burridge. Now he’s in Dubai. Armani Hotel Dubai, 10pm to 3am. Tel: (04) 8883308


Scope @ Audiotonic Belfast DJ Ric McClelland, AKA Scope, returns to Dubai for the fourth time to celebrate Audiotonic Live's fourth birthday. 360, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 4pm to 2am, free. Tel: (050) 1076405. www.


Step On presents The Kaiser Chiefs


Disco Bloodbath @ SYNF


Weekly Happenings at the Top Saturday - Jazz Night Live jazz band and special deal on pre-selected beverages. Doors open at 18:00 hours

Sunday - Chill out with Rosemount Watch the sun go down over Media City every Sunday whilst relaxing with a glass of Rosemount grapes and chill out music by resident DJ AnOn. Doors open at 17:00 hours

Satu rda Jazz N y ight

Tuesday - Ladies Night Ladies receive three complimentary glasses of bubbly. A blend of sophisticated Soul, Funk and Commercial House Music by resident DJ AnOn. Doors open at 17:00 hours

Wednesday - Latino Night nt

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Mixture of Latin Music including Salsa, Meringue and Samba by resident DJ AnOn. Special offers on pre-selected beverages. Doors open at 17:00 hours

day Wednes ht Latino Nig

Thursday - Pink Paw Party

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Have a blast at Tamanya Terrace rooftop bar every Thursday with an evening of progressive house tracks spinned by DJ AnOn. Ladies in pink will be awarded with a free drink. Dress Code: Pink touch Doors open at 17:00 hours

Friday - Favela Chic

Thursday Pink Paw Party

Live the spirit of Favela Chic as Tamanya Terrace bounces into the weekend with resident DJ AnOn and HUSH on percussion, spinning funky electro Brazilian beats. Special offer on Brazilian cocktails. Door opens at 18:00 hours.

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Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City PO Box 211723, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tel: +971-4-366-9111, Fax: +971-4-361-1011

Armand Van Helden, Chicane live and Zero on a beach in front of thousands? It can only be Sandance

Swapping dance floors for sand and nightclub confines for the open air, Nasimi Beach provides suitably sophisticated surrounds for the Sandance festival. Twelve hours of the finest dance music the world has to offer, plus fire-eaters, circus

performers and fireworks, the extravaganza comes in three sections: sunshine, sunset and after dark. The blazing afternoon heat is smartly countered with a relaxing DJ set from Zero 7, the London duo whose million-selling 2001

debut album, Simple Things, catapulted them to the forefront of the chillout movement. Housemaster Da Sendri – veteran of residencies across Dubai (including 360º), Ibiza and the UK – lends a local slant, continuing the cool-maintaining tunes. As temperatures fall, the action warms up with fashion-conscious Dubai-based spiritual house globetrotter Pierre Ravan. Then comes a full live show from Chicane, the trance/ house/electronica-straddling brainchild of English producer Nick Bracegirdle. And the stars should be twinkling by the time hometown deep house ambassador Charl Chaka precedes a live PA from Baby D, the latter sure to feature timeless rave classic Let Me Be Your Fantasy. The main event, however, is clubbing kingpin Armand Van Helden, detonating a plethora of charts-crashing classics, sandwiched by sets from Nasimi resident Smokingroove and rabble-rousing Lebanese minimal techno twosome Ronin & Nesta, making their Dubai bow. Oct 15, Nasimi Beach, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, 2pm to 2am, Dhs150.

Armand Van Helden’s top tracks Three anthems the New York-based superstar DJ should be contractually obliged to drop at Sandance…


BONKERS Last summer’s ubiquitous smash remains fresh as a cold shower on a summer’s day, Dizzee Rascal’s wide-eyed kinetic rhyming riding mutant grime-house bass-lines.


U DON’T KNOW ME A slice of disco sampling that earned AVH his maiden solo UK number one single, addictive string swoops envelop soulful self-empowerment sung by Duane Harden.


PROFESSIONAL WIDOW This Tori Amos remix twisted the original – allegedly directed at Courtney Love – into a throbbing monster that forcibly dragged clubbers onto dance floors worldwide.


Zero 7 Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker make up Zero 7. We caught up with Henry prior to the duo’s debut visit to the UAE

Henry Binns on... MAKING HIS FIRST TRIP TO DUBAI… I’m absolutely intrigued. I don’t want to sound derogatory, but I’m imagining a shopping mall in the desert! Sandance is on the beach, so you can’t resist a bit of winter sun. WHAT SONGS TO EXPECT… A peppering of Zero 7, but mainly remix stuff. When people book Zero 7 for a DJ set they’re not really sure what they’ll get. I don’t think you can really DJ soft, ambient, luxurious music, so it’s more dance-based. POSTSET PLANS… I hear there’s going to be DJ legends there like Armand Van Helden. It’ll be interesting to meet a proper dance legend. After that we’ve got a day where we can check some stuff out. I want to get out of town to look at some desert land. I’ve never seen proper desert before in my life. THE DREADED ‘C’ WORD: CHILLOUT… I’m OK with it now. We made that first album and never thought we were going to be in every branch of Habitat from that moment onwards. But I couldn’t bear to see another [TV chef] Nigel Slater sequence with our music in; it would do my head in. ZERO 7’S NEXT ALBUM… We’re revamping the studio in London where we made Simple Things. We haven’t been there for a while. Like all bands, everyone’s got their influences, then it comes together and you come up with this weird-shaped monster. Roll on the next monster. 108 WHAT’S ON OCTOBER 2010


OF TICKETforS A PAIR four pairs of tickets

We have i Beach, to give Sandance at Nasimchance of winning, ha away. To be in wit log on to www.w tell us: and dance? Who’s headling San lden a) Armand Van He lden b) Armand Bus Helden He Car c) Armand

CHICANE English producer Nick Bracegirdle, aka Chicane, has taken clubs and charts by storm over a 15-year career straddling trance, house and electronica

Where are you right now? Renovating a farmhouse in the French Alps. It’s a labour of love that’s taking forever. I must be mad to do it while having my first child and trying to finish an album. My advice to anyone is: don’t! Dubai is a nice change to autumn in Europe, then… Yeah. Sun, sea, sand, very good. This will be our third show in recent years. I did a gig with [past collaborator] Bryan Adams and another just off Jumeirah Beach a couple of years ago. Last time I was there holidaying I could see them building The Palm and I played in the original Atlantis hotel in the Bahamas, so it’s going to be fascinating to see what that looks like now. What are you expecting from Sandance? It’s not like a show in Ibiza where everyone has been clubbing for a week already. But

I’m sure the party will still go off. It sounds fantastic – it’ll be really fun. Do you ever get tired of playing hits like Offshore? Sometimes it’s fantastic and other times it can be a chore. Every so often I get a bit sick of [UK number one single] Don’t Give Up, but playing live, 70 per cent is recognition. If you play your new album and it hasn’t sunk in, you can fall flat on your face. We’ll do a lot of classics and three or four new tunes. Temperatures average 35°C in Dubai in October. Do you have any heatcombating tactics? We’ve done shows around that temperature where I’ve watched myself sweating into my keyboard to the point it’s dangerous because it’s going to frazzle the circuitry! So you’ll probably notice lots of towels onstage. We’ll come off absolutely dripping, needing a change of clothes, because it’s pretty energetic stuff. After 15 years, is playing to a big festival crowd still exhilarating? Oh yeah, absolutely. We just headlined a big festival in Manchester and got a fantastic reaction. When the fans are going nuts it’s hard to get blasé. It’s still a rush.

Case, 41 mm, in stainless steel with a black PVD coated asymmetric bezel. White-silvered opalin dial encircled by a progressive black ange. Swiss quartz calibre displaying a second time zone and a double-window big date. 3-row bracelet in stainless steel ne-brushed & polished black PVD coating. Domed sapphire crystal, scratch-resistant with anti-reective treatment.

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p113 Havana Ball p121 48 Hours in Beirut p124 Travels with... Rainer Becker OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 111


The capital of Cuba is a vibrant, colourful and revolutionary Caribbean destination

‘Go before Castro dies’ is the cliché tourists turn to when promoting a visit to Cuba. It turns out the locals agree, too. Get them to discuss the island’s 50-plus years of communist rule, something they’re far more willing to do these days, and they too will implore holidaymakers to head their way before the ageing Fidel Castro (84), and his now-in-charge brother, Raúl (79), draw their last breaths and the already ajar door to capitalism is finally kicked down. As it stands, the country, and in particular its capital, Havana, are drenched in history. The roads are indeed swarmed with enormous 1950s Cadillacs, Buicks, Chevys and Dodges while the crumbling colonial buildings give Havana a feel unlike any

Havana’s Centro district OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 113


Havana ball


Antique cars in the streets of Havana

TRAVEL | CUBA other city in the world. But there is also change. The iconic peeling plaster is slowly being repaired thanks to a decadeslong restoration project and the increasing numbers of tourists who flooding in to enjoy their beauty. Don’t be too alarmed, or offended if the Arabic in your passport alerts some prying questions at customs. The Cuban official seem more nosey than suspicious and there’s nothing to prevent your entry. In total, more than two million holidaymakers visit Cuba each year, making tourism one of the biggest industries in the country, but your chances of bumping in to an American remains marginal. Although the government of Cuba permits US citizens to visit, and the US dollar is used to pay for goods and services, America itself restricts its citizens from travelling there, except with a license. The restriction is against spending money in Cuba, however, US authorities consider any visit of more than one day to be prima facie proof that one has spent some dollars. Think you’ve heard an American accent? Chances are it’s Canadian. Despite Obama relaxing restrictions, the US’ neighbour to the north provides vast swathes of visitors looking for sun, history and a change of scenery – all of which Havana provides in spades. The city’s buildings are a mix of US architecture with some colonial Spanish influence and come regularly adorned with colourful paintings of Fidel, the man who, alongside the Argentine doctor, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, led the 1959 communist revolution that froze Cuba in time. Iconic images of Che and Fidel can be seen throughout the country, especially in Havana. The story of the revolution is everywhere, and a guided tour is highly recommended. GETTING AROUND Despite much poverty, the city is alive with music, dancing and fun. Unmistakably Cuban beats burst out of restaurants and bars, making a gentle walk around ‘Old Havana’ the finest activity 114 WHAT’S ON OCTOBER 2010

Above: A classic american car parked in front of the Museo de la Revolcion Right: Twisting cigars

in the city. The 1950s US muscle cars rubbing bumpers with the former Soviet Ladas are a sight that any car enthusiast will never tire of, but you’re warned not to hire one for yourself. The Russian engines and parts (inside almost every car, be it US designed or not) regularly break down and the locals struggle to understand tourists’ fascination with these iconic snippets of the past, as their frustration outweighs almost all respect for them. Use them as taxis rather than renting one for yourself to avoid falling into the same understandable level of irritation. Taxis are reasonably priced in Havana, but be warned, the pumpkinshaped motorbike coco taxis are regularly involved in collisions and helmets are a luxury reserved for your driver. WHAT TO DO Museum doorways are wide open


A C o ol Evening I n The Mysterious D ubai D esert.. Dune Bashing - Sand Boarding - Camel Riding - Henna Tattoos Shisha - Belly Dance & Lavish Buffet cum BBQ Dinner - Coffee - Soft Drinks Pick-up and drop back facility included Timings: Pick-up 3.30-4.00pm , Drop Back 9:00 to 9:30pm (approx.)


DHS 170


A n Evening of C harm & E legance

On a Traditional Two Tier Arabian Wooden Dhow - Two Hours Cruising - Soft Music - Lavish Buffet Dinner -Tea - Coffee - Soft Drinks Pick-up and drop back facility included Timings: 8.30PM To 10.30 PM (approx.)


DHS 140


A M U S T D O D U B A I D AY O U T E X P E R I E N C E Exclusive charter or on Sharing basis in the hottest sailfish venue in the world. Fishing equipment - Equipped & Fully Insured - Experienced Skipper & Crew Light Refreshments Exclusive upto 8 pax. DHS 2400 Pick-up and drop back facility included


DHS 500


H AV E A P R O - A C T I V E D A Y O U T Cruising - Swimming - Snorkeling - Banana Boat ride & hand line Fishing Refreshments & Buffet Lunch served on board. Pick-up and drop back facility included Timings: Pick-up: 7.00 -7.30 AM, Drop Back: 6.30 - 7.00 PM (approx.)


DHS 350


Cruise to Scenic Fjords, Swim, Snorkel & Do Dolphin Watching Refreshments & Lunch served on board. Six Hours Dhow Trip from Khasab Harbour Pick-up and drop back facility included

Timings : Pick-up 6:30 - 7:00AM, Drop Back : 6:30 - 7:30PM (approx.)


DHS 520

Other Experiences: Sea plane spectaculars - Hatta Mountain Safari

D i n i n g i n B u r j A l A r a b - L u x u r y Ya c h t C r u i s i n g - Wa t e r S p o r t s - S c u b a D i v i n g Heli Sightseeing and many more...

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Under the Patronage of Abu Dhabi Beaches




R E U Q ? N E O H C C I U N O R Y O N C A E C TH

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for your perusal. The pick of the bunch might be the Museo de la Revolución, the former presidential palace that Fidel turned over to the people, postrevolution. Bogged down in Cuban communist propaganda it may be, but it’s still a worthy attraction thanks to fascinating monuments dating from the build-up to the revolution, to tanks and planes from the infamous Bay of Pigs invasion attempt by CIA-trained Cuban exiles in 1961. Entry is a snip at about Dhs15. Funding for the arts has always been high on the Castro brothers’ agenda and Gran Teatro (Dhs25) is a classic example. Every weekend there are performances of opera, modern dance and ballet, including the impressive National Ballet. Despite Fidel declaring Cuba an atheist state once he took power, the nearby Havana Cathedral remains a must-visit. Sat aside one of the most idyllic Europeanesque urban squares, it was originally built in 1748 and housed the remains of Christopher Columbus until Spain

lost control of Cuba to the US in 1898. El Capitolio, or National Capitol Building, in the Centro district is another must-see. It was the seat of government in Cuba until after the revolution in 1959, and is now home to the Cuban Academy of Sciences. Its design and name recall the United States Capitol in Washington, DC, but it is only superficially similar. Completed in 1929, it was the tallest building in Havana until the 1950s and houses the world’s third largest indoor statue, an amazing gold offering called La

Estatua de la República. Plaza de la Revolución is one of the world’s largest city squares. Measuring 72,000 square metres, it is the site of many political rallies and is where Fidel and other political figures address the nation, with more than one million Cubans cramming into the area on some occasions. The square is dominated by the José Martí Memorial (a Cuban national hero and symbol of the country’s bid for independence from colonial Spain), which features an imposing 109m tall tower and an Top: 18m statue of the man himself. The A view of Plaza de la Catedral at night National Library, many government ministries, and other buildings are Above: located in and around the Plaza. Coco taxis Located behind the memorial are the closely guarded offices of former President Fidel. Opposite the memorial on the far side of the square is the famous Che Guevara image with the slogan ‘Hasta la Victoria Siempre’ (Forever Onwards Towards Victory) that identifies the Ministry of the Interior building. OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 117

TRAVEL | CUBA out what the limit is for the UAE before flying home.

Hotel Nacional is also worth a peek, if only for its dramatic exterior. The hotel’s guest list has included Frank Sinatra, Winston Churchill and the Havana regular Ernest Hemingway, and also played host to the infamous Havana Conference in 1946, where all of the major US mafia families met to template mob policy. SHOPPING Havana is alive with market stalls selling the usual Che Guevara emblazoned T-shirts, caps and mugs, but the real shopping can be found in the markets, the pick of which is Feria de la Artesania. Remember to barter hard. Bartering is not allowed when shopping for cigars, however, as the sale of tobacco is government run. The beauty of that is that cigars are equally cheap across the board. Watch them being made at the Real Fábrica de Tabacos Partagás (Dhs50). A 40-minute tour shows you how tobacco leaves become Cohibas and Montecristos – the latter being Fidel’s favourite brand – then pick up a few from the shop, but remember to find

“The city’s buildings are a mix of US architecture with some colonial Spanish influence and come regularly adorned with colourful paintings of Fidel” 118 WHAT’S ON OCTOBER 2010

EATING OUT Cuba isn’t renowned for its amazing food. Go in blind and you could be pining for the eateries of the Emirates within a day. Pick of Cuban dishes is a simple but delicious moros y cristianos, a white rice and black bean dish (translated as the Moors and the Christians) that sits comfortably aside any chicken dish and inevitably steals the show. When looking for a restaurant, paladares are the way to go. Paladar is the popular name given to a small, family-run, private-owned restaurant. The socialist government allows families to start and keep control of these small businesses in exchange for very high taxes. Paladares are limited to 12 seats only (although they usually have more than that) and must cook local food, such as rice, beans and seafood. The most famous paladar in Cuba is La Guarida, between Calles Gervasio Above: and Escobar, in Centro. The atmosphere Streets of Havana is wonderful and the simple but Left: traditional food is superb. This was also Colourful necklaces the set for several scenes in the Cuban in a market blockbuster film, Fresa y Chocolate. Below: The converted apartment is reached Whole black beans up three flights of steep, run-down and rice with salsa stairs via signed celebrity headshots of and avacados previous guests. Start things off with gazpacho, or their signature appetizer of eggplant caviar and move on to Caimanero (fresh red snapper) which might come in a white wine, orange, or sweet and sour sauce – all are good. Tel: +537 866 9047. WHERE TO STAY Saratoga, Paseo del Prado is pick of the five-star hotels. The food is superb, but you’ll be paying for the privilege. Expect to pay more than Dhs800 for a double room per night. The rooftop pool – opposite the Capitolio building – has amazing views. Tel: +537 868 1000. ON MORE OF A BUDGET? Hotel Raquel is a newly renovated Art Nouveau building tucked behind the Plaza Vieja in a residential area. Rooms are big, if basic, but the rooftop terrace, where you can dine in one of the Gaudí-esque tiled turrets, is great. Double rooms cost from Dhs400. Tel: +537 860 8280.




14 OCT -



48 Hours in



Two days only in Lebanon’s party city


After 48 hours in Lebanon’s capital, these words come with a health warning – be prepared. Beirut is not for the faint-hearted. As edgy, hedonistic cities go, it’s second only to Ibiza, and home to locals who know how to party and how to party hard. Also known as the St Tropez of the Middle East, this 5,000-year-old city oozes culture, history and hedonism, but the proximity of it all means you can experience everything in a neat little 48-hour mini-break. From bars to beaches, and mountains to modern souks, everything is on your doorstep. After ditching your bags at the hotel Riviera (the place to be for pool parties and posing), take a taxi along the Corniche to Pigeon Rock, one of Beirut’s most popular tourist spots. Following a leisurely stroll taking in the views of the Mediterranean, brave the kamikaze taxi ride to the thriving neighbourhood of Gemmayzeh. The main drag is flanked on either side by rundown buildings, some riddled with bullet holes (a sobering nod to the civil war that ended in 1990), and dark, secretive and inviting bars – and also, Margherita Pizzeria. Ten or so tables, a no reservation policy and frequented only by locals, this pizzeria is definitely a best-kept secret. Satisfied and sated, point your feet towards downtown Beirut to investigate the excavation sites dotted around the city. Unearthing ruins dating back to eras of the Ottomans, Mamelukes, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans gives this city some historical grounding. With areas such as downtown Beirut under urgent restoration, it’s vital to see what you can of the city’s history and heritage now.

Al Omari mosque

Raouche pigeon rocks

“In areas under urgent restoration, it’s vital to see what you can of the city’s history and heritage now” OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 121

TRAVEL | BEIRUT TOURIST TICK-LIST Byblos – Thought to be one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, with its beach, fishing port, souks and fortress, it’s a breath of fresh air and only a short drive from Beirut. Faraya Mzaar – Less than two hours by car and you’re in the mountains. Just pack a thermos if you’re going during ski season. Music Hall – If you like cabaret, this nightspot is right up your street. Be warned though, you’ll need to make a reservation about three months ahead. Baalbek – A temple complex of beautifully preserved Roman ruins 55 miles east of Beirut, near the Syrian border. Pack your camera. When you’re done admiring the ruins, head next to the Roman Baths near Bank Street, and Al Omari Mosque – one of the oldest buildings in the city. Visitors are sometimes allowed in, so chance your luck and ask – just make sure you’re dressed appropriately. After joining half of Beirut for sundowners at Riviera Beach Lounge, head to Pacifico in Monot – a laid-back restaurant favoured by the locals, serving Mexican-cumCuban cuisine and some of the finest cocktails in the city. After a check of the watch to ensure you’re nearing the witching hour, it’s time for Sky Bar. Don’t even attempt

entry without your name on the guestlist – this is one of Beirut’s most exclusive hotspots, and voted best bar in the world by worldsbestbar. com. Rooftops, champagne (and a lot of it), 360 views of the city, beautiful people, arms in the air… Sky Bar definitely takes partying to a whole new level. Stay for sunrise, if you dare, it’s worth the wait. On day two, make an effort to see more of the city and stretch your legs walking around Souk El Barghout at Martyr’s Place. Hustle, bustle and bartering, if you want to people watch, this is your spot. For a more modern shopping (and style)

Martyr Square

Above: Abc Shopping Centre, Ashrafia Inset: Byblos castle Left: Hotel Riviera

WHERE TO STAY: experience, the new Beirut Souks – a huge open-air mall in downtown – houses all the hottest designers for you to flash your cash at. The rest of your day will be lost amid coffees, cafés and camera clicking opportunities. Beirut’s streets are definitely made for walking and it makes a refreshing change from the building sites of Dubai. For a city of such rapid regeneration, Beirut runs the risk of losing its identity amid a sea of five-star, soulless souks and shopping malls. But let your feet do the walking and lead you away from the typical tourist tracks, and Beirut will surprise you with its beauty. Drink in as much as you can of the culture, because after 48 hours in this city, you may need a lifetime to recover and who knows when you’ll brave enough to come back.

Riviera Hotel, Corniche Al Manara If you’re visiting for just the weekend, kill two birds with one stone and stay here – hotel, pool bar and ‘it’ spot with Beirut’s in-crowd. Not quite five-star, but central, comfortable and very cool. Plus, as a guest you get first dibs on sun-loungers, and come the weekend this is a serious USP.


Both Flydubai and Emirates fly to Beirut, with tickets for the former starting at as little as Dhs400, depending on season. /


Dhs1 = 409 Lebanese Pounds (LBP). US Dollars are equally well accepted, and don’t be surprised if you pay in one currency and get change in the other.


This is all done at Immigration the Beirut side, as long as you fill out a landing card before joining the long queue. OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 123


Travels with… Rainer Becker

for a barbecue is my idea of a treat. I would always advise people to visit Japan – the food culture is incredible. In Tokyo, if you can get up early enough, visit the fish market and have breakfast at one of the small sashimi shacks. My girlfriend is my dream holiday companion, as she shares my interests and hobbies, and I’m happy anywhere that has sea, sand, sun and wind. I would love to sail round the world. My earliest travel memory is packing up the car with my parents, attaching the boat trailer and leaving my home in Germany for the Adriatic Sea. I must have been five or six. We lived inland, so I even remember the very first time I saw the sea. There was that buzz the moment I caught sight of the sea from the car window, that point where I knew the journey was finally over and the excitement of the holiday was about to begin.”

“Wherever I travel I like to try the local food and discover the restaurant scene” ISTOCK

Having opened the first branch of Zuma in 2002, Rainer Becker now has restaurants in London, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Miami and, of course, Dubai. Here the globetrotting chef opens up his suitcase and shares a few of his travel secrets

“I always feel better if I don’t eat on a flight, so I eat well before travelling. I also ensure I have a flat-bed seat and always take my iPod, pyjamas or jogging bottoms and a good book. I’m a predominantly a business traveller and fly business or first class. For a long airport stopover I’d advise going to the spa for a massage, checking e-mails so you don’t have to deal with a packed inbox when you get back, talking to fellow passengers and making friends. I travel light and take only the essentials, but my iPhone is something I would never travel without. As a chef, wherever I travel I like to try the local food and discover the restaurant scene. I love Sydney and have many friends there. Restaurants are my business, so getting all of my friends around


Three travel deals for the frugal explorer SHORT BREAKS A refreshing long weekend is essential at least once every three months in order to survive the stress and struggles of everyday working life in the UAE. If only we could afford it, we hear you say. Well, now you can. Etihad Holidays is offering short breaks, including flights, taxes, accommodation and breakfast, starting from Dhs1,960. Destinations include Kuala Lumpur, Athens, Istanbul and many more. Etihad Holidays, from Dhs1,960. Tel: 8002324. www. 124 WHAT’S ON OCTOBER 2010

EID’S A DEAL Sharjah-based travel agent Air Arabia Holidays and their sister airline Air Arabia are well known for their bargain travel packages and they have some corkers for those booking their Eid Al Adha vacation early. The Eid break, set to fall in mid to late November, will see travel agents' phone lines jammed and flights full within in weeks, so book immediately. Regional packages to destinations such as Jordan, Egypt and India start from Dhs2,240, including flights, accommodation, tours (in some cases), taxes and transportation. Air Arabia Holidays. Tel: (06) 5074400. www.

LUXURY OR ADVENTURE? We spent Christmas 2009 at the InterCon Mzaar high up in the mountains of Lebanon, and it was one of the most relaxing trips we've ever had. The hotel is cosy with a feeling of being away from it all, floating on the clean mountain breeze. Adventurers can spend the night in a double room, enjoying breakfast, the choice of an ATV ride, hiking or TIRO, one round of bowling and access to the sauna, gym and swimming pool for just US$94 (Dhs345) plus VAT per person. Those who prefer a bit of pampering can replace the hiking and bowling with a spa treatment for US$108 (Dhs395) plus VAT per person. InterContinental Mzaar Lebanon Mountain Resort & Spa. Tel: +961 (9) 340100.


When it comes to Family Fun, we mean business. Welcome to Cristal Hotel. For the executive who’s on the go all week, Friday offers you a relaxed, extra special family treat. International buffet in GEMS Restaurant with kids entertainment including a magic show, face painting and Coco the clown, all for only AED 119* per person. (Children under 5 free) Call us a Hotel if you want, we prefer to be thought of as dynamic hospitality. Try us, you will enjoy.

Call 02 652 0000 Zayed the 1st Street, adjacent to Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre * Subject to 10% service charge and 6% tourism fee


Part of the Cristal Group.












10:44:47 AM

THE HOT LIST p129 p133 p137 p141

Bars Restaurants Brunches Spas


the only way to start your Grand Prix weekend To celebrate the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it gives us great pleasure to invite you to the Chequered Flag Ball, hosted by racing legend Eddie Jordan. At this exclusive evening of glamour and elegance guests will be entertained by international live music act, Beverley Knight, and enthralled by stories from the track by our iconic host.

Champagne Reception | Award-Winning Artist Beverley Knight Live Performance by Eddie and The Robbers | Complimentary Bar

for more information or to reserve your table please contact or call +971 (0) 4 445 6842 www.chequeredfl MEDIA PARTNERS













City slickers unite at this DIFC hotspot. And they unite in their droves.

Caramel has kept the cool kids chilled with its airconditioned terrace, but we reckon it must be time to get back to nature soon.

After-office cocktails that morph into dinner. Next thing you know, it's midnight. Trust us, we've been there. A few times.

Far from cheap (hardly surprising for DIFC), but ladies get half price Cosmos on Tuesdays from 6pm to 9pm.

Packed come Thursday and more chilled during the week, Blends has shot up the Hot List for its people pleasing.

Slap bang in the middle of the Marina, this is the city-style bar this area was crying out for.

The deals. Ladies get complimentary Cosmos on Thursdays and Fridays (8pm to 11pm). Freebies in a smart bar are a rare find.

Mid-range – unless you’re a lady and it’s the weekend, in which case leave your purse at home.

Dubai’s favourite beach bar is back. After a long, hot summer it’s finally bearable out there, so pull up a day bed and order a frozen cocktail.

Right on the sand, Barasti is a multilevel venue with live music, beds on the beach and hordes around the pool, hoping they won’t get pushed in.

Bumping into people. There’s always a familiar face at Barasti. And the calamari is a winner, washed down with the odd beer or two.

Annoyingly expensive for such a casual bar, Barasti must be raking it in. Good value brunch, though.

Buzzing. Friends sharing food at tables, couples drinking on the terrace and chaps at the bar enjoying some post-work jars.

Enjoy the terrace with its view of the skyline now the weather is cooling. This Festival City pub offers valet parking too. But don’t have a drink and a drive.

Fantastic food, extensive drinks list, cosy design and that European vibe will win your heart.

Some of the beers are pricey, but there are budget options and the food is reasonable.

Flash. Very flash. There’s the world’s largest LED screen for crying out loud, not to mention those illuminated booths and the newly opened terrace.

The Armani hotel in the world’s tallest building. The hottest address in town. Dress up.

High-end people watching and dropping your dirhams faster than you can say ‘how much?’

As steep as the Burj Khalifa. We paid Dhs400 for three drinks.


2 Blends

3 Barasti


Belgian Beer Café


Armani/ Prive

WHAT’S ON SAYS... They've got a brunch with Laurent Perrier. Stay tuned for more info.

Fast becoming the best place to mingle. And there’s no pesky early license.


Building 3, DIFC, Dubai, Sun to Thurs 11am to 2am. Tel: (04) 3993333. www.carameldubai. com

The Address Dubai Mall, Dubai, 7.30pm to 2.30am. Tel: (04) 4367777.

Love it or hate it, you know you’ll be there soon.

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

A cold drink on a balmy night looking at the city? See you on the terrace.

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

The terrace and DJ line up could well propel Prive up the Hot List.

Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Old Town, Dubai, Mon to Sat 10pm to 3am. Tel: (04) 8883888. www.armanihotels. com





6 Zuma

7 360˚


Left Bank

9 Neos





It might primarily be a restaurant, but the upstairs bar and terrace are buzzing with work hard, play hard types.

At the heart of DIFC, Zuma was one of the first residents in this new nightlife hub.

Feeling grown up and spruced up, before enjoying a few sakes.

You’ll pay top drawer for a drink at this world-class bar, but choose wisely (mojitos aren’t too pricey) and you’ll emerge relatively unscathed.

Fridays start chilled, with lazing on sofas shisha at hand. Then darkness falls, the music rises and the off-shore party begins.

In the middle of the Arabian Gulf, 360˚ is accessed by golf buggy (or walking if you prefer, but that’s not very Dubai is it?).

Posing, posing and more posing. Saturdays are a bit more laid-back though.

Far from cheap – especially if you make a day and night of it.

Despite the midnight finish (boo), Left Bank is still a reliable choice for a casual date or impromptu night out.

Old Town is an easy option for most, adding to Left Bank’s peoplepleasing charm.

Cocktails, bar nibbles and meeting people. Commandeer a booth or nab a high table near the bar and see who you bump into.

Top quality cocktails sets you back about Dhs50, while snacks are pricey. But who can resist mini burgers after a few drinks?

Neos is dominated by a jaw-dropping window, shiny art deco pillars and a large bar. It attracts a well-heeled crowd so don’t expect a rowdy night.

On the 63rd floor of The Address Downtown and you’ll need to take two lifts to reach Neos’ lofty, luxurious heights.

Those views reduce almost everyone to tourists with their noses crushed against the glass, martini in hand.

Drink slowly and stay away from spirits.

Sports bar meets gastropub, in this post-work DIFC hangout.

Another string to DIFC’s bow, The Gramercy adds a cosy touch to this concrete jungle.

Head here for a decent feed, ladies’ night on Tuesdays or a few beers with the match.

Not bad. Not bad at all. What a refreshing change for this part of town.

The Gramercy


Left Bank

WHAT’S ON SAYS... We adore Zuma for its slick space, hot staff and cool crowd. We can’t stay away.

Fingers crossed 360˚ has spent the summer recruiting barmen.

Left Bank is suitably swank, without being intimidating.

Neos is a great choice for wowing visitors, a first date or contacts.

The new menu and a la carte Friday brunch makes this one to watch.


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

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

Souk Al Bahar, Old Town, Dubai, 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 3684501

The Address Downtown Dubai, Dubai, 6pm to 2.30am. Tel: (04) 4368927.

Unit 7, Level 2, Building 3, DIFC, Dubai, noon to midnight. Tel: (04) 4377511





Rhodes Mezzanine

1 Zuma


Rivington Grill

3 Verre


West 14th


Reflets Par Pierre Gagnaire’s

MARCH 2010 WHAT’S ON 133






Dubai’s premier Japanese is always guaranteed to be busy and buzzing, so make sure you book ahead.

Bright and clean downstairs, with several industrious chefs at work on the sushi counter. Head upstairs for drinks.

Dishes from chef Colin Clague’s kitchen are always inventive and delicious. We can't resist the juicy veal cutlet.

Zuma’s new neighbour, French bistro La Petite Maison, is moving in this month, ensuring DIFC’s reputation as a foodie hub.

Dhs1,000 for two. The Ebisu Express lunch menu (miso plus main) costs Dhs62, while the Ebisu (miso plus three courses) is Dhs120.

We called up at 4pm the other afternoon to try and book a table on the terrace, and it was full. We say book a day in advance.

Fresh, simple and stylish, just like the food. White walls, and linen, dark wood floors and chalkboards advertising the specials.

Now the weather is cooling and the long lunch is back in fashion, don’t forget the Riv’s Dhs80 and Dhs100 lunch menus.

Overlooking the Dubai Fountain, the Riv has one of the best locations in town. The battle begins for a table on the terrace.

Dhs400 for two.

It’s not often full due to its Deira location, but this is true contemporary fine dining – sophistication without the stuffiness.

Low-key elegance, with nothing to detract from the dining experience. Ask about the chef’s table and private dining salon.

Verre throws down the gauntlet to the other Hot List challengers with Scott Price’s new chef’s table. See our full verdict, p54.

Deira is never going to be the best location for a restaurant, but it’s worth crossing the floating bridge for one of Verre’s calibre.

Dhs395 per person for three courses and Dhs495 for the six-course menu. For the chef’s table it’s Dhs695 per person without alcohol.

Surprisingly full of life for a new restaurant in a new location. As soon as the Media City and Marina crowds get wind, it will be packed.

The archetypal New York steakhouse. Cool, stylish and sexy.

Our full verdict, p53. But the 300g Australian rib-eye was beautiful. Those with a sweet tooth should order the sticky calamari.

Oceana Beach Club is not easy to find. Suffice to say it’s on The Palm. Print out the map on the website.

Dhs550 for two without alcohol. For a steakhouse of this quality, that’s not just reasonable it’s darn right cheap.

There’s an air of refinement and calm, combined with a sense of excited anticipation.

Think Paris, think glamour, think ever so slightly camp.

Ask the waiter’s advice, point at a few of the dishes, and sit back and watch the parade of art emerge from the kitchen.

With its own private floor at the InterCon, Reflets is a truly exclusive destination.

Around Dhs1,000 for two, but the three course lunch menu, available Monday to Friday, is now just Dhs180.

WHAT’S ON SAYS... Dress up and get down at the Angels and Demons Halloween bash.



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

RG is sure to put Zuma under serious pressure this autumn.

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

We’re sure Scott's boss, Gordon Ramsay, will give him the seal of approval.

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

Our new favourite steakhouse.

While you’re saving for dinner, make sure you enjoy the lunch – often.

Oceana Beach Club, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, noon to 3pm and 6pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 4477601. www.west14th. ae

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



Reflets Par Pierre Gagnaire’s


6 Traiteur


Rhodes Twenty10

8 Okku


Rhodes Mezzanine

10 Indego




Traiteur is one for the romantics. Never boisterous, the ambience is tender and tranquil.

Uncomplicated elegance, with an open kitchen and a vaulted ceiling that is one of the most memorable restaurant design features in the city.

Chef Franck Detrait and his team do classic French brassiere better than anyone else in the city, and that’s saying something.

We visited Park Hyatt Dubai again this month, and we couldn’t help uttering "this is a very pleasant hotel, isn’t it?" Probably the nicest in town.

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

The celeb chef’s steakhouse has some stiff competition in the shape of West 14th, but its continued popularity is assured.

Gary likes to describe it as ‘gangster’. Keep an eye out for the purple splashes (the waiters’ velvet waistcoats are a rather natty).

It’s a grill, but remember it’s a Gary Rhodes grill. Simple food, well cooked. Order the lamb rack rare and you won’t be disappointed.

Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort and Spa, not far from Grosvenor House – home of Rhodes Mezzanine. Gary seems to like Dubai Marina.

We spent Dhs630 for a meal for two. You could easily spend more, or if you were careful, a little less.

Okku seems to get more popular by the month. Girls should check out its twist on the traditional ladies' night, every Tuesday.

Dark, sexy and as lively as a prohibition speakeasy, but happily without the slapstick bar brawls.

Go for yellowtail sashimi, black cod or our particular favourite – the crispy rice.

Number One Sheikh Zayed Road. Addresses don't come much better than that.

Dhs700 should buy you three courses, sushi and sashimi, leaving you with a good Dhs300 more in your wallet than after a meal at Zuma or Nobu.

Rhodes Twenty10 may have stolen a bit of its starlight, but Mezzanine will always be Gary’s flagship restaurant.

White with the odd touch of neon and a tiny, tantalising glimpse of the busy kitchen.

Foodies come to taste the white tomato soup, but you should also try the roast fillet of beef with snail, garlic and parsley risotto.

Gary Rhodes and Vineet Bhatia both love Grosvenor House. Who are we to argue?

Around Dhs760 for two.

Mellow and inviting, with the sounds of good food being properly enjoyed afloat in the ether.

Warm lighting, modern design and comfortable furniture. A delicious blend of Michelin and Mumbai.

This is Indian food like you’ve never tasted anywhere before – except, maybe, at one of Bhatia’s other restaurants.

Where it’s always been – Grosvenor House – and there’s a lovely terrace for a pre or post-dinner drink.

Around Dhs800 for two.


Rhodes Twenty10

WHAT’S ON SAYS... If you want classic French fare, go to Traiteur.

Rhodes? Where we’re going, we absolutely do need Rhodes.

The walletfriendly alternative to Nobu and Zuma, with an extra bit of edge.

Still the first port of call for anyone wishing to eat cuisine a la Rhodes.

Peerless Indian cuisine. If you’re going to eat Indian, eat Indego.


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

Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort and Spa, Dubai, 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 3995555. www. garyrhodes. com

The Monarch Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 5018777. www. okkudubai. com

Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Mon to Sat 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 3998888. www.

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







Thai Kitchen

2 Al Qasr

3 Traiteur

4 Zuma


Spectrum On One






Popular with families and groups of friends. With an active open kitchen, Thai Kitchen isn't a party, but it's never dull.

As many small plates of tasty Thai treats as you can handle. Sharing is the name of the game here.

Sit outside and remind yourself how good life in Dubai can be as you take in the marina view.

A laid-back and frugal afternoon with your best buds.

Dhs225 with alcohol. Please step up and press the bargain buzzer.

Al Qasr may be the last bastion of the steep brunch, but the daddy of Dubai brunches will never lack custom. Booking ahead is essential.

It’s quite a spread. From oxtail burger to sushi, Al Qasr has something for everyone. And a lot of it is made to order.

Al Qasr is all about choice, with three rooms and a terrace to pick from. Hop on an abra and check out the Madinat Jumeirah when you’re done.

It’s ideal for impressing visitors, but any self-respecting bruncher must visit Al Qasr at least once a year.

Dhs495. Still.

Tap your foot to the rhythm of the live jazz band as you shuffle your way around the open kitchen buffet.

We’ve said it before. We’ll say it again. Chef Franck Detrait and his team produce the best French brasserie dishes in Dubai.

That vaulted ceiling is an architectural gem. Eat alfresco on the terrace, or be bold and book the private dining room.

Moochers, lovers, gastronomes. Anyone who revels in the joie de vivre.

Up to you. Dhs295 sans alcohol, Dhs425 with house beverages, Dhs550 with Veuve Cliquot or Dhs1,500 with a limo pick up.

Now the autumn brunch season is into its second month you’ll have to book a couple of days in advance.

Fresh sushi and sashimi and a selection of a la carte dishes from the regular menu.

DIFC is right at the heart of the city and Zuma is right at the heart of DIFC.

The best Japanese food in Dubai.

Choose from the Kitsu, (no alcohol) for Dhs315, Kowaku at Dhs425 (with alcohol) and the Kyasha package with champers for Dhs550.

Always spirited, Spectrum On One is sure to be a star of the new brunch season.

Eight kitchens serving up cuisine from Europe, Thailand, China, India, Japan and the Middle East.

Spectrum has its very own floor (floor one, unsurprisingly) dedicated solely to food, drink and merriment.

Everybody, now that there is now a range of price options.

Splash out Dhs550 for bubbles, house beverages for Dhs395 or sans booze for just Dhs295.

WHAT’S ON SAYS... After quality grub that won't leave you out of pocket? Go to Thai Kitchen.

If you pay the price you will receive a first-rate experience in return.

Surely the most elegant brunch in Dubai.

It’s more expensive, but it’s still the same remarkable brunch.

The Spectrum On One brunch is affordable. Well done, Fairmont.


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

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

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

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

Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, noon to 3pm. Tel: (04) 3325555. www. dubai



Spectrum On One



Belgian Beer Café



8 Maya

9 Nobu

10 JW Marriott Dubai




The spacious terrace is now prime brunching territory and the BBC is sure to come into its animated, hop swigging own this month.

The Belgians were put on the earth to whip up wholesome cuisine in such vast quantities that nobody should go hungry.

It’s at the wrong end of town for the Marina crowd, but with the return of the terrace (see p17) it’s worth the trip for Dubai’s most fairly priced brunch.

Lining the stomach with some honest chow while glugging down a few pints with your pals. It’s an extended pub lunch.

Dhs199, making it the best value brunch in Dubai.

With three rooms offering live cooking, a Cuban band, a bouncy castle, a petting zoo and a cinema, it’s pretty hectic.

An open kitchen serving up Thai treats at Spice Emporium, red meat cooked to order at Hunters and a lavish buffet at Blue Orange.

Dubai Marina, which leaves plenty of options for a post-brunch tipple.

It’s one of the few brunches that cater to both adults and children.

Dhs450 for freeflowing Laurent Perrier, cocktails, beer and wine, or Dhs299 excluding alcohol. Pay more for the fab cocktails.

With access to the beach and the pool, Maya is going to be mighty popular as the pleasant weather arrives home from its summer break.

Authentic Mexican from the team at celeb chef Richard Sandoval’s Maya restaurant between 1pm and 4pm.

In the pool, on the beach, prostrate on a sun lounger, enjoying a tipple on the terrace. Take your pick.

Getting outdoors after spending a summer as a house-dwelling hermit.

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

It's fairly quiet, but you don't go to Nobu to party. Soak up the laid-back tunes, admire the design and enjoy the food.

A seemingly endless supply of Japanese food streams out of the open kitchen over four hours of Asian fushion frenzy.

A brunch in one of Dubai's most iconic landmarks is always going to be a bit special. The drive down The Palm never fails to impress.

Wowing outof-towners or fueling up before making an early start at Nasimi, which is, handily, just next door.

Dhs490 gets you champers, wine, beer and one sake tasting per person to wash down the sushi. Or Dhs325 with soft drinks.

Fans of this brunch ignore the Deira location and bring a determined spirit to the party.

There’s everything from sushi to curry but make sure you order a nice big plate of oysters and some authentic German cuisine.

J W Marriott is in the depths of Deira, but the hotel seems to have the once crippling Deira taxi issue under control.

A long put off meeting of your entire friendship group.

Dhs333 with house beverages is a pretty good price when you consider the variety of food on offer.


Al Qasr



We’re hungry. Feed us. Oh, and we’ll take a table on the terrace, please.

Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City, Dubai, 1pm to 4pm. Tel: (04) 7011128. www. ichotelsgroup. com

Char grilled red meat and a petting zoo. It ticks all the boxes.

The Westin Mina Seyahi, Dubai, 1pm to 4pm. Tel: (04) 5117136. www. starwoodhotels. com

There’s a live DJ, mariachi band, a pool, a beach and Mexican food. That’s a lot of pluses.

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

Nobu's new brunch has its eye on Zuma's Friday crowd. This will be huge.

Taxi! JW Marriott, please. Yes, it’s in Deira. What of it? Away we go.

Atlantis the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, noon to 4pm. Tel: (02) 4262626.

Abu Baker Al Siddique Rd, Deira, Dubai, noon to 4pm. Tel: (04) 2624444.





JUMEIRAH VILLA Jumeirah Beach Road, Tel: 04 394 5296 THE DUBAI MALL Lower Ground Food Court, Tel: 04 339 8493 MIRDIF CITY CENTER South Food Court, Tel: 04 284 3741 OPENING SOON Al Ain Mall, Abu Dhabi & more Dubai locations.



11:57:49 AM



Sensasia Urban Spa






Knowledgeable and professional, these relaxation experts will take you from stressed out to blissed out. We recommended Sue if knots are your main problem.

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

One of the most beautiful spaces in Dubai, Amara has a courtyard with daybeds, a stunning outdoor pool and each treatment room has a private outdoor shower.

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

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

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

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

Choose wisely and you’ll get an hourlong massage for Dhs310.

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

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

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

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


All graduates from the exclusive Banyan Tree training academies. You’re in safe hands.

Asian-inspired treatments with a decadent feel to transport you from the desert sands to distant shores.

The high-ceilinged treatment rooms are lovely, but The Rainforest hydrotherapy experience is the reason to road trip to RAK.

Five-star prices for five-star treatments, but an hour in The Rainforest will set you back only Dhs77, or free if staying at the hotel.


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

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

As stylish as you’d expect from Giorgio. It’s a sleek space, with dark greys and clean lines. Should appeal to men as well as the ladies.

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



Sensasia Urban Spa


Talise Spa

Banyan Tree Al Wadi


The Spa

MARCH 2010 WHAT’S ON 141 WHAT’S ON SAYS... A treatment at Amara makes everything better. We love it.

Suffering from the night before? The Morning After treatment will sort you right out.

The Optimal Health Assessment (Dhs1,495 until December 1) is superb.

Try The Rainforest and discover an ice igloo, brine cave rain showers and hammam.

The unique ‘decide for you’ approach is great for spa newbies.


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

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

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

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

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



Thai Privilege Spa



Thai Privilege Spa


Lime Spa


Spa & Fitness Centre


The Spa

10 Mandara Spa



Amara Spa


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

Each month brings new treatments and discounts (see Spa Deals on p90 for October’s offer). You’ll find everything from blow-dries to luxury rituals, all with a Thai flavour.

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

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

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

The menu invites you to ‘drop your robe, cares and guard’. Cheeky. There are Anne Semonin treatments, plus a choice ranging from ear candling to sculpting rituals.

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

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

The team at Atlantis will greet you with ginger tea, treat you to some high quality pampering then bring more tea.

The extensive list covers gentlemen’s shaves, expert pedicures, lengthy rituals and more. Particularly recommended are the Clarins facials.

It’s an impressive spa with a huge staircase, beautiful ‘floating’ walkway and underwaterthemed treatment rooms.

You’re on The Palm so expect to pay the big bucks, with two-hour packages costing Dhs1,000. They’ve priced it with tourists in mind, but it’s worth treating yourself.

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

There are separate menus for ladies and gents and we especially recommend the Aromatherapy Associate’s Jet-Lag treatment.

You’d never expect this shrine to de-stressing mere minutes from the hectic Dubai Mall. It’s the perfect antidote to an afternoon of shopping.

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

Super friendly and dedicated to making your metime as enjoyable as possible.

Try the fourhanded Mandara Massage. You’ll be pushed, pulled and pulverised into a state of somnolence by two therapists.

Seriously soft dressing gowns, Elemis facials and the beautiful steam room were our highlights.

Slightly above average at Dhs470 for the 65-minute Muscle Ease massage.


WHAT’S ON SAYS... TPS won our hearts with its pick up service (in a Porsche or Mercedes no less).

Check out our His ‘n’ Hers feature on p86 to see how our visit went.

A spa that will have you wanting more (and asking for a pay rise).

Arrive early and leave late so you can enjoy the relaxation room.

Enjoy a massage and lunch at Okku or Ruth’s Chris for only Dhs299.


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

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

Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 4261020. www.

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

The Monarch, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 9am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 5018888. www. themonarchdubai. com




Win with What’s On WIN! A SKI CHALET FOR THE NIGHT Win a night’s stay for two, including breakfast, in one of Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates’ 15 ski chalets and create the experience of Europe’s top ski resorts right here in the desert. Cuddle up in front of the fireplace and enjoy an unbeatable snowy vista over Ski Dubai. The Ski Chalet is undoubtedly the coolest place to stay in the UAE. For your chance to win, simply visit www. and tell us: Which of these is the slope-side restaurant at the Kempinski? a) Slalom b) Sezzam c) Alakazam

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Backchat with Catboy

along with how much they weigh. I’ve also taken to eating well and exercising every day, but I fear it might all be too little, too late. I guess you’ll have to keep an eye on the website for proof. The social aspect of the journey is also preying on my mind considerably. Last year we took a similar number of listeners to Hawaii New York, and by the end of the trip it had Los Angele become a running joke between our winners, s sponsors and staff that I was, in fact, the most boring, miserable person on earth. I reckon you’ve just got to know when to walk I’ve already had the law laid down to me This month, our man on away from the table. That said, even though by everyone that I must endeavour to be the radio makes some big this trip includes some fairly excessive flying, MORE FUN this year and I am going to try I’m not yet at the stage of being dragged harder, I promise. It’s just that I’m at that age promises, with vows to slim across the Tarmac or sedated by that special when if I’m given the choice between being down and cheer up before milk the lads in the A-Team used to give BA out on the town until 4am with a crazed Baracus to get him into economy. bunch of listeners giving it the full ‘Keith an upcoming trip Next on the list of things keeping me Richards’ or being in a massive, comfortable awake unnecessarily is getting in shape. bed in a quiet, luxurious, expensive suite in As you may have heard on Dubai 92’s Being ‘the guy off the radio who took us on a five-star hotel… Well, I’ll be slipping out of breakfast show, at the start of November holiday’ normally means people like to get the restaurant's back door and dealing with I’m going to be taking almost 40 listeners one or two photos with me (beggars belief, the consequences in the morning. to Los Angeles and Hawaii. It’s the least I I know). Also, my bosses will no doubt want Due to space restriction on this page I can do for putting them through what I Dubai 92’s website plastered with snaps. should probably stop there, but believe me do every morning. In total, we’ll be doing Since we’re going to be in California and when I say What’s On could’ve done a fourroughly 50 hours of flying and travelling Hawaii, most of these photos will be on the page pull-out this month, filled with nothing 37,000 kilometres and, judging by the topbeach, in swimming pools, or on glassmore than my hang-ups. What should I pack? secret itinerary, having some breathtaking bottomed boats. That means three scenarios Will I like everybody? Will they like me? Do experiences. It’s going to be quite a trip and where I’ll probably be shirtless. I need to take lots of money? Do I need any very memorable. Now, I’m a realist. I know there’s no way jabs? Will I like the food? I don’t know. These Of course, along with the good comes a I’m going to drop 30 kilograms and grow exciting, all expenses paid by someone else whole bunch of neuroses for yours truly. a six-pack and shirt-tearing Popeye arms. holidays to the other side of the world aren’t First of all there’s my fear of flying which, Honestly, I’d just like to not be ‘the fat one’ in all they’re cracked up to be. whist manageable, has gradually worsened people’s photographs. So much so, that I’ve Catboy hosts The Catboy & Geordiebird as I’ve gotten older. The way I see it, flying is even considered asking listeners entering Breakfast Show, Sun to Thurs, 6am to like gambling. Every successful flight is a win. the competition to SMS their name to 4009 10am, Dubai 92.

Don’t miss next month’s What’s On, for your guide to Dubai's best beach clubs, F1 fun and the Dubai Rugby Sevens 146 WHAT’S ON OCTOBER 2010









NOVEMBER 4 th - 5 th and 6 th 2010




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What's On | October 2010  
What's On | October 2010  

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