CELEBRATE MARCH AT THE
EXPERIENCE FLAVOURS FROM ACROSS THE WORLD
The iconic Fairmont The Palm is the perfect place to experience delicious cuisines from around the world. The resort is home to a number of popular restaurants with great deals from iftar to afternoon teas, must-try menus, brunches and more.
What/When: Iftar under the stars
Enjoy an iftar in the picturesque outdoor setting with Dubai skyline views and mouth-watering Middle Eastern favourites and international delicacies. Your evening under the stars will be complete with a live performance by an oud player. Available during Ramadan, sunset to 9pm, Dhs295 per adult, Dhs147.50 children aged 6-12, under 6s free.
What: Afternoon tea to celebrate women
Head to Mashrabiya Lounge to celebrate the special women in your life over a decadent afternoon tea, featuring lavender-toned sweet and savory bites. For sips, there are tea flavours from all around the world.
Daily throughout March from 12pm to 5pm, Dhs195 per person classic, Dhs225 per person with a glass of bubbles.
What/When: Mediterranean brunch every Saturday Head down with friends to this modern Mediterranean bistro and enjoy brunch with sharingstyle dishes including chilled seafood platter on ice, Marseille bouillabaisse and more. Your delicious lunch will be paired with live entertainment.
Every Sat, 1pm to 4.30pm, Dhs345 soft, Dhs495 grape and hops, Dhs595 selected cocktails and spirits, children ages 6 to 12 Dhs250, under six free.
What/When: Weekend night drunch every Friday and Saturday
A melting pot of Asian cuisine awaits at the stunning vibrant Ba-Boldly Asian at the resort. Enjoy drunch with a menu spanning mouth-watering dishes from the Far East and a range of artisan cocktails. Dance the night away to cult classic and favourites with the resident DJ on the decks.
Every Fri and Sat, 6pm to 11pm, Dhs250 soft, Dhs395 grape and hops, Dhs495 selected cocktails and spirits.
Little Miss India
What/When: Best of Travels of Mohini from March 15 to April 30
This gorgeous Indian restaurant is bringing back its famed food series with the Travels of Mohini. This edition will focus the spotlight on some of the most popular dishes from the 2022 series – so expect the best of the best to be showcased. March 15 to April 30, Mon to Thur 6pm to 11pm and Fri to Sun 2pm to 11pm.
What/When: Authentic Brazilian nights from Wednesday to Sunday
Step through Frevo’s doors and teleport to Brazil where you will enjoy authentic drinks and food with a traditional Churasccaria experience featuring 18 cuts of finest meat. There’s live entertainment on Friday and Saturday from Latin singer, Giselle Cabrera. Wed to Sun 6pm to 11pm, from Dhs345.
GO OFF THE BEATEN TRACK WITH THESE ADVENTURES P19
Discover these female-led businesses to shop from in the UAE
40 LUXE POOL DAYS
Not one for those of us on a budget, these epic pool passes are worth splashing out on
Stay in touch
The best things to do in Dubai this month
17 THROUGH MY EYES
Nadia Zaal shares her guide to the UAE
66 STAYCATION SPOTLIGHT
Our review of the brand new Atlantis The Royal
Rooftop dining at Nobu, beachy eats at Bungalo34 and dinner and a show at Babylon
Hit the beach with Koko Bay’s Sunday brunch
Enjoy views of Museum of the Future from Mi Amie
Our stunning website is packed with news, restaurants, culture, shopping, sport and spas. It’s your online destination for stuff to do in the UAE. Get clicking.
54 BATTLE CANCER
It’s time to lace up your trainers in the fight against cancer
Musical artist Bonobo heads to Dubai Opera this month
50 ART DUBAI
It’s back! Get ready for five days of arty goodness
Our take on the quieter side of Thailand – Krabi
How to unwind in this eternally busy city
What’s On Digital
Your essential guide to what’s happening in Dubai is also available on the App Store.
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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Obaid Humaid Al Tayer
MANAGING PARTNER & GROUP EDITOR Ian Fairservice
CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER Anthony Milne
GROUP EDITOR – WHAT’S ON Alice Holtham firstname.lastname@example.org
DEPUTY EDITOR Elise Kerr email@example.com
SENIOR ONLINE REPORTER Miles Buckeridge firstname.lastname@example.org
ONLINE REPORTER Aarti Saundalkar
ONLINE REPORTER Jumira Hancock
ONLINE REPORTER Tamara Wright
JUNIOR REPORTER Shelby Gee
JUNIOR REPORTER Romy Hunt
JUNIOR REPORTER Afrah Bari
ART DIRECTOR Sheila Deocareza
DESIGNER Remy Thokchom
PUBLISHER David Burke email@example.com
GROUP SALES MANAGER Varsha Bhatia firstname.lastname@example.org
GROUP SALES MANAGER Violeta Popescu email@example.com
REGIONAL MANAGER – ABU DHABI Taran Singh firstname.lastname@example.org
GENERAL MANAGER – PRODUCTION Sunil Kumar
PRODUCTION MANAGER Binu Purandaran
PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR Venita Pinto
WEB DEVELOPER Firoz Kaladi
SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR Hebah Ikhleif
CONTENT PRODUCTION MANAGER Surajit Dutta
CREATIVE CONTENT ARTIST Mark Mathew
CREATIVE CONTENT ARTIST Ahmed Abdelwahab
I GET MY WEEKLY DOSE OF HUMBLE PIE…
Flamenco Short Sleep Set, Sand Dollar Dubai Dhs535, sanddollardubai.com
from my iPhone. The weekly screen time notification, which always seems to make its sobering appearance mid Sunday doom-scroll, is my regular reminder that I spend far too much time on my phone.
I don’t actually need this reminder. My long-suffering fiancé, my patient team, and my understanding friends, could all confirm that I spend anywhere between six and eight hours per day with this all-consuming device glued to my right hand. My justifications include both the personal and professional: social media is a huge part of my job, much of my work is done on WhatsApp, and it’s the way I keep in touch with family back home. While all of these things are true, none justify the hours of screen time I amass each day.
So, I’m making a conscious decision to use my free time more wisely. Goodbye TikTok purchases that never get used, hello adventure. Because despite being a UAE expat for the best part of eight years, I feel like I’ve still only scratched the surface. Which is why this issue, we’re heading off the beaten track, shunning the UAE’s big blockbuster attractions for lesser trodden paths. Whether it’s smelling the roses at a flower farm, seeing sunrise from a hot air balloon in the Ras Al Khaimah desert, or making a road trip pit stop at Sharjah’s prettiest seaside café, I hope this issue leads you to pastures new from p19.
It would be impossible for me not to mark International Women’s Day (March 8) in this issue. At What’s On, we’re passionate about championing homegrown businesses, which is why we’re using the March issue to showcase a handpicked selection of the UAE’s finest, all conceptualised by brilliant women. Get inspired and join us in celebrating them from p28.
Enjoy the issue,
Gratitude Journal, Royal Page Co Dhs110, royalpageco.com
display board, BoozyWoos Dhs90, etsy.com/shop/boozywoos
Celebration Box, Skin Story Dhs389, skinstory.me
Taking off to a new destination thanks to… flydubai
flydubai is now jetting to more than 110 destinations worldwide. The airline’s newest additions include a duo of Thailand hotspots – Krabi and Pattaya. I’ve just returned from Krabi, using the handy six-hour flydubai flight to take me to one of the most beautiful destinations on earth.
@flydubai– Alice Holtham, Group Editor
Enjoying snacks from… Healthy Pocket Meal
One of my recent discoveries, that has made a huge difference to eating-on-the-go, is Healthy Pocket Meal. Inspired by the culinary carnival of Brazilian cuisine, this sambasoaked snack comes in a genuinely delicious range of flavours – meaty options such as beef and cassava, or chicken and sweet potato, and they also recently added a vegan option.
– Miles Buckeridge, Senior Online Reporter
Checking in for a luxe desert staycay at… Bab Al Shams
Dreamy destination hotel, Bab Al Shams, has reopened after being closed for renovation for eight months. Without giving too much away (you can wait for my staycation review for all the juice), the hotel has new aesthetic, new restaurants, and new experiences.
– Tamara Wright, Online Reporter
Shopping all things Harry Potter at… The Wizarding World Shop
The region’s first ever Harry Potter-inspired shop is now welcoming all muggles and magicians in Mall of the Emirates. I am a Harry Potter fan, so I was thrilled to be among the first to go and snap up all the merch. From sweaters and cloaks, to mugs and train ticket stubs, maps and even a designated wand shop. It’s a Potterheads dream.
@malloftheemiratesShelby Gee, Junior Reporter
Decorating my home with... Siluet
I’ve been looking for something cool to hang above my desk at home, and Siluet kindly sent me one of their cool recycled acrylic skylines last week. I chose Dubai, of course, but they have many different cities to choose from. There are a range of colours and sizes too, and they’re super easy to install in your home.
@wearesiluet– Elise Kerr, Deputy Editor
Reading… Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty
Jay Shetty is heading to Dubai with his Love Rules world tour in May, and while that is a few months away, I have set myself a goal to finish his newest book before then. I’m hoping it will help me to become calmer and more productive.
– Aarti Saundalkar, Online Reporter
Getting the first look of…. At.mosphere 2.0
I recently went to the reopening of the iconic 122nd floor restaurant, At.mosphere. Time nor money were spared in the revamp, with the venue transporting all guests to a world of 1920s glamour. The attention to detail is stunning, with mosaic flooring, delicate wallpapers, art deco light features and a colourful bar adorned with gold and floral elements.
@atmospheredubaiRomy Hunt, Junior Reporter
DUBAI INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW
When: March 1 to 5
The biggest international boat show in the region offers the opportunity to ogle at more than Dhs1.5billion worth of luxury yachts. But alongside superyacht avenue, there’s plenty to ‘sea’ and do at this five-day spectacular at Dubai Harbour, with watersports, underwater shows at the dive pool, live DJ sets and even a supercar parade. boatshowdubai.com
BRILLIANT THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN MARCH
BLACK COFFEE AT WHITE BEACH
When: March 4
Legendary South African DJ Black Coffee is bringing his distinctive house sound to the shores of Atlantis The Palm this month. The house music veteran is known for his infectious deep house mixes and floor-filling sets. platinumlist.net
SNOOPY BEATS PRESENTS RECONNECT
When: March 10 to 12
This lively Fujairah weekender returns this March, inviting guests to swap city living for a coastal retreat. The ever-popular Sandy Beach Resort provides the backdrop for two days and nights of live entertainment, activities, art and music. snoopybeats.com
THE SCRIPT HEADLINE MCGETTIGAN’S ST PATRICK’S FESTIVAL
When: March 18
Irish rockers The Script headline McGettigan’s annual Paddy’s Day party at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. Festival tickets start from Dhs349. mcgettigans.com
When: March 11
The Tasting Class, who are behind some of the UAE’s best wine tasting events, introduce a new event this month that’s all about the pink-hued variety of grape – rosé. The inaugural Rosé Pinknic will take place on the lawns of The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai, where you’ll find more than 30 varieties to sample. rosepinknic.com
DUBAI WORLD CUP
When: March 25
The Meydan racing calendar culminates with the famed Dubai World Cup on March 25. The day includes plenty of entertainment too. Tickets start at Dhs20. dubairacingclub.com
Through MY EYES Nadia
THE UAE ACCORDING TO...
We ask residents to share a guide to the UAE through their eyes, their favourite places, hidden gems, must-have products, and local brands they love. This month, Al Barari real estate developer and entrepreneur Nadia Zaal (@nadiazaal) talks us through the places and things she’s loving right now, from local artists and beachfront restaurants to the perfect spots for escaping it all.
My local hidden gem is a beautifully restored summer house that houses a café called Hideout. Located in Majlis Ghorfat Umm-al Sheif, this café feels like a small oasis where my kids can explore the garden and the traditional Falaj. For a tranquil reading spot, I built a small structure in the midst of Nature Escapes in Al Barari as a pilot for a new school, which my kids have nicknamed the “Tatween House”. This space, known as the Spirit Spot, is simply lovely and perfect for sitting and reading.
The One&Only Royal Mirage Residences is my go-to staycation in the UAE. It has a soul that sets it apart from the rest of the hotel. I’ve been visiting since the early 2000s and the spa continues to offer the best hammam experience in Dubai.
Talented local artist, Ziad al Najjar is a discovery I’ve recently made. I acquired one of his pieces and often find myself lost in its beauty for hours on end.
My current favourite restaurant is Kyma at Palm West Beach. It’s a wonderful experience with fantastic food, stylish design, and great DJs. I love to take my friends there for some much-needed adult time, which doesn’t happen often.
When I want to relax, I like to spend the day at Park Hyatt Dubai. Being on the Creek feels to me like real Dubai. It’s a sentimental experience, as it brings back early memories. My father once had his office on the Creek, and my grandfather’s house was located nearby. The spa therapists are exceptional, and I especially love the views from Noépe.
WORDS: ALICE HOLTHAM AND ELISE KERR
Cafes and restaurants
1484 BY PURO, RAS AL KHAIMAH
Perched at the top of the highest peak in the emirates, Jebel Jais, 1484 by Puro is Ras Al Khaimah’s crowning gem. Go for breakfast and enjoy one of the many egg dishes or a sweet temptation. Later in the day, 1484 by Puro invites guests to tuck into leisurely lunches or a breathtaking sunset dinner of dishes. It’s reservations only, so plan ahead.
1484 by Puro, Jais Adventure Park, Jebel Jais, Ras Al Khaimah, 8am to 10pm daily. Tel: (0)7 244 5018. @1484_by_puro
TURTLE BEACH BAR, DIBBA
On the shorefront of Dibba’s no-frills Royal Beach Hotel & Resort is a relaxed beach bar that invites you to kick back and soak up the sea views. The nautically inspired spot spills onto the sand, so guests can pull up a white wooden chair and dine with their toes in the sand. Speaking of dining, the seaside setting inspires a menu where seafood is the star of the show. Dunkable bites of calamari, catches of the day cooked to order and grilled tiger prawns can all be enjoyed as you watch the boats to-and-fro from the shore.
Turtle Beach Bar, Royal Beach Hotel & Resort, Dibba, Fujairah, 11am to 1am daily. Tel: (0)9 244 9444. @turtle_beach_restaurant_bar
THE BOAT BY THE VIEW AT CARAVANA, AJMAN
For dining with a difference, why not enjoy lunch at sea in one of The View’s bright orange boats? The Boat by The View is this Ajman restaurant’s entirely unique new dining experience, where guests can enjoy a meal in the surrounds of their own private boat, that’s permanently moored on the sand. Inside, it’s decorated in bright whites, with orange and nautical navy pops. Be the captain of your menu and opt for flavourful dishes like tobiko-topped salmon sushi rolls and rock shrimp tempura. The Boat by The View at Caravana, Al Zorah, Ajman, daily 8am to 9.30pm. Tel: (0)6 505 8888. @theview.ae
THE VIEW BY WAVE, KHORFAKKAN
Heading out to explore the stunning Khorfakkan scenery?
The View by Wave opened last year at Rabi Tower, and is the perfect pit stop. Pairing great views over Khorfakkan with friendly service, there’s a light and airy indoor restaurant, although if the weather permits, the best seats in the house are found on the shaded outdoor terrace. Pick from views of either the beach and sea or the mountains, and fuel up on a light breakfast or lunch after hiking the Rabi trail.
The View by Wave, Rabi Tower, Khorfakkan, Sharjah, 7am to midnight daily. @theviewbywave
As part of the expansive facilities at the new Matcha padel club in Meydan comes a restaurant from two homegrown heavyweights: healthy pizza brand Pinsa and the UAE’s leading pitmaster, Hattem Mattar. A community eatery that’s well worth straying away from your usual culinary corners, Fiya puts firebased cooking at its heart. Here, meat is the star of the show, with moreish burgers, slideoff-the-bone ribs and crispy glazed wings. Fiya, Keturah Reserve, Matcha, Meydan, daily from 5pm, closed Mondays. @fiya.dxb
WAVES CAFÉ, SHARJAH
MIKOKO, UMM AL QUWAIN
Bringing a slice of Zanzibar’s blissful barefoot style to the Emirates is Mikoko, a restaurant and café flanked by a gorgeous mangrove beach. This dog-friendly spot is a natural haven for those craving a slice of city escapism. Traditional African markings and engravings add to the rustic appeal of this split-level spot, with natural materials working to enhance the already pretty landscape. Upstairs, reached via a wooden staircase that spirals around a large tree, there’s a full view of the mangroves. Aside from fueling up on creamy pastas and perfectly crispy pizzas, use Mikoko as your base to head out on a kayak or stand-up paddle board.
Mikoko, Khor Al Yeefrah, Umm Al Quwain, 9am to 12am daily. Tel: (052) 729 3060. @mikoko.uaq
SEVEN SEEDS, DUBAI
Jumeirah has no shortage of hidden cafés, but what makes the beautiful Seven Seeds stand out is its lush landscaping. Surrounded by a green garden and calming water features, there’s even a cute conservatory for when the summer heat strikes. On the menu, guests can tuck into healthy bites like salads and smoothie bowls, or more indulgent burgers and sweet treats. Come for the zen-like surroundings, stay for the excellent coffee. Seven Seeds, Villa 15, 51St, Jumeirah 1, Dubai, daily 8am to 11pm. @7seeds.coffee
A spot that’s been making waves, excuse the pun, on Instagram is this breezy seaside café in Sharjah’s Dibba Al Hisn. Opened in 2020, it’s become a feed-favourite thanks to its gorgeous ocean front terrace, covered by an awning in a soft coffee colour that moves with the wind, creating a soothing wave motion. The mountain backdrop is an added bonus. On the menu, expect all-day eats such as fresh farm salads, beef sliders and pizza, plus an excellent selection of coffee and cakes.
Waves Café, Dibba Al Hisn, Sharjah, 8am to 12am daily. Tel: (054) 487 9991. @wave.ad
This small Sharjah seaside town on the eastern coast of the UAE is best known for its Bird of Prey Centre, which rehabilitates resident raptors. The centre offers visitors a chance to see a variety of bird species up close, and to learn about the conservation efforts that are being undertaken to protect them. Kalba is also home to several beautiful beaches such as Kalba Corniche Beach, which is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. The beach offers stunning views of the Gulf of Oman and is a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the UAE’s coastline.
Sharjah’s Khalid Lagoon is home to Noor Island, which is known for its beautiful gardens and outdoor art installations. One of the main scenic spots is the Butterfly House, which is home to hundreds of colourful and exotic butterfly species from around the world. Visitors can walk through the enclosed exhibit, which is designed to recreate the natural environment of the butterflies, and learn about their lifecycle and habits. The island’s landscape is designed to create a serene and relaxing atmosphere, with plenty of benches and seating areas where visitors can sit and enjoy the scenery.
UAE FLOWER FARM
The UAE Flower Farm is known for its production of beautiful exotic flowers, as well as its scenic location in the foothills of the Hajar Mountains. The farm offers guided tours and is open to visitors year-round, with the best time to visit being during the cooler months from November to March. Visitors to the flower farm can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the gardens, taking in the sights and scents of the local flowers and plants, including anthuriums, heliconias, orchids and bromeliads. There are also opportunities to learn about the flower farm’s operations and to purchase local flowers to take home.
JUBAIL MANGROVE PARK
This protected area of mangrove forest and wetlands is located in Abu Dhabi, and is home to a wide variety of wildlife and bird species. The park is a popular destination for eco-tourists and nature enthusiasts, offering a range of activities and attractions. Visitors can take guided tours of the mangrove forests, either by walking along the boardwalk or kayaking through the waterways. The park also features a range of outdoor activities, including cycling, birdwatching, and fishing. During your visit, you’re likely to see a range of bird species, including flamingos, herons, and kingfishers. The park also provides a home to other wildlife such as crabs, turtles, and fish, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
AL AIN OASIS
Al Ain Oasis is a large oasis found in Al Ain and is one of the country’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is a living cultural landscape that has been in use for over 4,000 years and covers over 1,200 hectares, containing more than 147,000 date palms, as well as other crops, including vegetables, fruits and grains. It is a vibrant agricultural area that provides a unique glimpse into the region’s traditional way of life.
TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE ON A PRIVATE ABU DHABI ISLAND
Have you ever wanted to wake up to an African dawn? Or dreamt of seeing a gazelle nibble the grass metres in front of you as you sip your morning brew? Or watch a giraffe lazily munching at the top of a tree mere steps away from you? Well you can do all that at Abu Dhabi’s Sir Bani Yas. A getaway to this wonderous island of wildlife in Abu Dhabi feels more like a bucket list safari trip than a capital staycation, with some 11,000 animals among your neighbours. At 87 square kilometres, the island is bigger than Abu Dhabi city and offers a trio of resort experiences. All operated by Anantara, the entry level Desert Islands Resort is complimented by two villa options: Al Sahel Resort has lodges in the forest, while Al Yamm Resort villas are all on the beach. Whichever you choose, you’ll be able to enjoy all the restaurant’s and pools on the island, as well as all the experiences, which include nature and wildlife drives, wadi walks, horse riding and cultural tours. anantara.com/sir-bani-yas-abu-dhabi
FLOAT ALONG THE MANGROVES IN AJMAN
Machia Velli presents the ultimate way to enjoy the serenity of Ajman’s lush mangroves – on a floating deck anchored in the peaceful Al Zorah wetland. There are two slots to choose from, the morning slot from 9am to 2pm, or enjoy the sorbet hued sunset with the afternoon slot from 4pm to 8.30pm. You’ll need to take a short boat ride to the deck, which is finished with a comfy day bed, table and chairs, and a parasol for some muchneeded shade. Curl up with a book and embrace the peace, find your zen with a yoga session (equipment is provided) or stream a movie in an unforgettable surrounding, with movie equipment also on board. Breakfast or afternoon tea is provided, depending on the session you book. Packages start from Dhs2,000. @machia.vellii
EMBRACE MOUNTAIN LIVING IN A LUXE GLAMPING LODGE
Hatta’s impressive array of glamping options includes the luxe Damani Lodges, which are perfect for funfilled, family getaways. Dotted throughout the Hatta mountains, these rustic lodges all overlook the adventure-packed Hatta Wadi Hub activity park. Each has a private terrace with amazing hilltop views, and all the amenities you’d expect at a hotel, including separate bathroom, Wi-Fi and a TV. But getaways here are more about what’s going on outdoors rather than inside. Right on the doorstep of Hatta’s Damani Lodges, myriad adventures await, with kayaking, archery, hiking and zorbing just a handful of the activities on offer. visithatta.com
DISCOVER THE HISTORY OF THE EMIRATES ON A PEARL FARM
Before the booming oil industry, the heartbeat of the UAE economy was pearl diving. While that may now be a tradition of yesteryear, this slice of UAE history is kept alive in the sleepy fishing village of Al Rams, where you’ll find Suwaidi Pearl Farm. Located 10 minutes offshore, it was founded by Abdulla Al Suwaidi, whose grandfather was one of the last remaining pearl divers in the UAE. Operating since 2005, you’ll need to take a pearling boat to the 4,000 square foot pearl farm at the foot of the expansive Hajar mountains. While the action takes place in neatly lined drills underwater, where Arabian Pearls are now being farmed for the first time, a two-storey boat serves as a base for visitors to embark on fascinating tours that teach them about the deep-rooted pearling history of Ras Al Khaimah. Tours start from Dhs367.50 per person. suwaidipearls.ae
DRIFT OVER THE DUNES IN RAS AL KHAIMAH
There’s a new vantage point to soak up the views of Ras Al Khaimah’s sprawling desert landscape. Take off on a hot air balloon ride with Action Flight, the first of its kind offering in the adventure emirate. Pickups from Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah are at the crack of dawn to ensure you make it to the desert drop site. After a quick safety briefing, it’s up, up and away on a scenic, hour-long flight where you’ll drift breezily across the dunes. Spot camels, get within a width of the sandy peaks, and admire the stretching views as far as the ocean, all while serenely floating across the natural landscape as the sun rises over the horizon. The adventure doesn’t stop there. After you touch down, it’s over to Tower Links Golf Course for a bubbly breakfast complete with a falconry show. actionflight.ae
EMBARK ON AN ICONIC VOYAGE WITHOUT LEAVING DUBAI
The legendary ocean liner that is the QE2 spent a decade docked in Dubai before opening as the city’s first floating hotel. Now part of the Accor Hotel group, stepping onboard is like stepping back in time, offering guests a slice of history with a side of culture and sprinkling of traditional charm, all in one retro getaway. There are a total of 224 rooms, which is where the most modern touches have been added. There’s still the traditional porthole windows, but rooms now feature 49-inch flatscreen TV’s, complimentary Wi-Fi and USB sockets. Other parts remain largely as they were. While it may have been given a little glow-up, guests can still dine at one of the most famous restaurants at sea, The Queen’s Grill, and still grab a pint at The Golden Lion, a traditional pub in racing green and dark wood. A heritage tour completes the historic experience, where a knowledgeable guide will walk you in the steps of celebrities, politicians and even royalty across the 13-deck ship. qe2.com
Wadi Shawka in Ras Al Khaimah offers a picturesque hike through a valley surrounded by the Hajar Mountains. The trail is moderate, but suitable for hikers of all skill levels. Along the trail, you’ll be able to enjoy scenic views of the mountains, as well as the wadi’s unique rock formations and pools of water. The hike can take a few hours to complete, depending on your pace and how many stops you take along the way.
This Fujairah wadi is known for its rugged terrain and striking rock formations, which offer a dramatic backdrop for hiking. There are several natural pools of water that are perfect for swimming and cooling off during a hike, as well as a few small waterfalls that can be seen along the way. The trail is considered easy to moderate and will take you through agricultural farmland where you will spot banana trees, mango trees, date palms and more.
Situated on the east coast, overlooking Khorfakkan town and the Gulf of Oman, Al Rabi Mountain trail is possibly one of the most popular and easy hikes in the UAE. The trail is clearly marked, and you’ll be treated to a spectacular sunrise view if you take this on at the crack of dawn. Do note the trail does get steep at times, but you’ll have the Hajar mountains and other Khorfakkan landmarks to keep you going. It takes about three hours to complete the 6km track when taking it at a moderate pace.
This easy hike takes you on a scenic route around the Hatta Dam, offering views of the picturesque turquoise water and surrounding mountains. You might also see some wildlife along the way, as the area is well populated with lizards and birds. Once you’re done, hop in a kayak and explore the waters by boat, or you can rent a pedalo or stand-up paddle board.
This valley is in the Hajar Mountains in Fujairah and is known for its colourful sandstone formations, which offer a unique and stunning backdrop for getting your steps in. The hike through Rainbow Valley is considered to be a moderate to challenging trek, as there are some steep ascents and descents along the way. The trail isn’t marked though, so it’s recommended to go with a guide or a local hiking group to ensure you don’t get lost.
AIN AL SHERIA
For a tougher trail, Ain Al Sheria is a beautiful natural spring and wadi, but take care as this is a demanding hike. One of the most colourful and geological hikes in the UAE, the trail boasts stunning rock formations in vibrant russet tones and a vast boulder with ancient petroglyphs: it undoubtedly stands out as unique. To access to the route will require a 4×4.
Scrapping her life as a lawyer, Rumana Nazim took a leap of faith and started The Edit concept store. She wanted to design a hub that would blend her love of fashion and art, and equally be a place where everyone could unwind with a coffee. As a true feminist, Rumana supports other women, stocking items from other female-run businesses. The Edit is the perfect place to add a few gems to your wardrobe as they stock everything from stylish loungewear and chic clothing to unique jewellery, sunglasses and bags. Make sure to refuel from your shopping spree with a coffee or a cup of green goodness from their gorgeous matcha bar.
Support women by spending your dirhams at these brands
WORDS: ROMY HUNT
One of Dubai’s first pre-owned fashion destinations. Retold is a pioneer for sustainability in the city, promoting the purchase of preowned fashion, as well as repurposing your old clothes. Visitors are able to buy clothes, shoes and accessories, from both high-street and high-end brands.
Many of us now ask ourselves on a daily basis, ‘how we can be more eco-friendly?’. When Ruby Giroux moved to Dubai, she found this very difficult. Like a true girl boss, she took matters into her own hands and started to create home and cleaning products. Her brand embodies sustainability by using natural and ethical ingredients to create her masterpieces that are packaged in refillable bottles. These products are available in multiple locations across the city such as Spinneys and Waitrose.
It’s easy to be healthy with nutritious snacks from Amadal. This outlet was created with a passion for wholesome foods, offering gluten-free, vegan and refined sugar-free options. Amadal has an array of snacks, curating a variety of granolas, crackers, or vegan cheese infused with local flavours such as zataar, date and cardamon. His
Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai has been known to love Amadal’s date and cardamon granola, one of their best sellers. To order these goodies all you need to do is message the team on Instagram.
Boon Coffee is founded by Ethiopian entrepreneur Orit Mohammed, who has a passion for coffee and helping the community. Not only can you enjoy a deliciously crafted coffee at this venue, but you can also take a piece of Boon home with you by purchasing their ethically sourced coffee beans. This establishment is focused on serving coffee with a conscious by working with its non-profit to support agriculture in developing nations.
This jewellery brand is the answer to all your accessories worries. Helya is founded by two Emirati sisters who combined their passion for Emirati culture, architecture and design. Their simple and beautiful designs encapsulate native flora in ode to their Middle Eastern heritage. They are ideal as a gift for a friend or for yourself, adding statement pieces and everyday items to your jewellery collection.
Inspired by the Arabic word for health, Hayawiia is a platform driven to disprove that healthy eating comes with a high price tag. This female Emiratiowned e-commerce platform stocks a wide range of high-quality healthy foods and natural products, supplying a large selection of ‘free-from’ items, making it ideal for people with intolerances or special diets. hayawiia.com
This homegrown brand is here to glam up your furry friends with quirky and unique accessories. If you need something for a special occasion, or just want to shake up your pooch’s look, this enterprise has got you sorted. Your fur baby’s custom-made bandana or bow tie is only an Instagram DM away, with a percentage of the proceeds donated to local animal shelters, making each purchase guilt-free and adorable.
Island People.Co is a socially conscious artisanal brand that collaborates with Sri Lankan artists, offering unique products that will bring calm and tranquillity into anyone’s home. This female-run enterprise is here to spruce up your kitchen with sustainable artisanal crockery and handwoven linen items, including table runners, pillow cases and tea towels. Island People.Co products can be found in Depachika in Nakheel Mall or ordered online. @islandpeople.co
Stretch your stress away at this unique yoga studio, found in Alserkal Avenue. Shimis was created by Simona Stanton, with a dream to combine her needs of both fitness and mindfulness into one. This studio has two workout areas, The Box Studio, which is a carefully curated dark room, heated to 34 degrees, and the Green Room, which contrasts with lots of natural light and adorned with living plants. shimis.com
Like many other boss ladies, Becky Balderstone started Ripe because she couldn’t find what she was looking for. For her it was fresh, organic and seasonal produce in the UAE. Ripe has grown from a weekly farmer’s market, to now having a permanent location that also offers home delivery. Becky has created a brand that many know and love in Dubai, with her staple weekend markets being locally renowned with residents as a place where people can share their love for community, local brands and good food. If you haven’t already spent a Sunday afternoon perusing through Ripe Market, we could not recommend it more. ripeme.com
Spinning has become such a beloved workout that it could be argued that it has a cult following. The unique candlelit spin class at Motion Cycling, Business Bay, is said to ‘unlock one’s soul’, adding an unusual and unique twist to the traditional workout. This 45-minute session by Amélie Hua has been designed to embrace community while providing a full-body workout. If you’re looking for a new hobby or a way to bring your fitness journey to a new level, this is your cue. motion-cycling.ae
5 MINUTES WITH AMÉLIE HUA
FOUNDER OF MOTION CYCLING
What was your biggest inspiration when starting your brand?
We all find our inspiration somewhere when we start a business and mine was SoulCycle, the famous New York brand of indoor cycling studios. They turned the spinning experience into something fun and community orientated. I wanted to change the fitness scene in the Middle East as they changed it in the US by creating something more boutique; a safe environment to workout with an impact that goes beyond just the physical aspect, but also empowering people to make it happen.
What are some other local female run brands you love to support in Dubai?
If I tell you only one brand, I will get in trouble! I have so many women around me who built brands that I love and support. But brands like Maison Clad, who grew from a pop-up in Lassere to become a major clothes retailer. Arwa Al Banawi, who we did our first collaboration with five years ago, who managed to create a unique style brand and stand out in a competitive market. Julie Nguyen, who built one of the most influential networks of women in the UAE, or Ghizlan Guenez, who created The Modist, the first global luxury e-commerce platform and is now attacking a complicated NFT market.
What was the biggest surprise you encountered when starting your brand here in Dubai?
They were a lot of surprises. First, you always think that it would be easier to build a concept in a market where it doesn’t exist. It is actually way harder. Finding the funding or doing the marketing for a concept that nobody knows – so basically creating the demand – is a headache. And when it works, you open a highway to competition, so suddenly you have 20 similar boutique studios popping up. The second surprise is how fast our local community grew. The service, the dark candlelit room and the facilities created this unique home feeling creating a community that loved this exclusive concept and who stay loyal to the brand to this day.
During the pandemic, Badreeya took her love for crochet and fashion to new heights. After receiving well-deserved praise for the garments she made for herself, Badreeya was inspired to broaden her horizons by hosting her first pop-up at a market. Her unique and eclectic pieces were an instant hit, enthusing her to pursue her passion project further. 14 Stiches offers a wide range of colours and styles, from cozy cardigans to boho chic pullovers. @14stiches_
One of Dubai’s most popular athleisure brands is female-led and owned. L’Couture is, at its heart, serving to empower all the ladies out there and has been extremely successful from the get-go. Each outlet stocks a variety of essentials, ranging from leggings to shorts, sports bras and loungewear. Carefully crafted and perfect for all occasions. L’Couture will be opening its fourth location very soon.
Pop and Toast
Non-alcoholic drinks have recently become, dare we say it, trendy. But this has not always been the case. Erika Doyle initially struggled when first moving to Dubai in 2019, so she took matters into her own hands. Drink Dry stocks a variety of non-alcoholic beverages, ranging from beer to spirits, aperitifs and wines. This one-stop shop is perfect for anyone who wants to celebrate without the sauce. drinkdrystore.com
This local legend is the answer for anyone wanting to add a pop of colour to their name. Anna Mckeown is an Irish artist that lives between Belfast and Dubai, who takes inspiration from fashion and pop culture. Her signature paintings feature distinctive bottles, which for her encapsulate a specific celebration.
Hannah Curran, founder of Pure Born, started her business when she became concerned about the environmental toll that traditional nappies took on our planet. Pure Born provides products that are safe for babies and the planet using organic, compostable, vegan and cruelty-free materials. This brand is now being sold in over 10 countries and is available in multiple locations in the UAE. pureborn.com
So Free Organics
For those with food allergies, intolerances or special diets, you don’t have to miss out on your favourite baked goods anymore. Driven by a desire to fuel her children with healthy foods, this female-powered bakery is for all of us who want to enjoy the yummiest things in life without tagging the guilt along with it. So Free Organics is free from gluten, dairy, refined sugar, GMO, yeast and soy. So Free Organics creates all of your favourite things without compromising the taste or texture.
A MEMORABLE RAMADAN AWAITS
Indulge in an unforgettable Ramadan experience at Th8 Palm Dubai, a modern lifestyle hotel located on the iconic Palm Jumeirah. Our special Iftar offer is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the Holy Month with your loved ones and colleagues in a vibrant and stunning setting.
Our talented chefs have curated a lavish Iftar buffet with an array of mouth-watering dishes that cater to all taste buds. From traditional Arabic delicacies to international cuisine, you will be spoilt for choice. Savor our signature Ramadan beverages, dates, and sweets, all carefully crafted to celebrate this special occasion.
Book now and avail of our special Iftar offers, with individual rates at AED 210 per person.
Please contact +971 4 525 8896 for bookings
REVIEW: NOBU DUBAI
It’s officially the world’s largest Nobu, but does size matter?
After being located in The Avenues at Atlantis The Palm for 14 years, Nobu Dubai recently moved 22 floors up to the ultra-luxury Royal Bridge Suite, providing guests with a more elevated experience. As they say, change is as good as a rest, but how has this affected the beloved Nobu experience?
When we arrive on a midweek evening, the restaurant is packed out from the terrace to the sushi bar –always a good sign. Despite this, service is punctual and we are immediately sat in the restaurant by the huge windows offering incredible views down the trunk of the Palm. A live DJ adds to the already-buzzing atmosphere and sets the tone for the evening with toe-tapping dance remixes.
Looking down at the extensive menu we were spoilt for choice and pleased when our waitress offered her valuable recommendations. We start with the yellowtail jalapeño (Dhs165) and tuna tataki (Dhs135). The jalapeño on the yellowtail is subtle,
enlivened with an orange-infused soy sauce. We devour every last drop. The tuna tataki is another great choice, drenched in tosazu which adds another dimension to the distinct bluefin tuna.
If you order one thing from the menu, make sure it’s the lobster tempura (Dhs395). A tough dish to nail, but naturally, Nobu delivers. The lobster is elevated by the sweetness of the truffle and honey sauce as well as the textures from the seaweed and crunchy dried noodles. We could have easily ordered seconds, this dish is worth every dirham.
Now, you’re probably expecting us to tell you about how incredible the black cod was, but you’d be wrong. That’s because, for mains, we decided to branch away from the Nobu norm and order
the roasted duck breast (Dhs165) – much to the shock of our waitress. Predictability can be boring, after all.
The tender duck breast is cooked pink with the super crispy skin. It’s much like a traditional duck à l’orange but with a Japanese twist: sharpened with a sweetand-sour mandarin and miso sauce. You won’t regret a single second of it.
Not all dishes blew us away however, the wagyu beef tacos (Dhs60), which came highly recommended, lacked oomph, and the tuna maki (Dhs70) was bland and forgettable.
We finish the meal with mochi ice cream (Dhs65), a surprise selection of three flavours, vanilla, chocolate, and yuzu, were light, creamy, and a comforting way to end the meal.
Nobu Dubai, Atlantis, The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, daily 5pm to 1am. Tel: (0)4 425 0760. atlantis.com
WHAT’S ON VERDICT
Nobu offers guests an elevated and tailored dining experience with never-beforeseen views.
Is this just another beach restaurant or does it bring something new to the table?
Since descending on the white sands of Pearl Jumeira Island in January, beautiful beachside restaurant, Bungalo34, has already had the Sheikh Hamdan seal of approval. Brought to you from Tashas Group – the team behind Flamingo Room, Avli, and tashas café – Bungalo34 is inspired by the founder Natasha Sideris’ holiday hideaway in Greece.
Much attention to detail is reflected throughout with a story to tell in every corner. From Sideris’ own personal art proudly hung on the walls to hand-picked serving dishes from around the world, the stylish interiors are oozing with personality, creating an idyllic dream world.
The restaurant elegantly pours onto the beach with plenty of seating options –
from the bar to the sand – fully exposed to the ocean view.
From the starters, we chose the carpaccio cacio e pepe to share (Dhs196). It is the first time we’ve seen these two classics served as one on a menu in Dubai. And while a chilled serving of fettuccine on a bed of beef carpaccio topped with parmesan and rocket isn’t the lightest starter, it certainly is not one to be missed.
Scanning the fish display, we order the iliya trio prepared into a carpaccio, crudo, and tartare. The carpaccio has the perfect balance of sweetness and richness, enlivened with a generous portion of mandarin dressing. Most impressive, however, was the tartare. We spread every last spoonful onto a slice
Words: Tamara Wright
of thin crispy bread with a dollop of the light yet creamy tonnato sauce.
The mood is sophisticated yet playful with a synth-pop playlist featuring the likes of A-ha playing in the background. The service is enthusiastic yet comfortable, we’re not rushed but rather encouraged to explore the surroundings and take our time.
For mains, the Amalfi lemon pasta (Dhs88) is simple, bright, warm, and tangy. Thick bucatini pasta is covered in a creamy lemon sauce for a memorable dish.
For dessert we chose the Bungalo boat (Dhs72) and the chocolate mousse (Dhs56). The mousse comes with mini melt-in-your-mouth cookies and warm salted caramel sauce for dipping. Worth every calorie. The Bungalo boat looks too good to eat, with the right amount of crunch, crumble, and cream to end the meal.
Bungalo34, Nikki Beach Residences, Pearl Jumeira, daily 9am to midnight. Tel:(0)4 238 1780. bungalo34.com
WHAT’S ON VERDICT
The food is impressive but it is the immaculate attention to detail and thoughtful service that makes the experience sing.
EAT // BRUNCH OF THE MONTH
Words: Shelby Gee
BRUNCH OF THE MONTH:
KOKO LOCO SUNDAY BRUNCH AT KOKO BAY
Your Sundays just got a lot more loco
Sinking your toes in the sand and digging into delicious dishes are a sublime way to round out any weekend. Thankfully, Koko Bay has all of this and more at its Sunday brunch. Located on the sandy shores of Palm West Beach, the Bali-inspired beachside restaurant is an idyllic venue for any time of the day. The family- and pet-friendly space makes for a wholesome afternoon, oohing and ahhing at the cutest pups and little ones playing in the sand.
We are welcomed and seated directly on the beach, with a stunning view and incredible vibe thanks to the talented DJ playing suitably beachy tunes. Starting the brunch with drinks, we order the sangria punch and the New York sour, both of which are the perfect refresher on a warm
day in the sun. Freshly shucked Dibba Bay oysters arrive with a mignonette sauce, as well as a miso edamame hummus, and teriyaki chicken kushiyaki accompanied by deliciously charred shallots. Maki rolls with Scottish smoked salmon and a miso cream cheese and avocado are a welcome addition to the sharing starters. A standout of the dishes is the prawn siu mai served in a traditional steamer – sticky and salty when dipped into soy sauce. Every last dollop of the edamame hummus is scooped up from the plate with its paired za’atar flatbread.
The menu requires us to choose one main course, but which to choose? There is kung pao chicken, Norwegian salmon teriyaki, a vegetarian Thai green curry and our choices for the day – black Angus striploin served with broccolini and bearnaise sauce and a truffle mushroom fettuccine. We request medium rare, and the steak was grilled well, but the dish overall lacked oomph. Better plating would have elevated it further. Fresh truffle and al dente fettucine are a combination that will never disappoint, especially when topped with parmesan. Plates are cleared as we are entertained by a saxophonist who impressively improvises alongside the DJ. For dessert, mochi is always a welcome treat, tangy and cold, mango and coconut are two flavours we haven’t tried before but they are flavours we won’t soon forget. Last but certainly not least, the pisco tres leche cake is completely moreish and has a texture that can only be compared to a hug.
Koko Bay, Palm West Beach, Sundays from 1pm to 5pm, Dhs300 soft drinks, Dhs450 house drinks, Dhs550 Prosecco. kokobay.co
WHAT’S ON VERDICT
As always, Koko Bay is a venue that doesn’t disappoint on vibe, food and overall experience.
An alluring evening set to elevate the dinner and a show scene
Adding to DIFC’s sophisticated scene, Babylon fuses international fine dining with mesmerising entertainment. The allure stems from its mysterious name, inspired by the ancient city ruled by forgotten medieval empires. Babylon embodies glamour, accompanied with elegant dishes and entertainment that will leave you impressed.
Upon entering the purple-hued entrance, we are immediately struck by the space, which oozes opulence. A plush red carpet leads us through the foyer down a sweeping staircase to the underground restaurant, with glowing lights and mirrored elements illuminating our catwalk. We’re guided to our front row table, with its crisp white linen tablecloth, and a blushing art deco light. A sultry world tinted with burgundy surrounded us, adorned with rich velvet textures and floral patterns.
We peruse the menu and to begin, we graze over small plates of charred Padron peppers (Dhs65), gambero rosso tartar and caviar (Dhs800) and sea bass usuzukuri (Dhs165). Impressed by the dainty dishes, the gambero rosso tartar was delicately plated in a perfect circle, layered with Stracciatella and coated with caviar. The combination of prawn and Stracciatella form a smooth unity with the bursts of caviar providing a burst of ocean spray. The sea bass carpaccio is sprinkled with slices of fresh chilli and jalapenos, creating a symphony of aromatic smoky essences and acidic crunches.
Performances come on intermittently throughout our feast, providing the
perfect intermission from our gourmet dishes. The cast’s extravagant costumes set the tone, adorned with gems, leather and feathers, adding to the glamour and mystery of the evening. The live performances fuse burlesque and cabaret, showcasing a diverse cast.
As we take our gaze off the hypnotic sets, our main courses arrive. We opt for smoked lobster in a creamy sauce with caviar (Dhs900), along with a miso butter wagyu striploin with hints of sesame, yuzu and charred scallions (Dhs600). Both dishes were prepared with such skill that they melt in our mouths.
We polish off our meal with a Greek yogurt sundae, scattered with candied pecans, honey lemon and spiced phyllo (Dhs220). The citrussy and tarte frozen yogurt was as light as air, with the candied pecans adding beautiful bursts of caramel and crunchy flavours.
Babylon DIFC, Podium Level, Gate Village 05, DIFC, Dubai, Tues to Sun 7pm to 3am, Mon closed, Tel: (0)4 352 7750. @babylondifc
WHAT’S ON VERDICT
Babylon will sweep you off your feet. With gourmet dishes and captivating talent, this is an ideal spot for a special occasion.
This 210-metre-high attraction features a pool in which you can swim around the entire venue, without any obstructions. Sun loungers of various sizes fill the pool deck, with some taking prime position for tanning and views. Morning experiences (10am to 2pm) start from Dhs250, while the afternoon slot (3pm to sunset) is priced from Dhs275. Full day passes start from Dhs525.
Aura Skypool Lounge, 50th Floor, Palm Tower, Palm Jumeirah, daily 6am to sunset, from Dhs200. auraskypool.com
These luxe pool days are worth saving up for
Drift Beach Dubai is the ultimate spot for a lavish pool day. The price from Monday to Friday for the sun lounger is Dhs150 (nonredeemable) while Saturday and Sunday it’s Dhs200 (non-redeemable). Plus, join for breakfast on a Wednesday morning (9am to 11am) and you’ll get a sun bed absolutely free. Drift Beach Dubai, One&Only Royal Mirage, daily 10am to sunset. Tel: (0)4 3152200. driftbeachdubai.com
Pretty beach spot Kyma is the only place along the strip of Palm West Beach with an infinity pool. Stepping into this Grecian spot is likely to make you feel like you’ve travelled to the Med, thanks to its chic decor. The sun loungers are priced at Dhs200 on weekdays and Dhs250 on weekends (non-redeemable).
Kyma Beach, West Beach, Palm Jumeirah, daily 10am to sunset. Tel: (0)4 666 5999. kymabeach.ae
Nobu by the Beach
Be one of the first to experience this gorgeous new beach club, which sits pretty at Atlantis The Royal. The first beach club by the Nobu brand, Nobu by the Beach offers a premium experience with sleek sun loungers, a refreshing infinity pool and top service. Prices start from Dhs250 per person from Monday to Thursday and Dhs300 per person Friday to Sunday (non-redeemable on food and beverages).
Nobu by the Beach, Atlantis The Royal, Palm Jumeirah, daily 9am to 7pm. Tel: (0)4 426 0000. atlantis.com
Located along our city’s own Riviera, Dubai Creek, on the grounds of Park Hyatt Dubai, this adult-only, sandhemmed infinity lagoon has skyline views, luxurious loungers and cabanas, representing big Côte d’Azur energy. Sunbeds are Dhs200 on weekdays and Dhs250 on weekends.
Park Hyatt, Duabi Creek, beach club open daily from 9am to sunset. Tel: (04) 602 1105. twiggy.ae
When it comes to experiencing poolside life in the most luxurious fashion, the Burj Al Arab Terrace has to be one of the best in the world, with an infinity pool that juts out to the ocean. Sal provides French-Mediterranean dining for poolside bites.
Sal, Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah, daily 10am to 7pm, from Dhs800 with Dhs400 redeemable. Tel: (04) 301 7600. jumeirah.com
This stunning beach club recently unveiled a gorgeous new restaurant. But as well as seaside dining, you can now visit Summersalt for a pool day and soak up the sun while taking in the incredible Burj Al Arab views. On weekdays, a plush bed by the poolside or on the beachfront costs Dhs800, with Dhs400 redeemable against the Mediterranean menu. On weekends, it’s Dhs1,000 per person and you’ll get Dhs500 back.
Summersalt by Kayto, Jumeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah, open daily 9am to midnight. Tel: (800) 323 232 @summersaltbeachclub
The concept by the coveted Tomorrowland, Terra Solis welcomes day visitors to its super-sized swimming pool. Guests can enjoy a vibrant but relaxing setting with some of the finest resident DJs. The pool features cabanas and sun loungers, and an eye-catching bar with a range of drinks and cocktails. Beds are Dhs200 on weekdays and Dhs300 on weekends, of which you’ll get half back to spend on food and drink.
Terra Solis, Dubai Heritage Vision Exit, Jebel Ali. Tel: (0)50 937 2344 terrasolisdubai.com
BAR OF THE MONTH:
MI AMIE DUBAI
A taste of Miami in the heart of Dubai
You may be in one of the many cars that whizz by the Museum of the Future on Sheikh Zayed Road on a daily basis, but hit the brakes and admire its illuminated torusshaped beauty over dinner at Mi Amie Dubai. Translating to ‘my friend’, the open rooftop alfresco bar and lounge can be found on the first level of Jumeirah Emirates Towers. Venue photos almost look Photoshopped, with the landmark winking back at gazers knowing it’s in the spotlight.
Once through the doors, we’re greeted with pastel interiors, a soundtrack of tunes, colourful dancers and a pretty rose-hued bar with pops of rose gold elements and luminous bottles.
Our first beverage of the night is called Ocean Drive (Dhs68), and is slightly bitter tasting with sweet, muted undertones. The
spiced rum Calle Ocho (Dhs68), served in a Moai mug, strikes the right balance and warms us up on the chilly night out. A one-page menu is dotted with dishes and we start with the wild sea bass carpaccio (Dhs98), which is decorated with purple flowers and orange accents. Chopsticks firmly gripped, we pick up a slice of sea bass. The creamy coconut milk and light touch of zesty lime combine well on our palate with hints of truffle and passionfruit rounding off each bite.
We struggle to choose a favourite between the spicy yellow fin tuna rolls (Dhs98) and blow torched A5 wagyu sushi rolls (Dhs168). The tuna rolls are pretty with a hidden pop of heat from the yellow spicy sauce, while the wagyu hits the sweet spot with the teriyaki glaze, and though it a
promised truffle flavour, it wasn’t missed.
The generous braised beef rib croquettes (Dhs138) are a mouthful of mashed potato with Manchego cheese and truffle. For a beefier bite, wagyu beef rib eye 7+ skewers (Dhs168) with Malabar black pepper sauce hit the right spice notes and we loved the nostalgic flavours of Peruvian chicken bites (Dhs88) dipped in green chutney. Our dessert, a deconstructed raspberry and lychee tart (Dhs58) can easily be displayed as a work of art alongside the museum’s ‘killa’ architecture. Refreshing dots of lemon sorbet, crumbly pastry shells, bursting red blushing raspberries, each spoon is a delectable package of sweet harmonious flavours and textures.
Friendly tip, the best view of the landmark comes as you take a step back, as the view up close becomes as distorted as Alfred Hitchcock’s dolly effect.
Mi Amie Dubai, Level 1, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, Trade Centre 2, Dubai, 5pm to 2am daily. Tel: (0)4 319 8567. miamiedubai.com
WHAT’S ON VERDICT
A venue that left us impressed and not just because of the views.
Introducing the What’s On Lock In at Vida Dubai Marina & Yacht Club
Orientation at the Terrace 6th Floor with refreshments and activities
Kick off with a Boxica ﬁtness class
A brunch package at Origins with house beverages and entertainme
After party with 5 complimentary house drinks (per person)
Morning yoga at the pool deck on level 13 and workout session with Boxica
Breakfast at the Terrace 6th Floor and activities by Artfem and Boxedin
25% off on drinks at the Pool Bar for the remaining day
Art Dubai is back
All the details on what to expect
Art. It does much more than add a pop of colour to your surroundings. It can be used to express ideas and communicate important messages where words may fail. Natalia Kapchuk, who hails from Yekaterinburg, Russia, is one such artist who constructs her pieces to highlight a very important cause: the ongoing war between man and nature, and more importantly, how we must all work together to protect it.
Kapchuk, an ambassador for the Better World Fund (BWF) and a philanthropist supporting charities and organisations dedicated to protecting the lands and oceans of the world, uses her art to showcase a number of pressing global environmental concerns caused by human impact.
“As an eco-artist and philanthropist, my artworks represent my deep-rooted concern for the environment and my desire to raise awareness about environmental issues through my creative prowess,” she tells us.
“My artworks are an actualisation of my observations – my emotions and sentiments. As an artist conscious of the world around me, I choose to express myself through creation, as I understand that art has a penetrating influence on the soul,” she shares.
Her artistic journey started at an early age, following in the footsteps of her mother – an artist and a sculptor. From creating small ceramic sculptures for local art fairs to attending art school, her quest to garner inspiration for future projects led her to travelling the world. Her trips eventually brought her to Dubai, the city she partly calls home. “I still believe Dubai is the best place in the world to live,” she tells us.
She uses a mixed-media assemblage technique, constructed with different reclaimed, natural, and industrially resourced materials, including tree bark, sand, moss, natural stones, and metal chips. Her use of vibrant colours and uniquely selected materials have a penetrating effect on the psyche, leaving observers in a state of action and self-reflection.
From the process of sourcing material to the final touches, each one of her pieces take between one and four months to produce.
However, for Kapchuk, making art is a pleasure and her biggest passion, so she doesn’t call it ‘work’. Outside of the studio, she enjoys exploring, gaining ideas and collecting materials for her artworks.
Her favourite places to visit in Dubai include Alserkal Avenue and the desert, which she says is where anyone can disconnect from reality and connect with nature.
From March 4 to April 4, at architectural marvel, the ME Dubai Hotel, her latest exhibit ‘The Lost Planet’ is on display, featuring a touching and emotional video installation. She tells us, “I am confident that the combination of this stunning venue and the powerful messages instilled within my art will leave a lasting impression”.
Kapchuk is currently working on a series related to the ocean and its habitat and more importantly, how essential it is to protect it – another cause that’s close to her heart.
“I BELIEVE DUBAI IS THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD TO LIVE”
DATE: MARCH 16
TIME: DOORS OPEN: 7PM (BAR CLOSES 11PM)
DRESS CODE: IMPRESS
VENUE: DUBAI MEDIA CITY AMPHITHEATRE
ZONE A AED9,000 + VAT
Zone A position (10 pax)
Beverage package from African+Eastern International buffet from JA Resorts & Hotels
ZONE B AED7,000 + VAT
Zone B position (10 pax)
Beverage package from African+Eastern International buffet from JA Resorts & Hotels
Bonobo takes the stage at Dubai Opera
British musical artist and DJ, Bonobo, is set to bring his unique brand of electronic music to Dubai Opera on March 11. This highly anticipated performance is expected to be a night to remember, as fans of all ages come together to experience the sounds of one of the most innovative and talented musicians in the electronic space.
Simon Green, better known by his stage name Bonobo, first rose to fame in the late 1990s with the release of his debut album,
Animal Magic. Since then, he has established himself as one of the leading figures in the world of electronic music, blending together elements of trip-hop, house, jazz, and world music to create a unique and eclectic sound that has earned him a dedicated following around the globe.
Over the course of his career, Bonobo has released seven studio albums, each of which has been met with critical acclaim and a growing fanbase. His most recent release, Fragments, which is dedicated to nature and movement, was released in January 2022. The record showcased the artist’s continued evolution as he pushed the boundaries of what is possible in electronic music. With its mesmerising beats, lush soundscapes, and intricate arrangements, the album was widely regarded as one of the best electronic albums of the year.
For those who have yet to experience a Bonobo performance in person, this will be a rare opportunity to see the artist in action, and hear their favourite tracks from Fragments performed live. Known for his engaging live shows, Bonobo is sure to bring the energy and
excitement of the club to the stage at Dubai Opera, as he blends together his innovative sounds with stunning visuals to create a truly immersive experience. Whether you’re a long-time fan or a newcomer to the artist’s work, there is no doubt that this will be a performance to remember. With his unique sound, innovative approach to production, and electrifying live shows, this is a must-see event for anyone who appreciates the very best in music and entertainment. So be sure to mark your calendars, grab your tickets, and get ready to experience the magic of Bonobo live in Dubai. Tickets are priced from Dhs350 and are available at dubaiopera.com Bonobo at Dubai Opera, March 11, 8pm, from Dhs350. dubaiopera.com
BONOBO HAS RELEASED SEVEN STUDIO ALBUMS, EACH OF WHICH HAS BEEN MET WITH CRITICAL ACCLAIM AND A GROWING FANBASEWords: Aarti Saundalkar
Dubai is no stranger to the art world. There’s plenty to see in the city from art exhibitions, cool street art, digital art spaces, and more. But March is when the city really shines as it marks the beginning of art season with Art Dubai.
Now in its 15th season, the biggest art fair in the Middle East will run from March 1 to 5 at the picturesque Madinat Jumeirah. The first two days are by invitation, but from March 3 to 5, it’s open to the public and tickets can be purchased from Dhs90.
What can you expect at Art Dubai?
Well, plenty of art across a number of mediums, styles and techniques. There are over 400 artists at the art fair spanning 40 countries. Each piece will truly be unique and is a reflection of the artist’s story and experience.
To make exploring a little easier, Art Dubai is divided into three sections:
ART DUBAI MAKES A COLOURFUL RETURN
Art season is here…
Contemporary, which will feature firsttime exhibitors, Modern, where you can find solo presentations of museum-quality works by 20th-century masters, and Bawwaba (meaning ‘Gateway’ in Arabic), which will feature works of art made in last year’s fair.
Given the boom in digital art, the art fair has introduced a fourth section called Art Dubai Digital, which focuses on the expanding digital art sphere from NFTs to cryptocurrency, video art, virtual reality (VR) and more.
Besides exploring the galleries and mentally picking which piece will look great in your home, you can also attend a number of programmes and sessions. This will include the return of the flagship Global Art Forum, the Middle Eastern debut of Christie’s Art+Tech summit, and the Art Business Conference Dubai.
You can scan through the entire
programme on the free ‘Art Dubai’ app. All you need to do is register. Art Dubai, Madinat Jumeirah Conference & Events Centre, Al Sufouh 1, March 1 to 5 (open to public March 3 to 5, timings vary), tickets from Dhs90. Tel: (0)4 563 1400. artdubai.ae.
ART AROUND THE UAE
For more art, there is a diverse line-up of cultural activities taking place across the country. The 15th Sharjah Biennial is currently taking place and running until June 11; there’s Alserkal Art Week running until March 22; and of course, you can always visit your favourite art gallery anytime. Head to WhatsOn.ae to keep up with all the latest in arts and culture
ST. PATRICK’S WEEKEND CELEBRATION
THE IRISH VILLAGE – AL GARHOUD 17TH – 19TH MARCH 2023
FRIDAY, 17TH AND SATURDAY 18TH MARCH
ST. PATRICK’S CELEBRATION
Live music with local bands plus MAMO from Ireland
Traditional Irish music and dancers.
SUNDAY 19TH MARCH
Live music with local bands plus MAMO from Ireland
Traditional Irish music and dancers, Petting Zoo and Bouncy Castle
SPORT // BATTLE CANCER
Words: Laura Coughlin
CHALK UP FOR CANCER
You now host Battle Cancer events in 12 locations globally. How does the Dubai chapter compare?
Bringing a little extra goodness to your workout routine, the Battle Cancer Challenge returns to Dubai on March 18. The unique team-based experience, taking place at Dubai Harbour, sees teams of four take on five 10-minute functional fitness workouts within two and a half hours, incorporating teamwork, high-intensity cardio, functional fitness, and accessible weights all in the name of having fun and fighting cancer. In between each 10-minute workout there is a 20-minute break, representing the one in two people that are affected by cancer.
Perfect for all abilities, Battle Cancer is separated into two categories: Challenge and Compete. Challenge allows contestants to modify weights and movements, whereas Compete promises harder workouts with set weights and standards. Teams are scored on an AMRAP (as many reps as possible) during the 10-minute heats and a Fundraising AMRAP (as much raised as possible), with the more funds raised, the higher the score.
What’s On caught up with founder and director Scott Britton on why he went into battle with cancer and how you can join him…
What kind of workouts are we talking about?
Battle Cancer workouts are all about power, endurance and teamwork. You can expect plenty of dumbbell exercises, sprints, lunges, box jumps and big cardio equipment like bikes and rowers to test your ability.
What inspired you to launch Battle Cancer?
Growing up I lost a lot of immediate family to cancer. I saw the impact of how cancer takes a life and rips apart the lives of those around them. I wanted to create a challenge where people can suffer together, share together and make a difference together.
Our Dubai event in 2022 was the very first of its kind outside of Europe and the UK. The scores put up by UAE teams were some of the highest in the world. The most important element was that our Dubai athletes fundraised the most per team of any event in the world. We know we can continue that incredible generosity and effort in 2023.
And it’s not all serious a la CrossFit Games is it?
We do everything to make our challenge accessible. Our athletes range from teens to people in their seventies. Our Challenge division is about fitness, fun, and shared memories whilst making a huge difference. Our Compete category is a little more serious but you will still find teams dancing away during the day and having fundraising at the heart of their mission.
How do we fundraise correctly in Dubai for the event?
We work directly with YallaGive to ensure that fundraising is done in the safest and correct way. Once signed up you get a detailed fundraising pack from our team with everything you need to know.
Dubai Harbour, Dhs1,220 (team of four), Dhs305 (individual, to be teamed up on the day). battlecancer.com/dubai
PHOTOGRAPHY AND TIMEPIECES FROM AWARD-WINNING INTERNATIONAL ARTISTSThe Arabian Falcon Navigator Timepiece by David Galbraith Photograph by Wilfred Thesiger
DESTINATIONS | STAYCATIONS
Make this your next getaway destination
Krabi A CASE FOR
This quieter part of Thailand is typically included in a wider itinerary. Here’s why it deserves to be your sole destination
Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
If first impressions define a resort, prepare to be bowled over by Phulay Bay, a RitzCarlton Reserve. Unrolling along a private bay on Krabi’s picturesque coastline, you instantly realise this resort is special when you arrive at Sala Srichan, a dazzling welcome pavilion set over water and guarded by high stone walls in deep mauve.
Despite its petite size (just 54 rooms) Phulay Bay still feels expansive, and it’s designed around the landscape, not the other way around. Even the villas make the most of the locale, each one unique in its layout and finish, but all rich and grand. Our own one-bed pool pavilion is designed so the morning sun kisses the terrace at the back where a sunken tub is flanked by palm trees and bathes the private pool in warming afternoon heat.
The resort name translates to ‘where the mountains meet the sea’, an indicator of the incredible views commanded from every corner. It’s the sea views that really steal the show, with vistas from the lagoon-sized swimming pool – complete with swim-up bar – truly mesmerising. While it would be easy to simply soak it all in from a plush poolside cabana, where fresh coconuts and cold towels are regularly offered, or a sea-facing sofa at the Hong Island-facing Chomtawan sundowner bar, Phulay Bay’s impressive array of restaurants and myriad activities encourage adventure. A Muay Thai class led by a professional fighter,
sunrise hikes, and a long tail boat trip to Hong Island are all unmissable parts of the Phulay Bay bucket list. Then there’s more low-tempo pursuits, like an afternoon in the instantly relaxing spa, adorned in dark woods and bathed in natural light. The couple’s spa suite is magnificently sumptuous: on a wooden deck that overlooks the emerald pond, a relaxation area is an instant immersion into nature, a bubbling jacuzzi its central pièce de résistance.
Phulay Bay’s culinary credentials are truly standout, with five restaurants and bars to choose from. Chomtawan is the perfect spot for sundowners, where local artisans are often on-hand to lead crafting sessions. All-day dining is instantly elevated by lush surroundings and stretching views at Jampoon, where flavours of east-meets-west fuse Mediterranean dishes with southern Thai classics. Then there’s the out-of-the-box, outof-this-world bespoke dining experience, like a private dinner in the candlelight welcome pavilion, where dishes such as beef tartare and a tiger prawn risotto are enjoyed under the flickering light of 2,000 candles. This above and beyond ethos is what radiates through Phulay Bay, from bespoke experiences to the little things, like a bottle of aloe vera left on the pillow after a particularly balmy day.
3 ISLANDS TO DISCOVER
Phi Phi Islands
The exquisite beauty of this island archipelago has travellers flocking from far and wide to its crystalline waters, soaring limestone cliffs and sugary sand beaches. The best way to tick off all of Phi Phi’s greatest hits is with a boat tour that heads to all the best bits. A top tip: pick one that heads to Maya Bay, on Koh Phi Phi Leih, first. Made famous by that Leonardo DiCaprio movie, The Beach, it’s open to tourists for the first time in four years, and early mornings are as off-peak as it gets. Other stops at Pileh Lagoon and Shark Point allow for discovering the marine life below the turquoise waters, while lunch is best enjoyed on the shores of Bamboo Island, flanked by the gently lapping sea. A stop at Koh Phi Phi Don shouldn’t be missed, for a glimpse at the more touristy side of Thailand – and afternoon drinks at no-frills Bottom’s Up bar.
Although Railay Beach isn’t technically an island, due to the surrounding high cliffs and untamed jungle you’ll need to take a boat to reach it. The whole area is walkable, and while it might be famous for its gorgeous golden beach, there’s much more to Railay Beach than soaking up the sun. The whole west beach takes advantage of its tourist appeal by offering myriad water sports, like kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and snorkelling, while more ambitious adventurers can venture to the tropical summits of Railay with a guided rock climbing session.
Arguably one of the most visually striking isles on the Andaman Sea, Hong Island is one of those natural beauties that must be seen to be believed. Book a longtail boat for the full castaway experience, which takes you around the shallow waters of the lagoon at high tide. Pack a picnic and soak up the sun on the glorious sandy beach or get your steps in – 400 steep ones to be exact – with a hike to the 360° viewpoint that rewards those that reach the top with marvellous views as far as the eye can see.
THE ISLAND ESCAPE
A two-hour drive (including a scenic ferry crossing) away from Krabi International Airport, Koh Lanta might not be as well-known as some of Thailand’s big hitters, but it’s all the better for it. Avani+ Koh Lanta is about embracing life off the beaten track, arranged between several buildings on a hilltop that overlooks Koh Kwang Beach. While its remoteness is part of the appeal, the resort has ensured guests have everything they could need at the hotel. Our sea-view villa boasts a traditional aesthetic with a gabled roof. Inside, it’s light and breezy, freshly painted white and finished in bright primary colours. The living area leads out to the terrace, where a small private pool invites you to take a dip among the trees. In the afternoon it becomes ideal for spotting local wildlife and enjoying the flame-hued sunsets this corner of the earth is renowned for.
action also happens, with aptly named The Cliff restaurant extending from the indoor restaurant out to the poolside terrace. Here, mornings start with fresh fruit and eggs cooked-to-order, leisurely lunches offer views down to the resort’s private beach and dinner under the stars offers the opportunity to enjoy one of the island’s best pad Thais while watching the rhythmic lapping sea. Then there’s Reggae Bar, a local legend that’s thoroughly deserving of its reputation as one of the best sundowner spots in Koh Lanta. Framing the craggy rocks at the base of the resort, this wooden beach shack is mellow and charming, and the friendly team shake up fruity serves as the sun sets. Guests choose from perches on the wooden swing, in private booths or recline on cushions in a treehouse as the sorbet colours light up the sky at nightfall. Sit up here and watch the sun – and your worries – drift away. avanihotels.com/en/koh-lanta-krabi
3 BUCKET LIST THINGS TO DO
Inspiring encounters with gentle giants at The Elephant Sanctuary Krabi
The protection of elephants is at the heart of The Elephant Sanctuary Krabi, where a duo of female elephants called Pinky and Pumpui are the motivation behind this family-run sanctuary’s work. The elephants were rescued from unthinkable conditions on the plantations, and have been given a second chance in the care of the sanctuary. Across a three-hour programme, visitors are tasked with feeding, preparing medicine, walking, playing and bathing the elephants, enjoying respectful encounters that educate visitors on why their protection is paramount. theelephantsanctuarykrabi.com
See sunrise in the mangroves of Thung Yee Pheng
A case for setting your alarm early on vacation is the opportunity to see the world wake up amongst the serene mangroves of Thung Yee Pheng. Board a traditional wooden gondola from Thung Yee Pheng Pier and set sail across the shimmering rivers that lead out to the Andaman Sea, lined by dense and glossy green mangroves that get more illuminated as the sun rises above the horizon. Lanta Gondola offers private gondola tours with an expert guide, local breakfast and coffee. lantagondola.com
To switch off, the hilltop spa is a haven of relaxation where Thai massages press out the knots and kinks using aromatic oils of lemongrass and pandan leaf.
For a more social experience, the resort’s pool is where guests gather for drinks at the swim-up bar and to soak up the sun on the sea-facing loungers. It’s here that much of the culinary
HOW TO GET THERE
As one of a string of new routes, flydubai operates daily flights to Krabi from Dubai International Terminal 3. One-way economy fares start from Dhs1,325 and business class fares start from Dhs3,365. For more information, visit flydubai.com.
Shop for local treasures at Ao Nang night market
Vibrant Ao Nang is the beating heart of Krabi’s livelier side, but even this more well-trodden part of Krabi still benefits from stunning scenery as it unrolls along the Andaman Coast. Less intimidating than some of the bustling night markets in the bigger cities, Ao Nang night market is one of Krabi’s more interesting shopping destinations. Expect to pick up everything from street eats to local crafts along these narrow market streets.
Marrakech MAKE TIME FOR
Switch off with a sweet Moroccan escape
The sprawling resort, spread over 20-hectacres, is home to a total of 54 villas and seven suites. The property is loved by famous faces, thanks to the private nature of the hotel, and if you look carefully, you might even spot a footballer or two.
We stayed in a Mandarin Pool Villa, a contemporary take on a traditional riad (a boutique Moroccan hotel). The villa is gated with huge wooden doors and surrounded by stone walls for total privacy. The arrival experience is truly breathtaking, as your personal pool and jacuzzi take centre stage in the courtyard. On one side you’ll find a cosy nook for reading and relaxing, a daybed prepared with sun hat and towels to help you soak up the sun, and a comfy armchair with footrest. On the other is a private kitchenette set up ready to make Moroccan tea, and two large sofas around an open fireplace, which the housekeeping team will gladly prepare for you upon request.
Marrakech is known for its bustling souks, slithering street performers, rooftop tea spots, and winding backstreets where you’ll find everything from souvenir shops to former palaces. The busy Medina is certainly something to tick off on a trip to Marrakech, but if haggling snake charmers and overpriced mint leaves aren’t your thing, there’s another side to the city worth seeking out.
Morocco’s tourist-loved city offers much more than shopping and horse and cart tours, and for high-flying travellers, there are premium spots in which world-class hospitality can be found.
One such slice of serenity is Mandarin Oriental Marrakech (mandarinoriental.com), a 61-key property found a 10-minute drive from the main centre. While many of the city’s hotels are centrally located, being slightly out of the way has its benefits. Mandarin Oriental is nestled between two extensive golf courses, making it an ideal getaway for those wanting to practice their swing.
of a focus, and you’re just looking for a traditional-looking spot with nice views over the Medina, DarDar Rooftop (@dardar_marrakech) is a suitable choice. Boasting some of the best sunset views in the city, DarDar is a three-storey space topped with an open-air terrace featuring hanging lanterns and sofa seating for big groups to hang out at. The menu is pretty limited, and our lamb tagine was more bone than meat, but service is swift and perfectly pleasant.
Round out your trip with a visit to the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech (museeyslmarrakech.com). The museum reopens on March 4, with some brandnew exhibits for fashion and art fans to enjoy. An homage to designer, Yves Saint Laurent, the 4,000 square metre space gives an insight into his life and work. Visitors can enjoy a selection of temporary exhibitions, a research library with over 5,000 volumes, a 140-seat auditorium, bookshop and a chic terrace café. Located next to the beautiful blue Jardin Majorelle, a joint ticket to both attractions can be purchased for 300MAD (Dhs107).
The hotel has three dining outlets, popular Asian spot, Ling Ling by Hakkasan – which recently opened its newest second outpost in Dubai’s Atlantis The Royal; Silk Road-inspired restaurant, Shirvan; and the chic alfresco Pool Garden. It’s clear that Ling Ling (@linglingmarrakech) is MO Marrakech’s pride and joy, as the team proudly tell us that their dim sum is just as good – if not better – than Hakkasan Dubai’s.
Heading back to the city, next to the picturesque Menara Gardens, is the newly opened Nobu Hotel (@nobumarrakech). Its rooftop pool lounge is an ideal spot for sundowners and bites, while admiring the mesmerising view of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. On our visit, the weather is far too chilly for a pool day but it’s a beautifully designed spot that is likely to draw a crowd come summertime. The bites are well-priced and tasty, and while they might not be native to the country’s cuisine, it’s some of the best food we came across during our trip.
Authentic Moroccan cuisine isn’t as easy to come by as you’d imagine, and you’d be wise to take Google reviews with a pinch of salt before spending your Moroccan dirhams. But if food is less
Marrakech’s allure lies deep beyond Instagrammable riads and pots of couscous. It’s a place of endless discovery, where every corner can lead to unplanned adventures and opportunities for exploration.
HOW TO GET THERE
Emirates and Etihad both offer flights to and from Casablanca, a two and a half hour drive from Marrakech. Our best recommendation for the journey is to rent a car (starting from Dhs130 per day plus Dhs400 if you wish to leave the car in Marrakech), but failing that, the train takes two hours and 45 minutes, priced from Dhs95.50 each way.
DINNER FOR TWO AT LA SIRENE
At this chic but casual dining outlet, get ready for unmatched Lebanese cuisine. The newest edition to the Avani Palm View Hotel and Suites welcomes the metropolitan essence of Beirut right at your doorstep in Dubai. Serving up timeless traditions with modern hospitality, La Sirene promises the richness of Lebanese dishes for you and a partner. T&Cs apply.
For your chance to win, go to whatson.ae/win
A WEEKEND PASS TO SNOOPY BEATS WITH ACCOMMODATION
Fujairah’s favourite festival, Snoopy Beats, is back with another epic weekend this month. From March 10 to 12, music fans will enjoy three days of live performances, art installations, and so much more. We’re giving away a full weekend pass for two, including your ticket, accommodation with breakfast at Sandy Beach Resort, as well as transportation to and from Dubai. T&Cs apply.
For your chance to win, go to whatson.ae/win
TOUR AND GOODIE BAGS FROM LOUVRE ABU DHABI
Louvre Abu Dhabi is giving one lucky winner two memberships that provide unlimited access to the museum’s galleries, along with many other benefits. Along with the memberships, the winner will receive two gift bags, four additional tickets for friends, a guided tour and Dhs200 to spend on food and beverage at Aptitude cafe. Three runners up will also win one membership, a gift bag and four tickets each. T&Cs apply.
For your chance to win, go to whatson.ae/win
Atlantis The Royal
This new address wants to be the world’s most luxurious hotel. Here’s what it’s like...
An iconic location for a iconic hotel, you’ll find Atlantis The Royal at the top of the Palm Jumeirah. It’s separated from sister hotel Atlantis The Palm by the world’s largest waterpark.
LOOK AND FEEL
Where neighbouring Atlantis, The Palm is a palatial pink beacon of Arabian grandeur, Atlantis The Royal is the antithesis in terms of aesthetic. The design can best be described as posh blocks of Lego stacked one on top of each other to create a futuristic, two-tower emporium connected in the middle by a stretching sky pool. Inside, the hotel adopts an equally contemporary feel, adorned in varying shades of oceanic blue and soft sea spray, laced with shimmering gold accents. Those
typical Dubai touches exist on steroids throughout Atlantis The Royal, from the fire breathing water features in the lobby, to the mesmerising water fountain.
There are two options for the entry level guest rooms – either ocean- or Palmfacing – and we’d recommend Palm. Whichever room you pick though, expect to soak up the views from your private balcony, make a splash in the generous circular tub, and all-gold amenities, including toothbrushes.
It’s hard to imagine being bored at Atlantis
The Royal. For those that like to dropand-flop, a private stretch of sand and temperature-controlled royal pool await, lined with loungers and cabanas aplenty. A more VIP twist on the classic hotel pool day can be enjoyed at Nobu by the Beach, the brand’s first beach club, where tan-toppers can listen to chilled DJ sets and graze on Nobu signatures. Twenty two floors above, there’s the awe-inspiring Cloud 22, where guests can take a dip against the backdrop
of dazzling city vistas, retreat to the shade of a plush cabana, and sip masterfully mixed cocktails at the swimup bar.
FOOD AND DRINK
A burgeoning culinary array of no less than 17 restaurants caters to guests. A star-studded celebrity chef line-up includes Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner by Heston, Jaleo by José Andrés and La Mar, an iteration of chef Gastón Acurio’s famed Peruvian restaurant. For high-energy dining, Ling Ling ticks all the boxes with upscale Asian dishes. Then there’s more casual eateries including Seascapes, a breezy sundowner bar by the ocean; all-day dining restaurant, Gastronomy; and an American diner called Malibu. But even these have been given a royal touch through chic decor and menus that extend far beyond the basics. Take breakfast at Gastronomy, where global cuisines from around the world fill buffet counters and live cooking stations offer made-to-order eggs a dozen ways, that can be upgraded with the likes of truffle or caviar. It’s impossible to dine your way around them all in a weekend.
Room rates start from Dhs3,929 per night inclusive of breakfast and access to Lost Chambers Aquarium and Aquaventure Waterpark.
Atlantis The Royal, Crescent Rd, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. Tel: (0)4 426 3000. atlantis.com/atlantis-the-royal