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"We in the UAE, have no such word as 'impossible'; it does not exist in our lexicon." -HH Sheikh Mohammed
May 2000 marked the beginning of a fantastic 14 years of my life in the Middle East. And since then, I have witnessed Dubai transform itself into the beautiful city in terms of architecture, lifestyle and the society as a whole. But through the numerous stories my father shared of his experiences since he set food in Dubai in 1995, I've realized that the changes I've seen around me are nothing compared to what he or many other people living in this city a few decades back, must have experienced. As hectares of desert and barren land with a handful of buildings scattered here and there, gave way to a cityscape along the Creek, highlighted by the World Trade Centre, the then tallest building in Dubai, followed by the Burj Al Arab; the world's only 7-star hotel, and eventually to how the city gloriously stands today, while the one thing that remained constant and still continues to blossom vibrantly is the culture and traditions of Dubai. So this issue, we bring you the culture and heritage of UAE. You will find many interesting articles and facts on the way of living, customs and beliefs of the people of the Middle East and so much more. There is plenty that this country and its people have taught me. You'll find that football is an absolute craze among the people, heat exhaustion is not uncommon during the summer season and it is important to hydrate yourself regularly. Fast food in the local cuisine mainly comprises of shawarma, follow the policy of 'rules are meant to be broken' and you'll end up with a hefty fine. I have undoubtedly developed an inexpressible love and passion for the Gulf region, its people and all its perks and quirks, and after reading this issue, I guarantee you will too. Let this magazine be your guide to the wonders of UAE and all it has to offer. I hope you truly enjoy this issue as much as we loved putting it together for you.
Discovering Dubai I
n the year 1833, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Butti moved the tribal Baniyas family to Dubai. This led to Sheikh Maktoum becoming the founder of the ruling Maktoum family, which currently are the royal and ruling family of the emirate.
Currently, the ruler of Dubai is His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the Vice President and the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. H.H Sheikh Mohammed wishes to fulfill his fatherâ€™s vision of Dubai, which is to make Dubai one of the leading cities in the world, which so far has been successful, as Dubai is internationally recognized for its tourism, trade and logistics between the East and the West.
By: Lavinia Ambrosie
hinking about a holiday in the UAE, or maybe considering the possibilities of employment here? There are a few things you need to know before you come and while you are here. Dubai is a fabulous city who’s people are some of the most genuine, hospitable and courteous you will ever be likely to encounter anywhere in the world. But this is not the US nor Europe, this is the UAE steeped in centuries of tradition and devout religious following. One of the reasons I’m sure you are looking to travel to the UAE is to experience the deep and rich history and traditions on offer.But as in many other countries they have their own ways of doing things which need to be respected. You may have considered putting off or cancelling a visit to Dubai or other cities in the UAE because of the atrocious stories you may have heard about in the press. So let us as to give you THE FACTS.. Most of the stories you hear are just rumours, other are based on facts but written with a twisted perspective. Let us ask you this.... What would happen in your country if someone was bringing in controlled drugs or driving whilst heavily under the influence of alcohol. Well its not different in the UAE, you will be arrested and possibly face imprisonment. If you openly disobey the laws of ANY country you have to face the consequences. Always remember that you are in a different country with a different cultural and belief system to the majority of westerners, you can seem as strange to them as they might sometimes appear to you. Its like the old saying “When in Rome” - it is just common courtesy to respect your hosts as we expect visitors in our country to respect our laws and traditions. To ensure that your stay is memorable, for all the right reasons, keep in mind that you are no longer in your own country. Respect the laws and values of the country and your stay should be an extremely enjoyable one!
Traditions: The UAE is built on generations of Islamic traditions which are rooted firmly in its culture and tribal heritage. These traditions have been passed down from generation to generation and form the very cornerstone of every day life for an Emirati family. The Emiratis are friendly people who show tolerance and an open minded approach to visitors in their country; but their culture and values should always be respected.
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Expat Community: In the last 30 years, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the other Emirates have gone through a total transformation from small Arab trading ports into modern cities. Over 150 nationalities (including an estimated 100,000 British expats) contribute to the UAEâ€™s modern society. The streets, shopping malls and business areas are alive with numerous languages and cultures. Do keep in mind that you will probably meet many people with different values and opinions.
Social Ethics: The culture and laws in the UAE are designed to ensure that everyone is respectful of each other regardless of their faith and nationality. Visitors and residents alike should avoid types of improper conduct and behaviour which can otherwise lead to fines, imprisonment and deportation.
Dress code: Emirati dress conservatively in the traditional dress and can be offended when people dress inappropriately or not in accordance with Islamic values. In public places such as shopping malls, restaurants and parks, you are encouraged to dress appropriately. Clothing should not be transparent, indecently expose parts of the body or display offensive pictures or slogans. Be careful if you are tattooed with what could be deemed offensive images or slogans, if in doubt cover up. Be aware that if you enter one of these areas dressed inappropriately you may be asked to leave (most of the larger shopping malls display signs warning respectable clothing should be worn). Any form of nudity is strictly forbidden, including topless sunbathing. Swimwear should not be worn in any other area except the beach, water parks, or swimming pools. It is preferable for both men and women to have their shoulders and knees covered and for women not to wear decollete attire when not on the beach or at a hotel. It is not appropriate for men to walk along the street bare-chested.
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Alcohol: Consumption of alcohol is allowed only for Non-Muslims in licensed restaurants, bars, clubs, private venues, and at home (for residents who have acquired an alcohol licence). It is against the law to drink alcohol while walking in the street or to be drunk in a public place. For those living in the UAE a special licence must be obtained before purchasing alcohol from the exclusive and specialised. Licensed stores. This licence is only a permit for buying alcohol. It does not give any immunity for alcohol related criminal offences. It is an offence to carry alcohol in your car if you do not hold the special alcohol licence. If you come to the attention of the police you may be arrested, even though you may have purchased the alcohol legally. You need to be 21 or over in order to drink alcohol legally in the UAE (18 in Abu Dhabi). Alcohol is not available in Sharjah.
Drugs: Drugs are strictly forbidden, even a residual amount. Consuming or carrying drugs, even if you are transiting through the airport from one country to another, can result in a standard 4 year imprisonment and deportation. Buying or selling narcotics is considered a serious crime which can result in life-imprisonment. Some medicines (accepted in other countries) containing psychotropic substances are also forbidden, so check out the UAE relevant embassy website for further information.
Driving: The UAE has a zero-tolerance policy towards drinking and driving. You can be charged and imprisoned if you are caught with even the smallest amount of alcohol in your system; Whether you are going to drink walk, get a cab or use the metro. Tailgating, speeding, racing, lane jumping and using a mobile phone while driving are all against the law. There are numerous speed cameras on the roads and motorways. Fines in the UAE are heavy. If you are caught you may also face the possibility of having your car impounded. Wearing a seatbelt is mandatory. Jay walking is also illegal and the police, particularly in Abu Dhabi, have launched a campaign against jay walking. If you are caught committing this offence you could be subject to a fine.
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Over the counter or doctor prescribed medications: If you are using doctor prescribed drugs it is advisable to carry a doctorâ€™s note. If you are bringing prescription drugs into the UAE you may need to seek prior agreement from the authorities. You should check with the nearest UAE Embassy or Consulate before you travel.
Respect for religion: Islamic religious values are greatly respected in the UAE. Showing any disrespect towards religious beliefs or practices is considered deeply offensive and very likely to result in a heavy fine and/or imprisonment. Other religions are respected and can be followed by the expatriate community. Follow a few simple rules of respect: Muslims pray five times a day. You will notice that the Mosques call people to pray through a speaker system. At this time you will also notice public music is turned off as Muslims perform their daily prayers.Be aware that drivers who are not close to a Mosque, may stop at a convenient lay-by to pray privately.
Alcohol can be purchased at licensed bars and restaurants from sunset onwards and most activities such as golf clubs, shopping malls, attractions and spas are open as usual but with altered opening times. Most venues that would normally have live music will not during Ramadan except oud (arabic guitar). The city really comes alive at night when visitors can join the Muslim population to break their fast (Iftar) and flock with friends and family to large tents to feast on a mouth-watering array of local dishes, smoke traditional shisha pipes and listen to traditional music such as the famous oud players. One point to note is that visitors should wear respectful clothing during this time - take a look at the ‘Know Before You Go’ guide for more information on this.
Ramadan: MANY OTHER GUIDES WILL TELL YOU NOT TO VISIT THE UAE DURING RAMADAN - WE SAY PROVIDED YOU ARE WILLING TO FOLLOW A FEW BASIC RULES, WE SAY ‘DO’ AS ITS A WONDERFUL TIME TO VISIT AND OBSERVE THE LOCAL CULTURE. During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. Throughout this month eating, drinking, smoking, playing loud music and dancing in public places during daylight hours are strictly forbidden and punishable by law, including for non-Muslims.This consumption ban will include general public indoor areas as well, although many of the larger hotels will have special screened off areas for non-Muslims to eat and drink during these hours freely with the exception of alcohol which will only be served after sundown. Pregnant women and the infants are excluded from the fast. Every evening during Ramadan, Muslims celebrate the breaking of their fast with an evening meal called Iftar. You will find many hotels and restaurants throughout the UAE who provide Iftar buffets. The golden rule is always be mindful and respectful of locals traditions and beliefs. Visiting Dubai during Ramadan gives tourists a unique and authentic holiday experience. Ramadan commemorates the time when the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Mohammed. While international Muslims abstain from all food, drinks, smoking and live music from dawn to dusk throughout the month, international hotels and resorts in U.A.E continue to serve meals to international visitors in screened off areas as its not permissible even for international visitors to eat & drink in public areas; this is also a common courtesy and mark of respect for the country you are a guest of.
And don’t forget Eid Al-Fitr, which is a three day festival for all that marks the end of Ramadan. Families exchange gifts, there are special public events arranged and yet more eating of delicious Arabic cuisine.
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The UAE is a relatively safe country from a crime perspective. Nevertheless, when you are out and about, take the necessary precautions to stay safe just as you would do if you were in your own country. If you are going to visit bars and clubs, do not accept drinks from strangers, and never leave your drink unattended. While rare, having your drink spiked in the UAE can happen. Sexual relationships outside of marriage are illegal, irrespective of any relationship you may have with your partner in your own country. Cohabiting, including in hotels, is also illegal. If you become pregnant outside of marriage, both you and your partner face the possibility of imprisonment. There are also legal ramifications when registering the birth with the local authorities.
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Pornography and pornographic images, media and websites are banned in the UAE. Sexual harassment or randomly addressing women in public, or taking their photos without pemission, is strictly frowned upon. Holding hands for married couples is tolerated but kissing and hugging are considered offenses against public decency. Open displays of affectionare are generally not tolerated. Offensive language, spitting and aggressive behaviour (including hand gestures) are viewed very seriously and can result imprisonment and deportation. This includes â€œroad rangeâ€?. Dancing is allowed in the privacy of your home or at licensed clubs, but dancing in public is classed as indecent and provocative. Smoking is forbiden in government areas, offices and shopping malls. There are however many designated areas where smoking is allowed.
By: Lavinia Ambrosie
Religion In the UAE, the official religion is Islam. You will definitely notice some of the breathtaking mosques around the city, and will hear the call to prayer 5 times a day (known as the Azaan). Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosques except at Jumeirah Mosque. However, Dubai is pretty tolerant with other religions and is home to large expat communities of Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and others. Dubai also houses places of worship of other religions.
Language Arabic is the official language spoken in the UAE, although everywhere around the city just about everybody speaks English, especially in places of tourism and commerce. Other commonly used languages include Hindi, Farsi and Urdu. Tourists and non-Arabic speakers should have no problem communicating in Dubai.
Climate & Curency One would describe Dubai’s climate as a tropical desert climate, as summer temperatures do reach up to the mid and high 40’s during the day and remain in the 30’s overnight. The winter months are much milder and cooler, with the average temperature being around 20C at daytime, and going down to even 12C-14C at night, a more comfortable climate. From December to March the cool weather in the winter occasionally witnesses some rainfall, so travel prepared! The Arab Emirati Dirham is the local currency used in Dubai. The UAE dirham ranks from 5 to 1,000 Dirham bills. The coins come in 25, 50 fils and 1 Dirham. It’s a good idea to always keep smaller bills to pay for cheaper items like metro since it may be hard to get change for 500 or 1,000 bills.
Population Dubai’s population is estimated to be approximately 2.1 million people out of which approximately 85% comprise of expat population. Expat population chiefly comprise of Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, Bangladeshis, Nepalese and Filipinos. British expats is the largest group of Western expats in Dubai. It also has a sizeable community of Iranians.
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My name is... - ismii.. What is your name? maa ismuka? (male) maa ismuki? (female) Where are you from? - min ayna anta? How old are you? - kam umruka?
Hello - marhaba Peace be upon you - as-salaamu alaikum (Response) Upon you be peace wa-alaikum as - salaam Welcome - ahlan wa sahlan Pleased to meet you - tasharrafna Goodbye - maas-salaama Until we meet again - ilallika
Right - yamiin Left - yasaar Straight on - alaa tuul Airport - mataar Bank - bank Beach - shaate´ Hotel - funduk´ Toilet - hammam Where is...? - ayna...? I am lost - anaa daa´i How can I find a taxi? - kayfa yumke nunee aluthoor ala sayyaarat ujra? I would like to go to... - awad an adhhab ila...
THE QUICK FIX TO YOUR ARABIC SHOPPING
How much? - bikam? Do you sell...? - hal tabii...? I want to buy... uriidu an ashtarii... I want to pay... - uriidu an adfa... Price - si´r Receipt - iisaal
Yes - naam No - laa Maybe - mumken I hope so (God willing) - In shaa´ Allah Please - min fadlak Thank you - shukran You´re welcome - afwan Excuse me - udhran Lets go - yalla Congratulations! - mabrook! Do you speak English? hal tatakallam al-ingliiziya?
0 - sifr 1 - waahid 2 - ithnaan 3 - thalaatha 4 - arbaa 5 - khamsa 6 - sitta 7 - sabaa 8 - thamaaniya 9 - tisa 10 - ashara 100 - mi´a 1000 - alf
DINING OUT The menu please al-kaa´ima, min fadlak The bill please al hisaab, min fadlak
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Soak In The Sun By: Fatima Anwar
Summers, Beaches and Dubai - what a perfect combination! Nothing sounds more relaxing than lying under the sun with a book in hand and beats in your ears, or maybe a flawless tan, while you enjoy the scenic views of Dubai through your Ray Bans. This time we bring you the Al Mamzar Beach Park. Al Mamzar covers a huge area of 106 hectares and is divided into the surf and turf areas. You can walk on one of the four alluring, white sandy beaches while you observe the most perfect and soothing sights; palm trees fencing the beach, water gushing at the sea shore and the rustling of the leaves as the winds breeze through them. You can either sit back and relax or try out something more thrilling and ride the waves on one of the many jet-ski's available for rent. Watchtowers and lifeguards are located in each area to ensure the safety of the people. Al Mamzar Beach is the first public beach in the emirate and the second in the country to be recognized globally for its excellence in safety and quality and to be awarded a Blue Flag; a symbol of excellence for the water quality, sustainable development and safety maintained by beaches across the world. 22 | Prima Dubai
There are over 50 beach parasols and 10 showers to easily cater to the people even during crowded days. The special gates allotted for cars, individuals and disabled people allow visitors to reach the beach without any hassle. The turf area of Al Mamzar Beach Park guarantees its visitors a memorable day full of games, food, barbeque, pool and lots of fun! The large swimming pool in the park is divided into 3 pools for children and adults. There are lifeguards always on duty so you can enjoy a dip in the adult pool while your kids splash and play in the childrenâ€™s pool. There are numerous play areas, gaming zones, a kids amphitheater and an adventurous play-castle where your kids can enjoy while you fire up the grills in the barbeque zone with kiosks, umbrellas, chairs and barbeque equipment. People who would like to picnic in a VIP style can rent an air conditioned chalet, saunter in the perfectly manicured gardens and enjoy the numerous food options available. With its amazing flora of 1600 palm trees, 300 coconut trees, 6000 different species of wall plants, flowers and trees, and 55,000 square meters of green lawn, Al Mamzar is definitely our choice for an excellent family day out!
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Dubai Police Cars
By: Roxanne Mehta
Dubai is synonymous with all things classy. It is no wonder then that the Dubai Police decided to indulge and augment the city’s extravagance by having their squad updated with the finest automobiles in the world. In March 2013, the Lamborghini Aventador made world headlines as the first sports car to make it to the police fleet, and there’s been no stopping since. Next came the Ferrari FF (mostly driven by the female police force), the Bentley Continental GP Coupe, Mercedes Benz SLS AMG and Aston Martin One-77 priced at a whopping AED11 million – one of the most expensive cars in the world today. The multi-million Dirham fleet also includes the Chevrolet Camaro SS, McLaren MP4-12C, BMW 5-series and the Bugatti Veyron being the latest to have accelerated its way into the fleet. These impressive cars are equipped with the latest technology, devices, cameras and specialised number plates.
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The latest cars to be rolled out bear the number plate ‘2020’ to celebrate Dubai’s selection as the host for World Expo 2020. There are now talks of other big names joining this league of super cars very soon. These posh cars are in fact used as tourism boosters to fuel Dubai’s familiar upscale image in the world. They are under the supervision of the Tourist Security Department of the Dubai Police. You will often find them making heads turn as they drive around typical tourist and heritage spots.
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Pd | Lifestyle By: Fatima Anwar While some tourists avoid visiting Dubai during Ramadan some love to explore the other side of this vibrant city. In Dubai, Ramadan is a month of festivity. It fosters the joy of sharing, purifying and strengthening beliefs. Whether a Muslim or a Non-Muslim, one must witness and experience this ‘Holy Month’ at least once in their lifetime. The ninth lunar month of the Islamic calendar, the first month of holy revelation and a pillar of Islam - Ramadan is observed by Muslims all over the world. Ramadan doesn’t just teach Muslims to control their thirst and hunger from dawn to dusk but also invigorates their spiritual well-being by reciting the Quran, praying regularly and by performing good deeds. Muslims wake up an hour before their Fajr prayers and eat Suhoor (pre-dawn meal). At the sound of Azan Fajr prayers, Muslims begin their fast and cannot eat or drink till sunset. Ramadan originates from an ancient word, ‘Ramida,’ which means ‘scorched heat’ or ‘parched thirst.’ Fasting helps Muslims understand the plight of the unfortunate who work in the scorching sunlight and survive without food the entire day. This evokes Muslims to share their meals with their family, neighbors and those in need. During fasting, Muslims abstain from backbiting, lying, intimacy and all negative deeds as they nullify the fast. Many scientists consider fasting a benefit to one’s health, since the body gets rid of toxins that build up throughout the year. The body heals itself, rejuvenates its ailing organs and the immune system grows stronger. Since 50% of Dubai’s population is Non-Muslims, there are a few rules imposed by the Dubai government as a sign of respect to those who are fasting.
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Whether at home, in cars or on streets, avoid listening to loud music as there are people trying to maintain the demeanor of fasting and abstain from everything prohibited in Islam. Refrain from shouting or use of profanity, as a sign of respect to the religion.
‘Iftar’ is the meal prepared at the time of sunset to break the fast. When the Maghrib prayer is called out, the family members or friends sit together and break their fast with dates as it’s a Sunnah (practice) of Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H).
During the day, Non-Muslims are prohibited from eating, drinking and smoking in public places as a sign of consideration and patience towards those who are fasting. They can eat, drink and smoke in private places and designated areas only.
Tents are arranged by the roads where a large number of people, be it the less fortunate or simply those travelling, gather to have Iftar. Iftar is arranged inside the mosques as well, where Muslim brothers can sit together and break their fast with numerous special Iftar treats. Thousands of people contribute in terms of food and money to help their fellow man. Free dates and water are distributed in supermarkets and on roads for travelers who can’t make it home in time for Iftar.
Working hours are reduced and offices are closed by 3:00 pm to relieve the ones who are fasting, and give them time to make preparations for Iftar. Non-Muslims are encouraged to dress appropriately and cover their arms, neckline and knees. Public display of affection is forbidden in the UAE, especially during Ramadan as it is considered offensive to Muslims.
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Pd | Lifestyle Restaurants and Hotels run special discounts and buffets for Iftar and Suhoor. The buffet includes the traditional creamy hummous, mutabal, harees, milk pudding, halwa fish, lamb, saffron rice and international cuisine such as prawns and oysters. While the city is dull during the day, it comes to life at night with malls and cafes serving delicious food and amazing shopping offers, and Ramadan tents offering shisha till late at night to allow people to indulge in the celebration of this holy month. During Ramadan, most of the nightclubs are closed since alcohol and music are strictly prohibited.
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Special prayers called Taraweeh, and the Quran, is recited the most during the last ten days of Ramadan as it is believed that the first verses of Holy Quran were revealed during this specific week. The three day celebration, Eid-ul-Fitr, marks the end to the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims wake up early in the morning, don their new clothes and go to mosques to offer their Eid prayers. Muslims arrange get-togethers where they invite their family and friends for lunch or dinner. Eid is a way to thank Allah for his countless blessings and bounties.
Asateer Tent, Atlantis the Palm, Dubai Named after the fables told inside tents, Asateer is a spectacular Ramadan tent that can accommodate up to 900 people. Asateer has five Majlis and private prayer rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi and valet parking. At just AED 185, Asateer promises an exemplary signature Ramadan feast, traditional ambiance, and the perfect emblem of authentic and contemporary style. Al Khaima, Le Meridien Beach Resort and Spa, Dubai For AED 250 per person, you can dine in an Arabic-inspired tent with a delightful, authentic culinary, board games to play and more than 30 variants of shisha to choose from. Ritz Carlton DIFC, Dubai Set outside in the garden, this air conditioned buffet costs AED 225 per person, promising a truly unique experience. Some of the traditionally innovative things include, a fatteh station (toasted pita, tahini and chick-pea dish), Arabic Sushi prepared by their experienced Osaka chef, Ron Pietruszka, who blends healthy ingredients into unique flavors and last but not the least, Chicken Shawarma with pickles presented as makki rolls.
Bab Al Shams, Dubai Bab Al Shams arranges Iftar in two different settings. You can either dine inside at Al Forsan for AED 175 per person, or outside at Al Hadheera for AED 195. Enjoy the desert experience with live cooking stations, aromatic food, cultural knowledge of the Heritage Village and the sights and sounds of the desert. Sheikh Mohammad Center for Cultural Understanding for a deeper understanding of Ramadan and Muslim culture, Non-Muslims can dine at the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding. After breaking the fast with the Emiratis, Non-Muslims can participate in a one to one conversation regarding Islam and Emirati traditions.
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Arab Culture & Traditions By: Fatima Anwar
The Roots Of Arabia! Itâ€™s true that the Arab culture resides in the heart and soul of Emiratis. They are the proud custodians of their rich culture that forms the foundation of the prosperous Arab world. The Islamic Heritage and the influence of Bedouin tribes shape the lifestyle and customs of Emiratis. Though they have been through immense transformation and modernization, they still hold back to their values, hospitality, attire and the love for art and architecture. During your trip to Dubai, you will find Emiratis promoting and reviving their history and traditions through numerous events, cultural tours and exhibitions.
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Arabic Attire The Ensemble of Grace and Panache
Arab history and culture dates back to the time when there was only desert and the houses were built of straws and mud. Men travelled under the blazing heat with their camels and women carried pots to the nearest lake to collect water. To keep themselves cool under the scorching sunlight, Arab men wore a white long robe called the dishdash or ‘Kandura’. The get-up is incomplete without a ‘Guthra’- a headscarf worn not only as a symbol of honor but also for protection from the sun and sand. An ‘Egal’; a circular black coil, is worn over the Ghutra, to prevent the scarf from slipping. To give the headscarf a firm base, a woven ‘Ghafiyah’, a prayer hat, is worn under the scarf. During occasions, these traditional Kanduras are paired with ‘Bisht’- a cloak worn over the Kandura and ‘Naal’ -special sandals. Women wear a long black cloak over their dresses called the ‘Abaya’ to cover themselves in public. Their head is covered with a black scarf often known as ‘Hijab’. Some orthodox Arab women even cover their nose and mouth with a ‘Gishwa’- veil. While a few women wear ‘Shela’ that covers their face completely.
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While people in desert regions still follow the customary dress code, in the modern Emirates men and women carry forward their traditions with a contemporary touch. Now you can find a range of colorâ€™s available in the market. Nowadays, many internationally renowned brands are endorsing the Arabic attire. Givenchy, Channel and Dior are few of the leading brands designing Shellas to match their signature handbags for a more opulent look to the Arab dresses. The Abayas are encrusted with stones, Swarovski and even diamonds as more and more designers are taking interest in this elegant apparel. An Abaya could range between hundred to millions depending on the brand and material. The kanduras and keffiyahs are often designed by French, English or Italian designers adding the perfect richness to the much loved Arab dress. To match the latest fashion, kanduras are now available in various colors including navy, brown and black. Tourists and expats are not expected to follow the Emirati dress code but it is always preferable to dress modestly in public and avoid revealing clothes.
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Pd | Lifestyle The Beauty of Arabic Names In Islam, first names are derived from the Quran and hold great importance. As mentioned in the Holy Quran, on the day of resurrection people will be called by their names and their father names. Hence in Islam, names are often written or called out in three parts; first name, bin/binte and the last name. Bin means son of and binte means daughter of.
In UAE, you will definitely come across numerous names that might sound strange to you, but they have immense significance and beautiful meanings. Here we have jotted down a break of a complete name and an example.
In the Emirates, men can also be called by their sonâ€™s name. Abu means father hence, Sheikh Mohammed can be called Abu Rashid meaning Father of Rashid. 40 | Prima Dubai
Arabic Music A String to the Harmonious Souls With its outburst of emotions, Arabic music crosses all boundaries and soothes into the most musically-challenged souls by hitting all the right notes. Arabic music began during the Greek civilization and continued to flourish through the Phoenician, Roman, Persian and Islamic Empire and later went through major transformations during Ottomans and Europeans. Arabic music formed the basis of numerous modern musical instruments. The Flute is derived from an ancient instrument called Al-shababa. The Violin is an upgraded version of the Rebec, The bass drum was originally known as Atabal and the Qitara is an ancestor to the modern day guitars. Arabic music is homophonic and stresses mainly on the beats, melody and rhythm.
Arabic Music can be classified as urban, rural or Bedouin. In the early 10th century, Al-Farabi introduced the Arab tone system that emphasizes on precise interval structures. The rhythmic temporal structure focuses on the rhythm, and adds awzan (weight) to the metered vocal and instrumental genres. In the modern era, the most intriguing part of Arabic music is how they have marvelously blended the western elements in their rich, traditional music. Arabic Pop consists of western-styled songs played with Arabic instruments and lyrics, which later formed the foundation of surf music, rock music, garage rock and punk rock. Arabic music was and always will be the most dominant part of the music culture with its authentic sounds and distinguishable melody.
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Arabic Dance The Charm of Arabia A magnificent display of beauty, traditions and emotions - Arab dance is a blend of Middle Eastern, North African and Oriental culture. Be it a huge wedding or a small family party, Arabs are very fond of music and dance. At special occasions, professional dancers are hired who are soon joined by guests and hosts to enrich the moment of bliss and joy. Just like food and lifestyle, Arab dance has many different shades as well. The different forms of Arab dance include; Dabke, Belly Dancing, Lyala, Haban and Harmiya. ‘Dabke’ literally means stamping the feet. It is the national folk dance of Lebanon, but is performed in many parts of the UAE. It is performed in groups led by a Raas (head) who twirls a handkerchief or a beaded string and sings at the same time. The dancers follow the Raas and chant a few lyrics of the song, in chorus with the head, to create a lively and energetic environment. The beats are synchronized with repeated foot stomps and knee bends combined with leaps and kicks. Dabke is commonly performed in social gatherings and joyous occasions to elevate the merriness. There are different versions of ‘Aarda’ throughout the Arabian Peninsula. The Emirati version of Aarda is Lyala. Lyala depicts the sorrowful and dramatic scene of battlefields through traditional songs orchestrated around a loud tambourine and rhythmic drumming. A group comprising of a minimum of 25 men signal the entrance of the opponents with a roaring battle cry accompanied by the deafening sound of their drums. They look at each other and recite provocative poetries as they flaunt their swords.
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After a musically encompassing battle, the scenario ends with a victory and its celebration. At this point, the women sing beautiful verses on the laurels brought back home by the victors. Harbiya is another form of Aarda which is quite popular in the Emirates. This is a more intense dance as the stimulating stanzas are punctuated with the sound of rifles and are performed on love poems. It is performed in weddings and demonstrates the belligerent situation. ‘Haban’, comprises of a group of dancers arranged in three rows. While the men are in first, women are in the second row followed by a group of musicians. The head of the performance plays the stringed musical instrument, ‘Haban,’ and the dancers and musicians keep switching their positions back and forth with the rhythm. The words ‘belly dance’ immediately brings to mind a picture of a sultry dancer, demonstrating crisp torso movements and effortless control of abdomen muscles to give life to one of the most famous dance forms in the world. In the Arab region, Belly Dance is known as ‘RaqsSharqi’, which means ‘Dance of the East.’ Through Belly dancing, women express their feelings of grief, happiness, confusion and joy through the movements of her body. The ladies dress in special attires that are decorated with sequins, laces and tassels draped in bright colors. Though culture and tradition erode over time, the UAE government believes in preserving its history and cherishing their culture. Significant research and effort is invested in preserving the Emirati identity, by their proud custodians. The Ministry of National Heritage supports numerous organizations and organizes events annually to practice and present their indigenous dance, poetry and music.
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Bukhoor Everything about Arabs is distinctive; even the scent. In UAE you will certainly come across the unique and dominating scent of Bukhoor, whether in malls or at home. Bukhoor are fragrant fragments of coal that are burnt on a burner-‘Majmer’. When burnt, the bukhoor releases steamy aromas that fill the surroundings with exotic fragrance. There are various kinds of bukhoor available. Some of the popular ones are, Maryam, Ajman, Al Rassassi, Arabian Oud Ashwak, Shahad, Yahamakn, Rajs al Oud, Makhoor al Abyaz, Amwaj and Al Barad. Just like bukhoor, there are different shapes and varieties of majmer’s as well. Bukhoor is an essential item in Arabic houses and is used to keep the house fresh and perfumed at all times, especially on Fridays. It is believed in Arab regions that bukhoor eradicates bad spirits just like bad smell, heals the sick and radiates positive energy. They are specifically used in weddings. An hour before the ceremony, a person will carry the majmer with burnt bukhoor throughout the hall and recite holy verses to prevent jealous and envy to maintain the beauty and purity of the auspicious occasion. You must be careful when burning a bukhoor. Before placing the bukhoor on the burner, ensure that the burner plate is hot enough to light the bukhoor. Once the bukhoor is lit, it starts emitting scented fumes. The fragrance stays even after the smoke has finished. You can perfume your clothes with this authentic fragrance by exposing the cloth directly to the smoke of bukhoor for 3 minutes. The Bukhoor are weighed in units called tolas. Each tola of bukhoor is expensive as they are usually handmade and made of pure elements such as rose oil. A majmer can cost between 10 EUR or above. There are also majmer’s made up of pure gold and silver. To test a wide range of pure and best quality bukhoor you can visit numerous shops in the malls. This fragrance of the desert is quickly gaining popularity across the world and is now available online for purchases. Bukhoor is definitely the most exclusive and elegant souvenir you can take back home!
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Number Plates By: Fatima Anwar
In the Middle East, the number plate business is a huge trade and involves many successful businesses, investors and agents. Owning a fancy number plate give immense satisfaction and pride to the owners. Some common numbers include 786, which is considered authentic in Islam, 007 that gives a license to kill and number 13 which is unlucky for some. Number plates can also signify the owner’s birth date or lucky number. Dubai is popular for the most valuable and expensive number plates. The fewer the numbers on the number plate the more respected it is. A five digit number plate is comparatively cheaper than 4 and 3 digit number plates and usually prices in six figure AED amounts. In Dubai number plates signify the status of a person. The bigger you are in stature; the smaller your number plate is. The number on your car tells the world you are a very important person in the country. It’s not about the car but the number on the license plate that holds importance. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum is known to have the most expensive number plate in UAE on his Mercedes G55. His number plate mentions the number, ‘1.’ According to UK’s Regtransfer website UAE residents are the biggest spenders worldwide when it comes to buying exceptional and exquisite number plates. People involved in the number plate business are extremely passionate about number plates irrespective of the risk in the trade. Due to the government policies and launch of new number plates, the price of your number plate can go down. UAE holds the staggering record for the most expensive number plate ever auctioned. Plate number 1 was auctioned in UAE for a huge amount of AED 52.5 million. In the auction 90 number plates were sold to raise AED 88.15 million for a charity drive. Not just this, Dubai has the record for the second most expensive plate (AED 25.2m), third (AED 16.5m), fourth (AED 11.4m) and fifth most expensive number plate (AED 10 m) ever auctioned in the world. Middle East is the top region in the world where private car registration commands the most spectacular sums. Dubai Motorists can even get the popular landmark in Dubai, such as Burj Khalifa, printed on their number plates. The personalized number plates will allow the owners to vent their interests and aspirations through beautiful images which will enhance the concept of number plates in Dubai. RTA and Dubizzle are the best places to visit if you are looking for a special number plate and want to buy it directly. You can book a number plate online through RTA’s special service or advertise for your favorite number on Dubizzle. The agencies take the responsibility of all the working in the process of registering the number plate on your name. You just have to submit your drivers’ license and Emirates ID. Investing in Number Plates is definitely better and much more interesting than letting your money rest in the Bank!
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Ritz Carlton Hotel By: Prerna Sonawane
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The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai Marina is one of the city’s premiere hospitality and leisure destinations. Located on the exclusive beachfront property; along the cosmopolitan Jumeriah Beach Residence, The Walk, the hotel is at the heart of one of Dubai’s most vibrant districts, with a promenade of al fresco dining outlets serving cuisines from all around the world and alluring retail outlets that blend high-end glamour with local souk-inspired offerings. From its splendid Mediterranean style building to the exquisite interiors, the resort offers everything from its royal suites, beautiful setting, pampering spas, grand ballrooms, conference and meeting rooms, award winning restaurants, fitness centre, indoor and outdoor pools, lush gardens and so much more. With its 148 rooms, the resort’s new wing, known as the “Shorooq” meaning “sunrise” in Arabic, the new guestrooms and suites comprise 115 Deluxe Rooms, 13 Junior Suites - the resorts newest suite category, 18 Executive Suites and two opulent Royal Suites. Each room provides spectacular sea-facing private balconies, with a view of the never-ending ocean.
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The dazzling Royal Suite, located on the highest floor, occupies 220 square-meters of living space with distinctive design. The suite features two oversized bedrooms, a stylized living room, dining area, a fully equipped private kitchen and study. The bathroom embodies Arabian luxury featuring a large Jacuzzi and a relaxing rain shower as well as premium Asprey products. In addition to its panoramic views of the entire resort, the room also incorporates state-of-the-art entertainment amenities such as a digital surround home-cinema to an integrated iPod docking system. The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge offers the highest tailor-made service through an exclusive club concierge team for a refined and superbly pampered stay. Besides the magnitude of the marvellous hospitality and top-notch amenities, the resort offers various dining venues sending you into a culinary journey around the globe. Enjoy the eclectic menu inspired from shores around the world and complimented by home infused cocktails at the La Baie Lounge or relish the exotic Asian flavours celebrating the finest of the Far East cuisine at the award-winning Blue Jade restaurant.
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This luxury hotel also arranges impressive events, exceptional celebrations or high-powered meetings and its new grand ballroom can house up to 500 people, while some meeting rooms include a Majlis, which provides the perfect space for smaller gatherings. The new Ritz-Carlton Spa seamlessly blends the Eastern influence with European wellness. It features nine multi-purpose treatment rooms, three private couple rooms with private terraces, separate relaxation lounges and a dedicated “hammam” (Turkish bath) area. There are also indoor hot and cold plunge pools, and an outdoor lap pool and multi-purpose fitness centre, catering to all your desires. Overall, the resort is equipped with additional swimming pools which include a main meandering pool, shaded children’s pool and landscaped lawns and gardens that overlook the lustrous white sandy beach of the Arabian Gulf. The Ritz Carlton continues its legacy of throwing one of the best wedding celebrations guaranteed to be sown in your minds for eternity; in the heart of the perfect venue. “We are delighted to unveil our new wedding venues and facilities, offering wedding celebrations of any scale a classic romantic backdrop, legendary service and intimate surroundings that are always integral to creating magical wedding moments,” said Raúl Salcido, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai.
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Re-discover the striking Resort amidst the bustling urban living for a relaxed and mesmerizing experience.
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The Word On “Dubai is a beautiful city, with stunning landmarks both manmade and natural. The hotels are among the best the world can offer, as is the food and hospitality”.
Keirren Carlitos Tourist
“Being a new resident of UAE, I am truly fascinated by the cosmopolitan character of this great country and vast opportunities it offers on many levels. Life here is quite rewarding and full of enjoyment and I look forward to discovering more interesting things here and I have no doubt that the best is yet to come”
Habib El Joukhadar Resident
“Dubai is brilliant, with its opulent hotels, fabulous shops, it was spotless, great people and lots of things to do and see”.
Matt O’Brien Tourist
“I love how one can find beauty all around Dubai, apart from the classy towers and villas, a lot of thought has also gone into landscaping to make the city colourful with green spaces and vibrant flowers, Dubai really is one of the best places to live and work.”
Kate Devall Resident
“I absolutely love Dubai; it was so much fun seeing everything. My favourite part was seeing the underwater zoo and astonished at how huge it was, that too in a mall. I definitely want to visit Dubai again next year"
Kathrine Tang Tourist
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The Street... “Dubai gives business dreams a platform to make into reality, giving everyone an opportunity to bring certain uniqueness to the lifestyle in Dubai” Nimit Moras Resident “Dubai is a city where dreams come true, a city where happiness is everywhere. If you come here once, you will fall in love forever. I love Dubai for its sunny beaches and crazy night life” Lika Tsamalashvili Tourist “Dubai is the best of both worlds, from gorgeous serene beaches to the tallest and most fascinating skyscrapers you would have ever seen. I may have been here for only a couple of years but this cosmopolitan city has grown on me!! Great places to eat or grab a drink, countless malls for shopping, Sky diving to even skiing in middle of the summer!! It’s hard a have a dull moment in this beautiful city!” Asmita Maiti Resident “I visited Dubai during Christmas last year and was surprised to see the malls so beautifully decorated and so many events lined up to celebrate the spirit of Christmas. Dubai really hugs all cultures and traditions and truly aims at being a universal happy place for all." Doella D’silva Tourist “Wall to wall sunshine, exquisite food from all nations, the feeling of safety from the moment you arrive, first class customer service; it was a great experience. Hope to visit Dubai a second time”. Nicole Dawson Tourist
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Friday = Brunch By: Fatima Anwar
Market Café Five kitchens, one restaurant - The Market Café, is an international restaurant located in the indoor atrium garden of the Grand Hyatt. Along with authentic Italian pastas, aromatic Arabic cuisine, full of spices Indian food and a wide array of desserts; Market Café is proud of its impeccable services especially on the busy weekends. Although a little heavy on the pockets, Market Café is definitely worth a try. Friday brunch timings are from 12:30 to 04:00pm and costs AED 219 for adults and AED 99 for kids.
Andiamo A trendy Italian restaurant brings the customs and traditions of northern Italy. A light-hearted, casual yet contemporary ambience welcomes you to a spectacular food journey. The extensive friday brunch at Andiamo includes; antipasti, homemade pastas, wood fired pizzas, desserts from a live station and a gelato bar. Friday Brunches are from 12:30 to 4:00 pm and charges AED 199 for adults, AED 99 for kids and no charge for kids under the age of six. In AED 289 per person, you get free flowing sparkling wines, Italian wines and beers along with the food! 56 | Prima Dubai
Chop Suey By: Fatima Anwar Located in Jumeirah Beach Park Plaza, Chop Suey restaurant boasts of its California Chinese food and ambience in Dubai. It is a great place for an enjoyable casual Friday meal with friends or family with a great menu and within a good price range. Chop Suey offers a great variety of Chinese food. Some of their highlights are, the sweet and sour chicken, excellent deep fried prawns served with innovative wasabi mayo, the delicious crispy shredded duck and their creatively prepared crisp golden prawn toast. The restaurant promises a warm and welcoming service, value for money, and healthy food with fresh ingredients, low sodium and absolutely no MSG (monosodium glutamate). Inspired by the Hollywood movies, Chop Suey provides white take away noodle boxes with chopsticks. They have amazing party packages for up to 20 people and delivery options for selected areas in Sheikh Zayed, Jumeirah, Business Bay and Al Safa.
Chop Suey - A perfect treat for your weekend!
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Al Ain Palace Museum By: Roxanne Mehta
A Trip Back In Time History and culture enthusiasts can get their dose of the past at the Al Ain Palace Museum. Built in 1937, this palace was the former home of the late UAE founder, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who lived here in Al Ain till 1966. It is therefore also known as the Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum. Sheikh Zayed had the palace restored and converted into a museum in 2001. This was done with the intention of preserving past heritage and educating people about the history and lifestyle of the royal family before the unification of the seven emirates made a mark for itself on the world map. This sprawling palace is spread across an area of 15,635 metres. It is set mostly outdoors with green courtyards, flower gardens, 37 rooms and four watch towers about 10 meters high. The palace is low on extravagance but high on practical and simple living â€“ just the way Sheikh Zayed liked it. 60 | Prima Dubai
It is divided into four main zones: the private residence, the Sheikh’s wife’s family court that would accommodate her family members, a section for dignitaries and a zone for the general public. Its simplicity is striking and in stark contrast to today’s established opulence. Back then, an old radio with two dials was the only source of entertainment! Visitors can transport themselves into the past with a walk around the private rooms, courtyards, swimming pools and gardens that once belonged to the Father of the Nation and his family. Each courtyard once served a special purpose; some were residential quarters, some were dedicated to children’s housing, and some were meeting rooms (majlis) where Sheikh Zayed greeted his local and foreign guests.
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Pd | ATTRACTION Every room is well ventilated to keep cool during scorching months. The walls are adorned with classy swords, paintings and interesting wall art depicting the ruler’s life. Lots of interesting exhibits are on display. The family room contains a family tree and a photo portrait gallery of the ruler’s ancestors. Visitors can pose next to a Land Rover – Sheikh Zayed’s vehicle of choice – that’s parked in one of the courtyards, as well as browse through the royal family’s belongings, clothes, children’s toys and kitchenware. With its elegant architecture and modest décor, the Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum offers a glimpse into the region’s humble beginnings. This quaint abode not only makes for a refreshing getaway from big city life but also serves as an inspiring reminder of how far the Emiratis have come in such a short time.
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The Al Ain Palace Museum is open from Saturday to Thusrsday from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm, and on Fridays from 3:00 pm to 7:30 pm. It is closed on Mondays and entry is free for all.
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Where else in the world can you find the most expensive cupcake? Or enjoy the most lavish gold spa treatment? Or how about seeing the sunset from the ground floor and then go up to the 124th floor to witness it again? All this is possible only in the city of glamour and unrivalled entertainment - Dubai. Who wouldnâ€™t want to travel in a luxurious limousine or a classy Rolls Royce and absorb the majesties of the city?
By: Fatima Anwar
Dubai offers numerous tour packages with a well-equipped luxury car and a trained chauffeur to drive you safely around the city of riches. They offer a pick and drop service for your journey, no matter where you reside in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. The cars can easily accommodate up to 10 people, and will take you through the historic Dubai Creek, the relaxing Jumeirah Beach, the ginormous Dubai Mall, the picturesque Madinat Jumeirah and the tallest and spectacular building in the world; Burj Khalifa. 64 | Prima Dubai
The limousines are especially-equipped for a comforting and exotic travelling experience. The interior includes large ice coolers, flat screen TV, DVD player, MP3 player, decorative lighting, dual rear air condition, AM/FM stereo with accessible rear controls, champagne flutes, and ten rock glasses with soft drinks and alcohol on special request. Apart from travelling around the city, you can book these luxurious cars for a special day; wedding, birthday, airport transport, prom or just a ladies night out. On your wedding day, the limousine will pick you up from home, and take you to your destination, where you exchange vows and then to the reception. You will be greeted on a red carpet and will be driven by a professionally dressed chauffeur in a tuxedo. For business travelers, customized limousines are arranged with newspapers, refreshments and a well-trained driver who knows all the routes for a hassle free journey.
Travel ... but with grandeur.
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Al Ain Camel Market
By: Roxanne Mehta
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If the idea of a camel market conjures images of a picturesque sandy square with camels and sellers surrounded by date palms, then the Al Ain Camel Market is far from that picture. Also known as the Souq al Jamal, this market is located behind Bawadi Mall on Mezyad Road. This very simple and practical livestock market not only houses camels but also goats and sheep that are reared for sale, livestock and veterinary supplies.
The camels are the main attraction for buyers and tourists alike. This isn’t some fancy camel park but a place decent enough to get up, close and personal with the animals. You’ll find camels of all ages and breeds kept in enclosures where they are given a sufficient supply of food and water. Accompanied by their caretakers, these camels come from as far as Pakistan and Sudan. Some are reared for livestock and some grow up to make it to the races.
Besides haggling with buyers, traders are more than happy to talk to tourists about their animals and share stories. They will offer to give you a tour around the pens and even allow children to sit on one of their camels. A word of caution though, this costs a steep price (AED 200 – 500). Many naïve foreigners have found themselves padlocked into paying such exorbitant amounts or bargaining for a lower price. The sellers are adamant and do not relent till some money is coughed up. The best thing to do is decide on a price before getting lured into such a tour
(a “baby camel” is the typical bait) or you can simply walk around the pens and take permission before clicking pictures. The market is open throughout the week from sunrise to sunset, and entry is free. It isn’t exactly a tourist spot and it is therefore advised to dress conservatively. Nonetheless, this livestock market is a nice way to get acquainted with camels and understand this region’s historical relationship with the animal that they call the ship of the desert.
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Light & Sound Show By: Prerna Sonawane
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Return Of The Pharaohs The vibrant lights and spectacular graphics on the statues and walls across the central courtyard harmonized with traditional Arabic music is what fashions this unique show in The Wafi Mall. Wafi city is fabricated in an ancient Egypt theme with small pyramids, 3 stained-glass pyramids, pharaoh statues and walls illustrated with images of pharaohs in stone and more. â€˜Return of the Pharaohsâ€™, the light and sound show is displayed across the central courtyard every evening at 9:30 pm. Hop on a time machine and disembark in ancient Egypt and be part of the remarkable history and culture under the stars with an extraordinary display of lights and sound which was made possible due to the avant-garde special effects by a French company. Witness the first of its kind show and learn about the Egyptian history through an artistic and ingenious style. Prima Dubai | 73
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Bedioun Oasis Camp By: Prerna Sonawane
A brilliant setting put together, to take you back in time to the Bedouin lifestyle. It is the first Bedouin-style desert camp in Ras Al Khaimah, and is now known as the hidden jewel of the desert. It offers visitors a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore desert living. Using only traditional and natural materials to survive, the Bedouin Oasis Desert Camp gives you a perspective on how easy life is today.
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This spot is a perfect getaway to experience the authentic Bedouin life fused with indulgence and luxury.
Where Wanderers Come To Settle
When approaching the camp, you get a glimpse of beautiful lights dancing in the trees, leading down to the exclusionary oasis below. With true Bedouin style, the camp uses no electricity, and instead illuminates the place with candles, antique lamps, gas lights and camp fire to provide heating and lighting. They also use real goat-hair tents, cushions for seating, a traditional Arabic barbeque and an underground oven. Sit by the bonfire, under the blanket of stars whilst you enjoy smoking shisha and chatting the night away. Depending on the package you opt for, there are various activities to keep you entertained such as camel trekking, which is highly recommended, belly dancing, Arabic music and henna application. You can also make special requests for a falcon show with dinner; falconry is one of the most ancient sports practiced in the UAE.
Following the barbeque dinner and Bedouin Oasis activities, it is possible to stay overnight. Away from the busy city, the overnight stay is a truly indelible experience. Next morning, wake up to the sounds of nature with the desert birds chirping in the background and watch the splendid sunrise, while you enjoy a light breakfast in the vast expanse filled with serenity and content.
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The camp has environment friendly washrooms with outdoor showers and other amenities such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and towels for your comfort. In addition, a range of tents and bedding are available to meet your requests. It has turned into one of the most sought-after destinations for special occasions, themed travel, events and gatherings with family or friends. For instance, whether you wish to propose to your loved one under the stars or surprise your guests in style, the Arabian Incentive Guest Relations is at your disposal to create a night you will cherish forever. The Bedouin Oasis Camp can be rented on an exclusive basis any day of the week.
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Located over an hourâ€™s drive from Dubai Marina, this camp in the Ras Al Khaimah desert sits relatively close by the famous Banyan Tree Al Wadi, although yet far enough to be completely secluded. It costs AED 190 per person per night, minimum booking of five guests. Pickup and drop-off can be arranged at an extra price. Gear up for an extravagant night of traditions and old style living packed with a whole lot of fun for everyone. Itâ€™s going to be a night to treasure infinitely.
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The Wild Lifestyle By: Prerna Sonawane
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Unlike any other wildlife exhibit in the UAE; this unique zoo is one you cannot leave out of your places-to-visit list, especially if travelling with those curious little ones. This massive zoo located in the city of heritage, Al Ain with the stunning backdrop of the Jabal Hafeet Mountain is the home to over 4,000 animals. It has transformed itself into a reputed international conservation community by creating natural habitats for animals to live freely as well as conserving and preserving endangered species. It is one of the largest visitorsâ€™ attractions in Al Ain and has one of the largest collections of Arabian Oryx. The numbers keep increasing as Al Ain zoo has new born animals all year round. With various exhibits to watch out for; maps are available in the form of brochures at the entrance. Start your Safari with the Zoo train and explore the different areas of the zoo before you proceed to the Arabian Mixed Exhibit to observe the Arabian Oryx and Sand gazelles in their natural habitat in an open range exhibit.
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Visit the Cats House to see one of the world's largest Big Cat collections including African lions, African leopards, jaguars, pumas and tigers as well as the popular white tiger exhibit. Other members of the big cat family such as the North East African cheetah, the Arabian leopard, White lions and Arabian sand cats are on display at the core zoo. Slither your way over to the Reptile House and look out for the Diadem Snake of the UAE, the Red-Tailed Boa of South America, the African Spur Thighed Tortoise of arid land in North Africa, the Spiny Tailed Agama of North Africa and Arabia and the Corn Snake of the USA and the UAE Sand Boa - an unusual looking snake belonging to the Python family.
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Besides these exhibits there are a variety of activities one can be a part off. The “Petting Zoo” created in the form of a local farm or get up-close experiences with Giraffe feeding. Be amazed by the intellectual skills of parrots in the Parrot Show. Witness the acceleration and bewildering hunting skills of falcons, eagles, vultures and owls at the Bird Show! The most exciting feature is “The Night Safari”, giving you an exclusive peek of the nocturnal adventures. For an appetizing meal or snacks, visit the flamingo café, Zarafa restaurant, Oryx snacks, Karibu snacks or the Barad snacks. Zoo shuttle services and a special entrance for special needs visitors have been shaped.
Enter this animal kingdom and be a part of this unique captivating experience during the day or night.
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Magic Planet By: Roxanne Mehta
It really is all fun and games at Magic Planet Magic Planet claims to have invented fun and it’s a declaration that they quite live up to. This indoor family entertainment center boasts an exciting selection of games, rides and attractions that are bound to spoil every kid. It’s a place where even grownups can take a break from adulthood and find their inner child. You’ll find Magic Planet in most malls across Dubai. Its outlet at Mall of The Emirates is the largest in the city with award winning games as well as an XD theatre— the first 4D theatre in the UAE and amongst the first in the world. 84 | Prima Dubai
High energy folk can make the most of racing simulators, arcade games and state-of-the-art joyrides. Defeat dinosaurs in a virtual Jurassic Park, dance away your blues at the Dance Dance Revolution booth or race away in your favorite car in a fast paced ride. Tickets won at redemption games can be collected and exchanged for prizes. For those seeking to unwind, a game of pool is just around the corner. Magic Planetâ€™s entertaining appeal makes it the perfect destination for an enjoyable day with family and friends. With safety measures intact and staff always smiling and ready to help, it is also a great place to keep the little ones occupied for hours during your shopping sprees. It is especially ideal to visit during Dubaiâ€™s scorching summer months when most outdoor activities are rendered impractical. Magic Planet is also a great turf for birthday celebrations. With a host of attractive packages on offer, organizing a birthday party is a piece of cake. Each package is thoughtfully planned to include age-appropriate games and fun activities. These packages come with everything youâ€™ll ever need for a birthday party such as decorations, invitation cards, customized meals, prizes, gifts, a party host or supervisor amongst other party essentials. You can even avail of extras like a magician and face painting activities. Magic Planet definitely warrants multiple visits which is why they offer schemes and discounts to keep patrons coming back for more.
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Football Clubs By: Roxanne Mehta
The world’s most popular sport is alive and kicking with a number of football clubs all over the UAE. Many of these clubs were formed decades ago; some as early as the 1940s. The Sharjah Club is a jewel in the UAE’s football crown. It was the first winner of the official UAE football league (1973-1974).With a record of eight wins in the President’s Cup, Sharjah has earned itself the title of “The King” in UAE’s football chapter. The Al Ain Club won the first division league championship ten times – a UAE record! Its outstanding achievement is winning the Asia Champion’s League (2003) – a feat unachieved by any UAE club. Al Wasl Club is a part of the renowned multi-sport Al Wasl Sports Club. It is the only team to have participated in all the UAE Premier Division Seasons. First UAE club to win a medal overseas. Al Ahli Club holds the privilege of being the first club to win 2 leagues and championships in a single season (1974-75). Dubai Allstars Football Club is for expats in Dubai, it aims to give the amateur football community the resources to play in a safe and competitive environment. It currently has over 70 players from different nationalities. Al Nasr Football Club is considered to be the first and oldest club in the UAE. Other notable football clubs in the UAE include Baniyas club, Al Dhafra Club, Ajman Club, Al Jazira Club, Emirates Club and Al Shabab. 86 | Prima Dubai
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Dubai Bowling Center By: Cezalyn Villagomez Dubai Bowling Centre, located in Al Barsha, is a recreational place for family, friends, and colleagues to have fun and work out. The Dubai Bowling Centre offers facilities for one and all; this place is perfect to have some quality time especially for those seeking an all-inclusive experience of dining, fun and working out. The facilities offered at the Dubai Bowling Centre are the Bowling Alleys, H&M Gym and Fiesta Zone Café. Bowling is a popular recreational sport among the residents of Dubai; it is an activity where families and friends can spend their free time and have a great weekend. If you’re a beginner, the staff can assist you with the rules of the game and how to throw aim at the pins; they also provide you with shoes specialized for Bowling. If you’re a professional player, the Bowling Centre organizes competitions and leagues. So bring out your competitive spirit, win prices, and receive trophies and recognition. Master the Game! Meanwhile, if you intend to burn off some calories, lose that extra weight by engaging in some rigorous activities at the H&M Gym. Qualified trainers to a selection of equipment and amenities are at your disposal, enough to keep you motivated. On the other hand, if you’re feeling hungry and need of a quick bite; Fiesta Zone Café brings you the hospitality and an array of food and snacks to satisfy your taste buds after a fun-filled day of bowling or a tiring workout session. Bowling Centre also hosts parties for children, this place is the ideal choice as kids can hang out with their friends; spend their childhood days creating great memories in a safe and fun environment. They have arcades and activities to keep them entertained all day. Adults can also have fun here at the Bowling Centre; they offer attractive corporate packages that will make your experience worthwhile. The operating hours are from Saturday to Wednesday, 10 AM to 12 AM, Thursday 10 AM to 2 AM, and Fridays 10 AM to 1:30 AM. Why not make the most of a weekend? It’s definitely worth it. 88 | Prima Dubai
Keep It Rolling
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Dubai Desert Road Run By: Cezalyn Villagomez
Run under the Dubai Sun Ever since 2011, Dubai Desert Road Run has been getting bigger and better, with the increase in the number of participants as well as more runners of all ages joining in every year. If you’re up for a challenge, come and join this years’ race amidst the desert. Bring your family and friends and go run under the Dubai sun. Before signing up for the race, make sure you are physically fit and be prepared, as it’s not going to be a piece of cake, running under the burning heat of the sun especially during summer time. But don’t worry about dehydration and fatigue; there will be medical teams and paramedics supervising the event. Besides, you will receive all the motivation you need with the crowd cheering you on to cross the finish line.
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There are different categories of races at the Dubai Desert Road Run; the 3 kilometer fun run (ages 6 and above), 3 kilometer junior run (ages 6 to 18 years) and the 10 kilometer intense race (ages 14 and above). The 10 kilometer run consists of two laps around The Sevens Stadium. Trophies are awarded to the winners of each race. This is a great opportunity to show off your athletic abilities, improve your stamina, be fit and bring out your competitive side. The Dubai Desert Road Run is an annual event awaited by many for its unique desert challenge. No matter what you rank, nothing beats the sense of accomplishment on reaching the end of the line. It makes you strive harder and get better for the next time this run comes back. For each race there are entry fees, the 3 kilometer fun run is AED 40, the 3 kilometer junior run is AED 50 while the 10 kilometer run is AED 80. `
Challenge yourself to this heated run, if you have what it takes!
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Dubai is a multi-cultural nation, with approximately 85% of the people residing in this beautiful city being expats from all over the world. Various nationalities have brought along with them a piece of their cultures and traditions into Dubai. Be it their food, lifestyles, even their cultural dances has grabbed the attention of Dubai.
International Dance Classes In Dubai By: Cezalyn Villagomez There are vast varieties of dance classes in Dubai conducted by different dance organizations that either came from their country of origin or have been established within the Dubai by enthusiasts. DUCTAC, at Mall of the Emirates, is one of the wellknown centers for dance classes. They offer contemporary dance, hip-hop, ballet, live dance classes for all ages. If youâ€™re into something more exotic, the Exhale Dubai specializes in African Dance where the routines are choreographed to help work your body into shape. Salsa, a Latin dance, known all over the world for its upbeat dance that will make you jive and sway your way around the dance floor, is taught for free by the Pachanga Restaurant at Hilton JBR every Thursday and Friday.
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How about some sensuous tango? The infamous romantic dance from South America, that sways the hearts of both men and women, can be learned at the Latin Soul Dubai at Tecom. They have classes you can enroll yourself and your special someone, to have an exhilarating experience that can help spice up your love life. Another famous dance form originating from the Caribbean country of Cuba; the ChaCha, can be mastered at Arthur Murray Dubai at JLT where you can learn how to ooze out that inner confidence through its energetic and peppy body movements. How about a 30â€™s dance rewind? Originating from America and the Caribbean, Jazz can take you for a classical twirl as you lace up those tap dancing shoes and pull over your tail coats. The Cello Music and Ballet Centre, which is situated in various locations across the city, such as Springs, Arabian Ranches, Oasis Centre etc. can help take you back in time and have a gala time as they teach you how to boogie. Dancers from around the globe have come to Dubai to showcase what they do best and being a tradition-rich city, Dubai couldnâ€™t possibly miss out on sharing its own trademark; The Belly Dance. A traditional dance, popular around the Middle East, has greatly influenced different dance cultures around the world with its drum beats that make hips sway curvaceously. The Oriental Dance Academy, offers Belly Dance classes to ladies where you can also earn a certificate as a professional belly dancer. Dubai is an amazing city, where you can learn possibly anything as you explore and experience what it has to offer. Dance classes in Dubai are a great way to bridge different culture, to learn about one another and share experiences, so why not come and dance with us in Dubai?
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Pantry Cafe By: Fatima Anwar
An English Delight in Arabic Style! Considering the café custom in the emirates, I took a stroll to Pantry Café this time and it was a thorough pleasure. With its welcoming ambience and polite staff, this café is perfect to cheer you up after a long day or to gear you up for an amazing day ahead. 98 | Prima Dubai
Unlike the usual cafes, this one focuses on a homely environment. The glass door with captions and quotes stirs the creativity within you. The chalk board with the Pantry Café facts sets a casual environment for diners giving some insight to the café. To get started, we ordered lemonade and orange juice. While the fresh orange juice was quite bitter, I loved my lemonade that came with a spark of mint. The slow music playing in the background provided the perfect score to the silent view of the road streaming with vehicles. The brick walls with inbuilt shelves were neatly decorated with a range of products such as flavored oil and Sarabeth’s jams and jars. From their latest menu we selected Riped Salad and Jumbo Prawns for starters. The fresh salad with all organic and local seasonal vegetables showered with feta cheese was wonderful. We devoured the sweet and spicy Jumbo Prawns glazed with buffalo sauce. For main course, we ordered Thai Prawn Curry with rice, Stuffed Eggplant and a Buffalo Chicken Burger. My friend and I just had to savor the coconut aroma before beginning our meal. The milky curry with baby corn and broccoli was light and healthy.
The layered eggplants stuffed with mushrooms were beautifully presented and equally appetizing. The buffalo chicken burger served with pineapple and smoked chicken was simply mouthwatering. For dessert, we moved outside to the terrace to make the most of the pleasant breezy night, chatting and sipping their exceptionally exotic chocolate-smelling Peacock Bleu Tea that came with a hint of almond and vanilla. Perfection at its peak! The three-tier Peanut Butter Pie was divine. It had a layer of cheese cake sandwiched between a thin layer of chocolate and peanut butter. Going by the chefâ€™s recommendation, we tried the Baked French Toast, prepared with organic eggs. Hands down to the chef for this masterpiece with mascarpone cheese spread served with maple syrup and raspberry jam. With its English style, French art and Arabic hospitality, Pantry CafĂŠ is a wonderful place for breakfast, lunch, dinner and all the meals in between. Prima Dubai | 99
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Spin Dubai By: Prerna Sonawane
Spin Dubai is a great spot to meet new people with its casual yet chic ambience. They’ve also set up an exclusive social network called ‘Spin Social’, which allows you to challenge friends to a game of ping-pong anywhere in the world.
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The Ping-Pong Edition
As if that wasn’t enough to demand your attention, they have a palette of glow-in-the-dark paint at your disposal to bring out your inner Picasso; put your artistic skills to the test and transform your buddy’s face into your very own canvas, and paint each other colorful while you rock the night away.
The first few thoughts that come to mind while entering a club are – party, dance, drinks and music. What if you could combine those with some sporty fun? The famous SPiN Galatic concept makes its mark for the first time outside North America at Wafi, Dubai. This high-end club is brought to you by award-winning actress Susan Surandon and partners with an alluring concept of Ping-Pong fun. SPiN is a part of an American franchise with branches in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto, which set the trend of uniting sports and social networking under one roof. This trendy new venue launched only last year, boasts of eleven top notch designer Ping-Pong tables, a luxury bar and delicious cuisine. It has already climbed up a number of spots nearing the league of the top clubs in Dubai’s competitive nightlife. Spin Dubai aims at setting a fairly new trend among the masses with the notion that nothing beats the fun of hanging out with your friends, playing some good old Ping-Pong whilst sipping on an array of yum cocktails in a clubby atmosphere. And right they are! You can even host a large scale event or party at this unique club.
To add the element of tradition, a shisha lounge will soon be available on the outdoor terrace. This stylish hub is the ultimate destination to socialize over a few drinks, mingle and play, while their acclaimed resident DJs spin the night away.
Play Ping Pong, Not–War.
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360° Club By: Prerna Sonawane
Voted in the Top 100 clubs in the world for three years running by UK DJ Magazine, it is one of the world’s most impressive clubs. As the name suggests, it is a circular club with a 360 degree spectacular view of the surrounding water, located at the end of Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s Marina walkway, next to the 7-star Burj Al Arab. It’s a double level club with the ground floor being indoors with posh décor and a dance floor while the upper level has its own natural roof of stars, providing great views with a simple yet chic setting. It is the perfect spot to watch the sunset. Make yourself comfortable on one of the Arabic style couches or seat yourself on the deck chairs while you relax with shisha and drinks from the bar. The loud music from every era will definitely drag you to the dance floor and leave you with unforgettable memories, with some of the best guest DJ's spinning 102 | Prima Dubai
the beat, including Hernan Cattaneo, Spirit Catcher and Milton Jackson. They have plenty of events lined up daily, so take your pick. Some of the popular events are the ‘brunch must sea’; enjoy afternoon and evening brunches every Thursday and Friday, diva ladies night every Tuesday; receive a complimentary welcome drink along with two cocktails and happy hours; every day except Fridays from 17:00 to 20:00. However, make sure you are on the guest list to gain entry and pack a fat wallet. The superbly showy crowd arrives in two sessions: one at 5pm onwards for the sundowners and the other after-8pm, which don’t leave until the wee hours of the morning. Strolling through the walkway, the blend of the overwhelming serenity and the upbeat music makes you swing, move and groove.
The 360 club is seasonal and is open from October through to late May/early June. Entry starts from 4pm until late.
An ideal place for a dazzling night out - bar under the blazing stars.
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It is easily the best date restaurant in Dubai with its alluring backdrop and brilliant hospitability.
By: Prerna Sonawane
The beautiful 101 restaurant is located at the palatial One and Only Royal Mirage, the Palm. Once we reached the hotel, we were in for a surprise; a buggy awaited us, to be escorted to the stunning restaurant. The buggy drive was for about 5 minutes, but those few minutes were filled with breathtaking views of the Atlantis in the near distance, the luxurious villas with their own private beaches and the moon reflecting in the waters until we reached 101. We followed the wooden boardwalk that led up to the restaurant. It featured sail-like canopies and gentle lighting, courtesy of glowing cubes.
The outdoor seating was amazing with each table having a fire stand to keep you warm while you enjoy the city lights twinkle in the distance. The indoors have floor-to-ceiling glass windows with a circular bar area on the left, with a wall covered in champagne bottles and good music playing in the background, and a chic dining area to the right. We sat indoors, and browsed through the extensive wine list, while the waitron listed out the specials. The table presentation was impeccable with a basket of assorted bread, garlic toast with cheese and olive oil to get you started. We began our journey of the French cuisine with the ‘Mediterranean tiger prawn salad’; fresh grilled tiger prawns with shaved parmesan cheese, red pepper dressing – ‘delicieux’ and healthy, and a fine Italian wine to tickle our taste buds. 104 | Prima Dubai
For the appetizers, we decided to try something new, the ‘rabbit and foie gras terrine’; with toasted farmhouse bread with two big cubes of rabbit meat. I have to mention, it has quite a distinctive flavor with a smoky and smooth texture, and if you are not used to it, you may not enjoy it as much as the French people do. Next we tried the famous ‘cheese camomere’; which came in 3 dishes, with bread, the cheese and stir fried potatoes. Both are to be dipped in the warm cheesy haven of cheesiness. The cheese had a strong flavor, but if you love cheese or as the French say ‘fromage’, this is the dish you must have. We were almost full by this time, as they serve good portions of food. But it was time to dig in the main course. My friend and I decided to go with the ‘La Plachette’ and ‘Lobster paella’. The plachette came in three kinds of pork strips, ranging from a light to a strong flavor, with bread and butter to accompany the dish. As someone who loves pork, I felt it was inviting and savory, but not that great. While the lobster paella was heavenly, the knife cutting through the meat with ease and the freshness of the lobster with the rice was enticing. However, the food did take quite some time to arrive, but anyway, we were in no rush. Another aspect I loved about 101 was the chef visiting to every table, it brought a sense of warmth and cordiality. The food is slightly over-priced and may not live up to its striking setting but it is guaranteed to make your evening extraordinary.
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City Lounging By: Prerna Sonawane
1897 Bar A sophisticated bar placed at the luxurious Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates is an inviting place for grownup gatherings. This elegant bar with its low-level lighting, plush purple and polished wood decor is the perfect setting for a relaxing evening. It’s not the kind of bar you’d expect on your usual Thursday plans, with their massive variety of unexpected drinks, liquors and cocktails – perhaps a lavender and black pepper martini?, a cigar menu, light-hearted meals and some chilled beats to get the mood going.
Barrels Pub A well-known sports bar known for its large widescreen TVs and individual screens right at your table is located at Majestic Hotel in Bur Dubai. A cozy setting with customized barrel tables, warm hospitality and a great pub-style menu of food, brews, wines and cocktails are all you need while you enjoy the championship’s league, cricket, F1 and more. Open daily from noon until 3 am. 106 | Prima Dubai
Buddha Bar The renowned Buddha bar has set itself to be one of the most popular bars in Dubai. This restaurant-bar-lounge is located at the famous Grosvenor’s House. Its interior oozes grace and style with its oriental-themed décor, a gargantuan Buddha dominating the room and the DJs spinning the latest music. It consists of a Vietnamese lounge, sushi bar and Japanese private rooms; so take your pick. Even though it delivers an international exotic cuisine, it offers a pure original experience. Tip to the wise: Book in advance as this place is packed every night.
Caters Pub Carters is a gastro pub, sports bar and restaurant at the beautiful Wafi City, offering a colonial vibe, comfortable surroundings and a fantastic menu of international cuisine including special gourmet delights. It makes a great venue for business lunches, dinner and special evenings with friends. The Al Fresco dining plus Carter’s Carvery Brunch is a must try.
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Fiber Magees Secretly located behind the stables bar on Sheikh Zayed road, this Irish pub has made its name as a quality place serving great beer as well as a diverse food menu with a mixture of British and fusion fare at low prices. Its relaxed ambience and friendly atmosphere makes you feel at home. This pub is great for a chilled night, or if you love sports this is the place to go. They also have pub quiz and a ladies drink promotion every Tuesday. So head on early to get a table.
Koubba Bar One of the most luxurious lounge bars in Dubai at Madinat Jumeirah surrounded with breathtaking views of the Burj Al Arab and the Madinat Jumeirah canals for a beautiful night out. The lavish terrace setting with Arabesque lanterns, plush colors and comfy sofas create a great place to watch the sunset. Enjoy their sunset-themed cocktails or swing to the musical talents of Heart and Soul, performing Monday to Saturday. Koubba bar truly makes every moment perfect. 108 | Prima Dubai
Okku A new style of contemporary Japanese cuisine comes to Dubai at the H Hotel. Indulge in some fine Japanese delicacies prepared by celebrity chefs from Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. They have cooked for the likes of Madonna, George Clooney, Bill Clinton, and Denzel Washington who are among the few. Besides the great food, enjoy a wide variety of delicious drinks, high-end service, style and design combined with a celebrity atmosphere. This is the place to see and be seen.
Zuma A popular bar set at the Dubai International Financial Centre in the vicinity of the world’s tallest building; Burj Khalifa. Zuma offers a Japanese izakaya style of dining as well as a sake lounge in an informal, yet sophisticated setting. The bar and lounge attracts a mix crowd with their superb drinks, seductive lighting and the resident DJ’s artistic acoustics. This place is addictive, once you go, you can’t stop.
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Benihana By: Prerna Sonawane Benihana is one of the oldest Japanese restaurants with a modern outlook. I can graciously say I have had one of the best experiences at Benihana, located at Amwaj Rotana in JBR. As we walked in, we were warmly greeted by every member of the restaurant and escorted to our seats for the wonderful and hilarious “Teppanyaki Experience”. The simple yet modern touch with colors of red, olive green incorporated with wooden and granite décor gave this place a chic look. Teppanyaki experience was introduced by Hiroaki Aoki (owner) as a means of cooking and entertaining guests simultaneously as the chef prepares your meal in front of you whilst performing amazing cutlery stunts and stomach-clinching jokes. We began our appetizing journey with the ‘Gyoza’, a home-made steamed chicken dumpling served with a flavorful layo sauce; the chicken was so soft and tender with the layo sauce being the perfect addition. One has to try the tempura in any Japanese restaurant, so we chose the ‘King prawn tempura’, this lightly battered dish with crispy fried wasabi mayo and Tokyo pickles was like visiting prawn heaven with a delicious ginger radish sauce to accompany it. 112 | Prima Dubai
Whilst we were busy munching down on the appetizers, the chef arrived to start our awaited teppanyaki experience. I would definitely recommend everyone to try this, it will surpass your expectations. It includes a beautifully concocted ‘Miso’ soup, which is good for digestion, a salad, main course and desserts. Chef Reyner was extremely witty and made our meal filled with laughter and deliciousness as we chose the ‘Benihana Special’ – Half Caribbean lobster tail and beef tenderloin as well as ‘Rocky’s choice’ – sirloin and steak. He cooked these meals with amazing precision and we devoured one of the juiciest lobster and steak grills. After almost filling our tummies with the scrumptious meal, we headed outdoors to be seated amongst the litup palm trees and candle light tables with the beautiful weather as an added bonus to dive into the dessert paradise. You must try the ‘Hammaki’; a Japanese eggroll filled with a rich chocolate & caramel banana filling with a scoop of Vanilla ice cream – OISHII! (Delicious) And the ‘Mochi’; this is the traditional Japanese sweet made in ice cream bonbons with mango and blueberries on the side – Divine! Before we could take our leave, they let us try out the various ‘Sake’s’; an alcoholic Japanese beverage made of rice and water which can be served either warm or cold from a choice of more than 150 varieties. It is usually consumed with a meal. We also tasted the traditional ‘Umeshu’ plum wine with a rich & aromatic natural sweet plum flavor.
It is one of the best Japanese cuisines combined with entertainment, laughter, great food presentation and friendly personnel. In other words, as the Japanese say SUGOI!
Japanese With A Twist
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By: Cezalyn Villagomez
Arabian Travel Market is famous for bringing in new developments around the Middle East Region. This event is held annually, where the travel and tourism sectors and professionals within the Middle East showcase an array of products and services as well as their destinations. The event is held at the Dubai World Trade Centre located just along the Sheikh Zayed Road. To be a part of this event, whether as an exhibitor or visitor, it is mandatory to register. So make sure you are geared up to be a part of this event; talk business and prospects and plans for the future of the travel and tourism industry. As we all know, Middle East is a growing travel and tourism destination. This gives the region an edge to make new developments and improvements within the Middle East and around the world. The event not only attracts professionals but also investors and governments from different countries. As one of the leading industries in the world, the Arabian Travel Market is a big opportunity for the travel and tourism sectors and professionals to manage and upgrade their networks. This can go a long way in aiding their plans of expansion and promote growth prospects in their business as well as create footholds for future projects.
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If you are a professional in this industry, this can be a great opportunity to promote your products and services, whilst updating yourself about the current position and trends of the tourism foray. It makes for a great platform to form new connections and partnerships. In addition, the Arabian Travel Market has a Buyers Club which you can join if you meet their criteria. For this, it is vital that the purchasing power of the company you are associated with rests in your hands. You can find out whether you are eligible to be a part of the Club during the registration process. Your company could be a tour operator, travel agency, wholesaler or any other tourism & travel organizer companies. The Arabian Travel Market takes place annually, and for the year 2014, the dates are set from the 5th to 8th of May. As admission is free for all, do ensure that you register well in advance and attend the whole event to not miss what the event has to offer for you and your company. Come forth and mark your attendance.
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LCSet Business Up in Dubai
By: Roxanne Mehta
Dubai— An Entrepreneur’s Paradise Dubai is a business haven that inspires and encourages the ideas for tomorrow. From its strategic location in the Middle East to innovative opportunities and resources, Dubai has become the perfect launch pad for all types of businesses. Business in this land of opportunity can be exciting, challenging and lucrative. Its geographical proximity to a diverse set of markets, state-of-the-art resources and abounding opportunities make Dubai an entrepreneur’s paradise. To ensure a conducive and lucrative business environment within legal frameworks, the UAE Government has drafted laws and put strict rules and regulations in place. There are seven categories of business organizations that can be established in the UAE; a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is one of them. Each of these is bound by Federal Law and must adhere to the rules and regulations outlined for them.
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Setting up a an LLC A Limited Liability Company allows you to engage in local trade and services. Global trade comes under its purview as well. The company can conduct any type of activity except insurance, banking, or money investment. Its formation requires a minimum of two and maximum of 50 people whose liability is limited to their shares in the company’s capital. It is mandatory for such a company to have local sponsorship from a UAE national or a company fully owned by a national. The local sponsor is a partner who is given 51% of the company’s stake, whilst the other shareholder(s) get 49% equity. Though this ratio is fairly rigid, UAE law permits flexible, differential profit sharing agreements. The sponsor can be paid a fixed annual fee or a percentage of sales or profits. The former is the most popular option as it requires no account disclosure procedure. This fee arrangement can be part of the legal contract between the entrepreneur and sponsor. Most companies with expatriate partners prefer an LLC as this is the only option that allows them a maximum legal ownership of 49% for a trading license. Setting up an LLC requires the following steps.
• The Dubai Economic Department will then issue the license to the company. • Finally, the company must be registered with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Dubai. The LLC offers several advantages which is why it is the most preferred option to establish a company. It offers unrivalled access to Dubai and the wider UAE economy. Investors earn a strong business presence as well as enjoy the benefits of owning an Investor Visa. No minimum capital is required except for a few special licenses; the size, nature and business goals are factors that determine whether a company is subjected to minimum capital requirements. Investors can also easily open global corporate bank accounts. The assets and profits created will be under the company’s name and not the local partner. As a city that is constantly growing by leaps and bounds, Dubai strives to go the distance and raise the bar for itself by encouraging ground-breaking ideas and new age sustainable industries that will change the course of the future. Whether your business is big or small, there’s plenty of room for everyone to get a piece of the pie Dubai has to offer.
• Select your company’s official name under which all business activities will be conducted. This will have to be approved by the Licensing Department of the Dubai Economic Department. • Draw up your company’s Memorandum of Association. It must include the following: - Trade name of the company - Company objectives - Head office - Duration - Names of shareholders, their nationalities addresses, and places of residence - Amount of capital, share of each shareholder, and a statement of capital paid in kind (if any) - Names and nationalities of company managers - Distribution of profits and losses • This Memorandum of Association must then be attested in the Dubai Courts by a Notary Public. • Next, seek approval from the Economic Department and apply for entry in the Commercial Register. • After the approval is sanctioned, your company will be entered into the Commercial Register and have its Memorandum of Association published in the Ministry of Economy and Commerce’s Bulletin. The license will then be issued by the Economic Department.
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By: Fatima Anwar
Dubai is often referred to as the ‘youth society’, since it caters a high population of people under the age of 30. The young generation believes that Dubai offers substantial international level opportunities to its people. One such student who got lucky is a 19 year old Lebanese teenager, Jihad Bidran. He earned the title of the ‘world’s first young perfumer’ and won a prize money of AED 45,000 from the leading perfume brand; Ajmal Perfumes and contest partner, Fermenich. Jihad Bidran is a student of Amity University who participated in the contest organized by Ajmal Perfumes on the 15th of November 2013. He surpassed 35 contestants and made it to the top 5 and was proclaimed the winner after the final round. Jihad Bidran made four trials during the contest and submitted the best one, which was a chypre-based fragrance with the richness of bergamonte and shamama. 120 | Prima Dubai
The Judges panel included, Hamid Merati, Abdullah Ajmal, Laila Suhail, Ali Mostafa and Jones Saleh al Braik. The judges sniffed five creative fragrances and rated them accordingly. They unanimously agreed that Jihadâ€™s perfume completely synchronized with the floral themed French mukhallat, which was the contest goal. At such a young age, Jihad did not just wow a panel of six elite judges but also earned the opportunity to intern for three months with Swiss Perfume and get his scent launched in the market by Ajmal Groups. Jihad bagged an additional sum of AED 5000 for being the most voted contestant on a social media site with the support of his friends and family. Dubai is definitely proud of its young generation sprouting with talents and accomplishing great achievements. Dubai looks forward to organize numerous such events to catalyze the growth of the youth and provide them with tremendous opportunities and platforms to showcase their abilities. Prima Dubai | 121
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Masdar City By: Roxanne Mehta
The City Of The Future! Currently being constructed at the crossroads of science fiction and reality is Abu Dhabi’s city of the future – Masdar City. With the intention of building a commercially viable city with the best technological and sustainable solutions, the Abu Dhabi Government is building its very own one-of-a-kind city. Located 17 kilometers from Downtown Abu Dhabi, Masdar City is an initiative by the Government of Abu Dhabi through Mubadala Development Company. This future urban development has been designed by British architectural firm Foster + Partners, thriving only on solar energy and other renewable energy sources. Masdar is an Arabic word meaning “the source”. And Masdar City proposes to be the source of knowledge, innovation and human capital development in the areas of renewable energy and clean technologies. It is set to become the world’s first eco-friendly city as a global cleantech hub offering an attractive environment to all renewable energy industries. All aspects of Masdar City have been designed to encourage organizations to focus on their core services by using in-city state-of-the-art resources. This first of its kind business location will put companies in the heart of this sustainable and dynamic environment. Its strategic location is within perfect reach for MENA and Asian markets to embark on their business missions to switch to cleantech and renewable power products and services.
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True to its clean intentions, Masdar City is being developed using materials that produce the least overall carbon footprint. Since the concrete used is a significant contributor to the city’s carbon footprint, several steps have been employed to enhance the sustainability of this concrete. The green ready-mix concrete produced on site has been found to be more economical and stronger than conventional alternatives. Waste steel, concrete and timber are collected at a 12-hectare Material Recycling Centre, and are later reused at different construction sites. Contractors have been redirecting almost 96% of construction waste from landfill and using it for building purposes. Waste wood is reused while other wood is turned to mulch for landscaping purposes. The architectural landscape of Masdar City takes on styles inspired from different parts of the Arabian region that blends modern practicality with eco-sustainability. The city and street grid are oriented in a manner that maximizes shading at street level, minimizes thermal gain on building walls and facilitates the flow of cool breezes throughout the city. Masdar City is already a buzzing community with several pilot projects underway. Research and development, technology testing and construction of the world’s most sustainable buildings are also in the pipeline. The first six buildings of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology campus are complete and operational. These include three residential buildings, two laboratory buildings and a Knowledge Centre. Students are accommodated at the campus hostel. Retail, food and beverage outlets are now open. A monthly organic farmer’s market and street fair goes on from April to October.
Masdar City is currently powered by a 10MW solar photovoltaic plant – the largest of its kind in the Middle East. Future power sources include a solar beam that is currently being tested. This ‘Beam Down Project’ is a joint pilot project between Masdar Institute, Japan’s Cosmo Oil Company and the Tokyo Institute of Technology. It will have the potential to generate electricity from sunlight in a more resourceful and inexpensive way compared to existing technologies. Most of the electricity will be sourced from photovoltaic panels, so choosing those technologies befitting Abu Dhabi’s climate is essential. Over 35 different panels are being tested, including crystalline and thin-film. First round test results have led to the selection of roof-mounted PV panels used for one of the Masdar Institute buildings.
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Getting around this new age city will be convenient and eco-friendly using clean-energy transport solutions. These will include electric buses, a metro and a PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) system that is currently being test piloted. The PRT vehicles have been designed by legendary Italian automotive design house, Zagato. These driverless machines will be controlled by an advanced navigation system. Every aspect of these vehicles is currently being tested to ascertain the extensive feasibility of a low-carbon transport system. Masdar City is now open to visitors. Explore this Arco-logical city on your own or opt for a special tour around the cityâ€™s buildings, architecture and sustainable way of living. You can also hop into the futuristic PRT system. Work on Masdar City began in 2006 and Phase I will be ready for residents and businesses by 2015. It is expected to be fully built by 2025. Its goal is to provide the choicest resources and services required by cleantech companies to make a difference on a global scale. Masdar City promises to give its people the highest quality of life and professional environment with the lowest carbon footprint.
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MAY EVENTS 2014
JUNE EVENTS 2014
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Upcoming Projects By: Prerna Sonawane
Blue Waters Island A massive project comes to Dubai, near Dubai Marina. It will feature the AED 1 million ‘Dubai Eye’ – the world’s talent Ferris wheel (689 feet), beating the Singapore Flyer (541 feet). This Ferris wheel will show off the remarkable views of the Dubai marina, Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah and Burj Khalifa. It will also include an entertainment zone, retail zone and residential blocks. It is forecasted to attract more than three million visitors annually.
Al Sufouh Tramway The tramway will be built in the Al Sufouh area of Dubai. It will run 14.5 kilometers along the Al Sufouh road from Dubai Marina to the Burj Al Arab and the Mall of the Emirates. The trams will be 44 meters long with a capacity of 408 passengers. Services will run 20 hours each day, and it will take 30 minutes to ride the entire length of the system. It will interchange with three stations of the Dubai Metro’s red line. It will also connect with the monorail of the Palm Jumeirah at the entrance from Sufouh road.
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Mohammed Bin Rashid City It will be a new “city” within Dubai offering various attractions for the tourists and residents alike. It will have four segments. First being the family tourism area; the largest family leisure and entertainment complex in the Middle East, Africa and Indian Subcontinent. Second, it will have the largest shopping mall in the world; Mall of the World. Third, it will also have the largest area for art galleries in the Middle East and North Africa. And lastly, the biggest swimming pool in the world (40 acres). It is going to be a record-breaking city.
Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Crossing Also known as the “Sixth Crossing” is a future bridge in Dubai. It will be the world’s longest arch bridge (1.6 kms) long. It will link the areas of Al Jadaf and Bur Dubai. It will comprise of six lanes in each direction and be able to carry 20,000 vehicles per hour. In the center will be a track for the Dubai Metro’s green line. It will cost an astonishing amount of AED 2.5 billion and is expected to be completed in 2015.
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