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pg 50 Our QH Guide To Travel-Smarts

August 2015 EVERY ISSUE 5 6

Editor-In-Chief's Letter

QH's Editor-in-Chief tells you what's happening this month


Top Picks


Celebrate Summer

QH Speaks

The best of our monthly social media,

plus the Hit-Or-Miss List



It Happened


QH’s photo gallery of the latest happening events in Doha

104 Phone Directory

Need-to-know phone numbers



FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @qatarhappening

If its concerts and performances you crave, the Dubai Summer Surprises has got 'em!


The Crossroads Of Istanbul


Postcards From Puglia


A Sacred Patch Of India


Magnetic Manchester


A Date With Dubai


Our QH Guide To Travel-Smarts

Movie With A Message

How Sana Al-Ansari's short film If They Only Knew is changing the way we drive on Qatar's roads

Celebrity Spotlight

Kristen Wiig's got three movies out at the moment and QH goes one-to-one with the comedic actress on all of them!

Virgin Recommends

The best monthly entertainment picks from the Megastore


Spotlight On Movies


Entertainment Listings

Our top five must-see films of the month

Find out everything that’s going on this month


For customer service and subscription questions, such as renewals, billing and account status, email QH August 2015 - July 13 FINAL.indd 3

It's a fine balance between culture ancient and modern in the Turkish capital

The southern heel of Italy has never seemed higher in picturesque Puglia Amongst an ancient rock landscape the temples and palaces of Hampi have withstood the centuries The hub of the North, the UK's industrial heartland offers up its history

We check into the Le Méridien Hotel Dubai for a big-city weekend break

Planning a holiday? Let us make it a little bit easier with our top tips for travelling safely and effiiciently abroad

CHECK OUT for the latest information

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pg 70 Welcome To Nozomi... STAY-CATIONS 56

60 64


A Tranquil Stay

Why not leave West Bay behind for a lush weekend retreat at the Doha Marriott?


Top Picks


Top Picks


Take A Quick Bite


Purely Pampered


Welcome To Nozomi...


Virtually Fit


Coffee: From Arabia To The World


Have Yoga, Will Travel

An Everyday Escape

We find our bliss at home in the Crowne Plaza Doha–The Business Park

Sanctuary In The City

We offer you an exclusive sneak peek at the new Westin Doha Hotel & Spa


There's much more than grab-and-go on the menu at Quick Bites in the Marriott Marquis Marsa Malaz Kempinski's newest outlet offers up a taste of Tokyo with a side of nightlife

The pros at Coffee Planet show us how from small beans does a mighty legacy grow...


Our top treatments at the top-three spas in the city — commence the indulgence! Our Editor's review of Absolute Health & Fitness's new Online Personal Training Program Don't let vacation mode ruin your routine! We take some tips from the yogis on how to stretch it out while on holiday

Food & Dining Listings

Find out everything that’s going on this month

Have Your Say: Feedback and comments are always welcome. Please forward letters to the editor: Email:

QH August 2015 - July 13 FINAL.indd 4

Call Details: Inquiries: Marketing: Fax:

+974 4427 8416 +974 5584 4905 +974 4427 8415

Postal Address: P.O. Box 7848 , Doha, Qatar

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From The Desk Of The Editor-In-Chief

On The Cover? T


QR 10



Travel Is s


August 2015

and Back Our Sneak Peek Inside The New Westin Doha

Behind The Lens With Young Qatari Filmmaker Sana Al-Ansari Hollywood Close-Ups: We Talk Movies

With Kristen Wiig & Miles Teller

Nozomi Sets The Stage For Japanese Cuisine At Marsa Malaz Kempinski

It's up, up and away, as QH takes e! around the ENTERTAINMENT ARTS glob CULTURE FOOD COMMUNITY you by Photo Credit: Conceptualized Lindsey Steenkamp


About Us QH is your voice and your guide for all things fun, funky and happening in Qatar! Send us your feedback to

Dear friends, With the Holy Month behind us and the rest of the summer spread out ahead, I hope you and your family had a joyous Eid and are looking forward to some quality vacation time in the coming month to escape the summer heat.

Publisher: The Art of Business Chairman: Ahmed Hassan Bilal Editor-in-Chief: Nasser Ahmed Hassan Bilal Editor: Ashlee Starratt

If so, then you're in luck as we bring you our annual special Travel Issue. Qatar is home to thousands of expats and the summer is a time when many make their mass exodus home to visit loved ones. It's also a time when the lure of other destinations calls out and we take you around the globe to soak in the culture, history and cuisine of a few gems – some touristic and others off the beaten path. If you're concerned about leaving your furry family members behind while off globe-trotting, we've also got some options on how to travel with your pet – or find the best care for them in Qatar.

Lead Designer / Brand Manager: Zahi Srour Photographer: Jessie Palanca Sales & Communications Manager: Jorge Granda Sales & Marketing Manager: Marisela Paesano New Media Manager: Serah Mary Sampath Web Coordinator: Imran Khan Administrative & Marketing Coordinator: Marisol Vinculada

If instead you're planning to make the most of the summer here in the GCC, then let QH be your guide as you hop on over to the UAE to enjoy the festivities of the 18th annual Dubai Summer Surprises. The annual extravaganza promises a full roster of family-friendly shows, celebrity-charged concerts and performances, cultural events and culinary journeys.

Distribution & Accounts: Lanie Fillo-Pana Contributors: Sana Al-Ansari, Emily Alp, Jacqueline Bodnar,

Jessica Furseth, Eleanor Graff, John Hunt, Jan Janssen – Viva Press, Lynsey Riach, Lindsey Steenkamp

Or, if getting lost in the festival-going crowds isn’t your thing and you’d prefer a bit of pampering while on holiday, we show you the top spas in the city to indulge in a little luxury any day of the week. Trust us – a stay-cation becomes so much more when you take the time to bounce back and re-charge. In this issue, we’re also proud to introduce you to a young Qatari filmmaker, Sana Al-Ansari, whose ground-breaking short film If They Only Knew highlights the critical aftermath of road safety in Qatar. Her film will make its début in Doha this fall at the 2015 Ajyal Youth Film Festival. Wherever you may wander this summer, near or far, let QH be your gateway to Qatar and the world. Thank you for making us a part of your lives,

QATAR HAPPENING (QH) is published 12 times a year by The Art of Business, Doha, Qatar, an associate of Ahmed Hassan Bilal Group. The information contained in QATAR HAPPENING (QH) is correct at the time of printing. Details may change at any time without liability on the part of The Art of Business. Readers are advised to confirm details with the event organizers. All rights reserved 2011, The Art of Business. Reproduction in part or in full is strictly prohibited. QATAR HAPPENING (QH) assumes no responsibility for content of advertisements.

Nasser Ahmed Hassan Bilal

QATAR HAPPENING (QH) retails for QR 10. Bulk subscriptions are available for QR 5 each, for orders over 50.

Printed by Aspire Printing Press - 2015 5


QH Our ‘hot-or-not’ picks of the month, social media snippets, plus our Editor’s corner.

Welcome to QH's annual Travel Issue! I don't know about you readers out there, but no sooner have my wheels touched down from one trip, and I'm already planning the next getaway. I recently got back from a blissful two weeks home in Canada and there's nothing quite like coming back refreshed and re-focused – especially in this line of work where every week brings a looming new deadline.

The Hit-Or-Miss List Food For Thought Okay, so we understand that unless you're paying top dollar for business class, you're not going to be chowing down on caviar and foie gras for your in-flight meal. But we were more than a little put off when on a recent international flight on a five-star Middle Eastern airline we were served a truly questionable 'chicken' sandwich as a snack. Looking like a Pita Pocket, its expiry date was 2017 and we're not sure what kind of meat they were passing off as chicken. All we know is that any 'sandwich' that has a two-year expiry date is probably more chemicals and preservatives than anything else. YUCK!

House Of Wow We're in love with this creative new artist's hub near Madinat Khalifa. An offshoot of The Youth Company, it's a space where young local talent can thrive and prosper. From recent comedy workshops with Hamad 'The Qatari Guy' Al Amari, to origami, filmmaking and music classes, it’s a grassroots community that's finding its wings and providing a voice for emerging talent in Qatar. Get involved, take part and learn something new! Visit the House Of Wow Qatar Facebook page for event and workshop announcements.

With the second Eid, Eid Al Adha, just around the corner, now's the time when vacation planning begins again in earnest. Where's your destination of choice? If you're up in the air (no pun intended) about where to go, let us take some of the stress out of globe-trotting. We take you to all points of the compass with some top-notch travel features that will have you jet-setting off to Italy, Turkey, the UK and India – and if you could benefit from a few travel pointers then flip to our QH Guide to Travel Smarts and be sure to take notes! Now, it should be said that rest and relaxation need not come with a hefty price-tag on airfare – there are some pretty sweet staycation hideaways right here in our fair city that are waiting to be explored. So join us as we spend a weekend recharging our batteries at the Doha Marriott and Crowne Plaza Doha – The Business Park. Then, over in Fitness & Wellness, we're in top form as we show you how to stay active while on holiday – from healthy flying tips to hotel yoga, there's no excuse not to stick to a routine while traveling. I also write about my recent experience in Absolute Health & Fitness's new Online PT program in an attempt to shed pounds and get back on track. Finally in Entertainment we're thrilled to speak with Hollywood A-listers Kristen Wiig and Miles Teller – both have new films out in theatres this month and both are not to be missed.

Shangri-Late Remember when we brought you a sneak peek of the new Shangri-La Doha back in our February issue? Well, the word on the street was that the long-awaited luxury hotelier was slated to open their flag-ship Doha property back in the spring...but nearly five months later and the debate rages on. It seems that the fall could see it finally opening its doors and we for one can't wait. Their outlets are on a whole other level and their Chi, The Spa looks luscious. Happy Hour at the Shanghai Club – any takers? Going once...

So wherever you roam this summer as you plan into the fall be sure to take your copy of QH with you! Take a pic of our latest issue as it travels the world and tag your picture to Qatar Happening on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Let's see if we can't go viral and see how many countries we turn up in! Until then, bon voyage! See you next month,

Ashlee Starratt Editor

Top Of The Twitter-Verse @WomenOfHistory

May you always do what you are afraid

to do.

Lagerfeld Love Doha fashionistas got a dose of the Rive Gauche last month when Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld opened his first boutique in Qatar at Lagoona Mall. Known the fashion world over for his inimitable personality as much as his unmistakable oeuvre on the runway, his Doha boutique is sheer, stand-alone Karl. With pieces showcasing his edgy sensibility, if there's one item on your must-grab list it's his whimsical cartoon 'selfie' clutch.

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Top Picks


August 6: Strata. House of Africa is back again at Strata with guest DJ Heavy K ‘the Drumboss’ who will have you grooving away to his sublime beats. There will be a QR 100 entry charge on that evening. For more information call 4015-8888 or email


Pearl Lounge Re-Opening!

Ongoing: The Pearl Lounge. The trendy and popular Pearl Lounge has taken on a new look! Join in style for the re-opening of the Pearl Lounge night-club. With beautiful pearlescent highlights, elegant and quirky wall art, find yourself immersed in a classic a la mode setting. Don’t forget to show off your best dance moves together with the cool funky tunes of the highly-regarded in-house DJ! Join in for the daily Happy Hour from 5:00 p.m. till 8:00 p.m. and indulge in selected beverages for only QR 27. For more information call 4429-8444.

SHARQ VILLAGE & SPA Extended Happy Hour

Daily: The Cigar Lounge. You can save 50% on your favourite brands and house beverages every day from 5:00 p.m. till 9:00 p.m. at the Sharq Village & Spa’s most popular meeting place. For more information call 4425-6666.


Daily: Ipanema. Join Ipanema for the new Happy Hour Sundowners featuring Brazilian mixes and lounge music with a combination of mouthwatering boteco snacks. Get the first boteco dish complimentary with your beverage. Prices start from QR 35. For more information call 4419-6100 or visit


Art Of Cocktail-Making Class

Upon request: Habanos. Meet the Habanos team for an immersion in the art of creating exciting drinks. Minimum of 15 guests per class in order to redeem a special offer. For more information call 4484-8000, or email

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Celebrate Summer! Selected images courtesy of Traccs Qatar

Craving a weekend getaway? Why not grab the whole family and head over to Dubai for the 18th edition of the Dubai Summer Surprises? Packed with celebrity shows, world premieres and spectacular retail promotions, this annual festival keeps getting bigger and better each year! QH brings you the line-up!


ur neighbours in the UAE are kicking off the Dubai Summer Surprises on July 23 with a fun-filled calendar of events to go along with its ‘45 Days Of Summer’ theme. Locals and tourists from around the world can enjoy a huge range of events, from international celebrity appearances and shows, to world premieres featuring internationallyrenowned children’s cartoon characters. Among the new attractions this year are celebrity shows by Jaden and Willow Smith, Nancy Ajram, and Arab teen star Hala Turk, while global entertainment concepts such as Bugs Bunny, Tweety & Sylvester, Power Rangers, Sonic the Hedgehog and Gumball will be launching their world premieres during this year’s family extravaganza.

“Every year, we strive to offer our visitors and residents something new and exciting,” says H.E. Laila Mohammed Suhail, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment. “For the 18th edition of Dubai Summer Surprises we’ve raised the bar further in terms of innovative events, including appearances and acts by global and regional celebrities who will perform under our DSS Starz series, in addition to world premieres by much loved children’s entertainment characters.”

CALENDAR OF EVENTS World Premieres This year’s edition of World Premieres will feature a diverse range of shows launched for the first time in the UAE. Bugs Bunny, the world’s favourite rabbit leads the pack while Tweety and Sylvester continue their chase in Dubai and entertain kids with three shows, fun workshops and meet-and-greet sessions. The world premiere show of the Power Rangers Super Megaforce is one to reckon with, while Sonic the Hedgehog promises to bring alive all the magic on a custom-built Sonic-themed course. Top up the experience with an exciting adventure with Gumball and friends as they take a trip to summer camp at Dubai Festival City Mall.

Modhesh World ‘Every step is a new adventure’ at Modhesh World this year and featuring the highest number of attractions in its history, the indoor ‘endutainment’ destination promises nothing less than a celebration. Spanning across 34,000 square-metres at the Dubai World Trade Centre, this year’s offerings include a wide selection of adventure rides, thrilling games, interactive experiences and shows by artists and performers from across the world. Designed to entertain visitors of all ages, Modhesh World also features a variety of F&B outlets and two dedicated lounges for parents at two different locations.

Jaden and Willow Smith

Concerts At DSS this year, kids can dance to the tunes of five famous musical artists. Diana Haddad, Nawal Kuwaitiya and Abdallah Ruwaishid will perform on July 23, followed by Hussein Al Jasmi and Kadim Al Saher on the next day. Exclusive concerts for children will be performed by Arab superstars Nancy Ajram and teen sensation Hala Turk, as part of DSS Starz at Modhesh World.

The clowns of Circus Fiesta

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DSS Promotions Visitors to the DSS are promised some great shopping bargains at The Big Summer Sale, featuring famous brands and a wide selection of products. Participating retail outlets range from well-known retail groups, beauty stores and department stores, and will also offer ‘surprise’ elements as part of DSS’ Shop-A-Surprise campaign. Shoppers are rewarded during the DSS promotion run with exciting prizes at weekly draws at participating outlets. For visitors wanting to ease those muscles, DSS’ Spa & Leisure Promotions offer a range of wellness treatments at participating outlets and feature discounted beauty packages and much more. Children also get to be a part of the excitement with the special ‘Back to School’ campaign and a chance to win exciting prizes at participating retail and F&B outlets.

Dora The Explorer will be live on-stage at this year's Dubai Summer Surprises

Other Events An interesting array of events and attractions await kids at DSS 2015 such as Cartoon Fiesta featuring Ben Ten, Grandpa Max and friends at the Plumber’s Academy. Or, join Dora the Explorer as she gets adventurous with her colourful animalitos, while celebrity kids Jaden and Willow Smith will meet fans and be a part of the Kids Fashion Fest. The Fashion Fest will also feature attractive choices for young fashionistas and a Styling Session that focuses exclusively on Dubai collections. Children can also get a feel of the marketplace at the Kids Pop-Up Summer Market, featuring children’s themes and members of the ‘Little Majlis’.

Blaze breakdancing troupe

New attractions include theatrical shows with Madagascar Live, live shows with Sponge Bob, video game-themed campaign 8-Bit In The City, Lego time at Blocks at Boxpark, an interactive stage show at Blaze the Show, a medley of circus shows with Circus Fiesta and much more. Global attractions include the renowned Swan Lake Acrobatic Ballet by the Great Chinese State Circus and creative sessions hosted by Lloyd Warbey. Dubai Sports World also showcases a 10-week schedule of tournaments, academies and activities for visitors of all ages at the Dubai World Trade Centre. n

Diana Haddad

DUBAI SUMMER SURPRISES Dates: July 23- September 5

Nawal Kuwaitiya

Location: The DSS will take place in different venues around Dubai, depending on the event. The in-mall cartoon shows will take place in Mall of the Emirates, The Dubai Mall, Mercato and other venues. Some of the concerts will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre. About the DSS: Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) was launched in 1998 to position Dubai as an international summer destination. The festival is one of the highlights of the city’s summer calendar with GCC residents and other tourists flocking to the city, looking for bargains in over 6,000 stores that are participating in this annual event. Contact Info: For more information on events and venues please visit

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Through her film, Sana Al-Ansari hopes to change the way we drive on Qatar's roads

Movie With A Message As told to Jorge Granda Images courtesy of Sana Al-Ansari

and how it affects them, as well as [those] directly involved in the accident.

At just 18-years-old, first-time filmmaker Sana Al-Ansari recently completed production on her flagship short film If They Only Knew. Premiering this fall at the 2015 Ajyal Youth Film Festival, the movie explores what happens to the families and friends of individuals involved in road accidents in Qatar. Sana spoke with QH to bring the message home.

QH: They say film is like a thousand pound pencil – it takes a huge amount of production effort to bring even a few sentences to life. What inspired you to embark on this creative process?

QH: Tell us about the premise for the film.

Through personal experience, I saw what these accidents were doing to our community. At the same time that I was thinking about what I could do to help my community with this problem, I applied to Qatar Foundation International and was accepted to attend a Service Learning Conference in Washington, D.C. in April, 2014 where I pitched my Service Learning idea about making a film to raise awareness about the impact of speeding.

SA: If They Only Knew is a short 6-minute, 35-second drama that’s shot in Qatar. When researching this topic, I noticed that many films were about car accidents and what happened to the driver and occupants. What I haven't seen before is a film depicting what happens to the family, friends and acquaintances of the people involved in the accident

SA: During the Ajyal Film Festival, I watched a film that impacted me in a positive way and made me want to inspire others. It was called Regret by director Dave Schram. I was aware of how many deaths were occurring in Qatar due to speeding by our youth. Every day accidents were happening, people were dying, and families were affected by this. I decided that I wanted to impact the behaviour of these drivers, just like the film Regret impacted my life through film.

Qatar Foundation International through the NYLC Conference encouraged me with my project, helped me develop my idea and motivated me to start. Once I got back, I partnered up with the Doha Film Institute (DFI) and they helped me develop my ideas, my script, shoot and edit my film. All along the way, they were very positive and supportive with me. They encouraged me to do my best and think out of the box. QH: What was the most challenging aspect of filming the movie? SA: When I first decided to make the film, the most challenging thing for me was turning my ideas into a workable script. I didn't even know how to write a script and I didn't have a clue what I was doing – there were so many possibilities. I had to learn so many things – camera angles, scriptwriting, shot-lists, blocking, finding a location and actors/actresses to be in my film. One of the most challenging parts of making the film was balancing studying in my final year of high school and working hard every day for months to make the film. It was very challenging and I had to have lots of energy to keep things running smoothly. Also, it was a challenge to find female actresses to act in my movie because, as you may know, there aren’t a

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If They Only Knew will screen at this year's 2015 Ajyal Youth Film Festival

lot of women who act in Doha. But the two that volunteered, Zarah Al-Ansari and Wiaam Al-Semary, did a wonderful job! QH: What part did DFI play in helping you reach your goal? SA: First, I would like to thank HRH Sheikha Al Mayassa for creating these wonderful programs for our youth. We are truly fortunate to be able to learn and create under the programs that she has inspired. Also, I would like to thank Mrs. Fatima Al Rumaihi, for this wonderful opportunity, as well as all the many devoted and loyal employees that I have worked with to create this film. Each one had a very positive attitude and was more than willing to help me develop my film at each step of the way. Doha Film Institute is an amazing organization that helps any person who has an idea for a film realize their dream in making [it]. They’re a great group of professionals who are always very supportive to work with. I really enjoyed working on each step, with a different group of people for each part. First I worked on the idea and wrote a script; then, they encouraged me to develop the script. After that, I worked on shooting the film [and] the final step was the editing. I really didn’t realize it took so much effort and time to make even a short film like mine. DFI kept challenging me more and more and pushing me to excel. They kept encouraging me to extend myself and create a better film. They demanded the best from me. At the end, they commented that I “raised the bar” for all first-time filmmakers – that was quite a compliment for me. QH: What has audience reception been like for the film? SA: I first showed my film at Reach Out to Asia’s (ROTA) EMPOWER Conference held here in Doha

in March, 2015. It was an honour that they allowed me to show my film for the first time. I was anxious to see how it went over with the audience of over 500 youth the same age as me. I was really hoping it would make an impact – [and] it was a huge success. Many got emotional during the viewing of it, which was what I wanted. I hope that my message stays with the audience long after they see the film. After EMPOWER, I attended Thimun Film Festival at Northwestern University-Qatar this April, where my film was selected as Best National Picture. I was surprised and excited that it was well accepted by the Thimun Film organization. The day after Thimun Film Festival, I flew to the National Youth Leadership Conference (NYLC) held in Washington, DC where I was invited by Qatar Foundation International (QFI) to conduct a workshop about my film as my service learning project. QH: Any plans for international film festival submissions? SA: I’ve currently been submitting my film to some film festivals around the world. I did this film to help my community, not to win awards, [so] one might say that it was like ‘frosting on the cake’ when I was chosen for the award at THIMUN. As I’ve been accepted to study Communications at Northwestern University-Qatar in the fall, it was especially exciting to have won this award from them. I also submitted my film to last month’s Giffoni Film Festival in Italy under the ‘Made in Qatar’ category. I attended this festival last year as a juror [and] would love to return as a director of my first film. Any goal is hard work. Working towards it can be grueling, but in the end, it’s so rewarding. I’m very proud of what I have accomplished. I hope that

Sana gives a talk to American youth at a Service Learning Conference in Washington D.C.

many people will see my film and think about how they drive on our roads. I think ‘enough is enough’ when it comes to [the] deaths of youth in Qatar [on the roads]. We want to reduce these rates. Think before you drive recklessly because your parents, as well as your siblings and family members are waiting for you at home. Don’t ruin their lives as well as your own by careless and reckless driving. If I could change the way one young Qatari teen drives when he gets behind the wheel of his car, it will be enough of a reward for me! n

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Kristen Wiig's comedic performances have been keeping us entertained since her early days on Saturday Night Live

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Wiig and Masterminds co-star Zach Galifianakis play two rogue armoured car company employees who plan the nation's biggest bank heist

Celebrity Spotlight:

Kristen Wiig By Jan Janssen Interview and selected images courtesy of Viva Press

From her side-splitting tenure on Saturday Night Live (SNL), to her breakout mainstream film role in the comedy-gold hit Bridesmaids, you’d be hard-pressed to skim past a movie preview of late without seeing the face of Kristen Wiig. We caught up with the 41-year-old actress at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to learn about a few of her newest upcoming releases – Masterminds, Welcome To Me, and Diary Of A Teenage Girl.


aving mastered comedy, Kristen Wiig is turning into something approaching an indie movie queen. This summer, the former SNL star and supremely-gifted comic actress from Bridesmaids will be seen in two new dramas that are part of her determined bid to make her mark

as a serious actress. First up is Diary of a Teenage Girl, playing the mother of a precocious teenage daughter who begins an affair with her mom's hunky boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgard). Then, Wiig takes on the role of a bipolar woman who wins the lottery in Welcome to Me. "I love being able to throw myself into the kinds of roles I first dreamed about doing when I was starting out in this business," Wiig says." But it can be frustrating sometimes that people are so used to seeing me in comedic roles that they're not sure whether I'm being serious or ironic. That happened at a test screening (for Welcome to Me) where there were both dark and funny moments in the film but the audience laughed sometimes at sad scenes which weren't meant to funny at all. That's a bit frustrating for me, but the more dramas I do the less people will assume that I'm being ironic or humourous." Of course, the 41-year-old Wiig hasn't given up on her supremely-gifted comic self. This August will see her reverting to form in Masterminds, an action comedy co-starring Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, and Zack Galifianakis about a ragtag team of bank robbers based on an actual story.

Kristen Wiig is of Norwegian (on her father's side) and British extraction. Following her parents' divorce, she grew up in Rochester, N.Y. before going on to study dramatic arts at the University of Arizona. Upon graduation, she moved to L.A. where her career prospects took a comedic turn when she joined highly-regarded comedy troupe, The Groundlings.

Following her film breakthrough in the 2007 Judd Apatow comedy, Knocked Up, Wiig began her legendary career as one of the dominant performers on Saturday Night Live. She later wrote the Oscarnominated screenplay for Bridesmaids (2011) in which she also co-starred opposite Rose Byrne. She’s currently shooting Zoolander 2 in Rome opposite her Masterminds co-star Owen Wilson and will be seen next year in Ridley Scott's sci-fi film, The Martian and will soon begin filming the new female Ghostbusters reboot. A recent TV appearance on the Jimmy Fallon latenight talk show went viral after she did the entire interview as Game of Thrones' Daenerys Targaryen, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, complete with long blonde wig, quasi-medieval costume and a miniature plastic dragon perched on her shoulder. Wiig lives in L.A. and is currently single.

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ENTERTAINMENT QH: Kristen, you've been very active seeking out diverse and dramatic roles of late. Is this your new career trajectory? KW: I'm doing the kind of films now that I always thought I would do at some point. I fell into comedy more by accident than choice – although once I started to really get into it I saw that I could make a living at it and obviously with SNL that became my reality as a performer. But I'm very happy to be playing some very interesting dramatic roles and pushing myself in that direction. That's the real challenge for me. I've always loved performing and feeling creative, so I can release all the nervous energy inside me. QH: Do you have a darker side that we rarely get to see in your work? KW: I don't think so. I have a shy side when I'm out in public, or even when I'm giving interviews. With my friends, obviously, I'm not doing funny voices or stepping into characters. I'm pretty casual and I don't try to bring out my performing side in my private life. I leave that for my work and the rest of the time I'm staggeringly normal.

Wiig (far right) and Diary Of A Teenage Girl co-stars Alexander Skarsgard, Bel Powley, and director Marielle Heller

I think some people who meet me for the first time are disappointed or feel that there's something wrong with me because I'm not as high-energy or over-thetop as some of the characters on SNL were or in some of my films. People assume that you're going to resemble your performing self especially if you're known for comedy. But if you met me for the first time and hadn't seen my work you probably would never guess that I've made a career doing comedy. QH: Is your more reserved side ever an obstacle to your performing self? KW: It doesn't affect my work, but it can be odd sometimes when I'm in social situations and I feel very awkward. I was never the kind of actor or performer who lives and breathes being entertaining and outgoing. I've always been someone who likes to do her job and then doesn't want anyone to look at me or expect me to behave in an outgoing or charismatic way. That's the contradictory side about me. I'm someone who when they're in a room with a lot of people I don't know I would rather be anonymous and not have anyone gather around me or try to be the centre of attention. I get very nervous and uptight in those moments although I'm better than I used to be. QH: One of your upcoming films this summer is Diary of a Teenage Girl. What can you tell us about your work in that film? KW: I've been friends with the director, Marielle Heller, for several years and we both lived in New York and got to know each other there. I loved the script she wrote (based on the graphic novel by Phoebe Gloeckner) and she made a teaser-trailer for the film that was unbelievably beautiful and that's why I wanted to do it. I'm particularly excited for Bel [Powley, who plays Wiig's wayward daughter in the film] who's so talented and this movie is going to be a huge moment in her career.

Catch Kristen in the upcoming female Ghostbusters re-boot and Zoolander 2

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Wiig spoofs Game Of Thrones character Daenarys Targaryen on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

QH: Did you ever keep a diary when you were growing up? KW: I had one, but I wasn't very committed to it. QH: You're also appearing in a very different kind of comedy where you're part of Masterminds which is based on an actual $17 million bank robbery that took place in North Carolina in 1997? KW: It's a really wild and incredible story. I play one of the so-called masterminds behind the robbery and it's very interesting to play a character who really existed and actually was part of something that you almost can't believe actually happened. It affects the way you approach the character and you're more conscious of the responsibility you have to telling her story and that of the film than you would be if it were pure fiction. QH: So obviously you haven't abandoned comedy altogether? KW: No, no. I still love doing comedy and I'm even going to be directing my first film, which happens to be a comedy [rolls her eyes playfully] and it's based on a script I've written with my writing partner [Annie Mumolo] from Bridesmaids. It was never my intention to turn my back on that side of myself – I just wanted to do some serious parts because I had never had the chance to do that before and it was my original inspiration. QH: You originally studied art and came to acting by chance?

KW: I went to the University of Arizona and I was curious about a drama course and decided to take it. It was a class called ‘Performance Art’ and there was poetry-writing involved and getting up on a tiny stage and speaking and performing in front of the other students. That was kind of the moment when I knew what I wanted to do with my life. As a kid I liked play-acting and performing for friends, but it was never something I imagined as a possible career. Growing up in Rochester, I didn't have anyone telling me that I should try to become an actress and move to L.A.! (Laughs). It was definitely not something I was considering as a life choice. (Laughs). QH: So how did you finally make up your mind to leave university and go to Hollywood? KW: I was bored and generally unhappy with the art program I was following [at the University of Arizona]. I was having an existential crisis about my time there and I wasn't very happy with my studies or my life there. I thought a lot about what I wanted to do with my life and once I had made up my mind to leave, my college roommate – who was living in Beverly Hills – said that I could stay with her until I got settled. And here I am! (Laughs).

It's so much fun not to feel boxed in or locked into doing only one kind of thing. QH: You've played characters who have gone out with younger men and you've also dated younger guys. What are your observations on that?

QH: Is this a good time in your life? KW: Yeah, it's very exciting. I'm doing a lot of writing these days which is something I enjoy being able to take the time to do and I've been able to work in so many different kinds of films lately and that's the kind of freedom you want as a performer.

KW: I'm never thinking about age when it comes to dating or being in a relationship. I probably would never go out with a teenager the way Alex does [in Diary of a Teenage Girl] but I've almost always gone out with younger men. I'm not sure why, but I'm not complaining! (Laughs). n

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Young Hollywood: Miles Teller By Jan Janssen Interview and selected images courtesy of Viva Press

Over the last two years 28-year-old Miles Teller’s star has quickly mounted the top of the Hollywood charts. With leading roles in the Divergent film series and a career-defining performance in the Oscar-nominated film Whiplash, the young actor is now gearing up for a turn in this summer’s new Fantastic Four blockbuster. We met up with him at the recent SXSW festival to find out how he’s been adjusting to fame.


t's been a whirlwind year for rising star Miles Teller. Fresh off his critically-acclaimed performance in the Oscar-nominated Whiplash and his work in the billion-dollar blockbuster film franchise Insurgent, Teller is about to establish himself as a major Hollywood player with a lead role in Fantastic Four. The film is a reboot of the comic book classic about four scientists who gain superpowers after a science experiment goes wrong. "It's so wild to be part of this kind of a huge summer film when you've been used to working on low-budget films and worrying about your next job," Teller says. "I can count on the fact that I will be shooting either a Divergent film or a Fantastic Four film every summer for the next few years. It's a good feeling to not have to worry about your next paycheque and it also frees you to do more art-house kind of movies or more personal kinds of projects. It's the best situation any actor can be in." In Fantastic Four, Teller plays Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic opposite Kate Mara as The Invisible Woman, Jamie Bell as The Thing, and Michael B. Jordan as The Human Torch. Directed by Josh Trank, the film hopes to become the kind of blockbuster comic book franchise in the style of the X-Men and

Avengers films. The storyline is taken from Ultimate Fantastic Four where the four main characters are teleported to an alternate universe which alters their physical form. The four young outsiders then band together to harness their incredible powers and work as a team to save the Earth from a former friend turned enemy. The 28-year-old Miles Teller has slowly built up his acting resumé with outstanding performances in films like Rabbit Hole (opposite Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart), The Spectacular Now (with his Divergent co-star and good friend Shailene Woodley), Divergent, That Awkward Moment, and Insurgent. It was Teller's performance in the indie gem Whiplash, however, that earned him massive recognition as the college band drummer who suffers terrible abuse at the hands of a sadistic teacher (played by J.K. Simmons who won a supporting actor Oscar for his work on the film). Teller is currently dating model Keleigh Sperry who accompanied him to this year's Oscars ceremonies. Recently, Teller, while enjoying a day at the beach with Sperry, rescued a pregnant woman and her child when he spotted her caught in a riptide on a Miami beach in May. Teller has been staying in Miami where he was filming Arms and Dudes with Jonah Hill.

Recently, he completed work on Bleed for This, a boxing drama based on a true story which he helped produced and also plays the lead character, a boxer who recovers from an horrific car crash and goes on to become world champion.

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Teller and Fantastic Four co-star Kate Mara must save the world from the clutches of friend-turned-foe, Dr. Doom, in Marvel's latest re-imagining of the comic series

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ENTERTAINMENT It's like being in an alternate reality in terms of the work. But I remember that Shailene and I would still hang around on set and have fun in exactly the same way that we did on The Spectacular Now. The thing that counts is being able to enjoy your work and the experience you have with the other cast members and crew. You don't think about how big the project is at all.

QH: What was it like working on Fantastic Four? MT: Your approach as an actor remains the same. You prepare for your character in the same way, and for this film I spent a lot of time learning about the science behind the story so that I would feel more comfortable when my character Reed Richards is talking about quantum physics. I also spent a lot of time with the technical adviser who helps give you a better feel for the science and technology that are key elements of the story. QH: How will Fantastic Four be different from the 2005 film, or the original comic?

It was Teller's gut-wrenching performance in 2014's Whiplash in that earned him accolades and big-time attention from Hollywood

QH: Miles, are you still in a daze from all the hype surrounding Whiplash? MT: Things are calming down. (Laughs). I had a bit of a break in between doing press for Whiplash and then promoting Insurgent. At times it feels surreal but then it's a lot better to feel a little exhausted and know that you've established yourself in the business as opposed to fighting to get auditions. I love being part of a franchise that’s gaining in popularity and also that I get to work with Shailene [Woodley] who's become a good friend of mine over the last few years.

QH: Is it strange for you to go from working on a low-budget project like Whiplash to big studio films like Fantastic Four? MT: The biggest different as an actor is the amount of time you get to prepare for every scene. On Whiplash, we had very little money and very few shooting days so everything was done as quickly as possible and there was more pressure to make sure that you did every take like it was the last one. On big films like Insurgent or Fantastic Four, you’ll have a half hour to prepare for every new shooting angle on the exact same take! (Laughs).

MT: The film is based more on the Ultimate Fantastic Four [comics] and we're also humanizing the characters more and giving them a lot more layers so that audiences will relate to them in a deeper way. With the next film, people who know the comics will see us evolve into the Fantastic Four characters that they have gotten to know. QH: Did you have any trepidations about making the kind of commitment to a superhero franchise? MT: I wasn't sure if I would be able to get into it the way I've done with characters in my other work or even in Divergent, but I thought that it was a huge opportunity and the chance to have the recognition that will open up so many more films for me. I knew what I was getting into, though.

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QH: One of your closest friends in the business is Shailene Woodley. What is she like? MT: Shailene Woodley is still the same girl as she was on The Spectacular Now. She still loves to give hugs. As soon as you meet her, you get a sense of who she is right away. She knows every single person's name on the crew and we have a pretty similar mentality about how we approach our work. She wants to make every film an enjoyable experience and we've been able to share so many good times on films like The Spectacular Now and the Divergent films. You couldn't ask for a more interesting or pleasant person to hang out with on a set or anywhere else. Shailene is a truly beautiful woman. QH: She's a kind of nomad, isn't she? MT: Totally. She lives out of one suitcase and she keeps giving away all her possessions and clothes. She wants to live as freely as possible and not deal with material things. It's pretty admirable – not many people could live like that. But in person she is the warmest and most genuine soul you could ever meet. QH: Do you think Whiplash will continue to resonate in the memories of everyone who has seen the film and define you as an actor apart from all your other indie or big-budget films? MT: I've thought about that a lot and I'm not sure. I know that people will never forget the intensity of the scenes I had with J.K. Simmons. Those were very tough to do. But I'm so glad that J.K. didn't feel that he had to stay in character the whole time because I would have gone crazy. The atmosphere would have been so heavy and uncomfortable that I wouldn't have wanted to think about the time ever again. But J.K. would immediately turn off from being his character and we could just relax and have a good time on the set.

Selfie time! Miles makes time for his fans on the red carpet

Teller with Fantastic Four castmates Jamie Bell, Kate Mara and Michael B. Jordan

QH: You're actually a drummer in real life? MT: I come from a family of musicians and I played in some rock bands when I was younger. After training as hard as I could to prepare for Whiplash, I feel like I'm able to sit in with certain bands and I'd do all right. I've basically been drumming since I was 15 and I found out pretty quickly that I was good at it. I played drums while I was in university [NYU] and then after I moved to L.A. I still had my drum kit with me. Obviously, it was a pretty good move when they were looking for an actor who could play the drums on Whiplash! (Laughs). QH: How are things going with your girlfriend, Keleigh? MT: We have so much fun together. We love travelling and just being able to hang out. She's helped me relax a lot especially during the past year when everything has been moving so fast around me. We also make sure we stay in touch even when I'm away on a film set and we just use FaceTime. I'm really lucky to have a great girl like her in my life. n

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Big-Screen Breakthrough Images courtesy of Aspect Communications Middle East

The new Mall of Qatar is gearing up to take your moviegoing experience to another level with their flagship 19-screen CinemaCity complex using stateof-the-art technology that gives a whole new meaning to ‘close-up’!


he Mall of Qatar is the region’s largest leisure, entertainment and shopping complex, and when it opens its doors in Doha will première the Middle East’s first Barco leading-edge, laserilluminated projectors in its 19-screen CinemaCity complex. It will include six VIP screens on three levels, a ten-lane bowling alley and in-theatre gourmet food service, while the Family Entertainment Complex will offer 16,500 square-metres of multi-level entertainment for children and adults, featuring KidzMondo, an impressive scaled-down miniature city, providing role-playing real life experience for children.

“The opening of Mall of Qatar in Doha next year will mark a new era in retail and entertainment as we plan to offer our visitors and shoppers transformational entertainment platforms through cutting-edge technologies and state of the art development,” says Mall of Qatar General Manager Rony Mourani. “With the debut of these laserilluminated projectors in Doha, movie-goers in our mall will be able to experience feature films as never before.”

international brands, over 80 food and beverage outlets and fine-dining options, a five-star luxury hotel –part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, and an impressive array of unique entertainment experiences, including the largest IMAX Laser 3D projection system in the world. It will also feature mall-wide live entertainment and the first professional live theatre in a mall in the world with 360-degree acts and shows performed on the multi-lift rotating Festival Stage with theatrical sound and lighting. In an eight-storey high, central, glassed dome, the theatre comes complete with its own resident performance troupe and animated water features. The Mall of Qatar will open in early 2016. To learn more about all its facilities visit n

CinemaCity will equip the 19-screen complex with one Barco DP4K-30L and four of Barco’s DP4K-22L laser flagship projectors. “We decided to take the next step in projection and install Barco’s laserilluminated solution. The brightness and image quality is unbelievable,” says Hammad Atassi, CEO of World Media Holding, the Middle East’s fastest growing cinema development company. “From a luxurious foyer and lobby, easy access and great food, through to super comfortable chairs and the latest visual and audio technologies, everything about our cinemas is designed for the enjoyment of our guests.” When complete, the Mall of Qatar will have over 500 stores and will be the nation’s largest mall. It will offer visitors a wide selection of major

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Best Part of My Job:“The fact that you get to interact with a lot of people from different cultural backgrounds and you know, music is a culture on its own – so it’s really an interesting field!”

NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL MUSIC! 90 Featuring the hottest chart-toppers of 2015 so far, we’re pretty sure you’ve heard the majority of these in rotation on the QBS Radio airwaves! This doubledisc is a sure bet to get any summer party started and features hits from Mark Ronson, Sam Smith, David Guetta, Fergie, Sigma, Kelly Clarkson and more. Turn up the volume and you can’t go wrong. Retail price: QR 120.

AGHLA EL BASHAR ASALA NASRI Though not strictly a new release, this album from classic Syrian star Asala Nasri continues to fly off the shelves. The title translates to ‘most precious among people’, and this disc features the distinctive melodies and lyrical prose that have made her one of the Arab world’s most wellrespected female musicians. Retail price: QR 30.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 SOUNDTRACK Why do we love this film’s soundtrack so much? Well, for starters, New Zealand’s tour-deforce Lorde is all over it. The Kiwi song-bird is featured a whopping four times (we love ‘Yellow Flicker Beat’) alongside heavy-hitters The Chemical Brothers, Grace Jones, Ariana Grande and Bat For Lashes to create a dystopian soundscape that will keep your finger hovering on ‘repeat’. Retail price: QR 60.

SIMPLY RELAXATION: FOUR CDS OF ESSENTIAL RELAXATION MUSIC Migraine headache? Bad day at the office? Just can’t cope? Find your zen with this collection of ambiant, tranquil sounds to help you de-stress, fall sleep, chill, meditate and relax. Can we think of more synonyms for soothing? Nope. Grab this box-set to re-focus and re-charge. Retail price: QR 80.

LEGEND – THE BEST OF FAIRUZ This legendary Lebanese songstress has been making music since the 1960s and still continues to sell albums nearly six decades later! Known as the ‘Jewel of Lebanon’ and the ‘Ambassador to the Stars’, Fairuz was first discovered at the famous International Festival of Baalbeck in 1957. This compilation is a best-seller among fans of Arab music and features best-loved hits from her 60-year career in music. Retail price: QR 50.

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Spotlight On Movies The dog-days of summer may be dragging on, but the laughs and action are coming a mile-a-minute with these five cinema scene-stealers.

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. Action, Adventure, Comedy In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons. Stars: Alicia Vikander, Henry Cavill, Elizabeth Debicki QH Fun Fact: A re-boot of the original 1964 television series which ran for five years, George Clooney was considered for the lead role of Napoleon Solo but had to drop out due to health problems. Feel better Georgie!


UNDERDOGS Animation, Adventure, Family A young man named Amadeo sets off on an unexpected adventure with the players of his beloved Foosball game. Stars: Gabriel Almirón, Federico Cecere, Ezequiel Cipols QH Fun Fact: The great sport of Foosball (or table football) was patented in 1923 when creator Harold Searles Thorton was inspired by how a book of matches spread out across their box resembled two teams facing off across a pitch. A bit wacky if you ask us…

SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE Animation, Adventure, Comedy When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it's up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home. Stars: Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Omid Djalili QH Fun Fact: Twenty animators toiled away on the making of this movie, producing just two seconds of footage per day! Talk about film being a thousand-pound pencil…

Comedy, Drama, Music A musician who gave up everything for her dream of rock-and-roll stardom returns home, looking to make things right with her family.

Action, Adventure, Thriller An assassin teams up with a woman to help her find her father and uncover the mysteries of her ancestry.

Stars: Meryl Streep, Sebastian Stan, Ben Platt

Stars: Zachary Quinto, Rupert Friend, Ciarán Hinds

QH Fun Fact: The character of Julie in the film is played by Meryl Streep’s real-life daughter, Mamie Gummer.

QH Fun Fact: Paul Walker was slated to play main character John Smith before his sudden death in November 2013.


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Listings Bucket Day

Fridays: Hive. Quench your thirst with a bucket of six brews for the price of four on selected beverages for QR 125, while listening to funky tunes from the ‘70s. From 5:00 p.m. till midnight. For more information call 4015-8888 or email


Kempinski Residences & Suites Cosmopolitan Ladies Night

Mondays: The Lounge. At ladies night at The Lounge, ladies enjoy 50% off the Cosmopolitan special drinks menus and a complimentary choice from the nibbles menu. From 8:00 p.m. till 12:00 a.m. For more information call 4405-3325, email, or visit

Loose Tie

Sundays: The Lounge. Imagine Cuban flavour surrounded by well-aged oak barrels and a touch of perfection...sounds tempting? Come and join your fellow connoisseurs on Sunday evenings at The Lounge from 8:00 p.m. till 12:00 midnight. For more information call 4405-3325, email, or visit

‘The Secret House Party’


Wednesdays: Strata. Welcome to Doha’s only Pink Wednesday – a girls’ night out where the ladies receive two welcome drinks on arrival and can groove away to the tunes of R&B, soul and funk, along with a fantastic chance to win a high-end designer item like a Louis Vuitton bag and more! For more information call 4015-8888 or email

Wednesdays: The Lounge. Psssst, it’s a secret! Come and see DJ Kinky D performing next to the signature bar of The Lounge. From 9:00 p.m. till 12:00 midnight. For more information call 4405-3325, email, or visit

Deep House Night Out Making it easier to navigate at your fingertips, we’ve categorized all our listings per outlet – including special offers and weekly/daily promotions.


Daily: Blanco. Blanco rooftop lounge is your new after-work haven. Enjoy relaxing lounge music, shisha, drinks and gourmet bites with unbeatable views of the Gulf. Enjoy a 50% discount on selected beverages and complimentary snacks. From 5:00 p.m. till 8:00 p.m. For more information call 4423-3413.


August 10: Champions. Participate in this awesome quiz night with a maximum of six per team to win the 1st prize of QR 3,000. From 7:30 p.m. till 9:30 p.m. For more information call 4419-6100 or visit


Mondays: Paloma. If you think you’ve got the talent to sing, this is your night to shine! Calling all talent-‘less’ voices of Doha – if courage is what you’re missing, Paloma gives you a ‘flaming’ shot for all singers before or after your performance! Also, enjoy a selection of nachos with a pitcher of frozen margarita starting at QR 128. For more information call 4484-4444.

Taco Tuesday & Coronaritas

Tuesdays: Paloma. Tuesdaynight is Taco Night! Chef Salvador brings you the authentic flavours of real Mexican tacos. Choose five different tacos from the taco menu and top it up with a signature coronarita drink for QR. 128. For more information call 4484-4444.

Girls Night Out

Wednesdays: Paloma. Girls Night Out is back! Every Wednesday bring your girlfriends along and enjoy a complimentary fruity, frozen margarita from 8:00 p.m. till late. But a party isn’t a party without a mystery piñata, and all the girls are welcome to stand a chance to bring home exciting prizes. QR 80 entrance fee for single men. For more information call 4484-4444.

Thursday Vibes

Thursdays: Lava. With the resident DJ on the decks with his awesome tunes, Thursdays will become the only night you can possibly think of going to and, most importantly, leave with the excitement of coming back the next week! For more information call 4484-4444.


Mondays: Strata. Why are there only ladies night? With this all-new gents’ night, now you can enjoy a welcome drink for everyone, an extended buy-oneget-one-free from 8:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. and for the gentlemen a chance to win a high-end designer item like a suit or Armani sunglasses. For more information call 4015-8888 or email

After Work Evenings

Sat-Thurs: Hive. De-stress with an after-work visit to Hive and make the most of the buy-one-get-one-free offer on selected house beverages between 5:00 p.m. till 7:00 p.m. For more information call 4015-8888 or email

Thursdays: The Lounge. Enjoy a tech house and deep house night out with DJs Hamad Al-Obaidly, Tough Stuff and CrazyU. Thursdays from 10:00 p.m. till 1:00 a.m. For more information call 4405-3325, email, or visit


Brand-New Sky View

Daily: Sky View. Aren’t you excited to catch a glimpse of the striking newly-renovated Sky View? Guess what? La Cigale has introduced a new double-floor indoor section, where you can cherish the nights all year round. Enjoy the most vibrant mixes while savouring light snacks, cocktails and sushi. No entrance fee and no minimum charges during weekdays. (Rules and regulations apply). For more information call 4428-8204/888.


Daily: Champions. Connect and play your choice of music with Champion’s new Juke-Box application. For more information call 4419-6100 or visit


Mondays: Bohemia. Enjoy the innovative molecular cocktails by the talented beverage manager. Choose three signature molecular cocktails for a very special price at the MM Nights. Are you ready? From 5:00 p.m. till 2:00 a.m. For more information call 4035-5011, email, or visit

See us online!

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ORYX ROTANA The Jazz Club Band

Sat-Wed: Jazz Club. Come check out their new, talented resident band, The Fever, showcasing their original fusion of jazz, soul and funk every day. The band starts to play from 8:00 p.m. onwards. For more information call 4402-3333.

Ladies Night

Tuesdays: Jazz Club. Join in ladies and indulge in three complimentary drinks from 5:00 p.m. till 10:00 p.m. After that, enjoy a 50% discount on selected cocktails and kick back for the night with the jazz band Why Not playing. For more information call 4402-3333.

SHERATON DOHA Midnight Happy Hour

Sun-Wed: Irish Harp. In the Irish Harp from Sundays to Wednesdays, 11:00 p.m. till midnight, enjoy selected beverages starting from QR 25-QR 30. For more information call 4485-3000.

Salsa Night

Wednesdays: Irish Harp. Hit the floor for some salsa dancing and music all night long. Prepare your dancing shoes and join them every Wednesday. For more information call 4485-3000.

THE GRAND HYATT A1 Nights By Xtremer Entertainment

Fridays: The Grill. Do you want to feel ‘A1’? Xtremer Entertainment presents ‘A1 Nights’ at The Grand Hyatt every Friday onwards from 9:00 p.m. until late. Xtremer’s official DJ Rage will rock the house along with top international DJs performing the best hip-hop, R&B, UK garage and soul music. Ladies enjoy free cocktails before 11:00 p.m. Dress code is dress-to-impress. For more information call 7712-3440 or 7798-2400.


Wednesdays Vintage Lounge. Step into the glamourous and elegant Vintage Lounge for a great night out. Ladies enjoy a 50% discount off selected beverages from 6:00 p.m. till 1:00 a.m. For more information call 4446-0000.

W DOHA ‘The VIBE’ Ladies Night

Mondays: Wahm. Enjoy a night of deep house and Afro-beats with resident DJ’s Bruno and Savino. Ladies sip two drinks on the house from 9:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. Strictly reservation and guest list-only. For more information call 4453-5323.

After Work Aperitivo

Sat-Fri: Wahm. De-stress and head down to Wahm for an after work aperitivo with 50% off on all beverages. From 5:00 p.m. till 8:00 p.m. For more information call 4453-5323.

Arabian Nights

Saturdays: Crystal Club. Crystal Club proudly presents Arabesque Nights spinning popular Arabic numbers along with DJ Imran mixing the best of R&B and commercial house through the night. From 10:00 p.m. For more information call 4453-5323.

Kiss N’ Fly Ladies Night

Wednesdays: Crystal. Ladies, gather girlfriends and head to Crystal Club’s Kiss N’ Fly Ladies Night featuring resident DJ Masse mixing up the latest tunes to make the night fabulous. Ladies receive three complimentary beverages from 10:00 p.m. till 12:00 midnight. For more information call 4453-5323.

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Level 23 The Ritz-Carlton


Jazz Up Mövenpick Hotel Doha

Glo Cocktail Bar Marriott Marquis City Center Doha

Let us help you make the most of your weekend with our comprehensive directory of the hottest nightlife spots throughout the city. So grab your friends and head out for a night on the town! Admiral’s Club The Ritz-Carlton

Beach Bar Lounge The Four Seasons Belgian Café InterContinental Doha Bohemia Marsa Malaz Kempinski Bubbles on Two Radisson Blu Champions Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Cigar Lounge Sharq Village & Spa Club 7 La Cigale Crystal Lounge W Doha D’Illusion Gokulam Park









Jazz At Lincoln Center Doha The St. Regis Doha The Jazz Club Oryx Rotana

Jazz Up Mövenpick Hotel Doha Krossroads Horizon Manor Hotel Lava Lounge InterContinental Doha Le Club Mercure Grand Hotel Level 23 The Ritz-Carlton

Liquidity Crowne Plaza Doha - The Business Park

Dunes The Grand Hyatt

Qube Radisson Blu


Rocca The Grand Hyatt


Shehrazad Radisson Blu


Sky View La Cigale





4484-4444 Spike’s Lounge Doha Golf Club


Splash Oryx Rotana


Strata Lounge InterContinental Doha The City


The Irish Harp Sheraton Doha


The Library Radisson Blu


The Library Bar & Cigar Lounge The Four Seasons







4470-8888 Manhattan Radisson Blu



4453-5135 Madison Piano Bar La Cigale

Pearl Lounge Doha Marriott




Misturado Crowne Plaza Doha - The Business Park

Glo Cocktail Bar Marriott Marquis City Center Doha


Orion Radisson Blu


The Lounge Kempinski Residences & Suites

Habanos The Ritz-Carlton


Oyster Bay & Bar The St. Regis Doha


Vintage Lounge The St. Regis Doha



Paloma InterContinental Doha


Wahm W Doha


Fahrenheit Horizon Manor Hotel

Hive InterContinental Doha The City


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OPENING SOON Medina Centrale, The Pearl

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The Crossroads Of Istanbul Words and selected images by Emily Alp

We visit the cultural and historic heart of Turkey, where its ancient past keeps time with the present in a city that was once the seat of an empire that spanned the continents.


robably the most common claim to fame Istanbul has is that it ‘bridges East and West.’ You’re in Europe at 5:00 p.m. and you can drive across one of its two massive Bosphorus-spanning bridges to Asia by 5:30 p.m. That really is cool to think about. Yet, what would likely linger more as a point of fascination is that Istanbul is about the closest you will get to experiencing the social and structural remnants of a recent empire—a massive, powerful civilization that, by its end, saw rulers from all over the world visiting to offer its Sultan gifts as good-standing gestures. Indeed, less than a century ago, the multinational, multilingual Ottoman Empire spanned much of southeast Europe, western Asia, the Caucasus, north Africa and the Horn of Africa. Istanbul was its capital and was once to the Muslim religion what Vatican City is to Catholics—the Sultan was a bit like the Pope and a king at the

same time. Although World War I did much to shrink the size of the empire and, by default, the ambitions of its people, the country retains a social and infrastructural air that can’t help but pull you back in royal time. Hospitality and practicality seem to be a part of the Turkish genetic makeup, so prepare to be pampered as such. The foods you will eat are as local as you can get— from a land that has the climate, soil and seaside to produce everything from figs, pomegranates, cheeses, halal meat delicacies, citrus fruits and a full range of seafood. Combine this with the fact that the country sits along a spice route, and you can see how its kitchens doubled as culinary laboratories with its innovations developing slowly and surely over centuries, studied now the world over. Some recommendations while you’re there, food-wise, would include a stop at a restaurant near Ortakoy mosque to get a nice fish, some sea asparagus and a glass of local vino. The fish near the Golden Horn – just beside the bridge in Eminonu – is also strikingly delicious for how inexpensive and informal the whole exchange is. Mezzes (which are the exact same concept as Spanish tapas) in Istanbul take on a Mediterranean flare in that they usually contain olive oil and any variety of fresh herbs. Broad beans, stuffed vine leaves, sea asparagus, carrots and leeks, borek and the Turkish version of

Greek salad called coban salatasi (pronounced choebon salatasee) are a mainstay of any traditional menu. Then there are the funky new places that feature modern versions and chic presentations of traditional dishes. You’ll need to eat, because Istanbul is a walking city. The metro runs with increasing stops, yet, to tour the historical and ultra-modern gems of the old town, you would do best to wear comfortable shoes. It’s a massive place, with a lot to do, so to give this a practical edge, let’s dig into some suggested activities, and I’ll sprinkle the history in as we go— shall we?

By The Banks Of The Bosphorus… Take a Bosphorus tour up toward the Black Sea from the Eminonu docks, hop out and eat at a restaurant at the last stop up, hop back on the boat and sail back down. The Bosphorus is the waterway dissecting the city into its European and Asian sides—it starts at Eminonu and ends at the Black Sea, and the ships you see along it are in part Russian since the Turks keep neighbourly relations with the Russians (among other neighbours, including Iran, Azerbaijan, Syria, etc.). There are several bridges crossing this waterway. Two massive ones light up in different colours at night and were

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The serene austerity of the Hagia Sophia

The trendy 360 Istanbul East Moda restaurant

A Bosphorus fish market

a huge joint project with the Japanese in the 80’s. Residents travel (in painful gridlock) across these bridges to work. You can take ferries too. But for a visit, just go up and down the Bosphorus, check out the buildings on either side, relax—you’ll see on either side of the boat at any given time: Byzantine ruins scattered amidst majestic mosques, palaces, squat stone buildings, seaside houses, and greenery. This boat trip is just one of the many areas where you’ll spot Byzantine ruins, yet it’s one of the best because you get a chill, panoramic perspective on history – especially when you take in the seaside fortresses. A fascinating tale about these fortresses is that they were bases from which to look out for and fight off the Ottomans. Further down, across the entrance to the Golden Horn, the Byzantines even hung a gigantic chain-link below the surface of the water to keep the Ottoman ships out. How did they conquer the city, you ask? They secretly built wooden rails along a path over the hills and one

night, they pulled ships up over these rails, over the hillside and slid them into the Golden Horn. When the Byzantines awoke, they were surrounded by Ottoman ships! You’ll find, if you walk along the seaside in Eminonu, a gigantic link from that chain. When you return from your boat trip, you’ll be back at Eminonu. Walk toward the huge mosque that marks the district—known as the Yeni (‘new’) Mosque. You’ll see on your right, as you’re walking toward the mosque’s ablution area, an archway to the Egyptian bazaar. Compared to the Grand Bazaar, this is a little (more manageable, get-in-and-get-out) sibling and is loaded with souvenirs and treats. This bazaar is a great place to buy souvenirs because everything is unique, colourful and nicely priced. Haggle though – that’s the rule.

Old City, Old Soul The Grand Bazaar is in the same general area of the city—walk up the hill toward the old town and you’ll

A ferry ride across the Bosphorus is the best way to view the city

find it easily, especially if you’re using a map or map software. Specifically, it’s one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world. Of course, you should go there too—it requires a big chunk of time so plan at least a half-day for it. The Old Town/Sultan Ahmet/Hippodrome district is within walking distance of Eminonu and the bazaars mentioned above—head up there and check out the gifts from various leaders of the world, as well as the Blue Mosque, Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sofia, and the Cistern as well as little places to get a chai (standard black tea—no British colonization here so you’ll have to ask for milk if you want it) or Turk kahvesi (Turkish coffee).

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Stuffed mussels, or media dolma, are a popular delicacy along the banks of the Bosphorus

Highlights in Old Town include:

Historic Topkapi Palace

Hagia Sophia is a thought-provoking example of religious tolerance—it started out as a Greek Orthodox church and, after nearly 1,000 years, one brief century-long occupation by the Catholic church, and the conquering of Constantinople by the Turks, it was (carefully) converted to a mosque. Fascinating thing is that when Ataturk became president early last century, he deemed it secular and insisted on showing both Christian and Muslim influences in the building. Craftsmen thus carefully scraped away the Islamic decoration on some parts of the structure so that it stands as a museum of both faiths. Within leftward eyeshot of the line to enter Hagia Sophia, you will see a squat, unsuspecting building with a line of people waiting to enter the Cistern. It’s a water reservoir that was constructed over 1,400 years ago during the Byzantine era. This is probably one of my favourite historical sites—and as I talk to others the feeling is mutual. It’s just so different, to be down there, to relax and feel the cool air, the vibe. Walk to the back and check out the head of Medusa. She was recovered from some ruins but the people said she was a bad omen and put her way in the back, with her face pointed toward the rear wall. The fish in the water add something special to the experience, too.

Get a bird's-eye view from the terrace of the Istanbul Sapphire skyscraper

Those gifts mentioned earlier, from rulers around the world, can be spotted here in Old Town: a thick, stone obelisk lined with hieroglyphs points toward the sky and was a gift from Egypt during the good times of the empire. You’ll also notice a little domed structure with a water spigot—this German water fountain was a gift from the Kaiser and it still works if you want to fill your water-bottle. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque or ‘Blue Mosque’ will beckon you inside as you peruse the grounds of Old Town and it’s a good idea to take off your shoes, cover your head (ladies) and have a step inside. It’s still in use, so you will see people praying and sitting quietly inside. The spacious atmosphere and dome architecture, as well as the soft blue tile-work, is simply stunning. Next we have Topkapi Palace, where the Sultans lived, and kept their harems, for about 500 years. The weapons, images, artifacts and tiles speak volumes of the splendid time in the empire’s history. Over those centuries, the Sultans were so powerful that they turned a blind eye to the Renaissance. Time to get out of Old Town and cross back over the Golden Horn to check out that stone tower you surely noticed from the Eminonu docks!

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The picturesque streets of Prince Island

Crowds throng along Taksim Istiklal Street

Walk, Revel, Explore Galata looks kind of squat for a tower, but once you’re up there, you’ll see why the Byzantines constructed it to watch ship activity and why it was worth a climb up the little carpeted stairway to get a look around. From here you’ll take in the crazy juxtaposition of extremely old, poignant structures, 70s-era structures, new architecture, skyscrapers in the financial district and a natural assortment of dogs, cats, seagulls, and people milling and sitting around on European deco patios. Going at sunset is an awesome idea, although it’s crowded then, so beware and be ready for a bit of waiting and slow walking around the viewing area. Coming down from Galata, keep pushing back, away from the Golden Horn. Follow the streets back and you should eventually hit the Beyoglu/Taksim area. This is where the city takes on some of its most notable modern charm. The shops are ultramodern yet the structures and people are pastel, stylish, soft and relaxed. Another district to explore, if you hop on the metro, is Nisantasi. This is where the city displays its true range, because you suddenly feel you’ve been transported into some kind of Soho-chic parallel universe. The highest of the high-end fashion retailers quietly perch along low-key streets. Bistros, restaurants and trendy haunts make no flashy announcements so much as they say everything just by being there, in Nisantasi. You can’t go wrong ducking in any of the shops or eateries here. It’s here where you get a sense of the most successful of Turkish designers and the fact that they do keep up with the rest of Europe, perhaps surpassing with the innovations you’ll see in textiles. Finally, since you’ll be in the area, head to Dolma Bahce (which translates to ‘stuffed garden’ in Turkish). This is the place where the Sultans lived for

the last 100 years of the empire, and as Ataturk took over as leader of the shrinking territories, he stayed here as well. The palace is surrounded by gardens and sculptures. When you go inside, you will find the most concentrated assembly of gifts to the Sultans from leaders around the world at that time (1800’s)—the largest/heaviest crystal chandelier in the world hangs from the ceiling in its main room—a gift from France weighing over a ton. You’ll also see carved elephant tusks from Africa, antique furniture, paintings and an entire side building dedicated only to clocks. It’s really a testament to the power of the empire. Walking around Istanbul’s streets, sitting on the metro with its residents, seeing ancient architecture and ultra-mod boutiques in one afternoon, one only need to reflect to experience a breathtaking journey. A remnant of a massive empire, Turkey has emerged a formidable nation-state experiencing a lot of financial growth since it stabilized after its last coup in 1980 (its post-modern coup of 1997 notwithstanding). Its biggest city and cultural capital offers anyone willing the chance to gain a new perspective on the region and a real-time glimpse of history, all the while delighting the senses. n

Stop for fresh produce at the city's bustling street markets

Emily Alp has been traveling frequently to Turkey – Istanbul in particular – since 2005. She spent several years freelancing for a Turkish-American magazine and learned the language while living in New York City a decade ago. She credits the country and its people with a deeper understanding of cultural dynamics in the Middle East and a stronger sense of international development through the lens of this country's breathtaking history.

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Postcards From Puglia By John Hunt Selected images courtesy of Eleanor Graff

The sun-drenched southern tip of Italy beckons visitors with miles of Mediterranean coastline, white-washed beaches, delectable cuisine and vivid history. Welcome to Puglia.


he region of Puglia comprises the ‘heel’ that forms the boot-shaped Italian mainland. Here in the deep south, the wealth of Italy’s north could scarcely be more distant, and Rome itself is nearly 300 miles away. Consequently, the region is neither affluent nor influential, but it has a superb climate, is beautiful to behold, is culture-rich, and also cheap. It also enjoys a relaxed pace of life and genuinely welcoming locals. We enjoyed a five-day break in Puglia in late spring where temperatures are typically in the mid-20s Centigrade. Arriving at Bari Airport (Bari is the capital of the region) we transferred to the four-star Hotel Oriente, which is situated just a few hundred yards from where the Adriatic Sea laps at the shore. That evening, we were taken around Bari’s Old Town in a bicycle rickshaw which stopped periodically to see the sights, and sample the simple cuisine of the region. First up was a focaccia shop where a huge and

delicious slab of the oven-hot delicacy (basically olive pizza without the cheese) costs just one euro (QR 4). Following the Italian stereotype of hosts plying their guests with food, we were then taken to a delicatessen where we sampled cheeses, breads and the local plonk – a fantastic taste explosion. Night had fallen when we then stopped in a small piazza where a local woman was making, cooking and selling Puglian ‘street food’: pasta in a tomato, garlic and anchovy sauce. I’ve never eaten pasta within five minutes of it being made from scratch and it tasted as good as it sounds. Our final stop was for dessert – superb cones of homemade ice cream from a gelateria. The following morning we were driven up the sundrenched coast to the tranquil town of Trani for a walking tour under a cloudless sky. The town’s ancient architecture was a delight, and the weather perfect for photography. Next we travelled inland, to the Castel del Monte, an octagonal outlook atop a Puglian hill, offering great views across the countryside.

Traditional bread from Altamura

Focaccia — a staple of the Puglian diet

Altamura was the following stop on our tour, where we visited a bakery to see the traditional ‘sour-dough’ local bread being made. We sampled a slice or two – delicious – and if we had had room in our hand baggage, a couple of loaves would have been coming back with us! We spent our second night in the town of Alberobello, famed for its traditional trulli – compact farmhouses featuring unique cone-shaped roofs. The next day saw us travel to an ‘artisan’ cheesemaker to see the (surprisingly quick) manufacture

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Trulli houses in Alberobello cast a quirky form over the landscape

Alleway and architecture in Bari's Old Town

of mozzarella cheese – with the obligatory tasting – and then onto another picturesque interior town dripping in character and charm, Martina Franca. We spent the night at the sumptuous Masseria Torre Cocarro near the coastal town of Brindisi. This fivestar property was the pick of the bunch. A masseria is an enormous farmhouse, which in this case had been converted into a luxury hotel, with the stables and various ‘out houses’ converted into rooms – a new experience for us both, and very, very exclusive to sample at this level of opulence. Dinner and breakfast were simply exceptional, as were the levels of service. These masserie are very much in vogue with celebrities at the moment; Justin Timberlake got married at another masseria nearby. Our final full day in Puglia started with a train trip back up the coast (just QR 17) to Bari, which afforded great views of the Adriatic, and back to Hotel Oriente. That afternoon, my other half looked around the sights of the city while I travelled out to Stadio San Nicola, home of FC Bari, to take a few pictures. The place was locked up tight but in my experience one can usually find an open gate somewhere. I found one, let myself in, and managed to shoot off a few pics before security spotted and ejected me. That night, we found a pizzeria which demonstrated the economy to be found in the region. ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ was something of a misnomer for a place which was more heavenly. Two massive pizzas, a large glass of house white and a bottle of Peroni cost us the equivalent of – wait for it – QR 60. Now that’s value! Puglia didn’t disappoint in any way and is really worth a look if you seek culture, architecture, bargain pizzas, and the simple, fresh and filling local cuisine under an azure sky. The best time to

Dine in cavernous quarters at the Masseria Torre Cocarro

visit is early autumn or late spring. High summer temperatures are not that much lower than Doha’s!

Getting There We travelled British Airways from Edinburgh, via Gatwick. We had a three-hour layover which we spent in the excellent ‘No1 Lounge’. Free bar, complimentary hot food, WiFi, newspapers and magazines, and even a PlayStation room! Entrance was QR 165 each, but well worth it – see for more details and other venues. n

An aerial view of the Castel del Monte

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A Sacred Patch Of India

By Jessica Furseth

This spot in central India is out of the way, but Hampi’s elaborate landscape of ruins and relaxed village life is nothing short of magical.

different here, like another kind of India: while most of the country will overwhelm your senses, Hampi will let you catch your breath.

t’s only 10 o’clock in the evening, but all of Hampi seems to be asleep. As India demands you adjust to its temperament, I’m trying to sleep too, but I’m distracted by a smell drifting in through my window. There’s only shutters separating me from the world outside, not glass, as Hampi is a small village and this is actually a family house. The smell is pungent but not unpleasant, so my curiosity drives me to peek outside: four cows stare back at me. They’ve gone to bed for the night too, and this is their spot: right in the middle of the street.

Make sure to bring good walking shoes to Hampi, as most of the sights are spread out through the landscape. Stretches of road are surrounded by ever-more amazing ruins, and you never quite know if you’ve reached your destination because the maps are vague and directions general. But you’ll know when you’ve reached Vittala Temple, the star attraction in Hampi. Elaborate stone carvings are found on every surface, and one is more incredible than the last, concluding in the ornate stone chariot whose wheels could once spin. The architecture brings frequent representations of Hanuman the monkey god, people with hands folded in greetings, rows of elephants, gods and goddesses, scenes from epic tales, flowers and patterns, plus the various stages of attraction. Everything is sacred.

Hampi is a place that’s very easy to like. The ruins of this once-grand city stretch out for several kilometres, meaning there are endless things to explore. It’s truly an amazing place: it’s as if a group of giants once had a play-fight here, throwing the great big boulders around. Today the rocks sit where they landed in the landscape, and the villagers live their lives while the travelers roam about. It feels

The Royal Centre is the other key site in Hampi, and here the highlights come thick and fast: the Underground Shiva Temple, which is partially submerged; the elegant Lotus Mahal, with its onion-shaped arches; and the Elephant Stables, which are massive but playful with the various shapes of domes, each enclave big enough for numerous creatures. But maybe the best part is the


random temples strewn around in the landscape. Hampi will constantly distract you from your plans, in the best way possible. One day I stumbled onto a massive statue with four arms, called the Mustard Seed Ganesha, and then some temple whose name I forgot to take down; it’s covered in elaborate carvings and anywhere else it would be a major sight - but in Hampi it’s not even on the map.

There’s always more to explore in Hampi, but you’ll be forgiven if you leave having missed a few sights: some of the best times you’ll have in Hampi will certainly be spent lounging around. Make sure to trim the nails on your eating hand, as most meals won’t come with cutlery: you shape the food into balls with the right hand and push it into your mouth with the thumb. After a vegetarian curry or dhal off a banana leaf, make sure to have some masala chai, or maybe a glass of sweet lime. Every night, crowds are drawn to the ruins at Hemakuta Hill, where they watch the sunset, surrounded by the monkeys who seem to enjoy the sky spectacle too. The hill is just up behind Virupaksha Temple, Hampi’s working house of worship. People bring flowers and coconuts, the latter broken on a rock before offered to the god in question. As I tip-toe around inside, not quite sure where non-Hindus can go, a holy man motions me

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India's colourful mystique continues to captivate those who seek out its traditions and temples

The sprawling grounds of Virupaksha Temple

Hampi's vast collection of Hindu ruins has marked it as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

over; he presses yellow powder against my forehead and tells me I’m welcome. The best part though, is Lakshmi the Elephant, who oversees the temple. She will let you pet her, and if you give her a coin, there’s a blessing for you too.

Fly + Sleep Qatar Airways flies from Doha to Bangalore daily. From Bangalore, travel by sleeper train to Hospet, where an auto-rickshaw will take you the rest of the way. Most Hampi accommodation is modest, but Gopi Guest House and Padma Guest House are both good bets in the Bazaar. n

Hidden among a moonscape terrain, Hampi is a cultural epicentre for the intrepid traveller

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By John Hunt Selected images courtesy of Eleanor Graff

We explore industrial England’s revitalized heart with a weekend sojourn to Manchester – and yes, the North’s most influential berg still holds claim to underground punk, wild footie fans and the old Corrie cobbles.


anchester isn’t in the same league as, say, Tokyo, New York or London as a ‘must visit’ city. However, if we were to put ‘cities to experience’ into some sort of league table, then it would be near the top of the second tier: it’s got a lot going for it, has friendly locals, and is constantly improving itself. Oh, and it’s pretty cheap as well… The city, certainly in the 1980’s and 90’s, acquired a somewhat dreary reputation, but our recent visit enables me to report that modern Manchester is now a city of culture, ongoing and extensive


development, high-end retail, continued football domination and a buzzing nightlife. Football’s obviously big news here, with Abu Dhabiowned Manchester City at one end of town, and Manchester United at the other. Both are huge clubs but we plumped for the Manchester United Stadium Tour (QR 100) which was extremely good. We were led into the stadium proper by a pair of guides and around the various stands, providing numerous photo opportunities. Mine own footballing loyalties lie elsewhere, but it’s undeniably an impressive arena. Next up was the press room to hear various entertaining tales. From there, to the changing rooms, then to the dugouts, and then to the tunnel from which the players emerge. The tour lasted just over an hour and ‘exited through the gift store’. I didn’t buy anything.

The city is known for its colourful array of shops, adding character to its high streets

Lobster at The Lowry — cooked to perfection

Old Trafford is a fair distance from the centre of Manchester, but travel around the city is facilitated by an excellent tram system that’s both cheap (around QR 30 for a day-ticket) and frequent. Back in the city centre is the Manchester Art Gallery (free) which is a microcosm of any number of London art

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Picadilly Gardens in Manchester City Centre

The Millennium Footbridge at Salford Quays

museums. That is to say, the quality of work was very high – there was just less of it.

A step back in time at the Transport Museum

Our hotel was pretty central so the following day we were back on the tram to Salford and the Imperial War Museum – North (free). There was less in the way of actual military ‘hardware’ on display than is the norm for this type of museum, and much more about the unfortunate psychology of war – and its effects. The design of the building, and its exhibits,

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TRAVEL make for a far more challenging experience. Is this an uncomfortable experience? Yes, and I suspect deliberately so. Does it lack quality? No. Five minutes from the War Museum takes you to Salford Quay where a Media City has sprung up on a previously derelict site. For the tourist, though, is The Lowry – both a theatre complex and a gallery for one of the quintessentially English artists, L.S. Lowry, who commands a global reputation. It’s the largest collection of his work in the world. Entry is, again, free, and there are regular tours through his work by knowledgeable staff.

Iconic Old Trafford, home turf of Manchester United

In the Deansgate area is the Museum of Science and Industry (free) which is absolutely huge and spread throughout five separate buildings. It’s fascinating, and could easily take you an entire day to ‘do’ if you wished. A tram ride to the Queens Road station will take you to the Manchester Transport Museum (QR 22.50), a private collection of buses and trams. I found this absorbing, ‘cos I’m weird and into this sort of thing, but I could only recommend it for the enthusiast/ fellow weirdo. Back in the city you can enjoy the enormous, indoor Arndale Centre which is a mall about three times the size of Doha’s City Center. Here, they have everything, from budget stores to designer retailers such as Harvey Nichols and Selfridges. It’s worth noting that as you walk about the city centre, you’ll see redevelopment everywhere. From new glass-and-steel structures poking into the sky, to the city’s famous old cotton mills being developed into high-end apartments, boutique retail outlets, gourmet restaurants or designer bars and nightclubs.

The riverfront Lowry Hotel

The striking architecture of the Imperial War Museum North

We tried everything we could in the three days we had available to us, apart from the nightlife. My excuse is that I left my Gucci loafers at home and I’m sticking to it. A different vibe to London, for sure, and a different price-tag if you’re watching the budget. Visit for more info.

Where To Stay If you’re not ‘watching the budget’ then you might want to consider The Lowry as your hotel of choice. We did, and enjoyed it enormously. Arguably the best hotel in Manchester, this five-star property is where Manchester United’s players stay the night before their home games. Huge rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, attentive staff, a spa with ridiculously cheap treatment prices and, at dinner, one of the best steaks I’ve ever tasted. Rooms cost from QR 1,040 a night for a double B&B. See for more.

How To Get There Qatar Airways fly direct to Manchester twice daily from Hamad, but we travelled from Edinburgh via train, with Transpennine Express. Journey time is just under 3.5 hours. No complaints about the state of the train, smoothness of ride or the punctuality, but the service was busy, especially on the way back. Book seats at n

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A Date With Dubai

Images courtesy of Le Méridien Dubai Hotel

If a weekend away in the bright lights and big city are what you crave, well, Dubai is only an hour’s flight away. While you’re in town, there’s only one address to call home – Le Méridien Dubai Hotel.


ubai is an evolving canvas, and Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre has emerged as one of its premiere hospitality destinations. With a resort-like setting, it’s the perfect blend of space to inspire interaction, with recreational facilities that replenish the spirit and 18 extraordinary culinary experiences that stimulate the palate. An ideal retreat for a weekend getaway, inspired meetings or conferences, it’s just five minutes away from Dubai International Airport and the city’s main commercial and shopping hubs are an accessible 15-minute drive away, making the hotel a perfect launch-pad to discover the bustling metropolis and connect with business partners.

Contemporary, chic designs and signature Le Méridien beds await in all of the 383 rooms and suites, with ground floor rooms offering direct access to the gardens or pools. The brand-new 197-room Royal Club wing features spacious 52 square-metre rooms, a dedicated spa floor and a complimentary Club Lounge that invites interaction and relaxation. After a long day at work or exploring the city, guests looking to replenish mind, body and spirit will find that Le Méridien offers five pools and one of the largest fitness facilities in Dubai with state-of-the-art equipment and expert trainers.

Le Méridien Dubai’s Restaurants: Seafood Market Restaurant: An authentic Far Eastern-style restaurant with 18 seawater tanks featuring live lobsters from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Oman, live crabs and live local hammour. M’s Beef Bistro: International selection of meats served in a warm and inviting atmosphere. M’s Seafood Bistro Restaurant: The only European seafood restaurant in Dubai serving an array of seafood prepared with a unique blend of classic European influences and flavours Casa Mia Restaurant: Authentic Italian dining at

Casa Mia in the Méridien Village. The Dubliner’s: Filled with a friendly and lively atmosphere, this Irish pub invites you to watch live sporting events. Méridien Village Terrace: Méridien Village Terrace, the hotel’s signature outdoor piazza-style dining. Yalumba Restaurant: Modern eclectic cuisine. The restaurant, famous for its themed bubbly Friday brunch offers a lavish breakfast and lunch buffet with à la carte options. Kiku Restaurant: Sophisticated Japanese dining. Warehouse: One of Dubai’s most inspired nightspots. Warehouse imaginatively integrates four bars and two restaurants to create a unique nightspot. Mahec: Modern, authentic Hindustani evolved cuisine Long Yin: Recognized for its authentic Cantonese and Szechwan-style cuisine, particularly the ancient art of dim sum, Long Yin is a perennial favourite Chinese restaurant in Dubai. Gourmandises: Cozy and discreet, Gourmandises is a popular spot to meet friends or business acquaintances. Sukhothai: Authentic Asian dishes that are beautifully-presented in this popular Thai restaurant. Pearl Bar: Lounge/ coffee bar. L’ Atelier Des Chefs- Offers exclusive


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The sultry ambiance of Warehouse Restaurant

Indulge in one of the hotel's private cooking classes at L'Atelier Des Chefs

Spend a luxurious weekend Dubai-style with all the comforts of home — and beyond!

Dine al fresco at M's Seafood Bistro

cooking classes. Jules Bar: Experience the delights of Mexican and international cuisines. Pool Bar: Unwind and relax by the spa pool bar. Conference Centre Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre now offers one of the newest and largest conference and banqueting facilities in Dubai. The hotel can accommodate up to 1,500 attendees and features hightech equipment, direct ballroom access, uniqueshow kitchens, outdoor event spaces and extensive parking. Whether you’re in town to explore Dubai or for a creative meeting of minds, Le Méridien offers the perfect blend of stimulating space, convenient location and range of facilities to make every stay or meeting a success. Enjoy some of the best offers this summer from Le Méridien, and make the most out of your stay in Dubai. 1. Royal Club Summer Promotion/ Dubai Summer Surprises Exclusively for Le Royal Club Room + 30% off on selected F&B outlets (except for Mahec and Sewar)

and in-room dinning. From July 1 to September 5 - Starting from AED 549++ (Single and double occupancy) - Promotional code: RC - 30% off on Food & Beverage

package, from AED 180 per person includes: - Main meeting room hire - Two coffee breaks - Lunch buffet - Dedicated and specialized event planner - Offer is available for a minimum of 10 delegates

F&B Terms and Conditions - Guest has to book at the LRC through this link - Access to all the Royal Club benefits: breakfast, afternoon tea and happy hour - 40% discount on Traditional and Signature Hammam spa treatment - Discount not in conjunction with any other promotion or loyalty card - Not valid during All-You-Can-Eat concept (brunches) - Kiku & Seafood Market will offer a 30% discount - In-room dining is 30% off - Theme nights are 30% off - 30% discount applicable 7 days a week

3. Group Benefits Booking Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre has been newly-renovated and invites rediscovery. A stimulating environment conducive to business success, the hotel offers a resort-style setting with sprawling sub-tropical gardens and expansive space that aims to impress. Book your next meeting up until September 15, 2015 for a minimum of 10 rooms with rates starting from AED 499++ BB, and choose two of the following value-added benefits: - Complimentary internet - 1 complimentary room per 15 rooms booked - 1 complimentary upgrade for every 10 rooms n

2. Daily Delegates Rates from AED 180 Per Person Le Méridien Dubai’s 5,500 square-metre banquet and conference facility is equipped to accommodate the most demanding business meetings as comfortably as a social gala. Our comprehensive day-delegate

For more information on Le Méridien Dubai Hotel or to make a reservation call +971 4217-0000, or visit


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Our QH Guide To Travel-Smarts By Lynsey Riach

It’s that time of year again when so many of us long for a little wanderlust, the desire to spread our wings or escape the heat! But before we take to the skies, know you’re fully prepared by following these top traveller tips. Where To? Perhaps you already know where you fancy going on your trip – but if not there are lots of tools to find inspiration. I especially enjoy Lonely Planet books that provide the top lists for any particular year.

For 2015 they recommend Best Value Destinations: 1. Singapore 2. Namibia 3. Lithuania 4. Nicaragua 5. Ireland 6. Republic of Congo 7. Serbia 8. The Philippines 9. St. Lucia 10. Morocco

Whenever I travel I always pack a Lonely Planet guide, which I read in advance and prepare an itinerary; this also helps me to look forward to my trip – an essential part! You can never be too planned, especially if you want to make the most

out of your stay, so plan ahead and you’ll feel you already know the place before you touch down.

These guidebooks also help you learn about local laws and customs, because while you’re travelling you’re subject to the local laws of that country. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from your own and it’s very important to know what's legal and what's not.

Safe & Sound Before you set off, it’s essential to check that the destination you’re going to is deemed safe. With an ever-changing world, you can never be sure when political or geographical unrest may occur; but to play it safe do some research before you decide to book your trip and be aware of any travel alerts and warnings for your chosen destination. Check out

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A little planning and preparation will go a long way to making your next trip a smooth one! and search by country. This website is an excellent checker with various warning levels from health to terrorism. You’ll know if you’ve made the right choice.

The Paperwork When travelling over a border to another country, you’ll need a valid passport and in some cases, a visa. This is also relevant for any children you’re travelling with. It’s advisable to check with the embassy or authorities of the country you intend to visit to be aware what requirements are needed for your nationality.

Feel Fly Once you’re ready to book that ticket the options may seem endless and it can often be pretty daunting to know what websites to trust with your credit card and which ones offer the best deals. If you’re more familiar with booking through a travel agent then do so, but know that the internet is often where the best deals are to be found.

Have Lonely Planet, will travel.

If it’s just a flight you’re after, then try as your first stop. Simply enter the route you wish to take and it will do all the hard work for you – trawling the internet and price-comparing. You’re then left to make your mind up on the flight that suits you best and you can even narrow your search by airline, flight duration, flight time and of course…price! It’s my absolute

top traveller tip and my first stop before booking any flight or vacation. They even have a mobile app downloadable for free!

Add It All Up If it’s more of a flight-and-hotel combined trip, then it may be smarter to book with some sites that offer value deals such as or Both offer extensive airline and hotel choices – often cheaper when booked together rather than separate. But a little word of warning – before you do hit the ‘Buy Now’ button on that ‘five-star hotel’ it’s best to do a little background check to be sure it’s all it’s cracked up to be. As a regular reviewer and Senior Contributor to Trip Advisor, I can assure you that this site is the go-to for getting the truth on that hotel. Travellers leave their reviews and photos of their stay along with a rating scheme so you can be sure it’s really what you want. Visit for more details.

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Stay healthy: make sure you and your family are properly vaccinated before travelling

Call your bank before you leave to make sure your cards can be accessed for overseas transactions

Don’t forget that if you’re taking any prescription medication with you that you have enough and be sure to carry your medication in their original labelled containers in your hand-luggage in the event your checked baggage went missing (it happens!).

Get Covered It’s wise to be fully covered for any health or travel issue while you’re away. Check with your current health insurance provider that they will cover overseas travel to your chosen destination. If they don’t, consider purchasing a short-term policy that does. Many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas including emergency services such as medical evacuations.

Stay safe and travel well this summer from the team at QH!

In Case Of Emergency

Funny Money

Now that you’re all booked up and have started plotting your trip, make sure you have the contact information for the nearest Embassy or Consulate where you’re going, just in case you need them – you never know! Leave your travel details with a family member just in case anyone needs to reach you.

Foreign currency may look interesting but hey, it’s real money, so be prepared to handle it properly. Know the currency you need, buy enough but not too much and understand the exchange rate before you travel.

It’s also wise to make two photocopies of all your travel documents in case of emergency or if your documents are lost or stolen. Leave one copy with a friend or relative at home and carry the other copy with you stored separately from the originals. Documents to make copies of include: • Passport ID page • Foreign visa (if applicable) • Itinerary • Hotel confirmation • Airline tickets • Driver's license • Credit cards brought on the trip

Before you leave, notify your bank and credit card company that you’re going overseas and avoid carrying too much cash on you. Consider using major credit cards instead for most of your transactions, this is also easier to keep track of what you actually spent (then again…maybe you don’t want to know!)

Vaccinations And let’s not forget our health before we even jet off! Vaccinations are required for entry to some countries and it’s best to be healthy and know you’re protected before you visit. Check before you travel and check the country-specific information at

Take note – regardless of whether your insurance is valid overseas, you may be required to pay for care when you receive it and then claim the expense back.

Time To Pack! • Pack light so you can move more quickly and have a free hand when you need it. • Carry a minimum number of valuables and plan places to conceal them. • Check your bags and clothing to make sure you’re not carrying any banned items. • Use luggage tags. • Keep essential travel documents within easy reach at all times . Safe travels and happy holidays! n Lynsey Riach is a qualified yoga instructor living and working in Doha normally walking her dogs, on her yoga mat, or on her travels. To learn more about her services visit

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Travel Plans?

What To Do With Your Pet By Jacqueline Bodnar

With summer in full swing, many people’s thoughts turn to vacation planning. If you’re one of the thousands of pet owners across the country, it’s important to determine the best care option for your furry friend as the family heads out for some summer fun. Read on for some options that are available to you so you can make the best decision for your pet.

Taking Them

One of the more obvious options that come to mind is to simply take your pet with you when you travel. However, that may not be such a good idea, depending on where you’re going and the temperament of your pet. Some pets are better left at home, especially if they don’t do well in unfamiliar places or have medical problems or any physical impairments. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), there are some safety precautions to keep in mind if you take your pet with you. When traveling by car, the HSUS advises that your pet always be restrained in the vehicle. If your dog is familiar with using a pet safety harness you should

use that while traveling. Hard-sided kennels that are well-ventilated are also a good choice. Although dogs seem to love sticking their head out of the car window, the HSUS points out that this should be avoided because the dog could be injured by flying debris. Pets should also never be transported in the back of a pickup truck. Be sure to give your pet frequent bathroom and exercise breaks and avoid leaving them in a car unattended, as temperatures can soar quickly and be deadly. HSUS recommends that pets only be transported by air if absolutely necessary. The US Airline Transportation Association estimates that every year there are around 5,000 animals that are killed,

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When flying with animals, making sure the kennel they're transported in is well-ventilated — smaller pets may even be taken on-board instead of travelling cargo

lost or injured on airplanes. Most of these problems are due to the extreme cold or heat in the poorlyventilated cargo holds and by kennel damage. If you do fly with your pet, take small ones onboard with you in a carrier that fits under the seat. Contact your airline carrier for specifics on their pet restrictions. Most cruise ships and trains don’t accept pets, so you will need to contact them directly if you’re considering this. Most lodging facilities also don’t take pets, but there are some hotels and motels that do. The key is to research and reserve well in advance. Be sure to take all the necessary supplies and an emergency first-aid kit with you.

Boarding Options Many people who don’t want to take their pet with them arrange for boarding or a pet hotel. Before making arrangements ask your veterinarian for some recommendations. You should also tour the facility. Many pet hotels give you the ability to log on to their website and see your dog through live video-stream, which may help set your mind at ease when you are miles away. You may also want to consider taking the pet there for a day before starting the trip, just as a trial run.

Pet-Sitters A great option for those wanting to travel without their furry friends is to get a sitter. You can either find someone to watch the pet in their home so that your pet has more one-on-one attention, or you can opt to have a sitter visit your home, which allows your pet to stay in a familiar place. A petsitter may visit your home as many times a day or week as you would like, and some will even stay the night in your home.

“We come into the client’s home and walk the dog, take care of the litter-box, feed the animals, administer medications, give insulin shots, and do just about anything that would need to be done in the house,” says Wendy Blossom, owner of North Dallas Pet Sitters. “With in-home pet care the animals are kept in their own familiar environments and kept to their usual routines as much as possible. They’re not exposed to strange smells, noises, surroundings, or possible exposure to diseases and parasites.”

Home Alone For many people, especially cat owners, leaving the pet home alone is an option. Cats can usually be left for a few days home alone with an adequate food and water supply. Fish can be taken care of by purchasing an automatic feeder. Some dogs do suffer from separation anxiety though. This can happen after a vacation for those used to being around their owner frequently. Dogs that suffer from this may display inappropriate behaviour when left alone, such as digging, chewing, howling, or urinating in the home. They recommend you gradually get your dog used to being without you by taking it to boarding or doggie-day-care, or leaving it with a friend or relative.

Plan Ahead Whatever option you choose, be sure to talk to your veterinarian and have all their vaccinations up to date. The key to a good summer vacation with or without the pet is to plan ahead. n

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A Tranquil

Stay By Jorge Granda Selected photography by Jessie Palanca Additional images courtesy of the Doha Marriott

If you’re looking for a place in the city to relax and get away from it all, then the Doha Marriott fits the bill. Whether its five-star spa pampering you seek, or delighting your palate with international dishes, this iconic hotel is one-stop shopping. QH took a much-needed break and spent a few days.

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The Doha Marriott is still going strong as one of the longest-standing hotels in the city

Indulge in an evening at the iconic JW's Steakhouse


’m a big fan of stay-cations; I find there’s something amusing about staying in a hotel for a small break in the city that you call home – so why not embark on a local holiday experience?

The Destination

Last month I decided to stay at the Doha Marriott. Having lived in the country for over a decade, I have a soft spot for this hotel. The building is thought to be the first five-star hotel in Qatar, but before it took on the Marriott moniker, it was called the Gulf Hotel – and since I landed here, has always been a hotspot. Spread out over two wings, the property boasts a total of 362 luxurious rooms and suites (252 non-smoking rooms), 190 standard rooms, 119 executive rooms, 51 executive suites and two presidential suites. Apart from its stately quarters, panoramic views of the city, a thrumming nightclub, pool-bar, beach and spa, the hotel also shows off five restaurants serving up some remarkably diverse cuisines from

around the globe. Its location is also convenient – and great for those seeking a new vantage point outside of West Bay. It’s a ten-minute drive from the new airport, walking distance from the beautiful Corniche with the museums and Souq practically on its doorstep.

The Room

After a very easy and fast check-in, I head upstairs to take a look at my room, which features an impressive view overlooking the Corniche, and the hotel’s beach and pool. There’s also a small terrace where you can sit outside and smoke if you’re so inclined – or just take in the fresh breeze. After drinking in the view, I start checking out the space. The room is not (structure- wise) as modern as the newer hotels in the city, but it’s still impeccable and tastefully decorated – the overall space is well-distributed. The bed is soft and spacious, and the room features all the amenities

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When the sun goes down The View terrace is one of the nicest spots outside of West Bay to unwind

you can find in five-star hotels anywhere in the world.

Dining Options

The Doha Marriott indulges its guests with a gastronomical feast of Mediterranean, Southeast Asian, Mexican and Indian options. During my stay, I didn’t have the chance to visit them all, but my choices were more than satisfying.

The View

Before having lunch, I stopped by The View, the cocktail and snack bar near the pool area. When the weather’s nice, it’s the perfect spot to have a drink before going swimming or tanning. Due to Qatar’s new laws regulating the sale of alcohol near the water, it’s not allowed to have a drink while dipping your feet, but The View is close enough that you won’t feel the difference. Drinks prices are also reasonable between QR 45 to QR 75.

The Corniche

Indulge in some sweet treats from the Marriott culinary team

My next stop is the Corniche Restaurant. This Mediterranean-style buffet eatery is located on the ground floor at the end of the Restaurant Gallery. An all-day dining outlet, it can easily accommodate 120 people. What I like about this restaurant is the natural light during the day, which adds vibrancy and life to the ambiance. For my dining experience, it was recommended to me that I try their new Business Lunch, so that’s just what I did.

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Dip your toes along the beachfront

For starters, you can choose from a selection of salads and cold appetizers from the buffet stations, or you can order a tomato soup. I decided to go for the soup, and my option was right on the money. The soup was creamy, flavoursome and delicious. For my main course I went for the beef and mushroom lasagna. It’s superb; the Bolognaise sauce mixed with pine-mushroom stew, creamy ricotta, and caramelized onions is an outstanding dish. The chef opted to replace the minced meat with the stew, and the result was a dish rich in flavours, aromas, and perfect texture. The business lunch also includes dessert, and I would highly recommend the oven-baked French apple tart served with rich vanilla sauce and caramel ice cream. As good as the food is the price – this feast only cost QR 95. There is also a smoking section and you can order soft drinks and house beverages to accompany your meal.

JW’s Steakhouse

After a leisurely afternoon lounging by the pool, I head inside to freshen up for dinner at JW’s Steakhouse. Also located on the ground floor, this restaurant breathes elegance and luxury. The space features leather armchairs and dark wooden walls. I’d been saving my appetite the entire afternoon just for this dinner, so my expectations were high. JW’s focuses on only the top-cuts of meat, and I opt for a fillet mignon that comes

with a delightful and rich peppercorn sauce. The texture of the beef just melts in your mouth – it’s juicy and immaculately cooked. But before the fillet arrives, I also tried the foie gras and oysters Rockefeller. Both starters are delectable and mouthwatering. There are many more options to tempt you from in the menu including a stellar array of desserts. The staff is attentive and the service exceeds the standards of the restaurant. For smokers there’s a cigar area and, if you like a nice glass of vino to accompany your fabulous steak, you’ll find a sommelier’s selection of the finest bottles in Doha. The average meal price at JW’s Steakhouse (without drinks) is around QR 300 – and every bite is worth splashing out for.

The Spa & Health Club

Prior to dinner I indulged myself in a calming facial at the hotel spa. The facility features relaxation areas, showers, steam-room, whirlpool and cold plunge pools. An ample selection of massages, facials and other beauty treatments are available on offer and due to some residual construction noise from renovations to the adjacent Pearl Lounge, my treatment was held in a fully-equipped suite on the fifth floor of the hotel. The private suite was a very regal experience and felt much more personalized. The facial lasted around two hours and different products were

The Corniche all-day dining restaurant

gently rubbed into my face while the therapist nurtured and massaged my skin. It was the ultimate pampering experience and the results were evident right after the treatment – my complexion was glowing. The Doha Marriott remains as one of the top original hotels in the country and my stay was a gratifying experience, ideal for a relaxing staycation or a productive business trip. I had a wonderful time at the pool, the room was awesome, the staff friendly, the food rich and the atmosphere second to none. n

Nightly rates at the Doha Marriott are subject to seasonal variations and availability. For reservations call 4429-8888 or visit

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An Everyday


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By Ashlee Starratt Selected images courtesy of the Crowne Plaza Doha – The Business Park Additional photography by Jessie Palanca

In need of a proper Doha ‘minibreak’ we checked ourselves in to the Crowne Plaza Doha – The Business Park for a weekend stay-cation treat! Conveniently located on Airport Road, the Crowne Plaza Doha is a refreshing option outside of West Bay


s the old Loverboy song goes – ‘Everybody’s working for the weekend’. This rang exceptionally true for this writer as, amidst looming deadlines and the crunch of production, the work-week (and the world) seemed to shift a little off-kilter. The heat was rising, summer had announced its presence in Qatar, and an overwhelming need to just pick up sticks and get away from it all (without the hassle of a pesky exit permit) took hold. Summer staycation mode was in full swing and, wanting to get out of West Bay for a change, I booked myself an executive club room at the Crowne Plaza Doha – The Business Park. Located on Airport Road just a little ways up from Crazy Signal, the hotel’s star has been rising since opening in 2012, with word of mouth buzzing about their spa, food and dining and lounge outlets. The shape of the property is futuristic, with a horseshoe of hotel and residential buildings surrounding a central globe where its larger conference facilities are housed. The sensation it evokes is of one of being inside your own private compound, with the rest of the busy city streets completely shut out. Works perfectly for me – after all, this weekend break is to find safe haven away from the daily grind. Check-in is smooth and friendly, though where I’m arriving in the morning (and standard check-in time isn’t until 3:00 p.m.), my room isn’t ready yet. Because I’ve booked an executive club room I have access to the Executive Lounge on the 6th floor where I go to grab a coffee and wait until I can get the key to my room. For those with access to the lounge you can pop by morning, noon or night for a light breakfast, lunch or dinner, surf the web at their bank of computers, read a book, or relax with the day’s paper. They even have a daily happy hour for guests with lounge access. I actually prefer its calm and quiet so much that I forgo their all-day dining restaurant in the mornings for breakfast from its small buffet spread. The staff is welcoming, quickly learning my name, and the service is very personal. I really enjoyed lingering over my morning caffeine and dog-eared copy of one of Stephen King’s masterpieces.

There’s No Place Like Home…

The Executive Club Lounge

But let’s face it – does your home come equipped with an ultra-king-sized bed, six massive plush down pillows and a duvet as soft as a cloud? Yes? Then kindly read no further – as why would you ever leave home?!

If not, then I’m sure you can appreciate (as this writer did) the child-like joy of doing a face-plant dive into all that softness. ‘Is this really my bed for the next two nights?’ may have kept crossing my mind on repeat. The rest of the room was amply appointed, with a desk/workspace, fully-stocked mini-fridge, and ultra-modern bathroom with a window from the shower into the bedroom. (Don’t worry – it had retracting curtains!) During my stay I quickly discovered it was the little things that mattered most – every phone call to house-keeping for extra towels or dental/shaving kits saw the items at my door in less than five minutes. When I ordered room service, called to ask for some extra munchies for the mini-bar and requested a room cleaning, the staff went the extra mile to ensure my comfort. I know you might be thinking ‘Well, no kidding, that’s part of their job…’, but when this is your first staycation in a year and you haven’t experienced quality hotel service in nearly 12 long months – let me tell you, it’s quite nice.

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Our home-away-from-home for the weekend—the creature comforts of an executive club room

Rest, Relax And…Explore? I spent the next two days making the most of the hotel’s facilities and amenities. There was one blistering hot afternoon in which a misguided attempt was made to lounge by the pool in the 45-degree Celsius heat. Though the pool deck was very nice, with canvas sails strung across the space to provide some shade, I lasted not even half an hour. No shame to their facilities – it was simply too hot! The evening, when it’s cooler, is worth a trip back for some BBQ bites and cocktails a their Liquidity rooftop restaurant. Thursday is ladies night and with some great drink promotions, a DJ spinning some decent tunes and the open-air ambiance, the small spot can fill up fast. Another staycation perk is waking up in the morning, spoiled in the knowledge that you have a 10:00 a.m. spa treatment. Tucked away on the hotel’s 7th floor, the Crowne Plaza Doha’s fitness centre and spa are cozy, but fully-equipped. There’s a treatment menu in every room and in-room guests can call the Guest Services hotline for an appointment at any time of day or night. Today I’m here to try their Jewel In The Crown treatment and I select its Pearl Journey option, with its focus on relaxation. (Though if I was any more relaxed I’d be comatose!) Using calming aromatherapy essential oils, it’s a full-body massage using Balinese techniques that focuses on unclogging the body’s energy meridians. Starting off with a foot scrub, it’s 90 minutes of sheer bliss – of which my favourite 10 minutes is the toe-curling scalp and neck massage. Afterwards (and feeling thoroughly sedated), I’m served some warming ginger tea and am told I can use the sauna and steam-room. On the way out I peek into the gym – stocked with some great state-of-the-art equipment – and make a mental note to come back later…then decide not to on second thought. This staycation is

Aramede all-day dining restaurant

all about relaxation and indulgence and sweating it out on the treadmill doesn’t factor in this time I’m afraid – although…a strenuous workout could warrant another trip to the spa. Hmmm…

Good Times, Great Food If you’re planning a little getaway at the Crowne Plaza Doha try, if you can, to book yourself in on a Thursday night. That way, come Friday morning, you’ll get to indulge in their Be Social Friday brunch at Aramede. During my stay I had most of my dinners here in the hotel’s airy all-day dining restaurant; I’ve also experienced the Friday brunch before and it’s a really laid-back, yet lively ambiance. They have a different DJ every week, streamed live on big screens throughout the space, and one of the tastiest buffet services you’ll try. Then as 4:00 p.m. rolls around, guests can maximize the ‘Be Social’ concept by heading over to Misturado Lounge and continue their socializing over a few more cold cocktails.

I took my dinners and one lunch in Aramede and no two experiences were the same. With a daily changing roster of cuisine, I got to experience their Arabic night on Wednesday and their seafood night on Thursday. Although…I have to admit…my favourite is their World Of Curries night on Mondays. Featuring a host of varieties from a dozen countries it’s one of the most flavoursome theme nights I’ve enjoyed. That being said, drop by on any given day and you’re nearly guaranteed to find something for everyone. A few memorable dishes one lunch-hour were the red Thai curry and a succulent teriyaki beef. I may or may not have had two helpings. As a guest and consumer, I think one of the smartest moves the Crowne Plaza Doha’s made this last year is opening its Misturado Lounge for lunch. A nice alternative to the larger environs of Aramede, it’s an intimate space – dark, yet with vibrant splashes of orange and lavender in the upholstery décor and

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We treated ourselves at their in-house spa—you should too!

Liquidity rooftop restaurant on the pool-deck

a luminescent back-splash on the bar. Keeping with the Brazilian theme of their sister restaurant Rodizio, the lounge offers some unique creations off their lunch menu. I stop by to meet a friend and we try the spicy chicken wings – love them! – and some fried mozzarella wedges, both with a side of dipping sauces that have a punchy Brazilian kick. Before you know it, it’s already happy hour and the house is full. You could classify Misturado as a sports bar, but to me it feels a bit more refined – a place where the guys can go to catch the latest Premier League match, but where the girls can also feel comfortable catching up over some cocktails without being drowned out by the noise. Misturado is a great spot for a pre-dinner warm-up – or post-dinner libation – and since it adjoins Rodizio restaurant it earns top marks for convenience. This brings us to the Crowne Plaza’s culinary piece de resistance. Rodizio is one of only a handful of Brazilian churrascaria’s in the city and it’s easily (if you’ll forgive the pun!) a cut above. For those readers who are new to the concept, the style of service is half buffet, half table-side. Long skewers with a variety of piping-hot cuts of meat are served at the table along with some great Brazilian sidedishes such as pico de gallo, fried yucca, cheese bread and the quintessential chimichurri sauce. There’s also a salad and cold station buffet to add some colour to your plate, but the stars of the show are the sizzling, well-seasoned morsels of chicken wings/thighs, succulent cuts of steak, breast of duck and the restaurant’s star – the garlic-marinated picanha…a cut of rump steak popular in Brazil. ‘Meat sweats’ and ‘meat coma’ are all terms of phrase easily attributed to Rodizio – and if it becomes too much then you can always run back over to Misturado and cool down with a caipirinha.

A Five-Star Stay

Rodizio Brazilian churrascaria

My weekend retreat at the Crowne Plaza Doha has accomplished what I’d set out to do – recharge my batteries. The level of service was, for the most part, stand-out and the personal touches that I mentioned above would make it likely that I would come back again for a second stay. For newcomers to Doha, or those just in town for a quick business trip, the property has some added perks. It’s located just a 15-minute drive from the airport; Hassem, the hotel concierge is extremely helpful – he can find you the nearest place to get a SIM card for your phone, give you the lowdown on the best ways to get around the city, or plan a day-trip for you and your friends. There’s also a gift-shop and travel agency just off the main lobby in case you forgot to pick up some last-minute souvenirs before your ride to the airport. Much appreciation to the Crowne Plaza staff who took the time to remember my name and treated me not just as a guest, but as a friend. To Krizia, Francis, Yassine, Gede and the rest – I’ll be back, so keep my room ready. n An executive club room at the Crowne Plaza Doha – The Business Park starts at an average nightly rate of QR 842, subject to seasonal variations and availability. For reservations call 4408-7777. Airport shuttle pick-up and drop-off service available.

Grab a post-dinner drink at Misturado Lounge

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STAY-CATIONS Enjoy a taste of Southeast Asia at Saba Thai Restaurant

Sanctuary In The City Images courtesy of The Westin Doha

Opening this September, The Westin Doha is the newest addition to the city’s luxury lifestyle market. QH takes a tour.


he Westin Doha Hotel & Spa is located in the heart of Doha’s residential district on Salwa Road and is the ultimate business and wellbeing lifestyle destination. Set in the Bin Mahmoud neighbourhood of a vivacious, upcoming skyscraper city, The Westin Doha offers a tranquil retreat for the weary global traveller. With an ideal suburban location, the hotel is just 20 minutes from Hamad International Airport and offers easy access to West Bay, Souq Waqif, the Corniche, and local malls as well as renowned historic museums.

Rest in comfort in one of the hotel's Pool Villa rooms

Put yourself entirely in the care of the Westin staff and let them put time on hold – time just for you, or time for friends and family. Rediscover physical and mental balance and lose yourself in smart, revitalizing and contemporary design with sensory touches like the Westin White Tea Scent, signature botanicals, custom music and atmospheric lighting that provide an uplifting, energetic feel. Restore your reserves in one of their 365 rooms and suites including a presidential suite and five pool villas.

The tranquility of the Heavenly Spa is the perfect escape from arduous city life. Providing a calming environment with dedicated female and male spa areas, guests can also enjoy an indoor and outdoor pool, including the city’s first man-made wave pool. Guests looking to power up will find the WestinWORKOUT® Fitness Studio –a spacious stateof-the-art gym, RunWESTIN and Westin Gear Lending thoughtful and convenient ways to maintain peak performance while travelling.

Whether you’re travelling with family, as a couple, or by yourself, emerge indulged and energized through a delightful balance of facilities.These include expansive inter-connecting rooms, the worldrenowned Westin Heavenly® Bed, invigorating rainforest shower and separate bathtub, plus a courtesy lounge for guests arriving early or leaving late. All elements of The Westin experience aim to have guests leave feeling better than when they arrived.

The Westin offers a tantalizing balance of healthful and indulgent dining, with nutritious SuperFoodsRx™ options and over six delectable restaurants and bars to choose from. These include the authentic yet contemporary Sabai Thai restaurant, Hunter’s Room & Grill as well as LUXE – a coffee lounge located in the lobby, Waves Pool Café, MIX Bar, Lounge and Terrace – a cocktail bar with an outdoor terrace, and Seasonal Tastes, serving global cuisine which

offers delightful, healthy options impossible for the palate to resist. Clutter-free meetings are the norm at Westin, where streamlined stations, neat work areas and sustainable features ensure minimal distraction and waste. With a well-equipped business centre available 24/7 and over 3,000 square-metres of function space, combined with Westin’s instinctive service and attention to detail, every meeting or event promises to be uplifting and memorable. For an unforgettable wedding experience, The Westin offers a beautiful venue, dedicated bride and groom dressing rooms, delicious cuisine and sublime details that create a wedding experience that’s tailored to your personal style. Whether you’re looking to drift away to new levels of relaxation or seeking an invigorating license to luxuriate, The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa has all the thoughtful touches of a faraway retreat in an accessible suburban surrounding. Eat, meet and retreat…at The Westin.n


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Not just


Coming Soon

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at Novo Cinema, The Pearl !

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Top Picks

THE ST. REGIS DOHA Saturday Aaeliy

Saturdays: Vine Restaurant. Aaeliy brings together the perfect combination of old and new recipes. Gather with family and friends while discovering a delightful feast of mezze, music and refreshing beverages.QR 350 including soft drinks. For more information call 4446-0105, or e-mail


Wings Around The World ‎

Daily: Admiral’s Club. Discover the world through food! One of the most unique aspects of travel is the luxury to taste all those ‎new foods around the world, broaden your culinary horizon and calibrate your taste-buds. From hot ‎buffalo BBQ to Thai chili to Middle Eastern harissa and Jamaican jerk chicken wings, Admirals Club ‎will take you on a trip around the world discovering unique flavours while admiring the views of the Marina ‎and turquoise blue water.‎ For more information call 4484-8000, or email rc.dohrz.

Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Brunch & Tunes!

Fridays: Crossroads Kitchen. Start your weekend out right with live tunes, an interactive international brunch buffet and activities to keep the kids entertained. Starting from QR 245. From 12:30 noon till 3:30 p.m. For more information call 4419-6100 or visit

The Torch Doha Fondue Night


Mon & Wed: Al Dana Restaurant. Enjoy masterfully and freshly-prepared platters of sushi, maki and sashimi starting from QR 215. From 6:30 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. For more information call 4425-6666, email, or visit

Mondays: Panorama. Enjoy a fondue night at the newly-opened Panorama restaurant, prepared with your choice of vegetable broth, lightly-seasoned and served with mini signature blueberry salad as an entrée, along with a selection of sautéed potatoes, fresh asparagus, broccoli, slices of beef tenderloin and chicken, plus a wide variety of sauces including herbs, honey mustard, chilli, tartar, light curry and barbeque. For more information call 4446-5600, or email


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Take A Quick Bite By Jorge Granda Photography by Jessie Palanca

If you’re looking to beat the weekend brunch crowds for a leisurely spot of breakfast, or quell your appetite with some choice grab-and-go options for the lunch-time rush, then QH knows just the place…

– but come here for breakfast during the week and you’ll have the place to yourself to linger over that second (or third!) cup of coffee.


If the menu isn’t enough to catch your eye, you can also select a ready-made meal from their counter service – including lasagna and savoury pies – or a fresh salad from their cold-case. If you’re perusing the menu and have an adventurous palate, I recommend rustling up an order of motuleños– they’re sensational. This corn tortilla with refried beans, avocado, halloumi, turkey ham and woodoven-roasted tomato sauce is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s a balanced, scrumptious dish brimming with a rich assortment of complementary flavours. For QR 50 you get a jam-packed meal that you won’t find anywhere else in the city – the motuleños are a Quick Bites specialty.

Today we’re here for a leisurely lunch during the weekday and, being a dedicated foodie, this is by no means my first time to the restaurant. The menu’s full of different options – from breakfast items, pizzas and sandwiches, soups and salads, to homemade pastries, breads and gelato. Generally it’s a popular spot during the lunch hour, which can mean crowds

If you’re visiting the restaurant for lunch, start your meal with a bowl of tortilla soup. This roasted chicken and vegetable broth with tortilla and chili, garnished with sour cream, tortilla chips and guacamole is a winner. One of the heartiest soups you can find, the price – QR 35 – is more than reasonable. If you’re still on Mexican overload from your platter of motuleños, then their oven-baked, cheesy French onion soup with toasted bread and Gruyère cheese is also delicious and a piping-hot bowl will set you back QR 30.

ocated on the lobby level of the Marriott Marquis City Center Doha, Quick Bites is cool and spacious. Casual yet comfortable, it blends elements of a laid-back café with a sit-down family diner. There’s ample seating, delicious food, and it’s a solidly good option if you’re looking for a swift, healthy and flavoursome meal in a five-star restaurant – and at the right price.

We continue on with the El Torito, a classic South American beef burger with Monterrey Jack cheese, chimichurri mayo, onions, tomatoes and fried eggs on a sesame bun. I loved every bite of this one – the meat is cooked to perfection and all the flavour elements in the burger work well together. The pizzas here are also worth a mention – great from crust, to cheese, to sauce, pile them up with any topping of your preference. Or, have your own sandwich or salad made-to-order just how you like it with a wide selection of Quick Bites’ freshly-baked breads, savoury spreads, cheeses and fillings for QR 37. From the hot counter, I tried a dollop of the shepherd’s pie. The mashed potato topping was buttery and moist, though digging deeper the minced meat lacked seasoning and was a bit dry with some chunks of meat that I didn’t find particularly flattering to a shepherd’s pie. In my opinion, minced or ground meat should be properly shredded. There were other varieties of pies on offer – and the chicken pot-pie looked quite promising, but that will have to wait for another visit and a bigger appetite. Quick Bites is known for their dessert selection and if you’ve got a sweet-tooth, the carrot cake is a must-try. It’s absolutely delicious – I’ve stopped in on more than one occasion simply for a slice. Also, try the banana milkshake for a real blast-from-the-


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Fancy a little something sweet do you?

The El Torito hamburger

How many gelato flavours can you fit into one case?

Their wood-fired oven pizzas are also available for take-away

past childhood taste – I give it an A+. In regards to the wait-staff and quality of service, I’m disappointed to say it could be better. The service is slow at times and, during one of my visits, my companion ordered a chicken pie off the counter – which means it was ready-made – yet it took nearly 20 minutes to be brought to the table. The soup that I ordered off the menu arrived faster! Though the staff is friendly and attentive, they need to work on their service timing. Overall experience? Quick Bites is certainly a solid choice to satisfy your stomach any time of the day. The food is more than just your average café or sandwich-counter fare, the dishes are plentiful and the price is right. n QUICK BITES RESTAURANT Location: Ground floor, Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Timings: 6:00 a.m. till 11:00 p.m., daily Average Price Meal: QR 50, motuleños QR 35, tortilla soup QR 30, French onion soup QR 37, Make-Your-Own- Sandwich order Smoking: No Licensed: No Contact details: Call 4419-6100, or visit Quick Bites' specialty—the motuleños


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Nozomi's signature array of smoking sashimi

Welcome To Nozomi By Jorge Granda Images courtesy of Nozomi Restaurant

This contemporary Japanese restaurant will soon be opening its doors at the new Marsa Malaz Kempinski. For the last decade, the culinary hotspot has held rank as one of the top brands in London’s food and nightlife world, and soon Doha’s glitterati can revel in its unique concept. QH managed to snag a candid interview with founder and brand ambassador Marios George who takes us inside Nozomi.


ozomi isn’t so much a restaurant as it is a lifestyle destination. Best described as a fusion of entertainment and laudable cuisine, it’s a place where diners can savour the finest Japanese dishes while enjoying a party ambiance. Marios George is the creator of this visionary dining experience, a hotspot where you can submerge yourself in a delightful culinary journey – but also party all night long. George introduced his concept to Londoners ten years ago, achieving incredible

success. Since then, the Nozomi brand is now expanding to the Middle East with franchises in Riyadh and Doha, and plans of expanding to Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. With George’s passion for food and luxury lifestyle, Nozomi has all the makings of a dominant player in Qatar’s gastronomy.

QH: Tell us about the cuisine. MG: It’s [authentic] Japanese – as close to being acceptable to the Middle Eastern and Western palate as possible. Contemporary Japanese is a very wide cuisine; it’s about playing with the recipes and we add a more dramatic feel.

QH: So what exactly is Nozomi all about? QH: Why Japanese? MG: Nozomi is a lifestyle experience –a place you come to eat, to drink, to listen to music…a place to be seen. A place where women can showcase the latest fashion trends and men can be elegant or casual. We promote a sense of going out. It’s not just to come and have a quick bite and then leave. We want people to come and enjoy a different nightlife experience. It’s about coming and be out. Lounge music is played at a decent level. The restaurant is designed to make people relax. The menu is filled with contemporary Japanese cuisine infused with European delicacies. QH: Why did you select Qatar as the next destination to expand your brand? MG: We were invited by the Alfardan family to open the restaurant in their resort. Two members of the family visited my restaurant in London last Christmas and were impressed with the food and the concept. They had great recognition for what we do in London and were excited to bring it here. They then called me up and two weeks later I was invited to come to Qatar and I did.

MG: I always like sharing food. The whole concept of sitting by the table and eating is a social occasion. I like the social part of eating. I come from an entertainment background and I wanted to add that to it –a clubby feel to the restaurant. So I wanted a cuisine that wasn’t too heavy or fatty that after you eat you just want to go to sleep. Japanese food is not heavy, so you can eat and still have the energy to dance and have a good time. There are so many variations to it as well; the same fish, for example, can be interpreted in a variety of ways. In Japanese food there are so many variations to use the same product – I love the finesse of it…it’s very delicate. So for all of those reasons I chose Japanese. I wanted to introduce something different to everybody. QH: Bringing this type of concept to the Middle East…was it intimidating? MG: The restaurant is kind of split into two types of clientele. There are people that just come to enjoy

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Black cod in banana leaf

Aka-miso lamb-chops

The tuna tartare's colourful presentation

the food – but you [also] have people that want to enjoy the food and also have that special experience where you can hang out in a place, have good food, drink and enjoy. Doha is so cosmopolitan that here you can find both. So no, it wasn’t intimidating. QH: How comfortable do you feel about opening in Doha?

The restaurant's Wagyu sirloin

QH: Will the concept be the same as your restaurant in London, or are you making some adjustments to better suit the Middle East?

MG: I opened in Dubai and the experience wasn’t the best, that’s all I am going to say about it. So I was kind of hesitant at first; but I came here, I accepted the invitation and I found Doha was not Dubai and is a great country to open another branch in the Middle East apart from the one in Saudi that is doing amazingly good. I find Qatar has such an ambition to do things their way that it’s so fascinating and inviting. Qatar has an appetite to change things and I like that.

MG: I’m bringing the whole package – customers will experience here the same atmosphere and energy as the [those] in London. The layout of the restaurant is a bit different – in London everything is open. The people that are in the bar enjoying a drink can see the ones that are enjoying dinner and vice versa. Here it will be different. The bar and dining area are separated. So it will be a challenge to make people mingle, but it’s interesting to see how everything will turn out.

QH: Wouldn’t that ambition affect the way your concept will be handled here?

QH: Tell us about the type of music you’ll be bringing to Nozomi.

MG: Not at all. Everyone I’m working with in Marsa Malaz is extremely professional and are on the same page as I am. We all want to deliver something nobody in Doha has ever seen before.

MG: I’m bringing great DJs from London – I’m recruiting DJs that will play music that will suit the crowd, not just what they want. They need to understand the market.

Nozomi founder and brand ambassador Marios George

QH: Nobu recently opened in Doha and some might say the offering is the same. Would you disagree? MG: I have been competing with Nobu for 11 years. Some of their staff have worked for me and some of my staff have worked for them. They have a different offering. Their head chef deserves an enormous amount of respect, but the two restaurants are very different. I think the attitude we take towards entertainment is the main distinction. I come from a nightclub background. For me, for example, the DJ is the star. I make sure he/she shines. I wouldn’t put the DJ is some corner of the restaurant. It’s really small things like that that makes us different. But Doha is big enough for both of us. I don’t think [anyone] can take over an entire market. n

For more information on Nozomi’s upcoming opening call 4035-5011 or visit

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From Arabia

To The World Selected images courtesy of Coffee Planet

From the discovery of coffee in Arabia, to one of the world’s most popular beverages, we explore the history of the mighty bean.


ur everyday morning coffee comes with a long tradition originating from this part of the world. Today with 1,600 million cups of coffee drank daily worldwide, coffee is the second most-traded commodity on the planet, after petroleum. It is, after water, the world’s most popular drink. The top five coffee consuming countries are the USA, Germany, Italy, Japan and France. The popular legend of Khalid, an Arabian shepherd and his dancing goats marks the beginning of coffee discovery around A.D. 800. Khalid’s goats were hopping from one coffee shrub to another, grazing on the cherry-red berries containing the coffee beans. The shepherd noticed his herd becoming exceptionally active and not resting all night, after eating the berries from a tree. Khalid shared his knowledge with the abbot of the local monastery, who found the berries to be successful in keeping them awake for the long hours of evening prayer.


It's estimated the coffee plant reached the Arab world between the 12th and 13th centuries after crossing the Red Sea into Yemen, where the beans were named mocha, after the port city. It was here that commercial coffee plantations took root and the small beans grew in popularity both at home in established coffeehouses, called qahveh khaneh. These were frequently referred to as ‘Schools of the Wise’, because people did not only drink coffee and engage in all kinds of social activity, but they were also places where knowledge was exchanged and where they were kept current on the news of the day. Through these coffeehouses, coffee did not just become a popular drink with a stimulating effect – it became a passion. Coffee production was closely guarded by the Arabs, but the famous drink quickly crossed its borders, due to the spread of word from thousands of pilgrims visiting the Holy City of Mecca each year. Wherever Islam was spreading to, coffee went hand-in-hand with it. It wasn’t long until coffee reached Europe and coffeehouses began to open and expand and even replace taverns. Opponents against coffee initially tried to ban the drink; however Pope Clement VIII himself asked to taste the foreign drink and found it so satisfying that he gave it Papal approval.

In about the mid-1600’s it also reached America, despite tea continuing to be the favourite drink, The Boston Tea Party, changed the American drinking preference to coffee. While drinking coffee became a sign of independence and American autonomy, it was seen unpatriotic to drink tea. Today Americans drink on average 3.1 cups of coffee per day, making it the nation’s most popular drink. By the 17th century Arabs were no longer able to monopolize the cultivation of coffee, as the beans started to thrive in different countries, which are now commonly referred to as the bean belt surrounded by the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. While there are two main coffee species – arabica and robusta – coffee has developed into various sub-species, with each continent having a distinct flavour profile. The taste of coffee depends also on the specific region, as well as on the farm itself. Apart from the different appearance of the arabica and robusta coffee plant and bean, the main disparity lies in the taste. Robusta produces a more bitter-tasting coffee with a higher caffeine content, while arabica tends to have a sweeter, softer taste with tones of sugar and fruit. It is therefore the higher coffee quality.

Coffee Planet's alternative brewing methods make for a unique cup, every time

By the end of the 18th century, coffee was truly established as one of the world’s favourite drinks and therefore a most profitable export crop. Just a century later, coffee connoisseurs agree that through its commercialization, coffee lost its Middle Eastern mystical charm and entered the ‘Dark Age’. It moved from being roasted in small batches at home or in specialized coffee shops to being massively roasted and grinded in factories, and thereby losing its freshness and ultimate flavour. Instant coffee also came to the market, which had little actual coffee taste, but was more of a cheap caffeine fix. Today the coffee culture is recovering, with customers once again showing an interest in the quality of the bean, the grinding, and the brewing – all the way to savouring their preferred coffee flavour. Single-origin coffee, other specialty coffees and newer, revised brewing methods are very popular. The options are often endless and it sometimes becomes difficult to choose your favourite coffee and your most suitable brewing method. Coffee Planet was established in Dubai to ensure consistently the highest coffee quality in a cup. As Coffee Planet’s Managing Director, Robert Jones phrases it: “Adventure in life is good; consistency in coffee even better.” To ensure full traceability of the

Two Palestinian women grind coffee beans the traditional way

green beans, the Coffee Planet Roastmaster travels the world to meet farmers and producers with the aim of establishing long-term sustainable relationships with each and every farmer. They source directly from more than 20 countries in Africa, Indonesia, India and Central America. By only purchasing specialty-grade beans, grown over 1,700-metres above sea-level, this ensures that every bean meets the strict Coffee Planet standard of graded, 100% pure Arabica coffee. While asking for some current and upcoming trends, Jones comments: “Filtered coffee and alternative brews are becoming more popular with the general public, as consumers are looking to experiment with the delicate nuances and flavours found in single-origin coffees. These flavours and nuances are enhanced through an alternative brew method rather than a traditional espresso extraction.” Furthermore, customers are more interested in varieties of coffees – especially single-origin blends. In Qatar, not only can consumers enjoy the traditional Arabic qahwa brew, but a variety of different coffees. Available at the Atrium Lounge in the Sheraton Doha

hotel, guests can enjoy sumptuous dark chocolate and cocoa overtones of Turkish coffee. Or, venture to the Marriott Marquis City Center Doha if you prefer to experience an Espresso martini – and, if a cold drink sounds tempting, try Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar on The Pearl, where they offer iced mocha in bittersweet, white, caramel and minty flavours. Apart from their regular selection of coffee blends, they also offer an afogato, an espresso shot made with vanilla gelato – yum! We want to know where you get your caffeine fix! ‘Espresso’ yourselves and message Qatar Happening on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #qatarcoffee and tell us where the best fresh cup in the city is! n

For more information on all things coffee visit


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Listings Family Brunch

Fridays: Blue. Enjoy a sophisticated brunch with special kids’ activities in the exclusively-designed area adjacent to the restaurant. QR 220 including one round of soft drinks. From 12:30 noon till 4:00 p.m. For more information call 4445-5555.


Fridays: The Fish Market. For those who prefer to enjoy the pool or beach and always miss the brunch, they have an alternative for you – an indulgent Friday Late Brunch with all your seafood favourites alongside a beautiful sunset over the Arabian Sea. From 6.30 p.m. till 11:30 p.m. QR 375 with unlimited house and soft beverages, freshly-brewed coffee and selection of tea and juices. Kids dine for QR 160. For more information call 4484-4919 or 4484-4444.

Oystermania! INTERCONTINENTAL DOHA Ocean Basket

Mondays: Mykonos. Every Monday Mykonos brings the Mediterranean Sea to your table. Enjoy a mezze selection (including salads, starters and dips), followed by an indulgent grilled mixed seafood platter. End with a sweet note and try the ice cream selection. QR 150 per person. For more information call 4484-4919 or 4484-4444.

Making it easier to navigate at your fingertips, we’ve categorized all our listings per outlet – brunches, business lunches and .weekly/daily promotions


August 14: The Grill. Put on your sari because it’s Bollywood time! Get ready for an unforgettable Bollywood brunch at The Grill. Soft beverage package QR 295, special beverage package QR 420. For more information call 4448-1240.


Daily: Tuck in to the new flavours at Chowking with their delectable Indo-Chinese menu. Also, enjoy dinner for two for QR 70-QR 80 including soft drinks. Available at all restaurant locations, serving the best taste at the best price. For more information call Delivery Hotline: 4431-1212, Mamoura: 4486-6077, Al Khor: 4411-8816/17, Salwa Road: 4437-1212, Al Sadd St.: 4431-4411, Holiday Villa Hotel: 4411-5225/5335.

DOHA MARRIOTT Business Lunch

Sun-Thurs: Corniche Restaurant. Enjoy a light lunch in a bright setting at Corniche Restaurant with their new Express Business Lunch. With a weekly menu rotation, sample Mediterranean favourites and regional specialties with highlights including homemade tortellini, Oriental skewers and classic lamb flatbread. Delight in the carefully selected threecourse set menu together with an unlimited salad bar, all for QR 95. From 12:00 noon till 3:00 p.m. For more information call 4429-8499.

JW’s Steakhouse

Daily: JW’s Steakhouse offers an exclusive, upscale dining experience reflected in the sophisticated atmosphere and classic décor. JW’s main courses feature only the finest cuts of US Certified Prime Angus beef complemented by exquisite spices and sauces. Seafood and salad are also available. From 6:30 p.m. till 11:30 p.m. For more information call 4429-8499.

Weekend Brunch

Fri & Sat: Restaurant Gallery. Discover an array of live stations and specialties featuring favourite dishes from around the globe. Highlights from the weekend brunch include a wide selection of fresh sushi, Peking duck, fajitas, Oriental grills, curries and more. Now offering a kids’ club zone with a special kids’ buffet and activities. QR 270 for regular brunch and QR 375 for bubbly brunch. From 12:30 noon till 4:00 p.m.

GRAND HERITAGE DOHA Modern Turkish Cuisine

Mon-Sat: Agora. Offering modern Turkish and Ottoman dishes inspired by the Black Sea and the Balkan regions, with Mediterranean touches. From 1:00 p.m. till 11:30 p.m. For more information call 4445-5555.

Sundays: Fish Market. Who doesn’t like oysters? Fish Market brings a revolutionary night every Sunday from 6:30 p.m. till 11:30 p.m. where you can enjoy unlimited oysters at cost price. Top it up with a 50% discount on all beverage bottles. For more information call 4484-4919 or 4484-4444.

Hellenic Chill-Out

Daily: Mykonos. Every afternoon from 3:00 p.m. till 6:00 p.m., Mykonos transforms their outdoor terrace into a truly Mediterranean chill-out lounge where you can enjoy a selection of cocktails while listening to the best house music. For more information call 4484-4919 or 4484-4444.

Sharing Is Caring!

Wednesdays: Mykonos. At Mykonos they believe that food always tastes better when shared. Every Wednesday, bring your friends along and try their sharing Greek mezze platter accompanied by a glass of house beverage at QR 140 per person, every Wednesday, all-day long. For more information call 4484-4919 or 4484-4444.


Sat-Thurs: The Square. Take time out of your busy work schedule and enjoy a three-course business lunch. The a la carte menu offers a wide selection of delectable starters and mouthwatering main courses, including locally-sourced seafood, prime cuts of meat, vegetarian options and a dessert. From 12:00 noon till 3:00 p.m. QR 88 for three courses, inclusive of one soft beverage. For more information call 4015-8888 or email

Daily Theme Nights

Daily: The Square. Feast on an exciting array of international dishes every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening. Then, Mondays offer the best of the Mediterranean and include authentic Italian, Spanish, Lebanese, Moroccan, French and Greek delicacies. Or, take a trip to Asia every Tuesday where Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Indian favourites take centre-stage. Experience the theme nights daily from 6:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. QR 180 excluding beverages, or QR 250 including unlimited house beverages from 7:00 p.m. till 9:00 p.m. For more information call 4015-8888 or email


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Cosmopolitan Thursdays Thursdays: The Square. Celebrate the beginning of the weekend with dinner and drinks with friends at The Square. Enjoy international popular dishes on the buffet from 6:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. along with your favourite house beverages. Priced at QR 300 including selected house beverages or QR 230 inclusive of soft drinks and mocktails. For more information call 4015-8888 or email

Seafood Night Wednesdays: The Square. Delectable locally-sourced seafood is on offer every Wednesday from 6:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. Cold seafood salads, fresh seafood cooked a la minute at the live cooking stations and an enviable dessert station will make it a night to remember. Priced at QR 350 per person, including selected house beverages, or QR 250 per person inclusive of soft drinks and mocktails. For more information call 4015-8888 or email

LA VARENNE Brunch Fridays: Join La Varenne every Friday from 1:00 p.m. till 4:00 p.m. to indulge in their interpretation of a table-top brunch. Enjoy a full-course, all-you-careto-eat menu with sharing-style dishes showcasing an array of the best La Varenne classics, along with their hors d’oeuvres and dessert trolleys. QR 235 per person including soft beverages and QR 395 per person including house beverages selection. For more information call 4499-0680 or email

Business Lunch Sat-Thurs: Enjoy the most exquisite French business lunch in Doha with two courses for QR 85 and three courses for QR 95. For more information call 4499-0680 or email



Daily: Aroma, The Lounge and Gourmet House. The talk-of-the-town signature camel burger is one of Kempinski’s best-selling food items known for its rich and distinctive combination of tastes that sets it apart from other burgers. For more information call 4405-3325, email, or visit

out right with live tunes, an interactive international brunch buffet and activities to keep the kids entertained. Prices start from QR 245. From 12:30 noon till 3:30 p.m. For more information call 4419-6100 or visit

Steak & Vino Menu

Sweet & Savoury Crêpes

Daily: Aroma. Enjoy the most succulent and tender steaks, perfectly combined with superb grilling, tasty accompaniments and a flawlessly matched glass of vino. From 7:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. For more information call 4405-3325, email, or visit

Business Lunch Sat-Thurs: Aroma. Aroma offers a creative business lunch menu by using fresh and locally-farmed ingredients. Mixing flavours from around the globe, a few dishes to name are the Apulian burrata, the Angus beef medallions and the sweet indulgence of a fruit-forest honey parfait. QR 95 per person from 12:00 noon till 3:00 p.m. For more information call 4405-3325, email, or visit

LA CIGALE International Cuisine Daily: Le Cigalon. Indulge in an extravagant buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner with a la carte option available. Buffet breakfast is QR 130 and buffet lunch or dinner with live-cooking stations is QR 220 inclusive of American coffee or tea. From 6:30 a.m. till 11:30 p.m. For more information call 4428-8698.

Sushi Mania Daily: Yen Sushi Bar. Partake in the best sushi and sashimi served on a special rotating belt and colourcoded, plated formula along with an a la carte menu option as well. From 11:30 a.m. till 12:00 midnight. For more information call 4428-8698.

Fridays: Crossroads Kitchen. Start your weekends

Daily: Quick Bites. Enjoy the authentic finesse of France with this delectable artistic treat. Choose from the finest selection of sweet and savoury crêpes at Quick Bites for QR 40. From 5:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. For more information call 4419-6100 or visit

Flaming Nightcaps Daily: New York Steakhouse. Have a spectacular end to dinner as you watch the bartenders flaming your favourite coffee right in front of you, all for QR 65. For more information call 4419-6100 or visit

Three Countries, One Platter Daily: New York Steakhouse. Taste three origins of beef tenderloin as Chef Jeremy Steele presents 100-gram cuts from the U.S.A, Argentina and Australia on one succulent plate. Treat yourself to three glasses of vino from each homeland carefully paired to perfection. QR 280 and QR 390 including vino pairing. From 6:30 p.m. till 11:30 p.m. For more information call 4419-6100 or visit

Tomahawk – Can You Handle It? Daily: New York Steakhouse. Can you handle the largest steak in Doha? This is definitely the talk of the town! Choose from 1kg or 2kgs of flavourful Tomahawk Wagyu rib-eye. QR 690 for 1kg and QR 1,280 for 2kgs. From 6:30 p.m. till 11:30 p.m. For more information call 4419-6100 or visit

MARSA MALAZ KEMPINSKI Sawa Goes Mediterranean

Thursdays: Sawa. Every Thursday Sawa transforms into a Mediterranean culinary haven. Explore a buffet with authentic starters, salads and cheeses from the region, grilled fish and meat, oysters, live pasta cooking stations and even real Italian gelato! QR 190 per person. From 6:00 p.m. till 10:30 p.m. For more information call 4035-5011, email, or visit

Saturday Roast Lunch Buffet

Sawa. Taste an extensive buffet with live cooking stations and a delicious sweet corner, and enjoy your Saturday lunch-time with family and friends in the bright and ambient environment of Sawa. QR 190 per person, including soft drinks. From 12:30 noon till 4:00 p.m. For more information call 4035-5011, email, or visit

Tapeo After Work

Daily: El Faro. Enjoy your favourite beverage with a complimentary selection of inimitably authentic Spanish tapas and pintxos. From 5:00 p.m. till 7:00 p.m. For more information call 4035-5011, email, or visit

Paella Tuesdays

Tuesdays: El Faro. Every Tuesday, (or Martes in Spanish!) taste the only authentic paella in Doha and receive a complimentary pitcher of sangria. The offer is valid on every paella for two people. From 6:00 p.m. till 8:00 p.m. For more information call 4035-5011, email, or visit

A Traditional Levantine Experience

Mon-Sat: Al Sufra. With a blend of traditional recipes and flavours from Lebanon, Cyprus, Syria, Jordan and Palestine, the Levant-inspired restaurant Al Sufra – ‘the dining room’ in Arabic – has a timeless charm. With a coffee lounge, open terrace with shisha, and a la carte dining, the restaurant can be visited any time throughout the day or evening. Dinner starts from 6:00 p.m. till 11:30 p.m. For more information call 4035-5011, or email, or visit

Al Sufra Now Open For Lunch

Mon-Sat: Al Sufra. The rich traditional Arabic recipes of Al Sufra are now available for lunch. Have a relaxing break from work and indulge in comforting, home-made food, prepared by the expert culinary team at Al Sufra. From 12:30 noon till 3:30 p.m. For more information call 4035-5011, email restaurants., or visit


Daily: L’Espresso. Why get one burger when you can have three? Stop by at L’Espresso, the bustling heart of the hotel, and dive into a tasty Burger Sampler. Three burgers – beef, chicken and veggie make for one hearty meal. This experience will leave nothing to be desired. Grab the Burger Sampler at L’Espresso for only QR 55. For more information call 4429-1111.

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FOOD & DINING New & Inspired Theme Nights Daily: Seasons Restaurant.Take your taste-buds on an exciting journey with a variety of new theme nights, plus some old favourites! Les Alpes Mondays The restaurant has combined the finest delicacies of France, Italy and Switzerland to fashion an exclusive gourmet event. QR 160 per person. Lebanese Tuesdays Savour enticing Middle Eastern delicacies combined with authentic drinks and desserts. QR 160 per person. TemptAsian Wednesdays Taste the creativity of the Japanese sushi or the tang of the Thai curry among many others. QR 160 per person. Seafood & Family Thursdays Tuck into a simply spectacular buffet of fresh and succulent seafood while the kids play their hearts out in the famous Kids Kingdom with an array of kiddie treats. QR 180 per person. Naughty Food Gone Good Fridays Enjoy all your tasty indulgences minus the guilt with an array of health-conscious junk food to choose from. QR 140 per person. International Saturdays & Sundays Indulge in a colourful collection of international creations. QR 140 per person. For more information on all promotions call 4429-1111.

Friday Family Brunch Indulge in an elegant yet casual experience with freeflowing bubbly and enchanting music to complement the tasty buffet delights including fresh seafood, live cooking and sushi, plus an endless assortment of appetizers and desserts.QR 215 per person with kids under the age of 12 dining free and those between the ages of twelve and sixteen receiving a 50% discount. Brunch with bubbles or suds for QR 245. For more information call 4429-1111.

RADISSON BLU Friday Brunch

Hyde Park. This Friday brunch caters to the tastes of each guest with over 30 dishes from around the world. The hotel provides extensive children’s activities and games along with supervising staff that will take care of the kids while the adults are entertained by a live band. QR 160 per person (buffet only) and QR 210 per person inclusive of sparkle. From 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. For more information call 4428-1555.


The Blacksmith’s Lunch Daily: 28th Floor, Tornado Tower. Choose a signature steak, a side, a sauce and a soft drink for QR 149 available seven days a week. Fridays and Saturdays include a Sommelier’s selected drink for QR 179. From 12:00 noon till 3:00 p.m.For more information call 4499-0685 or email

The Blacksmith’s Supper Sun-Thurs: 28th Floor, Tornado Tower. Choose a signature steak, a side dish, a sauce and a signature drink for QR 179 with a sommeliers selected drink. From 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. For more information call 4499-0685 or email


Wagyu Beef

Fri & Sat: Al Liwan. Unwind with friends and family and indulge in a luxurious buffet featuring the freshest seafood, Middle Eastern favourites and international classics. From 12:30 noon till 4:00 p.m. QR 250 per person or QR 390 inclusive of selected beverages. QR 125 for children ages six to 12. For more information call 4425-6666, email, or visit


Weekend Brunch

Sushi Mania Mon & Wed: Al Dana. Enjoy masterfully and freshly-prepared platters of sushi, maki and sashimi at their special open sushi night every Monday and Wednesday for QR 215 per person. From 6:30 till 11:00 p.m. For more information call 4425-6666, email, or visit


International Brunch Fridays: Al Hubara. Spend quality time with your loved ones. Dine and enjoy an array of international specialties at the Al Hubara Restaurant. QR 350 per person inclusive of unlimited soft beverages, with a 50% discount for kids between the ages of six to 12-years-old, while kids below the age of six dine for free. Every Friday from 12:30 noon till 3:30 p.m. For more information call 4485-3000.

Weekend Brunch All’Italiana Fri & Sat: La Veranda. La Veranda’s Italian Chef Federiko Carsili creates an irresistibly sumptuous weekend buffet every Friday and Saturday for brunch. The weekend brunch includes barbecue and pasta à la minute, live stations, fresh seafood and salad-bars, house-made sandwiches, antipasti and cold-cuts buffets, Doha’s most generous variety of imported Italian and French premium-quality cheeses, and a rich selection of artisanal pastries and desserts. Top up your culinary experience with free-flow special beverage packages! QR 220. Kids between the ages of six and 12-years-old will receive a 50% discount, while kids below the age of six can dine for free. For more information call 4485-3000.

Pizza Class With Chef Federico Carsili Saturdays: La Veranda. Want to be a Pizza chef? Join in for a pizza class at La Veranda, hosted by Chef Federico Carsili –a fun tutorial for all pizza-lovers that’s not to be missed. Every Saturday from 4:30 p.m. till 5:30 p.m. Advance bookings must be made. QR 150 per person, with a maximum of 15 attendees. For more information call 4485-3000.


Sat-Thurs: Il Teatro. ‘Piatto Unico’ in Italian literally means a ‘one-dish meal’ that’s well-balanced, healthy and bountiful. The chef is delighted to share this unique Italian lunch on a weekly changing basis to suit all tastes. Perfect for those who don’t have much time for lunch and offers great value for a true Italian experience. QR 99 per person. From 12:00 noon till 3:00 p.m. For more information call 4494-8631.

Daily: Il Teatro. The Four Seasons brings you the opportunity to experience the exquisite flavour of Japanese Wagyu beef here in Doha. Chef Marco, the hotel’s Chef de Cuisine will satisfy your palate with exclusive dishes showcasing tasty Wagyu beef with an Italian touch. Prices start from QR 120. From 7:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. For more information call 4494-8601.

New A La Carte Menu Daily: Rocca. To find authentic Italian food without leaving your neighbourhood, look no further than Rocca restaurant with Italian Chef Marco Cherubini’s new menu. For more information call 4448-1272.

Curry Nights Mondays: Isaan. The Thai restaurant offers an allyou-can-eat curry night. Every Monday from 7:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m., you can order a variety of unlimited curry to share, with your choice of fish, beef, chicken, mussels or vegetables. You can share up to five curries per round, for only QR 85 per person. For more information call 7021-8097.

Chatuchak Weekend Market Brunch Fridays: Isaan. Get an outstanding Thai Chatuchak Weekend Market experience, every Friday for brunch from 12:30 noon till 4:00 p.m. Walk around and explore the colourful array of live cooking stations and marketlike stalls. A range of options are available. Enjoy a soft drink brunch for QR 280, a special beverage package for QR 395 and the Moët brunch for QR 680. For more information call 7021-8097.

THE RITZ-CARLTON Friday Brunch The Lagoon. Bring all the family for a relaxing weekend brunch. Live music complements the delicious buffet of Middle Eastern specialties and international live cooking stations. Children have their own junior buffet and entertainment. QR 305 per person including soft beverages, QR 395 per person including bubbly, or QR 425 for full brunch. Kids under the age of four can dine for free. QR 150 for kids ages 4 -12 years-old. From 12:30 noon till 4:00 p.m. Last order for beverages is at 3:30 p.m. For more information call 4484-8000, or email

Seafood Platter Tuesdays: Admiral’s Club. Overlooking the marina, delight yourself in fresh seafood offerings while admiring the perfect surroundings and view. QR 260 per portion which serves up to two people. From 6:00 p.m. till 10:00 p.m. For more information call 4484-8000, or email

BBQ Lovers Mon, Thurs & Fri: Admiral’s Club. What better way to savour and enjoy the spectacular views of the marina while indulging in a platter of BBQ. QR 190 per portion, with an additional QR 50 for fresh lobster. From 6:00 p.m. till 10:00 p.m.For more information call 4484-8000, or email

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Mondays: Opal by Gordon Ramsay. Enjoy the tastiest and juiciest burger in Doha! Choose from lamb, Wagyu beef, or Opal’s vegetarian burger served with fluffy fat fries and homemade tomato sauce all for QR 100. From 6:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. For more information call 4446-0000, or email

Sun-Thurs: Market by Jean-Georges. Enjoy signature Market by Jean-Georges cocktails served in pitchers with your favourite bites at this award-winning restaurant – all for QR 160. From 5:00 p.m. till 7:00 p.m. For more information call 4453-5135, or email

Gourmet Chilli-Dog Nights

Burger Night

Burger & Pint Night

Tuesdays: Opal by Gordon Ramsay. Tuesday night is officially Gourmet Chilli-Dog Night. Enjoy the tastiest chilli-dogs in town served with bubbles or brews and includes ice-cream for dessert, all for QR 125. From 6:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. For more information call 4446-0000, or email

BBQ Night

Thursdays: Vine. Ring in the weekend and experience a wide selection of BBQ classics while enjoying breathtaking views from the terrace. Follow dinner with a trip to The Rooftop for a nightcap, and music from their resident DJ. QR 320 with soft beverages, or QR 420 including grapes, grain and sparkling beverages. From 6:30 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. For more information call 4446-0107.

Weekend A La Carte Brunch

Fri & Sat: Opal by Gordon Ramsay. Delight you tastebuds with everything you can eat from their a la carte brunch menu designed by famous Chef Gordon Ramsay. Sit on the terrace and while away a lazy weekend. QR 295 with soft beverages and QR 395 with selected beverages. For more information call 4446-0116, or e-mail

THE TORCH DOHA Rotisserie Night

Tues-Sat: Panorama. Enjoy a delightful Rotisserie Night at the newly-opened Panorama, featuring roasted Black Angus cuts served on a carving trolley by the table with daily selection of sauces and sides. From 6:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. For more information call 4446-5600, or email

Mediterranean All The Way

Daily: Three Sixty. This beautiful revolving restaurant located on the 47th floor at The Torch Doha, offers panoramic views of the city. Open daily for lunch from 12:00 noon till 3:00 p.m. and for dinner from 7:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. For more information call 4446-5600, or email

Panorama Special Set Menu

Mon-Wed: Panorama. Enjoy a special menu at QR 225 including your choice of appetizer, main and dessert with coffee or tea. Located on the 50th floor the restaurant offers panoramic views of the city. For more information call 4446-5600, or email restaurant.

Barbecue Bazaar Brunch

Fridays: Flying Carpet Friday. Choose from a wide selection of steaks, Oriental BBQ, fish, and burgers for only QR 210 per person including a welcome drink, still water, selected soft drinks and chilled juices. From 12:30 noon till 3:30 p.m. Enjoy a special rate of only QR 98 for children under the age of 12. For more information call 4446-5600, or email restaurant.

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Pitcher Perfect

Sundays: Market by Jean-Georges. Start your week with your favourite burger, side dish and one amazing sundae from the selection – all for QR 125 per person. From 6:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. For more information call 4453-5135 or email

Sip & Savour

Sat-Thurs: Spice Market. Try Spice Market’s signature cocktails and drinks alongside a combination of mouthwatering snacks with a 50% discount on selected beverages. For more information call 4453-5135 or email

Business Lunch

Sat-Thurs: Market by Jean-Georges.Choose your favourite starter, main course and dessert in just half an hour at QR 95 for a three-course meal. From 12:00 noon till 4:00 p.m. For more information call 4453-5135, or email

Jazz Brunch

Fridays: Market by Jean-Georges. Enjoy a delicious brunch with live entertainment by Doha Jazz. QR 410 per person including house beverages, or QR 295 including soft drinks. For more information call 4453-5135 or email

Vietnamese Sundays

Sundays: Spice Market. Inspired by the vibrant street-life of Southeast Asia, Spice Market introduces an all new Vietnamese Night. It’s all about the balance of flavours, the yin and yang, the sweet and salty, the fresh and fermented, spread across eight courses prepared every Sunday at Spice Market. QR 150 per person. For more information call 4453-5135 or email


Sun-Thurs: Tangia Restaurant. Enjoy an authentic Moroccan Business Lunch in Tangia Restaurant with a three-course set menu for only QR 87 per person including beverages. From 12:00 noon till 3:00 p.m. For more information call 4434-3203/3333, email wgrf&, or visit

Moroccan Brunch

Fri & Sat: Tangia Restaurant. Tangia Restaurant presents a traditional Moroccan brunch with a variety of tagines, salads and Moroccan bread for only QR 149 per person. From 12:00 noon till 4:00 p.m. For more information call 4434-3203/3333, email wgrf&, or visit

Chinese Bliss

Thursdays: Chopsticks Restaurant. Chopsticks is serving a delightful Chinese-food dinner buffet for only QR 169. From 6:30 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. For more information call 4434-3203/3333, email wgrf&, or visit

Sushi Fiesta

Saturdays: Chopsticks Restaurant. Chopsticks is serving a delightful miso soup followed by a Sushi Fiesta. Eat as much you can for only QR 169 per person. From 6:30 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. Immerse yourself in an electrical range of original and sensational sushi platters and try their sushi made of chicken, beef and duck exclusively at Chopsticks, the award-winning restaurant. For more information call 4434-3203/3333, email wgrf&, or visit


Al Tabkha: A fast-casual restaurant concept offering healthy home-made Lebanese cuisine in a familyfriendly environment for dine-in, takeaway or delivery. They offer a Friday buffet for QR 95, falafel combo for QR 30, chicken shawarma for QR 20, daily specials for QR 50, take-away and delivery from QR 65 and dine-in breakfast set menus from QR 45, QR 55 and QR 70. Open daily from 8:00 a.m. till midnight. Located at Croisette 18, Porto Arabia, The Pearl-Qatar. For more information call 4495-3876, Ext: 5874/5875. Burj Al Hamam: Offers a wide range of Lebanese traditional dishes and fresh seafood specialties with breath-taking marina views of The Pearl-Qatar. Open daily from 12:00 noon till midnight, and Fridays and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. till 12 midnight. Set menus start from QR 200/QR 300/QR 400. Average meal price per person is QR 170. Located at Croissette 1, Porto Arabia, The Pearl-Qatar. For more information call 4495 3876, Ext: 1291. Tse Yang: An elegant, chic and high-end Chinese restaurant overlooking a breath-taking marina. Open daily from 12:00 noon till midnight. Located in Croisette 6, Porto Arabia, The Pearl-Qatar. For more information call 4495-3876, Ext: 2071. Megu: A high-end Japanese restaurant providing an exclusive experience second-to- none. Open from 12:00 noon till 3:00 p.m. for lunch, and from 7:00 p.m. till midnight for dinner. Located at Croisette 6, Porto Arabia, The Pearl-Qatar. For more information call 4495-3876, Ext: 2101. Pampano: A refined, modern Mexican cuisine concept in partnership with Chef Richard Sandoval and Maestro Placido Domingo. Open daily from 12:00 noon till midnight. Featuring live Latin music on Thursdays and Fridays from 7:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. Located at Croisette 1, Porto Arabia, The Pearl-Qatar. For more information call 4495-3876, Ext: 1221. Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar: A slick, chic and stylish café offering salads, desserts, decadent chocolates and ice-cream, alongside dishes that are a delicious choice for lunch, dinner and breakfast. Open daily from 6:00 a.m. till 2:00 a.m. Located at Croisette 1, Porto Arabia, The Pearl-Qatar. For more information call 4495-3876, Ext: 1311.

See us online!

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Al Sufra Marsa Malaz Kempinski Porcini The Ritz-Carlton

SPANISH & TEX-MEX Aceite 4018-8894 Caminito 4447-0000 Chili’s 4466-0663 El Faro 4035-5555 4419-6100 Ipanema Latino Steakhouse 4485-3000 Oyster Bay 4446-0105 4484-4444 Paloma Pampano 4495-3876, Ext: 1221 Picasso’s 4428-1428 4408-7777 Rodizio Brazilian Churrascaria Salsa 4429-8888

ARABIC & LEBANESE Agora 4445-5555 Al Balad 4491-8692 Al Bandar 4431-1818 4432-8888 Al Batross Al Canteen 4433-6666 Al Mourjan 4483-4423 Al Sayyad 4484-7420 Al Shaheen Restaurant 4485-3000 Al Sufra 4035-5555 Al Sultan Brahim 4446-0105 Al Tabkha 4495-3876, Ext: 5874/5875 Al Tawash 4498-2002 Argan 4433-6666 Burj Al Hamam 4495-3876, Ext: 1291 4468-5089 Istanbul Sultan Dining Restaurant Khan Rafouk Tarab Café 4408-0840 Kunafa Albisana. 4408-1200 Layali 4431-0005 Lebanese Shawarma 4466-2616 Majlis 4448-1234 Marmara Istanbul 4436-2947 Shawarma Albisana 4408-1400 Sukar Pasha Ottoman Lounge 4408-2000 Tajine 4435-5554 Tangia 4434-3333 Turkey Central 4443-2927


Latino Steakhouse Sheraton Doha

CHINESE 4434-3333 4408-4888 4411-4458 4428-1428 4495-3876, Ext: 2071 4413-4772

Chopsticks D’Chopstix Royal Bafilyon Ruby Wu’s Tse Yang Wok of Fame

CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN Aroma Astor Grill Belgian Café Gordon Ramsay La Mer Market by Jean-Georges Nando’s Delivery Hotline Opal by Gordon Ramsay Panorama

4405-3325 4446-0105 4484-4444 4446-0105 4484-8000 4453-5135 4436-0606 4446-0105 4446-5600

FRENCH La Sahtaine La Varenne Le Relais de L’Entrecote Maxim Sormani The French Olive

4423-3333 4499-0680 4495-3876 Ext. 1411 4428-1428 4495-3876 Ext. 3222 4444-4777

INDIAN Biryani Hut Bombay Balti Chingari Royal Indian Royal Tandoor Al Souq St., Jasra Souq Waqif Saffron Lounge Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor Sukh Sagar Taj Rasoi

4464-1401 4428-1428 4428-1428 4466-6876 4444-6151 4432-3244 3325-8919 4019-8877 4431-9172 4429-8888

Al Hubara Al Liwan Restaurant Al Matbakh Rooftop Grill ForKnife Baraha Blue Brasserie Restaurant Choices Corniche Crossroads Kitchen Flying Carpet Grand Gourmet La Brasserie La Cigalon Restaurant Lifestyle Restaurant Mawasem Mehfil Restaurant Nando’s Delivery Hotline The Dining Room (Al Najada Boutique Hotel) The Dining Room (Fraser Suites Hotel) The Grill The Lagoon The Village Souq Waqif Three Sixty Torch Tea Garden Vine

4485-3000 4424-2888 4433-6777 4496-6600 4447-0000 4472-2666 4402-3333 4429-8888 4419-6100 4446-5600 4434-3333 4446-2222 4428-8888 4463-2154 4423-3333 4409-4444 4436-0606 4433-6666 4424-3444 4448-1234 4484-8000 3331-1558 4446-5600 4446-5600 4446-0105

ITALIAN Bice Ristorante Carluccio’s Cucina Di Capri Fabio’s Pizza II Teatro La Dolce Vita Italian Restaurant La Spiga by Paper Moon La Veranda le Vesuvio Paper Moon Porcini Rocca The Italian Job

4495-3876 4495-3876 4419-6100 4428-8698 4416-5641 4494-8888 4436-7991 4453-5135 4485-3000 4408-1500 4016-6000 4484-8000 4448-1272 4428-1428

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Bentley’s Grill Radisson Blu


JAPANESE Neo Oishi Sushi Sakura Strata Restaurant & Lounge Sushi Minto Megu Yen Sushi Bar


The French Olive Barwa Building, C-Ring Road

Agora Grand Heritage Doha

4432-2508 4442-8989 4428-1428 4015-8888 4467-5577 4495-3876, Ext: 2101 4428-8888



Aramede 4408-7777 Bistro Bistro 4428-1428 La Villa 4446-2222 Le Central Restaurant 4428-8888 Medi @ The Village 4444-4700 Mykonos 4484-4444 Sawa 4035-5555 The Cellar 4402-3333

PERSIAN Grill @ The Village Parisa Prince Of Persia

American Grill Burgeri Chili’s Fuddruckers Hardee’s Johnny Rockets Ric’s Kountry Kitchen TGI Friday’s

4411-0188 4449-3958. 4466-0663 4483-3983 4467-8750 4455-2792 4443-7846 4488-7008

SEAFOOD 4444-4700 4425-6666 4015-0190.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN Asia Live! Chowking Delivery Hotline Mamoura Al Khor Salwa Road Al Sadd St. Holiday Villa Isaan Mango Tree Nusantao: Sea Kitchens Spice Market Sri Kebaya The Noodle House City Center Mall The Pearl Wok Mee Noodle House

Belgian Café 4484-4444 4470-8822 De Ozone Madison Piano Bar 4428-8888 4484-4444 Pool Bar Shehrazad 4428-1428 The Irish Harp 4485-4444 4405-3325 The Lounge Wahm 4453-5353

4429-8888 4431-1212 4486-6077 4411-8816/17 4437-1212 4431-4411 4411-5225/335 4448-1250 4495-3876 4494-8888 4453-5353 4434-0838 4411-5063 4495-3876 4496-6600

Almaskar Al Dana Al Dente Seafood Restaurant Al Sayyad Al Sultan Brahim Fish Market L’wzaar Seafood Market Pampano Pier 12

4485-3000 4425-6666 4472-2666 4484-7420 4446-0105 4484-4444 4408-0710 4495-3876 4428-1428

STEAKHOUSES Bentley’s Grill JW’s Steakhouse Le Grill New York Steakhouse Prime The Anvil Rooms The Butcher Shop and Grill The Old Manor Steakhouse

4428-1428 4429-8888 4484-7412 4419-6100 4015-8888 4499-0685 4413-5508 4446-2222

Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Ba 4495-3876, Ext. 1311 Al Jalsa 4425-6666 Al Kut Lounge 4434-3203 4485-3000 Allegria Al Mandarine 4463-3748 Anima Gallery & Lounge 4002 7437 4449-3963 Aspire Grand Café Atrium Lounge 4485-4444 Bab Al Baher 4423-3333 Biscotti 4448-1282 Café Murano 4035-5555 4495-3876 Café Vergnano Ext. 2611 Chac’Late 4408-2000 Coffee Time 4466-7551 Colombiano 4434-2753 Dean and Deluca 4451-9780 4405-3333 Gourmet House Jones the Grocer 4407-7175 La Margarita 4409-4444 Le Gourmet 4436-1789 Lime Café 4496-6600 Maya La Chocolatiere Landmark Mall 4486-2264 Villaggio Mall 4417-8132 MBCo The Gate Mall 4407-7130 Al Emaadi Financial Square 4411-7224 Moka and Co 4458-3232 4428-8888 Orangery Café Troittor Quick Bites 4419-6134 Red Velvet Cupcakery 4408-0700. Sarab Lounge 4446-0105 Savor Café Lounge 4408-7777 Shisha Garden 4428-8888 Sky Lounge 4402-3333 Sugar and Spice 4411-4456 Sweet Temptations 4485-3000 The Courtyard 4433-6444 The Drawing Room 4433-6666 The Lobby Lounge 4484-8000 The Terrace Lounge 4433-6555 Torch Café 4446-5600 W Café 4453-5353 Ya Hala 4423-3333

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Top Picks


Ongoing: Six Senses Spa. Indulge in a locallyinspired complete hammam experience that includes deep cleansing of the body followed by a hair treatment. It completes with a nourishing body mask by Charme d’Orient, leaving your skin renewed, soft and silky smooth, ending with an express facial. 100 minutes for QR 1,200. For more information call 4425-6999/6995.


Mondays: Are you looking for a new way to get your heart pumping? Why not take on the challenge with Doha Marriott’s weekly boot camp class! Get your heart racing with explosive exercises that are designed to level up your overall fitness and aerobic capacity and put you on your way to a new and healthier you! From 6:00 p.m. till 7:00 p.m. For more information call 4429-8520.


Daily: Health & Recreation Center. For the more athletically-inclined guest, Sheraton Fitness features two outdoor and three indoor tennis courts, two squash courts, and outdoor volleyball and football courts. The recreation centre also showcases a state-of-the-art gym with the latest exercise cardio and strength-training equipment. The fitness centre is also a home to yoga, Zumba, spinning and boxing fanatics with group and private lessons. For more information call 4485-4600.


Spa by Clarins Now Open!


July 1-August 31: Angsana Spa. Enjoy a cuisine for the soul with a 60-minute body massage, plus 30 minutes of refreshments and relaxation for QR 450. For more information call 4434-3152/3153, or email

Ongoing: Visit this 3,000-sqm European spa featuring legendary products and treatments by Clarins. With 23 treatment rooms, male and female wellness and wet relaxation areas, laconiums, saunas and steam-rooms and two indoor pools (male and female), Spa by Clarins is the ultimate pampering experience. For more information call 4035-5555, email, or visit


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Purely Pampered By Ashlee Starratt and Jorge Granda Photography by Jessie Palanca

No summer stay-cation would be complete without a little indulgence, so the QH team went about the oh-sodifficult task of testing out the best treatments at the city's top spas for our ultimate relaxation round-up. Here are our top picks to treat yourself!

SARAY SPA Serenity At Saray If you haven't visited this zen-like oasis in the Marriott Marquis, it's high time you booked yourself in for some quality 'you'-time. We love the candle-lit ambiance as you practically sleep-walk through the grotto-like halls to the treatment rooms. They also sell some of our favourite custom-made products – the crisp mint shampoo dispensed in the showers? A Saray signature. And yes, you can grab a bottle to take home. We stopped by to try their Arabic Coffee Awakener body treatment and Swedish Massage, which is

nothing less than luscious. My therapist Ita is an absolute pro; after escorting me into my private treatment suite and stretching me out on the warmed massage table, she uses what looks, feels and smells like fresh coffee grounds mixed with sweet brown sugar to gently exfoliate me from head-to-toe. Coffee is said to have myriad benefits aside from perking us up in the mornings. It's packed full of anti-oxidants, helps protect skin from the sun's harsh rays, improves circulation and brightens our complexion. And it smells incredible – after showering off in the room's lush ensuite my skin still smells like a fresh cup hours later.

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Candlelights will guide you home...

Ultimate Relaxation

The tranquil serenity of Saray Spa's couples treatment room

After the scrub, Ita works her way up and down my back, thighs, calves and arms loosening tension and the aches and pains that stem from poor posture and being hunched over a desk all day. Swedish massage uses long, gliding strokes to relax the muscles and direct circulation back towards the heart. It's a full-sensory experience to relax the entire body and Ita is especially adept at her craft. At the treatment's end, lingering over a hot cup of ginger tea, I remind myself that these unbroken moments of peaceful repose are fleeting – I'd do well to savour them fully. A morning at Saray Spa is just the ticket.

Summer is synonymous with holidays, fun, pampering and relaxation – a time to decompress and disconnect from the daily stresses of work and life. An effective way to do this is to pay a visit to a luxurious spa and just let the experts do their job. I decided to spoil myself with three different experiences to get into that summer staycation mode. First up was Saray Spa; I’ve been here several times in the last year and every time I visit this sanctuary of well-being, I come out feeling energized and restored. There’s something about its décor and lighting that makes you feel relaxed the moment you step in. On most of my visits I’ve tried their facials, but now am looking forward to something new. I started my pampering day with a Custom Deep-Tissue Massage. This treatment focuses on areas of chronic tension caused by stress, fatigue and strain. It’s perfect for restoring balance and comfort with specific deep-tissue techniques that include kneading, pressure points, and long, open movements to stimulate blood circulation, warm the muscles, and ease strain and tension. The overall experience was very satisfying. My therapist was gentle and very professional; the palms of her hands were soft and comforting. I was a bit surprised that my therapist was a woman, as it’s not common in Doha for a female masseuse to work on male clients, but it didn’t feel uncomfortable or awkward – instead the whole treatment was sheer tranquility!

Unwind post-treatment and plan your next pampering experience

SARAY SPA Location: 7th Floor, Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Timings: 9:00 a.m. till 9:00 p.m., daily Pricing: • QR 500, 55-minute Arabic Coffee Awakener Envelopment • QR 460, 55-minute Traditional Relaxing Swedish Massage • QR 580, 80-minute Custom Deep Tissue Massage Contact Info: Call 4419-6090 or email

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FITNESS & WELLNESS still face down for 20 minutes while the lasers do the work of breaking down deep-tissue and visceral fat deposits. To be honest I don't feel a thing. And after 25 minutes she has me roll over and the process repeats itself. Apparently these treatments are popular with the Hollywood set and results can be seen immediately. Nirgaza does tell me that it's meant to be results-driven as a supplement to diet and exercise. After I'm zapped on both sides she takes my measurements once again...but it seems as though I've gained half an inch rather than shrunk. I'm not quite sold on this one yet but Nirgaza tells me that once you have a full course of 9, 12 or 15 sessions the pounds will begin to melt off and the difference starkly visible.

If there's a cutting-edge treatment on the market, chances are Bliss has it!

So, ready to find your bliss? It's waiting at the W Doha.

Masters Of Massage Bliss Spa at the W Doha is the perfect place to escape the buzz and hustle of West Bay within the heart of the city. Though not as big as some other spas in town, it’s by far the funkiest. I visited Bliss to try their Signature Massage and a 30-minute Oxygen Blast Facial. Upon arrival I got to chill out for a few minutes before my treatment at the lounge – which kinds of reminds me of the cabanas in Wahm. My aesthetician soon comes to guide me to the treatment room, which is very futuristic with white and light-blue colours dominating the space and making you feel comfortable and stress-free. The spa's serene and chic dressing area

fact, it's the facial that made them famous, as I'm quickly learning why. For the next hour Jade daubs, dabs, massages and plies my skin with the big, hydrating O.

BLISS SPA New-Age Bliss If there's one thing the W Doha can be sure of, it's living up to the hype of its brand. The world over, W properties are synonymous with edgy luxury and anything-goes indulgence. Today we're at their Bliss Spa to try two cutting-edge treatments –one a fan favourite and the other a new, celebrityendorsed trend. To start, I'll be having their signature Triple-Oxygen Facial and I quickly head back to the dressing room to get ready. I love the fresh, funky vibe of Bliss. From its array of complimentary items in the dressing area (mouthwash and hair mousse!), and their cheeky-fun names, to the platter of gooeysweet chocolate brownies in the brightly-hued waiting area, it's just a cut above. I start the Triple-Oxygen Facial with my therapist Jade who tells me it's one of their most popular. In

She starts with an intensive cleaning and exfoliation from Bliss' own Triple-Oxygen line, followed by a mushroom amino-acid peel to strip away the top-most layers of dead skin-cells. This is followed by a nourishing oxygen wrap and extraction of blemishes. (An uncomfortable but necessary part of the process!). To soothe redness Jade applies a calming oxygen and Vitamin C mask and gives me a sublime head massage while it sets. The treatment finishes with a hydrating enzyme pack and vitamin oxygen spray. Plump and dewy, my skin feels as though it's had a long, tall glass of water and then went back for seconds. After the facial I nip over to a futuristic room where next I'll be trying their new Zerona Slimming & Contouring cold laser treatment. Full disclosure – the word laser made me nervous. But my therapist Nirgaza puts my mind at ease, explaining that it's completely non-invasive. First she takes my measurements to determine which areas will benefit most to target the lasers. Then she has me lay very

The Blissage Signature Massage is designed to promote general relaxation and to nourish the skin and improve blood-circulation. For me it felt like a combination of Swedish and deep-tissue massage. The pressure applied was light and involved stretching out my legs and hands to loosen my joints and tight muscles. After the massage I switch rooms for my 30-minute Oxygen Blast Facial, which is popular among celebrities. The aesthetician first cleanses my skin before analyzing it to determine which infusion would suit me best, depending on the kind of results I wanted. For me I hoped to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while enhancing my skin’s overall hydration. The oxygen is delivered via a sort of wand, and the results are impressive and immediate. I leave feeling glowing and refreshed – sheer Bliss! BLISS SPA Location: 2nd Floor, W Doha Timings: 9:00 a.m. till 11:00 p.m., daily Pricing: • QR 790, 75-minute Triple Oxygen Facial • QR 4,400, 9-sessions of Zerona Slimming & Contouring laser • QR 600, 75-minute Blissage Massage • QR 400, 30-minute Oxygen Blast Facial Contact Info: Call 4453-5555 or visit

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Wood tones and Asian elements abound at this tranquil retreat at The Grand Hyatt

JAULA SPA & CLUB Return To Tranquility If you're searching for it...tranquility that'll find it waiting with open arms at The Grand Hyatt's Jaula Spa. Standing regally apart from the hotel itself, the spa grounds are opulent – a world away from the outside and a haven for relaxation. It's a place where you can make time to focus on yourself. I'm here to try their signature Jaula Aromassage, and after the stress of work and production week deadlines a treatment like this is just what the doctor ordered. I'm offered tea and fresh dates in the relaxation area with its calming pools and water elements, before my therapist escorts me to my private suite. What makes Jaula stand-out in my mind is the way it's reminiscent of a traditional Japanese bathhouse. Each treatment room slides open behind Orientalstyle doors and all amenities are included. There's a full bathroom, shower and vanity area in my suite so my experience is personalized and I don't have to leave my belongings in a locker. The massage table is in its own little alcove surrounded by feng shui rock and flower features. The massage is idyllic as my therapist uses delicate lavender oil to soothe and rejuvenate the skin and

senses. I fall asleep, as I'm wont to do in these kinds of situations, waking only at the soft chime of the bell that signals the end of the treatment. Jaula has brought me back to life in more ways than one and I head back out into the afternoon sunshine feeling unburdened of tension and relaxed to the max.

Jaula Journey Like the hotel itself, Jaula Spa is majestic and exquisite – very similar to a royal palace. Their philosophy is to introduce guests to a journey of true wellness. At Jaula I was treated to a Deep-Tissue Massage. This 60-minute treatment is designed to immerse your body and mind in an intense relaxation mode. The therapist achieves this by using her palms, elbows and forearms to massage you from head-to-toe, tailoring the pressure to your liking – light, or strong. For me I don’t like it too intense, so the pressure applied on my body was very light and very comfortable. The combination of background music, the overall ambiance and décor of the room, plus the amazing massage made my experience truly worthy of a royal. This massage enhances your flexibility, works to repair imbalances and increases your overall vitality. It certainly left me feeling rejuvenated and ready to get through the week ahead. n

Enjoy a cup of ginger tea at the poolside relaxation area

JAULA SPA & CLUB Location: The Grand Hyatt Timings: 9:00 a.m. till 10:00 p.m., daily Pricing: • QR 600, 60-minute Jaula Aromassage • QR 550, 60-minute Deep-Tissue Massage Contact Info: Call 4448-1056/1060, email, or visit

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Virtually Fit

By Ashlee Starratt

We all have our rituals and routines that help or hamper us when it comes to healthy eating and exercise. Some are sustainable, others not. Finding the time to fit in fitness is rule number one when making the commitment to creating long-lasting lifestyle changes. QH logs online to try out Absolute Health & Fitness's new Online PT program. The results? Well, they're what you make it.


ince moving to Qatar in 2012 I've (complacently) watched my weight balloon up to nearly 30 pounds (15 kilos) heavier. Sure I could blame it on the lifestyle, my job, frequent restaurant reviews and media dinner events, how much I hate the gym, how it's too hot to go outside and walk etc., etc. But at the end of the day everything comes down to choice, doesn't it? And I chose not to do anything about it. I was happy using food as a stress-reliever... content to be a pathological, emotional eater and whatever other de rigueur label might fit my bill. But after looking in the mirror and feeling gut-punched over what I saw, I knew the proverbial light-bulb

was sputtering to life. What it illuminated was a young woman who seemingly had it all, yet was ultimately unhappy deep down where it matters most. My reflection – bloated, swollen, fatigued – only reflected the inward stress, anxieties and frustrations that were boiling over in my daily life. It was time to get a grip – and a firm one. I've never enjoyed going to the gym. The most I would do is flounder around on the treadmill for half an hour then call it a day. I now think this was because I needed guidance – I just didn't know what I was doing. Yet, that voice in my head would pipe up, giving me permission to take the easy way out. I couldn't afford the monthly expense of a personal trainer. My job didn't allow me to go to the gym at regular times. I was too tired to wake up early and exercise; I was too exhausted to work out late at night. Where was the happy medium? The inner willingness that was not afraid to at least reach a compromise? After a year fraught with health issues and two back-to-back surgeries, I knew if I didn't find it soon I was never going to. And that scared me. A lot. So when I was approached by Absolute Health & Fitness about seeing if their new Online PT program could help me, I bit the bullet and signed up. The best way to describe the service is like having all the knowledge and resources of a personal trainer at your disposal but without the one-on-one sessions. In this program, you lead to succeed. They give you the tools and the support, but the work and effort is up to you –and how badly you want it.

I guess that's true about any personal goal – fitness or otherwise. But for me, having someone to first assess me and tell me what I should be doing and how I should be doing it took a huge chunk of trepidation out of the gym for me. I started my Online PT program with Absolute Fitness's Jonny Parr coming to my house to do a health and fitness assessment. You will have to fill out detailed forms about your fitness and health history and then Jonny or one of his AF colleagues will run you through a series of exercises to gauge your cardio conditioning, upper, lower and core strength, balance and endurance. He'll also take your vitals and check things like pulse rate, blood pressure and body-mass index. Based on your assessment outcomes the AF team will then draft a three, six or 12-month fitness plan that focuses on getting you to your goal –whether it's weight-loss, muscle-building or training to improve your cardio. I was given a username and password to log into the Online PT program section of the AF website where I could view my assessments, download my fitness and meal plans and view online videos and tutorials of the exercises prescribed for me. I really liked having this online library at my fingertips. If you can't have a trainer standing over you in the gym, it's the next best thing. Jonny and his team were always on call to help at any time of day or night – if I was confused about a certain exercise, if I had concerns or questions about my regimen or meal plan they would be quick to help answer them over the phone,

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via Skype or What's App. Jonny would take the time to always check in to see how I was doing, keep me motivated and to tell me not to be too hard on myself when I couldn't complete a circuit or if I missed a session. So, 'How did I do?' is the question on everyone's mind. Did it work out? Was it sustainable? Yes...and no. But not for the lack of services from Absolute Health & Fitness that's for sure. Remember those key tenets I mentioned above about wanting something bad enough and everything coming down to a matter of choice? Well they were my initial motivators...and my also my setbacks later on. My regimen had me exercising three days a week with two different workout routines that alternated each day. As the weeks progressed the repetitions increased as my endurance built up. The first month of the program I followed them to the letter and was seeing results and I loved the freedom of the program to allow you to workout wherever, whenever. I struggled with my customized meal plan however – I felt it was just too restrictive (although it probably wasn't – instead my body was just not used to the drastic cutback in calories) and due to some issues with my blood sugar I asked Jonny to revise it slightly, which he was happy to do. However, for me the meal plan wasn't something I ended up being able to stick to. Instead I followed my own revised eating habits and an alkaline diet which was easier to wean myself on to. Did this ultimately affect my end weight-loss goal? Maybe. Maybe not. What I do know for sure is that the meal plan that was prescribed cut out too much too fast and I wouldn't have had the willpower not to go running for that bag of chips when the carb cravings became unbearable. Instead I preferred a plan that was more incremental.

Absolute Health & Fitness's Jonny Parr

I began to fall short on my workout routine just before I was due to go on holidays. With the crunch of production deadlines and the pressure of planning a trip, (not to mention suhoor invites each and every night during Ramadan) I found myself making it to the gym less and less and, ultimately, my focus slipped completely. Jonny was kind enough to tailor my workout routine to adapt to what I had access to while on holiday, but for me it wasn't enough. Somewhere along the way I lost my focus and I stopped wanting it badly enough. Maybe it was the vacation mode mindset –and that's okay. I will keep going and get back into it. If I've learned anything through this experience it's not to be so hard on myself. Once I can learn to forgive myself for setbacks then the faster I can pick up, dust off and try again. And so can you. In a nutshell the Online PT program from Absolute Health & Fitness would absolutely be an ideal choice for the seasoned or intermediate fitness enthusiast who is highly self-motivated and can sustain their routines with little oversight or direction. Workout newbies on the other hand might get more benefit from the one-on-one guidance

that sessions with a personal trainer can offer. Either way you've taken that first step in the right direction towards taking charge of your health – and the options offered by Absolute Health & Fitness are truly top-notch. Everyone's journey to fitness is a deeply personal trail; it's all about finding what works best for you and, most importantly, what you know you can stick with. n

ONLINE PT PROGRAM Cost: • 3-months: QR 1,500 monthly, or QR 4,500 total • 6-months: QR 1,250 monthly, or QR 7,000 total • 12-months: QR 1,000 monthly, or QR 12,000 total Contact Info: Call 3385-2696, email, or visit

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Have Yoga, Will Travel 94 QH August 2015 - July 13 FINAL.indd 94

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First things first, let’s be more aware of our own bodies and flexibility. Do you feel bendy? We are all able to touch our toes and even bend our spine all the way back but yet so many of us can no longer do this because we are so out of practice. Ask yourself when was the last time you attempted to stretch it all out?

If you don't have the luxury of stretching out midair, at least be sure to stand up and move around every hour to minimize the risk of blood clots

During the hotter months here in Qatar or on your travels, something similar actually happens to your body – it swells in size. Felt your hands and fingers puff up? Ankles and calves get a little tight? This is first of all, a sign of edema when the body holds onto fluid, as it feels dehydrated so it tries to remain hydrated. It also comes from poor circulation and a lack of lymph drainage due to immobility. So let’s think about a recent flight you took, perhaps a long-haul one. Felt stiff? Tired? Puffy? Would you believe me if I said I flew 16 hours to Miami with no stopover and walked off the plane full of energy without any stiffness in my body? Believe me –hate me if you must –but this is how you can feel the exact same way on any flight duration:

Flex At 30,000 Feet Once the seatbelt sign has turned off, I’m off. Up and out of my seat hiking up and down the plane (even in the middle of the night). I stretch as much as I can at the bathroom or pantry areas and then rest and repeat. This is essential on flights over six hours because in-flight exercises encourage blood flow, calm the mind, and reduce the rare possibility of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a blood clot in a deep vein (normally lower limbs). There’s a slight risk of developing DVT if you remain seated in an aircraft for a prolonged duration. Therefore, during your flight, it's important to move regularly and aid water retention by drinking water – a lot of water. I ask the cabin crew for a 1.5 litre bottle. Drinking enough on a flight not only keeps you hydrated, but it makes you need the bathroom so… you have to move your body to get there. Qatar Airways passengers may be familiar with the advice given by well-known physician and holistic guru, Deepak Chopra: 1. Drink plenty of water. Flying dehydrates the body, leaving you tired and irritable. 2. Meditate during your flight. Taking deep breaths will help to calm your mind. 3. Avoid alcohol and caffeine. These are both extremely dehydrating at high altitudes. 4. Eat relatively lightly. Aid digestion by getting up and moving after your meal.

Words and selected images by Lynsey Riach

There’s a new holiday essential to pack in your luggage that’s not only light-weight but will help you feel stretched out and ‘zenned’ out on your travels this summer… We introduce you to a little habit we like to call hotel yoga!


ave you seen that person in Hamad International Airport contorting their body at the gate before boarding? That person is me. Yes, I am one of those people who stretch at any given opportunity – while standing in line, during commercial breaks and yes, even in my car… but I can tell you that it benefits me greatly and even more so on my travels, so I ask you trust me on this one and give my stretching obsession a try for size.

Stretch It Off You know the feeling – stiff and tired. After a long trip, your muscles tend to be tighter than ever. When you get to your arrival gate, ward off lower-back soreness with a forward fold by bending at the hips and falling forward, hug your knees and rock side to side. And once you're at your destination, help your body and mind re-set with the Surya Namaskar sequence described below – you’re body will thank you for it as you face-plant into your bed.

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Author Lynsey Riach practices an updog pose from the comfort of her hotel room

The Travel Mat I’ve travelled the world with yoga mats. I backpacked around Australia with one (it helped my sleep in questionable hostels), I’ve carried my extra cushioned mat through a 13 hour time difference to the beaches of Hawaii and I’ve taken my old frayed and faithful friend to Tokyo where in a tiny hotel room we just about fitted. Through this I’ve come to realize that no one wants to use another person’s yoga mat and no one wants to lug a cumbersome mat with them – even me. Thankfully the fantastic eco-friendly company that is Manduka (who also happen to make the best mats on the market) have come up with a travel option! It’s not just lightweight but it’s foldable. It takes up no more room than a towel would in your suitcase and is perfect for all types of yoga, so no excuses people! Grab one for around QR 145 at

Surya Namaskar/ Sun Salutations Practice this sequence 5-10 times, don’t rush, allow your body time to warm-up and move through each pose with ease. 1. Mountain Pose Stand upright at the end of your mat in what looks like the anatomical position. Palms face forward. Take a deep inhale and exhale and feel your bare

feet sink into your mat. Think about where you are in this world, think about your practice ahead and what you wish to achieve from it. Repeat until you feel ‘centred’ and ready to begin moving your body. 2. Crescent Lunge Practice on both sides. Extend your right leg back with all ten toes facing forward. Keep your back leg straight with hips centered and extend your arms overhead. Reach until you feel the stretch benefit in legs, arms and spine. 3. Downdog With palms on the mat, push your body back until your heels either touch the mat or nearly do. Sink your hips backwards, look through the space between your legs which are hip-width apart. Breathe. Relax. Stay here for five breaths. 4. Downdog Split Practice on both sides. Extend your right leg up to the ceiling, point your toes and stretch your leg. Feel your hip open and pull your leg over to one side if you feel the need to. Change sides. 5. Plank Shift your weight forward from Downdog so you are parallel to the mat. Feet are hip-width apart, hands

are shoulder-width apart. Hold a straight back position in Plank pose for five breaths before slowly lowering to the mat on either your knees or with tricep strength by bending your elbows. Lie flat on the mat. 6. Updog Pull your body weight up and forward by lifting your hips slightly off the mat and keeping your shoulders rounded and relaxed, away from the ears. Feel the abdominals and spine stretch. Push yourself back into Downdog and walk towards the end of the mat to complete the sequence. Yoga is more accessible than ever before to complete within the comfort of your hotel room. So long as you have space to unroll your mat you can start each day with a good ol’ stretch and you’ll feel the benefits for the rest of your day on holiday! n Lynsey Riach is a qualified yoga instructor living and working in Doha normally walking her dogs, on her yoga mat, or on her travels. To learn more about her services visit

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The hand-paddled Turkish ice cream was a hit!

THE SULTAN’S TENT W Doha July 14, 2015

This Ramadan was a grand affair at Marsa Malaz!

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Contest winner Heena Anwar and her family

THE QH GRAB-BAG RAMADAN SUHOOR WINNER Marriott Marquis City Center Doha July 15, 2015

Inside the InterCon's majestic tent

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We loved the laid-back ambiance of this year's tent!

RAMADAN MEDIA SUHOOR The St. Regis Doha June 29, 2015

The island suhoor boasted a traditional crafts corner

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The team from Radisson Blu in all their Ramadan spirit!

RAMADAN IFTAR Radisson Blu July 15, 2015

There was face-painting and more arts and crafts than the little ones could handle!

GARANGAO CELEBRATIONS Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels June 30, 2015 101 QH August 2015 - July 13 FINAL.indd 101

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PHONE DIRECTORY HOTELS Al Gassar Resort Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara Crowne Plaza The Business Park Doha Marriott Hotel Four Seasons Grand Heritage Doha Hotel and Spa The Grand Hyatt Holiday Villa Hilton Doha InterContinental Doha InterContinental Doha The City Kempinski Residences & Suites La Cigale Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Marsa Malaz Kempinski Meliá Hotel Doha Mövenpick Hotel Mövenpick Hotel West Bay Doha Oryx Rotana Radisson Blu Sharq Village & Spa Sheraton Doha The Ritz-Carlton The St. Regis Doha The Torch Doha W Doha Hotel & Residences Wyndham Grand Regency Zubarah Boutique Hotel

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Amaoras Relaxation Spa 4408-4085 Angsana Spa 4434-3152 Bay View 26, Wellness Centre 4496-6410 Bio-Bil Health, Beauty & Spa Ladies 4493-4433 Men’s 4483-0989 Bliss 4453-5555 4483-4535 Bottega Verde Coiffeur Française 4468-9211 4498-0033 Dados Beauty Salon Diva Lounge 4431-8488 Doha Dental 4431-7766 4429-8520 Doha Marriott Spa Ebn Sina Medical 800-2288 Four Seasons Spa 4494-8801 Frank Provost 4494-8844 4468-9945 Glow American Salon, Salwa Rd. 4411-7652 West Bay GoodLife Chemist City Center 4483-9100 The Pearl 4495-3876 4420-8660 Guerlain Alfardan Spa Habibs Hair and Beauty Salon 4413-0672 La Cigale - Ozone Spa 4428-8888 Medical Spa Villaggio 4451-7590 Patrice Salon 4485-4012 Ritz-Carlton Spa 4484-8173 4419-5517 Saray Spa Six Senses Spa 4425-6999 Snips Salon 4408-4083

REAL ESTATE Ahmed Hassan Bilal 4442-8877 Trad. & Cont. Co. INTERIOR Forum Design 4456-8716 RESTAURANTS Chowking Salwa Road 4437-1212 Chowking Al Saad St. 4431-4411 Chowking Al Khor 4411-8816/4411-8817 Chowking Mamoura 4486-6077 Chowking Holiday Villa 4411-5225/335 PUBLICATIONS ABODE/QH Magazines 4427-8416

AIRLINES Air Arabia 4432-2111 Air France 4444-5101 American Airlines 4499-5737 Air India 4441-8423 British Airways 4432-1538 Cathay Pacific Airways 4445-8319 4483-0725 Delta Airlines Egypt Air 4435-2901 Emirates 4438-4477 4436-6657 Etihad Airways Fly Dubai 4422-7350 Gulf Air 4499-8000 Lufthansa German Airlines 4431-0212 Oman Air 4432-0509 Qatar Airways 4449-6666 Royal Jordanian 4443-1431 Sri Lankan Airlines 4444-1217 Turkish Airlines 4443-3027

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4439-3333 4439-2948 4466-6671

SHOPPING Alfardan Jewellery 4440-8408 4483-0582 City Center Doha Hyatt Plaza 4469-4848 Landmark Mall 4487-5222 Lagoona Mall 4433-5555 Salam 4448-5555 Villaggio 4413-5222 4413-5823 Virgin Megastore Villaggio 4418-2245 Landmark

EMBASSIES American Embassy Bahraini Embassy Belgian Embassy Brazilian Embassy British Embassy Canadian Embassy Chinese Embassy Egyptian Embassy French Embassy German Embassy Greek Embassy Indian Embassy Italian Embassy Japanese Embassy Jordanian Embassy Korean Embassy Kuwaiti Embassy Lebanese Embassy Nepalese Embassy Philippine Embassy Polish Embassy Russian Embassy Saudi Arabian Embassy South African Embassy Spanish Embassy Sri Lankan Embassy Turkish Embassy U.A.E. Embassy

4496-6000 4483-9360 4493-1499 4483-8812 4496-2000 4419-9000 4493-4205 4483-2555 4402-1702 4408-2334 4412-8150 4425-5777 4483-1802 4484-0888 4483-2202 4483-2238 4483-2111 4493-3330 4467-5681 4483-1585 4411-3230 4483-6231 4483-2030 6622-1552 4483-5886 4467-7627 4495-1300 4483-8880

104 QH August 2015 - July 13 FINAL.indd 104

7/25/15 3:36 PM

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