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APRIL 2018 ISSUE 1 • AED20

Mama EMIRATES

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The Magazine For Stylish Mums

HAVING A BABY? Helen Farmer tells us how it’s done

Spring Style

ISSUE 1 • APRIL 2018

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Relax in RAK WHY WE’RE HEADING NORTH ON WEEKENDS

This season’s cutest looks

Absolutely Mama Emirates

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c ontent s 12 APRIL 2018

89 12

AGENDA Mama Loves

New in stores this April

68

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What’s On

Top local events and activities

16

New Books

Fab, fresh reads for little ones

MAMAHOOD 20 De-mystifying Birth Helen Farmer on having your baby in the UAE

26 Going Guilt-free

Emily Thorpe tells us how to eschew parental shame

30 The Greatest Gift

Dame Jacqueline Wilson on the joys of reading literature

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FASHION & BEAUTY 36 Born to do it

Tamara Ecclestone tells us about the UAE launch of Fifi and Friends

48 Kids’ spring styles All the cutest looks from this season’s fashion for children

FOOD & FITNESS 60 Get back to fit

Top post-natal fitness classes for ladies and their babies

64 Lizzie Loves

Three wholesome, healthy recipes the entire family will enjoy

HOME & INTERIORS 68 Design Notes

Th e latest best buys and chic items for your nursery and home

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40

mama WELCOME

80 48 70 When Walls Talk

Behind the covetable wallpapers and posters by Paper Pop Dubai

APRIL 2018 ISSUE 1 • AED20

Mama

TRAVEL 79 Let’s Escape

64

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Top travel kit and three Asian getaways to book now

GAME Banish mum-guilt

The Magazine For Stylish Mums

80 Relax in RAK

Why a family trip to Ras Al Khaimah is an absolute must

RESOURCES 89 Tot Gear

90 Ask the Expert

Our resident advisors answer your most burning questions

16

ISSUE 1 • APRIL 2018

A top new pram, car seat, baby monitor and even a TV screen

HAVING A BABY? Helen Farmer tells us how it’s done

Spring Style 6084010480100

Relax in RAK WHY WE’RE HEADING NORTH ON WEEKENDS

This season’s cutest looks

Absolutely Mama Emirates

T H E M AG A Z I N E F O R ST Y L I S H M U M S

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ON THE COVER:

The Mini Me range from mumsandbumps.com

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mama WELCOME

GAP | SARAH JESSICA PARKER P.50

Editor’s

YOUNG, GIFTED AND BLACK BY JAMIA WILSON & ANDREA PIPPINS P.16

LETTER

N

early six years ago, when entrepreneur Camilla Hassan had her fi rst baby in the UAE, she struggled to fi nd the products she and her little one wanted and needed. All that has changed now. Every single day, being a parent in this country gets easier, with new shops, brands and health services springing up constantly. Like Five Little Ducks, Camilla’s own chain of premium baby and kids’ stores, which opens this month (see page 25). Or Fifi and Friends, Tamara Ecclestone’s brand-new line of organic bath products (turn to page 36 for more on that). And let’s not forget Absolutely Mama, your new monthly digest on all things parent- and kid-friendly in the UAE. Whether you’re wondering what book to read with baby next (page 16), preparing to give birth and don’t know where to start (page 20) or looking for great post-natal fitness classes to help you get back into shape (page 60), we’re here to make mamahood that bit easier, too. So, please, get in touch with us, as we build a community of like-minded mums who love pretty things and who take parenting very, very seriously (unless it’s ladies’ night – wink). We want to meet you all.

NUNA’S SENA AIRE P.79 PAPER POP P.70

THANK YOU FARMER GEL MASK P.34

Katy G i llett E DITOR

@katygillett katy@zest-media.com

T h e M a g a z i n e Fo r S t y l i s h M u m s @ E M I R AT E S M A M A

Mid-weight Designer: REBECCA NOONAN, CATHERINE PERKINS Production Manager: CHRIS COUCHMAN Finance Director: JERRIE KOLECI Directors: GREG HUGHES & ALEXANDRA HUNTER Managing Director: SHERIF SHALTOUT For editorial enquiries please email: katy@zest-media.com For advertising enquiries please email: carol@zest-media.com

Group Editor: KATY GILLETT Editor: HELEN BARON Editorial Assistant: GEORGIA MCVEIGH Commercial Director: LEAH DAY Group Sales Manager: CAROL D’SOUZA Marketing Manager: ANGIE KOLECI Publisher: AMINA AHMED Art Director: PHIL COUZENS Senior Designer: PAWEL KUBA

For media partnership enquiries please email: amina@zest-media.com

Absolutely Mama supports

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FENDI CAT-EYE SUNGLASSES P.40

Part of the

LON DON OFFICE : 197-199 City Road, London EC1V 1JN, UK ABU DHABI OFFICE: FACT M.E FZ-LLC, Office 907E, TwoFour54, Park Rotana Complex, P.O Box 769328, Abu Dhabi UAE zest.london Zest Media Publications Ltd. cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. While every care is taken, prices and details are subject to change and Zest Media Publications Ltd. take no responsibility for omissions or errors. We reserve the right to publish and edit any letters. All rights reserved.

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Let’s play • XPARK JR •

Newly opened XPark Jr encourages kids aged one to 12 to freely play in a natural environment, with wooden forts, climbing ropes and plenty of other activities. The new playscape is just steps away from Dubai’s Kite Beach (where The Journey used to be). Along with it comes the Urban Forest School Programme, and birthday party packages, too. Let’s go! xparkjr.com

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10 things we Absolutely

LOV E Matching outfits and personalised sun hats are among our picks for April

BARKING MAD

Zoocc h in i Keep your sprog warm and dry by wrapping them up in this lush, fluffy Duffy the Dog hooded towel by the American animal-loving brand Zoocchini. AED149; virginmegastore.ae

MINI ME Ella & Holly

How much do you love these matching outfits by Irish mother and daughter boutique, Ella & Holly? The Luna and Shadow dresses are flattering, feminine and comfortable. Mumsandbumps.com stocks them in sizes eight to 16 for mum, and for little girls aged two to six. They’re on our wishlist. mumsandbumps.com

Hats off

Twe nt y 5 Zero5 Check out the new range of personalised hats for little girls from Dubai-based store twenty5zero5.com. They’re fully customisable and come in a range of colours, plus with trendy patches and tassels. From AED80; twenty5zero5.com

Gorgeous gifts

Co co & Ch o ul i Whether you’re looking for a baby shower gift or a self-pamper kit, the online luxury gifting shop, Coco & Chouli, has the bespoke box for you. Fill it with your pick of lovely items, from baby booties to cleansing bars. From AED295; cocoandchouli.com

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ma m a LOVES

HELLO MORNING

DÉCOR GOALS

Hom e & S o ul We’re in love with the new Jumeirahbased shop, which blends furniture, fashion, design and accessories with a splash of coffee, too. Turn to page 69 to read more about the store. homeandsouldubai.com

Aveda Th is natural cream is inspired by morning renewal rituals of Ayurveda. It restores your glow, fi rms, lifts and minimises the appearance of fi ne lines and wrinkles. Find it in Bloomingdales, Harvey Nichols and Robinsons, or buy it online. ounass.com

Stay soft

Fi f i & Fr i e n d s Sweet almond oil is infused with aloe vera to create a gently hydrating moisturiser that’s safe for babies even with the most sensitive skin. Read more about how Tamara Ecclestone created it from page 36. AED52; mumzworld.com

SAY CHEESE

Fo re o There’s a lot to love about this baby-safe toothbrush. You can even use it before the first tooth emerges, and it gives a soft, soothing massage to get rid of any bacteria. AED450; levelkids.com

r’s editock pi

Keep it green

My G reen Ch a pter As we embark on the long journey through a hot summer, we’re keen on keeping it green inside. That’s why we’re loving the Plantui 6 Smart Garden, with which you can grow your favourite herbs, salad greens and edible flowers all year. AED1,099; mygreenchapter.com

Lush cuppa

Newby Tea s Assam, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Masala Chai, and Strawberry and Mango – the Black Tea Crown Assortment box from Newby Teas packs in six blends of individual wrapped tea bags. Get the kettle on. AED232; newbyteas.ae April 201 8

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W H AT ’ S ON Spring into April with afternoon teas, pivotal productions and plenty more...

3 O F TH E B E ST WO R KS H O P S Learn the art of baby massage, thinking creatively, and more.

Creative thinking seminar 9 and 11 April thejamjar Dubai

Doha Magdy is hosting a talk and activity (AED472.5) to teach parents how to think creatively, and encourage their kids to, too. thejamjardubai.com

Baby massage Mondays, starting 9 April (f ive weeks) Kidville Nursery Jumeirah

Learn how to give baby a full-body massage from Amy Vogelaar of Love Parenting UAE. It can really help with wind, colic and tummy pain. loveparentinguae.com

editor’s pick

Tea party 8 April • Fairmont The Palm

Fairytale princess Rapunzel is welcoming mums and little ones to a whimsical Tangled afternoon tea party at Fairmont The Palm. It’s AED200 for one adult and one child aged 12 or below. Girls are encouraged to dress as their favourite princess, and prizes will be given to the “best dressed” and “longest braid”. fairmont.com/palm-dubai 14

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Baby Signing Basics 30 April Zaya Early Learning, Dubai

Classes with the Little Signers Club Dubai are a gentle mix of signs, songs, rhymes, stories and communication tips. It’s AED450 for a four-week block of classes. katie@littlesignersclub.co.uk

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agenda

WHAT’S ON

Women’s Warrior Challenge 7 April Aventura, Dubai

This first-of-its-kind 2.5km or 5km obstacle challenge is open to women individually or in groups of four. There’s also a specially designed course for “Little Warriors” (girls aged eight to 12). It aims to empower the females of Dubai, testing their mental and physical strength, as well as allowing us to support each other. aventuraparks.com

BABY SWIM COURSE

BIG BBQ SOCIAL

8 April-19 May Various locations across Dubai

t’s never too early to encourage your little water baby in the swimming pool (especially in the UAE). So enrol yours in Swimming Wonders’ six-week course this season. There are suitable sessions for little ones aged from zero to six years old, with classes taking place across Dubai (including locations such as Sofitel The Palm, The St. Regis Polo Club and Victory Heights Primary School) in mornings and afternoons. It’s AED630 for the full six-week course. facebook.com/ swimmingwondersUAE

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27 April Jumeirah Creekside Hotel

ound up the family and head to The Secret Garden for a day of fun, sun and barbecued meats. Kids can enjoy games, arts and crafts, and live entertainment. And even your pooches are welcome at the supervised doggie Play Zone. It’s on from 2pm, and costs AED120 for adults, AED50 for under-21s and free for kids under six. facebook.com/TheBigBBQSocial

r

3 Top Shows to See

DISNEY ON ICE: PA S S P O R T TO A DV E NT U R E

4 -7 April Dubai World Trade Centre

Join Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Daisy on a trip to the magical worlds of Disney’s The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and Frozen. platinumlist.net

PAW PATRO L

LO ST & FO U N D

13-14 April du Forum, Yas Island

20 -21 April Madinat Jumeirah Theatre

The live show follows the story of the Great Race between Adventure Bay’s Major Goodway and Foggy Bottom’s Mayor Humdinger, but, it turns out, the former is nowhere to be found. Suitable for ages three and up. ticketmaster.ae

This musical show for kids aged three and up is based on the bestselling picture book by award-winning children’s author Oliver Jeffers. Puppets and music bring the charming tale of true friendship to life. madinatjumeirah.etixdubai.com

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We love

BOOKS Inspiring illustrations, fabulous feathers and influential people feature in these best new reads

Wo r d s G E O RG I A M C V E I G H

CREATURE COMFORTS ANIMALKIND by Pablo Salvaje

Watch as the inhabitants of the starkest savannahs, the busiest jungles and the coldest climates come to life before your eyes. Th is exceptionally illustrated book offers a peek inside the lives of animals of all shapes, colours and sizes, reminding us that we can learn from the behaviour and instincts of the animals we share the planet with. — AED78, prestelpublishing. randomhouse.de

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Belly fun T H E W O L F, T H E D U C K AND THE MOUSE by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen

It turns out that being eaten by a wolf isn’t such a bad thing after all – especially when his tummy becomes a playground. Th is is a charming story about an unlikely alliance. AED68, walker.co.uk

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agen d a

BOOKS

Mama loves

PLUMAGE B I R D S A N D T H E I R F E AT H E R S by Britta Teckentrup

Following the success of her fi rst book, This Egg, Teckentrup returns with another peek into the intricate world of birds – this time focusing on the feather. The perfect mix between science and art, it skillfully answers all of your questions with a riot of colour to boot. —AED62, prestelpublishing. randomhouse.de

C E LE B R ATE TH E S E A S O N JAN E FOSTER ’ S SPRINGTIM E by Jane Foster

Nurture nature

The fi rst in a four-part seasonal series, this colourful encapsulation of springtime is the perfect way to celebrate warmer weather (even if it isn’t quite what we want it to be here in the UAE). Foster’s clever, bold designs are immediately captivating. — AED47, templarco.co.uk

A BIG GARDEN by Gilles Clément & Vincent Gravé

Landscape designer Gilles Clément and illustrator Vincent Gravé pool their skills to show how gardens can teem with life whatever the season. Planting, harvesting and insects are included, expressing the connection between humans and nature. — AED104, prestelpublishing. randomhouse.de

WHAT, WHY?

A DA T W I ST ’ S B I G P ROJ EC T B O O K FOR STELLAR SCIENTISTS by Andrea Beaty & David Roberts

Th is is the perfect book for budding scientists who question everything. Ada Twist is back with a STEM project book to guide young readers through the scientific process and provide the answers. Build experiments and keep the questions coming. —AED57, abramsbooks.com

TA LE NTS & TA LE S YO U N G , G I F T E D A N D B L AC K by Jamia Wilson & Andrea Pippins

Celebrating the lives of 52 iconic and influential figures, from Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks to Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams, this book will inspire the younger generation to chase their dreams no matter what. Track the lives of these men and women who blazed a trail through life, often in the face of massive adversity. — AED78, quartoknows.com April 201 8

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True s to r i e s • HELEN FARMER•

The writer and mum behind The Mothership DXB shares her top tips on having a baby in the UAE (she had both of hers here). She’s got plenty of advice that’ll see you through, from the moment you find out your pregnant to months after you’ve given birth. Turn to page 20.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: John Marsland

DUBAI-BASED MUMMY BLOGGER HELEN FARMER

De-mystif yin g

mamahood Having your baby in the UAE and don’t know where to start? Then listen to Helen Farmer. She had her two kids here, so here she shares her top tips for pregnancy, birth and beyond… W o r d s H E L E N FA R M E R

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mamah o o d UAE

Choosing a doctor

he most important factor when selecting the man or woman who will deliver your baby is likeability. This is the person you will see at least once a month (fortnightly and weekly towards the end of your third trimester), and it’s crucial that you feel comfortable asking them questions and asserting your opinions. Personal recommendations are preferable, and you might want to factor in the languages they speak, location (frequent appointments on the other side of the city will become inconvenient pretty quickly…) and which hospitals they deliver at. If yours is a complex or high-risk pregnancy, make sure they are experienced in your particular issue, especially if it’s likely that you’ll deliver early and will need a maternity ward with an outstanding NICU unit. I delivered with Dr Jozsa at HealthBay Clinic (healthbayclinic.com) for both of my daughters, and really liked his straightforward, calm attitude – and my husband was a fan, too, which really makes a difference.

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Antenatal classes

hile the “ignorance is bliss” approach might be appealing, antenatal classes will equip you with knowledge about your pregnancy, labour and birth, plus tips on breastfeeding and baby care. They’re also an excellent way to meet other parents who will have children of the same age, though this can obviously be a bit hit and miss. At our sessions we met a few nice families, who remain friends years later, and it was great to have someone to message throughout the third trimester and beyond when the going got tough. HealthBay Polyclinic and Mediclinic City Hospital (mediclinic.ae) offer wellliked sessions that take place on evenings and weekends, with the benefit of friendly midwives on hand to answer your questions.

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Maternity clothes

he UAE isn’t the easiest place to find clothes to fit that growing bump, but it is improving. High-street stores like Marks & Spencer, Old Navy and H&M have limited lines (Festival City has the best concentration of shops if you don’t fancy

T

ALEXANDRIA SUKI

Lizzie INGRAM Lizzie gave birth to Alexandria Suki at Saudi German Hospital on 21st January, 2018. She shares her experience…

D

r Anni Engberg, based at Drs. Nicolas and Asp (nicolasandasp. com) in Dubai Marina, was my doctor. She did all the scans and tests throughout our pregnancy, and also delivered Alex and was present through most of the labour. She listened to all our needs and I loved that her office was full of pictures of all the children she has delivered. She has also thoroughly checked up on my recovery after the birth, too, and given Alex some lovely cuddles! Saudi German Hospital was also great. Dr Anni keeps the lights low and projects stars onto the ceiling to promote a relaxed atmosphere. There were exercise balls to sit on and a shower to ease the pain during contractions. The two midwives that supported Dr Anni were also attentive and kind. After Alex was born, she needed extra care in the ICU for four days. The staff welcomed us any time, day or night, to visit her. They also helped me to breastfeed her, too. During my own recovery the next day, Saudi German Hospital sent us a celebration cake and I had a free massage from their physiotherapist, which was much needed! Overall, my pregnancy, labour and aftercare were beyond my expectations. I can look back on it all fondly. I also did the Love Parenting UAE breastfeeding class with Amy Vogelaar. The information was essential and I learned so much about the benefits. It has helped me to persevere with breastfeeding, as sometimes it’s tough.

MUMS

walking/waddling far – and there’s a branch of Seraphine if you need something for a special occasion). Or you can order online at sprii.ae, mumzworld.com, next.ae and asos.com. You might also find pieces in shops like Mothercare and Babyshop. Asking friends is a good idea, as maternity clothes are costly, or keep an eye out on Facebook groups for mums selling theirs. I made the mistake of buying too many “nice” things, and ended up living in a LOT of black leggings – from shameful to formal – with jumpers, plus a few cotton dresses and a pair of maternity jeans that were like wearing a hug. For maternity bras, TKD Lingerie (tkdlingerie.com) is fantastic, with great advice and a fitting service. They also do home visits, bringing their experts and a selection of bras, swimwear and nightwear with them when you just can’t leave the house.

The nursery

or many, one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy is planning and decorating the nursery, especially once the nesting urge kicks in. Be sure to use non-toxic paint, find lamps with dimmer switches and pick out a comfy chair for feeding (put it somewhere with a plug socket close by for a light, breast pump and charger). Your baby will most likely sleep in your room at first, so don’t be surprised if the nursery is somewhat neglected initially!

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~

“ I T ’S CRU C IA L YOU F E E L COM F ORTA B L E A S K I N G YO U R D OC TO R QU EST I O N S A N D A S S E RT I N G YO U R OP I N IO N S”

~

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“ M Y BEST BUYS W E RE THE S L E E PY HEAD A ND C HI CCO NE XT2ME , W HI C H W ER E WO RT H EVERY D I RHAM”

~

In terms of budget, it’s easy to go overboard, but don’t forget that the best cots aren’t necessarily the most expensive, with the likes of IKEA, Babyshop and Home Centre also offering some stylish options. My best buys were the SleepyHead and Chicco Next2Me, which were expensive but worth every dirham. You can buy these at a range of baby stores across the UAE. They’re also popular for buying and selling second-hand, so keep an eye out.

What to pack

eality can kick in when you pack that hospital bag, and leave it by the door. Most hospitals will provide nappies and wipes for the baby, so don’t fi ll your bag with those. For the baby, you’ll need around five basic vests and sleepsuits, plus a few hats, muslins and swaddle blankets. Measurements can be inaccurate so it’s sensible to bring several sizes of outfits in case the baby is bigger or smaller than predicted. You’ll need a nightie to give birth in (if you have an epidural or C-section you’ll be in a hospital gown), maternity vests and bras, pyjama bottoms, leggings, a cardigan or dressing gown, some socks and a pair of slippers. Disposable knickers will be provided, but you might want to bring some cotton underwear that you don’t mind binning, too. Basic toiletries are provided, but a nice smelling shower gel or body lotion can make all the difference to your mood,

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Susana MONTEIRO Susana’s little boy Tiago just turned one. Here she shares something she wrote just six days after she’d given birth at Al Zahra Hospital…

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ast Wednesday I had the most beautiful experience of my life – the birth of my baby boy! I managed to do most of the labour at home with my husband, a friend and my baby daughter. I cooked, I prepared all meals for my daughter, I organised the house and when surges became hard to manage, I took a warm shower, always listening to my birthing playlist. I kept on dancing, rocking and focusing on what I was feeling, and thinking that I was getting closer and closer to meeting my baby. When surges were one or two minutes apart, I felt it was time to go to the hospital (I live 10 minutes away). After the initial check-up, I learned I was already eight centimetres dilated.  As soon as I got into the water the relief was immediate. I had the support of my husband and my doula, Jane Caen. Her supporting words, gentle touch, and massages worked better than any other medicine I took during my previous birth.  When the baby was crowning, I could hear the midwife saying: “just follow your body”. Those words made me feel very safe. The baby came out effortlessly and without any pain. I was so happy! I caught the baby and observed him under the water, cherishing every second. I picked him up and with the help of my husband we untangled the cord. It was such a magical moment; the joy and bliss were something I never felt before.  I lost a little blood afterwards and was very impressed to hear the midwives asking my husband to remove his T-shirt so he could have skin-to-skin time with the baby while I came out of the pool. Only then I realised that there was a doctor in the room. She was a quiet observer the whole time. She only interfered when it was medically needed. We stayed in the birthing room for one hour more, uninterrupted, for some precious bonding time. I want to thank my lovely doula and friend Jane Caen, Al Zahra Hospital and their midwives team for providing a safe place for women to give birth in Dubai. Hopefully, with time, other hospitals will follow the example and women will have more options. We need more professionals and safe places where women can feel empowered and safe. 

so take your own. Face wipes and/or micellar water will freshen you up, too, as well as dry shampoo, hairbands, lip balm, a hairdryer, and a nice soft towel. In terms of entertainment, you may have time to read or watch some Netfl ix, so a Kindle and iPad or laptop can be a sanity saver. Remember chargers, and you might need an extension cord. Hospital food isn’t amazing, so do take some snacks for you and your husband, and put him in charge of paperwork (he’ll need to bring your passports, Emirates ID cards, marriage certificate, doctor’s notes and insurance documents). And, of course, don’t forget a car seat to take your new addition home in. I made the mistake of packing prepregnancy clothes to go home in (the naivety!), so don’t get any big ideas about slipping into your favourite jeans a few days after giving birth…

Hospital stay

ere in the UAE, where private healthcare is common, we are lucky enough to give birth in some world-class hospitals, with VIP suites, private rooms, views of the Burj Al

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MUMS

breastfeeding consultant to advise in those difficult few days. Ask friends if they know of anyone due at the same time as you, and set up a Facebook group where you can share tips/woes/special moments, then try to meet up before the babies arrive. Having fellow mums who are going through it is crucial. You might think you don’t want/need “new mummy friends”, but you do, even if it’s to message the group at 3.30am asking who else is awake and to moan about your sleeping husband. You can also book midwives to visit you at home for check-ups and weigh-ins, which is a real help when leaving the house is daunting.

Meet mums

aving a baby can be a huge identity shift, with many of us going from busy career woman to stay-athome mum literally overnight. Your days are suddenly full of poop talk, pumping and laundry. You’re exhausted, you’re overwhelmed and you may need a new circle of friends. Going to classes like baby massage, post-natal fitness, and baby sensory can be a lovely way of meeting people; you might just need to be bold and chat to the other mums. Babies are a great ice-breaker, thankfully, but (speaking from experience) don’t be too quick to assume the gender – I recommend a generic “Who’s this little one?” is helpful, then hope their mum replies with a few clues…

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HELEN WITH BABY TABITHA

Arab or Burj Khalifa, valet parking and takeaway deliveries often the norm. We ordered sushi a few hours after I gave birth and it was the best nigiri of my life. Other perks might include room service (my husband highly recommends the chicken biryani at City Hospital), fi lms on-demand in the labour ward, a foldout sofa for your husband, and a nurse on-call. These luxuries do make your stay more enjoyable, but don’t forget that you’re ultimately there to give birth, which can be a messy business! Be prepared to leave your dignity at the door. Also, make sure you check with your insurance ahead of time what is covered, such as epidurals and NICU, because the last thing you should be thinking about at this time is the bill. If you have a natural delivery, you can stay for up to three nights, or five nights if you delivered via caesarean section.

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“I MA D E T H E MI STA K E OF PACK I N G P R EP R EGN A N CY CLOT H ES TO GO H OME I N ( T H E N A IV E T Y ! ) ”

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Find support

omeone you can WhatsApp during the long, lonely night feeds is essential, as well as support from professionals, whether you need a baby nurse to give you a break for a few hours, or a

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Get the help you need

now that every new mum struggles in some way. I certainly did – far more than I thought I would. Many women just don’t show it, let alone post it on Instagram, so it’s easy to feel alone or isolated in motherhood. If you need emotional support, do get in touch with your GP, who can refer you to counselling. If you want to breastfeed and are having problems, ask a midwife or attend a class – for something that is natural, it doesn’t come naturally to many mums or babies. If you need sleep or a break, book a service like Malaak (malaak.me) or Babies & Beyond (babiesandbeyond.ae). It’s money well spent. And always remember that a happy mum means a happy baby.

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woman in

WORK We meet Camilla Hassan, who’s been busy setting up a brand-new line of premium baby and kids’ stores across Dubai and Abu Dhabi

CAMILLA’S NEW SHOP IS CALLED FIVE LITTLE DUCKS

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hen Camilla had her fi rst baby in the UAE nearly six years ago, she wasn’t able to fi nd many of the products she wanted. That’s what’s led her to set up a chain of premium baby and kids’ boutiques called Five Little Ducks, which open up this month in Town Centre Jumeirah, Arabian Center in Mirdif, and Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi, with an online store soon to follow. With three shops, two kids and one clear sense of ambition, Camilla tells us how she manages to stay organised. Q

What’s Five Little Ducks all about? We want to offer mothers with children aged zero to five years old everything they need, from strollers to car seats to bath products, gifts, back to school items, and more. I have over six years’ experience in the region working for some of the leading names in baby retail, and have been in the UAE for ten years. My aim is to source only the very best brands per category from all over the world, whether it’s a breast pump, swaddles or baby toys. A

Q&A

Q How have you found the experience of raising your kids in the UAE? A My eldest, Layla, is now fi ve-and-a-half and my youngest, Maya, is about to turn four. I got married and delivered both my babies in the UAE, so they’ve never known any different. I think Dubai is a fabulous place to raise children – it’s safe and there is so much for them to do. Q How has the “mummy market” in the UAE changed since they were born? A It’s changed enormously. I remember being pregnant and not being able to fi nd anything I wanted or needed for the baby. I was getting deliveries from international websites several times a week. Thankfully, there is a lot more available now. There are also a lot more community groups and support for mums available – such as Real Mums of Dubai and babysitting services like Babies and Beyond – none of which existed six years ago. Q What do you wish was available here that isn’t already? A Bonds baby grows! A bigger selection of organic products and kids’ clothes. I absolutely love Scandinavian and Australian / New Zealand baby brands – in my opinion, they are the best and have the coolest designs. Q How do you manage to keep yourself organised between work and home? A With difficulty. I am always forgetting things, but the class mums send out reminders, which helps. I know that during my work hours I can fully focus on getting things done so that evenings and weekends are just for the kids. I also have great home help and a husband who knows he has to get stuck in. Making packed lunches the night before has also made mornings easier. Q What top tips do you have for other working mamas? A Put the phone down! I am extremely guilty of this, as always being “on”, checking emails and Instagram, is my biggest downfall. I also do something for myself once a month, whether it’s a beach or spa day with my girlfriends, or a weekend away – and I make it guilt-free.

instagram.com/f ivelittleducksme

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Time to

BREAK FREE Feeling guilty does you – and your family – more harm than good, explains the founder of Happy Working Mum. Here’s how you can stop it from becoming part of your daily routine... Illustration PHIL COUZENS Wo r d s E M I LY T H O R P E

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feel so guilty” is a phrase I often hear from other mums and something I frequently used to say to myself. In fact, it is so common that a recent search on Mumsnet, using the words “I feel guilty” brought back a shocking 72,000 separate posts. Is it surprising, then, that we now accept feeling blameworthy as just another part of the package when our baby arrives, along with sleepless nights and teething troubles? To the uninitiated, you might think that the guilt would dissipate once we have passed the “baby phase”. Not so! In a recent interview, American starlet and mum-of-two Michelle Pfeiffer claimed she no longer felt it. While my heart leapt with joy when I read the headline, thinking that perhaps the tide had turned, it transpired, however, that the reason she no longer felt guilt-ridden was because her children are now in their 20s. 26

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So, it turns out, “mummy guilt” extends across the decades. And it’s caused by such diverse and countless reasons. We’re all guilty of feeling guilty about: not being able to breastfeed; going back to work, or wanting to go back to work; letting our babies cry, or always picking baby up; not having enough quality time with our child(ren); missing their first word or step, or having to skip school events; shouting, or being too lenient; allowing the kids too much screen time, or being glued to a screen too much ourselves.

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“GU I LT I S CAU S E D BY S U C H D I VE RS E A N D CO UNTL E S S R EA SON S”

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The list is t r u ly e n d l e s s … or me, guilt came crashing into my life when I first dropped my son Fin – then aged five-and-a-half months – off at nursery in order to return to work as an air traffic controller. Up until that point he had been breastfed, so I took my expressed milk and a bottle to nursery, only to find when I picked him up that he had refused to take it all day. Luckily, he had started weaning, and so was able to have some baby rice and water, but that didn’t stop the heartbreaking pain I felt, knowing that he didn’t get any milk all day. It was as though I’d opened the floodgates on guilt that day. I went on to feel bad when I bought jars of baby food. Surely I should be puréeing organic carrots and freezing them in ice cube trays? Then I felt uncomfortable about using disposable nappies and inflicting the planet with 300 years of

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MENTAL HE ALTH

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landfill. (I had tried using cotton nappies but – guess what – I felt terrible about the horrendous nappy rash they caused my son!) It’s a vicious cycle. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’ve always absolutely loved being a mother, but this guilt thing was definitely getting in the way of me enjoying being the mum I wanted to be. And it wasn’t just because I felt bad – it was also because of all the other consequences. You see, when we feel guilty, we can start to compensate. For example, when I went to work I’d buy my son a little something to make him feel better (and thus ease my guilt). Or when he played up I would be more lenient on his behaviour (after all, I thought, he was probably playing up because I wasn’t always there). I soon realised how futile all of this is, however. And how much it was standing in my – and my family’s – way of being happy. So, using a few simple steps, I managed to break free.

The first ste p to breaking free ... ecome aware of how farreaching and detrimental the affect of guilt is on you and your family, and make the decision to think enough is enough! Next, you need to identify your triggers: Is it when you drop your kids off on the way to work? Is it when you shout at them? Or when you pass them an iPad, just to keep them quiet? Then, look at what your belief or rule is around this situation. Usually you will be going against your idea of what a “good mum” would do. For example, you may feel guilty if you

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miss the bedtime routine and don’t read to your child every night. So, obviously, you have a belief that a “good mum” would read a bedtime story every night – and when you don’t live up to that expectation you feel bad about it. After you’ve done that, think about how you can redefine your rules and beliefs to feel good more of the time. Here is a mantra I find useful: “If I feed, clothe and love my children, I am a brilliant mum”. By saying

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“G UI LT WAS G ET TIN G IN TH E WAY OF M E EN J OYIN G B EI NG TH E M OTHE R I WANTED TO BE ”

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this to myself I have made it very easy to feel good, and everything above and beyond those basics is a bonus. Finally, if things go wrong and you’re tempted to feel guilty, be kind to yourself instead of beating yourself up. My top tip is to ask yourself: What would you say to your best friend in this situation? If someone you care for confessed to you that they had shouted at their kids in the morning, what would your advice be to them? A happy mum is a win-win for all the family, so I hope you will join me in breaking away from the mould and taking those first few steps to being a Guilt-Free Mum!

Emily Thorpe is an author, coach and speaker, and founder of Happy Working Mum; happy workin g mum .com

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W

hen prolific children’s writer Dame Jacqueline Wilson was a child, naturally, she loved to read. But she remembers her mother always telling her to “get your head out of that book and go and do something useful”, she laughs, reminiscing as we talk to her on the phone ahead of her arrival in Dubai. “Times have changed so much.” Jacqueline’s voice is calm and soothing. Her love of literature and turns of phrase clearly comes across and she uses words such as “beguiling”. When speaking about children she evokes a sense of mischief, which has often been a staple personality trait of her most famous characters, like Hetty Feather and Tracy Beaker. Through her work with educational institutions around the world, Jacqueline has already made big strides in helping to foster a love of literature among children, which is why, in 2008, she was named a Dame. But she still has plenty of great ideas on how we – as parents – can do so, too…

JACQUELINE WILSON WRITES NOVELS ABOUT KIDS WHO ARE THE ODD ONES OUT

The

Greatest Gift We caught up with Dame Jacqueline Wilson while on her recent trip to Dubai to talk about how parents can help spread the joys of reading I n t e r v i e w b y K AT Y G I L L E T T

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Q Why do you believe reading is so important for children today? A I’m not anti social media and looking at YouTube or the television at all, but I think reading is the greatest joy for anybody. Certainly, for me, it’s the thing I like to do most. When I pack for Dubai I shall have several outfits, but I’ll also have at least five books with me. I’m not a Kindle person, I prefer actual, real books, and I think with children – even a child who thinks reading is boring – you can only find the right book for them. And if you bring up a child so that you read aloud to them at bedtime and they associate reading with cuddling up and having fun, you can make really keen readers for life. I think it’s one of the greatest gifts you can give children. Reading is entertainment, it stimulates the imagination, it helps create empathy for other people. If reading isn’t something you can do fluently you are really hindered in life. There are just so many reasons why reading is the best thing ever to learn. Q What tips do you have for parents looking to encourage their kids to read for pleasure? A I think parents should treat books like a

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mamah o o d INTERVIEW

WHEN WE ASK JACQUELINE WILSON HOW MANY BOOKS SHE’S WRITTEN, SHE ADMITS SHE’S LOST COUNT. SHE GUESSES AT 108!

and I’m so pleased that so many children do like writing their own stories now. treat, as if they were giving out bags of sweets. I think if you thrust a book onto a child and say “here, read this, it’s good for you” [laughs] they’re going to feel a bit resistant. Also, sometimes parents nag their children about reading and actually don’t often read themselves. If a parent is just forever on their favourite social media site, or hooked on television, and never read, it doesn’t actually send a message to a child that reading is a lovely thing to do. Children learn by example. Q Did your daughter like reading? A Luckily for me my daughter loved being read to from when she was a baby. She would sit on my lap and we’d look at pictures, and read picture books. She learned to read quite young, but even though she could read very well for herself I still read to her bigger books she might have found too challenging at the time. When I look back I think they’re the loveliest moments from her childhood. Now she’s an academic and she teaches many students. She doesn’t teach English, but she teaches French Literature.

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“ I T HI N K PAR ENTS SHO U LD TR EAT B O OKS AS I F T HEY ’R E GI VI NG O U T A BAG O F SW EETS”

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Q What message are you ultimately trying to put across in your stories? A The overwhelming message in most of my books is to show that if somebody seems a bit different don’t automatically assume they’re weird. I specialise in characters that are the odd ones out. It’s comforting for children. Then they read on and this child who doesn’t have much going for them actually wins out at the end. I don’t have fairytale endings, but I try to make them as happy and satisfying as I can. Q What advice would you offer parents of kids who are interested in writing? A I think that’s exciting and it’s great to encourage children. I want to issue a word of caution, though: I have lots of children and quite a few parents writing to me asking: “How can I get my child’s work published?” You can go down the route of self-publishing, and that’s fi ne, and I’m sure grannies and aunties are thrilled to bits to get a book at Christmas written by a beloved child. But I think so many parents seem to think that just because a family loves the story it’s totally publishable. We hate disappointing children, but it’s so desperately rare that any child can get a story published. I try and impress upon children that if you get fed up with a story, it doesn’t matter if you stop writing it. If all the fun has gone out of it I think there’s no point. If you suddenly run out of ideas for one story, close down your computer or put your notebook away, and maybe in a couple of days start another story. The whole point is it’s meant to be enjoyable,

Q How was it, being named a Dame? A I was absolutely delighted! Also particularly when it was for services to literature, and I felt that it wasn’t really just an honour for me, but it was for all the children’s writers that go around schools and libraries and festivals and give lots of talks to try and pass on the joys of reading. I’m very proud to be a Dame, but I certainly don’t insist on it as a title. I’m just plain Jacqueline Wilson – that’ll do me! Q What are you working on now? A I recently fi nished another Victorian book called Rose Rivers, which will be out later in the spring. I’ve also started writing about a popular character of mine [again], and now I’ve decided to write about her when she’s grown up. Q Can you tell us which character it is? A I’m not supposed to say! So I’ll stay quiet and keep people on tenterhooks for now [laughs]. April 201 8

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fashion & beauty M U M ’ S B E AU T Y B U YS p . 3 4 • TA M A R A ECC LE STO N E O N H E R N E W BAT H P R O D U C T S p . 3 6 K I D S ’ S P R I N G ST Y LE S p .4 8 • G A P | SA R A H J E S S I C A PA R K E R CO LLEC T I O N p . 5 0

Tropical Milieux • TUC TUC •

The Spanish children’s fashion brand, tuc tuc, has released its Spring Summer 2018 collection. Botanical and beach motifs are fused with more urban influences, while strong pink, lime and cornflower blue all feature. Learn more about this and other new kids’ fashion lines on page 48. tuctucuae.com

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6 of the best FAC E M A S K S

mama’s

BEAUT Y NOTES

Products that promise to leave you looking healthier and feeling smoother…

NÜGG BEAUTY De-stress face mask (5 x 10ml), AED109; virginmegastore.ae

OXYMAX Rejuvenating Rose Clay Mask, AED200; misspalettable.com MARZIA CLINIC 24-karat gold face mask, AED860; Blush N Curls Salon, Dubai

THANK YOU FARMER Back To Relax Soothing Gel Mask, AED190; misspalettable.com

THE ORGANIC PHARMACY Purifying Seaweed Clay Mask, AED245; basharacare.com/ae

SKIN REPUBLIC CoQ10 + Caviar Face Mask, AED24; theskinrepublic.com

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Wunderskin • N u FAC E •

Want skin like supermodel Miranda Kerr? Then splash out on the NuFACE device, an anti-ageing skincare solution new to the UAE. It promises to leave you looking more youthful, radiant and healthy, with even, polished skin. Rumour has it the A-lister used it as part of her wedding day beauty prep routine. Well, if it’s good enough for Miranda… AED1,500; beautysolutions-me.com

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DREAMY DUBAI • L’ O c c i t a n e •

Illustrator Carolyn Gavin worked on the packaging for this limitededition L’Occitane Shea Hand Cream, exclusive to the UAE. She focused on famous city symbols, infusing a colourful, poppy and modern twist to the designs. We’re off to buy a bunch for the gifts drawer. AED139; ae.loccitane.com

GREEN BAR

Lush botanical beauty oils that are new to the UAE

REVIVE, REFRESH

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Wo r ds K AT Y G I L L E T T

• P u r p l e Tr e e •

Each of the five Purple Tree Miracle Balms currently available use a key ingredient to work wonders on your skin. Whether that’s moisturising dry patches with papaya or refreshing your lips and face with a dollop of pomegranate, there’s a product for you. AED21; thisisbeautymart.com

GET THE LIFT •Filgora•

They describe Filgora’s Lift-Structure cream as the “skin’s daily anti-gravity workout”, as plasmatic lifting factors work with botanical active ingredients to boost the production of collagen and elastin. It nourishes the skin and, naturally, prevents signs of ageing. It’s a win-win. AED395 (50ml); binsina.ae

Vegan finds Crop

xclusive to Namshi in the Middle East are products from the all-natural, cruelty-free Australian brand Crop, including this antioxidant facial cream. It’s enriched with camellia, rosehip and pomegranate to leave us with younger looking skin. AED115; ae.namshi.com

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ahrain’s best-kept beauty secret has been revealed: it’s these exquisite botanical beauty oils that have recently landed on our pristine UAE shores at BEYOUboutique’s new store in Dar Wasl Mall, Dubai. The brand was founded by Bahraini Reem Al Khalifa back in 2006, reflecting a contemporary take on the region’s age-old beauty rituals. Reem trained in art history and graphic design, but her love of plants eventually led her to become a certified natural perfumer. Green Bar also ties in her interest in practices that connect the mind, body and spirit. “Our range is a carefully selected variety of exotic botanical oils that are creatively reinterpreted to suit today’s world – with a hint of Babylonian nostalgia!” the beauty maven explains on her website. She personally sources the botanical oils directly from the historical areas in which they grow. The result? A line of lovely products we’re just itching to get our hands on. In particular, the deeply moisturising Kashmir Butter (AED184.80) that’s “as soft as cashmere” has caught our eyes. Not to mention the range of immune boosters, like the Pearl Powder that’s an anti-inflammatory and detoxification tonic steeped in Chinese medicine traditions. beyoudubai.com

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I WAS UNPREPARED FOR JUST HOW MUCH I WOULD LOVE MY DAUGHTER. IT WAS SO IMMEDIATE AND INTENSE

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mamah o od PROFILE

B O R N T O D O I T As mum-of-one Tamara Ecclestone launches her new range of organic bath products for kids in the UAE, we catch up with the bronzed billionairess Wo r d s H E L E N B A R O N

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t first glance, Tamara Ecclestone is not your regular mother. The daughter of Formula One billionaire Bernie, and model Slavica, Ecclestone, she’s been in the public eye since girlhood. She was educated at the distinguished Francis Holland school in London and today, aged 33, calls a £45 million Kensington mansion home. For a number of years, however, she was a favourite of the gossip pages – a socialite with an apparent knack for partying. Then came Sophia. It’s fair to say that Tamara Ecclestone’s public life can be divided into two sections – pre- and post-partum. When her daughter Sophia (whom she calls Fifi) was born in 2014, Tamara’s life, priorities and public profile changed dramatically – so much so that you can’t help feeling motherhood is her true calling. We talk to Tamara after the UAE launch of Fifi and Friends, her range of organic children’s bath products. “I have been coming to Dubai for many years now and I spend quite a bit of time here with my family, so to see

my brand in the stores is really special to me,” she tells us. “Commercially, it was also the right thing to do as the baby care market here is booming. The demand for safe and natural products has really increased in the last few years, so it made sense.” In person, the old image of Tamara is even harder to reconcile with her new direction. She’s still a glamourpuss, of course, but the look seems secondary to the spirit; she beams with warmth, welcome and positivity, clearly overjoyed with her new products. “My daughter Fifi and her cousin Lavinia inspired the brand,” Tamara explains. “Lavinia has really curly hair and it was hard to find decent products to tame it. I had the idea to do a range for both curly and straight hair, so we developed a detangler that can untangle even the knottiest hair. From there it grew into swimming haircare, sun-block, nappy cream and even baby wipes – I wanted them all to use organic ingredients and to have the same fragrance.” The natural approach is core to Fifi and Friends, and Tamara’s products outstrip many of their competitors’ by offering recyclable and often biodegradable packaging. We ask why the eco-conscious angle is so important and she replies without hesitation: “It’s really, really important to me. It had to be this way. A lot of products are misleading [about such things]. And they smell fake. April 201 8

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There was no way I was going to use anything harsh or artificial on my daughter. “It took almost two years to get everything right – and I tested everything on myself.” At the end of the day, a mum wants the best for their child no matter what country you live in, she says. “For me, it was important to expand the brand across the globe and offer mums everywhere the possibility to buy guaranteed safe, natural and gentle baby products. There are some great products specific for hot countries, like the Swimmers Shampoo, which helps against chlorine damage, and our SPF 50 sun cream – a must in the UAE climate!” It’s all part of a conscious yet apparently neverjudgmental embrace of natural parenting – itself inspired by a kind of epiphany Tamara experienced after having her daughter. She admits motherhood is “way better” than she expected. “Growing up, I wasn’t desperate to be a mum. When it happened, it blew my mind; I was unprepared for just how much I would love my daughter. It was just so immediate and intense. So far, it’s been an amazing journey and I’ve loved every stage. I don’t think you can know how you’re going to feel beforehand – or even what to plan for. I bought all these bottles and a cot thinking they would be useful, then Fifi came and I breastfed exclusively and we co-slept – I ended up following my gut, so you learn on the job.” Strange as it may seem, being a public figure and endorsing breastfeeding and co-sleeping opened Tamara up to criticism in some quarters. “I don’t really understand it. There are other things to have opinions about – [breastfeeding and co-sleeping are] such personal choices. For me, breastfeeding was easier for both me and baby, and I enjoyed that bond. Motherhood itself defi nitely engenders opinions and judgment. Wellmeaning people like to give advice and share thoughts, but it’s bizarre that breastfeeding is contentious.” How about the seemingly elusive work-family life balance, we ask? “It’s defi nitely a challenge. But Fifi does now have full days in nursery, so I get as much done as I can on those days. When she was younger, I utilised nap times. It’s important to have balance. I had to make it work so I could do something for me, too, and keep my brain ticking over.”

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PEOPLE LIKE TO GIVE ADVICE, BUT IT’S BIZARRE THAT BREASTFEEDING IS CONTENTIOUS

Tamara’s top advice for fi rst-timers and mums-to-be is “just see what happens without planning too much. “And reserve judgment, because you never know how you will react in similar situations – down to whether your child uses an iPad at a certain age or how they behave in public, and how you choose to discipline them in a moment of meltdown.” Luckily for Tamara, Fifi loves coming to the UAE, so this trip is the easy part. “We loved swimming with dolphins at the Atlantis, and the water park,” she tells us. “We also went to the desert and that was amazing, although Fifi was a bit scared to go on the camel!” Going on travel adventures, balancing work and motherhood, and wanting the best for her daughter... in all the most important respects, Tamara Ecclestone is not so different from a regular mum after all.

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The Fifi and Friends range is now available online at mumzworld.com and beautifulbrands.ae. It’s coming soon to Babyshop, Spinneys and Waitrose stores in the UAE. f if iandf riend s .co.uk April 201 8

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5 of the best SUNGLASSES

PRIVÉ REVAUX Socialite cut-off sunglasses, AED136 elabelz.com

mama

ST Y LE NOTES

Stylish sunglasses, this season’s collections and new collaborations...

FENDI Cat-eye sunglasses, AED2,825; robinsons.me

Seasonal sleepwear •WOMEN’SECRET•

TRUSSARDI Rose pink sunglasses, AED850; parisgallery.com

QUAY AUSTRALIA Blue-framed shades, AED204; elabelz.com

With babies in the house, sleep might seem like a thing of the past. But that doesn’t mean you can’t cosy up in pastel-hued PJs from Women’Secret’s new spring collection. The Spanish sleepwear brand specialises in nailing designs for contemporary women who always want to feel pretty, comfortable and confident. That’s us, then. Prices vary; intl.womensecret.com

BANA SUNGLASSES Wild Daisy, AED460; coveti.com

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fash io n & bea ut y

MAMA

TRAILBLAZER •River Island•

Th is white double-breasted tuxedo jacket is perfect for the working mama who’s serious about style and smashing it. Pair it with a classic LBD and you’re good to go. AED449; riverisland.com

MUMS & BUMPS This season’s pick of maternity wear

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PAYING HOMAGE •By sauce x Dina Fawakhiri•

Th ree brand-new, limited-edition T-shirts have just been released, as part of the “By sauce x Dina Fawakhiri” Ramadan collection. The illustrator’s hand-drawn designs depict three legends of the Arab World, including “the Cinderella of Egyptian cinema”, Suad Hosni. Bag one before they run out. AED250; shopatsauce.com

SLIDE INTO SPRING •Fenty Puma by Rihanna•

Beach chic and motorsports inspired the Spring Summer 2018 line of Fenty Puma by Rihanna, now available in the UAE. We can’t wait to slip on a pair of these super, comfy-looking slides. AED450; puma.com/rihanna

Top tote MICHAEL Michael Kors

ooking to invest in a piece of arm candy this season? Then perhaps it should be the spacious Blakely tote, which can squeeze in a laptop or extra pair of shoes (or all the stuff that doesn’t fit in your baby bag). It “totes” suits your busy but sophisticated life. From AED 2,010; michaelkors.com

l

or all the latest looks for spring, we’re checking out one of the biggest online maternity stores in the Middle East. So, if you haven’t already got your eye on mumsandbumps.com, then you’ll be glad to know it comes Mama recommended. The selection is simply massive. So, whether you’re looking for summer slips to head to the beach in, or a super-stylish gown for a posh soirée, then you’ll find it here. From jeans to jackets and jumpsuits, this one-stop shop focuses on style and elegance. You can stock up your wardrobe with pieces that can be worn during pregnancy (they even sell gorgeous labour gowns), post-birth and well into motherhood. There are a whole bunch of nursing tops, bras, dresses, sleepwear and accessories, too. Not to mention a “Mini Me” range, so mums and daughters or babies, or even little girls and their dolls, can wear matchymatchy outfits (cute). The team handpicks award-winning designer brands with the “modern mother in mind”. And they also offer free delivery to your doorstep (if you’re based in the Middle East) and an easy exchange service. Well, we can’t ask for much more than that. mumsandbumps.com

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Down to Earth Rich tones of golden spice, baked coral and camel are weaved through the Sacoor Brothers’ Nomad collection sac o o r b r o t h er s .c o m

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5 of the best COMFY SHOES SKECHERS Rose gold trainers, AED299; skechers.com

kids

FASHION NOTES New collections and the best spring buys for little ones in the UAE

HOLSTER Boys’ Jurassic trainers, AED199; holsterfashion.me

CROCS Crocband Gallery clog, AED209; crocs.com

SHOEMART Girls’ Little Missy trainer, AED89; shoemartstores.com

CATH KIDSTON Small Guards & Friends lace-up pump, AED155; cathkidston.com

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Spring chic •Guess•

Baby doll dresses and ruffled tops in gingham prints feature in Guess’ Kids Spring 2018 collection. As do colourful, floral tank tops and button-down shirts. Denim makes an appearance in light-to-dark washes, and we’re loving the plaiddown flannel shirts and shorts in the boys’ line. It’s all cool. shop.guess.com

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fash io n & bea ut y

KIDS

STEP UP •Holster•

It’s the season of sandals. For ours, we’re turning to Holster, which offers free UAE-wide shipping on orders over AED500. They have some seriously sweet footwear for boys and girls (and mums) that’s all vegan-friendly, non-toxic and totally on-trend. holsterfashion.me

HOT BUNZ We love these luxe leggings for little legs

TIME TO PLAY

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•tuc tuc•

Inspired by the worlds of fantasy and fun in which children live, tuc tuc has launched its Spring Summer 2018 collection. It’s playful, tropical, and uses bright colours and urban influences to keep kids cool this season (in more ways than one). Prices vary; tuctucuae.com

UNDER THE SEA • Va n s •

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Kids will love the SS18 Spongebob x Vans collection, which is available exclusively in Dubai at Concepts DXB, City Walk. It includes footwear, apparel and skate decks featuring vibrant under-the-sea scenes with original illustrations. Prices vary; cncpts.com

Tied Up Matilda & Grace

e’ve been adoring these handmade hair accessories on Instagram. Matilda & Grace is a new Etsy brand specialising in Liberty print and soft linen bows, clips and bobbles in a perfectly muted colour palette. matildaandgrace.etsy.com

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e’ve all been there, where the Dubaibased Hotbunz team were before they were inspired to launch this lovely line of baby pants... “You always dreamed of dressing your baby well,” they write on their website. “Then you had baby. “Remember that moment you realised comfort needs to come first? Ours was during an ugly diaper change fiasco. “We were done struggling with buttons. Done yanking chubby thighs to get pants on and off and on again. And especially done with heart-breaking elastic band marks on soft tummies.” So, they (“they” being The Mama, The Dada and The Auntie, who’s also the fashion designer) created a series of baby pants that are practical AND stylish. Gorgeous bold patterns or brightly coloured illustrations (swans and bikes, for example) adorn the stretchy, comfy leggings that baby – and you – will adore. They also use premium, fair trade, organic cotton, and it’s all ethically manufactured – always. So it’s stylish, ethical and familyrun. Now, that’s our kind of shop. hotbunz.com

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INNER CHILD Mama loves the nostalgia-driven limited-edition Gap | Sarah Jessica Parker collection gap.ae

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Opposite page: Gap | Sarah Jessica Parker floral embroidered cardigan, AED199;

Gap | Sarah Jessica Parker belted dress, AED249

This page: Gap | Sarah Jessica Parker plaid shirt, AED149; stretch khaki trousers, AED149

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Opposite page: Gap | Sarah Jessica Parker floral bomber jacket, AED349;

Gap | Sarah Jessica Parker graphic T-shirt, AED99;

This page: Gap | Sarah Jessica Parker graphic T-shirt, AED99; twill flat front shorts, AED129

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is here to help!

We all know how unpredictable babies can be!

Even if you follow a regular routine, no two days are the same, and there are certain trigger times1 when your baby may be more prone to nappy rash 1.Morris H, The bottom line on nappy rash, British Journal of Midwifery, September 2012, Vol 20, No 9, pages 540-543

1

we an ing

2

com mon cold

Treatment

for Nappy Rash For occasions when it does strike, Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment can be used to treat nappy rash, relieving the irritation and redness. Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment is a medicine. Always read the label.

www.metanium.co.uk

3 teething

4

antibiotic s

5

fi rst sle ep throug h the nig ht

6

change in di et

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diar rhoe a

Protection

from Nappy Rash For daily protection, use Metanium Everyday Barrier Ointment or Easy Spray Barrier Lotion at every nappy change to help protect against the irritants that can cause nappy rash.

we

babies’ bums

9242 Absolutely Mama

METANIUM.indd 9242•Metanium_Is 1here to help_260x210_Absolutely Mama 2018.indd 1

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food & f itness N E W F I T N E S S K I T p . 5 9 • P O ST- N ATA L WO R KO U T S p .6 0 H E A LT H Y R EC I P E S T H AT ’ LL K E E P T H E W H O LE FA M I LY H A P PY p .6 4

G r u b’s u p •ARROWS & SPARROWS •

The “Truly Turkish” breakfast plate (pictured) is just one of the new dishes that’s been added to the Arrows & Sparrows menu. There are also tacos and loaded monster milkshakes, plus fresh kids’ options, too, like the Nutella and fairy floss French toast. We won’t say no.

arrowsandsparrows.com

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NEWS

Fit for fashion •Figure Fit•

A new range of gorgeous activewear for busy, modern women is now available at Figure Fit, which offers worldwide shipping. The new legging collection boasts flattering shapes and styles through specific paneling detail and lines with striking prints. Racer back vest tops also feature fun slogans for an injection of attitude to your workout wardrobe. From AED115; figure-fit.com

mama’s

H E ALTHY N OTES Clean food and fitness solutions for mindful mums and munchkins

GO VEGGIE

FULL SUPPORT

Marks & Spencer

Cake Maternity

Trying to cut down on meaty meals at home? Well, Marks & Spencer is making it easier for you, with this new range of tasty plant-based treats, new to the UAE. We can’t get enough of the beetroot falafel with a side of tzatziki dressing. Yum. AED42; marksandspencer.com/ae

This is a yoga AND pumping bra in one specifically designed for pregnant and nursing women. The double cup design, with discreet opening, allows you to use it with a breast pump. The online shop from the US ships all over the world. AED184; cakematernity.com

At-home workouts

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his month we love SOCIALIVE, the payas-you-go platform of live-streamed workouts brought to us by our favourite global fitfluencers. You don’t need to leave your living room to get classes on everything from yoga to dance cardio, HIIT to CrossFit. And, if you miss something, there’s an option to bag unlimited replays. Prices vary; socialive.tv April 201 8

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fit

Get back to

Ease your way back into fitness with some gentle post-natal exercise, using these top tips from our expert trainer Wo r d s L O U I S A B AT T

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regnancy and birth take a massive toll on the body, but you can get back to feeling great again with gentle exercise. Aside from getting back to prepregnancy exercise levels, low-impact moves can help you sleep better and bond with your baby. It’s important to take some time for yourself, especially when you’re a new mum and a short, daily exercise routine will help your mind and body. Even if it’s a brisk walk with your baby asleep in the pram or a few sets of crunches and stretches during nap time, find some time each day to move your body. At the same time, setting aside a few minutes of “me time” each day – whether this is meditation or a quick read before bed – will help with your energy levels and mindfulness. Make sure you start back slowly! It’s imperative that you’ve had feedback from

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HIT THE BARRE AT PHYSIQUE 57 IN DUBAI

LET’S GO YOGA IS HOSTING A RETREAT THIS MONTH

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fo o d & fitness P OST-NATAL

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T H ES E LOWI M PAC T M OV ES CA N H E L P YO U S L E E P BE T T E R A N D B ON D WIT H YOU R BA BY

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your doctor before exercising. If you push yourself too hard in the beginning, then you can actually be setting yourself back from real recovery. That, of course, does not mean you need to be held hostage in your house for six weeks. A walk can be considered a good start to your road back to exercise. Also, seek out a supportive social network. There are actually physical and psychological benefits for women when they socialise, especially with other women. Join a local exercise group and find like-minded mums who want to exercise together. A large part of the Fitness In DXB (fitnessindxb.com) community is made up of mums who want to take time out and exercise as part of a group. It’s also important to know your own body. If the pelvic floor is weak, putting intra-abdominal pressure (like crunches, pilates or general ab work) can put too much pressure on the pelvic floor and inhibit healing or even lead to a chance of organ prolapse. One of the first forms of

TRAINER LOUISA BATT AT 6P GYM, AL QUOZ

exercise you can start to incorporate daily can be a kegel routine, restrengthening or even re-familiarising yourself with your pelvic floor muscles. In order to find the right muscles, and identify this area, just imagine that you are stopping yourself from going to the toilet. Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles to hold the contraction for five seconds and repeat three times. You can do this in the morning and evening to help strengthen this area.

Louisa Batt is a trainer at the newly opened 6P gym in Al Quoz, which is driven by the team who own Fitness In DXB, an active community group with weekly activities that aim to make Dubai a fitter, healthier place. 6p.ae April 201 8

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Theaward awardwinning winning dreamgenii dreamgenii support pillow The pillow helps helps you you get getaa comfortable night’s night’s sleep by supporting comfortable supporting your your back, knees knees and growing bump back, bump

Available from leading nursery retailers Available from leading & nursery retailers & www.dreamgenii.com www.dreamgenii.com DEAMGENII.indd 1

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fo o d & fitness P OST-NATAL

CLASSES TO TRY

While most gyms and fitness centres offer personal training packages and sessions that are suitable for baby mamas, we’ve honed in a few that sound extra-special... Advantage Sports UAE

Physique57

bu Dhabi-based mamas should know about this sport training company, which offers classes at various locations around the capital, from AED80 per session. The specific post-natal classes are designed for mums, to help you regain your shape, strength and fitness, with a focus on posture, core strength and back muscles. You’ll need to wait until after your six-week check to join in, but these sessions are great if you want to exercise and have baby there, too. There’s also Buggy Fit, an outdoor exercise class for parents or nannies and their babies. It involves power walking (or jogging, if you want) and resistance fat-burning exercises, and caters to mums at any level of fitness.  advantagesportsuae.com

or something a bit different, we love the barre-based classes at Physique57 in City Walk and Al Thanya Mall, Dubai. It’s a 57-minute workout (go figure) that uses the ballet barre for body resistance exercises, where you can get in some cardio, stretching and strength training in just under an hour. There’s no jumping involved, and it’s all low impact, so it’s a good way to get back into shape fast for new mums and even mums-tobe (we’ve been told they’ve had expecting mums take classes right up until the day they drop). The first class is complimentary, and special discounts are offered on packages on your first go, so it’s worth a try. You’ve got nothing to lose (except a bit of weight).  physique57.com

Let’s Go Yoga

Urban Energ y Fitness

asha Quince, the founder of Let’s Go Yoga, is hosting a Yoga & Wellness Day Retreat at Zaya Nurai Island in Abu Dhabi on 21st April (7.30am to 6pm, AED899), where you can immerse yourself in nature, peaceful scenery, sandy stretches of shore AND an infinity pool). It includes a 90-minute yoga session with Sasha, a post-session welcome drink, a soak in the temperature-controlled pool or dip in the sea, a healthy three-course lunch, an optional post-meal lifestyle chat and 60-minute sea meditation. It’s a great way for mums to de-stress and disengage for a few hours. So you might want to book a babysitter (or rope Dad in) for this one.  letsgoyogame.com

nother Dubai hotspot with a lot to offer mums is Urban Energy Fitness, which hosts classes at numerous locations around the city. Their Pre and Postnatal Fitness class (AED90 per session or AED 790 for ten), held in Al Barsha Park or Downtown Dubai, is suitable for women from early pregnancy to three or four months after birth. It’s a circuit-based class, with low-impact cardio, light weights and core stability techniques all weaved in. And you can bring baby along. On top of that, there are a number of classes under their “Fit Mums” umbrella, including boxing, circuit and sculpt, where babies and toddlers are also welcome.  urbanenergyfitness.com

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POST- NATAL EXERCISES Try these three moves once you’ve had approval from your doctor to start working out, says our expert Wo r ds L O UI SA BAT T

B E L LY B R E AT H I N G W I T H P E LV I C T I LT

Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on your belly, fingers spread. Inhale, expanding your belly into your hands; then exhale, pulling your navel in towards your spine. As you exhale, tilt the lower part of your pelvis upward, lifting your glutes slightly off the floor. Relax and repeat. Begin with five reps and progress to 15.

• AB SLIDE

Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms out by your sides, holding them slightly off the floor. Inhale; then exhale, pulling your navel toward your spine. At the same time, squeeze your shoulder blades down and back, reaching toward your feet with your hands. Hold and repeat. Begin with five reps and progress to 15.

• BASIC BRIDGE

Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, arms relaxed by your sides. Contract your abdominals; then lift hips up off the floor until your body forms one straight line. Hold for three to five breaths. Repeat four to six times.

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L

izzie King knows what it means to be busy. As a mum-of-three and a successful nutritional health coach, she understands what a challenge it can be to make sure each and every meal we feed our family is healthy and wholesome. That’s why she put together Lizzie Loves Healthy Family Food: Delicious and Nutritious Meals You’ll All Enjoy, to share what she’s learned about mealtimes with the world. Here, she gives Absolutely Mama a quick look at three of her favourite options.

Tuscan pasta bake w ith cavolo nero Serves: 4

Ingredients

• 3 tbsp rapeseed oil • 1 red onion, sliced • 2 garlic cloves, minced • 4 sage leaves, finely chopped • 250g quinoa fusilli pasta • 2 × 400g tins plum tomatoes • 125ml (1⁄2 cup) chicken or vegetable stock or water • 5 cavolo nero leaves, thinly sliced • 3 tbsp coconut yoghurt or cream • 1⁄2 cup (50g) grated Cheddar (or dairy-free) cheese • Salt and pepper

Directions

LIZZIE

Loves

Author and nutritional health coach, Lizzie King, shares three tasty recipes from her new cookbook Photography CHARLOTTE KIBBLES

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1 Heat the oil in a large casserole dish and fry the onion, garlic and sage over medium heat for a couple of minutes. At this point, cook the pasta but take it off just before it’s done (it’ll cook more in the oven). Drain well. 2 Add the tomatoes and stock, crushing them as you stir. Bring to the boil, rinse out the tins with a splash of water and add that, too. Season with salt and black pepper. 3 Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly. Add the cavolo nero leaves and simmer for a further 2–3 minutes. 4 Add the pasta and mix really well. For a creamy version, stir through the coconut yoghurt or cream. Top with cheese. 5 Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake for 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the pasta has crisp edges.

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fo o d & fitnes s

RECIPES

Sweetcorn & spinach dhal Serves: 4

Ingredients

Fusilli f lorentine

• 2 tbsp rapeseed oil • 1 onion, finely sliced • 2 garlic cloves, minced • 1⁄2 tsp turmeric • 1 tsp ground coriander • 1 cup (180g) brown basmati rice (or use white rice and halve the cooking time) • 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock • 1 cup (180g) dried red lentils • 1 cup (225g) frozen spinach • 1 cup (150g) frozen sweetcorn kernels • 1 cup (225g) frozen spinach

Serves: 4

To serve

• Coconut yoghurt • Lime wedges • Fresh coriander leaves

Directions In a large casserole dish or heavy-based pan, heat the rapeseed oil and add the onion, garlic and spices. 2 Stir occasionally for about 3-4 minutes, until softened but not browned. 3 Add the rice and stir through to coat in the oil and spices. 4 Pour over 500ml of the stock and bring to the boil over a high heat. 5 Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Glance in occasionally to check 1

the rice isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan. 6 Add the lentils and a little more stock if needed. Cover and continue to simmer gently until the rice and lentils are softened, about 20 minutes. Add more stock now and again, if needed. 7 Stir in the sweetcorn and spinach and allow it to cook over a low heat for a few minutes until piping hot. 8 Serve with a dollop of yoghurt, a squeeze of lime and a scattering of coriander leaves.

Ingredients

• 300g fusilli pasta • 3 eggs, plus 1 yolk, lightly whisked • Handful of spinach, finely sliced into ribbons • Dash of olive oil or knob of butter • freshly grated Parmesan cheese • Salt and pepper

Directions 1 Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, until al dente. 2 Drain and return the pasta to the saucepan. 3 Quickly add the eggs and egg yolk, stirring all the time over a very low heat (you don’t want the heat high otherwise the eggs will scramble). 4 Add the spinach ribbons along with a dash of olive oil or butter. 5 Sprinkle over the Parmesan, if desired. Note: The eggs are meant to be runny, but if you can’t eat runny eggs do make sure you heat them through until firm.

Lizzie Loves Healthy Family Food: Delicious and Nutritious Meals You’ll All Enjoy by Lizzie King, Trapeze, AED105 (hardback) / AED57 (eBook); li zzieloveshealthy.com

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home & interiors TO P B U YS A N D N E W STO R E S p .6 8 • T H E M A M A B E H I N D PA P E R P O P p .70 A TO U R A R O U N D A FO O D W R I T E R ’ S K I TC H E N p .72

Po s te r art • PAPER POP•

Loretta Kiss founded boutique design studio Paper Pop when she realised there was a lack of poster art and locally manufactured wallpapers in Dubai. We talk to her about her inspirations, experience and what she’s got on her own walls at home (page 70). paper-pop.com

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6 of the best CANDLES

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mama’s

DESIGN NOTES

Dreamy home décor items for our living rooms and kids’ nurseries...

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Stay simple •White Moss•

The husband and wife behind UAE brand White Moss have a new baby on the way themselves, so they’ve been keen to try out nursery ideas, and provide styling inspo for fellow parents-to-be. In particular, they’ve been focusing on gender-neutral styles, which have been gathering momentum across the home décor world lately. whitemoss.com

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1. Turquoise pillar candles, from AED39; crateandbarrel.com 2. Woodwick mini candle, AED65; virginmegastore.ae 3. Painted candle holder, AED59; zarahome.com 4. Goji berry-scented candle, AED179; rituals.com 5. Flower-shaped candle, AED59; zarahome.com 6. Yankee Candle (medium), AED179; virginmegastore.ae

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h o me & interio rs

NEW IN THE UAE

SWEET DREAMS •Gingerlily•

We can’t get enough of this luxurious silk bedding from UK brand, Gingerlily, which offers worldwide delivery options. Now all we want to do is slip into our fresh new sheets for a great night’s sleep. gingerlily.co.uk

Home & Soul

Blanc D’Ivoire undergoes a rebrand in Jumeirah

PLANT POWER •Maisons du Monde•

Freshen up your home interiors using any of the gorgeous foliage-inspired pieces from Maisons du Monde’s Green Market Collection. We could easily spend all day wandering around that shop. AED45; maisonsdumonde.com

Wo r ds K AT Y G I L L E T T

MADE WITH LOVE •Y i s l a m o o •

Are you, like us, a big fan of pop art? Then you’ll love these Khaleejiinspired wall prints, including Hello Gorgeous (pictured left). It’s created by Yislamoo, a brand that collaborates with artists and calligraphers to bring us memorable pieces – from wall art to mugs and even tote bags – that celebrate beautiful Arabia. AED109; virginmegastore.ae

In bloom Zara Home

t seems everywhere’s going green this season, and Zara Home is no exception, if its latest line is anything to go by. Not that we’re complaining – we adore this pair of floral cushions that breathe fresh life into our interiors. From AED35; zarahome.com

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he relatively new lifestyle store Home & Soul (formerly Blanc D’Ivoire) has had interiors-lovers turning heads these past few months. It’s no surprise, as the carefully selected collection at the store on Al Wasl Road is elegant yet practical, stylish and simple. We’re currently coveting it all. The store is owned and curated by Carol and Wael Sukkar, and they’ve sourced products from all across the world, bringing it back to Dubai “with love”. You’ll find beautiful homeware products, alongside all sorts of other gorgeous merchandise, from plants to kids’ items, and even fashion and jewellery brands. There’s also an instore coffee shop, so you can make an afternoon out of it with friends. Rattan chairs, ethnic-style cushions and minimalistic wire lanterns are just a few of the things on our shopping list. If yours is a chic and tasteful home, then this is the store for you. Cappuccinos all round, right?

homeandsouldubai.com

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WHEN WALLS TALK

Meet UAE expat Loretta Kiss, the creative mamaof-twins behind the Scandi-inspired boutique design studio, Paper Pop, based in Dubai Wo r d s K AT Y G I L L E T T

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hat would your walls say, if they could talk? Would they scream “kitsch” through a good smattering of artwork featuring flamingos and pineapples? Or would they whisper “demure” via paredback patterns and subtle colours? Australian expat Loretta Kiss’ walls say “simple, contemporary and unexpected” – the three main values that are always high on her agenda of design goals. Loretta is the founder of Paper Pop, a boutique design studio in Dubai that offers affordable, locally made peel-and-stick wallpapers and art posters, which will soon also branch out to Australia and the UK. “I love illustration, photography and typography,” Loretta tells Absolutely Mama Emirates. “I create a lot of my designs around nature, such as flora and fauna and science, with a big influence from minimalist and Scandinavian design.”

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h o me & interi or s DESIGN

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“MANY O F MY P OSTERS R EFLEC T A N ELEMENT O F L I F E I N DUBAI , LI F E A S A PAR ENT, LI F E AS AN EXPAT

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Her own environment and life is a huge source of inspiration, too, she tells us. “Many of my posters reflect an element of life in Dubai, life as a parent, life as an expat.” Essentially, her aim is to simply bring a smile to your face and brighten up your living space. “Designs that can add a sense of calm or that can make you giggle.” Emblazoned across the walls of Loretta’s own staircase are Mexican fan palms and the words “Yalla, yalla, yalla” (“particularly helpful when ushering kids up the stairs,” she admits). In the kitchen, an entire gallery wall is covered in Pop Art-inspired typographic posters and nature photography. Over in her sons’ room – she has four-year-old identical twins, Jet Gabriel and Eli Fox, who were born at Mediclinic City Hospital – you’ll spot American muscle cars and Dark Knight posters. And back in Loretta’s bedroom, “Life’s a beach” hangs over her bed. While nature and mid-20th century painters – such as Kandinsky and Picasso – will always inspire Loretta, she’s now heavily influenced

by photography and digital artists, and loves working online. “My professional job was a digital creative director, so I was well and truly immersed in the world of digital art and design for almost two decades,” she explains. But, after the twins were born, she didn’t want to go back to working the long hours that come with a job in advertising. “I wanted to keep working in design, but on my own terms.” And so, Paper Pop was born just a few months ago. “With only a small selection of contemporary poster art stores in Dubai, and almost no locally designed and manufactured wallpapers, I seized the opportunity.” The studio also offers a custom design solution, if you’re looking for something a little more bespoke. “It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made.” So, we’re opting for the Burj Khalifa in Pink for our walls. What does that say about us? paper-pop.com April 201 8

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A cook’s

TABLE

We take a peek around food writer and stylist Rosie Birkett’s gorgeous kitchen W o r d s E L L I E S T E WA R T F O R H A B I TAT

Q So what are you all about? A All things food. I’m a food writer, cookbook author, food stylist and cook, currently based in London. Q Is this your dream job? A Pretty much, yes. Of course, all jobs have their off days but I feel incredibly lucky to do something I’m so consumed by. The beauty of my job is that it’s incredibly creative and I do so many different things, so no day is the same, but each day invariably involves some good food and drink. Q What inspires you to do what you do? A Growing up, it was all about food and cooking. My family are a greedy bunch and we always came together over my mother’s delicious, home-cooked food. I think this, and the fact I was so aware of us growing our own veg, keeping chickens and fishing, has had a big influence on my love of food. Q How would you describe your interior style? A Whimsical, eclectic and natural. I love collecting beautiful objects and handmade treasures such as ceramics, vintage furniture and art. Also, you’ll notice I’m a sucker for a house plant. We don’t have a garden so I definitely like to bring the outdoors in. 72

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Q You must spend a lot of time in the kitchen. What’s your favourite thing about it? A I spend at least four days a week in the kitchen. What drew me to our house is that the kitchen is pretty much the whole of the downstairs. It’s open-plan and flooded by natural light by a glass ceiling, so I’m really happy cooking here. There are plenty of units for storage and I love being able to display my props on top of the cupboards. I’m very proud of the marble tiling and hexagonal tiles behind the sink, as well as the secondhand stainless steel catering cupboard, which is an island and storage solution in one. Q What would you change about your kitchen space? A I would love a big range cooker. Q Where do you find interior inspiration? A Elle Décor, Remodelista and interior design books. Instagram, too, of course, including Habitat’s. Q Which instagram accounts would you recommend for interior inspiration? A The same as above. Apartmenttherapy and Jungalow, too. Q What’s your favourite interior trend? A I love the pink trend. I’ve never been a girly

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h o me & interio r s KITCHENS

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“ W H AT D R EW M E TO O U R H OU S E I S T H AT T H E K I TCH E N IS PRETTY MUCH THE WHOLE OF T H E D OW N STA IRS”

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girl or that into pink, but recently something has changed and I can’t get enough of little hints of pink, particularly when it’s dusky, faded, pastel or stone-washed. Q What’s your favourite thing about your home? A The light and sense of space. Floor-toceiling windows and our double-height glass ceiling make it a really light, airy space. Q What was your last interiors project? A Doing up our spare room and putting in some shelves for my huge library of cookbooks. Q How have you made this house your home? A By fi lling it with our most-loved objects and April 201 8

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Give your little one a parent’s-eye view of the world with award-winning LittleLife child carriers. For life’s little adventures. littlelife.com

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LittleLifeUK

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01/03/2018 10:10


h o me & interio r s KITCHENS

Q If you could re-live one moment in this house what would it be? Tell us about your favourite memory. A Our fi rst Christmas party in the house was pretty epic. We got an 13-foot Christmas tree and I made venison stew. It was so brilliant to fi nally have our own space and be able to host our friends whose houses we’ve been partying in for years.

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“ W E’ VE MADE T HI S OUR HO ME BY FI LLI NG I T W I T H O UR MOSTLOV E D O B JECTS A ND P EO P LE”

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people. We are always hosting dinners at ours and we’re such home bodies. Q What are your most treasured possessions? And where did you find them from? A The rug in the spare room was brought in Argentina. I was really broke at the time and really agonised over whether to buy it but I’m so glad i did, it makes me so happy. Our vintage Ercol dining set was a total bargain from Ebay and I’m so thrilled we found it, even though we had to hire a van and drive to the middle of nowhere to this really posh lady’s country house, it was so worth it. Q Where is the heart of your home? A The kitchen of course.

Q What would complete your home? A I would love a wood fi red log burner but unfortunately it’s not possible in this house. Q Tell us something interesting about yourself or your home that not many people know. A Cyril, our dog, calls the shots. Seriously, he thinks the sofa, our bed and the spare room bed all belong to him. Q Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? A My late dad. I would love to cook for him and catch him up on the last 12 years. habitat.co.uk/blog April 201 8

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Discover blissful baby & toddler friendly holidays Everything that parents need for stress free getaways in luxury villas and resorts All private pools barriered

Free 20+ items of baby & toddler kit

30 point child safety check

0800 014 2770 www.totstotravel.co.uk

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T R AV E L I N S P I R AT I O N p .79 • F I V E - STA R R A S A L K H A I M A H A DV E N T U R E S p . 8 0 BA LI ’ S M O ST LUXU R I O U S H OT E L p . 8 2

RAK revamps • HILTON RAS AL KHAIMAH RESORT & SPA •

This RAK property has revamped its luxe villas. So, until the end of April, for the cost of a King Deluxe room, you’ll get a free upgrade to a villa room located on the beach. There’s also a newly unveiled kids’ club AND beach bar (for mum and dad). hilton.com

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JUMP INTO SUM MER

We know that happy children means happy parents, which is why we offer exceptional childcare at our Scott Dunn Explorers kids clubs. They welcome children aged four months to 13 years and are found at luxury hotels in the Mediterranean, the Alps and the Maldives. All our clubs are run by teams of highly trained professionals and we have some of the best adult to child ratios in the business. Kids enjoy exciting on and offsite activities that are tailored around each of the four age groups.

To start planning your luxury holiday today, visit scottdunn.com/sde or call on 0208 682 5040

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escapes

INSPIRATION

In bloom

• A l i l a J a b a l A k h d a r , O m a n •

Th roughout April and May, Jabal Akhdar is covered in Damask rose shrubs that fi ll the mountainous region with their sweet scent. That’s why Alila Jabal Akhdar has launched the “Rose Package”, which includes a guided tour of the area, a soothing rose petal bath and a relaxing Balinese massage with scented rose oils. alilahotels.com/jabalakhdar

mama’s

TR AVEL N OTES

r’s editock pi

Great travel packs for kids, plus three fabulous Asian escapes

LIGHT AS AIR •SENA Aire•

UNICORNS DO EXIST!

The SENA Aire provides ultimate airflow to promote deep sleeps. It’s super-easy to pack away (one-handed), includes an organic cotton sheet and travel bag. AED 1,235.00; justkidding-me.com

Let’s be serious – how much is your little girl going to love heading out on her hols with this unicorn-themed rucksack? You’ve got it in the bag. AED126; mumzworld.com

•Rock Paper Scissors•

3 GREAT ASIAN GETAWAYS Four Seasons The Nam Hai

Soneva Fushi

VIETNAM

THE MALDIVES

While the kids check out the junior cooking academy and Dad has a snooze, why don’t you try an AntiGravity yoga class that’s being offered at the new Thanh Tinh Yoga Pavilion, overlooking luscious lotus ponds? Don’t mind if we do. fourseasons.com/hoian

At all Soneva resorts, including this gorgeous Maldives property, the Festival of Colour will be celebrated all year long. In April (orange), this includes Songkran festivities, dinner with a renowned Russian chef and special yoga and meditation classes. soneva.com/festivalofcolour

X2 [CrossTo] Chiang Mai Riverside Resort THAILAND

This new 30-room hotel in Thailand’s cultural capital draws inspiration from Wat Umong forest temple. Its suites overlook a green courtyard, while 20 Riverfront Suites feature stunning river views. X2resorts.com

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Relax in

RAK

Take a well-earned break in one of our favourite emirates, where dunes, seascapes and five-star resorts await…

Y

ou know you’ve left the city when all you can see for miles are terracotta deserts and towering, rugged mountains in the distance. The scenic drive to the northern emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is just as part of your weekend family escape as your luxurious stay in a fivestar resort (if you can keep the kids settled, that is). It’s easily one of the most family-friendly areas for a staycation in the UAE, where activities, adventures and attractions abound. Amid the mosques and museums, you’ll also find well-stocked shopping malls, parks, camping sites and plenty of water sports on offer. But the main attraction – in our humble opinion – is the array of spectacular five-star resorts, including the world-renowned Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, where we decide to check in for one super-relaxing weekend. Whether you and hubby are looking to reconnect, or you’ve got the whole tribe in tow (kids

Wo r d s K AT Y G I L L E T T

WALDORF ASTORIA RAK OFFERS FAMILY SUITES AND SEA-VIEWS

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“ B O O K A BA BYS ITTER A N D H EA D D OWN W IT H H U B BY TO THE C H IC ST EAKHO U S E , L E X IN GTO N G R ILL”

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TEST OUT A TREATMENT AT THE WALDORF ASTORIA SPA

MORE TO TRY THE WALDORF ASTORIA RAS AL KHAIMAH IS A GREAT STAYCATION SPOT FOR FAMILIES

under 12 can stay for free on a one-child-perroom basis), this hotel offers a memorable experience that’s worth the price tag. The hotel is distinctly Arabian in its décor, with traditional design elements dotted throughout the resort and its rooms. We check in to our sea-view suite and then make a beeline for the gorgeous family pool, which sits next to the stretch of private beach. After a quick pool lunch (a grilled prawn salad that’s full of flavor and generously portioned), we relax on our over-sized, cushioned deck chairs and watch the kids play. If you’re feeling a little more active than us, then you could also have a go at golf, horse riding and any number of water sports (from deep sea fishing to parasailing and banana boat rides). Mamas, you’ll be very happy to know there is a babysitting service. That means, come evening, you and your other half can head down to the chic steakhouse, Lexington Grill, where jazz music provides the perfect soundtrack to a delicious meal in the elegant, ambient dining room or on the terrace (stunning sea views). Steaks, of course, come

highly recommended, but you can’t go far wrong with anything you choose from the menu, which also has a host of vegetarian choices, if you’re forgoing meat. The in-room services are also fantastic, if a night in is on the cards instead. The room service team is incredibly accommodating (even for the fussiest of eaters), and you have access to a menu of bath infusions and fragrances that can be prepared according to your mood (because, well, why not?). In the morning, getting your fi ll from the lavish breakfast buffet at Qasr Al Bahr is a must. Grab a table on the terrace (get there early enough – these go fast) and feast from the international spread, which encompasses Middle Eastern, European and South Asian cuisines. You’ll then be ready to do it all over again. Sure, Ras Al Khaimah has got a lot going on. But so does this lovely resort. As we said – whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a fun-fi lled weekend with the kids, it’s worth checking in. Relaxation is pretty much unavoidable.

Three more familyfriendly hotel hotspots in Ras Al Khaimah

THE COVE ROTANA RESORT

Quaint villas with one, two or three bedrooms are scattered across this idyllic, Arabian-inspired resort that’s on a water inlet. It has 600 metres of beach, six restaurants and lounges, fitness facilities and the Flippers Kids Club. rotana .com

THE RITZ-CARLTON, AL WADI DESERT

The lap of luxury awaits. Here, the accommodation of choice is a Bedouininspired luxury villa with its own private pool. And the Ritz Kids programme includes pony rides, gaming sessions and even bedtime stories under the stars. ritzcarlton .com

RIXOS BAB AL BAHR

Rixos Bab Al Bahr is unique thanks to the all-inclusive offer, which allows you to dine and drink at its venues, try activities, even spa treatments. And the Rixy Kids Club is covered by this, too, so the children can enjoy the disco, cinema, arts and crafts lessons, magic shows, and plenty more. babalbahr.ri xos .com

waldorfastoria3 .hilton.com

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Bali High Mama heads to one of the world’s most lauded luxury hotels, Bali’s Alila Villas Uluwatu Wo r d s A L I C E H E N N I N G

M

ost likely, you’ve already seen Alila Villas Uluwatu, the flagship hotel of the celebrated Alila Hotel & Resorts Group. Perched on a clifftop at the tip of Bali’s stunning Bukit Peninsula, its famous infinity pool and Sunset Cabana Bar have popped up on many Instagram feeds over the last few years: the pool a sheet of glass reflecting the clear Balinese skies; the bar balanced impossibly at the lip of the precipice, its glassless windows offering indescribable views of the Indian Ocean below. Condé Nast Traveller has named the hotel one of the best in the world every year since 2012, and its considered design and luxury facilities have been lauded by titles from Vogue to Brides Magazine. Conceived as an environmentally sustainable complex, everything about the resort has been carefully designed to minimise human impact, from the beautiful walls of limestone excavated on-site to the use of reclaimed and locally sourced wood throughout. Even the water system is built around a series of rain gardens – but don’t think for a second that ecoconsciousness is a barrier to luxury. Alila Villas Uluwatu regularly tops honeymoon and babymoon “dream destination” lists, and, after our stay there – which followed two amazing but exhausting weeks trekking through Balinese jungles, touring the rice paddy fields of Ubud and eating our way through Seminyak’s hip surfer cafés – we understood why. Whether you’re postwedding, pre-baby or have a young family in tow, this is hospitality at its finest.

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esc a p es BALI

84 SPACIOUS VILLAS ARE STAGGERED UP THE CLIFF

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THE POOL A SHEET OF GLASS REFLECTING THE CLEAR BALINESE SKIES; THE BAR BALANCED IMPOSSIBLY ON THE LIP OF THE PRECIPICE

~

If you don’t usually think of checking in to a hotel as a particularly relaxing experience, Alila Villas Uluwatu is here to prove you wrong. We were greeted on arrival not just by the hotel’s incredible views but by its wonderfully friendly staff, who supplied us with cool towels and a selection of the resort’s own-brand hand creams, face mists and sunscreens to get us started. Butler services are available at guests’ pleasure and can be tailored to your needs, so you can plump for anything from “no disturbance whatsoever” to a dedicated personal assistant (who can even babysit the kids). We sensibly opted for a combination of the two – the standard hotel service, although nothing at Alila Villas Uluwatu can accurately be described as “standard”. Rather than rooms, the hotel is made up of 84 spacious villas staggered up the cliff, each with its own private cabana and pool overlooking the spectacular ocean view. They’re perfect for couples looking for some romantic April 201 8

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THE WATER SYSTEM IS BUILT AROUND A SERIES OF RAIN GARDENS

esc a p es BALI

privacy but equally suitable for families – there’s plenty of space for kids to play and enjoy themselves without bothering fellow guests. As you’d guess, the attention to detail is second-to-none; everything is prepared and executed to somewhere beyond even a five-star standard. Towels are soft and fluffy, the wardrobe comes complete with a chic beach bag and straw hat, and every afternoon sees a complimentary box of chocolates, cookies and strawberries hand-delivered to your room. Within minutes of arriving, we were lying on our private sun-deck, tucking into a delicious lunch, wondering if we could just spend the next three nights in our villa. Eventually, though, we decided the hotel’s two restaurants looked too good to miss. One, Cire, specialises in Western fare, and quickly became our go-to for eggs

~

WE FEAST ON DELICIOUS BALINESE FAVOURITES AT THE HOTEL’S INDONESIAN EATERY, WARUNG

~

and granola breakfasts, pizza, pasta and the like. At the Indonesian eatery, Warung, we feasted on delicious Balinese favourites, including fresh fish satay and nasi goreng. After EVERY VILLA HAS ITS OWN POOL dinner, there’s the Sunset OVERLOOKING THE OCEAN Cabana, where guests gather to listen to live music, courtesy of a rindik get the best photo opportunities and ensure (a traditional Balinese instrument made of you get top seats for the performance. Sure, bamboo), and sip refreshing drinks. there were lots of tourists there when we On our second day we set out to explore visited, but it still felt like an authentic taste the charms of the wider area, starting with a of the local culture – and it was clearly a sunrise yoga session on the cliff’s edge. This thrilling experience for the little ones in was followed by a brisk hike down 620 steps the audience. to the hotel’s beach, monkey-spotting along That night we ate at the lively Jimbaran the way. We were tempted to take advantage Bay, where you can end the day with hops of the hotel’s chauffeured tour of the area, and fresh fish straight from the barbecue. but opted instead for a surfing lesson at the The food here was so good that even when famous Padang Padang beach, where we the tide came in, restaurant-goers – a mix of were taught by a local pro. Our lesson saw locals and tourists – barely moved, ending more laughter than progress, but by the time their meals with their feet and chairs in the we returned to our villa, we were exhausted. sea. The eating and drinking didn’t stop Later came a trip to nearby Uluwatu, to there, though, because on returning to the watch the traditional Balinese fire dance hotel we found they had set up a street food at sunset. The hotel provided us with a tour market in its tropical gardens, complete with guide – a must if you want to see the grounds, a live four-piece band. For our final day, we headed to the hotel’s prestigious spa, which is surrounded by THE HOTEL’S TWO DINING tranquil pools brimming with giant lilypads. OUTLETS ARE TOO GOOD TO MISS We indulged in a 90-minute couples’ massage, which began with a luxurious foot soak and ended with a bubble bath under the palm trees – plus coconut ice cream and bubbly. By the end of our trip, fully indulged, tanned and rested, we were just about ready for the long-haul trip back to reality. Later, when friends asked about the trip and the hotel, we almost described it as a once-ina-lifetime experience – such was the level of luxury. But, then, we realised that wouldn’t be right. Because we’ll most definitely be returning…

Rooms at Alila Villas Uluwatu start from AED2,433 per night; alilahotels.com/uluwatu April 201 8

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Scandinavian inspired children’s design

www.scandiborn.co.uk Find us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @Scandiborn

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TO P BA BY B U YS p . 8 9 • A S K T H E E X P E R T S p . 9 0 • T H E UA E ’ S N U R S E R I E S p . 9 6

Fresh grounds •JINS REGENT•

On 8th April, Jumeirah International Nurseries opens a new branch within the campus of Regent International School, The Greens. The EYFScurriculum nursery will accept kids aged 45 days to five years old, and offer priority placement in sister schools. jinspire.com

April 201 8

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essentials

SHOPPING

Travel kit MOUNTAIN BUGGY

• Roll your kid around the airport

with Mountain Buggy’s ingenious bagrider. It transforms from a regular carry-on into a fourwheeled travelling seat for toddlers up to 15kg (nine months to three years old). Why didn’t they have these when we were kids? AED499; babysouk.com

TOT GEA R

Watch out BENQ

Top-notch baby kit designed to make parenting easier

We’ll spare you the technical talk, but, basically, this monitor is specifically designed to be easier on your eyes, reducing strain in any lighting environment but not compromising on colour quality. If your kids are glued to Paw Patrol, perhaps this is worth investing in. AED1,499; info.ae@benq.com

NANO DUO • Got twins? Or two little ones? No

problem. Another handy creation from Mountain Buggy is the Nano Duo stroller. In particular, its light weight and compact fold appeal, and you can make the seats that bit more roomy by lying them down flat. Thankfully, there’s also full-coverage sun canopies, so if you’re nipping outside (in between A/C visits) then you can protect babies from those nasty UV rays. There’s plenty more to love (five-point safety harness, rear wheel suspension, extra large gear tray), but we’ve run out of space. AED2,800; babysouk.com

ALPHA CAR SEAT • A five-point safety harness, non-slip

Go go gadget IBABY

• When your baby moves or makes a sound, you’ll be alerted thanks to the motion sensors built into this nifty gadget. Then you can take a peek through the video. The iBaby app also allows family from anywhere in the world to tap in. AED739; virginmegastore.ae

shoulder padding and an integrated sun hood are just a few of the features we love on Phil & Teds 43.5-centimetre Alpha Car Seat. There are two installation options – you can do it the old-school way and use your seat belt, or install the nifty isofix base, which allows you to click the car seat in and out each time you go. It’s also, quite rightly, compatible with all the current strollers in the Phil & Teds range, so if you’ve got one of those already, it’s a natural choice to make. AED599; babysouk.com April 201 8

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Amy VOGELAAR

The co-founder of Love Parenting UAE, Amy, is a midwife, lactation consultant, infant massage instructor, Babycalm and Toddlercalm teacher, and a mum-of-two herself. loveparentinguae.com Q How do I know if my baby is getting enough breast milk? A First of all, keep track of nappies – if it’s coming out, then it means it’s going in. A new baby should have at least one stool per day of life for the fi rst five days or so (one on day one, two on day two, three on day three, and so on) and after that there should be lots of stools every day for at least the fi rst two to three months. But, as important as how much stool there is, is what colour it is. If you’re getting plenty of bright yellow, soft breastfed stool by day four, then you can feel confident that baby is getting plenty of milk. If the stool is still black, brown or green after day four or is

Ask the

EXPERTS Q

&

A

Parenting professionals and leading mumpreneurs answer some of your most pressing questions

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THE BEST WAY OF KNOWING WHETHER BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH BREAST MILK OR NOT IS BY TRACKING WEIGHT GAIN not coming at all, then this is a baby who is NOT getting enough milk and needs to be seen by a breastfeeding specialist immediately. The best way of knowing that baby is getting enough breast milk is by tracking weight gain. A breastfed baby is expected to lose some weight in the fi rst few days after birth (this is mostly from the passing of the meconium, or fi rst stool). If a baby loses more than 7-10% of their birth weight, or if he or she is not back to birth weight by two weeks of age, then

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essentia ls ADVICE

baby and mother need to be seen by a breastfeeding specialist. After that, a baby who is getting enough breastmilk will grow along a growth curve on a World Health Organisation growth chart. Some babies will be at 5th percentile weight and some will be at 95% and most will be somewhere in between. As long as they gain weight along that growth curve then they are getting enough to eat. In order to make sure that baby is thriving, all breastfed babies should be seen by a lactation consultant or midwife who knows about breastfeeding at the following times: at least once in the hospital before discharge; again between days three and five (usually after leaving the hospital); and again at around two weeks of age. You may require more visits if there are any problems, but this should be the bare minimum, and you will need to set up an appointment yourself for a home or clinic visit once your baby arrives. Look for a clinic with lactation consultants on staff, as they will be able to assist with any breastfeeding problems far better than regular paediatric practitioners.

Linda BONNAR

Linda is a Dubai-based life coach, author and keynote speaker. She is a certified Master NLP Coach and Master NLP Practitioner, who started Evolved Coaching in 2012. lindabonnarlifecoach.com Q I’ve just had my fi rst baby and I’m about to go back to full-time work. I’m worried about how to manage my time properly, and how I’m going to feel about leaving baby behind every day. Do you have any advice that might help? A Firstly, congratulations on your fi rst baby! Worrying about how

to manage your time properly is completely understandable, but also not very helpful for you as you prepare to return to work again, I’m sure. Instead, my advice would be to be as flexible as you possibly can as you begin to settle into a routine that works best for you and your family. Try things out and be aware of what works and what doesn’t. I’d love to say it’s a matter of creating a schedule, but with a new baby and returning

THINKING ABOUT BOUNDARIES YOU CAN SET YOURSELF IN TERMS OF HOW YOU WORK CAN BE VERY EMPOWERING to full-time work, while a schedule is important, it’s more important that you look after yourself. Be realistic with the time you have for doing things and have realistic expectations of yourself, too. Th inking about boundaries you can set yourself in terms of how you work can be very empowering. Will you have to work from home for a portion of the evening or will this be your own time? Again, worrying about how you’re going to feel about leaving your baby behind every day is completely understandable, but you won’t know how you’re going to feel about it until it happens, so worrying about it now will only catastrophise the situation in your head. When you feel that sense of worry begin to creep in, do your best to replace it by looking at the elements of the situation you can control, like your reaction to going to work in the morning or your morning routine in general. Eradicate the worry further by asking yourself: “What can I do about this now?” If the answer is “nothing”, then that’s it. But if the answer is talking to someone about it or asking for some support, then do this. Worry often creeps in when we feel we lack control or when we feel we’re running low on resources, so it’s good to remind yourself of the resources you do have.

Gemma ALTARRIBA

Gemma is a swimming coach and the founder of Dubai-based Swimming Wonders, a baby and kids’ swimming specialists company, which offers classes around the city. info@swimming wonders.com Q I want to make sure my newborn can swim as soon as possible. When is the best time to do this, and what’s the best way to go about it? A The quick answer would be, the sooner the better. Babies are natural swimmers from birth. They have been in water in the womb and are born with lots of natural reflexes like

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ADVICE

es s entials

IF YOU WANT TO DO IT ALL, THAT’S GREAT. BUT DON’T HAVE THE MISCONCEPTION THAT KIDS WITH NANNIES ARE SPOILT kids than you can handle on your own. Or, it might simply be that you would love some help with the little one. That’s all okay – all parents need time to themselves or even time together, and hiring a nanny doesn’t necessarily mean you are selfish and will always leave your kid with them. Some mums even fear their child will love the nanny more. I say: relax! I grew up with a nanny because my parents were young and had a super-busy Have you got a burning question about social life. My anything to do with being a mama in the mother and UAE? Just send an email to our editor at father would eat katy@zest-media.com, and we’ll lunch with my get a highly qualified expert to brother and me answer it for you. every single day, from when I was four years old to the day I went to university. My mother fed us, my father tucked us into bed, and they both played with us at least three nights a week before bedtime. I think we turned out pretty well! If you want to do it all, then that’s great. But don’t have the misconception that kids with nannies Mama-of-two Abeer Al Tamimi is the founder are spoilt. Kids are spoilt when the and owner of Kids HQ in Dubai, an activity nanny pampers them too much. So centre for little ones in Barsha 2. this is where training comes in… kidshq.ae Oftentimes, in the UAE, nannies Q Should we get a nanny? are not professional carers, and will A Many people move to the UAE and not have qualifications. But these enjoy the fact that they can have help days there are a number of training at home for less than half the price schools and programmes that have they would back home. But this is an come along. ongoing debate among expat parents, Th is will always be a hot topic of and a question that people always ask debate, but I just wanted to point me. It all depends. First ask yourself: out that it all comes down to the What are your motives? Why do family hiring the nanny and it’s you want a nanny? Perhaps you’re a their responsibility to make sure she working mother and your job requires understands family dynamics and you to travel. Maybe you have more her own responsibilities.

Ask us anything!

the gag reflex (ability to hold their breath) and the amphibian reflex (when they move arms and legs like they are actually swimming). These reflexes are very helpful to aid baby swimming at an early age, as they will start fading away from around six months. Baby swimming has lots of health benefits associated. They can freely move arms and legs in water, and this enhances their muscle development, as well as their senses, from a young age. It is also an excellent activity for bonding with a parent in a stress-free environment. When you are booking a swimming course, make sure your instructor is qualified and specialised in teaching young babies to ensure you do not put your baby at risk. And remember: the pool should be heated between 30-32 degrees for babies under six months. 92

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The Global

ADVANTAGE The benefits of learning overseas far outweigh any negatives, says our Early Years education expert Wo r d s S O P H I E OA K E S

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hoosing the right school for a child requires careful thought and deliberation no matter where you are in the world. However, the challenge can be amplified when moving or living in another country. It is easy to see how attending school abroad can be beneficial to a child’s future, but parents can also worry whether or not it is the right choice for their offspring. When I first get a phone call from a parent relocating to the UAE, the question is always the same: Are the schools any good? I have to hold back a smile as I start to explain the many positives to be gained by being educated in such a dynamic and global education scene. And when the parent hits the ground they are always blown away by the incredible choice of schools on offer here.

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THE PROS

A global outlook The first advantage that springs to mind in favour of an international education is the exposure children have to a variety of different cultures and backgrounds. Many schools in the UAE will have more than 100 nationalities making up their pupil body, so celebrating diversity and creating enriching environments for children to become culturally aware is embedded in their DNA. Walk into any international school here and you will immediately feel that welcoming and accepting atmosphere. The fact that most families here originate from somewhere else in the world very much levels the playing field, and parents often comment on how inclusive school life is, as it celebrates different aspects of many cultures. Being educated in an international school gives students the very skills needed to breed 21st-century citizens for an increasingly globalised world.

The range of choice International schools offer a much broader range of curriculum choices. In the UAE there are more than 17 curricula on offer, with anything from the Canadian curriculum to the Japanese or the most popular British Curriculum or IB programme, giving families a chance to

make educational choices they may not have access to in their home countries. It is interesting to note that there are more IB schools in Dubai than there are in London. While there is a large range of choice, there is also consistency. With the curriculum aligned to the home country and globally recognised qualifications, families can feel secure that their child can resume their studies without disruption should the family move back home. As the education landscape continues to expand, with on average six new schools opening a year, families have access to state-of-the-art facilities, with cutting-edge technology, often in very newly built schools. While institutions at home may look quaint and traditional, they struggle to keep up when it comes to purpose-built art rooms and high-speed internet. An international school also has to cater to all comers with a diverse range of extracurricular activities on offer. From skiing to diving, rugby to Irish football, one’s home sport is rarely forgotten. And if it’s not already represented – then you also have the option to set it up yourself! Then, along with all the sports are the opportunities to travel with schools. With the UAE being an international hub, it is possible for children to explore new places. One week you have a group in Orlando at the Kennedy Space Center and the next a group is building schools in Nepal.


mama EDUCATION

CRANLEIGH ABU DHABI IS A BRITISH-STYLE SCHOOL

Curriculum challenges Sometimes a significant proportion of the timetable can be taken up by topics that need to be covered under local legislation and this can have an impact on the delivery of the international curriculum. There are advantages in choosing, for example, the British National Curriculum, as you can be sure that if you walk into a school in the UAE or a school in rural Suffolk you will be likely to see virtually the same lesson in progress. Yet, while the same topics will be covered, sometimes these very similarities can raise questions. How appropriate is it, after all, to be reading a book about snowmen and conker fights when you are sitting in a multi-cultural environment at the other side of the world?

The full experience?

Preparing our children Children learn to make friends quickly and deep bonds are formed from shared experiences. Children brought up overseas have to learn to be flexible and adaptable. They learn to appreciate others’ viewpoints, gain confidence in critical analysis and independent thinking, and often leave the country competent in more than one language. Mirrored with the opportunity to look at further education across the globe, it is not hard to see how international students gain an edge when it comes to the workplace.

THE CONS

Feeling rootless For some children, being a “Third Culture Kid” can mean they struggle to claim an identity. Being born to parents of two different nationalities and

GEMS NEW MILLENNIUM SCHOOL OFFERS THE CBSE CURRICULUM

educated in a third can leave a sense of cultural dislocation. This can also be true of children who spend an extended period of time being educated outside of their home country, where they can lose touch with the cultural references and “in stories”. You may need to work hard to make sure your child retains these connections. On top of that, international schools can often host quite transient families, so friends and teachers will come and go. It can be disconcerting for children, who have formed a strong emotional attachment to someone, to find people suddenly move on mid-term. It does, however, teach children to be very resilient and flexible with regards to social circles.

Many UAE schools are producing outstanding academic results, but there can sometimes be a lack of extended opportunities for extra-curricular activities. For some parents there is a constant worry about whether or not their children are achieving at the same level as their peers back home and whether they are reaching their full educational potential. However, many parents find that if their children do transition back to a school at home they are often more than a match for their peer group and certainly have a more varied range of experiences to draw on. For those parents who are seriously concerned about how their child compares, there are assessments such as UKiset, which can put your mind at rest. There may be some negatives attached to an international education, but we believe they are vastly outweighed by the positives. Being educated in an international school gives children the opportunity to become culturally sensitive, confident and independent young people ready for the next step on the global stage – something most parents would see as a huge advantage.

S O P H I E OA K E S Education Consultant Gabbitas Education Middle East April 201 8

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Kids Academy Street No. 27, Al Mushrif 02 441 1991

to know Mama’s guide to top nurseries and preschools in the UAE

A BU D H ABI Apple Bee Nursery Villa 22, Hazaa Bin Zayed Street, Al Rawdah Area 02 443 4747 Blooming Buds Nursery Between Khlaleej Al Arabi Street (30th) and 32nd Street, Intersecting at Al Saada Street (19th) 02 491 8068 Bright Beginnings Nursery Al Ayay Street, Near to Al Muhairi Mosque, Mehairba 02 445 5339

Bright Beginnings Nursery Al Mushrif 02 449 2840 Bright Beginnings Nursery NYU Abu Dhabi, B2 Building 02 628 4816 British Orchard Nursery Villa 2, Al Ladeem Street, Al Nahyan Camp 02 443 9892 British Orchard Nursery Al Falah Street, Al Bateen 02 622 2903

Children’s House Montessori Casa 7, Street 23, Khalifa City 02 444 1150 Falcon British Nursery 200 Saif Ghobash Street, Zayed Sports City 02 444 8814 Future Nursery Villa 4, Behind ADCB Building, Airport Road 02 445 3933 Greenopia Eco Preschool Villa 5, Al Rowdah – Karamah Street, Opposite Umm Al Emarat Park 02 679 8887 Hummingbird Nursery Amaya Towers, Al Reem Island 02 671 7701 Humpty Dumpty Nursery Street 11, Al Bateen 02 666 3277 Humpty Dumpty Nursery Street 16, Khalifa City 02 556 1068 Kids Academy 17th Street, Khalifa City A 02 557 7636

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Kids Academy Al Khaleej Al Arabi St. Al Bateen 02 446 6484 Kipinä 13 Al Mirzam Street, Al Bateen 800 547462 Kipinä 84, Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Al Mushrif 800 547462 Ladybird Nursery Villa 18, 4th Street, Al Zaabi Area 02 667 3881 Mindchamps Nursery Bloom Gardens, Al Muntazah 02 610 9666 Odyssey Nursery Street 20, Plot 41, Khalifa City A 02 665 5994 Redwood Montessori Nursery Street 38, Khalifa City A 02 556 4611 Redwood Montessori Nursery Abu Al Abyad Street, Gate A, Villa 21, Al Bateen 02 667 3741 Redwood Montessori Nursery Saadiyat Island 02 643 2888 Step by Step Nursery Villa 11 & 13, Al Huwelat Street, Al Bateen 02 665 3331 Stepping Stones Nursery Villa 22, Mileih Street, Al Bateen 02 681 5583

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essentials DIRECTORY

Crystal Valley Nursery Arabian Center, Khawaneej Road, Al Mizhar 04 284 5519

Jebel Ali Village Nursery Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club, Al Qudra Road, Near Arabian Ranches 04 368 9882

Emerald City Nursery 21st street, Jumeirah 2 04 349 0848

Jebel Ali Village Nursery Discovery Pavillion Mall, Discovery Gardens, Al Furjan 04 551 6335

Stepping Stones Nursery Villa 3, 3rd Street, Abu Dhabi Gate City 02 558 8318

Blossom Marina Nursery Beauport Tower, Marina Promenade, Dubai Marina 04 422 1068

Golden Gate Nursery Building 27, 6B Street Umm Al Sheif-367 04 321 6069

Stepping Stones Nursery 26th Street, Khalifa City A 02 556 5991

Blossom Mudon Nursery Al Salam Town Center, Mudon 04 551 9330

Stepping Stones Nursery Villa 37, Street 12, Sector 40 Muroor 02 443 4430

Blossom Village Nursery Villa 43, Street Al Ragay, Umm Suqeim 1 04 394 8837

Homegrown Children’s Eco Nursery Street 33, Al Safa 2 04 321 8333

The Windsor Early Years Nursery Street 23, Khalifa City A 02 557 9295 White Fields Nursery Villa 4, Corner of Delma Street, 32nd Street, Al Bateen 02 666 0826

D U BA I Blossom Burj Nursery Villa 37 Street 10A, Umm Al Sheif 04 348 6275 Blossom Downtown Nursery Yansoon 7, Al Manzil District, Downtown Dubai 04 448 7661 Blossom Early Learning Centre Block 12, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai-Al Ain Road 04 421 4458

British Orchard Nursery Villa 20A, Street 33, Al Mankhool, Bur Dubai 04 398 3536 British Orchard Nursery Villa 35, Jumeirah Road, Umm Suqeim 1 04 395 3570 British Orchard Nursery Opposite Choithrams, Dubai Silicon Oasis 04 388 6602 British Orchard Nursery Business Central Towers, Dubai Media City 04 438 5255 British Orchard Nursery Shams 2 Plaza Level Jumeirah Beach Residence 04 447 5881 CreaKids The Sustainable City 04 240 6728 CreaKids Egypt Court, Ibn Battuta Mall 04 368 4130

Hummingbird Nursery Precinct Building 5, DIFC 04 370 0449 Hummingbird Nursery Limestone House, DIFC 04 379 9800 Hummingbird Nursery Building 7, Bay Square 04 552 1909 Indigo Valley Nursery 13A Street, Al Twar 2 04 263 3544 Jebel Ali Village Nursery Honsho Street, Motor City 04 422 1415 Jebel Ali Village Nursery Lakes Club House, Emirates Living 04 454 8404 Jebel Ali Village Nursery Al Bahar Tower 1, Jumeirah Beach Residence 04 424 3791 Jebel Ali Village Nursery Al Furjan South, Al Furjan Pavilion, Meadows Village 04 420 8267

Kids Cottage Nursery Al Heeba Street, Umm Suqeim 04 394 2145 Ladybird Nursery Villa 8 & 10, Street 25A, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 1 04 344 1011 Ladybird Nursery District 12, Street 26, Jumeirah Village Circle 04 553 9900 Redwood Montessori Nursery Mezzanine Floor, Building 8, Golden Mile, Palm Jumeirah 04 248 5854 The Wonder Years Nursery Motor City, Dubai Sports City 04 368 5600 Toddler Town British Nursery Amwaj 5 Plaza Level, Dubai Marina 04 452 8080 Toddler Town British Nursery Villa 20, 21st Street, Al Safa (Al Manara), Jumeirah 04 388 2999 Willow Children’s Nursery Al Wasl Road 050 472 5890 Yellow Brick Road Nursery Street 31 A, Al Garhoud, Across the road from Irish Village 04 282 8290

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m am a

GOODBYE

Last Word

The UAE and Me

THEXXX PIECES REPRESENT XXXXXX XX XX XXX 'TRADITIONAL TIMELESS XXXXX XXXX XXX FASHION'

Every month, we get to know a new family and what they like most about this place they call “home” means that keeping in touch with our family back home can be relatively easy. Q Where do you love to eat out? A We love to go to Organic Foods & Café because they do such a good range of vegetarian food and it’s easier to eat healthily there. When at the mall we like to eat at Le Pain Quotidien – again, for its simple range of healthy, delicious foods.

Q What is it about the UAE that you and your family love? A Obviously, the climate is a real bonus. But, also, the UAE provides a wide range of facilities – malls, restaurants and entertainment venues – that are equal to, if not better than, those found in the best cities in the world. Plus, the air connections with other areas of the world are excellent, which

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Q Where is your favourite place to shop for kids? A Dragon Mart 2 is a great place to pick up bargains for children. We have got large playmats and playpens at reasonable prices. It’s worth checking it out fi rst if you have some big purchases to make.

Did you give birth in the UAE? Yes, I gave birth at Al Zahra Hospital. Antenatal care was good and the birthing experience went well. All the facilities there were excellent and I felt they looked after us well. Q A

Q What do you all like to do on the weekends? A Our little boy is only one year old, but we try to do a range of activities such as going to the pool or the beach. Soft play areas are really good when it’s too hot outside. We enjoy going to Ripe Market on a Friday morning and meet with friends for a social lunch at the Polo Club. Taking the dog for a walk is always a family favourite. We often go to The Irish Village, too, as it’s child- and dog-friendly. Q What’s the first thing you do with visitors when they’re here? A The desert safari is a favourite. A dhow ride is a nice, leisurely pursuit. Also, a good way to explore Dubai is with a Big Bus Tour. Of course, the Burj Khalifa should never be missed. There is so much to do here.

BECKY CLEMSON Age: 33 Nationality: British Occupation: Photographer Kids: One aged one Lives: Layan, Dubai Land

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Š2018. All rights reserved Young Soles. Photography by Emma Donnelly.

A cool treat for little feet www.youngsoles.co.uk Use code ABM18 for 10% off all orders Promotional code only applicable to footwear bought from the official Young Soles website. Offer expires 30 April 2018.

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Absolutely Mama Emirates - Issue One 2018  
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