ALSO INSIDE: Fish ‘n’ chips, alternative nights out and we talk to Beady Eye
+ WIN! A TRIP TO THE W DOHA WITH FLIGHTS
FIND YOUR PERFECT SPORT
UAE DHS 10 OMAN RO 1.000
Get ready to enter the record books. Travel on a journey through the history of the U.A.E to above the clouds and beyond your highest expectations. With timed ticketing for your convenience, visit At the Top, Burj Khalifa to see Dubai as it has never been seen before. For more information please call us on 800 AT THE TOP, or visit www.atthetop.ae to purchase your tickets today.
15 Find the sport for you How long have you been meaning to get back into that sport you loved so much as a teenager? Well, the weather is cooling, the new sports seasons are starting – now is the time 21 Abu Dhabi’s alternative nights out Bored of the standard bar, brunch, cinema merrygo-round? Try one of these alternative nights out 24 Fish ‘n’ chips: tested There’s always controversy when it comes to judging a classic dish, but we braved the harsh debate to bring you our verdict on Abu Dhabi’s best fish ‘n’ chips
26 Beady Eye Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher reveals that he enjoys “super cuddles” ahead of his new band’s Abu Dhabi gig this month. He’s changed
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 3
The round up
8 Salaam Rumours, news, mustvisit events, what’s hot, what’s not and more 13 Win, win, win Do we have some exciting prizes for you lucky pups this month? Yes, yes we do 28 Film The only opinion you need to read on this month’s movie releases, including the long-awaited Captain America and Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, the absurdly premised Cowboys And Aliens, Friends With Beneﬁts, Conan The Barbarian, The Smurfs and Final Destination 5 31 Eating out Our verdict on the new menus at Bord Eau and Café Chic, chatting with a salt sommelier, the new Mad Men lunch at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, railway-themed burger joint Grand Central, ﬁne Indian dining at Mahec, The Critic on buffets, our monthly Twitter recipe, food news and latest restaurant openings 39 Arts Dutch-born snapper Erwin Olaf on his show at Carbon 12 Gallery, ﬁve must-see exhibitions and The Insider on the growing inﬂuence of the Internet on the art world 43 Shopping All the latest offerings from the region’s stores, new openings, how to fold a pocket square and the ins and outs of personal shopping 47 Mind & body Five of the best deep tissue massages, spa news, the solution to a beauty dilemma and a tantalising giveaway 51 Sport & outdoor Fencing lessons, and Mr Fitness answers all your well-being woes 55 Club diary The club scene returns with a vengeance this month, plus we meet the dXb Beach Festival line-up 59 Travel Forty-eight hours in Istanbul, plus travels with award-winning Palestinian ﬁlmmaker Najwa Najjar, bargain breaks and our spanking new travel clinic with terribly welltravelled Open Skies editor, Conor Purcell 65 Hot list The deﬁnitive list of the capital’s best bars, brunches, restaurants and spas 82 Backchat Girl about town DJ Natalie Brogan on the capital’s quickly changing club scene
4 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
This month we've been...
Editor-in-Chief Obaid Humaid Al Tayer Group Editor & Managing Partner lan Fairservice Group Senior Editor Gina Johnson | email@example.com Senior Editor Mark Evans | firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Editor Helen Spearman | email@example.com Features & Food Editor Gareth Rees | firstname.lastname@example.org Features Editor, Abu Dhabi Adam Workman | email@example.com Sta Writer Matt Priest | firstname.lastname@example.org Chief Sub Editor Iain Smith | email@example.com Senior Designer Sheila Cariño-Deocareza | firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Co-ordinator Concessa D’souza | email@example.com Editorial Assistant/Picture Researcher Jing Flores | firstname.lastname@example.org Picture Researcher – Gulfpics Wayne Fernandez | email@example.com Contributors Victor Besa, James Brennan, Louise Browne, Stephen Cheetham, Vikram Gawde, James Houghton, Catherine Jarvie, Dan Marsh, Charles Pocock, Mark Powell, Conor Purcell, Sarah Joan Ross, Farooq Salik, Paul Sterry Senior Production Manager Sunil Kumar | firstname.lastname@example.org Production Manager Sudhakar Chandran | email@example.com Production Supervisor Murali Krishnan | firstname.lastname@example.org General Manager – Group Sales Anthony Milne | email@example.com Advertisement Manager Varsha Bhatia | firstname.lastname@example.org General Manager, Abu Dhabi Joe Marrit | email@example.com Senior Advertisement Manager, Abu Dhabi Darryl Wiley | firstname.lastname@example.org Senior Sales Executive, Abu Dhabi Hamdan Bawazir | email@example.com
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Testing ﬁsh ‘n’ chips, p24
Rounding up Abu Dhabi’s sports clubs, p15
Learning how to fence, p51
Sport, where I’m from, consists of one thing: football. In the north-east of England, you’re either a football fan, or you’re someone who’s just visiting the north-east of England. Even now, thousands of miles away from England, my life still pretty much revolves around football, and more speciﬁcally Sunderland AFC. Don’t even think of planning anything with me on a Saturday – Saturday is football day, Sunderland are playing, so I’m busy. Actually, the way the English game is these days, thanks to satellite TV, Sundays and Mondays are also football days, and then there’s the midweek ﬁxtures, and cup games and, well, you get the picture. It’s not just me – you try calling my house back home on match day and chances are the only person who'll answer the phone will be my mam, and even then she’ll probably tell you to call back after the game. Here in the Emirates, there is, thankfully, more on oﬀer. Sport in Abu Dhabi represents not just a chance to watch games, but to get involved – and that means a chance to make new friends and ﬁll your weekends with something other than malls and brunches. From rugby to running, badminton to basketball, and, yes, football too, if there’s sport going on in Abu Dhabi, we’ll show you how to get involved, join the team and where to buy the T-shirt. If all that’s sounding a tad energetic for you, then worry not, there are plenty of other distractions to keep you going this month, including our take on Abu Dhabi’s alternative nights out, the capital’s best ﬁsh ’n’ chips, and we chat to (well, the bits I could print, anyway) erstwhile Oasis singer and now Beady Eye frontman, Liam Gallagher. Enjoy the issue.
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SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 7
Life in Abu Dhabi, in bite-sized chunks
We’re o cially part of the Twitterati. Follow us @WhatsOnAbuDhabi for exclusive updates on nightlife, restaurants and more around the UAE. Tweet yourself.
In response to the terrible droughts a icting the African country, the UAE is sending humanitarian aid to refugee camps in Somalia.
Rounding up the UAE’s latest rumours this month
EMINEM We have it on very good authority that Marshall Mathers will be heading our way very soon. Expect the shady slim one to do his thing somewhere big – probably on Yas Island.
Motorists will be given 30 per cent o their tra c nes for three months, starting this month. Pay up while it’s cheap, and don’t do it again. This means you.
The rst bricks of the new 30,000sq/ft Wahat Hilli Mall in Al Ain have been laid.
BRITNEY SPEARS Unquestionably pop royalty, Britney, according to our insider, will be headlining a sporting event near you soon, although we can’t say what. ‘Sporting event’, yeah? Have a think. Cars? Fast cars? Oh, OK, the F1 – she’ll be headlining the F1 after-race events. We’re rubbish with secrets.
ID CARD FINES
As of mid-October not having an Emirates ID card will cost residents Dhs20 per day, according to the Emirates Identity Authority.
NOEL GALLAGHER AND THE HIGH FLYING BIRDS Anything you can do, I can do better – seems to be a common taunt around the Gallagher household. Hot on the heels of Liam Gallagher’s Beady Eye visit this month (p26), our man on the inside tells us that ‘moves are afoot’ to bring brother Noel’s ensemble of popsters to the UAE.
So far this year, police from the capital have given out 2,302 parking violations to people parking in spaces reserved for the disabled and the emergency services.
It was announced that rapper 50 Cent was playing Dubai this month. Yay. But then he cancelled. Boo. From hot to not in one swift ‘contractual argument’.
THIS MONTH WE'RE GOING TO...
BACK TO SCHOOL To celebrate the end of the hottest part of the year, live music from Brothers Three and drinks deals are tempting us to the Captain’s Arms. Sept 8, Captain’s Arms, Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, 6pm to late. Tel: (02) 6446666. lemeridienabudhabi.com
8 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
Matthew Curtis, musician, Abu Dhabi Big Band
Music society I play with the Abu Dhabi Big Band and the UAE Philharmonic Orchestra. We have an upcoming concert featuring Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue – not the orchestral version, but the little known original big band version. abudhabibigband.com Live music I love Emirates Palace. It has great seats – all of which have outstanding views and the acoustics are truly stunning. Emirates Palace Auditorium, Emirates Palace, Corniche, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6909000. emiratespalace.com Diary highlights I’m always very eager to see Abu Dhabi Classics. Every year it has the best orchestras, conductors, and soloists playing and the local schools are able to work with some of the artists. abudhabiclassics.com Eating out I love hot and spicy food, so it’s Indigo for me. It has a lovely setting and the food is simply amazing – I’d recommend the shared assortment of kebabs. I challenge you to nd a better starter in the city. Indigo, Beach Rotana Hotel, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6979334. rotana.com
WIN! A balloon ﬂight
After shutting down for the summer, those adrenaline junkies over at Balloon Adventures are back, so we’re giving away two hot air balloon ights to watch the sunrise. Don’t say that we don’t spoil you. For your chance to win, email email@example.com with ‘balloon‘ in the subject line and tell us: Which gas do you put into party balloons? a) Helium b) Oxygen c) Gasoline
The world in union
Has it really been four years since the Rugby World Cup? You betcha. Starting on Sept 9, the best players on the planet will square o in New Zealand to win the big one. Despite the eight hour time di erence, we’ve rounded up three bars where you can catch the action
For basic and semi professional instruments, Thomsun has a good selection; they’ll even order things in. Thomsun Electronics, Hamdan Street, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6779230
Shopping In terms of CDs, it has to be Virgin – not the greatest selection, but it’s certainly a start. Virgin Megastore, Abu Dhabi Mall, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6447882. virginmegastore.me
The multiple screens at 3rd Avenue will be showing recorded repeats of all the matches at more reasonable hours, and it is also matching up food and drinks with the countries competing. 3rd Avenue, Sheraton Khalidiyah, Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, from sunset. Tel: (02) 6666220. sheratonkhalidiyaabudhabi.com
Expect the NRG sports café to be wearing its All Black colours proud during the month as their New Zealander executive chef, Daniel Brooker, prepares snacks and drinks from his homeland to show his support. All the recorded matches will be shown on giant indoor and outdoor screens. NRG, Le Méridien, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6446666
GIRAFFE PETTING The Al Ain Zoo has opened its new gira e feeding station, allowing visitors to get up close and take part in their feeding, which happens ve times a day. Al Ain Zoo, Khalifa Ibn Zayed Al Awwal Street. Dhs15 adults, Dhs5 children. Tel: (800) 2977. awpr.ae
TREASURE HUNTING Fancy working out clues as you race your way across the capital to nd secret locations? Of course you do. Join in with the InterContinetal’s treasure hunt to win mini-breaks at the hotel. Sept 15, InterContinental Hotel, Abu Dhabi, 1pm to 4pm. Tel: (02) 6666888. facebook.com/intercontiad
If you can’t be there live, then grouping your mates together and shepherding them to a bar is a pretty good alternative. As the RWC kicks o you can catch the ‘early’ matches of Argentina, England, South Africa, and Australia live at Heroes. Crowne Plaza, Hamdan Street, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6166132
Find us at www.facebook.com/WhatsOnAbuDhabi
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 9
IN THE NEWS
The UAE is currently looking for a way to increase rainfall, with the National Centre For Meteorology & Seismology using planes to facilitate cloud growth. Experts believe cloud seeding can increase the expected annual rainfall by
Who says that celebrities just sit in their mansions bathing in a sea of gold coins? As lm star LEONARDO DICAPRIO is con rmed as a member the judging board for this year’s Abu Dhabi Energy Prize, we scan our eyes over other green-conscious celebrities.
Message in a bottle
How many bottles of water do you drink a day? Environmental research organisation Worldwatch Institute claims that the UAE goes through 275 litres of bottled water per person every year – the highest per capita in the world.
Worked with Greenpeace and the US Natural Resources Defense Council. He is also an ambassador for UNICEF Ireland
Creator of the All At Once campaign and the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation based in Hawaii
Since the speed limit on the Abu Dhabi to Dubai highway was cut by 20km/h to 140km/h, back in April, accidents on the road linking the two emirates have dropped 30 per cent, compared to last year’s ﬁgures.
NEW SPEED LIMIT SAVES LIVES
The director of the Farm Aid festival since 2001, and a vocal supporter of biofuels
ACCIDENTS FROM APRIL TO JULY 2011 ACCIDENTS FROM APRIL TO JULY 2010
Co-founded the Rainforest Foundation Fund, which campaigns to protect rainforests worldwide
10 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
ABU DHABI AL WAHDA MALL 97 1. 2.4437213 MARINA MALL 97 1. 2.6811464
DUBAI DEIRA CIT Y CENTRE 971.4. 2943057 THE DUBAI MALL 97 1.4.3399472
KUWAIT 360 MALL (OPENING SOON)
PROJECT MK-9985 UAE WHAT’S ON MAG
ISSUE/POST DATE SEPT 11
The Dubai Mall
A unique French ‘art de vivre’
MoE: 04 341 4844 - DCC: 04 295 8404 - Burjuman: 04 351 7009 - Mercato: 04 349 9115 Waﬁ City: 04 327 9669 - JBR, The Walk: 04 437 6494 Mirdif City Center: Tel. 04 284 3223 - The Dubai Mall: Tel. 04 339 8036 - Dubai Airport - T3: 04 220 3360 - Dubai Int’l Airport - T1: 04 224 5526
To enter any of these fantastic competitions, just email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the prize in the subject line and the correct answer to the relevant question
WIN! WIN! WIN!
A trio of treats for your competitive pleasures
WIN! AFTERNOON TEAS AND A CULINARY JOURNEY AT SOFITEL DUBAI
Take a tasty tour of the Sofitel Dubai, with these waist-widening prizes. To celebrate the new menus at the hotel’s restaurants, we have a Culinary Journey for two people, allowing the hungry winner and a friend to dine in AOC, Rococo, Plantation and The Hub and more, all on September 28. We’re also treating one winner and three friends to the Friday afternoon tea at Plantation, where you’ll find a traditional spread with a French twist. For your chance to win these fantastic feeds, answer this question… Which of the following is not usually found at an afternoon tea? a) Scones b) Miniature sandwiches c) Butter chicken
WIN! A LUXURY BREAK AT THE W DOHA, PLUS FLIGHTS WITH FLYDUBAI WIN! BIO SCULPTURE A luxury city break is closer than you think, more than 40 destinations across the Middle NAIL TREATMENTS AT with this weekend escape at the W Doha East, Asia, Africa and the fringes of Europe, – home to stylish restaurants by Michelinallowing more people to travel to more NIVEA HAUS starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, places, more often. All fares are one way and
the hottest nightspots in the city, and the region’s rst Bliss Spa. One lucky winner and a friend will live it up with the New York Is Just 5 Minutes Away package, kicking back or party hard, enjoying a W suite for the night, breakfast for two, Friday brunch at Spice Market restaurant, poolside relaxation at Wet, including a couple of drinks, then a private cabana at Wahm lounge before moving onto nightclub Crystal for the full VIP treatment and your own table. You’ll even receive an after-party munchie box and 6pm check out the next day. Wowsers. The trip also includes return ights with ydubai. Since its rst ight in June 2009, ydubai – Dubai’s pioneering low-cost airline – has been dedicated to making travel a little less complex, a little less stressful and a little less expensive. The airline now ies to inclusive of taxes, plus one piece of hand luggage weighing up to 7kg and a small handbag or laptop bag. Customers then pay for any extras they want, such as checked baggage, which starts at Dhs50 for 20kg, or a seat with extra legroom for Dhs100. The inight entertainment also means passengers can now watch movies and TV programmes onboard, as well as play games or listen to music. For more information and a full list of destinations, visit ydubai.com. If you’d like the chance to win this fantastic mini-break, simply tell us… Doha is the capital of which country? a) Qatar b) Kuwait c) Kazakhstan
Are your nails a mess? Are you in desperate need of pampering? We’ve teamed up with luxurious sanctuary NIVEA Haus to sort out the digits of some needy winners, with one Bio Sculpture French manicure, two colour manicures and three everlasting manicures to give away. Bio Sculpture uses layers of colour, sealed by UV light, so there’s no waiting around, no danger of smudging, and it lasts for weeks. For your chance to win beauti ed nails, you’ll have to get this question right: What colour are the tips of your nails when you have a French manicure? a) White b) Red c) Black
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 13
FIND THE SPORT FOR YOU
There’s nothing more primal than putting one foot in front of the other – quickly
ESSENTIAL KIT: RUNNING TRAINERS
Have you been planning to pick up your trusty tennis racquet, polish off your footie boots or bring that faithful cricket bat out of retirement? Well, as the summer heat slides away and the new sports season is upon us, now is the time to sign up
SIGN UP FOR A RACE…
ABU DHABI STRIDERS Running since 1984, Abu Dhabi Striders hold three sessions a week, including intervals and a Dhs5 run where each runner predicts his or her time and the closest prediction wins, as well as organising a 10km race and a half marathon. If you’re planning on running in the capital, these guys should be your rst port of call. Interval training, Hilton Abu Dhabi car park, Abu Dhabi, Sun 6.30pm and Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Tue 5.30am, free. Predictor session, corner of 11th and 34th Street, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, Wed 6.10pm, Dhs5. E-mail: admin@ abudhabistriders.com
it and want to challenge yourself under race conditions, sign up. Spectators can observe the race from the clubhouse while tucking into a nice breakfast. Oct 21, Haddins, Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, 7am, Dhs130 to Dhs320. premiermarathons.com ABU DHABI STRIDERS HALF MARATHON AND 10KM ose Abu Dhabi Striders put on their second race in as many months on the impressive Yas Island, and the weather in November will be perfect for running. With a cut-o time of three and a half hours, it’s a good option for intermediate runners looking to do their rst half marathon. Unprepared newbies should wait until 2012. Nov 18, Flash Forum, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 6.30am to 10am, 10km Dhs120, half marathon Dhs130. premiermarathons.com ADNIC YAS RUN 2011 e ADNIC Yas Run starts late in the a ernoon, so if you’re a runner who takes a bit of time to get the motor running, it’s just the ticket. Anyone harbouring a desire to set foot on the hallowed track at the Yas Marina Circuit should also sign up. You can take your pick from a 1km, 3km and 10km run. Nov 26, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, 4pm, 1km and 3km Dhs50, 10km Dhs200. adnicyasrun.ae
RAK HALF MARATHON 2012 We’ve run this twice, and even though the course is pretty dull, it’s a superb event with competitors ying in from around the globe to take part and a real carnival atmosphere. Feb 17, 2012, Near Manar Mall, Ras Al Khaimah, Dhs150. premiermarathons.com DUBAI MARATHON e Dubai Marathon has what is perhaps the most tedious course imaginable, but it’s an exciting event and the only option for anyone wanting to try the full 26.2 miles (42.195km). Jan 27, 2012, Dubai, Dhs370. dubaimarathon.org
Abu Dhabi is not awash with ESSENTIAL options when it KIT: WHITES comes to cricket, but the (SHIRT AND glorious thump of leather TROUSERS), PADS, BOX, BAT, GLOVES, on willow can be sought HELMET out in Al Ain
JOIN A CLUB…
ALOFT RUNS FOR CHILDREN 2011 No matter what your level of running ability, this charity run in aid of UNICEF has a race distance for you, o ering the option of running endlessly from 8am to 6pm, tackling 6km, 10km or 20km, or taking part in a team relay. e event will be held at the 2km indoor track at ADNEC. Children below 12 run for free. Registration closes on September 7. Sept 9, ADNEC, Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi, 7am to 6.30pm, individual Dhs150 to Dhs200, team relay Dhs450 to Dhs1,000. premiermarathons.com ZAYED SPORTS CITY 10KM RACE Organised by Abu Dhabi Striders in support of e School For Special Needs, this is a sensibly priced 10km run. So, if you think you’re up to
JOIN A CLUB…
AL AIN CRICKET ASSOCIATION Set up in 1989, Al Ain Cricket Association claims to be one of the first bodies to organise cricket matches in the UAE. Current senior vice president, and captain of the WED Cricket Club, Doctor Ahmad Tariq Ansari, is the man to contact if you’re interested in joining a team or entering a team in one of the association’s leagues or tournaments. Al Ain Cricket Association, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (050) 6231590. alaincricketassociation.org
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 15
If you miss having your feet on the pedals and the wind caressing your face, our fine emirate has it all
The beautiful game is, unsurprisingly, the most widespread sport in the Emirates, so finding somewhere to play is a painless process
ESSENTIAL KIT: SHIRT, SHORTS, SOCKS, SHIN PADS, BOOTS (OR SUITABLE SPORTS SHOES/ INDOOR BOOTS), GLOVES FOR GOALKEEPERS
JOIN A CLUB…
ESSENTIAL ABU DHABI TRI CLUB KIT: As is to be expected, Abu BIKE, Dhabi Tri Club is not all HELMET about cycling, but it does put on weekly rides as well as a newbie ride on the rst Friday of every month. e club welcomes beginners, and rides are designed to accommodate slower cyclists. Spinneys Kalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, Fri 5.30am and Al Raha International School, Khalifa City A, Abu Dhabi, Fri 5.30am and Sat 7.30am, free. Tel: (050) 6109506. abudhabitriclub.org
JOIN A LEAGUE…
FREE CYCLE SESSIONS…
ABU DHABI FOOTBALL LEAGUE e city’s foremost amateur soccer league’s second season gets underway in early October, expanding from a 17-team league to 24 teams playing outdoor seven-a-side matches across two divisions. Registration is open now. ere is also a women’s indoor seven-a-side league, which swells to 16 teams for 2011-12. The Dome @ Rawdhat, Airport Road, Abu Dhabi, Dhs100 per person, plus team fees. Tel: (02) 4498480. adﬂ.ae DUBAI WOMEN’S LEAGUE ere is a capital city presence in the Dubai Women’s league, and its winter season starts in mid-September. To join, attend a training session at Jebel Ali Centre Of Excellence on either September 19 or 26 and you’ll be allocated to a team according to ability. Jebel Ali Centre Of Excellence, Jebel Ali Shooting Club, Jebel Ali, Dubai, membership Dhs100 per person, plus team fees. Tel: (050) 6598767. dubaiwfa.com
DUPLAYS Duplays’ outdoor seven-a-side Fever Pitch league starts on September 20 at Zayed Sports City. It’s recommended for those looking to get involved as an individual: in addition to entering an entire team, you can opt to be placed in one by Duplays. Sept 20, Zayed Sports City, Airport Road, Abu Dhabi, Tue and Wed, 8.20pm to 10pm, Dhs500 per individual or Dhs3,750 per team. Tel: (04) 4472394. abudhabi.duplays.com
HIRE A PITCH…
ZAYED SPORTS CITY Not confident riding on the roads? Unprepared for a race? Pop along to Zayed Sports City with your trusty cycle and enjoy gliding around the track for absolutely nothing. Don’t forget your helmet. Airport Road, Abu Dhabi, daily 7am to midnight, free. Tel: (02) 4034222. zsc.ae TRAIN YAS Visit the Yas Marina Circuit site, register for your Train Yas ID card and you will be able to attend the Train Yas evenings every Tuesday on Yas Island. Runners, walkers and, most importantly, cyclists are welcome. Yas Racing School, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Tue 6pm to 8pm, free. Tel: (02) 6599999. yasmarinacircuit.com
ARMED FORCES OFFICERS CLUB e Armed Forces O cers Club’s extensive facilities include indoor and outdoor pitches. Armed Forces Oﬃcers Club & Hotel, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi, daily 7am to 11pm, pitches Dhs500 to Dhs900 for two hours. Tel: (02) 4415900. afoc.mil.ae ZAYED SPORTS CITY For the full 11-a-side experience, there are some top quality full-sized facilities for hire at Zayed Sports City, which boasts nine all-yearround grass training pitches. Zayed Sports City, Airport Road, Abu Dhabi, daily 7am to midnight, pitches Dhs400 to Dhs600 per hour. Tel: (02) 4034222. zsc.ae THE DOME @ RAWDHAT The Dome @ Rawdhat boasts a Fifa Grade 2 starred synthetic grass pitch. The Dome @ Rawdhat, Airport Road, Abu Dhabi, daily 9am to midnight, Dhs350 to Dhs750 per hour. Tel: (02) 4498480. thedome.ae
HIRE A BIKE…
ADVENTURE HQ ere isn’t anywhere in the capital to hire a road bike, but Dubai’s new adventure sports paradise, Adventure HQ, rents out mountain bikes and triathlon bikes, as well as car racks if you’re exploring further a eld. Times Square Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Sat to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thurs to Fri 10am to midnight, Dhs100 to Dhs200 per day. Tel: (800) 23836873. adventurehq.ae
BACK TO SCHOOL
Among a multitude of youth football training camps in the Emirates, for sheer kudos the kids are bound to gravitate towards a soccer school endorsed by a true giant of the global game. Manchester United Soccer Schools’ new term begins in October, with the chance to play at Old Trafford up for grabs. Players and prominent club figures are expected to visit throughout the season, which runs in three modules until June 2012. The Dome @ Rawdhat, Airport Road, Abu Dhabi, Dhs1,650 to Dhs3,698. Tel: (02) 4498480. manutdsoccerschools.ae
SIGN UP FOR A RACE…
SPINNEYS DUBAI 92 CYCLE CHALLENGE If you’re not a complete novice, you have just about enough time to prepare for the Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge, run by cycling organisation Cycle Safe Dubai – a 92km jaunt, taking in all the major sights. It should be a wheelie good day (sorry). December 16, outside Dubai Autodrome, Motor City, Dubai, Dhs250. cyclechallenge.ae
16 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
Nowhere in the Emirates possesses better quality rugby union options than the capital
Chances are that no matter where you grew up, at some point during your school days you would have had to play a game of softball JOIN A CLUB… or rounders – and let’s be honest, ESSENTIAL ABU DHABI it was more fun that you KIT: HARLEQUINS SHIRT, SHORTS, were willing to admit ESSENTIAL SOCKS, RUGBY e largest club in at the time. Softball KIT: BOOTS, the Middle East, with A GOOD PAIR OF GUM SHIELD is often unfairly over 700 members and TRAINERS AND regarded as baseball’s A SOFTBALL counting, the Quins are GLOVE lesser cousin, but it a liated with English club doesn’t deserve the London Harlequins. ough their rst XV competes at the highest level in the Emirates, bad rap. What it lacks in the UAE Premiership, they have three bravado and posturing, softball makes up in men’s teams in total, plus a social side and team spirit and accessibility
teams for veterans, ladies and juniors. e men and women’s seasons both start in late September, so training is already underway every Monday and Wednesday night at Zayed Sports City, where new players are welcome. Zayed Sports City, Airport Road, Abu Dhabi, 2011-12 membership fees TBC. Tel: (050) 6145199. abudhabiquins.com ABU DHABI INTERNATIONAL TENNIS COMPLEX While there might not be an organised softball league in the capital, that shouldn’t dampen the ambitions of those wanting to get involved in the sport. The impressive Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex has a softball pitch ready and waiting for you to ‘play ball’. So, if this sounds like your idea of the perfect pastime, round up your friends, colleagues and cousins-once-removed, pick straws and form two teams of nine. Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex, Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, daily 6am to 1am, Dhs600 per hour. Tel: (02) 4034200. zsc.ae
Not a pastime for the fainthearted, the USA’s most punishing team sport has touched down in the UAE
ESSENTIAL KIT: HELMET, SHOULDER PADS AND PROTECTIVE PADDING, JERSEYS, PANTS, SOCKS, GLOVES, BOOTS, GUM SHIELD
ABU DHABI SARACENS e Quins have city-based competition this season in the shape of this new club. Actively seeking new men’s players, with future plans for veterans, ladies and juniors, there are no fees to start with, although if you enjoy the set-up and begin playing competitively, you will need to splash some dirhams for registration. e Saracens are currently running open/free tness training sessions at their Al Ghazal pitch on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Abu Dhabi Saracens, Al Ghazal, Abu Dhabi, 201112 membership fees TBC. Tel: (055) 8007133 or (050) 9014697. abudhabisaracens.com
KIT UAE FALCONS PROVIDED e only full-contact Gridiron club in the Emirates, the UAE Falcons team is testament to the multicultural spread the sport encourages. Founded last year, its 45-player squad is made up of more than 20 nationalities, uniting expats with Emiratis. Currently seeking new players, trials for the new season are planned this month at Al Ittihad School, next to Safa Park in Dubai, while matches take place at e Sevens stadium. And a er 500 hopefuls turned up at last year’s trials, the sport’s popularity in the UAE is certainly in no doubt. e club isn’t solely Dubai-centric, however, with a clutch of Abu Dhabi players on its books. Training is three nights a week, although Abu Dhabi recruits are only expected to train twice a week. ere is currently no league as such, but matches against teams from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain are being lined up for the coming season. With a lack of suppliers of full American footy garb in the Emirates, the Falcons helpfully provide all kit as part of players’ registration fees. The Sevens, Al Ain Road, Dubai, registration fee Dhs2,500 for new players. Tel: (050) 1206154 or (050) 4367649. uaefalconsfootball.com
JOIN A CLUB…
TOUCH & GO
Don’t fancy bone crunching impacts and cauli ower ears? Then touch rugby is a great way to enjoy the sport. It’s essentially the same game, only six-a-side and with the bruising art of tackling replaced by a tap to signify when a player has to release the ball. Because the physicality is removed, the sport is open to men and women of all ages. Abu Dhabi Harlequins is holding a tournament this month, featuring around 20 teams. Abu Dhabi Harlequins, Zayed Sports City, Airport Road, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (050) 6145199. abudhabiquins.com
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 17
The UAE is the ideal place for tennis. It hardly ever rains, and there are dozens of courts scattered around the capital
Anyone who plays netball will laugh off the idea that it’s friendly and girly. Viciously quick hands and a cunning mind are the secret to this sport (although it does pay to be seven foot tall, too)
If you fancy giving a bunch of feathers a good thwacking once a week, sign up to the Badminton ‘Bye Bye Birdie III’ badminton league, or just head along for a one-o session. Oct 11 to Dec 13, Libra Sports Academy, Raha School, Al Raha, Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, Tue 8pm to 10pm, one session Dhs50, ten sessions Dhs550. Tel: (04) 4472394. duplays.com
JOIN A LEAGUE…
ESSENTIAL KIT: Tired of acing the TENNIS same colleague every RACQUET week? en think about getting membership at the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex. Signing up not only gives you priority booking on its nine courts, but it also enters you into a social tennis ladder, pitting you against other tennis upstarts. It’s like your own ATP Tour in your back garden. Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex, Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, 6am to 11pm, membership Dhs1,080 for three months, Dhs2,040 for six months. Tel: (02) 4034200. zsc.ae
JOIN A LEAGUE…
ENJOY A KNOCK ABOUT…
Some people take tennis a bit too seriously. If all you really want to do is knock a few balls about with a mate, then members and non-members alike can book one of the seven courts at the Abu Dhabi Country Club. And the day pass fee also covers the use of the pool. Abu Dhabi Country Club, Al Sade Street, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, day pass Dhs100, tennis court Dhs60 per person. Tel: (02) 6577777. adhfc.com
The Abu Dhabi ESSENTIAL Netball League KIT: starts up again A GOOD on September PAIR OF 20, with Tuesday TRAINERS night games at the InterContinental Hotel running until early April. Divided into three different leagues (A, B and C), the weekly event is not only a great way to let off some steam, but also an opportunity to socialise with other likeminded combatants. Sept 13, InterContinental Hotel, Bainouna Street, Abu Dhabi, registration fee Dhs375 per person. adnetball.com
ABU DHABI GOLF CLUB Whether you’re a complete novice or a fully- edged golf nut, you can always improve your golf swing. The spectacular Abu Dhabi Golf Club is the only place to do so in the capital. But what a course, eh? Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Sas Al Nakhl, Abu Dhabi, individual Dhs280 to Dhs310, on course nine-hole Dhs600, on course 18-holes Dhs900, one month Dhs1,325, two months Dhs2,500, three months Dhs3,750, green fees Dhs425 on peak, Dhs300 oﬀ peak. Tel: (02) 5588990. adgolfclub.com
ENJOY A FRIENDLY THROW ABOUT…
TRY A QUIRKY ALTERNATIVE…
If you’re worried that it all sounds a bit too competitive, the same friendly people at the Abu Dhabi Netball League are hosting a friendly ‘Come and Play’ night on September 13, which is an ideal place to get involved before the serious stuff starts. Sept 13, InterContinental Hotel, Bainouna Street, Abu Dhabi. adnetball.com
If tennis is too mainstream for your liking, then perhaps Abu Dhabi’s newest cutting-edge sport, Padel tennis, might tickle your fancy. While technically very similar to tennis, Padel is played in two teams of two, with a short wooden paddle, on a court surrounded by Plexiglas. It’s the perfect squash-tennis hybrid. Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex, Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, daily 6am to 11pm, Dhs200 per hour or Dhs1,600 for ten vouchers. Tel: (02) 4492160. zsc.ae
A great social sport, squash’s main aim – smashing a rubber ball against a wall – demands surprising levels of ﬁtness. Here are three courts to try… ABU DHABI GOLF CLUB Two courts and stadium seating for spectators. Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Sas Al Nakhl, Abu Dhabi, 6am to 11pm, Dhs100 per hour. Tel: (02) 5588990. adgolfclub.com BEACH ROTANA Two courts. Members’ guests can play by purchasing a one-day Beach Club pass. Beach Rotana, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, 6am to 11pm, free with one-day Beach Club entrance (Dhs85 to Dhs210), members free. Tel: (02) 6979000. rotana.com INTERCONTINENTAL One court, which also welcomes non-members. InterContinental, Bainouna Street, Abu Dhabi, 7am to 10pm, non-members Dhs75 per hour, non-members playing with members Dhs50 per hour, members free. Tel: (02) 6666888. ichotelsgroup.com
After the seeing the glitz and glamour of US college team Duke Blue Devils playing against the UAE national team last month, it is no surprise that basketball has taken o over here. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a LeBron James or a Kobe Bryant, Duplays runs a men’s league with games every Saturday, starting on September 21. If you’re not quite at that level, but fancy a bit of two-on-two with your friends, book a court at the Abu Dhabi Country Club. Sept 21 to Nov 9, Libra Sports Academy, Raha School, Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, Sat 7pm to 10pm, team Dhs2,880, individual Dhs450. Abu Dhabi Country Club, Al Saada Street, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, daily 7am to 1am, Dhs500 per hour. Tel: (02) 6577777. adhfc.com
18 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
ABU DHABI’S ALTERNATIVE NIGHTS OUT
Growing tired of Abu Dhabi’s regular going out options? Not every evening has to end with propping up the bar, you know. Take a look at our pick of the best alternative nights out in the capital…
BEST FOR: COUPLES
WHY? Social networking has been criticised for reducing actual face-to-face interactions. Twitter meet ups – or tweet ups – are the antithesis of such worries, though, and Abu Dhabi has regular gatherings of several dozen microbloggers every few months. e next event is planned for this month, so keep an eye out for the Twitter hashtag #AUHtweetup and more details on twtvite.com. Don’t forget to follow us on @WhatsOnAbuDhabi while you’re at it. twitter.com
BEST FOR: MAKING NEW FRIENDS
WHY? You might not necessarily want to rock up with a group of pals for this evening’s entertainment. But for couples, Zen Spa’s massage classes are a lovely way to learn a new skill with that special person in your life. e therapist teaches a range of basic full body massage techniques. For an extended experience, sign up for a two-hour session. Zen Spa, Beach Rotana, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, until 10pm, one hour Dhs400, 90 minutes Dhs600, two hours Dhs800. Tel: (02) 6979000. rotana.com
WHY? While amateur wine bu s are ten a penny, they can’t rival the knowledge of Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill head sommelier, Daniel Blais. Share his expertise this month with a double helping of nights entitled Sauvignon Siblings, which involves taste testing Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. e evenings include a cocktail reception and wine-paired six-course dinner. Personalised and bespoke tasting sessions are also available on request. Sept 11 and 25, Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 7pm, Dhs690. Tel: (02) 6543333. fairmont.com
WHY? Craving high culture? A night of thespian delights should sort you out. Abu Dhabi company Resuscitation eatre has adapted e Cocktail Party from TS Eliot’s original tale, following four characters who discover dark secrets about each other in the wake of the eponymous party. Running for two consecutive weekends, the play features a cast of ten di erent nationalities, with just 50 seats per performance, so don’t hang about booking your tickets. Sept 29, 30 and Oct 1, 6, 7, 8, Cubes, One To One Hotel – The Village, Al Salam Street, Abu Dhabi, 7.30pm, Dhs50. Tel: (02) 4952000. resuscitationtheatre.com
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 21
WHY? There are few more breathtaking sights in the Emirates than watching the sun setting over Abu Dhabi’s glistening waters. You can also take in an unobstructed view of the city’s landmarks from a different perspective with the Sheraton’s sunset cruises along The Corniche. If you’re lucky, you may even spot dolphins frolicking during the half hour trip. Groups can hire private cruises by the boat and book on a weekday during September for 20 per cent o . Sheraton, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, half an hour before sunset, Dhs50 per person, private cruise Dhs200 per boat. Tel: (02) 6773333. sheraton.com
BEST FOR: ROMANCE
WHY? Every clever clogs worth their salt wants to prove they’re a little bit smarter than the next person, and general knowledge ends can do precisely that at Abu Dhabi Golf Club’s fortnightly quiz. Entry is free, which is even ner value for (no) money considering there are various prizes to be won each time. Teams are limited to six people, so select your fellow brain-boxes wisely. Sept 13 and 27, Qanas, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Sas Al Nakhl, Abu Dhabi, 7.30pm, free. Tel: (02) 5588990. adgolfclub.com
BEST FOR: BRAINBOXES
WHY? Laughter may not represent the best medicine here, given you’ll need to descend into the smoky subterranean con nes of the lively Heroes bar for this dose of comedy. You won’t, however, nd any more amusing nights in the capital this month than Laughter Factory. e giggles are provided by Junior Simpson, erstwhile UK TV presenter Paul Tonkinson, and Michael Smiley, also a former house DJ and actor in a host of British television comedies. Sept 13, Crowne Plaza, Hamdan Street, Abu Dhabi, 9pm, Dhs130. Tel: (02) 6210000. thelaughterfactory.com
WHY? Arabic, European and Asian students dance the night away Cuban style under the tutelage of Abu Dhabi International Salsa Festival founder, Brando. Classes are twice a week, booked per month, and groups are welcome. Or if you just have to make your evening bar-based, try out Cinnabar’s salsa nights every Saturday, restarting postRamadan, with all abilities welcome. Dance Studio, International Music Institute, Khalidiyah Street, Abu Dhabi, Mon and Wed, beginners 7.30pm, advance beginners 8.30pm, Dhs250 per person, Dhs400 per couple. Tel: (050) 2684520. salsawithbrando.com Cinnabar, Hilton Abu Dhabi, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, 8pm to 10pm, Dhs30 per person. Tel: (02) 6811900. hilton.com
FOR: WHY? British expats might FOOD associate the words ‘curry LOVERS club’ with a certain national chain of bars back home. In Abu Dhabi, though, it’s an opportunity to experience the very best of the city’s Indian cuisine in the company of other spice lovers. Abu Dhabi Curry Club was set up by UK expat Luke Sloman, who wanted to devour his favourite food and meet some new friends en route. e group is planning fortnightly excursions from September onwards, a er three successful meet ups to date. Tel: (056) 1020498. meetup.com/adcurryclub
FOR: WHY? A perfect pursuit SPORTY for competitive groups TYPES of pals, Al Forsan’s 1.2km outdoor go-karting track is an impressively slick facility. It’s pleasantly affordable for a 15-minute session, too, starting from Dhs120. Should your driving skills prove a magnet to crash barriers, you can be reassured by Al Forsan’s claim that the circuit boasts the most advanced safety features in the world. Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Khalifa City A, Abu Dhabi, daily 2pm to 10pm, Dhs120 to Dhs700. Tel: (02) 5568555. alforsan.com
BEST FOR: FASHIONISTAS
CAKE BAKING & DECORATING
WHY? Domestic goddesses in waiting (and gods, we guess) can turn into con dent bakers in an evening with this crash course in cake making from Abu Dhabi expert, e Sugarlady. A tasty activity for a group of friends, skills taught include creating sugarpaste decorations and buttercream piping. All ingredients and equipment are provided and, best of all, you take away the nished cake a erwards, show o your newfound skills and ll your face. Al Hana Tower, Corniche Road West, Abu Dhabi, 6pm, Dhs500 per person (weekday and weekend classes also available). Tel: (050) 8001086
WHY? Accessorising in an individual manner can be tricky with shopbought jewellery. Making your own pieces immediately releases your imagination, which is what Sally Asha offers with her beaded jewellery classes, starting in September. They include bracelet making and demonstrations of how to make earrings, with tools and materials all provided. Groups of up to seven ladies are welcome per two-hour class. Abu Dhabi, times by appointment, Dhs150 to Dhs200 per person. Tel: (055) 8717207
22 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
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Few traditional treats are so fondly regarded, or hotly debated, as ﬁsh ‘n’ chips. But how do the capital’s offerings measure up?
Feeling peckish? Good, because this wonderfully crispy non-alcoholic beer battered Paci c hoki, skin and all, is a real whopper. Quality and quantity. Fish: 5/5 Chips: 3/5 Extras: 3/5 Price: Dhs60 Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Sas Al Nakhl, Abu Dhabi, 5.30am to midnight. Tel: (02) 5588990. adgolfclub.com
North African river life probably thought it was safe from being served with chips, but this lightly battered Nile perch is given the full treatment. Highlight: thicker-than-ParisHilton home-made chips. Fish: 4/5 Chips: 5/5 Extras: 3/5 Price: Dhs60 Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thurs to Sat 10am to midnight. Tel: (02) 6575888. saadiyat.ae
A huge helping of crispy Nile perch and plump chips was already close to the top of our taste test, even before sampling the almost perfect pot of mushy peas. Turtle power. Fish: 4/5 Chips: 4/5 Extras: 5/5 Price: Dhs60 Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, 6am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 5578000. sbgolfclub.ae
Jones The Grocer
Trust JTG to put an excellent gourmet stamp on a traditional dish: bois boidran sauce lends air to two sizeable lozenges of cod served with addictively ne fries. Fish: 4/5 Chips: 4/5 Extras: 4/5 Price: Dhs49 Various locations, Abu Dhabi. Sun to Thurs 8am to 11pm, Sat 9am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 4438762. jonesthegrocer.com
24 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
3rd Avenue Hemingway’s
Fish ‘n’ chips Mexicano: tomatillo salsa sets these cod llets and fries aside from the pack. Expensive, sure, but there’s nearly enough food for two. Fish: 3/5 Chips: 4/5 Extras: 5/5 Price: Dhs77 Hilton, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, noon to midnight. Tel: (02) 6811900. hilton.com
As well as o ering takeaway for pick-up customers, this cod and chips comes replete with an edible Parmesan bowl. Nice touch. Fish: 4/5 Chips: 3/5 Extras: 4/5 Price: Dhs75 Sheraton Khalidiya, Zayed The First Street, Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, noon to 1am. Tel: (02) 6666220. sheratonkhalidiyaabudhabi.com
London Fish & Chips
is buttered hammour llet is probably the least stodgy in the city, but the peas could have been mushier. Fish: 4/5 Chips: 3/5 Extras: 3/5 Price: Dhs45 Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Hamdan Street, Abu Dhabi, noon to 3am. Tel: (02) 6210000. ichotelsgroup.com
A cone of cod and chips, which transports us back to rainy British Saturday nights queuing at the local chippy. Fish: 4/5 Chips: 5/5 Extras: 4/5 Price: Dhs67 Le Méridien, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, noon to 1.30am. Tel: (02) 6446666. starwoodhotels.com
Bog standard cod and chips – albeit with free so drink – suggest more capital city takeaway chippy competition is required. e tartare-cum-mayo sauce is, frankly, disconcerting. Fish: 3/5 Chips: 3/5 Extras: 3/5 Price: Dhs36 Second Floor, Al Wahda Mall, Hazaa Bin Zayed The First Street, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Wed 10am to 11pm, Thurs to Sat 10am to 1am. Tel: (02) 4437701. londonﬁsh-chips.com Jones The Grocer
Don’t fancy a battered slab the size of a forearm? ese mini sh ‘n’ chips are a manageable basket of goujon-ish morsels, with just the right amount of coarse tartare sauce. Fish: 4/5 Chips: 4/5 Extras: 4/5 Price: Dhs40 The Souk at Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed 7pm to 1am, Thurs and Fri 7pm to 2am. Tel: (02) 5581680. soukqaryatalberi.com
Chunky llets of local cod substitute hammour score highly on the taste front. Slightly pricy, mind. Fish: 5/5 Chips: 4/5 Extras: 3/5 Price: Dhs75 Park Rotana, Al Matar, Abu Dhabi, noon to 2.30am. Tel: (02) 6573333. rotana.com
ree generous skewers of hammour and an almost bottomless chip reserve. e real ace, though, is a side of laudably squelchy mushy peas. Fish: 4/5 Chips: 3/5 Extras: 4/5 Price: Dhs60 Le Royal Méridien, Sheikh Khalifa Street, Abu Dhabi, noon to 2.30am. Tel: (02) 6742020. leroyalmeridien.com
Stars ‘N’ Bars
Strangely (and suspiciously), the menu didn’t specify the species of sh (it was white). It was a generous helping but, unfortunately, both the sh and the chunky chips were disappointing. Fish: 3/5 Chips: 3/5 Extras: 4/5 Price: Dhs50 Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Wed 11.30am to midnight, Thurs to Sat 11.30am to 1am. Tel: (02) 5650101. starsnbars.ae
Capital sh ‘n’ chips don’t come much classier: beer battered cod on a bed of mushy peas, with a crunchy criss-cross of home-made chips, ripe for silver onion tartare dipping sauce. Fish: 5/5 Chips: 4/5 Extras: 4/5 Price: Dhs70 Crowne Plaza Yas Island, Golf Plaza, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, noon to 12.30am. Tel: (02) 6560701. crowneplaza.com
London Fish ‘n’ Chips
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 25
Proving there is life after Oasis, Liam Gallagher hits the capital this month with new band, Beady Eye
When was the last time you got into a ght? Probably Munich [Liam was arrested at a Munich nightclub in 2002]. I’m not a big ghter, man. I was sued for about £150,000 and I had to do a community service thing where you go and clean up and all that. I think they let me o if I signed a couple of records for the copper who I assaulted. I laugh at it now, but at the time it was heavy for everyone involved. As much as people go, “Oh, it was their fault,” I’m telling you, mate, we were just having a time and something had gone on. It was just mucky, man. But no one died. When was the last time you walked out of a lm at the cinema? I haven’t done that. I’ve fallen asleep in many of them, though. Last time was one of me kids’ ones that we went to. ere was one called Wall-E or something. About four hours long. It’s like they gas you. I’m just When was the last time you used the like that [pulls comatose pose], dribbling. words, “Do you know who I am?” I normally put the kids right in at the wall, Never, mate. I leave that up to our kid. get me head down, put my feet up and then Never, ever. You go to hell for doing stu like that’s it. that, man. Not into any of that. Don’t need to, to be quite honest. When was the last time someone was When was the last time rude to you? you were thrown out of I get it when I walk When was the last time you used public a hotel? across a zebra transport? Not for a long time crossing. at’s We have a pair of tickets to Beady Eye’s A long time ago. Me, Liam Howlett, Nat and now. One time, we your right of show at Flash Forum to give away. Nic [Appleton] were going to the pub, and were in Manchester way, eh? ere For your chance to win, simply email we just thought, “Oh **** it, we’ll jump on a with [Lemonheads was this taxi WinWithWhatsOn@motivate.ae with bus.” I had a good time, actually. I could’ve frontman] Evan driver once, ‘Beady Eye’ in the subject line and the stayed on it forever. It’s great. I don’t know Dando, and I just turned answer to the following question: what everyone’s moaning about. remember getting round and Which of these is an album by Oasis? thrown out then. Can’t said, “You’re a) Almost Certainly When was the last time you told a lie? remember what over, welcome.” b) Probably Isn’t Just then! [Laughs] Nah, it might have been at but we got launched out. c) De nitely Maybe the US Embassy this morning. But I won’t tell I got asked to leave Soho When was the last you about what, because it’ll get me in ****. House one night. is geezer time you thought come over and said, [whispers] about death? When was the last time you swore at the “Excuse me, I think you’re going to I don’t think about death. Nah, telly? have to leave.” I said, [whispers] “Alright.” So man. I mean, it’s going happen, isn’t it, eh? is morning, watching [Jerry SpringerI le . Which was good. Because it was full of But, you know, think about it then. Just esque UK chat show] Jeremy Kyle. Just going, ***** in there. before it happens. “You ******.” I mean, I like him and that, but I bet he’s a right ****. When was the last time you asked What is the last thing you’d do if the someone for their autograph? world was ending? What was the last book you read? Never done it. It’s a waste of time. I mean, I You’d have to just go and grab your kids and I don’t read books. e last one was e understand people doing it and that. But you your missus and have a super-cuddle. Beatles one [Richard DiLello’s e Longest end up losing it. A piece of paper. I don’t want Cocktail Party about Apple Records, which is someone’s signature on a cigarette box. I don’t Sept 16, Flash Forum, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, being made into a lm produced by Liam]. mind giving them. Takes two seconds, man. If 8pm, Dhs295 to Dhs495. Tel: (800) 35274. Derek Taylor [late Beatles publicist] was a it makes their day and all that. beadyeyemusic.com dude. He’s up there with Lennon. e lm script is done. It’s going to blow people’s minds, man. I’m just waiting to nd out when we choose the actors. I want Johnny Depp to play Derek Taylor. It’s got Johnny Depp written all over it, man.
26 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 27
Captain America: The First Avenger
Cowboys & Aliens
Captain Cowboys & America: The First Aliens Avenger
Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell, Joe Johnston (director) ‘Avenge.’ A wannabe Second World War solider (Evans), barred from enlisting on health grounds, tested an experimental ‘supersolider’ serum. It worked, and the Nazi enemy suddenly had a problem on its hands. Ignore the fact that it’s a rather imsy predecessor to next year’s e Avengers, and enjoy a classic Marvel hero in a well-observed period setting. Any of the other pre-Avengers blockbusters we’ve seen recently – namely the Iron Man and Incredible Hulk CGI-fests with which this has much in common. Rather than use a skinny body double for Evans in the pre-serum shots, the lm-makers decided to digitally erase the actor’s bulkier bits, then ll in the background around him. Never really breaks a sweat, but the shield remains iconic. Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Jon Favreau (director) ‘First contact. Last stand.’ An outlaw awoke in a New Mexico desert, 1873, with no memory of getting there. His abductors then tracked him to a nearby town – at which point the situation became all too apparent… Not merely suspend your disbelief, but lasso it, hogtie it, throw it over the haunches of a bucking colt and send it galloping o towards the sunset. Extra-terrestrial invasion icks that avoid giving the antagonists any detectable hint of empathy or personality – think Independence Day, rather than District 9. Director Favreau held his ground in the face of considerable pressure to shoot in pointless 3D, insisting that Westerns only worked if done on proper lm. Respect. De antly da , but dodges a bullet by being played straight.
Friends With Beneﬁts
Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Woody Harrelson, Jenna Elfman, Will Gluck (director) ‘Friendship is a four-letter word.’ An LA guy was head-hunted for a NYC job, and sparks soon ew with his recruiter. Predictably, their ‘simple’ commitment-free deal soon took a turn for the complex. Be pleasantly surprised that Timberlake and Kunis – both of whom are clearly capable, but come with patchy CVs – appear to have found their niche. Quick- re urban romcoms with a salty edge, in the familiar mould of e Proposal, Knocked Up, and the near-identical No Strings Attached. Despite looking luminous in Get Over It and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Kunis is arguably best known for voicing Meg Gri n in the hit animated series Family Guy. Smartly self-aware, but proves that risqué doesn’t equal refreshing.
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28 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
FILM | NEW RELEASES
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
Conan The Barbarian
Jason Momoa, Rachel Nichols, Stephen Lang, Rose McGowan, Ron Perlman, Marcus Nispel (director) ‘Enter an age undreamed of.’ A big sweaty guy with a shortage of modest clothing saw his tribe destroyed by an evil warlord. Embracing the feral warrior lifestyle, he resolves to track and confront his mystical nemesis. See the 1980s trash classic starring Arnold Schwarzenegger given a new spin – this is pointedly not a remake – in today’s obligatory 3D glory. Well, despite this showcase for Momoa’s muscle-bound manliness attempting to distance itself from the previous Arnie vehicles, they’d be the obvious place to start. Our hero’s equally bruising father is played by Perlman, who has form with Conan’s voyages – he voiced the barbarian himself in a well-received 2007 video game. Grunting sorcery slasher just avoids falling on its own sword.
Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofía Vergara, Hank Azaria, Katy Perry, Alan Cumming, Raja Gosnell (director) ‘Where the smurf are we?’ An incident at the Smurf ’s Blue Moon Festival led to the bite-size blue Belgians falling through a portal into modern New York, pursued by villain Gargamel and his cat, Azrael. Disengage your brain, engage your inner child, and then watch countless elements from better family lms rehashed into a wellmeaning, but messy, romp. Other out-of-place-critter CGI yarns such as Ratatouille, Over e Hedge, Toy Story, Monsters, Inc – all of which, alas, are considerably better. Director Raja Gosnell is clearly something of a Hanna-Barbera fanboy – he also directed ScoobyDoo and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. Harris is solid, but everything else leaves us pretty blue.
Rise Of The Planet Final Of The Apes Destination 5
James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Andy Serkis, Rupert Wyatt (director) ‘Evolution becomes revolution.’ Drug trials on chimpanzees gave them huge intelligence boosts, but produced a virus fatal to humans. e apes made for the forest as their captors’ society began to collapse. Witness that all-too-rare phenomenon, a humans vs. nonhumans lm in which we’re shown to be the naïve aggressors whose arrogance is our downfall. Obviously it’ll help if you enjoyed any of the other entries in the Planet Of e Apes series, but fans of motion capture poster boy Serkis are also in for a real treat. is franchise reboot is absolutely groaning with references to the earlier lms – most obviously in the many character names and nicknames that, er, ape the 1968 original. An absorbing, resonant tale boosted by stunning CGI. Monkey see... Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, Miles Fisher, Arlen Escarpeta, Steven Quale (director) ‘Death has never been closer.’ A er a spooky premonition, a man coaxed several co-workers o a bus, which was promptly destroyed by a bridge collapse. It didn’t turn out to be that lucky an escape. Watch people meet increasingly sticky ends, with all the grinding inevitability that the Final Destination franchise has built its (puzzling) fanbase on. e previous four Final Destination lms. ( e latter was somewhat cheekily titled e Final Destination, which now looks like a broken promise more than anything.) All predecessors to this rst IMAX installment were released at three-year intervals, but it’s only been two years this time – so the franchise is getting bigger and faster. Increasingly contrived deaths mean that chills take a back seat.
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 29
If you're the keen foodies that I know you are, you will already have cast your line into our sh 'n' chips: tested feature and discovered, to your unfettered delight, that the UAE's culinary sea is swimming with a promising catch of cafés, bars, pubs, restaurants and takeaways committed to the classic British dish. Is there anything more pleasing than a newspaper parcel wrapped around a piece of soft sh, encased in light, crispy batter (preferably spiked with beer so the bubbles add that extra crunch and lightness), thick cut chips – perhaps a little soggy with vinegar – and a serving of mushy peas? No, there isn't. And we tasted some pretty decent renderings on our travels around the UAE, I can tell you. But there was one problem. Something that really irked us. What, you might ask, left us so disgruntled? Well, I'll tell you. It is the unforgivable and all too common use of unsustainable local sh – notably hammour. We can just about forgive imported international brands using cod (although we shouldn't really), but there is no excuse for serving the severely over shed hammour. There are plenty of alternatives gliding through the waters of the Arabian Gulf, yet only one restaurant we visited attempts to educate the masses by serving sustainable breeds. So next time you see hammour on a menu, refuse to eat it – and explain why. Visit choosewisely.ae for a list of sustainable local sh. OK, enough of that, this month we bring you our verdict on new menus at Bord Eau and Café Chic (p32), words from the Desert Islands Resort & Spa's salt sommelier (p33), the new Mad Men lunch at Ruth's Chris Steak House, railway-themed burger joint Grand Central (p35), The Critic's homage to the bu et and new Indian restaurant Mahec. And last, but by no means least, voting opens for the What's On Awards 2011, so head over to whatsonawards.com. Tuck in. Gareth Rees, Features & Food Editor
Will an update to the capital’s ﬁnest French cuisine continue to provide that je ne sais quoi?
While it wouldn’t exactly be entering the realms of journalistic genius to roll out countless clichés about the French and their much-celebrated cuisine, there is an amount of acknowledged truth behind such stereotypes. Bord Eau doesn’t do much to alter the general view of Gallic haute cuisine, but the kitchen is blessed with an inventiveness that ensures there’s rarely a dull culinary moment within the Shangri-La agship’s small-yet-stately walls. Cocooned in an interior worthy of a high fallutin’ Parisian restaurant, this is the closest you’ll get to the city without hopping on a 767. An inventive overhaul of a menu that has already consistently pushed Bord Eau toward the pinnacle of Abu Dhabi eating, then, is an event that demands breaking out the fancy cutlery. Immaculately presented evidence of Bord Eau’s dedication to ne dining arrived immediately as we sampled a dish of seared foie gras with cherry marmalade, asparagus and socca (a thin chickpea crepe) – served as a pre-appetiser, it combined fruity beauty with the familiar, full French avours. ere’s a real possibility of foie gras overload (surprise, surprise), with slivers of rich goose liver sandwiching mi cuit of tuna (which roughly translates to ‘part cooked’). ose worries are eased from the mind thanks to the sh’s meaty thwack and lobster civet. Still, with generous tru e shavings and a rich foie gras and tru e sauce, gout was becoming a genuine fear. When our venison arrived, mercifully, our veins were allowed a temporary reprieve. e satisfyingly sized serving was far from overawing, but the light accompaniment was a masterstroke. Dainty cylinders of salsify (a turnip-like root vegetable) were in nitely
so er than any potato-based alternative, while maintaining su cient bite to compete with the tender, lean esh. And the combination of carrot mash, clove sauce and agrumes (citrus) emulsion work in perfect harmony. To nish, the chocolate sou é with vanilla ice cream could, in less skilled hands, lend a predictable conclusion to an otherwise imaginative evening’s dining. Not at Bord Eau, however: an orangey infusion of Grand Marnier liquor kept our taste buds dancing to the very last. If there was ever any danger of French cuisine becoming passé, Bord Eau foresees the trouble and heads it o with ardent attention to detail.
Need to know
Location: Shangri-La, Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi Tel: (02) 5098888 Web: shangri-la.com Open: 7pm to 11.30pm Cuisine type: French Must eat: venison with salsify, carrot mash, clove sauce and agrumes emulsion Bill for two: Dhs940, without wine
In tweet form... Does Bord Eau's new menu manage to mantain its lofty reputation as Abu Dhabi's greatest Gallic restaurant? In a word, oui. Follow us at @WhatsOnDubai and @WhatsOnAbuDhabi
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 31
With a new chef and a new menu, has Le Méridien Dubai’s French restaurant upped its game?
could have done with crisping up under the grill, came with a deliciously thick, rich blend of wild mushrooms and puy lentils, a few lines of pommes purée and a Madeira jus. To say this dish was confused is to put it mildly. e cod and the jus were completely overpowered by the mushrooms and lentils, and the dish was displayed in the shape of a house. at’s right. A house. Some might regard it as playful, but it was a step too far in our book. More impressive was a black angus steak, topped with mushroom gratin and served with potato fondant and creamed spinach. Unfortunately, the spinach was horribly bitter. e kitchen found its form again with a chocolate sou é so naughty it deserved to be spanked and sent to bed early with no supper. A mass of chocolate, which should have been too much for anyone – but wasn’t. A lovely chocolate tart cleverly combined with a ai basil ice cream was also worth a round of applause. ere’s certainly enough skill at Café Chic to warrant a visit, but the price tag might be a little high, and the kitchen could do with suppressing its childish side just a smidgen.
A taste of things to come
There are new restaurants galore this month
MONTE CARLO BEACH CLUB Change is a-coming to the capital’s culinary landscape, as the Monte Carlo Beach Club becomes the rst property to open on Saadiyat Island. Armed with four brand new restaurants – the Sea Lounge, Le Deck, Bubbles and Library Lounge – there will be more than enough for its paid up members. Monte Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. montecarlobeachclub.ae VOI Fusion cuisine can be a tricky business, but we’re hoping it won’t be a problem when Zabeel Saray’s new ne dining restaurant, Voi, opens its doors on September 22. It shouldn’t be, because the cuisines involved were rst fused during 1920s French Colonial era. Expect our verdict soon. Voi, Zabeel Saray Hotel, The Palm, Crescent Road (West), Dubai. Tel: (04) 4530444. jumeirah.com NARA CAFÉ In the UAE, new shisha café openings are as common as 40-degree heat and abysmal road etiquette but, like the seemingly endless variety of shisha avours, they can all have subtle di erences. Nara Café, on Sheikh Zayed Road, is a new late night café from the people behind Caramel at DIFC, o ering a variety of shisha, serving a light Arabic menu and showing sports, with an emphasis on football. Indigo Building 3, Al Manara, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily 7pm to 3am. Tel: (800) 62722233
We reviewed the new lunch menu at Café Chic back in June, and the recently arrived chef de cuisine, Etienne Truter, and his team showed enough promise to tempt us back for dinner. Depending on your geographical perspective, Café Chic is not in a prime spot. OK, it’s minutes from the airport, so the hotel is popular with tourists, providing a fair helping of inhouse clientele. But, unless you are a resident of Garhoud, Mirdif, or perhaps Deira, it’s unlikely you’re going to nd yourself in the vicinity of Café Chic. A pity, because it’s a ne spot for lunch. On the other hand, some will probably be willing to travel for their dinner. And Café Chic might just be worth the journey. We couldn’t resist the Mystery Basket, because it sounded, erm, well, mysterious. And we do love to be surprised. You will receive ve courses comprised of vegetables displayed in a wicker basket shown to you beforehand. ough it is an intriguing concept, the execution le it poised on the precipice of being gimmicky – it didn’t really deliver. e basket contained only vegetables, and nothing was said of their provenance. And almost all of the dishes featured on the menu, so there were no huge surprises. Using local vegetables, and sh come to think of it, to produce daily specials would make the idea truly unique. Having said that, dinner started well, with an amuse bouche of warm, buttery scrambled egg
served in a hollow eggshell with salty-sweet crabmeat and tru e shavings. If we could eat it for breakfast every day, we would. Second course – a pleasing pair of soups. A palate cleansing beetroot and tomato gazpacho with rm parcels of cannelloni encasing so crab, scoops of sweet melon and a micro herb salad; and a more warming asparagus with just-right scallops and a couple of creamy, orange quenelles (one dish that’s not on the regular menu). A foie gras and chicken terrine with pineapple chutney and pistachio brioche was nice enough, though a bit heavy for a ve-course menu. But a beef Niçoise salad, an interesting take on the French classic, was the star dish. Cutting through the gooey quail eggs, allowing the yolks to mingle with the salty anchovy dressing and coat the peppery beef carpaccio, ratte potato, olives and crunchy French beans was a heavenly experience, and it was one of the most beautiful dishes we’ve seen in a long time – a perfect combination of colours and textures. A dish of overcooked cod, topped with a herb lattice that
Need to know
Location: Le Méridien Dubai, Airport Road, Dubai Tel: (04) 2170000 Web: diningatmeridiendubai. com Open: lunch 12.30pm to 2.45pm, dinner 7pm to 11pm Cuisine type: European Must eat: Black angus beef Niçoise Bill for two: Dhs790
In tweet form... There's plenty of skill in the Café Chic kitchen. With a little bit of work, it will entice diners from across Dubai. Follow us at @WhatsOnDubai and @WhatsOnAbuDhabi
32 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
Salt of the earth
Wine or cheese experts are commonplace, but what on earth is a salt sommelier? Damynfu (Dams) Dato-On, the new salt guru at Desert Islands Resort & Spa’s seafood restaurant, Samak, explains
What is a salt sommelier? A salt sommelier is basically the same as any other sommelier. We are passionate and knowledgeable about the product. In the same way that people are interested in how di erent wines enhance di erent foods, salt has always intrigued me. What is your role at the restaurant? I approach guests with our salt trolley displaying the seven kinds available and I explain the concept and the history, before suggesting speci c salts to best suit items on the menu. e salts that will help enhance the avours of their food. Isn’t salt bad for you? Salt can only be consumed in small doses. It has nutritional value, but doesn’t make food any healthier. But every great dish deserves the perfect salt.
International buffet only for AED 139 every Thursday Night from 9pm to 12am at The Huddle
DAMS’ EXPERT GUIDE TO SALT
Hawaiian sea salt is wonderful for roasting and grilling meats. It’s traditional seasoning for native Hawaiian dishes. The food match at Samak is salmon tartare, grilled salmon or grilled calamari. Hickory smoke is synonymous with southern cooking, and Durango hickory smoked sea salt works magic with ribs, burgers, red meat, turkey and chicken. Our recommended dishes are any meat and poultry items. Fumee de sel from France is an exquisite salt for tuna carpaccio, Thai sh cakes and grilled tuna. Its crystals are gently smoked with oak wine barrels used for years to age ne chardonnay wine. Peruvian pink salt has a strong avour and is great seasoning for seafood risotto or vegetarian dishes.
Call The Huddle on 04 407 8000
Sel Gris grey sea salt is great for baking and cooking, or to add crunch to your favourite dish. Try on Thai shrimp salad, red Thai curry prawns or crab. Used as nishing salt, Bolivian sea salt is wonderful for cooking and preparing soups and sauces, and is also great for roasting white or red meat, and sh. Our recommended dishes are seafood soup and grilled fresh sh. Flower of Bali tropical sea salt, for our mussel hot pot and grilled lobster, is a unique nishing salt. It is 100 per cent hand-harvested, only available in limited quantities and wonderful to top o vegetables and seafood. Samak, Desert Islands Resort & Spa, Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, daily 6.30pm to 10.30pm. Tel: (02) 8015400. desertislands.anantara.com
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SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 33
On the menu
What’s new in the world of food this month?
FIVE STAR LUNCH Fancy some ne dining on a Friday, as opposed to the traditional, slightly out of hand, brunch? Re ets is o ering four courses of its highest quality dishes to tempt you away from the run-of-the-mill bu ets and into its Michelindaubed embrace. And from only Dhs250 for what is really superior food, it’s a bit of a steal. From Sept 2, Reﬂets par Pierre Gagnaire, InterContinental Dubai Festival City, Dubai Festival City, Dubai, noon to 2pm, Dhs390, Dhs250 without alcohol. Tel: (04) 7011127 RE OPENING The InterCon's Italian restaurant, Boccaccio, has brought onboard sous chef Federica Piccioni, and with her arrival has revamped its menu to include some promising dishes such as spinach gnocchi with crab and warm chocolate cake with chilli and mousse. Boccaccio, InterContinental Hotel, Bainouna Street, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6666888. ichotelgroup.com MOVING TEA Yum Cha, formerly the bustling Saturday brunch at The Westin, has moved to Fridays at Waves at Le Méridien Mina Seyahi. Have no fear, it has lost none of its air – you can still expect to be wowed by the Chinese lion dancers and acrobats. Yum Cha at Waves, Le Méridien Mina Seyahi, Dubai, Fri 1pm to 4pm, Dhs299, Dhs99 with soft drinks. Tel: (04) 3993333 MASTER CHEF The Yacht Club welcomes Thai Chef Ian Kittichai between September 14 and 16. Kittichai will head up dinner service, with a cooking class (Dhs215) thrown in for good measure. Sept 14 to 16, The Yacht Club, InterContinental Hotel, Bainouna Street, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (0800) 423463. ichotelsgroup.com 34 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Will Ruth’s Chris’ new Mad Men business lunch prove as popular as the television show?
Businesses lunches are a big hit in the UAE. Matthew Weiner’s AMC hit, set in the fast-paced world of 1960s advertising, is an even bigger smash the world over. So combining the two seems like a dream ticket. A guaranteed success. But hang on a cotton-picking minute, we’re huge fans of Mad Men – a neatly folded pocket square’s width away from obsessive, truth be told – and we don’t recall all that many lunches that involved imbibing anything other than whisky or martinis. So is this just a cynical attempt to cash in on a popular television series. Well, of course it is, but who can blame ‘em, eh? A er all, Ruth’s Chris’ cocktail man, Murphee Evangelista, does whip up a ne dry gin martini, it is an American steakhouse – so you could easily imagine Don Draper and Roger Sterling at least ordering lunch at Ruth’s Chris, even if the copious smokes and shorts drowned their appetites. And businessmen and ‘creatives’ across the city will enjoy imagining themselves as highying, sharp suited ad men while tucking into their lunchtime burger. So, everyone’s happy. In fact, Mad Men a cionados that we are, we were quite excited. At Dhs99 for three courses at a What’s On Award-winning steakhouse, the Mad Men menu is the kind of bargain pennypinching British accounts man Lane Pryce would be happy to receive an expenses claim for. And the kitchen, headed up by chef Paul De Visser – not
shy of a turn on the goggle box himself, as his regular Dubai One appearances attest – does not disappoint. From a list of three starters, which also included a salad and a seafood gumbo, we opted for an onion soup au gratin. A bistro staple, it was, as expected, a bowl of steaming broth, thick with onions, sitting beneath a lid of toast and cheese. Not even the exacting Don Draper would complain about such a homely dish. Beef carpaccio, salmon, barbecue shrimp and a chicken sandwich all auditioned for the main show, but the burger wins every time. Like the soup, it was served without fuss – no messing about, no exotic extras – and was all the better for it. Cooked to our liking and accompanied by a simple mixed salad and a bowl of crunchy fries, it is sure to be a favourite. A couple of scoops of sweet vanilla ice cream to close out the deal, and we were done. Now, it must be Martini o’clock, surely?
Need to know
Location: The Monarch Hotel Dubai, One Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Tel: (04) 45018666 Web: ruthschris.ae Open: Sun to Thurs noon to 3pm Cuisine type: steakhouse Must eat: burger Bill for two: Dhs198
In tweet form... You can't go wrong with a menu full of classics named for one of our favourite shows. The Mad Men lunch from Ruth's Chris is a hit. Follow us at @WhatsOnDubai and @WhatsOnAbuDhabi
WHAT? Grand Central WHERE? Nestled a few strides from the National Bank Of Abu Dhabi, behind Muroor and 15th Streets, the surrounding area – nearby mosque included – doesn’t necessarily scream “open eccentric burger bar here”. But Grand Central is a law unto itself, boasting an American railroad theme, replete with wooden signal box exterior and interior. The endearing railway décor is all encompassing, from red, amber and green signal light graphics on the takeaway bags, to a model locomotive clickety-clacking around a ledge inside the building. THE BURGERS ARE… They have a homemade quality about them. Eschewing the temptation to use frozen patties, all of Grand Central’s food is freshly prepared. The freerange wagyu beef burger (Dhs30, or Dhs35 with cheese) is far from a soggy whopper. It’s not huge, but with chopped, instead of sliced, tomato and a wholewheat bun, the old qualityover-quantity argument wins out. AND THE FRIES? There are two options: keep it simple with skinny Metro Fries (Dhs10) or switch things up with sweet potato South Station Fries (Dhs15). Opt for the latter and you will be rewarded with a decent helping of crispy, cooked-through chips that at least feel healthier than regular spud alternatives. ANY MILKSHAKES? You betcha. At a competitive Dhs20, they’re thick enough that you'll need to stir the nal dregs of ice cream just to force it through your straw. Cho-chochoose (sorry) from old favourites vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. FINAL VERDICT: Though the indoor area, with a handful of counter seats, isn’t much beyond a serving counter, the cute fenced outside dining area – evoking a Railway Children-era station café – should come into its own post-summer. As burger bars go, with delivery, takeaway and eat-in options, Grand Central is just the ticket. Grand Central, behind Muroor Street and 15th Street, Abu Dhabi, midday to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 6426499. grandcentral.ae
& YIN YANG
The latest edition to the capital’s burger bar scene
ALL YOU CAN EAT & DRINK FOR
From 8pm to 11pm, all week.
All you can eat & drink for AED 99* Ample free parking available
Call SIZZLING WOK on 04 407 8000
TWITTER RECIPE Cooking couldn’t be simpler with our monthly recipe in 140 characters PEA SOUP Brown bacon. Add onions, garlic, peas. Sauté. Add milk, stock, thyme. Simmer. Remove thyme. Purée. Strain, add cream, season. Je rey Brothers, chef de cuisine, Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, daily 7pm to midnight. Tel: (02) 6543333. fairmont.com Follow us at @WhatsOnDubai and @WhatsOnAbuDhabi
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SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 35
greasy tongs and mucky spoons. And they span the entire gamut, from the absolutely sumptuous, to the unspeakably drab. Staggering away from your nal I’d always associated bu ets i ar blowout, you probably with family weddings. Little thought enough was enough – mounds of sandwiches cut into you don’t want to see another quarters, sausages on sticks, bu et again. But you will. Sooner pineapple and cheese. A bit of than you expect. You’ll experience quiche. All that changed when that Friday twinge, which usually I saw my rst ever bu et in grabs your subconscious by Dubai – the legendary Al Qasr the throat in the early hours of Friday brunch. the morning while you’re still I had to catch my breath on the asleep, pins it against the wall stairs. I saw what looked like a pile and demands a massive brunch, of toddlers’ arms – weightli ing starting no later than noon. toddlers at that. But by the time Well, you’re in luck. e UAE is I reached my table I could see it a world-beater when it comes to was just a mountain of enormous the bu et. Not just for Ramadan or jumbo shrimps – you know, the Friday brunches, but every day of kind of jumbo shrimps that tell the week. Right now, somewhere sharks what they can and can’t do. in this city, there’s a line of tables ey were part of a naval eet of loaded with steaming bain maries, intimidating lobsters, hard-looking
36 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
James Brennan knows food. Having written on everything from bhajis to burgers for a string of international publications, James is now the Middle East chairman of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants judging panel. Don’t miss his monthly musings every issue.
“THE ROWS OF CHAFING DISHES LOOKED LIKE A CAR PARK FULL OF VOLKSWAGEN BEETLES, THEIR ROOFS PEELED BACK TO REVEAL COWPATS OF CONGEALED CURRIES, WITHERING VEGETABLES AND EXHAUSTED DESSERTS”
langoustine, no-nonsense crabs and an armada of oysters that could wrap up a maritime con ict in minutes. If the World Wildlife Fund wanted to know where all the planet’s marine life had disappeared to, they only had to sni around Jumeirah for the answer. ere were more dishes and live cooking stations than there were people. But that didn’t stop them displaying the classic psychological signs of a bu et crowd. A behavioural scientist’s dream. e quickening pulse. e widening eyes. e jostling at the foie gras station. e barely concealed whi of borderline desperation that one might miss out on a barbecue chicken wing. It doesn’t matter how lavish or expensive the bu et is, it’s always two stages of panic away from a full-blown riot.
Which brings me to a famous Dubai bu et a few years ago in Zabeel Park, which must rank as the closest thing the emirate has seen to an uprising. e Orwellian-sounding ‘Bu et 101’ event was billed as the world’s largest bu et, with 501 dishes in total, arranged in the shape of the Palm Jumeirah. No, really. It went on all day. e rows of cha ng dishes looked like a car park full of Volkswagen Beetles, their roofs peeled back to reveal cowpats of congealed curries, withering vegetables and exhausted desserts. My friend was sick behind a towering bin of rubbish a er half an hour. And then there was an announcement that the bu et would end in 15 minutes. Hurry, hurry. A hooter sounded like an air raid siren. ere were scu es. Children cried. Words failed one man who let out a primeval grunt. As I watched I thought, whatever happens now, I had already seen the world’s best and worst bu ets right here in this city. I felt like Alexander e Great. Almost tearful at there being no worlds le to conquer. But deep down I knew an essential truth. I’d soon be back among the bain maries. Jostling over the chicken wings. Long live the bu et.
e name, which stands for Modern Authentic Hindustani Evolved Cuisine, is horribly clunky, but this confused collection of catchall adjectives is just another instance of a ‘concept’ becoming lost in translation. As common as sand here in the UAE. And who cares, anyway? We weren’t there to eat the name – it’s the food we’re a er. e feasting started with an amuse bouche of tiny potato and chickpea chaat, and a delightful shot of orange and ginger with basil seeds, hinting that chef Bhat has learnt a thing or two about blending spices. A good start. And it doesn’t stop there. e wonderfully presented and de ly cooked starters, including a tandoori charmoula prawn on a bed of spiced khichdi, mustard chicken tikka and a spinach and coconut samosa with dhokla chutney, each proudly aunts the restaurant’s modus operandi – it is clever cooking. Your bellybloating local curry house, this is not. A common gripe with highbrow Indian restaurants is their tendency to avoid spicing up dishes lest they scare away their Western clientele – a hurdle well dodged, as the food demonstrated an excellent use of spices that certainly warmed the roof of one’s mouth, but seldom threatened to overpower the dishes. e main, a lamb chop biryani, sadly proved to be somewhat of a weak point. e meat, despite being perfectly cooked, lacked the clever juggling of avours that we had witnessed earlier in the meal. But the accompanying cucumber raita and creamy dal makhani were excellent (we even greedily ordered an extra bowl). Admittedly a little glum a er the main, the dubiously named chef ’s chocolate surprise dessert caught us completely o guard. An orb of chocolate alone on a plate didn’t bode well, but a er having a warm pineapple sauce poured over, it burst open to reveal an impeccably light zabaglione (custard). Total bliss.
NEW in Town!
Does former Indego chef Bharath Bhat manage to do mentor Vineet Bhatia proud at Le Méridien Dubai’s new ﬁne dining Indian?
Creating ne-dining Indian cuisine is a tough business – either it’s too far removed from its roots, or people complain that they could eat the same thing at the takeaway down the road for a fraction of the price. Yet persuading people that Indian food can be both re ned and packed with avour is the, seemingly thankless, task chef Bharath Bhat’s at Le Méridien Dubai’s Mahec has taken on. ankless, that is, until you hear that Bharath has come straight from the kitchen of Indego by Vineet. Yes, that’s right, Vineet Bhatia, the genius chef famed for combining European style sophistication with clever Indian spice combinations.
Come and experience the latest Sports Bar & Grill in town. Watch the World Cup Rugby and the English Premier League LIVE!
Live Sports Live Music Catch the best deals For special promotions call: Al Barsha (next to MOE): 04 409 8000 Bur Dubai (Mankhool Road): 04 407 8000
Need to know
Location: Méridien Village, Le Méridien Dubai, Airport Road, Garhoud, Dubai Tel: (04) 7022615 Open: Lunch 12.30pm to 3.30pm, Sat to Wed 7pm to midnight, Thurs to Fri 7pm to 1am Cuisine type: Indian Must eat: Chef’s surprise dessert Bill for two: Dhs600 (without alcohol)
In tweet form... Mahec is run by a man trained at Vineet Bhatia’s Indego, and it shows in the food. De nitely worth a visit. Follow us at @WhatsOnDubai and @WhatsOnAbuDhabi
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SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 37
Erwin Olaf is one of Europe’s leading photographic artists. We caught up with the Dutch-born snapper as he was preparing to show for the ﬁrst time in the Middle East
You began as a photojournalist before developing your highly stylised signature technique. Does your early work continue to in uence you today? I started out as a photojournalist, but soon realised that I would be more satis ed if I could organise and control all the di erent elements in the photo. Even back then I would always – very naturally – try to make a beautiful or interesting composition, which is something that I still do today. I work very di erently now from my early photojournalist days, but the aim is still the same. Your images are very self-contained – many of them feel very carefully ‘staged’, yet there is still a feeling of something else in them; a story beyond the tableau, perhaps a feeling of loss or even menace. Would you agree? Yes, I would agree with that. Usually I get an idea or feel I want to morph into a photograph or a photo series. e shadow or ghost of the original idea is still there in the photographs, even when the series has developed into an idea where the original mood or idea is not apparent. You have said that your early work taught you ‘what does and does not attract attention’. Has that in uenced your later work? In the beginning of my career I was not only trying to make good photographs, but also looking to get attention, trying to be acknowledged. Later in my career, a er all the recognition, and a er becoming older and wiser, I think [laughs], I feel less imposed to make loud statements. I prefer
a ected your work and the way you approach it? Part of it is physical: I am less able to work as hard and long as I did before, and if I do, the recovery takes longer. e other side of it is that I am more careful how I distribute my energy. I want to put most of my energy into my personal work, for that is most important, and less into projects that might be less inspiring. It’s a disease that creeps into my whole life and being. But I am still able to have a wonderful life, and work and play. You have a reputation for controversy – have you had to consider what you’re celebration of life, di erences, tolerance, and going to show in the Emirates? How do beauty. at doesn’t mean I don’t feel the you think your work will be received? need to scream every now and then. We made the list of works together with How important is storytelling to you? the curator in Dubai, and it was di erent It’s becoming less important. Over the from what I would have expected, but a course of my career I feel less and less very interesting collection. I don’t know that I have to tell the whole story. It is also how it will be received – I hope well. We important for the viewer to ll in their own came to Dubai through my gallery in the story and their own thoughts. I don’t feel Netherlands, and I am very much looking the need to guide the onlooker as much as forward to the exhibition; it’s a completely before. I think that is also part of growing up di erent world from ours so I am anxious and being older, and also of the maturing of and curious to see what the reaction will be the audiences. to the work.
Five to see
ÑYE HAI INDIA DARLING
Ten contemporary artists explore Mother India in all her colourful, chaotic glory, in a group show across XVA’s DIFC and Bastakiya sites. Sept 21 to Oct 30, XVA Gallery DIFC, Building 7, Gate Village, DIFC, oﬀ Zabeel Road, Dubai and XVA Bastakiya, Bastakiya, Bur Dubai, free. Tel: (056) 1032766. xvagallery.com
ÑMIDDLE KINGDOM, MIDDLE
China has been touted as one of the leading lights of the contemporary art movement for several years now. Find out why, at this group show, which features 25 multi-media works by eight of the country’s leading artists, including the controversial Gao Brothers. Sept 19 to Nov 12, Gallery Etemad, Unit B 12, Al Serkal Avenue, Street 8 Al Quoz 1, Dubai, free. galleryetemad.com
Maastricht, Contemporary Istanbul, Art Hong Kong (bought recently by Art Basel) or, in the MENA region, Abu Dhabi Art, Art Dubai, and Art Marrakech, these fairs allow the galleries to compete more aggressively with the auction houses. E-retail in the art market kicked I have been travelling for the past o with the linking up of Sotheby’s month. In fact, as I pen these very and eBay in February 2002, only for words I have just arrived in France this collaboration to be cancelled from Morocco. So I’m going to in May of the following year. But wrestle with two creations that span Sotheby’s online o ering was rebuilt the world. e internet and art fairs. later, and Christie’s followed, with e global economic downturn both houses now having a presence has seen the international art on the web, alongside their auctions, market adapt, with a new focus with live video links. on online business and art fairs. Galleries have developed webis fact is backed up by a recent based business to highlight what report from non-pro t dealers’ they have to o er, with pioneers in federation CINOA (Confédération the online art business being artnet. Internationale des Négociants en com, mutialart.com and artfacts.net. Oeuvres d’Art). ough there are more for display e sales split between auction and reference than actually e-retail. houses and galleries or dealers In 2011, the focus has been on was close to 50/50 in 2010 – $21 online gallery sales through the billion by the auction houses and planned art.sy, paddle8.com and the $22 billion by dealers – with the online fair vipartfair.com. top two to ve per cent of dealers e jury is out, as galleries believe accounting for well over half the such portals are better suited to value of total sales. lower priced works, but the CINOA For galleries, clients are driving report states that e-retail’s intake is this change by developing a loyalty expected to overtake o ine sales to fairs, rather than dealers – the by 2020. It is clear that the internet market is becoming event driven. is going to play a big part in the art Whether it’s Art Basel, Frieze, market’s future.
Art historian, dedicated collector and managing director of Dubai’s Meem Gallery Charles Pocock knows the UAE art scene like the back of a Picasso
Palestinian-Iraqi multi-media artist Sama Alshaibi plays with perceived gender roles within the Middle East in this, her rst solo exhibition in Dubai. The artist employs video, sculpture and photography to dexterous e ect. Alshaibi will be talking about her work at The Pavilion in Burj Khalifa on September 18. Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Unit 21, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3469906, free. lawrieshabibi.com
Green Art Gallery kicks o its new season programme with a new body of largescale paintings from the acclaimed Syrian expressionist painter. Bold and uncompromising. Sept 26 to Nov 10, Green Art Gallery, Street 8, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3569305. gagallery.com
ÑCHANTS FROM PARADISE
Carpets may seem an unlikely edition to the UAE’s gallery space. However, as one of the most skilled of Middle Eastern crafts it seems tting to celebrate their delicacy and visual appeal, as this exhibition of Safavid carpets from 16th and 17th century Iran sets out to do. Sept 6 to Oct 30, Farjam Collection, Gate Village 4, DIFC, of Zabeel Road, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3230303. farjamcollection.org
40 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
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What are the key trends that I should be shopping for? And how can I adapt them for the UAE? Jess, JLT, Dubai The tux trend was one of the biggest hits at the A/ W11 shows. Ralph Lauren did my favourite version with a shrunken boy-style jacket. YSL’s was very Bianca Jagger, with very little worn underneath. To make this look UAEappropriate, wear with a form- tting camisole underneath – try Stella McCartney in Harvey Nichol’s lingerie department. And you can also beat the heat by investing in a sleeveless jacket – Alexander Wang’s double-breasted crepe blazer is available at net-a-porter.com now. Sarah Joan Ross is the Style Director for Emirates Woman. Sophia Serin is away.
The hottest news from the region’s stores
On September 17, the Sheraton’s ballroom will be lled with clothes, furniture, toys and more, with all money raised donated to UNICEF. If you want to be a vendor, a table will cost Dhs250 (or Dhs200 if booked before September 8). Sheraton, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6773333. E-mail: email@example.com.
CHARITY FLEA MARKET
Stuff magazine editor and blogger Tom Shambler talks timepieces
Say what you want about fashionable watches these days, but that strap on your wrist isn’t just a means to not missing the morning metro. Consider, if you will, the incredible engineering that goes into making a tiny, wrist-mounted device that keeps time accurately to a few milliseconds. It’s pretty amazing stu , which is why a dedicated watch snob won’t think twice about spending $5,000 when looking for his next wrist-mounted work of art. It’s all down to the movement, you see, the delicate balance of cogs, springs and tiny screws working in perfect harmony to achieve a singular goal: timekeeping accuracy. Of course, back when Patek Phillipe made the rst wrist watch in 1868, keeping perfect time was vital to ensure trains didn’t collide and ships could navigate. ese days, we have computers to do that, meaning we can choose a watch for more self-indulgent reasons. What’s getting me hot under the horological collar at this precise minute is the Tag Heuer Grand Carrera Calibre 36 RS. It ticks all the right boxes – chunky titanium casing and a superb movement that guarantees 1/10th second accuracy. Yes, it’s rather expensive – $8,850 to be exact – but watches can appreciate in value wildly over just a few years. is makes them a sound investment, as well the ultimate indulgence for men. Tom Shambler is the editor of Stu magazine. stu mideast.com
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 43
NEW OPENING VIRGIN TERRITORY
As much as we love The Dubai Mall, there’s one oversight that has been driving us to distraction – where can you buy CDs and DVDs? Panic not, as Virgin Megastore opens in the rst week of September, with all the latest releases, games, books and more, plus in-store events and activities throughout the month. Virgin Megastore, next to Kinokuniya, The Dubai Mall, Dubai, 10am to 10pm
Shopping website www.markavip.com is an invite-only community, where members are privy to ash sales lasting up to three days. You’ll have to be referred by a friend or approved via the website to get access to the designer discounts (think 85 per cent o Burberry or a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors marked down to Dhs147), but once given the nod you can go crazy on slashed price clothes, accessories, electronics and homewares, all from the comfort of your laptop. markavip.com
THIS MONTH WE'RE... JOINING AN ONLINE SHOPPING CLUB
HOW TO... FOLD A POCKET SQUARE
Simon Parton of top tailor Logsdail of London tells us how to perfect The Flute
Place the handerkerchief on a at surface, pinch it in the middle and lift it up
Create a ring below the pinch, pull down to create a ' ute' and turn upside down
Fold in half and tuck into the pocket, with 1.5 inches visible. Adjust as desired
No longer the domain of the super-wealthy, personal shopping is available to us all – often for free. With the autumn/winter season approaching, it’s time to call in the professionals
e department stores where you’ll nd savvy shoppers on hand to help
THE DIY APPROACH
Clueless about colour? Confused by cut? Sartorially stumped? Going back to basics is the best way to edit your wardrobe and prevent regrettable purchases
Cost: Free What does it involve? An in-depth chat to establish tastes, size and requirements, so the personal shopper can start pulling items to bring to you. Sometimes customers will walk the shop oor with them to point out pieces. How long as does it take? As long as it takes; anything from 15 minutes to nd a dress to a full day for a whole new look. What should you wear? Something comfortable, and bring any items, or colours, that you’re looking to match. What brands are on o er? Jimmy Choo, Yves Saint Laurent, Agnès B, McQ, Jenny Packham… the list goes on. Any added extras? So drinks, individual lounges for men and women with TVs, and speci c shoppers available upon request. At Your Service, Bloomingdale’s, The Dubai Mall, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3505111
Cost: Free What does it involve? Discussing lifestyle, requirements and current style, plus colours, body shape and any pet peeves to nd attering garments that t in with your existing wardrobe. How long does it take? ere isn’t a speci c time frame, with sessions taking as long as is needed. What should you wear? Something that re ects your day-to-day look. What brands are on o er? Slick designerwear including Elie Saab, Preen, Paul & Joe, Alexander McQueen and Tom Ford. Any added extras? You’ll be o ered refreshments, co ee, tea and food upon arrival. ere is a parking space allocated for Boutique 1’s clients in JBR at the VIP entrance. e team is also available for home service when they can create a wardrobe and take it to you. Boutique 1, various branches, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4483400. firstname.lastname@example.org
HOUSE OF COLOUR
Cost: Free What does it involve? Identifying your body type, choosing cuts and fabrics, talking through how to combine clothes and accessories and getting to know your favourite styles and brands. How long does it take? e rst visit is usually around three hours. What should you bring? Wear something comfortable and bring along any accessories, or shoes to coordinate with your new out ts. Which brands are on o er? All the highend labels, from the likes of Diane von Furstenberg and Ralph Lauren. Any added extras? Male and female departments, free tea and co ee, and parking for up to four hours. Harvey Nichols, Mall Of The Emirates, Al Barsha, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4098833
Take a personal shopper with you, so you can browse more stores with an expert on hand
Personal shopper, stylist and Reiss brand ambassador Step one: The style consultation An appointment in your own home allows Kelly to go through your wardrobe to identify what’s needed, plus nd out more about your tastes. A shopping list is then devised. Dhs800, or Dhs1,000 if in Abu Dhabi, for three to four hours. Step two: The shopping Visit your favourite stores, venture into new shops or go to the tailor for custom pieces, with Kelly advising. Dhs450 per hour or Dhs2,700 for seven hours. Tel: (050) 962296. email@example.com. divine.ae
Why? You may have unwittingly gone through your life wearing colours that do you no favours, choosing un attering hemlines and coordinating out ts with the skill of a chimp. After all, as Clairee in Steel Magnolias says “The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorise”. Which is why House of Colour is on hand to help you pick pieces to transform you from dowdy to dazzling. How? A three-hour consultation can be done either alone or with friends, and involves an in-depth discussion with consultant Janet Small to nd out your requirements, tastes and concerns. The majority of your appointment will be spent in front of a mirror, with various swathes of fabric placed next to your face to determine which ‘season’ you are. Your skin tone will either be blue or yellow based, with two seasons for each type. It’s not as simple as blondes are summer and brunettes are autumn, so forget any preconceived ideas you may have about what suits you; the exercise is about looking at your face and what e ect di erent colours have, rather than what you like. Some shades can make you look slimmer, with an even skin tone, while others might create a rounder face with a grubby appearance. Nice. Once Janet has worked out your season, you’re introduced to your colour palette, with recommendations made for di erent pieces of clothing, makeup and accessories. You’ll leave with a folder full of colour swatches and tailor-made advice. The bad news? Half your wardrobe (and even your jewellery) might have to be given away. The good news? It’s time to go shopping. House Of Colour, Arabian Ranches, Dubai, Dhs700. Tel: (050) 2420443
44 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
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News, reviews, giveaways and more from the world of well-being
NEWS FLASH POWER WATER UAE Sadly, both the bottled and tap water in the
can be lacking in essential minerals to keep us properly hydrated, but rather than splashing out on isotonic sports drinks, we’re now adding colourless concentrate Elete Electrolytes to our drinking water, food and even cosmetics, which contains naturally occurring salts and electrolytes. One small bottle (Dhs45) is enough to make ten litres of super-charged uid (with no di erence to taste) and has been given to construction workers in Dubai over the hot summer, as well as athletes, cabin crew and diabetics. We recommend it for working out, as well as part of your recovery from a heavy night out. A gym kit and handbag essential. Organic Foods & Café, The Dubai Mall, Dubai, Dhs45. eletewater.ae
DIFC dwellers and workers should keep their eyes peeled for the latest tness and wellness centre to open. U Concept will o er a health club, training, nutrition, retail, a spa and even at-home services. Due to open in September, this slick space will be the go-to gym for burning o all those long lunches at La Petite Maison. uconcept6.com
ON THE RADAR U CONCEPT
Q. I’ve recently become sensitive to chemicals in even the gentlest beauty products – can you recommend some recipes for making my own at home? A. Head to the supermarket, not the pharmacy. Keep it natural – and cheap – with a soothing face mask of equal parts honey and natural yoghurt (not a Muller Corner…), add half a cup of coconut milk and half a cup of rose petals to your bath for extra hydration and try a scrub of cornmeal (four tablespoons) and half an orange, mixed into paste. For more ideas, check out A Green Guide To Natural Beauty, Dhs56, from amazon.co.uk
THE CHEAT'S QUICK FIX
If you’re getting hot and bothered over Bikram yoga, then it’s time to sign up to Club Stretch’s new challenge; Dhs630 for 30 classes in 30 days. Miss a session? Just double up the next day (gulp). There are prizes to be won should you complete the month-long body blitz. Club Stretch, Mind Road, Satwa, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3452131. clubstretch.ae
THIS MONTH WE'RE BUYING... KIEHL’S CRÈME DE CORPS
Hip brand Kiehl’s has teamed up with arty types from the Middle East and the Make A Wish Foundation to create a limited edition 500ml body cream, with all proceeds going to help grant the wishes of terminally ill children. Four women, including architect Zaha Hadid and fashion designer Ayesha Depala, have been commissioned to create labels for the luxury product, so you can add a touch of culture and charity to your bathroom shelves. Bloomingdale's, The Dubai Mall and Harvey Nichols, Mall Of The Emirates, Dubai, Dhs300 for 500ml. kiehls.com
Sadly, exercise and anti-cellulite massages can only do so much. Sometimes, super strong pantyhose are the sole solution. The saving grace of many a woman, from the boardroom to the red carpet, Spanx have only been available online until now. These form- tting undergarments smooth lumps and bumps, often helping the wearer to drop a dress size. Sign us up. Available from K-Lynn, various branches, Dubai. klynn.co
THIS MONTH WE’RE TREATING YOU TO... ESPA EXFOLIATING BODY POLISH
Reveal softer skin with this gentle gel scrub from ESPA (Dhs199), which uses apricot kernels, aloe, spearmint and nutrient-rich phytoplankton to remove dead skin cells. Ideal for post-holiday and AC-parched skin, it promises a brighter and more toned appearance. For your chance to win this product, e-mail winwithwhatson@ motivate.ae with ‘ESPA’ in the subject line and the correct answer to this question… Which 1990s girl group sang No Scrubs? a) ABC b) TLC c) JLS
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 47
Deep tissue massages
Overdone it at the gym? Shoulders seized up from sitting at your desk? Ditch the softly-softly approach and tackle those troubled muscles with a hard-hitting session at the spa
WHAT? Active muscle massage WHERE? Zen Spa HOW MUCH? Dhs400 for an hour, Dhs600 for 90 minutes Don’t let Zen’s sedate surrounds lull you into thinking this treatment won’t crunch where it matters. De Stress muscle gel soothes and improves circulation, but when the therapist begins to use her elbows like pistons to work away tightness between the shoulder blades, you’re going to know about it. Concentrating on – and we quote – ‘back, shoulder, butt and legs’, a er special attention toward a longstanding calf complaint, an hour later it’s as if two new legs had been attached. Beach Rotana, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 6979000. rotana.com
MIND & BODY
FIVE OF THE BEST
early, so you have plenty of time to enjoy the Jacuzzi, sauna and steam before your treatment. e approach was a little bit on the spiritual side for our tastes – we had to rate emotions and stare into a worry basket, which was then le outside the door, before jumping on the table – but e Butter y WHAT? Traditional Thai massage E ect was a no holds barred sports massage, WHERE? Grand Bliss Relaxology and no mistake. Billed as a combination of HOW MUCH? A rock bottom ai, deep tissue and sports massage, it is Dhs190 for an hour, or Dhs350 for two hours designed to tackle tight muscles. A painfully Don your cotton jim-jams, lie on the mattress e ective range of stretches really loosened and be kneaded, stretched and manipulated up our limbs, and our therapist asked plenty into oblivion; therapist Duangphon can’t of questions, tailoring the massage to relieve weigh more than 40kg, but has the strength a niggling back pain. A good option for all to twist your body into a pretzel, crack joints sportsmen and women. and leave muscles quivering in her wake. The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort Far from a namby-pamby aromatherapy & Marina, Dubai Marina, Dubai, daily 8am to rubdown, this is an enthusiastically 10pm. Tel: (04) 5117901. westin.com administered and energising massage that might hurt a little at the time, but your body WHAT? Golf Ball Massage will thank you for it later. WHERE? SPA InterContinental, Al Wasl Road, Dubai, 9am to midnight. HOW MUCH? Members Dhs360 Tel: (04) 3493490 for an hour, or Dhs440 for 90 minutes; non-members Dhs450 for an hour, or WHAT? The Butterﬂy Effect Dhs550 for 90 minutes WHERE? Heavenly Spa Whether you’ve just stepped o the green HOW MUCH? A slightly above or just had a particularly stressful week, the average Dhs595 for 85 minutes self-explanatory golf ball massage releases Make sure you arrive at least 30 minutes the built-up tension hidden around your
48 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
body’s nooks. erapist Odiya is equally happy giving you everything from a gentle rub to getting her elbows stuck in – so let her know your preference. A er the initial de-stress oil massage, warmed up golf balls are brought into play and pressed rmly into all your pressure points – unorthodox, but e ective. Al Badia Golf Club, InterContinental Dubai Festival City, Dubai, 9am to 8pm. Tel: (04) 7011257. albadiagolfclub.ae WHAT? Sports man massage WHERE? Man/Age HOW MUCH? Dhs320 for an hour, Dhs425 for 90 minutes Personalised by choice of essential oil, areas of focus and pressure level, one glance at our therapist’s stocky build leads us to wisely downgrade our usual ‘ rm’ request to ‘medium-to- rm’. Various contortions follow soon a erward. All four limbs are lent a new lease of life by brisk rounds of stretching, while liberal applications of the spray-on essential oil nicely eases a particularly sti lower back. Level One, Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thurs 10am to 11pm, Fri 2pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6818837. managespa.com
MIND & BODY
HOW TO… MAKE NEW FRIENDS
In this ever-transient region, when pals depart it’s time to expand your horizons. Put on your friendliest face, make room in the diary and wade into new social circles
GOOSEBERRY Gooseberry is the website that brings together foodies for social dinners in Dubai. Diners are matched by age, interests and location, and then introduced over a meal, with tables of up to ten people enjoying a feed and good chat at a restaurant. Membership costs Dhs1,500, which entitles you to eight events and is open to over 25s. gooseberrydubai.com NEW TO DUBAI A community event open to people who have recently arrived in the UAE, New To Dubai will showcase everything from local sports clubs and choirs, to maintenance companies and dentists. Free to attend, the evening will also o er entertainment, advice from experts, entertainment and giveaways. facebook.com/newtodubai NEW IN ABU DHABI Newcomers to the capital can nd plenty of kindred spirits by joining this almost 500strong online Abu Dhabi group. It acts as a home base for organising evening and weekend social events, including co ee, dinners, drinks, beach visits and barbecues. Come armed with inspiration too, as new suggestions for meet ups are welcome. meetup.com/New-in-Abu-Dhabi ROTARACT CLUB OF JUMEIRAH Meet people and do charitable work too, with this organisation for professionals under30. It meets every Monday night to address community and social issues, and has arranged events including a fashion show featuring local designers, with all proceeds going to Dubai causes. It’s a friendly, informal meet up, and is always looking for new members. rotaractjumeirah.org
Delivered by Aldar
IT’S YOUR TURN
TO FALL IN LOVE WITH THE RACE
It’s a promise to feel the Ferrari rush at the next bend in the track, on the next ride, or wherever the spirit takes you. There are endless ways to let your competitive spirit rev to life. Experience the dream like never before, with over 20 rides and attractions in the world’s largest indoor theme park. ferrariworldabudhabi.com
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 49
SPORT & OUTDOOR
Our features writer, Matt, spends far too much time indoors watching ﬁlms. So we thought we’ d send him off to brave whatever adventures we deem fun and/or silly enough to make us laugh.This month, Matt tackles… fencing
One of cinema’s golden rules: the master swordsman always gets the girl. Errol Flynn, Antonio Banderas, Orlando Bloom – I’m pretty sure that all their success boils down to how well they wield a sword. Safe with this watertight theory in mind, I headed to the MK Fencing Academy for a bit of swordplay. En garde. forward or backward. Maria pairs me up with Simon, a ‘veteran’ of one previous lesson and, unarmed, we practice reacting to and anticipating each other’s movements.
CALORIE COUNT: 460 CALORIES PER HOUR
ON THE ATTACK
Tempted as I am to pick up a sword and start slashing away at imaginary foes, my instructor, Maria, is quick to tell me that there is no messing around when it comes to fencing. Safety is key. Plans to swing from curtains and chandeliers dri sadly (but safely) from my mind. A er a brief warm up she introduces the three types of weapons and explains their di erences: the foil – lightest and traditionally used for duelling, épée – heavier than the foil with a larger hand guard, and sabre – the heaviest and most pirate-like, used for slashing. We start with the épée, and I inwardly curse the lack of potential pirate slashing on the horizon.
My previous duelling experiences revolve around me scampering away to a safe distance, so I am happy to learn that speed and being slight of foot is essential to fencing. First up, we learn the ‘en garde’ stance. Legs should be shoulder width apart, your knees bent with your legs in an L-shape and your dominant foot facing forward. Your sword arm should be slightly bent and held out in front, with your back arm held up behind you. Moving towards or away from your opponent relies on staying in the stance and quickly shu ing
Ah, the lunge. Now we’re talking. Let’s face it – the whole reason anyone takes up fencing is to score that classic lunge to the chest. Extending your sword arm and lunging forward seems simple enough, but that’s before you factor in an array of defensive movements and counter attacks available to your foe. To help make our lunge more e ective, we are taught the ballestra – an explosive jumping motion, and VERDICT Fencing is a sport that can take various feints essential to catching years to master: the subtle moveone’s opponent o guard. ments, gauging your opponent’s DEFENCE ability and the skill to fully capiApparently, telling Simon that his talise on an opening are all things shoelace is untied does not constithat come through time, focus tute as a ‘valid defence’. What does, and practice. As far as learning however, are subtle movements of the basics, the beginner classes the wrist, known as parries, which are a ordable, informative and, de ect the opponent’s blade. Quick most importantly, fun. Although, motions such as these allow you to it might take a few more years enjoy the upper hand in the duel, before I am able to impress the especially when counter-attacking. girls with my skills.
MK Fencing Academy, Raﬄes International School, Jumeirah, Dubai, beginners épée Wed 6.30pm to 7.30pm, advanced épée and foil Wed 7.30pm to 9pm, Dhs60. Tel: (050) 7944190. dubaifencingclub.com Emirates Heritage Club, near Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, Sun, Tue and Thurs 8pm, Emiratis free, expats Dhs100 to Dhs150 per session with equipment provided, Dhs35 per session with own equipment. Tel: (050) 3203421
Literally translates to "on [your] guard". Fencers take this stance when they are ready to begin
An attacking move that can cover a lot of distance. It also ensures that your body is a safe distance away from an opponent's counter-attack
A defensive de ection of an opponent's weapon
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 51
In his seven years as a personal trainer, James Houghton has helped everyone from West End actresses to the Arabian Gulf rugby sevens team lose the pounds and keep in shape
THERT! E EXP
Do you have a tness question for James? E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m in pretty decent shape, but if I do put on weight it’s always around the stomach. I’ve heard this is a problem common to most men. Do you have any tips for banishing my belly? Faisal, Abu Dhabi Just as the majority of women tend to store most of their weight around their hips and thighs, men tend to store it around the lower part of the abdomen. Honestly, it’s generally a by-product of the food and drink we consume, alongside environmental and psychological stresses, which are linked to the hormone cortisol. Ask any man where the last place they lose weight is and they’ll say the lower part of the abdomen, so don’t worry, you are not alone. By simply focusing your food intake on sources of protein, good fats and carbohydrates in the form of brous vegetables and those varying in colour you will be able to drop body fat from your belly. Add to that a training programme that is written for fat loss and you can’t go wrong. But let me make one thing loud and clear – sit-ups won’t do it.
embarking on a well-planned strength and conditioning programme, which does need to be gym-based. Perhaps you could look at doing two pitch or court sessions and two to three gym sessions per week. But don’t waste your time on isolation exercises.
I love popcorn – going to the cinema isn’t the same without it – but I’ve heard that even a small, salted box contains hundreds, or even thousands, of calories. Is popcorn bad for me? Gemma, Al Quoz, Dubai Popcorn itself is not very calorie dense. A er all, what is it? Popped kernels of corn, plain and simple. Air popped popcorn is naturally high in bre, low in calories and fat, contains no sodium and is sugar free. However, the way in The new sporting seasons are about to start. If I play sport two which it is prepared, as well as or three times a week, can those the choice of topping you decide sessions act as replacements for to coat your popcorn with, can massively alter the number of gym work, or do I still have to calories you end up consuming, keep up my three weekly gym which is all too easy if you like sessions? going to the cinema. Certain Jean-Paul, Satwa, Dubai studies have quoted that cinema If you truly want to out perform your peers, then I strongly suggest popcorn can range from 400 to 1,200 calories. If you do want your popcorn x, stick with the air-popped variety.
52 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
This month's clubbing highlights
1 2 7 8
Jamrock @ Sublime Lounge Urban and dancehall from DJ Brooklyn and DJ Taz. Ibis Hotel, Dubai World Trade Center, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100, ladies and couples free before midnight. Tel: (04) 3324444
Vogue Party @ Ryders Lounge Lavish new party with tunes from DJs Lady Red Label, Ka Boo and Kat. Abu Dhabi City Golf Club, 19th and 24th Street, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, 9pm to 3am, Dhs100 including one drink, ladies and couples free. Tel: (050) 2641834. adcitygolf.ae
16 MustHaveSoul @ Sea Lounge
The swanky Monte Carlo Beach Club opens its doors this month and the MustHaveSoul crew are taking full advantage with a brand new residency. MHS’ Simon Reid reveals all…
Are you excited about helping to launch MCBC? Extremely. The venue is amazing, right in front of the beach with a fantastic Funktion One soundsystem, for all the sound geeks out there. As with all of our nights, you can expect the very best in soulful dance music by our team of residents. Once a month we will be bringing international DJ talent to Abu Dhabi. Our rst guest will be UK producer/DJ Soul Purpose on Oct 7. Are you aiming to replicate the vibe of your parties in Dubai at 360°? MCBC has many similar features: a great sound system and it's Abu Dhabi, 5pm to 3am, free. Tel: (02) 6545138. www.relaxat12.com
Al Maya Island Beach Party @ Al Maya Island Season opener for popular parties on the idyllic island resort. Al Maya Island & Resort, Abu Dhabi, noon to 10pm, Dhs100, ladies free until 2pm. Tel: (02) 6577777 Loaded @ Casa Latina Indie, pop and rock hip-shakers from the See You Next Friday gang (also Sep 30). Ibis Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Barsha, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, free. Tel: (055) 8825675. www.facebook.com/seeyounextfriday
Ferry Corsten @ Progressive Beats Boutique The Dutch trance scene leader ies into town ahead of his forthcoming fourth studio album. Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, Dhs150 to Dhs250. Tel: (050) 3832012 or (050) 3830405. ferrycorsten.com
15 16 22
Audio Tonic @ Sea Lounge New season, new location for the Audio Tonic crew, with residents Mr Mr, Vas Floyd, Raxon, JC and Soul sher. Monte Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, 9pm to 3am, free. Tel: (02) 6563500. myspace.com/audiotonic
Fashion Overdose @ Armani/Privé Pierre Ravan, plus residents. Armani/Privé, Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100, ladies free. Tel: (04) 8883308. dubai.armanihotels.com
Chris Montana @ Viva The German DJ is joined by Darko De Jan and Patrik Carrera Armani/Privé, Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100, ladies free. Tel: (04) 8883308. myspace.com/djchrismontana
predominantly outside with sea views. In our mind, it’s the best place to view the sunset in Abu Dhabi, which always creates a special vibe. What else is in the pipeline? We're working on a few projects. We're also looking in to doing international tours in 2012, plus we have our DJ agency, MustHaveDJs. And we've been trying to launch a label for a while now. We're hoping by the end of this year we'll have a solid release in place. Monte Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, 4pm to 2am, free. Tel: (02) 6563500. musthavesoul.com A ten-hour pre-launch for Audio Tonic’s sixth season, led by residents including Mr Mr, Raxon and Julian Jinx. 360º, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Al Sufouh, Dubai, 4pm to 2am, free. Tel: (050) 1076405. myspace.com/audiotonic
Danism @ Ministry Of Sound Brit house double act, aka Dan Smith and Dan Nu:Tone, plus Conan Manchester. XL Beach Club, Habtoor Grand Beach Resort, Dubai Marina, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, Dhs100, ladies free before midnight. Tel: (04) 4084444. myspace.com/danismuk
Roberto Mermand @ Relax@12 Globetrotting spinner brings his beats back home. Aloft, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre,
Sunset Sessions @ AudioTonic
23 Matt White @ Ministry Of Sound R&B Anthems
British king of smooth R&B bangers Matt White has also worked with countless superstars at major record label Universal. He kicks off Ministry Of Sound’s new night at Sensation…
You were the ﬁrst UK R&B DJ to play Dubai. How has the city changed since you ﬁrst came over? So much; buildings and streets popped up out of nowhere every six months, golf courses came and went, and clubs changed more than I care to remember. I love golf so I’m going to try and nd time for a round or two, plus I’m going to check out some restaurants. And I collect classic watches, so I may head to the Gold Souk to see if I can nd one. Dubai has always been so good to me and appreciated the music, so it’s always nice to go back and see how it’s changed. Of all the multi-million-selling artists you’ve worked with, who has been your favourite? Eminem and Snoop Dogg’s humour is hysterical. 50 Cent and Nicole Scherzinger’s work ethics are incredible. Black Eyed Peas’ sense of togetherness reminds me of being in a family. LMFAO make a day feel like an hour, But working with Timbaland and Dr Dre… my two favourite producers of all time, hands down.
Eclectic Circle @ MustHaveSoul Launch of MHS’s new regular eclectic Saturday night, digging out northern soul to house. 360º, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Al Sufouh, Dubai, 4pm to 2am, free. Tel: (050) 1076405. musthavesoul.com
Does it inspire your own DJ career? Not really. I had success as a producer and DJ with Soul II Soul, Kiss FM and Ministry Of Sound before many of the artists I work with had a deal. But it makes me proud that I can help them achieve the success they deserve. Sensation, Crowne Plaza, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100, ladies free before midnight. Tel: (04) 3311111. facebook.com/djmattwhite
Jerry Ropero @ Viva Belgian-born, Croatia-based house name, plus residents. Armani/Privé, Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs100, ladies free. Tel: (04) 8883308. myspace.com/ jerryroperooﬃcialmyspace Liquid Rain Pool Party @ Aloft Radio 1 takes over Aloft’s huge regular party, broadcasting live from the splash pool. Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi, 4pm to 3am, Dhs100 including two drinks, ladies free. Tel: (02) 6545138. relaxat12.com
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 55
dXb Beach Festival
Aiming to attract an estimated 12,000 revellers, with 27 artists over three stages, the brand spanking new dXb Beach Festival is an impressively ambitious way to celebrate the end of summer. e headline draw is a live set from party-loving American electro duo LMFAO, who leapt to fame a er second album, Sorry For Party Rocking, was released earlier this year. e album s rst single, Party Rock Anthem, con rmed the pair s stratospheric rise, topping charts in their homeland and abroad. Also playing live are Black Cards, the new electronic project from Fallout Boy rock icon Pete Wentz. Elsewhere on the line-up, house heads are very well catered for in the shape of experienced Argentine Hernan Cattaneo, British scene leaders Dave Seaman and Nick Warren, and remix king Tommie Sunshine. US indie hip hoppers e Cataracs, Amanda Wilson, Jimmy Van M and a host of top spinners complete the bill, spread across the pool, beach and indoor tent stages, alongside a clutch of local deck-shredding talents. Sep 30, Nasimi Beach, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, 2pm to 3am, Dhs350 to Dhs950. Tel: (04) 4262626. dxbfestival.ae
Growing up in Buenos Aires in the late 1980s, Hernan Cattaneo’s life was changed when he ﬁrst heard Chicago house. He hasn’t looked back since, playing every inhabited continent on earth in a career that has conﬁrmed him as one of South America’s biggest DJs
Argentina isn’t necessarily mentioned in the same clubbing breaths as, say Detroit or Berlin, but it must still be an incredible place to play? I’ve heard many of the biggest DJs in the world choosing Argentina as their favourite place to play. In Buenos Aires there are some of the greatest events in America, like the Moonpark shows or Cream elds Argentina, the biggest Cream elds event outside the UK. Do you think your South American roots give your music a certain rhythm that producers elsewhere in the world might not be able to harness? There’s a mix of that, even when I don’t play any Latin or related music in my sets. I would say the approach is di erent. We have always been close to a big variety of styles. You’ve played Dubai on several occasions. Do you look forward to shows here? I’ve been to Dubai many times, most of them playing Peppermint, and always had a very good time. The mix of cultures makes a great atmosphere and that’s crucial to having a good show. Are there any countries left that you haven’t played that you really want to visit on tour? Over the past 12 years I’ve had the privilege to travel to almost every city in the world where there’s club culture. Maybe Thailand would be the one left. You’ve just played in Greece with Nick Warren, who is also on the dXb bill. Are you two pals? We are very good friends. We’ve played together many times around the world. I’m also friends with Dave Seaman and Jimmy Van M. I think Dubai will really enjoy our shows. It’s going to be a really good festival. hernancattaneo.com
The Bristol-based DJ, and one half of seasoned production duo Way Out West, recalls his top ﬁve favourite musical cities from his global travels
Buenos Aires, Argentina Buenos Aries has wonderful people, amazing food, great football and a crowd who love deep underground music. What more could I ask for? Reykjavik, Iceland For its small population, Iceland produces an amazing number of talented bands and musicians, such as Björk and Sigur Rós. It’s also one of the friendliest places to visit. Bristol, UK My hometown is a hotbed for musical talent. The list is amazing: Massive Attack, Portishead, Way Out West, Roni Size and many, many more. New York, USA NYC is always an exciting place to visit and to perform in; very cool crowds and the chance to see some amazing emerging talent every night of the week. Turku, Finland This is my second home and where I always seem to be inspired to write my music. It’s also home to many amazing Finnish electronic artists. djnickwarren.com
British house legend Dave Seaman celebrates dXb’s sandy setting with a beachbased inquisition…
Are you a beach lover? Not at all, actually. I hate beaches. It’s just not natural. Human beings aren’t built for sweating in the sand. I’d much rather be by a pool with air-conditioning. Factor 50 or sunburn? I’m an Englishman with a bald head who goes red very quickly. I’ve been various shades of lobster over the years, but I’ve learnt my lesson. Swim-shorts or Speedos? Oh, swim-shorts, unless you need to scare everybody o the beach. Which are you favourite beaches in the world? I really like Sa Caleta in Ibiza. Cocoa Island in the Maldives, where I went on my honeymoon, is beautiful. And Boracay in Manila is truly stunning. djdaveseaman.com
56 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
The Turkish capital is less than ﬁve hours ﬂight from the UAE, but once there it feels like a million miles away
e cliché about Istanbul is that the two sides straddling the mighty Bosphorus are a bridge between East and West. But on our rst day in the Turkish capital, our Bosphorus yacht tour guide told us, “don’t bother with the Asian side, there’s nothing there. People might live on the Asian side, but they work, eat and play here on the European side – this is the real Istanbul.” And though we did have a desire to see the famous Hyderpassa Station – the only notable sight on the Asian side agged in all the guide books – it is “just a train station”, and there is plenty on the European side to give you a taste of the Turkish capital in two busy days. And it’s sure to leave you hungry for more. Everyone who has been to Istanbul returns full of an unbridled passion for the city – determined to persuade all their friends to add Turkey’s stamp to their passport. Some cite how easy it is to get around on foot compared to the UAE, others the many delicious restaurants that have sprung up – some homely, others intriguingly inventive – but Istanbul’s charm is that the majority of its citizens are modern, open-minded and distinctly European in attitude, whereas its architecture, its makeup, is a fascinating blend of old and new. It’s not hard to nd yourself sipping a bottle of the local brew Efes in a roo op beer garden looking down on people striding along the chic, suburban streets of Ortakoy. Nor alternatively, qua ng a cocktail at a terrace table of a highend fusion restaurant overlooking the waters of the Golden Horn and the frenetic streets and majestic timeworn buildings of Eminonu, Cagaloglu and Sultanahmet beyond. East and West, old and new – Istanbul has it all. And a surprising amount can be packed into a short space of time.
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 59
Old and new: The Ortakoy Mecidiye mosque sits next to the Bosphorus bridge
of children hopping on and oﬀ the slow moving tram. It’s worth exploring the maze of side streets surrounding the tower, maybe popping into one of the small bars or restaurants for refreshment, but you probably won’t want to dip into your wallet – it’s mostly tourist tat, unfortunately. The tower itself, though, begs to be climbed. The focal point of the Genoese community of medieval Constantinople, as it was then called, climbing, or taking a lift up, the Galata Tower and venturing out on to the dizzyingly slanted terrace that runs right around the building, you are aﬀorded 360˚ views of the city. 8pm to 11pm If you’re only going to splash out on one dinner during your stay, make sure you book a table (well in advance) at the city’s most famous restaurant, Mikla (miklarestaurant.com), at The Marmara Pera in Beyoglu, where chef-owner Mehmet Gurs fuses Turkish and Scandinavian cuisine (trust us, it’s good). 11pm until bedtime If you’re not ready for bed, it’s possible to party into the wee small hours. You could just head up to Mikla’s roof terrace for cocktails, pop in to Nardis Jazz Club (nardisjazz.com) near the Galata Tower, or if you really want to party there are numerous nightclubs in the side streets of Beyoglu. Seek out electro haunt Indigo (livingindigo.com), or live music hot spot Babylon (babylon. com). If you’re really in the mood, jump in a cab and head to Reina (reina.com.tr) beside the Bosphorus in Ortakoy.
9am to 11am Wake up at the boutique W Istanbul in the gentriﬁed district of Besiktas. Close to the suburban bars and cafés of Ortakoy, and within comfortable walking distance (or a short taxi ride) of almost anywhere you would want to visit in the city. Walk the 15 minutes to Ortakoy, taking a detour to the water’s edge to ogle the grand Bosphorus Bridge, and enjoy breakfast or coﬀee at The House Café (thehousecafe.com) before browsing the scattering of small shops dotted around the streets near the quayside. If you’re visiting Ortakoy on a Sunday, make sure you visit the small Sunday market and pick up a few knick-knacks. 11am to 1pm From Ortakoy, walk back along Ciragan Caddesi until it merges into Dolmabahce Caddesi, at which point you can take in the Dolmabahce Sarayi – the baroque palace on the banks of the Bosphorous, formerly home to the Ottoman sultans and the scene of Ataturk’s death in 1938. Continue along the road that soon becomes Meclis-Mebusan Caddesi until you reach Istanbul Modern (istanbulmodern.org) in Karakoy, where you can admire Turkish art before taking a table on the terrace at the restaurant and enjoying one of its terriﬁc pizzas while looking out over the Bosphorous. 1pm to 5pm Full of ﬁne food, high culture and a tipple or two, you will be ready to explore the magniﬁcently muddled streets and alleys of the Taksim and Beyoglu districts, right at the heart of the city. Make your way up one of several very steep hills to the main shopping street, Istikal Cadessi, and wander towards the Galata Tower, pausing to take a couple of snaps of the seasoned buskers and street performers, or gaggles
9am to 11am If you can only spare a morning, you would be a fool not to book a two-hour sightseeing cruise, which will take you from the Kabatas Pier, close to the Dolmabahce Sarayi, past palaces, mansions and adventurous locals in dubious swimwear contemplating a leap into the deep, dark water. We booked through Zoe Yacht Cruises (bosphorusyacht.com), and enjoyed a couple of hours reclining with a beer while a pleasingly no-nonsense guide answered our questions. 11pm to 2pm Follow Meclis-Mebusan Cadessi until you reach the Galata Bridge over the Golden Horn to Eminonu. Seek out Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi (Tahmis Sokak 66, Eminonu) and grab a bag of the best Turkish coﬀee in Istanbul, before visiting Haci Bekir (Hamidiye Cadessi 83, Eminonu) for a box of freshly made (don’t let them fob you oﬀ with the pre-packaged tourist guﬀ ) pistachio lokum (Turkish delight). Your shopping done (for now), head to Sultanahmet and Yerabatan Sarnici, the Byzantineera underground cisterns made famous by James Bond ﬁlm From Russia With Love, before taking in the majestic Blue Mosque. 2pm to 4pm Grab something hearty for lunch at one of the restaurants around the Blue Mosque before strolling to Cagaloglu and the labyrinthine Grand Bazaar. You will ﬁnd everything from antique shops to purveyors of tourist junk under the Bazaar's roof, but make sure you head outside to the open-air courtyard where predominantly elderly gents with their wares laid out on rugs welcome all comers. 7pm to bedtime There’s no better way to spend your ﬁnal evening than with a plate of tapas-style cold cuts and cheese washed down with a bottle of Turkish wine at the alfresco tables of Corvus (corvus.com.tr) in Besiktas.
A river runs through it: Istanbul sprawls along the banks of the Bosphorus
60 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
Pottery barn: There are plenty of places to pick up brightly coloured knick-knacks
NEED TO KNOW
HOW TO GET THERE
Air Arabia ies from Sharjah to Istanbul Sabiha Airport daily from around Dhs1,400
WHERE TO STAY
"EVERYONE WHO HAS BEEN TO ISTANBUL RETURNS FULL OF AN UNBRIDLED PASSION FOR THE CITY – DETERMINED TO PERSUADE ALL THEIR FRIENDS TO ADD TURKEY'S STAMP TO THEIR PASSPORT"
W Istanbul The W Istanbul is a boutique hotel in the vibrant and stylish district of Besiktas – the perfect location for Istanbul rsttimers (or second timers, for that matter). It’s on the right side of town for the quieter Istanbul Sabiha Airport, where most lowcost ights from the UAE will land, and promises a warm welcome with a team of helpful reception sta ready to provide maps and directions. The breakfast is superb (the French toast will see you through the busiest of mornings) and the hotel boasts a lobby lounge with free Wi-Fi, sleek second oor bar with a terrace and two restaurants. It’s the trendiest hotel in the city. wistanbul.com.tr
TL (Turkish Lira) 1 = Dhs2
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 61
Advice, deals and other tasty travel tidbits
Travels with… Najwa Najjar
Dubai International Film Festival is screening Najwa Najjar’s Pomegranates & Myrrh. The award-winning Palestinian ﬁlm-maker believes that travel should be central to everyone’s life
What’s the best holiday you have ever had? I loved Cuba. It is one of the last remaining non-commercial destinations, with fantastic people, scenery, history, beaches, music and food. What has been your biggest travel disaster? I don’t look at single bad incidents that have happened; I think the biggest travel disaster would be not travelling at all. If you could advise people to visit one destination, what would it be? Palestine, of course. What are your top three tips for surviving a long airport layover? You should try and pay a visit to the stopover destination. Before you travel, try to download lms and books. And, if you have enough frequent yer miles, go and relax in one of the lounges. What do you never travel without? I always make sure I have my laptop or iPad, a book, toothbrush and change of clothes. Sept 1 to 14, Pomegranates & Myrrh, The Picturehouse, Reel Cinemas, The Dubai Mall, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4491988. reelcinemas.ae
Open Skies editor and passport stamp collector, Conor Purcell,answers your travel dilemmas
I would like to trek up a mountain, but I really don't want to join the "I've climbed Kilimanjaro" crowd. I'd also like to see some exciting wildlife on the way. Any suggestions? Nick, Dubai Marina The best place in Africa for mountains is the area bordering the Great Rift Valley in the north-east of the continent. This is as desolate and rugged as Africa gets, and areas like the Danakil Depression (straddling Ethiopia and Djibouti) are otherworldly. Northern Ethiopia has some of the best trekking in the world: the Semien Mountains are particularly stunning; with Ras Dashen (at more than 4,500 metres) a worthy climb. The mountains contain baboons, ibex, wolves and caracal, as well as numerous small villages. Local guides are available or you can go through a trekking company. For something more extreme, head east towards the Eritrean border and the Afar Depression. This particularly venomous stretch of land contains the Erta Ale volcano, one of the most spectacular in the region. The heat, isolation and local tribesmen (you will need armed guards) mean this is a trek for the hardy, but on the plus side, it is light years away from the Birkenstock set you will meet on Kilimanjaro.
This month’s travel news
CARBON-NEUTRAL TRAVEL The MENA region welcomes its rst carbon neutral travel company, Wildguanabana. Recently opened in Dubai, the adventurously named company specialises in bespoke alternative travel ideas, and ensures that your itinerary and all its journeys are carbon neutral. wildguanabana.com EID GETAWAY Dnata is o ering several three-night getaways (including
62 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
ights) to Malaysia, Thailand and the Maldives during the Eid Al Fitr break. But you’ll have to act quickly; the o ers have to be snapped up by September 15. Until Sept 15, Dnata Holidays, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3166666. dnataholidays.com TRAVEL APP Public transport in foreign cities can be a nightmare, but thanks the AllSubway HD app you can easily navigate your way around. It features up-to-date maps of subways and trains for over 128 di erent cities and even works o ine. Available for: iPhone and iPad Price: $0.99 (Dhs3.66) itunes.apple.com
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DHOW CRUISE DINNER
Two Hours Cruising on Historic Dubai Creek Fully Air-Condition Lower Deck & Open Air Upper Deck English, Hindi and Arabic Music Soft Drinks, Tea and Coffee Continental & Arabic Buffet Dinner
Photograph in Local Dresses
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New entry Non-mover Up Down
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 65
p67 p71 p75 p79
Brunches Bars Restaurants Spas
THE HOT LIST
OUR PICK OF THE BRUNCH BUNCH
WHAT’S ON SAYS...
Wonderful food, indulgent drinks and a top drawer setting.
The Fairmont sits pretty at the city's brunching summit, with high status drinks to match.
This 200-dishplus spread also sprawls into Frankie's Italian Restaurant & Grill.
You won't nd many more sophisticated hotels in Abu Dhabi and the Fairmont's bars and entertainment re ect that. The Souk is your one-stop destination for a day of food, fashion and fun.
Splashing out to start the weekend in grand fashion.
Crack open champers with Dhs449 for unlimited Moët and Chandon. Dhs299 with wine and beer or Dhs249 with soft drinks. At Dhs475, this is at the walletdraining end of Abu Dhabi brunches. Freeowing Lanson champagne eases the nancial pain. Dhs200 with unlimited champagne should have you charging your glasses.
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 12.30pm to 4pm. Tel: (02) 6543333. fairmont.com
Join queues of satis ed brunchers for swish, modern Indian dining.
Biryanis, kebabs, plus plentiful selections for meat-shunning brunchers.
Getting a taste of spicy – and reassuringly pricey – Indian cuisine, among the very best the capital has to o er.
If there's a better Indian in the city, we haven't found it yet.
The Souk at Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 12.30pm to 3pm. Tel: (02) 5581769. soukqaryatatalberi. com
3 4 5
Relaxed, with a splendid bar, complementing an a la carte menu.
No low-rate international bu ets here. Just quality Asian-inspired dishes aplenty.
The brave might start to think about venturing toward the terrace as September wears on.
Late risers in need of an overdue Friday recovery session, or the preface to a fullon night out.
Where else can you nd such an a ordable brunch with unlimited champers?
InterContinental Hotel, Bainouna Street, Abu Dhabi, 2pm to 6pm. Tel: (02) 6666888. ichotelsgroup. com
A What's On fave; expect style and good times at this Emirates Palace highlight.
Pick either Friday or Saturday for a choice of Michelin star quality set or a la carte menu.
Emirates Palace. Need we say more?
Sampling one of our favourite restaurants on a relative budget.
Dhs325 including a bottle of Laurent Perrier champagne or Dhs199 with tea.
Bite-sized tastes of our Hot List-topping restaurant.
Emirates Palace, West Corniche, Abu Dhabi, Friday and Saturday noon to 3pm. Tel: (02) 6909000. hakkasan.com
Pearls & Caviar
Rede ning brunch, this Friday 'brunner' has a soundtrack provided by the resident P&C DJ.
Hot grills, live sushi station and a mojito bar.
Shangri-La, as its name suggests, is a real hotel paradise, beaten only by views of the Grand Mosque.
Avoiding an early start while getting over Thursday night in some style.
Dhs349, including a generous range of champagne, sparkling wine, cocktails, wine, beer and soft drinks.
A genuine pearl in Abu Dhabi's oyster of brunch options.
Shangri-La, Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 1pm to 4pm. Tel: (02) 5098888. shangri-la.com
SEPTEMBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 67 MARCH 2011
11 Mezla na Beach Rota 12 Essence, Yas Hotel rigins, 13 O ien rie, Le Mérid 14 La Brasse Rotana inger, Park 15 G
HOT ON HEE Pala THEi, EmiratesLS ce
Emirates Palace It doesn’t come much more authentic than Mezlai’s Emirati seafood family brunch, combining traditional dishes with underwater delights from calamari to the shark-based weld al-walad soup. Enjoy a welcoming family atmosphere surrounded by a luxurious interior based on the heritage of the UAE. West Corniche, Abu Dhabi, 2pm to 5pm, Dhs180. Tel: (02) 6909000. emiratespalace.com
PRICE WHAT’S ON SAYS...
One of What's On's favourite hotels keeps everybody happy.
PRICE ATMOSPHERE WHAT’S ON FOOD SAYS...
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With di erent o erings on Fridays and Saturdays, this is an easygoing weekend choice.
International bu et on Fridays, while Saturdays serve up the Global Brunch, starring Chinese and Vietnamese splendours. Hauls of seafood t to make the average sherman swell with pride.
Shoreline views ensure the spacious all-day restaurant should hold your attention for several hours.
Families through to party people. This brunch doesn't discriminate.
Dhs260 with wine and beer on Fridays, Dhs240 with a glass of bubbly or Dhs190 with wine and beer on Saturdays.
Shangri-La, Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 12.30pm to 4pm. Tel: (02) 5098888. shangri-la.com
Kick back early on, as this brunch begins relaxed, although proceedings can become livelier later on.
Get in a (sedate) spin at this revolving restaurant.
Guzzling ne seafood while gazing at stunning 360degree views of the city.
Dhs220 with unlimited red or white wine.
Remember where you're sitting, this isn't regular terra rma.
Le Royal Méridien, Khalifa Street, Abu Dhabi, 12.30pm to 3.30pm. Tel: (02) 6742020. leroyalmeridien. com
Becoming progressively more energetic as the afternoon wears on, with a live band and free- owing bubbly.
A massive international bu et will satisfy all tastes, whether you fancy a roast or a Chinese.
This is a brunch you could get lost in. Want dessert? You'll have to venture out towards Cloud Nine Cigar Bar next door. A few strides from the InterCon's ne selection of bars, with afternoon beach access thrown in as part of the price. The nearby grassy expanses give this brunch a de nite village vibe.
Dessert and cocktail fans, with great ranges of both sweet treats.
Dhs225, including unlimited bubbly.
Fun for all the family and sterling value for money.
Sheraton Abu Dhabi, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, 12.30pm to 3.30pm. Tel: (02) 6773333. sheraton.com
Up tempo, thanks to the South American sounds of the Madeira Latino Band.
A huge salad bar at least helps towards levelling up what is traditionally the unhealthiest meal of the week. A spread that e ortlessly encompasses meats, pasta, vegetarian dishes, fresh falafel and curries.
Carnivores with appetites as big as their plates, as Chamas specialises in meat.
Dhs295 including free- owing caipirinhas.
For meaty treats, look no further than Chamas.
InterContinental Hotel, Bainouna Street, Abu Dhabi, noon to 3pm. Tel: (02) 6666888. ichotelsgroup. com
The Village Club
A relaxed brunch mirrored by its edge-ofthe-city-centre locale.
Enjoying a brunch sans alcohol – you'll be glad you did come Saturday morning.
A commendably a ordable Dhs140.
Remove the usual excesses with a hearty family brunch.
One To One Hotel - The Village, Al Salam Street, Abu Dhabi, noon to 5pm. Tel: (02) 4952000. onetoonehotels. com
68 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
OCTOBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 68 AUGUST 2010
8-15 October 2011 Airport E xpo Dubai
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School/College student groups: AED 10/student per entry between 11am-2pm (except Friday) Minimum 50 students per group. This needs to be organised in advance before the show starts by emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Avoid the tra c and use the Rashidiya Metro Station with free shuttle buses to and from the venue.
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THE HOT LIST
THE FINEST FOR BEVERAGES AND BITES
WHAT’S ON SAYS...
Towards the end of this month the alluring terrace should become a realistic option again.
Successfully walking the tightrope between bustling and overly busy, with a constant ow of interesting revellers.
The souk is a onestop shop for dining and going out, with great views across the water to boot.
Starting or nishing the night in the company of an unpretentious crowd.
The cocktails aren't your bank balance's friend. Other than that, go for your life.
The Souk at Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed 7pm to 1pm, Thurs and Fri 7pm to 2am. Tel: (02) 5581680. emiratesleisureretail.com
This desirable brickwalled hangout, away from the hectic city centre, is nicely understated.
You can walk to almost all of Yas Island's surrounding entertainment. That's how close it is.
Escaping the hustle and bustle.
Excellent value for money for these quietly sophisticated surrounds.
Y is Yas Island’s best bar none.
Yas Island Rotana, Yas Plaza, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 4pm to 2.30am. Tel: (02) 6564000. rotana.com
Encapsulating the spirit of a northern European bar perfectly.
Chamas, the Yacht Club and the rest of the InterCon's ne selection of dining and drinking are only a brief dash away.
Top grub and beverages with your mates. If you're in the mood for seafood, unlimited mussels for Dhs120 on Tuesdays are a steal. Grabbing a bite to eat on your night out: the snack menu is chock with bar food beauties.
Good things come at a price, so don’t turn up at Belgian Café with chump change only.
For sweet morsels that could come direct from Brussels, try the sublime Belgian wa es.
InterContinental Hotel, Bainouna Street, Abu Dhabi, 5pm to 1am. Tel: (02) 6666888. ichotelsgroup.com
Spacious bar and plush furniture equals a swish vibe. Things can get a little rowdier as the evening goes on, though.
It’s only a few steps from all the restaurants and bars a reveller could ever need around Yas Island.
Very reasonable, all things considered.
Whether lounging early evening, or kicking the pace up later, Stills excels.
Crowne Plaza Yas Island, Yas Plaza, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, noon to 1am. Tel: (02) 6210000. ichotelsgroup.com
Open again after Ramadan, Brauhaus foregoes German beer hall vibes for something altogether more intimate.
Beach Rotana has su cient entertainment to deserve an extended visit, with Prego's, Rodeo Grill and Trader Vic's.
Living life like Oktoberfest isn't just once a year. Indeed, you may barely notice when it does come around at the end of this month.
Some of the speciality beers will leave your wallet lighter, but there are good drinks deals to be had, too.
Tankards at the ready: this is German pub craft at its most authentic.
Beach Rotana, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, 12.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 6979000. rotana.com
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 71 OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 71
ay 11 Hemingw ne Plaza Heroes, Crow yal Méridien 12 lly’s, Le Ro 13 PJ O’Rei Fairmont Bab Al Bahr eleon, éridien 14 Cham s Arms, Le M 15 Captain’
HOT ON ELS THE HE’s, Hilton
15 CAPTAIN’S ARMS
Le Royal Méridien The archetypal spit ‘n’ sawdust UK pub is hard to come by in Abu Dhabi. Stroll into the Captain’s Arms, however, and it’s akin to stepping back in time to a pre-smoking ban Britain of several years ago. The beer range is solid, the vibe cosy and the banter is, well, let’s just say that expats should feel at home. Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, noon to 12.30am. Tel: (02) 6446666. lemeridienabudhabi.com
WHAT’S ON SAYS...
House beats and demure socialising will soundtrack a top night out.
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Chilled and classy, but without any of the look-at-me attitudes on show at certain other bar-slash-clubs in the city.
On the roof of Aloft, among the city's hippest hotels.
Chilling on the rooftop terrace as summer starts to cool into autumn and checking out top name DJs at the weekends.
Cheaper than you might imagine from Relax's inviting interior.
Aloft, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Khaleej Al Arabi Street, abu Dhabi, 5pm to 2am. Tel: (02) 6545000. aloftabudhabi.com
Stars 'N' Bars
Upmarket sports bar with Formula 1 themes and motor sport memorabilia aplenty. After renovations, it's now boasting extra big screens and a VIP cocktail lounge. Returning after a Ramadan breather, the Yacht Club takes things easy early evening, cranking the pace up later at night.
Barely a pit lane's length away from the Marina Circuit, walking distance to Cipriani, and only a two-minute cab ride from the hospitality hub of Yas Island. With regular DJs, you can dance o a belly-swelling meal at any of the InterCon's restaurants.
A pre-club warmup or somewhere to catch the big match or race on television in comfort.
Thankfully the cars idolised at Stars 'N' Bars move much faster than the rate your wallet will empty here.
A grid leader, even if we'd like to see it stay open a touch later come the weekend.
Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Wed 11.30am to midnight, Thurs to Sat 11.30am to 1am. Tel: (02) 5650101. starsnbars.ae
The fairer members of the species, on Wednesday ladies nights at least, or gobbling unlimited sushi on Tuesdays.
A touch above average; the evening can get expensive if you aren't careful.
The Yacht Club will regain its rightful standing once it's cool enough for the terrace.
InterContinental Hotel, Bainouna Street, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed noon to 1am, Thurs noon to 3am, Fri 2pm to 3am, Sat 5pm to 1am. Tel: (02) 6666888. ichotelsgroup.com
Right up there with the city's swishest bars/ clubs, a reputation cemented by sets from DJs from across the globe.
The setting – the most luxurious hotel money can buy – guarantees gold-clad entertainment everywhere you look.
Savouring a divine meal at the neighbouring restaurant then taking to the dance oor.
Naturally, you can run up a bar tab the size of the Emirates Palace itself, although it is possible to enjoy a less expensive night here.
Far from as stuck-up as a seven-star hotel could end up.
Emirates Palace, West Corniche, Abu Dhabi, Mon to Wed 10pm to 3.30am, Thurs to Fri 11pm to 3.30am. Tel: (02) 6907999. etoilesuae.com
A British bar vibe with a media twist, thanks to its proximity to TwoFour54.
You're in a ve-star hotel, so be sure to visit one of the Park Rotana's plentiful restaurants while you're there.
Making the most of the generous happy hours and regular internationallythemed nights.
Not quite a steal, but then you wouldn't want somewhere that was too suspiciously cheap.
Western expats can temporarily banish homesickness for their fondly missed local.
Park Rotana, Al Matar, Abu Dhabi, noon to 2.30am. Tel: (02) 6573333. rotana.com
72 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
THE HOT LIST
THE ELITE OF THE EATING OUT SCENE
Pearls & Caviar
WHAT’S ON SAYS...
Spellbinding décor, plus the most alluring dim sum that’s ever passed our lips.
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Diners of exquisite taste from all walks of life relax in Hakkasan's cleverlydesigned dining areas.
Thoughtful layout of Oriental wooden paneldivided alcoves; mazy and luxurious.
Three What’s On Awards tells you everything you need to know – this is modern Asian cooking at its peak.
A Michelinstarred restaurant in the world’s most expensive hotel.
Pricey, but not eye-wateringly so. You won't be dining here every day, though, unless you own a wing of Emirates Palace. The four-course beef tasting menu (Dhs489 with wine, until December) is expensive, but not unreasonable.
Emirates Palace, West Corniche, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6909000. hakkasan.com
MPW Steakhouse & Grill
Marco Pierre White has combined a European homeliness with forwardthinking modernity.
Features that might not work in many other restaurants – such as a small wall re – give MPW its unique character.
What’s On’s favourite steakhouse, and for good reason. Brilliance with beef.
The Fairmont’s quality-oozing surrounds are custom made for an under-one-roof experience post-MPW.
MPW deserves a foodie knighthood for steak served with undeniable British nesse.
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 1am. Tel: (02) 6543333. fairmont.com
Re ned, classy, elegant and quintessentially French.
Stately traditional Gallic sophistication, from the paintings to the tables.
The nest French classics available in Abu Dhabi, lent imaginative contemporary twists.
Wherever you go in ShangriLa – from restaurants to rooms – the attention to detail is stunning.
High end. Hitting four gures isn't unobtainable. Worth the nancial pain, though, The wonderful wine list is, too. Turning to the caviar menu pages may result in major money haemorrhaging. Other than that, you get what you pay for. Re ective of the quality on o er. This is Emirates Palace, after all.
You won't nd many better French dining experiences this side of Paris. See p31 for our review.
Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 6.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 5098888. shangri-la.com
Pearls & Caviar
A rather romantic retreat, characterised by low-level lighting and re ned company.
The concept here is in the name, so expect black and white themes, representing the eponymous foodstu s.
Exquisite caviar and freshly hooked seafood head up an imaginative menu.
There are countless delights to explore throughout Shangri-La and the nearby souk.
Two-toned delicacies with contemporary class throughout.
Shangri-La, Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 5098888. shangri-la.com
Grand, but relaxed. Open once more after Ramadan.
Regal lighting, with garden views, although less obtrusively decadent than the Palace as a whole.
Expertly arranged ne dining. Leave room for the imposingly huge, but delicious, sou és.
With restaurant, bar and nightclub elements, this is an entire evening out through a solitary door.
Dine, dance and drink in luxury, all without leaving the premises.
Emirates Palace, West Corniche, Abu Dhabi, noon to 3pm and 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 6909000. etoilesuae.com
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 75
11 To Bab Al Bahr , Fairmont 12 Frankie’s , Grand Millennium llo 13 Porto Be Wahda Al ach Rotana 14 Finz, Be Palace i, Emirates 15 Mezla
HOT ON EEL THE HHilton S ki,
Hilton Creating truly special sushi, Toki’s crowning glory is its range of regional Japanese dishes, many of which you won’t ﬁnd in any other Abu Dhabi restaurants. The quality is equalled by Toki’s popularity, raw ﬁsh-loving diners ﬁlling their plates from the brightly lit neon sushi station, a beacon in the restaurant’s otherwise invitiing darkness. Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, noon to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 6811900. hilton.com
PRICE WHAT’S ON SAYS...
A lovely lunch option that transforms into a highly desirable dinner destination come evening.
PRICE ATMOSPHERE WHAT’S ON INTERIOR SAYS...
Open again post-Ramadan, this is possibly the Abu Dhabi restaurant to be seen at, while checking out fellow well-todo diners. A contemporary update on the traditional Indian dining experience.
Clean, modern lines and e ortlessly sophisticated.
Italian ne dining brought bang up to date.
The Marina Circuit and Yas Hotel are within eyeshot, making this Yas Island at its most iconic.
With wine for two, you shouldn't be surprised to crash through the four- gure barrier.
Cipriani Abu Dhabi, Building 1, Yas Yacht Club, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, noon to midnight. Tel: (02) 6575400. cipriani.com
Simple, but e ective, full of clean lines and soothingly subtle colours.
North Indian cuisine customised to your spice preference. We recommend the butter chicken.
The Souk, Shangri-La and nearby Fairmont will keep you comfortably occupied for hours.
Enough food to feed an army is only Dhs400 to Dhs500 for two.
Raising the bar for Indian restaurants in Abu Dhabi.
The Souk at Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 12.30pm to midnight. Tel: (02) 5581769. cplmg.com
An energetic South American vibe, with countless meat skewer-wielding waiters, all soundtracked by Latino music.
Multiple dining levels, a sizeable salad bar installation and a separate bar ensure plenty to keep the eyes occupied.
The Chamas card is key here: green for more meat, red to take a breather. Make the most of unlimited beef, chicken and lamb. Updating Italian staples, with notable attention to seafood. Special asparagus dishes are available during September. A huge array of ne dishes from around the world, from Indian curries to African grilled meats.
If you avoid the meat sweats, we recommend struggling over to the Belgian Café for a few brews.
Dhs225 for as much meat as you can handle. Skip lunch beforehand.
The Favourite Americas Restaurant at the What’s On Awards continues to be a unique draw.
InterContinental Hotel, Bainouna Street, Abu Dhabi, 6pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 6666888. ichotelsgroup.com
Relaxed and inviting – a popular spot for Yas Island diners.
Clean lines and a spacious layout make this an unpretentious Italian.
Yas Island has su cient entertainment options that the next stop on a night out is rarely far away.
Dhs400 for two without alcohol is possible, although do take a look at the extensive wine list.
Classic Italian dishes with a deal of 21st century air.
Radisson Blu, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Thurs 6pm to 11pm, Fri and Sat noon to 3.30pm and 6pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 6562000. radissonblu.com The Souk at Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to midnight. Tel: (02) 5581868. mobasagrille.ae
Bustling, although you should still be able to nd a table at this expansive restaurant.
Eclectic and a little eccentric, with African masks, spears and animal skins lining the walls.
Pop into Left Bank, our top bar in the capital, after your meal - it’s virtually next door.
A meal for two should come in around Dhs700.
A restaurant that manages to master a variety of international cuisines.
76 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 76
IT’S ANOTHER EXPERIENCE AT DHOW & ANCHOR
Dhow & Anchor is where everyone unites for a good time together. Watch live matches and support your favourite team, enjoy traditional English fare in a lively atmosphere as well as savour our theme nights, every day of the week. Dhow & Anchor on the Lobby Level is open from 12.00 pm. For details call +971 4 406 8999 or visit jumeirah.com/dhowandanchor
Find out more. Scan the code on the top right corner with your smartphone to ﬁnd out more and go to our website.
THE HOT LIST
THE DADDIES OF THE HEALTH AND LEISURE SCENE
Chi, The Spa
MARCH 2010 WHAT’S ON 79 THE SPA PRICE WHAT’S ON SAYS...
An essential grooming stopo for any man who wants to feel and look his best.
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Highly professional, but at the same time amiable. Predominantly male, re ecting The Lounge's gents-only service.
A Moroccan bath will certainly wake you up, while elsewhere the choice is huge: haircuts/styling, shaves, bronzing and more.
The compact yet spacious villa layout means minimum traipsing between treatment rooms. And parking is an absolute breeze, too.
When the service is this good, price is only really a secondary concern, so don't expect to cheap out here.
Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thurs 11am to 10pm, Tel: (02) 6677377. thelounge.ae
You’ll get the ultimate pampering experience from the predominantly Thai sta .
Treatments with such extravagant names as A Journey To The Island Of Java give keen indications that this is a grandiose experience. The Clarins Facial is our recommendation. Varied full body treatements, plus waxing, hairstyling, Hypoxi and personal training are also available. An imaginative range, from Filipino hilot massages to caviar facials.
Anantara occupies its own wing of Emirates Palace. Space isn't an issue.
Around Dhs1,000 will be winging its way from your purse or wallet.
The diamond facial will take years o .
Emirates Palace, West Corniche, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 6909000. emiratespalace.com
Visit this ladiesonly spa and the welcoming therapists will analyse your skin before selecting a tailor-made treatment.
Above the cosmetics- lled displays of Paris Gallery, which takes a bit of searching, the treatment rooms are pure relaxation.
A little above midrange. Some longer treatments clock in nearer four gures, though, if you have cash to ash.
Ladies in search of serenity will nd it here in every sense.
Paris Gallery, Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thurs 11am to 9pm, Fri 3pm to 9pm. Tel: (02) 6678880. parisgallery.com
Chi, The Spa
Sweet and cheerful, you’ll relax from the second you stroll through the door.
Far removed from the outside world, Chi is as peaceful as a temple in the Himalayas.
Not for those on a budget, but you’re undoubtedly getting what you pay for.
Chi has one of the greatest Jacuzzis in Abu Dhabi.
Shangri-La, Qaryat Al Beri, Between The Bridges, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 5098888. shangri-la.com
Few therapists in the UAE are as friendly and skilled as here.
Anantara Spa, Qasr Al Sarab
Standard treatments are complemented by the likes of exfoliating sand baths and waterbased Vichy spas.
Escaping from the city, the relaxing sight of the dunes of the Liwa Desert make the journey into the wilderness extra worthwhile.
Costly, but it's hard to put a price on such expertise in such a glorious location.
The jewel in this desert retreat's crown.
Qasr Al Sarab, Liwa Desert, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 8862088. qasralsarab. anantara.com
SEPTEMBER 2011 WHAT’S ON 79
’s Spa, 11 Hiltonia Luxury Men 12 Man/Age a Mall Marin Al Club & Spa, Soul Health el 13 Body & Hot Raha Beach Spa, Tourist olistic Day 14 Crystal H ub Area Cl a Wellness Sp 15 Sharinis
HOT ON HEELS THE lth Club & Spa, Hilton Hea
12 MAN/AGE LUXURY MEN’S SPA
Marina Mall Marina Mall’s bright lights might not aid the quest for easing aches and pains. Once inside Man/Age’s darkened rooms, though, the knowledgeable male staff will treat you to a relaxing-to-robust range of massages. Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thurs 10am to 11pm, Fri 2pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6818837. managespa.com
PRICE WHAT’S ON SAYS...
There’s a great range of tness classes, too.
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Attentive, eager to please and happy to recommend post-treatment products.
The menu rivals the Grand Millennium's imposing size. Try the green co ee body wrap and scrub for Zayna's ultimate detoxing pampering. Everything from candle wax massages to detox specialities.
Individual changing and treatment rooms guarantees privacy and the lighting is pleasingly low level.
Above average, which accurately re ects the standard of Zayna overall.
Grand Millennium Al Wahda, Hazza Bin Zayed Street, Abu Dhabi, 9am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 4439999. millenniumhotels. com
Personable. Ask for ‘ rm’, however, and there’s no messing around.
Soft lighting and relaxing fragrance characterise Zen. The wide range of facilities include tranquility suites for couples.
Very reasonable considering you're in a ve-star hotel.
A subterranean sanctuary to steal you away from the city.
Beach Rotana, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 6979000. rotana.com
Friendly beyond the call of duty and brilliant at teasing away tension.
Imaginative and spanning a plethora of treatments. During September, get a free foot or hand treatment with every Balinese massage. Luxurious and expansive. The hammams are something of a speciality.
The dimmed changing room lights set the scene for a spa that thinks about your relaxation at every juncture.
Nudging the upper end of mid-range.
Our favourite spa on Yas Island – no mean feat in itself.
Radisson Blu, Golf Plaza, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 10pm. Tel: (02) 6562000. radissonblu.com
A pleasing mix of sweet but professional.
Your senses are soothed at every turn, with running water features trickling throughout the spa.
Value for money is all relative: ESPA is expensive, admittedly, but it's also worth the outlay.
A spa adjacent to a Formula One circuit is about as glamorous as they come.
Yas Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 9am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6560862. theyashotel.com
Chatty and cheery – you may even make a new friend before the treatment is over.
All the necessary options you would expect, plus notable facilities such as hammams.
Eden is a scaleddown paradise, disregarding the leisure centreesque changing areas, at least.
In terms of cost, this is about average.
Wind down in the aquamedic pool afterwards to complete a soothing visit.
Le Méridien, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, 9am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6446666. starwoodhotels.com
80 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011
OCTOBER 2010 WHAT’S ON 80
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With a spate of new venues opening across Abu Dhabi in the coming weeks, starting this month with Monte Carlo Beach Club, DJ Natalie Brogan ponders what it means for clubbing in the capital…
I’ve been to Jordan and Qatar recently. eir scenes are very small compared to Abu Dhabi. It’s very fast-paced over here; there’s a lot going on and quite a bit of competition. Everybody’s constantly got to step up their game and have the next big DJ, brand or idea. Obviously, you wouldn’t get someone at MCBC like, say, David Guetta, who needs a huge venue. But somewhere not quite as big will work really well, especially on a beach. Recently, a sign at the airport caught my eye. It said ‘ e Middle East is now the biggest My rst DJ gig in Abu Dhabi was nearly two tourism destination worldwide’. Developments years ago, at Chameleon bar at the Fairmont like this will bring even more people to Abu hotel. I’ve seen massive changes since then, but Dhabi on holiday, or even to come over here this expansion will be quite refreshing, just to and live. It’s a great place to build up a career have something di erent here. It’s going to be as a DJ, too. It’s de nitely worked for me. As a an eye-opener – or an ear-opener, and should female DJ, it was hard to gain a good reputaattract more big-name international DJs to tion; people think women won’t be able to mix Abu Dhabi, aside from events like Creamor we’re just there to look pretty. But so long as elds. MCBC is much needed because, at the you network and push yourself, you can play moment, it’s only really Al Maya Island that worldwide. And the people you meet in Abu puts on beach parties. Dubai has beach and Dhabi are from across the world. pool parties every week, so it’s nice for Abu e clubbing scene is always changing. Even Dhabi to enjoy a bit of that. I think it will do the DJs in Abu Dhabi who credit themselves really well. with playing ‘good’ music think it’s quite hard here. ere is a massive commercial scene, so unless people have heard it on the radio or TV, it’s quite di cult to get people to come to nights. But it’s getting there. People are much more musically educated now and have really opened up to di erent styles of music. As long as you know where you’re going, you can nd a good night for everyone, any age, whether you’re into house, Arabic or R&B. I don’t know what the future holds for clubbing in Abu Dhabi. I’d like to see more festivals like Cream elds. But with good promoting, clubs here could be brilliant.Hotels run a lot of the bars. at’s why it’s good to get an outside brand – like MustHaveSoul or Audio Tonic, who both start residencies at MCBC this month – who really know what they’re doing to push the scene forward. Once a venue has that, it should be rocking. e people are out there; they want to hear good music and have a good time. DJ Natalie Brogan is a regular xture behind the decks at clubs and parties across Abu Dhabi, including Relax@12 and Al Maya Island
WITH DJ NATALIE BROGAN
NEXT MONTH: ADVENTUROUS ROAD TRIPS, FILM FESTIVAL FUN, HOT HOTELS AND THE TOP TABLES IN CLUBLAND
82 WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2011