One of the good things that’s come out of corona is that date nights have for sure gone through a reinvention to keep things fresh and lovebirds sane. If you’re looking for courtship that doesn’t involved swiping left and right followed by a succession of memes and snaps of your bits and pieces then how about having an old school date night at one of the drive-in cinemas launched in Dubai?
There are various locations offering the drive-in experience for your next date night including Vox Cinemas at the Mall of Emirates which includes two tickets and snacks for your snack at a pretty reasonable price of AED 189 which includes caramel popcorn, salted popcorn, nachos, M&Ms, soft drinks and water. Emaar’s Reel cinema’s will also be having their own outdoor cinema moment in the Zabeel extension of Dubai Mall. If you’re keen to have a proper drive out to a different emirate you can check out Sharjah’s drive-in experience at Madar at Aljadar which is launching on 1 July and offers 17 different types of cuisine that can be delivered to your car in a contactless manner while you spend some quality time with your other half since there is a limit of two people per car.
Image: Voxcinema instagram
It may not be the most important question during this delicate time but it’s an interesting one for collectors and lovers of fashion: How will the Corona virus affect the luxury market?
So lets rewind for a moment... there I was trying to digest what was happening in the final moments before the quarantine became real. There were constant updates all over Insta and Twitter about manufacturers, retailers and entire malls starting to completely shut down and not allowing any members of the public inside. My mind drifted towards shopping. The new reality seemed unreal! Naturally I started thinking about the situation and wondering would this would be the best or worst time to continue buying luxury items since the prices were likely to drop? Could it be an opportunity to get my little paws on some nice investment pieces? What if some brands suddenly got wiped off the face of the planet and luxury becomes irrelevant, would it lead to loss?
To be honest, I’m less about buying investment pieces that are going to sit in a box at the top of my closet and more about brands I know I’m going to wear every day, you know, those things that have fun, ironic vibes. Usually my work wear basics consist of Off White, Philipp Plein, Moschino, Kaws, a hypebae vibe but in the minimalist way, not the cross between a circus clown and a hooker way, because its relaxed, comfortable and fits our casual dress code but when purchasing more established brands, I try to be more thoughtful about my purchases instead of just popping it into an online cart.
Brands like Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Chanel are referred to as the holy trinity and it’s generally taken for granted that items will increase in resale value every year which can be a deciding factor to purchase for a lot of boujee bitches (myself not excluded). But how will things change and what’s the impact going to be? There are a few points to consider.
Who is the luxury market?
Consider this: over the last decade with the rise of social media, its influencers, flexing and the pressure for the younger market and middle class to wear designer items it’s going to be interesting seeing who has really been carrying the sustainability of the luxury market. Is it really the elite or actually the working class?
Boredom shopping versus survival
There are also millions of people focused cutting back at the moment however there are still many who are bored at home still making purchases. When quarantine started, I was doing quite a bit of online shopping. What can I say… retail therapy is better than no therapy when you’ve been quarantined for 14 days with no end in sight, however once it got to a point where I realised there wasn’t really anywhere to wear items, I lost interest. I suspect that a lot of online shoppers would feel similar. Also, of brands like Chanel do not sell online directly unless it’s a third party website or a pre-loved site like Vestaire or luxury closet, so I’m curious to see how will they sustain themselves or if they will finally go online if the situation continues.
The reselling market on the other hand seems to have a lot more inventory than usual and independent sellers keep reducing the prices. It’s definitely a buyers market at the moment. Goods like Hermes seem to be holding their value but a lot of the sites where people resell investment pieces appear to have sellers more motivated to negotiate. It might be because of the uncertainty of how long lockdown will continue so people feel inclined to stay liquid.
Sales and Discounts.
There are reductions at all of the popular online stores at the moment. I’m seeing Off White tshirts for under AED 600 ($163), Philipp Plein for under AED 1000 ($273), clearance sales on Farfetch.com, MyTheresa.com, Luisaviaroma.com with discounts on items that range between 25% and 50%.
Designers getting involved
It’s pretty cool to see that luxury brands are getting involved in the efforts to combat the virus, LVMH who owns Fendi, Louis Vuitton and Bulgari amongst others is producing hand sanitizers and hydralcoholic gels while others such as Prada getting involved of the manufacturing of face masks and protective overalls which is positive to see.
I feel like the way luxury is enjoyed or consumed in coming years might change if the quarantine becomes long term. We do not know what the future holds and if the situation continues for a year or two and the world economy gets much worse, brands might end up moving away from the whole boujee, logomania vibes like they did in the early 2000s and following world wars in previous decades to be subtle in their branding as a way of being sensitive and less flush in light of what a millions of people are going through. And… even if it does recover in the next few months people are likely to still be cautious with their spending after this little scare but then again there is the likelihood that shoppers are starved for living their best life and end up going totally overboard on the luxuries, I guess we’ll have to stay tuned.
Read next: Fine dining in quarantine.
If you're following my snapchat (@shana_bcpt) you might have observed that cooking would not be considered my biggest strength (shhhh…its a secret). But I still have to eat and with our daily quarantine options usually limited to Zomato and Deliveroo, it’s good to know that we can now have a fine dining moment in the middle of quarantine so I thought I'd share the details for some of our favourite spots.
If you’re in the mood for some Nobu then why not go for some lobster salad and spicy lemon dressing or delicately grilled Japanese beef. Nobu at the Atlantis is now available on Zomato and you will receive a 30 percent discount if you are orderingfrom the Palm Jumeirah area. Instagram.com/nobudubai.
Zuma is so bomb and the fact that they are even doing delivery during this time has sent me into a frenzy. Plus they now have their own delivery service direct to your door anytime between 12pm and 11pm daily. They can be contacted on 050 152 2878 / 052 353 5591. Its handy to note that there is a minimum spend of AED 500. Check out Instagram.com/Zumadubai for more details.
Hell's Kitchen by Gordon Ramsey
Deliveroo is serving up some Hell’s kitchen located at Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai serving up Beef Wellington, Barbecue Glazed Short Rib and delicious Truffle Mushroom Risotto. You can download Deliveroo from your Appstore or check out Instagram.com/hellskitchendubai.
Avli by South African restaurant group Tasha’s is easing our lock down pain with home delivery. It comes as a set menu and there are a couple of things to note so listen up folks, deliveries will take place at either 12pm-4pm or at 7pm-10pm. Orders can be whatsapped to 058 583 3571 along with the time slot and delivery address by 4pm the day before. There are two options, one is AED 480 and the other AED 280 each set menu serves two people. You can see the a break down of the course here on Instagram.com/avlibytashas.
The final pick for this fine dining delivery list I went with best Peruvian cuisine in Dubai. We can get some goodness directly from Coya by calling 043169600 or email email@example.com and as a cute extra, a DIY avo guacamole kit is included in every order. Check out Instagram.com/coyadubai for more info.
Bon Appetite <3
See all lifestyle posts here.
Fully equipped, sleek and state of the art are all the words that comes to mind when describing the fitness area. This is not just a beach club with "a gym". The entire Train Beach Club facility is the hospitality branch of the Train SF group which also holds the title of owning the biggest unisex gym in the UAE at the flagship Al Quoz branch. Train SF also has branches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai Mall too and signing up for a membership at Train Beach will make you feel like you have the keys to the kingdom by allowing you access to all Train SF branches in the UAE.
For more info follow @trainbeachclub on instagram.
See more lifestyle posts here.
I don't know why but I keep making vegan friends all over the place, I'm like a vegan magnet - maybe the universe is trying to tell me something because they're everywhere in the UAE - and when those birthday and thank you moments come up gifting them can be so tricky especially if you're not into that kind of thing and have no idea which brands don’t use any animal products or figuring out that some brands might be animal product free but then they're still testing on animals. I know right, so shady. So if you're always looking for some fabulous ideas to treat your vegan friends then I have your back with some of the best products and beauty services available in the UAE to indulge in, guilt free.
If you're keen to spoil your friend will some organic, eco friendly goodness then the Organic Glow Beauty Lounge in Jumeirah Village Circle should be your go-to. It was recognised as the UAE's first vegan friendly salon when it was launched back in 2010 its owned by Leena Al Abbas who is vegan herself. All treatments are vegan so you can make a day of it and treat your person with various treatments ranging from Green Glow body scrubs to bamboo hair treatments or manicures. The salon also stocks a variety of vegan brands from haircare to nailcare as well as a home service which is a perfect gift.
Oxy-max is an Aussie brand which has a wellness range that is vegan and contains natural products such as the rejuvenating Rose Clay Mask and White Tea hydration Toner. The range is available on MissPalletable.com which delivers in the UAE and also stocks international luxury vegan brands, protecting our furry friends such as Mi Robotica, Kama Ayurveda and Abeauty.
An up and coming homegrown vegan brand that popped up on my radar last year was Reine Michi Beauty which creates products from natural and ethically sourced ingredients. According to their website, their aim is to highlight their customer’s natural beauty and use no more than four or five ingredients in its products. The plan is to launch smaller batches of products which has started with their moisturising sugar body scrub and sponge however they have indicated that they will be releasing various products in future so its going to be interesting to see what other treatments they have up their sleeve.
Lush is 100 percent vegetarian however they claim that 80% of their products are vegan as well – it’s labelled to avoid confusion. Walking past their store you can’t help by being drawn in by the delicious smell of goodies like their bath bombs which are my fav and cosmetics which smell super yum on your skin. Also, kudos to them for using packaging that is made from 100 percent recyclable materials.
The Rahua luxury haircare range has a refreshing scent of lavender and eucalyptus and it’s available at Harvey Nichols as well as online from beautifulbrands.ae. The range contains products which are plant based minus the harsh chemicals and it’s also gluten free if you're buying for anyone with any intolerance.
Other notable 100% vegan brands that you can find in Dubai are KOSME Paris skincare, available at luxury spas throughout the UAE, Lime Crime Lottie London which is PETA certified and Lebon Organic toothpaste which is made in France and also available on beautybrands.ae
There are a few makeup and beauty brands that have vegan products within their ranges like Cover FX (all products are vegan except MintTint FX and MintGlaze FX), Urban Decay (the Naked Heat Palette is still one of my favourites) and Tarte who have their vegan friendly products clearly marked on their websites and Kat von D - the Brightening and Lock-it Powder is still the only way to bake your face for perfect selfies even in extreme Dubai summer conditions. Kat von D has mostly vegan products in her product line and has said she is in the process of reformulating all of her products to be vegan.
If you know of any other vegan brands, feel free to comment below. Also, if you're looking for vegan food that doesn’t taste like depression and a mouth full of dead leaves. These are some delicious vegan options to try in Dubai.
Check out more Dubai lifestyle posts here.
I'd heard of Kozma & Kozma a while back and had been looking forward to checking it out for quite some time. Since my lazer appointment on Al Wasl street is just a few minutes drive from this quirky beauty spa I booked an appointment to see what its all about.
The whole concept of the spa is about bringing out your inner child while pampering yourself so when you walk through the doors the first thing you see is what looks like an inviting candy store with jars of yummy candy and a spiralling gold staircase leading you to the upper levels. Dreamy. The staff are super welcoming and friendly. For my visit I booked a unicorn pedicure and an ombre gelish manicure. There are other cool pedicures as well like the mermaid pedi which a girl opposite me went for but the idea of soaking my feet in warm pink unicorn slush puppy foam sounded interesting to me.
Complimentary cappuccinos and mocktails are served at your massage chair where the mani-pedis take place along with cupcake holders filled with candy, I'm talking sour strips, fruity pops, mini gobstoppers and all that sugary goodness.
I went for Gelish in the colour, Blush On You which is a pink toned nude. It was at this point that the manicurist informed me that the mani was booked as a sunset ombre?? (Not sure how that happend as I have no idea what that is) and that the look I was going for wasn’t really going to be possible on my natural nails and I would have to go with acrylic. Since I have neither the time not the patience for acrylic vibes and my nails are already long I opted to go for mini glitter crystals over the nail bed. Not my usual style but it's nice to try something new occasionally so why not.
The pedicure was on point and done to match my mani but I requested it without the glitter. I loved the pink slush puppy pedi experience and it was good to know that it contained all natural ingredients to produce the gooey effect. The foot massage and exfoliation was also on point.
The manicure was initially a bit of a surprise because I think we were on different pages as far as the size of the glitter.
I thought it was going to be more subtle because I presented a picture with exactly what I was going for but it didn’t excite me with the usual feeling of being "done" when I exit a nail salon and unfortunately the gelish on my right index finger popped off in its entirety as i reach in my bag for my phone on Monday morning. The appointment was four days early on Thursday.
Visit cost: Aed 456.75
Would I go back and give it another try? Yes actually I would. The experience itself was fun. I felt totally relaxed and pampered while I was there however I would probably opt for a classic paint or a different Gelish product because ultimately the manicure itself didn’t fulfill its primary purpose of lasting until I had it removed professionally removed. I'd give it about 3 and a half out of 5.
Read next: These are the best chocolate desserts in Dubai.
Read next: Ladies Nights 2019: My recommendations for a night out with the girls.
Read Next: Victoria's Secret may not be around for much longer.
See all lifestyle posts here.
I get Dm’d alot of beauty related questions. It might have something to do with the amount of time people see me spending in beauty spas and cosmetic medical clinics on my socials. So today I’m going to be talking about something that a lot of women (and men) experience here and ask me about time and time again. This is going to be all about dealing with hair fall in Dubai.
Some people blame it on stress, the alkalinity of the water, the Dubai weather or maybe it’s just genetics and they just only start noticing it after moving here. I am by no means an expert so I can only talk about my personal experience and what is currently working for me. FYI, this is not a sponsored post.
My hair is naturally pretty thin and it’s never bothered me at all. I’ve had it in long and short cuts, fringed and layered but because I always have wavy hairstyles it’s not noticeable plus a quick trip to Karkafi (for around Aed 1500), all visible issues disappear… well.. at least until the next appointment.
But after I moved to Dubai I definitely noticed that I was losing more strands than normal so I decided to do something about it or rather, the doctor at the cosmetic clinic that I frequent decided that he was going to try and do something about it.
First step, we did some blood tests. Turns out that while all my vitamin levels and blood cell counts were all good my hormone levels were out of sync. This can be affected by things like diet and stress and can be corrected by cutting out things like stimulants, caffeine, smoking - and chilling the f* out through meditation, relaxation and gym is also highly recommended. Hormonal levels can also be corrected through medication but after some research about side effects I decided that it would be a last resort because it can affect your weight and mood and I’m not keen for an overweight, grumpy life.
Next, I was given some products to implement and the general agreement was that if these didn’t work I was going to start PRP hair treatment therapy. For people who don’t know, PRP is when they use your own blood to make a solution to rejuvenate your hair follicles. You usually need to do it for about 2 or 3 months before you start seeing definite results and the costs per session are around AED 1000 depending on the area so there are definitely loads of solutions on the market. Below are the products I was recommended by the Australian Medical Centre in Jumeirah.
Priorin is the hair vitamin supplement that I now take once a day. Renokin Hair Revitalising Solution is the spray and Vichy Shampoo for washing my hair which are all available at most pharmacies.
The Renokin was a bit of a mission for me because you have to spray it on your hair 2hrs before you wash it with Vichy shampoo, using mineral water (instead of tap). I lead quite a hectic lifestyle and am not a fan of sitting around for 2hrs so it was initially struggle to plan to chill for 2 hours with that stuff in my hair but I would say it has been totally worth the time investment. At this point I can’t pinpoint whether it’s the shampoo because since then a few girls have told me that the Vichy is what restored their hair back to its natural full glory) or whether it has been the vitamins or the spray but what I can say is that I’ve definitely noticed that my scalp takes way longer to get oily and its made a noticeable difference in the fullness of my hair especially the hair path so I'm very happy.
I will keep you posted on any updates but for now I doubt I'm going to be embarking on PRP treatments just yet.
If you have any different tips to share, feel free to leave them below.
Read next: My favourite Influencers in the Middle East.
Read Next: How to get out of the friendzone.
Read Next: Mars City and the hyperloop.
See all lifestyle posts here.
Being a girl in Dubai has its perks. Almost everywhere ladies are looking at free entrance, free drinks and they definitely don’t have to arrive with a certain amount of guys to be let through the door. However I'm just not the biggest fan of ladies nights in general. Why? because it generally goes hand in hand with cheap alcohol, over filled venues (slow service) and venues making a grab for your contact details so they can spam you to kingdom come with their latest offers and promotions in exchange for a few watered down cocktails. As with most things in life, if the product is free, then you are the product.
This being said I've narrowed down the list below to 5 Ladies Nights that are a quality evening out with the girls. These all have one thing in common: decent offers at hospitality venues that are actually worth taking the time to visit. What a concept. Click on the headings to check out their pages. Now enjoy!
If you follow my insta stories then you know that you'll find us here at least once or twice a week as this location really hits the spot. This gem is situated within the FIVE Hotel (where the Viceroy used to be) and has mouthwatering sushi and seafood dishes, awesome staff and the most amazing views of Dubai from Palm. Plus if you're looking for an excuse to take your latest Louis out to play, its not going to look out of place as the dress code is pretty glam, day and night. Every Tuesday from 6pm until 9:30 is Ladies Night where you'll receive three complimentary drinks but you'll probably be back within a few days and not mind paying full price. (Bookings on 052 900 4868)
Cove Beach Club
This legendary beach club was situated at the Jumeirah Hotel and relocated to Caesers Palace Blue Waters last year. It used to boast one of the best ever ladies nights offer and built up quite the following over the last few years and I'm happy to report that it’s just as good. Bigger and better without losing that feeling that its your home away from home. The offer is unlimited drinks and a food platter for AED 100 while you soak up the sun from a complimentary sunbed. Grab your girls and go. Its a must do. (Bookings on 050 454 3920)
If you havent been to At.mosphere before then Girrrl, you are missing out. It’s situated in the Burj Khalifa (need I say more about the views) and their ladies night offer is an absolute steal at AED 120 for a bottle of bubbly and canapes every day from 9:30 to midnight. (Bookings on 04 888 3828)
Situated in my second favorite area, this vibey restaurant feels like home and the decor is not too shabby either. If you're looking for a top class restaurant with divine Argentinian style steak then this is where you'll want to be. Their ladies night offer is the perfect way to start of the night before dinner with three free drinks and 50 percent off bar food every Saturday making it a great location for your weekly catch up with the crew. (Bookings on 04 422 7898).
Stars N Bars
Last on the list but my no means least, if you're in the mood for a more casual affair in a laid back beach style venue then Stars N Bars is for you. Situated in the highly instagrammable neighbourhood of La Mer, you can expect expect a lively atmosphere complete with foosball tables, arcade games, gigantic portions of food and one of the best views of La Mer from the terrace. The ladies night offer is 3 drinks vouchers every Wednesday from 9pm until 1am. (Bookings on 04 349 9903).
Read next: Seeking help for drug addiction in the UAE wont lead to prosecution.
Read next: The best types of alcohol to prevent picking up weight.
Read next: Sober up fast with these hacks.
See all lifestyle posts here.
Brunch takes on an entirely new meaning in the UAE. It’s not just the meal between breakfast and lunch. It’s 3 hours of foodie bliss, depending on where you go. As a visitor, I never really brunched, back then I was more into looking like Nicole Richie circa 2010 than I was into food (but that’s another story for another day) however since living here - and as my love for food and the hospitality industry grows daily - there's really no better way to kickstart your Friday. As any seasoned bruncher will tell you, things do have a tendency of getting slightly out of hand so here are some dos and don’ts for surviving your first brunch for visitors and fresh expats.
* Do some research. There are so many options available. Not just the food on offer but various brunches also come with sunbed, pool or afterparty access for when you've had enough of stuffing your face and want to reflect on your food coma or you just want to relax by the pool after getting black out drunk (kidding!). Also some brunches are more focused on the party side of things like the DJ lineup than the food and some are all about the feast with lobster, grills, stews, paellas, yorkshire puddings, bbq stations and towers of desserts and cakes. These were some of my favourite brunches for the start of the 2018. I will update with the second part of the year soon.
*Do book a table inside. Unless it’s between December to Feb when you are less likely to melt into a puddle of lipgloss and suncreen.
* Do say yes to flowy loose fitting sundresses and kimonos. For the guys I’d suggest a collared, short sleeved shirt, like this polo shirt and not a tshirt partly because some venues who have a brunch that then becomes an afterparty will enforce a stricter dress code for the evening so why not be prepared from the start. Some people do finish up their brunch and then go home to freshen up and then go all the way back but who has that kind of time? Best is to call ahead and check. The looks below are the kind of outfits I'd recommend. These still look fairly elegant even after smashing 2kgs of shellfish, half a roast of lamb and a dozen mini desserts drenched in caramel washed down with litres of prosecco. Don't judge me.
*Don't neglect breakfast on the morning of the event in an attempt to "save the space" for brunch time, even more so if you're planning on taking full advantage of the drinks package.
* Do wear comfortable shoes. Wearing flats are a great way to not wake up not hating yourself after brunch turns into a 8 hour long party adventure. Metallic, nude or black Gladiators are perfect or pop a pair of stylish flats into your handbag along with some glam earrings to go from day to night in anticipation of the next party destination.
* Do take the traffic from your location to your destination into consideration especially if you're brunch begins at a peak time. You don’t want to spend the first hour of your brunch stuck in Marina traffic.
*Handbag essentials : sunscreen, double sided tape for lowcut dresses, sunnies, gum, powerbank or a charger (some venues do not have them).
*Don't upload any photos/instastories after your third drink. Just trust me on this one and learn from my experiences.
*Do pace yourself on the drinks and step away from the shooters. Remember if you are driving and you're caught with even 0.00000001% of alcohol in your system, you will face serious consequences so why even risk it? I would highly recommend cabbing or just using an Uber.
*Do read my article on how to sober up fast so you know what to do if you find yourself in a situation.
See all lifestyle posts here.
There have been many posts out there about the best way to tackle the friendzone but I’ve noticed the authors are usually males. Here’s my take on how to get out of the friendzone, from a female perspective.
“All I want is a good guy”
In your lifetime you will hear this phrase uttered by females countless times. Do not fall for the joke. While no female wants to be treated badly (unless they have some issues), everybody – guys and girls prefers someone with a little bit of an ego which somehow translates into self-respect and standards. ‘Nice’ guys are too agreeable, they go with the flow to the point where it’s boring and makes it easy for females to walk all over them – and they will, if you don’t set some boundaries.
“We all want what we can’t have”
It should be pretty obvious, but it’s also easy to forget. Have other things going on. In short: GET A LIFE. Girls like it (even the girls those who come across as wanting to be in your space 24/7). People who are passionate about activities other than hunting down people of the opposite gender are perceived as less needy and neediness is the least attractive quality in any gender. That being said, don’t play too many games, you’ll only end up playing with yourself.
Every girl likes a boy who can make her smile and feel good about herself without coming across as a total groupie. So if she catches you checking out her out just be confident and say you couldn’t resist. Be self-assured and in control of yourself. Become aware of your own fidgety and awkward body language (like shuffling your feet, slumped shoulders or avoiding eye contact) and learn to keep it in check.
One of the major reasons why a guy gets put into the friend zone is because he waited too long before he revealed his intentions. Don’t be a statistic! Not making your move as soon as possible sends out the message that you are not confident enough. Low confidence = instant buzzkill. On the other end of the intention spectrum, don’t formally introduce her to your family as your girlfriend on the second date, although I’ve noticed this is normal practise amongst certain nationalities so I guess some other girls might be into it.
Don’t try to be Dr Phil
Do not become the shoulder to cry on – at least until you are dating her (if ever) as this will lead to you becoming that guy who she eventually talks to about dating problems - with other guys. By playing therapist you are totally disqualifying yourself as a potential dating option.
Lastly, if you make your move or ask her on a date, and a girl says anything other than“yes” yeah or some variation thereof, it’s a no. Believe her when she says she just wants to be friends. Accept it and move on. Refusing to accept “no” will just make you come off as desperate and take you from the friend zone to the psycho zone. Don’t be that guy.
Read Next: How to meet Women in Dubai