In case you haven't heard about it yet, an entire development spanning twice the size of Downtown Dubai is currently being built up with sustainability and ecology preservation in mind. Its super exciting to introduce the new Dubai Creek Harbour development which will be situated on the foot of the Ras Al Khor wildlife sanctuary.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Dubai development without some kind of flex involved and the Dubai Creek Harbour is absolutely no exception. The area will be home to the Dubai Creek Tower which is set to be built up to around 928 metres in height, dwarfing the Burj Khalifa, and taking over the title of the tallest tower in the world. The area will also showcase a mall that surpasses Dubai Mall in size to become the largest retail project in the world.
The development itself is being spearheaded by Emaar who was also responsible for Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa and in classic Dubai style I guess you could say that they are into outdoing themselves breaking their own records with this marvel within our emirate. Although the construction is still under way the first residential buildings are estimated to be ready by the December 2021 for the lucky residents can make themselves at home.
See below the Fly Through video to have an idea of what to expect. Credit: Emaar.
Some fast facts about the area:
The Dubai creek was historically the hub of trade, pearling and fishing over a 100 years ago.
The area stretches out to include such charming attractions such as the Al Fahidi district which is such an awesome area to walk around in and simply get lost in the culture of the city before ending up in charming spots like the Arabian Tea house which has the freshest and best falafel you will find anywhere.
Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is well known for its many pink flamingoes although its home to 450 other species of birds, fish and small mammals.
The Dubai Creek Harbour development will introduce sustainable transport and develop green spaces across 6 million square metres of land.
Looking forward to this Dubai upgrade!
Read next: The Giving Movement: The UAE’s first sustainable fashion brand.
The week started on a positive note with the announcement that brunches are finally allowed to resume which at least provides a little bit of social relief from the continuing restrictions on nightclubs and dancefloors. Amongst the other updates on restrictions live entertainment is also able to start up again. You can check out those updates here.
For those ready to dive back into the festivities these are a list of the latest brunch picks kicking off from this weekend:
Ce La Vi (pictured above) has been one of my favourite spots since they opened. The vibe is always good, the crowd is decent, service is attentive without being suffocating and the views and aesthetic is very on point – a great place to go if you have visitors in town and want to give them an amazing experience. Their Friday brunch will run from 1pm to 4pm. With prices starting at AED 390 for soft drinks, AED 490 for house beverages and AED 690 for champagne. Contact: 045826111 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Secret parties is as close to a party vibe you’re going to get during these pandemic times so if you’re looking for something lively especially if you’re partying in a group I would highly recommend this option which launches this Friday 21 May at 3BK which is situated as close to the Burj Khalifa as one can possible get as you can see from the image above. The brunch includes live entertainment like dancers, acrobats and more from 1pm to 4:30pm and contains some vegan items should you be that way inclined. Its AED 299 for the soft drink package, AED 399 for house drinks and AED 499 for the sparkling package with AED 699 for the Champagne package. Contact: 045707210/ email@example.com.
Mimikakushi opened about two months ago in the Four Seasons and its looking fabulous. I will surely be checking it out in the next couple of weeks and feature a proper review. Their 1920’s East meets West themed concept and gorgeous interiors are something to be proud indeed. Their brunch offering is available 12pm to 4pm every Friday with the soft drinks package at AED 350, AED 450 for house drinks and AED 695 for Champagne. Contact: 043794811/ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hotel Cartagena is a feast for the eyes on a normal weekday with a lot of Argentinian flavours and colours set against a vibrant backdrop in the JW Marioot Marquis. Expect empanadas, meat grilled platters for a bbq feel as well as sushi options if you’re looking for something different. The soft drink package is AED 295 and house beverages are AED 395. Contact: 045601799 / email@example.com.
Bla Bla is a place that I have mixed feelings about recommending because I have to think about the people who are not in hospitality or don’t know anyone who works there that they can text for a booking because if not, then you have my deepest sympathies for having to deal with their reservation system. However once you are sat in your spot you can look forward to a great location with views of the Dubai Eye, decent beachy backdrops and a variety of bar and pool spaces that keeps things interesting from day to night. Their brunch which takes place in their Japanese restaurant, Onda Nami offers soft drink packages start at AED 250 and AED 350 for the house beverage option and also goes from 1pm-4pm on Fridays. Contact: 045844111 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zuma Brunches are pretty much an institution by now but I’ve included it just to put word out that it is alive and kicking again. The brunch consists of a tasting set menu so expect a selection of bits from sushi, robata, dim sum and unlimited drinks with soft drink packages starting at AED 595, AED 695 for house beverage and AED 795 for the bubbly option. 044255660 / email@example.com.
All images: Instagram
If you’re looking for quality food that’s on the more casual end of the spectrum then a good option is the recently opened Time Out option on the 3rd floor of the Souk Al Bahar (that’s opposite the Dubai Mall, in case you’re new to Dubai).
Food halls have become a huge hospitality trend all around the world in recent years and the Time Out Market Dubai falls into this category with some unique attractions as well. Visitors can expect live entertainment, a selection of delicious food by top chefs invited by the Time Out Editors for their sampling pleasure complimented by views on the water of the fountains and the Burj Khalifa from the terrace tables.
The setup is spread over 43 000 square feet and consists of 17 restaurants to try including MASTI, BB social dining. Little Erth, Folly Workshop by Nick & Scott, Pitfire and many more. Thankfully, there will also be drinks involved from 3 licensed bars – The Fountain, Atrium and Palace surround the open dining areas.
The food can be ordered at the counter of any of the restaurants or from your table using the Time Out Market App but its good to note that all payments are cashless and that no reservations are required as seating is on a first come first serve walk-in basis only.
P.S if food halls have you worrying about shared, crowded spaces in the midst of the pandemic, no need to stress here as all current covid-19 guidelines are being adhered to with regards to social distancing, masks and screens between groups.
Image: Timeout instagram
If you’re as obsessed with Banksy as I am then you’ll be frothing at the bit to check out his exhibition entitled “The World of Banksy” between now and the 30 June at The Theatre at the Mall of Emirates. Tickets are available on Platinum list and although there is a steady stream of people arriving there isn’t really a queue in the evenings so I wouldn’t worry too much about purchasing the VIP skipping queue option.
The exhibition itself features recreations of 120 of his works in one venue so its all the icons and some reminders from way back to rekindle your admiration and respect of this mysterious character. There are also some of his lesser known works which will also give you something to think about. I’ve posted some of my snaps of the exhibition below and in case you are like me and wondered how they managed to reach out to Banksy to even get his permission to organise the event?? I asked the events team this very question during my visit and apparently they dropped him a DM on Instagram. Imagine that, sliding into Banksy’s DM’s and getting a reply. Wild.
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, these days 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. My work wear basics consist of Off White, Philipp Plein (dont judge me), Moschino, Kaws, a hypebae vibe but in the minimalist way, 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 often 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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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.
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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.
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