VALENTINE’S DAY SPECIAL
There is no ignoring the fact it is Valentine’s Day this weekend. Check out our complete guide including meal deals, special offers and even packages for the singletons.
- Best dinner opportunities for the magical night.
- Spa treatments for couple on that special day.
- Anti-Valentine’s Day dinners
Jessie J, Rita Ora, Naughty Boy, Tinie Tempah, Conor Maynard, ex-JLS, turned DJ Marvin Hulmes, The Lumineers and A-Yo! (Mark Ronson and Zane Lowe) will entertain crowds at RedFest DXB, Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, on Thursday 14 and Friday 15. To hear from the artists, visit our guide pages.
Dubai Jazz Festival
What do Jamie Cullum and Olly Murs have in common? They’re both Essex boys with a penchant for an impromptu dance move (hip-wiggling in Olly’s case, bounding on a piano in Jamie’s), and they both appear on the star-studded line-up for the Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival. The crooners will be joined in Festival City by legendary US rock band Santana, as well as Brit boyband The Wanted and California songstress Colbie Caillat. For exact details on the line-up, click here.
The Address Montgomerie welcomes back byGanz on Saturday February 15, premiering their signature sound in Dubai. Cairo’s ToyBoys will be playing the warm up set of Tech House and Nu-Disco mixes before Belgian beat-master LouLou Players takes up the reins with a fine blend of Deep House, Electronica and Indie remixes.
Finish off your weekend in style, as you sit back and relax on Iris’ outdoor patio and escape the rush of the bustling city life with the Saturday Chill-Out Session. Summed up as ‘easy listening, an outdoor patio, classic cocktails, the best bites – and the allure is sealed’, the you can catch the sunset between 5-9pm.
With his remix of Natalia Safran’s track All I Feel Is You in collaboration with C Castel gaining plaudits amongst house heads, veteran US DJ Sandy Rivera makes his way to Dubai for some St Valentine’s action on the decks on February 14. Most famous for his evergreen club smasher Finally under his Kings Of Tomorrow moniker, which featured Julie McKnight on vocals and made its way onto numerous CD compilations, the DJ also produces under the alias Mysterious People and Soul Vision. The New Jersey native also heads up two record labels, BlackWiz and Deep Vision Records. A prolific remixer, Rivera’s been known to turn his hand to soul, funk and R&B over the years, as well as his beloved house music, and has worked with artists as varied as Burt Bacharach and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Catch Sandy at VIP Room on Friday. There’s no door tax but guestlist is essential.
American R&B star Amerie broke into the urban scene over a decade ago with Why Don’t We Fall In Love. She’ll no doubt get hearts racing at her St Valentine’s show in Dubai at N’Dulge. It’s part of No.1 Events #IamFive5 series celebrating their fifth birthday, with support being provided by DJs Shero and Brooklyn.
Some mornings, a light breakfast of cereal or fruit hits the spot. On others, nothing but strong coffee and a carb-laden feast will prise you from beneath the duvet. And that’s where the new Maybury store comes in. The selection of breakfast dishes at their May’s Café upstairs may be small but the portions are big. The full breakfast comes with three eggs any style, chicken sausage or beef bacon, tomato, potato wedges, a sliced baguette and – a bit odd this – broccoli and baby carrots. Don’t be fooled into thinking the pancakes are a lighter option. A stack of three may not seem that excessive, but each of these fluffy, American-style discs was thicker than two pancakes in a lesser establishment. They were a little dry, but this was easily rectified with the addition of maple syrup and a blob of butter. After breakfast in the café, nip – or rather, waddle – downstairs to browse the gourmet groceries on display in the Maybury Store. You’ll likely be tempted to pick up some treats for lunch – just don’t expect to be ready to eat them until dinner time.
New Chinese restaurant Chop Suey has opened its doors in Jumeirah. Inspired by the Chinese restaurant scene in California, where co-founder Dina Spahi-Rifai grew up, its food is made with low-sodium ingredients and no MSG. Vegetarian dishes and brown rice options are also available. Eat in, or get your grub to go in cute noodle boxes. They also deliver.
Beach Park Plaza Centre, Jumeirah Road, Dubai, daily 11.30am to midnight. Tel: (04) 3442212. Taxi: Beach Park Plaza Centre. facebook.com/chopsueyme
Sapori di Bice
Fans of the BiCE group’s Italian cuisine can now try its new, more casual dining concept at the Citywalk Mall in Jumeirah. Sapori di BiCE encourages family-style dining, with meat platters, pizzas, organic pasta dishes and a rotisserie counter.
Swing by 19th century France next time you’re at Souk Al Bahar and try the new Royal Afternoon Tea at Eugenie. The dessert specialists are serving macaroons, choux pastries and brioches created by their in-house patissier, all accompanied by tea from French brand Marriage Freres.
Brunch @ Pierchic
Want brunch a little more class? You’ll do well find a better bet than multi-award-winning Pierchic at Madinat Jumeirah. Every Friday from 12.30-3.30p,m on the stunning wooden pier, the brunch includes a buffet selection of starters, salads and desserts, with the option of a chilled seafood ice bar, and stations offering Foie Gras, scallops and ice-cream. Guests can select their main course from a wide range of à la carte main dishes including Australian lamb rack, sautéed tiger prawns, pan-fired sea bass and stockyard beef tenderloin. Prices start from Dhs550, rising to Dhs695 including bubbly.
Claiming to be the first Grand Cafe of its kind in the region, the stunning new restaurant and bar has its roots firmly set in the Golden Era of 1920s Brussels. As ways of getting us excited about what to expect, the sentence, ‘the heritage of art nouveau and art deco is richly reflected in the decor and ambiance, and style and elegance are celebrated throughout’, is right up there. This sounds like a place to see, and a place to be seen. Boasting a ‘beer sommelier’, the venue is a one-of-a-kind in Dubai, instantly elevating itself above the likes of the Belgian Beer Cafe (TECOM and Madinat Jumeirah), Lucien Belgium Cafe and the Brussels Belgium Bar and Bistro. “After all, in Belgium, beer is a culture not a drink,” resident expert Sofie Vanrafelghem says. She approaches hops in the same way one might do grape, even serving the drink in a wine glass. They also recommend dishes which partner well. Everything is unmistakenly Belgian. Inside, guests will find decorative carvings on the columns, ornamental chandeliers and mirrors, as well as bold geometric pictures, marble floors and rich wooden bars. The menu will be dominated by seafood, as is the Belgian way, the highlights of which include dover sole, King crab and oysters, which arrive daily.
Fitting the classic art deco style into the imposing surroundings of Dubai Marina is no easy task, but at this contemporary restaurant spread across three levels of Pier 7, it’s been delivered. They say ‘the design narrative is that of alluring glamour, played out through the use of classic materials including rare woods and marble with rich inviting colours, bold geometric shapes, mirrored surfaces and jaw dropping chandeliers’. Serving a French/Asian fusion made by the hand of Mohammad Islam, who has experience at celebrated restaurants such as the Mercer Kitchen and Chateau Marmont. A sharing seafood concept is at the heart of the menu, while cocktails dominate the drinks list.
‘Duck and Bubbles’ is the new menu concept at Royal China in DIFC, which is available every Thursday. Guests choose from two traditional duck dishes – peking and crispy aromatic – both of which can be perfectly paired with a glass of bubbly. In keeping with Chinese custom, the package also includes a cup of fragrant Chinese tea, with the whole night coming in at Dhs388.
Gelato World Tour
Sixteen experts battle it to create to best flavor ice cream they can, with plenty of try before you buy opportunities dotted all around Burj Park from February 13-15. Tickets cost just Dhs60 and for that you get five flavours. Expect plenty of demonstrations, short classes and workshops.
Break a world record
Dubai loves breaking records, and you can be a part of one this weekend as Beauty Connection Spa in association with KOKO Nail attempt to set a new benchmark for the most nails filed and varnished in eight hours. One hundred manicurists will file and polish around 50,000 fingernails at lightning speed at Dubai Mall Star Atrium, to beat the previous record of 2572 mini-manicures, set by Sally Hansen and Priceline in 2011. The mini-manicures are free, but a donation towards ‘Rashid Centre for Disabled’ is encouraged at the event which runs from 2-10pm.
School’s out for a week from Thursday so why not pack the kids off to Hayley’s Comet Theatre Company for their drama camp between February 16-20. Open to anyone from ages 7-14, the classes run between 9am-3pm each day and involve drama games and team skills, teaching routines, and character creation.
Conquer your fear of flying
Are you frightened of flying? Fear no more. A British Airways captain with one of those pleasingly reassuring voices that aeroplane captains have, is coming to Dubai in February to deliver a talk that aims to conquer your phobia. The aptly-named Steve Allright has 24 years of experience as a pilot and more than 11,000 hours in the air. He delivers his Flying With Confidence talk on February 17, in which he’ll explain the mechanics of how an aircraft operates and explore other topics such as turbulence. The course, which arrives in the UAE for the first time, has helped more than 45,000 people over the last 25 years. As well as Captain Allright’s calming words, the session also features expert advice from a counsellor on relaxation techniques and how to deal with anxiety.
ABBA Tribute Act
Sweden’s biggest export – sort of – come to Dubai for two nights of shows on the beautiful rooftop at the Wafi Pyramid. For just Dhs195, fans of the Fab Four will enjoy all the hits as well as a picnic basket featuring smoked salmon, cheese, chutney, salads, quiches and cheese cake, as well as a glass of wine. From 7pm.
Enjoy a ballet performance of the classic tale of the Little Mermaid, put on by the Turning Pointe Youth Ballet group at Centrepointe Theatre, DUCTAC. Tickets for this magical show at just Dhs95, runs twice a day on Friday February 14 and Saturday February 15. Expect colourful costumes as well as a ‘meet the cast’ photo opportunity.
Yogafest ME is a free sustainable wellness event aimed at bringing great teachers and students together to enjoy yoga and meditation in a tranquil outdoor setting. Started in 2010, this year’s event is taking place February 14 and 15, with 3,000 people expected to visit the open air tents on the grass by the lake in Dubai internet City. Local organic food is available to keep your energy levels high in the classes which run from 7am to 7pm both days. New features this year include a Family tent, Pilates tent, Chill out tent sponsored by Lipton Green Tea and a healing tent where you can enjoy free 20 minute sessions to heal your body and calm your mind.
If you want to soar down a ski slope but don’t fancy your chances on skis, try the new zipline at Ski Dubai. The state-of-the-art ride propels you 150 metres down the ski slope, 16 metres above the ground, letting you see the whole mini-resort from on high. Ski Dubai provides warm clothing – you’ll need it in –5°C – including strong boots for stomping through real snow.
You can watch a video of us trying the Snow Bullet, right here.
The construction along The Walk in JBR Dubai has been something of a sore point for residents, but it looks like the end is in sight with the almost near completion of The Beach. In the meantime, as we await the finishing touches, some amazing sandsculptures adorn the beach just in front. Well worth checking out. See our picture gallery right here.
The Beach, The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai. merras.com
Hot on the heels of the fantastic Street Night Art outdoor ‘gallery’ in Al Quoz comes another art event well worth checking out – the Street Con Urban Art Fest. A collection of installations, displays and graffiti, it brings together 15 artists to showcase their work down at the Al Ghurair Centre, in Deira, every afternoon and evening until February 15. The art fest has been curated by Rollan Rodriguez, also known by his artist moniker Dogboy, who said that “the greater population may not know how rich Deira is in terms of culture and diversity”. Rollan added: “It’s a perfect incubator for art, it’s the original ‘urban’ community.” Check out some of our pictures right here.
Al Ghurair Centre, Al Rigga Road, Deira, February 5 to 15, daily 2pm to 10pm, free. Metro: Union Station. alghuraircentre.com
For the love of music
Celebrate the most romantic day of the year with an open-air acoustic gig in the beautiful surroundings of the Roseleaf Cafe, Al Quoz. Featuring the local talents of Neel Kumar, Hermano, Josh Monteath, and Izzy Abidi, the evening, which runs from 4-7pm, is called Freshly Ground Sounds and promises coffee, cakes, balloons, flowers and fairy lights.