A mini guide to what our Editor is doing and loving in & around Dubai
Each month, I’m bringing you all the things my family and I are finding in and around Dubai. From cool little eating spots to staycations, shopping to must-read books, beauty products that actually do what they say on the tin to fun kiddie hang outs and much more. And sometimes I’ll also share some musings and other random fun stuff along the way – and I’d love to hear from you if there’s something fabulous that you just need to share with our readers!
At Doubletree by Hilton Marjan Island, RAK. I had no idea that this gem of a resort existed until our recent stay (thanks to my hubby’s fabulous research). Quite possibly one of the most family friendly hotels in the region, the Hilton at Marjan Island has everything from a kids club to an incredible playground, water-slides and splash park to swimming pools, masses of space for roaming and a gorgeous little beach. And I even managed to sneak a spa treatment in while the kids played. As friendly on the wallet as it is in all of the services it offers, this resort is a really fun option for families looking for a casual staycay in the UAE.
At The Jebel Ali Resort, where ducks, peacocks and Oryx roam and 3 swimming pools, a mini-golf course, water-sports (including the Wibit, an inflatable fun-park in the sea), camel-rides, pony-rides and more await. My husband first stayed at the hotel when he was 16 years old – and now, a good few years later, this lovely resort has really aged well – with mature gardens, loads of space for exploring and absolutely tonnes to do for children. We love heading here early and spending the whole day before showering the kids, getting their pj’s on and making our way home.
The Expert Corps Range by Institut Arnaud Paris. Anything that gets me one step closer to snagging the secret that makes French women so effortlessly beautiful and so very comfortable in their own skin gets my vote – and these products, designed specifically to help slim and firm are one of my best bathroom buys recently. With a scrub, replenishing balm and anti-cellulite gel – the products are jam-packed with ingredients that tone and smooth – and they work! Oh and that scrubbing, slathering and massaging routine gets me a few extra mins of mama-time in the bathroom, mega bonus. They’re a little more expensive than your regular drug-store products but with bikini season upon us, totally worth every dirham.
Personalised muesli from Mix & Muesli – the best way to start the day! Want oat flakes with puffed rice, pomegranate, peaches, linseed and a sprinkling of bee pollen? Then you shall have it! And with over 40 different ingredients including dried fruit, grains, nuts and seeds and little extras (chocolate coated berries anyone?) you can customise a different muesli every week. Yum.
Exercise classes at Define Body & Mind. After the excesses of summer (am off to France where I foresee much cheese-eating and wine-drinking) I’ll want to give my exercise routine (or lack thereof) a massive kick start. Define Body & Mind in Dubai Marina Mall offers everything from high-energy spin classes to sessions combining pilates, yoga, ballet and core strengthening and even soothing classes designed to calm your mind and refresh your body through yoga, myofascial release techniques and tightness in the hamstrings, hips, shoulders and more. The perfect top to toe solution.
Juices (and more) at Wild & The Moon in Al Serkal Avenue, an organic space that serves up cold-pressed juices, smoothies, salads, soups, snacks and even coffees but made with dairy-free alternatives (btw a coconut milk latte is one of the best things I’ve ever tasted). Everything is wild, local, plant-based, ethically sourced, seasonal and pure. And I swear their ‘So Green’ juice knocked my flu on the head.
How to use my iPhone camera properly at the Gulf Photo Plus ‘Art Of Mobile Photography’ Course in Al Serkal Avenue. Covering everything from setting up the perfect photo to all the options your phone gives you and then the apps you can use to edit your snaps afterwards, this 3 hour class is ideal for waking up the brain cells, doing something for yourself and then using your new found skills to take awesome piccies of your brood.
The Rove Hotel, is the most exciting new property opening in Dubai – modern, urban and much more affordable than anywhere else nearby (double rooms from AED 400 per night), this new venture by Emaar is a little edgy, a little cool and a lot awesome. With a gym, pool, foodie hangout, self-service laundry and incredible location just a stone’s throw from the Burj Khalifa, The Rove is THE place to recommend to visiting friends or for a cheeky night away from home.
The opening of Muchachas (which means ‘ladies’ in Spanish by the way) by Tom & Serg, a contemporary Mexican resto with a twist that’s set to open after the summer (location is being kept a secret). Described by the dynamic duo as ‘sassy, sexy and feminine’, I had a small taste of what will be on offer at Taste of Dubai -the inflatable donuts, pink candy floss and scrummy tacos had me sold. Can’t wait.