These are our favourite things… right now.

Hosting a back garden cinema party with… Backyard Cinema Project

Want to pull off a proper back garden movie night without having to lift a finger? Drop Backyard Cinema Project a WhatsApp. Created during the pandemic, these guys have been building brilliant movie experiences for families across Dubai. They’ll set up the big screen and speakers, bring a projector, give your backyard a mini boho glow-up (with beanbags, lanterns and rugs), and throw in a couple of bags of popcorn to get you started. Packages cost Dhs1,800 (traditional cinema package) or Dhs2,500 (boho vibes package). Your guests will ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ and you can claim all the credit. – Laura Coughlin, Head of Content

@backyardcinemaproject

Skipping PCR test queues with… Service Market

Like it or not, these days getting a PCR test is a regular requirement. The challenge is trying to find somewhere that offers rapid tests and avoids long queues. Before the pandemic, Service Market helped UAE consumers find and book over 25 home service online – from plumbers to painters, cleaners to carpenters. Since March 2020, they’ve added home PCR testing to its offerings. Book in for a home/work test for Dhs169 and get your results within 48 hours or book an express service for Dhs329 and get your results within 12 hours. Easily one of the most stress-free tests we’ve found. – Laura Coughlin, Head of Content

servicemarket.com

Working up a sweat at… The Platform

There’s few things that can get me to work out on a weekend, especially as a serial fitness class-phobe. But this week I found myself at The Platform’s Sunday spin class – and actually enjoying it. Across 45-minutes, instructor Sarah pairs a set of epic, energy-packed tunes to an array of challenging sprints, hill climbs and weights tracks, inspiring the whole class to get involved. And knowing you’ve already worked out justifies an extra Yorkshire pudding or two at Sunday lunch, right? – Alice Holtham, Group Digital Editor

theplatformstudios.com

Chasing my nephew around… Trampo Extreme

Now I’ve got an 11-month old nephew, weekends of brunches and pool days are interlaced with parks and soft play. For the variety of activities on offer for toddlers, Trampo Extreme is one of the best, with ball pits, tunnels and squishy obstacles providing endless hours of fun for little ones. It’s handily located in Nakheel Mall, which means mixing soft play with stocking up on bits from the brilliant Depachika Food Hall, and a full day access pass for under two’s is a wallet-friendly Dhs25, with adult supervisors free to enter. I’m not sure who leaves more exhausted. – Alice Holtham, Group Digital Editor

trampo-uae.com

Organising my life with… fresh stationery

I don’t know about you, but I can’t start a new year without a fresh diary and set of notebooks. I searched all over the city before striking gold in the new Paperchase store in Dubai Marina Mall. Now I feel ready to take on the year and conquer all of my goals. – Elise Kerr, Deputy Editor

@frompaperchase

Sipping sundowners at… Uma

Did you know there’s a secret alfresco bar in Burj Al Arab? Uma is only open to visitors who take the Inside Burj Al Arab tour (from Dhs249). Right now it’s only open for drinks, but it has great views of the city and sunset to enjoy once you’ve finished the tour. – Elise Kerr, Deputy Editor

insideburjalarab.com

Dreaming of… the wagyu gyoza at Akiba Dori, Yas Bay

 

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You know that feeling, where you put a thing in your mouth and your brain goes “hold up, we might have something here”, the olfactory dashboard lights up and you immediately fall madly and desperately in love with a mouthful of food. That, dear reader, happened to me last week at Yas Bay’s Akiba Dori. Their main trade is in Japanese pizza, bizarre but, trust us, it’s a winner — it’s their street food menu though where we learned to love again . The wagyu gyoza (Dhs67) are a juicy fiesta of umami, and are only improved by smothering the pink-fleshed interior in the accompanying, tart ,dipping sauce. This will not be a one date wonder, I can see it going the distance. – Miles Buckeridge, Online Reporter

@akibadori

Getting to grips with Crypto thanks to… CoinMena app

One of my resolutions this year was to get a grasp on the whole Crypto thing. It’s tough because every time I get five minutes into someone describing block chain to me, I’m in that ‘flipping tables over’ kind of mood, which is neither receptive or productive. But I’m not looking to go full Wolf of Wall Street, maybe just like a hungry Labrador of Wall Street, so it feels achievable. The single best tip I got for making it easy for myself in the UAE, was to use CoinMena which, in a relatively small number of steps lets you swap dirhams for Crypto currencies. And so far, zero flipped tables. – Miles Buckeridge, Online Reporter

coinmena.com

Starting mornings with… a walk and coffee at Al Ittihad Park

My favourite way to start the day is a run or walk around the gorgeous oasis that is Al Ittihad Park (often known as ‘the track’) on the Palm Jumeirah. This 3.2km track is popular with dog walkers, young families and those wanting to get their steps in. It’s a thriving area full of flora, fauna and palm trees, and runs alongside Golden Mile Galleria, so you can stop and enjoy a coffee outdoors at places such as Starbucks and Shakespeare’s & Co.

Soaking up the sun… with a beach day at The Westin Mina Seyahi

With endless blue skies and sunshine, Dubai is the perfect place to enjoy a beach day – especially at this time of year. I love the one at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina. We tend to forgo an actual sun bed and instead snag one of the cool wooden deck chairs on the beach, which is ideal for enjoying drinks with your friends and tanning at the same time. The beach has a bohemian vibe to it with brilliant music playing all day. If you fancy a dip, check out the pool with its very own built-in bar. Beach and pool access is priced from Dhs255.

Indulging in breakfast at… Sereni-tea 

I love Tania’s Teahouse for several reasons. The staff are lovely, the surroundings are pretty and of course the food is delicious. The team have opened up a new teahouse nestled in Umm Sequeim and I can’t wait to check it out. It’s not the pretty pink hues that you would find in the first branch, but the hygge design is warm without losing those Instagrammable vibes. Post my breakfast, which I have decided is going to be an ‘eggs ben-addict’, you’ll find me in the outdoor patio and garden, sipping on tea, soaking in the cool weather and enjoying a catchup with the bestie. -Aarti Saundalkar, Junior Online Reporter 

@taniasteahouse

Sitting in front of my laptop watching… OSN

It’s been a long week so I am scheduling in a few hours to do nothing, aka upping my screentime on OSN. After binge watching the Harry Potter film series and Harry Potter 20th Anniversary, several other TV shows and films piqued my interest. The streaming platform is packed with plenty of crime series and movies, historical dramas, documentaries and much more. Currently on ‘My List’ is Succession (above), Yellowstone, The Wire and I’ll Be Gone In The Dark. -Aarti Saundalkar, Junior Online Reporter 

osn.com