Food, fun, events and studios, these are our favourite things in the UAE right now…

Business lunching at… Lucia’s

Lucia’s is well-loved in my friendship group for a fun, festive dinner out, but this week I found myself enjoying the venue just as much over business lunch. As an eternal fan of lemon print, this venue is a visual dream come true, with its lemon print plates, lemon groves climbing the walls, and even chairs and tables finished in a soft, pale lemon. The menu, masterminded by executive chef Paiola Enrico, is a celebration of Southern Italy’s finest flavours, with chef Enrico sourcing the best seafood from Sicily. It wasn’t quite cool enough to dine outdoors, but I can’t wait to spend an evening on the terrace as soon as the temperatures permit. – Alice Holtham, Group Editor

@lucia’sdubai

Celebrating the return of sundowner season at… Caña by Tamoka

 

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I’m nervous to say it in case the hot weather creeps back, but I think we’ve finally reached sundowner season. It’s hit that just-right temperature to make drinking outdoors bearable, and the summer haze has finally lifted so we can enjoy our sorbet-hued sunsets in full vision. Few beach bars do it better for me than Caña by Tamoka, a rustic, laid-back spot on JBR. With bean bags on the sand, it’s a superb spot for a barefoot rose against the backdrop of seriously stunning views. – Alice Holtham, Group Editor

@canabytamoka

Learning new skills with… Domestika

 

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I’m forever trying to improve my creative skills, and recently I rediscovered and became hooked on Domestika. It’s an online course website, with a range of short, informational courses available on a wide range of subjects. You can learn everything from photography basics to creative writing, Adobe software, UX design, and so much more. The best part? The courses are usually around 2.5 hours, and cost less than $15 meaning you can easily get through one in a weekend. – Elise Kerr, Deputy Editor

domestika.org

Getting healthy thanks to… Organic Foods and Café

The lovely people at Organic Foods and Café sent me a box of their finest fruit and veg this week, and I can’t remember a time when my fridge has looked so colourful. Their delivery boxes are an ideal way to get organic produce into your diet, without having to fight through the bruised onions in the supermarket. The organic super store carries a huge range of products, not just fruit and vegetables, all delivered to your door for Dhs25, or free when you spend Dhs75 or more. – Elise Kerr, Deputy Editor

organicfoodsandcafe.com

Giving my sneakers a fresh out of the box fix-up with… Washmen

Laundry isn’t usually something I get excited about. I might occasionally wax evangelical about a new fabric softener, but generally draw the clothes-line pretty tautly there. This week however I did find a new reason to show love for the art of scrubbery, I discovered that the nation’s favourite outsourcing service for the cleaning of clothes, Washmen — also spruce up your sneakers, pimp up your pumps and gives your trainers a little tune-up. And because it’s Washmen, they’ll pick them up from your house/place of work and return them right back after they’ve finished. All for Dhs79, bookable through their app and website. Now I just have to figure out how to keep them clean in a household with two ‘everything is art’ predisposed children. – Miles Buckeridge, Senior Online Reporter

@washmen.app

Enjoying tasty flakey pastries from… Bageri Form

 

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Dubai’s D3 has got more than its fair share of hidden culinary gems, but one of the brightest — has to be Bageri Form. It’s a Scandinavian bakery that deals in covetous carbs — delicate sweet and savoury pastries, 24-hour fermented sourdough loaves, rustic breads and spectacular show-stopping desserts. The great news for Abu Dhabi residents is that they deliver UAE-wide and its free for orders over Dhs400 (or Dhs250 for Dubai). – Miles Buckeridge, Senior Online Reporter

@bageriform

Excited to take my family to see the new aquatic circus… Fontana

@whatsondubai Fontana is a new aquatic circus experience that has landed in Dubai… Here’s a preview… #whatsondubai #dubaifestivalcity #dubai #VibesByTheBay ♬ … is sweaty – Kellan

Fontana, the water show produced by Cirque Du Liban opened its doors last night on September 29. Thankfully, What’s On got an invite to see the opening performance and we have three words for you: DO NOT MISS. We left the show mesmerised and instantly began making plans to return with the family. Five shows take place during the week with two shows (4pm to 6pm, and 7pm to 9pm) on Friday to Sunday and one show at 7pm on Wednesday and Thursday. Ticket prices start from just Dhs90. – Aarti Saundalkar, Online Reporter

@fontanashow

Making an effort to go through my UAE bucket list and finally striking off… The Green Planet

Being born and raised here in Dubai, people seem to think I’ve done it all. But this really isn’t the case and it’s always awkward to find out that visitors have seen and done much more in such a short time span. Which is why I love my UAE bucket list and I am quite enjoying working my way through it. One entertainment destination I visited recently was The Green Planet – Dubai’s indoor vertical rainforest. I visited late in the evening so most animals were asleep, but I did see a (snoozing) sloth, flying bats, and I even braved petting an iguana. Will it be a spot I revisit? Yes, definitely but in the morning when all the animals are awake.– Aarti Saundalkar, Online Reporter

@thegreenplanetdubai 

Trying the new menu at… Bushra by Buddha Bar

Bushra by Buddha Bar is a concept by the one and only Buddha Bar group and it does not disappoint. Located upstairs at the Grosvenor House in Dubai Marina, Bushra is a modern Middle Eastern restaurant with breathtaking interiors, a fun ambiance, and incredible views. Just in time for the new season, the restaurant launched their new seasonal menu this week and I was probably one of the first through the door to see what’s new. I recommend trying the Turkish pide, chicken tawook, wild seabass, and Beiruti hummus, and pistachio baklava. – Tamara Wright, Online Reporter

@bushra_dubai

Wishing I was back in… AlUla

Last week, to celebrate Saudi National Day, I was lucky enough to go on a trip to the Kingdom itself for a two-day music festival in the desert of AlUla. I stayed at the magical Habitas hotel and instantly fell in love with the place and its people. From ziplining down the mountain to seeing Jason Derulo live, our itinerary was packed, day and night, with once-in-a-lifetime experiences. If you haven’t yet been to AlUla, add it to your bucket list as direct flights from Dubai start up again soon. – Tamara Wright, Online Reporter

experiencealula.com

Getting my Turkish food fix at… Mado

 

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For a mid-week treat, we visited the fantastic Turkish restaurant, Mado, at its new Dubai Hills Mall branch. The staff were incredibly friendly and the restaurant itself is beautifully designed with pink and deep blue accents. The food was absolutely delicious: we shared almond crusted halloumi, a Turkish salad, and ‘patatas bravas.’ The food was seasoned to perfection, fresh and overall moreish. We finished the meal off with fragrant Turkish tea and coffee and a very yummy selection of baklava. – Shelby Gee, Editorial Intern

@madouae

Sipping on a ICEE slushie at… Wavehouse

 

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A big kid’s play pen is a great way to describe Wavehouse. Outrageously large hot dogs and burritos paired with a bowling alley and arcade is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s also a great place to just convene with friends have a cold drink and catch up. For a fruit that doesn’t actually exist, Blue Raspberry slushies are surprisingly tasty minus making your tongue blue in the process of drinking them. Served in the classic ICEE cup, it took me back to the excitement of getting a slushie at the cinema as a kid. – Shelby Gee, Editorial Intern

@wavehousedubai

Kick-starting the week with… Al Safadi

 

If you’re like me then Mondays are notoriously hard. To lighten the mood on this manic Monday my parents and I ordered an absolute feast from Al Safadi. Falafel, hummus, chicken, spicy grilled peppers, potatoes, tabbouleh, and endless amounts of bread were consumed. Safe to say we went slightly wild, with enough left over to eat dinner for the rest of the week. – Romy Hunt, Editorial Intern

@alsafadirestaurants

Catching up at ladies’ night at… Baby Q

Baby Q

With a never-ending list of ladies’ nights on offer, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to a mid-week catch-up.  This Tuesday, Baby Q was my chosen destination, with a ladies’ night deal that offers free drinks from 7pm ’till 12am. With funky music and friendly staff, my bestie and I were sipping free-flowing wine and bopping the night away. Next time you need to catch up with you squad, head down to Baby Q for a wallet-friendly night out. – Romy Hunt, Editorial Intern

@babyqdubai