Health, adventures, restaurants and beach clubs, these are our favourite things in the UAE right now…

(Trying) to keep on track with… 8020 Meal Prep

 

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While I’ve normally given up with my new year’s resolutions by this point, this year I’ve been determined to stick to it. A lot of the time I find I’m just too busy to cook, so a meal plan is the best way for me to stick to my goals while still enjoying what I eat. Though many meal plans I’ve tried before mean cutting out a lot of my favourite things, this January I’ve been on 8020 Meal Prep and I’ve found the dishes varied and tasty, while still making me feel full. I’ll definitely be renewing. – Alice Holtham, Group Editor

Soaking up the sun at… Nobu by the Beach

 

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I was one of the lucky few to attend Atlantis The Royal’s grand reveal weekend last weekend, and it did not disappoint. Of all of the venues I can’t wait to see open – Jaleo, Ling Ling and Cloud 22 were some of my favourites – I’m most excited for Nobu by the Beach. The first beach club from chef Nobu Matsuhisa is as glamourous and luxe as you’d expect, with a menu of Nobu signatures given a beachy twist that pairs perfectly with an afternoon of live DJ sets and tan topping. It officially opens on February 10. – Alice Holtham, Group Editor

@nobubythebeach

Enjoying tea and cake at… Josette

 

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Josette finally opens to the public on Monday January 30, but I got to enjoy a sneak peek of its upcoming sparkling afternoon tea experience. Guests will enjoy a selection of sandwiches, tea, cakes, and Champagne while a string quartet plays familiar tunes. The venue is simply gorgeous and I can’t wait to go back and try more of the menu. – Elise Kerr, Deputy Editor

@josettedubai

Giving my immune system a hard reboot with… Juices from Barakat

 

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I’ve had the man flu this week. I know I know. Devastating. The good news is, I’m pretty much out the otherside of it now and that’s partly thanks to the little immunity booster shots, delivered to my door as part of a larger grocery order from Barakat. There are ginger based concoctions, ginseng, orange and lemongrass, and turmeric. It’s obviously a long road to recovery, and yes sympathy helps, but I’ve also ordered some soup — just as a back up.

@barakatme

Trying a new way to get those gains in using… Couch to 5K

I hate running. All running. Running for sport, running to catch a bus, running taps, running noses (see above) and I’m fairly certain if I’d ever have to try and outrun a pyroclastic cloud or fast moving lava stream, like in the movie Dante’s Peak, I’d be more annoyed about the fact that I’m being required to run than I would about the total fiery devastation of every personal effect I own. But it’s good for you apparently, way better exercise than cycling (which I love), and so I’ve committed to giving it another go. Couch to 5k is a programme for absolute noobs, looking to build up the basic fitness needed to make it to running 5 kilometres without spontaneously combusting. As long as you stick to the schedule, it really is a fool proof system. Maybe that means I’m a runner now? The default jogging frown face may suggest otherwise, but I’m even starting to enjoy it.

nhs.uk/get-running-with-couch-to-5k

Can’t wait to head out tonight to see… Hans Zimmer at Coca-Cola Arena

After I watch a movie, it’s not a dialogue or a thrilling scene that I will replay in my head once it’s over, it’s the musical score that remains with me. So I was really excited to find out that Hans Zimmer was coming to Dubai. Zimmer has composed the music for some of my favourite movies so you’ll find me enjoying his performance tonight at Coca-Cola Arena. To get in the mood, I’ve been listening to his scores all day long. Tickets for today are all sold out, but there are spots available for his second show tomorrow. – Aarti Saundalkar, Online Reporter

@cocacolaarena

Dining at the newly opened Indian restaurant… Aamara

Aamara is a new licensed fine dining concept by the Award-winning Trèsind Team located in VOCO Hotel. I was invited to the opening and was genuinely surprised by the dishes I sampled. I plan to return to enjoy a full dinner here which of course, includes my all-time favourite – butter chicken and naan. – Aarti Saundalkar, Online Reporter

Stumbling upon trendy licensed libraries in… DIFC

 

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Earlier this week, I immediately fell in love with café/bookstore/bar concept, Lulu and the Beanstalk. For one it’s a homegrown concept owned by two sisters, and for two – it’s just so cool. Picture a small space, oozing with colour, quirky mis-matching chairs, a floor-to-ceiling bookcase with a ladder up to a DJ booth, healthy bites, and extensive beverage menu from matcha lattes to classic cocktails. Whether you’re looking for somewhere cosy to get some work done, a business lunch, or boozy brunch, this social spot should be on the top of your list. – Tamara Wright, Online Reporter

@lulus.bean

Taking a hike up…Wadi Shawka

Last weekend, we headed around an hour away from Dubai for our first adventure of 2023 to the beautiful Wadi Shawka. The hike took around three hours start-to-finish (four-year-old in tow) and was easy enough for all ages and fitness levels. It was great to see the hike so busy, full of campers, families, dog-walkers, and walking groups. You can either take the stairs up to the flag or take the trails – we made a day of it and ended up walking miles and miles. A beautiful morning in nature and quality family time.– Tamara Wright, Online Reporter

Sipping on the creamiest m*lkshakes from… Neat Burger

 

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This week, Neat Burger very generously delivered a selection of their burgers, fries and drinks to the office. Their entire menu is completely plant based and we were all pleasantly surprised by how delicious all of the items were but the one that stood out the most to me was their strawberry m*lkshake – it was one of the creamiest (without actual cream) shakes I have had in quite a long time. Safe to say it will be my new go to when looking for a healthy but delicious take out – Shelby Gee, Junior Reporter

 @neat.burger.uae

Enjoying a Michelin meal at… Torno Subito

One of the many things I enjoy about this job is that I get to delight in so many fantastic restaurants and this time I was lucky enough to head down to the W Dubai – Palm Jumeirah and delight in Michelin Star awarded pasta. The service was as expected, fantastic. The food was incredible – I was first presented with a palate cleanser, a mousse that was cheesy mouthful with hints of pumpkin. For lunch I decided to enjoy a classic Cacio e Pepe, which literally means cheese and pepper. It delivered on all fronts perfectly al dente pasta, creamy sauce with just the right kick of pepper at every bite. – Shelby Gee, Junior Reporter

@tornosubitodubai

Experiencing my first Omakase at…Mimi Kakushi

 

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Before this week I had never heard of the term ‘omakase’ before. However, on Tuesday I was lucky enough to become well acquainted with the term at the one and only, Mimi Kakushi. The Japanese dining custom literally translates to “I leave it up to you”, allowing chefs to utilise seasonal and fresh ingredients to curate innovative and unique dishes. For the omaske we were in the capable hands of chef Go Nagano and mixologist Manja, who fused a series of dishes and paired drinks which quite literally left me speechless. From the perfectly chilled sake, to the fresh hand rolls, my evening has left me completely omakase obsessed. – Romy Hunt, Junior Reporter

Exploring the desert

Last week I had three of my besties come to stay from England and at the top of their to-do list was going to the desert. I booked a trusty guide from Arabian Tours who picked us up and took us on a desert adventure. Habib did more than impress my friends with his skilful dune bashing, sliding through the sand with perfect ease and agility. After stopping for some very necessary posing on the tallest dunes, we also tested our sand boarding skills; often resulting in falling face forward. If you’re looking for a glorious morning out or want to wow your friends, definitely book yourself a tour soon. – Romy Hunt, Junior Reporter