These are our favourite things in the UAE right now…

Pretending it’s still summer on the White Isle at… Tagomago


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It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been to Ibiza, but it remains one of my favourite destinations in the world. I spent much of my twenties returning summer after summer, there’s something endlessly appealing about the island. When Tagomago opened earlier this year, it felt like our own slice of the White Isle right here in Dubai, and it’s somewhere I love to return to when I’m craving a taste of that breezy Balearic way. They’ve recently introduced a new Wednesday special, an ode to the Meloso, a traditional Spanish rice that’s like a creamy sister dish to the more al dente paella. The melt-in-the-mouth short rib option is *chef kiss*, and washes down extremely well with a glass of Sangria. – Alice Holtham, Group Editor

Catching up with one of the world’s top chefs… José Andrés


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Continuing this week’s accidental Spanish theme, I was delighted to spend a morning with chef José Andrés, who’s been in Dubai for a few days on the pots and pans of his Atlantis The Royal restaurant, Jaleo. We chatted about everything from where he likes to spend time in Dubai (catch him at the spice market, when he’s not amidst a busy service) to the famous people in his phonebook (shout out to Foo Fighters front man, Dave Grohl, who personally invited chef Jose down to see him perform in Abu Dhabi over the F1 weekend). – Alice Holtham, Group Editor

Enjoy chic Greek aldesko eats from… Kouzina by MIYA


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The Greeks are responsible for a lot of pretty cool stuff. Theatre, theorems about right-angled triangles, cranes, lighthouses, the Olympics, philosophy, modern democracy, haloumi, atomic theory, smashing plates in celebration rather than rage/mal-coordination and, the crowning glory of them all, gyros. I take these Greek iterations of kebabs very seriously and few delivery options pass the test – one batch that did however, were those of Kouzina by MIYA. They do a lot more than that of course (available via Deliveroo, get: the halloumi salad and moussaka) – but for me, their josper beef gyros are true Greek epics. – Miles Buckeridge, Deputy Editor, What’s On Dubai

Christmas shopping for my favourite people at… Oria


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I genuinely think I might be in the running for worst present buyer on the planet. The emirate at the very least. I don’t pick up on hints, fumble the memo and live in a sort of perpetual indecisive Libra season limbo. Mall shopping trips typically end up being full day affairs, visiting and revisiting shops and then ultimately panic buying something, direct quote: “completely inappropriate”. Which is why when I discover businesses like Oria, a homegrown house of elegant affordable jewelry — I cling onto those precious finds like a festively-motivated Gollum. It’s almost impossible to go wrong choosing from their range of layerable, sophisticated wearable art and it means even more to know that each piece is completely unique, hand crafted by Middle Eastern artisans. – Miles Buckeridge, Deputy Editor, What’s On Dubai

Walking in a winter wonderland at… Snow Abu Dhabi

Before my first look at Abu Dhabi’s own slice of the North Pole, I went in with mixed expectations. What ensued was an all-singing, all-dancing celebration of the impending festive season. Cheery staff really helped ramp up the festive spirit. If you’re staying in town during the holidays, definitely visit, preferably with family and friends, and especially if you have little ones. I promised no spoilers, so the rest is for you to experience and enjoy. – Dinesh Ramanathan, Deputy Editor, What’s On Abu Dhabi


Getting through silly season thanks to… dubmeals


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This was suggested to me by a colleague not too long ago, with the crazy hours we work. Whether it is meal prep, healthy eating or tailored diet plans you need help with, dubmeals has you covered. Light, sustainable packaging, healthful, flavourful meals and timely delivery make this a great option for the urban professional or really just anyone that wishes to start their new day, week, month…or year, on a new note. Definitely give them a try and chances are you’ll be hooked. – Dinesh Ramanathan, Deputy Editor, What’s On Abu Dhabi


Making the most of alfresco season at… Chic Nonna


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Dubai’s Italian dining scene is almost as varied as the foodie paradise itself; whether you’re in the mood for a hearty bowl of pasta, Neapolitan-style pizza, or chic aperitivo. Last week, I finally made it to my local Italian restaurant, Chic Nonna for a taste of that dolce far niente lifestyle and to try out their new menu. The luxe Italian restaurant, located in DIFC, recently appointed a new chef, Francesco Torcasio. We sat on the terrace to make the most of the cooler evenings and to take in the breathtaking Burj Khalifa views without overlooking the restaurant’s stunning interiors including an impressive open kitchen and three-floor wine cellar (the biggest in the city, we’re told). Must-order dishes include the fiori di zucchine (mozzarella stuffed fried zucchini flower, ricotta cheese), the tagliatella di calamari, and the gnocchi stuffed with red prawns and stracchino cheese. It’s clear why, a few years after first landing in the Dubai food scene, it’s still one of the tables to book. – Tamara Wright, Online Reporter 


Affirming my Harry Styles obsession thanks to… Spotify Wrapped 2023


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It’s that time of the year, in between festive listings, filming cool new content and living my best life this season – Spotify Wrapped has just been released which means that Instagram stories are already full of each person’s top five songs, artists and what “vibes” they give off. Of the 40,974 minutes of music, I’ve listened to, I spent a total of 1,776 minutes of that listening to the main man Mr Harry Styles. Below him in my list is: Burna Boy, Milky Chance, Dave and Masego. A fairly interesting mix of artists I would say. My most listened to song? Mystery Lady by Masego (two years in a row. If a song is good, it’s good.) Want to hear my full playlist? Click here. I don’t mind sharing in the majesty that is my music choice. – Shelby Gee, Junior Reporter


Mastering the Maki and mixology at… Treehouse and Miss Tess


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This week I was invited to a masterclass at the newly refurbished Treehouse and Miss Tess. The evening started out with a mixology class where we learned all sorts of shaking techniques, and how to make three of their signature cocktails (my fave was the geisha.) Shortly after that we moved upstairs to Miss Tess, where I had a go at making my very own spicy tuna maki rolls and (subtle flex), but the chef was convinced I’d rolled sushi before. So now you can find me on weekends, part time rolling maki and slicing sashimi at Miss Tess. – Shelby Gee, Junior Reporter

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Checking off bucket list items at… the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

There are not enough words in my vocabulary to explain my feelings post my weekend at the race in the capital, and if I try, all that will come out of my mouth will be guttural hollering, so all I will say is, my life has peaked at the ripe age of twenty-one. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was truly an experience – where all the stars from both on and off track descended to watch Max Verstappen lead the the grid for the 1652th time this season. The highlight of my time was the pit lane walk, because where else will you see the work of art that is the car. Two days of chasing drivers (not in a weird way, I promise), Alex Albon smiling at me and living out my dreams. Happy times. –  Manaal Fatimah, Junior Online Reporter


Sharing the love for film at…Cinema Akil in 25hours


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The newest outpost of the beloved art house cinema is a red-hued ode to the perennial transitionary nature of this city – the constant construction, the scaffoldings and the cranes we see on the daily. Cinema Akil in 25hours takes the story and the ethos, and offers it to the viewer through the lens of reality. The first month at the open-air community space is seeing some powerful screenings and the best part is, they’re all free, so that you can come as you are, sit next to someone else like you, and share the love that makes cinema. – Manaal Fatimah, Junior Online Reporter


Images: Instagram/ Unsplash