Fool us once shame on you, fool us for an entire day, it must be April 1 again…

April 1 is an ominous calendar date for reporters. You have to dial that journalistic cynicism up to 11, and trust no one. Every press release that arrives in your inbox or whacky corporate social media post that pops up in your feed has the potential to be a career shortening Fools Day faux-pas. And those alternative fact honey traps can be particularly difficult to spot here in the UAE, a country so frequently entangled with pushing the goalposts of what’s possible.

The key to top tier cognitive catfishing, is finding a ruse that sits in that very narrow Venn Diagram overlap of the ‘utterly ludicrous’ and ‘eh actually I could kind of see that’. These are some of our favourite April Fools efforts spotted in the UAE this year.

Seven Sisters: a Kylie unlikely guest

JW Marriott Marquis venue, Seven Sisters Dubai has dipped its painted toe into the world of seasonal tom foolery this year with the implication that one of the Kardashian diaspora will be/has been a guest at their Saturday Sundown brunch. It’s a cheeky ruse lent at least semi-plausibility by the fact the weekly promo is put on in collaboration with LUV Events – who are no strangers to jetting in big celebrities. We also know Kylie Jenner does enjoy a Dubai stay, and so why not? A few beverages at Seven Sisters, quick pit stop at a petrol station Zoom for some Chips Oman and a can of sugar-free Monster, then onto Rock Bottom for the afters.

Believability rating: 3.75

Visit RAK: the fast and the furry-ous

Ras Al Khaimah is on a trolling roll when it comes to creating outstanding spoof video content (check out the Rayna Tours camel zipline video below). And Visit Ras Al Khaimah’s April 1 2024 effort, an airline dedicated to pets – RAK Furlines, once again serves fake news fire. What it lacks in credibility it more than makes up for in high-fidelity cuteness. There’s also the fact we all know at least one domesticated animal (usually a spaniel) that was just born to fly on a PJ (private jet). Bonus points for picking a theme that ties in with their current The Most Relaxed Cat in the World campaign.

Believability rating: 2.5


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Emirates: a new property empire takes off


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“Emirates Residences” the social media post proudly boasts, is a new luxury living residential tower with “its own exclusive airport for residents”. On the face of it, there’s nothing too outlandish about Emirates – a group with a diverse footprint in the leisure industry – creating a property wing for their portfolio. We’re just not 100 per cent sure if flying planes onto towers will ever be a saleable idea outside of a Jetsons reboot. In case you needed one, there’s one more big April Fools clue given at the end of the post, “construction on Dubai’s newest supertall tower is set to begin 31 February, 2025”.

Believability rating: 3.5

Reform: pedigree chums

Everyone’s favourite gastro pub with a garden, Reform Social & Grill has also given its entry into the April prank-off, a pet-loving spin. The set-up is that they’re putting on a five-course feast for foodie Fidos – a tasting menu for dogs with such inclusions as bone marrow broth topped with caviar and truffle-infused salmon ice cream. It scores highly on believability ranking for me because, I’m actually fairly sure this would work as a concept in Dubai, excessively pampering pooches sometimes feels like an unofficial national sport – and Reform is famously, a pet friendly venue. They almost had me… almost.

Believability rating: 4.25

Vertical Design: there can be only Neon

Smart. So smart. See, what these guys have done here – is cleverly tapped into something Dubai loves to dabble in… Record breaking. The floated supposition is that these lighting designers have been commissioned to create a 100km neon artwork along the coastline of Dubai. And I can’t be the only person sad that it’s turned out not to be true. Wouldn’t it be a great story if we could collab manifest this into actually happening?

Believability rating: 4.5

Curious Elephant: hot streaks

Craft chilli outfit, Curious Elephant chose to fly perilously close to the conceivability line this year. Their fictional product: natural red chilli hair oil, invites customers to spice up their look with this conditioning condiment. I’m not sure how attractive the idea of looking and smelling like a Manhattan pizza shop worker would be to the mass public, or indeed just how much of an appetite they have for rubbing raw Schoville Units into their scalp – but if the cosmetic industry can be relied on for anything, it’s for never letting us know their next move when it comes to their new ‘active ingredients’.

Believability rating: 4

GymNation: Croiss-fit


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In what sounds like a branding pivot straight outta a ChatGPT fever dream, GymNation has created the phony – World’s First Fit-Cafe. On the surface – nothing too outrageous to see here, fitness loves a fad. But, like deep sea oil prospecting, it starts to smell a bit fishy when you drill down into it. With aspects like the deliberately preposterous operational equipment – treadmills at the kiosk front, weighted forks to get those bicep curls in whilst you snack. It’s funny, well presented and their ongoing commitment to the fooling hustle must be respected.

Believability rating: 4

G.O.A.T Burger: you have GOAT to be kidding me


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Remember the great horse meat scandal of the early noughties? True story – someone in our office, I won’t name names, thought that GOAT Burger was proudly called GOAT Burger because the burgers were made of goat. They were fully cognisant of the other meaning of the term GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), the one the restaurant is a reference too – they just thought, “why not? … whatever floats your goat I guess”. It’s this conceptual overlap that’s teased by GOAT Burger’s GOAT-A-Gram – that for Dhs300 you can play with a baby goat (but not eat it @Manaal), for 20 minutes presumably moments after smashing one of their delicious, let us repeat – not goat-based, burgers.

Believability rating: 3

FIYA: Fiya information

Pitmaster General, Hattem Mattar’s hugely popular alfresco grill concept, FIYA at Keturah Reserve will shut up shop at the end of April, for a temporary seasonal close. But fans of the brand were given a faint glimmer of hope earlier today when it was announced that FIYA would be opening on a private castaway isle, under the name FIYA at Keturah Island. It was false hope sadly, being that this was of course an April Fools wind-up. We should probably all be immune to having the rug of alluring concepts pulled out from beneath us by this point in the list, but this one still hurts. If you’re reading this Hattem… Please make it happen.

Believability rating: 3.75

Hotel Indigo: lovely leisure humps

They say that a camel is a horse designed by committee, presumably the same sort of committee that came up with this next weird-how-a-lot-of-these-involve-animals-this-year April Fool. It’s from Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown, and their satirically spurious claim is that a camel recently checked into the hotel along with its owner, taking advantage of the hotel’s pet-friendly reputation. It never actually happened of course but it did leave us wondering whether if it had have happened, and the camel took up the whole bed as it has in the photos, would the owner have been able to squeeze themself onto one of the pillows? Or would they have got the hump?

Believability rating: 3

Tough Mudder: never run in crocs

The thing is, Tough Mudder is just such an incredibly brutal and humbling race event, that you could borderline tell me they’ve added anything (barring maybe the Ebola virus or napalm) to their obstacles – and I’d go some way to believing it. Their April 2024 fool entry, does stretch this almost unlimited credibility card though – that a new ‘Muddy Waters’ section has been added to their season-finale event in Ras Al Khaimah (April 20). The obstacles in question? Live baby crocodiles, piranhas and electric eels. Yikes.

Believability rating: 3.5

BohoX: who lives in a pastry next to the sea?


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One of Dubai’s biggest ambassadors for the ‘most important meal of the day’, BohoX waded into the April Foolery with a massive piece of Parisian pâtisserie. The croissant-shaped cafe is particularly on-brand as the beloved spot is known for their XXL continental breakfast staple. Did we fall for it? No. Did I spend the next 30 minutes dreaming about dipping giant croissants into one of their creamy hot chocolates? Yes, I did.

Believability rating: 3

Images: Instagram