These are our favourite things in the UAE right now…

Checking-in for a relaxing staycation at… Park Hyatt Dubai

After an action-packed May, and with my wedding just a fortnight away, last weekend my fiance and I put the wedding planning/ stressing/ organising on hold for a couple of days and headed to one of our favourite Dubai hotels for a much-needed getaway, Park Hyatt Dubai. I love the instant on-holiday feel that you get from this property, that feels as much like it belongs on the Grecian coast as it does the banks of Dubai Creek. The Amara Spa is one of Dubai’s best-kept secrets, and I’d arranged a blissful multi-step treatment that included a Himalayan salt body scrub, body wrap and signature massage with fragrant Amara oils, and then a 60-minute hydrating facial that left me glowing from head-to-toe. We checked-in to one of the lagoon access rooms that opened up directly onto the lagoon, and ended the day with a beautiful sundowner at NOEPE. Pure bliss. – Alice Holtham, Group Editor


Picking up my wedding stationery from… Studio Paper


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As I mention above, I’m on the final countdown to my wedding next week, and one of the last jobs I’ve had to tick off is getting all of my stationary printed. That’s meant menus, itineraries, place cards and table numbers. I found Studio Paper, a wonderful small business in Safa Park, who’ve been such a joy to work with when it’s come to the design and creation process. I’ve loved popping in to the creative studio to look at papers, embossing, and gold foiling, and the final products look so beautiful, I can’t wait for all our guests to see them. Now we just have to keep our fingers and toes crossed for no rain. – Alice Holtham, Group Editor

Celebrating World Burger Day with… Five Guys

five guys burgers

That’s the burger chain, not a hypothetical entourage. This Tuesday saw the annual passing of the internationally observed Burger Day. It doesn’t have the goth caché of Halloween, or the transubstantiated chocolate of Easter – but it does have burgers so it easily makes my top three annual celebrations. This year we, as a team, celebrated May 28 with a few Five Guys sandos. It’s the perfect burger joint if you’re dining in a group, partly because it has so many customisation options even the pickiest eaters can find peace (though indecisive ones might end up with a case of the eye twitches), but also because everybody loves a Five Guys burger. – Miles Buckeridge, Deputy Editor, What’s On Dubai


Enjoying the carnival atmosphere of… Paradiso

I’d be a useless bar man. Scrap that, I have actually been a useless bar man – twice in fact. But that was a different life, one best forgotten. It takes an incredible level of skill and dedication to reach the top in that profession – and there are few places in Dubai where you can see that wheelhouse on display as theatrically and visibily, as it is in new, circus-themed bar Paradiso. Found at FIVE Luxe on the JBR, It’s the Dubai outpost of the world famous Barcelona icon, and this UAE version has successfully managed to transplant much of the Catalan flair of the original, as well as adding its own regional flourishes. The tapas menu is incredible (get the duck croquettes, and the truffle brioche), the views and design are out of this world, and the cocktails raise the bar to such an extent, it may as well be a high-flying trapeze. – Miles Buckeridge, Deputy Editor, What’s On Dubai


Marvelling at the wonders of teamwork…with the 45th anniversary issue of What’s On

Read my bio and you’ll know how much I value teamwork, and the peerless outcome of collaborative effort. This month, we’ve put our heads and skills together to bring you the 45th anniversary issue of What’s On, a special edition that combines the best of both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. I’m notorious for staring into space during the work day when there’s tons to be done, but this time around, I caught myself staring at the finished magazine and flipping through its pages in awe. Learn more about how we got to 45 glorious years, the best of the UAE as we know it today, and how to celebrate this wonderful brand and nation, when you take a tour of this work of art. Big up to my tireless team for making it all happen. – Dinesh Ramanathan, Deputy Editor, What’s On Abu Dhabi

Embracing tech when it matters…with Zofeur


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I am a dinosaur. Not literally, but tech-wise – much to the chagrin of my peers, colleagues, friends and family. But a couple days ago, I found myself appreciating and understanding why the ways of the digital world are unavoidable. After a fun evening out, a good buddy of mine needed to get back home – home being 60 miles away. Except he had a soccer-dad SUV that also needed to get home to sleep. Being the responsible gent he tends to be, he nonchalantly unlocked his iPhone and summoned the services of Zofeur, who dispatched a skilled chauffeur to drive both said friend and his set of wheels home – safe, sound and responsibly. Gotta love stuff like this. – Dinesh Ramanathan, Deputy Editor, What’s On Abu Dhabi


Gearing up for a night of… Hans Zimmer at Coca-Cola Arena

The second Hans Zimmer announced he was returning to Dubai, I knew it was one I could not miss. I saw the legendary music composer when he performed last year, and it was a show I can’t get out of my mind. And I’m sure my colleagues will agree that I won’t stop talking about it. From the music to the production, the stage lighting, the vibes – everything was just brilliant. And I can’t wait to soak it all in once more. – Aarti Saundalkar, Online Reporter 


Excited to eat everything on the menu at the new… Tania’s 

At long last, Tania’s (not just a teahouse) is open at Dubai Hills and I have the wonderful opportunity to visit this week. And I am in love – not just with the décor, but the menu, as well. From the delicious burrata pasta to the unicorn-inspired cake, bites and more – everything comes together so well. And if you didn’t know, this Tania’s is licensed, and we can expect to be sipping on some pretty tea-based cocktails soon. And I will be the first in line to try them out. We love you Tania, and we wish you all the very best! – Aarti Saundalkar, Online Reporter 


Giving my hair a much-needed summer refresh at… Pastels

I have a love-hate relationships with hair salons. You spend hours in the chair; getting your hair cut, coloured, washed, and massaged, while you’re fed coffees and biscuits, and practically have a therapy session with your new-found bestie. If you’re lucky, you’ll love the results. But sometimes (and I’m sure this has happened to everyone reading at least once) you’ll fake a smile through gritted teeth, go home, and cry. Earlier this week, I had my first hair appointment in almost two years before heading on holiday. All the way from Australia, queen of blonde (and wannabe-blondes) hair stylist, Stacey, has recently moved to Dubai, joining the team at sleek hair salon, Pastels. She’s a must see for balayage, highlights, and stunning blow-outs. Stacey listened to exactly what I wanted, shared her tips, and was incredibly attentive and approachable. The result? Healthier, lighter, low-maintenance hair, with a seamless transition of blonde from the roots to the ends for a natural look (see transformation above). So, if you’re looking for a new hair salon or perhaps wondering where to get your sun-kissed summer hair, Stacey is your woman. – Tamara Wright, Online Reporter


Enjoying the ultimate girl dinner thanks to… Meats & Cuts

Picky tea, girl dinner, charcuterie board, whatever you want to call it, you just can’t beat it. Dubai butchery and deli, Meats & Cuts, is renowned for its fine quality meat, exquisite cheese, and hand-crafted cold cuts. Naturally, they make a stunning sharing platter – from cheeseboards to burger boxes. One casual Friday night in, we opted for the cheeseboard with cold cuts which comes with five types of cheese, five types of cold cuts, complemented with chutney, honey, figs, grapes, nuts, and crackers and artfully arranged on a sophisticated wooden board. Stunning, fresh, delicious, it went down a treat. It’s the perfect summer grazing spread for a wine-fuelled night in with friends and family. – Tamara Wright, Online Reporter

It’s been a month of… me

My birthday is in May and this month has wholly and solely been a month of me and a month of milestones – from moving into my apartment (in case I haven’t mentioned it before) to booking a trip to meet my partner’s family in August, spending my birthday with the most important people in my life at one of my favourite (underrated) restaurants, Luigia. It’s just been a month of everything I could want and more and I am feeling exceptionally grateful and blessed. I sometimes see the Burj Khalifa at sunset and am in awe that this is the place I call home and the place I get to grow and learn. We are safe, and sheltered and have access to excess here. This month has truly been a reminder of how lucky I am to be me. Thank you to all of the incredible and special people who made this month and birthday so wonderful.  – Shelby Gee, Junior Reporter  

Back-to-back birthdays with… Billionaire Cookies

While it was my birthday this week last week, we have also been getting ready to celebrate the What’s On 45th birthday in tandem with the legends at Billionaire Cookies turning one (stay tuned for all the delicious info). In preparation for that, we got hands-on in the kitchen with them. I can honestly say that baking cookies in the middle of a random Wednesday was a genuine highlight of my week. I sometimes forget how much I love baking and how therapeutic it can be – so it was a wholesome experience with some incredible people and let me just tell you, their (our) cookies are possibly some of the best cookies in the city. – Shelby Gee, Junior Reporter


Going all the way back with the…New Balance Grey Days Collection


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I’m a true New Balance fan. I genuinely love the shoe, as someone who is always on the lookout for comfortable footwear that also plays into the streetwear/barbecue dad/effortless style aesthetic because at heart I am a barbecue dad. The Grey Days Collection just dropped and while the models are iconic ones we’ve seen before, what I love about the collection is the tribute to the beginnings of the brand. Grey is important for NB, the colour that set it apart from everything else hot on the market at the time, as I learned from the short film screened at the launch this past week, and it put the shoe on the map. I’m very proud of my own roots, and I like that they’re proud of their’s. I copped a pair of 574s in a delicious grey colourway that’s right up my neutrals-only alley. Will be wearing for the foreseeable future. – Manaal Fatimah, Junior Reporter


Eating croissant in forms I didn’t know was possible at…BohoX

This past week I was sat at a lovely Chef’s Table at BohoX, trying out an exclusive degustation pairing menu in celebration of the history of the croissant and fusion cuisine. Never have I ever had croissant in so many forms and variations, but I was intrigued with every bite, and the collection of ingredients told me Chef Serhat put a lot of love into this. I ate a lot of good food, made some new friends and had a sweet history lesson on how the croissant came to be. Trust me, it’ll surprise you too. – Manaal Fatimah, Junior Reporter