These are our favourite things in the UAE right now…

Trying out the new summer menu at… CE LA VI


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There are a handful of Dubai restaurants that I always recommend to visitors and friends, and CE LA VI is definitely one of them. Sure, the views are spectacular, even when the doors are closed for summer, you still benefit from those jaw-dropping views of the Burj Khalifa when you’re dining both restaurant-side and in the lounge. But there’s much more to it than that. The cocktails are always on point, the rotation of resident DJs always strike that balance between enhancing the ambience and not overpowering conversation. And then there’s the food. Best described as a crowd-pleasing Dubai menu, chef Howard Ko is well versed in what his diners want, and his new summer menu is no exception. Try the kale salad, the seabass ceviche, and the grilled dover sole. – Alice Holtham-Pargin, Group Editor


Exploring a world of fine wines at… Le Clos


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You’re likely familiar with Le Clos from picking up your favourite bottles as you’re jetting in or out of DXB. But they’ve now opened their first land side boutique at Emirates Hills. Located inside the Montgomerie Golf Club, the beautiful store draws inspiration from the wine cellars of Bordeaux, fused with a luxe Dubai touch, and you can shop an array of wines and spirits that you won’t find anywhere else in the city, perfect for if you’re picking up a gift or just feeling fancy. But they also stock some of the more popular wines and spirits. The licensed boutique is all about the experience, so expect to come in for one thing and leave with something totally different. Oh, and keep an eye out for upcoming tastings – the boutique is licensed and plans a series of tasting evenings in the coming months.  – Alice Holtham-Pargin, Group Editor


Letting the wee hours drift by with… Deftones

I went back about fifteen years in time this week, dusted off an old favourite and let Deftones’ Diamond Eyes do its thing well after the midnight hours. Find yourself at your pensive best as you take your cape/mask off after the day that was, and allow every riff and drawn-out chorus seep in – while you dream of days past and fantasize about those that lie ahead, all while being joyfully present. There’s just something about their notes and late nights that screams, ‘match made in heaven’. It’s Friday, my friends – and for those of you whose bass-filled crazy days are behind you, stay up and savour these tunes – ideally falling asleep mid-track. – Dinesh Ramanathan, Deputy Editor, What’s On Abu Dhabi


Shadowing a newshound with… Nightcrawler


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Long before an outstretched iPhone and mindless swiping symbolized journalism and its perceived success, newshounds roamed the planet doing cop-style U-turns to be the first on the scene when a commuter went down or simply to soak in the joys of stormchasing. Nightcrawler introduces you to one such individual from the hustle economy, with Jake Gyllenhaal’s Lou Bloom letting his stringer senses turn into an obsession for the sensational in L.A. Once described as the intersection of media practice and consumer culture, this production will have you understanding the expression, “Once a journalist, always a journalist.” – Dinesh Ramanathan, Deputy Editor, What’s On Abu Dhabi

Watch it on Apple TV

Getting the knots in my back sorted out at… Sofitel SPA with L’Occitane

It’s been a while since I had a massage. Mostly due to the lack of time, and when I do have a spare time slot, I prefer to plop myself in front of the screen at home. This week, however, I was invited to our What’s On award-winning Sofitel SPA with L’Occitane at Sofitel The Palm and I couldn’t say no. I opted for the Aromachologie treatment which is a mix of Swedish effleurage, Chinese acupressure and Balinese massage techniques. The therapist did a splendid job on the knots in my back and even though I tried my hardest not to fall asleep, I did indeed nod off a few times. Trust me, I knew because my snoring woke me up (eeks). I walked out of the hotel feeling lighter and more relaxed and I made a mental note to return to try out their pools. – Aarti Saundalkar, Online Reporter


Sorting out my hair and scalp at… Casa Aire Wellness


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I went hard on the wellness bookings this week, but one thing I knew I just couldn’t postpone anymore was a treatment for my hair. I suffer from dry scalp and hair loss (a lot… of hair loss) and I was hoping a session at the newly opened Casa Aire Wellness would sort me out. I opted for the Korean Head Spa where a therapist treated my hair and scalp with a head scrub, shampoo, conditioner, oil massage and steam. Want to know how I know the treatment helped? The before and after pictures of my scalp, which… I will be honest, are way too ick to share. Will I return? A hundred per cent, yes! – Aarti Saundalkar, Online Reporter


Starting the week off right with pilates at the newly-refurbed… Reform Athletica


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Although I don’t go as often as I’d like to, Pilates is my favourite workout. It’s low-impact yet engages every single muscle in the body – even the ones you didn’t know existed – so you eventually feel stronger and leaner without bulking up. Reform Athletica has been the go-to spot for Dubai’s fitness enthusiasts seeking brow-sweating, leg-shaking workouts since 2018. Known for its fun-yet-challenging pilates classes in a homely, art-focused space, the Jumeirah branch has recently undergone a stylish renovation. I kicked off my week with a killer 7am reformer class with Brogan. It was (really) tough but in a can’t-get-enough, get-me-back-on-the-machine sort of way. As Joseph Pilates once said, “In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 you will see the difference, and in 30 you’ll have a whole new body.” That’s just the motivation I need to stick with it and start reaping the results. – Tamara Wright, Online Reporter


Taste-testing Dubai’s latest high-end takeaway… Liu by Jun’s


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We’ve said it many times, but Jun’s is one of our favourite Dubai restaurants for its creative third-culture cuisine and flavour-packed nostalgic feasts. Led by Kelvin Cheung, What’s On’s Chef of the Year 2024, the home-grown restaurant has recently launched an online delivery service, Liu by Jun’s. Earlier this week, Team What’s On were lucky enough to experience this high-grade takeaway for the first (and certainly not the last) time. Our expectations were already high, and as always, chef Kelvin and his team delivered. So, if you’re planning a quiet Friday night in or a dinner party with friends, open up Deliveroo and get adding to basket… We loved absolutely everything. The edamame hummus served with root vegetable chips (Dhs63) is a must-try, the smash burger (Dhs92) is worth every dirham, the miso seabass with fried rice (Dhs243) had Shelby in a choke-hold, and we fought over the last of the shrimp fried rice with kimchi (Dhs79). Manaal hasn’t stopped talking about the dan dan spaghettini (Dhs100) and we’re still dreaming over the ooey-gooey freshly-baked cookies (Dhs26). – Tamara Wright, Online Reporter


Giving Friday the boost it needed thanks to… Black Sheep Coffee

Last night was a ladies’ night out for me and my gals, and while it wasn’t a wild night out, it was a late night. So, when Black Sheep Coffee gave us a ring to let us know there was a delivery on the way for us – needless to say I was overjoyed at the thought of a delicious cup of freshly brewed coffee. In tow with the coffee was yummy salads, strawberry and blueberry matcha, the best tuna and avocado sandwich I’ve had in a while and chocolate cakes and tiramisu that as I write this, am dreaming of. Their blue volcano brew is so smooth and hits the perfect spot for a Friday morning boost. – Shelby Gee, Junior Reporter  


Don’t knock it ‘til you try it at… High Joint

If I were to tell you that Biscoff Lotus spread and cookie crumbs on a burger might just be my new favourite burger topping – you would think I had lost the plot, and I wouldn’t blame you. But when home-grown heroes, High Joint announced their brand new burger flavour we were all extremely intrigued. Let me just tell you that the crunch of the lotus Biscoff cookie combined with the perfectly charred edge of the patty, the sweet and salty combination of the bun coated in lotus spread. I promise you it tastes incredible. I know some of my colleagues do not appreciate a sweet and savoury combination for just about anything, but this is one combination of sweet and savoury somehow is a magical combination and all I’ll say is “don’t knock it ‘til you try it.” – Shelby Gee, Junior Reporter


Finding new favourites at…Table Otto

A friend of ours recently introduced us to Table Otto, a chic eatery inside Dubai Mall that doesn’t quite feel like mall dining. Not only is the space beautiful, the food is amazing, and it feels like the kind of place you’d go to with a friend for a cute coffee date or lunch before ya’ll spend all your money shopping in the nearby stores. We had a really great time, catching up and gossiping (vital session every few weeks for health, wellness and sanity). Order the NY chicken bites, the beetroot salad and the truffle fries. Delicious. – Manaal Fatimah, Junior Reporter


Stumbling upon… what could be my new home

I’m making big changes to my life in the next few months – exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time – and one of them is moving into a new house after more than 10 years. We moved a bit when I was a kid, but it’s been a long time and I’ve forgotten all the work that comes with it, as well as the pain of house hunting, especially in this economy. When you finally find the one that will be, it’s a different kind of relief. This one will be the first one of my own, and I already have all kinds of ideas swirling in my head of how I want to furnish it. Big things to come and I’m ready for them. – Manaal Fatimah, Junior Reporter

Media: Instagram, What’s On archive