Butterfly Fly…

Butterfly fly…

A flash of cobalt blue fluttered past my eyes and made its way to a juicy looking slice of watermelon, synchronously a gigantic Monarch butterfly flew haphazardly to join its mate. Elsewhere, butterflies of all shapes, colors, and sizes went about their daily life whilst I had the opportunity to get up close and personal.

The blue Morpho is one of the largest butterflies in the world, and in Dubai this species has fittingly found its home in the largest indoor butterfly park in the world. The Dubai Butterfly Garden features nine circular dome structures that are climate-controlled tropical havens open year around containing over 20 species of butterfly. Each dome is filled with lush greenery, colorful flowers, and hundreds of butterflies flapping their iridescent gossamer wings.

Meandering paths in each dome lead to tiny gazebos along the way that allow visitors to get as close as possible to butterflies without harming them. The small, enclosed space has a high concentration of butterflies that fly around close to eye level, often landing on unsuspecting visitors. For the perfect picture, the park helpers can assist you in gently picking up a butterfly from its feet and placing it on your finger or in your palm.

The garden is a great educational opportunity for all ages to familiarize themselves with the insect life cycle. Time your visit right and you can also witness the birthing of butterflies. As well as the garden there is also a butterfly museum and a butterfly flower park built on the same theme linked to the creature.

Dubai Miracle Garden is open 9am to 9pm on weekdays and 9am to 11pm on Friday and Saturdays. Regular admission is Dh50 per person and entry is free for people with disabilities and children three and under.

Al Serkal Avenue

Al Serkal Avenue
As of late, we are seeing a sharp incline in the aesthetic culture of Dubai industry with more and more craftsmen, designers, creators, and artistes making their way to the city. Paving the way for Dubai’s growing artistic tradition is Al Serkal Avenue: a district in the Al Quoz industrial area that features a meandering street of around eighteen art galleries, an urban creative workspace, and an independent music company.

Carbon 12
Established in 2008, Carbon 12 became the first in the region to start a comprehensive and global program of institution-grade artists. Internationally known for its raw, contemporary, and often conceptual art, the gallery promotes both established and emerging artists.

Showcase focuses largely on sculpture and the pieces exhibited by this gallery are visibly deep-rooted in African and Middle Eastern civilizations. Showcase gallery’s current summer exhibition presents art by three artists from Zimbabwe, inspired by the three mediums of wood, paper, and stone.

Green Art Gallery
Green Art gallery was established in 1995 and has since been ambitiously rebranded to feature art that spans across the Middle East, Africa, the Mediterranean and even South Asia. Its current exhibition ‘Damascenes’ is a curious set of drawings by Khaldoun Chichakli portraying still detailed scenes of Damascus city.

Grey Noise
This gallery contains art that is a lot more experimental requiring reflection and deep thinking. Established in 2008 in Lahore, the project expanded and relocated to Dubai, all along representing art from South Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

FN Gallery
FN is a design studio and gallery that represents art in modern contemporary and digital forms including visual design, illustration, publishing, photography, etc. Entering into the gallery it’s evident that the space holds much more than traditional art with even a collection of the independent zine: AMOR.

Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde
The owner of the same name established this gallery back in 2004 as a leading contemporary art space; since then Van Den Eynde has flourished opening a branch in B21 in Dubai as well as in Belgium.  The current exhibition is of Zoulikha Bouabdellah.

Lawrie Shabibi
The final gallery in this list is Lawrie Shabibi, another contemporary art house for works from the MENA region. Currently, the gallery is displaying the beautiful and serene creations of sculptor Mona Saudi, that blend into a calm state of balance and tranquility.

There are more galleries present at Al Serkal but are currently closed, or inactive during the Holy Month of Ramadan. For more information about future events and timings of each gallery go to:http://www.alserkalavenue.ae/






Global Fashion Legends To Headline 3rd Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience At The Dubai Mall From October 29 To 30

The world’s who’s who of fashion will once again descend on Dubai for what will be a spectacular celebration of fashion and emerging designer talent at the third edition of Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience, the largest of its kind fashion event in the Middle East, to be held at The Dubai Mall.

The flagship fashion event of Emaar Properties, organised in partnership with Vogue Italia, Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience continues to position the city in the premier league of global fashion destinations. Held over two days, October 29 and 30, 2015, the event is organised with the support of Dubai Design & Fashion Council, which was established to continue to strategically develop and position Dubai as a world-leading and credible fashion destination.

The third edition of Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience will again host an exclusive Designers Showcase organised by The Dubai Mall, BySymphony.com and Vogue Italia, to identify the next generation of fashion creative talent.

This year, Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience will also present the first edition of ‘Who Is On Next Dubai,’ a scouting contest open to all fashion designers from the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The contest is divided in three categories – womenswear, menswear and accessories – with the winners from each category chosen from a globally renowned committee. The finalists will have the opportunity to win prizes in 2016 including a fashion show in Pitti Uomo in Florence, Altaroma in Rome, invitation to thevoguetalentscorner.com during Milan Fashion Week, and to retail in a temporary store in The Dubai Mall and on Yoox Premium e-commerce platform. Some of the key committee names from across the fashion industry will include: Carlo Capasa, Raffaello Napoleone, Silvia Venturini Fendi, Franca Sozzani, Federico Marchetti, Salama Alabbar, Christopher Bailey, Christian Louboutin, Nez Gebreel, Noura Binzagr, Naomi Campbell, Godfrey Deeny, Seda Domaniç, Hanneli Rupert, Priya Tanna and Ritu Upadhyay.

Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience - Runway Show

As in the past editions, a fashion show featuring emerging international and regional designers selected by Vogue Italia, will take centrestage at The Dubai Mall’s Fashion Catwalk. Exclusive in-store activations by hundreds of participating retailers, live music and other lifestyle events will also be part of the high profile fashion experience.

Natalie Bogdanova, Senior Director, Business Development & Operations, Emaar Malls, said: “The third edition of Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience promises another amazing celebration of fashion and support of emerging fashion talent. In addition to welcoming fashion enthusiasts from around the world and presenting the latest style trends, the event serves as a true facilitator of emerging and undiscovered talent, underlining how Dubai is at the forefront of fostering the next generation of international fashion designers.”

Franca Sozzani, Editor in Chief of Vogue Italia, said: “Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience has achieved impressive stature globally in just two years. Today, it is much awaited by the international fashion circuit not only because of Dubai’s status as the new fashion capital but also to support and encourage next generation of fashion talent.”

Nez Gebreel CEO, Dubai Design & Fashion Council, added: “We are pleased to be officially supporting Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience. The event complements the ongoing concerted efforts of the Dubai Design & Fashion Council to set clear industry standards in the fashion industry and to enhance Dubai’s design scene more generally by continuing to elevate the city’s status as a leading global fashion destination. We are confident that the third edition of Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience will play a key part in taking Dubai’s fashion credentials to the next level by hosting some of the very best local and international talent, and by driving insightful discussion and networking among the world’s who’s who in the fashion industry.”

The second Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience, in 2014, welcomed over one million visitors across three days. In-store activities organised by over 200 fashion retailers in The Dubai Mall also contributed to the significant boost in footfall, further underlining The Dubai Mall’s credentials as the ultimate destination for luxury shopping.

The fashion show was a resounding success and attendees witnessed a creative presentation of the S/S 2015 collections of eight talented international designers. A charity dinner gala was also hosted by Vogue Italia and Emaar, which raised almost AED 4 million towards World Food Programme, and highlighted the role of the fashion industry in making a positive difference to humanity.

Celebrities who attended the event included Janet Jackson, Ciara, Latifa, Elissa, Lira, Soko, Lola Lennox, Franca Sozzani, Philipp Plein, Roberto Cavalli, Peter Dundas, Alberta Ferretti, Emmanuelle Seigner, Elisa Sednaoui, Farida Khelfa, Afef Jnifen, Ali Mustafa, Liya Kebede, and Lily Cole.

Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience also featured the International Talents Showcase, which served as an exclusive stage for 20 upcoming designers, selected by Vogue Italia and The Dubai Mall through a scouting contest. The showcase reported robust interest from buyers and retailers for the collections and several potential leads for business and marketing collaborations.

The Fashion Talks 2014 were led by international designers and fashion icons and saw huge crowds eager to gain insights into the fashion industry. Speakers included: Franca Sozzani, Roberto Cavalli, Peter Dundas, Philipp Plein, Alberta Ferretti and Sara Maino. The talks were moderated by fashion journalist JJ Martin.

The Dubai Mall, world’s most visited shopping and entertainment destination, welcomed over 80 million visitors in 2014. In addition to the 1,200 retail outlets, the flagship asset of Emaar Malls has over 200 F&B outlets and world-class leisure attractions. The Fashion Avenue at the mall has the largest collection of high-end brands under one roof and is currently being expanded by 1 million sq ft built-up area to welcome more than 150 new luxury brands.

Snazzy Suhoor

Each year during Ramadan, all of Dubai goes head over heels in preparation for the more dazzling, extravagant and luxurious Iftar dinners. But what about Suhoor? Lesser known by non-fasting, non-Muslim crowds in Dubai, Suhoor is the early morning meal enjoyed by those fasting before the crack of dawn in the early hours of day. Suhoor is a more peaceful meal in comparison to Iftar, which celebrates the breaking of the fast each day. Nonetheless, Suhoor is equally if not more important in the tradition of Ramadan and there are plenty of exquisite options available in Dubai. Experiment with an early morning meal or simply spend a whole night Iftar to Suhoor in a feast-like atmosphere! Here are some top picks to choose from:

heathy iftar

This casual Suhoor in the Lobby Lounge features an a la carte menu of traditional Arabic breakfast items, from foul madams and hot and cold mezze, to dried fruits, dates and jallab juice with pine seeds and raisins.

Sofitel The Palm Dubai, the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, 10pm to 2am, Dhs80. Tel: (04) 4556677.

Flow Kitchen at the Fairmont is offering an a la carte Suhoor menu, including a wide range of shisha flavors, to enjoy in an outdoor air-conditioned tent. Fairmont The Palm, The Palm Jumeirah, 9pm to 3am, Dhs150. Tel: (04) 4573457

Enjoy Suhoor in the Ritz-Carlton’s sunken gardens. An a la carte menu will be served daily, including a range of Middle Eastern cuisine, along with shisha of course. Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre, 9pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 3722323

Enjoy Suhoor in a relaxing Skyline Tent over looking the Dubai Creek. A la carte Arabian dishes are served along with shisha and tea from the Tchaba tea station. Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City, Festival City, Dubai, 9pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 7011127. Taxi: Festival City. crowneplaza.com

Ewaan’s Lounge Cabanas offer a luxurious and exclusive Suhoor, where groups of up to eight can enjoy traditional favorites in the air-conditioned cabanas near the poolside.

Palace Downtown Dubai, Downtown, 9pm to 2am, Dhs1,600 minimum spend. Tel: (04) 4287806

Wafi Mall – Still Relevant

Wafi has been a consistent member of the ever-growing mall scene in Dubai. Overshadowed by its competitors however, on an average weekend day it sees barely any traffic, and weekends create scant business usually circumscribed to its many upscale restaurants and lounges. There’s a lot more to the establishment than just that however! Wafi is unique, standing out from the rest of the malls in a number of ways.

First and foremost, Wafi mall consists largely of boutique stores not present in any other locations. From red carpet gowns to traditional Arabic clothing – Wafi has it all. In addition to this, Wafi’s hidden underground souk is teeming with traditional Arabic vendors selling pashminas, Persian carpets, Moroccan ceramics, and other quintessentially Middle Eastern items. The souk is a great place for tourists looking to buy souvenirs or residents looking to buy gift items. For those tired of shopping, the souk also has a wonderful courtyard restaurant called Khan Murjan. It even has live entertainment with musicians crooning in the mother tongue as guests enjoy the well-crafted dishes that are saturated with Arabian authenticity.


Aside from a culturally immersive experience, Wafi also promises a fun for all, kid-friendly evening. Novo cinemas are all set to bring state-of-the-art cinema technology to Wafi featuring a 19-screen multiplex and IMAX theatres. In addition to this, there is the pre-existing option of an outdoor cinema “Movie Under The Stars” in the Pyramids Rooftop Garden for a potential date night or a fun family outing. Every Sunday, a different movie is screened, with the usual movie munchies offered alongside. There is a play area within the main mall called Kids Connection, and an outdoor pool with a lazy river for guests to take a dip in. For the older ‘young adults’ there is the unique option of Tee and Putt indoor mini golf that promises a retro setting with black lights and a neon 18-hole course. If this wasn’t enough, in the cooler months, Wafi puts on a wonderful spectacle with a Light and Sound Show that is projected on to the various hieroglyphics-engraved surfaces of the central courtyard building.

For the current month of Ramadan, Wafi is hosting the Layal Exhibition every night. The event presents local brands and designers showcasing Arabic ladies fashion with proceeds going to the Emirates Down Syndrome Association. More info: http://www.wafi.com/things-to-do-in-dubai/layal-exhibition-in-wafi