Mental Health

In issue close to my heart is that of the psychological stigma in Dubai communities. Mental health in many parts of the world is a topic lesser discussed and as a result, poorly understood by the society at large. This causes a lot of stigmatization of disorders due to the cultural taboo surrounding the topic. A potentially harmful phenomenon, psychological stigma must be tackled head on with education and awareness programs for the benefit of those suffering in silence.

In the UAE, Muslim culture often promotes religious and spiritual healing over medical care. This is understandable and supported in certain cases, nonetheless, mental health issues beyond the realm of alternative medicine must be met proper treatment. Dubai residents need to open their horizons towards issues in mental health and de-stigmatize treatment for mental health through therapy.  Regular therapy for improved mental health in private and professional spheres can reap endless benefits from increased productivity, and higher motivation levels, to better team working and cooperation, etc.

Mental disorders are increasingly prevalent in the world today with almost 25% of Adults suffering from any mental illness ranging in level of seriousness. 1 in 4 people will experience anxiety or depression at some stage of life and for 1 in 10 this could lead to more serious medical consequences. Anxiety and depression also have social, economic and non-mental health related effects, which can be a lot worse if left untreated. Most people shy away from mental health treatment due to adverse effects of medications, and a multitude of complications that arise, however, medicine isn’t the only form of dealing with mental health issues. Scheduled targeted therapy can be hugely advantageous and healing for sufferers and if not professional therapy, then even online programs, or self-help options are prime considerations.

Emaar Marks Ramadan With Authentic ‘Downtown’ Tent Amid Spectacular Views

Global property developer Emaar Properties PJSC is marking the Holy Month of Ramadan at its elegantly designed ‘Downtown’ tent, serving traditional Arabian and contemporary cuisine as well as offering outstanding hospitality and ambiance for an evening to remember.

Located at ‘The Venue’ on Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, the bustling thoroughfare in Downtown Dubai, ‘Downtown’ is defined by the spectacular views it offers of Burj Khalifa. Guests can choose to dine under its magnificently-lit tent ceiling or in the glorious garden, enclosed in a glass façade that provides a truly starry evening. The tent’s aesthetic design enables the accommodation of large gatherings and private groups.

Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director of Emaar Properties, said: “‘Downtown’ serves as an ideal destination in the heart of the city where families, friends and colleagues can get together and revel in Arabian traditions. Its elegant design, authentic cuisine and vibrant atmosphere assure visitors of memorable Iftar and Suhoor experiences.”

At ‘Downtown’, guests can discover the warm Arabian hospitality with the entire services managed by The Address Hotels + Resorts, the flagship hotel brand of Emaar Hospitality Group. Seasoned chefs of The Address Hotels + Resorts prepare authentic delicacies from across the world. The Iftar and Suhoor spreads feature sumptuous buffets and soft drink choices as well as diverse flavours of shisha.

Downtown Ramadan Tent by Emaar Properties 1

Titled ‘Reflections’ and organised in collaboration with Art Dubai, patrons can also peruse an art exhibition in both ‘Downtown’ and nearby ‘The Gallery’ at Emaar Pavilion. Exploring the important notion of reflection during Ramadan, the exhibition is one of the many avant-garde exhibitions planned as part of the art calendar of ‘The Gallery’  which defines its space credentials as a dynaamic exhibition hub in the heart of the city’s most vibrant cultural destination. ‘Reflections’ includes artworks by UAE-based artists JZ Aamir, Rand Abdul Jabbar, Zeinab Al Hashimi, Khalid Mezaina, Latifa Saeed, Saher Oliver Samman, Mohamed Somji, Maitha Abdalla and Reem Falaknaz.

Apart from individual, family and group reservations, ‘Downtown’ also serves as the definitive destination for corporate events. A section of the tent can be reserved for corporate Iftars and Suhoors. Live oud music and other Arabian music performances further add to the exclusive experience.

‘Downtown’ is open daily for Iftar and Suhoor. For reservations, please call 04 4238883, email: or visit

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:






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, 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 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.