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    13 hotspots to check out for a chic summer escape

    Life

    by Camille Macawili
    8 seconds ago

    VIEW GALLERY/ 13 IMAGES
    Summer is high season to give you a chance to explore the hotspots far and away.
    Don’t know where to go? If you’ve been out of the loop and this question fills you with dread, you don’t have to fret. Emirates Woman have curated a tasteful edit of the latest and greatest must-see and must-do for all the different kinds of wanderlust that are worth making time for in your hard-earned annual leave.
    From places with a focus on gastronomy to those filled with character, here’s how and where to stay, dine, and spend all your summer days.
    Tap the gallery above to discover the edit.
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    July/August’s – The Summer Escape Issue with MAISWIM – Download Now More

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    9 minimal boutique hotels in the UAE to unwind at

    Life

    by Sarah Joseph
    2 hours ago

    VIEW GALLERY/ 9 IMAGES
    What is on offer once you arrive are some of the most remarkable boutique hotels in the world.
    These intimate hideaways are designed for a more relaxing experience with your friends and families, while getting the best of both worlds through art and culture.
    From quirky restaurants to murals created by local artists, each element is carefully sought-after and designed to perfection for a wholesome experience. Be it loft-style settings or a traditional Bedouin style aesthetic, each theme is carefully considered for a memorable journey.
    With a boutique hotel room to check into, you will not only enjoy all of the luxury this part of the UAE has to offer. But also be able to enjoy some quirky room features, design aesthetics, and one-off hotel room layouts. Always check the full-service description of each boutique hotel. So you know more than just the rating of the property but also whether it provides parking services. It is ideal if you are driving from the airport or arriving by road from across the desert. Note, too, that some of the best hotels in the UAE provide special offers to international guests. Therefore, despite the luxury on offer, you can expect some great prices.
    Overall, the options are vast and varied. We’ve eliminated the guesswork and rounded up our favourite Dubai hotels for all travel preferences. Here is our tried-and-tested pick of the best hotels in emirate.
    If you’re looking for a midweek escape or weekend retreat at any of these authentic stays, swipe throught. Emirates Woman has curated a guide of the best boutique hotels that emulate a new side of Dubai.
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Images: Supplied & Feature image: Instagram @babalshams @anantarasantorini More

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    5 fascinating myths busted about the UAE

    Life

    by Sarah Joseph
    2 hours ago

    Ever travelled to another country and say you live in Dubai, to only be showered with multiple questions of what the city entails.
    Home to 9.97 million residents, the UAE has a large expat community that have now made this country their base for numerous years. With so much evolved in the country over the years, it’s time to learn what’s true in the country.
    So if you want to double-check the rules before booking your flight to Dubai and fact-check certain myths then you might have thought are true, you’re in the right place.
    So, if you’re on a mission to learn more about the UAE and expand your knowledge, see what you can learn about this one-of-a-kind haven as a whole and what statements to debunk.
    There is no culture or history
    After unifying in 1971, the UAE has come a long way and there are several spots that mark its rich heritage. In Dubai itself, there are many sites that display the nation’s history and pay homage to where it all began. As an ode to the UAE’s long-standing cultural heritage, Emirates Woman has curated a guide with seven renowned sites to visit in Dubai including the Coffee Museum, Etihad Museum, Dubai Museum and more.
    The UAE is always hot

    While this might be partially true, the rest of the year from November to March remains cool with temperatures evening dropping to -1 degree celcius in Jebel Jais, with both hail and snow.
    There’s barely any nature

    The UAE is famous for nature-fuelled trek, expansive mangroves and deep sea diving for adrenaline junkies. From camping sites to newly opened glamping spots both tourists and residents can absorb it all. From Abu Dhabi’s Liwa Oasis to Al Barari, the UAE has various dense spots with natural greenery.
    The National animal of the UAE is a camel
    While most people might think the national animal of the country is a camel, the UAE’s national animal is an Arabian Oryx which can also be seen printed on the 50 Dirham currency note.
    You need to be fully covered
    While there are some religious sites and public areas where you need to be mindful of the clothing. So While the city is quite liberal compared to other parts of the Middle East, it’s important to dress modestly in public spaces and religious sites. For men and women alike, clothing that covers shoulders and knees is generally acceptable. Overall, you’ll see a wide range of clothing, from bikinis to sundresses, in tourist areas, beaches, and many hotels.
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Images: Supplied & Feature Image: Instagram @visitdubai @oktagon More

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    9 unique boutique hotels in the UAE to unwind at

    Life

    by Sarah Joseph
    3 hours ago

    VIEW GALLERY/ 9 IMAGES
    These intimate hideaways are designed for a more relaxing experience with your friends and families, while getting the best of both worlds through art and culture.
    From quirky restaurants to murals created by local artists, each element is carefully sought-after and designed to perfection for a wholesome experience. Be it loft-style settings or a traditional Bedouin style aesthetic, each theme is carefully considered for a memorable journey.
    So, if you’re looking for a midweek escape or weekend retreat at any of these authentic stays, Emirates Woman has curated a guide of the best boutique hotels that emulate a new side of Dubai.
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Images: Supplied & Feature image: Instagram @babalshams @anantarasantorini More

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    7 heritage-worthy cultural sites to book in Dubai

    Life

    by Sarah Joseph
    3 hours ago

    After unifying in 1971, the UAE has come a long way and there are several spots that mark its rich heritage.
    In Dubai, there are many sites that display the nation’s history and pay homage to where it all began.
    As an ode to the UAE’s long-standing cultural heritage, here are seven renowned sites to visit in Dubai.
    Coffee Museum

    Designed to pay homage to the UAE’s coffee culture, this concept features different roasting and brewing styles close to the country’s heritage. From Middle Eastern techniques to a wide selection of coffee documentaries, visitors are educated about the ins and outside of its historical significance in Dubai. Located in Al Fahidi in Bur Dubai, this heritage hub promises a relaxing atmosphere with traditional regional architecture.
    For more information visit coffeemuseum.ae
    Etihad Museum

    Designed to highlight the nation’s history and how the seven emirates came to unity 1971, this heritage site displays a fascinating collection of artefacts. The museum is a masterful tribute to the manuscripts on which the union agreement was originally signed. With key photographs and interactive audio-visual exhibits, visitors can experience the UAE’s archival symbolism in a creative manner. Located in Jumeriah St. 1, it’s open daily from 10am to 8pm.
    For more information visit etihadmuseum.dubaiculture.gov.ae
    Old Souq

    This expansive area is nothing short of lavish gold jewellery, handwoven fabrics, traditional oud perfumes and exquisite souvenirs. For visitors and tourists wanting to take back a piece of the UAE, they can opt for bespoke jewellery pieces as a special memento. Known for an array of exotic spices, this neighbourhood has a plethora of high-quality spices and locally-blended teas to take home. Additionally, visitors can discover the colourful textile market in the heart of Bur Dubai.
    Hatta Heritage Village

    Go back in time to the life of ancient villagers with a host of citadels, forts and towers in Dubai’s mountain town. With springs and lush valleys, visitors can experience the life of villagers who have adopted a sustainable technique of living. To visit nature’s beauty first-hand, the Hatta Dam provides activities such as kayaking for that picturesque spot. For an insight into the UAE’s traditional techniques, visitors can view the villagers’ inherited traditions that include jewellery making, weaponry, pottery and more for an ideal afternoon getaway.
    Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Centre for Cultural Understanding

    Founded in 1998, this centre was founded to educate expats from different communities living and visiting the UAE. Located in a beautifully restored wind tower house in the historic, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in Bur Dubai, where visitors can interact with local Emiratis and learn about traditional cuisine. With a 360-degree experience, guests can take a seat on the Bedouin-style carpets and indulge in a traditional Emirati meal, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner and experience a guided tour of the neighbourhood.
    For more information visit cultures.ae
    Arabian Tea House

    To experience fine Emirati hospitality, this venue has provided the first Emirati cuisine since 1997. With authentic elements such as rattan chairs, lace curtains, turquoise benches, visitors can enjoy a cup of traditional Arabic coffee known as gahwa to explore the city’s past. As a relaxing oasis to talk and unwind, customers can go back in time to when old architecture reigned supreme. This concept is situated in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood which was previously known as Al Bastakiya.
    For more information visit arabianteahouse.com
    Dubai Museum

    To delve into life before the discovery of oil, this ancient museum takes visitors on an unseen journey in a quaint, low-slung military fort from the 1700s. From pearl diving to fishing, light is shed upon ancient occupation and other archaeological finds. The galleries recreate scenes from the creek, traditional Arab houses, mosques, the souk, date farms and desert and marine life. Again, the museum is situated in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. Built in 1787, this fort was once the monarch’s base and highlights the history of the UAE.
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Images: Instagram & Feature Image: Instagram @dubaimuseum More

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    20 cultural dos and don’ts to follow during Ramadan

    Life by Team Emirates Woman 1 hour ago Expat or local, the Holy Month of Ramadan is a special time for all. However, it is also a time when we should be more considerate about the culture we live in. To make sure you don’t offend anyone, here’s a handy guide of 20 cultural dos and don’ts for Ramadan – helping you prepare for the next four weeks. 1. DO embrace the community spirit and wish a blessed Ramadan to Muslim friends and colleagues. Introduce yourself to your neighbours, get involved in an Iftar and catch up with friends and family. 2. DON’T eat, drink or smoke in public during the hours of daylight, even if you’re not Muslim. Best case scenario you’re just being rude, worse case scenario you may find yourself arrested and fined. 3. DO put your money where your mouth is and get involved in the wide range of charitable and volunteering organisations around the UAE. 4. DON’T run away. Many expats leave Dubai during Ramadan because yes, it’s summer and yes, it’s hot… but this is one of the most vibrant times to be in the UAE so why not immerse yourself in the culture in which you live? 5. DO be very careful on the roads as fasting drivers and people rushing home for Iftar tend to mean an increase in car accidents during Ramadan. 6. DO accept food and drink when offered during Iftar, it is a sign of respect and friendliness. 7. DO stay calm. Work might be less little productive and people who are fasting might be a little more tired, but be patient with everyone this month. 8. DON’T play loud music as it may offend those who are fasting. Playing music through your headphones is allowed as long as it is not audible to the people around you. 9. DON’T dress inappropriately or wear tight-fitting clothes – modesty is key. 10. DON’T leave dinner reservations until the last minute – restaurants across Dubai will become a lot busier as families and friends meet to break their fasts together. 11. DO remember that your office hours are likely to change, whether you’re Muslim or not. With that means the rush hours will occur at different times – expect an earlier morning rush hour from 7am to 9am and a much earlier ‘evening’ rush hour as people leave work at 3pm to 4pm. There may also be traffic from 8pm to midnight as people go home after Iftar. 12. DON’T count on happy hour. Most bars and clubs in Dubai will be closed during the month of Ramadan and those that will remain open will only serve alcohol once the sun has set. Remember that while public intoxication isn’t allowed in Dubai under normal circumstances, during Ramadan it is particularly risky. 13. DO become a night owl. The city will be so much more alive and thriving once the sun has set so adjust your body clock if you want to take advance of everything happening during the month. 14. DON’T get into debates, arguments or fights during Ramadan. It is the month of peace and serenity. Swearing in public is particularly offensive during Ramadan. 15. DO bring dates and gifts for your host if invited for Iftar by your Muslim friends. 16. DON’T kiss or hug your partner or friends of the opposite sex in public. While this is a rule to bear in mind throughout the rest of the year, demonstrative acts of affection with members of the opposite sex will cause particular offence during Ramadan. 17. DO embrace the culture. Take your family to one of the many hotel-based Iftar tents, play a set of backgammon or bring a deck of Uno cards, enjoy the Moroccan mint tea and Arabic delicacies and enjoy the fact that you live in the Middle East. 18. DON’T refuse an Iftar when invited, if possible. In fact, why not organise your own Iftar for your friends? 19. DO try fasting for a day. It’s a good way to understand your own needs and self-control as well as a way to understand what your Muslim friends and colleagues are going through this month. 20. DON’T worry if all these rules feel like a lot. Ramadan is a peaceful and serene time that only lasts a month so try and enjoy it while it’s here. – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram Images: Supplied & Feature Image: Instagram @fatmaa More

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    5 interesting myths busted about the UAE

    Life by Sarah Joseph 51 mins ago Ever travelled to another country and say you live in Dubai, to only be showered with multiple questions of what the city entails. Home to 9.97 million residents, the UAE has a large expat community that have now made this country their base for numerous years. With so much evolved in the country over the years, it’s time to learn what’s true in the country. So if you want to double-check the rules before booking your flight to Dubai and fact-check certain myths then you might have thought are true, you’re in the right place. So, if you’re on a mission to learn more about the UAE and expand your knowledge, see what you can learn about this one-of-a-kind haven as a whole and what statements to debunk. There is no culture or history After unifying in 1971, the UAE has come a long way and there are several spots that mark its rich heritage. In Dubai itself, there are many sites that display the nation’s history and pay homage to where it all began. As an ode to the UAE’s long-standing cultural heritage, Emirates Woman has curated a guide with seven renowned sites to visit in Dubai including the Coffee Museum, Etihad Museum, Dubai Museum and more. The UAE is always hot While this might be partially true, the rest of the year from November to March remains cool with temperatures evening dropping to -1 degree celcius in Jebel Jais, with both hail and snow. There’s barely any nature The UAE is famous for nature-fuelled trek, expansive mangroves and deep sea diving for adrenaline junkies. From camping sites to newly opened glamping spots both tourists and residents can absorb it all. From Abu Dhabi’s Liwa Oasis to Al Barari, the UAE has various dense spots with natural greenery. The National animal of the UAE is a camel While most people might think the national animal of the country is a camel, the UAE’s national animal is an Arabian Oryx which can also be seen printed on the 50 Dirham currency note. You need to be fully covered While there are some religious sites and public areas where you need to be mindful of the clothing. So While the city is quite liberal compared to other parts of the Middle East, it’s important to dress modestly in public spaces and religious sites. For men and women alike, clothing that covers shoulders and knees is generally acceptable. Overall, you’ll see a wide range of clothing, from bikinis to sundresses, in tourist areas, beaches, and many hotels. – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram Images: Supplied & Feature Image: Instagram @visitdubai @oktagon More

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    How I got my job as…Head of Sotheby’s UAE

    Welcome to the Emirates Woman weekly series ‘How I got my job as…’ where we speak to some incredible entrepreneurs and businesswomen both based in the UAE and globally to find out about their career paths that led them to where they are now; what their daily routines look like; the advice they’d give to those starting out; and the hurdles they’ve had to overcome. This week, we speak to Katia Nounou Boueiz, the visionary Head of Sotheby’s in the UAE since 2017. With her poignant leadership, she has transformed Dubai into a global hub for unveiling remarkable artworks and groundbreaking news, putting the city firmly on Sotheby’s map of cultural significance. In a detailed chat with Emirates Woman, Katia talks about her journey so far and how she envisions to shape the future of art in a thriving landscape like Dubai. You’ve been at the helm of Sotheby’s in the UAE since 2017, what inspired you to take on this role and contribute to Dubai’s emergence on the global arts scene? Looking back, it all came together almost as if by fate. I actually joined Sotheby’s all the way back in 2008, working in the London office but with a core focus on nurturing the new generation of collectors in the Middle East. When I married my husband in 2015, we decided to move to Dubai, and so I had to of course let management know. I certainly didn’t expect that they would turn around and offer me the chance to open Sotheby’s first office and gallery space in the Middle East (as you can imagine, it was an offer I could hardly refuse!). Shortly after, I found out I was pregnant, and nine months later, I was pregnant once again! Before I knew it, by the time the office had officially launched in 2017, I had two little ones under two, and an entire office to manage and run (my third child in a way!). It was terrifying and exhilarating all at once, and I can’t imagine it any other way. Eight years later – we are not only still here, but our team of three has expanded to eleven of us permanently on the ground in the UAE – so not only did we manage to survive, but we have also gone beyond our initial scope and feel proud to be part of the Emirates’ thriving ecosystem for the arts. Your involvement in bringing major artworks to Dubai, like the recent Picasso that sold for $139 million in New York, has been transformative. How do you approach curating and unveiling such significant pieces in the region? Dubai has long held a reputation for hosting the biggest, the best, the tallest, the most valuable… and so my strategy with which artworks and gems to travel to the doorstep of collector’s here has always partly aligned with that. Put simply, lets being the very best of the best that is on offer at our global auctions, because, why not? Standards and expectations here are high. With UAE as one of the culture capitals of the Middle East, and with the great appetite we have witnessed, it doesn’t take much convincing for the business to send us these incredible highlights. Whenever something major is about to be announced for auction at Sotheby’s, I jump on a call with the head of department or most relevant specialist, and we talk through bringing it to the UAE as part of its global travelling exhibition (or indeed, more and more, as the very first stop on the tour). When we know what it is that is coming, we plan a whole host of programming around it – from collaborations with our wonderful neighbours The Arts Club, to educational talks with our specialists and relevant spokespeople. For the most exceptional lots, we also make sure we work closely with Dubai Culture and DIFC, who have been so supportive in the past. We have been lucky enough to bring the likes of Marie-Antoinette’s pearls, artworks by Botticelli, Rubens, Picasso, Kandinsky, Boetti and Warhol, and important stones from across the rainbow, including the once-in-a-generation Estrela de Fura (a 55.22 carat ruby), the Infinite Blue and Eternal Pink diamonds, and the Enigma (the largest polished black diamond in the world at 555.55 carats). The ‘Made in the Emirates’ exhibition showcased local artists. Can you tell us more about the importance of promoting local talent and how it contributes to the cultural fabric of Dubai? The UAE is home to some amazing artists, designers, architects, jewellers, the list goes on, and we feel very lucky to be part of this ecosystem together. I myself collect works by Emirati artists, including a piece by Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim that I am particularly fond of. Though Sotheby’s is very much a heritage company whose history goes back to 280 years, we feel very closely connected to the DNA of our particular location. We believe it is super important to promote this cultural scene and celebrate these creatives – offering them a platform (given our reach is so international) and raising awareness – as much as possible wherever we can. As well as our selling, and non-selling exhibitions, the educational side of things is also key, for example our series of public talks with collectors. Very excitingly, and something quite new for us, during Dubai Fashion week in February we have teamed up with the Arab Fashion Council and Mrs. Keepa to be the venue for the much-anticipated launch of the French-Egyptian designer’s latest line. We’ll be styling her avant-garde creations with jewellery and handbags that we are offering for private sales, so it’s all very symbiotic. We always have an exhibition during Art Dubai week too. I can’t say too much, as the details are still under wraps, but we are planning a sort of love letter to Beirut, and Lebanon more generally, as a melting pot for the arts – having been the home of, but also inspired, so many of the major artists from our region. I would love to shout out a few other homegrown talents as well: Engage101, who are a platform that study, support and exhibit young emerging Gulf artists, and Bayt AlMamzar, a great community space for artists. Beyond traditional auctions, you’ve organized charitable collaborations, including a post-explosion charity auction for Beirut. How do you see the role of the arts in contributing to charitable causes, especially during challenging times like the ones we are in? Charity auctions have always been important to Sotheby’s, as part of our ongoing dedication to giving back and our commitment to making our industries more accessible, sustainable and collaborative. Globally just this past year, we played a role in raising over $200 million for various non-profit organizations, with more than $58 million directed towards museums. From providing one of our fabulous auctioneers (whose skills on the rostrum are fully unleashed when raising bids for charity), to more full blown initiatives where we partner with a charity to put together an auction of donated lots, we hope that we can continue to give back where we can. Your commitment to engaging the local arts community is evident, with talks, workshops, and involvement of children. Why is it essential for you to foster this community engagement, and how do you envision its impact on the future of the arts in Dubai? Education and investment in education is key for the continued evolution of the art scene of any nation, and we believe it is critical to focus our attention on providing the unique insights and content that come from our centuries of expertise. Whether our audience is a child, a seasoned art collector or a young, first-time buyer, our number one priority is to educate (and also to learn!). When we brought the Picasso portrait to Dubai last year it felt like a landmark moment, just watching every person who walked through the door was so rewarding: it really shows you that the thirst is there. From men in their work suits coming in on their lunch break, to gaggles of young children, the awe and wonder was palpable. Bringing my own children to see it was actually one of those lovely career moments for me – I had been talking about it to them for days over the dinner table (they always know first what is coming!), and so it was very fun for them to see it in person. They went back home that evening and did their own little drawings of the painting, which were pretty good! How does your multicultural background influence your approach to curating and connecting with artists from various parts of the world? Much in the same way as Dubai itself, I feel like I am a melting pot of everything from the West and the Middle East. I am half Iraqi, half Iranian, married to a Lebanese man, born and raised in London but French-educated, it is difficult to put a label on it! I have such a strong, natural affinity to the Middle East, and am so proud to be working and living here – and at the same time, I am so keen to showcase international artists, and expose clients to art from all over the world. Given your success in bringing renowned works to Dubai, what is on your wish list for future art collections or exhibitions in the region? I have quite a few ideas that we are working on, but one that I come back to a lot is the concept of a ‘Prints’ online sale here, as prints are just such a great entry point for young collectors, and are a great way to decorate your home (with pieces by some of the best known and best loved artists). A personal favourite of mine is Latin art, as well as African American art, and this is something that hasn’t really been done before – its always nice to add new flavours to the UAE. Last year we had a talk about the late Fernando Botero, with his eldest son, and it really inspired us to think about these themes and explore further, as there was such a huge appetite. Watch this space! Are there specific artists or genres you hope to introduce to the local art scene of Dubai? Over the years, we have had a sort of roll call of the great artists who are international household names, from Old Masters to pioneering Modernists, and so I love the element of surprise of what might emerge next from a great collection, ready to be shown to the world once again. I am keeping my fingers crossed for a Monet and a Magritte. Beyond that on my wishlist are Henry Taylor, Amy Sherald, Lynette, Kehinde Wiley, Kerry James Marshall, Basquiat and Rashid Johnson. – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram Images: Supplied  More