Connector February 2023


CONNECTOR.AE 3 Welcome Good things come in small packages, and February is no different. It may be the shortest month of the year, but it is still packed full of fun things to do. In only 28 days there is so much on, starting with the 15th Emirates Airline Festival Of Literature and continuing with the return of the much loved Taste Of Dubai. Sports fans can enjoy the Dubai Duty Free Tennis and the Asian Le Mans Series, and those who enjoy music and arts have the InClassica series to keep them entertained, as well as a musical version of Shrek. The month ends with the start of the Sikka Arts Festival. There really is something for all ages and all tastes. Check out our round up of some of the key events happening across the country this month from pages 7 to 13. Celebrating a child’s birthday is a joyous occassion, but organising and planning a party can be stressful. Fret not, take a look at our tips and checklist on pages 36 to 39, on how to make sure your little one has a day they’ll remember till the next birthday. Did you start 2023 with good intentions to lead a healthier lifestyle? How have they gone? If you are someone who let things slip, it isn’t too late to get back on track and very simple in fact. From small changes to giving existing habits a bit more attention our feature on pages 44 to 46 will give you some quick pointers. There is more in this issue for you to take in, with our round up of 50 Dubai brunches to try and 14 places to spoil (or be spoilt) on 14 February. So sit back, relax and enjoy reading the issue as much as we have enjoyed pulling it all together. Chris Nicolaides Concord Tower, PO Box 126732, Dubai Media City, Dubai, 04 454 9826, Contents of this publication are copyright. No material may be reproduced without written permission. Notice and disclaimer. The material used in this publication is intended to be used for informational purposes only. A sincere effort has been made to report accurate information. However, one or more recognised authorities in health and nutrition may hold different views than those reported therein, and the reader is so advised. This publication is not meant to be an endorsement of any specific product or services offered. Nicole Pereira Vishakha Ramchandani Welcome 3>HS‡3gr‡} >>g # - . /0124 56 01 7gH gH 3>HS‡3r‡} >>g 69

CONNECTOR.AE 5 Great Gifts To Treat Your Loved One This Valentine’s Day! 42 Plan Your Child’s Birthday Party In The Best Way! 36 Contents 7 Out and About Explore Your Creativity At The Emirates Litfest! Make This Valentine’s Day A Special One! Youmna Khoury: Taking Her Dreams From Influencer To Business Owner Brunch The Weekend Away! Tips To Lead A Healthier Lifestyle February Is Set To Be An Awesome Month With These Events! 13 28 44 14 13 28 36 44 Welcome Show 8:30pm / Tickets AED 160 FEBRUARY 3RD – 11th the ‘Impolite Company’ tour Joe Larson MEGHAN HANLEY Paul McCaffreys LF_Dec_Timeour_R1.indd 1 11/01/2023 2:47 pm

CONNECTOR.AE 7 Out And About Etisalat Academy - Mirdiff Gems Founders School - Al Barsha +971 50 102 6265 OUT & ABOUT February is here, and although the month is shorter than the rest with 28 days, it does not mean the fun has to end. DP World International League T20 2023 Taste of Dubai Till 12 February 3 to 5 February Make sure this month is a great one, and enjoy exploring all the amazing events that the UAE has to offer. From musicals to concerts, there is something to delight everyone’s interests and if you have some gaps in your calendar and looking to fill them, then look no further. The first edition of the DP World International League will see six teams, the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, Desert Vipers, Dubai Capitals, MI Emirates, Gulf Giants and Sharjah Warriors, go up against each other to win the title in a series of competitive cricket matches. The matches will be held at three locations across the UAE, Zayed Cricket Stadium Abu Dhabi, Dubai International Stadium and Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Prices start at Dhs 30 for an adult and Dhs 10 for children. Taste of Dubai is set to return for another amazing edition at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre for three days. The event is dedicated to serving some of the best from the Dubai culinary world. Enjoy the tastes of 15 delicious restaurants, celebrity chefs, workshops, entertainment and more. Prices start at Dhs 55. 1 2

CONNECTOR.AE 8 CONNECTOR.AE 9 Out And About Out And About The Gipsy Kings Afroworld LILY Live 5 February 10 February 11 February Get ready for a one-day special by the amazing international band, The Gipsy Kings. Held at Dubai Opera, the concert will feature amazing and cult favourite tunes like ‘Bamboleo’, ‘Volare’ and more. Known for incorporating traditional flamenco music with Western pop and Latin tunes, the show is sure to be a great one. Prices are set at Dhs 295. Explore the world of Afrobeats with some of the biggest names from Africa. Rema, known for the viral songs ‘Calm Down’, ‘Dumebi’, ‘Iron Man’ and more, will headline the concert. Performing alongside is Omah Lay, with songs like ‘Soso’ and ‘understand’ and more. Prices start at Dhs 175. LILY, the amazing Filipino rock band, is coming to Dubai for a special one-night-only performance. Held at The Agenda, the group was formed in 2005 and has gone on to become one of the top bands in the Philippines. Enjoy a great set with songs including ‘Magbalik’, ‘Stars’, ‘Bitter Song’ and more. Prices start at Dhs 100. Assala Nasri 11 February Assala Nasri, the amazing Syrian singer and artist, is ready to grace the stage at the Coca-Cola Arena. Held for one night, the show will see the performer put on an amazing set with top hits, including ‘Thak El Ghaby’, ‘Shokran’, ‘Rooh Wu Rooh’ and more. Prices start at Dhs 195. Lost Nomads Festival 11 February Soul Beach Dubai is set to turn into a party central for one day with the Lost Nomads Festival. Dance away to the tunes of incredible artists, including Dennis Cruz, Apache, Andrea Oliva and Curartero. Ticket prices for the festival begin at Dhs 200. Asian Le Mans Series 11 and 12 February The Asian Le Mans Series is set to take place this February over the course of two days. Held at the Dubai Autodrome, the event will see some of the top teams around the globe race during the four-hour challenge. Watch a mix of Le Mans prototypes and GT cars at the event. Entry to the event is free but requires registration for tickets. 3 4 5 6 7 8

CONNECTOR.AE 10 CONNECTOR.AE 11 Out And About Out And About Karnivool: The Regeneration Tour InClassica Arabic Poetry Night 12 February 12 February to 3 March 17 February Held for one day only at Hard Rock Cafe Dubai, the amazing five piece band Karnivool is making their way to Dubai. The Australian hard rock band will perform as part of their The Regeneration Tour and get ready to enjoy dancing to amazing tunes including ‘We Are’, ‘All It Takes’ and more. Prices start at Dhs 199. The highly anticipated festival for classical music enthusiasts is back. The InClassica International Music Festival will be held from 12 February to 3 March and will see a series of 18 performances take place at the Coca-Cola Arena. From playing the music of Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and more, the 18 shows will be ones to remember. Prices start at Dhs Delight in watching an amazing poetry night at Dubai Opera for one night only. Enjoy listening to the heartfelt and sincere poetry by performers Hamid Zaid and Faisal Adwani. Ticket prices for the poetry night start at Dhs 150. elrow XXL Dubai 17 and 18 February Get ready to dance the night away at one of the biggest dance music festivals from Barcelona, held in Dubai for the first time at Dubai Design District. With extravagant decorations and performances from Idris Elba, Armand Van Helden, Sam Divine and more, the dance festival is sure to be a great party. Prices start at Dhs 350. Blippi The Musical 18 and 19 February Blippi The Musical is coming to the UAE and will be held over two days. Bringing alot the entertainment to children, the shows will be held at Etihad Arena on Yas Island. Enjoy an interactive meet and greet experience as well as a fun educational show for children. Prices start at Dhs 105. Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships 19 February to 4 March Tennis enthusiasts, this is your chance to see international tennis stars compete for the title. The Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships will have top players from Novak Djokovic to Rafael Nadal and more play against one another. Ticket prices to the event start at Dhs 55. 9 10 11 12 13 14

CONNECTOR.AE 12 CONNECTOR.AE 13 Out And About Out And About Coming back for its 15th edition, this year is set to be even bigger and better and will feature a fantastic roster of author panels, workshops, meet and greets and more. Running from1 to 6 February, this year’s edition will shine a light on the amazing local as well as international authors, including the popular children’s author David Walliams, journalist Barkha Dutt, romance novelist Cecelia Ahern, ‘The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency’ series writer Alexander McCall Smith, mind coach Vex King and more. The six-day festival will be held at Intercontinental Hotel Dubai Festival City and Mohammed Bin Rashid Library, and will also see amazing panel discussions, including ‘Introducing The Greatest Self-Help Book - It’s The One Written By You’ by Vex King and Kaushal, ‘Warrior Queens, Rebels & Courtesans - How Women Shaped The World’ by Kate Mosse and Manu S. Pillai and a lot more. Some amazing local authors will also feature at this year’s edition, including Dr Raja Al Gurg, Dr Sulaiman Al Kaabi, Omar Al Busaidy, Maitha Al Khayat and more. Have you alwayswanted to ask your favourite author some burning questions about their books? This is your chance, as one of the highlights of the literature festival is the meet and greet sessions, where fans can get their books signed and converse with their favourite author. While also shining a light on talented and reputed authors and their work, the festival also makes way for future stars and will have budding writers awarded with prizes for adult fiction and children’s fiction categories. Prices for a day pass start at Dhs 249, with a weekend pass priced at Dhs 499. For more information, visit the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature website. Explore Your Creativity At The Emirates Litfest! It is time to let your inner bookworm have the time of its life at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. Kevin Hart: Reality Check Shrek The Musical Sikka Art and Design Festival 22 February 22 to 26 February 24 February to 5 March The funnyman Kevin Hart is coming to Abu Dhabi at Etihad Arena to perform an amazing comedy set, as part of his tour ‘Reality Check’. Having started performing at amateur nights at various comedy clubs, he is now an Emmy and Grammy-nominated comedian. Prices start at Dhs 549. Get ready to watch one of the most iconic Dreamworks films come to life this month. Held at Dubai Opera, watch the enchanting tale of Shrek, an ogre that saves Princess Fiona but is surprised as she expected a handsome prince to come to her rescue. Ticket prices for the musical start at Dhs 275. Running for ten days, Sikka Art and Design Festival returns for its 11th edition. Located in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, the amazing art and design festival will celebrate the talents of many local and international artists. From hosting exhibitions, installations, poetry nights and movie nights, there is something for everyone to explore their creativity. Entry is free to all. 15 16 17

CONNECTOR.AE 14 CONNECTOR.AE 15 Dining Around Dining Around Brunch The Weekend Away! Brunch has been and will always be the amazing allaround experience that makes the weekend a great one! With a weekly routine of the work week, brunch, repeat, brunch lovers are constantly on the lookout to try out some new as well as revisit their favourite, classic brunches. With so many places to check out, here is our pick of over 30 brunches in Dubai that are sure to take you on a fun ride. Your stomach is sure to thank you a brunch! 88 Terrace, Bluewaters Island Located at Bluewaters Island, 88 Terrace is hosting their amazing Solaire brunch that is sure to be a great one for the whole family. Running every Saturday, parents can enjoy a scrumptious brunch with dishes including tapas, paella and more, while kids run around and have a blast, delighting in all the games and activities the venue has to offer. Prices start at Dhs 230. 056-8816888 Bubbalicious, Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Pop that exhausted work bubble away and start the weekend by enjoying one of the highly raved brunches in Dubai. Located at Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, the Bubbalicious brunch brings diners scrumptious dishes from three restaurants at the resort, Baba, Sui Mui and Mina’s Kitchen. Tuck into a wide array of cuisines from roast, lobster, steak, eggs, Indian and Asian dishes and more. The brunch is held every Saturday from 1pm to 4pm and has prices starting from Dhs 300. 04-3994141 Farriers Restaurant, The Meydan Hotel The weekend is the perfect time to spend time and bond with the family after the busy week. What better way to do it than by enjoying a lovely and relaxing family brunch at Farriers Restaurant atThe Meydan Hotel? Enjoy a spread of hand-carved roasts, seafood, barbeque stations, finger food, live cooking stations, desserts and more. Held every Saturday from 1pm to 4pm, kids can also enjoy meeting their favourite superheroes, while parents sip on free-flowing drinks. Prices start at Dhs 249. 04-3813111 Prime68, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai Located at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Prime68 is bringing diners a special brunch offer every Saturday from 1pm to 4pm. Tuck into a wide variety of dishes ranging from beef marmalade sliders, grilled jumbo prawns, truffle mac and cheese, red grape braised short rib and more. While enjoying the scrumptious meal, delight in the stunning views of Dubai. Prices start at Dhs 295. 04-4143000

CONNECTOR.AE 16 CONNECTOR.AE 17 Dining Around Dining Around Garden of Dreams, Address Beach Resort JBR Enjoy a brilliant daydreamer brunch, held every Saturday at Garden of Dreams. Located at Address Beach Resort JBR, the outdoor brunch runs 12.30pm to 4pm and diners can enjoy stunning views of Bluewaters Islands and the ocean, while tucking into dishes including burrata, prawn tempura, grilled rib eye and more. Prices start at Dhs 280. 04-2200224 Mezzerie, Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah Mezzerie, located at Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, is bringing diners an amazing new family-friendly brunch. The surf and turf brunch offers live entertainment as well as delicious dishes including red snapper ceviche, tropical baked cheesecake, charcoal grilled tomahawks, matcha hazelnut crunch cake and more. The brunch is held every Saturday from 1pm to 4pm. Prices start at Dhs 395. 04-8282245 Salmon Guru, Opus by Omniyat Saturdays are the best time to unwind, and Salmon Guru at Opus by Omniyat is offering a great brunch, perfect to kick start the weekend. Held from noon to 4pm, the brunch offers a range of delicious delicacies with an eightcourse sharing concept, including chuck beef short ribs taco baos, Mediterranean line caught wild sea bass, hens croquettes and more. As the weather gets cooler, diners can also enjoy al fresco dining or be seated indoors. Prices start at Dhs 350. 052-8149537 M One Restaurant, Millennium Place Barsha Heights Located at Millennium Place Barsha Heights, M One Restaurant, the casual dining spot, is hosting an entertaining brunch, while also catering to a wide range of tastes with International cuisines, including pasta marinara, butter chicken, roast lamb carving station, chocolate fountain, fresh seafood, pizza, mini burgers and more. Prices start at Dhs 119 and will be held every Saturday from 12.30pm to 4pm. The Kids Club will also be open for the little ones to enjoy activities like gardening, soft play and more. 058-6060831 The Restaurant, Address Fountain Views Delight in a special Lush Brunch at The Restaurant at Address Fountain Views. Enjoy the stunning views of the Burj Khalifa and the infinity pool while tucking into a scrumptious buffet and live grill stations. The brunch is held every Saturday from 1pm to 4.30pm. Prices start at Dhs 295. 04-2458888 Laguna Beach Taverna and Lounge, Sofitel Dubai The Palm Located at Sofitel Dubai The Palm, Laguna Beach Taverna and Lounge has launched their Taverna brunch, inspired by the God of grape and celebration, Bacchus. Delight in a Greek-Mediterranean sharing style menu with dishes including Dibba bay oysters, beef tartare, arancini tartufo, seafood paella, chicken and lamb gyros, casarecce amatriciana and more. The brunch runs every Saturday from 1pm to 4pm and diners can also delight in a live DJ. Prices start at Dhs 299. 052-9250736 Café Nikki, Nikki Beach Resort and Spa Dubai Located at Nikki Beach Resort and Spa Dubai, Cafe Nikki is adding some enjoyment to your Saturday with brunch. Held from 1pm to 4pm, delight in a buffet menu with dishes like seafood platters, grilled fish, sushi rolls, salad, grilled meat and more. Enjoy the cooler Dubai weather along with complimentary beach and pool access, while the resident DJ keeps you entertained with the best beats. Prices start at Dhs 350. 04-3766290 Torno Subito, W Dubai - The Palm If you are looking for a place to enjoy a mouth-watering brunch, Torno Subito is a great place to check out. Located at W Dubai - The Palm, the weekly brunch at the one Michelin-starred restaurant takes you to the Italian Riviera with scrumptious drinks and dishes, including Gillardeau oyster dill gazpacho, pasta mista ceci cozze, pink cheesecake, cured sea bream pistachio, tiramisubito and more. The brunch is held on Saturdays from 1pm to 4pm, with prices starting at Dhs 325. 04-2455800

CONNECTOR.AE 18 CONNECTOR.AE 19 Dining Around Dining Around Taiko, Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk Tuck into a special five-course menu at Taiko, located at Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk. The contemporary Asian fusion-inspired brunch serves diners dishes including oyster passion fruit, miso black cod, black Angus striploin, and more. Visitors can also enjoy a live sushi bar and char-fired robata grill. A live DJ will play tunes to keep you dancing away. The brunch runs from 1pm to 4pm and will have four different menus rotating weekly. Prices start at Dhs 355. 04-2814010 The Croft, Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites The Croft is marking the beginning of the weekend with a bang with their brunch nation offer. Located at Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites, the brunch will be held every Friday from 7pm to 10pm and will serve diners dishes from around the world including smoked salmon salad, Cantonese dim sum, char sui duck, roasted chicken and more. 04-3194000 Khyber, Dukes The Palm Khyber located at Dukes The Palm is bringing a new brunch with delicious Indian flavours. Held every Friday from 8pm to 11pm, the Shandya brunch will serve amazing North Indian dishes including dahi ke kebab, prawns mirch masala, gajar ka halwa, paneer tikka aachari and more and while tucking in, enjoy the views of Dubai Marina. Prices start at Dhs 245. 04-4551101 Liwan Restaurant, Swissôtel Al Ghurair Every Sunday from 12.30pm to 4pm, Liwan Restaurant at Swissôtel Al Ghurair transforms to host an amazing brunch for families to enjoy. The Around the World brunch takes diners on a trip to satisfy their taste buds with dishes including cheese fondue, shepherd’s pie, nasi goreng, black beans enchilada, Syrian lamb ouzi, Thai green curry, kung pao chicken and more. Children can stay busy by enjoying a wide range of activities and workshops, from painting, Zumba, gardening, treasure hunts and more. Prices start at Dhs 159 for adults and Dhs 59 for children. 04-2933270 Bombay Borough, DIFC As the weekend is upon us, with brunches galore, why stop at enjoying a brunch once during the weekend, and enjoy the special weekend market brunch, held every Saturday and Sunday. Bombay Borough at Gate Village 3 at DIFC is hosting the brunch from noon to 4pm. Diners can tuck into an amazing spread of delectable Indian street food, with choices for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Sip on drinks while also enjoying the hit tunes and beats from the DJ. Prices start at Dhs 275 and children aged under six years old get to eat for free. 04-3271555 Open Sesame, Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown Located at Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown, Open Sesame is adding its spin to the weekend with the Art of Brunch offer. Held every Saturday from 2pm to 5pm, diners can enjoy a variety of cuisines from Japanese, Lebanese, American and more. The resident DJ will keep people on their feet with amazing tunes and diners can also delight in marvelling at the aprons worn by the hosts, that have been created with the artworks of local and international artists. Prices start at Dhs 299. 04-2102210 Jumeirah Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah The Magical Vintage brunch at Jumeriah Al Qasr is offering diners a magical day to remember. Offering a vintage vibe, the brunch serves diners a wide range of tasty dishes from the popular restaurants, The Hide and Arboretum including live cooking stations, Asian, Italian, grilled seafood and more. Running from 1pm to 4pm, the brunch has prices starting from Dhs 450. 800-323232 Saffron Restaurant, Atlantis The Palm Saffron Restaurant at Atlantis The Palm hosts a great and unmissable brunch every Saturday. From 1pm to 4pm, party away at the brunch known as the ‘craziest party brunch in Dubai’. Delight in a delicious buffet with flavours from Southeast Asia and India, along with mouth-watering seafood dishes. Prices for the brunch start at Dhs 475. 04-4262626

CONNECTOR.AE 20 CONNECTOR.AE 21 Dining Around Dining Around Lo+Cale, Crowne Plaza Dubai Marina Every Sunday from 1pm to 4pm, Lo+Cale at Crown Plaza Dubai Marina has brought its iconic brunch back. As the weather changes, al fresco dining is the right way to brunch. Tuck into unlimited dishes and drinks like beef brisket, roast duck, mac and cheese, an array of cheese, pavlova, chocolate pudding and more. Joshua McCartney, Australian guitarist and singer will keep the crowd entertained by serenading classics and the latest hits. Prices start at Dhs 169. 054-9978599 Republic Adda Bar and Lounge, DoubleTree by Hilton Business Bay Located at DoubleTree by Hilton Business Bay, Republic Adda Bar and Lounge has launched its Citizen Brunch that will cater to families and friends. Tuck into delicious Indian street food including tuna bhel, tandoori bao benedict, chicken tikka sliders, prawn grilled tawa style and more. The brunch will run from 1.30pm to 4.30pm and will have prices starting at Dhs 165. 052-9247596 Santè Ria, The First Collection Jumeirah Village Circle Santè Ria is bringing all the Latin flavours to the amazing Pachanga night brunch, every Saturday from 9pm to midnight. Located at The First Collection at Jumeirah Village Circle, the brunch brings all the fun from Columbia, Peru, Brazil and Mexico to one place. Delight in dishes like cheese bread, beef anticuchos, churros, beef cheek tacos and more. The DJ will play South American salsa tunes and live Bongo drummers and Samba dancers will entertain you with amazing performances. Prices start at Dhs 199. 04-2756630 Trader Vic’s, Hilton Dubai Palm Jumeirah Get ready to enjoy the amazing Puka Puka brunch at Trader Vic’s. Located at Hilton Dubai Palm Jumeirah, the brunch is held every Saturday from 1pm to 4pm and serves jalapeno cheese balls, yellow fin tuna ceviche, oven-roasted duck, spare ribs and more. While tucking in, enjoy live entertainment and dance away to the magical tunes. 04-2300000 VERO, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Sundays are meant for brunch, and VERO is offering diners an irresistible offer. Located at The Walk JBR, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, Brunch Di Mare offers diners a great experience with a seafood tower, a wide meat selection, pizzas, a dessert platter and more. Delight in beautiful views of Ain Dubai as well as live entertainment. Prices start at Dhs 299. 04-3182319 La Mezcaleria, La Mezcaleria Downtown La Mezcaleria at La Mezcaleria Downtown is bringing the fun to brunch, every Saturday. Held from 1pm to 5pm, the brunch offers diners a wide range of delicious dishes as well as drinks to choose from. Prices for the brunch start at Dhs 220. 04-5828849 Blacksmith Bar and Eatery, The First Collection Business Bay Located at The First Collection Business Bay, The Blacksmith Bar and Eatery is bringing a fun brunch every Saturday that will have you coming back for more. With a wide variety of dishes, including beef cheek nachos, cornbread, slow-cooked rib eye, spinach salad and more, served with three hours of unlimited drinks, the night brunch will definitely be one for the books. To keep the vibes high, Big Mouth band will play tunes on the terrace to keep you on your feet. The brunch will run from 7pm to 10pm, with prices starting at Dhs 249. 04-8734400 Basko, Opus by Omniyat The two-tier Basko brunch is a great one to check out. Held every Saturday from noon to 4pm at Opus by Omniyat, the brunch serves diners scrumptious Mediterranean dishes, including crispy tuna tartine, rose cookie, saffron cecina spaghetti, shrimp carpaccio, steak et frites and more. If you are looking to continue the brunch, the La Suite at Suave from 3pm to 6pm is a great option to enjoy socialising while listening to music. Prices for the brunch start at Dhs 330. 04-5824242

CONNECTOR.AE 22 CONNECTOR.AE 23 Dining Around Dining Around Nonya, Taj JLT Nonya, located at Taj JLT, has upgraded its delicious Secret Brunch. Tuck into delicious Pan-Asian dishes and drinks, and as in the name, the secret brunch will offer unlimited entertainment, with singers, dancers, a saxophonist and a live DJ. The brunch runs every Saturday from 1pm to 5pm and has prices starting from Dhs 299. 04-5741144 Virgin Izakaya, Bluewaters Island Looking for a restaurant that serves delicious traditional and modern Japanese cooking? Virgin Izakaya is the place to be. Situated at Bluewaters Island, the restaurant is offering guests a special brunch every Saturday. Tuck into rice bowls, robata, ceviche, sashimi, sushi, tiradito and more. The brunch will run from 1pm to 4pm, with prices starting at Dhs 299. 04-5898689 Hotel Cartagena, JW Marriott Marquis Transport to Latin America with a spectacular brunch at Hotel Cartagena. Located at JW Marriott Marquis, spend Saturday afternoon the best way with an epic party, where a live dance show as well as the resident DJ will keep you on your feet. Enjoy a wide range of dishes from carna asada, smoked barbecue quesadilla, ceviche, guacamole and chips, lamb chuleton, key lime pie and more. The brunch runs from 1pm to 4pm, with prices starting at Dhs 295. 04-3509287 Nomad, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel Every Saturday from 1pm to 4pm, Nomad is bringing diners an unmissable brunch. Located at Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, delight in a buffet with European and international cuisines. To make the brunch enjoyable for all, live entertainment will be available with activities also held to keep children busy. Prices start at Dhs 195. 04-2308555 Urban Bar and Kitchen, Movenpick JLT Situated at Movenpick JLT, Urban Bar and Kitchen is making Saturdays all the more eventful with a great brunch, running from 2pm to 5pm. For prices starting at Dhs 225, tuck into dishes including chicken wings, fish tacos, BBQ beef ribs, cajun chicken breast, lemon tart and more. 04-4380000 Kitchen Connection, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Located at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Kitchen Connection is bringing diners a special brunch every Saturday. Running from 1pm to 4pm, tuck into a delicious international buffet serving mouthwatering dishes from a cold mezze station, seafood and oysters station, sushi station and more. Entertainment and fun activities will also be held to keep children entertained. Prices start from Dhs 395. 800-323232 Acapella, The Pointe Who does not love a good brunch with a view? Acapella, located at The Pointe, is offering diners a brilliant brunch, every Sunday. For prices starting at Dhs 399 for two, delight in dishes including avocado toast, lamb meatball, udon noodles, truffle risotto, veggie bao, spinach and chevre lasagna and more. 058-9719542 Cove Beach Dubai, Caesars Palace Located at Caesars Palace, Cove Beach is making every Friday from 3pm to 6pm, a time of celebration with the NXT Friday brunch. Take a trip down memory lane and enjoy listening to iconic old school hip-hop and R&B music. While grooving to the music, enjoy tucking into dishes including live BBQ, sliders and more, along with three hours of unlimited drinks. Prices start at Dhs 299 per person. 050-4546920

CONNECTOR.AE 24 CONNECTOR.AE 25 Dining Around Dining Around Pacific Groove, Paramount Hotel Dubai If you are looking for a brunch that delights in the West Coast life, then Pacific Groove at Paramount Hotel Dubai is the place to be. Held every Friday, the restaurant serves diners mouth-watering dishes from seafood to meat, and the brunch is sure to leave you wanting more. Running from 8pm to 11pm, the prices of the brunch start from Dhs 275. 052-9633079 Yalumba, Le Meridien Dubai Airport Road If you are looking for a great place to enjoy winding down with the family for the weekend, then Yalumba is a great place to try out. Located at Le Meridien Dubai on Airport Road, the brunch offers a lively afternoon with entertainment, live music and delicious dishes and drinks. The brunch is held every Saturday from 1pm to 4.30pm, with prices starting at Dhs 225. 04-7022455 Eden Bar, Dubai Opera Eden Bar along with Equal by Nature, the music and nightlife team, are bringing diners the Santurary brunch. Held from 1pm to 4pm at Dubai Opera, the brunch is sure to explore their tastebuds with a great menu of scrumptious dishes and drinks. A DJ will keep everyone on their feet and dancing away. Prices start at Dhs 395. 04-4560936 Bull & Bear, Waldorf Astoria DIFC Bull & Bear at Waldorf Astoria DIFC is ready to transport guests to an amazing Broadway-themed brunch. Held every Saturday from 1pm to 5pm, delight in unlimited appetisers, mains and desserts, including beef tartare, spiced prawn buns, truffle mushroom arancini, beef sliders, banoffee pie and more. Enter through the ticketing booth, before making your way through the dressing room and enjoying loads of photo opportunities. A live band will also serenade throughout the brunch, keeping it lively. Prices start at Dhs 300. 04-5159888 Claw BBQ, JBR Great ready for a fun-filled, all-American brunch at CLAW BBQ. Located at JBR by Pavilion at the Beach, tuck into a delicious spread, including a live guacamole station, wings, meat, seafood and more. Get into the weekend spirit with fun games, the beats of the DJ and trying your hand at the Buckin’ Bronco. The brunch is held every Saturday from 12.30pm to 4pm, with prices starting at Dhs 249. 04-5774357 Papa Dubai, V hotel AL Habtoor City Every Saturday from 2pm to 5pm, enjoy an amazing brunch at Papa Dubai. Located at V Hotel in Al Habtoor City, with nine different bars, there are endless drinks to try out. Tuck into delicious Asian and South American dishes, while dancing away to the tunes of the DJ. Prices start at Dhs 295. 058-5916268 Wanderlust, JW Marriott Marquis Every Saturday, Wanderlust Brunch at Garden at JW Marriott Marquis transforms into the ultimate brunch for people that love to party. Delight in dishes from around the world including sushi, peking duck, barbeque, curry, oysters, pizza, pasta and more, that is sure to leave you with a feeling of wanderlust. Held every Saturday from 1pm to 4pm, prices for the brunch start at Dhs 425. 04-4140000 Habtoor Grand Resort, Jumeirah Beach Habtoor Grand Resort, located at Jumeirah Beach, is bringing diners a brilliant brunch every Saturday from 12.30pm to 4pm. The open-air restaurant is situated by the beach, perfect to enjoy a fun time in the sun and, when hungry, tuck into international dishes and delicious snack platters. Fun activities are also available to keep kids busy, with a bouncy castle and face painting. Prices start at Dhs 250. 050-7806342

CONNECTOR.AE 26 CONNECTOR.AE 27 Dining Around Dining Around RARE, Melia Desert Palm With the weather getting cooler, it is barbeque season, and RARE at Melia Desert Palm is pulling out all the stops to make it a great one. Held every Saturday from 2pm to 5pm, delight in Argentine delicacies, from salads, vegetables, seafood and grilled meats, cooked on the Asado grill. Diners with a sweet tooth can also enjoy tiramisu, chocolate mousse, creme caramel and more. The DJ will keep the brunch lively with amazing music. prices start at Dhs 280. 04-6029328 Muchachas Mexican Cantina, Holiday Inn Express Al Safa Get ready for a brilliant Mexican brunch at Muchachas Mexican Cantina. Located at Holiday Inn Express Al Safa, the restaurant, every Saturday from 1pm to 4pm, will serve diners a range of dishes, including churros, tacos and more, along with drinks. Live entertainment will be available as DJ Ampere plays amazing tunes. Prices start at Dhs 159. 04-3275878 Zheng He’s, Jumeirah Mina A’Salam Zheng He’s at Jumeirah Mina A’Salam is making every Saturday fun with the Yum Cha Brunch. The restaurant serves classic and unique oriental dishes like crystal lobster dumplings, egg fried rice, vegetable spring rolls, barbecue chicken bun, sago pearls and fresh mango and more. Diners can enjoy eating while overlooking the magnificent Madinat Jumeirah Lagoon. To keep you entertained, a live band will play, along with activities like face painting, arts and crafts and a wet noodle station. The brunch runs from 1pm to 4pm, with prices starting at Dhs 275. 800-323232 Cafe Isan, Armada Avenue Hotel JLT Cafe Isan, located at Armada Avenue Hotel in JLT, is hosting a delicious brunch every Saturday. From 2pm to 5pm, delight in a sharing platter, a main and dessert each. Prices are set at Dhs 99 for kids and start at Dhs 299 for adults. Located near the cinema at Dubai Hills Mall, the newly opened restaurant is the perfect destination to enjoy comfort yet delicious food, served with an innovative twist. Opened by celebrity chef Kunal Kapur, the restaurant takes inspiration from the various tastes and flavours from India and serves dishes in a reimagined way. Be it for a quick snack with chaat to enjoying a hearty meal with friends and family, the restaurant takes you back in time with its modern yet nostalgic decor and brings delicious flavours to Pincode: Indian Dining At Its Finest If you are a big fan of Indian food, then Pincode is just the place for you to visit. the table. Starting out with the non- traditional spin on chaat, the potato spiral chaat is a must-try at the restaurant. The innovative drinks can be paired with any dish and will leave you feeling refreshed. The restaurant serves a multitude of mouthwatering dishes to tuck into for starters, including paneer kurkure, Kerala fried chicken, lamb chapli kebab, grilled prawns and more. The main courses at the restaurant cater to all preferences with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options like paneer tikka masala, lamb seekh, grilled fish, chicken biryani, coastal chicken curry and more. With the many options available, the must-try dishes are lamb biryani and chicken malai tikka. End the meal on a sweet note with rasmalai tiramisu, mango lassi soft serve, gulab jamun and more, with food that will not disappoint. The average cost per person for one starter, chaat, main course and dessert is priced at Dhs 200. Call 04-5661424

CONNECTOR.AE 28 CONNECTOR.AE 29 Dining Around Dining Around Avli by tashas, DIFC If you wanted to travel with your significant other to a romantic destination for Valentine’s Day but were unable to, then look no further than Avli by tashas. Located in DIFC, the restaurant will transport you to Greece with delicious Greek dishes, including feta saganaki, lamb keftedes and more. 04-3590008 Make This Valentine’s Day A Special One! Valentine’s Day is the one time of the year when everyone around the world comes together to treat the people they love and show them how much they care. If you are looking for a way to shower your partner with love and make date night one to remember, then keep on reading. As Dubai is home to so many restaurants and the options are endless, here is a roundup of 14 great restaurants to check out. SEVA Table, Jumeirah 1 The 100% plant-based and all-organic cafe, SEVA Table, is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a romantic and special candle-lit dinner. The five-course meal is themed around ‘Love Starts from Within’, and has dishes including kale and basil soup, jackfruit cake, raspberry tart and more. Located in Jumeirah 1, live music will set the tone for the night and will be held in the gardens at the cafe. Held on 14 February from 6pm to 10.30pm, prices are set at Dhs 500 for a couple. 056-5342899 Boardwalk, Dubai Creek Resort Located at Dubai Creek Resort, Boardwalk is celebrating 14 February with a special four-course meal. Enjoy live entertainment from a violinist playing dreamy love songs, while taking in the stunning view of Dubai. Prices are set at Dhs 350 per person. 04-6021814 Positano, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai Positano at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is offering a great date night celebration with a dinner like no other. From 6pm to midnight, tuck into Italian dishes, including antipasti, a main course and a dessert island. Prices are set at Dhs 225 per person. 04-4146485 Aamara, VOCO Hotel Aamara located at VOCO Hotel Sheikh Zayed Road, is hosting a luxurious Valentine’s Day affair on 14 February. From 7pm onwards, delight in a fantastic 9-course set menu with dishes and drinks that highlight the ancient Silk Route with pan-Arabic flavours. Prices are set at Dhs 500 per couple. 052-5735723 Armani/Ristorante, Burj Khalifa On 14 February, enjoy an exquisite seven-course degustation menu at Armani/Ristorante. Located in Burj Khalifa, the restaurant will serve couples dishes, including scampo, risotto riserva, per amore and more. Prices are set at Dhs 749 per person. 04-8883666

CONNECTOR.AE 30 CONNECTOR.AE 31 Dining Around Dining Around Carna by Dario Cecchini, SLS Dubai Hotel and Residences Located at SLS Dubai Hotel and Residences, Carna by Dario Cecchini is bringing a spectacular dinner for two for one day only. Open to ten couples only, the exclusive dinner will be held from 6pm till late and will serve a magnificent meal all coloured in red to emphasise the power of love. While tucking in, delight in the view of the Dubai skyline. Prices start at Dhs 1,200 per couple. 04-6070737 Piatti by the Beach, Raffles The Palm No one can deny that candlelit dinners are not the ultimate form of showing your partner that you care and, on 14 February, treat your significant other to a romantic night by the beach. Piatti by the Beach at Raffles The Palm is offering couples a special four-course menu along with two glasses of bubbles, served by a personal butler. Prices are set at Dhs 2,500 per couple. 04-2488888 Toro Toro, Grosvenor House Located at Grosvenor House, Toro Toro is bringing delicious South American flavours to your Valentine’s Day celebration. The San Valentine celebration held on 14 February from 7pm to 1am will offer a special threecourse set meal along with a gift voucher for a 30-minute couple spa treatment. Prices are set at Dhs 950 per couple. 04-3176000 Neptune Pool, Caesars Palace Neptune Pool, known for its Beverly Hills-inspired setting, is offering couples a relaxing night by the pool. From 8pm onwards, tuck into a scrumptious fourcourse menu with dishes including golden Canadian lobster, grilled Wagyu beef striploin and more. While digging into the meal, enjoy amazing acoustic music that is sure to keep the romance alive. Prices are set at Dhs 5,000 per couple. 04-5566466 Observatory Bar and Grill, Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel Observatory Bar and Grill at Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel is bringing a delicious three-course set meal called love from the sky from 6.30pm to 11pm. Created especially for Valentine’s Day, while tucking in enjoying the views of Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah. Prices are set at Dhs 850 per couple. 04-3194000 Beau Rivage Bistro, Grand Millennium Business Bay Are you ready to spend a magical night on 14 February? Then Beau Rivage Bistro at Grand Millennium Business Bay is the place to be. Delight in marvelling at the stunning views of the Dubai Canal. While enjoying the view from the terrace, tuck into a scrumptious fourcourse menu created by the head chef. Prices are set at Dhs 950 per couple. 056-6829268 DREAM Dubai, Address Beach Resort JBR Located at Address Beach Resort JBR, DREAM Dubai is making Valentine’s Day a special one with a series of amazing performances. Held for one night only from 8pm to late, with prices starting at Dhs 1,000 per person, delight in Mediterranean cuisine with dishes including fresh oysters with caviar, shredded king crab with caviar, Angus beef tenderloin and more. 04-2200224 Vanitas, Palazzo Versace Located at Palazzo Versace, Vanitas is offering couples a special Italian affair. Held on 14 February from 7pm to 11pm, couples can enjoy the beautiful view of the Dubai Creek and delight in the amazing live music from a saxophonist. On arrival, flowers will be given to guests, followed by a spectacular set menu and a box of chocolates while leaving. Prices are set at Dhs 450 per person. 04-5568805

CONNECTOR.AE 32 CONNECTOR.AE 33 Dining Around Dining Around Fudgy Brownies To Soothe Your Sweet Tooth! To all dessert lovers, this recipe is the perfect one for you! Fudgy brownies are the ultimate comfort dish to enjoy, whether looking for a decadent treat to snack on or for an after-meal delight. Traybae, the delivery-only cloud kitchen started in 2021 and is female-led, with the dream of bringing scrumptious and mouthwatering treats to your doorstep. From blondies to brownies, Traybae is available for ordering on Deliveroo or directly via the website. Made by Emily Roberts, founder of Traybae, the dish is a quick treat to make and always results in gooey deliciousness. Ingredients: 200g Dark Chocolate 200g Unsalted Butter 3 Large Or 4 Medium Eggs 275g Caster Sugar 100g Plain Flour 50g Cocoa Powder 300g Belgian Milk Chocolate Chips Or Chunks Recipe: 1. Preheat your oven to 160ºC and line a 9-inch square baking tray 2. Combine the unsalted butter and dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of boiling water or in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes until melted. Leave to the side to cool slightly. 3. Whisk together the eggs and caster sugar for a few minutes until the colour has turned pale and mousse-like. 4. When whisked, pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggs and fold together carefully. 5. Once well combined, sift the cocoa powder and plain flour on top of the chocolate mix and then fold together again. 6. Fold through the chocolate chips and spread the mixture into the tray. 7. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, and once baked, leave to cool in the tray completely and cut into squares. 8. Serve with ice cream for the ultimate indulgence. Emily Roberts Founder Traybae

CONNECTOR.AE 34 CONNECTOR.AE 35 Dining Around Dining Around Chef ’s Corner: Christos Lymperis From humble beginnings in his native Greece, chef Christos Lymperis arrived in the UAE in 2012. “Chef Chris”, as he’s affectionately known, was raised in his family’s Greek restaurants, learning traditional recipes and flavours from his family where his passion for cooking grew and led to a Chef’s Diploma and culinary certification at the age of 23. Chef Chris travelled all around Greece, Europe and the Middle East on a hunt for new flavours and recipes, and is now known in the UAE for his trademark Mediterranean cooking style. During his time in the UAE Chef Chris has received a number of accolades including Dubai Food Festival’s “Dubai’s Hidden Gems 2018” award for Best Mediterranean Restaurant, and the appointment as a Senior Member of the Emirates Culinary Guild in 2020. Chef Chris is now Executive Resident Chef at the Waterfront Market. In a first-of-its-kind offering in the UAE, Chef Chris is based at the market and makes daily visits to the traders and fish mongers to ensure produce is being displayed and prepared to chefs’ standards. He also undertakes regular live cooking displays, sharing new recipes and helpful hints and tips to visitors. Working together with the Waterfront Market, Chef Chris aims to share his passion for food, guide customers in improving their culinary skills and to promote a healthy diet and lifestyle. How did you get started in the food industry? I have finally concluded that cooking is not only something you choose but in a great grade it is running in your DNA. My grandfather had a summer restaurant in front of the sea and my parents were also restaurant owners. I was always around my mum in order to teach me all her cooking secrets. Back in 2000, when I left home to go studying, it was the first time I worked professionally in a restaurant. What is your earliest cooking memory? Cooking memories of my early childhood are coming from my grandpa who was teaching me how to clean the eels he was catching and we were cooking them together on metal skewers on charcoal. What is your favourite dish from your country? It is one dish that my friends are always asking me to make for them as it is full of flavours, and of course we are talking about moussaka. What is the one go-to and easy snack you love making for midnight cravings? When midnight cravings are knocking on my door I love to get a French baguette cut it and put it in the oven to become crispy. Then I drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle some oregano, add small pieces of feta cheese and cherry tomatoes on top. What is the one raw ingredient you cannot cook without from your country? I love to use wild oregano from the Greek mountains. It is a very important ingredient for me as not only it gives strong taste to the food, but also it can transport me back to these mountains. What is the best dish you have prepared with ingredients sourced from the Waterfront Market? It is very hard to choose only one dish as Waterfront Market has all the ingredients you need to prepare a dish at home for your loved ones or in a restaurant. One of my favorite recipes I created having ingredients from Waterfront Market is the stuffed zucchini with fish and shrimps in egg lemon sauce.

CONNECTOR.AE 36 CONNECTOR.AE 37 Kids And Education Kids And Education Plan Your Child’s Birthday Party In The Best Way! As a parent planning a kid’s birthday party is one of the essential roles of parenting. As a parent planning a kid’s birthday party is one of the essential roles of parenting. While wanting to celebrate every milestone that your child makes, each birthday comes with the start of a new year and is always one that should be celebrated. However, the planning process for many is quite a stressful task to undertake. Although many can opt for hiring a party planner, there is a special touch only parents are able to put into party planning, which can make it a special and memorable one for your child and their friends. To make the whole ordeal easier, here is a breakdown of all the steps to ensure the party is a hit! 1. Picking a Theme: The first step to party planning is picking a theme. A theme is a great way to add some fun and life to the party and can make decorations and outfits all the more fun for everybody. The best way to figure out a theme is to talk to your child and base the theme around their current liking, which can range from dinosaurs to their latest favourite television show. 2. Budgets and Checklists: Right before planning the birthday party, it is critical to sit down and set a budget. A budget will prevent overspending and also have money set aside to ensure smooth party planning. Additionally, making checklists is the best way to stay updated and not forget the little details required from the party. At any point, when thought or detail that needs to be looked over arises, note it down. 3. Decorations: Decorations are a special touch that takes the party to the next level. Based on the theme picked, the decorations can align based on it and can range from buying them to DIY’s. With so many resources now available, from shopping online to buying decorations from stores, the options are endless. Gifts Cards Balloons Candy Food 1 2 3

CONNECTOR.AE 38 CONNECTOR.AE 39 Kids And Education Kids And Education 4. Finding the Venue: Dubai is home to multiple iconic locations, perfect for a child’s birthday. If you plan on hosting it at home, the process is easier as you can manage all the details over the span of days leading to the birthday party. However, with booking a venue, it is important to check in advance for availability and make a booking to ensure that the place of your choice for the party is confirmed and can help plan the details around the venue. 5. Invites: Invitations are a crucial step in planning a party as there is no celebration without other people attending. Invitations can range from sending a message to your child’s friends or calling them up individually to invite them to attend. Additionally, creating an invitation is another option to invite people and are easy to create. With multiple sites from Canva to Pinterest offering templates, all you have to do is pick an invite that matches the theme, fill it out and send it! 4 5 6. Food: No party is complete without food, and most venues provide food as part of their packages. Although for house parties, snacks with junk food are the best way to go about it, as kids will be running around playing and will not want to sit and eat a whole meal. The cake is also an essential part of ringing in the milestone, and booking a themed cake from your favourite bakery store will make the party all the more special. 7. Party Favours: There is nothing better than ending the amazing party by handing out party favours to all the children that attended. Based on the number of children invited, if it is a smaller number, the party favours can be small gifts that cater to the child’s likes. Although if it is a big group, fill up the bag with little trinkets from clothes to chocolates, that are sure to keep the kids excited. Although planning a party can seem like a difficult feat to accomplish, one of the best ways to make it a great one for your child is by talking to them and finding out what they would prefer and basing the party on that. Party planning can be easy when following all the steps and planning in advance, and it is never too early to make it a great one for your child. 6 7