Kabul-born Hamida Aman Organises a non-profit peace concert at Dubai’s Zabeel Park, under the Patronage of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding
Featuring seven talented alternative music artists from the Middle East, North Africa and South Africa, “Salam Aleikum” concert was held at Dubai’s Zabeel park for the first time.
The non-profit music festival aims to promote peace and cultural tolerance amongst the youth and to present a more positive image of Muslims to the rest of the world.
The concert is organised under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding, by Hamida Aman, the General Manager of Guru Production, a Dubai Media City production company.
The centre supports community events, but this was the centre’s first community music project.
Nasif Kayed, Managing Director of Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding said: “We are all for any good cause that promotes peace between mankind, we are a non-profit organisation ourselves and always count on the support of our friends out there.”
Hamida Aman, Owner of a production company and radio station in Kabul, Afghanistan has organised a similar peace concert in Afghanistan two years ago.
“In 2013, I had a concert in Kabul for peace, where artists from neighboring countries performed in Kabul. It was very successful without any security problems.”
Since 2010, Aman has been based in Dubai as the General Manager of Guru Production, but she still visits Afghanistan regularly.
Hamida thought that it was the right time to bring the project to Dubai after a recent trip to Europe. She noticed the mainly negative perception that the West had of Muslims.
“I was very shocked that they had such a bad image of the Muslims,” she said.
The festival brings together artists from different cultures and backgrounds to communicate a positive message about Muslims and encourage peace and cultural tolerance.
Hamida adds: “We are not all terrorists. We are not all aggressive. We know how to be happy as well.”
“For me Dubai is one of the best places to celebrate togetherness. Here, all communities are living together in peace and harmony.”
Aman’s personal experience as a refugee in Switzerland for half of her life strongly inspires her peace-focused projects and initiatives.
“Because I know what war is, what is destruction and what it means to be a refugee and to go in exile, it’s important that we keep fighting to avoid this for future generations,” she said.
“My generation always lived in war and exile, and I don’t want this to continue happening in other places.”
The alternative artist line-up featured musicians whose songs carry powerful messages.
Hamida plans to organise future peace concerts in other Middle-Eastern cities.
“This is the first one in Dubai, and I hope that I will manage to bring it to Jordan, Lebanon and to Cairo eventually – to make a caravan,” she said.
The non-profit initiative will continue to spread the message of peace, and will always be for the community.
“The concert is for a cause and I want to keep it like that,” Hamida says.
“I would like to keep it like that – always for free.”
YouTube Video link:
A short video recorded at the venue while Indian Reggae band, Delhi Sultanate were performing on stage at the “Salam Aleikum” music festival at Zabeel Park on Friday:
Under the patronage of HH Sheikha Al Jalila Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Etisalat sponsors the first ever Dubai Kids’ Run
In an effort to educate the UAE’s youth on the importance of healthy eating, regular exercise and an active lifestyle, the first ever Dubai kids’ run was launched.
The two-day event – which took place over the weekend – was organised by CPI Media group, and the UAE Athletics Federation. The UAE’s telecommunications company, Etisalat sponsored the race that was held at Dubai Media City’s outdoor Amphitheatre.
The race brought together the kids of Dubai in a social and fun activity that embodies a strong community spirit.
The 2 kilometer-long race catered to two groups of children. The first race started at 9:30 am and was for kids between the ages of nine to twelve. Children from ages four to eight years old ran straight after that, accompanied by their parents.
Liesa Euton, Race Director says: “We wanted to have a smooth course for the children – not too long and not too short – because we want to give them just a little bit of a challenge.”
Collectible medals were given to all the participants at the end of the adrenaline-filled race.
The first-place winner from each race category received an IPad Mini and a hamper including a variety of gadgets, gift certificates and a three-month gym membership.
The top five winners from each category have also received goody bags worth over 3,500 AED.
The event attracted more than 5,000 people, amongst cheering parents and active children.
With more than 2,000 kids participating in the race, the Etisalat Dubai Kids’ Run will be an annual event in the Dubai calendar.
Ahmed Kamali, President of the UAE Athletics Federation says: “We put this run in the calendar, so that it’s going to be like any of the future races; like Dubai Marathon for 17 years, and Dubai Women’s Run for the last 6 years. So hopefully, we are planning to have this forever.”
11 year-old Raedan Chettiar came in second place in the boys 9 to 12 years old 2KM Solo category.
“He plays football with his coach, who trained him for two weeks only.” Raedan’s mother says.
“He’s a very active boy; he plays football and cricket.”
Raedan’s coach trains a group of kids at Dubai’s Zabeel park as a part-time hobby. The kids run around the spacious park and play football two or three times a week.
The Etisalat Dubai Kids’ Run proved to be a successful initiative to promote healthy living and fitness amongst the tech-savvy and modern Dubai kids.
An even bigger step forward can be taken by eliminating the unhealthy snacks and sugar treats that were served at the fun fair after the race.
Hopefully, future events will include a variety of healthy snacks, treats and smoothie stands.
Dubai-based Creative Group – ING Creatives – teams up with graffiti and multi-talented artist, Ruben Sanchez for an original community initiative
ING Creatives, a Dubai-based organisation that supports local artists and creative professionals teamed up with Artist Ruben Sanchez for a JLT community initiative.
The Spanish-born graffiti artist, Ruben Sanchez created a colourful outdoor mural with a local theme.
Using 150 spray paint cans, Ruben transformed the wall – which looked so raw with meaningless words – into a beautiful piece of artwork.
Ruben’s inspiration comes to him while he’s drawing the sketches. “The idea was creating itself as I was sketching.” He said.
Based in the Jumeirah Lakes Towers residential area of Dubai, the community wall has a local theme behind it.
Ruben’s main inspiration were the local elements and culture that surround him. He explains the mural’s main subject as a love story: “You can see the guy playing the Oud, and he’s looking to this woman who’s not facing him. She’s acting tough.”
“That’s basically a love story – courtship.” He continues.
The local elements that inspired this artwork are evident in Ruben’s mural. “I wanted to bring things from the desert. I was playing with the local elements, like the camel.” He said.
Ruben began painting on the blank wall on the 11th of February, and the artwork was completed on the 18th of February.
“It took exactly seven days to complete the project.” He said.
The graffiti artist describes his style as Neo-Cubism.
“Since 10 years ago, I’ve been developing this style.” Ruben explained.
As a strong advocate of community art projects, Ruben was very delighted to re-paint the wall. He explains that getting involved in community art initiatives is the essence of graffiti art.
“Nobody was doing graffiti in the beginning to get money.” He explains.
The talented artist is also happy to see the street life and street art culture evolving in the Arab region and the UAE in particular.
Despite being in its novice stages, Ruben notices the street art scene progression in the city.
“Now street art is getting a lot of recognition. And huge festivals are done for it.” He says.
DMCC – the government entity which regulates trade for the JLT area has supported the community initiative by providing the paint and the cherry-picker (the lift) used to paint the wall.
Another significant supporter to the project was Ramy Alawssy, Founder of ING Creatives.
Ramy’s organisation aims to bridge the gap behind the industry and the creative professionals.
Providing a platform for illustrators, designers and photographers to showcase their work is the JLT-based company’s main concept.
Ramy’s idea of converting the raw wall into a piece of artwork became a reality after a long waiting period.
“It took DMCC one year and four months to revert with the final permission to start the work on the wall.” He said.
The delayed response from DMCC didn’t hinder Ramy’s aspirations for an enhanced community experience. His hard work was clear once the work was completed as community members were happy to take photos and play around the wall.
Ramy said: “When we removed the barriers, kids were running towards the wall and touching it, and wanting to take photos with it. So it shows you that it really is a community wall.”
As for Ramy’s choice of artist to paint the wall, he explains: “I really liked Ruben’s style, I felt it really fitted with the community.”
When Ruben is not painting or sketching in the studio, he can be found skating at one of the city’s newly developed parks.
Skateboarding is a part of his lifestyle since he was living in Madrid.
“I was skate-boarding since I was a teenager, and I was doing graffiti since I was a teenager too.” He said.
The artist misses the convenience of being able to skate at any street pavement, like in Europe.
Ruben finds the street life scene in Dubai very limiting, due to the city’s design and layout.
“It’s very confined to designated locations. It’s not like in Madrid or Barcelona, where you just go out and go skating or walking or ride your bike anywhere.” He said.
The ING creative community wall by Ruben Sanchez can be found in JLT, Dubai, Cluster V – at the lake level.
ING Creative Conference
ING Creatives are hosting a conference on the 27th and 28th of March, 2015.
ING Creatives regularly host talks and portfolio review sessions. But this will be their first conference at this scale.
The conference includes talks, workshops and portfolio reviews that are designed to motivate creatives, give them the support they need and help turn their ideas into reality.
“We’re built for the creative community. We’re not built to help communities that are outside. We’re here to help the community in the UAE, in the region, because they lack the support.” Ramy said.
To describe the group, Founder Ramy said: “We’re a creative community, we’re based here in Dubai.”
“We help creatives to make ideas happen. So we do that through talks, workshops and portfolio reviews.”
International speakers who are experts in their respective creative fields will be flying into Dubai from major cities. Ramy explains:
“We’re flying and getting 15 international speakers from New York, San Francisco, Milan, Madrid, Barcelona, and Singapore.”
“Some of these line-ups are great illustrators, designers, creative directors, fashion designers, and they speak at international creative conferences.” He continues.
The event caters to creatives from different disciplines. “Whoever has a visual portfolio, or anybody that is in the creative field. Whether there’s photography, illustration, graphic design.” Ramy explains.
“We’ll be doing it every year from now on.” He said.
The tickets are 725 AED for both days including talks and portfolio reviews.
High-end designer boutique gives artists a life-time opportunity with its first ‘Dare to Create’ art competition
High-end designer boutique – Valleydez is sponsoring an art competition titled ‘Dare to Create’ in an effort to promote aspiring and emerging artists.
The art competition requires participants to submit an illustration, photograph or any piece of artwork by the 15th of March, 2015.
The winning design will be have t-shirt printing on eight different T-shirt styles, which will be sold at the luxury Jumeirah boutique.
Sidra Surmed, Creative Executive at Valleydez boutique explains that the design entries will go through two rounds of elimination. She says: “The art competition is divided into two parts. The first part comprises of submitting an art piece – it can be a photo or a painting – then the candidates will be shortlisted. Once the candidates are shortlisted, we will contact them and then they will be asked to create a story of eight pieces.”
Each shortlisted candidate will have to create a collection based on a theme of their choice. “Within the eight pieces, you have to summarize you story. What is the theme behind your collection?” Sidra continues.
A judging panel of designers based in four different countries will be in charge of the second round of elimination. “We have four different designers in the judging panel. One is Lamya Abedin – also known as Queen of Spades – an Emirati designer, another designer from Turkey, another from Kuwait, and one from the UK – Jean-Pierre Braganza.”
Founder and Head Buyer of the innovative luxury boutique, Ghalia Al Abbas is an Emirati fashion illustrator herself. Sidra explains what inspired the boutique owner to launch the art competition. She says: “She wanted to relate something which is very personal to her.”
With March being the month of art in the city, Valleydez decided to launch its first ever art competition during the art season. “We decided to run the competition in the month of art in Dubai. March hosts Art Dubai and Design Days events. I think that people look forward to attend all these events and they get inspired. So we wanted to give a proper platform at a proper time.” Sidra explains.
The launch of the Jumeirah boutique art competition was also inspired by the brand’s aim to introduce an eclectic mix of styles into its collections.
With the summer season approaching, the concept of a T-shirt design competition seemed very appropriate. “We wanted to do more casual chic at the moment because now we are entering into the summer phase. And we wanted to bring a more cool side to the store and brand.” Sidra explains.
Supporting aspiring artists and designers from within the UAE is the main purpose of organising the competition. Sidra says: “Valleydez want to give the platform to the aspiring talents to showcase their work.”
Breaking into the design and fashion industry in the UAE can be a lengthy process. That’s why, having the support from a well-known brand can be highly rewarding. “Being in the creative industry takes a lot of courage to get into the industry.” Sidra says.
She continues: “Providing a platform for creativity is a great bonus for anyone wishing to enter the industry in the UAE.”
The art competition is open to all age groups and participants can submit artwork of any type. “There is no specific form of art that we are looking for. It should showcase the artist inside of the person. This includes photography, pop art, fashion illustration.” Sidra explains.
In addition to having their artwork printed on T-shirts, the winner will get the relevant promotion and PR support from the brand. Sidra says: “There will be total support from our PR side and from the media side. We would definitely love to feature them in the magazines, because that would be a very good idea to promote the artist within the industry.”
As for whether the profits from selling the T-shirts will go into charity, the brand is considering that. Sidra says: “About the charity, we will reveal it soon. We are definitely having some talks, but I can’t reveal that at the moment.”
The winning design will be launched as a new collection in the store. “It will be launched as a new collection – as a brand to the store.” Sidra explains.
To submit art work, visit the following link:
“We will be having an in-store event on the 23rd of March in which we are launching our SS15 collection, titled: Garden of Fashion.” Sidra concludes.
If you’re looking for a new option for a healthy and fresh lunch in Dubai Silicon Oasis, then I have found just the right spot for you. Java Jolt is a newly opened cafe at Le Solarium building in Dubai Silicon Oasis. Their concept is to create simple, tasty food with a refined edge. At the same time, they try to source organic ingredients as much as possible.
When I asked co-founder and co-owner Lora about the origin of the concept, she explains: “Since everything in Dubai Silicon Oasis was take-away and fast food joints, we wanted to bring fresh, healthy food to the area.”
Lora describes the home-grown concept by saying: “We serve food that resembles something that you would make yourself at home. We use as much organic ingredients as we can. Basically, all the elements that go into the food we make are home-grown, local produce from the region.”
Executive Chef Khomotso from South Africa prepares all the sauces and salad dressings from scratch. He also makes the bread himself in the cafe’s open kitchen with the help of a kitchen aid. Java Jolt uses organic flour to make fully organic bread, muffins and wholesome bagels.
“I actually like to make my own things – completely.” Said Chef Khomotso.
When asked about his favorite dish to make, the Chef immediately tells me: “My favorite thing to make must be quiche.”
If you visit Java Jolt, you must try their home-made iced teas. The chef constantly makes new variations of freshly made iced tea. The first time I was there, I tried a pomegranate iced tea. This time though, I got to sample the Rooibos iced tea – made with a hint of lemon and orange. Known for its great health benefits, Rooibos tea originates from South Africa and makes for a wonderful refreshing drink when infused with orange and lemon!
“I was looking for something from home that I like to drink.” Explains Chef Khomotso. He calls his creation; Rooibos Citrus.
Co-founder and co-owner Jenny describes the new cafe concept: “We are trying to go as clean as possible in the UAE.”
Jenny explains: “In Dubai, most cafes are part of big chains or big companies. We wanted to start a more family-oriented style cafe with a homely feel.”
Being residents of the Dubai Silicon Oasis area, the sisters who founded and manage the cafe together with their mother felt the need to fill a gap in the market. With the majority of the available options being chain and processed food cafes and restaurants, they wanted to introduce a home-grown, wholesome concept with a friendly, welcoming and family-oriented atmosphere.
Another element that was lacking in the Dubai Silicon Oasis community was the option of an outdoor area, where friends and families could meet and catch up over coffee and fresh fare.
The New Zealand style cafe with a South African twist offers guests the option to sit outside – at the spacious and inviting terrace. “There’s no where to hang out in the area and sit outside. We created a space where parents could meet and bring their kids to play” – explains Lora, co-founder and co-owner of the fresh, wholesome and healthy concept.
Java Jolt will be open on Saturdays from 8 am to 5 pm starting next week. They also have plans to open on Friday mornings for breakfast, and on Saturday evenings for an evening roast dinner.
To find out more about the cafe and their opening times, check out their Facebook Page.
Today’s post is another University project that I just completed for this term’s photojournalism course. I present to you:
My Photo Essay on Sole DXB event that took place on the 14th and 15th of November. I was there on the 14th of November for a few hours, taking photos and meeting up with some friends.
First up, the short synopsis about the photo essay:
Many think that Dubai’s street culture doesn’t exist. The organisers of Dubai’s urban lifestyle and culture event want to change that misconception.
The city’s first – one of its kind event, Sole DXB was staged at Dubai Design District to showcase the region’s latest street culture trends. Specifically the footwear, fashion, basketball, hip hop, and street art.
Those who made their way to the venue were treated by regional retail brands; Nike, Puma, and Reebok. DJ’s, live performances and panel discussions pumped life into the event and gave it a fresh and exciting community atmosphere. With a hidden construction site chosen as a venue for this year’s Sole DXB event, indeed it is underground.
Professional basketball players take turns at shooting hoops at Sole DXB’s grounds in celebration of basketball culture. Dubbed ‘Ball Above All’, the competition saw the victor walk away with 10,000 AED. The game has proved to be a popular way to bring the community together. The only stipulation was that entrants must be 18 or older to apply to play in the tournament.
British artist, Remi Rough and his counterpart YesBee are busy creating the freestyled ‘Mondrian vs Wildstyle’ art piece. A 3 x 10 meter art work; spray painted using ‘Montana 94’ paint. Remi’s art began on walls and trains in South London in 1984. By his own admission, “I didn’t invent straight lines, I just made them funky!” – said Rough of his work.
Canadian pop artist, Antoine Tavaglione – also known as Tava is a muralist and illustrator based in Montreal. Famed for his signature ‘dripping milk’ paintings, his “Che Cazz” piece proved a popular addition to Sole DXB. The cat figure mural was created in one day, and produced using spray cans.
Additional work from Tava – showing more of his favourite cartoon figures – this time, Bart Simpson. Made using acrylic colours on canvas, Tava said: “I like to recreate iconic characters that are very nostalgic to me, and add my signature dripping effect to them as if they are melting ice cream.”
‘The Irezumi Girls’ are part of a limited edition created by Dubai-based design studio Robot and Spark. The figures are made using cast resin material with a chrome finish. The artist imagined these toys to live in the year 2075 in the city of London. ‘The Irezumi Girls’ are a gang of heavily tattooed, uber cool, superhero vixens hailing from Baker Street Station.
Creative Director Robert Gibbs from design studio Robot and Spark has been working on these original figurines since 2009. The germ of the idea came from a fiction-story about a group of futuristic, rebellious and superhero vixens – namely Lipstick and Suicide. The futuristic fantasy eventually came to life at Sole DXB’s gallery, after a five-year obsession.
British artist and photographer, Julian Castaldi expresses his love for Italian company ‘Campag’ with this painting of a vintage bicycle. His cobalt blue piece was inspired by his love for cycling, and the iconic company. Julian explains the concept by saying: “I have always loved the logo and story behind the brand.” The ‘Campagnolo’ painting uses acrylic, enamel, pastels, and lacquer on a 4 feet x 3 feet canvas.
Corcel, a Dubai-based bicycle and apparel store take cycling lovers back to the good old days with their 50’s/60’s inspired collection. The ‘Bikeid’ range was created for a nostalgic bicycle experience. The simple, elegant, and vintage designs can be customized for personal taste. A couple interested in getting a bike are looking at the catalogue and selecting their preferred colour of bike and tires.
An amateur artist is keeping himself busy by drawing a pair of sneakers using spray paint. Despite his aching fingers from the excessive amount of pressure while completing this piece of art, he is determined to leave his mark at Sole DXB. He asks the audience: “Does it look like a shoe?” and feels ecstatic after their approval.
The stylish crowd attending the urban lifestyle event did not overlook making a fashion statement with their favourite pair of sneakers. A young lady sporting a very bright and colourful pair of ‘Nike’ trainers caught my attention. She told me that they were a recent buy from the brand’s latest collection.
Another original pair of ‘Nike’ trainers worn by one of the ladies attending the street art event. When I asked her about the unique running shoes, she told me the story behind them and how they’ve been worn out at a music festival overseas. “I bought them from Barcelona – for a rave.” she said. I thought they still looked new and exotic!
A priceless moment in time, as I am transformed back to the 90’s at street wear label Amongst Few’s interactive gaming space. The highlight of the event for me was discovering this cool 90’s inspired concept brand. Founded in 2013, Amongst Few is a Dubai-based street wear brand that merges traditional Emirati outfit inspiration with Western style. In my nostalgic 90’s flashback, I can be seen playing the game ‘Duck Hunt’ on a 1983 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) console – complete with classic TV sets and 90’s memorabilia.
A great variety of second-hand sneakers on display at the sneaker swap stall. Trendy and pristine trainers to match every age and style fill the wooden racks at this sneaker wonderland. Get lost in time as you look for the perfect pair to replace your worn out and tired sneakers. No cash? Don’t worry, you can trade in the currency of sneakers!
Dubai-based urban and R&B DJ, Mr. Shef Codes livens up the Reebok space with his top old-school R&B beats. Shefan Lantra, better known as Mr. Shef Codes is currently signed with Bliss Inc Entertainment and plays at local venues around the city. The tunes he was playing were so addictive, they kept the crowd glued to the Reebok stand far longer than they intended to be there.
Iraqi artist, designer, calligrapher, and typographer Wissam Shawkat creates a ‘calligraffiti’ piece of art in his signature modern Arabic calligraphy style. The art work includes the words (love, affection) written in calligraphy style. The Dubai-based artist has been in love with the classical writing style since he was 10 years old. He is using acrylic colours on canvas to create the aptly titled ‘Love for the Sole (Soul)’ piece.
Some additional images that were not part of my photo essay project:
I won these lovely designer PUMA sneakers in a competition that I entered with Stylist Arabia magazine. All I had to do was share a photo of my favourite pair of sneakers! This pair was part of a collection for autumn/winter 2014, in a collaboration between PUMA and East Coast creative Sophia Chang. The designer’s illustrations are inspired by New York, and specifically the Brooklyn area.
Here’s the finished wall that Remi Rough and Yesbee were painting:
here are other paintings from Julian Castaldi that were on display at the event’s gallery:
Materials used: acrylic, enamel, lacquer on canvas : 4feet diameter.
Concept: Just love the old school soda labels I actually collect vintage skateboards, soda bottles amongst other things.
Materials used: 100cm x 70cm in metal frame.
Concept: Shot in London and used in Urban Outfitters.
Materials used: 100cm x 70cm in metal frame.
Concept: Love the signage and billboards around LA lots of hand painted and distressed signage which looks amazing, this was shot around Melrose in LA.
Materials used: 100cm x 70cm in metal frame.
Concept: Used to drive past this private members club on Santa Monica Blvd, it had a mysterious look and I stopped one morning to shoot the pic.
Framed original Polaroids shot in LA 2005 on painted board.
Framed original Polaroids shot in 2012 on painted board
“I have been shooting Polaroids for over 20 years and my Private Rooms project includes Polaroids I have taken of John Malkovich, David Bailey, Oasis, Pearl Jam and many more.”
For more information about Sole DXB or any of the artists mentioned in this post, check the links included in this post.
When I received the invite for the private view event for London College of Fashion‘s “Art of Dress” exhibition, I was so excited and knew that this would be the perfect topic for my next video journalism University project.
I had attended LCF back in 2009, as a first step towards changing careers into journalism. The course that I took was a foundation course in fashion media and communication. It was an intensive one year course, equivalent to the UK A-Levels. At that point in time, I wasn’t ready for an intensive study program. Mainly because I had been working in IT support for the past 4 years before starting that course. So it wasn’t easy for me to go back to education and to take an intensive course.
However, I did manage to successfully complete one term of that course. And I still plan to go back to LCF one day to finish that course and maybe take a post graduate course too! I always believe that it’s never too late to achieve your goals and follow your dreams.
The last time I met with the lovely LCF people was two years ago at Okku restaurant and lounge in Dubai. It was an alumni event organized for the college’s alumni in Dubai and short courses’ students and graduates.
As expected, attending the private view event was a great decision made by me, and deciding to cover the event for my project was just as interesting as I thought it would be. I had a wonderful time meeting everyone from the College and conducting the interviews with my lovely and professional talents.
I will leave you now with the video, that was filmed, reported and produced by me. I researched the story, arranged for – and conducted – the interviews, filmed the footage at the event and at the interviews, and edited and produced the short video.
Here’s the link for the short video about LCF’s Art of Dress exhibition private view event, held in Dubai’s AlSerkal Avenue.
I will be sharing the full interviews with Professor Frances Corner and Linda Roberts on the blog soon. So stay tuned for that.
Here’s a news story that I did for one of my University projects. The course is called “Web News Production” and it really helped me in a lot of ways. I learned how to write news stories for the web, add photos to a slideshow (coming soon in my next project) and create a short video to add value to the story.
The video you will watch in this story was shot and edited by me. I was the camera woman, the reporter, the writer, the editor, and the video producer 🙂
In a genuine desire to share knowledge about coffee and its roasting process, Sabado Coffee Club – a group founded by Matthew Wade who co-runs fat Nancy’s new diet with Anabelle de Gersigny – hosts a monthly coffee tasting event for coffee lovers around the city.
The venue for the club’s meeting – which takes place on the first Saturday of each month – is subject to change. Anyone who is interested in attending their events can follow the club’s coffee, art and culture dedicated blog (http://fatnancysnewdiet.com/) for details about the next event’s date and location.
On the 1st of November, the coffee club’s tasting event was held at A4 space in the city’s creative arts and cultural hub – Al Serkal Avenue.
Kim Thompson – who collaborates with Matthew Wade, Founder of Sabado Coffee Club in this non-commercial event – explains the concept behind the insightful coffee tasting event: “Our main aim is to share knowledge about coffee, to create a more discerning customer.”
With the majority of the residents in the Gulf region accustomed to getting their coffee from the big franchises widely available around the city, the Dubai-based independent coffee club is working towards changing that trend.
Getting the community involved in coffee sampling events is a greatly informative and interesting way to start this initiative.
At a symbolic fee of AED 25, coffee club members get to sample coffees from a wide range of roasters from various countries, before identifying their favourite cup.
The event begins with a dry coffee sampling round, where group members smell different coffee beans and note their best pick.
Then, a brewed coffee tasting round takes place. In this caffeine-filled sampling, coffee enthusiasts take little sips of various coffee cups – using spoons – and look out for distinct features in these freshly-brewed coffee selections.
A devoted coffee connoisseur explained to me the characteristics that make up a good cup of coffee. These mainly include; the body, the acidity level, the smoothness and ease to drink, and the taste.
Coffee comes in a variety of diverse flavours. These include nutty, floral, citrusy, or with a hint of lime or fruit.
The fun and engaging event ends with a vote for the best coffee on the table by the group members. The winning brew is then served to all participants.
Matt Toogood – who also collaborates with Matthew Wade, Founder of Sabado Coffee Club – emphasises the fact that it is a non-commercial event that allows people to learn about the various coffee options – apart from the big brand names and franchises.
The Club’s next coffee tasting experience takes place on Saturday, the 6th of December. The event starts from 12 pm and goes on for two hours. It will be hosted at “The Magazine Shop” in the DIFC area.
It was my second time to visit this fitness center which brands itself as a “Fitness and Social Club”. My first visit was during an outdoor yoga event organized by the “Mother, Baby and Child” magazine. Needless to say, it was a highly rejuvenating and relaxing experience to do yoga at a terrace, when the weather was breezy and cool. This time, I was back to Tribefit to check out their Pilates class.
From my personal experience and after two visits to this hip and contemporary fitness club, here’s what I think makes this club different from others and why you should consider visiting:
They offer classes at a professional fitness level, for intermediate to advanced trainees, by highly experienced and motivational instructors.
The club is spacious, with funky and cool interiors, and a number of studios for the different group exercise classes they offer.
There’s an organic food specialty cafe inside the club.
The club regularly organizes social and fitness events for both its members and non-members.
It’s located within short walking distance from the JLT Metro Station (Marina side). Which makes it perfect for those who don’t drive (like moi), or who prefer to take the metro for its convenience.
Now, from my personal point of view, how did I feel about Tribefit’s concept and venue?
The yoga studio where we had our Pilates class had floor to ceiling glass windows, with a view of the Marina-JBR bridge. So it felt like I was in the heart of new Dubai, surrounded by life – as pedestrians walked by over the renowned bridge. It also made me feel nostalgic to my London days! Everything about that studio, the view from those huge windows, the people passing by…all of my surroundings at that moment in time could only translate to one thing: a trip down memory lane to my days in London town 🙂 So if any of you readers are going through some kind of nostalgia for your London days, then I would suggest a simple trip to Tribefit 🙂
Anyone who has lived in Dubai as a single person might have gone through the process of endlessly looking for a compatible partner, only to be left hopeless and disappointed. Well, guess what? there’s a secret place where you can get fit, have fun while doing it, AND get to meet new people who share your interests, love for fitness and positive outlook on life! I believe that anyone who is single and looking for love in the city of Dubai, should give Tribefit a try and see where it goes.
How was the Pilates Class?
The instructor was very friendly and she encourages you to work hard in class, in a very motivational and friendly way.
The class is like one big family. Everyone was so friendly – including the trainer – Kate. The ambiance of the class was very social and friendly.
You will definitely experience the difference in this Pilates class from others. It’s designed for advanced students, with some of the moves being too challenging for not-so fit people like me! However, I was told that the level of difficulty increases as the week goes by. And since I was there on a Thursday, the class was quite intense!
Since some of the postures are too advanced, Kate would guide us on the alternative move for beginners. Which was great. So she would demonstrate the move for the various fitness levels of the students in class. That way, no one has an excuse to lay around on the mat and do nothing!
As this is an advanced form of Pilates, you are certain to feel the results after the class. It is more of a fitness/strengthening/calorie-burning exercise. And not your typical Pilates class.
Check out these two experts in their best headstand split pose! P.S. They are loyal Yoga and Pilates students 🙂
The Yoga studio was beautifully dimmed during our class, with color-changing lights in the ceiling. The ambiance was so relaxing and soothing.
The music playlist was excellent during the class, and it helped in synchronizing the moves to the song beats. Cool factor: high 🙂
Mats, towels of big and small sizes, and lockers are provided to all students. So are showers, sauna and changing room facilities.
Being a big fan of Elken Cafe, I must admit that having a branch of that cafe in my fitness club does score high in my books 🙂
As I mentioned earlier, the location is key for folks who don’t drive – like me. So being able to walk a few steps to the club from the Metro station is a huge plus for me!
Who should join Tribefit?
If you’re looking to meet new people and make new friends while socializing in a casual, friendly and positive environment.
If you’re single and are looking to meet new people in a different setting to the typical bar/club scene.
If you live in or around the Marina area, and don’t drive!
If you’re sick and tired of going to your building’s gym, the neighborhood gym, or of walking on the treadmill at your home.
If you can’t stand walking, jogging, or running in the midst of Dubai summer. And are fed up of doing the rounds at the Marina Promenade.
If you hate the loneliness that comes with using the gym equipment and working out on your own.
If you need highly experienced and professional fitness trainers to motivate and guide you to achieve those new year resolutions which you can never seem to reach with every passing season, or year!
If you want to work out in a hip, contemporary and upbeat environment. Where you can meet a friendly and positive crowd.
I personally look forward to visiting this uber cool and happening club sometime soon to try out another class. And at a future date, I would like to become a member and try out my luck in the Tribal love scene 😉
My plan for the day involved working on my essay that’s due this Monday, then going for two yoga sessions at Dubai’s coolest outdoor yoga event: Yoga Fest, before going back home for more essay research. But after my visit to the event, I changed my original plan and decided to write this post instead of working on my University assignment, because I didn’t want people to miss out on this great event!
Yogafest is a free sustainable community event that takes place once a year in Dubai Internet City’s Ampitheater. The event brings together teachers and yoga enthusiasts in a peaceful outdoor setting. All while supporting charities and great causes.
The outdoor setting of the event was so peaceful and perfect for doing yoga, pilates or meditation. The DIC Ampitheater is located at the lake side, which means that you get to do yoga beside a lake with a nice fountain. While doing our Yin yoga, I could hear the sound of the birds chirping. That added more serenity to the already relaxing experience.
Throughout the event’s two days, you can attend classes for free at the different tents spread across the green patches of grass. Being able to lay on the grass is a great luxury for us here in the UAE, so me and my friend Olivia were happy just being in the great outdoors and breathing some fresh air.
All the classes at the event are free except for the Pilates and family tent classes. Those have limited space in them and are therefore not included in the day pass. You can find all the information about registration and the classes schedule on the web site.
I can’t even begin to describe how well-planned and organized this event was. And this comes as no surprise when you know that the founder of this great community initiative, Elaine Kelly is a fitness teacher with a strong corporate background.
Although the event only takes place once a year, there is a regular full moon yoga every month at the same location. It is also free of charge….the next one is on the 14th of March. So mark your calendars now!
But since my friend Olivia and I enjoyed our yoga sessions so much, I would suggest that you head out there tomorrow and not wait for next month. It’s the best way to spend your day or afternoon or evening and you will leave feeling energized and blessed.
Olivia’s friends who saw her after the yoga sessions told her that her skin was glowing. I felt more at peace with myself…more positive and thankful for my life. I even decided to write this review instead of postponing it to next week, because I wanted to share my experience with the readers before the festival ended.
So, if you could take some time out tomorrow to do one thing, let it be a visit to Yogafest 🙂
In the end, I want to wish all the single people out there a great Valentine’s…one in which they learn to love themselves more and appreciate the simple things that life gives us every day.
And remember to always embrace life and your present situation, whatever it is…even if you are tired of being alone. There are so many things to discover and explore….endless experiences and moments of joy to share with others.
One of the things that I like about being single is being able to constantly learn new things and try out different experiences…so if I ever meet someone interesting and compatible, he must be up for full moon yoga at Yogafest’s tranquil outdoor tent 🙂