Category Archives: Cafes

Not An Ordinary Day in Town!

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It was one of those days when almost nothing seems to be going right. I was tired, but I had to attend “Design Days Dubai”; an exhibition on interior decor and art pieces held annually.  It was the last day of the event, so I decided to go and create a blog post about it. Not realizing that what happened during my day of casual and random incidents was far more interesting than the exhibition itself! And that’s what made me get excited about writing this post on a Friday night. When most of my friends are chilling at home and asking about my plans for the evening.

First, we had trouble getting to Emaar Boulevard in Downtown Dubai, where the event was being held. Until this moment I can’t comprehend how the sign that says “Emaar Boulevard” has disappeared from the face of the earth! I always used to see that sign when I wanted to go to The Pavillion, Downtown Dubai, and so didn’t think it would be a big deal to find the location for our design event.  Sadly I was wrong, that sign was no where to bee found last night. And we spent an entire hour or more trying to get to the Boulevard!  And even when we finally found our way there, there was no clear sign as to where the exhibition was! Apart from some street light banners and ads, there was no sign of a crowd or an event in the area!  After my emotion-packed day, I went up to a security guard in a neon vest and asked: “where is Design Days? we’ve been looking for it since a long time!”  As if it was his fault that the event was hidden and tricky to get to 🙂

When we finally made our way into the exhibition tent, we took a quick round at the stands and snapped some pictures of some cool design pieces. before heading out for our next “unpredicted” adventure.  Our next stop was a birthday party celebration at a new chic patisserie in Souq Al Bahaar, next to Dubai Mall. Since we were already in Downtown Dubai, you would think that finding Souq Al Bahaar should be a piece of cake, right? Well, you were wrong. I still can’t understand that either! Dubai Mall is like the second home to most people who live in Dubai, or at least their second home when they have visitors in town. So whenever my dad is visiting, we would spend a lot of time at malls and Dubai Mall and Souq Al Bahaar are no exception. But last night, for some reason, I was disoriented and could not make out how to walk to Souq Al Bahaar from the Burj steps (OK, it was my first time at the steps honestly, but still). So as me and my buddy were trying to find our way to the birthday place, we see a guy riding a buggy-bike! yes, it was a facility for the area, and we asked the guy to give us a ride to Souq Al Bahaar!  For your information, it wasn’t for free (it cost us 25 Dirhams). But it was so much fun! the weather was fabulous for a bike ride, we got so much attention from tourists and residents, and most importantly, we made it to the birthday party! (two hours late, but we made it!).

The cafe where we met our friends and birthday girl had a relaxed and elegant vibe to it. The outdoor area has a great view of the Burj Khalifah, and the weather was perfect for sitting outside.

I guess it’s always fun to do something spontaneous every once in a while. Even if it’s just a simple buggy ride in Downtown Dubai 🙂

 

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A Cool Publishing Event at a Magazine Shop! I must be getting closer to something!

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Who knew that a cafe/magazine shop aptly called “The Magazine Shop” existed in DIFC? The newly opened shop serves as a cozy outdoor space to sit and read magazines; nestled in between the art galleries of DIFC. You can find a great variety of International and local magazine titles on the shelves. All you have to do is order your coffee or tea, take your pick from the many cool magazines and unwind at a cute wooden stool chair.

I was honored to meet two prominent and outstanding individuals from the publishing industry in Dubai at the event. Conor Purcell – the Founder and Editor of the niche targeted “We Are Here” magazine was hosting the event. He explained to us the idea and concept behind the magazine, as well as the process and challenges associated with publishing an independent magazine in Dubai. Conor’s main objective was to create a travel guide magazine that was different from the commercial travel magazines available in the market. His view is basically to try not to become a cliche. But instead to present something different to a niche target of readers. He also shared with us some valuable information on independent publishing procedures in Dubai, and gave us honest tips and useful advise from his own personal experience during the creation of “We Are Here”.

Another leading Dubai persona who I had the pleasure to meet at the event was Narain Jashanmal – General Manager at the Jashanmal Group. Having grown up in Al Khobar in Saudi, trips to the Jashanmal Bahrain store were a vivid part of my childhood and teen days. I also remember a Dadhabai store in Al Khobar, which was part of the Jashanmal Group if I’m not mistaken. Yes, those were the days when all I had to worry about was what cool stationery item I was going to buy next. And I would genuinely get upset if I had seen something in a catalog or an International magazine that wasn’t available in the Saudi market!  While nowadays, I am surrounded by almost anything that I could ever wish for; except that I don’t have the peace of mind to shop for it since I spend most of my time working towards my goal and career path. Ah, the irony of life.

Honestly speaking, this event has proved to be the most relevant, useful and worthwhile event that I had been to since I started to attend events and network in September of last year.  I think while I have truly enjoyed going to fashion or art events, I knew that those weren’t exactly what I needed to do or where I needed to network. While mingling with the young Dubai fashion crowd, or the older and more mature artistic circle was quite interesting and enjoyable, I believe that meeting inspiring individuals from the publishing and journalism industry is what will get me closer to understanding the market and help build my knowledge about it.

Do I regret not attending Rihanna’s new collection launch in-store event at high-street store River Island?  Absolutely not.

As I was chatting with a friend who I unexpectedly met outside “The Magazine Shop”, I found out from another lady that there was a “Dior” event taking place in a nearby shop at DIFC.  This time though, I was glad that I wasn’t part of the fashion pack 🙂

 

 

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