Sunday, May 22, 2011

Art, Not Beach

LOVE the Pavilion...
I’m sure I tell you quite enough about how I fill my Dubai weekends with beach, sunshine, and endless glasses of wine in warm breezes.  But this weekend was a little different; it was all about culture.

First stop was the wonderful Pavilion in Downtown. I’ve waxed lyrical about this place before – it’s the closest I’ve ever felt to being in a creative space back home: part gallery, part restaurant, part working space, part cinema…it’s a truly unique space in Dubai.  And with the benefit of being about 200 metres from my front door, you can just about scuttle there in 90% humidity without wanting to die when you arrive.  That may change in a few months the way that things are heating up here at the moment.

Their latest photography exhibition by sociologist Charlie Koolhaas was an obvious choice to attend, as it focuses on Dubai, and the 'city's journey on the international stage.' (did I mention I love living in Dubai?!).  The use of the space, the displays of the images (on canvases, hung up on the wall like newspapers) all made for an interesting evening.

Next stop was the Ara Gallery.  A hop, skip and a jump from the Pavilion, it's another reason why Downtown just inched up another couple of notches on the coolometer.  Rather than languishing in bed on Saturday morning, or nursing a giant hangover, I skipped out of the door (well ok, skipped is over-egging it a bit, but I WAS giddy!) at 9.30 am and headed to their 'History of Photography'  workshop.  I don't have any raging desires to become a photographer, but I am interested in all things visual, beautiful and creative, and it was an extremely interesting couple of hours.  My requests for future classes have included fashion, architecture and design.

After all that culture, it was time to revert to form.  If you haven't tried the amazing Sunday roast at the Montgomerie, you've missed out.  19 remains one of my favourite restaurants, and their Sunday spread is treat.  Beautiful view of lush golf greens, a civilised and stylish setting, good wine and wonderful friends.  Followed this up with a trip to my favourite Dubai pub, a game of darts, and curry at Ravi's.  One of the best weekends in Dubai ever!

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