I had quite a lot of my hair chopped off the other day. While I was very happy with the cut (after getting used to the fact it was now much harder to pile into a ponytail), it was the blow dry that impressed the most. If your hair lacks a bit of volume (as mine does) and is ever so slightly fine (as mine is) then Mohammad Farkouh at Hush Hair Lounge in Wafi Mall, Dubai, is your man.
Wielding just a small, rounded brush and hairdryer, he carefully and quickly coaxed my hair into a shiny, swingy bob that kept its style and bounce until the next wash. For a reasonably priced Dh100 blow dry that transforms your hair into a better-looking version of itself, this stylist comes highly recommended. Visit www.hush.ae. To book an appointment, call 04 327 9577 or email email@example.com
* Emily Shardlow
Indispensable web tools
What are the top three websites you just can't do without on a daily basis? I'm not talking Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest here; I'm asking about those useful online locations that help you get your work done or find those answers you're seeking with minimal fuss. For myself and my line of work, the following are sites I find invaluable:
- XE: The World's Favourite Currency Site, www.xe.com. I use it regularly to convert from any currency in the world in an easy drop-down menu to dirhams, or to any other currency, for that matter. It's fast, reliable and easy to use - the best universal currency converter I've come across. Definitely have it on your radar.
- Word Count Tool, www.wordcounttool.com. Another site that's free, fast and useful. Just copy and paste the chunk of text you'd like counted into the window on the site's home page and press the "submit" button. A second later, you'll know if you're over your word count or hours away from finalising that bit of copy you're working on - useful if you're writing using software that doesn't provide a word count quickly and efficiently.
- Instapaper, www.instapaper.com. This site gives you a "Read Later" bookmark. When you find something you want to read, but you don't have time, use this site. It'll save the web page for you and allow you to come back when you have the time, or read your articles on the go, whether on your iPad, iPhone, Kindle or computer. And, of course, it's free!
* Hala Khalaf
My dream house with www.made.com
I don't own any property, and the apartment I currently rent in Dubai came fully furnished. But that doesn't stop me making a mental library of stuff with which I'd like to adorn my own future house/flat/shed, whenever it is that I accept the word "mortgage" in my life and finally make that first precarious step on the property ladder.
And so far, I've pretty much kitted out my entire imaginary abode (four bedrooms, sizeable garden, big room for cheap plastic holiday souvenirs) with items from the hugely addictive UK furniture website www.made.com. Aside from offering sizeable discounts by linking directly with the designers (thus cutting out shop-store middlemen) and only manufacturing what has been ordered, Made wins by having a whole load of really ace stuff. Quirky oak stroller desks (on which I'll write my award-winning novel/screenplay/autobiography), modern-meets-retro sofas (to lounge on while watching the premiere of my first comedy drama on TV), rustic farmhouse-style dining tables (around which friends will gather to enjoy my homemade haute cuisine): it's all there and it's all been added to my list. Whether I ever get any of this stuff is another thing altogether, and I haven't even dared look at the international delivery rates. But in my head, it all looks brilliant.
* Alex Ritman
Featherweight, four-wheeled luggage
Every so often we stumble across an item that was so worth it, we want to tell everyone about it.
It's hard to believe people used to have to pick up a suitcase by a handle and lug it when travelling, and even more difficult to fathom how anyone got their luggage from the car or taxi to the airport check-in desk this way. But now that I am rolling my cargo in a featherweight four-wheeled case, I am having trouble understanding how I coped with pulling something so heavy on two wheels - one of them always slightly wonky from that time I was a bit careless and in a hurry and dragged it for a couple of seconds.
And the wheels are not even the best part: these cases only weigh a few kilograms apiece, meaning this was the first trip home to Canada where I didn't struggle with an overweight bag on my return. A stylish option is Samsonite's new Essensis line for women. The pieces start at Dh1,550 and are available at Samsonite stores at malls in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, as well as Mega Mall in Sharjah and Al Ain Mall.
* Ann Marie McQueen