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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

'Jumeirah is beautiful to live in'

Little black book The owner of Kraze boutique, Kiran Sawlani, reveals her top shopping spots.
Though she's now based in Dubai, Kiran Sawlani is a New York girl at heart.
Though she's now based in Dubai, Kiran Sawlani is a New York girl at heart.

The owner of Kraze boutique, Kiran Sawlani, reveals her top shopping spots. I live in Jumeirah, Dubai. My husband has lived here for 15 years. It's a beautiful area to live in, very relaxed. I grew up in Mumbai and lived in New York for six years before moving here, so I'm very much a city girl. But what's nice about here is that you can have a gentle suburban life while being just down the road from the city centre.

I like to go to Cafe Japengo for lunch (Jumeirah Beach Road, 04 345 4979). It serves a mix of different styles - sushi, pasta, pizza - so there's always something you feel like eating. Thai is my favourite cuisine - the Mango Tree (Souk Al Bahar, 04 426 7313) is yummy. For seafood, I love Pierchic in Madinat Jumeirah (Al Qasr, 04 366 8888), which is just beautiful, and Seafood Market at Le Meridien in Garhoud is excellent too. Boudoir (Dubai Marine Beach Resort, 04 345 5995) is a great place to hang out at the weekends with my friends; it's really opulent and a great vibe.

I really prefer to shop in boutiques, but there aren't that many here - which is one of the reasons I decided to open Kraze - but Mercato is my favourite shopping mall; I love the look of it. And Burjuman has all the high-end stores, which is better for when I want to indulge a bit. It's nice and calm, not like the craziness of Mall of the Emirates. I travel a lot for work, to London, Paris, Barcelona, New York and Mumbai. But I especially love to go back to New York. I studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and I lived all over the place - Manhattan, Chelsea, then the Upper West Side.

SoHo was my hangout - there are a lot of great street shops there, making and selling bags and things. One of my favourites was Scoop (@email:www.scoopnyc.com), which had a lot of London brands and "Indianised" pieces. There was one lady, Duchess Design, who made and sold really beautiful crocodile and leather handbags, and I stock her pieces now in Kraze. I also loved Ricky's (www.rickysnyc.com), which sold funky cosmetics and flip-flops, and during Halloween they would do costumes.

My favourite food there was Mexican, and the best place was Dos Caminos (475 West Broadway, (+1 212 277 4300). There were some really cute Arabic shisha bars in SoHo as well that turned into clubs in the evening, and when I was a student we'd do fashion shows there on the bar tops - it was crazy! Le Souk (@email:www.lesoukny.com) was a fantastic one. New York has so much going on - it's such an open-minded city.

New York is where I got addicted to manicures. There was one that I always went to called Chris Nails on Broadway and 48th - it's the only place you could get a manicure in 10 or 12 minutes. My favourite place to escape is the Maldives - we stay at the W Hotel (@email:www.whotels.com). For holidays I'm definitely a beach person; I like to be able to just chill out and switch off my phone. I used to love city holidays, but now I don't think of it as holiday, because I go to those places for work.

A lot of my designers are from Mumbai - there's a lot of talent there, so it's really fun digging them out from the showrooms and workshops, and from Lakme Fashion Week. It's really grown in the world scene. Mumbai has some amazing restaurants - my current favourite is China House, at the Hyatt Hotel (www.mumbai.grand.hyatt.com). The whole of Bombay's high society hangs out there, but I try to avoid that side of things. My other favourite food there is Crepe Station (www.crepestationcafe.com) - it's owned by an Indian actor and supermodel, Dino Morea, and it does an Indian version of crepes. It's really healthy, so a lot of models hang out there.

I think Dubai has really nice spas. My favourite for indulgence is the Talise at the Madinat Jumeirah (@email:www.madinatjumeirah.com/spa), but for more regular appointments it's Sensasia (www.sensasiaspas.com) at the Village Mall. I also like to have Moroccan baths, but I only go to Ayesha in Jumeirah at VLCC (www.vlccinternational.com). She's from Morocco and doesn't speak English, but when you come out you feel like you've lost five kilos. I always get my hair done by Joseph at the Metropolitan Hotel (www.metropolitandubai.habtoorhotels.com). I'm very experimental with my hair and he's cool with that. My latest look is hot pink extensions.

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