Each week, the Arts&Life team will share their secret pleasures. We review the services, products and places we love around the UAE.
Our favourite things: Kayaking, online clothing shops, TuneIn Radio
Kayaking in Abu Dhabi's mangroves
This is my favourite outdoor activity in the capital, and yes, I know that humidity levels will be on the rise soon, but before temperatures really sky rocket, I recommend taking a kayaking tour around Abu Dhabi's mangroves. The scenery is stunning, and with any luck, you'll spot plenty of marine life lurking in the lagoons. It feels a world away from the city and all that paddling is great exercise for the arms. Guided tours start at Dh150 per person; for more information see http://noukhada.ae or email email@example.com.
* Emily Shardlow
Online shopping sites for incurable shopaholics
In my daily planner, towards the end, hidden on an inconspicuous page, I have a list. I take great pride in that list. I refer to it lovingly, several times a week, and feel a tiny frisson of excitement every time that list grows.
It's my record of all the great shopping sites that deliver straight to the UAE, and straight to my front door. They also provide great eye candy for an afternoon of window shopping and outfit inspiration. Do allow me to share my top five:
• www.theoutnet.come. Discounted designwear and accessories, located in the UK and a brainchild of the Net-A-Porter site, this is the place to go for over 200 brands. New items are added on a weekly basis.
• www.asos.com. Unbelievably affordable, fashionable and on trend clothes; this is possibly my favourite.
• www.shopbop.com. Free worldwide delivery on orders over $100, designer goods, the chance to create a wish list and a regularly updated lookbook for outfit ideas, this site is a shopper's paradise.
• www.bhldn.com. Bohemian designs that have a touch of vintage on them, this is an offshoot of the American chain Anthropologie (which also is a favourite). Brides-to-be, bookmark this site.
• www.shabbyapple.com. Demure, modest dresses that evoke the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, Shappy Apple provides a return to femininity.
* Hala Khalaf
While the UAE may have a decent stock of radio stations, it's true that some esoteric musical tastes are not catered for. If you're not keen on any local station, or if you just miss your favourite show in your home nation, you should probably download this free Apple and Android app. What TuneIn Radio does is stream thousands of radio stations from scores of countries around the globe direct onto your computer or smartphone. So, you'll never need to dial through the band waves bemoaning that you can't find anything you like ever again.
* Hugo Berger
Bought It, Love It, Can't Live Without It: Clothes steamer
I bought it the night before my wedding, to make sure that white dress is pristine and wrinkle free, and I haven't looked back since. Because of this upright steamer, I have never needed nor used an iron. Wrinkles are so easily "ironed" out simply be sweeping the head of the steamer, as it emits steam (careful!) gently across the surface of anything in need of attention. Suits, shirts, ties, T-shirts, dresses, gowns; I've even taken to steaming lingerie, tableclothes, linen napkins and curtains. The long handle means it's easy to use, and I cannot for the life of me figure out why people still use irons and ironing tables when such an invention exists. I bought mine from E-City on the top floor of Wahda Mall for just over Dh200, but I'm pretty sure that you can find these upright clothes steamers anywhere.
* Hala Khalaf