x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

What We're Loving: Captain Tony's cruises, aromatic mud wrap and Skyscanner

A weekly round up of the items Arts&Life's editors and writers are fans of.

Board a traditional Turkish gulet for four-hour lunch cruise. Courtesy Captain Tony's
Board a traditional Turkish gulet for four-hour lunch cruise. Courtesy Captain Tony's

A weekly round up of the items Arts&Life's editors and writers are fans of.

Captain Tony's cruises

Before the weather deteriorates and it's just too sticky to be outside, take a sincere bit of advice and book a cruise through the eco-conscious boat tour operator, Captain Tony's.

My husband, baby and I spent one of the best Fridays in recent memory on a four-hour lunch cruise aboard a Turkish gulet - a traditionally designed, two-masted wooden sailing vessel. It just so happened that we were the only ones who had made a booking that day, which meant the entire vessel and its six cabins were for our personal use.

What a day: sailing in the coastal and inland waters surrounding Abu Dhabi, fishing, chatting with our Turkish captain as he gutted and grilled the sea bream he had caught for us before it was served with some shredded and sautéed carrots topped with garlicky yogurt and an accompanying beet salad.

At the time, it was a bit too windy for a swim, but you're welcome to jump off the boat and cool down in the waters when the fancy strikes, then freshen up in one of the private bathrooms attached to each cabin. Let's just say we spent a lot of time taking naps - baby included - on the cushioned chaise longues atop the gulet and listening to the music from the Bose speakers. It was a beautiful day spent outdoors, relaxing and enjoying the fact that we live in the UAE.

The lunch cruise is Dh500 per person, which includes at least four hours of sailing, a delicious Turkish lunch featuring freshly caught grilled fish and the use of a private cabin, from 10am to 2pm. Alternatively, you could try the Dh350 per person sunset cruise (4pm to 7pm) and get a tour of Abu Dhabi's mangroves, or book a 24-hour overnight cruise with a group of friends. It's Dh800 per person, includes all meals and the six spacious double cabins, each with its own private bathroom, meaning that quite a large group can party into the early hours of the morning and wake up to a refreshing swim in the clear waters of the gulf. Captain Tony's sails from the Yas Marina on Abu Dhabi's Yas Island. Call 02 650 7175 or 050 781 9642 and visit www.captaintonys.ae.

* Hala Khalaf

Aromatic Anti-Fatigue Moor Mud Wrap

Most people who've just completed a long-distance endurance event will know the agonising pain that accompanies each step for days afterwards. As a reasonably keen triathlete and long-distance runner, I too suffered from this affliction. Post-race, I usually just suffer in silence, with the occasional wince whenever I'm forced to navigate a staircase. But after finishing the Abu Dhabi Triathlon last month, I decided to place my recovery in someone else's hands. After a recommendation from a friend, I booked myself an Aromatic Anti-Fatigue Moor Mud Wrap at the Westin Abu Dhabi hotel's Heavenly Spa. The treatment involved being plastered in moor mud - a dark, peaty product that is prized for its revitalising properties - then wrapped up in cellophane. Then, you just lie there in this cocoon and let the mud do its wonders. After showering off the grime, I felt totally calm and yet also re-energised. And best of all, my painful legs were almost totally soothed with my gait transformed from pronounced hobble to mild limp. I'm now a regular. Just Dh450 for 45 minutes at the Heavenly Spa, Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, 02 616 9999.

* Hugo Berger

Limited edition dim sum

Fans of dim sum, lend me your ears, eyes and taste buds. After much delicious research, I believe I've stumbled upon the ultimate platter for dinner or a quick lunchtime snack.

In celebration of Chinese New Year in February, Hakkasan in Dubai's Jumeirah Emirates Towers rolled out a highly original, limited-edition dumpling selection, with some eye-widening ingredients - and I've been a fan ever since. The star of the show for me was the sea bass shumai with cuttlefish - so tasty that I was loathe to share the last of the two pieces with my dining companion. Tender, textured and terribly moreish, these generously bite-sized morsels have now thankfully been integrated into the restaurant's main à la carte menu. For just Dh95, your beautifully presented bamboo steam basket will also contain scallop shumai, translucent shrimp har gau and Chinese chive dumplings. For reservations, call 04 384 8484 or email reservations@hakkasandubai.com.

* Rebecca McLaughlin-Duane


It's been a long time since I've had so much on my plate. The past year has seen many personal changes for me, which means I am now juggling many commitments and anything that saves time is a blessing. That's why I'm loving Skyscanner. It's an app for my iPhone and iPad that searches more than 600 airlines and 670,000 routes to find cheap flights and airline ticket deals. I know this is not a new concept and there are hundreds of websites that do it, but I always find myself confused and having to go through loads of different windows that pop up on my computer. Skyscanner is really easy and simple to use, you can filter your search with flight time, stopovers and preferred airlines and, for someone that lives away from home and is needing to balance the needs of family members located in many different countries, it has been a lifesaver.

* Anna Seaman

For more of what we are loving go to www.thenational.ae/whatwereloving

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