The Insider is not one for doom and gloom, but it seems that this week’s news is occupied with high-profile closings rather than openings. Now that Hard Rock Café has secured its position as the city’s most over-the-top homage to the cult of celebrity, there’s Planet Hollywood in WAFI has done the noble thing and fallen on its sword (closed) rather than face years of inevitable emptiness. We’re told that a high-end Middle Eastern restaurant (which must be the antithesis to a relatively low-end American restaurant) will be opening in its place in coming months. Another one to bite the dust is Sezzam. The Kempinski family-favourite at Mall of the Emirates will no longer provide parents a great place to dump their kids over Friday brunch, having closed to make way for a ‘new and exciting project’.
Though not quite as high-profile as Planet Hollywood or Sezzam, Boutique 1’s likeable little café on The Walk, JBR has closed, leaving bored husbands nowhere to hide when dragged along on a shopping spree. (Gents, we suggest hiding in nearby Saladicious instead.) Happily, closures inevitably mean new openings to look forward to, which can be said of boutique hotel Hues in Deira, which has recently reopened after a refurbishment. This said, it may as well drop the ‘re’ since no one actually knew it was open in the first place (sorry, but it’s true). Dining options will include Metro, an all-day dining restaurant, as well as a bar called Mistakes. With a name like this, the review’s writing itself.
In infinitely more exciting news, we’re looking forward to the opening of The Farm way out on the Al Barari estate (well, it’s only 15 minutes from Downtown Dubai). Overlooking a lake and surrounded by botanical gardens, the new restaurant serving up all manner of locally sourced, organic fare (at least, where possible, according to representatives), should prove a tasty destination option for anyone wanting to escape the hubbub of Dubai. The Farm is due to open at the end of March of early April – expect a review in Time Out soon. Finally, it’s always nice to learn something new, and this week we learned that the Oreo cookie has recently turned 100 (not a specific cookie, mind). Whether hydrogenated and non-hydrogenated vegetable fats and natural-identical flavouring (whatever that is) were used in 1912, we’re unsure, but happy birthday all the same. Until next week: bon appétit.