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I am an Arts&Life editor in Abu Dhabi who was a columnist, blogger and trends writer in Canada before I picked up and moved to the UAE in April 2008. I am still here!!! 

Monday, April 25, 2016

St Regis Dubai welcomes a Canadian in chocolate


I'm staying at the (fairly new) St Regis Dubai for a couple of days in Al Habtoor City. It's gorgeous and restful and opulent and lush, just as a St Regis is. 

And then there is this gorgeous chocolate bar that was just delivered to my room. Someone Googled me! So cool. Should I eat it or save it?

Toronto restaurant group Icon Legacy brings Weslodge Saloon to Dubai: Meet executive chef Ben Heaton

Ben Heaton, Weslodge Saloon executive chef.
I'm pretty excited because I am hanging out in Dubai this week, and some friends and I are going to pay a visit to Weslodge Saloon, the first foray into the Middle East by the popular Toronto-based restaurant group Icon Legacy, which has 10 restaurants back home. 

I chatted recently with the 39-year-old executive chef Ben Heaton, a Yorkshire-born Canadian who arrived in the middle of March for the frantic launch process. He will leave Dubai at the end of April, when things are appropriately humming along, but return for several week sessions throughout the year. 

"I really want to nurture and grow the restaurant here," he said. "It's like my baby."

Monday, April 11, 2016

Canadians of the UAE: Meet Nisreen Jardaneh



I am originally from Jordan but moved to Ottawa when I got married to my husband, Nawriz. He works in IT and has lived all over the US, but chose to settle in Canada after he fell in love with the country when visiting friends there. We studied and worked in the capital, Ottawa, from 2004, and I was able to pursue my first love of music there. Although I was already a business graduate, I went back to studying piano pedagogy at the University of Ottawa, completing my Masters. I am currently working on a PhD in music education via distance.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Friday, April 8, 2016

#CANADIAN University Dubai School professor writes competition-topping songs


Okay so technically Franziska Apprich, an assistant professor in the #CANADIAN University Dubai School of Media and Communication Studies, is Irish. 

But that won't stop me from pointing out that she is a pretty relentless and apparently talented songwriter. According to a press release from the school, her song As much as I want you - described in her words as "Norah Jones meets Sarah McLachlan", a noted #CANADIAN -  has reached the semifinals of the International Songwriting Competition.

Last year Apprich wrote a song for Etienne Cousineau, star of the Quebec-based #CANADIAN talent show La Voix.

Winners in the International Songwriting Competition are due to be announced later this month. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Now here's a #CANADIAN in the UAE: Flash Entertainment's John Lickrish

John Lickrish, ceo and founder of Flash Entertainment.
It's been pretty cool watching the evolution of the entertainment scene here in the UAE since 2008, which is the year that the Abu Dhabi government-owned Flash Entertainment was founded by John Lickrish. The-now 47-year-old has brought everyone from Madonna to the Rolling Stones to Dave Matthews Band to Coldplay - in a magical, rain-drenched show at Emirates Palace - to a capital once starved for live gigs.