When Laura Buckwell isn’t hosting events across Dubai, the British eMCee and former news anchor can be found soaking up the city’s pool and beach scene with her husband and two children, four-year-old Marnix and three-month-old Annabelle.
Favourite date night spot
Date night is quite a rarity now that we have kids, but we recently went to the relaunched modern Asian restaurant Ba at Fairmont The Palm. The mix of Chinese, Japanese and Taiwanese is out of this world, with highlights being the PMI signature sushi of prawn tempura and wagyu beef, and the honey-baked cod with ginger. Make sure to start at the bar, though, as the cocktails are another level. If you like floral notes ask for the Night in Bangkok.
Top place for a day out with the family
We all have Privilee membership that gives us access to a number of incredible hotel properties across Dubai for a monthly rate. Our favourite way to spend the weekend is a day out at one of these fabulous five-star resorts, all of which offer a mix of beach, pool, kids’ clubs, and food and beverage discounts. My top three are
the Westin, Kempinsky The Palm, and the Address Dubai Marina. There are still a few places we haven’t done yet; the variety is huge.
Best Dubai memory
One of my happiest memories has to be when my husband and I first met and we used to sit and drink cups of tea in the Dubai Marina at the Piccolo Mondo Bay. We used to meet at around midnight and chat until 5am (a few hours before work at the time) on swinging chairs overlooking the marina. The original location has now moved across the water, which we still need to check out!
MY Go-to hairdresser and salon
I did a shoot recently and was asked to go brunette, so I went to Machka Beauty & Body Design on Al Wasl Road, who did the most fantastic job. Rather than a block colour, they managed to get my base highlights to come through so it looked very natural. When it comes to my ‘at home’ hairdresser, Amro Herzallah is a brilliant blonde colourist.
Preferred place to work out
Before I got pregnant I was doing HIIT classes at NRG Fitness in the Marina, which are brilliant if you want a full-body workout. It’s a series of high-intensity moves over 45 minutes, combining cardio and weights. While pregnant I also did their prenatal yoga, which was ace as you learn different yoga positions that can be used during delivery. It also helps with digestion and circulation, and strengthens pelvic muscles to prepare for delivery and recovery.
Favourite spot to shop
I love to shop at M&S and Zara. As well as being a lovely reminder of home, M&S has a brilliant combination of causal and work wear for when I host industry events.I like to mix it up with pieces from Zara – I love that they change their stock every two weeks. And of course there’s M&S food, which seems to be popping up all over Dubai. It’s not my regular food shop though as it’s rather pricey!
Ultimate place to unwind
Ghantoot is just a 30-minute drive south of Dubai, and it boasts a fabulous marina with boats and water sports, as well as Blue Marlin UAE. We love to enjoy brunch on one of the beach beds overlooking the marina on a Saturday. It’s also a lovely spot for sundowners.
A hidden gem in Dubai
Earlier this year I went to a wonderful vegan wellbeing centre over in Jumeirah 1 called Life’n One. Although I’m not vegan, I love vegan food and had one of the best omelettes ever, made from chickpeas and filled with avocado. It’s got the most wonderful garden area, which they describe as a ‘secret Eden’ and they also host a number of events from meditation and yoga to art classes and Tibetan eye readings. It’s such a wonderfully positive place, I need to go more!