TEE AND BRUNCH
Fridays are my time to unwind and enjoy the best of what Dubai has to offer. When the weather is nice, I love starting the weekend with a round of golf with friends. After that I head out to have brunch with my wife.
THE CLINTON FILES
When I was living in New York, I used to live a few blocks away from the original Clinton Street Baking Company in the Lower East Side – the restaurant was my favourite spot to eat at and became a phenomenon, with people queuing for two hours and longer just to grab a bite there. After moving to Dubai, I always missed it and would visit the restaurant every chance I got when I was in New York. Seeing so many other concepts being brought over to Dubai, I took a chance, contacted the owners and asked them if they would be interested in opening a branch here in Dubai and they agreed. I still eat at Clinton Street (there are now two Dubai branches) almost every day!
I have always been into art but never considered getting involved with the art scene in any way until we started Ayyam Gallery in 2006 in Damascus – we had an opportunity to work with some great artists and decided to take the chance to turn it into something bigger. We brought it to Dubai. I think in many ways Dubai’s art scene has surpassed places like Paris or Barcelona. There is so much variety and depth here and places like Alserkal Avenue are art districts any city in the world would be proud to have.
I love to golf although sometimes instead of de-stressing me it causes me more stress. My biggest passion in that respect is kite surfing, which I enjoy doing in Dubai whenever it is windy enough. I’m also an avid snowboarder. I’ve gone heliboarding a few times – New Zealand was the best – and have been dying to do it again ever since.
NO HORROR SHOW
Scary movies are my one irrational fear. I know they aren’t real but I just have trouble watching them.
BIG FAT DESTINATION WEDDING
I wouldn’t say it was a splurge, but I just had a destination wedding in Mykonos followed by a honeymoon in Vietnam, so I think that counts as the last thing I splurged on.
SAME BUT DIFFERENT
There’s a common thread between food and art even if they seem like diverse ventures, and it is that good art and food [not only] stimulate your senses but also your mind. Both can remind you of something or give you a special feeling. There is nothing better than good food and good art but nothing’s worse than when either are bad!
SMELLS LIKE TEAM SPIRIT
I grew up in Ohio, so the one thing I am addicted to is my American football team – the Cincinnati Bengals. The new season is about to start and I’m very excited.
I’ve been fortunate to have travelled a lot in my life. It’s amazing to see how different people live and to experience what they eat. I’m travelling to Beirut for the weekend but the next big trip on my list would be to visit and spend some time in Japan to try out the food and get some skiing done – I’ve heard the snow there is amazing.
‘Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!’. This line from the film The Princess Bride is my all-time favourite.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
I’m always looking forward, so if I had a time machine, I’d probably travel to the future to see all the cool things and technology that is available in that world.
BETTER WITH KIDS
I just got married and so the one thing that will improve the quality of my already happy life would be children!
SCHNITZEL WITHOUT NOODLES
My mother is Austrian, so I grew up eating Weiner schnitzel, a pan-seared veal cutlet, which is one of my favourite dishes ever. Luckily, my wife learned my mum’s recipe so now I can enjoy it whenever I want.
My earliest memories are from when I was living in Switzerland. Nothing vivid, but bits and pieces of the first house we lived in there.
I’d like to be remembered as someone who made a difference and added value [to the world].
DUBAI AND I
I’ve been living in Dubai for 10 years now. I’m originally from the Middle East but I grew up and went to university in the US. It’s been amazing to witness and be a part of Dubai’s growth over the past decade.