Best Clubs In Dubai 2018

The Best Clubs in Dubai 2018?

Expat, Fashion, Uncategorized

As most of you who reside in Dubai must know ( and for those of you that do not) it is home to a plethora of fun nightclubs and bars that offer not only a wide variety of unique cocktails, but musical genres to serve all fancies. That being said, the door policies are quite another issue all together.

Fashion Elite At Studio 54

Andy Warhol at Studio 54 Night Club.

Having lived in the U.A.E for twenty-three years, I can firmly say that I am not a stranger to the racial biases that exist in the region. They are harmful, unnecessary and counterproductive to the growth of what is otherwise a booming nation. This morning, before I wrote this long overdue article, I was on the job hunt as usual, and came across yet another posting where the candidacy requirements specifically stated the following Kidswear Designer

Nationality : Only western Expats

Turkish,Spanish, French, British, Russian or any other western Expats.

 

Indeed Job Posting

A prime example discrimination based on race/nationality.

Can any of you who are reading this tell me that job postings such as the above are not completely isolating and segregating people of colour, while demeaning them and depriving them of the same opportunities? To deny it would be fruitless, since you can google jobs in the UAE and see numerous faceless employer requests all demanding the same thing; Western expats only. Now, how does this relate to the clubs in Dubai? I’m getting there.

Bouncers of nearly all the clubs in Dubai are of African descent with the occasional Russian or British hostess at the door. These employees have been hired specifically to monitor who is deemed unacceptable to enter the premises under the clubs strict ‘guidelines’ and in the case of bouncers, to stop any troublesome individuals from creating aggravating situations whilst on the premises. However, these ‘strict guidelines’ don’t seem to be as enforced as much on our Caucasian brethren as on the minority ethnic communities, such as myself.

This was proven more so when on the chilly evening of January the 10th, myself and four friends decided to visit the bar called Stables, Dubai. Now, keep in mind I’ve frequented this bar when it opened its doors years earlier, and at the time it had the same warm, welcoming vibe as hotspots like Irish Village; a place known for its friendly demeanour. However, nightclubs and bars do differ in terms of clientele, and The Stables overtime, became a place that was a hybrid; where live music and a rodeo-style mechanical bull meant a wild crowd and a good time. Suffice to say, at this stage, the scene in particular was not for me. But, when with friends, we tend to overlook our various preferences. On this particular occasion I was wearing the outfit below, Bershka track-inspired trousers, H&M leather jacket and a merino wool sweater paired with Christian Louboutin shoes. By all requirements, one would think this was appropriate attire for a bar where the dress code allows cargo shorts, as pictured on the giant banner that stands on the steps right by its entrance. On trying to enter the bar with my friends (and for the purpose of this article I shall mention nationalities: Local, Filipino, Sri Lankan and American) I was denied entry. Now, my American friend, Michael was wearing sports leggings, Yeezy’s and a t-shirt paired with a varsity jacket while my other friend Mohammed, was in Camouflage trousers and long sleeved shirt, paired with a Louis Vuitton satchel.

On trying to enter the bouncers stepped in front of us and said, ‘this is not smart casual’-primarily to me, all the while ignoring a group of Caucasians that breezed out in cargo shorts. So, for the next five-ten minutes we are standing there trying to convince these two bouncers that, I am not wearing track pants and when it became clear that we were making no progress with them, we asked to speak to the manager on shift; Phil. Who was presumably British, walked out for two minutes, looked me up and down, said ‘sorry-those are track pants’ and then without a second word, and without ushering me aside or dealing with us in a manner that befits anyone in the hospitality trade walked away. Leaving me at the door with my friends. But the real kicker is the fact the bouncers and the manager seemed to have no problem with the ensemble of my American friend, Michael. Despite his sports leggings and trainers, he seemed to be included in the invisible unspoken rules of Dubai’s hotspots, which is that their door policies only rarely apply to Westerns or Europeans. Given what the situation was like, I instantly wrote a Zomato review on my terrible experience and took to social media, in order to truly gage why I was denied entry into this establishment.

Dmitri Ruwan Email To Stables Dubai

A screen-shot of my email to the manager at The Stables Dubai.

 

The next day, I received a phone call from the manager Chris, who explained to me multiple times that Stables is not a racist organization, and that he has no idea why I was denied entry based on the pictures of my outfit (which I sent in an email the morning after) between his profuse (and appreciated) apologies, I enquired if it would be possible to meet to discuss the issue further. Because in this day and age of social media, an email and phone call can only achieve so much. I was on a mission, to decipher what truly transpired that night, especially considering my outfit clearly wasn’t the issue.

Bershka Stretch Denim

Bershka skinny athleisure inspired trousers.

Accompanying me on this meeting were Michael and Mohammed, both of whom validated the points that were discussed openly and honestly during our meeting with Phil and Jeff, both British whose spouses I learnt, were Indonesian and Filipino, attesting ( according to them) to their lack of racial-biases. The underlying note seemed to be that the bouncers at the door, are not aware of what’s in fashion, and therefore denied me entry based on their understanding of ‘fashion-trends’, however the bouncer that night had coherently told Michael, ‘you’re alright because you’re in Yeezy’s’. Thus, voiding the no-sense of fashion excuse. In the end, we left the meeting having established firmly that we hoped moving forward no other person of colour experiences the same inexcusable treatment that I was shown that night and that if this occurrence was truly due to an oversight, due to the lack of a hostess at the door, that it was rectified immediately. And I greatly appreciated the management’s acknowledgement of this.

A day after this meeting, I received the following email from Zomato, explaining why they could no longer allow my review to remain. Keep in mind that Chris had explained that a primary reason he was called to attention was due to my Zomato review, which had called out the people responsible for the occurrences of that night. Zomato explains that such reviews aren’t allowed on their platform as showcased in the quote below

‘As per our guidelines, your review is a comment on their operational policy. It talks of a business and management decision that a restaurant has chosen to follow, hence we cannot allow for opinions on their internal policies.’ – Zomato Neutrality Team

Zomato Policies

Zomato prohibits you from calling out any form of bad management at an organisation.

I find it supremely distressing that a website such as Zomato, which has thousands of visitors opting to dine at venues- based solely on the accounts and experiences of other diners, is using their ‘guidelines’ as an excuse to remove what is otherwise a very legitimate commentary on the treatment one might get when trying to pop in to The Stables, Dubai or any other venue for that matter. Since my social media tags, screen-shots and recordings went live, I have had countless messages from people of colour saying they too have experienced the same if not worse treatment from several high-profile establishments. In fact many have been denied tables or entry, while groups of Europeans/Westerners behind them have been ushered in.

This article is to promote awareness of what is happening, and how we can better address the issue. This article is not about inciting hate. It is about trying to negate the lack of certain laws that have created a sense of cultural insensitivity. Stemming from seemingly minor postings such as jobs that only require the faired-skinned. As we approach 2020, and the Middle East gears up to be on the worlds stage, it is imperative that we stand as a united front, and not as one that is segregated and classified as ‘less than’ or ‘better than’ due to our race. As this article goes live, I will also be writing to each establishment to enquire what their various door policies are to insure that moving forward, no establishment can claim lack of responsibility for their actions that are negating the progress of this otherwise wonderful and vibrant city.

 

 

 

 

 

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Times Up- Stop Abuse

Fashion, Life choices, Uncategorized

Let’s take a moment out of our day to acknowledge the systematic pattern of abuse that continues to plague so many men and women out there. Whether it is due to sexual orientation, physical characteristics or religious beliefs there is no justification for any kind of abuse.

Dmitri Ruwan Say No To Abuse

For those of you that haven’t been on social media lately, people across the globe including victims of abuse proudly wore black in support of an era where speaking up against our experiences are encouraged and will hopefully make for a better tomorrow. 

With the majority of women at the recent Golden Globes highlighting the need for equal pay between men and women, (E-News’ male reporters still get paid substantially more than its female representatives) and speaking out again sexual predators who thrive under the glitzy gauze of Hollywood’s elite, there is no time better than the present to take matters into your own hands, and recognize that you are the master of your own life.

As we witness hundreds of men and women attesting to abuse at the hands of renowned photographers, casting agents directors,etc. It has opened up a wound some of us would rather forget. But forgetting is accepting defeat, your fight is what will keep you sane. As Oprah said, ‘there time is UP’! The hold that these men had over you and your life are over, the people who looked the other way are #irrelevant and the people who tried to convince you that you ‘wanted it’ or were in some way asking for it or are in anyway responsible, are as bad as these predators themselves. I said it once, and I’ll say it again, nothing justifies any form of abuse.

The women and men of the past who suffered at the hands of these monstrosities of humanity, had very few options at their fingertips and were for the most part truly alone in their fight. But as we move into 2018, do not let what happened in your past impact your future, remember that there is no such thing as a one-time sexual predator, these men go on to derail and destroy the lives of countless others, and if we do not speak out as so many men and women are now doing, then we are just as much to blame.

In closing, I would like to commend the men and women whom I have encountered in my life that are brilliantly talented, supremely intelligent and living their best life, in spite of the atrocities that were committed against them. This post is for all of you.

You are in control of your own fate, destiny, life, call it what you will – but never forget it. 

TIME’S UP – IS HERE TO HELP!

Powered by women, TIME’S UP addresses the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that have kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential. We partner with leading advocates for equality and safety to improve laws, employment agreements, and corporate policies; help change the face of corporate boardrooms and the C-suite; and enable more women and men to access our legal system to hold wrongdoers accountable. To learn more click here. 

Youtube – The Creative’s Future

Fashion, Style, Uncategorized

Gone are the days of endless posts and countless images, at least for the majority of fashion bloggers. Tap on the links of your favourite ‘influencer’ and chances are their written content is a maximum of 300 words or usually less. We are a visual society. And consume information voraciously; faster than ever before. It is only natural then that bloggers and writers around the globe slowly evolved their technique, a method by which to reach their audience while captivating them in a way that the images and written content did years ago. Enter the millennials favourite video hosting platform; Youtube.

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Denim jacket, ZARA |Polo, Supermart find(yes!) | Jeans and sunglasses, H&M | Trainers, Adidas.

Through Youtube we’ve connected with colourful makeup gurus like Jeffree Star, followed the stylish musings of fashion bloggers like Aimee Song and Gallucks and viewed Chanel couture as if we were sitting front-row with Kirsten Stewart. The possibilities and sense of connectivity Youtube provides birthed a new generation of social media influencer’s, and as such it is time to take lifeandotherstories.com towards the light!

The new vlog will take you on an uncensored journey behind my everyday life, complete with tips on fashion brands to shop, ungendered style, places to dine and the life of a middle-class creative. In all honesty, producing non-written content is going to be tough, as I feel I’m much more myself when I can jot down my thoughts in neat little paragraphs, but I am also a big believer in modernity. Moving forward is imperative to growing, and life is not lived till we challenge ourselves to the fullest. That being said, I hope all of you enjoy the first edition of my vlog. Tap here to view the complete video.

 

The Power of Music Therapy

fantasy, Fashion, Life choices, Style, Uncategorized

Before you begin reading this article, it is not about finding a solution to your insomnia, now that that’s out of the way today, we’re going to be talking about empowering your senses while you sleep, through the power of music. Don’t believe it? Read on..

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(All images with the exception of the one above credited to Tim Walker) As most of you that follow me on social media know it’s been quite a trying time between building my fashion company, Avastave and look for a full-time job, and even if your sister-friend(me) doesn’t show it, it is often draining, demotivating and downright depressing.

Tim Walker for VOGUE Italia

When you go from having a full time job to having to peace-out at home for three months, it can get quite tiresome-fast. But, as with my earlier post on licenses I will stress that not having a job, doesn’t define you, especially if you’re working towards it and have goals, these goals are for you and you alone, they do not need to be relayed on to friends, family or your followers. Somethings should be private. But all of the #caucasianAnxiety caused by these changes in my life have left me feeling physocologically and emotionally drained which is where healing music comes in.

Tim Walker for W Magazine

According to Physcologytoday, music not only helps to reduce heart rates, blood pressure and cortisol levels but also aids the social functioning of people with schizophrenia. Pair that with music that has a positive message which is used in music therapy, and you get reduced anxiety, depression and even chronic pain. Typically, I wouldn’t read into it too much but when I happened to fall asleep listening to a composition by YellowBrickCinema – Relaxing Music on Youtube, before bed one day, I truly understood its impact. After weeks of feeling like my body was weighed down, that particular morning I got out of bed feeling fresh, rejuvenated and optimistic. No joke, it was like a new day with new possibilities and every door is open to you, now I’m not going to fib and tell you that those feelings of negativity weren’t somewhere in the back of my mind but I did not wake up thinking about them, they were more a part of life as opposed to ‘my life’.

Tim Walker

In the following few days I alternated between the channel above and Relax Music Channels’ ‘Music To Heal Female Energy’ and woke each time to find myself feeling calmer, more positive and content with the efforts I’m putting into make things work in my life. In fact, I’m listening to it right now and it’s already made me feel waves better than I did this morning! If you don’t believe me, give it a try because this three hour track can mean the difference between you and some severe bouts of depression.

High Fashion Halloween

Fashion, formal, Life choices, Style, Uncategorized

For us ordinary fashion folk Halloween is the equivalent of the Met Gala, meaning anything and everything goes regardless of gender. Which is why today on Life&OtherStories I thought it important to feature a few images that provide the ultimate inspiration for ideas that combine both fantasy and function. Most people think its about gory makeup and disjointed body parts but the truth is you can still look bomb as hell in something you probably already have in your wardrobe, so without further ado lets get started.

Balenciaga cloak

It might look pretty simple but imagine this head to toe white Balenciaga cloak with Dr.Martnes and a old kitchen knife?

Fur Vintage

Make a statement on your opinion of real fur and purchase a discount version on Ebay, dab the edges in red paint and you’ll truly show up those fur wearing monsters!

Fur

Tim Walker for Another Man Gucci

 I mean, forget crypt keepers of yesteryear, the new age guardians of the underworld wear Gucci ponchos and have scalps studded in half pearls. You can get the exact look with a little imagination and a trip to the haberdashery. Hot glue can go a long way!
Vogue Italy

I’m sure most of you are aware of this iconic shoot from VOGUE ITALIA that focused on a culture obsessed with plastic surgery. What a fantastic idea, imagine a body-con dress and your face tightened up in band-aid with super plump lips. J’ADORE!

VOGUE NIPPON 2014 Alexander McQueen

A McQueen moment is an absolute necessity! Give the girls mermaid fantasy by hunting through sales racks for sequined separates then stitching them up into a kimono-sleeve coat which you can belt, paired with sequinned lids and sequinned hair you’ll be coming for the light!

Formal Attire

Black Tie, Fashion, Fashion Business, formal, Life choices, Style, Twenties, Uncategorized

We’re all familiar with the term ‘classic’, i.e a classic suit, classic style, etc. But, what happens when the need to please society interferes with our ability to pioneer our own style?

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(Image: Alexander McQueen) I’m a firm believer in dressing for the occasion, but I am just as keen on dressing for myself. Let me explain, a black-tie occasion is no place for jeans or tank tops, it is to be met with a certain level of class and dignity. However, in recent times all previous notions of what defines class has been called to question, leaving us with a multitude of confused attendees to said events. I think any dress code should be respected and much like wearing shorts and flip-flops to bars or brunches, I’d say opposing this is not only a sign of disrespect but a blatant disregard to the tradition of fine dressing. There’s a fine art in honoring dress codes while standing out of the crowd, and here’s how you do it.

Tom Ford2

(Image: Tom Ford) A black-tie affair to me simply means a suit and tie paired with a great pair of shoes. And on receiving news that a rather exciting family wedding will be taking place this October, I walked into my closet and acknowledged ( to feign surprise would be an outright lie) the lack of suits. You see, to me suits always signaled the triumph of convention, and conventional thinking was always associated with the anti-lgbt movement.. ‘a man must dress like a man’ and so on and so forth. Yes, I own informal jackets but that is about it. As I have always stated that sexual orientation shouldn’t play a part in the way we dress, I admit that my initial thought process was a bit hypocritical, though whether I am convinced on my own stance at this point is yet to be determined. The point remains that suits today are not what they were ten or fifteen years ago. In fact today we have the embellished jacquards of McQueen and the slick velveteen’s of Tom Ford and with the removal of any specific laws of dress we are free to choose any of them for any given occasion. The art however is directly linked with your understanding of ‘black tie’ and any other dress code, ‘formal’ for example will always mean good trousers, covered shoes and no T-shirts, yes we occasionally see that one person who appears to have missed the memo but they do carry it off and so can you.

Tom Ford

(Image Tom Ford) You see, working within the context of a black tie theme gives you plenty of room. No one said you have to look all masc-for-masc in your graduation suit or even stuffy in a sad conventional ( I shuddered again) suit + tie combo. Log onto Pinterest or Vogue.com and you’ll see that sleek evening jackets appear in embellished variations, while exaggerated bow-ties have made a significant come back and in my opinion have made ties seem like the joke by example. There’s also a prism of colour to choose from, why do black when lilac silk emphasizes your toned physique so much better? In fashion as in life, the best thing to do when faced with an obstacle is to take a step back and observe it, in this case staying true to yourself while dressing within a formal dress code might be your Rubix cube but observing that it does not, by any means enforce your choice of suit style, accessories or for that matter even colour is  your solution. So, the next time you’re invited to a special black tie affair, have some fun with colour, choose trousers that have a satin stripe down the side paired with pink Gucci loafers and a Saint Laurent tuxedo blazer or go all-out in a head-to-toe in block colour. There’s always a way to stay true to yourself but it often requires a little compromise. So, am I team suits? As of today, I’m fairly excited for my custom Avastave version, that’s for sure.

Teen Movies

Fashion, Fashion Business, Life choices, Style, Twenties, Uncategorized

Do you have a copy of Mean Girls saved on a hard drive somewhere that you watch at least every six months? Do you inadvertently choose that feel-good movie of teenage angst over that documentary on Sea Gulls that you know would probably make for better conversation? Well, if you do then you are an eternal optimist, and here’s why.

Handsome Devil Movie

 

(Image Handsome Devil) The subject of most teen movies is often about overcoming hurdles whether it be physical or emotional and often the lead character and friends comes out the other side, a little scathed but the better for it. If you pay close attention, by revisiting these teen movies and their various scenarios you learn something about yourself. You begin to notice how as you grow older you start to roll your eyes when the lead quarterback asks out the nerdy girl, friends are loyal to a fault and you even start to look at your phone when you know the movies nearing a happy ending. Am I wrong?

Most of us have become so averse to the thought of things simply working out that watching it on screen often makes us question the authenticity of the film itself. Now I’m not saying that every teen movie deserves an award or that every one of the scenarios isn’t cringe worthy, but if you’re like me you know why you watch them. They help you imagine a childhood you didn’t have. Schooling in the Middle East followed by high school and university in the region never fulfilled me. Because even though at a point I learned to be outwardly proud of who I am, I never had that it-moment, that teen movie moment where the one person that I liked turned around and said ‘Hey, it’s tough but I love you too.

Mean Girls Movie

(Image Mean Girls) That’s a pattern that’s followed through into my late twenties, I rarely fall but when I do it’s often for the ones that don’t know themselves. Some teen movies still give me that sense of elation that you felt when you saw your crush walk through the door or that moment when you realize being who you are is okay. These movies also serve to diminish our growing sense of doubt and cynicism with their positivity. How many people do you meet today that tell you they still believe in true love? As most of you know a few months back I released #TheLoveProject for my brand Avastave, which showcased people from various walks of life talking about what love means to them which was a learning experience for me. No matter how cynical you are it pays to be aware that love, even in the smallest form can change your very core. Now, when I say love I don’t mean that being single or alone is negative, in fact you could love various other things just as much as you love your partner but, you have to love. Because, love keeps you alive in a time when the world is shrouded in so much fear and doubt.

Wild Child with Emma Roberts

(Image Wild Child) So, if you’re broke at the moment stay in this weekend, pop in a good old teen movie, have a cry, multiple sighs and a lot of laughs and remember to be that kid who believed in love, because that is the person you were before the world forced you to change.