Vasil Bozhilov is one of the stylists that we follow with great interest. He has been living and working in Dubai for years now. His portfolio is swarming with projects for internationally renowned fashion houses and this is not accidental. He manages to recreate fairy tales, narrate stories and make people dream with his work. He put the greatest passion in the love of his life – fashion, and brings us back to those glorious days when it was more of an art form, and less of a business.
This time, we are meeting with Vasil, led by the desire to explore his own Dubai – the places he likes and draws inspiration from, and the locations which recharge him with innovative ideas and spark his curiosity for new adventures. Here are the things he shared with us and the places he took us to.
“Dubai is a point of attraction for millions of tourists. It is an intriguing fact that the culture and religion here are the reasons for many of the interesting locations and events in the city to remain hidden from the public attention. People who have Dubai as their home prefer to visit places which are not that popular amongst tourists and, to a certain extent, are inaccessible unless you learn about them from the local people.
My favourite bar is Hendricks in Four Season Jumeirah. It has a non-descript little entrance, which most people overlook. It is a huge advantage that at the hotel there are some four or five more bars, which attract the bigger part of the guests and so this one remains unnoticed. Hendricks is a classic English bar with an exceptionally good selection of gin and cigars. But this place also offers some of the best Aperol Spritz in Dubai.
The best sea food is waiting for us at Pierchic. The restaurant is a part of the Al Qasr Hotel. Interestingly, it is situated at the end of pier, over the water and offers a captivating view to the so-well-known Burj Al Arab, which is only and solely good-looking from the outside. Pierchic serves a magnificent selection of sea food. The other undoubtedly great thing about this restaurant is that it is never full. The locals in Dubai value particularly such secluded places, where you could get away from the hustle and bustle of tourist attractions.
Smoking hookah here has been literally lifted to an art and every Thursday evening becomes a ritual. The places for this are the small restaurants in Jumeirah and they are usually situated in old houses. They say that the older and the more used the hookah itself is, the better. And this is the precise reason why you could hardly see any local people smoking in trendy restaurants and hotel complexes. Yet, one of my favourite places is Manzil Courtyard – a beautiful garden which reminds me of a scene from One Thousand and One Nights, and which is located within a few metres from Burj Khalifa. And my favourite hookah tobacco flavour is a mixture of grapes and mint.
Drinking Arabic coffee is also a special experience. The taste is unconventional and rather different – coffee is very lightly roasted, they spice it with loads of cardamom and there is a specific tradition, as far as drinking it goes. It reminds me quite a lot of the Japanese tea ceremony. A very close friend from Saudi Arabia explained it to me that it is important to hold the cup with your right hand and also revealed how many sips you are supposed to have, how many times it is acceptable for you ask for a refill and how you are expected to make it clear that you don’t want any more. One of the finest places to drink Arabic coffee is One&Only Arabian Court. One&Only Royal Mirage is a very popular hotel among tourists. Especially after the parties of Anna Della Russo and Stefano Gabbana, which the hotel organised a few months ago.