Lido offers a shipshape dining experience aboard the QE2 in Dubai

Lido offers a variety of cuisines and buffets. (Supplied)
Updated 26 October 2019

Lido offers a shipshape dining experience aboard the QE2 in Dubai

  • The restaurant is located on the retired luxury ocean liner QE2
  • The buffet includes soft drinks in the price

DUBAI: The Lido restaurant, which is aboard the floating hotel and retired luxury ocean liner the QE2 in Dubai’s Mina Rashid, offers a culinary world cruise series spanning Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean over four nights.

Delhi Delights is on Sundays, East meets East is on Wednesdays, Arabesque is on Thursdays and The Med is on Fridays. 

Its Arabic-themed buffet features the region’s greatest hits including tabbouleh, fattoush and baba ganoush. Other starters available are freekeh salad, chickpea salad, hummus, stuffed vine leaves, pickles and olives.

For mains there are tagines and couscous from Morocco, Levantine mahashi (stuffed vegetables), as well as other regional staples such as grilled meats, shawarma and falafel.

The shawerma was already cut to pieces for the visitors to eat, and unlike the traditional version, had some fresh vegetables.

Desserts on offer include baklava, kunafa, Umm Ali and chocolate cake, with moist and rich textures available throughout the dessert buffet. Despite the Arabic theme, the Middle Eastern offerings paled in comparison to the Western desserts, which seemed unfair to a region so famous for its sticky sweet treats. 

Dinner was a good experience as the staff were attentive and the atmosphere was welcoming. The pastel interior, combined with warm lighting, added to the enjoyment.

Most of the food was decent, although some dishes were exceptionally tasty while others were slightly below average. The standout dishes were the mahashi and ribs, as the vegetables were not overcooked and the meat was soft. juicy and exceptionally flavorful. 

What makes dining here special is the restaurant’s’s distinctive, historic, setting.

The QE2 made its first trip in 1967 from a shipyard in Clydebank, Scotland.

She completed 1,400 voyages across nearly six million nautical miles, hosted almost 2.5 million passengers and finished 25 world tours. She had five restaurants, two cafes, three swimming pools, a 481-seat cinema, a hospital and a casino.

The former liner was famous for its luxury and elegance and was the jewel in the crown of shipping firm Cunard. 

She is now permanently docked at Mina Rashid and houses a museum, restaurants, cafes, a pub, a club, a cabaret-style venue, a hotel, a spa, event rooms and ballrooms decked out in retro decor. 

The QE2 is operated by PCFC Hotels, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the government of Dubai’s Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation.

The culinary world cruise series buffet costs from AED130 ($36) per person. Dinner starts at 7 p.m. and ends at 11 p.m and includes soft drinks.

‘Arabs Are Not Funny’ comedy show just the opposite

Taking the stage at London’s lavish Royal Albert Hall were mixed Arab-Western comedians. (Supplied)
Updated 22 February 2020

‘Arabs Are Not Funny’ comedy show just the opposite

LONDON: Don’t let the name fool you, Friday night’s “Arabs Are Not Funny” comedy show was filled with nothing but quick-witted, snarky and overly-relatable quips. 

Taking the stage at London’s lavish Royal Albert Hall were mixed Arab-Western comedians Wary Nichen, Leila Ladhari, Mamoun Elagab and Esther Manito, with Iraqi-Scottish Sezar Alkassab hosting. 

The sold-out show started off with the host forcing the zaghrouta (a long, wavering, high-pitched vocal sound of joy) out of the audience, after encouraging them to “laugh at our culture and enjoy yourself.”

Sudanese-Irishman Elagab, who was recently nominated for BBC New Comedian of the Year, kicked off the night with a comedic look back at his upbringing in the UK, dealing with extremists in class, and the struggle of explaining stand-up comedy to his Sudanese uncle.

The sold-out show started off with the host forcing the zaghrouta. (Supplied)

Lebanese-Brit Manito humored the audience with stories of the struggle of taking her British husband to Beirut to meet her relatives, raising two children as an Arab mom, and having her Lebanese father living with her family yelling and cursing at the TV and on the phone. 

Tunisian-Swiss-Austrian Ladhari joked about her boyfriend’s father trying to bond with her by trying to sympathize with Daesh and letting her know that he “too doesn’t like eating pork.”

The highlight of the night was Algerian-Frenchman Nichen, who spoke of his job as a fulltime immigrant and the racism he endures in daily life in Paris. 

The show was organized by Arts Canteen, an organization that curates and produces events, exhibitions and festivals that support emerging, mid-career and established artists from the Arab world and surrounding regions, bringing their work to new audiences in the UK and beyond.