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The 101 on Cohabiting in the UAE

Living together as friends or more than friends?

It’s been almost a year since the government announced amendments to a number of major personal and family laws that changed life in the UAE as we knew it. Covering a range of federal criminal laws – including divorce, cohabitation, women’s rights, and alcohol consumption – in a bid to improve living standards for the county’s multicultural residents, the sweeping changes have not only made a huge difference for current residents, but also those considering a move to the UAE. 

But nine months on, there’s still confusion surrounding exactly what is and isn’t legal when it comes to cohabitation – arguably the most significant in these law changes – and the potential outcome for couples who have a child out of wedlock. And that’s where our conversation with a family law specialist comes in.

“Prior to this amendment, cohabitation outside wedlock was prohibited in the Emirates,” explained Dr. Hassan Elhais, Legal Consultant at Dubai’s Al Rowaad Advocates. “The Federal Decree Law No.15 of 2020 amended certain provisions of the UAE Penal Code, with one of the significant changes to criminal law the amendment of Article 356, which allows consensual sex between adults. As a result of these changes, unmarried couples may live in cohabitation as long as they are consenting adults.”

While instances of prosecutions for unrelated men and women sharing a property were rare before the amendment to the law was passed, unmarried couples are now legally allowed to share a property without facing any repercussions.

“Since consensual sex outside of marriage is now legal in the UAE, it is not a crime to have a child out of wedlock anymore,” continues Dr.Hassan. However, this doesn’t mean that falling pregnant while unmarried is a straightforward process. “Obtaining a birth certificate for children born out of wedlock is still a challenge and not guaranteed in many cases, so it’s worth considering the fact that single mothers may face difficulty in getting a birth certificate for their newborns,” he explains.

As for sharing a property with friends who are literally just that – friends? “It’s important to note that the change in law is with regards to cohabitation or more commonly live-in relationships,” says Hassan. “Matters related to people sharing one property or shared accommodation remain unaffected by this change as landlords, Dubai Municipality, and competent Rental Dispute Centers are better placed to review these matters on a case-to-case basis.”

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You, But Better: The Gaggler Agenda for October

Mark your calendars.


October 1: Laugh Aloud

If laughter really is the best medicine, then consider Riaad Moosa the cure. The South African doctor-turned-comedian famed for his observational humour returns to Dubai for one night of stand-up comedy at The Theatre in Mall of the Emirates. Audiences will also get a chance to attend a screening of the award-winning actor’s latest release, New Material, the sequel to his hit movie Material.

Learn more here.

October 3: Recognise the Signs

With the pandemic resulting in a rise of eating disorders worldwide, the Getting to Grips with Eating Disorders and Body Image webinar hosted by The LightHouse Arabia is a great tool to help university students, university educators, and young adults gain a better understanding of what an eating disorder is and how they develop. The session will help recognise the warning signs, learn about treatment, and learn practical tips for supporting young people with such issues.

Learn more here.

October 5: Lose Your Blues

A collision of singing, dancing, and plenty of laughs awaits as Footloose The Musical makes its way to Dubai Opera for four days of performances. Whether you’re loyal to the 1984 original starring Kevin Bacon or only familiar with Craig Brewer’s 2011 remake for a new generation, this is a stage adaptation you don’t want to miss.

Learn more here.

October 7: Broaden Your Perspective

At the intersection of art, science, and technology is Festival X, a one-of-a-kind event that hopes to attract and create a community of open-minded artists, scientists, and tech experts coming together and sharing knowledge. Taking place at Alserkal Avenue from October 7 to 9, it will feature exhibitions and talks (free to attend) alongside shows (priced AED 150) and workshops (priced AED 1,200).

Learn more here.

October 11: Go Green

Vegan or not, foodies across the city ought to experience the culinary prowess of French chef Vincent Caudet. We recommend booking the Fusion Vegan 5 Course Secret Menu, which encourages diners to keep an open mind and surf the vegan trend, returning to nature through a selection of 100% plant-based products.

Learn more here.

October 16: Embrace Imperfections

Take a cue from the Japanese and give a new lease of life to something broken during the guided kintsugi art workshop taking place at the upcoming UnleashYou Retreat. Held at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, this daylong event will also feature a coaching session using the art of mandalas and another that delves into the correlation between music and interpersonal relationships.

Learn more here.

October 25: Think Global

Impulse purchases, cultural performances, street food, extreme rides, and family-friendly attractions – if you want to pair the return of cooler weather with a little old-fashioned fun for all ages, Global Village is where it’s at. Season 27 is set to begin on October 25, bringing with it 80 different cultures across 26 pavilions as well as plenty of new entertainment offerings.

Learn more here.

October 27: Watch This Space

Advocating tolerance and unity through film, META Film Fest marks the first film festival to take place in the country in five years – and it promises to be a big one. Spanning three days, this brand new film festival will be held at Vox Cinemas at Nakheel Mall and feature movie premieres, international blockbusters, and regional feature films. Cast members and celebrities from the Arab world, Hollywood, Bollywood, and even Nollywood are expected to make an appearance on the red carpet.

Learn more here.

October 30: Catch a Classic

It’s never too early for young ones to develop a taste for ballet, especially if it’s a production that the whole family can enjoy. Enter: The Sleeping Beauty: A Bite Size Ballet at The Theatre in Mall of the Emirates. A unique spin on a classic, this 60-minute show is the perfect blend of classical elegance and immersive fun, capturing children’s attention and telling the story adapted specifically for younger audiences.

Learn more here.

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Places to Celebrate Diwali in Dubai

5 Places to Celebrate Diwali in Dubai

Let the festivities begin!

One of the world’s grandest festive occasions is right around the corner. Diwali, meaning “row of light”, marks five days of joyous cheer celebrated by friends and family. It is during this period that Hindus adorn their homes with blossoming marigolds and a wide variety of candles to commemorate the return of the Hindu god Rama to his kingdom after being exiled for 14 years. Dubai, being home to nationalities and religions from far and wide, offers a wide range of dining and entertainment options suitable for all cultural and traditional celebrations. Want to make Diwali a little extra special this year? Here are our picks of the best dining destinations for the occasion.  

Bombay Brasserie

In addition to its spirited murals and unobstructed views of the Burj Khalifa, Bombay Brasserie at Taj Dubai offers a lavish blend of traditional and contemporary Indian cuisine. Enjoy the breathtaking fireworks display this festive season while you indulge in rich, aromatic flavours. Each dish promises to deliver an authentic Indian experience that’s well-suited for this joyous occasion.

Bombay Brasserie, Taj Dubai, Burj Khalifa Street, Business Bay, 04 438 3222, eatapp.co

Basanti & Co.

Celebrate Diwali in style at Basanti & Co. at Bluewaters Island. It’s the prime location to enjoy the astonishing fireworks display and the magnificent Bluewaters Street Festival while feasting on classic Indian fare. Top off your evening with a craft cocktail from the in-house lounge or a delightful gulab jamun from the dessert menu.

Basanti & Co., Bluewaters Island, 04 557 6947, b[email protected]

Farzi Café

Located at City Walk in Al Safa, this beloved spot offers an elevated gourmet experience that will take your culinary journey to new heights. The gastronomic array of traditional classics fused with global delights at Farzi Café reinterprets Indian cuisine in the most unexpected ways. Additionally, the restaurant shines with the glow of diyas and fairy lights during Diwali to truly pay tribute to this major holiday.  

Farzi Café, Dubai City Walk II, Al Safa St., 04 394 2556, [email protected]

farzi cafe

Source: @khyberdubai

Khyber

This award-winning restaurant situated in the heart of Palm Jumeirah stays true to its Indian identity through awe-inspiring murals, vibrant décor, and unmatched North Indian food and beverages. Share the festive spirit with company at Khyber by treating yourselves to scrumptious vegetarian delights such as the paneer tikka and makai ki tikki.

Khyber, Dukes The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, 04 455 1101, [email protected]

Patiala

No matter which special occasion calls for a splurge, this elegant spot at Souk Al Bahar has you covered. Patiala’s sophisticated setting and relaxed ambiance is just the right choice if you prefer a more laidback celebration. Sit back and take pleasure in well-loved Punjabi classics accompanied by service that reflects exuberant Indian hospitality. Take your taste buds on a sensory experience this festive season with the signature vegetarian delicacies such as the dum ke khumb and garbar falooda.

Patiala, Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai, 04 451 9151, [email protected]

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Steps to Declutter Home

5 Steps to Calm Your Home

From home to haven through decluttering.

As Dubai residents bid farewell to summer, returning to work and re-establishing routines, let’s talk about our homes and what they mean to us. Do you want your home to be a calm, peaceful sanctuary as you settle in? Do you ever feel like there is just stuff everywhere? Does the lack of space cause you anxiety? Do you feel frustrated when you can’t find that thing you need right now? Does the clutter drain your energy?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you can relate to how much our environment has an impact on us, physically and mentally. It is so important that weregularly address these areas of clutter regularly – otherwise, the daily stress and frustration will cause us to not fully love our homes. Our homes are our sanctuaries and thus need nurturing. Here, we describe some simple steps on how to create the desired calmness. Give it a go and feel the difference!

As a professional home organiser, I have the expertise to create calmness from chaos. It’s not always an easy process, but it is life-changing when you get it right. Having a home that works for you, meets your needs, and brings you joy is what we strive for. Having a vision for your personal space will help you make a powerful change. As for getting started? Follow my five-step S.P.A.C.E method to declutter, organise, and calm your home. 

WATCH THE VIDEO: The S.P.A.C.E Method

1. See it all.

You need to see all the items that are in a space, and you need to see the area clear of all things. Starting with a good stocktake of all the things you own will help you process what is actually in the space. Take each item out of the cupboards, drawers, baskets, and closets. Find a large open area – like the bed, the floor, or a table – where you can put all the items so that you can see them.

Once you have emptied the identified space, look at it with fresh eyes. How can you maximise the use of the area? What spaces were not used before? What storage works well? What useful things do you not have? Keep the answers to these questions in your mind as you go through the process.

2. Put the items into categories.

This can be the challenging part for some people as it is natural to resist change and not want to let things go. When decluttering, you need to be brave and make quick decisions. You need to seriously ask yourself how much you need each item in your life, and whether it make a difference to your happiness if you didn’t have it. Keep those things that bring you joy and that you cherish. Once you have gone through all your items, you should have them grouped in the following categories: Keep, Donate, Dispose, or Sell.

Keep – These items are those you use regularly and need to have in your home. They should add value to your life and be a part of the vision you have for your home. ‘Keep’ items can be put into two subcategories: regular use and storage. You may not use some items right now, but you definitely need to keep them. Some examples of this category are seasonal clothing, travel items, seasonal decorations, and outdoor equipment. 

Donate – These items are of good quality and can be used by others. Giving away an item can help you let go as it is easier when you know someone else will benefit from it more than you do. Be mindful about what you donate and make sure it is in a condition that you would like to receive it in – clean and well-presented. There are many local charities that will take donations.

Dispose – These items should be those that no longer serve any purpose and cannot be used by anybody else. Recycle as much of this as possible. Safely dispose of glass, electronics, and medical items. 

Sell – Successfully selling items is not always an easy feat. You will need to list it, be patient, and be prepared for various offers. Local community groups are often the easiest way to advertise goods, as are online platforms. These products need to be in a good condition and have a market value to attract buyers. 

Ways to Create a Calm and Peaceful Home

3. Allocate storage areas.

Once you have gone through all your belongings and put them into the above four categories, you have completed the most difficult step. Now we focus on the items you have chosen to keep and how to store them. Firstly, group similar items together to get a better understanding of what storage areas you require. Categories may include frequently used items, extra stock, and items that need to be stored in the long term.

Next, look at the room and analyse it. Which is the most functional and practical place to put an item? Go through all the spaces and make sure you have allocated a location for all the items that are meant to be in this space. During this process, you may find that some objects don’t actually belong in that room, and it would make more sense to store them elsewhere. Remove them from the spaceimmediately so that you remain focused on the area at hand. 

4. Contain your belongings.

Containing your belongings is the fun part! Think about what style you like and choose container colours that will match the existing colours in the space. The safest shades are white, black, grey, or natural tones as they can be used elsewhere if needed. You may have an accent colour in the room, which you could use for your storage containers to unify the look. 

There are endless types of containers you can use from simple baskets to custom cabinetry. I recommend looking at what you already have in your home. Some containers might be moved around from different rooms. You can also repurpose furniture items to suit your new storage needs. For example, a bookshelf in the bedroom might now be better suited to the living room. You will be surprised at what you might find when having a good look around your entire home, checking how well each furniture item is being used. Baskets, drawers with dividers, plastic bags, hooks, hangers, and boxes are all examples of things we can use to streamline the storage of items and keep things in their place. The main goal with containing items is that they are easy to identify, easy to access, and easy to put back in their place after use.

5. Evaluate and enjoy! 

This is the most rewarding part of the process. Once you have organised all the items into purposeful storage, use the space for a few days and tweak the area if you feel some things need moving around. Staying organised and maintaining your space is a constant task. You need to put things back where they belong in order to keep the space tidy and neat. 

To create a stylish look that you love, choose some of your favourite items to display in the space. Examples could be photos, sentimental pieces, and artwork. Add plants to bring nature indoors and scented candles to appease the senses. These additional accents will complete the feeling of a calm and organised area that is clutter-free. Finally, it is time to enjoy your peaceful new space!

If you would like to know more about how to calm that clutter, visitFern McGahey’s website or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

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Wellness Calendar for September 2022

You, But Better: The Gaggler Agenda for September

Mark your calendars.

September 2: Break Bread

Expand your culinary horizons at the Taste of Owambe supperclub hosted by Man like Mus via the BreakBread platform. Inspired by Nigerian “Owambe” parties, this intimate dining experience introduces attendees to classic festive dishes (think: jollof rice with lamb chops and plantain, puff puff, goat meat peppersoup, and more) and illustrates why the food is the best part of every Owambe party.

Learn more here.

September 3: Laugh Aloud

Jo Koy was meant to kick off his Funny Is Funny world tour in Dubai back in December 2021, but his show was postponed due to “unforeseen circumstances”. As for his rescheduled performance on May 14? Cancelled, this time due to the death of Sheikh Khalifa. Now, in a case of ‘third time’s the charm’, the Filipino-American talent will take to the stage at Coca-Cola Arena on September 3, promising that we’ll be among the first to see new material from his Netflix special before it even airs.

Learn more here.

September 8: Breathe and Reboot

Located at Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Theatre of Digital Art is an immersive art space that continues to diversify, hosting everything from jazz performances to yoga flow sessions and Indian music nights. We’re marking our calendars for the hourlong Breathwork Meditation Session, which invites participants to take an immersive journey into themselves. Elisabeth Bohler, a certified meditation facilitator, will guide you through an intense circular breathing technique that has the power to reconnect you with your inner self and release stress for both body and mind.

Learn more here.

September 12: Let Go

We all know our beliefs shape the very foundation, affecting how we perceive ourselves and others, interact in our relationships, perform our work, and show up in the world – and that’s where the Letting Go of Self-Limiting Beliefs session led by Annabel Lynch at Illuminations comes in. Exclusive for women, this onsite guided meditation session is designed to help you to let go of self-limiting and critical beliefs, while inviting you into a space of presence, positive self-belief, confidence, happiness, compassion, and contentment.

Learn more here.

September 15: Catch a Must-Watch

Film screenings continue (almost) daily at Cinema Akil throughout September, with the independent cinema hosting a flawlessly curated selection that includes a Stanley Kubrick retrospective. Our pick of the roster is The Housemaid, a 1960 erotic thriller that will screen only once. Restored in 2008 by the Korean Film Archive, it chronicles how a comfortable home becomes a physical and psychological battleground in the wake of a romantic entanglement between a piano composer and his housemaid. 

Learn more here.

September 19: Pleasure Your Palate

If you love chocolate and drink coffee, but have no idea what the term “single origin” means, the Coffee & Cocoa Pairing Workshop is perfect for you. Hosted by artisanal chocolate factory Mirzam, it features samples of chocolate from the Maps collection as well as single drip V60 coffees from El Salvador, Ethiopia, and Brazil. You’ll receive not only instructions and handouts to assist with the experience, but also detailed suggestions for pairing options from Mirzam’s Master Barista.

Learn more here.

artisanal chocolate factory Mirzam

September 23: Immerse in Art

Launching on September 23, Gaudí, Kandinsky & Klee: Raise Vibration will be a one-of-a-kind cultural and immersive experience that uses cutting-edge digital technology to transform the way we perceive, understand, and feel art. Step foot into The Dubai Mall’s impressive Infinity des Lumières venue, complete  with 130 projectors and 58 speakers. Here, you can witness 3,000 moving images on a huge projectable surface, designed to bring the works of renowned artists Gaudí, Kandinsky, and Klee to life as a magnificent fusion of light, colour, sound, and rhythm.

Learn more here.

September 24: Hit the Trail

Discover the beautiful new trails in Hatta, encountering gazelles and oryx while you explore the foothills of the Hajjar mountains – all in the company of like-minded women, courtesy of UAE Trekkers. Entitled Ladies Only: Hatta’s Gazelle Trail, this weekend experience spans three hours – 4pm to 7pm – and is perfect for beginners who feel that it gives them a chance to experience hiking without worrying about their footing or fitness level.

Learn more here.

September 25: Snap Happy

You constantly take photos with your smartphone – now take them up a notch by attending the Smartphone Photography & Editing workshop at Gulf Photo Plus. The three-hour session will delve into essential camera controls, focus, and exposure lock in addition to teaching you the fundamentals of using light and shadow. Also included? How to develop a personal style, apps to conduct in-camera editing, and more.

Learn more here.

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How to Declutter Your Home

Let’s Deep Dive into the Concept of Decluttering

Learn to make your home work for you.

With residents across Dubai returning home and gearing up for life as usual, let’s revisit the Oxford Dictionary definition of ‘declutter’: “to remove things that you do not use so that you have more space and can easily find things when you need them”, implying the main motivation for decluttering is that we can find things quickly when we need them and make more space. This is partly true, yes, but this definition does not reflect the impact of decluttering on a person’s lifestyle. 

I believe that the main function of decluttering is something much more important. It changes the way you live in your home. By removing what you don’t need, you create space for calm and mindful living and make it a place you love to live in. According to Marie Kondo, decluttering only has an impact if it is all done at once – not throwing out one item a day and doing it gradually. And I have to agree with her. When you declutter an entire wardrobe or defined space in one session, you will see and feel its impact. You will feel lighter and feel a sense of relief, which is all you need to change your life from that point onwards.

Watch the Video: 6 Steps to Decluttering Your Home

How Do I Start?

No two people have the same clutter – what is clutter to me is not clutter to you. It is subjective. This is why there are no specific instructions about what to declutter. There are, however, steps to follow in order to guide you through the process of decluttering. After all, decluttering is the first step to starting a new lifestyle. Once you intentionally decide what you need to keep in your home to live your ideal life, you have established the path to clutter-free living.

Organising and storing your items is not going to change your life because you will constantly be tidying items that you do not need. Now you may ask: when does one organise and store their items? That step comes after decluttering. Your space can only be successfully organised if you have decluttered properly. This is why I have developed the following six specific steps to get you started correctly – and successfully!

ways to tidy and organize your home

1. Identify the Cluttered Space

The space you identify could be one of three things: a room, a smaller space, or a category of things. A room is the easiest thing to identify due to its physical boundary of walls. A room can also be the hardest thing to declutter as it can be large with various zones and many different items. Make sure to set aside at least four hours for a good declutter session to get the desired effect. A smaller space can include a closet, a nook, a bathroom cupboard, the bedside table, the kitchen drawers, or the fridge. These are spaces that keep the same sort of items performing one function together. These take less time, but are very rewarding as you can declutter it one session.  

Decluttering by category refers to groups of items that could be in more than one place in the house. Examples include children’s toys, toiletries, cleaning products, or kitchen equipment. Often, this is a very efficient way to declutter as you are targeting all the items in that category at home. For example, you may have toys in more than one room, so you need to get all the toys out from all the rooms, declutter them, and then decide where they will go. It might be somewhere new that works better for the family. Cleaning products is another category that can be spread around the house – in the kitchen, bathrooms, or laundry area. When decluttering these areas, think of all the cleaning products in the house and do a stock take of all items to make sure you know exactly what you have in the house before you declutter. 

2. Visualise the Space

Think of the details. How do you want the space to look and feel? What colours do you see? Is there a photo on Instagram or Pinterest that inspires you? Do you like neutral colours? Do you want that spa feel in your bathroom? Then think about why you want this feeling – really hone into your ultimate goal for your home and keep this in your mind throughout the process. 

Declutter Your Home From Professional Organizers

3. Start to Declutter

Take all items out of the space and spread them out on the floor or on a table. Pick up each item individually and ask yourself these few questions to determine where it needs to go:

  • Do you need it?
  • Does it add value to the life you want?
  • Does it belong to the vision of this space or should it go elsewhere in the home?

4. Sort Items Into Categories 

Sort items into four storage boxes – Keep, Donate, Dispose, Recycle – while you are decluttering. Dedicate a space in the room to put the ‘Keep’ items. The rest of the items will go into the ‘Donate/Dispose/Recycle’ containers. Cardboard boxes or baskets are ideal, but make sure that they are clearly labeled and accessible nearby. You can use a marker on some tape or write directly on the boxes. Having these boxes at hand helps you make a decision quickly. You need to put the item in one of the three boxes if you are not keeping it.

It can also be motivating to have the ‘Donate’ box nearby in order to encourage you to get rid of items as you know someone else will make better use of it than you currently are. In the ‘Donate’ box, you might also identify some items you want to sell. You can address this at a later stage or have a separate box for sale items. It is time to give yourself a pat on the back when you have completed this step – it’s the most challenging part of the decluttering process. You may feel drained and exhausted as a result of all the decision-making, so take a well-deserved break as you only have two more steps to go. 

5. Take Immediate Action

As soon as you have gone through all the items in the identified space, move the boxes out immediately. Take the recycling to the recycle depot or bin that day. For donations, do your research about where to take certain items. A professional organiser can help you with this, too. At this stage of the process, it is often easy to feel tired and unmotivated to carry on. Donating items is rewarding and will give you the motivation you need to keep going. 

How to Declutter Your Home

6. Give Yourself Some Love 

Decluttering is no easy feat. People avoid it all the time as it is mentally draining and takes time. However, if you get it right and achieve your goal, decluttering can be life-changing. You’ll feel light and have a huge sense of achievement. You’ll also feel proud as throwing out items that once meant something to you is not easy. However, understanding that those items are no longer adding value to your life is even more important. Treat yourself to something you enjoy, put those feet up, and visualise the calm and peaceful space that is to come. 

After decluttering, the next steps include allocating storage, organising the items, and beautifying the area. Not only can a professional organiser coach you through the decluttering process, but also provide you with their expert opinions on storage solutions and organisational methods that will calm and simplify your space. Make your home work for you already! 

If you would like to know more about the art of decluttering, visit Fern McGahey’s website or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

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outdoor furniture dubai

All the Outdoor Furniture on Our Wish List Circa Now

Because decent weather is (nearly) in sight.

Living in a city where the hot desert climate is in effect for most of the year can have its ups and downs, but one of the many advantages? Being able to make use of your garden area to get a tan, hang out with friends and family, or simply unwind when the temperatures begin to cool off. Now, with summer coming to a close, you’ll get a chance to spend more time outdoors, making this the perfect time to rethink the aesthetics of your patio or garden. If you are contemplating a redesign in time for fall, you’re in luck. The Gaggler is here to help you turn your outdoor space into your own personal sanctuary with these furniture picks, each perfect for the upcoming cooler months.

Best Summer Outdoor Furniture in Dubai

Source: Danube Home

Danube Home Ashley 7-Seater Sofa Set in Grey

This selection from Danube Home displays the feel of sophistication and cosiness with ease. The dual-toned wicker frame and the beautiful upholstery work boasts unparalleled aesthetic and craftsmanship integrated into this outdoor piece. Comprising two two-seaters, a single seater, two corner tables, and a coffee table, it’s perfect for big groups that want to hang out and chat while basking in the outdoors. As an added bonus, the corner tables provide storage space, too.

Find it here.

Homebox Cape Glass Top Outdoor Side Table

Add a pop of colour to your outdoor space with this rattan stool from Homebox. The vibrant blue tone of this light, yet durable choice makes it a great accent piece that will complement any design theme. The glass top adds to its easy charm and, most importantly, takes zero effort to clean.

Find it here.

Rattan House Savana Daybed

Take your siesta game to another level, courtesy of this gorgeous daybed from Rattan House. It is an upgraded version of a sun lounger that’s made with powder-coated aluminium with wooden finish, making it a classic piece that won’t compromise function. The light fabric of its cushions and drapes give it a clean, natural aesthetic perfect for the pool and garden area. 

Find it here.

Homeworks Ada Wicker Hanging Pod

Hanging out with company is great, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a space reserved just for you. This hanging pod from Homeworks is the best choice when it comes to making the perfect scene for your well-deserved alone time. Laze around and take pleasure in the outdoors with a book and cup of coffee (or two) in this stylish and long-lasting outdoor chair.

Find it here.

Home Centre Deluxe Gazebo in Green

If you’re big into camping and generally staying outdoors, you won’t go wrong with this beautiful gazebo from Home Centre. With its adjustable draping, you can set it up any way you want, depending on your style and lounging needs. The premium materials used in this outdoor fixture not only add to the style of your space, but also provide much-needed protection from the heat.

Find it here.

La Siesta Alisio Double Spreader Bar Hammock

Kick back and free yourself from past exhaustion and future worries in this posh hammock from La Siesta. The lovely fabric comes in weather-proof material that will last you ages. Additionally, it’s 100% sturdy and built to fit up to two people comfortably! You can choose from three different colour assortments perfect for any style. For a bright and cheery look, we recommend the sea salt variant. And for a more classic and muted vibe? Opt for the almond alternative.

Find it here.

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A girl sitting in a car doing travel plan

The Ultimate Expat Woman’s Guide to Dubai

What to expect in one of the world’s most happening cities.

Are you new to Dubai? Excited to discover your new home? Overwhelmed by all the rules and regulations that you need to know? We at The Gaggler have your back! Here are some of the top things to keep in mind as a newly minted Dubai-ite.

1. Make sure to tip.

Dubai is famous for all the wide range of services available, from bee venom facials and underwater fine dining to run-of-the-mill food deliveries – the sky’s the limit. So, it’s not surprising that questions around tipping come up often. We recommend tipping anywhere from 10-15% of the cost of the service (or more if you can afford to and are feeling generous!) depending on the kind of service and its quality.

2. There’s a high chance that your body will change – and that’s okay!

It’s not uncommon for people to gain weight after coming to Dubai, and there can be several reasons for it. In some cases, you might be coming from a country with a more moderate climate where walking is common, whereas here, that may not always be an option. Dubai is also famous for its brunches and wide variety of restaurants. All that combined with the stress of moving to a new city and starting a new job makes for the perfect recipe for gaining weight. If you want to lose the extra pounds, fret not – there are plenty of gyms and experts here that can assist you. On the flip side, you may decide to embrace this new you! Because why not?

3. A quick intro to women’s health will come in handy.

There are several clinics dedicated to women’s health, while most hospitals have a robust OB-GYN department for your health concerns in Dubai. When deciding where to go, it’s always a good idea to ask a friend or colleague who has lived here for a while. If that’s not possible, you can also comb through internet reviews and contact your HR department for advice. It’s also most likely that yourOB-GYN will be a female doctor considering the cultural sensitivity in this region.

Contraception is freely available in Dubai. You can easily find condoms in supermarkets, petrol stations, and delivery apps. Birth control pills are also available in pharmacies and can be bought without a prescription or having to show your marital status. Keep in mind, though, that abortion is illegal in Dubai – unless the pregnancy endangers the mother’s life or if the foetus is not viable. 

4. Modesty is a tricky subject sometimes.

There are several misconceptions around how to dress in Dubai. Unlike other countries in this region, like Saudi Arabia for instance, the UAE is more liberal so expat women aren’t expected to completely cover their bodies at all times or wear an abaya or headscarf. That being said, context and location matters. If you’re visiting some of the older regions of Dubai – such as the Spice Souk – or you want to tour a mosque, you will definitely need to dress modestly. This can mean covering your arms and legs (no cleavage!) along with a headscarf if you are visiting a mosque. In comparison, if you are going to the beach (where you are allowed to wear a bikini or one-piece) or places like Downtown Dubai, you can dress more liberally. 

You also have to factor in the weather aspect when deciding what to wear. Summers in Dubai can be brutal, with temperatures ranging from 35-55ºC, so nobody expects you to wear trousers or full sleeves during that time. Ironically, we also recommend carrying a light jacket with you during the summer as most places tend to blast the AC indoors to compensate for the heat outside.

5. If you drink, invest in a liquor license!

All Dubai residents who want to buy and transport alcohol, or wish to drink at home or outside, need to have a liquor license. All you need is your Emirates ID and an NOC from your spouse if you are on their visa. You must also be non-Muslim and 21 or over. It costs AED 270 per year and comes with vouchers and rewards. African + Eastern, MMI, and legalhomedelivery.com are the only stores where you can legally purchase alcohol. Keep in mind that drinking in public and public intoxication is not allowed. 

6. You no longer need to marry to cohabit.

As part of law reforms in November 2020, unmarried couples can now live together and have consensual sex without having to get married for the sake of cohabitation, unlike before.

7. You may experience some hair fall, but plenty of help is available.

Hair loss woes are common among the expat population in the UAE, and many people blame it on the water. However, according to experts, this phenomenon is not linked to the water quality and can instead be explained by other causes – stress, hormones, genetic predisposition, and a poor diet included. Many people resort to shower filters (especially if you’re suspicious of the water), rely on hair loss products, and consult medical professionals and experts to resolve the issue. And have seen success, too! 

8. Cut down on the PDA. 

In order to respect other people’s cultural and religious values (and to not get into trouble with the law!), avoid kissing and being overly affectionate with your partner. Holding hands or light hugs are usually okay, but anything more is likely to turn heads. Of course, familial displays of affection are acceptable.

9. Me-time at the salon is practically a rite of passage.

No move to a new city is complete without a new self-love ritual and, here, we swear by the weekly mani-padi and hair blowout. And considering Dubai boasts countless quality salons that won’t break the bank, you’ll always be spoilt for choice.

10. Buttermilk is surprisingly hard to find.

If you enjoy buttermilk, you might be in for a bind as it is not always easy to find it. The closest thing available would be laban, or Middle Eastern buttermilk, which might taste different from what you’re familiar with, but will definitely get the job done. 

11. Be careful of what you bring in through the airport.

The rules on what is allowed to be bought here can be quite strict. Some things that are not permitted and that travellers might not be aware of include poppy seeds (which might be present in certain bakery products), cannabis products (even if they don’t make you high), and adult toys.

12. Girl’s night out doesn’t have to break the bank.

Dubai is famous for its nightlife, but that doesn’t mean that you have to splurge each time you go out. Ladies’ nights are plenty in Dubai and, if you plan your night out well, you can end up spending very little – and in some cases, even nothing for drinks! We recommend websites like ladiesnightdubai.com and apps like 7Nights to find the best deals.

13. Be careful of where you point your camera.

While Dubai might be one of the most social media-ready cities, there are some rules to keep in mind regarding photography. For security reasons, make sure to not take images of military sites and government buildings. Do not take pictures of others, especially women and children, without their consent. This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it may be easy to forget when clicking away in public, especially when taking selfies as people in the background may not appreciate being included. The same applies to distributing or exhibiting images of others – always get their consent. 

14. WhatsApp calls won’t work, but there are alternatives. 

Certain websites and voice-over-IP services like WhatsApp calls aren’t available in Dubai, so many people use VPNs to circumnavigate these restrictions. VPNs in themselves are not illegal, but using them for illegitimate purposes such as committing fraud or crime is a punishable offense. If you’re looking for free voice and video services, Zoom, Google Meet, and the new app GoChat Messenger are great alternatives!

15. Add a handful of Arabic words to your dictionary.

While people of all nationalities reside in Dubai – and English remains the most widely spoken language – knowing certain Arabic phrases is essential for any resident! Let’s start with the ubiquitous yalla. This is one of the most common Arabic words you’ll hear, and it means ‘let’s go’ or ‘come on’. Mafi mushkila, meaning ‘no problem’, is another common phrase.

Habibi (male) or habibti (female) can mean ‘my beloved’ or ‘my darling’, and is used as an expression of endearment between friends, family, partners etc. Be careful who you use the term with unless you’re sure about your relationship. A few other common greetings include:

  • Shukran means ‘thank you’ and can be responded with afwan
  • As-salamu alaykum can be translated to ‘peace be upon you’ and is often responded with wa-alaikum-salaam, which means ‘and unto you peace’ 
  • Marhaba means ‘welcome’
  • Inshallah means ‘if God wills’ and is used to refer to future events
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car mechanic garage in Dubai

Car Trouble? These are the Top 10 Car Garages in Dubai

Let us lead the way.

While purchasing a car is simple, maintaining one is not. To extend the life of your vehicles, you must have regular maintenance performed on them. Each of us desires the highest quality services for our cars in order to prevent frequent breakdowns. Finding reliable auto repair shops that will treat our cars like their own, at a reasonable cost, is also rather difficult. 

According to a recent survey, one car is owned by every two persons in Dubai, or 50% of the population. Even though there are plenty of public transportation options available, most in the UAE prefer to use their own cars. And owning your own car is undoubtedly convenient if you keep it in good condition. To prevent major issues, regular maintenance is necessary for automobiles. As the number of cars rises, so do the number of auto repair shops in Dubai.

Both the cost and quality of service must be taken into account when selecting an auto repair centre. In addition, narrowing down a single service provider to handle all of your car’s needs is also a hassle. After conducting thorough research, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 car garages in Dubai that would be able to provide all required services and have the greatest teams of qualified specialists.

UNIQ Auto Spa

UNIQ Auto Spa, Best Car Garage In Dubai

UNIQ Auto Spa

UNIQ Auto Spa is a leading car mechanic garage in Dubai, offering a highly equipped team of mechanics and technicians who take pride in delivering excellent services using cutting edge tools and technologies. They provide mechanical, body repair, car wrapping, ac service and repair, as well as the finest automotive polishing and detailing service. In addition, they deliver numerous other services with unrivaled workmanship, such as leather repairing and restoration, automotive repainting, sticky button cleaning & refurbishment, Gtechniq ceramic coating, and paint protection film installation. At Uniq Auto Spa, they believe that only the best will do for your car, offering total auto maintenance and repairs for all brands and models that are available in the region.

No matter what brand or model your automobile is, they are committed to going above and beyond to give you the best car care service. They provide all auto-related services under one roof. Their specialty lies in care, maintenance, and protection. With a team of more than 30 members, from mechanics to artists, and years of experience in the industry, you are guaranteed to receive service that is worth your money!

UNIQ Auto Spa, Warehouse #4, Galadari Complex – behind Gold & Diamond Park – Al Quoz Industrial Area 3 – Dubai,  (054) 797-9680, uniqautospa.com

Carcility

Carcility is a well-known facility for automobile services in Dubai. They are committed to provide their clients a hassle-free service at a reasonable cost. You can take your automobile there for servicing, rapid repair, parts recovery, and car washing all in one place. You can choose your car servicing hours with Carcility by making an online appointment in advance.

Carcility, Technohub 1,2 Dubai Silicon Oasis, 056 216 9004, caricility.com

Radiant Car

Radiant Car is another excellent location in Dubai for car recovery services. Since its founding in 1998, it has been loyally offering specialist repair and maintenance services to all of its clients. Radiant Car is renowned throughout Dubai for its best professional conduct and skilled, experienced experts that use specialised tools to repair your car. They offer a wide range of services, including denting and painting as well as repair and maintenance, transmission repair, electric and diagnosis, air conditioning, and services for your car’s spare components.

Radiant Car, Umm Ramool Road, Al Rashidiya, 050 656 3664, [email protected], radiantcar.com 

ZONE Auto Care

Since the last 40 years, Zone Auto Care has been offering its services in Dubai. It offers every type of service your car needs, from accident repairs to car detailing. This vehicle garage in Dubai is famed for its committed clientele and reasonable costs. It has branches in Sharjah, Dubai, and the Al Quoz Industrial Area.

ZONE Auto Care, Plot No. 7-12, Opp. Emirates Driving School، Al Quoz Industrial Area 3, 04 340 9820, [email protected], zoneautocare.com

Service My Car

The Service My Car centre is one of the best auto repair facilities in Dubai. The company was founded in 2019 and has since been offering its devoted consumers 24/7 authorised services. You only need to contact Service My Car if your vehicle requires annual maintenance, repairs, design work, or any other ancillary services. They will pick up your vehicle from your home, take care of the required work, and then return it to your door. They give various offers on all of your services at regular intervals.

Service My Car, Al Moosa Tower 2 – 1402-1403 – Sheikh Zayed Road, 800 266 5464, [email protected], servicemycar.com

Premier Car Care

Premier Car Care can be your next stop if you’re worried about enhancing the performance or appearance of your vehicle. They provide Dubai residents exceptionally high-quality care services that also boost performance. Premier Car Care offers a variety of denting and window-tinting services in addition to repair, maintenance, and air conditioning services. It also offers a number of environmentally friendly packages that can be used to swiftly and affordably customise and update your vehicle.

Premier Car Care, Workshop No. 3, St No. 10 Al Quoz Industrial Area 3, 04 339 4770, [email protected]premier-carcare.com

Z Degree

Z Degree is most popular for their tire replacement service. In addition, it offers services outside of their garage. They will come to you with all the necessary equipment once you simply phone them. The best part of having your automobile fixed in Z Degree is that you may switch your payments to low-rate easy installments options. Along with offering car maintenance services, they also sell high-quality tires that can be ordered online and fitted wherever you like. In Dubai alone, they operate at six branches.

Z degree, 4th Street – Al Quoz – Al Quoz Industrial Area 4, 800 933 4733, myzdegree.com

Open Bonnet

For more than 70 years, Open Bonnet has offered maintenance and garage services, earning the trust of its patrons. This shop offers a variety of repair services, battery support services, automobile inspection wash services, and air conditioning services. Additionally, Open Bonnet offers high-quality tires and other essential automotive accessories. Open Bonnet features a well-performing, round-the-clock hotline system. It is highly renowned for its fleet servicing solution, at-home services, and pre-purchase inspections that help you connect with your drivers, employees, and other relevant information.

Open Bonnet, DTEC – Dubai Silicon Oasis, 058 951 2500, [email protected], openbonnet.com

GT Auto Centre

One of the top garages in Dubai is GT Auto Centre. It offers different types of services, such as automobile detailing, body work, paint, dent removal, accident repair, refinishing, and car washing, among others. On request, it also offers a pre-service value so that the consumer can budget for his service fees ahead of time. The majority of insurance companies advise their clients to visit GT Auto Centre.

GT Auto Centre, Near The Garden Centre – Street 17A – Sheikh Zayed Rd – Al Quoz Industrial Area 3, 04 323 7106, [email protected], gtautocentre.com

QuCars

QuCars is a leading automotive repair and service facility for both small and large-scale automotive demands. It is situated in the heart of Dubai, and is a division of Golden Workshop, which was founded in 1980. They are well-known for providing services like insurance repairs, collision repairs, paint refinishing, and mechanical and electrical diagnosis. They are one of the experienced and trustworthy experts and service providers for auto maintenance. Their team of highly skilled professionals are equipped for maintaining commercial vehicles including vans, buses, trucks, bikes, etc.

QuCars, Al Asayel St – Al Quoz – Al Quoz Industrial Area 4, 04 220 9800, [email protected], qucarsauto.com

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veterinary clinic dubai

10 Top Veterinary Clinics in Dubai

Only the best for our furry friends.

Whether it’s vaccinations, annual exams, or one of those uh-oh moments when you need to see a vet ASAP, you’ll want to choose one who offers the best possible services. However, there are many options of vet clinics in Dubai – that’s why it can be hard to decide which one is best for your needs. We put together a list of the top veterinary practices around the city.

Modern Vet

modern vet, best veterinary clinic in Dubai

Founded in 1995, Modern Vet is one of the longest standing veterinary practices in the country. Modern Vet Hospital is the only multi-specialty, referral, 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital in Dubai with departments in Cardiology, Neurology, Orthopedics, and Soft Tissue. It also offers grooming and vet physiotherapy with the most sought-after vet physiotherapist in the UAE and has been featured in the media for several groundbreaking accomplishments. In 2021, Modern Vet was the brand behind two pioneering surgeries: a PDA heart surgery on a Pomeranian puppy and an advanced PRAA surgery on a 900-gram kitten. In both cases, the animals would not have survived without treatment. In May of 2021, a completely paralysed cat regained her ability to walk again by following the treatment plan created by Modern Vet’s Physiotherapist.

Modern Vet’s Downtown location is unique in its design by and of itself, with high-friction tiles so pets don’t slip and consultation tables that give clients the capacity to remain close to their pets during examinations and simple procedures. Planned with pets and humans in mind, the clinic is cosy, friendly, and very ‘sniffable’. They balance out their curated interior with a strong emphasis on technology and the latest in medical equipment. The goal? To improve the veterinary team, pet, and client experience in Dubai. 

The most spacious Modern Vet Clinic can be found in JVC. The 200-square-metre practice is a full-service clinic offering everything from routine check-ups, spays, and neuters to more complicated orthopedic and soft tissue surgeries. The team has over 275 years of combined expertise within the practice of veterinary medicine and is proud to have the most international team of veterinarians, nurses, and support staff in the country, so no matter where you may be from, you will find someone at Modern Vet who will understand your pet’s needs.

Modern Vet Clinic JLT is small, warm, and charming. The clinic exudes an intimate vibe, but most importantly, pets are allowed on the couch – which must be why they love it here! Clients are encouraged to relax and get comfortable so that all patients feel like they never left home. Another extra accent that makes Modern Vet JLT feel like home is the beverage station in the lobby stocked with tea and coffee for pet parents, and a “muzzle-level” treat bar for the pups, where they can pick out a snack after their visit.

Modern Vet, www.modernvet.com, Villa 795, Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim 1, [email protected], Fortune Tower, Cluster C, JLT, [email protected], Platinum Residences, JVC, [email protected], South Ridge Tower, Downtown Dubai, [email protected], 800 82

City Vet

City Vet has been performing quality basic veterinary services since 2012. It offers surgical and anesthetic services available to aid with surgeries, including emergency services. Their focus is mainly on dental health, neutering services, and routine check-ups. City Vet has locations on Al Wasl Road, in Mirdif, JVT, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Al Barsha, and Meydan. City Vet also houses an equine clinic located in Al Qudra.

City Vet, Villa 881, Al Wasl Road, Al Safa 2, 800 3990, [email protected]

Energetic Panacea Veterinary Clinic

Energetic Panacea Pet Clinic was established over 10 years ago, originally opening its doors as one of the first holistic veterinary practices in Dubai. Over time, they expanded into performing traditional veterinary services such as spays, neuters, and diagnostic procedures. This veterinary clinic is also one of the few in Dubai that offers a hydrotherapy pool for dogs needing an extra push when it comes to physiotherapy.

Energetic Panacea Veterinary Clinic, Villa 444, Jumeirah 2, Al Wasl Road , 04 344 7812, [email protected]

Zabeel Veterinary Hospital

Zabeel Veterinary Hospital is one of the few vet clinics in the country with the latest in diagnostic imaging such as MRI and CT. Their rooms are fully operational to house and work on most surgeries. Zabeel Veterinary Hospital is equipped to treat all kinds of animals including large, small, domestic, or wild animals.

Zabeel Veterinary Hospital, Z’abeel 2, near Sheikh Zayed Road, 04 334 0011, [email protected]

Petzone Veterinary Clinic

Petzone came into our lives in 2009 and has achieved recognition from the community. It is a family-run clinic that treats domestic animals for the most part. Petzone is committed to the welfare of all animals and their services include dental hygiene, dermatology, radiology, ultrasounds, and basic surgeries. They also boast a huge retail section that you can check out while waiting for your turn.

Petzone Veterinary Clinic, Al Thouraya Building, Showroom # 2Al Wasl, Sheikh Zayed Road, 04 346 7870, [email protected]

Pet Connection

One of the many perks of Pet Connection is the huge parking facility at the front end of the practice. Pet connection treats both exotic as well as domestic animals. Although it is not one of the older practices in Dubai, it does boast three consultation rooms, surgery, and recovery rooms, and an on-site laboratory. 

Pet Connection, Al Barsha 1 SummerLand Building, 04 447 5307, [email protected]

Al Barsha Vet Clinic

Al Barsha Vet Clinic provides pet medical and sanitary services, its expert caregivers assuring your pet’s comfort. The clinic constantly encourages staff to learn new treatments for you and your pets, treating dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and more.

Al Barsha Vet Clinic, Al Barsha 1, 04 340 8601, [email protected]

Pawsite Veterinary Clinic

Pawsitive Veterinary Clinic is a veterinary-owned and led clinic with state-of-the-art facilities, and offers 24-hour emergency veterinary care. The company offers a broad range of mainly small animal veterinary services – including both routine and advanced surgery – to meet all of a pet’s health and well-being needs (from microchipping and neutering to more complicated surgeries and leading-edge diagnostic technology).

Pawsite Veterinary Clinic, IT PLAZA, Dubai Silicon Oasis, 04 255 9497, [email protected]

2Feet4Paws

British owned and managed, 2Feet4Paws opened its doors in Dubailand in 2015. It can provide you and your pet the full range of veterinary services for every stage of their life, from first-time vaccinations and early health checks to a lifetime of preventive care to keep them happy and healthy as long as possible.

Shop 1, Durar Building, Wadi Al Safa 5, 04 552 0213, [email protected]

Vienna Vet

With state-of-the-art equipment and a full in-house laboratory, Vienna Vet offers a wide range of services from routine vaccinations and neutering to sophisticated medical treatments, dermatology, dentistry, oncology, and geriatric care. The surgeons here perform soft tissue orthopedic surgeries, too.

Villa 55 Al Thanya St, Umm Suqeim, 04 330 8555 , [email protected]

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A Guide To Sustainable Homes

Welcome to Sustainable Homes 101 

Start by mastering these basics.

I’m sure you’ve heard of sustainable design, but do you know what it really means and how to achieve it in your space? There are many different aspects to consider when designing a sustainable interior, but once you nail these, you will have achieved an interior that’s healthier all around for you, your family, and the environment!

Sustainable Design

Sustainable design is essentially the inclusion of natural or untreated materials (think: bamboo, reclaimed bricks and woods, and organic fabrics such as cotton, linen, wool etc), along with the selection of furniture and finishes that have been manufactured by using sustainable practices. This includes taking into account the impact the manufacturing process has had on the environment and the lifespan of the product(s).

Why It Is Important

This approach inspires a wellness-based home design by improving indoor air quality and ensuring fewer emissions of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the interior space which will lead to a holistically healthier space, aiding in improving the mental and physical health of the occupant. Harmful VOCs such as carbon dioxide and carcinogen formaldehyde are commonly found in finishes, furniture, and cabinetry.

Prolonged exposure to these harmful chemicals may result in many negative health issues, such as cardiovascular and gastrointestinal problems, along with degrading cognitive performance (poor memory, concentration, etc). That is why it is so important to cleanse the air from these toxic chemicals and avoid the emission of their fumes in your home wherever possible. By creating a sustainable interior, you are not only improving your own health, but also contributing to a positive, long-term environmental impact by reducing waste – essentially lowering your own carbon footprint.

Cleanse the Air

Clean air is arguably one of the most important aspects of good health. Harmful toxins are frequently found in the home due to certain furniture and the use of household appliances such as gas ovens, heating, poor ventilation (exterior air entering and unable to escape), and household chemicals.  Breathing in these fumes will cause headaches, fatigue, and eye irritation – to name a few symptoms – and so it’s important to rid the home of these toxins as efficiently as possible.

Plants are commonly praised for their ability to cleanse the air. Whilst this is true, certain plants are more effective at removing toxins than others. Plants such as peace lilies, devil’s ivy, and rubber plants do a great job of purifying the air and also enhance wellbeing-inspired interior by calming the mind due to the presence of nature. Materials such as cork can also help with toxin abortion by actively drawing the VOCs into fibres to wilt away instead of allowing them to freely flow in the air. Some useful tips to improve indoor air quality include:

1. Keep the air moving.  

Ventilate the home as much as possible. Open doors and windows regularly, and let mother nature help blow out those harmful toxins, especially when cooking or cleaning.

2. Avoid including products in your home that are known to have a high VOC count.

This includes things such as furniture made by using particle board. The manufacturing of these types of products can be made using formaldehyde, which is highly toxic.

3. Avoid using harsh chemicals in the home.  

Although chemicals such as bleach and ammonia are included in many products and commonly used in cleaning, the strong fumes they omit will linger in the air for a long time and can take over an hour or even days to fully expel! Try replacing it with organic products or solutions such as vinegar, lemon, or bicarbonate soda mix instead.

4. Use water-based paints if painting walls or furniture.

These paints are healthier for both the indoor air quality and the environment.

5. Where possible, use materials that are organic or reclaimed.  

There will be no toxic chemicals present due to the nature of their fibres and how they’ve been finished, making them a healthy addition to your home.

Finishes 

The finishes used in many households are responsible for a significant amount of poor indoor air quality. When purchasing new furniture, installing permanent fixtures, or painting a surface, first think about the fumes they could omit. The traditional glues used when installing carpets contain toxic chemicals, which contaminate the air. Oil-based paints that contain Benzene and Xylene in their composition do the same. These harmful VOCs can cause potential health issues, so avoid them as much as possible.

Along with glues and paints, composite materials used in particle boards to make up furniture contain formaldehyde, which is an extremely toxic chemical. It can take up to five years (on average) for the fumes that are embedded within the material to fully dissipate. If you can’t avoid the use of particle boards in your home, make sure the material is sealed completely to avoid any leakage of the gases into your home.

Particle boards use glues with harmful toxins to stick the composite materials together. If you need to use them, make sure they are efficiently sealed to stop unwanted fumes from leaking out.

Use Sustainable Materials

When choosing soft furnishes such as bedding, throw cushions, rugs, curtains, and carpets, go for sustainable materials. Try organic fibres such as natural cotton, linen, cashmere, and wool. These materials are aesthetically pleasing and widely available. They’ve been found to exhibit health benefits, further surpassing their sustainable harvesting, such as hypoallergenic properties that allow for fewer asthmatic episodes and improved eyesight. Natural cotton can also relieve skin issues, such as psoriasis and general rashes.

Consider sourcing furniture made with hard sustainable materials such as fast-growing bamboo, rattan, untreated woods with FSC certification (Forest Stewardship Council), natural stone, marble, and clay.  These also offer great alternatives to floor and wall treatments.

Essential Sustainable Home Design

But don’t forget that not all materials need to be organic in order to be sustainable. Reclaimed materials such as brick, wood, and reused fabrics – such as leather – are also considered sustainable. If any chemicals were used in their manufacturing, they will be long gone. Their reuse is also great for the environment! Repurposing materials ensure they will not unnecessarily end up in a landfill.  

Essential Sustainable Guide

The Manufacturing Process

How was it made? What materials did they use? Were any of the components recycled? These are all questions that are asked when determining whether a product is sustainable. Also, consider what will happen to the product at the end of its life cycle. Can it be repurposed, recycled, or broken down and made into a completely new item? Failing these criteria, can the materials be returned to our natural ecosystem?  

Making sure these important factors are adhered to ensures that the environment is not negatively affected, and landfills aren’t overwhelmed. A lot of people don’t realise what happens to items when they hit the landfill. Some items don’t just biodegrade over time; they can release toxic fumes as (and if) they decompose. Because of this, landfills are responsible for a third of the world’s greenhouse gas production, making them a huge problem for environment sustainability and directly impacting global warming.

A great approach that sustainably conscious designers are adopting is called Cradle to Cradle (C2C) versus Cradle to Grave (C2G). C2C aims to replicate natural systems by focusing on products that can be recycled and upcycled and, failing that, are biodegradable – thus resulting in waste prevention. 

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