Different types of mainly European cheeses are on display at the Market & Platters store in Dubai Marina. Pawan Singh / The National
Different types of mainly European cheeses are on display at the Market & Platters store in Dubai Marina. Pawan Singh / The National

Fresh Express opens Market & Platters



For almost 20 years, Fresh Express has been importing and distributing high-quality ingredients and luxury foodstuffs to five-star hotels and fine-dining restaurants in the region.

Among chefs, the company has a reputation for sourcing the very best ingredients, be it wild mushrooms, live seafood or seasonal fruit and vegetables. Up until recently, though, it was only industry insiders who were privy to such purchases; the opening of Market & Platters, a deli/market shop run by the brothers and Fresh Express vice presidents John and Girard Vouyoukas, has changed all that. We paid a visit to find out more.

The look

Stepping through the doors of Market & Platters in Dubai Marina, there's something about the light-filled space that instantly appeals. "For the theme, we wanted the beige floor to reflect the sand, the blue ceiling is for the sky and then the fish displayed on the back is like the sea. It was important to us that the shop have a comfortable, rustic market feel and showed the ingredients at their best," Girard explains. And that it certainly does.

In the centre of the room, a large stand displays an autumnal bounty of fruit and vegetables (pears, clementines, apples, pumpkins, artichokes, figs and more), distressed white wooden shelves boast the contents of a dream pantry - on first glance, I spot Italian risotto rice infused with truffle, extra virgin olive oil from Crete, cans of Ortiz tuna, argan oil, aged balsamic vinegar and peeled black garlic. To the right, there's an excellent selection of primarily European cheeses and an array of deli items that I'll return to later. Then there are baskets of freshly baked baguettes and loaves, gourmet coffee, teas and Monin syrups and, finally, stretching along the entire back wall is the shop's crowning glory: an exceptional fish section.

The fish

Spread out majestically over ice is, in essence, a reminder of what fresh seafood should really look like: whole cod, turbot and halibut have bright, clear eyes and glistening, taut skin and are positioned alongside carefully arranged sides of Scottish salmon, line-caught sea bass, Dover sole, yellowtail kingfish, tuna and large, hand-dived scallops. Whether it be from Pacific, Atlantic or Mediterranean waters, Vouyoukas assures me that everything here is sustainably sourced from the best suppliers in the business.

For shellfish lovers, there are bowls filled with cooked lobster, prawns, langoustines and crab, as well as live cockles, whelks, five different types of French oyster and large tanks housing still-skulking lobsters and crabs. Crucially, the area is spotlessly clean and the only discernible smell is that of salty sea air, not fish (a fishy smell is never a good sign in a seafood shop).

For the keen cook

Vouyoukas says that in his experience over the past few years, there has been a real increase in the number of people wanting to source quality ingredients to cook with at home. "More and more people are cooking as a hobby these days, so we wanted to satisfy their needs and provide high-quality items," he explains. "That's where the name for the shop came from - we thought it should be a marketplace where customers can buy raw ingredients to cook with, but we also wanted to supply ready products which can be eaten straightaway, hence the platters."

One of the most pleasing things about Market & Platters is the emphasis on interaction: not only will your chosen piece of fish be filleted to order, the culinary adviser Eric Martinet is likely to be on hand to advise on how best to cook it and to suggest which vegetables you should be purchasing to serve alongside. As soon as you enter the shop, you'll spot a little table set up with tasters for customers to nibble on as they wander about - crumbled feta, verdant green pesto, olives, a slice or two of properly ripe pear - and at the cheese counter, you're positively encouraged to try before you buy.

Takeaway

For the customer after a quick fix, there is much to like. You can buy sushi and sashimi platters of varying sizes, salmon, tuna and sea bass carpaccio, bowls of gazpacho, lobster, prawn and salmon sandwiches, salads and ready-made cheese platters worthy of any dinner-party table.

The deli section meanwhile consists of an array of interesting tasting bits and pieces: green beans with toasted pine nuts and slices of smoked duck, sweet figs with Parmesan shavings, heirloom tomatoes in balsamic vinegar, grilled fennel with garlic and thyme, marinated octopus, Greek feta in olive oil - the list goes on.

Considering the quality of the products on offer here, the pricing is, while not cheap, certainly very reasonable. I recommend a visit.

Market & Platters is located at Pinnacle Tower, Dubai Marina. Email info@marketandplatter.com, phone 04 450 4466 or visit www.marketandplatters.com for further details.

The Equaliser 2

Director Antoine Fuqua

Starring: Denzel Washington, Bill Pullman, Melissa Leo, Ashton Sanders

Three stars

Indika

Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: Odd Meter
Console: PlayStation 5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 4/5

The specs

Engine: 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 715bhp

Torque: 900Nm

Price: Dh1,289,376

On sale: now

How does ToTok work?

The calling app is available to download on Google Play and Apple App Store

To successfully install ToTok, users are asked to enter their phone number and then create a nickname.

The app then gives users the option add their existing phone contacts, allowing them to immediately contact people also using the application by video or voice call or via message.

Users can also invite other contacts to download ToTok to allow them to make contact through the app.

 

Results:

5pm: Baynunah Conditions (UAE bred) Dh80,000 1,400m.

Winner: Al Tiryaq, Dane O’Neill (jockey), Abdullah Al Hammadi (trainer).

5.30pm: Al Zahra Handicap (rated 0-45) Dh 80,000 1,400m:

Winner: Fahadd, Richard Mullen, Ahmed Al Mehairbi.

6pm: Al Ras Al Akhdar Maiden Dh80,000 1,600m.

Winner: Jaahiz, Jesus Rosales, Eric Lemartinel.

6.30pm: Al Reem Island Handicap Dh90,000 1,600m.

Winner: AF Al Jahed, Antonio Fresu, Ernst Oertel.

7pm: Al Khubairah Handicap (TB) 100,000 2,200m.

Winner: Empoli, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson.

7.30pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap Dh80,000 2,200m.

Winner: Shivan OA, Patrick Cosgrave, Helal Al Alawi.

UAE squad

Men's draw: Victor Scvortov and Khalifa Al Hosani, (both 73 kilograms), Sergiu Toma and Mihail Marchitan (90kg), Ivan Remarenco (100kg), Ahmed Al Naqbi (60kg), Musabah Al Shamsi and Ahmed Al Hosani (66kg)

Women’s draw: Maitha Al Neyadi (57kg)

Wydad 2 Urawa 3

Wydad Nahiri 21’, Hajhouj 90'

Urawa Antonio 18’, 60’, Kashiwagi 26’

Ahmed Raza

UAE cricket captain

Age: 31

Born: Sharjah

Role: Left-arm spinner

One-day internationals: 31 matches, 35 wickets, average 31.4, economy rate 3.95

T20 internationals: 41 matches, 29 wickets, average 30.3, economy rate 6.28

Company Profile

Company: Astra Tech
Started: March 2022
Based: Dubai
Founder: Abdallah Abu Sheikh
Industry: technology investment and development
Funding size: $500m

FINAL RESULT

Sharjah Wanderers 20 Dubai Tigers 25 (After extra-time)

Wanderers
Tries: Gormley, Penalty
cons: Flaherty
Pens: Flaherty 2

Tigers
Tries: O’Donnell, Gibbons, Kelly
Cons: Caldwell 2
Pens: Caldwell, Cross

MATCH INFO

Liverpool 2 (Van Dijk 18', 24')

Brighton 1 (Dunk 79')

Red card: Alisson (Liverpool)

RESULTS

6.30pm UAE 1000 Guineas Trial Conditions (TB) US$100,000 (Dirt) 1,400m

Winner Final Song, Christophe Soumillon (jockey), Saeed bin Suroor (trainer).

7.05pm Handicap (TB) $135,000 (Turf) 1,000m

Winner Almanaara, Dane O’Neill, Doug Watson.

7.40pm Handicap (TB) $175,000 (D) 1,900m

Winner Grand Argentier, Brett Doyle, Doug Watson.

8.15pm Meydan Challenge Listed Handicap (TB) $175,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Major Partnership, Patrick Cosgrave, Saeed bin Suroor.

8.50pm Dubai Stakes Group 3 (TB) $200,000 (D) 1,200m

Winner Gladiator King, Mickael Barzalona, Satish Seemar.

9.25pm Dubai Racing Club Classic Listed Handicap (TB) $175,000 (T) 2,410m

Winner Universal Order, Richard Mullen, David Simcock.

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

Financial considerations before buying a property

Buyers should try to pay as much in cash as possible for a property, limiting the mortgage value to as little as they can afford. This means they not only pay less in interest but their monthly costs are also reduced. Ideally, the monthly mortgage payment should not exceed 20 per cent of the purchaser’s total household income, says Carol Glynn, founder of Conscious Finance Coaching.

“If it’s a rental property, plan for the property to have periods when it does not have a tenant. Ensure you have enough cash set aside to pay the mortgage and other costs during these periods, ideally at least six months,” she says. 

Also, shop around for the best mortgage interest rate. Understand the terms and conditions, especially what happens after any introductory periods, Ms Glynn adds.

Using a good mortgage broker is worth the investment to obtain the best rate available for a buyer’s needs and circumstances. A good mortgage broker will help the buyer understand the terms and conditions of the mortgage and make the purchasing process efficient and easier. 

The Boy and the Heron

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Starring: Soma Santoki, Masaki Suda, Ko Shibasaki

Rating: 5/5

Signs of heat stroke
  • The loss of sodium chloride in our sweat can lead to confusion and an altered mental status and slurred speech
  • Body temperature above 39°C
  • Hot, dry and red or damp skin can indicate heatstroke
  • A faster pulse than usual
  • Dizziness, nausea and headaches are also signs of overheating
  • In extreme cases, victims can lose consciousness and require immediate medical attention
COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

Company profile

Name: WallyGPT
Started: 2014
Founders: Saeid and Sami Hejazi
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Investment raised: $7.1 million
Number of staff: 20
Investment stage: Pre-seed round

Specs

Power train: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and synchronous electric motor
Max power: 800hp
Max torque: 950Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Battery: 25.7kWh lithium-ion
0-100km/h: 3.4sec
0-200km/h: 11.4sec
Top speed: 312km/h
Max electric-only range: 60km (claimed)
On sale: Q3
Price: From Dh1.2m (estimate)

Rajasthan Royals 153-5 (17.5 ov)
Delhi Daredevils 60-4 (6 ov)

Rajasthan won by 10 runs (D/L method)

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

Don't get fined

The UAE FTA requires following to be kept:

  • Records of all supplies and imports of goods and services
  • All tax invoices and tax credit notes
  • Alternative documents related to receiving goods or services
  • All tax invoices and tax credit notes
  • Alternative documents issued
  • Records of goods and services that have been disposed of or used for matters not related to business
Points to remember
  • Debate the issue, don't attack the person
  • Build the relationship and dialogue by seeking to find common ground
  • Express passion for the issue but be aware of when you're losing control or when there's anger. If there is, pause and take some time out.
  • Listen actively without interrupting
  • Avoid assumptions, seek understanding, ask questions
Sweet Tooth

Creator: Jim Mickle
Starring: Christian Convery, Nonso Anozie, Adeel Akhtar, Stefania LaVie Owen
Rating: 2.5/5

MATCH INFO

Bangla Tigers 108-5 (10 ovs)

Ingram 37, Rossouw 26, Pretorius 2-10

Deccan Gladiators 109-4 (9.5 ovs)

Watson 41, Devcich 27, Wiese 2-15

Gladiators win by six wickets

Avatar: The Way of Water

Director: James Cameron

Stars: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver

Rating: 3.5/5

UAE - India ties

The UAE is India’s third-largest trade partner after the US and China

Annual bilateral trade between India and the UAE has crossed US$ 60 billion

The UAE is the fourth-largest exporter of crude oil for India

Indians comprise the largest community with 3.3 million residents in the UAE

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi first visited the UAE in August 2015

His visit on August 23-24 will be the third in four years

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, visited India in February 2016

Sheikh Mohamed was the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations in January 2017

Modi will visit Bahrain on August 24-25

In-demand jobs and monthly salaries
  • Technology expert in robotics and automation: Dh20,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Energy engineer: Dh25,000 to Dh30,000 
  • Production engineer: Dh30,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Data-driven supply chain management professional: Dh30,000 to Dh50,000 
  • HR leader: Dh40,000 to Dh60,000 
  • Engineering leader: Dh30,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Project manager: Dh55,000 to Dh65,000 
  • Senior reservoir engineer: Dh40,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Senior drilling engineer: Dh38,000 to Dh46,000 
  • Senior process engineer: Dh28,000 to Dh38,000 
  • Senior maintenance engineer: Dh22,000 to Dh34,000 
  • Field engineer: Dh6,500 to Dh7,500
  • Field supervisor: Dh9,000 to Dh12,000
  • Field operator: Dh5,000 to Dh7,000

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