M is all about: Bringing the outdoors in

This week we focus on some unique, animal-inspired items.

Alexis Bittar's butterfly brooch from the S/S 2011 collection has caught our eye.
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Win a break at the Fairmont

If anything leaves you in the mood for a weekend of R&R it's the 40-degree heat. Great news, then, that the Fairmont has a fabulous summer offer to cool you down and revive your senses. Check into the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr or the Fairmont Dubai from Dh699 per night and indulge in one of these additional options: buffet breakfast for guests staying a minimum of two nights before July 31; a 50 percent discount on an additional room for guests staying a minimum of two nights before August 29; or credit worth Dh500 to spend on food and beverages when staying at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, or a Dh500 mall voucher when staying at Fairmont Dubai for three nights before August 29. The summer sun has just become more fun.

To make a reservation call 800 848 000 or visit www.fairmont.com/uae

M giveaway

We have a two-night stay to give away to three lucky winners plus their partners in either the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr or the Fairmont Dubai. For a chance to win send your details to mgiveaway@thgenational.ae with the word "Fairmont" in the subject line.

Bring a keen eye

If you are in planning mode for your summer holiday, why not combine travel and a skill? A tour of Vietnam could be the ultimate getaway for all budding photographers who want to spend a week capturing the region on camera. Departing on August 4 to August 13, the nine-day tour of Hanoi-Duong and surrounding area will allow you to experience Vietnam's natural beauty. Think palaces and pagodas, tombs and temples and a seemingly endless patchwork of brilliant green rice paddies in between. Organised by Gary Schmid and Ivana Magilione, who have been teaching photography workshops in Dubai for two years, the trip includes photographic tutorials with an introduction to Lightroom and PhotoShop. Prices are Dh6,950 per person and inclusive of accommodation, trips and tours but excluding international flights and visa costs. With limited places available, it's time to grab your camera and sense of adventure.

For further information contact Schmid on 050 7483667; www.smart-design.ae

Flights of fancy

One of our all-time favourite jewellery designers, Alexis Bittar, has caught our eye again. This time it's the butterfly brooch from the S/S 2011 that we're after. The design is inspired by the glasswork specialist Lalique and is made of printed lucite and plated in gold. Wear it with this season's printed blouses for contrast or over a plain shift to add some texture.

Dh1,880, Boutique 1, The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence, 04 425 7888; Mirdif City Centre, 04 284 3777; and elsewhere; www.boutique1.com

Spider man

Stylish men's accessories don't need to be gaudy (yes, we're talking to you over there with the massive monogrammed belt buckle) or try-hard (think oversized bow tie). A little splash of fun will do the trick just fine. These cufflinks from Paul Smith are a perfect example of trying something new without going overboard. The spider design gives them a quirky element, but in black they're not too flashy so people can still take you seriously.

Dh560, Paul Smith, Dubai Mall, 04 339 8572, and elsewhere

Under the sea

If you're looking for a way to spruce up your jeans this summer - or if you simply lost weight and need something to hold them up (in which case we hate you) - then a new belt is the way to go. The tan colour of this Paul & Joe one will look great with all shades of denim and the fish décor is a great way to accessorise without having to wear jewellery. It can also double up as a waist cincher on a loose dress.

Dh595, Paul & Joe, , Mall of the Emirates, 04 395 1800

Birds of a feather

Create a feel of Parisian summer with this beautiful French-made lamp shade. Inspired by an aviary, it features various sized life-like decorative birds adorning the shade. The wire shade is made from light but strong copper and the decorative birds are made from real feathers. It's a real showpiece for any room.

La Voliere Pendant Lamp, Dh2,187, available online from the Conran Shop, www.conranshop.co.uk