Culture Guide: Dubai International Film Festival 2014

January 3
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with the woman behind the VIP lounge, Katherine Raso

If there’s one thing I recommend you do in Dubai, it’s to take time off during the Film festival and really enjoy the great, moving stories and pieces of art shown during the week. I always like rounding up my favourites from the week that I suggest you check out when it comes out to theatres. I was also lucky to spend some time at the VIP lounge (yes, where all the celebrities hang out during the week!) and thought I’d give you an insight to which brands were displayed and gifting.


Recommended Movies:


-The Good Lie

I have been so impressed with Reese Witherspoon – 2 inspirational and deep movies this year! This wins as my favourite – on Sudanese refugees who are given the chance to fly to the US. It goes to show you how much appreciation we should have for the way we live.



Another Reese Witherspoon movie shown at DIFF, nominated for a Golden Globe – Wild is a true story on a woman’s 1k mile hike to recover from obstacles in life including her mother’s death proving how strong a human can really be when taken out of their comfort zone.



Actor, Paul Bettany’s first directorial film (who was there for the movie and the Q&A), cast his wife, Jennifer Connelly as the main character. The movie is a love story on two homeless people, Hannah and Tahir (a Nigerian Muslim) in NYC. It was written out of guilt as he never really thought about the couple sitting outside his home (who eventually became invisible to him) till they disappeared after the hurricane. We learn about their journey and future, and how homeless people have their own story that we don’t know about.


-Escobar: Paradise Lost

This was probably my favourite movie during DIFF on Columbian drug lord, Pablo Escobar (who is played by the incredible, Benicio Del Toro)


-The Imitation Game

Nominated for FIVE whopping Golden Globes – this is definitely a must watch. Based on a true story, The Imitation Game features Benedict Cumberbatch who plays English Mathematician, Alan Turing who helps crack the Enigma code  during World War II and helped the war end by 2 years.



Inside the VIP Lounge that took place at Al Qasr Hotel… 


-Bedashing beauty lounge from Abu Dhabi were doing the hair and mani/pedis  for celebrities and gave a goodie bag of a few beauty samples.

-Make up For Ever, the official make up brand were doing the make up, as well as celebrating their 30 years so they gifted a make up box with essentials and new eyeshadows they just launched for their 30th anniversary.

-Rivoli were gifting sunglasses from their brands including Tom Ford, Mont Blanc, Swarovski and Roberto Cavalli.

-Initio- A niche fragrance were gifting gorgeous perfumes – I chose my favorite, which was the absolute aphrodisiac, that has a top note of vanilla, as well as musk and costoreum.

-Kid’s clothing from Dubai based brand, Cute edition by edition limitee with little illustrations

-Haig club- David Beckham’s scotch whisky range were offering whisky cocktails.

-Baraboux, Middle Eastern luxury handbag brand by Princess Reema Bandar Al Saud were gifting clutches from the clutch range.

-Tiffany & Co. were lending jewellery to the stars to complement their gowns and looks.

-Keek (The next social network I’m on) was present and they teamed up with local designers, Ethical music to create the official 2014 VIP Lounge bag.



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