‘I feel at home in Dubai’

Dubai is a favourite with celebrities from across the world and Bollywood actor Zulfi Syed is no exception. City Times asks the ‘Taj Mahal’ star what he loves about the city

By (BM&C)

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Published: Wed 14 Jan 2009, 8:06 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Apr 2015, 1:24 PM

Zulfi  Sayed: Captivated by the warmth of DubaiYou have mentioned that Dubai is one of your favourite places in the world. What is it that you like about Dubai?

I feel at home in Dubai because it is so warm and welcoming; it is always a pleasure to be here. The people are friendly, you meet so many Indians that you feel at home. You also find people of different nationalities, which makes it interesting as you learn so much.

You visit Dubai a lot. Any reason?

It is so close to India, hardly takes around two and a half hours. Apart from that the place is so beautiful, clean and fresh. The city is growing so fast. I see new buildings, hotels and structures every time I visit.  It is interesting to see the growth.

Where do you stay in Dubai?

There are some great hotels in Dubai. I like staying in a hotel, so that I can experience the ambience and the service the hotel provides. On my last two visits, I stayed at Sheraton and the Hyatt as they are more central to my work. I love the Royal Mirage as it is so spacious and magnificent. The architecture of the Mina Salam is beautiful and the entire concept is interesting.

The best place to shop in Dubai?

The city is one of the best places in the world for shopping. There are so many fantastic malls. The Mall of the Emirates is so good; there is nothing you wouldn’t find here. I also like the City Centre, which was the first mall I used to visit. I love shopping for shoes, watches and belts.

Your favourite gadget.

My favourite gadget is my mobile phone, because it is in my pocket all the time.

Clothing brand you are loyal to.

I like to pick up stuff from Zara. It fits me well, so whenever I am travelling I try to pick up something from there.

The best place to relax?

According to me, the best place in Dubai is the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The sea, the hotel and the location makes it splendid. I am a total beach person, so this is my favourite spot.

Your favourite cuisine?

I absolutely love these small Lebanese joints on the streets. They are worth trying. I am not a very big fan of the five star restaurants. I like to try Lebanese and Turkish cuisine, sit in the open air and see the people pass by.

Which is your favourite night spot ?

There are these great sheesha cafes in Dubai. They are a very good option for an ideal night out.

You seem to love cooking.

Yes, I find it very relaxing. I am more of a non-vegetarian cook. I can prepare very good chicken and fish dishes. I am good at barbequing or making tandoori chicken. Also fried or baked fish.  I make very good Indian sweets, especially Kheer.

You mentioned something about opening a restaurant once.

Yes, I would like to open up a nice food court, which would cater to all kinds of cuisines. If I get a chance to buy a big place in a good location, then I would definitely go for it.

Like the ones they have in Dubai?

They have very good food courts in Dubai.

Would you say you are addicted to food?

Yes. Good food.

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