Blogs from United Arab Emirates, Middle East - page 3

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Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai March 27th 2014

'Last year Dubai discovered it didn't have any birds', says Zein. 'So they introduced a new bird from Pakistan.' Zein is my son in law. He is from Syria. It's the first time we meet. Together with my daughter Majorie and my wife Linda we eat falafel at a little restaurant at Jumeira Beach Residence, one of the newest projects in Dubai. 'Is that the one?', I ask, pointing to a brownish bird which is hanging around near the restaurant. 'Exactly.' 'We have them also in Thailand' I say. 'It's a Myna. One of the most invasive birdspecies in the world. Once you have them, you'll never get rid of them.' Who cares?, I think. Dubai is not the place where you come to spot birds. Here you are to be amazed by the highest buildings ... read more
Zein and Majorie on the boat at Dubai Marina
Together with Zein
BBQ in the mountains

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai March 26th 2014

Well we might as well be back in the Uk, Wednesday morning and it's raining quite heavily. We were hoping to have had swim in the pool before heading out again, but the pool is not going to be visited this morning. Well what a wet day Wednesday was, pouring with rain all day, the funny thing is, rain almost brings the roads to a standstill like snow does in the UK, most roads have no drains so everywhere becomes flooded almost instantly. I managed a short walk mid afternoon round the lakes, then headed out to a local shopping mall for a wander and some tea, although smaller than the main Dubai mall we visited Tuesday, its still massive compared to the ones in the UK and incorporates a ski run and small snow boarding ... read more

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai March 25th 2014

Nice relaxing morning round the pool, now for a spot of lunch. After lunch we headed out for a walk of the area with the cameras, then visited the main Dubai mall for an evening meal, seeing the indoor aquarium complete with shark and the ice skating rink. Also seeing the fabulous fountain display outside.... read more
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Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai March 24th 2014

At 7:45 ( Dubai time) our plane landed in Dubai. Although we left Manchester 20 minutes we had a very smooth flight and landing 15 minutes before time. Looking down on Dubai all lit up was an amazing sight to see. After a 20 minute taxi ride we arrived at our apartment, and went to a local resteraunt for a meal, by the time we were walking back to the apartment it was 11pm and still t shirt weather. Its now 9.50 Tuesday morning, time for an hour or so by the pool then to explore.... read more
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Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai March 20th 2014

Basically a lazy day.........after the early morning run and gym visit.......breakfast........sunbathe by the pool.......afternoon tea........sunbathe by the pool, followed by steam room/sauna! Then pre-dinner drinks before we headed to Dubai Mall again (pic 1) to, primarily, see the Fountain light and sound show (pic 2) - which didn't photograph very well! Also took a pic of Burj Kalifa, the tallest tower here (anywhere?). Then, while waiting to get into the Cheesecake Factory, I took a pic of the huge aquarium (again not easily photographed). Believe it or not, I had a very tasty burger at the Cheesecake Factory! Took s couple of more pics in the mall and of the Waterfall - a spectacular fountain - and Burj Kalifa (from the pedestrian walkway),pics 4, 5, 6, before catching the metro back to the hotel......... ..........to get ... read more
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Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai March 19th 2014

Slept well last night........for whatever reason. Forgot to attach the pic of the pool from our floor last night (pic 1). I went down for a sauna and Rae did more gym work. Afterwards, had breakfast in the Dunes Cafe.......unbelievable array of food! Then it was pool time again......still sunny and 21 plus degrees! Stayed by the pool for around 90 mins before heading up for afternoon tea.......and our private taxi sightseeing tour, which was excellent. We covered a lot of ground before we got dropped off at the river boat ferry ( Atlantis Hotel, "Manhattan" skyline, Burj al Arab and beach, King's Palace, Jumeirah Mosque, Dubai Creek, river boat ferry (2-8). The Spice Souk was interesting and we got conned into buying some spices and a silk scarf (pics 9 and 10). Made our way ... read more
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Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai March 19th 2014

it was a long flight, a very long one............we arrived safely in Dubai at 05.00 local time after about 15 hours in the air. Took some melatonin tablets, which are supposed to help adjust your body clock and managed some sleep on the plane. Took a taxi to our hotel, The Shangri-La and was there by 6 o'clock. Unsurprisingly our room wasn't ready........but we offered an upgraded room complete with Horizon Club privileges, at an additional cost of course. Given that we didn't want to waste the day, we took it. Very well appointed room on 38th floor (probably not that high by Dubai standards!) with an uninterrupted view to the Gulf (Pic 1). The Horizon Club membership gave us access to a small gym and pool on the 42nd floor. After sorting ourselves out a ... read more
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Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai March 18th 2014

Despite being seemingly contradictory to everything I stand for, I was admittedly quite intrigued by Dubai. We gave it a day. Actually, I didn’t dislike it. The extravagance, the ostentatious displays of wealth, the biggest, tallest, most luxurious, most expensive whatever, claims to fame that do not generally attract me to a place. But Dubai was alright. It was cheaper to fly back to the UK from Dubai instead of Muscat. So, rather than just using the city for its airport, we arrived for our flight the best part of a whole day early and had a look around. We had expected much from Oman and were disappointed. We expected little from Dubai and were pleasantly surprised. Leaping to a conclusion drawn from little experiential evidence: Oman = very interesting country with lots to do but ... read more
Downtown Dubai from the Metro
Dubai Mall
Burj Khalifa

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai March 15th 2014

After a relaxing morning and huge breakfast, I got a limousine from the hotel to the Ibn Battuta Mall at the far end of the city. I got there right on opening (10am) so it was fairly empty. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_Battuta_Mall The mall is named after the 14th Century traveller Ibn Battuta and the various wings (including even the toilets!!!) are decorated in the themes of the cultures/countries that he visited. It is truly the “Vegas of the Middle East”, with the ceilings painted like the sky and the walls painted or plastered in the theme of the architecture of that particular area. There are also display cases and information boards about instruments and artefacts and life in that era. I entered in the India Court, which had Indian style decorations on the walls and a big moving ... read more
140315 Ibn Battuta Mall India Court 1
140315 Ibn Battuta Mall India Court 2
140315 Ibn Battuta Mall India Court 3

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai March 14th 2014

I flew out of Hervey Bay to Brisbane and caught the T-bus to the International terminal for the connection to Dubai. The plane was an A380-800, which is huge and needed a very long aerobridge to get into it. However, it had plenty of legroom and twinkly lights on the aisle ceiling when the cabin lights were off J Very cute. The Dinner menu consisted of Rice noodle salad for an Appetiser, either Mediterranean-style chicken or Hoisin-style beef with rice and vegetables for the main course and Chocolate marbled cheesecake for dessert. The mid flight snack was a Chicken and mushroom pie or Thai vegetable pie and the Breakfast was fresh fruit, either Cheese omelette or Chicken frittata and a croissant. I watched 2 very good movies – 12 Years a Slave and Philomena and managed ... read more
140314 E Jumeirah Beach Hotel
140314 G Jumeirah Mosque 1
140314 I Dubai Creek 2




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