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Abu Dhabi: Activities Galore!

If feeling blue and need some actions then head outside and look for some activities that are currently on offer in Abu Dhabi, UAE.  To be honest my son and I needed this to be sane especially in this school holiday season!  I have compiled some events that we went to and still on-going.  So hang on in there. 🙂

PUT IN ON THE RITZ... “If you’re blue and you don’t know where to go to, why don’t you go to fashion sits? puttin on the Ritz”.  Have you heard about this song? well we didn’t dressed fashionably for the occassion, besides there is no dress code for this Venetian Festival.  Of course as what the song inspired for … The Ritz Carlton AD Grand Canal website is HERE for you to peruse as my photos and other details may not justify the beauty of it.  I only use my dutiful Samsung mobile cam.

Anyway, check out the photos and you decide for yourself.  There are many restaurants lined up inside the Venetian Village and the view is the opposite of my earlier post that links HERE please check it if you haven’t seen it yet. The festival is now finished but you can visit anytime and may I suggest this is another “romantic avenue” you can go to.

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One of the many restaurants lined up inside the Village

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Now to the next one… MON “Mother of the Nation” website is HERE for more details and yes you can still GO as the last day is tomorrow from 4pm-Midnight.  For other readers people here are nocturnal so we have to learn and adapt this way or you will miss the FUN!

Yes lots of activities for young and old. The problem is the looooong QUEUE!!! for the duration that we were there (4:30-10:30pm) unfortunately we have only been to 2 activities to my son dismay.  Perhaps we went on the wrong day or it is what it is because it’s school holidays and though this events has been going on for about 2 weeks now there is no decline of people going but the location is huge so you don’t have to worry about bumping with each other.  There are some live shows to watch and we have enjoyed it at least we were sitting down nicely.  Do not worry of getting hungry either, lots of stalls and they even have a restaurant set up on the scene for people who don’t want to eat with the crowd with a beach set up table and chairs.  I find our food delicious (chicken paratha) for ten dirhams!  Up to you if you are good in scouring the long stretch of the beach to find a good deal.  I am used to doing so when I travel to South East Asia.  Here are the photos.

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LAST but not the least… International Motor Show Abu Dhabi 2016 link is HERE for more details.  Last day is tomorrow April 2nd and the venue is in ADNEC where you can always find some activities to go to every month.  Another form is from the informative ABU DHABI WEEK magazine free for all every Thursday in AD.    My son loves motorsport so it’s no brainer that we have to go and visit this and make my son happy.  He is only 7.

There are some more to see and do in Abu Dhabi but I guess I have to stop and only showing the ones we went and will go to.  For all adrenalin junkie out there, there is YAS WATERWORLD and of course, FERRARI WORLD and not to mention the coming theme park WARNER BROS. construction is now on-going in Yas Island and expected to be finished by 2018.  Still long to go but hey, at least, something to look forward on to, yey! Yap this is in response to Dubai new theme park which is also under constructions and will open in October hopefully!  LEGOLAND AND BOLLYWOOD PARK.   Gosh so many! how about the small to medium entertainment?  I cannot count anymore, sorry.  I am excited like a KID.

I leave you now with some smile on your faces, I hope!  and knowledge is POWER!

Thanks for reading until next time.  Cheers!

 

 

The Festival: Qasr Al Hosn

 

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seen from Ch.1 

 

February is full of events and actions and it is up to people in Abu Dhabi if they want to participate or not. As an expat, we want to know more of the culture we are currently living in.  Besides this is as good as any other festival and you don’t want to miss that especially if you have kids of your own.  The more activities and events the better.

We didn’t attend on the first day as most of the roads were closed hence we went to another alternative place to wander.  See this LINK about it.

As you can see the old mixes with the new.  According to Wikipedia… this is called the White Fort constructed in 1761 as a conical watchtower to defend the only freshwater well in Abu Dhabi.  This festival is a reminder of the Bedouin life of a bygone era.

It is up to you how you want to experience it but we went to kids activities first before seeing them dancing and lots of photo opportunities that shows their way of life in the old days. It is truly interesting and yes we did enjoy it all.

The men and women that are part of this festival are reenacting their way of life as they walk throughout the place.  So you can follow them  or choose to go in a different direction only to see them again as they do their “chores” of the day.

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Camel everywhere

The surroundings.

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And yes, of course! the foods.  This is a dessert and like a sweet bread with molasses or honey.  Surprisingly I like it and can eat some more.  Good thing one of the activity pass we can swap for some foods and if it’s not for the business call (it’s must be!) that suddenly interrupted me (as I supposed to go to another woman requesting for that “pancake” while balancing the plates and getting my phone) and at the same time my son is already eyeing which one he will taste first.  With that, I didn’t get the chance to take a photo of what they are cooking.  I would like to come back for more but we are about to go to my son’s activity  and a documentary the next as the person on the speaker phone reminding everyone about it.  So yes in the last hour of our time there it was pretty hectic but fun!

 

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The lights on the building dancing the night away!

Thank you for your time reading this.  More to come!  🙂

 

 

 

The Souk: Qaryat Al Beri

Have you been here yet?  Please check their website here for more info.

Last Thursday we came here just to do something as most of the roads were closed due to Qasr Al Hosn Festival (will post about this soon!) and we don’t intend to be with so many crowds on the 1st day of this festival so we decide to go the opposite way.  Good thing it is only 10 minutes away from our place.

Here are some of my photos and I hope these will speak volumes otherwise forgive my amateur photo shots as I only rely on my Samsung smart phone.  For me, it is the handy way to make some shots.  By the way… if you don’t know yet, local people are not allowed to be photographed without their consent.  But on festivals, if they are dressed for the event or part of the event and lots of people taking a photo without them saying No then it’s as good as “Yes, hurry up!” be done with it.  As you can see I tried my best to take an empty place to avoid any issue.  It is better to be safe than sorry.  🙂

I only took some photo that interests me so there are more to see so better check it out yourself and enjoy!  Please click the photo to enlarge.

INTERIORS

SHOPS

THE LOUNGE

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THE GROUNDS

AND THE VIEW!!! Beautiful isn’t it? nice to dine outside and so many restaurants to choose from.  So perhaps an idea for Valentines?  ehem!

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Beautiful sunset, vinneve photo

 

That’s Abu Dhabi and more!

Next will post about the Qaryat Al Hosn Festival, still ongoing up to Feb.13th. Please do come if you are in Abu Dhabi so you may enjoy the local culture and everybody are invited.  Just pay Aed10 per person from 5yrs old UP, with 2 activity passes included (you can use for local foods) then lots for Kids activities + petting zoo + camel & horse rides.  For more info please check this LINK.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

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The Fast & The Curious

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“Today’s menu has two choices, TAKE IT or LEAVE IT”  

Walt Disney

To read this full story here is the LINK.

I have transferred it to my other site LIFE & Wonders. The story of our expat’s life while in Abu Dhabi, UAE. If you are curious enough and wanted to know how it was pre-covid times in the land of the desert from 2015-2019.

Adventure: Desert Safari

I have the luxury of choosing what I want for my birthday present and this is what I have chosen.  Since arriving in UAE I wanted to do this and this month is perfect to do it since the weather is cooler and Abu Dhabi is a windy City so it adds to feeling “Winter”.  It may be different to what you know about winter, but it is definitely cooler than summer here in this part of Middle East.  This season is a much preferred by expats as it is not too hot nor too cold unlike in the opposite side of the World where it’s snowing or raining!  Oh yeah, I prefer the weather here now.

Here are the photos and I hope this can inspire you to have the same adventure.  There are a lot of travel agencies who can help you with this and what theme you prefer as I have chosen the “Family” so it suits us, especially with a young child.

Don’t be fooled with these hilly sand dunes they are higher than you thought. Riding a 4×4, you will need a good driver.  Lots of bumping along the way and it feels like in a roller coaster when our driver goes up the hill and down.  A novice doing this sort of thing can easily make the car roll on their side or worst upside down, and I say if you are not an expert in sand dunes better not risk going up the hill to show off then ending up with the quad bike on top of you.  Some anyway are driving on a low hillside.

Riding a camel is a MUST no doubt about it.  Even a 7yr old child can ride so it is safe though the height is greater than riding a horse.

Sand boarding is also good to try.  Don’t worry there are some staffs who will help you to get started… pushing you down below the sand dunes!

Falcon show and Henna tattoo are also part of the program, Traditional clothes you can also wear and lots to choose from at your own leisure while waiting for your turn for the activities.  Arabian coffee & dates are included and eat as many times as you like plus the dinner buffet is the typical Arabian BBQ that makes you feel hungry by the smell of it.  You sit on their Arabian dinner table & comfy cushions surrounded by Palm trees and Arabian music then a complimentary show about UAE by the end of it.

Belly dancing and shisha can be offered by other agencies.  Your choice.

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Let me end this with a quote… I think this is very appropriate 🙂

“Of all the paths you take in LIFE, make sure a few of them are dirt.” by John Muir

The Daily Post – Photo Challenge: Ornate

This is in response to The Daily Post – Photo Challenge.

“Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves”       by Julia Morgan

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Capital Gate, considers to be the Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi              Owned and developed by ADNEC (Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company).  It is one of the tallest building in the City and inclines 18 degrees to the west (source: Wikipedia).  

Hyatt Capital Gate which is a 5-star hotel is connected to this Iconic building. Mostly tourists enjoy the luxury of this hotel and the building itself especially when there is an event not to be missed.

The first time I saw this building I cannot help myself to look and crane my neck to see how magnificent it is. I actually nicknamed this as “The boot” as from a distance it seems to look like one (as the photo shown for comparison. Sourced: Google images) My photo cannot do justice but you can see on Google some other good photos (like the one below).  I wonder if the architect was getting the idea from a shoe. This is just one of the many unique architectures here in the Capital of UAE.

   Capital Gate - Abu Dhabi ....{by Bassam}

Photo credit to Hyatt Capital Gate at their entrance

A few months ago we attended a Hunting Expedition Exhibits inside this beautiful building and it is huge and sparkling clean.  They often have many events so Families and Friends surely can find something to see and do.

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Saluki (Arabian Dog) Beauty Contest

And last month it is one of the many iconic landmarks that turns #UNblue to celebrate UN 70th birthday.  Photo credits to Instagram UN.

Note:  Please feel free to click the link in red for further information and it’s sources.  Thank you for reading. 🙂

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Abu Dhabi: My kind of City

AD, vinneve photos

A City’s environment is shaped not only by people who have an important influence but by everyone who lives or works there.  By Robert Cowan”.

I have always been a City girl growing up but with a twist.

I like living in or near the City but I want my space too and the charm of being not so far away from everything.  A place where there is also peace & quiet… where you can relax going home at the end of the day, a bit away from the hustle and bustle of the main “City Life” but not too far away from it all. Guess you might be wondering if there is a City like that exists.  Yes, there is and I always tell my friends and relatives that I prefer to go home in my “City” and this is my home away from home (my hometown -Auckland, NZ).

Now here living as an ex-pat in Abu Dhabi, it is also a nice place to live in, away from the crowds and too much traffic.  Perhaps it is also where we live in the main factor as we are in the middle – not too far away from the main city and the airport on the other side though with so many ex-pats children here the schools can be a problem so opting to faraway places as most schools have a long waiting list especially the very good ones. No problem for us, there is a school bus provided and it does matter where you live, really.

Abu Dhabi is similar to Dubai but more relaxed in a way less crowded and less traffic and yes more greeneries!  You will be amazed how many plants and trees are in here as if this is not a desert city, unlike Dubai where tall and shimmering buildings are the ones adorning everywhere and they’re fast-paced of life making me uncomfortable if I stay longer than a few days.

Dubai is just around the corner (just 1 & 30mins drive by car depends on where in the City you live), so if we really want an action further away then we go there but not as often.  Why not? it is because we also have some kind of actions here for the whole family and friends!.  See the photos below.

SOUK QARYAT AL BERI  typical Arabian market that most locals and tourists frequent too.  It has an amazing view, restaurants, and good souvenirs to buy or even do some photo ops.

The Leaning Tower – HYATT CAPITAL GATE  an awesome 18-degree (the world’s furthest) leaning design that is a luxury boutique hotel in the City.  It is a walking distance to the Exhibition Centre as below photos.

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Hyatt Capital Gate and ADNEC

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Unique Architecture as seen above and below…  ADNEC World-class venue where some events are being held and their calendar is full of events!  Aldar HQ (circle) and Emirates Palace and so many others…

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If you want fast and the furious we have Ferrari World here and you can enter from YAS mall (biggest mall in AD) my fave mall ever and buy tickets from there.  FYI, Formula 1 Grand Prix 2015 will be held here for the 7th year! (info & tickets as per link), Yas Marina has something for everyone both ashore and afloat day & night and of course, YAS Waterworld for fun water play you have in mind (more slides, rides, and attractions in any other park in ME) and they even have the Ladies night. If you just want a Park for the whole family to enjoy then please visit Emirates Park Zoo they have a resort too!

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Emirates Palace, vinneve

There are so many things you can do here that some people think Dubai has it all. AD nightlife is also good, but more finesse and decent that as far as I know.  Lots of concerts being held here and sporting events that the whole family can participate in. Lots of parks you can stroll around as AD is the “Garden City” of UAE.  Traveling around here by taxi is a breeze and very safe.  I haven’t encountered an unrespectful and scary taxi driver here and yes I even traveled at night with my little boy!

I can say that I love being here in Abu Dhabi.  More relax and homey.  For new ex-pats, there is the weekly magazine free for all to get from any malls, pharmacies, etc. Even at the airport, they have so many free magazines to read and they even have educational ones (business too) for free!

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View at the back of Qaryat Al Beri Souq, AD, vinneve foto

AD Week magazine has a lot of information for ex-pats on what’s happening and what you can do or meetups with other ex-pats or just join a club.

People are different from one another and I like the values (more conservative and traditional) and lifestyles here.  It is a matter of YOU finding out the charm beneath the humble CITY besides this is the Capital of UAE so there’s more to it than meets the eye!  Please discover it yourself and you will not be disappointed.

Sources: other photos as per LINK and some are my photos.  Feel free to click the link (words in italic bold) for more information.

Camera Lucida – Journey

This is in response to the Week #6 Photo Challenge.

Roads in and around “misty” Dubai & “windy” Abu Dhabi when I first arrived last July and so on.  Perhaps not a very picturesque as others but this is the natural way I can show the roads and some Icon buildings that I passed through from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. To be fair, they are all amazing to look at when near but when you are on the roads traveling by car it is harder to get a close up unless you have a professional camera to boost.  I only have a camera phone with me while traveling.  This is just to show my journey.

 

 

 

 

BURJ KHALIFA in the middle is the tallest building in the World

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BurjAlArabDubai, vinneve

BURJ AL ARAB means Tower of the Arabs is a luxury 7-star hotel and the 4th tallest hotel in the World

Riding a Dhow boat on Dubai Creek going to the Gold & Spice Souk at the other end of the City

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Dubaiwaters, vinneve

A boots style building (on the way to the City) and a Coin shape (near Yas Island) in Abu Dhabi.  Really unique and amazing to see at night.

Emirates Palace Gate outside is the only way we can do some photo opportunity.  The security guards say “No more public viewing inside the Palace Hotel”  but if you have a hotel or restaurant booking then you are most welcome!  But please make sure you have enough money to dare.

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EmiratesPalaceGate,vinneve

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GrandMosqueAD@background, vinneve

A view of the Mosque from Souk Qaryat Al Beri a posh market that locals and tourists go to.

AND finally… a journey going to our temporary “home” in Abu Dhabi

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SO TRUE…

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Grandeur

SHEIK ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE,  Abu Dhabi UAE

Please check this site for more information.  My photos don’t do justice to the real beauty of this magnificent architecture. I do suggest for you to see it yourself as millions of people did.  Enjoy!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheikh_Zayed_Mosque

“Great buildings that move the spirit have always been rare.  In every case they are unique, poetic, products of the heart.”  by Arthur Erickson

 

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Grand Mosque AD, vinneve