Thursday, October 14, 2010

Why blogs die out!

According to surveys 50% of the blogs on the internet die out after the completion of their first 3 months or perhaps even less than that. Mine was 4 months but it's not because I do not like blogging or I have nothing to say anymore. It's other way around! I have been hanging out so much that I have no time to write about my experiences.

Soon I'll need to get out of my box and write about the trip to South of France, visits to malls especially new extension of Mall of The Emirates with it's cafes and Fashion Dome, DIFC, new discovery of the decoraion shops like Andrew Martin, Crate and Barrel. The list is long and I am running out of time.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Carol Bartz says: "I have a belief that life isn't about balance, because balance is perfection....Rather, it's about catching the ball before it hits the floor.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cavalli Club Party Night

Couple of days ago I had a chance to party at Cavalli Club that I completely forgot to write about.

Cavalli Club has been in my ‘Visit List’ since the day it’s been open in May 2009 and finally I went there the other day.

Club is set at the Fairmont Hotel which is by the Sheikh Zayed Road and very famous with its unlimited Moet Chandon Friday Brunches. That’s the topic of another blog. The entrance of the club is at the back side of the hotel so you really do not see it at first. Once you get to the red carpet you can tell that you’ve arrived to Cavalli Club.

You can enter the club via the dark staircase or via the elevator with music and cat walk shows on LCD’s.

I liked giant sized the Swarowski chandeliers; they give extremely nice glamour look to the huge space. I also liked the several different lounges and bars however I can not say the same for the zebra print decoration or cowhide textures of the seating groups. That strange soft feeling irritated me a lot.

It was a very busy Friday night and I must say that all the girls were there as if they just got off from Cavalli’s catwalk at Dubai Fashion Week (!). Super mini dresses, extremely sexy tops, super high heels were worth to see. As usual there were more gentlemen then the ladies which is another very usual scene in Dubai night life.

I love fashion but when it comes to the night life I like good music and dance instead of pose and stay put. Cavalli Club is definitely a place if you like to show-off more than the partying.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Armani Hotel Visited

You would think that it would be so easy to find the entrance of the World Tallest Building, right? After all, you can even see it from 100km away. Well, I have to tell you this, when you are just too close to it, it’s extremely hard to find how to enter in it!

I went to visit Burj Khalifa the other day to check-out the Armani Hotel, which finally open it’s doors in Dubai after several changes in the opening date. It’s now available for all luxury visits The World Tallest Building, Burj Khalifa. After spending about 30 mins driving around the building, - this is too long for Dubai condititions-, managed to find the entrance of Burj Khalifa. And it was worth of all trouble. Burj Khalifa and Armani Hotel entrance is really nice with the fountains.

It’s not necessary to book a table at Armani Hotel if you’re planning to go there just for drinks however you need to have a reservation number to be able to access the building. I must say that the personel at the hotel were really nice from check-in till check out. Beautiful, model like, selective personnel however I can not tell the same for the ones who were answering the phone. When you live in Dubai too long, you get really spoiled with the quality of service. So Armani reception failed the first test.

Hotel’s decoration was fabulous. Very masculine, simple and bald lines as usual Armani Casa style. Armani Prive, the nightclub is worth to check out for it’s very impressive big Cat-Walk wall. Very stylish. Armani Delicatessen and Armani Florist are now the new fashion to make the girls happy.

I was there on a Tuesday night, to be honest there were more personnel than the guests. Although I like the hotel, it didn’t really feel like being inside the tallest building at all. I guess it’s more impressive to look at the building from a distance rather being inside of it. Still a must see masterpiece for fashion addicts.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

This weekend in Dubai

Tomorrow will be an emotional day due to being Children’s Day. But other than that, this weekend will be very busy starting already tonight.

This evening sundowner planned at 360 at Madinat Jumeirah. I have been to this fabulous place several times for a drink late in the evening but this time I want to be there for sunset. This place has 360 degree view just at the side of Burj Al Arab. Nice view of Dubai’s signature buildings Burj Al Arab, Madinat Jumeirah and Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

Tomorrow, dinner booked at Zuma. Yes that will be a true indulgence.

Saturday, I booked a massage at SPA at The Address Downtown. I selected this place since it’s very close to Dubai Mall and has the best view of (New) Old Town view from the relaxation rooms. I have so high expectations form the service as well.

After the SPA some time will be spent at Bloomingdales.

Children’s Day at Dubai

I do not remember when was the last time I got so excited for Children’s Day. But this week, time does not pass! I wish it’s already tomorrow and we’re already at Dubai American University to celebrate this Big Day in Dubai, for the first time.

The Grand National Assembly of Turkey was established on 1920, April 23. Then, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk presented that special day to children as Children's Day. The day is celebrated annually in Turkey with the participation of Children around the world.

This year Children’s Day is also celebrated in Dubai for the first time in this big scale. Sultans of Dubai, together with the support of Turkish Consulate of Dubai organize an event with the participation of Dubai’s international schools and a girls folklore group has arrived from the Northern City of Turkey, Trabzon, and now they are accommodated by their ‘Local’ families. Everyone is so excited, messages do not stop, I even bust into tears when I read the reviews when the girls arrived to Dubai from Trabzon.

Thanks to everyone who made this happen. One special day will be memorized forever.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Unwind in Style

Dubai is a heaven for us! It’s a heaven of SPA’s. It can be very hard to find the best one tough.

The best SPA I have been was Talise SPA at Madinat Jumeirah. I had the Detox Package which was fantastic. First they massage your whole body with an oil and then gently massage you with natural sea salts which helps to remove the dead skin. After that they wrap you with some nice body masks and while waiting wrapped in towels you get the head massage. This mask leaves the skin so nice and smooth. Between all these sessions you have shower and aromatherapy baths. After all these you get the chance to relax at the outdoor terrace overlooking to the water canals of Madinat Jumeirah. That was one of time well spent day at Dubai. Talise has also couple therapy rooms so you can have a chance to relax with your partner or with your SPA-coholic friend. I like Talise SPA but to be honest it’s a bit pricey to go every week. So it’s best for some special occasions.

So my favorite SPA for more often use has been so far Angsana SPA at Dubai Marina. I found my favorite massage which they call ‘Fusion’. This massage includes nice Balinese style deep tissue massage with nice stretches and aromatic oils. They are also a bit pricey but they have really good packages if you purchase a pack of 10 massages or even better alternative if you select a package only for week days.

I am not including The One and Only Hamam experience into the SPA category as Hammam has it’s own category and I simply enjoyed the experience I had at One & Only.

I also love the reflexology. Just stop by at any FeetFirst for a half an hour foot massage and there you're a complete new person.

A friend of mine will be visiting me next weekend and she is a SPA-coholic like me. I am listing down some new SPA’s where I haven’t been yet. One of them is The Address Downtown. I heard that they have really good treatments as well as the best Burj Khalifa and Old Dubai view from the relaxation room.

Some humble ways unwind in Dubai.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dubai Outdoor Living Continues

Living in Dubai thought me to respect the outdoors life, enjoy outdoors as much as you can, as long as it’s not yet too hot! So this week I found myself at Safa Park at the end of the Al Wasl Road. I am not a big runner, I do lots of yoga and pilates but running is so hard for me. But still I went for a nice jogging and walking at Safa Park.

Thanks to Sultans of Dubai ladies, we get together every Saturday morning and Sunday evening in front of Safa Park Gate 5 to go for a run. So this was my first time at Safa Park for running and I could not believe my eyes! So green, so fresh, such a lovely place. There was also a nice breeze and the smell of Linden Tree (Ihlamur). Not sure if there are any linden trees but it really smelled like so. After all it felt so nice to run; even the weather was 37 degrees!

Safa Park has a very nice running track; running didn’t hurt my knees and ankles at all. There were so many people running, walking, doing push-ups and so on that it was really encouraging.

We need to enjoy these last days of spring in Dubai and be outdoors as much as possible. Never too late. So I’ll go next Sunday too.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Discovering Al Bastakiya

Al Bastakiya the Old Town is a place that I had a chance to visit for the first time this weekend.
Al Bastakiya is on the Bur Dubai side, just on the side of Creek.

When you arrive there, there are plenty of parking spaces available however still the best is to get there by taxi.

By the Creek, there are many different alternatives of dinner cruises. When you park your car, you pass by these cruise boats on the way to Bastakiya. Most of these cruises seem similar except one. Beteaux Dubai. This one looks really nice and fine dining restaurant. It’s now on my list to see.

When it comes to Al Bastakiya, it’s a very unique place with its architecture with its narrow streets, and nice old wooden doors. When you enter its streets, you get the feeling of getting lost in a real old city with history. This is such a feeling you forget when living in Dubai since everything is very new. Moreover when you enter any of these houses which mostly turned into art galleries or café’s, they all have small gardens perfect for summer evenings.

I went to Al Bastakiya on Friday afternoon hoping to have galleries open. Unfortunately they were open only from 10am till 5pm. Most galleries are open weekdays from 10am till 7pm. So I need to pay another visit to check out the Majlis Gallery.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dreams of a 12 year old

I try to avoid reading all bad news in the daily news papers. Do not think that I do not care what’s going on in the world rather it’s a kind of protection mechanism of my mind. If I keep reading all these third page sad news, my days would be miserable.

Unfortunately today I could not stop reading this one when I saw the headline. The news that 12 year old Yemeni girl dies three days after her wedding day due to acute bleeding caused by sexual intercourse. She had suffered the rupture in her womb. How sad is this?

When I read this article in Gulfnews, my hands got numb and it hurt me so much. I felt the pain in my chest. And still when I’m writing about this, my hands are shaking.

She was just a kid. What happened to her dreams?

I even thought that maybe this was the best for her, I could not even imagine the pain she would have had if she had survived.

Unfortunately in this part of the world, child marriages are extremely common. As you can imagine, these children, they no not marry with their own will, obviously! But they are swapped for dowry or married to the richest man of the village so that they can live rest of their life happy (!) or just given away for some -no- reason.

When I started this blog, I promised that I’ll write only about fun stuff but today I could not stop thinking about child brides and how shallow mankind can be…

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dubai: TO DO and Not TO DO

Dubai: A dream comes true. A fabulous city with magnificent buildings, beautiful beaches, largest malls, luxurious hotels, five star restaurants and fancy nightclubs. Dubai is vibrant, luxurious cosmopolitan welcoming different cultures to its precious land and live happily ever after.

Lately and unfortunately this picture suffers from public indecency.

Couple of weeks back a British couple has been arrested as they were spotted kissing in a restaurant at Jumeirah Beach Residence and yesterday it was announced that they were found guilty and charged a month in jail and deportation. Not that they were spotted kissing but they also consumed alcohol.

Two years back another British couple was jailed due to having sex at the beach. That to them that there is a new word now in literature, s’expats!

So what is acceptable and what is not in Dubai? What are the rules for TO DO and not TO DO?

There are no by-the-book guidelines for living in Dubai. Its okay to wear bikinis by the beach and consume alcohol but kissing is no go. UAE law does not specify certain acceptable clothes, but in general specifies that clothes should not be sexually provocative, which could affect the harmony between the country's various nationalities. Law also says that sexual behavior is not allowed, there is a no distinguish between married and unmarried couples when it comes to intimacy in public. Gulfnews had a very good Q&A including all these which can be found here.

People also tend to forget that alcohol is not permitted in UAE. You can have alcohol only at the hotels and restaurants, bars inside the hotel premises but that’s all! And when you have alcohol, it’s better you straight go home and not to hand out. To purchase and consume alcohol, you need to have an ‘alcoholic license’.

So there is no black or white but it’s the common sense. Maybe little conservative but still we have it all. As long as you do not disturb or occupy the others freedom, you’re free. Dubai is one amazing place where 200 different Nationalities and cultures live together with peace and harmony, we respect each others holidays, relagions, customs. I hope this will remain forever.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

After The Dubai World Cup

The Dubai World Cup is the World’s richest race and is much more about fashion than horse racing.

The Event of the Year, The Dubai World Cup took place last weekend at the new race track Meydan. I heard a lot about the race and moreover the Bubbly Lounge.

My preparations started days in advance. All had to be perfect. The dress was found and then the hat search began. Yes, you can not go to the World Cup without a proper hat! I found one, matching my dress at Burjuman Mall. There was a special corner for all kinds of hats specially for the World Cup.

When we got to the new Meydan track, we got ourselves straight at the Bubbly Lounge which had Apron views where we could see the race. Everything was perfect until…The weather was extremely hot that day, 42c degrees in the afternoon with warm wind from desert. Heat and champagne! First indications of a bad event management, there was no water at the bubbly bar! Not even a soda water, mineral water, WATER or any soft drinks! Non of them. To get some water you had to walk to the main building.

The main activities of the event for ladies were to be on the ‘run way’ to qualify for the Best Dressed Woman. The price for this year was a year lease for a Land Rover. I heard that there were more than 500 candidates this year which the highest of all times.

The races started around 5 pm, until that time there were no other activities than the above competitions and with the heat I was so dehydrated that I could not stay for Elton John and Santana concerts. I event missed the beautiful fireworks.

At the end for me unfortunately it was so much effort to have few glasses of champagne.

Apron views

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Nasimi Beach at Atlantis

Thursday night I went to check out the Nasimi Beach at Atlantis. When I got there at 8 pm, there was nobody from my birthday party people. Apperantly everything starts at Nasimi after 10pm. So I didn’t want to stay there alone and I went to Nobu to have a quick dinner.

Nobu’s sushi bar is fantastic that you do not have to pre-reserve. First come first serve. Sushi bar chefs are like bartenders. They do everything to make you happy. They first offered me a New Style Salmon. This is a Nobu style salmon sashimi which I love. And next they offered me rock shrimp tempura, this is another Nobu signature dish that I enjoy every time I eat.

After Nobu, I walked back to Nasimi via Atlantis pool area. I was extremely tranquil and nice.

Nasimi is in front of Atlantis Hotel, nicely set on the beach, overlooking to Palm Island. There are casual and very relaxing seating areas on the beach. First of all, I didn’t know that I had to walk on the sand and I had my Pedro Garcia stilettos which was sad. Place was nice and they serve sisha –nargile- on the beach like many other places. This is extremely common in Dubai that wherever you go, you can get sisha. But music was extremely laud. I wonder why they had a dj set at Nasimi instead of something more relaxing. Overall, like many other places in Dubai, outlook was perfect but when you’re there, nothing was special.

Beach life!

I always envied to people who lived in Bodrum, popular summer town of Southern Turkey. I thought that they can enjoy beach life everyday whereas `we` people from Istanbul had that chance only couple of times a year and only in summer.

That’s why, when I moved to Dubai, I thought that my life will be all about beach! I’ll enjoy beach life every day, every weekend as long as the weather is warm, which is most of the year in Dubai. That’s why we decided to live in Jumeirah Beach Residence so that beach would be just few meters away from us. Well, guess how many times I have been there during the last year?

I must admit that I have been there last spring couple of times. I got my beach chair, jump on my beach bike, packed gossip magazines, fruits and water. And voi’la! But since maybe last June I haven’t been there at all. Busy city life.

Until today! Today I spent a very stressful day, so I needed something to distract my mind and take myself somewhere else. So I just jumped my bike and went to beach. Around 6pm, sun was going down like a red apple; sea water was warm and nice. So that was the best decision ever. I got over all the stress and here I am happily writing these. And again promising myself that I’ll go to beach more often.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What did I miss last week

In Dubai, time flies. It’s almost mid March and there are tons of things that I would need to do. Meanwhile, there are some events that I missed. Just no time!

Last week, when I was in Abu Dhabi, Sting was performing at Meydan.

Meydan is United Arab Emirates’ new iconic horse racetrack. It’s a giant place as I understand with 60 000 capacity of grandstands and so on and actually it’s called Meydan City, there are residential buildings as well if you feel like living in the Meydan.

When I heard that the Sting concert was there, I could not help but wonder: Why a concert at the race tracks? And why a concert after a race?

At the end of the day, we didn’t go! I voted for a relaxing weekend at Abu Dhabi and it was the right choice as the concert was delayed due to preparation of the area after the race. Sting was good, as always and as he promised but it was confirmed that the Meydan Racetrack was not the best possible concert arena.

Meydan is preparing now heavily for the coming Dubai World Cup, the most popular sports event in UAE among the locals and expats. And there are rumors that Elton John will perform on March 27th.

The other event I could not make was Fazil Say concert as part of Al Ain Classic Music Festival. This is sad because I really wanted to see Fazil Say performing but again same same, this was also on March 4th and I was in Abu Dhabi.

So it’s really crucial not to leave Dubai alone. You never know what’s next round the corner.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Weekend well spent at the Capital City

After having a fantastic weekend at Abu Dhabi, finally I am back on track with so many things on my to-do list.

I have been running from one place to another last couple of months that I needed this quick break so my husband and we spent last weekend at Shangri-La in Abu Dhabi. This Hong-Kong based luxury hotels chain is a synonym for serenity and tranquility.

The reason why I picked Shangri-La was just to be away from Dubai and knew that they’ve got the best SPA’s in the world.

Hotel was a very good choice. Nicely set on the beach with fabulously large rooms with balcony, overlooking to the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque of Abu Dhabi with the best bed and pillows I’ve ever slept. We had our dinner at the Pearl & Caviar, hotel’s signature seafood restaurant. Personnel, food and atmosphere were just fantastic. Decorations of the plates were like a piece of art and still quite enough food to fill your stomach unlike many fancy restaurants. Either we are used to charged overpriced in Dubai or prices were really good because we paid only 500 dirhem including champagne –which was complimentary, you wont get a complimentary water in Dubai-, wine, oysters, main courses and coffees. After dinner we moved upstairs, open air bar. There was a guest DJ playing that night, we had fun but the music was not really that good.

Unlike the hotel experience SPA was a big disappointment or maybe I selected the wrong treatment at an Asian SPA. I wanted to try the hamam and they had the only hamam in UAE where we could experience as a couple. All other place here are either only for men or women. Price of the hamam therapy was double the price of Moroccan Hamam at One & Only but I definitely can not say the same about the experience. Unfortunately when we entered, hamam was cold, not steamy as they turned it on only when we got there and the ‘kese’ was made of synthetic material that it did irritate our skin rather then giving us a calming smooth skin. Well, we had to drink more champagne after all to cheer the mood up.

We returned back to city to join our friend Tanja’s 30th birthday party after chil’in at the infinity pool of the hotel overlooking to the Mosque. I still recommend this place for short breaks but maybe next time to try the Thai massage.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Is winter really over?

Previously, did I really say that I miss winter? Well I was wrong. Apparently winter can be really boring in Dubai like any other place in the world. At least it may take really long, like this year.

It’s still winter here, can you imagine? It’s been cold, grey, rainy and sandy last couple of weeks and we had so much sand storms that our apartment is full of dust and sand even on 17th floor. So you can imagine how dusty it’s been.

Last weekend’s sandstorm was very extraordinary to me. Suddenly heat climbed up to 35c from 20c something, wind, dust and altogether. I had so much headache that it was like Lodos in Istanbul. Lodos brings the heat waves from Mediterranean and we always blame our headaches on lodos. In Dubai, sand storms bring the heat from Arabian deserts and now it was my excuse.

Rule didn’t change and after the sand storms we got heavy rain, flood waters everywhere. Air is now finally fresh, nice and mild so I am back in good mood!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dubai Car Free Day - 10 Days to go!

I can not imagine Dubai with out car. You can not walk anywhere in Dubai or there are no proper public transportation. Yes, ok, we now have the Dubai Metro and brand new buses with AC and so but do we use them? No! Some of us have been using the Metro just for sightseeing purposes and gold class only. Yes, Dubai metro is probably the only metro in the world which has Gold Class facility. I am not talking about the trains; this is just a normal metro system.

Anyway, my topic today is that Dubai municipality has declared Feb 17th as a Car Free day in Dubai as part of the Emirates Go Green initiation. That’s great news but I wonder if this is going to work. Unfortunately I’ll not be in Dubai to report the results but I’ll definitely get some feedback from friends.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sandy Weekend

Today is the first day that the guests had left and our beautiful sunny days are back. Yes, they were very lucky to see the rainy and sandy Dubai and only one sunny day during the five days trip. It has been extremely windy and sandy last couple of days that we have a handful of sand even at our balcony on 17th floor. Funnily enough clothes dry much quickly outside; I call ‘the hair-drier effect’ of the warm wind.

Still you can find lots of things to do in Dubai when the weather is really bad. Shopping is the option one. Not a bad one especially the Shopping Festival is in town! At the end our guests had to spend lots of time –and money- at Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates and Gold Diamond Park. We have been to Frankie’s one night. This is our ‘round the corner’ Italian with very good risottos, especially asparagus risotto with sautéed goose liver, wood-oven pizzas and alcohol. Well if you know Dubai, you know that we do not get alcohol served everywhere so one more reason to love Frankie’s and despite the bad weather Jazz Festival continued at JBR.

On Friday, I have prepared a Turkish Breakfast. This is a separate article, ‘How to Prepare a Turkish Breakfast in Dubai’. We spent Friday afternoon this time as Dubai Desert Classics at Emirates Golf Club. That was very nice and relaxing afternoon, following Mikko Ilonen as usual. We could not make it to Atlantis Aqua Park but we have been to Nobu at Atlantis - Again! Well, Nobu is a a must-do in Dubai for me anyway. Black cod was fantastic as usual.

I wanted to book a day at Burj Khalifa to visit the Observation Deck together with the guys. Apparently it’s so busy that I had to book an appointment. First I called their hot-line on Wednesday and they had time slot available for Friday at 8pm but it turned out that they do not make any reservations and I had to go to Dubai Mall and get the tickets. Tickets are 100 dirhem but if you just go and want to visit you have to pay 400 dirhem. So guys went to pick up the tickets on Thursday and Friday was no longer available! So, they are busy! In fact only available time was Sunday late evening, which was already too late. So they didn’t have a chance to visit the tower. I think it was good that they didn’t have a chance to visit the Burj Khalifa because it’s now temporarily closed for visitors due to maintenance for a month! It’s been open less then a month and unfortunately due to the heavy traffic, some maintenance required. I am afraid I’ll not visit the place any time soon!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sound of Jazz

I think that every country has its own unique sound. Different sounds remind me of the places I had a chance to visit. Like Italy, it’s the opera! Imagine you’re in Milan, having a glass of wine at Galleria in the Piazza Duomo and opera in the background. Or Lisbon, Fado reminds me of Lisbon, very dramatic and sad. Spain, agh Spanish guitar, remember Vicky Christina Barcelona. Istanbul is so mix and for me it’s definitely Jazz-Fusion. No orchestra needed, just walk on Beyoglu Street, different type of music blend in together and compose the Fusion. UAE is definitely oriental music in Arabic, live, laud and rich with percussions, immediately cheers you up but you can not listen all the time.

So Dubai having this oriental sound of the city, it was a nice surprise to have some live jazz band at JBR last evening. As an extension of the Skywards Dubai International Jazz Festival, this year ‘World of Jazz’ is taking place at The Walk JBR in front of Paul, and with live performances every evening until Feb 9th.

Yesterday, Daniel Gassin Trio had a really nice gig and it turned out to be that they travelled all the way from Melbourne, Australia for one gig only. I really enjoyed their performance.

So this week, grab your coffee and get to The Walk at JBR to clean your ears and fill your soul with some Jazz tunes, free of charge!

Performances will continue at Media City, between Feb 10 and 19 with admission fee.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dubai Shopping Festival 2010 28 Jan – 28 Feb

15th Dubai Shopping Festival has started. I can already tell the difference at JBR from the crowed and activities going in and around other then the discount signs everywhere.

Well, to me DSF is just a very good marketing of Dubai because there has been sale in town already since the beginng of the January but with the DSF there are always some activities around the town. Like the Funfair and Heritage Village at JBR.

The Funfair has set on the beach! It will be open every evening till the end of the festival. This amusement park has became a-must-have for Dubai Shopping Festival at JBR. It’s just build at the carpark area right at the beach. It’s a good location but I wonder how residences can sleep since the park is just in front of all the buildings and very laud music all the time. Good bye to sleep for a month.

Another activity at JBR is the ‘Heritage Village’. I see this first time at JBR; it’s a bit like a small replication of the Emirates Heritage Village in Abu Dhabi. It would be nice to check out especially if you have guest from abroad. It’s a small area demonstrating the ‘Old Dubai’ from 70’s. After all Dubai was just a small village with pearl divers. Here you can see the traditional buildings that people used to live, traditional dances are performed, pearl searching, horse and falcon shows.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Highlights of this week

One day for guests to arrive Dubai!
Three days for dinner at Zuma.
Four days for day at Atlantis Aqua Park and/or Discovery of Burj Khalifa observation deck
Five days for reformer instructor training level 1 final day

Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Mall in Town

I found out a new shopping mall where I can find all I need! Well, not the Dubai Mall. Discovery of this weekend was the Jumeirah Town Center. I don’t know how I missed this place but never too late. Zen Pilates has studio in this mall and there is everything here from Feet First to Skin Clinic, Nail Station to Sumo Sushi. Well actually I told you before that I am a sushi smob, but I actually liked the Sumo Sushi here. There was also a handcraft shop that I’ll check for my mummy. She would have loved this place. There is a nice Cremic Café with the large outdoors sitting area as well if you feel like painting.

Jumeirah Town Center is on Jumeirah beach road and just before Mercato Mall incase if you have some time to kill.

Surfers Beach

Girls, I have one good and one bad news for you. I start with the good one.

This weekend I discovered where all the cute surfers are in town! They are all practicing at the open beach by the Burj Al Arab! You have to see them with the waves of the Arabian Gulf! Nice!

The bad news is that, beach is full of usual Friday crowd that you can not really show off your figure in your tiny small bikini. There would be hundreds of eyes watching you all over. Well, life! You can not get all at the same time. However beach is still worth to check out. It was full of people; tourists taking pictures, surfers with surfboards, some having sunbath in beach clothes, or ladies in abayas or Japanese tourists with umbrellas.

Pics from my N97.

Scoop the belly in!

Dubai is the place that you actual can have some spare time for yourself. At least that’s what happened to me after moving here. After my busy life in Istanbul, it was fantastic to be able to do something for myself. After all I didn’t have to waste lots of time in traffic! If you think about it, I already saved at least two hours every day.

So when I had time for myself, best way to kill that is to do some exercise. I have always been a member of a fitness club in Istanbul, always paid tons of money but never been there at all. You can picture the type :) so one thing I knew that I should not go to Fitness First, one of the biggest fitness club in town.

Zen Yoga was my savior in Dubai and I met lovely yoginis and pilates junkies there and have been practicing both yoga and pilates since then. I must say that I was able to see my body changing and growing in a good way, needless to say that I also become a much calm and positive person. I am not sure if that’s the effect of the every day sunshine, lots of practice or a happy marriage :)

Last weekend I have started my Pilates Reformer Instructor journey at Zen Pilates studio. I had Reformer Level 1 Instructor Training workshop by Balanced Body University during the whole weekend and I’ll need to pass a test next weekend so that I can participate the level 2 training in April or May. It was so much fun to spend the whole day at a studio full of Pilates apparatus such as reformers, trapezes, chairs, balls etc. It was really motivating and relaxing. On the other hand it was a bit stressing to find out that teaching can be very hard and need a lot of practicing. So from now on all free time will be spent at Zen Pilates Studios at Jumeirah Town Center or Emirates Hills.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

This Weekend

I will start my long time waited Pilates Reformer Training! That will be fantastic!
Did you hear about the Morgan? Will be nice to see at Reel Cinemas Dubai Mall.
Full Moon Beach Party at Palm Jumeirah, something might be worth to check out!
And clean up the home before guests arrive on Tuesday :)
Enjoy the new Audi A5


You understand that you lived in Dubai long enough when you start saying “it’s winter, brrr!” only on the first cloudy day you get after a year! And you start freezing when it’s only 22C outside.

Yes, that’s me. I am feeling so cold; missing wearing my cashmere, my trench coat and my ankle length boots and it is really hard to get myself off the bed, like any usual winter in Istanbul although sun is already up and shining in my bedroom! I can’t blame the sun about my morning tiredness since it’s not even dark outside!

I wonder, is our body coded for winter months so that it does not matter whether it is sunny or not that we feel like winter lazy during December, January and February?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dubai Pamper Services: Oriental Hamam

If you’re born and raised in Turkey, you already know a lot about the Hamam. Their architecture, ritual and traditions. If you’re from Istanbul, you see many of them around the town, at least you read about them in the history books or simply you have been dragged by your grandma at least once when you were a kid.

Hamams are no longer fashionable among my friends mainly because of the fantastic hotel spa’s and unfortunately treatments and hygiene at the historical hamams can not really compete with the 5 star hotel comfort. But at the same time, you can not really compare the atmosphere of a 18th century Cagaoglu Hamami with the bath at any 5 star hotel.

I love the historical hamams and especially the special exfoliation treatments ‘kese’, hot marble stones and simply the shadowy lights which flow through the small round glass windows at the dome. So relaxing!

Last week, for the first time in Dubai, I went to discover the Hamam at One & Only Royal Mirage. To be honest, I didn’t have any expectations since I was sure that it would be same as any hotel Turkish Bath experience. But when I got there, I entered the place and already had completely different opinion. This oriental hammam is called Moroccan Hamam and interior decoration done in such a lovely traditional way that it immediately takes you away. With its light, and Moroccan Blue tiles and small details are just worth to see and feel it and suddenly you’re out of this world.

In the traditional hamam, you do nothing and let ‘tellaks’ guide you through this experience. Tellaks at the Oriental Hamam are the masters of this ritual and are really good in exfoliation treatments and massages. If you like to pamper yourself more, you may also add on a honey body warp which was absolutely fantastic.

After hamam, there is a beautiful resting area where you just have your nice Moroccan tea and just chill out. When I was there, there were two girls from Brazil and actually one of them was getting married on the same day. They were just relaxing and enjoying the day like our traditional Bridal Hamam, Gelin Hamami. The whole bath thing takes about one hour but I spent like three hours there, just chilling and relaxing.

So I finally found perfect hamam for myself in Dubai and highly recommend this fabulous place for all friends and guests.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Luxurious Golf*

Did you know that, 2,800,059 liter of water is used every day just to keep ONE golf course green in Dubai? Knowing that there are TEN top class clubs in town, the amount of water consumed here probably can easily be the solution of ‘dry’ African countries. Only this argument can be the good reason not to play golf but unfortunately one has to sacrifice one way or another.

I started to play golf when I moved to Dubai. I can’t help myself because golf courses are the only green areas you can find in this yellow toned city.

Dubai has the best climate for golf lovers. Sunshine, all year! Even too much sometimes, like summer time! If you have a chance to avoid July and August, you can enjoy the green as much as you can.

In my case, I am privileged to spend my summertime in Turkey and in Finland, for the rest of the time I love spending time at Montgomerie Golf Club, closest to my home. I can not say that I am already a Pro. Actually you really have to practice golf if you want to have some consistency in your stroke and swing but who cares. Like I said for me the most important thing is that I can fell the chilled grass and smell of the green after the ‘rain’ or water showers!

Last weekend Abu Dhabi Golf Championship took place and we had a chance to follow Mikko Ilonen, from Finland. I love to follow golf competitions because they really do not seem like a competition! Gentlemen’s sport! Competitors talk to each other or with the audiences during the game but when it’s the time for the play then everybody stand still and just follow the player. After the 9th hole, we decided to take a small ‘bubbly break’ as it was getting very warm and then followed the rest of the games from the Bubbly Bar and from the grass area near by the 18th hole.

Highlights of the tour for me; I met my all time favorite player Johan Edfors from Sweden and got a ball after the game and ‘Spider Man’ Camilo Villegas, 27 year old Colombian was worth to see with his signature putting style.

* Luxurious Golf was the header of my husband’s article at Golf-Digest Magazine Finland.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Up In The Air

Definitely a must see for George Clooney fans. Good for an easy Thursday or Saturday to kill some time but no expectations for Academy Awards.

I find it quite realistic in a way that the story of a modern man consumer habits and an overly motivated a new-grad at work that you might just meet at a daily life.

Not recommend for those who's just got unemployed, just broke-up/divorced or who will fire people!

A week at The Airport

I could not resist when heard about 'A Week At The Airport: A Heathrow Diary' by Alain De Botton.

I love travelling and I always find airports very interesting places to be. If I have time, I’d like to go to the airport early to spend sometime and just observe people passing by. I think that airports have quite a different energy under their cold and artificial architecture.

So this is what Alain De Botton writes about his one week stay at Heatrow Airport in summer 2009 as a first ever Writer in Residence of Heatrow Airport. He meets travelers from around the world; he interviews with the personnel from cleaners to security guys and tells us their story in his philosophical and sophisticated way. Easy and joyful reading.

After Heatrow Dairy, I had a chance to read about days and night story of Istanbul Ataturk Airport from Onur Basturk.

Onur decided to spend 5 days and 4 nights at Istanbul Ataturk Airport like Alain De Botton and as a journalist he draws a completely different picture of his days. He gives us te opportunity to learn about the terminology of the airport dialogues, interesting stories from the security of passport personnel and most interesting he visits the air traffic controllers which I could die to visit myself. Onur writes only in Turkish, if you feel like you can check out his blog here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Walking Dubai

Dubai is a city that we never walk! At the beginning this was a biggest downside for me because I like to walk and use public transportation and so on. In Istanbul where I used to live, I lived at the heart of the city and walked everywere.

One reason why you can not walk in Dubai is because it gets really hot during summer months (40+c, Yeah!) and other reason is that the things you need in daily life are just spread all over the city. Like we do not have a super market in walking distance.

Well not anymore! Since the JBR walk is now up and running we have everything in walking distance! So I love this! In the evenings, people are just out at streets, cafe's and restaurants are full of people and shops are open till late in the eveining. And now people actualy walk in Dubai. That's fantastic.

Jumeirah Beach Residence -AKA JBR- is one of the newly developped residential area in Dubai where I live. JBR is located at the heart of new Dubai, overlooking the Arabian Gulf and offering plenty of facilities including an access to open beach and the lovely Walk where you can find restaurants, play areas for children, retail stores and hotels etc.

2 years ago when I first moved in, there was simply nothing! It was like a ghost town. But now it's lovely and really enjoyable to spend time outdoors.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Emotional Intelligence; Is It an Advantage of Successful Business Women?

Since the day I have read this article about Guler Sabanci, I can’t stop asking myself; is the `Emotional Intelligence` key to success of women in business world?
One of her interviews, Guler Sabanci mentioned that `Emotional Intelligence` is the key of successful business women. The interview was published in one of the bestselling newspapers of Austria, Kurier on Sunday Aug 2nd and Guler Sabanci, Chairman and Managing Director of one of the Turkey’s leading industrial and financial holding Sabanci Group, was mentioned as one of the most powerful women worldwide.
Guler Sabanci; Turkey’s Queen of finance according to Financial Times, ranked as 5th Financial Times top 50 women in world business; answered a question `How she could succeed in the male dominant business world?` which was directed during her interview:
“I grew up in a family where the members talked about business while eating. I assumed positions in the production and organization following my university education. However, the point is, to do the best way that what is to be done, and to focus on success. In business life, women are not better or worse than men. But women are simply different. I am of the opinion that it is an advantage for the women that they have more emotional intelligence.”

Emotional Intelligence have been described as being concerned and effectively understanding oneself and others by Dr. Reuven Bar-On at the beginning of 1980’s attracted more attention when the psychologist, science journalist Daniel Goleman published his New York Times bestselling book “Emotional Intelligence” in 1995. Although the original definition of emotional intelligence is conceptualized as a set of interrelated abilities by Mayer & Salovey, there are many different opinions and overly broad and wide range of definitions available. In practice, emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and feel the senses and act, not only with the facts but also with emotions. Emotional intelligence is not a naturally born ability, it’s possible to enhance and develop emotional intelligence with education, social and family relationships, unlike the Intelligence Quotient (IQ).
According to a research on emotional intelligence, people with high emotional intelligence tend to be more socially competent, to have better quality relationships and to be viewed as more interpersonally sensitive than those lower in emotional intelligence. High emotional intelligence correlates better relationships on business setting as well. Managers higher in emotional intelligence are better able to cultivate productive working relationships with others and demonstrate greater personal integrity. (Mayer & Caruso, 2008) Concept of Emotional Intelligent is now in many different platforms of modern life. It’s widely considered from personal and social relationships to business world that leaders with high emotional intelligence make better contact with the employees and considered as charismatic leaders.
Having more emotional intelligence compared to men counterpart is a valid advantage of women in business, however, it’s not the only and major key to success. If the potential is not utilized in a productive and adequate way, emotional intelligence might turn to be a disadvantage.

(FT, 2009) FT top 50 women in world business Retrieved: Sep 26th FT top 50 women in world business

(Kopeinig, 2009) Kopeinig, Margaretha; ` Modern, Mighty Turkish Woman`, Kurier Daily Newspaper, 2009, Aug 2nd.

(Bar-On, 2006) The Bar-On model of emotional-social intelligence (ESI), Psicothema, 18, 13-25.

(Mayer&Salovey) Emotional Intelligence; New Ability or Eclectic Traits?, American Psychologist, September 2008,
Vol 63, No. 6, 503-517

PS: If you read this one, you might ask what is it to do with Dubai! Well, nothing! This is just one my assignments that I wrote as part of my studies. Just wanted to share ;)

This Weekend

Tonight "Up In the Air" George Clooney forever!
Friday yoga morning! I so need to get back in shape.
Saturday to Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Nobu Forever!

I didn’t like Japanese food at all! I thought that I won’t enjoy because it’s raw fish and seaweed, yay! I never like them. Once I was in New York and I was taken to this lovely restaurant that was supposed to be one of the best Japanese ever and even there I didn’t try it! It was a bit embarrassing to turn down Chef’s specials though but that’s life.

When Nobu opened its doors at Atlantis Dubai a little bit more then a year ago, I wanted to go and check out the place. Just to see the design, is service good and so on. But there was only one obstacle! I didn’t eat any Japanese or sushi.

Anyway encouraged myself and got there with a group of friends. And it turned out that Japanese cuisine is not all about rise and sushi at all.

Nobu’s contemporary style is quite different than any Japanese and Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is just creating a fantastic feast with his special sauces that the taste is something extraordinary. A must taste dishes for me at Nobu are; fantastic Black code in Miso; shrimp tempura Nobu style that I can eat every day and Yellow Tail Sashimi with Jalapenos, I love it.

And the designs of those every single dish make me feel like becoming a food stylist or a photographer simply because they are so simple yet stylish.

I now became a very snob-ish Japanese fan ever because after trying Nobu (or Zuma), sushi house round the corner is just no-no for me.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

24 Hour Dubai

Although I am not a big fun of the 24 Hour rally yet never miss a chance to take a look at a Chagall masterpiece and enjoy some bubbly. I know it sounds very confusing now. What is the connection between Marc Chagall and a rally aaand a Moet Chandon? Well, easy! If you join a rally team party at one of the international art galleries in DIFC then you meet Chagall and enjoy a glass –or two- champagne.

DIFC is Dubai’s financial district and one of my favorite place with its design stores, restaurants and art galleries. This open air place is so spacious and always nice to be outdoors even when the weather is 40+c. The Opera Gallery is in the heart of the DIFC and owns some valuables including several Marc Chagall and Pablo Picasso masterpieces as permanent exhibitions as well as international artists as temporary exhibitions.

During the party we had a chance to meet the Team First, their cars and drivers before the race which took place last weekend in Dubai. I didn’t have a chance to go to Dubai Autodrom to support the Team First but I am sure it has been a great race and some fun times for rally lovers. Also selections of BRM watches were on display but especially I loved the one that Vanessa was wearing ladies special edition full of diamonds, such an eye catching one.

Dubai is such an international and multicultural city. During the party majority of the participants were French, I guess due to Team First and Renault GCC cooperation, still I could not help but notice so many different languages and accents spoken.

After party, a DIFC must-do, we all went to Zuma to enjoy the fantastic black code and some sashimi. I’ll write about my Zuma very soon as well.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Highlights of the week

Highlights of first week of January
- Hammam at The One and Only Royal Mirage, fan-tas-tic!
- Nail Bar - I love it!
- Okko and Zuma in the radar

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Girls Power

Girlfriends! I can not imagine a life without girlfriends! And whenever girls got together, believe me, some good things happen!

In Dubai we have this fantastic group of ladies who are supporting each other at all times. Do you need a tailor, what is the best hospital in town; do you need something from Istanbul? Just drop an e-mail to the group, Sultans of Dubai, and answer is just few clicks away. Isn’t that fantastic?

Well, it may sound strange but when you live abroad, this feeling of friendship is something you definitely look for.

5 years ago 7 women had the idea of this simple yahoo-group and now we are 491 Sultans! Sultans of Dubai have been organizing several charity events past two years that I also had a chance to participate and were able to donate 35 KUSD to several different foundations in Turkey.

I call this “The Girls Power” and happy to be a part of a such good cause.

The other day, we got together with Sultans on a Tuesday breakfast. Another lovely Dubai day! We had our morning coffees over looking at the Dubai Marina Yacht Club and brain storm what can we do this year. I like the idea of organizing a April 23rd events, that’s the Children’s Day in Turkey. I’ll keep you posted.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Burj Khalifa, World’s Tallest Skyscraper

Burj Khalifa, World’s Tallest Skyscraper has become the new symbol of the Emirate. Yes, another once in a life time experience while I live in Dubai. After seeing the opening ceremony of Atlantis The Palm in 2008, I had an impression that nothing can beat this show. Well, I was wrong! Dubai surprised me again in a fantastic way.

Burj Khalifa opened it’s doors and we all witnessed the fabulous light, fountain and fireworks show on the other night. I didn’t want to get stuck in traffic, I was told that thousands of people were expected to be there, so we decided to be at friend’s house and enjoy the show from a distance but with “quality”. Yep, we had some bubbly too :) Fireworks were amazing and so magical that I’ll never forget the view. Next plan is to see the famous observation deck on 124th floor!

When I first arrived to Dubai two years ago, I thought that the Burj Dubai (it was renamed as Burj Khalifa on the inauguration day) was so unaesthetic. At that time it was only half way done and without the glass frame it looked so strange. But by the time The Dubai Mall was open, it started to look really fantastic. Not only the building itself but whole area was changing day by day. Now there is a fabulous The Old Town, new residential area full of restaurants and café’s and beautiful The Address Hotel and The Palace Hotel. So now we have a New ‘Old Town’ on top of our Must See List of Dubai.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Dubai Invasion

Imagine Dubai is occupied by space knights? Or you bump into an alien creatures round the corner while you’re just on your way to a supermarket?

Thanks to Paris based photographer Cédric Delsaux who did bring science-fiction and reality together in his digital photographs now I can figure how it would look like if Dubai was occupied by Star Wars characters.

At his solo photographic exhibition “The Dark Lens – The Dubai Invasion’ Delsaux uses Star Wars statues with Dubai's real-world locations and works George Lucas’ special effect model makers and his images become the most futuristic photographs I have ever seen.

I believe Dubai is one of the best location for his work as it has it’s own characteristic locations with unfinished skyscraper constructions, a creaky hotel building (which took almost 6 months to tear down) or huge metro construction. Locations not easy to find in modern built-in cities which would easily transform to a imaginary modern “a space-like” living platform. Actually when I first saw the photographs at The Empty Quarter Art Gallery, I fell in love with all of them. And they didn’t seem imaginary at all even at first sight! They looked so real and so familiar.

A futuristic Dubai from Cédric Delsaux lenses was at The Empty Quarter Art Gallery until Jan 3rd’2010.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Welcome 2010

New York
Blue Voyage

Welcoming a new year for me means list of new places to discover! This is my New Year resolutions. Well I also plan not to eat too much bread, do more yoga, finish the books I have started etc but planning a travel is the one I enjoy most!

Again I am planning my travels for 2010. This is something I love. I guess maybe even more than the actual travel! Could that be possible? In every step of life I enjoy planning or I enjoy until I actually do it! I really enjoy the joy of preparing for something, getting so excited for it rather than being in that moment. I hope I am not missing something huge by doing that. If so it’s too late anyway. It’s like I enjoy cooking so much but when the food is ready I am already full! You know what I mean.

Today again I started planning the travel for whole year. Last year I spent two weeks in Bali and I fell in love with it. So I put it again on top of the list. Kenya is second. This year I want to see Africa. I feel it. I am ready for it! New York is a continuous love story. I can go there again and again. Istanbul, Helsinki is anyway in the list as default destinations and a Blue Voyage… aghh I love Blue Voyage!

Lets see if I’ll have time to do all!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Notes for 2009

2009! A beautiful year! Unfortunately not for the world though. Never ending wars and global crisis. For me; I have discovered new places, did lots of yoga and pilates, travelled to home many times and started my masters. All and all it's been a good year.

Only one thing was missing!

When I moved to Dubai, I wanted to discover all over since I love going out, walk on the streets and just be outdoors but never had a chance to share them via blog. Now time has come. 2010 onwards hopefully I'll just drop some notes here, sometimes in English sometimes maybe other languages. We'll see.

Welcome 2010. I am excited!