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