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!