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.