Imagination sets sail with Kidzania

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‘Cocoon to Butterfly’ kids had the privilege of being welcomed to the simulated mini-world of Kidzania at Dubai Mall, where they lived their dreams out through interactive role-play.

This edutainment venue is a city scaled down to children’s size. It mirrors the working of a real world, complete with services and facilities from; banks, hospital, police stations, fire station, shopping area, eatery, radio station and more.

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The experience for the kids started with an airport style check in counter, where each child was issued a boarding pass and bank cheque for 50 kidZos (local currency of Kidzania). They entered through the departure gate and exchanged their cheque for kidZos at a local bank following which they set out to find a career. The kids were advised that the kidZos could be used to buy goods and services or even save in their bank account in KidZania, which provides them with an ATM card. They could earn and collect more kidZos by working in an establishment.

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Each child got to adorn uniforms which reflect the nature of their chosen career. Roles included working as a cashier in a supermarket, RJ in a radio station, piloting a commercial airline, dentist, firefighter, police and much more. Most activities are aimed at 4-14-year-olds, yet my 3-year-old found enough activities to keep him busy. I noticed toddlers are not left out as a dedicated Urbano’s Residence, which features rooms and specially designed activities awaited them. Each activity was age appropriate and could accommodate small groups of 6 to 8 kids in safe surroundings. I was at complete ease and reassured of safety as each child was made to wear an electronic bracelet for tracking purpose.

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Kidzania is not a fantasy world, but best described as a ‘World of its own’. It boasts of it’s very own currency called ‘kidZos’, informal greeting called ‘Kai’, ‘Zanks’ substituted for thanks and activities supervised by a team of 300 multi-cultural professionals called ‘Zupervisors’. The ‘B-KidZanian‘ loyalty program allows kids to get naturalized into KidZania Residents and receive the benefits during each visit. With 50 ‘establishments’ (local and international brands represented within) and 90 different roles to choose, kids learn real life skills and money management in the process of pretend-play.

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All in all, Kidzania provides the perfect experiential learning platform with a creative concept that allows kids to don roles they dream about. It was a pleasure to watch the kids soak up the awe-inspiring experience.

As the mercury rises and school break runs on full throttle, are you looking for options for your kids to be cooled off and entertained? I am not referring to kids staying cooped up in the house and digitally wired up. Are you seeking activities that are fun, unique and educational? Kidzania offers precisely that.  To make the best of Kidzania and other kids entertainment venues this season, I recommend purchasing the ‘Dubai Summer Pass’.

  • The Dubai Summer Pass – Save AED 190!
  • Was AED 440, now AED 250

The pass entitles guests to visit the following attractions from the 23rd July-5th September

  • Kidzania– 1x child ticket (adults are Free)
  • Reel Cinemas– 2 x standard ticket for adults or children
  • Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo– 1 x ticket for an adult or child
  • The SEGA Republic– 1 x ticket for an adult or child + receive 100 credits to use
  • Dubai Ice Rink– 1 x ticket for an adult or child

Passes are available for purchase online at www.dubaisummerpass.com and at each attraction in Dubai mall. Visit the KidZania Dubai website for more details. 

 

 

 

 

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Wire World Adventure Park hits town

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Little known facts about me: I am born with a zest for life. I was the girl who jumped off a plane at 10,000 feet tandem-falling from the sky, on a skydiving expedition. I was the one who stepped off the edge and bungee dived into thin air at the Niagara Falls area. I loved the thrill of abseiling down Tamarind falls in Mauritius. I have experienced the electrifying bolt of what letting go of inhibitions, and taking a leap offers. As a mom, I intend to raise kids who conquer their fears and strive at achieving the impossible. I want to cultivate the adventure gene in our kids, to get in on the action and accumulate experiences and not possessions. When ‘Cocoon to Butterfly’ was invited to Dubai Sports World venue at the Dubai World Trade Center to experience Wire World Adventure Park, I was quick to grab the opportunity, to experience the unusual and the exciting. The Park features a mobile rope course, with a variety of fun bridges and crossings for kids to navigate in a series of elevated challenges. It also features a three platform bungee trampoline – which can also be used as a kite-surf simulator – for kids and adults.

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Safety comes first and there are no compromises with that golden rule. The lil adventure tribe got fitted with their harnesses and helmets (complete with lanyard and safety clips) and walked through the rules before they set off on their course. They started out with the rope course, which boasts a series of eight obstacles on a meandering, 1.80-metre-high wooden platform installed and secured on a two-metre-high pole base. My little Abhishek is a fearless junkie, and as soon as he got locked in on the line, he took off. The other kids followed. To my surprise the ones who were battling the fear of heights faced them head on and displayed confidence as they inched closer towards taming their fears.

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The little superheroes moved on to try the Bungee Trampoline. With bungee cords and ropes, the traditional trampoline transforms  to give participants a gravity-defying experience. It was exhilarating to watch my oldest spring into air and experience the whip through his hair doing back-flips, looking like Spiderman on a mission.The crew assisting the kids was professional, friendly and helped all the kids soar sky-high, making it super exciting. This attraction is for participants who weigh between 15 to 99 kilos. So I thought to myself why should boys have all the fun, I would do this in a heartbeat. I am no less feminine because I love bouncing off a trampoline or throwing myself down heights. Hence, I gave the vertical experience a go. It was exciting to experience the sheer thrill of weightlessness.

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I wish however there were more obstacles and challenges to tackle to keep my kids going through the day. My wish is just about to come true as I was given a brief on the 2,322 square meter, Wire World Park, in Meydan, which is scheduled to open later this year. It boasts of 70 obstacles, zip lines and rope swings set across trees and rocks.

With summer in full swing, and kids on school break, are you a mommy in Dubai brainstorming to find exciting summer activities to keep your little ones entertained? This place is totally Child-tastic!! Guaranteed to have your kids stoked this summer. Feed your kids excitement and spark their sense of adventure at Wire World Adventure Park, in the regions largest indoor sports venue. The 22,000m², fully air-conditioned venue in DWTC also offers  Summer Camps and academy classes for sports.

For more information visit :  www.dubaisportsworld.ae 

Location: Dubai Sports World, Sheikh Saeed Hall, Dubai World Trade Centre

Timings: 11.00 am-10.00pm

Mobile Course: AED 3O per Person (for 2 rounds)

Bungee Trampoline: AED 35 per person (for a 5 minute session)

Combined Ticket (Mobile course+ Bungee Trampoline): AED 50 per person

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Experience Iftar in Dubai

Dubai is home to some of the world’s best and finest, and it boasts a cutting-edge dining scene.It has placed itself on the international map as a ‘must-visit culinary destination’.

It was a delicious experience savoring a wealth of flavors and cuisines on offer in Dubai this Iftar season. The offerings ranged from regional favorites to international delicacies, which was as diverse as the city itself.

Here is a run-down of the spots you will want to visit to experience an iftar, offering everything from Middle Eastern favorites to global cuisine. The list is a mix of wallet-friendly, seriously good food places, to fine-dining splurges with sparkling service.

PER TE RISTORANTE E CAFÉ 

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Per Te Ristorante e Café, one of Jumeirah’s finest Italian restaurants, hosts alternative Iftar with an Italian twist

Menu Highlights:

  • Lentil soup with mushroom tortellini
  • Arabic-inspired bread platter with muhammara sauce, hummus and arrabbiata sauce
  • Platter including burrata cheese, crab cake with pesto mayonnaise, grilled polenta, vine leaves stuffed with rice, arancini stuffed with spinach and feta cheese, baby spinach with bresaola and fig, grilled prawns with turkey bacon and more
  • Lamb shanks with fresh garden risotto
  • Seafood with Tunisian couscous
  • Grilled baby chicken with traditional Arabic spicy potatoes
  • Beef tournedos steak with creamy mushrooms and traditional jarjir salad
  • Date semifreddo
  • Crema Bruciata – rich custard topped with layer of hard caramel and served with fresh mix berries

In addition, complimentary dates, fruit platter, and Ramadan beverages are served to all guests.This season Per Te will be open from Iftar until 2am.

Per Te is located in Villa no. 54, Street 12C, Behind Jumeirah Plaza, Jumeirah 1. The restaurant is open daily from 12pm to 11.30pm on weekdays and from 12pm to late on weekends. For more information or reservations, contact 04 344 6455 or send an email to info@perte.ae.

Facebook: @PerTeDubai

Twitter: @PerTeDubai

Instagram: @Per_Te_Dubai

 

Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek

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As part of the hotel’s 40th-anniversary celebration Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek invites guests to enjoy the vast buffet for iftar, filled with an array of traditional dishes and international delicacies. The hotel is running special promotions throughout the year to celebrate their 40th anniversary. This month every guest that visits with 4 people will only pay for 3.

Iftar buffet is priced at AED 149 with a vast buffet of over 200 traditional and international dishes from 8 award winning restaurants.

For more information or bookings contact Tel. 00971 4 2057031. www.radissonblu.com 

Chez Sushi

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Dubai’s fast-casual Japanese restaurant, hosts alternative Iftars.

Highlights:

  • Japanese katsu curry – fried/grilled chicken or mixed vegetables
  • Mixed green salad
  • Miso soup
  • Steamed rice
  • Date mochi – Japanese ice cream made with dates

The Iftar menu is priced at AED 60 and AED 45 for the chicken and vegetarian options respectively.

Chez Sushi is located in Wasl Square (Al Wasl Road), Dubai Marina and Bay Square (Business Bay) and has recently opened a new outlet in Arabian Ranches. For more information or bookings, email info@chezsushi.com or call 800-78744. 

https://www.facebook.com/ChezSushi

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ROSA MEXICANO 

Dubai’s casual Mexican restaurant, hosts Iftars with a twist.

Highlights:

  • SOUPS (Choice of) Guajillo Cauliflower and Lentil & Tomato
  • SALADS (Choice of): Mexican Chopped Salad and Market Salad
  • MAIN DISHES (Choice of) Crispy Stuffed Chicken and Shrimps Enchilada
  • DESSERTS – Hot Mexican Doughnuts
  • DRINKS (choice of) Jalapeno Mint & Cucumber Yogurt., Jallab Drink and Soft Drinks

Iftar menu is priced at 89AED

For more information or bookings visit http://www.rosamexicano.com/

PizzaExpress, Ibn Battuta 

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Highlights:

  • Ramadan Honey Date Dough Balls
  • Ramadan juices such as Laban Up and Kamaruddin juice
  • Make-your-own salad bar with mix capsicums, olives, roasted chicken, turkey ham and more
  • Traditional Arabic appetizers such as hommos and tabouleh
  • PizzaExpress salads such as the salad nicoise, Leggera Superfood Salad
  • A variety ofItalian soups from broccoli soup to Italian bean soup
  • Italian inspired mains such as beef lasagne and cannelloni Spinach and Ricotta
  • PizzaExpress pizzas from Sloppy Giuseppe to La Reine
  • Traditional and Italian desserts from umm ali to risotto dolce

From sundown until 9.30pm, PizzaExpress Ibn Battuta serves an Iftar buffet with a difference, priced at Aed69 per person.

For more information or reservations call 04 3685134

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Review – Iftar Buffet at Raffles, Dubai

There is no better way to experience the richness of Middle Eastern culture than to indulge in a sumptuous Iftar buffet. Despite the plethora of Iftar buffet options in the UAE, the average diner finds it challenging to strike a consistent and gratifying experience. If you are going to experience one, I recommend starting with the one offered at Raffles Dubai.

Last month I went on a gastronomic journey with Raffles Dubaiand it’s pre-Iftar offerings presented at ‘Azur’ restaurant. The ambiance is stunning with the restaurant overlooking the Raffles garden and an atmosphere which is a mixture of heritage and luxury. It presents a more contemporary take on Iftar including Arabic and international delicacies.

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Upon arrival the hostess dressed in an Arabian princess costume and the restaurant manager, who accompanied us to the table, greeted us. The Executive Chef Tuomas Heikkinen along with Chef Mohammed, who hails from the region is responsible for designing the menu items. They ventured out of the kitchen for a chat about the offerings.We started our experience with dates followed by a selection of refreshing Ramadan drinks, which included Tamarind juice, Date juice, Date smoothie, Laban and more.

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I was overwhelmed and delighted by a wide array of appetizers, which comprised–Smoked salmon salad, Steamed Prawn Makdous, Moulabel with beetroot (Eggplant and beetroot purée with tahina sauce), Baburma with greens (Arabic air-dried beet with roca leaf) and other diverse offerings. Among hot Meze, the gently spiced Sambusa stands out. The Manakish selection included meat, cheese, zaatar and vegetable. It was an interesting experience for my husband and I to sample a range of flavors before tucking into the main course.

For the Entrée, the centerpiece, was the obvious hearty dish of Lamb Ouzi.  The entrée counter also featured the uncomplicated Dawood Basha, which are Arabic-style meatballs in tomato sauce. The fish was succulent, well cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce. My husband and I were unanimous in picking the Fish presented as our favorite. The lavish Iftar featured 4 impressive live cooking stations dishing up Pasta, Fatteh, Shawarma and Mixed grill.

The sweet course served was extensive with Arabic perennial favorite Umm Ali and Kunafa. It also featured an international selection of desserts such as Sticky date pudding, Blueberry Cheesecake, Dark and White Chocolate Mousse and Linzer tart. The Fig Halwa was a clear standout. If you own a sweet tooth, you won’t be disappointed with the selection presented. Shisha is also available to guests, priced separately. The staff and the service stood out impeccable, striking the right balance of attentive but not intrusive.

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To share a meal is to share a portion of your culture. Living in Dubai, the melting pot of diverse nationalities and cuisines, it is a joy to experience the city’s very own taste of culture and flavor. Whether you’re fasting as part of your faith or a foodie feasting to experience the culture, an Iftar in Raffles Dubai is something to relish and not to miss!!

Where

– Azur, Raffles Dubai. Call +971 4324 8888

Price

–       Aed 185 per person, inclusive of soft beverages and Ramadan juices.

–       With 2 Adults dining 2 children dine for free.

Timings

– Sundown to 9 pm.

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Barnilicious Saturday at KidZania®

With a range of nutritional challenges facing children in UAE, Barni the bear shaped wholesome snack in collaboration with KidZania, the award-winning children’s edutainment center organized the 4th session of an informative event, to inculcate a healthy eating lifestyle in kids.

The organizers partnered with Hala Barghot, a leading nutritionist in the UAE and Founder of Nutritalks to educate parents on a balanced diet for children.         

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Dr. Hala and I at the Barnilicious event held at KidZania®

The event gave parents the opportunity to learn about picky eaters, energy needs for kids, good food options and smart snacking ideas.The moms got off to a great start dropping off their little champs to a dedicated play space offering organized by Barni. The mommies then sat down to listen to  Hala who shared her top tips for getting kids to embark on a well-rounded diet.

Hala took questions and listened to the personal frustrations of some mom’s experiences around food and mealtime issues. She encouraged moms to become ‘Involved Parents’ and to cultivate family mealtime routines to make healthy a lifestyle. She emphasized on a child’s diet packed with more fruits, vegetable, legumes, and nuts. Hala advised parents to limit their children’s consumption of processed meat, sugar, and saturated fat. When it comes to the healthier snacks, some may not be as healthy as they seem. She mentioned the Barni snack is a good option as it claims to have no artificial colorants and preservatives. However, she advised the consumption be limited to one bar a day due to the sugar content, which is reasonably lower than other snacks but still prevalent.

In my one-on-one interview with her she enlightened me on her many initiatives geared to bring about a culture of wellness within the school community in the Gulf region. She has also worked with restaurants in the region to encourage them to offer healthier menu options. Hala is a certified dietitian, who educates people on health and nutrition, practicing for almost 10 years. She also offers private nutrition consulting.

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Cocoon to Butterfly Kids at Barnilicious event held at  KidZania® 

The event then called for the moms to be spectators as the kids enjoyed a productive day in KidZania, indulging in some role-playing fun that recreates workplaces. Children learn best through experience and this was an experience that was every bit magical.

 

Disclaimer: I was invited to the event  for the purpose of this review. All content and comments are based on my own opinion and was not influenced by any external factors.

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The Power of a Dream

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” C.S Lewis

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20-year-old Zahra Lari, is a dream chaser and an Olympic figure skating champion hopeful, from the United Arab Emirates. As a young girl she was enraptured by the Disney movie, ‘Ice Princess,’ and soon became interested in pursuing figure skating. Her optimism drove her to reach for her personal summit, choosing to challenge the perception many have of women in the Middle East. Sheik Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai is committed to empowering women and supporting them in their pursuit. He said and I quote “Arab women make up half our community. They are sometimes better than men. Today they are rising to greater heights in society and able to achieve goals within our communities. They will only grow”

I was extremely fortunate to have attended the ‘International conference for Sports for Women’ in Abu Dhabi. While I was there I had the privilege to meet and interact with many accomplished Emirati women. One of the more notable experiences was listening to Zahra Lari. In her speech she mentions how her father initially viewed her newfound interest of figure skating skeptically. Her mother however stood in the gap to convince him to let their daughter live out her passion. Later when he accompanied his daughter and as he watched her joy displayed on ice he became her greatest supporter… She may not have started young as many promising skaters did, but this did not stop her from taking a leap and carving her mark.

Today Zahra Lari is dubbed the ‘Ice princess in Hijab’ by the media. She is not only the first figure skater from the Gulf to compete in an international competition but the first to do so wearing the hijab, paying due respect to her Arabic culture. In a frozen sea of flashy tutus and nude tights she is a princess who graces the ice with a difference, wearing modest costumes and a headscarf. Zahra is a woman who embraces her morals and values while identifying herself as a professional athlete. This is a celebration to all women who embrace culture and stand against the tide of commoditizing women.

Apart from wanting her own success, Lari added: “I want to encourage girls from the Emirates and the Gulf to achieve their dreams too, and not to let anyone tell them not to do sport, not only figure skating but all sports.” Zahra is a role model for women in the Middle East and an inspiration to those who wish to pursue their dreams. Her drive and determination to win after having to face many obstacles embodies her as a true champion. She is a testimony to the pay-off that comes along with perseverance and dedication to chase after a dream. I wish her the best, as the United Arab Emirates hopes of a medal would be set on the young shoulders of Miss Lari who is looking to make her mark at 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

 

Video credits to HealthX

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The power of a story

The Middle Eastern woman is stereo typed by the Western and Eastern world as one suppressed, powerless and vulnerable. Having lived in the UAE for the past 12 years I strongly disagree. In my interactions with the Emirati woman, I have known her to be ambitious, accomplished and progressive. Today powerful Emirati women represent a force in their country as key partners building the future of this nation – one we have all come to love and call home.

I salute a few whom I have had the pleasure of interacting with and whose stories I am certain will inspire women and leave us fired up to achieving incredible dreams.

For Suad Abdulla a young Emirati Running enthusiast, running alone did not motivate her and left a void deep down. She became distraught with this disturbing thought, which led her to start the first ever-female running club called ‘She Runs Dubai’.  She used the social media to spread her passion for fitness to the rest of the Arab community. This created a stir in the social media front as many like-minded women were waiting for an invitation such as this. Today the group is ever-growing and has a large number of Arab and expat women meeting twice a week for a run in many scenic locations around the UAE. This has given Arab women a platform to pursue running and fitness without the discomfort of being in a mixed gender environment. Suad’s role in founding this movement is a significant force in shaping women’s fitness revolution in this region.

Suad and i at HealthX Forum

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Farah Al Qaissieh started stuttering from the age of 5. In our conversation the 25-year-old Emirati tells me growing up through school years was one of her most trying times. When she reached university she made up her mind to bring about a change to her life and those around her, by challenging her circumstance and conquering her fears. Spurred from her own experiences she founded a non-profit organization called ‘Stutter UAE’, which aims to bring stutterers together to interact, share experiences and stories. This group has emerged in being a beacon of hope in this nation providing opportunity to speak freely and live fearlessly. As I spoke to this gracefully confident woman who stutters occasionally, I was left captivated by her courage and eloquence. Farah is also the driving force and founder behind a mobile app called ‘Discover AE’, which is under development. She disclosed to me that it is an app based treasure hunt that let people discover the hidden gems of the city.Farah is the UAE Ambassador for ‘WeAreTheFuture’, a global youth entrepreneurship organization. This inspiring and driven wonder woman is also mentor in several programs. Such programs include, ‘e7 banat al emarat’ – a program inspiring young females to develop initiatives to benefit their communities, and ‘Flat6Labs’ – a startup accelerator in Abu Dhabi.

Farah and i at Women in Leadership Economic Forum 2015

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I believe in the power of a woman’s story and the pursuit of her dreams. These stories inspire and motivate a generation to rise above. In this series my focus is to celebrate women in this region who have risen against all odds. I honor these trail blazers whose initiatives and tireless efforts continues to touch lives and impact their world. There are more inspiring stories on the horizon. Watch this space!

 

 

 

 

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Timeless luxury in the desert

There are a few things I like or rather love…Faith, Family, Travel, Dining and Fashion. If you’re passions match mine and you are looking to take a break from the mommie grind, the buzzing city life, celebrate a special occasion or just enjoy some occasional luxury and finesse then look no further. Here is a review just for you.

I have been fortunate to set foot on over 50 countries worldwide and have enjoyed umpteen acclaimed hotels with my flying career and on leisure. If you asked me to list my favorite holiday destinations I would churn out a massive scroll  which includes the French Riviera, The romantic Italian land of ‘La Dolce Vita’, Enchanting Swiss-German Alpine region, Vibrant New York City and the Highlands of Scotland.

The Arabian Desert dream did not feature high on my bucket list but surely has become a favorite on my travel radar after my recent experience. This week I had the pleasure of  soaking in the legendary service offered by Waldorf Astoria in Ras Al Khaimah. My husband and i lived it up on our get away, as we celebrated a very special occasion. It took us 45 minutes to drive up from our Dubai home to this haven inspired by the palaces of Arabian Peninsula.  Perched against the vibrant blue Arabian Sea, the sun-kissed golden sand dunes and the Majestic Hajar Mountains it indeed is timeless luxury in the desert. So close to home yet a world away. I have to admit I have had a love affair with this property whose majesty and beauty is breath-taking.

The Reception and foyer is inset with design inspired by a peacock and ocean theme with an aesthetic touch at every turn. The peacock Alley features a contemporary grand piano and a relaxing lounge bar. Enjoy a variety of sandwiches and cakes while sipping the finest TWG tea selection.

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The suites features a palatial atmosphere adorned with contemporary accents and enhanced by a magnificent view of the Arabian Sea, the championship golf course and Hjar mountains.

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The complimentary kids club for children aged 3 and above offers arts, crafts, cartoons, games and outdoor play area. My little Duracell charged bunny was occupied and creatively stimulated while mommie and daddy enjoyed some relaxing time.

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This Arabian paradise with its outstanding restaurants offers exceptional culinary scenes. The dining experience is top notch with fine dishes presented with perfection.

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If you live in the UAE and can afford some time off from the rat race to a  luxurious romantic retreat or a family getaway without having to fetch your passport out then this is the perfect escape. With its panoramic breathtaking view, luxurious suites, fine selection of restaurants and a state of the art Spa this place offers an experience to live for. String together an array of superlative adjectives and you still get the feeling you have not given justice to the description of this paradise.

 

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‘Entertain Me Parenting’ VS ‘Spontaneous Unstructured Fun’

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I am no craft Savvy guru and can barely work a glue gun… Yet I believe in being a ‘hands on mommy’, growing creative kids, & crafting timeless memories. I am not one sold to ‘Entertain Me’ parenting, & by this term I am referring to parents living under a misconception that kids need constant entertainment, being ‘over stimulated’ by gadgets or parents alike. I believe in a balance  which includes planned activities and unstructured play. Are you a parent that feels hideously guilty that you cannot find time to balance your lifestyle and entertain your kid’s enthusiastically? We have all been there and I urge you not to kick yourself for that. After all we have relationships to nurture, a home to keep up and career to pursue. There are many simple ways you can engage with your kids authentically and not pretend on being a crafty Martha Steward that you’re not.

Technology is an excellent source of entertainment and a wellspring of education for the kids.  But it could also pose the risk of turning your children into digital zombies and curbing their social skills. I am not one of those moms who squeal out an irrefutable ‘NO’ to digital devices. I believe they are a good source of entertainment as long as I am monitoring for quality programming and limiting the screen time. Honestly, this is one of my greatest struggles with my oldest and I often have to put him on ‘No Screen curfews’ and ‘Digital blackouts’. I feel like I am in the middle of a battle with my boy. It appears to me that most often he gets his way around his screen time. But the best part of limiting ‘Screen Time’ is that when I manage to win him over I succeed in focusing on more ‘Face Time’. We have a chat on his favorite Superhero and why he chose him. He helps me bake a bread pudding and draws out pages and pages of his favorite memories of holidaying and growing up in our home. I call this our ‘Special Fun’. We plan a few ‘Special Fun’ moments in a week. This is more structured and my boys told in advance what to expect to get the excitement going. It could be cooking together( sunday nights), Dress ups, Organized play dates, Go to the movies(saturday afternoons), Play a sport together, Make Play Dough, Paint eggs. The options are countless.

(Easter eggs painted by mommie and boys)

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However with the many hats I wear and switch, it does not give me the luxury on being a ‘Mothering Martyr’.  I remember when my boys yelled ‘I am bored’ i used to come under immense mommie pressure of having to organise a structured activity to keep them entertained. If I could not deliver to the expectation then I was found drooling in a whirlwind of guilt. Not any more. Oh the joys of learning as you journey on the road of parenting! I have discovered that children are better off left alone to play and to explore some unstructured activity that nurtures creativity. Now when I hear ‘i am bored’ i just scream back ‘never in a million years’. I let them run around in the garden or explore their toys and books in their room and let them create for themselves an adventure land. I give them the opportunity to come up with spontaneous unstructured fun such as play Hide and seek, Tag, I spy, Paint a picture together, Ride their bike…

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Simplicity is one of the greatest lessons you can instil in your children. Train them while they are young to avoid associating happiness with constant accumulation and enjoyment of expensive toys, extravagant play-areas and luxurious possessions. There is always an opportunity to turn mundane into a lasting memory without having to lavish on kids financially and having to come under pressure on being  a crafty goddess. Creating a fun memory is not dependent on crafting perfection  but in the FUN PROCESS involved in creating life.

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REVIEW: Simply Delicious! by FRHI Restaurants

This past week I had the pleasure of joining a select group of journalist, bloggers and other presumable qualified personals for a media event hosted by the FRHI Hotel and Resorts. The group represents three distinct brands which is the Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel.

The group assembled an array of their finest chefs and featured mouth watering signature refreshments to deliver an unforgettable gastro experience. To everyone who lives in Dubai here is my pick on the groups most coveted signature dishes, indulgent sweet treats and refreshing drinks.

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The chefs with their genuine charm and personal style of hospitality introduced the selection of dishes presented for the event. There were delightful appetizers ranging from heart-healthy fresh pick of salads, golden brown crispy crabs cakes, creamy silk textured risotto to delicate fork tender Foie gras. A definite stand out was the super crunchy crab cakes fried to perfection with a distinctive flavor. You can enjoy these light bites at ‘Flow Kitchen’ in Fairmont, The Palm.

The authentic carnivore that I am, it didn’t take much convincing to seduce me into a juicy looking slow cooked braised short rib. I am not talking about a slab of meat cooked in high temperature. These melting tender ribs are marinated for 24 hours and ever-so-slowly braised. It was served on a bed of creamed chickpeas and topped with pickled mushrooms. The flavor was magical and the quality undeniable. If you find yourself remotely close to Fairmont in the Palm, remember to make a beeline for Frevo’s Brazilian Churrascaria experience. Truly recommended.

Speaking of soulful cocktails you can never go wrong with the South East Asian acclaimed ‘Singapore Sling’. My previous job offered me the privilege of staying in Raffles in Singapore where the drink was created. The team often could not wait to land into Singapore as there was a thrilling anticipation of hitting Raffles ‘Long Bar’ for a refreshing spirited ‘Singapore Sling’. Put down your tickets. You do not have to fly across seas to enjoy this tantalising refresher. It is as simple as heading out to the Raffles Dubai to pay tribute to this classic.

Raffles display of signature dessert from their renowned ‘Fashion Afternoon Tea’ was set for all to see, taste and fantasies over. I am not sweet toothed but I will describe my self as ‘Afternoon Tea crazy’. I have had the privilege to experience Raffles Afternoon Tea which is chic and bright unlike the usual stuffy, uptight affair. What captured my attention was the presence of the beautifully crafted chocolate shoe from the much celebrated Afternoon Tea experience at Raffles. Too pretty to eat but undoubtedly delicious. For all the lovely ladies who enjoy Fun, Chic, Tea and Dessert this is the place to head to.

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I was deliciously pleased with my experiences for the day. The FRHI group is known for its luxurious and delectable restaurant offerings and it undeniably surpassed its reputation.

 

Disclaimer: This is not a paid review. All content and comments are based on my own opinion and was not influenced by any external factors.

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