Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dubai Mall / Dubai Aquarium / Dubai Fountain / Burj Khalifa

The last destination of the day was Dubai Mall. From Mall of Emirates, our tour guide took us to Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping mall. It is part of the Burj Khalifa complex, world’s tallest building and opposite Souk Al Bahar. We moved around, and came to Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, which is one of the main attractions of the Mall. We collected few pamphlets about the Mall and the Aquarium as we entered the Mall. I read them and when I saw the entrance of the aquarium, I felt I should not miss the opportunity. We purchased tickets Adult -25dirhams, Child-20dirham for the aquarium. But the experience was much below our expectation. We did not feel as if we were walking “under water”, through a long tunnel. Though it was a tunnel, it was not that long, just a few steps and it was over. Nor for once we felt we were below the ocean’s surface. Ya, the aquarium/ tunnel had sharks and fishes but it couldn’t create the feeling of being under water. It was not worth the money. After this experience, we did not feel like going to the underwater zoo, whose ticket price is 50 Dirham. The worst part of the aquarium is that as you enter the aquarium, they click your picture with photo of fish’s and sharks at your backside. And after you moved out of the tunnel, they try to sell the picture at 200 dirham.


I felt I wasted 70 dirham unnecessarily. Anyway, we came hurriedly outside to take our seat as it was few minutes to 6pm; time for Dubai Fountain to start. This is the most breathtaking attraction of the Mall, and thousands of tourist and residence come to see this most spectacular fountain. As the fountain dances to the music it sprays water over 150 metres in the air. You will experience a symphony of sound, light and water as you watch the Dubai Fountain dance to stirring musical pieces from powerful Italian classics and renowned Arabic compositions to Bollywood favourites and beautiful African rhythms. As over 6000 light and colour projectors are used, the fountain makes thousand unique water expressions; and creates an unforgettable extravaganza for the senses. The best part is its world class location, next to the Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall and Souk Al Bahar.


Ski Dubai / Mall of Emirates


Then our agent took us to “Mall of Emirates”. You will find absolutely the largest number of stores under one roof and the widest variety of shopping at Mall of the Emirates, from designer brands to teen fashion, furniture, electronics, accessories, jewellery, shoes, bags, toys, books…anything you could possibly wish for! Although it features the usual amenities for a mall (a fourteen-screen movie theater, a gaming arena, a typical variety of stores, and a dramatic theater), its biggest claim to fame is the Middle East's first indoor ski slope, Ski Dubai. With the ski area, one of the largest in the world, the Mall of the Emirates seeks to differentiate itself from the dozen or so other newly completed malls in Dubai and the surrounding emirates. The mall is connected by a Dubai Metro Station ( Mall of the Emirates Station).
You don’t have to worry about ski clothing or equipment either. Ski Dubai has thought of it all and offers guests the use of winter clothing, ski and snowboard equipment. Your skis will carry you down the slope, and the quad-chairlift and tow lift will promptly carry you back to the top for another run.

You can enjoy at the themed restaurants; the St Moritz Café at the entrance to Ski Dubai, and the Avalanche Café at mid-station, with views of the slope. An exclusive retail shop, Snow Pro, has expert staff to advise you on your equipment needs and the team of professional instructors will guide you through the simple, fun process of learning to ski or snowboard.
I and MEHR could not enjoy the snow. Actually I hurt my leg at Hotel Atlantis, so Jeet went in and we enjoyed from outside.

At Ski Dubai you will enjoy:
- Use of quality equipment and clothing included in the ticket price

- Qualified professional instructors

- State of the art ticketing system

- Changing areas with locker rental

- Private kids party rooms

- Exclusive retail shop – Snow Pro

- St Moritz Café and Avalanche Café

The Mall of Emirates is really a big and beautiful one, and you can spend the entire day. We were very hungry as we moved around from one place of interest to other from the morning. Had lunch at McDonald’s.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hotel Atlantis, Dubai

We drove through the tunnel and reached Hotel Atlantis. But you can also take the metro to the hotel. There are two Palm Jumeirah Monorail stations connecting the resort to the main section of the Palm Jumeirah islands. It is a resort and is located at the centre of the crescent of the Palm Jumeirah. Like its sister property in the Bahamas, Dubai's  Atlantis features two hotel towers linked by an arch. In total, the resort boasts 1,539 rooms and suites which faces to the sea. Offering something for everyone, this resort features “Aquaventure” – a 42-acre waterpark with the “Zigguret” Centerpiece that touts a 27.5 metre-vertical drop; “The Lost Chambers” – where you can journey through a labyrinth of chambers to experience its fascinating underwater world with over 65,000 fish, the 11-acre “Dolphin Bay” with its innovative Dolphin Education Centre, and the “Ambassador Lagoon” with 100’s of species of marine life. Everything you need is on-site. Its Spa and Fitness Center offers treatments from all over the world. Enjoy Atlantis’s Aquatic Gardens, or a day of windsurfing and kayaking from its Private Beach. Shop in the up-scale boutiques found in “The Avenues”, a 7500 sqm. retail and entertainment complex; or dance the night away in their ultra-chic nightclub, “Sanctuary”. Atlantis – The Palm offers an array of fun-filled activities for children of every age. Through nature and science, arts and crafts, and marine welfare, Atlantis–The Palm offers a series of educational programs for families to enjoy.  I was impressed by the magnanimity, grandeur and interior decoration of the hotel. The hotel also offers convenience to many of Dubai’s other Tourist Attractions. Guests can experience the Region’s largest Indoor Ski Resort, Ski Dubai, located in the Mall of the Emirates, or Dubai’s other waterpark, Wild Wadi in Jumeirah Beach. Other nearby sites to see are the Burj Al Arab, the world’s only 7 Star Hotel and the iconic structure that represents Dubai, Burj Khailfa, the world’s tallest building, and the famous Dubai Marina. Guests will find a vast array of shopping venues in the area. There is the popular Mall of the Emirates and for those looking for a more unique style of shopping, there is the Madinat Jumeirah offering Designer Boutiques in an Arabian Style Souk, and the Dubai Mall, one of the largest malls in the world. With so much to do and see, guests of the Atlantis – The Palm will not want to leave this vacation paradise.

Palm Jumeirah, Dubai

Our next destination was the Palm Jumeirah. It is man-made island, created using land reclamation by Nakheel, a company owned by the Dubai government. It is one of three islands called The Palm Islands which extend into the Persian Gulf, increasing Dubai’s shoreline by a total of 520 km. The Palm Jumeirah is the smallest and the original of three Palm Islands (Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira) under development by Nakheel. It is located on the Jumeirah coastal area of the emirate of Dubai. The Palm Jumeirah is in the shape of a palm tree. It consists of a trunk, a crown with 16 fronds, and a surrounding crescent island that forms an 11 kilometer long breakwater. The crown is connected to the mainland by a 300-metre bridge and the crescent is connected to the top of the palm by a subsea tunnel. When we drove through the tunnel, my only thought was, what man could achieve if he really wants. The Palm Jumeirah is an excellent example of this.




Many people around the world are buying expansive houses in these islands. It is primarily a retreat and residential area for living, relaxation, and leisure. It will contain themed boutique hotels, three types of villas (Signature Villas, Garden Homes, and Canal Cove Town Homes), shoreline apartment buildings, beaches, marinas, restaurants, cafes and a variety of retail outlets.

It is definitely one of the most ambitious and recognizable projects to date.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mercato Mall- 1st themed Mall in Middle East

As we moved towards our next destination Mercato Mall, our travel agent informs us that Dubai can be divided into 3parts… Bur (dominated by Indians), Deira (famous for its Souq’s and dominated by Pakistani’s) and Burj ( where anyone can buy property). He also informs us that the DUBAI government planned three island residential area. Palm Deira, Palm Jabeel Ali and Palm Jumeirah. But due to financial crunches, they could complete only the Palm Jumeirah project. On our way to the Mall, he also showed us the Union House. It’s a government building where documents were signed in 1972 for the formation of UAE, uniting the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain and Ajman. Ras Al Khaimah joined later.
I was mesmerized as I entered Mercato Mall. I talked to the security officer, who was an Indian. He informed that this double storied mall is the first themed shopping mall in the Middle East and UAE, which brings together the choicest lifestyle offerings from the Mediterranean, in addition to many exclusive international brands. Based on a distinctive Renaissance architectural concept, Mercato captures Italian, French and Spanish flavours and artistic characteristics; playing host to regular fairs and festivals from each country. Famous Italian architect, Daniele Morelli, designed the interior of the mall to replicate the concept of several squares, the centre point of any Mediterranean town and the traditional location of the mercato or market. The imposing columns, distinctive flooring, and the ambience give it the Italian feel. The Mercato Mall was constructed through the inspiration of Abdul Rahim Mohammed Al Zaroonivillas. Later I came to know that Mercato means “market” in Italian.
There are a number of retail outlets which display art, antiques, shoes, fashion accessories and jewelry. Its comprehensive shopping and entertainment experience caters to residents and visitors of Dubai, who have an eye for quality. It houses a 12-screen Century cinemas. The retail outlets boast all the international brands. The famous supermarket “Spinney’s” too have their outlet here. Mercato Mall offers a casual shopping experience typical of the Italian style of shopping. The Mercato Mall is a paradise for shoppers. Apart from housing numerous retail stores, food courts, restaurants, and entertainment areas, the mall also offers special services like first aid, wheel chair, nursing room as well as public telephones. I had to change MEHR’S diaper, and was pleased by the facilities in the toilet.
The Mercato Mall is not a very big mall as compared to other modern multi-storied malls, but it could be termed as cozy. The Mall hosts special activities for children during the Summer Shopping Festival and the cinemas screen popular children’s movies with tickets priced at half the regular price, which includes popcorn and a cola. What attracted me the most was an artist who was painting very lovely pictures.
You can get practically everything here – you name it – antiques, jewelry, apparels, electronics, fashion accessories, souvenirs, and carpets. The best of Dubai’s restaurants are housed here and you can have the privilege of enjoying the local sumptuous food or the international cuisine here. Mercato is designed to be a prestigious shopping destination catering to quality-conscious residents and visitors to Dubai. Mercato provides more than just world famous brand names; it offers a comprehensive shopping and entertainment experience within an aesthetically stimulating ambience. It is simply, The Good Life.
Just opposite the Mall, our famous designer Manish Malhotra has his studio.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Jumeirah Mosque, Only Mosque In Dubai open to Non-Muslim

Our next destination was the Jumeirah Mosque, located in Dubai’s beachside area. It’s a dominant landmark of the city. Our agent informed us that the city has many fine mosques but this is the largest and one of the most beautiful. We got down from the car and took few pictures.Built in medieval Fatimid style in 1978, it is a beautiful white stone structure with towering twin minarets framing a large central dome. Its seashell-like finish and colouring fit perfectly with the mosque’s position opposite the white sands of Jumeirah Beach. It’s the only mosque in the country which is open to non-Musilm. The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding organizes visits to the Jumeirah Mosque for non-Muslims, aimed at promoting cultural understanding and first-hand experience as an insight to the Islamic religion. Jumeirah Mosque Tour is conduct on every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 10am, (children must be 5yrs+ )in the morning for the tourists and residents. We could not take part in the tour as MEHR was only 1year 4months then. Those interested gather outside the ornate Jumeirah Mosque for the conducted tour of the Mosque. Bookings are not required but visitors should arrive at least five minutes beforehand but latecomers are not permitted entry.

Dubai Spice Souq, An Exotic Experience !

Just next to the Gold Souq is the Spice Souq. Many tourists visiting Dubai thoroughly enjoy visiting the spice souq in Deira as it’s a true pleasure walking around this particular Deira souq. The intensive and exotic aroma of the different spices which includes valuable saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, nuts, henna and aniseed, entices many visitors into purchasing some spices at this Deira Souq. Other items that are offered by the shops in the Deira spice souk include various herbs and special perfumed oil which local healers and pharmacists have been using to make their own special and traditional medicine for centuries. Potteries, souvenirs, various types of baskets, rice, textiles, rugs, incense etc are also sold. Bargaining is something that you ought not to forget to do here. We moved around, bargaining some artifacts. The spice market is a fantastic experience, you should not miss.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The World Famous Dubai Gold Souq

'Souq' is the Arabic word, which stands for the market or place where any kind of goods are brought or exchanged. Traditionally, Arabic shipping vessels discharge their cargos brought from the Far East, China, Ceylon and India on the docks, which would be bargained over in the souq's adjacent to the docks.Times have changes since then as Dubai Souq's have given way to air-conditioned multi-storied shopping malls and items on sale have changed from spices, silks and Attar (Arabic Perfume) to latest electronic items, gold and designer apparels.
Our first visit was to the Deira area where there is the Gold Souq. I was mesmerized by the large number of gold shops. The designs were also unique. From gold brooches, ear rings, bangles, rings or necklaces, one can find each and every window of the shops adorned with gold ornaments and artifacts.But in most of the shops you will find the same designs. The design of the gold souq is similar to that of Kuwait, but Dubai has equal number of diamond shops. We explored every area of the Gold Souq, took few pictures and did lot of window shopping as we had no intention of buying gold. While moving around the souq, we came across KANZ Jewels L.L.C….a big gold shop. We were amazed by the very big gold ring in the shop. We entered the shop and came to know that it is the BIGGEST gold ring in the world manufactured by Taiba. The weight of the ring is 63.856kgs and weight of gold used in the ring is 58.686 kgs. Diamonds were used to decorate the ring. The ring is really beautiful.
Had heard and read that the gold prices are among the lowest in the world in Dubai. But my experiences does not say so. You cannot bargain nor the jeweller will give you less then the existing price of gold. Its only in the making charge that you have to bargain. The final price of your purchase is determined by your negotiation skills. And that stand's true,all over the world.
I really find funny when people back home say Gold is cheaper in Dubai, Kuwait...can say the entire Middle East.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dubai Desert Safari- A Not To Miss Experience !

Your visit to Dubai is incomplete if you have not taken the Desert Safari tour. It is the most exciting thing you must have ever done in your life. It is a experience of a life time as one enjoys the roller coaster ride on the sand dunes. The action packed desert safari takes you on a journey from a desert to a mountain in a 4 wheel drive to an isolated desert camp where lot of activities and entertainment awaits you. The safari can last from a couple of hours to whole day or night, depending on how much of an experience people want. It makes the tourist feel as if they have been transported back to ancient times when for business or in search of oil people used to brave the never ending sea of dunes with their caravans.
There are many tour companies that organize trips into the desert with a wide variety of activities. You have options of morning safari, evening safari or overnight safari. It is ideal to take the evening or overnight safari to escape the harsh sunlight and scorching day time temperature. But if you don’t have time to spare in the afternoon or evening then morning safari is the right choice. It starts at 9 in the morning and its specially designed for those who love sports and adventure as one can enjoy dune bashing, quade biking, camel ride, sand ski etc. The evening desert safari generally departs in the late afternoon to take you across the desert. If you have time in hand you should opt for the overnight desert safari. This includes all the elements of the evening safari, however instead of returning to the city in the evening you gain an opportunity to spend the night at the desert camp site. You will have beautiful experience of sleeping in spacious tents under the starry night in your sleeping bags. You can experience the beautiful cool Arabian night and see the stunning sunrise in the morning. Before returning back to Dubai you can eat a hearty Arabian or continental breakfast.
I along with my husband and one year four months daughter took the evening safari. We booked two seats at Hourmuz Tours through our travel agent. When you book a desert safari, they will come to your hotel and pick you up. They came to pick us from our hotel at around 2.45pm. It was a Toyota Land Cruiser (usually a land cruiser is used). Then there is about a 45 minutes drive to a meeting point. All desert safari tour operators and individual vehicles will gather at this place, because all vehicles are going together to the desert. That’s the tradition. Here one can have refreshment or buy souvenir or buy the “shimagh”, the head scarf worn by Arabic men. I saw many tourists purchasing and wearing the scarf and enjoying the feeling of being Arabic. To drive into the sand dunes , the drivers deflate the tyres. There is about 15-30 minutes wait at this place until all vehicles are arrived. Remember, you are still on the road, not in the desert. But this is the entry point to the desert.
When it’s ready all vehicles start going into the desert. This is when the fun begins. The vehicles will go through sand dunes, climbing Dune Mountains, driving across sand dunes in a 45 degree angle…. It’s real fun. We halted for sometime after some ride in the sand dunes and took some nice pictures. To be honest it was little scary when the car was sliding on the dune slopes. My husband managed to take few shots even though it was impossible to hold the camera as the whole car was shaking a lot. After about 90 minutes drive in the desert all vehicles will be parked in a place to watch the sunset in the desert. It is an amazing experience. You should see this at least once in your lifetime. Then the desert safari continues and all vehicles will come to a central camp in the middle of the desert. There are tents, tables and chairs in the camp for people to sit and relax. After you reach the camp there are mineral water, soft drinks and variety of snacks awaiting you. It is suggested that while you reach the camp site you should taste the Arabic coffee and dates. Women can indulge in henna designing on their hands and feet. You can also try camel riding, sand boarding or ride a quad-bike. Or buy a sand art as a souvenir. You can also try the Shisha, which is the famous traditional Arabic hubly-bubly water pipe. The Arabs are perfect host and within couple of hours they start the barbecue dinner under the starry skies. Variety of continental and Arabian dishes is included in the menu including vegetarian and non vegetarian. As you have your dinner you will be entertained by a traditional belly dancer in the centre stage. She will mesmerize you with her moves and if lucky will be called on stage to dance with her. Both myself and my baby and my husband, were called separately, to try out few steps with her. We thoroughly enjoyed.
Once the dinner and belly dancing is finished, all vehicles start heading back. Don’t worry they won’t go for another adventure drive, because your tummy is full by this time. Depending on the desert safari package, you have the option to spend the night in the desert. The tour operator will organize everything required. You should select this option if you want to touch stars and relax in the middle of the desert. But if not, then you are driven back to Dubai and you are dropped off at your place of pick up at around 10pm.
A desert safari is an experience that you will cherish for a life time and truly worth every single penny that you spend.

Al-Khaleej Mall / Al-Ain Shopping Mall,Dubai

Morning went to have breakfast at the hotel,as the hotel provides complimentary breakfast. It was really good; lot of variety from juice/ tea/ coffee/ milk/ cornflakes/ idle/ sambar/ coconut chutney/ pasta/ breed/ jam/ butter/ cheese etc. After b’fast Jeet went out and fixed our travel plan during our stay with the agent. Afternoon had planned to go out for the Desert Safari. After Jeet’s return, went out to the nearby Malls. First we went to “Al-Khaleej Mall” (you will find lot of gift/ souvenir shops here); then to “Al-Ain-Shopping Center / Mall” (this Mall is full with computer and computer-related items). Just next to this Mall,is “Spinney’s”, a famous chain of 24hrs Shopping Center in Dubai. You need not go out of the Mall; there is entrance to this very big 24hr Convenient Shop from the Mall itself. This Shopping Center is like our “Sultan Center” in Kuwait. We purchased juice, fruits, cakes, and croissant and came to our Hotel. Later our travel agent told us that it belongs to Late Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan. Mehr had her lunch and we got ready for the Desert Safari.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Little India in Dubai

We decided to explore Meena Bazar area that evening. Though we visited many malls in Dubai, I found Meena Bazar area the best place to shop. It’s in Bur Dubai district and most of the shops are own by Indians. Infact it’s call “Little India” as nearly 90% of population are Indians. There is great variety of clothes, imitation jewellery, accessories for girls, shoes, electronic items, perfumes, gold shops, kids cloths and accessories, souvenir shops and much more in this area. You have to bargain hard, and after bargaining you will find that prices are very reasonable. You quote half the price of what the shopkeeper tells you. Don’t worry if they don’t decrease the price, just move away. They will call you back and their price comes down. You will find Indian brand shops like Raymond, Liberty, Bata, Parthas, Nalli etc. here. This is what you will miss in Kuwait. There are shops where you will find Indian dresses but they are much less in number compared to Dubai. Apart from shops, you will find many Indian restaurants in this area.
Jeet had to change his specs lens, so we enquired in 3shops. The prices were almost same in two shops, 120Dirhams. But the third one tried to fool us by saying 250Dirhams. So you see shopkeeper’s tries to fool you by quoting double the price if you are not aware of the existing price in the market. We visited few travel agencies DELMA , HOURMUZ and VIENNA to enquire about the tours. We had dinner at Baithal Ravi Restaurant, another famous Indian restaurant in Dubai. We had heard and read a lot about it, so decided to try it out. We had biriyani, afghani chicken, tandori roti and lachi. The food was really tasty. While coming back to our hotel, I checked out few shops for salt. Salt is really costly in Dubai. 1kg of Salt cost 3.5Dirham in Dubai, (but here in Kuwait it hardly cost 100fills i.e 15-17 Rs in Indian currency. We also purchased few pastries, bananas to have with morning tea. I found baby food products costlier in Dubai then in Kuwait.
After returning back to hotel room, made MEHR’s “khichri”.

Hotel Dolphin, Dubai

Just four months back, exactly on this date we took the Jazeera flight to Dubai. It was a vacation after a long time as my pregnancy; Mehr’s birth kept our vacation postponing. We stayed at Dubai for seven days and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It is such a wonderful place that you feel like going again and again.

We had our flight at 12 in the afternoon, so left home at around 9.10am. There was lot of apprehensions.For the luggage; we had a lot of them as we planned to go home (India) from Dubai. Also I was not sure how MEHR would react. It was for the first time we took her on such trip. But Thank God! There was no problem, either for the luggage or with Mehr. Mehr, infact enjoyed the journey and even at the airports made friendship with lot of people. It was our first trip to Dubai. The Dubai Airport is really a big one, is also one of the busiest in the world. The driver from Hotel Dolphin came to receive us, so there was no problem.

We had been in Dubai for 7 days and stayed at this place. It is a nice hotel cum apartment and very good for Asians specially Indians. The rooms are really big, spacious, and neat and clean with an equally clean bath. The location of the hotel is also good i.e. in Meena Bazar. There are plenty of Indian restaurants nearby and the breakfast provided by the hotel is extremely good if you like Indian vegetarian food. Catering is done by a group related to a famous South Indian restaurant chain called Kamath Hotel.
The room we were staying was very clean with tasteful interiors. The room was well furnished which also includes hot plate, utensils for cooking, crockery’s, fridge, sink, iron box, locker, provisions of coffee/tea/sugar. The staff was also very helpful and professional. The location of the hotel is very good if you are looking for quick and easy access to all important parts of UAE. Free airport pickup and drop are possible with request. Hotel does not have a Bar, Night club, and definitely not suitable for Bachelors with different ideas. However, for travelers with family and budget and easy mobility being other concerns may find this hotel suitable.
Liked — Location,Clean,Helpful staff and value for money accommodation.
Disliked — None as such.
No frill apartment hotel is located in mini India( Meena Bazar) in Bur Dubai. Hotel has studio rooms(ie one bedroom),two room apartments with separate kitchenette & dinning area.Hotel rooms are equipped with fridge,small kitchenette,locker apart from TV & airconditioner. Rooms are reasonable in size and tastefuly done.Each room has a window and balcony facing the main roads of the area. The hotel has Kamat Restaurant (Very popular south Indian food chain of restaurants). Small swimming pool on terrace & a health club are the additional features of the hotel.

Dolphin Hotel Apartment is located in the Khaled Bin Al Walid Road, in the Meena Bazar area. It won’t be wrong to say it is located in the center of Dubai city. Besides being surrounded by gold, textile and electronic markets, the hotel is also strategically equidistant from other shopping and business localities in Dubai – Deira, Karaama, Satwa, Jumeirah, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City and Dubai Marina.
@@@@@ 15 minutes to Dubai International Airport
@@@@@ 10 minutes to Shaikh Zayed Road
@@@@@ 10 minutes to Dubai World Trade Center and Exhibition Halls.
@@@@@ 10 minutes to Port Rashid
@@@@@ 7 minutes to Karaama
@@@@@ 15 minutes to Deira
@@@@@ 2 minutes to Dubai Creek
@@@@@ 3 minutes to the taxi, bus terminus and water taxi – Abra.
@@@@@ 2 minutes to electronic market
@@@@@ 15 minutes to Gold market
@@@@@ 5 minutes to textile market
@@@@@ 5 minutes to the Dubai Museum
@@@@@ 5 minutes to the Heritage Village

Monday, March 22, 2010

Kuwait Continental Hotel,Q8

Friday night, there was another b’day party. It was of another friend, Dr Rifat and Sharmista’s daughter Simran’s b’day. They organized the party at “Gardenia Restaurant” of Kuwait Continental Hotel. Situated at the lobby level, serving delicious Arabic and Continental cuisine in a relaxed garden setting, this place is a perfect place to hold get-togethers, anniversary parties and birthday parties. Though I had visited the hotel before, for another birthday party of another friend’s daughter Shyamal and Missilu, this was the first time I attended any party at GARDENIA. I loved the atmosphere and ambience. The food was very good (specially their “ dahi-bara” is well known.) The manager and the waiters are very helpful. I needed few things for my baby,which they quickly and happily obliged. Shyamal and Missilu organised their daughter Ruhi’s birthday at the other restaurant of the hotel named “Darbar”. Situated on the top floor, with panoramic view, this restaurant serves exclusive Indian delicacies. The food is superb.
Centrally located, the huge five-star Kuwait Continental Hotel boasts of 86 guest accommodations. They have a separate banquet hall to hold business meetings and get-togethers. It is 15 minutes drive from the airport.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Caesars Restaurant, Fahaheel, Q8

Hi Everyone! How did the weekend go? For me Thursday and Friday, was fun. From Saturday, at home nursing my sore throat and cough. Had too much of ice cream on Thursday night, the result is this……haha.
Thursday evening went to Cearars restaurant @ Fahaheel to celebrate the birthday of our friend Abhijit da n Mouchumi’s twins Nupur N Runjun. It was a well organized b’day party, and they had invited lot of friends. The hall was nicely decorated. “Caesars” a much known name in GCC countries does not need any introduction. They are specialized in Indian, Chinese and Continental food and have a banquet hall. So birthday, marriage anniversaries, get-togethers etc are organized in the banquet hall opposite the restaurant. Thus their business is not affected. I have visited Caesars innumerable times, attending lot of parties. The food is good and waiters are efficient and helpful. The best part is its location. Fahaheel, is a great place to shop. From small shops to malls, branded show rooms to fish market, it has everything.So if you have to do any marketing after or before the party, it’s not a problem. And if lucky enough, you might get a space for your car near the restaurant, otherwise at a little from it there is ample space to park your car.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Some Commonly Used Arabic Words :

In Arabic ...... In English

Mar-haba ...... Hello

Ahlan-Wa-Sahlan ........ Welcome

Shukran ................ Thank you

Aasef .................. Sorry

Afwan .................. Excuse me

Kam .................... How much/ How many

Na'am.................. Yes

La .................... No

Mabrook ............... Congratulations

Yameen ................ Right ( direction )

Yasar ................. Left

Ana ................... Me

Anta (M) / Anti (F) ... You

Days Of The Week In Arabic

When you come to an Arabic nation, you need to know few Arabic words. Communication becomes easy then. This is how days of the week is pronounced in Arabic.

Yaumul Ahad - Sunday

Yaumul Ithnain - Monday

Yaumuth Thulatha - Tuesday

Yaumul Arbiaa - Wednesday

Yaumul Khamees - Thursday

Yaumul Jumuah - Friday

Yaumus Sabt - Saturday

Numbers in Arabic

This is how we pronounce number's 1-10 in Arabic....

Wahid - One

Ithnain - Two

Thalatha - Three

Arbaa - Four

Khamsa - Five

Sitta - Six

Sabaa - Seven

Thamaniah - Eight

Tisaa - Nine

Ashra - Ten

Some Facts About Q8

Hi Everyone! Sharing with you some facts about Kuwait today

1-1672 the approximate date of the establishment of Kuwait town, and It was called Al-Qurain at that time

2-1752 the approximate date of the election of Sabah Bin Jaber from the Al-Sabah Family to be the ruler of Kuwait.

3-1773 Kuwait was attacked by an epidemic and most of its inhabitants died.

4-1871 The Al-Taba’ah disaster, in which many Kuwaiti diving ships were sunk, caused a massive hurricane between India and Oman.

5-1886 the first Kuwaiti currency was minted in copper during rein of Sheikh Abdullah Al-Sabah II.

6-1911. 22 December, Al-Mubarkiya School, the first formal school in Kuwait, opened.

7-1927 The first airport in Kuwait was built.

8-1928 The first plane landed on its soil.

9-1938 February, Oil was discovered in Burgan oilfield.

10-1942 the first bank in Kuwait was opened.

11-1960 The first Kuwait women was employed by Kuwait Oil Company.

12-1961. 1 April, the Kuwaiti Dinar became the official currency in Kuwait, replacing the Indian Rupee.

13-1962. 11 November, The Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah ratified the first Constitution of Kuwait.

14-1963. 23 January, the first parliamentary elections in Kuwait were held.

15-1963. 29 January, the first elected National Assembly of Kuwait convened.

16-1963. 14 May, Kuwait becomes a member of United Nations Organization.

17-Robiah is the money that was used in Kuwait before Kuwaiti Dinar(KD).

18-Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, who became the Amir of Kuwait four years ago after a succession crisis, has asked his government to contact Nepal’s ruling coalition to hire nearly three dozen former Gurkha soldiers from Nepal, who may have served with the Indian or British Army.

19-Kuwait's first women lawmakers include Massouma al-Mubarak, who became Kuwait's first female minister in 2005, the year women were first given the right to vote and run for office.

20-Kuwait has 9 islands: FAILAKA, BUBIYAN, WARBAH, AUHAH, KUBBAR, MISKAN, QARUH, UMM AL MARADIM, UMM AL NAMIL.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

LuLu HyperMarket, Q8


Then we went to LuLu Hypermarket for the weekly marketing of grocery, fruits and vegetables. Its at Al Rai.The best part is you don't have to worry about getting space to park your car, which really is a problem in Kuwait when you go out for marketing. There is ample space in front and back. I love to shop at LuLu, though it remains overcrowded with people as we find various types of Indian vegetables. Its very big with two floors. They have the regular supermarket stuff on the ground floor ( grocery items, vegetables, fruits, frozen items, salads, fish, mutton, kitchen and baby items, cosmetics etc and the first floor has all sorts of other items (decorative, clothes, furniture, electronics, etc.).They even have their own branded grocery items (e.g. salt, bread and some other stuff).

Hawally Park,Q8

After moving around in the car for some time, we came to Hawally park which was opened to public in 2004. As it is a government park it has no entrance fee. It was already evening by the time we entered the park. We first visited the Jarir Bookstore which is inside the park. You will find the best of everything in Kuwait, the only thing till now,I found difficult to find is a good bookstore. Our visit to this bookstore has deleted this shortcoming. A very big store where you will find variety of books, computer equipments, printer inks, variety of pens and pen stands, travel equipments and educative games for all ages . A “must visit” for book lovers. After having a look at everything that is found here, I purchased few educative games for Mehr and then we had a look at all the games of the park. The park also has a branch of Caesars Restaurant, gift shops, children’s clothes and accessories shop, 2 aquarium shops, computer shop, perfume shop and a photo studio. What made us very happy and satisfied was to see MEHR enjoying seeing the games and lights. In the park there is Fun Land, an indoor children’s play area and few restaurants. Both in the park and in Fun Land your child is pampered with so many games, your child will love it. If you have a kid then you SHOULD visit Hawally Park.