Monday, November 30, 2009

Trip to Muscat

We took a short break to Oman over Eid. We drove across through Al Ain, taking care as we went….


The route we followed took us Farfarah way…..


…and to places where size really matters!


We had a great time though staying at the beautiful Shangri La resort which I would recommend to anyone (prepare to have deep pockets though!).

There was a lovely feel to Muscat, it is very traditional with no high rises and a quiet calm about the place, the scenery at the coast was stunning.  The locals don’t seem to have a problem working for a living doing all jobs from A-Z.

Full photo album here:-

Trip to Muscat

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bus Ride!

I just found this picture I took when Caroline’s aunts were over. For the first time we took a bus! Now, I never go on a bus even at home (yes I am a snob) – god I hate buses and the low life that you usually find on them (apologies to regular bus riders!). So I wasn’t best pleased when one of Caz’s aunts suggested we get the bus back from Marina Mall. It was around 10.30pm and the bus queue was massive. There was a general scrum to get on the bus and I felt like I was on the Tokyo metro or something, squeezing to get on. The journey along the whole length of Hamden Street seemed to go on forever. I think I was in the ladies section, but there was no way I could move to any other part of the bus if I wanted to.

Anyway, all in all, not an experience I will be clambering to suffer again.

Here’s a pic I took on my phone….


Weekend in Dubai

We went to the golf in Dubai on Friday and spent a couple of hours watching Lee Westwood, Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy at the new “Earth” course designed by Greg Norman. The tickets were free so we didn’t feel like we had to be there all day which was nice. For Friday evening we had tickets to see UB40 in concert at the Irish Village, but Caz wasn’t feeling well, so I called up one of my work mates who gladly took the tickets.

We stayed overnight at the Crowne Plaza at Festival City. It was a really nice hotel, with a great room (free upgrade he he – that Priority Club Gold Card does come in handy sometimes! ). Below are a few pics showing the view from our room.

Saturday was a lovely lazy few hours by the pool and then a couple of hours at Ibn Battuta Mall – oh well, can’t have everything!

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Traffic Chaos

Some fantastic parking tonight caused mayhem outside our apartment block as a rubbish truck got stuck and had no way in or out. Eventually the guy who had parked at the end of the road (in the middle) came and moved his van.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Weird advert of the week!

We are coming up to another religious holiday here, Eid Al Adha, and it is traditional to sacrifice an animal, typically a lamb.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Shuja Yacht Dinner Cruise

The Royal Meridien Hotel owns a yacht moored in the marina near Marina Mall, which they use for evening dinner cruises up and down the Breakwater in front of the Corniche. We went with Caroline’s two aunts who are currently staying with us at the moment and our friend Michelle from our apartment block. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening, the food was pretty good and we were very luck with the weather, it was so clear. A lovely couple of hours.

Pictures below….

Shuja Yacht dinner cruise

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Meet me on the 124th floor!

I can't wait to go up and take a look! 160 floors with the observation tower on 124th. Now opening on Jan 4th.

The Gulf s new pinnacle of innovation
Timothy Brooks
The National - News
11 Nov 2009

DUBAI It has been dubbed the “beacon of progress” and, when it opens in the New Year, Burj Dubai – the world’s tallest building – will demonstrate the dynamism of the Gulf. It will be officially opened on January 4, the fourth anniversary of more...
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Camera after Saadiyat Bridge

A speed camera has appeared just after the Saadiyat Bridge as you come into the Mina area towards Abu Dhabi. I can’t vouch for whether it is live or not, but I guess it is the slippery slope to having the whole new highway covered – rats!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I decided to remove my previous headline to this article in case the "powers that be" got a trifle upset. I'll leave it to your imagination.......

..but breweries and inebriation could apply here ...

UAE takes control of Gulf naval task force
Mahmoud Habboush
The National - News
10 Nov 2009

ABU DHABI // The UAE Navy yesterday took command of a multinational task force in the Gulf famed for its battles against terrorism and against the trafficking of people and drugs. The Navy will be in charge of the Task Force 152 fleet that more...

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Art Cars – Saadiyat Island

Paid a visit to the Art Cars exhibition on Saadiyat Island. It is held at Al Manarat, visitor’s centre for the Cultural District of the island. This is a project I am involved with, so I know the original intention was to have the whole centre open for the F1 weekend, however projects being what they are here, this never happened. They currently have this exhibition outside and after this they will open another art exhibition inside. Anyway, it was a funky clutch of cars, pictures below……

Art Cars - Saadiyat Island

Yacht at Yas Marina

I was on Yas Island today and out of curiosity I went to have a look at the Marina. It seems that you can’t just walk in, it has security on the gate. However, I did see this yacht moored just outside where there were quite a few during the Grand Prix weekend.

The name of the Yacht is “Delma”. After a bit of googling it seems it is currently owned by one of the UAE Sheikhs, although I can’t seem to find which. Apparently it is available for charter, the last published price I can find is 450,000 Euros a week. Think I’ll book it up for Eid!


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mosque visit no. ???

As we have been half a dozen times before I thought on today’s visit I’d try and take a few different pictures…

Grand Mosque November 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

A day in Dubai

After my brothers flew back home on Tuesday morning, 2 of Caroline’s aunts arrived later that night. They are here for nearly two weeks. So now it’s round two of the winter tourist site visits! Today we took them to Dubai for the day. One of the things we wanted to do was to go to the old Gold Souq in Deira. Now, I had the same idea for my brothers, but I got horribly lost in the old part of Dubai and couldn’t find it! Today I decided to do some better homework and work out how to get there properly. On one website forum I found it said the best way was to park in the Carrefour in Bur Dubai, walk to the Abra station and get an Abra over the creek to the Souq area. So, we did. It was a great experience.

We parked in Carrefour and it said that if you stayed over 2 hours you would have to have to spend 100 AED to get your ticket authorised, but when we got back over 2 hours later we didn’t have to pay anything. It’s a short walk up the road to the Abra station. We queued for ages in a long line and when we got to the front we realised that ladies and families could go straight up to the front at another barrier (noted!). The cost for the boat trip is 1AED! Getting in and out of the station is a bit hairy as they seemed to drive the boats like dodgem cars ,bashing them into each other and squeezing one out to get another in!

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Just near where the landing station is you first come to the spice souq , which we hadn’t been to before so that was quite interesting. Then, on to the gold souq, where I bought Caz some pearl earrings that she had wanted for ages.

Other stops on the day’s tour included Ibn Battuta Mall, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Madinat Souq and The Atlantis Hotel.

Now we are home knackered and having tea and cake!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

F1 GP Weekend

We had a fantastic time with my brothers for the GP weekend. The final race was actually a little dull, but the whole weekend was really good. The circuit was fantastic, the Yas Hotel looked great and overall the organisation was actually pretty good too – a miracle has happened!

Here’s a few piccies from the weekend….

F1 GP Abu Dhabi

Video clips of the Yas Marina Hotel "doing it's thing" !

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Superb first day at the F1

Had a great day at the Grand Prix today. There were a few organisational glitches, but on the whole things went very smoothly. We didn’t wait for the concert, so getting away by car was fine. Hamilton is on pole for tomorrow so hoping for lots of Land of Hope and Glory!

Here’s a few piccies….

Me and Caz

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Me and two of my brothers, Mark (L) and Steve (R)

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View from our seats


Start of the Porsche Super Cup race


Lewis Hamilton


Jenson Button


Yas Marina Hotel