Monday, February 25, 2013

What's inside my food?

You think you have issues with horse meat? Check these out.....

Westin, Abu Dhabi Golf Club

We decided to take up an offer to stay at The Westin this weekend. There was a great deal for an overnight stay with breakfast, so as we had both had a crappy week we decided to go. The room was really nice (with a bath - we always have a bath if there is one as the baths at Al Reef are too small!). We had a lovely view across the Abu Dhabi Golf Club course - which saw action from Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods just a few weeks ago (if all but briefly because neither of them made the cut!).

We availed use of The Heavenly Spa (!) , which actually was! And then we had dinner at the Moroccan restaurant, Agadir. This was the first time I had eaten traditional Moroccan food, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. For my main course I had :-

Tagine Barkouk 
Braised veal or lamb served with sweet prunes, almonds and roasted sesame seeds

It had a very rich sauce that was really tasty. I will definitely have a Tagine again.

Anyway, along with two afternoons at the pool, it made for a really welcome break.

View from the balcony

The Pool Area

Our spot for the second day at the pool!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Ridiculous story of the week

All I can say is: Idiots. Seems even military vehicles cannot escape this regions obsession with bling - a sign of a huge inferiority complex methinks.

High-fashion makeover for world's toughest vehicle
Jennifer Bell
Feb 17, 2013


ABU DHABI // A 16-tonne armoured army vehicle has been given a bling makeover for Idex – painted gold, chrome and bronze and covered in Swarovski crystals.

The military makeover was unveiled to a crowd of 6,000 at today's opening.

It was created by Gavin Rajah, a couture designer to celebrities such as Beyonce and Cameron Diaz.
The vehicle, a Marauder, was deemed "the world's toughest vehicle" by hit BBC television show Top Gear after it beat a Hummer in a series of tests, including how well it withstood a landmine explosion.
Model Jenna Upton helped reveal the new look by dressing in a matching ballgown.

The Marauder was created by the Paramout Group, Africa's largest privately owned defence and aerospace business. The company regularly receives calls from all over the world, including the UAE, for customised, personal versions of the mine and bulletproof vehicles.

"We have designed this customised vehicle to celebrate the Marauder's ongoing reign as the world's toughest vehicle, and the public's appreciation of this world-leading innovative machine," said Ivor Ichikowitz, founder and executive chairman. "Paramount Group is in the business of innovation – we are constantly pushing the boundaries, which is why our vehicle is still the toughest yet."

Friday, February 8, 2013

Archie Busted!

Archie sleeps on the floor in our bedroom. When Caz gets up she lets him out and he goes downstairs. We suspected that he was getting up on the sofas while Caz was still upstairs (which he is not allowed to do and would never when we are around). So, we put covers on the sofas and made sure the camera was on.

Seems he was having a field day!

SOS Condoms

Durex last week started to promote a new 'SOS Condom' delivery service in Dubai. Bad move - it just got banned. Unless you hail to the adage that "any publicity is good publicity" , in which case you could argue it was a great move! One could cynically think that in fact it was all just a ruse and they knew it would get banned and would make headlines.

The condoms were to be ordered via the above app and delivered within 1 hour to any location in Dubai. The story below (and linked above) describes the ban and the test order they made.

So, SOS Condoms will no longer be able to "save your date" in Dubai. I guess they could always send the maid out to buy them? ... oh wait.... maybe she is the date?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Visit to Yas Waterworld

Whenever our kids come over they want to go to a water park. Until now, this has normally meant a trip to Dubai, to either Wild Wadi (next to Burj al Arab) or Aquaventure (next to The Atlantis). As we have been many times, we generally drop them there and go find something to do in Dubai, and then pick them up later. For us, it's a bit of a pain to be honest. Be, hurrah, no more! The long awaited Yas Island Water Park, Waterworld, is now open. (the website is pretty good and has videos of the rides etc.) This is great, as it is literally 10 minutes from our house.

So we went last weekend with Alice, Josh and Alfie. It was the opening weekend, so we were expecting it to be rammed, but it was really pretty quiet when we arrived, although it got a bit busier as the day went on. I would say the park was easily as good as the Dubai ones, and it is slated to grow even bigger with 2 more phases I believe. But even now, there is a good selection of rides, from real adrenaline rushes, through to kids stuff.

We decided to splash out on a Cabana to hire for the day. It's probably something we would only do once, but we thought "why not". The main reason was that it would give us chance to keep Alfie properly shaded during the day. They come in two sizes, for 4 or 6 people, and you get free cold drinks included all day, towels and a waiter service for F&B (just pick up the phone :-) )

Nice and quiet at opening time on Saturday!

I guess they are not heading for the slides!

They have an interesting pearl diving experience, where they will dive down and get you an oyster. You open it and are guaranteed at least one pearl. Then you can have it made into jewellery if want.

Alfie is a water baby!