Thursday, December 16, 2010

Festival Marina

We had a lovely lunch at one of the restaurants at the Festival City marina. Part of Dubai Festival City, the marina offers a range of restaurants, cafes and bistros along the banks of the creek, all overlooking the basin. Set in a typical mediterranean style, it is a beautiful experience to set yourself up at one of the restaurants and watch the gulls glide over the luxurious yachts.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Another view - Same building

This is probably one of the most photographed building this year. I have covered the Burj Khalifa earlier at this blog.

It is a surreal experience when one stands at the foot of the building and looks up at the top. It's a special feeling as you feel the sheer size of the structure as it tapers into the sky. Every other building in the vicinity dwarfs in comparison to this amazing structure.

Burj Khalifa - the tallest building in the world! :-)

The Burj Khalifa stands tall at 828 m (2717 ft) and is part of the flagship development called 'Downtown Dubai'. Construction of the the tower began in Sept 2004 and the building was officially inaugurated on 4th Jan, 2010.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Safa Park

The Eid Al Adha holidays are just about to end today as we headed out to Safa park for some fun. The entire family spent the day at Safa Park. We had packed a nice lunch for all of us (had an overdose of BBQ over the last few days) along with beach toys for the kids.

Safa Park was build in 1975 and lies along the Sheikh Zayed Road south of Burj Khalifa. The area was apparently used by illegal immigrant labor who lived in makeshift homes until the area was converted into a park. This park has something unique, a ladies only exclusive section where ladies can relax in privacy.  

Friday, November 12, 2010

Directions to the Hindu temple in Dubai

There is an old post somewhere in this blog that talks about the Hindu temple in Dubai. Since then I have been getting e-mail requests for directions to the temple! So why not a new post with directions to the temple.

Head down to Burjuman. This is one of the big popular malls in the country. You could either take a taxi or use the metro to get off at Khalid Bin Waleed Station. From there head down Khalid Bin Waleed street (popularly known as computer street). As you walk past the computer stores, turn right at Apsara supermarket. Continue to walk towards the creek as you head in the direction of Dubai Museum. Right next to the museum is the Hindu Temple. 

Hopefully I will post an easy to use direction map as part of this post.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Karama Market

A comment by Abu Dhabi Daily Photograph got me to go back to Karama to visit the Karama market. It's apparently a very infamous market, known for it's fake branded goods. You can get it all. From Omega watches to Cross pens and from Man U shirts to Gucci shoes. All for a fraction of the cost. 

Some of the things I bargained for (but didn't buy) are a Breitling watch for AED 250/- and a Cross pen for AED 49/-. Remember to look out for the shady salesman who will approach you to show you the éxclusive' stuff.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Nestled in the heart of Dubai is Karama, a bustling and popular residential area of the city. Karama is characterised by old and low rise buildings cluttered with satellite TV dishes and a web of wires and cables criss crossing from one building to another. 

Karama is full of Indian eateries with almost every well known restaurant chain in India having set up shop. The dominance of the Indian community is evident if you make a trip one of these days in the evenings. The evening brings out colored light steamers and lanterns across the balconies of the residents as the community celebrates Diwali, the festival of lights. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Foggy in Dubai

Difficult driving conditions this morning with heavy fog everywhere!!!!! The bright side of course is that the weather is changing and its time to bring out the camping gear. :-)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Souq Al Bahar

Located at the foot of the famous Burj Khalifa, Souq Al Bahar is a charming blend of traditional souq architecture and modern facilities that one associates with shopping malls. Its wide dimly lit corridors and high arches coupled with its cultural theme make Souq Al Bahar a unique experience. 

Surprisingly and after all these years in Dubai, I have not had the opportunity to visit the souq. It was only the other day when we went out to watch the Dubai Fountain, that I had a chance to walk around its colorful shops. Souq Al Bahar is also home to a very interesting collection of casual and fine dining restaurants placed alongside the waterfront promenade. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Al Ain Zoo

Located at the foot of the Jebel Hafeet mountains, Al Ain Zoo is only a couple of hours away from Dubai. It is probably the better laid out of the several zoos in UAE. 

We spent the entire day over the weekend at the Zoo. The star attraction at the zoo is the almost extinct White Lion. Apparently there are only about 200 white lions left across the world. Given the time of the year, you should take advantage of the mini train that takes you around the entire zoo. Else it can get very hot and tiring as you try to cover the vast area that makes up for Al Ain zoo. 

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Little India

Often referred to as Little India, Bur Dubai is a colorful mix of residences and retail outlets. As a friend once put it, except for the signs in Arabic, one could well mistake Bur Dubai for a suburb of Mumbai. As one walks around Bur Dubai, one cannot help but notice the dominance of the Indian community. Most of the shops are run by traders from the Indian sub continent and this is an important shopping destination for the Indian community. Narrow lanes lined with Indian clothes and jewelery shops coupled with  jostling Indian customers haggling for a bargain make Bur Dubai a beautiful mosaic of colors.

The only Hindu temple in Dubai is located in the Bur Dubai area. Read about the Hindu Temple in Dubai by clicking here

Souq Madinat Jumeirah

Designed on the lines of a traditional arabian souk, Souk Madinat Jumeirah is a unique shopping experience. The high wooden arches,  stone floor and meandering lanes  provide a true souq like experience. The souq is located adjacent to the Madinat Jumeirah hotel.

Read about Bur Dubai souq here

Friday, April 2, 2010

Mirdiff City Centre Mall

Dubai's newest mall Mirdif City Centre opened 2 weeks ago. Here are a few pictures of yet another glitzy addition to a list of malls that has made Dubai famous.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A different Dubai

If you had to ask people to draw a picture of Dubai, most of them will probably visualise one of these two. Most would think of Dubai as a city full of tall skyscrapers, glitzy malls and expensive cars. A few may think of Dubai as a desert full of sand dunes, camels and bedouins smoking sheesha.

The picture above is one that most would not associate with Dubai. I hadn't seen so much of natural greenery in Dubai before so was pleasantly surprised. This was shot in Margham where most of the desert safari companies do the dune bashing. Right across the desert where the 4x4s take on the dunes, is this beautiful patch of greenery. There are several farmhouses here and you can have a fantastic peek into the daily routine of the local farming population.  

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Where is Sammy?

The Atlantis said Thursday that it has released Sammy, the 13 ft whale shark back into the Gulf waters. It says that the whale shark is tagged but did not say when it was released. Read the AP story here

For a hotel that is known to be as media savvy as the Atlantis is, it is kind of strange that there is no evidence of Sammy's release. Not a single burst of fireworks, not a single star in sight, not even local journalists were invited to witness the release. Not even a marine scientist to facilitate the release and witness the event.

Top News has quoted Dr Robert Hueter, Director of the Centre for Shark Research Mote Marine Laboratory as saying that " the shark was in good condition upon release and there was no impact over its growth rate in aquarium"

Sammy had attracted a lot of attention from the local population. Hence to note that the whale was released in such a quiet manner seems very odd. Very fishy. 

May be we are getting a little too nervous without reason. May be The Atlantis will provide more details soon?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum 2

The post is a continuation of the last one on Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum in Al Ain. Pictured below is a replica of the Land Rover that the former President used to travel across the emirate to meet with his people. Another interesting picture is the one of the kitchen utensil. The utensils that were used were so huge that a step was included so that the cook could climb up and stir the food!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum

We drove down to Al Ain over the weekend with no specific plan whatsoever. And what a reward when we finally got there!!

The Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum is a must see if you head down to Al Ain. Built in 1937, the palace was converted into a museum in 2001. The palace provides an interesting peek into the life of the former president, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. 

The palace was the Al Ain residence of the ruler from 1937 to 1966 and is comprised of several courtyards. The external areas each house a different type of majlis or meeting room where the Sheikh received local and foreign dignitaries. The inner courtyard contains the main kitchen and the store room.  

An interesting part of the museum is the family tree room which houses portraits of the royal family depicting the lineage. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Quad Biking in Dubai

I finally managed to get onto a quad bike after all these years in Dubai. In case you don't know already, quad bikes are all terrain bikes that are used here for riding across the desert. They have now also become part of a standard desert safari and you get to ride one of these after you head back to the campsite.

We spent most of yesterday at the quad bike center along Al Ain Road. This place is about 40 kms as you head past Outlet Mall and easily stands out with it's colorful flags and banners.

There are various sizes of bikes so the entire family can dig into the fun. It can be an absolutely adrenaline pumping drive as you head up and down the dunes in the desert. I strongly suggest that you listen carefully to the instructors advice as you will need to use most of it!!!. Or at least the part about how not to get stuck at the top of the dunes! 

I think Quad bikes are no longer 'street legal' in Dubai though I am not very sure. 

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Driving through the countryside - Camels

Driving through the country side can be an absolutely awesome experience. When we went out for a drive yesterday, we had one of the best views of camels in the desert. We spotted these camels on the way to Umm Al Quwain. Referred to as the ship of the desert, the camel forms an integral part of the local customs and traditions. Camels were the primary mode of transport and were used to get across the vast desert. However, with the booming socio economic progress of Dubai in the last few decades, the use of camels as a means of transportation has lost its importance. Camels still continue to be an important element of Arabic traditions but have now become more of symbols of pride and affluence.

Camels have once again hit the news recently albeit for an entirely different reason. Camel meat is a local delicacy and one of the local chain has recently introduced 'çamel burgers' which have attracted a fair amount of controversy. Located in the Bastakiya district, the Local House restaurant's menu includes several local delicacies.

Read about the Bastakiya district here.

Other posts of interest:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Who's bicycle is this?

I spotted this bicycle at a park over the weekend. I looked around the place for the owner but there was absolutely nobody in sight. The bright colors against the green of the lawn made an excellent picture. I felt like the bicycle was almost posing for me!!! ;-)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

For married only

This was on display at one of the stalls at Global Village. This is a particular type of honey that can apparently work wonders for an otherwise dull 'married' life. Needless to say, the wife would not let me try any of it.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The solitary angler

Captured this picture at Dubai Creek Park over the weekend. This spot is very popular with Dubai's anglers and one normally sees several of them here. On this particular day, the place is deserted. All I could see was this rod and the bait box. There was nobody in sight. I thoroughly enjoyed the view. It was almost as if time stood still for those few minutes.

You can also read about A lamp post at the creek side here

Friday, January 29, 2010

Dubai Pet Show

It was that time of the year again. The Dubai Pet Show is back. Held at Dubai Festival City, the show is an extremely colorful affair and a big hit with the kids. It is probably the largest gathering of pets from all over UAE, all dressed up to impress. Besides the various competitions, the contest also included an awesome display by the police dogs. Here are a few pictures from the day's action.

For pictures from last year's edition of the show, click here


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