Sunday, November 2, 2014

Old World Dubai

In a country where a mobile handset is changed almost every 6 months, it's a refreshing relief to find someone using a Nokia 6301. Being an avid mobile handset enthusiast, I was almost thrilled to spot someone using the Nokia 6310. How important this story is can be gauged from the fact that this device was introduced in the year 2001!

At a time when mobile handsets and our super connected world seem to be intruding into every space of our lives, I was pleasantly surprised to see the user of the device soak in the morning sun with almost no cares. He sat there sipping his Americano for almost 2 hours, reading the newspaper. He seemed to not miss any of the super data connectivity we have all come to accept as a non negotiable requirement of our daily life. 

And then again, with all the super connectivity and constant interactions on Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp, have our lives really been enhanced? Or would you want to be that gentleman using the Nokia 6310? He hadn't received a single message or notification for almost 2 hours of the day and seemed to have done well!.

So if given a choice, who would you rather be? The super connected persons we are turning out to be be? Or this man who seemed very content with his Nokia 6310?

Please leave your comments below.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Passport to the world?

It's been a long time since I've really felt excited about Blackberry's new launches. My love affair may have fallen apart after a short brief relationship with the then new Blackberry Bold. But I guess the new launch of Blackberry Passport may finally get me interested. 

Blackberry's Senior Vice President for Marketing, Mark Wilson was in town today to launch the new Blackberry Passport at Armani Ballroom at the Burj Khalifa. Dubai was one of the 3 cities across the world which were part of the global launch.

Let me set the record straight. I have never published a post about a commercial product on Dubai Photo Story. It's always been about bringing Dubai to the world in the form of pictures. It could well have been the new IPhone 6. Or Samsung's newest gizmo. But there is a strong reason for having finally broken my own rule today.

The Blackberry Passport is not your new bright mobile handset that's going to impress the girls. Its something a lot more serious. Serious technology. Serious productivity. Serious work.

The first thing that strikes you is the very odd square 1440 x 1440 high resolution HD screen. The square screen lets you read a lot more than most mobile handsets. It's wide screen gives you a real laptop experience unlike the long rectangle screen where one needs to keep scrolling from one side to the other. 

But what brings out it's pedigree is the true Blackberry keyboard that also works as a scroll pad. Besides all the good things Blackberry keyboards are known for, this one lets you scroll up and down the screen. Want to scroll to the bottom of the page? Just swipe your finger downwards on the keyboard. Want to delete the last few words you typed? you can swipe the finger sideways on the keyboard. But what I did find annoying about it is that its now limited to 3 rows only. But then again, its an intelligent keyboard with a fourth virtual row of keys at the bottom of the screen. The device seemed quite intelligent to predict what I was going to type and generated additional keys on the virtual row. Serious productivity. 

Another big win is that one can download all the apps from Amazon's Appstore. This is an area that has always been a sore point for Blackberry users in the region. But now the Passport comes with a pre loaded Amazon Appstore to download all your favourite apps. 

I guess that best new thing blackberry brings to the table is Blackberry Blend. With blend one can seamlessly access content from your Blackberry Passport on any other device including Windows PC or and Android tablet. Its almost like using your Passport on your laptop or tablet without ever being disconnected from your mobile device. 

The build quality is phenomenal. This is probably the best build quality that Blackberry has brought to the market in a long time. 

I've been waiting a while to get a new smartphone. Its a busy time with some big launches jostling for mind space and big brands fighting to get the consumers' attention. I think Blackberry has managed to get mine.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Mosque

Located in the Deira area opposite Deira City Centre at the junction of Street 25 and Street 27, this is probably one of the oldest mosques in the city. 

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Al Tayer Mosque

Al Tayer Mosque is located at Umm Suquem 1 and can accommodate approximately 280 people. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Al Gargash Mosque, Jumeirah

Located off Al Wasl Road in Jumeirah, Gargah Mosque is another of the most beautiful mosques of Dubai. The mosque is located in the vicinity of Kings School Jumeirah and is in the area opposite Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Resort.

While I refer to it as Al Gargash Mosque I am not really sure that's the official name. I asked at the nearby stores and cafeteria and was informed that the mosque is referred to as Al Gargash mosque. If you know the official name for the mosque and it is something else please let me know

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Grand Mosque, Nad Al Hamar

Located at Naad Al Hamar, off 47th street, this is probably one of the most majestic of mosques in Dubai. The beauty and magnificence of the mosque is accentuated by the space around the structure and the lack of any buildings around.

As I watched the mosque in awe, there was nobody around except a lone traveler who was resting in the compound. He explained to me that he was from Abu dhabi and had stopped by only to rest for a while before heading off. I learnt from the caretaker the mosque is also referred to as the Rashid Lootah Mosque

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Grand Mosque

The Grand Mosque is located in the busy Bur Dubai area close to the textile souq off Ali Bin Abi Taleb street. The mosque was originally built in 1900 and was a school where children learnt to recite the holy Quran. The original school was replaced by a mosque at same location in 1960 and later reconstructed to its current form in 1998.

A unique feature in the design is the 45 small domes and 9 large domes on the roof of the mosque. The Grand Mosque of Dubai is done up in Persian style wíth blue mosaic work and sand colored facades. The mosque contains beautiful handmade stained glass work. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Heritage Village

Its like time stood still. An old world charm right in the middle of a bustling city. Heritage Village recreates the Dubai of yore, a testimony to the Govt's efforts to show case history. Located near the Shindhaga end of Dubai creek on Bur Dubai side, the village provides views of Dubai's traditional lifestyle and culture. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Al Farooq Omar Bin Al Khatab Mosque

The Al Farooq Omar Bin Al Khatab mosque was established in 1986 and expanded in 2003. It was rebuilt in 2001 to its current form. I understand that the current design and architecture was inspired by the Blue Mosque of Istanbul.

It is only one of 3 mosque in UAE which give access to non Muslims and can accommodate over 2000 people at a time. 

The mosque is located in the Safa 1 area of Jumeirah off Al Wasl Road.

Visit other mosques in Dubai by clicking here 

Al Farooq Omar Bin Al Khatab mosque

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Lime Tree Cafe, Jumeirah

It is kind of difficult to imagine that in these years of being in Dubai, I had never been to The Lime Tree Cafe. Somewhat of an iconic location and a big favorite with the expat population in Jumeirah, I had driven past the cafe many times in the past. 

So when a bunch of friends suggested we meet for brunch at TLTC, I wasn't going to let go of the opportunity. It is a nice quaint place located in an old fashioned villa along Jumeirah Beach Road. 

I guess the place has itself become some sort of a landmark in Jumeirah and has a large group of loyal customers. It has a lovely feel of 'happiness' all through. 


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