Week 45 – Al Qudra Lakes camping site

At last! The temperatures in the UAE are dropping to below boiling, which means that we get to sit outside, enjoy more outdoor activities, not melt in your car… and go CAMPING!

I’ve camped plenty times in the UAE – mostly out in Fujairah – and it’s always a fabulous night out, sitting around the fire, music playing, drinks flowing, laughter a-plenty. So, this time we decided to try out a new-ish area, Al Qudra Lakes… an entirely man-made lake area, complete with wildlife, and it’s only approximately 30 minutes drive out from Mall of Emirates area. Winning!

(Taken off a Google search)

We loaded the cars with food, tents, sleeping things, drinks and people, and off we went. 6 of us girls were spending the night, and we had some friends joining just for the afternoon / dinner part of the fun… it’s so easy when it’s so close to home!

When we arrived we drove around the entire lakes area to find a spot – man is this place HUGE! We eventually settled on a spot and got sorted with unloading our goods and setting up camp… and then the serious business of making fire and stuffing our faces 🙂

It’s absolutely pitch black out there once the sun goes down; a real treat to be away from the lights and madness of Dubai for one night… which also means that the stars are AMAZING! Unfortunately no shooting stars for us though 😦

Sunset over the water

But that was not to spoil our night. We had a great time playing games, talking nonsense, having a giggle and enjoying a night out in the desert – to be woken up to the sounds of birds chirping. Fabulous!

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Dubai Fitness Challenge 30×30

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has put together a fitness challenge for the city to take part in, to try and get Dubai to be the most active city in the world!

The challenge runs from 20 October until 18 November and the idea is to spend at least 30 minutes each day doing something active, for 30 consecutive days.

For someone like me, this is not too difficult as I’m pretty active already, however there are many people who do little to no exercise day in and day out… and this challenge is largely aimed at them. And so to take it up a notch, I’ve registered my entire office into the challenge and am running a competition between 2 teams in the office to see who will put in their 30 minutes of effort each day 🙂

Are you or your company taking part??

Week 23 – Burj al Arab!

Finally – after 9.5 years living in Dubai, I have made it inside Burj al Arab!!!

While it is pretty much the height of ‘kitsch’ with everything either covered in gold, or with gold flakes or even crystals, it IS The Burj al Arab, and you can’t help but respect the greatness of it all.

Inside the lobby – Ramadan themed lights and water fountain 🙂

When you drive across that little bridge to reach it from the main road, and then drive up to the valet (embarrassingly in my tiny little Mazda 2 😀 ), you can’t help but go “WOW!”

We had ventured to this 7-Star hotel on a Saturday night for dinner, as part of Nat’s farewell. Yum!

We were seated at the window, which unfortunately did not offer great views because the night itself was not fantastic, but I took a walk outside to look at the pool & terrace. Also WOW!

Dinner was an international buffet – we dined at Bab al Yam – and the food was exceptional. Normally buffet dinners are difficult to get excellent-tasting food as the whole idea of buffets does not make it easy (nothing is freshly prepared), but these guys know how to do it properly!

There is a stir-fry station where they freshly make chicken, beef and prawns. They have roast beef, your usual salads, potatoes, rice, other ‘main’ dish types of food, mini pizzas, a pasta station, cheese & bread sections, and dessert. And then, they have the CAKES! Freshly made cakes of various flavours, and just absolutely delicious! I felt a bit out of place taking a photo of any of the food so you’ll have to just imagine it… sorry. But take my word that it’s amazing!!!

CAKE!!! (Snuck in this photo at our table 😉 )

We sat at the restaurant for about 3 hours, taking our time to enjoy as much of the food as possible, and still have space for the cakes and cheese. There was no way we were leaving there without 😉

After dinner we asked if we could head up to the Sky View bar to have a look. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to have a look out the window as the bar was full, but the ride up & down in the elevator was enough fun. It’s a glass lift that allows you views of Dubai as you shoot up (and then back down). Good fun!

Total fancy-pants stuff – next time, it’ll be the High Tea 🙂