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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜€ ), 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 πŸ˜‰ )

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚

Week 20 – Mary Poppins!

How do I put into words the amazingness of Mary Poppins at the Dubai Opera, in a way that would describe how I felt watching this show???

Wait. Let me backtrack a few hours.

Prior to heading off to the Dubai Opera for the first time this past weekend, we, the girls and I, decided to head off to Fai at The Palace Hotel for a few pre-show cocktails and nibbles asΒ an added bonus something new for the week. What a stunning place this is!

Set out on the water of the Dubai Fountains, hidden away in the grounds of The Palace Hotel is Fai; an Asian-inspired cocktail lounge with beautiful sunset and fountain views over the water, and looking onto the opera house.

We had a Groupon voucher for cocktails and the bar was very organised, offering us a pre-printed list of the cocktails which included a short nibbles menu too; so we got to ordering as we sat down. Very tasty food, very strong and tasty cocktails and a great ambience overlooking the fountains while enjoying the sunset.

We then headed off to the opera house to embark on a theatre extravaganza as we delved into the world of chimney sweeps, rambunctious children, flying nannies and a word to describe everything: supercalifragilisticexpialidocius!

We were in the ‘cheap’ seats, in a box that looks onto the stage at an angle, but personally, I feel that these seats were the best in the house! We could see every emotion or slight flicker of an eye on the faces of the actors. We had a great view of the full stage, even if it was at a slight angle, and then, at the end… actually, no, I won’t ruin it for you!

All of us had the biggest grins on our faces throughout the show – to a point that we all complained that our faces were sore from smiling at the end of the show πŸ™‚ The acting is superb, the props are absolutely amazing, and the show, well, it’s just brilliantly done as the live orchestra takes us through the story of Mary Poppins and the children.

The show is running in Dubai until 25 May – if you have not seen it yet, do so! And if you’re not in Dubai, go and watch it when it comes to your city! You will not regret it πŸ™‚

Week 18 – So much in one day!

Wow, this week has so many new things, all rolled up into one day!

  1. Brunch at Okku, H Hotel
  2. Quick drink at The Vault, JW Marriott Marquis
  3. Hard Rock CafΓ©, Festival City

JPEG won a brunch for 4 people at Okku so a bunch of us joined forces and off we went to try out this brunch that we’d heard so many good things about.

It was fantastic – from good service and fun atmosphere to great music and excellent food… especially the chocolate fondant dessert!!! Quite possibly the best I have ever tasted πŸ™‚

While the brunch is normally a little on the expensive side (AED499 for the bubbles package), it is in the Entertainer and at AED250 pp, this is one not to miss!

From there we headed over to the JW Marriott Marquis to see what the fuss is all about over The Vault…. specifically the view. Well! Do yourself a favour and head over there, even if only for one drink as we did. The view is simply superb!

And from there we decided to get a bit more lively and went down to Hard Rock CafΓ© in Festival City for some nachos and live music (I’ve never been to this Hard Rock before, hence it being ‘something new’ for me).

All in all a great fun day / night was had by all of us – tons of laughter and giggles, great food, fun times, good music, and the best of all – no hangovers the next day πŸ™‚