Thursday, August 17, 2017

April

What an amazing month March turned out to be, we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary for an entire week, starting of at Le Meridien Al Aqah and finishing at Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa, with a trip to Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Emirates Golf Club inbetween!!  The weather has finally broken and we are experiencing a rise in temperatures, it's no secret I prefer the hotter months over the cooler ones. It's Easter this month, so I hope the Easter Bunny is really kind to you all. Have a fabulous month wherever are you are.

GA

Geordie Armani

As a long term resident here I am more than familiar with the local laws in the UAE. Whether we are resident or a tourist in the UAE we need to be aware of what is right and wrong with regards to the Laws here.  One thing that we should all know, is that sex outside of marriage is not permitted in Islam, under any circumstances.  Non Muslims who become pregnant outside of marriage are encouraged to return to their Home Countries or get married to make the union legal.

It saddens me to see in the Daily Mail, that Danielle Lloyd and her fiance were recently living it up at the local Meridien, this may not seem out of the ordinary to you, but Danielle who is pregnant, and a single parent is basically flouting the Law.  I think I am right in assuming that she will be sharing a room with her fiance Jamie O'Hara, and we all know the rules on cohabitation.  I am pretty sure that Danielle has no idea how much risk she could have been putting herself under, and I hope and pray her stay here was an uneventful one.  BUT if she had to go and seek any medical attention regarding her pregnancy she would definitely have found herself on the wrong side of the Law, celebrity or not.

For many years we have known that to consume alcohol in the UAE you have to have an Alcohol Licence, to obtain that you have to first obtain your residency visa.  However, recently a man was charged with consuming alcohol illegally whilst visiting the Country. We all know that the hotels serve alcohol quite freely so it does make you wonder how often this is enforced, one would have said never until this recent incident which I read about in The National.

The article in The National states "Federal law makes it a crime to consume or purchase alcohol without a licence, whether a person is a tourist or a resident". How far they will go to enforce this is anyone's guess but it is better to be on the safe side. I personally don't think they will enforce it unless there has been a serious crime taken place at the time the alcohol was consumed, however, you can never really be sure.

With all these rules and laws in place it came as no suprise today that I read an article in 7days stating that Britons ranked Dubai 5th (when it came to holiday jitters) place to visit in the World for a holiday.  I think we know why.  Laws written in sand can drift, but at the end of the day the Law is the Law and it would do us all good to remember them.

The Office of National Statistics recorded 87,000 travellers from the UK set off to the Emirates in the last quarter of 2010 and it is estimated British tourists will hit the one million mark by the end of 2011.

I am not sitting here in judgement, far from it, no society is perfect. I think what we need to remember is that we are guests in the UAE and we should live by their rules, whether we like it or not.  I think the Government would be better placed to make handbooks for tourists that are issued on arrival explaining the Laws of the Land to ensure that there is no confusion.

Thank you

For those of you who are a fan of this American franchise you might like to know that if you dine in any of their restaurants in the UAE, you will recieve an invitation to take part in a satisfaction survey, which will give you a 20% discount the next time you dine at Chili's.

Takes about 10 minutes if that to do the survery.

There you go, enjoy!!

 

Exciting news for 13-17 year olds in Dubai!

Teens Club Culture is a brand new social club for teenagers aged 13-17 in Dubai. TCC aims to get UAE teens out of the malls at the weekends through a variety of weekly events and activities. Fun activities, sports, classes, movie screenings, beach parties and music gigs, are just a small part of their action-packed events calendar, all to take place in a safe and secure environment. No adults are allowed at events but REPS aged 18-21 will be in attendance, not to mention plenty of venue staff to ensure the teens have a great time and stay safe. All events will be completely catered for them, so they can hang out with their friends, have the chance to win some great prizes and just have a lot of fun really!

TCC kick-starts its impressive calendar with a launch extravaganza on Friday 23rd September, at Aquaventure beach, Atlantis, The Palm, and will feature artists such as Chipmunk, Mann and local band set to conquer the world, Juliana Down. It starts at 5:00pm and ends at 10:30pm. The dress code is beach casual because the the rapids section will be open for the teens to splash about in, as well as beach games and a scooter park, not to mention the main attraction...the stage on the beach! Kris Fade from Virgin Radio will be hosting the stage entertainment from 6:30 to 10:30 pm.

The launch event is members-only, and only the 1st 3000 members get to go, so if you know any teens who don’t want to miss out on this fantastic opportunity, they need to sign up online with their parents (credit card payment required) or buy a membership pack from Virgin Megastore and validate the unique code on the website.

The sponsors are well-chosen, teen-related and responsible. The events will allow teenagers to get some fresh air and fun. Because it’s  brand new, TCC is still developing its ideas for more activities, so the sooner they get teens signed up and giving them feedback, the sooner they can tailor the activities to their likes and dislikes.

For updates and further information visit their website, and Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter...There’s a chance to win some great prizes once they get their likes and followers up!

 

 

Last week we were warned that there was going to be a cyclone hitting the Dubai coast around about lunch time on the day that I was planning lunch with The Geordie One.  With this in mind I thought it best we stay locally so we headed off to Links at The Academy. The Academy is actually a state of the art golf teaching facility, adjacent to the Montgomerie Hotel, but we weren't there for golf, we were after some lunch and shelter from the impending cyclone.

Major major plus point about The Academy is that there is loads of parking, I really don't like having to park in a Mall to dine especially at lunch time.  The Academy restaurant is light and spacious and decorated in lovely tones of beige and green, very relaxed.

We ordered the tuna tartare, capers, parsley, gherkins, garlic mayo and brown bread (45 dhs), which is actually of the starter menu.  My friend ordered the griddled fillet of salmon with green pea sauce, asparagus, brocolli, garden peas, dill and new potato (70 dhs), which was from the main menu. I have uploaded some pictures here.  The food was well presented and served quickly, however I did feel that for 45 dhs the tuna tartare was on the small side, portion wise.

All in all a great venue for lunch with dining al fresco which would have been perfect if we hadn't been waiting for the imminent cyclone!!  we left The Academy at 2 pm expecting to be confronted with a cyclone, the car park was peaceful and there was very little wind....

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Last weekend we stayed at Le Meridien Al Aqah for the weekend, you can find the article here.  I didn't get time to write about the glorious restaurants though so here it is, food @ Al Aqah.

We arrived just in time for lunch and Mitten was keen to swim so we headed for Baywatch Village which is a rather quant beach bar right in the centre of the pool area and gardens.  I ordered my favourite salad ever Prawn and Avocado and the husband opted for one of his favourites, fish and chips. The food seemed to appear in minutes and was really good, the Nile Perch was cooked to perfection with a good crispy batter.  It was here that we met The Italian One (Boss Chef) who was to come a real big part of our weekend, and after a quick chat about what I like I was told that I would be dining at Gonu that very evening and that he would personally oversee that I got yet another seafood kick.  When I am out and about I tend to opt for seafood as I am basically useless at cooking it at home.

That evening, we headed back down to the beach area to meet The Italian One and have our Gonu Experience.  Gonu is a small Bar/Restaurant right on the beach, with a sea view table we were in our element. We had a Seafood Platter for two, with grilled vegetables and steak fries. It was absolutely superb, if you ever or I should say when you visit Le Meridien Al Aqah you have got to try Gonu.  Gonu was built after Cyclone Gonu hit the East Coast in 2007, if I remember rightly Gonu was the brain child of The French One.  My husband said it was the best steak he had in a long long time, and he likes his steaks cooked to perfection.  The Lobster was so fresh I think it had just walked up from the beach. Following that we were served with Ginger Creme Brulee, georgous, but don't worry Team Al Maha you are still the winners of Best Creme Brulee in the UAE.

That was our first days dining experience we shall now move onto day two.  Breakfast is served in Taste if you are staying in a Club Room which we were but I still opted to try the busier Views Restaurant, located on the lower ground floor of the hotel. We would save our Taste Breakfast experience until the following day.  There was a great selection of food, typical of most 5 star hotels in the UAE, I am not a great one for a big breakfast so I opted for eggs and toast.  Mitten was somewhat disappointed as there was no chocolate fountain, the worrying thing about that is if The Italian One had known that he would have found her one!!

Later that morning Chef Bybee came to find us by the pool and took us on a tour of his amazing kitchens, I am getting rather into these Hotel Kitchens these days!!   so much hussle and bussle and creativity going on, I was particularly amused by the guy who was carving huge polystyrene Easter Eggs for the forthcoming Easter Weekend.  I would like to personally thank Chef Bybee and the rest of his team for being so welcoming during our time at the Hotel. 

Before we knew it was lunchtime and Chef Bybee came up trumps with some King Prawns and Mahi Mahi with vegetables, served in Sapore. Sapore is a small Italian Restaurant at the Pool Side, beautiful decor and fabulous bread! all baked in-house.  The fish, and prawns were superb, the butter orange sauce was what made it so special though!  Following this we had a chocolate and vanilla layer cake with raspberry coulis, divine. 

Now you would think that we couldn't possibly eat any more food but we did, we managed a very small afternoon tea in the Club Lounge, beautiful tiny scones with clotted cream and a nice pot of coffee, with a sea view too!! beautiful.

That evening, and by this point in time I am really struggling! more food!  yes more food, this time it was time to try out Taste, the Hotel's Thai Restaurant.  We met the lovely lady Chef who I am guessing we should call The Thai One, she personally prepared me a half portion of crispy duck and my husband had the Masaman Chicken Curry.  I love Crispy Duck, who doesn't!  It was fabulous, really tasty, moist and well seasoned. 

Day two over and now onto our last day and we returned to Taste to experience the A La Carte breakfast menu, Eggs Benedict for me and Chilli Omelette for the husband, he had to get more chilli's but I know for a fact that they will remember the next time and put loads in so that he ends up in a sweat!!

Well that was our dining experience at Le Meridien Al Aqah, a very very fine one at that.  If you want to see some photos you can them by clicking here, and if you so wish you can like my page too.

(I would like to add that we left the Hotel and didn't eat another thing until the following morning!!)

Thanks again to Team Al Aqah

GA

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