Thursday, April 26, 2018


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.


Geordie Armani

For just 40 years the Meridien Group of hotels has been offering hospitality to weary travellers in over 50 countries around the globe, they have quite a presence in the United Arab Emirates, and I have stayed in the three main Hotels in Dubai, but never the one on that much talked about East Coast, so last weekend we ventured over the Hajar Mountains and into Fujeirah to experience the delights of the Le Meridien Al Aqah.

There was of course a reason for this little road trip, and that was to celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary and the fact that I was on my feet and back to "normal", one of my main challenges on the road to recovery was to meet Team Al Aqah.  When I walked through the door of the Hotel I felt immensely emotional at the fact that I had actually achieved it!  My first point of contact was Diaa who checked us very swiftly into our room and explained the layout of the hotel and the facilities it had to offer us during our stay.  The room was just breathtaking, not in it's decor as such but in the effort that had been made to personalise it to our taste. The floor was littered in flower petals and a bath towel, much to Mitten's amusement had been changed into an elephant!  You can find all the photos here.

Le Meridien Al Aqah is set on the East Coast of the United Arab Emirates and faces the amazing Indian Ocean, the view from our room (all rooms are sea view) was quite spectacular, a clear view of sea and mountains with the occasional fishing boat dotted along the shore. The overall feeling was one of total calmness and relaxation.

After checking into our Club room (photo's can be found here), we quickly changed into our swim gear and headed down to the pool area to investigate!  Le Meridien Al Aqah is one of the smallest hotels on the coast (room wise) but it boasts the biggest pool/beach/garden area. As the hotel is just a decade old the gardens are well developed, and of course beautifully maintained.  The afternoon was spent on sun loungers relaxing into the Al Aqah experience.

Later that day as the sun went down we headed into the hotel to explore what the Al Aqah had to offer its residents. There is no time to get bored during your stay, there is everything from a Spa to diving! boat trips to manicures!  there is absolutely no need to leave the resort (unless you want to) during your time at the Hotel.  There is a super well equipped kids club which is well staffed, what I particularly liked was the fact that you had to physically collect your child, which could give you an extra 20 minutes of solitude if you needed it.  Mitten particularly enjoyed the crazy golf course, I have always felt you need to be a bit crazy to golf!

That evening after a fabulous dinner (I am writing a separate article on the dining experiences at Al Aqah) we made our way back up to our room to share a glass of something sparkly and enjoy a good nights sleep, not before popping my USB into the huge flat screen television and catching up with a bit of UK drama.   The next morning we opened our curtains to gaze out at the view to find an Anniversary wish carved into the sand!!  There is nothing this hotel won't do to make sure their guests have an amazing Al Aqah experience.  If you are visiting the hotel don't be shy, tell the team why you are there and they will ensure they make it special for you.

After two glorious nights we headed back to Dubai, the journey took us just over two hours but we did stop at The Friday Market to buy a rug, which has lovingly been christened Rug Al Aqah.

All I need to do now is to thank Patrick and the rest of Team Al Aqah for their overwhelming hospitality, we will never forget our 10th Wedding Anniversary experience, thanks to everyone who went that extra mile to make it so so special, in particular The Italian One but you will hear more about him in my Le Meridien Al Aqah "The Food" article.

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I heard about this and thought it would be nice to share it with you all, here goes ....

The British Business Group is the most active business club in the region both online and off celebrates its Silver Jubilee Year; More for Members in our Jubilee Year.

In October 1987 Founding-Chairman Charles Neil signed the document that brought the BBG into existence - a quarter of a century later and British business still flourishes in the UAE.

This gala event will bring together BBG members new and old as well as past Chairmen and their families. Hear how it all started, experience the BBG at its best - shake hands with people who have been with the group from the start.

We are all looking forward to celebrating this prestigious occasion in style but do not forget to bring your business cards - some of the UAEs most influential business men and women will be there.

Date: 14th October 2011
Venue: Safina Ballroom, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai
Dress: Black Tie or National Dress
Tickets: 600 AED per person, 4800 AED per table of 8, 6000 per table of 10

Book here

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Last week I visited the Garage at the Greens to do all things car related.  I arrived in my Pajero which cost me 92,000 dhs (15,206 GBP) same model in UK would be 40,000 GBP,  well it cost my husband not me but regardless whats his is ours and what's mine is mine.   I headed to the car wash section where basically I got a full interior and exterior valet for 40 dhs (6.61 GBP), I then filled the car up for 100 dhs exactly (16.52 GBP).  Then Mitten and I went to Burger King which set us back a massive 30 dhs for two of us (4.95 GBP). I had ran out of Marlboro's (no one is perfect), a carton of 200 set me back another (11.52 GBP).  Hardly an expensive hour out is it? A total spend of 40 GBP to fill car up, get valet, have lunch (albeit it BK), buy 200 cigarettes.

I am the first one to agree that Dubai is not the cheapest place in the world. The rents are still completely over the top, though compared to London they appear to be in line with a few other major cities round the World. I think what we as Expats forget is that although Dubai is a relatively new City it is still a City.  Education whilst we complain about the costs is less than a private Education in the UK, although I am pretty sure that the Education our kids get here, is exactly the same as a State Education in the UK, depending which area of the UK you are from. Of course here you get leather sofa's in the reception area and a covered swimming pool which makes all the difference doesn't it?

I still find grocery shopping on a par with the UK, whilst finding red meats alot cheaper, I do find chicken can be pricey for good quality. So many of us here complain constantly about practically anything and everything.  I would rather be inclined to think that there are not many of us here who could sustain the same standard of living/lifestyle on the same budget as we can here.

Healthcare in the UK is free if you chose the National Health Service, a fabulous state service which I shall never criticise as very few Countries have this luxury.  However as an Expat you would be crazy not to have good private Medical Insurance.  The Government Hospitals here offer a good level of no frills healthcare, if you want free toiletries and five star food (sometimes) you can alway check out one of the private Hospihotels.

The UAE has its flaws, we all know how badly the Asian Labourers/Maids/Workforces are treat and if we were that unhappy with the bureaucracy we would leave, but we don't?  Why?  because at the end of the day living here compared to living the UK is cheap.

Now kindly pack up your troubles in old kit bag, or accept Dubai life for what it is, afterall, life's what you make it ...

It was BBC3 this week that brought along my weekly dose of reality TV that I love, in the form of a documentary called A Dangerous Place to Meet my Family.

Dean, a young Yemeni Muslim born and raised in the UK by his British born Father and Yemeni Born Mother returns to Yemen to meet his relatives.  Growing up in Sheffield as a Muslim he yearned to feel the culture of the Country he felt was his home and that in his words would be the place where he would die.  

Arriving in Yemen he was shocked to see the poverty on the streets but embraced his trip with an open heart.  The reunion with his Grandmother was a tearful one. As the family sat around sharing food and memories Dean came to learn that his Grandmother had given birth to his Mother at the age of 11, having being married off at the age of 10.  He hears of another girl who is still in her teens who was forced into marriage by her Father, due a tiny debt.  Dean,  in his words is disgusted to see that people allow what is clearly child abuse in the UK to happen in Yemen and wrap it up in the word Culture. His cousin tells him that it is a woman's place to be at home cooking and running a home and proudly lords his demands over his older Sisters who dutifully obey his every word. Dean laughs it off saying his Sister wouldn't put up with it and that men should have more respect for women, and should be treat as equals.

His 5 week trip passes over with various incidents which feel alien to the British Born Yemeni and he eventually returns to Sheffield to be reunited with his family. Tears all round and a hug for his Mum and Sister, then the statment that I am sure many viewers weren't expecting ....  I am British and I am proud of it.

Dean you rocked!




What happens on Tuesday's at 8 am? yes the Torture Man from Opa Fitness comes round to torture me in the gym.  I had an early start on him and was on the treadmill when he arrived. We did some work on the bike, loads of leg exercises that nearly killed me, and now I am going to have a bath as I have a feeling tomorrow morning I may well be aching from head to toe!


Weight Loss 1 kg



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