is it a bird? .. is it a plane? nope its more dust and heat!

Mr and Mrs at Tagine

[Mr and Mrs]

Continuing with the September birthday theme we celebrated Stu’s 49th birthday this week. We started off with a high speed breakfast at the Hilton. The reason it had to be high-speed is that we only arrived at 10.30 and the buffet closes at 11, so we had to get some serious eating in, which wasn’t a problem of course. After that we had to drop off our now ex-dishwasher, which we have sold, to the very nice American couple that had bought it from us. They live in a penthouse apartment in Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), and its actually an understatement to say that we were completely blown away by how stunning their apartment is. We have been congratulating ourselves for a couple of months now on the fact that Stu managed to get us a villa and that we have a little garden and can braai to our heart’s content. I am also sure that the cats are grateful in their own silent feline way, but anyhow we (I) started to adjust that thinking when we saw this apartment. Complete with it’s own pool and lovely outside area, definitely big enough for us to throw the odd chop on the fire, and at least a 180 degree view of the beach and the city, we could probably manage to live there. Just. Haha, its certainly something I will be lusting over for the immediate future anyway. Its good to have a goal, or a dream, anyway.

Should mention here, in an effort to actually impart some useful info regarding Dubai to you, that our new American friends told us an interesting thing, which they discovered as they have a small child, and we do not so would probably never know. There are no baby sitting services here. As each maid that resides in Dubai is in essence sponsored by the family she works for she is unable to work for anyone else, even temporarily.  Its highly illegal. So if you don’t have a maid yet but you have a small child, you are rather stuck.  ricky I would think if you were needing to work during the day. And of course sponsoring someone to work for you here is fraught with it’s own perils, you have to provide accommodation or at least an allowance, and if anything goes wrong you could not only lose your maid to deportation but lose your own visa as well.

But I digress, back to the eating!! After relaxing for the rest of the afternoon, catching up with some reading and news, it was time to go for dinner. I had booked at a Moroccan restaurant called Tagine which is located at the One&Only Royal Mirage. The entrance to the hotel is lined with palms draped in fairy lights, and as you pull into the courtyard all you can see is this immense statue-type display of golden camels.

gold camels

[gold camels, a little OTT?]

Rather OTT but quite typical of the way things are sometimes done here. The interior of the hotel was surprisingly understated given the exterior. We started with a pre-dinner drink at the bar whilst we waited for our guests to arrive.  We had booked our cab from home earlier than we needed, as more often than not they are horribly late, but of course Murphy’s Law he was on time, so we ended up arriving early. No harm done though when there is Jameson on hand.

Tagine The restaurant was lovely, the food amazing and the service impeccable. I had a seafood starter thingie wrapped in phyllo pastry, followed by a chicken tagine with couscous, although we were informed by the waiter that in fact the tagine dishes and the couscous dishes are completely different, like curry and biryani, and should be eaten seperately. The done thing is to have bread with your tagine. But as the bread had caraway in it, which I think I have a slight allergy to, I opted to break the rules and have couscous with my tagine. We had a lovely bottle of Chilean red wine, I forget the name now sorry. The dessert was the star of the show, a layered delight of phyllo and custard and nuts. OMG it was amazing.

The rest of the week leading up to Friday, and actually the rest of the weekend, has been rather mundane. Happily we are in the tail end of Ramadan now so things will be going back to normal soon. Also the weather should start easing by the end of the month and then we will be able to explore a little more. We have a friend coming to stay next weekend so are going to Buddha Bar for Saturday night (sadly the entire place is a smoking zone) and then Sunday either a desert safari or a Dhow cruise, yes yes also with dinner. Not sure which will win out here but probably the dhow cruise as the desert safari heads out at 14h30 and some of us do have to work on Sundays. Or at least we have to go to the office, the effort is sometimes optional 🙂

Interesting but useless fact about Dubai #3: 42% of 17 year olds smoke tobacco. Hectic!!

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