Our weekend started off with a charity evening, namely the Feline Friends annual ball, which was held at the Crowne Plaza hotel in SZR* on Thursday. It had originally been planned for November last year, but due to some legal issues around animal charities, like they don’t exist here officially, it had to be postponed until the correct license was obtained. This was duly resolved this month, probably only after a large fee was paid no doubt, but one of the conditions of allowing the ball to go ahead was that a) it could not be advertised and b) no-one could be charged for it, any contribution had to be strictly a donation. Sadly it seems that the delays meant that the momentum was lost, and this, combined with not being able to advertise, meant that the attendance was rather dismal. The hall could have easily have seated 3 times the amount of people who showed up, in fact tables were set for at least double the number, and I found it heart-breaking to see all the empty places. I really hope it wasn’t a case of people just not pitching up on the night, but I think maybe there was some of this going on as well. Of course we managed to enjoy ourselves nevertheless, and were collected by our saferdriver bang on time.. what a great idea!
Sadly Stu had to work this weekend at the Global Security Conference held here in Dubai. This also meant he had to not only be at the Crowne Plaza in Festival City during the day, but he had to sleep there as well! Great timing to have this over Valentine’s weekend, but then I guess these things are not that important here, although they certainly are just as shamelessly commercial about punting it on the radio and selling you heart shaped anything. But I digress. So Friday night Caz and I went through to Festival City to join our husbands and have dinner with them. None of us felt like a fancy evening after the night before, still feeling somewhat tender I think, so we opted to try the Belgian Beer Cafe in the hotel. With the dark wood panelling and cosy atmosphere it really felt like we were in Europe somewhere. Pity about the smoking that is still allowed downstairs. We sat upstairs which meant we had a lovely view of the Creek and Garhoud Bridge. I enjoyed some frites and mayo with my Flemish beef stew, very nice. Oh and we had a lovely bottle of Argentinian wine with it, whilst the boys drank Leffe beer. I even tried the waffle for pud, yum yum! Mandy you would love it, the moulles looked delicious. Anyway that is another one crossed off the list, been there, tried that. Next?!
As I had Saturday to myself, and knowing how Stu loves to shop (NOT!) I decided to pop out to the Dubai Mall and catch the last of the DSF specials, especially as I needed some new work clothes. Sadly the only stores that are actually open at this stage are all designer boutiques and not quite in my price-range, so after 30 irritating minutes I bailed. Unfortunately I had parked in the wrong place, a poor last minute choice on entry meant I was not where I intended to be, so when I left I was forced out the only exit that was complete and onto the financial center road. Which would not have been so bad if I could have done a u-turn and come back, but this was not an option, so instead of an easy journey via SZR* I ended up on the Al Ain road, and then home via Emirates road, which doesn’t mean a whole lot to you unless you live here, but suffice it to say there was no “popping” involved once I had finished that little detour, it took me about 30 minutes to get home. I don’t know which idiot decided this was a good option when they designed the access and egress for the mall. The only plus was that I am no longer lost all the time, so instead of being in a panic I was merely pissed off. I guess I should be grateful for that!
*SZR = Sheikh Zayed Road (the main highway into downtown Dubai, and normally the fastest as no trucks are allowed)