the Box Appeal is back

The Box Appeal is back

Please support this worthy cause and put together a box (or two) of essentials for someone less fortunate than yourself. Boxes can be collected from any of the participating Radisson or Park Inn hotels in the UAE from 1 September 2013.

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camp ka champ

This year I watched the TV show “American Idol” all the way through – from the amusing first rounds (complete with horrendous singing and blindness inducing outfits) to the somewhat disappointing finale (my favourite was out of the running so I wasn’t that interested by then). Despite the fact that the show has now had it’s TWELFTH season it is the first time I have persisted with watching it (no judgements please!) I think I mostly enjoyed Keith Urban’s presence as eye-candy, and the continual bitchiness between Maria Carey and Nicki Minaj. I can’t imagine what it must be like to go from nobody to a household name over a period of a few months. Scary, and exciting, I would imagine.

Camp Ka Champ in Dubai

Camp Ka Champ 2013 kicks off

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self-service??! whatever next?

Living in Dubai can make you lazy. Actually no, scratch that, I think it is more accurate to say it most certainly does make you lazy. Not only do we have valet parking at every hotel, but you can also valet park your car at the shopping mall, the golf club and the hospital! And of course if you do happen to park your own car you can have it washed while you shop for less than 5 dollars. Inside the malls you can catch a ride on a golf buggy type thing if you really can’t find the strength to walk back to your car after all the shopping and lunching with friends. At some of the cinemas you can even order your nachos or pizza to be delivered to you during the movie.

Pretty much anything that has to be done from a red-tape point of view has a VIP option which allows you to pay more and sit on your behind whilst someone else queues for you and runs around getting hot and sweaty (well ok why not I say!). People take their maids along to the grocery store to manage the trolley, the food selection, the packing of the groceries into the car and of course to make sure the kids aren’t throwing tomatoes at each other. Not an easy task let me tell you based on what I have seen. Having domestic help is relatively cheap here and most stay-at-home mums will also have a full-time maid – well someone has to walk the dogs (*grin*).

The only time you really see some people getting involved and helping themselves is at brunch on a Friday.

self service petrol in the UAE

self service petrol coming soon – image thanks to modernmechanix

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Dubai wildlife

You have probably heard a lot about Dubai night life – there is no shortage of that here with our umpteen shopping malls (with 24 hour weekend shopping during Eid), restaurants, hotels and night clubs (just have a browse through Time Out Dubai if you don’t believe me).

But what you may not know much about is the Dubai wildlife. I have spotted a few little critters in my travels over the last few weeks.

The first was an Arabian Red Fox (I think although it was night-time) that I spotted on my way to friends who live in The Villa. Now that might sound odd but the complex / development is called The Villa. So you have people saying stupid sounding things like “I live in a villa in the villa” and you scratch your head a bit if you don’t know. But anyway, this little guy was on the side of the entrance road, which is a bit off the beaten track as The Villa is out in the desert a bit. I hope he didn’t tarry too long at the side of the road and moved off into the desert after I passed him.

Dubai Desert Conservation red fox

[Arabian Red Fox photo by P. Roosenschoon from Dubai Desert Conservation]

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“taste of Dubai”

Summer is on it’s way, today was around 32 degrees C. It’s hard to get used to the sudden change from Winter to Summer, as Spring doesn’t seem to happen at all. One day you wake up and it’s hot again, all of a sudden. This of course means that all the lovely outdoor activities we have enjoyed over the cooler periods will be winding down, but happily they aren’t all off the menu yet (pardon the pun). Taste of Dubai ran this weekend, and we spent a few (sweaty) hours there this morning.

If you haven’t visited a “taste of …” event yet then you may not know that it’s a massive festival of food – various restaurants offer up tastes of their menus, with the idea that you get a sense of their cooking styles and menus, and then obviously the idea is that you will go and have a full meal there at some point. Really a great way to discover some new places to try for a meal. There was also live music by the “Maple Jacks”, who were amazing. Some of the visiting celebrity chefs also host live cooking stations where they may even teach you a trade secret or two.

[Gary Rhodes being interviewed outside the Rhodes Twenty10 stall]

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Animal Rescue

If you would like to contribute a few dollars towards my TNR work with stray cats I would be most grateful

what you missed