Road Trips

Smoother drive from Dubai to Fujairah through Sharjah Kalba Road

July 31, 2011

I always dreaded driving from Dubai to Fujairah via E88 (Al Dhaid Road) and E89 after the Masafi junction. halfway to Fujairah, the road is two-laned and car speeds are at contrasting 60 kph to 160 kph with 20-wheeler trucks lining the way all days except Friday. Going back to Dubai, keeping on the right lane could be annoying with the bumpy path cracked by the heavy lories. Staying on the left on the hand exposes you to tailgating and flickering lights of oncoming speeding cars.

Until we came to know the Sharjah- Kalba Road accessible through Emirates Road. From Dubai as you approach the National Paints bridge, do not go up the bridge, but straight down. Just before the roundabout below the bridge, turn right to Maleha Road. This is the start of a smooth drive to Fujairah. It is a plain ride for the next 70 kilometers before the mountains start showing up, which is about another 50 kilometers of downward easy, enjoyable bends along the mountainside.

UAE - Dubai

Inexpensive Places and Things to Do in Dubai

July 31, 2011

Beyond Dubai's posh city image is a long list of places and activities available for the savings conscious. Below is my own list along with some approximate fees:


1. Ride the abra at the creek - AED 1, one way
2. Cross the creek with the water bus - AED 2, one way
3. Ride the metro train from end to end - AED 8, one way
4. Visit the Dubai Musuem - AED 3
5. Take a peak at Dubai's culture at Heritage and Diving Village - No entrance fees
6. View photographs of Dubai's past at the Sheikh Saaed Al Maktoum House- AED 2 
7. Visit the Deira Gold Souk
8. Check the Deira Fish Market early in the morning
9. Bike/ jog/ skate/ swim/ get a tan at Jumeirah open beach
10. Sit by the beach at JBR, watch watersports enthusiasts (parasailing, windsurfing...)
11. Watch Dubai Mall'snightly dancing fountain shows
12. Visit Dubai Mall's aquarium - viewing from outside is free
13. Have shabu shabu dinner at Deira Twin Tower's fastfood balcony
14. A swim and barbeque at Jumeirah or Al Mamzar beach park - AED 5 per person
15. Check the art galleries at The Gate Village of DIFC
16. Take a night drive to The Palm, a right to Atlantis and back to the end of the left frond
17. A jog/ stroll/ picnic at the parks (Zabeel, Creek, Mirdif, Safa) - mostly AED 5
18. Ride the monorail at The Palm
19. Ride the cable car at Creek Park
20. Check the Global Village during the Dubai Shopping Festival

UAE - Fujairah

How does Fujairah look like?

July 30, 2011

About this time seven years ago, I was googling for pictures/ images/ photos of Fujairah. I was awaiting my flight to the UAE then where I'll head straight to this city.

I can recall finding a single picture of Fujairah's image taken from space. I cannot zoom the picture so I remained curious why the mountains I see are all brown -- until I saw the rocky mountains after arriving here.

UAE - Fujairah

Bull Butting in Fujairah

July 30, 2011

We were on the road from Kalba to Fujairah yesterday when we noticed a crowd of spectators by the roadside. We pulled over to see a bull butting event going on.
A bullbutting match at the arena across the Fujairah corniche
Unlike the Spanish bull fighting which could be bloody, bull butting is only about two  bulls locking their horns against each other, and pushing their rival out of the inner arena. He who gets pushed longer loses.
Pulling apart the bulls 


Oman: Jabal Al Akhdar where it's cool in summer

July 28, 2011

The mercury is soaring at 41 deg celsius here in the sandpit, making me wish that Oman's Jabal al Akhdar (jabal/ jebel is arabic for mountain) is a close easy drive. This mountain in Oman's Nizwa region has around 25 degrees Celsius summer temperature which drops to minus 5 deg celsius in winter.

At 2000 - 3000 meters altitude, Jabal Al Akhdar is a breathtaking range of rocks at 360 degrees head turn.

It was an unexpected challenge where we navigated through steep inclines and sharp bends through the winding rocky mountain roads.After about 30 kilometers, the road tops out on a vast plateau with far-reaching jagged rocky peaks, villages and greeneries dotting the stunning vista.

A wadi ( a usually dry riverbed) and falaj (a water system to supply water)

Filipinos in Dubai

Igorots in the UAE

July 27, 2011

Kumusta kailyan? Have you reached this page searching for Igorots in the UAE (Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the other Emirates)? Yes, there's lots of us here, and there's a core group that brings us together. The group has grown big that others formed subgroups to cater to specific geography or purpose. I can name a few I came across with. With the annual turnover in leadership, I guess the best mode of contact is by Facebook.
                            CORDILLERANS UAE
                            The core organization
                             Facebook link: Cordillerans Emirates, click here  

Igorot sub-orgs in the UAE:
                             BENGUET CHAPTER
                             Facebook link: Click here

                             KALINGA PROVINCE ORG - UAE
                             Facebook link : Click here

                             MOUNTAIN PROVINCE CHAPTER
                             Facebook link: Click here

                             IFUGAO GROUP
                             Facebook link: Click here

                             HIGHLANDERS GRP
                             a particular  group of kins from Mountain Province
                             Facebook link: Click here

                             GAWIS MULTIPURPOSE COOPERATIVE
                             Facebook link : Click here

(Updated 11.11.2011)

UAE - Al Ain

In Al Ain, UAE -- the world's largest hanging flower baskets

July 25, 2011

After my posts on (1) worlds largest indoor ski (2) the world's tallest building, (3) the world's largest truck and (4) the world's heaviest ring comes the world's largest display of hanging baskets, this time in Al Ain, UAE.

We visited this garden set in Al Ain Paradise in April 2011 when there were 2968 hanging baskets landscaped in a 21,000 sqm park, an increase from year 2010 from 2426 baskets over a 7,000 sqm area.

UAE - Dubai

A Guinness: World's heaviest ring

July 22, 2011

UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi in particular) I reckon, is among the few places where one can find many Guinness World Records certificates in a day, this we realized when my mom was here in April for a visit. The prominent of course are Burj Khalifa - tallest building, Rose Rayhaan - tallest hotel, Ski Dubai - largest indoor ski resort, Dubai Mall - largest shopping center in 2008. And get even more surprised of the long list if you check the Guinness website.

We saw here the world's largest truck, and this time let's check the World's Heaviest Ring found at the Dubai Gold Souk.

Dubai's gold souk (souk is arabic for market) is a tourist hub itself. One need not plan to buy gold to come here, and the best time would be at night when the shop windows sharply reflect the golden hues.


The Igorot Faith with Pinikpikan and Tapey

July 22, 2011

Staying in multi-cultural melting pot Dubai, I've learned more to respect the beliefs of others and keep mine tacked. The point at how we live our faith religiously is what matters, and what others probably care is that we can live harmoniously amidst our different beliefs.

In the olden times, the offering is burned over wood.

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