UAE - Dubai

The perfect beach spot for kids near Burj Al Arab

April 30, 2017

We were to meet friends at the beach near Burj Al Arab on Saturday morning. We reached the beach at 7:30 am. But coming from inside an airconditioned car, it already felt hot outside, a confirmation that summer is here to start.

The stretch of the beach was a bit clear with less beach goers although with occasional bus loads of tourists dropping by to take photos of the iconic seven star hotel, Burj Al Arab.

We did not have plans of letting Riane swim apart from expecting her to walk along the beach side to collect sea shells, hence she came in a dress.



But as they went nearer the beach, it was low tide and there was a long stretch of shallow water. She started wading in. Kalel, meanwhile was too eager and swam towards the farthest side he was allowed to go.

UAE - Dubai

How to Enjoy Legoland Dubai with Kids

April 24, 2017


I've finally got a chance to write about and piece together a video of our Legoland Dubai family experiences in Oct'16 (during the soft-openings) and in Jan'17.

Kalel and Riane has the perfect heights to be able to make the most of the ride types for them. At four years old, Riane exactly hit those of the 105cm height restrictions.





Do check our video below. There's more of rides and attractions not taken in the video though.

UAE - Al Ain

Sweihan Drive - Camels, Trees, Gliding by High Dunes!

April 23, 2017


Desert camping and driving has been part of our weekend routine over the past four years. The regular camp where we meet is located in Lahbab. But early this month, the group planned on going a different place, so off we went to the desert dunes of Sweihan in Al AIn.

Sweihan is regarded by some as the Little Liwa with the type of dunes it has. One amazing thing of Sweihan is seeing a part of it with trees growing in the middle of the wide desert.


We were not able to follow the convoy leaving Dubai, so we kept track of the Google Maps location sent to us. As we reached Sweihan, at the end of the road entering towards the dunes, one of our mates came for us whom we followed to where the group had set camp. We had a happy and hearty late dinner at 12 midnight. The guys continued to share stories until around mid 2a.m. It was an unfamiliar place, and nobody seemed to have brought extra guests, such that nobody really pitched a tent, and instead everyone slept inside their cars. We have long been sleeping inside our car when we camp, and especially this time where the place is unfamiliar to us. I mean, I am still not comfortable in case some animals may think of coming near where we are sleeping.

Then morning came. At around 6:30a.m., somebody honked his car to get everyone up. We had to start early for breakfast before the drive. We got up with a visit by camels, with one coming near us, and Kalel receiving a nose rub. Yes, camels are friendly!

Here is a video of our Sweihan drive:

- Camels, and more camels
- Cars gliding by the dunes and splashing sand
- the high dunes of Sweihan
- Gaf trees in the middle of the desert
- A line of cars

-  A really long and wide plot of land that seem to have been cultivated with lots of trees 

Location: Where we camped for the night: A camel farm was just nearby. In the morning, the would be out walking. Where I was taking the video at the high dune overlooking the cluster of trees:

UAE - Dubai

Family Day at Dubai Miracle Garden

April 23, 2017

School breaks mean taking out the kids somewhere to be under the sun. On their school break two months back, we brought them to Dubai Miracle Garden, another of Dubai's Guinness World record holder.

The skies were grey and gloomy that day, thankfully the vast landscaped garden of flowers gave color to our day. As darkness hit the skies and lights were switched over the park, the color on the photos became even vibrant.
 Through a window of flowers that is part of the "Approximately 100 million blooming flowers" at Dubai's Miracle Garden
The highlight of this year's landscapes is the Emirates Airbus A380 formation of flowers that received a Guinness World Records certification.
Huge butterflies adore the garden

The Airbus A380 with a spinning propeller

Flower houses -- lots of them!

Flamingos at the lake






The Airbus A380 covered in flowers that holds a Guinness World Records certification for the largest flower arrangement/ structure


Colorful as the flowers Kids structures 



Here's a few notes:


Season 5 Ticket Rates: 

Adults: 40 AED 
Children 3-12 years old: 30 AED 
2 Years and below and Guests with disabilities: Free

Timings

Weekdays: 9:00am - 9:00pm 
Friday, Saturday and Holiday: 9:00am - 11:00pm

Photography/ Videography

Cameras are checked at the entrance. Our DSLR camera was flagged by the Security as needing permit to use. We walked to the nearby Dubai Land office to get a permit.
Permit is free for personal non-commercial purposes. We were told that prenup engagements are charged at AED500 per hour. The list of chargeable activities and actual charges can be checked with them.

Location



How to reach by Public Transportation

Head to Mall of the Emirates Metro Station, and take the RTA bus Route 105 to Dubai Miracle Garden

RTA Bus Timings: Sunday to Thursday: 2pm to 8pm
Fridays and Saturdays: 12 (midday) to 10pm

Service interval is 20 minutes from Sunday to Thursday, and 15 minutes on Friday and Saturday.
At the back of the entrance tickets, the following park instructions can be read:

Do's and Don'ts

  1. Ticket is valid for single entry only
  1. Opening and closing timings should be observed strictly
  1. Please use proper passages, walkways and exits allocated for such use
  1. Flower picking is not allowed
  1. Balls, Scooties, Bicycles, Pets are not allowed
  1. Food is not allowed to be brought along and barbecue is not allowed
  1. Use proper litter bins for disposal of litter
  1. Sitting is allowed only in the designated areas
  1. Management shall not be held responsible for personal accidents
  1. Any instructions from security personnel’s should be followed immediately without argument
  1. The administration has all right to expel any visitor from the park if found posing great threat to flower, park assets or involved in miss conduct
  1. Any damages arising due to negligence or non – compliance with the mentioned instructions shall be sole responsibility of the visitor and their companions

How to contact

Website: http://www.dubaimiraclegarden.com/
Facebook : Dubai Miracle Garden
Instagram: Dubai Miracle Garden


UAE - Dubai

Motiongate's Green Hornet's High Speed Chase Rollercoaster

April 23, 2017

As a family, what we look for in an amusement park are attractions that all four of us in the family could enjoy.  Having two kids six years apart in age, they do have different interests. Or maybe sometimes, the Little Sister would like to feel as big as her brother. However in some instances, for safety's sake because of her age and height, she would not be allowed to what her brother may be enjoying.

That said, when she was allowed to ride Motiongate's Green Hornet High Speed Chase rollercoaster when her height was almost short of a few ticks to the minimum allowed height, we were all jubilant.

The Green Hornet's loops were fine for the Little Sister but not boring for the Brother, so all are happy :-)

By the way, for us the best time to enjoy any of Dubai Parks and Resorts' theme parks (Motiongate, Legoland, Bollywood) is during the less busy days, when there are less or no queues. Less queues mean more rides, less boredom and more energy :-)

Here is a video taken by the husband, at that day it was just the three of them as I was at work. I joined them riding the Green Hornet on another day.


Oman

Offroad Drive from Fujairah to Oman's Madha Inclave

April 20, 2017

As we had our aunt visiting the UAE, we chose to take charge in driving her to see the other wonders of the country which are not otherwise usually shown in videos. For her next route, we decided to bring her to Fujairah.


We are not good at following planned routes unless we have a definite goal on a specific place, and we would always  just like yesterday when we decided to bring Auntie to see Fujairah. The thought of cutting through the mountain came to our minds. Fortunately we found our way to Oman's inclave within UAE in Madha, however our route was stopped when we reached the path that was washed deep with the recent rains, risky to force the car to pass. We turned back to the highway, yet happy we had good snaps of the mountain that had vibrant colors wonderfully kissed by the sun. 





















See also:

Our quick stop along Masafi community in this post.

Road Trips

Masafi community in Ras Al Khaimah nestled between rock mountains

April 20, 2017

My cousin's mom is currently in Dubai on visit. As she is surrounded with a concrete jungle of tall buildings and multiple-laned roads, we thought of showing her the other face of the UAE -- that of the mountains, hence we headed to Fujairah. I've earlier posted regarding the Madha part of the drive here but prior to bringing her to see inside the mountains, we brought her to see a community nestled within the mountains in Masafi. If you are in the UAE and sees the Masafi brand of drinking water and juices, these are produced in this community.

In the past, we would enter the Masafi community to do a long drive towards Dibba and Khorfakkan. From Masafi, it is along drive over rock mountains towards a wonderful coastal view. Even the oldest mosque of Bidya is along the way. However though, we havent done this route in this trip. Hopefully we get to share that experience next.

Masafi can be reached along E88. From the Friday Market as soon you reach the round about, take the 3rd exit towards Masafi-Dibba road.

Masafi is part of Ras Al Khaimah.

Here is a video of our quick drive to Masafi

Check the location on Google Maps here:

All about family

Welcome 2017 !

April 20, 2017

Hey, a third of the year is almost over and this is my first post for the year!

So, this year I am committing myself to blog again. I actually started a new blog with the same theme of family and adventures, however I thought I should update this blog instead.

I was actively blogging here until my daughter was born, when blogging lost priority to tackle the daily grind of working and raising two kids. I used to blog about my first child's milestones, along with our driving adventures around the UAE.


As with our drives, I was too motivated in blogging that I would ask myself -- do I blog because we drive, or do we drive so I could blog? Either way, it has been a winning activity.
For now, I had been on and off work for the past three years, so might as well bring back the motivation to blog, until I get back and busy with work.

BLOGGING and ADVENTURES

Our family loves driving around the UAE, exploring the corners and the roads less traveled, or those of driving offroad where we turn the challenges of driving into excitement.


Years back -- the mountains, wadis and desert tracks we visited were not as popular as they are now because roads were not paved and light posts are not known. We did not have mobile Google maps, but we had printed maps and instructions as guides. One path missed and we would get lost. When darkness starts to set in, we race to find the road out while we can still see around us. Dust would chase us as we pass unpaved paths. We slowly curve our way up or down the rough mountains paths with no side barriers where a quick look down gives enough goosebumps. These were experiences we were able to document by blogging.




BLOGGING and FRIENDSHIPS

While I blogged as a journal, blogging also made me meet fellow bloggers online, the most remarkable of which is seeing my blogger friends evolve from just blogging as a personal hobby to becoming social influencers making a difference by helping out the larger community.  

INSPIRATION TO BLOGGING AGAIN

So, I am back at writing about our family adventures to hopefully motivate us to re-discover places, let the kids absorb the sun and outside air, take photos to share, meet friends, and the best would be is if it leads us into something that can make a difference elsewhere.


In the years that I was actively blogging and we were actively going places, we seemed to have done a lot other than staying at home or window shopping inside malls. This way, the feeling of "time flew so fast" has not been a constant mumbling because we were accomplishing some things. It was like, we have to do something in between work so that there would be something to share in the blog.

So, I wish myself that my love for sharing our stories be strongly fuelled.


Enjoy the day!

Road Trips

Masafi community nestled between rock mountains

April 09, 2017

My cousin's mom is currently in Dubai on visit. As she is surrounded with a concrete jungle of tall buildings and multiple-laned roads, we thought of showing her the other face of the UAE -- that of the mountains, hence we headed to Fujairah. I've earlier posted regarding the Madha part of the drive here but prior to bringing her to see inside the mountains, we brought her to see a community nestled within the mountains in Masafi. If you are in the UAE and sees the Masafi brand of drinking water and juices, these are produced in this community.

In the past, we would enter the Masafi community to do a long drive towards Dibba and Khorfakkan. From Masafi, it is along drive over rock mountains towards a wonderful coastal view. Even the oldest mosque of Bidya is along the way. However though, we havent done this route in this trip. Hopefully we get to share that experience next.

Masafi can be reached along E88. From the Friday Market as soon you reach the round about, take the 3rd exit towards Masafi-Dibba road.

Masafi is part of Ras Al Khaimah.

Here is a video of our quick drive to Masafi

Check the location on Google Maps here:

UAE - Fujairah

Mountain Drive to Madha in Fujairah

April 05, 2017

As we had our aunt visiting the UAE, we chose to take charge in driving her to see the other wonders of the country which are not otherwise usually shown in videos. For her next route, we decided to bring her to Fujairah.

We are not good at following planned routes unless we have a definite goal on a specific place, and we would always  just like yesterday when we decided to bring Auntie to see Fujairah. The thought of cutting through the mountain came to our minds. Fortunately we found our way to Oman's inclave within UAE in Madha, however our route was stopped when we reached the path that was washed deep with the recent rains, risky to force the car to pass. We turned back to the highway, yet happy we had good snaps of the mountain that had vibrant colors wonderfully kissed by the sun. 











See also:


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