Tag Archives: dubai

Honey, I’m Home =)

5 May

Flew back for good from Dubai a week ago.

Though the weather in Manila now seems a lot like how it was there, here is now so much better as I AM HOME.

My boxes are untouched as like when I was packing, I don’t know where to start!

Some things I noticed:

Most of the friends I’ve left here have gone some place else too, except for a few close ones who have held their own as we were physically distant.  It kind of feels like socially, I’m starting again from scratch, which is something I never would think of doing before working and staying overseas long term.

Work is another matter.  I’ve been postponing making a decision until I got here.  Yes, I used an offer from my employer’s local office as my ticket home.  Knowing the role and what to expect, it wasn’t as enticing as moving yet again to a third country and keeping a busy/boring job (you know what I mean).  I tried it for two years man, it’s just not me.

So now, my decision – crossroads.  Shitty scary but exhilirating.  Then there’s acting as Chief Foreman to my 3BR Flat.  Construction is on-going, I wasn’t too motivated last year as I were overseas.

My family is one proof that people don’t change.  I was missed, but the moment I got back it feels like I never left.  Which is nice.  The only irreplaceable gap is the void that Papa has left behind.

Of course you ask, do I miss my Dubai life?  I’d be lying if I say I didn’t – missing my friends and the luxuries more than anything.  However, I am happier here.  Obviously I’m one of your kooky friends.

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A Second look at Dubai Metro

30 Sep

When I moved to Dubai for work last year, the first modern city feature I searched for was the train system. Finding none yet and seeing the construction along Sheikh Zayed, I blurted, “What a letdown for a city claiming how rich and modern it was!” No, this wasn’t the negativity acquired from hanging around with your off-the-mill Dubai Bashers though. Knowing the Dubai Road and Traffic system from my regular “Russian Roulette” (read: Dubai Taxi) rides and at least 20 driving Sessions, I really had high hopes and waited for the Metro to open to guarantee that I will never need to drive in this place. Lady Luck gave me a good smile, I did not need to drive for the past year.

Fast forward September 2009, finally, the Dubai Metro opens. I was disappointed that they have decided to postpone opening the stations nearest my office and home as it has kept me loyal to Russian Roulette. Still, I was looking forward to trying it out and see if it can be a part of my daily living, as I was an avid commuter of the MRT in Manila.

I ran into several whiners complaining so I’ve made a little list about it (and my thought bubble each time I heard it):

1. Too slow – “Are you insane? Shouldn’t you be amazed they’ve got it running?!”
2. Too crowded – “So we can now heckle previous surveys coming out that this Metro was a dumb idea and who would use it!”
3. Too smelly – Hahaha, can’t help you on that one, but you have a choice to move your butt or just take it.

Overall my ride was quite pleasant and without issues, so let me share my tips to fellow Pinoy who want to enjoy the ride:

1. Peak hours being 6:30-8:30am, 12:30-2pm and 5:30-9pm
2. Take your first Metro ride as a tourist (non-peak hours ideally), with an open mind, flexible timetables and tons of patience.
3. The Gold Class will be in the first coach South (Rashidiya) to North (Nakheel Harbor and Tower)
4. The Women & children class will be on the second coach
5. I timed the ride back from Rashidiya to Nakheel as a little over an hour – which is not bad at all!
6. Hungry? There are convenience stores at the stations but you are prohibited from bringing your food outside the store.
7. Want to smoke? Do it some place else, it is prohibited in the Metro.
8. Off to the airport? They can only accommodate hand luggage, anything more, you’d need Russian Roulette
9. Feeder buses are great too – you should try them out.

My Salsa Class Assessment

12 May

After a 10-session class and even after missing a couple of them, I was graded a 9, which means had I not missed those two sessions or had I been attending the social nights, I’m gonna be Level 3 – which is close to professional!

Whoaaa, just on my first month.

Ayinama!

DigiGirlz Dubai

29 Apr

 

Part of why I sooo love my current job and company now – I really get to do different things and work with a really diverse group of people – it challenges me to give out the best everytime.

 

I mentioned this event a few weeks back as I was so excited – I really had a blast.

 

The Microsoft Dynamics DigiGirlz Dubai booth at the Marketplace, designed, setup and manned by moi – is a hit amongst Emirati high school girls =)

They didn’t want to look at the Entertainment and Gaming products as much lol – they know too much about it already.  

 

No current business impact unfortunately, but I am seeing a lot of future clients in a few years – cheers to starting on them early!

 

Some articles about the event:

 

http://www.microsoft.com/about/diversity/programs/digigirlz/digiGirlzday.aspx

 

http://www.eyeofdubai.com/v1/news/newsdetail-30253.htm

 

http://www.ameinfo.com/193887.html

 

 

So for those who are still following my posts who are curious as to how I’m doing  (salamat), – a picture paints a thousand words!  Time for me to shut up then and let the collage tell its story 🙂

 

DigiGirlz Dubai (2009)

29 Apr

Part of why I sooo love my current job and company now – I really get to do different things and work with a really diverse group of people – it challenges me to give out the best everytime.

I mentioned this event a few weeks back as I was so excited – I really had a blast.

The Microsoft Dynamics DigiGirlz Dubai booth at the Marketplace, designed, setup and manned by moi – is a hit amongst Emirati high school girls J

They didn’t want to look at the Entertainment and Gaming products as much lol – they know too much about it already.

No current business impact unfortunately, but I am seeing a lot of future clients in a few years – cheers to starting on them early!

Some articles about the event:

http://www.microsoft.com/about/diversity/programs/digigirlz/digiGirlzday.aspx

http://www.eyeofdubai.com/v1/news/newsdetail-30253.htm

http://www.ameinfo.com/193887.html

So for those who are still following my posts who are curious as to how I’m doing  (salamat), – a picture paints a thousand words!  Time for me to shut up then and let the collage tell its story 🙂

Atlantis @ The Palm Jumeirah Dubai

1 Oct
Go here for the official blurbs on the place, including booking information & rates:http://www.atlantisthepalm.com/

Reception:

One of the risks involved on being amongst the inaugural guests – it is everybody’s first time so perfection has a 1% chance of happening. For a project having this magnitude I guess nobody will ever be 100% ready. My colleagues who arrived two hours earlier could not check in for some reason (technical glitch, no water for the entire island since the morning, people not checking out on time).

Accommodation / Facilities / Food:

The grandness of the image they are trying to present in fairness is well-deserved. The room (we were at the 18th floor!) is competitively high-tech and gives a spectacular view of the ocean, the royal guest pools and the rest of the Palm Jumeirah.

On a personal note, I have been longing to find an island to wait for sunrise and luckily I found that here. (So now, I’m qualifying that wish and now search for a NATURAL island, where the sun rises).

It was fun going around the Lost Chambers and the Ambassador’s Lagoon to virtually mingle with the local marine community – all shapes and sizes and behavior. The aura of ruins on these HUGE aquariums is undeniable. Some activists may have ethical issues on “detaining” the fish but I think they’re beter off in here than trying their luck in the vast and unprotected ocean. This experience then has sparked my interest on picking up new stuff to do in Dubai – study scuba diving!

The food tastes great! As there were a lot of very good restaurants there and we had wanted to try a little bit of every cuisine, we went to Saffron for their dinner buffet special. We ended up eating for almost 3 hours.

The Beach:

I did not like this part. As the entire island is man-made, the beach is simulated and is located on the protected side of the crescent (http://www.atlantisthepalm.com/content/pdf/ATP_Directional_Map.pdf) so do not expect waves coming in from the rest of the ocean (SIGH!) – which is what lures me to beaches in the first place, the call of the waves! I sincerely hope they do something about that.

AquaVenture Waterpark:

The rapids (where you need a floater to go around the entire area) is a good place to chill when you just want to relax. The rides one shouldn’t miss would be the 6-second yelling at the Ziggurat’s 27.5 meter slide (Nope, I didn’t I was chicken! Heeheeehee!) and the very long queue at Shark Attack.

Shops:

I almost got attached to the marine-themed stuffed toys on the place, but I was more suckered in by the diamonds at Harry Winston (just looking man!) – what a relief to have left my card at the hotel room while going around the place!

I will go back for:

1. Dining at Ossiano for the underwater ambiance and be served by a 3-star Michelin chef (I didn’t bring formal wear hence we can’t get in – deng!);

2. Dolphin Bay to beso (kiss) the dolphins (we did not have the chance to book for a personal interaction due to checking in logistics issues);

3. Spa Treatments – still trying to make up my mind between Middle Eastern Aqua Cure and Dubai Glamor Ritual

Oh, and did I mention we (all Sept 30 guests) were given 2 free nights because of our checking in troubles?

So definitely I will go back!

Happiness.

Oh, and did I also mention that we ran across Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in the lobby? I guess I just did.

Dubai in a Nutshell

5 Aug

It was a big decision for me to up and live in a different country, leaving my family, friends and comfort zone behind to pursue where my dreams take me.

I have been here since May, and with the help of my new found friends and I could also say my keen powers of observation. I now summarize my day to day living here – things that have happened and is about to come.

A major consideration of activity and tour postponements would be the weather. Armed with my sun block and a bottle of water, I have given in to the Sun Sand and Sea Worshipper practice of lounging in the Dubai Coastline in my very first days – and enjoyed it very much as I decided to ignore the over 40 degree-sun. Now, I’ve been told time and again – yes – I’m freaking lucky to not have suffered from heat stroke and sunburn. But I shouldn’t always tempt fate so until summer ends (October) it’s pretty much indoor and evening activities for me.

1. Weekend is Friday and Saturday – don’t even dare go to town and do business until after lunch. Government offices are closed. Mass and church services are on Friday. If you’d like to catch the Catholic Mass in English at St. Mary’s, better catch the 10am schedule;

2. The moment I was told that no normal underpants (briefs/boxers/shorts/pants) are worn under a kandura, I never looked at it the same way again – being near somebody wearing a kandura gives me the iffies;

3. You see two guys walking around holding each other’s hands and even rubbing their noses sometimes AND you need to keep a straight face as that happens;

4. I will never get used to the “interesting” smell of some Indians;

5. I will soon know how to swear in at least 5 languages;

6. I see at least 3 “Kabayan” Filipinos every 24 hours;

7. I know at least 3 people who soak their hair in coconut oil;

8. There’s a bidet in every toilet here;

9. Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta Mall to work out my feet and my wallet;

10. I know at least 3 people named Mohammad;

11. I am starting to appreciate hummus;

12. The Burj Dubai reminds me of a HUGE PHALLIC symbol in the middle of the desert;

13. All the houses here are cement, brick or marble;

14. My wardrobe can be classified into three warm and hot for outside and jammies for the 23 degree A/C inside;

15. I’ll need a SALIK tag on my future car;

16. Prepare for a looong road trip if you miss your exit;

17. Everybody’s complaining about the rent;

18. When some politician’s relative dies it’s a holiday;

19. I have eaten and loved baklava;

20. There were some websites I normally access – I can’t here. I’ve gotten the “Surf safely.
This website is not accessible in the UAE. The page you are trying to access may contain content that is not consistent with the moral, cultural and social values in the UAE.” Gave me the chills the first time it happened. Now I just swear, “PAK!”

21. Molten Chocolate Cake at Chili’s;

22. Golden Horn;

23. Camel ride, desert safari and sand dune bashing;

24. Dhow cruise;

25. Ski Dubai;

26. Gold Souk;

27. Good starting point for a Euro Tour – duh – maybe why it’s called MIDDLE. Harharhar.

28. NO INCOME TAX;

29. Russel Peters Comedy Show;

30. Tours at nearby emirates (Abu Dhabi, Sharja, Fujairah, even Oman) on weekends and though it’s more than 8 hours to my home country, it’s just 4-6 hours to the rest of the world!

I’ve got more to add new stuff as I discover them later – but these days the list represents Dubai for me.

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