Gambling is strictly forbidden by the Moslem's religion... The prizes (pretty sums of money/or really good cars) are usually sponsored by emirates' Sheiks and other dignitaries.... The race - camels are extremely expensive (the ones in good shape, prommising to be winners cost about 1-2 MUSD.) So whenever you approach to the race tracks or the facilities where these camels live you will see a numerous road signs, compelling you to decrease the spid of your vehicle...Who knows, may be crazy "dimond" camel will run away and cross the road, and you will knock him down... Just guess, this will cost you around 1MUSD!!! So take care, while heading to the camel races....: )
Puppies, Kittens, Parrots... the Dubai Pet Show!
OK, so this isn't really a sport, but I didn't want to list this as a general "Thing to do", and for the animals it's a sporty day after all... haha!
Part business - part pleasure for me, the annual (February) Dubai Pet Show remains the dominant annual animal-lovers' event in the UAE. Until 2004, this event was called the "Dubai Dog Show", but has now been expanded to include cats & birds as well.
Last year (2006) saw the 18th year of this fun, educational & charitable event that is visited by approximately 18,000 people every year. IN 2007 THIS EVENT TAKES PLACE ON SATURDAY, 10TH FEBRUARY.
I once entered my dog in the competition (won the blue ribbon for "dog with the waggiest tail") but nowadays I mostly attend the Pet Show to help my friend Hilke with her stand. (She owns a clinic that specialises in alternative & natural medicines for animals, and is one of the event's sponsors)
Numerous UAE residents also take this day as an opportunity to give their dogs some "socialisation skills", as you are usually not allowed to take dogs anywhere with you: no restaurants, no shops, no parks, not even the beaches. To change the hearts & minds of people in this country is not easy, as the dog is regarded "unclean" in Islam. But the Pet Show is the highlight of any animal lover's social calendar & the pooches enjoy themselves, too!
There are plenty of things to do, even if you don't have any pets or don't want to bring your dog along to the competitions. Bouncy castles and rides for children, food stalls, flea markets & handicraft should keep you busy throughout the day.
Competitions continue throughout the day, with the more serious judging of posh pedigree & crossbreed classes, and also fun-competitions like "dog most like owner", "most adorable for no reason", etc. to make any mutt feel like Pooch-Prince of the Day ;-)
The program includes:
> Beautiful & graceful Arabian Saluki lure course
> Agility course & Fly-ball competitions for all participants
> Demonstrations by Abu Dhabi and Dubai Police K9 unit
> Handicraft stalls
> Prizes for Best in Show, Terrier Class, Toy Class (small dog breeds), Puppy Class, Best Pure Breed & Best Mixed Breed.
All proceeds of the day go to K9 Friends http://www.k9friends.com & Feline Friends http://www.felinefriendsuae.com who provide an invaluable service of caring for abandoned & abused dogs and cats.
The picture shows me with a Saluki pup and the director of the UAE Saluki Federation.
Deira City Centre
City centre is Dubai's largest and most popular shopping mall. It is also said to be largest shopping mall in Middle East. It always remains crowded with thousands of people busy in shopping here.
Here you can buy anything ranging from a cheap item costing one dirham to luxurious expensive item costing millions of dirhams. Carrefour, Debenhams, BHS and IKEA few of the most famous names inside city centre. Trip to Carrefour is must as it offers most reasonable prices and you can do most of your shopping from here. No doubt it is the best place for shopping where so many options are available just under one roof. There are so many outlets that one get tired after walking so much. And it becomes very difficult to locate the shops. You can get map of city centre at main gate. Just keep this map with you and for assistance consult customer services counters at each floors.
Most of world's famous brands have their outlet here. Every kind of items are available here. 240 shops, restaurants, food court, five star Sofitel hotel, 11 cinemas , rest rooms, family rooms, mother child rooms, telephone, ATM, currency exchange and huge car parking are few of the services available.
Often many TV programs are recorded at city centre. During DSF, DSS and Ramadan special live shows are also arranged here. There is so much variety that one gets in trouble about what to buy and what to leave.
I have lost words here and I wonder what to wrire and what not to write. All i can say is that you have to experience the right kind of shopping yourself at city centre next time when you are in Dubai. Prices are fixed every where so there is no bargain game. Pay whatever the price say. It is so simple :-)
Wine, Cheese, and all the good things in life
Vintage is a cheese-lovers' & wine-connoisseurs' dream.
I'm not a big wine-connoisseur, therefore I hadn't returned to Vintage for quite a few years. But after winning a gift voucher in a radio contest a friend and I decided to have a girly-evening and enjoy our freebie treat!
Despite the exclusive wine list (over 120 varieties) Vintage feels more like a friendly bistro than a snooty lounge: it's a small place with a few tall tables & some sofas. Capacity is approx. 50 people.
Cheese, salmon, foie gras (morally, I think one should never order this), tempura prawns, caviar, freshly baked breads, fondue (blue cheese, traditional cheese or chocolate): this isn't a place to have a full dinner, but the various tid-bits from their menu with nevertheless leave you more than satisfied.
We sank into a low sofa, enjoyed listening to the tunes of Ella Fitzgerald & Frank Sinatra and then tucked into the baked, oozing, honey-drizzled chunk of melted camembert. Oh... my... god: this must be what heaven tastes like! This is definitely more than enough for 2 people to share, priced at 69 Dirhams. In comparison, the vintage cheese platter with a selection (of your choice) of 5 small chunks of cheese, some grapes & walnuts priced at 99 Dirhams seems quite expensive & unnecessary in my opinion. We had selected Wensleydale with cranberries, Chaumes, Celtic pride (a sharp, hard cheese), Pont-l'Evêque and my new favourite: the Italian, fantastically creamy Taleggio.
We also enjoyed a 3-piece portion of prawn tempura (28 Dhs) with wonderful sweet chilly sauce. Although delicious, I couldn't help feeling that they seemed a little out of place in this wine bar, but we enjoyed them nonetheless. Dress Code is Smart-Casual.
A glass of wine costs between 34 and 48 Dirhams, and bottle prices start at 170 Dhs per bottle, all the way up to 14,000 Dirhams (!) And if you're not a wine drinker, beer and regular spirits are also available here.
--> Special "Wine flights" promotions are available to provide timid tipplers with ample opportunity to sample 3 wines for the price of 1.
The service here is impeccable and unusually professional for the normally pathetic & sub-standard waiting staff in Dubai's numerous 5 star hotels. The waitresses were able to recommend a nice rose wine, letting us taste 2 varieties before we made our choice. Throughout the evening, they were attentive, friendly and knowledgeable.
This is a place that will definitely keep you craving for more return visits!
Fridays & Mondays: Enjoy Traditional Blue or Cheese Fondue for 2 and a bottle of house Red or White for only Dhs 185 per couple.
NOTE: smoking *is* permitted here.
--> UPDATE 2nd visit: The ham & salami platter is large & our boys really enjoyed it! The dark chocolate fondue is great for sharing.
Opening Hours:Fri - Wed 06.00pm-01.00am.
Happy Hours: 06–08pm on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday only.
The setting is not fantastic but pleasant enough.
The service is not brilliant.
Nothing is really outstanding apart from the EXCELLENT quality of the seafood !
The only dish really worth having is the ENORMOUS crab cooked in the signature pepper sauce. I also tried some calamari, and that was outstanding too.
When you choose the crab, it is priced by weight, ours was 1.6 KG and that was enough for two, I should hope so too as it was 800 DHS !
The crab comes served in a big bowl, cut into manageable chunks, but you still need all the tools they give you to get the meat out ! Also useful are the apron, flannels and plastic gloves...it is a messy but satisfying operation ! Funnily enough...Pepper Crab !
It is so fresh (you can see it in the tank before they cook it) and a real spectacle !