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Ibn Batuta was the Arabian equivalent of Marco Polo. He left his home in Morocco at the age of 21 to perform the Hajj in Makkah and returned 29 years later. he wrote a travelouge of his journey. This mall depicts his adventure. Each section is built to look like a country he visited - India, China, Egypt.
Written Apr 4, 2013
When one says Middle East, the desert is likely one of the first images that come to mind--hot, dry, face-burning & seemingly endless, sand-laden long walks. But since Dubai is Dubai (where impossible things can be expected), we suggest that you head over to Chill Out, unless of course you're in Dubai to get away from the cold! DO NOT MAKE IT YOUR ONLY ITINERARY for the day/night as the average length of time that a visitor can sit inside is 15-20minutes. 30-45minutes. if he'd be standing the whole time. Even if the seats were covered with sheepskin, and I was fully covered as well, my pants felt wet from the cold! Chill Out is literally a huge freezer, i noticed.
Don't bother much about what to wear to get in. They will provide you with a thermal suit (hooded jacket, boots & knitted gloves). We opted for a hot chocolate drink & a chocolate gateux as other food options either just lose their taste, or would have the fat around them go solid right in front of you.
You will either like this place or hate it. Well, we loved it! We went there as an off-the-beaten-path place--for the novelty. Its lighting changed colors as they sieved through walls, tables, sculptures & seats made of ice, making the not-so-big ice bar very nice for the pictures. We made the most of the cold, by the way--we hugged a lot :)
Do not expect to have good restaurant food at Chill Out unless you're fine by them to charge a hefty price.
Are kids ok to go in? Well, we saw a 2-footer enjoying every space. So yours will probably enjoy as well if you yourselves are enjoying :)
Service-wise, the staff were helpful. When we asked them to take pictures of us, they gladly obliged. There would be small talks if you show curiosity and ask things.
Written Jan 31, 2013
One of the landmarks of Arab culture in Portugal is the “nora”, a very ingenious device to pull water from the wells, using an animal.
I thought that the device standing in the museum’s yard was something alike, but it doesn’t: it is hands driven, more primitive or maybe, more suitable to elevate water from deeper wells.
Updated May 19, 2012
Near Jumeirah Mosque I was attracted by a beautiful building, reflecting the Islamic style.
I couldn’t decide if it was a school, or a mosque, or both, but, once again, I had the confirmation that we shall never rely exclusively in the promoted highlights, even if visiting time is short for the large top alternatives.
Updated Nov 25, 2011
“Out of the beaten paths” it’s possible to see some contrasting sights of tradition and modernity, hi-tech and improvisation.
The hidden side of each city is quite often the most authentic, and rather important to those who like to have an independent idea of the visited places.
Not easy, but possible in Dubai.
Updated Nov 25, 2011
Many people enjoy taking the wheel into their own hands & heading-off into the sands, underestimating the lethal potential of the desert, no matter how close or far you are from the city.
I've taken my Jeep off-road many times and here's a useful check-list:
1. MAIN RULE: Never drive into the desert with less than 3 cars!
2. The most experienced driver leads the way
3. Let someone know where you're going and when you expect to return
4. Examine the radiator for leaks
5. Turn off the air conditioning to avoid the car overheating & watch the temperature gauge
6. Check all the car's fluids: oil, coolant, brake fluid, gear oil etc.
7. Be certain your headlights, taillights & brake lights work
8. Bring a map. A good one is the "Offroad Explorer" hand book for UAE & Oman
9. Check your tires; don't deflate them too much! Otherwise you'll need a pump
10. Make sure at least 2 persons have tow-ropes & an especially designed balloon-air-jack for the sand (any normal jack will, of course, sink!)
11. Keep your distance! You cannot break abruptly in soft sand.
12. In case of having to pull a stuck car, stand well clear of the towing rope & close all windows. If the rope snaps, it could easily cut someone's head off!
13. Bring plenty of drinking water.
14. Pack a first-aid-kit... it can be a long drive to the nearest medical help
15. If you want a camp fire, bring wood... there's no wood in the desert!
16. Make sure you have at least 2 fully charged mobile phones in your group
17. TAKE YOUR RUBBISH HOME WITH YOU so you don't affect local wildlife & so the next person can enjoy the beauty of the desert!
If you want to take part in an organised desert trip by professional tour operators, click here for info: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tp/1300d9/
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Marhaba is an assistance service available at Dubai International Airport. It is quite useful to use Marhaba service if you have family, relatives or friends who come to Dubai for the first time. The Marhaba crew will wait for them when they step off the plane at Dubai International Airport.
The service of Marhaba including escort from gate until outside including porter service. Or if you use Marhaba service on the departure, they provide escort service from check-in area to the boarding gate. Marhaba also provides services such as bouquet service, Limousine service and also wheelchair for people who need it.
To use Marhaba service, you need to contact them through Dnata Travel or Emirates Airlines Reservation, or appointed travel agencies. If you come to Dubai Airport, just go to Marhaba counter. You will be required to fill in the form, depending on what package service you need.
Services available are among others, Diamond Service, Family Package, Normal Service, Marhaba Lounge and Wheel Chair. The price range from 60 Dirhams to 185 Dirhams, depend on the package. You can also request for staff who speak certain language to asisst your beloved people.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Send your friends postcards and have an opportunity to win 500,000 Dirham.
Sounds like a dream, isn’t it??
Instead of sending the conventional postcard, people are encouraged to buy a pack of postcards and send it to friends or relatives. One pack contains of 4 postcards and sold at 30 Dirham. You don’t need to buy stamps, since each postcard is paid stamp, and you can even send them for people abroad. Just pay attention where you drop the postcard in the post box. There are two post boxes, for delivery in Dubai and abroad. The postcard packs is usually about Dubai heritage, culture or natural scenery.
Once you purchase the postcards, You will be given two number sections. The first section is an instant scratch & win section. The second section has a ticket number on top of the coupon.
The interesting part is, even you are not residing in Dubai, you can also take part. If you visit Dubai, you can buy the postcards and send them to your friends. After that, You just need to check your number in the website (hopefully you are the lucky one : ) )
971 600 5665 665 (Outside the UAE)
600 5665 665 (UAE)
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Phone: 971 600 5665 665
In and around the United Arab Emirates, (UAE) there a numerous road trips and desert trails which take you to a mirage of different landscapes. People automatically presume that being in the desert, we only have sand dunes and dust surrounding us, but no so. There is an abundance of oasis's and large rock mountains (as shown in the pic).
This photo was taken when my family and I went on a road trip to a place called Hatta(That is not me in the photo).
The Hatta heritage village is constructed around an old settlement and is a recreation of a traditional mountain village set in an oasis. The village helps you discover the old world charm of barasti (palm leaves) and mud houses. There's a large central fort and tower which overlooks the village. Other added attractions are falaj, an oasis and vegetated seating areas where you can cool your heels.
Signs in Arabic and English will guide visitors to various sections of the site which includes an old mosque dating back 200 years and the Al Husen Majlis, where the governor of the village received guests and visitors.
It is also worth while popping into to the Hatta Fort Hotel, which is very down to earth and relaxed. (By down to earth I don’t mean dump!) It is a different feel from Dubai and you won’t feel like a fashion alien if you walk around the grounds in shorts and a t-shirts. Lunch by the pool is also lovely and if you have kids with you, make sure you pack their costumes for the trip, because there won’t be much of a chance to hold them back once they see the pool!!
This drive takes about 1hour 1/2, and has beautiful views all the way through if you go off road and do it in a 4x4 (a must) , otherwise you will be restricted to the vivid colours of tarmac!
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Phone: +971 (0) 4 8523211
The Abu Manara Mosque is a fine example of Islamic architecture. The Abu Manara Mosque project started in the second quarter of 2005 and was completed in the first quarter of 2006.This mosque was built for a member of the royal family.
You can watch my high resolution photo of Dubai on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 25° 10' 1.48" N 55° 12' 40.13" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Abu Manara Mosque.
Written Dec 6, 2009
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