Saturday, June 28, 2008

Highlights of Dubai Holiday Part 3 (Final)

There are 2 major highlights of my Dubai holiday that will wrap up my long-winded posts - the texture of the city and the people that made the trip more fun!

Like I mentioned a couple of posts back, one of the surprises that I had was how beautiful, modern yet retaining its arabic influence, the city is. Aside from Ibn Batuta Mall, I also will not forget Mercato with its meditteranean facade.

I will also never forget Dubai Creek which is the backdrop of the city's character. Like any great city, the creek is the lifeblood of Dubai. It always made me feel a tinge of despair that my own country's Pasig river is actually dead. I loved my abra (arabic for thid little boat) that ferried people from Bur Dubai to Deira and back.

I was intrigued with this cruise boat and promised myself to take a cruise in the creek next time.
Despite its smallness, the Dubai Museum is a must stop for any tourist. To me, what was awesome was how this city is serious about growth despite the short history it has as a city and economic force in the region. No wonder many nationalities would want to ride that wave of determination and settled in Dubai.

And the trip won't be as memorable if not for the people that I have met. It was my first time to meet anyone from Bosnia. Elmir and Sabina were fun dune bashing mates. We had a great time exchanging bits and pieces about our countries' culture.

I will never, ever forget my one and only interaction with a guy in a kandura. Fahd was our source of irritation when he picked us up from the mall. But he turned out to me full of adventure and thus fun.

The friends of Tatsi also added color to the already colorful trip. I was happy to see Hilary (formerly Rona) married anew and settling happily with her new husband. I was happy to see Ann again after our first meeting in Manila last December.
Kathy is also one of my sister's kookiest friends. I was happy to see her in both nights that we were drinking at Jebel Ali Club. May katawanan at kakulitan.

I will also never forget the day I spent with Anne, who used to be with me in my F4 escapades. I have not seen her in two years and I'm happy that she's alright despite missing the Philippines and wanting to leave the UAE.

Last but not the least, is Richard (aka Kitty Kach). He was so kind to bring me around Bur Dubai and become my photographer despite the 110 degree heat! I will never forget our lunch at the Orient (tama ba?) restaurant with the Pinoy menu.
Well, that's it. My purple world has widened and in fact, has mixed with other vibrant colors this time around. I am now focusing on my next destination. More of that in the next couple of months. Back to grind and scrimping...scrimping...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Highlights of Dubai Holiday Part 2

The sightseeing was great but the shopping was also awesome. I will not forget that the first thing I bought was not in Dubai but in Abu Dhabi Marina Mall.

Dubai is purple heaven! I remember posing in front of this furniture store because I absolutely loved the sofa.

I will also remember the shopping malls and how fabulous they are. No expense was spared in the flooring, in the themes and decor. My favorite of all is Ibn Batuta Mall. Each entrance of the mall has a theme like this one. A Chinese junk in the middle of the mall? You better believe it...

This entrance to Ibn is also fabulous. I was just not able to take a photo with the huge elephant just behind this wall because everyone was just taking photos.

And then there is the Dubai Festival City mall. I was astounded to see a marina behind it. Sail in, park your yatch and then go shopping? You better believe it...

Aside from the malls, shopping is also surreal at the Gold Souk. I have never seen anything like it. Two blocks of shops with nothing but gold in their windows. Gold and more gold!!! And the wooden canopy added the local flavor to the shopping experience.

One must be ready to do serious shopping in Dubai whether one's poison is the Dubai outlet mall, jewelry or the luxury brand stores. Despite maxing out my credit card and my making a big hole in my wallet, I will be more prepared next time.

In the meantime, my supplies will have to last until the next visit. And pray that I can stay away from Manila shopping malls. =)

Stay tuned for the last part of this highlight series. For the rest of the photos head on out to

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Highlights of Dubai Holiday Part 1

After being back at work for a week, I can only reminisce about the great holiday I had in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

I can still imagine Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa ( as it is the very first place my sister took me. While we went on the road trip, I got a glimpse of Dubai and the vastness of the desert it thrives on. And then the oasis that was Bab Al Shams. I love the gorgeous pool with the desert on the background.

I also will not forget my first taste of Arabic food at the Al Hadheerah Desert Restaurant ( Walking through the desert from the resort was a romantic experience even if I was walking with family. The beauty of the desert sand can be seen by the lighted pathway and the lights of the restaurants from afar elicited excitement as we got nearer.

Of course the desert safari was exhilirating and soooo much fun! Dune bashing, Bedouin camp, belly-dancing, henna tattoo was offered as part of the tour ran by Net Tours ( especially if you have a good 4x4 driver like Fahd.

And then there was the trip to the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi for the Lost Highway concert of Bon Jovi. Fandom + Family always make a great combination. The long drive, the heat, the hours of standing, the 3 hour traffice to get out of the parking lot was all worth it just to hear Living on a Prayer (

The fun did not stop there. Checking in at the uber elegant Jumeirah Beach Hotel ( was an unforgettable experience. The hotel designed to resemble a wave was awesome, awesome! As soon as we entered our 19th floor room facing the Arabian Gulf with the all-suite Burj Al Arab in view, I was jumping and I mean jumping for joy. Lunch at the lobby, dinner at Der Keller, lazing around at its private beach, will all be etched in my memory.

I'm off to watch more youtube of the May 20 concert...Part 2 coming up!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

See You Again Dubai...

I fly back to Manila in the morning and my memories of 17 days in Dubai is filled with my bonding moments with my brother Denver and sister Maria Lourdes. They have made this trip really, really awesome.

I will go back home to Manila inspired and dreaming again of the day that I can come back to this city made home by many Filipinos because indeed here they can enjoy the best that life has to offer.

There are many more stories to tell about this trip. For now, I leave this photo of Dubai Creek as I say to Dubai...See you again. I will definitely be back.

Thank you Daddy Daboy.

Thank you Tatsi.

And thank you to the many new friends I've made and the old ones I've met.

Shukran Jazilan. Baaraka alahu fik.