Archive | October, 2011

Exploring Al Ain

22 Oct

I’ve been to Al Ain twice already but still wanted to go back again and again. This city is indeed beautiful,  the place fully deserves to be called “Garden City in the Desert”. Al Ain is very rich in culture and heritage, from the people to architectural structures and historic buildings, you will amazed how they preserve their cultural heritage. By visiting the place especially their museums you will catch a glimpse of Abu Dhabi’s humble beginnings, how Abu Dhabi rose from rugs to riches.

Al Ain City is located approximately 160 kilometres east of Abu dhabi Capital and 120 km south of Dubai. It’s also called round about capital of the United Arab Emirates. If you are a 1st timer in Al Ain, chances are you will get lost (yes, we did!). Roundabouts are everywhere!. I suggests to do a little research about the place before hand for a less hassle trip, by the way signage are scattered all over the place especially going to popular tourist attractions.

I would like to share to you some of my favorite spot on the city. I hope I can travel to Al Ain again very soon since hubby already got his driving license.

Jebel Hafeet

Jebel Hafeet is the UAE’s second highest peak which edmunds.com  describes as “among the world’s greatest driving roads.” At the top, you can take a break at the Mercure Jebel Hafeet hotel near the mountain’s peak.

Green Mubazzarah

Green Mubazzarah is  a park at the bottom of Jabel Hafeet. The park is well maintained, luscious green grass covered the mountain.

Al Jahili Fort

Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain was erected in 1898 by Sheikh Zayed The First, the Al Jahili Fort in the oasis city of Al Ain is one of the great landmarks and symbols of the United Arab Emirates’ cultural heritage. The inner courtyard offers up to 450 visitors an atmospheric setting for chamber music; seating at the large stage is provided for some 3000 concertgoers.

Al Ain Zoo

Al Ain Zoo is open daily but the timings differ during Ramadan, Summer and Winter season. The 1st time I went there was during Ramadan  opens from 9 pm to 2 am (kmusta naman ang night shift na mga hayop). Then we came back last September, the timings is from 4:00 pm to 1 am.

Al Ain National 

Early Emirati living in the background

Al Ain Museum is the oldest museum in the UAE and was built by Shaikh Zayed. Visitors can clearly see the features of pre-oil Emirati life, and important archaeological discoveries in the region.

*****************************

These were the places I visited so far, I know there’s still a lots of tourist attractions in Al Ain. I’m looking forward for Al Ain Paradise next time and hopefully stay a night in Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet, the hotel at the top of the mountain.

If you’re planning for a great vacation here in the UAE, don’t forget to include Al Ain in your list, there’s a lot of must see places to explore.

You want to know more about Al Ain City? just visit the blog of my fellow UAE blogger Misalayn of Al Ain City Daily Photo.

Advertisements

Hubby got it! – Drivers License in UAE

11 Oct

I believe Sunday is the Lucky day for my hubby and to me as well (of course I have an official driver now). Last October 9, 2011 he passed the Road Test with flying colors and take note it’s a 1st try. Obtaining a driving license here in UAE is really a BIG Deal unlike in the Philippines that everyone can have their license, you just need a money and a good connection. Here in UAE you need to equip yourself a very good luck (good police examiner), better driving skills and a hefty amount of money.

I am confident that he will make it. Having a 15 years driving experience in the Philippines is a way useful in passing the Driving Test plus I know him being a law abiding citizen. But not everybody who has very long experience in driving can be successful. I knew some with 10 years and more experience didn’t pass the test in their first try.

UAE Traffic Department is very vigilant in issuing Drivers License, they make it sure that you are well deserve to own this piece of plastic. One reason maybe because they strictly implement zero tolerance on accident related mortality rate. They are really concern about the safety of the people.

Every Emirates has different procedure in getting a Drivers License. Some nationality also has a privileged to exchange their home country license to UAE License (primarily GCC Countries). No need to take the hustle and bustle of taking Theory Class and Practical Exam. In my hubby’s case he is a Filipino holding a visa issued by Abu Dhabi Emirate and with Driving License in the Philippines  so he follow the procedures below:

How to Get a UAE Driving Licence in Abu Dhabi

Required documents:

  • Copy of Passport with visa page
  • Colored photo
  • Eye exam
  • NOC from your sponsor
  • Driving license from your home country, if any (Translate in Arabic)

Fees (In AED)

For those who has a Driving License in their home country

  • 100 for Opening a driving Test File
  • 20 for Eye Exam
  • 830 for Emirates Driving School
  • 50 for Theory Examination
  • 200 License Fee (after passing the Road Test)

For new Drivers

  • Above fee will apply
  • plus more or less 2500  for Practical Class

PROCEDURES:

File Opening

Go to Emirates Driving School in Mussafah by taxi or take bus  No. 116 . There is one place in the building for Traffic Department File Opening, just ask the where it is.  Give the necessary papers to the person in Information Desk, he will assess if you are eligible for opening the file. At the right side you can see one room for Eye Examination, they will check your visual and   conduct a color test. After passing the Eye exam and paying for 20 dirhams fee you can proceed to the Room for File Opening.

Get a cue/token number and wait for your number to flash on the  screen monitor. When your number is called go to the assigned counter and give the necessary documents plus the eye test result. After checking all the documents and paying the 100 AED processing fee, they will take a photograph of you and will hand over to you your Drivers Test Appointment . Then they will ask you to proceed to next desk and wait for the  Trainee Driving License Card to be printed. Once it done you can go back to the Information Desk of the Emirates Driving School at the Entrance of the building to book for Theory Class.

Booking for Orientation / Theory Course

Go to the Information Desk  and ask for application form  for your Theory Class. Fill it up and then photocopy your Drivers Test Appointment and Trainee Driving License. (There is a coin operated copying machine available inside the building). Submit all the required docs and get a cue number and wait patiently for your turn. Hand over your docs to designated counter pay AED 780 for course fee plus AED 50 for Theory Exam Fee. Book your desired date and time and get your Driving License Handbook.

Theory Class

My hubby scheduled for a 4 day Theory Class, you can request for a 1 day course provided you will pay additional AED 300. But if you are in certain position like Engineer they offer only 1 day course. I’m just wondering why Engineers has this privileged, Are they really a good driver?… I don’t get it!

Theory Test

After completing the course, you can now take your Theory Test. It consists of 45 item multiple choice questions and 36 is the passing grade.  Prepare yourself by reading the handbook, you don’t need to memorize. You can instantly get the result few minutes after your exam.

If you  successfully pass the exam you can have your Road Test (if you have a license in your home country) or book for your Practical Classes for 1st Time Learners. Since my husband already have a driving license in the Philippines, he proceed for the Road Test.

Road Test

After passing the Theory Test you can now book  for your Road Test. They usually schedule it  after two weeks to give you enough time to practice driving. There’s a lot of driving instructors available in Emirates Driving School. Their rate is from 50-70 AED per hour.

It is important to freshen up your driving skills even you are already an experienced driver. Remember you only have 1 shot to pass this test or else you will need you to enroll for a Formal course.

On the day of the Road Test be there at least 30 minutes before the scheduled time. Bring the “Drivers Test Appointment”, Trainee Driving License, your Emirates ID and 200 AED for Drivers License and additional 40 AED for the bus fee.

Two police officer will assess your performance. One is seated in front and other at the back. Just one tip from my hubby, just be relax while driving  and give your best shot.

After you pass, you have to go back to the Driving Company, pay AED 200 and give the Pass Appointment Sheet and Emirates ID. They will take a photo of you and provide you the UAE Driving License.

Now, you are ready to explore all the roads of UAE!

So, That’s it Folk. I hope this post will help those who wants to apply for UAE Drivers License in Abu Dhabi.

iThank You Steve Jobs!

6 Oct

You’ll Always Be Remembered Steve Jobs!

If you would like to share your thoughts memories & condolences on the passing of Steve Jobs, Apple says email to rememberingsteve@apple.com

Words/Quotes: Tribute to Steve Jobs

“Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. (…) Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”

~Apple CEO Tim Cook, who succeeded Jobs in August~

“Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve,”

~Apple’s board of directors, announcing his death. ~

“Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it”

~US President Barack Obama~

“The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come… For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor”

~Bill Gates, Microsoft head and former rival~

“Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend … Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you”

~Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder~

“Tonight, America lost a genius who will be remembered with Edison and Einstein, and whose ideas will shape the world for generations to come”

~Michael Bloomberg, New York Mayor and tech company founder~

“Thank you for changing our world”

 ~Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post.~

“It’s crazy to think about how many people are sharing the news of Steve Jobs’ death using devices he invented”

~Matt Cherette or @mattchew03, on Twitter. ~

“It’s not too much to say he literally changed our world”

~Julia Gillard, Australian Prime Minister~

“His innovative spirit and remarkable accomplishments will forever be remembered by people around the world”

~G.S. Choihe, head of technology rival Samsung, despite the South Korean firm’s bitter patent row with Apple. ~

“His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed, and the culture he defined”

~Robert A. Iger, Walt Disney boss~

“Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family .. In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family”

~family statement~