Archive | October, 2013

Arabic 101 for Expatriate (Lesson 2)

28 Oct

Hi! Everyone… I just came back from a wonderful vacation from my beautiful country Philippines. Now I’m back on track, oh well not really still on a vacation mood, but I need to move forward, need to focus myself on work, family, part time jobs and my blog!

Ok! As a continuation on my Basic Arabic Lesson, let us study about the famous phrases, greetings, sayings. It is important that we know how to respond when someone is asking us or we simply want to greet our Arab boss or colleague.

Here are few typical Arabic phrases:

Marhaba = Hello

Maasalama = Good-bye (When a colleague is leaving, you often hear of a “maasalama party” or a “maasalama sale” – basically a yard sale in which a person sells things they won’t be bringing home with the, e.g., DVD players)

Assalam alaykum = Peace be upon you (response = Wa alaykum assalam)

Ahlan wa sahlan = various translations: welcome, hello and welcome, you are very welcome (response = Ahlan bekum)

Sabah al-khair = Good Morning (response = sabah al-noor)

Masaa al-Khair = Good evening (response = masa al-noor)

Ismee … = my name is …

Min fadlak = Please (male)

Min fadlik = Please (female)

Shukran = Thank you

Afwan = You’re Welcome

Inshallah = God Willing (you will often hear this in response to anything tentative, when timing is in question, etc.)

Aiwa or Naam = Yes

La = No

Ismahlee = Excuse me

Mafee Mushkala = No problem

Tatakallum Ingleezi? = Do you speak English?

La Atakalam Arabi = I don’t speak Arabic


So, these are the few words that are very essential in our everyday lives in Arab World. More words soon!




Eid Staycation: Al Maqta Hotel (formerly Rocco Forte Hotel)

7 Oct

Late post

Hotel Stay + Vacation = Fun

Every eid holiday, my family religiously organized a get together, a sort of relaxation for the whole family. Me being the leader of the gang assigned in  scouting for a nice hotel in a nearby place.  After looking for some several options, we finally chose Al Maqta Hotel.

I booked the hotel through with the early booking rate of  AED 300 which is fairly reasonable since it’s peak season.

Al Maqta Hotel (formerly known as Rocco Forte Hotel) is a 5 Star hotel situated in the center of Abu Dhabi, less than 15 minutes from Abu Dhabi Airport or 10 minutes’ drive from Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre or 5 minutes from our home. Yes it is a stone throw away from where we live.

Al Maqta Hotel features a unique curved glass design, each room offer a stylish space to relax, complete with a mini bar and a flat-screen TV.

Ok,  Let me tour you around the hotel.


Hotel facade


Hotel lobby


Swimming pool area


Mom at the pool lounge


Room lobby


Our comfy bed


Tangerine Couch inside the room

If you want to have a quiet and peaceful vacation, Rocco Forte Hotel is definitely for you. The amenities is great but not much activity for children. The interior is very minimalist there’s actually lot of open spaces. I think they need to re-design the interior especially the lobby and corridors to become more sophisticated and cozy. I like the room though,  spacious enough to accommodate kids, beds and pillows are very comfortable, the orange couch is my favorite.

I have heard that this hotel will be taken over by Hilton Management, so I’m expecting lots of improvement in the hotel in the future. Overall it was a nice stay, we enjoyed the pool area, the only reason why we stay in a hotel is because kids love swimming, so as long as the pool is outstanding our kids will be more happy.

Overall rate: 7.5 bananas


Sumo Sushi & Bento at Masdar City

1 Oct

My hubby is  a Japanese food enthusiast, he loves sushi, sashimi and tempura so much. We’ve been scouting for a decent yet affordable Japanese Restaurant in Abu Dhabi City but we can’t find any. There’s a lot though located inside the hotel but the price is too steep.


Thanks to my sister she introduced to us Sumo Sushi & Bento . This Japanese restaurant is located inside Masdar City, 25 minutes drive from Abu Dhabi City. A little far I know but I’ll tell you It’s all worth. It’s also accessible through public bus number 161 or 163 (from Abu Dhabi main bus station).

Going to the restaurant is a bit tricky and exciting at the same time, before you reach there you need to ride in Personal Rapid Transit, a driverless  car powered by rechargeable batteries and runned by magnets planted on the ground. My hubby and I were very delighted, it was a nice experience and what I liked more is it’s Free.


The Personal Rapit Transit


Me, enjoying the ride

After more or less 5 minutes ride, we reached our destination, Sumo sushi is located inside Masdar Institute of Science & Technology Campus. The restaurant was manned by mostly Filipinos, yehey!


My hubby, patiently waiting for his order

My hubby ordered Nigiri Maki Bento, Salmon, white fish, tuna nigiri, tuna and cucumber maki, california roll served with a garden salad. 56 AED


Nigiri Maki Bento

While me opt for Philli Maki, smoked salmon and cream cheese. 28 AED and Ebi Tempura. 24 AED



I’m not a Japanese lover like my hubby, not a fan of raw food, but my food taste awesome. I like the blend of salmon and cream cheese… yummy!


Yummy food!

So for Japanese lovers out there, go and try Sumo Sushi and Restaurant.

Sumo Sushi & Bento

Masdar Institute of Science & Technology
Podium Level, Retail#2
(9712) 5570500
Open from 11am to 11pm
(delivery until 10:30pm)