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Throwback Thursday: Miracle Garden Dubai!

15 May

Dubai Miracle Garden is one of the newest attraction in Dubai. It is located in Dubailand near Arabian Ranches. We have a visited this gorgeous garden during my mother and brother in-law visit in the UAE last December 2013.  This place opens during winter season only. They currently developing the Phase II of the project which hopefully finish next winter season.

Dubai Miracle Garden is the world’s biggest natural flower garden which consists of different types of flowers, special vertical and horizontal landscaping designs in each area. The whole garden contains more than 45 million flowers.  It has the record in Guinness Book of Records for having the longest wall of flowers which will give a new landmark for Miracle Garden and for the City of Dubai.

Let’s take a look at some of the beautiful spot in the Garden and let the picture do the talking.

 

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The flower cars!

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The flower house!

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Flower Clock

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Dubai Miracle Garden

Al Barsha South 3, Barsha / Dubailand Area

Tel: 04-4228902

Fax: 04-4324941

Website: www.dubaimiraclegarden.com/

Email: info@dubaimiraclegarden.com

 

 

 

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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

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

 

Credit: http://www.hziegler.com/articles/basic-arabic-phrases.html

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 agoda.com 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.

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Hotel facade

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Hotel lobby

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Swimming pool area

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Mom at the pool lounge

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Room lobby

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Our comfy bed

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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

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Arabic 101 for Filipino Expat

23 Sep

I’m always amazed when I encounter fellow “kabayan” who are very fluent in speaking Arabic language. It is common to the people who work at home those who deals with the Arabic family 24/7. They need to learn their language because most of the family member is having a hard time speaking English.

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Expatriates like me usually didn’t bother to learn Arabic, because almost all the conversations and transactions is done in English or Arabic English or Indian English. Words like insha’lla, mabrook, shuhada are some of the common arabic words you can hear from most of the Filipino. I think we need not to limit our selves for these few words only. It is imperative for us to know the language of the country we are living.

I came to realized that when I rented out our villa in Abu Dhabi few years ago. Our landlady doesn’t know how to speak English, I ended up hiring looking for a translator just to convey my message to her. Most of the time, I’m struggling talking to our nator (watch man) when we need maintenance or repair. At times I shell out payment for the service of the maintenance company who fully understand what needs to  be done at home.

Now I am eager to learn Arabic, even not so fluent but at least I can have simple conversation.

Ok! for the start let me know how to count in Arabic.

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The numbers from 21 to 99 are formed by saying the ones digit first, then wa (and) followed by the tens digit. For example, waHid wa ashriin (21 [literally: one and twenty]).

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You should read Arabic numbers in the same order as English numbers, from the largest to smallest place,except for the ones digit, which comes before the tens. So 1964 would be read “one thousand, nine hundred, four, and sixty” or alf tisa mia arba wa sittiin.

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So that’s all for today… See you on our next lesson! Shukran!

Credit to www.Dummies.com

Ramadan 101 for Expatriates

10 Jul

From Wikipedia

Ramadan (Arabic:; رمضان) is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and the month in which Muslims believe the Quran was revealed.Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month is spent by Muslims fasting during the daylight hours from dawn to sunset.

Ramadan officially started today, 10 July 2013. In observance of Ramadan, it is mandatory for UAE and other Muslim Countries to lessen the working hours. Non Muslim Expatriate like me is quiet delightful with this because it means extra hours of rest and sleep, we can do movie marathon with family and friends, spare time for household activities cleaning, re-arranging things at home. But please bear in mind that it is also a best time for spiritual reflection and prayer. Even Non-Muslim like us can also participate by giving things you don’t need (clothes, books, toys etc) to charity or by just respecting our Muslim brothers and sisters.

Below are the do’s and dont’s during the Holy month of Ramadan.

1. Refrain from eating or drinking in public places 

Please respect those people in fasting, avoid eating, drinking or even chew gum in public. We expatriate are allowed to eat but do it in private and with discretion.

2. Avoid playing loud music

Please observe silence. People are usually pray from time to time so please respect them by not playing loud music.

3. Dress appropriately

I know Ramadan falls on Summer season but please don’t use your revealing clothes in public.

4. Do not get angry or curse in public

Many of us is not in a mood specially when outdoor because of scorching heat. Please be  cool specially when driving, I’ve seen a lot of  drivers who are irritated in the road please be more patience with them.

5. Do not engage in public display of affection

It is a law in the UAE not only  this Ramadan , please avoid showing affection by holding hands and kissing in public.

6. Exchange Ramadan Greetings

Greet our Muslim friends and colleague by saying Ramadan Kareem or Eid Mubarak during Eid Celebration.

7. Accepts Invitation

Attend  their gatherings if invited. Our boss usually invite us for Iftar and I’m happy to join them to meet and greet each ones family.

These are the things that we need to observe during Ramadan, if I miss any just please make a comment below.

Wishing you all a blissful Ramadan.

ramadan-kareem

Super Family! (Man of Steel)

1 Jul

My family used to go out once in a while either for some special occasion or just a simple bonding with family. One Friday weekend we decided to watch Man of Steel. As usual we have our compulsory outfit, everyone should wear Superman Shirt (Thanks to kuya for printing our shirt, he’s a talent indeed!) Even my cutey patootie 3 months old nephew wear his S shirt.

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Everyone is excited, we arrived half an hour early to have some photo ops before going in. We booked 15 tickets at Al Wahda Mall Cinema, our baby is free of course, he will only sleep in the cinema anyway. We occupied the entire row, plus the baby stroller.

We had a great time watching it… Everyone enjoyed it. I’m not an avid fan of Superman but the movie is awesome, not to mentioned the gorgeous Superman (yeah).

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Super Family

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Our Superman

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Our Super Baby

Looking forward for our next Family Bonding! Despicable Me seems good. Let’s see… Inshallah.

41st UAE National Day!

15 Dec

41st UAE National Day in Picture! (December 2, 2012)

_DSC0556_DSC0582_DSC0716_DSC0769_DSC0634_DSC0666This is how we celebrate the UAE National Day! We had so much Fun!