Monday, March 1, 2010

Emma recommends

Just wanted to share some lovely places in Dubai:

Kitsch Cupcakes

Scrumptious cupcakes, I ate my berry flavoured one whilst wandering around the Dubai Mall and enjoying the aquarium.

Dubai Polo Club

I took Davey and Dad on a 2 hr desert trek from the polo club, we had a lovely time but couldn't walk properly for a few days. The setting is lovely though especially for the polo and an Argentinean asado in the evening.

Covent Garden Market

I haven't been here yet but it sounds great, they have arty stands at JBR and street entertainers just like being back in the real Covent Garden.

It's March - spring is just around the corner

Ok so after almost 4 months of no posting it's time to get back to sharing my adventures. On the travel front things have slowed down immensely since I transferred out to Abu Dhabi. My monthly flybacks are a thing of the past and I just squirmed at having to pay £568 return to head back to the Blighty in May!!!

So what have I been doing recently, to summarise:

- I hosted my parents and Davey for an enchanting Christmas in the sunshine - they were totally blown away and are still talking about it now. I'm just looking into getting them back out here for another dose of sun before this place becomes a furnace.

- I made the life changing decision to do an MBA, I am currently studying for the GMAT, still going fairly slowly with work but I'm actually starting to enjoy Maths again after years of detesting it at school. Still attending info sessions and saving so more updates soon.

- Andre and I just got back from an amazing trip to Lebanon where I got to meet his wonderful family, Matil, Robert, Tony, Reema, Rita and Rania. Words don't do it justice, it was a beautiful place set in the mountains and full of human warmth and love for Andre - was a real joy to see how much they love and spoil him. I felt like a Queen for the duration of the trip and I am particularly missing our candlit breakfasts and sipping tea from the antique china teacups.

One of many lovely breakfasts....

We also sampled the delights of Middle Easter skiing. I admit that after skiing in Vail last year I have become thr ultimate ski resort snob but we had a fun time and made the best of the melting snow around us. Andre was brilliant for a beginner and I got all my enjoyment from teaching and watching him improve.
The lovebirds on the slopes of Mzaar.

Not much else to report currently, just continuing to work, study and enjoy my life in the Middle East and live for the moment........

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Bday Surprise

So this is the wonderful surprise I came home to on my birthday in the new pad. Andre had lit tea lights along the lounge to my bedroom which had been completed that day. When I walked in I saw the bed covered in ballons and a wonderful bday cake lit up saying "Happy Bday Emma Baby" - I almost died of shock that he had managed to do all of this - let's just say when I told all my English colleagues they all looked rather sheepish and could only muster the words "Don't ever tell my girlfriend about this!"
Needless to say it was the best bday surprise ever, oh but it did not end there, next was a trip to Marina Mall for what I was convinced was to be a dinner in the revolving restaurant. Oh but I was so far off as we pulled up to the marina and climbed aboard the Shuja Yacht - owned by Le Royal Meridien it is a dining cruise taking you along the Corniche in a serene manner whilst enjoying a lovely buffet washed down with champers!! Basically he is a superstar.

Showing Off the new pad

So after an exhauting few weeks the new place is ready to showcase, albeit I still need a few finishing touches including a bar area and more artwork etc so there will be more updates to follow.

However, I am really pleased with how it has turned out and was so pleased with everyone's reactions when I hosted a house warming! Complete shock that it was fully furnished was most people's reactions and they all seemed to love it so I was beaming inside. So enough of my endless twittering and time for some photos.

My lovely lounge/dinning area primarily neutrals with an accent of deep red to bring out some colour.

So I found this place thanks to Andre, he has been really wonderful helping to get it furnished and finished. He even found me an excellent cleaner because unfortunately I have become a spoilt princess living in the shangri la for almost a year and have forgotten how hard it it to do all the cleaning and have a job!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The move to Abu Dhabi

Ok so I have been quiet this month as most of the time has been spent on preparing for the new place. I finally found the most wonderful apartment with the help of Andre which is located in Al Mushrif about 10 mins from the city centre. It has a huge living/dining room as you enter, a fairly compact kitchen and a huge bedroom - oh and the bathroom has a jacuzzi bath tub - ooh la la!

I will not post any photos yet because I want to get everything finished and then post the final shots. The first set of furniture is being delivered later from my new favourite UAE furniture shop The One - what an amazing store, set up by an ex Ikea employee and its so much more fabulous and chic. I have furnished most of apartment from IKEA who also have an excellent range and pieced it all together with some extra pieces from The One, Marina and Carrefour for my white goods and a 42 inch TV - I can see some serious party nights taking place there!!! For one there is an arch shaped area as you come in which is screaming out "Create a bar area here" . That will be the next little project once moved in and settled and bank balance has recovered from the first month of expenses.

I should be able to move in next Tue evening as that is when the bed will arrive and I have my lovely Dorma bedding to jump onto. My birthday is next Weds and so I will be hosting my house warming/bday drinks next Thurs evening with a group of friends coming over for fun fun fun before heading to the infamous Etoiles a luxe club in Emirates Palave which I have been trying to get to for weeks now.

Anyway, updates will follow shortly.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ramadan in Abu Dhabi

So I thought after the 1st week of Ramadan it would be a good time for an update on the latest developments out in the UAE. Firstly, I will be transferring out here from Sept 1st so I am currently looking for an apartment to rent in Abu Dhabi - total nightmare it is so expensive for just a shoe box - think at least £20, 000 a year in rent for a small one bedroom apartment!! I will provide updates on my plight as I think it could take some time, I am also struggling to accept my Shangri La Princess life is coming to an end and I will no longer be enjoying 5 star living :(
This weekend we have been entertaining in the apartment and enjoying some lovely food, namely Lebanese cuisine, perpared by Lebanese, using organic Lebanese produce shipped directly to our fridge via Andre's suitcase! Andre is my Lebanese boyfriend who is a master of Tabouleh and gave us our first lesson in how to prepare this dish on Fri - please see photographic evidence of our lovely parsley bouquets.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Camping in Oman

We just got back from a mini adventure in Oman which involved camping, mountains, bbq, sightseeing and lovely Omani locals. This is the second time I have visited Oman and it was equally enchanting as Muscat, we camped up in the mountains next to Nizwa at around 2000m. The views were incredible and the hillside is dotted with traditional villages which look like they belong in the Bible. We visited one local village and were invited in to drink coffee and eat dates the with the locals - so friendly and they weren't even trying to sell anything!

The scenery was stunning and it was so much cooler up in the mountains, we camped on top of a plateau overlooking the valley, at night the stars were shining brightly and we had the campsite all to ourselves which was great when we had our music blaring, drinking alcohol and showing our legs in shorts - the latter two are banned!