Ramadan Heat in Fujairah

I have finally completed the 7 emirates and Fujairah was my last stop. Ramadan is the perfect timing to go on a road trip because the office hours are shortened and the traffic is less. I hurried myself home to pack as i needed to catch the bus going to Fujairah at 16:45, The bus leaves every hour from Union Metro Station. The fare is 25aed per way and you need to top up your nol card since you will be using it to check in the bus. The bus will leave the station right away if it’s full and will leave on the exact time if it’s not full. The travel time will take two hours with no stops so better bring some food and drinks with you. While on the road you will see a lot of rock formations and some fruit and carpet stands which makes you wish that you used your own car instead of getting in the bus so you can take a shot of the rock formations. I arrived Fujairah around 9pm and took a taxi going to Hilton which cost me 10aed.The hotel was small and old but it’s clean and the staffs were very accommodating. The room was pretty neat. The only downside was the washroom. I’m very meticulous when it comes to the bed and washrooms. They don’t have the sprinkler in the toilet. I prefer water than tissues.

I checked the facilities of the hotel.They have one swimming pool, a gym, a bar and yes the beach. They even have a bar near the beach but since it’s Ramadan, it was closed. I also had my breakfast served in the room since i find it more respectful to the Muslim guests who are fasting. It was really hot during that day but i still took a dip. The water was cold which makes it equal to the weather.

I always opt for a late check-out which is 13:00.It gives me ample of time to enjoy the resort and to prepare my things. Fujairah has nothing much to offer aside from the rocky formation and some museums. I didn’t visit one since it’s Friday and most establishments opens late. Below are the photos i took during my trip.

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dinner buffet 

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glass walls

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the corridor  

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breakfast for the champions 

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sun bed near the beach

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they only have one swimming pool

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missing you

Have you tried dreaming of your loved ones who passed away and felt so surreal that it made you cry while sleeping?Well, i always do and it happens to me almost every night.I always dream of my mom.I dreamt that something bad  happened to her or that she’s dying and i always awakened by this kind of dream. It makes me want to call my sister back home and to remind her to take care of mom properly since i’m working abroad.Then the sad reality always hit before i press the call button – that my mom died almost 7 months ago. 
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last photo with her
I’m the youngest in the family and i was very close to my mom. I think  got my reserved- nagger, ambitious, stubborn and very sensitive kind of attitude from her.I feel like i’m the exact replica of her attitude.She’s my number one supporter, who cries whenever i travel and won’t go home for a day or two because i’m on a team building,vacation or just simply sleeping over on my friend’s place coz i’m too drunk to go home.
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we love goofing around 
The nanny that every mom wants to have to take care of their baby.She took good care of my baby and even  before my baby, she already took good care of my sister’s children.I’m so lucky to have her that even if i will be given the chance to choose a mom.I will still choose her. it’s because i see her hard work for us, her unconditional love and how she calls me “inday” (precious one).
I feel like no one can understand me on how i really feel inside.You may say that you understand me coz  you’ve been in the same situation before but we always cope differently and we all have different kind of level on how we love our parents. I have accepted the fact she’s gone a long time ago. I have let her go. It’s just that i miss her so much and i really wanted to kiss her, hug her and hear her voice.Sometimes i just wanna get my self so tired so that whenever i get home i would just sleep and hope that I won’t have the same dream again. Sometimes i drown myself to tears secretly at night while my room mates obliviously know what is happening to me under the sheet.No one can understand you like your mother does not even your sister or your best friend.
Wherever she is right now, I know she’s watching over me and will always guide me to the best road of my life. I love you Ma Nesa.

Me on Ice

When was the last time you did something for the first time that you really wanted to try since you were a kid? I remember when i was on second grade my sister would always drag us to the mall to do ice skating. Yes, we used to have an ice skating rink in my hometown( Cebu ) before but, i didn’t know why they closed. Whenever my sister would bring us to the mall to try it, i always get sick a day before so i never got the chance to skate until the mall decided to take it off.

I’ve been here in Dubai for almost 3 years now and I’ve never really got the nerve to try it in Dubai Mall. I’m scared that i might fall down and someone might cut my fingers accidentally by the blades (I’ve seen it a lot in youtube). Okay, enough of these stupid imaginations. I finally had the guts to try it over a week ago. For the first 10 minutes, I was trying to find my balance and just kept holding on the side. Then, i finally learned to walk without any guide. I can even turn around. Infact, i was doing a great job. I never fell down or maybe i’m just trying not to because maybe someone might run over me and cutmy fingers. hahah .I had so much fun doing it and I will probably do it again soon

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i can skate…yahhoo!

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Ras Al Khaimah’s soak zone

I’m leaving again for another relaxation in the beach. I am right in the heat of the summer and the temperature was around 40 degrees in Ras Al Khaimah. I arrived the area past 10pm. We got lost but my cab driver was very nice and patient. The silent type kind of driver. I hate drivers who ask a lot of questions about your nationality,your country and some personal information. I’m not the talkative type of person especially when im inside the vehicle. I prefer to sleep or observe the road as were travelling.So, we missed the sign where my hotel was and we needed to make a u-turn in the round about which was farther from the hotel. I usually book my hotel room in Booking.com You can check there website for a very good deal. I got my room for 199aed only. Which is really cheap.I thought i will be getting a lousy cheap room but no, i was even upgraded to a deluxe room in a different hotel which is The Palace. I was originally booked in Al Hamriya Villages Golf and Residences Beach resort. The room was spacious and has it’s own dressing room. The bed is really relaxing. I got a view of the golf course. As i mentioned that i arrived late. To my surprise, the area was a bit colder despite of the season. Dubai temperature is now 40 degrees and RAK is running at 23 degrees or so. I was too tired from work and chose to stay in my room the whole night.I woke up around 8 and headed myself directly to the restaurant where breakfast was served. They had a lot of choices for breakfast but i was not in the mood to eat a lot this time which is weird coz i always eat breakfast. I only had some french toast, scrambled eggs and coffee.After my breakfast i headed directly to the swimming pool and the beach. They had 2 pool areas. One is for the kids and the other one is the Olympic type of pool.The beach is area is so nice and they always have night activities during the weekend.They have cabanas, bean bags and beach chair around the place. They also have bars near the pool and the beach.

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Waldorf Astoriaat night time

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how nice this window in the Reception area

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the waiting area in the Reception

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HotelDecor

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Deluxe Room

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Kid’s pool Area

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white romper from http://www.bershka.com/ae/en/

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The Cabanas

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The Hotel premise

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Beach Bar

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Main Pool and the mini bar

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swim wear from H&M

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Brunch in Trader’s Vic at Hilton Hotel, RAK

I sea food in Deira

Last night  i decided to dine in to the  most talked-about restaurant – Dampa Seafood Restaurant.

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It’s located at the back side of Day to Day near Deira City Center, a 5 minute walk away from the Metro station. When i reached the restaurant. It was packed with a lot of people.So, we were on the 20th of the waiting list. It was hot outside and some people already lost their patience in waiting and opt to dine in the restaurants nearby. When our name were called, we were asked if it’s fine for us to sit outside since  the place was full and it was the only table available. Since, we didn’t  want to wait any longer ( did i mentioned that we waited for an hour for a table?),we took the table. We were given the menu by one of the friendly staffs.They have a very accommodating and friendly staffs by the way.

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We chose Dump-@-Seafest which costs 139aed.  It had grilled mussels,shrimps, crabs and corn.

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Dump-@-Seafest

Its good for 3 people and it has 2 liters of drinks.You can choose to have 1 liter each of different mocktails. We had an Incredible Hulk which was infused with cucumber and lemon and Sex Appeal, an iced tea with peaches and lemon.

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 Sex Appeal and Incredible Hulk 

The food was not that special. It was just a normal seafood restaurant that you can find anywhere. In my opinion, people are so eager to try it because it’s hard to find a seafood restaurant here in Dubai at a very affordable price. Don’t hate me for giving a 3 star out of 5. I grew up in a place where you can have fresh seafood anytime you want and seafood restaurants in my place is just everywhere and not to mention you can do live cooking.But for now i can settle on this till i get home. It was worth a try and I would still recommend it to people who want to indulge on the bounty of the sea.

Marinated under Umm Al Quwain Sun

    I just arrived from my vacation in Morocco and after resting for 2 days im now back to my daily 9-7 schedule with one day off. Another weekend means another emirateto visit. I have decided to visit Umm Al Quwain this time.It takes an hour a way from Dubai. I took a taxi from Sharjah which cost me around 60aed to take me to Umm Al  Quwain proper from there i took a local taxi to take me to Flamingo Beach Resort. Their local taxi does not use a meter. You can pay whatever you want, well at least the minimum fare which 10aed.When i arrived at the hotel, it was so quiet and serene or maybe because i arrived so late. There was mini bar near the swimming pool which they served alcoholic drinks and food.The bar is open until 23:00.

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outside bar

After i lodged my bag in the room i decided to explore the hotel and the beach of course. There were some gentleman and kids fishing near the shore. I was appalled that the water was so clear that i can see the fishes swimming. I simply relaxed in one of the cottages near the shore and enjoyed watching the sea meeting the night sky in the horizon. It was around 1am when i decided to go back to my room and just watch television until I dozed off.

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I woke up around 7 and went straight to the breakfast area. Breakfast was not that great but it was ok to start the day. After taking my breakfast, i headed straight to the beach and baked myself under the sun. I love the smell of the sea and how the islets around the area are placed interestingly. They reminded me of home. You can still see some guest fishing and boat riding. Fishing is free of charge as long as you bring your own fishing rod.

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fishing port

The hotel also has some crab hunting activities from 17:00 to 20:00 for 250aed per head. They will cook the crabs for you and you can enjoy it together with the other hunters. It was a fun day and made me miss home more.

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Shades from Aldo Accessories

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I got my swim wear from Matalan shop in Al Ghurair Center

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Denim dress from Bershka and bag and flats from Pull and Bear

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Morocco

“If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.”
        Lately I’ve been so stressed  with the things that’s going on with my life.Here i am finding myself looking for a reasonable price online  to go for a vacation outside of the country. The next time i knew, im already packing my things  and ready to go. I got excited at the same time scared.I really don’t make plans on where and what to see.My flight was at 6:30. I took nap after i packed my things. I need to leave the apartment at 3:00am because my place is 45 minutes away the airport.I had almost 11 hours flight, 45 minutes going to Doha, Qatar, 2 hours lay over and another 8 hours going to my destination.Red eye flight always leaves me grumpy and moody.I finally arrived in Casablanca after a very long flight.I was already in love with the place just by having the birds eye view.The place was greeny  and i can see the High Atlas mountain which i really wanted to climb.The airport was small and what caught eye was that all the signs was all in french or in arabic. There’s no english translation. So i was looking for a taxi that will take me to my hotel. I already have some warnings from the people online that i should learn to negotiate first before jumping in the taxi.To my surprise the people in Morocco don’t speak english that much.Me, who can speak only one language hoping that they can speak the language as well as i was not informed that the vast majority doesn’t speak english.I felt stupid and frustrated but that did not stop from exploring the city.
  On my first night i  decided to go to Rick’s cafe to have dinner.As you know that a certain percentage of people visit Casablanca because of the movie. I am one of those people, even if the movie was not filmed in Morocco itself but was filmed somewhere in Latin America. Majority of the scenes in the movie  were set in the saloon keeper’s cafe. Hence, Rick’s Cafe. I dilly-dallied myself into a petit taxi ( red small taxi ) and instructed my driver to go to Rick’s Cafe. After 40mad and sitting traffic for 20 minutes i was there infront of Rick’s Cafe. Staring up and reading the signage. It was not a fancy neon lighted sign.It had this eerie feeling of the 1940’s. I arrived and asked for a table but to my dismay you need to have a reservation to get a table for dinner. So i decided to have a drink in the bar and left and asked to reserve a table for me the day after tomorrow.I left the place and went to Place Nations Unies.It’s the downtown of Casablanca.You can have good finds around the area.After a few minutes of checking the place i left as i still need to catch the first train to Marrakech the next day which is at 6:40.
  The hotel that im staying which is Hotel Imperial is just a walking distance from the tram station.Th hotel is really accessible to everything.Th only downside about it was the staff does not speak english and the washroom floor had no drainage on it. So when i woke up the next day and immediately went to the bathroom to take shower.I was surprised to what i saw.My bathroom was flooding! So i took a shower and approached the reception and explained to them what happened and went straight to catch my train. I didnt catch the train as i was late for 5 minutes and  there’s a very long que in the ticketing area.I booked the first class which cost me 140mad.I want to relax as it is a 3 hours ride from Casablanca and you don’t need to share with a lot of people like in the economy.
    I finally arrived in Marrakech and trying to look for a money changer for i ran out of MAD.I spent almost an hour in Gare looking for a money changer and trying to get hold of the person where i booked my activity in high atlas mountain.
After running to the money changer, I was finally back to Gare de Marrakech (Train Station) to wait for my guide to the High Atlas. Since my booking was of short notice, a cab was waiting for me to be taken to the High Atlas for my grade-1 trek. As I was sitting in the cab and feeling the warm breeze on my hair, I saw this beautiful image of the mountains. I only see these images in bottled water labels. It was the sight of a white and snowy mountain behind brown-green mountains. I was astounded by how a mountain can have a separate climate as the ones in front of it. Moving forward, if you are the type that is meticulous about their skin. You might have heard of Argan Oil. Argan Oil  is a plant oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree (Argania spinosa L.) that is endemic to Morocco. I was lucky enough to have a cabbie (despite of the communication gap) that suggested for us to stop at a store that sells pure Argan oil. I stopped in a Women’s Cooperative that is processing and selling pure Argan oil products. Without any hesitation, I bought 3 bottles. I  even had the privilege of taking my photo with the ladies who were responsible in making this product. They explained to me how it was made. Aside for cosmetic purposes, Argan oil is also used to dip bread for breakfast which I also tried which was very good. After a quick brush at the shop and some new information, I stepped in the same cab to High Atlas.
      I finally arrived and was welcomed by my guide, Hussain. He was aware that I didnt had lunch yet so he suggested that I try the beef Tajine. This is a type of Moroccan stew with beef/chicken and vegetables slow cooked in an earthenware pot. It was served with bread and salad. As I opened the pot, the aroma made my mouth water. The meat was very tender and the juices from the meat and vegetables blended very well. It was the perfect meal to make me energized for my trek. An hour after my savory lunch, I was ready for the trek. I took a bottle of water and my camera. Hussain said that the trek will just be for an hour given that my time is limited. As we were ascending to the hill, my guide was explaining to me about the trees. They looked dead and dry to me but they were actually full of life and were even fruit-bearing trees. I saw some cherry,walnut and apple trees.They grown abundantly in their area. Every few minutes, we stop and rest to appreciate the view. I noticed that the air was getting cooler. At our 3rd stop, I was able to get a clearer view of the mountains. Mountains who had villages. The sight was unique and at the same time alluring.
We were now descending and on our descent, we passed by a river. I was not able to help myself but touch the water. It was clear and cold since it was from the mountains. I’d love to soak my feet in that and just sit and breathe the fresh air. As we walked pass the river, Hussain told me that there will be a waterfall ahead. Waterfalls were not new to me since there are dozens of them back home but they never disappoint me. The thought of how the ice melts from the mountains and makes its path down the earth is just astounding. I took a few shots and ‘selfies’ of course and continued with the trek. I arrived at our starting point 2 hours later. It was tiring but the view gave it all away.
I bid my guide farewell and went inside my cab back to Marrakech to catch the sights of the city. As I arrived in Marrakech, I stopped by a cafe to have some coffee with chantilly (cream) and waffles. As I was sipping my coffee, I noticed that oranges are just growing there on the streets. It is just lovely that fruits are growing abundantly and the people are not even making any fuss about it. People are well-dressed as well. It was a very relaxing moment. It’s a different scene from what I see in Dubai where the people are just rushing to catch the next train. After grabbing a bite, I headed to Gare to catch the last train back to Casablanca.
     Day 2 at Casablanca. After a sumptuous breakfast, I decided to explore the city and headed to the Plage (beach). I took the tram to the last stop. The breeze was cooler than Marrakech especially when I arrived. I decided to go to a beachside cafe and just sip mint tea (i also suggest to try couscous when in Morocco) and enjoy the view on a Sunday morning. I headed to Marche to have lunch. It was a tourist spot where is it situated in a market. You can actually buy your own seafood and have it cooked in the nearby restaurant. After lunch, I decided to go to their mall to look for some magnets (for my collection) but unluckily found nothing. After a few strolls and sight seeing of the city, I headed back to my hotel to change for my dinner at Rick’s Cafe.
     I arrived at exactly 8pm and was escorted by a waiter. I was offered their vast wine selection. After choosing my drink, I went through their menu decided to have a feast. My appetizer was fois gras, main was grilled chicken with Moroccan touch and was not able to have some desert since I was stuffed. I enjoyed the piano accompanied by the saxophone. I ended the night early as I needed to prepare for my early flight back to reality.
Expenses:
    4 days Hotel accommodation and Round trip Air ticket from Dubai to Casablanca- $660
     Pocket money – $200
      Here are some flicks from my vacation.
outside Rick’s Cafe
waiting for the train to Marrakech
First Class
outside the cooperative house
perfect view
the women behind the Argan oil
Argan oil making
the final product
i didnt see it coming
Beef Tajine
hotpot
Mount Toubkal , High Atlas
waterfalls
Moroccan Tea
the Plage
Central Marche
outside my hotel
i got my coat from Bershka, dress from New Look, bag from Pull and Bear and boots from American Rag
on my way to explore the City

the kid in me in Sharjah

Im out again and this time i visited Sharjah. If you are visiting from Dubai i suggest that you take a cab to Sahara Centre in the border between Dubai and Sharjah. Take a Sharjah taxi going to Al Qasba. Dubai taxi will charge you an extra 20aed for crossing the border line plus a salik fee AED4. I havent really got to go around the whole of Sharjah since they are a strict state. I get paranoid for wearing a summer dress because the people around me are all wearing Abayas and some even are covered totally but there eyes. There’s just an eerie feeling I get when I am in Sharjah, maybe its because you have to be on your tip-toe because you might do something that can either cost a fine or worse. So I went to Al Qasba. I saw this sky ranch last week when I got home from my weekend in Ajman. The place is really nice if you just want to chill.There’s a couple of coffee shops,restaurants and even some bookshops.It’s suitable for families since you can find a lot of rides for the kids and for the kids at heart.. I  rode the sky ranch. You have to get inline to get a ticket which will cost AED30. The staff will then escort you to your cabin which is airconditioned (good for summer). The ride is not at all scary given that you will be rotated 60 meters. You get to see a piece of the state while it rotates. Busy traffic, a man-made lake with an empty island in the middle of it. People riding jetskis, resedential buildings, majority of Al Qasba. After 5 turns in the sky ranch and a gazzilion pictures I took from above and everything that I can see, I decided to make a stroll around the place and ended up where the rides were. I saw this ride – forgot the name. It only rotates you from a slow 90 degrees to an 360 degrees. Yes, 360 exhilirating degrees. Before anything else, you need to of course buy a ticket which costs AED20 plus a AED2 fee for the card. I thought I’d scream my lungs out but I ended up enjoying the ride and just feeling it. How it sways back and forth. They said it is scary and i might puke after luckily I didn’t. Maybe I am not just the type that vomits after a gut twisting ride. After the ride, I enjoyed my late afternoon with someone just chit-chating over some caramel popcorn. We found a nice nifty spot to sit overlooking the lake. I was having a grand time until this one guy came and acted suspiciously. While we were walking to find a nice place to rest. I walked past him and the guy kept touching his manhood. Of course it bothered me, but I just chose to brush it off my shoulders. I wouldn’t want to ruin a good time just because of that. As I said, we found a nice spot to sit, talk and enjoy the popcorn and he kept on following me. The park was big and chances are, he was just roaming around. I decided to end the night and go home and when i was about to leave i noticed that he was still following me and even hid in one of the corners near the taxi stand, peeping at me. Feeling invaded, I called security to report what was happening. The guard willingly assisted me in finding the creep but with no luck. The guy ran really fast and hid and we can’t find him. It was a creepy and disgusting experience I ever had for my entire stay here in the Emirates.
 getting my sky ranch ticket
the view from above

a quick rest after the sky ranch ride

here’s a  full detail of what i wore.dress from New Look, bag from Pull & Bear, my comfy flats from Matalan and Pandora bracelet

eye of the emirates wheel

the 360 degrees ride

Perfect week ender in Ajman

I have finally, decided to go outside of the Big City  and experience a quiet weekend.Living in Dubai is can be stressful and boring. All you see is almost the same everyday, the towering Burj Khalifa, the astonishing Atlantis in the Palm- yes, you’ll get used to it when you’re living in Dubai for almost 3 years. I decided to visit Ajman for the weekend. I booked a hotel which cost me AED 430. I opted to have a buffet breakfast. You’ll never know what surprises a place may bring so might as well start it off with a full breakfast. I took the usual Dubai taxi with the meter on. Running from Deira-Sharjah-Ajman, the fare had cost me 100aed plus a tip to the driver as a thank you for haggling with the traffic for me. I reached the hotel at night and went straight ahead to the reception. The lobby was packed with people, probably trying to unwind against the hustle and bustle of the city like me. I got my room key and headed to my room. I chose the higher floor for me to see how Ajman is from the top. I opened the door and saw that I booked a deluxe room, complete with a living room, dining area, a kitchen, 2 bathrooms and of course my room. It was fairly large but given that here in the UAE, people here take vacations with their families which will require more room especially for the kids. The first book that I picked-up was the room service menu. I ordered grilled chicken and waited 25 minutes for my meal to arrive while I was comfortably nestled on the couch.  Ding dong! Ah yes! Finally, food. I enjoyed my grilled chicken with plain rice and some steamed vegetables seasoned with salt and pepper in front of the television. Nothing fancy but very relaxing.I was mesmerized on how peaceful Ajman was and how liberated the people are compare to Dubai when I was thinking that I will be going in a place that is remote. I stayed for a night in Ramada Hotel and Suites Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed St. which is 15 minutes away from their private beach. They have a free shuttle every 15 minutes to the beach and they also have a free shuttle going to Dubai.Timings may change without notice so you need to verify to the reception.I also went China Mall which my colleague told me that it’s a must visit coz you will find everything you need for a cheaper price.I checked the place but unfortunately most of the shops are  closed as it’s Friday. I must go there again some other day to enjoy the beach and the sun. I still have 5 more emirates to visit and will keep you updated about my next travel experience.I suggest to visit the place and let me know what you think about it.

my own living room

imagethey served good food for breakfast

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got my tattered jeans from pull and bear, bag from http://new-look.my/ and shirt from Matalan

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Holi Festival in Dubai

Holi is a spring festival, also known as the festival of colours or the festival of love. One of the most popular festivals in India. I was curious about it and decided to visit the park where they held the festival. I bought  my ticket in the entrance for 70aed.It’s a must (not really) that people celebrating the festival should wear white.Once you’re in the area, people will start throwing you colors (don’t worry it’s organic) or wiping colors on your face or on your shirt. Everyone is happy and having fun.I guess that’s the highlight of the festival