Sunday, June 24, 2018

Spotlight

Personal Recommendations

Exactly a one hour and ten minute drive outside of Dubai, nestled in the middle of the desert you will find Iceland, Ras Al Khaimah's latest tourist attraction, the first of many if the billboards are anything to go by that are plastered round the huge carpark.

We got there at about 11 am on Friday morning, parked easily and headed straight into the ticketing area, which is massive, air conditioned and organised. The Staff appeared to know what they are doing but then I hear on the grapevine that many of them had been hand picked by my favourite water park here in Dubai and we all know how good the staff are there.

The Park itself is massive with lots of seating areas, you can choose from a shaded table with chairs or sun loungers that are set up round the wave pool and the olympic sized swimming pool. There are 27 water slides of varying scariness, a super kids area with 12 slides and various different attractions for your kiddy winkles. One thing that impressed me was the full size foot ball pitch which has chilled water churning out every ten minutes to keep you cool. I mention chilled as this, the Tundra Baths and Penguin Bay were the only areas that had chilled water. ALL the other attractions have neither chillers or heaters. I spoke to someone who had been there in January and basically couldn't enjoy any of the attractions as the water was quite literally freezing.

There are three main areas to eat, Food Village, Platter and Snow Castle. We tried out Food Village, wasn't overly impressed with the food but then you get what you pay for. All the outlets are more than affordable and very busy.

I quite like rules and regulations and take them seriously. We read the rules before we entered the park. I have never in my entire life been anywhere quite as bad as Iceland for NOT upholding the rules.

Swimming Costumes are compulsory, street clothes are not allowed ... yeah right, I saw a lady in a sari and god knows how many abaya clad women and men wearing sports shirts in the water.

Alcohol is prohibited ... so why are they selling Heineken from the food outlets?

Outside Food and Beverages are not allowed .... everyone had picnics

Smoking is permissable in the smoking areas ... everyone smoking anywhere

No need to go on about that as I am guessing you have got the picture. That aside we had a super day out and it definitely was worth the drive. Would we go again? yes but probably only in the Spring or Autumn when the pools have had a chance to either warm up or cool down. It's sad, that they didn't think to put chillers into their pools, in light of the amount of money they have spent on the area, you would think that chillers would have been a must. It's interesting that their tag line for promoting the park is, wait for it ..... Let's Freeze the Desert.

We all know what I am like about social media, well you can forget getting any feedback from this lot. They have a facebook group, not a fan page. From what I have seenin the groupno one updates it or answers any queries. The Twitter account is a joke, so I sincerely hope they are not paying a PR Company to engage in their social media, if they are they are wasting their money and would be better of spending it on chillers.

I will of course be sending them a copy of this article for their feedback, I would bet I don't hear from them.

@iceland_park

It's that time of year again and as the weather heats up Juan brings out his famous 500 dhs deal to pamper the ladies.

This year for just 500 dhs you will receive, a cut, full headcolour, hi-lights, hair treatment, blow-dry, luxury head and shoulder massage, and if that is not enough he has thrown in a manicure and pedicure with paraffin wax treatment!!

Juan Salon is conveniently located right next to Jumeirah Lake Towers Metro Station in Indigo Tower, so you can access the salon from any end of town. The promotion is only valid during the month of June so make sure you book in advance.

Juan and I have been friends for many years, he is just the mostamazing hairdresser I have come across and coming from a family of hairdressers that is quite a compliment.

Book now on 800 JUAN, 800 5826

Follow him on Twitter @juansalonjlt and find him on facebook too www.facebook.com/juansalon

(valid til the end of August)

The last few weeks vanished in a haze of packing and entertaining, yes my best friend from the UK and her husband joined us for a couple of week which was just fantastic. The move is over and everything is back to normal and I am back to writing and updating the site on a regular basis. I have a few things to look forward to. I am currently trying some new Ponds Skincare creamsand I will be sharing my opinions with you once the trial is over.

On Tuesday night I am attending the Lucy in Disguise launch party at Boutique 1, Lily Allen and her Sister Sarah are here to launch their fabulous clothing range into Dubai, exciting times for them both. I really enjoyed watching the three part documentary about Lily and Sarah and their struggle to launch Lucy in Disguise in Convent Garden last year.If you want to find copies do a searchfor "From Riches to Rags" on your preferred Torrent Site.

Thanks

Moving house has got to be one of the most stressful things that we put ourselves through. We decided at Christmas that we were definitely moving out of the property in Al Sufouh. Initially I wanted to move to Umm Sequim/Al Manara area however an extensive and exhausting search of the area showed no suitable properties were available at our budget. Time was getting on and we decided to move our search to the Lakes area. Sadly half the properties there, apart from the new Lakes extension Ghadeer, have not been well maintained and even though the properties are only 7 years old they appear and felt older. At this point I got into the car with Nurse Jill and did a recce around Al Barsha. We found a super villa which we fell in love with, I only met one Agent during our entire search for a property and that was Navin from Rocky Real Estate.

After a bit of negotiating with Navin, all deposits were paid and cheques were issued, we had one week to move into our new Villa. Excited? yeah course I was. After 5 years of living in reasonable properties I was at last getting exactly what I wanted. We had a lovely villa in Jafflya which we were forced out of by at greedy landlord some 5 years ago, the year proir to the Rent Committee setting itself up so we had no recourse with the Landlord.

I am pretty organised and feel it pays to be extra organised when moving house. I always pack up the kitchen and move it in advance, it's one of the biggest jobs when moving and if you have the option to be able to do this then you must. I was lucky as I had Queen Bee and Lady W to help me do this on the Wednesday morning.

I started sorting through cupboards and wardrobes about a month before the move, clearing out the old stuff, and packing what we were planning on taking. We used local removals Mexico Movers who we and many have our friends have used in the past. Eventually moving day arrived and we were out of Al Sufouh and heading to Al Barsha before lunch. By 9 pm we were nearly done and sat down to watch The Apprentice before an early night. Friday was spent finishing off the unpacking, by Saturday afternoon it was all done and we had a quick swim in the communal pool.

Moving for us has been the best decision we ever made, it's one people often put off but don't, if you see something you like and it's in budget then go for it!!

I want to thank Rocky Real Estate and Navin, as well as everyone who has helped us in the last couple of weeks move into our new home, especially @etisalatUAE who managed to get us connected in less than 24 hours!

Thanks

First of all apologies for not updating the site as much as I would like but I am in the throws of moving house, and this article, if I am totally honest was not one I was expecting to be writing.

Etisalat are our provider for the new Villa. Yesterday Atilla went to their Office in Jebel Ali with the correct paperwork to gain our new connection with them. Everything went very smoothly and we were told that an Engineer would contact us within 5 working days. At this point a little light in my head went off that said *twitter*. You see Etisalat have a very active twitter account, the same one told me which paperwork I would need to ensure a seemless move.

Well imagine my shock this morning, less than 24 hours since our first visit to their Office I receive a call from an Engineer called Arif asking if he could come immediately to sort out our connections. I was thrown into a state of panic as I don't even have the keys for for the villa yet. This was not a problem he offered to go and speak to the Security Guard, gain entry and set up the connection. He called me to say his work is done and that the connection is all set up and ready for me to use when we move on Thursday.

What can I say? except a massive THANK YOU to Arif and the people behind the Twitter Account which made this work so successfully. Credit where credit is due.

Thanks @etisalatuae

Last weekend was Mitten's Birthday and we all headed down to Wild Wadi for the day, I am not sure whether it was the kids or Grandad who was the most excited! We had a pre-booked Cabana reserved for us for the entire day. We arrived early and were whisked over to our private area by the wonderful staff at the Main Gate who ensure the smooth flow of guests into the Park.

The kids vanished almost immediately!! (that's what we parents call a result). The staff at the Cabana were amazing, Robin greeted us with iced face towels, bottles of chilled water and crisp clean towels draped on the sun loungers. We had 4 loungers and a table for four too! The grown ups went seeking the children and ended up on The Burj Surj, great fun all round. The men being men HAD to try the Jumeirah Sceirah which resulted in some rather unusual arrangements of swimwear.

Lunch was fabulous and we didn't even have to leave our Cabana, the lovely Robin took our order and ensured everything was delivered smoothly. This was the only time we managed to get the children to sit with us, within minutes they were off again! but not before pestering the life out of Stephanie and Jessica for ice lollies.

The afternoon was spent relaxing on the Lazy River and enjoying our complimentary fruits salads, before you know it the sun was setting and we were waving goodbye to Wild Wadi. I am surprised the children managed to stay awake for the journey home, they slept well that night!

We would like to thank Wild Wadi for everything they did to ensure that Mitten's Birthday was perfect, we will be back at the end of June when we will be checking into Jumeirah Beach Hotel for our annual break, at what I personally consider to be the best Hotel in Dubai.

See you soon Wild Wadi!

@wildwadidubai

(top marks for Robin, Jessica and Stephanie)

I was asked to publish this on behalf of Noof R, who is a Student at Dubai Medical College for Girls, she and her Team have been creating awareness relating to Down Syndrome:

"Why Us? This is one of the first questions asked to a Doctor by the parents when they first realise that they have a Down Syndrome child. Many go into depression and distance themselves from society. Our society still needs to understand alot about this syndrome. Let`s understand the basis of the disease: Down Syndrome is a common (1 in every 500 live births in Dubai) genetic abnormality in which an individual has an extra copy of chromosome 21, in addition to the normal 2 copies of the chromosome, the extra copy can be from either of the parents.

Though research indicates that Mother's above the age of 40 have an increased risk of having a Down Syndrome child, it is not uncommon for women under the age of 40 toalso have children with Down Syndrome. Health care professionals use standardized pregnancy procedures like ultrasound and amniocentesis to detect any chromosomal abnormalities. Once detected they can provide procedures to prevent severe mental retardation and also suggest counselling and support groups to help the parents/family.

It is a general assumption that Down Syndrome causes severe mental retardation but infact, the severity of the disease varies from person to person. Most Down Syndrome individuals lead normal lives, they work, hang out with friends etc. Last month, a Down Syndrome patient even saved his best friend's life when he was having a heart attack.

A lot has been done recently to improve the attitude of Society to individuals with Down Syndrome, a walkathon was arranged in Dubai Mall recently by the National Down Syndrome Society, numerous conferences and research are still being carried out.

Before ending, I would like to request you to make a note of the date 21 March, which is "World Down Syndrome Day" and organize/participate in any fundraisers/events for the cause. Do remember that children with Down Syndrome are like normal kids and it hurts them when we exclude them from our society, so next time you see somebody with Down Syndrome do not hesitate to say Hello and believe me you will be surprised to how incredibly friendly they are."

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