Friday Brunch at Al Qasr Hotel

October 17, 2008

Last Friday, I headed out with a few others to what is acknowledged as probably the best Friday brunch here in Dubai – at the Al Qasr Hotel at Madinat Jumeirah.  Dubai is renowned for its opulent shopping malls and in my opinion, Al Qasr is the pinnacle of the hotels for opulence.

The food was superb, the champagne was well-chilled and there were even a few cocktails for after dinner.  Oysters, prawns and lobster were taken, with a little roast pork and very delicious vegetables. 

The outlook from the hotel is fantastic – looking out to the Burj Al Arab.  It’s an expensive lunch (450 dirhams) but well worth it.  The collapse in the financial markets the day before had not affected the turn-out at all.  It was booked out.  Perhaps this is a bit like partying while Rome burns, or sipping cognac as the Titanic sinks?

Looking north to the Burj Al Arab from Al Qasr

Looking north to the Burj Al Arab from Al Qasr

Inside set up for Friday Brunch at Al Qasr

Inside set up for Friday Brunch at Al Qasr

No - that is not my hat!!

No - that is not my hat!!

I do not know what the pirate means either

I do not know what the pirate means either

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The Fog Rolls In

October 16, 2008

The last two mornings I have been treated to a nice spectacle of morning fog rolling in from the inland.  The morning sun warms and evaprates the condensation from the dew and the offshore breeze brings that over the coastline.  It hangs low, providing an interesting perspective.  Funny that an hour before there was no fog to be seen but by 8 am this is the view.   It’s good to see “clouds” again, even if there is no hope of rain (still only seen one brief shower here in Dubai since March).

Fog rolling in over Sheikh Zayed Road

Fog rolling in over Sheikh Zayed Road

Singapore Stopover

October 10, 2008

Last weekend, while heading back to Dubai, I had a stopover in Singapore to catch up with some people. I last visited Singapore in 2004 on the way back from a 3 month family vacation in the US and Europe.  It was great to be back in Asia in a country that is clean, green, lush and relatively cool. 

I stayed at the Gallery Hotel on the river which provided free broadband in the hotel room and an interesting display of large photos of unclad men and women in various poses around the hotel surrounds.  Definitely a place to go back to and well recommended.

I had dinner with a KM colleague along the river on Friday night and caught up with a couple of people the next day opposite the place I stayed last time near Orchard Road.  It was so good to see the city and shops but still with the boulevard of trees along the side of the roads, smell the scent of the tropics, taste local seafood and hear the cacophany of sounds that make Singapore such a vibrant and bustling hub.

The Giant Wheel modelled on the London Eye

The Giant Wheel modelled on the London Eye

Artistic bridge over the Singapore river

Artistic bridge over the Singapore river

Orchard Road with its wonderful trees

Orchard Road with its wonderful trees

I Still Call Australia Home??

October 6, 2008

Now back in Dustry Dubai after a couple of glorious weeks back in Australia.  It was great to see the clear skies, clear sun, fresh breezes, spring flowers and the greenery. 

I went up to Sydney to attend a Web 2.0 bootcamp which was really interesting. Took the time to then fly the family up and have four wonderful days in Sydney.  We climbed the bridge, took the ferry across to Manly, walked up the steps of the Opera House, and walked around the QVB.  I also managed to catch up with a couple of friends as well.  Later, we walked the re-opened National Pass track at Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains – absolutely majestic walking along the escarpment and one of the best day walks I have ever done.

Fam in front of the Opera House

Fam in front of the Opera House

Tim the day before we climbed that Bridge!

Tim the day before we climbed that Bridge!

The rest of the time in Melbourne was spent catching up with family and friends and doing the Dad stuff.  When I first got back, I made some comments like “Well back home in Dubai ….”.  So at the moment, I feel like I have two homes – one here and one where the heart lies!

Back in Australia

September 22, 2008

I have returned to Australia for a couple of weeks to catch up with the family and home life, timed to coincide with local school holidays and to escape Ramadan.  I have so far managed to get over the jetlag fairly quickly and not come down with pneumonia. 

I am finding the air incredibly dry (my skin is already reacting to it), the wind very fresh, and my eyes feel quite itchy probably due to all the pollen in the air.  And the rain is fantastic!!

Looking forward to catching up with lots of Melbourne mates next week. 

Back in Dubai on 4 October.