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Staycation at Arjaan by Rotana

While everyone else was busy starting the work week, I spent the first two days of it last week just as how I like it, with pure rest and relaxation. Special thanks to Arjaan by Rotana in Dubai Media City! :D

It was also very timely that my girl friend, Cat, and I haven't seen each other for almost half a year, so I tagged her along for our  much needed catching  up. And we all did this at the comfort of a luxury suite!

Burjuman Arjaan by Rotana: Our Home for a Weekend

Living in Dubai for over a year now, I've noticed how almost everything seems to be fast-paced here. People also seem to be too preoccupied with work. New structures, new attractions, and innovations seem to sprout day by day, all in an instant. Even weekends seem to just go by in a snap and I would always have that where-did-the-weekend-go-conversations with myself in my head.

I must admit that I miss having weekends at home, my HOME. I miss having laid back weekends with my family, if not having weekend getaways with Mark. Weekends where I could just sit back, be lazy, relax, eat and enjoy life's beauty. But of course, I know that I cannot always have that here anymore, because we have our priorities now. And just planning about a getaway is already a struggle mainly because of the lack of time. Going beyond the city is also not really an option for us. So when an invitation for a weekend escape at Burjuman Arjaan came my way, I gladly accepted it with open arms.

Al Ghurair Centre's StreetCon 2015 #AGCStreetCon

Although it was cut short, Mark and I enjoyed our #AGCDubFest experience.
So when I got an invite for another event in Al Ghurair Centre, I was more than excited to experience another showcase of talents.

STREETCON (Street Art Connection) is an Urban Art Festival organized by Al Ghurair Centre which kicked off last 23rd of April and spans to the 2nd of May 2015. Just like the Dub Fest, #AGCStreetCon is one of Al Ghurair Centre's signature events that happens annually and celebrates art, music and culture.

The bloggers meet was once again held at Paul, Al Ghurair Centre, where we were served with a delectable array of canapΓ©s, juices, and coffee. And just like before, it again was a great way to jump-start a fun day.

StreetCon 2015 - Urban Art Fest 'Be One with Art'


Bring the whole family down to the event of this ART SEASON - StreetCon 2015!

Date: April 23 to May 2, 2015
Location: Al Ghurair Centre, Deira

Al Ghurair Centre's Dub Fest 2015 #AGCDubFest

Outshone by the bigger malls in Dubai, Al Ghurair Centre was never known to me until one instance when Mark badly needed to pee and the restroom in the mall was the closest remedy. We got into the part of the mall where it's a bit dark and uninviting, so the mall didn't really appeal to me.

Apparently, Al Ghurair Centre has taken on a new persona with its tagline ‘Soul of the City' and has undergone renovations to become at par with the fast-developing Dubai. They've expanded physically and added new fashion brands and conducted events to cater to families in Dubai--locals, tourists, and expats alike.

One of which is Al Ghurair Centre's Dub Fest 2015, which I got invited to last Friday to mark the start of the fest.

The bloggers meet was held at Paul, Al Ghurair Centre, where we were served with a delectable array of cocktail food, juices, and coffee. I tagged Mark along and we both had great day. :)

Dinner Cruise at the Al Mansour Dhow in Radisson Blu

Mark and I do not really go out on "romantic" dates. You know, all the dressing up, dinner  by candle light, slow soothing background music, and a romantic setting, it's just not our thing. Although I, I mean the hopeless romantic in me, must admit that from time to time I'd picture ourselves in that setting too. Ehem! Ehem!

It was also only once that I decided to arrange a "romantic" dinner for us via a dinner cruise along Manila Bay when Mark and I were still back home, but it was postponed once until it was finally put to a halt and never materialized because of the bad weather. You can read the story about it here and here. :) And since then, I decided to just let go of the idea and just stick with our usual dates. But I'm still not closing my doors. Hi Mark! Hahaha! :p

So imagine my delight when I got an invite from Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, for a dinner cruise on board their Al Mansour Dhow. And of course, the hopeless romantic in me suddenly awakened and got more excited too!

So there, last Friday, Mark and I finally experienced a dinner cruise that we never got to have back then. Seeing the Al Mansour Dhow as we were nearing the Dubai Creek already got  me all giddy, more so when we mounted the vessel.

Saturday “Pik-Nik” at The Westin Dubai

Just like in every fast-growing nations, life in Dubai also seems to be fast-paced. Living here for more than half a year now, I observed that most of the people, locals and expats alike, tend to be too preoccupied with work that they almost forget to unwind, spend quality time with their families, and "live life".

And I think it's a great idea for The Westin Dubai to try to get people back to "living life" with its Saturday "Pik-Nik".

The Westin Dubai, Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina, announced its new Saturday "Pik-Nik", which launched last Saturday, March 7, 2015. Mark and I were lucky to be part of the launch along with other families. Seeing the place immediately made me feel as if we were transported to a different site, far from the hustle and bustle of the city life.

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

I was undeniably in awe when I first got to see the Dubai Aquarium when I first set foot on The Dubai Mall on my first weekend in Dubai. A lot of firsts eh? But I don't think that will top Dubai when it comes to firsts and world records. :p

Another one of Dubai's world record title-holders, the 10-million-liter Dubai Aquarium tank is one of the largest indoor aquariums and is the largest suspended aquarium in the world. I was very excited when Mark brought me here again for a close encounter with the aquatic life.

Photo Diary: Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Date of visit: September 19, 2014

Read full story HERE :)

IMG_2720 IMG_2722 IMG_3479 IMG_3480 IMG_3481

Helpling: The Easy Way to Clean Your Home

Living in Dubai for almost five months now, I have come to learn doing a lot of things all on my own, especially the house chores. And because I'm sharing a house with two meticulous ladies, Tita Lilibeth and Ate Cherry, I see to it that I maintain the cleanliness of our house especially on my assigned cleaning day.

Cleaning the house could be so exhausting especially for me who's not used to doing it, but thank God for Helpling, I was spared from doing all the hard work on my cleaning day last Saturday. I was lucky to be given a 3-hour free cleaning service! Yay!

An Ultimate Indoor Snow Resort Experience at Ski Dubai

After going to burger heaven at Shake Shack, Mark and I went on to our snow adventure in Ski Dubai. :D Another world record for Dubai, Ski Dubai is the world's largest indoor snow park!

We availed of the Super Pass and got one locker for our things.

IMG_3235Super Pass - 220.00 AED/person, Locker - 25.00 AED

Photo Diary: An Ultimate Indoor Snow Resort Experience at Ski Dubai

Date of visit: September 12, 2014

Read full story HERE :)

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Ibn Battuta Mall: The World's Largest Themed Shopping Mall

Once there were two soulmates who vowed to travel and explore the world. On their quest for a new adventure, they were lost in an unknown city and were led by their curious minds and feet to an enchanted train which brought them to an experience like no other. They came by to visit the pyramids in Egypt, conquered the mountain ranges in Andalusia, explored the vast lands of Tunisia, had a quick stop at India, then flew to Persia, diverted to India, and finally decided to watch a movie in China....all in just one day!

Alright. Fine. Nope, I'm not crazy. Homesickness has not taken over my sanity, just yet. Haha! But seriously, it's just that there's this mall in Dubai which is so grand and awesome that I can't even find words to describe it.

IMG_3038Chinese Junk in China Court, Ibn Battuta Mall

I've always dreamed of travelling the world, and although I know that it won't be very soon that I'll get to live that dream, Ibn Battuta Mall has somehow made me cross a few destinations out from my list. Haha! :p

Ibn Battuta Mall, the world’s largest themed shopping mall (yet another world record for Dubai), has six different themes based on the travels of the 14th Century Arabic Explorer, Ibn Battuta. Every section was carefully crafted which makes guests feel and relive the travels of the great explorer.

My First Weekend in Dubai

After my first dining experience in Dubai, I was very much excited to explore what else Dubai has to offer. But because Mark had to go back to Abu Dhabi for work, I was basically all alone on my first week in Dubai. Mark got back to Dubai on the weekend and made sure that I get to enjoy my first weekend in Dubai. :)

I've been in Dubai for just more than two months, and more than anything else, there's one thing that I've observed. It seems that being ordinary is just not the Emiratis' cup of tea. Everything here seems to be so grand!

Just like the Dubai Metro, which is hailed as the world's longest fully automated metro network.

IMG_3014ADCB Metro Station (Red Line), formerly known as Al Karama Metro Station

Dubai: My Home Away from HOME

Living away from home has got to be the most heart-breaking and life-changing decision that I ever made. But please don't get me wrong. I've been living in Dubai a little over two months now, and so far, I'm very much okay with my life here.

I have a nice house, I still get to buy things that I want, I eat good food, and Mark has been taking very good care of me here.

I also have nice neighbors, it's safe everywhere, there's no traffic, and I get to visit different places.

Surely life here may be easier, but as I've said before, it's actually my first time in 28 years to be away from my family, and that for me is the hardest part. Although I'm not the very sociable type, I'm also not used to being alone. Yes, I have Mark with me, I have neighbors around, I've already made friends here, but I'm sure you'll agree with me that nothing really compares to the bond that a close-knit family has.

If there's one consolation, I just love how I can still communicate with my family and get updated with them through the internet. And because of having been away from them, I now appreciate and miss even the littlest things.

A photo posted by kriska marie (@kriskamarie) on

I miss how my dad would enthusiastically greet me whenever he comes home. I miss how he always checks on me when I'm out. I miss morning chikahans about Zumba stuff over breakfast during weekdays with my mom.


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