UAE - Dubai

The perfect beach spot for kids near Burj Al Arab

April 30, 2017

We were to meet friends at the beach near Burj Al Arab on Saturday morning. We reached the beach at 7:30 am. But coming from inside an airconditioned car, it already felt hot outside, a confirmation that summer is here to start.

The stretch of the beach was a bit clear with less beach goers although with occasional bus loads of tourists dropping by to take photos of the iconic seven star hotel, Burj Al Arab.

We did not have plans of letting Riane swim apart from expecting her to walk along the beach side to collect sea shells, hence she came in a dress.

But as they went nearer the beach, it was low tide and there was a long stretch of shallow water. She started wading in. Kalel, meanwhile was too eager and swam towards the farthest side he was allowed to go.

Riane's friend came and they shared giggles and laughters playing in the water and chasing each other.

People started coming by around 9:30am as we also prepared to leave.

We have to buy Riane her swimming clothes soon. We just know both kids would be pleading for more beach time. And we knew it would be healthy to catch the Vitamin D out there.

~ Little kids giggles are at the happiest when shared with their playmates
~ We think sunrise is the perfect time to start dipping toes in the beach, just enough time to get tired by around mid-morning when the sun gets hotter
~ Saturday mornings has lesser beach goers, if we want to take photos of the clear beach and have less chance of getting others in the frame.

Let's all have a happy summer with the beach!


Burj Al Arab beach summer

UAE - Dubai

How to Enjoy Legoland Dubai with Kids

April 24, 2017

I've finally got a chance to write about and piece together a video of our Legoland Dubai family experiences in Oct'16 (during the soft-openings) and in Jan'17.

Kalel and Riane has the perfect heights to be able to make the most of the ride types for them. At four years old, Riane exactly hit those of the 105cm height restrictions.

Do check our video below. There's more of rides and attractions not taken in the video though.

How to enjoy Legoland Dubai, as we thought:

  • Legoland closes quite early (not 10pm as most play areas in Dubai does, unless this changes), so the earliest kids can come, the better. There is much to be done, and if there are no queues and kids get tireless, one full day, if not more,  is needed to try all the rides.
  • Plan your route, get a park map.
  • When it's hot on mid-day, it would be good to start with the indoor attractions at Miniland; watch the two shows at Lego Studios 4D and Ninjago; or create towers and cars at Imagination and Lost Kingdom. Mid afternoon can start with all the outdoor rides, unless kids are already used to running under the sun.
  • The best day to visit is when there are less guests, most likely on a working day or school day, when there are less queues.
  • Buy some Lego stuff at the retails shops! Shopping is best done before you leave to avoid carrying extra bags when going around. Also, there's a lot of stuff to drool on, it may take your rides time just by choosing what to pick.
  • For smaller kids, parents could check first the areas in the park that their kids can play in, checking with the staff if their kids can be allowed to ride before they join the queue. We saw frustrated parents queue-ing with their little kids for 30 minutes, only to be dis-allowed to ride.
  • Have enough water for the kids as they run in between rides and attractions.

Miniland in Legoland Dubai -- gives a quick tour around Dubai

The Grand Mosque at Legoland Dubai

Dubai Airport 'mini-fied' at Legoland

More Legos inside Lost Kingdom

Visiting Egypt Outside Lost Kingdom

Little Kids love this ride at Dragon's Apprentice
Happy kids!


UAE - Al Ain

Sweihan Drive - Camels, Trees, Gliding by High Dunes!

April 23, 2017

Desert camping and driving has been part of our weekend routine over the past four years. The regular camp where we meet is located in Lahbab. But early this month, the group planned on going a different place, so off we went to the desert dunes of Sweihan in Al AIn.

Sweihan is regarded by some as the Little Liwa with the type of dunes it has. One amazing thing of Sweihan is seeing a part of it with trees growing in the middle of the wide desert.

We were not able to follow the convoy leaving Dubai, so we kept track of the Google Maps location sent to us. As we reached Sweihan, at the end of the road entering towards the dunes, one of our mates came for us whom we followed to where the group had set camp. We had a happy and hearty late dinner at 12 midnight. The guys continued to share stories until around mid 2a.m. It was an unfamiliar place, and nobody seemed to have brought extra guests, such that nobody really pitched a tent, and instead everyone slept inside their cars. We have long been sleeping inside our car when we camp, and especially this time where the place is unfamiliar to us. I mean, I am still not comfortable in case some animals may think of coming near where we are sleeping.

Then morning came. At around 6:30a.m., somebody honked his car to get everyone up. We had to start early for breakfast before the drive. We got up with a visit by camels, with one coming near us, and Kalel receiving a nose rub. Yes, camels are friendly!

Here is a video of our Sweihan drive:

- Camels, and more camels
- Cars gliding by the dunes and splashing sand
- the high dunes of Sweihan
- Gaf trees in the middle of the desert
- A line of cars

-  A really long and wide plot of land that seem to have been cultivated with lots of trees 

Location: Where we camped for the night: A camel farm was just nearby. In the morning, the would be out walking. Where I was taking the video at the high dune overlooking the cluster of trees:

UAE - Dubai

Family Day at Dubai Miracle Garden

April 23, 2017

School breaks mean taking out the kids somewhere to be under the sun. On their school break two months back, we brought them to Dubai Miracle Garden, another of Dubai's Guinness World record holder.

The skies were grey and gloomy that day, thankfully the vast landscaped garden of flowers gave color to our day. As darkness hit the skies and lights were switched over the park, the color on the photos became even vibrant.
 Through a window of flowers that is part of the "Approximately 100 million blooming flowers" at Dubai's Miracle Garden
The highlight of this year's landscapes is the Emirates Airbus A380 formation of flowers that received a Guinness World Records certification.
Huge butterflies adore the garden

The Airbus A380 with a spinning propeller

Flower houses -- lots of them!

Flamingos at the lake

The Airbus A380 covered in flowers that holds a Guinness World Records certification for the largest flower arrangement/ structure

Colorful as the flowers Kids structures 

Here's a few notes:

Season 5 Ticket Rates: 

Adults: 40 AED 
Children 3-12 years old: 30 AED 
2 Years and below and Guests with disabilities: Free


Weekdays: 9:00am - 9:00pm 
Friday, Saturday and Holiday: 9:00am - 11:00pm

Photography/ Videography

Cameras are checked at the entrance. Our DSLR camera was flagged by the Security as needing permit to use. We walked to the nearby Dubai Land office to get a permit.
Permit is free for personal non-commercial purposes. We were told that prenup engagements are charged at AED500 per hour. The list of chargeable activities and actual charges can be checked with them.


How to reach by Public Transportation

Head to Mall of the Emirates Metro Station, and take the RTA bus Route 105 to Dubai Miracle Garden

RTA Bus Timings: Sunday to Thursday: 2pm to 8pm
Fridays and Saturdays: 12 (midday) to 10pm

Service interval is 20 minutes from Sunday to Thursday, and 15 minutes on Friday and Saturday.
At the back of the entrance tickets, the following park instructions can be read:

Do's and Don'ts

  1. Ticket is valid for single entry only
  1. Opening and closing timings should be observed strictly
  1. Please use proper passages, walkways and exits allocated for such use
  1. Flower picking is not allowed
  1. Balls, Scooties, Bicycles, Pets are not allowed
  1. Food is not allowed to be brought along and barbecue is not allowed
  1. Use proper litter bins for disposal of litter
  1. Sitting is allowed only in the designated areas
  1. Management shall not be held responsible for personal accidents
  1. Any instructions from security personnel’s should be followed immediately without argument
  1. The administration has all right to expel any visitor from the park if found posing great threat to flower, park assets or involved in miss conduct
  1. Any damages arising due to negligence or non – compliance with the mentioned instructions shall be sole responsibility of the visitor and their companions

How to contact

Facebook : Dubai Miracle Garden
Instagram: Dubai Miracle Garden

UAE - Dubai

Motiongate's Green Hornet's High Speed Chase Rollercoaster

April 23, 2017

As a family, what we look for in an amusement park are attractions that all four of us in the family could enjoy.  Having two kids six years apart in age, they do have different interests. Or maybe sometimes, the Little Sister would like to feel as big as her brother. However in some instances, for safety's sake because of her age and height, she would not be allowed to what her brother may be enjoying.

That said, when she was allowed to ride Motiongate's Green Hornet High Speed Chase rollercoaster when her height was almost short of a few ticks to the minimum allowed height, we were all jubilant.

The Green Hornet's loops were fine for the Little Sister but not boring for the Brother, so all are happy :-)

By the way, for us the best time to enjoy any of Dubai Parks and Resorts' theme parks (Motiongate, Legoland, Bollywood) is during the less busy days, when there are less or no queues. Less queues mean more rides, less boredom and more energy :-)

Here is a video taken by the husband, at that day it was just the three of them as I was at work. I joined them riding the Green Hornet on another day.

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