Saturday, September 28, 2013

Overheard in the newsroom: Yanni & mutton edition

"I so wanted to write a Yanni review. 'It was Yanni'."

"I drove in New York City. Although it's much worse here."

"He went to the gym but he brought long socks instead of short socks & he had to wear them so he thought 'whatever, just commit'."

"What are you doing, planning your lunch for the next three weeks?"

"I had no idea you were supposed to turn your car off at the petrol station."

"I've got luxury fatigue, I think it's actually some sort of syndrome."

"No, it's a grown up sheep. It tastes a bit older." 

Snap caption: Selena Gomez is all grown up at Dubai Music Week, works the wind machine like a true diva

Monday, September 23, 2013

Emmy Awards 2013: I got up at 4am to watch this shindig......

...and I wrote about it the entire time. Head over to The National Arts&Life section's Scene&Heard blog for three hours and 10 minutes worth of my observations. You are welcome.

"Edie Falco tears up as she remembers James Gandolfini, who was no Tony Soprano in real life. "I'm here to tell you Jim was really quite different…if you needed anything at all, ever, Jim was there before you asked…it's Jim the man, the real man, who I will miss most of all." Is this an inappropriate time to say I think she looks amazing and her dress is one of the best I've seen? Probably." 

Snap caption: Confusing sign in spa bathroom sort of a metaphor for life

Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Overheard in the newsroom: Press release edition

Editor A: What's that?

Editor B: It's a dirham glued to a press release.

Just because Thursday: Two awesome pics of John Travolta in the Dubai desert

When John Travolta passed through Dubai as part of his Qantas ambassadorship, he spent some time, as everyone seems to do, in the desert. My favourite from those shots, taken at Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa about 45 minutes outside the city, is this camel pic. 

But this one's not far behind...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

10 reasons I like living in Abu Dhabi, over to Dubai

So things seem to be settling down now, but there are still a few people upset about the Abu Dhabi Government decree that all its staff who work in the emirate must live in the emirate. There was a lot of discussion about how this would be enforced, and when the rules came out, they were pretty iron-clad.

Sure, no one likes to be told where to live, and there were families with kids and people with established lives faced with uprooting them, and other cases, I get it. But there was also a whole lot of "I could never" that I just really didn't sympathise with. Having lived in the capital since I arrived five years ago - and having been pretty happy about it - I think it's actually pretty cool and kind of superior Dubai. And here's why:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Lust object: Jimmy Choo puffball purse

I had a tour of the gorgeous The Galleria at Al Maryah Island this morning, and while I saw a load of gorgeous designer stuff that I totally wanted but would never be able to afford, this little number really took my breath away.

It is so adorable, don't you think? Just Dh9,950. My friend has offered to make me one; now all I need to find is a bag that shape.

Abu Dhabi taxi ride: Finally, my first lady driver

When I landed in Abu Dhabi after two splendid weeks in Scotland, I was presented with a further treat in a fortnight that had been filled with them: my first ride in one of the capital's lady-driven taxis. These cars, which have purple accents on them, have been around for a few years and I've never been able to snag one despite wanting to.

My driver was really nice and good at her job, too. An assured, attentive, speed-limit obeying, a left foot completely off the brake while the right foot was the on the gas kind of great driver. Oh, and another thing? She had change for Dh100. 

Mushrif Mall aquarium transfixes late-night crowd

So I went to Luluhypermarket late last Thursday night (here's something I love about Abu Dhabi: you can buy a 40-inch Sony flatscreen at 11.30pm) and as I was coming down the escalator I saw this crowd in front of the aquarium (another thing I love about Abu Dhabi: a crowd of families out in a mall at midnight).

Everyone just looked so delighted. It was infectious. And a little confusing. It all became a little clearer when I came round the corner, and saw this: 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Etihad Airways Introduces the Flying Nanny

So you want to take a trip but can't bear the hassle of travelling with kids, or even if you can, you still find yourself running out of ideas for stuff to keep them occupied? Etihad Airways, fresh from bumping me up to business class at the last minute on my recent trip to Edinburgh (sweet-as!), has introduced something that seems 1950s-style quaint and smack-me-in-the-face obvious at the same time: The Flying Nanny.

How to be a happy expat

Because a cloud wall makes you want to take a selfie.  After 10 years living in the UAE, some of that time happy, some miserable and ...