Friday, May 16, 2014

When I moved to Abu Dhabi I never thought...

...that a Tim Hortons would open, let alone that the chain would take over the UAE.

Here's the most recent one I've noticed, at the Etisalat on Airport Road.

St Regis Abu Dhabi has one amazing view

I recently spent a heavenly night at this hotel (on the Corniche, near the Hiltonia Beach Club) for the opening of the Sisters salon.

The amazing view aside, there is a lot to love at this hotel. Some of the highlights:

-the beach club, which has one of the only in-pool bars in the city
-the gym, which has that hard-to-find machine that lets you can do cardio using skating motions 
-the breakfast in Rhodes 44 (big bowl of berries+lots of smoked fish+freshly prepared waffles=my happy place)
-a serious Italian lunch on the lovely terrace at Villa Toscana
-expert mani-pedi-neck massage at Sisters, a relaxing, mellow hideaway with top treatments and hair stylists I can highly recommend because I've seen them in action (they cut hair and did updos to opera music at the opening - it was very dramatic)
-two items of clothing pressed and a butler included in the stay

didn't love that there was no way to make tea or coffee in the room. They are included, and can be ordered, but it just feels like something you should be able to make yourself.

Overheard at the BOA steakhouse launch Thursday night

"Abu Dhabi is slowly turning into Dubai."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Human trafficking and women, and art and laughing, and hope. And one gift I'll never forget.

One of the ladies at Ewa'a Shelters for Victims of Human Trafficking in Abu Dhabi gave me this picture when I dropped off some copies of my story in The National about their annual art auction Silent Voices 3, which runs at The Space in twofour54 until Thursday. (Story here and picture gallery of their work here.)

I was so touched and surprised by the gesture.  Her giving me that painting is one of the loveliest things anyone has done for me. I had adored it from the moment I saw it and planned to buy it at the auction. So I bought another painting at the opening last night.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Spotted at the Abu Dhabi Book Fair

I keep trying to find a Western version to relate this to. If we are talking about my four-year-old niece Lily, it would be "I love My Mum's Cool Purse".

Monday, May 5, 2014

Somewhere hidden away in Abu Dhabi, women are pole dancing their hearts out

You won't find a sign on the door for this gym. In fact, you might not find this gym at all - we almost didn't. And, while I didn't expect this activity to be easy, I certainly did not expect it to be impossible! 

Here is my painful, painful night, as told in four pictures.

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 ...