Undefined Declarations’ List: Top 10 Things I like about being a Blogger


Blogging from Cafes becomes a lifestyle for most bloggers
Blogging from Cafes becomes a lifestyle for most bloggers


My previous Top 10 List was about being raised by parents from the Gulf region. I come from a moderately conservative family. We are not liberal, but we’re also not extremely conservative or religious. Here’s a link for that post if you missed it.

Today’s list includes the top 10 things that I like about being a blogger. I started this blog in September 2012 to showcase my writing to potential employers. Now, it’s more of a hobby and sometimes feels like a full-time role!

I present to you the top reasons that keep me hooked to writing blog posts:

  1. I can work from almost any location that I feel like working from. Writing blog posts can be done from the comfort of my bed, a cafe across the road, or even from the beach if I had the time and luxury of carrying around a laptop, and a beach bag full of beach essentials.

    Jumeirah Mosque view at this Starbucks Middle East location
    Jumeirah Mosque view at this Starbucks Middle East location
  2. I can write posts at any time of the day. On most days, I have a couple of things to get done. So, blogging is something that might not come at the top of my priority list. That’s when I can write in the evenings – when most people are watching TV, reading, socializing, or out having dinner or drinks. This point can be a disadvantage to blogging too. But that will be discussed in another post 🙂
  3. I get to do creative work, that I choose myself, without any supervision or editing from another party. Unlike working for a publishing house and adhering to certain rules and regulations, blogging gives the writer the freedom of expression and writing within their personal set of rules and limitations.
  4. I get invited to review restaurant meals, spa treatments and other cool stuff. When I first started the blog, I was reviewing these things anyway, because I enjoyed it. After some time of hard work, the blog gained more followers and I started to get invites to review meals, and other stuff. The only issue these days is that, with my University course work, I don’t have the same free time I used to have when I first started the blog. That’s why, I don’t write as many reviews as I used to in the past.
  5. Being a blogger means that I’m considered as a media person. This grants me access to events as press. It also allows me to network with other media professionals, and others from the media industry.
  6. One thing that I really like about blogging is meeting other bloggers. Whether they are based in the same city, or on another continent, it’s always great to meet like-minded people. Most bloggers share many traits in common; they are interesting, determined and curious individuals. We love to learn new things, and we are pretty good in taking action.

    What I just Love the Blog and I catching up over lunch
    What I just Love the Blog and I catching up over lunch
  7. Blogging allows me to share my thoughts, experiences, views and ideas with my readers. It makes me so ecstatic to hear that a reader found my post insightful, or that they learned so many things from it. It equally brightens my day when someone tells me that what I wrote resonates with their own experience very strongly.
  8. I love that blogging has helped me practice – and hopefully – improve my writing skills. I think most of all, it gave me the confidence that I needed to keep writing. It helped me stay focused on my goal of becoming a better writer and journalist.
  9. It helped me build on my social and networking skills. I started to attend all kinds of events when I started this blog. This was mainly to meet new people and to generate blog content. It was very exciting to meet people from different backgrounds and industries. At that time, I was mixing with people from the fashion, arts, food or media industries. That fitted well with the blog concept, as I was writing a lifestyle blog that covered all these topics. Nowadays, I still enjoy attending random events. But due to my time constraints, I have to be more selective with the events that I choose to attend. Of course once I’m done with my course, I should be able to attend more events and network with people from various communities.
  10. Being a blogger who doesn’t outsource anything to another party means that you need a set of multiple skills. I truly enjoy being the following:
  • The editor who comes up with the idea for the post.
  • The photographer who takes the pictures for the post.
  • The writer and editor who writes and then edits the words and images.
  • The marketing and PR person who promotes the blog.
  • The social media person who promotes the blog and the posts on social media.
  • The communications person who attends events and tells people about the blog.
  • The entrepreneurial spirit who constantly goes through ups and downs, but never gives up.

As you can see, blogging is a very fun and engaging way to communicate with others and express your feelings and thoughts through words. I love hearing positive feedback as much as I love hearing critical remarks. So feel free to leave a comment or not 🙂

The next post will be a list of the things that I don’t like about being a blogger. So stay tuned for that!

Till then, Have a wonderful weekend ahead. No matter how you choose to spend it!



Coffee breaks are more fun when blogging is involved :)
Coffee breaks are more fun when blogging is involved 🙂

UD Review: Java Jolt Dubai

Quiche and iced tea at Java Jolt Dubai
Quiche and iced tea at Java Jolt Dubai


If you’re looking for a new option for a healthy and fresh lunch in Dubai Silicon Oasis, then I have found just the right spot for you. Java Jolt is a newly opened cafe at Le Solarium building in Dubai Silicon Oasis. Their concept is to create simple, tasty food with a refined edge. At the same time, they try to source organic ingredients as much as possible.

When I asked co-founder and co-owner Lora about the origin of the concept, she explains: “Since everything in Dubai Silicon Oasis was take-away and fast food joints, we wanted to bring fresh, healthy food to the area.”

Lora describes the home-grown concept by saying: “We serve food that resembles something that you would make yourself at home. We use as much organic ingredients as we can. Basically, all the elements that go into the food we make are home-grown, local produce from the region.”

Executive Chef Khomotso from South Africa prepares all the sauces and salad dressings from scratch. He also makes the bread himself in the cafe’s open kitchen with the help of a kitchen aid. Java Jolt uses organic flour to make fully organic bread, muffins and wholesome bagels.

“I actually like to make my own things – completely.” Said Chef Khomotso.

Velvety pumpkin soup at Java Jolt Dubai
Velvety pumpkin soup at Java Jolt Dubai


The pumpkin soup at Java Jolt Dubai tasted like home-made soup!
The pumpkin soup at Java Jolt Dubai tasted like home-made soup!


Best pumpkin soup in Dubai - hands down
Best pumpkin soup in Dubai – hands down


When asked about his favorite dish to make, the Chef immediately tells me: “My favorite thing to make must be quiche.”


Specials change depending on the Chef's choices at Java Jolt
Specials change depending on the Chef’s choices at Java Jolt


Quiche, a side salad and a home-made iced tea are key ingredients to the perfect lunch!
Quiche, a side salad and a home-made iced tea are key ingredients to the perfect lunch!


Healthy, fresh and tasty food at Java Jolt Dubai
Healthy, fresh and tasty food at Java Jolt Dubai


If you visit Java Jolt, you must try their home-made iced teas. The chef constantly makes new variations of freshly made iced tea. The first time I was there, I tried a pomegranate iced tea. This time though, I got to sample the Rooibos iced tea – made with a hint of lemon and orange. Known for its great health benefits, Rooibos tea originates from South Africa and makes for a wonderful refreshing drink when infused with orange and lemon!
“I was looking for something from home that I like to drink.” Explains Chef Khomotso. He calls his creation; Rooibos Citrus.

Freshly made Rooibos iced tea with a hint of orange and lemon, at Java Jolt Dubai - simply divine and refreshing
Freshly made Rooibos iced tea with a hint of orange and lemon, at Java Jolt Dubai – simply divine and refreshing


Greek salad at Java Jolt Dubai
Greek salad at Java Jolt Dubai

Co-founder and co-owner Jenny describes the new cafe concept: “We are trying to go as clean as possible in the UAE.”

Jenny explains: “In Dubai, most cafes are part of big chains or big companies. We wanted to start a more family-oriented style cafe with a homely feel.”

Being residents of the Dubai Silicon Oasis area, the sisters who founded and manage the cafe together with their mother felt the need to fill a gap in the market. With the majority of the available options being chain and processed food cafes and restaurants, they wanted to introduce a home-grown, wholesome concept with a friendly, welcoming and family-oriented atmosphere.

Another element that was lacking in the Dubai Silicon Oasis community was the option of an outdoor area, where friends and families could meet and catch up over coffee and fresh fare.

The New Zealand style cafe with a South African twist offers guests the option to sit outside – at the spacious and inviting terrace. “There’s no where to hang out in the area and sit outside. We created a space where parents could meet and bring their kids to play” – explains Lora, co-founder and co-owner of the fresh, wholesome and healthy concept.


Java Jolt Dubai has a spacious terrace for relaxing in the cool weather
Java Jolt Dubai has a spacious terrace for relaxing in the cool weather


A homely, friendly and family-oriented style cafe
A homely, friendly and family-oriented style cafe


Java Jolt will be open on Saturdays from 8 am to 5 pm starting next week. They also have plans to open on Friday mornings for breakfast, and on Saturday evenings for an evening roast dinner.

To find out more about the cafe and their opening times, check out their Facebook Page.


Coffee Barista Koli preparing a latte using RAW coffee beans
Coffee Barista Koli preparing a latte using RAW coffee beans


UD Review: Urban Bistro Dubai

Urban Bistro's spacious terrace
Urban Bistro’s spacious terrace


It’s winter in Dubai, and no one wants to spend all their time indoors. The weather is at its best and we are all want to make the most of it while it lasts. That’s why, I’ve been trying out different outlets for a weekend breakfast. But they must have one thing in common: a terrace or outdoors seating area.

Luckily, Urban Bistro has recently expanded their terrace to accommodate more people. I’ve visited this cool Media City cafe a few months ago and tried their Friday brunch – which I think you should too. The brunch had a great selection of fresh salads, healthy and tasty juice blends, and a good variety of main courses.

Today, I opted for the breakfast meal. My friend and I both went for the vegetarian breakfast. You can choose how you want your eggs to be cooked – we had ours poached. This healthy breakfast option comes with sauteed spinach, roasted cherry tomatoes, avocado slices, Portobello mushrooms, and roasted new potatoes.

I teamed up my veggie breakfast with a green juice for a super nutritious meal 🙂


Urban Bistro's vegetarian breakfast.
Urban Bistro’s vegetarian breakfast.


Poached eggs for breakfast at Urban Bistro Dubai
Poached eggs for breakfast at Urban Bistro Dubai


If you’re someone who doesn’t like to have any meat (chicken, beef or salmon) with their breakfast, then you should give Urban Bistro’s vegetarian breakfast a try. And if you’re tired of the conventional glass of orange juice with your breakfast, then you’ll love the different blends that they serve at this chilled Media City cafe.

I personally prefer to go somewhere quiet and peaceful on the weekend – away from the busy cafes and malls. Somewhere where I can have a nice conversation with a friend, work peacefully on my laptop, or just take in the beautiful view as I sip on my cup of latte.


Relaxation mode at Urban Bistro's terrace
Relaxation mode at Urban Bistro’s terrace


Urban Bistro Dubai's interior is spacious and airy
Urban Bistro Dubai’s interior is spacious and airy


Urban Bistro is a hidden gem that I’m glad I discovered. It’s located in a lovely area of Dubai Media City – surrounded by a tranquil and peaceful green space. There’s even a lake with turtles and sea birds in front of the cafe – perfect for a day of relaxation.

Whether you work in Dubai Media City or just live nearby, then I would definitely recommend that you check out Urban Bistro.

On weekdays, the place is buzzing with media professional and other working people on their lunch break. And in the weekends, it is the epitome of tranquility and peacefulness in a busy, modern city life.


Web site: Urban Bistro Dubai.


Urban Bistro Dubai - a hidden gem
Urban Bistro Dubai – a hidden gem

Coffee Culture Takes on a New Wave



Here’s a news story that I did for one of my University projects. The course is called “Web News Production” and it really helped me in a lot of ways. I learned how to write news stories for the web, add photos to a slideshow (coming soon in my next project) and create a short video to add value to the story.

The video you will watch in this story was shot and edited by me. I was the camera woman, the reporter, the writer, the editor, and the video producer 🙂

It was filmed at A4 Space at AlSerkal Avenue in Dubai. Happy watching 🙂



In a genuine desire to share knowledge about coffee and its roasting process, Sabado Coffee Club – a group founded by Matthew Wade who co-runs fat Nancy’s new diet with Anabelle de Gersigny – hosts a monthly coffee tasting event for coffee lovers around the city.

The venue for the club’s meeting – which takes place on the first Saturday of each month – is subject to change. Anyone who is interested in attending their events can follow the club’s coffee, art and culture dedicated blog (http://fatnancysnewdiet.com/) for details about the next event’s date and location.

On the 1st of November, the coffee club’s tasting event was held at A4 space in the city’s creative arts and cultural hub – Al Serkal Avenue.


Fresh coffee beans at Sabado Coffee Club
Fresh coffee beans at Sabado Coffee Club


Brewed coffee tasting cups
Brewed coffee tasting cups


Kim Thompson – who collaborates with Matthew Wade, Founder of Sabado Coffee Club in this non-commercial event – explains the concept behind the insightful coffee tasting event: “Our main aim is to share knowledge about coffee, to create a more discerning customer.”

With the majority of the residents in the Gulf region accustomed to getting their coffee from the big franchises widely available around the city, the Dubai-based independent coffee club is working towards changing that trend.


Kim Thompson samples coffee at the event
Kim Thompson samples coffee at the event


Getting the community involved in coffee sampling events is a greatly informative and interesting way to start this initiative.

At a symbolic fee of AED 25, coffee club members get to sample coffees from a wide range of roasters from various countries, before identifying their favourite cup.


Club members sample coffee and take notes
Club members sample coffee and take notes


The event begins with a dry coffee sampling round, where group members smell different coffee beans and note their best pick.

Then, a brewed coffee tasting round takes place. In this caffeine-filled sampling, coffee enthusiasts take little sips of various coffee cups – using spoons – and look out for distinct features in these freshly-brewed coffee selections.

A devoted coffee connoisseur explained to me the characteristics that make up a good cup of coffee. These mainly include; the body, the acidity level, the smoothness and ease to drink, and the taste.


One of a variety of roast samples
One of a variety of roast samples


Coffee comes in a variety of diverse flavours. These include nutty, floral, citrusy, or with a hint of lime or fruit.

The fun and engaging event ends with a vote for the best coffee on the table by the group members. The winning brew is then served to all participants.

Matt Toogood – who also collaborates with Matthew Wade, Founder of Sabado Coffee Club – emphasises the fact that it is a non-commercial event that allows people to learn about the various coffee options – apart from the big brand names and franchises.


Turkish coffee brewing at the event
Turkish coffee brewing at the event


The Club’s next coffee tasting experience takes place on Saturday, the 6th of December. The event starts from 12 pm and goes on for two hours. It will be hosted at “The Magazine Shop” in the DIFC area.


Anabelle de Gersigny, Co-editor of fat Nancy's new diet
Anabelle de Gersigny, Co-editor of fat Nancy’s new diet


UD Review: Pilates with Tribefit ME!

Pilates at Tribefit ME
Pilates at Tribefit ME


It was my second time to visit this fitness center which brands itself as a “Fitness and Social Club”. My first visit was during an outdoor yoga event organized by the “Mother, Baby and Child” magazine. Needless to say, it was a highly rejuvenating and relaxing experience to do yoga at a terrace, when the weather was breezy and cool. This time, I was back to Tribefit to check out their Pilates class.

From my personal experience and after two visits to this hip and contemporary fitness club, here’s what I think makes this club different from others and why you should consider visiting:

  1. They offer classes at a professional fitness level, for intermediate to advanced trainees, by highly experienced and motivational instructors.
  2. The club is spacious, with funky and cool interiors, and a number of studios for the different group exercise classes they offer.
  3. There’s an organic food specialty cafe inside the club.
  4. The club regularly organizes social and fitness events for both its members and non-members.
  5. It’s located within short walking distance from the JLT Metro Station (Marina side). Which makes it perfect for those who don’t drive (like moi), or who prefer to take the metro for its convenience.

Now, from my personal point of view, how did I feel about Tribefit’s concept and venue?

  1. The yoga studio where we had our Pilates class had floor to ceiling glass windows, with a view of the Marina-JBR bridge. So it felt like I was in the heart of new Dubai, surrounded by life – as pedestrians walked by over the renowned bridge. It also made me feel nostalgic to my London days! Everything about that studio, the view from those huge windows, the people passing by…all of my surroundings at that moment in time could only translate to one thing: a trip down memory lane to my days in London town 🙂 So if any of you readers are going through some kind of nostalgia for your London days, then I would suggest a simple trip to Tribefit 🙂
  2. Anyone who has lived in Dubai as a single person might have gone through the process of endlessly looking for a compatible partner, only to be left hopeless and disappointed. Well, guess what? there’s a secret place where you can get fit, have fun while doing it, AND get to meet new people who share your interests, love for fitness and positive outlook on life! I believe that anyone who is single and looking for love in the city of Dubai, should give Tribefit a try and see where it goes.


IMG_2337 cropped


How was the Pilates Class?

  • The instructor was very friendly and she encourages you to work hard in class, in a very motivational and friendly way.
  • The class is like one big family. Everyone was so friendly – including the trainer – Kate. The ambiance of the class was very social and friendly.
  • You will definitely experience the difference in this Pilates class from others. It’s designed for advanced students, with some of the moves being too challenging for not-so fit people like me! However, I was told that the level of difficulty increases as the week goes by. And since I was there on a Thursday, the class was quite intense!
  • Since some of the postures are too advanced, Kate would guide us on the alternative move for beginners. Which was great. So she would demonstrate the move for the various fitness levels of the students in class. That way, no one has an excuse to lay around on the mat and do nothing!
  • As this is an advanced form of Pilates, you are certain to feel the results after the class. It is more of a fitness/strengthening/calorie-burning exercise. And not your typical Pilates class.


Check out these two experts in their best headstand split pose! P.S. They are loyal Yoga and Pilates students 🙂


Anna and Tariq doing the headstand split!
Anna and Tariq doing the headstand split!


Extra Points:

  • The Yoga studio was beautifully dimmed during our class, with color-changing lights in the ceiling. The ambiance was so relaxing and soothing.
  • The music playlist was excellent during the class, and it helped in synchronizing the moves to the song beats. Cool factor: high 🙂
  • Mats, towels of big and small sizes, and lockers are provided to all students. So are showers, sauna and changing room facilities.
  • Being a big fan of Elken Cafe, I must admit that having a branch of that cafe in my fitness club does score high in my books 🙂
  • As I mentioned earlier, the location is key for folks who don’t drive – like me. So being able to walk a few steps to the club from the Metro station is a huge plus for me!
Tribefit Marina interior
Tribefit Marina interior


Elken Cafe inside Tribefit Marina!
Elken Cafe inside Tribefit Marina!


Hip and Modern Interior at Tribefit Marina
Hip and Modern Interior at Tribefit Marina


Join the Tribe at Tribefit!
Join the Tribe at Tribefit!


Who should join Tribefit?

  • If you’re looking to meet new people and make new friends while socializing in a casual, friendly and positive environment.
  • If you’re single and are looking to meet new people in a different setting to the typical bar/club scene.
  • If you live in or around the Marina area, and don’t drive!
  • If you’re sick and tired of going to your building’s gym, the neighborhood gym, or of walking on the treadmill at your home.
  • If you can’t stand walking, jogging, or running in the midst of Dubai summer. And are fed up of doing the rounds at the Marina Promenade.
  • If you hate the loneliness that comes with using the gym equipment and working out on your own.
  • If you need highly experienced and professional fitness trainers to motivate and guide you to achieve those new year resolutions which you can never seem to reach with every passing season, or year!
  • If you want to work out in a hip, contemporary and upbeat environment. Where you can meet a friendly and positive crowd.



Check out Tribefit’s web site, Facebook Page, or attend one of their social events!  Their next event is on Tuesday, August 19. It’s a Bikram Yoga event at 7:30 pm 🙂


I personally look forward to visiting this uber cool and happening club sometime soon to try out another class. And at a future date, I would like to become a member and try out my luck in the Tribal love scene 😉


Anna and Tariq doing the headstand split!
Anna and Tariq doing the headstand split!

Dubai Boutique and Cafe Review: Spontiphoria



Spontiphoria: a combination of Spontaneous Euphoria or “Sudden Joy” is the idea behind the creative name of a newly opened concept store in Al Wasl Square, Dubai.

Spontiphoria is a home-grown unique store that effortlessly blends the convenience of a boutique and cafe concept. The bright and inviting decor of this boutique/cafe was the first element that caught my attention. I absolutely adored the vintage-style wallpaper, neat seating arrangement and overall fresh and elegant look of the store.

Managing Director Sidiqa Sohail spoke to me about the store’s concept, baked items offered in-store and other products, as I sipped some soothing lemon ginger tea and sampled delicious treats. Sidiqa wanted to bring something new and unique to the market, hence the idea of a boutique and cafe in one store. There’s even a bakery at the store where wholesome baked goods are freshly made every morning. Sidiqa; who started baking at age 16 can also be seen wearing a uniform and baking some specialty desserts. During our lovely conversation about her store and studying in the UK, I got to try out an Oreo and Nutella trifle. Which I must admit was simply divine! Another genius creation and specialty of the store are the unbelievably light and tasty Nutella cookies.

No Sugar Added to the Nutella Dessert

The great thing about Spontiphoria’s baked goods is that they follow home-made recipes; and that their Nutella dessert doesn’t contain any added sugar. Apart from the sweetness of the Nutella chocolate and other ingredients, no additional sugar is added to the recipe. This makes for a delightful guilt-free dessert that tastes so wonderfully light and gratifying!

Jumeirah-born Concept Store

Having opened only one month ago, the store is a unique addition to the Wasl Square block. While most Dubai cafes and boutiques offer similar commercial products and services, Spontiphoria brings in a new range of products and services which are home-grown and authentic.

“Our desserts and baked items’ focus is home-made and wholesome, and within that range falls both eastern and western desserts.” Explains Sidiqa.

Beautifully embellished Eastern Kaftans and stylish evening gowns can be seen on the racks at this airy and bright store. The outfits, accessories and gifts are imported from various countries in the U.S. and Europe.

Breakfast Spot

Since the store is open from 8 am, it would be a good place to start your day in a relaxed setting (classical music playing in the background) and in an unconventional way.

Freshly baked croissant and juice or coffee would be ideal for a place like Spontiphoria. Also, make sure not to miss out on the traditional “Karak Chai” that is freshly brewed twice a day (in the morning and at high tea time).


Window into Eastern Culture

There are countless International cafes and franchise chain stores scattered around Dubai. But what this city lacks is an authentic concept that gives visitors an opportunity to experience and uncover a broader and more cultured type of cafe and boutique.

Sidiqa wanted to introduce a different and unique type of store to the generic and International cafe scene in Dubai. And I believe that she has succeeded in doing just that. Because the last thing this city needs is another International cafe chain or fully imported boutique name.

If you would like to have a different kind of afternoon tea in a chilled and bright setting, want to start your day with home-made goodness or just happen to be in the area, then I would suggest that you drop by Spontiphoria for a rich insight into the opulent Eastern style and food culture.

I would highly recommend this spot for Western expats who are new to the region and unfamiliar with the Eastern culture. As Spontiphoria offers visitors an authentic taste of the region’s extravagant style and food scene.


Contact Details

Web site:  http://spontiphoria.com/

Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/spontiphoria?fref=ts


Location:  Wasl Square, Jumeirah, Dubai.








Yummy Nutella Cookies!
Yummy Nutella Cookies!








Strawberry Cappuccino!
Strawberry Cappuccino!


cake stand


Handmade Velvet Bookmarks
Handmade Velvet Bookmarks



Dubai Chocolate Boutique Fairy Tale: Debauve & Gallais


In a city that attracted thousands of International brands from across the globe to open branches in its glamorous and shiny malls, it’s no doubt that the chocolatier of the kings of France – Debauve & Gallais has opened its first regional flagship store in Dubai.

Brand History

Debauve & Gallais, a brand that carries a strong history behind it, is certainly not just another gourmet chocolate brand. Dating back to the year 1800, when “Debauve” – pharmacist of the King Louis – opened a chocolate factory with his nephew, Mr. Gallais. The quick success of this factory made it the appointed supplier of the Kings of France at the time.

The specialty French Royal Chocolatier’s flagship Paris store of almost 200 years still stands at Rue des Saints-Peres and is inscribed in the French Historic Monument List.



Since the brand is the renowned chocolatier of the Kings of France, everything about this delicacy follows the spirit of the French Royal life style. Strongly inspired by Marie Antoinette and the lavishness of her era, expect nothing less than authentic French designs, porcelain vintage ornaments, hand-painted ceiling and wall coverings and original antiques.

An eye for quality and attention to detail are what differentiate this chocolate brand from all others in the industry, and are highly reflected in its products, packaging and boutique. Debauve & Gallais stands in a category on its own and is considered the most exclusive chocolate brand in the world.



I was delighted to accept an invite to visit the brand’s Dubai flagship boutique located in DIFC, and open since February 2nd, 2012. Over superior quality and rich hot chocolate and chocolate pistols, I had a very enjoyable and interesting conversation with the brand’s Business Development Executive; Nahid Ghahary. Nahid introduced herself to me and explained her passion for everything French; from the language to the culture to of course the chocolate 🙂  She described the brand as a “chocolate through chocolate experience” meant for exclusive clients.  These clients include upscale people interested in luxury and different experiences. Such as upscale families who don’t mind spending in return for great quality. They also cater to big corporate clients and make elegantly packaged corporate gifts for those clients.



Information about the Chocolate

With over 2,000 recipes, you’re sure to find a flavor that will keep you coming back for more. As Nahid told me “it’s addictive!”. But don’t worry about the calories, as the cocoa pods used in making this gourmet chocolate are among the top 5% luxury cocoa pods. And the cocoa type and sugar used are of the healthy and beneficial type. Unlike most chocolate brands that are creamy and heavy in taste, Debauve & Gallais chocolate has a very high quality and fine texture and taste to it.

And if the above information isn’t enough to make us want to become loyal fans, knowing that the cocoa plantations for this chocolate brand are located in Cuba and Venezuela surely will.



My Debauve & Gallais Hot Chocolate and Chocolate Experience

I don’t recall ever tasting a hot chocolate as rich and of high gourmet quality as the one that I had during  my all-things French and chocolate related conversation with Nahid.  The exclusive brand’s hot chocolate is made by adding low fat milk to 72% dark chocolate chips and a touch of cream. The boutique also serves a variety of tea and coffee types.








All the chocolates are hand-made as opposed to using a machine to make them. And the print on the chocolate pieces is a silk print that can also be personalized according to the client’s request. With a price range of AED 11 per piece and AED 850 per kg, evidently this chocolate brand is not made for mass consumption. But for the sophisticated and refined chocolate lovers and connoisseurs.





  1. Marie Antoinette Pistols (Les Pistoles De Marie Antoinette)
  2. Truffles
  3. Forestiere (pistachio covered chocolate balls)




Marie Antoinette Pistols
Marie Antoinette Pistols




Boutique Interior Design

The luxuriously decorated interior of the boutique is the creation of Elenora showroom and interior design studio. Located beside Mercato Mall on Jumeirah Beach Road, this design boutique offers a unique selection of furniture, wallpapers, fabrics and trimmings and wonderful antiques sourced from Europe and America.


I was also pleased to meet with Boutique Manager; Niya El Maataoui who was kind enough to talk to me about the different antiques and ornaments spread around the extensively well-decorated space. I will let my pictures do all the explaining 🙂














More Chocolate…












Sadly, my chocolate fairy tale had to come to an end…but my obsession with this exclusive specialty French Royal Chocolatier has just begun!

With a sample gift box of dark chocolate pistols – with the word “Dubai” inscribed on them – from my generous and lovely hosts, I can rest assured that I have my Debauve & Gallais chocolate cravings taken care of. At least until my next visit to this dream land hidden gem.

Honestly, I had such a wonderful afternoon at the boutique with my genuine and lovely hosts Nahid and Niya. And I can’t wait to go back for another magical moment of afternoon tea and one of a kind chocolate and of course lovely and highly cultured conversation.






Contact Information

Web Site:  http://www.debauveandgallais.ae/

Facebook Page:  Debauve and Gallais – Dubai

Instagram: debauveandgallias


DIFC, Gate Precinct Building 2

Dubai, UAE



Not An Ordinary Day in Town!



It was one of those days when almost nothing seems to be going right. I was tired, but I had to attend “Design Days Dubai”; an exhibition on interior decor and art pieces held annually.  It was the last day of the event, so I decided to go and create a blog post about it. Not realizing that what happened during my day of casual and random incidents was far more interesting than the exhibition itself! And that’s what made me get excited about writing this post on a Friday night. When most of my friends are chilling at home and asking about my plans for the evening.

First, we had trouble getting to Emaar Boulevard in Downtown Dubai, where the event was being held. Until this moment I can’t comprehend how the sign that says “Emaar Boulevard” has disappeared from the face of the earth! I always used to see that sign when I wanted to go to The Pavillion, Downtown Dubai, and so didn’t think it would be a big deal to find the location for our design event.  Sadly I was wrong, that sign was no where to bee found last night. And we spent an entire hour or more trying to get to the Boulevard!  And even when we finally found our way there, there was no clear sign as to where the exhibition was! Apart from some street light banners and ads, there was no sign of a crowd or an event in the area!  After my emotion-packed day, I went up to a security guard in a neon vest and asked: “where is Design Days? we’ve been looking for it since a long time!”  As if it was his fault that the event was hidden and tricky to get to 🙂

When we finally made our way into the exhibition tent, we took a quick round at the stands and snapped some pictures of some cool design pieces. before heading out for our next “unpredicted” adventure.  Our next stop was a birthday party celebration at a new chic patisserie in Souq Al Bahaar, next to Dubai Mall. Since we were already in Downtown Dubai, you would think that finding Souq Al Bahaar should be a piece of cake, right? Well, you were wrong. I still can’t understand that either! Dubai Mall is like the second home to most people who live in Dubai, or at least their second home when they have visitors in town. So whenever my dad is visiting, we would spend a lot of time at malls and Dubai Mall and Souq Al Bahaar are no exception. But last night, for some reason, I was disoriented and could not make out how to walk to Souq Al Bahaar from the Burj steps (OK, it was my first time at the steps honestly, but still). So as me and my buddy were trying to find our way to the birthday place, we see a guy riding a buggy-bike! yes, it was a facility for the area, and we asked the guy to give us a ride to Souq Al Bahaar!  For your information, it wasn’t for free (it cost us 25 Dirhams). But it was so much fun! the weather was fabulous for a bike ride, we got so much attention from tourists and residents, and most importantly, we made it to the birthday party! (two hours late, but we made it!).

The cafe where we met our friends and birthday girl had a relaxed and elegant vibe to it. The outdoor area has a great view of the Burj Khalifah, and the weather was perfect for sitting outside.

I guess it’s always fun to do something spontaneous every once in a while. Even if it’s just a simple buggy ride in Downtown Dubai 🙂

















A Cool Publishing Event at a Magazine Shop! I must be getting closer to something!




Who knew that a cafe/magazine shop aptly called “The Magazine Shop” existed in DIFC? The newly opened shop serves as a cozy outdoor space to sit and read magazines; nestled in between the art galleries of DIFC. You can find a great variety of International and local magazine titles on the shelves. All you have to do is order your coffee or tea, take your pick from the many cool magazines and unwind at a cute wooden stool chair.

I was honored to meet two prominent and outstanding individuals from the publishing industry in Dubai at the event. Conor Purcell – the Founder and Editor of the niche targeted “We Are Here” magazine was hosting the event. He explained to us the idea and concept behind the magazine, as well as the process and challenges associated with publishing an independent magazine in Dubai. Conor’s main objective was to create a travel guide magazine that was different from the commercial travel magazines available in the market. His view is basically to try not to become a cliche. But instead to present something different to a niche target of readers. He also shared with us some valuable information on independent publishing procedures in Dubai, and gave us honest tips and useful advise from his own personal experience during the creation of “We Are Here”.

Another leading Dubai persona who I had the pleasure to meet at the event was Narain Jashanmal – General Manager at the Jashanmal Group. Having grown up in Al Khobar in Saudi, trips to the Jashanmal Bahrain store were a vivid part of my childhood and teen days. I also remember a Dadhabai store in Al Khobar, which was part of the Jashanmal Group if I’m not mistaken. Yes, those were the days when all I had to worry about was what cool stationery item I was going to buy next. And I would genuinely get upset if I had seen something in a catalog or an International magazine that wasn’t available in the Saudi market!  While nowadays, I am surrounded by almost anything that I could ever wish for; except that I don’t have the peace of mind to shop for it since I spend most of my time working towards my goal and career path. Ah, the irony of life.

Honestly speaking, this event has proved to be the most relevant, useful and worthwhile event that I had been to since I started to attend events and network in September of last year.  I think while I have truly enjoyed going to fashion or art events, I knew that those weren’t exactly what I needed to do or where I needed to network. While mingling with the young Dubai fashion crowd, or the older and more mature artistic circle was quite interesting and enjoyable, I believe that meeting inspiring individuals from the publishing and journalism industry is what will get me closer to understanding the market and help build my knowledge about it.

Do I regret not attending Rihanna’s new collection launch in-store event at high-street store River Island?  Absolutely not.

As I was chatting with a friend who I unexpectedly met outside “The Magazine Shop”, I found out from another lady that there was a “Dior” event taking place in a nearby shop at DIFC.  This time though, I was glad that I wasn’t part of the fashion pack 🙂