The exclusive Qurum Club Lounge is located on the 6th floor of the hotel, overlooking the beautiful Gulf of Oman.
What’s great about this club lounge – apart from the amazing views – is that it’s open all around the clock. A wide range of snacks and drinks are served throughout the day, to match every mood and palate.
You can choose to sit inside and work on your laptop, read a book, or watch the news on TV. In the evenings, I would suggest sitting out in the terrace and cherishing the tranquil and peaceful beach setting.
Of course with me being the Saudi Diva, I chose to do it all! At one point, I was reading my book inside while having some tasty canapes. And on anther occasion, I was outside on the terrace taking a break from my sacred tanning sessions. I even spent some time networking with some business guests 🙂
I must warn you though; the canapes served at the Qurum Club Lounge are pretty addictive! Honestly, I couldn’t stop myself from making numerous trips to the buffet to refill my plate. I even felt a combination of guilt (for overeating) and embarrassment (from the repetitive trips to the buffet). But what can I say, the food at Crowne Plaza Muscat is of great quality and the Club Lounge snacks were no exception.
If you’re a foodie like me, then I can’t recommend any other hotel in Muscat other than the Crowne Plaza. The standard of the F&B in that hotel is truly exceptional.
In the following photo, I’m wearing a short floral print summer dress from cool 90’s urban style label: Pull&Bear.
Being a 90’s girl, I can’t think of a high street brand that matches my personal style like Pull and Bear. A mix of feminine, tom-boyish, and street style outfits. Love that label…
The Qurum Club Lounge is not only a place to do business or network with other hotel guests, it’s also a place for celebration! While I was there, the staff brought a birthday cake and sang Happy Birthday for one of the business guests at the lounge. Now if that’s not outstanding and personalized service, I don’t know what is…
I can’t believe it took me this long to visit Yas Waterworld waterpark in Abu Dhabi! I think the main reason was the fact that I don’t drive, and so the idea of venturing out of the city requires some sort of planning and transportation arrangement.
The best part was that I got to spend my Friday doing something completely new, fun and exciting! Plus, being an outdoorsy person and a cancerian, means that walking around barefoot on grounds made cool with water sprays and splashing in water for a full day is my ideal definition of the word leisure!
If you need an instant boost to your mood, an intense dose of adrenaline rush, or simply a unique and fun way to spend a weekend, then Yas Waterworld should be on the top of your list 🙂
The park is open from 10 am to 7 pm daily. And there are clear directions for how to get there on the waterpark’s web site.
What’s unique about this waterpark?
Yas Waterworld is not your ordinary waterpark. It’s a waterpark with an Arabian theme and concept.
There are water sprinklers on most of the spaces in the park. So you don’t have to worry about walking barefoot in the UAE summer heat.
There are even members of staff spraying water on you at different locations – just to cool you off while you walk to your next ride.
The whole atmosphere in this waterpark is so lively, upbeat and full of a strong zest for life and happy times 🙂
There are professional photographers scattered around the park to take your picture in the water, in front of the slides, or even at the roller-coaster ride.
There is underground irrigation, which helps keep the ground cool at all times. This makes it easy to walk without flip flops throughout the park.
There are dance competitions for kids with passes as giveaways.
There was a pearl diving show for both adults and kids. Which is great for expats to learn about the pearl diving culture and heritage in the region.
There were performers all across the park on the day I visited. As it was the first day of the start of the 100 family days – an event which will go on until the end of the year.
The park has a wide range of food and drink options. The ice-cream is not to be missed! super delicious!
There are different levels of the rides. So whether you just want to slide down a river in a floater or go down a vertical drop slide, there’s definitely something for everyone.
There’s a good number of rides and activities for kids too.
There was music all over the waterpark. And my favorite radio station – Channel 4 FM – were at the park on that day 😀
Here are some of the photos from the rides that I went on (mind you, my friends and I went on all of the rides twice and three times on one of them!):
The Bandit Bomber is a super cool roller coaster ride – only more fun since you’re in your swim wear! This ride gives you a full tour of the waterpark with crazy detours and turns that will blow you out of your mind 😀 in a good way though….it’s also very breezy up that ride!
This ride had different speeds and you can choose the one that matches your fitness level 🙂
The “beach” or “waves” pool is great for chilling out in between rides. This is me doing poses in the “beach” pool 🙂
Being the coffee addict that I am, of course I had to look for a place that serves iced-coffee. And I’m glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed because Yas Berry Cafe serves up a variety of drinks from smoothies to coffees to all things refreshing and delightful…
The surf pool seemed cool, maybe I’ll try it next time 🙂
They even have body drying machines at the park! which come in handy when you forget to bring your swim suit wet bag like I did…
There’s no end to the leisure activities, top quality service and upscale facilities that Yas Waterworld has to offer! Read on to find out more:
Sun loungers scattered all around the park and at the area by the “beach” pool.
DJ playing cool tracks near the “beach” pool.
River with floaters that takes you from one side of the park to the other. We used the river to get to the next ride location 🙂
Waterfalls, water splashing at you from random places, and all sorts of water park fun.
Friendly and helpful staff. The general atmosphere at this waterpark is highly positive and refreshing. Everyone is happy to be there and to do their job at their best level.
Professional picture taking – you can choose to buy your photos at the end of the day. I had mine saved on a USB stick.
Good way to stay fit in a fun and cool environment.
Great options for food and drinks. I must try the coconut drink at my next visit. The quality of the food was excellent too.
A range of activities and things to do for kids. As well as exciting competitions.
Events for families. The “100 family days” event will go on till the end of the year. But there will also be other events throughout the coming months.
Upcoming events include: festival of lights, music events, and winter activities.
I honestly woke up with an unusual high the next morning after my Yas Waterworld adventure! I guess it was the adrenaline rush from going on all those fun and exciting rides. I think everyone should head out to this original and vibrant waterpark every once in a while. It’s a truly refreshing and invigorating way to spend a Friday. One that’s suitable for the whole family too. Everyone from the babies to the elderly and all ages in between were having a blast at this cool waterpark.
Here are the prices that I took a picture of at the ticket booth on my way out…
Note: If you’re visiting the park on a weekend, you might want to go for the premium admission passes. The premium admission tickets allow you to access the rides through the fast lane/track. This means that you will avoid waiting in the long queues for some of the popular rides on a Friday.
Crowne Plaza Muscat offers its guests a complimentary shuttle bus service to a couple of tourist attractions. These include the “Grand Mosque”, the “Grand Mall”, and a traditional street market called “Muttrah Souq“.
Since I grew up in this region, visiting a mosque wasn’t exactly something that I would choose to do while on vacation. I think that type of excursion is more suitable for Western tourists who want to learn more about the region and visiting a mosque can be a good introduction. Especially in the Gulf region. At the same time, coming from Dubai – a city famous for its endless glitzy and shiny malls – going to another mall during my trip wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. Luckily, I can visit the grand malls of Dubai anytime that I wish.
“Muttrah Souq” sounded interesting. The concept of a traditional street market selling all sorts of souvenirs and local goods was something that I could do on one of my days in this enchanting and original city.
So, I decided to take one day off of my strict tanning and beach lounging schedule to check out “Muttrah Souq”. I actually gave up one full day of going to the beach to visit this old traditional souq. So I hope that you will like the photos that I took as it was mainly for the blog 🙂
Here’s the shuttle bus that takes the hotel guests to the various touristic spots:
Here are some random photos that were taken at Muttrah Souq:
I thought that it was ironic that there was a store titled “Dubai” shopping center in the street behind “Muttrah Souq”!
Muttrah Souq is a true and authentic street market with its branched out and narrow alleys. While walking around this super cool and traditional market, I decided to make my market experience even more rich by sampling some street food. I snacked on two samosas (one with a vegetable filling and the other with potatoes) and one piece of falafel. Now I have to give you guys a valuable piece of advise: stick to the falafel and avoid the samosas! The samosas are way too greasy and you can barely notice any flavor other than the taste of oil used to fry those samosas. Although the falafel was very dry, it had a nice flavor to it and I regretted not getting three falafels instead of one falafel and two samosas!
For someone who is from the Gulf region and has grown up in it, I can frankly tell you that Muttrah Souq is severely authentic and is a true representation of the culture, traditions and icons of the region. Almost every item that is sold at that souq resonates with me in one way or another. The antique boxes for example, are used to decorate corners in houses in the Gulf region. At our house, we used them to store old newspapers and magazines! Yeah I know what you’re thinking, we’re a weird bunch 🙂
I will be posting the rest of the photos from my Muscat trip on the Facebook Page soon. So that you won’t miss a thing from my trip.
If you didn’t get a chance to check the previous post from my trip, you can find it here.
Time for me to go to bed, as I have been out all day doing something quite adventurous…you’ll hear all about it soon. Simply watch this space.
One of the remarkable things at the Crowne Plaza Muscat is the breakfast buffet at Tropicana restaurant. Honestly, even the 5-star property hotels can’t match this vast and fresh breakfast spread. The extensive breakfast buffet is served from 6 until 10:30 am on weekdays, and ends at 11:30 am on weekends.
A wide selection of all the possible breakfast variations that anyone might think of is included in the Crowne Plaza muscat breakfast buffet.
With different corners for Arabic, Asian, and Western types of breakfast, prepare to be spoiled for choices and confused as to what to have!
There’s even a pancake machine, coffee machine, and a live cooking station where a chef will make your eggs the way you like to have them.
No matter what your ethnic background or country of origin is, rest assured that there will definitely be something at the Crowne Plaza Muscat buffet to satisfy your palate.
All the staff at this hotel are extremely friendly, well experienced and highly professional individuals. So, having breakfast every day on my own didn’t make me feel awkward or anything. Instead, I felt at home and truly enjoyed my little chats and casual conversations with the breakfast restaurant staff members.
Now, let’s have a look at some of the breakfast buffet options at Crowne Plaza Muscat…
Being a huge foodie and a true breakfast lover, I was taking my time in having breakfast every day…and in a failed attempt to avoid over-eating (which I must admit that I did during my Muscat trip), I decided to have a delicious freshly made vegetarian omelet on one day, and an Arabic breakfast of “foul” (fava beans) on another 🙂 Not to mention the fresh salad that I would team up with my “foul” day. I know, I’m such a nerd that I even plan what to have for breakfast….
I truly miss the wonderful and fresh breakfast buffet selection at Crowne Plaza Muscat. I was so craving a hearty breakfast this morning, but I decided to stay at home to write this post with a reliable wi-fi connection. All I had was a banana for breakfast, so you can imagine how much I would love to indulge in a Crowne Plaza Muscat breakfast at this very moment…
Stay tuned to this blog for the next post from my Muscat trip…hint: it involves some souvenir shopping and traditional souk hopping 🙂
If you need some introduction about life in the Gulf region, and a general idea of the social structure there, you can check out my previous cultural post, titled: The “Bubble” Life.
Today’s topic is somewhat relevant. It can also be considered more of a personal topic since I’ll be talking about my specific story.
Most Arab parents tend to be over-protective with varied degrees of controlling behavior when dealing with their children. You’d think that these strict and firm ways of upbringing would gradually lessen as the kids grow older, but the truth of the matter is that they never do.
Most Arab parents like to plan their children’s future lives, and be in control of their education, career, love life, marriage and daily life decisions!
Unless a daughter is married to another man and moves out of her parents house, she continues to live by the rules of the parents. No matter how old she gets, or what her status is (employed, jobless, student, PHD graduate), she is forever subject to the rules of the parents. And they are eternally responsible for her every move, decision, and personal freedom in general.
Of course, there’s always a positive side to every bad situation. Parents in the Gulf Region and most Arab countries also continue to support their daughters financially for as long as they have to. But that financial support doesn’t come without a price tag. It is coupled with the obsessive controlling behavior from the parents side.
My post is not meant to portray a negative image about the Arab or GCC culture. It’s more of a realistic explanation of my personal story and background. Since moving to the UAE in 2010, I constantly get asked by people from various expat countries about the method or way by which I am able to support myself financially, and that is usually followed by a certain amount of surprise and words like: “You are lucky.”
That’s why I decided to write a series of cultural, social and personal posts to clarify some aspects of Arab and GCC culture. I don’t mean to generalize though. I can only speak about my own personal experience and that of the society that I grew up in.
I also get asked about how we spend our weekends in the Gulf. Well, most of us in Saudi would either hang out with girlfriends at the local mall, cafe, or restaurant. We tend to spend some time at home too. We can have gatherings, dinner parties or house parties too! But, these would be exclusive to girls only. Since in Saudi and in most Gulf countries, the society is mainly gender segregated. You might ask, but who are you to talk about this lifestyle? Well, I grew up in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, and I didn’t attend an International school. I actually went to an all-girls elite private school, where an Arabic curriculum was being taught. So I can say that I lived a traditional Arab lifestyle for the most part of my life…
I can elaborate about my life in Saudi in another post, but let’s get straight into the topic of this post. It all goes back to a quote that my dad made at one of his short visits to Dubai…we were talking about some general stuff, when he utters the words: “The way it goes is that one should only be going to work, and then straight back home.”
To make things clear, my dad is not a sociable person whatsoever. He literally practices what he was preaching in the phrase that I just mentioned. But that’s his choice, his life, his decision. And I don’t judge him for it, or wish if he would change it. Honestly I don’t.
But what I thought was hilarious and if I dare to say a bit insane in those words that he directed to me was this: If I choose to listen to his advise and to follow it to the nines, then how on earth would I possibly meet a potential partner?! 😀
I have somewhat weird parents. They have unrealistic expectations of the world, their own children and the people surrounding them.
They live in a bubble of their own creation, and they expect people, events, and everything around them to follow the rules of that imaginary and non-existent bubble. They live with the illusion that everyone and everything must match their own distorted image of the world surrounding them. They are extremely opinionated and will stick to their unrealistic and distorted views no matter what happens or what anyone tells them. They are also not open to hearing other views that conflict with their own. They will just cut you off, will stop listening and will not engage in any form of discussion. (That’s mostly my mom, although my father doesn’t like to listen to varying opinions either!).
They impose highly unrealistic rules, standards, and expectations on every life aspect you can imagine. These rules only exist in their “1960’s generation” heads.
This was only a brief and short explanation of my parents and the way they are. I can talk more about this topic in another post.
Now the problem is that these days, my University course requirements and blogging don’t leave me with much free time to go out and meet new people. So, instead of spending my evenings going out to night spots or events, I find myself sitting at Starbucks or on my bed writing blog posts! But that’s OK, because once I’m done with this course in two semesters from now, I should have more time to go out and mingle 🙂
Basically, I will make it my life mission to meet as many new people as possible. Truth to be told, it will take a lifetime for me to reverse my previously closed and restricted GCC lifestyle! I’m so glad to have the privilege to do that…and if you think I’m a super-lucky girl, just be reminded that each one of us has an equal amount of suffering. And that financial freedom and stability are not the only elements that guarantee a happy and peaceful life.
I hope that I could make part of my story more clear to some of you who might be intrigued to know. And for anyone interested in learning more about the Gulf region, its culture, and lifestyle, stay tuned to this blog…
You might have read my introductory post about my recent trip to Muscat, and how I got most of my friends and family worried about me. How come? well, I decided to disappear from Dubai for a short break without informing many people that I was leaving 🙂 My dad knew that I was going to Muscat, but since he’s always been a forgetful person, he completely forgot about it. And I ended up being the center of attention – even to my building’s security guards! If you missed that post, you can still find it here.
Because I like to have music as a background to my life – be it radio, music TV channels, or Youtube music videos, I decided to share with you this uber cool playlist that I discovered recently. The best part? it’s mainly old-school R&B – my favorite music genre! You can keep this playlist playing in the background as you go through my second Muscat trip post – if you wish of course:
Now, if you are visiting Muscat for the first time, you must understand one thing: Most tourist areas, green mountains, wadis, hot water spots, nature, whatever it is – is located at least two hours or an hour and a half away from Muscat downtown. You could take a tour day trip, hire a taxi driver, or rent a car and drive there yourself. However, for a Diva like me, I decided to just lounge by the beach all day and leave all the sightseeing for another trip! Yes, I was really exhausted from the super fast-paced Dubai life and I wanted to take a break to just breathe…
On the bright side, I did meet some nice people during my trip who offered to take me sightseeing on my next visit to Oman.
So my suggestion for you would be to make friends as soon as you land in Muscat (provided that you don’t have ones already) and ask them to take you around the city and the beautiful green landscapes (which I didn’t get a chance to see really!).
However, I did manage to check out the Barr Al Jissah area. Which is basically a mountainous landscaped area – beautiful at sunset time. I even stopped at the highway to take some pictures for you guys to see! How brave is that? 🙂
The road through Barr Al Jissah can only take you to the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa. And that’s where I went to check out Long Bar, after seeing it listed in the first edition of Conde Nast Traveller Middle East. I had always dreamed of visiting Oman, so I kept that copy of the magazine’s first edition…and it sure came in handy! It does take time to realize your dreams, but it’s never impossible. So whatever those dreams are – whether you dream of visiting an exotic beach destination or becoming a well-known artist – you will get there if you have a strong will and a bit of patience 🙂
The beach width at Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa is quite big. But I must admit, I had higher expectations for this resort. Coming from glamorous and shiny Dubai, I honestly wasn’t impressed with this hotel to say the least. This property didn’t match the standard of this renowned five-star hotel group, nor did the ambiance or food at Long Bar. I felt that the hotel was kind of shabby – I know it’s Oman and not Dubai. So it’s meant to be kind of old and rich in heritage. But I still didn’t feel like I was at the Shangri-La! I had heard a lot about this specific resort prior to visiting. But sadly, I was disappointed with my experience there.
As for Long Bar, it did have an outdoor seating overlooking the bay. However, there were no coolers in the outdoor area (unlike outdoor spaces in Dubai). Plus, there was no music playing in the outside area – apart from the Oud player serenading us with “Om Kulthoum” classics in the next door venue. Now if I wanted to listen to Oud and some classical Arabic tunes, would I be heading to the Shangri-La Resort & Spa for my night out? Hmm…maybe not. It’s true that it was a quiet and serene spot for a chilled night out. But I would say it was too quiet for my liking. Quiet at Long Bar translated into “haunted”. And that’s not what you expect at a five-star beach resort bar.
I only had breakfast that day, so when I saw that they had Spanish tapas on their menu at Long Bar, I got excited! I ordered the classic Spanish omelet starter – only to be even more disappointed with this sports bar. The omelet tasted like something that you would get at a breakfast place that doesn’t serve decent breakfast. In Dubai, ordering International dishes means that the restaurant will try to make them in a way that is highly similar to the original recipe. It will taste very close to the real thing too! Not at Long Bar unfortunately. They might as well remove the Spanish tapas from the menu if they can’t make them properly. This is what I had at Long Bar:
In the above photo, I’m wearing “Resort Fling” nail polish shade by the famous Essie brand.
I think that’s about all I had to say about this part of my Muscat trip. But stay tuned to hear about more places to see in Muscat…
I chose Muscat as my summer holiday destination because I wanted to get away to a nearby peaceful and quiet place. And I’m glad to say that I couldn’t have made a better decision. Luckily, as a GCC national, I don’t require a visit visa for Oman. This fact is considered a great privilege, since an advance application for a visit visa is required for most countries with my Saudi passport.
Browsing through the mainly positive reviews of the Crowne Plaza Muscat on Trip Advisor will make anyone looking for a mid-range hotel choose to stay there. And as a note to all my readers and followers, I assure you that I paid the regular room charges for my stay at the Crowne Plaza Muscat. So this is by no means a sponsored post. It is a genuine review of my experience at the hotel and in Muscat in general.
The unique element about this hotel is its location. It’s situated on top of a hill in the “Al Qurum” area. The area is around 25 minutes away by car from Muscat International airport. It’s a well-reputed residential upscale area, that is home to many of the country’s ministers, PDO (Oman’s leading oil and gas company), and the residential compounds of PDO’s employees and other company facilities.
Crowne Plaza Muscat is a four-star property:
After my Hong Kong hotel room view, I decided to choose a sea-view room this time around 🙂 Here’s my breathtaking view from my room at Crowne Plaza Muscat:
Another view from my room window:
A view of the swimming pool from the same window 🙂
While at my peaceful sea-view room, I could hear the sound of the waves and the birds chirping throughout the day. Just being in the room felt so relaxing and serene. It resembled living in the outdoors or in a forest for my whole stay there. I even decided to keep my mobile phone switched off throughout my vacation – which caused a lot of family and friends to get worried about me. This meant that I came back to my apartment building’s reception in Dubai to a security guard requesting me to call my worried father, and looking at me as if I’m a crazy woman! not to mention a sweet note slipped under my door from my besties in Dubai, wondering where I have disappeared! Of course all of that commotion can only prove one thing: that none of my close friends in Dubai take the time to read my blog posts! Sigh…oh well, I hope that I will gain loyal readers from across the world who are genuinely interested in reading my blog posts! I will post a picture of that note later on my Facebook Page. So stay tuned for that 🙂
Here’s a look at my home for a total of 8 days….
On my first day, I needed to get a few things from a grocery store, so I headed to Al Qurum City Center. It’s basically a local mall for the lovely Qurum area. It’s part of the popular City Center shopping mall chain that has a number of malls around the GCC. The taxis is Oman do not have meters like the ones in Dubai. So you can find the fixed rates on a sign board at the hotel, airport and at malls. The taxi fare from Crowne Plaza Muscat to Qurum City Center is 4 OMR. There’s a Carrefour hypermarket in the shopping mall. But it’s not nearly as busy as the one in Dubai! I was there on a Thursday afternoon (around 3:30 pm) and the halls of the supermarket were haunted! It was a shocking scene for someone who frequents Dubai’s MOE Carrefour to say the least! Apparently, the residents have other more popular options for their grocery shopping aside from the UAE-renowned Carrefour.
I was glad to see a Borders bookstore at Qurum City Center! I managed to get a copy of a travel magazine and two notebooks for my University September semester (which started yesterday b.t.w.). Here’s a photo of Borders at Qurum City Center.
It takes around 5 minutes to get to the mall from Crowne Plaza Muscat. It’s a small-sized mall with only one floor including a number of high-street retail shops, a Starbucks, a food court, a Chili’s restaurant, a cinema and the Carrefour. I would say it’s a nice quiet place to go to when you need to kill some time, want to get some groceries, or do some people watching at the Starbucks 🙂
I’ll be posting the remaining photos on my Facebook Page at the end of these series of travel posts. So stay tuned to find out more about the beautiful and captivating city of Muscat…
Note: Airport taxis are located outside the arrival hall in Muscat airport. The cost from the airport to Crowne Plaza Muscat is 10 OMR per way. It’s a fixed rate that you must pay at the airport taxi station, which is located outside the arrival hall at Muscat airport. Muscat airport can be quite busy and overwhelming, so don’t let that put you off a highly peaceful and beautiful city 🙂
So the plan was to take a creative photo with my new Nikon for this post, but because I’m tight on time and honestly too tired, I decided to just use an online image.
Many of you might be back from vacations or are close to ending your holiday season…but I am just about to start my summer getaway! It’s more of a mini getaway really – nothing major. I just need to take a break from the fast-paced life for a while…a break from social media, checking e-mails, running errands, thinking about what to have for lunch or dinner, and all the other nuisances of our busy modern society.
All I want to do is to read my books and magazines by the ocean, get pampered at a spa, and explore some new and exotic locations.
I wouldn’t mind meeting some interesting folks along the way too 🙂
Truth is, my blog turns two in September. I can’t deny that the journey resembles a roller-coaster ride. On some days, you’re ecstatic and doing fun stuff and on others, you feel like giving it all up. I get asked all the time about how blogging works and if I’m making any profit out of it. In my case, the main reason I started this blog was to create a portfolio for my writing to present to potential employers. It also gives me an opportunity to practice and improve my writing skills. Whether I generate any income out of it is only a small part of the equation. Mostly because when I decided to change careers from IT to journalism, my goal wasn’t to become a successful blogger! It was – and still is – to make a living out of writing. Basically to become a journalist.
So to all of you looking into starting a blog or who are working towards monetizing one, just make sure that you’re willing to be in it for the long run. Because it’s a long and challenging journey, that requires a lot of determination and a plethora of skills. Nevertheless, it’s an exciting and thrilling ride.
I won’t be blogging, tweeting, checking Facebook or e-mail for the entire time of my vacation. But it won’t be too long until I’m back with more innovative, interesting and insightful posts.
I wish all of you a lovely summer, whether you are spending it at home or have gone/are going away to a new and exciting destination.
Looking forward to telling you all about my holiday once I’m back.
Reflective Thought: Do you sometimes get the feeling that you just want to disappear from the face of this planet called earth? and possibly never come back?
Please share your thoughts on this, if only to confirm my sanity level :p
If you’re not following my blog’s Facebook Page, then you might have missed our first fashion photo shoot. You can still browse the photos of my collaboration with Le Monde Des Petites from the album posted on my Facebook Page. While you are there, you might want to hit the “like” button to stay updated with the latest posts from this spontaneous and crazy lifestyle blog 🙂
Let’s have a look at the photos from our second style photo shoot, with details of the fashion brands worn by the model – the writer of this blog 🙂
My dad was in town, and for a belated birthday gift, I asked him to get me some charms for my brand new Pandora bracelet – which I recently got as a birthday gift too! Since I love a bit of a vintage style in almost everything, I chose a retro theme for my charms and made my selection from their uber cool oxidized charms collection.
The angel-wings ring is from O’ De Rose and it matches almost anything that I wear. It’s a very playful and everyday accessory that you can wear with almost any outfit – even with a casual T-shirt and jeans.
The metallic-studded sandals I am wearing are from a recent collection at River Island…
This exotic and multi-print day dress is from Warehouse. It’s a great summer essentials timeless piece to wear for a day at the beach club or a day out with the girls for lunch or coffee. So simple, elegant, and extremely comfy and light for the hot summer months.
This fabulous and original sequined clutch bag is a piece that I got a while back from the renowned Zara. It’s so versatile that you can wear it to a night out with friends, a day out on the beach, or even to accessorize a basic outfit at a media networking event! Now how’s that for multiple ways to wear a pastel-sequined Zara clutch bag? 🙂
Sadly, my friend Julie from the blog Le Monde Des Petites is leaving Dubai for good soon. So this photo shoot was only our second style shoot together, and also the farewell meeting for us. That’s the thing with this city, it’s so transient that you constantly find yourself meeting new interesting and genuine people, connecting with them on various levels, and then saying your good-byes when it’s time for them to move to another expat destination or back to their home towns! But, because we must always look at the bright side of every situation, the good thing about this is that I get to have friends at different cities across the globe, who I can visit when I travel 🙂
Thank you Julie for the lovely times we shared, despite them not being too many…I wish you all the best in everything and I look forward to seeing you again – hopefully soon! XXX
I must admit, I have a crazy obsession with lists. I make lists for everything; from to-do lists for the next day’s tasks, to grocery/random shopping lists, to future plans lists. My uncontrollable compulsive obsession with lists even gets me writing lists for the topics that I want to discuss with the people that I meet! sometimes these people are ones who I meet for the first time for business, but many times, they’re just friends who I’m catching up with over lunch or coffee!
I’ve always been super organized, and overly systematic in my thoughts, my plans and my life in general. Now while this may not necessarily be a bad thing, or anything to be worried about, the conflict that I face when dealing with others who don’t follow the same pattern of thinking or lifestyle was my main inspiration to write this post.
Anyone who lives in Dubai knows that it’s a melting pot of different ethnic groups, religions and nationalities. Each with their own set of values, cultures and lifestyles. This strong multi-cultured kaleidoscope obviously has its advantages and challenges. It’s always interesting and insightful to learn about other backgrounds and cultures, to hear stories from different voices and nationalities, and to connect with others who share your triumphs or successes.
At the same time, dealing with people from multiple parts of the world can be challenging and draining at times. Some of the differences between cultures can cause serious conflict between individuals, and lead to immense stress and misunderstandings. The value of time and planning are one of the main concepts of clashes between people from different cultures and backgrounds.
While some of us might be punctual to the minute when it comes to time, others may not think it’s a big deal if they showed up 20 or 30 minutes late to an appointment or a meeting. Planning is another one. While I like to plan the next day’s tasks well in advance, and arrange any meetings with people accordingly, those individuals who I’m meeting with may not have given that appointment much consideration and will therefore end up cancelling at the last minute, because they found out that they had other “commitments” and so won’t be able to make it.
For someone who occasionally plans their casual conversations with friends and family, I find it difficult to understand people who act so spontaneously and who make their plans up as they go about their lives. Not only do I don’t get them, I also try my best to avoid meeting them or working with them, resort to distancing myself from them, and sadly, I also loose most of my respect for them.
I’m not saying that relying on your wits and doing things randomly is a no-no at all times. Sometimes, being spontaneous leads to fun experiences, gets you to explore new things, and even brings the things that you need the most your way!
This is why, I think a balance between planning and improvisation is the best way to go. You shouldn’t be totally against going with the flow, as you never know where that might take you. Making room for spontaneity is essential in keeping our lives rich and vibrant, away from boring routines and monotonous activities and lifestyles. So, despite not being totally against being spontaneous, I am a firm believer in planning and setting daily goals for yourself.
I always wonder how non-planners know when they’ve reached a specific goal that they have set for themselves? Or do they not bother with setting goals and working towards them in the first place?
In my opinion, the only way that you can progress and improve yourself and your life is by setting definite goals, working towards them, and then changing them along the way. Not sure how that works for people who don’t like to make plans. I tend to set all types of goals for myself; personal, career, financial. And in the end, they are all connected to make up who you are and what kind of life you are – will be – living.
I always aim big, then lower my goals according to reality. I set very high standards – sometimes unrealistic or unachievable – and then work my way towards them. Until I either reach those exact goals, others that are close, or decide on new goals and work towards those.
OK, for the sake of not wanting this post to turn into a self-help book (article in this case), I will end my post by asking you to tell me what type of person do you consider yourself to be – an avid planner or someone who likes to be creative and make things up as they go along? Do you mostly rely on your instincts and just do what feels right for that moment in time? or do you have endless to-do lists and planner books filled with daily tasks, and plans for next year’s summer holiday maybe?