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Friday, May 30, 2008

Guess where we went this weekend...

May 29

That right boys and girls! We had Ultimate Afternoon Tea in the Burj Al Arab!
Ultimate Afternoon Tea
The newly introduced Ultimate Afternoon Tea is the quintessential of afternoon teas. With its 7-course menu, you are sure to experience a culinary journey of pure delight.

The journey begins with a glass of champagne or a non-alcoholic alternative accompanied by a selection of delicate finger sandwiches. A selection of succulent cuts of meat or fish served by our Chef from the carving station follows. Fresh sorbet presented on dry ice is served as the next course, providing a palate cleanser before the much anticipated sweet pleasures. Then, expect a variety of warm scones, accompanied by homemade jams and endless lashings of clotted cream. A sweet interlude comprising a colourful mixed berry basket lightly dusted with icing sugar and served with fresh cream is followed by an exquisite selection of French pastries. A variety of hand-crafted petit fours is presented as the finale to this gastronomic journey.

A selection of 50 loose teas to choose from and coffees from different parts of the world form an integral part of the Ultimate Afternoon Tea experience and will be refilled at any stage during the afternoon tea, according to your taste.
It was cool!!
The Burj is on its own island and you have to pass thru a security point in order to state your business at the Burj. Once they check your reservations you are allowed to drive to the front where you valet of course.

The entry lobby is quite small actually but brightly decorated. You are greeted by a colorful fountain with an on going display of jumping water flanked by two huge aquariums filled with brightly colored fish and an escalator on either side to take you up to the main floor.It was really hard to take full pictures of anything because of the sheer size and hight and closeness of everything. I did my best and stitched a few together so you could get the full feeling.
This is taken from the main floor (near where we ate) looking up.

Entry fountain
One of the aquariams
Looking up from the base of the escalatorView of the lobby from the top of the jumping water fountain
Again, it was hard to take pictures, the lighting wasn't always working in my favor so some of these have been lightened so you can see some of the detail.

This is taken from standing at the back of the main floor near the shopping ally (you'll see) facing the canvas front of the hotel.
The white canvas does indeed let in a lot of light. I've have an arrow pointing to where we ate. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take any pictures in the area where we ate so we don't have any picture of the food or our view, etc. :( We were seated by the window so we had a great view of part of the city and of the entire inside of the hotel.

Same shot as above but with views all the way to the top of the hotel. In the center of this area is another jumping water fountain that was really nice.View of some of the restaurants on this main floor (and looking up of course)

Full view of the 'sail' all the way to the ceiling . Oh, and yes, those little colored cubbies all the way up the inside are the entries to the rooms.
It's a shame they don't offer tours of at least one of the rooms, I would think they could make good money doing it. I would pay to see one...
Standing at the top of the 'jumping water' looking towards the ally of shopping (and up).
As you would expect the shopping was all high dollar jewlery and art, etc. They did have a small bank back there as well.
At the base is a jewelry storeMe at the center fountain (looking up of course)

Behind Mark is the entrance to the shopping ally. This is a pic of the tile work at the entrance of the area as seen below
At the back of the main floor is a bank of elevators that take you to up the glass spine of the hotel to the restaurants at the top. We tried to go up but of course were not allowed entry to them without a reservation. On my photo link I have included a couple pictures of the view from inside the lift.
While we wait I'm kicking back on a sweet lounger
Outside is the Burj's own painted camel. These things are all over town (usually in odd places) and I try to photograph them when I can.
Behind the camel and myself, waaay off in the distance, is the Marina where we live.

We arrived at 2:30p for Tea and roamed around until around 6pm or later. As we left the sun was setting and the skies were clear enough to actually see the sun dip beneath the horizon!

We took a quick trip to Jumeriah Beach Hotel which is the land wave that was made to complement the Burj. We were lucky enough to weasel our way onto the property and explore their grounds (I'll post on that later). From their beach is a great view of the 7 star land mark resting upon it's very own island...

The night turned balmy quickly once the sun went down. We continued to explore the Jumeirah property and later grabbed a quick bite at one of our favorite dining places, Madinat Jumeirah, which is only a stones throw from the hotels.

All and all we are both glad we spent the money to experience the Burj.
The small courses of finger sandwiches, fruits, and desserts were quite good. The service was great of course. It is really cool to be able to now say we've been inside but really we both agreed that most of the Vegas hotels are actually better in overall wow factor on the inside. That being said, you still have to give credit where credit is due... The design of this hotel is beautiful and unusual and it was erected on it's very own, man made island, in the Middle East...
In my opinion the place deserves the attention it receives and is worth a visit for tea, lunch, dinner or even just drinks if you don't want to fork out the cash for an overnight. It is going on my personal list of must dos. Maybe one day we will look into paying for one of those pricey overnights.... :)
If you would like to see all of the pictures I took while we were there check out the "Photo Link" at the top right of the blog or just click here.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Life in pictures

One evening we were hanging out at the house and heard some explosion noises. To our delight, we looked out the window to see a wonderful display of fireworks!!
One great thing about this city - they like to use fireworks!! There are numerous nights we have found ourselves running to the balcony or down the hall to get a view of the unannounced celebration. This night I believe was the Dutch celebration of the Queen's Birthday.
I don't question the reasons for the displays, I just enjoy them and am happy I don't have to wait a full year to see them!!
On to some bad news... We discovered this past week that by the end of summer 2 of our favorite views will be interrupted by new buildings...

This was our view of the Burj Al Arab (more info) and the Burj Dubai on:

Now look at it!!
Look at the growth in only 4 months! Amazing.
Speaking of the Burj Dubai some guy just got in trouble for sneaking into the building, climbing 150 floors (unnoticed) and performing a Base Jump off the tallest building in the world. Here is the full article that was in one of the local papers. He had a video camera on his head recording the flight but I don't know if it was confiscated or not.

(if you're into info and updates about the Burj Dubai, this guy is very detailed and has lots of nice pictures)
Burjuman is yet another awesome mall in this city. We don't go out there often because the construction in the area typically has traffic tied in knots. Never the less it is a beautiful shopping center.
One of the many atriums
The main food court that houses a handful of restaurants
The center of the mall is always decorated or displaying something. This time it was a showing of stunning gowns:
Mom, I found this great dress I thought you could duplicate for me: :)
Some lovely shots of the famous Sheikh Zayed Rd and its monorail in progress:
All of the underpasses/tunnels are tiled in different designs. There are some really nice ones throughout the city but I'm usually driving alone and unable to capture them.
Today I had the husband in town and driving!
Le Meridien Mina Seyahi is a one of the many hotels in the city. We stopped by there to grab dinner and have a beer the other night. Very nice! It is also home to (supposedly) one of the top bar locations in the world; Barasti. It was quite nice but I personally wouldn't classify it as the best in the world...
My 2nd stained glass project is finally complete! YAY

We also journey out to Dubai Outlet Mall. It is about 20 miles (I think) in land. Its amazing how quickly I forget that I'm in a desert. Living in the city with all the buildings, water features, trees and flowers... It doesn't take very far before you are surrounded with sand and sage-brush type trees.
The mall was large and seemed to have some decent prices on clothing but is really just too far out (and the roads/traffic is ikky) to make it appealing. Plus it is out in the middle of no where. I'm sure it is only a mater of a few years before the city grows that far out but for now, I'll pass.
Shot of the Dubai Marina/JBR from my local mall, Ibn Battuta

These are not disapearing anytime soon, I don't think...


There was a fire on top of one of the buildings being built. They say no one was hurt, that's good.__________________________________
We are not sure what the hoopla was about but it made for a nice photo:
This eyesore has been chained to this light pole for at least 2 month if not more. I can't even imagine how or what happened to this poor bike but why the Hotel that the bike is parked in front of hasn't removed it is a mystery. Upon closer inspection the key is actually in the lock so, in theory, no cutting would even be required to remove the eyesore, yet still the bike sits... Maybe the maintenance people for that building aren't actually authorized to do any work there either...

Well, have a good day!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Our hearts, love and admiration goes out to ALL of our friends and family who are Moms! Enjoy your day!!