Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dubai Christmas Festival 2012

This will be the second Christmas that I will be spending away from home.  So I decided to make it as memorable as possible as if I am actually spending it with my family.  Good to know that this country have been open to accommodate the difference cultures of the expatriates living here.

First on the list is the Dubai Christmas Festival.  Sponsored by Philips, the festival was held at the ampitheater of the Dubai Media City.  The venue was not difficult to locate.  Once you entered the Dubai area passing Ibn Batuta Train station, you just need to be within the area of  Marina Mall.  Once you found that exit, the sign for Dubai Media City is seen.  Just follow street directions, plus the festival is noticeable with all decors and loud music.  The only problem was the parking.  There's not much space, we have to go around the area for some time till we were able to hit a jackpot.

The entrance is hard to miss, a huge signage for the festival and a booth for the tickets welcomes the visitors. Entrance rate for Adults cost AED 40 and AED 25 for kids.  Another ticket for Santa's Grotto is also sold for AED 20.00  Once we gave them our voucher, we were given two entrance tickets with raffle ticket plus a mini map of the festival.  The Christmas tree lined pathway was an encouraging sight for the arriving visitors.

And so our adventure started.  Three were plenty of booths for food and restaurant.  Further from the main Christmas tree area is the market which sells bric-a-brac that could be a funky Christmas gift.  What I love the most was the booth with carnival games. ho ho ho!  It was located at the end of the night market area.  though its not hard to miss as it is next to a ice cream truck.  I did a beeline there, I'm a sucker for this games and I rarely win but still the trill of trying to win something is just plain enticing.  Good to know there's no shooting games, I'd need my sister for that to win a prize.  A huge donut caught my eye and decided to try my luck there.  the game was hook a gift bag.  If the back you hooked has a Christmas ball inside you get to take home the huge donut displayed.  The game cost AED 15.00, first bag we got a stuffed shark. Boohoo.  Before I spend more, my husband drag me back to the center of the festival.

We got a a bench and watched the Christmas tree lighting and listen kid's choir sing.   While the Christmas concert was going, I had to scour every booth and scored myself some freebies. I love fairs like this! The festival serves draft beers at AED 35.00 per cup.  We bought from fish and chips and some sushi and dinner underneath the stars is served.

The night was almost perfect after another round of window shopping and more sample tasting I forced my husband to have another go with the donut game before we leave for Abu Dhabi.  When I got there, I was handed the hook and I was just there looking at all those  glittering gift bags, where could those balls be hiding.  Only two donuts were left for the taking for that night, After so much deliberation I hook the bag that was staring right in front of me.  And ta-dah! I won a donut! I shrieked horribly and it was unlady-like but I really don't care.  That made my night.

We left around 8:00 pm while the rest of the drinking crowd were just starting to heat up the beer station. The festival ran from Dec. 06-08, 2012.  I hope I get to catch this same festival next year and win another gift to add another stuff in our living room.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

41st UAE National Day

Ho! It has been three months since my last post, and that was a bit melancholic considering that it was a post  about a forbidden protein (in my case).   Before this post will reek of sour graping thoughts...what better way to make a come back than to do it in one of the most wonderful month of the year..December!

Our December started with a loud bang, with the UAE national day kicking off the month.  The celebration started with  a 10 minute fireworks display at the corniche area on 01 December 2012.  As advertised the fireworks will start around 8:30 pm.

We decided to join in the festivities since there will be no work the following day.  We had a impromptu picnic at the park.  We packed our instant hot chocos and some munchies and headed to the park.  We have to walk since the road leading to the corniche is already crowded.  Before we were able to find a spot, the fireworks started already.  One word, beautiful.

The kid in me will always be amazed with the loud bang as well as the colorful splatter of glittering lights in the sky.  It will never cease to make me clap with glee while shouting "ooooohhhh" and "aaaahhhhh." 

After the display, we found a small spot since the entire park was fully packed.  That's when we started people watching.  Yes, people watching, the most enjoyable activity that you could do without spending a cent.  Kids and and adults are walking while spraying artificial snow and bubbles to passersby.  We even had our share of spray even if we were just sitting.  It was fun.  Cars passing honking and throwing confettis also made the night more party-ish.

The main firework event was on 02 December 2012 the same venue.  we didn't dare went out to watch it because there's too much traffic.  We only went out before it was dark to do a little shopping.  We were lucky to catch the air show.  It was exciting.  The daredevil pilots can really take your breath away.  The parade of cars with uae stickers were also everywhere.

Truly a festive way to start off my December 2012.