Tag Archives: dubai marina

The Observatory | Marriott Hotel Dubai Marina

Marriott Hotel Drinks

Do you fancy chilling out on top of a sky-rise tower? Amazing 360 degrees view from the glass windows of 52nd floor.

The Observatory of Marriott Hotel in Dubai Marina is best known for its location.

Last April we went for a drink with my partner and his mum. As we took the elevator going to the 52nd floor my ears got blocked of pressure. I never had fear of heights but when I was walking inside the bar makes me feel nausea realising how high we were.

You can hardly see people below but you will be impressed with the amazing sparkling towers and the breath taking view of Palm Jumeirah. It’s best to visit before sundown and you will appreciate it more during night time. They also offer happy hours during  5 PM to 10 PM (Sat-Tues), 5 PM to 8 PM (Wed-Fri) which is very good.

I had a lovely mojitos and since we had food already and just wanted to see what it’s like on the top we didn’t bother ordering any food. Can’t wait to go back soon!

Going to 52nd Observatory

The Observatory Dubai Marina

Happy Hour in Dubai

Marriott Bar in Dubai

The Observatory Marriott Hotel in Marina

#palmjumeirah #Dubai

A post shared by Myla Laurel-Smith (@findmeabreak) on

The Observatory
52nd Floor
Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites
Al Sufouh Road
Dubai Marina
United Arab Emirates
PO Box 66662

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Things You Need To Know About Dubai

Marina Yacht Dubai

Ever since I  started this blog I have been gradually posting my experiences all around UAE (mostly in Dubai) from travel to food and all those random bits that I have encountered. My main purpose is to document my experience on a specific place and share a bit of knowledge for everyone who’s been in Dubai for so long but aren’t aware that such place ever existed or for some who just came on board.

As an expat living for almost two years I have grown to love the emirate more and more. The fact that Dubai, as a cosmopolitan city where people are rushing to and fro work and home is just a common routine. Apart from the hustle-bustle life there are countless of wonderful things that will make your stay a memorable one. 

Karama Burjuman Dubai

I live in a place where I consider it as the heart of the city , called Karama. A place where you can find cheap eats and a good place to shop for those who are on a budget. Asians are the majority of people residing particulary, Filipinos and Indians. Filipinos are abundant in this place because most accommodations are cheaper and is very convenient. It is close to the metro train, restaurants, beauty parlors, hospitals, malls, bars etc. No wonder my posts are all about the food circling Karama.

Five minutes walk will take you to a variety of restaurants such as Indonesian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian and of course Filipino. I feel like I haven’t left Philippines at all. Grocery shops like West Zone offers so many Filipino products. You can find Yakult, Yakisoba, Chicken Chicharon and etc.

I dreaded summer and because of that I am forced to call for delivery. Thankful for the convenience of the shops that offers free delivery.

It is also famous for tourists who are up to fake designer stuff. You’ll be surprised with the quality of handbags like Michael Kors, Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Burberry. You are more likely to be ripped off in this place if you are a westerner so better bring with you an asian friend to help you haggle with them.

streets of karama

There’s also this part of Dubai which is called Dubai Marina, it consists of high-end skyscrapers and is known for the home of western expats. It’s one of the must see places but food are often costly. The place is close to the famous Palm Jumeirah (man-made island). In this area you will  find sky diving and all the luxurious things you can’t even think of. It’s more like touristy side of Dubai. I love the place but I can’t trade it for where I am staying now.

 
Dubai Marina Boat


Adios Amigos!

A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself. – Jim Morrison

The gang

Yesterday was one of the most memorable night, spending it with the rest of the gang.  Quite a bit sad because our dinner is a farewell gesture for the two of our NSG family (Janel and Cyrus) and other two will be off for their one month holiday (Zyra and Kyle).

I’ve been working with them for 8 months now and have been treated like a real family. What I love about these guys are they let me be myself. They’re the one’s you get so comfortable with – being carefree and all, that you don’t need to pretend and try to fit in. They’re just awesome genuine people which is rare to find in Dubai.

I know it’s cheesy!! but I just wanted to express the gratitude I felt to be a part of their lives despite of some leaving for good to move on and pursue greater career opportunities. (you suck janel and cyrus)

I always believe that friends are one of life’s passage they come and go but what matter’s most is the privilege of bumping and sharing your life with them.

NSG's finest

We ended up at Round Table Pizza (at Dubai Marina) after mistakenly thought by Janel that it was Papa John’s. Well thank you Janel!

i supposed this is a wacky styleI hate wacky! They make me wack. The night filled with conversatations mostly non-sense.

Janel leaving us huhu

Janel got a bit emotional while reading our messages to her. I was hoping to see her cry. hehe Cyrus was just ‘ok’

I can't decide what to eat - round table pizza

My head was saying: “I want that! I want that! I want that!” So greedy, no wonder why I’m so thin.

Pepperoni pizza at roundtable marina

Thin crust pepperoni with mozzarella cheese

Roundtable Pizza dubai marina

Gone in sixty seconds – And yes I eat four slices of each type of pizza! Well done Myla!

The Opening of Nofara Cafe at JLT | Dubai

Turkish delight at Nofara Cafe Dubai

Last Monday night we had the privilege to take part in Nofara Cafe’s grand opening at Jumeirah Lake Towers.

We anticipated to arrive at seven however as a result of taxi driver confusion, we ended up on the wrong side of JLT, heading to Abu Dhabi.

Despite the predicament that we found ourselves in, we walked for 20 minutes until we saw our landmark – the large-blue-full-glass building with the ‘Swiss Tower’ sign on top of it, as well as the big “DAMAS” store on the opposite side of the road. The location is not far from Dubai Marina metro station on the JLT side.

Nofara Cafe JLT

Nofara Cafe Dubai

Nofara Cafe Outdoor View

Our 20-minute walk was worth it when we finally arrived at the place. The cafe fills a big indoor space with full glass walls on the side, it is brightly lit at night. The interiors have a modern but homely touch to their design, just perfect for lounging and chilling out. They also have a shisha area and outdoor seating facing the lake. The interior, complete with chalkboards and tasty looking home-baked goods on display, reminded my partner of Organic Cafes which are currently very popular in the UK.

We are very grateful to Ms Lindi and the rest of her team for their invite. They were great hosts, with their fantastic staff always looking after us and topping us up with refreshing drinks and tasty samplers from the menu.

fantastic staff of Nofara Cafe serving fresh juices

The theme of Nofara’s menu is Organic Homemade style food with an Arabic twist. We sampled a great variety of dishes, including a very tasty Mousaka (our favourite), Moroccan style chicken, Parceled Hammour, Cumin Beef and some sandwiches (chicken pesto and lamb meatloaf). Their drinks were super refreshing, the most memorable being an apple mojito with fresh apple pieces floating in it.

enjoying my apple mojito

chocolate brownies and cupcakes Nofara

For desserts, the Arabic/Eastern influence was definitely noticeable, sumptuous chocolate brownies and cupcakes infused with flavours such as Turkish delight and pistachio. My partner has just returned from Istanbul and it felt like a revisit for him!

The prices are very reasonable, main meals are around 35-50 AED, fresh fruit drinks are under 20 AED and cakes are generally priced from 15-20 AED. No more than you would see in similar organic style cafes around town.

fresh organic veg and fruit Ripe ME

They also have a tie up with “Ripe”, a service that is really getting popular in the UAE, where people can order fresh organic veg and fruit delivered to their door. You can place your orders from Nofara and I believe you can also arrange to pick up from there too.

For all the food we were generously provided with, you could really taste the freshness in the vegetables/fruit and the warm meals felt like they could easily have been cooked at home by a loving mother.

As a big fan of the Lime Tree Café, I am excited at the prospect of seeing Organic style eateries such as the excellent Nofara Café popping up in Dubai – for us customers, this is only a good thing!

goody bag with turkish delights

On our exit, we were given a cute little goody bag containing Turkish delights, coffee beans and some materials about the Café. A lovely way to say goodbye to a fantastic visit.

Of course, having been treated so well by the Nofara team, it’s no surprise we will speak such good words! There’s only one way to find out if we’re speaking the truth…

P.S. Let me know of your favourite organic style café in the UAE!

chocolate cupcake

enticing sweets of Nofara Fresh Healthy Salads Health Bar Moroccan style chicken Nofara Cafe Gourmet Nofara Cafe Menu Nofara's home made delicacies organic chicken pesto Parceled Hammour Turkish style chocolate cakes very tasty Mousaka

A Passion for Photography in Dubai

dubai marina

Taking photos in everyday life is one of my biggest creative passions. My interest in pictures began ever since my memory can recall. Even before popular modern image techniques such as Instagram were invented I have been a photo lover.

I am fascinated with the vintage style and the grainy effect from photos that are processed using a film. I enjoy the nostalgia of looking at old pictures of my family back home, which we store in an ancient black suitcase which brings back so many memories.
Living in today’s world gives us real convenience in capturing the most memorable moments of our lives, that’s what make us so lucky compared to those before. I am thankful that modern technology allows us to take and upload a beautiful picture, edit it in Instagram and upload it to the internet using just a mobile phone. Before I use my computer in uploading photos for my friends in the Philippines to see. Whether they agree if it is beautiful or not it doesn’t matter as long as I have shared my small creative piece.

It is truly incredible having a small device at our fingertips that allows us to capture moments instantly with a simple reach into our pockets, just an aim and a click. It’s a great way to capture everyday life because it’s always with you.

I am also inspired by the ideas and examples we can find of other people online. Example, there is one man who took a picture of his face every day for a year and posted a video showing all the shots together. Many people have started doing this also and it is a different way to look at life. However, there are also pitfalls – people rarely print out their photos now, instead they chose to store their photos on Social Networking websites and blogs.

Before I came to Dubai I spent most of the time working on my blog showcasing different attractions and tours around my hometown, Cebu. I considered it a passion and it really felt good knowing that you are helping out tourists discovering the place I grew up in. Unfortunately, a friend who I was paying to run my website failed to pay the hosting fees and my site was blocked. Too bad!

Moving to Dubai has given me so many opportunities to take great photos – from food, to skyscrapers and so much more. When I am not working, I like to treat my spare time as a vacation – making the most of my time here so when I return home I will have plenty to look back on. Whether it’s a scrumptious meal in an Italian restaurant, having my favourite Indian food which is Dosa, dipping in all the beautiful beaches around the country, a trip to the tallest towers or a visit to ancient places found in UAE. Maybe in 20 years time I can use a beautiful shot of Dubai Creek to teach my grandchildren the value of framing a beautiful picture and making it as a collection.

Mostly I will take photos using my mobile phone and the Instagram app because it’s fun and I am very thankful for its convenience. My trusty old Canon D1000 is the choice for long rides and get-aways.

There are countless expressions and moments each day in your life that you might not remember if you don’t capture them. Who knows, just a random snapshot will turn out to be one of your most cherished memories and sometimes the smallest things can mean so much more later on. Life is too short to miss the perfect moments in your life and technology has gone too far so there are no excuses, so grab your camera phone and start capturing some of the unique things around you!

“A Picture of many colors proclaims images of many thoughts” – Donna A Favors

creek bur dubai jbr jumeirah beach park mall of the emirates media city the creek bur dubai the souq winter in dubai winter in media city