Tag Archives: UAE

Sugaholic Cup Cakes | Karama | Dubai

Sugaholic Cupcakes Dubai

I was browsing through my old Instagram photos and found this cute little pugcakes that I received last birthday from my dearest.

Before Sugaholic was formed, the two sisters Sneha Bhatia and Ravisha Bhatia from India treated it as a passion and hobby. Later on by the strong demand and  encouragement of their friends who got so gaga over their delicious cakes decided to open a business and now became one of the cutest and trendy bakeshop in Karama.

Sugaholic Cupcakes in Karama
Dobbie is always grumpy – never contented tsk

The normal cupcake costs 14 dirhams and the customised one is 18.

You can find their cute little shop in Karama behind Yoko Sizzlers.

My First Dubai Standard Chartered Participation

dubai marathon run

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon was held last Friday the 24th at Al Sufouh Road near Madinat Jumeirah.

Participating in this kind of event is very rewarding. For some, they might think it’s a waste of time but I really enjoyed watching and being in the crowd of people who are trying their best to finish the race.

I may have joined the 3k Fun Run but hey it’s a good start right? I’m dreaming of seeing myself competing for the complete marathon.  Ha!

So the event turned out very great. I’m so glad to be there although I got sore all over my legs it was all worth it. At some point, I thought I will collapse but I forced myself to think that it will be a shame to not finished a 3k run. hahaha

Seeing kids running with their parents matching their pace makes my heart lift up. Others have raised their banners to show support with their family members. You see, joining this kind of event builds physical and mostly social bond with your family and friends and that’s what makes it very important.

I believe that running will help me in doing something that will make me a better and happier person.

So if I can do a 3k so can you!

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset standard chartered ladies run standard marathon starting line marathon

dubai run

standard chartered in dubai uae

 

My First Boracay Island Experience | Philippines

Airplane to Boracay

This is the part where the awaited holiday experience starts.

We arrived in Kalibo Airport on the 3rd of September boarded in a Cebu Pacific Airlines.

I have booked all our flights with Cebu Pacific because of its cheaper Promo Sales.

I have done it months before our holiday and have been impressed with the service. Well there are  some cases where it’s a bit delayed but it’s not that bad.

Touchdown Boracay
Touchdown Boracay

There are two airports that you can choose from in going to Boracay Island:

Caticlan Airport

  • only small aircraft can land at this airport
  • the closest airport to Boracay
  • has limited schedule of flights
  • passengers are given a limited luggage allowance of 10kgs
  • more costly airfare than Kalibo
  • From Caticlan airport you can either take a tricycle or just walk (10 minutes) to Caticlan Jetty Port.

Kalibo Airport

  • is the main airport that connects international flights
  • the runway is able to land larger aircraft
  • It is about 2 hours ride to Caticlan Jetty Port
  • 5-15 minutes ride until you step foot on the finest sand of Boracay

Once we picked up our luggages we were able to quickly purchase a transport package from Southwest Travels outside the airport terminal.  For just 1,800 each pesos we will be transported to Caticlan Jetty port through a van that also includes fee for jetty and Terminal. Best thing of choosing this package is that you’ll have a worry-free travel since they will drop you off and on directly infront of the hotel you’re staying.

Lesson learned never bring heavy baggage in going to Boracay. Both of us brought around 19 kgs each so it really is a pain in the arse.

We are so glad for the helpful porters who are very muscle-ly enough to carry our luggage from the boat to the surface. (make sure to prepare a couple of change to give “tips” to the porters)

Boracay Sunset
Boracay Sunset

The sky is so clear and the sun was so inviting as we step foot to the Island. I haven’t expected that Boracay will greet us perfectly. Days before the trip I was constantly checking the weather forecast worried about the predicted thunderstorms and rainshowers but boy I am lucky to brought some sunshine from Dubai!

Sunbathing in Boracay

Sunbathing in Boracay
Beachfront Boracay
Beachfront Boracay

FarEast Seafood Market | Regent Palace Hotel

teppanyaki at FarEast Seafood

What does Teppanyaki means?

Teppanyaki is a style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook food. The word teppanyaki is derived from teppan, which means iron plate, and yaki, which means grilled, broiled, or pan-fried.

We are so glad to have visted one of Karama’s hidden gem, the FarEast Seafood Market. After reading good reviews from Tripadvisor and Zomato we decided to give it a go.

The setting of the restaurant is a bit similar to Shogun Restaurant in Deira.

One thing that impresses me is the glass floor made of water tank with live fish inside. That’s why it’s a bit darker when you get in so to make the aquarium more noticeable. Pretty cool huh?

As we settled to our chair, our lovely chef named, Julius greeted us.

He then starts to prepare our first dish. Our appetizer is a stir-fry vegetables with fish and shrimp and trust me the smell is so delicious I started getting full just by smelling it.

We had so much fun watching chef Julius as he showcases his talent and at the same time I am mentally taking note of the ingredients he used. Perhaps I could apply it in my future cooking.

After the appetizer, we ordered for a bowl of fried rice and chiken then followed by grilled beef.

I am not a fan of medium rare beef but I love the way he cooked it. The meat is so tender and soft with the soy and the rest of the ingredients absorbed perfectly.
For 80 dirhams you will enjoy an all-you-can-eat deal with:

  • Soups (Tom Yam soup / CHinese chicken sweet and sour)
  • Drinks (non-alcoholic)
  • Appetizer
  • Main Course
  • Dessert mixed fruit platter

I know we are suppose to be eating seafod menu as what the restaurant implies but it has been a good choice to try Teppanyaki as their other option. I can say that this is the best Teppanyaki I have tried.

I promise chef Julius that we will come back and will blog about it. He was genuinely pleased and happy.

ADDRESS:

Regent Palace Hotel, Mezzanine Level
Opposite Burjuman, Al Karama, Dubai
04 3963888

FarEast Seafood Market

Buffet in Regent Karama

Asian Restaurant

Regent Palace Hotel

Seafood Market in Karama

stir-fry vegetables

tom yum soup

chicken sweet and sour soup


chicken teppanyaki
fried rice
medium rare beef teppanyaki mix fruit platter

teppanyaki cooking

live cooking teppanyaki

Soy and Pepper at Reef Mall | Dubai

Being invited to a newly opened restaurant is such a pleasure. We were so excited to try this Asian place in Deira.

We were greeted at Soy & Pepper by their lovely Manager, Ms Teresa and her very nice staff.

They are located inside Reef Mall just next to Dome Cafe; as you approach you will see a LCD hanging on the wall displaying a variety of the dishes on offer, cooked up by Chef Jeff who puts his own twists on traditional Asian cuisine.

Soy and Pepper Reef Mall

Soy and Pepper

When me and my dining partner sat down the first thing we ordered were the drinks.  We decided to go for one peach and one lemon ice tea.  Both tasted fine just as you’d expect, with some nice fresh fruit included on the glass.

For our first starter, we decided to go for their Tom Yum soup which was very tasty with a spicy and sour kick.  Traditional Thai fare, boosted further with their special condiment mix of garlic and chili.

Tom Yum Soup

After our palettes had been cleansed by the soup we decided to go for Thai Cashew Salad.  It was just as fresh as it looked on the Menu, with crunchy veg, cashew and that spicy kick that all good Thai salads should have.  Even my partner, who is not normally a big fan of capsicum (bell pepper), loved this one.

Fresh Thai Cashew Salad

Once we finished our salad it was time for the mains.

Our first main course was Chicken Sisig – a twist on the popular Filipino dish using chicken instead of pork. The Sisig was very nice and the twist of using chicken worked surprisingly well. It arrived sizzling in a traditional style with a raw egg on top that cooked as you sat.  The chicken was cooked just right and the rice complimented it perfectly.

Chicken Sisig

We also ordered Beef and Brocolli, more of a Chinese style dish. The Beef and Brocolli was also very tasty and reminded us of a meal that you can get at PF Changs (a compliment for sure!) both dishes were a good size and certainly filled the two of us.

Beef and Broccoli

Once our mains were finished we decided to order some desserts; we went for the Leche flan (creme caramel) and Ube topped with shredded butter.

The Leche flan was very nice with a special syrup on top giving it a unique flavour.  Even if we were pretty full by this point, we still managed to finish it, as well as the Ube which had that lovely traditional taste that all Filipinos would expect!

Leche flan

Ube

After our meal we met the lovely Chef  Jeff who gave us further insight about the dishes and how he put his own twist on them.  You could really get a feel for his passion and I can’t wait to see how the other dishes on the menu taste.

the man behind Soy and Pepper

Throughout our dining experience with Soy and Pepper we were treated very well by professional and friendly staff.  The dishes were familiar with a cute twist.

Perhaps the best things about this place are the great value for money, the fresh ingredients, talented cookery and great service.

So if you have a free evening or want to impress a friend with a good cheap eat, why not head over to Reef Mall and check them out?!  if they get the “bums on seats” they deserve it could be very exciting to see them expand through the Emirate and beyond!

My thanks once again to Ms Teresa, Chef Jeff and their team for a wonderful experience at Soy and Pepper.

 

Places To See In Dubai

Let’s put it this way, it’ll be my first time to visit Dubai and I am very eager to explore all the must-see places however in a limited period of time.

I only have one week to spend my holiday in the desert and upon researching I find most of the reviews of the places too overrated/touristy. I wanted to make my own disovery but how can I do it when I don’t have any clue at all.

So here’s what I have come up to share to you my personal list of things to do as a first time visitor of Dubai:

Firstly, I will spend one whole day at Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping mall. I will make sure to have enough rest prior to the day of visit because this mall is insanely massive that it will drain much of my energy.

Burj Khalifa is tucked on the right side of Dubai Mall. The huge mall offers so many varieties of restaurants that will surely make me gorge with Italian cooked wood fired oven pizzas, American steaks, Lebanese grilled chicken, Indian curry and roti, Chinese P.F Changs ultimate food choices and so much more.

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Dubai mall

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I haven’t been to the top of Burj Khalifa but I prefer to sit drinking coffee at Kino’s Cafes’ balcony. This is supposed to be our secret place because very little know about it or so but I am genuinely generous enough to share this with you.

In that cafe I will have my own little space while feasting my eyes with the spectacular dancing fountain and scenic view of the Burj Khalifa. Also avoiding those long queue of tourists going at the top.

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Kinokuniya

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Dancing fountain

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I will myself with those fancy restaurants and coffee shop in between shopping.

UK shop in Dubai Shopping in Dubai
H&M Dubai Forever 21 Dubai

    • You can make a reservation for one of the best water parks in Dubai. I’ve been to Atlantis and boy it was so much fun.
    • Your trip to Dubai will not be complete without experiencing Desert Safari. Preferably nice to try during colder months.
    • Madinat Jumeirah is one of the best places I’ve been.

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#desert

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amazing hotel in dubai - mina salam



How to get an OEC for vacationing OFW’s | Philippine Consulate of Dubai

If you’re a Filipino working abroad you are considered as an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) and with that you are entitled to contribute for OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration).

It is an agency that leads government agency tasked to protect and promote the welfare and well-being of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their dependents.

Before I can leave Dubai I am required to obtain an OEC (Overseas Employment Certificate).

This is a mandatory certificate that you need to obtain every time you will go back home. It is a piece of receipt that has stamp and signature on it. If you have no time you can still process it in the Philippines but it is more costly.

This works like a visa in which you present it at the airport through Philippine Immigration so that they will let you leave the country without any further interrogation.

This will serve as a proof that you are a legitimate OFW and will permit you to exit Philippines. It will also exempt you from paying airport terminal fee and travel tax.

In order to get OEC you will need to go to the Philippine Consulate of Dubai. In my case, I took the metro to Union then transfer to green line bound to Etisalat and stopped at Al Qusais station (second to the last station).

Then I took a taxi and paid 10 dirhams for just a short trip. I strongly advice that you go there very early as in early. I got there at around quarter to seven and found people queuing already. They open at 8am.

After half an hour they let us in and one staff made a briefing about what the whole process is all about. Remember that they can only accommodate 250 persons per day. They gave us each our respective numbers and mine is 34.

If you’re a first timer or you haven’t paid anything since got abroad you will have to fill up 3 forms. That will be for Pag-ibig contribution (10 dirhams), OEC (10 dirhams) and OWWA (92 dirhams). The total amount will be 112 dirhams.

If you’re not a first timer then you only have to pay for OEC and Pag-ibig. OWWA contribution is valid for two years except if you have change an employer. I was told by the staff that every little changes made on your contract you are required to update and pay for OWWA.

35 Beirut St. Ext. No. 2
Al Qusais 3 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
P.O. Box 94778
Tel. No. + 971 4 2207100
Fax No. + 971 4 2207800

Cebu Smile Magazine | Dubai Feature | The Desert Rose

dubai-marina-yacht-at-night

My favorite article of Smile Magazine August issue is titled, ‘The Desert Rose written by Alex Ritman, a Dubai-based journalist. He amazingly put into words and generously shared all the impressive landmarks that first timers shouldn’t miss.

No one can argue that even myself still get awe and fascinated by the striking tower of Burj Khalifa. It never fails to fascinate visitors all the time. I’ve never been on the top myself, it’s not that I’m scared of heights but I prefer to be sitting somewhere near it just looking at it until my neck get sore.

Well I can now relate to his second recommendation, Aquaventure (waterpark). It was my first waterpark visit last December and god it was freezing. Of course being a sissy never occured to me on trying the Leap of Faith but it was so fun watching people dropped so fast and it feels like for a split second their soul was left behind. Aquaventure is located in the Atlantis Hotel on the far tip of The Palm, Jumeirah,

One of my favourite mall in Dubai is of course The Dubai Mall. I call it ‘The Torturous Mall‘ due to its massive size and every time I went home after strolling I get body aches. Dubai Mall welcomes over 50 million visitors a year that’s why it is one of the top must see places in Dubai. It is very close to Burj Khalifa and the fountain. Endless varieties of shop and activities will surely make your visit a memorable one.

The Souk Madinat Jumeirah is close to Mina A’salam a great place to chill out and relax. If you’re a beach bum then this is your place. The view is just spectacular facing the great Burj Al Arab.

amazing-hotel-in-dubai-mina-salam

Ravi’s – Of course who would not know the oldest and famous restaurant in Dubai. You can read my post about Ravi here.

Lastly, Mr. Ritman haven’t forgotten The Creek, where all of the glitz and glamour have started. All the means of trade occured here fifty years ago before high towers and skyscrapers were built. Here’s my video from a short trip taking a traditional wooden boat across the water.

The Creek

 

So here you go I hope you find this post helpful. I’m glad to share this interesting new found article in Cebu Smile Magazine. The writer really knows well where to go and about in Dubai. I’ll be posting my personal idea on where to go in Dubai. Stay tuned! x

For more info you can visit Facebook page and Twitter of Cebu Pacific here.