Category Archives: Expat Life

Saving money:10% discount on the Entertainer books!

(Photo: © Entertainer )

I have already written about the Entertainer book and how much we like it, as it saves us a lot of money and also gives us the chance to try new places we would not necessarily know about.

Now I have another reason to be happy!
The new Entertainer Abu Dhabi Body 2014/2015 has also been released and it is available for purchase, both in its mobile and paper version.

But things just get better: the amazing guys at the Entertainer HQ have been so kind to give us an EXCLUSIVE promo code to share with all Abu Dhabi Days Blog’s readers!

Entering code ADDBLOG10 on check-out you can enjoy a 10% discount that can be used when purchasing the Entertainer Abu Dhabi Body 2014/2015 AS WELL AS the classic Entertainer Abu Dhabi 2014 and all other Entertainer products!

This 10% discount code is valid until the end of June 2014 only, so, if you are reading this, just head to the official website, enter the discount code for the book(s) you want and enjoy a world of half-price pampering, for both men and women, as well as restaurants, water parks, dhow cruises, desert safaris and more!


Me browsing my newly downloaded Entertainer Body app!!

Something interesting that I also discovered, is that, with the beauty book, you don’t need to use both vouchers on the same day.

I explain: you have found an amazing Peruvian Mummy Wrap Hot Stone Massage (!) that you just know will leave you feeling amazing but your SO is not keen to accompany you, your BFF could not make it or… you just simply want to keep all the goodies for yourself: well, it is not a problem!

You can do a first paid treatment and then use the free second one on a subsequent date. Just make sure to clearly arrange this with the reception of your chosen Spa, and if they ask questions, you can show them how this possibility is clearly stated on the Entertainer website here.

The Abu Dhabi beauty book is valid until the 31st of March 2015, and features over 300 vouchers with a combined value of up to 90,000 AED worth of savings (that is 14,000 pounds!!), whilst if you want to know more about the classic Entertainer book, just read our old blog post about it or head to the official website.

And if you find an amazing Spa/Salon that you think would be worth a review, please let us know. We always love a bit of pampering!

Click HERE to read more about PAMPERING or HERE to read more about EXPAT info & tips.line

Saving money: online vouchers

Untitled-1 copy

(screenshots © Groupon, Yallabanana, Strange Offers and Kobonaty)

Life in Abu Dhabi is great because you really have the chance to do anything you want, try a different nation’s food each day and enjoy sports and natural sights. To help keeping expenses under control, a good idea is to use discount vouchers.

Apart from the Entertainer book, there are also a lot of online voucher companies, offering a “deal-of-the-day” type of approach. You subscribe to their daily newsletter and every day there is a new gift certificate available, to be used in various local establishments, from restaurants to beauty spas, but also to buy different items or even to get a tailor-made suit.

I have personally tried only one of these websites, so I can’t really offer first-hand experience for all of them, however these are the companies we heard about since we arrived in Abu Dhabi, and the ones I am going to keep on the radar from now on, scouting for interesting deals.

Groupon – Half price on things such as pizza, a head massage and a kayaking experience.

Yallabanana – Today’s deals include paintballing, a buffet lunch, and a water jet pack experience.

Strange Offers – The offers on this website are indeed strange, but for those who always wanted a log pillow, an Eggmaster or an engraving pen, this is probably the right place.

Kobonaty Deals – This website seems to be offering mostly holidays or getaways, to local destinations, such as Umm Al Quwain and Muscat, or international ones, such as London and the Maldives.

And for a general round-up of various offers from different outlets, there are Voucher Codes UAE or Big Discounts UAE.

If you have had any experience with any of these sites and you would like to share it, or if you know of more websites, please let us know!

Click HERE to read more about EXPAT info & tips.

Food traditions in the UAE


The original leaflet.

The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage ( published some very interesting leaflets about Emirati customs and culture, so I thought it would be interesting to share them on the blog. All the data below has been taken from these pamphlets.

Much of the Arabian Peninsula, an area of more than 3 million square kilometres, has been occupied for millennia. In some areas, settlements developed into cities, and along the coast fishing villages and busy ports grew. However, the vast desert regions were populated by nomadic Bedouin herdsmen who moved between the oases scattered throughout the interior.

Although vegetables such as cucumbers, pumpkins and onions were cultivated, together with lemons, pomegranates and melons, it was the wheat and dates grown in the oases that formed the staples of Bedouin diet. Dates keep well, can be eaten fresh or dried, are easily transported and have excellent nutritional value: there are over a hundred different varieties of dates.

For thousand of years, wheat was used to make gruel or porridge, or ground into flour for bread which was baked over coals, or even directly in the intensely hot sands.
Some of the many wheat-based dishes include the harees, a mixture of ground wheat and meat, and the bathitha, a sweet made of wheat flour dates and ghee.

The harees is one of the most famous meals in the Arab world and has been cooked for centuries. It is usually served in a deep dish at weddings, during Ramadan and at the religious feasts Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha. It is also served to new and nursing mothers since it is believed to have restorative properties: ground wheat and meat are cooked together over a low heat until the texture becomes creamy.

Rice is eaten either alone, or with meat or fish, using the right hand only. Popular rice dishes include the makbous and the.mashkhoul.

The makbous recipe has been passed down through the generations and it is a very popular dish in Abu Dhabi: meat, chicken or fish is cooked with onions, dried lime and spices such as turmeric, cardamom and nutmeg. When tender, the meat is removed and rice is cooked in the remaining stock. The meat is then mixed back with the rice, the dish covered and hot coals heaped upon the lid to complete the cooking process. The meat and rice are served on a large dish or tray, garnished with nuts, raisins and fried onions.

Fish is still very popular, and a wide range is available even inland. The fish market (Suq As Samak) in Al Ain sells around thirty species such as barracuda, prawns, shark and anchovies.

Milk from camels, goats and sheep provided a healthy supplement to the diet. It could also be churned into butter, or used to make yoghurt and cheese. Honey, various salad leaves and occasionally fish eggs, truffles or mushrooms were also eaten by the Bedouins.
However, the most important element of the diet was – and still remains, meat.

Nowadays camel meat is often served, but it was a rarer commodity to the Bedouin, who prized his camel above all else. Meat usually came from goats and bull calves, as well as quails, pigeons and houbara bustards, brought down by trained falcons, or rabbit and foxes, hunted by the fast Saluki dogs.

Archaeological excavations have unearthed the remains of darts, spears and other hunting gear, and pictures on the walls of some of the Hili tombs depict many different kinds of game: large animals such as gazelles and oryx abounded, but domestic cattle, sheep and goat were all kept by the earliest inhabitants of the UAE around seven thousand years ago.

In the last few decades, the range of food available locally has increased enormously. Various expatriate communities have introduced new dishes and the Asian communities exert one of the most powerful culinary influences, as there are many variations on popular Indian dishes, such as biryani.

The traditional local values of hospitality, generosity and courtesy to guests are still upheld. Family meals at home are informal, but at large gatherings time-honoured etiquette is observed, and the social intercourse is invariably accompanied by coffee.

In the past, the coffee was frequently prepared by the host and served to those who had gathered to exchange news or tell stories.
The beans were roasted in a pan (mehmas) then cooled in a wooden tray, known as mabradah.
They were then ground in a mihbasha form of pestle and mortar, made of wood, iron or brass, and brewed in a clay pot (malkama).
The coffee was then poured into the classic beaked Arabian pot (dallah) and served in small ceramic cups (finjan), exactly as it is today.

Tradition dictates that the cup must be filled only a quarter full, and frequently refilled. When no more coffee is required, you need to rock the finjan to and from as the pourer approaches.

Click HERE to read more about ART and CULTURE or HERE to read about EXPAT info & tips.

Abu Dhabi music: frequencies for regional radio stations.

(Photo: © Abu Dhabi Classic FM)

What is best than local radios to discover new music and hear local news?

Here is a list of the local stations that you can listen to while in Abu Dhabi: (source)

Abu Dhabi, UAE
657 Add Asianet Radio to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Asianet RadioAbu Dhabi Malayalam
90.0 Add Abu Dhabi FM (AD) to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Abu Dhabi FM (AD)Abu Dhabi talk,Arabic classic hits Arabic
90.3 Add BBC World Service Arabic to MY RADIO BBC World Service Arabic|sat feed – Abu Dhabi news/info English/Arabic
91.6 Add Classic FM (AD) to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Classic FM (AD)Abu Dhabi classical,jazz
92.4 Add Star FM (AD) to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Star FM (AD)Abu Dhabi pop (Eng/Arabic)
95.8 Add Al Emarat FM (AD) to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Al Emarat FM (AD)Abu Dhabi Arabic classic hits Arabic
98.1 Add Quran Al Kareem (AD) to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Quran Al Kareem (AD)Abu Dhabi religious-Quran Arabic
98.7 Add Radio Sawa Gulf to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Radio Sawa Gulf|rep – Abu Dhabi pop (Arabic/Western) Arabic [More info]
99.9 Add Star FM (AD) to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Star FM (AD)|rep – Ara Dubai pop (Eng/Arabic)
100.5 Add Emirates Radio 1 (AD) to MY RADIO Emirates Radio 1 (AD)Abu Dhabi CHR-pop English
106.0 Add Emirates Radio 2 (AD) to MY RADIO Emirates Radio 2 (AD)Abu Dhabi classic hits English

And, down the road in Dubai: (source)

Dubai/Ajman, UAE
810 Add Abu Dhabi FM to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Abu Dhabi FM|on FM – Dubai talk,Arabic classic hits Arabic
1269 100kW Add Radio Asia to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Radio AsiaDuabi Arabic
87.9 Add Classic FM to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Classic FM|rep – Dubai classical,jazz
88.2 Add Quran Al Kareem to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Quran Al Kareem|rep – Dubai religious-Quran Arabic
89.1 Add Radio 4 Ajman to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Radio 4 AjmanAjman Indian pop Hindi/Urdu
90.5 Add Radio Sawa Gulf to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Radio Sawa GulfDubai pop (Arabic/Western) Arabic [More info]
92.0 Add Dubai 92 (ARN) to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Dubai 92 (ARN)Dubai pop (Western) English
93.0 Add Dubai FM 93 (DMI) to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Dubai FM 93 (DMI)Dubai Arabic
93.4 Add Radio Shoma (ARN) to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Radio Shoma (ARN)Dubai pop/ac (Farsi) Farsi
93.9 Add Noor Dubai (DMI) to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Noor Dubai (DMI)Dubai talk Arabic
94.4 Add Sharjah FM Sound of Al Quran to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Sharjah FM Sound of Al QuranSharjah religious
94.7 Add Cool FM to MY RADIO Cool FMDubai pop (Asian)
94.8 Add Quran Al Kareem to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Quran Al Kareem|rep – Fujairah religious-Quran Arabic
96.7 Add Hit 96.7 (ARN) to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Hit 96.7 (ARN)Dubai hot ac (Malayalam) Malayalam
97.1 Add Al Emarat FM to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Al Emarat FM|rep – Dubai Arabic classic hits Arabic
98.4 Add Abu Dhabi FM to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Abu Dhabi FM|rep – Dubai talk,Arabic classic hits Arabic
99.0 Add Al Arabiya FM (ARN) to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Al Arabiya FM (ARN)Dubai Arabic pop,entertainment Arabic
99.3 Add Emirates Radio 2 (AD) to MY RADIO Emirates Radio 2 (AD)|rep – Dubai classic hits English
100.9 Add Al Khaleejiya (ARN) to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Al Khaleejiya (ARN)Dubai news/talk/music Arabic
101.6 Add City 101.6 FM (ARN) to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE City 101.6 FM (ARN)Dubai Hindi pop
102.4 Add Suno 102.4 to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Suno 102.4Dubai? Hindi/Urdu
103.2 Add Coast 103.2 to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Coast 103.2Fujairah soft ac English
103.8 Add Dubai Eye 103.8 (ARN) to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Dubai Eye 103.8 (ARN)Dubai news,talk,sports English
103.9 Add Al Emarat FM to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Al Emarat FM|rep – Fujairah Arabic classic hits Arabic
104.1 Add Emirates Radio 1 (AD) to MY RADIO Emirates Radio 1 (AD)|rep – Dubai CHR-pop English
104.4 Add Virgin Radio (ARN) to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Virgin Radio (ARN)Dubai Western pop
104.8 Add Channel 4 Ajman to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Channel 4 AjmanAjman pop
105.4 Add Radio Spice to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Radio SpiceFujairah pop Hindi
106.0 Add Abu Dhabi FM to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Abu Dhabi FM|rep – Fujairah talk,Arabic classic hits Arabic
107.8 Add Al Rabea FM to MY RADIO LISTEN LIVE Al Rabea FMDubai

Click HERE to read more EXPAT TIPS or HERE to read more about MUSIC.

Dress traditions in the UAE

The original leaflet.

The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage ( published some very interesting leaflets about Emirati customs and culture, so I thought it would be interesting to share them on the blog. Most of the data below has been taken from these pamphlets.

Emirati dress reflects the climate of the country as well as the Arab and Islamic customs.

Women’s clothing are adaptable, loose-fitting and often decorated with bright colours. The garments worn beneath the black abaya are simple and often embroidered with the craft locally known as telli, using coloured threads, mainly in gold and silver. Demand for this type of embroidery usually increases on special occasions, such as before feasts or during the wedding season.

Traditional garments for women include:
– The kandoura, or shift, finely embroidered around the sleeves and neck.
– The thawb, a long tunic which goes over the kandoura.
– The abaya, a loose-fitting outer garment which is worn outside the house.
– The sheila, a large piece of black fabric up to 2 metres long, which covers the woman’s head and part of her face in public.
– The burga’, one of the oldest traditional dress items, is a mask which was once worn by girls when they came of age, but today is mostly worn by the older generation. The interior is rubbed smooth using oyster shell or stone, and painted with indigo dye, believed to have a beautifying and whitening effect on the skin. The usual colours of the burga’ are red and gold.

Every day dress for Emirati men is a long-sleeved, ankle-lenght shirt, known as a kandoura or thawb. White is the most popular colour, but in winter, when the temperatures are cooler, other colours can be seen (for instance brown, or blue). Different colours often indicate different materials.

Men’s headgear includes:
– The takiya or gahfiya, a small, knitted cap that covers the hair and keeps the ghitra in place.
– The ghitra is a square piece of cotton, folded into a triangle and used to cover the head, usually matching the kandoura. The type of ghitra changes according to personal preference, occasion or season.
– The shal is a ghitra made of woolen cashmere and is produced in different patterns and colours.
– The shimagh is the same size as the ghitra, but mostly it is produced in white and red coloured patterns.
– The iqal is a circular rope of twisted wool, and holds the headgear in place. It is usually black or white.

Ni’al, or sandals, are the most common footgear worn in the UAE.

Other traditional garments for men include:
– The besht, a long robe worn over the kandoura, unique to the UAE and the Arabian Gulf countries. The besht denotes status and authority, and it is usually worn at religious feasts, weddings or formal public celebrations.
– A light shirt called a muqassar is often worn beneath the outer garments.
– Lastly, the tarboushah, or farroukha as it is known in the UAE, is a decorative tassel that hangs from the collar of the kandoura.

Click HERE to read more about ART and CULTURE or HERE to read about EXPAT info & tips.

Traditional songs and dances of the UAE.

The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage ( published some very interesting leaflets about Emirati customs and culture, so I thought it would be interesting to share them on the blog. All the data below has been taken from these pamphlets.
(I tried to look for audio/video files to complement this post but I had little to no luck: any contribution/suggestion on the matter would be very welcome!)

So interesting!

Contemporary world culture and music are well represented in the modern, cosmopolitan Abu Dhabi, thanks to theatres, cinemas and TV, but the UAE still preserves its rich folk traditions in the form of story-telling, songs, poetry and dance.

The interpretation of these folk arts varies between the coast, the oases and the desert, but the structure is broadly similar and the common themes are pride, religion, praise, masculinity, strength and chivalry.

Some genres are male-dominated, others are performed by men and women. All are popular at weddings, other social events and religious feasts, particularly the Eid festivities at the end of Ramadan.

One of the most well-known forms of Emirati folk art is al razeef, the unaccompanied recitation of verses by two facing lines of men. The performers are dressed in traditional costume with cartridges belts and ornate curved daggers slung around their waists. They each carry a cane and a rifle and their performance is punctuated by gunfire. When all the verses have been recited, the performers rest and male dancers or razzafeen take over: they perform a swaying dance, weaving between the two rows and from time to time circling their rifles above their heads.

Al ayyala combines song and dance. Symbolizing triumph after a battle, it is now performed as an act of welcome to dignitaries visiting Abu Dhabi, and it is considered to embody the UAE’s finest historical and cultural values. The performers’ coordinated movement and vocal refrains are often accompanied by gunfire and brandishing of swords and daggers, in a display that epitomizes the courage and fortitude of Bedouin living in the heart of the desert.

Al harbia is a similar dance, in which the rhythm is supplied purely by vocal chants and the recitation of poetry.

Two other performances, al na’ashat and al radha, were traditionally given by Bedouin women at various kind of celebrations.
During al na’ashat, the dancers roll their heads from side to side to display the beauty of their long hair, especially when the song performed relate to love, pride or bravery. Al radha was traditionally performed after a wedding celebration, when the women sang as they made their way to the house where the musical instruments were kept.

Other genres reflect the isolation of the Bedouin. Al tareq is a recitation describing the act of leaving family and loved ones and the solitude felt in the empty desert. The singer would chant it whilst riding his camel, to entertain himself.
Al taghrooda glorifies life with all its hardships and blessings. Often it would be recited in the desert by two or three men searching for a lost animal, as the rhythmic chanting encouraged their mounts to go faster and helped pass the time.

Al maled, or al mowled, is the recitation of long poems that deals with religious themes. A group of tambourine players or drummers provide a gentle percussion background to the narration and a second, larger group repeats the refrains after the narrator.

Other distinctive genres are al wannah, a slow romantic song for two singers, in praise of heroism, which has a gentle rhythm played on tambourines and it is accompanied by brass instruments, and al sameri, an ancient form of Bedouin singing that derives from the world samer, meaning to stay up at night: the tradition was to sing through the hours of darkness, accompanied by the traditional Arabic stringed instrument called rababa.

Click HERE to read more about ART and CULTURE or HERE to read about EXPAT info & tips

Maritime traditions in the UAE.

The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage ( published some very interesting leaflets about Emirati customs and culture, so I thought it would be interesting to share them on the blog. All the data below has been taken from these pamphlets.

Very interesting read.

The first one is about Maritime Life.

In the barren desert areas of Southern Arabia, there was little opportunity for people to establish any real agriculture: they cultivated date palms in the oases, and in the shade of the trees they grew vegetables and grain crops, but for the most part their diet was restricted to meat and many different types of bread and porridge.

Potable water was scarce, and life was very hard.
They had no opportunity to establish any kind of formal industry and the only means of trading was through bartering.

Many families, therefore, spent the winter near the waters of the Gulf, and then returned to the oases in summer, to harvest the dates and escape the high humidity of the coast.

For nearly a thousand years the waters of the Gulf provided a source of food, work and wealth to many generations, through pearl diving, fishing, boat-building and trading.

There is archaeological evidence that as early as 7.000 years ago, the inhabitants of the region had discovered pearls.

Then, in the 18th and 19th century, India became very prosperous, creating a substantial growth in demand for pearls.
At the height of the pearl trade, over 1.200 pearling boats, each with an average crew of 18 men, operated out of the coastal towns and villages of what is now the United Arab Emirates.
As a result, men who might otherwise have achieved only a meagre income from the family farm, were able to earn relatively good money, but it also meant that they were parted from their families for the four-month season of the pearl harvesting.

A pearl diver’s work was difficult and dangerous. During the pearling season he generally made up to 50 deep dives every day.
Each dive could last up to 2 minutes, with the only help of a nose clip, leather finger protectors, a basket made of rope and a stone weighing about 5 Kg, to ease the descent into the seabed.
He was attached to a rope, which he tugged as soon as he was ready to return to the boat, and his safe return depended only on the prompt response (and strong arms!) of the puller on board.
Still, after all these efforts, only a small percentage of the oyster shells collected actually contained a pearl.

The UAE traditional pearling industry gradually declined, due to a global economic depression in the 1930s, accompanied by the development of the Japanese cultured pearl industry. Thousand of people were affected in the region, and unemployment and financial hardship were widespread, until the expansion of oil exploration created a new era of wealth.

Fishing is another traditional activity for the people living in the Gulf region.
More than 500 species of fish, as well as sharks, turtles and dugong, live in the Arabian Gulf, and archaeological research has documented the use of various fishing equipments, from nets and hooks to line sinkers and harpoons.
Today, for those that are not protected species, the preferred fishing methods are basket traps, as well as the occasional use of hook and line.
Amongst the fish commonly caught here are groupers, seabreams, rabbitfish, sharks, parrotfish and many more, a wide variety clearly visible in the fish souqs around the region.

Boat-building in the UAE started with the use of date palms: the shasha, an Arabian bundle boat, was first made by palm fronds, as it was quick to construct and light to carry from and to the water. The building techniques and materials then advanced along the growing ambition to cover greater distances.
This craft became one of the most important activities in the southern Gulf, especially as the pearl industry expanded, creating other ancillary industries, such as rope manufacture and sail making.

Today, boat-builders still construct several types of traditional boats:
– The shahuf is a small, light, wooden-planked surf boat which is double ended and from 18 to 22 feet long.
– The amla is similar but larger, 6 feet in beam and up to 30 feet long.
Dhows, generally referred to as lanches, can be from 50 to 80 feet in length, and are usually decked.

Constructions is still today done by hand, using simple and traditional tools, and the skills are handed down through families.
No plans are needed because the calculations are made by the trained eye and experience of the master craftsman.
Few countries in the world maintain the art of boat-building to such a high standard and without the aid of power tools: this traditional art can still be admired in the Al Bateen area of Abu Dhabi.

Click HERE to read more about ART and CULTURE or HERE to read about EXPAT info & tips

Dome Coffees – Deli Casual Dining

Delicious soup of the day (Lentils, Beans and Chickpeas)


Where in Abu Dhabi:

  • Al Whada Mall – 1st Floor
    Phone: (+971) 02-4437153
  • Khalidiyah Mall – Level B
    Phone:(+971) 02-6354562

Dome Coffees was born in Perth, Australia, in the 1990s. Serving high quality coffee and gourmet food, this brand states that their goal is to promotes a elegant and yet affordable lifestyle. Amongst their nearly 100 branches around the world are also two outlets in Abu Dhabi, inside two of the busiest shopping malls of the city.

We tried the cafe in Khalidiyah Mall, on a day in which I was feeling very poorly. I just did not feel like eating fast food, but the idea of sitting down in a restaurant for a long time also seemed too much to ask of my body. I had to get out of the house to do some errands and all I needed was a quick bite in a relaxing environment. I was hoping to find somewhere to eat something healthy, tasty but also quick and simple.

Cheese sandwich and fries.

We had never tried Dome before, but it was the perfect choice for us on that day. The decor is simple but elegant, and the menu is straight forward and yet full of different choices. I ordered the soup of the day, which was a lovely mix of lentils, beans and chickpeas, which came with perfectly toasted bread. W ordered a cheese sandwich and fries, which were both really nice.

The cafe in Khalidiyah Mall.

We were very happy with the food, which was simple and yet really delicious, exactly what we were hoping for. Staff were really friendly and the service was quick and attentive, so we were able to be in and out in less than half an hour, feeling that we had a healthy lunch but also feeling well looked after.

I look forward to try more of this cafe on a day in which I am feeling 100% but we definitely appreciate the fact that even on a difficult day this place managed to cheer us up and help us to go on our way happy and satisfied!


FWNAB: Kiwano

I know it is about to attack me!

The Kiwano, (scientific name: Cucumis Metuliferus) is part of the melon and cucumber family, and let’s admit it: it looks pretty amazing! It was even featured on one episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine as an alien “Golana melon”! (source)

Thanks to its spikes, it is also known as ‘horned melon’, ‘blowfish fruit’, ‘hedged gourd’, and half a dozen other names.

Despite being now cultivated in several parts of the world, from Australia to South America, this interesting looking fruit is originally native of Africa: in the Kalahari desert, during the dry season, the Kiwano is actually the only available source of water. (source: Wikipedia).

With good levels of vitamin C, iron, potassium and antioxidants, plus beta-carotene and vitamin A, this fruit is very healthy, helping, amongst other benefits, to give a boost to the immune system. (source)

Kiwano still in one piece.

According to the internet, it should taste like a cucumber, however the one I tried tasted more like a lemon, with a tangy, fresh and citrusy aftertaste.  On other websites, I found people comparing it to kiwis and even bananas, so I guess it all depends from how much you let it ripen before devouring it.

Aside from its decorative qualities, this fruit well adapts to both sweet and savoury recipes, such as the ones I found: tropical sorbet, salsa and frozen mousse, vinaigrette, gazpacho, and flounder with kiwano salsa.


Getting water cooler refills in Abu Dhabi.

Living in the sunshine is fantastic, but it requires us to drink a lot of water!! After realising that we were filling up 90% of our fridge space with gallons and gallons of it, we finally decided to get a water cooler. It is easy, saves us a lot of space and gives us icy cold water at the touch of a button. Many people over here have one, as they can be easily bought new in all the main shopping malls, or second hand on Dubizzle.

Once we got Larry (that’s the name I just given to our watercooler, along with a zazzy makeover – W is not aware yet), we had to find a company to provide him with new weekly heads (so to speak).

Hi, I am Larry and I love you.

There are a lot of different water companies in Abu Dhabi supplying private households, and here is the list of all those we were able to find, in alphabetical order:

We really have plenty of choice!
Everyone of these companies offers to bring new gallons of water and pick up the empty ones right at our doorstep. Easy! (Unfortunately, paper moustaches are not included).

expat life prop

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