Dinner Time – dinner ingredients delivered in Abu Dhabi

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Mexican rice salad as per Dinner Time recipe: so yummy!

I don’t know if it is just me, but when I go grocery shopping it is because our fridge is bare.
And I am usually mighty hungry too.
I also tend to make grandiose cooking plans for the week (Sunday: filet mignon, Tuesday: beef wellington, Friday: baked alaska…) and if you pair that with the fact that I tend to overestimate my cooking skills, it is easy to see why a week’s worth of groceries regularly ends up rotting in the fridge.

I really love cooking, but let’s be honest: sometimes it is a bit of a long winded process.
The worst thing? That sudden, horrible realisation, half-way through, that you are missing that one essential ingredient that will ruin the whole thing. (What? No ice cream left?! Goodbye, baked alaska).

Recently, however, I discovered Dinner Time.

Dinner Time is a service that delivers fresh groceries to your door, in enough quantity to cook four dinners (one vegetarian, one meat, one chicken, and one fish) for either two or four people. They also have a gluten-free version, and all the meals are prepared by experts nutritionists so they are healthy and well balanced.
(Here are their FAQ and dinner packages types) (Also: Facebook and Twitter pages)

The main difference with other companies is that they don’t deliver the food already cooked: they give you all the ingredients you need – in the quantity you need – together with four recipes which take less than 30 minutes to cook.

I ordered a 2 people box, which included four dinner meals.
What was delivered to me on the first day was a cardboard box full of vegetables and dry ingredients (plus a complimentary set of measuring spoons, which was a nice touch!), and a cold bag (with two ice packs) with the fresh meat, fish and cheeses.

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Vegetables and dry ingredients, plus complementary measuring spoons!

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The cold bag with ground beef, chicken, salmon, cream cheese and parmesan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first impression was very good, as all the ingredients delivered were of great quality – even the pasta, for instance, which could have easily been a supermarket brand and I would not have complained, was instead an Italian gourmet brand.

The first meal we cooked was the Mexican rice salad.

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The ingredients provided (we only had to use our own rice)

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The delicious final result.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me tell you: this is the best rice salad we have ever eaten in our life. It was SO nice that we told everyone we knew and passed the recipe to friends and colleagues. And W does not even like rice!!
With a mix of honey-covered hazelnuts, caramelised cherry tomatoes, spring onions, coriander, rocket salad and a squeeze of lime juice, it is basically heaven on a plate. I must confess, we re-cooked it just yesterday!

It mixed a lot of flavours we would have not necessarily though about mixing, but once all together… well, it was mouthwatering.

The second evening’s recipe was Spaghetti Bolognese with chard.

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All the ingredients for this recipe were provided.

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The final result!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As on the previous day, the recipe was very straight-forward to follow, and the result really healthy and yummy.
W said the sauce was lovely because it was a different take on the classic dish, with more aromatic and fresh notes. It worked well with the spring onions and the mushrooms.

The third evening was time for chicken, paired with a grain we never tried before: bulgur.

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All ingredients were once again provided.

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The final result!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We loved trying a new kind of grain which we had never really used before: it was very easy to cook, similar to cous-cous, and W loved the combination of cranberries, pumpkin, orange, honey, pumpkin seeds and chicken, for a yummy sweet and savoury combination.

The last evening, we cooked the salmon, mushroom and broccoli soup.

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All the ingredients on our kitchen’s counter.

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The final result.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The combination of the fresh vegetables, the fresh salmon and the cream cheese worked really well. They even provided a garlic bread baguette to go with it!

To make a long story short, we just totally loved it. We got to cook new recipes without the hassle of going grocery shopping, we ate really yummy and healthy meals prepared in less than 30 minutes, and … nothing ended up rotting in the fridge, so no waste was made!!

We really loved this service, and we are planning to subscribe regularly. Especially in the summer, when the temperatures rise and we don’t really fancy spending too much time carrying heavy grocery bags, I think this will be a real treat.

Even better, if we subscribe for more than one box, it will cost less, going down to approximately £45 (British Pounds) a week, which considering that it includes 4 complete meals for the two of us, it is not only an easy and yummy solution, it is also very convenient.

Plus, we can check the menu in advance on the website, and if we don’t like what is planned next, we can skip a week and bring our credit forward.

In conclusion, we would totally recommend Dinner Time to anyone who loves eating well and would gladly do without the hassle of grocery shopping!

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URGENT fosters needed for adorable furry friends!

CATS

These pictured above are only a few of the many cats that incredible charity Sandy Paws rescue and provide for each day.
They are in this moment the ones who need to find a home ASAP, as they have nowhere to go.

It is only thanks to the passion and enthusiasm of Jackie and the other volunteers and fosters if these unlucky cats can have a second chance at life.

Most of them have been found starving on the street, neglected or mistreated, and they are all in need of a loving family and a safe place where to be happy again. Are you looking for a furry friend to add to your family? Look no further!

Even if you are not able to adopt a pet forever, fostering is a great way to make a true difference.
Summer is a very hard time as so many people go home for the holidays and the need for fosters is now rocketing sky-high.

WHY FOSTERING IS NECESSARY?

  • Many rescue associations, like Sandy Paws, do not own a cattery, so all of their cats need to be temporarily located in suitable foster homes, waiting to find their forever family. They need to get off the street, especially with the temperatures rising!
  • Many cats do not adapt to kennels and the permanence in small enclosed spaces can be a real torture for them. Fostering allows them to relax and reveal their true nature, making it so much easier to find the perfect family to match them with.
  • Some cats, especially if they have been mistreated, might be very shy, but living in a safe foster home will help them to become more sociable, increasing their chances to be successfully adopted once and for all.

Fostering is a very rewarding experience, especially if you love animals but for various reasons you can’t commit to adopt a cat forever.

If you think you can help, even for short periods of time, or if you wish to make even only a small donation, please get in touch with Sandy Paws today!

PLEASE HELP BY SPREADING THE WORD! Below are the posters for every cat in urgent need of a foster or forever home, with a short description of their characteristics: if you click on the names below, you will be able to see the PDF, save it on your computer and print it as a poster. Please consider putting them on your bulletin boards at work, or share them on Facebook. Thank you!

ADELE CARLOS CASPER CHELSEA    LILLY AND LOLLY  SPIRIT TABBY

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Click HERE for more ideas about how to volunteer in Abu Dhabi.
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Learn to Flyboard… with 10% discount!

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K flyboarding!

It is fun to try new things, especially if you can do them only in a few places in the world.

It all started with me looking for some exciting activity to book for W and his sister K as a birthday gift: they are both thrill-seekers and I really wanted to get them something special. Imagine my excitement when I realised they could try Flyboarding!

Flyboarding is a brand new watersport: according to Wikipedia it was only invented in 2011.

To flyboard you have to wear boots which have jet water nozzles underneath them.
These are attached to a jet sky, through a very long hose. The movement of the jet ski creates the power pressure in the hose… so the person wearing the boots gets pushed up in the air.

Basically: do you remember that scene in Iron Man 3 when this happens? (see pic below)
Well, it is basically the same, but with less Robert Downey Junior and a lot more sunshine.

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(photo © Walt Disney)

After a bit of research, I decided to book with Flyboards UAE ( flyboardsuae@gmail.com official websiteofficial facebook page) on a lazy Saturday morning.

They sent us directions to a beautiful beach with cristalline water – which, by the way, we did not know existed – and once there an instructor helped W and K get the most out of their 30min sessions. He secured their jet boots (I am not sure if they are actually called like this, but hey!) and teached them how to stand up over the water.

The beautiful beach...

The beautiful beach…

…and the flyboarding kit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The instructor fixing the jet boots on K

The instructor fixing the jet boots…

…and she’s off!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the first five minutes both were obviously spluttering water and falling repeatedly, but once they got the knack of it, they had a blast.
They did so well that boats passing by even started filming them! (They are probably on youtube somewhere right now!)

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W in action…

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…and K in action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was so fun, both to do it and to be there watching and cheering, so I would wholeheartedly recommend this as a new, fun sport activity.

Pro tip? Keep those feet horizontal!!

But it gets better: once hearing about our intention to write about our fun experience on the blog, the guys at Flyboards UAE said that they will give 10% discount on their 30 minutes session to whoever books mentioning the fact that they read this blog post!

If this is something you would like to do, however, you better hurry up: booking is possible until the end of June, but then they will close for the whole month of July and you will have to wait until mid August to be able to book again.

Happy flying!

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Click HERE to read more about SPORT or HERE to read about LEARNING NEW THINGS.
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Three days left to become a marshal at the Formula 1 Grand Prix!

(photo © SWB Sports Co Za)

With tickets to the upcoming 2014 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix selling like hot cakes (apparently this year marked a new record, with 75% already gone) becoming a volunteer marshal sounds like a great option!

The Abu Dhabi Touring Club UAE (ATC) is looking for volunteer marshals to help trackside at the 2014 Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix.
All they need are individuals which are at least 18 years old of age, committed to attend the trainings and willing to actively participate in the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Today I called the ATC and they have been incredibly helpful: basically they said that they already have around 70% of the marshals they need, but they still have openings, so if you think you might be available to volunteer for this event please send your confirmation at marshals@atcuae.ae no later than Wednesday 11 June. (Yes, in just about three days).

The first training is scheduled for this Friday, 13 June at 1PM, and it will last until 5PM – at the latest.
It will be held in the Media Centre inside the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. Registration will be open from 12.
Another two or three trainings will follow ( The next dates should be: Friday the 12 September and Friday the 10 October) and then an official list of the marshals will be released. Please note that attending the training do not automatically ensure you a marshalling place.

If you read this post and the 11 is already in the past, no worries: you can still email them and they will put your name in their database, ready to be called at the next chance: the ATC needs marshals for a lot of other races throughout the year, not only the F1, such as the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and more.

If you like racing and want to experience the thrill of being trackside, you better hurry up!

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Click HERE to read more about SPORT or HERE about volunteering in Abu Dhabi.
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Right Bite – healthy lunch delivery in Abu Dhabi

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My first lunch from Right Bite!

Unless you have a gourmet deli under your office, most work cafeterias – let’s face it – are kinda awful. I definitely prefer to cook at home and bring a packed lunch!
Shame is that I don’t always have the energy and the time to do it… so I often end up shoving into my work bag a sad, lonely banana while I am rushing through the door… and this always leaves me with a grumbling stomach and a grumpy face!

This is why I decided to try Right Bite (official website –  official facebook).
This company promises to prepare gourmet lunches based on your dietary needs, and to deliver them fresh to your work place every day. All you have to do is to open the package, warm up in the microwave, and that’s it: a complete, nutricious (and yummy) meal.

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The Right Bite cool bag that contains your lunches.

I decided to try it for three days, just to see what kind of food they would deliver.
Upon booking, I had to fill in a form asking me about my details (weight, height, etc) and what kind of lifestyle I have (they did not have the option ‘couch potato’ so I had to go with ‘sedentary’). It felt straight away very professional, as they asked many medical history questions, to prepare a menu tailored to my needs.

Once I sent off the form, one of the very friendly company’s nutritionists called me to have a quick chat and explain me all the details.

Basically here is how it works: based on the information provided, they tailor a menu for you, then you get given several food options. You then log in into your account every week and choose what you want to eat for your next few days of delivery.

My lunches arrived in handy bags, delivered to the office early in the morning: all I had to do was to put them in the fridge until lunch time.

So, what did I eat?
Well, I need to specify that I am a vegetarian, so all my meals were meat-free and fish-free.

The first day I had a vegetarian nacho pizza as a main, and a side dish made with roasted eggplant, tomatoes and low-fat feta cheese. As a dessert I chose to try an Arabic delicacy: a wholemeal labneh fatayer.

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Nacho pizza!

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Eggplant, tomato and feta salad.

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Labneh Fatayer

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pizza was very tasty, especially because it mixed flavours I had not eaten on a pizza before, such as the Mexican beans. It was very filling and I really enjoyed it.
The eggplant salad was really lovely – I love eggplant, so I might be biased, but the combination with the fresh salad tomatoes and Greek cheese worked really well for me.
I had never tried a sweet fatayer before, but it was really nice, sweet but not too much, with a spicy kick. I am surely not going to limit myself to the savoury ones from now on!

The second day I had a spinach and chickpea stew served with brown rice. As a side dish I had a beetroot salad and as a dessert I had a chocolate brownie.

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My meal for the second day.

The rice was really well cooked and full of flavour, and also the spinach were really yummy. I am not a big fan of beetroot, I must admit, but this salad had it mixed with lettuce, so I surprisingly really liked the combination. The chocolate brownie was delicious, obviously!

The third day has been my favourite out of all the three. I had a veggie burger as a main, cucumber and fennel as a side salad and a raspberry cheesecake as a dessert.

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My meal for the third day.

It is really hard to get a good veggie burger, but this one was really tasty, had lovely potatoes on the side and even a container with fresh salad and sauces to add once warmed up. I really liked it!

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Side salad and sauces

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The burger ready to be eaten!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fennel side salad had a lovely seasoning, but again, I love fennel and cucumbers! It came with a creamy dressing that was very nice.
The raspberry cheesecake had a bit which was slightly broken, so obviously I had to eat it quickly to put it out of its misery… and it was so delicious that I could have eaten another two of them.

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Fennel and cucumber salad

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Raspberry cheesecake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In conclusion, I was very happy with my trial.
This seems such a great idea to me. It is easy, yummy, and nutritionally balanced, so even if you have a cake, or chocolate, you don’t feel guilty because you know that the calories have been counted for you!

If this is not good enough, until the end of June part of the money you pay will go to charity!

I would really recommend this service to anyone which has a busy routine but still wants to eat properly, or to anyone who is keen to get in shape: who said that to be healthy you need to eat salad only? I am counting on cheesecakes from now on!

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Abu Dhabi’s NEW 7* cinema experience at the World Trade Centre

Novo Cinemas Entrance

Novo Cinemas Entrance (photo © Novo Cinemas)

On the top floor of the World Trade Centre Mall there is a new cinema with a difference, which should not be missed.
Novo cinemas (re-branded from Grand cinemas) has 8 screens and 1,414 seats.

All the latest international blockbuster films are on offer, however at this cinema not only do you select the film, you also select how you want to experience it.
There are three seat classes: Novo Cool (standard seating, designed for optimal viewing), Novo  Edge (The best seats in the house) and Novo Sky (which are premium balcony seats).

Novo Cool and Novo Edge seats (photo © Novo Cinemas)

Novo 7 Stars

The 7 stars experience! (photo © Novo Cinemas)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once that decision is made, it’s time to decide how you want to view the film.
The World Trade Centre mall branch offers Novo 3D or IMAX and the 7* option.

I was lucky enough to be invited to the premier of the Spider Man 2 movie to try out the top of the range luxury theatre experience.

In the exclusive 7* cinema each guest is guided to their seat by torchlight.
When you arrive, you won’t be disappointed with the fully reclining leather arm chair and side table. At the touch of a button you can recline the seat back, raise the foot rest to make yourself comfortable with the complementary satin pillow and soft fleece blanket.
Just make sure the film is action based as this is a seriously comfy cinema and the risk of a quick nap is high!

Thankfully we were kept on the edge of our seats by the lovely Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield. This experience also includes at seat service, so you can remain refreshed throughout the show with no need to head to the kiosk.
Although we only tried the delicious traditional popcorn and soft drinks, Novo also offer food served from premium china-ware!
You also get access to a private lounge area, concession and wash room.

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The cinema lobby (photo © Novo Cinemas)

So how much will this set you back?

The 7* experience costs 150 AED per adult for an evening of luxury.
For a slightly more economical night out the Novo Cool seats are priced at 50 AED and the Novo Edge at 60 AED per Adult.
Novo will also shortly be launching a loyalty scheme for those who love the silver screen, which may come in handy when the weather heats up.

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Click HERE to read more about CINEMA in Abu Dhabi
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What to do this weekend in Abu Dhabi (5/6/7 June)

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Another busy week for us, but hopefully the weekend will give us time to catch up: so many things to write about!
Here are our activity picks for this weekend, chosen among the many things happening in Abu Dhabi. Have a relaxing one!

Please note that to join some of the activities listed below you need to become a member of the group that organises them: most memberships are free but some might require a fee.
Always
double check/book using the provided links before setting off, as last minute changes to time/places/availability might have occurred since this list was compiled.

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THURSDAY 5

MEETUP/NATURE
4 PM – The Abu Dhabi Beach, Sun and Sand group is planning a trip to explore Lulu island, an island 25 minutes from the Corniche.

INTERNATIONS/HERITAGE
5:30 PM – The Abu Dhabi Art and Culture group is embarking on a pearling journey.

MEETUP/SOCIALISING
7 PM – The Self Development in Abu Dhabi group is meeting for coffee and conversation.

MEETUP/NIGHTLIFE
7 PM – The After Work Drinks group is meeting up at the Tavern, the British pub inside the Sheraton Corniche Hotel.

MEETUP/SPORT
7:15 PM – The Raw Yoga group is ready for an evening Yoga Flow session.

MEETUP/FILM
8 PM – The Abu Dhabi Art Initiative group is planning on watching the film Frida together.

NIGHTLIFE
9 PM – Y Bar, inside the Yas Island Rotana Hotel, has a different theme every night of the week. On Thursdays is Punch night, with free bubbly for ladies and discounts for everyone. More details here.

FRIDAY 6

SPORT
8:30 AM – The India Social & Cultural Centre is hosting the Cricket Sixes tournament, a two days event taking places in the stunning grounds of the Emirates Palace on Friday and Saturday. More info here.

SPORT
11:30 AM – The Clubhouse Sports Bar and Cafe is showing the IRB Junior World Championship live on their screens. Match of the day is: New Zealand vs South Africa (For more info email: theclubhousesportsbar@gmail.com)

BRUNCH
12 PM– This week we chose to try the brunch at Noche, inside the Hilton Capital Grand hotel, which promises indulgence with a South American flavour.

WORKSHOP
2:30 PM – Always dreamed of owning your own piece of Viking bling? Well, now you can. This workshop at Manarat Al Saadiyat will teach you everything about Viking designs and will help you create your own jewellery.

CARS
4 PM – If you think that your car is the loudest in the neighbourhood (!), this is your chance to measure your exhaust’s skills against like-minded people: don’t miss the Bass Monster Battle, organised by Monster Team. More info here and here.

MEETUP/SPORT
4 PM – The UAE Parkour group is meeting on the Corniche for their weekly jam.

TALENT SHOW
4:30 PM – If you love when children take part in the X Factor, you should totally head to the National Theatre to witness the second round of the Small World Talent Show competition. More info here.

BLACK TIE
6 PM – Dust off your gown for the annual Emirates American Football League gala dinner, which promises to be a glamorous affair, held at the Radisson Blue on Yas island.

DANCE
7:30 – Head to the International Music Institute Abu Dhabi for a hip-hop workshop and get the chance to show off you newly learned moves straight after, at the following after-workshop party.

MEETUP/SPORT
8 PM – Guess what is the Kart Racing Abu Dhabi group planning to do? Yes, to go karting, at the Al Forsan Sports Resort.

MEETUP/NIGHTLIFE
10:30 PM – The Expat Nightlife group is going to party the night away the Zenith Club, inside the Sheraton Corniche Hotel.

SATURDAY 7

SPORT
The Clubhouse Sports Bar and Cafe is showing live Rugby Union matches on their screens. Games of the day are:
11 AM – New Zealand vs England
2 PM – Australia vs France
7 PM – South Africa vs World XV
(For more info email: theclubhousesportsbar@gmail.com)

SAILING RACE
2 PM/5 PM – Up to 80 traditional dhows are due to take part in the Ghanada Dhow sailing race between Lulu Island and the Corniche beach. From personal experience, the best shot you have at seeing something is to wait the end of the race next to the circular theatre, the one with the big flag on the Breakwater (after the Heritage Village), where the boats are supposed to end their course.

WORKSHOP
2:30 PM – Make your own currency without getting arrested: thanks to this workshop at Manarat Al Saadiyat, you will learn the secrets of metalwork and make your own coins as minters used to do in the past. You will be able to create your own design and cast it using molten metal. Your finished coins are yours to take home, so you better prepare your best profile.

MEDITATION
2:30 PM – The Inner Space meditation centre offers a free seminar entitled Balancing a healthy body and healthy mind. You can book your space and read more about it here.

MEETUP/SPORT
5 PM – The Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga group is meeting for a sunset session at the Hiltonia beach club.

MEETUP/BOOKS
6 PM – The Abu Dhabi Book Club is meeting to discuss The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, written by David Mitchell.

NIGHTLIFE
7 PM – Listen to the newest UAE musical talents and party the night away at the open mike evening at B-Lounge.

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BALLET
The Royal Moscow Ballet is bringing Cinderella to Abu Dhabi, performing on the score of Sergei Prokofiev, with choreography by Anatoly Emelianov. The show is on from the 6th June to the 16th of June at ADNEC. Tickets are available here. And if you don’t fancy going alone, this Meetup group is going on opening night, while this Internations group is going on the 13th.

NATURE
The Emirates Park Zoo has a special summer schedule of events, active until the 1st of September. From African drum and dance to pelican feeding, elephant encounters and even crocodiles feeding (!), the zoo offers plenty of chances to have fun. The complete schedule of events is here, our blog post with photos of the zoo is here.

ART EXHIBITION
The N2N gallery presents Ukrainian artist Kateryna Kosyanenko in the solo exhibition Sweet and Spices. Open until the 14th of June at the Avenue at Etihad Towers, the exhibition will feature a special guest from the Make A Wish foundation: Afra is a young girl who aspires to become an artist. She wished to spend four days painting and creating art together with Kateryna Kosyanenko: her final work is showcased as part of the exhibition and will be auctioned, with the funds going towards the charity.

ART EXHIBITION
Peruvian master weaver Eddie Sulca is exhibiting his stunning creations in Abu Dhabi. Andean Dreams will be visible until the 1st of July in the Dusit Thani Hotel Ballroom. From tapestries with almost three-dimensional effects to unique dyes – made with colours created with secret ingredients, Sulca utilises motifs and patterns inspired from ancient cultures such as Inca and Wari, and combines them with other designs said to come to him through dreams.

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What to do this weekend in Abu Dhabi (29/30/31 May)

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Here are our activity picks for this weekend, chosen among the many things happening in Abu Dhabi. Have a happy one!

Please note that to join some of the activities listed below you need to become a member of the group that organises them: most memberships are free but some might require a fee.
Always
double check/book using the provided links before setting off, as last minute changes to time/places/availability might have occurred since this list was compiled.

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NATURE
Enjoy a relaxing day on one of the many beaches around Abu Dhabi, where top facilities and crystal clear water make for a great tanning day.
Among the many options available are Yas Beach, Saadiyat Beach, the Montecarlo Beach Club, the Hilton Beach Club, the Emirates Palace Beach or the Corniche, just to mention a few.

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THURSDAY 29

MUSIC
7:30 PM – Legendary heavy metal band Black Sabbath are live in concert at the du Arena. Tickets are still available here.

ENVIRONMENT/NETWORKING
7:30 PM – If you work in the environmental field, you already know what the Green Drinks are: the Abu Dhabi version of these monthly events taking place all around the world to give people working in this area the chance to informally network and share ideas is due this weekend at Frankie’s, inside the Fairmont Bab al Bahr hotel.

MEETUP/NIGHTLIFE
7:30 PM – The Brits in Abu Dhabi group is heading to Cooper’s for drinks and socialising.

INTERNATIONS/NIGHTLIFE
8 PM – Social network for global minds Internations is hosting an evening out at the Jazz N’ Fizz Bar.

FRIDAY 30

MEETUP/BRUNCH
12:30
– The Are you new in Abu Dhabi? group is going for brunch at the Dusit Thani’s Urban Kitchen.

INTERNATIONS/BRUNCH
12:30 – The Lunch and Brunch group is heading to the brunch at the Sheraton Hotel Corniche.

BRUNCH
12:30 PM
– This week we heard good things about the brunch at one of Abu Dhabi’s most popular Irish pubs, the McGettigan’s. We haven’t personally tried it yet but it is on the to-do list.

ANIMALS
2 PM – Great local charity Sandy Paws is hosting a kitten adoption day, the last before the summer. If you think you would like to add a furry friend to your family count, this is your chance. Even if you can’t adopt, you can always foster, or just come by, get some cuddles and make a donation towards the many vet’s bills!

NATURE
4 PM – Ok, so – technically the Al Ain Zoo is not in Abu Dhabi city, but as it is in the ‘region’ of Abu Dhabi, we are going to mention it anyway. This Friday is the last day to take part in the Arabian Endangered Species month: Arabian Oryx, Arabian leopard, Arabian Sand Cat, and Ghaf trees are the stars of the event. If you get there early, you can even get to exclusively enter in the Arabian Sand Cat incubation centre. Full program, directions and contacts are here.

PARTY/NIGHTLIFE
4 PM – The Press Pause Skylite Party might be the last chance to enjoy the rooftop terrace of the Skylite lounge inside the Yas Viceroy Hotel before the temperatures rise for the summer. Lined up are gourmet food and music from Dj Anya, Dj Cliff Townley, and Dj Mark.

NIGHTLIFE
7 PM – The Holiday Inn Hotel is hosting the Reggae Jam party, with special Caribbean food and drinks, and music from Dj M’Raz and Dj Chino.

NIGHTLIFE
7 PM – The Aloft Hotel is hosting the massively popular Immaculate Touch Pool Party, with live entertainment (including a 8 feet LED robot!), music from Dj Natalie Brogan and more.

SPORT
8 PM – The third and final round of the Gymkhana Drift racing event is taking place this weekend at the Yas Marina circuit. More info here.

SATURDAY 31

SHOPPING/CHARITY
9:30 AM
Animal charity Sandy Paws will be among the many sellers at the Al Yasmina Table Top Sale – inside the Al Yasmina School. It is a fantastic chance to bag a bargain and help a great cause!

SPORT/PARTY
1 PM
– The Volleyball Beach Brunch at the Blue Marlin Ibiza – which is in Ghantoot, so slightly outside of Abu Dhabi city on the road to Dubai, promises an afternoon of sports and food, with tunes from Dj Jean B and Dj Frederick Stone.

WORKSHOP/ART
2:30 PM – What about creating a mask cast from your own face and then decorating it? If this sounds like your cup of tea, head to Manarat al Saadiyat for this interesting “Helmet Mask” workshop, part of their vibrant art program spanning all weekend.

MEETUP/POETRY
3 PM – The Abu Dhabi Creative Club is going to Cafe Arabia to share poems and ideas.

ART EXHIBITION
7 PM: Head to Art Hub for the opening night of the new exhibition of works by acclaimed Iranian-born/UK-based painter Mohsen Keiany. On the same evening, also present will be resident artists from the Philippines and Ireland. More info here, and location map here.

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ART EXHIBITION
The Sky Over the East exhibition at the Emirates Palace Gallery opens this weekend, on Thursday 29th, and will run until the 27th of June.
A selection of 54 works by 48 leading 20th century Arab artists from 12 countries follows the theme ‘Museum Collections Make Connections’, reflecting the important role of these institutions as cultural heritage storytellers.
Guided tours are also available – more info here, and a selection of images can be seen here.
Among the many acclaimed artists featured, you might recognise many whose art is found in leading museums around the world, such as Dia Al Azzawi, (Tate Modern, UK); Ibrahim Salahi (MoMA – Museum of Modern Art, New York); Laila Shawa (British Museum); Munira Al Kazi (Victoria & Albert Museum, UK); and Saliba Douaihy (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, David Rockefeller Collection, USA), just to mention a few.

ART EXHIBITION
Last chance to see closing exhibition Elemental Forces at the Avenue at Etihad Towers Gallery: last day is Saturday the 31st. This solo display by Ukrainian artist Tetyana Yagodkina, organised by N2N Gallery, is a collection of recent and old works painted in her distinct signature style. The theme is nature: earth and sky, water and air, lush varieties of greens and rigorous simplicity of mountain rocks, all act as an inspiration to the artist. Examples of her works can be seen here, and more info can be had contacting +971 2690 8929 or info@n2n-gallery.com

ART EXHIBITION
American fashion designer Norma Kamali has collaborated with FBMI to create a collection of hand-made carpets which will be exhibited at Manarat Al Saadiyat until the 1st of June only. FBMI helps Afghan women to find employment by hiring them in the carpet production process, while at the same time offering them and their families critical social services in healthcare and education.

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Caramel – American restaurant and lounge

Delicious mini roasted potatoes!

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
OFFICIAL FACEBOOK

Where in Abu Dhabi:
The Collection
at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort
Tel: 02.678.3344

We really like to go to The Collection, next to the St Regis Hotel on Saadiyat Island, as there are so many lovely restaurants and cafes there, and the whole place has this kind of ‘piazza’ feeling, almost like being in a vibrant Italian square.

Our latest discovery there is Caramel, which is both a restaurant and a lounge. They serve American food, so yes, think burgers and Mac N’ Cheese – BUT all revisited with a fine dining approach, which makes for a really unique foodie experience – different from anything we had tried before in Abu Dhabi.

We actually went there twice, first on an evening out and then again for lunch, and both times we just loved the place.

In the evening the lounge area has a very elegant and stylish vibe, and during the day the restaurant feels very relaxed, thanks to the mellow light filtering through the curtains. They also have an outdoor terrace, but we decided to eat inside.

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Having drinks in the lounge…

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…and a relaxed lunch in the restaurant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a starter, I ordered Mac and Cheese, whilst W ordered the ‘Signature Chicken Lollipops’ with blue cheese sauce.

I thought I knew what Mac and Cheese looks like, so when four stylish breaded sticks arrived at our table, I had to make a fool of myself and double-check with the server that my order was right.

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Mac and cheese!!

Well, it was right! They were Mac and Cheese, just a thousand times more elegant – and delicious, as every crunchy bite opened up a heart of mouth-watering gooey-ness.
From now on, I know I will be sorely disappointed whenever ordering Mac and Cheese elsewhere.

(I also realise I should probably have taken a photo of the melted centre, but they were just too nice and vanished before I could think of it!)

W also loved his chicken, especially dipped in the blue cheese sauce, even though I have to sadly report that I ate all of his carrots.

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Signature chicken lollipops

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Tater Tots with brie cheese

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The portions are really generous at this restaurant, but we realised it too late.
We had decided to order a side to share, specifically the Tater Tots with brie cheese, but our really friendly server convinced us that we had to try the Roasted Mini Bakers, so we ended up ordering both.

The Tater Tots were once again a triumph of yummy gooey-tude, but the real surprise was in the Roasted Mini Bakers.

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Roasted Mini Bakers… aka mini Jacket Potatoes.

They were basically mini Jacket Potatoes (how they call them in the UK), served with not one, but four fillings: creme fraiche, chopped spring onion, aged cheddar cheese and veal bacon.
I don’t think I need to say again how delicious they were! We almost regretted ordering mains, after that, as they were really yummy and filling.

As a main, I ordered Truffled Penne Pasta, and W ordered Kobe Beef Sliders. Once again, everything was just perfect: the pasta was ‘al dente’ and the sauce creamy and mouth-watering, and W said that the mini-burgers were perfectly cooked and covered in yummy cheddar.

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Truffled Penne Pasta

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Kobe Beef Sliders

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Brownie with ice cream

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were absolutely stuffed after all this, but we decided to skip dinner and share a dessert: we were suggested the Brownie, which they say is among their best-sellers. And we quickly learned why!
Served warm, and covered in lovely ice cream, we quickly scooped it up without regrets.

Aside from the really delicious (and surprising!) food, we must point out how the super-friendly staff, everyone – from the servers to the manager, went the extra mile to make us feel welcome and well looked after, which is always something we really appreciate.

After these two visits, Caramel has quickly become top on our favourites list. From the lovely relaxed atmosphere during the day to the funky and vibrant one in the evenings, we can see ourselves spending a lot of great times there, and we can’t wait to go back with our friends to show off this ‘gem’ we have found!

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What to do this weekend in Abu Dhabi (22/23/24 May)

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Sunday 25th is Isra Wal Meraj, so many people will be away for the long weekend and less things are happening around town, but nonetheless, here are our activity picks for this weekend. Have a happy one!

Please note that to join some of the activities listed below you need to become a member of the group that organises them: most memberships are free but some might require a fee.
Always
double check/book using the provided links before setting off, as last minute changes to time/places/availability might have occurred since this list was compiled.

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THEME PARKS
Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld are the two main theme parks in Abu Dhabi, full of attractions for all ages.
To save money on entry tickets, you can use the 2-for-1 Entertainer vouchers, or in alternative, at the moment Ferrari World is offering 40 AED discount to all UAE residents (offer valid until the 31st of May), and Yas Waterworld is offering 4 tickets for the price of 3 if you book online.

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THURSDAY 22

THEME PARK/LADIES ONLY
6 PM – Yas Waterworld opens its door for their weekly ladies night. No boys allowed, not even among the staff!

NIGHTLIFE
8 PM – It’s Throwback Thursday at Heroes, inside the Crowne Plaza hotel, with DJ Chris Delaney.

NIGHTLIFE
11 PMO1NE resident DJs will play double bill this week, as the venue will be open on both the usual Thursday and Friday for the Justin Timberlake concert’s afterparty.

FRIDAY 23

MEETUP/SPORT
7:30 AM – The Raw Yoga group braves the rising temperatures for a reinvigorating early morning yoga session in Formal park.

POOL PARTY
11 AM – Al Maya Island is probably the most famous party island off the coast of Abu Dhabi: this week they offer tunes from Marko Smokingroove.

POOL PARTY
12 PM – The Centro hotel on Yas Island is organising an afternoon of entertainment with Dj Bliss, Dj Kaboo, and Mr Shef Codes. More info here and here.

FRIDAY BRUNCH
1 PM – The Marina Brunch at the Intercontinental offers views on the water, live music and delicious food.

MUSIC
7 PM – Global superstar Justin Timberlake is coming to the du Arena. Tickets here and here.

MEETUP/LADIES ONLY
7:30 PM – The Abu Dhabi Ladies group is going to see the new film with Nicole Kidman, Grace of Monaco, at the Abu Dhabi Mall.

MEETUP/CULTURE
8 PM – The Rooftop Rhythms group is hosting the 22nd installation of their evening open-mike/poetry event.

MEETUP/NATURE
9 PM – The UAE Trekkers group is going to see the possible meteor shower at a secret location – as Earth is expected to cross the debris trail left by comet 209P/Linear.

SATURDAY 24

FOOD
12 PM – Saturday lunch at the Abu Dhabi fish souk can be a great foodie adventure! More info on our
blog post.

MEETUP/SOCIAL
9 PM – The Language and Culture Exchange group is meeting to watch the Champions League final and eat good food.

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ART EXHIBITION
The Lightbox Gallery, inside the Yas Viceroy Hotel on Yas Island, is displaying the stunning artworks by Brazilian mixed-media artist Fiona Ai Bubble. The exhibition is free and on until the 9th of August.

ART EXHIBITION
The newest art exhibition at Manarat Al Saadiyat is open: created in collaboration with the British Museum, London, it is called A History of the World in 100 Objects and brings to the UAE objects from the past to the present, all with incredible stories behind them. From the legendary Royal Game of Ur to a Chelsea football club jersey, this exciting journey through time is truly worth a visit. Our favourite? The foot-operated car invented in 2013 by Emirati student Reem Al Marzouqi, a life-changing invention for all those affected by physical disabilities. The exhibition will run until the 1st of August.

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